You are That Person

 Take a moment and think about that person. The one who you cringe when you hear their name. The one who, in one way or another, betrayed, hurt, or broke you. The one who you at one time loved or cared for deeply. The one who no matter what, you could not ever allow back in your life. Now, guess what? You are that to someone else.  A very hard learned lesson for me over the last year, as I have learned to value and protect me, as I have put down solid boundaries, and let go.  It isn’t about restoration,  forgiveness, or healing. It just isn’t. If your heartfelt apology, or more, wasn’t enough, it won’t be, and that’s ok.  They need you as far away as you need those who have hurt you. For me, it’s been accepting siblings and people I cared for deeply were lost to me. Not because anyone is bad or unforgiving or hateful, but because I have done things that they have decided are too much, in the exact same way I have decided about others. And, it’s honestly the best. In distance and bounda

Safety Plans Or Bike Rides and Other Things I Missed

When my kids were younger, I spent years caring for and trying to help others in need. People who never appreciated it, never apologized for the things they did, never tried to do better. I grew up in need and felt I was giving back, doing good, making the world a better place. I thought I was teaching my children to be kind, generous, loving. I gave and gave while they took all these beautiful moments and opportunities I had been given and sucked them into the endless void of narcissism.  I missed holidays and school events sitting in psyc ERs or meetings. My kids learned safety plans instead of how to ride their bike.  Therapist and case managers became family and friends because I did not have time or energy for establishing and maintaining real relationships.  It took me far too long to realize that I mattered too, that my kids mattered, that safety and peace mattered.  I meant to teach love and what I taught them was that other people’s needs mattered more.  I’m truly grateful tha

Where I’m From

Something I wrote using the "Where I'm From," a poem by George Ella Lyon, as a template. Where I'm From I’m from empty grocery bags from Walmart and being disposable. I’m from the beautiful chaos of a blended family. I’m from the mountains, the darkness, the stars that only show up when all light disappears. I’m from the creativity of the Sutphins, the tenacity of the Freemans, and names recorded in police records instead of bibles. I am from mistakes and misunderstandings but never giving up. From, “It’s our little secret” and a God who didn’t see me. I’m from the Appalachians, soup beans, cornbread, and hobo packs. From the one time we tied fish to our feet for shoes and other crazy stories we joked about to keep from crying about the truth. I’m from photos piled in bags left on sidewalks with the trash sorted through in desperation looking for home. I’m from yesterday, a constant longing for everydays, and dreams of tomorrow.

His Name is Stephen

His name is Stephen. He is kind, intelligent, and funny. Curious and brave, He draws her out of her hiding place. His name is Stephen, and it seems he has found keys to doors and places buried so deeply within her, she had forgotten they even existed. His name is Stephen and he makes her smile, and laugh, and her eyes dance. His name is Stephen and he makes yesterday irrelevant, today lovely, and tomorrow hopeful. Her name is Jessica and she has one foot stuck in the mire of society, the failure of ambitions, the tears of dreams lost. But no worries my sweet friend, because her other foot is holding fast in. . . Hope... Truth... Tenacity... and Love... and all that means His name is Stephen, and Her name is Jessica, and together they will conquor the atmosphere. They have time. Active  

Locked Doors

She journeyed so far and so long to a place she was never brave enough to dream about...and just as she went to open the door she discovered it was locked, nailed shut by yesterday's residents.

Finally Broken

 In my life, I have encountered: Abuse Neglect Witnessing domestic violence Molestation Sexual abuse Rape Foster care Dating violence Death of a parent Domestic violence Death of a sibling Homelessness Poverty Loss of a foster child Mental illness of an adoptive child Mental illness of a parent or family member Addiction of a friend of family member Multiple miscarriages And all of those things, and some I am sure I am not remembering, losing my Andreana has broken me. I can't deal. Everything feels broken all the time and I swear to God I'm trying but I'm tired and I just want my Andramada.

What I Would Say

 I’m on a date and will edit and write more on this later, but, I just had one of the more profound realizations of my life.  As most of you know, my dad died by suicide when I was 10. I’ve spent a lifetime grieving and thinking of all the things I wish I could have said.  The past two weeks have been rough at work. Today alone, I spoke with 5 different suicidal clients. Not “I’m having suicidal thoughts” but, “I want to die, here is my plan, why should I stay?” type callers. I was able to get each of them help. I vented to my coworkers I was exhausted and didn’t understand the influx.  You know what I am just now realizing I also did? I said all of the things, every single one I wish I had been able to say. You matter. There are people who love you. Things are bad right now, but this is temporary. Yes, you have hurt a lot of people and caused a lot of damage, but if you leave, restoration can’t happen. You may be away from your child, maybe even until they are an adult, but if you die