Pretty Pretty Please

I’ve written on this subject before. I have a few friends that suffer from depression. Bipolar depression. It runs in my family too. I’m one of the fortunate ones that hasn’t had a problem with depression before. Don’t get me wrong, I have plenty of things wrong with me… RMS (Restless Mouth Syndrome), overly confident, bossy, and the list goes on. But, it’s extremely hard on people with depression as there are days where they don’t feel like they’re enough. They feel as if their world is swallowing them up. They’re in pain mentally and trapped by these voices in their heads putting them down constantly.

I don’t necessarily understand it all but I can tell you it’s hurting them tremendously. My heart aches for these people. I have one friend that I adore. She struggles daily and has had this horrible sickness her entire life. She’s so talented, smart, funny, witty, sarcastic and just overall one of the most beautiful people I know. But yet, she can’t find that happiness and is constantly in the fight with those horrible demons in her head telling her she’s not good enough. I’ve told her in the past to punch those demons in the throat and tell them to fuck off. If only it were that easy…..I’m a fixer. I want to fix people. I want the whole world to be happy and confident and accepting of each other and themselves. Why can’t I fix it? Why can’t we fix ourselves? Life isn’t fair sometimes is it?

Well, maybe this is a little start. This is such a good song and when I hear it I think of my friends that suffer from depression and have such a difficulty getting out of bed and functioning. I hope this helps just a tiny bit today for those who are suffering with depression. With whatever battle you’re fighting whether it’s being body shamed, bullied, not fitting in, not meeting societies standards add this song to your playlist and I assure you it will get you through some tough days. P!nk is such an amazing artist and the words are incredible. So, turn up the volume and remember you’re enough.

As for my friend, whether you believe it or not, pretty, pretty, please, don’t you ever, ever feel like you’re less than fucking perfect.

 

My Bro

This is a very heavyhearted subject for me to blog about. When I blog about family or my past it seems to take a lot out of me mentally and then I turn to mush for 24 hours.

Ever since I started my blog I’ve wanted to blog about him, My Bro. I think his story is despairing but also a bit of a mental survival story.

Since he was born, he was different in many ways. He had blonde white hair and looked so pure when he was a toddler. Almost cherub like? Growing up he said very little. If he did say anything it was a whisper or a mumble. He would mostly talk to me and my Mom. He and my Dad were two complete opposites. My Dad never spent any time with him. It was very sad. It was as if since my brother didn’t talk to him, my Dad thought “what’s the use?”

My little brother  would follow me around as if I were his hero. We would play together with our stretchy incredible hulk, race dump trucks, and remote control cars. I had barbies but I preferred playing with the cool boy stuff that he always got for his birthday and Christmas. We would play Tweety bird and Sylvester the cat…chasing each other throughout the house and knocking things over.

As my parents went through their divorce it seemed to change my little brothers world. He started declining in his grades and getting into trouble at school. My Mom took him to see a psychiatrist and I’m not quite sure what they diagnosed him with at that time. When he got into his teens he would disappear for days and my Mom would call the cops or we would have to try and find him at a friends house. He went through the whole emo stage in the late 80’s listening to the punk rock and alternative music and wearing all black and eyeliner and shit.

He started hanging out with a punk little group of troubled teens. He would get drunk and break into our house at night because he lost his key, forget about knocking. He got in trouble for breaking into a hotel room because the guy in the hotel room owed him money or something. He got sent to a juvenile detention center. My Mom and I thought that might scare him straight, no such luck.

He got so drunk one time we called 911 when we found him passed out with blood on his face and puke all down his shirt. They pumped his stomach and sent him home. My Dad came to see him in the ER that day and said he was done with him. I remember saying to my Dad, “You were done with him when he was 3 years old, what’s different?” At that point my Mom was desperate for help and checked him into a youth mental hospital. They kept him about 30 days and diagnosed him to be mentally challenged, suicidal, and depressed. I remember him denying all of this to us when we brought him home. He said “They’re just typing of some bullshit to get your money Mom, there’s nothing wrong with me accept I like to drink and smoke weed.”

My Mom had done her best to try to raise him to know right from wrong. She had us in church three times a week even though we would fight her on going. But, she also had a lot of boyfriends and would leave myself and my brother alone for weeks from the time I was twelve to eighteen.

When he was 17 he joined the fair and quit school. We begged him not to quit and join the fair but he said there was nothing we could do and that we couldn’t stop him. I remember the next day after he left my Mom took off with a new guy. My Bro called a few months later and we went and picked him up. Shortly after that he was arrested for public intoxication.

He was in jail probably about a month. My Mom  bailed him out. He had to do community service which was at the local animal shelter. From there he stole the animal shelter truck with a credit card in the glove box and picked up a few friends along the way and then headed to the beach. He had a blast I’m sure but got arrested there and was put in jail for several months. This time my Mom, Grandma, etc. refused to bail him out. I know what you’re thinking, good for them. Dude needed some tough love right?

At this point you’re probably thinking he’s a spoiled rotten, selfish, a disrespectful teenager. You see growing up he was in remedial classes at school. He struggled learning and kids would make fun of him. He was such a sweet kid but kids would bully him. I can’t tell you how many times I had to kick some bullies ass for fucking with my brother. He would never fight back. He was too shy, polite,  and insecure. He wanted friends and he wanted to fit in. As he got to be 18 years old he began to grow into this handsome guy. He looked like a combination of Matthew Mcconaughey and Jared Leto. He had dirty blonde hair and the bluest eyes I’ve ever seen on anyone. He always had a golden tan because he loved the outdoors. Chic’s were drawn to him for being mysterious and the quiet type. He always opened a door for a lady and could just look at you and melt your heart.

Now, back to him being in jail in the early 90’s I think it was. My Mom was off with a boyfriend, somewhere tropical and my Dad had pretty much disowned my brother. His thoughts were “I don’t have a son, I didn’t raise him to be a criminal, out of sight out of mind.” Not that my Dad EVER raised either of us. That’s a whole different blog in itself.

It was Christmas. I was 24 years old and my bro was 21 and in jail. I remember picking up some magazines and candy for him that morning on my way to visit him. As I waited for him to come to the glass window to take a seat and grab the phone I couldn’t help but feel brokenhearted that it had come to this. I was about to see my baby brother in jail on Christmas morning. He was all alone and I was alone. Our parents were busy with their own lives. This is where we were in life. I was somewhat successful working at a bank and living on my own in an apartment. I felt like I had failed my brother by allowing his life to turn out like this. There must have been something I could’ve done to protect him better.

As I saw him approach walking very slowly in the orange jumpsuit those big blue eyes were black, gray and purple. His nose was scabbed up and he looked helpless. Immediately I picked up the phone before he could even take a seat. I kept motioning for him to pick up the phone and when he did I said “What the fuck happened to your face?” He of course said “Nothing, don’t worry about it.” I argued back and forth with him pleading him to tell me what happened and he said he really couldn’t tell me because it would just cause trouble for him. He quickly told me to drop it and moved his eyes towards a guard behind him. It was like he was giving me a signal. I dropped it as he asked me to.

I wished him a Merry Christmas and when I did tears started streaming down his face. My bro had only cried once in front of me before which was when he burned his hand really bad shooting fireworks. Very rarely did this kid cry. I said “Are you OK? Why are you crying, are you in pain?” He said “I didn’t even know it was Christmas.” I then began crying. I knew right at that moment he knew he’d really fucked up this time in life. He asked me if Mom or Dad were coming to see him and I told him no. Even though he put himself in that jail my heart was breaking seeing him there on Christmas day with the tears streaming down his face. I can’t describe to you how badly I wanted to “save” him and take all of his pain away. But, I couldn’t.

Come to find out months later I found out through a guard that worked at his jail that two other guards had beat my brother up for accidentally falling asleep in the wrong cell. Again, my brother is special, was never good at school, has some learning disabilities and him falling asleep in the wrong cell is something he would definitely accidentally do. But to beat the living shit out of him for it, fuck that noise. He was kicked in the ribs, punched in the eyes, nose, and sent to confinement for a couple of days.

After my brother was released I had a couple of friends to check in on those guards at their favorite bar. Let’s just say Karma is a fucking bitch. My two friends were some big ass Hawaiian mother fuckers and they grew up with us and they handled it. Nothing wrong with having some friends in low places is there? Revenge is so sweet. My brother would never fight anyone. He’s too nice of a guy for that. Me, I’m vengeful and don’t fuck with my family or friends.

I’m happy to say after he got out of jail, my brother seemed to get his act together. No, he’s not “normal” if that’s a thing but he has his own place, he works as much as he can when he can find work. He has a good group of friends and lives a good life. He kayak’s as frequently as he can and is comfortable and seems happy. I honestly do think he suffers from depression and addiction. He won’t see a doctor or take anything for it but he manages. He’s extremely stubborn and hard headed. He fears doctors because of the past where the doctor’s told my Mom he was mentally challenged. In his eyes, there’s nothing wrong with him.

But, that’s OK, as long as he’s happy, I’m happy. He’s a fighter. He has a creative artsy side to him too. He makes art pieces like statues. He can turn junk into art. He can also rebuild an engine. Although he’s not book smart he is creative and very talented.

My Dad has tried to reconnect with my bro and my bro is polite and speaks with my Dad on the phone and sometimes we do family functions. But, My Dad seems to be trying to make up for lost time. My Dad hurt my brother tremendously throughout life by telling him he’d never amount to anything and how he was disowning him and so on. So, my bro is a bit stand-offish which I can’t blame him. “Out of sight, out of mind eh?” One of Dad’s favorite lines.

Although my bro has given me a lot of heartache and has made some mistakes throughout life…..I’m more than proud of him. Not once did I ever reject him or punish him for what he had done, I stood by him. But, he was rejected his entire life by others that supposedly loved him or cared about him. He beat the odds. He’s the come back kid in my eyes. No one believed in him. No one thought he would live to be 40 years old with his reckless ways years ago. He doesn’t need anyone’s approval to be happy. He’s a strong man. He’s a fighter.

So, if you have a sibling, friend, family member with addiction, depression, and has made some bad choices in life….Don’t count them out just yet.

I’ll leave you with my song for my bro, I remember listening to this on the way home from the jail that Christmas day. I’ll always stand by him and always be there for him no matter what…..

 

You Broke Her

This is not my usual style of blogging but thought it needed to be written. There’s a sense of closure once you blog something isn’t there?

I met her in 1987 – We were sophomores in High School. I knew instantly we would be best friends when she walked into class. Her name was Mia.

She was undeniably magical. She wore Liz Claiborne, the original formula and she was the only one I knew that wore it. She had the prettiest most infectious laugh that made you want to be around her. It was almost like a drug. She always wore black and her scarlet red lipstick. She had freckles on her cheeks and a slight copper edgy bob. She drove a maroon 1986 Mustang GT with T-tops.

We hung out everyday at lunch and after school. We had a ton of mutual friends that were an eclectic bunch of mixed athletes, cheerleaders, punk rockers and ROTC kids. We would ride around for hours listening to Pour Some Sugar On Me by Def Leopard and Night And Day By Al B. Sure and sing at the top of our lungs racing whoever revved up their engine next to us. She knew how to drive to say the least.

After graduation everyone went their separate ways whether it be to college, work, marriage, babies, or whatever. She became an EMT in our hometown and fell in love with a fireman. They soon got married and had two beautiful boys.

We kept in touch via Facebook and whenever I would visit we’d have a girls night out and catch up. A few more years went by and she and her husband called it quits. She had custody of the boys and her ex had them every other weekend.

Mia had a seizure one day while driving to work and was in a car accident. She was diagnosed with epilepsy and lost her job. She moved in with her brother. He was amazing and a helping co-parent with the boys.

This is when her ex husband seized the opportunity to mentally antagonize her. He would constantly tell her she was worthless and had nothing to offer their children or anyone for that matter. He beat her down verbally every chance he got. He would tell her that she was disgusting and asked her one time “Why don’t you just end your life so that we can get on with ours?”

Little did we know that he had said these things to her. Not even her own brother or closest circle knew this. She kept it bottled up until one day she gave up. She had taken all she could from him. She honestly believed she was worthless after he told her over and over again how pathetic she was. He had brain washed her into thinking she was a burden in her mind. She was tired of fighting, begging, and pleading to see her boys.

That day Mia decided to write a note explaining to her loved ones that she had nothing left to offer and how her ex husband brought it to light. She went into detail of the things he had said to her and how painful it had been to hear but how she knew it was true. She said she was sick and her heart was breaking for her boys but she thought they would have a much happier life without her and without the bickering between her and her ex. She wrote each one of them a letter telling them how much she adored them and how she would be watching over them for the rest of their lives.

She took every single one of her medications and by doing so it caused her to have multiple seizures. Her body convulsed so much that it snapped her neck and many of her bones. She died a horrific painful death by the hand of her own and HIS. He broke her into pieces.

Why would anyone EVER put someone down like this? How could someone be so evil? Why didn’t we know? Why didn’t she tell us what she was going through? I often think about these questions and what were the signs that we missed? What IF?

I’m not blogging about this to bring you or anyone down. I’m a very positive, motivating, strong person but I learned a very costly lesson. I wanted to share Mia’s story with you to use this as an example of how we should always be PRESENT in people’s lives that we care about. I also wanted all of you to realize under no circumstances should you EVER allow someone to break you.

You are not weak or worthless. Mia was none of those things. She was an incredible mother, friend, sister, and had so much more to live for. The depression and his evil words broke her down. There was only one of Mia and there is only one of YOU. You have inner strength. You also have people that love you and will be strong for you. Tell them what you’re going through. Let them know you are hurting. They will help build you up. They’ll remind you of what you mean to them and how you’ve inspired them or gotten them through something difficult. We lean on each other.

Don’t you dare hide your pain and suffer alone. Dig deep and fight for yourself. I assure you, you are so worth the fight. Understand that you have so much more inside of you wanting to get out – Let yourself shine. Do not give them the power. We all deserve blissfulness. It might not be happening right this second but it will. Give yourself a chance.

You have wings…spread them and fly! I’m betting on you and I never lose. Pick that beautiful chin up and know you are magnificent. Are you reading this? Are you hearing me? Wake up and look in the mirror and tell yourself “You do not need validation from anyone. You are a fighter and fearless. You have something to offer.”

I hope this helps someone one day. I wish I could’ve said these things to Mia but it’s too late. I didn’t know. I should’ve been there for her and known. I can’t change that. But, I can help motivate and inspire others through my blog.

I loved her and I cherish my memories with her. I’ll never forget her and when I wear scarlet red lipstick she’s with me. She’s smiling and laughing that beautiful laugh of hers. I miss you Mia.