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Jj's Year of Coming of Age: Day 178- Spillin' Tea- Cussin Mad...And Tryin' To Forgive...

"I used to think that the worst thing in life 
to end up alone.
 It's not...
The worst thing in life is to end up with people 
who make you feel alone. "
-Robin Williams

Pictured above...2013...My son Israel and I in our new home after 31/2 years of on again, off again homelessness. We were pretty stoked.

Right now is truly one of the best times of my life...go figure.

FINALLY...after all of the hurting, pain. suffering...sacrificing, fighting, surviving...
darkness, confusion, fear...shame, depression, and loneliness...My vision of what my life was always supposed to be, even as a little girl- is materializing and indubitably coming to pass. And while I should be over the moon- flipping cartwheels, not caring if the world sees my panty drawers, and skipping around singing the smurf song...happy as a pig in fresh poo...I'm not...

Don't get me wrong, I'm thankful...beyond grateful...honored...humbled, and not taking one iota of recognition or merit from the blood, sweat, tears, hours of time, and gracious exertion of connections, reputations, nepotism, favors, hard cold cash, and long-standing relationships that have been used on my behalf to get me here, and furthermore- to where I am going...(I would love to say it's all because of my outstanding creativity and talent...but I'd be lying...and the truth would not be in me).

 People love to brag that they are "self-made"...well, that is a "self-made lie"...NO ONE can accomplish any great feat completely on their own. (Even Jesus had 12 disciples).  To think that it is possible to do so is pure naivete and ego wrapped with a big ugly "you-must-be-crazy-I- know- you- see-me-laughing- in your-smug-face" bow... The music business is just that...a business...if it don't make don't make sense...while my God-given talent has made room for me, because people see an opportunity to make a profit off of my gift (I am perfectly fine with this, ya gotta give some to get some)...access to those people who make the decisions and have the power to stagnate my career or propel me forward...(or anyone else for that matter) is not easy (or cheap) to come all. It has been those people who decided that they liked me and the numbers that they project can be deposited into their own bank accounts enough to stick their word, reputations, time, and relationships on the line...for me to in turn accomplish MY is a very concerted effort...that involves preparation, strategy, right timing, persistence and a little bit of "luck" (or prayer in my case-I don't believe in luck...but you know, to each their own.)...come to think of it...that's even more reason to celebrate...prayers being answered, and people willingly being projectors of my vision...but, I'm still not.

"Well...just what the hell is your problem?" I can hear you ask in conjunction with the tisks and sucking of teeth. I can also see your eyes rolling over there as you read this...Turn your judgment volume down just for a second, and I'll make sure that you understand where I am coming from. I'm not some entitled divaesque millennial who feels that the ground is supposed to shapeshift under her feet to accommodate her asinine selfish agendas as she irresponsibly wanders all over the face of the globe bombarding unsuspecting people with her unrealistic short-sided and deeply flawed view of reality. Neither am I some self-loathing attention seeking emo reciting suicidal poetry, romanticizing pain and heartache, who inevitably always has to point out how much life sucks when something obviously awesome, pulchritudinous and...and... totally UNsucky is happening right before my eyes...

I totally get it...I TOTALLY, with every fiber of my being understand what's going on in my life right now...I totally understand that I should be so grateful that I go back to church and fall on the altar thanking God for making my path straight, and all of my sufferings work together for my ultimate good. I want to be screaming from the rooftops how happy and overjoyed I am...and sometimes I have these sheer moments of walking on sunshine bliss, where I'm just a smiling and bright-eyed, unabashedly showcasing all my crooked teeth, and delighting in the gayly dancing wind playing between them...but there's still this incessant rambling of never before seen memories invading my brain all the time. The Adult Asperger's Diagnosis strikes again...and I'm feeling lower than low...My poor boyfriend sits and looks at me with concern and confusion in his eyes as I ball up in our bed and open mouth sob like a little girl who's Barbie's head had fallen off...I thought I was past all this...

But, I'm actually struggling within myself on a daily let go...and if I can't least, push the unpleasant recollections under the bed or suck them down in size with one of those infomercial vacuum sucker baggie thingies...and deflate out all of the relevance, pain, shame, irritation, anger, rage, hurt, betrayal, and any other negative emotion... compact them so small that they take up a sliver of space in the furthest darkest corner in my closet of life crap. You know, the one you never know it's there....but, it doesn't bother you, cuz it's never in your way, and you don't even think about it until you just NEED something out of that closet...however, no matter how hard I try...I can't get the vacuum to work correctly...It's like these memories hit me- totally randomly, and the vacuum turns on to high power inflate, blowing more rancid, toxic fumed negativity into the memories, causing them to be overwhelmingly inflated and inflamed, and not the other way around.

I've spent so much time, money, energy, tears in therapy and out....and consumed a whole lotta wine, other spirits, and anti-depressants in efforts to process my emotional and mental boo-boos over the years. I've forgiven people, compartmentalised, gained understanding, and even put myself in the other person's shoes...ultimately absolving them from any pain they've caused, and most times walking away with love in my heart for them, and feeling sorry that they were hurting so deeply that they had to in turn hurt know, since "hurt people...hurt people".

You know...let's explore that for a second...that statement used to ring so true with me...but, I realize now that I AM one of those hurt people...and I don't make efforts to go around hurting other people...matter of fact, I make a conscientious effort to make sure that I DON'T hurt people...because I know how it fucking MISS me with that bullshit psychobabble...Hurt people hurt other people because they don't want to take the time that it takes to work on themselves to fucking stop's LAZINESS!! And a character flaw...and I refuse to make excuses for it anymore! Our problems don't just "magically" work out...Everybody's got problems...Grow the hell up...DEAL WITH IT...and face yours...OWN AND HANDLE YOUR SHIT! Stop facebook and instagram stuntin...The truth will set you free, and you will realize that you are not alone...there are other people seeking emotional and mental health just like you...Stop being a whirlwind of pain spinning around and consuming unsuspecting people with your myriad of woe-is-me issues.

 I'm not by any means minimalizing anyone's pain...Lord knows, I'm the last to do that...Although I do not hold the creative license for hard times... I do feel that I have an advanced degree in pain and suffering...and there's some merit in what I am saying. You woke up this morning...Score! (It's not a's true...some people didn't...go ahead and google "people who died today" there will NEVER not be a list, but guess ain't on it!) So, use the day to face and get over some of your shit... period! So you can actually ENJOY living for once. The same energy you use to hurt, abuse, hate on, scheme, cheat, lie to, and try to get over, and destroy folks...instead use it to be like Mike, and "look at the man (or woman) in the mirror..." change YOUR ways...keep your eyes on your own paper...pass your OWN test...come up higher, instead of trying to bring people lower where you are...YOU DONT EVEN LIKE IT THERE!! Why do you fight to stay there!??

I regress...since I've received this Asperger's diagnosis, and have learned more about myself, and how my brain works...and have gained insight on how people have viewed me, and ultimately taken advantage of me over the years (All them "hurt" people that I've made excuses and accommodations for)... I am MAD AS BLOODY HELL!! At them, AND myself!!! And with all the success that I have knocking on my door, and overtaking me with goodness...I'm doubly mad...cuz, I want to be reveling in it, all day!! I feel myself screaming at my innermost self...I've worked hard on myself, I've tried my best to face my demons, and deal with my crap! I deserve to be happy! I deserve to be free! I deserve to be able to ENJOY my hard earned success!! I am worthy of something good happening to me!! I am worthy of being loved and treated well! I deserve to not hurt anymore! I deserve peace!

But, late at night...the memories come. And I have to lay and look up at the ceiling fan go round, while feeling fire ignite in my belly and rise up my esophagus as I process the cockamamy bumbaclot rass so that I can be a functioning and wholistically healthy adult...because that's what successful people do...and if I ain't nothing else...I'm gonna be successful in this life-I've fought too hard, and too long not to be...but I'm still mad! I'm pissed the hell off! I want to fly across the country and find all of these people who were self-serving, sociopathic, abusive twat cozies and go straight slap-hap, and I feel NO shame about it!

In what should be my most joyous time...I am having to fight myself to YET AGAIN forgive the same people (that I now know basically saw me as Rain Man...and took FULL advantage...laughing at my expense all along the way) for the SAME offenses that I've already spent time in therapy working out, or at the altar giving to God, or reasoning out and writing about in my journal until I forgave, and acquired peace. But, now I'm having to forgive AGAIN, and this time for the motive (BECAUSE I NOW KNOW THE MOTIVE) and not just for the actions...It's easier to forgive someone when you think that they didn't intentionally hurt you- or that they weren't truly capable of doing anything else...but, when you find out that THEY KNEW!! And they used, abused, dogged you out, stole from you, cheated on you, lied to you, sabotaged and knowingly betrayed you by choice...left you for dead...set you up for failure...ON PURPOSE...maaaan...I mean...even the LAW is 2/3rds intent! And I have had people unbeknownst to me...INTENDING to try to break me...who looked me in my face and swore that they loved me...when actually...They were my Judas...selling me out to the dark side. Kissing my cheek...when I should have been punching them in the face! How'd you do it Jesus???

Back in 2013 I sang into a microphone with tears rolling down my face, holding in my hand my FOURTH eviction notice in my lifetime...

"Tell You What I Know...
one day yeah, that's right...
my name up in lights...

 In less than a month, I would be homeless again...although I had a record deal, and was working on an album..I was still a single mother who worked two jobs that I loathed and couldn't seem to ever get ahead. After snatching yet another blow to my self-esteem, pride, and confidence as a mother off of my door...I jumped in a borrowed vehicle, with the last little bit of gas money I had...drove out to the studio. I walked in, determined to lay down the vocals of the song that I wrote the last time that I was homeless, and here I was again...admonishing myself once hold on. To not give keep FIGHT!I was in the home stretch!

 While I fingered the paper that very starkly told me that I had no time had come, my landlord was tired of working with me, of giving me extensions, and waiting for his money...frankly, he was tired of my shit...and had decided that it was time for me to go, and it didn't matter how I felt about it. Get out or be sued in court...I couldn't help but break down in tears...I had fought so hard to keep it all together, and I had failed...yet again.

 Sam- my producer, and engineer...sat silently, busying himself with setting up the tracks and proper microphone for our session and let me cry. I remember stepping outside...he brought me coffee, and we smoked a cigarette. I appreciated that he didn't try to make me feel better...cuz, unless he was somehow going to stop the eviction...It just wasn't going to happen...but, he did tell me a story about his own journey, which is none of my business to repeat, and encouraged me to pour all of my hurt and frustration into my music, that was what it was there for. All I know is that...I took a few deep breaths, and walked back inside...and I sang...I did what I always do...I sang out every minuscule of hopelessness and encouraged myself with an affirmation promising a brighter day.

I sang and told my story about working jobs I hated, and people talking about me behind my back saying that I would never amount to anything and that I was pipe dreaming and not talented, but called themselves my friend to my face. I sang my heart's lament, as I told about my chronic insomnia, and nightmares replaying the scene where  just a few months before I had been held at gunpoint for all the money that I had saved from singing stupid cover songs that I didn't even like, and slanging drinks and fake smiles, feigning interest in tawdry stories and flirtatious barbs for P.O.S tips from over-entitled customers and tip toeing on egg shells, and taking crap off of a racist, bigoted and fascist boss.

I finally had gathered all of the money that was needed to move me and my child out of an extended stay hotel, and into our own big beautiful house in the burbs. Where he had plenty of room to play, a backyard...his own room...a full kitchen and dining room table where I could prepare him all of the organic, pasture raised, chicken nuggets, roasted cauliflower, salad and coconut water that his little Tummy could hold, Where I could give him a bath, sing him lullabies, read him a story, and tuck him into his own little bed at night...Where we could walk right down the street, holding hands, admiring nature as we meandered to the park where he could play with other little kids like him. A place where we could finally breathe a little bit, and I could show my son what "normal" looked and felt like...

A couple of days before I was to move...I had thousands of dollars in cash for my first, last, deposit and utilities. I was planning to get a money order in the morning to meet the landlord and sign my lease and to get my keys. I asked a "friend" if my baby and I could stay at her house for a couple of days so I could skip the cost of the hotel, and have a little extra money so that I could buy my baby's new bed, some groceries, and a couple of toys when we moved it. She knew how much money I had on me, and only she knew...and I really don't feel like rehashing all of the details, because it hurts too much...but, the bottom line was that...We had been friends for 10 years...and she had someone hold my child hostage on one side of town (so at least he wouldn't be with me)  while I waited for her to get home in the parking lot of her apartment complex. She took her precious time getting there because she had arranged for someone else to hold a gun in my face, car jack me, and take all of my earnings that were going to move me and my baby into the next chapter of our lives the very next day,

When she showed up, she showed no concern...she actually seemed to show more contempt than anything. I had just looked down the barrel of a gun, and been stripped of every dime that I owned, and had been saving up for months...and she looked at me blankly...emotionless, and told me that she would let me into her house so that I could make my police report, and that someone would bring me my child the next day...but, she had a booty call on the other side of she had to go.

I laid on her couch that night...cold...dejected...hopeless...confused, and fighting thoughts of suicide. Why couldn't I get a break? What had I done to anybody to deserve this? The next day, her friend (who had kept my child the night before while I was busy working and getting car jacked at gunpoint) graciously FINALLY brought my child to me, after I threatened to call the police. (Which I had to go to the leasing office to do, since my "friend" wouldn't allow me to use her phone to call someone to come and pick me up)

An argument ensued...My "friend" wanted to know why I wasn't crying. Why did I act like I wasn't bothered by what had happened? Why did I always say "no worries" when there obviously were worries. Why I thought I was above everybody else...Why wouldn't I talk about how sad and depressed I was? She wouldn't let me use her phone so that I could start working on pulling my life back together...because she wanted to see me break...she wanted to see me weak...she and her friend talked about me in the other room...they made sure that they were loud enough for me to hear...they talked about how I was a pipe I would never accomplish my "dream"...I was a statistic...a bad mother because my child (who had been moved around almost continuously since his birth) wasn't yet potty trained...Forget that he was loved, happy, oblivious to all the stress that I was under, healthy, safe, smart, and fearless...He wasn't potty trained yet, so...I had failed as a parent. They cackled and laughed as my heart broke...and I sat on her sofa...with no way to reach anyone (my cell phone was stolen in the carjacking) and no way to get anywhere...I had to sit and listen to them goad each other on about my misfortune..and until I was willing to admit that I was weak, and that I was hurting, and beg for someone to help me...I would continue to be the butt of their joke, and the source of their heckling and mighty good time...They weren't taking me anywhere...

I forgave her for that. I knew that she had a terminal disease...and that she herself was hurting...I made room for that...and even maintained a "friendship" with her...which finally ended a year or so later because of yet another betrayal...but, it's just the fact that even AFTER the second betrayal...I still loved her, and had a place in my heart that if I ever saw her in distress...I would be there to help...regardless of what she had done to me.

I have story after story after this one...

-Child's father cheats on me while pregnant, and marries my friend and abandons me and my child for 5 years- but years later tells child that I don't love him, and tries to keep me from interacting with him, because I followed my dreams and he didn't (Told me that it was time for me to get a "real job" that he had to give up his dreams of being a singer, and so should I- this was AFTER I had Billboard charting and my name was on the Grammy Ballot)

-Another child's father cheats with a girl who lives 3 hours away, who has the same name as me- while our child is dying of cancer in the hospital.

-Doctor gets mad at me because of my faith in God, and my belief that He has the power and ability to heal my child (in combination with her efforts) she tells me fine..."Why don't you go ahead and take your child home to die, and we can see how much your God does for him there."

-Husband sleeps with 28 different women (that I know of) during our 11-month marriage (first discovered the cheating in month two), tells me that I'm fat and ugly, and beneath his standards. He cheats because I'm not a good wife (I guess grocery shopping, cooking every day, cleaning up behind him, helping him start a successful business, coming off the road for a year to do so, paying his child support, washing his clothes, sleeping with him whenever he wanted sex (which wasn't often because he was so busy giving it away to women he wasn't married to...) etc wasn't enough. He has women calling our home, and texts and talks to other women in my face, while we are laying in bed together.

He then lies and tells everyone that we are divorced because I didn't like his children...when in all actuality...I spent time with his children, picked them up, took them to the pool instead of letting them stay at home all summer, bought them school clothes, cooked for them (even cooked extra and took it to his ex wife's house so that she, being a full-time mother, in school, and working a full-time job didn't have to worry about cooking when she got home)...and even spent $800 on their dog who had been mauled by the next door neighbors dog- so that they could get a chance to say goodbye...

Can't forget the ex-girlfriend that he openly talked about how beautiful she was- who came to my shows, friended me on facebook, and who when I told her "happy birthday" (Like every other friend I have on facebook) subsequently went off on me via messenger, telling me that it sucks to be me, cuz I obviously wanted to be her, and that she could have my husband whenever she chose... and blocked me...but yet, still called, texted and talked to my husband everyday, despite my wishes.

-Or how about the man that I was dating, and the girl that I called a friend...texting each other in my face while we are in the same room...because they were secretly sleeping together...

There have been business betrayals...more money stolen than I'd like to admit. Lies spewed, conversations held behind my back, and so on and so forth...

I can go on...and on...but, I won't...I have forgiven people over and over again...Like Lauryn Hill... "Forgive them Father for, they know not what they do..." I tried to see other people's pain...and put myself in their shoes...overlook my own pain, and betrayal...and love them unconditionally, like I want someone to love me...

Yeah I know...that they knew what they were doing...I may have not known how naive I was...I didn't see the big "Fool for Use" sign on my head...I didn't know that I was the laughing stock of the town and being targeted for abuse because I was obtuse. I didn't know that people saw my "defect" and heard cha-ching...or shrug their shoulders and said.."meh..she's stupid, you know somethings not quite right with her...she'll never know" and took me for all that I had. But now I know...and I wish that it wasn't beneath me to wish that all of you burn in hell...with gasoline drawls on...

"It's been a long road
littered with tears 
folks say girl cut it out 
you've been pipe dreamin for years 

I've had some sleepless nights 
long hard days too 
work jobs I ain't wanna work 
Did some things I said I'd never ever do 

Tell You What I Know...
one day yeah, that's right...
my name up in lights...

Moved down to Mississippi 
Took a hold of my roots
Back up to Motown 
got me some of those factory worker blue-collar blues
yes I did 
over to New York City 
in the subways singin my song 
Y'all might think I'm only worth quarters now 
but I know it won't be long 

I can't walk away 
one day 
a change gone come 
please believe me when I say 
all y'all that's laughing at me 
one day 
you gone see what I see 

Tell you what I know 
he aint bring me this far to leave me here now
tell you what I know 
one day yeah thats right 
my name up in lights 
tell you what I know."

It's embarrassing to say that I have played the fool WAY more than a time or two...part of it was because of self-esteem issues stemming back to rape, sexual abuse, and bullying. But, I have become to really realize that most of it...(even being targeted for the sexual abuse and bullying) was because of the Asperger's...No...I don't feel that it's fair...but, I do agree with the ideology that life ain't fair...and you had better take them lemons that you were given...make some lemonade, brand the hell out of it, start you a corporation, make millions...and help someone else figure out how to make their own lemonade. Use those lemons as a platform to make a difference. And that is exactly what I aim to do with this big ass bag of tart lemons I've got.

By the way...I didn't end up getting evicted out of that house...I was able to move...onto a cruise ship, as a singer for the BB King Allstar band, traveling internationally, and able to take care of my children just fine. A few months later, I was topping the Billboard Blues Album chart and "Tell You What I Know" was Number one on the Billboard Hot Single Sales Chart...(Stayed on there for 25 weeks)...I became a BET Music Matters artist, made it onto the Tizube with my live showcase performance and music video. I went on to win awards, be honored with being placed on the cover of blues magazines, with reviews from blues critics that made me music played on the commercial radio all over the world...still does, and I'm headlining and supporting major artists on tour in the United States and overseas...I've only gone higher from that low point...and now...My career is just once again exploding all over the place- going to another is a happy ending here. 

However, as I conclude this post...I'm still mad...but, I'm resolved to keep processing...I've been through so much in life...this is just another stepping stone...The key word is THROUGH...I WILL make it through this...I WILL forgive these people, yet again...After all, holding unforgiveness in your heart for someone is like drinking poison and expecting them to die...that makes no sense...I ain't Jesus- I ain't dyin for nobody...but, I WILL continue my therapy and diligently work on living and THRIVING with Asperger's...I WILL continue to love me, and my life...I WILL enjoy the success that I have earned, and also the success that I have been gifted with...I WILL not become hard and calloused. I WILL NOT allow the sins of others to cause me to hurt other people...I WILL NOT allow toxic people to remain in my life...I WILL be the change that I want to see in the world...I will forgive...I will continue to love...I will be careful...but, I WILL NOT be afraid. I will emerge from this fiery trial no longer like Raw Sugar...but, like Gold. Tell You What I Know...

"And don't sin by letting anger control you. Don't let the sun go down while you are still angry."
-Ephesians 4:26


  1. So impressed with your talent and achievements! Despite the adversity and challenges, you have triumphed!
    Good for you!
    The depth of emotion in your music, coupled with your big, beautiful voice, is a truly moving combination.
    I feel very lucky to have experienced you and your band LIVE!
    Count me as a fan!
    Thank you for being so gracious, in person, at your merch table in Boise.


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