Archive for the ‘Trust’ Category

I went to get a tattoo that I have had for a while covered up. While I was there I found out how expensive it would be and how dark the new tat would have to be that I decided against it. Then I thought that I could get one of my drawings underneath it and we could fill in the other with a sun, moon or something like that, later. I got a tat of the angel that I did, you can see the pic of it in my graphic slide show. It is the one that is blue, but I got mine inked in black and grey.

I went back and forth on getting another one, they can be addictive. I found at least two others that I would like to have. After talking to the guy that did my ink I see that God works through everyone. It was an interesting hour to say the least. The guy is an atheist but he made it clear that he was not a die hard atheist. He said that he has read and studied different religions, and he just wasn’t sold on how everyone took the Holy word just to justify what they wanted. He had a rough child hood, he used more downers than speed, he spent time in jail for violent acts, he used to be a very violent person. He laid all of that down about four years ago. He got out of jail four years ago as he was in there he was wondering what he was doing with his life. Then when he finally got released he ended up in a hotel with a hooker, and smoking dope, all the time being so paranoid because he did not want to go back to jail. He thought that was no way to live.

He found his wife who he considers to be his best friend and they have a child now. The more we talked the more I saw myself, I told him that I have been clean for a year November and how difficult it has been for me. It was like he got in my head and began to tell me how I felt. He never went to rehab because he never really did hard drugs. His pictures are like mine and we talked about how people viewed them as being dark. He told me things that the counselors said, and some that the counselors did not tell me but it was things that I have been struggling with. He told me that it was a long journey, I thought, maybe he has read my blog but he didn’t read it he was talking from experience and those of his friends that were hooked on Meth, Coke, and Heroin.

He said that I have to look in the mirror and tell myself that this is the new me. I have been using so long that is who I became. I would use to wake up, I would use to stay awake, and I would use to basically function. Now I have no crutch. He said that everyone has something that they use as an escape our way was just not acceptable in today’s society, and too self-destructive to continue. He said that no one wants to point the finger back at themselves, that they would rather play the blame game then realize they have the biggest blame. He also said that there are things that we had no control over in our lives, where others did something but we have to let that go and let them accept the blame for what they did.

He told me that he had a friend, a girl, that would shoot up Meth and Heroin it started because her old man used and would shoot up in front of them. She had her first clear thought in a year after quitting. She remembered the day, time, and date of that moment. The clear thought she had was to take the CD out of the player. I am not that bad but I could relate, everyday I have memory skids were the thoughts in my head are like a vortex, nothing in there and I know that I was doing something, or was supposed to do something. I know that this is normal, but not everyday, or every few minutes. I told him I felt that way, he said that he knew that.

I don’t usually like it when people say that they knew what I was going to say or that they knew something before I tell them. But it was okay for him to do that, because he really did know. He had other things that he told me but I can’t grab them right now I might write about them later if they come to me. But one thing that he did say sticks with me, we are all a creation, so we are all loved. This is a self professed atheist, saying that we are all created and loved. He said before he did not have any focus, he could care less if he lived or died, but now he has more reason then ever to live. He is manager over the tattoo parlor, but more important to him is his wife and child. He said that if a woman saw him in Wal-Mart she wouldn’t think twice about him, but when he is inking a woman she is all over him, it is like a rock star. He has to tell them he is married. Then there are the drugs that he has to turn down.

Struggles, ‘a hell of a journey.’ were his words. I think that he hit it right on the head with that remark. After he got through he took a picture of the ink job, and told me that he was really glad to meet me and wants me to come back and show him after it heals. He invited me to tattoo conventions to sell my art in picture form, not for ink. He said that it opened his eyes a little bit to see how candid I was and intertwining faith and the truth. I woke up this morning trying to spend most of it waking up and getting out of the fog I was in. Addiction was hitting me a little harder today then normal so I felt like I needed the talk I had with him, maybe God put us together for each other. I have a permanent reminder of my day with a stranger that touched me and strengthened me. I pray that I could have been at least a mustard seed to him.



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I feel like I need to offer up a lighter post, let everyone know of my journey and look back on where God has guided us thus far. When I started this journey a year ago this week, I started on my own. Keeping the secrets that I had hidden from those that I love, worried how the people that are the closest to me in my life would see me if I told them what I was dealing with. I kept this secret between God and me, believing that I could coast along and be the husband, dad, friend, brother, son, and Christian that I always appeared to be. Just cruise back onto the on ramp and join along the flow of traffic just as if nothing happened. 7 months later everything built up and I just broke down, feeling like I had to tell someone. I first told my minister and friend Dusty, I went forward at church not on anyone’s request but my own desires for a release. Prayers lifted up to the One that I felt I treated as a friend more then a guide, a true Father, a comforter, and not wanting Him to offer pain in redemption. That might not make sense to everyone, but let me continue. I was praying for Him to use me, to guide me to the road that He meant for me to be on.

After I went to God I should have gone to Noreen first, instead of anyone else. I wanted to tell someone of my struggles and I wanted it to be a neutral person. I went forward with a blanket confession, I was surrounded by people that put their hands on me and prayed over me. I thought, okay it is over now. I can move forward with my own rehabilitation. I started posting about it openly the following week after I went forward to the Church. Noreen questioned a lot of things, I think that is one reason I started I could let her see where I was without truly facing her. I was not thinking clearly. She found out that I had hidden a lot from her, that I had the junk in my drawer, I would use, come down and visit with her while I was speeding, I would tell her about people that offered it to me as I told her in the same breath that I turned them down. Truth was I was getting it from them. I would lie about my pain pills. She loves me enough that we just picked up from there without questions and a determination that we would fight this and win. 

I went public to the Church on a Wednesday night, barely able to speak as I did so. Noreen and I were worried about how this was going to effect our relationship with the church body and our friends that we have made since we have been here. Before I got up I wasn’t sure what good it was going to do. I was unsure if this is truly what God had intended for my travels and what was going to come out of it. I was scared, but I had God and Noreen with me, if we had to find another church then we would have to find another church. I already committed and when I got up it was all a blur. I blurted everything out, and sit down with my head down and with Noreen holding me throughout the rest of the service. It was the hardest thing that I have ever had to do. It was like having to go up to someone that you really respect and tell them the truth. As the words come out you know that once it is out there is no retraction, and from then on the relationship hinges on how they are going to take it and that there is a good chance that there will be no reconciliation. I know that God is the One that had me do this. Though I couldn’t see it then, I knew that this is what He wanted, this was part of the road that He intended.

There was a lot of tears shed, depression, withdrawal, along with that was growth. Even though I wrestled with what God wanted I never turned from Him. When I started seeing how it hit home to people in their personal journey, and started to see others that I did not even know, share their struggles with me in the same area I knew this is what God wanted. When I saw this I thought that God should lighten up on me, but He didn’t. I am glad that He didn’t because there was/is so much growth to continue. I saw a couple of people that held their hands on me and prayed over me that later when they found out felt uncomfortable around me. I was not upset about this, but was curious of how God was touching them in their journey.

I know that my post are dark at times, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t see God traveling with Noreen and me. I know that this is life, and God never promised a rose garden without the thorns. The church family is wonderful and supportive, what a blessing. Noreen is my biggest earthly support what a blessing. I was advised to let the kids know in case they encountered struggles, and that they would know that I am not hiding anything from them. They accepted it with love and support, what a blessing. My sister and brother-in-law read my post and have been supportive and the relationship is stronger then it has ever been, what a blessing. My friend Jimbo is supportive and growing in his way, which in return helps me to grow closer to God, what a blessing. I have a better relationship with my dad, something I have always prayed for, what a blessing. God is constantly watching over Noreen and me what a blessing.

I struggle with depression, that is from my brain misfiring from what I have done. God never gave me a straw to put anything up my nose. He gave me living water, but not water to down pills that will help me escape. He offered an escape that I avoided and chose my own. I have found that my own path was not a good one, I chose His and as a good Father does to His children He has made the road with love and discipline. I made my bed and if I want out of it I have to struggle to grow. Growth with struggle is growth that stays with you. If it was simple enough just to have faith with no struggle I would fall time and time again knowing that the road back would be littered with feathers. God loves me in my struggles, what a blessing. He will make me stronger then I have ever been, what a blessing. How would I know others pain in their journey if I haven’t felt the pain in my own? How could I offer a hand if I have not been offered a hand? What a blessing.

I am growing daily, some of those days are dark, but not everyday as it was in the beginning. I am poking my head out of my shell, and I am seeing a person that I have always longed to be, but was too deep in a dark shell that I could not see clearly in the mirror. I have my scars, just like those that are physically noticeable that will stay with me throughout this life. My post are going to be dark but that is the journey. But there is light, might be small to those who don’t understand the dark, but as I mentioned in a comment in my experiences when you are in the dark a pin light can shine like the sun. Jesus, Paul, Peter, etc had their scars that they carried with them. All Christians do I believe. Mine are more in the open, and I think that might prick sometimes at others scars that are more hidden and showing a desire that they stay that way, in fear of how the road might chance in allowing growth outside of those scars. What a blessing.


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Breach of Trust

I am not a trusting person. I am a good judge of character for the most part, anyone that knows me well enough will tell you the same. Not to say that I am 100% accurate all of the time, but I pick up on little mannerisms, rather they are blatant or are trying to cover up who they are by being polite. Sometimes people are polite to one person in the group which is the target, being polite to the others that might be around but more attention toward the target. Of course I know that I am not the only one that does that. And I don’t think that it is judging because I try to give them the benefit of the doubt. I am usually right who I pick to come in to the apartments or my families life. If they pass the background check the police might come in later or if we do a check with our courtesy officer they are usually wanted for a recent warrant, one that was not in the system when we ran the first check. Or they don’t move in and we hear about them later at another complex involved in robbery, assault or something similar. Noreen is more trusting, and believes in the inherent good in everyone. I admire that in her but it also scares me about her. She is too trusting, but I have tried to take her lead and be a little more trusting.

Something happened last night that triggered my distrust. We have a tenant here that I have dealt with two times, the first time that I met the guy was when he came to the office Friday night after hours and rang the doorbell. I always am the one that goes down after hours, because I believe it a safety issue. He is a tenant and had a question about a payment, I thought he acted a little weird and felt a little uncomfortable with him. Nothing actually stood out about him, he looked meek enough, and had a little mustache which I thought was a little funny, funny ha-ha, not funny peculiar. I mentioned it to Noreen and said I think that we need to keep an eye out, but I tried to be optimistic at the same time back stepped a little and said, but he seemed like a nice enough guy I guess. I was trying to put aside my distrust and open up a little bit more to people.

Last night around the same time the guy returned for a key to his apartment and asked about some paper work concerning him and his roommate. He seemed to get a little agitated about what I had to tell him, not toward me actually but it was a quick fuse none the less. About an hour later we had a knock on the door, it was two young women who had been working out in the fitness center. They said that the downstairs was filled with smoke, so we checked out downstairs, and could not find where it was coming from. I went to the back where our clubhouse is and I saw smoke outside, as I was going outside, Noreen told me that the office was filled with smoke. I went in and the smoke was extremely thick, I looked toward the outlets, and around the computer but it did not seem to be coming from there. I knew where one fire was so I went to it and tried to extinguish it, but it was between the walls and I could not get it out.

Noreen called the fire department, of course they sent the entire force out we had at least four trucks, fire marshals, fire chief, and two police cars. Noreen and I talked that this was a little extreme for a little fire, the girls had seen two guys walking around downstairs that seemed a little suspicious, they left a little before the fire started. I thought that maybe they were doing something outside the window and either a joint or cigarette fell in and caught the insulation on fire. I asked why the fire was so thick in the office area which is on the other side of the building and right below our apartment. One of the fire marshals said that it was caused by the wind blowing. I thought that was a little odd considering none of the other areas were filled with smoke. But they should know better then me. Later they wanted to check the pool area which is fenced in and was beside the wall that was on fire. As Noreen went in to get the keys to the pool, she is the one that noticed the drop box was on fire, or had been on fire. That is when they declared it a crime scene.

My first thought went to the gentleman that came in earlier, actually my thought went to him when the girls first mentioned the two guys. I told Noreen about my suspicion before we found out about the drop box, my mind went there again when the fire department mentioned that the first fire looked suspicious. Noreen didn’t totally believe my feelings at first, and was hesitant about me mentioning anything. Which is understandable, she did not know why he would want to, I had my own theory but I thought that maybe I am being too paranoid about everything and tried to be logical about the situation. They said that someone poured accelerant in the drop box and then lit it, I felt like I had to tell them who I suspected. Later I heard the girls describe what the guys were wearing, one guy was wearing what sounded like the same thing this gentleman was wearing. While I was talking to the CID I mentioned the guy, the detective wanted to see a copy of his ID. He said he was the same guy they picked up Saturday night for terroristic threatening, assault, and some other felony charges. He had just issued the warrant yesterday, Monday, and felt like he might be part of it also.

An investigation is continuing and regardless of me being right or wrong, I am glad that I voiced my thoughts about the guy, so now we can get a dangerous man out and away from his room mate. This hurt Noreen, she bends over backwards for people. She reaches out and does everything short of breaking the rules for everyone. All they have to do is ask, we don’t have a lot of money, to tell you the truth we are broke most of the time, but when people need five or ten dollars we will loan, mostly give, it to them. She was hurt for the lack of concern that was given there were two innocent people that the guys knew were downstairs, they knew that we were upstairs. We know that the people lived here because one of them came back to the scene and when they saw one of the girls, Noreen and me he turned and ran off. The girl ran after him, without us or anyone else knowing, and the guy went around to the apartments and was gone, the area is fenced in, and there was no where else to go. When we found out later about her taking chase we were worried about her safety. Noreen said that she still has trust, but she hated the fact that she cares so much about these people that they would do something like this. I hurt because I think that trust is an important thing to have and is rare. Every time someone breaks that trust it hurts. Noreen has given people breaks, extra time to tow cars, a reasonable time to get the utilities on in their name some people are thankful others turn it back on her. It breaks my heart to see this, and in return I get upset at the people for doing so. Noreen usually will keep me from talking to them because it will make things worse and she doesn’t like conflict. So I try to honor that as much as I can.

My experience is that I opened up and started to learn trust. I feel like I need to be on guard 24/7, it seems to never fail when I let my guard down and not mention my feelings it bites me on the rear. Someone trying to burn our building down with us in it is serious and it makes me angry, and back to wanting to open my eyes all that much more. I thank God that we were saved, we did not smell the smoke and the fire alarms downstairs did not go off yet. We thank God that the kids were not with us. We thank God for those girls.

Our Supervisor was more worried about the property damage than us, they live in a house and do not have to worry about people knowing where they live. They don’t understand the concern. This also hurt Noreen on a personal level because she has developed a relationship with the Supervisor, that along with the fear of someone being that mad or disturbed that they would start two fires that would have consumed the whole building. The CID Detective told me that he wouldn’t want our job, Managers make people mad even if you are the nicest person to them they sometimes never see you more then someone that takes their money. One manager was threatened with a pipe bomb at one time.

I want to trust and not constantly look for something that warrants distrust. But when I was getting a little comfortable and working on it something serious happens. I have been in dangerous areas before and I don’t like it. Noreen hasn’t seen the bigger life realities of random people, and desires to trust others. I am always afraid that they will enter our little dream world, this time not worried about me, but worried about the most valuable thing I have and that is Noreen. She is like gold to me, I have collectibles that can go up in smoke for all I care. With my trust issues I never felt like anyone can love me and will find out about the real me and leave. I am a commitaphobe, Noreen has worked with me and stayed with me through a lot. I love her so much and she is the only person that had a choice to come into my life that actually feels like a part of me, she understands me. We know each other so well sometimes we don’t speak because we just know what each other is thinking. I think that this job warrants a little distrust, because not only do the tenants know where we live, people off the street do so also. I am okay with people that we meet outside of here, I still can pick up on a vibe or whatever you want to call it, but the chances of seeing them again is slim. With this I feel always on guard, and it would be nice to just ‘be’ for a little while and not worry about a breach of trust.


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