From Pain to Passion

How Bald Beautified Too Was Born

Growing up with instability as a first memory is a dangerous thing. Instability is your “normal.” When a different way of living is discovered, the former life is found to be rooted in insecurities and fears that overtake the neutral foundation we are all provided at birth. It causes pain, doubt, disappointment and dangerous actions because it is rooted in a constant search an answer for why?

For me, only when the why’s stopped and the how’s began could that unstable life find the answers it desperately desired. How to be better than I was given, how to be wiser than the choices I’ve made from uncertainty, how to stand up when I want to do what’s easy and familiar and cower. How do I clear the clutter from the energy connection to God. How to know things can seem “ bad”, but I’m better and how to remain me when the world wants me to be its puppet. 

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This is me as a 3 year old. Although I don’t remember the moment this picture was taken, I do remember the instability of my life. The domestic violence that occurred during what seemed to be simultaneous with Hee – Haw episodes, the multiple places we slept, the men who were in and out of our lives and we in and out of theirs. This was my normal abnormal life.

A short time after this picture, my mother was murdered. I don’t have recollection of it, but my brother has the distinct memory of him and I cleaning up the blood that remained the last connection we had to her.

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Although I do not have the physical memory, I recently discovered why I have such an aversion to bad odors, especially blood. It’s the same aversion my brother has and is linked to the children we were, motherless, clueless and frightened; forced to get on our knees and wipe away the stinch of the death of the woman who gave us life. The last organic connection to the woman we loved…

There were three children left in this world. Three children with three different fathers and three thousand questions about who is supposed to take care of them now?

After Mom’s funeral, we were transported to SC and left in the care of “family.” Family I did not know. Family that had children of their own. Family that despite the taxing burden of more mouths to feed, kept me and my siblings together.

I do not recall having anyone counsel or mentor us after the trauma of our mother’s death and being uprooted from the only life we knew.  At the age of 5, I did not grasp the concept of my mother never returning and would pretend if I wished hard enough and was good enough she would come back to get us. 

I pretended she was away trying to get her life on track so she could come back for us and give us everything we needed.  I pretended she was behind bushes and trees watching me walk home from school and was too afraid to say anything to me because she could not  afford to take us back home.

I pretended until I realized that was all it was.  Pretend. Then, I became angry because I felt she didn’t want us and if she didn’t no one else did either. 

My childhood was not pleasant because I felt as if no one understood me or even cared to.  I felt like a burden and a pawn.  I did not like living and on multiple occasions took an overdose of pills so I could end the pain and just be with my Mom.

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I remember charcoal and stomach pumps and blame.  I remember going to the mandated psychologist appointments, alone. Sitting there looking at this man, saying nothing and feeling everything. I remember refusing to speak at home because there was no point in doing so.  So I sat, I read and longed to die.

38 years later, I am rejoicing in life, in the pain and confusion I endured, in the unmentionable circumstances I survived and the power I gained during all those suck ass moments of my life.

Here I AM today, a living witness to the power within.  Power to transition from suicide attempts to glorifying life in what can  feel like even the worst moments all because I now know; circumstances are fleeting. I’m not. 

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The first time I read Iyanla Vanzet’s Peace from Broken Pieces, I knew I was not alone. She shared her story. A story that changed my life and INspired me to share mine.

I remember tightly gripping my red pen underlining line after line, page after page of words that resonated within my soul.  I found answers to questions I carried with me for decades.  How can a child find peace even after they leave the situations and circumstances linked to their pain?

How do I measure my value against a world that never gave me a measuring cup into which I could pour my thoughts and feelings about who I was? How could a girl grow into a woman who could control the shadows of doubt and fear that fused themselves to her soul? How could she become a mother raising a child she gave birth to and the emotional and mental child she still was?

Work!! Work that required when the pain was remembered, to also remember the peace that was somewhere within it. Work to look back and say, that was my life and today is my choice to live a different one. Work to release the guilt for what I felt was my fault for the hurt I received and forgiveness for those that inflicted it.

Work to realize the divinity that I AM even in the midst of the inhumanity of certain life experiences. Work to know, souls choose their assignments and whatever mine was, it was one I was well equipped to complete.

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I never could imagine, I would be strong enough to mentor ANYONE.  I never thought I would choose to be vulnerable to the thoughts and actions of others ever again and then Bald Beautified Too was born.  Mentoring girls ages 5 to 18 years of age.  Guiding them along their life journey.  Supported by their voice and the confidence to use it.  Letting them realize they do not need permission to be present and to be great!!

I have coined the term INpowerment. IN because that is where all power lies dormant. Utilizing a positive mindset, accepting responsibility for choices made, choosing to be accountable for those choices and remaining resilient in moments of adversity are the principles I found to be common factors in every situation I experienced  that significantly improved my personal well being and outlook on life.

Helping members of the Bald Beautified Too mentor program define their life goals and using the principles of INpowerment to reach and maintain them, is the foundation of this program.

By exposing them to opportunities to experience compassion and find the peace and joy in mentoring and being of support and service to others, members are able gain knowledge of the connection we have to one another. Knowledge solidified in knowing and being instead of just seeing and hearing about it.

The purpose of Bald Beautified Too pulls at my past emotions, but what pushes back is stronger. I desire for girls to build their lives from positivity not pain.  To remind them it is important to be in a place to receive, but to also give.

Bald Beautified Too is beauty that radiates from a soul vibrating with awareness of its power and conscious living that exhibits love of all, in all and through all. This is beauty that is true and part of everyone’s story. It is entwined within everyone’s life. It’s not good or bad as much as it is necessary.

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For our daughter’s and youth to become comfortable with who they are and be able to tap into their power,  it is necessary to speak and not imply their strength.

It is necessary to spend time listening and guiding instead of handing them ” the best life we feel we can give them” and then expecting them figure out what that feels like, looks like or means.

Bald Beautified Too is the wind on the embers of every girl’s soul. 

The Bald Beautified Mentor Program does not give girls their purpose or  define their value. We awaken it within them, fan the flames, control the burn and marvel at its beauty.

Until next time,

“Do all things in Love”

-Denise

Be Inspired. Be Positive. Be Bald Beautified Too.

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