When I was pure bliss, among the bright stars, I floated in knowing for eternity.
At some point I chose to have an adventure.
I chose to experience the illusion of splitting myself into what would seem like a countless myriad of colorful parts.
I chose to ride in a separate vehicle called a human body and to be given a name, and a life.
I knew life would pass as a near invisible blip on the radar of everlasting beauty, yet, I desired to feel, see, absorb, know and expand.
In the creation of my own adventure I thoughtfully chose one particular part of myself. I asked it to help me more than any other.
I said, “when I am separate, and have forgotten that I am only ME, and that the “I” ME is YOU, as well, I would like YOU to remind me of WHO I AM.”
The part of me playing YOU asked, “how might I do that?”
The “I” ME was very creative and bold. The “I” excitedly painted a picture that would provide the most opportunity for expansion, adventure, growth and wisdom.
“I” asked YOU to deliver life, to love ME, and to stay with ME throughout the journey.
YOU said, “Yes, of course I will do these things, I love ME. I can agree to anything “I” desires.”
“I” was pleased and continued. “I want YOU to offer ME pain, darkness, sadness and oppression as well….”
“What?” YOU exclaimed. “Why does “I” ask for such things?”
“I” smirked and breathed deeply. “I asks for an experience that will provide the most opportunity to remember “ME”.
The place ME is going has many variables. I want the highest possibility to feel ALL of the emotions, to see ALL of the contrast, to absorb ALL of the beauty and horror, to know ALL of the pain and glory, and to expand ALL of the ways I desire… Can YOU provide ME these gifts?”
Without hesitation YOU confidently stepped forward. “Not only will YOU provide all of these things, YOU will give ME clues in this adventure to help uncover ME’s magnificent and whole origin.”
“What will the clues be?”, “I” excitedly asked.
YOU now looked pleased and mischievous.
“”I” shall be named, ALL.”
“Oh! That is lovely!”, “I” exclaimed.
As the ME separated and YOU began the journey to Earth, “I” waved with joy and lovingly called out…
“and “I” shall name YOU, Mom!”
Thank you for ALL of it, Mom.
~Annetta Louise Lucero
I am compelled, through personal stories, a desire for truth, balance and an opportunity to educate, to write this today.
Due to my own incredible history of familial and spousal abuse, my studies, research, lectures and conference presentations, I have developed a keen sense for recognizing controlling and abusive patterns in the lives of others. Many friends and “strangers” have shared their own stories and sought my advice, knowing that I am someone who may identify issues, and listen without judgement. Surprisingly, some of these people are men.
Research demonstrates that the same abusive tactics and behaviors demonstrated by men (physical, verbal and emotional threats and intimidation) are also demonstrated by women. The resulting shame and fear of being abused, as well as the excuses made to cover up the abuse, are not gender-specific.
Men who are “trapped” by control and abuse have the same denial issues as women. Humans of either gender are adaptable to familiar situations, patterns and lifestyle, and in my experiences as an observer and listener, I have seen men deeply struggle with the possibility that their circumstances fall under the category of “abuse”. The concept of victimhood does not often make sense to a construction worker, martial arts master, or firefighter. I see my former self in their shock and denial every time.
When I was court ordered to a Victims of Domestic Violence course after a dramatic escape from my husband, I was stunned.
I remember telling the instructor, “there’s been a mistake, I’ve never been a victim of anything in my life. I am a well-oiled machine.” By the third class I was even more surprised, realizing that my situation was blatantly abusive, meeting every physical and psychological category of behavior, patterning and conditioning presented.
There are many reasons people stay in abusive relationships, ranging from believing abuse is normal, to embarrassment, abuse/why-do-people-stay/, Cultural and societal pressures condition many to believe that relationships are to last FOREVER, regardless of the circumstances. Many people tough it out, even in the midst of escalating pain and entrapment.
Of course both the abuser and the one receiving the abuse become unhappy and dominated by the patterns of control. I do have compassion for all involved, as those who act out with abusive behaviors are suffering as well, and often times will never learn to recognize or seek help for their conditioned outrage. Gender is not indicative of who is dominated and who is subdued.
Whether or not you are a tiny woman or a burly man, if you call your partner 14 times in a row, making up stories in your head why they are not answering, and intently hit them while they are asleep, you have a serious issue that needs addressing. If you are accepting this behavior, it is important to seek an education in the area of pattern changing and get the hell out of Dodge.
We all have experiences throughout our lifetimes as being perpetrators, victims, hero’s, failures, and everything in between. Recognizing these attributes, admitting they are a part of us and keeping it all in check, regardless of what side we may be on, is the key to growth and expanding the best possibilities for ourselves.
Here are some very common traits that present themselves in those who are abusers, these traits are not gender specific. It is not the purpose of the listing to imply that every person with some of these attributes is an abuser or potential abuser.
- At the start of the relationship, an abuser will equate jealously with love. The abuser will question the victim about who the victim talks to, accuse the victim of flirting, or become jealous of time spent with others. The abuser may call the victim frequently during the day, drop by unexpectedly, refuse to let the victim work, check the car mileage, or ask friends to watch the victim.
- Controlling behavior
- In the beginning an abuser will attribute controlling behavior to concern for the victim (for example, the victim’s safety or decision-making skills). As this behavior progresses the situation will worsen, and the abuser may assume all control of finances or prevent the victim from coming and going freely.
- Quick involvement
- A victim often has known or dated the abuser for a brief period of time before getting engaged or living together. The abuser will pressure the victim to commit to the relationship. A victim may be made to feel guilty for wanting to slow the pace or end the relationship.
- Unrealistic expectations
- An abuser expects the victim to meet all of the abuser’s needs, to take care of everything emotionally and domestically.
- An abuser will attempt to isolate the victim by severing the victim’s ties to outside support and resources. The batterer will accuse the victim’s friends and family of being “trouble makers.” The abuser may block the victim’s access to use of a vehicle, work, or telephone service in the home.
- Blames others for problems
- An abuser will blame others for all problems or for the abuser’s own shortcomings. Someone is always out to get the abuser or is an obstacle to the abuser’s achievements. The victim or potential victim will be blamed for almost anything.
- Blames others for feelings
- An abuser will use feelings to manipulate the victim. Common phrases to look for: “You’re hurting me by not doing what I want.” “You control how I feel.”
- An abusive person is easily insulted, perceiving the slightest setbacks as personal attacks.
If you are in an abusive situation that you feel you can not safely leave, seek help.
*Tell Somebody. If you have covered it up for so long that it is hard for those around you to believe, tell it anyway.
*Contact a Domestic Violence Prevention Advocate or call the HotLine: 1-800-799-7233 | 1-800-787-3224 (TTY)
*If you are monitored by your abuser go to the library or use a friends computer to view the Domestic Violence Website: http://www.thehotline.org/help/
*When you escape file a restraining order ASAP. The piece of paper cannot protect you from physical attacks, but if you are threatened or attacked and you have the piece of paper it can cause a quicker, easier conviction and jail time for your abuser. If you are killed by your abuser the restraining order points the police in the right direction.
*Attend meetings for survivors of domestic abuse. Swallow your pride and go to these meetings. Every city has domestic shelters and classes. They are free. I was court assigned to a 12 week course. It was mortifying at first because I did not view myself as “one of those women”. The class ultimately changed the course of my life by giving me information and tools to step away from patterns of abuse and victimization.
*If you are abused you have nothing to be ashamed of. You are not weak. You deserve your freedom and your own voice. Please leave the situation. You can do it. I did it.
I keep learning and expanding and finding more understanding for myself and others; but I am getting further from societies expectations and guidelines, so I must leave all criticism and judgement or I chance making myself miserable worrying about what others think.
I do not think like many, and I do not want to.
I am not interested in conforming.
I am not religious or spiritual. I’m more of a Philosopher-ish – Ponderer – Question Asker. I claim to know nothing and I reserve the right to change anything at any moment. I am not married to my opinions, ideas, concepts, thoughts, feelings, or existence.
My interest does not lie in hoping others will think as I do, for I may be completely askew. My current beliefs may be appalling to some, yet I do operate with as much self-honesty as I am able to muster, under my current condition of being trapped in this meat costume.
In my flowing search for realness, I have come to a point of releasing cultural and societal conditioning.
I am not keen on standard sentences such as, “it’s going to take a long time…” or “He’s in a better place.” or “I’m trying my best”, or “God only gives you what you can handle.” or “and they lived happily ever after… ”
They didn’t live happily ever after. They eventually died, and most likely they were woefully sick of one another because they stayed together, “through thick and thin”, even after they no longer shared the kind of love they once experienced when they were enthralled. Of course, they “did it for the sake of the children”, who have learned to stay with somebody they nag, complain about and believe they possess on a daily basis. They have learned to fear that their mate may be “cheating” on them and behave in jealous ways that cause more of a rift; yet, they wear matching sweaters for the Holiday photos and send greetings to others that say “Peace on Earth”, when 3 minutes prior to signing the card they sneered and snapped at their “beloved” for leaving the milk carton out.
Of course there are folks who find a particular someone to truly respect and love for a lifetime. Possibilities are always limitless so I do not rule out any scenario. But as an observer, those life-deals are rare in comparison to the, “it’s easier to stay together than go through splitting our assets.”
I’m not claiming to be above any of this. I’ve actually experienced all of it. These situations, my own jealousy, fear, limitations naiveté… lack of thinking my own thoughts caused me to live out most of the things I previously mentioned.
Personally, I will not put the pressure on anybody else to be “my everything” again. I’ve experienced the pain of that for all involved. I’ll leave my options open to have different parts of myself activated by those who resonate with those needs and desires. I will continue to give to others the very things I wish for myself. Love, a moment of time, respect, adoration, kindness…
There is no “worse case scenario” that can happen by living the way I feel is the best direction for myself.
So, others gasp, disagree with my viewpoint, gossip, do not invite me to get togethers with the “acceptable crowd”.
Cool. None of these things affect me in the least, the opinions of others have nothing to do with me. Anyhow, I’ll always be invited to get togethers, I’m fucking entertaining.
Worrying about money, “I haven’t got a penny to my name”, not true. Possessions, politics, nationalism, “America, we’re number one”, PLEASE. blah, blah blah…. not my deal. I’m done with the standard thought process about these and all other things.
So what if I move to a different country, take chances, make a mess, create beauty, succeed or fail? I’m prepared to become entirely ME, and if I’m rejected, accepted, praised, shunned… arrested, well, I’ll deal with it, it will pass, and I’ll eventually go home to paradise and swim with my beloved gays and dolphins.
I will live my truth as often as possible. I will leave my kids with stories to tell. And I will leave them with my viewpoint and advice that they may choose to adopt, alter or furiously reject:
Make mistakes, travel, seek knowledge, forgive yourself and others, be kind, create beauty, show generosity to all… LIVE.
Live well. Eventually we are all dead and on to the next thing… or not. ~Lucero
When I was really little my bio dad would run after me pretending to be an insane gorilla-monster.
It was, at first fun, yet quickly progressed to alarming and ultimately terrifying. At the peak of fear I would always react in the same way. Rather than run faster or seek a hiding place, (thus prolonging my own insecurity and fear), I would STOP, boldly turn around, exclaim, “Dad!”, and run right at him.
Embracing him, whether or not he had changed from the character, put the power back in my realm and instantly altered the reality of my fear.
I thought about this last night after I caved in to the alarm and fear I allowed to build in my own mind.
In the midst of my self-induced panic I STOPPED. I named my fear and then ran directly towards it. I wrote of my frustrations and asked for help.
Embracing the monster rather than trying to run or hide from it is the quickest path I know to regaining my own power.
I am not going to continue telling and rehashing the story of my fear. I deleted my panic-driven post and desire to speak as the person I choose to become.
While I am not sure WHAT solutions will appear to remedy the current challenge, I know that the solutions WILL appear and they will present themselves at exactly the moment they should.
I CAN BE fearless in all situations and circumstances.
I will always embrace the monsters.
“I take it back”
4 words that pierced my heart
The phrase that initiated a new path, a restart
I’ve carried baggage filled with pain
But repeating mistakes is something I’ve been trained
To know is utterly insane
Make a different choice
Find an open space
Throw it to a different place
The mirror stares me in the face
What do I want…
Regret, sadness, bleeding soul
Or elements that make me whole
What is real
Is it possible to fully heal
I don’t know
I have no answer, no path to “how”
Peace resides within the NOW
I’ll step off cliffs, and as I fall
My heart expands
Last Friday night I made the decision to remove past relationship images from my computer. The constant reminders of what is no more hits me like a raw nerve every time I click to iPhoto.
In the midst of my task, my left molar ignited. Searing pain shot through my mouth, traveling to my left eye and down my throat.
The next day I taught an eight hour clinic, engulfed in pain that ranged somewhere between 10 and 200.
By Sunday morning my old trauma patterns kicked in and I was experiencing FEAR; an emotion that I have practiced stepping away from.
I succumbed to an illusionary menu of mind stories— the winner of these delusions being; “I have jaw cancer and my tongue will be amputated, thus leaving me without the possibility of booking speaking engagements.”
Sunday night I was gargling whiskey, choking down some along the way to dull the pain, and asking for dentist recommendations.
Many options and well wishing comments appeared quickly and I was able to procure an appointment.
On Monday morning I double checked the location of the dentist I had selected, and a little comment from my friend Thomas caught my eye. “Happy mouth, happy teeth” is all it said.
Thomas is a soulmate. We are traveling down a similar path at an equipollent speed. His seemingly benign comment caused an immediate switch in my perception. I put the brakes on my “doomsday” inner dialogue and opted for a moment of meditation.
I could feel my tooth painfully throbbing to the beat of my heart as I sat in silence.
Peddling to the dentist office a while later I had gratitude statements flooding my mind. “I am grateful for the teacher’s throughout my life”, “I am grateful for healing”, “I am grateful for growth and…” BAM! Some force hit me. My mind went blank and a feeling of knowing washed over me. The feeling was that I had not yet been willing to fully release my thoughts, desires, and stubborn grasp on the past story of my decayed relationship. I stopped and stood with my bike as I stated out loud. (Yes, like a cray-cray).
I release this. My contracts are no longer. I accept the release of not only past contracts, but the release of my perceptions of reality on this matter. I release anger, jealousy, regrets and grievances. I am free. He is free, I can not, nor do I want, to hold on to this any further. I am love. I am loved, I give and receive love and I fully forgive myself and others in this story.
A peace washed over me, and my tooth ache disappeared.
I went to the dentist. He examined my teeth and x-rayed the one that had caused such brutal pain for the past 3 days.
He said, Annetta, there is nothing out of order here… It must have just been a very raw nerve.
The train back to my town was leaving in 10 minutes and if I walked with determination I would make it to Oslo Central station just in time.
He was sitting propped up against the glass window of an abandoned store front. Unsightly. The busy people of Oslo bustled by, ignoring his paper cup, stepping over and around his foot.
It was heavily bandaged from his ankle down, but his toes were exposed. He had only two toes, as his first three toes looked to have been recently amputated. A dirty crutch lay by his side. He shook his empty cup at the distracted crowd.
He shook his cup at me, and I passed him by… The train.
I had distanced myself by nearly a block when I felt a tug on my back. I stopped. I turned around but nobody was there. I looked around at the many people rushing by, I thought of myself, rushing by. I went back.
He was very apprehensive when I sat down next to him. Not sure what to do or think of this new situation. He did what he does. He shook his cup at me, pointed to his foot, shook his cup some more.
“It’s okay. You have no need to beg me.” I said. He was perplexed. He didn’t speak english and shook his cup again, with far less fervor, however. I continued to sit next to him and after a few minutes he stopped shaking his cup, he scooted a little closer to me and he took my hand. As I sat holding this mans hand, I was overwhelmed by a feeling of peace and love. I patted his shoulder and he reached over and embraced me. He began to smile and cry, and so did I.
Time passed by and I told him I would be going. I rummaged through my backpack and handed him 200NOK. I stood to leave and he grabbed my hand and eagerly motioned for me to sit next to him again. I sat.
He pointed to his heart, and then to the sky and then he began to pray. He prayed for me. I do not know his language or religion. It was everything he had to offer and I was touched to receive his gift.
In life I have often frantically shaken my own paper cup. Something I am learning from my experiences, is to be aware of my own tug, sit down, scoot closer, hold a hand… Love can be found everywhere, I have no need to beg.
I was singing loudly, one of my impromptu “happy songs” as I approached the crosswalk. The pretty immigrant women rushed across the street; neat uniform, lovely hair, strained face… nearly distraught. She glanced at me crooning in the van I had borrowed from my friend minutes earlier, then she turned away, it was time to shift and move on, but my intuition caused me to pause. She stopped and looked back again. With a desperate look in her eyes and a contorted mouth she tripped to my window. I rolled it down and a cold rush of air stung my face. She blurted something in Norwegian, I smiled and told her I spoke English. She gasped and reframed in heavily accented english, “where are you going? Is it near the airport? Is it in that direction?” She pointed wildly, tears beginning to form in her frantic eyes. Without hesitation I said, “it is now, please get in”, and I popped open the passenger side door.
She literally ran and jumped in, immediately bursting into tears. “Oh THANK YOU, THANK YOU, I am so stressed! I have missed the bus, I am so worried to be late for my work, my boss, my boss…” she didn’t finish her sentence. She sniffled as we drove on.
Heavy rain began to fall and she sighed, “LOOK! You have saved me now from being late and from getting wet. I am from Philippines, we pick up the hitchhikers but here it is not possible… you have saved me, you are sent from God!” I grinned and said, “Nah, I’m sent from Hawaii and my hobby is scooping up folks.”
“I SAW you.” she said, “I felt something, like I should ask you for help.” She daintily blotted around her eyes with a tissue.
“I’m so glad you did, I SAW you” I replied, “I think that’s all we have to do to receive what we need… see it, and find the courage to ask.” She gasped again, “Oh! say some more…” she requested. “I like to imagine that we are all the same person, that there is no judgement causing chasms between people, I am so happy to help you because I think of you as being me.” She began to cry again and said, “You have taken my worry away, I am going to remember you and I know I will see you again.” As we pulled up to the airport curb I said, “I’m Annetta,” she put her hand on my shoulder and said, “my name is Happy. H-A-P-P-Y, thank you, THANK YOU, angel Annetta!”
With that, she ran off towards the airport entrance, leaving me with her very name etched in my heart.
My days are filled with humor, and I want to share some of it with you!
Applying for a residential visa in Norway requires company employment. A “real job” is something I’ve never experienced aside from a stint at McDonald’s. My step-father insisted I “learn to work.” I disagreed, and was artfully fired after 2 days.
I have been self-employed since I was 14. I’ve taught baton twirling and circus, created companies, choreographed productions, presented speeches, worked contracts for Cirque du Soleil, etc. etc.
Now, however, I wake up early, get my kids off to school and ride my bike to a pristine office to do my day job.
I am employed by wonderful people at a huge private pre-school/kindergarten chain in Norway. I accidentally landed my job due to my gift of never censoring my laughter. On a trip to Norway earlier this year, the magnificent people who own the company asked for my opinion about an objectives manual, which had recently been translated from Norwegian to English. Browsing the halted narration I noticed some spelling errors and oddities before hitting the jackpot that ultimately redirected my life. Written, clear as day, was this sentence: “Our children are the most sensual children, who are willing to take it at every angle.” My reaction was not subtle. In a classic Ned display I laughed far too loud for waaaaaaay too long.
Alarmed, my friends asked if I knew of anyone who could help. I said I did and the next morning I gave them a re-written brochure. Upon reviewing my work, I was handed an academic manual and a polite request was made for me to “please fix it”.
Since beginning at the office about 2 weeks ago, I have been translating direct from Norwegian rather than simply fixing the English errors. I have learned to decipher the written language by memorizing the “floor pattern” of the language like choreography. When I am stuck I ask co-workers for definitions and I utilize “google translate”….. which brings me to the reason for this post. I am amused by the decoding aspects of my assignments, and thrilled by the ridiculous translations that pop up each day. My co-workers are often curious as to what I have come upon when my laughter echoes through the halls.
Without further adieu, here are real examples of my favorite “google translate” faux pas:
Best of Google T. Faux Pas:
…placing your penis in the flask with your hand while you are nicely speaking to each child, in turn.
…an adult has a burning torch and lights the children one by one.
…the child will be selected as this days ass-kisser / boot-licker and sit on the chair.
There are so many more, but you get the gist from these examples. I’ve got to get to sleep now so my brain can be clear, refreshed and firing… Honestly, I can’t wait to get to work in the morning.
Norwegian> Hvorfor Aktiviteten bevisstgjør barna på hva som fremkaller gode følelser, og de får øvelse i å uttrykke seg i en gruppe.
What google T gave me> Why Activity deliberately makes kids what Evoke good feelings cheaper than its fancy the receive training in Out themelves in a group.
My conclusion> Purpose: This activity helps children to evoke good feelings and to be comfortable speaking out, in turn, within a group atmosphere.
It’s more thrilling than I could have imagined, especially after previous relationship missteps, disintegrations and heartbreaks.
I have heard it said that true love can often surprise you when you are not seeking anyone, and that has certainly been the case for me and the reason for my unexpected engagement.
Although I’ve known my new fiancé for a very long time, I had not ever truly recognized the importance of this person in my life, the fullness of their beauty, dedication to my well-being, strength in kindness, loyalty, ability to adapt to meet my needs and I certainly did not consider this person to be the one who would complete me as my other half.
As the proposal was happening I was filled with amazement, peace and a knowing that I deserved to be loved fully by this amazing, compassionate soul. This is someone who can forgive and even snicker with good nature at my shortcomings, encourage my growth and root for me under all circumstances… they’ve got my back.
On the frivolous and fun side of things, my true love enjoys ALL of the same things I revel in. We have the same eccentric style, music choices, decorating sensibilities, appreciation for art, adoration of nature and sense of humor. This person totally gets all of my jokes and laughs hysterically right along with me. Beyond that, I have never come across anyone who loves, admires and offers so much positive attention to my children. Even my mom is completely in awe of this person. It’s absolutely the most perfect match possible!
It’s been quite a journey getting to the place in my life where I can recognize true love, embrace it, and throw all caution to the wind, and so I would like to vibrantly proclaim, I ACCEPT YOUR LOVE AND I PROMISE TO COMMIT MY HEART, MIND AND SOUL TO YOU FOREVER!
Annetta Lucero, you complete Me. You are EVERYTHING I have ever needed and I feel so grateful to have found you. You are exactly what I have always deserved in my life and I am so excited to continue my journey with you by my side.
I AM committing to myself.