Thursday, May 1, 2014

Don't panic...everything will be alright.

Aren't those the words that we all would like to hear whenever we're faced with a challenge in life? Don't we all just want someone to stand beside us, put their arm around us and tell us that THEY'LL be strong for us once in a while?

Over the last 14 years, I've changed immensely. I've gone from a person whom hated life, complained about everything and never really experienced joy other than the joy of watching, and being with, my children to someone that FEELS joyful about 90% of the time. Over the past decade I've done A LOT of personal work - focusing on the blessings in life rather than focusing on what wasn't so great and it changed my life dramatically! No longer did I walk around feeling as if there was a black cloud over my head! I no longer believed in 'The Carmella Curse' as so many of my family members did. Nope! I had awakened! I could see beauty EVERYWHERE and actually began to notice it! I no longer wanted to complain about everything that seemed 'wrong' with the world and everyone in it; I preferred to sit and watch the sky, the birds or the butterflies fluttering around the flowers or my kids doing their thing completely unaware that I was gazing at them with love.

Being in a marriage is tough on its own, if you ask me. Try it when one of you evolves and the other remains stagnant, negative and angry...it's even MORE difficult! After my health issues began a little over three years ago, I had a renewed lust for a joyful life. Through multiple emergency room visits and stays in the ICU, I realized that we're only here for a little while. This is my time so I want to ENJOY it. Sure, there are money problems *especially with my health problems and no insurance* but you do what you can do and don't stress about what you can't, right? That's my attitude, anyway. It's the times of trouble that you rely on those closest to you THE most - support, love, strength. It doesn't cost money to laugh, right? Having someone to laugh and be silly with is FAR more valuable than money, in my opinion. But, what happens when the person you're with doesn't grow or evolve? How do you decide when it's time to stop trying and just start over? If there are kids involved, it's even more difficult to make the decision; one one hand, staying together and working things through shows that love endures and is strong enough to survive the hurdles - or - on the other hand, do you stand up and say 'that's enough' because you KNOW that your life will be better not having to expend your energy repelling the constant flow of negative energy from your partner while you wait for their promised 'changes'? Tolerance or self-worth? Which is the better lesson? Just last week, my 13-year-old daughter came to me and said "You know, you're never going to find the 'perfect' husband." My reply to her was that I'm not LOOKING for a 'perfect' husband. All that I ask for is honesty, loyalty, love and respect from someone that WANTS to be a part of a family. Someone that will put us FIRST and be proud of who we are and what we've accomplished. I don't NEED to be rich. I don't NEED perfection. Just a simple life that's joyful and can be shared with someone after my kids go off to live their lives.

So, I ask myself; where did I go wrong? Where did my daughter get the idea that I'm demanding perfection? My husband *her father* is an alcoholic - an addict. If it's not alcohol, it's pot. If it's not pot, it's coke...it's ALWAYS something. Always SOMETHING that will numb him of ANY feelings that he may experience. He promises to 'never do it again' and 'never lie again' but NEVER holds true to his word. EVER. In 14 years, he's lied to me COUNTLESS times. Runs off and gets drunk and lies about it; like I'm too stupid to know. It insults my intelligence. 14 years ago, he was cute, sexy and fun....now he's pathetic, old and his body is starting to show signs of the decades of abuse. I'm not amused by it anymore. I haven't been since our daughter was born. Am I wrong to want to be in an ADULT relationship? Am I the 'bad guy' for wanting a better life for myself and my kids? I feel that I have a right to a happy life and, if that means living alone, than it shall be. I'm not afraid of being alone because I feel as if I HAVE been alone for years now. There's no conversation. There's no planning or talking of the future. There's not even fun family outings anymore because of his anger outbursts and anti-social behavior; he embarrasses us in public.

So, what do you do? How do you KNOW when it's time to throw in the proverbial towel? For me, I guess it's when you threaten to bash my head in with a rock speaker because you're angry over being called out for doing something mindlessly stupid. I just hope that, one day, the kids will understand that you can't force someone to change for YOU, they have to want to change for themselves. Had he only WANTED to become a better man, father and husband rather than promising us that he WOULD and never, ever making an attempt to try.

Friday, February 28, 2014

My son's 31st birthday.

Well here I am...another year has passed and I still have no new information on who or where my son is.

31 years.

There isn't a day that goes by that I don't think of him; I wonder if he's happy. I wonder if he's healthy, safe and loved. I wonder if he ever wonders who he came from and if he's anything like his dad and me? I wonder if his subconscious remembers the words that I spoke to him in those precious fleeting moments that I was able to hold him.

Both of my daughters want so desperately to meet their half-brother...because, even though they don't even know him, they love him because he's a part of me and of them.

I can't sleep. The bad dreams always return around the same time every year even though I've worked SO hard on forgiveness and release; I don't want to hold on to the anger, hate and sadness. I don't want to be held hostage by things that I can not change. I want to focus my positive energy on the fact that one day we WILL meet him. We will know what kind of life he's had. We will know. We WILL.

I know that it's been a long, long time since I've been here and I apologize for my absence. It does my soul SO MUCH good to get this stuff out - here, into the Universe - so that I can release it and try to return to the light. This time of year always brings me a constant sense of 'darkness'...as if there's a shadow always hovering over me. It's FILLED with sadness and pain. My heart actually HURTS and feels heavy. The memories come flooding back, uninvited, of everything that I had gone through to get that baby here as safely as possible. The memories of the evil, dishonest doctor, hired by my parents to take my son away and make sure that I 'never' saw him....so many painful memories. So much pain. So much heartache. I remember for YEARS all I wanted to do was die. I didn't want to live but was too afraid to do it myself so I tried other means of self-destruction; lots and LOTS of alcohol and REALLY stupid decisions for many, many years. What changed? I had my eldest daughter. She gave me the will to fight and to overcome. Then, after my second daughter was born I realized that I had to shake the darkness, hatred and sadness that had plagued me since that awful day back in 1983 and I began working to change my life.

Had I been told 10 years ago that I would be genuinely happy in my day-to-day existence I would have called you CRAZY; however, the hard work paid off and I am one of those insanely happy people that annoy most of you. *grins* I look up at the sky as much as possible; I watch the birds, the butterflies and the dragonflies in awe. I look for, therefore see, beauty absolutely everywhere. I do feel blessed to have the life that I have. It's not been perfect by any means but I am surrounded by love. That is something that I never thought I'd experience when I was a child. In fact, it took me a long time to even recognize what love actually WAS. But now, flaws and all, my life is wonderful and SO full of joy. My ONLY wish is that my son were a part of all of it. That he could KNOW how much I loved him. That he could KNOW how much his half-sisters already love him - and they haven't even met them yet. Yes, that tells me that I've raised them right - to love, openly.

To my son, where ever you are, you are loved. You always have been. A part of me was ripped away when they took you from me and I have never, ever been the same person again. I never will be. Changed forever by a loss that can't be described by words. A pain SO deep that, 31 years later, it STILL feels like a fresh wound. I love you. WE love you. All we pray for is that you get a chance to share in that love with us. Be well, my son. Until we meet again. xoxoxoxo

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Sooooo...here we sit...on the edge of the end of 2012 and, I have to say, that I'm REALLY happy to see this year come to an end!

With a new year often comes the unavoidable question: "What's your New Year's resolution?" For me, the answer is 'none'...I don't make 'resolutions' because they are, more often than not, setting oneself up for disappointment and the feeling of failure. In my life, I make 'life changes'....one year it was to read, and put into practice, the book "A Complaint Free World" which was an AMAZING journey of self-discovery for me; I didn't realize just how much I had complained! The goal, as set forth in the book, is to spend 21 consecutive days without complaining. When you catch yourself complaining *and I did* you then must start ALL over again. It took me over 9 months to spend 21 consecutive days without complaining.....NINE MONTHS!!! I'd make it to 16 days and *WHAM* catch myself making that ONE complaint and have to start all over again. I learned a different mindset and watched as those around me became more cooperative all on their own!

This year, our family is going to make and utilize a "Gratitude Jar"....it was a really cool idea that I had seen on Facebook that had been pinned by someone on Pinterest. It's a jar that, whenever ANYTHING positive happens, you write it down on a slip of paper and place it in the jar. At the end of the week, month, year *whichever you choose* you open the jar and look back at all of the amazing things you had to be grateful for. What an easy way to shift thinking and create a new pathway in your brain so that you will seek the positive in life, huh?

As this year comes to an end, I have chosen to count all of the blessings, big and small, that have come to our family versus looking back at all the not-so-good things that have been brought into our lives. The amazing part is that when I choose to focus on these amazing life changes, everyone around me just seems to follow along with me. Teaching those close to me *and even those not so close* how to focus on love, living with truth and light and gratitude also sends that very same energy out to everyone that THEY know....and so on. I believe that 2013 will be a wonderful year full of love, light, prosperity and joy. How about you?

Saturday, February 25, 2012

The Universe and my ability to time-travel.....

For those of you whom know me personally, you may remember that my son's birthday is next week; March 1. It'll be 29 years ago, on that date, that I had and lost my son and that I've been searching for him for 11 years now.

This time of year is always especially difficult for me and very often filled with sadness that emanates from a very deep part of my heart and soul.

So, I'm sitting on the floor working on preparing our coffee table for its new paint job and I ask Ari to put Pandora 80's radio on my ipod for me....the VERY first song that came on was "Separate Ways" by *my beloved* Journey. Now you're probably wondering 'what significance does THAT have?' Well, I'll tell you.

When I was in and out of the hospital awaiting the arrival of my beautiful baby boy *whom was due on Valentine's Day but decided to delay his arrival until March 1* Journey had JUST released its new album entitled "Frontiers" and, to those of you who don't know me and my affection for Journey, it would have meant the WORLD to me to have been able to get their new record. *Yes, they were still 'records' back then* On the morning of February 28th, I had some health problems that alarmed my care-taker enough to call the doctor, who had, in-turn, told him to bring me into the office immediately but I refused to leave the house; you see B-93 in Pittsburgh was giving away the new Journey album to callers every hour...I HAD to win. Well, my will power was strong, but not as strong as my caretakers and, within a few minutes, I was forced into the car and off to the doctor's office....and from there I was sent immediately to West Penn Hospital for problems that were life-threatening to both me and my unborn son....so the worst time of my life was about to worsen...the only thing that I had to look forward to was winning that damned record. The song "Separate Ways" was the first release from that album so, in the couple of months leading to my son's birth, it was played and played and played, like most big name new releases, so I heard it multiple times a day and I felt connected to that song, those lyrics and that band.

I remember very little after the birth of my son after the delivery up and until the few precious moments I was able to see him and hold him and explain to him just HOW MUCH he was loved and how sorry I was that he had to leave me but that I would love him for the rest of his life and that, one day, I would come and find him.....when I arrived back at my family's home after being released from the hospital I had to get some things out of my suitcase, which my caretaker had packed for me since I had no time to do so before getting admitted into the hospital, and when I opened it, Journey's new lp "Frontiers" was on the top of my things...a gift from my caretaker. He KNEW how I connected to that music because he had kept me safe, fed, clothed and housed when nobody else would and watched me for months...the connection to that particular album always has the power to transport me back in time to March 1, 1983...the day that my heart was broken and part of it was taken away forever. And as I sit here and type these words on this blog I can FEEL the pain, the sadness and the panic that was present on that day back in 1983 and it seems as real to me now as it was to me back then. Time travel, my friends, is very much real.

So, I send gratitude out to the Universe for allowing me to continue my 'journey' here in this life when it looked like neither of us were going to survive and I thank my Uncle Larry for taking SUCH wonderful care of the little lost girl who was so sad that he wasn't even sure she would 'make it' through all that was ahead of her and for being so thoughtful as to give me one gift that would, forever, allow me the ability to travel through space and time back to a place that's extremely painful but also SO FULL OF LOVE.

To my son: whoever you are, where ever you may be, there has not been one day in the last 29 years that I have not thought of you. Every birthday that you've had, every holiday, every one of your half-sister's birthdays, every big occasion and life-changing events, even the tiny ones, you are 'here' with me...in my heart, where you've always been and always will be. You are not only 'of me' but also carry a piece of my heart with you. I'm pretty sure I know who you are...cause you look SO much like me and your father and we both pray that, one day, you'll allow us in to share with you all the love that we've always felt for you but weren't allowed to give to you ourselves.

So, whenever someone tells you that there's 'no such thing' as time travel you can tell them that you have irrefutable, first-hand knowledge that there IS such a thing. And every single time I hear that song I'm back at my Uncle Larry's house, hanging on to that phone trying to get through to that radio station, with tears streaming down my face and one hand on my belly - touching my son- fighting the impending emergency trip to the doctor because I KNOW what's going to happen once he enters this world...I'm going to lose him and I don't EVER want that to happen. Time travel IS real. I am living proof.

I love you, my amazing, beautiful boy...and hope that this year is the best one for you yet.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Crying in my sleep....

Did you ever have a dream about something sad and wake up to realize that you're crying in your sleep? It happened to me last night and, I've got to tell you, I'm not such a big fan.

The dream was very odd and went like this:

I had made a custom piece of furniture for my dad; a book case. Not just ANY book case but a beautiful case with a curved top and embellishments at the crown. It was a beauty. I was bringing it to my dad, who was supposedly at my childhood home but about 3 miles from the house my car broke down. So here I stand, on the side of the road, with this HUGE piece of furniture, trying to catch a ride...car after car passes me and no one stops. I begin to walk, carrying this huge book case on my back and suddenly, a man pulls up on his motorcycle. He says his name is "Jacob" and that he's going to give me a ride to my parent's house. Elated, I hop on the back of the bike and somehow share space with this HUGE book case and we're off! We arrive at my parent's house which appears to look as it did the last time I saw it, run down and unkempt. I run up to the front door, SO excited to show my daddy what I had made for him and when I throw open the door I'm not in THEIR house, I'm in MINE. The house appears identical to my house except for just a few pieces of missing furniture, and when I run in calling my dad's name, I see my mom standing in my front, screened in porch; she's wearing a nightgown, a robe and her slippers. Her hair is combed and she's wearing her glasses....JUST as she always did. At the very moment we lock eyes I realize, in shock, that I had forgotten that my dad had died. He wasn't there anymore and I began to sob. Hugging my mother I'm sobbing uncontrollably and telling her that I don't want him to be dead...that I can't believe that I had forgotten that he had died.

That's when I woke up...and lying there, in the dark, I was sobbing. In my sleep.

So I lay there for a little while and calmed myself down. Then I tried to figure out what exactly the message was....and I just don't know. Now, recently there have been quite a few conversations, if you will, about my childhood and some of the more traumatic events therein which could possibly BE the reason for this dream. Was it? I distinctly remember the feeling within the realization that my dad was gone and my mom was standing there holding me in trying to comfort me *which is something my mother NEVER did* And, just so you know, my dad passed away in October of 2000, and my mom passed in December of 2007. My mom appeared to be in my home, as it is today - not as it was when she died.

So several hours pass and when my husband and I wake up, I tell him about this strange dream...and the tears roll again. What IS that, exactly? What is my subconscious/the Universe trying to TELL me? I'm trying to listen but I can't hear either of them. I just pray for a peaceful nights' sleep tonight with NO more dreams like this one.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Who am I?

So...here I am again....this time not quite sure where this blog will take me but eager to get this out.

After something that I consider to be wonderful happened in my life last Monday, I received a message from someone that, once I read it, made me feel as if I was about to face another loss. I can't explain the details; but it felt as if my heart was being broken again.

So I'm sitting and trying to see the 'light' in all that surrounds me and who I am and the question enters my mind of who I really am....when I try to define who I think I am, every description is about what I DO rather than who I am. The reality hits me that I have NO IDEA who I REALLY am. I am the first mom looking for her son. I am the Life Coach that helps people change their lives. I am the mother of 2 amazing daughters. I am the wife of a sometimes troubled man. I am the friend of anyone that considers me to be so. I am an advocate of animals, a lover of Mother Earth, a believer that God is an amazing form of true and complete love...and the list goes on. But who AM I? Really?

I am the girl that has no recollection of what my body looked like before it became distorted by a teen-aged pregnancy and spent the majority of her life feeling ashamed of her body because of the damage done by deciding to give birth to a child that I knew would never know me as his mom or know the sacrifices I had made so that he could live. I am the girl that has very few memories of anyone actually acting loving towards me in the family I grew up in. I am the girl whose father would tell her each and every morning just how ugly he thought she was. I am the girl that worries about what's best for others and pushes my own needs aside.

Is THAT who I am? How DO we define ourselves? I know that I have a huge heart that's been broken more times than I care to count; even by some that had no idea that they could even do so. I know that I am smart and strong and capable of ANYTHING that I put my mind to. I know that I am a survivor in that I've survived not only a very un-loving childhood but the loss of my son, whom I loved dearly even though we had not even met yet. I know that I am fiercely protective of anyone that I love because I never felt protected growing up and will never allow anyone or anything that I love EVER feel alone.

Who am I?

I am the mom that loves to laugh with her children because it feels so good to know that I have them to laugh with. I am the person next to you at the red light that's listening to her music very loudly and singing along with it even louder. I am the stranger that will come up to you and tell you how much I love your hair, your clothes, your shoes or your bag and watch your face light up at such a random act of kindness from a complete stranger. I am *still* the comedian that will make you laugh until your cheeks hurt, only now it's genuine and not being done to hide pain. I am the woman in search of her son that was taken away by people that looked me in the eye and told me that I should have never been born.

Who am I?

Do you all ever ponder that question? If so, how do YOU answer yourself? And please know that I am very proud of who I am today; all of those things that I described herein have molded me into the person I am today. A person whom, after many, many decades of self-loathing, love wholly and completely....exactly the way that I am. You see, THAT is my greatest accomplishment in this lifetime thus far. I never, ever dreamed that I would ever be able to look into a mirror without hearing all of those hateful things that 'they' all said about me, of which I was one. So, perhaps I don't know who I really 'am' right now, in this very moment; however, what I DO know is who I am NOT and that's that hateful, sorrow filled, negative, angry little girl. That is accomplishment enough for me.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

A new beginning and proof that 'it' really does work!

So, here I sit, on a Tuesday morning, after a surprisingly wonderful nights' sleep amazed that all that 'work' that I've been doing actually worked! We're told that anger, hate, bitterness and all of those nasty, negative feelings can actually eat away at us and cause dis-eases like cancer and that we should work on letting go and forgiveness, right? Well, I'm here to tell you that they're SOOOOO right!

I had an (over) hour-long conversation with my son's bio-father last night; after about 25 minutes of texting back-and-forth first. Let me go backwards here for a second; for those of you whom do not know our 'story'; we are the parents of a son who was lost to adoption almost 29 years ago. His name is Mike, and we had only seen/spoken to one another twice in the last 29 years.

On Monday morning, I turned on my BB and saw a Facebook friend request from him and nearly fell over. My eldest daughter felt that she had to remind me to stay focused on my driving while driving the girls to school; she said that I looked pale. I think I was in shock. I wasn't sure what to expect and wasn't really sure how I felt about it. After all the years that had passed and all of the anger that i had felt towards him.....and then my intuition kicked in and I realized that, with everything else behind us and all of the forgiveness work I had done, we both had one thing still in common; our son.

So, he sent me a FB message asking if our child had ever contacted me......it took me 14 hours to answer him; again, what did he want? Was he angry? Would he heed the warnings not to jump to any conclusions and hamper any chance that we may have of, one day, meeting our son? Once I replied to him, the communication began and I felt so relieved that I felt absolutely no anger, bitterness or fear...only love and compassion. How strange, huh? *in a delightfully pleasant way* My heart breaks for him after he told me that he'd had no other children; he hadn't been blessed like I have been. He even apologized for all that had been done back then. I was not only moved but also happy to know that I'm no longer in this "alone." Now, that's not to say that the Search Angels in my life haven't been wonderfully compassionate and supportive because they have, especially one in-particular *she knows who she is*..but this is different. I, suddenly, don't feel as if my feelings for my son are something I have to keep quiet about until it's 'appropriate'...he feels my pain and loss, just like most of the Angels do...but this is 'our' pain; he knows how I feel.

It's so freeing to know that all of that work that I have done over the last 10 years has actually paid off. I forgive him - I really do. I just hope he can forgive me. I know now that I did everything that I possibly could have to try and keep our son; I was 16 years old and there were a lot of 'them' and only one 'me'....I hope one day we can meet this amazing young man and that he'll be able to forgive both of us.

Thanks for letting me share. Love and light to all of you! <3