Friday, October 22, 2010

Lisa Marie Presley - Part Two

Friday, June 26, 2009

He Knew.

Years ago Michael and I were having a deep conversation about life in general.

I can't recall the exact subject matter but he may have been questioning me about the circumstances of my Fathers Death.

At some point he paused, he stared at me very intensely and he stated with an almost calm certainty, "I am afraid that I am going to end up like him, the way he did."

I promptly tried to deter him from the idea, at which point he just shrugged his shoulders and nodded almost matter of fact as if to let me know, he knew what he knew and that was kind of that.

14 years later I am sitting here watching on the news an ambulance leaves the driveway of his home, the big gates, the crowds outside the gates, the coverage, the crowds outside the hospital, the Cause of death and what may have led up to it and the memory of this conversation hit me, as did the unstoppable tears.

A predicted ending by him, by loved ones and by me, but what I didn't predict was how much it was going to hurt when it finally happened.

The person I failed to help is being transferred right now to the LA County Coroners office for his Autopsy.

All of my indifference and detachment that I worked so hard to achieve over the years has just gone into the bowels of hell and right now I am gutted.

I am going to say now what I have never said before because I want the truth out there for once.

Our relationship was not "a sham" as is being reported in the press. It was an unusual relationship yes, where two unusual people who did not live or know a "Normal life" found a connection, perhaps with some suspect timing on his part. Nonetheless, I do believe he loved me as much as he could love anyone and I loved him very much.

I wanted to "save him" I wanted to save him from the inevitable which is what has just happened.

His family and his loved ones also wanted to save him from this as well but didn't know how and this was 14 years ago. We all worried that this would be the outcome then.

At that time, In trying to save him, I almost lost myself.

He was an incredibly dynamic force and power that was not to be underestimated.

When he used it for something good, It was the best and when he used it for something bad, It was really, REALLY bad.

Mediocrity was not a concept that would even for a second enter Michael Jackson's being or actions.

I became very ill and emotionally/ spiritually exhausted in my quest to save him from certain self-destructive behavior and from the awful vampires and leeches he would always manage to magnetize around him.

I was in over my head while trying.

I had my children to care for, I had to make a decision.

The hardest decision I have ever had to make, which was to walk away and let his fate have him, even though I desperately loved him and tried to stop or reverse it somehow.

After the Divorce, I spent a few years obsessing about him and what I could have done different, in regret.

Then I spent some angry years at the whole situation.

At some point, I truly became Indifferent, until now.

As I sit here overwhelmed with sadness, reflection and confusion at what was my biggest failure to date, watching on the news almost play by play The exact Scenario I saw happen on August 16th, 1977 happening again right now with Michael (A sight I never wanted to see again) just as he predicted, I am truly, truly gutted.

Any ill experience or words I have felt towards him in the past has just died inside of me along with him.

He was an amazing person and I am lucky to have gotten as close to him as I did and to have had the many experiences and years that we had together.

I desperately hope that he can be relieved from his pain, pressure and turmoil now.

He deserves to be free from all of that and I hope he is in a better place or will be.

I also hope that anyone else who feels they have failed to help him can be set free because he hopefully finally is.

The World is in shock but somehow he knew exactly how his fate would be played out some day more than anyone else knew, and he was right.

I really needed to say this right now, thanks for listening.


Lisa Marie Presley - Part One

When I first heard that Michael Jackson and Lisa Marie Presley were a "couple", I had the same reaction as most of America in 1994; "Is this for real?". Last night Lisa Marie's interview with Oprah aired, and today I have a whole new take on the situation. At least on Lisa Marie's half of it.

The interview captivated me. So far I have watched it twice, and I suspect I'll be watching it more. There are three reasons for this. One, Lisa Marie's face is a haunting reflection of her father, and I can't get enough of looking at her. Two, her story is unlike anything anyone could dream up, having close, personal relationships with the two most iconic men in the history of pop culture, then watching them both crumble before her eyes. And three, even if you strip away all the fame and money, Lisa Marie Presley is a recovering codependent, and at the end of the day, codependence is the reason I began writing this journal.

During the interview, I heard the word "detach" at least twice. Lisa Marie talked about the "highs" she experienced when things were good with Michael Jackson. She tried very hard to explain how magnetic and powerful he was and that if you were fortunate enough for him to "let you in", just how wildly intoxicating it could be. She noted that she's never experienced anything like that with anyone else in her life....except her father.

By the end of the interview you came to the belief that she was very much in love with MJ, but that she felt she was "disposable" to him, just like everyone else around him. Just like everyone who surrounded her father. She emphasized that when you have that kind of fame and mix it with addiction, it is poison.

Lisa Marie commented that the happiest times in her life were when she was "taking care" of MJ. The lowest lows where when she could not. I don't care if you are Lisa Marie Presley referring to Michael Jackson, or any other codependent person who has loved an addict, this feeling is exactly the same. As I listened to her, I "got it".

The day after Michael Jackson died, Lisa Marie wrote something in her blog that is very touching to me. Touching, because in reading it I feel her pain, but mostly because it could have been written by anyone in the world who has had a close relationship with an addict. In a separate entry I will print her entire journal entry from that day, but for now, this is the excerpt I want to emphasize:

"The person I failed to help is being transferred right now to the LA County Coroners office for his Autopsy.

All of my indifference and detachment that I worked so hard to achieve over the years has just gone into the bowels of hell and right now I am gutted.

I wanted to "save him" I wanted to save him from the inevitable which is what has just happened.

At that time, In trying to save him, I almost lost myself.

He was an incredibly dynamic force and power that was not to be underestimated.

When he used it for something good, It was the best and when he used it for something bad, It was really, REALLY bad."

For what it's worth, I believe that Lisa Marie is sincere and that she did love Michael Jackson very much. Addiction and codependence have no boundaries. I believe she saw her father in him and somehow believed that if she tried hard enough, she just might be able to save him. Like so many codependent women, she was wrong. I am pleased that since his death, Lisa Marie has had an awakening, and now realizes how all the pieces of the puzzle come in to place. From one codependent woman to another, I admire her, and wish her peace, and all the very best life has to offer.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

My Hero Of The Week

I don't have a Hero of the Week every week. I only do it when something really strikes me as heroic. Like last night when I watched the late night replay of The Oprah Winfrey Show and heard Tyler Perry's story about his horrific childhood. And as a bonus, we got to meet the aunt who inspired Perry's character Madea.

One day while he was watching The Oprah Winfrey Show in 1992, Perry took the advice that it can be cathartic to put feelings down on paper, which inspired him to write letters of his painful childhood. These letters eventually became his plays. Perry's first foray into writing was in 1992, when he began writing a journal, in part to cope with the repercussions of abuse. He developed different characters to voice different ideas in the journal. This work eventually became the musical I Know I've Been Changed, about adult survivors of child abuse.

Tyler Perry stopped being a victim and let his experiences inspire him to become the second highest paid film maker in Hollywood today.

I've always liked him, but now I truly respect him. You're a good man, Tyler Perry.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Quotes I Like

"All sins are attempts to fill voids."
-Simone Well

The devil knows when we are unfulfilled. It's then he tempts us with the things we believe will make us feel better. It's then he tempts us with that which we can not resist.

Monday, October 18, 2010

The Case of The Missing Coffee

I'm feeling a lot better today. The problem from yesterday isn't gone away, but it's much better. Still feeling very awkward around all the people involved, and I think I will continue to feel that way for awhile.

A strange thing happened to me today at the grocery store. I had a cup of coffee from McDonalds with me while I was doing my early morning shopping. When I got to the coffee aisle I sat it down so I could text a coworker to ask if I needed to pick up a can of coffee to bring back to work. When I got done texting I couldn't find my cup of coffee. I looked everywhere. Then I started thinking maybe I'd sat it down in another aisle. I knew I didn't, but I decided to retrace my steps anyway. No luck. I probably spent 5 minutes staring at the coffee cans, wondering what happened to my drink. It was the strangest feeling! I felt like I was going crazy. My conclusion was that one of the stock boys was walking down the aisle while I was busy texting, and grabbed the coffee off the shelf. It's the only thing I could come up with.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

What Now?

I'm not feeling so well today. Having a bad codependent day. I'm not even sure it's codependence. Alcohol was involved, but I don't really know how you'd label this. All I know is that through a series of events that happened in the blink of an eye, I was humiliated beyond my wildest dreams last night.

I've played the scene over and over and over in my head and in retrospect I guess I should have known better than to put myself in the situation. But now the damage is done and I really don't know how to undo it. I'm not sure if it's possible to undo it.

This is one of those times that I wish I could just rewind and do over. But there are no do-overs in life and I've got to deal with what happened. Right now I'm trying to find the lesson learned, or the "good" in what happened, but I'm having a lot of trouble with that. The only thing that's going to make me feel better is seeing the people involved and talking it out with them. Trust me, that's going to be enormously awkward.

Right now running away sounds like a better idea, but I guess I can't do that.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

A Busy, Relaxing Week?

Weeknights for me are a pattern. Get home from work around 6:15, look through mail, change clothes, get dinner started, throw in a load of laundry, and BAM! it's 8:00 or 9:00 before you know it. Spend a little quality time with the family and maybe get on the computer for an hour and it's bed time.

So projects, like cleaning out closets, having repair work done, and (this may sound odd to most women) shopping have to take a back seat. Now here's how my mind processes this. I start thinking "That is a project I will do on my next vacation week." Then by the time a vacation week comes I have a full plate of tasks that are usually way past needing to be done.

This week was no exception. It was hectic but productive. I had a chimney sweep come in to clean and inspect our fireplace, I had a hardwood floor installed in my dining room, I had repair work done to fix my air conditioner, and I finally got my two newly acquired Siamese cats to the vet for an exam and shots. In the meantime, I spent three days trying to get the gas and electric turned on at the house Sally and I are working on.

People always fuss at me and say I need to relax on my vacation, or take some time for myself. I do that too. I took a couple of impromptu mid-day naps this week, and last weekend Scarlet and I flew to Memphis for a three day girls trip. On the flight heading down there I proclaimed that I did not remember the last time I'd felt that relaxed. Scarlet, who has had a lot on her plate with work and school, agreed. We had a weekend of eating, drinking, people watching, and taking in the sights, sounds, and smells of Beale Street. It was just what the doctor ordered!

So mine may not be the typical vacation of spa visits and laying around for a week, but it rejuvenates me to feel like I got something that's been hanging over my head out of the way.

I still have one more week of vacation to go. I'm off this coming week as well. There are several things on my plate once again, but I'm looking forward to just being off work and being productive.

Sometimes I feel like I should try to be a better time manager. That if I could get more things done during the evenings or on weekends, I wouldn't have to fill my weeks off with chores. But I don't see much changing for me, at least not right now.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

I Met A Hero!

On April 15, 2010 I wrote about my hero of the week. It was Biggest Loser Season 8 winner Danny Cahill. Danny lost 239 pounds and was probably one of the most likable contestants that has ever been on the show. Now Danny is a motivational speaker and last week I had the opportunity to hear him speak.

My friend and neighbor Sara, attends one of the largest churches in the United States, which happens to be here in our hometown. Last week, the church had a "motivational week" with all sorts of different speakers and entertainers sharing their stories and their testimonies. When Sara heard that Danny Cahill was one of the speakers, she got tickets for the two of us to attend.

Danny's motto is "Lose Your Quit", meaning we should stop giving up on ourselves and our quest to be healthy. I'm going to talk more in the days ahead about losing my quit, but for now I want to say how wonderful it was to meet Danny. I even got his autograph and had my photo taken with him. And yes, I told him I wrote about him in my blog! He thanked me. Not only was his story and his journey fascinating, but he has some of the most gorgeous eyes I've ever seen on a man in my life!

I'm so glad Sara took me to this event. We had a great evening!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Isn't It Ironic?

Miss Pamela and I had a strange coincidence two days ago. While my dad was in the hospital having gall bladder surgery, Miss Pamela's dad was in the same hospital with a fractured ankle. Later that day, my Dad said "I never wanted to get old and have to have you take care of me." The same afternoon, Miss Pamela's dad said almost the exact same thing to her.

We both found that ironic, because neither man was in the hospital for an age related ailment. My dad was having a surgery that I had myself a few years ago, and Miss Pamela's dad had an accident on the golf course. It's also noteworthy that while my dad is 80 years old, Miss Pamela's dad is in his late 80's. Both are extremely healthy and active; Several days a week, Miss Pamela's dad plays golf, and my dad works at his church, painting or fixing some thing or another.

I pray that both our dads have speedy recoveries, and stay fit and busy for a long time to come.

Monday, October 4, 2010

It's The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year

Most people long for Spring and Summer, but ever since I can remember, Fall has always been my favorite time of year. I feel most alive in Fall. It stimulates all my senses. It's beautiful to look at, it feels good, it smells good, it sounds good, and if there's a bowl of Candy Corn or a Chili Cook-Off, it tastes good too. I could list a hundred reasons I love it, but for now, I'll stick with ten.

Top Ten Reasons I Love Fall

1. Warm sun, cool breeze
2. Colored leaves on trees and on the ground
3. Halloween
4. Both my kids have birthdays
5. Travel season is over, work slows down drastically
6. Clocks "fall back" to real time
7. Long sleeved tees
8. Chili
9. You can always find a scary movie on cable
10. Firepit in the back yard after dark

Saturday, October 2, 2010

I Got It!

My son has played sports on and off in his life. He's pretty good at anything he attempts, but does it half-heartedly. You never see that fire in his eye or see him practicing in his spare time. Going to practice always seems like an inconvenience. He gets that from me. He's just not that in to it. He'd rather shoot baskets in the neighbors driveway or play baseball in the field using cans for bases than be on a team.

My daughter on the other hand has just started playing sports this school year. Volleyball. All her life we offered for her to play soccer or do cheerleading, softball, gymnastics....not interested. She's always said she would wait until she could play volleyball and that's what she would play.

Now my daughter lives and breathes volleyball. She can't wait for practices and especially for games. Every evening she begs her Dad to take her outside to practice. After that, she comes inside and hits the ball up the stairs, waits for it to bounce back down and hits it again. This will go on until we force her to stop. During games she's in the zone. Total focus in her eyes and she's ready to play.

My point here is that I see that compulsive personality in one of my children, but not in the other. My daughter has always been more like her Dad than my son. We've known that since birth. That's not a bad thing. The intensity my daughter has for something she's interested in is great. It's what makes winners. It's what makes leaders. It's also a trait found in many addicts.

My goal with my daughter is to keep her intensity focused on the positive. If sports, particularly volleyball is that positive, then so be it. I've said since she was born that if she could use her energy for good she would be a great person. I've been educating my children about substance abuse and addiction since they were small. I'm letting them know they have the gene coming from both sides of their families and that they must always be aware of it.

It's funny how genetics works. I see a little of both my husband and myself in both our kids, but there's no doubt that the boy has the genetics of my Dad and me, and the girl is all from her Dad's gene pool.