July 25th 2015

Two years ago this week I was the victim of a horrific crime. A crime so horrific that I can not even share the details of it with the world. Please respect me and do not go to my family and friends and ask them for details that they may or may not have.

In the first weeks, months and year that past right after the crime we were drug through the ringer of the court system and shown that there is no justice even when it is a measure 11 crime. We pushed the court to convict and accept nothing but the maximum sentence. Finally we “won” and got a full confession and conviction. However because the perpetrator is a minor he never saw the inside of a jail cell. This week however I caught him violating his terms of release and probation and I am hopeful we will go back in front of a judge and she will give him some time in jail.

I spent these past two years trying to drown my trauma & panic with many things…… most of them very unhealthy and very unsafe. Drinking too much to ease the massive panic that I was now living with seemed to be where I always landed. I found myself in a horrible dark place that was immensely frightening to enter into and then somehow that very dark place became a dark blanket that I would wrap myself up in and hide from the world.

trauma_Jodi_Collins_2015

At first I would just play, let go and pretend in there. I would crawl into my dark hole and light just a small fire. I could still scratch my way back out, cover up my burns, put myself together and go on with the life I now had that was a total charade.

Slowly though I began to bring a gas can in with me, light that little fire, dump a little gas on it and before I knew it I had completley caught on fire and anyone who came near me would get burnt to. Suddenly I could no longer crawl or scratch out on my own. I now required help to get out. Once out I could no longer hide my burns: my pain, my panic, my trauma, my constant desire to run away. I could not go on with my life that felt pointless and completely serial and fake. I was in a  horrible fight with myself in my head and I was loosing badly.

I asked people around me for help and they tried their best but sooner or later I would crawl back inside and burn them sometimes on purpose sometimes on accident if they tried to make me come out. Being the victim of a horrible crime had changed me. It has changed my entire family. We can never go back to who we were before being victimized. Life has become split into two sections: Life before the crime and Life after the crime.

There is no shiny wonderful ending to my story. I have at least crawled out of my dark hole, closed the door, locked it and thrown away the key. Now I can honestly say that I do see a bright light ahead. I share this experience for many reasons. One being to just get it out of my body and my mind. The other is to share it with the hope that someone somewhere who is stuck in the throws of their own dark hole and lighting fires will see that there is a way out, there is hope, they are not alone and it can get better.

my brother and soon to be sister in-law Alysha are getting married this weekend!

Lots of excitement is in the air as family begins to come into town today.

This photo is from one of our annual family beach trips (2010).

Justin and Alysha are perfect for each other. The perfect mix of love, fun, sarcasm, humor and so much more. When they are together you can just see it when they look at each other that they are at times saying things without using words. They are loving and affectionate with one another and also have a fun humor banter back and forth that everyone enjoys being around.

I am so excited for them to begin this new beautiful chapter of their lives.

We can’t wait for Sunday!


 

Mark & I had the instrumental version of this song played at our wedding during the saki ceremony. My heart melted when I heard the kids singing it. They learned it at school. Cool!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

March 29th 2015

Spending the past week of spring break together as a family has been a wonderful gift. Along with cleaning out the house & reorganizing we had a wonderful chance to reconnect. Yes, there were some rough patches (really rough patches) in there to say the least. However the best part about Mark & myself is that we always meet back in the middle. Compromise, love forever, carry the other when they are to weak to carry themselves and rejoice in the joyful times. I am sad that spring break is coming to an end. It is just a reminder to make more, WAY MORE time together alone away from it all just us (Mark & myself) as well as time together with the kids.

Unbreakable

We fly, high and free;

I follow you, you follow me.

We touch the moon, we touch a star

And daylights end is yet so far.

Like two birds in the open sky,

unbreakable souls, you and I.

~Mia


You do not belong to me. I will not rule over your childhood with an iron fist or tell you to do something “because I said so.” You have choices. You may not like those choices but they are yours to make.

I am just here for a while to care for you, help you grow and point you in the right direction. What you do with that I have little or no control over. To think that I can mold you and shape you to take a path that I desire would be a terrible injustice to both you and the world because you , my children have great gifts inside of you to share with this world. After you are gown it will continue to be my job to love you unconditionally with no judgement and no strings attached. No matter what you do, what you don’t do or anything that is done to you…….. I will  love you just the way you are & so will Papa.

It has been a beautiful & brutal 7 years. That is life.

There is a light inside of you both. A light that I see shining through your eyes when you look at me and at others. That light is love and in the end it will always win.

I opened up a fortune cookie to a little reminder the other day…………

The greatest gift I was ever given was a mirror……… A mirror in the form of my children’s eyes and minds. When I start to become angry with a situation or circumstance I see their little innocent faces and try to always base my actions on what I would want them to do in those situations in their own life.

I am by no means perfect. Far Far from it to be frank. I let my children watch me struggle with challenges, failure, trauma and life with the utmost honesty. I show them that if I fall I will get up and try over and over. If I only teach them one thing in life I would hope that it is that lesson; keep trying over and over and never give up.

“Live so that when your children think of fairness and integrity, they think of you – H. Jackson Brown Jr.

Today we walked passed the apartment that Mark & I lived in before we bought our house. We made a choice in our 20’s to move and live for less in that apartment, pay off our debt and hopefully ……eventually buy our own home. I have so many wonderful memories in that dumpy apartment. Summer walks down Hall blvd to get ice cream at 7-11 with my nephews Michael & Tyler who lived right next door to us, long nights awake studying toward my degree, a French landlord that simply answered any question or complaint we had with “I don’t know”, pulling a desk from beside that trash can so I had somewhere to sit and build a website for my business that would take shape over the year that followed and finally renting a Uhaul to move into our first house.
A reminder that happiness is NOT about how amazing any of your stuff or your house is. Happiness is found in spending precious time with family and friends and working toward meaningful goals in your life.


Why I refuse to micro manage my kids