Advertisements

Category: Graceful Loss

This Blog, And Our Community of Readers (You) Are The Reason For Everything.

8 Comments

Here I am, at 5:46 A.M. in my friend’s spare room. I have not slept. I have not slept because within me, there is a gigantic screeching harpy who is threatening to devour my soul, unless I write something.

Even then, this feathered creature will most likely not vacate my insides until I’m satisfied with at least a few sentences of whatever it is I’m striving to convey for you.

The thing is that I love writing. I also love technology and the far-reaching web of the internet. Thus: blogging became my outlet. I am grateful; I’ve discovered a lot about myself through this blog.

I have gained so much more than I ever thought possible. When I started this blog, I was in quite literally the worst possible mental state one could possibly be in.

I was choking on my own anxiety. I had only just recently decided to rip the metaphorical duct tape off of my mouth and to finally, once and for all, begin telling my truth.

I kept a lot of the things that were causing me pain deep within my psyche thinking it was the right thing to do, quite honestly, because I didn’t want to be the loud-mouth who made everyone look bad or feel like shit about themselves after reading about how gloomy, hypervigilant and distrustful I really am.

Second, there are not a lot of people (or at least that’s what I assumed), that would understand why I so desperately needed to carve out a safe space on a blog through writing, or by recording videos in which I overshare my fragile existence and overestimate people’s attention span as well as my inability to hold said attention.

But, with my wife’s permission, I told our story. I wrote about how I started this blog with the hope that more people would be compassionate towards transgender individuals and their families. Even though that’s only like ten percent of what Welcomehomehealing.com is meant to be, it was the catalyst for freedom of expression, the tail on the donkey, the straw that broke the camel’s back, etcetera etcetera.

I’d go on about covert abuse, power imbalances, codependency, generational negligence masked as stoicism and how it all hit me in the face after years of thinking I was the one who wasn’t good enough, but that’s really not the point.

My point is that I was in a really bad way. I had no out. But I had the internet. I believed my voice could still move mountains and it was at this time I was forced to use my mouth, written words, and blog to liberate myself from hell. I could only use what I had at my disposal – my laptop and our story.

So I wrote and wrote and kept recording videos and kept putting my heart on display until I met the people I needed to meet, who then became friends.

I also wrote about the nasty childhood wounds that are still pervasive to this day. I wrote about my miscarriage. I wrote about how I’d put every cent into creating this space of safety for others, like me, who just couldn’t seem to find a lifejacket in times where they couldn’t wake up without being drowned in tears and sunlight.

Because I was true to myself, because I risked everything, because I had faith that someone, somewhere would resonate with our message and what we stood for, I do not live in my car.

Because of the kindness and generosity of others and a whole mountain of faith and high hopes, I am safe to create a life for myself and my partner, and not the other way around.

I have you, the reader, to thank for that. If you are reading this, please know that I love you and all will align as it should.

Words and truth helped me find a home. A blog, this blog, is the reason I now live right next door to a dear friend. If you hadn’t read it or attempted to understand, I’d probably be a little less… cozy.

Love and compassion have been in abundance more than ever before, and though it is a lot to take in, I would never dare complain.

So thank you… thank you for liking words so much that you read my letters and ramblings to you. Keep writing, there’s much more to gain from expressing lived truths than monetary value.

Write because you want to and because you deserve to. It’ll take you places. 😉

Advertisements

On ‘Eating Shit Sandwiches’

No Comments

Dust settles…

We packed what we could and left.

Our first venture with an air mattress didn’t go so well. In our first go-round with balloon beds, we slept comfortably enough but would wake up two or three times a night. The air had vacated its dwelling place inside the mattress and decided the floor could hold us up.

We got a new one and saved our backs. For the most part, it’s holding up nicely; I didn’t wake up on the floor as I did with the other one. These past few nights have been kind to us. Both of us are grateful and humbled by the scenery, a good night’s rest, and the gift of the weather’s unpredictability.

I’ve neglected everything in moderation. I now fall asleep at normal hours, and I wake up before noon. Before, I was completely nocturnal. I’d be wired at 4. A.M. – watching the sunrise should never get that old.

We still hold hands, even when we’re asleep. (July 2014)


The water here is different. Showers feel as if you’ve gotten cleaner. Soft water has a tendency to keep your body slick. In contrast, hard water slaps the residue from my outermost organ (if the skin is still considered an organ, anyway). Yes, hard water and soft water is a thing. I didn’t know that until a few years ago.

An address is the furthest thing from my mind, even though the fact that I’m writing about it says otherwise. I’d be lying if I said I was in a rush to get one. I’m not in a hurry, and this town isn’t either.

What a change.

As for me and my family, we were only able to leave with one of our animals. Letting go was hard, but we made the right choice as far as those kinds of painful choices go. It’s funny when we first moved into those duplexes, we were asked to choose which dog we would keep.

In the past, I was unable to make such a decision. It’s like picking a child, and though we all have those we gravitate toward, letting go of the one you don’t think could get their shit together always seems wrong. At the time, we could afford to pay to keep both, and it was the right choice for that timeframe.

This time we were faced with that choice again.

Banjo (left) Annie (right)

(It’s too cold here for him, too noisy, and we decided it wouldn’t be in his best interest to live with us). If there’s such a thing as a good parent, or parents, I believe it would look like the parent who puts the interests of the child before their own wants and anxieties. We wished we could take him with us, and we were going to, but our judgment stepped in, and everything worked out.

We opted to have an older couple adopt him, and they were more than happy to oblige; they said they needed his energy around.

We couldn’t prevent our pain and we couldn’t hold our back our tears. Before that day, I hadn’t touched a cigarette in years, let alone smoke one. Yet, when we brought him to his new parents, I took the one I was offered without so much as a second thought. I said goodnight to him, though nothing would quell the sharp pain we both felt.

My heart kept pulling me to his new home. I could say nothing; it was in the middle of the night. I gently tapped the part of the house where his room was and tried to ignore the fact that I probably looked as if I’d gone mad standing outside of the duplex. I told him goodbye and reminded him (and myself) that I wouldn’t bring him somewhere I thought he would come to harm, and that this decision, though devastating was the best I could do at this time.

My wife still misses him fiercely, but now that we’ve arrived we both agree that this would not be a sufficient place to house him, he’s nervous enough already. I hope he’s well. He never liked the rain, and so far, it has rained more often than not.

Me and Banjo at Bedtime – 2018

As I write this, I realize that this blog has become more about the conscious art of letting go than anything else I had intended. I’m okay with this. I hope you are too. I’m not the type of person that can write a niche blog, though it is wiser and perhaps more lucrative to do so. (I don’t care if you do, do your thing)!

It is true, isn’t it? We teach what we need to learn. I have never been great at goodbyes or letting go. I have trouble processing them, but the more I realize they are often inevitable, the less I suffer.

Pain can’t be avoided. Choices have consequences. Thinking through our fears and shielding our eyes from the terrors of a life lived well only works for a short while.

Letting go of my dog, Banjo, taught me everything about the pain of goodbye and marching forward after a decision has been made. Sometimes, there is no choice less shitty than the other.

Sometimes choice demands you to shed skin, to lose everything to gain something better. Sometimes you need to decide what part of the shit sandwich you’d rather eat, knowing that whatever side you choose will undoubtedly rip your heart out.

We do the best with what we have in the shed, and the tools we are given are all we have, so we might as well learn to build a home when the first house gets burned to the ground.

I love you.
Welcome Home.
You’re Safe Here
.

Nosedive

No Comments

I’m excited about what lies ahead. In a few weeks I’ll be starting over.

I’ve become comfortable with uncertainty; it’s even a bit thrilling. I’ve always known that nothing is certain, but this time I feel it on a soul level.

My motivation, and my stubbornness have carried me this far. Not only that, but my faith and absolute determination to not take no for an answer.

I’ve had to sell nearly every item in my house, publish a patreon, fight tooth and nail to not let greed get me down, forget that pride exists, and loosen my grip.

Nose diving into my life with reckless abandon isn’t so scary once you’re off the ledge.

I’m in awe at how I’ve surpassed myself and my expectations of myself as well.

But, a one-man-show is never a one-man-show. I could do nothing without the help of God and the people who have been there to catch me as I was free falling.

An invisible army is still an army.

Happy Birthday, Mommy.

No Comments

Hey there. Today is April 17th, 2019. Today is mom’s birthday. Today is also the sixteenth anniversary of her passing on April 17th, 2003. Some folks are kind of shocked to realize that she died on her birthday. Like… almost as if it was a bad omen, or as if it was unfortunate. I’ve always thought it was a matter of perspective.

These are some heavy times for the lovers, the introverts, and the givers.

At the risk of coming across as blasphemous, I am personally glad my mother is not here to bear the burden of these polarizing trials life has handed to us.

Perhaps I may have had a rough decade or so and maybe my view’s a bit skewed. I digress.

As time goes on, the blindfolds come off; allowing my worldview to grow exponentially. I am grateful for growing pains. I hope to experience as many as I can.

My mother only lived to be twenty-seven.
I am currently twenty-six.

Admittedly, I have recently been plagued by the hope that I will not die at twenty-seven like my mother. This phenomenon is not uncommon; though I do find it odd how it hit me so suddenly, so heavily.

Death will not come for me. I will not allow it. Give me another five years at the very least and then we’ll talk. 😉

I’m kidding. Pretending is something I am atrocious at. Therefore, I won’t pretend that I plan to evade the reaper. On the other hand, I do not intend to go down without a fight. I have always struck out only to come back swinging.

Ask about me. 😉

My destiny does not have to align with my mother’s, and I don’t think she wants that for me. I will not allow her passing to override the joy of my own aging. (Honestly, I think I get more attractive the older I get). I’ll be a hot old lady.

I love the confidence that comes with aging.
I wish I was able to witness more people embracing the passage of time.

My mother was so young. She was just starting out. She had such love and light to give to others. She was hurt easily. She loved easily. The classic blessing begets the classic curse.

I have definitely followed in her shoes when it comes to being a lover. I love, and love, and love. These days, it’s called codependence. If love is my affliction, I think I’m doing pretty good for myself.

I didn’t love my mother as I should have. Who knows love at ten? Though, I love her now, every day, fully. There is not a day that goes by that she does not cross my mind. It is a feeling that cannot be grasped.

Yet, I can think of no one who deserved the freedom of the afterlife as much as my warrior of a mother.

I love you, Ma. I love you with all of my heart. I think of you daily. I know you don’t like to see me agonize over life the way I often do. So, I’m trying to get my shit together, Ma. I’m writing again. I try to be a good wife. I talk about you a lot. I wish I could see films about you. But, that wouldn’t suffice. Take care of your granddaughter for me. I miss her every day since I lost her. Though, I sure am glad she got to meet you on her own. My stories of you wouldn’t do you justice. I love you. I’ll be alright. I’ll be alright, Ma. Sleep good, beautiful. How lucky I am to have my daughter and my mother as guides.

Happy Birthday Mom ♥





To help me publish a book of poetry, (and let’s face it: to help keep the lights on): consider becoming a patron.
It would mean the world to me.






I have failed. Here’s Why I’m Okay With That.

No Comments



I will never again go to a school, job, or organization that does not value its students. I will never enter a shady job simply because it is a job. My time, brain and stress levels deserve better. You do too. Know your worth!

I entered school (College) in January 2019. I was determined to succeed and not waste any more of my life.

via GIPHY

Up until this moment, I have had a 4.0 GPA. I put all of my time, effort and energy into being there, and doing well. Things started out great until I reached out for disability accommodations, and then this [dis]organization revealed itself.

I was supposed to start at this school and then transfer to get my B.A. in Psych; I would then move on to my Master’s in Marriage and Family Therapy. It looks like I won’t be able to do that now. At least, not at this moment.

However, though I am disappointed, I remain unfazed by this. I am unfazed because I know I did my part 100%.

I purchased practice-test books, hundreds of dollars in school supplies, and this doesn’t include proctoring fees I was charged (which by the way, I did not even need to purchase because I’m not on campus, but was never refunded).

via GIPHY



As an example:
I wrote entire chapters by hand because something was off with the tests. What we were given to study was nothing like the exams we were assigned.

I thought I was crazy. Maybe I hadn’t studied hard enough – maybe I had to think outside of the box. So, I did. Still, the second and third exam came around, and again the tests did not match what we (my classmates and I) had read.

Lo and beholds, seventy-eight other students had the same issue. The. Exact. Same. One.


It was then that I realized other schools had the same exams word-for-word; apparently, it was what I had suspected – the materials were mismatched. I was so weirded out!

When the other students reached out to the professor, they were told it was something they, themselves had done wrong!

I’m guessing the teacher saw where I pointed out the tests were mismatched and felt as if I were playing hero. (To be honest, I guess I was, but there were so many students who had worked just as hard as me, I couldn’t stand the injustice and I felt compelled to help out).

So, I try to be a good person. Stone me.


(I did not cheat, I googled the answers BEFORE the tests, not during).

A few weeks later, one professor tells me that I have not read the chapters.
(Remember, of course I read them. I wrote them!)

via GIPHY



I was pissed off. I sent the professor photos of my handwriting on the work we were assigned – three to four pages front and back.

NO RESPONSE! NOTHING.

via GIPHY



I suspect this professor may believe I was cheating, because the institution’s name and password (that I need to enter class) has been removed. When I try to do the assignments, I simply can’t. I’ve sent multiple messages to no avail.

I learned that the “school” is on probation. Enrolled students were sent “word-salad”:
“We’re on probation but we assure you we are dedicated!”


What a crock.

via GIPHY



I can no longer give my all to shitty places, people, or even things that do not value dedication.

You shouldn’t either.

Do you know what that’s like? Running full speed at a brick wall? I bet you do, and I bet you’ve learned this lesson too. For that, I commend you for keeping your head on straight.

via GIPHY


BUT I NOTICED AN UNHELPFUL PATTERN WITHIN MYSELF.



I run at these brick walls. Again. And again. And again. Insanity? No.

It is more like the need to prove that I am worthy, no matter how much that stresses me out. No matter how one-sided things are, I noticed I push myself harder than I should. In some way, I think I have misplaced my intrinsic, static, God-given value. I have tied my value into how hard I work, how hard I push myself.

It’s almost impossible not to when as a culture people are praised and celebrated, rewarded even, for tenacity and grit.

Harder still, when you’re in a wheelchair: when you’re disabled and you strain, when you climb, when you take a few unassisted steps. When you don’t need to bother anyone to help you use the bathroom – when you can wipe your own ass. You know what happens?

YOU GET A FUCKING STANDING OVATION.


via GIPHY



How crazy is that? I had never made this connection before.

My friends, you are worthy not because of your actions. You are worthy because you are alive.



via GIPHY

If you have never known or come to this realization, I genuinely assure you that I am dead serious. I am so sorry that you have never felt loved just as you are; just as you should be.

Most importantly, I want to apologize to myself; to the child within me whose feelings got so hurt that they thought they had to prove themselves worthy of anything. To the little girl in me who was not protected – who only dreamed of unconditional love, who gave everything within her in hopes that others would give back, much to her dismay.


And to you, dear reader, I love you as you are.
Still, it is more important that you fail at everything so that you learn what you need to heal the most. It is okay to love yourself.

via GIPHY


/

Please consider donating. It would make my heart smile. I appreciate you.



Welcome Home.
You’re Safe here. <
3


So… money? 🙂

Donating to the site helps keep the domain up and running. It also takes care of necessities. Most of my entertainment comes from reading books. Your money isn't wasted here.

$1.00

Bruised Loser

2 Comments
Dissecting the frogs in my throat,
Viral disease transmission,
Unloading the chamber,
Confessing sins to my friends,
All Sunday morning - easy.


I already know
that money can't buy hope.
Witnessed the devil in me,
Honey, even that ain't scary.


But, Sweetheart,
I did more than hope for you.
I prayed to any Lord that would listen.


I'd been so tired of singing the blues;
So, I prayed for you.
Promised I'd never ask for anything else;
I put old hopes up on the shelf.


And there you stood.


Finally, I believed
Without the need for proof.

Now,

The only thing painful
About loving you is knowing
That one day
It's your life I've got to learn to lose.



Adversity Is A Gift

No Comments

In the words of Viktor Frankl, “What is to give light must endure burning.”

Over the years, I have come to learn that the adversity I have experienced is a gift to me. Without it, I would be able to help no one. Without it, I would not know what it means to be thirsty due to adversity. I would not know my own strength. To pass through life without an opponent is the real tragedy.

On February 2, 1993, my teenage mother was being notified that I had had three strokes and would be deaf dumb, and blind. I spent three months in the NICU before she could even take me home. I was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy shortly after I was born. Yet, even as an infant, I was blessed with a fighting spirit. Today, I can hear, speak and see. Although I cannot walk, a wheelchair is not enough to defeat me. It is easier to bring giants to their knees when you are sitting down. I consider my beginning quite fitting for the life that I would eventually lead. In a sense, I was born with boxing gloves.

My mother was a beautiful woman who taught me altruism, compassion, and is the reason I have never met a stranger. She passed away when I was 10 years old. I still remember the day my relatives sat me down to tell me the news. My grandmother put my hair up in a ponytail, while my dad seemed to be searching for a way to say the unthinkable. I remember looking at the lamp that was near me as my dad said, “Your mom went to sleep on her birthday, and she never woke up.” I said, “You’re kidding, right?” My grandmother told me that they would never joke about something like that. The last thing I remember was hearing myself wail for about two seconds before I wiped my tears and watched cartoons.

I was given a day to decide if I wanted to go to her funeral, as I was still very young and my family was unsure if I could handle it. At the tender age of 10, I remember thinking that I would instead remember my mother the way she was; I knew she was not the body in that casket. Fearing that I would regret it later in life if I did not go, I went. The funeral is a blur; I remember not wanting to sit near the casket. I remember being afraid to say goodbye. I remember being afraid of her lifeless body. It was odd to feel afraid of your mother.

People have always said that when someone dies, it looks as if they are sleeping. It did not look as if she was sleeping. She looked more like a painting that evoked a surge of emotion, too much emotion. Still, I could not look away. Oddly enough, I think the thing that bothered me the most was that I could not see her feet. The top of the casket was open while the bottom was closed. So, I just kept asking, “Where are her feet?” I suppose, in order to make sense of the reality, I had to correct the picture. I did not cry that day. I have spent many years questioning whether or not I was a good person because I did not shed a tear in my mother’s funeral. Some have thought ill of me for it, while others have said, “You did not cry because she didn’t want you to cry.”
It rained that night. My family told me of how in some traditions, that when it rains at a funeral. The person is there with you. Today, I am still comforted by the sound of rain.
After my mom’s death, I spent a lot of time in foster homes. I also spent a lot of time thinking I deserved to be there. I realize that I can go into more detail. I could tell you all the horrible stories of what happens to children in foster care, but I do not wish to allow anyone or anything to steal any more of my life from me. They no longer have the power to do that.
The bright side of being in foster care was that it taught me to see people as human, always. One girl had cut up and down her arms but helped me to get dressed in the morning for school. She was an artist. I met a little boy who had fetal alcohol syndrome. He had been left on the steps of the building after his adoptive parents found out they were pregnant. He would often ask me, “Carla, do you love me so much?”
I met another little boy who was mute and had not spoken a word in the three years he’d been alive. I would often ride in the backseat of the car with him. To this day, I still remember him blowing me a kiss. This was the first time he’d ever done that.

When I recall these people and these memories, I often wonder where they are today. They are part of the reason I would like to be a therapist that specializes in trauma. With the right tools, I plan to do that. I know that those children are thirsty for love in the same way that I was once. I wish to be water for them, though I would never fully extinguish their fire. I know that it would also help them give light to others.
As of right now, I work as a volunteer Crisis Counselor. It is because of the past pain that I was able to calmly talk with multiple people who are on the brink of ending their life. A few have even thanked me for helping them live through the night. I wish to use my education to give back. With the help of others, we can all live to see another day.

%d bloggers like this: