To Catch A Predator

My blood IS BOILING. It’s cascading to the top and I am one more article away from yelling obscenities to anything in arm’s reach. I am outraged. I am saddened. I am upset with myself. I am upset at everything. I am upset at everyone. I am upset at the world as a whole. I have literally worked 26 hours in the past two days. I have not slept for more than 5 hours in the combined two days ( and to be honest, this is probably one of the reasons I cannot control my emotions, so bare with me as I vent) and I’ve had enough caffeine to kill a meth head.

What has sent me over the edge, you might ask? Yesterday afternoon, my children’s principal was arrested inside of a mall for online solicitation of a minor. My children who are in elementary school. MY children. MY CHILDREN”S ELEMENTARY SCHOOL PRINCIPAL!!! This person has spoken to them. This person has held their hands while I pull up to the curb. I trusted him with their safety. I trusted him to take care of my precious children. I shook his hand. I had pleasant conversations with him. This principal. This CHILD PREDATOR. I let a child predator right under my nose. I let him guide me with his smiles and nice gestures. I let him be in my children’s lives and told them they could trust in him ! I feel as I have failed them.

You know you always imagine that as a parent you would be able to sense that ” bad ” vibe from a child predator. That across a park and pass a barn yard under the piles and piles of manure, you are the parent that could smell a predator even before they had set one deceitful. disgusting eye on your creations. You fantasize over being the hero and saving the world from all pedophiles.  But such dreams are not reality. The reality is that he seemed nice enough and the reality is that sometimes we cannot fully protect what we brought into this world. I think that is what really has upset me. That I cannot protect them forever or even all the time. I cannot shield them from the evils that have manifested here, even if I try to will it to be that way.  I am angry that there even needs to be a reason for me to feel as though I have to watch them 24 hours a day. I am angry that these people even exist.

I. AM. ANGRY. 

I didn’t mean to

I didn’t mean to fall in love with you.

It happened on its own

One day I felt you touch my heart

And I was never the same

I didn’t mean to fall in love with you

But you slithered into my consciousness

Unable to take you out

You set up camp and refused to let me turn away

I didn’t mean to fall in love with you

But now I feel you in my veins

Pulsating with every beat

You are my drug, my heroine

And I am completely addicted

I didn’t mean to fall in love with you

But my eyes will forever be rosy

I will never look at anyone the same

It will always just be you

I didn’t mean to fall in love with you

But these butterflies wouldn’t die

They constantly live in my stomach

Going crazy whenever you walk into a room

Whenever you glance my way

I didn’t mean to fall in love with you

But you have taken over my mind

Past failures, unrecognizable

There was no one before you and there will be no one after you

I didn’t mean to fall in love you

But you have taken over my body

It aches in your presence and is never fully satisfied

This yearning is relentless

I am always in need of you

I didn’t mean to fall in love with you

But my mouth only wants to speak to you and about you

There are no more important subjects, there is nothing else trending

My life revolves around you

I didn’t mean to fall in love with you

But you walked into my life

With one smile you captivated me

Turned me inside out

I didn’t mean to fall in love with you

I thought I had guarded my heart

But you gently took it from me and you’re holding it hostage

You say I will never get it back and I pray it’s true

I didn’t mean to fall in love with you

I didn’t need to fall in love with you

I didn’t want to fall in love with you

But…..I did.

Destiny? God’s Will ? Or changes that pushed us here ?

As I sit here at the dining room table, sipping on my coffee, trying desperately to wake up (late nights equating into late lazy mornings or afternoons in this case). I look around and wonder how I came to this place. In less than 6 months my challenging life has pushed me into a completely different route that has forced me into wanting to change my career choice, begin this blog and surprisingly start on a manuscript ( with a good start I might add and a couple of chapters already in ). As I look back from the beginning I wonder why I ever wanted to be in the medical field in the first place. Not that I don’t love my job or the people I work with, but why did I, at such a young age conform myself to such a narrow pathway. When I was younger there were no dreams of becoming an astronaut, traveling to different countries, becoming a celebrity or even having a family. The only thing I have ever wanted was to become a nurse and work (surprisingly) in the same hospital I am currently employed at. Where did this dream come from? Was I looking at a TV show and see a nurse walk in and demand that I have her life and that I was going to work from that day forward into making that come true? Was the need placed in front of me by a guardian or someone I looked up to? For 20+ years I have put all my energy into becoming a nurse and each strategic step I made in my life, through my hardships, have continuously pushed me into that role. Just so now, in less than 6 months, for those same hardships to throw me in a domino effect into something so different. But there’s a fire here. A fire I never expected and one that I can’t seem to shake off. Through the criticizing eyes of those around me I look straight ahead and know that in my heart I have found my place. For the first time in my life I don’t know where I’m going and why I even started looking, but I am here. There are many times that have stayed up at night while my mind wonders and think to myself what events have encouraged me to stray so far from my path. Is this God’s will? Have I always wanted to write and I denied it because I was so focused on the goal of that little girl or is it that these events have pushed me here. Maybe all three. I don’t know where I’m going and as much as that’s scary I have to enjoy this detour. I have never been placed into such a topsy turny road and there is beauty in the unknown. It often seems we are all willing to fast forward to the end of the movie or turn to the last chapter of the book but why I ask when the real excitement is the middle. The events and moments that have made that last final breathe just as sweet. I don’t know where this fire came from and I don’t know why it started but I am here. It might be short lived or I might end up staying but why fret about it? Life truly happens when we have left the windows open during a storm. It happens when we least expect it and it happens when we don’t need it to. I hope that your dreams and goals have lit up a place in you. My hope for you is that you, even if it’s only fleeting, feel what I feel at this very moment. This need that resides in me now is one that will leave its marks on my soul for the rest of my life. It’s difficult and it’s scarring but in itself is as unique and mysterious as it is beautiful. And something so life changing cannot possibly be all negative. It will change you into something that was not expected and either you can love that change or hate it, but trust in me when I say, that life……is in these moments.

Wait…..Don’t I get a handbook ?!

Motherhood was always taught to me as something that every woman comes to know naturally. You might not have been good at anything prior, but at the time of your baby’s first breath, your instincts would kick in and you would just know. Hmm…. I guess I’m still waiting, then? I stare up in the sky and have come to the conclusion that maybe, JUST maybe , that little light switch was never turned on or it was broken upon arrival with a big ” no refunds ” sticker stamped on it.
I have three children and I still don’t know what I’m doing. I literally have to ask every single mother I know, everything they know. The questions are endless and vary in degree from how to fix their hair, to what age do you have the terrible and terrifying ( to me, anyway) talk about sex ?! I always envisioned myself being this super cool mom- “OH, you want to have a little party ? Of course! Bring em’ all here and I’ll call the pizza delivery man!” Then when their friends would come over, they would love to see me because after all- I was just soooo cool. Yeah well , I’m starting to think maybe those daydreams were simply a delusion from the many pain medications I received during labor. Everyday is a struggle of what I think I should be doing versus what my inner cool mom thinks I should be doing and what society has deemed acceptable. Now don’t get me wrong, I definitely am not going to be one of those mothers that drinks with their children and does drugs with them for the sake of saying ” Hey, they are going to do it anyway ! Why not do it where I can watch them ? ” No. I just wanted to be counted as a friend and mother at the same time, not some Nazi world leader that was just out to ruin their lives and force them to clean up the house at the most inconvenient of times.
I think my biggest fear to be completely honest, is that I’ll essentially break them. Yes, break my children. That from some random act on my part, that my children will be so damaged that they will be broken inside. That they will grow up to resent me and point out in fury, ” Well, of course I’m doing this , because that one time when I wanted to sign up for swimming, you made me sign up for soccer and I have never been able to do what I wanted in life “. Okay, so maybe not that dramatic but you get the point. Every decision we make as parents are of the upmost importance and just like us mothers grew our children in the womb, we must also mold their future selves outside of it. No problem, right ? Wrong. Being a parent is like being inducted into a secret society in which the only way to survive is for them to blindfold you, make you swim up river and when you are ready to give up, inform you that you must now take a math test and PASS! ( or whatever subject you are most scared of ) Seems like a daunting task and a marathon uphill to say the least. So where is our handbook? Or is their some goddess of a mother or king of a father that have all the answers , because please send me the information on their exact location so that in my joyous delirium I’ll head straight into their all knowing arms !
No. There’s no answers is there. No right way or wrong. Although, I do seem to want to bask in the glory of the PTA moms who remember every single event, remember every doctor’s check up and always have time to help with homework. They sing sweet lullabies and put their children to sleep after an hour of story telling every single night. No , I have to come to the realization that we are all drowning in this aspect one way or another. Barely able to stay afloat in this twisted role of parenting. That the only thing I can do, is what I think is right and the best I can do depending on the situation at hand at any given moment. It would be glorious to have a handbook, but every child is different and there is more than one way to raise them. I have to understand and HOPE that my best is realized in their eyes and that they understand where my heart is. Yeah………a handbook would be nice. But my best can be nice too.

Last Prayer

Heavy heart

No way in sight

Tears are flowing

No reason to fight

Head down

I have no pride

My legs are numb

My soul has died

He loves me

And I love him too

If this is what love is

Then I guess I’ll be the fool

He’s drunk again

Tongue casting hate

What have I ever done

To deserve this fate?

I’m his to own

No possession worth less

I have no willpower

I slip further in the abyss

Days are dark

The sun won’t appear

My life is done

My end is near

I’ll go without struggle

I’m no fighter at heart

Just wanted to love him

But his love has ripped me apart

So I say my goodbye

I welcome the death

A quiet prayer leaves my lips

” Please, Lord forgive me”

As I take my last breath

The Forgotten Child

This is an open letter to my father

Although, I know chances are you will never read this, in case you do and I am not longer here to tell you myself,

I want to know

 

Dear Daddy,

I’m 26 years old now. I haven’t done too much with myself, but I have managed to stay out of jail and be a productive part of society. It took me a long time, but I’m in college and although I’m not sure what I want to major in, I’m pretty excited about where my life is going right now.

Mom says you look like me, sometimes when I can’t sleep I lay awake and think about you and I look in the mirror and try to pinpoint which features belong to you. I imagine you are this husky man with a slight beard and light brown hair and colored eyes like mine. In my mind you have a gentle and quiet personality but when you are around close friends and family, you are outgoing and the life of the party. I imagine that where ever you live, you are respected, people can depend on you and that you are a good man.

When I was younger, mom told me about all these wonderful things about you  and for a long time I kept a little pink backpack ready so when the chance hit, I would be ready to go look for you. I would find you and you would be so happy because all of these years you were looking for me too. We would be reunited and we would live happily ever after. I want you to know that I did make that trip to your country, just to find you. I saw my grandmother outside of a church that day and she cried and touched my face, and prayed for me. I told her I loved her and that I would come back for her…….she died 6 months later and I cried. I cried for the woman I never knew. I cried for the time we had wasted apart. I cried because you had taken her away from me.

Although you haven’t been here, I really think I would have been a daddy’s girl. I have always been a tomboy at heart and I can imagine me wanting to be with you everywhere you went, because you were all mine and I didn’t have to share you with anyone else. It would just be me and you against the world. We would go hiking, camping and fishing and you would teach me everything I would know. I can imagine you tucking me in at night. Telling me I was your sun, moon and the stars and that you loved me from here to heaven. If I had a bad dream, you would tell me just to get in the bed with you and you would whisper in my ear that everything was going to be okay and you wouldn’t let bad guys hurt me or some monstrous boogeymen drag me away in the middle of the night. You would protect me from anything and anyone.  But you didn’t, and at night I would imagine you telling another little girl instead. A little sister or brother that you also took away from me.

I married a really good man, dad. I think you would approve. He is perfect for me in so many ways and being with him feels right and it’s so easy.  He loves me so much. He loves me more than I love myself. I wish you could have met him, I feel like you and he would have a lot in common. I wish you were there dad, to walk me down the aisle that day. I wish you were there to give me away.  Would you have cried? Would you have told me during our dance together that no matter what happened I would always be your little girl?

I have three kids, daddy. They are so beautiful. Each day I’m surprised at how much they know and how much they teach me about life and love.  No one knows this, but when I had them – right after the delivery- I would cry. I would cry because you weren’t there to welcome your grandchildren. Because you had missed those moments. I wanted to share this life with you. Where were you? I look at my kids and I cannot fathom ever leaving them. Why did you?

I have time and time again wondered if you saw me how I truly am today, if you would be proud of me. If you would understand the many struggles that I have been through and look at me with admiration or with contempt because I haven’t lived up to some preconceived perception of how you wanted me to be. Would you have loved me for who I am?

I have so many questions that I know I will never get the answer to…..

Why wasn’t I good enough to look for?

How come you didn’t want me?

Why wasn’t I ever given a chance?

I wish things were differently, I wish you cared enough for me and I wish I didn’t care so much for you. You took YOU away from me. There is a void in my heart that I don’t think I will ever be able to fill. It’s so weird how I can care for someone that I don’t even know, but I care about you.

But don’t worry about me, daddy. I have taken care of myself thus far and mom did a good job at raising me. I forgive you for missing the most important aspects of my life. I forgive you for making me feel unwanted. I guess the only thing I can hold on to is this perfect image I have of you in my head; because in my mind you never did anything wrong ……………but forget about me.

I hope this letter reaches you in good health…..I hope you are happy.

Sincerely,

Your forgotten child

The Day After the Verdict, Round 2: Yup, Still a Joke

my name is elizabeth

Maybe this time, I thought before yesterday’s grand jury decision was announced.

Because Daniel Pantoleo, the police officer who choked Eric Garner to death on July 17, has a history of alleged race-related misconduct.

Maybe this time.

Because the NYPD forbids its members from using chokeholds — a rule that went into effect 21 years ago, long before Pantoleo was ever a cop.

Maybe this time.

Because the New York City medical coroner ruled Garner’s death a homicide.

Maybe this time.

Because the entire incident was filmed.  Because you can see in the tape, as the New York Times stated, that Garner was “not acting belligerently, posed no risk of flight, brandished no weapon and was heavily outnumbered.”  Because you can hear him say “I can’t breathe” 11 times before he dies.  Eleven.  Times.

Maybe this time.

But then the news broke.

As I tried to make sense of the decision…

View original post 242 more words