I got asked for my story yesterday by Dr. Dale Archer. My writing process is a bit rusty but here it goes.

I can remember memories back to the age of 2, living in Long Beach, Ca. Mostly of my great Grandfather on my mom’s side  in his wheelchair. I was very aware of my surroundings, my mom, my brother, and sister. Mom told me i didnt talk till the age of 3. We moved to a small Town Nipomo, California up on the mesa with hundreds if not thousands of acres behind our house. We had a beautiful view of Santa Maria from our back porch. I loved it there. I’m the youngest of 3 siblings, all born in exactly 3 years. My brother the oldest had received me as a gift for his 3rd birthday. I’m not sure how he felt about me on that day I never asked him. He kept to himself alot and read alot.

       By the time i reached the age of 3 mom and dad had gotten us horses, Brownie for us kids, he was a  mustang gelding that stood 16 hands. He was a foal of moms mare trixie her horse she had at age 16 and older. I loved Moms saddle. Dad had built a huge Barn with Dutch Doors, 3 huge stalls, haybarn, tackroom, breezway. Everyone thought he was building another house. We were baptized by Father Marron at St. Joseph’s Church.

      A very small strong Catholic community. My God Parents lived across the street. I conidered my childhood the cream of the crop, Vacations every year for 2 weeks, Disneyland trips once a year, Mt. Able for snow in the winter everyyear. We Camped, waterskied, hiked, participated in church fundraising events to build a new church. We always had BBQ’s, Birthdays Holiday celebrations, I loved the simplicity of our childhood, and wish my kids could have experienced the same things.  Needless to say Life was good growing up in the Martin Household.

      Mom and dad were very dedicated when it came to education, religion, and community involvment. We all graduated from St. Joseph’s High in Santa Maria. My brother progressed to his education at USC, He had scholarships to the school, he was always the 4. 0 student in our house, My sister always got b’s, Me, I always got C’s D’s and F’s. Learning didnt come easy for me, reading was the toughest. I remember when i got my hands slapped by my 1st grade teacher because i didnt understand what i was suppose to do. I had a few tough days and refused to go to school, after what had transpired. My mom drove me a few days to make sure i was going to be ok.

     Which later came to light that the pyschiatrist back then wanted me in public school. Mom said she wanted me medically checked to rule out anything but she said my dad said no. They both thought i would be better off left in Catholic school. Growing up in the 60’s there was no medical insurance. I struggled through 7th grade the worse  and after that 8th grade on up it seemed so much easier. I never gave up trying to achieve the grades my sister and brother received. I hated disappointing myself and my parents for that aspect of my life. I did however focus and reach my goal of obtaining a college prep diploma.

     I was so relieved when i graduated. I was really conflicted on what i wanted to do with my life. I grew with Horses as my passion, only to have it engraved in my brain that I needed a real job to earn money. Jobs were not that plentyful in Santa Maria, or nipomo. I was attending a few courses at the jr college but i wasn’t serious about remaining in school. 13 years of it was enough for while. My best friend across the street, convinced me to take the Air Force Entrance Exam, we talked to the recruiter, and had planned to enlist in the buddy program. The only problem with that is: She deliberately failed the test, an A student, and I passed the test. I got a guaranteed job in Comunnications, computer operations. I guess i tested high in math. Algebra was my favorite math subject, Geometry flew over my head.  I was leaving in April for basic Training. I was so excited to be earning my own income and getting my feet planted on the ground.

     After a serious head on colision the end of that March in 1979, my enlistment was delayed until i got cleared from the doctor and basic was pushed back to June that same year. I loved the Air Force, taught me so much work ethics, discipline, managing my life in general. it was a  life saver. 12 yrs , 10 months later i seperated due to the reduction in military. The kids dad and I had bought our house just over a year before and our daughter was just a year old.

     I wanted to remain home with her, but he wanted me working so working i went back too full time the following year. For San Gorgonio Hospital for over 4 years. i left after having zach the following year to focus more on the business we had started part time Carpet Cleaners. Mom and dad got divorced in 1991 after 37 years, My Marriage went south 7 years later. We sold our home for 33k to avoid forclosure and save our mortgage history. I was raising the kids by myself. The Kids dad had moved to orange county to the woman i used to work with. After the home was sold I moved up here to Lompoc closer to my family for more support. 

     I became pregnant 5 months later with Loren our Youngest. Definately God’s Child under the circumstances. My dad and stepmom helped me the most. Dad spent alot of time with my oldest son Zach, took him camping and Plane trips in his apache , golfing, always had him at the Air Museums at the airport, My dad was very involved with the community after he retired from Lockheed.

     We lost dad in Sept 8,  2006 in a plane crash in the Orcutt foothills, less than a mile from my sister’s home, and 3 miles fm the airport. I was devastated the whole family was. He was always in perfect health for age 74 years. He died doing what he loved.  It was after his death that i really started worrying about Zach. Zach i knew he was very emotional about the rejection from his real dad, to loose the only living grandfather just left me heartbroken for him the worse.

      I was battling the school to provide services for him, he was struggling, the school assessment showed he didnt qualify his iq scores were too high. Needless to say just over 6 years later i was able to obtain a copy of a assesstment from a PHD that had conducted the same assessment 6 months later that showed very low IQ scores and his processing disorder that the school didnt recognize he had till 6th grade. It was just a few week after that the boys had seen their neurologistis to manage their health that Zach was having seizures too. both boys are depakote for their seizure disorders.

     I was under so much stress from my youngest son starting intervention with tri counties and trying to keep up with zach and his behavior along with his enlarged intestine that wasnt diagnosed until age 6 or 7. My daughter entering High School. I was immersed in the what my step mom call the crowded years. i starting feeling numb along the right side of my face, my leg from the knee down and my arm from the elbow down. I went to ER, and got myself checked. They Ran a Ct Scan , that showed i suffered a stroke, but it wasnt a recent one. 

     The Hospital referred me back to my doctor to get a MRI scheduled to obtain more information. It came out that i have Stable left encephalomalacia from the followup MRI 6 months later. They dont know when it happened other than it is more than likely happened in infancy.  The boys Neurologist says that just plane stress could have caused it.  How could something of this nature go undiagnosed for 48 years, Im 51 now. I havent been referred to a neurologist to rule out seizures.

     The stress of raising the kids on my own, my focus is not what it used to be. It was never my intention to raise them alone, but because of the Circumstances it is the only option i have. They are my family I  love them. They deserve so much more than what i can give them that i wake up feeling failure everyday. Some days worse than others. I decided a very long time ago that i would be the better parent, that the kids dad has alot of issues that he still wont face today.

     The kids know, and love him for just who he is. It was so heartbreaking to watch your kids suffer emotionally  from the rejection of being loved by their dad. They are very lucky to see him more than once a year. I turned to online chatting in 2004. I had to do something. My help with my kids is very limited when it comes to family help, my sister works fulltime teaching for the school district and my mom is diabetic, with congestive heart failure.

      My brother lives 3 hours east works for NASA, a Aerospace engineer, Bachelors at USC in Mechanical Engineering, Masters at UC Fresno in Aerospace Engineering and a JD Degree from Stanford University. He spends most of his time with his family and grandkids.

     I’m home everynight with my kids, Im a licensed Primerica representative, I volunteer for Return to Freedom American Wild Horse Sanctuary when i can.  I’m the US representative for Saviing Lives in America. I Advocate for Autism, Change to help make our world a better place to live in. I have met alot of people online over the years, some remain friends some dont. My kids are my life I have my priorities straight when it comes to their welfare. Sure I still believe in Marriage and everything it has to offer a real relationship. I just wont involve myself into a relationship unless i know the person 1st. if that person can respect my family’s needs nourish my kids to be better kids for their personal growth then they have a chance at winning my heart.

     My Step Mom stopped associating with us on a regular basis after Dad’s Death, with my limited income, I dont travel, it is too costly. We remain here and do alot of things in the local area. My kids have hearts of gold. I have watched my 8th grade son 4 years ago choose to finally participate in class and turn two F’s grades into A’s in one reporting period. It was 6 months after the death of my dad. It showed me he was going to be ok, I just knew it from that day on.  I hever stopped fighting for what was right for my sons.

     So now you have a clearer picture of why i do what i do. It is for Hope, Faith, Love, and Trust. I teach my kids that patience is a virtue. I want to help enrich other people’s lives with my knowledge that has been all self-taught most of it. Even though I have faced and learned alot from my experiences. It has made me a Stronger, better, Mother for my kids. I sat on Surf Beach one afternoon just thinking about the whole situation of what we have been through and decided that Yes we are Vicitims of Circumstance. No We dont have to remain a Vicitim of Circumstance. Personal Growth from learning, healing from within empowers you to embrass and love yourself and move on from the past. For it is Complete History. It was never about the harboring anger or pointing blame. Blame gets you nowhere. I just want my sons well.

     I had started back at the jr college to work on getting a degree in It management but i lost so much focus when loren turned 1, my mom had double bipass surgery, and she had gall bladder surgery the next year after that, and then her throat cancer.  My sister and i share taking care of her.

     My daughter currently lives with her to help her out. She has been cancer free for over 5 years, Im pretty certain she never stopped loving my dad. She still complains about stuff he used to do and he has been gone for 5 years this September. My oldest son wants me to work, and i considered that too, but with my own health im not sure how the additional stress of a job would affect it. Im scared to find out.