I haven’t written anything in a very long time, and the reason for my silence isn’t something I’m proud of. I’ve given up on myself. The bad days outnumber the good to the point where I find myself hiding in that dark shadow that is cast between giving up and finding new hope.

I’m tired of forcing new hope out of aspects of my life that are almost hopeless. I’m weak from days where it’s astonishingly painful to move even just the slightest. I’m weary from too many nights like this where sleep is taunting me, I feel sleepy, yet no matter how long I keep my eyes closed I stay awake. I live on the outskirts of a depression that beckons me towards its gloomy darkness daily. And then there’s this damn tremor.

Monday of this week I felt so low when I woke I wanted to curl up into a ball and just disappear. As I opened my eyes I saw my boyfriend asleep on the floor. He woke shortly there after, and when I asked why he was down on the carpet, ‘hope it’s not because of my tremor ‘ I said not really thinking that it could actually be that bad. When he said that it was exactly for that reason I didn’t know what to say. But I knew I’d never felt so horrible before. I felt disgusted with myself, more than that, I felt grotesque. It’s horrible to suddenly hate yourself so much like that. Worse yet, the fact remains that I know it’s only going to get worse. I honestly don’t feel worthy of anyone’s affections sometimes.

Damn you James Parkinson. You didn’t even have this disease. From its debilitating agonizing chronic pain, to its mentally crippling depression, to its insomnia that lasts for weeks at a time on occasion, you never had to literally fight with your own body to make it function. Lucky S.O.B.

Hope is a dirty word to me now. Happiness is fleeting, rare and enjoyed as I am able, but finding joy might as well be a search for Jimmy Hoffa. I have a feeling that particular emotion might just be with all of the socks that disappear from washing machines and dryers. All that’s left for me to find is a little bit of warm lint, if I’m lucky.

I’m beyond repair I think. Broken, shattered, crushed, none of those quite fit. I’m not destroyed yet, but I will be, I have to find some kind of glue to hold the fragile pieces in place, and fast. Or I may just become an irreparable fragment of a young woman whose optimism and vigor in hope and faith becomes a distant memory.

… Does the journey continue, or does the path disappear leaving me lost and feeling alone?

Battling with Parkinson’s


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I hate this disease more than words can possibly say. But I still have it, it doesn’t have me – at least that’s what I tell myself every morning when I wake up.

The symptoms are painful at times, from the stiffness that overtakes my left side, to the never-ending tremor that I am secretly ashamed of, to the oft mistaken for drunkenness stumble. (I actually have a card that says I’m not drunk I have Parkinson’s).

And then there’s my neurologist. God bless doctors, but this man doesn’t appreciate the simplicity of ‘if it walks like a duck…’. Currently there is no test for Parkinson’s, when diagnosed you are prescribed a medication specifically designed for the nature of the disease and if you respond to the effects of the medication – guess what?

March 10, 2011 a doctor at UCSF did in one 30 minute visit what no other doctor specializing in neurology, of which I saw many within a five year span, could do. He told me that while rare for someone my age (26 at the time) he believed that Parkinson’s was what I was experience the crippling symptoms of. I was then prescribed a medication called Ropinirole and never looked back. Until January of this year when my newly appointed neurologist decided to fix what wasn’t broken and changed my medications around. My symptoms weren’t at the stage to which that degree of drug needed and I actually became worse – to the extent that I could barely walk.

When I finally got my Ropinirole back, the directions were (and still are!) written incorrectly. Not to mention I was asked to go through the same tests that I was subjected to before the diagnosis. I disagreed and am still refusing the tests. Perhaps I’m wrong, but I am living with the disease not he, and I understand what the tests were looking for then and I didn’t exhibit any of the symptoms, and guess what, I’m still not. Judge me if you want to, but at the end of the day it’s my health and there’s no one who can argue otherwise.

I’m sick of this disease, in all honesty, and I hope that a cure is closer than I think.

That’s my battle.

… and the journey continues.

Yes, Another Dating and Parkinson’s Post (Slight rant, fyi)


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I had to give this post a good amount of thought before sitting down to write today. While I want to voice my opinion, I also don’t want to make it sound as though I’m beating the proverbial horse, as this is not my first post on this subject.

This is a long post be warned, but don’t miss the two links at the end – very interesting if you ask me.

It seems beyond my imagination that anyone would query whether or not people with Parkinson’s can date – either another PD patient or someone who is perceived as ‘normal’. There’s no reason, to me at least, why a Parkinson’s patient should either be denied or deny themselves a chance to experience the emotions and opportunity for personal growth that stem from a relationship. Then again, I’m speaking from only one side of the situation – though to be fair, I have to say that Parkinson’s has never ‘interfered’ with any relationship that I invested (or am investing; speaking to the current as well) my time and emotions to. Maybe ‘interfere’ isn’t the right verb, perhaps, disrupt or I should say, Parkinson’s has never been a source of disruption to a relationship… But I digress.

I’ve learned more about myself from the relationships that I’ve had since my diagnosis that I may never have realized otherwise. For example, I have come to learn that the way in which I perceive myself, or rather my symptoms, in certain situations; i.e. socially: whether I’m out among friends or at a darting event, or privately: when I’m allowed to obtain a moments peace from the tremor of course, and even romantic situations: such as when I’m being held in a loving embrace by someone who is as genuine in their emotions with me as I him – is often times more dramatic to me than to the people or person with whom I am spending my moments. Perhaps though that’s just something that I need to work on.

For the most part, people tend to either not notice the symptoms to which I (unfortunately) have become accustomed, or are polite enough to not make their private opinions public. (For which I am thankful!)

These are the moments that I treasure when I’m facing the agonizing stiffness that renders me nearly totally immobile at times, or the tremors that seem to only get worse when I relax and become even more worrying as I find myself tensing up from the stress of it all. In these moments I, like a beloved literary character from my childhood, named Ferdinand (the mouse, not the bull) wrap myself in, as Ferdinand did with his memories of the warm radiant sunshine that graced his summer days during the cold snap of winter months, the memory of a happier time – or at least a time in which I didn’t feel the effects of my disease quite so much.

It’s as though I am able to put aside the sometimes painful symptoms that appear without warning and last for indeterminate periods of time, and at least pretend that I’m not living every second in the terrifying spans of time.

My good days are plenty, but when the bad days come – they can be brutal. Most days I feel as happy and as optimistic as I did before the onset of my earliest symptom… granted, my philosophy on the disease may have some bearing on my mindset in that respect; I have it (Parkinson’s), it does NOT have me.Though when I’m weak from the effects of a bad PD day, I wish I could hide myself away from the world. As I’ve said previously, I’ve perfected a mask for nearly everyday – where I can hide my real emotions from those around me… weary and weak the mask doesn’t even begin to hide my real, raw, painful emotions. While few, they are not far between.

A bad day typically starts a viscous cycle that becomes self perpetuating. Slowly a depression takes hold, bringing with it insomnia and stress coupled together (they sustain one another and consequently feed the whole cycle), then anxiety sets in… its never ending, maddening, infuriating, and even more frightening – nothing seems to really stop any part of it, it’s unbreakable.

These days, I’m noticing the progression of the disease as it takes over my right side, albeit slowly. I can pretend it isn’t really happening but it’s there nonetheless, no matter how glacial the pace.

The awkward stiffness that I first noticed in my left arm has crept down through to my right hand. Not good for darts, but I think I will be able to tolerate a few hours of uncomfortable sensations in return for the joy I feel when I am playing darts.

Despite the fact that four years ago this March (March 10, 2011 was my diagnosis), there was no way I would ever be able to hit the double bull’s eye let alone take my time finding my mark on the line to throw my dart from. My balance then, unlike now, was very unreliable – unreliable to the point where I would not be able to maintain my balance with both feet flat on the ground (nevermind standing on one foot! That was never possible during the 5 years it took my doctors to figure out the mysterious symptoms that are, now, so obvious of a classic Parkinson’s diagnosis – textbook definition that is.) for a period of no more nor less than roughly 5 seconds before I would either sail backwards until I crashed into anything that could break my fall, or stumble sideways awkwardly – once I was even thought drunk at 2 pm. Now I consider that memory funny since I’m not now nor have I ever been much of a drinker. At the time however, I was insulted to say the least. 2 drinks has always been my limit, if I drink more than two I have a rule 1:1 – 1 alcoholic drink, 1 full pint glass of water. What faculties I can control I prefer to remain in control of.)

And that, oddly enough, brings me full circle to the topic at hand in this post. Judging a person based on their health shouldn’t be your deciding factor on determining who you would like to form a relationship with – granted, I can think of a few exceptions… However, shutting someone out because of their physical limitations due to illness or disease is shameful…

No one ever really expects to receive a devastating diagnosis, and I doubt anyone ever really wishes for something like this to appear – I certainly never asked for Parkinson’s – it just seems like an unnecessary burden to an already stress filled life.

…and my journey continues!


Feeling Time

I can honestly say that I’ve never felt time slip away as I am feeling it now.
My great grandfather is in the hospital at current and we, the family, know that we’re now staring down what we never wanted to acknowledge in fullness; that the man who has been and always will be for each and every one of us living on in memory after his passing, as many ideals of the perfect man, some of which can be noted as a patient teacher, an understanding ear, a shoulder to cry on, a model of the Golden Rule… I could go on.

To me, my great grandfather is the man to whom I looked for advice, guidance, and friendship. He was THE male figure in my life growing up… from him I learned so many things, including how to play poker (for pennies of course, but because of his faithful tutelage I can play 5 card draw, 5 card stud, 7 card stud, and Texas Holdem), blackjack (again for pennies), dominoes, cribbage, I am a master of hide and seek which he’d play on end with me until I tired of the game… I have a well cultivated green thumb that knows which seasons to plant peas in, I can bait a fishing hook, change a lure, restring a fishing pole… and of course, my love for the game of golf (I don’t play as well as he, I’m guaranteed to hit at least one tree on the course when I play)!

Among other things, the most valuable lessons learned were to be able to listen to others as we would want to be heard and offer advice to encourage those who seek our help. In addition, the greatest lesson we all saw and learned firsthand and were each recipients of in varied ways was his unconditional love, which he gave to us through his gentleness and generosity to which there were no limits.

My great grandfather grew up in an era that we hear and see only in movies. He was born in 1916 to German immigrants who settled in New Franklin Missouri and raised six children of which he is the oldest, and sole surviving sibling.

When he was old enough to start attending school, the lesson was learned quickly that only English was spoken in the classroom; a language which he had no understanding of, as yet. Waiting out the year, he began school the following year with his brother who had learned English and helped my great grandfather learn the language as well.
The stories he told us all of life growing up on a farm in Missouri kept me entertained and still do, as I recall them now. His stories often included some kind of mischief that he and his brothers would get themselves into – case and point – like the time he caught a bullet fragment in his cheek while hunting rabbits; when he should have been ploughing, and therefore couldn’t tell anyone, a fragment that’s still there to this day.

I’ll never forget the first Thanksgiving dinner that my step father came to, I overheard what I can only describe as a true country boys’ conversation; ‘Yeah, I’ve had squirrel, it’s tasty if cooked right.’ said my great grandfather in response to the question posed to him. My only thought being ‘Where are the deuling banjos?!’

He also gave me my very first nickname; Peanut. I was born two months early, and weighed in at 980 grams… when my great grandfather first came to visit me in the NICU, which I might add took some serious persuading as babies such as myself didn’t have good odds in the era he grew up in (or now, come to think of it!)… However I will say, I was born breathing on my own. When he saw me he said, ‘Why she’s no bigger than a peanut!’ and ‘Peanut’ stuck – a nickname which to this day I am still called on occaision.

He served his country during World War II, and even stood his post once with a potato masher… I can’t recall the reason why though – but I remember there was a potato masher.

He met the love of his life and the woman whom he later wed during a USO dance… now that’s a good story! My great grandmother was dancing with a sargeant who kept stepping on her toes, and wanted the next few dances with her, and she, being less than enamored with the insistant man parted with him and partnered with my great grandfather who had requested the next dance. When the Sargeant tried to cut in, he discovered that it was his misfortune, as she had promised all of the remaining dances to the young private (aka my great PaPa). I can only imagine how delighted she must have been… I’ve danced with my great grandfather and can honestly say I’ve never had a better partner. The song Blue Spanish Eyes will always hold a special place in my heart.

I’ve seen the pictures from those days, and I must say, my great grandma chose well! With his shoe polish black hair slicked back acording to Army regs, and especially in his uniform Louis Austerman was a catch indeed.

To the man who taught me so much, gave me everything he had to help me grow into the young woman that I am today, fostered in me the stubborn determination that I muster through each and every situation that seems as though it may break me, and taught me to enjoy every opportunity life offered I can only say this though it doesn’t seem adequate; Thank you.
No man will ever seem to match up to you; you personified the ideal of the perfect gentleman in my opinion…

You will be greatly missed.

I know you will be joining Bernardine and Scott, and hope and pray that the three of you watch over to guard and guide those whose lives you touched.

I know exactly what you’d say to this post, and I’m smiling about that now; in true PaPa form, you’d say, ‘Well… whatever.’

Louis Friedrich Austerman passed away peacefully at approximately 11pm on November 25, 2014. He is survived by his daughters; Mary and Nancy, his granddaughters; Diana, Jennifer, and Laura, and his great granddaughter; Elizabeth (the author of this post).

Devastated – a tale of the lack of sleep

Ever second guess yourself? Sure, who hasn’t… But what about when you do it over and over because your sleep deprived brain has no clue which way is up? That’s what I’m experiencing currently and I wouldn’t wish this on anyone, ever.

It’s bad enough to lay in your bed and stare at the ceiling night after night, but when you start to become what can only be described as paranoid and delusional, when you find yourself checking and rechecking things constantly just to give your mind some peace, worse yet when people don’t believe you, or worse still, when a loved one says that you’re starting to scare them.

This isn’t a side of Parkinson’s that anyone ever warns anyone else about because deep down, there’s an ever present fear that you may just be losing your mind.

I’ve tried and tried to put to rest my unease, my fears and qualms, but nothing helps!

I’m not a drug addicted person you might chance upon in the street, talking aloud to themselves as they go along about this and or that…

and no, I’m not a heavy drinker either.

So, what’s the cure for this?

I have absolutely no clue.

Looking Back

If five years ago someone had told me that I would not only be living with Parkinson’s disease, but living with it AND accepting the diagnosis and the changes that would come with it I would have said that they were nuts.

But the truth is this, to accept something as life altering as a diagnosis such as that, the only way to know how you’ll react is by being in the moment. Not that I wish any of you to develop Parkinson’s disease. It’s by far the most difficult thing I could have ever imagined.

Through trials of various physical and emotional strength, I’ve been pushed to my limits and have grown in so many ways because of the times that were tough. With tribulations that some days have left me in tears, broken down and weary from the fight I’ve realized the opportunities and experiences that I need to slow down and give value to and which to pay no heed to or simply brush off. In moments of triumph from a realized ability, like darts and drawing, I find the strength I need to make it through the next depressing downfall.

Parkinson’s disease is certainly not anything I ever imagined I would develop in my lifetime, let alone being diagnosed at the age of 26… four years younger than Michael J Fox – someone to whom I find I am compared to when people learn of my disease. Don’t get me wrong, I respect the man greatly and look up to him as someone who has successfully accepted their diagnosis for all its demons and whatnot… but the facts still remain that I was four years younger than he, and had been a medical anomaly for five years prior. Which if you do the math means that the onset was fairly early. My neurologist suspects that my onset was likely when I was about 15 years old.

There have been catastrophic dark days where I would lie in my bed unable to move because my body was simply too stiff… I cried myself to sleep those nights.

There have been moments where I’ve felt on top of the world, and happening more and more often since I began throwing darts. Every time my dart sails into the double bull I’m humbled by my disease. Technically, I shouldn’t be able to play, and yet I do!

Granted the moments I enjoy most are when I’m surrounded by the people in my life who treasure me, and I them – laughing, being carefree, effervescent, not giving credence, time, or space to the monster I keep hidden away.

There are more times than I care to admit when my Parkinson’s has made me ashamed. Not of myself, but rather of the quality of life that I experience in those times. It’s not pretty when I reach those points and I wish to God that I didn’t have to experience those excruciating emotions. The shame I feel is a forced emotion, brought on by the judgmental looks I receive when my symptoms are more noticeable; like the tremor that can become so strong that it takes over everything, regardless of whether I’m sitting, standing, or lying down. There’s a reality that sets in occasionally, a reality that screams, ‘You’re broken!!’ The reality in and of itself when I am overcome by it is the root of so many of my struggles with personal faults and shortcomings.

And yet… I’m hopeful, for oh so many things! A cure for starters, a little more understanding from those who would rather accuse me of being lazy and ignorant on the bus, appearing to take up a seat that is reserved for the senior and disabled muni riders – all because I appear healthy on the outside. More than anything though, I’m hopeful that my life will have many more opportunities to learn something new about myself, or just to learn something new. I’ve taken far too many things for granted in my life and I’m starting to understand that I need to slow down a little and appreciate each opportunity that I’m blessed with, because each one is a gift – and gifts are so special when they’re filled with the kinds of opportunities to gift something back to yourself, something that you will benefit from in a multitude of ways.

I never used to be the kind of person who set goals or standards, per se… though there is something to be said for taking what life throws at you and just being thankful and grateful. But I digress…

This morning when I woke beside my boyfriend I realized I haven’t challenged myself enough yet, and that’s a goal I’d like to maintain for years to come. I mean, sure, I’ve challenged myself, but I also give up on myself too often. It’s a kind of defeat that serves on purpose in life, making one depressed.

The darker side of the Parkinson’s, the side I never want anyone to find out about, and I mean never in the sense that I’ll wear my mask and hide the truth until I’m behind closed doors where I can let the mask slip off and curl up and cry, alone and afraid of what my life may be like 5, 10, 15, 20 years down the road. No one can say, but I can guide myself to the me I want to see x number of years down the road. How many of us can honestly say that we listen to ourselves enough to know what those wayward little emotions that sneak in and take over mean. I know damn well that I can’t. But I’d like to!

What I was really leading up to there was the depression that comes with the disease. Because of the way Parkinson’s works in the brain, it causes it’s own depression; Parkinson’s disease is a neuro-degenerative disease that takes effect by depleting the brain of its dopamine receptors. Dopamine receptors are responsible for your happiness, in essence. When the receptors are damaged they aren’t able to receive the dopamine as well which promotes a suitable environment for depression to develop, which more often than not it does.

Inevitably however, the depression creates a hospitable environment for insomnia which then in turn promotes an anxiety that gnaws at you about the stupidest most inconsequential things imaginable, but more often than not the anxiety creates a vicious circle, you – well, I – become depressed, then the insomnia begins, followed by the anxiety, which then feeds off the depression and you find yourself becoming exceedingly anxious about absolutely everything including sleep which then feeds the depression, which then feeds the insomnia, which then feeds the anxiety. It quickly becomes an uroboros cycle that takes its toll emotionally, spiritually, physically, and every other way possible.

Those drawbacks and limitations aside, Parkinson’s has made me realize that I’m so much more with it than I ever thought I could be without it.

… and the journey continues!

Love and Parkinson’s


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More than I thought I would, I see comments and search engine queries for people wondering about dating and Parkinson’s… I’ve written a few posts on the subject but having just emailed an answer to a comment, I feel that now is the right time to address the issue at hand once more.

There is absolutely no reason that someone with Parkinson’s disease cannot have a romantic relationship with someone. In fact a good friend of mine recently proposed to his sweetheart and they couldn’t be happier! She knows about his diagnosis and to the best of my knowledge it’s not a hindrance, and that’s as it should be!

In my recent breakup, at one point my ex made a crude and very crass remark about his liver (he is an alcoholic) and how he can just stop drinking (not bloody likely!) if something happens to him and he can make corrections to his health whereas there’s nothing that can cure me. Clearly, that was crossing a line, and don’t worry I let him know so in no uncertain terms. But it brings to light the fact that some people just can not handle a relationship with someone who is disabled. Those are NOT the kinds of people PD patients need in their lives. It’s hard enough accepting the disease by itself, without idiots like my ex throwing our ineptitude and shortcomings due to physical limitations back in our faces.

The kinds of people who are open and accepting enough, and mentally mature enough, to understand that there’s more to life than what meets the eye and who can consequently accept the fact that life comes with the occasional curve ball – and aren’t afraid to take a chance on said curve ball are the kinds of people PD patients need to thrive and find that joy that gets lost in translation.

We lose so much of ourselves in the recreation process after diagnosis that when we finally regain that sense of self, we’ve had to make so many adjustments that we no longer recognize who we are, only remembering who we were. That’s where the loss of joy comes from, in my opinion. But it doesn’t have to be a permanent loss. It wasn’t for me, I adapted and overcame my obstacles and now… I’m as happy as I’ve ever been, and have a wonderful relationship with a man who hasn’t let me forget yet that I’m something special even with the Parkinson’s. And that’s how it should be.

You shouldn’t have to justify one aspect to be happy in another. If you’re making excuses because you think you’re happy, you’re not – and I hate to say that. But you do not have to settle for mediocrity, instead strive for the best because you do deserve it – in love as well as life. And don’t you forget it!

… and the journey continues!

You Had To Be There

Nearly a month ago, I got out of an emotionally abusive relationship with an alcoholic. You hear about women who get caught in the cycle of such a relationship, and I’ll be honest, I never thought I would be one of them.

You don’t see the patterns of abuse when you’re inside the vortex of cruelty that comes and goes, especially with an alcoholic. And Lord do I wish I had. We dated for 10 months, but if felt like it could have been 10 years.

I constantly felt like I was his mistress; his first and true loves being Jameson and Heineken. No matter what time he said he would meet me he was always an hour or so late at least. There was always something that took precedence, and it was usually another bar. I was never important enough for him to realize the commitment that is implied and expected when you are in a relationship. And God help me if there was an Irish man in whichever bar that my ex and I were in together; I simply didn’t exist until the Irish man, or Irish men left. Then all of a sudden it was like I had just arrived. Although that feeling only lasted about 5 minutes, and then he would go off and find something else to do, a game of pool, darts, or game that involved a ring on a string that you had to swing onto a hook that was screwed into the wall. And I was definitely not allowed to voice an opinion.

More often than not he misread my text messages and rather than ask for clarification he would jump down my throat (so to speak) and rant and rave at me for being stupid and as the time we spent together grew, so did his ‘shut down’ line of ‘Get out of my house’. I tried to argue most of the time to get him to understand that he was in the wrong. Sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn’t. Most of the time though I wound up apologizing to him!

If something went wrong at work, I was the one he took his frustrations out on verbally. If he received too many text messages and/or phone calls during the day, somehow it was my fault. I was always getting the blame for miscellaneous happenings that I had absolutely nothing to do with for the most part, I mean, yes I would send him text messages from time to time, but I started to realize I was expected to keep absolute silence, after all – the relationship was being run on his terms, and if I didn’t like it, I knew what to do – as I was so often told when I chided him for being juvenile. (In case you’re wondering – leaving was what I knew I could do if I didn’t like the way I was being treated. Don’t ask why it took me so long to realize nothing would ever change.)

Of late, he’s still doing things his way, and because of his way I’ve had to change my phone number and get my name unlisted. Because of his way I’ve got the most hateful, cruel, downright nasty voicemail messages on my phone that I’ve saved in case I need to file a restraining order. Because of his way I’ve got saved on my phone the vilest, seething text messages dripping with venom that sinks in and stings to my very core that I’ve saved for the people who tell me he’s not a mean man, or that I’m over reacting, or that he’d never hurt me. Because of his way, I’ve been finding myself looking over my shoulder every time I hear a car coming down the block, I stare at every two door black compact car that approaches and I pray that it’s not him because deep down, I’m terrified to run into him to be completely candid. Because of his way, I may need to orchestrate a Civil Standby with the SFPD to get my belongings that are still in his apartment back. Because of his way, I find myself staring down his threats and cowering in my bed at night, praying that every car I hear approaching the house that I live in and slowing to a stop isn’t him, coming to make good on his last threat – to bring my belongings back personally and empty a pack of vicious lies into my grandmother’s ear.

I’ve heard too many people tell me that I’m over reacting, that I’m being silly, that I have to move on and let it go, and that he wouldn’t ever hurt anyone. To you all I say this; you were not in my relationship with him. You don’t know what I suffered and what I endured. You don’t know how many times I heard him say ‘I’m sorry’ only to have him turn around the very next day and do the exact same thing. You don’t know how many times I would sit alone and cry because of the wicked things he said to me either in person, over the phone, or in text message. And last but not least, you don’t know what it feels like to hear someone tell you that they love you each night before you both go to sleep only to find out at the final break up that he never meant it; that on Christmas day when I got a long distance phone call from him to tell me for the first time that he loved me, what he really meant was that he wanted to love me, but never could quite get there because he refuses to let part of his past go.

There’s no cure for the hurt you feel after learning something like that. You end up in a tail spin so violent that you’re certain there’s only one way it will end as you freefall deeper and deeper into the dark pit of despair. Then, when you hit rock bottom, he realizes he’s not done, and lets you know in no uncertain terms.

I’ve been emotionally scarred, because of his way I’m not sure that I can ever let myself fall in love again. I gave my heart to him and he shattered it time and time again. I feel caught in his web of deception.

I’m seeing someone new, someone very exciting, someone whom I know would NEVER do anything to hurt me in any way shape or form, someone with whom I’ve talked more in the past three weeks, than the ex and I ever did during 10 months of dating, someone whom I know cares for me truly, and best of all someone who makes me feel like I’m not just taking up space in their life, but more like they are making time for me in their life.

To my ex, if you do ever read this and I hope you do – I hope someone you know reads it first and sends you the link, I want you to understand that I’ve spoken the absolute truth here, and when you do realize that this is all the absolute truth, you realize that doing things your way only ruins other people’s lives, even though I’m sure you sleep just fine at night it’s rare these days that I can sleep more than four hours at a time.

You can’t expect life to play by your rules, you have to play by life’s rules or God help you – and no, that’s not a threat, it’s just a fact. Your ego can only get you so far, but honesty and hope get you almost everywhere. You didn’t have to lie to me every night since you came back from your trip at Christmas, I could have done without that – especially when you finally found the courage somewhere to come clean and tell me that you never did love me at all, that’s a scar that I’ll carry for the rest of my life, you gave me something that I thought was so precious on a very extraordinary day and now I’m dreading facing Christmas day this year, you ruined what should be a day focused on faith and family, with your malicious lie.

You brought me down so far, and made me feel so low, I’d love to know how you sleep at night knowing exactly what went on between us. I never did anything to deserve the pure unadulterated hatred that seems to ooze from your very soul towards me, and I can’t make right the wrongs that were done to you, though you know I tried. And yet, no matter what I did, how much effort I gave, how much of myself I put into fostering a sense of pride within you for, oh, so many things, it was never enough. Nothing ever was.

There are times these days when I’m alone and thinking back on all that has transpired between us, I hear a tiny voice from deep within, wondering loudly – might it not have been better for things to have turned out differently the night of the fire?

I’m glad each and every day I get to wake up beside the new man in my life, because I finally know what it feels like to have someone who actually gives a damn about me, who listens when I talk, and with whom I can share the most exquisite of emotions. And I wouldn’t wish to change that for anything.

And the journey continues.

Midnight Musing – Click


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I’ve never had so many things go right in my life all at the same time. It’s a truly amazing feeling.

My boyfriend and I (that is, my boyfriend of 9 months) are getting along better than we ever have. This past weekend we went camping, and it was awesome to be able to spend so much time with him and to grow closer in our relationship. I’m truly blessed to have such a wonderful man in my life, and honored as well.

My culinary career is in full swing, and I’m excited about the possibilities that are coming my way with the company that I’m working with. I received the best compliment from a fellow chef that can’t be topped – he was tasting my signature dessert, a lemon bar with lavender shortbread crust, and he told me that years ago he used to work with a pastry chef who was big into shortbread, but that mine was better.

Not 45 minutes before that I sat in on a menu tasting and the Tiramisu that’d I’d made on the fly was attacked by the tasters and the owners of the company, and I was told that it was spot on. I’m still astounded because I’d make so many alterations to the classic that while it looked like a Tiramisu, and had the basic components, Italian chefs would have been horrified by my changes.

I’d made a mini chocolate cake as well that was, as I was told, fabulous. It too was devoured by the chef who complimented my shortbread, and the tasting guests as well. There was an impromptu birthday celebration that the remaining cakes were used for and I, at one point in the early evening – while talking with the chef, heard my name being mentioned for and moments later I heard an applause over the noisy room.

I’m so blessed to be surrounded by those I love and those who love me, and humbled by my career which I thought that because of my disease was at an end.

I’m living proof that there is no obstacle large enough that with time, patience, and true devotion cannot be overcome.

… and the journey continues.