|Me at about 2 months|
|Me at 2|
Life was good for the most part in my early years. When I was two my father decided to pursue his college degree to be a minister. This began our years of moving, as a ministers family. Being a PK (Preachers Kid) is a pretty good life, but there are some disadvantages of it also. Lets see starting new schools really bite. Having everyone scrutinize everything you do, because you are supposed to lead this super human life that you do no wrong. I am here to tell you we all do wrong and we all come to cross roads in our lives that we all have to make tough choices. PK or not we all mess up once in awhile. But the fact that you are a PK makes those bad choices even worse. People talk about you more it is like you are some sort of celebrity without all the extra cash. My life was not really bad until I hit 11. We moved the day after my birthday back to Indiana. I loved where we lived in Pennsylvania the tranquility of country there was great you could get lost in your thoughts and yourself. I felt so safe there, but the parents decided we were going to move back to Indiana where we would could be near family. This was the first time that I can really remember my father not having a church.
|Grandpa and I|
Really life was not so bad it was just different. I was used to my sisters Stacey and Janna and d my niece Shellie living with us. But now there was so many more people now included in the family dynamics. To top it off when we first came back we were staying at my grandparents, so they weren't always so used to us either. I started 6th grade at Union that year. It was tough coming into a school where most everyone had been together since Kindergarten. I quickly learned where my place was. I really hated going to school because I just didn't feel like I fit. But I guess some of that might have had to do with what was going on at home. I didn't feel like I fit there either. There was all these extra components being added to the family and I felt like I was being pushed aside. In retrospect I am sure I could have went to my parents and told them how I felt, but I was a preteen and it just wasn't in my sense or capability to do that then. Because of my insecurities I was able to be preyed on by a person close to the family situation. For the next several years I lived with this secret and because of it I struggled everyday. The one time I felt completely safe was our Washington DC trip my seventh grade year. I was free to be me I had nothing to worry about. I could go to sleep and feel safe. I was able to be a 12 year old kid it was great. But upon returning all the fear returned. I struggled a lot during this time. I questioned God a lot during these years. Why would God let this happen to me a child that had grown up in his house. I really felt like God had let me down. Those feeling did not go away any to soon, I still struggle with the whys. My outlet during this time band. I had convinced my parents during my seventh grade year that I wanted to be in band. They let me and I was hooked from the word go. I could again lose myself in what I was doing. It was my outlet and when I started High School it kept me out of our house, which was a big plus. I made it through Jr High I really don't know how but I did. I struggled everyday with feeling useless and dirty. But when I finished that last day it was a load off. I would be going to a new school in the fall and there would be new people to meet and it would be just that much closer to be done.
So the summer brought me a new challenge in Band, I was excited and for what seemed like the first time in my life I made friends with ease. I guess in a way I had an advantage to other Freshman because I had spent a good part of the summer with not only some Freshman but with many Upperclassmen. I had friends and I had some confidence. Of course some of it was short lived because I still had my ongoing problem at home where I felt the most alone. I jumped feet first into this band thing and High School proved to be a better situation for me. For the next two years I still held tight to my secret but I was able to relax when not at home. I also met my first love my Freshman year (now I am sure he doesn't know he was my first love but boy did I fall head over heels for him) Greg was a Junior at the time and at first we were just friends. But there was something about him that made me feel good about myself. We continued our friendship over the next year and around January of my Sophomore year I knew I wanted it to be more. Our first date was to the Shriners Circus. I was only 15 so any date had to be with my family (that quickly changed once my parents got to know him). I had initially asked him to go to the Sweetheart Dance with me in February but I really liked him.
|Greg and I Sweetheart Dance 1986|
We quickly became an item all I thought of was him. Life was looking up for me and the situation was not all so bad but continued, Greg got me out of the house and away from it more often so life was good. Or so I thought. Our was a short lived love as Greg ended our relationship the morning after his Senior Prom. My world crashed I was crushed. I think I came out a little more insecure after the break up because for me I had gave my everything and then I had nothing. I was dreaming of years together and he was thinking of what he thought was best for both of us. If there was every a time with all the crap going on I wanted to die it was on that Sunday morning. I didn't think I could go on.
So began my Junior year in High School. This was a year that would change a lot of things for me to start with my oldest sister three children came to live with us. I was not always the nicest person but I did love them I just wanted my parents to myself. Then in April of my Junior year the home situation with the person was revealed. Boy was a load lifted off of my shoulders there was no more keeping a secret. It was out there and I could relax. Needless to say I never did relax quite as much as I should have but I did start to be a teenager I began dating and having some fun. I was ready to begin a great Senior year.
|Senior Picture 1988|
I thought that I would get to time to be a kid for a minute but the parents had other plans for me. They really pushed me to make choices right after graduation. So I began my first job at a nursing home a job I really didn't want but thought that it was all I was going to be good at. I found that I loved taking care of the elderly. I worked there that first year out of school and in May decided I wanted to become a QMA. I had to take a medical leave in May to have surgery on my shoulder and during this time I was able to take my QMA course. I choose not to return to the same facility when my leave was done. I worked at a different nursing home for a few months but soon learned that I was not going to be able to use my QMA there so I began working through a pool agency. This was like the best thing for me cause I really could be myself. I could recreate a new me. No one knew me and it was a different place all the time. I got my EMT certification during this time and worked all the time. I was 19 years old and I was making $10+ an hour I thought it was great.
During this time I worked at a few nursing facilities all the time along with doing pool. But what I loved the most was working through the pool. Around the time I turned 20 I started working at Byron Health Care a lot through the pool agency. That is where I met Alan. Alan was a quadriplegic who lived there. I was often put on his unit to pass meds and work. Alan was a lot older than me and we connected from the first night. He talked to me like what I said mattered. I saw him as a safe outlet. He couldn't hurt so if I bared my soul to him I would be safe. I fell in love with him. Looking back I am not sure if it was love or the idea of someone loving me for me with no alternative motives no strings attached. All I know is I made a choice that he was safe and I loved him. We ended up getting married and I went from taking care of others (because God knows I couldn't take care of myself) to taking care of Alan.For the record when you make a choice like that it should be done with much consideration not just off the handle because you are mad and you want out of another situation. This I know because this is exactly what I did. I never thought twice about what it meant to marry someone like Alan. Never thought of the hours of care it would require. Never but after the fact I regretted my choice. I do believe I loved him but not as a woman loves a husband but as a friend loves another friend. Welcome to one big mistake. This was the beginning of a whole lot of mistakes. The marriage then letting everyone make decisions for me without thinking. I reverted back to an eleven year old little girl who could not look past the present. By the time we had been married for 3 years I was exhausted I couldn't do it anymore. I needed to find an out. That out came when he went into the hospital, it was the first time that I could really tell Alan how I was feeling. He understood (not that any of his family did) and we separated.
I soon got in another relationship. For the record don't jump out of the skillet to get into a boiling pan of water it never works. He was a leech. Getting rid of that one was a hassle. Big Mistake number 2. After that I was done with men but about three or four months later my sister introduced me to Steve. Lets just say if you don't talk to a date for the first three hours of a date or can go through dinner and a hockey game with out saying more than ten words you should probably cut your loses. Big Mistake Number 3 I didn't cut my loses and by the time I wanted to it was to late and I was walking down the isle and pregnant. Steve is a big regret of mine, but I will never regret my children that I had with him. We had a violent relationship I had many struggles with him and it seemed I always came out on the loosing end of these fights. But in return I had five great kids from the relationship (four while we were married and the fifth I will explain later). Billie was born in 1996, Sharon in 1997 and Dallas and Ethan in 1998. Yes he felt the way to keep me in the marriage was to keep me barefoot and pregnant. What he didn't know is that all though I was pregnant with Dallas and Ethan I could still say I am done and kick his skinny butt to the curb. Our divorce was final in November after Dallas and Ethan were born. With that divorce also came a new resolve for me to never trust anyone or anything again. That my life was for my kids and me. I did well until I ended up moving out on my own and starting college. My life was so on track.
|Billie, Sharon, Dallas and Ethan 1999|
I was going to school, I had a good job my life was looking good. Bad point was Steve was still around he was like a bad penny he always returned. He got to see the kids and I kept him pretty much at bay for most part. I began seeing a man who also had kids and we had both agreed not to involve our kids in our relationship. This worked real well until New Years Eve 1999. Don decided to come up to see me and I suggested he meet my kids. We agreed it would be OK for him to meet him. Never did I think my 2 and 3 year old daughters would ever tell their dad. The next day Steve was to get the kids but they were tired I was tired and I just didn't want to deal with him. I suggested they stay at my house watch a movie and visit while I took a nap (ENTER ANOTHER MISTAKE). Well I went in my room and laid down after getting them all settled. I had been asleep for awhile when I woke up to pain. I open my eyes and I see Steve on top of me hitting me, yelling at me and raping me. He kept saying if I can't have you no one will over and over again. I was so scared. Apparently after I had gone to lay down the girls had told Steve that Mommy's friend Don had came and Pizza with them the night before. He was livid. I am not sure how long the whole attack took but I do know I fought. I was so done with him but now I had a new secret to keep. I vowed to myself not to tell anyone. That would have all worked well but about March I realized I had not started. I quickly took a pregnancy test and to my dismay I was pregnant. I struggled with this for quite awhile and I never quite knew what to say. But I did know I had to tell my parents and my family. It was the hardest thing I had to tell them I thought they would hate me. Instead they stood beside me. I quickly decided this baby was given to me for a reason and no matter what I was going to raise he or she to be a strong person. I did question God again and wondered what he was thinking allowing this to happen to me. And I had my whole list of what ifs that I went over. But the best thing that happened during this time was I met my best friend Anii. She was my God Send. She was my biggest supporter. She was there when I needed to talk, she helped me prepare for the birth and helped with the other kid when I needed the extra help. I don't know what I would have done without her during this time. God doesn't always play jokes on us he sent me Anii when I needed her the most. Anii was probably the first person that I was able to tell everything that had happened in the past. Time traveled quickly through the pregnancy and I got to share the thrills of it all with my niece Martha. I had decided this baby would need a strong name and on September 29th of 2000 I gave birth to one of the strongest little boy I now know Caleb Cristopher Walker Pugh the great thing is that on this same day Martha gave birth to her oldest Christian. I was truly blessed but at the time I didn't know how much.
|Christian and Caleb 2000|
Life was by no means easy for me. I was a single mom with five kids, was going to school full time and working full time. Life was hard. But I vowed to make the best of it. The old struggles appeared once again. The questions the what ifs. But I was making it. I also was not involved with anyone and I preferred to keep it that way. Then in July of 2001 I met a man and I drifted back to the old me with all the old insecurities and the old longings to be loved. He said all the right things and did all the right things. I fell and looking back I should have listened to Anii more but all I could see was the so called love. I fell and I moved way to quickly I married him. Without a second thought I was walking down yet another aisle with yet another mistake and I couldn't even see it. He had me hook line and sinker. Life with John was probably the hardest that any relationship had been. Needless to say the whole thing was over just about as quickly as it had started.
You would have thought that I would have learned my lesson about jumping form one relationship to another but no I guess I needed to be hit with a 2x4 cause within a few weeks of ending it with John I had met another man Greg and was head over heels for him. He was a lot older also but he did provide some stability and support that I wanted for not only me but my kids. Our relationship lasted 2 years. During this time I was talking to a man online that I only knew as Coach Jay. Somehow down deep I knew Greg and I was done but I wanted to fight for something that wasn't there.
There was a time during Greg and my relationship that we split up it was during this time that I really got to know Jay and we started talking more and we met. We started seeing each other but at the same time I was wanting to make sure Greg and I were done. I think I was so unsure about everything at this time I just didn't know which way to go. Jay and I saw each other for over a month and I knew I loved him. I knew what I felt for him I had never felt for any other man but I also knew I was scared. I decided to go back to Greg and I ended it with Jay. It was probably the hardest thing I had ever done. Even going back with Greg I knew something was missing. I could feel it. I stayed with Greg for 8 more months and finally I knew it was over I left. I knew that who I truly loved and wanted to be with was Jay but also knew I had hurt him very badly. I knew that if I was to ever get him back I would really have to prove my love for him.
It started with a phone call. It was simple just a hey how you doing if you want to talk call me back. I didn't hear anything from him for about a week. Then one day he calls. My heart skipped a beat, I felt things that I never felt before, down deep I knew it was really love. Not some concocted feeling of love but the real thing. I knew I could not let him know how I felt right away. I knew we were going to have to take it slow. We got together to hang out on Caleb's birthday. It was a wonderful night. He told me he was not sure but he was willing to give us another shot. We moved slow. I moved into my own apartment around this time. The one thing that I wasn't telling anyone was that my life was slowly going into a tailspin. All the feeling from the past were creeping up on me again. I couldn't and I didn't have the strength to suppress the feeling anymore. I think down deep I knew if I truly was going to let Jay love me entirely I was going to have to finally deal with the things that happened 20+ years ago.
Everything was setting me off and I was a nervous wreck. My kids who I had never felt pressured by were now feeling like my worse enemies. I didn't want to work I didn't want to live I was falling into a deep dark depression and I couldn't see anyway out of it. You would have thought that I had the man of my dreams five great kids and a family behind my life couldn't get any better. But instead my life felt like crap. I wanted to die I wanted the pain I was feeling to end right then and there. Well in away it did end I ended up having a nervous break down spending time in the hospital and getting my life in order. I had to give up a lot at the time to be able to get there though. My kids went other places for awhile and I found out that the man I truly loved would really be there for me.
|Jay and I 2010|
Fast forward 4 years. I am never going to say things have been easy they haven't Jay and I struggle but the great thing about it is that at the end of the day he is still here. He supports me and the kids and we are a family. We got married sixteen months ago and that is the best thing I ever did. Number one we waited almost four years from the first time we met before we decided to get married. We have both seen each other at our best and at our worse. And you know what we still love each other and we are still supporting each other. Don't get me wrong I still struggle everyday. I still ask God why me and let me tell you I still have my whole list of What Ifs. But I will say the list has shrunk considerable.
I know this is a long blog but now you know me a little bit better. I think I am going to write about each of my kids and Jay so you can all know them better.
So where do I go from here I started this blog I have a purpose but will anyone read it I guess we will just have to wait and see. Until next time. Peace Love and All the questions in the world