Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Be very, very careful what you wish for...

I was 13 years old. My mom was driving me to see someone....some kind of doctor but it was at night after she got off work. I really wasn't exactly sure where or why we were going. She explained that we were going to see a psychologist. Thinking back to this night now as an adult, I remember thinking this really wasn't a big deal. I remember this particular night like it just happened. I remember the parking lot, the elevator to get to the guys office, the office, a nice little pond with a little waterfall, and even exactly what he looked like.

Seems like I only went 5 or so times. I remember wondering what in the world would cause my mom to want to take me to this person when I didn't like to talk to people anyway. The guy was nice. It didn't seem like "counseling". It just seemed like having normal conversation with someone. Well, at the end of my sessions, he informed my mom that my problems, whatever they were, had everything to do with my father abandoning me and my pretty much non-existent relationship with him.

Fast forward about 20 plus years or so and I am having a conversation with my sister who is 10 years older than I am. For some reason, we got on the subject of that time in my life that I went to that counselor. I started telling her that I never really understood why mom took me to see that guy. At which point she informed me about the entire story to which I still do this day have absolutely NO memory of whatsoever.

When I was about twelve...maybe thirteen, I had a diary. I wrote in it all the time. It was like my only friend really...my escape from the real world. I remember the diary very well. My sister told me that my mom had found my diary and read it. And that in that diary I had entries regarding wanting to commit suicide. Again, I have zero memory of this to this very day. SO, that was the reason my mom took me to a counselor. And I guess she didn't want me to know she had read my diary.

So, I guess that is where it all started. It is my belief that suicide is a spirit. A very dark and evil spirit. I remember when I was 17 years old when I lost my son who was four months old to sudden infant death syndrome. I wanted to take my life then. I was just barely seventeen. I was a baby myself for crying out loud! Obviously, I didn't take my own life at that time nor did I try to. But what I did do is start a long, long battle of abusing alcohol and drugs and the lifestyle that came with it. That was my coping mechanism.

My mom died six years after I lost my son. I stopped doing drugs when she died but started drinking very heavily. By the end of that year, I had given my life to the Lord. Once I quit using completely and gave up drinking, I was then faced with a clear mind for the first time in years and years. So, I had to then deal with these terrible losses that I had been covering up with substance and alcohol abuse among various other things.

The emotional pain was so, so very deep. It was like I had just lost my son and my mom all over again only at the same exact time. It was horrendous. It was at this time that suicide had started rearing its ugly head again. I have always been the type of person who says what she means and means what she says. It has always got on my very last nerve to hear people "threaten" suicide because I always thought it was for attention and if someone was really going to do it they just would. So therefore, it was a lifelong secret. The VERY LAST thing I wanted was attention. What I wanted was a way out. I really didn't ever want to end my life, I just wanted to end my pain.

I did tell a pastor's wife what I was dealing with once when I went up to the alter for prayer. My oldest was just a baby. But I was convinced that life and every single person in my life would be better without me in it. She prayed over me and was actually pretty stern with me. I'm not sure that was the right way she should have handled it but I seriously doubt that she had any idea at all how serious the problem was. But, the prayer she spoke over me really helped me a lot. The thoughts subsided and didn't haunt me for many years afterwards.

I would say that it was my go to "way out" in life. When things go wrong in a persons life they always....100% of the time will DO something. They might go immediately to a friend or family member or straight to God. They might cry or get angry. Maybe they go have some drinks at a bar to just not think about it for a while. Or maybe they pop some pills and pull the covers over their heads. Whatever it might be, we all do something. It might be healthy and most likely it is my guess that we ALL have a tendency to do something that isn't quite as healthy. My thing was to secretly contemplate taking my life. Not in a way that I would EVER really do such a thing or act on it in any way whatsoever. But somehow, it provided me with some relief. I know its crazy but just thinking about it made me feel like I had some options...something I could be in control of and do as a very last resort yet knowing deep inside I wouldn't ever do it but that it was somehow a coping mechanism that worked for me.

I know that it will take many, many posts to share all that I have held within being too afraid to tell. But God has released me. So, over a series of many posts, I will share with you my life. The good. The bad. And the extremely ugly.

I had these thoughts randomly throughout my whole life. I never told anyone the depth of my problem. I think mainly because I really and truly did not think that I would ever go through with it and it would just be stupid to tell someone something and worry them over something that was really never going to happen.

In 2009, my husband lost his job. I was completely terrified. Things were absolutely terrible. I worked for a church and I oversaw many large events with lots of pastors. After those events, we would always have leftover food. Literally, that food fed my family on many occasions. I would go up and clean out the fridge at my job and rather than throw out any expired food, I would take it home so we could eat something. Shortly after this, we had to get food stamps because things were just getting way too bad.

During this time the suicidal thoughts started to darken my mind again. But we made it through. God provided, we weren't late on any bill and we ended up being okay. But the thoughts didn't leave. I was already in a very dark place mentally. And I was sinking daily. My husband got a job and things were better financially but I had already turned a corner in my thought life.

I remember on this particular day in April of 2010. I was having a particularly bad day emotionally. I remember this like it just happened moments ago. My husband was at work. The girls were at school. I cannot remember exactly what I was upset about but I went and laid down on my bed. The house was totally spotless. My bed was all made up. I laid down and just looked up at the ceiling as tears started rolling down my cheeks. One, then another, then another. The thoughts overtook my mind. They overshadowed all other thoughts. I thought of my mom that had died of cancer and as I thought on that and cried some more. More thoughts came. The thoughts so suddenly, so quickly took a turn and became very, very dark. I looked up at the ceiling and I said these very words...

"God please. Please, please, please just let me get cancer and die. Please God! Just take my life and let me go".  

The VERY next day, I RANDOMLY did a self-exam in the shower for the very first time in my entire life. And within less than seven days later, I had a mammogram, a sonogram, a biopsy and was diagnosed with cancer. 

I'll let you chew on that for a few days before getting into my next post....................


I wondered when this day would finally come. I've known for a very, very long time it would. I've been waiting on the Lord to direct me as to when the timing was right to tell this story. There is just no way possible to tell it in one post. As most of you know, I will indeed be writing a book about my life and you will just have to get all the details in sequential order then. But this is the most recent event....

When I discovered after my last chemo treatment in October, 2010...with no hair and no boobs...that my husband had been screwing around and doing SO many unmentionables, something within my entire being changed. I cannot even explain it. But I felt something. There was some kind of shift in my mind and I literally felt it. I would never ever be the same again.

We immediately went to counseling and the counselor turned around and told every private thing I had shared with him to my pastor. ONE, the pastor listened....TWO....it was completely UNETHICAL for a therapist to do so. I should have sued his ass for all I could but that is just not my heart. I decided to leave vengeance to the Lord. I heard repeatedly that everyone just wanted "what was best for me". But ya know, NO ONE knows what is best for me except ME and MY GOD....PERIOD!! The rest of that story is several more blogs in itself.

After finding out about the infidelity that occurred while I was fighting for my life, I was stuck.....totally stuck. Because of some other life events that will be told in my book, I didn't have a job, my husband got miraculously transferred to another state with a great company and so the kid's and I packed up and went with him. Oh, I knew he was a sorry dog but like I said, I was totally stuck with no choices. We left and we spent the next two years in counseling.

I discerned very strongly that he had not changed a bit. He was a person that was completely and totally 100% unrecognizable to me, my children and absolutely ANYONE who knew him. His beliefs were completely out  of whack and I don't think he even knew what he believed and I to this very day know for a fact that he STILL has no idea what his beliefs are. What I do know is that the enemy has him under his control.

During the two years of counseling, every single week that went by was complete torture. I wanted SO desperately to believe that he felt true remorse for all the shit he had put me and the kids through. That just never, ever happened. He just grew more distant, he became an even bigger jerk, more heartless, more cruel, on and on. Over time I felt so strongly in my spirit that he had not changed a bit. I just knew he was worse than ever before. To make a VERY long story a little shorter, I discovered some lies that he had told and that was the last straw.

The more I realized that he was still lying and cheating the more depressed I got. I honestly had no idea how depressed I was or how deep the spiral I was on was taking me. The only way to describe it is that I was NOT me anymore and I was living 100% in a deep, dark, terrible depression. It was 24/7, it was a living hell, it was a nightmare that was so intense that I was completely incapable of telling anyone else. I knew there was no way in hell that anyone could understand or know what in the world to do to help me. All I wanted was to end my life.....forever.....period.

When I heard how Whitney Houston died, the thought of overdosing and drowning became my suicide plan. If you have never been suicidal, this won't make a bit of sense to you. But I believe it will make a whole hell of a lot of sense to more people than not. So, I made my plan. I was on lots of medication at the time. I somehow within myself knew that it was only a matter of time before the truth came out about my husband of nearly 20 damn years. And sure enough, it did. I discovered that absolutely nothing had changed. He had even been trying to get a married woman who was a mom of a friend of my daughters to come to my house while me and the girls were out of town celebrating New Years!! I didn't know this at the time but I felt it SO VERY strongly in my gut that I wouldn't even answer his call if he called me because I just somehow KNEW he was doing these deceitful things and I couldn't cope. The only way I could cope was to continue my plan. To map it all out in my head as my way of escape.....I was in complete despair and my suicide plan was the only thing that brought me hope.

I came back from visiting family for the New Year 2013 and on Jan 4th, what I thought was happening was revealed and confirmed. All the lies were starting to unfold. He left the house with the girls and went to the mall. As soon as they were out of sight I hauled it to the package store and purchased Tequila, Ever-clear and  margarita mix. I came home and made me the stiffest drink known to man and filled up my bathtub. I got out all of my pills and started swallowing them by the handfuls. Sick as it might sound, I was happy. I was ready and I was anxious to go and ready to take off out of this life. I took them all, I put on my worship music, I asked God to forgive me and for His will to be done and I got in the extremely full bathtub. I put my head down in the water where only my nose was exposed. My hope was to pass out and drown. And never, ever, ever breathe again.

Unfortunately, my freakin' implants made me float after I was totally passed out from all the meds. Something (God, I'm sure) made Heather think something was really wrong and her and Deryl came home to check on me. Deryl found me not breathing and blue with foam coming out of my mouth. I'm sure if he would have found me alone, he would have let me die. But Heather was there and he called 911 and the ambulance came. This my friends will be the start of my reality in a story form to you. Nothing but the real, raw and total truth. Some may not be able to stomach it for lack better words.

However, after this experience I know without a shadow of a doubt that these words could cost me. These blog posts could cost me potential jobs....potential new business. But one thing I know is that GOD wants me to help people who feel this way and I will do that and continue to do that as long as he tells me to and gives me peace in doing so.

Stay tuned for the rest of the story. If you can relate to this story, please trust me when I say that there is hope for you. I still struggle but will share with you what has helped me. This is a scary topic that no one wants to face. There are resources out there for those who have lost someone to suicide but not near enough for those of us struggling to make it through the next 5 minutes.

You can call me.....you can text me....you can e-mail or message me. THIS is part of my calling. To help you whether I know you personally or not. And you are NOT reading this blog by accident my friend!!

This blog was the absolute hardest blog for me to write....I am scared to even push "Publish"... but I KNOW that lives will be touched AND saved. And that makes it ALL worth it!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I do hope you will start "following" my blog and in-boxing me some encouragement so I know this was the right thing for me to do. I desperately want to hear from you. I am a safe person. And I long to hear your stories. kelley@feelthetatas.com and 404-617-4825.....text me ANYTIME at all.


Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Flaws run deep...

These photographs are of my 15 year old daughter taken by my 17 year old daughter for a college contest entry.This is my daughter's description of her project.

 "Everyone strives for perfection but it is impossible, our flaws make us beautiful. Imperfection is beauty." 

All I can say is.....WOW! Isn't that the truth ladies? We are constantly comparing ourselves to other women. We will then do anything and everything striving to be like what we think perfect should look like. And you know what? We fail every single time. Then, we fail bigger and bigger. Because we try harder and harder.

I used to lead a women's group and I always said that absolutely ANYONE who we think is perfect is striving to be like someone else.I don't care if that person is Miss America or the President of the United States of America....we all struggle with insecurities, feeling inadequate, feeling inferior to others, always trying to be like someone else.

Think of someone you know who admires you. What do they admire about you? Focus on those qualities and make them as awesome as possible! Then, think about who YOU admire. What do you admire about them? Do you feel inferior to them? If so, why do you think that is? Contemplate your answers.

Lastly, consider then write down what you KNOW....YOU are good at. What do you do well? What are your greatest character traits? If your best friend in the world were to describe you, what would they say about you? We NEVER see ourselves how others see us. And I think we'd be in total shock if we could really see ourselves how our creator sees us.

God made us each a very unique individual. He doesn't want you to be the next Joyce Meyer or the next Billy Graham. What He wants is for YOU to be the YOU He created you to be. The enemy doesn't want us to see our greatness, our full potential, our ability to take the stones that have been thrown at us in our lives and build a beautiful walk way to our destiny. Every single person reading this has a story. You may not think your story is much of a story but I can tell you from experience that we ALL have something that isn't for us....it is for someone else.

A lot of you who have been following me since my diagnosis know that I have had a life filled with trauma and tragedies. Honestly, I didn't think I would make it through the last couple of ones I have endured. But here I am. I look back and think to myself "How in the hell did I get through that?!"

I now have the ability to minister to and reach I believe, the thousands!! To live the rest of my life without telling my story would be to have not lived at all. It would be to let fear of what others might think, what they might say and how they might judge me dictate the ability my story has to change the world.

I would rather, through this blog, share with others what I have been through and what I have learned from it all than to die having kept those awesome revelations to myself. Tragedy is terrible and I wish it upon no one. But if you've already come out on the other side and you are still breathing...well, you have a personal responsibility, I believe, to share it with others! I do hope what I have learned in my life will help you understand that no matter what you are going through, you CAN and you WILL survive and make it through this. I have absolutely NO doubt in my mind.

Here's to greater tomorrows and plenty of them!!