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I've come to a conclusion...

I've surprised many people, including myself, with how quickly I bounced back from the latest heartbreak.  It's only been a day, and yet I'm completely over it without a twinge of remorse or longing for him.  It's just gone - diminished through time due to his slow but consistent attempt at distancing himself from me.  I think I saw it coming a mile away and I'm just not all that surprised.  I had a feeling I knew the outcome before I ever wrote the letter, though I also know that I certainly expected more than one sentence as a reply.

I've searched my entire life for a real, live hero I could emulate and know, only to be constantly disappointed by those I've chosen as my mentors for various reasons.  Still, my search remained.  I thought that Audrey Hepburn was my hero, but since I never knew her personally, how could she be?  All I know about her is what anyone could find out about her by reading what someone else wrote.  That's not a hero, that's an idol.  Though I still aspire to be more like her, with her numerous charitable contributions and never ending generosity, I've discovered recently that she's not my hero, nor has she ever been.

I didn't have a hero in either parent.  My mother was and always has been extremely negative towards me.  When I was eight, she told me it was such a shame I looked like one particular aunt, because she never thought that particular aunt of mine was very pretty.  In essence, as an eight year old kid learning to read between the lines, she was calling me ugly.  She would also often point out to me when my father lied about stupid, little things - which not only proved her to be even more negative, but proved him to be unworthy of hero status as well.  Hey, I was a smart kid.

So what traits should a hero have, I've often wondered?  It would have to be someone who had been faced with adversity; someone who had to struggle in some way in order to make it or survive.  It would have to be someone who never let anything keep them down or defeat them.  Sure, this person would have to have seen some really hard times, maybe even coming close to giving up a time or two, but who never did... and I blinked.  Hard.

When I was trapped in a small room for 23.5 hours, nobody knew where I was.  I couldn't depend on anyone else to save me.  I had to save myself.  I had to be smart and quick - I couldn't wait for a hero to show up!

When I was killed in an emergency surgery and brought back, those doctors saved my life - but it was ultimately my will to survive that kept me going.

When my uhaul was stolen in 2009, nobody (except Patric and the magical box of socks) helped me to get through that.  I wanted to give up - but I didn't.  Oliver wouldn't have a home without me.  I knew nobody would step in and take care of him if anything ever happened to me.

When I was physically attacked by an ex and thrown onto a bed, helpless and defenseless, there was nobody there to help me.  I fought back on my own against someone more than twice my size, and I got away!

I've depended on ME.  I've overcome so much, and yet I'm positive and kind to others.  I've been beaten, bruised, forgotten, neglected, shunned and ignored - but NEVER broken.  I realized that I may actually have created and become my OWN hero.

I have rather high expectations from life.  I have a very high moral standard these days, and so few people live up to that exacting standard.  I don't EVER get drunk.  I don't do drugs.  I'm never late for anything.  I'm responsible for my own actions.  I speak my mind and don't do things I know I should, or feel in my heart is wrong.   I'm kind to strangers, infinitely patient and do what I can to help others anonymously all the time.  It's not "What would Audrey Hepburn do" in my mind, but "What do I think I should do in this situation if I take a moment to think about it" in the end.  I try to always do the right thing and be a good person - and before anyone from my crazy past starts chiming in, attempting to insult or correct me here, I didn't say I've always been that way... just that I always try to do the right thing NOW.  I know I wasn't always a great person.  But I've made up for that by now, and I'm far from done with that... but that's what makes me the right person for me to think of as my own hero.

I've survived so much and I've lost so much and so many, and yet I never lost my sense of self.  In fact, it only got better.  I gained a better understanding of myself.  I'm getting better every single day.  I not only survive, but I get better from it.  I'm proud of myself and what I've been able to accomplish.  I know I'm a good person now, and I know I will continue to get better - because that's what good people do.

I don't need a hero.... I am my own hero.

(but please, if my cats are ever trapped in a burning building and I'm not around to pull them out, please grab them for me...)

Say What You Need to Say - part 2

Last night I sent this as an email...

It's never easy to "Say What You Need to Say" but it also needs to be said.

Twenty Four hours is a long time to know and not have the courtesy or forethought to let me know that I actually wouldn't have a family to spend the evening with.

I'm not a clingy type of person. I love to have my space and my time, and those hours are usually filled up with bathing, watching Star Trek, going for a nice drive with the top down, online window shopping without purchasing and an assortment of other activities I enjoy. I love my "me" time, and since discovering that over the past several years, I feel that I would loose a piece of me if I didn't have that. I would go a little crazy without it. I usually get my "me" time during the week, at night after work, or in the mornings if I'm not on a schedule. I love to sleep in - but you know that already.

However - since I started coming to your house on Fridays, it's become important to me in a few ways... As you know - better than anyone - I don't really have a family. I've come to think of your family as my adopted family. My entire week, I look forward to Friday night so that I can have a real family to be around, interact with, talk to and share with. I've not known what that was like since I was a young child. My family dynamic changed early on. It was never the same. But being with your family for one simple meal a week reminds me that I'm not as alone as I often feel. It reminds me that someone out there in the world cares about me and WANTS to share with me and have me be a part of their family, even if mine doesn't. You've got a fairly close family, at least with Tony and company, so you may not have any idea what it feels like to know you have a family who doesn't want you, need you or care about you. When I was welcomed into your home and treated as an equal, I felt like the Grinch on Christmas day. My heart grew two sizes. It had to in order to fit everyone in it! I've been so closed down for so long... rejected and lost. But suddenly I had a family again. A real family.

That's what Friday night means to me.

Again, I will say, 24 hours is a long time to know you won't have time for me and not bother to tell me. I could have picked up a shift for time and a half. I could have flown to Vegas to hang out with my new friend Alicia last night and come back tomorrow morning. I could have done MANY things... but my priority was Friday night. Perhaps I'm wrong to make it so important to me. Perhaps I shouldn't have. But I actually designed three days around my availability on a Friday night, only to find out as I was right at that second packing my overnight bag that I wouldn't even be needing it. I had even remembered my magic trick finally to show the kids.

As I said earlier, I love my "me" time, so if you were to need alone time I would get it. I would understand completely. If you wanted to take the kids to Disney Land for a Friday night, I would understand. If you wanted to go out with the guys from work and drink until you couldn't stand up anymore, I'd get it. I'm an incredibly patient and understanding person - but I have a hard time understanding when I feel like I've been forgotten. You say that yesterday you didn't want to text the info to me that you had plans for tonight. I was flying yesterday anyway! Your call would have gone to voicemail, ans you have NEVER left me a voicemail. - so instead you sent it as a simple "by the way, cancel tonight. How about tomorrow" text message to me as I was packing. I known you for almost a year now, so I would think you of all people would know by now that I'm not exactly a "by the way" kind of girl. You either remember me or you don't. It will be a year in a couple of weeks actually. I'm very surprised and incredibly hurt that you just didn't remember me, and that you thought you could make it sting a little less by saying "I didn't want to text it to you," since I don't think we've ever had any problems texting anything to one another at any time. EVER. It came across as a bit hokey to me. In fact, I'm throwing in the flag on that one. I've never known you to be fake with me, but that was an incredibly fake and shallow response. That only made me hurt more, which caused me to get angry. I've never been angry at you about anything before. I don't like it. So, I took a while to calm down before I responded, as I believe I once warned you was my normal procedure. I don't believe in speaking out of anger, because you cant take back the things you say when upset. You said you wanted to maybe go out for drinks or go to dinner or go to Majors - and my first reaction was "he wants to make up for it because he feels bad, but he wouldn't feel bad if he had remembered to tell me in the first place." So again, my brain is telling me that you didn't remember me, and my heart is in full agreement. You forgot about me. I'm not asking you to mail cards to me the way I send them to you. That's not everyone's cup of tea. In fact, I'd never done that before I met you. The whole thing is a first for me. But I just don't want to be forgotten.

So I started to brood on things because I was hurt and angry. I started to think... I don't know how much money you make, but I'm pretty sure it's more than I do. I made basically nothing working for Mike, and I'm making even less now - but I'm working even harder. Yet it seems that I'm the only one who spends gas money to come see you. You've been to my house three times, and yet you've never stepped foot inside. Your children have been in my room, played with my cats, looked at my extensive 1940's collection of museum quality items. They know more about me than you do in some aspects now. They've seen my shadow box and asked questions about it... and you've never even come in to stand by the front door. Why?? This isn't a question out of anger - this is simply a question I've wanted to ask for a very long time. Why? Why have you never come in to my home? Why have you never wanted to meet my roommate(s) or pets? Why? I know your brother, your sister-in-law, your Dad and his wife, your nephew, your children, their mother - and even her parents! And yet you seem to not have a single interest in meeting the only other person who's prominently in my life on a nearly daily basis, and whom I've come to think of as a bit of my own personal family? Why? Why don't you seem to want to know anything about me outside of what you get of me away from my own home and world? Do you not want to find out what my world is like? Do you not care?

I'm not an accessory. That title should be reserved for poodles in handbags, jewelry and top hats... not me. I'm a living, breathing person who loves you - but who isn't afraid to walk away if that's what we both need me to do. If you're not able to remember me, if I'm not important enough in your life to let me know when something else has been scheduled, if you have no intention of treating what we have with all the seriousness and respect it deserves, then maybe that's what we need to do. I would rather not, but I also know that a band-aid hurts less when pulled off all at once, rather than bit by bit, tearing out little pieces along the way until it's finally gone. I'm not afraid of being alone. Neither are you. I'm afraid of glass elevators. I'm afraid of slow-moving heights like a really high Ferris wheel. And I'm afraid of being forgotten by those that matter most to me. Those are my three biggest fears in the entire world. And you forgot me.

I love you. I love those children. I love your whole family and the family time and camping and shooting and everything that goes with it. I think you love me, too.

I honestly think it would be a mistake if things were to end now. But I'm about to have less and less time with you. I wanted a chance to talk to you about that this weekend, but I don't think we will be able to now. I most likely won't have weekends off anymore... I'm not sure when I will see you again. But I will always miss you.


This was the only response I received - followed by my response(s) in return....