My Confession: The Transitions of a Woman

Waking up. Life is Crazy. Most of us come to this conclusion at sometime in our twenties. It is crazy! The ups, the downs. Finding who you are and where you want to go is made almost impossible with life’s rollercoaster ride. But in all its movement, there are basics that we all abide to. We all subscribe to the game of basic needs, wants and desires. There is a single need that encompasses all the basics and every conscious soul craves its beauty – its love. That’s it. In the end of your day love is all that matters. How you love yourself, how others love you and how you love others. Its survival like tendencies draw us to it in all its extremes. Its nourishing satisfaction is more powerful than any drug or obsession. We use it to complete and destroy and yet are almost oblivious to its control over our lives. “It’s Love”. Jill Scott said it best. Do you feel its pull in your day? How about as you read these lines? You do if you are human. I have my entire existence. I’m in my twenties now and I am finding that life is crazy. In memory, I was driven to close insanity by the power of love. I write this to tell others of my pleasures and pains for a feeling of oneness. To connect to and with each reader in the most personal matter to show them – It’s LOVE!

Since We all agree now that its love, I want to say that I appreciate and am writing to all levels of experience. This is just my story. We must realize that we all go through the ups and downs. Our lives are much more alike than different. Many times we can learn a lot about ourselves through the lives of others. It’s love, …and this is my confession…

Chapter 1 – Friends I was born in San Diego California in 1983. My mother, a young white woman with long black hair, a mesmerizing face and a deep burn for love. My father, a young black man with love first on his mind, at all times and in all aspects. They met, fell in love and this is how the story goes.

I guess my 1st memories are of my friends. I had a girlfriend named ShaSha. I remember playing with “clackers” with ShaSha out in front of our apartment complex. I remember hanging out in her room and yelling to the boys across the street. They would chase us all day. They were really chasing ShaSha. She was at least 8. I was 4. She already had breasts. We were tight. I hope she’s well. Fast forward.

We move to a new neighborhood. I am getting ready to go to kindergarten. We are living in a large apartment complex with a lot of kids. I am excited but shy. A young girl comes up to me in the courtyard one day. She offers me some strawberries. I hated strawberries at the time so I yelled “NO” and ran away. We became best friends after that. We were two peas in a pod. I remember how good it felt to have her. She was my best friend. It felt so good to be that special to someone and to have a “best friend”. I craved her love and the love her family portrayed. We grew up very differently and I yearned to be a part of her family. I was unconsciously dependent on our relationship for years. It substituted for so much of the love that I began searching for in the first quarter of my life. Our friendship was so perfect. We had a few arguments, but while others were meeting new people and exchanging best friends every month or so, we spent years getting to know

each other. I could always count on her to be there and I always thought she could do the same. When we were kids, we would play for hours. We would read to each other. We were so young but both enjoyed school and reading so much. I remember we never finished “The Day After Tomorrow”. It’s one of her favorite books and was my favorite for years just because it was hers. I ended up skipping to the back of the book even though she told me not to. But that was us. In our teens we were inseparable. We would spend all week together after school, spend the night over the weekend and then go home Sunday night and on the phone some more. In high school, they thought we were lesbians. That we were far from. I created most of my experiences with the opposite sex in my teens. We were just best friends that needed each other. My family life had taken an extremely sour turn by junior high school and I lost touch with reality for a couple of years. I never shared this with her then, but she was my savior. It’s my largest debt. Had I not had our relationship I may not have been able to deal with the hands of my cards. For years I thought she was the only one that loved me. If I knew then what I know now (wouldn’t that ability be great!!), I would have learned how to focus all of my energy that was being wasted on hate on our love. But I didn’t and somewhere in our foundation laid a crack so deep that we eventually spilt ways. I love her, though and miss her. It’s love.

We grew up in a neighborhood with a lot of kids. Summers were spent at the pool or in the courtyard. My best memories are of these days. Long summer days in San Diego. They seemed like they would never end. We were never allowed to venture too far, so our imaginations took us on most of our journeys. I remember playing witch with my next door neighbor. We mixed food coloring with water and had “potion”. We would play

dolls and Barbie’s until it was time to go to bed. We would use the bike rail as a “ride” at Disney Land, and act like we were tired of waiting in line for the ride. Until about the tenth grade, I had a group of friends at school. I was in gated classes so I had more nerdy friends, but always knew all the “cool” kids as well. I was always good at getting along with everyone. Throughout school, I would be in class with the “smart” kids and in the lunch room with the “cool” kids. It was easy for me to be whomever I needed to be to get along. I was always myself, but I realized young that I was a complex person and that I could only share certain parts of me with certain people. This has been one of my greatest protectors and dividers. To this day I cannot maintain a new friendship unless I have shared a part of the “real” me to them. It’s never anything personal or even intentional but I just struggle with relationships. I had one main friend for so many years that it is difficult for me to regulate my relations with others, especially if I haven’t known that person for long. It is something that I have tried to improve numerous times and have failed each and every time, to date. It’s just me. My mom and my sister are the same. And its never personal. We all can tell someone quickly and efficiently that they are no longer welcomed in our homes or in our lives. But this bad habit just is. Keeping and making friends has been brutally affected by this flaw. But, I choose to reconnect. I choose the right path at one particular point and through the sources plan, I have found my true life partner and have the greatest friendship to nourish. You know, it’s love.

Chapter 2 – Boyfriends My first experience with the opposite sex…. I guess I was five or six. My mom’s best friends’ son was at my house. My mom stepped out to get the laundry. He told me to come behind the door, in case my mom came back, and pull my pants down. We must have talked about it before, because I sure did start to pull my pink, ruffled, laced pants down. He tried to put his little soft penis in my pants and see if we could do what he saw his parents do. I remember not really wanting to do it. But I did it anyway. Hot panties self. Fast forward.

My first boyfriend was in the sixth grade. I had a couple of crushes in first and second grade, but I was not into boys at all. That was, until the month after I began my period. Enter hormones. Boys, all of a sudden, seemed as interesting as the pool on a hot summer San Diego day once did. I was writing sad soppy love poems and thinking about my crush for so many hours that I literally fell asleep thinking about him. It was sad. My first boyfriend was a guy in my neighborhood that I also went to school with. He loved him some me. We went to sixth grade camp in Palomar, California. It’s a week long camp that all sixth graders in San Diego, at this time, went to. I broke up with him. I’ll never forget that I already liked someone else so I broke up with him. But for the rest of my sixth grade year, the entire class thought they saw me crying in the office because he broke up with me. In actuality, it snowed in Palomar this trip, and I had one pair of cloth shoes with no real winter coat. My hands were numb from the cold and my feet were sore to the touch. I was crying to go home because I couldn’t hike another day in those mountains. Sorry that I wasn’t crying over you. I was just cold. Its love

In the seventh and eighth grade I had and tenth grade boyfriend and an eleventh grade boyfriend. My tenth grade boyfriend tongue kissed me for the first time. My eleventh grade boyfriend fingered me for the first time. I wanted for us to fall in love. We didn’t. I had a serious crush on my tenth grade boyfriend. He was a neighborhood basketball player. I thought he was the best thing created. I got in so much trouble over him. I would risk my whole weekend to see him walk home from school. He was in high school and decided to do what all high school guys do, date, and not me. So I met a new guy and we dated for the next two and a half years. This was my first love. I was fourteen. I lost my virginity. He was arrogant and egotistical, but I loved him. He told me he loved me. Initially things were great. But he realized my weakness and he preyed on it. (Thankfully, though. Had he not allowed me to make a fool of myself in our relationship I may have continued this pattern as so many women do.) He cheated on me, yelled at me, called me names. He told me I was worthless and would never be the mother of his son when I was pregnant with our child. (Thank you Mom.) But he always told me he loved me. He would even cry it to me. One night he told me he would jump out of the window if I left him – he actually walked over to the window of his parents’ second story house and put one leg over the window. I knew he was bullshitting of course but I ran over and pulled him in. It was the fourth of July, I was fifteen. The doctor said it was the night I got pregnant. It was also the night of my first vaginal orgasm. We fought and broke up and got back together and broke up again. As soon as we would break up, I would meet someone new. I never consciously sought guys, either. My best friend for the first quarter of my life will contest to that. They just always seemed to appear when they were needed. The summer of my tenth grade year we stopped dating for good. The night we broke up, I

met the next boyfriend who I would share five and a half years of my life with. This has been my only relationship of this sort.

We were inseparable pretty quickly. He was a couple years older than me as well. Actually he was starting college. I remember he wouldn’t have sex with me for the first five months of us dating. I thought he was gay or didn’t really like me. I needed to have sex to know that. Why wouldn’t an eighteen year old young man want to have sex at any time? My illusion was that it was me, reality was he had a girlfriend in Texas that he hadn’t broken up with because he didn’t want to hurt her. He was always a nice guy.

Up to this point, I had no clue how to treat someone I was dating. My family example was, let’s say, distorted and my previous relationship was mildly abusive and damaging at best. By this relationship, I knew how to make someone hurt just as much as I was hurting through my words. My tongue was sharp and slick and I knew how to slice through a man’s ego with ease. My new boyfriend came from a family that had their own set of problems, but was led by a dynamic and loving woman who was a devout Catholic and taught her family love, primarily. He quickly showed me that harming those I loved was a weak excuse for my own pain. Within months of dating him, I learned a new way to deal with my anger. Letting it go.

We were a pretty stable couple. We loved each other very much and helped each other out as often as possible. During our early years, I was experiencing my most unstable family years. I left my moms house at seventeen and moved across town to my grandmother’s

home. This transition was littered with crazy trials but he stood by my side through each and every one. He made sure I got to school and to work. He made sure I ate if I didn’t have any money. And he made sure I got home every night by 9 p.m. when I was on probation. Initially our sex life was great and we excited each other regularly. But after this move, the excitement steadily lessened to the point of no return. Mind you this was only one year into our relationship. By my senior year of high school I was busy applying for college, making up failed and missed courses and working. I was independent by this time and was on probation for the first 4 months of twelfth grade so I kept busy. He was playing football and basketball and trying to maintain his school and work life as well. We tried, but after a few months of constricted and very well planned time schedules, our sex life diminished to almost non-existent. But we loved each other. His family was amazing. They accepted me into their home and when I needed it put their necks on the line for me multiple times. I owe them more than words can say. The support of he and his family got me through high school and the better part of undergrad. Thank you. It is definitely love.

By the time college came, we had broken up once or twice and got right back together. Though with the introduction of new men and increased freedom due to the selfmanaging aspects of college, I began to explore my sexual side even more. I loved him, but every time we spilt, even for a month or so, I met someone new and began a new relationship. No problem. Except I wouldn’t necessarily end it when he and I got back together. I saw a different guy for two years with whom I had some of the best experiences to date. I just had a boyfriend too. He could not satisfy my sexual needs. He

handled everything else perfectly for his level of experience. And we loved each other so much that in our fifth year he proposed and I accepted. But only for a month. I knew I couldn’t marry someone who I cheated on because he couldn’t please me sexually. We were doomed to fail. I will always love him though and I wish he and his new family the greatest love on their journey.

College graduation came and I had exhausted my want for “new men”. I was thinking about settling down with one man who could satisfy all of my needs. I met someone who I thought could. I was preparing to move from San Diego to Texas where my older brother and his family lived. My best friend and myself went out one last time to celebrate the move, and there he was. Not planned. 6’, dark brown skin, waves that made me sea sick, eyes like fire and slick like, well slick like me. I remember leaving the spot that night and thinking about him until the morning. He didn’t call me for like five days but when he did we exploded. We spent every day together for the next four months. I lost my roommate and he lost his so he moved in after one and half months. Life was good. We were happy. And I loved him. He never said he loved me. Or at least not yet. He told me that he wanted me to birth his first child. He told me that our futures were crossed. Or something like that. But he didn’t say I love you. But I told him. This was my first experience like this but it didn’t matter because life was good. And then, literally, one day it all changed. He just didn’t come home. Long story short he was with the wrong people at the wrong time and was sent to prison for nine years, doing six. I decided to marry him and stand by his side for as long as I possibly could. Many people question my decision, but with me it’s love. He had no one and needed someone to stand

d by his side. I decided it was going to be me. This was one of my deepest affairs. I was crazy in love. He finally told me he loved me once he saw how I reacted to his arrest. I didn’t trip. I cried. I thought he was dead. But I didn’t get mad or judge him. I did what I do. I was there for him however he needed me to be.

He was in county for one year. One of the more difficult years of my life. He was sentenced to prison on November 6th 2006, right before I moved out of San Diego for the first time. Our first conjugal visit was scheduled for May 2007. We never made it. I realized after almost two years of being without him, I was no longer in love and ended our relationship. To this day I imagine how lonely he feels. I still feel sad for him. I loved him.

Rewind. Right before I broke up with my high school sweetheart, I met a man on a fluke. My sister introduced us and due to some similarities we hit it off right away. We’ve been friends for years and recently feel in love.

From our initial conversation I felt more comfortable with him than I had with any other man. Actually as comfortable as I felt with my best friend. I was not aware of a romantic attraction until a few months into our friendship. He would come over to my house almost daily and hang out with me until dawn. We literally talked about everything during these hours. I realized I could tell him anything and everything and that I could be myself. I trusted him so deeply. The Me I was naturally becoming was heightened during our times together. He helped me understand myself better just by allowing me to really

be myself. We shared the same destinies. That was the depth of our bond. I fell in love with him then, but never romance. He would try, on occasion, to spark it in me. To unite our bodies as our hearts and souls were. But I didn’t let it happen. I knew that once we connected we would never disconnect. He was my match. But at the time I was not his – so we weren’t. He moved away to continue to construct his empire. I moved to Orange County California to make some money to create the foundation of my empire. We kept in touch but not often. When we did, we were us, always. I loved him. Fast forward.

I’m in Orange County. I get a call leaving work one night. It’s him. He’s in Los Angeles and he needs me. He has been stranded in LA and needs me to get him to San Diego. I drive to LA. When we first drop eyes on each other our fire is back. We hug and catch up. I miss him so deeply. His love is so real it causes dehydration when taken away and I would feel just that when we were apart. But I didn’t know I was so thirsty. He could love me. He loved me. I decided to go visit him in Oregon shortly thereafter and the rest is our history.

He gives me love, the love that my mother took away from me and welcomes the love that I am. We love each other unconditionally. We are interdependent upon each other. We go together like Live Mustard on a hot link with a side of potato salad - yeah that good. I have been fortunate enough to have found two of my soulmates. My best friend and now my husband. He is my soulmate. I know the feeling. I am completely me with him. Words cannot express my gratitude for searching through the mounds of dirt to find my gold nugget. May we forever bring the “W” home baby. I love you, unconditionally.

Chapter 3 – Family

Totally I have a pretty large family. I’m a McCue/Jones. I have a mother and a father, like most. I also have a dad or had a dad. I have 2 half brothers and 3 half sisters. I have no full siblings. I grew up with one of my sisters and my mother. Her mother raised my older brother and was involved in our lives as well. I spent parts of the summer at my Grandmas house. It was my personal sanctuary. She would always go grocery shopping and have the best foods and snacks. We would read together and I would fall asleep in her bed every night to the reassuring sound of the ocean less than ten blocks away. I miss my Grandma and I hope she is proud.

We grew up in Serra Mesa California. Most of my family memories begin here. I remember it was my sister, my mom and me and on occasion, one of my mom’s boyfriends. Occasionally, turned into often, and before I knew it he was living with us and I was calling him dad. Not by choice – by force. I remember calling my Grandma from our yellow/green wall phone in the dinning room crying to her about them (my mom and new dad) making me call him dad. I couldn’t understand. A few months ago I called him by his first name. But I was the kid and before long he was my dad, as I knew it. And he was tough. The true disciplinary of the household and was only there half of the time. I hated him as much as I loved him and I think the same went for him. So here we are. My white mom and white looking sister ( her dad was biracial as well so she favors my mom more), my black “dad” and me, the mixed kid. And guess what, all of our

last names were Jones. He was my father’s half brother. Raised in the same house by the same parents. His father’s last name was Jones. It seemed legit from the outside but low and behold we had some skeletons in our closet.

There was love, too. I know my mother loved us. Half of the time she seemed like she could hate us. We were a bipolar family to the tenth degree. The laughs were great and plentiful, but the cries were deep, personal and life altering. In thought, drugs, bad life decisions and a major lack of love in all members, was the downfall of my family unit. In her good times, my mother was caring, nurturing and extremely overprotective. In her bad times she was poison, slowly killing the innocence and love that rested in my sister and I. She would tell us she loved us and we knew she did and does. But her love comes with conditions. Her love for us was entangled in her lack of love for herself. No matter the relationship, if you do not love yourself you cannot love another. This is her aliment. Simply love. As an adult I’ve tried to help her connect with herself, with her love but she feels like she has no purpose and accomplished nothing with her life, not recognizing she is a creator and so connected to our most powerful source. She doesn’t know how to love me anymore, but I learned that since you have no control over anyone but you, you cannot be hurt by others ways. Or, I’m learning this. When she left me in juvenile hall in my seventeenth year, I knew she would never be back. I searched for her love for years only to find it in me. I love you Mom, always.

My “dad” only stayed in the picture until I was fourteen. He got really sick and just never came back. But he wasn’t my dad at all. I was partially raised by him, and he contributed

to my structure and discipline as well as helped my mom keep food on the table which I am thankful for. But he wasn’t my father. In the actual blood line, he is my uncle. My father’s brother who my mom fell for and decided to try and “make” him my dad. This may seem confusing, trust I have dealt with that emotion regarding this situation, but I tell the truth. My mother and “dad” made me call my uncle dad and had me going for at least seven years. I was caught in an illusion that they created for themselves with little thought on how messed up it could make me. I first found out in my early teens. It shook my entire world. My older brother said, “You know BLEEP isn’t your dad, right? BLEEP is!” Come again? The craziest part about it was that I wasn’t all that surprised. I remembered calling him by his first name for the first couple of years that he was around. I remembered being beat for not calling him dad. If I slipped (which I did often because it was so uncomfortable calling him dad, I knew he wasn’t) I was whooped until I remembered. I thought I was a terrible kid. Reality was he too was abused as a child and was in serious pain and probably seriously confused. Then to look at your niece- I brought to light his family problems. I was the daughter of his brother. And he was “raising” me. I guess I reminded him too much of his family. I don’t know, but I’ve concluded that he beat me the way he did because of who I was, and am by birth. Now I get it, then I just cried and internalized his pain, anger and confusion. But I loved him and will always remember the laughs.

I met my father when I was seventeen. By now I knew I had a whole other family – two sisters and a brother and a bunch of cousins, aunts and uncles. Since my “dad” was my uncle, I actually met a few of my family members throughout my childhood. I even met

my younger sister once at a hospital and my “dad” introduced us as cousins. My mom let me go and the courts wanted to place me with family so I went to stay with my father until my eighteenth birthday. Now this experience I was totally unprepared for. My siblings had a tough time accepting me into their lives. Unfortunately my younger sister and I will probably never come to terms. I love her. My brother and I have found some common ground and try to know each other. It’s love. My youngest sister is entering high school now. I’m trying to make sure we have a relationship and teach her its love. My father and I tried hard at first. We talked and cried and caught up. A father/daughter relationship was missed, but we’ve learned to be friends. I’m actually a lot like him, as well like my mother. I was created in their fiery love – but inside they lacked and so it was. It’s love though. Dad, thank you for being there right when I needed you the most. I love you.

I have an older brother from my mother. Eight years my senior. We didn’t spend much of our childhood together. He was a teenager in my youth. I always looked up to him though and would tell people about my big brother. He got sick in his late teens. Kidney failure; Focal Segmental Glomerulosclerosis or FSGS. His kidneys failed completely by August 2002. We had the transplant surgery December 2002, one year after our Grandma passed. His wife and I were tested. I was the better genetic match, so I donated. Amazing experience, to say the least. My brother was able to return to a semi-normal life and continue to raise his children. It’s love. I hope he knows it’s only love. There’s no depth in our relationship. I know he loves me, but struggles to show it. Self-love is the beginning. But no matter, it’s love.

And then there is my younger sister from my mom. Our relationship has transformed over the years from big sis, little sis to friends. She struggles herself. It’s easy to make negative decisions when you’ve been taught through them. I knew when we were young that she was going to struggle more than necessary. She was so damned stubborn. So much like our mom. But she’s growing and it’s been one of my greatest honors experiencing her growth with her. My love for her is so pure and deep as is her love for me. We are true teammates that will go to bat at the drop of a dime for one another. It has been difficult for me to see her hurt. I feel her pain because we are of the same history. I know how confused she is inside. Our lives are only now making sense. As they do, they become more confusing and I see her struggle. I see your struggle. But your heart is love. I feel it in your words. I see it in your eyes. You’re my precious sister. My family. My friend. We are and will always be one. It’s love. I love you!

Chapter 4 – Just Me

As a young child I was connected. I was inquisitive yet accustomed to love. I hated violence, cussing and all negatively charged actions. I liked being sweet and kind to people even if I didn’t know them well. I can remember seeing my “dad” get into physical altercations and remember feeling sick to my stomach over what was going down. This has been my base personality for my lifetime but life has its ways of throwing curve balls at you and making them so appealing and sustainable that you go for them. I feel that I will never stop going for those curve balls unless I share who I was, who I am and who I am going to be. I’m dropping my baggage off at the Goodwill. I hope they are accepting donations.

It all starts at home. Everything for everyone starts at home. It’s a lot of pressure for a family. EVERYTHING starts at home. We are all connected until environment begins to play its part. My environment was confusing. I remember feeling so lost at times. I come from two family lines that have, in recent histories, suffered from a surplus of pain, anger and a lack of unconditional love. Since everything starts at home, I began in a broken heart. My mother began poisoning me at an early age. I was a good kid, well mannered and liked to please people. But my mother had an anger problem and took it out on my sister and myself almost daily. There were many great and good days. But when the bad days came, they were critical. Before I was ten, I figured that my mom didn’t even really want me as a child. She would tell us how terrible we were and that her life could never

be good again. I felt like I was breaking my mom’s heart. But then the next day she would tell me she loved me again and I would somehow forget the previous incident and continue on. On how I am. Somewhat conservative and introverted but overwhelmingly mannered and polite. Life never seemed to get in my way on my external. I guess that is why people have a hard time getting close to me. I only let them know what I want them to know. Friends that I have had for years still do not know who I am. Many childhood friends would have thought that my family had none of the issues we had. But that was and is my biggest façade; the mask worn by most is worn by me as well. And I am really good with it. My mother taught me how. I could never tell anyone anything I am writing. This was private family business. Sorry mom.

I have always trusted my brain. In school I knew that I could perform and that I would be appreciated. My teachers all really loved me and were my greatest inspirations. Had any of them knew of my home life, they would have most likely reported it to Social Services. But my mask was too tight. I excelled in studying. I never made straight A’s, though because I never tested great. But my teachers always commented on my potential all the way through high school. I tested for the gated program in second grade and stayed in advance learning until college. In junior and senior high school my hormones fluctuated and so did my grades. By the time sophomore year in high school, my mom and I had basically spilt ways and school suffered horrendously. By junior year I was behind on two classes and had an “F” on my official transcript. Junior year I also began a home schooling program and completed only three classes in nine months. School by this time was at the back of my mind, but I always had confidence in my mental capacities.

By the end of my junior year, most of my friends, family and teachers thought I would not complete high school and definitely would not go to college, but I trusted myself and just continued to move forward. I ended up finishing high school on time and started my undergraduate program at San Diego State University the fall after high school graduation, completing the program four years later. Personally it’s been my most difficult hurdle to jump given the nature of that time in my life. It confirmed for me that I had what it took inside to make it through anything. But I didn’t always have this clarity.

I did not always see the diamond in the ruff, so to say. Teens, in general, deal with image issues and hormones play a big part in it all. But, I dealt with many of my early insecurities before puberty. I am a biracial woman, and as a child I was pretty confused regarding the differences among races. My mom was white, my dad was black, my best friend, and mostly all of my friends were black, my sister looked white but we always said she was black and I was somewhere in between. I hated my skin. It confused me so much. I hated how tan I was. I used to want to look black so badly. I felt dirty. I remember kids asking me about my race often. Calling me Oreo cookie and zebra or whatever other name they could randomly think of. I thought my hair was too poofy. I also had difficulty dealing with being thin. It wasn’t abnormal and I was healthy, but the culture prefers thicker women. I still do not understand what my problem here was, but I am sure it had to do with my mom not allowing me to embrace the white side of me. I remember she told me numerous times that if I ever brought a white guy home, he could not even come in the house. Extreme, especially coming from a white woman. But that was the confusion I came up amongst. And I realized it at an early age. I knew my mom

was wrong about so much. I knew the way she yelled at us or at anyone was not the way to treat people. I knew that holding grudges was more painful for me than for the person I hated. I understood that love should be universal. And yet I lacked self love. Punishment was the worst for me. Of course no kids like to get in trouble and have privileges taken away, but for me punishment felt like a double blow. First I was in trouble and was probably going to get whooped for it. And second, I was aware of the disappointment I was inflicting on my mom. I felt like such a bad kid. Reality was I was very well behaved, until my teens.

I was truly terrified of my “dad”. I was an extremely thin child. Tall but lanky. He was a body builder, literally, and would hit me with a leather belt over and over again. He would make me count or not cry. And well a lot of kids go through this. But he was just too big. It was ridiculous. And it seemed like he enjoyed doing it. I’ll never know for sure, but my gut tells me that he hated me because I was his niece. I was the only thing in the way of his woman. He would bring home my sister gifts and bring me nothing. I remember one time in particular, he brought her home a tent. I was so sad. Not that I was a materialistic child, because I didn’t have access to much, but I was hurt that I was not thought of as well, and he was MY “dad”. And guess what that man did? He left me his dirty Q-Tips on my pillow, saying it was a joke. I will never forget that day. I cried to my mom and a few days later he brought me home a stuffed animal. An owl. I named it Hooter the Owl and cherished it for years. His presence in my life inflicted a lot of pain for me as a child. But he was cool too, sometimes. He let me play darts with he and his friends and would bet on me that I would beat these grown men. And I would and we

would have a good time together. When he left my home my internal fear about life lifted and I began to learn from my mistakes.

As I reached my teen years, my mind really started to search. I was missing something, deep. Thoughts of suicide first started in my early teens. I was so lost. I had a serious lying problem. I told some great lies to innocent people. I started to steal obsessively. Any time I went into a store I had to pick something up. I started having sex, and once I started I didn’t stop. I was pregnant by fifteen and had dealt with numerous situations surrounding early sexual relations. I didn’t like myself, and at one point literally did not think I could see a brighter day. I watched a documentary on the Golden Gate Bridge once, and it was on individuals lives that had jumped off the bridge. One guy visited that bridge over and over again for years and would pace back and forth contemplating was it worth it. Was the pain worth the love? He decided it wasn’t and took the leap, I didn’t. I had my best friend that I would never disappoint and I had boys. I decided to try my luck on boys and see what they had to offer. Nothing. I never had bad dating habits. Always picked guys that wanted to get married or have babies. Good guys that the other girls didn’t want. Guys that I had a good chance of falling in love with. And I did. A few times. But in each relationship, I would discover more about myself than us. It was not until my current relationship that I consciously selected “we” in my dialogue. I always dated men that I could learn something from. (Not in any type of major way, because I actually have shared really none of my true intellect with most of the guys I dated. It was just too deep for them.) But I always learned something about myself. I always came out stronger. Wiser. More prepared to take on the world, on my own.

My “self-hate” phase only lasted a few years. It all stopped on one particular day. A day that is forever ingrained in my memory and was the beginning of my journey. I was in juvenile hall due to an altercation with my mom. It was my first court appearance and she was there. The judge asked her what she wanted to do. My lawyer told me not to turn around. I heard my mom’s voice. “I’m terrified of her. I cannot handle her. I do not want her to come back to my home.” I turned around and looked at my mom. My mom. I still remember what her pillow case smells like. I was her baby. Her little girl. Her daughter and she just abandoned me in court. Left me to fend for myself. I turned and I looked at her. She wouldn’t look at me. I started to cry. The Sheriff took me away. I had to walk a ways back to my cell. On that walk I figured it out. I went to my bed and cried for about an hour. Then I decided to let her go. She was gone and so was the anger, hate and sadness associated with her. I was where I was and I was going to be by myself. I began my journey to love and connection that day. I felt a calling to it. My senses told me what to do. And so I did it and never turned back.

From this point on, life has been pretty easy. The roller coaster has not slowed or decreased in technology, and actually quite the contrary. But I have just learned how to take the twists and turns. My journey is only in its beginning stages, and that is why I write. As I said before, I am letting go of my baggage. There is only one constant in this universe; loving movement forward. Everything else is a figment of our imagination. We made everything else up. We come and we go and nothing but loving forward movement even exists. It’s my conclusion to my families’ pain. And I am destined to break the chain.

I will not allow another generation of my branch to suffer searching for love. They will understand people’s issues and that they have nothing to do with them. My children will learn how to love themselves first. They will learn to connect to the universal love and begin their life of positive movement. I know now that my light brown skin is beautiful because it is my skin. I am in love with my hair and think that I am too fly. And not in a competitive sense. But I know I am fly. I am. We all are. It’s natural in existence. Your may not be aware of your flyness, but realize it and love it. It is not outside, it’s inside. You. I promise. I accepted it on that walk down that corridor back to my cell. I realized that it was in me. It’s love. I wanted to love and not to hate. So I have to love and not hate. It’s a journey and I fall down often. It’s difficult sorting and packing that baggage. The zippers are worn and the leather is busting, forever loosing vital memories. Memories of love. But the solution is simple. Let the hate go. It’s Love. And if they say you’re crazy, you’re probably on the right path.

Positive Movement!