Dear Sister Sheesh

My sons called you Aunt Sheesh. You were my sidekick through life; an early birthday gift the year I turned four. I can’t forget having to leave you and our poodle NiNi when I ran away from Mobile, AL in July of 1979. You’re both dead now. I have survivor’s guilt. It’s still hard to write the word dead for the two of you; deaths caused by friendly fire on the battlefield of the family wars.

I flew away in the middle of the night, leaving everything that was precious to me behind, except for my independence. I could not live a prisoner of war, home is a foreign place, an enemy camp. I failed you and NiNi. I could not keep you safe. The grief is deep in my heart for the way you lived the last eleven years and two days of your life. I feel you and NiNi waiting for me. You did nothing that requires my forgiveness.

First Letter from UrHere, a Woman Cave

Dear Kabtn Khawaga,

The unforgiveness that burdened me for decades almost killed me. Feeling like I had to prove myself worthy of your love and attention, to not be excluded from your life.

2015. Comprehension of your contempt for your first family. A vengeful storm brewed, wreaking havoc in my spirit. Spewing toxins like an oilfield, poisoning my environment. We three females of your first family were only discards in your poker hand. I wanted you to pay with the only currency that matters in your world. Cold, hard CA$H. Dollars earned by any means necessary. Your money is blood money, earned with the life of my sister and the shattering that created V. V. Protector of our mother, found guilty of loving and believing in you.

Dangled carrots, bloody turnips. You, Kabtn; dropping in and out of my life, on a whim. 2007. You realized I was no longer buying your lies and bankrupting myself in the process. You tried to drop back out when I returned to America after my visit to your family home in Alexandria, Egypt. I fight for my family, Kabtn. Your sister the Bulldog and your fourth wife the Diva hide you behind their skirts. You like to keep your harem stirred and fighting, it keeps them distracted while you do whatever floats your boat. In the days before my departure from your home in Alex, I felt the freeze as you retreated, turning colder. I watched in disbelief when you ” played” with Sunny the way you “played” with me. Diva was there the three times I witnessed it, but you were so brazen the last time…outside, in the ground floor flat’s garden. Under the window of the Atelier owned by Sadat’s family. The gates had bars and we were at the corner of two busy streets. People looked through those bars at the Khawaga married to his Alexandrian Diva. This time, I knew why. I found all I needed to know about you as the Familiar Stranger, the International Deadbeat Dad.

You are Kabtn Khawaga in my memoir. I am your Khawaga Kid. The daughter holding onto the grief of my dead family; I was destroying not only myself, but the lives of my loved ones. I end this letter with words that lead to healing for the health of my family. Please forgive me. I forgive you.

Word Games

Aswan in August

Boarding our felucca

To cruise the Nile

You point to a word

“What does that say?”

You ask. I reply

“Captain spelled Kabtn”

A good memory

Of a good day

The word game

A man once called Daddy

Played with his first daughter

Lessons Learned on IsLand

Part 2. This story was finished on December 7, 2018. The author is a work in progress. 🙂

You must not only survive after catastrophe and trauma, you must extend yourself; thrive, flourish, nourish, sustain, maintain. Cultivate your own seeds of faith and patience garden. Stand up for yourself, especially when you stand alone. Respect other people; expect respect in return. Someone who does not respect you has no place in your life. Have NO CONTACT with the perpetually dysfunctional and/or the perpetrators of abuse. Realize that if a pattern of abuse is working for them, they are highly unlikely to change of their own volition. They may say things like, “If you really loved me, you would want to be in my life.” Remain silent, do not engage in their quest for negative attention. Any response gives them their “fix.” The truth is, if they respected you and your personal boundaries, they would change their behavior toward you. Accept the fact that some people will never change. If you want change, be the change. Make waves when waves are necessary.

Give thanks and be grateful. I am thankful for the opportunity to write today, practicing the Art of Becoming. Become beautiful from the inside out. Contrary to popular opinion, appearance is NOT everything. Sometimes beauty is only on the surface. Choose a beauty that endures and grows within. What will you have left when your “youthful beauty” fades? Always be willing to change when circumstances deem change necessary. Bend but don’t break. Become fluid, like water; no longer petrified like a piece of wood turned to stone.

November 27, 2017. I was homeless, jobless. I was no spring chicken. The security and stability of the safest home I ever had went up in a puff of smoke. That morning, I was filled with hope that the dysfunction and effects of trauma, abuse, coercive control, were losing the battle for my family, my very life. By nightfall, I was in a state of grief and shock, unable to comprehend the sudden devastation. I had to let go to hold on, focusing on the changes necessary in my woman’s heart. Healing must begin with myself before I can help anyone else.

The Sea of Humanity calls me; it is my last day on IsLand. I found my buried treasure and I wrote my own message on the Wall of Words. I cross the Pool of Reflection and gaze one final time into the Inside Out Mirror. I have no idea if my hair looks perfect, or if the outfit I’m wearing makes me look fat. Inside, I see the true beauty of a joyful, forgiven and forgiving woman’s heart. I can leave the cave called UrHere since I have crossed the abyss to the other side of dysfunction.

Words written in sand were words that had to be acknowledged, but not memorialized. I leave them here on the shore of IsLand to be washed away by the tides of time; they have served their purpose and will only sink me. I push my canoe into the waters and paddle away. Looking forward, not back, I wave.

I Heard Him Say, “Follow Me.”

When God gives me My Daily Med

A dose of His Word and time with Him. That is My Daily Med.  This morning, before My Daily Med, I went on Social Media to “connect”.

I went on one, where I have friends. “I’ll be your Friend” He said.

I flew to another where there are followers. “Follow Me” He said.

So, I opened my Bible and this is what I read.

An old My Daily Med–this morning I needed a reminder.

☝️☝️☝️☝️☝️☝️☝️☝️☝️☝️☝️☝️☝️☝️☝️

“FOLLOWING JESUS and living according to God’s ways is often contrary to the world’s values. A righteous life can be very unpopular in today’s culture…it’s how we’re called to live. When Jesus said, ‘Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven’ (Mt. 5:10), He acknowledged we’d pay a price for our obedience and right desires…He encourages us to a sure hope, the promise of the priceless future that awaits…bring your Savior any pain you feel because of wrongful treatment…in His presence, earthly troubles fade and the assurance of Heaven becomes very real.”

Now is your time to enter into His service–no longer as His orphaned baby girl, but as His woman. He has loosed you so that you might loose others in His name.

I follow Him. I make a plan, He changes it, like My Daily Med this morning…He wanted me to read the above message first. I follow His lead.

COASTAL COERCIVE CONTROL COALITIONN

My mission is to share with people from every walk of life the truth of the devastating effects of coercive control. AWARENESS.

As I hear His voice, I will share it to EDUCATE anyone and everyone on how to be free of coercive control.

PREVENTION of coercive control can increase when these abusers face

PROSECUTION for their calculated pattern of abusive behavior through sometimes unlawful means.

Shadow Woman the Actor?

I act because it’s been easier to be a character. The Patriarchal Terrorist I used to call Daddy acts all the time. Behind closed doors he shows his true self, but I still have to act.

Act like nothing is wrong. The perfect family facade. I’ve been a hostage since October 31, 1962. I didn’t know how to break free of the Coercive Control. But I stepped out of the shadows after hearing once again,”There is nothing you can do.”

But there is something I can do. I can be a voice for the voiceless. I have founded the

C4 the Coastal Coercive Control Coalition

Preparing for my first Awareness Event in Gulfport, Mississippi on October 14, 2020.

I’m free; free to be me. Who am I? Advocate. Educator. Sharing what I have learned. With every agency, doctor, attorney, clergy, family, friends; even the Patriarchal Terrorist himself told me, “There’s nothing you can do.”

Your Move

My husband treats me like a queen. He was there on November 16, 2006 when you decided to drop back into my life. Fourteen years of not letting you drop back out when things didn’t go your way. You, the Patriarchal Terrorist.

In my memoir, you are Kabtn Khawaga and I am your Khawaga Kid.

In my fiction, you are Rico Mack and I am Khaki Mack. Rico Mack is kingpin of the Coastal Cartel. I am your nemesis, your worst nightmare; the daughter most like you, and you despise me for knowing your truth.