Inside the Ole’
Where was I born? I was born in the state of Illinois where we lived in a small suburban area outside of Chicago. The little village of Dixmoor (formerly called Specialville) is located in the county of Cook. Its current name was adopted in 1926.
My parents moved to that village in the early 50s. I’m the second oldest of six siblings. I grew up in a Christian home as a daddy’s girl and graduated from Concordia University (River Forest, IL) ─ where I received honors as Magna Cum Laude. I have a work history in management and taught in the public school systems. I’ve explored and unmasked the many faces of relationships: birth; grief; pain; trauma; emotions; feelings; deaths; diseases; work environments; and the poison of unforgiveness.
I am the writer and author of the literary creations, Not a Blueprint It’s the Shoe Prints that Matter / A Journey Through Toxic Relationships and Mirror, Mirror, on the Wall . . . Where Does My Self-Love Fall? / A Success Guide to Replace Toxicity with Love. For my Memoir, I received the “Book Excellence Award Finalist.” It is through those works I’m able to empower and enlighten others on wellness lifestyles. In a million years, I wouldn’t have imagined or dreamed of being a published author with non-fiction and self-help genres (under my name). In actuality, journaling became a necessity for several reasons. It’s a fact writing can be cathartic! What better source to give credence to its statement than Oprah Winfrey and Tyler Perry. Keeping that in mind, I’ll fast forward from here . . .
- Over three decades, I was incarcerated and chained by the clutches of toxicity. To find solace, I started therapy journaling. For me, the writing was art for healing and a medium to escape those unhealthy relationships. During my deep dark journey, the whole program of writing therapy was a healing process (medically).
- My journey of living with tainted, damaging, and harmful relationships was deep-seated, raw, and buried inside. It spanned from my role as a mistress all the way to letting go of my religious beliefs. Surely, there’s nothing pretty about that! Perhaps, I was a prodigy of my dad ─ inheriting his demonic and toxic demeanor?
- I lost a great deal of self through my journey. I was broken and messed up, I was torn up ─ to the floor up, whacked and zoned out. I was crazed and literally had lost my mind. Through it all, the poison had taken control, the emotions running wild . . . anger; guilt; hatred; rage; depression; the disease coming and going; and all that other stuff getting in its way. I’ve come to the realization, “Life is so full of stuff (the good, the bad, and the ugliness).”
- To ease that emotional pain, nurture those wounds, and help find a safe haven for that dark place I was in, I used a pen and paper to look inside my joys, sorrows, above all to escape that toxic space. It was there I sparked a love for writing . . . through journaling. Journal writing was the vehicle used to unchain the pain, the brokenness, and to break through those barriers. There was nothing more rewarding, refreshing, and regenerating than writing about those events. The process of writing was metaphorically the prescription I needed and its pathway space where I could physically mend my wounds.
- To combat those demons living and operating inside was a complete war zone ─ casting them out. After defeating those “demons of war,” I came through that battlefield as a wounded warrior, a survivor, and with a renewing of the mind.
“No photos, please.” That is one of my famous statements. Whether you know it or not, I’m not one who loves to embrace a camera. Of course, that’s why one will hardly ever find my facial image anywhere on social media. If connecting face-to-face, I can readily be identified. I’ll be the one wearing a hat and rarely seen without it. When having an opened interview on the screen, I’ll wear my special hat . . . the one with its black, long, dark netted veil. I’ve hidden behind the veil ‘cause it symbolizes and presents a statement for thousands and millions of Americans ─ who still live in that dark place. This dark space is where I too once resided for over three decades. It represents the voiceless; those who are captured in toxic relationships but don’t speak out. It represents relationships that need to be unmasked to determine whether it’s healthy or unhealthy. We won’t know what or who is behind the mask until it’s unveiled . . . people; addictions; bullies; diseases; emotions; feelings; sex-abusers; sex-offenders; sex-traffickers; work environments; and the list goes on.
Toxicity once controlled me. Now, stronger than ever . . . I’m the controller of toxicity! I’m a speaker and wellness coach with years of the educational experience. My work is recognized at the Georgia State Transitional Center(s) where I conduct a workshop. As an educational leader, I participate in Health and Wellness Fairs; and at other varied locations where there’s a need to provide education and wellness lifestyles. I’m striving to stabilize those self-dimensions. I’m proud to be considered a work-in-progress. But, aren’t we all – that progressive piece of work?
Look at me now: There’s a new me living inside the ole’!
A life improved / A life renewed