Just Like You.

I am fucked up. I am just as fucked up as you.

I tell lies; big, bold faced lies. I lie to myself everyday, right to my face. I don’t understand why since with the others I blab out the truth. An open book I am with them; strangers, friends, and even foes. Yet here I stand before this woman in the mirror, and lie.

I pretend that the horrors of my past don’t matter. That I have overcome it all. I am an actress embracing the role of a lifetime, the role of it all being ok. The truth is I am just as fucked up as you.

I get angry; not just over anything. When I do it’s a build up of sorts. When I do? Run for the fucking hills because the volcano will spew, consuming all in its wake.

A girl so “happy” and “positive” all the time surly has her days. When the day is here and the moment is now, it is a terrible day for all who are involved.

I am stubborn; a mule in human form when my way is all I see. When I feel right, I’m right, and there’s nothing else anyone can do about it.

I am a loser; compare me to all those that “know”. They know what to wear, what to say. They know when to have kids. They know who and when to get married. They know what car to buy. They always know how to act. They know what career they want and how to get there.

I talk shit on those people because let’s be fucking real, what do they fucking know??

I am unaccepting; leaving nothing out of range. I don’t accept social norms. The norms set by the heartless, the ones that view the world as their very own experimental tank.

I don’t accept the rules of this world. I only follow the laws of life. I rebel against the flow that the other fish may follow. I swim against the current even when I’m drowning; it’s what I do.

I vocalize my flaws and accept them for what they are; battles within myself that will never fully fall away. Just as I am beautiful, I can be ugly. Just as I am clever, I can be stupid. I am all of these, as well as so much more.

A bitch. A lover. A murderer. A daughter.  I am the realism that dances within your dreams. I am the deceit that helps blanket the illusion of life.

I am fucked up just like you.

 

Still I Wonder

He had saved his little sister’s life and he visibly wore his achievement on his skin.

His third degree burns weren’t 100% healed. You could tell in the pinkness of his black skin. They were everywhere. Patches that covered his hands and arms, his legs, even throughout most of his face with only his left side left untouched. It was obviously the first thing we all noticed as he stood in front of the class as our teacher introduced him.

His name was Alex and it was his first day of 2nd grade even though it was almost halfway through the first semester. He was nervous, I could tell by the way he shook his knee back and fourth, but he stood tall with his chin held high, holding a spider man book bag in his right hand.

He took a seat two rows ahead of me. I stared at him wondering to myself what could have happened. It wasn’t until days later that him and I were sitting together at recesses that one of the boys came up to him on a dare to ask him what had happened to him.

Fucking jerks. Kids can be a bunch of turds..

Yet, I stayed quiet. I wanted to know too so I too became a quiet little turd. He hadn’t even hesitated to answer and spoke slowly, perfectly:

His mother had been in the kitchen cooking. By her legs, there played Alex with his little sister. She had just gotten a new doll for her birthday and so he was entertaining her while mom finished with dinner, spaghetti. All of the sudden, all he hears is his mother scream and without thinking he grabbed to hug his sister. Without even thinking he had shielded her from what was to come. He felt the pain before hearing the pot hit the ground. His mother had accidentally knocked over the pot she had been boiling the water in, sending its contents spilling onto the boy. His sister hadn’t been at all touched by the scorching hot water.

I was mesmerized as he told his story. I could tell that the kid who had asked him didn’t know what to say. After Alex had finished, the boy simply rubbed his hair uncomfortably and walked away. We sat there on the curb quietly for a moment. It was a beautiful day. Clear blue skies with only a slight cold breeze, dead autumn leaves dancing in its movement.

“You’re like a hero.” I had broken the silence. He slightly shook his head.

“Heroes don’t really look like me.” He picked up a pebble and threw it. It skipped a few times across the parking lot before landing on a patch of dirt.

“What do heroes look like?” I turned to look at him. He seemed sad. He thought about his answer for a few seconds.

“Like my dad. He’s a police officer. He goes to people’s houses everyday to save people.” I pictured his dad, probably a handsome man in a crisply ironed uniform. Police officers were heroes to me back then and so I remember agreeing with him with a silent nod. But Alex was still a hero to me.

“Your dad is your dad. If you think he’s a hero than you are one too because he is your dad. He saves lives and you saved one too.”  I simply said. I then picked up a pebble and threw it.

It wasn’t long before Alex made his group of friends and life as kids went on as normal. The following year I left private school and got thrown into the turbulent world of public schooling. I lost contact of all of my old classmates. This was a time before kids had cell phones let alone a social media page, and so I never saw Alex again. He wasn’t even in our class photo. He had arrived so late into the school year that he had ended up missing picture day.

Even though much time has passed, and all he really is now is a distant faded memory, I will think of this hero child from time to time. I wonder what the future had held for him, where he was, and what he was doing with himself. Had karmatic justice been served in his case? I most certainly hope so.

 

 

 

Love. It Doesn’t Force.

I had to kick a boyfriend in the nuts once. It was the second time I had ever done that to someone. I mean, I hadn’t kicked him hard. Now looking back, maybe I should have.

Before you go on feeling bad for him and end up taking his side, I’d like to just mention that the asshole wasn’t taking “No” for an answer and had forced himself upon me. The way his hands pinned me down by my shoulders while making sure to spread my legs with his knees sent me back to a time in my life that I never wanted to revisit again. He was full of laughter of course. To him, I wasn’t seriously saying no, was I? How could his girlfriend, or any woman for that matter resist and say ‘no” to him?

It happened in what felt like a blink of an eye. I was 13 again and being pinned up against the wall by my abuser. I was too weak at the time to get away from this ex-marine’s grip and so there I hurt until I remembered to do what I had been taught to do in a situation such as this. Kick and Run.

No matter how fast I ran then, or how fast I had continued running even after all those years, the damage had been done because trauma has a funny way of keeping up with you no matter how fast you run. Here I was with my guy, and within seconds he is now my new abuser. After struggling against him, panic rising up within my chest, after not being able to take his heavy breaths and laughter landing upon my face, I brought my feet up towards his chest and propelled him off of me. He was a big guy so I hadn’t thrown him far. He quickly regained his balance and was again on top of me before I  was able to wiggle away.

“Why are you fighting me..you know you want..” and as he goes to unbuckle his belt, I swung my foot back and landed a strike on his most prized possession.  He quickly went down, “What the fuck, Nat!!..” and as he caught his breath I roll off the bed and told him to get the fuck out. I hadn’t cared if he was in pain. I wanted him out of my sight.. and to be honest I wanted him out of my life.

How is it possible that someone be so selfish? Most of you are probably thinking, “How was he supposed to know that he would trigger such a feeling?” Well simple, because we had talked about what had happened to me. Although within our relationship it was I that would mainly listen to him rant on about his problems, his demons, his life…I had once been given the split second chance to share this moment of my life with him. Not in full detail, his attention span was like that of a chimpanzee, but in enough detail that he knew what I had gone through and the pain that it had caused in my life.

SHOULD IT EVEN MATTER??

Does one ever really need a “good” reason to say no to someone’s sexual advances? Should it be one’s job or duty in a relationship to continuously feed a person’s insatiable sexual appetite with disregard of one’s own feelings?

There is more to the story. Steroid use and drug abuse definitely played a big role in this person’s actions, and once reminded of why I instinctively reacted the way I did, his anger had subsided. Mine had not, yet still I stayed.

Sadly, this incident hadn’t been the only time, just the first. The later times had never ended with a swift kick to the balls. I had just given up fighting but with every incident the anger within me ferociously grew until a fire began to burn and slowly incinerated any love for him I had to give.

We ended badly as I’m sure you all have now assumed. He was discarded in to the pile of ex’s long ago. I take with me from this experience that no matter the role someone can play in your life, if selfishly they behave, you must selfishly leave.  The red flags had always been there. I chose to push them off to the side in hopes that what I was experiencing and feeling maybe wasn’t true. A figment of my traumatized imagination but, no, it wasn’t.

When it comes to people like me who have dealt with certain tragedies of life, handle with care. Selflessly listen and try to understand. No person should ever have to be placed in a situation in which they are taken back to the darkened corners of their minds. Do not try to force something into existence that just isn’t meant to be because to force it will instead repel and always remember,

“That who loves will in turn be loved.”

 

Great Independence

The wrist grips have been released and these arms have turned to wings. The feeling of liberation dings loudly, an anthem of sorts. Let freedom fucking ring!!

Far and few in between are the moments that I think of us and when  I do, I am left with a sour taste in my mouth. I won’t be totally insulting though. I learned much from being bound to you. For instance, the belief that there is much more to life than occupying the days with mindless routine and merely filling a home with tangibles, opinions of life that I had heard and read before, are now cemented within my core. The knowledge the lesson has taught me, is indeed a fact of life and not just an opinion. It is the anchor that keeps me put instead of floating along with just anyone who slyly slithers by, baiting me with materialistic goods. I learned to distinguish they type through the perfectly made example set by you.

I have learned that I cannot save someone, nor can I change them.

You taught me that I cannot erase the demons that haunt a person, nor can I make them fade away if the person is not yet truly ready.

I now understand that if my intuition is whispering , I should not dismiss it as doubt, but head its warning.

You educated me on how easily manipulation can be embedded in the courting process and on how easier it is to be immersed in someone’s trap without noticing the existence of the trap at all.

A beautifully destructive lesson constructed by need is what we were, and although brief, we did obtain what we needed from each other. Could we have made better choices? Most definitely, and because we didn’t we instead got front desk seats at the school of Hard Knocks. I’m not sad of the journey we took. I am grateful. Years from now we will look back on this time of our lives and laugh our asses off. In reality it wasn’t all bad. We shared a few good moments sprinkled throughout our tumultuous relationship. I won’t deny that, but I will just add that I am happy it is over.

We have written our story and have now slammed shut that chapter of our lives.

journal1

Photo Credit: Natal Galvan

Lovely Metamorphosis

A lovely girl she was… and then she changed.

It was like someone pulled back the curtain and there she stood exposed for the world to see. There no longer was beautiful handcrafted drapery shielding her away from the world, and she hadn’t been the one to slowly pull back the covering. It had been abruptly snatched from her, taken by an unsuspecting thief that lurked among the friendly faces. He was betrayal incarnate.

Bare and raw, her tainted self stood there and she didn’t even bother to hide it. Years had passed and flawlessly she’d always maintained character. Now she was exhausted and could no longer muster the strength to hold the act together.  Yet, instead of cringing, she stood tall, chin held high. In the eyes of those who mattered, she was lovely and yes, she had changed. The woman was now as beautiful as ever.

Scared of this new unknown. Yet, for her the only thing scarier than the unknown was herself. In her mind she was now the embodiment of what is the unknown with the capability of decision making and that was the scary part. She no longer knew who she was, or had she ever? The fear lingers as it slowly trails within her veins and her trust in the Universe is the air that carries her effortlessly. Sure she may not know what the future may bring nor where she really wants it to go. She may no longer know herself well but understands the point is in the journey getting there.  With that knowledge she takes one step after another towards the edge of a world she once knew. She reaches the end and slowly leans forward allowing herself to fall freely towards a new life. She falls and just before crashing below, one wing and then another begin to spread. Her life and her soul beginning a lovely metamorphosis.

The Sacrifice

When you hand over your entire life to someone it takes the sacrifice of your entire heart to say goodbye. Nothing that you ever touch forever lasts. Sometimes I think we tend to forget that. As quick as it began in the same speed it could end and to dive deep into the dark depths of love is a risky game we all love to play.

Life is precious and within that life lies our individuality. We have a course we each run with our own lessons to be learned. We are gifted with many capabilities as well as handicaps and through these is how life lessons are dispensed to us. A shame it is when we come across another soul, one you believe to be that mate for life. You become engulfed in who they are and how to become a part of them that you slowly begin to handover who you are bit by bit, which could quickly lead to an unhealthy relationship.

In an unhealthy relationship there tends to be one who depletes themselves by handing over their entirety, and there is one who is more than willing to take. Materialism, although it is a BIG part of this dynamic, it is not the main issue. It’s all the intangibles. The love, the genuine vulnerability, the emotional giving and taking, the loyalty, the respect, the honesty. These are all the things that count and far beyond more important compared to the purchases made on a Visa or Mastercard. The lack of balance in the area of  what is the intangible is a far bigger debt than that of the materialistic.

To hand over who you are as an individual is a high risk move and you always hope to receive the same back in return. When it doesn’t happen, there is only so much time before the relationship self destructs. In that detonation all hearts get shattered. For the one who emotionally  gave until their well ran dry, they walk away with a shriveled heart. They feel like a failure because their self seemed to not have been enough to get what they deserved back in return. They’ve lost themselves in the other person and hardly remember who they are, what they like, what they hate. Their entire self has become a mirror image of who they came to love. For the other person, the one who took and took, their greed (or maybe addiction?) draining while hardly replenishing, they too hurt. They’ve lost their control. They lost the one thing they have always needed, a heart who gives without really asking for much in return. That’s the ultimate treasure, one that cannot be bought. A priceless gift handed over, to then be taken away? How could that not hurt?

Love has many layers and for each set of souls the layers are different. We can all agree though, when love is lost or even unrequited the pain is like no other. We are each left with the hurt and the question, was the sacrifice worth it? Was it worth the sacrifice of handing over your heart, of letting go of your individuality? I like to always think that no matter how difficult the goodbyes, no matter the pain, to live through such a lesson is always worth it because no  matter the kind of layers the love was made up of, at the core of it all there was of course Love.

 

Respectfully Ours

“I find his advances so irritating but there isn’t much I can say, let alone do.”

“His timing couldn’t be worse. He wakes me up in the middle of the night after a long day and I am just not up for it but I give in anyways.”

“I keep telling him that I’m not interested in dinner, but he just won’t let up.”

“I just found out that they don’t pay me as much as him even though I have been here longer. I’m scared to even say anything because if I do. they’ll find a  way to fire me.”

There are moments when to be a woman feels like more of a chore than anything else. Almost like a burden placed on us by our ancestral society. Not only do we carry the weight of our children, but we also carry the pleasure of men. To be a woman, for those who are free, it is a delight. For those who are chained down to the expectations of another, the burden weighs heavy. Yet, the burden weighs on us for simply allowing it. It is about to be 2018 and it is only now that we are slowly starting to demand a right that is respectfully ours.

After being silenced for so long, it is time that we loudly begin to use our voices, and confidently take steps towards changing how the world as a whole view and treat women. There are those who argue that we are far more progressive than women in other countries but I counter them with the thought that just because others are struggling more than we are, does not mean we still don’t deserve to be treated as the beautiful souls that we are.

We once used to be the country that everyone looked towards for instruction or example. I want to be that for the women in other countries. I want us to represent and symbolize what it should be like for women of all over the world. After being silenced for so long, we must loudly begin to use our voices. After many years of being looked as a “lesser than” rather than an “equal to”, we must now demand it. Ladies, the view of ourselves has to change before anything else. That new view point will inevitability get the ball rolling. Our expectations for ourselves must be heightened not simply because we must, but more so because we can and we don’t. We matter and if we don’t believe so, then how will we change society and its distorted view of one of the most precious beings on this planet? Because remember ladies, we are Goddesses and without us, there is no life, no?

We must speak because if we don’t, who will do it for us?

We must fight and stand up for ourselves because if we don’t…who will?

DSCF0545