My Best 4 Years

 “I remember your bare feet, down the hallway. I remember your little laugh.” 


      I have to talk about something hard today, because my heart has been hurting.

     My little brother came into the world on September 24th of 2012, and made my heart so full of love. He was the child of my father and his wife, so my half-brother, but I never felt so close to someone. He had bright blue eyes, and the second I saw them I was locked in. He was so perfect and pure. He hadn’t made any mistakes yet, and didn’t have time behind him where the world messed him up. I vowed to protect him, no matter what, and never stop loving him. 

     Having my little brother made the time spent with my father easier. He made me laugh and smile, and I knew I would be okay because he lit up the room with his smile, or dancing. 

     He gave me the best hugs.

      He was ticklish on the bottom of his left foot, and he used to scream when I blew raspberries on his tummy. He couldn’t function right if he didn’t have juice when he woke up in the morning. The thing I loved most about him was when he squeezed my pinky finger with his tiny, tight fist.

I can still feel you hold my hand, little man.

     Things got tough in the few years I was with him, as most of you know. I made a very hard decision to leave my father’s house after the abuse got too bad. 

     With that, came the consequence of losing my precious, baby brother. I knew this. I thought I was prepared to leave without him. 

I remember your blue eyes, looking into mine, like we had our own secret club.

     When I knew what decision I had to make, I couldn’t stand to look at him. One of the nights before I left, I ended up having to babysit him. He was with me in the living room, dancing to Pharrell’s “Happy”, his favorite song at the time, when I just burst into hysterics. He stopped dancing and sat in my lap with his Cheerios. He didn’t understand why I was crying. I didn’t want him to understand.

     He started laughing, then realized I was crying and put his fingers on my chin. “Tay Tay, was wrong?” I didn’t answer, obviously, because that made me cry even more. He then put out his finger, circling it around my nose and making a bzzzzzBOOP noise, something we did to each other. “Tay Tay okay?”

      I just smiled at him, tears falling down my face like Niagara Falls at this point. “Tay Tay okay.” 

     He stood up, wobbling on his heels and bent down, kissing me with his eyes open. 

      “I love you, I love you, I love you.” I remember repeating to him. 

      “I wuv you too.” He said, stretching out to escape my hug. He walked away and started playing with his firetruck. 

     That was the last conversation I remember having with him. I wish, more than anything, I would have made it last longer. I would have made him hang on a little longer. I would have kissed him harder. But I didn’t.

     I don’t regret leaving my father’s house a bit. With any decision comes consequences. And this is a consequence I will forever have to deal with. 

     I can’t protect him anymore. I can’t see him anymore. My sister updates me all of the time on how he is, what he’s learning in preschool, what joke he made. Without her, I wouldn’t even know he was alive. He doesn’t know that I am who I am. He refers to me as “Amber’s sister.”

     That breaks my heart.

     I have a song for him, that I listen to when I miss him more than usual. I encourage you to read the lyrics, though they don’t fully pertain to my situation. I’ll post a link to the song as well.

I remember your bare feet down the hallway
I remember your little laugh
Race cars on the kitchen floor, plastic dinosaurs
I love you to the moon and back

I remember your blue eyes looking into mine
Like we had our own secret club
I remember you dancing before bed time
Then jumping on me, waking me up

I can still feel you hold my hand, little man
And even the moment I knew
You fought it hard like an army guy
Remember I leaned in and whispered to you

Come on baby with me, we’re gonna fly away from here
You were my best four years

I remember the drive home
When the blind hope turned to crying and screaming “Why?”
Flowers pile up in the worst way, no one knows what to say
About a beautiful boy who died

And it’s about to be Halloween
You could be anything you wanted if you were still here
I remember the last day when I kissed your face
And whispered in your ear

Come on baby with me, we’re gonna fly away from here
Out of this curtained room in this hospital grey, we’ll just disappear
Come on baby with me, we’re gonna fly away from here
You were my best four years

What if I’m standing in your closet trying to talk to you?
What if I kept the hand-me-downs you won’t grow into?
And what if I really thought some miracle would see us through?
What if the miracle was even getting one moment with you?

Come on baby with me, we’re gonna fly away from here
Come on baby with me, we’re gonna fly away from here
You were my best four years

I remember your bare feet down the hallway
I love you to the moon and back

https://youtu.be/7WiGTaD1VRc

     Tay Tay always loves you, Austin Ray. To the moon and back.
Until next time,

Tay❤

Take a Risk, Take a Chance, Make a Change

“I spread my wings and I learn how to fly.”

     Today’s blog is relatively cut and dry, because I just needed to get this all out there. I’ve seen a lot of posts on social media about how people are “scared to do this” or “scared to do that.” People. We can’t let fear run our lives. 

     While fear can keep you safe, it’s not exactly your best friend when you’re attempting to broaden your horizons. 

     It’s not easy to step into unknown territory, where you’re not exactly sure how far it is until your feet hit the ground. Some stay away from the idea of New, because it’s out of their comfort zone. 

     But what if no one ever tried anything New? What if our entire lives amounted to nothing, because we were too frightened to step outside of The Comfort Zone? There would be no Picasso, no Shakespeare, no Johnathan Larson. The world would never know of Beethoven, or even Oprah Winfrey.  

     These names are known to the world because they all had the courage to do something that scared them, and became successful because of it. 

     Not every single one of us are destined to be widely known and infamous for our choices in life. It’s just not realistic. We can still take away from those that are, and establish the notion into our own lives. 

     Maybe if you take a chance, you’ll earn a promotion at work. Or take the risk of wanting to go cliff diving. There are benefits to every experience you have. Sometimes, that benefit may just end up being the life lesson of “well I’m never doing that again..” In the end, you learn and grow, and that is the most valuable thing. 

     If you don’t take risks, you’ll forever be sitting in your bed with the sheets to your chin. You won’t have a life. 

     Swallow the fear and jump into the water head first. 

     Just imagine what life would be like if no one took chances. It would be a colorless, monotone world to live in. How sad that really is. 

     Get out there into the world, and pack fear into your suitcase. 

      Stop living your life just because you’re scared. You may be on the brink of something so incredibly beautiful.
Until next time, 
Tay❤

I Hope You’re Somewhere Praying

       (One year since the publishing of You Will Not Win)

     People always ask me “If you could change what’s happened to you, would you take it all back and redo?” And in all honesty, I have a lot of difficulty with an answer for that question.

Well, you almost had me fooled. Told me that I was nothing without you.

     It’s been hard not having my dad. I used to see fathers with their little girls, hand-in-hand in the street and go cry for 30 minutes in my car. Sometimes, I still do. It isn’t easy. I didn’t have him to teach me how to change a flat tire, and I will never have the father/daughter relationships you see on TV. I see baby pictures of us or hear stories from my birth and just want to cry. My friends have their fathers on Father’s Day, and for me it is the saddest day on earth. It is hard sometimes to not be wanted by someone who is supposed to want you.

      No child deserves to be abused in any form, whether it be physical or verbal. I wish I could have hugged my father, or felt like he loved me back. I wish I had that.

..and after everything you’ve done, I can thank you for how strong I have become 

     But, I don’t think I would be the same person I am right now had I not been through the abuse situation with my father. It has changed me in so many ways, I don’t even know how to count them. Through this experience of sharing my story, I have encountered many people, who I would not have had the opportunity to meet had this not have happened. 

(I was obviously not doing too well. 2015)

     While I had a lack of a father, I was raised on the idea that I don’t need a man to survive. My mother and my aunt were always around, and they are two of the strongest women I know in this world. Sometimes, when there are bugs or car trouble, we may buffer out for a moment, but we always figure it out.

     I am a stronger person because of everything that has happened in my life.

     So no, to answer that question, I don’t think I would take anything back for one second. 

     The healing process over the past year hasn’t been easy. There have been bumps and scrapes and stalls, even points where I thought I didn’t want to go on any longer. 

Cause you brought the flames and you put me through hell. I had to learn how to fight for myself. And we both know all the truth I could tell. I’ll just say this is I wish you farewell.

      In my original post of You Will Not Win, https://taylorenicholl.com/2016/06/16/you-will-not-win/ this poem was supposed to be included, but at the time I felt too vulnerable to post it. I’d like to share it with you now because I feel it is important.

    Blue collars and

     Strong cologne.

     I skip to the door as you arrive home. 

     And you smile.

     And we laugh.

     And you love me.

     Blue collars and

     Strong cologne

     You say I’m in trouble through the telephone.

     And you’re mad.

     And I cry.

     And you spank me.

     Blue collars and

     Strong cologne

     I stay up crying into my pillow

     And you sleep.

     And I sleep.

     And I still love you.

     Blue collars and

     Strong cologne

      It’s 5 years later and I’m home alone

     And you’re drunk

    And I’m scared

    And I’m lonely.

     Blue collars and

     Strong cologne 

     You’re bringing home girls that I don’t know

    And you kiss

    And I think

    And you don’t know.

     Blue collars and

     Strong cologne 

      You’re in a fit since I was on my cell phone

     And you’re red

     And I’m bleeding

     And I don’t know if you love me.

     Blue collars and

     Strong cologne

     I’m the one drunk and you don’t know.

     And you’re always mad

     And I’m always sad.

     And you don’t care.

     Blue collars and

     Strong cologne

      I’ve gone too many bruises to hold

     And your knuckles

     And my shoulder

    And my heart.

  

     Blue collars and

     Strong cologne

     I’m finally free of your cruel chokehold

     And I finally know

     That the truth was

      You never

       Loved me.

     Child abuse affects more than people tend to realize. It isn’t just physical scars left on you. Scabs heal and bruises fade away, but what we are left with is calluses on our heart and injuries to our brains that stay for a lifetime. 

     I am forever changed, forever healing. As much as I have tried to convince myself otherwise, I will always be healing. There will always be pieces of my puzzle that need to be reinforced, or parts that are missing. I could spend all of this time filled with anger towards my father for the way I am, but I have come to the conclusion that I can’t change it. When I’m scared of men, or I flinch with loud noises, I must be patient with myself.

 (These people are very important to me.❤)

    We can sit around all day and play What If with our lives. What if we chose this path instead? What if it worked out the other way? What if we hadn’t experienced this? 

     At the end of the day, I am me. And even if I wasn’t enough for him, I’m going to be enough for me, no matter what. Anyone else who comes along can either take it or leave it.

I hope you’re somewhere praying, praying.

I hope your soul is changing, changing.

     I refuse to be bitter, I will only be better. I won’t be defined by the demons of my past, despite how dark and twisty they may be. 

Sometimes I pray for you at night.

Some day maybe you’ll see the light.

Some say you’re gonna get what you give…

     I won’t spend my time on earth hating what used to be. 

    The past year since I published You Will Not Win has been an eye opener for sure. I have too many people to thank to put in this blog, so if you’re reading this and you need to be thanked, thank you ❤

     It’s been 2 years since I left my dad’s house, and it is only now that I am starting to feel truly free. 

     

    …but some things only God can forgive.


     Until next time,
     Tay❤
This song means everything to me:

Praying by Kesha

https://youtu.be/v-Dur3uXXCQ

To the One Struggling on Father’s Day

   “Father, I’m gonna say thank you, even if I don’t understand. Oh, you left us alone. I guess that made me who I am.” -Demi Lovato


    I know you feel like there are pieces of you chipping off every time you log on to social media and see yet another person happily posing with their father for the camera.

     I know you feel pure anger towards every kid who gets to run home today and hug their dad.

     I know you walk by the card section in Wal-Mart and glance at the display of Father’s Day cards, and feel so empty you just want to cry.

      Let’s not even mention looking at old photographs.

     Most of all, I know you feel so many emotions today, including hatred towards yourself on multiple levels. Hatred for being you. Hatred for blaming yourself for the way your father is. Hatred for not doing more. Or even hatred for hating others for their happiness towards their fathers.

     I want you to know you aren’t alone.

     I know how it feels to even dread waking up on this holiday, knowing what the day is to hold.

     Maybe your father is no longer in the picture. Maybe your father passed away tragically. Maybe you don’t even know who your father is. Or, maybe your father is too drunk to remember your name.

     Know that you aren’t alone today.

    We’re all struggling. Why were we dealt the handful of cards that left us with or without our father? Why couldn’t we have that father with the big smile, or that father who hugs too tight, or the father who plays piano?  

     Truth be told, we could wallow all day and wonder “why this, why that?” for the rest of eternity. We will never know why things happen the way that they do.

     You have every right to be mad, or sad, or whatever emotion you want to be. Buy a Father’s Day card. Rip it up. Scream. Do what you have to do.

     The little kid inside of you breaks every time you see someone walking down the street, hand in hand with their father. Because you don’t have that. And you want more than anything to just be able to open up your phone, dial him up and say “Daddy I love you.”

     You want him to say it back. 

     Some of us want him to mean it. To genuinely mean it. But we know he never will.

     Father’s Day is a difficult day for some of us, but we aren’t alone. 

     Rather than being bitter about it, today when I see a girl post a picture of herself and her father hugging and smiling on Facebook, I will try to like it this year. I will try to smile for her.

     I know that for every post out there with someone loving on their father, there is someone who hasn’t had to go through what we have without our fathers. And that sits well within my heart. 

     It’s okay if you can’t, though. It’s okay if today is too hard for you.

     I know what that’s like.

     We know.

     So to anyone struggling this Father’s Day, or any Father’s Day, or any day without a father, know you have plenty of people who feel like you. We feel the sadness, the anger. We know the resentment and the emptiness. We know the hardships. Truth be told, I don’t know if it gets easier. But I know for sure, as humans, we become stronger and we become better as a whole. So even if it doesn’t get better, we will.

     And I think that is enough.
Until next time,
Tay❤