I am that I am
I guess I was born a rebel by anyone's standards. My father was a big hearted & free-thinking artist turned high school/college football player. My mother was the 6th child of a Baptist preacher. When they had me they were beginning to realize maybe they weren't quite so compatible. But for the sake of family my 2 sisters were born and by the time I was 7 the stress had caught up with us all. I had been in and out of hospitals my entire life. I had open heart surgery at 9 moths old and nearly died at age 5 when my family took a trip up to the Colorado mountains and my lungs filled up with fluid. This happened again at 7 years old and around the same time I began to show signs of neurological distress such as migraines, muscle cramps, and high anxiety. What the doctor's didn't know was that my vulnerability to my surroundings was due to immense amounts of stress and tension at home caused by my father's explosive alcoholism and my mother's tendency towards depression and escapism. I took on the responsibility of shielding my sisters from this energy the best that I could but of course they couldn't help but be affected. This instilled in us a concrete bond of camaraderie and resiliency
~Little me with my 2 younger sisters Haley & Jessie
The first memory I can remember is being outside in our family's backyard and swinging on the swing set my parents had bought and assembled for my birthday and singing aloud to God. It was so magical, the wind whipping through my hair and the power in the my voice as it was pushed back and forth with the kick of my legs. My mother's upbringing in church had instilled the gift of music and harmony in her and I would say it was something that came naturally to her and shared rather freely. My father had always had an appreciation for music and in my later years would tell countless stories of musicians and their various works of art in which inspired him. Over time I developed an intimate practice of recording and relating my life experiences through song in order to offer them back up to Spirit and all who would witness my expression of life. Around one of the darkest times in my life at age 11 I began to develop severe neurosis as I struggled to cope in school with my home life. My social anxiety was so high that I was not able to eat in front of my peers. I wrapped myself tightly in a long sleeve black jacket no matter the weather. I was constantly on edge with paranoia about how others perceived me and how that would come into play in terms of threatening my survival. I felt ugly, and worthless and never good enough. At the time my father was struggling with various addictions ranging from online gambling, alcoholism, and pornography, all of which my sisters and I were exposed to at one time or another. My mother was working a full-time job as well as putting herself through college to be a computer programmer. My sisters and I were left alone after school and during the summer typically, but one year my mom decided to get us a nanny. She had a soft-spot for Christina, a troubled teen she knew from our church's youth group and decided it was meant to be. And oh, how glorious it was. Christina was an artist and a punk. She taught me many things like how to play the guitar and apply eyeliner and how to paint with eyeliner if its the only thing you have and how to make water colors out of anything and how to paint tree murals as well as stay up all night getting jacked up on drugs and cutting yourself then not crashing the next day from drinking energy drinks and doing 100 crunches until you puke and then doing it again. Oh yes, This chaos was my normal for many years. But through it all I had a new tool. I could transmute my bullshit into art now and that's all that mattered to me.
~Playing sacred guitar and singing
That mentality didn't last for long though. By the time I was a freshman in high school my pent up and bottled rage had taken a toll on my body, mind, and soul. My doctors said my heart wouldn't make it into adulthood if I didn't have a corrective procedure on my aorta, the main blood vessel that carries blood from the heart to the major organs and extremities. So at 14 years old my mom and I flew to Mayo Clinic to cut me open. What was only supposed to be an open heart surgery left me with a 2 1/2 foot scar from the top of my chest to the top of my bikini line due to complications in the structure of my vasculature. The procedure saved my life. But at the time my confidence was destroyed because 1) I looked like Frankenstein and 2) I had missed nearly half a semester of my Freshman year. My solution was to tell everyone I got into a gang-fight and leave it at that. Burry the shame along with the laughter. The first time I ever touched alcohol or drugs I was 15 years old. A friend invited me to smoke pot and after I don't know how many hits from their bong my consciousness was annihilated. Determined not to waste any time in cashing in on the years of self hatred I had invested into my being, I decided also to chug vodka mixed with soda that day and insist that I be dropped of at a friend's house instead of being returned home. Worst mistake. The person I had mistook for a friend had some other intentions in mind. I regained consciousness bent over his bed in handcuffs after having being raped for hours. When I came to and was able to demand that I be released from the handcuffs, I immediately called my other "friend" who did come and pick me up but only to drive me to construction site out of town to do the exact same thing. After the better part of the evening the boys reconvened and together they drove me to my mother's house and dropped my off outside on the sidewalk. I died that day; the day I realized I was powerless over my suffering and that no matter what I did I could not protect my family from this evil. It hit us all like a brick. No one had the solution for our pain. My mother decided to send me to a group home for women addicts in Louisiana, separating me from my family, friends, community, and support for the sake of my two little sisters who had surely by then been exposed to enough
There was no plan set in place for me to heal from my physical and psychological trauma once I got to Louisiana. Only strict schedules, addiction treatment plans, journaling assignments and AA meetings. I buried myself into my art through the form of poetry and song writing. I met many girls my age who were desperate for some other form of expression too. I learned a lot; that healing in a group could be powerful if done honestly and openly however it could be extremely isolating if conditions aren't met for one to express freely. For example, sometimes my art would be seen as obedience defiance or deviation from the "treatment plan" and so I would have my instruments or my music taken away for a period of time or I would be forced not to speak or make eye contact with the rest of the group as well as be last to get in line for food at meal times for weeks on end. For 2 years I lived at this group home and I attempted to kill myself a total of 3 times, one of the times landing me in a psych ward where I was stabbed in the face by another intake. I was desperate. My only hope was a Tibetan monk who we call Thai who visited the group home 3 times a week to teach us how to breathe mindfully and make peace with our thoughts through meditation. This is how I began to mend my psyche bit by bit.
~Mother of all mothers, child of all children
I ran away from that place when I was 17 years old and demanded that my mother take me home. I was determined to put myself through college and start a new life. 2 years after dropping out from high school I got my GED and was accepted to my community college where I studied American Sign Language interpretation. After a semester I became quickly bored with that and started turning towards marijuana and pills to fill my void of self-love. It wasn't long before I found myself in another psych ward after attempting suicide yet again. I was as lost as one could be. I was looking for an escape and I found it this time through physical and sexual validation. I learned that I could manipulate other's attention to my gain if I was willing to sacrifice my body in exchange. I began nude modeling and dancing for money as a way to "establish independence" and assert some form of perceived control over my life. 6 months later after the end of a toxic relationship in which my boyfriend was stealing money from me after shooting me up with heroin, I took to the streets of Dallas where I became involved with human trafficking as a way of survival. I don't know how I made it though those times. I must have some pretty powerful angels because not only did I make it out alive but I was able to seek refuge at a shelter for women and children survivors of human trafficking and domestic violence. It was here that I learned that I was not alone and that I was still a being worthy of love, safety, and happiness. I vowed to put myself through rehab so that I could function on my own in society without relying on others for survival.
~Healing through my community
Fast forward through rehab and establishing full-time work in customer service before finding the consious community in Dallas. Yet another dysfunctional relationship was coming to an end and I decided it would be important to get in touch with the meditation practices that had brought me through so much as a child. I found the Dallas Meditation Center and began to brush up on my Buddhism. Then I met an ayahuasca shaman who helped me to reconnect to my power through expression of life through song. I began to reach out to my peers about where I had been and sought to find a way out of suffering once again. All signs pointed to investing my energy into sharing my music with the world for the sake of not only my own healing, but the healing of others like me. I launched an indie-go-go campaign to begin recording my album and raised double my goal of $2,500 in addition to 2 $5,000 donations to a charity of my choice. All because I fought to make it through the darkness in my life and vowed to show something because of it. I launched a program called JUMPSTART in downtown Dallas which hosted workshops including music, meditation, and expressive healing arts for homeless children living in shelters. In 2015 after surviving a heart attack followed by a 7-day coma, I met my partner Tickled Wizard, who showed me how to resource local free food for my sustainability needs as well as how to harvest the abundance to feed the thousands of hungry people still living on the street today. Now I dedicate myself full-time to these efforts~ pursuing my spiritual growth, recording my album, bringing hope and inspiration to children, and alleviating oppression within my community
~I hope my story has made an impact in my life and that you will enjoy my humble offering of music to your experience Thank you for spreading the movement with your love <3 #WindSongDemo now available @ windsongmovement.org/music