What you’re about to read is the beginning of a story. A story about a beautiful powerful woman in the making. Throughout the series are bits and pieces of my life. Events that have effected me the most to become who I am today. Embarrassments, scares, tragedies, trials, comedy, and all. No sugar coats or fiction. Complete truth of the life a determined young woman. I will share my life with you and the lessons I’ve learned along the way. I am positive that you will be able to relate in some form or fashion, and hopefully find inspiration to be the best you can be.
Part 1. The beginning
I was born Feb.28, 1989 at OHSU in Portland, OR around 9pm. The only girl, and the baby of two big brothers. My mom had prayed desperately for a baby girl and along I came. A lot of people seem to draw the conclusion that I was born into wealth and riches because of where we appear to be today. WRONG. My parents was po.. not poor.. couldn't even afford the o and the r. In fact they experienced some troubles when my mother was in labor with each of us because of it. It’s amazing how different people treat you based of what you have or don’t have.. But anywho, back to the beginning.
I was put in private christian school through elementary. The ethnic diversity was about 2%. That percentage included my brothers and I, two mixed, and there may have been a couple asian children. Other than that, we were it. So you can imagine, we already didn't "belong". Which is precisely how I was treated.
I had one of my most traumatic experiences in first grade. I was at home one day, in the bathroom brushing my teeth next to my brother, I attempt to spit and it rolls down my chin. I'll admit I can be a bit of a goofball, always joked with my brothers, so he thought it was hilarious and told me to do it again. I tried to spit and I really couldn't. It rolled down my chin yet again, and again. No matter how hard I tried I couldn’t do it correctly. Scared out of my mind in tears, yelled for my mom in a slur. She came and like josh, thought I was playing, but soon found it was no joking matter. I found myself at the doctors, at first had no idea what was wrong. After loads of tests, they later diagnosed Bell’s Palsy.
What the heck is that you ask? Bell's palsy is a temporary form of facial paralysis that occurs with damage to the nerve that controls movement of the muscles in the face. Symptoms usually start suddenly, and range from mild to severe. Symptoms may include:
Change in facial expression (for example, grimacing)
Difficulty with eating and drinking
Drooling due to lack of control over muscles of the face
Droopy eyelid or corner of mouth
Dry eye or mouth
Face feels stiff or pulled to one side
Facial paralysis of one side of the face, makes it hard to close one eye
Loss of sense of taste
Pain behind or in front of the ear
Sensitivity to sound (hyperacusis) on the affected side of the face
Twitching in face
Weakness in face
And of course I had all the symptoms. The left side was the weaker side.
Now imagine experiencing that difficulty as a 6 year old. The only little black girl in school coming to class wearing an eye patch and half her face slum and frowning. I looked funny, talked funny, ate funny, couldn't smile straight, my face twitched all the time. And worst of all there was no cure. Just had to wait it out, try and exercise those muscles and make them strong again.
Yeah. A bunch of poppycock.
My brothers didn’t make it any better. They would do things to get a reaction out of me, then laugh at what my face would do. And you can guess, yes, I was a laughing stalk at school. You can imagine, being already out of place, not fitting in, now becoming the funny looking little black girl. They held back nothing. You couldn’t touch me, or else you might get the disease too... Not true, but it didn’t matter. Kids can be so cruel. I spent quite a bit of time isolated.
The Bell’s Palsy lasted awhile. I'm not sure exactly how long because honestly I blocked out a lot of that time. Already being a girl, a naturally sensitive being, that left a nice scar, and caused me to inclose myself early. I hated it. Didn't laugh much for quite a time. I only smiled around the elders, the ones who treated me no different than before the eye patch.
I still have some effects from it today. My facial muscles automatically slouch because their not as strong as they should be. There’s the occasional uncontrollable twitch. It’s funny to me how many people have automatically assumed I just had a stink attitude or was upset because of the expression while I’m relaxing or calm. Not knowing the facts or anything about what I’ve been through.
I learned to smile again. I laugh no matters who's watching. I am humbled and thankful for my miraculous healing. I could still have the disease to this day. But It was my parents faith & prayer that gave me hope, and lead to my sudden healing. Looking at me today, you wouldn't know I battled Bell's Palsy as a child. That's how it should be. I'm a miracle. I am healed. Not a victim, but a victor of a trying time. I recently found our about non chemical treatment to strengthen the muscles in my face I will be partaking in. So excited to see the results!
How often do you do that?
See someone who looks a certain way and assume we have them pegged. You could be right. But the reality is, you have no idea.
I learned early from always being judged, not to judge. It says in Matthew 7:1 [NIV] “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judged others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” I’ve always tried my best to abide by that throughout life. Now, I haven’t always been successful in doing so. But each time I’ve had to repent and ask for forgiveness. I encourage others to gain more understanding about where someone comes from before drawing conclusions.