Looking for love in all the wrong places

Looking for love in all the wrong places

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Once I lost my virginity, there was nothing holding me back. I began associating sex with just something to do, not an emotionally connected thing. I completely detached myself from having any feelings what so ever when it came to that.

I began having sex just to have it. I didn’t think about the people I may or may not have been hurting. I didn’t think about the repercussions of my actions. I had already lost it. I couldn’t get it back. So, what was the point in fretting over it. I couldn’t change the situation. It was too late. It was a done deal.

Secretly, I was looking for something or someone to fill me up-to satisfy the emptiness I was feeling inside. I was looking to this guy or this girl to “fix me” and my problems. I was waiting on this person to come along and make me feel wanted and to treat me the way I deserved to be treated. But, before now, I would’ve never admitted that to anybody. I was too “tough” for that nonsense. I would tell myself that I was fine, that I didn’t have any problems. Pride is a real killer.

I set them up to fail before it ever began. I never took the time for people to actually get to know me. I didn’t make them work for what they wanted (sex). Most of the time I would be with people who I knew for sure it would never work out with just so I wouldn’t get hurt.

I was in no shape or form to “love” somebody, though. The saying goes, “you must learn to love yourself before you can love someone else” (Sonja Mylin), and I despised who I was. There were some days I would look in the mirror and truly not know who I was. Who would want to be with somebody like that?

 

Dear Lord, I’m so thankful that You are enough. There is nothing else I need but You. You are the only thing that can satisfy me. You are the only thing that can truly fill me up. Other worldly things might hold me over for a short period of time, but it will never be enough. Help me to remember that people are always going to let me down, they’re human and make mistakes. Help me to remember that other people’s opinions of me shouldn’t matter more than Your opinion of me.  You, O God, will never let me down. You are unchanging. You are the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. Help me remain in Your promises and Your truths. No one else but You, O God. In Your name I pray, Amen!

Lost

Lost

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Sadly, I lost my virginity due to trying to make Her jealous. In my sick, twisted mind I thought that if she knew somebody else could make me happy, she would finally want to be with me. But, the reality of it was that she never really wanted to be with me, she just wanted the things that were beneficial to her.

Growing up, people always said I would be emotionally attached to my first, so when that didn’t happen I thought something was wrong with me. Sure, I entertained the idea of being with this guy but it honestly didn’t make a difference to me. Maybe because there was no emotional attachment to begin with, there was nothing there at all.

I had numbed myself right into oblivion basically. Nothing mattered to me. I was indifferent about things that I used to be either extremely passionate about or totally against. All because I wanted the attention of somebody who didn’t give two craps about me. How low my self-esteem was-my self-worth. That’s what I thought I deserved and honestly if I hadn’t had people in my life telling me otherwise I probably would’ve settled for that for who knows how long.

 

Dear Lord, I pray that nobody has to compromise who they are just to get the attention of someone else. I pray that people who do or have felt like that find that Your attention is all they need. Worldly things will never be enough. Only You are enough for us. We will spend all of our days searching for something to fill us up if we don’t have You. Fill me up, O God. Help me to always remember that  You are sufficient for me. In Your name I pray, Amen!

 

Her Part 2

Her Part 2

The sick, twisted part about the whole situation is somewhere deep down, this is what I thought I deserved-it is what I told myself I deserved..png

No matter what mom did to try to keep me away from her or how badly this girl treated me, I went back time and time again. It was like I was some lost puppy who, no matter how many times I was kicked or beaten, I always went back for more. Oh, I would get my act together long enough to have things running smoothly again but as soon as things were fine, I’d go running right back to her.

When I got out of the hospital, mom had explained to me who had called to check on me. She wasn’t one of those few. I was fed up with her crap and swore her off for good. It may have been a couple of weeks tops before I was right back with her.

A lot of people think that just because a girl is dating a girl different rules apply. I surely can’t speak for everybody but for me, dating is dating. I commit to one person and that is that-we are either dating or we’re not. You don’t get me and somebody else too. (Disclaimer*:So I’m not a hypocrite, this excludes a few years)

With this chick, for some reason, I was so desperate I didn’t care who else she was with. Desperate enough to live with her and her boyfriend. Desperate enough to be the excuse she needed to get out of the house so that I could drive her to another man’s house to listen to them have sex. Desperate enough to be her live in baby sitter while she was out “working” when she was really just going out and partying.

She lied about so many things. Some lies I actually caught her in but she just turned it around and somehow convinced me it was all my fault. I wish I could blame it on being naive but honestly I was just plain stupid. And obviously my self-esteem was at an all time low the entire time this girl was in my life.

The sick, twisted part about the whole situation is somewhere deep down, this is what I thought I deserved-it is what I told myself I deserved. I didn’t think anybody was going to love me that I had to take what I could get. So what if I was being treated worse than dirt? So what if she didn’t really care about me? She sure as hell told me everything I wanted to hear and she definitely told me enough to keep me holding on.

I can say that eventually I did completely cut her off. She would still try to get in touch with me and it always seemed to be at points in my life when everything was going exceedingly well. But, some how some way I fought the urge to run back to her and eventually moved on with my life! (Celebrate good times, come on!)

 

Dear Lord, toxic relationships of any kind stink. I’m thankful for the life lessons I got out of those few years of dealing with all of that toxicity but I am also so thankful to have that season of my life behind me. I pray that young girls don’t settle for less than they deserve like I did-women at all for that matter. I pray with all of might that they know their true worth in You. Nothing else in this world can fill us up the way You fill us up. We will never be complete without You. We can try with all our might, but it will never work chasing worldly things. We will always find ourselves feeling empty without you. Help us to remember that a relationship can’t fix our problems, a person can’t fix us. Only You mend our brokenness. Heal my brokenness, O God and fill me up. Help me to remember who I am and Whose I am. In Your name I pray, Amen!

Psych Ward

Psych Ward

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A little over a week before my 18th birthday, mom and I had gotten into it again and I was so sick of the way my life was going. I was over always being on restriction and not being able to do what I wanted to do. Of course, being on restriction was 100% my fault, but back then I blamed my mom.

I wanted her to give in and give my stuff back to me so I tried to pull a guilt trip. I had already refused to go to school that day but she said I couldn’t stay home alone so I went to my grandma’s house. I was texting her saying I hated my life and I was sick of living this way and that I would just rather not be alive at all. Well…considering my dad had just committed suicide the November before (my birthday is in May) that didn’t fly with my mom.

Next thing I know there’s a knock on the door and it’s an ambulance. Mom had called 911 saying I was wanting to kill myself. They asked me a few questions and then decided to take me to the hospital. They took me to Lexington first to evaluate me. They came to the conclusion to admit me at Baptist and mom had a judge comitt me so that I couldn’t check myself out when I turned eighteen nor could she check me out. So, to be transported from Lexington hospital to Baptist, I had to be put in handcuffs and ride in the back of a cop car.

Once I got to Baptist, they took me to a room and asked me a few questions then got me all checked in. They gave mom a list of things I could and couldn’t have so she could send me appropriate clothes and shoes. Then she left. And there I was in this strange place. On the bright side, because I had identified as being gay, I got a room to myself and didn’t have to share with another patient.

The rooms had just two single beds in them, a night stand for each bed, and then two desks. There was a camera in the room and a call button. There was also a bathroom in each room that remained locked at all times. You had to have permission to get into the bathroom. It was also where we changed since there were cameras in the rooms.

Outside of our rooms there was the commons area where we could sit around and watch tv, play games and other activities they may have planned. We had arts and crafts day, music day and meditation day. Also, Monday through Friday we had school for a couple of hours. School consisted of work teachers sent from school so you wouldn’t get behind by being there. When we weren’t in our rooms we also had to have closed toed shoes on and no revealing clothing.

There was a schedule for everything. Everyday we’d get woken up at the crack of dawn for breakfast. If we didn’t get up, we didn’t get breakfast and wouldn’t get anything to eat until lunch. After breakfast we usually had school then a group activity such as music or crafts. Thrown in there somewhere throughout the day was free time and then there were also designated “quiet times” where we were sent to our rooms. We had snack time as well as three meals a day. Then we also had counseling time where we met with our counselor to check on our progress.

The first couple of nights were rough. We did get phone privileges but only a set amount of monitored time and we couldn’t place calls, we had to be called. Hearing mom’s voice made me so home sick the first few times she called that all I could manage to do was cry. But once things kind of became routine, it got a little bit easier.

The saddest part of the whole situation is the people that said they were my friends didn’t even try to see where I was or make sure I was okay. The last thing I had told them was basically the same thing I told mom-“I’m sick of living this way.” For all they knew I was dead somewhere but not once did they text or call-nothing. And as mad as I was at mom at the time, it was the only option she had left. She had literally tried EVERYTHING in the months leading up to this and I honestly believe it was either being admitted to the hospital, jail or dead. That was the path my life was going down at the time.

Looking back now, in that season of my life, that was the best thing my mom ever did for me. When I got out, I eventually went back to those old friends and it took a while for me to completely rid my life of those toxic people, but during my time at the hospital I was able to step back and really evaluate my life-where I was, where I had been and where I was going. A tiny seed was planted from that experience and even though it didn’t immediately grow, it was there.

 

Dear Lord, I am so thankful there is a time and a season for everything. I am so thankful You were ever present in my mom and she had the faith she did (and still does). Without You, there is no telling how my mom would’ve ever been able to handle me and all of my rebellion. I am also thankful for that experience in my life despite how much I hated it at the time. I am amazed at how pieces of the puzzle fit together looking back over my life when at the time all I could see was the one piece-And I still don’t have the whole picture yet. I pray that You continue to write my story with Your glory and that I follow obediently. I also pray for the strength and courage to be half the mom my mom was. In Your name I pray, Amen! 

 

Downward Spiral

Downward Spiral

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The months following the death of my dad and papa went by in a blur. I was in autopilot. I did just enough of what I had to do to get by. I spent my days running from the pain and chasing the high.

I spent all hours of the night running the streets. I was at a party almost every weekend-all weekend long. I would go days without sleeping. I would drink and smoke myself into a stupor.

I was lying to almost everybody I knew. I took so much time to build up this wall around me and was extra careful not to let anybody in. I was so afraid that if people really knew what was going on inside, there was no way they would still want to be my friend. So I kept them out and I put on this front like everything was fine and dandy. I was the life of the party but I was dead inside.

I was slowly losing more and more of myself, little by little. It got to a point where I no longer recognized myself. I was so far gone that I barely remembered who I used to be. And I told myself that I was too far gone, that there was no point in trying to find my way back to who I used to be, it was too late. I gave myself permission to give up.

On the outside there was this tough, hardcore chick but, on the inside there was this fragile little girl who had lost her place in the world. And there was no way I was letting anybody close enough to figure that out. I held everybody at an arms length. For those who knew me best, like my mom, I kept them the furthest away-to the point of straight up ignoring them or disappearing all together.

 

Dear Lord, even though I was telling myself I was too far gone, that it was too late, those are lies the enemy wanted me to believe. With You, there is no such thing as too far gone or too late. Oh am I thankful for that. There isn’t anywhere that I could go to outrun You. There is nothing I could do to make You stop loving me. You made me. You chose me. On purpose, for a purpose, with a purpose. You knit me together in my mother’s womb. You knew me and set my path before the beginning of time. Help me to remember these truths when the enemy is so desperately trying to make me believe the lies that are so easy to tell myself sometimes. In Your name I pray, Amen! 

Ohana

Ohana

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Within a month of losing my dad, I lost the most influential man in my life-my Papa. I was truly the apple of his eye. When I was younger and in daycare (before Jamie came along), my papa used to come on his lunch breaks to the daycare and just watch me through the glass. He never let me see him or anything like that, but if he didn’t come those ladies at the daycare were quick to ask mom if everything was alright.

I used to drive him over to Jaco’s (The Corner) every once in a while and in return he’d buy me a hotdog basket, a pepsi and give me some gas money-couldn’t beat that. One of those days we were sitting at a stop light as he lifted his hands up to the sunlight and said, “when the sun hits my hands a certain way, I can see them.” Um….thank goodness I was driving that day! He had had cataract surgery and during the procedure they dropped them back into his eye, causing him to go practically blind. But, he was not going to give up his right at driving.

I used to love summer afternoons going swimming at their house. Most of the time he would just lay out or mess around with cleaning up the pool. We might not have said more than two words to one another but there was just something about spending time with him.

Sunday afternoons at Grandma and Papa’s house was the place to be. Everybody would come over for dinner and if it was warm outside, we’d swim. After dinner, Papa and my uncle Larry would get out their guitars and play and sing while we all sat around and listened and conversed some. Usually there was always a heated “discussion” which made for a great story later.

My papa wasn’t perfect by any means. He was quite a simple man, but he taught me the meaning of family. And I wouldn’t trade that for anything.

 

Dear Lord, I am extremely thankful for the people you have placed in my life and the family you chose for me. It might not always be easy, but there are people in my family who may or may not know You. Give me the strength and the courage to share the Gospel with them so that they might come to know You like I know you. Place on my heart those who need to hear about You. In Your name I pray, Amen!

Suicide

Suicide

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[Text message]

Dad: I hope you have a good day. I love you.

Me: I love you too.

I remember texting mom saying something was up. Dad never texted me and told me he loved me, not first anyway. And if he did, he never spelled it out. He usually just put “Ly2.” At lunch (it was my senior year of high school) I remember just cracking up about it with all of my friends and making jokes and basically dissing my dad. I didn’t really know if I was worried, excited or what. It was just weird and different-out of the ordinary and not normal.

I went about the rest of my day like any other day.

That night, I was going to dinner with a friend and her son. Mom had called me and asked where I was and told me that I needed to come to my grandma and papa’s house that Mike and Jennifer were there (my dad’s sister and her husband). I don’t know why I didn’t think anything of that at the time. Probably because I was high and when I was with Her nothing else mattered-not even my own family (hate to even say that now).

When I finally got around to getting to my grandparent’s house, as soon as I walked in I knew something was wrong. The tension and hurt was overwhelming. I don’t exactly remember how mom started to break the news but I think it was something like, “I need to tell you something” or “something has happened.” Before she was even able to actually tell me what happened I, somehow, already knew. I was screaming, “tell me, no don’t. Tell me, no, don’t” just over and over again. I wanted her to just tell me but at the same time, if she didn’t utter the words, it couldn’t be true, right?

When she was finally able to muster in a, “Your dad killed himself” between my screaming of tell me don’t tell me, I lost it. I took off running down the driveway to get in my car. My first reaction was to drive to his girlfriend’s house. I wanted to kill her. This was all her fault from my perspective.

Next thing I know, I’m being tackled by my brother. Thank God he did because if he hadn’t and I had made it to that woman’s house, I’m not 100% sure what would’ve happened. It probably wouldn’t have been good though.

The next few days were blurry.

The funeral arrangements were awkward. My dad’s parents were finally in the same room together, which was all he ever wanted. And who knew the last time that actually happened. They wouldn’t even come to things at our house if the other one was coming. But that’s beside the point. The girlfriend (who had just kicked him out prior to him killing himself) was there like nothing had gone south with them, claiming to be his fiancé. All of them-my dad’s parents, his dad’s wife, and his gf/ex-girlfriend/fiancé-were sitting at the front with the guy making the arrangements. Then me, mom and Jamie were sort of in the corner and then my aunt, uncle and cousin were against the wall. When they asked for dad’s social security number nobody knew it. From the corner, mom just as plain as day sounded it off like it was nothing. Everybody turned around and looked at her like she was crazy. “I was married to him for seventeen years. I was the only wife he ever had,” she said.

The visitation was weird. Jamie and I were standing near the coffin with mom in between us. His parents next to us, then his girlfriend and her two kids at the beginning of the line. People coming through shaking our hands definitely got a redneck visitation. Neighbors of my dad’s and his girlfriend would get to mom, Jamie and I and would say something like, “we were neighbors of Mike and Sharon.” Mom would say, “Oh. Well, I’m the only wife he ever had and these are his two children.”

It was weird how separate his life from us was. His neighbors didn’t know us. Mutual friends that him and Sharon had didn’t know us. A lot of those people probably didn’t even realize he had kids until the visitation or funeral.

The funeral was like sitting through a funeral of somebody you didn’t even know. Of course I knew I was at my dad’s funeral but when people got up there to talk about him, it wasn’t the man I grew up with or knew.

The whole situation was surreal and I just became numb and more numb. This is when the downward spiral in my life really started to take a spin. Things definitely got worse from here before they got better.

 

Dear Lord, Oh how I didn’t understand why this had to happen to ME, in MY life. I didn’t see You amidst this tragedy as I was living through it. I was mad at You. I couldn’t understand how You could’ve let this happen. If You are in control, how could You let my dad kill himself? I wrestled with so many questions. And still, I don’t have the answers to some of them and probably never will this side of eternity. I ran from You. I ran to anything and everything but You. But, I’m so thankful that I eventually found my way back to You. I’m grateful that Your love never fails and nothing I do could ever separate me from You. I’ve learned that doubts and questions are ok. You don’t shame me for those. I pray that as hardships come my way, I give my burdens to You so that I can rest my weary should in Thee. In Your name I pray, Amen!