A powerful night to remember

sweet-peach-ad_finalI’ve been working on this special event since the beginning of the year, and I can’t believe it’s only a few weeks away.

Doing the work of planning such a special night has been very cathartic for me. It’s more proof of what happens when we allow our stories to be a beacon of healing and understanding for others. That is what I try to do here at Finally Felix, and it’s what is being done everyday through the work of Rising Phoenix Abuse Recovery Coaching.

If you’ll be in or near Atlanta on October 15th, please join us for The 2016 Sweet Peach Soirée. It promises to be an unforgettable night of healing and inspiration for women who understand the power in sharing our stories.

Looking forward to seeing you there.

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It’s going down on October 15th. Save the Date!

Sweet Peach STD_AUG-CanvaTwo years ago, well into my own journey of self discovery,  I met a dynamic young woman named Benir Pierre. As a survivor of childhood sexual and physical abuse, Benir spent more than a decade battling the effects of that abuse, which included depression, self-injury, promiscuity, and multiple suicide attempts. The healing process was arduous and lonely. She hid her pain behind a façade of good grades, impressive community work, and a love of God … while inside she was slowly dying.

In her early twenties, Benir realized that she didn’t have to hold on to what happened to her, and began to put in the real work to find lasting healing. Last year, she launched Rising Phoenix Abuse Recovery Coaching to empower other women to do the same.

Inspired by Benir’s strength and resilience, I have joined her efforts to raise awareness about trauma-recovery coaching for women in our community. October 15, 2016, we will hold the Sweet Peach Soirée: An Empowering Celebration of Women’s Sexual Wellness, in Atlanta, Ga. The purpose of this inaugural event is to foster dialogue that promotes healing from the trauma of sexual abuse; assault; and intimate partner violence; and addresses the disproportionate impact of HIV in the black community.

The Soirée will feature a panel of well-respected sexual trauma and relationship specialists who will help us explore the issues. There will also be poetry and live painting from local Atlanta artists, cocktails and hors d’oeuvres, special giveaways, and a few other surprises. More than 100 women in our community will take part in this empowering night of healing, sisterhood, and self-expression. It’s absolutely not to be missed!

So now you’re probably wondering what you can do to be a part of this pure awesomeness. Well, you have a few options:

  • You can help offset costs of the event on our Go Fund Me page
  • You like us on Facebook and spread the word about Rising Phoenix
  • You can visit the Rising Phoenix web site and sign up for our mailing list, so you don’t miss anything good – like when tickets for the Sweet Peach Soirée go on sale.

And if you’ll be in Atlanta on October 15th, please plan on joining us for this amazing celebration. Hope to see you there.

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Take off

Easter Lily Close-UpI have spread my gay-ass wings as far as I can in secret.

I’ve lived one life in the open and another behind a dark curtain for years. That does not come without consequences.

In the next few weeks, I will talk to my children; make a plan to move out of my family home; and work as hard as I can to maintain some semblance of normalcy for my kids. They are caught in this now because I didn’t have the courage to stand up for myself sooner; I won’t wallow in that though. The days of guilting myself into inaction are over.

In my heart, I know they will understand one day.  And I hope they will be proud. For now, I just want them to not hate me.

In the end, it’s all just the blink of an eye anyway.

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Standing in real truth

FB_IMG_1465998514914…this is a simple, clean way of looking at it. I’m definitely more me now than I ever was when I was struggling to fit into a space that wasn’t mine.

And now, finally able to reach out from the darkness of my tunnel and feel sunlight on my fingertips, I’m savoring every inch of these last few steps. Soon my forearms will taste the warmth. Shoulders and neck. Face peeking out, eyes blinking from the brightness. Warmth seeping into my chest and caressing my legs. Finally arms outspread. Breathing air into free and happy lungs.

I’m SO ready for this.

I started this journey five years ago. Five years ago, almost to the day, I told my husband I was questioning my sexuality. The next year, I kissed a woman for the first time. She helped me realize that my yearnings were not simply a phase or a fantasy, but a deep and meaningful part of who I was.

I don’t love women because I’m sexually adventurous or searching for something I can’t find in a man (all reasons I’ve heard before for explaining my gay ass, btw). I love women because there is something in the spirit of a woman that connects with me in a profound and meaningful way that transcends friendship or camaraderie. That depth of emotion is not something I’ve ever been able to feel with a man; and for a long time I didn’t believe that it actually existed. It extends through my body, mind and soul and sparks passionate fire into everything I do. I truly feel present and alive and at peace for the first time in my life.

It’s LOVE, simple and clean. I can’t explain it any better than, that.

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2016 Sweet Peach Soiree

Stay tuned. Juicy, juicy details to come….

sweet-peach-teaser_-aug

 

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magic

Finally Felix  Blooms 8Sometimes her magic comes to me in slips of stark vision. When I can see her face so vividly before me. Or taste the nectar of her lips on mine, even though she is far away.

At first I am alone. Then her essence materializes into my space like a precious mirage. And suddenly, I can smell her perfume, feel the softness of her skin against my fingertips, and when I inhale, it’s her air that fills my lungs.

She is so much me, that I clutch my chest and feel the beat that is both of our hearts working as one.

When I am low and near my breaking point, her magic slips beneath me, without question or judgement. It raises me to my feet. And cleanses me with words of support, enriched with honest belief in my strength. Belief that I may not even have for myself. She takes my face in her hands and lets me know that I am a lioness. Even when I’m feeling like a mouse. And somehow I begin to understand that yeah…I am a lioness.

I AM a lioness, dammit!

Yes, I have my own strength, my own deep reserves of faith and confidence. But having someone who amplifies that in me is nothing short of sacred magic.

Feeling blessed and beloved.

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the hump

Finally Felix Blossom 6I’m a 70s/ 80’s kid from a pretty large extended family. Growing up I had cousins as far as the eye could see. And somehow our parents had planned their child bearing perfectly, so I had about 7 cousins who all fell in my age range. On family outings, a group of us would cram into the back of someone’s car for a trip to wherever. Not a seat belt, car seat or other auto-safety gadget in sight. And the simple act of getting all of us settled in the car was pandemonium…

There were kids siting on other kids’ laps. Kids jockeying for window seats. One smart-aleck kid crying because an adult from the front reached back and a popped him in his smart-aleck mouth. One poor kid stuck up front with the adults (because cars had bench seats in front back then). And the inevitable fight over who was going  to sit on the hump. It was usually the smallest and youngest child in the back seat … and for a while, that was me.

I remember thinking that as much as everyone wanted to avoid the hump, it really wasn’t that bad. Yes, it was mildly uncomfortable. It was hard and awkwardly shaped, but it wasn’t horrible. With a bit of regular shifting, to keep my butt from falling asleep,  I could sit on the hump with no issues for a quite a stretch.

Looking back, I realize that I often volunteered to sit on the hump to  cut back on some of the commotion. A little bit of personal discomfort for the sake of peace. To me, it was worth it.

I brought that same mentality into my adult life, as well. Except now, the kind-of-uncomfortable but not-so-horrible hump I’ve been sitting on has been my marriage. It took me a long time to understand that. And as simple as it seems, the hardest part of being a volunteer hump sitter is recognizing the most obvious thing in the world…

…You can get up whenever you want.

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Felix in a 3D — Randomness #5

Finally Felix Bloom 3I created this blog as a very private and very personal way to get my racing thoughts out of my brain and into a space where they could exist unhindered. Over the years, I have come here to wallow in heartache, revel in love, exult in my quiet victories, and splatter the screen with all the emotion I could not express in my own 3D life.

The life I lived on these pages… the woman I was here…this Felix…was vocal throughout her journey. She wept, screamed, laughed, and poured out the contents of her heart in way I could not do. I watched her life play out on screen and I so admired her. I envied her. And I could not wait for the day when Felix could be a living, breathing part of my daily life. The face that I presented to the world — smiling, calm, always willing to bend for the comfort of others — was a mask.

How long can that last?  It’s not right. And it’s damn sure not healthy. Holding everything in one minute — the epitome of confidence — then, when no one is looking, turning to the keyboard, heart racing, mind a cyclone of emotion, fingers frantically trying to type the deluge of words. Quickly!  Before someone comes and spots the tear on my cheek, or notices the look in my eyes, so unlike what they are used to seeing on the ever-smiling  mask. Or before my poor mind gets so frustrated at this schizophrenic attempt to live in snatches of time that it just says “Eff this noise!”, pulls out a plunger, and jams Felix back into that box that she came bursting out of  years ago. But I know the outcome of that: DarknessHopelessness, Death. So I keep typing.

Someone once told me that Felix is the personification of all the bad I had done in my life. That she is the liar and cheater I used to be (and by that thinking, still am) manifested into this woman-loving, freedom-needing, freely-speaking monster. For about a split second, I believed that.

Then, Felix’s strength started seeping into my 3D life. Allowing me to say things that I dared not say years ago: I am entitled to happiness. I deserve love AND respectI will not suffer under a wall of guilt for the rest of my lifeI am capable of standing on my own.

If that’s not growth. If that’s not positive. If that’s not real and deep and true, I don’t know what is.

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Baby dyke-ing on a Thursday night – Randomness #4

Felix flower3 Is it just me, or are women really, really beautiful?

I’ve pondered this question many times, but I don’t think most people grasp the depth of it.

Women are fucking B-E-A-U-T-I-F-U-L!

All softness and curves and smooth skin and juicy sweetness. I would absolutely dive into and never come out if I could.

If everyone simply took a moment to pay attention, they would realize that there is nothing on this earth as beautiful as women.  And yes … love is deep and blind, and women are humans with emotions and feelings and causes that they believe in and stuff … but dammit, this post it NOT about all that.

Hell, I’m a woman; I know that there is more to us than what’s on the outside. I realize that women were not put on this earth for the selfish  sexual and aesthetic pleasure of others. Yes. Of course I get it. I’m not a cave-lesbian, after all.

But right now … right this moment … I just want to make my way home to the most beautiful pair of breasts in the world, and fall asleep between them.

And that is exactly what I’m going to do.

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coming out as lesbian later in life – lightening the load

In bloom_finally felixPart of coming to terms with my sexuality at this stage of my life has been the need to tell certain people what is going on with me. Namely, coming out to the people whose lives will be deeply impacted by this change.

I can’t help but wonder if I had reached this point in my 20s, before I was married and had children, if I would have felt the need to tell people. Would I have stressed and stumbled over my how, why, and who to justify my life and my love for someone else’s understanding?

I like to think I would have just lived my life and damn what anyone else thought about it. But as it stands now, there are people who need to know.

Of course my husband was the first person I told. Uttering the words “I’m pretty sure I’m gay,” to the man with whom I had spent my entire adult life was the hardest thing I ever had to do. Admitting to him that I had been unfaithful with a woman was like cutting off a piece of myself. Explaining that my attraction to women is not a reflection on his manhood, nor is it something I can simply turn off, is an ongoing conversation. It may never be resolved.

I have come to understand that I can only be accountable for myself in this. I can take full responsibility for my role in the demise of our marriage. I can do everything in my power to make this transition as smooth and painless as possible for my children. I cannot force my husband to accept or understand my need to live fully in my truth.

I realize he will hold me in contempt for a very long time. I accept that, though I hope he will not allow it to eat away at his own chance for happiness in the future.

The conversation with my closest friends has ranged from enthusiastically accepting to cool and indifferent to fascinated and very curious. Wherever they fall on that spectrum, I know that I still have their unconditional love and support. I’m very blessed in that respect.

I have drifted away from one acquaintance in this process. I revealed my news to her out of some misguided desire to share my innermost secrets. Her response was to bombard me with scripture then lay out all the reasons that I should go deeply into the closet and wait for the perfect man to come along and show me the error of my ways.

No regard of my need for love in a form that is right for me.

No consideration for my sanity or emotional well-being.

We have drifted apart and I have not reached out to her in quite some time. I wonder if she understands why?

Moving forward, I will be more discerning of who I wave my rainbow flag for. I plan to travel very lightly on the road ahead and am only packing love and acceptance. Anything else is getting tossed.

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