Tag: advice

Gifting

The world needs its misfits. It’s magic workers. It’s conjurers.

From that, we get those with the blessing of being soft places to fall. The ever-present open ears and able shoulders. The open eyes that see and never say–unless asked. The healers of this world and work.

Those of us that see suffering and pain and loneliness and strive to stop it. Seek to understand what it is, why it is, and how to avoid it–channel it into better. That’s what those of us that are healers do.

We write. We emote. We sing of passions and callings. We tell the truth about this mortal experience, even when it hurts. We tell the stories that need to be told, even when they are our own.

We gift those we love with our own tears, spun gold and as medicine to give to those in need of that wisdom. That wisdom of that weight can only be given and used when it comes from experience. When we didn’t die after that first heartbreak, we can tell you that you won’t. We didn’t panic when trouble came, ran our of money or when our parents died. We go through to give you a map.

Sometimes this is the trouble of being one of those unique open God has opened to see the world behind the world–to see the trouble of mankind and a way out of it. Sometimes you have to be the first one to bleed to teach the second to follow how to heal.

The Able Unshakeable (Pt. 3)

Hangover:

Noun.

1.the disagreeable physical aftereffects of drunkenness, such as a headache or stomach disorder, usually felt several hours after cessation of drinking.

2. something remaining behind from a former period or state of affairs.

3.any aftermath of or lingering effect from a distressing experience

*Alejandro peeked in and out of my life, he still does.
I see his influence in the cabinets and cupboards of my existence. I remember telling him in our throws together that he ‘was a high like none other’ and to not speak to him or after speaking to him, I felt a hangover.
This sense of a residue on my soul, this feeling of knowing without doubt or fear that this person has a knowledge of you that only someone that has crafted your soul would know. Almost as if he was looking over God’s shoulder.
You had that?
It’s like knowing porn or jazz–you know it when you see it…
**There were times that I wanted nothing else and no one else but him, and there were other times where I was so incensed that he could not see or believe he could have what he wanted, that I walked away from him!
I couldn’t take it, I didn’t understand it.
I could not fathom what we were crafting, what we believe that we were crafting, he would fear. Or settle for less than it.
**I would lie awake thinking, wondering why and how this had happened to me.
Why it had happened to me?
How does one mark or measure time or space when there seem to be fingerprints on your soul made by other hands?
I would think how I could get over him, that I had to get over him, that if he didn’t see what I held and hold for him and that I was determined to show him—but at what cost?
That cost was blindness and the losing of myself again. I couldn’t bare that. I couldn’t bare losing me again…even if that meant dividing my heart into hemispheres and quarters.
And him occupying a designated piece.
I couldn’t do it–and I didn’t know how I could get over him…I was so far under him.
The high of him, the thought of him.
How do you release all that you believe that you want?
I dated, even got married the first time in 2006. I had enough of waiting.
 I had enough of trying  to be split in two. I moved on…with a hitch in my heart.
I decided to move on, because, y’know, that’s what adults do. The killer part? He called me about a month or so before I got married in New Orleans.
He asked me why I was getting married. I said, “To get it over with.” I was in bed, with my fiance’, and I answered the phone half asleep.
Alejandro laughed–hard!
He didn’t believe it or  he didn’t believe we would make it. We didn’t–LOL But that’s besides the point.
Aight.
I know yall are like, “SIS! REALLY, WHAT THE HELL! If he was always BAE, why ain’t ch’all together?! We need all this tea, ma’am!”
Hold on.
I gotchu.
(Get a snack.)
I got married to my ex-husband because I loved him.
Did I use him to get over **Alejandro? Looking back on it? Yeah. I did.
 At the time, the ex-hubs was a really good boyfriend. He was a solid and righteous dude. He had his hang ups and issues, but it wasn’t anything that I thought couldn’t work through or he would grow out of. I mean I was 24, he was 21 (I KNOW!), and I loved him and he loved me and was DETERMINED me were going to make this isht happen–so help me!
I was going to move on with my life.
Worse part? There were months before we got married that there was a glimmer that Alejandro might have come to his senses.
 We talked about it, how we would do that whole ‘together’ thing, and…honestly? I didn’t believe him.
We had done this dance before:  he’d realize he loved me more than anyone else,  only to get scared and run.
This time? I decided it was better to take the sure thing. *Alejandro was not the sure thing. I hated admitting that…but he wasn’t.
As much as I loved him, as much as I wanted a life with him, I couldn’t trust him.
But…I couldn’t shake him!
It was good for a while with the ex hubs. We made life together. We were in love, young and childless.
We did goofy stuff, fun stuff and then we went on road trips and we were just…together! In that, all that life we were making together, we did what every couple in love does–we had a baby.
Our oldest was born in September 2007. In October 2007, I was washing dishes and I don’t even remember HOW I was thinking of him, but I was and fell to my knees.

No, I legit fell to my knees.
I cried.
I was like, “No, no. NO! I’m over him! NO!” Everything that I had thought about, repressed, lied to myself about–overtook me. There was no other word for it. From there, I don’t think I could ever repaired my marriage–that was it. That was legit the fuse to the end of it. His ghost, his residue, followed me, haunted me–no matter where I was or what I was doing.
**I was in love with him, and married to someone else.  And even after we got married, before the baby, I still talked to him…more.
I talked to him to the point my then husband demanded I stop! He didn’t like how it looked, he didn’t like feeling like his wife was with another man.
(Humph. I suppose I was.)
 The day I told him I could no longer speak to him? I cried. He cried. I remember I was listening to She Will Be Loved by Maroon 5 as I spoke to him on a CD player.
Oh, and the HOT, BOILING TEA?
Here it go, dahlin’.

*Alejandro was low-key dating someone in 2006 when he asked ME why I was getting married. This is the same broad he married. He married this broad (yes, broad!) while still having feelings for me. 
I got married in 2006, he got married either before then or after, still 2006. He married this woman, while still having items and stuff from me that he hid in his house.

How do I know this?
Because he read it to me–verbatim what I had said–years prior. 
His soon-to-be ex wife emailed me to leave her husband alone AFTER I had mailed him a letter his mother found that I had written  two months prior in 2007 (I mailed it in October 2007, she emailed me in December 2007).
To this day, she cannot stand me.
At ALL.
Has she ever met me? No. 
Ask me if I care? Nope.
She asked him if he had feelings for me. He told her no. She told him that she didn’t believe him because she saw how he “looked at pictures” of me. He and his wife are divorcing now and they have 2 children. So clearly,  I wasn’t the only one with a handprint on my soul. 
I’m not the only one that tried to move on…and somehow, he got haunted too.
From the saga beginning in 2003 with sleepless nights and Teenage Love Affair phone calls, to drunk phone calls where no English was spoken, fights over why I did what I wanted because he ‘wasn’t my man’ and why did he care, silent treatment with no contact, to so much laughter, I can look back on time with him and smile.
Does it still hurt? Sometimes.
 Would I trade it? No.
Have y’all heard everything?
NO. LMBO
But you have enough to proceed. He’s a part of my life, and as is our cycle,  he will pop up again before I die, and who knows what may happen?
We all make our way in the world one day at a time, and we don’t know which person will put the most impact on us.
That doesn’t mean that impact isn’t long lasting, hunty!
For all those, and there are less than 5 people that know the ENTIRE saga, and even those that have read the work I published, have asked me and still ask, “How are you not married to Alejandro?” And they are legit PUZZLED.
My answer? “He didn’t know what he wanted.”
Plain. Simple. Period.
The moral of this story–ain’t one. The lesson is to know what is to be loved utterly, valued completely and not be afraid of the back side of your tapestry.
The colors and knots and pieces that make up whom you are, the part some people play in your life.
Alejandro, for good or ill, is a part of me–it took me so long to admit that. Loving him, equipped me to love the man I have now.
I grin sometimes, and think this–
I have to live the rest of my life without Alejandro.
But…he has to live the rest of his life without me.
**-One of my favorite books is The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. One of the themes of the books the relationship between Daisy Buchanan and Jay Gatsby.  For this moment in time, I was Daisy. I hated that I was Daisy.
*-I’m still not telling y’all his real name. NO. Stop askin’.

The Able Unshakeable (Pt. 2)

I have had a handful of favorite professors in my college experience. One was Dr. Kurt Schreyer for my ENG 4670:  Shakespeare’s Tragedies & Comedies class. Even his name was hot!

(Anyway, I digress…)

He helped me to love Shaskespeare (Shax) again. He used Shax in casual conversation as I did, and low-key thought I was brilliant. He even wore a fedora in the winter!

But most of all, aside from him being in the US Navy in his last life, he swore. He was utterly dashing, brilliant, knew I was brilliant–and I liked Schreyer’s class because he did what most dashing men do. He made me…think!

He was able to treat me as a lowly nursing student, as a viable, intelligent English major: someone that used words as weapons of warfare or instruments of healing.

There was a time 8 years before that class that I thought such weaponry was gone from my arsenal. The gift, the talent, the instrument of my coping was gone. The cause? I had spent the better part of my 20s with a man with no prospects, goals or his own light.

For three years, I poured into him, his son and whatever life 20-22 year olds promise to make while having really good sex (or what I know know wasn’t as good as it could be… ).

But, between times of being naked and not naked, I decided that I was going to trust him, and love him and help him with all he needed. From money, to time with his son, to…all I had. In that taking, I conjured up all the strength, love and all the ancestral BGM (Black Girl Magic) I could think of.

Not for me, but for him!

Thinking, believing, hoping, he would put that back into me. I ran on fumes for the better half our relationship.

At the end of it, near the end of it, my mother made a stark observation. She told me to look at her.

I did.

She told me that I looked dead. She said my eyes had always shone, since I was a little girl, and they no longer were shining. She told me the relationship I was in was killing me.

And it was.

I knew it was. I  knew it was, when I was sitting with pen and paper and NOTHING came out of mixture of time and space and energy.

Since I was 8, even earlier, the stories, the words, would just come–THEY WOULD JUST COME. There was nothing–nothing. I thought it was gone. I just new it was gone. I mourned for it. I missed it. I would get smattering of it every now and then, the ebb and flow of its power like I was pulling the sword from the stone or a disciple of Hecate from Macbeth.

But in came the one I mentioned in the dedication of my book, *The Love Songs Of The Unrequited, Volume 1. The words came back, slowly, crawling and then with dam breaking speed.

That portion of me, that portion of self I thought my malevolent ex  had stolen from me along with everything else, was coming back. I was me again.  How can you not love someone that gave you back what you thought was gone?

Someone whom helped you regain the hope in you?

I shared worked with him, like a shy child and favorite teacher. At every positive acknowledging, every tear-born word, he heard, he accepted and told me that I was unlike any woman he had ever known.

The kicker?

He told me that I was talented and to keep writing.

He told me to keep going.

That was like breathing again after being underwater. It was glorious to see the light again, it was that dark for me without being able to write. I had a muse…he was it.

I wrote when I was happy. I wrote when I was sad. I wrote to deal without having him nearby. I wrote when I couldn’t talk to him. I wrote when I couldn’t sleep. I memorized his accent, his inflection, his voice, I locked him away in my heart–incomparable to anything before or since. There was *Alejandro and then everyone else.

With him being out of state, all I had to hang onto him was his voice, letters, cards and calls. I smiled again, jumped rope again (yes, OLD SKOOL ROPE!), stayed on the phone with him three hours a night, after working second shift (he worked first shift) and did we did stupid teenage things.

Oh, like what? Like this:

Me:  “No, I love you.”

Him: “I love you too.”

Silence.

(Same conversation after doing kissy-faces to the phone receiver)

Him: “You hang up, I have to go to work in the morning. I feel like crap when I can’t wake up.”

Me:  “Welp, gimme 5 more minutes and I’ll let you go. Por favor, mi amor? Para mi?

(An hour later, same conversation)

Me: *Alejandro, it’s (however stupid late in the morning it is).

Him:  (breathing in the phone, clearly asleep)

Me: (closing eyes, listening to him breathe. Hangs up the phone only when dial tone wakes me up. (I fell asleep like this more than I will admit here.))

Oh, yeah. We did that at…all in love and not giving a damn.

At 23, I was 16 again.

It was lovely. It was new, it was healthy. He loved me, and I knew to my depth of marrow that he did.

Oh, you wanna know how Shax fits into all this, you ask? Welp, anyone whom is close to me will eventually get a name from literature. Whether that be from a comic or a centuries old play, or a TV show I’m hooked on.

He was my Romeo, my Antony, my County Paris  and my Hamlet…and My Dean (you gotta be a fangirl to know #SPN).

He, too, was my Peter Parker. All mild-mannered, dorky, intelligent, strong and sweet.

He called me his MJ.

(I don’t care! I LOVE TOBEY AS SPIDER-MAN!)

MJ.

Mary. Jane.

Mary Jane Watson.

You would have to be a geek, or love one, to get how deep that is, and how sweet that is, and how I could not want the forever after with Parker.

Sigh.

Every time I would move beyond his grasp in the time we occupied–I would be dating, he would be dating  (but we still spoke on a fairly consistent basis), but I would think about him, him about me, and somehow come back together again.

The weirder thing?

He knew when I was ‘far’ from him, and he from me. We knew when the closeness wasn’t there or quite right.

Quite remarkable.

I was getting back to me.

My Able Unshakeable was a reminder that knights still do exist.

They still fight in wars, have armor and still find damsels in distress.

They still hold love and honor as virtues not punchlines.

They still find the broken in the beautiful ones.

They still are willing to tell the Queens of the realms, they can cry again–that strength and beauty she is clothed in, but it is not destiny always to rule alone.

There is one, will be one, to see tears behind smiles, childlike joy in laughter that reaches your toes and thinks your eyes hold light even when they are shut.

These chosen of your heart are able to see you as no one else. If the Fate of God be merciful, you get to spend your life with them.

As for me?

Maybe next lifetime.

I have this one to live out with a man that is able to do that…and he found me while I was yet hiding. How blessed am I?

I love you, Phillip**.

*-For sanity and anonymity, his legal name will not be mentioned here. He does know the work exists, and even the dedication. He has moved on with his life, and I wish him nothing but happiness and joy. He has earned it.

**-Yes, that is my  real husband’s real name.

[images from Google]

The Able Unshakeable (Part 1)

There are the people in your life that clearly know they belong in it, but will never come into it in any desired capacity.

There are people in your life that believe that they belong in it, but you will never let in.

Then there are those people that come in believing that have all right to be there, and you agree. Then the pursuit of all that love entails.

The hunt as it were.

The state of being together, but not really together, and them in your life makes everything sweeter, and lighter, and easier. They make loving yourself easier, because they love you.

I have one like that.

It took me years to not think of him without my heart fluttering. If you’re honest, you have one like that too. The person that no one can hold a candle to, or someone that is the archetype of what a good mate is, or the best boyfriend or girlfriend. The person your heart remembers.

I remember taking a Psych class, I remember the name of it was called the Study of Psychodynamic Substances. A fancy name of the drugs that alter your mind, as it were. There is something the class referenced to called EM.

This is short for emotional memory.

Now, stay with me because I’m about to help you out! This type of memory is purely somatic. Meaning, your own body has a memory independent of the more sentient memory–memory and memories you store in your brain.

In this class, this type of memory is totally based on sensations and impulses–or even catalysts to or of both ideals.

That. BLEW. ME. AWAY!

To find out that my body had a (bleep) memory? That changed game forever. Why? I could then begin to put a name to what it was I was feeling.

Keep in mind, I’m happily married now. I’m a college grad, a mother, a writer, a blogger and with like 9 other things I want to do and see before I leave the world and go back to God.

But I am aware of the ‘ghosts’ in my life that have this effect on me. Those people that come into thought when I try and do something else, concentrate on happier things. Most of the time I’m successful–I keep some at bay, have exercised the others to the point they are non-existent.

But there is one that I have to remain armed at the ready over.

Even admitting it sounds like a form of defeat. It shows where the chink in the armor is. It shows where I can be hit at–a heart map, if you will.

The Unshakeable One.

The Able Unshakeable.

This is the one that makes you think ‘what if’. This is the person whom at a thought is able to cause emotional havoc in both spectrum directions depending on where you are emotionally. The one that can show you where it is you could go if they would only come in.

The one that you never envisioned having to live life without, only realizing the indignity of having to. The one that when you hear their name you have to pretend that you won’t cry or scream, blush, get horny thinking about or become incensed.

The one that knew what every inflection of voice meant, where every mood came from, the one that could soothe you with a look. The one that your heart sang such sweet sonnets for.

The one that didn’t know what they wanted, but knew they wanted you, but you would wait your life for.

But I suppose you do, don’t you?

In Julius Ceasar, the most famous line quoted is by Ceasar’s wife, Calpurnia, in Act 2, Scene 2, page 2:

“Cowards die many times before their deaths;
The valiant never taste of death but once.
Of all the wonders that I yet have heard,
It seems to me most strange that men should fear;
Seeing that death, a necessary end,
Will come when it will come.”

In this quote I find solace when it relates to the Unshakable One.

I know that in accepting of what is not, and may never be, I have marked the end of what once was and is no more.

I am of no illusion of what time has given, and even, stolen from me. I accept that life before him and after him have indeed been marked.

In the marking, in this death, I do not fear.

His presence may come, but it cannot remain…at least not always. He gave me a glimpse at forever but left me with mortality, questions and the desire to know just how on Earth he had gotten such a hold on me!

I wondered often, alone, out loud and with tears, how had I loved someone with lioness ferocity, with the fidelity of a Queen…and not be with him?

It stunned me.

As a writer, I had to find the glitch in the script. I had to get to the plot twist, only to realize…*Alejandro and I were the plot twist. We were the glitch in the system.

I didn’t think what he found in me and me in him was even able to be found in  anyone anymore. What we were reaching for didn’t make sense to heartbroken people, cynical people.

We were a celestial anomaly–and I loved it! I reveled in it. I had found something akin to jasper, diamonds and topaz.  I loved him and he loved me. And I knew from the DEPTH of me that he did.

After being in a broken state after a necessary (I cannot stress how necessary it was to leave that dude alone!) breakup in the Summer of 2002 I was still hurting when I met *Alejandro that December. We exchanged numbers and when I heard his voice? I blushed.

BLUSHED. HARD.

As our affection grew, he was a heart starter, I could breathe again. He reminded me I was intelligent and gorgeous and worthy of love. Nothing could be so, would be so amazing…and I enjoyed it.

The more I got of him, the more I wanted and the more we gave to each other. The amazing thing? There was nothing like anything before or since…how could I not want it? But yet…here I am and there he is and…was.

I understand every love is different, indeed, and I am and was thrilled he reminded me that I was worthy of it.

*-Not his real name.

[images from Google and Shutterstock]

It Was Never About Bathrooms

“It was never about bathrooms, just like it was never about water fountains.”

-George Takei

 I am astounded by the cruelty of the human condition. I am amazed how apatheic and evil we can be towards other human beings. From slavery, to internment of Japanese-Americans, and the expatriation of those of Chicano/Latinx ancestry, and now the policing of crotches…CROTCHES.

Since the introduction of this nos infamous bathroom bill in North Carolina, I have not seen before or since ignorance ramp up with superhuman boldness. Nevermind the fact the bill is steeped in stupidity and hate, and really impossible to police, it goes to the point LGBTQIA activist and actress Laverne Cox mentioned on Late Night with Stephen Colbert earlier this month:  it’s about existing. EXISTING. To deny the most basic of human function is to eliminate and erase the deemed undesirable from your comfortable spaces. The root for that sort of elimination is fear and profit. Those of this human condition seem to thrive on the fear of what we don’t understand. What we don’t understand we seek to subdue, control or eradicate–even if it’s people.

I recognize my privilege as a cis-gendered woman. I have never been in a position where I had to adjust myself to conform to a self that is or was alien to what my mind new to be true. I cannot imagine what is or must be like to know what you are, and a reflection not agree or project that. I cannot imagine what it is like to have to lie to those closest to you about what you believe you are. I cannot imagine what it is like to be told by people that love you that you indeed or an error, a sin, a freak or a mistake. I have never encountered such fervor in objection to my right to exist. I have never, nor will I ever be affected by these silly bills that tell those of trans-experience in order to be accepted you have to follow this law–when there is not enough stringent legislation that protects women (PERIOD!) from predatory attacks. The most recent in my mind is the case of an adult man that was in a Target bathroom and tried to attack a child that was using the bathroom with her mother present. That mother beat him to protect her daughter, and he has been arrested and imprisoned.

The hate that I have seen from some communities of faith has shocked me to a level of rage I had not seen before. I saw memes depicting crass jokes, and sentencing damnation. I have never been in a state of discontent strong enough to deny my faith, however, I have been in emotional places where I believed the better thing to do was, indeed, model what Christ would do. Where we find Christ in scripture is out among people, listening and helping and offering truth in love. HE gave room for disagreement (arguing with scribes and Pharisees), discussion (the woman at the well in Samaria), and even dismissal of His wisdom (in case of the rich young ruler). He gave the RIGHT to exist…as should we.

I joked that when I got to the bathroom that I am there to pee and leave. Most people are. If you present as female, use the ascribing bathroom. If you present as male, use the ascribing bathroom. Why is that difficult? What I see is the major difficulty for those that imbibe and spew this level of hatred and avarice is the lack of grace. You don’t have to always agree with something when you don’t believe in it–however, you must have enough forethought to think it may benefit someone else. Like the passing of the 19th Amendment. Like the Emancipation Proclamation. Even the Declaration of Independence and the ratifying of the US Constitution. This life we live, we do live in parallel realms:  individually (my life) and corporately (the lives of other people). This nation has not grasped that yet.

We love to inflict rather than invite. We desire dominance and shun understanding. We would rather rule and subvert rather than  govern. In order to do the latter of what I have mentioned, you must allow space for the benefits of others, realizing that those rights DON’T supplant your own.

So no, this isn’t about ‘protecting children’, or ‘protecting women’–there are cis-gendered men that are free or have served little to no jail time because they have chose to violate a woman whom all she did was exist, or tell him no, trying to maintain protection of her own personhood. Spare me the confusion that these people invite Jesus into. I understand that we are to make no provision for the flesh, but we are supposed to apply and give grace–no matter the person. The final authority being God, this same God that loved all of us, HIS CHILDREN.

How about we allow God to be God, because we aren’t…and we can all pee in peace.