Long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away...
....in a different time and place is where my story starts.
For years I have had this story going through my mind and heart and have had it worded a hundred different ways. I am still unsure of how to start this story of my journey. Really all of our stories start when we are born and for most that works. However I really can't remember much of my childhood before the 8th grade. I remember snippets and sometimes something will hit me rock hard and I'm unsure if what I remembered is real or not, which makes for me feeling like I'm crazy most of the time. Most of the time most memories are not pleasant...there are a few that are.
I was a child who was abused and by an adult who all children trust...fathers...my biological father. It wasn't until somewhere in my 7th or 8th grade year when I said something. I can't tell you what exactly prompted me to tell someone, but I did. I told my biological mother and from there the dominoes fell. After I told my biological mother what was going on she told a friend and together they took appropriate steps...or so the friend thought.
I also told a school teacher what was going on...she did NOT do what any human being, let alone a teacher, by the state, was suppose to do. One of many adults in my life that let me down. So life continued...CPS was involved...Social workers dropped the ball several times. My biological mother chose to let the abuser back in the house...and it started all over for me again, he started abusing me again. So finally it comes down to the biological mother and her friend, and things are tense in that relationship and I'm told I'm no longer allowed to speak or see her ever again, it's forbidden.
This is where it gets good, so to speak folks, if a situation like this can be good. This is where you see the Lord working and you see his Guardian Angels at work.
I happen to have some baby clothes and baby things from this friend that I had borrowed, it was a class project. Carry a sack of flour around and pretend it's a baby...you know the project I'm talking about. Anyway, she still had a little person and would need these things back. I was with out a doubt devastated by being told to not have any contact with this friend. These things were going to enable me to have some form of contact with her...and then...
The moment had come for me, this was really a do or die situation. This was going to be the moment where I decided if I was going to take the reigns and be in control of my life. The adults in my life had either let me down in a big way, or at the time were under the assumption things were being done appropriately. I decided that I would take control, thus far I had been taking care of myself and my little brother at the time anyway, why would this 1 big thing be any different? What did I really have left to lose? I had no answer. So I snuck several notes into the baby stuff that I had borrowed. Just in case the stuff was checked for anything, like a cry for help, I made a few notes to this friend. There was a diaper bag and a bottle and several clothes. Now I don't remember exactly where I hid them all but I vaguely remember hiding something in the bottle? I don't know if that's real or not. Either way, I snuck some notes out and hoped and pleaded that this friend would find them and find them soon. My life depended on it.
And I know it sounds drastic saying that, but I truly believe I would NOT be where I am today if it had not been for what I did and what this friend did (I know I keep saying 'this friend' but you have to remember up until this point I was only in 7th grade and she was at the time, my biological mother's friend...in time our relationship will evolve). IF not for those things, with out a shadow of a doubt in my heart and mind, I would have been a teenage mom and my biological father would have moved us again (this was NOT the first time OR the second time in which I had told someone about what was going on...like I said...many adults, for as many years in my life let me down.) to get away and start the anonymity all over again. I believe with ALL my heart these things would have happened, if it had not been for this friend and my actions and a whole lot of Guardian Angels!
If any of you know me, you know that I'm not a teenage mom...so, the friend found the notes. She did what no one else had done for me. She called CPS and stressed that at first, steps had been taken to get the abuser out and keep me safe. That at first this was true, but as the story came out...said 'mother' didn't keep her child safe...in fact the abuser was let back into the house an abused again even though there was a protections order. That we moved again and the abuser was let in again, and I was abused again...but since I was older a line had been crossed...it was now considered rape of a child and not molestation. She became brave and stood up for me and my brother, when no one else would...no one else....
After she called the ball started rolling and it rolled fast...so fast that some of it's a blur. Here is what I remember. She called CPS...Social workers came and my biological mother said I could be sent anywhere other than to this friend. In all of this I had an Aunt and Uncle( my eventual legal guardians who became my adoptive parents) whom I just started having contact with (I can't remember the exact way it all happened). I just knew that my biological parents didn't have much to do with them and so for all intents and purposes they were generally safe. So I talked to them and they helped me with a class trip I was going on and somehow we stayed the weekend with them(I think?) and I told them some things.
From then on my life changed.
From them on the relationship between this friend and I has changed.
This woman was my Guardian Angel...she saved me.
Not everyone gets to know their Guardian Angels and I have been blessed getting to have her and her family, in my life. Someone tangible to have and hold on to, and Lord knows I have and do. She has been an anchor in so many ways in my life and filled so many roles in my life that I needed and to be honest that I still need. She's used my full name on me, been honest with me, told me when I'm wrong, she's laughed with me, watched me give birth to 2 of my children and been on the phone numerous times for advice, but most of all she's been my best girlfriend. I'd like to say I don't know where I'd be with out her, but I do know where I'd be, and it still makes me catch my breath at the life that was so close to happening.
I have known my friend since I was a little girl, for Pete's sakes she used to make me go out and weed her garden...said something like it was good for me. HA! Her children are my brothers, and let me tell you I remember watching them when they were little and the oldest one, I was informed the other day, was going to turn 30! 30!?! I can't wrap my brain around that one. I have been blessed and ever so grateful to have known her close to 25 years now. Who knew the winter of '88 I would meet my Guardian Angel?
God has a plan for what happened.
He has a plan for my friend and I.
If my life isn't proof enough that He is everywhere I'm not sure what would.
Nikki...as I write this I'm tearing up because I feel like this post just doesn't say it properly but I don't know what else to say or do. I love you, not for doing what any person should do, but because you loved me and cared about me. I have always felt that God placed you in my life as my Guardian Angel for so many more reasons than those moments. He has a plan for you, me and us...I know he still uses you today, because I lack so many things/people in my life and you still fill those for me. You are my Titus Woman...just need to lay off the wine a bit...bhahahaha. Seriously though...thank you isn't enough...
I do have to say I LOVE that as our relationship evolves we I have become Louise to your Thelma...and that we take turns in those roles. Just along for the ride...the ride of our lives!
Alright, now that I wrote the LONGEST intro to a post ever...I'd say sorry but with out it things wouldn't make much sense...
So, for the last 3 or so years I believe, Nikki and I have wanted to get tattoos representing us. Finally I laid the gauntlet down and said I was saving my birthday money up and I was working at the time so I was saving that up too. We were gonna get our tattoos during Spring Break and we were gonna go to her cousins place, Sabbath Tattoo in Bellingham. We made a day of it, left the kids and didn't look back.
We had pictures of what we were thinking and hoping the artist would look at it and run with it. He did. We knew we wanted Forget Me Not's somehow incorporated into both our tats. The flowers represent Love. This is what I found that I like best:
" This blue flower, though quite small in size, expresses sweet memories of true and faithful love, a soft cry- ‘Do not forget’ the sunny and cloudy days of a deep relationship"
She and I will not forget.
So she got a bouquet of Forget Me Not flowers. I chose to do a Guardian Angel representing her and everything she is in my life and her role she has had in my life and still does. The angel is also a healing angel...
With this tattoo it almost feels a bit cathartic for me, like when I got it the pain, it was good to feel it. Sounds weird I know.
So here I am getting my tattoo placed on me
There it is...can't wait to see the final product.
Ready or not, here we go! I'm all in now!
This cracked me up. In case you had to pee, there's the sign. Totally said majority of guys work here.
Phil, the artist for the day. He did a great job, I couldn't be happier with the final product.
I won't lie, it was painful at times and when he'd get to the parts that didn't hurt so much, man there was relief! Like I said before it felt cathartic and coming full circle...I'm lacking in words right now...they've all been spent in my above story! :)
Almost done and with color!
1 hour later and the finished work...it's more than I could think of and I LOVE it!
Here is Nikki's tattoo...
Me and my friends, Nikki and Rita. Ms. Rita came along to supervise us and keep us in line...or join in the fun...
Me...it was a good day!
Close up, still wonderful...so many emotions
These next photos are where we got our inspiration for our tattoos.
Bouquet of flowers
OK, this was a tough post to write and took me several hours...well really I've known for years I've needed to tell this story but have ignored it. It's my ink story and it means so much to me...and yes I want more tattoos and have had several ideas for a few more. Once you get one you really want more...it's a way of telling your story...some has meaning and others there's not story just something that is you or you like.
Thank you Lord for the Guardian Angels you assign to watch over us...seen or unseen!