I have read that it is okay to have a platform, and I figured this would be a good platform. I have another platform that I am considering https://www.goread.com/author/tarrahlewis/ but, I really do not like the idea of spending $30. a month. I would like to know if many of you do spend this amount or more on the form of delivery you use to get your craft out.
I am also wondering if I publish content here, if this will make me less desireable to potential publishers in the future. I have read conflicting information on this topic.
Thanks for reading and many more thanks if you take the time to reply.
My Biggest Flaw: I cannot Tell a Lie
I have been referred to as the female version of Jim Carrey based off the film LiarLiar. I cannot tell a lie.
I wish I could have told one white lie when the snooty black woman behind the Social Security desk gave me the stink eye and said, “aren’t we all created equal?” That was her retort to my statement: Some of us are American citizens and this is how you treat Americans? Really? She wasn't being at all professional.
I said you people do not understand...she got so angry that she got up from her chair and slammed the glass door shut and walked away from the desk. She didn't come back for quite a while. I wasn't sure if she was coming back or not.
When she returned I told her that we are not all created equal. She called security on me and accused me of racism For saying "you people." When I was clearly referring to everyone in the Social Securit office, not a race.
Maybe if I hadn't been truthful and said: We aren't all created equal followed by some of us are illegal immigrants, not naturalized citizens--which is the legal process of becoming a U.S. citizen she wouldn't have been so upset.
The same people who want to extol diversity forget that the world does not owe you, me or anyone else a damn thing!
Everyone is so wrapped up with being treated “as equals” those same individual’s fail to acknowledge and celebrate their differences. And differences are made to be different--not the equivalent.
That day I wish I could have let it go and said, sure, we are all created equal. But, I couldn’t because I know it isn’t true. I cannot tell a lie. If we were all “equal” we would all be earning the same pay, living in the same homes and driving similar cars of “equal” value, but that’s simply not the case. And, it isn’t ever going to be the case because equality is like respect it is earned.
The other friend’s house was an adult who conspired with my father to have me sent to a psychiatric hospital.
For her, living there was a sweet deal because in exchange for my room and food, she had a full-time built in baby-sitter whenever she went out to work or party.
Sometime before moving in to my dad’s friend’s house, I slit my wrist. It had been snowing and there was a mountain of snow that day taller than the cars in the school parking lot.
There were kids on top of the mountain of snow. They started throwing snowballs at me, because that’s more fun when someone else isn’t playing along, I guess.
A snowball hit me hard on my back. My face started flushing and my heart beat wildly and I was so angry I thought I could have killed all of them.
I had a bottle of ice tea. I impulsively smashed the bottle on the pavement. I picked up a two-inch shard of glass and slit my wrist twice. The blood spilled from the gaping wound. The white meat of my arm showed along with dark blue.
The laughter stopped—the jerks stopped throwing snowballs at me. A boy named Paul, ran quickly to where I was standing—blood dripping off my arm. Although they probably were too stupid to realize, by hurting myself, I was sending the message that no one could hurt me, not even them.
Paul the boy I was dating off and on helped keep the wound closed and walked me to get help. We dated off and on because he verbally abused me regularly. He would break up with me one day and I would take him back the next day.
I slit my wrist horizontally. You slit your wrist the wrong way you moron. “You’re supposed to do it vertically all the way” like this and he motioned with his finger sliding it vertically up his own arm to demonstrate.
I couldn’t even kill myself the right way. I sat inside the nurse’s station waiting for my dad to pick up and take me to the hospital. He drove me there in silence. I don’t even remember his presence inside the Emergency room where I was about to get stitched.
The Dr. asked, “How did this happen?”
I lied,“I fell on a broken bottle.”
“I see… you just want attention,” said the doctor.
I sat quietly and uncomfortably on the chair silently cursing him for his idiotic response.
Years later this same doctor was busted for giving pain killers to minors and sexually molesting them. Sicko. For that matter, the dentist I had seen on the same block went away not long after and was charged with the same crime as the doctor.
Fortunately, for them, neither one of them laid a hand on me. But, if they had tried anything, I would have kicked them swiftly in the balls and sent them begging for mercy. I had a brown belt and a bad temper.
School was a nightmare for me before I slit my wrist. I dreaded going to school the following day. The teachers were always sending me to the principal’s office for talking and goofing off.
The stress at home was constantly getting to me. School served as comic relief. After all, I couldn’t concentrate to do much of the work assigned. I wasn’t having fun at home.
Home was hell. My mom was very strict and religious. My dad was the opposite. I went to dad for most anything mom said no to.
Another reason home was miserable is because my parents fought. Sometimes bills were paid. Sometimes not. When they were not I knew because dad slammed things with his fist and cussed. He was also my karate instructor and I found him very intimidating when he was angry.
This usually happened first followed by either the phone being shut off, or the electricity. Once the family car got repossessed. Usually the phone got turned off first, and that was the only connection I had to the outside world, to my friends, and boyfriend.
Home had been a living hell ever since the third child was born: Get use to not being the center of attention we have another mouth to feed. That’s how the latest addition of the family was introduced.
My dad drank almost every night.
“Dad are you an alcoholic?” I asked. I knew to only ask questions like this when he was in a good mood. And, if he was drinking. He was in a good mood.
Of course he wasn’t. He just enjoyed driving with a beer between his legs in broad daylight. He drank a six pack a night. He drank after karate tournaments and drove, home. I figured everyone's dad tossed a few back while driving.
He drank with his girlfriends. Yes. Girl friends. He was charismatic and had a good sense of humor. But, when he was angry. He was like a Neegan straight from the walking dead. Without the bat. My dad didn’t need a bat to be intimidating when he had a sharp tongue and his fists.
When I was six I called a strange woman Aunt. (She was an alcoholic). Her teenage daughters also drank. I once peered into what I understood to be one of the kid’s rooms and found bags upon bags of nothing but beer cans. The room smelled rancid.
When I was ten, the “aunt” was replaced by another woman, Jackie.
“You can call Jackie mom,” he casually replied from the front seat of the car, one day.
After Karate class, I spent a few hours either in the dojo (karate class) with the light off, so they could fool around. Or, I got to spend a few hours after karate class in the back seat of the car.
Karate was Monday-Friday from 7:00 to 9:00pm, I was home around 11:00pm at night or later and expected to get up around 5:00am for school. No wonder I couldn't concentrate.
A few more years later and several more women later, another woman came into the picture. She was an alcoholic. Dad had bought wine for he and his new fling to share while mom was at a Wednesday night church service with my brother.
He would pour the wine and I would drink all the wine out of her glass while his back was turned. Because of the prevalence of alcohol being consumed I was curious about the taste. I tried it. I didn’t particularly care for it. But, I didn’t mind the way it may be feel if I had enough of it either.
Samantha handed me the glass when dad wasn’t looking and whispered, “I can’t drink this.”
“Why not?” I whispered back.
“I am an alcoholic” she replied flatly. I did not mind drinking her wine. Every so often, I would sneak sips from the gallon jug of cheap wine from the basement. I also drank about half a bottle of Nyquil once. My heart was beating so hard and so fast that I never did it again either.
Every weekend dad would drive to Bristol and meet Samantha. Sam had a little boy. Dad brought his video camera, whip cream and cherries into the next room. The sex was very loud. I was very disgusted.
That relationship lasted long enough for her to give back the very small, very cheap diamond he purchased at Ames. Anyone remember when the Ames? Eventually like dad’s previous relationships and his latest fling the chain went bankrupt.
After her…there was this woman who looked like a guy. Or, as some of my friends from karate class called her, cousin it, because we weren’t really sure what gender, if any she belonged to. She joined him in the shower.
I would tell most of the women he was with that he was very abusive to me, but they didn't seem to pay much attention to that, but later on, that changed. Much later.
Fast forward about three months later and I stopped coming home from school. I went straight to my boyfriends. I didn’t ask. I just walked from the school to his mother’s house. It was probably not a half a mile from the school.
One of my parent’s would call the police and the police would bring me home. The next day I did the same thing. I walked from the school over to his house, even though I knew the cop would be coming for me.
Getting a ride in the cruiser didn’t really phase me. By this time, I was too traumatized by everything else to be afraid of a free ride home.
Once when dad went off the rails I called the Sheriff’s office. I probably started out calling 911 and was directed to the Sheriff’s office, but either way, I called, they came and they left. Dad was really good at convincing people nothing was wrong. I was nuts.
Even when the officer suggested I go to a friend’s house just for the night…Dad shook his head, “She can stay right here.” He was very controlling. Other than attending karate, I wasn’t allowed to go anywhere or do anything, which is why I just did whatever I wanted to.
At some point, he even went to two different counseling sessions and denied physical and verbal abuse. He was a liar both times.
Dad was molested by a relative for several years and physically abused by his father. His dad had literally hit him on top of the head with a hammer. His mom died when he was ten. He started walking the streets of the city with a few cigarettes rolled up under short sleeved t shirts.
My mom claimed that her dad beat her with horse whips occasionally. Grandma (her mom) claimed Grandpa beat her and broke every bone in her body.
Years later, I wondered, if that were true, how could she take care for my Uncle who had Sickle cell anemia and needed constant blood transfusions and care for three kids if every bone were broken?
When my parents moved, I didn’t get to see my grandfather at all and my parents forbid me to contact him. They claimed he had ties to the mafia.
Many, many more years later after Grandma died, I learned I had an Uncle in Germany.
When my Grandfather was in the Army, he went to Germany had a side fling and my Uncle was born.
After learning about my Uncle, I questioned whether or not she was really beaten. Heartbroken…probably so, but beaten like she said…very questionable. Especially since she claims she worked three jobs and raised three kids all by herself.
I grew up without a grandfather and my grandmother only came up north to visit us once a year because my parents moved 3,000 miles away.
In part, they moved because mom wanted to be near the ocean. But, in part they moved because dad feared grandpa. Grandpa told him if he divorced mom, he would kill him.
Grandpa had good reason to want to kill him too. Mom was barely out of high school. She baby-sat his two children. She ended up in a relationship with a married man who was ten years older than she.
Back to where I left off, dad was an abusive control freak: He didn’t buy us school clothes, my Aunt sent my clothes via snail mail several states away. He didn’t buy food towards the end when my parents were getting a divorce. Mom wasn’t working, other than baby-sit at home she never worked, so, the church supplied us with five boxes food every week. We ate more treats for the first time in years.
Before that eating well was hit or miss. I did not enjoy cereal. I did not enjoy the way it quickly became soggy. I enjoyed milk even less. Mom says I stopped enjoying milk the day she tricked me by giving me buttermilk, which is sour.
My brother and I would get up before dad left for work to eat breakfast. Mom was still sleeping upstairs. We poured our cereal. But, I just stared looking into my bowl with disgust. Cereal made me gag.
Because my parents were worried about my growth and development they made not eating a big deal
They worried because they had taken us to the doctor and the doctor had indicated we were extremely underweight.
So, when I sat starring at my bowl detesting the thought of eating the cereal that didn’t go over well with dad.
“Eat your cereal” he barked.
I squirmed in my seat nervously.
“Eat your fucking cereal,” he yelled even louder.
My heart started pounding; I was scared. Very scared. Because I knew that I could not willing eat the nasty, soggy, cereal.
After the threats were not useful, he came stomping over and in a fit of rage grabbed the spoon and forced food down my throat until I began choking.
When I cried because I was absolutely terrified he drove my head into my cereal bowl.
“Get up and to go fucking school,” he screamed at me.
I stumbled out of my seat and left the room in a hurry and sobbed hysterically all the way to school. I arrived to school having to explain to my teacher why there was pieces of cereal in my hair.
Flashbacks of the time he had commanded me to stop sucking my thumb filled me with panic. “If you don’t stop sucking your thumb, I am going to dip it in shit and make you eat it,” I was about three or four years old.
Years later when I was much too old to be sucking my thumb I was told that if I didn’t stop, he would cut it off. So, I learned to hide things pretty well.
However, whether I could hide things from him or not made little difference because even if I wasn’t doing something that might need hiding, like drugs, he accused me of taking drugs anyways.
One afternoon after school, when dad was home, he and I had a huge blow out, and he started put all of my clothing into black, garbage bags.
While he was furiously doing that and threatening to throw me out, I called a friend, as quietly as I could. But, he heard me and likely pressed *69 and called the same number I just called.
I couldn’t hear the entire conversation I just heard enough to know he was using his calm, charming tone and that he was talking with my friend’s mother.
He got off the phone and lit back into me. He yelled that I was doing drugs and that I was having sex. Paul’s mother, and her boyfriend used a little recreational cocaine. I did not. In fact, I did not know they used cocaine until years later, but I was aware of their marijuana use.
Along with accusing me of drug use, he accused me of having sex. He stood over the banister of the stairway and called out, “do you want me to show you what sex is like?”
The question not only caught me completely off guard, it frightened me.
I didn’t say a word. He went back up the stairs and made more noise thrashing things around.
I took the opportunity to call the friend back. She informed me that she couldn’t come out because my dad had already called there, and spoke with her mom. She said she knew someone who could come pick me up.
The friend came and I hurriedly shoved black garbage bags into the car. Dad came out and protested, but I told him…well, you kicked me out. You bagged up my clothes. So I am leaving now. This time he was silent.
This is how I ended up living with the first friend, Agnus. When I arrived at her house I explained the situation to her mother. I was relieved because she did not have a phone and that meant that I did not have to call home.
Who Am I?
The person who struggled all through school. I sat outside the principal’s office many a day in my early teen years.
I am the person that stopped caring about tangible objects the day everything I owned went up in flames.
I am broken. That is what life does to people. We are all broken in one way or the other. Some people are just too wrapped up in their plastic goods or distracted by their cell phones to realize it.
I’m the person who could care less about your Nordstrom jacket, or your Gucci shoes. I grew up with a hand me down jacket and we bought one pair of shoes a year—if that. Your things do not impress me. I am just stymied you spend so much on stuff you’ll never take with you when you die.
When I was eight diagnosed with ADHD and PTSD and a learning disability. I really couldn’t concentrate on anything either of them said. To make my efforts to concentrate more difficult, the contentious yelling by my parents would keep me awake at night. I would guzzle Nyquil so I could sleep.
I am the under underdog. At the age of 14 I ran away from home. I applied for a job washing dishes at a local restaurant when I turned 15 a few months later. I worked and went to school—until one day I didn’t. I moved out of one friend’s house and into another friend’s house for a few months.
To be continued…