Thursday, April 14, 2011


Definition: the process of concluding resentment, indignation or anger as a result of a perceived offense, difference or mistake, and/or ceasing to demand punishment or restitution.

Pretty powerful I think, and one of the hardest things to do. I remember growing up and hearing people say "forgive and forget" or my grandma or mom saying "Mindy, you need to learn to let go and forgive." For many years as a young, naive girl, I didn't believe in forgiving or forgetting or even letting go. That was ABSURD. How do you forget the pain one has caused you? Ridiculous I thought. If you wronged me, you wronged me and that was it. I was never a fighter when I was younger. When I say fighter I mean a "physical" fighter. But I had a knack for holding onto words, emotions, and hurt feelings and that was my way of fighting back to those that caused those things in me. Slingin mud and throwing back in another's face what they did to me was my way of fighting. This hasn't just happened when I was a "young girl", but even as recently as 2 years ago.

But as the years have passed and the trials I have faced have come and gone, I have grown-up } in a sense { and maturity grew within me. I have realized how short life really is. I don't want to be remembered as a crass, mean girl who could never forgive anybody for anything. I learned in my life's ups and downs that forgiveness is really the only way to move forward. It doesn't mean that I forgot the issue at hand that I forgave, it just means I have learned to live without it stopping ME from living. It's a VERY hard task to accomplish but when I did it, my soul was free from that pain in a way.

We ALL make mistakes. Some are little, some are HUGE. We all carry skeletons in our closets. We all have regrets. But holding onto what we've done bad in our past will only hold us down in our future if we don't consciously forgive. And forgiving is not just about forgiving the one who wronged you, it's about forgiving yourself when you have wronged as well.

I forgive Chad for all he put me through. I forgive Chad for what he's done to land him where he is today. I just plain forgive Chad. And as hard as it is, I am trying to forgive myself for what I should have done but didn't in situations with Chad. I don't necessarily know what I really should have done, but if I didn't do it right, I'm slowly forgiving myself for it.

No I will never forget what the last 10 years have been like with him. I will never forget the call I got on October 4th from his probation officer. I will never forget the look in his eyes the last time I saw him outside of the corrections department. There are LOTS of never forgets I will live with for the rest of my life. But when I am reflecting on the times of disparity with Chad, I won't do so in an angry or cold fashion because I have forgiven him.

My heart will always be broken over my brother Chad and his slavery to drug addiction. My heart will always be broken for "her name" and her family. All I can do is move forward and hope that one day, Chad will forgive himself and that God will forgive him too.

There is no such thing as "Forgive and Forget". I still think that's an absurd saying. But you can forgive and rather than forget, remember why you forgave.

Monday, April 11, 2011


Boston by Augustana. A song that reminds me of the many times I just wanted to pick up and run away. Far, far away where nobody would know me, nobody would know my name. I didn't care how far away it was, just as long as I was far enough from my brother's addiction and the turmoil it flooded my heart with.

I have to say there were times, LOTS of times, when I was so SICK of his disease and the evil things it did and caused him to do, that I didn't want to hear about him ONE - MORE - TIME, unless I had a funeral to go too. And that was the damn truth. I didn't want to hear his crackly voice, I didn't want to see the pathetic look on his manipulative face, I didn't want to stare in his hollow puddles of heroin high (his eyes) and I didn't want to be around him for another breath of mine.

Those were the times of anger. Those were times when I had nothing left in me to hold onto. I didn't have one more ounce of energy to keep my brother alive. Times when I would get home and just throw my body on my bed and crunch my pillow into my soul asking myself and God, "what's next." Morning's when I would wake and wish I hadn't. Times when I would gasp for air from being so overwhelmed with Chad. I wanted to scream in his face GET OVER IT. STOP already!!! Quit killing yourself, me, and the rest of our damn family you selfish prick!! His body was withering away little by little but it wasn't fast enough anymore for me. He didn't care so why did I have to care so much? If he wasn't going to go, than I wanted too!!!! I wanted to run away.

Chad did wear the chains as mentioned in this song, the chains of an addict. But I wore chains too. And every chance Chad had, it seemed as if he pulled them a little tighter around my heart. I just wanted a break. I wanted freedom from those chains that held us both down. I wanted to run away and never look back and start all over from scratch. I didn't care if I worked in a little store, or even a bakery making dimes to live. If it were even remotely possible for me to do, me breaking those chains that had such a heavy hold on me would have been worth it all.

I had dreamt many times, sleeping and awake, that if I were able to do something like this, I would cut all ties for a while with everybody! Family and all. I wanted time for me, Mindy. I wanted to learn to breathe normally again. I wanted a normal heartbeat. Not one the stopped beating everytime something happened with him. I wanted to get out of the grind Chad's addiction reeled on me and let everything go...piece by piece.....just for a while. I wanted to be in a place where nobody knew ME or where I came from, who I was, or what I had been going through with my family and brother. I wanted to start over! I wanted to leave everything I knew behind and just be free. I simply wanted peace.

Snapping back into reality hurt. Knowing I couldn't just pack up me, myself and I and some belongings and head somewhere I didn't know. But gratefully I had a family that I adored and still do, children who are my absolute reason for breathing, and a pain in the ass brother who still needed me and crazily (not a word, I know but I liked it), I needed him too.

Maybe those dreams helped me get through some of the hardest times I had with Chad. Hearing this song and escaping in its words sure did. It would be so easy to just get up and run away in times of hardship. I mean shit, Chad did. He ran from reality and stuck a needle in his arm full of brown, sticky liquid to do it. But our chains, both his and mine, weren't so easy to be broken after all. Chains are made of links. He was the weak link and as much as I HATED it most times, I had to be the strong link when his was breaking apart.

So while I was having to be that strong link in the chains we wore together, and couldn't just pick up and go to Boston or anywhere else for that matter, my run away was to the words of songs, like this one. Music was my only way of starting over!