week 22

March 29, 2017

she sleeps. i stare at Her and my eyes fill with tears. of all the things i have done in my almost thirty-nine years of life, She was the best decision my heart ever made. i waited a long time for Her but i had to wait.

i’m writing from a hospital room. she was admitted because our babies are “threatening labor” at 22-weeks. basically, they need to cook longer. that is what i keep telling them. i told them they’re on “time-out” for at least twelve more weeks. i know, i’m already setting limits with them but you have to start early.

i have never felt more human than in this moment. the fear sitting on my throat is heavy and real and suffocating at times. i find myself going for a walk around these sterile floors and looking out the windows for signs that all is well. i’ve chewed up the last of my nails, skin and all because these are coping mechanisms; ways to shift the energy and move it through in hopes that the news we get later today will ease some of this.

if i’m honest, i’m scared as fuck. and i know the reason i am scared is because i Love deeply.

this particular Love is unlike anything i have known or felt. it sits in a place in my heart that i wasn’t aware of until two heartbeats emerged off-beat and synched mine into a Love i only knew on the receiving end, as a daughter. this Love has a magic all its own. it feels like uncontainable joy and terrifying fear collided inside of me. my spirit wants to both run and hide.

my spouse and i have had some serious conversations in the last 24-hours and one of the many things she said last night wrapped in our mocos and tears was, “God didn’t bring us this far, after everything we’ve been through to drop us off here.” her Faith was one of the most attractive gifts she displayed from the day we met. even in the absolute uncertainty and emotional roller-coaster ride of the two-and-a-half years we have spent trying to get pregnant, on the days that our Faith wavered, she always invited me to prayer. she brought me back to the basics of breathing and being present. of calling on our Faith to stand in it, even if on bended-knees.

i kneel in this moment because my legs are weak. i bring my hands to my chest because my heart wants out.

as we figure out ways to honor our emotions and stand in our Faith we dig deep to find that in each other, in this time and space we have one unshakeable certainty, we are rooted in our Love. and that Love is ever-steady and ever-growing and ever-affirming that everything is in Divine order.

and to our two beautiful little souls, please know that our Faith is in Love. and our Love is yours to keep.

#52essays2017

unlearn fears

March 7, 2017

when your Mami told me we were pregnant, i went down on my knees. my legs couldn’t support my body’s newfound emotions. i cried. i cried hard. i cried for the 28-other months that i held her while she cried after we read another negative result. i cried for the 28-other months that we either walked into a sterile exam room or met up with Doddie, filled with all the hope of creating a family on our terms. sometimes in the middle of work weeks we’d drive into the city and back on the same day, days in a row, just to try again. i cried for the over thirty injections i gave Mami every night for two-weeks (her abdomen filled with puncture bruises -i tried my best to be the most gentle nurse). i cried for the day we went in for egg retrieval and i sat in the waiting room alone, sending positive energies and calling you forth. i cried for the day when they did the embryo transfer but i was hospitalized the night before and wasn’t able to be there. i cried for the day, ten-years ago when i had a hysterectomy and said farewell to you from my own womb. but i cried mostly because Mami’s heart broke so many times before the day we finally received the good news. i was overwhelmed that the Happiness of You had finally come to heal our broken hearts.

and just as quickly, fear settled in.

how do i unlearn almost 39-years of learned fears? of doctrine and dogma? how can i make sure that i don’t teach you this? will i be a good parent? how can i make sure that you won’t hate anyone? especially me? will lack of biology affect our relationship? will you be bullied at school because you have two moms? will my family see you as one of us? will their religion get in the way of seeing you in all of your beauty? will they see us as a family? and why do i even care about what others think?

the layers run deep.

on december of 2007, Mamá had a hysterectomy. i still remember that day clearly. your Mami and i had not yet met. i seriously thought that the reason i was unable to have my own children was a direct result of a punishment reserved for me for being queer; for not being what the world wanted me to be. and so on that day when they removed the crib that i thought would one day hold you, i became womb-less and actually believed that i was less of a woman because the sum of my parts no longer added to the expected whole woman necessary to bare and raise children.

we have waited a long time for you. every heartbreak along the way has strengthened our Love for you. but before it strengthened us, it broke us into a million shattered pieces. when you Love someone the way i Love your Mami, and you know they want something so wholeheartedly, that every time they don’t get their wish, a piece of your heart experiences necrosis. it dies. it feels unrepairable. and it’s not that i didn’t want it as bad as Mami. it’s that i had already reconciled it in my head that you were no longer a possibility in my body, so i shut that down and hardened my heart. so when Mami and i were ready to start the journey to you, i chose to focus my energies on helping her bring your Light to this world. and each time we received news that we were not pregnant, i witnessed Mami’s pain and i couldn’t place it anywhere but inside of me. i didn’t want her to see my hurt and i felt that i needed to be stronger for her.

when your Mami and i met, one of our first conversations was around raising children. we talked about everything related to this , including and questioning if this was something reserved for “the others.” we struggled with questions around heteronormativity and whether we were trying to assimilate to “them” (as if parenthood is reserved for just one set of people). we struggled with the idea that if we went through with it, we’d have to find an environment where you would be safe and you could thrive and grow, happy and healthy… and safe again.

i feared the church. that place that watched me grow and screamed from the pulpits that i was an abomination. i feared what others said, that our Love was null in front of the eyes of god because “it wasn’t real.” i feared it would show up in places that would affect you and your emotional and spiritual development. i feared you’d hate us, or just hate me because the biology wasn’t there. And well, blood is thick and heavy and it weighs in. but it also flows…

i was immediately on defensive mode thinking that at school you’d be “the weird kids.” i was scared that anyone would harm you, either physically or emotionally. I for sure would catch a case and end up in prison because i already Love you like i have never felt Love before. if anyone even attempts to hurt you i will literally loose my shit. you see, your two little lives, are always be protected by my own and Mami’s as well. you should also know that you are officially covered under the insurance of our Love. that means that no harm will come your way that you are not equipped to handle. that means that you are always protected.

all of these fears, my little big Loves, are just fears based on my upbringing. this world will try to teach you things that you will need to unlearn real quick. i will do my absolute best to make sure you don’t learn those lessons that come from a place of other people’s void or ignorance.

the truth is always in Love.

this world you’re coming into is pretty scary nut beautiful. and it is going to try so fucking hard to show you otherwise. this world will want to make you think you are something other than Loved. some will never see us as Family, some will want to make you think you don’t belong here or you are something different than your peers but i will raise you to know and understand that you are perfect, whole, and complete as you are.

you come from a deeper Love. you come from a place of Hope and Faith. you come from Fight and Struggle. you come from Joy and Peace. your existence is powerful beyond measure. your existence is a revolution all its own. ignore the noise of other people’s fears projected on our lives.

we are Familia. punto.

when your mother told me we were pregnant, i went down on my knees and an overwhelming gratitude filled my entire body. you became not one but two heart beating reminders that fears dissipate when i surrender to Love..

 

#52essays2017

 

Dismissal

March 1, 2017

The day she dismissed me I felt a shift on the ground beneath my feet. It felt like seismic activity at the core of my root chakra. And the rubble piled at the center of my chest. The dust took years to settle and more years to pick up the pieces and rebuild.


Many years ago I was involved in a relationship with a woman I gave my heart to effortlessly. I’ve always been the type of person that Loves deeply. But with her, it was a hand over of my heart fully. No excuses. No hesitation or reservation. Just Love. I’ve usually been the person to initiate interest. But she was very sweet and romantic in her approach. Something I certainly wasn’t used to. It felt so amazing, that I surrendered willingly.

I met her in the country that witnessed my first breath. She took me everywhere on that half island. She showed me some of the most beautiful places my eyes had ever seen. I experienced the most amazing sentiments in every ocean view, in every mountain top. But one of the most beautiful experiences was the way she held my body as I floated on that clear ocean. She promised to Love and hold. I was so certain she was the person I would grow old with. Our relationship continued to grow. I felt stronger. I felt us stronger.

Days turned to months. Months turned to year one. And I was trying to live in Dominican Republic as a double transplant. I was born there but raised in NYC and then decided to go back as an adult to see if I could find Home and work on writing my first book. She was so supportive of me. She made space for me to be able to focus on my work. And with her, I felt safe.

There was so much laughter and joy in our relationship. We found ways to push each other professionally and personally. She transitioned to several positions in her field of work and held a very prestigious position at one particular place.

I was always out and proud about who I am. She had but a handful of people who knew she was queer. And she was nowhere near being ready to be out much less in DR where the machismo and hypocrisy of church are as deep and rotten as their racism.

Slowly I began to feel the heaviness of living in that place and space. Dominican Republic saw my first steps but never recognized me as her daughter because I was… well, not Dominican enough.  I didn’t “look Dominican” to them. I didn’t have spaces to be myself. In fact, at the one bar that was for queer women, you couldn’t even dance or kiss your partner unless you were inside and couldn’t be seen by the neighbors.

I was used to “freedom.” I grew up in NYC. City of No Fucks Given. City of Kiss my Ass you don’t pay my bills. And hell, I never lived in a closet. I never came out. Once I knew who I was had a name, I named it and kept it moving.

But she never saw that; at least not at the time. And this started to affect us as well. But we held on because Love. Or so I thought. We continued to strengthen our relationship behind closed doors. But I was never anyone but a friend outside of the house; sometimes reduced to the “La Gringa” friend of hers who was her housemate. And I was internalizing all this shit slowly and the chakras kept slightly shifting.

But when she loved me behind closed doors I forgot about all of that because it was that intense and that beautiful. It was the kind of Love you watch in some Hollywood blockbuster. The kind that wins you Oscars. But that was just it… it was fiction. Because in fiction we can dismiss the story and the characters and walk away. In fiction, the characters don’t have to perform pass the end of the movie. So when I moved back to the states and she promised to follow shortly after I arrived with a plan in mind of all the things I needed to do to prepare for her arrival.

But instead she cheated for three months prior to seeing each other again. For three months she would call and say, “I Love you” and I would write poetry on every phone card I bought. For three months we would Skype each other to sleep. I purchased a ticket to bring her to my arms. She arrived here by plane and landed to tell me that she had been cheating; the chakras shifted differently and more intensely but didn’t crumble. Instead, I felt the pain in the center of my chest like a boulder on my sternum.  I remember the day clearly. Silent tears fell out the side of my eyes. How fucking stupid can I be not to see this coming? Is my version of Love so utopian that I couldn’t see the fiction in it?

But that wasn’t even the part that made it all crumble… it was the way she wouldn’t even try to figure out a way to make it work. She simply didn’t want to. No explanations. No reconnection to what we had already lived. She simply walked away. The movie had ended. The actors where paid out and all I had left were pages upon pages of fairytales I had written in journals that I drowned in the Caribbean Sea.

That was it. There was no trying to save a friendship even though I made every attempt to remain connected. She returned to her cheat. And after that disaster (because everything that starts ugly ends uglier), she dated and then entered another relationship and when I asked her for some private time to discuss some of the things I needed to make sense of for myself, she said she couldn’t connect because her current partner wouldn’t approve.

I was dismissed. And just like that… the ground shifted and everything I believed about Love crumbled within me.

What a mind fuck. To feel like you lived some Truman Show type shit is earth shattering.

Dismissal is a mother fucker. Dismissal will have you believe you are worthless. Dismissal will have you believe you have lost your god damn mind. Dismissal will make you question your very existence; it makes you say shit like, “Did I do something wrong?”

It was much later that I understood that she had to dismiss me because I am a constant reminder of what she could be if she allowed herself to be free. I am a constant reminder of a Love she will never feel again. I am a constant and persistent reminder of who she wanted to be.

People act based on their heart. Hers was/is one that comes with the delete feature. Or perhaps it was all just a show. Either way her dismissal of me was the first step I took inward. It was in her dismissal that I admitted and committed myself to Self.

And that has strengthened my core in such a way that I am now aligned with an unshakeable Self Love.