Domestic Violence (1972-1998 off/on)...check
Date Rape (early '90s)...check
Failed marriages x3...check
Failed serious relationships x3...check (last one, 7 years long. 2004-2011)
Homeless (12/2009-3/2010, 4/11-6/11)...check
Been hungry (once 3 days no food)...check
Lonely even in relationship...check
Lonely in general...check
Ok, so what's with all the check, check, checks...it's to say I'M STILL HERE, despite all the checks!
I AM A FIREWORK, AND YOU CAN BE TOO!
How did I get here? Partly I must thank my last boyfriend, Billy...he said, "You'll NEVER make a difference in HIV/AIDS!" He told me that as he locked me out of our home in December 2009, temperatures in the 20's. Fortunately, I had my car...which I lived in for 3 weeks.
My car died, I was facing living in the streets or sofa to sofa! A chance encounter led to me meeting my lifeline, AIDS Care Services. I fortunately was accepted into their transitional housing program...I started attending their support groups...seeing a psychologist via my ID clinic, joining my church!
My then boyfriend and I briefly resumed being "friends"...he'd pick me up, I'd spend weekend (100% no sex...as it had been since early 1995 due to issues with his prostate...all of the no sex time I remained faithful...and still no sex to date....I KNOW that's a question in someone's mind!!). We would watch movies, cook, talk...
But all that abruptly ended February 4, 2011...100% breaking my heart. He was constantly on my mind. In group, that would be my share...at first always with tears, then slowly, step by step, it became...how many times a day I thought of him...How many times a day did I cry...
And guess what? As I grew as myself, becoming more connected cyber-wise especially with my now "AGLM" Sisters like Maria Mejia, Vickie Lynn Brinker. I became stronger...social media was indeed allowing me to connect worldwide...people in other countries...starving for REAL information about living with HIV/AIDS, surviving many of the things on my check list.
I "let go" of the hurt, I stopped crying. Let me share a powerful thing our Green Street United Methodist Church interns from Wake Forest University Divinity school conceived and shared (and I've done cyber-wise for those in need since):
A "Releasing Ceremony"
We gathered on banks of the Yadkin River, the interns played guitar music softly, read words quietly but so powerful, baskets of flower petals...which represented the "baggage" that we wanted to release. We took our petals...after an uplifting prayer, and we RELEASED our baggage...let it go...We took back the power that others had on us...by letting go if the anger and hurt!
I had already let go of much prior to the ceremony...
But just like the graphics of Fireworks shooting in this Katy Perry video, I am Fireworks, I am strong, I am making a HUGE difference in the world of HIV/AIDS, as well as do many other things on my check list.
I share as proof the Winston Salem Chronicle article "The Entertainers". I've mentioned Forsyth County Entertainment awards in my "Inspired" blog. The night of June 23 2013 was truly my 'Cinderella at the Ball' moment. We had highlighted HIV/AIDS at each "showcase" event over the past few months...leading up to the finale. My daughter and her fiance, my eldest grandson and granddaughter were there...to see my beloved Jesse Duncan, Executive Director of AIDS Care Services, dub me the "Living Red Ribbon"
This Cinderella, this Firework...encourages you to RELEASE the chains that hold you back...one link at a time...the WILL fall away!
Join me...find your Fireworks and let them free!