I'm not going to go into a deep back grounding, just try to start from where I think things begin. I believe my life is
a spiritual path, a great journey, but it's not always easy to make sense of where it takes me.
I was born in Caguas, Puerto Rico in 1971. When I was two my parents moved back to Southeast Texas where all my family
lives here on the Gulf Coast. My father was third generation Irish and my mother has Cherokee on her side. Her father, my
Papaw, was about half Cherokee. I don't make an emphasis about blood anymore. I know now in my heart instead of my head that
it is the spirit, not the blood. I may still yet try to recover my family tree and look into the blood recognition, but I
am still debated. I don't like the way people treat finding their heritage and getting a BIA card is what is ... the spirit
in meaning returning to ones roots. I have returned to my roots like I have been a tree starved of sinking them into the Mother
Earth. I want to be taken for who I am, with no evidence to give you but the look in my eyes and the feelings in my heart.
The way I was growing up was very special. The family was very large then. I can remember things for as far back as when
I was three years old even though my memory is a mess, I get sequence of events messed up a little and some of my memory is
swiss cheesed. My parents raised me on how all things are sacred and how the animals are precious and dear. I was always very
close to my Papaw and he taught the same things. Even at three I believed I had a destiny, I had a very strong will power
and determination. I was a fearless child and I loved to catch things like frogs and snakes and climb trees, sometimes even
the roof of the house. I had a very special way with animals and they were never really afraid of me. I was always a big tomboy.
Just the other day, about a week ago I started to remember something from when I was about six or seven. And then I began
to wonder just how far I go back with sensing things. This is my first ghost story:
I remember when I was a really small child, about 6 or 7, I went up to the country with my parents to visit some
relatives. Me and my cousins were at this house I hadn't been to before and I started to play in the front yard.
I was kind of bored, nobody was playing and there was nothing to do so I went to the drive way to play behind the
truck parked there. It was kind of neat because the drive way was made all out of little stones I learned much later was river
stones. I was picking through them and I started to imagine this other little girl was playing with me. She had blond hair
down to her shoulders that curled. She seemed sad and I was pretending to share the prettiest stones with her but we were
behind the truck and it seemed like a bad place. I was imagining how she wasn't around because that truck backed up into her
playing like this and she died. So I started feeling a little sad. I went to the front door to get the other kids to come
out and play with me.
I told them I was playing in the driveway and there were some pretty rocks there but they didn't want to come outside.
They were really stressed that I didn't tell their dad I was in the driveway. They were never allowed to play there because
a little girl had died there when a truck backed up into her. Someone hadn't seen her there and ran over her.
I didn't want to say anything but I asked if she had blond hair and she did. The mother came up and then we started
talking about ghosts and how they believed that little girl was still around as a presence and the other kids sometimes thought
that they could see her. Then their mom said that now she knew for sure and believed her kids, so I asked her if we could
play in the driveway now and she let us. I didn't tell any of them I thought the little girl was sad, I didn't want to hurt
My childhood was a wonderful, magical time. My parents had always been very special people, just in the love that they
had for each other and the way they saw the world.
I was about nine when things started to going down hill. I was noticing how my dad was an alcoholic. Sometimes the fights
he and my mother had could be very frightening. At one time my mother had kicked my dad into the living room gas heater because
he was drunk and going too far in playing. He could be allot of fun to wrestle with in the middle of the living room but I
was also learning he could be uncontrollable and go too far and not know when to stop. In the same time I was having other
problems I didn't tell my parents about. I tried to sometimes but the words wouldn't come. For years the words won't come,
barely even like a whisper. It is so hard to try to say I was molested. It was always my darkest secret, it is the most difficult
thing of all to release and move on from. I don't think anyone ever really moves on. I started to have nightmares
all the time and I had constant ear aches and aches in my ankles that hurt pretty bad and happened all the time. I was even
more comfortable in my tomboyness and clothes than before because I started getting to where I just wanted to be as generic
as possible, as nothing-nothing as possible and just be 'one of the guys', not be seen as a sexual object. Some people just
don't care what you look like.
By the time I was thirteen I was an emotional wreck. My only real sense of identity was Native American and the wolf. I
was very withdrawn. I stayed in my room. If I wasn't writing I worked with modeling clay, pretending and making creatures
with lizard heads who had civilizations and armies. We moved into a house I didn't really like. My dad's drinking was getting
worse. He was fighting my brother every time he came home which hurt me deeply because my brother had always been like a father
where my dad wasn't and he was leaving every chance he got and wouldn't come home for weeks on end. Sometimes when my dad
would get mad with me he'd try to leave me in the garage that was built into the side of the house.
The largest memory I have of that house we lived in only for a year was being locked into the garage one night. I went
to go open the garage door to sit and wait on the porch for my mother to let me back in and try to exact some kind of peace
or maybe make him go to bed or something. There were two garbage cans by the garage door and when I moved to open it I could
hear this 'crunching' noise. I kind of stepped back to gather the surroundings. Everywhere there were maggots. I don't know
which one of us forgot to take the cans out, or if maybe my dad even set me up on purpose. I just stood there for a moment
until for a brief moment I felt like my mind completely blacked out, like a blink. I went back to the steps of the door and
sat there to wait for someone to let me back in. I couldn't help but feel like at that moment, that this was how my parents
thought of me.
After that house we moved to my grampa's house because we had gotten so broke. It was the booze. I brought me, myself and
my clay. For a time there I didn't have a room of my own so I played with my clay on this bar to the back of the living room.
Someone decided I was too old to be playing with my clay creatures and one day when I came home from school my clay was wadded
up into one big gray ball and thrown into the garbage. My parents were livid. My mother was furious because I never did anything
but stay to myself and write or play with the clay. I remember that being a point when I would play with clods of grass in
the back yard, imagining with them like I would the clay even though they had bought me some more already.
These things were my escape. I was always very inside my own imagination in my withdrawal. When we didn't end up arguing
at home or there was verbal abuse, I was being ignored. By the time I was fifteen I was in a dark depression and I was very
angry. I cried myself to sleep every night and sometimes I prayed.
I was so lonely I felt un nutured of a complete half of myself. Like I was only half a human being. I didn't want to be
in this world, this material world but days I wanted like wandering through the woods were gone. If I could have turned myself
into a wolf and ran into the woods, I would have kept going until there was nothing left of any civilization. I felt like
I didn't belong in all of man. All the things I cherished were destroyed, stamped down or dreamy nonsense.
When I was about 15 or 16 my dad stopped drinking. When he had stopped drinking the anger seemed to die. When he started
going to Alcoholics Anonymous I went with him, thinking that I could now admit to my own pain and hurt, but I quickly discovered
there was nothing in that place for me. I was too young for Alanon and they didn't have an Alateen. My parents also made it
rather clear they still believed the same thing, that I wasn't an abused child anyway. And this wasn't for me, it was dad's
attention and time of recognition and healing. I turned back again to my silence and withdrawal. I was still being ignored.
I had no pain great enough. I was supposed to just get over it.
I never got bitter about anything. I did want to get over all my baggage and hurts. I hurt for a very long time. I could
never say anything. Then when I did it was 'you're not abused' or 'get over it.' Too late for you. But I was tired of feeling
like I had to live in some kind of lie. Like I was a dark, dark secret living in turmoil and withdrawal. I did want to do
something for myself. Most of all I wanted someone who could listen to me. I was always the profound one and a good listener.
I was so often my mothers support - and her punching bag. I wanted her to know most of all how beautiful she was. I could
never hold a bad word against my mother. I felt trapped by my hurts and unable to speak.
Often people would reminise on their good childhood memories, but all I could offer was the pain in mine. It's just the
way things were. I had a crossroads in my darkest depression as a young teen. I realized in it I did have a choice between
living a dark path or a good one. I didn't want to live in a dark path. I was tired of anything hurting.
I learned at a really young age you have to make your own positivity. Nobody else is going to do it for you. Nobody else
is going to get you out of anything. You have to do it by yourself. My mom's thing was to say and do things to try to get
an affect out of me and the worse she got, the less I showed. But it takes me a while to react to anything. I try to keep
my cool. I don't like the idea of not being in control of myself or my emotions.
I was always confused with how I felt, that my own hurt was just a lie. There must be something else wrong with me. It's
what everyone else thought too. My parents even took me to a councilor or shrink because they were worried about me. I was
getting pissier, me and my dad couldn't stand five minuets of each other and I'd only come out after everyone had gone to
bed to watch Tv or get something to eat. Every time I would try with my dad still up he'd tell me to go to bed, like at 7:00
on a Saturday night, he was telling me to go to bed when I was out of my room to get a glass of milk. I told him that and
he grabbed my milk out of my hand and poured it down the sink. I guess I was starting to get a little territorial myself.
I had to leave my home town filled with diversity and go to this one school that was nothing but white. The only black guy
there they treated like he was a mascot, that wasn't helping matters either.
I found myself in this office with this man. He was a family councilor or something and wanted me to talk to him. So I
opened my mouth. I could feel the blood draining out of my face. I know I must have gone pale. I was about to speak of abuse.
Then he gets this angry look on his face and starts bitching at me about how I dare not try to start in on some abuse shit
because my parents are worried about me and brought me here to find out what the problem was. That I tell him the truth instead
of use some abuse excuse on my dear upstanding parents ... so I closed my mouth and I said nothing. I was 'rolling my eyes'
at him as some put it as a description where there was no expression on my face at all. That seemed to suprise him. I thought
I would have to sit there forever but he let me leave. He told my parents I was like someone from a broken home.
From there I moved for a year to my gramma's, my mothers mother and went to school there. It was better but I missed my
parents. I didn't want to loose my parents. I loved them dearly, I just wanted the drinking to stop and someone to care. One
night at my gramma's I started to pray during a heavy thunderstorm. I prayed with all my guts for the truth, for answers and
for help. I prayed until the lightning struck down right over the top of the house and shook my windows. Then I felt and kind
of saw this dark mass climbing down the side of my wall to my bed. It scared me so bad I pulled the sheets over my head until
I fell asleep.
Three days later my mother called. They found a new house to move into.
When my dad came home from a detox program it was like my mother had gotten a divorce and married a completely new stranger.
I never really got to know him until the last three years of his life. When I had come home he was already out of the detox
program and mostly worked in the garden, day and night.
At 16 I met a deceitful man who put me through three years of growth in one year from all his roller coaster ride. I met
my first teacher through him though, and when I finally was able to leave him, I had drawn much closer to my parents. Before
then I didn't even believe they wanted me. I knew they did now and loved me. I got other problems from it though. I became
even more post traumatic than I had before, though I wouldn't find out I have PTS until years later. I was afraid to leave
my house for a long time from when he was stalking me and I became afraid of all men in general. I thought that's all that
men in general wanted, to just treat me like an object and 'have to' perform for them. After I got out of this relationship,
I knew my mothers faith in me even if she still thought I was stupid but I was so tired and emotionally drained. I felt like
I was coming home after a tour with the Vietnam war.
I had then met my first true love after this. I didn't want anything to do with men at all, but I had known this one in
high school, we shared the same art class and there was 'something about him' that made me want to be where ever he was. I
still believe he must have been a flaming soul but this life time wasn't to be. I had a strong feeling there I had met him
just a little too late ... and that it wasn't this time that we'd be together. Still, I think I needed that. We helped each
other through allot of emotional pains and issues of trust. If I hadn't of been willing to trust again, I would have never
of gotten so close to him. It was like our bodies were just in the way.
After him I met my husband, and that was very, very hard for me with my sense of loyalty. Now I loved two men even though
one was gone. The first one was still in my heart and this was a very hard process to learn about what loyalty must mean to
By now I had learned very many things. I became dedicated to a spiritual path of healing myself by the time I was 18. Coming
into my twenties, the Native American began to come full circle. I was learning about the Good Red Road from other Native
Americans. They were the closest I could come to a sense of belonging to a community with the rest of the world. I never thought,
in all my life, that I could say I am Native American and be among the people this way.
In 1996, my mother passed away from cancer even though we had always lived with her slowly deteriorating and possibly dying
one day from Miotonic Muscular Distrophe. It was a time of rapid growth for me. I remember my dreams becoming much deeper
now, much more, almost shamanistic. I had one dream of a spirit guide. It was the first most vivid dream I had ever had. More
real than real and clearer than clear. She was a shapeshifter woman who was very sympathetic to the pain I was in. She showed
me things about my own withdrawl and my father. Then she said she is waiting to meet me someday.
It was the same time of a great gathering I kept dreaming about. Then there was something that happened in the constillations.
I can't remember what it was, maybe an alignment or an eclipse, but it was so special even the sun worshipers in Europe had
gathered to the stone henges in masses so great they were all over the news. I knew this was a very important time and I was
beggining to feel desperate to find someone I could talk to. I was looking for the shaman everyone kept telling me to talk
to, but I could never find them.
In 1999 my father died in the process of being diagnosed with Lou Gherigs disease. By now I had found the Cougar Band of
the Lumbee nation and they had adopted me. I took the 100 mile drive to every gathering we had there that I could but after
our Medicine Man died the Chief retired. I didn't go to the last meeting and we lost contact from there. Sometime after my
father died I had a spiritual awakening. It lasted for months. I call it my Spiritual Madness. It was like a tsunami.