Friday, August 27, 2010

the process....27 August 2010

There are very few times in my life that I can remember going through
something so emotionally trying, as what I have put myself through over
the last year.

My first Divorce - was pretty painful. It was not my choice, although,
obviously I learned how to accept it and move on.

A relationship that was so powerful, so emotional, and helped me thru
some pretty traumatic times in my life - painful loss.. but, it was his
loss - so I later learned - as I discovered he was not faithful at any
point in our relationship.

It's always easier - in a sense - to be the one to leave. To be the one
that left. The sense of loss is not nearly as great - as when you have
the rug pulled out from under you, with no idea it was coming.

I've been on both sides of the fence. I have experienced the loss in
such a way that I wouldn't have fathomed was possible. I sunk to a new
low, as in depression. I fell on my face so hard I was unable to get up
for days. My children had to watch their mother curled up on a couch for
4 days, refusing to eat, sleep, drink - just cry. I then held on for
dear life to some resemblance of something, some small part of a
connection as possible, only furthering my loss - only enhancing the
emotional pain I allowed myself to suffer.

Not only has it been teaching me about myself - my limits, it has taught
me about my actions, as well. How I hurt someone, by doing the same
thing. Kharma really is a bitch - and at some point in your life, when
you don't even understand what is going on, you will look back and
remember - and realize... Kharma found you.

At one point in my life the song I'm Moving On had great meaning for me.
It inspired me to write, and write, and write - until I could write no
more and I felt this great emotional release. I felt as if that 5000 lb
elephant had been lifted and I was free again.

Things I discovered about myself as my life progressed, as I matured,
and things I kept buried for many years surfaced, leading me to look for
closure in nearly the same way as I am doing now..

Maybe that is what I am trying to do now. Purge. Write, until I feel
the same release. Write until I hurt no more. Write to make it easier -
to let it go.

Usually pain provides a drive I never thought possible. I move passed
it with a renewed dedication to accomplish something.. Something else to
focus on. Something to distract my heart, my mind and my thoughts.

I am taking that with me here. I am trying to take the negative energy
and put it towards something positive.
That is exactly what I am starting today.

Today I approached my Colonel with a new idea for a USFOR-A Casualty
Training Team - Theater Wide. (Thanks to the Navy and all their
Training I am putting together training material,
references, and will be hitting the road. I will travel to all Casualty
Teams in Afghanistan - Training them on Casualty Reporting. Face to Face
visits, Teleconferences and Training Team Assist Visits. Then, sometime
later this year or early next I will be traveling to Ft Jackson South
Carolina to Train the Trainers on Casualty - so that all personnel
coming into theater for this particular job - are trained appropriately.

Maybe its not the answer. Maybe I should be sitting alone, thinking
about everything I've done, everything that has happened, why I am where
I am at today - but for me - I can only view that as prolonging my
pain.. prolonging the hurt - Letting it go, removing it from my life,
and moving forward has proven to be the only answer to a situation like
this. One day, I will go back to it - and have great memories, and
think about the great things I accomplished and experienced during those
years - for now, those thoughts simply twist a knife further into my
heart, so I would rather pick up a new project - and run with it. That's
my goal.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

The Healing Process - 25 Aug 2010

I finally did it tonight.
I can't say that I feel any better yet, as the pain is stil searing thru my heart.
After almost a year, I let go of the final piece that was holding me back from a full recovery.
For those of you that know what I am talking about, you will be semi laughing saying "it's about time"

For so long my heart has been broken...
It has suffered regularly for the sake of my emotions....
What I didn't realize was that my emotions were not getting any better either...
No matter how much I tried to convince myself otherwise

This is the next phase in my recovery plan...
Taking my heart back...setting it free from the prison I have kept it in
Unlocking the the locks that's have been chained around my heart for so long
I have been a prisoner of my own demise
I let my heart suffer
Why? I don't know..maybe I felt like I deserved it
Maybe I felt like it was payback for the pain I may have caused
Or kharma for exact pain I suffer now...that I inflicted on someone else,
that only wanted to love me

I dont know why my heart has allowed this to continue..
But I knew the day would come where I would have to admit ..and it's long overdue..
But it's time to move on
I was holdin on to something that would never be
I was holding on to something that never was

I know, in my brain, time heals all wounds
I know now that no matter how hard you try
Only time will mend the broken peices

One day I will be able to look back with fond memories without the pain it now causes to think about it

When you lose someone you love..they say it's like a death in the family
I have experienced both and can say that what I have experienced this year was a prolonged funeral

Friendships are formed, bonded, grown, and possibly flowered into something quite beautiful
But they do not work the same in reverse
I am discovering the truth inside myself
Did I really deserve it
Why would I put myself thru it, if I didn't believe that
How can I of all people believe that
I am an independent strong willed confident woman,
Yet, apparently on the inside, I was an insecure little girl, punishing myself far beyond my dues

After many months and much support I have cut that string, and hit "send"

The moment I did, I thought I was going to be sick
I felt the pain rush back, the loss, the hurt,the ache
But I also felt a sense of relief a sense that now, I can move forward
My heart can finally heal
As it is right now, is in no shape for anyone else to see

I am not proud of the length of time it took me to do what was right fo me, yet even still I tried to make excuses for why I should delay
But, wisdom prevailed...thanks to my friends...and family...

So now what?
now I all myself one last grieve for the full loss my heart is now experiencing..
One last cry for the sadness that overcomes me, marking the end of this chapter
And preparing me for the next

Monday, August 23, 2010

Parenting from Afar

This is how you parent from afar.... LOL
New Rules...

To the kids...

So, I have done a lot of thinking, and there are some things that need
to change and some things that I want to remind you of, that I will be
asking Grandma and Papa to enforce.

I will just make a list.. we will go from there..

(1) No more Mature Rated games... it just facilitates too many bad
habits from older kids, that I don't want you to be influenced by.
You have plenty of games, and options - those 1 or 2 games aren't going
to kill you..

(2) No more all day on computer/xbox.. even if you don't anymore.. MAX
time is 1 hour - kinda aligned with Tylor's rule for himself..
That was a very good rule to go by..
You guys don't need to spend all day couped up on a computer/xbox..
There are plenty of other things to do..

(3) I want you all to start reading.. or continue reading.. You should
make a trip to the library with Gram and Papa (when they can) and have
atleast 1-2 books (CHAPTER BOOKS) that you are interested in. You need
to read. Get used to it. It will enhance your vocabulary and keep you
ready for school and all the reading you will have to do. This reading
should be for pleasure. When all else fails and you have NOTHING to do,
you should have a book to turn to.

(4) Boys - Although sleeping in one another's room is not a big deal (for the two
of you) - on school nights, you need to learn how to sleep on your own.
This is to ensure you get good nights sleep.. in your own bed.. so you
are ready for school the next day.

(5) COMMUNITY SERVICE - you will ALL start doing something for others.
At least once a month - you will find something to do for someone else..
whether it be habitat for humanity, helping at a homeless shelter,
something. I want you to experience doing something for others..
thinking of someone else and seeing what life is really like out there -
it will help you appreciate what you do have and that you have it much
better than most. Community Service is a great way to give back to the
community - believe me when I tell you, it will make your heart feel
good when you accomplish this and see the appreciation on someone else's
face for what you did for them. Be creative. Grandma and Papa - I
know this is a little more activity, but hopefully you can help them
facilitate ideas, and trips to make this happen. Kids - once a month.
And once you have completed your 'project' your assignment is to write
down in a journal or letter to me, what you did, how it made you feel,
how it made others feel and what you feel you got out of it. This is
for every time you do it. Now, I said at a minimum once a month - if
you guys can do more, that is great. BUT at a minimum once a month -
something. Ask Grandma and Papa for ideas if you can't figure it out.

(6) Bed times, Everyone will have bed times. EVERYONE. Katrina, this
is to include you. Your grades sucked last year. You will have a bed
time until you can prove that you can keep your grades up. School is
going to be harder and get harder for everyone. You all need your rest.
Boys, your bed time will remain the same as it was just before school
got out. WITH A TWIST. 830 at night.. you will be in your beds,
laying down reading or winding down to TV. 9 PM all lights/TVs go out.
That means have your teeth brushed, last water drink all of that by 830
at night. There will be no up and down.
830 pm - quiet time for you... Sleep time at 9. Katrina - 930PM in your
room, for quiet time. 10PM lights out. This means no computer,
texting, only TV or a book. ALL OF YOU- your phones will be placed on
the island at night before you go upstairs to bed. This will alleviate
any temptation to text into the wee hours of the night or beyond bed
time. You may not like my rules, but you will follow them. I trusted
you last year, Katrina, and did not give you a bed time, but your grades
SUCKED. Until you can prove otherwise, this will be your bedtime. I
will keep tabs on your grades and adjust when I feel it warrants it.

(7) Phone time - when I call, that is MY Time. You will make time for
me. If we have nothing to say to one another - then we will keep it
short. But I feel like I get the short end of the stick when I call you
and you are too wrapped up in other stuff to talk to me. Again, if
there is nothing to say, we will say hi, I love you and cut it short -
but give me the common courtesy of making 5 minutes of time for me. I
deserve that. When I call, when we talk, we will rotate on who gets to
talk to me first/last. This will be a rotation. No one gets "last
dibs" "first dibs" - Each of you are just as important to me as the
other - therefore, to make it fair, we will rotate on who talks

(8) CLEAN up your own messes. You are all big enough to clean up after
yourself. This includes your bathroom. Keep it tidy. Germs spread
easy, the more you clean up after yourself, the less likely to spread
germs and its just common courtesy to everyone.

(9) HELP Grandma & Papa - not just when they ask - but if you see
something needs to be done, do it. They shouldn't have to do everything
around there, NOT SAYING that you don't help.. this is just a friendly

(10) GAME NIGHT - with Granma & Papas help.. see if you can set up a
weekly family night. I think you might already but if not, do so. You
guys figure it out. Take turns deciding what you will do. But once a
week should be a family fun night.. (I'm not just talking movie night..)
That again, will be at Grandma & Papas discretion too, but you all need
to talk about it and figure out a good night, and a good rotation for
who gets to decide what game that night.. each of you will participate.
Just because you don't get to choose the game that night, doesn't mean
you don't have to participate.

(11) NO sass. DO not complain to me about Grandma and Papa.. I am
telling you now, they are enforcing MY RULES. THINGS have changed guys
and you will do as I say. They have not been unreasonable with you -
they want to have fun with you. It sucks that they have had to be seen
as the "bad guy" in this - but NO MORE. I am telling you now - that is
why I am sending this out. I have created rules. Most of these I
haven't talked to them about yet, but I want you to hear this from ME.
When you don't like something - blame it on me. I WILL NOT allow you to
play me vs them. I MADE the rules. You don't like them, you can
complain to me.. but it won't do you any good.. These are the rules.

You are each tasked with coming up with rules for the house to add to these.
Have Grandma email them to me, and I will incorporate them on this list
of house rules.

(12) IT never hurts to ASK. The worst anyone can say is NO. But at
least you will have tried. If you want to do something or you need
something , or you have an exception to the rule question - DON'T JUST
ASSUME that I or Grandma & Papa will say NO. Ask. You can't complain
about something - if you haven't even asked. BTW - you will NOT ALWAYS
Get what you want, when you want it. PERIOD. That's life, get used to
it. Sometimes you will be able to do or get something you want..
sometimes you won't.

(13) IF YOU leave the house - Grandma or PAPA MUST know where you are
at. You will check in every hour (I had to as a kid too..) this is to
ensure your safety.

(13) NO LYING about ANYTHING. You word is on your HONOR. If you have NO
HONOR - you will not be trusted and have NO freedoms. This goes for all
of you. I have lived with blinders on... That has been proven. NO MORE. NO
LYING. PERIOD. It is much easier to come clean. Then to drag it out with
a lie. Seriously, copping to something will get you less trouble.. then lying

THOSE ARE MY RULES. I will find out if Grandma and Papa have anything to
add.. but that is it. Follow those rules and life will be simple and
You want to complain about my rules - complain to me. BUT I'm telling
you now - they are not changing. These are basics.. very basics.. You
have it good. Be grateful. It could be worse.. much worse.. and I
promise you this.. I CAN GET MUCH worse. Don't make me. It would be
taking away from the good times Grandma and Papa want to have with you.

I love you all with all my heart.


Friday, August 13, 2010

Friday the 13th of August

I guess its been almost a week since I have written... its been a little busy - more in my personal life, than in work (fortunately).

This week started the month long holiday of Rammadan, so I am hoping this means that my work will be slow. We'll see.

The kids made it home Tuesday and are doing fine. Its an adjustment for everyone, including my parents, and I think they are starting off just fine. As always, they do adjust and life becomes simple again, as simple as it can be..more routinish.. if that makes sense.

The load on me has slowed down a bit. I am about 95% done with populating the database...
BUT everytime I get done... the Deputy thinks of a new field to add (to track) and then that starts the whole process all over again...

I havent had much time for me lately.. but today I took a me day..
I was supposed to be off.. I did sleep in.. went in for a couple hours this afternoon.. left
and went back for a couple hours this evening.. then left..
so mostly, I have been able to just do what I needed..
I did get some much needed ironing done...(Can't stand wearing wrinkled uniforms..)
and tried to wash the grey out of my hair.. hmm... it was about 95% successful as well.. LOL
stubborn grays..

Anyhow, not much else going on.. trying to wind down..
I am almost 1/4 the way done with my tour.. lol which, in the present, doesn't seem like much,
but in the big picture... it is.. .:)

Trying to get my routine back.. now that I am not swamped.. and can breathe alittle.. need to get back to me time.. gym time and relax time.. hopefully I can push it in my schedule again starting Monday :)

We'll see.. as always.. will keep you posted...
(Sorry.. nothing exciting to report tonight...)

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Reminding my Mom

After the way things have gone and all the advice I am giving out.. it made me realize how lucky I am to have the relationship with my mom that I always wanted. It took some troubling teenage years as well... and getting into adulthood, before we were able to patch our relationship up.

Since then, she has been one of my best friends. This morning, I decided to remind her of that with an email to wake up to:

In case I haven't told you lately, I want to remind you how incredibly lucky I am to have you as a mom. I know we went thru my teen years as well, and it took until I was an adult for us to work thru the issues We had. But I am so grateful that we did and I am very grateful to have you. I love the relationship that We share. It is the kind of relationship I dreamed we would have, when I was younger. I always wanted You as my best-friend. Someone I could
call 5 times a day and it would be okay. Someone I could talk to About anything with no judgments.. (most of the time :)) and someone that will be honest with me when I might be taking the wrong path, or just on the wrong side of the road, period. Thank you. Thank you For always supporting me, even when you didn't want to or didn't agree. And thank you for taking care Of the kids while I am deployed. Thank you in advance for the drama that will surely follow throughout the Year, and the stressed out days that might follow as well. I love you. Thank you for being my mom.

Letter #2

DAY TWO Of not really talking to Katrina - or really.. just not letting her BS me. I have called to tell her goodnight and I love her.. but won't let it go any further than that.
I know she is not ready to discuss this like an adult. I know she is still to upset, defensive and has excuses coming out of her ears she is ready to feed to me.. BUT I am not listening.
I am hoping some words of hopeful wisdom.. some motherly advice, will help get her back on track. I figure it will be a few days at a minimum, before I am ready to talk to her about the other night... We'll see.
In the interim, I sent her an email, reminding her of the important things in life. The things that matter, the things that will mold her into the young woman I know she will become:

Good morning, I hope you slept well.
I want you to know that I love you. I may be disappointed and hurt by
your actions, but I still love you. I want you to be the best person you can be, and
right now, you are not heading in that direction. I want you to be honest with
yourself and think about the people that you have hurt. Instead of thinking about the pain
you are in, because I won't talk to you about it - think about the crazy drama you
brought to Aunt Tammys house this summer, the undue stress you put on her, Uncle
Mike, Dylon and your brothers. Think about your actions and how they affect
others around you. Think about how Grandma & Papa felt and how I felt, when we knew
you were no where to be found.

Instead of thinking of reasons why you did it, or justifications to make
it all better, accept, understand and know that you were wrong. On all
accounts. Your actions. You need to take responsibility for your actions. When
you do that, I should not hear anything about how you were feeling or how you thought
this - we should be hearing how truly sorry you are to have caused so much pain
and drama this summer to everyone around you and involved.

You need to think about the friends and family outside that house that
you used. Friends and family that you manipulated. Aunt Kathy for one. She has
loved you from day one and you tried to use her. You tried to abuse your
relationship with her, for your benefit. When you do things like that - that is how you lose
friends. That is how you lose support. You are lucky to have her and you basically made
her realize you were just using her. That is no way to treat anyone. You need to
take responsibility for the manipulations you have created between you and everyone around
you. You need to take responsibility for the crappy way you have treated your brothers.
You are lucky to have them. I understand most siblings have sibling rivalry - but Katrina
you go too far. You walk all over them and treat them as if they don't deserve to
breathe the same air as you.. they don't deserve that. Its their job to be irritating, just
as its your job to be bossy as the older sister.. but you take it too far and you need
to start understanding that its those boys, your brothers that will have your back as you
get older. The more you abuse them now, the less likely you will be to have them
at your side when you truly need them. You have no idea how lucky you are to have them. Don't ruin that... before you even get the chance to truly appreciate them.

I'm not saying you are solely to blame for everything that is happened..but you are
to blame for your actions. You - of all people - need to take care of you.
What was it you told me once "I have standards, Mom" So have those standards, raise them and understand that YOU are the keeper of your body. It is the ONLY body you will get. If YOU abuse it, or allow others to ABUSE it, you will end up feeling abused and lonely. You will end up with the reputation that no girl wants and most of all - you will lose yourself!
YOU should have standards. You should set the bar soo high that it is almost unreachable, because that is what you deserve. Not a one or two week fling that turns to sex and then the whole thing disappears. SEX is an adult act, one that you are not ready for. It takes an emotional toll and can really mess up your psychee if you aren't careful. You should not be having intimate relations with anyone until you know you LOVE him and he LOVES and respects you and you are going to have a future together! At 15 - that is not going to happen honey, no matter what you think and how much you may "like" someone. It won't be forever, and therefore you should be saving yourself! Save your self for someone who deserves you. Not many that just claim to like you..and then toss you aside when they are done..

You deserve better than that, and therefore should EXPECT more. NO LESS! Please take this to heart, and really listen to what I am saying. I know you will make mistakes along the way, but I just want to help you minimize those mistakes, therefore minimizing the damage.

Life is about so much more than this. This - the trouble you are in, the lying, the boys. Life is about having a dream and following it. Being successful is not necessarily about how many boyfriends you've had, how many friends you have ... truly successful means aspiring to something and accomplishing it. One thing at a time. One goal at a time. That is what truly fills your heart. The rest of life, love and everything else, will fall in to place as it does, as you walk that path to accomplishing your goals. AND when that happens, if it deters you from your dreams, it is not right. Someone who truly loves and respects you will support you in your dreams and help you accomplish them. That will come later. Don't rush love. Don't rush life. Don't be in such a rush to be a grown up - that you forget to enjoy your high school years.

That's enough for now.

I love you.

Saturday, 7 August 2010

So apparently, what I am going through is normal.. whatever that means.
Unfortunately, I thought that I would be lucky, and not have to deal
with this.. I thought "Not my kid" Boy was I kidding myself or what?
I have watched my friends go through this, and thought about how
grateful I was that I wasn't in their shoes.
Now, here I am, smack dab in the middle of the teenage rebellion stage.
I have heard it lasts until adulthood.. woohoo..
How come I wasn't told about this in the owner's manual?
Oh yea, that's because there is none!

So, I learn as I go and try to deal with it from afar. I am fortunate
that I have great family that are doing most of the hard work. Not so
fortunate, that I can't be there to help guide.

Anyhow, it has been a trying week for me.
Throughout it all I appreciate the support I have received from my
friends and family. It is so true that life goes on without you, and no matter
Where you are at. While we are deployed, life continues to go on without us
And things change, evolve, grow and even reek havoc sometimes.

As I stated before, I contemplated about posting something so personal,
when I know my audience does not just consist of my closest interpersonal
ring of Friends. BUT, this blog is about life deployed. This of all things, is
life deployed. Things happen we can't control. Things happen that we can do
absolutely nothing about, but sit anxiously and wait for the outcome. Or simply
have heated conversations from 7,000 miles away - which are never pleasant.

So, I am dealing with it, with the help of family and moving forward.
Onward as they say.

So there are some things that I have done that I, in my tired state,
have failed to mention. I completed the beginner's NKC Dari class. It's a simple 2 week course to teach you basic Dari language and Afghanistan culture. Very informative and nice, in
that we can have Very basic conversation with the Afghan Nationals that work on the base.

For the first time since I have been here I had a massage. It's not like Massage Envy,
But close enough and worth the $10.00 for 30 minutes of back/neck massage. They
Actually do a really decent job. They seem to also be more meticulous with the Eyebrow
Waxing, etc. I was very impressed. Massage and Waxing was $16.00 total. Not bad.
Can't get that in the states :)

I have received several care packages and an grateful to all those that
continue to send little things. Mail here really is like Christmas every day.
We are always wondering who is going to get what... Our office is great! We all
get junk food and snacks and basically keep a community drawer, which between the 7 of us,
has grown to 2 1/2 drawers. :) Its nice!

This week hasn't been near as busy with Casualties as we were last month
this time frame, which is always a blessing. I have a new Deputy and am therefore
working on data analysis And statistics from the database of casualties. It has been long and
tedious because the original trackers did not track near the information we needed for these
reports. So, we are having to back fill about 10,000 records, and then generate
reports, break them down by unit, then by MOS, and so on. Its been a long task, but work in
progress for me and the crew.

The summer is coming to a close for the kids. They will be flying home on Tuesday to get
Settled in and ready for the new school year. I bet they are excited for that.. LOL
My parents are getting settled in the house, after oh - finding out my house was infested with
Some creatures... RATS or RABBITs.. or something.. and they are safe harbored up somewhere between The first and second story of the house. The only way for the exterminator to get to them is to cut a hole in the kitchen ceiling and (1) repair the drywall from the water leaks in the upstairs and (2) figure out what has nested themselves in there and get rid of
them..I feel bad for My parents - they finally get moved in completely.. and now this.
Errgh.. it's always something Eh?

Beyond all of that, life is moving along.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Very Personal Emotions...

This is a very personally emotional email that I sent to my daughter today.
I contemplated posting this, but this is part of my journey, part of parenthood and part of who I am.. so here you go..

Stomach in knots.. worry does not even give the word justice and feeling pretty
much like failure as a parent.. disappointment, sadness and ache fills my heart
and sadness that I can't be there to ensure everything is okay... My life feels
like it was turned upside down overnight.. and everything I thought I knew..
makes me realize I didn't know at all... Sending love to my family and apologies
for the drama that has ensued... We will all get thru this, I know.

To my daughter, with love.
When I was 19, and your dad and I found out we were pregnant with you, we were
estatic. I spent 9 months in bliss, during a pregnancy that was very exciting
and happy for me. Long before you were born, I loved you with a love unmatched.
I had so many great plans and was ready to be your mother. I was so excited to
see you and hold you. SO many of my friends were there to support me, and
help me deliver you and then again to help me, while your dad was deployed.
I never, for one minute thought of anything but love and excitement for who or
what you would become.

I think as parents we spend so much time waiting for the firsts, that after you
were born, and I cradled you, after your sleepy days were over, I was anxious
for your first word, your first steps, your first birthday. As time has gone
on, I have been excited to see what you would become, what paths you would
choose for goals. You wanted cheerleading, and softball, and then politics,
then to pageants, and more cheerleading.. possibly a Marine Pilot, a politician, a
Naval Officer.. The doors and options are limitless. I see in you, so much of me.
Your strength, your controlling factor (isn't always a bad thing :)) Your
stubbornness, your debating skills, your defensiveness. I see the potential for
you to be whatever you want to be, so long as you dream it, aspire to be it and
never quit working for it. You see, thats what I have become. A person with
goals, who aims for them, and no matter how long it takes, I make it. You can do
the same!

WHen I was your age now, I spent so many years looking for love and acceptance
from friends, and boys, and family. I spent too much time chasing after boys..
looking for their acceptance in all the wrong ways.. I thought that their acceptance
would make me feel better inside, would make me feel like a success, or like a
"woman" which I was not yet ready for. I liked all the guys who showed 1% of
liking me.. any attention, and affection and it was enough. What I have realized now
was that was not the acceptance I was needing or looking for. and that is not
what you nor I deserve. It has to be 100% and them some. You are not ready for that
yet - although you think you are. I don't think even I am ready for that yet and I
am 35. I thought I was.. but I have realized, I still have so much more to accomplish
and complete, before I am ready to accept nor give more that 100% of myself to a man.

When I was your age, no matter how many guys liked me, no matter how many of my friends I pleased,
it was not fulfilling the part of me inside that was lacking. NO matter who I saw, who
I said yes to, who I compromised my integrity for, it was not a rewarding feeling
at the end of the day I was still feeling alone inside myself. It wasn't until I
decided to plan out my life, plan out my life goals, no matter how high, how silly
other people may have thought they to be, I listed things in my life that I wanted.
And one by one, I have worked on those. No matter who has come in to my life,
no matter who has walked out on me in my life. My goals were the one constant.
Fulfilling them, is what made me feel succesfull and as if there were meaning to my
life and what I was to do.

You are young and have so much to offer, but you deserve better. You should not
treat your body as an outlet to pleasing any boy that shows interest, you should not
compromise your integrity and your relationships with your family and especially me
for the affection of a boy that will not be around in a week, or a month.
You are not ready for the adult decisions you are making - nor was I. I know we all
learn the hard way, I, of all people understand that making our own mistakes, helps
us to grow.. BUt its when you make the same mistakes over and over that you are not
helping your self. We should be learning from our mistakes, not repeating them.

I am not a good role model to some degree, in that I have made some of the same mistakes
over and over and it took until I was in my 30s to realize what I was doing. I don't want
to see you go through what I went through. I married too young, I married becuase I was
pregnant, and when I finally did have it right, I lost sight of what was important and
hurt a good man. THen moved on to the next who then broke my heart. I thought I was
doing things right, but looking back, I lost sight of my own goals, and was willing
to throw that away for the love and affection of a man. I have made multiple mistakes
that have affected you and your brothers, and for that I am ashamed and can never take
back what ever pain that may have caused you - but I am here to tell you, that that is no
excuse for your behavior.

I have taught you from my mistakes. I have talked to you endlessly about what really
happens out there. What boys say, what friends do, how some girls can befriend you
and how boys are always at the heart of those issues. I have taught you that you
are smart enough and to make whatever dream you have come true. I have pounded in your head
the importance of always being honest - no matter how much it hurts, becuase its the
one thing in life you can never ever live without.. YOUR HONOR. Without that, you will have
nothing. If you are a person that can not be trusted, you will never get anywhere.

THat is the one thing, I apparently failed at getting into you. Integrity, honor. You word.
Trust. REponsibility. Gratitude. Remorse. Manipulation. You have become the master
at manipulating for your own benefit.

I will not take responsibility for what you have done to me, and the rest of the family last night.
Listen, sneaking out to meet someone, bad- yes. but normal or something teenagers do, yes
I can handle that. We can deal with that. You take your punishment like an adult, for
making a mistake, for doing something you knew was wrong - then, it would be over.

But this time, you did more than that. You didnt just sneak out and worry your aunt
and uncle, your grandparents, family and myself - you blatanlty lied about it, even
when faced with the truth. You lied, even after I cried to you on the phone from
Afghanistan, telling you how worried we all were when you were missing. How all I could
think of was that you were lying face down in a ditch somewhere dead. How I worried
and knew there was ABSOLUTELY nothing I could do from 7000 miles away, except call everyone
you knew, and everyone I knew there. When you were finally found, I didn't know what I was
feeling inside.. SOOO SOO Grateful to GOD that you were alive and well - but then
infuriated at what you caused us all to go thru while worrying you. THen, you
lied to me, thru my tearful pleas to be honest - you lied. THat tells me that you have
not respect for me, your Aunt, your Grandma.

You have the life Katrina. You were more or less treated as a young adult, and given
freedoms that I was not afforded at your age. You guys may think its harder to live
with Granmda and Papa becuase they are stricter - but - let me tell you. They are NOTHING
compared to what they used to be and I have learned now, that it was for the best!
we are not ignorant to what you guys do.. when you think you are being sneaky and getting
away with something, we know. We may not tell you that we know, but we do - but we also
know that some of it is part of growing up. Its part of life. Its what we do as kids to
push the limits - and so long as you are HONEST - its not a big deal. We face the
consequences to our actions and take responsibility for making decisions that you knew
was wrong. That is part of the process. That is how we learn and what we take to our children
as we get older.

Grandma and Papa have afforded all of you the life. You have no chores except to clean up
your own messes and keep your room cleaned up. No more kitchen duties, laundry duties,
and the plethera of other duties that I had given you all to help me out. You have no
bedtime and are allowed to stay up as late as you want, so long as it doesnt affect
your school. You have your cell phone all night and a computer to chat with all your friends.
You have Grandma and Papa to cheauffer you to all your trainings, tryouts, pageants, and
whatever it is that is interesting you at the moment. All they and I ask for in return
is a little gratitude. Some appreciation. You never gave that to me either. YOu felt
it was owed to you. You deserved it. Someone HAD to do it. Not the case. Just as I will not
allow you to disrespect me any further by lying to me, I will not tolerate you disrespecting
them either. They don't deserve it. They have done nothign but love you and continue to treat
you like the YOUNG adult you are. The things weall do with and for you all is becuase
we love you, want to see you happy and want to see you succeed in life. You go out there
and think that people owe you something. No one owes you anything. The only thing I
as a parent have to provide for you is a clean place to live, and clean clothes to wear to
school, and food to ensure you're fed. ALOT of kids don't even have that!

You have so much more. In the last 5 years, I have been able to spoil you all, giving you
things you want, not necessarily need. Giving you each your own cell phone, your own
TVs, computers, XBOX, WII, you name it, you had it. I would get it for you, becuase
I could. Becuase I love you and wanted to see you happy. BUT YOU always always took
advantage of that. A simple THank you, when I request it, is not enough gratitude.
YOu should be showing your appreciation for the good life you live by the actions you
take. By being honest, even when wrong, even when you've done something wrong. By
being honest and appreciative of everything. Genuine appreciation that you are not
living in a car with no clean clothes, no real home and nothing to call your own.
You should be grateful that I have provided that for you! All the ammenities that you
have - I have worked for. I have spent 17 years of my life in the NAvy, trying to make
a better living, a secured lifestyle. Trying to be successful and not have to worry about
not paying the bills, not having enough food or clothing. I have sacrificed my time
to complete that process.

Yes, you guys have sacrificed to, I get that. You have had to live without your mom for
a number of times, in order for me to continue to provide you with a good, stable life.
You are not the only kid in the world that has had to do without a parent for a time being,
or both for that matter. You have had both of us, and have lived with both of us at
separate times. You have gotten to travel, and spend time with your sisters as well as
your family here. There are some kids that don't have that luxury. YOUR BROTHERS are some
of them. THey do NOT have their father, they have lived without him for all but 2 years TOTAL
of their life. He has been non-existant and failed them.. and they had to stand by and watch
as it all took place. They don't have a "DAD" to call - the closest they have to that is
Uncle Mike - who has been there thru the duration with Aunt Tammy. But it is not the
same and you know that. You know that one day, they will bear some resentment and emotional
issues becuase of the abondment and failure their father was to them. Atleast you dont have
that. NO matter how much you have faught with your dad, he has always been there for you.
Even when you didn't want him to be. SO instead of feeling sorry for yourself, with such
a rough life you live, maybe you ought to start showing some compassion to your brothers, to
your family who is taking care of you (Aunt Tammy & Mike/Grandma & Papa) Maybe you should
show some true emotional happiness that you have family around eagerly waving their hands
to volunteer to spend time with you, nurture you and hold you while I am away. It could
be worse - You could have no mom & dad - some kids have that. Some kids have lost their
parents for good, for whatever reason - be grateful that no matter how far away we may be -
we are still here. You can still hear our voices, see our faces, through whatever means.

First and foremost you need to start being honest with yourself and everyone else.
I love you, with all my heart, but right now I am soo ashamed and it hurts my heart to know
the lengths you would go to try and get away with something. I thought we always had a
pretty good relationship. I thought I knew you. But really, what I have discovered is
that I don't know you at all. You will not be honest - until smacked in the face with proof
of the truth. You don't tell me things willingly, you tell me becuase you knew you were
busted. THat is not TRUST. THat is not HONESTy. HONESTY is telling the truth the first
time, without prompt and without proof. You have not even afforded me that.

I am hurt, my heart aches, my stomach is in knots and I have been nausiated since our
phone call last night. I told you, after that last plea for honesty, that if you lied,
I would hang up. You didn't believe me. But I can't listen to your pity stories any more.
I am 7,000 miles away, in a war zone country where I deal with DEATH everyday. People are
dying. Families are losing their sons, daughters, mothers & fathers. I know, that no
matter how bad life may feel at times - IT Could always be worse.

You are being ungrateful and I cAN'T STOMACH IT ANYMORE. Grandma and Papa deserve better
than that. Aunt Tammy and Uncle Mike deserve better than that and Most of all - I deserve
better than that. I have struggled your whole life to give you a good life. and you
desicrate that by your actions, and your mouth. I love you and I want to talk to you
and have a good relationship with you. I can't do that knowing I can't trust you.
You need to start being honest - let us all see that we can trust you - that is the first
step you need to take. ADmit your wrong doings, move forward and start being honest.
You CANNOT manipulate me anymore. I will not buy what you are selling, becuase I know now,
that I CANNOT trust you. So prove to me that I can. STart being the honest girl that
I know you can be. If you want to be treated like an adult, start acting like one.
You have a good life. You need to face the conseuqeunces of your actions,
start showing by your actions that you can be trusted, focus on goals you have in the future
and start working toward those goals. Enjoy the life that has been afforded to you
and appreciate everything you have and get!

I love you with all my heart and right now my heart aches for you. I am torn between wanting
to hold you and hug you, telling you everything will be okay and then wanting to smack
some reality into you. I hope that this email does that. I hope that you have somethings to
think about and you realize how good you really do have it. I will never stop loving
you - no matter what - but, that doesn't mean I have to like what you are doing. If you
want a relationship with me, you need to earn it. Prove you can be what I know you to be.
I love you. I only want to ensure I put you on the right path to adulthood, and right now,
I am having to detour your track - shift gears and start over. It's simple. Do what is
asked of you, and be honest. The rest is gravy. You will be able to enjoy life and the
ammenities that we provide you. But appreciate them and most importantly, appreciate the
family in your life that try to give that to you - instead of resenting them for wanting to
ensure you are on the right path!

I have heard different stories about how you might run away if you have to go home..
but while you're thinking of that, I want you to think about this...
Is living that kind of life, abandoning your family, throwing away all the love
and the life we offer - worth it? So, you would be on your own, where? A girlfriends
house (until her parents get tired of it, or get arrested for harboring a run away) or
with a boy (who's parents would do the same thing.. and/or the boy would realize he
wasnt ready for that kind of a committment either). You would lose much more than you
would gain. I know at your age, you think freedom is the answer, but realisitically -
you know you have it made at home. YOu have no job, no car, no license and no way
to pay your own way. Think about that next time you think about running away.
Think about what you would be throwing away and how much more you would be hurting
me, and telling me that you don't care about me, or what I give to you. Please just go home,
earn your trust and live the good life that we afford you. Enjoy life as a kid.

I love you.
Always and Forever.
To no end.