Remnants Like an old (Czech) flag in the wind, tattered remnants of fear, flap relentlessly, in the recesses of my heart and mind; denounce and decry my worthiness of, the unorthodox life I crave. Whispers the fearless wild-child inside, “…burn the flag woman, burn the damned flag.” ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ With thoughts of my maternal grandmother, Žofie Schlosser Ševčíková, June 06, 1911 – November 17, 1995. She was inordinately dignified and quite literally worked her fingers to the bone for my mother and her. She did it while standing up to, and then leaving (unheard of at that time), a violently abusive, alcoholic husband. She did it during a time in war-torn Eastern Europe most of us cannot fathom, no matter how many history books we profess to have read. She was profoundly gifted in languages,and well-read. She toiled with her tiny body and life-worn hands,in a way we, of more recent generations cannot know. One of the things I remember most about her is the importance to her, of quality, in everything. And I wonder, knowing what I know about the drudgery, the losses, the sacrifices that were the bulk of her life, I wonder, given the opportunity to ask her about what she would have done differently, had she the chance to be anyone,to do anything,she desired,what that would have been. I am anxious this day,and she came to my mind. She was born 107 years ago. A mere blip on the radar of our Universe, not known to most, but remembered well, by me and my mama,her daughter, this day. ~Marcela: tattered in the process of (more, always more,) unfurling. Writing: All Rights Reserved / Image: Google Search June 06, 2018
Your chainsaw voice has dismembered the last vestiges of sanity in my human shell severed the final tendon connecting compassion to my heart Your rusty-grater words have shredded the final ounce of patience in my once limitless hoard corroded beyond salvage the walls containing my desire to be your ally Your atomic bomb behaviours have irradiated the remaining molecule of hope for your salvation jaded this now impermeable spirit to anything but its own voice.
It is a brutal irony, that as my desire to exit the work-world I so grindingly (yes, that is a word!) and lovingly built grows with a vehement vengeance each day, the place and space for which I pay such a hefty premium to escape to, has been anything but peaceful in the oh-so-limited time I have to enjoy(?) it, of late. The level of human disregard for others in some of my neighbours runs deep, the ridiculous human folly of my most inglorious work-folks, along with our culture’s obscene systems and structures, follow me home for longer and longer stays, and the gargantuan contradiction that is my life continues… on the flip-side, I have, without fail, only ever built anything meaningful, to me, on the foundation of strife, struggle and/or suffering… it appears that a skyscraper is in the making here…
~Marcela: corroded and unchained
March 18, 2018
Writing and original images: All rights reserved.
Chainsaw image from google search.
“Stop,” she said to herself! “Do refrain from accusing the accusers, from negating the Nellies negative, from despising the Debbies downer! And focus, on the freedom that comes with designing, with owning, your feelings, your thoughts, your life and your choices”!
“Know,” she said to herself, “that as long as you are breathing, life will bitch slap you, over and over again! Feel the fury, agonize in the pain, and then stand up to her like the fucking Warrior Woman you are.”
“Love,” she said to herself, “self above all, for it is not an act of ego, rather the only real survival skill you will ever need.”
~Marcela: Moving, at the speed of a woman Too Much!
January 02, 2017
Photograph: My personal collection. All rights reserved.
As is… And as the mist obscures the scars of clear cuts on the hillside so the steam from my tea obscures the ache in my bleeding heart It bleeds not because it is over between you and I it bleeds because against my best intuition, I allowed you and I And as the sound of the rain drowns the drone of regret so the heat of simple soup soothes my temporarily ravaged spirit It is ravaged not because you found it Too Much it is ravaged because I knew your opinion should not matter And as dusk falls on the tiny Bay I call my (44th?) home so solitude brightens the darkness in my psyche It is dark not because you dulled the diamond I am it is dull because you painted it with brushes of critique and counsel And as I will always remember our time with bewilderment at self, so introspection brings me here: In this one thing you are correct: I am too much. For you. Never, for those who love me. And self. ~Marcela, as is, not as you need(ed) me to be. September 7, 2016
A queen licks her wound
to the fury and wrath
of one psychopath
Heart reaches again
wounded not slain
core splits asunder
pillage and plunder
Intuition screams loudly
alarm bells warn soundly
bent but not broken
words left unspoken
No over just through
sight-lines slightly askew
vision is hazy
dense fog of crazy
her tally and score
of moves close and more distant
this ache is persistent
from deeds so nefarious
calculated to maim
not knowing this dame
A Czech-chick hard-core
stretches her wings
flies higher on swings
No guts no glory
this is the story
of a girl with she-ballz
a glued porcelain doll
Unabashedly human, and fully unfettered:
These thoughts on the oft-discussed, much-maligned, and generally well-hidden Skeleton Closet, are brought to you by the recently passed, over-marketed Hallowed ‘eve holiday, the ongoing media frenzy about Jian Ghomeshi, and my to-the-core life-force penchant, for telling you tales out of school; the school of hard, weird and often kind-of-unbelievable, knocks. You know; those which have been, and are, my life. You can be certain, that if I ever went to Vegas, which by the way I have no desire what-so-ever to do, but if I did, what happened in Vegas, would not stay in Vegas. It would be told, loudly and with the same wild abandon that I will tell you about the Skeleton Closet; my own, and more importantly, theirs, yours(?).
I have some insight, into the clandestine wardrobes used to secret away carcasses in various stages of life and death. The (un)haunted house of my own history comes replete with a maze of hallways, on several storeys, each boasting a conspicuous number of walk-in-closets, no, not full of shoes, but chock-a-block full of bones. Clean-picked, dead to me, bones. The only folks still trying to get a morsel off them bones are those belonging to a group I call The Pickers. Periodically, one or more Pickers will attempt to unlock the wide-open doors, and nit-pick at the well-polished skeleton bones I have left there, to decompose, rest in peace (as they should) for years.
These Pickers continue to try and resurrect my life story, pursue their sad little attempts to threaten me with my own past, from a wild assortment of tibulae, fibulae, lumbar and thoracic vertebrae, mandibles, and femurs, and have demonstrated a bizarre predilection for the parts they believe to be my skull and pelvic bones, in an effort to get inside my head, exercise their perceived right to examine my vagina, as if they actually knew something about me, my life, based on their interpretations of the white space, between said bones. Best Regards, Marcela is one such example, and if you want the pickings off the bones, the lurid, meaty-details of my personal human battles and victories, I shined up them bones in the Manifesto, and the 53 years of life and work previous to, well, this moment. Not that I’m done, a finished project, brand new me, just a more refined version of all erstwhile incarnations.
The idea that some Pickers still, no matter what I do right, by me and others, continue to pick is not the real fodder for this fable, they need to get over it, I have. Nor are the myriad and supposedly horrifying and lurid, meaty details on the yet un-picked bones in the Skeleton Closets I literally, and metaphorically walk into each and every day of my life. It is not that I am surprised or even shocked, by anything I am privy to by virtue of the various worlds I function in. Nope, humans do crazy, often really bad, really harmful shit. The real substance, the marrow, of the bones in this not-so-tall-tale, is the are-you-for-real(?) sadness and dismay I still feel, every time a well-meaning commenter notes how surprised they are to find themselves, or hear about, the kind of people seeking out my particular brand of human support. Apparently, elevated socio-economic status, education, professional designation, stardom, celebrity and/or noteriety and similar bla bla, absolve them and/or others from a), having a Skeleton Closet, and b), needing to fling open the door and cleaning that sucker out!
So let me just clarify that shit for you: the humble, the poor, the downtrodden, the homeless, the street people, can’t afford my services, unless one of the moneyed jockeys up enough and allows me to not-so-secretly subsidize them, which I often do despite, or perhaps because of, their (the moneyed) consternated and constipated off-gassings, gasps and protests, that it is not their responsibility to pay for other people’s poor choices and so on and so on and so on… but I digress, how odd… look over there, shiny-shiny unicorns…
Ok then! Seriously, the real meat here is this: Everyone, yes; every, single, human on this planet, over the age of just-born, has a Skeleton Closet, their own, or inherited, usually both. It is a huge point of commonality, and potential connection, between all members of the species called the human race. But instead of using our personal and collective bones to (re)build and re-invent, we hide, marginalize, stigmatize, victim-blame, soldier-gather against the already wounded, those too poor, too sick, too tired, too broken, by us, other humans and our anything-but-human systems and structures. We pick and re-pick clean the bones of those bereft of the capacity to hide their skeletons, for they have no abode in which to house and hide the closet, and in so doing, we conveniently get to compare the horrificity, yes that is a word, of our skeletons, in order to feel better about self.
And when I say we, I mean them; some but not all of the moneyed, the edumacated, the well-positioned etc and so on, in our ever-hierarchied culture(s). And when I say self, I mean them, you, perhaps? For you ought to know by now, unless you, like The Pickers, have chosen to pay attention to only the words you find useful in resurrecting your version of my (others’) life and truth, that the doors to my Skeleton Closets have been flung wide open, right off their hinges, for decades; at first by them and you, and then by me. For I realized some time ago, that a secret is only a secret, and shameful, when it stays a secret, which they don’t do very well anyway, by nature.
Interestingly, though not surprisingly; some of the most heinous artifacts and living monsters I have encountered, are the ones wreaking havoc in the be-dungeoned, mostly deeply buried and steel-vaulted closets, of the moneyed, the edumacated, the well-positioned and so on and so on. They continue to live and proliferate their brand of misery in the deeply flawed belief that they do not qualify at best, as struggling humans, and at worst, as really fucked up like those other people. And the truly tragic bit, the bit that breaks my heart and often triggers torrents of tears on my cheeks as I travel the highways and byways of this land, in the course of my mission to support them, and often the folks they unwittingly(?) victimize, is the ingrained-ness of it all, in the minds of the masses. The convenience with which the sheeple buy in.
Which brings me to the entire Jian Ghomeshi thing: Read the Manifesto in its entirety, please, and you will find a number of my realities relating to sexualized violence against me as a child, as a youth, as a young adult, as a wife and mother, not to mention that which was flung and forced upon me under the true horrors of widely held beliefs the like of you can’t rape a hooker, your girlfriend, or your wife. None of the perpetrators of said sexualized and other vileness and assault were the poor, the homeless, the addicted, those perceived as abnormal. They were the most upstanding, in mainstream’s view, of citizens, family men, business men, and professionals. And, according to them and the negative social response box, it was always my own fault, so how on earth would I find the gumption to report it?
Let me clear that shit up for you today. Right here, right now. 1) The age of consent was 14, and apparently no did not mean no to Al G. when he helped himself to my virginity. He raped me. He never owned it, even when I put him in front of it, especially then. Trying to pass me off to his family the night after as an 18-year old University student, spoke volumes. 2) Ed W., upstanding family man and lawyer knew it too, so as long as I didn’t jump up and down in protest after he and his lovely spouse fed an emotionally hurting 14 year-old babysitter copious amounts of all-manner of dope, he could engage in any activity on and with my body, not considered sexual intercourse. He is guilty of sexualized assault; she is guilty of co-signing it, by virtue of ignoring it, over and over and over again. His apology for ‘cheating on Shirley,’ his wife, does not count as taking personal responsibility. Ever. 3) The men who paid me rent for the agreed upon uses of my body and time, the ones who got a clear NO to certain requests prior to me ever taking a dime, the ones who chose to force their proclivities on my person anyway, did not purchase the right to do so. They raped me, sexually and otherwise assaulted me. Period. 4) The men I was married to and some that I dated; had neither the right to inflict their unwanted sexual needs nor their fists and boots, upon my body, mind and most importantly, my already broken spirit. Again, I direct you to the Manifesto for details, if you care enough to understand the context of how people get to how they get, where they get, and why it is such a grind to get back up, when they are consistently beaten to a pulp, literally and figuratively speaking, by the people who love them, and the systems designed to help them. And in this case, when I say them, I mean me. In the past tense of course, please remember, all the skeletons in my publicly aired closets, are dead, to me.
The purpose of this outing then, is not in any way related to a continuing process of letting go for me, it is done. The purpose is to answer, from my perspective and lived experience, this question: ‘What kind of woman won’t report sexual assault’? The language used in that headline is extremely problematic for me and a post unto itself, one that I will spare you, for now, but if you wish, check out the first bit of the Manifesto for a bit of clarity about that trigger. My answer to the present question, is as follows:
When I tried to tell people, about any or all of the herein noted acts of violence, abuses of sexualized and other powers forced upon and against my person, I was shut down, ridiculed, blamed, patronized, and on more than one occasion, beat up some more. In other words, re-victimized to the point where not saying anything, when these things occurred again, or about those previous, was safer than any other alternative; physically, emotionally, psychologically, and spiritually. Period.
Which leads me to the brilliant deduction reached by another well-meaning commenter, who is about to make it off my friend list, in person and in the cyber world.
Well now that you’re over all of it, and have become this great, strong, warrior woman and champion of the underdog, it is your duty to out those bastards, make them pay. If you don’t you are perpetuating their nasty deeds, co-signing it the same way Shirley did. It is your ethical duty Marcela!
So let me just clear that shit up for you OK? Firstly, there exists no over, under, around, no shortcuts. Ever. There is only through. I have put more of my blood, sweat and tears into becoming this person, the one looking at you here, today, waded through more shit in my 53 years than most of them/you have ever flushed. As a result, I have a massive heart and compassion, for myself, for my tribe; my child, my aging mother, my man, and the other folks that I call my people. I even have compassion for the mis-guided bastards (m.g.b’s) that harmed me most. Take a quick flight On the Wing of my Dragon, for more on that bit. Secondly, I have compassion for, and am acutely aware of the people around the misguided bastards. Because as hard as I work at it, I cannot change others’ perceptions of some issues, and their children, their grandchildren, their wives, their mothers, their siblings, would also be harmed by any all actions I may choose to engage in against said m.g.b’s. The potential for all of us to reap the painful and unnecessary benefits of someone else’s need, for me to take up arms, again, is simply too great.
Mostly though, and hear this, please: Like so many other women I know, I am done waging war, battling, done and done surviving. I lived it; my life, my past, their violence, your/their negative social-violence response to it. I trudged and slogged and too often, almost died at my own and other’s hands in the midst of, or as a direct result of it. I have put in over two decades of W O R K and personal energy into surviving it, owning what parts I had in it, amending it, healing it, thriving not despite, but because of it. Therefore, I no longer need to wear it, or your/their expectations of what I ought to do with it in the service of other humans. Actually, I flat out refuse to do that, to me.
It has shaped me beautifully, and with grace even, but I do not live there. So, there is plenty of space for the Lookie-Loos, the Voyeuristic-Vultures known as the Pickers and anyone else who cares to dig around through the picked-over hand-me-downs, the mirror-polished bones, publicly closeted, in the hallowed halls of my previous lives. Welcome, to my (un)haunted house.
I no longer occupy my past. That; is the answer.
Clear? Great. Peace.
Yours with all the Love I have, the real-deal: MyLa: Utterly Unchained & Unfettered.
On BDSM (for those confused souls re: the Ghomeshi thing): in a true BDSM relationship/encounter, the power always belongs to the submissive, so if you don’t know what it is actually about, please, stop talking. Several years including BDSM with a beautiful soul and fellow (previously) harmed hu(man), allowed me to get, take power back in terms of my own sexuality, the healthy grown woman sexuality I enjoy today; the one I got to discover for myself, because all previous versions were assigned to me, by acts of sexualized violence, power over, and/or the box(es) called shame, internalizing oppression, and the like.
Image found here http://pumabydesign001.com/2013/06/04/
Intoxicated by intention
I neglected to mention,
that holding this damsel at bay
since the advent of May,
t’was not at all, in keeping
with the deeds of the true Dragon-Knight,
‘Tis in doing not saying
that sets hearts a’flutter,
your actions did, but stutter and mutter.
No Dragon-Knight honour is found in mere utterance of words
when to the ground they plummet,
with the utility of turds.
(and stick on the soles of this damsel’s ever-well-shod feet)
No gallantry present in noble intent,
when in sadness, a damsel’s Morns Days’n Eves,
be endlesslyyy spent.
is worth nary a thought,
here, today, at this juncture –
how many (more) opportunities, do I provide you
Zero ↔ oreZ
e <3 e
September 07, 2014
Yours; Shining, well-lit through the wounds:
MyLa: truly Unfettered.
(Image: Marcela, Sep.2014)
Image from: http://funnyand.com/truth/
I am overwhelmed.
I am overwhelmed because I have some insight into my overwhelmed-ness.
I am overwhelmed because I have some insight into your overwhelmed-ness.
I am overwhelmed because I have some insight into others’ worlds, their overwhelmed-ness.
I am overwhelmed because I have some insight into the big picture of events in our world, the planet earth, and those engaged in destroying it, each other, and all of us, as well as those engaged in not.
I am overwhelmed with information and stories I want to tell.
I am overwhelmed with information and stories you want me to tell.
I am overwhelmed with stories I need to tell, stories which I believe the telling of, has value for me, and value for you.
I am overwhelmed with information and stories you tell me I ought to tell, because you believe they have value for you and others.
I am overwhelmed with my seeming inability to tell these stories without offending you.
I am overwhelmed and broken, when you tell me that my life experience offends you. Even the life experience we share. I am overwhelmed, especially, then.
We live in a world in which the truth, being yourself, being real, are encouraged… and judged, in one and the same breath. ~MyLa
I am overwhelmed with living up to the cheerleader’s rah rah of just be yourself Marcela, we wouldn’t have you any other way. And I am beyond overwhelmed with finding the ballz to be myself, 100% Marcela unfiltered, to receive the big stop-hand in my face: This admonition: Be yourself Marcela, just not that much.
I overwhelm you with being myself. I am too myself, for you to love and accept me as myself, the way I am. Myself.
I am overwhelmed with continuing to listen to the refrains that have overwhelmed me for too many years.
I am overwhelmed with feeling understood and valued for being myself for approximately 3 minutes out of each 24 hours.
I am overwhelmed with feeling misunderstood and confused about being too much myself for 23 hours and 57 minutes of each 24 hour period. Yes, I am overwhelmed even in my sleep.
I am overwhelmed with looking for my part in being overwhelmed, what I have said and done to make us so overwhelmed.
I am overwhelmed with thinking about what I need to change to make you stop being so overwhelmed with my life experience, with trying to to make you understand me and where I come from, when I endeavor to tell you about it, without making you overwhelmed.
I am going to be myself. Courageously, and with ballz. 100% Marcela, the overwhelming one. I have some insight into what will occur, what the outcome of my experiment will be. Do you?
Overwhelmingly yours, MyLa: Unfettered.
August 02, 2014
Someone asked me recently, on my day off, what exciting things I had been up to all day. I answered truthfully, as I always do when I am asked these questions. When they asked me why I bother to do all these things, I answered truthfully, as I always do when I am asked these questions.
I made a stock pot full, and bottled, the ginger tea I make because it saves my mind and health, every day. I ran 7 K on the trail I love because it saves my mind and health every day. I made homemade deodorant, because I walk my talk of living clean. I went to several farm stands in my area and to the farmer’s market because I walk my talk of living clean, of knowing my food producers and how they raise and treat their fields, plants and animals, and I want to put my well-earned cash in their pocket. I returned glass milk bottles because I walk my talk of trying to leave as minimal a footprint on this earth as is possible. I made citrus peel and vinegar cleaner and bottled it in glass spray bottles because I walk my talk of living clean, and as chemical free as possible. I sunbathed, I read a book, I did laundry, and I cried a lot. It has been the norm when I am alone in recent weeks, more often than I would like to admit. Why? Read on, and check out Best Regards and The Experiment for more on that. I may be unfiltered, but I am acutely human. That means I cry when in pain.
It appears that the individual who asked me what exciting things I had been up to, got more of a response than they bargained for. It occurred to me in this moment, that while I get a lot of rah rah cheerleaders and fleeting admirers in my life, of all genders and varieties, in all areas of my life and work(s), quite often, they run, or worse begin to criticize, because all of those things they rah rah on about, so greatly admire about me, generally end up being more than they bargained for. Way more. I have always known that this is their issue, not mine, now I just wear it on the outside instead of carrying it on the inside and hurting me. I am complex, not to mention way mufti-faceted, and a really cool chick. I ought to be raising the bar, in so many areas… .
Peek-a-boo! I see (through) you! Furthermore, I have survived, overcome, triumphed over, thrive not despite but because of, do, EPIC shit. Therefore, nothing about me is simple(ton), it is EPIC! Clear? Great. Peace.
Epically yours, MyLa: Unfettered.
July 29, 2014
I share the communication below with you for several reasons.
1) I have nothing to hide.
2) I share my life publicly while protecting the folks I work for because I know I am not alone with the experience that hiding, pathologizing, demonizing, victim blaming, concepts of deserving and undeserving in human struggle, suffering and experience, serve only to perpetuate those ills. The very ills that the so called normal people sit in fear and judgment of. It serves no-one, except for those individuals and systems interested only in winning their game, at any cost.
3) I believe in the power of truth, in the power of love, in social justice, in the human capacity to not only survive, but to thrive, and I believe in me, and my own (proven) capacity to do just that. The haters will continue to hate, the judgers will continue to judge, the naysayers will continue to say nay, and the detractors will continue to de-tract. Regardless of how (tactfully, or not) I say what I have to say, regardless of what I do, or how (well) I do it.
4) I must Abandon Hope (and Fear). I must abandon the hope that people will understand if only I explain it to them better. And in the abandonment of that hope, I have abandoned the fear that despite all of my efforts to help them understand, despite all of my efforts not to offend with my experience of my life experience, I will anyway. In the abandonment of these hopes (and fear), I abandon the pain of knowing that they are offended by human suffering. Mine, yours, ours, theirs. And in abandoning that pain, I am one step closer to the freedom of truly knowing and caring for, Marcela: Unfiltered. And for you. And for them.
5) I have nothing to hide.
Email from one professional to another (forwarded to me, not sent directly by the ‘concerned professional.’) regarding the potential hire of my services in a Custody and Access dispute:
“I have received ………… email which says that it is unfortunate that I do not specify what material on Marcela’s Facebook profile would affect her judgment in a professional setting.
I strongly advise you to read the whole of the Facebook, and I am reasonably certain that the language she uses, the history of drug use such as crack cocaine, to name just two things is something that would raise alarm bells with anyone.
I am very much certain that a person, who it appears has worked as a prostitute, has been a hard drug user and uses language such as is seen in her Facebook page, is someone that not many parents would not want their children exposed to.
My client is somewhat distressed that you would even suggest a person who appears from the Facebook page to be as unsuitable as she is.”
Dear ………. :
While I have been advised not to waste my energy on this, please, humour me will you? I will thank you, please, not to jump to conclusions and perhaps ask about how long I have been in recovery (I am joined in this community, in that illustrious group of people. by several attorneys, other social workers, and even a judge or two, doctors, counsellors…. you get my point). You could also ask how I was exploited into the sex trade as a teenager by an upstanding ……… business man, how I escaped, but clearly, context is not something that holds meaning here.
There is an entire blog post written about that, context, but I am certain that you will have already discovered it in the course of your investigation into my person. Would it be too much work, if you are so concerned about my character and history, to contact some of the people who have employed me in the past, or do so now, and inquire about the actual quality of my work? Or how about this far-fetched idea: ask me, clearly, my life, present and past are no secret.
Apparently it is not enough to have worked at not only fixing the damage others created in my life and past, and on my own culpability in parts of it, put myself through University as an adult while raising a family on my own, with no financial support from anywhere, worked my way from support worker at ……… cleaning up the vomit, blood, sweat, and tears, yes tears, of other struggling humans, to a very successful private practice and and and and… by the way, I did not need to turn tricks to graduate with distinction, to earn the awards I earned, and to get where I am, despite, or perhaps because of, small minds with only their limited view and judgment on anything outside of their own personal experience. I have a brain, and a heart.
And in the event you are interested, you must be, why else were you looking at these things, the sex trade and drug addiction, not directly connected in my life by the way, combine for a total of just under 5 years of my almost 53 on the planet. But clearly, they are more important than anything else I have achieved, undertaken, done in the way of community service (that list is much more extensive than anything you will find on facebook), raising a really well adjusted family, and so on… We are not all born, or raised, or subjected to, the same set of ‘choices,’ and I assure you, I have worked very hard, physically, spiritually, emotionally, psychologically and intellectually, to get to the point where I can actually choose, and stand up to the kind of abuse in the email [quoted above, your email]. My references, former and current clients, speak to my professionalism, my credentials, and above all, the difference my work, and how I do it, and yes, I do it differently, very differently, makes in people’s lives. The thing that speaks to all of that most however, is how I live my life, honestly, and with integrity. Clean living goes so much further than abstaining from a substance, it has to do with being a good human, and while I am acutely human and by extension acutely imperfect, my biggest priority in life, in all areas of my life, is to ‘do no harm.’ Given the slanderous nature of various communications you have engaged in about me, my person, my life, it appears that our values differ in this regard.
While you are perusing my facebook page, you ought to note that the only people I have as friends are old enough, to choose and accept, or not, my language. Like the rest of the world, I am prone to using language in my personal life; and by extension in writing about my personal life, which is not the same as that which we all use in our professional dealings, and particularly not around children. I have had many a conversation with clients and their attorneys, judges for that matter, outside of office walls or a courtroom, that would require an R rating were they put on video, and I assure you, it was not me doing the swearing. If you had looked carefully during your forays into my world, you would have found that I walk my talk in my personal as well as my professional life, for example in a particular series of recent posts regarding a very important re-union in Europe, but it is much simpler to ‘find what you need,’ and leave the rest, no?
I should tell you that the reason I make my life and past (other and self-inflicted) relatively public, is a) I have nothing to hide, and b) it is an effort to highlight people’s humanity, their capacity to change and grow, to overcome pain, suffering (other and self-inflicted), to normalize what has been wrongfully pathologized as abnormal, and to navigate ridiculously complex and convoluted systems, often hurdles of seemingly insurmountable magnitude, and to illustrate what helps and what hinders in those processes. And, because I simply give a darn about people, and have a particular soft spot for those who continue to be marginalized and stigmatized by the narrow thinking that created the motivation, behind looking for what you and/or your client could find against me, actually the smallest part of my entire life, as opposed to what I excel at: Human services with heart and compassion. With a direct and intentional focus on the human, and with a real bent for finding the truth. For more information on how that does not amount to co-signing bad, criminal, self or other harming behaviour, please do check out my very public blog. Had you taken the time to read any part of that with more than the intent of finding dirt, you may have discovered more under the name Marcela than a former ‘prostitute,’ and ‘crack’ user.
Since you have taken it upon yourself to decide who I am based on little more than the results of a very poorly executed witch hunt, I have taken the liberty to provide you with a little context. I do not, feel the need to explain myself, please understand the difference. With the exception of potential legal action in which case you will hear from whomever is my representative, my communication with you and the parents involved in this matter will end with this email. I have informed ….. that I will not be able to assist with the case and I have suggested to them that they contact …., and have left ….. a voice mail regarding the referral. Thank you and best regards,
Courageously yours, MyLa: Unfettered.
August 02, 2014
July 7th has rolled around once more, and 43 years, in this moment feels like 43 seconds, for I will always, and forever, miss you. I get my rebel, my power, my wisdom, my ability to see the truth, my stubborn-never-give-up from you, and also the fragility and dandelion fluff inside that we both hid/e from the rest of the world, so that they cannot harm, damage, our oh-so-vulnerable humanity. It never changes for me, this day. Time does not heal all wounds, it simply grows scar tissue over them which dulls the ache, allows me to think about you with some clarity, remember the entirety of your being, and how you still, 43 years after your untimely departure, teach me, guide me, help me keep my rebel on, with some measure of grace and dignity.
The untold story of my hero
I want to tell you this story. It is the evolving story of a hero, who through the process of me growing up, had to be seen, by me, as human, before he could be my hero, for real for real. He was my first and biological father, Tomáš Mrnka. He was born in the country formerly known as Czechoslovakia on October 24th 1935, and died, under extremely curious circumstances, in a mine shaft in Stewart BC, on July 7th, 1971. It was 12 days before my 10th birthday. He was 36 years old, and when he died, everything I ever hoped for, and dreamed of, died with him. For a while… a long while.
I held him on a pedestal of my own making for many, too many, years after his death, and only ever thought about him in a haze of golden glory and undeserved persecution. I only ever told stories of his heroic actions: his undeserved imprisonment in the old country for a democratic cause, his valiant battle to get us, his beloved children and wife, out of the clutches of communism following the Soviet invasion of our beloved land, and into the country that he wanted more than anything to provide us a life in. I knew this story so well I could recite it at the mere whisper of his name, and expound at length on his virtues and sacrifices; for his beloved country, for his beloved family.
The parts I left out of the story, the human bits, are as important a contributor to the true nature of his hero-status as his me-created perfection. He was the first man of many, to hit me and tell me he loves me in the same moment. He did not do this because he was evil, he did it because that is how children were disciplined; it is what he learned in the environment and culture he grew up in. He was unfaithful to his beloved wife, my beloved mother, and considered somewhat of a Casanova. He was a catch: he had one of the few motorcycles in the country at the time, and a full set of leathers, a rebel with a chip on his shoulder, but he had a cause. He had attitude and the inimitable grin, wit and charm of Rhett Butler, and all the girls wanted him. My mother got him, and forgave him, over and over, to keep him. She had endless discord and conflict with her beloved mother because of him. He was not only imprisoned for voicing his political beliefs against the status quo, he was imprisoned for shooting a law officer. I tell you all of this not to be-smudge his memory; I tell you this to illustrate the full context of his humanity, he was so imperfect, so human, but still a hero not despite it, but because of it.
He worked very hard to redeem himself when he brought us here, to make it right, to atone, to take responsibility. I tell you this because we all have a dark side, a side that requires constant work and effort to keep in check, to make certain that it is not given more priority than the hero in all of us. The side that makes poor decisions based on fear rather than the belief that we will get what we need if we act accordingly; the side which is driven by the outside, all the world’s influences, rather than the inside, the core of our humanness, our hearts and souls. The side of us that ignores our innate intuition, even when the warning bells scream like the sirens in a big city. The hero in all of us, the piece that knows love and abuse cannot co-exist in the same environment, the piece that informs every act of kindness and compassion we have ever given freely because that is what gives us the most true happiness. The piece that would die for the people we love, and sometimes for those we don’t even know but feel true human compassion for, that piece, is the one we must nurture, nourish, and encourage to grow and empower.
I could not see my father, Tomaš Mrnka, as the authentic hero he was and is, until I could see the full extent of his humanity, without judgment, or the childish notions I carried about the perfection of a hero. I tell you this story because I have experience with imperfection and humanity, and because I miss my hero today.
Dad, I cannot help but believe that you were there when recently, I visited the places I have some of my strongest and fondest memories of you from, Karlovy Vary, Boży Dar, on the journey of a lifetime with your widow, my mother, and my son, your grandson Thomas. We told him stories about you that he has likely heard a thousand times before, but it was different, for you had walked these streets that we were walking, you held my mother’s hand there, you held mine. You came back to life for me in moments of memory so vivid that they caught my breath, and we all got to know you, and ourselves, a little better than we did in the days, the moments prior.
Rest in peace my beloved dad, and know that the lessons of your life, your imperfect humanity, and your true heroism, have watched over me, followed me, taught me, led me, sometimes astray, but always back, to the true hero in me. 43 years ago on July 7th, my life and world changed in a way that I spent too many years trying to numb, to feel, to figure out, to forget, to remember; and 43 years later I come full circle to face my own imperfection and humanity, once again.
Thank you dad for the continuing lessons. You did well; and although my dark side comes out to play and wreak havoc in my heart and life periodically, I believe that my hero always triumphs in the end. I miss your person every day, but I feel your presence, every second.
Always yours, with all the humanity I have,
(edited from original written July 05, 2012)