A Letter to my Teenage Daughter


My dearest child of mine,

I can’t believe you’re 13. It may be cliche, but it really does seem like just yesterday I was brushing your hair into pigtails, while you watched the Powerpuff Girls and played with your dolls.How I miss those days….

I’m writing you this letter because it seems like we just can’t communicate these days. It seems like everything I say goes in one ear and out the other. I remember those days with my own mom. However, these words that I’m about to say, I want to resonate with you. I don’t want these words to leave you.So here they are in a blog. Forever immortalized on the Internet. No matter what…in times of happiness, sadness, frustration, desperation, and joy…I want you to always remember that

I LOVE YOU.

It may not seem like it now. Right now…at this very moment in time…you may hate me. And that’s ok. You may think I hate you too. But I don’t. And I’m doing what I do because I LOVE YOU. Because I know you are too bright and talented and beautiful and smart to continue to make the choices you have recently made. I love you enough to let you hate me for awhile. Until you see, that while you’re worried about missing the latest social event, I’m worried about you missing out on your life. The amazing, adventurous, fun filled, successful, prosperous, long life that I know you will lead. One wrong decision can set you on a dangerous path filled with struggle, heartache, disappoinment, anger, frustration, and self-loathing. I LOVE YOU TOO MUCH to let that happen.

So right now, I will be the bad guy. No matter how much it crushes me inside because I know you’re hurting. Because I just want you to hear me and understand that I do know what i’m talking about because I was there. I’ve made the same bad decisions. I’ve given grandma the same looks you’ve given me. I’ve told the lies, and been scared when those lies were revealed. I UNDERSTAND. and I LOVE YOU TOO MUCH TO LET YOU MAKE THE SAME MISTAKES I DID. I want you to have so much more and be so much better than I could ever be.

I LOVE YOU. Don’t you ever forget that.

Love is pain…pain is love


“Tis better to have loved and lost then to have never loved at all.” – Alfred Lord Tennyson

Opening yourself up to love is hard. To put your everything into someone and trust that they’re not going to hurt you is scary. Especially if you’ve been hurt before. But in the end….when you find true love…you realize it’s all worth it. All the pain, all the heartache…it doesn’t matter. If anything it makes your love stronger..better…deeper. I see people go through life never putting themselves out there, never taking chances in life and love, and it makes me sad. Sure you can have companionship or fuck buddies…but in the end how fulfilling is that? To never have someone who truly, unconditionally, and unequivocably accepts and loves you. Someone to take care of you when you’re sick, someone you want to pick up when they’re down…that’s what life and love is about.

So take a chance on love! You may get hurt…you may not. I truly believe there is someone for everyone out there. You may have to kiss a lot of frogs to find your prince, but once you do…it will all be worth it.

When you love an addict…


Unless you’ve loved someone who suffers from addiction, you will never know the plethora of emotions it comes with. Any relationship is hard and takes work…whether it be romantic, platonic, familial. However, when you throw in the monster of addicition…it takes everything to an entirely different level. Society as a whole is extremely judgmental of addicts. “Why can’t the just stop?” Because they can’t. Would you ask a cancer patient to just stop having cancer? No. Alcoholism and addiction is a disease that should be treated as such. We shouldn’t be treating addicts as if they are the scourge of the Earth, less than human, not worth our attention. When you love an addict, you realize this.

When you love an addict, you understand that they would never intentionally hurt you or anyone else they love. You understand that the addiction is the puppet master and the addict is their unwilling puppet who is dying to cut strings that can never be completely severed.

When you love an addict you realize that in their addiction, they are not themselves. It’s a classic case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hide. In sobriety, they can be the most beautiful, light, caring, and positive person. In their addiction, they are drug and alcohol-fueled zombies only worried about one thing…their next fix, hit, drink. 

When you love an addict you know the feeling of utter and complete helplessness that comes with watching someone you love…someone you would DIE for…slowly kill themselves and knowing there isn’t a damn thing you can do about it. You know what it is to cry, scream, and beg them to stop. To hear the remorse in their voice, to see the shame in their face, and the pain in their eyes. To want to believe so badly that this time it will be different.

When you love an addict you know the utterely sick feeling of disappointment and despair when it’s not different. The feeling deep down in the pit of your stomach when you know that they are under the influence, but every fiber of your being is trying to rationalize why else they would be acting that way, or looking that way, or smelling that way because they wouldn’t do that to you. They wouldn’t hurt you like this…again….and again….and again.

When you love an addict you know what it’s like to blame yourself for their addiction. If only I would’ve kept the house cleaner. If only I would’ve been nicer. If only I wouldn’t have let her leave. If only I showed her just how much I loved her. If only I could make her see. If only.

When you love an addict you know what’s like to prepare yourself for that awful phone call no one ever wants to receive. The one telling you that they are gone…succumbed to their addiction in some tragic manner that will leave a gaping hole in your heart that will never be filled.

When you love an addict, you know firsthand the havoc that addiction wreaks on a family. The sadness, anger, bitterness, anxiety, despair, and resentment it causes.

When you love an addict, you finally realize the only thing you can do when they are in their addiction is pray. Pray to whoever your Higher Power is to help them. Because that is the only thing that can.

I know all these things because I love an addict. More than she will ever know or understand. So much that when I think of losing her, I find it hard to breathe. I sit here in tears as I type this, because my addict has fallen prey to her addiction once again. In the span of 24 hours I have gone through all of the things I’ve described above, and I’ve been dealing with this all my life. It doesn’t get any better as time goes on. Each relapse is more devastating than the last. I pray to God daily that I never get that phone call. I pray that he helps her to get healhty. I pray to my grandma in Heaven to help. I pray…and I believe that she will get better. When you love an addict…you have no choice but to do these things.

 

Anything worth keeping is worth fighting for…


I’ve had to learn a hard but obvious lesson recently. When I tell you what it is you’re going to say “DUH” but I challenge you to sit and reflect om whether you’ve also had to learn this lesson the hard way and whether or not you practice it. Here it goes…..relationships are hard work. DUH right?? Yes, I know relationships are hard work. But have I really been putting the work into it?? My off the cuff answer is HELL YES. But once I sit and get real with myself, the answer is NOT AS MUCH AS I SHOULD BE.

I mean..I consider myself a good woman and my man lucky to have me. I’m domestic and enjoy catering to him. I’m an old fashioned gal..I believe that a woman should take care of her home and her man. I serve him his food and get up every morning to make him breakfast and lunch before kissing him good-bye and wishing him a good day. Real June Cleaver type stuff right? Kind of….. if June Cleaver cussed like a sailor and flashed in a second, then yes.

And that my friends, is the part that I have not been putting the hard work into changing. My mentality has been “I do all these good things that so what if I have a bad attitude and say mean things when I’m mad?? He knows I love him and we’re going to be together no matter what.” I have been taking my relationship for granted. Assuming that after 12 years, we’re going to be together forever no matter what. I forgot that I’m not the only one with feelings in this relationship. Can you believe it? Just because he doesn’t cry and show his emotions as outwardly as I do doesn’t mean that he has a heart of stone!! Now again….you might be thinking “duh.” However, in the midst of everyday life and your own feelings and issues, it’s not that easy to remember. What is easy is to think “he loves me and knows I don’t mean to hurt his feelings, so if I just say sorry everything will be fine.” But I know better than anyone that sorry is a sorry ass word that sorry ass people say when they do sorry ass shit. Sorry doesn’t mean a thing when it’s been said over and over again….even when you mean it.

So today and everyday from here on out I’m remembering that relationships are hard work. No matter how long you’ve been together, you need to consistently SHOW how much you love and respect each other. Actions may speak louder than words…however harsh words will erase loving actions everytime. Anything worth keeping is worth fighting for and my relationship is more than worth fighting for. I love you Greg.

Uncle Fred


13 years ago today I unexpectedly woke up at 6 am with a sick feeling in my stomach. I would find out hours later that my Uncle Fred had lost his battle with cancer that morning around 6. He left behind a son, daughter, devoted wife, and his mother. Even now…13 years later…I’m mad and I want to know WHY. I know “everything happens for a reason” and “we don’t always understand God’s plan.” I get that…but WHY?? WHAT’S the reason that a such a good man was taken from the family that needed him?? WHY did my cousins have to grow up not truly knowing that wonderful man? WHY didn’t he get to be there when they graduated? WHY does his wife have to feel that emptiness in her heart from losing her soulmate?? WHY??

I called my Uncle Fred “Dad” because he was like a father figure to me. He protected me and took care of me as if I was his own daughter. Seeing him waste away from a big, strong man to the shell that can cancer made him was one of the hardest things. I know he’s in a better place and is looking down on his family everyday. However, it would be nice to have him here, on Earth. To hear his sweet voice singing Sam Cooke, or hear his deep rumbling laugh, or the look he gave when he was trying to be tough but y0u just knew he was a big ole teddy bear. I guess the good really do die young.

So today Dad…I celebrate you. RIP Frederick James Perez 2.7.64 – 7.18.98….you are loved and will always truly be in our hearts. I know you are beaming with pride at Chris, Alyssa, and Aunt ChaCha. I love you.

A Moment of Gratitude


God gave you a gift of 86,400 seconds today.  Have you used one to say “thank you?”  ~William A. Ward

Gratitude doesn’t always come easy. It’s not easy to look for the positive in a situation or remember all your blessings. It’s so much easier to focus on the negative. So many times I’ve said “why me God”. I’ve sat and wondered why certain things have happened to me. I’ve wallowed in self pity and wondered why other “undeserving” people have been blessed and I have not. I HATED it when people would say “if you think you have it bad, there’s always someone that has it worse.” I wanted to tell them SHUT UP YOU HAVEN’T LIVED MY LIFE OR WALKED IN MY SHOES OR SUFFERED MY LOSSES!!

But in those moments of “woe is me” what I fail to see is that I have been abundantly blessed. There ARE people who are way worse off than I was in my darkest hour. There ARE people who have gone through the same experiences I have and that have suffered the same losses. I DON’T HAVE TO LET THE NEGATIVE EXPERIENCES IN MY LIFE DEFINE WHO I AM. So I am having a moment of utter and complete gratitude. There was a time when I wrote down at least one thing I wasd grateful for everyday…I’m going to start doing that again. It help to focus on what really matters. I have a roof over my head. I have a healthy beautiful daughter who makes my world brighter than I ever thought possible. I have a man who loves me truly, deeply, and unconditionally. I have a supportive family. I have real friends who remain true and loyal. We’re able to provide for our daughter. These are the things that matter in life and for God to have blessed me with them, I am GRATEFUL.

My hero…my inspiration…my rock…my Mommy


My mom is my everything; without her I am nothing. I know everyone loves their mom and many have extremely close relationships. My mom and I are no exception….as a matter of fact we are far from the exception. We have an extremely unique relationship. We aren’t best friends nor do we tell each other everything or confide in each other. She is my mom and I am her daughter, those lines have never been blurred. We love each other unconditionally and deeper than I think either of us can express.

My mom is a lesbian. When I was younger, sometimes I would wish that my mom was just “normal.” My friends and cousins had mommies and daddies. I had two mommies. My mom has had 3 serious girlfriends in my life. As I got older, I didn’t tell my friends that my mom was a lesbian…I would call her girlfriend my “aunt.” It’s not that I was ashamed of her or her sexuality, I just didn’t know what to say. You see I’m fiercely protective of my loved ones. I was afraid that someone was going to say something negative about my mom and her sexuality and i would have to pounce. Case in point: When I was 20,  one of my coworker said that all gay people were going to hell for choosing to have sex with the same gender. She backed up her statements with some bible verses, but I didn’t care. I lost it and could’ve lost my job. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve learned how to combat such ignorance in a better, more mature way. 

My mom is also an alcoholic & addict. She has battled addiction for the majority of my 30 years. Growing up with an alcoholic mom wasn’t easy. When I was younger, it was fun. Always partying, staying in motels, always on the go…fun! However, as time went on my mom became an angry, bitter drunk and it wasn’t so fun anymore. As a teenager it was embarrassing. Then in my early 20s it was downright scary. There was a time when I had prepared myself to lose my mom. I was watching her slowly kill herself. I was angry because I felt like she was robbing me of seeing my brother grow up because i didn’t want to see her drunk all the time. She tried numerous rehabs. Most recently, she was sober for 3 years before relapsing again. As I age, my feelings change. I went from embarrassed in my teens, to enraged in my 20s, and now hopeful in my 30s. 

 My mom is not defined by her disease or by her sexual orientation. I don’t regret one minute of my childhood because it’s made me the person I am. My mom taught us unconditional love, compassion, strength, perserverance, work ethic, and the importance of education. My mom is ALWAYS there for us. I know that no matter what I need, I can always count on my mom. My mom was 20 when she had me and all the trials and tribulations we’ve gone through have given us this crazy strong unique impenetrable bond. Was my childhood perfect? no, nobody’s was. Was I the perfect kid? Hell no!! I’ve done and said some shitty stuff to my mom. But none of that matters in the end. What matters is that God blessed me with this incredibly beautiful, strong, intelligent, and caring woman as my mother. Even as I sit here typing this, I’m crying. Not tears of sadness or even joy….tears of gratitude and love.

This post is my love letter to my mom. I ADORE you Mommy and am SO VERY PROUD of you!!! I am so sorry for everything I have ever put you through and I forgive you for everything you feel guilty about. Don’t ever feel guilty or bad about anything…I cherish every memory, moment, laugh, smile, tear, hug, kiss, fight, and hardship. Without that we may not have the bond we have now. You are my world, my hero, my inspiration, my rock…my Mommy.

Daddy Issues


Growing up Father’s Day was just another day in my house. Neither my brother nor I know our “fathers” or as we like to refer to them….sperm donors. They weren’t actual sperm donors, our mom didn’t go to a sperm bank; however, absentee fathers are essentially just that…sperm donors. Our mom did the best she could at playing the role of both mother & father. Did you know that Hallmark makes cards for mothers on Father’s Day? Well they do…so we would get my mom a card, call our grandpa & ninos to wish them a Happy Father’s Day and go about our day.

Now that I have a family of my own, Father’s Day has significance. It also makes me reflect on how not having a dad really has affected me. Seeing my daughter & her dad together warms my heart. I never was “daddy’s little girl” so I don’t really understand their relationship, but I understand the importance and beauty of it. Whether it’s playing catch with her, wrestling around making her tough, or picking her up & dusting her off after a tumble….I see the bond they have and while it makes me happy & thankful, I’m ashamed to admit that it also makes me a lil sad & jealous. Not jealous of their relationship per say…jealous that I never had that.

Now don’t get me wrong….my mom and I have a very unique, strong, devoted relationship. I am most definitely a Mommy’s girl through and through. Growing up I always acted like not having a dad wasn’t a big deal. If he didn’t want to see me, then I didn’t want to see him…plain & simple. And eventually, I convinced myself that I really felt that way…a part of me still does. But I did want to know him…I wanted him to WANT to know me. I wanted to know that he would always be there to protect me and never let anything happen to his babygirl. But he didn’t. I had uncles who were and still are father figures to me. They stepped in and played that role the best they could, but they all have their own families & in reality they are my uncles, not my father. So I went through life with a “dads aren’t important” attitude. I even thought that when I had a baby “who cares if the dad is there?? We don’t need him.” But now, seeing my daughter and her dad together…I see just how important dads really are.

To all the loser absentee sperm donors out there….I hope you never have to experience the feeling of abandonement, sadness, and inadequacy that your children feel. Trust me…they may act like it’s no big deal, but deep inside they’re wondering WHY. Why wasn’t I good enough or pretty enough to make him stay? What’s wrong with me? How can any man love me if my own father doesn’t? Little boys are more susceptible to turn to gangs for male guidance and little girls are most likely going to turn to abusive men for validation because their fathers weren’t there to teach them how to be men or how women should be treated.

So Happy Father’s Day to all the daddies, grandpas, stepdaddies, uncles, brothers, and mommies who play daddy. I respect each and every one of you for stepping up to the plate and making a difference.

NieceyMaria

My Deepest Pain


The loss of a child is something that no mother will recover from. The pain will eventually dull, but it will ALWAYS be there just below the surface. Your heart will never feel the same, you can never love completely because a part of you will forever be missing. In every baby’s innocent smile you will think about what was ripped away from you. To carry a life inside of you for 9 months…only to never hear that baby cry, laugh, call u “Mommy”…is a pain I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy. It’s the worst, deepest kind of pain. Just when you think the pain is at a tolerable level..a simple thing will remind you..and take you back to that pit of despair and darkness. Unless you’ve been there..you’ll never understand. So hug and kiss your children everyday at a MINIMUM. Tell them you love and cherish them, even when they’re acting like brats. NEVER let them forget that they are precious gifts from God that should be cherished and nurtured. Because somewhere there is a mother dying a little inside everyday, missing her angels.

NieceyMaria

Selfish Parents


I think my biggest pet peeve in the world is selfish mothers. Selfish parents in general bug me, but there’s just something more egregious about a selfish mother. Why bring a child into this world and then not do anything and everything you can to take care of them? When you make that decision to bring a child into this world, you decide that your wants, needs, and desires now take a back seat to that beautiful new little human being. If whatever dreams you previously had are not conducive to raising a child, then you need to let those dreams go. From the moment that baby is born, it’s watching YOU, its MOTHER. Especially if you have a daughter…that little girl wants to be JUST LIKE HER MOMMY. So be someone worthy of her emulating. Do whatever it takes so that she is better than you could ever be. There are so many women in the world who can’t have children and for women to pop them out like it’s nothing and not cherish that blessing every moment of every day..KILLS ME!! How DARE you take such a precious gift for granted!!!

I am by no stretch of the imagination claiming to be the perfect parent. I make mistakes..daily. But I can say that I ALWAYS have my daughter’s best interests in EVERYTHING I do. I think how every decision I make affects her…both negatively and positively. When she’s grown, she’ll never be able to say that her mom always thought of herself first no matter the consequences. From the moment God blessed me with that lil girl, I knew that nothing else mattered except her happiness and well being. As long as she’s ok, I’m ok.

NieceyMaria