Tag Archive | Childhood

Untitled Drama From my Life

At the age of 30 I finally feel like its ok for me to be mad at the people who caused me pain. A friend of mines expressed to me that he use to hold on to a lot of anger because of my story. He questioned how anyone could intentionally hurt me. Now that I know someone else held strong emotions about my past I no longer feel like I was wrong to be angry. I have put a lot of effort into acting like everything is ok. I just went through something that was very emotional for me. I went way back to the city that I remember abuse starting. I was a part of a project targeted towards telling the story of HIV and intimate partner violence (IPV). I had to mentally go into my past and speak about the stuff I don’t tell people. The sexual abuse, the memory of my father beating my mother, the past and current abusive relationships. I now know that my coping method is not working. I can’t just pretend that everything is ok. That is what I’ve done my entire life. People have said awful things about me but I’ve always smiled and said silently to myself, ” they talked bad about Jesus so it’s ok.” I’ve never admitted my true feelings because I never gave myself the permission to be angry but yes I’m angry.
My childhood was drenched in abuse and death. That abuse has followed me into the present day. I have tried several times to “fix it” but I don’t think I know how. The earliest memories I have took place in New York. My abusive father convinced my mother to pack up and move 3,000 miles away from everything she knew. It was there that my mother decided to leave him. I remember her making me and my three siblings go out the window and up the fire escape to the neighbors apartment when her and my dad would fight. Arlene would just open her window and let us in. She would turn on loud music so that we couldn’t hear our parents arguing down stairs. I would always want to know why my dad always made my mom cry but I never asked. My mom left him and started to date a guy who would have been the father of her 5th child. During that pregnancy she tested positive for HIV. The baby was born during her second trimester in the 5th month of pregnancy. He survived five months before dying at home. The cause of death was listed as SIDS. Shortly after Raymond died my mom somehow found out that I was being sexually molested by her boyfriend. Her reaction was not expected. She blamed me and she took out her anger on me. Still to this day I make excuses for her. My grandma was abusive to her as a child so she only reacted the way she knew how. I would love to hear her say she was wrong and she’s sorry for the way she acted but I know for a fact that I learned how to forget from my mother. She blocks any negative situations from her mind and its like it never happened. We moved back to California but the Abuse followed me.
I’m not sure how old I was but I know I was in middle school. My mom would make me take the bus to school alone. Some days I would miss the bus so I would go into this store to get snacks and kill time between buses. One day the man who owned the store closed and locked the door behind me. He asked me to follow him behind the counter he pulled down his pants and sat down on a stool he told me to look as he played with himself. I just stood there. He touched me and kissed me then he ejaculated. He gave me $40 as he let me out the back door of the store. He told me to come back and see him and I did. I use to earn money doing stuff around the house for my mom but no one ever gave me so much money to do nothing. It got to a point where he wanted more. I was conditioned not to disagree with adults so I didn’t, I let him do what he wanted to me and he would give me money. I changed schools and no longer took the bus near his store so that ended that.
I have had a total of 6 relationships in my 30 years of life. All except 1 of them were very unhealthy for me. My self-esteem has always been on the low side and I never made decisions for myself. My Lack of self confidence had me fall in love with anyone who expressed the slightest interest in me. The longest relationship I’ve had was with a guy I met on the party line at the age of 19. We ended up in an on and off relationship for over 10 years. This guy was very toxic in my life. I tried so hard to please him but I was never good enough. He would physically, verbally, and emotionally abuse me. He isolated me from my friends and family, took control of my money, told me what I could and could not wear and how to style my hair. I was so dependent on him I would follow him everywhere like a sick puppy. I would sit in his car while he was at work or in class. During one of the off times I was in a relationship with someone who was exactly like him. Very militant, his way or the highway. This relationship ended with me being homeless and with only my purse and my laptop computer. I ran back to the party line guy because I knew what to expect and deep down I knew he was dangerous but I felt safer with him then I did on the streets. I felt I needed him but he rejected me. He still called whenever he wanted sex but I was not good enough to be more than an object to him. I began to date a woman thinking I would be better off with a female since my luck with men was not great at all. This relationship was destine to crash because I didn’t love her. I felt sorry for her I stepped right in to her pity party and allowed my misery to be pushed aside by hers. . .
I could go on and on forever describing the failed love stories that make up my life but the common denominator in each situation is me. I need to do some serious soul searching and learn how to love myself. That is not something that I have ever seen demonstrated to me. I have no idea what it looks like, feels like, or sounds like. I can imagine it’s a beautiful thing but how would I know? I can only say this for sure. I’M WORKING ON IT!!!! When I get there I will blog about it but until then I’m open to suggestions and encouraging kind words.

I look like the strength I wish I had

I look like the strength I wish I had

Advertisements

My Story: I Had A Secret

We moved from the 2 bedroom house behind my granny in south-central LA, to a 3 bedroom apartment on the west side of LA on the outskirts of Beverly Hills. It was another major change. I went from a place where I didn’t have many friends to a place where everyone smiled and said hello. My school was in walking distance. The first day I thought my mom was going to drive us to school but she didn’t she told us to pay attention to what she did and where she turned because she wasn’t going to come pick us up and she expected us to be home within 30 minutes of school letting out.

My older sister, older brother and I were afraid that we would get lost so we drew maps of the neighborhood as we walked to school with my mom. As the days went on we would take different turns just to see what was where and to add to our maps. We marked streets, the homes of our new friends, the candy stores, and streets with hills that we could ride our bikes down, big trees, parks, libraries, and strange looking buildings. By the time we finished making our maps the first pages were torn or lost. 

 

My days at Shenandoah Elementary were fun. I was still very shy but I had a few friends. No one messed with me and I did well in my class. I was the type of student who wanted to get all the answers right. I raised my hand to answer every question and I cried if I didn’t get the answer correct. I was in the third grade. Only seven years old and I had a secret. Like all kids I wanted to share my secret so I told a girl that I considered my best friend. This was the beginning of the discrimination. I told her I had a big secret and that I would tell her if she promised to keep it between us. I told her and she stepped back and said to me “Your gay and your gonna die. My uncle has that and my mom said hes gay and deserves it.”

“Gay? Whats that mean?”

She just ran off and I never talked to her again. I didn’t want to tell anyone that I told my secret so I kept this conversation to myself. I think that was the day I began to keep everything to myself I didn’t want anyone else rejecting me. I tried hard to fit in. I didn’t have an opinion and anytime any one asked me to make a choice my answer was either I don’t know, I don’t mind, or it don’t matter. I didn’t want to make any wrong choices and give anyone reason not to like me. It became my major goal in life to make others like me. I was always polite I always smiled and I never tried to stand out. I didn’t want anyone to notice me because I thought they would somehow discover that I had a secret.

I was in the 4th grade and I’m not sure why but my mom had to tell my teacher about my illness. Ms. Magana is one of the nicest teachers I ever had. Im not sure if she was so nice to me because I was HIV positive or if she was just that way by nature but I felt like she smiled  just a little brighter when she looked at me. She was the first teacher who didn’t question my intelligence. I always felt smarter than the other kids in the class because in New York they teach you at a faster pace than in California. I knew how to multiply and divide in the first grade. Ms. Magana let me do work from the 5th grade books and she also let me help her grade papers. I was helping her make copies one day and I got a paper cut. She asked me if I could clean it and bandage it myself or if I needed her to help me. She didn’t want to send me to the nurse because she understood the stigma and rejection that may have followed. I told her I could do it myself. I washed my hands dried them and tried to put the band-aid on. She saw me trying and came over took the band-aid and put it on my cut. She explained to me the my blood had germs in it just like everyone else’s and any time anyone got a cut we should always make sure to protect ourselves from their blood. She explained to me that she was not afraid to help me clean and cover my cut because she could do it without touching my blood. She put the band-aid on me and said “see all don’t and I have nothing to worry about. She got a bottle of cleaning solution from the cabinet sprayed the table I was sitting at and wiped it down with a paper towel. That made me like her even more because now I felt like I had a friend.

Another page of my book

…. he came and got me from my bed every night. I would cry when my mom left for work begging her to take me with her. I clung to her on weekends. It got to a point that she couldn’t leave me at home without me and if she did I would cry until she came back or I fell asleep. She would have to sneak out the house and not let me see her go. I never told her why I was afraid to stay at home without her.

As my mom’s relationship with Willy went on she became pregnant by him. The baby was conceived around the time that a strange illness was affecting new born babies. I’m not sure exactly what happened leading up to my mom being tested for HIV but she was and with that test she found out that she had AIDS. The baby she was carrying was most likely going to be born ill. Raymond Antony Miller was born prematurely in September of 1990. He was so small he could fit in the palm of my mother’s hand. He stayed in the hospital for a long time. I remember my mom saying that she asked God to just let him come home long enough to wear all his clothes and after 3 month he was able to come home. On the morning of valentines in the year 1991 I remember waking up and seeing red lights flashing outside of the window. It was an ambulance. I didn’t know that when I opened the door and walked out I would see a bunch of strangers in the apartment. I quickly turned and closed the door to the bed room and got under the covers I didn’t know it at the time but they were in the house trying to resuscitate my 5 month old baby brother. Raymond died that day. His little lungs gave out while he was asleep. Somehow I don’t think I was really upset or sad because I didn’t really understand. When I look back now I think I would have had ill feeling towards him because of what his father did to me.

Shortly after the death of the baby my mom was told by a nurse that if she wanted to survive with AIDS the best thing for her to do would be to move back to California. She pack up the things that we were able to carry including the goldfish my siblings and I got while trick-r-treating and she bought 5 grey hound bus tickets. I don’t remember much about the trip across the USA but I do remember getting off the bus in Los Angeles and meeting my grandma she was so happy to see us she took turns hugging and kissing all of us over and over again. Now that I think about it I know that took love because we had just spent 3 days on a bus and there were no shower breaks.

Even thou I was born in Los Angeles I felt like I was in a very different world. It was warmer and it felt less crowded. I was in aww at the grass that lined the sidewalks and to openness of the streets. My older sister and brother and I were bused to school. In New York our school was a short walk away. Living with my grandma was fun in the beginning

My mom

I feel that I need to uplift her image after my post from last night. My mom is a diamond in the ruff. She doesn’t have an enemy in the world. To know her is to love her. She is funny, very smart, poised, and confident. She didn’t have the greatest upbringing but she truly took the lemons life threw and she didn’t just make lemonade, she gave them to those who needed them. I’m blessed to have my mom. I only know 1 other person who has had HIV there whole life who still has her mom. Most positive children were raised by grandparents. My mom is a fighter and she didn’t only have her self to fight for she had me attached to her every step of the way. She took notice early on of the fact that all the positive children we knew were dying from toxicity. The medication that was supposed to be saving lives was taking it away. She didn’t make me to those pills and I can’t explain how I feel now to hear that her choice saved my life. She packed up all that we were able to carry in our book bags and a few suitcases and we moved 3000 mile from New York to California. My mom, My own personal superwomen with a 2 year old curious boy, 5 year old over sensitive clingy girl, 7 year old mischievous boy, 8 year old talkative girl, and a pitcher half full of water and 4 gold fish on a Grey Hound Bus, 3 nights and 4 days. My super women did it by her self and why? because a nurse told her if she wanted to live she needed to go where the care was being given. That nurse told her that a group called ACT UP was forming in LA and they were demanding access to the medications. This move saved my moms life and mines. She had us all tested in New York and no one gave her our results. She was offered a chance to get her kids tested again here in LA and she did. My test came back positive. She never got a call but a few months after having us tested she ran into the counselor from the testing center. The women asked her where I was and how I was doing and my mom was sure that the lady made a mistake. So for a third time I was tested and the results, positive. Had my mom not made the move to Cali I might not have ever been tested again. If my mom didn’t care about her self and go to her appointments she wouldn’t have ran into that counselor again. If my mom were not such a sweet and memorable person the counselor wouldn’t Have stopped her or even cared to ask about me. We are all human and we make mistakes. The problem is not in the mistake, the problem comes when we fail to learn from our mistakes. I love my mom even more then I love my hair!