She Came Out Swinging 2-13-17

As of late, the news media has been inundated with news of sexual harassment against women by powerful men in various industries. This has brought on the “ME TOO” movement. A movement where women are taking their power and dignity back.

Last week scandal broke in the White House. It was revealed that the presidents aide had abused his two ex-wives as well as his girlfriend. Despite his history, he was allowed to continue to work in the White House, even being considered for a promotion despite his abusive history. Watching this news has brought back so many feelings that I have fought hard for three years to overcome.

The president of the United States has defended his former aide citing what an incredible job Rob Porter had done while working at the White House. He has shown more concern about the abusers feelings than that of the abused women who endured years of abuse.

On Sunday, Kellyanne Conway made a comment that insinuated abuse only happens to women who are weak. I found her comment to be extremely insulting. I have always been a strong woman however I fell victim to a very abusive relationship. Abuse can happen to anyone!!

I watched the interview of Rob Porter’s ex-wife. My heart started pounding as I heard her describe her personal story. I couldn’t breathe. It was as if she was describing my own story. Her story really hit home. However, as I listened to Jennie Willoughby share, somehow I felt vindicated. I have spent the last three years suffering in silence. Humiliated as I’ve asked myself over and over “how did I let this happen to me?”

What I’ve realized is I’m not the only one this has happened to. I’m hopeful as I watch this movement of strong women come out swinging and take their power back. I’m hopeful somehow abuse will finally be recognized for what it is. Wrong! There is no room in society for any type of abuse against women or men for that matter!

Valentine’s Day is tomorrow. On February 8, 2015, I blogged about my Valentine’s Day with my own abuser. I haven’t read it since I wrote it, but it popped up as a memory on my Facebook page today. I have said many times, Facebook has a way with bringing back memories that we’d rather forget. I’m attaching the link for those who would like to get a small glimpse of my experience with my abuser. An experience which I now know has a name attached to it. It’s called “gaslighting”. Once upon a time I loved Valentine’s Day. I haven’t been a fan ever since.

https://fiercefabulousfunny.com/2015/02/18/the-stranger-in-my-bed-2-18-15/

Three years have passed. It’s been a very long road for me. Healing takes time but it’s possible. I’m proof. I’m healing every day. I’m not mad anymore. The pain no longer rules my life. The memories are still there but that’s what they are. Just memories of a painful time so long ago. Today I’m healing and I’m hopeful again. I’m not yet the woman I want to be but thank god I’m no longer the woman I used to be.

I hope that by sharing my own story, like the many strong women across the nation who have inspired me by having the courage to come out and say “Me Too”, somehow, I can inspire other women to come out swinging and say “Me Too” also.

There’s a song by Tom Petty called “Swinging”. I am posting this song because it inspires me to believe that no matter how hard things get, I have to pick myself up, dust myself off and keep on swinging. I hope it inspires you too.

Does Heaven Really Exist 2-13-17

Does heaven really exist? I’m sure we have asked ourselves that very question. I am a believer however, I’m also human. Sometimes it’s hard to believe in something I can’t see. Especially when life is either challenging or I find myself missing my father who passed away six years ago. I’d like to believe he’s in paradise living life to the fullest. Surrounded by beautiful sunshine, breathtaking sunsets and beautiful beaches.

My friend, who I will refer to as Ginger, lost her mother last summer. Like me, she was with her mom when she took her last breath.

Ginger wrote me today and shared a beautiful story of what happened to her today. I was so moved by the story, I asked her if it would be ok if I shared it with my blog community.

If you don’t believe in heaven, after reading Gingers story, you will.

“So. I am sure you and every other “normal ” person question life after death. We believe, but there is always that little voice saying “I sure wish I had proof”. But we tuck that thought away and pray for the best.

Well about a month ago I was watering a plant that I brought from my moms. It’s a Christmas cactus. They don’t bloom very often but if they do, it is around Christmas (hence the name) and often around Easter some just never bloom. Well my moms had three blooms right around Easter at her house. That was cool. While I was watering I said out loud “mom if there really is a heaven can you make this thing bloom?”

Knowing it’s not near Easter or Christmas. Well…..”

A picture tells a thousand words. By the looks of this photo, I think heaven does exist.

My Terms 12-20-17

Wow three years ago I lost all of my hair. I was completely bald!! I’ve spent the last couple of years trying to grow back my hair. However as of late I have found myself realizing what a blessing the last three years have been. I’ve grown so much. All the things I thought were important are no longer important. Including hair. At the end of the day the only thing that counts is family. The rest of it doesn’t matter. My dad used to say “I’ve never seen a u-haul behind a Hearst. You can’t take it with you”

Today I bit the bullet and cut my hair short. I love it. In my opinion I’d rather spend time with family, friends, grandkids then spending time doing my hair!! The good news is three years later I cut my hair on my terms and not because some crazy drug called Chemo decided I had to. Life is short. Live life to the fullest. Enjoy every day like it’s your last day. Don’t get caught up in any drama.

It’s funny, the past few years all I’ve done is complain. I’ve complained about my hair, my nails, finances, health and I’ve complained because I’m no longer in San Francisco. However what I’ve come to realize is. that I’ve failed to recognize the blessings I’ve had all along. I only wish I had recognized this a long time ago. Life is good. Sometimes life throws us a curveball. I for one have been thrown several these past few years however while everything seemed so bad I suppose God was molding me to become a much better person. I’m really grateful for that.

Today I just want peace in my life. I’m looking forward to what good things God has in store for me. I hope it’s much peace, love and harmony. As for the hair….well it’s sure going to be nice to not have to focus on something silly as doing my hair.

Friends, money, material things and even hair will come and go but it’s family that will always be there. That’s what’s really important. Once upon a time I was on top of the world. I had it all. Looks, a good job, material things and even money. Today things are much different. Today I’ll take peace, love, family and good health over any of those things I once thought were more important. I’m living life on my terms. That includes doing crazy things like cutting my hair!! Short hair…..you rock!!!

I’m Coming Out 12-5-17

Today is a “coming out” kind of day for me. My birthday is Saturday so to celebrate, I’m flying to San Francisco to spend it with my cousin, who also happens to be my best friend. I haven’t been back for a year and a half.

I left San Francisco in May of 2015 after a long battle with Cancer. I also left a tumultuous relationship that brought so much strife in to my life. I’ve spent the last two years hiding out in my room at my mothers house. It’s no secret I’ve not only battled anxiety as well as PTSD but I’ve also struggled to heal from the side effects left behind from treatment. I’ll admit returning to San Francisco is really scary. After all, my departure was not on good terms.

I was blessed to cash in some airline miles and bought myself a round trip ticket for $11.20. What a steal!! As the time draws closer to driving to the airport I find myself nervous and very fearful. I suppose because my return to my beloved city by the bay opens the door to having to face the reality of what I left behind and why. It also means going out of my comfort zone (my bedroom) and learning to live life again.

Life happens sometimes. Occasionally we run away from reality and sweep the wreckage of our past under the carpet. We become complacent in our “safe” place. That’s what’s happened to me. I’ve become very complacent in the comfort of my room at my mothers which has become my safe place. I’m excited to go to San Francisco. I’m excited to spend time with my cousin but at the same time I’m scared. I’m not sure what the days ahead have in store for me however, what I do know is I’m ready to take on the challenge.

Diana Ross sang a song called “I’m Coming Out”. This song holds a special meaning for me today. In so many ways I’m Coming Out. As I board my flight to San Francisco I recognize I’m no longer the same woman I was when I left San Francisco two years ago. However, I really like this new me. Saturday is my birthday. The beginning of a new year and a new me. What better city to launch my “Coming Out” as the new me than my favorite city…..my beloved city by the bay. Look out San Francisco!!! I’m coming back!!

New Beginnings…The Story Of A Butterfly 9-14-17

This was written by someone very dear to me. She would like to remain anonymous however, our hope is it will inspire someone to keep moving forward today. 

“Siempre adelante” ….(always moving forward)

I’m grateful for new beginnings. I am finally realizing that change, while hard, isn’t always bad.  I’m leaving what doesn’t work behind me and focusing on the new, the exciting, the unknown. That which brings growth and new perspective.  
Change has always been hard for me. Really, REALLY, hard. I am such a creature of comfort it’s ridiculous. But for the last year or so my life has undergone lots of change. I finally left the boy friend I ALWAYS went back to. A relationship that kept me from growing and becoming the person I am destined to be. I resigned from my job of 18 years— as it no longer challenged me. I wasn’t part of something positive anymore. I was actually surviving and NOT thriving.  

It’s strange how “hard” I thought it was going to be to move on from both of these situations as they were such huge parts of my identity. Who would I be once these labels, these relationships, these fantasies of the future fell away? Once I took stock of what these situations were costing me- I took action. How much do we have to endure before giving ourselves permission to let go? I was so tired of selling myself short. As one person put it, it was like wearing old clothes- they fit, but they weren’t my style anymore.  

After the butterfly leaves the cocoon, she spreads her wings and flies. The process takes time, but the end result is amazing. We all endure tough times but what does it cost us to carry these burdens? I’ve learned to view my challenges as “gifts”. They have taught me to love myself, to honor myself and to trust the journey in front of me. While not always easy, it is ALWAYS worth it.  

Last week a fleeting thought came to mind- and I realized that I am DOING IT. I am finally living life on my own terms! I will never forget that I am the artist of my story. Looking at life through this new lens, I realize how free I feel, how the possibilities in front of me are endless. I feel like a kid waking up on Christmas day. I’ve learned to trust God, the process and most importantly myself.    

“Change happens when the pain of staying the same is greater than the pain of change.” –  Tony Robbins

Walking In Rhythm 8-10-17

My song today is….. “Walking In Rythm” by The Blackbyrds. I haven’t shared much however,  a month ago I began experiencing problems with my eye. I saw an optometrist and he found a mass behind my eye. I have been referred to a specialist. Not sure what it is but my vision has been impacted by this. The good news is it’s not a blood clot. Whew! Keep me in prayer. Upon some research and consultation with physicians I became aware that a side effect from the cancer drug I’ve been taking is eye damage among other things. Despite the recommendations from my oncologist I made the decision to stop all cancer meds a month ago. 
Yesterday I met with doctors at the Bastyr Institute to discuss holistic naturopathic treatment. I began taking some meds yesterday. This morning I woke up not only feeling rested but for the first time in three years the pain in my hands, feet and even Breast (I have severe radiation damage) is nearly gone. This miracle in 24 hours of taking these drugs which by the way are all natural. In truth, I feel really good! I’m not sure what the outcome will be with regards to this new treatment and I’m not sure what the outcome will be with regards to my eye but just for today “I’m walking in rythym, moving with sound. Thinking ’bout my babies (Oliver and Audrey my beautiful grandchildren) trying to get home”. Home meaning….feeling good again. Feeling like my old self again. Just livin’ life again. Hence, I’m Walking In Rythym

Appreciate The People In Your Life 6-20-17

“Appreciate the people in your life” was my mantra today. Often times we overlook the people that cross our paths on a daily basis. We see these people as insignificant and fail to recognize the blessing they are or the lesson we need to learn from them. We get so wrapped up in our own life, our own needs that we become blinded to the people around us. Selfish I guess. 

I heard a story by Joel Osteen once. He spoke of a man who had been a pilot in the war. His plane was shot down. What saved this man was his parachute. He went on to be recognized as a war hero. Many years later, he was sitting at a restaurant. A man approached him and asked if he was so and so from so and so. The pilot answered yes. This stranger knew everything about him. Intrigued, the pilot asked “how do you know so much about me?”  The gentleman replied “I was on the navy ship you were on. I was the guy who sewed your parachute and ensured it was in good shape before you took your flight every morning.”  These two men spoke for a few more minutes and went on their way. 

That evening, the pilot couldn’t sleep. He kept trying to rememember this man. He wondered if he had paid more attention, would he have recognized what a blessing this man was in his life. Instead, he never gave this man a minute of his time. After all, this man’s job was merely to sew parachutes. A parachute that saved this pilots life.  It was a wonderful reflection. 

How many people are in our lives that we never take the time to recognize? We see them as insignificant and/or fail to recognize the importance they are playing in our life. Maybe the janitor at a job. They keep the office clean so we have a nice place to work. The doorman who opens the door at your building. The barista who has memorized your coffee order and has it ready for you every morning. How about the friend who prays for you and reaches out to you periodically to make sure you’re ok? Get my drift?

When I was fighting cancer, a friend from high school who I hadn’t spoken to in over 30 years reached out to me. Her name is Heather however, I call her Ginger because she has beautiful, red hair and she calls me Chia. At that time I was bald and looked like a Chia pet. Besides fighting cancer, I was also in a very tumultuous relationship. You know the story. If you don’t, read my blog.  Every day for one year, Ginger reached out to me. She would send me positive affirmations and words of encouragement. Ginger was my only support and much of the reason I kept going. She supported and encouraged me on the days I couldn’t get up. I will never forget her. 

There are so many people who have been a blessing in my life. I am so grateful for all of them. I have so many stories of people who have come in to my life for a brief moment. My encounter may have been a few minutes however the blessing they left behind is a lifetime. 

I recall working at the newspaper where I was a Marketing Consultant. On many occasions our graphic design team was never recognized for their hard work. I’ll admit, on occasion I failed to show my appreciation but I knew then and still know today, that without their expertise I may not have become the successful marketing consultant I was at that time. Their creativity is what always made me shine. I tried my best to acknowledge them as often as possible for the blessing they were in my life. 

Today I want to say thank you to all my readers. Without you, I wouldn’t have a blog. I want to thank my mother for supporting me these past two years as I healed from the trauma cancer and my ex left behind. I’m thankful to all of my friends and acquaintances who have come in and out of my life. You’ve made a difference in my life. I’m grateful for my children and grandchildren.   They are the reason I still have love in my heart. I’m grateful for the good times and the bad times. The lessons I’ve learned have been life changing.  I appreciate everyone and everything and I appreciate the challenges in my life. They’ve made me the survivor I am today. There isn’t a person who I’ve encountered who hasn’t had some significant impact on my life.

My encouragement for those reading today is to take a few minutes to appreciate the people in your life. Pick up the phone and let them know how much you appreciate them. Say thank you as often as you can and never, ever forget that no matter how challenging life may be, there is always someone in your life to be grateful for.