PTSD, what a fucking pain in the ass. I grew up in trauma; spent 25 years trying to unravel, undo, heal from the trauma…and now I have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. While the naming of the “disorder” is new the issues have been with me since forever. How can one grow up in a neighborhood surrounded by violence, neglect, abuse, drug use and come home to a house filled with violence, addiction, mental illness, neglect, sex abuse and not have some fucking DISORDER?


It would have been more beneficial to use my “disorders” in a profitable way…


But instead I chose to be a social worker…to try to help those who had no voice, no money, no power and often times no family. After 17 years reality has given me a dose of DIS-ORDERS… insurance companies are the voice; business owners have the money; capitalism has the power. And I too have no voice, no money, no power and often times no family (because they are also dealing with DISORDERS from trauma).


My windows are not covered with drapes that do not allow for sunshine. In fact, there are no curtains at all and the sun is beaming in. There are only birds chirping now and the neighborhood has not yet awakened to continue with its DISORDERS. So, I get to sit and listen, waiting…there must be a purpose for all these DIS-ORDERS…






Expiration Date Has Come

BG died last night. I got to work this morning and the note said, “BG expired 23:55”. I guess we all have an expiration date. I wish I knew his was last night…I would’ve said good bye. I adored Bernie. He was very sweet and gentle. He would often ask me where he was and what day it was. He would smile at me and say “God bless you”. It’s nice to get Grace for something as simple as telling someone where they are and what day it is.

Bernie looked as though at one time he was a thumb sucker. He had that thumb suckers’ protruding, rounded top teeth and gums. He also was a nail biter, down past the finger tip and around the cuticles. He often cried when he shared with me that he missed his father. It made me want to cry seeing him cry at 86 years of age because he missed his father. But I couldn’t cry because I had to hold his sadness and grief. I rubbed his arm or gave him a hug. He would remind me “God has blessed you Jackie”.

Now I cry…I miss Bernie and yet I am glad he is no longer sad, confused or lonely. I wonder if he is with his father who also expired.

humor amidst fear…

POP…POP, POP, POP!! The sounds of gunshots at 3am. Coinciding flashes of light then “Oh my God this must be happening right outside the house!!!” He runs to the door, opens it, goes outside. “Come inside” I say calmly. In my head I am saying “What the fuck are you doing? You wanna get killed?!!!” It’s his instinct…and mine is to follow him in case he needs help.

First day of school and a girl shoots her friend and then herself. A boy gets arrested for caring a loaded gun to school but he “didn’t know it was loaded”. REALLY??!!! What the fuck!

Perhaps we should all carry guns, loaded or not, have a showdown in the middle of the street when someone pisses us off. Start in the middle of the road, backs to each other, walk 50 paces out while loading up. Turn around at the same time, count to three and fucking let it rip…POP…POP,POP,POP!!

There are many streets, probably enough for every man, woman and child. If not single showdowns, then multiples on the same block. Eastern Parkway has six lanes. Hempstead Turnpike has four and so on. The NRA would support it. The gun and bullet manufacturers would support it. The politicians, backed by the NRA and corporate funding, would support it…until one of their kids got shot and killed.

Money and fear, that’s what rules the world. When I come back, I want a world ruled by love and compassion, acceptance and peace. For now, “honey don’t go outside without your Glock”!


my kind of mother

Menopause is scary. Either I am losing my mind or coming into myself. My mother said that once. She told me, when I was turning 40, that that is the time a woman begins to “come into herself”. When I turned 50, she told me that is when she looked in the mirror and realized she was getting old.

My mother is not the “sit down let’s have a deep chat and I’ll give you some direction and support” kind of mother. She is the kind of mother you have to listen to really carefully because something will come out of her mouth at a time you don’t expect it. And later you realize, DAMN that was a pearl of wisdom!

I wanted the kind of mother that would take me out to dinner, sit across from me, listen to my trials and tribulations and then spout out kernels of advice that would guide me along the bumpy road a little easier. I wanted the kind of mother that when I am crying, sitting next to her on her bed, she would hold me and tell me “everything is going to be okay baby” while rubbing my back and rocking me to and fro to ease the pain. I wanted the kind of mother that would bust somebody in their ass if they hurt me in anyway. The kind of mother that was feared and respected and exuded endless amounts of love and caring.

I got the kind of mother that I have to help guide on her bumpy road; making sure she does not get swallowed up. The kind of mother who is fragile and weak. I got the kind of mother who loves me without saying so; shows me so little; and needs so much. I got the kind of mother that wants to love me in a different way but can’t. I got the kind of mother whose woundedness was greater than her mothering skills. I got the kind of mother I was supposed to get to be who I am.



I don’t have the energy to cry another tear. My heart does not have the capacity to hold anymore sorrow. One client struggling to stay alive. Another client refuses meds that keep the voices away. People getting shot. Others taping bombs to their bodies to kill themselves and all the hundreds around them. Little children in the crossfire of insanity.

I want to focus on the sunshine. I want to feel the excitement of my granddaughter arriving soon for a visit. I want to get my hugs on with my daughter who lets me give because she can now receive. I want to snuggle with my beau and enjoy his company and our laughter; his sweet humor, his strong arms, his boundless energy, and overflowing heart, his deep eyes, his soulfulness; lying in the hammock on his chest, listening to his heart beat and enjoying the trees above; watching the squirrels jump from one branch to the other and sending them energetic vibes to not fall on top of us. I want to trust that I am in the right place. I want to believe that there is a universal force at work that has everything under control…I do not have to worry.

What do they do that do not have a hammock, a sweet love, a tree to look at up above? A grand daughter who calls at 6:52am to say, “Mema I can do my back hand spring now”? A daughter who uses all her energy to take her daughter to gymnastics and wherever she needs to go to support her in all her endeavors? We pray for them…we send them positive vibes because the universal force is much stronger than whatever darkness they are facing.

Yesterday there was a peace vigil at Grand Army Plaza, Brooklyn. No gunfire. No cops or Blacks or ANYONE getting shot. Cops standing next to mothers and teenagers and old folks all holding candles, passing the light from one to the other; the dais leading prayers from Buddhists, Hindis, Christians, Muslims, and Jews; politicians, while fumbling over their lack of awareness as to the depths of racial tensions and insensitivities toward world religions, staying in denial because reality can be just a bit painful, speak words of encouragement and unification. Let go of fear; practice Peace….



Sometimes you think you have bipolar disorder when you are in menopause. You wake up one day ready to fly. The next day your feet barely touch the floor and you want to jump out the window to your death. WTF?!

I think we should capitalize on the flying; bottle it up and sell it. There should be a pill called F L Y I N G. I would take one daily, maybe twice daily. I would much prefer to fly then jump. I would soar above the buildings looking down at the tops of trees, blending in with the clouds. Wait, maybe the clouds would be too high up. I would lose oxygen and fall to the ground. I think we are trying to avoid that. I better stay near the trees.

I could fly over to Arizona and see my daughter without her knowing. I could fly over to Nyelle’s school and give her a ride to the playground. Take her with me over to Orlando and then play with Vivvian. I would bring her back in time before her mother got home from work. It would be our little secret..”Mema picked me up from school today and flew me on her back to Orlando to go play with Vivvian”. Even if she told, no one would believe her. Because only she and Vivvian know that their mema can fly.

I need to find a pool or ocean to jump in; I am SWEATING MY ASS OFF!! Hot flashes make you feel like the oven is on 525 degrees and the windows and doors are all shut. Kiss, kiss Nyelle…off I go.

a day in the life of a social worker

I feel the 28 year old young man’s desperation for love as he runs from woman to woman. I feel the schizophrenic’s grasping for reality through Haldol colored eyes. I feel the craving of the little girl who wants her mommy more than mommy wants to smoke crack.

The little boy knows all the names of the medications and the dosages he takes to help him with Tourette’s, ADHD, hallucinations and delusions. He plays video games to escape the overpowering domination of his grandmother who keeps the secret that his sister his really his mother.

Do I have the capacity to hold this? All the pain and sadness of so many?

My friend lost her four year old son to a fucked up accident and I could not speak. I held her closely allowing her to melt in my arms in hopes of taking away some of the pain; a pain that must be beyond bearable at times. I admire that she is even walking around.

I move through life wondering what my purpose is, struggling to accept that where I am is exactly where I am supposed to be. My heart feels so heavy at times. I cry with such exhaustion, with a fatigue that hurts my toe nails.

I get on the treadmill and run like my life depends on it; racing to escape the woundedness behind me trying to catch up. I switch to the stationary bike that goes nowhere no matter how hard I petal. I sweat. I run. I sweat. I ride. Inside I scream because I am too fucking exhausted to cry; to cry out in rage for all the hurt and wounded ones who cannot cry for themselves. I suppose they are giving me the gift of crying for all those years I could not cry for my self…

In Utero

When you are hurt you become guarded; you create a wall that is so solid it is virtually indestructible and impenetrable. Daughter number one and then daughter number two created a very small crack in that wall.
When grandbaby number one was conceived I was in my fear protected by anger. Seven months in utero I bonded with the little creature developing inside my daughter. Watching her grow on the sonogram screen was magical. I did not care to watch my own two growing in me. I was not able to care.
Helping my daughter deliver my granddaughter ripped open the crack in my wall like a tsunami. I was flooded with love beyond anything I had ever known. The grey scrawny bird look alike was such a beautiful sight. I love my daughter for the courage it took her to bring forth this angel that would love her like she loves me. We three, bonded in that room, were an attachment so palpable the nurses were beaming.
Via a glass window I witnessed daughter number two having granddaughter number two. The tears still flowed though I could not assist her with her delivery. She could barely acknowledge what was going on for all the drugs they gave her to cut her open. Granddaughter’s daddy held the camera steady. He watched his baby be born with uncanny commitment and held my daughter like I could not.
I don’t know that I have fully embraced that I have done the time for the crime. I don’t know how much time I think the crime deserves. I suppose it is not merely about doing time for the crime. They are my anchors. They have been what kept me going when I thought death was the only alternative to the life I was living. They are what gave me purpose and direction when nothing and no one else could or would. They are my family…in the true sense of the word. The family I was born into is so scattered never to be reconnected without some sort of miracle. I no longer hold out for that miracle nor try to create one. I have come to acceptance and some peace about that. Daddy is dead. Mommy is aging and declining with an illness that took her from me so long ago I don’t even remember when I had her. The only connection I had with a sibling is blocked again. So my daughters are my family and have been for 38 years.
My wall will never be the same; it is forever cracked open. Although it is time to let my angels fly on their own there is nowhere they can go that I will not be there to catch them. And now I too must fly to see how far I can go…

I spent a night in jail once…

I was drunk off my ass driving my boss’ van home with some strange guy riding in the passenger seat. I got pulled over and tried to talk my way out if it. I couldn’t walk a straight line to save my life…or anyone else’s; good thing I got taken off the road. The officer said I was driving very slow that’s why he pulled me over. I was driving slowly so that if I hit anyone or anything the damage would be minimal. Or maybe I was driving slowly because I couldn’t see the road.
The dude in the passenger seat got let go, of course. I was cuffed and put in the back seat of the squad car. When I came to I was hand cuffed to a desk talking to a plains clothes cop about how my Irish family wanted me to be a cop and I cannot have a rap sheet. My head wanted my mouth to shut up but it wouldn’t.
I came to next time in a cell with a toilet bowl by my head and some rough looking ladies lying in the bunk across from me. Cuffed together we went before the judge. Sitting on a bench to the left of the judge, finally unshackled, I thought “what the fuck am I doing here?” I looked around me in a haze of vagueness. Then I saw my parents. OMG!!! I pieced it together and felt a wave of shame as I waited for my name to be called. A mother of two in my late 20s and I am going to jail. I am going to be locked up. My kids are going to get taken away and my parents still have to deal with my craziness.
My name gets called, mom and dad who were now separated but never got divorced, stood on either side of me while I faced the judge. The D.A. mumbled something that sounded like all the adults on the Peanuts show, “wa, wa, wa, wa, wa”. Next thing I know my parents are walking me out to a car and I am home bound.
Next night…I do it all again!!