Devil’s Playground

Go ahead! I dare you! I dare you to bust through my rib cage and grab my heart like a savage beast! I dare you to crack open my skull and massage my brain like a masterful brain surgeon. But my soul…I don’t dare you. That, that is the devil’s playground.

Devil’s playground is a place, my place, where dreams make or break my entire being. My heart and my mind are hard enough to get to. My soul is my gift to you, should you be deserving. Once you get into my soul, that is when you know I am yours, yours for the taking.

My soul has been bent, almost broken. It has been brutally abused, not just by my heart and my mind but by monsters…people who have promised to protect the triangle of mystery. It will take someone with a strong mind, skillful heart and talented hands to stitch, and heal, the devil’s playground.

Not strong enough? Walk away. Not ready? Don’t try. The devil’s playground is where my happiness and my misery battle each other day in and day out.

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Lost

The words to “Unsteady” by X Ambassadors are running through my brain at a high rate of speed. The words that slow down are: If you love me/ Don’t let go/ If you love me/ Don’t let go  Hold/ Hold on/ Hold on to me/ Cause I’m a little unsteady/ A little unsteady.

Everywhere I go, regardless of length of stay, I always do some soul searching. Now, is no different. I am starting to feel again…as in every damn emotion a human can possibly feel. Music moves my soul like it did years ago. How did I get to the point where I couldn’t even remember my soul?

Was all the pain over the last nine years that unbearable, that I chose to disconnect, unplug? All it took was one person…just ONE, to unleash the beast that has been in hibernation….only to go quietly into the night…never to be heard from again…

Yes, I feel like I am a little unsteady. My dreams are becoming more and more vivid. I need to pause. I need to reboot. I need to do something.

Maybe I do love too intensely. That is for me to decide.

Hurricane Matthew Strikes, AGAIN…

One would think it is bad enough losing material possessions, for whatever reason, including a natural disaster. It does suck, greatly. From what I was able to document, my daughters and I lost over $40,000 in our material possessions, in addition to our home, no thanks to Hurricane Matthew.

(By the way, I also work where we lived…or did)

I am not mad…not in the least bit. I am however, sad. I worked very closely with an amazing team where I worked. For them, I am forever grateful.

For three very long months, I worked with residents and the team to ensure everything was done by the books. I made a lot of friends. I also made some enemies, through no fault of my own….except maybe one, out of hundreds. I worked tirelessly to ease the anger and frustration of many residents. I cried with many of them. I put my own issues on the back burner to ensure I was there for them, 100%.

Many of the residents did not know I lived there. Those who did not know thought I was blowing a lot of smoke. Well, news flash…I was blowing as much smoke as a broken down steam engine, dead on it’s graveyard track.

I could have lashed out at them…yet, what would that have solved? Hate only breeds hate. Anger only breeds more anger. I chose to put my own feelings aside, allowing them all to bottle up, until I got home. I cried a great many tears, mostly behind closed doors.

I put on the façade to many that I was okay; that my girls were okay. We weren’t. We were devastated. Some days where better than others and many were worse. The worst days were when people questioned my morals…wanting to know why I was still working for the company. Why should I quit my job and protest when I have responsibilities to tend to? Why would I leave a company that has done more for the residents than most other companies would do for theirs?

Fast forward to today…

It has been over six months since Hurricane Matthew caused havoc and mayhem. We are closed for business until further notice. There are so many moving parts, my head is spinning! I just know great things are coming and the company is being quite proactive to ensure what happened does not happen again….or at least to the point where the damage is nowhere near as extensive.

My heart broke today, as the realization hit, that everything truly IS temporary. Unfortunately, my job has become another casualty of Hurricane Matthew. I am going to miss the people with whom I have worked. While it does suck, I have found so many positives.

I learned a lot about the business and most importantly, a lot about myself. I have grown in so many ways through everything these last few months. I have learned I do have patience…a lot more than what I give myself credit for. I do have a humanitarian side…I lost that part of me a long time ago, or so I thought. It’s there and it comes out from time to time.

I will take everything I have learned with me as I venture on to new beginnings. I don’t have time to be angry as it solves nothing. Really, I don’t have a reason to be angry…just sad because a natural disaster’s destruction does not stop right after it happens…it is the gift that can keep on giving…

One more thing…do not trash talk the company for which I worked. They are an amazing company and I am truly grateful for all they did for me as a resident. I could not have asked for anything more.

**Disclaimer: I started this in January. For whatever reason, it never published.**

 

 

 

Don’t wake me…

I am in a weird place…does this always happen when people approach 40 or is it just me? I’m single and while I enjoy it immensely, I miss companionship. I miss being able to connect with a man on a different level than with my girl friends. I miss the feeling of being safe. I miss the feeling of being a part of a ‘team.’

Being able to clean the house or cook dinner or do laundry while cutting up and carrying on with a partner, a boyfriend, a husband…I miss that. I miss the arguing and debates because we have differences of opinions.

I recently told someone I absolutely adore, that we are two souls dancing the tango in the night, full of passion and love, waiting for the moment when our souls become one. His response? Simply, “I love you, Erica.” That…that filled my soul. He did not run away or chastise me for being a “sap.” Others have and I shut down. Not this time. This man is different.

This man…I trust him with the darkest, deepest parts of me. He knows my secrets and I know his. I am scared. I don’t let people in that deeply nor do I do so with so much ease.

Too many have taken simple secrets and tried to destroy me with them. This man…He accepts all of me…my imperfections, my flaws, my strengths and my weaknesses. He never uses them against me. For that, I am grateful.

Will we ever be together? I don’t know. We want to be together. We enjoy each other’s company yet we both have things we need to work out in our own, separate lives.

Don’t wake me from this dream without making it a reality. I hope this man in my dreams becomes a part of my reality. He seems pretty amazing.

I don’t get it…Maybe I am not suppose to…

I will never understand people who stay in an unhappy, unhealthy relationship…especially those with children. I see it all the time, especially living in, or near, military dominated areas. It is a sad yet very real reality.

Parents in unhappy, unhealthy relationships, do you NOT realize you are harming your children? You may not see it right away, yet you are damaging them. Their young impressionable minds are seeing it is OKAY to stay in a relationship that is miserable. Do you want your children to end up in unhappy, unhealthy relationships? Do you want them constantly arguing, dealing with accusations of infidelity, coping with verbal and possibly physical abuse?

Yes, I get it. It is easier said than done. I have been there! I wasn’t married to the guy yet we have 2 beautiful daughters together. 3 years into our relationship, I had enough! I could no longer subject my girls to the physical and mental abuse being inflicted upon me. I could no longer take the abuse, either.

When are you going to say enough is enough? When are you going to stop thinking about yourself and think about your children?

Do not recite the excuse, ” I don’t know who I am without him/her.” Now is as good a time as any to find out who you are! A person does not define you. YOU define YOU! You don’t have a job and you need him/her for financial reasons? GET A JOB! STOP MAKING EXCUSES! Learn how to take care of yourself. Everything is temporary. Yes, EVERYTHING!

Suck it up, Buttercup!

 

What is this feeling?

I have been single for a year now. In that year, I have accomplished a great deal. I am a single mother working and studying hard to accomplish that American Dream that seems to elude so many. Life has been great…or so I thought.

Recently, I met someone. He is very attractive. Strangely, it wasn’t his looks that caught my attention. It was his intellect. I am still trying to wrap my head around this.

I have always been a shallow person, going for the hottest guy with the dumbest brain. All that got me was boredom and a deep sense of unhappy. What for? Having a failed marriage, and long term relationships, I realized intimidation is a factor. I have learned that many of the male species can’t handle intelligence and independence in a woman. I am not one to be controlled and I use my brain, quite well. (Don’t get me wrong, I do have my blonde moments and brain farts.)

Well, this man I have met is intriguing. He really seems like the whole package: ‘brains, brawn and ‘beauty.’ He is also a single father and firefighter/EMT. While being a firefighter/EMT is dangerous, it’s impressive and I have a lot of respect for him.

Now, I am trying to figure out what this is I am feeling. When I think about him, my heart races and skips beats. When we are hanging out, I become an idiot, for lack of a better term. I feel different. I feel…alive. It’s very scary, especially since we have only really known each other for about a week.

Yeah, I know, I have been single for a year and this could just be my body and mind reacting to male companionship. That may very well be and that’s ok. It’s all very confusing. This is not something I am used to. I was attracted to his intelligence before anything else. That NEVER happens. Like I said, I used to be shallow but this time, everything in me feels different.

Maybe I am not suppose to understand and just go with the flow of things. I am an emotional person…which is one of my downfalls. I am guarded and scared of the unknown. I just want to break free from the barriers with which I have surrounded my entire being.

UGH!

A Letter to Santa

Dear Santa,

I haven’t written you a letter since I was a little girl. I see different posts on Facebook of people wanting lavish and expensive things. I am not one of those people. I am writing for a different reason.

I can go on and on about what I WANT for Christmas this year. I can tell you there is more on my needs list, as well as my childrens’ needs list.

My children need a toy box. I can’t afford one and have been using an old laundry basket. I know you will be good to my children this year, along side my friends and family. I would like a toy box to accomodate all of the toys they will receive in addition to what they already have.

Aiyana, my 3 year old, would really like a nice gym bag to put her ballet things in. Again, I cannot afford to do so. It would be great for her to have one to keep her ballet things together in one place. She would also like a jogging suit or something similar to wear over her leotard and tights going to and coming from ballet class.

Aoife, my 1 year old, she is content with just about anything. She has taken a strong liking to baby dolls lately. Is there anything you can do to help with a soft baby doll for my baby?

As for me, my needs list seems forever long but it really isn’t. Santa, I need clothing. I am losing weight and can’t afford to replace what I have. I really want to look professional when I go to work but instead, I look frumpy and unkempt.

I don’t like to rely on others to help me in my time of need. Maybe it is my pride getting in the way. Maybe it’s because I care more about making sure my kids have a home to lay their heads, a bed to sleep comfortably, clothing to keep warm and food to keep healthy.

I would rather make sure I help others before I help myself. I know what it is like to be without. (My girls always come first.)

Santa, something I would love to do is start a non-profit organization for single parents and children that have suffered serious hardships to include homelessness, hunger, unemployment, illness and many other things life throws at them.

You know my story but no one else really knows, except those closest to me.

Here is why I would love to start a non-profit for single parents and children:

This time 2 years ago, my daughter Aiyana and I lived in a homeless shelter for 4 months. It was better than most. We lived in a townhome with other single mothers and their children. I couldn’t afford Christmas on what I was making. I was still on medical leave from work due to neck surgery. The little bit of income I had was from disability payments and state assistance for food. The shelter helped with Christmas presents and it was great.

At the end of the 4 months, Aiyana and I were fortunate enough to get into transitional housing. Last year, I couldn’t really afford Christmas either. Luckily, the organization that owns this house, helped with Christmas. I bought a few things and let some bills go.

During this time, I also received assistance for daycare in addition to food assistance.

Once I started my new job, I lost all my state assistance. I was told $36,000 a year was too much income to receive any aid. Bare in mind, this is based on gross income, not net. After taxes and health care, I bring home a little more than half of that a year.

This year, my dad and Linda helped the girls and me by purchasing a live Christmas tree, lights and ornaments. If they hadn’t, we wouldn’t have had a tree.

For Christmas this year, the organization helped again with Christmas presents. My ex-husband, Sherman, and his wife, Michellene, are also helping with Christmas.

As I type this out, tears are streaming down my face. I have definitelty made some huge accomplishments in the last two years. I have increased my income by almost triple, completed the first of 3 college degrees and have been raising my girls on my own with minimal help. I just feel like something is missing.

I feel like I should be paying forward all that has been done for the girls and me these last 2 years. It has been a struggle. (I have kept my situation in a nutshell.)

I want to help people that are struggling; those who feel like there is no way to get out of the hole. I want to mentor these people, support them on their journey to happiness. I want to reach out to anyone and everyone that is a single parent that feels like all hope is lost.

Maybe you aren’t the person I should be asking. Maybe it’s God. Either way, I need someone or a group of someones that are willing to help the community. I don’t want the ones who want to help because they are self righteous and are trying to get into heaven. I don’t want the ones who have never had to struggle hard.

I don’t want to do this for recognition. I get that enough because of school. I want to do this because it is time to pay it forward. No one should have to feel helpless or hopeless, EVER!

One more thing before I close this letter turned novel…

Santa,
Please make sure my mom and sister have a Merry Christmas. Please bring them something to raise their spirits. I don’t want them to go without anything either.

Thank you for taking the time to read this really long letter.

Forever believing in the spirit of Christmas,
Erica Evers