April 3, 2012

Who am I? Wanna Know More? A Quick Peek!!!

Posted in Excerpts Of My Book: Cheatres Sinners and Saints, My Skills tagged , , , , , , , , , , at 12:07 am by greeneyezwinkin3@aol.com

As I take an eagle’s eye view of my life I can see many individuals and events that have contributed to the person I am today. One person who was and always will be very dear to me, my mother, who passed away when I was 42 years old. She taught me the value of love, strength, goals and a good education. I found growing up that she did not push me for the “good grades” as I took it upon myself to strive for A’s.

When I was seven year old my mother took me to the doctor due to stomach pain. He told her I worried too much about school (I believe I was in second grade but, don’t quote me), and getting the gold stars from the teacher. I was one step away from an ulcer. I ate baby food for two weeks and will never forget that experience. I enjoyed the banana flavor but, the vegetable ones, not so much. The sense of striving to get A’s (but, would accept a B) from my educational studies appeared innate. My mother tried to reinforce that no matter what grade I received, as long as I tried, that was all that mattered.

I watched her, a single mother, holding down a job while going to school in the evenings in pursuit of a bachelor’s degree in social work from Empire State College. Her struggles and courage inspired me to follow my dreams. One of the happiest days I spent with her was on her graduation day. When they called her name, I had a great sense of pride. Her perseverance had paid off, she did not give up.

My mother introduced me to a life of open mindedness. Sexual orientation, skin color and all the other categories of racism were considered taboo. “We are all the same”, she would say. Being a social worker, she worked with prisoners from Ryker’s Island to the street gangs in Harlem. They all loved her and she them. She brought a child/man of 18 years old into our home, a two bedroom apartment in rural upstateNew York. He lived with us because he was let out of the child care system as adult with no money or place to live. We became like a brother and sister…a brother I never had since I was an only child. He was big, black and scary looking, but his heart was filled with gold. After living with us for a few months he decided he needed to go home, to Harlem. His alcoholic mother lived there and he felt he needed to find “his roots”. He opened my eyes to his culture as I would go with him to visit his mother from time to time. He taught me that there are people out there better off than me and worse off, so I’m not doing so badly.

Another individual that influenced me was my ex-husband. I know he deserves credit, and in this instance I am giving him his due. When I met him he was a she, a man trapped in a woman’s body. I was with him when he went through top and bottom surgeries to deem himself a man on the outside. We were married and divorced, legally. During my time with him, I was introduced to the Transgender community. When all was said and done, I realized these individual’s were a minority group that needed support regarding who and what they were. I saw the significance in society needing a wake up call. Knowledge is power and I wrote a book based on these issues and how they affected my life.

One event that took place changed my life from that point forward. I was in love with a female to male transgender and we were going to be adopting two young boys. The only way to describe what happened that day was by taking an excerpt from my  Creative Non-Fiction Authobiographical Anthology regarding the hate crime. Cheaters, Sinners and Saints.

I believe that my values have guided me through life personally, academically and professionally. They include: compassion, ethics, integration, respect, honor, honesty, change, accountability, justice, integrity, curiosity, innovation and creativity, just to name a few. But, there are some that I would like to address now.

As a queer woman, I always held the motto, Live and let live. As fate would have it, I found a new group of individuals that held the same feelings as I did and willing to fight for what we all believed in, equality for the LGBT community, equality for all. I let my voice be heard on a documentary on MSNBC in 2009 (A television program that aired about transgenders getting married), and I had a meeting with the Senator of Florida regarding the LGBTQQ community.

While I found my values were innate and inherent within me, the cross cultural and individual expressions that I have learned, developed and practiced throughout my lifetime strengthened my values and beliefs. I realized that my sense of identity stemmed from a world of spiritual reality. I am a queer woman and proud of it. I follow my heart not gender. Though my own personal trauma I took many inward journeys and came to the realization that by working with others we could break down barriers of prejudice.

I carry this quote close to my heart:

Your beliefs become your thoughts / Your thoughts become your words / Your words become your actions / Your actions become your habits / Your habits become your character / Your character becomes your destiny ~ Gandhi

I have a talent for writing. Prior professors, friends and fellow students have given positive feed back on my abilities. I feel that my art of writing produces a combination of creativity, intelligence, approach and word power. I will be able to utilize my aptitude for the future as an author and screen play writer. The list is endless of the possibilities that await me.

On a personal note, I am an artist and my medium is acrylic. I have sold my art work mostly in New York and New Jersey but, my art also has traveled to Californiaand Delaware. I started painting for fun after my college homework was completed. I am a natural people have said. No real training just me, the brush and my canvas. I painted scenic scenes, oceanic scenes, clipper ships, and my highest seller was my lighthouses. I found this innate talent to be a great gift.

It was through these highs and lows, pains and moments of happiness that were intertwined with the feelings of anguish of watching lives being destroyed before my eyes by a hate crime (read my story) that brought me here…now, writing this quick autobiography. My life has been filled and weaved with a pattern of many people who influenced my life and in turn, opened a door for me to write my book, a screenplay, leading me at this time, to be a student, an eternal student.

 

March 30, 2012

Excerpt From My Book: A Creative Non-Fiction Memoir Essay ~ The Sweet Taste Of Freedom and Domestic Violence

Posted in Excerpts Of My Book: Cheatres Sinners and Saints tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , at 5:52 pm by greeneyezwinkin3@aol.com

                                                         

                                                           

  The sweet taste of freedom

It’s hard to look for the light when your lost in darkness ~ Anonymous

Back in the day, I was a lesbian and very proud.  I can remember the feelings of being a lesbian and having a woman touch me in a very sensual manner. The curves of a woman’s body, her sweet scent, lips and eyes would always beckon me. Sparkling Green, translucent blue and seductive deep brown eyes were the colors I once beheld.

Being with a woman had been one of the most spiritual experiences that I had ever known. As I close my eyes, at this very moment, I can envision the women who were a part of my life, emotionally, physically, mentally and spiritually. Each woman had their own inner essence which touched my heart. True love always existed in the beginning in my relationships but, with time comes change and well, people change.

I believe in the back of my mind there appeared to be a reflection of the perfect life filled with the perfect lover who would stand by me, always. I don’t believe that I ever asked for too much or maybe I did. All my wants and needs were based on trust, unconditional love, respect and cherishing that special person, me. Fairy tale images danced before my eyes yet, reality crushed each of them, one by one.

One incident in particular is etched in my mind forever. My lover and I lived in Brooklyn between my apartment and her parent’s house. It was a quiet neighborhood except for the sirens that woke us at three in the morning. Houses were lined up like little soldiers guarding their turf. Six months out of the year we house sat for her parent’s two story house and lived in the basement as they were snow birds in Florida. The other six months were spent at my apartment eleven blocks away. I worked as an accountant for a company located in the Empire State Building, in the heart of Manhattan and I had been a college student taking a full load. My commute consisted of two trains and a bus to get home.

It was around 11:30 in the evening when I stepped off the bus. I pulled my gloves out of my pockets from my red fleeced lined coat as the night chill went right through me. The streets were quiet as the moonlight reflected off the parked cars. I slowly made my way home passing houses that were dark and peaceful.

I had just gotten into the house and heard the television in the living room blaring. A Cinnamon broom hung on the brown paneled wall. It intoxicated me, surrounded me, whispering in my ear, Christmas is next week. My lover continued eating popcorn and watching the end of the news broadcast.  I had not eaten dinner and my stomach growled, moving like a freight train. So, I quietly entered the kitchen and made a toasted raisin bagel. The warm bread filled the air with its sweet aroma. I quickly cleaned up my mess, whipping down the beige counter top and I threw the empty container of cream cheese into the large green garbage pail.

“Did you clean up your mess?” she asked. I responded quickly, “Of course I did.” I proceeded to enter our bedroom where the walls reflected baby blue and the five drawer dresser against the back wall resembled a relic with filigreed angels carved into the wood. On the top there were proudly erected black and white family photos of her mom and dad dating back forty some years ago. The curtains were black making sure sunlight never existed in this tomb we called home, and on my pillow laid a small Hershey’s kiss.

I immediately opened the silver wrapper and tossed the candy into my mouth while savoring its melting consistency. I flipped on the small television to catch the end of a comedy before going to bed. We never liked the same shows, but then again I rarely watched television since I had an extremely tight schedule.

While sitting on the bed enjoying my down time, I could hear her voice coming in waves from the kitchen. It was escalating yet, still mumbled. A few moments later, she stood in the doorway. Last week she went to a barber shop and left with an extremely short haircut. I saw an image of a small boy standing before me. She was short just like me. Her eyes were hard and dark like the black hole in our universe. Her feet were bare, her hips were slim, and her jeans were perfectly creased.  Biceps were bulging and donned a white Metallica t-shirt with a small red stain near the hem. Red sauce slid off her fork and nosedived splattering on her shirt when I made an Italian meal three weeks ago.

She was screaming and pointing her finger at me while in the other hand, an empty container of cream cheese. “Didn’t I tell you before to stop wasting money? Every time I turn around it’s my hard earned money I see going down the toilet. I’ve f*cken had it” she said. There had been a thin layer of that dairy product on one side, pretty much empty in my opinion. But to her, I had wasted money “When are you going to listen to me, bitch” she blurted out.

As I stood up slowly, she proceeded to raise her fist above her head. I cried out, “I’m sorry, I swear I won’t do it again. I promise.”  My knees became weak and my heart raced. I could feel my blood surging through my veins a million miles an hour. “You f*cken don’t listen to me” her voice became deeper as words began to burn holes into my being. I could feel the fire of the dragon’s breath upon me. My voice screeched, “I do, I do.”  From that moment on I knew I was in trouble and alone. Even though she was only two inches taller than me, her upperbody strength surpassed mine. She made a direct hit to my chin and I lost my balance falling to the floor. My bagel went flying through the air as if it were a speeding bullet. It landed face down on the carpet, “What a mess, I’m not going to clean that up,” I thought.

The blow was hard enough that I could feel the swelling immediately. She hit me with all her strength. My heart palpitated. I felt a lump in my throat as tears streamed down my cheeks while tasting my own bitter salt. My body began to tremble uncontrollably. As I gathered my thoughts I tried to get up but, I was struck repeatedly. My glasses went flying into the baby blue wall cracking the left lens. I crawled on my hands and knees out of the bedroom listening to the shrieking of a mad woman two feet behind me.  “Where do you think you’re going?” she asked.

When I first entered the lion’s den that night I placed my purse on the large two toned hand crafted wooden chest next to the front door. It was a wedding gift for her parents, forty something years ago. The filigree work consisted of inlaid angels and cherubs. But, the angels were not there to protect me or were they?

Gradually I found the courage to stand up again. She stepped towards me with wrath in her eyes as they seemed to glow a blazing red. “I’m going to teach you a lesson and this time you won’t forget it” she said. “Please stop, no more,” I whimpered. She forcefully pushed me against the wall and we struggled. I pleaded, “Please, stop your hurting me.” She shouted, “You stupid bitch, my money, my house you piece of sh*t.” My words fell onto deaf ears. I had knocked hanging family photographs onto the floor as I tried to fight back. Broken wooden frames and shattered pieces of glass lay everywhere.

Then the phone rang. Were the angels looking down upon me? It distracted her for a brief instant. I breathed a small sigh, grateful for the diversion. I grabbed the opportunity to push her away, turn and take hold of my purse. I ran out the door into the midnight hour. “I’m not done with you” she hollered. She didn’t follow me. I was grateful.

Everything was blurry and all I could see was the street lights glistening. Giant stars everywhere. When you are as nearsighted as I am plus crying, it just made matters worse. I stuck my hand into my black purse in search of a tissue. Damn it, there was nothing. The air was bitterly cold as the wind seemed to seep into my bones on that wintery December night. I walked, cried and proceeded to ruffle through my purse again in search of my dark shades. I needed to wear my sun glasses to see as much as I could.

Not a soul was on the streets that morning. I past houses in which families resided. Lights out, everyone comfortable in their beds sound asleep, dreaming. The funny thing was that a song kept racing through my mind about this guy wearing his sunglasses at night. I started to sing the song as loud as I could in hopes to calm my nerves.

“I wear my sunglasses at night so I can, so I can Forget my name while you collect your claim And I wear my sunglasses at night so I can, so I can See the light that’s right before my eyes…”

It was a devastating night that terrified me. The memory will linger in my mind forever.

Every time the physical brutality ended, it was the typical classic case of sudden remorse that would come over her, or was it? I would receive roses and other fragrant smelling flowers, chocolate candy as that was my favorite and love notes saying sorry and I love you. Weeks would go by in which she would not have any eruptions. It was like living with a volcano, you never knew when it would blow. We went back to our daily lives as if those events never happened. But, they always reoccurred.

The finale finally arrived and that day came on July 4th, Independence Day for me and the world. I walked away and never looked back. She felt I was leaving her because of her physical illness of MS and could not see the fear in my eyes or the pain in my heart. She was blind to see the truth.  Our love was long gone. I felt like I was running for my life, to safety wherever that might have been. That commitment lasted for five and a half years.

I know now that I was a statistic in 1985 and not alone as other women traveled down the same traumatic path. I had taken an inward journey as many other women before me, and found the courage to be free from the oppression. I have tasted freedom and it is sweet. I found me and I like me for who I have become. I can close my dark hazel eyes and hear the peaceful silence of a new found woman.

Works Cited

Hart, Corey. “ Sunglasses At Night lyrics.” Elyrics. 2011 http://www.elyrics.net/read/c/corey-hart-lyrics/sunglasses-at-night-lyrics.html

Excerpt From My Book ~ A Creative Non-Fiction Personal Essay~ My Story Of Easter And The Hate Crime!!

Posted in Excerpts Of My Book: Cheatres Sinners and Saints tagged , , , , , , , at 4:27 pm by greeneyezwinkin3@aol.com

It has always been a lifelong dream to be a parent. I was told at an early age it would be impossible for me and to consider adoption. We (my lover and I) were parents for 5 glorious days, two boys, brothers: three and six.

The adoption would have taken place three weeks from the day of hate the crime. You see, my lover was a transgender, FTM who had decided to transition from a female to male. This is an excerpt from my book that I wanted to share. The event took place at a family gathering on Easter Day:

I can remember that day as if it were yesterday. The air was clean and crisp, the birds were singing and the sky was as blue as an ocean on a clear day. Mother Nature had given the gift of a beautiful March morning to celebrate Easter yet, hidden, waiting behind the trees and rocks were hints of disaster that lingered in the background.

As we walked outside towards our black truck after the Easter Egg Hunt, my son “to be” and I couldn’t help but notice every single member of Peter Marie’s family standing around in a large half circle. Fifty or more people all came out of the lakeside building that was full of food and festivity. The group consisted of all adults as well as children ranging from all ages, starring and anticipating. What was happening? Why did they all congregate at that very moment? For a second I felt as if I had entered the tapping of a horror movie – the scene: a stoning of an innocent individual who was considered the “evil one.”

Her mother and sister were behind us as I hurried and tugged at the child, trying desperately to make it to safety. I had seen them earlier out of the corner of my eye as they began their approach. To the only sanctuary in sight, was Peter Marie’s black, slightly shiny truck that had the colors of the rainbow in metal rings hanging from the rearview mirror. I held his hand with all my might. I just wanted to protect him. My heart was racing. My palms were sweaty.

The air turned into a bath of red mist, her mother began furiously screaming obscenities at me, “You F**cken* B**ch!!!” for one and then it seemed to go on and on like a volcano exploding. This was then followed by her pointing a finger at Peter Marie shouting, “You’re killing my daughter…you’re killing my daughter!” All I wanted was to make it to the truck and get home unharmed with our sons, a young three year old and his brother of six.

The last thing on my mind was any type of altercations. Why would such a thought enter my head on a family get together holiday such as Easter? That particular day was to be a time to enjoy family, holiday food and candy, to laugh and love. It was our first Easter with the boys, their first Easter hunt with us as a family. The countdown had begun, three weeks from that day until the adoption would have become official and finalized.

Prior to that day, Peter Marie had instinctually known her mother would not handle her transition from female to male reasonably or rationally. She described her thoughts, “I knew my mom was going to flip out on me so…maybe she won’t notice if I took my breasts off” stating as matter of fact and then smiled awkwardly.

The next thing I knew, my so called mother-in-law was standing before me about a foot away. She clenched both fists while raising them high above her head. She was in a rage attack mode. The air had changed, thick and dense. The sky became dark and stormy. It was her thunder that was out of control and I tried to brace myself for the explosive outburst that was clearly deep within her eyes.

Within seconds I felt her power, her wrath. Was that a bell I heard, did a boxing match start? I’m in emotional turmoil and suddenly hopped up on adrenaline. I immediately released the child’s hand. Fight or flight? She proceeded to punch the daylights out of me in the face several times while someone was pounding the back of my head with their fists. But whom? I was amazed and even proud for a brief moment of how many times I was struck, and yet still stood my ground. I remained stationary for as long as I could, taking these hard blows until eventually my knees buckled and I fell to the ground. My head was throbbing, maybe from the swelling of my assaulter’s actions or maybe because my face was plastered to the ground. Small rocks and shards of glass pierced my skin. I was kicked at that moment in the head, neck, head, neck, neck and then in the small of my back over and over. I couldn’t tell which individuals were battering me…her mother or sister or who knows…I think it was both, but if felt like more. Were other family members involved? I’ll never know.

Why didn’t I fight back you ask? After the third blow my instinct was to fight back, to show them I was not afraid and to stand up for what I believed to be right. To release my Brooklyn girl attitude in self defense. I looked down and for a brief second and I saw into the three year old’s eyes, heart and soul. These boys had seen enough violence in their short lives and I did not want to be associated with such horror.

I couldn’t see, my glasses went flying after the first punch to my forehead.

Where was my son? I did not know. Everything was a blur. A flash of a time of warmth and love between her family and I. Emotions were flaring. I believe all the rage was triggered by the idea of Peter Marie’s transitioning and the realization that I supported her. Would it be a considered a death in the family when she transitioned?

Peter Marie struggled then yanked her mother causing any more injury. Then her mother and sister turned on my hero, my lover, my friend. It was no holds barred punches and kicks in every direction. She yelled at the top of her lungs, loudly with the sound of her heart breaking, “Get the boys out of here.”

This must have been so traumatizing for them. These children were placed in the adaption system because of the physical abuse, mental and emotional abuse concerning of both their parents and grandparents…and now this. Not understanding what was happening. Come to think about it…I didn’t even know what was happening.

I found my glasses and raced to get help. I ran as fast as I could…stumbling, losing my balance along the way until I reached help or so I thought. Sweating, out of breathe and desperate I pleaded for assistance.  “They are beating Peter Marie up…please help me!” Her father did not seem surprised at my request. Could he have known about the potential of violence before it occurred? Leisurely he walked to the front of the building where Peter Marie was being brutally beaten. It seemed like an eternity had passed.

What I will never understand was that everyone knew Peter Marie had a hysterectomy just two and a half weeks prior to this day. Why would they attack her physically? It could have caused serious damage and possibly internal bleeding. But, I guess they didn’t care about her well being…her physical health.

Come to think about it, even though we were physically assaulted by her family members, neither of us fought back. Peter Marie deep within her heart truly cared about their well being. With every blow that stunned her, the love was still there looming overhead. She had been a black belt in Tai Kwon Do and not once did she use any of her defensive moves for life and death situations.

Finally the beatings were over. The blood had been spilt, a family torn apart. We had to make sure that the boys were returned to us. Peter Marie told our assailants that we were not leaving without our children. After a few minutes that seemed like hours, they brought them out to us.

We got into the truck and headed home. At first there was silence. Slowly we drove down the country road which led to the lake we just came from. Both of us were glancing back to see if we were followed and scared to death. The six year old broke the quiet. He asked Peter Marie why things happened the way they did. She tried her best to explain that there were bad people in this world. Blood trickled down her face as I tried to hold back my tears. This incident was a life altering experience, a shifting point in both our lives.

Our boys ended up back in the shelter for their own protection and we left to another state a week later for our safety with a broken heart.

Timing is everything in one’s life. This experience reinforced what I had already known, that there are bad people in this world and that hatred is everywhere. But, then I remember all the love and good people out there and in my opinion, the good will always outweigh the bad. 

The boys were adopted out two weeks later to a loving couple.

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