Celebrating your joy…alone

Growing up in my family, there was a celebration for everything. If it was big sister’s birthday…there was a party. If Dad got a raise…there was a party. If Uncle got remarried for the third time…there was a party. If Paco got his 5th divorce, had his 7th baby, got engaged again, and his mistress got a boob job…party.

We had a celebration for everything. It was the best part of growing up. The food, the games, the family and friends all together. It was all so wonderful. As I started getting older, the parties became fewer. Until there were none. Our family had many dents and bruises, issues that, till this day still need to be addressed, but remain untouched. As family problems increased, the bond of our family decreased. Until eventually ceased.

I grew up with thoughts embedded in my brain that I was the main point of all the problems in our home. So it was natural for me to always feel down about myself and assume that I would never amount to anything. Until one day I did. I got my GED, I got my first college degree, I left NY for a better life and am actually doing very well…but yet, I celebrate these joys alone. At least, thats how I feel.

My daughter asked me a few weeks back if I felt as if I needed validation from family members in order to feel better about myself. I wasn’t sure how to feel about that question. I did know how to respond to it however. I told her I didn’t need validation or recognition, but a pat on the shoulder, a congratulations, and most importantly, the words “I am proud of you” would have made a great difference. I think that the reason I felt like I wanted to hear those words (Not needed, but wanted) was because I’ve felt all my life like I was a failure. Like I wasn’t worth pursuing any dreams, goals, or aspirations. Because that was what was embedded in my brain. “Marlyn, you’re a piece of shit and will never be anything more!”.

Sad huh?

Yeah well, it’s the truth. Even after I received my college degree, I still felt alone in my joy. Even today. Today I have achieved so much but yet feel so little. As if I haven’t “done enough”. But what is enough? When is it enough? When will reaching the highest of your goals be enough to finally feel happy? That will always remain an unanswered question, at least for me.

I’ve been given praise for positive goals and milestones that I have reached, but have always celebrated my success by myself. Although sharing my happiness with others, I guess it just wasn’t enough for me. I have and still feel that some people were just not that happy and could care less for what I have overcome.

But I move forward and continue to pursue my ultimate goals. I am not done yet. At 41, I still have so many things to finish and I will finish them. I spent the majority of my life extending my hand to others that I have always forget about me. Now that I am working on myself, there are people ot there who still feel doubt and what I do is never enough to prove them different.

These are just feelings that I hold inside and now with the world. So to hell with those who don’t care to feel joy about my joy. Even if its just a bottle of hair oil that was too expensive for me to purchase, but managed to because the item had so many great reviews and being that I have trouble growing my hair, I feel joy that maybe, just maybe, I finally found a product to help it grow again.

So if you have something to celebrate, something you’ve struggled for years to achieve, go for it. Don’t be ashamed to celebrate alone. It’s your joy, your happiness. Never let anyone steal your thunder. Be the calm that conquered the storm.

With Love,

Marly

Dream a little dream…

Fame…what is it? Is it when you are on a celebrity status, a business mogule, an entrenpaneur? Is it those five minutes on Fox Five News of you being interviewed for saving a cat, or giving money to the homeless. How about buying all the girl scout cookies from the scouts in front of the supermarket?

Heroic and fame…two different words, two different categories, two different definitions however yet, they mean almost the same!

We all have heros right? Aw come on!! You all know you do!! Whether it’s a parent, an astronaut, a basketball player, or the President of the United States!! (Please tell me he is not your hero lol).

I have two heros. My childhood hero was Wonder Woman…who am I fooling…she still is! My second hero, my idle, my superstar, my predescessor, my big Sister Marisol.

I did a lot of wrong shit to her as a child. For christ sake, I wore red to her wedding…who does that??? I stole her car when I was 14. I will never forget that. She threw a high heel at me the following morning. I even went the lengths of breaking into her apartment when I was a teenager. I was homeless at the time and it was raining hard thundering and lightning and my dad refused to allow me and my then infant daughter back home.

I did so much foul shit to her but yet, she never stopped caring. Never turned her back on me and let me tell you, she’s turned her back on quite a few and never even bat an eyelash!! But me, never. She stood, and till this day, still standing.

When I was a little girl, probably up until I was 14, I played with Barbies and believe it or not…I wanted to be a school teacher. Now, those of you who know me, know that I HATED SCHOOL FOR A FACT!!! I was NEVERRRRRRR there!!!!! Cutting was my best class lol!!!!!

School was so boring, I hated the teachers, school books, most of the student body, the front office, guidance, and best but not least…ALL THE PRINCIPLES. I remember one year, my father came to the school in Hauppauge, NY dressed in a three piece suit looking like Telly Savolis, you know the cop from Kojack?? Yep that was my Dads twin. Except my dad is like 6’2″. No lie. He’s a big dude. Well, to make a long story short, the Vice Principle caught me in the lunch room cutting class. He grabbed me by the collar of my shirt, made me spill my milk, and dragged me into his office. He was this white guy with really red cheeks. Ugh he was so ugly. Anyway, we used to get this little quart cups of milk and I had mine in my hand. When he dragged me, I knew it was over for him. And I made sure that he knew that lol!

When he dragged me out and my milk spilled on the brand new sweater my mom MADE FOR ME (embarrassing), I told him nice and calmly….”Ooooooohhhhhh you’re in troulble now, my daddy is gonna kick your butt!’ That man screamed at me and told me shut up! He said “Shut up, your dad isn’t going to do anything but sit there and listen like all you spics should!!’

Let me just veer off real quick. Im the youngest of four sisters. I am the most spoiled by my dad, I am my dads favorite….get where I am going with this?? LOL

Anywho, once he made that comment to me, I laughed and he said “What the hell are you laughing for?” I told him that the more he talked the more he was digging a deep grave for himself. He didn’t believe me. Next thing you now, here comes daddy!!! He had a light gray three piece suit on, his sunglasses on and walked in with great confidence, even though he was pissed!

As he walked into the front office, he kept yelling
“Where’s my daughter!!! Where the fuck is my daughter!!!” School staff tried to calm him down but eh….nah didn’t happen. They sat their asses down and shut it up right quick lol! The principle then walked into the front office and I was against the wall in his office but I could see outside his door. Now mind you my shirt collar had been stretched out from him grabbing me and I had red welts all over my neck and arms.

So pops walked in and I jumped up and down screaming “Daddy, Daddy!!”. He grabbed me and looked at me and asked “Who did this to you?”, I turned looked the asshole principle dead in his face and said….you’re gonna get it now!!! My dad LOST IT! He whipped that mans ass so bad, when I tell you WHIPPED!!!! Sheesh, Dad became butcher of the year lol!!!

Ok so back to my story. I wanted to be this school teacher, grade school to be exact. I would have all types of worksheets my teachers gave away at the end of the school year. They were Summer Practice sheets. I had mine and collected tons of others. I really wanted to be a person that little kids looked up to. The problem was…..I HATED SCHOOL!

My sister however, she always emphasized to me how I needed to get my crap together if I wanted to live a great life like her. I ignored her. It’s what little sisters do. As I got older, I dropped out of High School in the 10th grade, worked odd jobs here and there, I started doing drugs, hanging out all night long not coming home sometimes leaving my little baby girl with my mother. All this wrong I was doing and yet my Sister Marisol never ever lost faith in me.

I struggled on Long Island, New York. I was drinking, hanging, on drugs. It was a horrible life. It came to a point where I grew so tired of the bull crap. I used to tell Marisol almost every year, “I’m leaving!!”. Yeah I lied.

This year though, I don’t know. Something just struck me hard and told me pack your shit and go be with your fave. And in a matter of 4 days, my entire home and family were packed and I left NY. Now here I am in PA.

Since being here, my thoughts of being a teacher have resurfaced. Not an elementary school teacher, but a college professor. I also want to take my blog to another level. And I want to come out with a clothing line! But I sometimes doubt myself, thinking that I am so stupid to think things like this could happen to me. But that Sister Marisol of mine…..she always finds away to bring my dreams to life. She has this confidence that what I want will happen. She doesnt care what any one elso thinks.

She’s always supporting me, drying my tears, making sure I have myself together. I’m her biggest fan. And to be honest, it was her idea for me to move from NY to PA!. She knew that I would find my peace here, and I have!!!

Marisol is a very different type of woman with limited time on her hands. But I will say this, She always takes a minute or two to just kiss me on my forehead and say…

“Make all those Dream come true, Only you can make that happen if you want it that bad”

~Marisol Culley~

So I am working on them now thanks to my big Sis Marisol. I have a lot of ideas and goals and dreams that I am determined to turn into reality and with her infinite amount of encouragement and support, I will make my dreams come to life!

“Don’t think it, but speak it into existence”

With Love,

Marly

Battling Obesity

When I was a teen, I was a fragile little thing. At 18, I weighed a measly 100lbs wet! Yes I was skinny and frail. At 19, I became pregnant with my now 21 soon to be 22 year old daughter. Her father was my first heart break. When I was pregnant with her, I gained and lost weight. But I was very tiny carrying her. She was only 4lbs 14oz when she was born. She was also born towards the end of my seventh month of pregnancy. I was high risk with her. I was dialated early and my amniotic fluid was leaking towards the end of my sixth month. I only gained 11lbs when I was pregnant with her. After giving birth, I weighed a solid 99lbs.

Can we say “Olive Oil”?

However, I was quite the opposite. I ate like it was my last day on earth. Little did I know…I was headed there. When I was younger my mother would tell me “You eat with your eyes” and “Keep eating like that, and it’s going to catch up with you!”. I would brush it off and carry on with my careless eating habits.

As I got older, I started eating even more recklessly. I would wake up at 1:00am and grab a pack of oreos and a tall glass of milk and eat the entire pack. I would eat Hershey chocolate bars for lunch and Milano cookies for dinner. My eating became an outlet for me. Every time I became upset or angry, I’d grab a cookie or candy.

As I started heading into my twenties, my weight began to take a toll on me. I didn’t care though. My family would warn me and try to help me control my eating. I didn’t want to hear it. I loved food and it made me feel good. I didn’t want to stop. It was my outlet. I needed an outlet and that was one of many that I later found.

In my late twenties early thirties, I became very over weight. I found myself weighing a whopping 280lbs. Not only was I now a plus sized woman, I was also becoming a sick woman. I developed high blood pressure, varicose veins, back problems, blood clotting, sleep apnea, etc…

At the age of 35, things became severe. I became very ill. I was constantly hospitalized for different reasons. My primary care doctor had finally had enough and referred me to a bariatric doctor. This was probably one of the most scariest moments in my life. I didn’t know what to expect. I had never thought to myself I’d be in this predictament. After several tests and labs, the bariatric doctor told me I needed to have a “Gastric Bypass” done. There were no options. I wasn’t able to diet, I couldn’t have the lapband or the gastric sleeve. He straight up told me that I needed to have the bypass done in order to lose all of my weight or I could possibly die.

I was at a dead end. No choices to be made, no alternatives. It was this or death. I had three children to think about. A fiance who stood by me and took my kids and I in at our worst. I could lose it all if I didn’t change my life. My habit of poor eating. I was addicted to food!

It took three months to prepare for the operation. Several visits to different doctors, visits to a psychiatrist, group therapy, visits with a nutritionist. It was the most exhausting three months of life, but my back was against the wall and I needed to do what I had to. I had to give up all my favorite foods, learn to eat differently, and learn HOW to eat properly.

On January 30, 2012, I had gastric bypass surgery. My recovery took more than a year. But in that year I lost 187lbs. I literally lost all of my weight and then some. Now in 2018, I weigh 165lbs. I have managed to maintain this weight for 4 years. The first two years were the most difficult. I became pregnant with my last child eight months after surgery. I wasn’t supposed to. My GYN had me on the wrong birth control and I became pregnant. It was the worst pregnancy out of the four. My son was draining me. I was a battery that he would use and use. He was born on time and healthy at 7lbs 11oz, but I was sick.

Now I eat better. More protien in my diet. I don’t binge eat and I take my time eating my meals. I drink tons of water and more vegetables. I’m getting into exercising every other day until my body is accustomed to it. I’ll have a snack from time to time but not things like candy bars or cookies. I can’t remember the last time I had an oreo! I don’t eat fried foods a lot, maybe twice a month at most.

Most importantly, I learned how to prevent myself from raiding the fridge when I am upset or angry. I now write. I express myself through my words with pen and paper and I absolutely love it. I sleep better at night, I have more energy throughout the day. I am up before the sun and not sleeping in all day. The change has done right by me and I love every second of it.

My weight gain came from my depression and all the things that I have endured since childhood. Things that I have held in and on to for years. I am working on bettering my life still and I am still working on eating healthier because success does not come over night. You have to work towards success if you really want it. I’m not bettering myself and my eating habits because I am obsessed with looking good. I am bettering myself because I have a will to live.

Over eating is a disorder and a disease believe it or not. People have many outlets and believe it or not this is one of them. The same way eating food and throwing it up or starving yourself is an illness, eating even when you can’t anymore is too.

Don’t ignore the signs.

With Love,

Marly

BeforeNAfter

Once upon a hit…

Domestic violence is a huge problem in society. It exists more in the lives of women then it does in men. It’s not hugely recognized with men because there is this stigma stuck with us that men are able to defend themselves as opposed to women. But it happens. Men are battered as well.

I grew up in a home where my father openly beat my sisters and I. My mother tried her hardest to defend us, but she also “Stood by her man”. There were three of us only that lived with mom and dad. Remember in my first blog, I mentioned that my oldest sister was not from the same mom, so she really didn’t feel my father’s wrath as much as the three of us did. My second oldest sister left home as soon as she graduated high school. Returning only temporarily after college. She grew tiresome of the constant negativity and decided to pursue a better and brighter future, here in Pennsylvania. A very smart decision on her part.

My third oldest sister however stood for a while. I will admit that she did take several blows for me when my dad went into one of his rages. She did suffer greatly. I stood home with both my parents until the age of 22. My parents became tired of my inability to be responsible, hold a job, and care for my daughter. That didn’t stop my dad from putting his hands on me though. When he hit us, he’d hit us as if we were men on the street. He didn’t care.

I remember once my sister jumped in the middle of him trying to hit me and he beat her with a cordless phone. My childhood friend ran from my home across the street to hers and told her mother. The police showed up shortly thereafter. My father was placed in handcuffs and taken to the 3rd precinct in Bay Shore, NY. The police were no strangers to our home. They were there constantly, if not for my dad, for me! During this particular incident, I remember my mom sitting on the front stoop crying and I was standing next to her. One of the police officers were in front of us just staring at my mother with no remorse. I remember vividly him asking her “Why do you allow this man to beat your daughters?”. Her reply was “It’s discipline”. That cop yelled at my mother from the top of his lungs when she answered with that statement.

Because of the way we grew up, I knew no better. I thought that hitting was a way of life. So any relationship that I was in, I sought to be hit. Boy was I wrong. It became so bad that during my relationship with my third son’s father, he would literally beat me until I bled. In front of my two oldest children. I grew so tired of it that I started to hit back and that was how our relationship continued for several years.

My parents left the state of NY. One year my mother came to visit me while I was in this disastrous relationship. She came with my sister from Pennsylvania to visit. We sat in my living room, my sister and I on one couch and my mother and my ex on the couch directly across from us. We started talking about abuse in relationships. Vividly I recollect my mother saying “I never raised you girls to tolerate a man hitting you!”. My sister KNEW at that point I was going to lash out. She put her hand on my ankle and squeezed so tightly as to say “Shut up, let her vent”, but I just couldn’t. I looked at my mother dead in her eyes and said “You say you didn’t raise us to be hit by a man, but yet you allowed our father to beat us like men!”. She couldn’t say a word. Shock rung though her. She looked at me with such surprise, as if she couldn’t believe her own daughter would respond that way…

Well I did, and I never regret it. It wasn’t until I met Tony, that I realized that hitting wasn’t love. I tested his waters several times before. I tried to get him to hit me because that’s just what I was used to. He never did. He never raised his hand to me. Not even his voice. Tony never argues back, never looks for a fight and if we disagree on something, he will bring it down so that it won’t escalate any further.

Being hit is not fun. Walking around bruised and sore is no more fun than being hit. Worse, the emotional scars that one carries for the remainder of their days is horrendous. I know, first hand. My father and mother are still married till this day. It has been well over 50 years. My dad has changed so much and recognizes that he did his daughters very wrong. My dad also revealed years ago a very frightening family secret. He was brutally abused by his mother. Far more worse than what he did to us.

So you see, abuse is a learned behavior. This might not be a scientific fact, but it is my opinion. We learn what we grow with. If you eat a cherry by it’s stem first, your children are likely to do the same.

There is help out there for battered PEOPLE. Not just women, MEN AS WELL!!! Break the cycle and learn to love yourselves before you lose yourselves. Going through life with external and internal scars is a horrible way to live. Just look at yourself in the mirror and ask yourself “Do I deserve this?”. No matter what you feel you’ve done wrong or how bad it seems, no one deserves to be hit.

Stand up to hands up.

With Love,

Marly

It’s never too late

In life we tend to make many mistakes. We hurt many people, including ourselves. We don’t always realize the hurt and pain we cause until it comes back to us ten fold. I can attest to this. I’ve hurt many people throughout my life, including myself. It has affected me in many different ways.

I’m 41 one years old and it wasn’t until recent years that I started owning up to my bullshit. I began apologizing to people for things I did as a teenager. Hurt and pain lingers. It dwells and some people can’t let go because it has affected them in the worst of ways.

Mistakes don’t necessarily need to be hurtful. It can be things that you later regret. Things that you feel you should have said or done. Actions that you felt you should have taken. Today…I felt that regret. That pain. The hurt. The hurt of not opening up when I should have. Now it’s too late. That person will never know.

My old college professor reached out to me a few days ago and said “Marlyn, it’s never too late. Express yourself. He will hear you.” Now, I’m not a religious woman. I’m more spiritual than anything. But when she said that to me, I took heed to it and did what she said.

I lost someone very special to my heart. This person will always have a special place there. I attended their services this evening and as I approached the casket I knelt down and shed tears and spoke how I felt. Giving me closure. Although the loss truly is painful, the fact that I was able to finally let out my feelings felt relieving.

Hearts can be cold and not so forgiving. However, relieve yourself of the burden of the mistakes you’ve made and find closure in seeking forgiveness. If it’s vice versa then find relief in forgiving. Why lose countless nights of sleep holding on to grudges or being angry, or even holding onto words that you could have expressed long before?

Wipe away that mind blemish and put an “H” on your chest and handle your business. Life is too short my friends. Tomorrow is promised to no one. Not even an ant.

With love,

Marly

Never said “Goodbye”

The last we spoke was the night of September 11, 2018, at 11:13pm. We laughed at a joke and his last words to me were “I’ll see you Saturday!”. He passed away at 2:10am on September 12th. My heart broke into millions of pieces later on that morning when I received the phone call informing me of his death. That pain is so unbearable.

I hung his picture on my wall that day. Lit two candles and put the lyrics to “Wild Flowers” by Tom Petty, in a frame below it. I never got to say goodbye. I never got to tell him that I loved him.

We had a secret relationship, as we are both involved with someone else. He was my world. He ran through my thoughts everyday. Everyday we would speak. I remember before leaving Long Island, he called me a “Punk” because I decided to leave. He made jokes but he knew. He knew how I felt. At times he would joke around and tell me how other women would flock at his feet and I would laugh. I’d laugh because I knew what he was trying to do and it didn’t work lol.

The last time I saw him was Labor day weekend. The Sunday before Labor day we met up. He got out his car and came to me and lifted me off my feet and said “Aww, you miss me.” Yeah, I miss you. Now more than ever. I can’t get you off of my mind. You are embedded so deep that the devil himself couldn’t remove you.

He’s gone now. He’s gone and I am beyond hurt. Every song I hear, every movie I see, every meal I cook, reminds me of him. How does one let go? How do you just get over the loss of someone who you were in love with?

My sister said to me “Mar, there is no expiration date when it comes to mourning.” I’m glad she told me this because now I know that I don’t have to let go. I will never let go. I will never forget.

I’m hurting so badly. The void is so critical that at times I just want to keel over and die. I know that he wouldn’t be happy with this. I know he’d tell me to stop acting like a big baby and grow balls. That’s just the type of dude he was. No filter, no hair on his tongue.

I cried so much today. I looked though his pictures and watched his videos just so I can hear his voice. His smile, oh his beautiful smile. It brought rays of light to my heart. I wish that there were ways to tell him all the things I should have told him before. I wish heaven had a phone so that I can call and say my last words. I wish he would come to me in my dreams so that I can tell him “I love you!”.

I am devastated. I am so angry and hurt. It should have never been him. He was loved by so many people. He was so popular. But that’s not why I loved him. I loved his character, his charisma, his loyalty, his honesty, his realness. He was so tall and handsome too. He was everything to me and I never said goodbye.

I know that this too shall pass, this empty feeling and hurtful void. When I am ready I will let go but I will never forget. He will always be in my memories. Until then, I will shed tears until I can no longer. I will tolerate the pain until I can no longer. I will hold on until I decide to no longer.

Have a wonderful journey home Hec. Sleep in peace. Know that I will always keep you in my heart.

With Love,

Mar

“Death leaves a heartache no one can heal, love leaves a memory no one can steal.”

~Richard Puz~
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Sadness can become a sickness

I….am a manic depressive. Yes, you’ve read correctly. I suffer from severe depression. There are days where I can seem so very happy and outgoing but inside I am feeling so much pain and hurt. Most of the time there is no reason or cause for my sadness. It just happens.

Most of society do not understand the severity of depression. It is a serious illness. So serious it can become fatal. People take their own lives because of it.

My depression became frequent as I got older. I’ve tried to take my life quite a few times. Unsuccessful with all my attempts, I knew that death wasn’t ready for me. So I sought help. I started seeing a therapist as well as a psychiatrist. They sent me to a neurologist. It was then that I was diagnosed with ADHD. Things went from bad to worse. I just wanted to give up!! I mean, who the hell wants to be depressed and hyper at the same damn time!!!

So I kept going to my behavioral health doctors. I joined groups. I let out my feelings and discovered that I suffered from repressed memories. There were things that happened in my life that I blocked out. Things that I never wanted to remember. Things that I refused to remember.

I’m still in therapy. I still seek help so that I can control my emotions. I used to get so angry that I’d want to fight people, break things. However, I learned and gained control. My confidence grew stronger. I became confident and my self esteem strengthened.

The worst part of depression is the anxiety that accompanies it. I swear it is the most horrific feeling anyone could endure. There are nights when I could be in the deepest of sleep and POW! I wake up GASPING for air. The room feels as if it’s closing in on me as it’s spinning. I try coping skills but it doesn’t work no matter how hard I try. So I sleep again. With the hopes that I won’t go through another episode again.

I’ve gained control of my depression but, I still need to work on my anxiety. It isn’t very easy. Not at all.

Since moving to Pennsylvania, I’ve found a sort of peace. I’m less depressed and more active. Before, while living in New York, I’d sleep all day and night. Now I’m up like clockwork at 5:30am. Don’t think I’m 1000% fixed because I’m not. I still see a therapist and psychiatrist, I still join groups, and I now advocate for people suffering with the same illness. And I must tell you….I am unbothered in every way. I rationalize things more. I talk things out. Most importantly, I don’t keep my feelings bottled up inside.

So if you know someone who suffers from this illness, don’t judge them. Reach out to them. There’s help everywhere.

Remember, some times people just want to be heard. Not judged.

“A big part of depression is feeling really lonely, even if you’re in a room full of a million people.”

~Lilly Singh~

With love,

Mar