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Despite All Odds

Each day I live with the knowledge that my parents are ashamed of me. Each day that passes I know they claim that they do not judge me, but rather disagree with the life I live. Each day I wake up, I know that there is so little they know about me and how I live. And - what is judgement if it's not a disagreement with how someone lives or what choices they make?

I'm a strong, powerful, self sufficient woman these days. Maybe I haven't always been that way, but things change. Even though I live each day knowing they judge me and 'disagree' with my choices, I don't dwell on it or think about it each day.

I live my life with purpose. I've tried to find meaning in my life, and though most of the time I can't find it, I know it's there. Yes, I look towards the future, and yes, I remember the past. I even share stories of my childhood - but I live in the moment.

For the first time in my life, I live alone. I have no roommates except for the cat. I watch what I want on TV, I eat what I like, I go where I choose and I fully support myself. I pay my bills on time, I parallel park my car on the street and I go for long walks when I'm having a bad day. More than that, I'm a good person.

My parents were convinced that I was sexually active when I was very young. I didn't loose my virginity until I was 17, and even then it was to someone they knew. My mother was at one time convinced I would marry the guy. She never knew about us. They were also convinced that I was addicted to drugs at about 13 or 14 I believe. I actually took myself off of Ritalin at 15 years old after an 11 year addiction. I imagine my unusual behavior symptoms at that time could be contributed to having withdrawals after being on a highly addictive drug for so long. I flushed the Ritalin daily. When they noticed the signs, I was taken to a shrink and put on Paxil, Prozac and Klonopin, which I flushed down the toilet each day. One night when they were angry at me for something (something I undoubtedly deserved their anger for) I went down stairs and FINALLY took the medicines I had been prescribed by the military head doctor. When they called me up to 'talk' to me, my eyes were dilated. They didn't believe that the only thing I had taken were the medicines I was told to take daily because they didn't know that I hadn't been taking them thus far.

Once or twice my mom would make me take the medicine in front of her. I tried to hide them under my tongue to spit them out later on, but she found them. I tucked them into my cheeks, but that failed too. On the days I actually took the medicines, I nearly passed out on the bus to school. I couldn't focus all day. I would grow paranoid and became highly reclusive. I skipped school because I couldn't stand the noise of people talking around me. I grew fearful of everything and everyone. On the days that I flushed the pills, I felt like a normal kid.

I lost a lot of friends during the time I was going through all of this. I also lost all of my possessions, having them taken away one at a time. A lot of people don't know the true story of what happened to me back then. I was living in a daily Hell and fought back every second. I knew I was strong enough to make it and I was Hell bent to prove it to myself.

Eventually I was taken out of my High School and put into the school for troubled kids. I focused on my art and writing, finding an escape in every day activities. I never sacrificed my own morals or beliefs in order to survive during the times I ran away, despite what my own parents believed and told others about me.

I was beaten and abused by a boyfriend at 18. They never believed me.
I was kidnapped at 19. They never knew.
My ex-husband was controlling and manipulative, depressing, appalling. They wouldn't listen.
I nearly starved to death once and got down to about 96 lbs., showing every one of my ribs. Anyone could count my spine beneath a T-shirt. I asked for help in order to survive and they said no. They wanted me to return to the abusive relationship.
I stopped asking for help or telling them what I was going through because I knew it didn't do any good. Likewise, I didn't tell them how well I was doing. I just decided not to tell them anything of importance from then on. Last year, I decided to try again and was disappointed.

Three years ago, the day Pete proposed to me, I didn't want to tell my parents because I dreaded their reaction. Something about that is incredibly sad. It should be a happy moment. I told my Dad and he grew very morose. He said something to the effect of knowing it was doomed to fail before it started. When I told my mother later on, her response was simple.

"Promise me you'll give the ring back when you break up."

There has never been much faith from either of them, and yet I've worked my entire life to prove them wrong. I've worked hard to prove myself right - that I can survive and be happy. Perhaps they have hope - but they have NO faith in either of their children.

More than a year ago now when I called them to let them know that Pete and I had broken up, they told me "we knew it was coming" when I expected just to hear "I'm so sorry to hear that." When I had my hair done for Extreme Makeover, the first words out of my mother's mouth after years of not seeing her were "Your hair is too dark" instead of "you look lovely" or "Hi". When I moved out 2 days after I turned 18 and they couldn't understand it, my father said that my mother gave me 6 months before I came crawling back to them. My father gave me 3 months. When I went to stay with them last year, my father told me "You had a good run of it, Kiddo - but you remember what I said. We always knew you'd be back." It's no bloody wonder I left again in such a damned hurry. There was no way in Hell I was staying there for a full year. The breaking point was when they threatened to kill Oliver or turn him out into the streets because he had gotten out of my room while I was gone.

I left in July of last year. I called for birthdays, I called on Thanksgiving - but something was amiss. Something was wrong. Something was broken and I couldn't fix it. Then my 30th birthday came and went without a phone call, without a card. It was then I realized that they had no faith in me, and equally no hope. Truly, they were that disconnected from me.

I've done better since that exact moment than I've ever done in my life. I have the highest salary I've ever gotten right now. I have a job where the people respect and love me. I have 9 people working for me that would do almost anything for me that I asked of them and a boss that speaks frankly with me out of respect and understanding. I have more at this exact moment than I've ever had before in my life... Self respect, dignity, humility and a loving understanding of the world around me. I have my cat. I have furniture, groceries in the fridge, a reason to wake up in the mornings and a passion for all things in life; past, present and future.

It's been a release for me, knowing finally, once and for all, that I do not have the approval, respect or understanding of my parents. I never will. That's not something I'm looking for anymore. For 11 years, that was my greatest mistake. I wasn't trying to figure out who I was - I was trying to be who everyone else around me wanted me to be. I wanted more than anything to be a success so that they would FINALLY be proud of me. Knowing now that it's something I will never achieve has made me open my eyes to new possibilities. Now, I am finally proud of MYSELF.

I have people who read my blogs, who listen to my thoughts and stories, who respect and love me and want more than anything for me to succeed. As much as I love each of you for that part of you, I have to tell you that the only person I have anything to prove to anymore is myself.

I don't know if I'll be the hero of my own story or if I'll perish as an unknown at the end of the final chapter, but I wish the world to know that I have truly lived a wonderful life full of happy and wonderful moments, love, laughter and LIFE, despite all odds.

Without You - song from My Fair Lady

Eliza (singing):
What a fool I was, what dominated fool,
to think that you were the earth and the sky,
What a fool I was, What an elevated fool,
What a mutton-headed dote was I!
No, my reverberated friend,
you are not the beginning and the end.

Professor Higgins (speaking):
You impetant hussy! There's not an idea in your head or a word in your mouth that I haven't put there.

Eliza (singing):
There'll be spring every year without you. England still will be here without you.
There'll be fruit on the tree.
And a shore by the sea.
There'll be crumpets and tea without you.

Art and music will thrive without you. Somehow Keats will survive without you.
And there still will be rain on that plain down in Spain,
even that will remain without you.
I can do without you.

You, dear friend, who taught so well,
You can go to Hartford, Hereford and Hampshire.

They can still rule with land without you.
Windsor Castle will stand without you.
And without much ado we can all muddle through without you.

Professor Higgins:
You brazen hussy,

Eliza (singing):
Wihtout pulling it the tide comes in,
without your twirling it the Earth can spin,
Without your pulling it, the tide comes in
Without your twirling it, the earth can spin
Without your pushing them, the clouds roll by,
If they can do without you, ducky, so can I
I shall not feel alone without you
I can stand on my own without you
So go back in your shell
I can do bloody well

Professor Higging (singing) interupts:
By George, I really did it,
I did it, I did it,
I said I'd make a woman and indeed I did,
I knew that I could do it,
I knew it, I knew it,
I said I'd make a woman and succeed I did!

Eliza you are wonderful

Goodbye Professor Higgins. You shall not be seeing me again.


  1. At last, a comment box appeared. Yes, I am using a fuzzy prerelease version of Firefox that I am beta testing, Minefield 3.7a5Pre.

    You have all of us, we have been down the same rocky road and do not make judgments or act strangely like family. Yes, anyone can shake their family tree.

    The fact that you are here today and living your life is what counts. Keep the cat.....


  2. I'm glad you were finally able to see it, Hon!
    Yes, Oliver isn't going anywhere. I knew the day I got him that he depended on me and that I would do everything and anything to keep him with me always.

  3. As a teenager, I never knew. As we hit high school, you changed schools and I still never knew. But now I know. And I'm sad I didn't know sooner. I know it is cliche... but it made you the strong, independent, fiery red-head you are today. And I still like ya!! :) Being "bigger" is better and I think you've done a damned good job at it!! Have a beautiful day Lady! :)

  4. As always well written and very insightful. As I have always said, it is too bad they (your family)don't want to get you know you for who you really are. But you have friends that consider you as close any family.

    At the end I got a whole Mary Tyler Moore feeling. Like on her show when the intro played. BTW, that's a good thing.

    Always knew you'd make it and now that your more determined than ever all I can say is.... WATCH OUT WORLD, HERE SHE COMES!


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