I called Mr. Florida, broke it off and told him I was not coming back. I had the temp job but needed to make a living so I tried waiting tables. If you have gotten any idea of my personality through reading me, you will understand I did not do well at that job. I could not make my bills and support my habits that way.
While still in the Army, I had began moonlighting as a stripper (again, a bit of that in My Testimony) and since waiting tables did not work out, it made sense to slip back into that situation. That job also made it easier to self medicate. It is an atmosphere that combines the sex trade with mind altering substances and illusions of control and adrenaline producing power. Oddly enough, it was my waitress job that offered drugs first. I had no reason to say no at this point in my life when alcohol was no longer enough to get me through to tomorrow.
My Gram was in a nursing home and while her house was barely standing with no heat or a/c and only half the outlets working sometimes, I stayed in her house to have some privacy but still be on the family property to help take care of things at home. I was not home much anyway and when I was it was usually to sleep off a high.
One night after the strip club shut down, another dancer and I went out looking for some X. She spotted a guy she had dated that dealt in coke but may be able to hook us up. He got us what we wanted and then began pursuing what he wanted. He started coming to the club I worked at and we started talking. I was not interested in a relationship and he said he was not either but we seemed to be drawn to each other regardless.
Within 3 months of meeting I was pregnant. I offered him an out. No strings. He wanted in and we both wanted to clean up. The baby was our reason. We could not afford his place for a lot of reasons and after much debate borrowed money from my mother to buy a trailer and set it up on her land. She had gotten a settlement from my brother's death otherwise she never would have been able to help us. I was raw and feeling maternal and thought it would be great to have my mother there for me.
She informed me she could not be because the baby was half black. But we had our start of a family and a home and my dreams were coming true in the most warped of ways. Fast forward to 5 years later and I am pregnant for the 4th time. Married now,we had paid back what we had borrowed with interest that was beyond any monetary value, not in love with living by my mother anymore but living a life with Jesus, I know it is going to be ok.
Then hell broke open. My mother split with her husband for the 5th time in 4 years and was living alone in her 4100 square foot 25 year old falling apart house. She offered it to us. I was not willing to pay her prices again. I had learned that my first pregnancy had stirred some feelings in me that made me face the realities that I did not have the mother/daughter relationship that Hallmark profits from. I begged my husband to turn down the offer but he refused saying he would make it worth it to me. He did. But we both, along with our children paid a price higher than we ever imagined.
Regardless of the difficulties that came with acquiring the house I grew up in, my love and I settled in to raise our daughters. I delivered our 4th daughter less than 3 months after we moved in and I lived each day in awe of all the beauty God created from my ashes.
A year and a half after I moved back into the very home I had run away from about 12 years earlier, hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans, Louisiana. Because we were in such a large home so far from where the storm made landfall, we were able to offer a place to stay for all my love's family who lived in NOLA. Right after Katrina, Rita hit where my sister and her love lived. She brought friends here to stay also. It was hard. We had 13 people move in with us. I had a 1, 3 & 5 year old. I had a part time job with our church. My love worked hurricane hours. But being able to offer his family, my family, our family a place to be safe made it all worth it. I knew God had called me home for this. Besides all the healing I had faced just coming back on my own, I could offer something to others I loved as well.
We had people staying with us right about 3 months before everyone began to start their lives over in various places. The next year, the other side of my family needed me. My Nanny who is my mom's sister and had lived next door all my life got cancer. She needed me, her kids needed me, her husband needed me. I was able to be there because I lived right next door. Ned died. I blogged about it a bit. I am thankful to have been here for her and her family through something so difficult for them. That was 2 years ago.
Now my mother needs a place to live. She is a bit toxic but my mother none the less. She is not happy about the terms we are asking her to live under but I can not help but believe I live here for a reason. I live where I never wanted to for God's will to be done. I have no doubt it will be difficult. It already has been. But I trust God today. Unlike 16 or so years ago when I chose crack heads and no hot water (did I mention the trailer I lived in had no hot water, ever?) over this very house. Unlike when I had no hope and no plans for a future. Unlike when I did not live loved by my Savior. I will live where I never said I would again because I know that this is not my permanent home. My True Home is being built. That's what I'm talkin bout baby.