11 June 2017

Tears of Failure... Tears of Success

The first promise of debtors anonymous states that where we once felt despair, we will experience a new found hope.

Tears of Failure… Tears of Success

there is no end in sight
a life of debt I don’t want to fight
no loans available for me
a future I can not see

can’t answer the phone
hide in the dark… all alone
no longer open the mail
this life I have failed

no credit left… no cash in hand
soon be homeless… living off the land
everyday full of fear… just want to cry
at times… wish God would let me die

wasn’t long ago I lived that life of fear
I really thought it would be a lifelong career
credit was maxed then came the crash
I had to learn to live strictly with cash

little goals made and a budget was set
in time… these little goals were met
this new life offered me some pride
no longer did I run and hide

living a life of being debt free
the future is bright… just look and see
plans to travel and do lots more
cash in hand… off to the store

no longer an illusion or a fantasy
yes… I can live debt free
to have control of money in hand
instead of it slipping through it like sand

working for money is no way to be free
money working for me is the goal to see




08 June 2017

First Promise of DA

The first promise of debtors anonymous states that “Where we once felt despair, we will experience a new found hope.”

Being in debt can become a way of life with no plans of escape. Get a loan that only has a monthly payment of $30. Get a credit card that gives you a $2,000 credit limit and only wants $15 a month. I can do that! What a great way to get that new stereo!!! Then in the mail came an offer for another credit card. Let’s get it!!! Another $2,000 and again only $15 a month paying it back. This is the life! This wonderful life of credit fulfils my needs. I look at it as a second source of income. Along with my weekly paycheck and this credit line I have more money than I know what to do with.

Then it happened. The bills came. Four credit card payments of $15 each. The bank loan is another $30. $90 gone. I still have to pay the electric bill and get gas for the car. Thankfully, rent isn’t till next paycheck. I should be alright. In fact, I’ll have at least $15 back in the credit cards that I can use. Wait a minute. I checked on-line and it shows I only paid $5 on each of the cards. Where is the rest of the money? Interest? No one ever mention interest.

How did this happen? I’m broke. Wait, I have an idea. I’ll apply for a new credit card, that will solve my problems. I got them so easily in the past… but now… no one wants to give me one.

This is how I lived for nearly twenty years. One crisis to the next. One wage garnishment to the next. The anxiety when the phone rang. Mail that was never opened. It was a horrible way to live and the worst part about it all was I couldn’t see any other way of living. I was in debt and I would stay in debt till the day I die.

The simple fact is we can get out of debt. Throw away the excuses. Throw away what you think you need because most of it is just wants. Quit eating out. Start walking instead of driving. Shut off the clothes dryer and use the clothes line. There are so many ways to cut down on expenses, yet I’ll be the first to admit it ain’t easy. And most importantly do not use any credit cards at all. Live with cash and only cash. Again, it’s not easy but the rewards are wonderful.

Imagine a life where the phone isn’t the enemy. Imagine the joy of opening the mail with no paranoia about bill collectors. And the real joy of being in control of your own future. For me, it got to the point that I was tired of working for money. I wanted money to work for me.

Seven years ago I was over $65,000 in debt. It took three years to get out of debt and now for the last four years I have remained debt free. The future is full of dreams. They’re not just fantasies, they can be achieved because I am debt free. If I can do it anyone can. It really is simple… yet it isn’t easy.

Start today. No credit, no new debt. Live only with the cash you have and nothing else. When you succeed you’ll look back with pride knowing how strong (spiritually and emotionally) you were to reach this goal. The goal of being debt free.

14 May 2017

What If?

Step 12 of ACOA says that after having had a spiritual awakening as a result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to others who still suffer, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

Recently someone asked me if I could go through life again what one thing would I change.  Without hesitation my response was "my parents."  That is the only way I would want to relive my life.  Any other change would mean reliving that hell once again and I couldn't do that to myself another time...

This is the idea behind the poem What If?

 

What If?

Oh what a change
mom helped me with homework
dad played catch with me
quiet and peaceful at nights

a family that never was
a family just in the mind
no booze… no eggshells to walk on
no fights… no black eyes

a fantasy? sadly… yes
at least for this child
a child who sees only pain
a child who hears only screams

please dad succeed with suicide
please mom stay drunk and sleep forever
those moments of silence… pure heaven
those moments of peace… to few and rare

a home stinking of scotch and beer
a bed occupied by more than a child
a lonely life where no one is trusted
and at times… death would be welcomed

to do this life again with different parents
could it be worse? don’t know how
saw blood and burns… black eyes too
suicidal hangings and threats with butcher knives

it’s ok to say the childhood was bad
it was beyond bad… it was a holocaust
spiritual death where a child died slowly
everyday saw a new way to be tortured





13 May 2017

Step 12 of ACOA

Step 12 of ACOA says that after having had a spiritual awakening as a result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to others who still suffer, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

I recently had the pleasure and unique learning opportunity watching a TV show about a retired “star.” Former, singer, model, and for a short time he was in the movies. People like this are usually considered to be “stand-offish” to common folk like myself but this person was quite different. He seemed to genuinely care about others.

Anyway, he wass so welcoming and open, yet at the same time very private. He would spend all day talking to you, just as friendly as can be, yet at the same time, he just want to go home, kick off his shoes and relax.

He didn’t care if you did not recognize him from the magazine covers he was on, or the songs he had written. He did not want you to drool at his feet, he just wanted you to be open and friendly and he would return the same respect to you.

I never knew of this man until I moved to England and by watching TV began to figure out the European celebrities. As I have learned of this gentleman, I have come to learn of his past. Alcoholism, sex addiction and numerous other calamities, have run this person’s life. The more I know about him the more I realize how much our lives are the same.

When he speaks of sexual addiction, I was shocked. I just couldn’t imagine him having that type of life. I remember back in the mid 80s, I was homeless and hitch-hiking around America. I was in my mid 20s and had nothing. I was in Utah on Interstate 80, when a car pulled over and offered me a ride.

I hopped in and we chatted for awhile and then he asked me if I ever considered modeling. I had no idea what he meant. My mind was stuck in making car models. He said that he painted nude male models for a hobby. We sat quiet for a minute as the car raced down the road. I was broke and I thought I might make some easy money. So I asked him how much he would pay me.

He said that he didn’t pay anyone to do it. Like he said it was a hobby. But he said he would feed me and I could get cleaned up. I thought about it a bit more. We continued down the road and he pulled into a truck stop to fill his car up. I got out to use the toilet. As I was relieving myself, I thought about it a bit more and snuck out of there and disappeared.

There is no doubt in my mind that my life would have radically changed that day if that guy offered me money. There is no doubt I would have said yes and I would have stripped for him and whatever happened after that would have been OK because I was earning money.

After that first time, I don’t think it would have bothered me to be a male prostitute. I was still homeless for a few more months after that but an offer like that never came to me again and I never sold my body for sex.

I mention this because this person did sell their body. And I can not judge him at all because I know how easily it could happen and how easy it would be to say – just this once.

My childhood still haunts me today. I never developed coping skills to handle it all and never had a support system to help me. As an ACOA, I can now accept the past as my own doing. My parents were screwed up, but they never made me drink, or do drugs, or (almost) sell my body. For years I lived as a victim. Today, I realize that if I had the faith when I was younger to let others hear my pain, I might have had a different life with a lot less dysfunction and self-torture.

No matter the family circumstances, secrets from the past do nothing except keep us locked away from the real world. The secrets I kept for so many years, were not mine and had no place living rent free in my mind. By letting go of those secrets I was able to start living.

26 April 2017

Getting my hands dirty!!!

I got my hands dirty last week. Oh no, I didn’t break any laws or got myself in trouble with any moral majority. No, I got my hands dirty the old fashion way. Wearing old jeans and a sweatshirt, my hands grasped a shovel for the first time in seven years and I played in a garden. Moving dirt around, getting rid of weeds, and getting the earth ready for some planting.

The one thing I have learned in the seven years away from gardening is that it is a lot of work IF we make it that way. I see people with vegetable gardens, spending endless hours weeding their little plots and making it look so good, yet I never see them enjoying it.

I like gardening but I don’t like the work, which is why I’ll probably never have another vegetable garden. I want to enjoy the fruits of my labour. I want to see the early bulbs pop up and see the tulips bloom. I want to see the azaleas come to life with all their glorious colours.

A strange thing about azaleas. I grew up in New Jersey and in our front yard were two rather huge azalea bushes. Every spring they would come to life with their bright vibrant colours. They were always a popular choice for gardens, not just in our yard but many yards in New Jersey.

When I moved to the plains. First, in South Dakota and then to Nebraska, no one had ever heard of azalea’s. Because of the frost lines, it was impossible to keep an azalea alive in those barren winter lands. Yet, go further north, on an island in the Atlantic and azalea’s flourish. That’s right, they grow quite well in England. The way the jet stream goes, nasty winter weather never makes it to England. Don’t get me wrong, England isn’t a hidden Hawaiian paradise, yet winters here are quite comfortable with very little or no snow and green grass year round.

Whoops, starting to drift here. Back to gardening. I enjoy seeing these plants and shrubs grow and provide wonderful colours and unexpected wildlife. There is nothing that can compare after a hard days work, going home and seeing all the life that shrubs bring with just the simplest of care.

When I started thinking about this little garden of ours, I started thinking about waterfalls and goldfish but right now, I think I’ll just keep it simple for awhile and let it grow. Let’s see what the garden wants to do before I tell it what I want it to do.



25 April 2017

I Awoke

The 11th Step of ACOA says that we sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God, as we understand God, praying only for knowledge of God's will for us and the power to carry it out.

 

I Awoke

an awakening came
doors opened… sun shined in
no longer needed fear left
comfort came when two became one

a part of me remains unseen
a bond that we only share
a closeness that we understand
a Silence stronger than any word

occasionally a prayer is given
overcome by feelings of guilt
alive and well… peaceful
yet greed wants more

learn to meditate
and began to listen
then the conscious was awaken
an understanding of everything

very little prayers are left
better to listen than to be heard
a realization that things were happening
yet they couldn’t be explained

a friend who is never seen
peace that is only ours
comfort in never being alone
and knowing you are the One