The End

For a couple of months now, I’ve been thinking it is time to end Everyone Has A Story. I almost never write here anymore, and it has been very evident that I’m okay now. I’m over Chef. He texts me now and then, but it is never anything I welcome, and most of the time, I don’t answer. All of that time period is gone — Chef, Tion, Simon. Rob. Bandidos. I just don’t miss any of it. I’m happy in my new life now, and frankly, I remember when I  genuinely doubted that could be possible for me again after loving someone so much. 

Color me surprised!!

Everyone Has a Story was set up when my husband, Chef, tanked our marriage, and I’m not at all sorry I kept a sort of online diary of what that felt like. But truth be said, I’m too content with life these days to say much more about any of it. The pain now is but a faded memory.

I thought it would be fitting to write a summary of this entire website as a eulogy to my life with Chef as an ending to this website, and to say goodbye to some of my favorite followers. But, let’s face it. I was a chaotic mess, and when I read where my mind was on some of this stuff, even I have no clue.

So, I plan to keep it up, because I still get emails from sad people going through exactly the same thing I went through all the time I was losing Chef. My insanity might make them feel a little less alone and nuts. There’s nothing like feeling  a little whacko to really spice up the flavor of losing everything and everyone you love. Right?

These days the truth is, this story in my life is over. I’m happy. I’m blessed. I’m ready for the next chapter. And this chapter is, somewhat tragically, over. I’ve moved on. It happens.

So here it is. The last post for EHAS.

We all lead complicated lives. For me, I was a statistic regular. I was an abused child who learned too early that people, mainly men, couldn’t be trusted. Despite that, I ended up married to man that I truly loved for over 20 years. It took me literally a decade to relax into my own marriage, but once I had, I was invested and dedicated. I loved Chef, and to this day, I feel that he loved me.

Chef decided one day to join the Bandidos Motorcycle Club. I’m not going to lie here. I was interested in this turn as events as well, since studying human behavior is truly one of my favorite interests. We made some deep friendships, and lived in this culture for a decade. Then one day, everything came crashing down.

My Chef developed an addiction to meth. He had travelled to a funeral for a fallen “brother”, and somewhere along the way, he had used this drug to stay awake.

How typical is it that some of our worst decisions end up being decided so

But it looked like so much fun!!! Trust me. It isn’t.

recklessly? Chef had struggled with drugs before he had ever met me, but unfortunately for all of us, I did not know that. And sadly, even if I had, it wouldn’t have made any difference. Addiction is one of those roads we all travel alone.

Meth leads to a lack of foresight into future consequences, and Chef blew up our marriage. He is guilty of physical and mental abuse, lying, and infidelity. It all was too much, and without warning, I was left with no choice but to abandon him.

People will often say that what I did was abandoning a man who was sick, or that if I was really a servant of Jesus, I would have stuck through all of the pain and misery. Truly, there was time I would have agreed. But I learned within a couple of years of torture and devastation, God wasn’t interested in the plight of my marriage – He was rescuing me from something. We all say in our marriage vows, ” What God has united, let no man pull asunder” but we forget, what God doesn’t want united, that will be torn apart.

God knows me. He knows that reality can be a bit harsh for me, and I have been guilty of trying to mitigate it with alcohol and drugs myself. While I have always been able to turn back to God and cry out in my guilt and humiliation for being so weak, others, like my ex, have not. I believe with my whole heart, I’m not a drug addict or an alcoholic because God decided that isn’t the road He had planned for me. Instead, He showed me what this journey must look like, and feel like, so I would never judge other people who got caught up in this harshly. I believe, He ended my marriage with Chef almost the minute my youngest child, Bug, left home because His plan for me was something different than His plan for my ex. He loved me enough to not sentence me to a miserable life of drugs, which is the life my ex, Chef, had chosen.

It is a sad fact that most Americans will experience a divorce, and even sadder, most of us will experience a devastating loss due to someone we love becoming addicted to drugs. I’m not special in this, and that is truly sad.

But one thing I’ve learned from this experience is that we can heal from it, even those of us so heartbreakingly wrecked. Life is a beautiful thing, and even those events that seem so awful and so permanent are truly valuable to our ability to appreciate what this world had to offer. It is only those of us with tragedy, disappointment, and grief in our eyes that understand what the price of a seasoned soul looks like, and comprehend how very valuable a lesson that really is. I just wouldn’t change a thing about my life, even if I could.

I want to say thank you to all of you for being my sounding board through this so very common sort of heartbreak. I want to encourage you all to take a page from my own lesson book and realize, this too shall pass. You are the only one who can decide whether you emerge from this hell better, or worse, and I hope for all of your sake, it is the former.

EHAS was so therapeutic, cathartic, and frankly fun, and I know, there are going to be times, I’m going to be sad I said good-bye. But it is time.

Good-Bye!!

~Bird

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A Perfect Moment in an Imperfect Life

Once in awhile, my life lines up in such a way, I can’t help but wonder what is going on. Don’t get me wrong. The Lord often answers my prayers, but to say there isn’t a regular amount of begging, well….That just wouldn’t be true.

Ever since Chef and I broke up, I’ve found myself without 3 things that really made a huge impact on my life:

  1. A legal, reliable car
  2. An income that could pay all the bills and still leave a little for us to be able to eat
  3. A safe, clean home

All these things I had when Chef and I were together, but soon after the break-up, my car broke down, I never made the right amount of money, and because of these things, I had to live in subpar housing.

When I first moved to Austin 2 years ago, my friend Exodus helped me get into a nice apartment. I’ll forever owe her a debt of gratitude because this was a huge step towards me feeling safe and independent.

Next up was the car. My Dad, Rebekkah and I tried finding a car in my budget by going to auctions.

Ok. Go ahead and laugh. Get it all out. 🙂

Dad has had some incredible luck with this method for years….I do not have my father’s luck. I ended up with two vehicles that couldn’t be inspected, one with every problem imaginable and the other one with a transmission problem. Finally, my Dad and my Aunt Cindy decided enough was enough and they went out and found me a clean, beautiful, reliable car. When  they were doing this, I refused to be involved because I wanted to just trust the Lord. He knew what I needed better than me, and seriously…I couldn’t pick out a good car if my life depended on it. What they brought me exceeded anything I could have asked for! I love the color gray on a car…mine is gray. I love stick shifts…mine has a stick shift. I love good gas mileage… mine has excellent gas mileage. It had only had one owner, and every receipt for anything ever done to it was in a white envelope handed to me, including a Car Fax. I genuinely could not have asked for a more pleasing car. Best of all, I own it outright.

Over my time here, I took some questionable jobs. Being a single woman supporting myself, I didn’t have the luxury of time. I had to have a paycheck. So, I took positions I knew I’d never be happy with and tried to force myself to be satisfied. They were largely based more on how much they paid, and because of my car situation, where they were located.

Turns out, I’m not designed that way. I can’t play politics, I can’t be impressed with wealth or titles, and I’m not able to stay somewhere that oppresses people who work for them. I ended up working for less than honest, dysfunctional families. One place tried holding my paycheck hostage until I would agree to let them shave some of the hours off. Another place was so cheap, we were required to buy our own office supplies. It was madness. But hey. I needed a job.

Over the last few weeks, I found myself getting more and more irritated at work. I get being frugal. I don’t get being cheap. The owners were getting rid of key positions and then dumping the work on those of us who remained, telling us they weren’t going to be replacing these people. This included the receptionist, and for those of you who don’t work in an office setting, this is a KEY position. These people answer phones, greet visitors and applicants, and are the first face of a company. They are important, and they are often under-appreciated and under-recognized. When we lost ours, the COO decided she could do her work and that of the receptionist’s as well. What a disaster! It wasn’t working because the HR department had to cover the desk when she had meetings (every day), took a vacation (2 days), or had to do her own work (every day). When HR had to sit at the front desk, it meant their own work was suffering.

I don’t like my own work to suffer.

Despite not agreeing with almost any management method they employed, I was trying hard to “play the game”. I spoke in length to Exodus about how angry and discontent I was becoming, and she gave me some good strategies to try to disarm the level of discord I was feeling. It worked for a little while, but it seemed the more amiable I was, the more management felt they could demand unreasonable things from me. I won’t go into the extremely boring specifics, but needless to say, last week, I’d finally had enough. I had been applying for other jobs, but this time, I was careful. I turned 2 positions down that looked like they would just be different versions of the same thing, and then Monday, I went to one that was different.

What should have been a 30 minute interview lasted 2 hours. Scriptures were written on the walls, and philosophies about how we should treat the poor of this world were discussed in length. I decided to be more honest in my interview because I didn’t want to give the wrong impression of what kind of employee I am. I’m not one to be happy with just taking home a paycheck. I need my work to mean something, and I love helping the poor. I’m a results-oriented person, and the more you try to micromanage me, the less you will be happy with the results. They got excited as we talked, even at these kinds of explanations and honesty, and that in turn, really made me excited about the kind of work I do. It was amazing, frankly.  The company was stable, the pay was more, and it was located by my house. I was walking on air.

By the time I got to work Monday, I had a job offer. I turned in my notice, and wiped the dust of this latest mistake off of my feet. I’ve spent these last few days in a bubble of joy. It’s so rare for things to be so perfect, at least in my life. I’m enjoying this.

Over the years, I write a lot of complaints and misery on this blog. Life seems to hand us more crap than not, but this time, I wanted to say, God did come through in a huge way for me this year. He fixed all of my major problems, almost all at once, and I’m speechless at His grace and His mercy. I’m not so naive to think all my problems will disappear from here on out, but I can say, I have an intense trust in Him, and a true feeling of being loved.

I just wanted to say Thank You to the Lord. Thank You. Thank You. Thank You.

I hope you all feel that same trust and love today, no matter where you are or what you are doing. 🙂 God is truly good.

~Bird