I will be a Light.

There is a new-found peace within me.
The struggles are still real, but I am finding my way.
Every day I am grateful for this new understanding, and second chance at life.
I am grateful that I am no longer afraid of living.
I am not my addiction.
I am what I choose to be.

I choose to be Jenni.

I choose to be sober Jenni.

Everything that I do from here on out, directly stems from this fact.

I will DO, instead of not doing.

I will BE, instead of not being.

Every day I will remember where I’ve been; and just how far that I have come.
I will love myself; so that I can love others.

I will be a light in a world of darkness.

J.Rounds ©2018 ~Peaces of ME

Full-time decent person this year for for me.

“Be the person you want to be all the time, not just when people are looking.”

There is something to be said about marching to the beat of your own drum.

There is something to be said about being a full-time decent person, that marches to the beat of their own drum as well.

The friend circle is smaller for people like me, by nature, because I don’t like to people all the time anyways.

Now, that I try to do the right thing; my friend circle is even smaller.

I’m not as entertaining anymore.

Decency equals boring, right?

Not right.

The thing is, it doesn’t matter to me about the numbers of friends that I have in my personal circle.

Does it, Ozzy.

No.

Quality is much better for me.

Tomorrow is my 47th Birthday, and it has been a BS-axing year for me.

I am sober, and I thank myself for that.

Birthday gift.

I am moving forward, although there are many kinds of pitfalls and drop-offs that like to shake stuff up for me, I’m finding.

I’m weeding through it daily.

That’s the best way I can put it.

I’m not jazzed about certain things in my life, but I know it’ll be up to me, all of it; to push through it, and change those things.

It’s my life.

It’s days like this that make me anxious.

My Birthday and all; really any significant date in my life.

I do hope the year will be a good one for me, and I think it will be.

It’s days like this that I remember, that I’ve made it this far, and what the journey means.

Also that age is just a number.

Live.

Love yourself.

J.Rounds ©2018 ~Peaces of ME

Never Let Me Down.

So, here’s the change in me. Every day it is new. Every day I am growing. It is a slow, but assured thing; that I am excited about.

I have boundaries. I have to. I like it that way. I’m happy I’m able to be free to be ME again. I’m NOT actively hurting now. I can be strong and keep healing.

It’s a good thing; like my boundaries.

I beat all the worst parts of myself into submission. I lined them up; and made them ALL accountable for their actions. I made peace with myself. Every, single quirk I have, and ever had, as well. I Let go of the fact that I spent so long screwing up my life….for whatever reasons they were. I vowed to never stoop to that level again.

Because what is this life for anyways? For ME; surely not to be an alcoholic, piece of shit mother, and person…which is what I was.

That is not my path. That was the path my sickness and mental disorder wanted me to take.

I am NOT my alcoholism; I am NOT the bad parts of my mental disorder. At the end of the day, I know right from wrong. At the end of the day, noone can save me from myself; but ME.

I KNEW I was better than THAT.

It was only THEN that I started to see my path appear. It was only then; that I wanted to LIVE…and started fighting to.

Be your own change for yourself. Start by not letting yourself down EVER again. That’s what I’m doing with the hard things in my life; and what I recommend for others trying to change their unhealthy ways and flaws. It takes daily practice in the beginning and you will fail. When you are used to chaos and self-sabotage; it takes daily decision making to keep yourself from doing stupid stuff. It is SO worth it to REALLY be accountable to yourself; and think things through before you fold. It emanates to every avenue of your life; and soon you’ll start to see…that the hard things you’ve been through in your life, and by yourself; can be dramatically less. You have choices about how you ARE. Start inspiring yourself to keep going no matter what.

Allow yourself the time and let go of things you can’t change. Make NEW memories always.

Let go; and let live.

I don’t know how I am still alive; or how I got to this place in my life; but I know for a long time, I didn’t want to admit that I wasn’t anything but ok. You could totally tell that I was not ok; as my actions proved it… so. It didn’t get me anywhere.

I couldn’t be more grateful today; to finally feel like I am actually LIVING. I’m glad I stopped synthetics and alcohol. Every day. I removed negative things in my life because I have to now.

I’m single; but I’m really ok with that; and getting better on that fact daily. I’m focusing on personal goals. Staying sober, getting an apartment, work, my kids, travel, other family and true friends, being responsible, projects and goals I want to achieve; but over all of that… having fun doing all of it!!!

Alone is fine.

Today I am one year, two months, and 12 days sober.

I have accomplished many goals within this period of time; that in the beginning of this; I did not think I could achieve. Like staying sober.

That’s different for me now.

The more I live with honesty; the easier it becomes to know the way.

I’m not a Jesus Crispy at all; OR a perfect person by far. I just think that the only thing that really matters in something; is the intention behind it.

I’m tired of wasting time on things that don’t matter; like people that don’t appreciate me, and things that make me hurt. I know for a fact that life comes and goes in the blink of an eye, and I DON’T want to miss it.

Day off. Im still doing things.

I am living for today. 🙂

Love yourself.

J.Rounds ©2018 ~Peaces of ME

Blog for the Props of it.

I’m a bit flustered, as I go to the Dr. for my check up tomorrow.

I’ve needed to go for a while now.

I am scared; I won’t lie; but T will be there for support.

A little flustered with the paperwork for a new patient appointment though.

Writing down the things you know, that run in your family, is scary.

Not knowing your biological father and his history; [your history]; on his side, is more than scary. It’s scary sobering.

I don’t know anything about my father; except that he is going to die in jail, if he hasn’t already. He is a coward; and deserves to be where he is.

I don’t forgive him for anything.

I also am almost positive I have other siblings; a half-sister for sure; but I’m not expecting to ever meet her/ them(?)

Point is

I think of how long I told Dr.’s offices my step-father’s medical stuff instead, by default; just so no one would have to know that I didn’t know my real father; or had one, that didn’t want to know me.

I don’t know that part of my potential medical ailments; because I don’t know my father… or his family.

I am glad today that I do not know him; and I do not want to know him; as much as that sucks to say…it really doesn’t anymore for me.

He is not a man I want to know.

Tonight I marked N/A in my father’s spot for medical history.

Because it’s my truth.

I gave myself props for seeing it for what it was worth.

I also gave myself props for getting through this BS paperwork; which also, by the way; asked my sexual orientation and gender orientation as well. (both I declined to say; because it’s a baited question; used for profiling; that should be illegal, in my opinion.)

Anything else I need to find out about myself, will be way of a 23 and Me DNA kit, books, and Google search; if they tell me I have something wrong with me.

I guess I’m starting to realize that certain things are not important to pursue; and others are.

I hope tomorrow will go well for me. Generally, I tend to get more anxious than I should; so I’m trying to go with that one tonight….and not be.

That’s good enough for now.

Love yourself.

J. Rounds ©2018 Peaces of ME

Festivus for the Rest of Us.

It’s the classic Seinfield episode, that most accurately fits my holiday celebrations; and/or, lack thereof; depending on the year and how I’m feeling. Festivus…It’s the safest Holiday greeting to give; if you don’t want to get beat up or shunned this Holiday season. (*Huge sarcasms) (I’m laughing as I type this)

Christmas used to be a time that I was excited for every year. When I was a child, I’d literally make myself sick with excitement; and I could never sleep well Christmas eve, because of it. My mother still refers to those days sometimes…and we always have a laugh about it…because seriously, I was a total dork back then too, as well; whoda’ *thunk it.

Yes; I do have good memories of Christmases past. Memories of my childhood, and memories of my kid’s childhood Christmases too.

As I’ve gotten older, and am also divorced now;  I’m no longer involved with my kids Christmas mornings. I’m grown as well. So what used to be a really special time of year for me, has morphed into a rather take it or leave it holiday instead. It’s just another day to me really; except everything’s closed. Not to mention the over-commercialization; and the obvious over-inflation of the idea, that you must spend money to excess. It starts sooner and sooner every, single year. People act more desperate and “Scroog ish” as well. To me that is frustrating; and also sad. It’s not about the Black Friday deals…

My Christmas changed to Festivus because of it.

It suits me better.

Grievances.

I don’t know. I guess this year I’m just happy to be able to celebrate with T; and to know my kids had a wonderful holiday; because I know they did. I don’t have grievances that I’d really like to share…most are internal struggles, and not really grievances at all.

This year I am sending my friends and family some candies I made, that have my own Festivus Jenni touch on them.  I’m considering doing more of these in the future to sell (this is just one idea); but I thought I’d do a trial run first on the “immediates”. Haha.

I also made a donation to the Ronald McDonald house in my son Karter’s name. I try to do that every year; because I know without their support, my son could have never gotten the care he needed in Detroit or Cleveland.  At that time, we were a new family, and just doing the best we could financially. We were able to stay with the Ronald McDonald house while in those hospitals; and it really did take a big financial/mental burden off of us because of it. We were able to focus on more important things; like my son’s future care and treatments.

I will always be grateful for the Ronald McDonald house; and I look forward every year to donating, so other families that need help, can focus on healing as well. It makes the holidays better for me.

Here is the link, if you are so inclined. It truly will help people who need it.   

  The Ronald McDonald House 

I did not have a pole this year like a regular Festivus celebration; and my feats of strength consisted of lifting and moving a lot of dogs at work, and whatever yummy goody I could manage to shove in my mouth. I got to talk to my kids; and I was happy to be with T and his family today; and happy to know that T and I are celebrating one year together; AND 9 months sober today as well. That’s a Festivus gift we both gave to ourselves, and the people we love. We worked for it; and continue to do soevery day, because it will always matter most.

Also, if you ever want to look at a cool light display, check out Light up Middletown, if you’re ever in my neck of the woods next Season. It’s awesome! 

That’s about it, and what counts this season, in my world right now. 

I hope wherever you are, and whatever you are doing and did this year to celebrate; it truly was and will be festive and beautiful for you. 

I mostly say Happy Festivus to people; because it saves me time from dealing with the PC people of the world, that have to have their Christmas greeting worded in such a way, that it suits their beliefs/religion. 

Festivus knows no boundaries, and is ALL inclusive. 🙂

I think it’s safe to say, that it really doesn’t matter how you say it; as long as you remember what truly matters in the holiday season, and really always. That is kindness; family and loved ones; giving of yourself in any regard that is positive, and in any capacity; and to remember that gifts come in many different forms. Just being there for someone and valuing them when they really need you, is probably one of the greatest gifts you could ever give someone…and is FREE.

Happy Festivus for the rest of us, and all that jazz. I hope your holidays are amazing.

Love yourself. Xo

J.Rounds ©2017 ~Peaces of ME

Love Your Future Self, TODAY; A Lesson in the Wrong Choices.

Free writing.

……………………………………………..

There are moments in time that I look back on; and I am grateful that my life has moved on; and that time does indeed heal old wounds.

It’s not so much that they have healed, per say. I guess it’s just more of an acceptance that it cannot be changed, no matter how much I would like to change it, or erase it.

In very many circumstances I am glad for that, because I don’t want to go back in time at all. It totally sucked. Changing it wouldn’t be right, or true anyways.

There ARE things I wish I didn’t know, about the world; and myself as well. It was way easier to live unaware of them and denying; although my gut always made me unblissfully “aware” anyways somehow…and then my OCD took over until I found out for sure, every single time.

All it took was time. Sometimes, lots of it.

That’s just how I am. 

I have spent my life consciously and unconsciously ignoring and tricking myself into many things; until I couldn’t anymore…and I was forced to find out and realize the truth…start living life, on life’s terms…and save myself.

My truth generally hurts.

The accepting part doesn’t go so well with my brain. I’ve had PTSD for years, before finally being diagnosed formally three years ago. That was something that I became in the end, grateful for; because it explained a lot to me really, about the way I am…and how I could manage myself and my symptoms. Got me to thinking about my future.

I struggle a lot in the world of today, because I don’t like the way the world runs; and the fact that the world is pre-occupied with everything sexual, easy, and fake.

I got sucked into that world.

I have put myself out there on the internet in the past, for everyone to see…and they did. It was on selected sites, and then it eventually became Facebook groups.

Because of it; it led to a divorce; people cyberstalking me; hacking me; physical, verbal and emotional abuse; rape; people doing illegal things with my images and videos all over the internet. Slander of every form. Death threats. Blackmail. Extortion threats. (that one was ridiculous). My images were sent to my family members, and illegally posted on my own Facebook page…and everyone saw it all. 

Yeah, I’m glad time has moved on from that. To this day there is a scar on my psyche from it all, that can be quite hard to bear. 

It’s the opposite side of a success story, that felt in the end, more like a daily death sentence…and it was no fun living it, in any way.

It was traumatizing because a lot of the abuse was done by people I used to trust and care about.

It was traumatizing, because I did it to myself; if you want to get really technical about it. I had already posted other compromising pictures of myself in the past.  I lived in the behavior for a long time too; up until about three years ago…as far as the recent past goes, and really off and on my entire life.

I very well could have done a million different things in the porn industry throughout my life, and have been offered on many occasions, legit work for money, that I would not do. It was just not something I wanted to be in. 

It is not a good feeling, when people try to bribe you with money, to try to get you to compromise yourself in unsafe ways. I was already compromising myself enough…and you’d think, I would have “grown up”, quicker.

I started to think about it all tonight.

Every day I give myself credit for those bad decisions that I did not make; because they were very wise ones. 

I think it was something of Devine intervention in those cases, that I am not further recouping from my nonsense regarding my “porn phase”.

For what people do know of it though… It’s enough, and too much. 

I compromised my body in various ways for many things in the past, and it is not a good thing to have to admit; but it could have been something way worse, and way more no coming back from, than it has been for me.

I have to look at it that way.

I do not know why I did some of the things I did. I only know that I was out of control; in personal relationships that were not happy, and abusive emotionally; and I was also in active addiction off and on; trying to hide it. I felt like, sex was all anybody wanted from me; and the attention I got from it, FED my damage, my addictions… my pocketbook, and the way I felt about myself. 

I hated everything that was me.

My worst point was in 2013. I was actively hustling, prostituting, and compromising myself for four months.

I did it for drugs and money.

I wanted to die, every day.

Every day, I wished I could stop.

I think in my case, it was a cry for help.  I also think most people that knew me around that time; knew. Those people couldn’t and wouldn’t help me…because I was not helping myself. I was desperately wanting stability (in my head and life); but what it really ended up being, was attention from anyone or anything; because I was completely lost and damaged. My whole life had been a vicious cycle.  I was going to die soon…mainly kill myself straight out.

It really kills me to admit that. But I hope it will help someone…because I know I’m not the only one.

I was desperate for love, and I latched on to anyone that I thought would give it to me…

And it was a sick existence.

It was like a drug….fully. the whole behavior.

The people in the hustling world, that did help me… they always wanted something that I did not want to give. It was not “help” at all. They promised me money, drugs, friendship, love… they told me anything I wanted to hear…And THAT’S how I got sucked in, in the first place. 

And that’s how it always goes.

All of the people I dealt with; they never cared at all…not one of them. They just wanted to fulfill their own needs…escape from their reality, through me. 

For a long time, it was like a game I played with myself…even though I knew all along, that I was the only one that was losing.

Pieces of me every day.

I still have a hard time accepting it…. I look back on suicide videos and recordings that I have made; and it reminds me of how far I’ve come…and how bad I WAS. 

I will never allow myself to feel that despair, or live in it, ever again.

It’s easy to compromise yourself, when you are emotionally numb. It’s easy to hustle. Anyone that has ever been in the position will tell you so…if you really want to…it’s go time.

It doesn’t make it right.

Then you have to look in the mirror at yourself and know what you’ve done. You have to live within yourself. 

It’s not so easy.

Here comes the vices to numb the feelings further; hence the cycle.

I have come SO close to killing myself because of my personal failures to myself; that I don’t even want to say it.

Many, many, many, many, many times, I have thought about what it would be like, to just stop it all. I have tried four times in my life to actually do it.

And that’s what people don’t know. They were not there when I was standing on my roommates car in the garage, with a rope around my neck; nor where they there when I considered jumping off the overpass…my pill OD…none of it. 

I was alone, and I was hopeless.

I made myself ask for help; because I simply could not give in; OR destroy the people I love, any further.

I didn’t want to actually die; I just wanted the mental pain to go away. 

Sounds familiar, because it is; and a more than common running theme in most people with depression, mental disorders, and addiction. The feelings can manifest in many different ways; and are never good.

Asking for help changed my life. It gave me the skills I needed, to become less afraid of the things that were actually going on in my life; and it gave me the courage to change them.

I can never take back all of the things that I have done in my life, that make me a horrible person, to the average “normal” one…whatever that is.

I can only say that I spent years of my life trying to recoup my self-esteem and mind from it all; and now I only put out images of myself that are not images that I’d be ashamed of, in any way. I don’t compromise my body like that anymore; and NEVER will again.

The scars remain though.

Today, I am a photography major; and I hope that some day I can look back on the images that I have taken today, with great pride. I hope I will find it in me to share my work in the future; because I have a lot of great ideas, that I’d like to bring to fruition…and some I already have.

I am an artist, and always have been one and will be. Those are the images I want to be known for, not the others.

I live with integrity and honesty now; because I want to be remembered for who I am as a person, and what I did for the world; not the mistakes I’ve made in my life, or the damage that I’ve carried from the past.

Today is today; not yesterday.

The other pictures that I am not so proud of, will eventually resurface again some day; and I know this. 

But we all have pasts and skeletons..don’t we.

This is mine. Not so much of a skeleton anymore.

My advice to anyone really; and any female especially, is to consider your future self. Love yourself enough to know, that you don’t need to do that kind of thing for attention or love…or drugs.

It’s a hollow kind of attention; its a hollow kind of existence… and it does not fill the void in any way…only masks it. No amount of that kind of attention can save you, and that is a fact.

Do not trust that the images you put out into the cyberworld, to not show up where you least expect it, and don’t want them to…

Because they will EVERY time.

There are a lot of people in the world, who will take any opportunity they can, to use you; betray you; and hurt you for sport…and monetary gain or complete selfishness. They prey on broken, desperate people…and always pose as friends who want to help, or say they love you. 

You always find out TOO late, that that’s NOT the case…and then you can’t go back.

Don’t be one of those people, like I was.

I wish that I would have considered my actions more wisely. I had no idea about the extent of the ramifications that it would bring to me; all of it. It’s also embarrassing still on a small level…but what can you do, but not do it again.

It’s changed my view of everything I’ve ever known or thought about how the world really is.

It’s a shady place, with sun in some areas. 

I prefer the sun today.

I am SO glad, that I finally asked for help, and started seeking true friendships and support from people who never gave up on me; and truly cared for me.

It’s one of the reasons I’m able to write this publicly…and why I am still here on this earth. 

It’s one of the reasons I’ve found it in me, to love myself again.

Mental disease has many different facets to it, most times. Living in a world of darkness alone is really hard too. I remember not being able to see, any shred of light at all; until I started remembering that in the end, no one else is responsible for my life, but ME. 

I know I had help in realizing that. Always I’ll be grateful.

So even though I had to trainwreck through my entire life, I’m proud of myself today; and of every, single, little thing and piece of myself that I have managed to find and discover so far; because I have fought for it…and it IS ME who has done the work to get better. No one can take that away from me. 

I know that I’m not the only one who’s been through this ride either. 

For me, it has been MORE than a struggle; it has turned into a life-changing quest to never give up, give in, or compromise myself like that again….EVER.

Daily, I remind myself, that it’s OK to forgive myself, and to live with integrity today…because that’s what I can do for myself and the people I love. 

This is a piece of me, that I have finally made peace with. I’m not ashamed of it anymore.

I appreciate every single person in my life that values me for who I am…still. 

I hope this helps to put some things in perspective, and that it helps someone to be smarter about the choices they are making for themselves.

I hope it will help someone to forgive themself too; because we all have parts of us that we hide, and we can’t make peace with them until we do forgive ourselves….and stop the hiding.

Where there is courage, there is hope; and with hope, all things become possible. I believe it because it’s true.

Love yourself. 

J.Rounds ©2017 ~Peaces of ME 

Pretty sure it’s Tuesday, and the fact that I had to think about that is sad; still…

My mood is better today.

I can’t expect to feel positive all the time, when there are real problems I’m dealing with.

I’m not afraid anymore to say when I feel like shit inside, and I guess that is one good thing.  

Truth be told, I have no reason to trust anybody; or care. 

I think that’s a rather fucked up and selfish way of looking at things though; so I’m again looking on the bright side….because I actually hate feeling shitty…I don’t know if any of you have realized this by now, or not. I know it may be hard at points to tell.

If I could change one thing about myself, it would be my pessimism on life in general.

I work on it daily to control it; because I know that my attitude, directly affects my whole day, and life. Lately I’ve been failing.

It is still hard to stop up the leaks in my heart; for valid reasons that will always suck.

For that, I wish there were a solid cure that worked…

Faith seems to be the only option to slow it down.

Day 142 on the sober count; keeping it real, like always.

Love yourself.

J.Rounds ©2017 ~Peaces of ME

I Believe in ME.

I find myself every day. The smallest pieces click together more than not, and make me stronger.

I am blessed for the things I do have… and I am grateful everyday for the people in my life, whom I love. 

I no longer believe that I cannot achieve my goals; it is simply all about what I will do to achieve them. 

It is easier to have faith in myself when I know I am doing whatever I can to move forward, and not wasting time on things that don’t matter.

It doesn’t always go as planned (it never does), but eventually I always get there. 

My mother has often told me that I have a way about me, in which I do almost everything the opposite of what most people will do; but I always get it done; it’s usually better than most would do it. 

I agree with this fact fully because I know it is true. I think it’s just about the level of effort I choose to put in.

No effort equals nothing but existence and sadness, and I’m not satisfied with that kind of life anymore, because that’s not who I am anymore, or how I want my life to be.

I have never really fought for much of anything but my disease, and nurturing it.

I don’t want to be remembered, as the girl who drank her life away. I don’t want to end up dead from alcoholism like my Uncle Mike.

I know I have more to offer the world than that. 

I am glad that I can say now, that I am NOT my disease, and every day of my life, from now on, I plan to prove it to MYSELF. 

I am four months and two days sober today.

I’m still alive, and there is a reason for it. 

I do know whatever happens, I have to remember I’m worth the good things, and the bad things don’t dictate my life anymore. I won’t and can’t let them.

My struggles in life, make it that much more satisfying to say that I am still here, and moving forward.

I don’t know if that makes sense to anyone but me, but it’s something I think is a miracle, and I don’t want to waste the time I have left. 

I’m not giving up on a life of peace, and I’ll continue to fight for it daily.

Just thoughts on my mind today. 

Kind of a hard week coming up for T and I, but it’ll be SO worth it for the both of us, in the end. Good vibes are appreciated. 

I hope you all have a great weekend. 🙂

Love yourself. 

J.Rounds (c)2017 ~Peaces of ME

3 months ago I stopped drinking alcohol.

I have reached a goal that took all my life, and three months to meet.

My motivation is high, and I’m living in the mindset that I will accomplish all that I truly put effort into doing. 

I figure I’m not assuming the worst of myself right up front anymore, because I’ve proven to myself that I can do what I set out to do. Three months ago, I stopped drinking alcohol…and I haven’t looked back.

A goal met.

I have many more goals to meet; but I’m excited for the challenges. I know it’s not worth it without them.

Peace does come from within. It may not always be around, but it’s a favorite friend of mine that I am always grateful to spend time with. 

Today I am at peace, even though there’s reason not to be. 

WIN.

I know that no matter what, I have things to be grateful for. 

Also congratulations to my partner in crime. We did it T; I knew we could too. 🙂 ❤
Love yourself.

J.Rounds ©2017 ~Peaces of ME


I Struggle With My Faith, and I Don’t Want to Anymore. The Root of the Root.

Here’s the disclaimer. 

I know a lot of people follow me here, because they want to see the messed up things I’m gonna’ say next. That’s fine. 

This may not be the blog post for you though; because it is long, and recaps my struggle with faith and childhood. It’s a self- validation piece, and my life truly unfolded. 

It was hard to write; and even harder to post.
I appreciate anybody’s time in advance, that does want to read further. 

Thank you. It means more than you know. Xo

-Jenni

……………………………………………………..

I have struggled with my faith since the age of nine, when my Father first took us to church.

I’m trying to come to some sort of terms with it, because it has been weighing on my mind for many reasons; for many, many years.

I’m getting older. I’m letting things go that have infected my soul for so long…FINALLY. I need to find some sort of peace with my faith so that I can nurture it, and possibly build on it more, so I can have closure and true peace inside.

I feel I need to do this, at this point. There are holes in me that will not close without it; I’ve tried, and I know this.

Lately, I feel a shift in my way of thinking regarding “God” and his existence. The ghosts of the past make me question today. The only thing I really know for sure is, is that I do not know what comes after this life at all.

As a child, I grew up in a house where the only father I had ever known drank too much. The F- bomb was dropped as easily as the porn mags, that were just laying around the living area of our downstairs basement, in plain site of a child.

It was all about my father, nothing else. He did what he wanted, and my mother did what he said to do, and was a good wife to him. She loved him, and she loved us as well. 

I never knew from day to day, what mood my father was going to be in, or if I would get hurt by him that day. Sometimes things seemed normal”ish”; but it wouldn’t take long for him to fly off the handle without warning, and become way too agressive with my mother and myself for certain. He caused physical and mental damage, over and over, that hurt us both. Sometimes he would even lash out at my younger sisters too, when I didn’t get there fast enough to get in the way. I’m sure they don’t remember a lot of it early on, and I am SO grateful for that; but I still do. He was cruel and not loving by standard; and that’s how it was for me.

Mostly it was a life of uncertainty, mental chaos, fear and pain; in some regard; whether it was physical, emotional or worse.  I was always on edge, and scared. It also was a lot of avoiding anywhere my father was… at all times… if I could at all manage it. 

I hated him, but I loved him as well because he was my Father. Most don’t understand that. 

It’s not my issue.

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On the outside, we looked like a regular, (lower) middle-class family. It was my father, mother, two younger sisters (my dad’s real kids), and me. My father was a welder and a sprinkler fitter by trade with the Union. We always lived in a house, and had food to eat. We took vacations every year. We grew up in the same neighborhood and went to the same school our entire school years, k-12. My mother was a “typical” housewife.

It looked, on the surface, to be quite normal; although I know for a fact that many people around us at that time (adults), knew that it wasn’ t. The truth is, I personally lived a very disfunctional childhood. I was fully terrified of my home life, because I was being abused on a regular basis, in various ways. That’s being about as forthright and vague as I can be about it, without getting fully into it; and to prevent more slander from complete strangers that have no clue, and like to send me BS emails and messages about how I’m a pathological liar and making it all up…

You can ask my Mother about it…Enough said.

It pisses me off that I have to deal with that factor.

It’s relevant information none the less, and you need the back- story to understand the whole blog.


Anyways….

My grandmother somehow talked my father into going to her “Christian Reformed” church one Sunday. I was about 9 years old, I believe. I didn’t understand who God even was, because there was NO religion in our family at all, and I had never heard of him up until then. I can’t remember any of my close, or extended family; besides my grandmother; ever going to church or anything. Christmas was just Christmas. Easter was just Easter. There was no talk of spirituality, faith, or God at all in our family…ever.

For some reason or another, my father decided that we would go to church. He latched on to the concept quickly, and our family then started going to church every week…twice on Sunday, and once on Wednesday.

I’d like to think it was because he wanted to change his ways; but that didn’t end up happening at all.

It actually got way more fucked up.

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I DO remember many good memories about that church. 

Christmas programs, Sunday school,  Calvanetts (like girl scouts but church group), many gatherings and social events, Bible school. I know a great deal about the Bible and I read it once, straight through. It took me three years. Lol. Bet you didn’t know that about me. 🙂

The point though is that there were some good people there for sure. I was in all regards “forced” into the atmosphere; but I do have to say that IT WAS comforting in some way, to be around father-figures that acted like proper fathers. Before that, I was totally afraid of men, and I would hide a lot. I had a few teachers there though, that I respected and listened to; It’s because they were all kind to me, and each of them seemed like the kind of father, I’d wished I’d had.

It’s kind of sad when you think about it. 

I was often jealous of other families that were loving and happy. True fact.

Unfortunately, I also remember that most of the people at “that church”, acted like they just wanted to show off what they were wearing that week and what they had. It was apparent. No one ever clapped after a song performance or a congratulatory mention to someone from the Pastor; which I thought was totally weird and not cool at all. It’s as if they were above showing emotion. The worst part was that the church mostly treated my family like we were less-fortunate and less-than as well, because we had nowhere near as much money as the rest of the congregation that went there….we were charity cases, basically. They used to give us care packages on our porch and just leave them there, and I’m pretty sure they were helping my parents with financial strains at one point. (This is not a fact, just a hunch) The point is, I can STILL remember the stares when we walked down the center isle of the church to be seated every week. I absolutely hated it because I knew why they stared at us. It’s funny how people think that kids can’t pick up on things like that; but it’s not true…they definitely can.

I felt like I didn’t belong there at all; but since I did not have any choice but to go, I adapted as I always did. 

After a while, that’s when the religious indoctrination started by my father.

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It is hard to believe in God, when you are a child who does not understand what is happening to her; and why her father hates her, and hurts her. I often would ask questions about God to my father; which were always met with anger, degradation, and punishment. I once had to stand up at the dinner table for three hours and be lectured and talked down to,  because I asked my father “How he knew that God existed.” 

I was ten.

You see, even at that age, I knew what he was doing to me and my family was not right, and that it didn’t make sense what he was saying; his actions never matched his words.  I also knew that no one seemed to care what was happening to me. 

Everybody thought my dad was just awesome. He wasn’t. He fed and clothed us, and provided for us; but he was not a good father to me at all. He caused trauma that I’ve carried with me, my entire life. 

I don’t have any regrets saying it either, because it’s the truth…and he and I and my mother, all know it.

The truth hurts.

Sorry Dad, but I’m writing this to self-validate, because I deserve to.

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I remember one Sunday, our pastor asking for people who wanted to be saved to “Come up to the front and take the Lord’s hand. The Lord would help us find our way and save us all from despair.” 

I went up.

I wanted to be saved so bad. I did feel the Lord in that moment. I prayed and I prayed and I prayed, as hard as I could for his healing. I wanted my father to stop hurting me, my mom,  and my sisters; and I wanted God to please, please help. I truly believed that he would take the pain away, and fix my life and my family.

It didn’t happen at all.

The same things continued to happen, and as I got older…it got worse.

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was baptized along with my parents and sisters, when I was 11 years old.

My father then became a Deacon of the church.

What I will never get, is that my father would sometimes openly abuse me in front of church people, and NO ONE did ANYTHING, but look the other way. 

One time my family went on a camping trip with another church family, and my father gave me a black eye because I was teasing my sister when we were supposed to be sleeping. 

He punched me numerous times in the face, like a man would hit a man. 

What do you do?

The next day my mother actually had the nerve to ask me, if my father had done that to me. I love my mother more than anything, but I was so enraged in that moment I could literally say nothing, because I wanted to hurt her the way that I was hurting inside….and on my face. 

That’s fucked up.

I was thirteen.

It took me a long time to realize that my mother was a victim as well; but I do know that now, and understand.

She told me not to say anything, like she told me the first time my father gave me a black eye, when I was six. She told me to behave. I didn’t tell anybody. The church family we were with had two small children even. They saw me and said absolutely nothing. Everybody went on about the vacation as if it hadn’t even happened, and I know they all heard it.  That’s when I pretty much figured I was FUCKED, and this God everybody was talking about, was not gonna’ save me at all. 


My father eventually had a long-running affair in the end with another woman. He left my mother, my sisters, myself…AND the church.

Then the church left my mother, and she almost killed herself over it all.

My parents were divorced when I was 14. 

My sister’s were devastated and cried and cried. 

I cried because I was happy my father was finally gone, and could not hurt us anymore. 

Yeah.

By the way, my mom is an amazing woman. She worked her ass off to keep us in that house, clothes on our backs, food in our stomachs…and she did it all without help from the government. 

She IS the reason I am strong. She IS the reason my eldest daughter is strong. 

It took me a long time to realize this. She kept ALL us girls together, when we were all falling apart and had no one but each other. 

Every day I’m thankful she is my mom.

Just wanted to say that because I love her, and I respect who she is and what she sacrificed for me.

She raised my daughter until she was 13 years old because I knew I couldn’t. If not for her, I would never know my daughter because she would be with an adoptive family right now instead. 

I’m so grateful for her. She always loves me no matter what. 

I love you.

Thank you.

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Ok . Back on track with the religion thing. Sorry.

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I guess my whole issue is; I feel most people hide behind their religion, and are totally different people when it’s all said and done. 

I fully respect my friends that are passionate about their faith in God, and practice it. I have no issues with anyone believing what they want, because I feel like it’s as personal as your life-journey is. Everyone finds their own way and belief, no two ways or stories are exactly the same, unless you’re in a cult.(lol)  

Ok, that was bad; but wtf.?

There are however, a lot of shady, scummy, horrible people in the world that use God as a cover, and those people are not godly at all. I know this because I’ve lived it.

Anyways… 

My childhood experiences and church involvement, have tainted every single thing that comes to religion for me. It’s sad that I’ve felt guilty for talking about it in detail, until now. After my son passed, I said “Fuck it” all together and just started trying to see things for what they were . 

My core beliefs are as follows:

* I don’t like organized religion. 

*I do not believe the Bible is the do all, end all; or you’re going to Hell, at all. I don’t even know if it’s real, or if there is a Heaven or Hell, and really I think it’s just a bunch of stories, and totally hypocritical and perverted to say the least.

I don’t think God is coming back, or he’d be here by now. Don’t people consider this at all?

I don’t know really how to say all this without offending someone, but more people have been killed in the name of religion, than anything else; and that is a fact. 

It makes no sense.


STILL……

There’s got to be something. 

I refuse to believe that this life is all for nothing. I refuse to believe that the despair and suffering of the world, is all for nothing. I refuse to believe that nature is as amazing as it is, without something or someone having a hand in that. I want to see my son again, and some other people too.

But I really don’t know what or who (if anything), is responsible.

I am a much more  spiritual person, than I am a religious person. I think it’s the most logical way to go. 

Wierdly though, a lot of things have been happening in my life that cause me to reconsider trying out just ONE service some time; in “that church”…. just to see how I feel afterwards. 

Maybe that is highly hypocritical, but I feel like I owe “God”, another chance..if he exists.

It’s kind of freaking me out too, because I’m scared to death of the insides of churches, and will not go in them. 

I just want to feel that feeling I had again, when I was up at the front of the church, and truly believed he could save me when I was 11 years old.

For what it’s worth, I hope I at least can find some sort of comfort and direction, and maybe let the ghosts from my childhood finally pass on to the other side, where they belong for good good good.

That can’t be a bad thing, and I think I owe it to myself to walk in that church and find out once and for all. 

I am not a child anymore; and my father is no longer able to cause me damage. The damage I now do regarding the whole thing, is to myself. Hence the struggle.

Even though I don’t speak to him; I have for the most part accepted that it can’t be changed. 

I will always remember though.

It’s because I understand that his Father hurt him too, and it is a cycle, that I can take a different look at it now. I am also a person who knows about alcoholism, and hurting people you’re supposed to love. Also because I love him; he’s the only father I’ve ever known. 

And that’s why I know there must be something. 

Two years ago, I never would have been able to say that about him. I let it affect my whole life, and way of thinking. But that’s over now.

That didn’t happen by itself. 

I have control of my life now.

I guess I’ll update, and let you know how it goes. 

Thanks for reading. I haven’t talked this extensively about my reasons for my beliefs and how they got there in open written forum before; and so that in itself is completely freeing. 

J.Rounds ©2017 ~Peaces of ME