Solo Son Palabras…Life Through Another’s Eyes…and Words

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We all deal with the struggle of having to see ourselves through another’s eyes:  our mothers, fathers, family, significant others, children, boss, friends, you name it.  Nothing can give your confidence a boost like a word that you need to hear at “just the right moment”.   Conversely, nothing can bring your world crashing down like a word — be it “as a friend” advice, criticism, or observation that, whether it is well-meaning or not, can bring on a negative effect and rock your world for minutes, days, months, or years.

Part of getting your CONFIDENCE back is to find the courage to sift through all of these words and to toss those that have no meaning for you, that were given to you in a destructive manner, and keep those words that will help you live in the most positive way possible.   I warn you now, this post will be graphic and sometimes negative.  These are the types of words that I have had to look at for five years now from one individual, twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week:

-I don’t want to take out every bit of anger I have on you.

-I’m going to lose it carmen.

-You know how I get when I’m frustrated and pissed.

-The holidays are here is bullshit necessary?

-Really. Do not fuck with me carmen. You really need to answer me. Hello. (repeated hundreds of times in separate text messages).

-I can tear you up carmen. You and the peeps you love

-Im your enemy until further notice

-Apparently you haven’t lost enough‏

-Bitch call me later

-I live to make you eat your words

-Run my money bitch, give me my cut fat slut

I have waited a very long time to make this blog post.  I guess it was either too difficult or humiliating to take a look back.  Five years are a long time to have to deal with someone’s else’s view of you and your life.  Much of this time was spent with my head down, trying to minimize the damage, trying to control the situation, trying to change the words that spewed every negative thing imaginable.   Abusive words that, in the short run, damaged me and my view of myself, compromised my trust of people, of situations, of life and in myself.   To give you an idea of what type of mess I deal with to this day, this person has sent me over 30,000 text and email messages which are 99% negative, filthy, abusive, obsessive, demeaning, disgusting, perverse, and straight-up crazy.  To top it off, this person did not stop with me.  My family, friends, colleagues, bosses, and acquaintances were all in the line of his vicious fire.

Although I never stopped writing, it was difficult for me to imagine ever saying, much less writing some of the words that have harmed me.  And you better know that this is just a very small part of the words I have seen, there is so much that is so graphic and deranged that, out of respect, I cannot include them into this post.

Below you will see my monthly summary of texts and calls that have been sent to me – I may have been dealing with this mess for five years, and, amazingly, it never seems to let up:  this picture is from August from one week of THIS year.    If you do the math, that is Four Thousand, Three Hundred, and Fifty Seven text messages in ONE week from different phone numbers.  The emails number in the thousands, the Facebook messages that some of you may have received number in the hundreds, all include my phone number.

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God, Jesus and the Virgen of G were watching out for me constantly, I never had to endure any physical abuse.  However, verbal abuse is no joke and I have since learned that words can feel like a slap in the face, a punch in the stomach, a shove into the wall, and a painful kick when you are down.  All physical violence starts with words.  What I struggled to realize was that I had the power to stop this damage.  I had the law behind me, I had my family and friends support, I had my work.

He always said that he would wear me down, and, to a point, he is 100% correct.  When I thankfully, started coming out of the fog, and I realized that, NO, this shit is far from normal, this person does NOT have my best interest at heart, that much of what he writes to me is either to destroy me, my reputation or a reflection of what is happening in HIS life, or lack of a life, that is, when he is not blaming me for his current situation, typical behavior for an abuser.  That I was able to make things happen, move around like I did to different cities, shows that when I need to, I can survive and work it.   I never needed this man to secure any type of job and, as it turns out, I never backed down, I never stopped working, I never stopped working it para que se le quite.

However, survival is a little different from getting my CONFIDENCE back.  In survival-mode, you are just trying to dodge the bullets and get through the day.   Now I want to BELIEVE that I can help make things great in my life and on my terms.  Therefore, reading through these words are necesssary.   I knew that this was what I had to do, and there was soooo much to read through, that it was overwhelming so I kept putting it off.  That is, until this morning, when I received yet another text message in which he discussed my physical appearance in filthy, vulgar, sick detail.  Something broke through in me and I knew that it was time.

Why now? How do I get my point across? How to make a negative into a positive?   There will never be a better time than now.  I was not ready to look at this mess before, mucho menos, talk about it with anyone.  I had to be sure that I wasn’t putting it out there so that people would have pity on me, those days are gone.  Changing HIM or his stupidass behavior is simply not possible.  You cannot fix the one who broke you:  God, life, karma, and the legal system will deal with him.  Putting his words out there allow me to rid them of the power they once had over me.  I can show others that, yes, there is life after madness.  The way I see it, words are my biggest ally, there are millions and millions of words that I can use to describe myself, my body, my life, my work, my family, my friends, and my goals —  I don’t need to live or die by his words any longer.  That said, I’m not stupid either, I am always careful and have people help watch my back.   Confidence starts with me, and, I sum this post up with these seven words:  he is not welcome on this journey.

To be Continued…

 

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Ya Es Hora: Turn Thought Into Action

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It seems as I’ve been on a constant journey to find my place in this world, to find something to achieve, to climb that mountain, to walk that mile. I always remember how I could move forward, from a very early age, to get what I wanted. While the tactics have changed dramatically with every ‘logro’. I could always see the big picture. Once I had achieved goal 1, my eye was always on finishing goals 2 or 3.

So, to come to a point in my life where it all stops has been straight-up scary, emotional, crazy, and unbelievable, not to mention humbling.  Getting myself from Point A to Point B, which used to be ‘asi de facil’ now seem so overwhelming and insurmountable some days. My process has always been to turn inward and basically hibernate as I figured things out. This was easier when I was living on my own, I could be in my own house and think, see, feel, say, do whatever I wanted. No one has ever seen that side of my life, until very recently. Dad worries about me when he sees me like this, “mija, go somewhere, you need to go be with your friends”, I know he cares but what I need is to be comfortable in my “safe space” these days.   There HAS to be a reason why I’m left to figure out my next moves in the place where it all started:  at the Ranch, in my home, in the “girls’ room”.  This was the place where I first started to dream about what I wanted for my life.  Full circle.

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A lot of women of a certain age hit this ceiling – been there done that, where you feel adrift, lost, not-cool, not ‘in’, washed-up. I was relieved to see that I am not the only person who goes thru this. Lots of women “are less likely to share their opinions in a group of people, most likely to apologize for things that aren’t their fault, less likely to take risks, more likely to take criticism personally and less likely to consider themselves competent in their work” (Allison Fallon, 2015) Who hasn’t had these thoughts? Have you had the courage to voice these thoughts, even to yourself? I want this back:  it will require a lot more than wishful thinking. I love this quote:

“CONFIDENCE IS THE STUFF THAT TURNS THOUGHTS INTO ACTION”                                            (Richard Petty, Kay & Shipman, 2014).

To live the kind of life I want to live now requires mega confidence. I want to work when I want, how I want, on projects I want – easier said than done. Making things happen is what I’ve always done my entire life. The difference being that I was making things happen for s o m e o n e  e l s e. Easier because it wasn’t my money, not my resources, not my problem if things didn’t go as planned, I could always walk away and continue with my life. Now that I’ve come to the edge, the ‘now or never’, the fork in the road, the ‘do or die’, it is time for me to do some major work.

Not everything or everyone is invited or welcome on my journey, I have got to take this time and get those things, situations, and people weighing me down out of my life, my thoughts in order, my plan worked up, and I’ve got to get through my lack of self-confidence. It’s time to stop thinking that I’m “lucky”, like I haven’t worked my ass off to be here, it’s like I’m ready, but my body and mind don’t believe me yet.

Therefore, the remaining 2016 posts will be dedicated to getting myself in training to receive 2017 opportunities,           and to B E L I E V E that this is how things are gonna go. I will be driving this car, once and for all, back to Confidence. There is no way that I’m going out like this, with no fight. But the first task is to stop seeing myself through someone else’s eyes …

TO BE CONTINUED

Elections 2016: Hopeful or Hopeless?

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Woke up. The sun is shining. The world did not end. Disappointed? Yes. Devastated? No. Hopeless.  No.  Hopeful.  Yes, especially for our lil ones.  Our history shows us that nothing worth changing comes easy. Determined? More than ever. Justice, fairness, and equality is worth the fight. This was not the time, but, make no mistake, quieran o no, the time will come.

All one has to do is turn on TV, Radio, or Social Media and the barrage of ‘whys’ are overwhelming.  Why did people do this?  Why didn’t people do that?  Why did this happen?  Why did you vote this way?  Why did you vote that way?  The way I see it, we all had a right to vote in this election, we all need to own our decision one way or another.  I’m glad that we live in a free country where we can safely think and vote however we want to do so.

One feeling has dragged me down during this entire election process:  the feeling that the “movement” was based on fear, racism, discrimination, sexism, and negativity.  I also had the feeling that the “movement” was a place where I would not be welcome, that the “movement” was angry that a person of color was running this country IN SPITE OF fear, racism, discrimination, sexism, and negativity.   The cultural divide of this country is real and I’ve never seen this anything this bad in my life.  I would love to say that it doesn’t exist and that the “movement” will be inclusive but the jury is still out on that one.

What the “movement” should know:

  1.  No one can hide racism, no matter how subtle.  This campaign was straight-up in-your-face racist and so many other things.   I will be watching to see how the “movement” embraces national unity eso si.
  2. The numbers do not lie.  No one will be able to stop the inevitable fact that this country is, increasingly, a country of color.   Latinos came out to vote this time around and, in some state precincts, the numbers were off the charts.  Latinos are younger, still having babies, many of our elders registered and were proud to cast their vote.  Latinos will need to keep organizing and stick together ESPECIALLY as the “movement” will make the road to progress and justice a very rough one.
  3. I have seen and worked with people who are misguided and very afraid of the changing colors of this country on BOTH sides.  The “movement” folk cannot handle the beauty of vibrant colors and, for the folks of color, it’s just another day.  For them, this is the way things have always been:  fear, racism, discrimination, sexism, and negativity rule the day.  The misguided approach usually involves name-calling and lashing out in negative ways which hurts everyone.  Change is scary.  I believe that there is some truth to Van Jones’ theory that this election was a “white-wash against a changing country” (video clip below).
  4. Latinos WORK it and do not give up nor do we give in easily.  We are completely accustomed to working from a disadvantage.  Therefore, we are completely adept at working our way out of ANY type of situation.  Throw it at us, we deal with it, we work it, especially if it will affect the lives of our families.  Resilience and stamina is something that the “movement” has yet to show me.

Is this a hopeless situation?  No.  A political tornado has hit.  As we go thru the mess, piece by piece, we will find our bearings, we will find that foundation and resilience that has served our parents, grandparents,and  antepasados so well, we will fight for our families and our community.  I remain inspired…inspired by the fact that raza got up and registered to vote and then they got up again, and, more importantly, VOTED.   I am hopeful that, while this was not the time nor the person to lead the fight for justice, equality, fair play, and positivity, that the time WILL come.  Our country will get it right, eventually.  Aaaand just in case it doesn’t, I pledge to be part of the solution, and not the problem.  I will do this for my littles especially so that they KNOW that they have every right and freedom available to them, to live in this great country and that they are empowered, confident and not afraid to have an opinion, that their “voto es su voz” even if it does not resonate with any movement.

Si Se Puede, Mil Veces, Si Se Puede.