Happy Anniversary To Me 4-20-20

Today is my sixth month anniversary. Six months ago, I was on my walk. It was Sunday. I was praying that day asking god to intercede in my life and help me to land on my feet again spiritually, emotionally and physically. I was so tired of the anxiety, depression, PTSD, a negative mindset as well as the constant fear and worry that had taken control of my life.

This coming May will be five years that I returned from San Francisco. I’m embarrassed to admit that I’ve isolated myself in my room ever since. Life happens sometimes. Challenges arise, traumatic experiences happen. Health problems, relationship problems, job loss, finances…..Life as we knew it can change in a New York minute.

That Sunday, I made the decision to take my life back. I won’t bore you with the details. Some things are just meant to stay private. However, I will share I have been working diligently to take control of my mind, body and soul and spirit everyday. The result….I’m happy again. I love life again….and I’m grateful. I have a whole new perspective. I see the blessings in all things even at a time when we are all forced to be in isolation. I’m learning every day to create a better me. You too can create a better you the minute you decide to take control of your life. Good times will happen as will bad. Happy times will happen as will sad. It’s how we choose to react to every situation. Personally, I chose to react poorly.

Six months ago, I chose peace, love, serenity, joy, health, family, but more importantly life! I choose to live my life in a state of gratitude opposed to depression. It’s been six months ago today that I prayed asking God for help. He heard me that day because today is my anniversary and every day I find myself looking forward to the day as well as what the future will be that is right in front me. With any luck, the light that shines in my life will exude and shine brightly on those I encounter everyday. Life is good! It always was. I just failed to recognize it.

(Maui….my favorite place)

Life After Gaslight 5-19-18

Meet “Ron”. “Ron” was a 68 year old retired San Francisco firefighter. He is also my ex-boyfriend. I met “Ron” in 2012. At first, I was apprehensive about him but he was persistent in his pursuit to capture my heart. He showered me with compliments and gifts. He called me cutie pie, baby and would constantly tell me how “fine” I was. He uttered the words “I love you” after knowing me for only a month. I recall thinking his infatuation was too good to be true, but his words also came with his promises of a wonderful life filled with travel, love and affection. He was so sweet, after only a few months he swept me off my feet.  Unfortunately, I quickly learned that this was merely a facade with words he said to all the women he manipulated. “Cutie pie”, “baby”, “fine” and “I love you” was something he had said to all the girls.

Looking back there were a mine field of red flags, however “Ron” had a way with showering me with such kindness in the beginning that it was easy to overlook the flaws. And when I say flaws, I mean some serious issues that no woman should have to deal with ever in their life.

My experience is not unique.
“Ron” is a good guy. I think he has a good side to him. He’s been married twice like most people in America. Both divorces ended due to his infidelity.  He was the cheater but “it wasn’t his fault” or so he claimed. Red flag number one. He was also in a long term relationship with a woman who he referred to as “Mo”. I think because she brought so much havoc and “mo” trouble in to everyone’s life than one can imagine. She certainly brought trouble in to my life.  In her defense, “Ron” brought the insanity out in her. I later found her story with “Ron” was nothing short of tragic. Worse was what he did to his first wife. Sadly she was one of the sweetest women I ever met and in my opinion did not deserve what he did to her.  No woman deserves the kind of treatment myself and I’m sure many others have endured.

“Ron’s” past consisted of drunken behavior. He was an alcoholic/addict who had arrests for driving under the influence under his belt.  He stopped drinking while we were together after humiliating me with his drunken behavior. He also had an infatuation with young women in their twenties and was known to engage in sexual acts with many prostitutes. I later learned he had been on house arrest for engaging in these acts. Of course, I can’t say for sure since this was merely hear say.

“Ron” had a volatile temper and exhibited many mood swings that were enough to turn a sane person in to a psychotic nut. I should know. After three years with this man, I lost my confidence, my self esteem, my self respect, my identity and I felt like I was losing my mind. I really believed I might be crazy. My biggest regret….I only wish I had known these things before I allowed this man to capture my heart.

“Ron” was a pack rat. He had junk all over his condo, which was located in a well to do area of San Francisco. You would have never known it. His condo belonged on an episode of Hoarders. He had so much clutter and he even had old plastic bottles filled with water all over the place. Maybe it was his age.

Two years after I moved in with him he finally opened a carton of lemonade that had been in the refrigerator and had an expiration date of 2010. It had been expired for four years yet he refused to throw it out insisting it was still good. The lemonade was so spoiled when he finally opened the carton to have a glass, he had no choice but to throw it out. What a surprise. Mind you he had vilified me for wanting to throw it the year prior.

“Ron” had odd sleeping habits. He was up all night and slept all day. When I say all day….I mean all day. Often times “Ron” would arise from his slumber at six in the afternoon. Two or three was early for him. He also liked to conserve water. He was a dedicated California resident who only bathed once a month and always on a Thursday. I firmly believe he deserved accolades for being the most conservative California resident during a drought. However, if you ask me he should’ve opened up one of his plastic bottles of old tap water and taken a bath.

At times he had white crust around his ears that was creamy and had the appearance of cradle cap.  At times he smelled so bad I would want to vomit. His solution was wipes (he was the poster child for cottonelle wipes) and he would also use lots of cologne. I often wondered if he was European but was inclined to believe he might be crazy. He led me to believe he was suffering from dementia. In my experience when “Ron” would shower it was His cue for wanting to be intimate.


   “Ron” was wonderful in the beginning. He took me on trips, showered me with gifts,  he catered to my every whim and treated me like a queen. He always held my hand and opened my door.  But that stopped and he would throw the door in my face. He portrayed himself as a family man. An attribute that was merely a facade. He was also lots of fun.  We went dancing and even took salsa lessons. He would hum in my ear every time we danced. He was a terrible salsa dancer but no worries….he would always blame me for his shortcoming and would become extremely verbally abusive.

All his positive attributes stopped three months after moving in with him. That’s when the “real” “Ron” emerged. The trouble only got worse when a his 27 year old Latina Stripper “friend” continued to call and text at all hours of the day including when we were on vacation. Harassment that continued the entire duration of our relationship. “Ron” also began to withhold any contact with me intimately. We went from having an active intimate life to a periodic one, provided it was on his terms. “Ron” had a penile implant. I suspect many of his issues might have stemmed from this creating his own insecurities however, I’ll never know. I will share that on occasion I would wake up in the middle of the night and catch him naked in the bathroom engaging in questionable acts or even plucking his pubic hairs. I found myself in such disbelief that I would run back to bed and keep quiet.

“Ron” did crazy things such as pluck his facial hair while watching tv. He often had a scowl on his face and would pluck to the point he would cause sores on his face. He would often file his feet over the couch. This odd behavior caused me to believe either he was crazy but he convinced me I was crazy for thinking this behavior was odd.

He was very private about everything. He caused me to believe he had many secrets. Especially, since I wasn’t allowed to ask him even simple questions like “how was your day?” I wasn’t allowed to say “have a great day” and God forbid I wasn’t allowed to express how he made me feel. I wasn’t allowed to ask any questions….period!!!  He would explode and punish me  for days calling me names, accusing me of being suspicious and rejecting me to the point I couldn’t breathe. I would cry for days. Rejection can cause so much pain and anguish.

When I was diagnosed with cancer, I got zero emotional support from “Ron”. He was extremely un-empathetic and lacked any ounce of compassion. He would insult me and make me feel so bad about myself that more often than not I found myself in the bathroom on my knees crying from the pain this man would cause. Somehow in the midst of it all he managed to blame me for his behavior and would punish me for days by ignoring me and giving me the silent treatment. In my experience, I’m not sure what was worse, chemo or “Ron”. This man made fighting cancer the hardest journey of my entire life.

I posted the following post on Facebook after my first treatment.  The following five treatments were not much different.  In the end he admitted he had treated me poorly because I was no longer attractive. In my defense, when you’re in a fight against cancer, it’s rather hard to remain the beautiful person you once were. Hair loss doesn’t help.  I take solace in knowing God is a just God and my abuser will get his in the end.


    

Ron showered me with love, trips, gifts, fancy dinners, compliments, concerts…..everything and anything. It was short lived and it came at a very painful price. I now know that this is not just my experience, it’s been the experience of many women who have found themselves involved with their “Ron”. While my story may seem tragic I know I’m Not alone. There are many “Ron’s” out there and I feel they dont deserve to have any women in their life. In fact, they should be locked up and throw away the key.

If you happen to be approached by any man who exhibits any of these behaviors, my advice is run and never look back. Do not make the same mistake that I made getting involved with a man like this. It’s hard to get away once he’s got you under his spell.  I can assure you the life you have today will be no more. Happiness, joy, self respect, confidence and love for yourself will be a thing of the past. You will find yourself questioning your own sanity, when clearly the one with the mental issues is your knight in shining armor. However, if you don’t heed my advice and find yourself in a crazy relationship I will warn you..don’t bother reaching out to anyone because no one will believe you. “Ron” had two personalities. The one I dealt with at home and the other who was sweet and loving around his friends. Friends, family, doctors and church begged me to leave him but I resisted their warnings hopeful for the man I initially met to return.  Finally one day, I snapped and saw this man for he really was. I was heartbroken, humiliated and felt like there’s no way out.

On May 16th, 2015 with the help of the Deacon and sisters from my church, I packed up and left this emotionally abusive man. I left this relationship with a broken heart along with a diagnosis of anxiety, severe depression and PTSD caused from this crazy relationship. You might ask “PTSD?!” It’s a result of the war zone I found myself in. The sad part is  I really cared for this man.

Healing from this relationship has taken three years. Counseling was inevitable and it’s taken a lot of strength and determination to come out on the other side. The pain and scars left behind from a three year nightmare has taken a long time to heal. Occasionally I still experience flashbacks. Three years ago I found myself broken hearted and on my knees praying for strength to get through this. I am happy to say I made it.

I’m sharing my story tonight because May 16th was the anniversary of leaving my abuser. On May 16th, I was blessed to be given the opportunity to fly to Maui where I’m spending time with my cousin. I couldn’t put my finger on why this trip fell in to place. It was crazy how it all happened. My friend who owns a condo here offered her condo to me for a week for free. The dates she had available were May 16-24. I accepted her offer not even knowing how I would pay for my flight. My brother and sister in law used their air miles to buy me a ticket. Everything happens for a reason. I knew there was a reason I was coming back to Maui. I love Maui however, Maui is also reminder of the time I shared with my ex. We spent many weeks here together. Today I found an old blog and noticed that May 16th was the day I broke free from my abuser. Three years have passed. I suspect my trip here is somewhat of a Re-birth for me. I no longer have to look behind me. I can finally move forward and what better place to be to begin my new life than to start my new beginning in Maui on vacation with my cousin who is also my best friend.

I don’t particularly enjoy sharing the details of my past relationship. After three years, I’m still so embarrassed. I take comfort knowing there’s a term for what I went through. It’s called “gaslighting”. Gaslighting is a term where someone uses manipulation to cause you to question your own sanity. My “Ron” did just that. Today I’m free from that relationship as well as that toxic environment. Slowly but surely I’ve gotten my confidence back but more importantly my sanity back. Like so many women, I never thought this would happen to me. What I’ve learned is even the smartest and most intelligent women can find themselves in a relationship such as mine. I still ask myself “what was I thinking? How did I allow this to happen to me?” I still have flashbacks and I’m no longer the woman I once was but I’m happy to report I’m a new woman in progress.

Today I’m hopeful again. I’m eager to laugh and have fun again and I believe my knight in shining armor is out there and more importantly I know that when I find him I will never allow him to manipulate me to the point where I lose myself.

Life happens. Today I’m on vacation in Maui. I am waking up to the sound of the ocean and the cool breeze coming in through my lanai. I have no plans other than to spend the day at the farmers market then the beach taking in all that healing spirit Maui has to offer. Life is good again. I heard a quote once that said “I may not be everything I want to be, but thank god I’m not where I used to be!” Truth!! I’m not close to being who I want to be. Thank god I’m Not where I used to be!!

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!!!

Beauty Is On The Inside 6-28-16

Once upon a time in a far away land. A land… named after an Indian chief…..Chief Moses Lake. There lived  a girl who was very pretty. This girl was attractive, successful and surrounded by love. She had an infectious sense of humor that was a pleasure for all those who met her. She was amazing. 

 One day she was approached by a man who wore a gold chain. He wore khaki pants, chambray button shirts and tiny,  Eenie, weeny Hush Puppy shoes and had little, tiny hands. He pampered her and spoiled her with flowers, trips and lots of love.  Finally, he swept her off her feet and took her away to a strange land surrounded by beautiful lights, tall buildings, a beautiful bay and millions of people. At last, this girl had met her Prince Charming. 

Life was good until one day,  Prince Charming turned in to a big, bad wolf. He huffed and he puffed, he was mean and constantly on the prowl. Rejection happened. Cancer happened. Failure happened. She was no longer the pretty girl she once was.  She lost her self-confidence, strength, dignity and lost her beauty too.  One day, this girl had enough. Surrounded by angels she walked away from her fairy tale that wasn’t a fairy tale at all. Life was hard. Life was devastating.  But something inside her happened. While she was no longer the pretty girl she once was on the outside, she became beautiful on the inside. While others failed to recognize the beauty she now had on the inside, she recognized the pretty girl she had become on the inside. She no longer worried about what others thought, she became focused on helping others.  Life for her was no longer the same.  It was better. 

Once upon a time, I used to think I had to be pretty. I don’t anymore. Today I have a small piece of my skin missing. The possibility of skin cancer doesn’t scare me nor does the possibility of being rejected because I’m no longer the “hot chick” with a “hot” body anymore. My long hair is gone. I have scars on my body and most of all scars on my heart but it doesn’t bother me. I follow many other blogs. Some talk about their insecurities regarding their weight, their lack of beauty. What I have to say to them is this. It’s not what’s on the outside that makes you pretty. It’s what’s on the inside.  You can be the most beautiful person in the world yet have a horrible heart. No matter how pretty you are on the outside, that ugliness that lives inside of you makes you just as ugly. 

Be kind. Accept yourself for who you are. Treat others with respect and kindness. You will become a beautiful person for it. Inside and out. And If you ask me….I’m pretty darn beautiful on the inside and so are you if you want to be. Who cares about the scars. True beauty comes from who you are on the inside. I miss the girl I once was. I miss my life, the love of my children and I miss having money. I miss being the “hot chick”. I even miss having a partner. Despite not having those things I can honestly say I’m still the Velma I once was but I’m happy to say…much better. Scars and all. Like Bruno Mars would say….I’m Amazing. 


Valentines Day 2-13-16

Tomorrow is Valentines Day. I will be spending it alone w no sweetie to surprise me w chocolate or even flowers but the good news is I’m grateful. I may be lonely but this years valentines will be a heck of a lot better than last year.
My daughter and her boyfriend had bought me this dress to surprise my ex on Valentine’s Day last year. I’ll admit, while the dress was hot, I may not have been the hottest chick to look at. I was bald from chemo, Boney and exhausted. Cancer does that to you. As some of you know my ex treated me horribly as I fought the fight and in the end admitted to treating me poorly because I became unattractive. 
Well I finally wore the dress for an ad campaign at my newspaper. I’m happy to report I made the front page. So to all the “Ron Rodriguezes” out there who treat women like shit when we are fighting cancer…..kiss our ass! We do rise above this. We do get our looks back and in my opinion, we come back stronger and better & I think better looking!! And thankfully, without the likes of cruel and vain men like you!! I’m stronger, I’m better and I’m no longer swimming at the bottom of the ocean with a bottom fish anymore!!

  
This is last years story. Today’s story is so much better. Thank you lord for bringing me out of that nightmare and into a happier and better future. I think I’m ready to “Try and Love Again”.    http://youtu.be/rFDP4_X7VgY

The Stranger In My Bed 2-18-15 | fiercefabulousfunny

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