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                                                This is me. At 19 years old. A high school drop out. Working at Taco Time.
                                                Just under five months pregnant. Single. Completely & painfully unaware.

                                                 I wanted.. no- I needed, for life to be all about first loves, best friends,
                                                          new babies, & happy bubbles. I believed that any day now my Prince                                                                  Charming would swoop in on his white horse, smile lovingly down at me,                                                          scoop me up in his arms and carry me off into our own happily ever after.
                              That. Never. Happened!

                                                              My Prince Charming(s), well- they were fueled by goblets filled to the brim
                                                      with alcohol. The feasts laid out before them were cocaine, barbiturates,                                                        methamphetamine, and heroine. They controlled their kingdom with threats                                                        of harm- a black eye, a broken bone, a slit throat, a shattered skull, a child
                                                  I would never see again. They used torture tactics to degrade and humiliate me into submission- they took money, credit cards, identification, car keys & isolated me from important relationships, most times while sitting on top of my chest. They ruled their kingdom with an iron fist-
or a hand gun, a 12 inch Bowie knife, two well placed hands around my throat. They declared promises
of sudden death, once even to the point of hospitalization. And they had mistresses. Many mistresses.
All this while professing their undying love and devotion- to me. 

​Maybe you find yourself somewhere in my story. Maybe you are still caught in Chapter Seven of
still believing your Prince Charming can change, that together you will ride off into the sunset & have your happily ever after. Maybe you will... then again maybe your happily ever after
 be spent wondering if tonight is the night your Prince is going to explode into another violent rage. Where he will accuse you of sleeping around, blowing 'his' money while he is off working himself
the bone to support you? Or yet another of countless nights where he puts you down filling your
head with lies about how all you do is sit on your ass becoming even more fat &
 disgusting than he
signed on for. 
You allow the abuse to continue because of his repeated 'heartfelt' apologies & the promises of change that always seem to follow. You have somehow convinced yourself that he checks 
up on you because he cares & misses you so much, when in fact, he has 
to know where you are, what you are doing, and who you are doing it with in order to control you. You confuse his rage and
explosions with passion. You confuse his accusations and threats 
with his fear of losing you. You
confuse his verbal, physical, sexual 
and emotional attacks as him loving you too much or too deeply. 
Just maybe, you love your Prince more desperately than you even love yourself. 
Oh, I know. I know. That would never happen to you.
 I didn't think it would happen to me either. 
​Life is not easy. It is filled with bad days. Broken dreams. Dead relationships. Domestic violence. Miscarriage. Abortion. Sexual assault. Addiction. Single parenting. Divorce. Loneliness. Regret. 
Mental illness. Chronic illness. Failing health. Loss & Grief.

But life is also filled with good days! Dreams that do come true. Freedom from domestic violence. 
Healing from miscarriage & abortion. Rising from the ashes of heartbreak & divorce. 
Recovery from sexual assault. Overcoming of addictions. Joy found in being a single parent. 
Restored relationships. Learning how to embrace & face the necessary cycles of loss & grief.
No two people walk out of the valley the same.
And thank God for that! We need each other <3


I may have reached the Big 5-0 still single. Twice divorced.

Without a life plan or a fat retirement account.

I deal with chronic pain on a daily basis.

I sometimes have more bad days than good.

And let's face it, I spend a lot of nights battling loneliness.

But I really do try to spend more energy focused on the things &

 people in my life that bring a smile to my lips, that put a song in my heart & that add a little jig to my step. I have my adult children,

family members that love me, friends that have become some of my favorite humans, and my Silly Patch- my sweet grand daughters.

I love an early morning sunrise, the stars at night, a blank page in my journal, a song that makes my bootie shake, a rich piece of dark chocolate, the spirit of Christmas & (my fav) the smell of daffodils. 


I have spent so many years just trying to survive- trying to outrun

the demons of my past, that I haven't grabbed on with both hands

to embrace & to truly enjoy the life I do have right here and now.


Isn't it about time we all stop running?

That we stop trying to give the world only what it wants to see?

Isn't there a part of you, even if it got buried deep down inside,

that wants to shed the bullsh*t? To come clean. To be honest.

To just tell it like it is--no matter how crazy or f*cked up?

You, my friend, have come to the right place!

This is where we feel the reals. Where we open the vault of emotion. Where we feel our feelings, deal with our anger & disappointments,

get our ass up off the floor & step into our beautiful life. Together!

This is where we embrace our story to embrace our life <3

Photo Credit: Renee Hetrick

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