Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The One About Going Off The Deep End

So, I have been pondering for days now. I have been thinking about how I wanted to start this one. How I wanted to get it just right. But revisiting this area of my life has been good for me. It's painful, still, even after all these years though. God was really with me during this time in my life, otherwise, I wouldn't be here right now to tell this story to you. I know for sure that an Angel visited me one night when I was at my all time lowest. It's something I have never shared before, but I will be now.

So the year is 1995, it's February and I am getting ready to celebrate the BIG 3-0. Life is sort of becoming normal for me again after losing my Dad 3 months earlier. Still hurting inside, but looking forward to new beginnings in my life coming soon. I still had a wedding to plan and I am loving the life I have with the love of my life. I remember the events of the night like it was yesterday. Funny how something like that stays in your mind, like it's imprinted forever in time. I came home from work and was welcomed with a fabulous dinner, chocolate covered strawberries and some really nice gifts, one of which was an adorable bird house that, at the time, I was collecting. We had a perfect evening to say the least. I was in total bliss and I was thinking to myself as we lay in bed ready to go to sleep that night, that I really might just be the luckiest girl alive. I remember telling him that I couldn't love him anymore if I tried. That's when it happened. Out of nowhere, it came at me like a tidal wave. He looked me in the eyes and said, "I have been thinking." Something in the pit of stomach told me whatever he had been thinking, it wasn't good.

I remember sitting straight up in bed and saying, "And....???". But there was silence, complete and maddening silence. Then finally after what seemed to be an eternity, he let out a heavy sigh and said to me. "I just don't think I am the right person for you. I think you deserve to be with someone who will treat you the way you deserve to be treated. I think we need to break up and I am moving out, there isn't going to be a wedding". Anything he said after that I am really not sure of. This is where things got really fuzzy for me. I remember feeling like I wanted to vomit right there on the spot. Did he just say what I thought he said? Is this really happening to me? How, say wha, where, wha? I remember asking him to please repeat what he just said. He did...he said it again. He was moving out and wasting no time about it. It was happening the very next day. I remember crying so hard I could barely breathe. I kept asking him why? He never really could give me an exact reason why though. I felt like I was breaking up into a million little pieces. I couldn't even feel myself anymore. I felt like I was in a dream watching from some other dimension. Watching the events unfold. Next thing I know it's morning. I am drained, exhausted and have VERY swollen eyes from crying all night long. Was this a dream? No, he confirmed for me the next morning that it was very real and he was leaving me. It. was. over.

I remember going into work in a zombie like trance that day. When I walked into my office, my coworkers immediately knew something was wrong and after they asked, I told them. They laughed and thought I was joking. We were the perfect couple they said. He was The Guy they said. The guy that sent me flowers for no reason at work every so often. The guy who called in the middle of the day just to say he loved me. The Guy that was doting and tended to my every want, wish and need. Yep...that one, that Guy. Only That Guy had broke up with me and at that very moment, I wasn't quite sure how I was ever going to live through it. NOTHING and I mean nothing had ever hurt so bad to me in my entire life. Somehow when I returned home from work that night, he had cleaned out all his belongings in one day and was gone, just like that. It was over, just like that. It was like it never even happened. Four years down the drain, just like I never mattered. And when I say he left me and cut the ties, I mean he really cut the ties. No calls to see how I was doing, just disappeared out of my life and stole my heart and took it with him like a thief in the night. Gone...poof. Like it never happened and I never mattered. It was like flicking off the light switch. I couldn't understand how it was just easy for him to walk away like that. Still to this day, I can't understand how someone does that.

To say I wasn't taking the news well was pretty much an understatement. Days strung into nights and nights strung into weeks and I was having trouble keeping track of time or remembering if I even ate that day. I was going through the motions at work. I spent a lot of time after work sitting in the darkness staring off into space and trying to find the reason for why he left me. I was not coping with or dealing with this at all. I hadn't moved an ounce since the break up and it was approaching April. For two months now I had been going through life without any awareness of my surroundings at all. All I knew was this: there was a hole inside of me the size of The Grand Canyon and I needed desperately to fill it with something. I needed desperately to know why this happened to me and why he didn't love me anymore. Finally a good friend told me that in order to survive, I needed to put my big girl panties on and move. So, I did just that. I decided that what I needed was a second part-time job to keep my mind off things in the evening. There was a new bar in town that seemed like it might be a fun place to work, so I applied and got the job.

This is when God was really, really looking out for me because during my time here, it was my all time lowest ever. The best of me but the worst of me. I discovered that while working here, I had an alter ego and her name was crazy drunk bitch. Yep, not something I am real proud of, but the simple truth. Sometimes the truth hurts, but if I can't claim and own who you were at the time, you can't acknowledge it, correct it and move on. I am not going to say anything more on this other than, I spent the next 2 years filling the Grand Canyon with the likes of  bottles and bottles of Coors Light and countless shots of Hot Damn and a few men that meant nothing to me. After surviving these years, I can tell you with certainty that beer, liquor and men cannot fill the Grand Canyon no matter what. Just isn't going to happen. Ever.

Now I know you are thinking ok Lisa, it's just a break up, why is she all strung out like Lisa Rowe (too freaky right?) in Girl Interrupted? Get your shit together woman. Well, that's because I am leaving one teeny weeny, litle, tiny detail out of the break up story. That will come in the next post. Betcha can't wait, huh?

Thursday, October 25, 2012

The One About Pancreatic Cancer

So fast forward a few years. You are going to find yourself in the year 1993. I was madly in love and planning my wedding. I was living in this cute little duplex with the love of my life. Life was so good and I was happier than I had ever been in my life. I was so excited to be planning my future with this guy. I loved him and I loved his family and I couldn't wait to be his wife.

So the doorbell rings and I remember opening the door to find my Dad standing there. First of all, I knew immediately something was wrong, my Dad didn't just come visit me without cause and it was November and cold out. This visit was just out of character for him. So I invited him in out of the cold and he sits right now on the sofa and says "well, I went to see the doctor today and they tell me I have cancer and it's not looking so good". So, of course I started probing him with questions and he patiently is answering them one by one, but by the end of the conversation, I knew in my heart that this was it. This was the end of the road for Dad. He was diagnosed with Pancreatic cancer in November 1993. He died exactly 1 year later in November 1994. People just don't survive from this kind of cancer. Ever.

I don't need to tell you how awful the year between Nov 93 and Nov 94 was for me. I already lost Dad#1, but now I was losing Dad#2. I was planning a wedding that was put on hold and trying to cope with how I was going to live without any Dad at all. Here I was, the luckiest girl in the world to have been blessed with two Dads and now I was not going to have either one. Try watching someone die from cancer sometime, it's not pretty. But pancreatic cancer is a complete robber of life and it doesn't waste any time at all going straight for the jugular. I can't even bring myself today to look at old pictures of him when he was sick. Life seemed extremely unfair to me during those days. Little did I know, it was just the beginning for me.

After he first passed away, he visited me in my dreams and I felt his spirit all around me throughout the day. I think back now and I know he was just trying to tell me he was there for me and I was probably going to need him. So that was pretty comforting. I didn't have the will or desire to finish planning my wedding and had asked if we could put on the brakes. The Boyfriend was fine with that as he seemed to be getting a really nice case of cold feet anyway. It was all I could do to make it to the end of the year in 1993. Bad year. Incredibly painful memories. But I could not even begin to prepare myself for what was to come next. The pain that was forth coming, still haunts me to this day. Enough so that it's going to take me a few days to prepare myself mentally and emotionally to even write about. Stay tuned if you are reading, it's going to be unbelievably healing for me to write about it! I can't wait!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The One About 1988

The year is 1988. Ronald Reagan was President, and you were most likely sporting a brand new pair of parachute pants and sporting a mullet if you were male and using a case o AquaNet a week if you were a gal. You were listening to the likes of Michael Jackson, Madonna, Motley Crue and Guns 'N Roses over the airwaves. Rain Man was a huge movie hit that year starring Tom Cruise and Dustin Hoffman. You could purchase a gallon of gas that year for about 90 cents a gallon. Life was good.

My Dad (California Dad) was diagnosed with cancer that year. It was a crazy, crazy year. I was no longer living in LA, I had moved back to BFE because I missed my friends. I was flying back and forth trying to visit as much as possible and as much as my job allowed me to be off. I had just returned from my most current visit in which it was reported that my Dad had a clear bill of health and that the cancer treatments were successful. He decided to visit Hawaii to celebrate and soak up some sunshine to feel better. He was gone about a week when something felt terribly wrong. He quickly came back home and visited his doctor right away. Within a few hours, he was hospitalized and I got "the" phone call from Mommy. Come now or it might be too late. My older brother and I headed out the very next morning. We flew into LAX and drove straight to Cedars Sinai. Later that day, he passed away.

Shock is probably not the word for it. I just left California two weeks ago and he had a "cancer free" bill of health. Now, he was gone. How could that be? I bring up this marker in my life, because later down the road, it caused me a great deal of grief. I was pretty pissed off that my Dad was gone and I only got 6 short years with him, which in turn made me very mad at my mother, for keeping us apart all those years. I was even more mad at the man I was mourning over because he didn't put forth any real effort into closing the gap when I was growing up. I was just an angry, angry 23 yr old. And I felt cheated out of a father/daughter relationship with him. I was fortunate however, to still have my Dad back in BFE. At least I was not completely devoid of a father/daughter relationship. He had stopped drinking at this point and got sober, so we were actually getting along quite well back then.

I think this is the year that I pretty much went nuts for the first time. After my Dad died in April, I later broke off a long term relationship, quit my job and packed up and moved back to Cali once again. This time the trip would bring much delight. Stay tuned for details of the cross country trip I was blessed to have had with my dear friend Curt.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

The One Where I Meet My Dad

So when I was 17, guess who pops back into my life? Yep, that's right, the biological father. Sure enough. It's a long story that I won't bore you with on how this came to pass, but let's just say that I can imagine that when 17 years pass by, chances are you are at a completely different place in your life and you are probably regretting things. I'd like to think that is where my Dad was back then. For whatever reason, at 17 my path was due to cross my Dad's again. I think it had a lot to do with the woman he was currently married to and she probably pushed him to reach out to us. So, I went to spend my first Christmas ever with my Dad, step-mom and newly discovered much younger brother Kris. As soon as I graduated HS, I moved there to start a new life getting to know my Dad's family. Sunny California is where life took me.

We spent the next few years ironing out our new relationship. Looking back, I was one tough cookie. Mainly because I asked all the hard questions and I demanded answers. I am pretty sure that I tossed around my 'pissed-offness' quite often as we came to know one another and he could always count on me to tell him exactly how I saw things. I did forgive him and pretty much instantly too because he filled a void in my heart that I didn't even know I had. I had this fundamental desire to know him and to love him and to be a part of his life. We looked alike, we had the same humor and we shared many similar characteristics. It was good to know where I came from, the part that was missing all those years.

I think the best part about meeting my Dad and having a relationship with him, was getting my step-mom out of the deal. God sure has impeccable timing. At a time when my parents back in Beantucky where in the absolute sickest stage of their relationship, God gave me Lynne. All the things my Mom couldn't or wouldn't give me, Lynne stepped up and filled those shoes. At first it was just simple things like words of encouragement and praise, then on to bigger things like life skills. How to cook, how to fold a fitted sheet. The best towels to buy, how to pamper yourself, where to bargain shop. She was just a complete Godsend at a time in my life when I desperately needed it. Our relationship has grown over the years into a beautiful one at that. She knows me better than I know myself I think. We had to be together in another life time is all I can say. I now refer to her lovingly as Mommy and my real mom is just plain and simply Mom. I am the luckiest girl alive to be doubly blessed with TWO amazing mothers.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

The One About My Childhood

So, I feel the need to go back here because obviously this is where my crazy story starts. Although I no longer carry any anger or hatred around with me regarding my childhood, I think it's necessary to give you the background on where it all started. I was born on February 2, 1965. My start into the world was so messed up to begin with. My parents were divorced and during a brief and failed reconciliation attempt, I was conceived and when I was born my biological father was nowhere around. My mom was single with a 4 yr old and brand new baby. Women simply were NOT unmarried with children in 1965, so my grandparents did the best thing they could do for my mom and quickly got her set up with the first single guy around.

Enter my step dad. His wife had recently left him with 4 children and they needed a mom. My mom was single with two kids who needed a dad. Match made in Heaven, right? Or so it would seem. Here is where the crazy train pulls away from the station. So in August of 1965, they got hitched. Until I was 5, I completely thought this man was my Dad until I went to kindergarten. One day when practicing writing my name, I realized that I had a different last name than my Dad and Mom. I questioned them and that is when they told me that I really had another Father who never saw me. Wow- a lot to take in for a 5 yr old. That was a pivotal moment for me. I suddenly felt everything I knew was now a lie. Another Father? So many questions, but none answered because that subject was completely taboo and off limits in my house. It got quietly zipped up and put away and I was told to never talk about it again. Suffice it to say that I was always led to believe that my biological dad was a mean alcoholic that didn't love his children and didn't want to see them. So that was what I always believed.

Remember, I said my Dad had 4 kids right? Well, they only came to visit us every other weekend, because they lived with their grandparents down the street during the week. I've been told there was a huge, ugly custody battle and that his own parents sued him for custody because they apparently thought they were better suited to raise his kids than he and my mom were. I suppose that was extremely hurtful to them both. It caused a tremendous battle between my parents and his parents. I am talking about epic proportions the kind that resembles the Hatfield's and McCoy's feud. Those kids were out of control and always brought some new kind of crazy home with them on the weekends that they lived there. Drugs and alcohol ran rampant in 3 of them. Battles and fighting was the norm for our house, like a script out of Jerry Springer. Someone always getting arrested and going to jail and not just the kids either. My Dad did his fair share of drinking and womanizing and going to jail as well.

So we pack up and moved to BFE when I was 9 yrs old and in the 3rd grade. Complete country bumpkins all around me. This city girl was in culture shock, I hated it. But God gave me a gift that first day of school, because He knew I was going to need her. I met my first friend at recess and her name is Carol. She shyly asked me to play with her and I am blessed to still have her in my life 39 yrs later as my oldest and dearest, most bestest friend in the world. Growing up out here in BFE gave me a sense of safety, pretty much scandal and crime free and pretty much isolated from the real world. I guess you could call it an idyllic place to be...just like Mayberry.I had high hopes though that in our new home, maybe we could have a do over and life would finally settle down.

Unfortunately, when we moved here to this little Mayberry town, my Dad's alcoholism rose to its ugliest heights here. Crazy insane fighting between my parents, never knowing when you were going to set him off. Never knowing if you were going to get the crap beat out of you or praised. Never knowing if he would come home Friday nights from work sober or drunk. Fearful of having friends over because in case he showed up drunk and maybe embarrassed you. My Dad getting arrested in town and my friends calling me on the phone to tell me they saw it. My teens were spent covering up the little lies going on in my home. I remember graduating from HS and thinking I can't wait to get out of this Hell Hole and that's exactly what I did. I wish I could say I never looked back, but unfortunately when you come from this kind of family as sick as mine was, it's like a Vortex. It just keeps sucking you back in. That is until you finally get the balls to break the cycle. That would not come for many years later, but this is my childhood story. Painted in, grey and red and black. Ugly memories and broken dreams for a better life some day. My childhood story is probably just like millions of other stories out there, nothing special, nothing new.

New Format Coming Soon

So, I have decided if I really want to make changes and move forward, that I am going to practice something I learned a long time ago from some very special friends I had the honor of hanging out with. Never in my life, was I more at peace and more focused than when I spent the time listening how to make my life better and when I spent time taking inventory of my life. I connected with these people so much because I had a crazy insane childhood and was raised in an alcoholic home. I wanted to feel better about myself and I felt at home with these people because they completely understood my kind of crazy. So one of the things you are supposed to do is "make a searching and fearless moral inventory of yourself". Within the next several posts, I plan to do just that. I want to incorporate my love of the show Friends into my posts and they will all start with "the one about....". Look out people, it could get ugly up in here! But then again, when I am done, I should be well on the road to recovery and moving forward in a healthy and positive way. I plan to go back...way back. I realize that what I am about to say could be deeply personal to some, but for me to write about it and put it out there for all to see, is my way of giving it away and maybe it could help someone else along the way as well. So sit back, grab some popcorn and watch the crazy unfold.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Let's Do This!!

So out of no where, Miss First Born daughter tells me, she has decided that rather than go to GCHS next year, she wants to see if I can send her to Scecina HS instead. SAYWHAT???? Yes, you heard me. Little Miss Independence wants to continue wearing school uniforms for another 4 years apparently. So when I asked her the reason she had changed her mind, she thoughtfully gave me the following answer, "because it's smaller and I don't have to deal with all the drama that will be going on a GC and I won't have to be bullied by the mean girls club". That first born, she is a smart one, isn't she. Man, she is wise for her age. Already knows exactly what she wants and where she is going. She makes me SO proud, I tell ya. But I have a sneaking suspicion that the REAL reason she wants to go to Scecina next year is because two of her good friends are... and a really cute boy she met at the Football game 2 wks ago. So I am kicking it into high gear over Fall Break and doing the research. Let's do this, we can do this. Oh man, life is all of a sudden coming at me at record breaking speed. Next thing I know, I will be filling out college apps.

Scecina Memorial High School

Monday, October 1, 2012


I can't tell you how many times I have thought of this blog and the people who used to read it and support me. I would like to thank each and every one of you for the support and love you have shown me over the years in this journey of autism. I have to say that I am quite sure I haven't thanked you enough. In fact, I may have never thanked you at all, but if you are still there, I thank you. By now, I have probably lost all my readers except for a few, so I may never really know if anyone is still reading, but if you are, I would appreciate you letting me know in the form of a reply at the end of this post.

I would have to say there is probably nothing worse than reading someones story (aka mine) and watching it unfold and knowing the outcome isn't going to be good. Kind of like watching that train wreck of a show that TLC is airing right now, called, Breaking Amish. You just know it's not going to end well. That's the story of my life to date. You the reader, have followed me along and watched it all unroll and unravel like it always does, until it spun around a few crazy times and sputtered, choked and coughed, then finally died. Oh, I tried to revive it once or twice. Said I cared about it, and pretended to be concerned by performing bloggers CPR on it. Said I would vow to update and let you know what was going on. Truth is, I really must not have cared too much. Truth is, I was just tired of autism and everything that goes along with it and I didn't want to share and feel so vulnerable anymore. Truth is, I had lost my way and the only person who was going to rescue me, was in fact ME.

So here I am before you, admitting to God and to others, that I have greatly done a disservice to myself, to my kids, to my marriage and to my readers who once believed in me. Autism has a way of robbing you of all that you love sometimes. And even though I put up a really good fight, in the end, I let it win. I let it beat me and I let it beat us. For a smart girl, I can make some really, really dumb decisions sometimes. Here lies the problem, I am a fixer. Oh, how I love to fix people. It's like I make it my full time job. If you are broken, I want to be with you. If you are broken, then please let me help you and I promise I will fix you all up. The thought almost makes me smy (that's smiling and crying at the same time). My need to fix situations and people is what ALWAYS gets me in trouble. Problem is, I can spend all this wasted energy trying to fix other people, but I sell myself short by never stopping to fix myself. I always come around sometime after the fact and realize what I have done (just like now), but then I seem to somehow inevitably do the exact same thing again in the next go round. Never seeming to learn from the last debacle that this is not how life works. Seems to me that Einstein quoted the definition of insanity as doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. I should really tape that quote to my forehead.

In one respect, it's probably a good thing that God chose me to be Ivy's mom. Because He knew how hard I would fight to fix her. He knew that I would be diligent and work tirelessly to find a cure for her or for a better way. He knew I would leave no stones unturned and that I would not be willing to take no for an answer. He knew I would never back down until she was fixed or better. He knew I was a warrior when I needed to be and for that I thank Him with my whole heart. I thank Him for believing in me so much, that He thought I could bear this cross for her. But, on the other hand, I feel like I let everyone down. I feel the shoes were too big for me to fill, like the order was too tall, like I.. I  just feel really tiny.

So what's next you ask? Well it's seems like a good time to give myself a swift kick in the backside and get back to doing what I do best, and that's sharing my story. I have been inspired recently by an unnamed source, but it was enough to get my wheels spinning again. I have a lot of amends to make and there is no time like the present to get started. I pray I won't let you all down this time. Keep the faith.