Posted by Ilana Angel
It is with a broken heart that I share with you my relationship with the Englishman has ended. We broke up this week and my heart is shattered. He is a remarkable person and I am disappointed because I have never wanted, or worked so hard, for a relationship to work. My romantic heart is grateful for our time together, and my girlish heart hopes we find our way back.
He was wonderful and his kindness allowed me to uncover pieces of my heart I didn’t know existed. He has become my best friend over the past year and while I would like to think we will remain friends, the fact is I don’t believe you can be friends with someone you loved. When a relationship is over, maintaining a friendship is hard. It is truly a sad and confusing time.
I am going to be fine. I am a woman who lives a quiet and protected life, yet I share it here out loud, and I take comfort in knowing you are pulling for me and pray for my happiness. Thank you for listening, and supporting my journey. To the Englishman, you are very special and I wish for you all the things you wish for yourself, and more. You made my heart sing.
I will cry and struggle with the break up, but in time I will be able to look back on the happiness we shared and move forward. With each failed love affair one can only pray they are closer to finding their Beshert. Time will heal, God will comfort, and hope will remain. There are no guarantees in love so all we can do is take a risk, hope for the best, and keep the faith.
5.17.13 at 5:27 pm | I am never going on another coffee date.
5.14.13 at 4:36 pm | Love needs a kick in the ass.
5.11.13 at 12:44 pm | My Mom gets the day off because this one is on me.
5.9.13 at 4:10 pm | Love s certainly a game, but it does not need to. . .
5.7.13 at 7:41 pm | Some questions simply cannot be answered.
5.5.13 at 3:19 pm | The hardest lesson to learn is to be quiet and. . .
5.11.13 at 12:44 pm | My Mom gets the day off because this one is on me. (751)
5.13.12 at 7:58 am | There is a common thread that connects mothers. . . (394)
5.14.13 at 4:36 pm | Love needs a kick in the ass. (357)
March 26, 2013 | 3:25 pm
Posted by Ilana Angel
I pray everyday. I wake up in prayer and go to sleep in prayer. A lot of time it is not a prayer as much as it is a conversation with God. I talk about what is going on so I can put it all out into the universe and hope it comes back in a way that makes things better. Lately I have been praying for change. I am traveling in circles and I need change to send me in a new direction.
I have been working on changes in my work and for the first time in a very long time I feel like I am close to my professional goals being reached. It has been slow and steady and while I know that can win a race, I am not in a race. I am simply ready for things to happen and feel prepared for the changes that will come when those things finally do come. God willing.
I have been patient as I watch others reach their goals. I have been patient as I saw opportunities come and go. I have been patient as I dealt with the consequences of making wrong decisions. I have been patient as I teach myself to change the things about me that I don’t like. I have been patient as I learn about myself and enter into the next phase of my life.
I am going to turn 47 in a couple of weeks and for my birthday I am praying for change. I want to value myself enough to know that I deserve everything. I want to believe that my dreams will come true, and not just hope that they will. I want to know that I am living my best life. I want to change things in my life to make room for changes to come into my life.
I can control my weight, so that is on my list. I can control how I treat the people in my life that I love, so that is on the list. I can control how I treat the people in my life who should not be, so that is on my list. I want to be an exceptional mother, daughter, sister, friend and partner to the people that matter the most to me, so that is on the list. Good thing I like lists.
I believe there are changes coming and I am excited. Even if the changes are not what I want or expect, I can only pray that I will learn something because knowledge is power, and power matters when you are facing the unknown. I don’t know what the future holds so all I can do is get ready and surround myself with people that I love, trust, and dream with.
Before people panic and think there are hidden messages in this blog, there are not. I'm just ready for some things to change, and so I am working on being excited rather than scared. I have been dreaming of these changes for a long time and cannot wait for it all to kick in. Not only for me, but for the people that I love and am anxious to share everything with.
Not everything needs to change of course because my life is blessed and I am a lucky girl. It is really just about getting ready because when change comes I want to be in a comfortable place in my relationships, in my body, and with my prayers. It is a scary and exciting time so I will continue to pray, hope change finally comes, and focus on keeping the faith.
March 25, 2013 | 9:20 am
Posted by Ilana Angel
I have had a rough couple of weeks. I have been struggling to find my way and it has left me exhausted. I am worried and afraid about things that I have no control over. I’m not sure if it is my approaching birthday, the fact that my son has his own car and is out and about on his own, or the fact that I am simply emotionally spent and therefore misinterpreting things that are said to me from a place of frustration, rather than gratitude.
My spiral began when I started to read up on the rape case in Steubenville, Ohio. That social media helped convict two young men of rape was fascinating to me. It is proof of the power of a blog that a blogger blew this case wide open. I started to read because I was interested in the social media aspects of the case, but quickly became consumed with the story. The way the Jane Doe was treated broke my heart into a million pieces.
The 16 year old girl at the centre of this story has been disrespected and discarded over and over again. It speaks to our society that this girl is being blamed for ruining the lives of the boys who raped her. That this is how rape victims are treated is mind boggling to me. I am offended not only as a woman, but more importantly as a human being. People need to understand that rape is a word that covers all sexual assaults.
Rape is a violation and there are many ways in which someone can be raped. You can talk to a hundred rape victims and all their stories will be different in terms of what their experiences were, but at the core, the violation is the same. The emotions that come wtih being hurt this way are the same. Rape can mean a lot of different things and each definition is a form of abuse and should not be experienced by anyone.
The boys who were convicted in Ohio are the same age as my own son. I can sympathize with their families, but at the same time I question what was taught and not taught in their homes. My son is being raised to respect not only women, but himself. I know that people never think this can happen in their families, but I know what I have taught my child and he knows what is right and what is wrong. That is a fact.
I was the victim of a very violent sexual assault when I was 22 years old. I spent a year in and out of the hospital, and another year in and out of court, as I fought for my voice to be heard. The pain and torment was worth it when my attacker was convicted of kidnapping, forcible confinement, and rape. Many lives were altered with the conviction. Not only the lives of my family and me, but also for my attacker and his family. It is hard to leave Jane Doe behind.
In reading about Jane Doe in Ohio, I have had an opportunity to revisit my 22 year old self and I am really proud of her. I have never been shy about speaking my mind and standing up for myself and what I believe in, but my experience at 22 really shaped who I am now as a person and has provided me with a grace I never knew I would have. I am not writing to talk about rape, as much as I am writing to talk about hope for Jane Doe.
Today is the beginning of Passover, which commemorates the liberation of Jews, so as Pesach approaches I am going to liberate myself. My name is Ilana Angel and I was a Jane Doe. It does not define who I am as a human being. I survived a horrific experience, but I am thriving, strong, and I am wise. I am a wonderful person who has love and a full life. I am free of the label and believe that this day can come for every Jane Doe.
I want this young girl in Ohio to know she is going to be okay. She will heal from the humiliation, pain, and deep and crippling sorrow that comes from being Jane Doe. She will reach a point when she will find love, give love, accept love, and not question love. She will be all the things she wanted to be before she was labeled with the horrible status of Jane Doe, and she will take a special feeling of pride in each step she takes forward.
For those who celebrate Passover I wish you a happy Pesach and hope you have Seders full of love, laughter, and joy. I am going to mark the holiday by releasing the chains that label me what I am not. My life is blessed and many experiences have made me who I am. I will always keep Jane Doe in my heart and pray for all who share the name are able to experience their own Exodus to freedom. I pray that they lose the label and keep the faith.
March 24, 2013 | 8:25 pm
Posted by Ilana Angel
I love my home. I feel happy and safe here. I have created a comfortable space and proudly raise my son here. It is comfortable, casual, and inviting. I like to think it has good energy. I live here with my son and two cats. Fiddles is my son’s cat, and Gopher is Fiddle’s cat. Fiddles is the best cat in the world, and Gopher is an asshole. We are one big happy family.
Today my home was rocked by murder. I cannot wrap my head around what happened and the carnage is heartbreaking. Important to note that every single window in my home has a screen on it. I have a patio off my living room that is also screened in. I am not a fan of bugs and have done all I can to ensure that none fly in so all my windows and doors are on lockdown. Nothing gets in withuot my knowing.
I was horrified to come home to a murder scene. In my bedroom, at the foot of my bed, was a dead bird. I screamed and jumped on the bed, only to notice the bird’s head on the side of my bed. There were feathers everywhere and I started crying and screaming as I realized I was home alone. I said a prayer for the bird and left my room closing the door.
I was on the couch shaking when the murderers approached. Fiddles came out looking sweet, while Gopher came in looking like an asshole with guilt in his eyes. They were both asking for food as Fiddles rubbed her head on my leg. I was disgusted by them both and stayed on the couch waiting for my son to get home so we could start the murder investigation.
It took my son 15 minutes to clear the carnage. When he was done I used a sage stick to smudge my entire house. I could not look at Fiddles or Gopher because I was mortified by the killing. They both looked guilty, and both had the audacity to be annoyed with me that I did not appreciate the gift they left for me in my room. These killer cats are crazy.
I don’t understand how a bird got in and I feel so sad it died such a violent death. I am now living with killers and need to check my room, and bed, for presents they might leave me. I am spooked and not a happy girl that a murder went down in my home. I feel like I’m living with cat mobsters and need to sleep with one eye open while I’m keeping the faith.
March 20, 2013 | 8:08 am
Posted by Ilana Angel
Everyone has their own set of rules when it comes to friendship, myself included. Those rules can get complicated when you are in love with your best friend, but that is another blog for another day. When it comes to a girlfriend, I have a very specific stance. If trust is lost, the friendship is over. I will and have walked away from people that I invested in, loved and trusted when they betrayed a confidence.
If you can’t trust a girlfriend, who can you trust? My best girlfriend Anjelica and me have been friends for 21 years. We have been through marriage, divorce, babies, love, heartache, and a fight or two. We have pissed each other off and needed to take a break, but we always come back together. That said, neither one of us has ever betrayed a confidence. Not one time.
The truth is that while I know a lot of people, and have many acquaintances, I don’t really have many friends. It takes a lot for me to trust, so my friendships are selective. I have trusted people too fast, shared with them, then had them betray me. I simply cannot get past it. I am at a stage in my life where quality matters more than quantity so I stick close to people I have history with.
Something happened today that made me think of a former friend. I would have loved to talk to her because I think she could have helped me, but I could not call her because she hurt me by sharing a secret I told her in confidence. It got me to thinking about the rules of friendship and if I am too harsh in my unwillingness to forgive her. I wonder if it is due to age or gender.
I decided to reach out to women I know and ask them what they thought the number one rule of a girlfriend friendship is. I spoke with J who is 16, S who is 25, T who is 37, B who is 46, and D who is 58. I asked them all the same question: What is the one thing that you would make you end a girlfriend friendship? All five women, from all five age groups, answered the same.
They used different vocabulary, but the bottom line is that for women, the breaking of a confidence is a deal breaker between girlfriends. 58 year old D dropped F bombs when saying how she would feel if her best friend told one of her secrets. 16 year old J was thoughtful in her response and I could hear hurt in her voice from just thinking of such a horrible thing happening.
Their answers were the same because at our core, women are the same. We expect that a man may lie to us, but a girlfriend is never supposed to lie. There is an inherent belief we will stick together, so when that trust is broken, we cannot forgive. I am amazed at things I have forgiven men in my life for in comparrison to things that have ended girlfriend friendships.
In speaking with these women I don't necessarily feel justified in ending this particular friendship, but I do feel more comfortable with my decision and the thought of contacting her is gone. I am a loyal friend who will always keep a secret so if my friends can't do the same, I will let them know, with a very colorful vocabulary, that we are done. They will be out and I will be keeping the faith.
March 13, 2013 | 12:03 am
Posted by Ilana Angel
On my way to work on Tuesday I heard that three Victoria’s Secret Angels were going to be at The Beverly Center mall doing an appearance. One of the girls was Candice Swanepeol. She is a South African beauty that serves as the screensaver for my 17 year old son’s laptop. In an attempt to be a cool mom, I called my son and told him we would go.
It took him a minute to catch his breath and even asked me what was happening. It was the cutest response and I was so happy to take him to meet his dream girl. I got him after school and we headed to the mall, which is about 30 minutes away from my house, give or take 10 minutes depending on traffic. He was excited the entire trip and it was adorable.
We arrived at the mall and headed to Victoria’s Secret. Well. There were so many people there I quickly calculated we would be in line for approximately 3 hours, give or take 10 minutes. I sent my kid to get in line and headed to the store to scope it out. I quickly learned if I spent $75 on swimwear, I got a VIP pass and moved to the front of the line.
Well. I went shopping. I bought a super cute white lace beach over up, and a beautiful pair of bikini bottoms to go with a top I already own, I paid for my goods and called my son to tell him to come to the front of the line. He hesitated to give up his spot but he came. I showed him the VIP pass and he almost passed out. He was now next to meet the angels.
I had to show my receipt when I took him to VIP and in doing so noticed I was charged incorrectly. I hung out with my kid, snapped a picture of my boy with his future wife, then went back to the register to show them there had been a mistake. The cover-up I bought was marked $48.50, but I was charged $69.50. It was then that I discovered Victoria’s secret.
If you are a total bitch, or a complete moron, you can get a job at Victoria’s Secret! Who knew? The woman who did my return rude, abrasive, entitled, and sarcastic. She fixed the price then told me I was $2.00 short to get the VIP photo op. I told her to just charge me the $2.00. That is when the bitch transformed into a complete moron before my eyes.
She did not understand what I said and insisted I shop for something or else. Really? Or else what? You are going to kick me out? Make my son give his picture back? You are selling underwear lady, not on Mob Wives. I was grossed out by her and would have told her off had it not been so ridiculous. I ended up buying a $15 cosmetic product to raise my total.
Would it have killed her to be nice? The mistake was hers not mine. She overcharged me and never bothered to apologize for that, only yell at me for trying to rip off Victoria’s Secret. Again, really? I paid 50 bucks for a piece of lace and I am ripping you off? I work hard for my money and if Victoria’s Secret does not appreciate my choosing to shop there, they can F off.
Back to the angels, they were lovely. Candice asked my son what his name was, and when he told her, Alessandra Ambrosio said hello to him by name. Then Karlie Kloss told him she really liked his sweater. Well. When you are a 17 year old boy “I like your sweater” translates into “I think you are as attractive as you think I am and we should get married one day.”
My son is beyond excited. I spent $100 to buy his happiness and it was worth every penny. I won’t be frequenting Victoria’s Secret anytime soon, which is a drag because I like them and own many of their things. That said, if you don’t appreciate my hard earned dollar, you don’t get my money. They might want to retrain the bitch from The Beverly Center store.
My son has one foot out the door on his path to adulthood and it makes me proud and sad. Moments like this are rare and for him to tell me I made his dream come true was wonderful. He may not hold my hand anymore, or let me kiss him in public, but he loves me and will always remember that his mom, a real Angel, took him to meet his first Victoria’s Secret angel.
Important to note the drive home took over 2 hours. There was an accident so we opted to take a canyon road home and it was a nightmare. We were stuck with nowhere to go and it was insane. Still worth it, but just barely. Will my son remember the hellish ride we took for his dream to come true and reward me by doing his chores? I’m keeping the faith.
*** I received an email over the weekend from Jill Hamilton, who is a Supervisor in the Social Media Department of Victoria's Secret. She asked that I give her a call and I did. We chatted for a few minutes and I explained to her exactly what happened when I went to the Victoria's Secret store in The Beverly Center here in Los Angeles. She was professional and supportive as she listened. She let me know she was embarrassed by how I was spoken to, and assured me this is not how VS conducts business, and even gave me a case number to let me know it was being looked into. While she could not change what happened, she would work hard to make sure it did not happen again. I was very impressed that she did not try to blow smoke up my ass by making excuses. She owned the situation and was focused on fixing the problem, not judging me.
I don't know what will happen to the bitch who served me, but I hope she gets some retraining and learns that our money matters and she needs to be kinder to the people who help pay her salary, because if we don't shop, she has no job. As for Ms. Hamilton, she changed my view of Victoria's Secret. I left the Beverly Center convinced I would never shop their again and Ms. Hamilton proved that one bad apple does not need to ruin the tree. She allowed me to see the entire tree and I will tell you her taking three minutes to talk to me erased the bad taste in my mouth from 20 minutes of the bad apple. Bravo to her and to VS for reaching out to a little old blogger like me. At the end of the day customer service does matter and Vicroria's Secret won back a customer because they know that every voice matters, whether or not that voice has a blog.
March 11, 2013 | 8:05 am
Posted by Ilana Angel
I had a lovely weekend. I spent time with my son, the Englishman, and myself. I helped my son with a school project, caught up on some work, and went out for dinner and movie with my boyfriend. On Sunday I did something I have not done is a very long time. I recaptured my youth and took a nap. Not a quick power nap, but a full on three hour slumber.
On Sunday my son was back at work on his school project so the Englishman and I went for a long walk. When we got home we watched Chelsea pull out a brilliant draw against Manchester United, then went into my son’s room to check on him. He was on his bed working, so we sat down on the couch in his room. We were chatting and at some point we both fell asleep.
It was glorious and much to my surprise, we napped for hours. We were snuggled up on the couch and it was heaven. We don’t lie down in my son’s room ever, so it was as if we were on vacation in a new place. I’m not one to take a nap, but it truly felt like we were away on holiday and were basking in the lap of luxury. I woke up feeling rested and content.
I can remember a time when my son used to nap everyday. He would wake up happy, loving, and ready for the next part of his day. The truth is that I woke feeling the same way. Naps are necessary so why do we outgrow them? I think everyone should take a daily 30 minute nap. The world would be a happier place if we got a chance to relax and refresh.
I often say that there are not enough hours in the day. I often say that I m tired. I never say I need a nap. There is something wrong with that. I work hard and I rarely get enough sleep at night because I’m not a great sleeper. Does it not make sense that the best way for me to get my needed rest is to nap? I think I have found the key to success: napping.
I have not quite figured out how I will explain this revelation to my employers, but I will come up with something. It may mean I escape to my car for 30 minutes a day, but naps are in my future because they work. Just as they worked for our kids in day care, they work for adults in real life. Feeling tired and in need of some peace? Take a nap.
It is Sunday night, and even with Daylight Savings time kicking in, I feel rested and ready to tackle tomorrow. Beyond that, I am ready to go to bed because I think my pre-sleep will actually help my sleep. I spent the day with the two men I love, relaxed in a real way, and napped like I was a baby. Not sure I can make it a daily ritual, but I am keeping the faith.
March 5, 2013 | 8:43 am
Posted by Ilana Angel
Love is a great thing and I am blessed to have it in my life in many different forms. I love my son, parents, sisters, brother, nieces, nephews, and friends. I love them and am loved in returned which is special and something I do not take for granted. I have been thinking a lot about my future lately and that has me wondering about love. I am a person who tries to learn from yesterday, am thankful for today, and hopeful for tomorrow. Does that apply to love or is love exempt from the formula?
I am thankful for love every day. I think having lost my father I am aware that love can be taken away from you. I was able to tell my dad I loved him when he was dying, but he was so sick I’m not sure he understood how much. Life is fragile and love is elusive so if I love you I want you to know. I am not reserved when it comes to declaring love. I tell my son constantly, say it in daily conversations with my family and friends, and end conversation with these people by sayng I love you because saying it matters.
I am at a transitional point in my life in terms of my work and being a mother. My career is changing slightly, in wonderful ways, but still changing. My son is a junior in high school and starting to think about colleges and moving away from me. The thought of him leaving is terrifying and exciting, but I don’t think about it too much because I want to focus on him now, but also because I don’t allow myself to think that I might actually enjoy the phase of my life where he is away. Everything I do is with him in mind.
Does it make me a bad mother for thinking I will enjoy his being away at school and my being more independent? Will my love for him be defined differently if he is not here with me all the time? Yesterday, for the first time in over 17 years of motherhood I had a vision of my life with my son not living in my home and not only was it interesting, but I felt okay. As soon as I acknowledged to myself that I would be okay, I felt horrible and it made me cry. I can’t breathe at the thought of him going so why was it okay?
I define myself as a mother so I feel like a bad mother for having even a fleeting thought of my life as okay when he moves out. That got me to thinking about being hopeful for the future. When I think about the future I think of it in terms of my son’s dreams, not mine. I want to be thankful for every minute my son is home with me so that I have those memories to relive when he is away at school and building his own life. I want hope to embrace this time in my life my son.I want him to know his dreams are mine.
I want to allow myself to look forward to my own future, not just that of my child. Love is defined by yesterday, today, and tomorrow. All the experiences, lessons, mistakes, and joy come together to shape who we are, and in the end I am a great mother. I have done my job and while it has not been perfect or easy, it was been done well and my son is proof of that. I am allowed to fulfill my own dreams because they do not take away from his. I can plan a future because I have earned it and my son wants it for me.
When my son leaves for college I will sit in his room and cry. There is no getting around that. I will also plan a trip to the Maldives. I will sit on a beach and marvel at teh stellar job I did. I won’t feel guilty for not feeling guilty about it. Who am I kidding? I will feel guilty about sitting in luxury while my son plugs away at school, but a cocktail and my memories will make it better. I am a mother but also a woman and allowing myself to have the dreams of both is okay. I am planning my future, and keeping the faith.