Had I not been looking at memories on FB last night at 9:15PM, I would have completely forgotten my husband’s birthday. Feeling like the winner of the “Worst Wife Of The Year” due to my overburdened schedule, forgetting Matthew’s birthday was the last thing I would have ever wanted to do.
For the past year, events that I could have never anticipated have occurred. From my niece, Stephaney and my father being involuntarily committed along with my roof collapsing from North Texas rain and the numerous hospitalizations from kidney stones and Ovarian Remnant Syndrome, to say I’m overwhelmed would be an understatement.
My health and my own family have made this past year unpredictable and often stressful. A few surprises from clients arriving intoxicated to their Prison Weddings have forced me to have strict discussions with my TDCJ Clients.
It should be noted that as a Client, your behavior reflects on me whether you realize it or not. Because of this unexpected behavior, I now require a contract regarding client behavior at Units.
Forgetting Matthew’s birthday with everything else going on in my life bumping Clients around while getting guilt tripped about our Destination trip next week from family members who aren’t going isn’t pleasant but, it’s my life.
My family and clients are actually the main reason that I have been preoccupied while trying to put my home back together and plan a 6 day trip in less than a week. But, try telling your problems to anyone busy telling you theirs around here.
My family is quick to forget that I work 7 days a week rain or shine while meeting contractors the last two weeks. Me, me, me.
Destination Events are primarily only for the staff needed on location. I decided to round this trip off for a birthday celebration a month early for Cindy and I and included my twin grandnieces which is unusual but, they are both homeschooled and Cindy and I will see that their studies are kept up.
My son, my daughter in law and my other niece are lit that they aren’t going but, this is a working vacation.
Last year at this same time, Cindy and I actually took Stephaney with us to film in LA but, rather than thanking us for giving her twins a great trip this year they didn’t get to take last year, Stephaney is griping that she can’t go? I can’t win around here.
Here are a few pics of Stephaney BEFORE the DWI in Texas last year. My niece seemed to be bored on her first trip to our home state.Your spouse is supposed to be the most important person in your life not the least important person. My husband would flat out tell you that my twin, Cindy comes first and, he accepts that she shares the role of #1 in my life.
The two of us raised our children and grandchildren together and we also have lived together as teens sharing our rent and food, and as adults between marriages.
Cindy is a very important part of my life and my businesses. We do everything together.Matthew will admit that he can’t compete with Cindy because it’s true. Most husband’s would resent this but, mine doesn’t. I’ve left two husbands that did.
With my family members out of control, it can be said that bad behavior is garnering far more of my attention than good behavior from Cindy and I.
Poor Matthew, my rock has gone unnoticed because all of my efforts are either on work or my family. I was so preoccupied the evening of his birthday that when he asked if I would put my phone down and stop working or addressing my family needs to spend a few hours with him that I still didn’t realize that it was an odd request. I should have though because my husband loves tv and I don’t. Asking me to watch something with him is pretty irregular.
I had been texting back and forth with four brides on this weeks schedule while dealing with back and shoulder pain and what I had assumed was exhaustion.
Hint: wear a mask if your ceiling collapses. Matthew and I are both sick now but two months after a full hysterectomy, my immune system is in far worse shape than my husband’s. The insulation dust bomb that spread through our entire home on the eve of our anniversary caught us off guard. Although we had closed off my office as best we could, while waiting until the following day to buy masks, we also breathed in a significant amount of insulation dust.
Matthew’s birthday forgotten, he was probably too embarrassed or hurt to even bring it up. I rarely watch tv and he’s well aware of this. I’m normally on my phone at all waking hours and read to relax. The movie? Jurassic Park. Not the most romantic of options but, he likes adventure.
Im fairly certain my husband must have been wondering why his wife “the Planner” hadn’t bothered to plan anything for his birthday? He knows though that between bouncing to Psych Units, Prisons and venues in between medical appointments and contractors that my days are running into one another.
Trying to wrap things up to leave Monday and finish a week of back to back client meetings at numerous Prison Weddings while sick, I even put off going to get my steroid shot or shoulder fixed to finish the house.
The carpet is finally in and I’m still moving furniture. I’m pain tolerant. Waiting to fix my shoulder or get antibiotics or a steroid shot are things I needed to do but also, things I didn’t have time for.
As usual, my needs had to wait until Tuesday because Monday (Matthew’s Birthday) was spent meeting contractors running to client meetings and handling two prison weddings in two different cities.
I decided to “do over” the forgotten birthday. In order to make it up to him, I crammed birthday gift shopping for Matthew into my schedule today after sending him an apologetic email last night.
I now have 7 days of alerts on my phone for next year to prevent this from ever happening again. It should be noted that I’ve also forgotten my sons and nieces birthdays over the years including my own. My twin is the same way.
We are so busy that birthdays are easily forgotten while juggling family and client needs first. I’m guessing that I will have to start scheduling birthdays on my calendar into the jam packed dates of obligations to my clients?
It’s funny that our older children celebrate their birthdays all month long and yet consistently forget Cindy’s and mine.
Yesterday started off with a phone call from my twin regarding one of my twin grandnieces not coming home last night. My sister is rarely so upset because she’s the laid back one. I’m not. When she is upset about something, it’s my job to fix it.
Horrified after a night of mentally “beating myself up” about forgetting Matthew’s birthday, I headed to Parker County. Cindy needed me. I had a full schedule but, finding Maryssa would be an immediate priority.
I met Cindy at the Love’s Truck Stop and quickly realized we didn’t know exactly where Maryssa’s friend “Jessie” lived.
Cindy had tried to call Maryssa all night and when she never came home, was completely panicked. Jessie wouldn’t answer her phone either and we didn’t have a phone number for Jessie’s parents or their address.
Driving around in my SUV and leaving Cindy’s behind, we spent nearly an hour trying to locate the right house. Finally, we gave up and called my niece, Leigh Ann who had been there numerous times to either drop off Maryssa or pick up Jessie.
Leigh Ann drove ahead and lead us to Jessie’s father’s home. No one was apparently home but, the aunt lived next door so, we went there next.
The aunt told us that the grandfather had taken Jessie to school at 8:30AM. Alarmed, we asked where Maryssa was? The aunt called the school and found that Jessie never went to school.
This information along with the fact that we couldn’t get in contact with Maryssa or Jessie was so disturbing that Cindy and I followed Leigh Ann to the Weatherford PD to file a missing persons report.
The police wanted a photo of Maryssa and Jessie. We had to search FB and Instagram to find a photo of Jessie. I had hundreds of Maryssa. Most of them with Maddy my youngest grandniece. Not knowing where a fourteen year old is any parent or guardians worst nightmare. For fourteen years, my twin has had custody of her twin granddaughters.
It’s not easy raising a second generation of twins in your 40’s, 50’s and 60’s. our husbands are each nearly 70. But, we rallied together and have raised the twins as a dual family.
Cindy has selflessly sacrificed to raise the twins all of their lives. Cindy’s husband drives a truck 6 days a week to pay the bills.
Cindy didn’t deserve all the baggage an unruly teen making bad decisions has brought to her.
Maryssa uses her mom, Stephaney as an excuse for her other “mistakes” but, we have been the twins parents. We have taken them to school, bought their clothes, taken them to doctors and been the parents we didn’t have.
A year ago, the twins mother, my niece, Stephaney went off her Bipolar One medication. Seven Psych Ward “stints” later for my niece, Stephaney, her daughter, Maryssa has fallen behind in school and made questionable choices regarding her “friends.”
From playing the choking game to sneaking out of the house, Maryssa running off with Jessie was the last straw for Cindy. Why? Because after a full year of dealing with our dad being convinced that someone is in his attic and subsequently shooting his gun at these invisible intruders got him involuntary committed in July. This occurred months after crazy texts and phone calls WHILE dealing with Stephaney running wild.
So, you can see how Maryssa, dad AND Stephaney have pushed Cindy and I to near nervous breakdowns. People complain about ONE crazy relative being out of control. Try three.
I love 70’s music and while driving to Beto Unit a few weeks ago to perform a wedding, Crazy Train came on the radio. Cindy and I both reached over to change the song we once loved. Why? It’s now hitting too close to home for BOTH of us. Sorry Ozzie.
Cindy can make me laugh under nearly any situation. Much of the time, if I am laughing, it’s at something my twin has said.For a year now, my niece, Stephaney has either being in jail or a Psych Ward or completely out of control. Cindy and I were already overwhelmed with our family when about eight months ago, Maryssa began getting into trouble herself.
All of this family drama and chaos has literally worn my sister and I paper thin. Our husbands are both pretty fed up too.
I can’t even talk to my dad anymore because he’s angry that Cindy and I don’t believe people are living in the attic. I’m sick of the phone calls and text messages and I’m sick of going along with my dad. Cindy is too.
Cindy and I are sick and tired of trying to get dad to believe no one could possibly be sneaking around in his attic. I’m fed up with dads anger at us for trying to be reasonable too.
Suggestions from other family members on how to deal with all of this craziness have me wanting to shake some sense into them.
I’ve never had a close relationship with my father and now at nearly fifty four years old, trying to get him to understand or believe that no one is in the attic after eleven months of this is so disconcerting that I can’t even visit him anymore.
My dad is CONVINCED that the invisible people are also shooting poison through his air ducts.
Cindy and I both taped over ALL of the air ducts at dad’s house a few months ago trying to get him to calm down. Of course, the tape fell off because the paint over there isn’t matte. Because of this, my father believes the invisible people are pushing the tape off of the air ducts.
I could write a book on crazy because I’m living it with a few of my relatives as is Cindy. Cindy and I have our ability to compartmentalize the craziness around us and act normal in front of clients.
Turning off our cell phones certainly helps too. We have become excellent actressess. Leaving our phones and crazy texts and phone calls behind in our suvs, none of our clients have any idea that we have problems within our families.
The happy smiling Twin Team of Texas Twins Events, Texas Prison Weddings. Texas Twins Treasures, The Pawning Planners and even Texas Twins TV somehow manage to mask our emotions and helplessness of “fixing our family.” We are talented but, no one is THAT TALENTED.
For years, whenever someone asked “where’s your mom?” I had amazing fabricated stories regarding what actually happened to her. From pretending she was dead to pretending she was a successful and talented real estate guru, the stories I made up to keep from discussing the painful truth of my mom to coworkers, previous husband’s, neighbors and even my own clients would shock you. Why? Because the pain of admitting my mom was a heroin addicts and the fact that I was only worth $50 haunted me.
I believed for years that others would view me as the same “screw up” my mom was. It wasn’t until a few years ago that I finally put my pain behind and admitted that my mom was a colossal screw up.
I no longer feel guilty about the $50 she was paid for me. Four children at fifty dollars a pop is less than half of what I pay to rent a hotel room. Sure, I’m still mad I can’t tell her what I think because of “the accident” after meeting her in my twenties and her “convenient memory” afterwards.
I no longer associate my mothers choices with my own. I’m the mother I’ve never had. Cindy is too but, sometimes being the parent you’ve never had is a frustrating reality.
Visiting our mom used to be the most upsetting thing in the world for Cindy and I but, after this year with my dad, Stephaney and Maryssa, having her ask who I am is not nearly as upsetting as having my dad scream “why don’t you believe me? They are up there I can hear them. Do you smell the poison they are pumping in here? What’s wrong with you and Cindy? Stephaney can smell it!”
What’s wrong with US? We are sick of trying to “go along with dad.” We are tired of hearing these wild stories and we are exhausted from trying to act normal in front of the rest of our family.
My mom consistently for nearly thirty years pretends not to know us so we won’t “go off on her about selling us for $50 each at six years old.” My mothers choices split her four children into three on one side with Tammy on the other.
Quite frankly, I may just bring this “who are you” issue up anyway while in California. My mother pretending not to recognize us while asking about my baby brother who she hasn’t seen in forty eight years gives you a better clue about her memory.
Convenient memories are getting on my nerves too. “Just go along with her. It’s okay. We can’t be mad for the rest of our lives.” My sisters and I discuss our anger at being unable to address the elephant in the room.
While our mother continues to ask who we are and what we are doing there. My dad isn’t too far off with his “people in the attic” beliefs. Yes, he knows who we are and he’s lit we don’t believe him.
Occasionally, I’m convinced that Cindy has an uncanny knack for summing up the situation.
Cindy and I don’t have the luxury of acting crazy or going off the reservation. Why? We have commitments, obligations and responsibilities.
Cindy and I have been on our own since fifteen years old. No, we didn’t have a mother or father or family to help us but, we do have the responsibility of taking care of THEM now! Ironic isn’t it?
We are out of patience between dad and Stephaney to keep dealing with Maryssa acting out too. “This circus has enough clowns- somebody PLEASE close the damn tent!” Maryssa is now on a really tight leash. We can’t trust her to go to a friends house and study. We can’t trust her to go anywhere with a friend. At fourteen, she isn’t able to make SAFE decisions on her own.
We can’t control Maryssa’s mom, Stephaney or our dad or even our own mother. They however are adults and need to get their $hit together. There is no way I will ever move my father in with me. There is no way Cindy will either. We don’t deserve any of this. I’m far more mad than Cindy is sad.
A year ago, Stephaney had a car, a job and a place to live. By her own choices she lost everything. I mean everything. She now lives with dad. Stephaney blames us for her choices. Dad blames us for NOT believing him or his wild delusions. Maryssa will blame anyone to get out of trouble.
My husband has no patience with my dad or with Stephaney. Maryssa is another story because she is a child but, all the drama of dad and Stephaney and all the visits to Psych Wards later, my husband is sick and tired of watching me run off to go attempt to “put out the fires” my dad or Stephaney keep starting in our lives.
My husband is sick of certain members in my family who bring plenty of chaos but nothing else to my life. He cannot understand why Cindy and I keep try my to fix our family. At this stage of my life, I can’t either.
I actually recently told Cindy today “we have spent our entire lives helping people and doing for others. When it comes to our family though, we are feeding the sharks. If we are lucky we might have another 20 or 30 years of life left in us, it’s time to start cutting these people out. Matthew is right about something, they only call when they need us. We must focus on our husband’s, our clients and the twins as start limiting these idiotic phone calls that rob us of sleep and ruin our peace. I would like to have a few happy years without family drama before I die!”
Work is my only salvation and escape from more drama from not only dad and Stephaney or Maryssa but also, other relatives calling for more gossip and giving idiotic advice from the comfort of their own home without getting up and even bothering to go visit dad or Stephaney.
Dealing with now Maryssa refusing to do her schoolwork or sneaking out of the house to meet boys or even playing the choking game was just too much for my sister. It was too much for me too.
Not surprisingly, I was in agreement that by not knowing where Maryssa was of who she was with, the only thing we could do was get the police involved.
Cindy is already fragile (thanks to dad and Stephaney) and not being able to find Maryssa nearly broke her. My dad and her daughter have made my otherwise happy go lucky twin into a shell of her former hilarious and loving self.
Now, Maryssa was literally putting another jail in the coffin. I’m amazed that people can’t see the pain they cause others. Truly.
Leaving Weatherford PD, I had a list of obligations to attend to including finding my husband a gift, visiting Parker County Urgent Care for a sinus infection, Dr Stern, my chiropractor to put my shoulder back in place after falling down my stairs and officiating a wedding at Parker County Jail as well as finding Maryssa.
To say that I’m busy is an understatement! Cindy and I bounce from one thing to the next on a daily basis. There aren’t any days off in our lives.
While shopping for the perfect gift was crammed into trying to find my grandniece, it’s just another day in my life of being pulled in any and all directions.
A call came in from an Allred Unit client and I use the term “client” loosely as I had only spoke with her last month and certainly didn’t receive a deposit or contract, regarding a “date” for her wedding October 26th was yet another surprise.
This using my name on TDCJ paperwork continues to be a problem. No one is a client without a deposit and contract with me. Explaining this to the Allred Unit Bride while addressing her question regarding notarizing the ID and Absentee Affidavit outside the Unit which no Notary will do without the Affiant present, I reiterated that she had not paid her deposit prior to listing my name on TDCJ Paperwork.
Mentally exhausted, I finally found a shirt for my husband in his favorite color, yellow. Only the Law Library can Notarize an inmates ID and Absentee Affidavit.
Please stop using my name to obtain a date for your wedding at a TDCJ Unit without retaining my services.
While checking out at Ross, Cindy continued to try and reach Maryssa. By the time I checked in at Parker County Urgent Care, we were giving up hope of finding Maryssa and worried that she had met a stranger of hitchhiked with Jessie outside of Parker County.
As usual when I’m upset, I have bronchial pneumonia. Sure, I was surprised and disappointed with my diagnosis a week prior to leaving Texas but, my family literally wears me out. I asked for a shot of steroid/antibiotics to jump start my recovery.
Not surprisingly, my regular doctor couldn’t wait to hear what was going on with the Texas Twins. It’s never boring. The last time I saw him, my niece, Stephaney was squatting in an estate next door and running around my upscale neighborhood acting crazy. Before that? My dad was shooting his ceiling trying to kill people that don’t exist. Before that? Visiting my niece or dad at one Psych Ward or the other while juggling clients and trying to act normal or dealing with other relatives calling with advice. It’s no wonder Cindy and I are sick all of the time. We internalize our anguish.
Our family sucks the life right out of us both. As usual, our doctor suggested writing a book because he’s never met anyone like us and also treats the twins, Maryssa and Makenna who often tell him what’s going on too.
I explained that my blogs are a diary of sorts and we are working on a book that blends family and business into a pot luck mix of one wild adventure right after the next. He can’t wait to read it and subscribes to all of my blogs. My doctor also was as concerned as we were about finding Maryssa.
Years ago, I was surprised at the number of people that read my blogs but, I’m not anymore. From my dentist to my chiropractor to my doctor to my gynecologist, everyone loves trying to figure out what I’m going to write about next. Quite frankly, even I have no idea.
My life, my family AND my clients are a pretty unpredictable mix of surprises even for me.
A shot and four prescriptions later, we left my doctor laughing at Urgent Care to show photos of Maryssa and Jessie at Walmart, Taco Casa, Film Alley and a host of other locations near Jessie’s school.
Cindy’s husband, Steve called from Indiana to see how we were doing. We chose not to tell him that Maryssa was missing and worry him on the road.
Steve is a long haul truck driver. We don’t tell Steve problems back home. Why? He doesn’t need the stress. By the time he gets home, we’ve always fixed whatever was going wrong. Cindy and I are “the fixers.”
Cindy waited for me while I ran into the Parker County Jail with a client to marry her. At least she wasn’t drunk and arrived on time dressed appropriately. My contract is fairly strict about behavior. Many people prefer to marrying in jail prior to the prisoner going into prison.
Suzanne was thrilled about finally getting married and had two children that stayed with Cindy while we went inside. Children are not allowed at jail or prison weddings. Clients continue to bring their children so, Cindy often watches the Clients children. Problem solving? Yep. We got it down I can assure you.
While inside, Cindy got a call from the aunt saying that Jessie and Maryssa had been hiding in the barn all day. The barn located at the father’s house we had been to hours ago? Before the police station?
Lit, Cindy and I drove back to Jessie’s father’s house and took her to the Weatherford PD.
The reason Maryssa ran away? A spam account on Instagram that one of our twin friends had alerted Cindy and I about. We don’t allow the twins to have private accounts. Jessie suggested this private account and hearing from friends, we had demanded that Maryssa delete it or allow us to follow it.
Maryssa now has no phone. Maryssa is also no longer allowed to “study” with Jessie. We are relieved we found her safe and even more grateful that officer Warren took the time to advise her that bad choices like running away would put her on a path of self destruction.
Makenna, Maryssa’s sister has suffered through Maryssa’s bad choices and bad friends for a year herself. Makenna is a stellar student and the perfect example of a teen that has her head on straight.
I’m not making comparisons- I’m being honest. Maryssa has had a year of consistently putting her “friends” above her responsibilities with homework and her home life.
We have put Maryssa and Makenna in counseling and can hope that Maryssa recognizes that her choices have affected our ability to trust her.
Falling down my basement stairs dislocated my shoulder and rib again. Thankfully, Dr Stern “popped me back into place and, together again.” I can’t tell you how many times moving Texas Twins Treasures or loading trades has knocked my back out of whack because there have been far too many.
Dr Stern is a Godsend. Like everyone else, he saw the post about Maryssa missing on FB. Dr Stern also had a teen that literally gave him a run for the money.
Parents and guardians have a lot of responsibility raising children. It’s not an easy path. Children will make mistakes and hopefully, learn from them.
Cindy and I didn’t make any of the mistakes our children or grandchildren have but, our father was the reason. Getting in trouble or being disrespectful was met with either a switch or a razor strap.
Today’s children don’t have the same guidelines of repurcussions. Why? Because we live in a world of putting children on a pedestal.
The only thing parents feel comfortable doing these days as a form of punishment is to eithet put their children in a corner or take their phone. We are limited to discipline.
Getting switched didn’t kill me, my sister or our brother but, it certainly kept us from doing many of the things our children and Maryssa have done. Limits and guidelines are essential to controlling unruly teens.
Cindy or I have never spanked our children or grandchildren and I’m guessing it’s because we were spanked.
You don’t want to raise your children the way you were raised. Why? Because many us felt that spanking was “over the top.” Being on the other side of the belt was an unforgettable experience after all.
Society has changed to such an extent that parents who do spank their children are criticized for doing so.
My generation learned that sparing the rod spoiled the child but, society has taught many parents to let children “be themselves” and without any rules, they are.
This isn’t a good thing. Look around. Unruly toddlers hitting their parents. Teens telling their parents they hate them? You never saw this back in the 70’s.
I was raised to respect my elders. My sister was and so was my brother. You didn’t talk out of turn and you answered with “yes ma’am” or “yes sir.” Manners were a requirement.
We can hope that Maryssa learned her lesson by putting my sister through yet another sleepless night of worry but, only time will tell.
I’m back at Huntsville working tomorrow and Cindy is taking the twins mother, Stephaney to court on a DWI from nine months ago.
While I pray my niece gets her act together at thirty one but, I have no idea what to expect and neither does Cindy.
I’ve given up helping my dad. I’m angry about his attitude and his anger at Cindy and I because we are both sick of hearing more crazy $hit. SICK OF IT.
Hopefully, we never go through another day of wondering where one of the kids are but, I’m unsure of whether Maryssa will test us yet again.
Stephaney claims that she has no responsibility of the past year of ripping our family apart with her choices. I asked “if you don’t, who does?” At your age, it’s essential to start accepting responsibility. You aren’t a child. You have dragged your mother and I through seventeen years of your bad choices and we have been raising your daughters for fourteen years without benefit of child support. It’s high time you get out of the wagon and start accepting responsibility because we are finished throwing money at your bonds, your fines and your choices.”
My niece forgets that getting pregnant with twins at fifteen threw the responsibilities of raising her twin daughters on my sister and I along with our husbands.
Cindy and I can’t wait to fly out of DFW Monday for a week away from the drama in Fort Worth. The twins are excited too. Leigh Ann and her toddler, Madyson are also going. Leigh Ann will no longer talk to her sister, Stephaney or my dad. Leigh Ann is actually upset that we still do.
Leigh Ann: “Dad and Stephaney are killing you two. I’ve sat back and watched all of this for years. I’m on anxiety medication because of our family and the constant disruptions they bring to our lives. I don’t want to hear about grandpa or my sister anymore. I’m fed up.”
Leigh Ann has also helped raise the twins with Cindy and I the last fourteen years. When Cindy and I are working, Leigh Ann looks after the twins. It takes a village. Between Cindy and I, Leigh Ann and our husbands, we created a village for the twins.
Like Matthew, Leigh Ann sees how a phone call or text from dad or Stephaney can literally ruin an otherwise pleasant day or evening.
I can’t fix my dad and I can’t fix my niece but, I can get Maryssa to hunker down and stay on track even if it means moving her in with me to give Cindy a break from the drama of not knowing what to expect.
Makenna deserves to get the attention everyone else acting out around here is taking from her. Cindy and I are looking forward to a “new year” and the happiness that our dad and Stephaney took away this year.
A year of the drama my dad and niece brought to this year too is just too much for not only Cindy and I but also, the rest of our family.
I am going to keep reminding Stephaney that the twins are our responsibility but, she isn’t. Stephaney is an adult. As for dad and his issues? “Not my luggage- not my trip.”
For all of the relatives calling with what they think are great ideas? Ya all can go pick him up and take him home and let us know how you fixed dad or Stephaney or even both of them…