Kristina Furey

"There eyes are glazed as if captured in a moment of time"

 

"All my dolls have seen better days their hair is frizzed their limbs are torn and their eyes are glazed as if captured in a moment of time. All my dolls I've loved them all but every little girl must fall. Every father dreads the day, it's not Prince Charming taking their daughter away. Mother wishes her daughter best, just hopes she finds her happiness. The dolls are too soon pushed away and fire seems to take their place.

The pigtails were homely and mother wished that I could learn to brush my hair, that I would take a care to how I looked. All the fashions never fit. If they did they were too expensive. All the pimples made it worse. My looks, they were my only curse. Mother's secrets, all passed down. Daddy's busy, not around. The dolls were all replaced by fears of bastard children if you didn't take care. And if by chance you had a girl, what you wanted for yourself, you must have for her but unless she keeps her innocence, she'll never really get her prince. If she is to stay naive, she'll never have the chance to be, she'll never have a chance to know, never have a chance to grow. All my dolls have seen better days, their hair is frizzed, their limbs are torn and their eyes are glazed, as if captured in a moment of time." ---From my journal dated 6/26/86 at 11:42 p.m.  I titled it, "All My Dolls."
 
Today while listening to an interview on Fresh Air with Author, Linda Kay Klein, I found my heart pumping in that anxious way, it often does before I say or do something or blog something that scares the heck out of me but would scare me more, if I didn't answer to that part of me that yells in the back of my head, "Do something, ANYTHING!!! Just don't let this moment pass by. You are a muscle, the world has built, using the resistance of those negative experiences you have witnessed, been exposed to or endured, as much as by every kindness or blessing tossed your way to be paid forward.  It's time to flex in an effort to help create the change the world is in need of." These moments, are always the hardest but I would be kidding myself, if I actually thought it would do me any good to close my eyes, look the other way or keep my mouth shut. That would be in direct conflict with what the world has created me to be and why I exist. So, here I go… asking you, to please, listen to the interview with the understanding that this is something most girls struggle with, whether or not they’re raised in a religious environment.  

We live in a world of double standards and one that scapegoats and controls females and their sexuality.  It is cruel to put so many conflicting beliefs in a young girl's head, set her up for failure regardless of the path she chooses (Madonna/whore crap) and to make her feel responsible for any unwanted attention that comes her way! It also hurts everyone who is affected by the fall out, when a woman lacks confidence in something as beautiful as her individual sexuality. It ruins relationships, marriages, families and lives. We owe it to all, to educate all people to respect their own and everyone else’s sexuality. I think it was a real miss when Jocelyn Elders was passed over. (If you don't know what I'm talking about, look it up.) We need to empower the young to understand their bodies own them and be confident enough to say, "You may be a doctor" religious leader or other person of some esteemed position "but this is MY BODY and I am uncomfortable with this!"  Everywhere around us we seem to see more and more evidence, that it is time to set boundaries here.  We need them, to keep ourselves and loved ones from becoming"victims" or "perpetrators".  We need these boundaries so we, as bystanders, understand, when, we need to step in and divert the allowances that lead to abuses.  (Obviously, many people are confused on this, if you listen to all the stories in the media about the people who knew of these “indiscretions” but never spoke out or diverted the would be “perpetrators”.  Maybe I shouldn’t but I feel a need to give them the benefit of doubt.  If, all around them, it seems par for the course, they might just assume there is some unspoken rule in society, that when you reach a certain esteemed position in life, your will is catered to, past our laws or morale teachings.  Especially, once they’ve witnessed what happens to those who refuse to play by those unspoken rules and speak up on behalf of victims entangled in these “indiscretions.”)  I was brought up to believe we are all a part of this society and it is our duty, to do our part, to hold each one of it’s members, in balance but even I’m beginning to find my efforts weakened by the blurred lines… (sigh)
 
Yesterday, in another interview, I heard Sally Field say "There are patterns that get set up in your life that as an adult you have to work your whole life to try to untangle. Because they might be survival patterns when you're a child, but as an adult they completely get in your way and they're unproductive. ..."  (I have seen this in myself and other people that have tried to hold onto some sacred pieces of themselves while realizing it is impossible to get through, what they must, in one piece.  So we choose the pieces of ourselves we want to save and sacrifice the rest for survival.  I explored that concept in a song I wrote when I was 18, "The Mirror's Cracked" Here is the gist of it "The mirror's cracked, now I don't know how to find me.  The mirror's cracked, now I see myself a million different ways.  The mirror's cracked, I'm afraid of what I might see.  I never wanted you to ever have to see me this way.  I never wanted you to ever have to see me this way.  I never wanted to ever see you look at me that way!"  People don't speak up about these things because our society tends to victim blame and oh boy, they like to label people in a derogatory way, when they have a need to feel high and mighty.  Then we wonder why someone stays silent for years...  It's a lose/lose situation. 


As a preteen girl with no mother around, I had my own experiences to sort through.  It seemed people saw me through a kaleidoscope of perceptions.  One needed only to slant the view a skosh, to depict me in the light that best suited them, allowing them to label me, in the way, most useful to them.  The way that helped to best justify their attitude and actions towards me.   I had not the power or the experience to change things at that point in my life.   I held onto the hope that one day, I might be the person that I kept hoping would show up for me in my life.  I wanted to show up for myself and to show up for others.  I started by keeping a diary and later, a book of lyrics and tapes full of songs.  Occasionally, I would let on to another what I knew and expected they might themselves be dealing with and through those conversations, I was introduced to experiences, completely second hand experiences, which I also added to my writings.  I wanted to make sure I would never get amnesia and become part of the system that allows or encourages the sacrifice of a young girls self-esteem, body or life.  As a teenager, my best friend and I spoke many times of a desire to create a safe house for girls in risky situations.  Her mother had always let me in their home, when I showed up at the door in need of the care of a mother.   At the time that meant EVERYTHING to me!!!


I want to end this blog with a plea to you to listen to the two interviews I’ve mentioned here and then watch Gayle King’s interview with Elizabeth Smart.  Afterwards, please consider what we as a society, nation, human race, are sacrificing when we allow pieces of our young females to be sacrificed.  Pieces, add up to lives that touch all of our lives.    

Last, I would like to leave you with the lyrics to a song, I wrote called, "I Am No Sacrifice"---"She was pretty, pretty as a rose. Daddy’s little princess and Mommy loved her so. But behind those bright eyes, she hid such pain. She never let it show, no, she smiled it all away. Oh, what she taught me, she taught me. What her story bought me, her life bought me, was the life of my friend. No, her life won't end. Cuz she is no sacrifice. She is no sacrifice. She will not pay that price. No, she is no sacrifice.  And he played games with her, games with her and he put shame in her, shame in her.  Put all the blame on her, blame on her. She will not pay no, no!  Cuz we have a choice here, a choice here. We have a voice here, a voice here. Get this message to all girls and women. We MUST make them listen, listen. And say, "I am no sacrifice." Say, "I am no sacrifice." Say, "I am no sacrifice!" Say, "I am no sacrifice!"


 

My dog is licking my ankle, righ now as I post this, it tickles :-)

 

I was at the deli counter the other day and I got to chatting with one of the attendants there. As we chatted I noticed a man that appeared to be waiting to be served.  “We’re just chatting” I said. He said he had been waiting and was under the impression, that I was being waited on. I pointed to someone else behind the counter that was filling my order. The guy was very good humored about it. So we all shared a laugh about how you have to take your moment and run with it when you get it, share a chat or a laugh with others because the opportunities can pass quickly and you might otherwise miss out on them. We were enjoying each others company, humor and upgrading our day. No matter what happened next or how the rest of the day turned out, we had that moment where there was peace in the world or at least in our little part of the world.

 

Unfortunately, I still wake up anxious a lot of mornings, since my Mom's cancer diagnosis, treatments and hospice stay.  There are things I still haven't been able to find the words for, to put those tense, uneasy and sad moments into, so I could express them from my nervous system. We all have our way of processing and for me it's to put those feelings and experiences into words and let them out. It's what works for me as does communing with nature. I find being out in nature, moving and expressing myself to be extremely therapeutic and I would recommend, that everyone give it a try. Often I wake up with my feet feeling ice-cold and/or I feel paralyzed with anxiety. (exhale). I realize, I need time and opportunities to fill my memory bank with new experiences, like the soft feel of a whisper, when my puppy brushes up against me or nudges me to get up and seize the day or a soft kiss from Dan.  I share this because I'm aware. I write, because I'm aware and I hope that if I share what I am aware of, it might be helpful to others. Maybe those looking for the words to purge their own body of what might otherwise be toxic, painful or somehow debilitating, if left to fester, will find something useful in what I write. I write, in hopes it will help others to not feel so alone. I try to humble myself, so that others might feel free of their own short comings because I'm aware we live in a society of judgements. Harsh ones. People today, seem to have a need to assess their own worth constantly through the action of sizing up others. I'm no stranger to this but it's a miss on our part. We are actually attempting to self validate but it's in such a backwards and synthetic way. Synthetic, is at least an attempt... I think there's some quote out there "fake it till you make it." Maybe that works... but I don't want to stick with pretending. I want something real and so I keep trying for that and if there is a silver lining to the sad and anxiety provoking experiences I have had, it would be, that I feel closer to authentic validation. Maybe it's being closer to this mark that has me thinking, if we all would go through the difficult task of authentic validation, it would prove an easier task for all to accomplish... or then again, maybe I'm just riding the ego train, knee deep and shoveling some other synthetic crap ;-) ...Maybe... All the same, I'm choosing to agree with myself on this and validate.

 

"CASTAWAY"-Kristina Furey

"(Verse)

I was a happy child

My life was very blessed

But then one day I found

I had lost my happiness

And I was all alone

Out in the raging sea

I landed on this island

all alone, no one but me...and now...now

(Chorus)

I, I-I am just a castaway

On, on-a deserted Island

And maybe, no one will ever look for me

So I, I-I, had better find myself

(Verse)

And so the days they passed

And I was full of grief

I thought of losing myself

Underneath the angry sea

I had the saddest thought

No one would look for me

And every day that passed

I lost a little piece (peace) of me, me, me-cause

(Chorus)

I, I-I am just a castaway

On, on-a deserted Island

And maybe, no one will ever look for me

So I, I-I, had better find myself

(Verse)

Then when I woke again

I had a master plan

That I would build a raft

And get back to my homeland

but the skies grew dark

and a storm began

I only got so far

Till I was back on the island..I, I-I, I, I

(Bridge)

But then a thought occurred to me that I was right where I should be

A place where I could find myself without conditions of somebody else

And now I know, I know, I

(Chorus)

I, I-I am just a castaway

On, on-a deserted Island

And maybe, no one will ever look for me

But I, I, I-I finally found myself"

 

Lead us not

 

They call him president…  

I don't!

I see his mouth moving but all I hear is,

“MY AMBITION SUPERSEDES:

your science

your health

your worth

your safety

your contributions

your needs

your compassion

your grace

your life

your children

their offspring

humanity

your god

MY AMBITION SUPERSEDES

all that exists or would but for my ambition. 

This is MY KINGDOM, MY POWER, bask in MY GLORY! The rest is just alternative news. These are MY WORDS, MY LAWS, MY AMBITIONS, MY KINGDOM COME, MY WILL, TO BE DONE!!!"


and so it is, with dark humor, that I laugh at the last week’s White House dinner for Evangelical supporters.  It is a sad, heartbroken, on the verge of hysterical laugh that slips out of me as I ponder the possibility of having crossed into the twilight zone or maybe this is Wonderland on steroids. I was invited to the Tea Party, I did not drink the tea and certainly would not purposefully inhale the mercury vapors coming from the Mad Hatter's hat!

 

Seriously, how could they have been so blind of his self generated pride and adversarial disposition. Look at his track record and see a person who seeks to deceive and throw suspicion on facts. He downplays the worth of others by stereotyping and maligning them. He seems to have an endless supply of remarks and tweets to discredit and devalue the citizens of our country. Then there's the jabs taken at other leaders and countries without concern for our American’s safety, here and abroad and those in service to our country.   My heart filled with grief, that we would dismantle families and incarcerate them, when they come to us from neighboring countries in search of help… There has also been dismantling of our government and things like the repeal on clean power (I urge you to go research this now, if you are a parent of a child that has allergies, immune disorders or asthma).  He dismantles with no real consideration for our patriots abroad. No concern when his unchecked ego puts them in harm's way, as they attempt to represent or negotiate on behalf our country.  His behavior, time and time again, has been completely disrespectful. Shameful, that he believes our daughter's are his for the grabbing, by the… well whatever, so long as they're not bleeding from the, well wherever. His disrespect goes beyond those individuals, singled out. It touches each of their loved ones and pollutes our society as a whole. He acts as if people are merely items to be used, silenced, discarded... and now God… I hope my fellow Americans are paying attention, especially those that identify themselves as Christians. WWJD? I don't suppose he would show up at that supper and praise Trump. If you find your own religious leader doing such a thing, you may want to ask yourself, “Who is their God?”  "Have they taken a false god?" Take some time to educate yourself as best you can. Then take a moment and pray on it but please, don't put your faith in false prophets.


Forgive me, if my words seem harsh or controlling. I only mean to caution you.  We were given free will for a reason and I believe in respecting free will. We all need to experiment with ours and hopefully, we learn from our mistakes. Through my own experiences, I have come to the conclusion, that my free will best suits me when I respect what I was taught was God's will, "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." Truly, this is what repulses me on the man people are calling, Mr. President. I think I just threw up a little in my mouth picturing that. I just can't digest what is going on. My apologies, that I have been stuck here on this subject. I know now, I need to be done with it. It's stupid to beat a dead horse, a dead fish, whale, my brother, my father or my mother... What's done is done. I can choose to live in the past and be angry over what's been done.  Ambitious greed will get us the same results time and time again, lives dismantled. I can choose to live in the present continuing down the paths that have been so well worn for me to walk down myself or I can look for higher ground and hope that when the waters rise I will be safe, able and willing to do the best I can for myself, my loved ones and others.  I can pray that God will spare us from all the natural disasters that we humans bring upon ourselves and this world. I will pray for forgiveness for myself, you and even those who claim, that none of what happens is their fault. I will pray for the enlightenment of all and that we may all learn, that we have the power to move forward, past this, past grudges and the memories of suffering at the ambition of others and I will pray for the ability to put my own actions behind my prayers, as I do my best to move forward, come what may.

 

Here is a riddle I wrote when I was a teenager, meant to be in the style of the riddle song, "I Gave My Love A Cherry". My riddle was, "What is left when all is gone? (Answer: memories, memories) What with us will travel on? memories, memories)" Seemed important I write that one down, less I forget, as it seemed to me at the time, that too many grown ups seem to have a terrible condition of amnesia. That said, I will leave you with this, "Touto poieite eis ton emen anamnesin"--Jesus' words (unless I have received alternative news instead of the good news.)

 

With love, the girl next door

 

I was teased by the man behind me at the grocery store today for how many bottles of Perrier I had in my cart.  I told him I stock up when they're on sale. We got to talking about mineral water and I told him about a place in Missouri, I had been to once, while touring an old Spa frequented by Marilyn Monroe. I told him how it was there, that I discovered there is a such thing as a bar that serves nothing but mineral water. He had never heard of such a thing and he was from Missouri. By this point, in the conversation, my cart was packed and my receipt was in hand. So before I gave it any thought, I ended the conversation with, “If we all don't watch ourselves and take care of our water supply, we might find water bars are the only place we'll be able to get a healthy glass of water”.  Ou, ouch, I felt a little guilty as I walked away that I left such a dooming thought with him, the cashier and the person bagging. I hate leaving conversations on low notes but I find that's happening more with me recently. I need to work on this, if I am to leave a legacy of love, peace and hope.


I love Perrier, it is my favorite mineral water! I call it fizzy as opposed to flat.  I still remember the first time, in Columbia Mall, as I sat down to eat a pasta salad I had ordered from Vie de France. Along side it, that cute little green bottle. I stuck my straw into that little Perrier bottle and had my very first mineral water experience!  This was not soda but it gave the same burning, thirst-quinching sensation soda gives, only without that drying, itchy feeling, I get from soda. Instead, it was purely, satisfying and I was an immediate fan! These days, if I drink Perrier straight from the bottle, I drink it from a metal straw or with no straw at all.  Mostly, I get the big glass bottles and drink it in small doses, out of a glass. Mmmm and sometimes with a slice of fruit or some ginger syrup I make.


While I hated to leave the grocery store today with such a dark warning, I have seen with my own eyes what unhealthy water does.  In June, we thought it would be fun to take our dog to a dog beach. Only, when we got there, I had to pull her away from a dead fish and then another dead fish and another, which lead me to look around and notice there were many dead fish down the shoreline. I had been cautioned years ago when I came to visit Florida about a thing called red tide. I have an overactive immune system and someone mentioned, out of concern for me, to be careful because some people have allergic reactions to red tide.  If I understand correctly, in the more recent past the red tide would be here for a few months and then would be gone. Now it's here for longer and longer periods of time. It kills all sorts of aquatic life. It can bring on asthma attacks in some people. It seems there is a connection between the algae in Lake Okeechobee and our lingering red tide situation.  Something about how the algae breaks down into something (I think nitrogen) when it hits the salt water, that provides nourishment for the red tide. Anyway, I'm trying to educate myself on this, as well as other things that are unhealthy to our planet and I'd like to encourage you to do the same. We are in this together not to-get-her or him or them. So we just need to come together, with, or in search of solutions.


I know people think I'm a little woo woo out there sometimes because I'm a romantic and an imaginative one at that but I'm also very much a realist, a person who holds the facts in high regard. I believe in being proactive.  Which is why I find it deflating when I'm guilty of taking a moment and downgrading it, like the one in the grocery store today. Hope is a medicine I don't want to defeat. I realize, I have been confronted with things disturbingly real and at times, I feel I'm not fit for human consumption as I fear I'm contagious of things that would defeat hope and the energy it brings to create solutions and this, at a time when I know, I know, I know, we all need to come together. If I could perform Spock's Vulcan mind meld, on people I would, so they would understand what I understand. I don't want to judge. I don't want to preach. So, I guess the best I can do is ask "What kind of world do you want to live in? How long do you want your loved ones to live? Yourself? What quality of life do you want for them and yourself? How do you assure this will be so? Are you willing to make it so?"


I recently sunk a small fortune into something called Dynasteam.  I don't want to use something that may cost me, a loved one, anyone else or other creatures, their health, life or extinction. So in lieu of dubious weed killers, I am really hoping my weed steamer is up to the challenge of removing the weeds from my gardens. I used the Dynasteam on one garden last week and it worked, mostly. There are some weeds that look untouched, so I will be going back over them (perhaps it was user error), as well as expanding treatment to the rest of my gardens. Fingers crossed!! I'm hoping for a planet healthy tool that I can educate others about while lending mine (they are crazy expensive) to neighbors and friends, so we can all take a step in a healthier direction. (Did I ever mention the idea that I believe Libraries should lend out tools, toys and other material goods so we can help out our community members, cut down on discarding items to the dump and cut the energy and money it takes to create so many non organic items?)  I believe if each of us would just research one thing and work on finding a solution we can share with those around us, we have the ability to find healthy solutions to all of our problems. As for me, I won't stop searching! I have a legacy to leave, one of love, peace and hope.



Here's a song I have been working on for years. It has had many incarnations but I think I just might settle on this one. I call it "The Girl Next Door" and this last re-write took place two days ago.

 

"Life can steal a moment from you

before you know you've been hit

Strip you of sacred possessions

and all while you're still just a kid

They say the one without sin

should throw the first stone

I'm not trying to condemn

just trying to find my way home


Didn't mean to be the one

bound to let you down

Cast within a role

a scapegoat to be found

Then you ask me

who do I think I am

So I'll try to say it in a way

I think you'll understand


I’m just the girl next door

The one they ignore

The one they never pay attention to

Unless they're calling me weird or insincere

but I don't dare take my eyes off of you

cuz I know what life can do.


People say that I should take

this path laid out for me

I keep trying to explain

I'm not the girl they peg me to be

They think I'm entitled

my eyes are focused on you

They just see me dancing

magicians use distractions too

 

I'm just the girl next door

The one they ignore

The one they never pay attention to

Unless they're calling me weird or insincere

But I don't dare take my eyes off of you

cuz I know what life can do.


A lifeguard scans the horizon making sure that no one drowns

The girl next door gets put down for no ambition to leave town

I never chose where I chose to stay to be a failure at anything

I'm just a girl standing in front of you begging you to see me

love me, can't you see

why I chose to be


The Girl Next Door

The one they ignore

The one they never pay attention to

unless they're calling me weird or insincere

but my eyes, my eyes won't leave you

cuz I know, I know, I know what life can do.

 

So I'm watching Classic Albums yesterday...

"Ignoring isn't the same as ignorance"--Margaret Atwood

 

"Ignoring isn't the same as ignorance, you have to work at it".--Margaret Atwood from The Handmaid's Tale.

A young man, age 30, was telling me about a memorial service he was at with his cousins.   He said, as people ate, drank and toasted the departed, he took his cousins aside and asked them, “What’s missing at this service”?  When no one was able to come up with an answer, he shared with them that there were no children. “Here we are ages 33 the oldest and 18 the youngest and none of the 9 of us, have any children.  Children represent hope and are a reminder at a funeral, of the continuity of life". He recounted how 13 years earlier, their youngest cousin, had humored the family the night before the great-grandmother's funeral, when the youngster asked if they too, were going to great-grandmother's graduation and some quick-witted adult chimed in, “Yes, you can call it a graduation of sorts".   Everyone laughed and the mood was lightened. I told this young man, I thought it was an astute observation on his part. I found his observation thought-provoking and unsettling at the same time and his words, “Children are our hope and reminder of the continuity of life” I feel should be shouted from every corner of the globe.


Have you noticed how children have been making headlines lately as shooters, as victims of gun violence, there was the soccer team trapped in the cave and there's the immigrant children, torn from their parents…  


Interesting to me, our country is once again revisiting Roe versus Wade these past weeks with the latest Supreme Court nomination.  Pro life... Pro choice... I don't really have a point to make, except, maybe we should put that on the back burner for now and do the best we can to protect the hope we have, in an effort to assist the continuity of life.

Ordinary People-by me

“Goodnight, Sweet Prince”, she whispered to the night.  She said,”I think I've been missing you through the hardest part of my life”.  “Goodnight, Sweet Prince”, she whispered like a prayer “and as I lay me down to sleep, I hope to find you there”.   “Because in my dreams, I can hold you. I can hold you through the night. And I long to be with you, come the mornings light”.  


Ordinary People, with extraordinary love, the kind that is stronger, than the romance books speak of.  Extraordinary love, to withstand the tests of time and a love made only stronger, by the challenges of life.


And they knew, of life's true gifts.  For their children, did their best, and they held on to, one another as each child left the nest.


Ordinary People, with extraordinary love, the kind that is stronger, than the fairy tales speak of.  Extraordinary love, to withstand the tests of time and a love made only stronger, by the challenges of life.


As I look, at my husband, I pray that we too shall know, that kind of love, that lasts forever.  The kind that always grows..


Ordinary People, with extraordinary love, the kind that is stronger, than most people, ever know.  Extraordinary love, to withstand all tests of time and a love made only stronger, by the challenges of life.


Good night, sweet prince. Good night, princess. Your love has been a testament and our legacy, was to have come from it.

 

 

"A Little More Like Me (The Crucifixion)"--Kenny Rogers

"I'm fixing a hole"--Lennon and McCartney

"Look Away"--Lemony Snicket

 
You have been warned! <--(Just substitute immigrant children for Baudelaire children.)

Living in DC I had a best friend whose Grandparents fled Czechoslovakia (from Nazis) with her mom, who was a baby at the time.  I had a handful of friends that came from other countries, including a friend in Middle School, (if memory serves me right it was a Vietnamese friend) that told me how her family came to America by boat.  I had the pleasure of having so many friends, with such interesting backgrounds and stories, who were either becoming American’s or were studying to become an American.  The DC area is really a delight of cultural diversity. I was fortunate to have grown up in that culture while young and developing my mind and beliefs. It encouraged in me a love of all people and a real interest in communication.  I can't stress enough, what a strength the ability to communicate with many people of many backgrounds has brought me. I believe my struggle to listen to and understand people who spoke different languages and those with thick accents has strengthened my communication skills and understanding of others the most. I have to believe it plays a big part in my songwriting. It also has played a part in my belief in happy resolutions and a win/win philosophy.

Growing up this way, I learned just how lucky I am to have been born here.  I grew up feeling proud of my country and this was enforced by the understanding that people from all over the world would want to live here and call themselves American.  My thought on this, was we needed to help other countries be as awesome as they believed we were, they would have their needs met in their own countries and instead of dreaming the American dream, we could all dream a universal dream, together.  One that is more proactive to all of life. I understood by those stories my friends and their families told, that it is the dehumanizing and disregard of people's needs that lead to discord. Lifting people's spirits with consideration and care is a gift America used to have and I found my place in that world, so of course, I made an effort to help others find their place.  

When I was 4 or 5 years old my parents started to take in foster kids.  When I was 5, Marie came into our lives. I remember very little about her and I'm not sure I ever knew the circumstances in regards to why she was in foster care.  I do know, eventually, she went to live with her Tia who lived in Miami Florida. She was Hispanic but I only really understand that in retrospect. When I was a child, she was just a child like me. I have pictures of us dressed alike which is something I guess parents did with their children in the early 70s.  She was, if only for a moment, my sister but the understanding of our sameness has lasted with me all these years.

 

One of my other foster siblings used to climb into my bed if she wet her own bed.  I understood she was extremely overwhelmed by sadness and anxiety. I never thought anything of scooting over and giving her space to sleep.  I only wanted her to feel and be okay. I often consoled her and my other foster siblings, when I could, if they needed it. It was emotionally traumatizing and devastating for them to be separated from their loved ones and not know when or if they would see them again or if they were okay.  I made it my job to advocate for them on the playground, in school and in my neighborhood.

 

I have seen the anger that arises in children when they are separated from those who are most invested in them.  I have seen the fear they carry, the lack of hope and lack of trust. I have seen the light leave their eyes. Thank goodness it only left for a bit.  I think our school shootings we have experienced here in the US, have something to do with the lights behind the eyes going out. I care deeply about this, as I am very aware of what the disregard and dehumanizing does to its victims. A full grown adult might have the reasoning skills to get past such a thing… maybe…  a child has neither the reasoning nor the experience to put these things in perspective. I experienced my own dose of this, when I was 11 and my mother left. I internalized it as I tend to do with things. It was toxic to my system. I ended up with a swollen spleen for about 6 months and a diagnosis of psychosomatic illnesses.  They said I was a healthy child prior to that and rarely ever missing a day of school. My health has been a challenge for me ever since.

 

Last week, as I heard for the first time about the children that have been separated from their parents and pretty much put in detention camps, I felt ill and tired all over.  I felt a sense of defeat. WTF. I mean seriously WTF? What have we become as a nation? As people? Where is our humanity? At what point did we sell it out? Last week, I believe it was Gayle on the CBS morning show that said, the people inside of the child facility she was at, had been instructed not to hug the children or touch them?  Another person said they were instructed not to make eye contact. WTF? This is so dehumanizing and it's abusive to treat children this way.

 

When did we make children the whipping boys and girls for the errors of their parents and their countries?  What now? We send them back broken and without hope? That is exactly what the gangs would want. Broken people and those that feel weak are so much easier to push the buttons of and take control of, they couldn't have hoped for better compliant subjects. These children deserve no less than what we would give our own children after they've been traumatized. At the very least they should get immediate psychological counseling and be reunited with their parents ASAP.  PLEASE DO NOT TELL ME, "That's Not How The Story Goes." Let's not look away until these families are reunited and Count Olaf can no longer do harm.