Living in a Fantasy World (Part 2 of 3) (Continued from Day 4 Post)

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Writing 101: Day 13 Serially Found
(Earlier in the course, you wrote about losing something. Today, write about finding something. For your twist, view day four’s post and today’s post as installments in a series.)

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Sometimes living in a fantasy world is the only way for a young girl to cope with pain. In my instance I used this escape as a coping mechanism to keep my pain of loss at bay. The day my dad left was a very shocking and degrading experience. Some things went down on that day that I never imagined existed, yet alone were happening in my own home. I won’t go into details because, as my husband says, it will not help anyone, but the things I saw were frightening. This day was a point of no return for my mom; He had to go and I was in agreement.

Just because I agreed with my mom’s decision doesn’t mean I stopped loving him and since he was very close to me, I had to find a way to deal with my emotions. My trust in people was shaken because if the one person who I admired was totally different than who I thought he was, how could I trust myself to be a good judge of character. As a child I did not understand that some people are good at wearing disguises and that it does not reflect on my ability to have good judgment. All I knew was my dad lived an alternative life and my family had no idea. By this time my oldest of my sisters were adults and no longer lived at home. It was just my sister Karen, my brother James and me. Because they had their own things going on and because I was afraid to express myself I chose to retreat into a world of reading and fantasy.

When I read it gave me solace from the real world and I could imagine people and places the way I wanted them to be. My imagination began to grow and I daydreamed a lot. I never thought about it before, but I now realize being abandoned by my father caused my distrust in people. It takes me a very long time to trust people with my thoughts and feelings and as a result I come off as disinterested and cold. In truth I am not standoffish, I am analyzing people and trying to figure out if they are being genuine or fake. Reading has helped me in this aspect because it introduced me to several different types of personalities and the way different people’s minds work. Yes, I realize they are not real people, but they could be and that is the coolest thing about reading. That spy in the book could be my next door neighbor, or the boy sitting next to me at school could be a real super hero. OK maybe I took it too far, but you catch my drift.

My love for reading has endured over the years and one of my favorite ways to find new people, places and things. As an adult I realize that I am somewhat of an introvert and as I get older I see it more and more. In my early 20’s I was introduced to the writing of Octavia E. Butler and I lost my mind! I was fascinated because not only was she a black writer in the genre of fantasy/science fiction, she was in fact a female! Her mind was amazing and she remains at the top of my list of favorite writers. Her novel Kindred really spoke to me and I was thrilled to attend a lecture she did for the Charlotte, NC library system. Her words and experience touched me and when I met her at the meet and greet she was kind, but she seemed introverted as well. It made me realize it was possible to do things outside of the box. I could be something other than what was expected of me.

As wrong as it may sound, I now realize the absence of my dad allowed me to find a love for reading, writing and fantasy worlds. The universe noticed that a major love was taken from me so it provided a new type of love as a filler. I am grateful…

Is The Truth Too Real?

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Blogging 101: Day 12 Truth Serum
You’ve come into possession of one vial of truth serum. Who would you give it to (with the person’s consent, of course) – and what questions would you ask?

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If I had the use of Wonder Woman’s golden lasso to interrogate one person I would ask my dad why he abandoned me. I’m sure I would have a few follow-up questions as well. No matter how hard he struggled he would have to give me the reason he never kept in contact with me after he left. I know the story behind why my mom made him leave because I witnessed it, but what I don’t understand is how he could leave and never look back. Sure I received a birthday card almost every year, but there was never any correspondence inside; just a simple “Love Dad”.

All I knew was he lived in the Bronx in New York near Yankee Stadium nothing else. If it had not been for my desire to see him again when I turned 21, I never would have seen him. I have always wondered if he forgot about me or if he simply replaced me. He has lived with a lady for well over 30 years and helped to raise her son and calls her grandchildren his grandchildren. Why did he give the love that was supposed to be mine to another woman’s child?

I wonder….do I really want the answers to these questions? Will it really matter in the grand scheme of things? Maybe the truth is too real.

My Rose Colored Glasses (Part 1 of 3)

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Writing 101 – Day 4: Serially Lost
Today, write about a loss. The twist: make this the first post in a three-post series.

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Let me tell you a story about how I lost my Rose Colored Glasses! As a young girl I was a daddy’s girl. I absolutely lived for just the slightest glimpse of my father. He wasn’t the tall, handsome stud that fairy tales are made of, but I did not care; he was my daddy and that was all that mattered.

My father is a Vietnam Vet and I am in my forties so I have few memories of him before the war. I do remember him being a big source of love. I remember missing him terribly when he left to go overseas and I remember the smell of his cologne. He wore old spice on occasion and I still get nostalgic when I smell it. When he returned home he was changed as anyone would expect. However, as a child I did not understand his moods. My daddy has always been a kind-hearted gentle man and he hated to discipline me when I did something wrong. There were times when I was in trouble with my mom and she insisted my dad spank me. He would take me in the room, shut the door and talk very loudly while hitting the bed with the belt. We had a secret agreement that I would scream and cry while he hit the bed. I was very good at crying on demand back then.

Those are my memories of my dad when he was sober. I have come to find that alcohol is the doorway to Hell! When my dad drank he was never violent, but he was definitely a different person. If he wasn’t lying in the floor in a drunken stupor, he was urinating on himself. He also thought of nothing but how to get more alcohol. My dad was responsible for picking me up from school because my mom was at work. He was always on time waiting for me outside and most days we would walk home together. He usually had a treat for me and as a child this bought my silence for whatever mischief he wanted to get into. Sometimes he would pick me up in his car and we would go to the store and get candy. One day in particular he purchased a sack of penny candy and some ice cream, the price for my silence, and then proceeded to take me to a liquor house. Now don’t panic, he would not let me go in, I was told to stay in the car. Time went by as I ate my ice cream and played in the car. After a while I heard loud popping noises and then I saw my dad come running out of the door and down the sidewalk. It turns out he was gambling, lost and in his drunkenness tried to buck on his opponents who retaliated by shooting at him. He got into the car and sped off all the while saying don’t tell your mama. She found out anyway because we live in a small town and the neighbors saw the whole thing. Needless to say, I started thinking differently about the first man I ever loved.