What’s New in My Crazy Life

It’s been awhile since I’ve told ya’ll what is going on in life. In case anyone thinks that life around here has calmed down, let me just tell you that it hasn’t. I do find a little bit of more peace in moments, but really it’s just plain insane around here. I keep wondering what exactly God is preparing me for but then I realize that a lot of the chaos comes from living a life full of bad choices for 33 years and even some bad choices after my conversion. What my husband and I are trying to do is break the cycle of generations of dysfunction from two different families. It’s not easy. If anything it has taught me that the effects of our sins ripple through our family line way after we are long and gone. My grandparents did the best they could, but the fact that my grandmother had a lot of issues that went unchecked by medical professionals has really caused a lot of issues that even trickle down into the life of my granddaughter. I think that when you are so busy trying to survive on your own without Divine Intervention that you can’t really see that because you are drowning and who sees anything while drowning?!

It’s not Friday so I can’t do a Quicktakes but I have to write this all out so that my brain will function and let me move on with everything that I have to do. Here are just a few things going on in the Life of a Crazy Face:

1. My teens are all taking turns losing their minds. I have 4 kids 21-14 years old. My oldest was three when I married my first husband. His biological dad rarely has anything to do with him and paid $63 a month in child support for his entire life. He has always considered Ben to be his dad but as I said yesterday, Ben has his own demons to fight and has been fighting them the entire time that I’ve known him. Ben and I got married after only knowing each other for two weeks. That’s right, I knew him for two whole weeks and then married him. I don’t regret that, because I have my kids, but I do realize that not knowing anything about life and not having a stable support system of parents who could help us navigate through life or a community of any kind was why we crashed and burned and took our children down with us. I worked most of my kids’ lives up until 5 year ago when I married Stacey, my husband after our conversions. From the time that I was 16 until I was 33 years old, I worked. Sometimes I worked two or three jobs even, just so that we could make ends meet. Even then, we struggled. My kids suffered through a lot of things that they shouldn’t have had to suffer through and I was not always present when I should be or sometimes I was present by was drunk. Now we live in the ‘burbs where my kids go to school with kids whose parents would rather give them cars than time. Considering that I haven’t always been the mother of the year for many reasons, this has created the perfect storm where my naturally self-centered teens seem to think that I don’t give them anything and that they have had the worst life ever with a mom who doesn’t do much for them. It’s exhausting to love these little humans who are so ungrateful at the moment. But it’s my job to love them and that love isn’t always by giving them their way. That’s even harder because I feel like I’ve already screwed up as a mom so I don’t want to make the wrong choices and screw up more. But enough is enough, I refuse to allow them to walk all over me. Dealing with all of this alone can send someone to the looney bin.

2.  My stepkids. Same as above only they aren’t my kids so there are 17 other levels of things to deal with. All which involve dealing with their mother. I’m just gonna stop there and let ya’ll guess how much fun that is.

3.  I need to go to confession. Dealing with teens and exes will really get those sins to come to the surface. I’m a really selfish person and the stress in dealing with these people comes from me not wanting to give of myself to people. I would rather sit alone in a cave and read a book. Or sit at a dive bar and drink. I would rather set myself on fire than deal with Stacey’s ex-wife, but I digress. I need to go to confession.

4. This stray dog found us on Saturday. I thought it was a neighbor’s dog so I called it over as my husband went to knock on their door and see if it was. Well, it wasn’t their dog. She is a pit bull and so sweet. She also has blisters on her feet and is very thin. I have had her scanned and there is no chip so now she has a name and my dog Bourbon is in love with her. Looks like we have another dog since God has a sense of humor and all that. She really isn’t that big of a problem and I found a place that will help me get her spayed and her shots. My dogs need their shots too, so really without Moonshine showing up, I would not have found a place to get my dogs their shots. She fits so perfect into the family that I really understand why people say that God has a sense of humor. It’s like she was meant to be a part of our pack. Bourbon and Whiskey aren’t really good with other dogs, but they just took this one right in and the empty dog bed that they refuse to sleep on now has a dog sleeping on it.

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From top to bottom: Whiskey, Bourbon and the newest member of our family: Moonshine Molly Royal Adams aka Moonshine

5. I have 2 papers due today and 3 tests that I need to take. Why am I blogging you ask? Well, because my brain is freaking out about all this other stuff until I process it and so this is how I process it.

6. I am also scheduling interviews for my show at Breadbox Media for January. I am focusing on my grades for this semester and then I’ll be back in the radio thing come January. I’m pretty excited about some of the people that I’ve got lined up!

7. I have an article up at Aleteia today! Go check it out and let me know what you think! I really love being edited and having people go back and forth with me to polish up my writing. It makes me so happy to see the final product. If you want to know what my writing looks like without all the rambling, then this is a great example!

8. One of my aunts is very sick and her family is trying to raise money to help with medical costs along with make arrangements if she were to pass away. My cousin who set up this GoFundMe was the first person in my family to graduate from High School. I’ve always looked up to him for that, it’s a huge accomplishment in a family of migrant workers. My grandparents and aunts and uncles all worked the fields for a living. Some of my first cousins too! Which is crazy when I think about it in my two-story house in one of the best suburbs to live in in the country. If you could help out in anyway, my family would be thankful. If you can’t donate any money, please leave a comment saying you’ll pray for her. You would be surprised how much prayers help.

9. My mom is sick and has been for a few months now. She has a test next week. Please pray that the doctors find out what is wrong with her. My son (the one driving me bonkers) is also sick with a cold and is having his wisdom teeth pulled soon so please pray for that too.

10. I think this is it. Life is crazy. It’s weird that I feel the closest to God when things are crazy though. I don’t know how to live a normal life with no crisis. I would love a nap here and there, but really I wouldn’t have to rely on God if I didn’t live in crazy.

Thanks for reading and praying. Please pray for me.

Purgatory of Addiction

Gov. Chris Christie is in the news this morning talking about drug addiction. Here is a video of his six minute speech on the issue. I watched it first thing this morning and I sat in my water closet sobbing. It’s the first time that I have ever seen a politician speak honestly about the monster of drug addiction in any way that spoke of authenticity. Someone who is in a position to actually do something about this plague.

I have avoided discussing Lamar Odom after his drug overdose for many reasons. Mostly because it hits close to home for me. Every day I wonder if this is the day that I get a call saying my ex-husband is dead and I have break the news to my kids. I have prepared the way to do it a million times, but really as the years go by the more that I wouldn’t have to say much other than “It’s about your dad” for them to know exactly what I was saying. My kids have lived with an addict for a dad for their entire life. {and I was also a drunk for a lot of their lives as well.} They have known him to be sober for little spans of time, but for the most part he’s been addicted to crack and meth since I miscarried our first baby together in 1997. He used drugs before then, but after that loss it became a full blown addiction and I spent the next 8 years blindsided by what a beast addiction is. I knew nothing about drugs and I tried everything that  I could to get him help or to get him to stop using but the only thing that I ended up doing was becoming codependent and that codependency ran on over into my valid Catholic marriage.

You don’t just marry someone and have kids with them and then just stop giving a crap about them. There are so many things about Ben that I do miss, mostly seeing my kids enjoy time with their dad and getting to see Star Wars with him. Watching all the excitement of the new Stars Wars knowing that Ben won’t be around to take them has really difficult. The memories of seeing them all excited about Star Wars come flooding back when I see it mentioned even though I do my best to ignore it. If Ben were here with them, they would have light sabers already.

Drug addiction is a thief. It robs families of people they love, of security, of relationships, of time and of life. It sucks the life right out of everything that is beautiful and joyful. For those of us who don’t have addictions, it robs us of our trust. Drug addicts are more than their addictions, that is something that I learned in Al-anon, they are people with dreams and gifts who have fallen into a black hole that is a real bitch to get out of. They aren’t lazy bums who would just rather be high, they are people who have wounds that they don’t know how to get healed in any other way. We need help to heal them and it takes more than just confession or even a relationship with Christ. I have that relationship and He sent me to a therapist and Al-anon. I had to learn coping skills and boundaries and allowing people to own their own shit instead of owning things that are not mine. It’s not as simple as: hand it to Jesus. Sure, He wants us to hand Him our wounds, but then He searches out hearts and starts telling us what to do in order to love the way that He loves. That takes work and it’s not easy. Jesus is not magic.

Drugs are a plague in this country and it is only getting worse. Addiction breeds addiction, it’s how the cycle works. It’s an ugly cycle to get caught up in because no matter what, you can’t really ever get out of it even if you are one of the lucky ones who heal from it, the scars are deep.

Today, on the day that we pray for the dead, let us pray for those who are addicted because addiction is purgatory in some ways.

Six Years, no Arrests

It’s been 6 years since I’ve been arrested for anything. I spent 11 years in and out of jail for really stupid things like dog tickets and hot checks, but the last one changed my life. On Oct. 29th 2009, after a month of RCIA, I was arrested for a DWI. My kids were home alone and Stacey was on Afghanistan, so I had to think fast to get bailed out and get my kids taken care of. The DPS officer left my cell phone close to me in the car so I began texting people really fast.
As I sat in that jail cell I told myself that this was it, I was going to lose my kids for sure. I had finally hit rock bottom. I played the victim and tried to make myself believe it was spiritual warfare instead of taking responsibility for myself and seeing that I was sitting there because of my own choices.
I told myself that I would do whatever it took to make things right so I would not lose my kids. A week later at my docket hearing I told the judge that I was in fact drinking and driving and I was ready to take whatever punishment they would give me as long as my kids didn’t get taken from me because they hadn’t done anything to deserve being moved around.
The judge was surprised and the DA asked me if I knew what I was saying (my county is very hard on drunk driving) and I assured her that I was. My best friend Homer had died because he had been drinking and driving and I should know better.

A week later I got my punishment, 1 year of probation. A lot of people couldn’t believe it! Most people are lucky to get that kind of sentence with a lawyer after months and months of court dates. I did my year of probation and I had an amazing probation officer who was proudly Christian and who supported my conversion along the way.

I hated everything about being on probation, but it was a great experience looking back. I learned a lot about myself and about my drinking habits. I learned how irresponsible I had been and how to take responsibility for myself and my choices. I learned how to stand on my own and not always be a victim.

I am still learning so much through therapy and al-anon, but the beginning of this healing process came from that arrest in October six years ago. It was not spiritual warfare at all, it was God saving me from myself. I was insisting on drowning myself in a bottle and He insisted on me being worth more than that.

I still drink and the difference is that I don’t drink to drown out anything, if I am sad or mad I know not to drink. So now a glass of wine is just that: a glass of wine, not some way of numbing something. I can feel my emotions now, which is hard for me, but so worth it. We all try to soothe ourselves with something, I think it’s a lifelong battle. Some people even use Catholicism as a drug. The key is to look in ourselves to try and find the wound that is causing the pain that we are trying to soothe and ask Jesus to help us heal it. We get in trouble when we try to heal it ourselves or avoid it all together.

It’s been 6 years since the last time I woke up in a jail cell. God is good.