Sweet Little Girl

Sweet Little Girl

 

When I was 4, I had a vivid vision that the moon was an ice cream shop.

The bright white color and craters would send a chill down my spine, and I associated the cold with ice cream. In one of my day dreams, I went to the moon.

Just like driving to an ice cream shop, but up. I ordered blue ice cream with sprinkles and sat inside this cold shop, staring out into dusty hills and valleys on the moon, the Earth a lovely marble in the sky.

I remember my desires, my emotions, my dreams, but I can’t remember fear at this age.

There were huge impressions stamped into me at 4 years old.

“Be a sweet little girl”

“Don’t be so loud”

“That’s unlady-like”

“Jehovah doesn’t like this behavior.”

My parents used the Lord as a fear tactic to control my behavior. Being the scientist that I am, I always tested and pushed boundaries to see if what they said was true. In my little brain, God getting mad at me meant that a huge deluge would occur or a plague would come upon me.

I should mention I was a dramatic little girl with a strong imagination.

Cecile B Demille’s The 10 Commandments was my favorite movie.

I would always play the part of Nefretiri. She was beautiful, powerful, got to kiss Moses AND marry Rameses. It made sense that when God was angry, he would bring about frogs or boils or fire from the sky. Except, when I broke the rules set before me- none of that happened. I just got whipped and called names.

I was a wild little creature. I didn’t walk outside, I danced. I didn’t say good morning, I sang it. I loved to test, touch and spy. This fiery little being did not fit into the church or the world she was born into.

I felt things strongly and unable to hide these feelings, I couldn’t shut my mouth. This did not align with the idea that women were supposed to be submissive, mild and meek. I always had food on my face and couldn’t sit still to save my life or my behind.

This precious little girl didn’t realize she never wore the right clothes, and didn’t care. I made friends with anyone I talked to. I loved listening to people’s stories.

I made the best out of going to the Kingdom Hall.

It was a time I could sit and daydream. I had my friends that I would charm and bat my eye lashes at. One was Brother Driscoll. He had curly silver hair and dark spots on his gnarled hands, and he adored me. He’d always have a pocket full of butter scotch or peppermint. I remember one Sunday I galloped over to him and said “Whatcha got?” with a big smile. He handed me a peppermint candy and gave me a wet kiss on my cheek. I was skipping back to our seats, happy as a lamb. My older brother Jon didn’t talk a lot and kept to himself, but the fact that I had candy and he didn’t did something. He snatched my candy. He was much bigger and stronger than me, so I did what I could. I bit him.

Unfortunately, my mom was in view when this happened. She was a sturdy woman with large hands and forest green eyes. She wrenched my little arm and I knew I was getting spanked.

On our trip to the bathroom, she stopped in front of each person we passed to explain how I was a bad girl for biting my brother and that she was going to make sure I turned out right. The whole time I was wriggling to get out of her death grip, which didn’t happen.

She then stopped in front of Ben Driscoll and told my friend that I had bitten my brother and that I was bad. At first he looked confused, then he looked disappointed. I couldn’t look him in the eye. I could feel tears form in my eyes and my face got hot. I didn’t want my friend to think I was bad. I wasn’t, was I?

She whipped me good. I sat completely frozen in my seat for the rest of the day, still thinking about what happened. I had on a sky blue cotton dress, one of my favorites. My stringy blonde hair, cut into a bob. I still can see a picture of myself sitting in that seat. Questioning why that happened.

It marked a day when I was angry at my mother for not understanding, confused at myself for my emotion, and sad that my friend might think I was bad.

This idea of being the sweet little girl stayed with me into my adult life, and I couldn’t shake her.

I thought that if I catered to people and made them comfortable, then I would be safe and could earn love.

I’m not saying that parts of my personality are not sweet, but the approach and even tone of my voice when I’m playing the role is definitely not how my thoughts sound.

To me, being sweet and accepted also means not showing my feelings. Being perky and peppy despite what is really going on in my life

This sweetness started to rot my soul. I remember when I first started to get sick of it.

When my mom died I was busy planning her funeral, cleaning the house and still taking clients. I would show up for meetings upbeat and ready to work. They looked at me like I was crazy, as they should’ve seeing as how I was going through a major loss. I then proceeded to care for my husband, my dad, my friends and all the other people in my life that would say things like “You are so strong.”

I was my sweet self, pushing through it. I also developed stomach ulcers at this time. My husband couldn’t handle emotions. His discomfort caused him to pick fights with me and escape. One evening I was making him dinner, a week before my mother’s funeral and he rushes in the house upset. He shows me his phone, it was a picture of my car. “This is why you can’t have nice things. You can’t even park straight.” The thing was, it was still in between the lines. I however, was not.

“Nghia, you either stay away from me or quit your shit. I have been through enough. I need kindness and compassion, not whatever this is.” So he did. He left me alone.

My mother’s funeral was the worst day of my life. For many reasons. My dad lost his mind and was rambling family secrets to whoever would listen. My husband, who hadn’t spoken to me all week was really awkward and painful to be around. And I had to go to a Kingdom Hall again. I never imagined under any circumstances coming back here. So I made reservations for dinner for the family, got dressed and tried to be nice. It just wouldn’t click into place. I couldn’t do it. I didn’t want to be here.

Under sickly fluorescent lights, holding my best friends hand, I listened to a speaker talk about how great Jehovah’s Witnesses are and Armageddon. He barely even mentioned my mother. He also questioned whether she was really anointed and going to heaven as she believed. I was pissed. I hated him, I hated this place, I hated these words and this dead religion.

People wanted to come up to me and hug me after the service, but I couldn’t. I stomped out and told my husband to get me the fuck out of there. I began screaming and letting off steam, a slight tear falling. The first I had allowed for today. My mother, a woman I was so connected to yet barely knew, was gone.

I was her in a lot of ways. I see her face when I look in the mirror. I hear her words coming out of my mouth from time to time. It doesn’t scare me anymore. I want to cling to these ideas I had of her.

After a family dinner, where I drank myself silly, my friends wanted to meet up. Nghia, my husband, didn’t want to be around me anymore for the day and dropped me off. I continued to drink late into the night and wandered off on my own down a cobble stoned road to snag a cigarette. Except my heel caught, and I fell. My phone went flying, and I laid in the street, too drunk to move. I laid there crying and bleeding for what felt like an hour.

Then an angel came. It was a sweet little college girl and her friends. They helped me up, tried to find my friends and eventually called my husband for me.

Nghia was so angry. He wouldn’t speak to me on the car ride home.

My phone had been picked up and I had no way to contact my friends or family. The day after my mother’s funeral and I was completely shut off and out. He kept saying things like “You shouldn’t be so wreckless. I’m not getting you a new phone.”

A week in Dallas miserable, I was typing on my ipad to my girlfriend Jenny who said “You kidding me? Amy, you’re an adult with a bank account. BUY A FUCKING PHONE.” And it clicked. The power Nghia held over me wasn’t real. I was accepting this invisible cage. This was the end of my marriage. Gone was Sweet Amy who cowers and accepts, this new Amy was still transitioning. She began to test, to touch, to spy.

 

 

Family Of Origin

Family of OriginLast night I knew I had to stand up in front of 500 people and get vulnerable.

In my past I was taught that when you ask for help it is inviting people to come in and take control. They would see me as weak, spineless and sickly.

I stood in front of a microphone in a church in New York City, looking Gabrielle Bernstein in her beautiful face and I told her:

“I’m a healer, and I’m in a spiritual burn out. I encourage people to choose love and embody that, yet I hate my father. I then obsess about it in prayer and meditation. Any advice?”

I was shaking and sweating, questioning why I had stood up. Until I heard her answer:

“Let yourself be angry. Anger is a step above fear and powerlessness. Meet yourself where you’re at. When it’s time, you’ll reach for a higher vibe emotion. Also, move away from that relationship.”

Sharp, short and to the point.

Four days earlier, I was on top of the world. I had a huge meeting that went really well. I am diving into work I love to do. I feel limitless and sexy and powerful. In the back of my mind my last blog post crept up “That was really personal. Maybe I should take it down.”

I went on with my day, and other thoughts kept creeping up “What are you really doing with your life?”, “Enjoy New York while you can, you’re probably not going to make it anywhere” and the scariest thought “Maybe you should get a real job, ya know, so you can fund what you really love to do.”

Just like that I couldn’t get out of bed. Emotional pain leaves my limbs heavy and ached.

I woke up Saturday sad, feeling alone.

I decided to take it easy. No pressure of emails, writing, bills or responsibilities. Texting a few friends, responding to social media.

Still slow moving, I took a gentle shower. I could hear my phone ping from the bathroom.

For some reason, I wasn’t excited to check it. I took my time in the bathroom, then glanced at my screen. It’s from my father.

Amy

And then it starts into a message that touches on all of my fears, my pain, my insecurities.The isolation, the judgement, lack of support and fear.

A recommendation for psychiatric help.

Sincerely,

Dad

A deep fear that slept in my belly rose up. I felt like a child again, trying to get out of her father’s way and didn’t understand why she was bad and how to remedy it. This fear filled my navel to my brow, then spread to my extremeties.

You’re all alone. No support.

Your family will not have you.

Then a quiet, new voice appeared.

“So. What.”

This voice got me out of bed, wiped my tears and had me wandering the streets of my favorite city.

To be honest, I’ve never had my fathers love and support. Any time I would show him who I really was, I was getting chastised or corrected.

Some people I will love from afar.

I do mourn. I mourn the idea of a father who loves me, supports me, sees me.

I was born with a father who has a list of what people should be.A list I tried so hard to pretend to be, but I no longer have the energy for.

I curse, I enjoy sex, I am not religious.

I also love with my entire being, I freely give my time and resources to do a good thing.

I am building a network of diverse and fiery people that will heal, remove shame and guilt, while breathing love and life into every corner.

Maybe one day my dad will get it.

It might be when my book is published, on my first tv appearance, or when I make my first million.

I can no longer spend my thoughts on how to get my father to love me.

I’m working on a bigger love.

Addict

Addict

Last year under a meteor shower, I tasted myself.

Under the ruse of wine I let myself be. I stopped worrying about what people would think or what is proper or improper, if I was too loud.

I sat beneath the stars in a wet bathing suit, giggling with my friends after a long week of heartache. My marriage was failing, I was failing.

In a thoughtless juncture, I slipped out of my suit, into a crystal clear pool and let the moon gaze upon my naked body. My two girlfriends followed and we played. We talked about sex, the universe and our dreams. We kissed and touched each others bodies. We reveled in the fact that in this moment we were absolutely free.

The air felt good, the water incredible, myself- divine.

I haven’t spent enough time thinking about that night to be honest. It was the night I became addicted to myself. My real self. The one I learned to hide and lessen.

This meteor shower reminds me of an encounter with my lover. No beginning, no end. Divine movement with indelible connection. A ritual of worship and beauty. Sweat rolling off of my glowing skin, disappearing beneath the horizon of my white sheets.

In the morning, as he kisses my neck and traces my freckles “Did you know you have constellations on your back?”

Tonight’s meteor shower I will be naked, in my bed in New York City, dreaming about the stars. Grateful for my beautiful muses. Grateful for tantra, meditation, crystals, and magic. Grateful that a part of me never accepted what was handed to her by life, but took her power and let it fuel her fire and forge her future.

 

 

Tantric

GoddessI’m so sick of my own bullshit.

I have spent the past year removing these beautiful stories my mind has created to present to the world as to what my past is and where I come from and who I am. I am not my mind. My mind is a tool that protects me, it is not me. My thoughts do not make me who I am. Thank God.

This weekend I dug deep, put in the work to get where I want to be, and some ugly truths came up.

                             “Men are for money, not for love.”

This one tore through me on a farm in upstate New York. I was dancing around a fire with other fierce women- allowing my wild. In a prayer, I released this concept into the nights sky. I am so ready to be wealthy. And I’m ready to be fucking loved.

                              “I’m broken.”

I see the good in people. I have never met a broken person. Yet, I hold onto this belief that I am the only broken person in the world. I accepted it. Created a life around this notion.

                              “Be a good girl and the world will accept you.”

One of my convenient personas is the meek and mild lady that stays positive and doesn’t rock the boat. She’s not me. This weekend I danced in the mud, had a photographer take pictures of me in lingerie, and I accepted that authenticity is more important than being accepted and making other people comfortable.

                               “If I lessen myself, people won’t be able to hurt me.”

I hide behind glasses, pseudo-intellect and a controlling personality. When in reality, I want to epitomize sexy. I want to move my body with ease and pleasure. I want to look into everyone’s eyes and not only see them, but let them truly see me.

These are a few of the core truths that I have been holding onto and living by. They’re lies. They’re not real. I am reacting to events that have happened in my past, without realizing it.

Meeting myself where I’m at is powerful. This weekend I spent three days with a group of beautiful women, tapping into our bodies and true selves. I felt anxiety and shame and so much fear. But I heard my own voice say “I got a lot of shit, but I’m here.” Intimacy and connection with men still scares me. I still have moments of perverse self doubt and abhorrence. And that’s where I’m at.

I have a fire under my feet to share my story and the tools that helped me along the journey of self love, actualization and spirituality. My prayer is to get out of my own way to do this work.