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The Journey

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

As I laid sleeping in bed yesterday morning, buried beneath fluffy down comforters and my head between pillows of the same, my slumber was interrupted by a voice. I struggled to pull myself from a deep state of sleep attempting to comprehend, not only the voice I was hearing, but the words that were being spoken at such an early hour.

As I turned, and adjusted the pillows, I recognized a soothing voice from the past and as I realized the words being spoken had been written centuries ago my spirit calmed. It seemed as if I snuggled into my cocoon more deeply and a peace fell over me as I listened to the words of the first chapter of Ephesians being read aloud by a man I fell in love with 29 years ago.

So strange is the journey of life with it's twists and turns, peaks and valleys, that to think of trying to convey to another the tale of how the best friend I have ever had and I went through glorious, unforgettable times, into the pits of hell, only to return to each other with a deepened respect, much more wise, and the realizations we have both come to understand, is daunting to say the least.

I am, as is he, still attempting to come to grips with the fact that our last few years have brought us so much closer than could have ever before been imagined. I get the fact that many people only know my side of the story, or his side of the story, and are unwilling to even accept the fact that this is our journey, not theirs, and that we have both acknowledged our individual actions that caused the other to unravel.

Most are well meaning, but ignorant, a few are down right mean spirited and spiteful. When  people see only the suffering of one, they naturally side with the one they have witnessed first hand. What few understand is that the other suffered as well. The people that witnessed the after math with me are skeptical, as are the ones that witnessed the aftermath with him. When everything is put on a scale the weight of pain is pretty much equal.

The last several years we were both put into situations that forced us to learn how to be alone. We were able to step away from the fire and see which matches we each lit, and how we ignited the destruction of the other.

When that happened the door to the future could be opened. What began as a deal to save our family home has only proven we were only apart to learn what we needed to learn so that we could come back bigger and better than before.

Yesterday I had a several hour tattoo session with a man we are both honored to call out friend. We've known him for at least a decade. He knew us before the spiral, he knew us. He has no agenda, as many appear to. It was good. He and I were alone for the 3 hour session and were able to really talk.

It was awesome to hear his genuine, honest, thoughts on the situation at hand. He saw it coming, he knew everything, yet he loves us both. He said we needed time apart to regroup, that he knew we always belonged together. He reiterated several times how happy he was that we were back, how he saw how happy we both are and we were meant to be, "just like in the beginning." I was amazed at his ability to stand before me knowing the total, and complete truth, and tell me we were made for each other.

Mind you, this is a man that knows both sides and is wise enough to basically say, "forgot those other people. They have no clue." He is also one that saw me at my lowest. He said, "Teri, this is a new chapter. People can get on board or they can get the f^@k out of your lives. This is your life, not theirs, and they need to mind their own business. The past is past. If they can't get over it, it's their problem not yours."

My friend, if you should happen to read this, know that you are, with out a doubt, one of the very few, perhaps the only, that was wise enough to allow us to be complete and total idiots, and truly be happy we are now one again. You see the big picture, and we love you for that.



Buried Alive

Friday, June 9, 2017

It's been a long, twisting, uncertain, path I've traveled the past few years, thus explaining my extended absence from writing.

I sit here, in my bed, with coconut oil in my hair, a dog by side, and one by my bed, as I reflect on all that has come to pass, all I have gained, and lost, through the trials and tribulations of years gone by.

I cannot say how thankful I am for all I have endured that has brought me to this place of peace, true peace, in my life now.

2008 was the year my fall began. I had endured much before that. I was on autopilot and unable to analyze the traumatic events that led to all that has happened, both good and bad.

Many of you know of much, but what you don't realize, as I didn't, was how much, in such a short time, had happened. In a short few years my daughter was stalked, and raped, one grandson died, a grandson was born three months early, my mother was killed, I was hit on my motorcycle, my father died, my granddaughter was born three months early, my son was left on the side of a highway as road kill by a hit and run driver, and those are only the tips of the iceberg I was dealing with.

There was much more in the equation that has brought me to this point. It's only been in the past few years I have been able to stop running from the demons that haunted me, and kept me on the run, and I have finally come to a place of peace.

I never knew why I ran, but ran I did. I knew what I wasn't running from, but it wasn't until about a year ago I finally realized what tipped the scales for me and sent me on a path that ultimately made me a better, stronger, person. I was finally able to see the full picture.

As I wrote earlier, my fall began in 2008. I had lost both of my parents and a grandchild and by that time and was numb. Then, only recently realized, there was an event that took me back to one of the most horrible moments of my life, seeing my first child, Noah, that wasn't allowed to take a breath before being violently brought into this world.

As I saw my premature granddaughter lying motionless on a table in the NICU, at the very gestational age Noah was when he died, a team of people trying to save her precious life, I was hit square in the face with flashbacks of seeing the lifeless, torn, body of my son. I had buried those images so deeply, and guarded them so fiercely, that they my mind could not recall them until I saw Anna-Grace's tiny body on the table.

That was the beginning of the trials and tribulations that have finally come full circle. I had never dealt with so much, I wasn't strong enough. I kept myself busy to keep my mind off of horrible things I didn't want to acknowledge. I numbed my mind by running.

Then something amazing happened. The running stopped. I found myself in a situation in which I was forced to be still, be alone, be quiet. My mind was quiet, and the boxes I had sealed so long ago were opened.

I made discoveries of ignored pains. I took each sealed box and forced myself to relive them, to look at them, to grieve. I allowed myself to feel the pain, I allowed myself to realize certain decisions were made because people thought they were doing the best for me. I realize that now, although the pain has never ceased, I understand as a parent why some things happened the way they did, and I was able to truly forgive.

Last fall I stepped back, after a session in therapy, and I watched. In doing so I learned. I stopped the denial, I felt the pain, I grew stronger. My eyes were opened and for the first time in years I saw clearly.

This February I received a toxic, venomous, letter from an embittered child that lit me up. I went to, who I thought was the source at the time, confront a person that had loved me though out all I had endured, all the pain I had caused, and all the running I did.

That dialogue opened a door, a door back to myself, a door leading me back to where I was meant to be all along. I believe my daughter would be mortified to know she was the catalyst God used to bring me full circle. It was through that conversation that God was able to begin to heal, not only me, but my best friend and our relationship.

It was through that conversation that God could begin the restoration that He alone is the Owner of. There were still obstacles to overcome, and difficulties to deal with, but decisions I needed to come to before the restoration could take place had already been made.

Once that long, sometimes painful, but very deep conversation took place, God was free to have us see His plan.

So much has changed these past years. I take it all as a wonderful blessing. My best friend of 30 years told me he thought true colors of those we both love would be revealed. He was right in so many ways. They have been and in doing so they have chosen to take themselves out of our lives and cling to their toxic ways.

I thank God for the trials, the problems, the complexities of the past, a diamond doesn't become a diamond without immense pressure.

I'm excited about the future. I'm excited to be the woman I was meant to be all along. I'm excited the veils have been lifted, at least for my best friend and me, to see clearly the motives of others. I'm excited to be peaceful, content with who I am, and I look forward to a glorious future that could not have been without the brokenness brought by the past.


The Uncensored Truth

Saturday, April 1, 2017

It's been so very long since I have written, so very, very, long.

I never stopped writing, observing, and learning. It was not captured by tapping the keys on a keyboard but rather by making mental notes from analyzing the last nine years, all that lead to my fall, and allowing, sometimes kicking and screaming, myself to look into my soul, see myself for exactly who I am, a flawed human that erratically ran from deeply embedded traumas and in doing so gravely damaged those I love most.

Did I do it intentionally? Of course not, I would never intentionally hurt the ones whose hearts mean the world to me but hurt them I did. The wounds run deep and will hopefully heal allowing the restoration and reconciliation of all involved.

I told my husband over and over, when I began to fracture, that I was not running from him, or our children, but how could any of them believe what I said when they were the ones incinerated as they witnessed the unspeakable actions of the one they looked to for stability?

At that time I didn't know from what I was running. I only knew I felt as though I was drowning, and my world was imploding. I sought distractions from the pain within my core but the flames only intensified and the disarray of my thoughts and actions worsened.

After the flames destroyed me, and all I held, and still hold, dear, I found myself in a pile of ash, scared, alone, and broken. I found myself in exactly the place, I believe, God needed me to be so He could build me back into be the woman, the mother, and the wife, He had intended for me to be all along.
After my destruction I was able to step back and go through madness to find myself and what was torturing my soul. These past few years have allowed me to walk out of the flames that were burning in the depths of my being and face the immense fear of acknowledging, feeling, and dealing with, the multiple traumas, purposely hidden events of times long past, and haunting flashbacks, that at the time, I couldn't piece together.

Bit by bit, day by day, sometimes minute by minute I fought to survive. I, with the help of intense therapy and the loss of all I held dear, forced myself to relive, face, and feel, the intense pain I had buried so long ago. I realized that each event I buried, each event I blocked, each event I refused to acknowledge because of fear, never went away. What it did was build, and intensify, until I was too weak to continue on and it took me down without me realizing what, or why, the fall that destroyed my world occurred.

I now know, by the Grace of God, the fact that events I had once blocked from my memory, things I chose to bury, that I allowed Satan's greatest tool, fear, to take, not only me, but my family as well, into the pits of hell.

Today I can honestly say that I fought back, not always by myself, but I did the one thing Satan didn't want me to do, I faced my fears, my shortcomings, my failures, my mistakes, my bad choices, and by doing so, by facing my fears and admitting them, I have allowed my Creator to take the pile of ash I found myself in and mold me into the person He wants me to be.

By my choice of ignoring my fears, by not confronting my failures, or admitting how very flawed I am, I allowed the downfall of my family to occur. Yes, there were other things that were involved in the mix, but I am taking responsibility of all I allowed to happen, I am taking responsibility for the destruction of my family.

Do I regret what happened? Most certainly I do. I regret, and mourn for, what happened to those I love so very much. For me, what I went through, what I lost, what I learned, I regret nothing, for it taught me more than I could have ever have learned had it not happened and I am okay with that.

I am peaceful, I am confident, I am joyful, and I am so very thankful to serve a God that loves me so much that He alone brought me through those times. He provided what I needed most at the very times I needed it. He placed people in my life that He used to shape me. He brought me home. Should I regain what I lost the glory will be His, should I not, I can truthfully say I, even though saddened, I am at peace for the first time in many years, and that alone is a great testimony to His healing powers.

The days of running from my fears are gone. The ability to face them head on is a feeling that is not one easily described but it is amazing.

Where I stand today, being able to admit, to see, to face my fear, is only by the Grace of God and to Him be the glory.

Forever flawed but trying,


Diametrically Opposing Realities

Friday, January 20, 2017

As the intricate cloak of the past fell to the ground
A child appeared where a woman once stood

Eyes that had previously seen the world though a mist of grey fog
Now see it through those of an inquisitive toddler

Although both views are intimidating
They brought, and will bring, laughter, tears, joy, and fear

Both perspectives are multi dimensional learning experiences to be embraced
The wonderful, treasured, memories of decades past are mingled with a new life

The merging of two such diametrically opposing realities bring challenging obstacles
That in time will unite, completing the circle that was written in the universe centuries ago

A new woman will emerge energized with the finest of all that has been learned
The dark times will be integrated and will be seen for what they were intended

Light cannot exist without darkness, learning without failure, appreciation without loss
Strong winds will come in hopes of bringing failure and doubt

We can allow our feathers to be ruffled or we can seize an upward current and soar
We can choose to see only the darkness of night or the brilliance of stars upon black velvet

The choice is ours to make
The circle ours to complete



Sleeping In The Snow

Saturday, January 7, 2017

I feel the need to write but of what I don't know. The thoughts vaporize the very moment they begin to manifest.

My head is filled with looped, unending, visions of the mingling of past and present. There is no cohesive pattern that can be identified.

My homeless, mentally ill, son sleeping in the streets of Portland in the snow is haunting. In my mind's eye I envision him crouching in crevices, hidden tunnels, tent city, hungry, cold, scared, confused. The beauty of downtown lights, parks, sidewalks, in the midst of snowflakes gently falling, is washed away with the realization a child of mine has chosen a life that has no foundation in reality.

The thought of him suffering is too much to dwell on, so I push it aside in favor of Jenga, hot chocolate, the fur of my German Shepherd that continually covers the Saltillo tile floors in my home, and how I will make it to the gym tomorrow in this weather.

I'm thinking of my newest tattoo and my addiction to ink, the allure, the rebellion, the sensual seduction it represents. I miss my sensual side, the eroticism screaming from deep within my soul. It's been buried for far too long and I'm not sure how much longer it can remain so. I feel out of sorts and unbalanced.

Next my mind wanders into the following week when I will be making a drastic change in my appearance. I'm excited but nervous, joyous but unsure.

I'm thinking of the feel of the Egyptian cotton sheets on my bare skin, the smell of the almond cream around my eyes, and the sound of a campfire emanating from the sleep therapy console on the dresser.

I have beautiful thoughts, symbolic imagery, dancing dreams, attempting to flow from my mind to my fingers to the keys on the computer but they are quelled by thoughts of warm weather, Palm Beach, Vallarta, Cabo, Waikiki, and those are darkened when the heart of a Mother remembers the smile of her child when he's not in a psychotic state. He's an adult now, and my hands are bound. However, my heart, my love, my concern is with each of my children but tonight mostly with the scruffy, bearded, man-child, roaming downtown avenues seeking a place of warmth in the icy cold of the harsh weather. May God be with him, and with all of my children.

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