The Stranger In My Bed 2-18-15

The past few days have been challenging. I find myself in a situation where I can no longer take the pain and suffering I feel deep in my heart. A feeling I’ve been experiencing for a really long time. Ironically this pain has been brought on by the very person I gave up my life for three years ago, leaving my family, friends and everything I knew because I believed I had finally met the man of my dreams. My heart was filled with love as well as hope for a new beginning.

Valentine’s Day is supposed to be a day for couples. A day where we express the love we have for one another. I’m a romantic at heart so naturally, I hold this day very close to my heart. For Valentine’s Day I walked to Union Square where I purchased a mushy card along with a box of See’s candy specifically picked out by me to ensure the box was perfect when I gave it to my significant other. I also purchased a pair of well needed pants for my special guy. I gave my gifts to my “Valentine” sealing the gifts with a big kiss. The response I received wasn’t exactly what I expected. My “Valentine” lashed out at me saying I only bought him this gift so he would be indebted to me. He called me names, gave me the silent treatment and in short hurt my feelings. He ignored me for 24 hours and has continued to vilify me since. I should also mention that he gave me nothing for Valentines Day. Nothing! Not even a card or at the very least, a thank you. Since that day, things have gone from bad to worse. I’ve been punished ever day. Name calling, silent treatment and yesterday my loving “Valentine” left and never returned for over three hours. I have no idea where he went. My phone calls went unanswered. When I asked him where he was he blew up and was kind enough to say “Get the fuck out!” He knows I’m in the middle of treatment, I have nowhere to go and leaving at this time just isn’t an option. I’m trapped and I’m broke to boot!

I met Ron three years ago. He was quite a bit older than myself. I was 46 and he was 65. The man I met is nowhere near the person he became after I moved to San Francisco to live with him. The man I met was kind, affectionate, loving and pampered me in a way I had never been treated by any man. He opened my car door, he held my hand, he showered me with gifts and trips. I recall the first Valentines Day after we met I was surprised to receive two flower deliveries that consisted of two dozen roses. He called me beautiful all the time, he laughed at all of my jokes and he was a lot of fun. That all changed three months after I moved in with him.

Prior to moving here there were many red flags that as I look back I wish I had not overlooked by allowing the sweetness of this man to take precedence over the warning signs that were gleaming like a bright light. It began with a former girlfriend who continually called and texted at all hours of the night once I moved here. She was an ex girlfriend who also happened to be a 27 year old Latin Stripper who works at the Hustler Club. From what I understand, she had been “using” him for his money. Ron supplied her with $2000 per month along with many other perks but he insisted their relationship was over. However, I found it hard to believe since wherever we were, whether on Vacation, dinner or a movie, this woman was continually reaching out to Ron with messages of love or asking for money. In addition, her mother lived and still lives at one of his apartments. One day I found a dirty pair of underwear in his bag after he returned from his apartment building. I confronted him about it but he had an excuse that somehow turned things around to be my fault. After returning from a visit to Washington I found women’s underwear in our room that didn’t belong to me. When I questioned Ron he insisted they were mine and that I was “suspicious”. This went on and on and continues to this day. Every time I would confront Ron he somehow managed to twist things around making it all my fault and for many days after I would receive the silent treatment along with some name calling in between. I began to second guess myself and the result is I’ve become an insecure individual who is no longer the fun loving, free spirit with a sense of humor I once was.

As I said, three months after I moved here Ron began to change. The man that began to emerge was clearly not the same man I had met only a year prior. This new man insulted me, he called me names, he lied and a very angry person emerged that exhibited a very hostile temper. I began to feel like I was walking on egg shells. In addition, his sleeping habits changed. He was up all night and slept all day. When he arose from his slumber he would spend the entire time on the couch with a remote in one hand and tweezers in the other as he plucked the hairs from his face. If that wasn’t enough, he wouldn’t shower for up to three weeks. Attributes that continue today. Through all this I became very depressed. I felt like such a failure. I lost my confidence and my ability to even make the slightest decision or even do my own thing. I became lonely and very isolated. My demeanor changed and so did my last name. Ron insisted I had to change my last name. He vilified me every day until finally on a trip to Washington I went to court to have my name changed. Deep down I knew I had to get out of this relationship but the voices in my head reminded me of the person I initially met so I began to feel like there was something wrong with me. In addition, we travelled and on many occasions the kind man I met would emerge and I found myself believing and hoping things would get better. A few months ago I was informed of Rons infatuation with hookers and in December when I returned home from Washington I not only found earrings that weren’t mine, I found “spooge” all over the clean sheets in the closet. There were other things but somehow I managed to convince myself, it was nothing. I confronted Ron and at first he denied it and insinuated I was a lunatic until finally admitting it then punishing me…again. It’s my fault as usual.

I woke up this morning feeling frightened asking myself “what am I going to do?!” As I reflected on some of the horrible things Ron said last night I remembered him telling me I had changed. He accused me of trying to change him. He told me I need to accept him the way he is…..hmm A volatile, hot tempered, name calling person who doesn’t take a bath isn’t exactly what I signed up for. I stood up for myself for the first time. No tears, no begging I just explained that I wasn’t trying to change him, I was just trying to find the person he was when I first met him. This new guy is a stranger. I explained that I agreed I too had changed. I was no longer the fun loving, happy go lucky woman I once was. My only excuse is when you live in a negative environment with a negative person, it’s only natural to become the same thing.

I have no idea what I’m going to do. March brings two infusions and a cancer screening to ensure I’m cancer free. It also brings an appointment to begin my last phase of treatment to finally be on the road to healing. My treatment will be done on June 1st. After that I will be on hormone therapy for five years. At this time my medical treatment is being paid for and transferring to another state is not an option. I feel the need to stick this out for the four months required to beat this cancer. As I look back, I find myself wishing I had never moved here. I wish I had acted on the red flags but sometimes as women we meet a man who portrays himself as a dream come true. We are blinded by the good things and overlook the mine field of red flags coming at as like exploding bombs. If it’s too good to be true, we need to have the courage to walk away before finding ourselves in a relationship that’s hard to get out of.

I’m sharing my story today because I hope that someone reading this will take my experience to heart. If you’re in a relationship and something stinks…..run and never look back. I wish I had done the same. I believe that the stress of this relationship played a huge part in my depression, low self esteem, feeling of failure which ultimately led to my cancer. I’m better than this and I deserve someone who is going to treat me with love and respect and so do you. I have a faith in God so today my prayer is that the lord will see me through this and take me to a place where I’m loved and I can begin to heal from all this trauma I’ve experienced for a very long time. I also ask God to touch Ron’s heart in a way that he will once again be the kind and loving man I once knew and be nice to me. I don’t want to be hurt anymore. I’m looking forward to the day I can finally put this nightmare behind me and start living again. I pray for strength, courage and faith to persevere until that day. I pray the same for you. For all those young women out there looking for a sugar daddy….my advice is this. All that money, gifts, trips etc come at a price. These men are single for a reason. The woman before you paid a price and finally walked away.

IMG_1560

Sleeping Angel 1-19-15

I’m not sure where to begin as I write tonight. Today my friend Lola reached out to me from New Jersey. She called and offered me so many words of encouragement and more importantly she encouraged me to use my gift of writing in a positive way. Lola is a woman of God. She is filled with so much love and is a powerful prayer warrior. I’m so grateful to call her my friend. Lola prayed for me and encouraged me to put all my faith in the Lord, trust him and pray, pray, pray. After we hung up I found myself feeling hopeful. I have to admit, the challenges of cancer and my life in general has really brought me to my knees. More often than not, I feel defeated and hopeless.

This afternoon Ron and I had an argument. It was ugly and I felt sick about it. I didn’t have anyone to talk to so I got in my car and drove to St Dominic’s Church. Somehow going to church felt like the right thing to do. St Dominic’s is so beautiful it takes my breath away every time I walk through the door. I always feel a sense of awe when I’m there. At times, I’m in such awe, my eyes begin to fill with tears. It’s such an emotional experience. I lit a candle when I arrived. I got on my knees and prayed. As I talked to God, I found a sense of peace come over me and for the first time I felt as if the Lord had actually heard me. After I prayed, I sat on the pew and just stared at the altar. Finally, I stood up and left.

As I drove home, I found myself feeling peaceful. I wasn’t worried about going home and being greeted by the wrath of Rons volatile behavior. I trusted everything would calm itself and things would work out eventually. I prayed asking God for a small sign that he had heard me, even though I knew in my heart he had. When I got home, Ron was still angry. I opted to stay in peace and trust the Lord would take care of everything. Ron was still behaving irrationally, so rather than allow him to make me feel bad about myself like I usually do, I got my sweats on and went to the gym.

I love to listen to music when I’m at the gym. I have a very extensive playlist on YouTube. Tonight I pulled up my playlist titled “Cancer Bravery”. This list consists of songs that have somehow offered a sense of courage as I’ve fought cancer these past few months. As I went through my list of songs, I noticed a song by Stevie Nicks. I didn’t recognize it and truthfully, I don’t recall ever hearing the song, much less recall how it even made it on my list. I clicked on it and as I listened to the lyrics, the words began to resonate with my own personal struggle to trust in a power higher than myself to work things out for me.

I believe in God, as I refer to him. I believe he exists. Trusting him is another story. I think I’m not alone. I believe many of us are believers, however trusting in something we can’t feel, hear or touch can prove to be a difficult task. As I listened to the lyrics of this song, I knew in my heart God had heard me tonight. The lyrics describe my thoughts and feelings that have prevented me from letting go and trusting things would work out according to Gods plan, on his time and not my own. I’m continually on this roller coaster of “trying to believe you. I’m learning all the time”. Like the song, I know I need God in my life because without him I wouldn’t be able to breathe. However, I have this “love affair” with the him that’s as dysfunctional as my current and past relationships with all the men in my life. At times my relationship is up, while other times are down. I want to believe that God loves me. I want to believe he has a plan for good, but it’s hard.

Earlier this morning, my friend suggested I write a letter to God expressing how I feel. I couldn’t express my feelings better than the lyrics from this song so here it is….my letter to God.

Dear God (as I call him)

Take me if you need me, but never hold me down. You’re asking me to trust you, well there’s little of that around. I’m trying to believe you. And I’m learning all the time. Two-part personality, the flower and the vine.

Take me, sleeping angel. Catch me, when you can. Real love affairs are heavy spells, for a woman and a man.

I need you because you let me breathe, well you’ve taken me away. But never take me lightly, or I can never stay.

Someday, when we’re older and my hair is silver grey. Unbraid with all of the love that you have, like a soft silver chain.

Take me sleeping angel, catch me when you can. And unbraid with all of the love that you have, like a soft silver chain.

I’m a work in progress, Lord God, but I pray that you won’t give up on me yet. I’m a work in progress but I’m ready and willing to give you my best shot. Thank you God for believing in me and thank you for never giving up on me even on the days, I’ve given up on you.

Love always,

Velma

Snow White & The 7 Dwarfs 9-10-14

Relationships are hard. Whether you’re married, dating or cohabiting, It’s not only hard it’s a lot of work. Some days are good while others are bad. Even if you’re in a relationship with your soul mate, you can bet that there will be days when you don’t get along or worse! You don’t like each other.

Men always complain about a woman’s mood swings. They attribute our moody behavior to “that time of the month”. It always makes me chuckle when I hear that. The reality is we are moody not because it’s “that time of the month” but hello!!! Men have mood swings too!! At times they are grumpy, happy, sleepy, bashful, sneezy, dopey and on a occasion you may find your partner becomes. “Doc”.
Sound familiar?!!

Well ladies, I’ve come to the conclusion we aren’t moody after all. No Siree!!! The fact is, there’s a name for this. It’s called Snow White and the seven Dwarfs!!! And, you’re in a relationship with either one or all of them!!!! I’ve been in a few relationships in my life time. I’ve been with them all. Grumpy , Happy…..heck I’ve even added a few to the list. Asshole. Jerk and Arrogant. I can attest that in every relationship, I could count on one of the dwarfs emerging once or twice. Then blaming “my time of the month!” However, I never dreamed I’d hit the jackpot and find a guy with all seven dwarfs hiding inside of him! Lucky me and lucky you because if in the back of your mind you’re wondering if you are experiencing the “Snow White and the 7 Dwarfs” relationship, I’ve taken notes and I’m about to reveal them to you. Now keep in mind, I am not a professional. These tips are strictly based on personal experience.

Doc – Doc is the guy who is glued to the TV Monday – Friday at 4:00 when the Dr Oz show comes on. He records every episode and can easily win an award for being Dr Oz’s biggest fan! He usually wears 2 hats. Doc & Happy.

Sneezy – Sneezy emerges when you wear a fragrance you know he’s allergic too after he’s been “Grumpy”.

Sleepy – Sleepy is the guy who stays in bed until 2 pm. He’s very sleepy from being up all night watching TV. He’s also the guy who still takes a nap after over 12 hours of sleeping.

Bashful – Bashful is the guy who is shy when it comes to going to a hair salon. He’s so “Bashful” he insists on cutting his own hair. The positive of Bashful is your guy occasionally looks just like a very important TV personality in your life. Captain Kangaroo!!!

Dopey – Dopey is the guy when confronted about something you know is true, he immediately throws on the “Dopey” hat and acts dumb!!

Grumpy – I don’t like Grumpy. He’s mean!! I don’t like meanies. Grumpy can be described as a real buzz kill. A real Debbie Downer and/or on occasion very insulting. When Grumpy emerges, meditate or take a walk before you have a “mood swing” and want to throw a shoe at him!!!

Happy – Happy is the guy that smiles and showers you with love and affection. He’s a real blast to be around and so much fun. He laughs at all of your jokes!!

After experiencing all 7 dwarfs, I’ve come to the conclusion that “happy” is my favorite. I can do without the others. If you find yourself dealing with all 7 at the same time…it means you’ve landed a guy with multiple personalities so my personal advice is….RUN and don’t look back!!!!

IMG_2877.JPG

Living The Dream….God’s Dream 8-14-14

I woke up this morning to the sound of lawn mowers, hedge trimmers and happy voices from the lawn care people happily working here at Maui Hills. The sun was shining, the view of the ocean from my lanai was simply beautiful. Any one would feel happy, peaceful but yet facing my reality made it difficult to feel anything but sadness. I felt sad about my kids. They haven’t spoken to me since I left Washington. It hurts so much. The sadness of my disease, my appearance, no job, the guilt of being in paradise without my kids and family was just overwhelming. Like every morning I read my daily affirmations in the hopes of reading something that might lift my spirits and make me happy again. I prayed. I asked God to please save me. I also asked him to send people my way today that would offer me encouragement and hope. I got up to get changed so I could go on my morning walk. As I looked at myself in the mirror I noticed some of my hair was growing back. One would think I’d be elated but as I looked closer the hair growing back was grey!!! Well friends, that was fuel to the fire. I had been told that after chemo you may find some changes when your hair starts growing back. Some experience curly hair, darker hair, straight hair and/or grey hair. Grey hair?! Can things get any worse? I actually found myself looking forward to my next four chemo treatments in the hopes those pesky grey hairs would fall out and God would realize I look better as a brunette!! I started out on my walk. It was a beautiful, hot morning. I decided to listen to Rick Warren’s message on Daily Hope. Rick Warren is so inspirational and uplifting. I would recommend listening to him when you’re feeling down. Today’s message was. “keeping the crazy makers from making you crazy”. Great message considering I’m not only surrounded by crazy maker’s I’m guilty of being a crazy maker myself!!! Ouch!!! As I listened to Rick, confusion set in. Is he talking about me or all the nuts surrounding me?! If you’ve ever been to Kehei, Maui you know that there’s only one strip. I walk the only strip every morning. I’m like clock work. I walk the same time every morning and I walk to Foodland and turn around. Yesterday I walked an extra block. That was a surprise!!! On the way back there were two men walking in front of me crowding the sidewalk. I decided to walk around them. I’m not sure who engaged first, but we began walking side by side and having a friendly conversation. These men were named Kevin and Russell. They were airline pilots for American Airlines. Kevin was from Dallas and Russell was from Nashville. We talked as if we were long lost friends. At some point I shared a little bit of my story. Kevin was the first one to say “I’m going to be praying for you”. I was taken by surprise. Kevin began to tell me that god had a plan for all of us. He said we all are ” living the Dream….God’s dream”. Not always is God’s dream what we had in mind but we have to remember God’s dream is bigger than we could ever imagine. As Kevin spoke to me I remembered the prayer I had prayed earlier. I asked God to send people my way to offer me encouragement. I don’t know about you but I’d say my prayer was answered. I felt so comfortable talking to Russell and Kevin I shared my hopes, my dreams and I even shared some of the challenges I’ve faced in my life time. I told them my dream was to make a difference. I told them how I had a dream of writing a book one day and sharing my story in the hopes of making a difference in someone’s life. I told them how I wanted to be standing on a podium, sharing my story and giving others hope one day. Russell said “you’ve already made a difference by sharing your story with us. If you can make a difference in one persons life, then you’ve done your job. You’re already living God’s dream”.  Kevin reminded me that all we have to do is get through today. God didn’t bring me this far to not make it. He told me to keep fighting and just get through today every day. We exchanged business cards and hugged each other. Kevin has a website. If you’re interested look it up. http://www.Livehisdream.com. Kevin and Russell made a difference in my life today, I hope that not only will I make a difference in those reading my blog, but I hope going to Kevin’s website will make a difference in your life too. God speaks to us through people. Today he spoke to me through Kevin and Russell. Who knows maybe he’s speaking to you through me today. I sure hope so. Stay strong. Keep fighting. Never give up. If I can do it…..so can you. Cancer sucks! But guess what?! I’m still here and so are you. Just for today keep living the dream…..God’s dream that is!!