Updated: Aug 27, 2021
Chapter: Temporary Insanity
The only time I've ever seen the word “massage” used in a negative way, was when I had to look through old court papers from my own childhood abuse case, in order to defend myself against false accusations that I was harmful and abusive towards my third daughter, my new baby girl. Whom was now being separated from me. Looking at the old faded ink, reading through things counselors wrote down that both me and my sister Regina reported. I felt hollow and scared.
After admitting those papers into my case file at my high priced lawyers office, and deciding to try to go though the next phase of court dates, I believed they wouldn't take a one year old from her mother and give her to an alcoholic father with 4 DUI's. I was wrong. I stood in the bathroom of that court building staring down at a printed copy of a letter from my own mother and youngest sister. After my ex, Dustin's even higher priced lawyer called me into the hall and tried to get me to give him half custody of her, to which I refused. Pleading with her that he is dangerous and has injured her while he was drunk on many occasions. She didn't care though. This whole thing was just a matter of her winning, not protecting my child.
My goal with admitting my old court papers from my own childhood was to show how my own mother put us in very compromising positions of vulnerability with her numerous boyfriends as well as having sometimes brutally abused us herself and is still a full-blown high functioning alcoholic whom should therefore have no say in what’s a "safe home" for my baby. Nor any other child for that matter. Once again my distain was quite present. The faded court papers read like a hospital report of sorts with it’s to the point, very blunt wording of what was going on. The Child Protective Services worker wrote directly from Regina’s mouth reading "Regina stated father offered to massage her back and it made her feel uncomfortable."
My sister and I were allowed to visit him on very rare occasions at that point and only a few times a month as small children. But those few times were everything to us. We loved him and wanted to be with him more than our mom. He always took us to do fun things, see the other side of our family and play with our cousins. Although sometimes I had personality clashes with him and went home feeling bad or mad. More than anything I remember wanting to live with him. But he wasn’t able to hold a stable job in order to support himself and a home for us. Many people in our family said, “He just wasn’t the same when he came back from the military.”
But now present day I was a Massage Practitioner and living with grandma as an adult. It was just a few weeks after dad called and left a voice mail about wanting to say hi to me on his birthday. I hadn’t even realized it was his birthday. And never called him back.
There I was standing by a car talking to some dumb boy in man form, outside the house when I got this ever so strange sense within me. A feeling similar to realizing I was “like" my dad. And I tried to not feel it. I didn’t want to feel ‘like’ my dad. I didn’t want to be like him. I kind of shook it off in a way and went about my conversations when 30 seconds later, my eldest daughter, now thirteen years old, and living here with me and grandma, called for me to come to the house, saying my little sister Lauren, dads only daughter outside of his marriage to mom, was on the phone. I wondered why she would be calling me at such a late hour. So when I got on the line I said, “hey sis what’s goin on?” She replied plainly but with a tone I didn’t recognize. “Hey Caroline, I have to tell you something okay……...............................… dad's dead.”
I thought she was playing a mean joke, like when we would call someone and say we were the ‘Long Beach Police Department’. So I waited for her to start laughing and let me know the real reason she was calling, perhaps to invite me somewhere or something, but she stayed quiet.
My mind rejected the words. My reply was “no he’s not, that’s not funny… what do you mean?”
More silence. And then she said, “I know”. And I heard her gently sniffle. I repeated “No he’s not, how....... that’s not funny……... Huh?” She cried and said “yes.... dad’s gone.”
My heart sunk into my bowels and the room went quiet. I yelled out in a weak but clear loudness, “NO NOO NOOO Dad, no dad nooooo, dad noooo, please nooo wait nooo daaadd.” Grandma and my daughter came running as I fell to the floor.
His birthday had just passed, and I didn’t even call him for his day. He called and sounded so dad on his voice, but I was mad at him because of our stupid financial squabble and my own dumb thoughts in fear and judgement of his past and possibility of his inner demons so instead of letting it go and loving him anyway, I decided to “cut him off.”
I never in a million years would have even imagined something like this could happen!!! But it did. And now I was here, and he was not. I didn’t even know he was diabetic and had gone to the hospital to be checked because he was having some health complications. They said he left before getting help because he was angry at the way the nurse was handling him, and left without getting any care. Dad’s difficult personality often clashed with people who didn’t know how to handle highly sensitive people and when he got home, his body just shut down.
And now he was gone.......... His body no longer housed his soul.
My dad was in the US Marine Corps from the age of 19. It was his greatest accomplishment, and he lived and breathed the brother hood. He was a proud Mexican and loved watching soccer and football games and fixing things. But as life progressed, he had become more and more of a hermit and didn’t even like to go out to walk his dog in those last days. His death made me realize the true love that so many soldiers who sign up, are filled with. The want to protect. That was my dad. Always trying to protect other people, strangers even. If he seen what seemed like someone being hurt or ‘punked’ in any way, he stood up for them. But mom told me he had confided to her that he’d been sexually violated as a child and battled those demons within, then on top of that he developed a paranoia about being followed.
His favorite area of research was religion and government, he spoke about it to anyone who would listen. And if he felt you’d stepped out of line he would get crazy with you and that just made it hard for many family members to get along with him. So, many of his close family members had also chose to not keep in contact so often.
Dad was pretty comical at times, kind and liked to tell stories about the past. He loved movies. He once told us he only lied to the counselors that he was having hallucinations, in order to get financial military support for the ailment, but we all knew his behavior and communications were pretty violent and different and caused problems for many. I felt frustrated and annoyed with his paranoia and couldn’t handle the confrontations we’d get into on occasions. I felt so guilty because I was sometimes mean to him and hurt him and judged him when I was a teenager. And now I’m here without him and there’s no way for me to make up for anything or ask for forgiveness or keep trying to be understanding to him because........ he was gone.
When I arrived at his apartment, I was met by the most disturbing news that we couldn’t view his body because he had actually died three days prior, and decomposition had now set in. He was no longer recognizable. All I could do was stand outside while his neighbors looked at us weeping, holding onto each other. My heart and mind were leaving as I wept in my aunt’s arms, his only sister. I tried to call Regina, but no answer so I called my uncle Jack and left a voice mail. The guilt that pervaded my being was slowly starting to creep onto me like a sickness or a flu.
I could feel it in my throat. I gently whispered at his body in the big black bag on the gurney as it rolled by, “No, dad, noo, dad nooo, my dad, noo, my dad, my dad.” Then hugged his only sister, looked around one last time, and continued crying as I drove back home in a cloud. My eldest daughter also weeping by my side. But it felt like I was alone in a desert.
I laid down in my bed, screaming into my pillow. My body jerking back and forth with each memory of childhood creeping in like a haunting movie. And all I could think was "oh my god I had cut him off and he was so sad". My eyes swollen shut from the nonstop crying. Three whole days I lay there. I sent my daughter away because I needed to be alone. I needed to figure this out and I didn’t want her seeing me in such turmoil. It was hurting her to hear me in pain, and I just didn’t want to hurt her too. Without even thinking about the hurt and pain my poor baby must too have been experiencing from losing her grandpa. I couldn’t think of anyone but me. My guilt. My fault. My decision to judge him.
I’m such a horrible person and I deserve to die too, my mind told me as I lay there thinking, remembering, losing my mind. I begged God to forgive me. I begged my dad to forgive me. I cried and cried some more. I fell asleep then woke up and cried some more. I laid there in deep thought slowly realizing my dad was an Angel. Because of his great suffering and life of service, he who had just left this world with a huge bang, was now with God. And finally, I realized I could understand all the pain and suffering in his life as a lesson for me to grow. Or it could be a curse for me to remain in pain within, to begin growing weeds of sorrow. Stagnation. Spawning self-hatred webs and I couldn’t do that with his memory. I couldn’t allow his beautiful soul to be remembered only in sorrow, I knew he was not a curse.
Slowly I pulled it back together enough to get up and go pee. In a cloud I got up and washed my face, but I couldn’t look at myself in the mirror. The bouts of crying became less and less frequent though my mind continued to attempt to pull me back into the bed and made me feel my body so weak. I fought it off mostly by remembering the goodness of him and knowing that THIS, was his greatest gift to me. THIS is what he left us all. His legacy.
Death and loss were so completely new to me. To know that this is what loss feels like. THIS is what losing someone close to you is like, because I had never lost anyone close to me ever before, only older grandma’s that I had visited on a few occasions over the years. But their passing didn’t make me cry or feel bad.
I remembered dad telling me what it was like to be homeless on different occasions for many years. And in our time together, he'd told me stories about sleeping on the side of apartment buildings and finding warmth by sleeping in apartment laundry rooms as well. He liked to be in the Los Angeles, Westwood area, enjoying it’s very scenic and beautiful surroundings. He wanted to stay close to the VA hospital. Many times, he would pick me and Regina up to go see a movie and walk around downtown. Anytime he had any money or a car, which was rare, he spent it on us. He spent it on everyone. Because he had a kind heart and loved to see everyone having a good time on his dime.
Dad took care of us even though he was separated from us so often. When he received pay from the government for his knee injury, he made sure part of it was given to his three daughters. Though our mother always took our money for herself, even when we received money in gift cards. He made sure we got some. But I made sure to run away from her when he gave us all a large lump sum so she couldn’t take it. And I spent it with my eldest daughter’s father, when we were young teenagers.
I was remembering so much. One time we were all at Chuckie Cheeses to celebrate someone’s birthday, my dad's whole side of the family, cousins everywhere just having a great time when out of nowhere a giant fight broke out between our family and some other LA folks? I don’t even know what about but everyone in the establishment decided to get in on the brawl. And it just got crazy, like something you’d see in a movie. But looking back we’d all laugh together about it. It always made my dad laugh and proud that our family don’t play and if it came to throwin blows, they will be down.
The memories were starting to pull me out of the dark space but the only thing that brought me out of the pain and turmoil of guilt for having wronged him and then him passing and me missing my opportunity to make it right, was to receive his life and memories of time spent with him, as a gift. Because I literally felt like I deserved to die too. Some moments even passed through my mind that his death was my fault for not caring about him and for leaving him alone. But Regina comforted me by reminding me that he struggled long before and was now no longer struggling. Stressed and hustling for a buck, with strained relationships along the way, in essence he would no longer have to endure the pain almost all of us feel on a daily basis, he’s now resting in God’s arms.
And this heavy world was no longer weighing down upon his beautiful, kindhearted soul.
Chapter: The Way of The Masseuse
What’s a “masseuse”? I am. Hi!
Welcome. I’m Caroline, "The Masseuse.” And I’m so very glad to be here with you. And though I’d normally not so much want to introduce myself using this word, because let’s face it, the word “masseuse,” has generally been dragged through the gutters and perverted and is mostly currently used to refer to someone who uses massage as a means to be paid for sexual favors and all that jazz, I’m taking it back!! In the name of Love! In the name of healing.
Because the use of a word, is extensively important as the action behind it.
Allow me to explain. The Masseuse is gentle, attentive, very caring, careful, and aware of dedication to the work at all times. The energy we use helps us to control our pressure levels and timing. We have carefully become more aware of our movements and breathe. This practice gives us a means for strength in service. We’ve grown our attention to consideration, in order to keep the session focused on you. This is an area of control for US to practice. Loud exhales from our clients, tells us what is working. It’s a form of massage communications. It guides our awareness to painful areas on the body. It helps us gage the necessary amounts of pressure we need at many different points.
The masseuse is strong when necessary but relies greatly upon proper communications. The Masseuse is not abrasive with knuckle use unless necessary. Some parts of the session may be patterned out, but we often approach each section of the body at specific times for specific reasons, in order to fulfill the balancing and realigning of your bodily systems, muscles and layers.
The Masseuse will not work on your feet, then move on up to massage your face without first cleaning their hands or applying hand sanitizer, because ew.
The Masseuse wants you to feel amazing, relieved, relaxed and comfortable.
The Masseuse always speaks softly and gently, staying professional and attentive.
The Masseuse knows how to ignore an itch and fight off a sneeze, for the sake of maintaining the calm serenity and energy in the room as well as how to not break contact unless absolutely necessary.
The Masseuse treats you as they would treat their very own family but with even more consideration by applying professionality.
The Masseuse asks you how you’re feeling because we really want to know. The Masseuse really does care.
The Masseuse loves the work of healing and the art of creating lasting relief through the expression of massage. We love many different aspects about all the small details of blessings we see in everything, from our ability to dress comfortably, with a choice to wear shoes or not.
Our constant relaxation music guides our moves, while candles provide gentle shadows of dancing lights all around the room. Truly, these day to day surrounding elements should naturally make for a much more peaceful and thoughtful individual, however there are many thoughtful and peaceful individuals whom work in heavy noise and hectic situations. It’s all about the person. About the choices the person chooses because “The Way of the Masseuse,” is a practice for life.
It’s not a title only reserved for people who give massage work. No. There are doctors whom maintain Masseuse status. And School teachers with the same abilities to apply their expressive life purpose in such a precise way. You can see The Masseuse shine through them.
Another great necessity for the practice of "masseusery", is the need of exceptional focus and attention. Some people can realize we are literally physically manipulating the very vessel which belongs to another being throughout time and in our time, and it will strengthen their determination to do good. Because knowing your purpose in time and doing the work you know you’re supposed to be doing, is powerful.
We’re all alive together right now. While I’m writing this I’m alive and even though I may be gone as you read, I am very much alive while I serve with massage, as well I believe my time will be accounted for and I am aware of how to spend it wisely now, finally.
We who feel our lives are a blessing unto others and in turn serve with a happy heart, which is the act of creating more positive energy, tend to value time in a completely different way than so many others. Our practice is distinguishably optimal with a capacity for maximal ability to produce positive impacts for people around us whom are in need of care and service. It is a daily focus and discipline. And by doing so, those whom have this ability are therefore literally on a daily basis (take a deep breath), HEALING THE WORLD. heheee
So aaanywaaayy more about whom "The Masseuse" is.
The Masseuse loves to remain affordable so as to make sure the cost of care remains for everyone and not only those with much.
The Masseuse is human however and may maintain differing views on many things and subjects most people find quarrel with, but The Masseuse knows that “being human,” means many things to many different people. So, The Masseuse spares efforts to alter a person’s views and accepts them for the fact of them being in need and will not feel negatively or entertain thoughts that lead to a desire to dislike or judge another.
The Masseuse knows all of us are in need. To a true Masseuse, the recognition of love is in all views, and seeing the good or perfection in humans does not refer to the outer appearance or anything physical. It’s the behavior and manner. Along with the choices in thought entertainment.
This practice of understanding others, and the fact that we all think differently on many different levels, produces views which allow a whole lot of love, acceptance and understanding to rain in our “lands,” (minds) allowing growth to spring forth an array of great beauty. True beauty.
As a Masseuse, I know we care about the people we work on and what they think or feel. We build real relationships and connect with people on a daily basis. It’s not only about the session, though the session is the connecting factor. Our work begins from the moment we think about “helping” others. Our intention must be traced back with purity in giving. Like building a home to live in, within ourselves, it starts in the mind, then forms a positive intention factory within, which in turn produces wonderful products and a strong foundation.
We value connections and maintain a high level of priority for the importance of those connections. This practice shows clearly how much we value and care for each and every single one of those connections with gentility, like growing a plant. It starts with our daily choices of shaping whom we choose to become and how we choose to behave or respond, in many different situations. How we ‘take things’ without discounting intuition and the awareness of the negative, we do not attach to any negative dimension. Because we understand negative is necessary and a fact of reality.
The Masseuse trains their controlled reactions. The Masseuse truly appreciates positive feedback and loves hearing that your session was, “amazing, fantastic, exceptional.” The Masseuse is a bit of an over achiever. But that’s the difference between a masseuse and everyone else who massages. Anyone can get a license to practice massage, but not everyone is, nor can become… a Masseuse.
That’s the Law.
But hold on, let me take you back to the beginning. To a time before I realized, I am The Masseuse. Before I had a practice of being better and maintaining positive, loving relationships. I was only aware I wanted to be a masseuse yet recognized the negative weight and possible expectations that can come with this chosen word and self-title, and how I must maintain a very strict standard to uphold. This mind frame helped me develop my internal “brick wall.”
Please allow me to share these many facets from the very beginning of the simplest thoughts on this journey, to the current presence, and healing flow. Theirs a specific reason as to why I was so bent on “staying in the truth.”
In 2011, I’d been working for eight straight years in the corporate office field. I went to school for my certificate as an “Administrative Assistant.” Started off working through temp agencies and was then hired onto my longest-term office job. I loved my time there; it was like most people feel about high school because I only attended high school for three months and then dropped it to stay at home with my baby.
I learned about getting into a position that will give promise of better pay and benefits. I learned a lot and grew a great deal in those eight years. Though, I fully enjoyed the benefits and ease of knowing I had a steady pay check every two weeks to pay bills, provide my children a home and live with a feeling of having a secured future in case I grew old and made it to retirement, I’d often find myself looking out the side window of our two story building, feeling trapped in a way. My skin longed for the sunny beautiful sky, my heart longed to do more for the betterment of people in the world and in service. I appreciated my job and its established appearance, but there was no way of denying I felt mostly negative energy, viewing myself as stuck at a desk for eight hours of my day, staring at a screen.
Okay yes, I admit I was being a bit of a slacker at those moments, but reality would always come chime me right back in. So when the news came that our department was being shut down in 2011 and we were all getting laid off…. It was like a jolt of “I knew it!” and “oh my God.” It was sad for many of my co-workers. Many were afraid about finding jobs at their advanced ages, but I felt it could be positive for my own life and I thought, “Okay I’m ready to go, here we go.”
I was excited for a giant change. It was like that new feeling after moving your furniture around, reorganizing and thoroughly cleaning your house or bedroom and you find things and now feel like it’s a brand-new space with so much possibility. The work is worth the result. But my happiness also eventually turned into fear and a few weeks later I wondered if I might possibly be suffering with delusional happiness. Quickly my happiness and trust that this was supposed to happen for a good reason started to feel sad and I knew I’d miss all those people I spent all day with for the last six years. Our department was managed by woman and most employees were also female. Many of the strong women I was blessed to work with were exceptionally understanding of life’s audacious brutalities and I even made a few great friends I still have today.
It was embarrassing and different being scolded by strangers about my ‘adult aged immature behaviors’ or failures to follow through and do things right. And in the beginning I was most often in the office being scolded with the boss for not filling out my timecard but I learned about taking care of my responsibilities and became the trainer’s assistant at the end of it all. So, many good and fun times with wonderful people was what I'd take with me. I learned to voice my opinions and to take initiative and be accountable for things at this place. I went through so many personal growth phases while working there.
First, I was a vegan for a year and a half, thinking that it was absurd and cruel for “us,” to be the only specie on the planet whom can grow their own food, but still we choose to kill animals and consume their dead bodies instead. But then I realized that I didn’t stop breathing oxygen because people butcher forests so how can it make sense to stop eating what was given as food? Why did it feel like all of the sudden my life was taken over by focusing on what I was eating? Was this a religion with focus on the body?
From there I allowed myself to slowly start eating meat again. Change after change, I was searching so very hard. The angry, ready to defend myself side of me started to ease up and I felt a feeling of kindness and ease of being okay with things that used to stress or annoy me so much before, no matter how heavy they appeared to be. I could take them as being ‘no biggy’.
It was at his job that I went through my no more make-up, Bible thumping phase. No more attempt to be something appealing to anyone other than my loving Jesus who only wanted to beautify my heart with truth, kindness and love. And I loved this feeling of becoming love, becoming who I always knew I wanted to be. A sweet, nice, kind girl. But first I became a Bible thumping Jesus freak. Happily, but admittedly somewhat confused by the people who were so hateful towards gays because the way I understood it they are God’s children too.
At this job and in this time of my life when when I learned why God said to love one another, and I understood and accepted the command fully and completely. I knew I wanted to be a kinder person but now more than anything, I was focused on understanding the Bible instead of working to understand my place in this world. I noticed my mind beginning to become stuck in the book itself. And that needed to end quickly.
I found happiness in the company lay off by attaching my feelings to the view that this could be my very own opportunity to focus on a singing career approach, and I knew I had the ability to write and produce pretty catchy songs too. Plus I could somewhat dance pretty well, and loved unconventional lyrics. I just knew I could have at least half a chance to, “be the change I wanted to see in the world.” This was exactly during the middle of breaking up with a very long-term partner whom I found to be more shrouded by darkness than I ever understood. And though I could have seen the giant red flag when he said, “I don’t want to deal with your kids, only you” and openly urged me to abandon my kids to devote myself to him. I trusted things went the way they had to go.
After I’d moved out of my apartment and moved up to Sacramento and began the process of breaking away, not knowing what to do for work again. Life progressed and now my urge to know led me to ask and then, I found. But amongst those lessons I ended my obsession with The Bible but maintained the ultimate message I received from it was to not lie. Ever. I began a practice to never lie to others or myself, to always forgive and give, to strive to understand others with a heart of humility and kindness. From there my journey got deeper and more difficult. I learned that not lying to others was so much easier than practicing not lying to myself.
I had to just start doing it as a daily practice though, a daily challenge, because so often it would seem that ‘to lie’, would be the best choice and even safest at times. But when my ability became stronger, I became more aware, just like how I learned that so many animal products go into non-meat foods, from my prior vegan change. I now knew that “lying,” was the main ingredient for self-inflicted pain. Self-inflicted sorrows and especially causes pain for those whom you love.
I recognized we're all life, living within a vessel with the capability to hurt or be love. The mind and body are a living entity whom house us. We are a piece of God’s spirit. The image. Like a picture held in the hand and if someone tears up that picture, will it stop God from existing, no. But if we become aware of this truth, we live easier and become less hard on other people when we realize we don't need to fear his possible un-forgiveness, even if we did wrong with full knowledge, God is with us all… right now. And if we start now, to train this evil capable vessel to do as God directs, our directions will always be correct. Not the other way around.
YOU are God’s spirit. You are not a prisoner of your body or mind. Do not believe such ridiculous things. That mind can be quite convincing and may have made you come along when it did some pretty heinous things, or even just the little evils, the little bit of self-abuse, or abuse to another, but you can always take control back by making different choices from now on.
Fact. He will forgive. Now.
In order to KNOW that you are separate from that body you are in, you must first believe your body comes under your subjection, not the other way around. Start with being of truth to yourself about why you choose to do what you’re doing in all things. Now, I’m not saying you should force your body to stop bodily functions or stay awake horrifically long and stuff, no that is obvious self-abuse. But starting with the mind, do not let it entertain you. You can decide what you will allow at your "minds kitchen table" and whom is allowed to influence your mind. It starts with you. If you do not forgive yourself for things that you feel you did in the past to hurt someone else, no matter how much you remember feeling or why you decided to do those things, you have now turned that person into an object of pain in your mind. You have turned your loved one into a weapon that you now use to hurt yourself with.
Accept that you have the power to submit your-self to God within you. Mind, body and spirit can be handed over to what you know is Love because you know within, when something is good and when it is bad. Start by telling yourself the truth and forcing your mind to adhere to not allowing yourself to be anything negative toward it. Walk in love toward it. Even in the face of death. Walk in Love and know that you are Love, not evil. You are not some fallible body that will cease to exist when that body you are in, no longer exists. No. That’s “ancient Egyptian royalty” type thinking. You are not of this place so don't try to stay here or worry about trying to find comfort in being comfortable in this place.
That's the heart of self-service. Your comfort, above others. Your life, above others.
God has a full and good work set out for us to do even though we may not know what it is right now, or how we're going to do it, we need to be thankful that he has one for us. We need to be humble that he chooses us at all because sadly some of us cannot and WILL NOT choose him. Though it should make sense that God would always choose to have all his children with him, and if you know we’re all apart of him, then you know loving one another is loving yourself.
I’ve wasted so much time trying to do what I want or what I think my life is about. I loved how I was allowed to realize these heavy things before I did them. Before I lost time or hurt my children further. I faced I had been so selfish and self-focused and failed my responsibility to devote my life to others. But first I had to devote my life to God in order to even see my own children with the purest sight of Love for them as possible.
My mission is to share this work with others in love. To give with a happy heart and my heart is definitely happy.
Chapter: Surrounding Angels
I noticed my hands are shaped differently, my palms are like a cat protrusions and all. So when I massage, they create a soft natural suction with my open/close hand motions. I started thinking God HAD literally created ME to do this work, and it was my destiny. And then it struck me in the same way as when I realized I didn’t take clothes to the hospital and ended up wearing wet shorts and how the police looked down at them and believed me. Thank goodness I never got my GED because then maybe I’d have ended up in some other job! Haha Only God knows.
(INSERT PICTURE - palms of my hands)
I began to use the word ‘Masseuse’, to describe myself to people. I was “Caroline The Masseuse.” My vision of what a “Masseuse or Masseur,” does or how they conducted their practice, was that they’d be some kind of a great Tai Chi type, spiritual genius person whom is naturally amazing and has it all together. People like my instructors, minus one instructor who was strange and no Bueno.
A masseuse is completely confident in their work and the way they move their hands shows it. I envisioned someone who wears a crisp white massage uniform to work and displays a very calm “master of the art of healing,” type individual. More than anything, “a masseuse,” understood exactly the work they were performing and why.
I ordered my own massage table from amazon and then pulled it in from my front door a few days later. Immediately, I set up an appointment to massage my friend’s husband in their home, she said she didn’t want one but that he got them regularly for his back issues having had spinal infusion surgery and a pulse stimulator implant. I’d have to be super-duper cautious with him but still make the massage amazing.
Mentally prepping for the next hour, slightly intimidated in thinking of him as a connoisseur of massage though viewing his injury as a perfect demand upon my complete and devoted attention and care. I started the massage with my friend watching us and glaring made things interesting. I supposed she was mad he was getting a massage. Yes they had a very strained relationship. But the practice I received from learning to ignore the scowl on her face was priceless. The vibe felt off, but I’d just have to work through it.
This was my first massage and I thanked God for it.
I had to focus. I was scared that he wouldn’t like it. Or I’d tuck the sheets wrong or hurt his back and oh my God what if I paralyzed him or something. I felt fear trying to control me again, but I fought it off, instead focusing on my breath and my pressure applications and then I fell into a zone of focus I’d never experienced before. At the end of our session I lay my hand on his shoulder and made him aware that our session was over by speaking my intention saying, “and we’re all complete.” And with that I had a very good feeling. Our teacher had said to close the session by saying something positive or an intention, to the client. My intention was for everyone to be complete, and so I state and claim it after each closing to this day. “And we’re all complete.”
We sat and talked for a few minutes and I shared my idea to make a brand out of myself and call it, “Caroline The Masseuse,” but they both said I shouldn’t use the word ‘masseuse’ because most men think of perverted actions when they see that word being used. Thought about it and replied “good, then they’ll come to me and be healed from their perverted, fruitless searches by my loving ‘healing touch’, and I’ll probably make more money by not discriminating or rejecting people too.” I asked for feedback about the massage and he said I was exceptional and then handed me way more money than I wanted but of course graciously accepted. I was so poor and burning through money like a forest fire but I didn’t expect to be paid for this session. I seen it as training and thought he was just gonna let me practice on him so I felt even more thankful to be paid for a work I actually enjoyed doing. I was so super pumped and as I drove home reflecting on the session, a sense of knowing filled me. A sense that I could heal people.
Then I remembered this strange separate feeling that happened during the session, a feeling that I need to always remember this feeling of healing. I just knew that I needed to love this feeling of enjoying the work of healing someone and never allow any other purpose for my work to exist. Because though it is nice to be paid, healing is the main reason I massage. I massage because someone is in need. And most of the time those in the most need do not have anything to give back for my work. But I understood it's God’s work and not mine. I understood it's not for me to decide when I will give it, God does. And God sends us to each other in mysterious ways.
After school the clients didn’t come pouring in like I’d anticipated. I thought I could sustain on my passion for healing alone and somehow my good talented work would bring people back to me at all costs. But more often than people in pain, I just kept getting men who thought I was pretty and wanted something perverse, not healing. It was my very first-time marketing myself in the industry and I know I could have been stronger in my stance on professional appearance but no matter how I changed my verbiage or used better pictures, my most frequent customers were disrespectful men. I tried to remain kind and gentle with the pervs but as I encountered them more and more often, I started being mean and would just kick them out. And it started to take a toll on my vision of this work and my confidence in my work began to diminish. Should I have compassion and view them as lonely men who sadly no woman wants to touch? Or are they just enslaved by their own lusting body parts? It doesn’t matter because this isn’t working out like I thought it would. Not in the least.
Desperation became my quickest reality. It hit cold and it hit hard. And though I wouldn’t give in to my need for money, I tolerated the perversion and worked through it, thinking maybe this whole industry is filled with this type of stuff and I’m just gonna have to go back to office work. Knowing this part of the industry was uncontrollable. I had to simply accept the good, bad and ugly of my healing work. But I really needed to asses if this was the kind of work I wanted to do for the rest of my life and maybe my dream was once again, unrealistic.
It felt like I stumbled and what started off as a good time was no longer. Being single played tricks with my mind and I even stupidly believed one of my super cute clients wanted a relationship with me, until he texted me that he was with his girlfriend, and the slope got lower. I felt more rejected and even though I knew it would be difficult in the beginning, I had no idea this kind of desperation and despair could be present or feel so heavy. My children were going hungry. And I had serious thoughts about becoming a stripper or working in fast food again. But I could make much more money with the stripper option, then working in fast food. After having made some calls trying to get back into the office industry, I was rejected. They said I’d been out of the field for too long now, and still I had NO GED to speak of.
Damn that GED. What do I do? I prayed. Lord God, I need money and I need it quick and if I can shake my butt and strut my tata’s to provide for my children, whom I’d also die for, what’s so bad about that anyway? It’s not a sin to become a stripper, right Lord? I mean how am I really hurting myself or others anyway?
I eventually worked up enough muster and went so far as to go watch a few dancers at the clubs, and I’ll never forget the feeling I got from one of the dancers as she spoke to me about working there and how seducing it felt. It was an actual feeling emanating from her. Bizarre. The more it sat with me and I envisioned getting up on that stage, or rubbing my body all over perverted men for days and days, men who only wanted to use me for some sexual satisfaction.
I thought about how someday my daughters would find out. Somehow, some way and even if they never find out, once it's apart of my history it’s permanent because I won’t be able to lie about it because I love Jesus now and I choose to live in truth. So I’ll need to make a choice, do something I will want to lie about in the future, or don’t do it and tell a story about how I almost did but didn’t.
In the meantime of making that decision, I took on a second job as a bar tender at my local bar. It was right down the street within walking distance and so far, I’d met some pretty decent people there. Although one of my first times at this bar I noticed an OC Weekly sitting in the stand and on the front of it read “The KKK is still in Orange County.” I was shocked and like oh my freaking gosh what the heck, where am I? For reals? I was concerned and a little scared because even though my dad called me quera which means ‘white girl’ in Spanish, I definitely look and am Latina and the white folk know I'm not white for sure.
The bar shift I took on started at the butt crack of dawn and I had absolutely no experience as a bar tender let alone a drinker. A lady from the bar who seemed super cool and nice offered to train me and convinced me that it was so simple and that she would help me for as long as I needed. When I started it was anything but simple. And she left me alone on the first day. I felt so unprepared and frustrated. Those people work hard as heck man. My feet were killing, my back was throbbing, and it didn’t work out at all with my lack of math abilities. So, I let that position go. And my confidence cascaded even lower.
But one of the three best things to ever happen in my life came from taking on that position.
It was October of 2014 and I’m dressed as a black bunny at the bar’s Halloween party event when some guys walked in and I knew one of them. I knew he was interested in me, but I was eye balling his friend, so I asked him who his friend was, and he turned out to be a time traveler from the future as he became my youngest daughter’s father. That night we danced and had fun together for the rest of the night. I felt this feeling of joy with him when he side-hugged me for a picture. I felt this sense of closeness like never before. It felt like we’d been a couple for a long time and like he really wanted me to be with him. So I was, with him from that day on.
I most admired the gentle kindness I seen in him along with his generosity. But the problem of his drinking reared its ugly head and the more I stayed around the more I seen how all the young people he called friends seemed to be more interested in the partying aspect of his actions. I started to feel like things weren’t going to be so good because he was mostly always drunk with people partying at his house and it was starting to get real old, real quick.
One night I walked out to the patio while he smoked his cigarette and he was talking to someone on the phone, calling her a bitch, then more cussing along with yelling. I was shocked and when he hung up, I was like “damn who was that.” Thinking it was an ex-girlfriend or something. It was his mom. I was confused; I couldn’t believe it. Completely shocked, I’d never seen a man talk to their mom like that. I mean I literally hated my mom growing up sometimes, but it just never crossed my mind to try and hurt her that much by saying something so hurtful and mean to her. I just wanted to get away from her.
I tried reasoning with him that he shouldn’t talk to his mom like that, but he swore to me that I didn’t know who she is and that she’s crazy. I started to see that their relationship was the unhealthiest thing I’d ever witnessed in my life. I was okay with the occasional drunk fest, reasoning myself into viewing the whole thing as him coping with some pain from his past from losing his daughter and then going on house arrest for having acquired four too many DUI’s. But the fun was dimming, and I started feeling as though all I did was take care of him during his hang overs and again, my life wasn’t going anywhere.
I told my mom, about this new relationship and admitted I noticed he might be an alcoholic. Her reply was “No mija, Ruuuun.” But I loved him and no matter what it looked like, I had to trust that God had brought him into my circle of Love. I’d fully accepted his ailment and consciously decided to move ahead trusting in God. Your circle of Love is your life. How could I reject someone ‘in need’? I recognize we are all alive here together and understand some people are here with me, sent to love me and I too am here, sent to love others. I generally viewed them as assignments given to me by God. Given and sent to me to Love. And love is sometimes more along the lines of feeling like hard work and not always easy and the reasoning’s we allow to cover our mind to motivate our actions will inevitably be the cause for the outcome of our future.
Continually dealing with the everlasting need to become stable and able to carry all of us on my own, after I left the side job at the bar and accepted it just wasn’t for me I was jobless and without any income from any source. Though I appreciated all I’d learned from it. I knew I was exceptional at the work of massage and started missing it.
As the days moved on, passing away with no purpose or direction really, my desperation to become stable with a steady income, only got bigger and needier. But instead of going back to what I'm great at, my mind reverted me back to becoming a stripper. Then someone suggested bikini dancing which sounded so much better than actual nudity and I wouldn’t have to rub my body all over men, so it made the job sound much more wholesome. In reality I hadn’t worked a “real labor job” in a long time and I didn’t like the hard work or the commitment that came with it. Sitting in an office had its perks but my experience was gone now, and they weren’t welcoming me back and I hadn’t had a real job for almost two years now and I couldn’t get my mind back into the swing of things fast enough. I started to become mentally, intellectually and physically lazy again. And now had to face that I was deep in sorrow too.
I was now always fighting with time traveler boyfriend and started that same ol back and forth game. That same ol broken record of breaking up to make up but fights with him were worse than I’d ever experienced. He would attack my appearance, my mind, my mothering and anything that he knew could hurt. He’d find it and attack. It was like the words meant nothing to him but to give him satisfaction that they did their job. My self-esteem was dropping, and I started to feel less like the excited positive girl I was striving to be and more like a broken-down rag doll. I made the decision to just try the dancing thing and on the day of my “audition” I had to call time traveler ex-boyfriend and ask for a ride or I wouldn’t make it on time. Thinking it was a very serious dance audition, silly me. I was more horrified when he decided to come into the bar when we got there. But I couldn’t tell him not to. So, now my first time ever dancing on a pole was in front of the guy who said I was fat.
My dancing debut as a bikini dancer was more than just strange and I ended up only making my appearance for a total of a few nights over the course of two weeks. Reasoning myself that it was just dancing and denied that I was even ashamed of what I was doing yet hid it from everyone but a select few. I knew I was hiding it and even embellished the truth to my grandma about what I was really doing, so I knew it was wrong and that fact tore at my conscious. Down on my knees picking up dollars with my butt hanging out was an experience all right. I wore jewelry I made to try and cover my fatty stretch marked mom stomach and felt so much less desirable over all because I wasn’t skinny, nor could I do tricks on that pole. But hey I could twerk. So whaatttt!
But still I wasn’t even a good pole dancer! What was I thinking? Even the visitors occasionally asked me what I was even doing there, like they could see me from a mile away. Other young guys asked to take pictures with me, and I felt like a show girl entertainer. Then one night I was sitting outside in front of the club, and some drunk cholo guy sat down right beside me stumbling slightly. He practically sat on my lap and reached right over to grab at my body, like I was a telephone in a phone booth to grab or something. Like if I didn’t exist and he just wanted to interact with “the body.” I was standing directly next to a large bouncer and he yelled at the guy. But I couldn’t get the look I seen on this guy’s face out of my head.
He was literally angry that I would act like I didn’t want him to touch me. Like if it was normal and I was some kind of a stuck-up bit** for acting like that. The environment was just as strange too. My co-workers were nice girls but nothing like I’d ever experienced. One of the girls had messed up teeth and an obvious drug addiction and when she mentioned that her boyfriend was being ‘mean’ in different ways, I felt so bad for her. She seemed so lost and lonely inside. So desperate. A feeling I was familiar with but just hadn’t turned to drugs like she did. I recognized that I could have just as easily went that route. I drew my last straw and decided I couldn’t stand the fact of disappointing my daughters and family with doing this. So, I texted the owner saying I’d not be returning, even thanked her for the opportunity! Like if I was leaving the dance team. She was a former full nude stripper but the real athlete kind of dancers who have no body flaws and when I met her I felt like I was meeting a famous person somehow. She seemed super nice and genuine, but it was time to move on from this lesson.
There were other ways to make money. I remembered my mom taking us to clean houses with her when she needed money. And I knew part of me was acting out of desperation trying to make ex-boyfriend jealous knowing he liked strippers but more than anything I had to face that I was hoping he would want me again. One day as I was driving with my eldest daughter, I confessed about what I was really doing when I was "waiting tables". I told her the whole truth. Bikini dancing on a pole for money. She wasn’t happy about it but was loving, kind and gentle about her disapproval. Her attitude was of concern and understanding, I felt such a warmth of non-judge mental. She loved me no matter what. She explained how she truly understood my position and it made us closer as friends. From that moment, I felt even more gratitude for having her in my life. Remembering again how thankful I am for not having an abortion, like I had contemplated when I was just a sixteen-year-old girl.
So now here I was yet again, not knowing what to do, which way to go, hungry and wondering what direction I'm even headed in. I still want to sing, and I have so many ideas and big dreams about offering my gift of massage to people on beaches or parks. But sorrow started to draw nearer as my mind assessed the situation.
Who am I?
Why do I constantly feel like a custard filled donut?
What happened to me?
Why is this happening? How can I fix this?
What happened to the “me,” that was so happy and excited to have my very own career in massage therapy? Now it just looks like an impossible unrealistic hope, unfulfilling and dissatisfying.
I needed to make money and accept the consequences of my actions and go through whatever was next. I talked to God and asked to be shown the way, or just to help me, which was what I usually asked for in those moments of complete desperation. Then went back online and started to look for a regular minimum wage job and found one in retail. Yea. Cashiering turned out to be freaking hard. Back aching, feet throbbing work man. After my very first day on the job my whole body was hurting. Good LAWD I didn’t know this kind of work was so physically demanding. It was humbling coming from an office job, to massage, then back to minimum wage. It was very labor-intensive work. A type of work I’d never experienced before and had no idea how hard they truly work for so little pay. But I gave that position my all and wanted to be the best cashier and most sincere in all my customer interactions. Mostly feeling out of place knowing this sort of job offered no growth to strive for beyond more stress with being a manager. It wasn’t my calling. I continually thought about how my great path of being the healer, “Caroline The Masseuse,” was probably over and done. Even still, I had a license to work in my field and knew I could make more money, so decided not to give up on my dream.
Again, I searched, knowing I could find somewhere to work, I’d probably just have to deal with pervs again. Every day I searched for a place to plant my tree. And finally, I found a nice Day Spa in beautiful Costa Mesa and jumped on board quite happily I might add. But it wasn’t too long before a whole other set of drama scenes I had never seen or experienced began. The buzz around the spa was that some of the long-term therapists were being inappropriate with clients or, giving “handies.” The place was a mess of unhappy people and drama. The manager was constantly bombarded with the owner’s micromanaging and abusive nature so when I met the owners husband, whom asked me to massage his inner thighs for two hours, telling me that he only needed 'that' area done because he was shot in the war or some bull spackle and didn’t have feeling down there, it all made sense.
The owner was a short fierce Vietnamese lady with a cleft lip and a high-pitched voice. Her husband later revealed that he liked to take some of the girls on “vacations” and how he happily bought them anything they needed, because he was just such “a kind man.” And he really did seem kind on so many levels. One day my eldest daughter was sitting in the back break area on our laptop and he walked in and told her he was gonna buy her a new one. Even though I had a suspicious feeling about allowing him to buy something so expensive, I allowed her to accept the gift. But the feelings of his kindness turned more and more bitter with each of his visits as the feeling started to turn negative and I started to feel like “Good Lord am I working in a brothel now?”
Where was I, how did I get here, and what was I doing wrong? It was disturbing, and I knew this wouldn’t be the best place to offer my work. I had to come to that long hard decision to either leave this place and not care or leave but first tell the truth before I go. Like so many other times before. Because somehow it generally felt like I’m sent to places where I’ll end up in the middle of some fight or conflict and now I'll need to either tell someone some truth they might rather not hear, or just not care. So with a heaviness in my heart, I told the owner the truth about what I’d witnessed and how her husband was being completely inappropriate. And it all came out one unexpected day when I heard her busy in the office verbally assaulting the office manager. I walked in on them and asked why she was yelling at her like that and the owners face changed. Then I got close to her and held her hand and gently revealed to her what her husband had told me about his vacations and buying everyone “gifts.” She cried and thanked me for telling her. Saying she was going to handle it. But in the end, she totally didn’t care anything about what he was doing because he was funding her dream of being a Spa Owner.
And that’s all she really cared about. The money. She came to work the next day confronting me that her husband of course, said I was lying. And now I knew for sure it was definitely time to move on, as life goes on. I left that place. And not a day too soon.
But now here I was again… unemployed and crawling into bed with my sense of sheer exhaustion from just being so lost, all over again. But I didn’t just give up, I kept searching for a decent place to work at and found an ad from a lady who owned a very small massage office and she sounded very professional. She had a pretty heavy accent as she was from Mexico. I visited her office and it was completely beautiful with three immaculately designed massage rooms. I thought it was absolute comfortability and really liked her. She seemed laid back and things seemed okay. But I didn’t like how she wore low cut tops and her very large breast implants looked at you before she could. But I chose to be non-judgmental and joined her and trusted in God that it’ll all work out. I agreed with her philosophy that it didn’t matter what the perverted men expected, as long as we got paid for our job, which was to give a good massage.
Which was fine until I realized how thin that line of professional appearance was and once again began to experience my gift as a burden of impurity instead of healing. She encouraged wearing full heavy make up and I tolerated the behaviors of the clients for a short time, but it always made my sessions feel less worthy of my feeling of healing and my whole attitude was turning into a sour feeling of annoyance. I started to develop a very negative view of massage as a tool of healing and began to believe that it wasn’t possible to offer kindness and love to strangers who were just looking for simple minded lust.
With each person who didn’t appreciate my massage work, I felt cheapened. The same doubt came back and I began wondering why. Yet realizing daily if there's any hint of impurity, those who want such things will flock to it. But I'd not yet fully attached to my own personal strict practices and soon I didn’t like to come to work at all. She wanted me there from morning till night and was very manipulative and coercive in her approach. Very pushy and insistent beyond healthy boundaries of a co-worker relationship. Some days were slow, and we’d talk for long periods of time and I was starting to admire her hard work ethics and long hours of holding down the business all on her own. I took a lot of my abilities to push myself from watching how she worked harder than I’d ever seen anyone one-person work. On one particular day a mysterious voice mail from a good citizen letting her know they’d seen her husband’s truck outside of a motel, sent her off.
I felt bad because she became completely consumed in the desperation of being desirable even though she’d already invested large sums of money into her appearance and looked very young for her age. I felt love for her as a person and liked that she would listen to all my business ideas and was so encouraging about my abilities and used the word “honey bunny” a lot. When I’d first started working with her, she bragged hard about her giant diamond wedding ring and I could only feel happy for her and laugh with her about her small pride filled gestures and facial expressions but was really happy for her having a rich husband and feeling set in life. However now they’re fighting and once again I’m in the middle.
The next day she had marks on her neck, and said that he choked her and acted out the whole incident for me. It was bad. She could ruin his life for this and make him spend so much money on courts, but she said she didn’t wanna do that. So, they simply separated and she kept the business going amidst all the awkwardness of their separation. Over time I couldn’t take the drama and long hours and manipulation anymore so I texted I wouldn’t be returning to work with her again. I had to face this too wasn't a good fit for me. The workspace was way too confined and I was just plain tired of explaining that I don’t do ‘those kinds of things’ and even having to kick clients out for grabbing my ankle or something. I wasn’t patient with them nor caring anymore and though I still gave my best quality massages, partly hoping they’d want my massage quality over the perversion they were originally seeking, I had to face that something wasn’t right and it’s time to go. In the midst of this departure and after I sent her a super long text about how backwards it is to look a certain way and seem like you’ll do specific things yet claim you do not, I’d gotten back together with time traveler ex-boyfriend. Then my car, which I had just spent $400 for new tires on, got towed for having expired tags. But now with no job again, I didn’t have the money to get it out.
Deep in discouragement to continue in the work of massage and without transportation, I decided to ride to work on a matte black BMX style bike and rode myself back and forth to work in my black dickies jacket. I came to time traveler boyfriend’s house one day after work and he’d just had some drunken party fest and one of his friends was still there sleeping on the couch. We sat and watched TV for a little while when I noticed he was going back and forth on text with someone. I didn’t know who or why but had a bad feeling. A few moments later, his mother arrived at the front door, he let her in. She walked in screaming at the top of her lungs, “Where is that Bitch?” I was standing in the kitchen and so walked out to the living room and she practically ran straight up to my face screaming, “Get the fu** out of my house you fu**ing bitch, you fu**ing whore…………………… And on… and on. I had never before in my life seen his mother nor spoken to her. She’d even bought me something for Valentine’s Day so I was under the impression that she liked me. But now here she was, in my face screaming and yelling at me because according to her I was a piece of sh** that sucked D’s all day.
I was floored but remained calm. And said, “Hey we can talk,” but she kept interrupting me screaming until finally I said, “Hey, I’m trying to talk to you like a woman”. Her reply was “You’re not a woman, you fu****g fat Mexican bitch!” Making it clear she was definitely "racist". However I'd never actually met someone like this in Long Beach or anywhere else for that matter, so I was caught off guard. My mind flashed back to the OC Weekly entitled "The KKK is still in Orange County", I’d seen at my local bar and I had this strong feeling she was probably a part of that group. She just kept screaming and yelling as time traveler boyfriend paced the living room back and forth trying to argue and pull her away from me. It was a scene like I’d never experienced EVER before. It was obviously time to go, so I finally just stopped trying to reason with an unreasonable person and stopped responding to her all together because no matter what I said to her she was all up in my face and the old “me” was about to break down my Jesus door. Threatening to come up out of the grave, MAAAAAAN..... old me was rioting against the internal Brick Wall wanting to elbow this lady right in the jaw. But I didn’t.
I walked over and calmly gathered my belongings as she followed me yelling hateful words that I didn't know existed in the English language. This lady was testing my pacifist’s stance, and my Jesus cool was about to be gone. HO ho hoooo!!!! I needed to step the eff away, yes lawd!!! God help me not to bust this nut right upside her crazy little head, Lawd? Please help me I was seriously praying!
Time traveler boyfriend was yelling at her and arguing, pacing around like a lost boy. Then as I was leaving, he looked back at her and said, “You’re dead to me.” And still! I thought THAT was a very harsh thing to say to your mom. I turned around and walked to the garage to get my bike and she came from the back side of the house, right up behind me quickly, carrying some big plastic stands of some sort and started pushing me back into the garage with them. These things were heavy, scratching and hurting my arms, and she was blocking me from leaving yet screaming in my face to “Get the fuc* out.”
And my patience departed like a dove flying away to fetch its worm. I was done. I looked her dead in the eyes and said, “Stop fu****g pushing me man, you wanna fight?!! You wanna fight me?!!” As I pushed her off me, she went flying backwards towards the water heater. Throwing some paint she was holding, all over my shirt and herself. She got up looking all surprised and then started screaming “I’m calling the police!” Calmly and more annoyed than anything, I said, “No, I’m calling them YOU attacked me you crazy ass bit**!!” But when they asked me her age and time traveler boyfriend said she was almost seventy, I felt kind of dumb like if I was picking on an elderly lady but in reality, she acted more like she was twelve. But the more I lived here in Orange County I noticed most of the ladies do a lot of surgeries and work hard on their appearance to look younger. So she acted twelve, looked thirty nine but was actually ninety nine.
Boyfriend came into the garage concerned but slightly laughing about the whole incident. I was confused but starting to see how he was the orchestrator of this whole thing. He had always been telling me he wanted me to fight her, but I thought he was just joking, I mean who would seriously try to incite a fight against their own mom? This guy that’s who. But I didn’t figure this out until sometime later. So now I’m stuck here and can’t leave because then the police would think I really did attack her. Lord God please help me!!!
Time traveler boyfriend continued stumbling around the house drunken and acting like a fool. The neighbors were all out to see the show. His mom began cleaning up the house from HIS drunken party the night before, acting as though I'd made all that mess! The police arrived and heard both our sides of the story, looked at her housewife type appearance and me with my all black clothes from work, bleach blond hair and BMX bike and believed her word over mine. She claimed she lived there and that I wouldn’t leave her house. Now I understood why she kept her clothes in “his” closet.
I had scratches on my chest, paint all over my clothes and arms however, so they said it was a mutual attack because I pushed her back in order to defend myself but whatevs. They advised me to not return to her house and so I left. And I know any logical person would have broken up with him for her craziness alone, but I loved him and still wanted to be with him. In my mind it was all her and I wanted to help him get away from her loony bin self. After the incident he said she was kicking him out and that actually made me kinda happy. So, he came over to my grandmas while she was at work and slept it off for a bit then when he woke up, his phone had been shut off by his mom because it was under her account. With that, he decided to drink some more and walked over to the gas station and bought some more beer. All I could think was wow, so this is why he had been trying to destroy himself. I can’t even imagine what kind of childhood she provided to him; she must have been one of those raging parents making him a nervous wreck. I wasn’t even mad at him wanting to drink more. I finally understood what he meant about her being “crazy.” In my mind, I felt NOW I can see what he’s been living with all his life, and I felt even sorrier for him.
I thought about the small detail he’d told me about her opening up a million dollar life insurance policy on him and felt like things started to make sense. I started to feel like she was just keeping him there in her house, as her little money bond, helping him destroy himself so she could capitalize on his death. He did say she’d often bring him alcohol as a teenager after one of her episodes. So, with this knowledge I didn’t feel angry at him for being a raging alcoholic, I recognized it was his response to the madness he grew up in and now my view of her intentions in “helping him,” became tremendously dark. But then he ran back to her house just as quickly after she called him to come back, saying she wasn’t really kicking him out. And as much as I told him he shouldn't go but separate himself from her, he just wouldn’t do it. This was just their crazy dynamic that I hadn’t understood it.
Somehow I felt if I left him it would mean she won. So I chose not to and we became closer and our bond seemed to get stronger after that.
A few weeks later, I decided to return to massage work and tried working at a chiropractor’s office. A family ran facility. Thought it would be great, until one day when I stepped out of the room and glanced over to see the owner\head chiropractor, whom was the father of the young office manager, slowly kissing her on the neck as they spent a few long minutes body to body, fully embracing. Like a couple does. I felt beyond uncomfortable and again at a loss for my career field because it seemed like everywhere I went were weirdos and perverts. Now it all made sense why the young manager had said she didn't speak to her mother. Whom also worked as a massage therapist in the office yet they all lived together in the same house.
Why am I here Lord? The number of incoming clients was too little and whatever strange drama they all had going on, I wanted absolutely nothing to do with. So, on the road again I went. But this time I didn’t feel the need to tell them what I’d seen about their interactions. People generally deny those things anyway. There I was again, lying in bed wondering why I can’t just find a place to plant my beautifully talented tree and watch it bud beautiful flowers to grow into scrumptious fruits for people to enjoy? Why couldn’t I just find a home for my work? “Maybe I’m just not as good as I thought I was,” I said to myself. Maybe I attract all this negativity to myself somehow.
I had to face that if my massage school teachers could work in this field and didn’t seem to deal with this level of impurity like I’d seen, then it was because I was approaching it all wrong. I wanted so badly to be like them and feel fulfilled with the love of being a healer, somehow and maybe I had just approached it all wrong, and needed to cut that word “Masseuse” out altogether. And so, I did. I also stopped posting ads with pictures of my face because my work shouldn’t have anything to do with my appearance besides seeing if I’m strong. I had to start trying to NOT be sexy or attractive all because sexyness has nothing to do with healing, in my view. That’s all reserved for someone special not people in need of relief from strenuous muscles and tight bodies. I knew I was good at my work, so I kept looking for a place and found a decent spa. But now I was taking the city bus. I humbly thanked the Chiropractors office and bounced. Thanked God for the convenience of public transport and set out each day. Gotta do what you gotta do.
Taking the bus was something I hadn’t done for more than ten years. But my pride was the last of my concerns. I needed to make money and provide for my girls. Stresses on stresses on stresses piling up. My eldest daughter was now fifteen and missed her dad whom lived in Nebraska. So she decided to go live with him again for a year. My middle daughter was now also living with her father because she enjoyed her new award winning school. Plus it was his turn to have custody of her as per our every other year arrangement, when we live too far from each other. So here I was again, alone and at grandma’s house. Facing my surroundings and knowing eating jack in the box tacos nightly couldn’t possibly be healthy. I need to get my stuff together and figure out what I’m really going to do. Maybe I could go back to college for business classes or to be a 'psychiatric technician' like mom had suggested but they said I needed to have my taxes done in order to apply for financial aid, so I let that possibility go because I hadn’t filed taxes in about four years in fear of ending up owing a ridiculous amount of money.
Time traveler boyfriend and I were still hanging out because his overbearing mother finally faced I wasn’t going to leave him like she wanted, and we were finally able to be alone and find some very happy times of peace and harmony together. He was partying less, and I started to feel like maybe he was the love of my life, maybe we would even get married someday, or not. Either way, I loved him and knew he loved me and that was marriage enough for me. Again. Guess I hadn't learned from the other times.
Some time had passed and I noticed my period was late.
It was Valentine’s Day, and I reluctantly told him about my fear of this possibility. He was angry but agreed we needed to find out for sure. His inevitable response was that I’d better not be. So we went to the dollar store and bought a pregnancy test. I went to the bathroom to do the test but kicked him out while I pee’d on the stick. He was waiting by the door. My heart rate climbed as I put the toilet seat down and sat reading the results over and over again.
I was pregnant. I... am.... pregnant! And now I knew why I kept having thoughts about what if I was and would push them away fighting the feeling of possibly even wanting to be, as ridiculous. But now here it is and it's real. It had been so long and now my youngest was eleven years old. But it made me smile and I cried happy tears to know there’s a baby growing inside of me.
Until he banged on the door waiting to hear the news. I jumped startled at the sound then got up and opened the door, let him in and handed it to him. He said, “What’s this mean?” I looked at him and said, “I’m pregnant” He replied, “Noooo. Nooo how could you, my life is over. Oh no this can’t be happening! You need to go have it taken care of NOOOWWW.” He knew very well I’d never do that again. He began to accuse me of raping him in the middle of the night. Claiming I’d “planned this whole thing”. A claim that made me laugh until I realized he was going to hold it above me and shape his justifications of abusing me, with it. Just like my mom. Truly. It doesn’t matter if you think someone is crazy. Once they decide to use a false claim as reason to hurt you, it’s time to face reality full on.
But I didn't feel too upset by his demands I just felt his fear stemmed from pain and knew he was thinking it would all be the same way as it was with his first daughter and chose not to get hurt by his demands. I understood and promised him it would be different, and that I would never take our baby away from him, no matter what. Then I reminded him how saying I raped him made him sound like a scared little boy. And he stopped but even though he didn’t say it, he still acted upon the thought.
I went home and called my eldest daughter to tell her the news. She was surprised but happy and told me she was ready to come home also and that she was so happy to be able to help me with everything. My grandma was definitely not happy about my news either, understandably. Nobody congratulated me. Many looked down at me. But I knew no matter what situation I might be in, a baby is always a blessing and a coming angel from God and should be treated as such. So, I was secretly happy and even excited. But time traveler boyfriend now ignored me, and I faced we were done. My heart broke again. But this time I knew I had to control my emotions because baby really does feel what mother is feeling. So, I’d sing “I love you,” to her while I lay in the bathtub, heavy in thought about what I would do to get us out of this dire situation that seemed we could never escape from. But I continued to remember God will bring us out at his perfect timing.
This is where I learned more about what “long suffering” means and having faith in the face of situations that seem quite impossible.
As much as I fought off the sorrow, it came and sat next to me quite often and I’d lay in bed crying, asking God to hold me, to lay down with me and just hold me please. I fought sorrow tooth and nail. A few months passed and heavy nausea set in. I was still taking the bus to work, and people’s body odors were so heavy, along with beginning to worry that possibly catching some sort of a disease from strangers coughing, suddenly it no longer felt safe or convenient at all. But I had to keep going because I had no other choice. Soon my feeling of wanting to work in the field of psychiatric technician led me to filing my taxes then found out I’d be getting money back for all those years, instead of owing! Talk about some good news! The amount I was getting back was large enough to support us all comfortably until I could go back to work after I had the baby.
Time passed and I rarely spoke to time traveler ex-boyfriend on the phone, but he made sure I knew that he wanted nothing to do with me or the baby every time we did speak. Still asking me to go have an abortion even after my belly was large.
One day my tio Mando called and asked me if I really was pregnant or if it was a joke. He asked me what I was gonna do being in this predicament and I told him yes and embarrassingly had to reveal how baby’s dad didn’t want anything to do with us. He was extremely upset and said in a strong voice I’d never heard him speak with, “What kind of man is this?” I guess he was as shocked as I was when I first heard time traveler ex boyfriend call his own mom a female dog. But even though I now viewed him as an injured, spoiled rotten little boy, and though my irrational contemplations about trying to help him to become a man was gone, it still hurt to feel like my baby wouldn’t have a dad at all, and tio just didn’t understand.
Tio was a real gangster who did some pretty scary things back in the South-Central LA hood. I later found out. But I’d always thought it was only my dad who maintained the lifestyle because Tio Mando always seemed so well put together. My love for Tio didn’t waver but it hurt pretty badly for him to talk to me like that, so our convo ended pretty awkwardly. But he later apologized and said he was just trying to give me the tough dad treatment since my dad wasn’t around anymore and I told him it was okay.
I was alone and facing so much difficulty to come. The days were passing as my belly grew and grew. Humiliated, feeling like such a burden and once again alone. I still couldn’t qualify to get our own apartment because I didn’t have any actual monthly income, neither did I have enough work history to report. So, I assessed our situation and coped. Reassuring grammy we’d be moving out soon and hopefully before baby arrived. It’d been such a long time since my last pregnancy, and boy was my body different.
I felt every single change like a ton of bricks. But when my eldest returned home she took so much careful care of her mommy and gave me the assurance I needed to not sit in misery. She empowered me to continue and triumph in positive hopes that things were going to be okay again and God’s gonna see us through it all. She made me realize how much she saved me in so many ways. Saved me from self-destruction, self-hatred and self-pity. And the more I thought about it I just couldn’t forget how much of a blessing this girl truly is. So, I tell you this now. Don’t kill your unborn child. No matter how horrible the outlook of possibilities and struggle may seem or feel at that time. Trust in Love.
When I began to feel the baby move inside my belly my heart smiled and joy swept over me, reassuring me that everything was going to be okay and all the negativity trying to get into my head was silenced. I remembered how me and my girls had been driving home from the movie theatre once, when out of nowhere we all expressed that we wanted a baby which was funny because I was still single at that time, and we all had just felt a random want for a cute little baby to be in our lives. Little did we know she was right around the corner. Guess she too was a time traveler.
No matter what happens, we DO want this baby, and we CAN make the best of this really hard situation with Jesus by our sides. We can find joy in this fear filled situation besides just pulling through. We will love our baby and that’s all that matters.
I ended up in the strangest of predicaments through much of my life but this one took most of the cake. I ended up with a racist doctor somehow. I didn't think anything of it when I seen only Mexican ladies in his lobby until I asked him to sign me off from work since the pregnancy was becoming extreme difficult. He refused saying “I have Mexican ladies who work all the way up until the very last day before they deliver.” I reminded him of my preeclampsia during my last pregnancy and told him how I felt very similar to that time in difficulty. He looked at me like I was lying then advised me that my elephant ankles were completely normal and there were no proteins in my pee. I walked out of his office and immediately called and complained at his treatment. It was like this whole area was filled with extremely racist people and I was really getting tired of it all. That cover of that OC Weekly newspaper flashed in my mind AGAIN and I missed Long Beach now more than ever.
I looked around for another doctor and found one that seemed kind regardless of race. I just wanted a doctor who'd be a good doctor like the one who delivered my first daughter. He was so gentle and informative and coincidentally African American.
I returned to the new doctor for a few appointments and even began to feel trust, until one day when I came for my appointment and was told I’d have to see a different doctor, a lady which I thought nothing of until I felt the strangest feeling of dislike from her during the visit.