Everything can change.

I was reminded this week, inadvertently, that I’ve (once again) been neglecting my blog. So here we are, after some struggling.

Honestly, I always have a hard time deciding what to write about. I often feel like what I have to say isn’t worth your time, but then I remember that this blog (no offense) really isn’t here for other people. It’s for me to open up with what’s on my mind – talk openly about myself and what I’m struggling with because it’s so common for me to bottle everything up.

So here we go. #deep

Over the summer I have been a little concerned. I hadn’t had my “time of the month” in a while, and I knew I wasn’t pregnant. So, what then? Why had my body all of the sudden decided to change up and worry me?

Turns out, my hormones are all out of whack. What does that mean? It means that while it’s easy to get them back in whack, it’s going to make things a little more difficult when I decide to have children.

For those of you who know me – I know you’re wondering why this is a big deal. I’ve always said I don’t want to have children, and if you would have asked me a few months ago I would have stood by that. But as I sat there and heard the words come out of my doctor’s mouth, I’m going to be honest, I was praying that I was pregnant. The idea of having that gift taken from me scared me more than I can put into words.

I walked around like a zombie for a few days, at least that’s how I felt. Emptiness. I wasn’t crying. I wasn’t angry. I just was.

Eventually, like I always do, I snapped out of it. That’s the curse and gift of being emotionally strong. You learn how to move forward, but sometimes it’s at the expense of really feeling, allowing your emotions to consume you, even if only for a moment.

But regardless of moving on or not, I’ve changed. I’ve gone from someone who cringed at the thought of having children to someone who feels an ache and longing when I see a woman walking with her baby in her arms, pushing her infant in a stroller.

I’m not really sure what my point is in telling you this. Maybe it’s that life can change in an instant, don’t ever think you’re plans are set in stone. Who knows. But I’ve been working on being open and honest about who I am, and this is part of that. So to all of my ladies who think they have it all figured out, prepare yourself because we never know what life is going to hold.

Presently absent.

It’s very rare that anyone has the chance to really impact someone’s life on a personal level. While I received a lot of amazing feedback from people after my last blog post, this is the most amazing response I could have dreamt of – someone following in my footsteps and writing a letter to their absent parent. This person would like to remain anonymous, but I know him well and can tell you this isn’t made up. It’s amazing how therapeutic writing your thoughts can be. 

If anyone else would like to write a letter to their parent – anonymous or not – feel free to send me an email at cierachoate@gmail.com. 


Absently present. An oxymoron.

An oxymoron: a figure of speech in which apparently contradictory terms appear in conjunction.

Absently present. That is what you have been in my life.

At first, when you left – you left an inevitable, nuclear-sized void in the heart of an innocent 9-year old boy. Psychologists will tell you that this sort of trauma – a parent leaving, and in this case by choice – is apt to resonate throughout one’s life. In hindsight, I would agree. On some poorly-put-together raft in the turbulent sea of self-blame was where you left me. If it wasn’t for the swift rescue by the loving will of other people in my life at the time – I might still be trying to swim to the shore of ‘normal’ life.

I was just one of the unfortunate bystander’s of your drug-swerving life-style. At least that’s what it felt like after some years had passed.

I want you to know now, because I haven’t heard from you in numerous years, that I have been and am currently doing fantastic! Few thoughts of you linger into my life now. In those fluttering moments, the fading memories of you just seem to land on me like a bumble-bee with no stinger. Those memories still scare me, but they no longer carry with them the potential for pain.

I am your son. But I am not your choices. That is what I have accepted. Thank you for the adversity. I have learned that my choices are the only thing in my control. I am content now. Happy. Because of this… there is no need for you to disturb my life anymore by being absently present. So I will continue to waltz through life, trying to never look back, keeping you always where I feel it is best – presently absent.

“The only thing that’s capital-T True is that you get to decide how you’re gonna try to see it.” – David Foster Wallace

Dear dad,

So it finally happened, my dad saw my blog and decided to email me and talk about “his side.” Below is my response to him I thought I would share. I won’t be sharing what he wrote because he already asked me not to discuss this at all. I guess just not sharing his email is a decent middle ground.


Whenever I write blog posts about you I always know there is a chance you will see them, but I guess I just never really thought you would. And even if you did, I really never thought you would want to talk to me about it. It was stupid of me to think that though. I just find it interesting that you’ve had my phone number for almost six years and it isn’t until you feel the need to defend yourself that you reach out.

There isn’t anything you attached to this email I didn’t already know. You have no idea how much of a relief that is. All of these years I thought there might be something my mom wasn’t telling me or that I didn’t remember. I remember all of that. I remember the therapy sessions. I remember panicking every time I was forced to see you. I remember the angry voicemail messages you would sometimes leave on our answering machine. I remember the nightmares that kept me up every night, which is probably was I was always so tired. I remember my mom trying to convince me to go see you and not make a fuss. I remember Beevus and Butthead and still hate that show.

I’m unbelievably tired of everyone from your side of the family telling me I have no idea what I’m talking about. And it makes me angrier than you will ever know when my mom is blamed. She is not to blame for any of this. If you ever need someone to blame for the fact that your daughter wants nothing to do with you, start with you.

Yes, you tried to fight for rights to see me in court, but once you gave up that was it. There were no phone call attempts. No birthday cards. One letter written from Luke that immediately started out by saying my mom was a liar. Alan, I was there. I remember things. I still, at 25 years old, have nightmares about you pinning my mom against the headboard and trying to force her knees in the wrong direction. I have nightmares I don’t even understand and for the longest time I just ignored them. I used to pretend you didn’t exist. But I can’t do that anymore. You are part of who I am, good and bad. I am stronger because of you. I trust less because of you. To this day I can barely handle being yelled at without breaking down.

But thank you. I would not be who I am today without you. And I love the person that I’ve turned out to be. Biologically we are related but you are not my dad and I would prefer you never contact me again. I have been fine without you all of these years and I will continue to be. I have an amazing mom who has given everything for me and Savannah. I have a man who stepped up when you weren’t there and taught me how a real man should treat the people he loves.

And as for not “airing our dirty laundry,” I will do as I please. Ignoring my thoughts and what I am going through emotionally and mentally at one point drove me to the darkest place I have ever been. I refuse to be that person again. I will continue to be an example to people, especially Savannah, that no one should ever hide who they are, whether it’s pretty or ugly. It helps me to talk about you. It makes me feel better, like I’m not bottling up some poison that will slowly eat away at my soul. Opening up makes me less angry, which in turn makes me feel less like you.

I do not hate you. I simply want nothing to do with you. There was a time when I thought I wanted you to step up and be a real dad to me, but that has come and gone. I have learned many things thanks to you, but the most important is that family has nothing to do with biology.

Appealing your case to me will not take your guilt from what happened go away. The only thing that will ever help is to accept that the past cannot be changed and to move on with your life. I know I have.


Happy Birthday Brandon.


Birthdays are supposed to be a celebration of someone’s life. One more year that we had to spend with them, one more year to make memories. But what happens when that person isn’t here anymore?

This morning I rolled over and picked up my phone and realized it’s May 27. Today Brandon would have been 29.

I didn’t expect the thought of never seeing his beautiful smile again would hit me so hard a year and a half later. I often find myself looking at old pictures and videos of him with a smile on my face, but today is different for some reason. I’m sitting here with a knot in my throat and tears on my face, and all I want is to call him and tell him happy birthday. I want to tell him that I love him and I miss him.

When you lose someone you love, life does go on and you have to go on with it, but it doesn’t get any easier. You don’t miss that person any less. You don’t love that person any less. Sometimes you forget for a second that they’re gone and then you remember and it hits you all over again.

I’ve been watching videos of Brandon singing all morning. I am so thankful for that gift. I never have to forget what his laugh sounded like or how he looked so happy when he was singing and playing guitar.

I’m going to try and not spend my day sitting here being sad. I want to go out and have the best day I can, for Brandon. He brought so much joy into the lives of others, so it’s only right to spend his birthday with a smile on my face.

I love you so much Brandon Fisher, and I can’t wait to see you again. 

“Mom, he figured out how to be a dad.”

Screen Shot 2015-05-19 at 1.04.44 PM

I saw this post on Facebook today and, don’t tell anyone, but it made me cry.

My dad, who I’ve written about a little, has two children and a step son other than me. He was a much better father to them than to me, and there was a point in my life where it really did make me jealous. What was so special about them?

But as I grew older and met them I realized that I’m happy he finally stepped up. I’m happy that he didn’t spend his life as an angry man. I’m happy that he finally met a woman who he loves and makes him happy. Seeing someone change for the better should never make me feel jealous.

I love Jackson and Kaci, my brother and sister on Alan’s side of the family. I know very little about them (trying to work on that), but I’ve always known I wanted to be part of their lives. When you love someone you want what is best for them, despite yourself. My mom was amazing and all I could ever ask for in a parent. In the end I love who I am and wouldn’t change anything about my life. So even if I don’t have Alan, I’m so glad they do.


Last week I received an awesome compliment on my blog from a friend of mine.

“I love reading your blog. Woman empowerment, yay!” 

Isn’t that something? Empowerment is simply talking about the things I think and things I have experienced. Something so basic can mean so much if you’re just open and honest about where you’ve been and what’s on your mind. We often think we are all alone with no one around to understand us, but we fail to try to explain ourselves or relate to others.

Sometimes I find it extremely difficult to talk about myself. Not in the “where I went to school, talk about my pets, job, career, school, etc.” kind of way. I can talk for hours about myself and at the end not really tell you anything meaningful. I find it so difficult to really talk about who I am and the things that are constantly on my mind. Very few people have seen my heart, and I think that’s part of the reason I started this blog. I’m so tired of not being open about the things I’ve been through, and since talking seems to escape me most of the time I figured using writing would be the best alternative.

The world would be so much more understanding and open if we all were just honest about our opinions, feelings, experiences. We could start to really relate to each other and the struggles we face every day. Every person is different and unique, so the only way to really know those around you is an open dialogue. The more we understand one another the more we love one another.

Unhappy Equal Pay Day.

Let’s pretend for a second that I think the statistics for the gap in median pay between men and women who hold the same position are a load a crap. Let’s pretend I think it really is just part of some crazy feminist liberal agenda. Let’s pretend I think it’s all just a lie and this group of “crazy” people just takes a few stories and blows them out of proportion.

That woman who spent 20 years at her job only to learn the men who worked under her made more money than her – She’s one in a million.

That woman who was told the man who has the same job as her makes more because he has a wife and kids to take care of – She’s not the norm.

Let’s say I believe all of that. Why would I not support of legislation that would require companies to pay men and women the same? Even if it only is a small percentage of the female population being discriminated against, why would I be opposed to doing something to help those women?

If women are only asking for something that would require equality, not superiority, why would anyone fight that?

Because these women aren’t one in a million. These women are the norm, not everywhere in every job at every company in every city – but it’s happening. There are women making less then their male counterparts, saving less for retirement, having less money to help raise their children. This is unacceptable.

Equal pay legislation is not the end-all-be-all solution, but it’s a start. Whether it’s a demographic that makes up half of this country’s population or  only a fraction – we should be upset when there is discrimination.