aperson

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About aperson

  • Birthday September 6

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  1. Love me? Still trying to like me

    I have understood from a very early age that I am ugly externally. No one says it but there are the comments and comparisons that let you know you are not attractive or even cute. I have always been the heaviest of my closest family and friends. As a child it amounted to being 1 clothes size bigger than those my age. But hearing other's comments I thought I was just the fattest thing ever. I recently looked at some old photos and thought I wasnt that large. I even looked normal. In the eyes of a child those words had me thinking I was the world's fattest kid. People always suggested what I shouldn't eat or drink so I 'didnt get bigger' or I 'wouldnt fit my new clothes'. That was quite defeating to be told I shouldnt have what everyone else had because I was fat. So I snuck them whenever I could. Sweets and food would disappear. I would sneak trash to the bottom of the can so no one would know. Every trip to the store brought a new stash of sweets. Aside from being fat, there is the fact that I wasnt cute. At least not as cute as everyone else. I was the darkest in my family, I was fat, my face didnt scream pretty. My hair although thick and shoulder length much of my life was nappy. I was the girl that couldnt sweat because my natural afro hair would come through. Add that to the comparison to the other girls my age and I was settled on my ugly fatness. No boys approached me for me. They wanted to know about my cousins or sister or the girl in my class. So when people say you have to love yourself I cant even imagine what that feels like or looks like. I am still trying to like myself in pieces. I am still the 'fat girl'. I still am approached about everyone but myself. When I gain the strength to look in the mirror I see nothing attractive. As I have developed a lazy eye over the years, I see even more ugliness than before. I have attempted to find the nice things about me but that doesnt last long. The hair is still shoulder length but lack of taking care of myself has left it brittle and dry. The nose seems wider than I recall. My lips once thinner have become so full and dark that I try to sick them in to make them smaller. The eyes that I once admired are old and tired looking added to the one that is always looking left. Personality? I have none. I am not the one to go out and party. Friends? I have aquaitances. People I communicate with but we can go years without speaking. When we do, I have nothing to talk about. I wasnt a rebeling teenager nor did I have wild and crazy 20s. I have learned to joke about my deformities before other's can. It hurts less that way. Well, they cant see how much it hurts at least. So love myself?! 40 years and I am still trying to like parts of me. I am still trying to find something that I can appreciate about myself. Maybe that's why I didnt tell people about what happened. A part of me enjoyed the attention. Someone liked me. Someone didnt think I was fat or ugly. That actually sounds very sick when I think about it. Anyway, in the continued effort to be more open and honest with myself and others, I put this here. It isnt to gain compliments. It is to acknowledge my feelings in a hope that one day I can express them in my day-to-day life. Hope that this is my path towards healing myself.
  2. Failing at leadership

    I think it is time to give up this job. I never should have taken it in the first place. I thought I was stepping out on faith and out of my comfort zone but I wasnt ready and I never should have done it. I gave it 2 years and I have been messing up more and more. At this point I dont even care anymore. I am stressed more and more each day and I am starting to hate coming in to work every day. I am not even putting in the effort anymore. I have cried at work more in the past 2 years than I ever had. My manager thinks I am doing fine but she is just being nice because no one wants this account. The longer I stay the more the little confidence I have dwindles. Those under me dont care so that must say something about my leadership abilities. Then there is the thing it does to my mental state. It is fragile enough without any extra stuff. Not accomplishing something just makes it worse. I start down a dangerous path of blaming myself and finding links to my flaws in what happened so many years ago. I start to imagine a me of this never happened or if I gathered courage to speak up then. All of that leads to a complete shut down internally. I keep trying to tell myself that I am doing well and these are hiccups every job has at some point. But I am not believing a word of it. I know what a bad example of a supervisor is and I see many current examples of a good supervisor. I know I am not in the good category. I know that I will have to take a drastic pay cut or move into another type of industry. The company and these people deserve better than I can provide to them. Another goal not accomplished.
  3. Did it really happen?

    Aside from the time I spend just reliving the past and being down on myself for what happened. There is also the time I spend trying to erase doubt about what happened. Because I was young when most of it happened and the others involved were minors (teens but minors still) it has been a lingering doubt that what happened was typical exploration. Maybe, just maybe, they really meant no harm but were just trying to understand their own bodies. Maybe, just maybe, my lack of resistance implied sone 'consent'. As a minor I know I couldnt give consent really but maybe they felt I was curious as well. Was I curious? I mean as I got a little older. Was I curious? Have I been ashamed that I wanted what happened to take place and turned it into something else? I havent told my family and dont know if that will ever happen. So if I am, it is not because or for them. I didnt share what happened withat anyone until I was 13 and that was another child. After that it was at least 5 years before I shared it with anyone else. Is it for me? Am I ashamed that at such a young age I was even courious about it? I was a bit more mentally mature than my parents would have liked. I knew early on that the family life I was in was not what most people were dealing with. My last name was changed to my father's just before I started school. My parents relationship was rocky from the start but it was more than just arguing. I didnt know it early on but I learned that no other kids dealt with a parent who was on drugs. I was content to play alone. I wanted friends but they were not having the life experience I was. Admittedly, the first time it happened was most likely not curiosity on my part. But did curiosity play a part later? I mean was the first instance a catalyst to understand sex? When I think of it, I can see it. When I feel it, it does feel that way. It feels wrong. It feels like a secret. It feels like betrayal. With my logical mind I say that if it were someone else, I would question it. Being a small child, I would say the possibility exists and the person should explore the circumstances around each incident to get clarity. If that doesnt work, go with your gut. Trust yourself until evidence proves otherwise.
  4. Nothing has really changed

    Potential trigger warning due to an unsafe situation. No violence. It has always been very important to me that I feel safe. I need to feel safe in my surroundings and safe with those I talk to. Feeling unsafe causes immediate retreating in myself. With that being said, I realized that when it comes to being in a situation that feels unsafe, I have not made many strides to control it. I can say this because I was in this situation a few weeks back. I havent told anyone about it because I know what most reactions will be. Many will think I was foolish even to the point of being completely stupid and endangering myself. The situation happened when I went to the store after taking my sister to work. It was about 1130 pm and the store is less than 2 mins from my home by car, 5 mins if I were walking. There were 2 men, one about 50-60 years old and the other late 20s to early 30s. Both men I saw walking to the store as I pulled up and could immediately tell that they had been drinking. They were not fall down drunk but the smell of alcohol was intense. This is a major issue for me. The strong smell of alcohol just makes me feel uneasy. Anyway, they are right in front of me in line purchasing more alcohol and I cant wait to get away from them. The older man says 'Hey beautiful' to me. Again, feeling very uneasy and uncomfortable. They exit the store and I follow shortly afterwards. I proceed to my car which I am grateful is parked right in front of the door so I can make it safely there. I have a bad habit of unconsciously unlocking all of my doors when I get in my car. It is a horrible habit that I developed almost 18 months ago. Not sure why I began this but I do it. Anyway, the older gentleman approaches my passenger door and asks for a ride. Before I can respond with a no, he has already opened my door and is halfway in. he tells the younger one, who it turns out is his son, to get in the back. I am stunned but I do not say anything. The alcohol smell is overwhelming and now I can only pray silently that they are not going far. They are making conversation with the father telling the son to be quiet because he is the type of drunk that talks a lot and is very friendly. All I can think is I am now in a situation that could end badly for me. No one knows where I am. Everyone is asleep and my sister is at work with no vehicle. There is nothing anyone can do if this all went wrong. I pray silently for protection. I drop them off in a neighborhood not far from the storm but in the opposite direction of my home. Once they are out of the car, I can feel the panic and my body shaking. I take a few deep breaths and make it home and climb into bed and curl into a ball. This situation could have easily turned out to be something different. What it showed me is that when it comes to being placed into an unsafe situation especially with men I have not changed at all. I still comply. I comply knowing all that I know now and knowing the world that we live in and the people that live in my area. I said nothing and did nothing. I didnt even text or make a call to someone that would be able to call for help if something went wrong. I just went along because I feared what would happen if I didnt. At first I thought that I may have purposely placed myself in this situation because I wasnt in the best place before going to the store. But I didnt feel as I normally do when I seek danger to cause harm to myself without doing it myself. This was a case of actual fear and panic that if I said no that it would make the situation worse and I just wanted to get home. So how well am I really protecting myself? When it really counts, I cannot keep myself safe. I had so many options in this situation. I could have said no and to get out of my car. I could have gotten out with my keys and went back in the store and told the store owner. I could have even called the police if they didnt get out. I did none of these things. I did what I always have done. I complied. Had this turned into a physical confrontation, I know I would have complied again. I would have never spoken a word to anyone about what happened. There would be no police involved. I would have never gone to that store again even though it is the closest to my home. I would have done the same as I did so many years ago and on too many occasions. When I was hospitalized for threatening suicide at 13, it was the first time I told anyone a part of what happened. It was another girl, my roommate there. She told another girl who then mentioned it to me.The 2nd girl never mentioned it to any of the staff even after they came in to find out what caused the terrible screaming. The found me crying and rocking in a corner. They walked me out to a padded room for fear I would become violent. On my way out the room I saw the first girl and she seemed to be smiling as if she was proud of herself. While I sat in that padded room for 30 mins rocking and crying I realized that people are not safe either. I vowed that I would never ever let them see me that way again. The staff came to get me out and took me aside to see if I would talk about what happened and why I was screaming. I told them I was fine and there was nothing to worry about. I am sure they didnt buy it but there was no way I was ever going to tell them because they were not safe people. Although the staff told my psychiatrist at the time, I again refused to speak about it. She would surely tell my parents and I would be stuck in this place with these backstabbing people for longer plus having to deal with my family. They would never let me out if that happened. This saddens me a great deal. I felt like if I was in trouble, that I would tell someone immediately. i would find the person I trust enough who can walk through the process with me. i would do things very different than before. I have slowly begun to feel safer with a few people.But that was all me living in a fantasy world. It was an illusion. I couldnt even prevent them from getting in my car. There is no way that I would have said anything if things had been worse. So now what do I do? What can I do? The only option I can see is to remain in my home unless I am with someone else. To not engage in any outside activity because home is the place I feel the safest. I can turn on the alarm and bring the dog in. I can keep a weapon near me if something were to happen. Aside from these posts, I have stopped most conversations about what happened. Right now it is down to one person and that is to keep me from doing harm to myself. Where I was starting to feel some safety, I feel like all of that has taken 2 steps back. I will never feel safe. The triggers have been more intense since this last incident. I am hoping to keep this detail up because this doesnt feel safe which makes the title of the blog a lie. How do you let someone behind your wall when you only feel safe because the wall keeps others at a distance.
  5. Sanity Check Day is Needed ( TW)

    So I skipped work today. Mentally, I just couldnt do it today. Mentally, I was worlds away from the work stuff. When it gets to this point, work is not an escape. It is another thing I am required to do that I just dont want to do. I give less and less to it until I break. Today was the breaking. It also was not enough. TRIGGER WARNING Daily I get these images of what happened. It plays mostly as 5 second clips. I feel the touches. I see my face and theirs. I see a monster in them even though it didnt play out that way most of the time. I. Feel. Everything. I smell everything. I smell the room and them. I hear them breathing, grunting, moaning. Sometimes they were inside of me. Other times it was grinding. I guess I should be grateful that they waited until I was 8 before they actually inserted themselves in me. It is a never-ending movie. I learned it was easier not to resist or pull myself away. Not because it got worse but because they were stronger and it was pointless to fight it. I know someone saw at one point. I know they did. I remember on a few occassions someone came in at the end. They all talked at me as if I was the one in the wrong without actually saying I am in the wrong. It's like questioning what I am doing but never doing anything the next day when it happened again. How do they do these things and claim they care about oyu or love you? Do they not understand what that does to a person? It has a huge affect on them especially when they are that young. Things become so blurred and confusing. I ask this of them but the fact is I should be asking myself the same questions. I wasnt as old as they were but I blurred those lines for someone else. I caused confusion for them. I wish I could block out that part of my life. If I blocked it out maybe I would have been somewhat a normal person. I wouldnt feel so ashamed of the person I see when I look in the mirror. I wouldnt be ashamed of the person that looks back at me from the images in my head. I wouldnt feel like dirt daily and find ways to make sure every one else sees me that way as well. I wish I had understood better what this meant as I got older. How terrible holding on to such things would damage me longer than I have actually been alive. I spend so much time being the perfect person everyone else thinks I am. The only thing I perfected is my ability to shut everyone else out. I perfected my silence. Not only am I silent about me to others but even to myself most days. END TRIGGER Someone told me I went about this process the wrong way. They told me that I should have taken much smaller steps and worked my way up to talking about this part of me. I wish they would have told me. They didnt hand me a book about the process to heal. No one told me that I was so emotionally stunted that I should have just learned to talk about me first. Now it is too late. I opened the door and the floodgates opened as well. Where I was able to push past the negative feelings and thoughts, now I just try to make it through daily intervals. Just make it through the next 15 mins. Just make it through the end of the work day. Just make it until everyone is asleep. It is like bargaining with my head every day. If you make it through the next 30 mins then I will give you an hour before bed. Before you know it, I have negotiated my way into an all night trigger session. Then it is just me. Everyone else is blocked out. Everything else is blocked out. I am alone in my head with my thoughts. I just feel sick. Sickened by what they did and what it has done to me.
  6. @Bluesclues Thank you for the encouragement. I agree with you about other things influencing the ability to express one's self. I cannot recall that happening with the trauma. Maybe it comes from other areas in my life. Maybe that is the key. I dont mean the fact that I am more reserved now than before joining to be anything negative of AS. I have certainly taken a huge break because as you said it is difficult knowing all these members are hurting as I do. I think that it has more to do with the fact that I cant open up so why even bother others. I hope that makes a little sense. AS has certainly helped me believe in the possibility of healing. Patience with myself is something I lack. I havent given up the fight to be a better me. I didnt know how long taking the first step would take.
  7. Does it define me?

    How do you heal from something you are unable to express? I started in this group hoping that being a faceless name on a screen would give me the safety I needed to express myself. I had hoped it would allow me to freely say what I had been holding on to for so long. It would reduce the depression and suicidal thoughts that haunt me. I thought I would finally lift the mask of happiness to reveal real happiness but it hasnt. I had hope. Nearly 10 years later and I still feel like I am wearing the mask. Even more so than I had before. I was on here and reading post thinking how easily others can put words to their experience. How well they openly talked about those experiences and the steps they were taking to move forward. I thought how brave, strong and resilient are they? I want to be that one day. Every day I would try to be just that. Every day I failed. Thoughts came but they didnt make it past my head. I couldnt put those thoughts or feelings into words. I couldnt get past the fear that whatever I put someone, everyone, would read it and laugh or think how dumb is this person. They dont belong here. 9 years and I still believe these thongs. I spend 30 mins trying to pour out the anger, sadness, hurt and shame. Nothing. I try just starting with what happened. Nothing. So I am thinking that after all this time, the fight to not allow a trauma past to define me has been lost. It does define me and more than just lack of trust and being cautious. It defines every thought I have. It defines my sleep. It defines who I am as a daughter, sister, aunt and friends. It defines the words I use. It defines my dress. It defines every part of who I am as a person. I do not have the tools to let it not. I dont want it to. The life I am living is filled with distrust of the world around me. My decisions always lead to being based on the images of a young girl or a teenager who is still living with a secret. I feel as if I will always be alone on dealing with the trauma. The sleepless nights will be who I am. So now what? What can I do when nothing can be expressed? How do I move forward and enjoy the last half of my life with these feelings piling up? How do I let it not define the 2nd half of my life? It's not easy and I fear that no matter how hard I try, I will continue to fail.
  8. Triggers

    Sometimes I forget the many triggers that I have. Storms, kids, food color and textures, smells, touch, emotions. Today's is storms. I generally make it through the others with minor aches and pain. Storms is the one that breeds instant anxiety. I dont even understand why. It has been an issue for as far as I can remember. As a child I can remember curling up in a ball at the thunder and lightning. Even in college, I would seek a quiet room with no windows. Someone would come sit with me seeing the terror on my face. The strange thing is, I dont recall any time it happened during a storm or even rain. I may not remember what happened 20 mins ago but I do recall 95% of those times. Maybe it is part of the 5%. I have never been able to figure this trigger out. It is the 2nd biggest one. It is one I cannot escape. Storms happen. Without a sound-proof, windowless room, I must experience this one no matter how big or small, day or night. Storms can take me to a place I dont want to be. Reliving a life I want to forget with every fiber of my being. Storms invoke a child-like fear. So here I am, waiting for a storm that may or may not happen. Trying to breathe through the anxiety from anticipation and probably making it all worse. Feeling out of control. Dreading every flash of light, every loud noise. Counting the seconds between flashes and the thunder. 1, 2, 3, 4....Boom! Feeling safer when the numbers get larger and the flashes almost a distant memory. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8...Boom! Allowing myself to breathe normal again. Shaking that feels like it starts deep inside lessens. The heartbeat returning to normal. Feeling like I am once again in the presence and apart of this world. Triggers. I would like to like without them. Most days I just want to feel like I have a handle on them. Right now I am just trying to get to the end of this one.
  9. Adventures in babysitting

    So my sister and I volunteered to keep my younger cousins. They are 2 and 3. Great age because they are mostly potty trained, talking and cute-ish. The following happened after dinner. No children, adults or feelings were. 2yrold Z is walking from bathroom holding her shirt. No pants. No underwear. 'I poo' she says. No big deal. 'Go get your bag' I say. Then she bends over and has a big glob of poop in her butt. My sister is laughing uncontrollably. 'Z go to the bathroom'. She goes to the bathroom so I go to follow. I take 2 steps around the couch and BOOM! A big fat glob of poop on the floor. My sister now has lost it. She is laughing so hard she cant talk. Z is looking at us like what y'all laughing at? I cant even move past the poo on the floor. The child is 10ft away but I cant get it. I am laughing but I am thinking who is picking this shit up. So what do I do? Video call the mama. Hell I gotta see this so should she. The mama sees the child and the poo and cracks up laughing. 'Come get your child. What is this shit!' Camera on Z. 'Mama I poo' She is proud I think lol. 20 mins we laugh and I try to get anyone else but me to get this. They are not having it. Traitors. Child clean. Floor clean. We settle down. Try getting ready for bed. 3yr old is insistent that her clothes are sleep clothes. 20 mins later my sister says K is your underwear wet? Did you pee? 'No.' Upon closer inspection the wetness is, yep. Poo. What the hell!? 2 yr old: K poo? Me: Yes 2yr old: Ewwwwww What? The nerve of her. And she is serious too. I cannot with these 2 tonight. How many days until Sunday? 😂😂😂
  10. Happy Thoughts

    It is a cool 70 outside. A great break from the hot, sticky, cant breathe heat. A yarn stash. I am working towards a full room. Organized and full of every yarn possible. Crochet. My saving grace many days. Best thing YouTube taught me. Logan the dog. The 5 month old lab. The biter. Really nibnling cuz he is still a pup and just being playful. When I finally took some time off work and dropped my niece at school. Our routine is to say have a good day to each other. She say hope you have a bad day staying home. Doing nothing. Lol She just mad I can go back to bed. Quietness. There was a time that arguing and tension was a daily thing. Thank god thats over. My night owl award. Because people at work think I dont sleep at all. I still need a frame for it. 😊 Facebook because it is pure entertainment most days. Singing off-key at the top of my lungs with the windows down. Who cares I cant carry a tune to save my life. A beautiful night sky. Moon shining bright and stars as far as you can see. Fall. No more yard work!!
  11. Staying centered

    I dont really know what to do with this. Maybe it should be a free writing excercise. Let the thoughts flow as they come. So, take 1. The last couple of months has been a blur. My grandmother is resting peacefully. I hope she is proud of who I am becoming. It is still a process for my dad. He and my sister have moments that they still grieve visibly. It is difficult for them to talk about her or see her pictures. I find her picture comforting in a way especially when I see her with her great-grandkids. It makes me happy to know they got to experience her in a small way. For them to know where she came from and what is possible. For her to see her legacy. Work is my escape when I get into it. Once I start I just keep going. I know it's not healthy but it keeps me focused on something else. It is very easy to work a 12 hour day or work late at night into the early morning. I already sleep a few hours a night so I am not missung sleep I would have gotten. My account team is in the UK and think I have lost my mind. Little do they know I probably have just a little. I have been having my moments of flashbacks. Moments where I can only see the past. I can only feel what I felt then. Moments where even the thought of assault is a trigger. Those are the sensitive moments. The moments where I recognize my whole body movements have changed. My attitude becomes more angry. My body is reserved. I am more sensitive to maintaining my bubble. Keeping my 3ft buffer against any type of touch or getting to close. It's hard knowing they live their lives quite comfortably. They are content and successful. They have no long-lasting trauma. No damage. It's like it never happened. Like these are normal life experiences and you just move on. But I cant just move on. I am stuck there. In that moment. I am constantly analyzing what I could have done 'better'. It's not hard keeping this to myself. I have sheltered myself so well that I am afraid I have done it too well. So well that it is 2nd nature now. So well that I dont even know what I feel anymore. I can no longer put words to feelings. I am not sure if I am feeling anymore. Much of the time it is just numbness. There's no joy or sadness. There is just making it through a day. Thats what has become hard. I may not have expressed the feelings but I knew what they were. I knew they existed. Now, I am not sure they exist. Putting words to a bad day or multiple days is harder. Explaining why it is a bad day is harder. Finding words to just express myself is harder. I am censoring myself constantly. Not expressing satisfaction or dissatisfaction and not certain I having an opinion towards either in many situations. The other issue is still an issue. Not well managed either. I cant wait til colder weather is here. People dont really understand that battle. It doesnt make sense to them. They dont get how it is possible to be damaged on the other end of the spectrum. They also cant acknowledge that they know something is wrong. I dont want them to but it would take away some awkwardness. I would probably never show my face to them again but at least then I can stop wondering how bad of a person they see me as.
  12. Out of Patience

    I am giving fair warning to everyone. I. Am. Out. Of. Patience. I have none. Dont try to fool me. My mouth is bad today. If I sad it offensively. You can be damn sure I meant that way. And yes I will repeat it as many times as you need. It wont be any prettier. Just leave me the hell alone.
  13. Thanks everyone. Hugs to all of you as well.
  14. She is gone.

    This morning, while we sat with our grandma, she took her last breath. I made one of the hardest calls I have made so far in life. I called my dad to tell him she was gone. But he knew before I could get the words out. At 0623, she left us. She went peacefully and without pain. Before he got there, I straightened her clothes and cleaned her face. I told her that we would all be ok. I know she is in heaven now one of my new guardian angels. When my dad came I stayed near by in case he needed me. He said his goodbye and said she is exactly where she wants to be now. He smiled. He thanked us for staying. We sat and held her hand until the funeral home came. I remember how warm she felt when I first checked for her pulse. I thought she would start breathing again. By the time they came, she was turning cold. There was no doubt that she wasnt there any more. So now the task begins. My brother is on the road as a truck driver and we are praying he makes it home in time. I am ok for now. The day of her services will be the hardest. It always is. That is when it really clicks that it is done. Earlier today, my sister and I had the same thought, lets go see gramdma later. Then we had the next thought of we cant. I made sure to get the blanket I crocheted for her. They cant find the other one.
  15. Missing her already

    Today is a sad sobering day. My grandmother is at the end of her days. I have known this day would come. I have been trying to mentally prepare myself. She had a great life. Even on her last 'aware' day she was smiling and laughing. Then she just stopped. She is a God-fearing woman. She is my country grandma. She lived a full life without all the modern conveniences. She had TV but only watched the news. She spent her time gardening and loving those around her. She may not have given you the shirt off her back but she gave you your choice of the ones in her closet. She taught me to sew, to bake, to make popcorn on the stove. No need for a microwave. She loved everyone she came in contact with and you couldn't help but to love her back. Now I am sitting with her, waiting until she takes her final breath and holding my own. The nurses say she has all the tell tell signs. I knew it the moment I laid eyes on her. The vibrant woman I knew is no longer there. I wonder what she is seeing. Does she see her husband or her daughter or her siblings? Can she see the heaven she has worked so hard to get in to? Can she hear me when I talk to her? When I tell her we will take care of her sons? When I tell her she now has to watch over us from her spiritual body? Does she know that I am grateful for every day I got to spend with her, even when she didn't know who I was? My father is having a very hard time. He is the baby. Her baby boy. He is proud to be that. He can't see her this way. A lifetime of love. A lifetime of troubles and joy. She didn't get to really see him doing his best. Her dementia was already present. I will do my best to be there for him as his daughter. I am hoping I can be there for him. I may not agree with him or his methods but he is my father. I can only imagine the pain he feels is the pain I will feel when he leaves this earth. My grandmother is the one person I believe who loves me with no strings attached. She didn't expect anything from me but love. She didn't do for me so I would do for her. She would have rather done it herself lol. I call her mama because that is what she has been in my life. I didn't always understand as a child. She baked our birthday cakes every year. They were not glamorous or fancy. They were special because she made them. So here I will sit for as long as I can. For as long as she needs. I will hold her hand. I will stroke her face. I will clean her mouth and be sure she is comfortable because she would do all of that for me. I only wish I had learned to appreciate her sooner so I could have told her when she could understand.