Saturday, November 19, 2016

Healing From Trauma

Because of some of my life experiences, I have often wondered what makes the differences in what one person experiences compared to another?  For instance, why did I always feel like women who had been brutally sexually assaulted, some beat beyond recognition, left for dead, seemed to be able to bounce back, lead productive, happy lives, enjoy meaningful relationships, and live otherwise “normal” lives seem to fare better than I did, someone who’d just been touched on and humped a little?

Before the thought could fully form in my mind, I saw the problem.  A couple of them actually.
In my past few years of studying human thinking and philosophy, I came across some Buddhist teachings that resonated with me.  One in particular was “comparison is the thief of all joy”.  And while I found it easier for me to say that when it came to accomplishments that I felt that I should have made, but hadn’t, I’d never thought about it in terms of comparing my negative life experiences to those of others.

Maybe another survivor came from a wonderfully loving family that spoke life into her, encouraged her, and supported her.  Or maybe she didn’t and that was her reason for survival and wanting change.  Regardless of how good or bad that I may feel that my life or family was, none of that has a bearing on my life NOW and that I continued to allow the negative experiences from my past cloud what should have been a bright future.

So, instead of making comparisons, I decided to do some digging.

And underneath the emotional fallout, the broken bones that never quite set right, was a scared little girl. 


She didn’t care that bills needed to be paid.  She didn’t care about civil unrest or celebrity drama or anything else.

All she cared about was the fact that she was hurt and that no one had ever acknowledged that pain or expressed remorse.

So, I began to do this practice for myself.

And, I’ll admit, at first, it seemed completely pointless and silly.

But, then, the wound opened up, as fresh as the day that it was inflicted.

And I cried.

I cried until my eyes ached and it felt like my breath had all but left my body.

I realized that I’d never truly acknowledged the seriousness of what had happened to me.

I jumped from trauma directly to “get over it” like everyone was telling me that I needed to.

Yet, my inner child, my subconscious mind was like, “Do not pass go.  Do not collect $200 until you deal with this.”

So, I did.

And I forgave myself for being a child.

I forgave myself for holding onto all the pain for so many years.

And I celebrated myself for surviving for as long as I did.

And I gave myself permission to let it go.

And I began to heal.

And every single day is a fight.

Every. Single. Day.

But, no matter how hard the day is, I take comfort in knowing that it keeps getting better.

It really does.

Sunday, August 7, 2016


Before I was your punching bag
I was your princess.



A perfect portrait of all that unconditional love is supposed to be.

A love I've never known.
A love I've heard about, read about.

And just like the fairy tales my mother used to read to me at night about
The man who made the waters stand apart and the man who brought the dead back to life,
It sounded real good.

Only I dare not ask for a miracle.
I just needed another day to let my purple bruises turn yellow.

I dare not ask time to let them heal.
No, that might be more than I deserve.

So, I walk on egg shells and I try to cover my face and head
As your fists rain down, I send up a prayer,
Wishing for one last miracle.

Turn him into a pillar of salt!
No, a beetle!

So, that I may grind you underfoot
So that you learn the pain of being stripped naked of humanness.
So that no crown should be tarnished because of your many imperfections.

But, fairy tales aren't real and Prince Charming isn't coming.

Oh well.

At least, once upon a time, I was your princess.

Thursday, July 28, 2016


Did animals just come carnivorous?
Or was there something broken in the ecosystem by us, the touchers of things?

My kids go through my make-up and make complete messes of themselves.

Is that how God feels?

Are we the Stuff Smashers of God?

Well, at least he thinks we’re cute.

In fact, we are more esteemed than the stars.

But, back to animals eating animals.

That just seems strange to me that a God who loves His creations would like to purpose one life form for the consumption of another life form.

I know God to be a God of love.

I get lightweight emotional when my son makes his toy cars crash!

But, I’m just some lady with kids.
What do I know?

I think it’s just what nature does.

And we can get mad about it and wish it weren’t so, but ugly exists.

It’s the reason we enjoy the bright spots so much.
We all KNOW that, but nobody wants to hear it or accept that it’s true.

Nature ebbs and flows.

The best thing you can do is make sure you’ve got your surfboard ready and ride the wave for as long as you can!

Don’t spend a MOMENT of your time frustrated, sad, depressed, angry.

If the moments are all we have, then why do we throw them away?

Because, in the end, when all of our grey hairs are counted and the wrinkles have overtaken us, we will be the compounded result of whatever we have spent the most energy on.

Shouldn’t it be something that fulfills your soul?
Makes you smile every day?
Makes you feel like you have purpose?
Aren’t just a cog in someone else’s wheel?

You know, some of us become slaves to children!
Did you know that that was possible?

There’s a mother right now reading this and wishing she can break free from slavery from her kids.
I’m praying for you, honey.

You can choose to be a slave to anything and everything.

But you can also choose freedom.

Did God create destruction or does he just allow it?

Hell, I don't know.

But, I know it's there.

It happens.

The best I can do is be the force for good.

Since I'm always either growing or dying, I choose the light.

So, dance.
Laugh hard.
Love hard.
And most of all.

Follow the Pleasure Principle :)

Saturday, July 9, 2016


Freedom is not free, but it’s right up there with oxygen.

If someone cut off your air supply, how long would you survive?

It takes five to ten minutes before irreversible brain damage can occur.

While we are not our minds, our thoughts become things.

And if the things that we see become the things that we think about, oppression, injustice, violence, hate, ignorance, why are we so surprised that the world is so cold?

The exception to the oxygen rule is when someone young is simultaneously put into a cold environment when oxygen is cut off. 

Survival has been known to be up to 30 minutes. 

Time has not run out, but it most definitely is short. 

Our children are growing up in a world that abuses, misuses, does everything but nourishes them to flourish. 

Deterioration causes desolation. 

"You will know the truth and the truth shall set you free. " 

Freedom is not free.

But, if your head is under water and water is filling your lungs and your blood is rushing to your head, you tell me.

How important is freedom, then?

We Survived A Fire

We survived a fire.

No one was hurt or injured.

We stood outside watching smoke billow out of the windows while firefighters ran back and forth.

Like instant refugees, my children and I stood, watching, waiting, with no more than the pajamas that we ran out in on.

It was a sea of faces.

The faces had questions.

"What are you guys going to do?"

"Where will you live?"

Not to mention our cat is still unaccounted for.

Once the camera phones had been put away and there was nothing left to gawk at except the family of half-dressed deer in headlights, the world slowly began to spin again.

Neighbors came and provided diapers and clothes for the children, sweaters for me and my daughter.
They offered their places if I needed to make calls or just to think.

I was so grateful.

Red Cross came almost right away.

They talked to me softly, pressed a folder with the words, ‘Moving Forward’ into my hands, and told me that this was just the beginning.

They laughed and joked with us, making sure that we had accommodations and basic provisions.

But, it was Independence Day weekend.

And how symbolic.

I didn’t anticipate having to stay in a hotel, but especially not over a holiday weekend where rates were at least three times what they were normally.

After exhausting my resources, I checked out of our hotel room and found myself feeling and being displaced.

Where do you go when you have nowhere to go?

People started to give us clothes and food right away.

Where do you put your things when you have no place for your things?

Where would I even cook?

I felt the children growing restless.

But, I couldn’t help the urge to say, "This is not play time!"

When IS play time in a crisis?

And when the sweltering heat started to affect my son’s breathing, my children were no longer full from the apple sauce packets and Lunchables, and all I could hear was the sound of kids crying from hunger, exhaustion, and frustration, I had to fight back tears myself.

The other part of it is that I suffer from Crohn’s disease, which is triggered by stress and poor diet.

My stress was at an all-time high and the processed food that I could scrounge up was killing my insides softly.

This was just a long weekend, I thought. 

Can you imagine what people go through who live this reality every day?

Well, let me tell you.

It’s the millions of questions, having to tell and retell the story countless times, to people who may or may not even be interested or able to help.

It’s the dirty looks and "this is what you should have done" comments.

It’s simply wanting to take a shower and sleep and not knowing when or if that will happen.

When you are in that situation, reality TV or Donald Trump’s hair or which celebrity is on a bender are like things that matter in an alternate dimension.

But, I began to understand why the displaced and homeless look so downtrodden.

Because people literally and figuratively trample them under foot.

With unkind words and looks, judgmental tones, and outright ignorance.

But, the truth is, we are all one bad weekend away from being one of them.

Our pretty clothes and shiny cars tend to make us forget that sometimes.

I was displaced for five days.

Five. Days.

Yet, there are people in one of the richest countries in the world, one that brags of unmatched freedoms, and people go without proper food, clothing, and housing every single day.

It’s disgusting.

I was one of the lucky ones.

Once people realized what was happening, they stepped in and extended themselves in a large way.

We survived a fire.

And it was an eye-opening experience, one that I will never forget and has added a driving force in my life and heart to do everything in my power to make sure that no man, woman, or children have to suffer through a tragedy with added, unnecessary burdens.


Coco Tubman

Monday, February 29, 2016

Underground Railroad 2.0

Something shifted in me.

I took a step back to unplug and refocus and it all became crystal clear.

Here I was, building my financial future! 

Finally having found the exit tunnel that  my ancestors never knew existed, you would think that I'd have taken off running like my life depended on it.

But, it did.

And I didn't.

And after I finished pointing my finger at any poor soul unfortunate enough to cross my path, I began to realize that there might be a bigger problem.

Why did I seem to always stop right at the end?

The answer did not readily come at first.

In fact, it didn't for many years.

But, after many failed situationships and a few babies scattered along the way, I began to think.

First, my thoughts went to my mother, a woman that I equally loved and pitied for the poor life choices that she made.

It wasn't until I heard my mother half think out loud, half talk to me, and say, "Your life mirrors mine in so many ways."

I remember a guy telling me that I would have a baby young when I  was about ten.

I was so angry at him for that.

And yet, there I was, living in the same project apartment that my mother lived in when I was a baby.

That was my answer: conditioning.

I was conditioned to struggle.

I was conditioned to be single.

I was conditioned to feel disempowered.

I was conditioned to be afraid.

I was conditioned to hate myself.

These were powerful revelations that I couldn't find on a meme or tv.

This was real.

This was me.

And I started to see how I kept myself stuck.

I heard the excuses when they came out of my mouth and they just didn't taste the same.

And I decided to act.

Now, let's be clear.

I HATE doing something that I'm not the absolute best at right away.

I excel at most things.

Which is good!

But, when I got into action, I had to force myself to keep going because I knew I wasn't doing it 100% perfectly and I didn't like it.

The more I moved, the more the fear dissipated as I realized that it wasn't all that bad.

I felt like the kid who thought a shirt in a closet was a monster.

And I would randomly shake my head and laugh.

And the people around me were a gift.

When they would say things like I had in the past (as the people around you will), I would think, "Is that what I sound like? Ewwwwwwwwww."

Then, I forgave myself for being in that place.

Then, I got really grateful.

For the small things.

Like my daughter's smile.

And good water pressure.

And simply touching the heart of another.

Not because of what they'd done for me.

Not for what I'd done for them.

And not for some potential future gain.

But, just to take in their soul, to know their joys and sorrows, to create memories to last for ages.

It was with this revelation that life began to open up abundantly.