Furbabies. My Warm Fuzzies.

A few members of Khawaga Kid’s emotional support group. 🐾♥️ Big Red Fuzzy is our girl Bossey. The affectionate hugger is Bud Boudreaux from Bay St. Louis, MS. Stripe Eddy is my taskmaster and talker. I ask him, “Stripe, when do you want treats?” He answers with, “Right meow.” 😺

Meet part of my Furbaby Family. These three usually join me for early morning My Daily Med and first words of the day.

Khawaga Kid and Kabtn Khawaga. Kabtn Khawaga is my father. I am his Khawaga Kid. My mother is his First Mate V. I am writing a memoir called The Family Court Case from Hell.

I changed the name of my 10th anniversary “card” to hubby. It’s called Howdy Neighbor. Arrowhead Season is a chapter and also a poem.

Sister of Khawaga Kid. Her name in my writing is Pearl Mack. My name is Khaki Mack. Our Father of Lies is Rico Mack–Kingpin of the Coastal Cartel. Our mother is his First Mate Viva Mack. Diva Mack is Rico’s fourth wife and mother of my young half-sisters Sunny and Georgie Mack.

My Daily Med

The birthday message that changed me:

DO NOT TAKE OFFENSE (1)

It is difficult to grow spiritually if you have offense in your heart. When you walk in blessing, love, and forgiveness, you will experience God’s peace and power. Are you having a tough time letting go of offense? I did.

October 31, 2020. Birthday number 58. I was ready to get well. Something everyone should know–You cannot heal spiritual disease with worldly cures. I have taken this message from Joyce Meyer Ministries as my Year 58 Pledge. DON’T TAKE OFFENSE. You can refuse to TAKE the offense offered.

What kinds of things offend us? When someone doesn’t appreciate my work, or me; when people talk at me and don’t listen to me, I got offended. Another person ignored me, my father’s abuse and fraud. That is the biggy and the one that set me free and started the healing of my soul sickness. Wow! What a force Christians could be on this earth if we could all just decide to love each other and stop criticizing people who don’t think exactly the way we think. When we get to heaven, there will not be designated sections for each denomination. We have this life here on earth to practice getting along.

WE NEED TO SEEK UNITY IN DIVERSITY

We must unify around our differences in our lives. Learn how to disagree agreeably and appreciate the differences in people.

One of Paul’s Apostolic Power Prayers is Philippians 1:9-11–9) And this I pray, that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and in discernment, 10) That you may approve the things that are excellent, that you may be sincere and without offense til the day of Christ, 11) being filled with the fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God. ***I pray you might approve things that are excellent; that you may be SINCERE and WITHOUT OFFENSE until Christ returns.*** Psalm 119:165–Great peace have they who love Your law; nothing shall offend them or make them stumble.***

There are certain things you can put on your prayer list, and these things are important enough to pray every day. Pray every morning that for this day, you will not be offended and get mad at anyone. Just to be able to say to the Lord when you say your prayers at night, “Lord, I’m happy to say that I can go to sleep tonight and I’m not mad at anyone.”

Furthermore, if you want to be a seriously committed Christian, you will lay aside your emotions and what you think, and you will be committed to not going to bed angry. Don’t wait for the other person to make it right, just go ahead and be first.

When you wake up in the morning, pray, “God, keep me strong so I do not spend my day offended.” Say to yourself, “Today, I choose to not be offended no matter what happens.”

Coastal Coercive Control Coalition (C4) is a proactive approach to continued abuse within my family. I have been instructed to share my own personal experience with the detrimental effects of coercive control. The most insidious thing about coercive control is that the abuser does not have to be present in your life to inflict this type of abuse.

COERCIVE CONTROL is an established pattern of abuse. Some abusers will even commit crimes to maintain control of their intended victim, and they do not care who else is hurt in the process.

C4 Slogan–Hurt people hurt people. Part of my outreach will be addressing the effects of domestic violence, which I believe is a Generational Curse and only healing soul sickness will break it.

C4. The Coastal Coercive Control Coalition. Awareness. Education. Prevention. Prosecution.

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

Henry

I’ll never forget Henry. He loved my little sister so much. I know we would both cry if I did get to see him again. Many miles, trials, lifetimes between when these pictures were taken and 2:50 am as I write through another sleepless night.

I wrote this on the day John Lewis crossed the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama for the last time. Rest in peace, our Congressman called “The Boy from Troy”. #GoodTrouble

Henry, Sheila (the little blonde nurse) and me (the birthday girl). Halloween. Warri, Nigeria 1968.
We had our birthday party together. Sheila born October 14, 1966. Her car wreck was on July 15. 1984. She was in a coma for eleven years and two days. She died at home and peacefully in her sleep on July 17, 1995. Just as our mother prayed she would.

HENRY

I watched Congressman John Lewis cross the Edmund Pettus Bridge for the last time today. I was three years old and fifty miles away when he took that beating for equality and racial justice in America.

We lived in Warri, Nigeria 1967 thru 1969. I learned at an early age to see people as people, not as a color. We had a gardener named Henry who fought to protect my sister from a child molester. He taught me to ride a bicycle. He wanted to return with us to America, but could not because there was Civil War and Henry was twenty-three; eligible for military service.

I remember the tears rolling down his face as we left our little village. I do think of Henry often and wonder what happened to him in Nigeria. I also wonder what would have happened to him in America if he could have traveled back to Alabama with us. A white woman with two little white daughters and a very big, very protective black man.

I saw Henry cry; his tears looked like mine. I heard Henry laugh and his laughter was a booming, joyful sound that made you laugh along with him. Laughter, a universal language. On the day Henry fought to protect my sister, his blood was red, just like mine.

One thing was different about Henry. He had a heart of gold.