I am a regular ol’ gal born to a toxic and abusive mother, a father that felt daughters were worthless, grew up in poverty, and of course to top it all off, I’m Bisexual. I’m not going to get too much into details about my past because it doesn’t define who I am. It took me more than 30 years to finally figure that out. Actually, I am still figuring it out…
However! I do understand that in order to join in my journey, you have to have an idea of the trials, tribulations, accomplishments, and connections I have experienced along the way.
I am 1/2 Spaniard and 1/2 Italian, first of my immediate family to be born in the great state of California. Southern California to be exact. Those of you from Cali understand that there is a DIFFERENCE! Everyone else was born in Europe and migrated to the US in the hopes of a better life. I am a gym rat, through-and-through. 1 of 6 children, I have 1 full brother and a bunch of half-siblings. I go to the gym on a daily basis and consider it to be my ‘sanctuary’. I love food and cooking. I hate the cold. Love beaches (and bitches, haha!). I’ve had an interesting life with flying planes, being in the military, traveling quite a bit, music festivals, mental breakdowns, suppression of traumas and sexuality, concrete and internal prisons, raising my fucken awesome kids, finding the love of my life unexpectedly, and so much more.
I am loyal and honest to a fault. I am incredibly driven and sometimes stubborn (if you ask Brooke, I am ALWAYS stubborn…) and I also fuck up a lot. I am not afraid to admit to a mistake and I’m a good listener. I’m introverted but at work, I am an adapted extrovert. I have a Master’s degree and I hope to someday become Dr. DonMon because I like to flex REAL HARD. Then I would like to teach at Universities and someday educate our youth on the things that no one talks about because we are shamed into hiding things that don’t meet the societal expectations. I am the person that nergasms about shit often, I play D&D and also any sport you can think of. I’m all over the place. Here’s my backstory.
In The Beginning…
It just so happens that in 1986, year I was born, the United States had an amnesty to allow immigrants to obtain citizenship if they proved to have been good hard working citizens. My mom, pregnant with me at the time, married the older brother of the boy she was a nanny for who had JUST turned 18 not even a month prior to get citizenship. He was a sexual predator – she didn’t care because just so happens, she never wanted daughters either. I’ll let you think the worst because yes, you’re not far off from the horrors of my experiences.
Elementary years were spent living in a broken, toxic, and abusive home strung on Roman Apostolic Catholic beliefs. We never really practiced religion unless it was to shame, or punish, or to hear my mother pound her chest about how great of a person she was while she manipulated men into giving her money by any means… mostly at the cost of my own virtue.
When I started to get boobs, I was tasked with providing for the family because I was the only “unclaimed” child by a father, and since she abandoned my older sister, the oldest and most expendable “thing” she owned. So I did some time as a recreational pharmacist (what else is an 11 year old to do?).
I was considered to be the “tomboy” type – played sports, partied, did a lot of dumb shit, and had awesome mentors and teachers who were probably not the most law abiding citizens or great examples – you probably wouldn’t let your kids be around these people – but they cared about me. They wanted to see me break the cycle, not become a part of it. THAT matters.
I knew I was Bi sometime when I hit puberty. I’d seen porn several times and I liked women’s bodies the same as I liked men’s bodies. I liked the thought of intercourse with a man or a woman, sometimes both. I didn’t exactly know what it meant BUT!! I knew that it was considered “bad”.
I kissed my first girl when I was in 7th Grade. Her name was Paulette, she was blond and we used to smoke weed together. I never told anyone that my first kiss was a girl…
I kissed my first boy in 8th Grade. Had my first make out session in 10th grade with my friend’s male cousin when I was completely hammered. Only remembered that his face was scratchy and I didn’t like that. During my high school years I was in constant fear that someone would catch me staring at a girl for too long or that in my drunken state I would show the world that I was a “sinner” going to hell. I had made out with a few girls, almost even had sex with a lesbian friend of mine but my fear and shame kept me from exploring myself and my sexuality.
At one party, everyone had retreated to go have sex in their bedrooms and I was left in the living room by myself (as usual) and for whatever reason we were watching porn. A woman came on the screen but she had a penis. She was stunning and sexy af. I wanted her. I didn’t know how she got to be that way but she was perfect. I never dared to look into what I had seen or how to find it because I was afraid someone would find out. I also never allowed myself to explore my preference for women, just some drunk make out sessions that were played off as “drunk girl shit”.
“What if the girl I explore with tells someone?”
“I’m only gay if I have sex with a girl.”
“People will stop hanging out with me.”
“Everyone will talk shit about me.”
“I won’t be popular anymore. My life will be ruined.”
“I’ll never have a real job.”
“No one will ever want me.”
“I’ll get raped and murdered and no one will care.”
These are the thoughts that justified my silence – forced me to hide my truth and be mean to myself internally. I suppressed everything with drugs and alcohol because the reality and shame of what I really was, was too much to bear….
I dated one guy in high school, and that started on a bet. We dated for like 7 months and he broke up with me to fuck some other girl that was the “hot girl” at the time. Her name was Jenny…
Fast forward to 18, my life took a wrong turn again when I married a man 13 years my senior so that my mom would love me and finally be proud of me… and also be thousands of dollars richer! Knew the guy 6 months before we ended up married. He had a daughter from his previous marriage who hated me, of course she would – she hated herself too.
Regretted the decision almost immediately. No wedding, just signing court papers to say that I was now HIS property instead of hers. So what does one do when your life is totally out of control, you’re depressed, suicidal, and you want to run away?? YOU JOIN THE FUCKING ARMY!
Ah yes… the Army. HOOAH!
“The basic problems facing the world today are not susceptible to a military solution”– John F. Kennedy
I joined and I loved almost every minute of it. My battle buddies are my family – no… they are more than that. I have no words to describe them. I had no intention of coming back home alive. I planned to give my life away down range to save someone who was worth something. I was a Medic, 91 Whiskey. I was finally in control of my own life.
I got pregnant. YUP! Came home on leave, got wasted everyday, and ended up pregnant by my at-the-time-husband. You can judge me if you want, but I tried for abortion. I didn’t want to have a child – I wanted to be a martyr.
The Army treats you like shit when you accidentally get pregnant while overseas. Like you did it to abandon your battle buddies or like you’re a coward. It was brutal. Broke me in a lot of ways. I developed pretty severe PTSD and was trying to stay out of the psych ward while dealing with pregnancy. Then I had a baby…
The Other Identity I Feared
Most moms will talk about how they immediately loved their baby and all that mushy shit. I was scared shitless and I felt completely foreign to myself and I had NO FUCKING CLUE wtf you do with a baby. I felt like my life was over… again. Like I had lost control of it AGAIN! I failed at shit AGAIN!!
I hated my mom, I never wanted to be anything like her. I hate everything about her and yet, I’m the only one of her children that looks like her. Life’s funny that way sometimes. I didn’t want to be a mom because SHE was a “mom”. Couldn’t change it now so I had to just deal with it. I spent many years trying to make things work because I didn’t want a broken home and I wanted to do things “right”. Like my mentors and the people who cared about me, I wanted to break the cycle. Unfortunately, that doesn’t work when only one of you thinks the cycle needs to be broken. So I tried to leave him. His kid from his previous marriage was a monster. She was just as cruel and mean as he was, I was only 8 years older than her and back then, I hated her. Now, I forgive her and I understand why she is the way that she is. I especially hated her because she tried to have my lil nugget taken away from me, I was facing a year in jail. She hit me when she was 15 and I hit her back then she called police because I busted her lip.
While I was attending court hearings I had another life changing accident come about… 3 words…
YUP!! I was pregnant again and I was terrified that I would have my baby while in jail and lose the one I already had. I didn’t end up in jail thanks to some outstanding people I met while I attended law school who knew of my awful home life and tried to help me thrive (had to drop out – dreams crushed). My at-the-time-husband couldn’t give two shits. He had a son, with his name, his entire purpose had been served…
Fast track past the horrible time I spent trying to convince myself that making the marriage work was the right thing to do, desperately trying to escape being controlled and treated like property, and fighting with my own struggles of parenting, mental illness, and confused sexuality.
I had run away to Spain to live with my family, only to be court ordered to come back to the US (crushed again). I ran away to Puerto Rico to take care of my at-time-husband’s mom who had fallen sick with salmonella poisoning. I ran away again to Florida to escape him because he wouldn’t just let the fucking divorce happen. He was already fucking everything under the sun, we didn’t sleep in the same rooms, he wasn’t ever involved in the children’s lives, we didn’t even live together, we rarely even spoke.
Then finally, he decided to try to “punish” me by filing for divorce. Little did I know he was doing it because he completely fucked up my credit and needed an out. WHOLE other story…
The point is, I had regained ownership of my life. I was broke and homeless for a little while. I had the most amazing and supportive friend who saved my life and let me and my 2 babies stay with her until I got on my feet. Tara Lester – you’re one of the best people I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting. I wouldn’t have made it without you. I mean that.
“In everyone’s life, at some time, their fire goes out. It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being. We should all be thankful for those people that rekindle our inner spirit.”– Albert Schweltzer
A Woman Reborn
I spent a few years single because I didn’t want to be “owned” again. They were tough years, not gunna lie. They were also the years where I got to figure out more and more who I wanted to be. I wanted to be me – the type of person that I could be proud of. Loyal, intelligent, helpful, virtuous, honest, driven… all those things and much more but something was holding me back. I was still not allowing something about myself to come forward…
I was still Bisexual.
So what did I do? Suppressed it. And then in 2015, a friend from middle school that was living in Chicago was moving back to Michigan. I was helping her move. I went to Chicago and we partied… HARD. In Boystown.
THIS is where I needed to be. This is where the trans-femme are, this is where lesbians are accepted, this is where I can be with a woman and NO ONE will know because no one cares here. I had found an out and I was going to take it.
I found a job in Chicago, Lived in Lakeview East and had every intention of exploring intimacy with a woman. I was pretty determined. I hadn’t thought about how this would affect my kids, they were little still and they would just see it as “Mom’s friend”. I totally didn’t think the whole thing through – I was impulsively irresponsible and desperate to let this fucking desire JUST GO!! I wanted to feel free to explore a woman’s body or find a trans-femme to date. I wanted so badly to do the things I felt were only in the made-up-world that I dreamed about where I could be with a woman, or anyone really, without judgement. Just love.
Yet again!! The universe had other plans for me. I was partying another weekend in Chicago that I didn’t have my children, helping my friend move the rest of her stuff on our way back and…
There he was…. right outside Trace with his friends while I stood outside and smoked my cigarette. The connection was instant. He was hot and there was something about him that immediately drew me towards him. I couldn’t understand why or how or what – but it was there and it was there to stay. I fought it anyway… because I’m stubborn and this was NOT PART OF THE PLAN DAMMIT!!
There was the man hiding the woman that I love with all my heart. The human being that would mean so much to me in so little time. The human being that would grow with me even when we were lost and too busy building the walls to hide ourselves while we silently reached out for understanding but recoiled when touched.
Suppressing her because like me, she was full of shame, fear, loneliness, and a yearning to be free of the cages that suppressed her for so long.
Her name is Brooke….
“The course of True Love never did run smooth”– William Shakespeare