Things are never meant to be easy for you. Your destiny has declared that nothing is meant to be easy, because your life is so much more than that. So when you feel like giving up, take a moment to remember–your adversity is leading you to the top of Everest. When everything feels hopeless and dark, and you’re ready to fall apart, and willing to let the pieces of yourself scatter to the wind and disintegrate remember that nothing is supposed to be easy for you because your future is grand and filled with greatness only suffering can uncover.

Guys

Guys, being a kid, for me was only slightly less complicated than being an adult. I didn’t have to deal with men or adult relationships. Sex was something repulsive and something we all laughed at because “ADULTS DID WHAT”. And I miss that ignorance tonight. That blissful ignorance. Boys were not cute. They were gross (which for the most part the ones in my life still are). And the only relationships I thought of were of John Smith and Juliet (my two favorite barbies). But tonight, I’m planted firmly in the real world. Conflicted as hell between wishing someone would act different and knowing you can’t ask someone to change for you.

I guess this will be another experience I’ll one day weave into a story. But for now, this walking blindly in the dark with a single flame is not fun and being an adult sucks.

When I am strong I’ll share that strength

Let it flow down to you who needs it

I will stand tall when you can not

Stand firmly planted on two feet

We are all one

One family, one people, one community

And sometimes we falter

Sometimes we need someone to hold us up

When we are down and out we need hope

And courage to keep going

We need to know there’s a better way

So when you can’t I’ll show you

Sometimes we fall and we need help

Don’t be afraid to ask for help

We all need help sometimes

Don’t be afraid to cry

Tears wash away the dirt of life

A Great Loss

I’ve been trying to understand this since it happened; back on October 17, a week ago, but I still can’t. And I still can’t accept this has happened. I don’t want to write this because if I don’t write it then in this pseudo-reality it hasn’t happened….

But, I can’t hold onto ghosts.

Joey’s been my best friend since I was ten–nine maybe?

I don’t actually remember a time when Joey wasn’t apart of my family, except now. He’s still apart of my family. But this day marks the first week in fourteen years that Joey hasn’t been a daily part of my mornings, afternoons, evenings, and nights because last Monday at about 1pm on the 17th he died–with my hands wrapped around him.

I still haven’t stopped crying.

It comes back in waves.

The cycles of grief encircle me like they sharks and I am a single person floating in an ocean.

Every few days they seem to ease up, spread farther away from me, until suddenly, they’re back for more–ripping me apart. This all-consuming grief for my lovely cat that I have is not going to be understood by everyone. I love animals very much-I believe they have spirits, or souls. Anyone who claims different just hasn’t paid attention. To some, this grief will make sense. If you’ve loved an animal you know what it’s like when they break your heart.

Joey was my best friend, but I couldn’t reverse acute kidney failure, I couldn’t stop him from being sick. And watching him, still struggling, hanging on with god knows what strength when he was too sick to continue on, was indescribable. Yet, according to the vet, he was a stubborn old guy–hell bent on hanging on as long as possible. My Joey had acute kidney failure and when the tests came back we found out that Joey’s toxin level was way off the chart-as in the machine couldn’t calculate them, there was that much–which meant, my vet said, he should’ve been dead already.

He wasn’t.

Some animals manage to do that; hold on longer than possible, for us. My cousins dog did that. Held on for her. And that’s when your greatest test comes up. What do you do? Ethically and morally, I debated this with myself for ages, Joey was sick and in pain, despite the fact the doctor said he wouldn’t get better-his organs were failing, in my mind the only way he could never get better was if we let him go–euthanized him. Because, while we still have breath in our lungs things have the possibility of getting better. But, not with something like this. After another terrible seizure, where I begged every god I could think to, to just give me a little more time with him, I knew I didn’t have a choice. It was my job to take care of him. It was his job to take care of me  In the end, my baby was in pain, dying, having seizures, and could barely walk. The only option was to let him go.

When he died a piece of my heart died too.

He’s always been there for me but now his absence is like the coldest February wind. And I’m walking in it alone, people at my side, start to disappear. And my life replays before my eyes. The hardships, the adversaries, the constant battles, the problems with family, the abuse the surpassed each line, the never-ending health issues, the depression, anxiety, pain disorder, and PTSD that followed. Some of those days were so dark that the only reason I chose to keep living was because Joey was here-Joey was a beautiful soul in an ugly darkness. Joey needed me-even if no one else did. Those were the worst days. The darkest times.

On the darkest days, it always went back to the same things, stories, writing, friends and family, and Joey. Joey was with me through three surgeries. He was with me on the worst nights of those surgeries when the pain was keeping me awake, the medication was terrifying me, and I wasn’t sure I would live to see the next day. The night after I was assaulted by my first college “boyfriend” (we had maybe four dates-he wasn’t my boyfriend )  I lay awake that night, numb, petting Joey who was by my side, purring.

Joey was my best friend. He knows more about me than anyone. Or knew. Joey was more than a cat. He was a friend when I had none. He was a light at rock bottom. And last Monday, I had to say goodbye to him. It was my turn to lead him through the darkness-it was my responsibility.

So, I excused myself, went to the bathroom and cried, then straightened my back, cleared my eyes, stiffened my upper lip, and went back to where he waited for me in the back room-the “dying room”.

I stayed with my baby as they began the process and told him stories. The first ever stories I ever wrote were of him and my youngest sister traveling through time and space on her birthday. I told him what I remembered of that silly story. Told him we’d see each other soon. Told him, he just had to go away for awhile, but that we’d be together sooner than he even knew and until then he could just play and have fun in the fields while he waits for me. But, eventually my stories had to come to an end, as his clear grey-green eyes lost their light, and closed, he almost seemed to be smiling.

His lifeless body was strangely empty. And he was gone.  I left the room with him still wrapped in a blanket that I brought for him earlier that day. Not having the slightest idea that morning that I would loose what was most precious to me. But I guess we never know when those days are.

Joey wasn’t just a pet.

He wasn’t just a cat.

He was apart of my family and a bigger part of my heart and healing after the worst things imaginable happened to me.

My hearts broken now. All the heartbreak I’ve ever encountered pales in comparison to the endless void that is the consistent absence of Joey. We didn’t want him to go. But he was ready to. He may have wanted to stay but he also knew it was time. I could see it all so clearly in his eyes.

Now I’m left with an empty bed, empty savings, and an empty heart that’s missing half.

But, I wouldn’t change a thing. Since living with this grief means I got to spend time with Joey, it is worth it, he is the best cat in my entire world.

I love him with everything I have in my heart.

 

 

 

You can’t expect the big things–the important things to happen over night. They take time. They take time because they’re worth it. No great accomplishment was ever attained easily. The greatest feats-the ones that create worlds-require sacrifice, dedication, passion, faith, and courage. And wanting something doesn’t mean you get it-even if you’ve wanted this something for years. There will be roadblocks and stop signs. You’ll have to turn around, and yield. But you can achieve it, if you really want it. The important things take time-you don’t just wish for them and then find them sitting there for you. Be patient. Accept that the waiting may be hard, accept that it will take time, and then keep working towards it. All the setbacks and roadblocks are only tests designed to see whether or not you really want it.

Not a Victim

^Forewarning: talks about sexual assault and abuse.

{Spoiler: IT ISN’T YOUR FAULT}

What they did is not–was not, and WILL NEVER BE okay. It was not your fault-what happened to you. You did nothing wrong. The only thing about that situation that is wrong, is THEM. And despite how you feel, I know because I’ve felt it to, you are not powerless. You are limitless.

Twice in my life I have gone through crisis counselling. It had to do with abuse and assault, pertaining to the sexual. First of all, I want to say to you, that going for help is the most courageous thing you can ever do. Knowing you need help, and then asking for it, is a mark of strength not weakness. That is something I know to be true. Know to be true in the very depths of my shining soul. And what happened to you, despite how you feel, isn’t your fault. You’re not dirty. You’re not “wrong”. You have NOTHING to be ashamed of. What THEY did, what was done to you, is what THEY did to you. It is NOT a stain on your character. It is nothing you chose. Nothing you “asked for”. 

I don’t know if you were on Twitter recently, or if you’ve seen the horrendous, heinous comments from one of the Presidential Candidates (Yes, I’m talking about Trump), and I don’t know if they’ve affected you at all. Never mind in the same way as me. But for me, reading through the stories of why women don’t report, has brought up so many of the feelings that come with sexual abuse or sexual assault. And that is something that has the ability to strip away every part of you that feels human–what it feels like is indescribable. Searching through the tag “Whywomendontreport” my heart is aching, tears keep flowing, to say I feel it on a personal level would be a gross understatement. I am sorry on behalf on humanity to those who are exposed to this and haven’t yet been able to ask or find help. For those who are confronted with the darkness of the past and those who are still battling it. I promise you, it gets better. And if you ever need someone to listen, I am here. I will not judge.

And I promise you this, if you just find and ask for help, it will get so much better. You are not the pain and darkness and shame of your past, you are not your mistakes, you are not others’ mistakes. You are more powerful than anything that has ever been done to you. And you are not a victim. You are strong and you are a Survivor.

The tag #whywomendontreport is hard to look at. Because of the sheer amount each story echoes. It reminded me of what it felt like to be reduced to something inhuman and worthless. It reminds you how at first you blamed yourself for he (or she) did to you. What they made you feel. Remind you how after, you shut down. And then every single piece of the world was just an atom–everything was nothing, which meant it didn’t really matter if you were in this world or not.

It is not isolating. Isolating is what you get when you’re chronically ill or dying. It is beyond isolating. It is going into the area of Isolation they call No-Mans Land.

It is the hardest thing you will ever have to face. But it will be the most worthwhile battle you will ever fight.

The reasons why women (and men) don’t report sexual assault are numerous and they vary. Sometimes, it’s because you’re too young to know you should. Sometimes it’s because it was a cop. Sometimes it was your uncle, your father, your aunt, or a family friend.

If you can take one thing from this shout into the void, I hope it is this, it wasn’t your fault. Cling to that kernel of hope when everything else has left you. Man or woman. Girl or boy. Whoever you are. Just know it wasn’t your fault. And despite what has happened to you, you can and will rise from the ashes-new, whole and powerful beyond measure. Take it from someone who knows.

What is done to us is nothing compared to what we can become.

You are not a victim. You are a survivor.