Monday, December 28, 2015

Leonard Cohen - Hey, That's No Way To Say Goodbye

It feels like there was so much loss this year.  But when I look back I really only ("only") lost my relationship with Boston and my Nany passed away.

If I had it to do again, if I had known it would be my last conversation with Boston, I probably would've said a lot of mean-spirited and over-dramatic things.  Things he would have hated to hear.  Maybe that's why he doesn't pick up the phone anymore.  He was the first one to point out that I can be incredibly cruel when I'm hurt (flaw #1983).  But I would have said a million soft things too.  About how he saved me by teaching me I could save myself.  About how he showed me the light and the way out of a terrible marriage.  About how grateful I was for him loving my boys.  About how I wanted to always be his friend because there were jokes only HE would get (sexy chipmunk man?) and no one would ever listen to me rant politically the way he did.  About how he was the very first person to say "smart" when he described me to other people.  And how special that made me feel.  About how I would always love him in a way I could never love anyone else.  About how I hear in my head a thousand times a day, in that stupid accent, running commentary on things I read or watch or say, etc.  Just that I would always love him. I would whisper it over and over so he would always know there was someone who did.  I wouldn't do silence as our final goodbye.

If I had it to do again, if I had known it would be the last time I would talk to my Nany, I would ask her approximately 4790 questions.  How do you make Heavenly Hash?  Why is it better than all the fruit salad on the planet?  How did she keep going on, carrying around her love for Eddie in her heart?  How did she keep laughing after all that had been done to her?   Why were Jonna and I in that raft singing "Key Largo" in the living room?  What was the key to surviving all she had been through?  Would I make it?  Did I have her true grit?  Would I ever be the kind of woman and mother and person she was?  How?  I would tell her that my boys carry her twinkle of laughter in their eyes, that it's impossible that it's genetic, but somehow it just is.  I would tell her that I never could have come this far without her.  That her and my Jersey Mama somehow saved me from whatever trauma I went through and pulled me out the other side, not much worse for the wear.  I would tell her I loved her until I couldn't breathe anymore.  We would all get on the phone and chant it like a mantra.  She would scold me for crying and insist we laugh at something.  She would tell me to keep trying to get Joshie Mark on Ellen.  She would tell me just to keep putting one foot in front of another and when all else fails, put on a movie for the kids and take a hot bath, they'll be fine Erica.  She would tell me I was stronger than I knew, she would tell me to take care of Cassie and Jonna and tell them to take care of me. And through it all I would just keep whispering, with my kids, "I love you, Nany".

But we don't get to know when the last time we talk to a person will be.  So, I suppose we should act like each time is the last time and mind our tongues (I'm talking to myself here, Hurt and Mean Eri).

Saturday, December 19, 2015

What I've learned about myself....

Been going to see my therapist Judy for a little while now and I've noticed some things.

1 - I used to think I was always right and didn't care what anyone else thought, I'd plow over them without even thinking twice and get my way.

2 - I have to stop thinking things are going to go how I want it to, not everything works out how you want it to.

3 - When I feel dejected and down, I always put the people around me down so I can feel superior to make up for the let down.

4 - I will no longer take anything or anyone for granted. Because they could be gone in half a heartbeat.

This is just a few things, I am sure there are more but at this time it's all I got.

Things with Kevin and I are going well. I have found I have done a few of these things to him and will catch myself seconds afterwards. He is very understanding because he did research online about bi-polar for me, A.D.D. for Eric and Autism for Sebastian. Hopefully it will help him understand what happens on a daily basis. I am shocked he didn't run for the hills after realizing he's got 3 different mental disorders with my family.

We seem to be growing closer every time we are together, I'm working on trust with him.. scares the shit out of me though.


Saturday, December 5, 2015

You may not want to read this.

My personal note to the Government of the United States....

To start this off, I no longer believe main stream media... I exclusively go to this website:

First off Obama is so out of touch with the world.... he's in denial and really needs to have some sense shaken back into him.

Dear Government,

Now that people are being killed everyday, it is no longer a shock to me... I do still shake my head and say "what is wrong with people". I can only hope and pray you are not over exaggeration these tragedies.

Call me a conspiracy theorists if you want, but if you are trying to desensitize us to these horrible and terrible acts as we have been to the nudity and sexuality on TV you are sorely mistaken. I don't own a gun, but if you take them away the criminals will still find a way to get one.

With that being said there is nothing you can do to stop criminals from getting them and the rest of us will be in more danger. It's like prohibition, people still got alcohol.. enough said.


A mother of a special needs child who wants a better world for him, not one run by people who treat us like a lesser human being.

P.S. I know what you are trying to do to this country and the world I can only pray I have died of old ages of natural causes, not by you poisoning my food or killing me because you think I know too much before this all happens and sucks the happiness out of everything in this world.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

"We're all we've got on this bouncing ball"*

There are a lot of things the political/news junkie in me would like to say about the shooting in San Bernardino.  But today is not the time for that.  Today is the time for us to heal as a nation.  To embrace California, the way we've embraced Fort Hood, Colorado, New York, Paris, The Pentagon, those amazing people and their families from Flight 93, and a dozen other locations and hundreds of thousands of other people over the last 20 years. Today's the time to smile at your husband and laugh with your kids.  To hug and kiss and cuddle.  To think about the things that makes your family uniquely special and to honor and cherish that.  To grieve for a nation that has come to this.  That has fucking come to this.  

Look, it's no secret that I've got the rage of a thousand furies and most people would tell you that my first instinct in every situation is "fight", not flight.  But the other side of that is that somehow I do compassion really freaking well.  And right now, we have a nation in mourning.  I believe, if my old lady  memory serves that this is the deadliest shooting since the 12 dead at the Dark Knight shooting and the 13 dead at Fort Hood.  Whoever is responsible, whatever their motivation, whatever the answers are, let's leave that for another day.  I believe strongly in that (paraphrased here) quote about not hardening our children to go into a hard world, but softening our children to bring love into a hard world.

Last night, the house was thick with anxiety because I just can't walk away from the news, no matter how badly my anxiety (and my counselor) says I should.  My oldest son, who understands anxiety in a way no child should have to, brought me a mug of chamomile tea in my Edgar Allen Poe mug.  "To soothe my savage soul", I said as I pulled the child who is taller than me into my lap for a long snuggle.  He nodded, solemnly, my so serious at times, and yet so silly at other times, compassionate, protective Mama's boy.  "Why are you special?", I asked him, as I've done hundreds, if not thousands, of times.  "Because I'm the kid who made you a mom", he said, a smile brightening his serious face.

Today, I woke up early, troubled by nightmares and the news and just generally restless.  It's not an unusual place for me to be.  When Joshua got up, he ran out to snuggle me first thing and asked me, "Mama, J-O-Y, what does that spell?".  They're learning reading and word sounds in pre-school and he's obsessed with his spelling, not unlike his mother at that age.  I tried to figure out where he might've seen that specific word, however, as it is not a common word.  I looked around at the Christmas decorations and didn't see it anywhere.  I told him what it spelled and what it meant and he repeated it a few times, committing it to memory before trotting off to wake his brother.  

Later, on, I picked up my baby, my freaking 4-year-old-where-does-the-time-go-baby, from Headstart where he shines like the star he is.  Where he is a miracle in the lives there, just like he is a miracle in the lives here.  He ran to me and jumped into my arms almost breaking my old lady hips.  He proudly exclaimed, "Mama!" and then immediately laid his head on my shoulder and sucked his thumb.  This has been his gesture since he was a baby that he is truly comfortable with someone, a sign from my baby that he fully trusts and loves someone and is happy to see them.  He chattered all the way home and when we got home, David forgot and opened he door to our building before my Joshua Mark could.  There was a bit of a scuffle as we all walked back outside so Joshua could be a proper gentleman.  It is one of his favorite duties in his life's mission to be chivalrous and proper.  Then, as we climbed the stairs to the mf'ing 3rd floor  he ran ahead a few stairs and turned to wait for me and when I got to the right level, he leaned against me, hugging me and again grabbing and sucking his thumb, letting me know, without words, "Hey Mama, I love you, all is right in our world for the moment".

So I guess I told you these stories because I want to make sure they're captured.  I want to make sure to honor my over-protective 11 year old who brings tea to me before the tears come.  Who has grown so responsible and mature in the last year.  Who has been compassionate since he was 2 or 3 years old, and oh, please God don't let him ever lose that.  I guess I want to honor Joshua Mark who is a billion questions and sometimes I just want to snap because who has answers to all these questions and I'm just a mom trying to do my best y'know?  But then he asks a question like "J-O-Y, what does that spell?"  And who can snap at that?  I guess I want to give you, yes you, something to smile at if, God forbid, you don't have something to smile for.  I guess I want to encourage you to share your own smile-through-the-tears-moments in the comments.  And I guess, for today, I don't want to think about the world outside my own.

*Today's blog title comes from the family song, The Riddle.  Of course.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

We all live with the scars we choose

I've been a Sugarland fan *forever*.  Nathan, too.  This song's from one of their later cds and it's always really hit home for me, being the quirktastic, largely unloveable geek I am.  "If you want it, come and get it, but you take me as I am."  I'm not going to change.  No more, never again, not for anybody.  And I want to make sure that I impart to my kids that they never have to either.  Rock out with your quirk out, y'all.

So yes, I love too much, but I'm clingy. I'm passionate, but overdramatic.  I'm empathetic, but scarred.  I laugh too loud, but I cry too loud too.    I'm optimistic, but I live in the shadows of my own torment. I have a close relationship with Christ, but I'm troubled by today's religion.  I'm loyal, but I dig my heels in on everything else too.  I'm quick to love, but quick to anger too.  I'll put up with almost anything you can throw at me, but when I'm hurt I'm mean with a vicious sharp tongue.  I am a whole person, truths, great qualities and flaws just the same.  I know exactly who I am.  And I'm learning, maybe too slowly for some people's tastes, to be okay with it.

"I'm slow to trust but I'm quick to love, I push too hard and I give too much.  I ain't sayin' I'm perfect, but I promise I'm worth it.  Now I'm standing here in front of you, tell me boy, what're you gonna do?"

Monday, November 30, 2015

They Made Me Partner

     Even as I write this, I am not completely sure what that means.  I have an idea, I have my bloated ego hopes, but I am not exactly sure how this is going to benefit my life in the long run aside from bragging rights. Sorry, I will back up for a second.

     I started working for this company about four months ago.  I had filled out tons of applications, perfected my resume, taken several classes, read more resume tips and tricks than I will ever remember.  I spent more than 12 hours a day EVERY day on this computer trying to find a job that would justify quitting the one I had.  Every day the guilt was building up.  Why didn't I just let it go.  It wasn't the first time someone completely ignored everything I had done, or decided to bypass my complete and utter devotion, and jump to the most obvious conclusion.  Not even the second or third time actually.  But I have evolved right?  I needed to stand up for myself, I needed to realize that my efforts were being wasted there.  I needed to stop spending so much time devoted to someone, something, that took me away from my family so much.  So I did, I left it all behind.  Yes, I took the cowardly way out.  I let a coworker know I would not be back.  I didn't have the guts to face my accuser.  I knew I was standing up for my own dignity, but I also knew that if I faced her, I would cry.  I hate crying in front of someone when I am trying to be dignified.  I can't be strong when I have been so hurt.  I hate that about myself.  I did nothing wrong, and I couldn't even muster up the courage to face her, couldn't tell her that face to face.  But I left, future unknown, security of my babies hanging in the balance.

    I opened an email my mom sent me about 3 weeks into this intense job search.  I could tell about half of it was bullshit scams.  But there was this one page that seemed legit.  Online freelance jobs.  So I signed up.  I filled out the profile page.  I entered my resume, added some examples of the awesome stuff I had done in my previous jobs.  I applied for a few jobs, then a few more, then a few more.  NOTHING.  It's not that I wasn't qualified, but I was competing against dozens of "freelancers" from other countries that underbid me by more than 50%.  How was I gonna compete with that.  I finally ended up landing a job for a compliance caller.  I was elated.  Then I realized every single person who applied, got hired.  Fine.  It's cool.  At least I will get a little bit of money this week.  So I did it, but I kept submitting proposals for various jobs.  Some were just short, quick jobs, others were long term, but it didn't matter.  I had read blogs about this, forums, help pages.  I mastered all skills required according to the world wide web.  Still.....nothing.  FUCK!

     It had been almost two months since I quit my job.  Savings was gone, even the miraculous discovery that child support had been paid, and collecting, well that was running out quick.  Then one night after a school event, I decided I needed a drink.  I needed a break.  My every thought was how to make myself stand out, to market my abilities, to sell ME.  But all the while, abiding by the hundreds of guidelines I have studied and memorized.  So a few shots in, I threw it all into the wind.  I decided that being the cookie cutter applicant wasn't working.  I had done EVERYTHING by the book. EVERYTHING. Well guess what, the BOOK fucking sucks!!!  So in my half inebriated state, I chose a posting for a job that sounded cool, one I knew I was totally capable of rocking at, and I proceeded to write a proposal straight from ME.  No guidelines, no rules. JUST JEN.  I'm not gonna lie, that proposal kicked some serious ASS!  It was even better the next morning when I read it sober! HA, yeah I am just fucking awesome.  Then I waited.  I didn't stop applying, or submitting resume's, but I was still waiting.  NOTHING.  WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH PEOPLE!!???  Why is it so hard to make people see how fucking awesome I am!?  I just didn't get it.

     So I forgot about it.  I kept trekking on.  I managed to get a couple more little jobs that gave me at least some pocket change.  But I was frustrated beyond all reason.   I started applying for anything and everything now.  I got hired.  I got hired at a call center, which was great, because I like call centers.  But I got hired making less than I was at my old job.  Whatever, at least it's something, I will just keep looking while I am at least making a paycheck.  Then I got hired again, at another call center, making 5 bucks more an hour than I was making at my old job.  Only thing is it was 25 miles away, and working nights again, which again, meant I would never see my kids.  But I am bad ass! I will get promoted quick, I will be able to get a better schedule, and this is just a bump in the road right? A bump that will lead to much better things.  Yes.  I took my drug test, turned in all paperwork, set to start in a week.  Monday. This is the start of new things for us.  I was excited! Of course that would be too easy.  Because why? Oh yeah, because you are Jen, and life is just not that easy!

     Saturday night, YEAH, SATURDAY NIGHT, who the fuck is working Saturday night??? But yes, Saturday before I started my new high paying job I got an email from the dude who saw my cocky ass, ego filled, drunk written proposal.  First he complimented my awesome writing. Of Course. HA! Then proceeded to tell me that he thought I was an excellent fit, however, he was worried that the fact that I was a "Rock Star" might mean that I would be over qualified, and that worried him, due to the fact that I would expect more from them than they could give me.  SIDENOTE: Part of my pitch was that I was NOT a customer service representative, I was a Customer Service ROCK STAR.  I wasn't sure what to say.  Do I try to convince him that I would be worth it in the long run and risk this great paying, albeit neglect my family, job.....or do I risk taking a slightly lowering paying job that meant being home, ALWAYS?  HAHAH!! Of course I take the risk! I wouldn't be me otherwise.

     So I have spent the last 4 months doing things I have never done.  The business that hired me, was not established.  Not even close.  They had a great business plan, they had enough money to pay me every week, and they had great ideas.  I have put in tons of hours, yet, I have also been allowed to make the schedule, allowing me to take my kids to and from school, attend school events, make doctors appointments, and pretty much everything else I need to do.  FUCK YES.  Until one of the 2 owners ran out of money.  Apparently things don't always go according to plan.  Profit was not being made, shit was just not working like it should.  But that's because I was being limited, not able to help in places that I was pretty sure I could.  Funny thing about running out of money, you get desperate.  They got desperate.  In 3 months since things should have been running right, we have managed to close a deal.  Yeah, that's right 1!  One deal has been closed.  But that was before the ROCK STAR took over.

     Total and utter desperation finally gave me the opportunity to shine.  I know you didn't forget, but I just need to say it deal in 3 months.  Jen took over 2 departments.  Customer Service was already in the bag, cuz that's just how I roll.  Human resources was a disaster, I fixed that.  But we can't make money without marketing. Marketing is the HEART of this business.  I took that over Monday.  Today is Sunday.  I have never marketed in my life.  Today is Sunday.  Yeah I know I said that already.  I learned marketing on Monday.  I closed my fifth deal today.  I closed my first on Friday. Saturday they made me partner.  They made me partner.  I repeat it because quite honestly it still hasn't sunk in.  I am part owner in a company that I am fully capable of running, and not just that, but making successful.  They made me partner. 

Sunday, November 22, 2015

what I'm scared of....

I'm scared of being home alone. But with the kids I have to be super careful they don't realize it. When it's cold outside and dark so early now if I am not inside away from the windows, I will notice it and my paranoia will kick in. I don't know how anyone can live by themselves, but I am not one of them.

Losing Kevin. I have lost 2 guys to my "supposed" female best friends and now I can't bare the thought of losing him. But the best think about losing them is first off realizing they never really loved me and secondly I would have never met Kevin.

Losing another pet I was so close to. It has been over a year and I still cry over my champion Scout. I think it's because I never had such a close bond to a pet in my life. He was one of the family and was treated as such all the time. I miss my cuddle buddy on the cold nights, I miss how he'd howl with me. *sigh*

Having one of my kids go missing. OMG, I've had nightmares about this many times, mostly about my youngest Sebastian. It almost came true at Darien Lake a few years ago when we lost sight of him... he had wandered off to watch the Viper, which he's obsessed with Roller Coasters. I was so upset, I never let him out of my sight ever again... he's 9 now but I won't let him out of my sight even now. (well obviously I don't follow him into the bathroom or to school, but you know what I mean!)

I really have a lot I am scared of, even as an adult. I have my fears, a few typical of a mother and others that are probably from the past.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Realized something today....

I totally forgot to take my medication this morning... by the evening I was already starting to get emotional, I could tell. I was being needy, whiny and wanted my way... wanted to be the center of attention.. confirmation and to be reminded of why I am important... thought that no one would care of notice if I was gone...

BUT, the big news is I knew what was causing it and didn't let it bring me down. I stuck out the night with my friend, came home, showered and decided I needed to write this down.

Apparently my therapy session are helping with something!

Thursday, November 5, 2015

a little bit of a good time..

Tomorrow I am leaving with Kevin at 6am, to drive all the way to Michigan. His mother moved last week from California to Michigan, so I am going with him to help with unpacking more stuff. I am very excited as I have never been to Michigan, I think it will be great. Can't wait to see the scenery on our way there.

I am just a little nervous meeting her though. We will have to see what happens. Then Sunday morning we are driving back.. I don't know how I am going to feel about going back to "real life" after that but oh well.

Everyone keep us in your thoughts for a safe trip!

Monday, November 2, 2015

Today has been an awful day....

... one of those days where you just want to crawl under the sheets and do nothing. Last night I had trouble sleeping.. today I had pointed out I made a HUGE mistake and this big order of almost 1K gone... refunded lost... oh great.

I don't ever want to post the truth again... it hurts me by hurting people. I've already said this many time, this is why I go home and just stay there... I always hurt  people.. even if I am just trying to understand them and ask a lot of questions... or if I feel left out, or if I feel ignored, or if I feel bad, sad or miserable.

I quit, that's all there is to it. I am too much to deal with, I know this... no wonder my husband and I are getting a divorce, I'm getting worse instead of better... I don't know where to go from here.


Sunday, November 1, 2015

Secret Chapters

There's this internet meme going around: "Adele got me missin a man I ain't even dated".  This song is killer.  I'm 6 months or so out of my painful breakup, 6 relatively silent months and hearing this song still sent me for a loop. Don't misunderstand:  I've got a great guy that I adore with everything I have, someone who really loves me and the boys and who is able to really be here.  That's not even scratching the surface on him or my relationship with him and why it works and why the one with Boston didn't.  And maybe people believe you should take your new life and your new love and never look back.  I know people who can do that. And maybe if Boston had been less of a man, less of my life, less of the pieces I eventually used to piece myself whole, I could do it, too.  I learned a lot about myself breaking up with someone I loved so much.  I learned I don't let go of certain things, I can't just wash away my story with him and not have parts that haunt me, parts that still course through my veins like life-blood and visceral proof of just who I am.  And that's okay.  In losing myself in him, I found myself and got out of a terrible marriage where I was so unhappy I ached every single day.  And I know D understands:  He can see the ghosts and shadows that cross my face when I look East or put on my Boston hoodie.  Falling in love with Boston was so much more than just falling for a man.  It was pieces of recognizing what I deserved and learning the strength to ask for it. It was pieces of learning to love a city, this small town little country bumpkin, a city I will always love.  It was learning new interests and rekindling old interests and laughter and tears and more laughter through the tears.  And then it was just tears and "I already miss you" and running again, trying to run the pain from my heart, gasping with exertion and begging for a break in the misery.  And it came, it always comes.  I will love him for an eternity, I will grieve for our loss forever, I will grieve for the relationship only a finite period of time, I believe.  I can't say I know for sure yet, because I'm still mourning.  In addition to being the greatest man and love I had ever known, he was my very best friend.  A person I let into places of myself I don't even let my own head wander.  Was he perfect? No.  Was our love perfect? HAH, not even close.  But for a while we loved each other perfectly.

My counselor asked me the other day why I hadn't written the ending to Nebraska + Boston: A love story  I didn't know what to tell him.  I just started crying instead.  And I've been tangled up in my brain ever since.  It feels like betrayal to him, not to give it an ending, a proper ending, the ending we deserved instead of the ending we got.  So I opened it up this morning and I laughed thinking about how I would talk to him until 4 a.m. and I would giggle because I was so nervous because oh.mah.gawd.that Boston accent, and he thought it was so cute and he would message me from work telling me he had to quit staying up so late but then that night, we'd be doing the same thing.  That was the beginning and the beginning was princes and fairy tales and who's going to save the princess?  It took losing him to realize I was never a princess in distress, just a queen who could slay those who crossed her if she needed to.

I hold my head proud now.  I know what it's like to ride through Hell and slay the demons.  Demons whose bloody blow-back stains my face and makes for war paint for the next battle. I know I can survive anything. I became stronger because I had to.  The trick is learning to love myself again.

So, hello from the other side.  I must've called a thousand times....

*All of the above written content is written by Erica Holtry 2015, not available for other use*

Monday, October 26, 2015

Gone and again being forgotten.....

Guess what? K's gone and his excuse for not being able to contact me is "I have to deal with the dog." What the f*#k? It's not like he's watching a 3 year old who will rip up the whole damn house... this dog is so docile!

I am already in my mood like I am whenever he's gone... and I want to cry... I could at the drop of a hat right now. I MUST shower tonight, if I don't do anything else, that is what must be done.

On a positive note, I am trying something I saw online last week:

Now I didn't buy any of their products, I bought what I wanted... I got new eyeshadow, some lip gloss and some Andes candies, which are my favorite mix of chocolate and mint. I am taking a photo everyday and noting what I appreciated about it.

I figured while he's gone I can do something for myself and say "screw him" maybe I'll have more confidence when he gets back... he's gonna be waiting.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Love For Lily

I was driving down the freeway, just like I do every morning, and every afternoon. I whine in my head about this a lot. I hate making this drive, all the way across town, every morning, and every afternoon, and twice on Wednesday's. But then I think, at least I am lucky enough to have my mom to help me watch the baby, and I am able to take the other kids to the schools that they all want to go to. Yes, it sucks sometimes, but we are lucky.

So Tuesday afternoon when I saw the cop behind me out of nowhere, my heart stopped. Whoa. I have no idea where he came from, but I got over real quick, he wizzed past me, and after my heart started beating regularly again, I forgot about it.,,,,,Until I got home. I hadn't even gotten all the way in the door when I was bombarded by Muppet, and the news.

"Did you hear about he 'Road Rage Incident?' I hadn't. I've been picking up kids for the last hour and half. Then I saw the news.

She was 4 fucking years old. Sitting in her car seat like she has probably done  hundreds of times. Then it was over. HER LIFE ENDED. Just like that. Because her dad didn't oblige, didn't let someone cut him off, antagonized a random person on the freeway. I hope with all my heart, that if her dad knew what would come of his quick temper, his impatience, his reaction to an ignorant piece of SHIT, that he would have reacted differently. We will never know this. Lily will never know anything more than she knew that horrendous day. She will never know anything else because she is no longer here. And WHY??? Why the FUCK is she not here??? Because there was something that was SO FUCKING IMPORTANT, so detrimental to someone's survival that someone had to pull a FUCKING GUN on someone else for not letting them in the lane in front of them?!?!?! PLEASE TELL ME WHAT COULD POSSIBLY BE SO IMPORTANT THAT IT WAS WORTH AN INNOCENT LITTLE GIRLS LIFE!!!! Because I am having serious issues processing this, as is ALL of Albuquerque, and now most of the country. What has this world come to that we are so angry, and in such a rush, that a minute or two lost is worth someone's life?

I have gone through a lot of shit in my life. If I want to sit here and have a pity party, I can list off a crapload of shit that I think this life has thrown at me. But something like this happens and I just have to thank God, because my life has been easy peasy compared to SO MANY others. I have 5 kids. All of them are healthy, and alive. Lily's parents can't say that. 2 days ago they had the same normal, probably fucked up life that I do. Today, fucked up can't even kind of describe what they are dealing with. I can't even finish a sentence without sobbing, and I never met this precious little girl. THEY LOST THEIR BABY GIRL. Just like that. In an instant their entire world turned upside down.

I am not vocal about my religious beliefs. My ex-husband scarred me when it comes to that. But not for one second have I ever doubted where I come from, or where I am going. I honestly just don't think I need to share that with everyone. Today, I have let all of that go. I wholeheartedly thank GOD for everything I have. My life has been so easy compared to what I have seen SO MANY others go through. I don't know what I have done to deserve to be so blessed. But I am so thankful that the small tribulations I have had to battle are all I"ve had to face. I don't know how I could go on if Lily was taken from me. I can't even think about it for more than a second without breaking down in tears.

I sob because I can't understand what this world has come to. What is so fucking important that you have to shoot someone for a minute or two lost in traffic? Was your daughter going to die if you didn't get home in time? Your son perhaps? Mother? Wife? WHAT??!! I know I speak for the entire country when I beg to know what the FUCK WAS SO IMPORTANT THAT YOU HAD TO KILL A LITTLE GIRL TO GET THERE?!?!??!

Then I stop for a minute, and I can't explain it, but I feel sorry for him too. This country is in an uproar over this incident. I guarantee he didn't consider the consequences of his actions when he acted all tough like and started firing off his gun like he was a badass. I don't think he realized that he signed his own death warrant that afternoon. I know he will not be released from custody, life ever. But I also know, if he EVER gets put in to gen pop, he is done. Any of you old fuckers remember Jeffery Dahmer? Even cold hearted murderers don't sit well with child murderers.

I don't know what was going on with you that day. I have never judged a person off of popular opinion. I don't hate very easily, like EVER. I don't even know your name. I don't hate you. I want too. But you have to live with what you have done. You get to dwell on that stupid decision for the rest of your (probably very short) life. If you are lucky enough to survive the outlash of this travesty, I can only hope that you have enough of a conscience that this torments you for the remainder of your stay on this planet. I wish for you the pain you have caused, not only for Lily's family, but for every other person on this planet that weeps for the loss of a such a tiny, innocent soul, because you're a pathetic self righteous fuck!! I hope you got to where you needed to be on time. But I am really happy that you will never get there again!

Friday, October 16, 2015

therapist and stuff.....

Visit with the therapist was quite interesting on Thursday. I guess I am finally getting a "gray" area. My life is so black and white, this may be the reason why my husband and I had so many issues. Ever since what happened with "him" I don't have a gray area because I keep it simple if it's not white it's black... no in between, no leaving it to the world... that area I have no control over and I am in control of my life. If it doesn't go the way I expect, I take matters into my own hands. If you won't do it, I will, but I'll give you hell for not doing it. that gray area scares the crap out of me, it causes me to not be in control and it scares the shit out of me. I told her that too.

We talked about K, I have trust issues mostly from how things ended with "him". I worry all the time about "her" in California. So she will be known as "caligirl" anyhow, she is the reason I was in hiatus with him for 3 weeks... before new years and after... In those 3 weeks, he realized I wasn't going to deal with his crap, he can have her if he wants her and I'll just leave. He ended up spending time, supposedly deleting emails, messages and getting rid of everything she'd sent him. Trusting him on that is tough for me, because afterwards I still found stuff around and took them home and since I had her name now I did some searching online and had phone numbers and better addresses I could have sent her something and really wanted to hear things on her side of it. I never did... in fact I threw it all away and deleted it all. I still know his password and I could get into his phone whenever I want... but I haven't done it. I don't need another breakdown if there is stuff going on. *sigh*

I also told her what it feels like having this brain of mine. I can't get away from it, or get a break from it. I have it no matter where I go, its like be stuck in a cell with my worst fear... and not being able to get away... deal with it day after day after day. Nothing I can do, I can't run away from I because it goes with me. Another very valid and yucky point. Now I understand why people commit suicide, it's the only way to get away from it... it makes sense to me now. I finally understand.

I am not happy with K right now, Thursday I called to tell him what happened with the therapist and he didn't tell me that Jean was there so I wanted to talk about it and more but he didn't tell me she was there until after I had said some stuff... it pissed me off because I wanted to talk more... I went to bed very upset and sad. Was a very big let down... disappointment honestly. *sigh*

 Oh well enough about me, tomorrow I pick up my new glasses and I need new pajama pants, all of mine are ripped and it sucks.

BTW where the heck is everyone else, am I the only one writing here now?

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Very Excited!!!!

Well I've been tracking my phone and it's local now, so hoping it delivers tomorrow, so excited about that! My current one's battery sucks and does stuff I don't ask it to do.

New glasses should be middle of the week, hopefully by Wednesday. Excited about them too!

Chris and I got into a HUGE fight Friday night and I ended up taking Sebastian with me to K's house, he loved his treadmill and stationary bike... tired himself out on that Saturday and slept well that night. Then K made huge chocolate chip pancakes... he loved that too!

All is now calm here, I have changed my name on face book and dropped the married last name. Now I'm just who I was before... good ole' plain Cindy Walker. :)

I have a therapist appointment on Thursday. One hour isn't nearly enough to tell her things about my crazy ass life, but a little at a time.

I really need to let CT go, I no longer feel the spark we once had. He's in the middle of a really bad time right now between custody for his daughter and his son's problems. I'd hate to have him get any worse because of me. He's a nice guy and the sex is amazing, but I don't see us going any farther with this, also we can only get together once a week and all we do is eat dinner and have sex... what kind of relationship is that?  It's not according to me... it's so hard to tell him because well I feel bad for him. I don't know what to do about that.

Well time for bed, gotta go to that hell I call work... *sigh* another thing that causes my need for a therapist... some people I swear.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

New glasses....

Finally made an appointment with an eye doctor, I am so way overdue for an exam. Last one I had the guy was such a bearer of good news... "You have a high chance of having glaucoma" Geez thanks for making my day.

I am so ready for a nap, but my appointment is in an hour, 25 min nap won't hurt anything... ZZZZzzzz.....

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Ever feel left out?

Yeah at that point.

Don't even think I'll go to Rowan's wedding, she'll already have all she needs there. I'll be the outsider, the unknown...  better off not going... then see all the fun she had with her "real sisters" and feel more miserable.

I hate being poor, hate being scared of airplanes and even more depressing is I have no time for anything outside of my life.

FML *huge fucking sigh*

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Where is my mind.......

My mind is a jumble of things.......

Envy and jealousy,
Depression and sadness,
Death and destruction,
Revenge and grudges,
Hopes and dreams,
Failure and brokenness,
Love and joy,
Happiness and kindness,
Pain and hurt,
Evil and sadistic,
Heaven and light,
Hell and dark,
Misery and despair.

I can be happy one moment and then down and out the next. My mind is so messed up. *sigh*

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

So...... now what?

Evening all, time for a little writing before bed.

First of all, the weekend wasn't as bad as I thought it would be and feel like I got a lot accomplished. Second of all, I hate football. I hate when my husband is over at his friend "Chuck's" house on Sunday evenings, I feel like he already doesn't get enough time with the kids to do "quality" things. Unless you count Monday/Thursday night football with my 9 year old quality time.

Most of all I hate my computer. It's a piece of poop. I need a new one, any program I use seems to eat up so much of my memory. So I am on the look for another computer, at this time I'm checking out the rental places, because I am working the weekends, I could probably have it paid off in 3-4 weeks, so if I do 90 days same as cash I'd have it payed off before even 2 months. Doing some research on this as we speak.

My friend Kevin is awesome... we've had a lot of bumpy times and a few fall outs, but that makes our friendship even more special. He's been a big part of helping me out.

My first therapist appointment is Thursday and I am anxious as hell, new person, new place... it will take some getting used to. But I figured it out today, if I can get out on time I will make it with 5-10 min to spare before it starts at 5pm.

Also forgot my meds today, as the day went on it felt like it was more hectic than it really was. Today was a slow day, but for some reason it wasn't in my head. I REFUSE to forget medication again, I think I'm going to carry them or leave a few in my desk just in case I forget. Probably a good idea if you ask me.

Alright, well really tired so I need to get some sleep, I worked 10 hours on Monday because we were missing 4 people due to call-ins. Then back to 8 today, but then I worked the weekend so it's been 8 days working without one off. I am thankful to have Monday off to have a surprise birthday party for Sebastian at school. Thinking of that need to email the teacher before bedtime.

Later all!

I always seem to be apologizing......but.....I'm Sorry.

I love to write. That's why I was so excited about being a member/contributor here. However, even when I started, during the excitement, I still had this gut wrenching feeling that I was going to let everyone down. Not that I was going to write crappy posts, because I don't believe that any of us are capable of that if we are truly writing from our hearts. But because I knew I wouldn't be a regular. I've never stuck to anything for very long. I tend to get super excited about something, and am determined that this time it will be different, but it never is. It's not that I lose interest, I don't. It nags at me all the time. I try to get to it. I schedule it in my weekly lists of about 14 billion things I would really like to get done this week. Yet I don't do it. Why? Because as much as I love this place, as much as I want to be a familiar face isn't going to be detrimental in my life if I don't. This is something I LOVE. This is a tiny section of "me" that is not required to survive. This is one of the many things that I don't get to do because...Life!
I spend so much of my time feeling guilty about shit that I know deep down I can't do a damn thing about. Writing here. Texting the few friends that REALLY MATTER to me. Taking a fucking shower! There is NEVER enough time in the day, week, MONTH, fucking YEAR for that matter. I don't have enough time!!!
I got an hour and a half of sleep last night. I worked ten fucking hours today!!! Yet here it is a quarter to One and I am here, writing this, because...well, because I WANT too!
When the fuck did LIFE get so damn busy?! When did "I" get put on the back burner? Why is it that what I want to do, what brings me joy, what makes me relax....became non-existent? Why did I have to grow up? This is bullshit! I spent my entire childhood waiting until I could make my OWN decisions. Buy what "I" wanted to eat. Live where "I" wanted to live and damnit, do what the FUCK I wanted to do!!! Where did all of that go?! I can't honestly remember actually getting to do ANY of that shit!
Please please please don't think for one second that I regret any part of my life. I don't know what my life would be without the 5 amazing (albeit HUMONGOUS PAINS IN MY ASS!!!) angels that I am surrounded with each and every day! I have been extremely blessed, and don't think for one second I don't realize that! Yet somehow "Jen" got lost. When am I allowed to be me? When am I allowed to just...........breathe?!

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Following through with my doctor's request.

I have found a counselor/therapist who will see me. I have an appointment on Thursday at 5. I am nervous. It's a new person in a new place I've never been to. I am sure my first visit will be full of paperwork and history to get her up to speed. None of my current issues will be addressed. On the good side, it's only twice a month my doctor wants to me see her, so it will save some money in the long run.

I got a refill on my meds Friday and started the weekend job today. Found out it isn't a mini peak, it may go longer, which is good financially but bad mental/physically. I'm exhausted from today, so I am heading to bed soon and it's not even 9pm yet... today I worked 9 - 5:30 and tomorrow is only 9 - 1, I do half a day on Sundays so I have time to rest before going back to the weekday job.

This week is going to suck, I'm working all 5 days. Financially it will be awesome, so I can get a regular paycheck again.. next Monday I am off for Sebastian's birthday. I plan to bring stuff to his classroom to celebrate. He has NO idea... I can't wait to surprise him.

FOOTBALL is back! I'm in my brother's fantasy league, I am going to lose big time against my friend named Kevin.. so we'll call him Kevin2 we can keep it right. My brother Kevin is already beating my older son Eric but that's only from Thursday games.

Anyhow, time to get some sleep.... just a quick update from my last entry on what happened with my doctors visit.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Happy 12th Anniversary

We met in High School JROTC in 1992 & were the best of friends for years. We got to know one another as adults in 2002 and the rest is in progress...

September 6, 2003 is the day that I married my best friend. It wasn't everything that I imagined at all. At best I wanted a white wedding gown and the whole shebang but when it came down to the wire it didn't go that way. Razark and I were planning a Fall ceremony at The Texas Renaissance festival but a few things were preventing that. 1) I would be 8 months pregnant with our first son. 2) My sister would be in Kuwait helping our soldiers while working with AAFES. So we had to scramble. My sister had a short stateside pass and I couldn't get married without her. My worst enemy and biggest defender. The girl I cannot imagine living without. No way. We decided to do The Harmony Wedding Chapel on I45 in Houston. I wore a maternity dress which turns out to be my only regret about our wedding day. I really wish that I had bought a wedding dress instead.
12 years later and Razark and I have 4 boys. I married Red and Gamer with my husband and we added The Little Professor and The Little Prince over the last 12 years. We have moved 4 hours to be near our families, separated, reunited, and changed cities and jobs. Razark got his Bachelors degree in computer science, I got my Associate's of Art in General Studies and started my Bachelors of Social Work. We have been on top of the world and knocked on our asses but we have made it.
I cannot see myself on this ride with anyone else no matter how frustrated that I get with this life. When the poop hits the fan he is always my first call and when I need support he is the first at my side and the last to leave. I love you, Razark. Thank you for this life, your love, and these 4 AMAZING boys. Thank you to his family for accepting me into their family despite my character flaws and for loving me too.
Happy 12th Anniversary Honey! I look forward to the next chapter with you and the boys!

Monday, August 31, 2015

Follow up with my doctor and other stuff....

Today was the follow up with my doctor from the medication she put me on 8 weeks ago.

I was sure to mention my anxiety attack on from two weeks ago. She asked if I had thought of killing myself and told the truth and said yes I had. She asked how long it lasted, I said about an hour. She asked how I'd do it.. I honestly told her.. "I'd thought about it several times, I couldn't do anything to put myself in pain so I'd most likely OD on medications so I could go peacefully in my sleep." I told her about my friend on FB who committed suicide and how I could never figure out why she didn't think about how her kids would be without a mom. As you know from my last post, I could honestly see it from her point of view and it scared me. She wants me to see a therapist/psychologist and of course the first thing I bring up is MONEY... it's a HUGE issue since I had filed for bankruptcy. As of right now I am late on my car payment for August. Other than that everything else is good. So an extra 35x2 = 70 dollars a month is a BIG chunk for me.

She wants me to do twice a month visits with someone, my former therapist is still practicing so I am to get a hold of her. I am not happy, I will now have the added worry about money. I am not, they are already billing me for this visit and she wants me back in a month. Does she think my visits to her are free? WTF.  I found out my night time meds for anxiety have a mild sleep aid in it... NO SHIT! Why no one told me this I'll never know. Sweet! Now I know what to do when I can't sleep... the last 4 days have been tired and wanting a nap. I know what I am taking tonight.

I know I've been depressed since my anxiety attack, as I've just wanted to go straight home after work. No visits with friends, just home safe. It's taken every fiber of my being not to do that. I didn't go to a baby shower I was invited to or to my friend's gig at a bar this weekend due to it. I went almost a whole week without a shower and finally took one on Friday. I have put doing whatever it necessary to function in this world to the side. If I had my way I'd never leave my house again, except to do something that helps with my anxiety/depression like shopping or eating.

I'd love to take a nap right now, but it will make it even worse trying to sleep tonight. I want to just eat and gorge myself but I know it's not because I am hungry. Is it boredom? Could it be to help my mental state? I know I am an emotional eater, no question about it. That is where most of my extra money goes after I pay bills. Seriously.

Well, that's all I have to say really, I seriously want a nap right now. Sleep my life away, that's how I know I am depressed, when I want to sleep all the time.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Taking these pieces and making them beautiful

I know it's not Friday (at least I think it's not Friday, my days are katawumpus), but I'm going to do a list today anyway because I have a lot to catch y'all up on.  *Pssst, there's big news at the end*

**takes a deep breath, collapses in the rocking chair and grabs a mug of tea**

So, how ARE y'all?  Everyone good?  No major tragedies to tell me about?  If there are things you'd like to talk to me about, shoot me an email, find me on facebook or call me.  Y'all are never alone.

So, a few things to catch you up on what's going on around here: (seriously, huge news at the end)

1. Nathan reluctantly started 6th grade.  SO FAR, he doesn't seem to hate it as much as he usually does.  They had their 6th grade campout and while I was worried about my (sometimes) anxious boy, it turns out he was worrying about everyone else.  My sweet care-taking boy spent the campout (I'm told by the teacher) helping those who felt sad or scared or homesick.  He went around telling jokes, making people laugh and even discussing his own anxiety so other people wouldn't feel alone.  I can't imagine possibly being prouder of him.

2.  Joshua started Head Start this week.  He's doing very well even though he still won't potty train.  He loves  school and I'm making peace with losing out on 16 hours of snuggles, "cheeks" (when you give Mama a kiss, the boys call it "cheeks") and general Joshie-ness.  The teacher took me aside to tell me how smart he is and so far  no one has had any major meltdowns and his behavior has been well.  Naturally, his favorite part of school is picking out his outfit the night before.  Because Joshie Mark.

3.  David has made the adjustment to family life with two rambunctious and rowdy boys pretty seamlessly.  He did put 2 diapers on backwards, but at least he put diapers on.  The boys love having him here.  He's made peace with the fact that he kind of lurrrrrrrves  Dr Phil and we watch that together every day.  He's a night owl like I am so it's really nice to have someone still awake at 2 a.m. when my demons come out to play.  He thinks I make the best chai tea.  I think he gives the best back rubs.

4.  Life has been pretty good.  There are the same ole' same ole' negatives (stalkers, my health, Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump, the occasional parenting uproar between me and Stomp, etc).  But the POSITIVES?  Oh the positives are what keeps the world spinnin 'round.  I've got great love in my life and two of the best, sweetest, smartest, most affectionate kids.  I've got a sisterhood of girls who always have my back.  I've got my soul twins (Anam Cara) Jen and Carrie.  It's funny because I have best friends besides those two, but the three of us really become some kind of super family and we share the most amazing bond.  I miss them, I need to hug them.  And I just might get the chance here in a few weeks!  *squeeeee*  And the three of us have done something beautiful with the White Friday project.  This year's event was a huge success and we're growing our numbers like crazy over on the Facebook page.  If you know someone with mental illness who needs support and loving, compassionate, guidance, please send them or way.  Even if you don't struggle with mental illness, if you just love someone who does, come check us out.  We have a lot of resources for the caretakers, too!

One more quick thing about college and then it's time for my super huge gigantic news.  I'm doing well again in school this semester.  I'm taking Administrative Medical Assisting (grade: A), Pharmacology (grade: A+) and a 5-week Abnormal Psychology class that just started.  It feels good to challenge myself to keep my grades up and I know I'm capable of those kind of grades (it isn't like it's MATH or anything) so I keep doing it.

So, are you ready for my good news?  My super exciting news?  The news you've read through all this garbage to get to?!


A few semesters ago, I took a writing course and the professor encouraged me to submit something to the College's Creative Writing magazine.  Now, I know you're picturing ditto'd pages off an original Mac stapled together or something like that when I say "College Creative Writing Magazine".  HOWEVER, this is a legitimate magazine that has won numerous award and whose writers go on to win big awards.  It's a bound book and I can't wait to have the copy of it with my name in it in my hands.  I'm so glad and grateful to the professor who pushed me to submit. So glad and thankful to all my friends who have read drafts of my work, helped edit, listened to me yell when I couldn't get the word or turn of phrase just right and even listened to me cry in frustration or when things got too emotional.  This one's for you guys, babes!

Friday, August 21, 2015

Friday Five- Feelings edition

Welcome to another edition of Friday FIVE!  I am kind of halfway between coming off of White Friday and going into starting school and internship. Things are about to get very busy!

Today I want to blog about my feelings on this year's White Friday event. I have a few things to say....

I feel...

1. Successful
We doubled our pictures this year which is great!  I think we had more survivors participate because they have had access to our White Friday Facebook page for over a year. We are becoming more visible and known.

2. Frustrated

Although we had over 100 people join the even we only got 1/3 of participant photos. And we did get a few people who were too busy to participate. Really? We even had 3 people who had no white but still wanted to participate enough to wing it. I understand being busy, trust me, but you took 500 selfies last week for Instagram. We are asking for 1 that puts a face to supporting people struggling with depression. We have had many people get creative with incorporating white into their pictures and some who said, "I don't do white but I do think things need to change.

3. Proud

I am proud to see Jen's dream grow and even more proud to be able to support it. I am proud of our fellow warriors who have had the courage to put their beautiful faces out there for a great cause. It is not easy to admit you face mental health struggles but everyone does at one time or another. It takes us all assembling together to make our voice heard.

4. Honored
Last year I was asked to be an administrator on the White Friday page by Jen. I never thought it would turn into my passion in life. I never thought it would guide my coursework. I never thought it would bring me TWO of the most beautiful, caring, sweet, and amazing sisters. WF brought Jen, Eri, & I together. I knew them separately but together we truly have The Power of Three and we are a force to be reckoned with. Jen and Eri have gotten me through some very tough spots and I am so blessed to have them. It is an honor to serve as an administrator on WF. It is an honor to be included in these two women's families.

5. Talented and Useful
I cheated a bit but oh well. With TWO White Fridays under our belt, so to speak, we finally had enough material to do more. I took all of our beautiful submissions and made them into a video with music, motivational quotes, and tributes. It came together exactly as I thought it should and even with limited experience it is something that I am very proud of.  It was the least that I could do for an organization/event that has enriched my life. We always pay tribute to Robin M. Williams and this year we added Alan R. Citti. Two wonderful men who sadly lost their battles with depression far too soon.

Stay tuned folks, we are always working on things behind the scenes. We have been discussing logos and T-shirts with any proceeds going to worthy organizations such as NAMI, Doctors without Borders (for Alan), and St. Jude's Children's hospital (for Robin). The possibilities are endless!

Have a beautiful weekend. Be kind to one another. Keep writing your stories!


Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Anxiety and me....

Makes for a nice movie or book title doesn't it?

Today was a horrible anxiety attack at work and I had to come home. In the heat of the attack I was responding to an email of a friend who had said something hurtful to me. It ended with FML, FTW, I wanna die. I am now here at home.... I wish I had some kind of coping mechanism so I can either tone these down or make them stop all together.

It's funny how I woke up this morning and had a feeling something was going to happen and it did. Something has been building up and I couldn't put my finger on it, this is one of many outburst I can see happening. Since Friday it's felt like something was going to happen, I've been happy and without a care in the world. Sunday night the anxiety and stress kicked in for work. Yesterday at work was surreal and I think today the world came crashing down on me all at once and I couldn't handle it.

You know it's true, you tend to hurt the ones you love. I guess because when you feel you are suffering or are in pain they are the ones you to go hoping that they will understand and help. But as with myself, the words don't come out that way... they come out hurtful and spiteful towards that other person and in turn hurts them and they throw back hurtful and spiteful things at you and then you have an attack and throw it back at then 10 fold with the note ending with "Fuck my life, fuck the world, I just wanna die."

This takes me back to a face book friend Valerie Dalzotto. She committed suicide a year ago, she was very depressed and felt lonely. She was beautiful, funny and sweet. We had a connection and I would chat with her from time to time. She left behind three beautiful children and her husband.  I always wondered what she was thinking, leaving behind her kids and family who needed her... but today I saw what she did.

At that point you feel worthless, like you should not be allowed to breathe the same air. Like you are a waste of space and a burden to everyone. You can't function properly or be somewhat "normal". You feel your friends are better off with some who won't lash out at any given time due to an imbalance. You feel your family could be spared all the drama and bullshit you spit out if you were dead or gone from their lives. - This last sentence is what scares me. I've never gone to this point before in my life.

I feel like my bi-polar is getting stronger? Is that even possible... or I'm becoming weaker and succumbing to it? Most times I don't give into my thoughts, but today I decided I was leaving work and crawling under the sheets and not coming out for hours. I did leave work, but I am not in bed hiding under my sheets yet, I wanted to write this down for memory sake and get it out there. Then I can do whatever I want, be it hide under my sheets or sleep away this terror.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

It started this afternoon...

... about 6pm, I was driving over to my friend Kevin's house. It was creeping up from behind and I could feel it, I wanted to deny it was there but I couldn't.

It was the stress and anxiety of going back to work tomorrow. AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!

I have discovered the major problem with my life, MY JOB. I just want to crawl under the blankets and not come out, I don't want to go to work tomorrow.

Reason being:

#1 My boss is on vacation and when she's gone everyone walks all over Leanna and Becky and gets up whenever they want and it causes the rest of us to get overloaded with calls.

#2 Everyone calls in on Monday's - which means that the rest of us are stuck taking all of the calls.

#3 All the calls - up to 10 in que while everyone else is on a call. WTF people sit in your fucking seat and taking a call!!!!

#4 Idiots on the phone - no one knows what the fuck they are doing when then call? Know what the hell you want when you call!!!

#5 I don't get paid enough for this shit! I can't afford a psychiatrist on this shit pay.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Friday Five White Friday Edition

Welcome to our 2nd Annual White Friday. It is the first for the blog though so I thought that Friday FIVE would go hand in hand in introducing White Friday properly. Or at least BoBeary style. :)

Five Facts about White Friday

1. Who?
Jennifer Prochaska is the official White Friday Founder. Carrie Shack (me, otherwise known as BoBeary)  and Erica Holtry are administrators.

2. What?
White Friday is a campaign to shine a light on Depression.

3. When?
Every August on the Friday following the Anniversary of Robin Williams death (Robin passed 8/11/14).

4. Where?
Where ever you are! Put on White, snap a selfie, post it to social media with #WhiteFriday , and start educating people around you. Please search for the White Friday page on Facebook and keep up on our latest news. We post tips, tricks, research, and motivational things to spread the love and remind people that they are not alone.

5. Why?
It is long overdue to start erasing the stigma around mental health issues. Robin William's untimely death brought a great deal of light into a dark world and in the aftermath we decided to act. If the funniest man in the world can struggle with depression then anyone can. Many people do not seek help for fear of being ostracized but in truth everyone needs help at some point. We want everyone to be able to reach out when they need to. We want to start an honest and healthy conversation about Mental Heath issues and keep the dialogue going.


How can you help??

Tell your friends! Find the White Friday page on Facebook, engage with us, invite your friends, and join us on White Friday in August in posting your selfies. Send the message that no one has to fight alone and struggling doesn't mean you are broken or a lost cause. The founder and administrators at White Friday all fight along side you.

Don't let this be the end of your story

Long live the ;'s!


Thursday, August 13, 2015

What a crazy ride.... and my baby is growing up!

Vacation is always the time you get to NOT think about things in your life to give your head a little break and clear up for a little while. During my vacation all I've been thinking about is my boys. Sebastian had a GREAT time at Hershey Park earlier this week. He went on a "grown up" roller coaster which was only a rank 3 on the intensity scale... 1 being least and 5 being most intense. Every time he got off he's scream "That was awesome, lets do it again!" We'd ride 2 - 3 times and then we'd go somewhere else, but all he talked about at summer camp today was the ride Trailblazer. (per his teacher's note LOL!)

Also had that "posing" thing going on as well...

This trip was SO much fun, but at the same time most trying on my feet and legs. Unfortunately it's not flat ground, it has hills and such which made things SO difficult. I have been exhausted the last two days and have ended up taking naps during the day and have slept till past 8 am every day since Tuesday... yes I need a vacation from my vacation, but it's been so worth it to see how much Sebastian loved it. We all did! My most proud moments are with Sebastian at the pool. He is learning how to float and ultimate goal to swim.

With the floatation vest on he was able to hold the corner and get his body to float, also he was moving his arms and legs with me just holding under his belly. I took my hand away a few times under the water and he never knew it... he had so much fun that it had already been an hour and a half before we knew it!

He's growing up in so many ways and I am kind of sad I am losing my baby boy, but at the same time I'm proud he's growing from a child to a boy.

Eric and his cousin Gary took off into the park by themselves... so my 23 year old and my nephew 19 went off and had a good time. I have mostly let go of the connection with Eric, but at times I will jump in to help, but since Gary is my (brother's forever fiance) 's only child, she's having some issues. They had a good time too, not being watched over by the adults.

Chris (my husband) had a great time riding the roller coasters, there they are more intense than they are when we go to Darien Lake. Hershey may be our new destination, besides the having to walk to the community bathrooms/showers it wasn't bad.. next time we stay at the hotel and have our own bathroom and shower LOL.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Suicide Prevention

So, as we approach White Friday we are going to keep talking about Mental Heath struggles and since I am not a mental health professional I do it my way.

I don't know much about official suicide prevention strategies, I am going to talk about how I made it to 38. Although I don't remember seriously attempting suicide, as a child I did try to overdose on nyquil a few times. I just slept a lot, thankfully, and no one noticed. I used to cut up my arms with the tips of safety pins to feel the pain. I heated up a BIC lighter once (or twice) and used it to burn the smiley face into my skin. I was an unhappy kid when left alone. My parents divorced and my Father wanted nothing to do with me. He told me he would stay close and I could visit but he lied. He went to Illinois and never came back. My Mom worked tirelessly to support and provide for us. I was often lonely which was hard for me because I was an extremely affectionate kid. I spent a lot of time wondering what was wrong with me. I couldn't understand that most parents don't walk away from their kids. I also took decades to understand that it wasn't my fault. I wasn't unlovable or horrible, he had issues.

I am not sure what kept me from trying to kill myself seriously. We had to move and change schools where I experienced bullying for the first time ever and I was separated from the kids I had grown up with. Part of it was that my Mom, my sister, and I are extremely close and I couldn't hurt them like that. My mom sacrificed seeing my childhood so that I could have what I needed. I didn't have the best of everything but I had a great home life. I think I hung on for her

As a Mom, I am so glad I did. Even with all the bad stuff that has happened in my life, I would have missed the good. I have some really sublime friends. I married one of my best friends and his two boys and we had two more. No matter what I do or where I go, being a Mom is the greatest moment/accomplishment/ride of my life.

I guess my point in telling you all of this is to remind you to hold on. Even when it looks bleak and black it will get better. If I had been successful all those years ago I would have missed out on some of the best moments of my life. I would have missed out on being a Mother, a wife, an Aunt, a sister, a college graduate, a best friend, and a blogger. I would have missed out on the chance to share this post with you. I hope that someone can benefit from my experience. I hope that something in here makes you realize that there is much more good stuff to come. Please don't end your story here because there is more to come.

Hang in there


Wordless...Sing-a-long....Wednesday Something...

Screw it all, man, we're throwin all the rules out 'round here.  I don't feel good, Carrie's stressed about school and half my other girls are in some sort of crisis or lifetime ecstasy (go Jen, we're always with ya, Babe).  I lost a friend this week.  I'd known the girl since high school.  Funny story (not HAHA funny, I assure you), she was the first person on the scene of my brutal 1998 car accident.  I can still hear her voice as she told my mom, can hear my mom's scream through the phone and my mom screaming "you have to talk to my husband" and her calmly, reassuringly telling my Dad what had happened.  And she could be like that.  The sweetest person you would ever meet, and *always* the kind of girl who would go the mat fighting for you.  Still, it was the right call to make.  I won't get into the details because that's not fair, she's not here to tell her side.  I'll just say that she was engaging in behavior I couldn't get behind, not for me and not for the friends I'd brought to her table.  See, I take friendship, especially with women, seriously.  Women are precious creatures when you find the right ones.  The ones who won't tear you down so they can feel better than you.  The ones who won't make drama just so they can look smarter, prettier or in any way more superior than you.  Girls who fake it until they don't ever make it, but actually work to make it.  Those are my tribe.  That's what you get from my sistahood.  I hand-picked my friends after I realized I was the landing place for every sad-story-tale-let-me-take-my-misery-out-on-you-drama-queen.

I'm older now, I guess, less time for drama and bullshit.  But I can look back now and pinponit it along a time-line, every single friendship mistake, every girl my (very wise) Jersey Mama warned me about, that I foolishly stumbled into.  But, as my adopted other mama said to me once (hi Mama Janet!), I've done a good job raising the little girl in me and I'm not going to put up with little girls who want to crush me, when I can stand strong with women who want to fight with me.

Whatever Wednesday

Yes, usually it *IS* Wordless Wednesday but I am feeling like it is important to reach out to y'all today.

So I am going to answer a question for you instead. Why do I pour so much of my personal stuff into this blog?

Well, honestly, it helps everyone. From the feedback that I have received it helps some people feel less alone. We can all look like we have it all together from the outside but very few people honestly do. I know that I sure don't have it all together. I do have a wonderful framily who loves and supports me even on my worst days and I do have some wonderful outlets to manage my feelings so they don't drown me.

I know what it is like to find yourself, metaphorically, lying in the dirt, bleeding, with no energy to get up. No one should have to feel that way because you are not alone. There are people who care and there is help.

I struggle every single day. I keep going every single day. Some people will cheer and others will not and both of these groups keep me going. Whether you reach out to me or someone else, please reach out. This world will only be worse off without you in it.

Happy Wednesday my dears!


Friday, August 7, 2015

Friday Five- Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Good Morning fair reader!!

Today's Friday Five is going to focus in on what PTSD looks like for ME. The interesting and equally annoying thing about mental health issues is that it rarely looks the same for everyone. If it did then we wouldn't have an issue with mental health because treatment would be universal. The thing is that trauma affects everyone differently. Our minds deal with it in the best way to protect us at the time and it will be completely different from your battle buddy or neighbor's brain.

So here are 5 manifestations of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder in my life. Don't worry if yours is different or not as bad or worse, we are all fighting this battle and no one is better than another.

1. Startle reflex

My startle reflexes are either horrible or great, depending on how you look at things. I can be in my own home and know everyone is home and walk out of our bedroom and come face to face with one of my family members and jump 3 feet. When I was younger all you had to do was turn the knob on my door handle and I was wide awake. There is nothing that makes this better. My husband thinks it is funny. It really is and isn't because I have no control over it.

2. Nightmares

The doctors get lost in thinking that if I don't have nightmares about the trauma then it is not connected. This is total crap. While combat veterans or crime survivors may have nightmares about their ordeals, many of us have suffered multiple traumas and just have nightmares. I had trauma both as a child and an adult so I do not have specific nightmares about the trauma, per say. I do have nightmares about falling from high places and that was one of my traumatic incidents but really I didn't have nightmares before the trauma.

3. Personal Space Issues

Here is the thing, EVERYONE has personal space. Even the very huggy people have boundaries and times when they do not want to be touched. I cannot tell you when my personal space issues will rear their heads but it has happened and if my request for space is not requested then I will lose my temper. There was a guy in Kroger one night, who was weirdly buying like 10 pounds of grapes, who was almost up my butt. When I asked him to step back he copped an attitude with me and told me to chill out. I told him that stepping back would be advisable or I was going to move him back. I am not sure, to this day, what it was about him but everything in my body screamed, "FLEE!". It doesn't only happen with strangers but sometimes I have to tell my family not to touch me. Sometimes it is the PTSD and sometimes it is the Fibromyalgia. When a hand on your leg hurts.... weird stuff.

4. Panic Attacks

My PTSD is what started my panic attacks and stress is what feeds them. The thing is that I am often stressed but I have managed to get my panic attacks down to a minimum. When they do come on though I begin to really look at things because high stress feeds them puppies like Thanksgiving Dinner feeds your entire family for 3 days. I will go more into detail about how my panic disorder works in a future post because everyone is different.

5. Hypervigilance

I am always assessing the situation. There are some places that I feel safe enough to relax but not too many. If a car takes more than 2 turns with me then I am on edge. I do not like surprise visitors at all nor do I like strangers in my home. I really do not take well to people covering my eyes and saying, "Guess Who?" and you will probably get a very hard and painful reminder of that if you do it. I do check on my kids a lot and the first few days after my older boys go back to their Mom's house is the hardest. I often have to remind myself of where they are so that I do not panic. It doesn't make sense but it is just how it is. It is how I am.

I very much hope that this helps you to feel better about your own quirks. You are not alone no matter how individualized the symptoms can be. Having mental health issues does not make you less, it does not make you broken, and it does not make you untouchable. It just means that you were very strong through bad things and your mind protected you.

Have a beYOUtiful weekend!

Don't forget to join us on August 14 for our 2nd annual White Friday! Go to your Facebook search bar and search WHITE FRIDAY to find our page. Facebook is not working on my laptop today so I cannot post it here. The even is on the page though. All you have to do is take a selfie wearing white and post it on the page with the #WhiteFriday and you will be helping us bring awareness to ending the stigma of mental illness and starting a healing conversation.


Thursday, August 6, 2015

So, I married an Atheist


I have blogged on this before and if you know me you have heard it before. However, I still get these outlandish questions about the subject so I am going to do it again.

Let me start by saying that I am a Theist. I believe in God. I take my relationship with God pretty seriously but I also keep it very personal. My story, my journey to cementing my faith, is my own. I could try to explain it to you over and over again but it would sound ordinary rather than extraordinary as it is to me.

In the early 1990's, after being in the same schools from 4th grade on, I met Razark. We were sophomores in high school at this point and shared a class. We became the best of friends there and were kind of inseparable until he went away to college.

His beliefs were never called into question because he was my friend and obviously a good person.

Time marches on... I went to his wedding. We went our separate ways for a while and began to build lives until ours intersected again. I was visiting the day he received his final divorce papers in fact.

We decided to give this love thing a go. We got married and had a couple kids to add to the couple of kids he had.  Still it never came up about declaring our religion.  We both wanted a casual wedding ceremony and I didn't want it in a courthouse. He just didn't want to have to wear a tie.

It really never came up until we were asked about baptizing the kids. Amazingly, my Atheist husband agreed to go through the hoops if that was what I wanted to do.

Sept. 6, 2015 marks 12 years of marriage for us. People ask how I do it all the time. I live. I married the man I love, my best friend, and he is a good person. He doesn't believe in God. It doesn't affect me really. It has no real bearing on my relationship with God unless I let it. I don't.

So here are the answers to the most frequently asked questions (& a few outlandish questions) published on the interwebz forever.

1) Does he beat me?
-No. In fact, I think he is a tad scared of what my temper would be if he tried.

2) Is he a Satanist?
-No. He is an Atheist. He doesn't believe in Satan. He doesn't believe in heaven or hell either.

3) Does he have a alter? Or Does he have a place to worship?
-No. He is an Atheist. He doesn't believe in God. He doesn't worship. The closest he came to bliss was a dedicated home brew closet once.

4) Does he eat babies?
- Technically, yes but not human ones. We have had veal before though.

5) Am I sad that he won't be in heaven with me?
- Not to be rude, but have you met my husband? By then, if I am still sane, I will welcome the break. :-)
Note- someone I love very much asked that one. I really don't think about it much. I would rather live in the moment. The past is somewhat mixed emotionally for me and well, passed. The future is bright but still uncertain. All we really have for sure is right now so make it count.

If you have any questions, I am always open to answering them.

The main takeaway today is that Atheists are people just like you and I. They have families, jobs, homes, dreams, hopes, and love. My husband has a solid moral foundation. He is a great guy with a heart of gold. He is loving, loyal, hard working, and he has a killer sense of humor. We have our issues (that have nothing to do with his Atheism) just like Theist couples but I am proud to be his wife.

Friday, July 31, 2015

Friday Five Diagnoses and Reality

Good afternoon fair reader,

Today I am going to continue to delve into the realm of mental health with you. We are getting ready to celebrate our 2nd Annual White Friday when we wear white to shine a light on mental health. Depression and mental health carries a huge stigma and the way to dispel that is to talk about it. So, instead of just telling you the research or stuff you can get on your own, I have decided to talk to you about my personal battle. Maybe, it will help you be honest about your own experience and we can start talking about it and supporting each other rather than perpetuating the darkness.
So here are my FIVE diagnoses that are mental health related. The last one just contributes.
1. MDD- Major Depressive Disorder
Yep, I fight (and mostly win) the big D. MDD is more severe and chronic than just depression and you get that label after having long periods of depression without a break.

2. PTSD- Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Although I did serve in the USAF, I never saw combat. I broke my back in a training accident at 19. It ended my Nursing career and just about broke me. It added the MD to my D. Then while awaiting medical boards for my discharge I was a victim of what the military calls MST or Military Sexual Trauma. You civilians call it rape. Victim shaming from someone who was supposed to be my friend and threats of the perp kept me quiet for years. None of us are in the service anymore so I don't have that reason to hold it in.

3. PD- Panic Disorder

This is the shitty one. It wasn't so bad until I almost wrecked my car driving home but everything went downhill from there. Thankfully I had the best boss ever at the time who put up with me while we got things under control. I probably should have gotten fired for walking away from the register to sob on the bathroom floor because I thought I was going crazy. And the first morning after I started the meds that kept me from having the Panic attacks in my sleep, he nursed me through by helping me get the fog out. I never got to thank him for that but I was fiercely loyal to him.

4. Anxiety

Gosh, I have had social anxiety forever. I was teased mercilessly as a child. The reason I survived the bullying was because I had some awesome friends and a great Mom and Sister at home to support me. I have always known that I had a higher purpose on this earth so I fight it and go on.

5. DDD/CP/FMS- Degenerative Disk Disease/ Chronic Pain/ Fibromyalgia

This all stems from my accident. I had a compression fracture of T-12 & L-1 and broke off some bony bits on my spine. The USAF told me it was a sprain and sent me back to training. They were going to make me continue the exercise but I couldn't sit, stand, or lie down without crying. Oddly, they still never x-rayed me. I went to my civilian doctor to find the break. I have had back pain everyday since.

I carry on because I cannot quit. I fight because I do not know what else to do. I fight for others because while I do not understand your exact situation, I do understand what living in the dark feels like. I also know the gratitude that I felt and still feel for the people who stood/stand by me.

Please take someone's hand and come in to the light rather than taking your life. Take mine. We can move slowly as long as we move forward.

Come over to Facebook and search for White Friday. We post articles, and supportive memes, and resources all the time. You can contact me and I will do my best to find local resources for you. Just don't make an irreversible decision over a temporary problem. Please.

Love, Peace, and Light to everyone!


Thursday, July 30, 2015

Savory Saturday presents Chicken Paprikash

Sour Cream Chicken Paprikash

1 2 1/2 - 3 lb chicken ( I used 4 1/2 lbs of thighs)
1 large onion chopped
Salt to taste
4-8 cups sour cream (I used 2 24 ounce containers because I had more chicken and I like sauce)
1 tsp of paprika (No, just No. It is paprikash. It MUST have Paprika. I mean, your sour cream should be a funky color. I used TBSPs and then stopped measuring. Adjust to your tastes. Razark is part Slovakian so he loves it. No complaints from my kids either.)
I also add garlic cloves minced to mine because... Well who needs a reason really. We live garlic.
Slovakian Dumplings (I used egg noodles due to time but I will include the recipe below. I have also used Spaetzle aka German Dumplings because I love them. Find those in the noodle isle.)

Brown the chicken lightly in a small amount of oil until the sputtering stops. I use olive oil. Place the chicken and onion in a kettle over medium heat. I have already started in the small stocky pot (it's short but stocky) so I just add the onions and garlic. Cook, covered, for 10 minutes or until chicken is almost cooked through. Combine sour cream, paprika, and salt if using in a bowl. Whisk together to blend. Pour mixture over chicken before all moisture cooks out. I didn't have a problem with moisture and just added it after the 10 minutes. Turn the chicken to coat well, or just stir if you are using thighs. Reduce temperature to low, Cook covered 10 more minutes or until cooked through and sauce is creamy and thick. It may be kinda thin but in my experience it coats the noodles better. Stir often. Serve with Dumplings or what ever you want.

I use boneless skinless chicken thighs because you get the flavor and moisture of the dark meat but do not have to fight skin and bones. If you have small children, you will thank me for this.

Slovakian Dumplings

2 eggs
Salted water

Beat the eggs in a bowl; add dash of salt. Stir in enough flour with a fork to form a stiff dough. Drop spoonfuls of dough in boiling salted water and cook for 10 minutes or until done.

Hey, Hey it's time for a reunion

Where has the time gone? Seriously? It feels like yesterday but it has been a bit over 20 years since I walked that stage. May 25, 1995 I received my high school diploma and said, "Goodbye!"to Clear Lake High School forever. Or did I? I left the area for Air Force Basic Training but came back after. I left again to move in with my sweeties in Tyler, Texas and stayed away long enough to have a kid but it called me back. Both my husband and I were raised in the area, though he is homegrown and I was a transplant as a toddler and our parents are still here. I lived away from my grandparents and really wanted our kids to know theirs as well as possible. We moved back in 2005, just in time for our 10 year High School Reunion. So Goodbye tirned into see you later really. September me and many of my fellow Falcon Alumni will celebrate 20 years since we graduated high school. I, for one, am excited. Today I decided to talk to you about my high school experience and hopefully make you think about making time for your reunion.
I was not a popular kid. I came to our school district brand new in 4th grade after my parents divorced and we lost our home. Trying to break in with a bunch of kids who have been togethee since the sandbox in an area that housed many upperclass neighborhoods was hard. We had been there until my Mom had to care for us alone. So I didn't have many friends, I wasn't weathy, and I wasn't skinny so I was lost. It doesn't help that I was terribly depressed in a time when no one talked about kids' mental health issues or the need for counseling after divorce. I was painfully shy and that didn't help at all. I didn't really begin making close friends for a while. In fact, I have only 1 friend that I still talk to from 4th grade. Middle school brought more friends and more bullies. I was never dressed right. I didn't know a damn thing about makeup because my Mom was raised by her Dad. In fact, I rarely wear makeup these days. The group that I finally found my place with in Middle school was the head bangers and skaters. In high school it was Reserve Officer's Training Corps (ROTC), which the popular kids called, not-so-affectionately, Rejects On The Campus. The crap I went through in school, starting with my depression and shyness caused horrible social anxiety that I still battle today. People tell me that they thought,initially, that I was conceited, mean, or just hated them but in truth I was scared shitless to say or do the wrong thing. I am getting better...
Now, why am I telling you all this? Good question. Despite hard times and some not-so-great memories, I am going to my 20th High school reunion. I have heard a lot of excuses about why people won't be going.
1. We all have aged by 20 years. Some better than others and many better than me.
2.None of us are still our high school weight. Some are bigger, some are smaller, and it is to be expected. Personally, I have given birth to 2 beautiful boys, helped raise 2 more beautiful boys, had life saving surgeries, been deliriously happy, and been lower than low. My body has taken a beating but it has definitely been lived in.
3. We haven't achieved all our goals that we ambitiously set at 17/18. Ok, I did things my own way. I sustained a disabling back injury at 19 in the Air Force and it knocked me down. I worked some shit jobs, got married, and had 2 kids before deciding to go back to school in 2007. I will graduate with my Bachelor's degree in Social Work in May 2016. It took awhile and I stumbled but I got back up. You are alive and kicking. Some days that is all you have so celebrate the shit out of it.
Here are my truths-
1. I am going to see my friends and thanks to Facebook some of those are people who didn't give me the time of day in HS. I hold very few grudges and it is likely that those people are not going.
2. I am prouder now than I ever was in school to be a Clear Lake Falcon. I survived some of the toughest, most trying times of my life and I am still here.
3. It looks like I might be working check in and *I* want to see you. I will have a genuine smile for you and your +1 & if you want to walk away and talk about my fluffy figure... I don't care anymore. Have fun. It is something in you that needs correcting, not me.
4. This reunion is being put together by people who have our best interests at heart. They listened to us and made it happen. One has even fronted personal funds to make it great. Please pay your money and come out and celebrate with us.
5. My husband, who is an alum, is worse about social situations than me. He hates crowds and loud moise. He is staying home with our kids. If you need a friendly face, I am available all night to smile and laugh with you.

Please consider coming to the Clear Lake High School Class of 95 20th reunion!

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Savory Saturday- Shepherd's Pie

You know, I really do cook almost every day but we make a lot of the same stuff. I haven't had many new recipes that I have tried lately. In July when all 4 human garbage disposals kids are here I really concentrate on nutritious, filling, and cheap. I AM a college student after all. This is probably better done in the colder months but it was delicious. I got it off of Also, I tripled it because I am feeding 6 people and made it stretch 2 days.

Traditional Irish Shepherd's Pie

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 lb ground beef or 1 lb lamb
1 large onion, finely diced
3 -4 large carrots, finely diced
1 cup frozen peas
3 -4 sprigs fresh thyme, finely chopped
2 tablespoons flour
1 tablespoon butter
1 glass red wine
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 cup chicken stock
1 large quantity mashed potatoes (estimating 1L or 6 cups, fresh or leftover)
1 egg, beaten
grated parmesan cheese (optional)

Pre-heat oven to 200C/400°F.
Saute carrots in the olive oil until starting to get tender.
Add in the onions and saute for a minute or two then add the meat.
Season with black pepper and thyme.
Cook until browned then drain fat.
Add the butter and peas.
Sprinkle with flour and stir through.
Add tomato paste, wine and Worcestershire sauce.
Let this reduce slightly then add the chicken stock. Allow to reduce down until you have a thick meaty gravy. Season to your taste.
Remove from heat. Grease an oven proof dish** (9x13 works for me, as does an oval baker) with butter and add the sauce.
Spoon or pipe the mashed potatoes over top. Brush with egg and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese if using.
Bake for about 20 minutes or until the potato is nice and browned on top.
Serve as is or with some crusty bread to mop up that yummy sauce!