Happy 51st!

Did I get dumped on my birthday? Some might say that is questionable.
Do I feel like I got dumped on my birthday? YES!

It was going to be a beautiful day today and I guess it still will be. But, I cried today.

I cried today, like a lot, because of love. Children of Alcoholics only want be loved. We never truly felt loved by our parents. So deep down inside of us we’ve never had it unless we found it later on in our teenage years, or 20s, or 30s, or 40s. But I’m 51. I’ve been involved. I’ve had relationships, but I’ve never been with somebody that truly loved me or wanted to be committed to me. The two relationships I had, only one called me his girlfriend toward the end of our relationship and the other use to joke to others about me being his wife, but never had ever talked to me about a commitment. But neither of these, were the type of relationships where you date, officially make it exclusive (probably because if they were caught seeing other people they could say that we weren’t really a couple. One did say that to me!), and ever even led to the words, I love you. So, for five decades, well, maybe the last 20 years, I learned to love myself. My son also loved me and my family loved me as much as they could with their own dysfunction and definition of what love is. But, as I learned what true love is and being loved was, I wanted it.  The only true love I’ve ever felt is from my son. And, there’s a human part of us that needs someone else to love us besides ourselves and our own family.

grace lozadaSo, my birthday is going to be a full day of fun. I’m going to ride my bike to have lunch with my son and his girlfriend at the beach and have dinner with a longtime girlfriend that I’ve known since we were teenagers. I will still do these things, even though I am upset. But like most birthdays, a part of me didn’t want to be alone tonight. So, I texted someone that I’ve been seeing and talking to for a few months now. No, I don’t want a relationship with him, maybe down the road, but I do like him. I like him a lot and I don’t get like this over many men I meet. I do like spending time with him. If I could change a few things about him, he’d definitely be somebody I truly wanted in a person. After we first met, he said that he wasn’t looking for a relationship at that time, which was fine with me until I met him. The vibe was good, the conversation was good, who he was and his interests were were good. I was kind of taken back by it clicking so well between us. Overtime I realized it was the qualities that I liked and wanted in a man. I enjoyed keeping in touch with him. So until that person, my person, showed up with hopefully some of the same qualities and engagement, he had, he would do – I thought! But, I did like him a lot. So, this birthday morning I text him to see what he was up to tonight, and I got this long winded text about how we couldn’t see each other anymore, that he was looking for serious relationship now, and wanted to build on that and having a family of his own, etc. etc. I loved his honesty and thanked him for it. But as soon as our text ended, I started to cry. And then I started to cry some more. The crying wasn’t because he wasn’t available. At that very moment it was because why couldn’t someone like him, or anybody decent, have ever come along in my life.

I was yet reminded again of what I don’t have and what I’ve never had. I am beginning to resent the 7 1/2 years I wasted on someone in my 20s into early 30s. I knew I was never going to make a future with that guy, but I wasted so many years on him. The resentment is huge at times like this. And there is this little smart, healed, part of my intellect that knows even if I didn’t waste those years on that guy that I still wasn’t ready to have a decent, respectful, loving, nurturing, kind man in my life. But, the resentment and the time wasted is still there. And then for 6 1/2 years after that, I didn’t date or meet anyone. I was too busy raising my son on my own and trying to unravel that relationship. I was trying to learn from it. And then after all that time, I got involved with an addict and for a year and a half it was great at times and it was turbulent at times. Then he, that I thought was the love of my life (just if he could get sober like he had done before), and probably the only man I’ve really loved, died. And after that, I take another nine years gaining weight, not wanting to date, having intimacy issues because I don’t want to love another man, that I finally now get to the point that I can love again, want to be loved, and know what type of person I want in my life.

Life just seems to pass me by so quickly in this department. And the thing that brings me back to tears is that all I ever wanted was for someone to finally love me in that way. To make it official, to try to be my partner in life, to say, I love you and don’t want to be without you.

So, I’m not devastated over this guy (I don’t think. Well, maybe just a little.), but I’m just yet reminded again that there’s a little part of me that yearns for love like that and from someone like him.

Now it’s time to get myself together, I have to ride my bike out to the beach and meet up with my son and his girlfriend for lunch. The tears may flow, but I am trying to remind myself of how lovable I am, how beautiful life is, and how I will hold onto the fact that I believe, hope, my person will eventually find me.

birthday flowersIt hurts when time and time again though it feels like you keep getting your heart broken or you keep on falling short in the end of not getting that love that you want so badly. As a child of an alcoholic, a moment like this triggers all those unwanted feelings of no self-worth, no love, no value, and no nurturing that occurred in your childhood. Or, at least the inconsistency of it. You craved for any love from your parent or parents. You wanted to be enough. You wanted to be more important than the drug or the alcohol or the chaos. You just wanted to be loved. So when you feel like once again someone that you like doesn’t love you or like you enough to see what could develop, it brings up all those feelings. Even the, why not me. What is wrong with me, is asked.

Nothing is wrong with me. I know that. Yes, I’ve wasted a lot of time on people that didn’t deserve me or weren’t going to be healthy relationships anyway. Also, for so long I wasn’t healed when it came to this. I needed to unpack all that and learn from it, too. Also, like my girlfriend reminded me – I was handling shit; raising a child on my own and putting myself through school. Nothing is wrong with anybody. ACoAs (Adult Children of Alcoholics) are lovable and some can be the most giving and empathetic people out there because they have been through a lot. You may have done a lot of healing, you may have learned to love your inner child, you may know your own self-worth, but the fact is that it still hurts when someone turns away from you. Those feelings come back, even if it’s for like me, just for a few minutes or hours. But as a friend reminded me on this day, as I said to her and cried, it does get easier and it doesn’t hurt as bad or as long. relationship goals

I will hold onto this today – You know who you are! You know you’re lovable, you know you have strength that other people don’t have because they haven’t gone through the shit you have gone through, you know you have compassion and empathy and you know you have a lot of love to give. It’s just taking you a little longer to find love and the right person.

I will keep reminding myself that I wasn’t ready for a healthy relationship back then. I will stop resenting the time I wasted. I was healing, recovering, and just taking care of business.

Love will come. That healthy love that I deserve. I just have to have faith in that.

 

 

* This was written on Sunday, my actual birthday (March 7th). See previous post, https://wp.me/p4g3TO-uG to read about the guy that sent me the text written about in this blog post. I believe I’ve mentioned him in other posts prior, too. And by the way, he had no idea it was my birthday. He was very sweet and apologetic about what he was texting. Unfortunately for me, another sweet quality (thoughtfulness) he has.

#relationships #relationshipgoals #readyforlove #childrenofalcoholics

Overcoming the Fear of Speaking Up

I’ve lived in fear of speaking up most of my life. I’ve only challenged it sometimes. Covid and quarantining makes you really have time to think. It gives you the time to work on things about yourself that you may want to change or the things about your life that you may want to overcome. Speaking up or writing about anything and putting it out there for the whole world to see, without fear, is something I struggle with.fearful

Fear. It’s hard to be a writer and to be fearful. As a writer, knowing that fear will hold you back, is a hard thing to tackle and overcome. I write a lot about personal or private experiences and my thoughts or opinions on many matters. I am not scared of sharing. 

scared

Though, I am scared of retaliation or backlash or just plain physical harm or threats because doing so. A friend and I recently spoke about speaking up. We both come from addicted childhoods. Alcoholism. Never being allowed to speak up is a condition that comes from growing up in a household that had alcoholism in it. We are supposed to be seen and not heard. You can never rock the boat in a household where anything can set off the alcoholic or the other adult that has to maintain some kind of household that has to deal with an adult that is constantly making a wreck of their lives. So, when I was speaking with my friend, I had mentioned to her that I was in fear of a physical response more than anything. Sometimes I have also felt guilty, too. Even guilty of speaking up when I was hurting. As most adult children of alcoholics do, we swallow everything and try to remain silent. We bury our feelings, our thoughts, our words.

Never being able to speak up was hard. Because for the most part, if you spoke up or confronted anything, you’d sometimes get hurt. A slap could come from anybody. If someone didn’t like what you had to say even if you were being honest, you could be backhanded. Even from a sibling. So, I learned to never be confrontational. Yes sometimes I slipped up, regurgitated my thoughts, but I am only human and it was rare for me to do so.  

speaking upSo now as an adult, I have navigated to try to learn how to speak up without fear of harm and in a more civil manner than shouting or fighting, which is what I saw growing up. It’s hard to learn something you were never taught, so it has been challenging at times, but necessary. We must speak up when something is wrong, we must speak up and ask for a raise at work, we must speak up in court when you’re battling someone that keeps lying and doesn’t want to pay you child support, we must speak up and say what we are looking for in a relationship, and we must speak up on how we expect to be spoken to or treated. But, when I write and have written over the years my fear comes from people’s thoughts and opinions on how I should not say something about something or someone, even though time has passed and I hold no resentment. I cannot help it if they are in so much fear of secrets being revealed, their own shame for things they’ve done, or just that they like to maintain an image that is clearly perfection. None of us are perfect. Time has passed and people have learned and grown. But, some of us are trying to speak up to break the silence, break the cycle of keeping secrets and toxicity, tell others that they are not alone, and heal by sharing and talking to one another.

This fear that I have keeps me back. I’m scared of what will happen to me. The fear is based on physical harm more than anything. It’s just what I was trained as a child, not necessarily that it would happen as an adult. Let me tell you, the PTSD is real, but at least nowadays I am aware what the panic is and where it comes from. The physical harm could happen, but more than likely it wouldn’t. So it’s been hard to overcome this fear of physical harm coming from speaking your truth. But this morning in the rarest of moments that I’ve had, I know that I need to challenge this fear and stop being scared and hiding. I cannot be scared of what someone might do. I cannot be scared of what could happen. Fear in some cases, is irrational and it is holding me back as a writer. I must let go and live my life to the fullest.

Without fear there is only abundance. Without fear there is only freedom. Without fear there is only true fulfillment and happiness.
I will live this day and the rest, moving forward, walking through fear and not let it hold me back.

May is Mental Health Awareness month!

May is #mentalhealthawareness month. There have been quite a few times in my lifetime that I’ve come back from depression, suicide attempts, or just cycling through, what I thought was a breakdown at the time, but really was a transformation. For the most part, most of these moments were long ago. resilence

Nowadays, I am just so happy that I survived. I get choked up sometimes when I talk about it. All we ever want is for the pain to go away. And, I’m here to tell you that it eventually does. Life gets better if you work at it. Situations that you thought would just continue, come to an end. Choices you make can change the life end up having. You just have to learn to love yourself, do what’s best for you, and work through your past traumas.

Life is a beautiful thing and so are you! beauty

Never take anything for granted

You really can’t take anything for granted. Family, friends, work, a paycheck, bike rides, sunsets, days off, taking pictures, hugs, kisses, holding hands, the beach, the sun, a walk at the beach or through a favorite museum, ACA meetings, eating out, and sitting in the sun for hours.Whatever it is, try to never take anything for granted. And know, that we make this little sacrifice to save lives.

Healing is a long journey

Healing is a long journey. It doesn’t happen overnight and I believe you’ll always be healing. But, you’ll move on to a better self and better life that you’ve created for yourself. Many unhealthy behaviors that you learned, will be unlearned by better choices. A lot of trauma that you suffered will be healed, but like I’ve heard many times last year, it’s like peeling away layers of an onion. So that takes time and despite what others say, I believe that some trauma may not be 100% healed, but will be replaced with coping and understanding.
With all that being said, I say YAY to HEALING, going through the pain, acknowledging the impact most things made on my life, and finding my way.
✌💗🙌

What you do today, affects tomorrow. ❤
#childhoodtrauma
Remember that you are always thought of.
Much love

What would you tell your 16 year old self if you had the chance?

This is me when I was 16 (1986) in Klein, TX.

I was already a high school dropout. I had already had a few #suicide attempts behind me. I had already known what it was to drink until I passed out & blacked out, many times. I was an #acoa before I knew there was such a thing & it’s complexities of being an adult child of an alcoholic. I unfortunately also knew to well #abuse – emotional, mental, and physical.
What would I tell her?
That you have a sweetness that someday people won’t take for granted or abuse. That you are so cool in your likes and appearance. That you are strong and you will get through this and everything life will throw at you. That you will experience beautiful things and have a great son that will be such a great human being and that you raised all by yourself.
That from all your heartache and pain, you will love deeper, care more, and be more resilient. And lastly, I love you just the way you are and that that is what matters most!

If you haven’t thought of what you’d tell yourself, I hope that you do so now. ❤

Much love, Grace.

 

 

 

Please remember what makes you beautiful! ❤

If you are thinking or have thought about suicide, if you are worried about someone you know, or if you just need someone to talk to, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or chat with their counselors online. All services are free and available 24/7.

You Can Choose

You can choose to stay in the hurt and pain.
You can choose to remain angry.
You can choose to be like them.
You can choose to continue victimizing yourself.
You can choose to live in the negative.
You can choose to throw it all away. 

 

 

 

Or,

You can choose to live with love.
You can choose to live in the light.
You can choose to live seeing and being in nature.
You can choose enjoying loved ones.
You can choose enjoying listening or seeing your favorite band.
You can choose to have that delicious meal.
You can choose going to a city that you love or enjoying the experience of getting to know a new one.
You can choose to bask all day in the sun or to play in the snow.
You can choose to stay in, under the covers, on a cozy couch, watching a great movie.
You can choose achieving those goals that you set forth for yourself that makes you feel accomplished.
You can choose to have that 1st date that you have been anticipating for days.
You can choose to fall in love.
You can choose to have a child or as many children as you desire.
You can choose to learn new things that bring you pleasure.
You can choose to continue doing that thing you are passionate about.
You can choose to get older, being able to look back on your life and smile because it’s been interesting and you’ve loved it, even with its ups and downs. 

  

The choice is yours.
What are you going to choose?

#ACoA #recoveryispossible #12steps

Signed Book Giveaway! Enter soon!

Many years ago I had a calling ~ to share my story. As a teenager, I thought I was the only one that was going through what I was going through. But, there are millions out there that have been given a tough life. For those of you, please don’t give up.
Evolving to Grace is a memoir about perseverance, strength, spiritual evolution, and the choices one must make to change one’s path. I share my life’s experiences, my journey—finding my way out of darkness—discovering hope, positivity, strength, happiness and the right path for the life I choose to live. I write about many challenges I’ve had to face and overcome—either due to alcoholism, depression, violence, rape and being a single mother on welfare.

I could be labeled many things: illegal, ACoA (Adult Child of an Alcoholic), domestic violence survivor, excessive alcohol and drug user, rape victim, assault victim, hitchhiker, high school dropout, call girl, and single mother on welfare. But, these are just situations I ended up in when I was lost and broken. I’ve learned from my past and I am evolving to find my grace in this beautiful thing we call life. I believe by sharing my story, we all can learn from one another or at least find more compassion and understanding. We can change our destiny, our path.

And now I’m giving away a few signed copies of my memoir! Enter on Goodreads.com for your chance to win!

For book bloggers/reviews, please direct message me.📖
Also available at Amazon.com, ibooks, and B&N.com.

#nomoreweek #endthestigma #youarenotalone

I am an immigrant 

​This is the face of an immigrant.

Our family came over from Peru in the early 70’s.
Like many Hispanics and immigrants, we came over for a better life, better education.

All I know is this country.
All I have ever known is to be American, even when I was still technically Peruvian.

We are not here to take or get handouts. We are not here to commit crimes. My parents worked hard, paid their taxes, and tried their best to provide a better life for their daughters.

There is no need to deny someone based on traditions, beliefs, religion or they way they look.

This country is based on diversity. Most of us, including Trump, we’re immigrants.

It’s sad now that I am not recognizing this country because it is all I have ever known (remember).

“Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed, to me: I lift my lamp beside the golden door.” – Emma Lazarus

#immigrantsmatter #unity #lovetrumpshate #immigration #ilovetheusa
#immigrant

I am a Modern Muse! I am completely honored.

I was so honored and touched that UGauGrrl nominated me for their Modern Muse.
Ugaugrrl sets to Inspire, Empower, and make an Impact.
UGauGrrl’s mission is to inspire every woman and girl to recognize the muse within herself and empower her to find her purpose so that she can make her singular impact on the world.

My interview:

What inspired you to do the work that you do/motivates you today?

“Why I write? I write because at an early age a voice told me to write down words, sentences that were coming to me. Prior, I had never been one who was interested in poetry, but little did I know that I would be gifted ever so-lightly with phrases/sentences. Now, I write to share myself with others and to hopefully inspire people that they can get through anything and that they are not alone.

“Why I photograph? I have had a passion for taking pictures since I was 6. My mother had fancy, professional cameras always, and the very first time I got one and went on a field trip to the zoo, I was hooked!”

 “I fought and continue to fight to make better choices and finally learned to love myself.

How did you get to where you are and what challenges did/do you face?
“I got to where I am by sheer determination to not follow in my mother’s footsteps. As a teenager, I did veer in her direction, abusing alcohol and drugs, allowing others to mistreat me, but I fought and continue to fight to make better choices and finally learned to love myself.”

Who is your she-ro?
“J.K. Rowling is my she-ro because she was also on public assistance as a single mother, as I was after I had my son. She believed in her story (Harry Potter) and didn’t give up. After becoming the wealthiest woman in Great Britain, she donates a lot to charity.”

What does the term”UGauGrrl” (“you go girl”) mean to you?
“The term ‘UGauGrrl’ means to me: a girl that defies the odds based on what used to be society’s standards or defies the odds based on her circumstances. We have brains, intellect, strength (physical, emotional, mental), and perfectly can combine those with love, compassion and understanding. We can do it all, and we can do anything!”

Favorite quote:
“The greatest thing you’ll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return.

Check out my video and the complete Modern Muse post at: http://ugaugrrl.com/2017/01/modernmuse-survivor-grace-lozada/

Also, check out their wearable inspiration! A collection of stylish t-shirts that feature women of yesterday and today who are muses in their own right as well as words of inspiration.

 

#interview #modernmuse

Spiritual Beauty

She was a girl of abuse
She was a girl of silenceSpiritual Beauty

Those tears were hidden behind
those sad eyes

But, one day she found beauty

Beauty in the sky
Beauty in the trees
Beauty in the birds
Beauty in the lady bugs
Beauty in all things

Even beauty in hurt and pain
because through that she learned
to love life and all things deeper than ever before.

 

7/31/2014

#poem