Saturday, January 4, 2014


The second life changing call I made to my mom 20 years later.

Video is about 35 min but the lesson is worth every second.

I know I said I wasn't going to blog for a while but then I saw an article in my Facebook feed which brought me to the video above. I have not been able to think about anything else since. I'm only able to write when I am moved to do so. To say I was moved by that video would be an understatement. This is a blog about regret.

 As I stated In my last blog, I have stayed away from certain subjects and have not named names in this blog out of fear. Fear of revealing myself and fear of revealing others. I was working on an outline of my book yesterday and I was completely consumed. I looked down at my computer and the memories and the stories just came flooding out. One memory led to another. The next time I looked up, it was 3 hours later. It felt like it had been 3 min. All I had been doing was making a list. One word per story and time just disappeared. And some of the words on that list were pretty horrific. Mistakes that I had made as well as some pretty unspeakable things that had happened to me. That outline only covered about 5 years of my life. The first five. I have recently had several discussions about how hard life has been for most people. I am not part of the minority this time. I'm part of the majority. I was talking to somebody a few weeks ago that said "I really can't complain. My childhood was really great. My parents are still together and happy and nothing really bad has ever happened to me." I realized in that moment that I had never met anybody that shared that experience. It was like finding the holy grail. 

I have been really mad at my parents for about 20 years. My mom is really sick and I fear that she doesn't have many years left. I went home to her house for Christmas for the first time in maybe 6 years. In the weeks that led up to that visit, I struggled. I wanted to find a way to forgive her and my stepfather for turning their backs on me when I was honest with them and told them I was gay. This is something I had not been able to do in 20 years. How was I going to make in happen in 2 weeks? 

I used to be extremely close to my parents. My entire life I lived to please them and make them proud. The thought of disappointing them was unbearable. From about 4th grade until i was about 19, that is exactly what I did. I was a star athlete and competitive runner from the age of 9 until about 16 when I started to accumulate a series of injuries that I still haven't fully recovered from. 

Overall, I was a really good kid. I did everything I was supposed to do. I didn't drink or do drugs or party or have sex or anything that most teenagers dabble in growing up. That was my older brother's department.

My parents told me if I got good grades and an athletic scholarship, they would get me a car and pay for the rest of my college education. So, that is exactly what I did, injuries and all. I was no where near the runner I once was, but still managed to get a scholarship. The disappointment in my moms eyes that I was not at the top anymore, haunts me to this day.

So off to college I went. I had just finished Army basic training at Fort Jackson and I was about to start my freshman year at Flagler College. I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that I had accomplished my goal. My parents were proud of me. 

Fast forward to my sophomore year. I had fallen in love with my roommate who happened to be a girl. Nobody was more surprised than me. Nobody wanted it less than I did. But it was who I was.

My mom and I used to spend hours talking on the phone every week. On a regular basis, I would make the 7 hr drive to their house in the middle of the night just to surprise them. Even if I only was able to stay home for just one day... That was better than no day at all with them.

One day my mom and I were talking on the phone. We were having a conversation that led me to believe that she was opening the door for me to tell her I was gay. I had no intentions of having that discussion on that day. I certainly hadn't planned to tell her on the phone. Our discussion led me to think that she knew and it was ok. I couldn't have been more wrong.

She said "Are you dating anybody?" I said "Well actually mom, I am in love." She said "With who?" I said "Callie." She said "You are no longer my daughter" and hung up on me. 

They took my car away and sold it. They cut off my college education and wouldn't sign my student load papers so I could continue to go to school. They essentially left me for dead. They said they couldn't support my lifestyle. In an instant, my life changed forever. I was practically homeless and lost my entire family. I never felt so alone, ashamed and betrayed. Everything I had worked so hard for was gone with one word... "Callie." 

I sat there devastated that my family was gone and I didn't have more than $10.00 in my bank account. I made about $150 a month with the National Guard. That was my only income at that time.

My first girlfriend had just started working as a stripper to help pay for her college education. I was furious. I'd see a big wad of cash on the dresser and in a very accusing way said "What did you do for that?" I hated it. After that conversation with my mom, my girlfriend and I were talking about how I was going to pay my part of the rent next week. She said, "Why don't you come into the club and see what I do? I promise you will feel better about it." So I did. And she was right. It was just a bunch of girls dancing in bikinis for some road worn truckers. They also served food. After about 20 minutes, the manager came over and offered me a job waiting tables. I hesitated for a moment and said "yes". I was 19. I paid my rent the next day. By the next week I was dancing. By the next month, I paid my college tuition and was back in school.

I was a stripper for about 3 years. Am I proud of that fact, no. Am I ashamed, not so much. It was the first big decision of a young girl who was never given the option to think for herself. It was a desperate attempt at survival. 

After transferring twice and changing my major 6-7 times and taking time off to tour with a band, I graduated. I started college in 1991. I graduated in 1998. I walked across that stage with my head held high... My rather large head with a nice conservative bright purple bob. My parents watched with pride. My mom said "Well you did it, you proved me wrong. You probably did it only to prove me wrong." I said "No, I did it to prove me right." 

Years before my graduation day, I came home and there was a message on my answering machine from my mom. She said, "Somebody in the family died, thought you would want to know." She didn't say who, so I had to call her back. It turned out to be some distant relative I had never heard of. We slowly started to talk again. The subject of me being gay came up a few times, but it always ended with a fight and with me leaving in tears. Eventually we stopped talking about it, but it was always the elephant in the room. Years passed and I saw a change in my parents. They have said it many times over the years and I believe them. "We just want you to be happy. We don't care who you love." My parents aren't homophobic. My gay great uncle Tommy was one of their favorite people. They didn't hate me. They hated the loss of the dream. The dream that I would get married, have a few kids, and live happily ever after. They hated that my life would be harder. They hated how it would reflect on them to other people around them. They wondered if they did something wrong? Could they have done something better? They have never said these things to me but I can see it in their eyes.

I know that all they want now is my happiness. They want me to forgive them. I want nothing more than to do just that. I have been searching my soul to find a way to truly do it. When I was home for Christmas, they took me on what I call..."The death tour." They wanted to show me where they kept all the important things in the house so when they die, I would know where everything was. They gave me a key to the house so I wouldn't have to break the door down when they die. 

As I made the 10 hour drive to their house, I thought about all the things I wanted to say. I wanted to make peace. I wanted to let my anger go so I could not just love them, but like them. We started to talk about it and it went bad immediately. So I said, "Never mind, let's not talk about it." My mom said "fine." A few minutes passed and she said "All I want is for you to be happy." I said "Thanks." 

Things were better than they had been in a very long time when I left, but it still felt unresolved. 

After watching the video above this morning, I cried. A lot. I have no plans of dying of an overdose. But my greatest fear is that my parents will die and I will never get the chance to say that I forgive them and mean it. I know that I would never have a greater regret in my life than that one. 

This morning I realized that the people I hold the biggest grudges over, the people I can't seem to forgive, are the ones I loved the most. They are the ones that were supposed to love me unconditionally and keep me safe. They were the ones that were supposed to protect my heart, not break it. 

In this moment my biggest regret comes from the hearts I have broken. There is no greater pain. And for that, I'm truly sorry. 

I've got to go now and make another life changing phone call to my mom. All I'm going to say is "I love you and I forgive you." I will not live the rest of my life with the regret of not saying those words.

Love your children no matter who they love.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

True Till Death!



Women's libbers burning their bras in the 60's. Something I do daily when I get home from work.

Fear is one of those emotions that can both move us to do something we don't want to do or paralyze us from doing something we want to do. Fear keeps many of us from living our true life. 

I would hate to see what the world would look like if there weren't people brave enough to die to make a change or stand up for their beliefs. Most of us just sit back and let others fight our battles and then gladly accept the benefits when they come. Often times, the same people who spoke out against these courageous people out of fear of "what the neighbors would think" are the same ones taking advantage of the rewards. If we all lived in fear of upsetting somebody, women wouldn't have the right to vote, get an education or have any rights at all. Slavery wouldn't have been abolished. Hitler's descendants might be running shit at the moment. There would be no labor unions. There would be no options as far as religion goes. Religious persecution for that matter, has been responsible for many wars and a huge amount of blood shed throughout history. Homosexuals are still fighting for the right to marry or be next to their partner in the hospital when they are on their death bed among other basic things heterosexuals take for granted.

I am a lesbian. Owning that side of myself has brought me the most joy and the most sadness in my life. When I came out of the closet, I lost several friends and family members. I don't march in parades or have any stickers on my car...mostly because I don't like stickers on my car and not really a big fan of a parades :) Fear doesn't keep me from doing these things because I assure you, I am a proud lesbian. It's because I want my sexuality to be the last thing people know about me, not the first and only thing. I don't want who I sleep with to define me and my life. I want it to be an after thought. I would rather people think of me first as a great friend, trainer and sarcastic bitch who enjoys cats, working out, cooking and eating...not necessarily in that order. Who I choose to love shouldn't determine what my friends and family think of me. Like it or not, it does. That is just the world we live in. But my desire to be happy and live my true life finally overcame my fear of rejection. A choice I gladly live with to this day. The quest for true love, something I could never have with a man will always be more important than acceptance from others... Always.

Many gay teenagers and adults have committed suicide because death seemed better than facing rejection from the very people who are supposed to love them unconditionally. So choose your words wisely with your children. Hopefully the next suicide won't be from the words that came from your lips. Because if you think it is a choice and could never happen to you or your family, you are wrong. The teenagers that kill themselves aren't the ones from the families who love them unconditionally, they are from the families who don't. I know somebody who talked shit about her own sister for being gay. She told her she didn't want her to bring her girlfriend around her children. That same person is now a flag waving lesbian. Life is funny like never know what is around the next corner. Nobody chooses to be hated because of the one they love. They do their best to except that as part of their fate when they make the decision not to lie to themselves and others.

“The worst lies are the lies we tell ourselves. We live in denial of what we do, even what we think. We do this because we're afraid. We fear we will not find love, and when we find it we fear we'll lose it. We fear that if we do not have love we will be unhappy.”
- Richard Bach

As I have discussed in other blogs, people stay in bad relationships because they are afraid they can't do better or fear being alone. They stay in jobs they hate because they fear they won't make as much money or find anything better. I think what people fear most is not being liked. They continue to be involved in toxic friendships and circles out of the fear that someone might not like them or say something mean if they stand up for themselves or others. I will make a certain amount of sacrifices for the one I love and that's about it. If nobody loves me enough to do the same or won't allow me to live my true life, then they won't be in it.

I haven't blogged for a long time. Not because I have run out of things to worries :)...but out of fear that I would hurt people's feelings by expressing the truth. When I sit back and really think about it, nobody has ever spared my feelings. If anything, it's quite the opposite. They have tried to hold me back to cover their own ass or because of their own selfish agendas. My personal life seems to be of great interest not so much to the people that actually know me, but to the people who don't which I really don't understand. Some of the gossip is true, but a lot of it is not. I'm a very private person...until I started writing this blog that is :) I have to say, if feels good have a voice and get the demons out. Still, I have been very careful in my subject matter and have held back identities and subjects that might be hard for some people to hear. Only the people close to me know the full truth about my life. I don't feel the need to tell acquaintances, coworkers or random people who happen to be walking by about everything that is going on in my life in an attempt to get them on TEAM NIKKI. I have paid a price for my silence. My side of the story is not out there, so people accept the other side as truth. The people in my inner circle say all the time..."they just don't know you." It's true. They don't. They only know the rumors. People gossiping about my personal life must really have a sad pathetic existence. Maybe they should get a hobby or a job or pay more attention to their children and family instead of investing precious time and energy talking about mine. Hell maybe they should write a blog! My friends always tell me that people only gossip to take the attention away from their own miserable lives. This I know to be true. Most of them are hypocrites. They have many skeletons in their closets. We all have made mistakes, they just haven't been caught... Yet.

I'd like to thank the gossip mongers, hypocrites and liars for giving me the incentive I needed to finally sit down and write my book. My entire life people have been telling me I need to write one. My fear of exposing myself and others and just plain old laziness have kept me from doing it. Well that fear is over... And I have to say I have never been more energized to do so. I'm thinking of calling it "The Other Side." But I think the title will reveal itself as I go along. I was wrestling with whether I should write a book that is my authentic truth or a book based on it.. Like 85% fact and 15% fiction to make it more interesting. I soon realized that the truth is interesting enough. No need to make shit up!

So sadly, this will be my last blog for a while. I will be focusing all my energy towards the book. I will post some passages from it here along the way. Feel free to give me feedback....there has been no lack of that :) Get ready to hear the other side of the story. Gossip mongers... START YOUR ENGINES!