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History Repeats 

Sometimes it sucks being a parent. 

So much responsibility. So much pressure to do the right thing. 
Not ever feeling that I am doing anything close to right. 
It sucks even more, the second time around. Raising grandchildren is tough. 
Looking into their eyes and seeing their confusion. Feeling their pain. 
Trying to act like life is normal, trying to believe that everything will be okay. 
It’s not normal or okay. 
It’s not fair. 
“Do I have a father?”
“Do I have a mother?”
The questions were expected. The answers were simple. 
The ongoing conversations are not simple. 
Dealing with abandonment issues, mental and emotional health and substance abuse is more complicated than I can explain and harder than I can handle. 
I did it once. With their mother. I’m still doing it. I’m being tormented by her burdens, her addiction is my pain too. 
Every waking moment is filled with sadness and fear. 
The youngest one’s father is somewhere. Addicted. 
The oldest one’s father passed away at 19 from an overdose. 
I wait every day for their mother to be next. 
As much as her constant calls and texts asking for money send my heart sinking into my stomach, the days that go by without hearing from her are harder. 
My mind starts to wander. I imagine where she might be, what’s she’s doing or if she’s doing anything at all. 
Is she still breathing? 
I look at her children and see her. In their actions and words. In their struggles. 
I can’t put into words the intensity of my concern and despair. 
People have always called me strong. 
I’m not feeling strong. 
I’m feeling weak and helpless. 
Running on empty, hoping beyond hope that I can get through this, that we all can get through this. 
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Ashes In My Coffee, Whiskey In My Tea

Ashes in my coffee 

I’ll drink it anyway
No time to make another 
Already hate this day
Alarm didn’t wake me
Running late and then
The dog ate my breakfast
Slowly count to ten
Trip down the stairs
Drop the phone, stub my toe
Straight back to bed 
Is where I want to go 
Morning traffic is awful
‘Pick a lane! ‘Let me merge’ 
Screaming in my head
Insanity on the verge 
Time ticking slowing
Can’t wait for night 
When everyone is sleeping
Then I’ll be alright
I just want to rest
Oh my aching back
Finish up one last thing 
Now I can relax
This day is finally over 
Put some whiskey in my tea
“Medicinal purposes”
Always works for me!

Playing Hooky 

“I need a day off.”

The Six Year Old says, in her angry voice, only minutes after coming downstairs this morning. 
“Okay”, I was quick to answer. 
I can tell this isn’t going to be a good day. I need to attempt to ward off a mental and emotion disaster today. 
I need a day off too.
A day off from trying to act like it’s normal to be responsible for my grandchildren. 
I know I’m probably teaching her to be irresponsible, that it’s okay to just stay home when you feel like it. To not pick yourself up and do what your supposed to do. Even when your having a bad day. 
We’ve been having a lot of bad days. 
I’m tired and frustrated. I’m overwhelmed and depressed. 
She’s angry and defiant and confused. 
It was alright at first. When she was a baby and then a toddler. Her days were busy with routine, playing and laughter. 
When she started preschool she was cheerful and social. Everyone loved her. Even the parents of the other children thought she was awesome. Her teachers had nothing but praise. 
Then she noticed that we were different. The questions started. “Do I have a mom and dad?” “Where are they?” We replied with brief, matter of fact answers. Those were sufficient at the time. 
Around that time she also started acting out. Temper tantrums and angry responses. Extreme negative reactions to minor disappointments. 
I spoke to her pediatrician, a psychiatrist and her teachers. They all said the same thing. That her behavior was normal. They said structure, discipline and positive reinforcement would ease her through this “phase”. That sounds like a good plan, but we were already doing those things. 
We tried so many things, always trying to be consistent with each additional method. 
That’s difficult with three very different adults in the house; myself and two of my grown children (her aunt and uncle), but we try.
We all also have our own issues we are dealing with. That’s adding to the tension, I’m sure. 
We’re not that unusual, many households are made up of non traditional families. Knowing that fact doesn’t make it any easier. It doesn’t make it all better. 
No matter what we do or say, we are not her mom or dad. 
Now that she’s in kindergarten, things are worse. We often get notes from the teacher, the principle and the bus driver. I worry about what will happen every day. Will she misbehave in school? Will the bus driver have to speak to her? Will she fight with the other children? Is she being mean to them? Are they teasing her? Will she get off the school bus crying again? 
I’m sad for her. 
I’m angry at her parents. 
I’m sorry that I can’t fix this. 
We are working hard to remain positive and encouraging, to not allow all the bad to spill over into any of the good that can be. It’s a challenge. 
Play therapy is on the agenda for her. I’m hoping we can work through this and she will once again, be the happy little girl she deserves to be.  

Letter to My Teenage Self 

Dear Teenage Self,

We need to talk. There is so much I want to tell you, but I’ll keep this short and as sweet as I’m able. 

Smile. You’re beautiful. 

Take care of yourself. Exercise. Stop consuming enough food to feed a family of four. Eat more than your parakeet. 
Eating disorders suck. 

Always remember how much you hate cigarettes, if you forget, they will own you one day. 

Turn up the music you love so much and dance. Grab onto every opportunity you get to have fun. I don’t want you to miss any. 
Be happy, don’t let depression win. 

Be patient with Mom. She’s sad a lot and angry. She’s distant. It’s not about you, so stop taking it personally. You will one day understand, all too well, what she’s feeling and how hard it is to cope with so much pain. 

I’m so proud of you for standing up for yourself, for telling the person who wanted to hurt you, “no”. That was a very brave thing to do. Keep that fighting spirit, you’re going to need it. 

Prouder still of the way you forgave, that’s something most adults struggle with. Forgiveness doesn’t excuse anything, it gives closure. You need to forgive yourself too, for those feelings of guilt. It’s not your fault. Never again feel responsible for anyone else’s bad behavior. Never. Again. 

You tried hiding behind that sheer lace hooker worthy clothing, but that didn’t work for you. I’m so glad it was just a phase. So glad you stopped lying to yourself about freedom and comfort and dressed for the person you really are. Tee shirts and jeans suit you. Cowboy boots are awesome. So are undergarments. Keep wearing them. 

Enjoy every moment in those Calvin Klein jeans, they will pass quickly and you will never be a size 6 again. 

You will also never be as confident and intent on what’s right and wrong. Black and white will fade to shady grey areas as you travel through the life that’s ahead of you. Try to keep your focus. 

Hold on to that trusting spirit, but keep your eyes and mind open as well. Not everyone will have your best interest at heart. But don’t be afraid to let the right people love you. Don’t shut out the good ones because the bad ones hurt you. 

Your intuition is always right. Listen to it. 

Say no to the dress…and the ring, and the marriage. He may love you, but he’s damaged and he’s going to break you. 

Beware of all men who sweep you off your feet, the landing can be painful. Roll with the punches, they won’t hurt as much. Know when to fight and when to walk away and don’t look back. 

Move to NYC, the city that never sleeps will go nicely with your insomnia. Learn to play the piano. Take pictures. Your dreams are perfect and special because only you can see them. You will regret not doing what you long to do and your soul will ache for all you missed. Don’t let that happen. 

You really do have all the strength and power you need. Know it. Feel it. Use it wisely. 
Keep writing. Your words matter. You matter. 
You are intelligent and inspiring…and I miss you dearly.

Your Older Self  
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Closure is Overrated

You know when you’re feeling stressed and confused and you know you’re going to say too much or the wrong thing but you open up anyway because you want to be honest and it all backfires and then you feel even worse plus you’re mad at yourself for breaking your own code of silence by saying things people don’t understand or want to hear and then you can’t stop rambling on about it to yourself in your head and writing run on sentences?

Yeah…that just happened.

…and then I continue to text.

Because it wasn’t enough to torture just myself by ruminating and so I felt the need to share the scattered thoughts that ran the full gamut from “I love you” to “fuck you” and all the things in between and I frantically pounded them out on my keypad through anger and tears with the hope and meaning to explain and clarify but reaching no other end then to unequivocally confirm my emotional instability.

Just in case there was any doubt.


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Who Doesn’t Like Free Stuff – Giveaway

I’m having a real live giveaway here on One Valium at a Time!
No, your can’t win any anti-anxiety meds. You’ll have to get those the legal way.
What you can win is this amazing coffee mug from National Etching.


As you probably guessed by their name, they have more than just sassy mugs.
They do custom etching on glass and crystal for any occasion. You can even get special group pricing for your school, non-profit or community organization fundraisers.

This is me and my mug.


That’s my morning face.

This mug will not only hold my coffee, it will hold a special place in my heart forever.
It’s my very first blogging “paycheck”!
I earned it for featuring National Etching on my blog.
That’s right, I work for mugs (and any other free stuff anyone wants to give me).

You can get yourself one just like it,
or this one..


All you need to do is:
1- Leave a comment on my blog post or this post link on my Facebook page.
2- Head on over to National Etching on Facebook and “like” their page. Tell them I sent you and be sure to check out all their other amazing stuff on their website.
3- Check back right here Saturday October 25 2014 to see if you’re the winner.

Good luck!



Let Me Be Random

Let me be random.
I talk about nonsense.
In detail.
I like trivia.
Sometimes I need to be quiet, sometimes I need you to be.
I have quirks and habits.
If they don’t hurt you,
Let me keep them.
They’re mine, you have your own.
Let me and my coffee have our alone time.
It’s special to me.
I need transition time.
I like rain and night time. The moon, the stars, the calmness of the night air.
They help me think, and feel alive.
I slip into melancholy comfortably.
It fits.
I get lost in poetry…and then find myself there.
I like old movies and good books and bad television shows.
I laugh a lot.
I cry more. I sigh…loudly and often.
I bite off more than I can chew.
I’m noncommittal.
I’m indecisive.
My yes and no are followed by question marks,
or replaced with “I guess so” and “I don’t think so”.
My walls are high.
Don’t tear them down with brute force.
Look for the door,
And knock gently.
No hostile takeovers allowed.
I hate being pressured.
Or judged.
I’m an open book, but I’ll slam your fingers between the pages if you don’t respect my story.
I don’t have time for that.
I have issues.
No need for introductions, we’ve met.
I’ll send them on their way when I’m ready.
Don’t make anything about me more important to you than it is to me.
Walk away if you need to.
Stay if you like.
I’m tough, I’m strong.
I’m fragile and weak.
I need understanding and love,
Acceptance and comfort.
Lots of comfort.
I want relief from the pain.
Release from expectations that I can’t meet.
I’m under construction.
Wear your hardhat, and beware of falling rock.
I will let go of my mistakes…
And you, if you keep bringing them up.
When I push you away, don’t take it personally.
It’s me, not you.
Unless your being an asshole.
Check yourself before you call me crazy.
I have wide personal space boundaries.
If I let you cross that line,
You are special.
Know this.
Even if you don’t feel it sometimes.
I’m angry and hurting and frustrated.
Let me feel my feelings.
In spite of the struggles I fight,
I’m understanding.
I’m empathetic.
I give second chances,
More than once.
I trust until given a reason not to.
Cherish that.
It’s a delicate thing.


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