All in the View

Published April 7, 2017 by lynn k scott

Daniel Angeles:  an artist, my (writing) muse, my friend.

This particular piece will highlight some of his work as it pertains to my life.  Dan has an uncanny talent for painting what people are feeling.  His vision, brought to life with strokes of a paint brush and water colors that in turn, revive memories, elicit emotions and can put feelings into perspective.  I know my world wouldn’t be as bright or beautiful without Dan in it.

So the journey with paintings begins…

all better bearThe “It Will Get Better Bear”.  While I knew Dan prior to his drawing this piece for my sister, Kathi, after her breast cancer diagnosis, I never fathomed it would become her memorial tattoo or the face of the Kathi Cares Program.  This simple teddy bear, meant more than words could adequately express to Kathi, my mom and to me.  Again, THANK YOU, Dan!

I can’t speak to Dan’s motivation as to how his thoughts transcend the mental plane and make their way to canvas, but he creates such works that one can’t help but take a “Trip Down Memory Lane.  Trip Down Memory LaneLooking at his work, you see your past, the memories become vivid. Painful or joyful, the feelings return as the mind wanders to a place in time that is just for you.

Sometimes you have to do what you have to do to get by.  I know as I have grown older, moved across the country, remarried, buried my father,  sister and mother, I am constantly evolving.  Sprouting New BeginningsIt seems I am always “Sprouting New Beginnings”.   When I feel my life is turning upside down, when I am having a bad day, perhaps even slumped down on the hall closet floor, having a good cry, it’s not long before I feel the bloom of life opening the a new chapter on my life.

My mom installed a love a reading in her children. Artwork depicting books in different facets speaks volumes to me.  There are times that I am literally Turning the Page“Turning The Page” in my personal book of life.  I have seen the personal growth in myself over the last several years.  Life sometimes has a way of making you experience what you never contemplated.  I can’t say I have had the best reactions to what I have endured.  Weather the StormI can say I have grown and I do my best to see the positives in situations now.  It’s all about how you “Weather the  Storm”.  This one made me smile in particular.  I swear, it’s lucky I’m a verbal alcoholic, because if I drank every time I said I would, my liver would not be happy with me.  But a few times, yes, a glass of wine has helped me through some rough times.  Ok, it took the edge off til I was ready to deal with whatever it was.

I know that there is still much more to experience.  I know my trials are not over.  There will be more to deal with.

Counting the DaysI am “Counting the Days” until I am able to finally meet the man who has brought me endless smiles and plenty of (happy) tears.  Who made my sister feel special and loved with the drawing of bear.  “The Burning Question” will be what will I ask Dan to paint for my 50th birthday.  I will be treating myself to my own very own Dan Angeles painting. Actually, I have already decided on a topic.  It will be up to Dan if he is able to display my request in watercolor:  “The Impact of Friendship“.

“Underneath It All”, I cannot imagine my life without Dan.  I’ve said it before, but my life wouldn’t be complete without his amazing artwork, his support and his thoughtful words.  My heart will forever harbor a special place for such a caring soul.

Underneath it all

Breaking the Cycle is Painful

Published April 3, 2017 by lynn k scott

As a survivor of domestic violence, the effects can continue years later after the abusive relationship has ended; especially, if children are involved.  This recounting may seem a bit rushed, however, it would turn into a book if I added the overwhelming details of the hell that was my life.

I am struggling, almost 20 years later, to quell the ghosts of my past and break the cycle of abuse.  I have four children from a previous marriage and I rarely speak of them, with the exception of the oldest, because I’ve been kept from them.  Their father has basically convinced them I decided not to be a mother any more and that’s why I left.  As if!

I spent six long years in a very abusive and escalating marriage.  I married young, had low self-esteem and had four children in six years.  I was verbally, financially, mentally and physically abused.

I actually didn’t realize I was a battered wife, until I took a college psychology course and we covered domestic violence and “The Cycle”.  I was learning about my life.  It was mind-numbing at the time.  My life could have been a case study in my psych book.  Talk about mind-blown!

I was typically cut off from friends and had little contact with my family.  I had no money of my own and had to ask permission to buy anything.  I couldn’t go out alone, without permission and needed to be home when expected or I would be in trouble.  Even certain songs, such as Wilson Phillips, “Hold On” or Ace of Base, “The Sign”, were off limits. Walking on egg shells was my life.  I tried to be perfect so I wouldn’t get in trouble. Such a fallacy in that train of thought.

Pretty stupid…didn’t even know I was being abused.  I thought it was normal for the husband to get mad at his wife for not cleaning the house at 8-months’ pregnant.  After all, if I hadn’t been so lazy, I would have had dinner ready for him after working so hard all day.  When he lost jobs, it was because I had bugged him at work. I deserved the screaming, beratement, bruises, slaps, and hair pulling.  I believed him when he said he was sorry for throwing a baby rattle at my thigh so hard it swelled around the impact site (just one of many examples).

Years later, I did journal about my existence and the horror story I was living. I was good at keeping this horrific secret.  The only way my family found out was because we had stayed with them briefly and I forgot to take my notebook out from under the mattress.  I learned to hide my journaling because it made my ex-husband angry to see in writing what he was doing to me.

Over the years the violence increased.  We tried marriage counseling.  That led to separate counseling sessions.  In turn, it led to the doctor telling me to keep a bagged packed at all times, because my ex-husband was a ticking time-bomb.  He told me I was in danger.  Funny how the mind tricks us into thinking we can handle certain situations. Even after he attempted to smother me, twice, I stayed.  He denies that fact, but it did happen.

Can I remember everything that happened to me?  No.  Why?  I was diagnosed with Battered Women’s Syndrome when I was hospitalized for depression.  To this day, almost twenty years later, I believe my ex-husband to be a mortal threat to me.  So many memories are gone.  I remember bits and pieces.  I hardly any happy times even though I know there were some. I’ve even forgotten some of the precious memories I had of when my children were small.

I do remember one Christmas Eve that my mom called.  She called to tell me my ex-husband had been arrested for attempted murder.  He had beaten a woman he knew, in the face, with a BRICK!  What started it?  She owed him $50.00.  WOW!  That was worth disfiguring her, a long recovery and incompetent police work that led to a whopping “E” felony (the lowest felony charge).

Ironically, I remembering being happy.  For the first time, I felt safe and I was already 3,000 miles away from him.  Oh, I didn’t mention that, did I?

Through a serious of what can only be described as a family court circus, my ex-husband gained custody of our children.  Back then, police reports covered nothing.  I was “mistaken” about the abuse.  “He wouldn’t do that”, an officer had told me regarding my unlawful imprisonment (in my own home).  After all, I had been in the ‘psycho ward’ at one point.  I wasn’t reliable to know what I was suffering at his hands. The police were good about discussing my hospitalization in hushed tones.  They ate up every word of his charismatic lies.

The time came, many years later, when I left under the cover of darkness; before the morning sun came up.  My mom was with me at Greyhound.  She was the only person who knew I was leaving the state; headed for California.  At least California took a stance on domestic violence.  New York didn’t even have stalking laws back then.  Lucky for him; bad for me.  It was legal to terrorize someone and those who did it; knew it!

Fast forward several years.  I learned to be independent.  Learned I could have a healthy relationship and I didn’t need to be beaten or abused to be “kept in line”.  Learned I didn’t need to have permission to go have a drink with my coworkers.  That took years of asking my then boyfriend (now husband), if “it was ok”.  It took constant reminders from him saying, “you don’t need to ask my permission”.

I eventually remarried and had my fifth child; his first.  I needed to prove to myself I was not a horrible mother.  I needed to know I could take care of a baby; that I wasn’t worthless as a woman.  That there was a man out there who wanted me; damaged as I was, with four children.

I hid my youngest daughter’s birth from my other children; after they started speaking to me again.  They were living with my mom because my abusive ex-husband followed me to California; luckily he went South and I was up North.

I was afraid the kids wouldn’t understand about their half-sister.  When they found out, they didn’t.  I started a new family without them.  I couldn’t disagree.  I didn’t set out to. Over the years, my oldest son, was the only one to really engage me.  My other children were awarded back to my ex after he was released from prison.  He had rights after all. Who cares a psychiatrist said my oldest daughter, who was my spitting image, was in danger of being abused because she looked like me.  The courts sure didn’t.  Way to go there law guardian.  I think he forgot he was assigned to look out for the welfare of the children…I digress…

The court was the only blinded fools who could not see my ex-husband gained custody to make me pay support.  The kids never saw the money.  Never saw the hell he put me through.  Never saw me struggle to eat with unrealistic support payments. New York makes the non-custodial parent pay til the children are 21.  That finally ends this year. However, the on-going circus that is family court, is a punitive place.  There is no justice for the children.  There is only name-blaming and punitive-ordered support.  It would have been an undue burden to prove my youngest son was still in school.  He quit and has been working for over a year.  Oh, he’s getting married too.  That will disqualify my ex from support.  My other son moved out, which would have done away with that support, except my ex-husband failed to legally report it to the court; and of course, no repercussions there.  Let’s not talk about the $3,000.00 in braces I am paying for that were never put on my daughter.  Family court…the biggest joke in the free world!

Another time hop to the present where my oldest child is about to be a father any day now.  Sadly, he believes I am not entitled to be alerted before the rest of Facebook.  I apparently, have some misconstrued entitlement issues, simply because I’m his mother. Insert where I didn’t get to speak to him for 10 years and hid the fact he had a sister. Where because of my status, as his mother, I’m not facing the hard truth about my past. He insists on “keeping it real” for me.

His reality has never seen me sink to the floor in the closet, while trying to get to work, questioning what I could have possibly done to be treated so horribly.  Question why my ex was allowed to go unpunished for all his misconceptions.  I know he committed disability fraud, but proving it was another story.  No one wants to stand up to him.  He is the perfect abuser and loves his “authority”.

I honestly had thought my son and I were beyond this.  He retains his passive-aggressive nature and he is verbally and mentally abusive to me.  He cannot see he treats me the same way his father did.  He has never hit me, but he prefers to cut me with words and will wait for them to heal before he begins again.  While I love all of my children, with all of my heart, I will not allow the cycle to continue!

I have set boundaries.  I am of worth.  I am entitled to respect.  It’s hard when you need to force that lesson upon your child(ren).  We should be celebrating a very exciting chapter in his life.  Yet, he chooses to “allow” me crumbs of his existence and I am not a charity case. He has no idea the true trauma I have experienced.  He has no idea how many memories I have lost due to abuse.  He has no idea what I have gone through.  If he feels he is entitled to judge my actions, I pray he never has to make life-altering decisions where his family is concerned.  You see, had I not boarded that bus all those years ago, his anger wouldn’t be aimed at me.  He sorrow would be visible as he shared his life achievements at my grave.

Please help break the cycle.  Share this story.  Share your story.  Silence is the enemy.

 

And the Oscar goes to….

Published March 27, 2017 by lynn k scott

If you’re a parent of a preteen or a teenager, esp. if she’s a girl, then you are probably used to theatrics on some level.  I swear to you, my 11-year old has a movie career just waiting for her to embrace.

It turns out, a friend and mom, of a preteen boy, found this app, called, “Teen Safe”.  I actually chose to go with MMGuardian Parental Control.  In essence, it turns the cell phone into a paper weight; for whatever hours you choose.  I admit it, I should be better about app searching, because I LOVE this idea.

When my daughter and husband returned home last night, I told them about this wonderful app.  Ok, I thought it was wonderful.  The look of horror on my daughter’s face summed up how great this app truly is going to be.  I suppose I took a bit too much pleasure in her thought of not being able to access her phone for a set number of hours.  To be fair, she should be sleeping when the hours are in effect anyway.

After the look of shock, she sank to her knees, called me a demon and began to contemplate the impending “lock down” of her precious phone.  Now if you recall, she currently attends a small, private, Christian school. Suddenly, she jumps up, runs out the door, but not before uttering, “May the power of Christ repel you!”

I almost busted out laughing.  I’m a demon in need of an exorcism apparently.  All for making sure she gets a good night’s sleep without cellular distraction.  After the amusement wore off, I thought to myself, “well, at least I’m getting my money’s worth (for her school)”.

All in all, I was quite proud of myself.

Yet, the Oscar goes to…

Her First Date

Published March 19, 2017 by lynn k scott

Yesterday was a big day in the life of my daughter.  In addition to it being opening weekend for the movie, “Beauty and the Beast” (which I highly recommend seeing), it was also the day my daughter had her first “date”.

You might be wondering why I would put “date” in quotation marks.  Well, it’s simple, really.  My daughter and her “boyfriend” are both 11 years old.  Yes, you read the correctly; 11 years old.

No this isn’t the days of yesteryear, no I’m not accepting her dowry just yet, so let me explain.  My daughter, better known as “the lil miss”, on social media, has known this boy for several years and they are friends.   Just a couple weeks ago, he got the nerve to ask her to be his “girlfriend”, via note.  She accepted.

Part of the reason, we, the parents are indulging this a bit more, is because, her boyfriend’s family will be PCSing (military move), across the country, in a few months’ time.  While they will keep in touch, we know not much will progress further than this “date”.

The other mom and I, who are also friends, always joked, they would be each other’s first date and they would go to the movies.  Little did we know, her son would get the courage to admit he liked my daughter, and that my daughter would reciprocate the same for him.

Seeing as they are moving, which is breaking my heart at losing another friend, I asked if they had planned on seeing Beauty and the Beast; as I was planning on taking my daughter.  We agreed that would be a good idea and give us more time to spend together before the impending move made it more difficult to have free time.

We agreed to meet for lunch, because her boyfriend originally wanted to take her out for a steak dinner.  His mom talked him into pizza.  Good thing too.  One, it’s too pricey for this type of first date and two, my daughter doesn’t like steak.  lol

Both families arrived at the pizza place.  The boy presented my daughter with a single, long-stemmed, red rose, with a yellow ribbon and a small teddy bear.  He told my daughter, he got her a rose because that’s the type of flower in the movie they would be seeing.  Insert *AWE* right here.  The young couple sat at their own table, while both sets of parents and his sister sat and had their lunch two tables away.       20170318_191547.jpg

Lunch finished and we all drove to the theater.  Let me tell you, when they anticipated, “Beauty and the Beast” being a huge hit, they weren’t wrong.  All I can say is, “Thank you, Fandango”!  We arrived over an hour early and it was still packed.  My daughter’s date was given some money so he could purchase their concession items by himself.  Luckily, I was there to give an alternative drink option to the requested slushie, as the machine was out of order.

The kids sat by themselves and the rest of the families sat together.  It was cute.  They had their space, but not even hand-holding occurred.  Everyone had a great time and some memories were made.

While I believe 11 is a bit young to date, there are dating rights of passages that inevitably will come.  We, the parents, are teaching our respective children what to expect on this highly chaperoned “date”: thoughtfulness, courtesy and respect topping the list.

After it was over, my daughter and I discussed the day.  I let her know, that while she wouldn’t be doing much of this anytime soon; esp. after they move, that this was they way she should expect to be treated for all her dates.

In a world where are kids are growing up so fast, I am more than willing to do a bit of hand-holding and overseeing certain areas of my daughter’s growth.  I don’t want her to be naive, but proper exposure is a good thing.

Her first boyfriend

Published March 10, 2017 by lynn k scott

Yesterday, my daughter and I stopped by my friend’s house for a little visit after work.  Our lives will forever be changed after what transpired there.

My friend is an Air Force veteran, and her husband is still active duty Air Force.  In a few short months, they will PCS clear across the country.  I will deeply miss my friend, but onto what happened.

They have a son, just six months older than my daughter.  They met several years ago and their friendship has grown.  Her son recently “discovered” and able to admit, he likes my daughter.  This past Tuesday, he wrote her a letter, and last night, he gave it to her.  Both of them were smiling ear-to-ear.  She had to circle ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to something he had asked her…

“Do you want to be my girlfriend?”

Today his mom posted this on Facebook, as it’s a pretty special thing for us parents too; our children’s first crush (and with each other):

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Last night a sweet, scared, boy gave this beautiful girl a note and she checked “girlfriend.” Her mom and I have known for years that this day would come, but sat back and waited for them to figure it out. We will go as a group to see Beauty and the Beast, and let them sit in front of us and spend time together. I am so sad that we will have to leave this family. But I am glad that she is his first “real girlfriend.” It seems like yesterday that they were sitting on the swings playing with chickens. It has been great to watch this sweet friendship bloom into something more.

Where did the time go that she is old enough to have a crush on someone?  My baby is growing up.  This will be her first time dealing with a PCSing family.  She is a bit used to not having her Army brother around, but she hasn’t lost a close friend to a move yet.

Emails have been exchanged and phone calls are doable.  If her brother moves back to his first house in a couple years, we’ll be able to visit him and our friends at the same time, as they will be in the same state.

Life brings so many special people into our lives.  Some touch our hearts more than others.  She’ll always remember the first boy who asked her to be his girlfriend.

Golden State Mopars!

Published March 9, 2017 by lynn k scott

challenger

I live in the “Golden State”, better known as California.  While I happen to reside midway between Sacramento and San Francisco, the Golden State Mopars, extend the length of the state.  20170309_150209.jpg

Who are the Golden State Mopars?  Simply put…they are a great group of men and women, who own Mopars and are part of a car club.  If you’ve ever seen this on your door or windshield, or maybe even been handed one it means, “you’ve been carded”.

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Most of the group hangs out on Facebook.  If you’d like to connect to the group, just click the GSM group page.

This was taken from their Facebook “About” section:

Bringing Mopar Enthusiasts Together, Turning Friends Into Family…

Golden State Mopars is a car club for you. We love Challengers, Chargers, 300’s, Magnums, Vipers, old school Mopar Muscle, Trucks, Darts and anything SRT. Stock or highly modified, we like them all… We do cruises, meets, mod days, BBQs and other family friendly events. All we ask is that you are respectful and participate.

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Facebook limits the invites we can send out to club members, so we can’t send invitations to everyone. However, ALL club members are welcome to any event hosted by Golden State Mopars. Our events are fun, relaxed and family friendly, come have fun and meet new friends.

I’m not a car person and I’m the first to admit it.  I’m the woman at a car show that walks past a car, says, “nice” and moves on.  My husband on the other hand, will get down on his hands and needs to check out the undercarriage, has to see the motor and might engage the owner in a conversation about the car.  Oh boy, when that happens, my eyes roll and look for someplace to buy a drink.  LOL

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That being said, this car club has a lot of “meet-ups”.  If you’re available, you attend the events you’d like to go to; however, it’s not required.  While Mopar cars are the focus of the group and they are what brings everyone together initially, it can definitely be extended to a car family and support system.

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We help each other with car issue recommendations (well, I don’t on those; you really don’t want me to either; trust me).  We celebrate engagements, births of the next generation of Mopar afficiondos, and well as the times that life presents challenges that may be a bit harder to handle.  We get together for car shows, BBQs and pool parties.

All in all, it’s a great car club.  Whether you have a Mopar daily driver, show car, or a “mom” (or “dad”) car, we’d be happy to have you!

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AAY: Totes and More

Published March 9, 2017 by lynn k scott

As I have mentioned, there are constant promotions going on with All About YOU. Tomorrow (3/10/17, 9 p.m., Central time), the 20% off totes code expires.  So, if you’re in the mood for a new tote, want some on hand for gifts, etc. head on over to the online store.

Additionally, the opportunity to join All About YOU, for free, has passed.  However, right now, you can join as an affiliate for just $1.00!!!

http://www.allaboutyougifts.com/#shopping4giftsbunnies

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