Tag: Featured

Silence Isn’t Golden

He appeared to be kind and compassionate. Finally seeing me as his equal, interested in only my occupational skills and not the physical. I accept the invitation to the promotion but little did I know this promotion will cost me.

Day of the promotion announcement, I didn’t sleep. Nerves got the better of me. Lying next to my husband who is dead to the world, his snoring grows loudly, there’s no possible way sleep will be mines tonight. In anticipation I feel I haven’t prepared enough for this new opportunity. I’m up looking for the right suit again, the right pair of shoes. Lining my ducks in a roll, running through all possible questions pairing with the right answers, I found myself downstairs in the kitchen for a cup of coffee. I own the morning, sitting here in the dusk as the morning says hello, my family awakes. Vibrant and brilliant my hubby and the boys attempts to fix breakfast for this hard-working mom. French toast and bacon such a feat. Back up stairs standing in the closet giving a final look over I quickly and excited get dressed deciding on my black & light gray pinned striped suit paired with a light gray blouse, picking up my briefcase special made for me with my initials branded on. I’m heading downstairs seeing my loving husband my two sons staring up at me with a newfound respect yes momma going back to work. I survived the worst thing breast cancer and now I’m back in it to win it. Backing out of the driveway, I see my boys standing there the three of them waving goodbye.

Pulling into the parking structure, I quickly realize all my dreams and hard work will finally pay off today. Today I will be made partner. The first African-American woman partner at my firm. Into the elevator up up up I go the doors open to the eighty-seventh floor. The firm is full of life. People running everywhere it’s like a mini-city so vibrant. At my office door my assistant approaches with Starbucks and a stack of papers I’m holding the door open, we enter there we began our game plan. “Welcome back I should say and congrats partner” we both giggle I mean after all it’s her victory as well as mines. People coming in and out with well wishes and congratulatory messages, me very pleased, excited and overjoyed “thanks but let’s get back to work.”

Tick Tock the clock on the wall plays a game slowly counting down until my interview with the partners finally 11 o’clock interview time. Down the hall I go into the big double doors. Surprised there’s no partners attendees. Just the big boss standing at the end of his desk. Pretending to look over paperwork he’s shuffling through. I dare to utter a word but before I can complete my sentence he grumbles incoherently about the position. Recapping, rehashing what this position really is, it was like he was trying his best to scare me off. However, as always I reassured him that I’m up for the task. He asked me how badly do I want this position. I thought that was a curious questions. He seen the perplexed look on my face and he repeated the questions. Again reassuring him that I’m up for the challenge. Sit down he said,  as if I’m in trouble. He walks over pouring drinks whiskey I think, walking over to me sitting on the edge of his desk he hands me the glass and ask me again how badly do I want the job. What would I be willing to do. “Sir?” He sits the glass down leans over grabbing my face and planting a big fat wet tongue kiss. Shocked I slapped him.  He laughs and replied “Oh you like it rough” proceeds to unzip his pants reach over grabbing my face again this time pushing down toward his private area. I pushed away and I get up to walk out but before I can open the door he pushes it should and assured me that if I walked out and tell anyone my career is over. I opened the door and walked out. Disgusted and angry the whole day I was thinking about what happened to me and how many women he attacked. If they actually did what he wanted. I closed myself up, held up in my office blinds closed no calls no clients just me the daylight and my thoughts.

Later that afternoon it was announced that I’m the new partner. I have the vaguest idea why. I would like to believe I got the promotion because of my hard work but after this morning I am sure I got the position as a way to buy my silence.

Driving home all I can think about is how to tell my husband of twenty-tw years what happen. What would he say? I don’t know how to keep this secret, my dirty little secret. I got home seen my boys at the dinner table ready to eat I couldn’t bring myself to say anything.

After accepting the promotion I felt dirty and disgusting.  I couldn’t imagine what he has done to other women. How far did he take it. I didn’t say a word not for a long time don’t know why I guess I was afraid of how I would be portrayed. The victim always is portrayed as a whore you know that mentality of thinking the victim asked for it. I read an article about Anita Hill and how she was doing and the event that changed her life.  I didn’t want to go through that putting my husband and sons in the spotlight so I kept quiet.

Fifteen years later, I am the CEO of the firm. We have seen many good and bad days. The monster has since retired and I don’t have to be reminded of his indiscretions anymore. I can now finally after all these years open my eyes and not be afraid to see. Here I am now making deals for my company and in this dealing making negotiations, I see a familiar face. An ex colleague who years ago left the company to start her own venture capital company. She and I sit for a glass of wine shooting the shit and out of nowhere she tells me what happened that lead up to her leaving the company. The story wasn’t pretty. He actually sexually assaulted. She informed me that she wasn’t the only one. He nearly killed her career because she filed a complaint. The company paid her off brought her silence as well.

After my drinks I decided to do research see how many women was assulted.  He would go on to assault over twenty-one women and 1 guy over his forty-six year reign. Although many of the stories are the same, I later found out the statute has run out only four women including myself have a case. Now it becomes a matter of choosing to have our lives and the lives of our loved one picked apart. I seen how men of power treat victims I wasn’t sure if I can handle that and I would have to tell my dirty little secret to my husband and how would he take it. Coming forth I would lose everything. I decided to come forth. I told my husband then my sons who are now married with families of their own.  My family was with me when I contacted the authorities.  They would be with me when I resign from my post and they are with me as I file a lawsuit against the company I once worked.

I am not afraid anymore. I can say out loud the things he has done to me and not be ashamed. I will no longer minimize his role in this nightmare.  

Some parts of this story is based on several people who have dealt with men of power with inappropriate behavior or sexual assault. We all know someone who is a victim. Coming forth takes guts no matter how long ago. Coming forth is the only way this will stop. If you know someone who is a victim and need help contact your local authorities. No more silence, no more fear. If you or someone you know is a victim of assault please contact your local authority or click on the link: #MeToo

 Your not alone.

 

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My Magical Glasses

Dad is taking me on a magical journey.  We’re going to get my magical glasses.  Dad said wearing these special glasses I would be able to see the world differently.  Seeing the world in different colors, I can watch them come alive.  

Orange, red, yellow and green starts to appear.  Streaking across the sky in rainbow formation. Puffy white clouds sits up taking audicence as the colors dancing competing to be seen.  So beautiful if I can reach out will I be able to touch them.  Colors across the sky boldly going where no one has dare to. I imagine Leprechauns performing a ceremonial dance excited, anticipating that pot of gold but does that really exists a pot at the end of the rainbow?  The whole day I played with the world and it’s colors, exploring, imaging see the world differently.

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Nostalgic Beauty Escapes You

Punching, Biting, Screaming, Kicking and Fighting I’m crushed under the heavy weight of your words. Ugly, Fat, Stupid, Useless, Weak are the words utter from your mouth. Every punch is like a knife cutting deeper and deeper until I can’t bleed no more. In grandeur style you draw back your bow ready for the kill carefully crafting your next move.

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The Frog or The Prince

What came first the frog or the prince? It’s a question that has been asked many times but no one can seem to find a correct answer well as if there is one. Today blog post is inspired by that age old question “What came first the frog or the prince?”

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Reflection

Looking out of this car window I have seen better days. The sun rays shines yellow then orange. The glow reflecting all the tiny specks of dust that have settle here. Each speck respresents a moment in time frozen on my windshield. If you can read them you will see a picture emerge, of a life span of love, loss, fight.  Each grain details a life of endurance reading like the lines running across a hands. 

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2-morrow Never Comes

 

“It’s hard to hold your head up when you’re kneeling down to pray and talking don’t come easy now. When the words get in the way. If you could see what’s going on, behind these private eyes. The truth would look so easy now but I’m running out of lies.” This is lyrics from one of my favorite bands Def Leppard *All I Want Is Everything and yes you guessed it, this song is the inspiration for today’s blog post.

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Sin City

Today I stepped across the state line into Sin City. Yes that place where one can indulge in every sinful pleasure. That place where your every ambition appetite is fed. Sin City is where the she-devils roam free along hiding the well best kept secret. You come here boy dancing with the devils you might as well leave your soul at the door. In this sea of buffets you don’t come for a salad.

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Big Lips

As a child I thought my big lips were my downfall. Everyday I would get teased about the size of my lips. As far back as I can remember, as I grew my lips grew two size larger. In class I would sit and daydream about having plastic surgery to have them deflated. Momma use say “oh they’re all jealous because God gifted you these lips.” Jealous huh? It doesn’t feel that way when the kids point and laugh. I was called every name in the book every derogatory clever name created I was called.

Everyday my torture would continue. I wake up dreading going to school. Momma made sure I was up and ready in time for school. She even had my brother walk me to the bus stop to prevent the kids from picking on me. That tact worked until I got onto the bus. Scared I would try to sit as close to the front by the bus driver this way the the torture wouldn’t be as bad. My friends did their best to try and block the abuse. Walking me to class, walking me to my locker and then the bus stop but there’s was no stopping the hateful bullying I had to endure.

Now in High School the same kids my tormentors constantly having a go at me. Slowly chipping away at myself esteem. Even new kids jumped on the bandwagon. Gone is my shield, my protection of my crew from Jr. High. We all are scattered in different directions, different schools like the decaying brown autumn leaves blowing in the wind. I am alone in my torture. Everyday I am reminded how ugly I am, how my big lips takes up the bottom part of my face. This is during the eighties, we didn’t have social media, internet, no public support like it is today. We were told to toughen up or fight back or stand up for yourself. Momma told me until I fight back, I will be picked on. I don’t think momma had any idea how bad this has become. I felt like I was going to the fortress of HELL everyday trying to avoid my tormentors.

One day going to history class, the main bully was on it. Just nonstop with the vicious attacks. Momma always said “sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me, as long as she doesn’t put her hands on you you’ll be okay” well momma didn’t have to go to school and deal with this hell. I tried to convince myself of that and I can deal with her taunts. As we walk into class, this chick proceeds to come over to my desk standing over me yelling her insults. Getting into my space, I mean really getting into my face I can smell her nasty hot breathe burning my nose hairs. Gaining an audience her taunts gets even more vicious. I get up to leave and she pushes me down. I get up she pushes me down again. Third attempt she put her hand on my chest, I grabbed her hand bending her fingers back standing up and pushing her back. She tumbles over the desk behind her falling to the ground. I grab my backpack and slam it into her face across her eye. Feeling full of myself, I drop my backpack and land a punch boom right in the kisser. Teacher coming breaking us up I say to her “now who has the big porn lips bitch!”.

Off to the principal office we go. We sat as the principal called our parents. I’m looking at her and now her lip is bleeding. It dawned on me what I did and I have to face my Momma. My mother finally getting to school, I see her walking down the hall with that look. You know that look when school officials calls a parent then said parent have to leave work missing out on hours of pay to come and deal with the trouble child. I was terrified. The only person who can ever put the fear of God in me is my Momma. I tried to be perfect just so I wouldn’t let her down and now I’m sitting here outside of the principal office in trouble for fighting that’s very disappointing. No matter how bad the torture is and how much of it I had to endure nothing is as bad as physical violence towards another. I shouldn’t have let it get to this point the point of violence.

Momma walks in looks at me and at my tormentor passing us to the secretary. Principal comes greeting her as they walked into his office. The door shut closed. I hear muffled sounds between the two seeing the shadows of them through the glass panel door. I am focused on Momma. Watching her shadow seeing if I can get a read and how to prepare myself for certain death. It’s funny, I got bullied for a long time, the one time I fought back now I’m in fear of the consequences the irony of it all. I was more scared of Momma then my tormentor. As I was thinking of what to say trying to come up with some type of defensive the door swung open, Momma had that look on her face like she just went 12 rounds with Mike Tyson and won. The principal comes out behind her trying to calm her down. Momma then turns to him getting up in his face pointing her finger and said “you knew about this! If you suspend my baby for defending herself I will bring this school to its knees!” She turns to me and say “let’s go!” Momma then turns to my tormentor and said “next time you decided to bully my daughter, I will put bricks in her backpack and this time when she hit you will have a lump to go with that busted lip!” Out of the office we walked.

I looked at my mother differently from then on. She’s a single mother of six kids. She managed to keep us all out of trouble. She kept a roof over our heads and food in our belly. It’s was hard for her when my father left us but she never let our circustances get the better of us. I had no idea weeks before Momma called the school telling the principal of my daily torture. I didn’t think momma had a clue how bad this was for me that is until my big mouth sister telling my secret. Her noisness always got the better of her where I was concerned. She loved ratting me out to Momma. We got into the car she looked at me asking me why did I put up with this for so long? My response “I didn’t want to cause trouble”. Momma then gave me some advice she said “never ever let anyone put you down. You have the right to defend your character.” She’s was right.

Years later now at forty-five, I ran into my tormentor or I should say she ran into me literally. I didn’t recognize her but she sure remember me. I hear this person speak my name. I now got my beautiful babies the three J’s. I’m trying to wrangle them up in the car along with my groceries, still I hear that raspy voice speaking my name. She comes over and proceeds to speak. I’m looking at her yes she’s familiar but I can’t put my finger on it. She tells me her name and in shock I see this plastic barbie doll. We got to talking she tells me about her life she’s now wealthy due to three divorces and hubby number four is a surgeon. She tells me how she transformed becoming a better person. She had weight loss surgery, face lift, fillers and such. All I kept thinking about is for years you picked on me because of my natural lips and now she has to pay for hers #irony. I wanted so badly to tell her all the damage she caused the hell she put me through. All the therapy, the self help books, relationships, learning how to cope all of it I spent years trying to overcome. I didn’t why? Because at that moment I looked at her then looked at my babies I’m blessed, I survived.

We stood in the grocery store parking lot about thirty minutes chatting it up. She then starts to cry and offers up an apology for all the harm she caused which I accepted. as we saying goodbye she hands me a card with her number on it. Looking at the card I can see she’s gave herself the title of PR person. She tells me she doesn’t expect to hear from me but she hopes that I would give her a call and be willing to have coffee. She’s right I didn’t call sorry but some old wombs still hurt no matter how much time have passed. This is a can of worms I don’t want to open. However, I did thank her because if it wasn’t for her I wouldn’t have learned a valuable lesson. Because of her I learned how to toughen up. I gained a sense of myself worth. I know now what I will tolerate and what I won’t. If I didn’t experience her torture I wouldn’t be as strong as I am today.

 “You can’t control how people treat to you, you can only control how you react to them”

Let’s be kind to each other.

Summertime

Summertime is hot like the core of the Milky Way, burning through my skin like the sun rays beating down on tanned beach bodies. The foam white waves crash upon the shore running back to the ocean leaving secrets on the beach floor. Crashing waves breaks between rocks spraying a cool mist falling gently on my burnt skin.

People loosely dressed in skinnies, skin wet dripping in sweat, guys and girls trying to find that perfect spot packed up on the coast line. Surfboards lined up as far as your eye can see like Emperor Penguins lining up in formation migrating home. “Hello” beach bum “how are you today?” “Show me a move or two on your board out on the waves.”

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Hello My Name Is Misery Have We Met?

Hello my name is Misery have we met? Yes we have in fact we were introduced by a mutual friend hatred. Oh that’s swell but as I remember you barely know me so let me give you a history about myself. As I stated I am Misery, I am like cancer that grows and fester right to the heart of men. You can not defeat me because I am learned process that takes years to master. Unlike leeches who will suck you dry eventually letting go or like snakes striking swiftly, quickly leaving death instantly, I take my time. I slowly invade your body, your mind, your soul spreading my disease to every single part of your body until there’s nothing left. I don’t know of compassion, empathy, love, respect, nor do I care. I only know despair, depression, addiction and of course my old friend hatred. Fight me, I will bring you to your knees. What do they say about me? “Misery loves company!”. I will admit some people have escape my grasp. Those who have escape are very strong, powerful, determined and know their self-worth. Most of you aren’t that powerful unwilling to overcome me allowing me to continue to spread.  Now that we been properly introduced………….

The lesson of this story is just because misery loves company doesn’t mean you have to accept the invite.

Be Kind!