Event: What Binds Us Together Brunch II In New York City

The What Binds Us Together Brunch was launched as an intimate get together for women bloggers, born in August 2014 to celebrate the 5th blogaversary of this here space. I didn’t expect it to grow in the way that it did and WBUT became a blog series, but more so, a safe space for women to share never-before-told stories.

11 journeys later  and a separate website on the way, I’m turning it up this year, doubling the number of guests and opening the What Binds Us Together brunch to anyone looking to connect through the power of storytelling.

It’s. Going. Down. Saturday 08.15.15. RSVP at WhatBindsUsTogether.eventbrite.com. Seats are limited! ❤️

Sign Language – Roconia’s Story

I can’t spell my life without his fingers in my story. For years this thought left me trembling, nails embedded in my palms. I was no more than the residual indignity of him beckoning to me, and me conceding like a child.

I was a child. 

The abuse didn’t leave any blaring abrasion such as a bruise or a torn hymen. Instead it left hushed stains. Stains so silent you’d think they were being finger spelled.


Sentiments my three-year-old mind could not comprehend. Sentiments my three-year-old heart could surely feel. Shame upon my shoulders. Guilt soiling my palms. Weighted worthlessness drenching deeper than bone. And a befuddled hatred, reserved only for myself.

During our sessions I never spoke a word. The guilt in me wonders if I ever smiled for him, if I ever relayed any signal that I was enjoying his intrusion. Did I ever once give him a convicting answer to his signature phrase: “Like that? Feel good?” The bitterness in me knows that it doesn’t matter.

She Shows Me What Strength and Faith Look Like – Jacqueline’s Story

There we are at our local coffee spot. The library closed at 7:00 and she needs more time to work on a project. We can’t just be here and not purchase anything. Two days away from payday means that I have -$5.00 in my bank account. Using my ATM card isn’t an option. I quickly rustle up some cash that amounts to $3 and some change, as I contemplate how I will look dropping all these coins on the counter. She watches me fidget with a dollar and a few quarters, nickels and dimes. “Mom, don’t worry about it, I got it. We’ll both get a coffee. I have my debit card.” She heads to the cashier with her independent self to buy us coffee. A white iced coffee for her Momma and a warm white chocolate for herself.That was yesterday. I found myself at the coffee shop with the love of my life – my daughter. Our internet has been disconnected again. Only this time, it’s been weeks, not days.
In truth, it’s been over a month now…

I didn’t expect such a delay, but too little planning and too much debt finally caught up to me. Days turned into weeks and here we are, with Christmas only a few weeks away.

My kid is such a trooper though. She knows it’s been rough and she just rolls with the punches. She’s in the midst of finals, the worst time for her not to have access to internet, but she’s learned to adapt like she always has. It’s been a lot of late nights and weekends at the library. Grabbing every second of time she can to take advantage of their free WiFi. Never once complaining – just sighing a few times here and there and trying to find subtle ways of asking her already stressed out mother, “do you have an idea when the WiFi might be back on?” All the while, making it sound like it’s the cable company at fault and they somehow need to rectify the problem. In the same breath, she’ll tell me it’s better this way because it forces her to focus and get on a schedule.

Standing at that counter, I felt a sense of shame come over me like a blanket.

How did I let it get to this? How did God? How did life? FUCK. We’re standing there and the cashier is taking too long to take our order. She’s joking with us, not knowing that I’m cringing inside and wishing I could disappear into myself all at the same time.

It’s crazy how time can stand still and in a matter of milliseconds, you can experience so many things. The cafe was full of people, but in that moment, it just felt quiet, as my shame silenced everything around me, my daughter noticing how uncomfortable I am, and the cashier smiling and talking.

It feels like I’m watching an accident – an inner tragedy, my dignity dying, and nothing can be done to remove me from the situation. I just have to go through it.
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