How does one respond?

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Sorry about the crappy webcam picture that I took while writing this blog 🙂 My camera on my phone is acting up.

I recently received a series of messages by a Facebook friend, “Mercedes why are you so open about your past? I mean weren’t you scared? Why don’t you keep it private? Aren’t you ashamed? Don’t worry, God will forgive you if you just ask.”

I had no idea how to respond to this person I have never met in real life. What do you say to something like that? I had no idea how to answer. Now in my blog I rarely get preachy or religious, so be forewarned today I am about to.

Was I scared to be so open? Yes. I was worried about rejection, about people laughing at me, making fun of me, yes, I was scared to say I lived on the streets. I was scared to say I was abused in every way possible. I was scared to talk about being raped, but I did it.

Am I ashamed? Of what being the victim of rape? Being abused? Being a runaway? No I am not ashamed, and that is why I write and talk about it. I wear my scars proudly. I know I have helped others by being open about my healing process. I am a strong and beautiful woman, but for too long I was broken, timid, meek; I hid behind the secrets in silence. I believed I had no hope, no future, no life, and I never deserved anything.

God will forgive me if I just ask?

Do I need forgiveness? Was I wrong? Was I bad? I spent years feeling horrible for the things that happened to me as a child and as a young woman. I felt guilty for the abuse that happened to me. I felt guilty for the rape. What if I wasn’t there? What if I made a better choice? What if I behaved better? What if I wore something different? What if…… It took years to stop feeling guilty. Does God need to forgive me? He has loved me through all of it. It was his grace and his love that I am standing here breathing today, because trust me; I have come close to death more than once. I believe he loves each of us as if we are each his only child, and I believe he is proud of the road I have walked and the woman I have become. I believe he has guided me through some tumultuous times because he is preparing me for something amazing. He is making me stronger and more confident every day.

Right now I am going through a very difficult time in my life, a divorce. I am trying to support three children on a very small amount of money. I was living paycheck to paycheck, but not anymore. My wages were just garnished for a medical bill that took place before 2008. My soon to be ex, stopped making payments on the bill years ago. They decided to garnish my wages. My ex won’t support his children. His words to me the last time I asked was that he eases my financial burden by taking the kids on his days and that he wasn’t the one to decide to have two sets of bills. He ran bills up in my name and never paid them, of course somehow it is my fault. It always is. I don’t know how I will survive this month but I have faith, that God will show me how and carry me through this storm. Is it wrong to be open? Should I be ashamed of this, my divorce, my financial situation? Should I live in silence and secrecy? No, God doesn’t want his children to suffer, and talking, writing and sharing is healing not only for me, but for some of my readers. I will come out of this even stronger than I am today.

Mercedes

Lost in thought…

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I was being a procrastinator this weekend. I was putting off my editing, my writing, my housework, and this blog. I was killing time on Facebook, reading my friends statuses and seeing all the cool things they are up to. I found one common thread on multiple people’s timelines.

The statuses read, “I need a vacation.” or “I need a vacation from a vacation.” Or “I wish I was at the beach… the park… the mountains… the lake…” etc..
It seemed like everyone wanted to be somewhere else.

Why do we create lives that we need a vacation from? Why can we not just create the life we want? Is it because of our desire to be normal, or live a life others deem as normal? Why do we place what other’s think is normal or appropriate before our own happiness? I believe we all have a purpose. We were all put here for a reason, and if you look deep enough into your heart you will see and find your purpose in life. I believe that is where you will find your happiness.

If you dream of being at the beach, create a life for yourself that has you living at the beach. If you dream of being a professional singer, actor, writer, artist, film maker, doctor, lawyer… create that life. You have the power to create and become whatever it is you dream of being. You have the power to be wherever you want to be.

Now I am sure there are those people with the half-filled glass right now saying, “Oh but I don’t have a job there.” Or “I cannot afford to move.” Or “I am too old.” Or “What if I can’t?”

You can’t for one reason and one reason only…. It is because you are saying you can’t. See if you believe in yourself, if you want it… it will happen. Don’t give up, stay focused.

Do what it is you want to do with your life. Live where you want to live. Your life is a gift. Don’t waste it. Create the life you want. You deserve it, and I believe in you.

Mercy

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Triggered

I went for a walk this morning with my youngest son Bo. We walked through a parking lot of a hotel on 34th Street in Saint Petersburg, Florida. Anyone who knows 34th street knows it is not the best of neighborhoods, but it is our neighborhood and I am trying to teach him to see and find the beauty in everything and everyone. Fresh air and exercise is just a bonus!

While walking through the parking lot we saw a police officer pulling in. An older man ran up to the car shouting, “There is a woman up there. She says the man in her room won’t leave. She is crying, and she says he raped her.”

I looked up and saw a young woman on a cell phone crying on the third floor walkway. It felt as if a knife went into my heart.

Suddenly I was back in time. I was the woman. I was confused. I didn’t know what happened. I only remembered bits and pieces, smells, sounds, a yoohoo can, dirt, cigarette butts, pressure, him on top of me, me crying, I couldn’t breathe, he was heavy, he smelled like cigarettes and sweat, me trying to scream but no actual sound able to escape from my paralyzed throat, the feeling of shame, guilt, anger, sadness, weakness…. Weakness, I was so weak I couldn’t get him off, I couldn’t make a sound. I didn’t know where I was or how I got there. I could hear a train. It was definitely a train in the near distance. It all came back to me as if it was a Tsunami overwhelming my entire being.

Just as quickly as I was triggered and had this horrible flashback…. I was brought back to reality…. I felt a tiny hand squeeze mine and heard his soft voice….

“Mommy, are you okay? You look sad.”

I smiled down at my little boys face. I was fighting back tears. His face was painted with love, compassion, and concern. I could not be weak any longer. I could not let that moment in time take this moment in the present away from me. I thought of something I read on Jason Cross’s page…. Even broken crayons can color….

Yes, I am broken.

Yes, we all are a little broken.

We can choose to live in the past or we can choose to move forward. We can choose to wallow in self-pity and depression or we can choose to live and rise up to our potential. We can still color the most beautiful landscape for our future even with a broken crayon.

Yes, I mourn for the woman I once was before I was raped.

I mourn for that child that was brutality abused.

I mourn for so much, but I love and embrace the woman I have become, and I love that little boy of mine with all of my heart for bringing me back from the edge today with his sweet smile and his tiny hand squeeze.

I am blessed and when I die I want people to see the masterpiece that I painted with my broken crayons….

Have a safe and wonderful weekend

Mercy

On a side note Amazon has a free download of one of my books Obsession of Dylan Paul through 7/25/16. You can download it to any electronic device.  I hope you can check it out.
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One Decision Away

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“You are always one decision away from a totally different life.”

I read that on someone’s Facebook status this week. What a profound statement! What an accurate statement. If you don’t like something, a place, a situation, a person, a job, a home, change it. We create the lives we want. Whether it is success, fame, fortune, poverty, failure, or just trapped in a spiraling circle downward. We create the situations we are in and live in by accepting them. At any point we can choose to make a different decision and walk away from what we grew accustomed to. We each have the power to say no more.

Fear might hold us back from making changes, fear of repercussions or fear of what ifs. Loyalty may also hold us back. Loyalty and fear kept me trapped for most of my life.

This past January I left a marriage of 24 years. That is half my life. The other half of my life, well if you have read my blog, you know there were many secrets I kept.

Fear…. Loyalty… do we keep a friend in our lives for the simple reason that we have known them for years, or do we let them go because deep down we know they are not good for us, our families, or our goals and dreams. Do we fear the loss of this person because we are worried about what they will think of us, what will our mutual friends say? I have walked away from friendships, co-workers, and family members that were abusive, toxic, and soul crushing many times and never looked back.

Every time I have had to walk away from one of these relationships it was hard because of fear and loyalty. I am one of the most loyal friends, partners, employees you will ever meet. I love 100% with all of my heart. I give 100% all the time. I would move heaven and earth to make someone I care abouts life easier, even when I have to sacrifice my own happiness or success.

But I am learning…..

I am learning that my happiness…. is important.

We are always one decision away from a totally different life.

I have made a lot of hard decisions lately and you know what, my life is improving. It isn’t perfect, but it is my life, and I am happy.

I am finally happy and I have discovered that I have control of my happiness. I can decide who comes and goes in my life and so can you! You deserve to be happy too. You are only one decision away.

Mercy xoxoxo

Mercedes books are available at all major book retailers and AMAZON. 

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Inner Voice

h1.7How often have we spent time trying to be who others want us to be? How much effort do we put into pretending to be who we are not in the hopes for acceptance, love and approval of others?  I am so guilty of this. I have a desire to want everyone to love me; even if that means I am compromising myself.

I find that I am a lot like a ball of play dough. I let others shape me and tell me who I am. The worse part about this is that I believe and trust in those people. I believe the words they say.

My father use to tell me I was fat, ugly, stupid, and a slut. I would grow up to be nothing. He called it “shock therapy.” He would sit me down and berate me in the hopes that somehow this would motivate me to change, but in essence the words made me who I was for so many years.

We all allow the words we hear to shape us and form us. Those words both lift us up and give us confidence or they tear us down and hold us prisoner from our true purpose.  They become the voice we hear when we lay down and close our eyes, the voice we hear when we are all alone with our thoughts, they become our inner voice.

How do we change that voice that haunts us and holds us back?

One thing I have tried to do is look for positives in everything.  I challenge the thoughts and the voice. This morning I looked in the mirror and said, “Ugh I am so fat and ugly. You have to be pretty to make it in this business. I will never make it.”

Okay, yes, I said that as I looked in the mirror before stepping into the shower. I was able to change the dialogue that was falling from my lips and added, “You still have weight to lose, but you have done so good going to the gym. You have muscles where you have never had muscles. You are toning and dropping weight. You look really good for being in your 40’s, you have aged really well.  You have talent. You can touch people’s hearts with your words. You can become the sculptor and not the lump of clay. You can change the world one mind at a time.”

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I can change the world one mind at a time. I can start with mine. I can believe in myself. When I do others will believe in me too. I can hold my head high and be proud of the woman I am and the woman I have become.  I have risen like a phoenix; I just need to be able to fly. I will fly someday. I believe that and I do believe in myself.

I challenge you today to listen to your inner voice. Question what it is saying and telling you. Is that voice lifting you up or holding you prisoner to your past? If you cannot change the dialogue, you cannot grow.  Once you can do this you will find that it is easier to rid yourself of other negative voices in your life that are holding you back with their judgement, their own personal issues, agendas, and their insecurities.

I cannot be who everyone wants me to be, and that is okay; as long as, I am true to being who I really am.

April is Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month

April is Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month.

If you follow my blog you know that this is a hot button topic for me for obvious reasons. As a writer I use my past to help me heal. I pray before I sit down to write that through my work I will reach out and help someone else heal as well.  This is an important ritual for me.  My writing, my words, my thoughts are a gift from above that I am thankful for every day. I will not take advantage of that gift. I will always use it to help others.

In my book Silence the main character Cali is dealing with childhood sexual abuse from a trusted family friend and religious leader. She is also dealing with a rape that occurred while jogging when she was a younger woman. Her husband is violent in bed and believes a man cannot rape his own wife.  It is her duty to fulfill his needs.  Another character in Silence, Adam is dealing with sexual assault from his childhood by a teacher on the reservation.  In the books sequel Deception, Jessie is raped and deals with her emotions and feelings and you learn that Itchy was also sexually assaulted as a child and why he behaves the way he does. These are sub-storylines in a very popular thriller series I have on the market right now, but they are important ones because so many of us are afraid to tell our stories and what has happened or is happening to us right now.

I am leery about posting this; actually I am VERY scared. I recently auditioned to have my book SILENCE featured in a Theatrical Festival where I would read a monologue from it.  I studied theater my first time in college, and I have only used that experience in my work in radio, doing voice overs, and commercials.  Here is my audition and an excerpt from Silence:

In my book Shadows in the Storm the two main characters Chris and Colleen both are dealing with their common link in their past sexual assault.  In Combustion the big secret that Amy and her family are hiding is a rape that resulted in murder and a life gone completely wrong.

Will all of my books deal with rape and sexual assault? No, and they don’t. It is just an issue from my past that I am still working on and trying to come to terms with. Part of you dies the moment your right to say NO is taken away. You never get that part back.  No matter how much glue I use, I will always be broken. I will never be perfect, but are any of us really perfect? We are all slightly damaged from one thing or another. We are all perfectly imperfect; I am learning that about myself as I learn to love myself and forgive myself a little more each day.

RAINN is a fantastic organization. (Rape, Abuse, Incest National Network) They posted a resolution from Congress naming April as Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month.

I just wish Congress would consider doing more, perhaps lifting the statute of limitations on sexual crimes. There is no limitation on murder; why is there on sexual assault?

It takes years sometimes for victims to come to terms with what happened, to be strong enough to talk about it, to be brave enough to say what happened. Why is there a statute of limitations on this vial crime?

I will be blogging more about this as the month goes on.  If you are new to my blog and are curious about my experience, my past… read this blog I wrote: Surviving Life on the Streets

Also make sure to follow me on TWITTER: MizzMercy I will have a lot of information and a lot to say on the topic this month.

Thank you for taking the time out of your day to read this and to support me. Keep your chin up. Be proud of who you are and wear your past, no matter what is in it,  like a badge of honor.

Xoxox Mercy