“She’s A Breath Of Forever In A World Of Temporary.” Mark Anthony
Today’s blog has been saved as a draft again and again and again. Why? Because I haven’t had a day off since May trying to get as many of my cancelled clients married singlehandedly as quickly as possible.
My son has been covering several states and Cindy has been addressing County and Federal while trying to help homeschool Maddy since Leigh Ann and Maddy are back in Texas again.
My schedule has been literally exhausting and I’ve had to create waiting lists of new clients in Texas to the waiting lists outside of Texas.
A production company exec called me a few weeks ago and asked “do you have at least 1 prison wedding a week?”
I laughed because my schedule is pinned to my pages on FB, Prison Weddings With Wendy Wortham as well as Texas Twins Events/The Pawning Planners. Pinned and confirmed dates are pertaining to TDCJ prison weddings ALONE.
I average 3-9 prison weddings during the weekdays each and every week. I average 2-5 traditional weddings or Vow Renewals, Federal, ICE and County Weddings every weekend.
If you can’t research, please take time to do so prior to wasting my precious time. It’s the ONE and only thing in my life I cannot buy or replace.
I don’t have time to “educate” or “enlighten” anyone contacting me who hasn’t taken the time to research me first.
Last week 17 people “wanting me to teach them how to do prison weddings” contacted me. I’m not a teacher I’m a successful businesswoman. One person was even ballsy enough to tell me “she JUST needed me to mentor her.” What the heck? I barely have time to get my hair cut which is why I use cuticle scissors to trim my own bangs. I WORK SEVEN DAYS A WEEK. Don’t contact someone who found success and expect them to create competition they don’t have. It shows your arrogance and ignorance at the same time buddy. You don’t have the stamina, education, experience or clients to do what I do so again, stop wasting my precious time.
I can and do easily plan and perform up to 20 and even 25 prison weddings alone a month. It’s not uncommon for me to marry 2-4 clients at the same unit then leave that unit to another and even another.
Please do some research. I haven’t done ONLY 4 weddings a month since the inception of Texas Twins Events 10-11 years ago. I stop bookings and create waiting lists regularly because I have to do so in order to ensure my availability.
At any given time during a normal year, I’m juggling 100-150 clients. This year due to an accordion affect of cancelled clients, I’m juggling up to 300 in Texas alone.
My waiting list continues to grow. Why? Because if you are marrying an inmate you want me that’s why. I know all policy, procedure and marriage laws. I’ve also trained my son, twin sister, niece and daughter in law to perform prison weddings and while they are all approved and capable, most clients want me which is why I limit bookings.
When Cindy and I decided to start Texas Twins Events our goal was to give others the weddings we had never had with the bonus of having time together traveling and on location.
That concept has grown, changed and expanded over and over. From investing thousands into an inventory of bouquets, tiaras, furs, bouteniers, signs and more to loan our clients so that they have everything without having to buy it along with free photography to providing wedding rings to clients marrying an inmate to bringing gifts on wedding day to merging Texas Twins Events and Texas Twins Treasures to create a barter option, The Pawning Planners in 2015, no one AND I mean no one could SCRIPT or adequately create a box that would accommodate our lives, our businesses OR our clients.
I don’t care how creative you are our journey as well as our passion, compassion and success are why we are who we are AND why we are so successful, driven, determined, gritty, raw and real. We are a TwinTeam.
We aren’t actors. We’ve been actors and aren’t interested whatsoever in “your concept, idea or pitch.” Why? Because media creates characters not real people with real lives, businesses and families.
I now have 25 ridiculous production contracts sitting on my desk. None of which I intend to sign.
Why not? Because in November 2019, Cindy and I committed to filming Unforgiven with Elena Lindemans and I keep my promises. Due to the travel ban being lifted, we are finally going to begin filming in Texas.
Everything everyone else is sending me the “standard reality contract” wholly and entirely one sided and unconscionable.
Only someone entirely unfamiliar with media would sign their life and business away. I’m not that person. I know there’s not another me and I know my worth. Save your glitter.
Cindy and I filmed a television pilot in 2015 that cost literally cost US money although I AM CERTAIN THAT Lifetime HAD paid our production company to film it AND pay Cindy and I to film it too.
Cindy and I had to pay our own travel, accommodations AND everything for the Lisa and Terry wedding.
Our production company ONLY paid us each $500. Read that again- Five hundred dollars apiece.
The production company for over a year had us to jump higher and higher to do whatever they told us to do and bust our asses the entire time while I was writing THE checks. “Get on a Skype call.” Never mind we were working. “We need you here in LA but can’t afford to pay you.” I can’t make this shit up! “We need you to update your websites.” I don’t do my own websites. I pay people to do my websites. I handle my own social media, blogs and everything else but I have never handled my own websites. I write checks for websites to Michael.
Do you know what I spent flying back and forth to LA staying in 4 star hotels (because I don’t travel cheap) and renting cars to attend pitch meetings our production company was too cheap to pay for? THOUSANDS.
PRIOR to the wedding of Lisa and Terry who by the way had nothing other than that old bike that I gave to my website designer and an old dresser we painted, their “wish list” got bigger and bigger. Why? They weren’t paying for anything. If they had been REAL barter clients, I would have told them no. Anyone would.
Everything else on the pilot that “appeared” to be from Lisa and Terry WAS moved AND staged by the production company from MY storage facility for Texas Twins Treasures? Those 2 didn’t have shit to barter.
I’m sure Lifetime payed plenty to the production company who effectively not only cheated us out of being paid to film the pilot which should have been at least $10k each by industry standards but also chose to edit the pilot to make us look ridiculous and THEN had Cindy and I “pretend” that WE made money on that event which was the ONLY reason we did it. Bullshit. I did it for Lisa’s grandfather who was dying. I didn’t give a damn about Lisa and Terry who are (after all the money I spent) divorced.
Cindy and I lost money because WE were paying for everything. NOT the production company.
Why were we in LA and available to film the sizzle with GCF in the first place in 2014? Good question. Cindy and I were there to film Hot Bench who had paid for airfare. It was a cheap flight that I upgraded to First Class and accommodations at a cheap hotel I would never stay at with Cindy.
I booked us in at The Beverly Hills and Ritz Carlton for that 2014 trip to film “Don’t Call Me Bridezilla.” She was a Bridezilla and a con artist over an hour late to her own wedding which was actually a Vow Renewal and lied to obtain a police discount. I won. I over prepared. I always do.
While we were in LA to film Hot Bench, Cindy and I went to Good Clean Fun where the sizzle was filmed in their office. Effectively Hot Bench funded the ability for GCF to film that sizzle with us in LA. Jason was such a cheap ass and arrogant to boot that he would take the pennies off a dead man’s eyes. Jason was also filming the sizzle for Joseph Maldonado in Oklahoma at the same time our pilot was being filmed in Texas. The sizzle for Joseph (not surprisingly) wasn’t picked up for Joseph because it was outrageous. I know I’ve seen it and Netflix was smart enough to clean it up and produce the massively popular, Tiger King.
The “wedding” of Lisa and Terry along with everything “they wanted” cost nearly $2k out of my pocket again. Their wish list was outrageous. Anyone that doesn’t have any money wants a band? Come on! If someone is bartering they are broke and not stupid enough to have a “wish list” that exceeds their expectations.
Pawning Planners clients have a contract. If your trade doesn’t cover it we don’t cover it for you.
The only reason I did that wedding was because Lisa’s grandfather was dying. Walking her down the aisle was his dying wish. I did that wedding for HIM.
Lisa wanted this, that and the other. REMEMBER they didn’t have ANY money OR a trade other than that old dresser and bike. Champagne wishes beer budget and Wendy’s checkbook. Humph.
That damn Pawning Planners pilot was similar to the 5 commercials I filmed with Mel Tillis. 40 years ago, I was handed a contract and $75 a day to film 5 commercials and couldn’t even go home because they booked me a hotel in Fort Worth. I lived in Fort Worth!
The production company probably anticipated that I wouldn’t return to filming and after that first day of 14 hours on location at Beach St Whataburger in Fort Worth. I might not have to be honest with you. EXPERIENCE is a GREAT TEACHER.
I’m not for sale and if I was it damn sure wouldn’t be for a contract that has me giving up everything ON MY END in exchange for nothing.
A real contract REQUIRES consideration. All of my clients have contracts. They pay me and/or my staff and we provide a service.
I’m smart, I’m a pioneering trailblazer too. I gave up the first business I created, Debt Lawsuit Solutions in order to start Texas Twins Events. I was sick and tired of courtrooms. I had also saved over 3,800 people including my husband from 3rd party lawsuits.
It was I who came up with a winning formula to demand documentation 3rd party debt buyers didn’t have effectively forcing non suits. Why? Because the real estate market crashed. My husbands developments tanked. He went broke overnight and had no one to save him but me AND I did. I had to save my husband from sharks by working two jobs, selling everything we owned except our house and learning every angle of debt law that existed.
I know far more about many types of law than anyone realizes or recognizes. I’m not the hillbilly Hollywood thinks I am. I’m highly intelligent AND a survivor. Cindy is a survivor too. Unlike me Cindy is funny. I’m serious. We are compensating personality twins.
Since I’m asked consistently “how we got into this business,” let’s go back to where Wendy and Cindy ACTUALLY came from and how we got from there to here since everyone from journalists to media keeps asking without doing any background or research and dropping a dime on me at THEIR convenience.
Your “sense of urgency to sign an idiotic contract” isn’t my emergency. I personally can’t believe anyone is stupid enough to sign this shit.
One contract even states that if I EVER do anything in the entertainment industry “PRISON RELATED” that THEY are the production company EVEN after THEIR contract EXPIRES. What the hell? Get outta here. You don’t own me. You can’t afford me. Back when Cindy and I were waitresses we called our checks toilet paper. Do you know why? Because servers are still 40 years later paid $2.15 an hour in Texas. Our checks were worthless. Your contracts are worthless to us and lucrative to you. Bug off.
Cindy and I ran away from home at 15. We were found eating out of a dumpster behind 7-11 in Azle, Texas by the police who took us to Women’s Haven. It was there we obtained GED’s and the ability to finally rent an apartment at 16. We couldn’t afford electricity and had no credit so we lived in an apartment without electricity for 3 years. I was working at Red Lobster. Cindy was working at IHOP.
One night Cindy was back home before me. She was followed and raped in the dark. I tripped over her going into the apartment.
My twin didn’t want to go to the hospital. Looking back I believe because she’s wanted to forget what had happened. Why? Because we had run away from sexual abuse and violence.
My grandfather abused not only my twin and I but also our older sister, Tammy. No one in our family stopped him. No one cared.
Our mother sold all 4 of us for $50 each. Every-time I spend $50 I think about the price put on our heads.
That rape brought back everything THAT Cindy and I had run from. We ran away with no money and nothing other than the clothes on our backs. We ran from violence and abuse.
Anyone in our family who allowed this abuse that wants to bitch about my transparency can go to hell. YOU could have helped 4 children you chose not to. Live with what you allowed because you are just as guilty as the people who hurt us. Stop calling me asking me to stop publishing facts. You know who you are.
That night in a dark apartment brought back everything Cindy and I had ran from. Bloody and battered again.
I had cleaned Cindy up that night begging to let me take her to the hospital and wouldn’t let me. She compartmentalized it just as we had our ENTIRE childhoods.
Mentally neither of us wanted to think about where we had been and what we had been though. Cindy took several days off work.
We skipped paying the rent the next month to save up for a “midnight move.” For those of you unaware of what midnight moving is, it’s skipping out on the rent and moving in the middle of the night.
The fear of the rapist coming back loomed in both of our minds. We made a plan to get out of that apartment. We never entered alone again. If I was cut (restaurant slang for being released early from a shift) first I went and waited for Cindy. If she was cut first, she waited for me.
A month later I was working 2 jobs and had another apartment with electricity. I have always blamed myself for not being home first. Red Lobsters disastrous all you can eat idea cut my income in half AND was why I was late getting home that night.
Months later we were in a car accident and it was then that we found out that Cindy was pregnant.
Standing there and seeing the horror on my sisters face at this news AND knowing it was the rapist, I made a deal. “We can raise the baby together. It doesn’t matter how the baby got here. What matters is that we will be the mothers we never were.” We did. Leigh Ann is the oldest and mother to Maddy.
Leigh Ann never knew how she “got here” until the Dr Phil Show contacted us about her sister, Stephaney who has had a meth addiction for 18 years now which is why Cindy and I took custody of Stephaney’s twin daughters, Maryssa and Makenna.
A producer for Dr Phil told Leigh Ann “does it bother you that you were a child of rape?”
Due to this secret being disclosed and having Leigh Ann “feel dirty,” Cindy angrily told the Dr Phil Show to bug off and advised Leigh Ann that “I was the one raped not you. Wendy and I raised you together with everything we never had including stability, structure and love. Don’t ever get angry at me for being victimized. I will never allow anyone to blame what happened to me on me.”
Because of this DISCLOSURE to Leigh Ann while Cindy and I were at 3 prisons with clients on the day that producer called Leigh Ann, we never agreed to go on Dr Phil with Stephaney.
Three years later the roller coaster ride of Stephaney continues.
Cindy married Roy Anderson she met bailing hay at 17. He had a dairy in Gordon, Texas. He also threw my sister on their wedding night into a hotel room where his friends raped her.
I wasn’t allowed to see my twin or go to the wedding. Roy then made my sister build that dairy brick by brick and starved her by throwing her scraps of leftover food.
I knew Cindy was in a bad situation because I could feel it AND I wasn’t allowed to see her and decided to save her by going to the dairy and taking her with me. Her eyebrows were gone as was her hair from having her head shoved into an oven by Roy.
I had rescued her in my VW Beetle, brought her back to Fort Worth and moved her into my apartment after saving her from Roy.
The rape at the apartment occurred after the divorce from Roy. Abused during the few months of that marriage then raped at our first apartment, Cindy was fragile. She’s easy at laughing to keep from crying. She’s also amazing at creating iconic quotes peppered with humor and truth for Pawning Planners Apparel.
Cindy’s second husband, Larry showed up at our grandfathers funeral. I had ONLY gone to the funeral to make damn sure he was FINALLY dead. He would never hurt another female in this family again. I also spit on his grave.
I’m often asked why “I’m so sure that people are in the free world who shouldn’t be?” My grandfather that’s how. He was never held accountable for what he had done. Neither was my mother who allowed her drug addicted “friends” to abuse us. All four of us were found padlocked in a closet when someone else in the projects reported “smelling a dead body.” It was 4 children. Tammy was 10. Cindy and I were 6 and Jerry was nearly 3.
No one knows how long we were in that closet. We had sores from our own excrement so I’m assuming several days. Cindy had cried so much she had a hernia and required emergency surgery.
My mother was and IS still a miserable piece of shit. She didn’t care what her friends or dealers did to us. The rest of our family didn’t care what our grandfather did to us.
Now you know why I’m so sure that there ARE people NOT in prison who should be. There are also people in prison who shouldn’t be because they were coerced into copping a plea.
Cindy was married to Larry when she became pregnant with Stephaney. Larry moved into mine and Cindy’s fully furnished home with a TV and little else. I never liked him and liked him less after Cindy gave birth to Stephaney. I passed him going into the hospital and asked “where are you going?” He angrily responded “anywhere but here. I wanted a boy.” What an idiot.
The reason Stephaney’s name is Stephaney is because Larry had written Stephen on the birth certificate. Cindy and I changed it.
Larry was still living in our home when I met Robert. I mainly married him to get away from Larry. He wasn’t violent to Cindy in front of me.
Larry waited until I married and moved out. This time when a man raised his hand at Cindy, she fought back. No one was going to hit her again. Cindy beat Larry with a hairbrush the first time he raised a hand at her and he never tried to hit her again.
My first husband had a violent temper. I was by far older than Cindy when I married. I was 24. I just couldn’t stand Larry anymore. I missed Cindy and the girls. Leigh Ann was like my own child.
I married in Las Vegas. No wedding dress. No frivolity and beaten so badly on my wedding night because I didn’t want to be intimate that I stayed in the hotel room 4 days. I didn’t have anywhere else to go. I hated Larry. I was trapped and I knew it.
Coming from our background I didn’t know violence was unusual. But my wedding night before the ink was even dry on the license taught me that my marriage would be as bad as my childhood.
Robert moved me to San Clemente within months of marrying taking me solely to get me away from Cindy and the girls in 1988.
I miscarried in CA several times due to violence. I felt I would never escape violence at that time in my life. I was separated from Cindy and the girls and isolated. I was damn near suicidal for the first time in my life.
Robert had left my car in Texas. Know this- controlling people isolate you. I lived it. I know. I got out but it cost me $248k and 5 years in courtrooms. Escaping my first marriage was a WAR. I eventually won.
Six months after moving to CA, Cindy and the girls came to visit. Larry left a message on my home recorder. “I’ve cleaned out the house. There’s nothing here don’t come back.”
Cindy wanted to return to TX. I flew back with her after arguing with Robert about it. I didn’t care. There was nothing in my house. Not a spoon or ice tray. Larry took all of Cindy’s, Leigh Ann’s and Stephaney’s clothing, shoes, everything. Not even a can of soup was left. My car was stripped. The seats were missing. The radio. Everything.
I loaded Cindy and the girls into her car and drove them to San Clemente and moved them in with me.
Cindy “got along with Robert” as well as I did with Larry. But she lived with us until she could get through a college course and find work in CA. She saved up and finally in 1990 rented her own apartment about 5 mins from our house. Cindy was happy. But her happiness was short lived.
Our grandmother who was always manipulative and a parasite moved into Cindy’s apartment while I was watching the girls and she was at work. She threw all of Cindy’s things into the hall and took the master bedroom. I would’ve thrown her out but Cindy didn’t. Instead she accepted what she shouldn’t have for 18 years with the lady who knew and allowed her husband to sexually abuse us to live rent free with her. Cindy was downtrodden. I was angry. I never have forgiven my family for what happened to us and I never will. People who tell you to forgive others have no idea what they are asking and expecting of you.
18 years later, Cindy did kick grandma out. She should’ve kicked her out to begin with. After all, she never protected us. She had a son and a daughter. She was the most self centered conniving person I’ve ever encountered.
Larry filed for a divorce and claimed to have custody of Stephaney although he didn’t. In fact she was going to pre K in CA but the lazy ass judge didn’t ask for any documentation to prove he had possession of Stephaney and effectively gave Larry a free pass on child support.
In 1992, all of us moved back to Texas. My husband and I moved out of our house with my son. Cindy, grandma and the girls left their apartment.
For a year Cindy lived with Robert and I and my son in our house with the girls. Grandma lived with her daughter. That was a short lived arrangement. Her daughter didn’t want her. Her son didn’t want her. Their solution was to dump her on Cindy AGAIN.
Cindy got an apartment with dead weight non rent paying grandma taking the master bedroom again. Cindy was paying all the bills and sleeping on the floor in the girls room. I always worked flexible jobs so I could take the girls to school and pick them up.
Cindy had just left my house when she was in a life changing accident at Fina when a drunk backed into her car as she was putting gas in to go to work and was broke in half. They careflighted her to JPS.
Cindy had what’s called a 360. She was one of the very first people to undergo this type of surgery. 12lbs of metal were put in her back. I picked the girls up from school and moved them in with me.
It would be over a year before Cindy could even try to walk. There was a hospital bed in the living room. The physical therapist suggested dance classes for her mobility. It was there she met Steve, a truck driver who stopped in for a burger.
Within months we were practicing walking at Ridgmar Mall the very same mall I was working at Whataburger when I was pulled for those 5 commercials from behind the cash register from a talent scout.
Steve paid Cindy’s bills and bought her a car. I told her to marry him and she did. They moved to a larger place and I intentionally moved Cindy and Steve’s things into the master bedroom and bumped grandma. She was dead weight and Bitchy. Both of her children had dumped her on Cindy for years. She wasn’t getting the master bedroom anymore. Cindy NOW had a husband. The fight over the master bedroom raged on but Cindy dug her feet in and didn’t give in.
My marriage was getting more volatile as I was modeling and working and at Cindy’s or with her whenever possible. After another incident that resulted in a ruptured uterus, I filed for divorce. I had no credit and no money and couldn’t afford the payments on my car Robert had financed. He had controlled my money throughout our marriage.
When he told me to make the car payments, I knew I couldn’t struggling to make the house payment and my blood sucking attorneys so I went to a tote the note place and used a mink to get a Geo Storm. It had no A/C but I didn’t know that because it was winter. I drove it for 4 years until I could get a Sable. I was proud of that car.
Guy McCollum walked into one of my two jobs at the time, Texas Patios and asked me out. I was 4 years into a child custody battle. I’d been through 6 attorneys trying to divorce Robert. I couldn’t ever have more children and within 2 weeks Guy asked me to marry him. There was a deal IN PLACE though. He would hire an attorney and end the custody battle. He did. He also had a 6 year affair with Laurie during our entire marriage.
Guy also had me file a joint tax “since we were married.” I came home from the lake house to find Laurie in my clothes saying “you’re supposed to be at the lake house.” I was shocked, embarrassed and right all along. I knew he was having an affair.
But nothing would prepare me for a tax lien of nearly $600k from signing that joint tax return. How would I buy a car? Get a job? Rent an apartment?
Like with Robert, I buckled up for a war. I had no idea the Sable he told me wasn’t nice enough that I worked so hard to get he gave to his nephew in exchange for the Cadillac Deville he “gave me” was a bad deal until I filed for divorce. “You will need to make the payments on the car you are driving. They are $978.”
Horrified I had lost my ability yet AGAIN to afford to keep a car, now had a tax lien and was driving a car I couldn’t afford for the SECOND TIME.
I went to the Cadillac dealership that serviced the car I was driving and got a job selling them. Free demo, free gas and health insurance with a paycheck. I quit Texas Patios and Fancy Lady.
I used my spousal support payments to hire a photographer and run print ads in country clubs. I was making more money than I ever imagined and took a part time job at H&R Block. Why? To learn about tax law and innocent spouse. I filed against Guy and I won. The tax lien was removed.
When I tell you I’m resilient- believe me I am. And I’m not stupid either. I won custody of my son, I found a way to get a car without having to pay for it and I was winning. My glossy ads brought in the clients.
My current husband bought 2 Cadillacs from me. Then bought me a Crossfire and built me a house. A year later real estate crashed. The banks called the paper on his developments. He went broke overnight.
I created Texas Twins Treasures and sold everything we had. We were sitting on the floor. My couture clothes, jewelry, furs, you name it were ALL sold to save the house. I didn’t fire sale anything though because I knew what I had and what it was worth.
I was working 2 jobs again. The lawsuits began rolling in. Now I had to learn debt law and I did. My husband was sued 12 times and suicidal. I told him “trust me. No one will fight harder for you than me.”
I was right and I prepared then filed everything necessary as well as appearances, interrogatories and admissions and EFFECTIVELY forced non suits filed against my husband by 3rd party debt collectors and THEN created Debt Lawsuit Solutions. I sold it after I saved him.
Told ya I’m smart. Don’t underestimate me. Most people in media do. It’s a mistake.
Cindy had given up her job to raise the twins. We needed a way to spend time together. She began creating her own jewelry we sold at Texas Twins Treasures. I began refurbishing junk furniture I found on Craig’s list to replace the expensive furniture I had to sell.
When we finally sold the home he had built me after 7 years struggling to save it in 2012, the lady who bought it “expected” me to leave the furniture I had refurbished. Lol. Eff her. We sold at $89k below market value.
I told her “if you want it buy it. What I don’t need I will sell.” I did and made $12k on my flipped and refurbished furnishings I didn’t bring with me to this house.
Note to people pointing and saying “I want this or that,” you might want to ask a price if you’re serious. Otherwise, bug off.
Texas Twins Event’s was our idea to 1. Spend time together and 2. Give others the Dream Events we had never had and 3. Be able to bring the twins with us. We never expected clients to hire the twins for flips and tips as flower girls. But it happened.
By 2016, I again expanded Texas Twins Events to include Texas Prison Weddings. Prison weddings now compromise 90% of all bookings. If you want to marry in a prison, you want me to marry you.
As usual I’m sitting in a parking lot waiting. I’m always early. My bride Shoculine is working in Bryan and meeting Stephanie who I’ve been trying to marry for 3 years now and I at First Watch. I’m the first one in the lot.
Stephanie has had so many setbacks that’s shes nervous we will be cancelled at Hamilton. Shoculine drops in but doesn’t have time to join us as I hand her paperwork I ran by to pick up last night on my way home from a venue after another long day in Parker County.
Stephanie and I enjoy lunch then go do her bridal photos before heading to the unit.
While waiting on prescreen, she opens her wedding gifts from me and loves them. I ask her to check the gifts I bought for her daughter. She loves them too. We have a wonderful day and ceremony and she’s finally after all of these years married.
Last Friday my Robertson bride ran out of gas on her way to meet me for her bridal photo’s. We rolled into a LaQuinta like we owned the place and had a hilarious time.
I was traveling all weekend to Arkansas, Missouri and Louisianna when my bride, Rene called me crying worried that she would be as beautiful as my other brides. I talked to her for an hour and assured her that she would. It took numerous surgeries for her to be able to get teeth and she was at the oral surgeon while I was at Robertson which was in the back on my mind.
I have a fear of dentists due to an incident as a child where one dentist slapped me in Lompoc.
I had broke my teeth roller skating on a coffee table and couldn’t stop crying. He slapped me with an instrument in my mouth that went through my cheek. He shouldn’t have been working on children and after that incident and subsequent lawsuit wasn’t any longer. But the fear of something unexpected at the dentist haunts me even today.
Rene was concerned that she would know how to smile since it took so many surgeries to finally get her teeth. I assured her it wouldn’t be a problem and I was right.
The past week has been crazy as has the past several months. My niece, Stephaney returning to Fort Worth from Springfield, Illinois isn’t helping either. Stephaney is a cyclone of chaos.
For 18 years now and while raising her twin daughters. Cindy and I have unwittingly been enablers.
I first “learned” of Stephaney’s return from my husband who called to tell me “Stephaney is on something and dancing in the street again. I saw her on 4 of the video cameras.”
My neighbors after 8 years of Stephaney’s unpredictable behavior here rarely talk to me. The police cars and ambulances transporting her to yet another involuntary commitment are why. I don’t blame them but they have no idea what loving an addict is like either the lucky bastards. It’s painful, shocking, heartbreaking and never ending for Cindy and I. Her neighbors don’t talk to her either. Eff em. They aren’t paying our bills.
I used to care but I stopped years ago when one neighbor told me “what she thought” about my client base and a few days later, bothered to tell me “I saw your niece acting strange in the sculpture with water by Camp Bowie.”
What do you say to this. I said nothing. I get phone calls and messages on FB about Stephaney all the time. Last week while working county one day when I wasn’t working State and Federal, she asked me to take her to apply for a job. I knew within about ten minutes that she had been using. Laughing. Talking to herself one minute and angry or agitated the next.
It’s miserable trying to “look it act normal” in abnormal situations. Ask me I’ve been doing it for 18 years. So has Cindy while raising Stephaney’s twin daughters.
Cindy called to ask “how’s it going?” I hated to tell her “she will never get a job in this condition. She needs a 51/50” but I did anyway. A crazy phone call would catch Cindy off guard and quite possibly cause a heart attack again. I cannot fix Stephaney. I also cannot chauffeur her everywhere either. I work 6-7 days a week and drive at least 3k miles a week and fly the rest of the time to prisons and venues. I talk, email, text and message hundreds of people wanting to marry an inmate every month alone and must stay focused. Appearing normal. Pretending I don’t have a crazy niece I cannot control. It’s gut wrenching.
One LinkedIn connection asked “why I haven’t written any blogs this week?” The truth is because Steph is back in Texas and it won’t end well. It never does. There are so many shoes falling when it comes to Steph that my son (again) told me “I don’t want my son around her. She has never been clean more than a month.” He’s right.
No one in our family other than Cindy and I will even talk to her. Her daughters won’t. Her sister won’t. Our husbands won’t. Stephaney has successfully alienated our entire family including her own children.
Cindy and I begrudgingly try to help. She’s back at the group home again. I bought her a bus ticket. I cannot drive her and with her acting “off” while high, my tolerance with her in one of my vehicles is further than low. She thinks no one knows she’s using but everyone does.
Cindy and I discussed our mistake when Dallas PD was going to take her back to Cotton County after we had dropped her at the bus station thinking we were sending her to treatment.
The only reason we saved her was because we were trying as usual to get her into treatment. We both wish now that we had let Dallas take her back to Oklahoma but hindsight is 20/20.
She just called me coughing her head off at a bus station. I know she’s using. She (as usual) doesn’t think I know. No one called her in at my neighborhood acting crazy. The parents grabbed their kids and left the park. My affluent neighbors sat on the patio at Roy Pope drinking wine and watching me coax her into my suv to get her out of the neighborhood.
My stress as well as Cindy’s waiting on more people contacting us to tell us “they saw Stephaney acting crazy” continues in Fort Worth.
Meanwhile Cindy and I continue to try and act normal for our families and our clients.
I feel like I’m walking on a tightrope and my schedule is overwhelming with travel and commitments.
I have no idea where this is going to end but with Stephaney, it never ends well. She’s somewhere on a bus drifting and using on another bender. I pray she doesn’t show up in my neighborhood but know it’s highly likely she will.
She showed up at my daughter in laws job again just last Friday morning. I can’t control this. Any of it.
I like control and structure but my niece continues to rob her mother as well as myself from normality or structure.
I found time Monday between Renee’s photo shoot, Green Bay Unit and Tarrant County Jail to take Stephaney to apply for a job at the same restaurant I took Renee and her friends to on Monday. She got the job and starts Monday. Will she keep it? Not if she starts using again. The “Stephaney cycle” is always unpredictable and just when I think things are going to be okay with her they aren’t.
Tomorrow I’m at CI Flightline and buying work clothes for Stephaney. Will she keep this job? I have no idea but Cindy and I have raised two generations of children, created successful businesses and can no longer take care of Stephaney. She must learn to take care of herself.
I now can write checks for vehicles and do. I now can do whatever I want to do and work with whoever I want to. I don’t need a shitty one sided contract. Hard to believe that a set of twins eating out of a dumpster at 15 have survived and thrived without anyone other than ourselves to rely on but it’s true.
Elena was honest, passionate and didn’t want a contract. Our word to commit to her project was all she wanted and flew halfway around the world to meet Cindy and I on our birthday in 2019. It’s hard to impress me but she did.
Everyone else in media sitting on their butts sending stupid contracts is wasting their time as well as my own. Send a contract with some common sense or don’t bother.
I work 6-7 days a week and my clients, Elena’s movie and my priorities aren’t with scripted television. You couldn’t script my life. No one could. Cindy and I are warriors. We found solutions to problems. We overcame any obstacles in our paths and we did it all on our own. We didn’t need our family and we don’t need media or scripted bullshit that portrays us or our clients in a negative or false light.
You CANNOT climb the LADDERS of SUCCESS with YOUR hands in your POCKETS. We didn’t. We persevered. We overcame. We acted outside the box and we are survivors just like our clients doing it all AND doing it all alone planning to marry an inmate…