Best Friends

Best Friends

Sunday, December 29, 2013

December Leads to a New Year and a New Life

What a month this has been! Utah became the 18th state to allow same sex marriage! Well, a federal court ruled that the Utah law was unconstitutional... so hundreds of couples ran to get married! Amazing on so many levels! I have numerous same sex couple friends, and some married and now some can plan a real wedding. People camped overnight outside the court in teen temps to be among the first to wed... with supportive strangers bringing coffee and cocoa, I heard about people who had been together for 40 years finally able to marry the person they love! I was in tears over the stories and the excitement of all of it. I have quite a few friends as well who are ordained to perform marriages- and all of them went to the courthouse to help marry people. Utah plans to appeal this ruling, of course... I truly never thought I would see the day that gays and lesbians could marry, they put in for an emergency stay on the ruling until it could be appealed... DENIED! they tried again the following day and the day after that! All denied! They say it is going to cost the state (taxpayers) $2M to fight this! Really? Is it worth all that? a 2 year battle and all that money? Personally I can think of a dozen other places to put $2M in this state!
I was approved for disability this month, very mixed feelings on it but it will be best for me and my family. I also voluntarily gave up my drivers license. Ouch! I don't drive, and I know its just best this way... but a huge part of my mental independence was taken that day. 
Troy and I celebrated 6 years of marriage! We have had our ups and downs, but we love each other so much, and I have learned a lot from my failed relationships... I am determined to make this work and last forever! I have an amazing man who loves me and puts up with so much! Why would I ever think of giving that up?

Christmas day... I cooked! And, I had and felt Christmas spirit in my home! I have never cooked a holiday meal, so that was a big new experience for me, and it was nice! And I can't remember the last time there was a positive energy and holiday spirit in my house. No tears, no alcohol, just happiness! I think my entire attitude about the holidays might be changing! I am honestly looking forward to next Christmas!
Then the day after... we hadn't checked mail for a couple days, roommate went to the mailbox and I woke up to our stack on the kitchen counter. Sitting on top was an envelope addressed to The McCanns, no return address, but I know the handwriting. I was confused and a bit freaked out. I let it sit for almost an hour, wondering why. I finally opened it... a card, from a package, not personally chosen for me, no note or anything, just signed "love Mom and Dad." UGH! Why? Why would she do this? It's been three years since I have had any contact with my mother, why now? Is it a peace offering? Is it that she feels guilty? I have had it made very clear to me that I am not part of the family... no part of the family. Kayla said my mother always (they see Kayla two or three times a year) tells her to tell me hi or she still loves me. Kayla doesn't say anything to me- she kind of feels the same way I do... "you know how to pick up a phone!"
Anyway, I am so excited for the coming year, so many changes and positive things going to happen! I plan to blog again on New Years day about 2013 and 2014. I just needed to vent a bit about how I'm feeling now!
Life is amazing! It is only what you make it, tho! I wish everyone a fabulous 2014 and tons of positive energy!
)O( Blessed Be

Saturday, November 30, 2013

A year in the life...

It has been one year since we moved into our home... and what a year it has been! Probably the hardest year on our marriage, but we got thru it stronger than ever! Battles with our landlord/ room mate, financial trouble, health issues, and so much more! But in the end of the year everything is wonderful!
The past few days I have been looking around and all I can do is ask myself "where did the year go?" I had so many projects, things that needed to get done this year in the house, the garage, the yard... none of which got done! Well, I can't say none~ I did dig a fire pit! I really hope my health allows me to do more next spring and summer. I know financially I will be able to.
So many changes in our life, but most importantly is the fact that we are a family and have a home. Kayla rarely comes home anymore- she is grown up, but when she is here we are a family. And with any luck I will have she and her boyfriend living here with us soon and saving money to be able to be on their own down the road.
When we moved in here, we barely knew Cory- our landlord. After many battles and clashes of personality, we have actually become very good friends and I'm sure we will remain that way for many years to come. We had one dog, Roxy, still a pup when we moved in... today we have 2 dogs, Roxy and Sadie, and a kitten- Lilly, and Cory's cat- Isis. We lost one snake over the year but also gained one, and we still have Malachi, the lizard.
My days are filled with caring for the animals and trying to keep up with house work. I still can't stand the idea of not working, but my health has gotten worse and I finally accepted the fact that I will probably never work again. So craft ideas are what run thru my head these days to keep me busy!
I am so blessed to have the people I do in my life, I couldn't have made it thru this year without my amazing friends, and altho he was part of the problem at times- my husband was also the biggest support I've had at other times this year.
I hope all of you had a wonderful Thanksgiving and have a blessed holiday season no matter what holiday it is you recognize!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

A week of court...

The past week has been full of legal matters for me. Anxiety filled, physically ill, stressful court appearances!
Last week, after 18 months and 2 denials from Social Security, I finally appeared before a judge for my disability appeal hearing. For anyone with anxiety problems- I suggest taking an extra pill before going to one of these! The judge had me in tears and a panic attack or two! The hearing lasted twice as long as I had been told it would, but in the end, not even the end really- he cut short a lot of what was supposed to take place- I was approved! Come to find out the reason I had been denied twice and the hearing was taking so long, was that my medical records from the neurologist I have seen for over 25 years, had been misplaced! They lost half my file and couldn't see evidence that I truly had epilepsy! He finally found them and realized there was no need to go any further, and approved me on the spot.
The government now officially recognizes that I am disabled. I'm really not sure yet how I feel about this. I'm glad one one hand, I will be able to have an income and help support my family... without the nightmare of of battling finding a job and having to quit due to my health problems and going thru job after job. But on the other hand, I have been such a workaholic for my entire life! The idea that this is real, and I won't be returning to the workforce, is a bit depressing. People may say I'm using the system, but those people haven't seen how bad my health situation really has gotten. People may say they are now supporting me with their tax dollars, I won't be getting medicare (altho I am eligible, I prefer to keep the insurance I have thru Troy's employer), I won't be getting food stamps, just disability income. And I worked my ass off for a long time and paid my taxes. As a single mother I worked 2 jobs and rarely saw my daughter because I wanted her to see what a strong, independent woman was! I earned this. My health has suffered from my love of working, and now it's my turn. I hate the idea of Troy having to support me and care for me the rest of my life~ altho I know he will because he loves me so. 
For now I will only see the good of this situation and continue to do what I can when I can, and know that I am financially contributing to my familys well being, not just being the house wife and caring for the home when I feel well. My first priority is to catch up on all my medical bills that I have been unable to pay and all our other bills we have gotten behind on... They are back dating my payments to when I originally filed, so that will be a nice lump sum of cash to catch up on everything! Gonna be nice to not be in debt anymore!
Last week I also had to meet with the DA. I had been issued a subpoena to testify in a trial, which really had me freaked out! Me, in a court room, ummm... NO! So I went in and met with the prosecutor and went over the things I would be asked, she made me feel a little better about it all. And there was still a chance the guy would take a plea the following day. Nope! No plea! Just my luck. So yesterday they sent an investigator out to give me a ride, due to the fact that I no longer drive. He was very nice, helped keep me calm... until we got to the courtroom, and I had to wait. I DID take an extra anxiety pill before this challenging day! But it didn't help... if it did, I would hate to see what I would have been like without it! Almost an hour of waiting in the hall before being escorted in to take the stand. 
Now understand, I am not a fan of courtrooms. Last time I had to be in one was almost eight years ago... and I didn't walk out on my own! I just had to remind myself- this was not about me, this was someone else. I was doing what I needed to, to help a child who has no voice. I was doing what needed to be done to make sure this man is held accountable for the death of his child.
I walk in, raise my right hand, promise not to lie... as I get up on the stand I see two people sitting behind the defense table- his wife and an older woman. Behind the prosecutors? a few BACA members. I get up on the stand and am told the microphone is having some issues so please keep my voice up...
The prosecutor asked her questions, just like we had discussed, then the defense guy got up... GRR! I really wish I could have answered questions with more than a yes or no! I had an entire jury staring at me, and I think they could see how badly I wanted to answer a couple things differently than I did. But I did quite well maintaining my temper... I had to, right?
Anyway, once I got out of there, my "escort" stood outside his vehicle with me so I could smoke and release some of that anxiety, and I felt so much better! I came home and realized... I just did something important. No matter the outcome, which I have some serious opinions about, I still did the right thing.
This Tuesday marks that eight year mark when I walked into that courtroom... a day that changed my life forever, in so many ways! At the time it was the worst possible thing that ever could have happened to me, but today I am grateful for it. I came out of that experience a much better person!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

A Subpoena

So a couple weeks ago I was served with a subpoena. Kinda freaked me out a bit! A zillion things go thru my head all at once. I am being told I have to testify in a homicide case? UGH! Why didn't this guy take a plea? It was a year and a half ago, I really have forgotten the entire ordeal, it was very traumatic for all who were there and I wanted to put it behind me. I was told I may be called to testify, but after a while I figured it had been settled. Wrong!
So all these terrible thoughts of going into a court and getting up on the stand start going thru my head, panic attacks set in. Can I get out of this? No, I know I have to do what is right. This man needs to pay- he needs to take responsibility for killing his child.
Last time I was in a court room- I ended up in prison! Yeah, just a little anxiety going on here! November is such a terrible month for me and this was just what I needed to top it off!
Well, after speaking with my therapist and a couple amazing friends... I will do this, and I will be ok! I realize maybe I NEED this- to put all my past experiences of court behind me. Who knows, it might just help me.
After speaking with the prosecutor, I am feeling much better about all of it. I do still have some anxiety about it, but I know I will be ok in the end. I will be going by myself, that is a bit of a struggle for me, no one I know to look at in the court room when I get nervous, no one to tell me its ok as I walk in.
Well, here comes the worst month of my life... bring it on- I can do this! And do it with a smile on my face, dammit!

Sunday, September 29, 2013

When I was ten, I never would have guessed where I'd be today. When I was 20, I thought I'd be remarried (already divorced once at that point), have some kind of job- probably nothing careerwise because I had skipped my college opportunity (or so I thought). At 30, I was getting to the point that I didn't even know if I'd be alive by 45!
Seven years ago, at age 38, I sat in a prison cell staring at a piece of paper... "Your release date is scheduled for February 21, 2007. What the hell was I going to do? I went into prison terrified and now I was terrified to get out and return to life!
I had worked an amazing job that DID become a career, I DID finally go to college... and now none of that mattered. I was going to be walking out of there and starting my life over, from scratch. Every job I would apply for would ask if I was a felon, I couldn't go into my field of study as a felon- college education- wasted! My career? They couldn't take me back, my FBI background stuff I had gone thru years before, would be a little harder now. What would I do for work? Who would I turn to for friendships? And how the hell would I even start to look for someone to date? Life would never be the same! But I would make the best of it.
Surprisingly, a number of old friends were there for me when I was released, and I got a job by being persistent... not a perfect job, but a job- and I was grateful! Then along came Troy. Wow, could I have been any luckier? Everything just seemed to be falling into place for me! Within a year I was married and promoted at work! Things were really looking up! 
Then my health starts to fail, I lose my job, and my marriage starts going downhill... Today I don't work because of my health and my marriage is on the brink of being over. This is not where I saw myself, this is not where I wanted to be. All I want is to be happy... is that really too much to ask?
In a perfect world, my white picket fence world, I would have a job, my marriage would not be on the brink of divorce, and all the problems causing that~ wouldn't exist! 
So I sit and ask myself why I have depression issues... well, four, going on 5 failed marriages is a biggie! Am I a failure at relationships? What else... oh yes, I don't have a job or a means to support my daughter, let alone myself if that becomes necessary! And of course I can't forget my family... I like to pretend they don't matter to me, but the reality of it is~ I miss my dad more than anything! When I think of all the amazing childhood memories, I get sad that everyone walked out of my life, it does hurt. Would I be contacted if my dad passed away? if my mother were in a car accident? Yeah, I think of this stuff once in a while. 
My head is a mess right now and I'm sure this looks like rambling! I really need to focus on a topic!
For now I am staying positive and focusing on the good in my life. I have my amazing daughter, my two wonderful dogs, a husband who loves me... altho I don't know where we really stand right now, i know he loves me. I have a roof over my head and a landlord/ roomate/ friend who really has become a part of our family.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Has it really been since January since I last touched this blog? Wow, I'm a slacker! It occurred to me tonight that I have failed to continue with what I started this for! I am a survivor of our system, I am free to do as I wish when I wish! And I have some of the most amazing people in my life to support me thru the rough times and celebrate with me in the good times.
This year has been very much up and down. I love our home, but I don't love the situation. I had so many plans for the house and yard this summer, but my health didn't allow me to do any of it! And wasn't able to do much riding either! So am I free? a different kind of free. I am bound by my health, by finances, but I am not bound by bars and fences!
It has been a crazy year, and I think tomorrow I will begin the update of this blog... pics and all!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

SO much on my mind this past couple weeks! Where to begin todays blog...?
Uncle Danny.
 I got a call a few days ago, my dear friend and former mother-in-law (I really still consider her my mother in law), my daughters grandma- her baby brother had passed away. Wow! He would be 57 this Friday! Not the healthiest of men, but not old enough to go!
Uncle Danny was like a grandfather to Kayla, and I have some wonderful memories of my years with the family. As I am preparing for Kayla to get home from work so I can tell her, I realize something... I won't be welcome at any kind of service, I can't call his sons to give my condolences... I am feeling these emotions for the loss of a wonderful man, but I can't share in the family's mourning. You see, Danny's sons are RJ and Brian. RJ and his wife, are the couple who adopted my youngest... so my baby has lost her grandpa. But I have to respect the wishes of the adoptive family, and not come around unless or until invited. OK, so I will be strong and be here for Kayla and my mother in law to cry on, I am good at being that person. Telling Kayla was not easy. But she is not the type to let you beat around the bush and try to be as gentle as possible... if you have something to tell her, just spit it out! She kinda freaked, but seems to be doing better than I expected. Kayla doesn't deal with matters of emotion very well, and I was really concerned. But she is my tough kid! I am not taking this nearly as rough as his siblings or I'm sure his sons, but I have shed a few tears, and I will miss him. Uncle Danny was a sweet and kind man, and he has left my daughter with some wonderful memories. I hope that his own children and grandchildren, and siblings can heal and be able to move forward with their lives eventually. And I truly hope they know how sorry I am for their loss. I love that family and feel as if I am still a part of it to a point.

Rest in peace, Uncle Danny, you are already missed!

OK, so now lets lift the mood a bit! When I was locked up, I had a couple people I was very close to, but for the most part tried not to get to be friends with many people. I had one friend, and I won't use her name here, I'll just call her JBG, she was the one person who could make me smile and laugh no matter how I was feeling, she helped teach me to crochet, and taught me to play spades and othello.  She had been there a little bit when I went in, and was still there when I left... she was one of the long timers, but she did have hope for the future! She was always so happy and positive. I wrote her a few times and then I decided I just needed to put that past behind me and I stopped writing anyone there... so I had no idea when she would be out, or where she would end up.
A couple weeks ago I got an inbox message on Facebook... asking if I had previously used the last name Dunster, and if I remembered her... not a word about where I would know her from, aside from the hint in the name. It has been almost 6 years, I have blocked so much of that chapter of my life! It took me a little bit to remember, but it finally clicked... it was her! She searched and found me! It is such a wonderful feeling to know that I mattered that much to someone. She knew hundreds of women in and out of that place, she has also put that past behind her, but I mattered enough for her to try to find. I have talked to her and texted her but we haven't had a chance to get together yet, and I am so looking forward to that! She is dong amazingly well, moving on with life with her kids and a fantastic job, and yes... the past behind her. There aren't a lot of people who come out of there and do so well, and the three people I keep in contact with- are three success stories! 

I really think that's all I am up for right now... the snow hasn't stopped in days, my health is doing better this week! Good thing, because I'm having a Super Bowl party Sunday to get ready for! Go Niners! Took Kayla to get her hair dyed yesterday... everyone says she looks like a mini me now... not what she wanted to hear! She wants to be herself! but it is beautiful! She is longer a little girl... all grown up with tattoos, dyed hair, and attitude! Making me proud!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

 This is Roxy. She is the newest member of our family, currently 6 months old. She is a lab/beagle mix.
This is our new home. We are very happy to have it! I will post more pics later along with the story of how it was possible!

It's been just over 2 years since I lost my job with Maverik... I was so devastated! Wow, how things change, huh? I am so glad to not be a part of that company anymore! They aren't what they used to be! But it has been a strange 2 years, a difficult transition to being a stay home wife and mom. Such ups and downs... emotionally and financially.
The past month has probably been the hardest on me. My health has been less than ok, causing anxiety and depression issues, which causes more health problems... it has become a vicious circle! I have hopes that if the temps in Salt Lake get above 30 in the next couple weeks, that might help with the depression a bit! My depression has been worse than ever, and it is so very frustrating! Having poor health and not feeling up to doing the things a wife and mother should be doing... just makes me feel useless and so depressed! A month ago I was feeling so good and was even starting to look for a job, crazy how fast things can change! I do have friends who are very inspiring to me tho... Michelle and Dayna both have serious medical issues and always seem to stay on top of the world and so positive about everything, including the future! I really don't know where I would be without the two of them and their facebook posts! Not many people understand what I am going thru, not even my husband, really, so I keep most of it bottled up... I know, that's real healthy, right?
We have been in our home for 7 weeks now... It feels so amazing! I am making plans for this project and that remodel, and all sorts of things I want to eventually do to the place. I figure by the time we are retired, I might have it just as I want it! Our first project has already begun- the addition of a second bathroom! Second project I get to paint the upstairs bathroom! Baby blue just isn't my thing! The dog LOVES having a yard to run around in, and I am so looking forward to summer and being able to entertain friends outside! I am already scheduled to have one wedding reception, for Holly and Matt, in May, and a wedding in August for Sheila and Jared! I am so excited to be able to do these things! 
An old friend from Draper tracked me down and found me on facebook. I am so happy about this! She was really my best friend there, the one who could make me laugh no matter what. She is another success story- an amazing job, raising her kids on her own and doing a great job of it, and not doing things that could get her back there! I haven't seen her yet, but we have talked, and I am so excited to get together and catch up.
Aside from the depression, life really is good right now, and I know things could be worse, so I thank the Goddess for what I do have going for me. Kayla is healthy and happy~ and gets to go to Vegas in March with her dad and grandparents! Yes, Im jealous, but glad she's going to be spending time with them. Troy is ok, but I worry about his health and I have no idea how to get him to see this. Cory, our room mate and guy we are buying the house from, seems to be on top of the world! Has a girlfriend he is just head over heels for and loves having help paying the mortgage! He claims he doesn't like dogs, but... he loves Roxy!
I have no idea when my last post was, I didn't bother looking before I started this... I don't even know if I had mentioned we are buying a house! Anyway... Happy January, happy SuperBowl (GO NINERS!), and happy living!