Monday, July 24, 2017

Making of a Memoir

To overcome and then write about it in such a way that others find worth reading, there was a moment in time, before the overcoming, when one was riddled with bullets, left alone to pluck out each piece of metal shrapnel, and with the last extraction, succumbed to the guttural pain of knowing soul wounds last a lifetime and scars on the flesh are forever, inescapable reminders of how one became so broken.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

OxiClean works on criminals, too

I'd much rather be writing my book, but writing heals, so I will write. Briefly.

My sister is an idiot. If she's not an idiot, then she is a liar. She married her husband after three months of knowing him. "He completely changed his life around," is what she has been saying since the day they met. "He was a major drug dealer," she confesses. "He became a Christian and he's doing really well."

His criminal record dates back to 2008 and runs through 2014. Being 2017, he's had three years to reflect and repent and completely change his life around. In May from a public Facebook post, we learned firsthand from the husband that he was taken to court because he was behind on his fines. "5-99 yrs was heavy to hear," he recounted. But thankfully with the help of his church family, he was able to pay enough to go home with the legal requirement to pay the remainder of his fines in full within 30 days. "Enough to make your knees weak," he responded to a friend's reply about how much money he had left to pay.

The problem with criminal records is that they are just as public and easy to access as his Facebook post. Weapons charge, family violence charge, assault with bodily injury, multiple drug charges for possession and intent to deliver, and multiple charges of failure to appear/bail jumping and unable to maintain financial responsibility. He's a catch, I know. His history appears to be this: commit a crime, get arrested for the crime,  booked in jail for the crime, post bail, and go home. Soon after, he is arrested for the same crime, booked in jail for the same crime because he failed to pay fees and fines or completely not show up at a hearing. That itself is a crime, therefore lengthening his record.

Enter GoFundMe page. If you so choose, you can give money to the husband to help pay for the fines that are apparently unfair. My sister wrote about his story of being adopted to being a criminal to being redeemed and completely changing his life around. And she added this nugget of information to his story because the courts need to be exposed: "His probation is in a small county so they try to get all the money they can get." Criminals seem like a good place to start. If labeling the husband a "criminal" is bothersome to you, I politely say that this small podunk county that unrightfully goes after people for their monetary debts has been quite generous to the husband given he is a long-standing no show and no pay probationeer.

So what about this whole hot-mess lifestyle of my sister made me want to write a dedicated blog post about it? Full circle moment happening now:

An 8-year criminal record featuring weapons and drug felonies, family violence and burglary, and failure to appear/bail jumping is going to be wiped completely clean. My sister told me that all her repeat offender husband has to do is pay his fines in full and complete his 5-year deferred adjudication. He'll be clear by the time they move to Ohio in August. Wait, what?

Yes, Ohio. Sister and husband and her three daughters (he's not the father) are suddenly moving to Ohio. This comes one week after they suddenly moved out of their apartment with no place to go. Three days before my sister and her three young daughters had to be out of their apartment she tells me, "I told the lady at the new apartment complex we applied at upfront that we don't have good credit and my husband does not have the best background but he's completely changed his life around." That hopeful phrase doesn't offer much confidence to the other party in the legally binding contract you are entering. If a person cannot pay their electric bill or department store credit card or settle a payday loan and those debts rack up late fees and eventually get transferred to collection agencies….I think we all know the rest. So what is Ohio going to fix?

Husband is starting an associate degree program so he can be a pastor. We live in the Bible Belt and there are literally thousands of schools that offer two-year degrees for people who want to go into ministry. But there's something that Ohio can offer that this Bible Belt cannot, if going to this particular school is the catalyst for relocation. Let's investigate using the fail-proof method of Far-From-Fun Facts, also known as reality.

Current location
Unable to afford your apartment and having to move out hastily
Selling all of your furniture and only keeping the necessities which includes a new truck to compliment your Escalade
Becoming homeless because your criminal history and bad credit makes you repulsive to owners of rental properties
Getting so behind on your court fines that police bring you in front of the judge who gives you a 30-day window to pay an amount of money so large that it would make a person's knees weak or your going to prison for 5-99 yrs
Starting a GoFundMe page (which raised $70 BTW) to pay off your debts you've acquired over the past 8 years committing felonies

1,218.7 miles away
Going to school full-time so you can minister about how God has helped you completely change your life around

OxiClean and Shamwow! that shit, then Pinocchio your way to Ohio.

I've got no strings so I have fun
I'm not tied up to anyone
How I love my liberty,
There are no strings on me!
No ties to bind me,
It's not easy to find me,
'Cause I've got no strings on me!

Monday, April 3, 2017

Monday Memories: Would you be angry, too?

Iyanla fixes a part of my life with every episode of "Iyanla Fix My Life." I recorded an episode because I knew the subject matter is intertwined into my life today and possibly a look into my future. Three sisters who grew up in a dysfunctional home and haven't seen each other since their mother's death are trying to reconnect. There was a lot of sexual abuse going on in the neighborhood and all three sisters agree, in various degrees, that their life was dysfunctional. I am standing on my own on that front. Of course all siblings in a family have a different experience growing up. 

I was my mother's old faux leather bag that went with her everywhere, whether it was an appropriate setting or not. I don't think she fully wanted me, but until she met John I was the only constant in her life. And then when that went to shit over the course of 7 years and the day came that me and my two sisters and mom were moving out of our house, it was Clint who helped us move out. I was so happy to get away from the fighting that until now, I never questioned or even realized that another man was moving us, and that the other man was Clint. And, until now, literally right now, I'm suddenly remembering a night when my step dad woke me up and asked me if I remembered where Clint lived. I didn't of course, I think I was 8. But him asking me means I had been to Clint's house before and while my mom and John were still married. Shady bitch.

I listened to my mother talk to someone on the phone about John taking a pair of her underwear and going to the hospital to get it x-rayed for semen. Like, why the fuck would anyone talk about that in front of anyone, let alone their elementary aged daughter. I hate her when I remember these things. Yes, parents do the best job they can with what they have, but semen? Talking about semen on her panties from cheating on John is "her best job." I can only give her so much forgiveness and allow her room for human error until I leave her behind as the bitch she has always been. I mean, semen. I can't even believe that. And to think that I held that memory somewhere in my mind without knowing it until I started writing tonight and memories started flowing. 

The more I remember about her the less I hate myself. Because I know, I know, that the feelings I have about myself were placed on me by her so she didn't have to own up to her shit, such as cheating on John with two different men, the whole semen-gate, bringing her stripper friend around me, dragging me from apartment to house to who knows where as she gambled with men and job hopped. But it was my dad who didn't want me, my dad who left me. And I was so angry at him and sad because that's the record my mother kept playing. Maybe he had to leave us both to save himself, and hoped and prayed that one day I would understand that. 

Like she did with my two sisters, maybe she used me as bait to get what she wanted from my dad. That's another "fuck her" memory. She did that to John with Megan and Jade. "We are following the visitation agreement word for word and you better not be a minute late or I am calling the police." But when she wanted to party with Clint it was different weather. "Do y'all want to go to your dad's this weekend?" And I never understood why I had to go to my sister's dad's house just because they were going to see him. It was to get rid of me. To be free from kids so she could fuck who she wanted and smoke what she wanted and be who she wanted without guilt. 

"Doing the best she could" -- I'm just not buying it. And she has not changed! I don't want to attribute any of my self work to her, but that does add to my healing. 
It wasn't me. It was never me. Those were my eggshells. I was the child, not you. How dare you to ever place any blame or fault on me because of your problems, so many of which you brought on yourself. How fucking dare you! And as I grew older you continued, while trying to just make it day to day without breaking, while trying to figure out who I was, you never stopped. What the fuck were you thinking?
And let's fast forward to college graduation. The one thing I held onto every year since a little girl. I was going to college. I had no idea what college was but I knew it was a good place to go. And you started a huge fight via text messages, you coward. And you weren't there, once again, because you were selfish, once again. 

I'm in my mid-thirties and I am angry. I am sad. A chunk of my body is missing, the scars and stitches and bruises from climbing trees or playing chase or jumping off the diving board -- my pain was so different from my classmates. I felt like an adult when I was in elementary school. Today I feel like a child navigating through a corporate workplace and marriage and organizing my home and staying on top of laundry and grocery shopping. I've gained weight like you. I've made poor choices at my job like you. I've let clothes pile up in multiple places throughout the house like you. I don't have friends like you. I tell you that you cannot control me anymore. That ended the day I graduated college. But you do still have control, and I hope you never know this.