A Small Piece of My Story
My story is so in-depth and may sound a bit unbelievable but I assure you that it is all true.
As William Randolph Hearst said, "Truth is not only stranger than fiction, it is more interesting."
I have led a very interesting life so far. I grew up in Massachusetts and Florida. I was raised in a very volatile household. My parents were functioning alcoholics that still live in a state of denial.
From the outside looking in we seemed like the typical working-class family. My mom was a waitress and bartender and my step-dad was a mechanic and cement truck driver, however, the drinking and yelling, screaming, and throwing of things were only on display for the closest neighbors. After years of a dysfunctional home life I started to run away as a teenager. And I ran away A LOT!
Rather than deal with conflict I chose to find an escape. Sometimes I would be gone for a day or two and sometimes I would be gone for several weeks.
During those times I stayed with various friends, or in the local park, and under overpasses. At least living in Florida meant that the weather was never too harsh to stay outside. After several years of constant fighting and running away things at home finally came to an abrupt, traumatic ending that landed me in foster care for the next two years.
There are several more traumatizing events that have occurred during and since that time period of my life but here are two that I feel I should share with you that have helped shape me into who I am today.
The first one began in July of 1993 at 15 years old. I had become pregnant by my 19 year old boyfriend, Brad. I was living in the only good foster home that I had ever been placed in and was attending school and getting my life together. Like most teenagers in that position I freaked out.
I should have talked to my foster mom and made a plan and been responsible but instead I ran away because that is what I did whenever I was overwhelmed. After a few weeks of staying with my boyfriend I got picked up by the police as a runaway and placed back in the group home awaiting what was next for me.
My caseworker was awful. He contacted my mother, even though I had no contact with her for over a year, and the two of them decided that I was going to have an abortion. I did not want an abortion. I was 15 years old, a ward of the state, and was not allowed to make my own decisions. My caseworker lied to me about so many things.
After being forced into an abortion I became extremely depressed leading me to drugs and alcohol. I attempted suicide in January of 1994 and was placed in a mental health facility for two weeks. Upon release from the hospital I was sent to live with my step-dad, he and my mother had divorced during my time in foster care.
Things were starting to look up again. I had enrolled back in school and was enjoying living with my step-dad. Which brings up the the next BIG event. The loss of my best friend, Liam.
It's hard to make and keep friends when you are constantly moving. I went to 7 different high schools in less than two years time. I had lived in 4 different foster homes and a group home in all different areas of the county.
Through it all my best friend was there. He was my rock. He was my inspiration. He too came from a difficult childhood but decided to make something of himself, so he joined the Marine Corp.
I will never forget the day I got the call that changed my life. It was Tuesday March 1, 1994.
When I got home from school there were several messages on my machine from friends saying that I needed to call them right away - it was important. Before I could return any calls, my friend, Carrie, had called again wanting to know if I had spoken to any of our other mutual friends and I said no, not really thinking too much about it. She then told me that Liam had been killed late Saturday night/Early Sunday morning and that no one had many details.
I hit the floor. I was balling my eyes out. I spiraled out of control. I went to his wake the next day and didn't go home for the next four days straight. I got drunk that night and stayed that way for at least the next 5 days or so. I stayed with Liam's family until after the funeral, where I mostly just consumed Southern Comfort.
When I finally went back home to my step-dad's and back to school I knew nothing was ever going to be the same. And it wasn't. Many more traumatizing events have occurred before and since these, but those were two very defining times in my life.
I have lost so many of my dearest friends to drugs, alcohol, and/or poor life choices. Liam was just the first to go. Then there was James (not pictured) in a drive-by shooting at age 16, Nikki in a shooting 10 days after her 21st birthday (still undetermined - suicide or homicide), Brad from a heart attack at 34 years old (may have been drug-induced), and Carrie from a drug overdose at 32 years old, all of them leaving behind young children.
Honestly I should not be here today. I should not be living the amazing life that I am. I am here to tell you that it is possible to make all of your dreams come true.
Since that time in my life I spent almost 13 years married to a man 17 years older than me, we eventually divorced but remained very close friends and co-parents, and I am now happily married to a man 10 years younger than me, we are coming up on our 15th anniversary.
Doing what is "normal" or "acceptable" has never been my forte.
My life's purpose is to help people succeed. Those closest to me and those I have just met. It brings me happiness and contentment. I am not a competitive person by nature. There is enough abundance in this world for us all.
"We are not what has happened to us, we are what we choose to become." ~~ Carl Jung
I have lived in Massachusetts, Florida, Tennessee, Indiana, North Dakota, Kentucky, Colorado, Oklahoma, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Kansas and Missouri. I have traveled through several other states on my many journeys and seem to have an unquenchable wanderlust. I definitely have the heart & soul of a gypsy.
I currently live just outside of Kansas City, Missouri with my wonderful husband and children. Even after everything that I have been through in my childhood, and since, I live a happy and amazing life. My family is my world.
I tend to spend much of my time reading and teaching tarot cards, coaching clients, and speaking at National Conferences. Beyond tarot cards some of my other passions are aromatherapy, numerology, astrology and photography.
I like knowing what lies beneath the surface. There are many subjects that peak my interest. Religion has always been a big part of my life, originally being raised Roman Catholic and then converting to Southern Baptist while continuously studying various other religions has always kept me intrigued with the Universe and our connection the the Divine. I spent several years as a practicing non-denominational, interfaith, ordained minister, performing all ceremonies relating to the rites of passage, including weddings and funerals. Now I consider myself more spiritual than religious.
I am constantly seeking change and personal growth and I crave knowledge. I'm always up for a laugh, a good book or movie, or just hanging out with my family and friends.