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Steph
09 August 2018 @ 10:51 pm
this journal is very much friends only
please feel free to comment if you'd like to be added, but tell me a little bit about who you are.
my intention is for this journal to be fairly personal...so, please only comment if you'd like to be friends, not just increase the number on your "mutual friends" list.
love. ♥
 
 
Current Mood: accomplishedaccomplished
Current Music: just give me a reason - p!nk feat nate ruess
 
 
Steph
24 January 2015 @ 03:23 am
so... it looks like i'm back... who would've thought?
my old lj girls have been kinda slowly coming back into my life and i've realized how much i MISS them! but then i realize that i miss lj too. sooo i'm back!

this post is public but i am still going to have my journal friends only. i am also going to be a lot different than i was when i was on here years ago. see, back then, if you were friends with even just one friend of mine (and i didn't know some of my lj friends back then), i added you no questions asked. my journal got very personal when things with my ex got bad and while i did have filters, i still posted way too much as just friends only posts. when a certain community was created, basically with the intention of hurting people, i was an idiot and paid attention to it. it is there that i learned that not all of my friends were my friends. i will not do that again.

i am happy to add people who want to be added but, at least at the beginning, i will not get personal like that again with people i don't know. it is NOTHING PERSONAL - i just cannot repeat that experience i know it's "only the internet" but that HURT. seeing things you shared in confidence blasted for the world to see by someone anonymous just because they could? and the other thing that always killed me is both "mods" in that community were supposedly friends of mine as well. they didn't have to post those two things. but they did. they later explained to me how they had no choice. it was "favoritism" if they didn't post anything. i don't know, maybe i'm just older and smarter now, but so the hell what? if you know something is going to cause REAL pain to someone that you supposedly love? you don't facilitate it. and as for playing favorites, well, what are you doing owning and starting a community like that anyway? but, that's old news. i don't hold grudges - not with those girls. we were young and silly and not thinking of consequences. and i can't hold grudges with whoever shared those things either - i do not know who it was. i have my suspicions and i THINK i've narrowed it down to three - but, again, it doesn't matter. old news.

so. i'm back. and i want new friends and i want to add back my girls from before, whoever is still around anyway. :] i'm just smarter than last time. i am sure i'll get personal... but let's give it some time... and these days, i also have the benefit of keeping people around who i genuinely like and trust - and that's it. i don't care if i have the same mutual friends as whoever or whatever.

i'm a smarter girl. but i'm not a mean whiney person which i sound like in this post lmao. i promise.

so, let's start playing again! can't wait to catch up with y'all and make some new friends too.....

-steph. <3
 
 
Current Mood: tiredtired
Current Music: halo - bethany joy lenz
 
 
Steph
This is an intersection with ellakite.

"Have you ever had a dream that you were so sure was real? What if you were unable to wake from that dream? How would you know the difference between the dream world and the real world?" - Morpheus. (The Matrix)

Gasping for air, I open my eyes to find myself in my bedroom. I push the comforter off of me impatiently. I am drenched in sweat and my body temperature is so warm my skin feels like it is burned to the touch. Taking slow deep breaths, I collect myself and try to make some sense out of what has happened. It takes me less than a minute to figure it out - after all, this has happened before.

Some people have said that they find that place between being asleep and awake; between a dream and reality as a wonderful place. Those first few seconds of each day when you are blissfully unaware of any of your problems as your mind shifts into focus and then it all comes rushing back. I remember the days where I enjoyed waking up too. As a child, I even loved waking up in the middle of the night, so comfortable in my bed, and glancing at my clock to realize that I still had hours until I had to wake up - few moments felt as good as that. But, I no longer feel that way about the place in between being asleep and awake.

I sigh as I reach down to the carpet next to my bed and grab my laptop that I'd left there the day before. My stomach has that queasy feeling that I always get when I haven't had enough sleep... but it also has that newer feeling of anxiety that I now get... well... it feels like every morning. I haven't experienced immediate panic like that since I was 16 years old and having separation anxiety at summer camp. I would wake up in my cabin to feelings of panic before I even remembered that I was at camp. My body, for whatever reason, registered what was going on before my mind did. It's like that now too.

I pull up Google on my laptop and stare at the blinking screen. It is waiting for me to type in what I want to search for...what I need more information on. I'm not sure how to phrase it. I'm not sure Google can even help me.

After a few moments of staring, I finally type "extremely vivid dreams" into the search bar.

Suddenly, there's a knock at my door. "Hmm?" I say. My door is pushed open and my sister walks into the room.

Without warning, my stomach clenches in reaction to seeing her. I hate it, but this is how I react every time I see her lately. It is unfortunate, because we used to be so close. We still are, I suppose... but it is not the same anymore. No matter how hard I try, I cannot get my body or my mind to react to her the same way anymore. It is that and that alone that I find so disturbing.

I am a rational person. I live in the real world, not in a fantasy movie. I know that nobody actually has 'magic powers'.

And yet, every night, for months now, it is the same. My little sister, my best friend in the world, having these strange abilities to manipulate reality - to get away with creating or destroying anything she wants without fear - to do anything she wants. It's like my normal rational self transforms into some kind of horror movie every night. Ridiculous...

Nightmares, I can handle. But, this is something new.

She leaves after a minute or two of smalltalk and a lot of acting on my part and I turn back to the screen. I scroll down through the millions of results that have come up. Wikipedia, random blog entries...nothing that's going to help. I sigh with frustration and am about to close the laptop when I see something that looks interesting.

"Old Legends - dreams versus reality."

I am actually not entirely certain what inspires me to click on that but I am now used to my body and my mind doing things that I don't understand, so I go with it.

Settling back more comfortably, I begin to read...

There is a legend, it says of a Zen master who would experience extremely vivid dreams where he was a butterfly. The dreams were so frequent and so vivid that he would actually ask himself - "am I a man who dreamed he was a butterfly and then awoke...or am I a butterfly that fell asleep and now dreams it is a man?

I get a new feeling in my stomach - I am not sure how to place it. In the three months since the recurring dreams began, this is the closest I have come to finding anything that resonates with what I've been experiencing.

You see.... it is easy to write off dreams as being weird or silly when they occur once... or even twice. But, what does it mean when your subconscious stubbornly makes you dream vivid variations on the same theme? Something so disturbing and frightening that you would try anything to make it stop. Sleeping pills, sleeping with the TV on, setting my alarm to wake me up in the middle of the night... I've tried everything. But, the dreams continue on an almost nightly basis.

And I find myself, the rational person I am, truly wondering which of my two "realities" is actually... reality. I haven't admitted it until now that I have actually allowed myself to wonder...

I read a little bit more about this man who truly is not completely certain that he is a man and not a butterfly and I begin to understand why, even in the bright light of day, I cannot be around my sister without my stomach tensing up...

I make it through the day. At midnight, I find myself in bed desperately praying to not fall asleep again. I need a break. It is too much. I will stay awake tonight, I decide.

I grab the nearest novel and begin reading...

Suddenly, there is another knock at my door. I glance curiously at the clock - 2 am - and wonder why my sister or our cousin who also lives with us would even be awake at this time. "Um. Come in." I say nervously, placing the novel next to me. My sister pushes open the door and smiles. "Hey." she said. "I couldn't sleep."

"Oh.." I reply. "But, why did you knock on my door? I mean... how'd you know I was awake?"

My sister smiles at me, a frightening look in her eyes. "Frankly," she says quietly, "it didn't matter too much to me. This has been going on long enough, hasn't it? I can sense your anxiety when you're around me. I feel your uncertainty as you struggle to differentiate between fantasy and reality. I figured it was time to put you out of your misery."

I say nothing, my eyes wide. I had no idea that she knew. How did she know? I never told a soul what I'd been experiencing.

"I don't know how you knew," she whispers. "I didn't want to do anything to hurt you, but there is nothing I can do anymore. Do you have any idea how rare this gift is? Think about it... the ability to transform yourself into another human being - one with magic powers and the ability to do anything without fear of being caught or harmed by anyone else? This is no Harry Potter novel. This is reality. This IS reality. I cannot snap my fingers and zap things and make them happen... what I can do is manipulate what is already here. I am only sorry that you have to get caught up in it... Things are going to have to change now."

She raises her hands to her temples and immediately, the room gets hot and pitch black. I am now in an utterly unbelievable situation - something that no rational person would ever even allow themselves to think about.

And then..

Gasping for air, I open my eyes to find myself in my bedroom.
 
 
Steph
NOTE, this is a bit intense. I started writing, not really knowing where I was going when I wrote the first draft of it. If any of the science in this is inaccurate, I apologize, I don't know much about it.....but even without it, I feel like I need to put the warning out there that it is a bit intense.

Ava gripped the edge of the table in front of her, almost as if attempting to dig her nails into the cool dark wood. Short of that tiny movement, she was frozen, unable to speak.

Her lawyer moved uneasily in his seat, nudging her gently with his foot under the table. She understood she was supposed to speak. The problem had never been a lack of understanding. It was the lack of execution that got her in trouble. The lack of being able to say or do the right thing.

"Ava!" he whispered sharply, getting nervous now, glancing between his client and the judge. It was such a simple question and yet, she could not respond.

She closed her eyes and took a deep breath, hoping this would give her the strength to answer the question that until about three seconds before, she had thought she knew the answer to. It didn't. Instead, the simple gesture allowed her to see nothing for a split second and that allowed her - forced her, really - to go back in time to that summers evening two years previous...

"Stop!" she had pleaded as her soon-to-be ex husband had only laughed again.

"Stop what, doll?" he asked, his face only inches away from her. She smelt the alcohol in his breath and had to fight the urge to release the dinner she had eaten with him only a couple of hours before.

"Huh?" he asked her, shaking her slightly. "Stop what? I ain't doing nothin'. I'm not hitting you, am I?" he asked again, as he waved the knife wildly, causing the light to bounce off of it. It made it appear to be gleaming and look even more menacing than it already was.

"Just put it down." Ava whispered. It was true, technically. Paul wasn't doing anything to her. He was simply standing in between her and the door, a sharp knife in one hand and an even sharper one in the other.

They also both knew that if Ava moved even another step, he likely would no longer be able to accurately say that he "wasn't doing anything."

In eight years of marriage, Ava had never seen this side of Paul. It was as if the information that she had given him minutes before had caused some sort of mental breakdown, a loss of who or where he was, and an all consuming desire to stop her from leaving - no matter the cost.

She wondered if she could blame him. After all, the two had been madly in love for ten years... or so he'd thought.

It was true, at first. Before they had gotten married, a happier couple had never existed. They simply had fit together in a way that most people who would end up together could never understand.

The wedding had been beautiful. 100 of their closest friends and family members, the best champagne they could find flowing, dancing until two with a live band. And the honeymoon - fourteen days straight on a tropical island with gorgeous beaches that they saw a few times - when they'd bothered to leave the hotel room.

But, then they'd come back and settled back into their lives. Or at least Paul had. Ava, who had always been described as impulsive, as self absorbed, as someone who "craved perfection", had not been able to settle. She quickly became bored with their lives, his as a successful investment banker and hers as a high school English teacher. All of the "perfection" in their lives seemed to evaporate overnight the day they returned from Bali.

She couldn't figure out why at first. Keeping that perfect smile pasted on her face at all times, she had quit her job wondering if maybe that was the problem. She didn't need to work - Paul made plenty of money - but, again, women like her didn't simple do "nothing". So, she had taken a job near their Beverly Hills home at a PR firm.

With her combination of beauty and brains, Ava moved quickly up the ladder, quickly gathering a loyal group of her own clients from that "plastic surgeon to the stars" to quite a few of the actual stars. She had only been working there for two years when he had walked by her office with one of her co-workers. She'd glanced up from her iPad when she heard his voice. Ava had never been one to get starstruck and even less so since she'd started working at the firm. But this was - this was him. The actor. Who wins an Emmy in their first year on a new TV show?

Of course, after catching a quick glimpse of her, he had doubled back and walked by her office again within about ten seconds. Ava had flashed him a smile - and within an hour he was her client. All of her co-workers hated her ability to quite literally steal clients from them, but she was so good at what she did that she knew they could never fire her. Besides... she charmed her bosses when they needed to be charmed as well.

Ava had always been a flirt, but that was where it had stopped. She had never dreamed of cheating on Paul, even when the panic attacks started. She would leave the office to go home to this man she adored and her stomach would start churning. By the time, she had pulled into their driveway, she could barely breathe. She would slip into the house and into the kitchen reaching for the nearest bottle of wine . Two or three glasses later, the panic would ease and she was able to paste that smile back on her face. Paul never guessed that a thing was wrong.

But, she knew, in the instant that she had signed a contract with "the actor", shaking his hand and feeling that jolt of electricity flow through her. She knew that she would no longer be able to keep this up. He had glanced down at her perfectly manicured hand and seen her wedding ring. A tiny smile had crossed his face and they'd locked eyes again. In that moment, she knew that he knew too.

Sure enough, it didn't take long for a full blown affair to begin. "The actor" was married too - with two grown children and three younger ones. It was for their sake, he explained, that he couldn't leave his wife. Ava knew that wasn't all their was to it. She could be the best PR agent in the world and even then, she wouldn't have been able to spin "the actor" leaving his wife and young children for - well - his PR agent.

So, the secrecy instead. For a good few years, they carried on. She had stopped needing to drink when she came home, instead relying on his text messages to soothe her anxiety - along with any concern about what she was doing to her own family. True, they had no children (Ava had drawn the line there - she would not had a child with Paul while carrying on an affair. Paul had wanted them though, desperately. Ava had talked to death about why they should wait as she kept taking her birth control pills. At least, she had thought at the time, clinging desperately to anything she could, she was not taking the pills behind Paul's back. She was being upfront about not wanting children. Paul loved her so much that he accepted that they wouldn't have them - yet. There was always that word "yet" that she had let him have. She knew that eventually the marriage would end. They couldn't carry on like this forever. So, she had let him have the 'yet' and convinced herself that she somehow was a decent person simply because she wasn't taking pills to halt getting pregnant behind her husbands back.)

And then one day, a miracle happened. "The actors" wife had found out about them. She didn't know how - she'd never found that out. She only knew that she'd gotten a text message that night while at dinner with Paul. "Susan knows!" it had said. "She's not gonna go to the press for the sake of the kids. We talked all day and she hates me, but she's hated me for years, so it's all good. Come by my hotel room later and we can talk about our future." Those words, along with the name and room number of where he was staying, was all it had taken. A flurry of butterflies in her stomach and she'd dropped her iPhone into her bag and glanced up at Paul. "I have to tell you something." she'd said.

And that had landed them here. At home in their bedroom. She'd told him at dinner and he certainly hadn't been happy about it, but he had been a normal person. They'd gone home and she'd gone into their closet to pack a few things, leaving Paul in a daze on her bed.

She didn't know this either, but her phone had gone off again while she was packing. For reasons unknown, she had left her purse on their bed. Perhaps it was simply an oversight in her excitement to leave the man who loved her for this man - a man who clearly was as heartless as she herself was acting.

"Baby," the second text had gone. "See if you can grab some of that whiskey that your hubby drinks. That shit's GOOD!"

Paul had, against his own better judgement, glanced at her phone when it had gone off and, almost mechanically, read her text. He'd then proceeded to read all their texts. There was thousands. Texts at all hours. Texts about how hot he made her and vice versa. Jokes about himself and this mans wife. She had shaken his head slowly, reading through them. Who was this woman? Surely it couldn't be the woman he had loved for years. This was a cold and heartless woman texting to an equally cold and heartless man. "Let her go" he had whispered to himself. "Let her go and tomorrow, you are going to take yourself to a shrink and figure out how you got fooled like this."

He moved to put the phone back in her bag and another text had come in. Against, his better judgement, he'd glanced down. Another one from him. A picture of his unclothed self along with a caption. "Leave the birth control at home... we'd make beautiful babies, don't you think? ;)"

A joke, he was sure. But...

Suddenly, it all made sense. Ava's refusal to give him children. The one thing he'd wanted in his life for so long. A son or a daughter, someone to raise, to teach, to love. That's all he wanted and she had been telling him for years how she simply wasn't ready yet. He had been okay wasting years of his life, allowing him to grow older and live his life thinking that he and his beloved wife would eventually have that family. And in that moment he hated her.

Unfortunately for Ava, that moment was when she had chosen to come out of the closet holding her bag and humming - humming! - a Whitney Houston song under her breath.

And in that moment, all Paul saw was white light. A blind hatred had filled his soul and he had disappeared, instead renting his body to a person with no regard for right or wrong or consequences. Paul had grabbed the collectable knives from his dresser drawer and..

"Paul!" Ava had whispered, her voice shaking. "Paul, please. I'm sorry. But you still have time... you can do everything you want... you'll find somebody else. Somebody who is capable of being the wife you want. I wasn't good enough for you, I never was...."

And saying those words, for the first time, her heart had broken free of the shell she had created for it years before. She suddenly realized that she was right. She had taken the best years of this mans life as she had selfishly skipped along, a selfish child, doing what she wanted - and who - without any regard for what she was doing to this man who had loved her, truly. Who had she become? How had she become it?

A tear slipped down her face and she'd opened her mouth to try to tell Paul that she understood. That he was right to hate her. That she wanted to change, that she knew it was too late, that she had been scared and pathetic and horrible.

Paul had seen the tear too. He didn't read it how it was meant, though. He saw this selfish woman who had broken him, expressing herself the same way a spoiled child did. Cry to get out of things. He knew Ava lived her life this way. She'd cry to get out of arguments with him, speeding tickets, fights with her father, whatever.

And in the split second that Ava was going to open her mouth to explain what she was thinking, the blind rage had taken over. Screaming at the top of his lungs, Paul had thrown one of the knives across the room and while Ava was distracted by that he had taken the second knife and allowed it to plunge directly into - his own stomach.

"Paul!!" Ava had screamed also at the top of her voice. No longer able to keep that dinner down at the sight in front of her, Ava had vomited violently. (This sure was different from those glamorous crime scenes you saw in movies.). Undisturbed, she'd, rather impulsively and without thinking if this was a good idea, she'd pulled the knife from her husband and thrown herself over him, sobbing.

And that was how the paramedics had found her. Thrown across his body, the knife in her hand, about four minutes later.


The rest had been pretty much as one would expect. She'd been arrested for murder on the spot. She'd expected that something would release her eventually - after all he'd stabbed himself, surely someone would be able to figure that out, right?

Apparently not quite, because though her lawyer had promised it would greatly help their defense, her story had not proven her innocence enough for charges to be dropped.

She'd spent months in a California prison full of unanswered questions that she couldn't bring herself to ask. Who had called the paramedics, she still didn't know. Probably a neighbor who'd heard the screaming. How "the actor" felt, she never knew - he never contacted her again. Her lawyer had spoken briefly to him but since he had about fourteen prepaid cell phone numbers (and as many affairs happening at once.), there was nothing but her word to tie him to this. He'd be a witness in the upcoming trial, she knew. But it wasn't questions like that that kept her awake at night. It was one single question - why had Paul hurt himself when she knew that, if anything, he should have wanted to hurt her?

It had taken a long time for her to figure out that even in his blind rage, Paul had loved her so much that he couldn't hurt her. He could not hurt her. It was only she who could hurt him.

And that's why, on the day before she was meant to stand trial, she'd found herself standing in front of the judge who was to be presiding over the case, unable to answer a simple question.

She'd answered the question a year and a half earlier at her arraignment, why couldn't she answer it now?

Because she was smarter now than she was then. Of course she hadn't taken the knife and plunged it into her husband, allowing him to bleed to death on their bedroom floor. And according to many many 'expert' doctors, her pulling the knife out hadn't been what killed him either. But... hadn't she caused the situation? By being herself, apparently a horrible unfeeling person who cared only for herself, using her beauty as a weapon, making it impossible for her husband who loved her to ever have children and causing the blind rage that had caused him to take his own life... she had caused it hadn't she?

Her layer kicked her under the table this time and Ava startled glancing up at the judge in front of her.

"Ms. Smith, I'll ask you once more," the judge said wearily. "HOW do you plead?"

Ava racked her brain desperately trying to get an answer. Logic versus emotion, memories versus advice, head versus heart...and then she was ready to answer. She held the judges gaze and opened her mouth.

"Um..."

---

While the majority of this came from my imagination, some of it came from some case studies in a law class I took a couple of years ago. None of the details were taken directly from that case.
 
 
Steph
For therealljidol week one. Topic: "You gave everything you possibly could."

I teamed up with oxymoron67 :)

"You did all you could. You gave all you could. He gave all you could. They did all they could. Everyone gave all they could.". Over and over in my head. "You did all you could". I almost laughed as I'd repeat the words to myself. It didn't matter if I was talking about me... my mother... my father... or him. My grandfather. It didn't matter, because at the time, the words meant nothing. Even now, as I write this, I have to remind myself that it's true... "you gave all you could.". I know that now. Usually.

Since I was three years old, when my mothers father passed away, I had two grandparents. My mothers mother - an amazing woman who I am still close to, talk to on the phone once a week even if it's just to hear about how I never call, and see at least a few times a month. As children, my brother and I were at her house practically as much as our own. We spent some weekends there or if our parents went away whether for a day or a week, we'd go there. And then there was my fathers father. A wonderful man. He lived within local distance usually too. He went down south for some winters, but the rest of the time, he was around. I would guess we'd see him... hmmm... if you don't count holidays, maybe three times a year. He'd pop over, take us for ice cream, he once took me to a baseball game. We just weren't close. I was okay with that, because it had always been like that. It was just what I knew. We'd even had silly arguments. Like, one year, he called me on my birthday to say happy birthday. I wasn't home and I got the message and didn't call him back. Obviously now I know I should have, but as a kid, I just figured, okay, he was calling to say happy birthday, thanks, that's cool, sorry I missed him. When I saw him two weeks later, he had a birthday card and a check for me but he wouldn't give it to me until I apologized for not calling him back. Things like that. Again, I saw nothing weird. It was just how it had always been.

In 2003, he became sick. To this day, I don't know all of the details. What I do know is that while he was not any kind of drinking during the day-always drunk-intervention time drinker, he and his friends certainly did enjoy their alcohol. I saw him drunk once when I was eleven (a time when some kids have been drunk themselves at least once.) and it scared me. That was just the type of kid I was. I guess it all caught up with him. According to what I know, what actually began the infection that would take his life, was a simple bladder infection.

When I learned he was in the hospital, I started panicking. "What if he dies?" I would say to myself. "I barely even know the man. What on earth is that, even? How do I barely know him? My cousins know him. Why don't we?". I promised that, if he made it through, I would change things. I didn't really know how I would do that, but I would. I was eighteen at the time, an adult, old enough to make a difference in my own life. and my own relationships, right?

It didn't matter. He didn't make it through. We all gathered at my uncles house the next day and my cousins and I went downstairs and started comparing notes. It was decided that only one of us would speak, an honor give, with little to no debate, to the oldest of us, my cousin Miriam. As everyone started talking - my brother, myself and six of our cousins (my sister and one other cousin were really too young at the time I guess.), I glanced over at my brother shaking my head. I had always known my grandfather had been closer to my cousins than us but they had STORIES! I mean, they had stories the way we did with our grandmother. How could it be that we all came from the same place - my grandfather had three sons - and things were SO different... only for us? Why? How?

I made it through the funeral, then the traditional Jewish mourning period of "shivah" and then I figured, "well.... nothing left to do but move on." Right?

Wrong.

Try as I might, I COULDN'T move on. I was stuck in this horrible intense grief that would make no sense from a simple standpoint. I hadn't known him incredibly well. Yes, he was my family, he was my GRANDFATHER. But the grief I had was unbearable. I stopped going to school for weeks at a time. I didn't leave of my house for days. I didn't care about anything. I don't even think I cared about anyONE - including myself. let my passions die right along with him. I let my friendships slide. I broke up with my boyfriend at the time. (Not that we were going to end up together forever by any stretch anyway, but we were having fun... until I stopped caring.) I cried all the time. Nobody got it. I was not functioning.

You see, death does funny things to a person. People with amazing close relationships often feel guilt when their loved ones pass because of harsh words said here or there or a fight they had the week before. And the grief that comes from the death of any loved one is unexplainable. And I believe that everyone feels and experiences it differently. And in this situation.... I felt it in ways I still can't properly put into words. I don't think William Shakespeare could put THOSE feelings into words and describe them as they were.

It. Was. Bad.

To this day, I don't think anyone except maybe my brother understands how bad it was. He was the only one I REALLY shared this with. Everyone knew what had happened, but nobody knew what was happening in my head.

I knew I was feeling guilt. That was when I started telling myself that I did all I could. I'd say those words over and over again. Never believing them. Not once.

It took a long time and some help, but I began to see that the reason I was grieving so heavily was actually not just guilt - but also deep rooted and scarily dark anger. See... I was mad. At myself, yes, TRUST me, I was mad at myself. But I was also mad at my mother. I knew she and my grandfather, while perfectly civil, were not particularly close and that that MUST have had a lot to do with him not coming around as often as he did with my cousins and their families. Right? I was mad at my father. Why hadn't he insisted? And the worst was I was mad at HIM. Why hadn't HE insisted? We were his grandkids too! Why didn't he fight and say to my dad "I want to see the kids"??? Nobody would have stopped him. Right? I was SO angry. And I carried that anger for a very long time.

Eventually , I went to a therapist for a non related issue and this came up. With her help, I was able to see that my mother couldn't help that she and my grandfather weren't close - some people just aren't. That my father SHOULD have pushed more, yes. But, I wasn't in their battle - if there even was a battle. I didn't know what went on. I didn't know how much he did or didn't push and why. My grandfather - where did I get off judging his efforts when I had no idea what they actually were? What was he to do, bound into our house on Friday nights and sit down to dinner without being invited? And myself - that was the hardest one of all for me to get over. You see, I know now that I was the child. was the CHILD. What exactly could I have changed? As a child, growing up among this being "just the way it was", what more could I give? Yes, I was eighteen when he passed, but not when all this started or became "normal". It was ALWAYS normal as far as I knew. It was unfair to expect myself to have changed that as a child or even as a teenager. It wasn't up to me. Of everyone to be angry at, my therapist explained, it should not be a child who was brought INTO a situation.

I am not saying I am "over" it. I still have regrets. I WISH things had been different. But I know it is unfair to hold myself, my parents or my grandfather at fault for such a complicated situation that I wasn't privy to the details of. Did I give everything I could to that relationship? Maybe not, but I did everything I think could be reasonably expected of someone in my position. Did my parents give everything they could? Well...once again, I was not privy to all of their reasons, their debates, their decisions. I have to assume that, yes, they gave everything they COULD. That may not be everything I think they SHOULD have but everything they COULD.

And my grandfather. The man who is not here to "defend" himself. (Not that I am attacking him.) The man who was always wonderful to us when we did see him, even if he was trying to teach me a lesson by not giving me my money until I apologized to him for not returning a phone call (or perhaps especially then).... did HE do all he could?

Well.

Here's the way I see it.

He saw us. He did sometimes try to do things with us that were rejected by my parents - for their own reasons. He loved us. He never missed a birthday or a holiday, even if it was just with a phone call and a card and check in the mail. He never talked harshly to me, not once. I have few memories compared to my cousins, true. But I am not my cousins and my parents are not theirs. More than anything, he loved us. I had two grandfathers. One passed away when I was three. I don't remember him, but I know he loved me. And one passed away when I was eighteen, putting me into a debilitating state of grief, loss, sadness, blame and anger... and I know he loved me. And that's all that matters now.

And, so, without getting into a debate about what happens when one dies.... if there is some kind of way that he is with me right now, watching as I type this, hearing my thoughts as I think about him... I just want you to know... that even though I probably barely said it... I love you. And you... with the time you had, the environment you were in, the situation you were given.... at this point and this point is all that matters.... you gave everything you possibly could.
 
 
 
Steph
11 May 2013 @ 10:25 pm

Dear everybody :)

This is a post to announce that I will (SO happily!) be taking part in this mini season of therealljidol, ( LJ Idol: Exhibit B) a wonderful livejournal writing competition. I am THRILLED and have been waiting to do this for awhile! I participated awhile back on my old journal and did alright. I competed with some absolutely brilliant writers and loved reading their entries almost as much as writing my own. :)

Anyway. This is just my announcement that I'm in, if they'll have me! And can't wait, if you can't tell. ;)

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Steph
22 May 2012 @ 05:48 am

Literally stopped by to say hi. Have lots of reading and catching up to do but I love you all. Xoxox

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Steph
27 August 2011 @ 01:14 am

Sorry guys. It's been a busy/hard week with Jack dying & everything else. Looks like going to the funeral won't happen for me so I'll watch it on TV and bawl like a baby. I'd LIKE to go bur there are hundereds of people already lined up so... This still feels unreal and so wrong. :(

Um, to end this on a happier note, I guess, I took a pic today and it's one of the few that I actually feel like I like okay. (current weight 158.) So I have no idea how to put it on here, I'm on my iPhone but it's on my FB and Twitter, the one in the blue shirt.

Better update and better friends list reading after the funeral tomorrow. I promise.

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Steph
22 August 2011 @ 06:39 pm

Wow lots of posts today. Question:

Ur bff knows ur having a bad day. But u have mostly been communicating online throughout the day not phone just cause you both couldn't. Suddenly said bff says they have to go to bed, they dont like doingi that when you need them but they're not gonna "avoid it" cuz they have a busy early and long day the next day so bye, love you and done. You don't even get a chance to respond before they're gone.

True or false...you'd be hurt. Cuz I'm trying not to be but having a bit of a hard time.

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Steph
22 August 2011 @ 11:33 am

I don't think I have many Canadian LJ friends so most of you might not know who he is...bur at 4:45 this morning, Canada lost what I believe was the best politician we had, certainly now, possibly ever.

Canadian politics are different from American. The short version is there are 3 parties, not 2, and you don't vote for an individual to run the country, you vote for a party. That party leader becomes in charge. Currently our prime minister is some guy I can't stand. The second closest was this guy - Jack Layton. His party used to almost be a joke. They are so liberal, they make the liberals look not liberal, haha. But this guy was so great, he worked his ass off for years and finally they were respected. He got them so close and when they finally take power-which they WILL, he won't get to see it. He worked SO hard. Devastating.

But far worse than that is we lost a wonderful person. This man was one of a kind. I'd met him a handful of times and had 100% of his attention when we spoke. Personal emails thanking me. I don't ever recall a deliberate lie out of his mouth (rare for politicians IMO.) Never personally attacked an oponent even if they did it to him. Such a genuinely kind, caring, wonderful person. I cried when I found out. I still have another hour at work. Trying not to cry NOW.

Jack,

Thank you for the hope. Be at peace.

We'll miss you. And you are loved.

Love,
Steph....and most of Canada. If not all.

:'(

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