Tag Archives: relationships

An Honest Inventory, A Worrisome Result

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Although I have a degree in Psychology and love the field immensely, I am not such a fan of labels.  First of all, I don’t think we all fit inside the parameters of any one box.  Our personalities and experiences differ greatly so there is no way that one size fits all.  Plus, I believe that when we label ourselves and/or allow ourselves to be labeled by others we fall into the pit of self-fulfilling prophesies which often times cause us to unconsciously begin to live in accordance with whatever label(s) we impose upon ourselves and/or accept from others.

Lately though, I have found myself often asking the question, “What’s wrong with me?”  And, as somethings have been brought to my attention and as I’ve taken some steps back to examine certain life pattens, I have learned that there may be a name for a particular set of  some maladaptive, repetitive behaviors that I struggle with.  I think this is significant because I need to uncover the “what” so I can deal with the “why”…which will help me deal with the “how to”, (hopefully) overcome and find healing and freedom.

So I recently read some information for this organization called Sex and Loves Addicts Anonymous that describes itself as “a Twelve Step, Twelve Tradition oriented Fellowship based on the model pioneered by Alcoholics Anonymous. S.L.A.A. is open to anyone who knows or thinks they have a problem with sex addiction, love addiction, romantic obsession, co-dependent relationships, fantasy addiction and/or sexual, social and emotional anorexia.”

I have never been a fan of 12-step programs as I don’t feel as though that particular method is right for me, but I was looking at their website for information and came across a self-diagnostic tool that I thought I would explore.

Below is a self-diagnostic type of  inventory that I took; I answered each question as honestly as I possibly could.  Here’s what I came up with.  It’s bitterly shameful (I may soon delete this post) but I wonder if anyone can relate to this or has opinions about this particular topic.

I don’t know if this is something that I need to do work on or not.  As a Christian, I genuinely feel that God is my ultimate Healer and that I just need to keep trying to give it all to Him.  However, some of the questions on this inventory hit frightfully close to home.  I don’t know what to think…
The fact of the matter is, I’m not a ho!  In the past, when I have been with men that I believed that I truly loved my sexual experiences were nothing short of cosmic.  When I think that I love a man and we have sex, I feel like it’s often this out-of-body, mystical experience and that our souls are completely intertwined in a way that’s hard to express with mere words.  And when I think I love a man I love him with my whole being…. The thought of being with anyone else makes me sick.
Unfortunately, I’m beginning to see that what I thought was love in my past relationships wasn’t love at all.  As a matter of fact, I question whether I’ve ever experienced true love.  Wild, unbridled passion and addiction to toxic people is not love.  I know that now.  I just don’t know which way to go now.
I'm just a few steps away...

I’m just a few steps away…

I don’t want to cut myself off from love and be one of those cynical ol’ man haters.  I don’t think that’s God’s will for me because I know that to be a true man hater I’d have to truly hate men.  I don’t.   Plus, I don’t think I’d be a very good, stereotypical cat lady because I do not like cats at all.

Read the rest of this entry

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Almost 3 weeks after reading this, I am still baffled…completely. I am in utter shock…still and I am sick to my stomach.

I have just spent the last year of my life pouring out my love–the very best of me–into the most profoundly abusive relationship. The rose-colored glasses were just knocked off my face. I am almost 40 and my eye are now wide open. I am not well right now. I have just come to the realization that I was a target. He was a predator and I was his prey.

Please read 2 Timothy 3:1-7 and you will fully understand what’s just happened. And please read this post.

I don’t even know how I am going to recover from this. I am completely filled with rage and my thoughts are racing. Please pray for my sanity.

-Ava

...And The Home Of Depraved.You just got out of a messy, abusive relationship with a guy who doesn’t understand you, never took the time to service your needs, and was emotionally unavailable. You are working your way back into the dating world and you may not know it, but you may be in a very dangerous scenario.

You are prey. I am a predator. I know you are hurting and vulnerable. You probably haven’t been with a guy who is emotionally sensitive, vulnerable yet still strong, willing to listen and laugh and be everything you ever needed; and yet somehow allows you to feel safe.

I actually do a seminar for women on how an average looking guy can pick up women in their late 30′s and beyond using emotional and psychological manipulation. It’s scary when you realize how easily vulnerable people can be manipulated by a guy who is willing to pretend he…

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I Detest Being Lied To!

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So I haven’t felt like writing much lately.  I’ve been basking in some sort of funk that borders on psychosis.  I don’t know what’s wrong with me.

I’ve spent a year of my life loving a man who played me like a fiddle.  The truth is coming out.  And as it turns out there was “no” truth.

I don’t miss him nor do I ever want to see him again.  I just want to punch him in the balls really hard and cause him to suffer.

You think you know someone…..  I feel like a damned fool.  I’m so angry at myself lately that I can hardly see straight.

Guard Your Heart

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A bit more of my dark art…  Creating these help channel my energy into a positive, productive venue.  The words on this image are from a poem I wrote.  I’m still pretty angry, as you can probably tell.  One day at a time… I’m learning to heal.  It hasn’t been easy though.

Beauty From Ashes: How God Killed Two Birds With One Stone, Part II

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By now I was in my final year of college and still a single mom; Jeremiah was now 8 years-old. I could see the finish line! I was almost there. The University of North Texas was an hour’s drive for, which was too far given my heavy involvement in my research and whatnot.  So, that spring Jeremiah and I loaded up and moved to Denton, Texas to be near UNT. It was the furthest I had ever lived away from home.  I felt like I had set out on some brave new adventure. It was just the boy and me. I had worked hard for years in school and together, Jeremiah and I were about to conquer the world!

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I remember that time in my life well.  I was living solely on financial aid.  I wasn’t even getting any child support at that time because Jeremiah’s father was in jail.  We had food stamps and Jeremiah was on Medicaid.  I saw welfare as a means to an end.  I didn’t feel bad nor did I feel embarrassed about being where I was at the time.  I swiped my Lone Star card with pride!

Since I didn’t have health insurance, I found out that I qualified for a plan through the county hospital.  One afternoon I was at one of the local clinics…having my lady parts inspected. I was actually there to get an IUD. It had been forever since I was on the pill and I certainly didn’t want to wind up back in the abortion clinic for God’s sake. I knew that I was playing Russian roulette. I knew I had to do something.

My ob/gyn agreed that the IUD was a good option for me. We set up an appointment for me to come back in and have it installed the following month. I remember that it was during that visit that I complained to my doctor about my breast implants. I had had two breast augmentations at the time, one in 1995 and the other in 1997. The doctor who performed my surgery in 1997 almost ruined my entire world and my rockin’ hot bod.   When I woke up from that surgery I discovered that he had made my breasts the size of Dolly Parton’s. I’m not kidding you; I was a teeny-tiny stick figure at the time. I was 5’5″, 120 pounds and that quack had put 850 cc’s in each of my breasts. I felt like a freak show. I felt like Frankentitty.

We had SO MUCH in common!

Both of my breast implants had become encapsulated. Further, I wanted a full reconstruction done but didn’t have an extra $8000 lying around to make it happen. As I discussed it with my doctor that day, we came to the conclusion that because of the encapsulations, the county hospital just might afford me a full reconstruction for almost no charge. It was brilliant.

Much to my surprise, after I left the doctor’s office and was in my car, my cell phone rang. It was the doctor. I had just walked out of her office. She was calling to tell me that she was canceling the appointment for the insertion of the IUD. We’d have to put it off one more month because she wanted me to have an MRI on my breasts. She informed me that she didn’t want any metal in my body during the procedure; apparently the copper wire from the IUD might interfere with the results of my MRI. Although I wanted the IUD, I wanted a new boob job more! And plus, what was one more month going to hurt? I had managed to not get pregnant for over 4 years! I was close to graduation… I would soon be ditching the horrendously enormous tits… I had it all planned out!

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It had been a while since I’d talked to Jake. He was mad at me for something stupid and had been giving me the silent treatment for some time. But again, I wasn’t trippin’. While Jake was a phenomenal creature and had everything going for him, I had quite a bit going for me too. As a matter of fact, God had performed a miracle for me. I was wholly dependent on my financial aid to take care of Jeremiah and me, but during the summer of 2004, for some reason, I wasn’t able to qualify. Wouldn’t you know it, God showed up just in time? I applied for and was one of 9 people from around the United States to be selected as a National Science Foundation (NSF) Scholar. I would be paid over $3000 for both summer sessions to do research (something I loved doing anyway)! I had financial assistance for Jeremiah’s childcare and the campus was just one mile from our new place. The stars were managing to line up for me and my boy! Our dreams were coming true!

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One lovely spring afternoon I was strolling through the campus when I saw something odd. It was enormous and there was a crowd gathered around whatever it was but I could not make it out. About two-stories in size, at first glance I thought it was a giant McDonald’s menu. My curiosity led me toward the massive structure. There was something going and for some reason, my curiosity was piquing out of control. When I got closer this is what I saw:

There were guards around the exhibit. Debates were heating up everywhere. This pro-life exhibit was definitely ruffling some feathers.

When it comes to abortion, you can’t straddle the fence. You are either pro-choice or pro-life. I thought I was somewhere in between at the time, but in reality, I guess I would have to had classified myself as pro-choice. Ultimately, I felt that that if abortion weren’t legal that women would be getting killed in back-alley butcher shops trying to get abortions.

For whatever reason, I felt compelled to walk up and talk to one of the volunteers who was sitting outside the gates of the exhibit. I am not one to push my views on others; you will scarcely find me debating about sensitive issues.

I remember the girl that I spoke with, although I couldn’t tell you her name. She looked really sweet and had a natural, gentle beauty that seemed to define her. I remember she had a tiny cross necklace on. It was evident to me, because of her demeanor alone, that she was a Christian, although this was not a Christian exhibit. We talked for a little bit and I took in the exhibit. As we talked, I opened up to her about my past abortion, something I never spoke about. She didn’t say too much. She just listened to me talk. Somehow or another I felt the Hand of God during that encounter with the volunteer. I had never asked for forgiveness for having an abortion, and I sure as heck didn’t have an ounce of repentance in me for the whole ordeal. But when I walked away from the exhibit, I did. I can’t explain it. It wasn’t guilt or shame… It was just a beautiful conviction… A renewal of my spirit… After walking away from the exhibit I felt I was seeing the world with a different set of eyes. I didn’t know I needed any healing, but I felt healed in some cosmic way.

As a matter of fact, I felt so transformed that afterward I met up with some of my best friends to tell them about my experience. We were all scholars on a particular research team at the university. All of them were amazing girls, but in hindsight, I noticed that these gals were liberal as hell. I say that with a chuckle because I loved them all (and still love them all) so much. They were my sisters, but they were also modern-day hippies.

I shared with the girls what I had experienced, which opened a discussion. For the first time ever I found myself taking a stance against abortion. I had known so many girls, particularly from my stripper days, who seriously used abortion as a form of birth control. I’m not a judgmental person, but I’m also not ok with the fact that you’ve had 8 abortions. I learned that day that I did consider an unborn child a human life. I acknowledged it had a soul. Something changed in me that day.

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Things were great in my life. I had the best kid in the universe, I had escaped stripperdom, I was about to—against ALL odds—graduate from college, with honors. I mean, life was good and the wind was at my back. I was sure I could do anything at that point. As a matter of fact, I was a Psychology major and I had just made the decision to stay in school and get my doctorate. I was going to be a clinical psychologist!

Wouldn’t you know something had to happen to rain on my parade? I mean, damn… I hadn’t been keeping track of my periods in quite some time, but I had this feeling that it had been a good while since I had had one. I waited… I waited some more, but the mofo never came. So I did what any girl would do, I took a pregnancy test.

Actually, I took many pregnancy tests. Wouldn’t you know that all of them were POSITIVE??? I felt like I was having an out-of-body experience as I read the results over and over and over. It was surreal, and I felt as if I had just been hit by a locomotive.

This was bad… I mean, this was really, really, really bad. I felt like a trapped rat as I began to mentally explore my options.

I had always told everyone that I met that I was a single mother. My mother was a single mother, so I saw single mom’s as strong, heroic women. What I didn’t tell anyone was that I felt like I had cheated Mother Nature somehow with Jeremiah.

There could not have been an easier child to raise. Oh my word, that child was a Lamb of God. Plus, I had managed to escape the karma that my mother had always cursed me with. I had it coming bad for being such a wretched teenager. What in God’s green earth was I going to do now?

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Was I the girl I was in 2000 when I had my last abortion?  No.  Absolutely not.  And was it an accident that the doctor had cancelled my appointment to get the IUD or that I had seen and been transformed by the exhibit?  No.  Absolutely not.

God had touched my life.  He had prepared me for this.  I was having this child.  There was no doubt about it.  I didn’t have a clue how I was going to pull it off, but I would make it…somehow.

But what about Jake?  I had to tell him.  So on May 4th, 2004, I sent Jake the following email:

Jake,

You and I really need to talk. If you choose, I can write you a letter, but I think it may be better to talk to you in person.  That’s just my gut feeling; I may be wrong.  I have a final in the morning at 10:30 and won’t be available until tomorrow, after this test.  If you choose to delete my message and not reply in anyway that is your choice, but be warned that you are making a big mistake.  Again, this is not some tactic…this is “really” serious.  I don’t have time for games.

Ava

Much to my astonishment, I didn’t receive a reply.   This pissed me off, so I sent another email (this one not so delicate):

Jake,
Since you have chosen to completely ignore me I have no other choice but to tell you this way.  I have no desire to see you or speak to you about this.  My respect for you has gone out the window
It is the consensus of all who know about this that I have a “responsibility” to inform you.  Consider it done; it’s just ONE less thing I have to worry about.  I would have been a little more sensitive about telling you but you denied me (and yourself) that opportunity.
There is no possible way that you are not the father as you were the only person that I had sex with even close to the time of conception.  But don’t worry…the Attorney General’s office will provide a “complimentary” DNA testing when the time comes.  I found out a while ago and have taken several home tests and have seen my doctor.  My due date is the 29th of December.  I am not happy at all, I am very afraid; my nerves are more screwed up han you could even imagine.  However, I will continue to put my faith in the Lord and acknowlege that He doesn’t make mistakes.
Your selfishness, snobbery, and complete disregard for my feelings in general have absolutely blown me away.  If it weren’t for this issue, I would have “completely” written you off after you said such hateful things to me the last time I had contact with you, especially after I asked your forgiveness.  That is all I have to say to you.  I am “livid” with you Jake–you just have no idea. 
Ava

Ol’ boy still didn’t repond.  What was going on?  Weeks later I spoke to his brother.  His nonchalant attitude toward me told me that Jake must not have told him.  I was so confused.  Finally, I boldly let the cat out of the bag.  I, with a fierce barage of hormones cheering me on informed his brother that I was pregnant.  Further, I unloaded on his brother as to how furious I was that I had told Jake a month prior and that he had chosen to ignore me.  His brother’s response: “Let me call you right back.”  I knew he was calling Jake.

In no time, I received an email from Jake that read, “My brother says you have something to tell me.”  I wanted to write back and say, “Why yes, dipshit.  I certainly do.”  But I chose to take the high road.

As it turned out, he had blocked my email address.  Why, you ask?  Well this is the part that’s kind of humorous, I suppose.  Additionally, it’s a tad bit gross.

Since I was a child I have possessed an affinity for picking at things on the bodies of those I love.  Yes, I know it’s a sickness, but I’m a picker.  Each and every time my teenage son has a mild outbreak of acne on his face, my eyes light up….and he runs the other direction.  I’m not kidding, I honestly should have been a dermatologist.  Do you know how many videos on ruptured cysts and boil removals that I’ve watched on YouTube?  I would love to be able to do that and get paid for it.  The science of the human body; it’s fascinating to me.

To make a long story short, the last time I had had a rendezvous with Jake, he had a pervasive (awesome) cyst on his back.  Alrighty…so remember I was over the moon with my Berringer that night, so I advised him that I would help him. 

A day later I received a nasty email from Jake.  He informed me that the cyst was 10 times larger and that he was in serious pain.   He advised me that he wanted no further contact with me (lol). From there he blocked me.  So, he could have actually known about our baby earlier, were it not for that damned cyst (glorious as it was)!

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Although Jake has more than stepped up to the plate these days, he wasn’t so considerate before Jonah was born.  It was a devastatingly depressing, lonely 9 months and I was often sick.  As it turned out, I would not see Jake for a single day of my pregnancy.  I saw him the night of conception, and then I saw him the night his son was born.

So if you read my last 2 posts, you’d see that I lost a child to abortion on October 7, 2000.  Praise the Holy, Soverign name of the Almighty Lord that I didn’t lose this one!  On December 22, 2004, I delivered this little man:

I was severely depressed and unhappy when I was pregnant with him.  However, the moment I saw his beautiful face, I was in love.  I was absolutely, madly, head-over-heels in love!  This baby literally took my breath away.

I had Jonah between the Fall of ’04 and Spring of ’05 semesters.  I remember during the spring semester that I was taking an ancient literature class.  I have fond memories of bouncing Jonah around–while he was attached to my chest in one of those baby strap on things–reading “Gilgamesh” to him in a tone that was a little like Dr. Suess or “Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?”  Raising two kids without a husband was not an easy task, but I proved to myself and everyone else that I could do it.  The road has been really hard, but it’s been absolutely worth the ride.  I’d do it all over again if I had to.

My extraordinary children, Jeremiah & Jonah

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I’d like to give props to the organization who boldly sets up exhibits like the ones you saw earlier on college campuses around the United States.  It may offend many.  However, it saved my baby.  It saved him.  I cannot help but collapse to my knees and praise Jesus for that.  My child could have very easily been a nameless angel, sent right straight back to God.  But he wasn’t

The name of the organization who I encountered on that beautiful, spring day in 2004 is Justice For All.  Many years ago I looked them up and sent them an email expressing my gratitude.  I sent with it a photo of Jonah.

Would you believe that the Executive Director, David Lee contacted me immediately.  He and his increidble posse asked to meet with us and take us to breakfast.  It was a wonderful time. 

Some people would call my friends whack jobs, or at best, extremists.  I don’t care.  You should have seen the look in their eyes when they met Jonah for the first time.  As a matter of fact, here’s what happened to the photo that I sent to the organization:

He became a little poster child for the organization.  The photo above was used on Facebook to promote the cause.  Out of “800” challenge causes, Justice for All placed 6th, raising over $25,000 in 2009.  My child has a purpose.  Every child has a purpose. 

I spoke with the Executive Director, David Lee on the phone today.  He told me that he’s been traveling all around teaching teens about abortion.  He said, “I want these kids to know about abortion before they’re even in a position to ever consider one.”  I found his words poetic.  I feel that this organization gets to the root of the root on this controversial issue.  They’re solid Christian people who are peaceful.  They don’t go around blowing up clinics. I feel like they give people the facts beforehand.  Because friend, I can say with absolute certainty that the abortion clinic that I went to in 2000 did not give me all the facts.  If you have a moment, please check out Justice for All’s webpage at http://www.jfaweb.org/HOME.html

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As for Jake and I, although we never went on on a date prior to Jonah being born, we became very close.  God killed two stubborn, hell-bent birds with one, single stone.  For me, he began a transformation in me that would eventually cause me to abandon my sexual promiscuity.  Further, through my relationship with Jake, I would learn my own self worth and how to begin to let go of a lifetime of crippling insecurity.

Jake is doing well now too.  He married a few years ago and is expecting another child within the next couple of weeks.  Through our experience together, Jake abandoned a deeply involved lifestyle of sexual addiction.  After Jonah was born, we began going to church together.  What’s more, Jake would eventually  accept Christ as his Savior and be baptized in my church.  To this day he still says that I am responsible for his salvation.  Do you know how much this means to me?  After all, he is the father of my son.

God can do inexplicable, aweinspiring things in our lives if we’ll just step back and let him have the reigns.  As humans, we carry so much unnecessary weight that we simply do not need to carry.  Jesus paid the price.  It is done.  We can put our worries and burdens at the foot of the Cross and leave them there.  If your situation seems impossible, I can tell you, mine did too.  Beloved, ALL things are possible with Christ Jesus.  Know that.  So whatever you’re carrying today, LET IT GO!  Surrender and give it to the Lord.  He will not fail you…He can’t. 

All my love,

Ava

Beauty From Ashes: How God Killed Two Birds With One Stone, Part 1

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Beloved,

If you were able to read my last two lengthy posts you are now privy to the fact that I lost a child to abortion on October 7, 2000.  Not ever having a fully repentant heart I never managed to abandon my lifestyle of sexual promiscuity.  Sex had become my painstakingly warped way to connect with a man.  It was my subconscious way of getting love, although it would inevitably always bring me emptiness, more loneliness, and a host of other maladies.

I am a firm believer that men and women are wired quite differently when it comes to sex.  I am of the mind-set that men are more biologically driven and that the experience for them is almost entirely physical.  I’m not saying that men can’t experience love and sex at the same time.  There are always men who are exceptions to the rule (statiticians call them outliers).  I’m just saying that I think men are largely driven by physical urges, whereas for most well-adjusted women, it’s an emotional experience.

I’ll go on record here to say that I absolutely love sex.  I’m serious.  It’s a shame I’m not married, because I’d be a really good wife, if you know what I mean!  I don’t just love the physicality of having sex, I love the feeling of being that close to someone I love.  For this reason, I kind of feel like the universe has “Punked” me.  I mean, I hear about married women all the time who will not satisfy their husbands.  Or oftentimes, I hear of married couples who simply haven’t had sex with each other in years.

It drives me nuts that for me, a single women, sex is a sin that I commit inside my body, while for the married folk, it’s actually an act of worship unto the Lord.  Are you kidding me?  So here I am with all this drive and nothing to do with it at the present time.  And please, if you’re married don’t give me any advice on what to do with all this unused sexual energy.  There’s nothing you can say to make me think you understand.

If you’ve read Gary Chapman’s Book, “The Five Love Languages“, you’d know that Dr. Chapman has identified 5 love languages:

  • Acts of service

  • Gifts

  • Physical touch

  • Time

  • Words of affirmation

     

Well, I believe Dr. Chapman is right on the mark with his theories and research findings.  Now, can you guess what my #1 love language is?  If you guessed physical touch, you’d be dead on.  I’m off the charts.

Through sex with someone I love I feel an overwhelming sense of connectedness.  I feel mad love.  It’s a wholly cosmic, entirely spiritual experience for me.  But that’s with someone I love.  I’m proud to say that I am no longer a promiscuous girl.  Sex is too precious of a gift to give and I’m not giving this gift to just anyone.  Right now my stuff is on lockdown.

However, there was a time in my life where the opposite was true.  After my 4-year, abusive relationship ended with Jeremiah’s father in 1998, it was wheels off for me.  After a lifetime of inexplicable hurts and trauma experienced at the hands of those I had foolishly given myself to, I decided that I would turn my emotions off and just have sex like a man.  I decided that it was time for me to quit being so feelings-oriented and that I, like a man, would just divide and conquer.

I did this for some time.  It didn’t work out so well for me.  Regardless of how much I had hardened my heart, I wasn’t successful at being anyone other than the girl whom God had created me to be.  However, I learned that with enough drugs and alcohol I could numb myself quite well, ensuring that I could stay the course on my hell-bent, sexual binge.

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In 2002 I signed Jeremiah up for soccer.  He had just turned six years old and it was the first time he’d ever been involved in a team sport.  My intentions were pure!  It was at our first practice behind the elementary school that my own mother had attended that I saw him…  I was spellbound.

I would quickly find out that he was the assistant coach.  His name was Jake.  He was tall, had beautiful, thick dark hair, green eyes, and the absolute body of Adonis himself.  He was muscular and defined; you could have bounced a quarter of his perfectly round, alluring, bootylicious backside.  He reminded me of a Calvin Klein underwear model.  And he looked like he just might be a little bit naughty …

I looked at my sister and, like Babe Ruth pointing to center field–calling his home run in the 1932 World Series–I pointed to him, and confidently murmured to her, “I’ll bet you cash money, right now, that I will positively have him by the end of the season.”  I had named it and I had claimed it.  There was no stopping me at that point. 

It turned out that he was going through a divorce and that his son, only 8 days younger than Jeremiah had experienced so much upheaval during his parent’s  then pending divorce that he had ceased to function as a normal little boy.  None of the other kids on the team wanted anything to do with him.  At the age of 6 he was admitted into Special Education and would, for many years wear the damning label of Emotionally Disturbed.

I have always had a soft spot for maladapted children; they’re what I devoted my college years to studying.  Before I knew it his child and mine had bonded and I was either keeping both boys or Jake was keeping both of them.  Jake helped me by babysitting Jeremiah on several occasions when while I worked a part-time job.  I’d let his son spend the night with us and give Jake a much-needed break from time to time.  I’d like to say that it started out as innocent, but I know that, at least on a subconscious level, I had plans.

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There was a definite sexual tension between the two of us and it would be no time at all before we’d met in a motel room bringing to fruition our carnal, lustful desires.  I remember it like it was yesterday.  It was largely my idea, of course.  His brother watched the two boys, who were spending the night together at his house that night so we could meet up for a casual night of secretive passion and pleasure.

I wish I could say that it stopped there.  It didn’t.  Our meetings would inevitably continue for about two years.  They were usually late-night, spur of the moment affairs.  In most cases, I would drive over, slipping in under the cloak of darkness while his son was asleep.  I always enter his house through his dark garage, passing through his dark laundry room which led straight to his bedroom where sometimes, if I were lucky, there’d be music and a candle lit.  From there you can probably speculate what went on.  After the act, we’d spend quite a bit of time talking…about everything and anything.  We got along famously.

I don’t think I realized it at the time, but in spite of my best efforts to conduct myself like a man, my feelings may have begun to grow a little for Jake.  He was a responsible, professional man who made a great living at what he did.  He was laid-back and kind.  Add to that, he was a good father and was always wonderful to my son.  I tried to repress my feelings, but they’d keep popping up on me.  I think Jake picked up on them too, because he’d often make statements that let me know in no uncertain terms that he was in no way looking for a relationship.  What we had was just sex.

After a while he’d eventually disappear, not answering the phone nor returning any of my calls or texts.  And believe it or not, I honestly wasn’t trippin’.  I was a full-time student and was excelling in college.  I didn’t have time to pine over this guy, regardless of how great I perceived him to be.  He was emotionally unavailable.  I knew that full well, so I decided not to pursue something that I knew would lead to a dead-end road.  I had bigger fish to fry at the time.

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Eventually Jeremiah and I moved into a different apartment down the road from where we had lived when I was seeing Jake and where I had lived when my mom died.  It was time to move forward with our lives.

Fast forward to 2004 where one morning I was walking out to my vehicle to go to school.  I found a small note on my truck, tucked behind my windshield.  It was from him.  The note said that he didn’t have my number anymore (the bastard probably deleted it).  He left his phone number and requested that I call him.  Of course, I did.  And in a twisted sort of way, I suppose I was honored that he had sought me out.  Afterall, I don’t even know how he knew where I lived.

Jake and I picked right up where we’d left off.  However, the stifled feelings that I had for him, much to my chagrin, hadn’t gone away.   It seemed like out encounters became more frequent before they ceased altogher.  But I was somehow able to maintain my compsure and conduct myself like a man when I was in his presence.  Jake had a lot to offer, and I certainly liked him and was wildly attracted to him.  But somehow I had, with a lot of practice, managed to numb my heart.  When I look back now, I feel sad when I reflect on how desensitized I had actually become.

I’d find out later that Jake was truly a sex addict.  It seems he was numb and desensitized too.  After his loco divorce, he never really commit to anyone–he was so mysterious and enticing–he didn’t have to.  As I look back now, 8 years later, I find myself supremely aware that both of us were on paths that would lead us straight to the gates of hell.

He was the cool, collected, quiet one.  He seemed purposeful and disciplined in everything he did.  I was the wild, talkative, impulsive one who would always wind up being as drunk as a fidler’s bitch when we’d meet up for our adult time.  After a while, it became pretty routine.  Again, we were both on hell paths at the time.  But from the outside he was able to maintain things in such a way that, to outsiders, he had it all together.  This was not the case, I assure you.

I remember one afternoon, we were both getting dressed when I said to him, “What would you ever do if you got someone pregnant?”  He promptly and intensely replied, “I’d cry.”  I laughed at him. And like I had done in the past, I once again made my disclaimer, well you know I’m not on any kind of birth control.”  He just seemed to shrug it off as if he were invinsible. 

The next time I’d see him, it would be late in the evening.  I had downed several of those mini-bottles of white zinfandel and was unbelievably lit.  I was so intoxicated in fact that I barely remember the events that went on that night.  I sort of remember that for some odd reason that he had gone to the bathroom to get a condom.  This was odd because we never used condoms before.  As my good fortune would have it, Jake was fresh out that night!

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(please continue reading this post in, “Beauty From Ashes: How God Killed Two Birds With One Stone, Part 2)

Love is a Gamble…

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“To love means to commit oneself without guarantee, to give oneself completely in the hope that our love will produce hope in the loved person.  Love is an act of faith, and whoever is of little faith is also of little love.”  

-Eric Fromm

In essence, love is a gamble.  I decided that it’s like the lottery.  If you don’t play you simply cannot win.  The problem is that I’m almost 40…and to date, I have not won.  

I knew that the relationship that I have been in was astonishingly toxic, but this evening I learned that I am completely and indescribably disposable to this man.  I recently loaned him a sizable amount of money.  I know, I know…how pitifully stupid of me.  Another codependent attempt to help someone I thought I loved.  My intentions were wholly pure.  But why do I keep falling in love with unlovable men?

I recently lost my job.  The new job that I have taken will reduce my pay by $30,000 per year.  I made this loan in good faith, feeling (somewhat) confident that he would honor me by paying it back.  After all, he was the one who solicited me for the money.  The loan was one of those white-trash payday loans that will incur 30 percent interest every two weeks until the principle is paid in full.  I feel sick.  My financial situation is already bleak…and logically it’s about to get much worse.  I need a miracle…and a roommate!

I love the quote by Rollo May that says, “The opposite of love is not hate; apathy is.”  Indeed my friends…indeed.  This man grew completely cold and apathetic in regards to me after I loaned him the money.  I haven’t seen him since and might be lucky if I received one or two texts a day.   He insisted last night that, “a text is the same as a phone call.”  Really?  

Tonight I merely asked if he planned to pay anything toward the principal, as tomorrow is the deadline.  He said things like, “Fuck off, loser.”  and “fucking fly“.  The beauty of the situation is that I do not love him anymore.  After all, if I were to label something like this “love” I would expect to be immediately placed in a straight jacket and tossed into a padded room.  I may be dysfunctional, but I know what love is.  This certainly isn’t it.  Love isn’t supposed to hurt.

One thing I do know though is that, in spite of my recent spiritual disconnect, God loves me.  As a matter of fact, His love is all the love I need…  I want God to be my husband.  However, those words are easy to say, but hard to really internalize enough to make my heart cry out for and accept His all-consuming love.  I have often times cursed God simply because He is invisible.  Faith take a lot of work, and this woman here has been longing for a pair of tangible arms to hold her for as long as I can remember.

My life circumstances tell me that I am rejected, abandoned, and that I should just go ahead and succumb to this feeling of impending doom.  Praise God for the following scripture:

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord, Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.  For he CHOSE us in Him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight.  In love He PREDESTINED us to be ADOPTED as his sons through Christ Jesus, in accordance with His PLEASURE AND HIS WILL–to the praise of his glorious grace, which He has freely given us in the One He loves.  In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us with ALL wisdom and understanding.  -Ephesians 1:3-8

Now that is good stuff!  He adopted you and me!  He CHOSE us…before He even created the world.  He created us not just because he wanted to, but also for his pleasure.  And the part about His Grace… He LAVISHED it upon us with ALL his wisdom and ALL of His understanding.  I imagine God’s wisdom and understanding to be pretty intense.  It’s true that our human minds cannot comprehend a love so great.  So if He chose us…before the beginning of time, with ALL his will, pleasure, and understanding that means that He knew exactly what He was getting Himself into.  

He knew about our sins, our flaws, our bad, habits, and our insecurities.  He knew we would be beautiful, but beautiful messes, indeed.  AND HE DID IT ANYWAY!

So when a loathsome, abusive, spineless man comes along and tries to steal my joy (and my money)… I will remind myself that Jesus suffered died on a cross for me…and for YOU.  

True love will never come in human form.  I have to keep reminding myself of this.  No man can be all things to all people…just our Beloved Savior.  Let’s allow Him to be ENOUGH.

Blessings,

Ava 

I Will Fix You

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“Codependency is defined as a psychological condition or a relationship in which a person is controlled or manipulated by another who is affected with a pathological condition (as in an addiction to alcohol and/or drugs). In broader terms, it refers to the dependence on the needs of another.  It also often involves placing a lower priority on one’s own needs, while being excessively preoccupied with the needs of others.  Codependency may also be characterized by denial, low self-esteem, excessive compliance, or control patterns.  Narcissists are considered to be natural magnets for the codependent.”

Some people like to find old, worn down houses and fix them up.  I do not.  I find that old houses are creepy and that they smell musty.  I’m also afraid that some old ghost could be lingering around, which is why I had my house built.  I am however a renovator.  Only, I don’t like to find busted houses and fix them up, I like to find busted  people and fix them up.  And I do it free of charge.

My favorite fixer-up projects tend to be men who are narcissistic sociopaths.  I mean I’ve dated alcoholics, drug addicts, gambling addicts, sex addicts, abusers, pathological liars, thieves, con-artists, cheaters, and undiagnosed bipolar persons.  The current man who I am trying to wean myself off lived in Las Vegas for three-year making his living from playing poker and living in comped hotels.  I had known him from when I was a stripper in my early 20’s and was once mesmerized by his long, dark, hair, his dimples, and his radiantly piercing blue eyes.  He drove a bad ass BMW, was high-ranking in his social stature, and he had this mystical je ne sais quoi that surrounded him.  As a matter of fact, he strongly resembled Leonardo DiCaprio.  My God he was deliciously stunning.

He and I connected last year on Facebook and the rest was history.  It wasn’t long before he asked my father for my hand in marriage.  He literally got off the plane and moved into my house.  Mind you, this is not something that I “do” as I do not like to bring men around Jeremiah and Jonah.  As it was, the boys loved him; he charmed us all–for a while.  Eventually the heavy alcoholism became apparent as did his gambling addiction.  I even had to hide my sedatives from him; I hid them in one of those vintage, cardboard jewelry boxes–the ones where the little ballerina pops up and spins around.  Every night when I needed to take my medication, I would be petrified that the sound of the music box was going to go off and that I would be caught.   What’s more, this man morphed into the most verbally and emotionally persons that I had ever known.  Hence, I wrote the following poem one sleepless night after he had left me (the first time):

You played me for a common fool,

You played me from the start.

I gave you every ounce of me,

I handed you my heart.

Words like blades you slayed me with,

Cutting me to the bone.

With you I felt a stranger in the place I once called home.

I walked on eggshells day and night,

Guarding my every word.

Each thing I did, each thing I said

Felt stupid and absurd.

But convinced was I your love was real,

Convinced I was your girl-

I soon learned I was ordinary,

To you a nameless girl.

A girl you “would not” fight for

With a heart you could abuse-

Your “promises” were hollow words,

You set me up to lose.

Abandoned and rejected now,

Cast out in a lonely spot-

I’ll never dance this dance again;

In love I’ll not be caught.

I’ll build the walls around my heart;

You’ll never get back in.

I’m scarred for life, for the one I lost

Once called me his “best friend”.

So love those cards, the alcohol,

The pills and shallow bitches-

My loving soul now bears a hole,

My heart’s in need of stitches.

So here’s to your life of solitude,

Of Godlessness, and sorrow-

You robbed me of the dream of love

And darkened my tomorrows.

Remember me, as you saw me last,

With tear drops on my face.

I surrender the dream of my soul-mate tonight; 

For me love holds no place.  

When I wrote this poem, and I didn’t know it at the time, but I was suffering a complete and utter nervous breakdown.  Friends I’m not just using the term “nervous breakdown” as a semantic euphemism.  This was indeed, indubitably real and entirely physiological in nature.   I couldn’t eat or sleep for about 4 days; I lost 12 pounds in one week.  I couldn’t stay off the toilet, and my panic attacks were so physically intense that I could not operate my car or attend work.  I cried and sobbed for days upon days.  Eventually, I had to seek medical treatment in the form of late-night counseling visits and trips to my family physician.  It was a nightmare.  My mind knew what was going on, but my body ceases to cooperate.

How this happened is beyond me.  He had lived with me for just two, short months.  Still, 60 days of day in and day out can be intense, particularly because I firmly believed I had finally met my husband.  He didn’t work or have a car (supposedly all his belonging, including his chopper and his truck were in storage in Vegas); but he helped me so much around my house and helped care for my kids in ways that were unfathomable.  I was my best self when he was with me.

However, once he began gambling again, he became a different person.  I was working my tail off everyday and providing for the family financially but justified that it was a fair trade-off because of all the help he was giving me with the boys and around the house.  And in all fairness, my house looked like a tornado had blown through it before he came to my rescue.

However, to my horror, it turned out that he felt entirely and hopelessly trapped in my haven of a home.  WTF?  And the guy wasn’t stuck; I was carpooling to work with a friend each day so that he could have full use of my Hummer.  I gave him everything I had to give but in the end, it wasn’t enough.  So there it was, staring me in the face again: rejection and abandonment.  I became so concerned with his needs that I had completely ceased to care my own.  I was screwed.

Today I opened some mail (which is something I rarely do because it’s depressing).  Much to my chagrin, it contained two invoices from the North Texas Tollway Authority demanding that I pay $321.40 in toll violations.  There are photos of my car and license plate.  The problem is, I don’t drive in Dallas.  I live and work in Fort Worth.  And the dates in question are dates that I was working.  My mother was a cop.  I would never blow through a toll booth and not pay the toll.  I would feel like God was watching me and I promise you, I could simply not sleep at night knowing that I had done such a thing.  On the invoices, I counted 32 violations.  I’m not sure what to say or what to do at this point.  I suppose that some serious prayer is in order.

What’s worse we are still unofficially still seeing one another.  I absolutely loathe confrontation.  More than that, I hate being lied to.  However, I feel that both are in my very near future.

As a co-dependent you have to ask yourself, “When is enough enough?”  Am I that lonely and desperate to be loved that I would put up with blatant abuse.  He’s put me at risk legally now.  I’m going to sleep on this and see what tomorrow brings.  Nevertheless, I have had it.  I just hope that I’ve really “had it”.  Will he deny that he was driving my car and blowing through toll booths or will he fess up, apologize, and pay the fines?  We’ll see, but the outcome certainly doesn’t look good.

I’ll write more about the issues of co-dependency that I struggle with later.  There are many wonderful attributes about this man who I haven’t mentioned, and I wish to be fair.  However, I just really want to go have a smoke and go to bed.  I am fed up with myself.  I keep trying to find my happiness in the form of a human being.  In reality though, my heart knows that true happiness originates from a relationship with God and God alone.   I just wish that God would hold me with a  tangible set of arms.  He made me.  Doesn’t He understand my heart and that I want to be chosen and loved by a man?

My best friend, Addison and I constantly talk about how all these other women are married (except us).  We carry on and on about the subject noting that women with clubbed feet, missing teeth, and even those with body odor and swamp ass have husbands that truly love them.  When will God deem us worthy of having a husband?  What are we doing wrong?