Monday, June 2, 2014

2014 Writing Process Blog Hop

When Morgan Dragonwillow asked me to be a part of the 2014-writing-process-blog-hop, I have to admit I was a little nervous.  I am still new to the writing and blogging world, but I decided to take on the challenge and write from the heart. 

Most of the bloggers throughout this blog hop have been writing for some time and no matter what blog you land on you are sure to find some nugget of truth that will help you along your writing journey. 

If you have ever been to Morgan Dragonwillow’s blog, you know that there is always some profound poetry or writing tip that will be sure to inspire or expand your writing style.  Morgan is the author of two transformational poetry books and Wild Woman Waking is just that, transformation in motion and will inspire deep thought. 

Morgan Dragonwillow’s newest book Wild Woman Waking is making its way to the top and can be found on 

Here are my answers to the questions that many authors have already answered. 

1) What am I working on currently or just finishing?

I am currently working on writing a transformational book about my struggle with coming out and religion.  A book that I hope will impact the lives of other women struggling to be themselves in a world that fights against diversity and change. 

2) How does my work differ from others of its genre?

I am writing about my struggle with breaking out of my station in the bible belt, coming out as a gay woman and walking away from the religion of my upbringing.  This book seeks to inspire and give the reader steps to improving their lives.  This book is a healing Coming out story from the prespective of the whole person, and the impact that religion plays in the ability of people to be who they were born to be.

3) Why do I write what I do?

I write what I do because the world is not a safe place, but I want to believe there are still good people in the world.  Impacting the lives of others struggling and letting them know it does get better; the world needs people to be authentic and that is the reason I am writing my story.   

4) How does my writing process work?

After I have my coffee, I open my notebook, pull a card and write on that subject.  I am still new to writing and blogging, so my process is still a work in progress.  I put on smooth jazz mister Magic by Grover Washington and it allows me to let go and just write.  I need background noise that allows me to let go of other thoughts and just write.   

Friday, April 25, 2014

V is for Vacillate

I speak of vacillate in terms of fluctuating between emotions and never coming up with a solution or healing. 

That leads me to telling the story of my mother’s passing! 

My mother has been on my mind lately, she passed away in 2003 and I have been trying to find my way in life as a motherless daughter ever since.  Her death was very hard on me, I wanted her to fight because, I still needed and still need my mom. She was the most important person in my life.  Her death left me devastated, abandoned and lost with a very big hole in my life that cannot be filled by another.  

I bring this painful part of my life up because I have, until recently, been angry when thinking of my mother’s death. In my perspective she just gave up and the easiest way out was to transition. I have changed my way of looking at this situation. It came to my realization that her passing was an empowering act on her part by doing what was best for her; a beautiful example of keeping her personal power.

When I changed my perspective on this situation, and stopped vacillating from anger and guilt and what she did to me, I could see what she did for herself, I took back my power. I changed the energy of all the pain and anger I have felt, allowing room for real heart centered resolution and forgiveness. 

Thursday, April 24, 2014

U is for Unemployment

Unemployment, what can I say, the word its self creates fear and unease.  

In late February of this year, I was eagerly awaiting my internship to begin and still unsure how I was going to manage working full time in a high stress job and interning as an addiction counselor. 

Truth is I did not want to work and do my internship,

I was miserable at my job, I dreaded Monday on Thursday. I believe I was miserable because I knew it was not where I was supposed to be. 

So, the week my internship was to start, I was laid off from my job, although I was in shock for a week or so, I knew I was going to be taken care of because I was meant to get the most out of this internship.  

It has been 10 weeks and working at an agency that helps women with addiction and homelessness has been the most rewarding experience.  I teach these women life skills that they my otherwise not had, such as self esteem and self worth.  

After doing this internship, I have realized that I cannot go back to the work I was doing before.  

That realization is big, because doing what is familiar, is safe, holding on to the belief and faith that I will be in the right place and time for a new job in the human services field is drastically different from my inherent way of taking the safe path.  

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

T is for Tom

I remember it made me angry, the skinny boy who nicknamed tom in the fourth grade. The anger would well up inside me and I would squint my eyes, and ball up my fists, but never lash out.

I was an active little girl and loved all things outdoors, running, climbing trees and playing sports.  

I was a Tomboy!

Those were hard times, I could not understand why, I was teased or pick on because I was good at sports and could do outdoor activities better than boys.  

Fact #1-Being a Tomboy does not necessarily mean that you are going to grow up be a Lesbian. 

I thought maybe I should talk about boys and how cute they are to make friends. Unfortunately,  the teasing of calling me Tom continued.

Fact#2- Pretending to be someone you are not, never works.

Then I thought I would play sports differently let the boys win, when that did not work, I never let them beat me at any game again. 

Fact#3- playing small, never ever helps anyone. Do not give your power up to make another feel bigger.  Your light is to valuable to the world.

That is a short version of how Confessions of a girl named Tom came about.  
So, I say to that boy how called me Tom, Thank you,

I am using those words of intolerance to light the path of others being tormented by bigotry or those afraid of difference.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

S is for Sambuca

One evening while hanging out with friends enjoying dinner, drinks, and guitar hero, I was introduced to something that tasted like hot licorice and burned like fire.  If you only learn one thing from this it should be Sambuca is not your friend.  In the moment it may tell you that you in fact can, not only play guitar hero but in factyou are the guitar hero. Believe me, Sambuca lies and is in fact a backstabber!

The rest of the evening was a blur and the next morning I awoke with what I can only imagine was a hit and run.  I gathered myself up and my partner and I prepared to leave for dinner with my dad.

We stopped off by a Whole Foods so I could pick up a drink that would cure a hangover; a fruity drink with vitamins and minerals to revive your mind and body.  We ate homemade pizza with lots of colorful toppings. It was good but my body just wasn’t having it.  

Tip number two: Never ever, under any circumstances mix a hangover drink, pizza and a long bumpy car ride home. 

My stomach was so upset.  Morgan asked if I wanted her to drive but the thought of being in the passenger side just upset my stomach more.  I told her that I was fine and I could drive.  We headed out on our fifty mile journey home, my nausea was getting worse.  Morgan asked if I needed to stop but I just wanted to get home to my friend Pepto Bismol; the one that is always there for you after your night as a rock God.  

Tip number three: When someone asks you to stop if you feel sick, do it!

I was fine all the way through Atlanta keeping the nausea down, and then it hit me: the dreaded smell, some random smell from outside the Jeep.  I have no idea what happened in that next second. It felt like eternity and I could not control it.

This was not just throwing up but projectile puking all over the Jeep, all over the dash, steering wheel, down the door, in the side pockets, fruity drink and colorful toppings, it was everywhere. 

Morgan frantically saying, “Pull over!” as I am unable to speak.

I start pulling over, from the fast lane mind you, to the shoulder while opening my door. Morgan grabs the wheel to save herself as I lean out the door puking down the freeway leaving my mark on I75. 

We finally come to a stop, Morgan hands me bed sheets that were in the backseat of the Jeep to try and contain the mess.  After the madness, I look over at her with puke still on me and see the look of horror, I can’t believe what just happened, and would you be offended if I walk the rest of the way home, in her eyes. 

She calmly says, “Are you ok and can you drive us the rest of the way home?”

I said yes.

 Morgan emphatically states, “Good because we would have to call a cab because I am not going over there and sit in your puke. I have never, as long as I have lived in my forty five years, ever seen anything like that.”

I had to remove the carpet from the Jeep and have it shampooed, replace the floor mats. It took about a week to clean it out and get the smell mostly gone.

Next time, if there is a next time, I will pull over before it’s too late. Because it is very clear to me that you don’t want to call a cab to the side of the interstate because your car is covered in puke.  Or simply never drink Sambuca again.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Q is for Qualified

Full disclosure, it can be a paradox, when you feel kept down and encouraged at the same time, very confusing.    

I have been speaking of my past in hopes that anyone struggling with, breaking out of the cultural box of religion, sexual orientation, and low self efficacy.

I have spoken about my past and all the hurdles I have had to overcome, all of those hurdles have made me stronger and pushed me to become educated and help others.

I have had to work hard at not listening to the programmed messages that play in the background of my mind about work, love, and my worthiness.  

We all have programmed messages, even if we are not aware of them.

Qualifying myself through education, paid for by myself, has brought me to another level of brilliance, because I believe it, and even though my family still does not see it as beneficial; it is to me and that is what counts. 

Friday, April 18, 2014

P is for Purpose

I talk about purpose and personal power a great deal in my writings, I believe we were born with purpose and the challenge is defining that purpose through personal power.  

 I never thought of myself as a leader, I thought I was the person who helped the leader achieve the end result. 

Lately, during my internship working in addiction counseling I have found a new purpose, through personal power and an upward self efficacy, is that of a leader.  

Purpose, an inherent reason for our lives.

I grew up with no real purpose, well, except for getting a job and yeah that’s about it. 

I wanted more for my life, I didn’t want to be a cashier all my life, I told my mom this and she became very angry with and said “don’t Rise above your raisin”    

That saying has haunted me for many years.  I would take jobs offered to me, just because I had that internal tape playing in the background of my mind, “You are supposed to be miserable and take whatever job id offered, just to put food on the table.”   I very recently turned down a job because I was over qualified for the position. 

 A sign that the tape is starting to wear out.  

Thursday, April 17, 2014

O is for Openness

 During these posts about my past and struggle with coming out, I wanted to remain open and share from the deepest place of williness to effect change. 

remaining open and sharing is part of healing.

I am open because that is what is needed to help heal the split between equality and tolerance.  Tolerance to me just gives other people justification to quietly believe Gay people have a choice while equality lets them know we were born this way. 

I was born this way, my first crushes were girls, but at the time I did not understand what that meant.

I want a life that is open, where I don’t have to hide any aspect of my life.  When I have to hold back a part of myself and use pronouns to describe my significant other it feels dishonest.

There is a feeling of not being fully present, when I hold back a part of myself.  

Monday, April 14, 2014

L is for Legit

As in my feelings are legit and valid.
It took many years and a feeling wheel to even learn to identify my feelings. Growing up not being able to show emotional or worse not having those feeling validated cased a split between me and my emotional self.
We were made to show emotion, we are human and alive; emotions are a gift and an activator of growth.  
During my first relationship with a woman, I discovered that the same problem exist as do with heterosexual relationships.  
The emotions were overwhelming and I can say I did not handle myself with the most decorum.  I did not know how to handle all the emotion involved in a relationship of this magnitude.  
I jumped into another relationship to get out of that one, I was able to use this relationship to regroup, hide out and get my needs met.
When that nine months was over, and I knew it would end because I just wanted a place to hide out and get over the other relationship.
When those nine months were over, and I knew it would end, I finally let lose all the feelings and emotions I deemed irrelevant or not legit.
I guess my point is, that when I deemed myself bad for being gay, I stopped trusting myself and that lead to a disconnect, in my being able to express my emotions in a healthy way. 
 Over time I connected back into myself and I express

Friday, April 11, 2014

J is for Judgement

Judgment, it happens every day without us even realizing it is happening.

I have been on the receiving end of judgment more times than I can count.  

My first run in with judgment came in early childhood, when I decided, in church, I wanted to be a bishop and move people to the lord, my mom quietly said to me," you can’t honey it’s not our place." And just like that I was hit by judgment and for something as basic as gender.

My next run in with Judgment left me battered and a little hurt, but still I managed to get back up, as unsteady as I was.  I believe it is harder to recover when the statement of judgment are coming from a place that should be safe and full of unconditional love.  

That is where you learn love is conditional

Now, I don’t just come out and say hi, my name is Christie, nice to meet you, I sleep with women.

It really is not the most important fact about me, so why lead with that fact. 

I let people get to know me first, before I decide if they can be trusted with that information.

I do this because, I have been fired from jobs becasue someone, I let know I was gay, told others at work.  Now, I no longer talk about my life outside the office, becasue of Judgement. 

Thursday, April 10, 2014

I is for Idealism

 Idealism, the term came to me while looking for I words.  I have missed two posts for the A to z challenge and wanted to make sure, I got back into the game with I.  

An Ideal is not a bad thing, but in some cases like some in my family have can be harmful. 

Now, let me explain the term as I understand it, I have come to believe that bigotry is a idealism that runs deep. It runs through families and is passed down from generation to generation.

Until, there comes along a person born to a family that stops the madness, this person is not like the family and has ideals that involve equality and inclusion.

I had to go see my family recently and my thought was why do I put myself in this situation, when I know that my family is the wrong place to seek security.  I have to listen to them talk about undesirable people or use words to describe people that have no use in language expect to be hateful and put people down. 

I consider this kind of thinking to be inbred because each generation has the same idealism that promotes hate

And then theirs me, There Gay daughter who believes in equality.

It saddens me that I have to make choices to limit my visit because I do not want to be included in that kind of backward thinking. 

Monday, April 7, 2014

F is for Fallacy

Fallacy- A mistaken belief, esp. One based on unsound argument.

There are a lot of people out there under the perception that just because you are lesbian, and are attracted to the same sex, that you must want to be a man. 

Another good line is that lesbians must suffer from a certain type of envy, described best by Freud.  My other favorite line is that gay people want to sleep with all members of the same sex.

I am here to break that out dated stigma of gay people.

Now I can not speak for every member, but for some and myself, here is the truth.

I do not or have not ever wanted to be a man.  I also do not want to sleep with every woman I see,I have taste and preference, as with all gay people. Oh, and Freud was wrong.

Just saying!    

Saturday, April 5, 2014

E is for Emerging

As in the emerging self; stepping into who you are. 

When I started this challenge, I did so with the intent to be honest and put as much of myself in each post as possible.  The people impacted by my work deserve nothing less that the truth. 

Religion had a way of making me feel guilty for being who I was created to be. After all, they know what is best for you, what your station in life should be and how you should love.

I was emerging into an adult with a warped sense of self and misplaced boundaries.

When I finally broke away from an out dated mold of myself created by society, I found compassion and self-awareness.

We are all one, but there is no one else like us, I guess the difference is emerging self awareness. 

I had to find a way to merge my true self with what I believed to be true about spirituality.  I am the same as you because love is love.  

Merging spirituality of your inner truth can be a tough job, even more so, when you go to a Pride festival and see people, young and old, holding up signs that say GOD HATES YOU. 

Those signs of hate are soul crushing, especially to young people just following that innate instinct to be who they were created to be in God’s image.

I find it arrogant for any religion to think that they know what God thinks, much less dictate the image that would be created.  

Friday, April 4, 2014

D is for Damsel

As in damsel in distress

I was not born to be a damsel in distress; however the Bible belt is a funny place and mostly ran by churches.  

The churches designate how and what women are to be in society. Being different is an area with a church on each corner can be a hard place. 

When I was young it was easier to believe what my care givers said to me or about me.  Whether the comment was negative or positive it became a part of who I was.

When you’re young it can be hard to determine what truth is and what is not.  There were not high standards for my life, no one was driving me to do anything more than get a menial job and work until, I retire. 

I wanted more; I wanted to be a trail blazer.  It’s funny how when you are following universe’s plan for your life, people try to keep in the station to which you were born. 

I was in distress, but I was no damsel. 

I was told I was stupid and would never amount to much from prominent people in my life.  Those comments impacted my self-worth, confidence and self efficacy.   It took me several years to realize and gain courage to go back to school, be the first person in my family to obtain a bachelors degree in human services as a counselor. I have plans to get my masters degree. 

Thursday, April 3, 2014

C is for Courage

Life takes courage, courage to heal, courage to love and most importantly the courage to change.

Encouragement is that feeling, from another, that everything will be alight and you can conquer anything. Encouragement back then was something that was in short supply.

Even though I had discovered that I was gay, I was still struggling with an inner conflict.  

A disassociation split was driving me crazy, between I am bad but this feels right and I should suppress this feeling and follow the Mormon teachings. Both had a negative connotation and it would take courage to realize, I was not bad but a perfectly made image of the creator.

As a person with a Mormon upbringing, I thought I should just be the person everyone expected me to be. By my early twenties, I should have been married and have a child while looking for new ways to take care of my husband.

My anxiety was high and at that point I thought I had to choose my family or my happiness. I started isolating myself from everyone, hoping that my secret identity would not be discovered. It was going to take an eminence amount of courage and encouragement to finally come completely out of the closet.  

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

B is for Becoming

On the verge of becoming.  

What ever happen to the phrase “live and let live” or my favorite “what does it matter their not peeing in your back yard.”  Sometimes it is hard to fathom that those two statements about tolerance ever existed.  

It is my fervent belief that, we go through situations in our lives that prompt and challenge us to grow and change, then we take that knowledge and help others; becoming a light of hope, a word of encouragement and an example, that it does get better. 

I was straddling both sides of the fence, seeing a man by day and sneaking out to the lesbian bar at night.  I had to find out for myself just what I was becoming, have one experience that would prove to me one way or another just what was happening to me.   

Then from behind I heard a voice say "so, whats your name."    

That one night stand, turned into a hot affair.   

Oh yeah! I was gay and there was no going back.  

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

A is For Appease

Would it be easier if I appeased you and told you that I or any other gay person had a choice about who we love? Would it make you feel better to think that the deviant behavior was a choice?
If I did not patronize or appease, would it shatter your belief that god would not create a person in his image, that loved another person in a way religious fundamentalists think incorrect.

I am not here to appease you; I am here to speak the truth!

I do not consider my mother or father to be a overly religious; I considered them to be a product of societal and religious thinking.     I I also do not consider myself to be unloved by my parents. I believe change can be difficult especially when it is something related to programming and thoughts of failure.

With so many people holding up signs that spew vitriol and promote hate, it does not surprise me that so many youth struggling to reclaim themselves chose to die rather than face what they cannot change or choose to be. I remember hearing all my life that God does not make junk; we are the image of the creator and that makes us perfect.  

I went to my mother crying and told her I was sorry, I am God's first piece of Junk, because I cannot change who I am.   That moment of vulnerability changed everything. She understood but still struggled with it, and even though we did not speak about it again and more healing needed to occur, she did not deem me broken any longer. The first step was taken.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

A to Z challenge theme reveal

I originally started this blog by dedicating it to that part of myself that had been hushed up, stuffed down, and discriminated against; proclaiming the empowerment of my voice.  Speaking my truth has, until recently, been a difficult task for me, mainly due to my upbringing.   

I was raised in Georgia and brought up in the Mormon church. Oh, and did I forget to mention that I am a lesbian; a southern Mormon lesbian  a great combination. I have worked hard all my life at recovering from the ever damaging effects of organized religion, the implications of being a woman in the Bible belt and reclaiming my truth and voice.

With so many struggling with their own sexuality and what that means in the world today, I cannot continue being silent any longer and hiding behind the fact that I can pass for a straight girl.  When I am asked what I did to make the world a better place, I can say I helped people understand that it’s OK to be you.

So, after much prodding, I am finally writing my memoir and hopefully helping those struggling with coming out.  This A to Z challenge is my way of pushing myself to continue empowering my voice and write this book.  My A to Z challenge theme is growing up and coming to terms with my sexuality.  

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Going With The Flow

This story is not for the faint of heart, the rigidly stiff or the tightly attached; it’s a tale about upheaval, displacement, strength and learning to lean out. I read a book a while back on the advice of a friend and a line that has stuck with me was “when in doubt, lean out;” meaning fighting against the current will get a person nowhere. The last several years have been just that, lessons in learning to lean out. I found myself in the void, in between old and waiting on the new.

This revelation of going with the flow came at a time in my life with the most loss and displacement, dealing with the decision to go through bankruptcy and the surrendering of my house.   I chose to let go of my house; I was done trying to find ways to mold the house into a home I imagined.

Dealing with the stress of time dwindling down to the day that my partner and I had to leave our house, was a futile fight against an invisible opponent to stop time; as you know the more you want time to stop the faster it moves forward.   Our belongings were all put into storage with nowhere to go; my whole life fit into three storage units, and we were anxiously awaiting news of the closing date for our new place.

We slept on the floor in three different places, with only what we needed in our day to day lives: clothes, bedding for the floor and computers that was all we had on hand the rest was in storage.   Three months of void; I believe it was the universes way of stripping away all the fight and forcing me to be in a place of surrender and flow.

There was no point in complaining, fighting to change things or hold on to things.  I am normally an anxious person and change causes me much stress and was most certainly unwelcome in my world.  In this void I relinquished my roof over my head, my bed, my control and my security.  I was tired and had no more energy to struggle.

So therefore, I decided to look at the situation differently rather than how it may look to outsiders. I have had to release feelings of overwhelm, anxiety, while letting go of the past and allowing myself to just rest in the present moment. I learned that going with the flow kept me in the present moment allowing me to relax in the now with an understanding that the present moment is where our personal power dwells.

 During those months of flux our things were moved a total of eight times before we would move into our new space.  This experience made me understand that sometimes Universe has a way of cleansing you; when I stopped fighting and pushing against the current is when I was able to let events unfold in their own organic time; me pushing was not going to make the closing date on our new home come any faster, so, I had to go with the flow and make the best of it.