By The Grace of God.

~~

TRACK: BUT BY THE GRACE OF GOD
ARTIST: KATY PERRY

~~


LYRICS:

Was twenty-seven, surviving my return to Saturn.

A long vacation didn’t sound so bad.

Was full of secrets, locked up tight like Iron Mountain.

Running on empty, so out of gas…

[ ~ … ~ ]

Thought I wasn’t enough.

Found I wasn’t so tough.

Laying on the bathroom floor.

We were living on a fault line,

And I felt the fault was all mine.

Couldn’t take it anymore…

[ ~ … ~ ]

By the grace of God, there was no other way.

I picked myself back up, I knew I had to stay.

I put one foot in front of the other.

And I looked in the mirror and decided to stay.

Wasn’t gonna let love take me out that way…

[ ~ … ~ ]

I thank my sister for keeping my head above the water

when the truth was like swallowing sand.

Now every morning, there is no more mourning.

Oh I, can finally see myself again.

I know I am enough.

Possible to be loved.

It was not about me.

Now I have to rise above.

Let the Universe call the bluff.

Yeah, the truth will set you free…

[ ~ … ~ ]

That way, no.

Not in the name of love.

That way, no.

I am not giving up…

[ ~ … ~ ]

By the grace of God, I picked myself back up.

I put one foot in front of the other.

And I looked in the mirror,

and decided to stay

Wasn’t gonna let love take me out that way.

That way, no.



Music is, and always has been—a least for me–a powerful thing. There are just some songs that you hear and can only think, WHOA. Songs that stop you in your tracks, and lay you out flat. Cold. This song is one of them. I know it’s been out for years, but I only just heard it tonight, on a Spotify Playlist that I’ve been adding songs to for a while. I don’t actually remember adding this one, but once in a while I’ll add whole albums—which—without fail—I never seem to listen all the way through for some reason. It’s weird how the universe works some times. Had I heard the song 5 or 6 years ago, I probably taken it in a completely different way. It’s scary seeing how closely art imitates life sometimes. I didn’t write the lyrics, but if you changed “27” to “22” — the stark similarities alone— I probably could and might just as well have. The never-ending roller coaster of “love” and other emotions. The lying on the bathroom floor. The giving up; then choosing to live part. The struggle to accept the pain and move on and to fight to hold onto what’s yours. Figuring out and realizing your self-worth. Even the heroine sister part. It’s essentially the perfect mirror to my life. Which is kind of eerie, if you ask me. Cool and interesting…but still eerie.

[ ~ … ~ ]

I’m actually glad that I’m only just now hearing the song. It would have been completely different had I heard it before. That was a different place, a different time. I wouldn’t have been in the right frame of mind if I’d come across it before – back then. Those moments were some of the BEST and WORST of my life. They can’t be discarded. But still, I can’t forget, even though I want so badly to not remember. At 22, I didn’t have a clue. Now, at 29, I can see there’s been some changes. Now I see a lot of things that I didn’t necessarily see before. Humbling things.

[ ~ … ~ ]

When you’re standing at the banks of a major river, contemplating, it’s easier to reflect back on your life. There’s a much different perspective when you’re standing/have stood in those trenches. A better, unbiased perspective and outlook. And sometimes, that’s just what you need—a thorough look and the possibility of more. And that’s enough for me. For now. It’s a start. It’s somewhere.

[ ~ … ~ ]

xoMESSIE

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Washed Clean.

Still got the flowers that you sent / And the note you wrote that said that we were meant / To be forever / I keep them all as evidence / In a drawer under the mirror / Filled with empty promises / I don’t know why I keep letting you lie to me / Hard as I try it seems / I can’t break away / I thought that you would be the hero / Come and save the day / But you’re a villain / Your sins unforgiven

~~

I’m going down, and you have watched me drown / In a river of tears, lost beneath the stream / Under the waves, I’ve found the strength to say / The river of tears has washed me clean / Go ‘head and wish me well / I’ll cry a wishing well / I’ll fly before I fail / I’ll set sail and drift away / So I won’t need you here / Love sinks and hope floats / In a river of tears, a river of tears

~~

I catch your scent in every wind / And I recall the love we had  I can’t pretend / That I don’t miss you every now and then / But the hurt is for the better / Moving on, it’s now or never / Lost in the tide, I can’t keep my pillows dry / Like there’s a sea in my eyes / I realize that sometimes love brings you flowers / Then it builds you coffins / And far too often / We end up falling to our demise

 ~~

Alessia Cara “River of Tears”


Oh, LOVE. It’s the damnedest thing, is it not? Why does it always have to be so hard—why does it have to be so damn complicated? So damn confusing?

I thought I knew what it meant once. I thought it was real. Now I’m not so sure. About love, about that time in my life…about any of it. Was it real? Or was I just in love with the idea of being in love? I have so many questions, but I always come up short with answers. So much time has passed that I’m starting to forget…that I’ve forgotten.


I’ve moved on. Let’s not confuse this for something that’s it’s not. That’s not what this is. This is looking back and sifting through some of the mess, with one hand letting go, and with the other trying to figure out what the future looks like from here.

Again, was it love? If you ask anyone, they’ll say it wasn’t. They’ll say he was a fraud. That I was only being used. And they could be right. It could be true. I’d like to think that it’s NOT true, but I’m not that naïve. Either way, it screwed me up. I’m screwed up now. Everything is different. Everything. I learned from it all—the whole life lessons thing and all that—but it changed me. Some for the better, some not so much.


I have trust issues. Commitment issues. Big ones. Granted, I had them to a degree before—but that mostly stemmed from inexperience and naiveté, I think. But now…now they’re worse. Much worse. It’s hard for me to let people in, to really be myself and open up and go there. With anyone really…but especially with the opposite sex. It’s not that I don’t want to or that I don’t try—there’s just this disconnect, this wall that goes up that I really have no control over. It just goes up and it’s there and I can’t do anything about it. Is it my fault? Well, partially I guess, sure. And at the same time—no. Something happened. I didn’t imagine that. I was hurt. Really hurt. I had my heart broken. I was used in some of the worst ways you can use another human being—emotionally, physically. I was tricked and misled and lied to…and we’re not talking about a couple of times here or a few days. We’re talking over the length of fifteen months. I was fooled into believing I actually meant something to another individual and against all my better judgement, I fell for that person. Hard. I fell so hard. For a lie. For a fantasy that never was and never could be. And it was all deliberate. It’d be one thing if the other person didn’t mean to, if he’d just gotten caught up in the moment and it spiraled out from there…but that’s not what happened. This person, this guy I thought I knew, this person I defended and stood up to all my friends and family for…what he did was deliberate and calculated and just plain cruel. Every phone call, every meeting, every stolen glance…it was all intentionally done. As was the betrayal and backlash when the truth came out. Every word he said, every accusation and insult, every lie he and whomever else he had do it with him spread about me—it was intentional. He wasn’t a victim. We didn’t just lock gazes in that bar or meet out of some twist of fate. It wasn’t some love story gone horribly wrong. It was a deliberate manipulation and planned attack. And I was the casualty. I was burned. Badly. And while the physical reminders of that might go away, the emotional ones are still very, very present. Even now, all these years later. Though his name is no longer a whisper on my lips, his face no longer lingers in my mind or in my dreams, and those memories—for all intents and purposes—have long been locked away and forgotten…the scars are still there.


Which is why I’m in the predicament I’m in. I’ve gotten better. Some. I’m not quite as jaded and cynical as I was. But when it comes to love, I’m still wary. I try not to be, but I can’t help it. I have this amazing guy in my life and as badly as I want to just let everything else go and just be with him…a part of me is still holding back. Waiting for the other shoe to drop. Because he can’t possibly be as amazing as he seems. It’s got to be a ruse. That’s how I feel. It’s not rational and it’s driving me insane, but I can’t help it. He’s asking me to jump. He’s willing to hold my hand. And I’m just standing there on the edge, like a complete and utter idiot, scared out of my mind. I want to. God, how I want to. But there’s so many what ifs running through my head. What if I jump and it doesn’t work out? What if I end up with another broken heart? I just got mine pieced back together…I can’t imagine going through that kind of pain again. Or worse—what if it works out? What if we take that leap and it all goes well for awhile…until it doesn’t. Because people leave. They just do. You see it all the time. Relationships, marriages—they don’t always work out. And growing up, I’ve watched too many “love stories” spark and then die out. People aren’t faithful, they cheat, they always want what’s on the other side of the grass, so to speak. It’s not pessimism…it’s being realistic. It’s a horrible way to live, always doubting everyone…doubting yourself. Even when you have all the facts, when you know that he’s not him—that he doesn’t have some girlfriend or wife and child stashed away somewhere—and you want so badly to believe again in fairy-tales and love and happily-ever-after…it’s still so hard. He’s not the villain in this, and neither are you…and still, you hesitate. Because you know what can happen when it doesn’t go the way you’d hoped. When you’ve put all your faith and trust in this one individual and in doing so, you’ve essentially given him everything he needs to break you down and tear your world apart, from the inside out, if he so chooses. It feels like a game. You don’t want it to—and you don’t want to look at it as that because you don’t want to be that girl that’s always waiting for the other shoe to drop or expecting the worst in people—but it’s out of your control. And that control—it’s all that you have. After everything that’s happened, after everything that he put you through and stole from you…it’s all that’s left. It’s everything. And you cling to it. And it’s hard to give that up. Even if you’re there, even if you’re ready to, even if you want to. It’s still hard to let go.


He understands. God help him, he’s practically a saint. After all this time and even the distance…he’s willing to wait. And I know that guys like him don’t come around that often. I know that I should jump at this opportunity and just let go, once and for all. But I’m scared. I’m so fucking terrified. Love hurts. Everyone says that it’s not supposed to—that it’s supposed to be this great feeling and that when it’s right—when it’s really right—it’s not supposed to hurt. It’s supposed to be the greatest feeling in the world. And maybe they’re right. I honestly don’t know. But I want to. I want to at least find out. I’ve already experienced the heartbreak and the devastation. I know what it’s like to have the world ripped right out from under you—to have that one person you gave so much of yourself to turn around and treat you as if you were, as if you are less than nothing. I know that feeling. I’ve been there. I lived and breathed that feeling for so long, slowly suffocating. I don’t want to live like that anymore. I want to come up for air. I want to breathe again. To feel clean again.


Am I ready? Hell if I know. I just know that I’m tired of living in fear and in the shadows of the past, second-guessing myself and everyone around me. There are still good people in the world—good guys…I have to believe that. And I have to trust myself to know the difference. I’m not that naïve 21-year-old girl who let herself be fooled by a pair of twinkling eyes and smooth lines and empty promises. I know better now. And he’s not him. If I have to keep reminding myself of that every single day, then that’s what I’ll do, but I’ve let him in this far…maybe it’s time to take down the walls…to really take that leap of faith. I’m terrified…but I think it’s time.

It’s time.

xoMESSIE

Only Tennessee.

Low-lyin’ clouds

Birds singin’ all night long

I see the hills in my dreams

And hear the bells, hear the bells in my bones

Never thought I would give in

Now you’re underneath my skin

**

Only Tennessee

Only Tennessee can save me now

Lazy, long roads

Trees bending in the wind

I’m coming home

**

Wild flowers in the fields

In the fields of my mind

I feel the sunshine

It’s coming through

**

Never thought I would give in

Now you’re underneath my skin

Only Tennessee

Only Tennessee can save me now

(Song Credit: “Only Tennessee” — Written By: Claire Guerreso & Daniel Tashian)


I’m heading home to Nashville after this weekend. FINALLY. Even if I didn’t want to go and I wanted to stay her in NY — which I definitely DO NOT!! — I couldn’t. The lease for my apartment–the one I literally only lived in for 3 weeks, by the way–is up at the end of the month, so I have to pack all my things and move into my new place.


This is the part that sucks. The leaving. As glad and as excited I am to be going home and seeing my friends and everyone in Nashville again, I feel sad about leaving my family, the kids especially. When I first got here, back in July, the Twinnies–they didn’t even recognize me. It actually took them awhile to warm up to me at first. And now they’re all over me. Ty especially. He’s such a little lover. He’s always climbing into my lap and giving me hugs. My grams watches them during the day so we’ve made a routine, Ty and I, of taking an afternoon nap. He’ll climb on the bed, take my phone and open up the PBS kids app (all on his own!). He’ll watch the shows for a little while until I tell him it’s time to take a nap. Then he’ll hand me the phone, turn over so that he’s facing me, and then literally curl right up against me and fall asleep. He’s a big-time cuddler and it’s the cutest thing. I’m going to miss the little guy. So much. And Jakey–that kid is something else. He’s got a temper, that one. And he’s a little monkey, too. He’s always climbing on and jumping off from things…he’s totally fearless.


I hate to leave the girls, too–especially with everything that’s gone/going on with Emma and Avie and the whole custody/family court thing. Who knows what the hell their mother has up her sleeve and/or will try to do the next time she gets pissed and feels like being a bitch and taking the girls out of pure spite. Then there’s Angelina–she’s out of control. Her attitude is atrocious and she doesn’t seem to think that she has to listen to anyone. My mother instead of disciplining her like she should, just lets the bad behavior continue–as she’s allowed it to for years. As her first granddaughter, she spoiled the hell out of Angelina. She still spoils her. She let her get away with murder all these years and only now is she cracking down on the behavior…now that Angelina’s 12. Hell, she’s going to be a teenager. If they think she’s bad now, I can just imagine how she’ll be in a couple of years. They’re in for a hell of a time with her, I’m sure of it. And they’ve only got themselves to blame.


So anyhow, yeah. It’s time for me to go. And while I may be leaving, it’s not goodbye. So…I’ll see you on the flip-side New York. ‘Til then…


xoMESSIE

Hello (After All These Years)

“Hello” By Adele

**

LYRICS:

Hello, it’s me

I was wondering if after all these years you’d like to meet

To go over everything

They say that time’s supposed to heal you

But I ain’t done much healing

Hello, can you hear me

I’m in California, dreaming about who we used to be

When we were younger, and free

I’d forgotten how it felt before the world fell at our feet

There’s such a difference between us

And a million miles

**

Hello from the other side

I must have called a thousand times

To tell you I’m sorry for everything that I’ve done

But when I call you never seem to be home

Hello from the outside

At least I can say that I tried

To tell you I’m sorry for breaking your heart

But it don’t matter, it clearly doesn’t tear you apart anymore

**

Hello, how are you?

It’s so typical of me to talk about myself, I’m sorry

I hope that you’re well

Did you ever make it out of that town where nothing ever happened?

It’s no secret that the both of us are running out of time

Hello from the outside

At least I can say that I tried

To tell you I’m sorry for breaking your heart

But it don’t matter, it clearly doesn’t tear you apart anymore…

**


**

Well, thanks to Adele, I don’t think I’ll be getting this song out of my head any time soon. I mean, these lyrics…can we just talk about them for a minute, or five, or ten?!?! Ummm…Yes, please…

**

So (ladies)…we’ve all got our relationship hang-ups. You know…that one ex/should’ve-would’ve-could’ve-been-soulmate guy (or gal, if that’s your thing) that for the rest of your life will forever reside in the back of your mind as the one that either loved and/or hurt and/or wrecked and/or taught you the most. That sore subject…the bitter memory. The one that you-albeit unconsciously–compare any man you meet after him to. It’s the the mistakes you made with him that you now know not to make…and his character flaws that you know to look for and to avoid. Yes, that guy.


**

But there’s hope, if you just give it time. Years will pass. You’ll both move on. You’ll find someone new, someone who loves you for the real you…something he just never would, or let’s face it–never could. You’ll learn to love again…a man who’s twice the man he is. You’ll find yourself wondering how it’s even possible to love more than one person like that in one lifetime–hell, you didn’t even think it was possible–but you’ll find that it will be…that it is. Slowly, but surely, you’ll start to heal all your broken parts. You’ll learn to smile again. To laugh. You’ll feel joy again…without feeling guilty for it. You’ll get those butterflies when he walks in the room or his hand goes to the small of your back and with just a knowing look, a single touch, you’ll feel safe—like nothing in the world will ever hurt you again. You’ll slowly start to get back pieces of that girl you’d thought was gone forever when he left you there,  heart in pieces and your world turned inside out. You’ll start to feel whole again. Right now, I know it seems unlikely. Impossible, even. But trust me, it WILL happen.


**

That’s not to say that you won’t have your bad days. For sure, there will be moments now and then when it hits you…those painful, little flashbacks from seemingly a lifetime ago that’ll come out of nowhere, rob your breath for a half minute or two, and maybe take with them a few stolen tears on their way out. But if there’s one thing you can trust, it’s that with time, those days and those moments WILL get very few and farther in between. The only downside is that you’ll be cautious–because you’re conditioned now to build up walls and be on the alert when it comes to protecting yourself against love and heartbreak and smooth-talking guys with twinkling green eyes that tempt you with their delicious world of sin. You’ll hate that you’re so guarded now, but you have to be–as it’s better to be safe than sorry. Which is why you’ll go back and visit your family in your hometown, but you’ll skip the usual hotspots to avoid running into or seeing him out and about…because godknows you’ll take an uneventful week-long visit with family over the drama from him and/or anyone connected to your past, each and every time. And when the week is over, you’ll say your goodbyes and board the plane. You’ll fly to a home 900 miles away, contemplative and confident as you come to the realization that at some point in the past 6 years you managed to truly move on and grow up–and you’ll smile. It’ll be bittersweet. Admittedly, less bitter and far more sweet.


**

You’ll find happiness in the arms of another, take vows and make a commitment before God and all your loved ones. You’ll start a life together, take out a mortgage…and settle down. You’ll be happy, complete…whole. You’ll have the life you’ve always dreamed of…you’ll have everything…and so much more.


**

But moving on and letting go…doesn’t necessarily mean you forget that person. You never forget. Sure, you can try. Best of luck to you with that. You can shut yourself away; shut the world out for days, no contact with the outside world, nothing. You can try running and moving hundreds of miles away from everyone and everything. But distance doesn’t change the past or what’s been done. The hurt and the scars remain indefinitely. You never forget.

This song and these lyrics—for me anyhow—speak symbolic of closure, yet at the same time, they don’t. Closure—there’s that word again. So many want it—yet so many have no idea what it means. Or how to go about getting it, for that matter. There’s probably a good way and a bad way to go about it, I’m sure. Rebounding—while physically satisfying, I’ll concede, doesn’t help all that much. Okay—I take that back. It does for a little while, at first…while you’re still in the “hurt and angry as hell and I’ll do just about anything to lash out” phase…but once you move past that…yeah, all the rebound sex in the world isn’t going to help that broken heart of yours feel any less broken. It just doesn’t. Trust me, I’ve been there, I know. Some people find closure from an apology…and I understand the rationale behind it, I do. In fact, there was even a time when I would have given anything to hear one myself…a time when I actually believed that an explanation and an apology would somehow negate all the hurt that he caused…and that it’d give me closure. It was a ridiculous, naïve notion–for all the “sorrys” in the world couldn’t possibly make up for what was done. My life was irrevocably changed in ways that he will never understand or even know because of his actions and the choices that he made. He’s always going to be that bitter memory because of that. That hang-up that my mind always goes back to when songs like this come on the radio. He’s going to be the kind of man I warn my daughter to stay away from and the kind of man I can only hope my son never becomes. That’s not something an apology can fix. As for closure, I’ve come to the conclusion that there’s really no such thing. Granted, time goes on and you move on and ultimately it gets harder to recall the face and the name and the memories are fading from color to black and white, but you never really close the book…you just store it away. I guess if you want to call that closure, then call it that…even though it’s really not. I mean, it’s still there, available whenever to sift through should you ever have the urge, so it’s not really gone for good.


**

It’s easy to be bitter towards the person that hurt you the most—the one that lifted you up so high, just to break you down as cruelly and as destructively as possible—so easy. I’ve entertained the emotion on more than one occasional bout over the past several years myself…until I realized my energy was much more productive being used for something else. But that one hang-up—that exclusive ex that took our hearts for a bumpy ride—they’re always going to be there. We can choose to either let their background presence restrict our success and future happiness…or we can use him/her to find exactly who we’re meant to find and be happy with and to have everything we ever wanted with. The choice is ours. Personally, I choose the latter…


**

xoMESSIE

You Only Wake Up When It’s Over.

VERSE:

It wasn’t one big blow that brought our love down
It was the hairline cracks that took it to the ground
Just kept creepin’ over time, spreadin’ like wildfire
It wasn’t one big blow that brought our love down

CHORUS:

Oh we didn’t wanna see
We didn’t wanna believe
The dream was gettin’ colder
Oh, we begged the truth to bend
It’s easier to pretend
Than to see it when you’re sober
You only wake up when it’s over
You only wake up when it’s over

VERSE:

There was so much ’bout you I didn’t realize
There was so much ’bout me I couldn’t recognize
You can only get a clear view, when it’s fadin’ in the rearview
There was so much ’bout you I didn’t realize

BRIDGE:

Oh we didn’t wanna see
We didn’t wanna believe
It’s easier to pretend
Than to see it when you’re sober

You only wake up when it’s over
You only wake up when it’s over…

(“Wake Up When It’s Over” – Michael Logen & Maren Morris)



**

Why, oh WHY, is it that it’s only in hindsight that we see all things in 20/20 perspective?

**

Why’d we first have to fall before we learned to stand? Why did there always have to be a lesson to be learned…why couldn’t things just be what they were? Simple. Easy. Uncomplicated. Why couldn’t it have just gone our way for once?

**

Why weren’t we satisfied until we’d broken and destroyed one another? Why did we toss around the words that cut the deepest? Why didn’t we take the high road and bow out gracefully? Left with our dignity? Why’d we let it go that far? Why didn’t we stop ourselves? Why’d we make excuses when we knew it was wrong? Why’d you get off so easy–how’d you, of all people, get to play the victim card? Why’d you have to go and make forgetting you easy but forgiving you  so damn hard? Why?

**



 

Truth Can’t Cure The Blind…

I stumbled upon these lyrics the other day in some fan-fiction online and needless to say, this track has been playing on repeat on my playlist ever since…  It’s a relatively old track (from 2011) aptly titled “Nineteen” from a wonderfully gifted artist by the name of Alex G. (**You can check out her YouTube channel here!**)

**



VERSE: I’m tired of playin’ the part / Of a little girl who can’t use her heart / I’m broken, torn and scarred / From all the poison you threw at us / But you won’t know, ’cause you can’t see / The tattered child you’ve made of me

**

CHORUS: You’ll follow me into my dreams / And spit your words so desperately / And I’ll wash my hands of this tragic mess / And truth can’t cure the blind, if they don’t care to see

**

VERSE: Nineteen years inside this flesh / I fought through pain / I’ve paid my dues / But that’s still not enough for you / So where do we go from here? / You won’t keep me trapped in my fears / You’re sinking in your selfishness / We’re tainted by words left unsaid

**

BRIDGE/CHORUS: Did you even notice the look in my eyes / When I spoke of him for the very first time / And do you remember when you were my age? / Do you remember at all? / Don’t follow me into my dreams / And spit your words so viciously / I’ll wash my hands of this tragic mess / But truth can’t cure the blind / Yeah, truth can’t cure the blind / I wish you’d change your mind / But you don’t care to see…



 **

So…September happens to be Suicide Awareness/Prevention month…a little piece of information that I’m fairly certain a good majority of people out there aren’t even aware of…thanks nearly in whole to society. It truly amazes me that in this day and age with the level and amount of transparency that’s out there, not to mention along with the staggering high suicide and self-harm numbers that seem to just be increasing at such an exponential rate each and every year that society still views these issues as sort of “taboo” topic–as in something not to be discussed or acknowledged or god forbid actually dealt with, but rather as a problem that is willfully and purposely ignored and “swept under the rug”, so to speak. We’ve barely even begun to reach the cusp of change in this–to accept and acknowledge that not only is depression a very real, very tangible thing, it’s also a growing epidemic that plagues and affects the lives of millions of people, each and every day.


And no one is immune. People will say that they are…and they might like to tell themselves that–or they might have to just to get though the day–but they’re lying to themselves when they do because no one is happy 24/7. No one. Even the happy-go-lucky-iest h/she has his/her bad days, low points, and rough patches. Life isn’t always unicorns and rainbows. We all cry. We all get hurt. We’re all a little broken inside.


Some of us are just a little more broken than others.


And that’s okay.


It took me a long time to realize that. And it took me even longer to accept it. Like so many other survivors of suicide/self-harm, I lived in shame for a long time for what I’d done. I didn’t want anyone to know. I was so afraid of being judged, of what other people would say if they found out–how they’d look at me once they knew what I’d done. It’s strange, but it wasn’t so much their ridicule that I feared. Rather, it was their pity. I couldn’t bear the thought of people looking at me with pity in their eyes, feeling sorry for me…but most of all, I feared that look of them wanting to fix it–wanting to fix me. Especially when, little did they know, I was unfixable.


For years I held on to the same truth and told the same lie…that I didn’t mean to do it. That it was an accident. I was drunk. I wasn’t thinking clearly. You name it, I said it. But the truth is, I did want to die, I think. At least, a little part of me wanted to. Otherwise I wouldn’t have done what I did. Right? I mean, that’s the only logical explanation.


One thing people always ask is why. And honestly, there are so many things I could tell them. So many things I could say. I was young, dumb. Hell, I was only 20 years old. I was still just a kid in so many ways. And yeah, I was drunk–really, really drunk. I guess part of it was that I was tired of all the expectations of the people around me that I felt were weighing me down. Also, I was tired of all the secrets that I was keeping, hiding, and carrying around. Tired of pretending like I cared, when to be perfectly honest, at that particular point in my life, I couldn’t have given a damn. I really couldn’t.


Then there was my family. My crazy, dysfunctional, seriously screwed up–and that’s on a good day–family. I was sick of the fighting; the constant bickering and backstabbing and all-around one-upping. I was tired of being a girl from a broken home that didn’t stand a snowball’s chance in hell of ever being mended, or god forbid ever changing. It’s hard to believe the great childhood I had—and it was a good one—when I think about what my teen years were like in that house. I don’t think I could ever justly describe it—the depths of such loneliness and despair; of feeling insignificant. Of feeling forgotten. I was in a new school. My sister was away at college. My mother was preoccupied with her “boyfriend of the moment” and had her hands full with my juvenile delinquent of a brother. And I was just there…feeling lost…trying to make sense of this new reality I’d just been thrust into. No one noticed me. For years, I hid an eating disorder from them. For years, I kept a secret cutting habit from them. Then came that horrible night, and that horrible Planned Parenthood visit. I was a mess.  And somehow they were blind to it all. And as if having your whole world turned upside-down and inside-out on you in such a way as that isn’t cruel enough, my brother—after stealing my journal and violating my privacy one night—decided to make it his mission to ensure that I never forgot that night or what happened. You have no idea what it’s like to be constantly reminded of the worst night of your life after it’s been twisted and manipulated to fit and be used in someone’s attack against you. And the fact that that someone is your brother—your own flesh and blood—not surprisingly, the betrayal from that cuts far deeper. I was tired of it—tired of having to stand there and take it; having to act unaffected and hold back the tears–at least until I’d made it out of eyesight and earshot of him. What’s worse is that my family did nothing. They didn’t make him leave. They didn’t make him stop. When he’d start, they’d just tell him to shut up or tell me to ignore him—like that was going to happen—and which of course, was easy for them to say seeing how they had no idea what it was that he was even harassing me about. Having to deal with that day in and day out for nearly 2 years—it shouldn’t come as a shock that he’d beaten me down. As much as I hate to admit it, that’s exactly what he’d done. He pushed me to the point where I couldn’t escape it—and was literally so desperate to that I didn’t care if I lived or died. So when he’d throw around phrases like “go kill yourself” or “no one would care if you’d died”… you start to believe it. And then you actually try to do it. And you don’t care.


Over the years, many have asked me that “numero uno” question: Do you regret it?


Not to sound “crazy” or anything—but I don’t think I do. At least, not entirely. I mean, I’ve had a long time to think about it. Eight years at the end of this month, to be exact. I know that the expected answer is to say “yes”. That I do regret it. That, if I could, I’d go back and do things differently. I know that’s what society is expecting me to say…but if I were to say so, then I’d be lying.


**

wrist scars suicide attempt on 10.31.2007 with semicolon

**


I used to be ashamed of this scar. I used to look at it and feel guilty—angry even—with myself for what I’d done. I’d hide it, cover it up with long sleeves, lie about where it came from when asked…because I thought I had to. Because that’s what society has conditioned us all to do—to look at things such as suicide, depression, mental illness, and self-harm as something to be ashamed of—when they aren’t that at all.


These scars I wear are not reminders that I was weak. They’re reminders of my strength. They are my battle scars. A reminder to myself of the journey I’ve taken to get to here, and all the lessons I’ve learned along the way. And boy, there have been many. My scars are my encouragement. When things get rough and life gets hard—when I start to think that things just can’t get any worse—I look at these scars and I’m reminded that oh yes, they can. I could be back there in that moment again, literally at rock bottom—be that girl from 8 years ago…hopeless with no fight or will to live left and no future.


I could go back…I just choose not to. Because I know that it gets better. Because I know that it’s worth it. And as crazy as it sounds, I think I had to go through what I did—had to do what I did—to really get that final push. If I hadn’t, I don’t think I’d be here today. I really don’t. And I’m glad I’m here. Where I am. I’m happy. Life is good.


I’m no longer ashamed. And neither should anyone else be of their scars. We all learn in our own different ways. Sometimes it takes coming really close to losing it all to realize everything you have, to see exactly how much worth you have. So, in honor of this month, I’m wearing my scars freely, for the world to see…


xoMESSIE

Singing Those Small Town Blues.

So, I seem to be on a bit of  a lyric kick this week…[ in case you haven’t noticed from recent posts 🙂 ]

 

 

Today’s lyric pick is one from the one-and-only, incredibly musically-inclined, (and so damn gorgeous, to boot) emerging artist otherwise known as SAM HUNT. I just love everything about his songs. The lyrics of which are absolute perfection. I can’t tell you how disappointed I was to have missed his performance at the CMAFest last month. But lesson learned : buy festival tickets early in advance next time. Anyhow, the particular song that happens to be my muse for today’s post is called “Breakup In A Small Town”. With everything that’s been going on with the Bestie and her significant other these past couple of weeks–and my own not-so-pleasant past experiences–it seems fitting to share this track.

 

 

My favorite part of the song–the chorus :

 

**

I guess that’s just how it goes
When you break up in a small town
I see our friends and they put on a show
Like they don’t want me to know
So they give me the go-around

But there’s only so many streets, so many lights
I swear it’s like I can’t even leave my house
I should’ve known all along
You gotta move or move on
When you break up in a small town

**

As with every small town, there are both advantages and disadvantages to living in one. In spite of all the time growing up that I spent resenting my boring,  Upstate New York little hometown, I’m grateful and glad that I grew up in a small town. There’s just something about the dynamic of a small town that will outshine and rival that of a city any day, in my book. The pace is slower, people are nicer and more aware of their fellow citizens/neighbors. And as hard as it is to believe, there’s actually a perk or two about everyone knowing everyone and everything. People look out for one another more…people care. And when push comes to shove–most of the time–they’ll have your back. It’s a comforting thing…knowing you’re not alone…having that figurative safety net.

But what goes up, must come down…and there’s two sides to everything. Small-town folks are fickle people. They’ll just as soon stab you in the back and turn on you as they will come to your defense.  It’s a double-sided sword…this whole “everyone knows everyone” deal. When it’s good, it’s great. But when it’s not–well…then you best run and take cover–that’s all I’m saying. Breaking up in a small town can be just as ugly as one might probably imagine…and that’s putting it nicely.  It sucks to indefinite proportions. And it’s not fair–but that’s just how it goes. That’s life in a small town.

Distance is what typically heals a breakup. And let’s face it–in a small town–there’s no such thing. A breakup is difficult enough on its own, without having to run into or see him/her all the time, every day. Of course, the small-town gossip mill doesn’t help the situation any. People–oh how they love to talk and make up stories and spread rumors–usually with complete disregard for how their words might effect the other person. Simply put, people don’t care. Not one bit. If it’s interesting and newsworthy, they’ll run with it–despite only having half the facts–if any–about it. Nobody thinks about or cares that their lies–big or small–can ruin a person’s life. Or destroy a person’s reputation, damaging it permanently. No one cares about the consequences of their actions, or the level of hurt and pain their words can bring. People are bullies…tearing down others in order to build themselves up, and to make themselves feel good about their miserable excuse for an existence. People don’t consider the person behind the lies and the rumors–or that he/she has the same feelings as anyone else.

I hate it, but I’ve seen it first-hand. I’ve seen how cruel people can be. How resentful and vindictive and destructive some can be. But I’ve seen it happen; I’ve felt it. I’ve been there. I know what it’s like to be afraid to leave your house or go out with friends for fear of who you might run into or see out. I know what’s it like to not want to feed into the rumors and the bullshit, even though it’s killing you to remain silent and you want so badly to stand up and defend yourself–but can’t because doing so will only make it worse. I know what it’s like to drive past a place that holds so many painful, lost memories to the extent that even the few good memories are overshadowed by the bad. All those places…the bar where it all began, the beautiful, grassy knoll where many a secret rendezvous took place, the alley where it all finally ended…all those places, permanently marred by all the pain.

I know what’s it like to be alone in a town full of people, to feel the betrayal of those you once considered a friend. I know what it’s like to carry the burden of guilt and shame everywhere you go. To hear the whispers, see the looks, and know there’s not a damn thing you can say to get them to listen to you, to hear your side of it–to hear the truth. I know how bad it feels and to be so desperate that you’d pretty much do anything to make it stop…to make them stop. I know what it’s like to be accused and found guilty of something you’re completely innocent of.

Most importantly, I know what it’s like to be driven and run out of the place and town you once called home. To feel like you have no other choice but to go because there’s nothing left for you, and because you know you’ll never be happy there…you’ll never belong. I know what it’s like to want to turn back the clock, to make things right. But you can’t because what’s done is done and you can’t fix damage that’s irreversible, no matter how hard you might try, and no matter how badly you might want to.

I know what it’s like to feel trapped. But on the upside, I also now know what it’s like to be free from it all–from everything and everyone that had a role–minor or otherwise–in all your misery. I’m not proud of the fact that I let certain people get the best of me, so much so that–at least in part–they ended up driving me 900 miles away. But I’m not sorry, either. It might have started out with me running away from certain people and situations…but somewhere along the way these past 7 months…I changed direction. I no longer see my moving here to Nashville as me running away from something…but rather, I see it as me running towards something. My dreams, my goals, my future…and my own life that’s good. It may not seem like much–this freedom–but it’s enough. For now.

xoMESSIE

Oh, What A Beautiful Life.

Was stopped at a red light earlier, distracted by the pretty sight of someone launching fireworks over Murfreesboro, and then this great song came over the radio…instant lyric love.

 

 

It’s called “Beautiful Life”, and it’s performed by the musical/melody genius, Nick Fradiani.

 

 

**

These days
Well, they’re looking up
We got so much to say
We got someone to love
We got good friends
They’re so good to us
And haters can hate
And fakers can front

So we try to live
Like it’s all we’ve got
Cause for all we know

This could be the last night of our lives
Gonna chase down our every desire
We blaze the night
With all we’ve been waiting for
All this time
Reaches such great heights
Gives us just one perfect night
To say “oh, what a beautiful life”
“Oh, what a beautiful life”

Comes out of the dark
We got nothing to fear
We got nothing but heart
Can’t just wait here to see what it brings
We got too many hopes
We got too many dreams

So we try to live
Like it’s all we’ve got
Cause for all we know

This could be the last night of our lives
Gonna chase down our every desire
We blaze the night
With all we’ve been waiting for
All this time
Reaches such great heights
Gives us just one perfect night
To say “oh, what a beautiful life”
“Oh, what a beautiful life”

**

Such a great song. It really makes you take a step back and take a good, long look at your life, doesn’t it?

I think it’s safe to say that the past few weeks haven’t been the greatest for me. Or the easiest. It’s been a long, chaotic mess of a month and I’ve lost count of the number of times that I’ve stopped and just asked myself “what–what in the hell am I doing?”  I mean, seriously…what am I doing? What am I doing here–in Tennessee–hundreds of miles away from everything and everyone that I love and care about? Am I really doing this–this permanent thing…making a life for myself down here…a decision that will effectively and permanently change the entire dynamic of the relationships I have with my family and friends back home? Am I doing it for the right reasons? Or have I fooled myself into thinking that I’m doing this for reasons that aren’t truly what they seem? I know that a big part of what brought me here is that I was running away–trying to put some distance between my troubled past and all the mistakes I made. I thought that if I reinvented myself here–far enough away from it all–that I’d be okay. That I’d be happy and satisfied…and whole. But I’m not satisfied. And there’s this hollow, emptiness that I can’t seem to shake. I miss my family. I miss the little ones. I miss my friends. I miss so much. And there’s no real solution for it. No compromise or middle ground. My family’s never going to leave New York, no matter how badly I wish they would or how desperately I beg them to. They won’t. And I feel so detached from them…and like an outcast because I’ll never be able to make them understand how I could want to be here–without them. I feel so guilty for the choices I’ve made that have brought me here. Sometimes I just want so badly to have the chance to go back to those moments, to reverse those mistakes that set in motion the events that led me down this path that I’m on. It makes me sad…and angry. Angry at the individuals that pushed me to that breaking point that sent me running down here…the ones that were so determined to destroy my life and–in some ways–were successful in doing exactly that. I’m trying so hard to keep the faith here. To just trust my instincts and hold on to the belief that everything happens for a reason and in time, that reason will come to light. That in time, all of this will make sense. Because right now–it just doesn’t. I don’t understand any of it.  I don’t understand how I could be so naive and foolish when I damn well knew better. I don’t know how I could have strayed as far off course as I did…how I could let things go so far. I don’t understand how cruel and vindictive people can be. Or how I could be so fucking wrong about well…everything. I just don’t understand.

These doubts aside, I know I have so much to be grateful for. I really and truly do. I have a good life, for the most part. I do. I have family and so many great friends, both in New York and down here in Nashville. People that are truly amazing and inspiring…and just the best kinds of people to have in your life. I’m blessed to have met the people I have down here…beautiful, genuine, and just so unbelievably talented people. I’ve been given so many opportunities here. My friend’s film, for example. To be a part of something so incredible and worthy and relevant…a project with a message that will–at least, that’s the hope–touch upon and make an impact on so many lives…and to help tell a story that will speak to so many people on so many levels. I’m just so overwhelmingly grateful because I know that no matter what happens down the road–if I stay or if I go–I’ll have made and forged these friendships and relationships that will–there’s not a doubt in my mind–last and carry on. These memories and experiences are ones that I’ll cherish and carry with me for the rest of my life. I may not be sure about many things, but of that I’m certain.

I may not have it all figured out just yet, but I will. I believe that in time, I will. And maybe Nashville will turn out to the be the place where I’m supposed to be…where I’m meant to be. And maybe someday, everything will all make sense. The past, the present…I’ll figure it all out at some point. I think my biggest hindrance is that I’ve been focusing too much on the future…and not paying enough attention on the present, on what is happening and what matters NOW. Right here, right now, in this moment. After all, today is guaranteed, while tomorrow is not. I’m sick and tired of living in the past…and of running from it. I’m tired of feeling guilty and of jinxing my own happiness. I think we all take this life and so much of it for granted. We’re so busy running from point A to point B; starving and working ourselves to death to achieve an impossible ideal and level of success that simply does NOT exist. We fail to realize that this technological world we live in has become little more than a smokescreen…a distraction from what actually is. And from what actually matters. We’re so out of touch with one another and ourselves that it’s a wonder that we’re still even capable of having–let alone actually sustaining–relationships of any kind. But we do, and they make it all worth it.

It may not be easy. It maybe not be perfect. It may not make sense. But this life of mine…it’s beautiful, nonetheless.

xoMESSIE

#FreakinDeaconFriday Adventures

Well, it’s been a roller-coaster, whirlwind of a week. For real. Starting with the apartment. As great as things went and were on Sunday, they were just as crappy on Monday when I went to pick up the keys. For starters, I got there and waited a good 2 1/2 hours just sitting there and no one telling me anything. The one girl from Sunday finally came over, gave me a key card, and told I could head over to the apartment, grab the keys that the guy I was supposed to be subletting for had left in a drawer in the kitchen, and to check out the apartment. So, I did. Yeah. Now, I’m not usually all that girly or picky when it comes to cleanliness. Personally, I prefer to keep things clean, but I’m not a neat-freak, OCD-type that expects everyone to keep their corners spotless, so to speak. And I expected a little dirt and whatnot, considering it was a guy’s apartment and that there was still another guy living there in one of the other bedroom units. But let me tell you–it was a total sh**hole. It was unreal. The carpet that I’m guessing was once either white or beige in the bedroom looked as though someone had literally poured patches of tar everywhere. It was bad. I’m talking layer upon layer of absolute filth. The wall, which I assume was supposed to be white, looked as though someone had painted patches of blue here and there and then tried to scrape it off with godknowswhat. The door to the walk-in closet was broken clear off. The mattresses were two different sizes. There were holes and scrapes all over the walls. Half empty cans of Budlight scattered around the room. And the entire apartment reeked of pot. I didn’t even bother to check the bathroom. I got the hell out of there and went back to the leasing office. When I informed the girl about the apartment, she basically shrugged and told me it wasn’t their problem. That even though I wasn’t allowed to get the keys to view the apartment beforehand because the other guy technically hadn’t moved out yet, I was still stuck with the lease and the apartment. Yeah. I was floored. And rightly so. I demanded to see the property manager who said the same thing. That I’d signed the lease–the lease that wasn’t even approved until 5 minutes before the girl had given me the okay to go and get the keys from the apartment mind you–and had the nerve to ask me what I expected from an apartment where someone had lived for 4 years and something about a “life change” and oh–I lost it. Really, really lost it. I walked out and called my family and of course, stood there bawling my eyes out on the phone while my mother bitched me out for signing a lease before I’d even seen the place–which according to the girl in the leasing office is standard practice…they don’t let you view the apartment until after you’ve signed the lease and they give you the keys. Granted, in hindsight, it was pretty dumb of me to not find that suspicious, but I was literally in la la land, thinking I’d scored this great location and deal…and pressed for time. I had to be at the promo shoot on Sunday, so I wanted to get everything done as soon as I could so I wasn’t stuck paying for a hotel for god knows how many nights until I figured out something permanent. So yeah, I jumped the gun a bit. And got screwed.

After I bawled my eyes out, I got mad. Like livid. I mean, here I was thinking that I was doing a good thing and the responsible thing–hell, I’d never even signed a lease before. I’m 27 and its the first time I’ve ever had to even worry about leases and sublets and whatnot. I sat in my car for like an hour just calling around to lawyers, trying to get some kind of idea of where I stood as far as breaking the lease went…and pretty much got nowhere. So I winged it. I went back inside, demanded copies of the papers I’d signed that the girl from Sunday never gave me and couldn’t even find when I initially went back after seeing the apartment and asked to see. I fibbed a bit and told them I wanted the paperwork right then so I could meet with a lawyer friend my brother-in-law knew from college that worked out of Antioch. There wasn’t any lawyer–and my brother-in-low went to engineering school, not law school–but they didn’t need to know that. Anyhow–that got them going. The one girl finally came over with the papers and told me that she and the property manager had talked and were willing to void the sublet lease in exchange for me signing a full lease with them, which meant I’d be able to get a different apartment, on that wasn’t a sh**hole. Seeing that a full lease with them meant a 12-month lease, I said hell no on the spot. I mean, anyone who knows me knows that I don’t make plans. Hell, I don’t know what I’m going to be doing or where I’ll be one day from the next. That’s just me. Not to mention, if I was going to sign a year lease somewhere, it’d be in Nashville, not Murfreesboro, what with the 40 minute almost daily commute I’d be/am making. That’s what was great about the sublet. The lease would be up at the end of July, which I figured would give me time to figure things out with work and Ryan possibly moving down and most important, it would give me a chance to look for a place closer to Nashville. To make and sign a year-long commitment and contract when I know Murfreesboro is a temporary thing for me–is just illogical. And stupid. After I said no, the woman started negotiating. Ultimately, she offered me a 6-month lease with the same rent amount as I was going to pay for the sublet, which was roughly about 75-100 bucks cheaper than what the current rent rate is for the type of apartment unit I’m in. Ideally, the 6 month lease would have to go…but unfortunately, I didn’t have a choice. It was either take the deal and stick it out until January or get screwed and have to keep the sublet–or be in breach of the lease and lose out on the 2 months rent I’d already paid in advance. Needless to say, I took the deal. It’s not ideal by any means, but at least the apartment she gave me shows more resemblance to what I was expecting and what’s advertised on their webpage and I get to share the apartment with 3 other girls, and not the guy slob/stoner I would have had to live with if I stuck with the sublet unit. It’s not the perfect solution/arrangement, but it could have been worse. A hell of a lot worse.

That whole apartment debacle was just the beginning of the whirlwind. Sunday was the promo shoot–which went great, by the way–for the film. After, I drove back to the hotel…only to have Alan call me up around 1am to say they’d gotten a flat tire and asked if I had AAA. Which, I do. Well…technically it’s my grandmother’s card, but we have the same name and she never uses it so she gave it to me in case I needed to. So I met up with them (Alan and a few of the cast/crew) at some fire station in Clarksville. The wait for the tow truck was epic. I swear, this cast and crew is the best…and the hilariously craziest. The conversations we had…it was unreal. Unfortunately when the two truck guy did show up, he couldn’t fix the flat because he claimed Alan’s spare was leaking air and wouldn’t make it back to Nashville. So he ended up having to tow it back. The hotel was in Clarksville, so I didn’t go with them. That was just the tip of the iceberg. Alan called me the next morning for a ride to his truck and to get the tire changed. Only the tire place wouldn’t do anything unless he brought the truck to him. So Alan decided to drive on the flat…and made it all the way to about a block–not even–from the tire place. I was following him, of course, and watched the tire spit out pieces of rubber and wear down practically to the rim. It was literally mere feet from sparking when he stopped. He’s crazy. Sooo yeah, after I went at it with the leasing office, I had to go back to Nashville (for the 2nd time that day) and call AAA again for Alan since he’d bought a tire. We were given a ridiculously long 3-hour wait window…which sucked. Then the guy that showed up–and was high on something, I might add–didn’t have the right tools to change the tire and no flat bed to tow the truck around the block to the place where Alan bought the tire. So we called AAA yet again, endured hours of waiting…til finally we got it towed. It was late though and I still had to drive back to Murfreesboro, which sucked–especially since I had to be back in Nashville right the next day for the dress rehearsal. It was exhausting.

Anyhow, we started shooting the film on Tuesday. We had a 6:30 am call time, so I barely got any sleep. I left the apartment around 5 or so…only to completely wipe out on the last few steps…and made the idiot move of putting my hand out to break my fall. Yeah. Hurt my wrist. Had to go to the ER. The ER doc couldn’t be absolutely sure if it was broken or not because the x-rays weren’t that great, I don’t think. He said he thought it looked like a fracture, but couldn’t tell because of all the old fractures the x-rays showed on my wrist. So they called for an Ortho consult. After a good 2 hours of waiting for the guy to show up, I left to get to the set and told them to just have the Ortho guy call me with his diagnosis. Ultimately, he wants me to come in next week for more x-rays because he couldn’t be “definitively” sure if it was fractured and wanted to see me first.

Filming is going well, though. We’ve been going all week and I can’t even tell you how truly grateful I am to be working with these people on this project. They are incredible and this film is going to be absolutely amazing. I’m proud and thrilled to be a part of it, in spite of the 15+ hour days we’ve all been putting in. It’s worth it though. Or will be, in due time.

We had the day off today, so I headed on down to the Riverfront to see Charles Esten (from ABC’S Nashville) perform on the Chevy Stage for CMA Fest. I have to say, it was one of the best experiences I’ve had in Nashville to day. Without a doubt. He was amazing. Absolutely incredible. The man is so talented, and hot as hell for a guy in his late 40’s. I swear, if he wasn’t a married man…um, yeah. It was so great and it literally made my day. Not only was this was my first CMA Fest, but I got to see DEACON perform LIVEEE! It really makes me feel so blessed and glad that I’m living here in Nashville and have these opportunities. It’s just so unbelievable, so great.

Time to get some shuteye, editing all day tomorrow…Night!

xoMESSIE

**And of course, some pics from the show 🙂 **

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