My Heart and My Home

(Note: this section will be continued to be edited in various locations as I build my life story and romance.)

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My Heart and My Home

I was raised in an old-fashioned, staunch Southern Baptist, and military home. I am forty-four years old, and my father’s parents would both be close to 110. I was taught with a high level of what was proper and improper. For instance, folding arms is a means of body language that states that you are doing what you are SUPPOSED TO DO (listening to the person talking to you) even though it is not worth a dime to you. I must say that the apple does not fall far from the tree, being that I have taught my children more about what body language says versus my parents’ demands to not do whatever due to a negative message interpreted by the individual with whom you are communicating. In addition to my arm folding, I would roll my eyes and also tell how something made me feel, which was considered to be disrespectful. It escalated to the point of being disrespectful if I had a different opinion or emotion versus being considered a different individual born in a different era. Based upon the grooming of my parents, I was always plagued with what I was supposed to do versus developing a developing freedom of how I can find and me my  own self.  I was imprinted with the lifestyle of living my life according to everyone else’s needs and desires. In essence, from my early childhood, the idea of being my own person with my own thoughts and feelings was something I did not understand to be part of normal humanity. Such behavior was understood to be unacceptable and caustic. This obligated way of living continued until recently, which I am now slowly overcoming. Instead I am learning to be myself and develop my identity, as I have always been a human chameleon.

My father enlisted in the Air Force before I was born to avoid being drafted for the Vietnam War. The result was that I lived in three states due to his enlistment and career aspirations. The first nine years of my life, I was born and raised in Mississippi, as my father was stationed at Keesler Air Force Base. When the contract was complete, my father decided to become a reservist and pursue a life where my mother could become acquainted with her biological family in Chicago, Illinois. Mom and I were there about fourteen months, and Dad had already started setting up our new home and location as he then decided to work for his brothers’ business. On June 9, 1981, our family was preparing to move. Mom had me return home and throw empty boxes from the produce stand in the basement. While I was home, I climbed up the stairs to our second-story apartment and turned on the radio, singing enthusiastically. Then, I left to return to Mom, skipping and singing all the way to he main intersection. At that point, i was at a pedestrian crosswalk with a light. I waited for the light to show the ability, began walking across the street. AND THEN, I was rambled by a taxi driver in a hit-and-run accident. After I was hit, I was calling for my father even when my mother was there. When I was transported to the emergency room, I was almost placed into traction for more than the first night at the hospital. The medical staff told me in private that if the car was going five miles per hour faster, I very well could have broke my neck and died.

This accident prolonged my mother’s,my brother’s and my stay in Chicago as Dad readied our next abode in Bainbridge, Georgia. Our family was able to meet and had the opportunity to meet my mother’s biological family as Mom was raised in a foster home from the age of three to adulthood. When I arrived in Bainbridge, I was donning a cast upon each leg from the bottom of my toes to the top of each thigh. My sole source of mobility was a wheelchair, because I broke my right tibia and left fibula.zens in the whole town! It took me over three years to adjust to my peers. Then the next thing I know, my father joins the Army National Guard in an Active Guard Reserve status, as he experienced civilian life to the point of not appreciating it as much as giving military service through administrative skills. So, my parents tell me we are moving to an even smaller town of only 5000 citizens. Oh, I was crushed! It took me too long to finally feel settled in Bainbridge only to have that comfort removed from my life.

What a way to begin a new school with only 16,000 citizens in the whole town! It took me over three years to adjust to my peers. Then the next thing I know, my father joins the Army National Guard in an Active Guard Reserve status, as he experienced civilian life to the point of not appreciating it as much as giving military service through administrative skills. So, my parents tell me we are moving to an even smaller town of only 5000 citizens. Oh, I was crushed! It took me too long to finally feel settled in Bainbridge only to have that comfort removed from my life.

Linden, Alabama was a very cliquish town. One did not mesh into the community unless (a) born and raised there, (b) had relatives there, and/or (c) had an affluent family. Then there is (d) NONE OF THE ABOVE.

I had a boyfriend named Jon  when I was twenty from November 1990 to June 1991. I became pregnant with our daughter, Camellia, in May 1991. We  became engaged February 1990, and we became pregnant in May of the same year. Over a month after our conception, we were married while living in a former garage  that had been renovated into an efficiency apartment. Jon worked approximately fourteen hours per day as an assistant manager for a Southern homestyle restaurant called Shoney’s. He had about an hour commute to and from his store to home. I lived a life with our first pregnancy in a very tiny residence and with very little couple time.

When Camellia was born, the three of us eventually moved to an apartment complex called The Moorings. Within a couple months of being there, I became IMMENSELY curious about the residences across the street from me, which were townhouses. Every day that I strolled with Camellia, I deeply wondered who was across the street. I would even stroll further north where the townhouses were located before or after walking through the more residential area being south of my apartment.

Eventually, I moved to the northern part of the apartment complex directly across the street from the townhouses on the street. My bedroom windows were directly across the street from the townhomes, and I was immensely curious who was there and who I was missing in my life. I would look out the windows to see who was dwelling there with my forehead, nose, chin,and hands pressed into the window glass seeking to find who and what I was missing. My heart ached with the feeling of loss.

I was unhappily married for over a decade I did not seek to LIVE LIFE… merely exist. Early in our relationship, Jon learned my love for dancing. We went clubbing a few times, and I always enjoyed myself. In addition to that, I loved watching figure skating and ice dancing. I yearned to be like the athletes only have a better choreographer than many of them had.

Throughout most of my marriage to Jon, my relationship with him was filled with his manipulation and lack of accepting me for who I am. He had a hope of wife swapping when I was in my first trimester with my oldest child when I was 20. We had been married less than the whole time of that first trimester. I was emotionally devastated by his conveyed desires, and all love and desire for him died. However, I was raised to believe that once you make a promise in matrimony that you were supposed to keep it “til death do us part.” I never fathomed that without love, respect, honor, and cherishing that the loss of such inferred the promise was broken.

My lack of desire was known to Jon, and the consequence of his frustration was to increase manipulation along with become physically, mentally, and emotionally violent: from him telling me his interpretation of my thoughts and feelings AS IF he were omniscient to being violent to me to the point of me miscarrying on two different occasions. Both occurrences was him picking me up and throwing me to the floor. One miscarriage took six weeks for my body to expel the deteriorated remains from our child.

Another way Jon would cause psychological challenges is by almost pretending he was our Creator. He would talk to me AS IF HE WAS ME, stating how I thought and felt! He rarely if ever was correct. This kiltered me. This is a huge pet peeve, and I have another one that has surfaced along with being told I am not hearing. Unless one IS the Creator of the world or an empath like Deanna Troi, this is ridiculous to communicate to another person.  It has caused many times of shutting my emotions off, as if they were electrical devices.

Being that Jon knew I loved dancing, he talked me into attending a big band concert hosted by a ballroom named Center Stage that offered lessons on Jauary 4, 2008. Upon arriving late, the band was already playing, and it was both dismaying and pleasing to me to have missed the beginning yet to hear the band play. I was intrigued and amused to see such an amount of aging Philippinos ballroom dance, as it was a double shock to my eyes to see so many people old enough to be my parents dance enthusisastically along with seeing a good many be Philippinos and Philippinas.

At this event, the owers, David and Charlie Ellis, were present and encouraging their new visitors to register for dance lessons. Jon was sold on the idea of taking three lessons to see where it would lead. I was discouraged that lessons were purchased, because I did not want to dance with this abusive man who was seeking my love and affection in a moot manner. However, I was diplomatic and did not offer opposition but to be the chameleon Jon spitefully called me regularly, changing colors due to the environment. After all, wasn’t I SUPPOSED TO fulfill his quests and desires?! Jon and I used the three lessons and then signed up for a package for a half a year’s worth of dance lessons with our income tax return. New clothes were also bought for Jon as well for the primary purpose of attending semi-formal dances.

Center Stage hosted two weekly dances on Sunday afternoon for three hours and Thursday evening for two hours. Over time, I became familiar and acquaintances with the regular attendees. The Center Stage ballroom instructors attended both to dance with their students and provide marketing for future students. Over time, I developed a preference to dance a hustle with Andy, a cha-cha with Marcel, etc. I shared this preference with a fellow attendee named Rick who was an old dance student of someone else in the ballroom not associate with Center Stage. He stated that none of the Center Stage ballroom instructors could dance in comparison to a dance instructor of his own business named Dan. Dan would attend the dances as another way of making money as he would dance with his lady dance students and basically critique his student as they danced. Therefore, the lady was both receiving feedback and a social, festive atmosphere,a where she had the chance to dance with other students. I was intrigued by Rick’s comment and began watching Dan UNTIL ONE DAY I saw him perform the Viennese waltz with one of his students. I was THEN blown away and wanted to take lessons from him and him alone.

************

Once I saw Dan’s abilities, I was honed into contemplating how he could be my/our dance teacher. He was and still is the most beautifully dancing man in the Pensacola area. My first goal was to surmise when he was not dancing with one of his dance students so that I could ask him to dance. When I started dancing, there was a young man by the name of Michael who would attend Center Stage every Sunday afternoon. He was much like Dan and never sat during a dance. One time I asked which dance he disliked or liked the least. Ironically, it was the dance we were performing, the samba. The samba is quite challenging, and I can see why Michael liked it the least. One Thursday night, I asked a dance instructor named Mike to dance the samba with me. He did, and I FELL IN LOVE! The dance was invigorating! I felt like I  was a little girl on a merry-go-round and wanted another whirl! Furthermore, the fighter in me wanted to win the challenge. Just imagine finding something that gets you going mixed with the idea of dancing with the best dancer in the area who is an instructor of his own company! If you don’t know what followed, I will tell you.

Being that I sat near the entrance of the ballroom, I would always hear him enter due to his charismatic laugh as he met dance students and other dancing acquaintances. My heart would pound. I noticed he always had his students at his table or at the next one over, because his table was already filled. I was going to find a way to dance with him. SURELY, there was a moment of advantage. Samba is not the most widely danced, and coincidentally, Dan and his students normally sat that one out. In the ballroom world, it is common to dance with someone different every single dance, so I already asked different individuals for dances, as I wanted to dance but not with Jon. I would do that when I felt I must. Back to the samba… I finally darted across a 10,000 square foot ballroom and asked Dan to dance the samba. He agreed. I was so thrilled that I would weekly ask him for one of the two sambas that played until I arrived to the conclusion that it must be torture for him to dance with such a new dancer who has never excelled at any sport. There were weaks where the sympathy was so strong that I did not ask. Jon would even encourage me to ask Dan, but sometimes I felt too bad for him to ask. I did not want to impose on him. Plus he had to take care of his students and keep them happy.

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