Kristina Furey

Can you hear your heart beat?


When I was 4 or 5 years old my parents started taking in foster care children.  This continued until I was 10. When I was 11 my mother left our family. Yes, I have said this before because these experiences make up the foundation, I was given to build upon. Life is like a game of Jenga when you think about it. Only, it is the few and very fortunate that begin at the beginning. For most of us the game is already tipping a bit and we, if we are fortunate enough, we are given the information, experiences and abilities to wake up each day and continue playing. Often depending upon all the little moves that got us whatever security we might have and definitely it is dependent on our opponents moves against us. I suppose I keep bringing up my childhood because I saw, experienced and knew too much as a child to want to oppose life, mine or anyone else's. There were moments when my hands were forced or so I thought... Heart breaking moments or at the very least, moments that set me up for future heartbreak. But all that is just a prelude to this:

I sang my first solo on stage when I was four or five.  I was in the Head start program at my elementary school.  Our class was performing in a school talent show for the parents.  There wasn't going to be a solo in the song. I created extra lyrics for the song and the teacher said, “You sing that!” and that's how that happened.  I loved to sing and I loved to write rhymes in cards for people I loved. I also loved to be outdoors in nature. I loved being with my friends and my foster siblings.  I loved getting on my bicycle and riding around to neighbor's homes and stopping in to visit. I loved animals. I loved our local vet who owned a farm just outside of our neighborhood.  I loved that when my brother and I would come across a wounded animal, my brother would sit with me on the corner of our yard helping tend to that creature as we awaited our hero, the vet. I loved that our hero never dismissed us, crushed our hopes or gave us false hope. He would return the animals to us to be released back to where we found them or he would let us know that he carefully and gently put them down in an end to their suffering. I always looked at people the same as I looked at these animals. That may be why when I was in 5th grade I was elected class president for our school. That may be why when they got a video camera in the library and wanted to start a school news TV show, I was the first person the librarian approached on this.


Just after turning 11, one of those (Jenga) pieces my life was balancing on was removed. All those things that I loved, were left to teeter and I became an open target for opponents. I can't say precisely when it was but I found myself, outside of my life looking in, much like you do when you're dreaming, watching yourself and maybe even controlling that self to a certain degree but all the time you're disconnected, an observer, more than a participant.  This was my response to things forced upon me and my lack of control. I was zoning out mentally and then physically as I chose to skip school and stop trying to function in what I found to be a dysfunctional lifestyle for me. I spent as much of my time as I could, resting, recovering and searching out solutions. Still, many of these things continued to be forced upon me. I did have friends (many) and when I went to school I looked around and saw I was not alone.  There were others like me. Many of them angry and likely to bite,reminiscent of the wounded animals. During this time, I thought of my hero, the vet. I was infatuated with his son. More of a nepotistic thing and I realized this at some point. At that point, I had begun to understand that I was desiring to help heal the emotional wounds, created by dysfunction and I was inspired by this vet, who had come to the rescue of the wounded animals and in the process validated my brother's and my own efforts. It made my heart happy to find a friend in him and empowered me to trust that we are safe and being watched over and cared for. It was a Jenga piece that held it's place firmly, even as my tower began to teeter. I wanted to help others secure this piece. I saw how insecurities wounded and suspected, If we were each secure we could accomplish anything. I had aspirations of being the first woman president but that ended when I saw Olivia Newton John in Xanadu. I know you expected me to say Greece, which I really did enjoy but it was Xanadu that made me connect the idea of singing to help inspire greatness… which put directly is to say, to remind us of who we are and help us recover what has been lost and build on a stronger foundation, where each person is nurtured, educated and supported, so that we together, can create a more perfect union and a stronger foundation for all future generations.

To inspire greatness in others has been my life's ambition. Most of my life has been in service to this, the other parts have been invested in working on myself so that when those moments show up, I'm ready to go. It remains a work in progress. Whether I'm singing, writing, or just going about my daily life, it is the thing that drives me.

What is your life's ambition?

If you don't know what it is, I suggest you check in with your heart. That's why I wrote this.


What my worst Thanksgiving taught me


I was 12 years old.  It was Thanksgiving. My parents had left me in the care of my 16 year old and my 14 year old brothers or maybe they were in my care but definitely we were left to create our own Thanksgiving meal.  My grandmother had “sneaked over at some point to help my oldest brother with the turkey. I say, “sneaked” because my father was punishing her by going with my Mom and another couple to the Virgin Islands over Thanksgiving.  Thanksgiving was the holiday we always spent with her, my grandfather and my dad's side of the family. As part of that punishment we kids were to have our own Thanksgiving. He did not want her to have the satisfaction of even having us there.  I don't remember too much more than that and I didn't even know the story behind this strangeness until my mother and I discussed it, years later. There was so much people didn't discuss and I spent a lot of my youth puzzling over these things, with hurt feelings, confusion and shame. (I believed everything revolved around me, so when things went wrong it was my fault.  If I couldn't fix it, my failure. When they went well, I proudly congratulated myself for a job well done. I was clueless but thought I had it figured out and that I was in control, except when I wasn't and should have been. <--just a little FYI. Thank you Hall Linden for all that FYI, and while I'm being thankful (This is my Thanksgiving blog after all) let me also say thank you Phil Donahue, Oprah Winfrey and Richard Sher.  You were the parents I looked for, skipped school to spend time with and the ones I stretched out my arms and reached for so that my mind could be stretched enough that I might figure out what seemed so unfigureable.) Okay, so where was I? Well, I was in my bedroom, in my bed. It was probably around midnight when I realized it was really scary with no parents and equally so with me being the only one upstairs. Every little creak from the floor radiator caused me to convulse in fear, jolting me out of the beginning of sleep. It occurred to me, while It was really sad and empty with one parent, when my mom left us, it was a whole new experience to have fear on top of that, when there was no parent to be relied upon. My mind slipped into thoughts like, my parents may never come home or the plane might crash and… I had a very creative mind that did not always work in my favor, so this went on basically most or all of the night.  I can't remember how many days they were gone but I think it was a week. I definitely skipped some school during their away time.


I think I failed to mention why my father was punishing his mother.  She said she did “not want that woman in her house”. That woman was my mom and in her house was in regards to Thanksgiving day.  She and my dad were trying to work things out. They wanted/"needed for their relationship" to spend Thanksgiving together, away from stress and any of those that didn't want to see them back together.  It was important to their relationship! Their relationship was important for mine and my brother's well being. I learned through my experience in this, that so much can be nurtured in a child when parents are together, on the same page and showing their children that all things can be worked through, when each is committed to the work and each other.


They did make it home safely, after I spent many nights, alone on the top floor of my home, in my bedroom, trying to sleep with the radio on, in hopes I might feel okay enough to drift off to sleep.  “I'd tune it to some friendly voices. Talking bout stupid things. I can't be left to my imagination. Let me be weak. Let me sleep and dream of sheep”--Kate Bush


So why blog about this now?  It has stood the test of time as the worst Thanksgiving I ever had and I wouldn't want anyone else to have to experience that.  My family was on faulty grounds because they chose to punish each other, when they couldn't control things to be the way they wanted them.  They were not united and did not think about the effect, their actions were having on the family as a whole. That was so hurtful to the child I was and it has had lingering consequences.  Maybe that's why I'm haunted by the idea that my beloved country of UNITED States, would separate children from their families and take such a hostile position with each other. I believe we live in a fractal universe where all things small and large build out in such a way to resemble each other. I believe the smallest things lend to the building of the largest things and the larger things begin to effect the build and shape of even the tiniest of things. I think our chances of survival increase when we evolve together. How do we encourage evolution? I'm guessing we start with ourselves and giving each of our bodies cells what they need to function at their best, much like a community, state or country would do for their residents, if it was promoting life and well being. It's like how when that oxygen mask drops, we put it on ourselves, to secure our abilities to be of the most help to others. I realize, that is what my parents were trying to accomplish when they left us kids that Thanksgiving. They were an inspiration to me, as they showed me you can always fix what is broken, when the parties involved are committed to doing so. Their marriage was stronger than ever for the efforts they put into understanding each other's needs and honestly working toward supporting each other. I am thankful for the many lessons I learned from watching them work things out.


Here is a link to an article I read a few weeks ago and I promised myself I would find a way to share it. I hope you will take a little time to read it and consider what a wonderful world this would be if we all would look for solutions instead of problems:


Happy Thanksgiving! Take it easy out there and make sure you get to your loved ones and home again safely, while doing your best to aid others in doing the same. Here it is my favorite song to post at Thanksgiving: Geggy Tah's "Whoever You Are (All I Want To Do Is To Thank You")


Dreams of Pete Townshend


It's 2:13 am in the morning.  I don't know maybe it's just trying to get my thyroid levels right medication changes but I found myself up a lot lately again.  It comes in waves. Early on before I understood the medical side I just imagined, in the middle of the night must when I was most susceptible to epiphanies music and stuff.  It's like in the movie Tommy, when he's trying to explain to the masses they need to shut their hearing off cover their eyes and not speak so they can find themselves. The sleeping hours leave me to my own world, uninterrupted.  I think it was 98 when I was waking up and I was writing songs like “Vulnerable” in the middle of the night while everyone slept. Words and thoughts and ideas coming through me like a radio picking up waves. Broadcasters transmitting from another world another realm another time,  I'm just the receiver. As these things come through I just open my mouth or put pen to paper and it shows up, “I am a musical profit. I am a girl with a logic. Not ordinary but if you listen to me, listen to things, I'll take you places you always knew they exist they're inside of you call it a spiritual journey Call It Whatever You Like whatever you need just start remembering.”. It goes on to explain how we all had a former idea of who we were and then we were born and then there was chaos and the pieces that we were supposed to remember got confusing and lost in the chaos.  So now I sit here at 2:25 in the morning and I think about what Pete Townshend was trying to communicate and how much it resonates with me. It's so magnificent that he was able to do what he did and get as much of that Vision out. I think I've tried to walk in his footsteps, only with my feet bound in high heeled shoes. I can't cover the distance and my feet are bleeding, yet every time I want to trade them in on comfortable walking shoes they tell me those shoes are too big for your feet. As I walk away I hear them behind me saying there goes Alice, her head is getting swelled, she needs to take that pill that makes her small again and I want to kick like a baby in a uterus I want to kick and expand the world because for too long I feel I've been sitting on the curb side with my knees up to my chin,  the weight of the world on my shoulders, I try to balance in my petite hands. Meanwhile these thoughts kick around in my head trying to expand my mind. They keep developing and waiting for that moment when they get born. I thought it would happen when the little girls were asking for Bratz dolls and their mothers were dressing them up and the tiny shorts that said pink and other things across the butt. I thought it again as I stared at the little girl across the restaurant whose mother was on her phone texting or something the whole meal and the little girl was trying to get her attention, being silenced, so her mother could pretend she wasn't there and get to what she was invested in, which appeared to be technology or something, until finally that's small brilliant child realized it was futile and just stared out the window, reminiscent of Tommy.   My own Pete Townshend like visions were so bright once upon a time. Too many hurdles, too much loss, and exhausting trying to swim upstream. Et tu Hashimoto! Yes…. Cue the fog in the brain and it all fades away. Occasionally the fog clears, just about the time another perplexing situation decides to arrive on the scene right on cue as if according to script.

So here I am awake now at 2:50 a.m.   been awake for a good hour and a half I think… probably means I'll have s*** for brains tomorrow.  “Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow…” forgive my melancholy, I obviously need to get back to bed.  Sleep deprived!!! Forgive my ramblings if this should happen to be of no consequence tomorrow. It's possible I sleep blogged but I realize none of this will be with me in the morning if I don't record it now it will be gone like so many other things…  I talked to texted this and evidently I have a speech impediment so it makes making sense of it all more fun. I have fine motor skill issues or fat thumbs so even as I try to edit I just don't know… read this at your own risk and I probably should have started this blog that way.  Either way as Alice learned in Wonderland, There's no sense like nonsense. Good night and sweet dreams. I'm off to find me a Cheshire Cat


Still Dreaming...


I hope you are content with the election results!

I for one, spent hours going over my sample ballot, while researching all the things I was able to vote on.  I carefully considered what I thought would be best for American children and then thought about things like gentrification, something I had never considered until TV shows like "Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt" started to introduce the concept to me. Prior to that I had no idea of the fears, irritations, concerns and complications some have over gentrification and how it creates real struggles for some even as it breathes new life into a place previously in decline or in need of restructuring for the sake of function. I think I have lots more to understand in regards to this. Especially after this short introduction into part of what it is and does. I wouldn't want to contribute to something that threatens another person's pursuit of the American Dream. Yes, I am still a dreamer. Though many have tried to shake me awake and at times my dreams take on the form of nightmares. Apparently, a dreamer, is who I am.

I thought about the red tide here in Florida as I studied my ballot.  Fish, mammals, coral, all that is life and that lead to thoughts about how the butterfly effect can take effect.  Because I am a dreamer, I have no rational choice to fall back on. Sure I can think, measure, carefully research, understand the facts but I am confined by my own beliefs on life. I do believe we are ONE and I live my life with the idea that all life is constantly being recycled and when my life force leaves this body, it may find itself as the make up of some other life form.  Perhaps another human, born into a life of less freedom or a creature of less fortunate circumstances. I encourage myself to believe that with a consciousness of my effect on the world around me, put into daily life actions, I may be benefiting, that which I might one day find myself to be.  At the very least, I do want my life to benefit life, regardless of where my own life force may or may not wind up in the end of this life I possess. I believe we really all should try to leave things better than they were when we arrived and if we can't, we should leave before we destroy the beauty of what already exists. That's my belief and I can't change it. I can't adapt it. I believe this has caused me to feel ill at ease with life. And that my friends, is a sad little secret from my soul to yours. I hope you sleep better than I. I hope you stay healthy when the environment is not conducive to health.

Okay that might have been a little too deep…  Let's go back to TV shows like Northern Exposure, where the uppity, intelligent doctor comes into town thinking he knows it all, only to realize that he is in for a real education on just how much he has yet to learn.  OU, OU, OU, I raise my hand here because that's one I can really relate to since just about every time I completely think I know something, something or someone comes along, challenges that belief and I begin to have my mind expanded. And lucky for me, I had already voted by the time I happened upon THIS.  Not that it would have changed my vote but I would not have gone as passionately in the direction of the polls. I did go, with great hope and enthusiasm, that the right amount of comfort, the people in my county and state longed for would be delivered or protected.  Actually that hope and enthusiasm goes out to all of us!



The Golden Rule


“THE GOLDEN RULE is not merely a summation of man's search for the divine, as an equation in balance with fellow-man. It is as a signpost on the pilgrimage of living; a means and an end together, in the process and purpose of life. It derives its sanction not so much from sacred citation as in human situation. It is a translation of the sacred word to the daily deed”.  ---these are the words of Rabbi Martin M. Weitz (Beth Israel congregation - Atlantic City, New Jersey)


I do my best to try to live in service to that rule.  


“The golden rule is the basic religious concept of all the great religions of the earth. Moses handed it down to the children of Israel. Christ proclaimed it to his followers throughout the world. Buddha, Confucius, and Aristotle have their basic teachings in this Golden Rule.”--- (These are the words that accompany, The Golden Rule Marble, that I inherited from my Father.  Along with these words.) “The Golden Rule marble, with the inscription of the golden rule on it, can be a symbol of the fatherhood of God and the Brotherhood of Man.” The words go on to say, “The sphere, which like the deity, has no beginning and no end, typifies the universe in that the earth, sun, moon, stars and all the constellations, even to the smallest atom, are in a spherical form, and in a simple way represents the universality of God.

if the Golden Rule ideal were adopted by the nations of the world, it would bring into realization the one great hope of mankind of Peace on Earth and Good Will toward Men.”


What is this Golden Rule you may wonder…?  “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”.  

1 Rule.  

So simple

to remember.


My heart and prayers go out to the members of the Tree of Life synagogue.  I am full of sorrow and disappointment, that hate should be stirred and encouraged here in our United States of America.  I grieve with you. These acts of hate are a desecration to the United States of America, everything it stands for and everything the fathers of our country believed in, established, and fought to protect. I pray that those with hate in their hearts be enlightened or at the very least be stopped from acting on it. I pray that you be surrounded by love and support at this time, so that your faith in humanity may be restored. --With love, Kristina


"Someday we'll all understand”--Dan Fogelberg


I am Kristina Furey, this is my blog and I approve of it.  There is no political agenda here. I know we have all been thoroughly inundated with the season of the politicians. ;-) Early voting has started in some places and I'm sure if you've already gone to the polls you feel very strongly about whom you should be voting for and what you should be voting for.  I applaud each and everyone of you that is taking a proactive stance in regards to your beliefs on what our country or your states needs are. BRAVO!!! If you have yet to go to the polls, I wish you ease in this process. Click here for just a sample of what hurdles some face in their attempts.  if you need to get to the polls and you don't know how that's going to happen I encourage you to contact your local political party affiliates, family members, religious brethren, neighbors, grandchild or other relative that is currently in driver's ed behind the wheel (as it could be equally beneficial to them) or whoever else you may come up with but I certainly hope you will let your voice be represented at the polls.  

I know it can be hard to see past our differences sometimes.  I am a very passionate and opinionated person, so I get this. If I may, I would like to share advice with you that I have collected from various sources, as I am a constant student in the pursuit of peace. “Look for what you have in common”. If that doesn't work, “look at their hand or focus in on another thing like their eyes and notice these things we have in common. As we consider these things we have in common it helps to breathe gently, smile, and be thankful for all that we have in our lives.  We may even begin to consider how we are interdependent within our country and communities. We can see how the person we have felt at odds with is a part of that connection and how their works or acts have benefited us or a loved one. As we begin to relax, we might feel our smiles loosen and no longer feel forced. As our faces soften and that soft feeling travels through the rest our body, allowing us to relax, in the other person's presence, we can try once again to focus on what we have in common with the other person. Maybe even quietly, remind ourselves we are each human and we each have needs for food, shelter, love and our desire to be peaceful, at ease, and not in a state of dis-ease. If this experiment does not bring you ease with the other person, “pretend they are mentally handicapped* and allow them the patience that you would allow in that instance.  

How about for the next two weeks we pretend it's the Christmas season and allow ourselves to feel good will towards all mankind.  Perhaps, if we all bent over backwards, counted to ten and consciously did our best not to react to what we find to be negative stimulus, it wouldn't just play into the favor of those we were being patient with but it would actually help us feel calmer and at ease, content, happy, even joyful, sure, why not, let's go for the gusto!!!


Here's a song I started writing sometime in the 90’s and finally finished, within the past week.  For me, I'm hoping it will serve as a reminder to stay focused on who I am, what I believe in and what that belief encourages me to want, not just for myself but for others.  I have had one challenge after another in my life and sometimes it feels like too much weight, too much pressure, just too much! It leads me to feelings of dis-ease and angst, which leads me to feeling oppositional towards others, angry and reactive.  It makes me not feel like myself and even act in a way, that is not congruent with who I am and what I believe. I think it's maddening to have your actions, not represent who you are and for me it's cringe-worthy! Being aware of this, I have a better understanding, empathy and sympathy for other people experiencing hardships, than I otherwise would.  I'm also aware of ways that I have lucked out and I can see how someone from the outside looking at me would say she is entitled or the systems in place have benefited her. I am without argument here but I will say to look at me and not know what I have endured, to assume my life is, at all perfect, would be completely incorrect.  Don't tell this lie to yourself, about me or about anyone, as it will only lead you to feeling like you have less than, which gets in the way of being able to see where you are blessed, fortunate, or otherwise entitled. I've heard comments thrown my way before, that would indicate that some people think this. I keep this in mind when I am looking at others, especially when my mind begins to go down that well worn path of judgements... and so, this is the song I wrote.

I Travel Lightly

I travel lightly. I don't carry around all of that pain anymore, like I used to before, before I realized, oh I realized, life is just too short to be compromised. So I'll travel lightly, try not to get caught in those spider webs. It's only madness in the head. Most never belonged to me.  I'm tired of carrying all these things that hold me back, hold me down, keep me from who I came to be.

See, I know, I know, yeah, I figured it out.  What it's all about, this real estate here in my head, they bought it up, I allowed it but when I was a kid I really had no chance.

So now, I'll travel lightly. I don't want to carry these grudges anymore or beliefs I find perverse. No, I'll drop them at my feet and leave quietly. I'll leave the past behind and every peace they took of me. And travel lightly, lightly, oh I do, try to and when the end has truly come I'll be one of the ones to say, “I came here in the name of love, I'm leaving the same way.”  Cuz I know, I know, I wish the same for you, that you be lightened to. That's why when these things weigh on me, I walk away to set you free. I would not ask you to carry all this crap for me.

Just travel lightly, lightly, so you, find your peace too.  I never was the one who came in effort to take that from you. Cuz I need to travel lightly, lightly, lightly, lightly, I do, I do, and I want that, if you want that, for you.

(So I'll slip away, while I can, so you can have the time and space you need, to consider these things but I'm leaving a piece of my heart there, carry it or leave it but have no fear my love was true and I wish that you may travel lightly too.)

"Someday We'll All Understand" by Dan Fogelberg



"Simply The Best" --Tina Turner


Very few people know this.  A year ago this week, Dan was taken to the hospital at 2am.  He was very sick and though he was released a few hours later, he spent at least a 24-hour period in bed.  In between grappling with my own fears, crying and grieving my mother's recent passing, I would check on him.  The few people I shared this experience with later, said things like, “you should have called me!” “I would have come.” The problem was I couldn't deal with it and I couldn't explain it to someone else, who has no experience of exactly where I have been or how my experiences have shaped me.  Most people have glimpses of us and most of those glimpses we allow, are carefully chosen, based on our relationship to that person and what we want them to know about us. We are creatures that edit ourselves based on our own perceptions of the other person. Our egos and our fears are often in control of the way we try to have others see us.   Even when we implement the editing action, precisely as we feel necessary, we still face the fact that the other person will see us based on their own perception, which really has nothing to do with us. Not wholly anyways. I have been heartbroken over this fact, too many times to bare the action of reaching out at certain moments. This was a lesson I learned the hard way, when I was young.  But the lesson has helped me manage my way through difficult times and walk bravely through the fear, allowing me to be, who I came to be. “You don't have to trust anyone but yourself. If you can trust yourself to handle whatever comes your way, you'll be okay”. I was trusting myself not to reach out because I knew disappointment in someone else at that crucial moment might have been more than I could bare and the only person that I could share with and know would relate to me and the way I needed to be related to, was in the bedroom trying to recover from a pretty horrific night.  

So why now?  Why share this?  Because if there was one message I would want to leave with people, it would be this, “Appreciate the people in your life”.  You never know when, “The last time, will be the last time, will be the very last time, you see somebody”. It is a strange world when strangers are kinder to people than their own family members are.  It is a sad world when we need to create a word like “Frenemy”. It is a confusing world when people think things or say things like “You should know it's sarcasm because it's not how I honestly feel”.  I witness this and I can't help but think the art of appreciation is in danger and perhaps many people lacking appreciation are too…

Yesterday morning, I saw this thing on Tina Turner on CBS and she spoke about her hardships and she spoke about her husband and his love for her and hers for him and how it has literally saved her life.  His love, his appreciation, I felt thankful for her that she finally got that from a man. She is, “Simply The Best” and certainly deserves it! It helped me understand why I needed to be alone that day Dan was so sick.  I needed a day to sit and think and appreciate, the wonderful man I have in my life!


Last night I was catching up on Season 4 of Schitt's Creek and like a magical force, sending this message home, Patrick serenaded David with a very different and equally wonderful rendition of "Simply The Best" I thought about a song I wrote for Dan, years ago, right before our anniversary. In honor of my appreciation for Dan, I figured I would share it, here.

Please don't lose the art of appreciation. Hold onto it with everything you have! I leave you with a link to one of the first cover songs Dan and I learned, "The Way I Am" by Ingrid Michaelson.


How a hoarder is made w/bonus vlog


I have been going through things I brought back from my parents.  Some things that, as I packed them, I had ideas for and some I had no idea why I needed them but I had some compulsion I couldn't shake and so I brought them home with me.  Now there's a room in my home that looks like a pack rat lives in there.  I guess today we would call them a hoarder.  Dan and I gave away 1/3rd of our stuff before our move to Florida and it's like it showed up again in a different form.  I'm going through some real emotional stuff as I go through it and don't get me started on the baggage in my head that I thought I let of, the beast that has been stirred ;-)  It's a slow, tiring process and one I thought was taking a bigger toll on me as I thought it was physically exhausting me but it turns out my thyroid medication just needed to be adjusted.  Fingers crossed that I will have new found energy, so I can hopefully work my way through, with less resistance.  It's a learning process.  I keep having these epiphanies!  I thought I would try to share some of what I am going through and though I do prattle on, I think I have uncovered a few gems and know I have uncovered some beautiful artwork. 

Link to my video blog "Before Thelma and Louise

My photo of shame


Why I stayed silent (that time)


“To know of a terrible injustice is a tragedy, but to know of a tragedy and not speak of the horrific injustice is, in itself, a crime against humanity.”--Yehuda Halevi

I had just performed Dianna Ross’ “Upside Down” for some, end of the year talent show.  I had changed my clothes and fixed my hair, in a teacher's bathroom, in the Arts Hall, behind the stage side of the auditorium, before heading on stage. I left my stuff in a bag, in that bathroom, as did some other people. I was thrilled, as it was the last performance of the year and within a month, I would be graduated from high school.  I was happy with my performance and on my way to retrieve my bag of stuff, when I turned the corner and noticed the group of guys hanging around the bathroom. My instincts told me they were up to no good and I assumed they were rummaging through the bags of stuff and stealing. My keys were in my bag and I thought, if I go over there now and confront them, I'm more likely to get my keys. As I walked down that hall I could feel my body becoming more compact, like it was preparing for whatever blow may come my way.  This wasn't the first time I had to summon up my braver self and she seemed to weigh about 20 pounds more than her less sure counterpart. The guys parted as I began to walk into the bathroom and it was then, that I realized, one of the guys was peeing in the toilet.  I turned around, and walked back to the other hallway and stood in the corner between the two. As I walked away from the bathroom, I said over my shoulder, “Okay, I did not need to see that! Could you tell me when he's done, I just need my stuff”.  

I remembered an old cartoon strip.  Picture, of the back of a man in a trench coat.  In the front he was holding the trench coat open.  Apparently, showing the woman standing in front of him, the full Monty.  Her retort, “Oh, no thanks. I've got one at home just like it”. I was commending myself for handling the situation as well as I did.  Well, I thought was, handling it…

“He's done!' Someone or a couple someones said. So I went to retrieve my bag.  As I went to pick my bag up off the floor, I heard the door slam behind me. There was no doubt in my mind, I was in trouble.  Thank God, it was just one of the guys. I believe it was the one that was peeing. I didn't recognize him for anyone I had seen before.  I learned later in a comment he made that he went to another school. He walked toward me, saying, “We have got to hook up!” He was about to grab me. (I've often wondered just what happened to me mentally in the time that followed, between those words and me getting out of that room. Some other part of me took over.) I grabbed a curling iron that was in my bag, yanked it out as I demanded, “Open that door!"  He turned around and began to turn the knob. He said, “It's stuck, they’re holding it from the outside. Here, try it”! So I started yelling, something like, “You better let go of that door and let me out right this minute or your friend is going to get hurt.” I turned the knob. The door opened and I was out, walking down the hall and I was off to find my friend.  I think I said something to my friend when I found her… Interesting to me, my memory is fuzzy on events before and after the incident in the bathroom. I do however, remember being verbally harassed, very briefly, by the guy that had been in the bathroom. I think he was trying to save face with his friends. That happened maybe all of 15 minutes after the incident. I do think they may have been on something...

An aside: I was taught to assume the best of others.  I tend to think one person is just a sampling of their surroundings and experiences. I look at this incident and other ones I've been subjected to, as clues to where we are as a society and symptoms like this, indicate to me, an unbalanced society.  I tend see us as fractals of that society and it's my belief that an unbalanced society, is indicative of the individuals in it. It appears to me, that we need balance in our society and the way to get that, is by respecting each member enough to value them and their quality of life, the way we value ourselves and our own quality of life. When each of us trust that we are equally valued and protected under our nation's laws, that's when we become balanced as a nation. That said, if the choice were mine to make, I would make sure those appointed to our highest level of court, those set in place to keep the balance of our society, were without a doubt, without suspicion.  I realize life is unfair and I am sure it would be hard for Kavanaugh to be so close to that promotion and not receive it, especially if he is innocent of the charges, as he says he is. For the greater good of our society, I think it wise, a more suitable candidate be appointed. If Ford is remembering and telling the events as they happened (I have no reason to believe she is not) I commend her courage.

My story continued: I have wondered what would have happened if I had come forward with the events of what took place in that teacher's bathroom and within that back hall…  I expect it would have shook things up in that school, the community and made the final month of my senior year, hell for me. I was disgruntled at being there and had only come to that school one year before, with the attitude, “I just have to do my time here and then I can get on with my life”.  It was that same mantra that I repeated as I decided to let it go and just deal with the anxiety it caused me.

One more thought: There was a senior football player in that school, my senior year, who broke into the school as a “boy's will be boys” kind of “prank”.  As I heard it, he was expelled, unable to attend graduation and lost a scholarship, as well as acceptance to college.  I have this memory of him, earlier that school year, when he was still on his course to greatness and astounded, that I didn't know who he was, as he filled me in on the details of everybody's all American...  I wonder sometimes, if he ever found his way, after that stupid mistake he made… Maybe I'm just trying to justify that letting the incident in the bathroom go, was the right decision for me. Maybe I need to do that so I don't feel as if I failed myself in some way... but something in me felt that I was okay, my body was unharmed at least. I wanted to believe I was strong enough to take what I felt was the higher road as I had been groomed all my life to do. Also, it's like if someone stabs you and walks away, once you get that knife out, you don't want to pick it up and start jabbing it back in you or hand that knife to someone, say "help me" when you are uncertain if they will or if they will start stabbing you with it, maybe even invite the original assailants to join in... Now that's just me and the way I was taught growing up. It doesn't mean it's right but I don't think it's wrong either. I think it's up to our judicial system and all those appointed, along with those that appoint, to honor society and the positions they are in by doing the best they can to balance the justice in our nation. So we can all feel safe and trust, that we can ask for help and get it. I don't feel comfortable with the idea that someone's life is over because they didn't receive the guidance each one of us should get on human rights, equality and why it is important, we each weigh our choices carefully to promote a just society. I realize, I myself have followed others down paths in an attempt to fit in and utilized poor judgement in those moments. By the grace of God, I somehow got through unscathed and not because I deserved to but given those second chances and some time to grow, I got better at choosing. (until tomorrow comes and I'm faced with all new challenges but hopefully I will make good decisions.) I have played my own part in distasteful behaviors towards others, that I doubt you will ever hear me talk about or post here. Way I see it, We can't go back but we can go forward and when we know better, really know better and have the ability, we do better. It's up to us to do what we can from where we are and build on that. I keep challenging myself, to do the best I can to educate people, when I witness acts of ignorance and injustices. I try and I try to stay open to the people that take time to kindly educate me.  We are what makes up our society and our choices are what we are made of. If I could go back to, just post, the bathroom incident, I would walk away just the same. I would never report the incident but I would contact the boys by mail soon afterwards and let them know, how their actions affected me. I would ask them to consider how they would have felt had they found themselves in that position, alone, surrounded and faced with the possibility they would be raped by guys bigger than themselves. I would ask them to consider the idea of females in their lives, that they love being faced with that. I would tell them, they made a mistake. A mistake that they might have lost their futures over and found themselves in that exact scenario (a bathroom, alone, surrounded by men, only in a prison system), had things escalated. I would assure them that I, having experienced that and the anxiety it created in me, would not want that for anyone else and since things did not escalate, I will just leave them with a warning for now but I have written about the incident in my journal, for my parents to find, should something happen to me and so I could show up in court, in the future, should they be part of anything like this again.

I leave you with this speech from the beloved TV show, "Lost" "Live together, die alone speech" JAck


"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!"