Most recently, I saw another blogger make a post titled “20 Things About Me” and thought, “I should totally do that”, so here I am. To be warned, this is going to be a very personal, open, and honest post. Some topics may trigger you by reminding youself of things that you may have also gone through. Not everything in my life has been fine and dandy. At 40-years-old, I have been through more tragic situations than most people at my age. Don’t worry, though. Not everything in this post is going to be bad, and I do not want anyone feeling sorry for me. I have been through a lot, yes, but it has also made me stronger and molded me into the person that I am today.
1. I gave my first child up for adoption
It was the summer between my junior and senior years of high school. I went with my cousin to visit her sister in VA. During this time, I took advantage of my freedom and partied, a lot. During one of these parties, I hooked up with a guy and ended up getting pregnant from the encounter. I was more than three months pregnant when my mother finally figured out what was going on with me. By this time, I had already made up my mind what I was going to do. I knew my mother would not allow me to live at home with a baby, and I really wanted to graduate high school and live a life not tied down with a baby. I know that sounds harsh, but I just knew I could not do it on my own. The best thing I could do is bless someone who desparately wanted a child of their own but are unable to conceive. My daughter was born 11 days before my 18th birthday, during my senior year of high school. I spent most of my senior year homeschooled and went back to walk with my class on graduation day. My little girl went to a wonderful family, and I have no regrets. She is now 22 years old and in college. I do not have contact with her, but I hope one day she will come looking for me. The only reason why I know anything about her is that I was able to Google her name. She is beautiful and really looks just like me. She has had a great life, one that I could not have given her myself.
2. I have been homeless
This has actually happened a couple of times throughout my life, but one such instance really sticks in my head. I was living in a small resort town called Seaside Heights. I worked on the boardwalk and shared an apartment with several of my co-workers. Once the season was over, the landlord allowed me and my boyfriend to stay to keep an eye on the property. But, we could not afford the rent on our own and were not allowed to take on more roommates. Since it was a resort town, there were no jobs, and we did not have a car to get us back and forth to the next town over the bridge. We ended up breaking into homes that were not used during the off season and hopping from couch to couch among the few friends that we had. One night, while in one of the empty summer homes, the police showed up. We ended up going down into the crawlspace and hiding until they left. Looking back now, it seems like a low point in my life, but back then I thought it was one heck of an adventure.
3. I have done door-to-door sales
In October of 1999, I joined a travelling door-to-door sales crew. I was in Virginia at the time, but took a Greyhound bus to Salt Lake City, Utah with my boyfriend and one-year-old son to meet up with the crew. I worked for them for more than five years. For the first four years, I worked six days of work selling Advanage the Wonder Cleaner door-to-door while traveling all across the country. I have spent time in 26 different states. We spent winters on the west coast and our Christmas vacations in Las Vegas and Reno. After working long hours for six days a week for more than four years, I started to burn out. I wanted to quit, but my boss did not want to lose me. He offered me an office position, which I kept for almost a year. During this time, my son attended five different elementary schools because of the traveling, so I decided it was time to quit and settle down somewhere. There was a lot of sex, drinking, and drugs in this life. While it was an adventure, I would not recommend that life to anyone. There were crack addicts and alcoholics that have been doing that job for most of their adult lives. It was really sad.
4. I used to smoke weed, a lot
I started smoking weed while I was in high school. Some of my friends and I were such weed fiends that we would smoke out of anything that we could find, whether it be a old dirty can we found in the woods, rolled up in paper from a book, or once we even smoked out of a plastic bubble pipe. The latter was dangerous, but we did not care at the time. We just wanted to smoke. After graduation, I smoked it almost daily. I never smoked weed during my pregnancies, but I always went back to it at some point, just not nearly as heavy as it was before having kids. When I moved down to Georgia, back in 2010, I pretty much stopped smoking altogether and just kept to my cigarettes. I did smoke maybe a handful of times, but it was just not as good as it used to be when I was younger.
5. I have been in several abusive relationships
My first abusive relationship was when I was just 18-years-old. His name was Jay, and he was gorgeous. He had these blue eyes that you could just get lost in. He was, like most abusive men, amazing in the beginning. It was love at first sight. After just a few days of seeing each other, he asked me to marry him. I said, yes. He was funny, handsome, smart, and yes, great in bed. Our relationship seemed great until I discovered he was cheating on me and confronted him about it. He denied it, of course, but I was no dummy…well, not entirely at least. I knew what was up, but I was so in love that I tried to hold on to our relationship anyway. It was after this that he started abusing me. He would beat me like I was a man. He never slapped or pushed. He went straight at me with fists, and he never hit my face, so other would not know what was going on unless I said something. This was also the guy I was homeless with that I talked about at the beginning of this post. At one point, he went to jail, and I was homeless on my own. I finally called my parents and begged to come back home and admitted what Jay had been doing to me. He was not the last to abuse me, but I will get around to that later in this post.
*NOTE* Now, this might get confusing, so I am going to clarify some things. I have a father who is very much alive and part of my life. He is my biological father. Then, I have my dad that died, who I will talk about in a second. Then, I have my dad who is married to my mom now who I call by his first name but refer to as my dad.
6. I watched my dad die
My dad that died was an amazing man. Before he came along, my mother and I bounced from home to home, and she worked multiple jobs to keep a roof over our heads. He was 17 years her senior but an amazing man. He was kind and caring and counted me as his own almost from the start. He married my mom and sold his trucking business in order to buy the home that my mother lives in now. When I was 11 years old, I came home from visiting my father down in Florida during spring break to find my dad that died paralyzed in my bed. Eventually, he was moved to another room, but he never left his hospital bed. He was paralyzed from the waist down from bone cancer. That summer, I helped the nurses take care of him until one morning when I woke up to my mother crying. I walked into his room to find her at his bedside, and he was unresponsive. I just walked up and held his hand. My mother let him know I was holding his hand, and he gave it a light squeeze as he took his last breath. I really did not know how to react. I did not even cry until after his funeral. I could not stand the idea of leaving him there in that casket and never seeing him again. I loved him so incredibly much. I just hope he knew that.
7. I spent five consecutive summers in camp and hated most of it
The summer after my dad that died passed away my mother started sending me to summer camp. It was her way of making up for me missing out on having a summer while taking care of him. The thing is, she sent me for the entire summer. I spent eight weeks each summer there. Sometimes I would go home between the two week sessions, but eight weeks is a long time to be away from my home and friends. Sure, I made some new friends, but a lot of the time it was like being in school. There were cliques and mean girls. I was bullied a lot. I enjoyed a lot of the activities and the couple of friends that I made, but I spent a lot of time on my own or forced to interact with other girls who clearly did not like me. I did not really start to enjoy myself until the summer I got to ride horses for two weeks. It seemed most of those girls were outcasts like me. Then, my summer as a Rangerette where we got to camp and canoe down the Delaware river, and my final year as a CIT. But, the first couple were rough and being sent away for so long made me felt unloved and unwelcomed at home.
8. I was molested by my grandfather and forgave him
I was not sure if I was going to go there, but I decided that it would be good for me to touch on this part of my life. When I was very, very young, my grandfather molested me. I was three or four years old. A babysitter of mine was teaching me about good and bad touching, and that is when I told her about my grandpa. I don’t actually remember, now, what happened back then. I remember saying in court that he tickled me and his hand slipped, but I have no actual memory of the molestation. Over the years, I still had a relationship with my grandpa. I would call him on the phone all of the time when my mother was not home to catch me. He was like my best friend and I could confide in him. I remember when I was around 16-years-old, he apologized to me for what he did. He told me he was a sick man and swore he would never, ever do anything to hurt me again. I forgave him. Afterall, I did not remember him actually touching me. I only know for sure, now, because he confessed by apologizing to me. People who know my story cannot understand how I could forgive him, but all I remember of him is good stuff, the long talks, advice, and lots of love. I think that if I actually had clear memories of the molestation, it would have been a different story.
9. I change my mind as often as I change my underwear
I am laughing at the fact that I just typed that. I am a very fickle person. I get into things, like nail art, and lose interest easily. While I am into something, I tend to get gung-ho over it. For example, at one point, I owned close to 1000 nail polishes. I did the same thing with chunky jewelry, crocheting, knitting, diamond painting, and coloring. If we put my various ever-changing hobbies aside, I change my mind about life things too and often. I might sound downright adamant about something and the next day, I would have thought about it and totally flipped my stance on the subject. All of this is just a symptom of my bi-polar disorder, so the people who know me best have learned to live with it and not hold it against me.
10. I am actually really good at nail art
Nail art is something that I got into a couple of years ago. I am not the best when it comes to coming up with my own ideas, but I am a really good mimic. I can recreate most nail art designs or even some photos. The image below is from the Dr. Seuss book One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish. The design is painted with acrylic paint over a yellow nail polish base. I have actually been accused of using water decals, but I really did paint that by hand. I used to do so much nail art that I would change my nail design four or five times a day. You can follow my Instagram HERE to see more of my nail art.
Thanks for stopping by to read part one of this list. The second half will come out tomorrow. Be sure to leave me a comment letting me know that you stopped by.
Tizzy Says…The most difficult thing is life is getting to know yourself.