When asked who I am, being the patriot that I am, I would quickly and proudly say, "I'm a Grenadian!" As much as I am passionate about my heritage, I am even more passionate about being a woman. I'd like to think of myself as every aspect of a woman. I'm a daughter to a  man of humble beginnings with a heart of gold and a noble soul. And an independent  woman with a charming and fiery spirit, that is never afraid to speak her mind. I mention these characteristics to be their best qualities because I want to believe they are the qualities I will remind them of one day and more and more every day.

I have a lot more love and respect for my parents now than I ever did before. I almost feel bad saying that because I didn't always see them in that light. They were both very strict growing up and even though it was with reason, it was one that was never explained to me. They were your typical, do it "because I said so" type parents. I particularly remember all the Sundays my siblings and I had to go to church, regardless of whether or not our parents did and dare not question why they didn't. My father will religiously drop and pick us up but I can count on one hand how many times he's actually went with us. Ironically, you'll see him there every weekend now though. I think to myself now, "look at how times have changed." I can't say I really remember a lot more about my childhood. Many things I willed myself to forget. If I wasn't day dreaming at the breakfast table, I was back chatting or mumbling under my breath because I didn't get my way about something. Most times completely out of anyone's control. If I acted how my parents wanted me to when they were around, majority of the time you'd swear I was a shy, innocent, soft spoken girl. I was what you'd call "force ripe" to say the least in actuality. I grew up before my time. My childhood best friend was at least four years older than me and despite the bad influence my parents thought she was, she could do no wrong in my eyes. She was easily my role model back then. I couldn't wait to grow up and be able to cut all my denim skirts to the length hers were. And despite her friends warning me I'd get pregnant before I finished school if I kept liming with her, I couldn't wait to relate to all her stories of meeting up with boys and having them crazy over me like she did. I can't say I ever had any of those stories to this day but back then, I felt that if having a boyfriend would make me popular, I wanted one too. I never stopped to question if I even liked boys in that aspect. It was only when I had to be alone and intimate with them I realized that I didn't like boys but just the idea of boys. By then I was in my final year of an all girl high school and still thriving to be popular, so in an attempt to not freak any of my girl friends out, I never mentioned that thoughts of being intimate with a girl made me get butterflies.... and it wasn't located in my stomach. By the end of high school I would've lost my virginity to a boy that didn't understand why I didn't bleed when we had sex if it was my first time but I couldn't bring myself to tell him it was because I was molested and had already bled then. I'd rather him just think I was a so called, slut. Another thing I kept to myself. I got used to keeping things to myself until secrecy was intriguing to me, it became a game even. I kept secrets about my sex life and sexuality until it got to the point that I kept everything about me a secret; both the good and the bad. Like the first time I gave myself an orgasm, it was without penetration of any kind. Or that the first time I ever had an orgasm, was by a girl. Or that there was a time I've faked an orgasm and didn't do a good job at faking so I was  "roughed up" because their ego was bruised. Eventually, I thought people stopped caring so I stopped caring about what they thought. However, I still managed to convinced everyone who did still care that my first girlfriend was my first and only. After all, I didn't like girls, I only liked her. The manipulation and betrayal that came with that relationship in particular made me question if I was certain I wasn't asexual. I found a journal entry I wrote shortly after that break up and to give you an idea of how I was feeling at that point in time I decided to share:

On a bad day, I often wonder what you think of me.

I wonder things like, why you pay me little to no attention, I’m not used to this. Will I ever get used to it?

No respect can be found anymore and you never consider my feelings period at this point. On worse days, I often wonder if you think I’m inhumane. Your disregard for my kindness makes me wonder if you are for that matter.

How could you lie and deceive me so many times? Knowing very well if you remained honest I wouldn’t be so happy with the lies.

Lies I only discovered when it was too late. Went searching for your heart just to realize I lost you. Sadly, now I know I was in search for something I didn’t have in the first place. Everything you are now, is everything you always have been.. but how could I have overlooked all those things?

I didn’t know better then but for every piece of truth I picked up along the way, made my shoulders heavier and heavier.

To carry all that guilt and hurt for so long made my heart full of anger, my stomach though by then was empty of the all butterflies and replaced with such hallow space. A space that echoed with every cry of help I shouted to my faintly beating heart.

Suddenly, my shoulders don’t feel as heavy anymore and with every strain lifted off me, a tear strolls slowly down my face.

I weep for better days; days that will make me see the bigger, brighter picture.

Until then, I sit in deep thought- wondering, if I feel so empty you must be filled with something for we are and always will be complete opposites.

Just then I remember, you’re filled with selfishness, manipulation and disloyalty.

I see you for everything you are now and I pity you, not only because you ended up only fooling yourself but to know that you don’t even know you’re just so full of shit.

This is the beginning of when I can remember I started digging myself into a dark place. Telling myself day in and day out that no one cared. At that point it didn't matter if they did. Family or friend. Girl or boy. I was hurt, angry and confused. The only light at that point would come from cigarettes or a joint and liquid courage was the only courage I knew. Regardless, it still kept me popular enough to not have time to deal with my issues. I was never home and hated being alone. Luckily, I'm a sister- the middle child. My older sister and younger brother were the best versions of myself so I didn't have to worry about being the perfect child, in their own right, they were. Nothing was expected of me so I never brought much disappointment. What I thought at the time to be a blessing, was the curse of me not taking accountability and responsibility for myself and actions. I had to learn to forgive myself before I could move forward but I didn't think anything was my fault, so it took longer than it would've for most. Or at least so I thought. I didn't realize that my secrets were making me sick and in turn making my relationships ill. I had to learn the hard painful way but it was a necessary one. Looking back, I don't know if my abuse was because I was a sadist or a masochist to be honest.