Since I was 7 I knew I was called to open a homeless rehabilitation and prevention center. I’m so glad to be working toward making that calling a reality.
Freely Love Outreach is serving society’s most vulnerable populations; the homeless, LGBT, poor, orphans. We believe love is the universal language and that it is to be freely given to every person unconditionally, without regard to gender, gender identity, nationality, race, religion, or sexual orientation or preference. We believe that inclusivity is just the way Jesus loved, and we thrive to be the hands and feet of Jesus to societies most vulnerable and marginalized communities.
This is the fundraising group for Freely Love Outreach. 100% of the proceeds of anything sold in this group go to the mission and vision we have.
Our vision is to eliminate homelessness in the Chicagoland and NWI area, making hotel like rehabilitation and prevention centers. Each suite will be reminiscent of a hotel suite. They will have a private bathroom and kitchenette. There will be a communal main kitchen to provide hot meals. There will also be a food/clothing “store”, access to mental/physical health care, job training and coaching, childcare, and a safe place to transition into self sufficiency and living inside (which is sometimes the hardest part of the transition from homeless to self sufficient).
Right now while we are working on achieving our vision debt free through community support, we are still continuing what we have been doing for the last two years; collecting and distributing items of great need for the communities we serve. These items include but definitely not limited to:
Non-perishable food items
Personal care items
Feminine care items
Nylon drawstring bags
Winter Warmth items
and so much more
We make blessing bags out of the donated items that are bag friendly, and we then distribute them by walking the streets and meeting the people where they are at. The items that are collected that are more appropriate for the missions we donate them to them. The biggest mission we support is Pacific Garden Mission in Chicago Illinois. They service up to 300 women and children nightly, and more men than that on a daily basis.
This group is a way for us to raise money to achieve our vision. The first purchase we would like to make is for a trailer of some sort to collect, distribute, and organize the items donated. This will allow us to be a “mobile pantry” so that we can allow people to make their own Blessing Bag according to their individual needs at that moment.
After that we would like to purchase something to where we could provide hot meals, showers, laundry, and be able to move around from community to community providing much needed items and love.
Doing this takes fundraising and your help. In order to end and prevent homelessness and poverty for all is a team effort. Join our fundraising group to participate in the fundraisers to help us meet our goals.
Right now we have multiple raffles going on. A $50 Aldi gift card for $5 an entry, a grow the group gift card giveaway, ColorStreet nails raffle and give away, and we’re just getting started raising money for these goals, the last two years we have been just collecting and distributing items of need.
Tonight I sit here at 11:30 pm writing this, with everyone in bed and Hulu streaming Family Guy, just for background noise.
As I sit here I am thinking about my hero. My hero is my hero for so many reasons. I know he doesn’t always feel like the hero, but he is. Nothing will ever change that.
I used to believe that I was a mess and he had to save me. I beat myself up for that. I felt like he made a mistake. I felt that. I felt like I was the worse thing he could have ever done in his life. There are still times when I’m upset that I feel this.
Now I know that he never saw me as the girl who needed saving, that one of the things he liked about me was my, “fierce independence.” He has recently told me
The man who came and rescued me without me knowing I needed any rescuing, is the . Around him I am free to be me. I never wanted to impress him, I just wanted him to love me for me. So from date number one I warned him.
I told him that the worse thing about me, something that I cannot stand about me, that I absolutely hate and wish it would go away was my yelling. I also told him that I’m in counseling and working on it.
I wanted him to know right away that I had PTSD and struggled. I wanted him to understand that I do not always have it all together. So I layed it all out on the line first date. No hidden agendas, no plans for this date to lead anywhere, no plans for love, no plans for anything. I just needed to be honest about my biggest struggle.
You know we went on a second date? On our very first date not only did I hold the door open, but I was like look here’s all the reasons you shouldn’t like me. Now I tell him he deserves better than me (now I know this hurts his feelings-he told me finally).
Tonight I think about all the ways he saved me that he and I didn’t even know I needed, I am so thankful. The biggest gift he could have ever given me was love.
Love. Just love. That’s all, nothing more, just love. He has loved me enough to point out things that hurt him and others. He has loved me enough to tell me he’s proud of me, and when I’ve let him or the boys down. He loves me enough to take the risk of speaking up.
He loves me enough to sit in a therapist office with me. He loves me enough to be gentle. He loves me enough to be kind. He loves me enough to give me an opportunity.
He loves me enough to love my sons as his own. He loves me enough to keep us safe. He loves me enough to hold me. He loves me enough to cry with me. He loves me enough to celebrate with us our family milestones.
My hero is the man who came after all the chaos, all the trouble, all the hurt. He came in and wrapped his loving arms around me and made me feel safe. He gave me a roof and made me feel stable. He gave me a life and made me feel alive. He is the gift God promised me.
I feel terrible that he’s the calm after the storm, because I am the storm in his and their lives. I’ve come so far and he cannot see that it’s because of his love for me. I hate that I have said things I can never take back—I am sure I’m not the only one—, but I know my hero has never been deserving of loving a woman with such deep rooted problems. My hero deserves to love someone who is a real princess, who isn’t a damsel in distress just waiting on her hero in tights to come save her (although I wasn’t waiting and I definitely didn’t need him, remember “fiercely independent”).
My hero is on the unfortunate unlucky side of my recovery. He’s the one I yell at. He’s the one I want to leave (and the boys) so I don’t yell anymore, simply to protect them. My hero deserves that woman who can stand firm and not be shaken by the storm.
My hero is an amazing dad and his love for them makes me love him so much more. My sons already knew to how to love—I’m their mom so how could they not?—but they have been watching him love me. They’ve learned so much. My little guy has been watching I know for sure.
That little guy isn’t so little anymore, but he is his dad’s son. The Apple hasn’t fallen far from the tree with this one. My little guy has watched my hero early on love me in every single right way possible. Now our little guy is beating dad to those hugs and reassuring moments. I’m honored that my sons are turning out to be men like him.
My heroes love is the kind of love that only God can give someone to give to someone. I don’t think he realizes that. My hero is the physical love of God that I have always felt spiritually.
God promised me that he would take care of me and come through on His promise of a better life, and He did, and still is! Finally, I have not only God’s spiritual love, but His physical love for me.
I only wish I had met my hero 20 years ago. I wish my hero was my first and only. I wish I had never subconsciously made my hero the enemy. For me the worse thing is hurting people. My hero is just a human being trying his best and I know with good intentions, but when I am angry no body likes me.
My hero I am sorry that you are the person after the mess. All I can say is I have grown so much. It’s all because of you allowing me the safety, security, and stability I needed, we needed. You have held my hand, kissed my forehead, wiped my tears, and so much more.
My hero I am getting better, you said it yourself. Please give yourself the credit that is due to you. I may be doing the work. I may be living the pain. You though are right here walking it with me.
My hero thank you for loving not only me but our sons. You have shown them the love and understanding and patience that only a good dad can. You have shown them how to handle a woman who is “freaking out”. You have helped them grow in so many ways. This makes you a hero to me for a whole new reason.
My hero do you remember when we agreed to always tell each other how we were truly feeling, no matter how painful it is? Well guess what we’ve been living up to that promise, and proving that even though it isn’t easy, it really can make a big difference.
Thank you for being honest from a place of love and not a place of malice and ill intent. Thank you for not cutting me at my core and when you have, thank you for apologizing.
My hero the only truth you need to remember from me is that you are the thing I see in my future. You are the one thing I look forward to (besides grand-babies with you). My biggest fear is that I loose you or our boys forever. I know it feels like I push you guys away, but it’s not because I don’t want you 3, it’s because I’m don’t want to make days for you guys anymore.
My hero I want to apologize for you being my hero. I want to tell you how sorry I am you fell in love with me. I want to tell you so many things—again, but I promise to try to stop that, so I won’t say it. I know now that it hurts your feelings. I know it won’t be easy and I may fail at it, but your reminders of what is real in those moments make all the difference.
My hero please remember, I know it’s hard, but you have a book to remind you all the ways that I love you. You opened the flood gates and set me free. You have loved me in a way that has allowed me to grow. You were right when you told me all I needed was love.
Everytime I find something new about myself I feel more like everyone should just stay away from me. Like I shouldn’t speak because I am the most toxic person in their life in my opinion.
When I speak it gets me in trouble. I speak only the truth. Never intentionally hurting someone else’s feelings. But I always seem to trigger bad response. Then I can feel their energy and it makes me worse.
The more and more I find out I figure I should just not speak. And I feel like that is the solution.
But then just like that as if to say, “Nope I gave you that big mouth for a reason,” God oops someone in my life that says, “hey I like what you say”.
Thanks God! I’ll keep speaking the truth. But God could you teach me to be gentle again when doing so? C’mon homeboy? You can do that right?
Sitting here with my fiancé showing him how to use Instagram on my phone so that he can see the things that are posted by his favorite blogger and Teslas (of course), I keep hearing a voice in my head, not my own, telling me, “You can’t like that, that’s boy stuff”. I push through. Trying hard not to let it show that I am fighting an internal silent battle.
I introduce him to the wonderful word of Pinterest, specifically to look at Tesla’s. I find myself being the one lost in the cars. I keep trying to silence it. That internal voice that isn’t mine saying, “You can’t like this because cars are for boys”. That voice that keep fighting me when I spend any amount of time around cars or trucks.
I can’t tell you much about them, but I love when my love teaches me things about them. I’ve worked on them with someone walking me through the process, and I have thoroughly enjoyed it. I haven’t had much exposure, but when I do get exposure I find myself getting lost in it. I could see it easily becoming an obsession for me.
So today when I am excitedly introducing my love to things about things that I love, that I know he’ll love too, I heard that voice. I heard it and I worked hard not to let it take over. It was a rough thing to do. It caused anxiety. It caused me to feel bad. When I found myself lost in Teslas on Pinterest, I couldn’t help but to worry.
I worried that he would judge me because I like cars. I worried that he would think I am not “girly” enough. I worried that he would think that I am “trying too hard” to like what he likes. So much worry. Even though I realize that he is not the one saying any of this. Even though I realize that he loves the fact that I get excited by car and truck shows. I know that he loves I am not afraid to get dirty, even though he hasn’t let me yet. I know all these truths about him.
I know that even though I feel like we have nothing in common, but in reality there is one thing we have more in common than he realizes, and I cannot for the life of me bring me to allowing me to enjoy this. I just cannot seem to let loose and just enjoy the fact that cars make me happy.
Literally, right now, at this very moment 11:40 a.m. my youngest son comes over and shows me a video of gas powered RC cars, and I said, “We should all have our own RC cars and race them”. We all agreed that, that would be fun. I found my self saying, “You know what I wasn’t allowed to because…you know what read my blog later and it’ll make sense to you”.
You see that is the thing that always trips me up, “I like this. No wait I don’t like this. I am not supposed to like this. he won’t like you if you like boy things. He wants a lady not a man. Only a gay man wants a girl who likes boy things”.
I used to let it win. Now I am exhausted more because I am consciously fighting it. I am trying to squash every bad thought and feeling right away. Using a technique I learned in counseling called, “Reality Therapy”.
Reality Therapy is really self explanatory; you walk through reality to over come thinking that is in response to whatever trigger you have just encountered (my explanation according to how I use it). So sitting here so excited that I can finally bring my love into my world because I know that part of my world he will really enjoy, although I subscribe to high-end luxury car Instagram accounts, I don’t really “follow” any. I can’t tell you what’s new or any of the specs. I have a feeling though if I overcame this and let myself be “lost” in this, with ability to hyper focus, thank you Autism/ADHD for that, I could probably talk your ear off, literally, about luxury cars.
Cheap cars don’t do it for me! I like fast! A Lambo would be nice. Actually make that a Demon series Challenger! My dream car is an 08-13 (anywhere in there) Dodge Challenger. I would paint mine mint or sea-foam green. It would have pastel pink racing stripes. It would have a Hemi engine and instead of RT (yes I would change it), it would have MD—#dreams, right?!
Anyway, I will never understand who determined or why they did, what was “boy” and “girl” stuff. Maybe if stuff was just stuff and people were allowed to enjoy what makes them happy, there wouldn’t be so many questioning who they are. Maybe we should just let the little girl play with that toy car, maybe she’ll be the female Elon Musk one day. Let the little boy play with a baby doll, maybe he’ll be married to that female Elon Musk some day and he’ll be at home raising the babies.
You just never know how your child’s life will go. You shouldn’t dictate it according to the way you think things should be. Just let them become who they are meant to become. Allow them, encourage them, give them the tools necessary, don’t hold them back. Whatever it takes to help them along their own individual journey.
When I look at this picture I feel like I’m staring at a stranger. I mean I clearly know it’s me, but I feel like I don’t know her at all.
When I look at her I feel the same emptiness I felt when I was her. I feel like I look at her and am instantly reminded that when I used to be her, I’d look in the mirror and imagine the new me. When I would look in the mirror though I felt like I was a skinny girl trapped in a fat body. I wanted to get out of the one I was trapped in for so long, be the “skinny” person that I felt I was inside. I tried so hard to explain this to my doctor and others, no one heard me.
No matter how many things I tried I couldn’t loose weight. Probably because of my combined eating disorders, the ones that make me starve, binge, restrict, monitor, and so on. You don’t have to be skinny to have anorexia or bulimia either. Those conditions along with about 4 other eating disorders can overlap, mix together, and never be the “classic” type.
I’m certain that my family doctor growing up would feel terrible if he knew how much he missed. I seriously remember telling my doctor with every single new “diet” he wanted me to try, “I don’t eat enough calories for this weight gain”, then he’d look at my 300 pound mother and hear her say, “oh yeah she eats.” Sometimes I’d argue with her, he never believed me.
This person in the photo is hard for me to recognize. I wanted to be anyone, but her. I hated her. She was me though.
I look at her now and I still feel empty. I still feel like I don’t know who she is then or now. I can’t tell you what she really likes or doesn’t like. I can’t tell you what brings her joy or fulfillment. I can tell you that she always wanted to be a doctor and still does, but knows it’s impossible to achieve at this point, just like they said then.
I try new things and distract myself, but it’s all I ever do is find distractions to occupy my time. Once I learn how to do it, then I’m done and bored and need to move one. I can never keep on one thing.
I know that the person in the photo is still here although that body isn’t.
It’s a struggle for me. I have no clue who I am or what I like. I never had money and still I really don’t. I stay home unless I’m invited along. I always assume I’m not invited or not wanted so unless someone specifically asks me to join them I will not even recommend that I go. I will just silently hope they want to include me.
I find that I’m happiest doing stuff with people when they invite me along. I stayed home a lot by myself growing up. I never really got to experience things, and everything I did enjoy doing was criticized. And heaven forbid if someone didn’t enjoy themselves doing my thing, I was the most terrible person for picking such a “stupid” or “boring” thing.
If I drew, it wasn’t as good as my brother and I needed to “realize” he was the artist and I wasn’t, “he had a book published you know?” Yes, in elementary school and it was cool, but why couldn’t I be an artist too? So I stopped drawing. Now anytime I try to draw, I’m so overly critical I can’t even enjoy it, I know it’s their voices inside me I hear as my own, but damn!
I was criticized for reading books. I was criticized for wanting to learn. I was criticized for being smart. I was criticized for so many things. I can’t help but wonder if the ridicule had stopped what I’d be like today.
When I try to crochet I can’t get through it, all I can remember is who taught me it, when she taught me it, and all the ridicule I got for being a 20 something year old who crocheted. I mean my ex-husband was just as cruel as my step-dad, and always justifying the cruelness as a “joke” and I needed to “lighten up”. So I stopped. Now when I try to accomplish a project I can’t.
As a matter of fact writing this, I’m thinking I need to get rid of all my crochet stuff, because clearly it is a trigger for me, and the only reason it’s taking up space in our house for 3 years without being touched is because I bought it all, and I can’t bring myself to part with it. I don’t touch it, I don’t think about touching it, and when I do nothing comes out of it.
When I was growing up I was taught a couple things about who I was.
I was told I needed to grow up, get a good job, and make enough money to buy my parents a house and to take care of them. I was encouraged that if I couldn’t make the money to marry someone with money to take care of me. I literally learned that I was just a meal ticket or someone else’s “problem”. Wouldn’t you know I married someone who thought the same thing?!
I was trained to be the care giver that I was asked and expected to tend to things on the private parts of one of my parents. I was always forced to rub “daddys” back (which is not what I called my step-dad). I was given the task of popping boils on backs and rubbing feet.
I was hungry all the time. So much so that I’ve trained myself to not feel hunger and now I never feel hungry it seems like. I literally can go days without eating and not think twice about it, that’s always been normal for me. Food insecurity and ridicule will do that to you I suppose, especially if you’re already struggling to eat because of un-dealt with and unknown Autism at the same time, which causes its own set of eating difficulties with textures and smells and colors and so-on.
When I began working it was all theirs and I couldn’t do anything for me. I payed their bills and asked for scholarships for church events. I hated how poor people saw me as. I hated how bad with money people thought and still think I am. Even though I’m not and I wasn’t. People still think I’m “unpredictable” with money and just going to use it all.
Because of them and how they were with their finances, when I was a minor, I have this stigma attached to me that I must be bad with money as well. I carry their shame just by association. I wish people understood that I am not them. That I am trustworthy. That I was their child and their shame is their shame. Their mistakes are their, not mine.
I see the person that people thought was “in charge” and “ran the show”. I see the person who rebutted with, “I pay the bills, their not in control, so someone has to be in control.” The truth is I wasn’t in control of them, I was trying to be in control of my own life. Now I understand that was a safety mechanism. A survival skill if you will. I subconsciously saw a need to protect myself from my parents long before I ever realized it. Growing up in this it is your “normal” it’s not to you are shown different that you realize it was not “normal.
So this woman in this picture knew only wanting to be a different person. She was and is still so empty inside. The only good inside her is the way she loves people, and even that she fails at. I may always be there person who just goes along for the ride and enjoys whatever is at the end of that ride.
I may always be the person who hopes you’ll think of something I’ll like and we’ll do what you come up with. I am in no way shape or form looking for things to do. I would hate for someone to do something with me and they not like it, so if I just do what they like there can be no problem. I can’t be shamed or hurt because they didn’t have a good time. I didn’t pick not my problem.
I won’t sit around and ask people to spend money on me. I actually get very upset and take it to heart when people spend money one me. I will always tell them that they don’t need to get me anything and I will lock my wish list down so no one can see it. I feel guilt when people buy me gifts. I feel like I have to buy them something in return or they’re are expecting something in return at the very least. I’ve also have found that gifts can be hung over your head later on and used as a way to make you feel guilty later.
I don’t listen to new music. I don’t follow pop-culture; I didn’t have cable, internet, or phone growing up. I didn’t have those things until I moved out really. So we’re talking about post 2003. I don’t know what to be interested in and often ask “what do you look at?”, “what do you read?”, how do people find stuff to read or be interested in?”
I’m 35 damnit! Shouldn’t I be more than just somebody’s mother? I mean I’ve been doing it since I was a kid, but you’d think that’s all I was made for, to care for people. I don’t have a list of favorite places to eat and I’ve learned to cook restaurant quality food because I never got to go to them.
Today I see this picture and think to myself, “I’ve changed so much, yet the one way I’ve needed to change I can’t.”
I can’t change who she is at her core. She is just as lost and empty as she was then. Even more so now because there is no one to care for. There is no grueling intense schedule of trying to mom everyone. There is nothing but trying to figure out me. Quite honestly I don’t think I can be me without someone to care for.
I’m so empty inside. I can tell you that my favorite thing is mint green and that’s about it. I can’t tell you anything more than when I’m upset I’m like The Hulk—you definitely wont like me when I am angry, a little reference to Marvel Comics for all you fans out there. That’s pretty much all I can tell you about me.
I’m not certain there is really anything good about me. I’m not feeling depressed right now, so that statement isn’t a depression thing, it’s a true feeling, I’ve felt long before this picture was taken, so way before now.
I feel as if everyone expects me to change something about me. That I’m never okay just being me. It makes me feel more stress when I’m stressed, making the my response worse. Constantly trying to watch and correct myself, never being okay just being me. That I always have to fix something. That I’m always too much for people. I’m too loud. I’m too outspoken. I’m too quiet. I talk to much. I don’t speak up enough. So-on and so-on. There is always something about me that needs to be fixed.
So when I see this picture I’m reminded I have come a long way. I also see fat. I see ugly. I see empty. I see broken. I see just someone staring at a camera. Not knowing how to love herself, but loving so many others.
I see a picture that makes me sad because I’m reminded of just how much I don’t know me. Just how much I can’t speak up. Just how much I won’t ask for. Just how lonely I am. Just how empty I am. Just how much I don’t know how to get my needs met.
I’m reminded that no matter how far I’ve come, I’ll always still be me; broken, burden, crazy, empty, lonely, loud, “motormouth”, obsessive, outspoken, unfiltered…