After Two Years of Writing, a Celebration

 

This missive contains updated information and a whole bunch of love!!!  After blogging for two years now, I have come to a place of  gratitude and acceptance.  Yes, I really am a writer, and this fact had to be hammered home a million times…before I would believe.  I have worked in virtually every field you can imagine: waitress, hostess, legal secretary, health food, private duty nursing, hospice, radio, advertising, and at my lowest point a janitor for a local beer distributor.  I am quite sure I’ve left a few vocations out, but my point here is:  I never understood why my employment always ended in hysteria and self degradation.  It is now my understanding that God did indeed want me to write; my only regret is that I didn’t listen sooner.

I want to introduce myself to my new subs, and also thank each and every one of you who took the chance and subscribed!  Here’s a few things about me that you may not know, and the categories I have listed pretty much describes the subject matter I write on, have experience with,  and blabber about from time to time.

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My hero and therapy dog, Jesse Bocephus Hoffman.

I have struggled with a few things in this life, but God has always been with me, Jesus has never abandoned nor forsaken me.  I am not proud of so much of my drinking/drugging career-yet it has given me the compassion and understanding necessary to navigate this world untethered-by anyone or anything that tries to hold me back, namely being my family, but that’s another story for another day.

I love nature, gardening, animals, worship, and my husband-who made it possible for me to attain sobriety.  Those were frightening days, and there were times where homicidal ideation floated around in my mind…but suicide attempts were what manifested.

I suffer from depression, CPTSD, anxiety and Lyme.  I do not consider any of this a handicap, and neither should you.

Rejoice in this day the Lord has made!!!  Be glad in the perilous times, as the Holy Spirit is within, guiding you-after the storm His blessings are out of this world.

And jeepers creepers, gosh almighty…

Thank you, from the bottom of my heart.

close up of pink flowers
These are for you~

Hippychick….

“It’s hard to tell you how I feel without hurting you…” – Soho

This is also an essay on how what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, and that there is hope-for each and every one of us.  You can read my tags, or About feature and see that fate had dealt me a raw deal, and that was 27 years ago!  The hits keep coming, but I will bow to no evil, stay true to my faith and carry on, as He has great and good plans for me, and you, my beloveds.

I had just read the article in Ladies Home Journal that was written by Susan Dey, the ex Partridge, about her cervical cancer and how she knew she had it-her symptoms.  Karl was on a business trip, and I was alone in our house, which had been stress-cleaned by me the minute he left the abode.  I had been having similar symptoms, and as I headed up the stairs to use the ladies, a feeling of foreboding swept over me, like so much dust, so dreadful…..so real.  Shake it off, Michele, my thought cloud read.

And, as fate would have it, I saw the odiferous, grey discharge-which sent me reeling and running to the telephone to talk with my mother.

“Honey, I am sure you are fine.  Just make sure to go to the doctor this week.”  Incredibly comforting, yes.  But I knew………and I was internally combusting at warp speed.  Earlier in the year, I had been diagnosed with HPV-given to me by a long ago boyfriend.  Back in 1998, there was no talk of the vaccination or the virus, really.  Only now does it make sense.  I had no money for the antibiotic, and, being the hair brained procrastinator that I am, I let it go.  Only now, five years later would I be paying for my ignorance.

The next day?  A nurse called me with my pap smear results, which was taken two weeks before.

“The doctor needs to see you to explain the results,” she said.

What do you mean?  I need to speak with the doctor, please tell him to call me.”

“You have cancer,” she said.

With that, I insisted, demanded that I be seen by my doctor.  She had no right to say that, especially over the phone.  I wanted answers, and I wanted them now.  She told me she would call him, and to expect a return call within the next few days.  NOT GOOD ENOUGH.   I in no way think of myself as special, a prima donna, nor do I think I deserve anything more than the average Joe-but I had just moved to the area, and I had been having problems with spotting for over a year.  My gynecologist?

“You look great and your test results are great.” I called him repeatedly, this man who hated women…only to be told the same thing:  “A little spotting is normal.”  I had left him behind in Phoenixville, and the new doctor I was seeing saw it right away.  I wish I had sued the bastard, but hindsight is always twenty- twenty.

The phone rang the very same evening.  It was Dr. Overholt, asking me to come into the office, apologizing for his nurse, apologizing for the news.  As I sat, in paper robe and smiley face socks, I felt more vulnerable than at any other time in my life.  My heart pounded, my hands shook, how could this be?  I had never missed a pap in my life, why wasn’t this caught sooner?  Will I be able to have children?  Will I be able to live a life free of this sniveling coward we call cancer?

He explained to me that I had carcinoma in situ, Stage I, and that he was referring me to a gynecologist who specialized in Cervical Cancer.  I met and loved Dr. Lape from the moment our eyes connected.  He explained that I would have to have a cryosurgery first, and then-a biopsy of my uterus-to ensure it hadn’t spread and to remove the tumor.  His best advice?

“Don’t listen to ANYONE but me.  Don’t go looking for trouble.  Any questions, this is my home phone number.  God bless you sweetheart, we got this.”

And so it was, after  three cryosurgeries (in which the cancerous cells are frozen and destroyed) a biopsy and D&C, that I lay on the couch, my Tylenol #3 and a heating pad for comfort.  My parents took me to my first freezing, and afterwards took me to lunch and tucked me in when we returned home.  I remember feeling as if I had been beaten below the belt, the pain was tough, the recovery tougher.  More cells were found, more cryosurgery.  And finally, freedom.  The freedom that comes with knowing you are free of the dastardly C word.

I was never told I could not have children.  And I didn’t find out until I lost our first child-an uncaring doctor asked me why we didn’t use birth control if I knew I couldn’t carry.  He gave me a script, called it a “spontaneous” abortion and referred me to the local Planned parenthood, where I was given another scraping, and released.

Driving home, it hit me like a ton of bricks.  My girlfriend Annie, not taking her eyes off of the road, shushed my tears.  She held my hand.  She took me home and put me to bed, with a stuffed teddy bear and a sippy cup.

 

See You Around…..

In a galaxy far, far away-in a distinct moment in time, I lost my virginity to a serial date rapist I had been dating.  I was left bleeding and weeping, while he went out to the quad to play Frisbee.  The trauma so daunting, I developed Stockholm Syndrome, and stayed with him until he unceremoniously dumped me in the cafeteria at Villanova.  I was 19, still lived at home, and truthfully I had been saving myself for the man I would marry.  How could this have happened?  Why did I trust him?  I didn’t, but that didn’t matter at the time, as I was broken and unhinged-too wobbly on my feet, no boundaries, just the need to please.

He came to my home in King of Prussia, to take me to his home (mausoleum) in Long Island.  It was Summer break and I thought I was “in love.”  Turns out?  Didn’t know what love was, only now, in my later years do I know love, and that wasn’t it, baby.  Not even close.  His father owned a camp near Gilgo beach, and the house?  I felt as if I was Shirley Temple, you know the movie where she wakes up (she is in a dingy orphanage) and everything had changed.  Toys, dolls and lace everywhere, Shirley awakens to find that she has been dreaming about the orphanage, and that her cozy bedroom, her parents and housemaid are all there, not unlike the Wizard of Oz.  She is home……..home for good.

My room was a fairy tale.  Crystal, bay windows, antiques and Victorian lace everywhere I looked; fresh tulips in a vase, an iced tea at my bedside table.  We stayed for four days, drank wine and did the bone dance, but my heart and soul were elsewhere.  I felt as if I had talked myself into crappiness, drudgery, and heartache:  these were the seeds he planted in me.

Fall comes, and now I am starting to feel safe with him.  He is kinder, even jovial in his walk.  One evening, I raced to his apartment to spend the evening.  He was sheepish.  Wanted nothing to do with me.  Apparently, a new semester meant a new girl, and this time it was my best friend, Mary Lou-also from Long Island, also naïve as hell.

The pit in my stomach told me it was over.  I left his fraternity house in tears, forgot my overnight bag, and phoned him to ask if he could bring it on Monday-meet me for lunch in the cafeteria.  I was going to break up with him, and warn Mary Lou I did, but she didn’t listen.  So, here I am, waiting for Michael to meet me, my stomach in knots because I didn’t like hurting people.  

“Hey.  Sorry to keep you waiting,” he was all smiles, all sunshine and roses.

“Michael, I wanted to talk to you about us,” I said, no laughter in my voice.

I don’t know to this day if he sensed what I was about to say, but I do know that he was finished with me for all intents and purposes.

“Hey, you know, I’m young, and well, I have been dating Mary Lou, and………hey, see you around, ok?”

When I say hell hath no fury, I say it with reverence, rather than fear.  I was livid, beside myself, how could I let him play me like that?  I decided, right then and there…

“Oh, you’ll see me around, alright.”

I proceeded to platonically date each and every man in his fraternity.  Danny Ahern, Matt Ahern, Butch Styles………they took me to concerts, dancing, frat parties, nice restaurants and good company.  I didn’t run into Michael at first, even though that was my plan-to make him jealous.

One evening I took Matt’s arm, dressed in formal wear, as we entered the Bryn Mawr country club.  Have to say, I looked stunning….lol.  I have a picture of that evening, and if I could have seen myself through the photo lens, I might have known I was a looker.  Who isn’t at that age?  But point being-I may have mustered some self esteem, at the very least.

We entered the club by a rose covered bridge, which led us into the main ballroom, and the entire fraternity and their dates, dancing, clinking champagne glasses, the music thrilling to my ears-music was, is and has been my thing for as long as I can remember.  The men were in on the joke-they didn’t like Michael; and as a result they took to me like big brothers, never aware of the rape, just that he dumped me unceremoniously.

“Would you like to dance?,” Matt asked.  He looked so handsome with his tux, the rose boutonniere I had placed on his  lapel, his aftershave so enticing I almost forgot that he was my beard.  It was tempting to fall for him, but alas, we were just friends.  He led me onto the dance floor, me in my floor length black gown, slit up to my thigh……..

“Excuse me, may I cut in?”  It was the man himself, Michael, and he looked none to pleased to see me with his fraternity brother, at his fraternity event.

Matt looked at me, I looked at him.  He squeezed my hand as if to say, girl, this is up to you.

“Why Michael, how dapper you look this evening.  But I will have to pass.  But hey, I’ll see you around, okay?”