I have always been a seeker, searching for happiness. It seemed like such an easy concept, you should just be able to tell yourself its time to shine your light. I felt moments of peace, immediately gaining a distressed feeling as if something bad was about to happen. I am not one to be deterred especially when it comes to something very important to me. In a constant, I strive to do the best I can and be the best person I can be. I have pondered the idea of simply not caring. I wondered if I didn’t care how others felt, maybe, I could have found this thing called happiness. What if I lived for my own feelings? If I put myself first? What if I lived knowing that I am safe in God’s hands?
My story begins the day I gained life. I was brought in to this world by a mother that loved me, and a dad that didn’t want me. Eventually, my mother found love from a man that was willing to give her daughter his name. I was three when my mother and stepfather gained a son. I loved him! I was a bit jealous, he had reddish-orange curls that everyone adored. Between all the compliments my brother gained and the anger I received at home for my existence, I swept my sadness to the side because I Did Love Him!
When I look back on my childhood, every memory contains hate. Hate from a man I was made to believe was my father. Hate for my life. My childhood question was, why me? I retained heart and truth, I was very confident in who I was. I know as an adult, I should have had severe self-esteem issues. I kept my confidence because I was a little girl with true faith. As far back as I can remember I went to church by myself. I gained peace from church, and I gained love from God. My stepfather was in the navy growing up; I never had stability because we moved so much. I wasn’t scared to walk into a new church I knew I would be welcomed. Just the same, I had confidence enough to be OK with attending new schools. I had total faith in God; I knew this life wasn’t meant for me and it was just something I had to go through. I knew at some point I would turn 18 and I would have the freedom to be myself without hate. I am human though, I counted. Sometimes, I would count minutes. Sometimes, I would count hours. If things seemed to be balanced, I counted days.
As a child I had night terrors every night. As an adult, I understand it was because I was stressed. My grandmother and I were extremely close. She was my love and my safety. One year for Christmas, she gave me a pound puppy. In my youthful mind, I used the pound puppy as God’s Temple. Every night before bed, I prayed to my pound puppy Pooch. I gained peace and comfort, I felt the love from God and my grandmother, and I gained a sound sleep. If I did not pray before sleep; I was woken in terror by the pursuit of death. At some point, I lost Pooch. None the less, my story goes on…
When I turned 15, I realized I had a gift. My mother and I were riding with my grandmother to the store when a sudden thought jumped into my mind from out of nowhere. I felt this thought throughout my whole entire being. I relayed the message to my mother, she would die before my graduation if she did not quit smoking. She shrugged off my words, I assume that she probably thought it came from the teachings at school. Me on the other hand, frantic for her life, I was not giving up on relaying this message.
I was 17 years old at a house party when a man questioned my faith. He asked, “Who created God if God created everything?” I questioned this statement, and I began a quest for answers. I lost God’s temple, and I gained nothingness. I gained anger and I questioned who I was. I began to suffer from severe anxiety, consistently questioning death. I gained true darkness. On one particular day, I was getting screamed at for reasons well deserved, but I had enough! I finally snapped! I grabbed the kitchen chair and threw it at my stepdad, and I grabbed a knife. I thought to myself, no more hell! No more abuse! In the background of my rage, I faintly heard my mother’s plea. My mother was sobbing when I noticed her. I dropped the knife and ran to the steps, I sat down hyperventilating, I was consumed with hate.
My mother had depression, and it became more severe as the years past. My mother’s way of coping was to withdraw, so we didn’t talk very much. After I lost my mind over my stepfather, my mother began to distance herself even further, she began eating her dinners in the living room away from the family. I loved my mother, and I knew she was sad for me. I also know that she loved me, heart and soul. One day she came to me with a proposition, one that would make my dreams come true! She told me that she loved me, and she gave me permission to live with my grandmother. It seemed I had been counting down time forever. I thought back to a day when my stepdad punched my mom in the face. What would happen if I left? I kept my mother safe. My mother wanted me to be happy, she didn’t want me to leave but she was willing to sacrifice her wants. At this point it was time to learn self-sacrifice myself, my mother’s safety was worth more than my freedom. I also had my mother’s death notice in the back of my mind.
It was February, my junior year in high school. I was getting ready for school when my brother yelled up the steps that mom didn’t feel well. I sent my brother to school. When I walked into the living room, my mother was laying on the couch: blue, with foam coming out of her mouth, and convulsing. I called 911, and they talked me through CPR until the paramedics showed up. I watched as she died numerous times. They took her to the hospital, and when I arrived she was sitting up! I told her, “Don’t you ever do that to me again!” As she smiled I said, “You can’t leave me!”
Two months later, I was angry with my mother and went to stay with my grandmother. Deep down, I think I was really just sad because she didn’t know me. My mother called that night, I could tell she was sorry, she never called when I stayed at my grandmother’s. Maybe, she knew something bad was going to happen. Grandma received a call in the morning, something happened to mom. My 13-year-old brother found our mother on the steps and was left home alone, after being scolded by my stepfather for not doing enough. I found my brother a ride to my grandmother’s, and when we were reunited we walked to the hospital with fear and contemplation. When we arrived at the hospital, the nurse came out and confirmed my mother’s death. I look back at the emptiness, and loneliness I felt. I see her in the casket, I rubbed her hair and face, she was so cold and so hard. I wanted this moment to last forever because after the funeral everything that was me – would be a memory. This was my life, and the beginning of a ten-month, hourly countdown. I am now left alone with my stepdad; I am the woman of the house, and I had to watch over my brother.
During those 10 months, I met a man that had all the right words. He gave me a smile through my devastation. He prepared us with a home, and a car, so when I turned eighteen we could be together. At midnight on my eighteenth birthday, I had the car packed. By the time my stepfather returned home from work, I was all moved out. I soon came to realize, I did not gain a night and shining armor. Growing up, I learned what I did wrong: I played in the sink water, I got a bad grade, I put my elbows on the table, and I sat with my legs crossed on the wooden kitchen chair. I did not learn how you survive in the world. So instead of moving on, I stayed with an alcoholic, for 10 years and gained two beautiful souls. I gave my heart to him, and I fought for our family. I could never count on the fact that he was coming home before 3 am when I did I gained disappointment. I trained myself to expect it, and be happy when he did return home sober. Before our second child was born, he was at his worst. While I was giving birth he was enjoying the parking lot and came in long enough to watch my son take his first breath and left again. I eventually had to threaten to have him kicked out of the hospital, he left and I could finally bond with my son through all my sadness. I was abandoned at that hospital and the next I saw him, was 3:00 am. He disappeared a lot over the next two years. I look back and I can’t remember any of the first year of my son’s life. He eventually found pills and I gained a new insanity. I was never sure if I was delusional or if he was under the influence. This became my life. When I did decide to believe his innocence, was the time he drove my kids into a guard rail. I never knew what to believe, when all I really wanted was to believe in him.
I stuck by him, I tried to save him, and even protected him for nine-plus years. The day I decided I was done, I had a house and a car, and I was a stay at home mom. My daughter was 6, and my son 5. I had bills that needed paid and children that needed to be taken care of. It was time to build a life on my own, for my children. I received a call from the kid’s father, he missed the kids and wanted to see them. I didn’t think twice, they missed him too.
My children never spent the night away from me, when he went to the courthouse and filed for temporary custody. He told the courts that I was a drug addict. During the next four months, I cried more than not. I frantically searched for help, I went to children and youth, and I visited multiple attorneys that I couldn’t afford. I would never stop, my kids are my life. I received calls from my kid’s dad, with my kids crying in the background for their mom. He wanted me back, and he knew I wanted them back. I was hired at a ski resort, as a housekeeper and I worked as much as they would allow me to work. After work, I would go to the bar until closing and do it again. It was devastating to be home. I missed my babies! It was hard for me to see the fact that I overcome my fears, through all of the pain. I could take care of myself, and eventually my kids!
I guess I had it right, not letting myself feel accomplished. I was headed home from work when my car started missing. It made it home, where it died. My job was a half an hour drive away, and the nearest store was four miles away from where I lived. The loss of my vehicle made persistence very difficult. It’s important to note: I had a loan for my vehicle, and was current on my payments. I had it towed to a garage, and I told the mechanic there was probably something in the gas. The mechanic changed one part, and let me know that he couldn’t help me. I had it towed to another garage, I let them know there may be something in the gas, but they kept milking me for cash. After six hundred dollars spent, I got a tow truck to bring my SUV back home. When I received it, the engine laid in the trunk. My vehicle then sat in the yard, as a reminder of my broken life. Eventually, the kid’s dad decided to sneak down and steal all the parts, including the wheels. Meanwhile, the vehicle he was driving was in my name. I called the state police on three different occasions, each time I was told, I needed to take him to court to get the vehicle. I also had to keep paying for the insurance on the vehicle or I would be held liable. It’s also important to note that we were never married. Finally, an attorney agreed to take a payment plan to get my kids back, I gained some light! I gained hope and happiness! He also sent me to a private detective, who made a phone call to have my vehicle returned to me. I had a vehicle, I let myself feel accomplished and I deserved every bit of it!!!! About a week passed, I was driving home from work, and my vehicle began missing. When I arrived home, it died in my driveway. Yet again, I had no vehicle! Enough was enough! I went to a dealership, and they gave me a loan for a car. Before returning home, I stopped and bought my car a locked gas cap. Bring it! Every time I hit a wall, I break down just enough to come back in a more powerful position.
On New Years’ 2009, three days after getting my car; I decided to go out for a free glass of wine. I didn’t have any money, but I didn’t want to stay home miserable. My kid’s dad lived a rock throw away from me, and he often watched me leave my home. With that being said, instead of letting my car warm-up; I left in a hurry. That night there were winter storm warnings, and the snow laid very heavy. My new car refused to defrost the windshield. I turned the car around, and drove back home; I called my friends, and they came to pick me up. When we arrived back at the bar, my friends were drinking heavily. I realized I didn’t have my cell phone on me. The only number I had memorized, was my grandmother’s and there was no way I was going to have her pick me up from the bar in the middle of the night. Intuition told me this was going to be bad. I plead with them to let me drive, but I was stuck in the back. While heading home I was listening to my thoughts. Should I put on my seat belt? No. We get ready to go around a curve: I lay my head back, I close my eyes, and I think this is it. No sooner I say this is it, he loses control of the wheel.
At that moment, I lost everything I worked so hard to gain, and I lost apart of me. I lost five of my front teeth, and I had to use a walker for three months. I could not work, as a result: I lost my job, my new car, and my house was under foreclosure. I could not take care of myself, so I asked the kids dad to come home. The next nine months, we had a few spats, but all together we were good. One night, we got into a fight and I called the cops. I then was able to gain a P.F.A. This time I really had a mess to clean up, I had my kids and a house that was being foreclosed. I didn’t have any food, a car, or a job; I had nothing! I had some major planning to do! My grandmother and a friend of mine offered some food. I got a hold of the public assistance office, to get help with getting on my feet. I began going to a work program 40 hours a week, to get help with a vehicle. I got a ride back and forth, from their transportation van. I did this for a few months until I got a car. I got a job right away and took on a second. I ended up receiving a settlement for the car accident. I received enough money to take my house out of foreclosure, but I was constantly calling the police because of P.F.A Violations. Most times they didn’t arrest him, and sometimes I got reprimanded for calling.
I got some great advice from a police officer, he said I needed to move! I decided to buy a trailer and found my peace. I was surprised by the attention I gained from the opposite sex. Men I chose to date proclaimed their love for me in a fashion that exceeded all romantic movies. I noticed a common denominator, those I chose to give my heart to including my kid’s dad had at some point spent time as a prisoner of a federal penitentiary. They were all damaged, in their own way.
One guy I dated, was just released from prison. We were in an argument one day when a familiar thought came across my mind. I looked at him, with tears in my eyes, sobbing. I said, you have 6 months to live if you don’t stop playing with temptation. I explained to him what happened to my mother. I promised him that this result was engraved unless he stopped what he was doing. He did not stop playing with temptation, and eventually, we broke up. Before six months came to pass, in the fifth month, he passed away from a drug overdose. I was destroyed; I asked myself, why I couldn’t just stick with him and fix everything. I blamed myself…
You hear horror stories about being naive because you think it could never happen to you. After I left the kid’s dad, it was like I just turned 21 and I was enjoying life. I loved meeting new people, and it was especially easy to talk to men. One night my kids were at their dad’s house and I went to the bar, and I was having a good time with two guys there. I had no interest in them romantically. One of the men worked with my uncle, and the other was a friend of my dearest friends. I had no doubt that I wouldn’t be safe going with them to breakfast after the bar closed. While riding home, they were talking rather peculiarly amongst themselves. When we arrived at my house, I hurried up and tried to lock both doors in the back. Because I always kept my house door unlocked when nobody was home as it was safe where I lived, they carried me in the house with one having my arms and the other having my legs. They began finding whatever wires they could find to tie me up. The one guy drug me around my house by the wires laughing, while the other kept yelling your hurting her. I asked them, what is the point in all of this, and I began threatening them. They left me with bruises and a lesson learned. Another time, I was headed to a field party. I stopped at a bar that I enjoyed on the way, to drink a beer. I always had great conversations with the bartender, that night he offered me a free shot. After that shot, I remembered getting to the party and saying hi to a couple of friends, after that everything was explained by my best friend. I played beer pong, I am not sure how well I did. I laid in the mud most of the night. A guy that I thought was my friend took me in his vehicle and had my underwear off; my best friend found me, she screamed at him and helped me out of the vehicle. I got into an altercation with a girl, my best friend hovered over my head, while I was kicked repeatedly. A beer bottle ended up in my back seat with the windshield shattered. I realized, that I was neglecting my top priority. Each situation began innocent, but I had put myself in harm enough times to learn a lesson. I was a mother and that was unacceptable.
I soon found a man with a great sense of humor, he was fantastic with my children and I was ready to settle down. We spent 6 years together, and I gained another beautiful soul. I was tired of being alone, and I wanted to feel safe again. I soon found out he was not my night and shining armor, either. He made me realize how much better off I was with an alcoholic. I never blamed him, instead, I blamed myself. I knew that each time he got angry it was because I was upset with him, and the love he had for me drove him crazy. I did not need a man; I overcame so much in my life that I could not be broken. My ego was my protection. When I see or feel the slightest bit of irritation, I shield myself by gaining silence. He could cry, scream, threaten, or plead with me and it gave me no emotion. What he was pleading for was my love. What he gained was an emotion that no one would give somebody they loved. I do not fight with exaggeration. I fight with the truth of your being, that makes you feel like you are obsolete. Eventually, things progressively got worse. One day we were in the middle of a huge fight when I gained yet another flash of insight. This time it was not about someone else, it was about me. I was 29 years old at the time, and I would not live to reach the age my mother died at 38 years of age. I would die of cancer. I broke down in tears. My boyfriend, forgot there was even an argument and tried consoling me. I cried all night. How can you stop cancer? I wasn’t even lucky enough to receive a way to rectify! What will my kids do without me?
I ended moving from the home I made for myself, into his home. The move triggered more and more dissatisfaction in our relationship. I was 33 years old when I was taken to the emergency room for severe chest pains. They didn’t find anything wrong with my heart, they instead took my appendix. It was a month after the operation, I began noticing a lot of strange occurrences. The first occurrence, I woke up in the middle of the night. As I sat up, I began hearing a sliding across the floor in the next room. The sliding made it’s way to my bedroom door, it turned out to be my 4-year-old son on his knees fast asleep. He stopped at the end of my bed, woke up immediately and in a panic. I began to notice a repetition, the spirit came every three months for three days at a time. There were many different situations. I got smacked repeatedly in my sleep. Televisions would turn on, or change channels. I would hear the garage doors slam shut. I would hear papers flying across the floor in the next room, with no evidence. My son’s toys would get played with at night. My boyfriend and I would take turns at night chasing after little running footsteps in the living room, while my son laid fast asleep. My grandmother ended up with a broken back and stayed with me for about three months. One night, my youngest came running into my bedroom, shaking from head to toe, with tears running down his face. He said the monster stole his cookie and took it to his brother’s room. Simultaneously my daughter came to my room and said that grandma needed me. My grandmother, who didn’t believe in ghosts, wanted to tell me that a spook who looked just like me stood next to her bed in my son’s room and said, “Grandma do you want a cookie?”
Besides, the haunting at my home I also had a deer. I had to do a lot of driving each day and every time I left my home, I would see a deer, standing at most six feet from the line on the road. The deer was predictable, I knew exactly where I would see it, the deer never blinked or moved as I drove past each time, it just watched me peacefully. I wondered if my mother took the form of the deer? When I saw it, I gained peace. Sometimes, I saw the deer three times a day, at the very least I saw it once or twice. I soon noticed I was losing a little weight without trying, I was 34 years old. I wondered if the deer was warning me. I began getting tests done to see what I could find. I figured that my insight years prior was now in effect. Once I began getting tests to save my life, I lost my deer. I must have been on the right path!
The time came to either fix my relationship or abandon it. We went to counseling together and it failed miserably. So, I began going by myself. My counselor made me understand, I have been treated badly by men my whole life. I never deserved it; I deserved respect, care, and love. He told me to go home and tell my boyfriend that I demand respect and the next time he degrades me or gets violent, I am done. I did what the counselor told me; the preceding day I was done. The next three weeks were gruesome, trying to find a place to move. I lost 20 lbs if not more. I worked 16 and 12-hour shifts to gather enough money to move. I did not have time to sleep, because of all the calls and planning that needed to be done in order to move.
I was at my work as a C.N.A., and I wasn’t able to speak because I was holding back a river. I spent most of that night shift in a resident’s room that was actively dying. I sat there watching her while she grasps my hand, she gained peace from my presence. I think we were both grateful for one another, we both needed the peace we gained. There were days when her breathing was very intense, but tonight she has little pain. She wasn’t talking to me though, as she did on days prior. The L.P.N. came into the room to check her vitals, and I gave him my report. He looked at me and said, “I do not know what has happened to you and I don’t want to know, but can I pray for you?” I quickly replied yes! As he was praying, my resident was rubbing my arm. Concluding the prayer her first and last words to me were, “believe”. After holding back a river of tears painfully for an hour, I gained peace and clarity. I gained strength and my God. I truly believe looking back, I would never have gotten through those last weeks without my God.
I found myself in the nicest place I had ever lived. I was able to afford everything I needed. I gained a light! I gained a new position at work that included a raise and on top of that, I was offered an endless supply of overtime. I worked 50-70 hours every week. Because I gained a new position, I lost coworkers that I saw as my sisters, out of jealousy. I gained many attacks and anger, by overworking myself to survive. Meanwhile, the doctors were still concluding that I was healthy after many tests. I was still loosing a lot of weight, I went from a size 11 to a double zero in seven months. I got to the point where I was scheduling to eat a couple of bites of something. I gathered fear that I would at the very least have to use a feeding tube. The doctor concluded that it was stress that was causing my illness. I decided to go to a gynecologist. I ended up having precancer in my cervix. I asked the doctor, how long it would take to get cancer from precancer. He explained up to 10 years. I lost my excitement as I did the math, that would mean that I wouldn’t have died from cancer until age 44. Upon removing the precancer from my cervix, he was astonished by the timing of the surgery. Within the year, by age 36 I would have had cancer, maybe I actually changed my outcome and saved my life!! Two weeks later, my bridge broke that replaced my front teeth, and I had to replace it with a denture. I was devastated, I felt hideous, and I was in an extreme amount of pain. Two weeks after the dental extractions, I didn’t have an appreciation that I wasn’t leaving my kids, that eventually I would heal and things would work out. Instead, I focused on all the things that have gone wrong in my life.
During my crisis, I reunited with a man that I had feelings for before I decided to settle down with my youngest son’s dad. He was still as rotten as the moment we first met. But, I could always see deeper than that. I was sad for him. I felt he didn’t deserve the hands that he was dealt and didn’t have enough strength to grow from it. I always knew that I could be his strength, and he could gain bliss on this earth. I tried for him for a few month the first time around, this time he tried for me. One night we went out, upon entering the establishment a song was playing. I felt an overwhelming thought, that I was exactly where I was supposed to be. I gained the thought that we were in each others lives for a reason, and that we needed each other. I was unbelievably grateful. I spent all of my life feeling that my existence caused men anger. In this moment I felt incredibly safe. Our relationship was magical, we could read each other’s feelings without saying a word and gain the passion to fix one another.
I decided to move my soulmate in, only five months after my six-year relationship. It was an awful time for me. He didn’t have any income due to a layoff, and I was paying out more and unable to work because of all the surgeries. One day I was completely stressed because of all that was on my plate, and I was exhausted! My soulmate looked at me and said, “I understand your stress, but look around at the blessings.” That statement really hit home for me, how often did I force myself to look at the good. How awful it was that I had to force myself to be happy. I gave myself misery from thought, and that thought began my journey for knowledge. I remember in the beginning, there was an advertisement on Facebook for Numerology.com. I had never heard of numerology and I checked out the free report that they were offering. It was miraculus how much the report knew about me. After that, I let questions guide me to answers. I began seeing that everything that made me miserable can be changed. I didn’t have to stay at a job I was miserable at, I gained faith that all things happen for a reason. I gained the reasoning that when something bad happened, I was either about to gain something better or I needed to learn a lesson from it. This was the beginning stage of my awakening.
I am 36 years of age, and it truly feels like I have lived two lifetimes already, and my journey of learning and understanding is now a way of life. My hope is that young ladies will take from this post understanding that being stuck is just merely a thought. I hope that I have also gave understanding that there is so much more to existing than what you can physically see. Being open to the knowledge of the unseen can ultimately bring you guidance. My last note is that, we have the opportunity at any moment to change our lives if we are not satisfied with the ways in which we live. This story is not over, but a section of a series.
(c) July 12, 2019, Andrea R Rice, All Rights Reserved.