I wanted to throw you the most beautiful Quinceanera. You deserved one of those Sweet Fifteen’s that you see on TV where the big gift at the end is a brand new car. Your quince was such a special moment in our lives. It’s the moment when a little girl transitions into womanhood. Right before my eyes you were changing… your Tia Josie, abuelo and abuela helped pay for this beautiful event.
I wanted it to be the most special day for you. We invited over 100 people. All our family and friends came from several states. It took months to plan. We ordered these beautiful candles with butterflies as the gift we would hand out. There were sixteen candles that you would light and dedicate to several people in the family. You wrote out such a beautiful speech of gratitude and love to each of us.
The days that led up to your quince were stressful. You were studying for finals and would come to Businessweek every day after school to do your homework. You got into this heated debate with a coworker about quinces and debutant balls. You were joking with her but she didn’t like how outspoken you were and stormed off at the comment you made. I was busy on the phone so I don’t remember what you said to her but whatever it was it angered her so much that she wrote me an email.
She told me that I was raising a disrespectful daughter who didn’t know how to respect her elders. She continued to say that her interaction with you was a direct reflection of my parenting abilities or lack there of. What angered her was that I didn’t step in during the conversation or check you for having an opinion. You stood your ground and I didn’t need to jump in. What she didn’t know was that in our house everyone is equal and even the kids have important things to say. I have always respected your mind, your ideas and your opinions.
Your opinion is the one I value most in my life. You’re my go to—FIRST. I trust and value you. Well needless to say this woman was not feeling that. In her email she insulted us both. I remember coming home and sharing the email with you and we both cried. We were so angry at the hateful words she spewed in that email. We wanted to retaliate. You wanted to speak to her. And honestly I didn’t want to come into work and have to fight this woman. I am way passed all that shit.
This was a woman I considered a friend. We were both single mothers. We were both struggling. We both had dreams and shared them with one another. My intention for today is to surrender. I kept saying my intention to myself over and over and over and over again until I believed it. Through the tears - - I surrender. Through the anger - - I surrender. Through the rage - - I surrender. Through the hateful thoughts - - I surrender. So my intention for today is to surrender – to continue to walk in love.
She wrote in her email to us: "I can't see when the words I used bring tears to your eyes or cause your fists to come together."
You ask how your words affected me. As soon as I received the email in my inbox I felt it internally before even opening it. I didn’t want to read it because I could feel that it didn’t come from a loving place. It was filled with so much hatred and anger. I read the first two lines and stopped immediately.
You want to know what your words did to me. I was down for the count. The words felt like daggers aimed at my heart, mind and spirit. Fortunately, my heart will heal and my spirit remained untouched. But you’re sphere hit its target it went right through my chest. It entered my heart and exited through my back. I looked like an abused child curled up in a ball in my bed. I asked my Courtney to finish reading the words that were sent to me because I did not want to read them for myself. I was afraid - - afraid of what was to come. It took me right back to the days I was beat as a child. I felt like wounded animal. I felt every word. Your words hurt me, I cried, I got angry, and was full of rage. A few times I caught myself getting stuck on a statement wanting to retaliate. I had direct quotes imprinted in my brain that I wanted to come back to later and address. I wanted to defend myself. I wanted to destroy you—an eye for an eye. So I affirmed… I surrender. I lifted the white flag… and surrendered... I kept repeating I SURRENDER as I read your words. I felt directly attacked and intentionally assaulted! I surrender! I call forth my strength and move forward. I surrender! Where ever I am, that's where my force is. I surrender! I breathe slowly, I release you and I surrender!
Words stick with us. The words that take the longest to heal are the ones that don’t come from love. When you grow up in a house that’s filled with anger, yelling, tension, anxiety and stress it can be hard to heal in that environment. You’re left with an overwhelming feeling of frustration, unhappiness, sadness and lack. You’re surrounded by people who fight for respect but do not give it. In this kind of environment it can be hard to expand and grow. When you’re surrounded by darkness and pain these kinds of relationships can be emotionally draining and abusive. The effects of this kind of upbringing can be difficult to release and last a lifetime.
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Peace, light and LOVE~