DREAMS AND MASKS
July 14th, 2016
I turned 37
and was thinking about the dream life that my working low middle class Haitian parents wished on my behalf. The one…doctor or lawyer or respectable corporate job, the amazing marriage with at least two cute kids; and bonus point for a beautiful owned house.
And since most items on that list were left unchecked, I was sitting that day with a sense of shame and feeling not good enough. I’ve also spent most of my life in the endless cycle of losing and gaining weight – trying to live up to the goal of pleasing the world with the perfect body.
But, I could never keep up. Of course, on the outside nobody could see it. People usually referred to me as confident and strong.
The ugly truth is I grew up wearing different masks.
The 80’s – Childhood
My mom was a housewife and my dad was a mechanic.
He brought the money in. I lived with my brother and two half sisters in a house and neighborhood that I hated. It was one of those poor and busy areas populated with streets hawkers of all kinds. I felt trapped in between, the spontaneous fighting, people swearing and the constant noise. Hence, my love for quietness and silence.
Attending one of the best catholic schools in the country didn’t change my sense of I don’t belong.
The regular brainwash from the sisters to make us believe we were different from (that’s how I felt) and somewhat “superior” to the kids whose parents could not afford to send them to a “private catholic school” , only reinforced my sentiment of shame. After all I was one of those kids – I only got lucky that my dad was able to pour every dime he earned on our education.
The 90’s – Teenage Years
My experience of the world was mainly through TV and books.
When I first started to watch the Oprah Winfrey Show, I knew I wanted to be who she was being. Not a talk show host or famous person… A Healer
Back then, I didn’t have a word for it. But what I sensed is that in her presence, people felt heard, seen and liberated.
Deep inside, I knew this is who I was : A healer, An Alchemist.
In the 90’s there was an appropriation of the American culture by the Haitian youth. We all wanted to be and act as Americans. It was easy for me to talk about life in North America – mostly the USA – so that I could ” fit in” . Most of my friends were either born in the states or traveled regularly.
I did everything I could to preserve that false illusion of I “look like” you.
Because, I never fully claimed who I was and where I came from, I could not stop pretending
Heels & Gifts
The lie grew stronger when I entered the Job market. High heels, professional look, fake smile navigating the regular political madness of the corporate world.
In 2014, I met a successful man. Right off the bat, I knew he was not the right person for me. Although, that nagging feeling in my heart wouldn’t leave, I tried to rationalize why I had to make it work. I was 35. Most of my friends were married and I felt pressured to check that box. I stayed and as weeks turned into months, things got worse.
The guy was an abusive narcissistic.
It was killing me but it gave me a sense of “I have my sh*t together, until one day, he hit me in the face.
And the penny dropped.
Obedience & People-Pleasing
I wanted to be loved
After years of wrong relationships, twisting my personality to appear perfect and be loved, I realized that I was and am always enough. SOVEREIGN & WORTHY regardless of who I was being for other people.
as a result of this experience
I stopped pouring so much into others at the expense of my emotional and physical well-being.
And started to slowly give myself space and time to love and care for myself as much as I was loving and caring for others.
Taking the stage
After 17- Years
working in the banking industry, I have finally put down my corporate cloak. Because part of caring for myself, was acknowledging my gifts and desire to serve the world in a different role.
The world I grew up in, the world I created to escape and my lived experiences have led me to the woman I am today. And at each stage, I am at a new becoming.
Over the last 6 years, the practice that have helped me redefine my self worth and live a life that nourishes me deeply is Living Unrestrained. And since then, it has witnessed me go from being a woman restrained in her body, relationships and career to being a woman who had transformed her relationship with her body, attracted a healthy and loving marriage.
This work is a celebration of my sovereignty. It’s the legacy I’m building and leaving for my daughter and the women that are coming after me. It’s a promise to stand beside you and support you in becoming and Living Unrestrained !