Ch.Ch.Ch.Changes

Thank you all so much for your love, support and generosity. Changing meds really did have a massive shift for me – one that actually gives me optimism about a future for myself. At the time of my suicidal crisis, I was seriously ready to end it. The last two times I was in Panama City, Panama, on the mainland, I had met with my high-powered lawyer (after being ripped off $50K by a scam artist from Panama City, I don't do anything without the aid of the best lawyer in the country – learned that lesson the hard way). So, my last two times to see the lawyer was to draw up documents as to who would inherit my property, being that I'm child-free-by-choice. Last year when I went to the States I gave my mom all my valuable jewelry (not an insignificant amount of diamonds) to be passed down to my nephews. These are all clear signs of preparing for suicide and/or another near-death experience (the drawing up of wills, giving away valuables).

HERE IS THE GOOD NEWS!!!!! I now see a FUTURE for myself and am taking action to move forward with the next chapter of my life. It was a really touchy time weaning off that generic brand of Prozac, and my brain chemistry getting used to the Wellbutrin XL 300mgs/day. I had dizzy spells, and my aphasia from my brain-injury would flare up. I warned my regulars in my yoga classes to please have patience with me, as to these symptoms. Aphasia is when someone who's had a brain-injury mixes up words, letters, sentences, speaking, reading, and writing. My job teaching yoga requires me speaking in a concise clear manner. Thank goodness for spell-check, as the little girl who used to win spelling bees, is typing all kinds of mixed up right now. Anyway, during class, while I was going through the transitional time, one of my “regulars” in class (actually the one in my blog I wrote about concerning my 50th birthday party – the same one I referenced as someone who loves to hear the sound of her own voice, who put a whole negative vibe on my introvert, recovering alcoholic, trauma-survivor 50th birthday). Hey, I was just happy I made it to 50! Anyway, so this same woman, when I got my rights and lefts mixed up teaching a yoga class (a class she pays $4 for) straight up laughed at me, scoffed, and said to the other ex-pat next to her, “you'd have to be a magician to pull that pose off”, and everyone like dominoes followed her cue and giggled. I didn't get angry, I didn't get furious, I didn't clap-back.....I CRIED while teaching. One thing I truly am grateful for is the ability to cry again. Prozac turned me into a zombie who only wanted to sleep all the time, not cry, and no feeling at all really. So, in class I quite obviously cried, but the former “entertainer” in me always has this “show must go one” mentality, and I looked to my friend next to me, and I whispered to her, “You got me?” she looked me in the eye nodded yes, so I continued to teach even though I had tears and snot running into my mat, and audibly was clearly crying. I got it together, taught the rest of the class – went into automatic mode and taught by rote. After class, as the woman ran out of my building, the customer-service trained business woman in me actually said “Thank you, ______” to her. When I got back upstairs, I checked the business admin of the Bocas Yoga page and notice she had “unliked” Bocas Yoga, when in the past 10 years she'd been one of those people that would “like” anything you post, kind of a kiss-ass, really. She hasn't been back since.

I had already made the decision that I have fulfilled my potential as a yoga teacher to the ex-pat community when that other ex-pat called me “crazy and mean” in front of my clients. People can say what they want to me in person privately, or behind my back, but for these incidents to happen in front of clients, is completely unprofessional, which means I had lost control. One thing a yoga teacher needs, and what an entertainer needs (in my past job) is to obtain and maintain total control, respect, and comand authority over the crowd, while also serving them with compassion, patience, kindness, and sweetness. It's a fine line, which I am a master at with strangers. This is such a small community, that I can only assume, the ex-pats feel entitled to feel they are everybody's best-friend. I am extremely private, introverted, reclusive person. No, actually some of them are clients to me, not someone I'd call a “friend” (an introvert, who lives inside books and art can count true friends on one hand). The same way I never dated customers as a dancer – don't shit where you eat. Maybe that's my personality disorder and THAT'S why I'm medicated for my life-long mental illness.

Tourists LOVE me – can't get enough of me. The emails, I get from them all over the world, thanking me are so touching and heart-felt. I often think of the song by Niko Case “Hold On, Hold On”, where the opening lines are “The most tender place in my heart is for strangers, I know it's unkind but my own blood is much too dangerous.” It's true. That's why I've been out of any sort of romantic/sexual relationship for FOUR YEARS. I'm still working on myself. An introvert is a much better writer than speaker (I had to take Public Speaking three times in college before passing with a B), so I'll cut to the chase, when I should have just put this in a meme, which is what most attention spans can handle these days, but I owe you generous, kind people an explanation to what's CLEARLY come to me since I switched meds, thanks to you. I am putting the property on the market. It was a humiliating, humbling act to do a go-fund-me page – I thought it was only for the desperate, the non-proud. I do not see selling my property as failure at all (well, I still need a buyer), I see it as moving onto the NEXT CHAPTER of my life. That the words “next chapter” are even flowing from my fingertips is the most OPTIMISTIC thing that has occurred to me in....I don't know how long, really.

I was recently in Panama City, Panama (on the mainland, Pacific Side) for the Pride Parade. I spent four nights in the city, where I do have authentic, true friends. First stop was to see my lawyer. This time not to make sure everything is sewn up tight upon my death, but to start the process of selling the property. Legal wheels are already in motion. I haven't gone public yet on social media with it, as my realtors here on the Caribbean island are still hammering out some details. In the city I opened a Panamanian bank account (I haven't had one since I got ripped off by the scam artist). Attending Pride in the city opened me up to a WHOLE NEW COMMUNITY that actually ACCEPTS me – I had no idea how much was going on in the city culturally for those who are comfortable in the underground. The love, pride and acceptance of people that are “other than the norm, other than the status quo” was celebrated and tears come to my eyes thinking of when during a parade a most gorgeous drag-queen approached me and said, “Are you here representing Bocas Yoga?” and we hugged and talked and.....just wow. Just LOVE all around.

Upon the sale of my property (it could take a while, as it is currently low-season, but I hope it moves fast and am willing to negotiate) I plan to stay in the country of my birth, move into a studio-condo on the Pacific side outside of the traffic of the big city, but close enough that I can drive to the city, or to the mountains – the possibilities are open. I can teach on a smaller scale, freelance to resorts and private classes. I'll have a tiny condo – one small enough for me to maintain, rather than this HUGE house I'm in now, that I have to pay people to maintain for me. On the mainland, I envision having a little, modest car, so I can be MOBILE and not feel so STUCK on this island. Simply to drive, move, see different scenery will be so liberating. Something about the Pacific side calls to me, as that is the side I was born in. The Caribbean is beautiful and can be romantic (if you own a boat and/or ocean-front property and/or willing to leave your house) but the Pacific side calls to my heart and mind, like that is HOME, the place I was born, as the result of a broken condom I recently found out, which could explain the feeling of always feeling unwanted, therefor my insistence on being seen and desired, if I couldn't be listened to, I couldn't be HEARD.

I may have mentioned that during my suicidal scare, my father said he would be coming down for his 80th birthday in September of this year. That trip has sadly been canceled due to his own recent Traumatic Brain Injury sustained. As life goes on I realize my father and I are so much alike. I realize that his physical and emotional abuse of me as a child were a product of his own self-hatred, and my rebellion against him were a product of my own self-hatred. I had myself sterilized so that I could not have the slightest chance of continuing on to a next generation. Now, all I can do is not be mad that he didn't come when I was in actual crisis a couple of months ago (although that was my initial reaction), but offer his empathy of how fucking frustrating it is to lose so much of one's personhood when suffering a brain injury. People don't think it's real because it's invisible. Trust me – it's real. Your intelligence is still there, but to get it out – even working with things like numbers, letters, times, rights, lefts, speaking what you mean, take enormous effort that leaves one exhausted. This is why I feel I have reached my potential to serve, at least in the form of a full-on yoga studio owner, on this huge property that my bones just rattle around in, as a single woman. The last time I saw my father, three years ago, when he came to see me, I made my peace with him. We spent three days in a remote area of the islands, and he didn't know it but on each of those three days I dropped a tab of acid to be able to be OPEN enough to be brave enough to ask him all the questions I always wanted to ask, to confront him about the past, not in anger (when one is on acid, one is anything but angry, one is empathetic, open, loving, accepting, feeling at one with the Universal) as a way to clear the air and we made peace, as I knew it was probably the last time I'd see him alive. The three nights I spent last year with my Mom up in California (where she lives) I insisted we take a road-trip to Big Sur in a remote cabin with little wi-fi, to do the same. I couldn't drop acid though, as I had already had a psychotic break a year prior and was afraid to induce another. I made peace with my mom then too. She never abused me, no, not ever, but I always had in my mind she allowed things to happen, was an enabler, and after much introspection and WORK on myself, I see she was just as much under this manipulation and scare-tactics as the rest of us were. I made peace and for the first time, at the airport cried when I said goodbye to her.

We are all getting to the point where long travel is difficult for us. I was alcohol-free for 13-years at one point, and started drinking on an airplane to Rome, so for sure travel is a trigger for me. I am now six-year alcohol-free since my drowning/coma/brain-injury. This is life. If I drink again it is a death-sentence, so things like travel – wow, even when I went to Panama City for bride, as soon as I checked into my hotel, I put all the minibar stuff into a bag and hid it in the closet, and put it all back right before I checked out. PTSD makes one prone to being trigger-happy, but I've learned how to cope with triggers, how to avoid them when possible. Life must go on, and I feel a buoyancy in my heart knowing I finally came to a place with my parents (who are now divorced, thankfully). It took a lot of work, and truly NONE of that work would've been possible if it had not been for the ayahuasca and other psychedelic therapies I underwent after my near-death experience. In ayahuasca I was able to see the darkest parts of my life flash before my eyes, parts I had buried out of a coping-mechanism, and it really gave a massive amount of clarity to the toxic cycles in my life, allowing me the power to break the cycles (which explains my celibacy).

I have had many chapters in my life. Getting a Bachelor of Science Degree. Two divorces. Business manager of book-stores and record stores for nearly two decades. A five-year, actually very productive stint as an exotic dancer (people always blame the sex-worker for having Daddy issues, why not blame the Daddy for the issues she woman grew up with?). Traveling the globe to study under some of the world's best Yoga Teachers, moving to the Caribbean to buy land, and custom build a yoga studio and successfully run it for over TEN YEARS, with raving reviews on Trip Advisor, Google Maps, and AirBnB. I can look at this Caribbean chapter not as a failure, but as “Hell yeah, I did that, I can be proud of that”. I am 50 now, and time for the next chapter....which means MORE LIFE. I thank YOU for that.

Any more funds (Ain't to proud to beg, Sweet Darlin') to this Go Fund Me will not only go towards more meds, but to the large amount of legal fees, realtor fees, and taxes I will have to pay to make this transition a reality and not just a dream. I am grateful for you. Thank you for believing in me, and reminding me of the tenacity of the human spirit. In the meantime I DO plan to be fully operational, functional and teaching eight-classes per week, to make the most of what is left of this chapter. I do hope you join me in this movement of hope. No more stagnant inertia....time to move forward. Grateful for this gift of life, grateful for your support.