Namoosa Gamoosa

Namoosa is Mosquito in Egyptian Arabic.
Gamoosa is water buffalo in Egyptian Arabic.

“I bought you easy books to begin your Arabic lesson, but first, you must understand I teach you my language because I am Alexandrian first, then Egyptian, then Arabic. So, you learn my culture, na?” Cool white marble and a breeze from the Med makes all the leaves dance and I smile at the children’s book my Alexandrian stepmother gives me.

“Look, this bicture (p is difficult for “Egybtians”) of mosquito, we say namoosa. This, water buffalo. We call gamoosa. Say it.” I oblige by pointing to the mosquito and saying, “Namoosa.” Then I point to the water buffalo and say, “Gamoosa.”

“Great start, now we get ready for Sunny’s birthday celebration.” Sunny is my half-sister, turning four and the garden is decorated with strings of bright lights above, flowers, balloons. Tables are ready to hold the gifts and party foods. I am 44, but the bond of sisters is felt between us.

Dark now, and we’re dressed and ready for the first guests to arrive. Soon, the music is loud, the lights are twinkling almost as brightly as Sunny’s eyes. Tables of food and three different cakes are being circled, but Sunny is at the gifts table. Soon, it’s time to mingle…

A very beautiful and pleasantly plump Egyptian woman sits beside me. She doesn’t speak much English and of course I’m in kiddy book Arabic. “So, you are having lessons in Arabic?” I reply, “Oh you know, namoosa, gamoosa.”

This beautiful woman looks at me for a moment, then she says, “Yes, I am big like water buffalo and you are small like mosquito.” My face flamed red! This lady thought I called her a water buffalo! “You are very beautiful.” I smile sincerely, feeling as small as the mosquito she thinks I think I am.


Another Crisp and Sunny Day in LA (Lower Alabama)
Frosty Future? For a Few Months.
Shadow Woman. “Hay, Hay, Hay!”

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.

Rogue Wave and the Cave

Part One. December 7, 2018.

One thousand years ago, or was it yesterday; I was floundering after a rogue wave separated me from my family, bobbing like a cork in the chunky swells that abound in the Sea of Humanity. What’s that shining in the darkness? A ship sails toward me, glowing and reflecting on the sea all the colors of the rainbow. FriendShip is written in silvery neon brightness. Music, laughter and the sound of many voices meld, creating a language that my spirit understands.

A woman stands before me with each hand on the head of a beautiful dog. The dog to her left has a pristine white coat. Moonlight reflects off his fur and he’s smiling as wide as all the seas. His great doggy heart is so happy to be by the woman’s side. Her right hand rests on the head of a dog with a sleek black coat that absorbs the moonlight and any threats to the health of her companion. Lights flicker and surround them. The tiniest light is just above the woman’s head and shines brightest of all. I know these three have a lifetime and beyond of adventures together.

“Come join us, we sail the seas looking for adventures.” A Captain’s hat cocked at a jaunty angle adorns her head. This quirky Captain rescues me and we have a wireless connection.  Mingling with my shipmates, I know I have found my people. We are all different, but the same. Their conversations are insightful, educational, amusing. Inspiration sparks in the atmosphere.

We drop anchor in deep water and Captain Q leads me to a canoe. She gives me two paddles and a map. “Go. Find yourself.” She winks at me and walks away with those beautiful dogs. I glance back once as I paddle away. Captain Q is swinging in a hammock, lost in contemplation.

I paddle for hours before a speck appears on the horizon. Is it land? It IsLand. I wade through the shallows and pull my canoe onto the sugar sand beach, its grains sparkling white and fine in the sunshine. I rest on the beach, embracing mother earth and thank sister sea. IsLand is a bustling place, but there is no ratrace here. Birds converse in chirps and tweets, building nests and going about their daily business of living. I think they might be discussing me, this creature with no wings washed up on their beach. Bees buzz, humming in huge blossoms that smell deliciously exotic and the island breeze dances in the fronds of palm trees heavily laden with bunches of dates so fat they make my mouth water.

I spy a path and follow it to the mouth of a cave. UrHere is engraved above the entrance. My woman cave is a beautiful space. The hearth in the center spreads warmth and shines light onto a Wall of Words. There! A Pool of Reflection ripples as a blue butterfly flutters its wings. I cross the pool and stand before the Inside Out Mirror, a mirror for all women who seek truth and lasting beauty; all the beautiful things that shine inside each of us regardless of what we look like on the outside. I feel right at home and I know that it is time for my restless and wounded spirit to retreat for a while.

X marks the spot on the map given to me by quirky Captain Q. I begin digging deep to find the buried treasure within my woman’s heart. Patience. Perseverance. Perspiration. Deciphering many messages written for me on the Wall of Words. Obstacles block me. Removing rocks and boulders is hard labor, but the alternative is to give up and never find my treasure. I move a mountain of dirt.

Sands pass through the hourglass as I pray beside the Pool of Reflection, preparing myself before I confront the truth of the Inside Out Mirror and practice the Art of Becoming.

In the private garden of my heart, I see both the beauty and the ugliness of my world; it’s time to choose what will thrive. The thoughts and feelings I nourish here will flourish, spilling over the walls onto the people around me. I name this serene space my Seeds of Faith and Patience Garden. I remove the root of bitterness smothering all the good growing here with the parasitic plant of unforgiveness. The first seeds I plant in my freshly tilled acreage are the seeds of forgiveness. These seeds spread like the seeds of a dandelion, dispersed by the wind, traveling far away from the soil where its roots are planted. I want to be like the dandelion; I want to disperse seeds of forgiveness around the world.

November 27,2016 the rogue wave hit my family, slapping us down with sudden viciousness, each of us grasping our own pieces of wreckage in the aftermath. What lies in a woman’s heart, knowing she must survive alone, not knowing when she will be reunited with her family again? In mine, there is a prayer because I can’t physically save them; clinging to any of them will drown us. They’re drifting away so quickly and none of them are fighting to stay close to me, so I let them go, with my prayers of protection reaching across the waves to find them. This is a solitary journey into the uninhabited and overgrown acreage of my woman’s heart. I am a matriarch on the eve of awakening the eternal wisdom within. I am a woman who will make waves defending my family, yet I am also a woman who will calm any storms that seek to destroy them.

Millions of women around the world are hit by rogue waves. What is heartache? Heartache is an equalizer, reaching high and low. It doesn’t matter if we’re rich or poor; we’re equally miserable when our heart aches. Women understand the universal language spoken from the heart and hearth. The sound of laughter is universally understood and so are the wails of sorrow when women grieve. Our body language speaks louder than words; subtle nuances and cues reveal so much. We smile, we frown, we glow. Some of us glower, burning with resentment, bitter and unforgiving. In sickness, in trauma, whether of the body or spirit, we become merely shadow women.

Daughter, wife, sister, mother grandmother, friend; we fight and strive for the health, happiness and preservation of our families.

This writing from the cave UrHere is to all women and the families they love. To my mother, happy days are here again. To my sister, my sidekick through life for seventeen years, in our travels around the globe, we always had each other and the secret language we shared. After your accident, I loved a sister who could not care for herself and I hated the fraud that robbed you of a better quality of life.

To my young, half-Egyptian, half-American half-sisters, I love you both with my whole heart. Your arabic has a southern drawl. “Salaam Aleikum, y’all.” To my Egyptian stepmother, you taught me more about Egypt than you will ever know. I feel a familial bond with Alexandria, Egypt, since both my sisters were born there. I now have blood ties with a land I have loved since my first visit in the 1970’s. To all women who battle the chunky swells in the Sea of Humanity, may we all set a steady course and keep our vessels ship shape. To be continued.

Shadow Woman Speaks

I was mad at God because He won’t heal my broken family. I cannot heal my family by remaining in contact with them, but they can keep me sick. Yes, I was mad at God. Now, I am reconciled and I rely on Him to heal me.

Domestic Violence and Coercive Control. You have to fight to be free even when it means having an estranged, distant, or even monitored relationship with family members still held hostage behind the closed doors of homes all over the world.

Freedom starts in your mind. You don’t have to remain a hostage to the not so secret family secrets. I will be 58 soon. I am estranged from my entire family. It’s me and Hubby together against the world.

Mama V. Seventy-five in December. I am the only child she has living. I am the only person, especially through the Covid pandemic, that gets her to her appointments. I shop for her. Our relationship is one of control, manipulation, domination, humiliation.

V for Vicious. The woman I ran away from in 1979. The final secret of life behind the closed doors of my family. Nothing is off limits when I do not please her. She has lied to people about me and they believe her.

My parents are in what I call the Family Court Case from Hell. My parents, aged 77 and soon to be 75 have been apart since they were in their thirties. They only agree on one thing. Me. Their Khawaga Kid. I became a problem when I stopped being held hostage in my mind and emotions.

I have been humiliated time and again by the antics of the two people who brought me into this world. As their scapegoat, I became angry at God because I had to endure their insanity that once was “love”. No person, professional, clergy, agency has help for me. I felt worthless. If not for my husband as a living witness to the high degree of dysfunction in my family, I would not be here.

Yes. I was suicidal. My reality? No one believed how life really is as the adult daughter of two abusers. Not just Kabtn Khawaga…also his First Mate V. Khawaga Kid. That’s me. I may be a foreigner in this world and an outcast in my family, but I live in the safest home I ever had with my family of one, my husband.

This is my blog diary as I prepare to kick off a new endeavor called the Coastal Coercive Control Coalition, and as I preare for NaNoWriMo 2020.

I’m writing Egyptian Minutes for NaNoWriMo 2020. It’s a short story collection about my times in Egypt.

My memoir Khawaga Kid is still, like me, a work in progress.

Wires of Connectivity