Murder, in the First

Living in an age where social media plays a prominent role in our day to day life, a strong support group seems like a given. According to bigthink.com the average Facebook user has upwards of 200 friends. Yet with an abundance of friends and acquaintances at your fingertips, you may find yourself standing all alone with not a friend in sight.

This is what has happened to Donna Hockman.

Donna’s story is certainly not your typical story. Her’s is a story of betrayal, survival, and corruption.
While it’s a fascinating story to share, it is not mine to tell. Below, I am providing a link to Donna’s website. I implore you to please find some free time, grab a cup of tea or coffee and look at the massive amount of detail she has put into it. Look at all the compelling evidence she provides.
Donna Hockman shot her ex, Dustin Stanley, a vicious man who brutally abused Donna and threatened to end, not only her life but her son’s life as well.
Killing another human being is not a justifiable action, in general. Donna’ s situation, however, is not your general case. Dustin Stanley was a vicious criminal. He was a paid informant for the Police. In turn, they needed him on the streets. After several 911 calls and reports of domestic violence, Donna found herself no closer to escaping the powerful grip Stanley held over her and her two children.

What Donna chose to do on that fateful day in July 2008, was the act of a desperate and exhausted woman. When Donna pulled that trigger, she was standing up for the injustice she was forced to live in. Donna made a choice not to be a victim any longer. She made a choice to protect her children at all costs.

You would expect a level of understanding came to play at her trial. It likely would have, had vital evidence not been omitted by an unjust judge.
Donna did not have a fair trial and did not receive her due process. Without substantial evidence, the jury had no reason to spare Donna from a lifetime in prison. Donna was convicted of murder in the first degree. Her sentence: Life.
Donna has been sitting in prison for nine years, writing letters to lawmakers and begging for someone to care. Where are her friends now? Where is her support team?

Imagine you were in Donna’s shoes right now. Do you think your friends would still have your back or shed a few tears and move on with life?

Who do you have in your corner that would fight for you?

As you go to sleep tonight in the comfort of your own bed, warmed with hugs from your children, think about Donna Hockman. The world is moving on without her as she sits in her cell, paying the ultimate price; her freedom.

 

More information at:

commonwealthcoverup.com

Join us at the link below and commit to take a stand against injustice. Help us save this woman’s future.

Justice for Donna Hockman FB Group

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The Persecution of the Non-Believer

Often we hear tales of Christians being persecuted, ridiculed and judged for their beliefs. Standing up for those beliefs are a testament of faith and cause for high praise amongst Christian peers, but what about the non-believers?

Growing up, I was in and out of churches. I believed because I was told I must believe “It is not for us to question the ways of the Lord”. “Faith means believing in what we cannot see”.
A battle raged inside of my mind. I found myself struggling to suppress my doubts,  lest I offend God and end up on his naughty list.
I attended church faithfully.  I raised my hands during wben-white-146950orship, following the lead of my church family, even though it felt wholly unnatural to me. I suppressed my discomfort as I had suppressed my doubts.
I longed to please God. I ached to lead a Godly life.  I felt shame that I was too shy to spread the word to strangers, for their blood was on my hands. My failure to get over myself and say something,  just say something, may have left this poor soul in the dark and holding a one way ticket to eternal gnashing of teeth and astronomic terror as they burned in endless agony.
I recall reaching out to God and asking Him for a word over me on several occasions when prophecies were flowing out of the mouths of the gifted prophets at Church Camp. I even raised my hand in a workshop when the teacher asked who wanted to be prophesied over. Everyone was noted and given a word, except me. I began to think I was unwelcome and felt God rejecting me. I didn’t blame Him, I didn’t like myself much either. In fact, I hated myself.
As a teenager, I began to suffer deeply from depression. I felt unworthy in every way. I found cutting myself was the only way to manage. Besides, I deserved to be punished.
As I struggled to cope with my depression, I felt pressure from my loved ones to stop fighting against God. One night, at a Church function, as the faithful headed to the alter, I sat in my seat plagued by discomfort and regretting my choice to attend. Someone approached me, someone that I loved and respected. She began to speak to me about Jesus, trying to persuade me to let God in. I told her I did not want to go to the alter. I will never forget what she said to me with tears in her eyes, “If you are not on Jesus’ side, you are on Satan’s side.” Angered, humiliated I hurried to the restroom to cry and probably claw my legs until I felt the physical pain match the emotional pain. I felt so hurt, so condemned and so clearly alone.
Now, as an adult, I still struggle with my upbringing from time to time. The teachings of the churches I attended, by choice and by family inheritance, still haunt me. Although I find myself for the most part, frben-white-139141ee of religion, there is a voice in the back of my head that sometimes says, what if you’re wrong? In my opinion, this is due to the brainwashing nature of religion.
I have children of my own now, whom I have chosen to raise free of religion. It is not that I am completely opposed, rather I want them to be able to make their own choices when it comes to spirituality. I know there are those who would fear that I am jeopardizing their very souls.
You may find yourself asking, “Wouldn’t it be better to be safe, than to be sorry?” Well, to that, I would like to say that the very opposite was true for me. I strongly believe that my experiences with the teachings of Christ in the Christian Church, The Non-Denominational Church, The Four Square Church, pushed me recklessly deeper into my depression . I do not blame the church or Christianity for all of the scars I now bare, but I do feel that the unsavory relationship I kept striving to emend, was a major factor in the detrimental downward spiral I once faced.
Now, as you can hopefully understand, my children are non-believers. Which leads me, finally to one last anecdote and a sincere request to those of you who have found that a life lived by the teachings of Jesus are for you.
My oldest child just finished fourth grade, here in Tennessee, which is a vastly religious state. She recently shared with me that some of her friends tend to mock other children on the bus, who have outwardly stated that they do not believe in God. This left my sweet little girl shrinking in her seat, in fear that they would learn that she, too, is a non-believer and begin to mock her, as well.
Churches are meant to love others without judgement. Sadly, it seems judging is in all of our nature. My loved ones have found insurmountable peace in God and I am happy for that. Now, I ask that everyone please try to remember that we all have our reasons and we all are doing what we believe is right for us and for our family.
Spare the judgement. Spare the pressuring. If you feel someone may be lost, I beg of you to pray for them. If you feel you must tell them of the word of God, then offer it to them, by all means. If they are unwilling, it is not the right time for them. Maybe it will never be. Please remember to take into consideration that all they might need is a little bit of understanding and a lot of compassion.

 

I would love to hear your thoughts as believers and non-believers. Please do not post anything hateful or derogatory. Thank you.

 

 

 

For you, Moms

I have peed on you. I have pooped on you. I have thrown up on you, spit on you, pulled y1919307_160521358341_2108336_nour hair. I have yelled at you. I have resented you. I have misunderstood you.

You have held me. You have fed me. You have hugged me, squeezed me, kissed me. You have cried for me. You have feared for me. You have sacrificed for me.

 

I have been peed on. I have been pooped on. I have been thrown up on, spit on, had my hair pulled. I have been yelled at. I have been resented. I have been misunderstood.

Still, I hold you. I feed you. I hug you, squeeze you, kiss you. I have cried for you, I have feared for you. I have sacrificed for you.249784_10150200923733342_7110972_n

I love you.

 

As I sit here thinking about what it means to be a Mother, I find myself struggling to find the words to adequately describe what I am feeling.  There is an indefinable beauty that exists only in the love of a mother.

As a child, I certainly never took much time to consider my mother. She was my mom. She was there to fulfill my needs and to love me. It never really occurred to me that she is a person, herself, with feelings of her own.

Being a child, it can be difficult to truly empathize with anyone outside of ourselves. I clearly remember sitting on the floor, watching my mother pass by in the hallway and thinking to myself, “How can she be real? I can’t hear her thoughts.”

Even as an adult, this can be a complex notion. It is unfortunate that it took me all of twenty-six years and the birth of my first child to even begin to grasp it.

Mothers are amongst the most underrated, underappreciated people out there. Who am I to state such a thing, you may ask. I am a mother. I have a mother. I can say with absolute certainty that my mom will never be appreciated as much as she deserves to be. Only she knows how many nights she sat on the foot of her bed, praying for guidance. Only she knows how many times she questioned her own worthiness to raise her children.

I have certainly felt that way more often than I’d like to admit. My ten year old yells at me almost daily. Where did I go wrong, I sometimes wonder. It is not about being right or wrong. Even moms have a lot to learn. Everyone has their own opinion on how a child should be handled. The hard truth is that children are their own people, too. What works for one might not work for another. So, we try and we fail and we try again. To my daughter, she may think I am harsh and unfair, but I know that even when I am hard on her, I am doing what I believe will benefit her in the longrun.

You moms out there, you are rocks. You are rockstars!

We are all a part of a very special group. We understand one another. I know that you have cried for your children, as well. You have cried tears of joy and pride, as well as sorrow and fear. Motherhood is terrifying. It is excruciatingly painful to watch the news and see the state this world is in and know that this is what we have given to our children. It brings tears to my eyes, even as I type it.

To my own Mother, my Grandma, my sister, my aunts, my great aunts, my cousins, my second cousins, my third cousins, my mother-in-law, my sisters-in-law, my friends, strangers.

Women who have had and who have lost a precious child. Women who have lost a child before holding him or her. Women who have loved a child only in their hearts, but never been able to conceive.

Mothers, I appreciate you. I hear you. I feel you. I love and admire you.

You are inconceivable Moms. You are amazing Grandmas.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Feeble Friends

I am no stranger to losing friends. In fact, if it were an artform, I’d have it down to a science. Sometimes it results from my near inability not to speak my mind. Other times it’s just good luck, I suppose. 

Yesterday was a perfect reminder of what to expect from others. This may sound pessimistic, but people are disappointing. I know this all too well. 

Growing up, I was extremely shy. I had no voice. I am not sure where this stemmed from. I believe it’s a mixture of genetics, insecurity and a crippling fear of rejection. I spent day after day, year after year, alone on the playground. 

I know, I know, I look way too cool to be alone. 

I despised school. School was a constant reminder of what a worthless loser I was. I believed that, wholeheartedly. It took me a very long time to begin to open up and allow people into my life. 

Search out the absolute dorkiest girl and I guarantee you, that one is me. 

When I was around 18 years old, Mary, my best friend of three years said she didnt need me in her life anymore. She was my first real long term friend. My heart broke into a thousand pieces. I cried until I couldn’t cry anymore. I didnt understand. She was changing, but so was I. Why couldn’t we just talk it out and move on? I think sometimes people bottle feelings up for so long that they give up before they’ve even tried. 

Nearly twenty years later, her sister and another friend from our early years, were my very best friends. They were “my person”. I knew I could share anything with these two and they wouldn’t look down on me. We knew one another and had the freedom to be real with each other, or ao I thought. One day I saw a piece of conversation I wasn’t meant to see. They thought they were talking about me, behind my back, but it was on a group message. I was taken aback. It felt like my world was crashing down. I was very pregnant, very emotional and extremely confused. First there were tears, then came the anger, but then came acceptance. Losing loved ones is never easy, especially when you learn the love was one sided. Now I am grateful it happened. I was blindsided. I was ignorant to their true feelings. I felt foolish. But, now I know and I am better for it. I cut the bad fat away, so to speak.

Yesterday, I was deleted by another feeble friend when I placed a thorn in her side by saying, and I quote, “-_-“, on a status where she heroicly claimed she’d help anyone who needed help applying for ACA, as it was the last day to apply. This struck a nerve with me, as she had promised to help me get my kids on insurance months ago, only to ignore every message I had sent her when, as it turned out, she was unable or unwilling to follow through. Should I have kept my mouth shut? Most likely. But, I allowed it to get under my skin and the words that came to mind were not to kind, thus I posted an offensive, “-_-“. She immediately understood its implications and deleted me before I could damage her heroic reputation. 

I feel annoyed. But, that’s all. I dont feel a loss or sadness. The timing was impeccable as my oldest daughter was told by her best friend yesterday that she is done being her friend. I am full of gratitude for my painful experiences because I can be a guide and a friend to my children. I can help them to find their own voice and to find strength and opportunity for growth when they experience disappointment because of a feeble friend. 

To my daughters and any other young person (or old, for that matter):

As you get older you realize that there is no need for these feeble friends. It no longer matters if I have only one true friend. Having a large collection of people who call themselves your friends does not determine your value. In fact, having anyone see your worth doesn’t determine your value. You determine your value. You have to know your own worth. Be your own advocate. If they don’t accept you as you are, they just don’t belong with you. Take note, learn from it. Become a better version of yourself. Disappointments are a great opportunity to evolve. Hold your head high and know that you are exactly who choose to be. There are people out there who will see you as a treasure, flaws and all. 

Love who you are.You are one of a kind! 

That is pure confidence, people. 

No really, “Thank you Obama”.

Dark clouds have covered the clear blue sky. A sky that welcomed rainbows and clouds of all colors, sexes and religions. Okay, okay, so I’m not really talking about the sky. I’m talking about the beautiful land we all share: America.

In Obama’s America, minorities were not looked down upon. LGBT was recognized and respected. They had rights! Imagine that. It’s as if they were just…. people. 

But, now what happens to them? What happens to their rights? Do they become less human now that our so called leader is a chauvinist, a rascist, a hideous representation of all that is wrong in the world?

Hell, what happens to us women?

The future is uncertain at the moment. Many of us are finding it difficult to see the sun shining through these dark unwelcome clouds. 
So, I want to offer a sarcastic, “Thanks, Obama” for getting us accustomed to being treated with respect and feeling the warmth of hope, for our future and the future of our children.  

I also wanna offer a sincere, “Thanks Obama… for everything”.

You will be missed. 

Know your Politicians, or Stay Home

With the next Presidential Election just around the corner, I have barely begun to read up on the potential candidates. As of right now, I know next to nothing. What a shame.

An even bigger shame is that I am far from alone. Of all of my friends and family, there are few who really follow these politicians close enough to have the information needed to make such a decision. So, will we all vote anyways? Will we follow our gut? Will you choose who our favorite local channel favors? Or will we just stay home and let the qualified people Rock the Vote?

Since I have been a registered voter, I have voted once. The landmark in 2000, Bush vs. Gore. I was so excited to do my civic duty. The only problem was I knew nothing about either candidate that I did not see on Saturday Night Live? Who does the best impression? Will Ferrell, clearly. Also, I was an avid Christian and my church and family, I was living with supported him. They did not like Gore. So, I did not like Gore. He gave me “an uneasy feeling”. Was George W. Bush qualified to run our country? I don’t know. I do know that I would not trust him to teach my kindergartner basic addition. Therefore, I am no longer proud that I voted like a good citizen should.

So, here is what I am trying to say, and it may sound harsh and it may anger a few people, know your politicians or stay home. Of course, I would prefer the former, but let’s face it politics are boring. Yet, I believe it to be highly irresponsible to vote without having all (or at least all available) information. So, take a little time. Do some research. Get interested with me. Then go out there and Rock your Vote, proudly!

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Getting to Know Me

   An interesting thing is beginning to happen. I am starting to have an understanding about myself. It’s a weird feeling when you realize that you have lived with yourself for so long, and yet have known so little about yourself.

   I have spent my life feeling confused by my own actions and inactions, pondering why I have let myself down time and time again. I am aware of my shortcomings. But, I have never known how to improve them. Maybe a little bit of understanding is a step in the right direction. 

   Rarely have I taken the time to stop and reflect on all of the moments in my life that have shaped me into the person I am today. But, sitting in the psychologists office, digging into my past, I was alarmed at everything that came up. Sometimes I wonder how I have made it this far without ever having had any sort of counselling. It doesn’t really matter, I am here now and I love it.

   We began talking about what I want to do with my life. Do I want to go back to school? She told me that she knows I am interested in science and asked if I had ever considered something like forensics. I said, “NO! Not at all. Never crossed my mind!” She asked me why. And then I realized that I never thought of jobs like that because I don’t believe I am smart enough. I have believed I am stupid since I can remember. It’s not something I have spent a lot of time dwelling on. It is just part of my belief system. How messed up is that? Now I realize what an ugly thing I have been living by and so now I can change that thinking. It will not be easy. She has said a few ties that she finds me to be very smart and well spoken. When she says those things I feel extremely uncomfortable. It feels wrong to hear. I begin wondering if she is only trying to build me up because it’s sort of her job. Nonetheless, I am going to choose to believe her. I am not stupid. I merely gave up… a long, long time ago. 

   I think that we all could benefit from some serious self-exploration. Although I believe an outside perspective can be very enlightening. This is the best decision I have made in a long time. Some people are embarrassed that they see a therapist. I am proud. There is nothing wrong with it. It is a great step no matter who you are or where you are in life. Getting to know myself is pretty fantastic.