Gratitude

God ,

Right now I feel

A lot of unexplained questions, and fears, and lack of

Trust in humanity.

I know you have a plan for my life, and

That you Spared me to use me.

Unique in everyway, My flaws, and quirks

Do not overshadow my true intentions.

Everyway I can, I thank you, for sparing and preparing me….amen.

Kim Porter’s Funeral

I did not know Kim Porter, just to be upfront. I never met her. She was much Older than me. She was a myth for me, for so long. You know what ,though?!!? I have this inexplicable desire to be famous. I always have.  because I could be like her.I want to be beautiful, I want to be glamourous. I want to model…and yet, my story is so much more than, modeling. Kim Porter’s Funeral, was most literally 1 block from the childhood home where my bestfriend  in girl scouts lived. It was 4 blocks from the home, my life long brother from another mother lived in , as a child…we wandered those streets as children, and I was baptized in the pool at that Humongous Church, that many call Six Flags Over Jesus.  Her Funeral was a spectacle.  It swallowed up the love that her children will never be able to feel in her hugs, again. I was on my way, down that street dumbfounded by the masses, fleeing to church on a Saturday….angry officers, and impatient locals like myself….but this truly was quite a disappointing spectacle.  When she died, I saw it on TMZ, and thought ” How sad”…I thought this because, of her children, and only her children. Puff Daddy was quoted as saying something cliche about How Kim broke the mold…..well, if she was so wonderful, he should have stayed faithful.  Im not going to ask, why he wasnt Faithful…because Ellen Degenerous proved that his ego, is a big old hot mess. Puffy, if this reaches you, good….You have stuck your fishing pole in too many ponds, and now those ponds are drying up and killing what life they had left for the world….and the life that survived it….I pray they have your attention, and that this does not end up like Michael Jackson’s Kids, and Bobby Brown’s daughter. It just blows my mind that all my life, I have wanted to be famous, to have the power to make the world a better place….and the people who have that power…show up in my hometown, to act like they were always there for her.  Come on people….Humanity can do better than this…..As Lenny Kravitz says. ….” It ain’t over, ’til it’s over”

“Bear A Witness” can change your heart.

https://www.bearawitness.com/home   The man who started this site reached out to me, recently. I started following it, and found myself overwhelmed with excitement….I spent 5 months on the street, but for some reason, I never connected with the cause, like brain tumor survivors, and NAMI… When I started reading about it, I’ll be honest….my first notion was to kinda act annoyed, I thought Why are all these people appluading themselves and celebrating their tiny favors to a homeless person….then, Because I operate functionally as ana empath, my instinct was to imagine, what I felt like when I was homeless, and try to remember the favors done for me.  I could have gone to jail for not presenting ID at a wreck, I could have dones some unlawful act to get the money a firefighter gave me, to get to the shelter after…I could have been hungry, I coud have had no bed to sleep in, I could have been alone…but none of that happened. My first night, my car broke down and I stayed in a men’s shelter. I bathed in a gas station sink, the second day. The third day I was enrolled in free typing classes, had assigned bunk, and chores. The entire time I was homeless, I never did anything sexual, for money or otherwise…I never stole, and I never lied…I never hitch hiked. I never did drugs. I never wasted my money, and I never lost my faith and hope. WHat’s important here, is that I never lost me. I found me. I found me in atyping class. I found me, in a church food pantry. I found me, in my mental illness. I found me, everywhere that my family wasn’t. I learned to do chores , I learned to get jobs that arent hand picked for you by a family friend. I learned, where I draw the line. When a man threatened to rape and murder me, I drew the line. When the state of california, tried to lock me up, and my mom had me put in a home for people with Schitzophrenia, I drew the line there. Honestly, I dont have schitzophrenia…I am not shy of my mental health, as I have had both a brain tumor, and brain injury….I have Bipolar….and I learned off my meds, was not a way to live…..I found my identity, on the streets in Atlanta, and Hawaii. My biodad is how i Ended up in Hawaii….but the wonderful parent that he is, believed his ex wife, when she falsely accused me of having a gun….years later, as we stood in my home, in downtown ATlanta, that biodad, explained how as a toddler, he had accepted, embraced and welcomed, what he blieved was my swiftly approaching death….but 34 years later, he was clearly wrong.  I discovered what mattered to me, on the streets, who was important, and what i wanted out of life….The site I have posted it a link to, is a discussion I am participating in….that to me, is soooo very important for ending stigma, about Homelessness, and Mental Illness.

It’s Disability Awareness Month, everyone!

https://www.dol.gov/odep/topics/ndeam/index.htm

 

For those of you who have not met me, I am a former advocate for people with disabilities, and I came into this world with one, and  then traded it for another. I know, you are thinking” what? no way!”…right? Most people who know me, know I was born with a brain tumor. I had epilepsy until one faithful day when a seizure sent me to the bottom of a swimming pool and I slipped into a coma…

After my brain surgery, I was given a decade of hurdles to start jumping, figuratively speaking….I started with getting out of the hospital alive. Check! Followed that up with recovering in a total 3 weeks , and making honor roll for the year. I also was thrown into a messy custody battle during my parents divorce…and then moved several times to find safety and stabiity. My life only became more temultious when my homelife was  shook up, by a new last name, and new sibilings…

My step parent was not the bad guy, though… more like my unsung hero. We started taking latin in elementary school, we took vacations out of the country, and we became a little unified service oriented troop.

Every ambition was a toturous  preperation for the day when reality would have me stuck in the role forever. I wanted to become a singer, I took voice lessons, an actress took acting classes, an artist took art classes…

As I grew into a teenager, my life became painfully awkkward…I became severely depressed, tired all the time, and very antisocial.  I had a few allies, and 1 target…I was hell bent on making my mother’s behavior front page news, instead of applause for sacrficiing everything she had….everything we had, to make hersels a famous despot in, the peachtree dish that is southern culture.

At age 18, I was diagnosed with bipolar… and it knocked the win out of my sails completely…I was tied to a hospital bed in my sleep, spit at by my own mother, hit, and called every horrible word possible….she thought her violence would force my bipolar out of me…but all it did was make it worse….

I tried to tell people how violent my home life was , not anyone cared or believed, except the house keeper I call my second mama. I was held back a year in school, first grade, so I was 19 when I graduated…as a teenager though, I had the school secretary teach me to hide  abuse that had happened to me in my youth. I had classmates give me diet pills, so I could lose weight, and I had the whole baseball team call me a “whore” as they sped off in the back of a truck, even though I was more aptly living like a prude. …I day dreamed about suicide for years, and truly believed I was a “retard(I AM ONLY USING THIS WORD,BECAUSE IT WAS MY NICKNAME)”

I spent two months on bed rest, because of the medicine the doctor put me on, and when I got back to school , I was a dishoveled wreck.  I found out day of graduation, I would graduate with my class, and then struggled as a college student for ten years…People have called me every kind of horrible name you could imagine, but I didnt let it stop me, and I wont let it stop me. I am not saying my life is perfect, or I am perfect…because I am not…but I am perfectly me, disability and all, and I am ok with that…I am also a pageant winner, a grad student, and a wife, friend and family member. I would be lying to say I dont have days where I wish the world would stop spinning and let me off…I am scared everyday, about my responsibilities….but I am so grateful to have them….why because I want to be included in life. I am disabled, and good bad or ugly…I am still me.

 

Laura