A New Perspective A New Perspective

I was born and reared in Mississippi. The first 13 years of my life was a horror story. Here is how my life went: My alcoholic father would beat my mother almost weekly and he would put us outside, so we slept under the porch in the winter. When he died in 1968 I had no feelings for him at all. My mother passed in 1970 when her stove exploded on her. She lived a month and passed away. I watched her leave me, and there was nothing I could do to help her.

I was raped at 13 and shunned because of it. I married another person at age 13 because I thought he was going to take care of us: me, my child, and my mother. With my last beating, I was left for dead. He went over to his niece's home and told her to go and see if her aunt was still alive. I woke up in the hospital and stayed for almost 2 nights. The second night is when the social worker told me about the battered women home. I made a decision to go there.

I lived there several weeks and lost my children for 10 yrs after this due to the fact my husband/children's father was a 33rd degree Masonic and had lots of leverage in the city we lived in. He had me banned from my kids for over 10 yrs. After that it seemed like every man I got with thought I was a punching bag.

An old lady I met some years later told me, "If your self esteem was not so low you would not allow yourself to continue to be with the same old things, you need to clean your act up, change your friends, and your whole life-style." At that time I did not know what she meant nor how to do that.

Someone took the patience to tell me what I needed to do. I needed a completely new life, like changing my thought process and all the people that I was associating with. This way I could start meeting healthy people. She told me if someone could not tell me where I could find a job then they were not for me to associate with. Most women that were on welfare love to talk about the kids and the man. These type of people were not who I needed to be around. I needed to be around someone that could help me get on my feet without having to be on the system. So this is what I've done. It's changed my life. To this day, I still feel that same way. If I cannot be around someone that is positive and can tell me how to better myself and talk about positive things then I have no time for them.

Artist's Note: I have had the pleasure of getting to know this person as a beautiful, strong woman and also as an artist. Meeting her, you would never know what she had been through because she is such a positive and proactive person. Her beautiful handmade jewelry pieces are created based on the emotions of the day and have played a big part in healing from the past. She is a treasure with a big lesson in perspective.