On the Blog Road: Original Bunker Punks

On the quiet morning I sat at my desk working and he entered my thoughts with dogged determination, I stopped what I was doing and started a search. My first stop (isn’t it always these days?) was Facebook and I found nothing. So I dug a little deeper, a special skill I have, and I found a list of men with his name and picked the one with the correct birth date. There was only one problem.

Today, the rest of the story is being told at Original Bunker Punks. I’d love to see you there.

Original Bunker Punks 300

Come As You Are

Every single relationship in my life for a solid decade was toxic. My relationship with my parents was always a best excuse for self-harm in the form of reckless abandon. My friends, which is a term I used loosely, were a means to an end. I used people for what they could offer me whether it be validation, consolation, or simply a place to party. Every day I chipped away a little more at the person I wanted to be, knew I could be, but didn’t believe I deserved to be.

The SisterWives


There have been a few moments in my life when I have found myself at a critical crossroad. I find myself asking myself the simple questions:

Are you happy?

Is it worth it?

Unfortunately, a few of those times landed right in the middle of an alcohol and drug addiction, when I was already living in constant moments of weakness and my self-esteem was in the toilet. And so, I often stayed at the metaphorical party too long and the damage became very close to catastrophic.

Several times.

I was married to a man I met in rehab when I was twenty one years old. He was tall, gorgeous, funny, and had all kinds of fucked up just simmering below the surface. I found him the perfect match to my own brand of crazy, also lying in wait and doing pushups, waiting for the day I opened the door and…

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To the Man Who Broke Me

I saw you.

Leaving the football field after a Sunday afternoon game, you were leaning into the back of a Jeep,

you still drive a Jeep

putting something in the back. I didn’t see what it was. All I saw were your eyes under the ball cap. The eyes that met mine for only a few seconds when you did a double take. Did you recognize me? Or did you just think I was pretty?

you did twenty five years ago

I knew it was you. It is very hard to forget the eyes of the man I once thought was the love of my life

you broke me

and ended up being the person I feared most in this world.

I don’t remember when the switch flipped and you started saying the most vile things to me, or the first time you hit me. I hated lying to people about the bruises, especially my own parents,

did they believe I really hit myself in the eye with the car door

but I did. Every time.

We should never have started drinking again. Life was good when we were sober. But then we were never sober and life was bad.

so very bad

I don’t know why you didn’t trust me. I don’t understand why you acted as if you hated me.

I loved you

Do you remember slamming my head into the dashboard,

I do

driving down the highway like a mad man, threatening to beat the shit out of me when we got home because it was what I deserved?

Do you remember screaming at me, so close to my face the hate in your spit burning my skin?

I do

Do you remember the day I left you?

I do

And still we continued with the insanity of coming and going, drinking and drugging, loving and leaving, both of us inflicting pain on one another, vengeful and sick. Until the day came when the papers were signed

the damage was done

and I was broken. I stayed broken for five years.

that felt like eternity

Did you recognize me?

I hope so

Did you see that I survived?

I thrived

The man walking next to me across the lot? He is the love of my life. He found me

and I found him

and taught me that love doesn’t hurt. It doesn’t leave bruises and it doesn’t bring shame.

this is what I deserve

These children walking with us? Yes, they are ours and they bring light to my life every single day.

no more darkness

As I stood at the open car door I looked up one last time and know I was not the only one broken.

I forgive you.


photo credit: Broken Heart via photopin (license)



Whenever you need someone
To lay your heart and head upon
Remember, after the fire, after all the rain
I will be the flame  ~ Cheap Trick

The first time I saw him I heard my soul quietly whisper,


Apart from that there was not much. There was no lightening strike or moving earth beneath my feet. No angels singing or alignment of the stars.

He was still married but in the process of divorce and I was still new at being sober. Between the two of us we had fairly negative opinions on matters of the heart. When I look back, I would swear we were a disaster waiting to happen.

It was an early Saturday phone call from a mutual friend inviting me to go jet-skiing with him and his roommate that brought us together.  I really didn’t want to go but we Floridians do love our water sports and the mid-August day was perfect for it after a long work week.

Knowing said mutual friend was interested in more than just friendship and since I was not even remotely interested in matches of any kind being made I didn’t do much to improve my appearance. I rolled out of bed, threw on some cut-offs over my bikini , pulled my hair into a ponytail, and waited for my ride.

Walking down the dirt path to the lake I was starting to feel a little more excited about being on the popular chain of lakes for the day. Our friend and I rounded the corner at the boat ramp and I looked several yards over at the roommate sitting on a jet ski in the middle of the lake.


That was August 18, 1997.

Obviously, he divorced and I managed to scrounge together a few more years of sobriety. We stayed together despite the odds, enjoying adventures I never thought I’d have and for the first time in my life I knew what love, all mixed up with respect, joy, laughter, comfort, and trust, felt like. No expectations. No violence. No conditions.

After three years, the man who told me he would never get married again stood with me, the girl who didn’t really care in the beginning…..until I did, under a willow tree at sunset and said, ‘I do.’ We have taken those vows very seriously, holding true to our word when we’ve had our share of better and worse, richer and poorer, sickness and health.

We lived within a few miles of each other our entire lives. We attended rival high schools with only a year between our graduations. We shared some of the same friends, went to the same drunken parties after football games. We drove the same streets, ate at the same restaurants. We circled each other, in the same orbit around the same sun, for years upon years.

We both had some tumultuous years before we met. There was alcoholism and addiction along with the chaos those things bring. There were bad marriages followed by bad divorces. There were lives up-ended and righted once more.

Only after the smoke cleared did we find the strength to heal and the power to transform our own lives. And only then did we meet in the middle.

The middle of a chain of lakes where today we take our kids tubing in the summer and, with a shared sideways smile, show them the exact spot where we first met. Maybe there were some odd goings-on with the angels and stars after all.

And after eighteen years, I still hear it.






photo credit: Hearts via photopin (license)