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The Journey of Healing: 8 Steps to Start your Journey

Unarmed and Unprepared: I walked into the counseling office this week unarmed and unprepared for attack.  It was my own fault, really. I’ve spent the week ticking off boxes on my own to-do list and working through my own junk with my own counseling and appointments that I honestly forgot to think about what I would be walking into at my daughter’s counseling appointment.  But, I survived. See, sometimes I forget that not everyone I come into contact with on a daily basis has walked through the last 18 months with me. I forget that some of the people I come into contact with have done nothing but stood back and judged me quietly, while others have openly condemned me, and still others don’t know what to think, say, or do with me.  I forget that my circle is small, and that those people in my circle are truly the only ones who know the intimate details of my journey. I forget the other people who cross paths with me on a daily basis probably wonder what I’ve been through, or if I’ve …
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Prodigals, Lost Sheep, and Misplaced Coins

But, Mommmmmm…. My older brother, Jeremy, had this obsession with unique vehicles when he was a teenager and throughout his early twenties.  He chose to buy some of the strangest cars and trucks. When he was still in high school, he bought this 1970s boat of a white Cadillac.  It was one of the biggest, ugliest, most impractical cars ever. But, he had the money, and he wanted it, so he bought it. And the trend only continued from there with his El Camino, Dodge Stealth, and Sporty S10--all completely impractical cars that our mother disapproved of and knew were far from his best choices.  But, she never tried to talk him out of his car choices or even make a case as to why he should be doing something differently. I think mom knew it would be a pointless argument to even attempt. I think she knew Jeremy well enough to know that he was determined to do what he wanted regardless of whether or not it was his best choice.  
And she knew he would continue to do it over and over again.

Little White Lies, Bold-Faced Lies, and Everything in Between

Unplugged: I grew up in the 80s and 90s.  There was no such thing as “screen time” when I was a kid because by the time our dial-up internet connected and we were welcomed by AOL, we had forgotten why we were even staring at the screen! The longest we ever spent on the computer was to attempt to travel the Oregon Trail without dying of Dysentery!  
BP (Before Prison), I don’t think I would have even entertained the idea of being unplugged or disconnected.  So much of our lives are dependent on or driven by being plugged in and connected. Seriously, think about how many times you google something in a day!  What was life even like before we had unlimited information at our fingertips? What did we do when we actually had to talk to each other face to face, when we had to rely on passing notes in middle school, and when we didn’t have social media to convey a picture perfect life?
Prison was like returning to life in the 80s and 90s in so many ways.  There were no cell phones, no Google, …

It’s Not Your Job to Punish Me

And, God said, “Mow Thy Grass” You know those people who just thrive on awkward situations?  The ones who find some sense of joy and weird adrenaline rushes from the strangest, most uncomfortable situations on the planet?
Yeah, I’m not one of those people
In fact, I hate awkward situations.  I suck at small talk; I laugh awkwardly at the most inopportune times, and I avoid confrontation like the plague.  So, you can imagine the absolute dread overwhelming me as I walked into a counseling session with my daughter knowing my ex-husband who isn’t exactly on the most stellar terms with me right now would be sitting in the waiting room with us.  
The first few minutes of the afternoon went about as I had expected--a door slammed in my face, no words exchanged, etc, etc.  And, then, the dreaded point in the afternoon where our daughter went in with the counselor by herself, leaving the two of us seated together on a way too small couch in the waiting area.  
I picked up a magazine and began thum…

Bitter or Better?

Orange is, in Fact, NOT the New Black
I walked into a birthday party a few days after getting out of prison, only to be met with shock--not because I was there, but because I was there and looked like a normal human being.  These were people I have known my whole life, and the consistent theme of the night was, “you look so good.” To be completely honest with you, I didn’t really think that much of it during the evening.  No, it wasn’t until I walked into church the next morning and again was met with the same looks of shock and the same comments of, “wow, you look so good.” Now, by this point, I have to admit, I started to get a bit of a complex.  I was definitely wondering how terrible I must have looked before I went to prison for everyone to be so amazed at the fact that I am tan, healthy, and rested!  

And then it hit me.
People were amazed at how I looked because, in reality, we have no idea what prison is actually like!  We know what tv and the media tell us prison is like, but,…

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