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Tag: empowerment

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

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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. 😉

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Nosedive

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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.

The Purpose of Welcome Home Healing (Part 1)

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Trigger Warning: Abuse, Sexual Abuse, Domestic Violence, Suicidal Ideation

Here I sit, watching in amazement as our community at Welcome Home Healing is evolving on its own, even after my advertising funds ran dry; Even though Pinterest only has a picture of our Logo, and a picture of a flower that I used when I wrote ‘Toothless Grace‘.

It has been pinned and saved by moms, veterans, (Thank you for your sacrifice. We salute you!) students, poets, and way more people than I ever expected it to reach.

For you, friend, (you reading this) I am so grateful. For seeing potential in me, for sticking around through the highs and the lows, for being peace in my life, when for the last sixteen or so years, peace has been the last thing I have felt.

This post is the most honest and important one you’ll read, so, please, stick around for it.

You’ll notice I talk about safety a lot around here, and it is with good reason.
Not so long ago, I sat in foster homes praying for death.

You see,

My mom passed away when I was ten years old, and it was not easy to reach me. It was not easy to get through to me. So, to keep a long story short, foster care was the road I headed down.

I was scared, hopeless, and forced to remain silent about what was happening around me.

If I told someone I was screamed at for getting the wrong mustard out of the refrigerator, I’d just be hurt worse.

When I tried to speak up about how I had to sleep with all of my clothes on, even my shoes because it was snowing outside and I was only permitted to sleep on a bare mattress, the mattress was taken away.

When the girl who slept next to me molested me and I didn’t fight back, I felt dirty and used because I didn’t say anything. I knew she had nowhere else to go either.

Then, when I did speak up about what happened, it was dismissed. I was the liar everyone said I was.

When I had a staph infection on my elbow that oozed yellow gunk and my foster parent covered it in cotton balls and wrapped my arm in duct tape, instead of taking me to the doctor, I wailed in the school’s office when a dean saw me scratching at it, and urged me to go home for treatment. There was nothing I could do but cry.

When I fell face-down on concrete strapped to my wheelchair and was then made to crawl on concrete to the car, while the foster parent revved the engine while half of me was still hanging out of the door, I remained silent.

When I was forced to stay in one corner of a house as punishment between an air-vent and a twin-sized mattress, not allowed to enter another part of the house, still I remained silent.

I would go to school, and it would go by so fast because I was scared to go ‘home’.

Abusers are marvelous oppressors.

Your silence – not theirs – is their greatest weapon.

Abusers isolate you,
they cut off all avenues of healthy communication between you and the people who actually do care about you.

This is easy to do to a foster child, they have no one to advocate for them to begin with.

I spent many nights hoping morning would elude me, but it never did.

Believe it or not, I am so grateful that death had not come for me. I would not be able to sit here in my apartment, that is filled with love, and my wonderful dogs, and hamsters, and my wife who is asleep in our bedroom.

If I had remained silent, if I had not trusted God, I do believe I would have died.

Since then I have been in contact with more bullies, abusers, and the like. Though I may not have wanted to, I have seen them for what they are and opened my mouth (when it was safe to do so). I have helped more people escape abuse, in hopes that they would remember to take their own power back.

I try earnestly to help them find their inner voice.

Abusers chip away at the core of the very person’s willpower – their self-esteem – and their job is done.

They know that communication, big mouths, effective communicators, light-seekers, and lovers, are a threat to their plan.

How do abusers keep a person trapped?

  • Take away their courage to speak the truth.
  • Break their spine, without even touching them.
  • Make them forget who they are, slowly.
  • Poison the water in which they, and everyone else swims.
  • Normalize the behavior.
  • Provide a necessity – money, food, shelter, and make the victim feel as though they’d be powerless without the abuser.

If you are being abused, if any of this sounds even the slightest bit familiar to you, I want you to know that you are beautiful and powerful, and if you are not safe in your home, in your body, mind or soul, you are welcome here at welcomehomehealing.com

When you are ready and in a safe place to do so, you can reach out to:

Domestic Abuse Hotline
https://www.thehotline.org/ (Do this in a place away from home. Be mindful of your internet usage!)

RAINN
https://www.rainn.org/about-national-sexual-assault-telephone-hotline

If you are suicidal or feel unable to cope –
text home to 741741, someone will be there to support you through your moment of crisis.

You are not alone. You are not a victim. There is a life waiting for you.

I love you.



Welcome Home.


Adversity Is A Gift

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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.

Faith? Faith.

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Making the decision to lose everything or live in ridicule is never a choice a human should have to make, even if they are ‘queer’.

I’m in a situation that I realize is far better than half of the universe. I’m not sleeping under a bridge, I’ve been able to pay my water and light bill, and I’m not starving.

To keep a long story short, I’ve applied to at least fifty or so jobs in the last 2 weeks, and I’ve heard nothing back.

My wife and I are basically left with nothing after years of anxiety-ridden days of having no choice but to coexist (interact?) with people who admittedly said they would never accept us.

Money was at stake, but eventually, it became blood money, and there was no way we could hide anymore.

I realize what we gave up. I realize that money leads to open doors, but I also will not sacrifice my soul for it. That’s essentially what we were asked to do. Hide, or be hidden.

Finding a job with a disability is excruciating. It is painful. If entrepreneurship were not a thing, I don’t know where we would be.

My wife took on three courier jobs, delivering food. She’s made thirteen dollars so far.
I am a volunteer for a crisis line, and I was hoping to find a job from home. I haven’t found anything yet.

So, I got a little bit creative and started this blog up again, which has proven to be emotionally fulfilling, and I’m genuinely happy to be here. I’m also hoping to start a podcast under the same name (welcomehomehealing).

I’ve got some school money to carry us through, but I can’t lie and say I’m not apprehensive about the future. But the funny thing is, I’m not scared even though I’m staring poverty in the face.

I’m no stranger to it. I’ve been here before. I’m only hurt because my wife deserves better. Helplessness (not being able to help those you love most) is far worse than empty pockets or the sting of betrayal.

At the same time, I’m at peace with where we are. We are free, though it came at a large price. I’ve made the decision to put my all into this blog; into all of my art, and not looking back. I’ve decided to grow wings from this time in our life, and I’m doing my best to be grateful for it.

I’m excited to tell you, the reader, stories about where we are, where we hope to be and walk with you on this journey. I am not afraid. I have spent far too long in fear.

***If you are transgender, gay, a person of color, or disabled, or if you face discrimination in any way, please know that your qualities that differentiate you from others are also the ones that make you beautiful, even though you don’t feel that way at this moment. If you suffer or have suffered at the hands of a loved one, my heart is forever with you.***

I love you. There is a place for you. If nothing else, please feel free to take comfort and find a home in this blog. This is why I affectionately named it “Welcome Home” or “welcomehomehealing”.

Please, if you are reading this, no matter who you are or where you are, don’t lose sight of who you are. Don’t ever give up. Life has so much in store for both of us.

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Allow Me To Reintroduce Myself

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WELCOME HOME!

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My name is Esmeralda, and my goal is to guide you from victimhood to empowerment.

My goal is to get you out of your head and guide you to where you want to be.

This blog is not about me. It is about you. I believe in you.

 I’m interested in your results.
BUT.
I’ll be happy for you even if you fail.
I’ll be cheering you on when you succeed.
My goal is to be a source of light for you.

I’m not a mental health guru. I’m not an expert on anxiety. In fact, I’m still working on my degree, and I’m starting at community college.

I know nothing, except that up to this point, I’ve wasted the gifts that I’ve been given by sitting in cycles of shame and guilt. It is only now that I have realized shame and guilt are only useful if the feelings themselves can turn into action. I’m here to share with you how I’ve come to that realization.

I didn’t get here overnight, and it’ll take time to believe in yourself the way I believe in you.  The important thing is that you’re here. You’ve realized you’re stuck, or unhappy, or uneasy.  This is a great starting point.

I’m currently trying to put a podcast together, and I’ve got a few topics in mind.
I hope you’ll stick around as we progress together.

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