Monday, July 29, 2013

Who's really to blame...

"The beginning of love is the will to let those we love be perfectly themselves, the resolution not to twist them to fit our own image. If in loving them we do not love what they are, but only their potential likeness to ourselves, then we do not love them: we only love the reflection of ourselves we find in them."
--Thomas Merton

The man I married was a hazel-eyed boy with a sense of humor and a ralph lauren shirt. Who's smile was warm, and who's love for me was clear in the way he faught for me. He loved everything I loved in an effort to show me how much love he had for me. He went to church, picked up a bible, brought me home kit-kats and saratoga water. He would rush home from work to snuggle on the couch and watch The Hills every Monday night. He took me to dinner at a resteraunt who served a salad that I loved, and a burger that he hated, yet he ate it with a smile. He loved my family and took care of my sister when she needed him, which to this day I think is the reason I fell in love with him.

The summer before my Senior year in highschool my sister went into a coma, due to her diabetes. When she woke she had suffered significant brain damage. She had to relearn everything from how to use the bathroom, to how to write her name and color in the lines of a coloring book. For months she slept in a bed beside my parents with a Taylor Swift cd on repeat, a tinker bell lantern glowing, wrapped in a Hello Kitty comforter.

Hil and I were always so different. Poor Hil never stood a chance. From the time she came home from the hospital she could never get a word in. I was so proud of my sissy. I never wanted anyone or anything to cause her any pain. To this day Hilary still can't make decisions, I think that's because I always thought for her. "I want this, and Siss will have this." In home videos of our childhood rough and tumble Hil is pushing the heavy leather ottoman across the carpet trying to wrestle me while I'm standing in front of the camera singing frarajaca and telling mom stories about "Sissy" who can't yet speak herself. Hil and I were different then, and as we grew it seemed like she wanted to be everything I was not. Before she got sick she was spending time with people that I brought into our lives, bad people, unsafe people. The night she got sick and went into that coma she was with someone who I used to love, someone who I brought into our lives and she trusted. I don't think I have ever forgiven myself for that. I don't know if I ever will.

Anger is the only feeling I remember feeling then. Pissed at Hil for getting sick. Pissed at Mom and Dad for being nieve to the fact that I was sixteen riding around on a motorcycle and having sex with a twenty-one year old MAN because they were spending every day in the ICU with Hil at Albany Med. More then anythig pissed at myself for not being able to protect Hil.

In the months that followed as Hil began to learn to function again it became apparent something wasn't right. It turns out the brain damage she suffered had significantly damaged the frontal lobe of her brain, the part of the brain that controls your impulsivity. She went back to sneaking out to spend time with the very people that hurt her, and fought against us trying to protect her. She would attack mom physically, I would step in to protect mom, and I too would get attacked. We didn't know what to do, or how to relate to her...we didn't know how to fix it.

I remember one instance inparticular...It was snowing here and she had disappeared. Once we realized she wasn't home we all went out to search the town for her. We followed her foot prints in the snow all over town. Adam was right there. Adam held my hand, Mom's hand...he protected us and served as a buffer between the three of us. Mom and I are fixers, we fought Hilary because we wanted her to be better again, to be whole. And in many ways I think we did blame ourselves for what happened. Adam didn't try to fix Hil, he didn't try to make her into the girl she was or expect anything from her. When things got bad and she went after us he would take her for rides in the cars for hours. The only thing that calmed her then...I fell in love with him for that. For being there for my sister in a way that I couldn't. I didn't understand and couldn't fix her, I blamed myself and I was so mad I couldn't see that she didn't need to be "fixed"...but Adam could. He was there for her so much in that dark time, he was there for me, he was there for Mason as an escape from the craziness, he was there for Mom when things got ugly. He was there.

In those moments when I needed him, he was there with out my having to ask. He held me when I cried, and made all the hurt go away. I didn't have to lie about how messed up everythig was. I didn't have to smile eventhough I was drowning in my own guilt. I didn't have to be anything, he didn't ask for anything...he was there. To love me when I felt like I was last on everyone's list, he put me first.

Within a year we were engaged, and shortly after that married. We moved across country, and got pregnant. With out anything around to save me from, when I no longer needed him, things changed. He bacame the one who needed saving. He would wake up from night terrors with his hands around my throat, he would roll over and fall back asleep crying and holding on to me, calling out for me in his sleep. The abuse started as Adaline grew in my belly and everything changed. He tried to be my savior and he was the one who really needed saving. Everything he did he did to become what he thought I wanted, till it became to much....he looked for women girls who didn't expect anything from him, and thought he was perfect to take the pressure of the family he had at home waiting for him away. He hurt me because he was hurting. Because he couldn't live up to the standards he had set. I no longer needed saving, and he was no longer my savior.

 He was there for my sister, the person I wanted most to be able to be close to in this world, but never could be. He held my hand at church as I cried, and tried to give me the life he thought I wanted. In many ways he succeeded. But who I was, what I needed, who I thought he was wasn't who he truly was.

I married a man in Ralph Lauren, who had more integrity than any boy I had ever met in my entire life, who knew GOD, and who brought me roses in the morning before school. I am divorcing a man in a bright green "Keep Calm and Chive On" shirt, with vans on his feet who shares OUR bed with a trashy girl who is to stupid to see the truth and needs him to save her from her own reality. I am divorcing a man who was a bad father, who's integrity was lost the second he strayed from our marriage...who's strength diminished the first time he laid a hand on his pregnant wife. I held on so long and loved him so much for what he used to be, hoping he could be that person again...he never was, and he never will be. I wanted my child to be raised by the sweet boy in the designer clothes with soft eyes and a big heart. Now she will be raised by a single mother...and she will never know the person I fell in love with. She will only ever know the pathetic boy in the Chive t-shirt and vans with a chip on his soulder and trash in his bed where we spent many nights together as a family.

Who's really to blame for this mess? Him for letting me down and hurting me...turning his back on the dreams we had? Or me, for being nieve enough to believe he could give me everything he promised?

Wednesday, July 24, 2013


When I first started this blog a year ago I did it to hold myself accountable as I transformed my body...

 At the time I had no idea what the following twelve months held in store for me. Divorce has literally been the most painful thing I never could have imagined going through. A hurt I wouldn't wish on even my worst enemy. In spite of all the pain that I have felt emotionally through this I have found a way to positively use that to fuel changes in my body.

October 2011-July 2013--20 months, 124 pounds

Today I am in a place I could never imagined physically a year ago in my wildest dreams! And it can only get better from here. Four months ago I got inspired by my girl friend Shelly to give crossfit a try. Have you seen her by the way, total MILF status.

I had been wanting to try crossfit for a while, but always just thought I was too big, and felt limited by me ACL and Miniscus injuries. In the beginning they did hold me back...but thankfully I had a wonderful coach who was willing to modify to help me build the muscles that support my knee to make them stronger. Today I no longer have to modify, I RARELY feel any pain infact. In the beginning I was one of the last to finish, today I keep up with the other girls (girls that are a good 30 pounds smaller then I am), and when it comes to power movements I am so surprised that I can literally deadlift, squat and clean weights equivilant {if not greater} then my body weight.
May 2013 Mother's Day--July 2013 A day in Saratoga with Addy
About a 15 pound difference

Crossfit is the most humbling, inspiring, motivating truly amazing thing I have ever been a part of. When I walked into ADK four months ago, I was scared to death. I was way over weight, and so intimidated. Never then could I have imagined the way the people there would become a family to me. Something about sweating your guts out with the same people every day of the week creates a bond unlike any other. We are a family. We encourage eachother, laugh together, sweat together, compete together.

My wedding shower in February 2009 (pre-baby) May 2013 (post-baby)

In the last month I have made some changes to my training. I had felt myself stuck at a plateau, eventhough I wasn't weighing anymore, and it was super frustrating. After a lot of research I decided to add a thermogenic fat burner to my program, and really clean up my diet. On a normal day I eat organic oatmeal, bananas (for my startchy carbs), peanut butter, protein shakes, greens, chicken and eggs. But that doesn't mean that last week I didn't gorge on some coleslaw and fried chicken, or have an ice cream cone with Addy over the weekend. It's all about balance, you have to find what works best for you. For me Monday-Friday I am pretty strict. On the weekends I am a little more lenient with myself. I'm not suggesting you eat yourself into oblivion to reward yourself Saturday-Sunday, but if you want something, have it.

On top of that two days a week I'm doing two a days, an hour of regular crossfit, then an hour of working on my power movements. Our box is moving this week to a bigger facitily, my commute will now be two minutes (literally) instead of twenty and I plan to start dragging my butt out of bed in the morning to go over and lift and work on some running my LEAST favorite thing to do on top of my evening class. I truly would rather do burpees all day rather then run one mile, maybe because I'm not very good at it...Identifying the areas that I fall short and improving them has become addicting to me.

Crossfit has honestly changed my life. The mental strength it has given me is unlike anything I could have ever imagined. My little brother started last month with me...we decided to sign up for the team portion of the Garage Games that's coming to a local box in September. For me this is a way to show myself how far I have come. It happens to be exactly a year from the weekend that Adaline and I moved back to New York, and my marriage to Adam ended. It means so much more to me then just any other WOD, it is the sum of all my mental and physical work over the last's proof to me and everyone around me that even in the middle of the biggest storm imaginable through crossfit and my faith in GOD I have overcome that pain and channeled it into making myself a better, more whole version of myself. I cannot wait to share that expirence with my little brother, and the rest of my crossfit family.

February 13 (pre-crossfit)-- July 2013 (post-crossfit) 35 pound difference ((where did those dimples come from))

Monday, July 22, 2013

The ABC's for Single Moms...

Accept where you are in life
Be ready for the hard questions
Challenge are stronger then you think
Depend on GOD, he will lead your family
Encourage your children {and yourself} to try new things
Find supportive friends who listen and love you well
Grieve fully what has been lost. Don't move onto another relationship until you do.
Have an idea of where you want to be in a year...five years. It may be hard but it's necessairy.
Identify the good and bad patterns in your marriage...why did it fall apart?
Keep the traditions that are meaningful for your kids...even if they hurt your heart.
Love yourself well.
Monitor your self talk. We are our own biggest critic.
Never stop believing that you can do this alone.
Object to being called broken.
Plan the routine that works best for your family.
Question the feelings that tell you that your responsible for everything.
Release feelings of frear, anger and unforgiveness.
Seek out and connect with other single moms.
Treat yourself with love and kindness, teach your children to do the same.
Uncover and change unhealthy patterns.
Volunteer your time.
Weigh your options, you have a lot of them.
eXpect to feel sad and lonely sometimes. Have a plan for what to do when that happens.
You are beautiful. You are loved. You are enough.
Zealously guard your time with GOD. You need it.

I spent years building a throne for a man who did not deserve to be given the honor and privlidge of my love and loyalty. Even after he betrayed me, and broke my heart I kept praying for GOD to allow him to see what he left behind when he kicked us out of the house. For him to see what he was missing. For him to understand the immense disappointment I felt when I looked next to me in moments of happiness with my Addy girl and he wasn't there. I just wanted for him to see what he was missing and come home. To love US again. For the last ten months I have said the same prayer...

"Lord, bring him back to us. We are a family. We began our life together in your home, to honor you and your will in our lives. We deserve to be together, Adaline deserves both of her parents. Father, surely you can not have planned for me to do this on my own. I trust that you know best and that you will bring him back to me in your own time."

I asked myself the same questions...What did I do wrong? Why all of them, what do those girls have that I do not? What more could I have given? What could I have done different to keep my family together? What did I do to make him not want us? How could it be so easy for him to walk away? How could he not want us? Why doesn't he see his importance in our life? Why isn't he here?!?

I have continued living, holding onto the idea that surely he would come around. That we would wake up one day, hear a knock on the door and he would come back on his hands and knees. That he would apologize, see what a great woman I was, see how perfect our child is. That he would want to be here with us again. Recently I have realized that he didn't see those things in the five years we were a family, and he certainly is not going to see those things now after months away from us. Mostly because he has found a surrogate family, a girl to take my place in his life. A place that is a dark and empty place to be, a place I realize now that I do not want to be.

I have been living to find myself.
To be strong.
To be faithful.
To be loyal.
To be a good mother.
So that maybe he would see that and want to come home.

In changing myself to spite him...I found myself! I found the girl he fell in love with, and she doens't love him. With everything inside of me I wonder if she ever did. The woman she has grown into certainly does not. The most important lesson we can ever learn as humans is to believe with everything in us we need to love and accept ourselves...
You are enough.
You have enough.
You are loved.
You are beautiful.
Most importantly You are STRONG.


Yesterday I lived for the first time in a long time. I truly enjoyed myself and my sweet Adaline for the first time, honestly in as long as I can remember. I looked at her on that carousel and instead of seeing what was missing from that perfect picture I saw HER. I saw the joy in her heart, and I finally realized nothing is missing from her life that she needs. I had been living everyday fearing that she would see a father missing from her life, and wonder what she did wrong. Instead of focusing on trying to fill that place that he left empty...yesterday I embraced the place that I fill.
I am her world and she is mine.
There is nothing in this universe that I wouldn't do for my sweet Adaline.
No pain I would not feel to spare her own.

My heart has broken a hundred times over. Loss is something I have felt deep down in the darkest corners of my soul. From that pain I have drawn strength. I have found myself. I have found my sweet baby girl. I have found the power I posess inside myself to purservere through the hard stuff GOD throws my way. Crossfit has shown me my strength, GOD has shown me my power and my worth, Adaline has shown me my love.

The thing that I have learned about myself through my abusive marraige, and now through this divorce is that above all I am a survivor. My heart is still open and full of grace even after the difficult lessons I have learned. This pain has made me into a woman who is more capable now, after the fight, to raise a strong and independent little girl who sees the beauty of the world. She will never know the hurt that I have known, that is a mountain I will live and die on.

Yesterday I fell in love with my sweet girl again.
Instead of looking for what was missing from us, I looked at what we had.
We have so much love, More happiness then we ever had with her father.
I have a stronger faith in trust in GODs path for us.
I am thankful, and we are BLESSED.
Infinitely Blessed.

"Father I want to take a moment to thank you for the family you gave to me. They have been my strength and have helped me raise Adaline when I allowed my pain to cause me to fall short. I have not been the mother I know you inteded for me to be because I thought inorder to be her I needed to have the father you intended for my Adaline to have, standing next to me. I know now that is not the truth. I am thankful for the beautiful day I was blessed to share with Addy, Anna, Ryan, Aunt Dee and Poppa yesterday. I am thankful that through your unconditional love and protection I have found a way to love, dispite my struggle. You always know what is best Lord, I trust in what you give and take away. I trust in your timing. My heart and my life belongs to you Lord, take it and use it to let your will be done."

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

I know the shame in your defeat.

"It's empty in the valley of your heart
The sun, it rises slowly as you walk
Away from all the fears
And all the faults you've left behind

The harvest left no food for you to eat
You cannibal, you meat-eater, you see
But I have seen the same
I know the shame in your defeat

But I will hold on hope
And I will let you choke
On the noose around your neck

And I'll find strength in pain
And I will change my ways
I'll know my name as it's called again"

The choices when we are too young to fully understand the potential concequences they can yeild are the most potentially damaging, life defining choices we will ever make.

When we are young we all dream of happily ever after. We find someone who we think will give us that, and we hold on tight. Sometimes too tight. From the outside looking in, everything was perfect, or so it seemed.

Twelve months ago I was living my dream. We had a beautiful home, a beautiful child, and plans to make another that fall. I had no idea that in the weeks to come everything was going to fall apart. I had no idea what I had coming for me that August as the walls of his lies came tumbling down around us. The feeling as I saw that text message, and then sat there on the bathroom floor as he told me the truth behind it is a feeling I will never ever forget. I didn't even cry as he told me about her, a different her than the her that currently lives in MY home...about them, I think it was the out I had been waiting for.

Thinking back to the day that we got married four and a half years ago I can honestly say that as my Daddy walked me down the isle towards the boy waiting for me at the alter, I knew it would inevitably end this way. I never pictured myself old and gray with him. In my dreams the man sitting beside me in a rocking chair as our grandchildren surrounded never was him. Even then he was abusive, distant, cold...scary. Even then I knew I was far better off alone then I ever would be with him. He took a strong faithful young girl and made her his wife. He tried to make me question myself and my worth, and for years I did. Until I found out about the others I constantly questioned if I was enough. Once I found out the truth there was no more question, I KNEW I was more then enough. I was more then he ever deserved.

Today we have court in Arkansas. I am literally physically ill as I think of him in that court room with her next to him. As I think of the lies he will tell if given the chance. But I also find comfort in the fact that nomatter if court is here or there, I will have a chance to tell my truth. A chance to show who I am, what I lived through, and how that made me who I am today. Today five years later, five years older, five years stronger and wiser I am the woman and mother that I was meant to be. There will never come a day when I will stop fighting for those little blue eyes, she is my whole world and I will die protecting her.

When I think of her little face looking up at me as he held me against the wall and she said "Daddy why you do that to my Mommy" I could crawl up in a ball and die. But I won't. That is something that child will never see again. That is a fight I will never surrender. I will at all costs protect my baby girl from becoming me, from becoming his battering post. Never will he ever be alone with that child. Never will she ever know the pain and guilt and self hate I felt. Never will she have to feel like she needs to fight back. I will NEVER ever, ever let that become her reality.

The reality is that when she was made, she was made in love, and it is love that she will be raised in. The abuse that began as she grew in my belly that first January we lived in Arkansas is something she will never know. I have grown so strong in the last twelve months, it has taken a lot of tears and heart ache...and a few lessons I would have preferred not to have had to learn. But I survived. I will always survive. I will always fight for the truth that I know.

How we pick ourselves up is what defines who we are as humans...not the fall.

Monday, July 15, 2013


mem·o·ry/ˈmɛməri/ Show Spelled [mem-uh-ree] Show IPA
noun, plural mem·o·ries.
1. the mental capacity or faculty of retaining and reviving facts, events, impressions, etc., or of recalling or recognizing previous experiences.

Memories come and go as they please. Sometimes we can control them, choose them, choose to ignore them. Other times they come creeping in with out warning and refuse to leave.

In the months since I have writen so much has happened. Loss. I lost my grandmother. The woman in this world that I admired the most. My Nan was one of those people that you couldn't help but love. She was so strong, so warm, she was perfect. She was everything I want to be. I am so thankful that at 3 am on that Sunday night that I was here, at home, in New York when my mother called me and said you need to come to Nan & Pop's, she's had a heart attack. I am so thankful that the last thing she said to me was, "I love you" as Adaline and I walked down the sidewalk and she waved from the porch. That is how I will always remember her. Smiling, full of love, full of life.

Tragedy, and Pain. Those are two things we often forget. Memories we cannot find. Just as I cannot recall the way she looked when we went to her bed side after she passed, to pray, I cannot recall the evil look in his eyes as he held me against the wall by my throat. We cannot choose what we remember, or how we remember someone. Our brain protects us from those things that will hurt us and tear us apart.

Sometimes that is a blessing, sometimes that is a curse.

Tomorrow we have divorce court, in Arkansas. I won't be there. But he will be there with her. I want so badly to hate him, to remember the evil in his eyes, the hateful words he said...the way he hurt me. But all I see at night when I close my eyes is his pleading eyes as he apologized, as he loved me with everything inside of him. I can not taste the iron in my blood as it fills my mouth, I can only taste his soap on his skin. I cannot smell the lavander baby shampoo on my sweet girls head as I read her favorite book to her at night, I can only smell her scalp and the way she eerily smells like him.

In the three precious years of my Adaline's life she has spent more then 20 months with out her father. She barely knows him. Yet she walks with the same exact bounce as he did, she rolls her eyes exactly like he did, when she is trying to make a joke or tell you something she shruggs her shoulders and bugs her eyes EXACTLY like he did. Yet if anyone asks who her Daddy is, she will tell you Pippay is her Dad, not him. On the rare occasion that he decides he would like to skype, she calls him by his first name, not Daddy. As much as I would love to take credit for that, I can't. I didn't encourage her not to call him Daddy, that is a decision she made on her own. At the tender and yet so incredibly intuitive age of three years old she relaizes what a Daddy is. In her world Pippay fills all the criteria of a "Daddy"...he does not.

I do not love him.
I do not miss our life.
I do not want him here.
I do not want to be there.

Yet I cannot help but remember, rember the good times. My Lyshie reminds me of the bad times, and as she does and the mascara runs down my face I cannot bring myself back there. WHY?!? I can feel the hurt in those words, in those memories...I can see myself on her soft brown velvet couch as she colors ornaments with my sweet Adaline, as I call my Daddy and tell him I'm ready to come home. His anger has gotten out of control again, his own guilt for cheating, yet again has come to the surface as physical pain directed towards me. This will be the last time I let him hurt either of us. She will never again walk into the sight of her mother held up against the wall, that is something I can gurantee.

Logically I look around, I look at my life, my Adaline, My family. I am happy. I am loved. I am where I am supposed to be. I have bruises on me from crossfit, or from splitting wood with Daddy all weekend. They are not the marks of ten fingers as they squeezed my writst because the laundry was not done, or because I didn't leave the hose on the flower beds long enough. Why when I look at them do I wish they were the latter.

With everything inside of me I am happier now. Yet I still have this aching feeling. The feeling of failure. The feeling that I failed my daughter. I am a survivor. By surviving I saved my daughter from feeling the same heart break, and having the same bruises I had. My reality with her father is a truth hopefully she will never know, never have to know...because I saved her from that. I know and believe with everything inside of me that I am exactly where I belong, that we are home, that this is family. Why at night when I close my eyes can I only see those pleeding hazel eyes...why can't I remember the taste of iron and the feeling of hands around my throat?

Memories come and go as they please.
We cannot control them.
We cannot choose them.