Forgiveness

It’s been awhile  since I have posted anything. I’ve been busy with life, school, raising beautiful children and being and being wife.

For me and my past struggles one of the most important things is forgiveness. The forgiveness we receive from God and the  forgiveness we extend to those who have wronged us in any way. True forgiveness can lift burdens and heal the soul. Why carry hate around when you can let it go?  Let it go and give it to God. Although I have known this my entire life, it’s often hard to do. As humans we are just un-forgiving by nature, but through the love and grace through Jesus Christ we are able to extend forgiveness.

Not only is forgiveness crucial to those who have done something wrong to you, it is important to ask for forgiveness to those whom you have wronged. Don’t carry this around with you.

I’m working on a longer post, but have a lot to do today.

FORGIVE!

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The Father Factor: Part 2

In my last post I mentioned the numerous studies on how an absent father has such a detrimental effect on a daughters psyche and development. I do not place any blame on my father for decisions I made in the past. I made my choices and I reaped the consequences although one life changing incident happened that I never had a chance to make a choice. It was made for me.  However, I do often wonder if I had received love, understanding, and a close relationship with my dad would it have changed anything? Maybe it would have. My maybe it would not.

All I know is that it had an effect on me. I did not consciously know this at the time. I did not know why I was reaching out for attention in all the wrong ways just to feel loved. I just wanted to find and keep it, put in a heart shaped box and lock it away. Sadly, it doesn’t work that way. 

Growing up with my grandparents I was always in church (Southern Baptist), the first one to answer questions in Sunday school, and was read Bible stories nightly. My grandmother first talked to me about sex when I was 9, a little late now that I think about it. I probably knew more than she did just by what I heard from friends and on the school bus. It was awkward and short. The point was sex before marriage was a sin and that was it. However, a few years later a friend let me borrow a book about the changes a young girl faces, such as menstruation  sexual feelings, hair growing in certain areas, etc. The book had been published by American Girl and was in no way explicit or pornographic. I hid the book knowing if my grandmother found it she wouldn’t be happy. Well, she found it and burned it. Didn’t she see what that would do to a young girls mind? Was sex bad? Were the changes in my body bad? I didn’t understand.

When I was 12 my aunt gave me a purity ring. She took me into my bedroom, gave me a velvet jewelry box that held a simple ring engraved, “True Love Waits”. She then explained what it meant and how important it was to wait until marriage to have any sexual relationships. I gratefully accepted the ring, being a little embarrassed and knew that I would save myself until marriage. At least that was the plan.

The older I got the more attention I wanted from boys. I craved the attention, but still kept my purity ring on with all intentions of keeping that pact. The summer before 8th grade I was visiting the sister of my mom’s newest boyfriend. I spent the night there thinking it was going to be a fun filled girls night with movies, popcorn, and laughter. I was looking forward to getting to know them better since it seemed my moms boyfriend would end up being my step-dad pretty soon. I thought it would only be me, my soon to be step-sister and her aunt. Later on that night a cousin arrived who needed a place to stay for the night. He was 26 years old, recently out of prison and he brought his own party favors. Weed.

Black

In my previous post I mentioned the short story I wrote that was published in my college’s literary magazine. It deals with the death of my father. The title back comes from picking one color and writing anything you want. It’s a great exercise and you may be surprised with what you come up with. I highly suggest you give it a try. I chose the color Black. The names and dates have been changed to protect those who do not want to be identified.

Black

Black. Black is the first color that comes to my mind. When I think of black I think of death. I think of funerals. I think of the black Calvin Klein dress I always wear to a funeral. I think of heart attacks. I think of my dad. I think of June 13, 2003. I think of tears. I think of heart ache. I think of sadness . I think of cold. I think of Heaven. I think of Hell. I think of God. I think of despair. I think of emptiness.

My father, George Christopher Sparks, died on June 13, 2003. He suffered from a massive heart attack and died almost instantly. They call it the “widow maker”. He was only 40. He had been outside mowing the grass. He kept a beautiful yard. It always looked so nice. He worked very hard; too much. He came in the house, in pain, and sat down on the couch. My step-mother, Denise, called 911. He was in so much pain. He was confused, scared. I can’t help but thinking that at the same time my daddy was sitting on that couch, clutching his chest and trying to breath, I was at work laughing and happy. I had no idea at that moment my daddy was dying.

There was nothing the doctors there could do. He was pronounced dead at the hospital. I can picture the over-worked Emergency Room doctor calling out to the code blue staff. “Time of death, 18:52!” he would say. He didn’t know my daddy. He didn’t know the man lying on the stretcher there in front of him.  He was gone. All that was left was his body, an empty shell. His soul, everything that made him my daddy was gone. I would never again see his bright smile, warm, green eyes, hear his contagious laugh, kiss his cheek, or give him a hug.

Black is such a mean color. Black can hurt your heart.

My sister, Amanda, was 9 when he died. I was never very close to her. My step-mother thought I was a bad influence. Honestly, I just didn’t fit into my step-mother’s “perfect life”.  She just wanted it to be her, my dad and my little sister. When I was around I just messed everything up. Amanda was at a friend’s house when it happened. I am glad she wasn’t there. I know she would have been so frightened and scared. She is now 18. We are working on building a lasting relationship. I want us to have a good relationship and be sisters. I know our daddy would want us to as well. I know she doesn’t remember a lot about him. I wish she did. I wonder if she will ever ask me about him. I think she will one day. My step-mother has done a wonderful job raising Amanda without my dad. Amanda wants to be a teacher. She starts college at Furman this coming fall. I know our daddy would be proud. He would be proud of both of us.

Black can separate.

One of the best and funniest memories I have of my dad is how on Sunday mornings he would go to his stereo system while my sister and I were still sleeping, put in an AC/DC album, turn the stereo volume all the way up, come running into our room, jump onto the bed, and sing as loudly as he could while playing air guitar to wake us up.

One of things that hurts the most is knowing my daddy never got the chance to meet my wonderful husband, Neil. He would have loved him! He never got the chance to meet his grandchildren, Thomas and Brooke. He would have been so proud to be their Papaw George. I know he would have taught Thomas to fish and how to cast a fishing pole. He would have taught Brooke all about football and explained what a first down was. He would have loved them unconditionally and of course he would have spoiled them. They would have loved him, too. I think he would try to be a wonderful grandfather.

Black is loss.

I think about my daddy every day. I think of him when I look in the mirror every morning and see my green eyes. I have exactly the same warm, green eyes he had. When I see a receding hairline, I think of my dad. When I see a father with his daughter, I think of my dad. When I wear the Miami Dolphins jersey my husband got me for my 24th birthday, I think of my dad. When I see a father and daughter out fishing at the lake by my house, I think of my dad. When I hear AC/DC I think of my dad. There are so many things all around me each day that make me remember my dad. Sometimes those things make me laugh and sometimes they make me cry.  Even though I only had 16 years with him, I am thankful for each day that I had. Those years were hardly enough. We never had the chance to build a real, close relationship,but I can’t help thinking what it would be like if he were still here today.

Black. Black is the end.

The Father Factor

I loved my father. I know he loved me. He is gone now, no longer enduring the hardships of this world we live in. He no longer has to work him self to the point of exhaustion, worry about money, and making his wife and my sister happy. He has no worries, or cares. He is gone. He has been dead almost 10 years.I will write about that later. A short story I wrote about his death was published in my college literary magazine. I will gladly share that later.I have no intentions of making my father look bad, or have him seem like a careless person. He was not. Honestly, I really don’t know what he really thought of anything.I know he had good intentions, but it seemed to me he could never act on them. They were there, in his heart just know always shown.  I never had the chance to figure him out or have a real father/daughter relationship myself.

I was 16 when he died and it all just went down hill from there.

There have been so many studies dedicated to the study of the affects of an absent father especially when it involves a daughter. Did I make decisions based on the fact I just wanted to feel love from a man? The love I never felt I got from my father? I know that there is a significant impact a daughters life. Is it just an excuse for bad behavior? Is it a way out? Is it a cry for help? I know first hand. It leaves a lasting impact and believe it or not, it’s not pretty.

My half-sister came along when I was 7. I was ecstatic. I loved her already.My mom had just had a baby boy from an ex-boyfriend who bolted left when he found out my mom was pregnant and now I was going to have a sister from my dad. A little sister! I imagined helping her learn to walk, talk, holding her tiny hands in mine, play barbies, and dress-up. That never happened. The years after she was born I often to refer to as my “Cinderella” years. My step-mom had her “perfect” family. She had handsome husband and a beautiful baby girl. Unfortunately for her I existed.

Do you see as theme here? I was always in the way of something. I wasn’t needed and I certainly rarely felt wanted.

I always felt that in someway I ruined her vision of a her happy family. I reminded her that my dad was previosly married, that he may have even still loved my mom, and I took away her time with my dad when I was around. Selfish of me right? How dare I take a few hours or maybe a day of every other weekend to spend with my daddy. My dad’s family saw right through her. They never liked her from the beginning, more about that later. They saw how I was treated by her. No, I was never beaten or anything like that. I was emotionally abused and could feel her negativity towards me even as a child. Her beautiful fake smile went right though me and it still does to this day. She spoke bad about my mom and as a child and could never understand why.

After a while the weekends at my dad’ house ended. I went to and spent many happy weekends at his parents house where I would play with my cousins, go on adventures in the woods, bake the most delicious, flaky biscuits with my mamaw,with my papaw we would can the sweetest strawberry jam that when you would lightly unscrew the jar sugar would fall down like snow. I felt true, unconditional love with them.I felt wanted there and even needed!

As I grew older the innocent joy of splashing in the mountains creeks, climbing trees, and bedtime stories came less and less enjoyable. The older I got time with my dad grew further and further apart. He know tried to make up for lost time with me with extravagant Christmas and Birthday gifts.He worked hard for his money and was not wealthy. They were always so nice, I know he was trying in his own way. The gift cards, CD’s, DVD’s. T.V’s, beautiful clothes and more wasn’t what I wanted.The gifts made me feel guilty. Why?  I wanted him, his time, his attention, and his love. What made this gifts even less appealing was knowing that he didn’t pick them out. He may have helped some, but he worked so much I know he didn’t have the time. He had sent my step-mom out into the retail world to buy his daughters love. When the whole time it was free.

So, my immature brain began to look for love in all the wrong places.

Note: The photo of the man with his daughter is not of us.

Image

A Fly On The Wall

Have you ever heard the idiomatic expression, “A fly on the wall.”?

After the time of my birth I sometimes wonder what it would be like to go back in time, unseen, unheard, and really see how my entrance into this world became the beginning of a slow decent to my own brokenness.

Would I cry?

Would I laugh?

Would I want to forget everything I saw and heard?

How would I react?

How would what I saw change my life?

Honestly, I don’t think I would want to know. I know many questions I have would most likely be answered, but at what cost? Would it help or would it be traumatic? I’m going to have to guess that it would be a little of both.

Here’s what I do know. My parent’s fairy tale marriage didn’t last. I bet you didn’t see that one coming. I was told there was drug use, infidelity, etc. I don’t know what kind of issues my mom or dad were dealing with emotionally or physically, but I do know I found myself at my maternal grandparents house. Yep, those grandparents.

She had left me. They had left me.

 

I was alone.

I do know my dad tried his best to get custody of me. He fought the best he could with little money and resources. My mom’s parents fought for me too. Honestly, looking back I feel like my grandparents motives were not in my best interest. I believe this goes back to my grandfathers pride and greed.  My maternal grandfather had the resources, the money, and the connections. What had my dad done not to deserve his daughter. What had I done?

I went home with them.

My dad had lost me and my mom didn’t want me.

I saw my dad every other weekend. I craved attention from my dad. I desperately wanted to be a daddy’s girl. However, on his weekends he was often out dating, hunting, or working. He soon found a woman that he married. She was pregnant when they wed. She hated me from the beginning. How do I know this? Children know. It was a first marriage for her and I was an unfortunate inheritance. I destroyed her hope for her own family with my dad.

Did he love me?

I needed him!

I needed my father’s love.

Because of that I spent most of my time with his parents. His parents were hard working people. They worked their entire lives and had little money. But the one thing they did have was love. I’m not saying my maternal grandparents didn’t love me. They did, but their love came with so many strings attached. I didn’t realize it at the time, but it is clear now.  It’s still that way to this day. The love I found with  my paternal grandparents was just pure, unconditional love with no strings attached.

This was the beginning of my screwed up sense of love.

The Journey Starts Now

I  have been wanting to do this for so long. I thought I would have no followers, readers, or the time. I have now decided it doesn’t matter whether one person or a million ever read anything here at Beautifully Broken. It’s for me. It’s to help me through my own journey. A journey to healing. I know there are so many men and women all over the world who are struggling with many of the same things I am. Maybe, just maybe this blog can be a source of comfort and support to all of those out there who are beautifully broken. We are who we are. We desire healing and freedom from whatever may be holding us prisoner.

I will start of by just a few thoughts:

  • Everything here is REAL. It’s a place for me to vent and get things out.
  • I have always loved writing and now I am using it as a source of therapy.
  • I am not here to bash anyone I write about. I may choose to change names.
  • Somethings might be hard to read, but I bet those things are harder for me to write about.
  • I am who I am.
  • I am beautifully broken.

There is so much going on in my life right now that I really don’t know where to start, so that only leaves the beginning.

My mother was a senior in high school when she found out I was pregnant. My dad was 21 and a high school drop out. Sounds like a fairy tale beginning, right? It was the mid 80’s and good times and cocaine were abundant. My grandparents seemed oblivious to my mom’s “good times”, or perhaps they just pretended everything was fine. They were well known in the community and Southern Baptist. No, nothing could be wrong with their family. They were so close to perfection. My grandfather was a proud man, selfish and greedy on the inside, but to others he was the epitome of a hard working southern man. My grandmother was very involved in the church, relied on my grandfather for everything, and sadly was never really happy in my opinion. Their story is one for another time.

My parents were married before anyone found out she was pregnant. I think back now and wonder if my grandparents were that ashamed of the situation,their “perfect” family suddenly not so perfect. Not to mention my dad’s family wasn’t as successful and well off as my grandparents thought they were, so there’s another strike against my dad. I have no doubt my parents loved each other. My dad was crazy about my mom and she was in love with him too, but they were both so young. They hadn’t lived yet and now they had a baby, me.

It’s clear now. My conception was the beginning of the end.