Sunday, December 31, 2017

Horse therapy & anger mismanagement

Horses... There's something amazing about horses.
Spending time with a horse is probably the best therapy I've ever had.
My mother absolutely loved horses. She told me so many stories of her youth with her horses. 
When we were at a place in life where we lived in homes with lots of land, mom started rescuing horses. We had many but the two more special ones were a little Appaloosa named Star and later on, a Mustang from Utah, we bought at an auction. He was mine. Choco.
Mom took very good care of each horse and especially her Star. He was gentle, and beautiful. 
He made the perfect match for my mom. 
She loved him as much as he loved her. 
After the ordeals we had been through up to that point, horses were just what was needed for our souls. 
Mom worked at the Dixie Stampede In pigeon forgeTN. So she worked closely around horses at work also. Her job was to sew outfits/costumes for the preformers and their horses. She was dang good at her job as well. Dedicated to anything she did.
I learned many things from her, mostly how to be so dedicated and not cave under pressure. She was tough, with
 such a kind heart.
Mom taught me by example how to care for our horses. Feeding them early in the morning, watering them. Grooming them.
And if there was more than one in the field, there was a "pecking order". She taught me that you cannot feed a horse around another if the one had dominance over the others. 
It never went well. As gentle as horses can be, they can also be mean and hurt you. 
So she decided to take me to a wild mustang auction and buy me a flipping mustang, that no one but her would attempt to "break" or train. 
I remember seeing Choco raring back out of the trailer they had him in. 
I thought' yikes! That horse is crazy'!
My strong-willed mother,bid and won him.
Obviously, he was wild so that meant he was also a stallion.
Stallions are strong, and with their hormones raging, they can be dangerous.
So here we were. I was 10 and proudly owned a stallion wild mustang from Utah. 
Mom, bless her, tried to break him. 
The best she did was get him to let her walk up to him once he was at our barn for awhile,and touched his nose. 
He was too wild. 
She hired a trainer and we had him gelded.
I witnessed that and let me tell you... That was something I could have lived without.
Her horse was her best friend but as time went on, she was forced to sell him. 
A trail riding company bought him and he was their best horse. 
She still helped me with Choco.
I could ride him with or without a saddle. 
It was hard to believe my horse was once free roaming in Utah just a couple of years before.
I loved him.
We had moved to a home by a 4-lane highway with lots of land. 
One January morning, my mom shot straight up outta bed to answer the phone. It was still dark outside so I knew something was wrong. No one calls in the middle of the night nor before 6am, unless something bad has occurred....
Her voice raised and she got out of bed and told me to dress warm and hurry outside with her.
I did, very quickly.
I followed her outside to see a car, police and flashing lights out on the highway below our house.
This woman was telling police that " she didn't she it and hit it, and another vehicle hit it,but didn't stop"
The "it" was a horse.
One of ours.
I started talking and I heard from behind me, a 'neigh'. A whimpering neigh.
Running up the hill, I saw my Choco leaned up against the tree breathing hard.
He was not standing right.
Mom was right behind me. 
Choco put his head on my chest and fell over.
One thing mom taught me was, when a horse is injured and falls, it is never a good thing.
His leg was broken with internal bleeding.
He struggled but soon died with his head in my lap. When he fell, I dropped as well.
I was crushed. Mom was crying with me. 
We buried him using a backho in the field he had roamed and played in ,just the day before.
My "therapy" was gone. 
My friend was gone. 
Having horses bonded mom and I more and helped us both during uncertain times.
But that loss hurt my 10 year old heart too much and I lost all interest in horses after that.
Mom slowly did as well...
Just the smell of a leather saddle and horse sweat (sounds gross but horse people understand πŸ˜‰) was enough to calm me down and take my mind off of the things I had been going through. 
At ten , I already had seen so many things,watched my mom do her best as  a single mother and her and I had been through so much, that once my horse died, I really didn't have much to make me feel happy. 
I wasn't granted a childhood like most. 
So I didn't know how to just be a kid. I was always an adult in my mind and heart. 
You cannot be someone who you don't know. 
I had a very short lived childhood. Like, from birth to 5 years old. So how was I to know what to do with what I was feeling?
Anger and attitude crept in. 
I was always worried I'd lose my Mom and I would show that but get treated by others as a bratty kid. So my worries, and pain turned to anger.
Now people would have an actual reason to say I was a brat.
Instead of people trying to help me, I was labeled and my future determined. And it was never good. 
Brat. Nightmare. Snotty. Selfish. Were just a few names that others called me and would advise mom I just needed my "ass beat".
That sure didn't help my anger.
The therapist people talked my mom into sending me to, didn't take me seriously either. So I learned to just give in to the labels and show everyone who thought of me as terrible,just how terrible I could actually be.....

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Answered prayers✝πŸ™❤ through a piggy bankπŸ–

I had the widest smile πŸ˜‚
I'm not my mother's only child but because I am the youngest, I was technically the only child in her home. My siblings were teens when I was born. 
So I had the coolness of only child treatment most times.
I probably drove my mom crazy being up underneath her all of the time lol. 
Wherever she went, so did I. 
I loved taking road trips with her. We would go to visit my grandmother in South Alabama.
Or to Florida. Just her and I were my favorite moments. ❤
Once we we're back home with my dad, reality came back. It wasn't as bad as some have had it but for such a young girl who loved both of her parents, and who was attached to her mother's hip, it wasn't the best when arguing began between them. My mom tried to shelter me from those fights, but I heard and saw so much already, I knew that it would be that way whenever dad came home. 
Now I don't want to seem like I am demonizing my dad. He struggled with addiction/alcholisim and has several mental illness issues. He never physically abused me but he scared the hell outta me by being so mean to my mom. I would cry and he would yell at her to make me stop crying. Over time, I was used to him yelling louder when I cried that I developed a Terrible , frustrating, embarrassing, stutter. I couldn't say the most simple words. 
I was put in speech therapy. It would get better when Dad was away, but just when I thought it was gone, he would come back and so would my speech issues/stuttering. 
Dad would leave more often and stay gone longer. I felt safer. 
But I could tell my mom was sad and missed him. I watched her stand her ground and then he would get back into her good graces. Swear he quit drinking etc. This went on for years. 
One of the many times he talked her into coming back to him, (each time she had a job,I was in school and we had a cute place,just us two)
She agreed and boy was that a major mistake. 
It was the month of May ,when I was 7
Mom and I had been out that day and when we came home, dad was working on his car. Whiskey bottles and beer cans scattered about. 
He was mad, I could tell. So mom made me food and dad came in yelling. Mom put herself in between him and me. She told him to back away. I'm assuming that was disrespectful to him and he grabbed her up, and beat her with close fists from the kitchen, to our living room. Her screaming and crying. Me having a mini heart attack looking for a way to get to the wall phone to call for help. I made my legs move and I ran to the phone, watching in horror as my dad, was standing up, hunched over my mother laying balled up in the floor next to the window behind the couch, punching her over and over and over. 
The stupid stutter kicked in and I finally found my voice and screamed at dad " DADDY,! STOP HITTING MOMMY"!!!
To my relief, the next punch, he hesitated. I turned to call 911 and when. I turned back towards the nightmare, dad pushed passed me out the door. I let go of the phone and ran to where mom was... Only she wasn't there. I literally thought God came down and took her away. 
I heard crying and I look over at the busted window. Looked out and down to the ground and there laid my mom. My mind didn't understand how she got down there.... Outside. On the ground. Below our living room window. So I ran outside,fell on a nail that cut my ankle up to my leg, got up and Continued to my helpless mother. It took all 60lbs of me to help her up and be her crutches to the tailgate of that damn car that I assumed made my dad so angry just moments before. I ran to a neighbor's home who didn't speak English and just grabbed their phone. I called for help again. My dad was back inside at this time. Police and ambulances showed up after what felt like forever. My mom crying, grabbing her ribs. They loaded her on a stretcher and off she went. Cops busted in our door and would you believe my dad wouldn't cooperate with them!?!? (Sarcasm)
It took 6 cops , their clubs and mase to get handcuffs on dad. They dragged him bleeding from his face, him screaming, to their patrol car. He was screaming for me. I was terrified. He wanted his medicine and for me to call someone to bail him out later..... I was left there to see that the struggle to arrest my dad, destroyed our furniture, living room kitchen etc. I didn't know what to do. So like I'd watched my mom do all of my life with living with Dad, I started picking the mess up. I counted 26 beer cans and four whiskey bottles. All empty. 
I was finally taken to a close family members home and questioned by detective after detective. 
The hospital finally let us know that all of moms ribs had been either cracked or broken. Face fractured. When I saw her again,she was blue, and gray,and black, head to toe. 
Ironically enough, my mom spent three days in the hospital while my dad, who put her there spent just three hours in jail before being released on bail. He told everyone mom "went crazy and broke up the house and threw herself out of that window"
And his family, the one who bailed him out, believed him. That's his story to this day. But I was the forgotten witness. And I saw everything. 
Protection orders were granted for her and me. I was the main and only witness so I was brought up to the witness stand in a huge,cold courtroom. I had to point my dad out and tell everyone what happened. The judge let me choose to be with my mom solely. (Obviously I wasn't going to be granted to dad)
Judge ruled in mom's favor and my dad cried when I said he scared me. 
Mom and I went home.
This is when I developed an irrational fear of losing my mother. I would cry when she would go outside to mow the grass, fearing dad would get someone to do a drive-by and kill her. This lasted my whole childhood. That fear of losing her. 
She pressed on and let him back once more a few years later. But my little girl prayers were answered when mom and I came home to find my piggy bank busted, my dog gone and no sign of dad. He had promised me Earlier that same day he was taking me fishing but he took that trip without me, with MY Money I saved, my dog and my blankets
I had received from a vacation. 
It took along time to save that $126.57 but he needed it more I suppose. I'm actually thankful I had saved that money up and thankful that it was there for dad. So that when he decided to leave, he could take the money and stay gone this time. He had no excuse to call Mom and say he was sleeping in his truck because now,he had my money to stay somewhere and she wouldn't cave and let him back. I believe that was part of God answering my prayers; using that piggy bank to get Dad out again.
Mom eventually filed for divorce and he never returned to live with us. He tried but I prayed that God would keep him away. Mom worked and did her best for us. Child support was granted but it never came and we did well without it. I was the happiest child that ever came from a divorced home. That was the best thing they ever did. (Other than having me) of course πŸ˜‰
I haven't stuttered since. 
Life went pretty fast after this phase... And more circumstances that I didn't have control over,came at me. My mom was a survivor and I also learned to survive and adapt to any environment or situation. That came in handy as life happened as it did.
God watched over me and Mom from the start. She kept her faith and her focus was on me and her family...
I carried around the feelings I had learned to hide, over the years and brought them into other parts of life. It was the perfect storm for events that occurred. Some things just don't mix well. Just because you can put things together, doesn't mean you should..... 

Friday, December 29, 2017

Pigtails, innocence, dedication and alcholisim,is a cocktail that doesn't mix.

This little girl pictured below had a loving,
Dedicated mother who's life revolved around her.
I was cute, right!? πŸ˜‚πŸ’š
I was about 4 here. Posing in those pigtails my mom insisted on giving me. 
At this part in life, I lived with both parents. My dad worked out of town alot while my mom stayed home with me. She was the picture of a grand housewife. I would watch her take care of every corner of our house. 
We had a pool and playground in our backyard. I would play while mom did everything inside and outside of that little house in the cute, quite neighborhood. I only knew of innocent,childlike things during this time. 
It was short lived...
You see, I learned quickly that the only thing that stays the same is that things are always changing. 
My dad would come in from out of town and the whole atmosphere in my perfect little world completely changed each time. 
He would briefly hug me,and kiss my face.
The smell that came from his mustache and breath was always strong and strange to me. It became a familiar scent throughout my life. 
He would drink constantly. Whiskey mainly but beer was always around as well. 
He never ate when mom made these amazing meals. He would wait until late at night and sit in the dining room in the dark, music blaring from his head phones, the song 'Bad To The Bone' played in my mind as I had heard it a million times just while he was home for a weekend. 
And he sat in the dark, that song playing, eating. That's how I knew he was done drinking for that day; he would eat. 
I slept with my mom and I'm thankful because whiskey nor any other sort of alcohol that's been consumed all day, is ever a good thing. 
He would have these routinely fits of drunken outbursts. 
Kicking locked doors open, Calling my mother bad names. Breaking things. Cursing.
I never understood why he was so mean to my mom who did everything for him. Including cleaning up the messes he made. She treated him like a king and he treated her like scum. 
I was ready for him to leave back out the minute he came home, when he came home, every single time. 
I eventually stopped missing him. 
I liked it much better when it was just my mom and I at home. For obvious reasons. 
Mom stayed strong in front of me. 
We both loved him, but as she would always tell me as I was older, "your dad doesn't know how to be a real dad".
And she was right. .....

Welcome to my blog!

Everyone has a story. So many things are decided for us before we can control anything. Most people know of my fallouts but have no idea what I went through before failure. This is my story.  This has been on my heart for quite some time.
I'm a Christ follower, wife and mother.
My goal is to shed light on the things many do not want to talk about,let alone admit to. (IE; addiction, mistreatment, brokenness, lots of loss etc)My story up until this point, could be considered unbelievable, even to myself. However I did live it. With that, I cannot let anything I have been through, go to waste if there's any chance someone else could be helped, it's worth everything that comes back up while sharing my truths. God didn't save me and restore me so that I can do absolutely nothing with it. I will be honest and detailed. Bare with me as I get this going. I will write and post once my son and husband are taken care of. 
Thanks so much for reading.

       ❤ Tiffany Smith