Forgive and Forget

You know how the saying goes, “I forgive, but I don’t forget.”

Makes sense.. you let things go from your heart, but you remember the people that hurt you and keep your guard up in the future. Smart.

However, my mom lives by the opposite sayings in many of life situations.

For example, when I was 14 years old and had just started my first serious relationship, my friends were missing me.

Me-“Mom, Jennifer says we haven’t hung out since I started dating Greg, but Greg wants to come over tonight. Should I tell him no and have a sleepover with my friends?”

Mom-“Honey, Friends come and go, but boys last forever”

I lost a lot of friends that summer and over the years of adolescence ditching them for my boyfriends.

It wasn’t until years later that I realized that all other moms in the ENTIRE world, told their daughters the exact opposite… it really goes, “Boys come and go, but FRIENDS last forever!”

So… back to forgiving and forgetting… not that she consciously does this.. but, I’m almost certain that my mom Never forgives, but Always forgets!!

This unconscious life motto leaves her heart hardened and confused. She’s always mad at someone, but never remembers who or why… which, then lead to explosive family gatherings after she’s had too much to drink. She lashes out on the wrong person about the wrong things and wakes up the next day as if it never happened.

How do you deal with someone that never forgives… but, constantly forgets??

Any advice here would be greatly appreciated!! =)

For now… I’ll take it, like I do many of my troubles and laugh at the irony.

Forgetting and never forgiving seems much more difficult for her than me.

So, maybe I shouldn’t complain?

Get Over It

For the first time in YEARS… I heard a song, playing in my head.. and it wouldn’t stop until I wrote it down… so, here ya go… enjoy… now… I just have to get Madi Love to sing it for me and we’ll be set!! Stay tuned… b/c I will def post here, first if she does!! =)

Get over it… that’s what my Momma said
Get over it… It’s all in your head

Get over it… that’s what She said
Get over it.. it’s just in your head

Then she said the best thing she’s ever said to me
She said write a book and it will set you free

And that is what I did…
to get out of my head
That is what I did…
to sleep while I’m in bed

But, how do I get over it…
when it is all I dream
Can you tell me, please…
what do you mean?

Sometimes the dreams are good…
and then they make me sad
But, most of the time…
the dreams are fucking bad

Get over it… that’s what my Momma said
Get over it… it’s all in your head

Get over it… that’s what She said
Get over it… it’s all in your fucking head

I wish it was as easy as you think
I wish I didn’t live right on the brink

I wish you knew…
just how hard I try
I wish that you knew…
just how much I cry

Don’t you think I want to let it all go
ohhh how I wish you could really know

My life may seem easy to you
but you have no idea what I go through

Get over it… that’s what my Momma said
Get over it… it’s all in your head

Get over it… that’s what she fucking said
Get over it…. it’s all just in your head!!

Chapter 2

Chapter 2
Six months before the wedding
January 5th 2007

My sister Nicole’s father, Henry Miller, came from old money. His great-great grandfather invented the stop light or some other random, yet uber necessary commodity of life. Now, the Miller family just makes money off their money. Even after his passing, Nicole’s extended family and grandparents always helped my mom take care of Nicole. I was not so lucky.

My father, Anthony Ricardi, was our mothers high school boyfriend, turned fuckbuddy. She was sleeping with him shortly after Henry’s passing to help her grieve. When she got knocked up with me, they had to marry. Before my 1st birthday, they were both cheating on each other.

Even though they were both at fault for the destruction of their marriage, they never ceased to blame one another and drag me into the middle to use as a punching bag to warm up to their fights. Due to their inability to get along and my father’s constant struggle financially, causing him to lapse often on child support, I saw very little of him growing up.

Throughout my life, my dad had done so little for me, that I was in shock when he agreed to pay for half of my wedding. I barely knew the man, but I really looked up to him. Once he married his wife Linda and finally ‘grew up’ as my mom would say. Now he had the kind of life, I always wanted. He had a new, big beautiful home, a loving wife and two perfect kids. His life was so perfect-looking it made me wish I had it. I felt like Paul and I could have that life someday and if we spent more time around him, we could figure out how.

Paul and I had so much in common. Not only did we grow up in the same neighborhood (outside of DC in a little town called Brentwood), and socio-economic class (dirt poor) and we both grew up without a father around. Well, he had no father; I had five. Before I graduated high school, my mother had been married and divorced five times. Paul had attended weddings four, five and six. I knew I did not want to be like her, which is why I was so scared to disappoint my dad and mess up the relationship with the man both Paul and I admired.

The night before my dad’s two-thousand-dollar check came in the mail, Paul and I had a huge fight. I, honestly, can’t even remember what it was about. It had something to do with dishes, or maybe it was the trash. All I remember is that he woke up, still angry that day and left without saying goodbye. What can never be forgotten was what my mom said to me that day in response to said fight and post-fight wedding jitters.

Driving up 295 N, headed to Martins West to deposit the check, sitting in stop-and-slow traffic, I called my mom. When she answered the phone, “Tank you fo callin china foortun” in her silly Chinese accent, I knew she was in a good mood.

“Hey, guess what I have in my hand?” I asked giggling at her goofy greeting.

“A big, black dick?” my mom shocked me with her answer.

“What? No! What the fuck?” I was really confused and slightly amused.

“Did you know that black guys have black dicks?” She asked another bizarre question.

“Yes, mom, I know that. Everyone knows that.” I told her as I wondered why she didn’t know that or more importantly why did now.

“I didn’t!… anyway, what do you have?” She quickly jumped back on point.

“A two-thousand-dollar check from my dad,” I said, nervously because I could never guess what her reaction would be when I brought up my dad. Sometimes she playfully made fun of him and other times, she would go on an hour-long bitch-fest about how bad of a father he was to me. I hoped that because I was telling her something good he did, it would be the former.

“wow! great… he actually came through this time. I’m surprised, but happy for you!” She said, sounding genuinely happy for me, which was rare.

“But… I don’t know… I’m nervous to turn it in. We had a big fight last night and Paul left this morning without saying bye. What if he doesn’t want to marry me anymore? If we cancel the wedding after this, dad loses all of this money, right?”

“Oh, Iza baby… everything will be fine. I promise. Paul loves you.” She stated as a matter of fact.

“but… what if I don’t want to marry him?” I continued.

“you will… look, I’ve done this before… I’m kinda an expert, right? So, you have to trust me on this. Everything will work out fine.”

“I know… But, that’s my point. What if I’m really messed up from all of that and I can’t go through with it. I don’t ever want to get divorced. So, if that means never getting married, I’m okay with that. I mean… being with just one person for your entire life? It’s unrealistic and an ancient tradition started back during a time when the life expectancy was only 50. The chances of us actually being together forever are so small.” I tried to reason my way through my fears.

“Baby… forever doesn’t mean forever-forever… forever just means forever-right-now” she attempted to explain the most confusing logic even for her.

“What? That doesn’t even make sense, mom” I said as I looked for my cigarettes.

“Look… every time I get married, I can honestly tell myself that I want to be with that person ‘forever’ and I know that I mean it at that moment. In that moment, I know I will love them forever. So, forever doesn’t mean forever-forever, it means forever-right-now, get it?”
I was far from understanding her logic, but I assumed that she meant we should get married. But, since I’ve learned to never assume with my mom, I asked anyway, “do you think we’ll get married? That we should get married?”

“Do you love him?” she asked, finally, a simple question.

“Yes,” I answered, relieved.

“Does he love you?” she asked.

“Yes… I think” I was starting to see where she was going.

“Then… that’s all that matter, right? That’s your forever-forever answer right there,” she laughed at herself and her ridiculousness, “but… seriously… forever just means that you both love each other, and you want to be together forever. Everything will be fine, I promise. Everyone knows that you two should be together and everyone knows you’ll get married. You’ve waited long enough and it’s time! okay?”

“okay, thanks” Even though her actual words made little sense, she won the argument, because she was right. We did love each other. He was the love of my life. We grew up together and went from best friends to first loves, living together to now. Of course, we would get married. When I decided, 5 years ago to wait until marriage to have sex, Paul agreed without question. This was especially surprising because he knew I did not want to wait for religious reasons. I explained that I wanted to wait because I didn’t want to end up like my mother, thinking the grass was always greener and what not. This was true, but not the reason.

Chapter 1

Izalita
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~PART I ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
She has always perceived Izalita’s life as better than her own and in that jealousy has said and done things which caused immense pain and therefore rendered it untrue as well. Two days before Izalita’s ‘big day’ and, once again, her mother was having a mental breakdown, lashing out fits of jealousy aimed at her heart, crushing her soul and confusing her head.
Chapter 1
7/5/7 ~~ 58 Hours before the Wedding
I do not own a gun. Guns terrify me, as they should, because they make death far too quick and effortless to come to fruition. Death should not be something which can be brought about instantaneously. If I owned a gun, I would use it; Most likely, I would use it on myself. For this reason, I do not own a gun.
My sister’s husband owns a gun. I know the correct term is ‘brother-in-law’, but he is not my brother in any way, shape or form. I wonder if he ever considers using it. He owns one because he is in the military. I guess this gives him the moral authority to own a gun.
I assume this is the reason my mother allows him to keep the gun in her home; one of the ‘good guys.’ Although, I distinctly remember her forbidding husbands two and four from keeping their guns in her home and husband number four was a cop.
I guess I should back up here and explain that my mother has been married and divorced five times. She is currently on husband number 6. However, he will not last long. There is nothing wrong with the man, personally. My mother just has an expiration date on marriages. After the 4th year, she gets an ‘itch’ and begins looking for the next husband.
Nicole Marie Caruso-Miller-Riccardi-Taylor-Johnson-McKinney-Sullivan, also known as Nica, is on a constant quest for ‘happiness’ which is ironic considering how unhappy she makes everyone in her trajectory. I should know better than to take any marriage advice from her. However, she is my mother and this particular day, two days before my wedding and I was feeling vulnerable and her words were stinging more so than normal.
…..
“Everyone knows you shouldn’t be getting married, people will be whispering, pointing and shaking their heads as you walk down the aisle…. is that really what you want?” She continued as I sniffed on the other end of the line. I was attempting to hide my tears, grateful to be on the phone until my stuffy nose gave me away as I attempted to suck it all up, in more ways than one. “Honestly, no one would be the least bit surprised if you called the whole thing off. We would all support you. He doesn’t love you… not the way you should be loved. You don’t even know what real love is, you’re too young.”
“But… Nicole was only 20 when she married Chris!” I responded to the most ridiculous thing she said, out of the many. “I’m 22!”
“Do not bring your sister into this, she was sick, and Chrissy was taking care of her… it’s completely different!” She whipped back. I struck a nerve which I usually avoided if I could. Talking to her about my sister Nicole and golden-boy, son-she-never-had Chrissy was dangerous territory, but obviously necessary right now.
“Taking care of her? They live in your house and he didn’t even have a job when they got married. Paul and I have been living on our own since we were 18… we’ve been engaged for 3 years now and waited until I was done with school like you wanted… and…” I tried to summon up more courage as my tears turned from sadness to anger. “… and he pays for me to go to school. He literally takes care of me. We’ve waited long enough and I’m not cancelling the wedding two days before.”
“Like I said, don’t bring your sister into this. It was completely different. We all loved Chris and were happy to welcome him into the family.” She continued and now, began to truly break my heart. “Nobody likes Paul, you know your sister won’t even call the house after 5pm because she doesn’t want to get stuck talking to him. Chris told me the reason you guys don’t hang out anymore is because they can’t stand him. Chris says all the time how you can do so much better. We all just want what’s best for you, honey.”
Flabbergasted, my throat began to swell up and ache from the tears I was attempting to keep inside. The pit in my stomach felt like an endless hole, sucking my heart from my chest one painful drop of blood at a time. I could feel the surge of blood rushing up my neck so forceful and fast, I was certain my head would explode. My hand was shaking as I tried to light a cigarette. Cigarettes always dry up the tears. They dry up the tears and push the lump in my throat back down. I don’t even attempt to speak again until I finish one long and glorious drag.
“Hello, Izalita, are you still there?” She thought I’d hung up. I should have.
Feeling safe enough to speak without crying again, I finally answer, “Yes, I’m here and I hear you… everyone hates Paul and we shouldn’t get married.”
When I heard her deep breath before she said, “Look…” I knew she was about to begin round two. So, I snapped my phone shut and threw it on the ground. I needed a break. I’m not proud to say this, but hanging up on my mom, feels so good, at times like this. Plus, it is the only way to for me to get control of the conversation, control of anything.
Two days before what should be the best day of my life and I feel, once again, like I would be better off dead than have to deal with facing the disapproval of my entire family. I tried to picture it, the shaking heads and pointing fingers. I, also, tried to figure out the process of actually cancelling the wedding. Would I have to call everyone myself? How could I do that? I could not, but if I didn’t, what would happen? Everyone would show up and just wait for me. No, that would be even more embarrassing and rude.
My sister, Nicole, named after my mother, was knocking on my door as I frantically searched for a new pack of cigarettes. When she was born, my mother was married to the ‘love of her life’ and together, they planned to have only one, perfect child. Because her father, Henry, died in a car crash when she was only 3 months old, my mother never had the chance to tire of him or cheat on him. His death caused him to become a martyr in the eye of my mother. Nicole was a martyr by proxy.
Although, she never got in the middle of our actual fights, she always came afterwards as part of the clean-up crew. I didn’t even say anything as I opened the door crying. After a long hug, she stepped back and asked, “you okay?”
“If I could find my cigarettes, then maybe” I answered with a crackly voice still trying my hardest to hold back the tears.
“Here” she handed me the pack in her hand, always prepared, and lit it for me as well. “So, what did she say after I left? I only heard the beginning, then headed over.”
The cigarette was beginning to do its job desiccating the tears. Through a stuffy nose and a puff of smoke, I answered, “…oh nothing much, you know… just that you guys don’t think I should marry Paul.”
“What? Why would she say that, oh Iza, it’s not true! Mom is just stressed out because she must make the final payment for the wedding tomorrow. She’s been working double shifts at Famished Fanny’s to make enough money. That’s all. It’s her turn to pay. It’s not about you at all!” She tried to reassure me.
“But… But she said you don’t even call the house after 5pm because you don’t want to talk to him?” I asked, trying to remember everything my mother said, feeling even more confused.
“No, that’s not what I said. Yes, I told her I don’t like calling at night because I know you’re cooking dinner and spending time together. She either misunderstood me or is just lying to make her point. You can’t trust her. Do you remember what Nana use to say? Mom has always been so jealous of you. You’re so smart and beautiful. You just finished college and you’re about to marry the first and only man you’ve ever loved, two things she can only wish for herself.” My grandmother, sister and more recently my school counselor told me that my mother acted in ways that seemed to stem from jealously. However, I could not wrap my head around that concept and therefore did not believe it. Perhaps I didn’t want to believe it. Could a mother really be so jealous of her own daughter that she would undermine or even sabotage her happiness? I didn’t want to believe so. Living in a world like that seemed hopeless and although I have struggled to grab it in bits and pieces, I have always tried my hardest to hold onto hope. Without it, I haven’t much else.
My sister snapped me back out of my thoughts and returned me to my smoky living room. “Please, don’t let her get to you. It’s all about the money…. Iza … do you remember what she said 6 months ago when it was your father’s turn to make the down payment?”

Get out of my head!!!!!

Ugh… every time I try to sit down and write, I hear my mother’s words,

“no one cares!” — about reading a memoir written by me (well MOM, my current editor and publisher beg to differ because they read it…LOVED it and said that many people will, in fact CARE!!

Just because you don’t

… doesn’t mean others won’t!!

Get the fuck Up, Out my head

… you won’t ruin this one, again, one which you haven’t even Read!!

The saddest thing I’ve ever read was the poetry book I found that I wrote when I was 12-13 years old…. I was writing poems on a daily basis… about love, friendship, school, Cheer, my teddy bear.. anything and everything I cared about… I would write these rhyming, flowing poems/raps about everything & I remember it all coming to me so easy and I remember all of my friends loving to hear them… I remember when I read them to my dad and his wife… she cried… she asked how I could write something so “deep and moving” at such a young age… & she told me I would be a writer someday.. something I hadn’t even considered… this gave me the courage & confidence to finally read them to you….

I forgot the way you laughed at me… how you told me that writers make no money and I would never be a writer.. to give up that dream now… I forgot all of that until I read this poetry book and the poem called “hope” which is about how quickly someone can take your hope.

That was the last poem I wrote in that book… the following journal entry was about how I couldn’t write anymore poems.. I was trying and trying and I couldn’t make anything rhyme. So, instead I just wrote one last journal entry about how you had just hit me over the head with a bible, whilst screaming that I needed to “be nicer to my sister” when all I had done was try to switch bedrooms with her… I was tired of living in the moldy, dark basement, feeling like I wasn’t part of the family… but, when you got home and found her crying down there… saying she was scared and didn’t want her room down there… you beat the shit out of me… in front of my boyfriend & friends who had helped me rearrange the rooms (which …by the way… she agreed to & said nothing to us about changing her mind)

You have always protected her with a fierce and violent rage …. so, imagine my fear now… I have to tell the world something that could… no, something that SHOULD majorly alter her life!!

Her husband is a cheater!! And worse… he is a rapist!! Her husband violently raped me, repeatedly & due to years, upon years of growing up in a house that was always violently biased to protect her at all costs.. I knew that I could not tell anyone.. I knew that you, nor her would believe me… and I knew it would end what little we had left of the thing I try to call family!

The most fucked up part… I’ve told people.. I have written my story and I am believed.. my story is wanted.. they think they can sell this story and I STILL HEAR YOUR WORDS IN MY HEAD!!

“No one will care”… no one will believe me.. I will lose everything.. well, guess what?? He’s already taken everything I care about.. he’s already taken you and her and her kids that I was pressured to help raise, yet never treated as family… only as a babysitter… I have already lost you all… so, I ask you this now??

What do I have left to lose???

Why am I actually considering changing my name and not putting my name and my face on MY book?? On MY STORY!?!

Ps-to any of the 73, 431 people out there that have already read this blog… what should I do?? Should I change my name?? Should I stay hidden when I publish this memoir?? Or should I be brave and just tell the world the truth?? I need help.. I need advice here… you can private message me if you prefer as so many of you have already done.. and let me know what you think!?!

Thank you all for the support and love you have already sent my way.. I can’t tell you how much it means to me to know I am no longer alone… to know that you have listened to my story and that you believe me… it means more than words could ever describe so I won’t even bother trying!

Gratefully,

“Izalita” –for now 😉

This is Really Happening!?!

I heard back from the publisher and they are interested in my book….HOWEVER… they want me to turn my fictionalized version into a memoir… they said “the passion and clarity appear more so in certain chapters which we believe are the chapters based on the true story. We know you must have enjoyed writing the fantastical ending, however, if you could rewrite this into a memoir and focus on your true story, we believe this would be a more relatable therefore more sellable book.”

Holy fucking shit… so… this is happening… they want the true story!?! The only problem!?! My real story has such a shitty ending right now…

“And for the last few years, I have been hiding and living in silence.. scared to tell my truth.. the end”

It was so much more rewarding to kill the bad guy… but, at the same time… I can see how that is not as believable. Fuck me…. I’ve got to figure out how to write this as a memoir that doesn’t completely fuck up all the innocent people in my life… my kids and my sister’s kids…..

Changing my name is a start, right??

Hi… my name is, now officially, Izalita Ricardi, nice to meet you!!

For the sake of discussing everyone from here on out… I’ll tell you the character names in the book which will be the names I use in the memoir….

My moms name is Nicole (aka Nica)

My sister’s name is also Nicole (yes, named after my mother… in hopes that she would be her one and only perfect child and the perfect mold of herself)

My sister’s husbands name is Chris (aka Chrissy)

And although they were not in the original fictional version of the story… I assume, my daughters might have to be included in the memoir… even if not… I will continue to discuss them in this blog.. so, my daughters names are

Savanna (aka V– long story;) (18 years old) &

Camille (aka Cami) (15 years old)

I guess that’s all for now… I’ll give other people names as needed… but, just as a general disclaimer… as you’re reading this blog and in the future, my memoir, understand that all names have been changed in order to protect the truly innocent human beings (children) because they don’t deserve to know about any of this until the time is right. This is the reason I have stayed silent for so long.. but, I’m so happy I found an editor and (now-I can’t fucking believe it) a PUBLISHER.. that will help me tell my TRUE story while still keeping me and all 4 kids that I love more than myself safe in the process!!

Feeling truly grateful right now!! Which… I must admit… it’s been awhile since I’ve felt this way… I usually say thank you to the universe for the little things in life like the puppy finally shitting outside or my black thumb finally growing fresh basil… it’s been awhile since I’ve had something really BIG to be grateful about and hopeful for!! THANK YOU!!

#MeToo anniversary

On the anniversary of the MeToo movement… where really big-names, important woman came out publicly about sexual harassment and/or rape by unrelated males… this no-one, unimportant woman is internally debating when and how to come forward about being raped by her brother-in-law…. wondering whether anyone would even care.. or believe her… wondering how it could effect her family.. her life.. or worse… if it didn’t… if she came forward and everything stayed exactly the same… nothing changed… no one cares…

Then what would happen?? What could be worse than be raped?? Hmmm… how about being raped and being forced into silence for fear that no one would believe you… or worse.. even if they did believe you.. they simply wouldn’t care… speaking from first hand experience, I can tell you… the latter is worse!

So… happy anniversary MeToo Movement!! Thank you to all the brave women that came before me & gave me the courage to come forward with my story.. perhaps.. maybe.. someday… and an even bigger thanks to those of you that can and will understand the years I spent in silence… I carried the burden of that weight upon my shoulders to protect, not only myself… but, all of the other members of my family that weren’t ready for the truth. I carried that weight and broke my back trying with every ounce of physical ability I had left to hide this secret to maintain the last bit of false pretense “family” that we had left.

I

Tried

My

Hardest

But…, the family fell apart anyway… because deep down he always knew this was coming.. he always knew the truth would surface and in preparation for this day… he convinced my family that I was the bad guy.. that I was the crazy one… he knew this day would come… and because he worked so hard to prepare… he pushed everyone away from me already, therefore… I have nothing left to lose!!

Don’t think he prepared for this…

oh

Fucking

Well

Here… I … am…. I am woman… hear my TRUTH

I was, raped

violently and

repeatedly by

my sister’s husband…

in an attempt to escape the abuse…

I packed up and moved to WV…

to protect myself and my daughters… I fled

Now…. I have been living in silence so suffocating that I no longer speak to anyone besides my daughters… days… weeks.. months and now YEARS… have gone by without a single person calling to check on me… I have disappeared into a hole of silence surrounded by walls of shame and when I look up.. I see a small sliver of light… barely… it’s more like a tiny star… barely visible to the naked eye… but, if I take out my microscope (aka… my computer) and I look closely (aka… write)… I can see it.. I can see the twinkling star in the sky… and I know… that is HOPE…

I

Have

HOPE

I hope I do anyway