Oh ... Really?

Category: Matters of the Heart

Friday, May 30, 2008

Turn the Page

There is an additional chapter being written now, taking off from where this post ended ...

***Begin Private Post***

***End Private Post***

Sorry, if you don't see the private post and you want the details, you have to be registered here, AND you have to be someone that I know, at least a little bit. Go ahead, register, and if I recognize your name, screenname, blog address or what-have-you, I will move you to the special friends member list and my private posts will be visible when you log in here. Sorry to be like this, but sometimes I want to be able to post stuff that I don't particularly wish to have in the wide-open public view, or available to Exes, potential employers, former friends, certain co-workers, and random web surfers that just trip in here.

That said, if you still want to know but don't want to go through all that, in a nutshell, it's all good now.

Posted by LissaKay on 05/30/08 at 02:57 AM in ~ Matters of the Heart
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Monday, May 19, 2008

The Six Year Cycle

I don't really recall when I first noticed, but I have been aware that every six years or so, it seems that my life enters into a new phase. Sometimes the transition is sudden, sometimes gradual. Some major events have happened mid-cycle, like the births of my oldest and youngest children. But the events that have heralded big changes in which my life follows an entirely new path have occurred very close to every six years.

The first big transition was when I was 6 years old and began my school career upon entering the 1st grade. Then, when I was 12, my family moved to a different city and I embarked upon the great adventure known as adolescence. That, of course, lasted about another 6 years, then came high school graduation and my entrance into the adult world at the age of 18. At the age of 24, I gave birth naturally to my second son after having a c-section with the first. I also had all my illusions about love, marriage, fidelity and honesty dashed to pieces when I learned that my husband had been unfaithful, and also realized that ours was a loveless marriage. The marriage lasted another 6 years, with my next big life phase starting with our divorce, which was granted a few weeks before my 30th birthday. I celebrated my 36th birthday as a licensed paramedic in the dawn of the new millenium, but the EMS phase of my life ended the next year, slightly off schedule, when I gained full custody of my younger son after his father and step-mother were arrested for child abuse.

The next six years were focused almost exclusively on my son. He has bipolar disorder and keeping up with that - the schools, the doctors and hospitals, insurance and TennCare, keeping him alive and trying to keep him out of trouble, and coping with his wild mood swings and personality issues - took every bit of my physical and emotional energy, and then some. My social life, which had previously been quite busy, screeched to a sudden halt.

I could no longer join my large circle of friends at the clubs on Saturday nights. Dating also became a thing of the past, which in retrospect was not such a bad thing, given some of the traumatic experiences I had, and continued to haunt me on occasion. I tried a few times, but my son would have none of it, always finding some crisis that would prompt him to call me over and over anytime I tried to go out. Most of the people I had thought of as friends turned away from me, probably uncomfortable with the issue of mental illness. I also had little time for anyone but my son. The stress and emotional exhaustion pretty much turned me into a hermit. What had been mild shyness in me became full-blown social anxiety. The little spare time I had, I filled with books, movies, my cats and knitting. That was my life for that six year period.

Shortly before my 42nd birthday, a great number of events started happening that, I thought, were heralding major, big-time life changes. I quit smoking. I was laid off from my job. My next job was back in the computer/technical business after almost four years in the insurance business. My daughter came to live with me. We moved to Oak Ridge. I made three major decisions ... one, to go back to school and get my degree, and two, to lose the horrible amount of weight I had gained, and three, to try to revive my comatose social life.

Wow. That's a lot of changes. Too bad only the quitting smoking has worked out well.

The job was great for about a year, then a new manager came in and it all went to hell and finally ended, and I still, 8 months later, can't find a new one. Having my daughter here has been great, but the circumstances she left at her father's caused her a lot of damage and we struggled to keep a handle on her depression and anxiety that resulted from it. Moving to Oak Ridge was a huge mistake, as it threw me back to a past I thought was firmly in the past. Within two semesters at school, I became dissatisfied with my choice of major, and still have no idea what I want to do now. And I have gained back a good amount of the weight that I had lost.

The Great Social Experiment ... now that has turned out to be very interesting indeed, and just to cut to the chase, it appears to be a total failure as well. I started by forcing myself out of the house to go to several general social gatherings, some with friends, some at work. Some of these forays were successful, others I barely made it out of the house. Once I started to get to know people, and could anticipate a familiar face or two at the gatherings, I found it possible to at least be able to relax after arrival, even though it was a battle just to get there. I even started dating again! All who know me went into a state of shock after hearing my adamant refusals to even consider the idea for so many years. Yes, a date. It turned into another, then another, and another. Before I knew it, it was a real relationship. I was deliriously happy, content, and could not believe how blessed I was. Unfortunately, as they say, all good things must come to an end - and in keeping with the way things go for me, the end was sudden, traumatic, mind shattering and heart breaking, coming at the worst possible moment leaving me just barely hanging on to the last shred of my sanity - and even that is in doubt at the moment. Not only have I lost the companionship and company of my best friend and soul mate, I had also grown to care very much about his family. My grief over this loss in my life is unbearable.

So, I have come all the way back full circle to where I was at the start of this six year cycle - no job, no social life, no hope and utterly alone as I face the very real possibility of homelessness. Other than the job, and maybe school, I have no desire to ever even try again. Although, on the heartbreak diet, I have lost 5 pounds in 3 days. But I think that spending Saturday nights with Netflix DVDs on the laptop, curled up in bed with a pint of Ben and Jerry's and my cats will do just fine ... at least until I can no longer pay the rent. I wonder if there are any bridges around that can get a Wifi signal?

Only four years until the next cycle starts ... if I can make it until then.

Posted by LissaKay on 05/19/08 at 01:31 AM in ~ Family ~ Matters of the Heart ~ Personal
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Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Be Careful What You Pray For

I have often, as a Christian, wondered if my prayers ever did me any good. Those with lots more Biblical knowledge than I always assure me that if I pray from the heart, in Jesus' name, that God hears me. Then I wonder if I am getting any kind of an answer, or if I think I am, am I understanding it correctly?

(The rest of this entry is set to private)

Posted by LissaKay on 01/23/08 at 01:14 AM in ~ Matters of the Heart ~ Personal
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Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Winter Blahs

Yeah I know. I don't post very often, do I? Maybe I should look into getting a life or something.

Actually, I do have a life, and quite a busy one. It's just that much of it is very private and I don't wish to share it with just anyone. Close friends and family know what is going on, and that is good enough.

The holidays are over and I survived. It was mostly good, with just enough chaos and craziness to make it interesting. My family, being quite small with just two of my kids and my parents and me, makes for a quiet and mostly calm celebration. My son, aka J-Dude, with his ongoing anger issues, seems to manage to inject his angst into nearly everything, but we have become used to it by now and it pretty much just rolls over us and we continue on in the wake of his wrath. I had been afraid that Christmas would be quite lean indeed, but I was able to pull something together at the last minute anyway. It wasn't my first choice solution, and it will really cause some pain down the road, but it was a solution nonetheless. I was able to get Ms Thang a Playstation 2, to replace the one her father and step-mother stole from her, plus a Guitar Hero III. J-Dude got his fondest wish for Christmas, now he just needs to apologize to me for being an ass on Christmas Day and he can actually have it. My parents got me a bunch of knitting stuff ... now I need 36 hour days so I can actually get some of that done. I got both of them some books they were wanting, sweaters and other keep-warm goodies. We had a yummy breakfast casserole and Panera holiday bread. It was nice and peaceful. But that soon changed for me ...

I then joined Rich and his ginormous family for a Christmas Italian feast. Ms Thang came with me for a while before she went off to a friend's house to spend the night. Quite a contrast from a party of 5 to a party of what seemed like 50! We cooked and cooked and cooked, then ate and ate and ate, for what seemed like days. Then around midnight we collapsed in exhaustion and slept the sleep of the dead. The big family holiday is quite exciting and fun, but tiring! My high school sweet heart was the youngest of 6, and my Ex the youngest of 5, so the large family celebration is something I am familiar with, and jerk Ex's notwithstanding, I always enjoyed it. Of course, just being with a special someone for the holidays is a treat all in itself, as this has not been a part of my holiday experience for many years.

In the aftermath of the holidays, we are awaiting the impending arrival of Rich's next grandbaby. We will be heading down to Birmingham as soon as we get word. We've been waiting now for a couple weeks, with mama-to-be ripe and ready to pop any minute. Yesterday, the doc told her she is 3cm dilated and baby is fully engaged. So what does Rich do? He plans a Blogfest for Friday night! I hope folks will understand if we have to make our apologies ...

A new semester in school has started. Though not official, I have pretty much decided to change my major from Computer Science to ... something else. Don't know what yet though. I am open to suggestions. I am considering Criminal Justice, but would prefer to go into the forensics concentration. APSU only has Homeland Security in their online degree program. So, I am going to look at UT and perhaps ETSU to see what they offer, either in classroom or online. (I know ITT Tech has a program, but they are hellaciously expensive on tuition ... I could get 4 Bachelor degrees from state universities for what it costs to get just 1 from them!) It certainly is frustrating to still not know what I want to be when I grow up!

Ms Thang has just informed me that she has found herself another job at a nearby restaurant. I hope she can get lots of hours because she has a hella big car repair bill to pay! She also wants to save up so that she can start training to be a wrestler starting this summer. This is, of course, not the ideal life-path that I would prefer for her to follow ... she is amazingly gifted academically, and could accomplish anything she wanted in college. I hope that she will get a degree in something eventually. I would hate to see her be where I am now in 25 years.

J-Dude is still battling the rage demons within. He still cannot accept that it is his choices that have defined what his life is now ... no job, no car, no money, 20 years old and living with mom. He thinks he may have a job with a construction outfit, and that would be a major plus because the pay is good and can get him out and on his own two feet. I have given both kids notice that when the lease for this place is up this summer, I am out of here and I don't plan on making permanent provisions for children to follow me. I will be launching them out of the nest and it is up to them to get themselves ready to fly ... or not.

Snow is in the forecast ... possible dusting to 2 inches here. I guess I better panic soon and run out and buy 10 loaves of bread and 20 gallons of milk, and pile up 20 ricks of wood for the fireplace, and rent a snowblower to make a path to the driveway. Maybe even get a kerosene heater or two. Or I might just go shoe shopping. I'm just crazy like that!

Monday, December 24, 2007

The Gift

I'm thankful everyday ....

Winter snow is falling down
Children laughing all around
Lights are turning on
Like a fairy tale come true
Sitting by the fire we made
You're the answer when I prayed
I would find someone
And baby I found you

All I want is to hold you forever
All I need is you more every day
You saved my heart
From being broken apart
You gave your love away
And I'm thankful every day
For the gift

Watching as you softly sleep
What I'd give if I could keep
Just this moment
If only time stood still
But the colors fade away
And the years will make us gray
But baby in my eyes
You'll still be beautiful

All I want is to hold you forever
All I need is you more every day
You saved my heart
From being broken apart
You gave your love away
I can't find the words to say
That I'm thankful everyday
For the gift

Posted by LissaKay on 12/24/07 at 10:11 PM in ~ Matters of the Heart
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Monday, December 17, 2007

The Depths of My Soul

A great man of music has passed today. My heart is heavy with grief and my soul cries in the silence.

And the morning will blow away
As the waves crash and fall
And the Reach like a siren sings
as she beckons and calls
As the coastline recedes from view
And the seas swell and roll
I will take from the Reach
all that she has to teach
To the depths of my soul --

I was introduced to the musical world of Dan Fogelberg on my 15th birthday when my father gave me a copy of "The Innocent Age" and from that moment on, I was entranced. His music has the ability to reach in and touch the soul, lift the spirit and make the heart soar. Beyond simply enjoying his music, it became part of the soundtrack of my life. Because of the association with a profoundly tragic episode in my life, I could not listen to Fogelberg for several years. Eventually, I let his music back into my heart, the healing began and I have moved forward.

But through the years, Dan was a part of my musical life. I played his music on the guitar and piano, and sang along while playing his albums on the stereo. His words spoke to a special place in my heart. I only got to see him in concert the one time, and a magical evening that was. The news of his battle with prostate cancer came as a heavy blow and I prayed that he would be victorious in his against that devastating illness, but this morning, he was overcome. His last wish, his legacy, is to encourage all men "to get a DRE (Digital Rectal Exam) and a PSA (Prostate Specific Antigen) test EVERY YEAR." Please see his Living Legacy web site for more information.

Condolences can be left here. Light a candle and let it shine ...

There's a light in the depths
Of your darkness
There's a calm at the eye
Of every storm.
There's a light in the depths
Of your darkness.

Let is shine
Oh, let it shine

Rest in Peace, Dan. God Speed.

Posted by LissaKay on 12/17/07 at 01:08 AM in ~ Matters of the Heart
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Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Bringing Sexy Back

So what could possibly be a sexier way to round off a nice cuddly, cozy, long weekend with the boyfriend than a nice case of the tummy bug? Yes, indeed ... do I know how to have a good time, or what?

"Hey sweetie ... "


"Umm ... My name isn't Ralph."

Bless his heart, he fussed and fretted over me and did everything he could to make it all better. Unfortunately, I was feeling way too crappy to be able to enjoy all the attention! It was a most miserable 36 hours and I am just now beginning to feel human again ... as in being able to walk up the stairs without being out of breath. Every little ache and pain I have had recently all flared up and tortured me for hours, this on top of generalized aches and soreness. I could not get comfortable at all. I knew it was getting bad when I literally started whining. I think I might have even whimpered a time or two. The moans and groans were definitely not of the sexy type at all. And my appearance through it all? Well, let's just say that if he calls again after seeing me sans make-up with pale, parched skin, hair sloppy and stuffed into a scrunchy, wearing multiple layers of various types of clothing to accommodate the fluctuations of chills and sweating, he is braver than most ... and just may be a real keeper! I am getting so spoiled!

Next time though, I want the Hawaiian cruise too!

Posted by LissaKay on 11/13/07 at 11:58 PM in ~ Matters of the Heart
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Thursday, September 06, 2007

Still kickin’

Yes, I am still alive, and well ... and not in jail. Life has a way of forcing one to prioritize one's activities, and in my life, blogging drops quickly to the bottom of the list. It's enough of a challenge to allocate my time and energy between my children, my parents, work and school ... and then still have something left over for the things I want to do.

I have dropped two of my four classes in an effort to retain what is left of my sanity, and I am reassessing my choice of major. I still do not really know what I want to be when I grow up. What I am doing now is definitely not it ... not anymore, since things changed so much for the worse at work. The morale level there is subterranean, and getting worse by the day. No one gives a damn anymore.

We are slowly getting settled into our new home. The kids are happier here, but have other sources of angst ... such is the life of adolescents. But we do have a rather menacing concern ... a hostile neighbor that has now attacked us twice. It is getting serious and I may have to take drastic steps to remedy the situation, especially since the sheriff's department does not seem at all interested in even taking a report. I wish I still had friends in low places ... they would come in quite handy right about now. I am also seriously giving consideration to exercising my 2nd amendment rights ...

But not all is doom and gloom. I have found a source of happiness that I had thought I would never experience, and I thank God many times every day for bringing him into my life. Suddenly, my future does not seem so frightening and empty ... and that's a pretty awesome feeling. Me likes.

Posted by LissaKay on 09/06/07 at 12:09 AM in ~ Home Life ~ Matters of the Heart ~ Midlife College Adventures
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Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Happy Valentine’s Day

Just a litte sage advice for the lovers' holiday ...

imageWomen are like apples on trees. The best ones are at the top of the tree. Most men don't want to reach for the good ones because they are afraid of falling and getting hurt. Instead, they sometimes take the apples from the ground that aren't as good, but easy. The apples at the top think something is wrong with them, when in reality, they're amazing. They just have to wait for the right man to come along, the one who is brave enough to climb all the way to the top of the tree.

imageNow men . . men are like a fine wine. They begin as grapes, and it's up to women to stomp the shit out of them until they turn into something acceptable to have dinner with.

Posted by LissaKay on 02/14/07 at 11:16 AM in ~ Matters of the Heart
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Monday, October 06, 2003


Sometimes, in the night I feel it
Near as my next breath
and yet, untouchable
Silently the past comes stealing
Like the taste of some forbidden sweet

Along the walls; in shadowed rafters
Moving like a thought through haunted atmospheres
Muted cries and echoed laughter
Banished dreams that never sank in sleep

Lost in love and found in reason
Questions that the mind can find no answers for
Ghostly eyes conspire treason
As they gather just outside the door ...

One of my favorite Dan Fogelberg songs ... one that is haunting me today, and probably will for the next few weeks.

This is SO FREAKING ridiculous! I woke up this morning crying ... I had been in that ether-world between sleep and awake and my mind wandered into places I had thought were long forgotten. It's been three damned years! Why can I not exorcise this ghost???

Three years ago, and then some, I had gone out one evening with friends to a trendy little nightclub. Drinks, dancing and some laughs. We noticed a lady sitting by herself at the bar, looking thoroughly bored in between fending off occasional dudes trying to put a hit on her. We invited her over to join us.

Denise told us she was there with her brother and he was over playing pool. The hell with him, we said ... c'mon, we're having some fun over here. So she did, and had a lovely time.

Then brother came around. Denise introduced us. The first words out of his mouth were, "Hey ... do you like Dan Fogelberg?"

"Oh my God yes! I LOVE Dan Fogelberg! I have adored him since I was in my teens!" I gushed breathlessly.

"Would you like to go see him in concert tomorrow night? In Atlanta? I have tickets."

Uhhh ... yeah. But it's kinda like, I don't know you, dude. What kind of crazy woman meets a man one night then toddles off with him 200 miles away to see a concert, Dan Fogelberg notwithstanding?

A crazy woman like me, is who. And we had a marvelous time. Dinner at one of those little Italian restaurants with the bottle of chianti on the table, red-checkered tablecloths and the strolling violin. The concert was fantastic ... it was at the Chastain Park amphitheater. Jim was a perfect gentleman. My interest perked. When we got back, he gave me a very nice kiss and said he would call. And he did.

The rest is history. Joyful and tragic ... bittersweet. The time we had together was like a dream come true. He plays guitar beautifully, and also sings rather well. Wednesday nights, he had a little gig in a little bar, attended mostly by friends and co-workers, plus the random bored traveler stuck in that hotel. He had a motorcycle. I hate motorcycles. I trusted him enough to go for a ride with him one beautiful fall day. He is funny ... he made me laugh. He stole my heart. Lock, stock and barrel ... right down to the last quivering cardiac nerve cell. It was his.

One Wednesday evening, in early November, I went to the little bar to hear him sing. And so did a friend of a friend. She also played guitar and was wanting to learn from him, having heard how good he was from their mutual friend.

I watched in horror as they shared the microphone on that little stage, having fun, laughing, clearly enjoying each other. I berated myself for feeling that way. Surely he wouldn't ... no, he was too good, too honest, too kind! NO!!!

His sister Denise was there. She read my thoughts, saw the look on my face. She told another of Jim's friends to go intercede. But it was too late.

The friend of a friend (I can't remember her name ... one of those mental blocks, I guess) left shortly after that. Jim was his usual self with me then ... loving, kind, affectionate. I convinced myself that I was being foolish.

But that weekend, his expected call never came. I waited. And waited. I sent him an email, no response. Finally, on Sunday I called him. I got his answering machine. I left a message and I know it sounded stupid ... "Hey, just calling to see how you are. Talk to you later!"

Then I got the email. Not from Jim, but from his sister Denise. And she didn't mean to. He had written to her, she replied to him, then wrote to me and apparently used the same email that she had sent the reply to him. His message to her was at the bottom. I almost didn't see it.

He told her that he and the friend of a friend had spent the weekend together.

To say that I was devastated is the understatement of the century. I must have sat at my desk, staring at that email for over an hour. I felt as if my heart had been ripped out of my chest. I could not breathe, I could not think. My world had imploded around me.

Over the next few days, I worked hard at cleansing my life, my home, my existence of every item that was connected with him. He had given me several really nice gifts, including a 4-CD Dan Fogelberg compilation. I had started buying Christmas gifts for him. All were packed in a box and left on his doorstep. I threw away the bed sheets we had slept on.

I deleted all the emails we had ever exchanged, I removed him from my address book and the quick dial on my phone. I refused to listen to the artists who's songs he played most ... Dan Fogelberg and James Taylor especially.

Most of all, I wanted to erase his memory from my mind. I would mentally scream at myself anytime I dared to even think about him. I focused solely on my work, my kids, anything but Jim. But my heart I had no control over. It mourned, it wept, it ached ... for many months I would awaken to a damp pillow case where I had cried in my sleep. Even now, as I type this, my eyes are misting and I have that about-to-cry ache in my ears.

So here I am three years later ... still missing what I had with Jim and mourning what it became. I feel like a damned fool ...

Every ghost that calls upon us
Brings another measure in the mystery
Death is there
To keep us honest
And constantly remind us we are free

Down the ancient corridors
And through the gates of time
Run the ghosts of days
That we left behind

Posted by LissaKay on 10/06/03 at 04:46 AM in ~ Matters of the Heart
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