Mute Again

It’s been a good writing day, I believe I’ve spoken about my Wattpad account before where I have three published works, one super short story Vishal and two poetry based works Tales of An Introverted Expat and The Silence Inside Me.

I updated the cover of The Silence Inside Me and added a new poem.

Cover art by Melanie Wasser on Unsplash

The title of the poem is Mute Again and I’ll share it here with you.

Mute Again

I was doing good, I was talking to the world, my words were finally being heard and I could express my every thought, and then…

Then I moved.

To another country where they didn’t speak my language and I didn’t speak theirs.

I was back at square one.

I studied every day, I watched all the movies, all the videos, I listened to music, I read so many stories.

And yet…

Here I am.

Mute again.

Another group of people who don’t understand.
Another group of people who label me, unfriendly, snobby, shy.

I want to scream, I’m not shy, I’m not unfriendly, I’m not a snob.

But once again.

My words fail me, they stay lodged in the back of my throat, they abandon me when I need them the most.

I just want to be free.

Free to speak, free to show my emotions, free to be me.

But here I am again.

Locked in my own mind.

Here I am looking for those who know, those who understands, those who feel as I do, those silent people with so much to say.

My people.

Hope you enjoyed it and if you’re interested in reading more you can visit my profile LLDove.

The Fathers in my Life

Today is Father’s Day, a day I usually don’t care for because of my own weird relationship with my father, so, today I’m going to talk about the many father figures I’ve had in my life and how they lead me to the father in my children’s lives.

My Father

Me and my father 1987-1988

My father is not an easy man to understand, some days you wonder if he even cares, I’ve spoken a bit about this in The Useless Sibling and the truth is it was so much worse, the other day someone asked me what was the best feature of my father that I looked for in a man and I just couldn’t think of one. Almost everything I thought of was something I didn’t want. I didn’t want to be treated as a mistake in my partners life and I sure as hell didn’t want him to view or children as play things for his public persona. That saying that a father is a girl’s first love? Not even close to being true for me.

Two of my most vivid memories are of my parents fighting, one where my mother was going to leave the house and had her keys in her hand and my father grabbed her arm and was pulling it like he was going to break it, I jumped on his back and started pummeling him while I yelled for my brothers, my oldest brother came with a broom stick and my father finally let go of our mother. The second incident I don’t remember as well but I remember my mother bitting into his arm and he was hitting her in the head trying to get her loose.

These were just two extremes but they fully cemented in my head that I didn’t want a relationship like this. I didn’t want a man like this, I wasn’t even sure I ever wanted to get married, all the marriages in my life save one was toxic, cheating, children on the outside, fighting, just a lot of toxicity.

Uncle Luis

Now I’ll talk about that one good marriage in my life, one of my mother’s sisters, Aunty Cathy, married my Uncle Luis, from the very first time I remember meeting him he has always been very nice to me. With my Selective Mutism I didn’t speak to him, I remember feeling very shy around him for a long time but that didn’t change how he treated me, he would talk to me, show interest in my drawings, try my failed attempts at sodas haha, he did everything my father didn’t. My uncle out of everyone in my life is who I based the ideal mate on. My aunt and uncle lived with us for a while and those were good days, I felt heard and seen, I had a good male figure in my life and he treated my aunt really well.

The day they moved out was one of the saddest in my life, it meant I would go back to being ignored or yelled at for just existing. Even though he no longer lived with us I never forgot the way my uncle treated me, I would look forward to their visits every time.

My Husband

Before I met my husband I wasn’t sure I wanted to get married or have children, I was pretty content in the fact that I would be single Aunty Lynnette, the cool and strict aunt. For whatever reasons my cousins believed I was a traveling girl? Meaning that I had many boyfriends and several sexual encounters. That couldn’t be farther from the truth, I didn’t do much as kiss a guy until my husband.

I mean sure I had lots of male friends but they were just friends, I also didn’t meet any of them in real life, my mother says I’m pretty unobservant because a lot of them were flirting with me but I never noticed it? I like my friends, they’re good men but not for me, they weren’t like my uncle none of the guys I met were like my uncle so definitely not someone I would be interested in forming a permanent bond with.

I spoke a bit on how I ended up with my husband in My Truths. Before we even had children I saw how he was with his niece and how he was with my nieces, it reminded me so much of my beloved uncle and they were both tall and wore glasses, if this wasn’t the universe talking to me I don’t know what it was.

Marvin and Chacha

One of my nieces was so taken with Marvin that she started calling him Daddy, I routinely call her his first child haha, I have to say that even though I was determined to find a man nothing like my father, Marvin and my father shared several similar tastes and qualities. I somehow found a man that was a balance between my father and my uncle.

The most notably quality between my father and Marvin? Determination. I swear I’ve never seen two people who would never give up until they have accomplished what they set out to do.

My Truths

This is going to be a heavy piece, it will involve speech about molestation, if that’s one of your triggers I’d suggest skipping this post, with that said I’m going to talk about something that I’ve talked a little about before but never in my blog. I want to change that, I want to speak my truth so others can understand certain aspects of my life and how I’ve processed it.

So, here we go…

This is a memory that is clear as day in my head even though it happened over twenty years ago.

Imagine if you will, this thin, small child, five almost six years old, quiet, she doesn’t say a thing. Expressionless the whole day. This vulnerable innocent child was me.

It was a new school, new people, new everything, I was in first grade and still mute even though they said children are only shy at first. The class was about twenty students maybe more maybe less, the size didn’t important, the children aren’t either, except for two. A boy and a girl.

I had no interactions with these two, never sat near them, never played with them, but these two affected me in a way nothing else has ever done.

It was not a normal day, we were not in class, no, we were in the school’s cafeteria. There was an event going on but I can’t remember what it was about, doesn’t matter, I was sitting at a table far away from everyone except for the boy E and the girl K. I can’t remember the names of the other students but I remember these two, I don’t know how I feel about their names, a curious thing, I don’t hate it but I won’t speak it. Ever.

I don’t know why but K decided to notice me that day, maybe it’s because we were so far apart from everyone else but she was sitting right next to me.

It’s going to get a bit graphic and I apologise but she stuck her hand under my skirt and fondled me, she pulled her hand out and said “smell yourself”. I had never had the inappropriate touch talk, no, that came later, so, as you can no don’t tell I was confused and didn’t know what to do. The boy E never touched me but he did not tell her to stop either, instead what he did was laugh and I didn’t understand that either.

I never told anyone about what happened, not my best friend, not my parents, I think I wanted to forget it ever happened. I buried it so far that I just never thought about it. That is until I was in my early 20s. I was talking to someone about rape and molestation and it was like opening a door. I remembered everything all at once.

It explained why I had an aversion to being friends with girls, why I never felt comfortable around them, why I felt different to my peers.

I talked about being The Useless Sibling but now I knew why. I up to this day have trouble accepting hugs and being touched, I still feel a little uncomfortable around women and I honestly don’t feel attraction. I honestly thought I was asexual because I’ve had people I thought were attractive I’ve never envisioned anything other than being friends, I had one or two I’ve called boyfriend but in truth it was just in name. I have never wanted to be physical with any of them.

The day I met my husband was like being awoken, it’s corny as hell but I often wondered what it would feel like just to be held. We lived in different countries then so there was no way to find out. The day he asked to visit, I swear I almost fainted, I asked my parents and they were fine. Yes, I still lived at home so when my husband came to visit he met all my family at once.

That first day was full of nerves, this guy I’d spent two years chatting to was finally here, the first time in my life I felt like a woman and I wanted to explore.

Demisexual, you don’t feel attraction until you’ve formed a deep connection, I now had an answer for my lack of interest in guys other than being friends.

On the subject of friends, although I’m still a little uncomfortable, I now have a few women I call friend.

I won’t allow a girl who was most probably being molested herself to dictate who I can and can’t be friends with.

Oh, if you’re not following the Facebook page, I had mentioned that I would do a special post for Father’s day so be on the lookout for that.

Confinement

Hey! Welcome back!

Today I’m going to talk about being in confinement after giving birth. While I was in the hospital Naveen was on break from school and Marvin was home from work so I didn’t have to worry about who would watch him.

When I got out of the hospital it was time for Naveen to go back to school but he had a cold so he went one day and was sent home the next and stayed home on Friday. We thought he’ll be fine to go on Monday but then the schools were closed and Naveen never got to go back to school.

We could still go out at that point so we would go for walks which was important for me since I had to walk for my recovery from the C-section. It was good to be outside feeling the cool air and not being cooped inside the house or stuck in there hospital. I stayed there for a while week!

Everything was ok and then we went into confinement, stay home unless you absolutely need to go out, have your attestation of you will be fined, we stayed inside. Naveen didn’t understand why he wasn’t going to school and why we couldn’t go to the park or see his grandparents.

I tried to explain to him in a way he would understand and I think he got it.

My husband is still working during the pandemic so it’s just me, Naveen, and Oyanie. Due to Oyanie waking up every two hours at night to eat we usually stay in bed until afternoon. I try to get a little extra sleep but I’m still so very tired when we get up to go downstairs. Sometimes Naveen comes into the room and lay in the bed with Oyanie and me but he’s mostly up early and downstairs. I try to make sure that he has something to eat and occupy himself with.

While I’m taking care of the baby I sometimes wonder if I’m neglecting Naveen and try to include him or I’ll put the baby down to give him extra attention. It’s hard having two kids especially now when the baby is so small and need so much more of my attention.

Naveen has been a good big brother though, he always asks me if I need help and will bring bottles upstairs for me, reach diapers and wipes, he kisses his sister and wants to hold her.

He will sometimes feed her so I can make myself something to eat or when I need to do something else.

I think I’m adjusting well to having two children especially in these strange times. If I’m being honest I’ve been suffering a bit from being stuck at home, given how my pregnancy went where I was stuck at home with only doctor visits as my time outside its only a given that I’d go stir crazy without a reason to go outside. I miss the air and the sun and I wish things go back to normal soon.

Before I forget to mention it Oyanie made one month on March 22, one month already it seemed like I just had her. Time is going by so fast.

My first time camping

Hey everyone,

Welcome back to my blog, today I’m going to talk about my first real time camping, I emphasize on real because back in St. Croix, US Virgin Islands where I’m from there’s a tradition where families camp out on the beaches for the Easter Holiday. My family has never gone but my father has put up a tent either in our front yard which is directly outside the front porch, the dog area where all the dogs are, or the side yard which faces the cottage on our property.

Yeah I grew up in a big house with a huge yard but the majority of it was down the side of a hill so not very useful.

Anyway, this was my only experience with camping and we didn’t even stay a day in the tent because it was way too hot. My father would bring in a fan but it’s Caribbean humid and they fan did nothing for the sweat that would run down our faces, so we followed our mother back inside and left our father to his tent.

20 or so years later and I have finally camped out for real but it wasn’t on a beach.

I went here:

Capfun Camping Le Grand Lierne in Châteaudouble, France.

I know what you’re thinking…

This is camping?! I’ve never seen a campsite like this before!

This was my exact reaction when I was told we’d be going there to camp out.

This campsite offers so many options for your camping needs you can get cabins for 4 people or cabins that are like mini homes for 10/12 people or you can get the camping pitch where you bring your own tent which is what we did.

Besides the camping aspect Capfun includes:

A Waterpark:

  • Heated pool
  • Heated covered pool
  • Heated paddling pool
  • The Space Bowl which is a sensational water slide, upon entering you’ll find yourself in a large funnel and the person with the most laps wins.
  • A Racer slide with three lanes so you slide side by side.
  • There is also a paddling pool with a snake water slide, for children younger than 6 years. They can enjoy pool time without any worry.

The Waterpark opens from 9.30h to 20h – Swimming shorts are prohibited (boxers or briefs allowed). Toddlers must wear diapers specially designed for swimming.

You must wear the bracelet provided by the park to enter the Waterpark area.

A Restaurant

A Bar

A Gift shop/ Mini market

Washing Machines costs 6€

Tumble Dryers costs 3€

A Game room

Children’s playground

You can find more information here.

You now know exactly where I went now I’ll tell you how I felt about this experience, before we even started getting ready for this adventure I was filled with so much anxiety. Being in such close quarters with so many people and the knowledge that I’d have no where to go to be by myself and decompress had me dreading the weekend.

The Thursday before we would leave I asked my husband what kind of clothes I should pack and his response was anything I want which is not helpful at all. Keep in mind that it is June summer weather and I’ve never been camping so I was going in blind. I tried searching information and it wasn’t helpful. I packed short sleeves, a strapless dress, one pair of jeans and my short pants. I also packed our sheets that we would need, I looked at our thicker sheets and thought it’s summer we won’t need it…

I was wrong, so wrong, I got everything wrong, it was cold and my clothing was inadequate for the temperatures. Our sheets were not thick enough at all. It was my worst nightmare. I stressed and stressed and felt like a failure because everyone else had these thick comforters and sweaters and I was there unprepared.

On the other hand I fully enjoyed my time there, without the few anxious moments I had fun and was not as drained as I thought I would be. If I needed time alone I could escape into the little zipped off room in the tent and just relax and read a bit.

My most notable moment of distress was when it started to rain and of blow up mattress got wet so I couldn’t escape into our tiny room anymore. The noise of all the talking and children screaming and laughing really frayed my nerves.

Luckily for me everyone wanted to go on a for a little adventure and visit an old tower they was nearby, in the end it was too far and we ended up going to a garden. I really enjoyed the fact that I could walk around by myself and not have all the noise beating at my head.

Water Lily in Montélier

While walking around the garden I came across some really interesting murals.

My husband viewing the art

Tiger statue

While leaving the garden we encountered two women removing decorations from a fountain, the children wanted to know why they were doing it and apparently they change the colors of the decorations every week. They also told us about another garden near by that we could visit and off we went.

This other garden had much more flowers, there were a lot of roses and crocheted things like snakes and spiders, there were also crocheted flowers!

I really enjoyed this garden a lot.

While at Capfun I did something I never thought I’d do ever. If you go back up you’ll we the picture of the slides in the Waterpark. Do you see that twirling three lane yellow slide? It’s the Racer slide and I went on it twice!

I’m deeply terrified of heights and deep water so going up those three flights of stairs to reach the top was nerve wracking. My legs were trembling and I couldn’t turn around even if I wanted to because there were so many people behind me wanting to go on the slide.

When we finally reached the top I was trembling but it was now or never do I got into the middle lane and…

Off I went!!

I won the race against my husband and son, best thing ever, I enjoyed it so much I went for a second time, this time while I was coming down I got water up my nose and decided that was enough.

We ate at the restaurant our last night at Capfun and there was a Just Dance show playing, my son ever the extrovert decided he was going to dance every dance. It was adorable and I’m happy he’s able to do the things he loves.

Our time soon came to an end and with it came a storm, there was so much rain and thunder the children were scared. I won’t lie but some of those thunders made me jump and wish I was home in my bed.

The drive back was pretty uneventful but the scenery was beautiful.

This was really a great trip and I’m glad I took those little steps out of my comfort zone.

There was talk of going again and if we do go I’ll be more prepared.

And there you have it my first time camping at Capfun Camping in Châteaudouble.

Best day ever

Hey everyone!

I just want to talk about yesterday and why it was the best day ever.

My husband has so many friends that from what I know of my childhood and my family it seems unnatural 😀 we spend a lot of time with them and it wears me out both physically and mentally. Don’t get me wrong I like his friends BUT I need time to myself to unpack all the stress of the week and it seems like I can never get that time because I’m always home with Naveen or at his parents or friends and that’s like being bombarded with even more stress. The talking, the laughing, the music, the smells, everything beats at me until I’m in a deep dark pit crying. To make matters worse we stay at these stressful events for hours and hours and I’m just tired and want to go home but he’s not ready to go home and Naveen is not ready. So there I am month after month being abused mentally.

Yesterday I decided to stay home by myself and it was wonderful!

I had the house to myself, it was quiet, I didn’t have to concentrate on anything other than watching one of my favorite movies The Princess Bride. I could feel all the stress leaving my body and my mood lifting.

If you have Social Anxiety and are also an Introvert like me never feel bad about staying home and watching your favorite movie, your mental health is way more important than being social because society dictates you must be, enjoy your time alone guilt free and don’t make it a one-time thing. When you feel yourself slipping engage in some self-care.

I am ready for the week now and actually thinking about smiling but we’ll see what tomorrow brings huh!

Until next time!

Reaching Out

Good morning!

This year in September will make four years since I moved to France and I still don’t have any friends, not really anyone. There’s nobody I feel relaxed enough to send a text message to or call and just sit around talk and laugh almost everyone I know over here is through my husband and your husband’s friends are not always your friends.

There is one woman who I occasionally share a “Bonjour” with that has no ties to my husband but that’s basically the extent of my French in public, “Bonjour”… I managed a “ça va” today because she and her son were not at school since last week Thursday and I did miss them. I wish so much that I can articulate what I want to say but at that moment I don’t even know what to say. I am honestly content just to walk beside them on our way to school and from school because it’s the loneliest feeling walking your child to school knowing you have nobody.

I’m trying to change that one step at a time because a giant leap is likely to do some real damage to the progress I’ve made and let’s face it I’m a cautious person and I need to be comfortable talking to someone or it will never happen.

Moving on to another subject, years back I had another blog that I only used once because I didn’t understand how to use it, I finally merged it to this one so you can see my old blog post here My Hiking Experience. I kind of wish that I had more hikes to post about but we rarely go anywhere anymore. I suppose I could go out to the park when it’s warmer and beg to visit the castle since we haven’t been there since last year. I swear I’m going to be a chatty Cathy until I go to the lake and other nature sites.

If I do get my way and I probably will I’ll be sure to post pictures so you can enjoy the scenery with us.

Until next time!

Writing

Bonjour à tous!

When in France right?

For the past two days, I have been inspired to revisit an old story I started working on about two years ago. All my interest in it had fizzled and it just sat there stagnant until Thursday when I was going through my old stuff and saw it. Immediately I felt this need to dust it off and breathe some new life into it. It’s not finished by any means, you can say that it is barely begun so I won’t have a lot of work to dissect and can just start writing whenever I feel like it. I tried to remember just why I never began my story and why it was put into a coma and the only thing I could think of was that I didn’t have the voice to tell it. I firmly believe that if you haven’t connected with your storyline on a deep level it will never get anywhere. A forced storyline is never a good thing and if you have to force it why are you writing it in the first place?

I read over my files, I keep very detailed records of my storylines whether it’s in old notebooks or digital notebook on Evernote or Google Docs. I have literally hundreds of half-built worlds and storylines, finished short stories that need a good editing. What I do not have is the desire to do what I know needs to be done. It has been so hard for me to push through my depression and get back to what I have always enjoyed but this month I feel like I will be able to accomplish much.

I do a bit of poetry and have some works in progress on Wattpad that I have been focusing on lately. If you’re interested and registered on the site you can view my profile here at LLDove.

My pieces are anything but popular but I feel like they fall into very specific niches and they are special to me especially Tales of an Introverted Expat and The Silence Inside Me, both are poetry-based and reference my depression, anxiety, and selective mutism to an extent.

The piece I am working on now can be typed as a Romantic Comedy, it is called One Night Romeo.

Gia Joseph was tired of the small town she grew up in where everyone knew her as the recluse, she wanted a fresh start somewhere new and exciting. It was cliche to move to France with the hopes of finding love but what Gia found was an unforgettable one night stand. She couldn't get this guy out of her head and against her better judgment began looking for him hoping that he was looking for her too. The problem with finding someone in a big city is that it's nearly impossible to run into the same person twice, somehow fate intervened and Gia found her one night Romeo, unfortunately, he didn't remember who she was!
Gia spends the entire summer manufacturing coincidental meet-ups with the hopes of reminding her Romeo of who she was and why he should be more than a one night Romeo.

I can’t say when it will be finished but I do plan on working on it until I am satisfied with it.