Saturday, April 30, 2011

Confession


Somebody's naked.

I spent about 30 minutes that I'll never get back reading some girl's blog, which consisted of post after post detailing her male troubles and the various selfish, ungrateful and sneaky bastards coming in and out of her life. Women complaining is nothing new, it's often a feature of my female to female conversations. I swear, no matter what topic they start in on, they always end up discussing guys. Either the crappy effects of dating hit women ten times harder than men, or women are just more apt to blow things out of proportion. I hate to generalize but I'm stating this based on what I observe.

I mean I've had my moments. But that's the thing, I understand having a moment here and there but for some women it's this bad luck saga. Is it really that serious? Is there nothing else in your life that takes precedence over all the losers you encounter? Must you murder all hope with your negative "men ain't shit" tirades? For all my frustrating and piddly experiences with the opposite sex, I have never let them muddy my view of the entire male gender. In short ladies; make better choices, learn how to read people, and most importantly, listen to your gut. If he walks like a snake and talks like a snake, well guess what? And besides all that, life goes on. There are greater curve balls to face in life than guys who only think with their dick and are afraid to commit.

But this isn't about other women and their dating misfortunes. This is about me. So now I'll segue into the real heart of my post. So. I'm going to be 23 in 1 month! and as I get older I find that things are changing. I'm moving forward, becoming relatively stable, pursuing my dreams/goals, and more and more I've become disinterested in the friends around me. I've just been living life and throughout all that, I've been having this pounding, recurring thought. And what came of it was that I've decided to change my approach regarding dating and relationships. I've realized that I'm ready to seriously date. *cue Kelly Clarkson's "Miss Independent" [Don't act like that song wasn't the jam!]* I've never officially dated or had a real relationship [they all lasted 2 months tops]. Since I was in my teens, I always got to know guys in the "let's see what this one is all about" way, and my curiosity had more to do with my fascination with people's inner workings than trying to explicitly cultivate a romantic relationship. I never asked guys what they were looking for because I didn't want the question turned back on me. I always knew I was the marrying kind and knew I wanted an eventual serious relationship, but not when I was still figuring my life out. Because the truth was, even if I had met someone suitable to be with when I was 16-22 years old, the seriousness of what I wanted and needed from a relationship scared me. So I avoided it. But for the first time in my life, I feel I'm truly ready for the commitment and work a solid relationship would require. I'm not scared or even disillusioned anymore. As a matter of fact, I'm quite excited.

My, how the tide turns.

But what does this all mean?

It means I'll have to be unabashedly upfront about what I want, I'll have to immediately rule out guys that aren't mature or serious, and I'll have to cancel guys who don't believe in marriage.*

Or I could say 'Screw all that' and just hand out copies of my A-List along with my picture and phone number down there on Wall St. Call me boys!

*I don't know how to explain my thoughts on marriage succinctly but I'll try anyway. I'm not the type that has dreamed about marriage my whole life [or even 1/8 of my life] or the type to tell a man that must be married!!! with some insane urgency, but I do feel that marriage is the next logical step for a happy and loving couple. I feel that many people's aversion to marriage has a base that is steeped in fear, selfishness, or distrust. And that's not the type of person I'm interested in being with anyway, ring or no ring. Not only that, but I refuse to raise children out of wedlock because I have not come this far to be some dude's baby mama. Hell to the naw. *whips hair*

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The musicology of Jennifer Lopez

I just want to say that I've never owned a pair of these.

"Something about J-Lo makes me feel like she'd give it all up just to be young again in NYC clubs, shaking her tush and whoring it up." - LadyBlueShame

Whoever said that urban city life is not accurately represented in the media needs to watch some J-Lo videos. Knowledge is power. J-Lo cashed in on that hood guap like only a poser* knows how!!! All she had to do was ask Mariah for a how-to.

I have an odd fascination with Jennifer Lopez since I cannot wrap my mind around how a woman so average for her race [in looks and dance skills, and any other purported skills she claims to have] has made it this
far. Then again, there is also Rhianna [sp?] and Katy Perry to ponder. With all that being said, “Waiting for Tonight” was flawless.**

So here are the J-Lo created specimens of a year in 90s urban life. Please note the use of featured rappers.


I'm real ft. Ja Rule from Queens [the hood in the spring/summer]

Hold you down
ft. Fat Joe from the Bronx [the hood in the fall]

My jam: I'm gonna be alright ft. Nas [the hood in the sweltering summer]

All I have ft. LL Cool J from LI/Queens [the hood in the winter]

And then there's Jenny from the Block which I have to feature solely for the eyesore appearance of Timberland heels and all the laughable irony. Boricua is right!

Let's not even mention all her videos that take place in clubs/party scenes: Get right ft. Fabolous, On the Floor ft. Pitbull, Waiting for tonight, I'm feelin so good ft. Big Pun & Fat Joe, Ain't it Funny ft. Ja Rule and that other guy [this song is my ish though], Play and probably many many other repetitive videos that I didn't care to subject myself to.

Power to J-Lo who gets to live out her wildest fantasies over and over again - fantasies that some of us party-goers and hood-dwellers know as reality.

*According to everyone, J-Lo wasn't a street kid. Although born and raised in the Bronx, she had strict parents and went to an all girls Catholic School. As soon as she was done with High School she fled to Manhattan and enrolled at Baruch College. But thanks for perpetuating stereotypes.
**Maid in Manhattan was also surprisingly good, but we're talking about music here.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Cozy

All the rooms in this Austin, Texas casita are very well-decorated. The house is colorful and full of many different trinkets and accessories, yet it still manages to look non-fussy and super comfortable. As a woman who often lounges around at home in boxers, baggy tees and fuzzy socks, comfort is an absolute win for me. Peep the rest of the home here.
I love the warm and inviting look of this den

I like the palette used in this room as well as those gorgeous white armchairs
Another warm and very inviting room

The light in this room is really beautiful

Tell me this attic bedroom isn't dope?!
Nothing like home sweet home!

DR & NY


Punta Cana in the D.R.
[I put on for my city.]

At my workplace, I have observed a slight intersection of two worlds - well to do whites and low-income blacks who live in the buildings nearby. And then there's me, peeking out from the window watching the two worlds consciously avoid interaction, in the middle. Always in the middle. As an American born descendant of La Hispaniola, I've always felt “in the middle”. In the middle of Dominican Republic and New York, in the middle of stereotypes and autonomy, in the middle of Blacks and Whites.

I come from two islands a little over 1,500 miles apart. One is known as a relatively poor country, the other is well known as an affluent duo of counties. Both are lauded as hot and hip vacation locales. About 75% of the inhabitants of D.R. look mixed race [like me], whereas only 17% of Long Island residents claim Hispanic* lineage. I now live in New York City, and the population here [about 8 million] is almost equal to the population of the entire Dominican Republic [about 9 million]. I grew up solidly middle class in a 6 bedroom, two bathroom ranch style home, but due to my parents financial choices and money management [or lack thereof], it felt more like lower-middle class. My parents never wholly encouraged education, it was just known that everyday, school was where we needed to be. They were against sloppy styles of clothing and choppy vernacular, and despite English being a second language for both of them, my siblings and I all spoke impeccable English without a trace of a Spanish accent. My father was vehemently against us girls dressing sexily or older than the ages we actually were – and was known to pop up at my sisters' High School to check up on their attendance and enforce good behavior. My family and I spoke both Spanish and English in the home and one was not preferred over the other. We consumed traditional foods like rice and beans and morir soñando, but also ate healthy servings of lasagna and potato salad. We loved music by artists such as Juan Luis Guerra, Hector LaVoe, Celia Cruz and others such as Whitney Houston [there's a home video of 5 year old me belting out all the words to "I will always love you" at my brother's birthday party]. I remember watching Sabado Gigante as well as In Living Color and New York Undercover with my siblings. I remember listening to my sister's cassettes, everything from Total and Mariah Carey to Fiona Apple and Sarah McLachlan. Getting to know the world outside of my own culture was not discouraged by my parents, or anyone else around me and that was very refreshing.

I am often asked “What are you?” presumably because people can't ethnically place me. I feel that's because I don't have many visible stereotypical qualities of a Hispanic woman. No kids, no heavy accent, no nameplate necklace and obnoxiously tight spandex outfit. I've noticed that once my ethnicity is known, things that I am talented at are accredited to my background. The fact that I like to clean, can dance, am good with kids and can cook are all because I'm Hispanic. Guys tend to attribute my “sexiness”, allure and the slight curves of my hips to my ethnicity. But all my other characteristics as well as my likes and dislikes throw people for a loop. I have hazel eyes and freckles, I speak well, and I have varied tastes. I am proud to be a Latin American woman but I certainly do not have a veil over my eyes regarding the truths of my countries, nor do I uphold my ethnicity as one that is better than others. People don't seem to know what to do with someone like me, an anomaly of all sorts, a person that they cannot neatly pigeonhole into a box, someone who doesn't “fit”. And what I find most interesting about that is, I feel that I'm pretty normal. 

As a Hispanic individual in America I've always felt in the middle of, if not ignored entirely by Blacks and Whites. When it comes to race relations, the focus is on either extreme, with people forgetting [or perhaps not caring] that there are two large groups of people [Hispanics and Asians] who are perpetually left out of the conversation. In a way, the subtle message has been that we don't matter. Or rather, that Hispanics are just another version of Blacks, and Asians just another version of Whites. I need not be the person to tell you that that assessment is erroneous. The individuals of Hispanic backgrounds that get the most attention are Puerto Ricans and Mexicans. If you're not Puerto Rican, then you're Mexican or vice versa, and if you're neither of those then you don't matter, because it's hard enough locating those two countries on a map. The media is out of touch with what Hispanics are like. Puerto Ricans [although similar to Dominicans] get to play by a different set of rules. For example, as a commonwealth of the USA, they have no trouble getting in and out of the states. Mexicans and Dominicans have little in common other than a common language [and even that's a stretch]. Mexicans are usually smeared in the media, the irony being that the same people who order Mexican food four nights a week will then bash the same hard-working people who delivered it. There is always some news report subtly bashing illegals who are hogging all the welfare and having too many babies while taking away all the coveted American jobs like landscaping and plumbing while not even speaking a lick of English. Dominicans get no airtime, as they are usually muddled with blacks and are only known for the clusterfuck that is Washington Heights and their ability to administer an amazing [and cheap!] blowout.

I recently read an article that stated: Latina teens are the most at risk for suicide. Although I will never condone suicide, I understand their reasons intimately, even if I never felt those same feelings growing up. First generation American kids have trouble reconciling their ethnicity with their nationality. They feel a strong disconnect with their parents, people who are living on new grounds but still exercise old customs and traditions in their daily lives. On top of that, these kids are largely overlooked by the American media and society, with the focus constantly on Black and White relations and stars, rarely Hispanic/Latin ones. [I don't think stars should ever be looked to as role models but I'm willing to admit that they're people that many growing kids look up to.] The few Hispanic celebs we are aware of in American media tend to be white-washed [Jennifer Lopez, Selena Gomez] and rarely ever speak on their heritage [Joaquin Phoenix, Christy Turlington, Charlie Sheen, Cameron Diaz]. Representation has gotten a lot better, growing up all I had was Gloria Trevi and Shakira but now I can count Michelle Rodriguez, Zoe Saldana and Omahyra Mota as proud Dominicans. I also love Eva Mendes, Salma Hayek and Penelope Cruz for being so well-rounded and vocal. I know that it's human nature to want to see ourselves reflected in others and it certainly helps, but I want other Hispanic young ones to know that it isn't a prerequisite to a fully realized identity. Feel free to be you whether you see yourself reflected or not: "Be the change you wish to see in the world."

*I prefer being called Latina.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Single Woman Speak


Single women of the world, this is all you have to do.


Time Out New York asked 50 unmarried Gotham gals about dating, working and living in this [supposedly] female-saturated city. Here are my answers:

Where are you from?
Long Island.

How do Long Island guys compare to NYC guys?
They don't.

Is your sex an advantage or disadvantage in the workplace?
It depends on the misogyny of the person you're dealing with. But personally, it isn't a disadvantage at all. It's a blessing to be a woman and I've never let it hinder me because I've never seen it as a burden.

Have you ever been sexually harassed at work?
Yeah. This past winter my ex-boss suggested I throw an apron on with nothing underneath and serve him like that. I always assumed I'd sock someone in the mouth if they said something that disgusting to me, but truthfully I was completely stunned into silence. Another incident happened with someone else a few weeks later. The second offender got an earful.

Have you ever been sexually harassed on the street?
Guys on the street will catcall but I've never had a stranger say anything even mildly offensive. I have a sweet face and minimal T&A so needless to say, they've always been kind. I've been lucky.

Where do you hang out?
I'm below 59th st 99% of the time in shops, restaurants, museums, parks, clubs, lounges, shows, or just walking around. I do it all, baby.

Where do you meet guys?
I never go out with the sole intention of meeting men. If I happen to meet someone on my way out then hey, that's cool, although it never happens. I usually make new male friends while out at clubs and the like. Something about nightlife brings the predators out in droves. Believe it or not, I've also met a lot of guys online. Due in part, to the nature of my work.

Are you looking to get married?
If anything, I'm looking for commitment. Let's handle that first. I'm not ruling marriage out though! If you find someone who makes it all worth it, then there's really no question what the next step should be. I'm all about progression.

Do you want to raise a family? Would you do so on your own?
Sure, I'll have a gaggle of kids. And for the latter, sure but I'd have to be really old with absolutely no prospects and a lot of money. I'd adopt a trio of babies in that case. Asian ones.

What do you really look for in a guy?
Maturity.

Do you really believe in monogamy?
Yes. And I think it's entirely possible, despite all the nonsense people have been harping about in the media lately.

What's the best compliment you've received on the street?
I like the ones where the guys kinda gasp before hollering the compliment, like they've seen Jesus himself in my eyes or something. Those are fun. In general, I've never minded strangers telling me I'm beautiful. There are far worse things in life.

How do you like to be approached?
Let's lock eyes a few times and then you should come over and say hello. And after we've started talking, don't be phony. Don't brag. And don't be a cornball. Never that.

Are you dating right now?
No, not really. But I could be if I wanted to.

When was the last time you met a nice single man?
A nice single man? About two years ago. We still talk. But now it's talk talking. Which makes me happy.

What's your biggest turnoff?
Aimlessness.

Why are you single?
A lot of reasons. I've met a lot of guys where the attraction was heavy and mutual but we ultimately wanted different things. I also hustle like 80 hours a week right now. I'm also only 22. And I'm also fly! Sometimes it's nice to tease guys using that aspect. Sometimes I like being a free bird and not feeling guilty about the fact that I have the ability to make men salivate. I feel like there's a freedom in that because it's not like I have a man at home. With all that being said, I've honestly never minded being single [no sardonic reasons].

Is NYC a good place to be single?
Sure. You can meet a dozen different people every day if you wanted to. And if a date goes sour, odds are, you'll never have to see them again.

What can a man expect when dating you?
What a loaded question!... First and foremost, he can expect a woman. One who is chill, [very] funny, balanced, honest, brilliant, bold and fearless, respectful, loyal, very compassionate and kind. A girl who creates butterflies and causes weakness. A lady who can look the part and act the part whenever and wherever. Oh and a dame who is nowhere near jaded. [God bless me.] Is that too much to expect? [Sidenote: I cook and clean and all that jazz, but a guy who regards 'cooking' as the ultimate prerequisite for a wife has little to no idea of what it really takes to carry a successful relationship.]

Do you have any advice for single women in NY?
Keep your standards reasonable, do your hair, put on some fucking lipstick, smile for once and keep yourself busy with a proper life. I've met a lot of cool women but I've also seen a lot of women who are smoking up a pipedream. Good men don't want that shit. Be authentic and learn how to cook. Bring something real to the table other than a few degrees, ever-present PMS and daddy issues.

Happy Dating!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Renter's Remorse II


You didn't think that was the end did you?

So after moving out of sideshow Bob's circus freak of an apartment, I finally found a place; in a small house in Bay Ridge about 15 minutes away. My room was super tiny [8 x 12], but my rent was really low and at that time, it was the perfect escape. My roommates were a Polish girl and Venezuelan guy in their 30s - whose lives were equally in shambles. The girl was plagued with debt and a permanent lackluster mood and the guy was friendly but a schemer, the type that never had a job and was always up to something. The apartment was tidy but always dirty, as my roommates never, ever deep cleaned the common areas. And I chose not to clean up after them because I knew they'd take me as the maid. The neighborhood was very suburban and safe, but there was no grocery store or laundromat near me and I honestly don't know or remember how I functioned for so long without either. About a month into living there, I lost my job and subsisted on unemployment. I spent the days locked in my room, sorting through my melancholy, shaking off the disappointment of my time in NYC and choking on the damp depression looming in the apartment. I only lasted 6 months there, ultimately deciding to take a risk that never fully materialized. Either way, I was glad I left [especially since the schemer tried to deduct 6 months of utilities out of my security deposit upon departure. In the end - and after a rage filled tongue lashing from me - I acquiesced to paying 3 months to shut him up.] It was the stepping stone I needed to turn things around and get focused.

So since living in a luxury high rise in Hell's Kitchen with two zany free-spirits wasn't my cup of tea, I retreated to Long Island temporarily. By September [two months later] I was back in NYC, this time setting my feet down in Astoria, Queens.

The woman I would be subleasing from, an African girl with the stature of a supermodel named Sana, met me in the city along with her friend. I hit it off with them wonderfully, and although the apartment was slightly dated, I took it on the strength of my connection with them, the roomy size of the apartment and bedroom itself, and time constraints. The apartment had no nearby grocery again, but luckily there was a laundromat right around the corner - who did the best wash and fold I have seen to this day! Living there had its own fair share of issues. I had two female roommates, Sana didn't actually live there which made me raise an eyebrow. One of the roommates was a super clean freak, the type who literally scrubbed down the tub after every use, and would question us about crumbs on the counter. The bitch drove me nuts. The other roommate wasn't home all that much and couldn't stand the clean freak much either. It was all beginning to get real uncomfortable for me, especially when I started suspecting that I [and the other tenants] were being overcharged. The apartment was far too dank for what we were paying in rent, and during a later altercation it all came out. Sana was banking a cool $600-$700 off of us monthly, while living rent free in her boyfriend's Gramercy apartment. [I would later learn that she had a history of gold-digging and getting involved with men for green cards and the like.] Our elderly Greek landlord was no help, she didn't care what happened upstairs as long as she got her money every month. This was all revealed the same day I told Sana that I found more posh arrangements and needed my security deposit back. She refused to give me my security deposit, so I, all of 5'4 got way up in her face, finger wagging and sternly scoffing. And what did she do? She grabbed my finger and twisted it backward. In the split second it took me to cock my other hand back so I could mollywop her six foot lanky ass in the head, my friend swooped in and broke it up. I was so angry I didn't get a hit in that I was shaking and crying big fat tears of fury. In the end, the police were called and I got to stay another month rent free - but not before I sent her a very incriminating message stating that if she ever came back to that house with some nonsense to spout I would immediately bash her head in.

After that, I was relieved to finally be moving in with a "friend", Hanna, a girl I had met a few weeks prior. She was pretty awkward and odd-looking but seemed really low-key and most importantly, nice. Unfortunately, my [half] Russian cousin was in tow since my family had decided to dump her on me during her stay in the States. The apartment was really pretty, marbly and white and clean with lots of light. The bedroom wasn't too large, but it was nicely done; and the apartment was far from public transportation but I decided it would do. I thought I was finally going to have a normal and happy living situation. Over time, I started to see that I was the only responsible one in the house. I was the only one who cooked, cleaned, grocery shopped and had money. Shit, I was the only one who had dishes and towels - so of course, everyone mooched off me. I was living with two superficial and needy little girls, and I wasn't interested in being their mother. And then of course, this happened.

After that major blowout and the most tension filled week of my life, I took a sabbatical from the city and the people in it. There had been a little voice inside my head repeating the same thing for years "You need to live alone" and it was a sentiment then repeated by my friends and family. Enough was enough, and I spent 6 months back in Long Island, collecting my thoughts and making a plan. I was eager to get back to the city, but I wanted to do it right this time, no rushing, no pressure, no doubt.

It was May 2010 and I was five months into my stay in Long Island. I was growing weary and wanted to get back to the city asap. I made a mental goal: Have a place to call my own by my 22nd birthday - June 1st, 2010. I looked and looked and looked all over, and found nothing but rooms and studios that were overpriced, cramped or just not a good fit. The last place I checked out was this studio. I remember coming to see it kinda late at night, but I was charmed by the buildings and shops on the walk there, and noticed the cutest park perched on a hill at the foot of the block. I hoped that the apartment was just as cute as the neighborhood. The landlord let me in and his house looked really nice and modern. Good sign, I thought. We got downstairs and I tried to contain my excitement as I could totally see myself living in the place. There was a huge walk-in closet, a perfectly sized kitchenette, and a large bathroom with a full tub which was perfect for bubble baths. And the asking price was just oh so right. Two weeks later, I moved in [happy birthday to meeeee!!!] and I've called it home ever since.

See? There are such things as Happy Endings! [Sometimes.]

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Renter's Remorse

I am immensely grateful for and in love with my quaint, quiet studio apartment and that's majorly due to all the hell I went through as a roommate. Despite my current landlord being a bit of a cheapskate and a perv, he's nothing compared to the wild array of "screws loose" weirdos I've dealt with in the past. I mistakenly ended up in so many shady situations due to lack of funds, ruined credit [thanks to my Mother and a subsequent layoff], and being a complete newbie to NYC real estate. Who knew you needed references, a guarantor and perfect credit for an overpriced, illegal room in Brooklyn? [Names have been slightly changed to protect the guilty.]

The very first apartment I lived in in the city set the tone. I had gotten a job as a live in nanny in Chelsea, and the family lived in a loft in a building complete with rooftop and doorman. I had a semi-private space upstairs and was ready to start living the life. I worked long hours so I relished my downtime, gallivanting all by lonesome downtown that summer. The couple was a relatively young, somewhat nice pair, true social climbers who were overly concerned with appearances and money. Although they put on a genuine front, I felt uncomfortable, especially upon figuring out just how poorly they intended to treat me. The wife in particular was an odd contradiction - she bought me expensive things and let me shower in her bathroom [my bathroom wasn't finished] but left me out of house dinners and left the fridge mostly empty [food was part of our live-in agreement]. And once the Albanian doorman developed some sort of weird obsession* with me, refusing to let me in the building after a night out on the town and even storming in on my pseudo date on the building's rooftop in a jealous rage, I'd had enough. Needless to say, although I was left homeless and jobless when I was let go a month into the job [the same day another nanny clued me in on just how abused and poorly paid I was], a huge part of me was relieved. The only fond memory I have of that time period was the sweet and gentle toddler I looked after, and the fact that the wife introduced me to Devachan hair products.

My options at the time were: move into a private room for free in Bob's apartment, or settle onto Julissa's [a nanny I had met] best friend's couch for a flat fee every month. Both places were in Brooklyn and both people were relative strangers. I was still broke and always did like my privacy, so I decided to go with the more "comfortable" option, my own room for a zero dollar transaction. [I guess it was the better choice of the two because not too long after, Julissa tried to con me out of some money.] After a week in Bob's apartment I started looking for a place to go next. He was terrible to live with: negative, needy, pushy and worst of all had a bit of an obsession* with me with a twist of control issues. That, and his place was a pigsty. Within two weeks, I had made my getaway and moved all my things uptown.

Welcome to the hood: 135th and Broadway. The apartment was in a huge high-rise building and it was large and beautifully done. Three bedrooms, two and half baths, and my room was pretty big with a massive closet to match. I felt good. I shared the apartment with two white guys, one a cop and the other a pothead science teacher. I didn't realize until I moved in that it was a building primarily for low-income residents, with heavy crime familiar to the neighborhood. An older woman saw me carrying my things into the apartment and asked me if I was moving in. I nodded my head yes, and she said something along the lines of, “May the lord be with you.” But truthfully, living there wasn't all that bad. I stayed mostly to myself in the apartment, avoiding awkward chit-chat with my roommates and the pot that the teacher often smoked. When walking around at night I made sure to be cognizant of my surroundings, and all in all my neighbors were pretty respectful. I moved out 3 months later due to lack of funds, and the mismatched feeling coming from my immature roommates and ghetto neighborhood. Plus the lease was up soon and they weren't planning on renewing it anyway.

After that, believe it or not, it was back to Bob's.  I guess I had a lot more patience, naivete, and kindness in my soul back then. Despite his craziness we were still in touch, and since I had lost my job and he had also lost his job, we decided to help each other out. It wasn't long before I regretted it. I spent an entire year there, 6 months longer than I had anticipated. I couldn't find work, and after awhile Bob's negative energy affected me so badly that I stopped looking. I felt stuck. He was discouraging, negative, angry and never ceased to tell me the age old story that all abusers know and love: No one cares about you, no one will take care of you the way I do... and so on and so forth. And that's not all. There was the imposed curfew [that I never followed], the furious jealousy that came over him whenever I made/hung out with a new friend [male or female], and his various attempts to control me [even going as far as grabbing my phone from my hands and intimidating whoever was on the line into never speaking to me again]. When my silence turned into defiance, and I refused to back down any longer, he called my family and told them awful lies about me which caused major dissonance between me and my siblings. The first few months I was cautious, almost careful not to get in his way but once I saw that it would never end, I had to put a stop to it. Screaming matches turned into verbal threats and those turned into me pouncing on him one day and bludgeoning him until my little fists of fury gave out. He tried and he tried, but he couldn't get me off, and I kept punching until I had my fill. Not long after that, I moved out, and I never ever looked back...

*I wish I was kidding.

Click here for part two!