Lost Care Packages: Nothing Special

Image

Family will make you believe you’re self-centered when all you really want is to be acknowledged and appreciated at some point. 

It’s almost like abandonment. Like being told you’re going for ice cream and get left at the fire station for some strange family to come along and adopt you.

I grew up in families and in neighborhoods and in friendships that made it not so easy to share the stories I collected while away from them. They didn’t understand what was happening in the school houses they found hard to pronounce, and in the cities they’d only seen on television. Happy for me, yes, but refused to ask any questions about it out of fear that I was no longer one of them, or my answer would question their intelligence. It wouldn’t.

Abandon: cease to support or look after. I jumped in the car and drove away from my 43,000 people town, holding tight to everything I learned there, everyone I loved, and every place I knew. I held my hand out, not knowing most of those I was reaching for weren’t reaching back.

The first few years I came home excited to share everything, but before opening my mouth, my accomplishments and experiences were trumped with stories of cousins with new babies, new charges, new addictions, and new jobs at the hospital, and perhaps I should look into in case school didn’t quite work out. My stories didn’t seem so important then. We sat around and I listened to plans to get a care package and money together to send to a cousin locked up, wondering if they had these conversations about me, and if the care packages and money got lost on the way to Daytona. I stopped coming home with stories to tell. Just smiles, nods, and “I’m okay. Everything is cool.”

There’s nothing interesting about the kid who left. And no one would look after him. No one would support him.

I’m a writer above most other things. A few weeks ago a friend asked how I deal with the feelings of loneliness that inevitably attack. At this point it’s like that friend who comes around that has nothing positive to say about anything. You deal with it. But I supposed my ability to live with it as a writer came from my decisions to continue returning to shared couches with people who shoved loneliness up my nose.

There’s nothing special about the kid who did something different.

I share my success and failures with the world because there are people out there who understand. Because every so often I really just want a tight hug from a familiar person because I stayed up for three days to meet a deadline, letting a an important relationship die. People out there who, when I tell them a play I wrote won an amazing award and a photo I took was published in Vogue, won’t say “Oh,” then tell me about their neighbor who’s letting her boyfriend stay there even though he’s selling drugs and not on the lease.

Home is where we can share accomplishments and goals and dreams and be understood. This 43,000 people town is where I wash my clothes and get hugs from my mother when I need them.

Cyber BS Update

As promised, for those who care, and those dealing with similar situations: 

Two weeks ago I took all the information I had to the cops, and finalized dealings with my amazing attorney who specializes in Cyber Crimes. I left town for a while, but returned now, and hit the ground running. Received a call from my attorney yesterday saying the important things are back and we now have enough to move forward (shout out to the people who put a rush order on it at the several companies). 

Today we met, went over the findings, made attempts at theories of why’s and what’s and went through the law books, and made calls and sent faxes and secured something tight. Then headed to the police station. 

The first hour was spent educating the officers on the internet, how it works, and a few choice words. What followed was the first officer pointing out something we completely missed (to be shared soon). Now to the most important office! I’m just so very ready for it to be done and over, but will not cheat or shortcut it. Prepared to see it all the way through. Next week should begin the end process. 

side note: The incident I shared with you guys about a similar situation happening to me years ago received closure last week when she emailed me, apologizing for what she did. Easily accepted. Sometimes good people do bad things. 

IF YOU NEED ASSISTANCE OR HAVE QUESTIONS ABOUT A SITUATION YOU’RE FACING REGARDING CYBER BULLYING OR HARASSMENT, FEEL FREE TO CONTACT ME. I’LL DO WHAT I CAN. 

Same S***, Different Friends

20140617-163211-59531231.jpg

growing up I always wondered what “famous people” do with their friends in their down times.

I grew up and became friends with “famous people” and we do the same things I did with my friends then.

Who needs champagne on yachts all year around. spades, ziplines, talking trash by pools and pho on random afternoons. yeah, that’s what it’s all about.

What Happened To Her, They Asked

Image

What Happened To Her, They Asked

She grew up and no longer wanted to be as oblivious as the girl her friends believed she was
The girl he had proof existed between Friday evenings and Monday mornings
She laughed and played on swings
She took kissing photos in parking garages and laughed when he asked that she do it upside down
She wiped frozen yogurt and cake icing from her face when he was feeling playful and put her hair in a ponytail when she feared he may push her in the lake
She felt love then without looking
But near the end she looked for it in his words
And he was a man of few

– darnell lamont walker

Update: Cyber Harassment & Online Abuse

kids

In the last few days I’ve learned how many people actually fall victim to online abuse. Many who are left with wrecked nerves, trust issues, thoughts of suicide, etc. It’s quite sad. And most of the time, there’s no reason for it. And eventually, because you’re usually dealing with it on your own, it becomes stressful and tiring to pursue these abusers; at least in my case. I was seconds away from just giving up completely and moving on with my life, allowing the messages to continue.

Then I think of Megen Meier and Tyler Clementi who gave up completely and took a different route. They killed themselves because there were unable to handle the pressures, stress, foolishness. Like I always say, “if I weren’t built for this, I’d be dead by now.”

And I have a kid in school in this age of technology and he could easily be one of the 13 million being bullied or cyber-bullied this year. You raise them properly but foolishness will still happen. And because of that kid, and the millions I’ve never met, I have to keep going.

The other day, I posted an entry here about my situation. I talked about how I’ve been collecting all the information, tweets, emails, and things. I extended my hand to the abuser offering to leave everything where it is instead of pursuing the situation further, but was again ridiculed and no apology was given to me or those others bothered by it. What did come from it, however, were messages from others sharing their experiences with online abusers, and they were incredible. Some who never found their abuser, others who did and prosecuted, and some who even forgave. Then came the outreach from organizations and individuals that work with people who are being cyber-bullied to track down their abusers and help with prosecution and the like. The police department I’m now working with (because LAPD told me I’d have to be killed to report a crime).

It’s certainly stressful and nerve wrecking, and makes me question everything. But I can’t stop. Because perhaps it’s happened to others.

Special thanks to: W.H.O.A. (Working to Halt Online Abuse); Those Special Friends in High Places; Google; HideMyAss.Com; The Attorney of my Dreams; S.K. who’s seen God; Officer Greene; and my brother Nick, the tech GOD.

Note To Others: Don’t give in. Don’t quit. See it through to the end. Even if you’re going to lose, fight until you truly can’t anymore. There are organizations that will help, and people that will help. I will do what I can to assist. You’re not alone in it.

So the Update: I’m still fighting, and will see it through to the end.

 

DO NOT GIVE UP.

I’m Being Cyber Bullied. I Won’t Bow Out.

Image

The kettle whistle will eventually blow. The guy on the edge will fall off when a strong wind comes. And me, well, I’ll eventually not be so cool about things.

For the past few months I’ve been getting harassed via social media, email, text messages, etc. It’s been mind blowing because I couldn’t quite figure out what it was I did to whoever was doing it. Did I spit on someone by accident? Did I talk too much about Tyler Perry or Oprah? Did I say something out of the way to one of my ultra sensitive followers? Mind blowing.

I chalked it up at first to someone who couldn’t quite figure out how to deal with their anger productively. Then I realized this was productive to them, and the messages began rolling. I’ve always been able to handle being harassed, threatened, mistreated. I usually just talked to the person and belittled them to the point where suicide became a viable option for them. But in the last few months, the harassment moved into the lives of my friends and family, and that is what I can’t handle. I snap.

In my old age I’ve grown soft. Years ago I would have grabbed my grandmother’s machete and taken to the streets and knock on a few doors (google my name and you may find the article that proves this). Allow me to break it down a bit for you: I spent my youth shaking hands and making friends and brothers and sisters out of those I knew would mean something to me at various points in my life. Some of these friends, brothers, and sisters are cops, magistrates, government contracts, hired guns, and bakers (gotta love a good donut). In this situation, I went to my brother the magistrate, then to his friends, the cops.

Two years ago I was involved in a similar situation. An angered employee of mine began slandering me online, and harassing me and my coworkers. After giving her the chance to apologize and being told “fuck you, you dumb motherfucker. It wasn’t me,” I went to the magistrate then to the cops, and two days later she was picked up at her parents house at 6am, slammed on the hood of the car, and taken to jail. I received a call that evening from her apologizing and asking if something could be worked out. Of course not. That window of opportunity was now closed. “You lost me at ‘motherfucker,'” I told her. She received six months jail time.

This new harasser is slicker and more advanced. Not a dumb one at all. Able to hide behind walls and blend in when necessary. When I think I have the culprit, I’m wrong. I applaud this one. But there’s always a slip up somewhere. Always a mistake. Always an exception.

For me, this has been especially nerve wrecking because I know I know this person. This is someone who’s been in my home, and I’ve been in theirs. We’ve laughed together, I’m sure. I’ve been playing every email, note, text, tweet and time stamp through my head, and each time I do it, I narrow it down a little more. This is hard because I stopped trusting friends for a moment, and lost two friends as well. My mind has been too focused on this.

I’m not working with a novice. No, this harasser is a pro. Today I gathered every piece of writing I’ve received, and those my friends received and I took them to the places they needed to go. I talked to the people I needed to speak to. Special thanks to my trusty comrade who spoke sense into me in the end.

This is what I’m offering (though I know it’ll probably bite me in the end): Total forgiveness if you reveal yourself and apologize to me and others who’ve been hurt, along with an explanation. While it’s true I may never find out who you are (assuming there’s only one), there is a great chance I will, and I promise I will go all the way with the consequences, no matter how many laughs, tears, moments, plates and drinks we’ve shared.

I Feel Lucky

Image

I don’t know how to feel. The last few days have been so fast, and I’m sitting on my dad’s couch in Charlottesville, VA sharing my favorite new videos with someone millions of miles away and feeling some type of way about something, and I can’t pinpoint that “something.” 

I just left Kim’s, laughing at long-toothed folks, and talking about my immediate need for food and ran into Marquis while walking down Main Street and had a couple of shots and a beer that led into a conversation about religion, politics (the reason we voted for Obama in ’08), and the importance of getting the hell out of the only place you know, even if for just a second. 

It’s my grandma Rene’s birthday. She died 3 years ago, and we decided to celebrate her today. Beautiful event I almost missed because I’m growing tired of the obstacles I often run into when trying to get from A to B. I left New York last night by car, and left DC this morning by bus, and walked from there. A few hundred miles, a couple hours of sleep, the same songs on repeat, and I finally ran into my family. Those people who know you well because they changed your nasty diapers, took you to parties even though they hated you for being the younger, quirky cousin, and those who you grow with, and show up for when new babies need to be greeted into this world. 

I feel good, I do. I feel sleepy, and I feel lucky. Yeah, I guess that’s the best way to say that: lucky. Thank you all for making me lucky.