Change

It took me till now to figure out my greatest fear. Change. Over the past 6 months there has been so much change. I hated it, and I mean I’m still not a huge fan of it, but I appreciate it. When I was younger I always said I loved change. Why? Because back then “change” to me was rearguing my bedroom or mom buying a new car.  They were the little pieces of change, but never affected my life style, routine, or outlook of life.

Then fucking 2018 rolls around and makes me face my biggest fear. So much has changed this year. I lost my person, I moved, new job, new school, new therapist, and the list can go on and on and on. Change can be defeating. It can be overwhelming. There has been many times I have wanted to throw in the towel, say I give up, and move in with my brother or my best friends. But now I’m starting to get over that hump and starting to accept all these changes and slowly, but surely I’m starting to feel like me again. It takes time to accept change, it’s a whole new normal that I have to get use to.

I am proud of myself for keeping up with all this change as best as I can. Of course somedays I feel like I can barley keep my head above water with everything that was/is going on. But then I have nights like tonight, nothing planned except to sit on my couch, drink some wine, and watch a few good movies. It’s peaceful, it feels as though the world has stopped moving for a minute and I can reflect on all the challenges I have overcome in the past year. Then which has me also reflecting on how much I have grown on a personal level. Today I was joking with a friend and I said “Mama didn’t raise no bitch” and as funny and stupid that was to say, its true. I can’t be a little bitch through all these changes, or they will consume me then defeat me and mama would deff not be happy.

So now I keep going on. I keep waking up everyday not fearing change, but accepting it. We have no control over our life plan. As much as we may want to, there is so much out of our control. Once you have the ability to accept the things you can control and the things you cannot control, you will live a much happier life.

“Happiness is letting go of what you think your life is suppose to look like and celebrating it for everything that it is”.

Fly High My Angel Fly High

Love your baby girl ❤

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My World

When they say it takes a village, they are lying. It takes the world. Grief isn’t anything I wish upon anyone. The amount I have grown through this grief process is something I never imagined. Though I wouldn’t have been able to push through this grief everyday and get up out of bed, go to work, keep in contact with people and live each day if I didn’t have all the support from my people.

It was hard at first no one was the right person, my mom was the only person I wanted. I would scream, cry and sob for her. But over time I have started to accept that others are beneficial. Now that I’m opening up and accepting that it makes this grief process bearable. I was in denial and don’t get me wrong some days I still am, but thank god for my support system. I have everyone reminding me of the good that is still in life. On the bad days writing down the good things, thinking of the memories really help deal with all the sadness.

Positive things in life:

I have a nephew on the way!!!! I’m going to be an aunt!

I have students who are expecting Miss. Swartz to show up and teach them every day.

I have my brother, sister-in-law, cousins, friends.

I have the cutest, most hilarious grandparents.

I have a great boyfriend.

I have roof over my head.

I have the family I nanny for.

I have a therapist.

I go to yoga, gym and my bed. (Bed may win more than yoga and gym sometimes ;)but its all about balance right?!  )

I have the most amazing and supportive coworkers.

I have dreams.

I am a teacher.

I am a young adult.

I am confident.

I am goofy.

I am sarcastic.

I am realistic.

I am imaginable.

The list goes on. I have a lot and I am a lot. These are just a few things that help me get back to Bailey. Back to being the confident young adult I am. The woman who is excited to live and see what life has to offer. I was told the other day “try living more in the moment, rather than the past or the future”. And boy oh boy did that hit me like a brick. Yes, the past has shaped me, and to have goals and dreams for the future is great, but I need to live now. I’m not going to get these days back. The more I live in the present the better quality of life I will have. So moral of getting back to Bailey is I had to accepted others help instead of push it away, I am grateful for what I still have and proud of who I am. Cheers, cheers to my world, positivity & happiness.

Fly High My Angel Fly High

Domestic Violence Fact #4: On average, nearly 20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner in the United States. During one year, this equates to more than 10 million women and men.

Fun Fact #3: The chills you get when listening to music are caused by your brain releasing dopamine, a neurotransmitter that causes pleasure.

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Will the Shock Ever be OVER?

Getting the news and being so far away was terrible. I couldn’t even cry at first all I could do is scream, throw things, call everyone close to me, and walk circles around my apartment like a zoo animal. I was in disbelief. Matt grabbed me and held me in his arms and said ‘I’m so sorry, whatever you need I am here”. Then the tears came and they haven’t stopped yet. While in disbelief I am calling my grandparents and brother & sister in-law every 5 min to see how they are, checking to make sure the news was real. All I wanted it to be was a nightmare. Finally I took some sleeping medication at 4am and woke up at 7 to my phone ringing. It was one of my mom’s best friends bawling. After I got off the phone with her I rolled over to Matt and said this was all a nightmare right? He held me tight and just cried with me. Being so far away was terrible, all I wanted to do was get in the car and start driving, but neither Matt nor I were in any condition to drive. So we had to wait till the next night to fly out. So I’m stuck all I want to be is there with my grandparents.

That morning is when it all starts, my phone was ringing and blinging off the hook. I hated it. The I’m so sorries, if you need anything, etc etc. it was so great to know I had so many people, but I hated it because I shouldn’t of been getting those messages. My mom was an amazing person, who was taken by a very bad person. Why was she taken. All I could keep saying was Why? Though I was getting all these messages I still couldn’t believe it. I just talked to her last night. So many people were there to console my family and I, but not the one person I wanted/needed. I needed my mom. No one has a hug, a laugh, or a smile like hers. No one.

Finally after what felt like forever, I got to my grandparents cabin and just hugged and cried with them. All that was missing was my brother and mom. I knew I would see my brother tomorrow, but I realized I would never see my mom again. The next few days were a blur. Talking to police, making arraignments, visitors, the list goes on. I would be holding up okay, then I would be a  loose canon, The cycle never stops. I was in shock, I still am in shock. I could not believe what was going on. I didn’t want to believe what was going on. At 23 years old and my brother 25 we should not be having to plan a celebration of life for our mom. It wasn’t her time yet. She still needed to be a grandmother, dance with me at my wedding, let me call her everyday, and be my mom for many more years to come.

Now its almost 5 months later. 5 months I have been in intense therapy, 4 months I have been back to work, 5 months of me having to go to bed and get up the next day. It’s not easy. The world doesn’t stop for you. I sometimes still think she is just on a vacation and I will hear from her soon. But I wont. I wont have “Mom” pop up on my phone as an incoming call ever again. I’m trying to get use to this new normal, that I have to move on with, but damn it’s hard. I had a dream a few nights ago. I was sitting on my grandparents front porch at the picnic table and she was there. (She is in my dreams all the time, thank god!) I said to her “I can’t do it here without you anyone, I’m going to end my time and join you”. She said to me “As much as I would like that, you have a lot of life ahead of you that you need to live. I’ll be watching and with you through it all.” I truly believe that is how my mom is going to talk to me now. This new normal and new life is not what I pictured or wanted, but I have to keep going. I don’t think the shock of loosing my mom will ever fade, but living everyday to its fullest is something I need to do for myself and for my mama bear.

Fly High My Angel Fly High

Domestic Violence Fact #3: October is domestic violence awareness month. Wear purple to raise awareness.

Fun Fact #3: There is no “Q” in any of the U.S state names!

P.S. I teamed up with Umbrella to do a story on mom for domestic violence awareness month. Go check it out in the Caledonia Record this week!

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Breaking Point

At this point life was great, I saw this super cute boy in my Human Rights class in college. Of course I called my mom to tell her all about this guy I knew nothing about. Next thing you know one night I’m having margaritas with a mutual friend of ours and ending it kissing THE CUTE BOY! The first time I brought him home to meet my family my mom goes, “hi, are you the cute boy in Bailey’s class”…(talk about blushing and being embarrassed!) We left that evening and he told me how awesome my family was, how I’m a spitting image of my mom, and how down to earth we were. I was soo happy. Our relationship continued into our senior year we were so happy and getting ready to graduate and make a big move.

Well one Saturday morning we are waking up and I get a call from my dad crying. Saying he messed up. I had no idea what was going on, he said to meet mom at my aunt and uncle’s house and she will tell me. He just kept repeating he was sorry and he made mistake. As the news broke I found out my dad this guy who I thought I knew embezzled from where he was working. I knew he had a drinking problem and ya, I couldn’t stand most of the time, but at the end of the day he was still my dad so I always gave him the benefit of the doubt. I was so confused to why he lost his job because so many stories were being told.

Living in a small town of course the rumors started. He would never tell us the story of why he was fired. Was it because he didn’t want us to know to protect us in case the feds asked us? was he ashamed? it drove all of us nuts that we heard bits and pieces of it, but never actually knew. Long story short he was fired and being investigated for embezzlement.

Well this is when the drinking got absolutely terrible. My mom was embarrassed, hated going out in public, even though she knew nothing about anything that was going on. She always said people stare at me, they judge me. I told her to tell them to fuck off, but she said “that would be rude” 😉 Then when she got home she had to deal with a drunk husband. Obviously she was dealing with way to much. He had nothing to do all day, no place would hire him because he was being investigated for embezzlement. So he coped with his feelings by alcohol. We all tried to help him get into rehabs, therapy, all those things, but you can’t change a person who doesn’t want to change. They can only change themselves and they need to want to change. I believe he didn’t want to change.

This is where it broke me. I wanted to help. I wanted to fix him. He is broken. It destroyed me, my family, my relationship, etc. I was getting depressed, angry, etc that I lost my dad. He was turning into a severe alcoholic and someone I didn’t want to be around. He finally got a job in New York and moved there, I moved to Pennsylvania, and mom stayed home in Vermont. Well I thought I was ready for my move to PA, I told my boyfriend the old Vermont bullshit was behind me, I’m ready to move forward in life. Well I thought wrong. Hearing my mom and how depressed and tired she was from this monster calling and texting her terrible abusive messages, and saying accusations about her, and financial stress, but most of all she wanted to make everyone else around her happy while she was disintegrating. So I was calling her all the time crying with her. We were both trying to change things out of our control. I started taking my frustration out on my boyfriend. I stopped contact with this monster and my mother tried to, but it was more a legal thing than anything to stop contact. Luckily my boyfriend had enough patience to understand and help me, but it was not fair that he had to deal with all of this and have my physical body in PA, but my mind in VT. It was a shitshow to say the least, but slowly its getting back.

As the months went on this guy who was once my dad became a total stranger to my brother and I. Neither of us had talked to him in months. My last conversation with him was telling him if he changes he can be back in my life, but until then he needs to work on himself. Well the change never happened, so I never talked to him again. My mom though, I talked to her every single day if not more than once everyday. She was my person, shit she is still my person. Though this monster was so jealous of that. He was so angry that she had a great relationship with her kids and he did have a relationship at all.

The next thing I knew I was on the phone with my mom laughing & chit chatting, then an hour later I’m getting a nightmare call from my grandmother. My mom was killed. This monster couldn’t fix himself and was so angry with himself and jealous he couldn’t have his children, so I suppose he thought she couldn’t either. I lost my mom. I lost my best friend, hero, rock, role model, jello shot maker, life of the party, but most importantly this baby girl lost her mama bear. He took her, how could he do this? The rage I feel, I can’t even explain. She didn’t deserve this, never in a million years. Why didn’t he die from his gun shot, but she did? It’s not fair. Why? It’s a question I keep finding myself saying. WHY? WHY THE FUCK IS IT OKAY FOR YOU TO TAKE MY MOM. Let me answer that, it’s not okay, never will okay. Now so many people are broken because of YOU, you took the life of the sunshine in our lives.

Each day gets harder and easier at the same time. How? Harder because I don’t have my mom to talk to. Yes, I know I can talk to her, but god dammit I want her to respond. I called her every day on my way home from work and now I can’t. Yes, I can call others, but its not the same. And its harder because life keeps going on. The world does not stop. Fortunately I have had an amazing support system that makes these hard days easier and that is how each day gets a little easier. I’m starting to get use to this “new normal” of mine.

Now you know the “short” version of why and how I’m in this “hole”. How do I keep getting up everyday? How do I keep eating and sleeping at night? How do I talk about this tragedy and without hesitation talk about domestic violence. Well keep reading because that’s going to be in the next few posts.

I’ll be back soon to keep writing my story.
Until then remember #loveshouldnthurt 
Domestic Violence Fact #2: Domestic violence is the leading cause of injury to women – more than car accidents, muggings, and rapes combined.
Fun Fact #2: You can’t hum while holding your nose closed. (Yes, I totally just tried this!) Always good to end on a positive note & smile 🙂

 

Fly high my angel, fly high ❤

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The Beginning…

The beginning? Where to start? I guess childhood. Growing up I had what I thought was the “perfect family”. I had two parents who weren’t divorced, an awesome older brother, and my grandparents lived 10 minuets away. We always supported each other, went to every event for each other. From the outside it looked like our life was fantastic and as kid I always thought that because of my mom. She was such a positive person, putting everyone before her and trying to hide that ‘bad stuff’ from my brother and I.
As a kid I was typically always happy, loud, full of energy, trying new things, excited, over around just a happy kid. Then bad things started happening behind close doors. My dad at the time started really drinking. Yea drinking is common, but when glass or two of milk at dinner transformed to drinking a bottle or two or three or even four of Budlight at dinner I knew something was changing. Though I didn’t really listen to that little voice in my head saying, thats not right because everything else was fine. Mom had us go around the table every night say the best part of our day. And most of my friends rarely, if at all had family dinner every night like we did. So I thought well it’s better than what I have seen.
Then over the years the 4 beers at dinner became a whole 30 rack a night. Yes, I said 30. Along with the 30 beers came lies, verbal abuse, mental abuse, sneakiness, heartbreak, sadness, depression, denial, the list of the negative affects it brings goes on. I would always have hope that when the drinking stopped for a day that was going to be the day, the day I would get my dad back, but then I got my hopes up too often that I gave up hope. But when he wasn’t drinking for those couple hours in the morning he was great. Though many times the night before I was being called a dumb cunt or stupid bitch because I did something he didn’t like or didn’t listen to him barking drunk orders. So the next morning was me waking up upset and pissed that he would call his daughter something like that and/or him waking up “not remembering” a thing and wanting to be my best friend. Now imagine my mom, brother, and I dealing with that with nobody over. Now imagine him doing the same thing when we had company. Well we didn’t have to imagine it, it was a reality we had to face when we wanted to have friends over.
I would have to forewarn friends before coming to my house that my dad was an alcoholic, so if he says something bad ignore it and that I was/am not like him. Mom would have to “babysit” him to try to protect my brother and I from being embarrassed. But when our friends would leave our house and they would say after one visit their, “I feel like I am your family now. Your mom is just so awesome. She makes me feel right at home and is hilarious. I see were you get your personality from”. My mom was the ‘community mom’ everyone knew her and everyone loved her. The bond my mom and I had was no like a bond I have ever had before. How was she such a rockstar? She made our friends feel like family while also dealing with hiding this drunk asshole for our friends and us.
Although all this shit was happening behind close doors we still had a pretty great life going on. My brother went off to the military, and I went to college to become a teacher, both our parents had great jobs. We still went on family vacations, laughed together, cried together, supported each other. All those things families do for each other, we were a strong family. Obviously not the perfect family, but its the Northeast Kingdom every other person is an alcoholic so it wasn’t that big of a deal, so we thought…
So thats the beginning…
I’ll be back soon to keep writing my story.
Until then remember #loveshouldnthurt 
Domestic Violence Fact #1: 1 out of 3 women and 1 out of 4 men have been in an abusive relationship.
Life Fact #1: The world’s oldest chewing gum is over 9,000 years old. (Always good to end on a positive note & smile 🙂6708a85c4a5982dfd18eda6f2372943d