Scam Scum

Let me begin by stating that I have some of the worst luck one individual can have. Friends have compared my life to a final destination scene waiting to happen or said that I must have been horrible in some past life and am being punished in this one. In my last post, I had told my readers how I was starting my new life by quitting my largely physically strenuous job because I had a nannying job lined up. Well… that person turned out to be a scam artist. Thankfully, I was smarter than the average fifth grader and didn’t fall victim to scam scum. My situation would be far more dire if I didn’t have my amazing boyfriend. When I found out the news about it being a scam, I cried because I am incredibly independent and have never not been able to take care of myself and my own bills since 18. I don’t have mommy or daddy to run back to or ask for help so this could have been a way more life altering experience if I didn’t have Eli. All Eli said when I told him was, “Don’t worry about it, babygirl, we beat the scam and everything will be ok. Just relax and enjoy the rest of your much needed vacation and trust me.” I’m on vacation with him and his dad’s family on an island and then I go out to Texas for 4 days to visit my mom and older half sister.

I feel anger and depression due to this event, however, because I never wanted to put this pressure on my future husband and it makes me feel like less of an independent woman that I’ve worked so hard to become. Of course, Eli says that maybe, in the future, he’ll need me to take care of him to make me feel better. The only luck I’ve had in my life is with my “family” and forever friends. My best friends, Kasey and Whiley, my “grandparents”, my little brother, my older half sister, and Eli.

I guess, in the end, everything will work out the way it was intended to. I have no idea where this event will take me…but maybe that isn’t such a bad thing…


Quitting my first job to start my new life…

So I am only a few months away from being 20 and I just quit my first job. Like, it was legitimately my first job. I got it a day less than a month after my 18th birthday and worked there until I just could not stand it. I won’t say any names because in the end, it wasn’t the company I hated working for, it was the people inside the small part of the company that I worked for that made me miserable. Of course, since I am on my own and without the option of failure because I have no mommy or daddy to go back home to, I couldn’t quit until I had another job. I have two new jobs with the same person lined up and will be making more money working less hard. Let me explain, I worked as a cashier for a year and a month before being transferred to the meat department. Being a meat sales associate means that I worked in a freezer, lift heavy boxes of meats all day and fill the wall displays for customers. I have spinal damage from my childhood abuse and so I turned in my chiropractic paperwork, hoping to be transferred back to cashering but since it was only treatment paperwork with a list of my spine and back issues and not a paper from the chiropractor stating that I had limitation preventing me from being able to do the job, they refused to move me. My chiropractor refused to write me a paper stating any limitation because he didn’t want to give the company any reason to fire me because he knows I needed my job so I just had to suck it up. Some days were very hard for me and over time, being only 1 person out of a 3 person team running the meat department (all of those shifts!!) I became slower and would even cry some days because of my severe pain. One day, on one of my slow, crying days, management pulled me aside and ranted at me at my “productivity issues” and claimed that the only reason I hadn’t been fired was because of how well I had worked for them while I was cashiering. Which baffled me since I’d been asking to be moved back and they knew how horribly I was dealing with the heavy lifting and yet just made me feel like more shat. That was back in March… So, my quitting wasn’t some rash decision. I waited until the right opportunity arose and until I just ultimately could not deal with the pain of that work field anymore. I know that I should’ve put in my two weeks and waited it out that much longer but honestly, I felt a bit spiteful. I feel bad for my co-workers, I enjoyed them, but I had warned them before doing this so that it wouldn’t seem so much like a betrayal and they wished me the best of luck.

I have no regrets and even if these new jobs fall through, I’ve thankfully saved up some money to give me some time to find something new. I didn’t graduate top ten percent of my high school class for nothing.

Besides, this Saturday begins my boyfriend’s vacation with his dad’s family and I was invited about two months ago when they planned it. I get to start my new job with less pain and a great tan and a huge smile of happiness on my face. Before I officially begin my new job, I am spending a week at a beach resort with people who love me and I’m going to Texas to visit my older half sister, brother in law, and my sick mother. My life is coming together quite nicely for once and I am so proud of what I’ve begun to accomplish. My new job is becoming a full time nanny to a 6 year old boy who I am beyond excited to meet. I don’t know much about him because I haven’t met him or his mother yet but I still can’t help to consider this little boy like a nephew of sorts. His mother seems like such a sweetheart and I only hope that I can be everything she wanted in an errand runner and nanny. This job is a gift from the heavens. My grandpa (R.I.P) must be looking out for his youngest granddaughter.

I am sure I will write so much about my experiences with my little man but I’d have to make sure to discuss it with his mother. Make sure she doesn’t mind I do that. Note that I haven’t even dared to use their names. It’s not my place to expose them in any way. Some people, I know, refuse to even post pictures of their children online in fear that they’ll be targeted. I see that as a legitimate fear and respect that. Omma gosh, soooo excited for my new life!!!

Ugly duckling failed at love. Or maybe not?

Growing up, I never believed in forever and I never even thought of believing in true love or “finding the one”. It was all just propaganda for greeting card companies and the romantics in my mind’s eye. That was until somehow, through all the #@$%, Eli and I found each other. Let’s throw it way back to middle school. Eli and I rode the same bus and I watched him all the time. Let me paint a picture, he was the tall, slim prep boy that too many girls fawned over (or so I thought) and I was the dirty, abused girl with the crack head step mother who hated her and gave her a mullet with no party in the back and had braces. I never had clothes that fit me properly, they were all too big or too small, no in between and Eli always dressed to impress. I’m sure he smelled great, too, if I had ever had the courage to get that close. Sure, he wasn’t my only interest, my puberty hormones were in full swing, but I distinctly remember seeing and watching him. Then, in high school, I found out his actual name and would occasionally catch a glimpse of him in the hallways but the bus was still the best chance I had. I must sound like a creepy little stalker girl but let me clear, he was not my only attractant. Being two years ahead in grades, he graduated and I never thought of him or saw him again. Well, until one fateful day, I sat down on one of the couches at the college with a textbook, looked up and saw him at the table by the glass doors, reading and writing intently. I watched him, I remember the way the sun looked on his arms and how he looked almost angelic. The muscles in his arms tensing and releasing with every movement and a small furrow on his right dark eyebrow. Ugh, I sound like a total stalker. As I was sitting there, he got up to go to the front desk to ask something and on his way back to his seat, I jumped up and said, “Hey, you’re Eli, right?” Still being the ugly duckling, he gave me a small glance, murmured “yeah”, and walked around me. Feeling insulted, I never gave him another thought.

One Saturday night, after 10pm, I went into the gas station after work and one of my guy friends invited me to a nearby bar for some fun. I grabbed a redbull and agreed. I followed his vehicle to the bar and since I was his “guest”, I stuck close to him as if he were my date, sipping my redbull until I saw an old high school friend and ran over to say hi to her and her husband. As I ran over and hugged her, who else but Eli would be seated right beside her husband and having had alcohol, he couldn’t stop himself from saying “whoa” when he saw me. He didn’t recognize him since I had been a nothing to him but I was no longer the ugly duckling, I had become a swan. I gave him a dirty look when he said “whoa” and as he continued to stare at my assets, I continued my conversation with my friend. While we were talking, he asks my friend, “Hey, aren’t you going to introduce me to your friend?” With a vicious glare that only mean girls can give, I looked at him and stated, “We’ve already met. We rode the same bus for years.” My friend, however, introduced us “Eli, Cassandra. Cassandra, Eli.” Being drunk, his response was “Sandra?! That’s my mom’s name!” with the goofiest prep boy smile I’ve ever seen and I said, “No, it’s Cassandra.” with extra emphasis on the “Cuh.” I was disgusted by his presence, since I’d stopped liking him long ago but still thrilled that he’d finally noticed me. Of course, I sent him a friend request just to test how much of an affect I’d made on him in his drunken state. Less than two minutes later, he responded with an acceptance to my friend request and a message asking for my number. That’s where it all began. His drunk night at the bar and my quick hour of fun after work. Who knew true love could start after so many failed attempts?

The Necessity of Visiting Grandma

My grandma is not really MY grandma. She’s my best friend’s grandmother, yet somewhere over time she went from being Miss Cindy to grandma and now I’m her and poppa’s little Mexican grandchild. It’s not racist, it’s a loving label. Visiting my grandma is a necessity for me. I, seriously, start to feel withdrawal symptoms to the point of tears. I don’t have much family to begin with and have none that lives nearby so it irks me to go long without some loving from grandma…and poppa, too, of course. My very serious boyfriend has lots of family and we often visit with the main people of his family so after so many visits with his family members, I NEED some time with my own minuscule portion of illegitimate family.

Grandma is quite possibly an angel. She has negative emotions like humans but then her negative emotions (i.e sadness, irritation) are so slight in comparison to the extremes I’m accustomed to that I can’t even consider them negative.

Yesterday, I got a phone call from my older half sister with bad news. Not just “aww, that’s too bad” news, but “omma gawd, you’re kidding” tears to the eyes bad news. My mother, who I’ve finally started to let back into my life on considerable terms, has been diagnosed with ovarian cancer. The cancer that I’ve dreaded for years. The cancer I fear will be my undoing. My maternal grandmother’s sister died of ovarian cancer between the ages of 38-42 and after her death, my grandmother was pregnant with my mother and diagnosed with ovarian cancer during the pregnancy. She underwent radiation and chemotherapy and was thankfully saved due to its discovery because of her sister’s death from it. However, my mother in utero became mentally damaged from the cancer treatments, which is why I cannot hold her entirely to blame for her abusive tendencies. My mother’s older sister had ovarian cysts from puberty onward until her one and only son’s birth. Then, they became more aggressive so she was forced to have a hysterectomy (surgical removal of inner female parts) and was therefore unable to bear any other children. My mother has up to this date shared no signs of discomfort to ovarian cysts but.. my mother lives in various realities so it’s hard to distinguish. The only way we even discovered my mother’s cancer is because, apparently, my aunt noticed that my mother had lost too much weight too quickly without her attempting to and so my aunt took her to the doctors and somehow they found out the bad news. Ugh, long story long, the reason I dread ovarian cancer being my undoing is not only the horrific history of it all but the fact that I, too, have had to struggle with ovarian cysts since puberty.

Anyway, how my grandma fits in is that even though the dark cloud of depression followed me all day yesterday, I went to see grandma and she made me laugh and smile and love life again. I don’t know how I would’ve reached a place of okay-ness with my mother’s diagnosis if it hadn’t have been for my grandma’s ability to lift my spirits on her angel wings as per usual. We didn’t even really discuss the bad news but talked of good things and how life despite its small or big hills is a blessing. I’m not religious by any means but the feeling of peaceful serenity I feel when grandma is nearby is unspeakable.

I love you grandma and poppa.

Who is Cassandra Parker?

Hmm… who is Cassandra Parker? Have you ever noticed that the older we are and the more we experience, the harder it is to answer that question? As children with vibrant innocence, the answer was simple, it was ourselves. As we mature, we realize that the answer is not quite so simple. Who we all are depends on what our experiences have been and how we decided to interpret our experiences. Many of us can be predictable when it comes to how we may react because of our pasts.

Cassandra Parker is my official name, the main part of my introductory line when meeting new people: “Hi, my name is Cassandra Parker.” However, my name plays no part in how people may react to hearing or seeing my name.

Cassandra Parker is an abuse survivor. 18 years, give or take a few months, worth of pain. My experiences, statistically, should have led me to a life of self destruction, however, I didn’t have just me to survive for. I, also, had a younger brother who was dependent on my inner strength to get us both out of our situation alive. We may be wounded, damaged, bleeding, but we are able to heal.

Cassandra Parker is not known for being a survivor. I’m labeled as “one of the nicest people you’ll ever meet”. Let it be known that I was not taught how to love or play nice from my “life-givers” (parents). Thankfully, the education system and an overdeveloped sense of right and wrong taught me how to be able to distinguish how the outside world should be treated. Close friends and a maternal instinct over my little brother taught me how to love. I’ve seen and felt the good and the bad of the world so I fear and respect the human race, yet I can’t help but feel pity for it as well. I fought the statistical urge to become a druggie, suicide victim, or criminal. I can’t say that I didn’t give in to those urges over the years but those urges only muffle the pain and the real reason behind it all won’t ever be addressed.

Cassandra Parker, yester-years, was a statistic waiting to happen. Cassandra Parker, today, is a survivor of the odds.

Cassandra Parker, today, is an almost 20 year old who decided to survive to live, not just exist.