Confession #1 of 2014

Fear has kept me from blogging. 

What? Yes. Fear of being ungrammatical. Fear of writing too much. Fear of writing too little. Fear of not having any readers. Fear of having the “certain readers”. Fear of MY OWN VOICE might be the root of all this.

You see, I’ve lacked to accept the fact that my voice carries all those elements.  It is many times not grammatically correct.  It sometimes does say too much while other times it does not say enough or anything at all.  Sometimes, I stand alone when I lift my voice.  Other times, I say things “certain people” misinterpret or add to my message. But, all in all, it is MY OWN VOICE. Unique. Beautiful. Eclectic. God-given, God-created, God-leading.  

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m&ms: Torn Up Panties

Late 1980’s: My babysitter’s 17 year old son has a weird stare that my innocent 9 year old eyes do not understand. Times are difficult. Mom comes home to a messy house, and a torn up marriage. She is always in a bad mood picking up behind us. Now, there is always food in the fridge, and we have money to buy from the ice cream truck. We watch lots of cartoons, especially on weekends and in the summer because this neighborhood is ghetto, and fill with violence and drug abuse. Mom has restricted us to go outside; it is dangerous. Sometimes, I try to make breakfast for my little sisters. Brenda is now 6yrs old, and Iris is 5. We pretty much get along, except when we fight for the type of cereal we want. I get out a large Tupperware salad bowl (the extra large one). I pour out 3/4’s of a large Lucky Charms, and a liter and half of Pasteurized Milk. I put three metal medium size serving spoons, and voilà! Other day’s we improvise some pancakes. Brenda and Iris get the batter ready while I heat the pan. The fighting begins when Brenda tries to copy Donald Duck’s flip the pancake in high mid air. We all try, and fail. Ten minutes later, there are more than six semi-raw pancakes stuck to the top of the kitchen ceiling! Mom’s gonna be mad, but we keep it quiet.

There are people in and out of our lives and house. My uncles stay to live in time gaps of 4 to 6 months. My dad is constantly sending money to Mexico. He sends three vehicles within 5 years. Weekends are always a blast. Our garage has taken a second purpose: a bar and party room. Every weekend brings music, dancing, alcohol, and friends. Along with that, physical and verbal abuse. Dad is worst every time. Mom looks tire, angry, and sad. Her skin is so light that bruising is inevitable. She has a friend at work, that has invited her several time to her house. Mom says she is Christian. We are too. I guess. Well, on Sundays’ we go to Mass, and buy churros. Plus, I barely did my First Communion.

He…[babysitter’s son] has been coming over during her work hours more often. She’s gone to run errands, and has asked him to keep and eye on us. I have a weird feeling in the gut of my stomach. Something does not feel right. I wished mom was here. Brenda and Iris are asleep. I am sitting on the sofa working on homework. He sits next to and asks what I am doing. Suddenly, he draws closer to me. My heart is pounding. I am confuse by his actions. I don’t know what to do! He sweeps his juvenile hand down my long black hair down to my lower back. I pull away softly. My heart is pounding harder. He forcebly gets my body closer to his, and motions me to stay silent. I don’t know why I am frozen. Why am I not running away? Somebody help me please. His hands are now exploring the inside of my dress. I remember that my panties are torn. He tugs on my panties. He knows I am scare. He tries one more time to touch even more. I gasp with terror. He places his warm hand over my lips, and whispers a moan into my ear. What is he doing? I don’t understand. Someone is HERE! Thank God! He tells me to say nothing or he would deny it all. I run into the bathroom. I sob secretly, and I am terrified to come out. Mommy, where are you? [sob]. What happened? Help!

Mom has to work late and dad never came home. I cry myself to sleep. This was neither the first nor the last of this monstrous act. The others were worst for they were my relatives. Still, I said nothing. A peculiar fear had overtaken my life. I trusted no one. Not my friends, not my cousins, not my uncles, not even my own father. Stupid torn up panties. Torn up life. Torn up heart.

New Year’s comes along quick. It’s been months since the first incident, and since I got my first period. Mom and dad have been fighting more and more. The New Year’s party was a great success. I guess. That morning Dad makes me pick up all the glass beer bottles, and put the in a plastic bag. He is still drunk. They are fighting. He hits my mom so hard that she lands on the floor. Her forehead is bleeding.

Secret Shame

“I messed up big time! I cheated on him!”.

I got a sobbing call this morning from one of my very good close friends. She has a good marriage (well, at least I thought she did). But, recently she cheated on her husband. She is scared to loose her family.

Question of the day:
Should she confess it to her husband, and risk losing it all? Or should she just deal with this secret shame, and say nothing, and strive to restore her heart?

I know where I stand on this.  I am interested to see what you have to say about the issue. 

m&ms: From the Tunnel to the Cave

The most memorable moment in my life would have to be the day I was born, December 19, 1977 in San Jose, California. However, I want to take you back to about 1-2 months before I was born.

My mother had been living with my dad for several years, and had unsuccessfully been able to have children. They were in a very abusive relationship. My father was a chronic alcoholic, and would constantly cheat on my mom. Needless to say, my parents were not followers of Christ. There was constant fighting, and domestic abuse was a common characteristic in the home. My mother tells me that when she found out she was pregnant with me, she was delighted. She said that her nights would seem less long, and her hopes of happiness were once again viable with the thought of her not being alone anymore. Her pregnancy was not as the one painted in so many “girl movies” where the loving husband accompanies the new mom to their ultrasound, the doctor visits, Lamaze, or even the birth. In fact, a few weeks before I was born, my father and mother had an argument that as usual sparked the violence in my dad. I don’t know how I have this vivid image in my head about this inciddent because I was not born yet. I don’t know. I had this recurring dream, and I shared it with my mom. She thought that she had told me about it, but I don’t recall her telling me first. So, who knows. I do know that the dream came about in a time where God was healing my father-daughter relationship. (I was 19yrs old, and it is another blog). This is how the story and the dream goes:

It is late at night, and as usual, my mother is waiting for my father. Her over-sized belly is causing more and more discomfort as she is dozing off on the flowered-picturistic orange sofa. She is tired of reheating dinner thinking my father will arrive soon. Not having the dinner piping hot and served on the table was a possible factor for a beating. The kitchen’s layout is tiny. There is a small sized tan colored refrigerator, and a white gas stove separated by a gap of two feet. The dinette table is brown oak with gold tone steel pipe legs. It seats four. She peaks through the window. Sure enough, it is him because the lights approach their parking space. Fear begins to overshadow her pain and her mixed feelings of anger and disdain. The food is hot, and served. He is intoxicated, and knows that she is upset. He grabs her from behind to aim a kiss on her fair skinned neck. Mother’s muscles tighten as she shrugs her shoulders, and turns her chin opposite of his lips to avoid the smell of his fermented mouth. The tension grows at an exponential rate with his tyrannical responses. He is questioning her about her “coldness”. He is face to face with her. She is asking him to calm down and eat before the food gets cold. His hands on her upper arms are like clamps pressing her in place. His tactics to terrorize her work every time. He tangles his muscular fingers to the lower part of her black silky hair, and brutally pulls her down so that when he walks she is forced to walk with him. He screams that she is his. Utensils are all over the place. By this time, they are close to the stove and the gap between the refrigerator. Jolting and screams are my mother’s useless defense. My father shows her who is in charge by beating her face, pulling her hair, verbally abusing her, and to end the fight…he hits her so hard that she lands in between the refrigerator and the stove. There, the jolts from my movement remind her that she is not alone. All she can do is cry. Her fear of her baby girl being hurt before she was born overtakes her. She cries as her hands wrap her belly. Fear and pain are shared by both mommy and baby. My father is screaming from their bedroom to hurry up and clean up the mess so she can “fulfill” her bedroom responsibilities. A couple of weeks later, I was born. My sober dad visited the hospital, and was extremely happy that he kissed my mom, asking forgiveness, and kissing me. He was so happy that he left to go “celebrate” with his friends the birth of his baby girl. I had left that temporary safe zone in my mother’s womb, traveled through the universal tunnel of life, and entered into a cave in this world, whose darkness was to be explored.