Saturday, March 30, 2013


I am understanding my response to stress with help from some online sites on the topic.  I had all the symptoms of stress over the course of my adulthood:  high blood pressure, nervous habits, impatience, angry outbursts, lashing out, anxiety, fear, worry, withdrawal, coping with alcohol.  I feared people didn't like or trust me in Alameda.  I feared I had made a big mistake moving here.  I wondered how to curb the hostility coming from others, including people living around my home.  All this time it was just me reacting to stress by attracting inappropriate people and situations, and seeking morale support from the wrong people.

I had taken too much on, stemming back to being a five year old orphan who thought she was in charge.  An old friend in L.A. used to say, "You need to relax."  He could see the tension even when I danced at parties.  I remember a female friend in Alameda saying, "You are under stress."  I remember tarot readers warning me against stress and its triggers.  I remember drinking in public, lashing out at people and then crying myself to sleep in private.  I remember people in authority being so concerned about my mental health that I nearly (1) wound up in a psych ward and (2) could have lost Belle. 

The stress of losing my parents violently, sacrificing my own desires to be a rock for my grandmothers, including elder care and inherited rental property at a time when I could have either gone to grad school or bummed across Europe, being isolated from extended family and friends, losing a lover to suicide and then a big move just got me.  I fell apart completely in Alameda.  I blacked out my entire pregnancy and had a break down at delivery.  That was me at my lowest point, and for that I was judged and practically condemned.  I looked and sounded like some mentally ill woman out of touch with reality when I had simply suffered through years of trauma and stress.

There is more to share later when Belle is asleep. 

Friday, March 29, 2013


I heard on a podcast, "When you settle for less, you get less than what you settled for."  I am forever tied to someone I met at a dive bar. 

I was so spent from years of taking care of everyone else, and internalizing everyone else's junk, that I came off like a crazy person giving birth alone.

I am sure now that I spent a couple years in a break down, with years of personal loss finally weighing so heavy on me that I drank heavily and acted out.  I just wasn't myself.

Belle is me putting myself back together again, balanced, calm, focused and using alternate coping mechanisms than whatever numbed me dumb before.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Red dot.

My first period post partum coincides with Belle cutting her first tooth and learning to walk.  She is needy and clingy from a recent round of immunizations, making it very difficult for me to adjust to this period.

Sunday, March 24, 2013


Tonight I made a stew from pork sausage, carrots, fennel stalks, onion and chick peas.  I served this stew over white rice.  Belle delighted in grabbing the fork and feeding me, taking very little for herself.  When I sat her down with her own bowl, Belle politely turned it over and asked for milk.  Belle fell asleep in my arms about as soon as she climbed into them, exhausted from a full day's play.

I keep dreaming about presents.  This morning I dreamed a family in our parish had a gift for me.  I woke up before I could receive it.  The previous morning I dreamed I drew gift boxes on construction paper with Crayola, re-creating colours and textures found on fine wrapping paper.  What means this?

Friday, March 22, 2013

15 mos check

Belle had a wonderful morning at the doctor's.  We were very pleased.  Belle gained two pounds since her last weight check on January eighteenth.  She now measures 29.5 inches and weighs twenty pounds.  We are now on track with most other healthy kids.  We need not see the doctor again until Belle's eighteen month appointment in June.  That is three months from now.  This is a far cry from thrice weekly visits in her first few weeks of life.

I celebrated this success with a latte at the Eritrean-Ethiopian restaurant near the clinic.  A latte.  It was a delicious latte after a delicious meal.  Belle ate injera with whatever fruit and vegetable blend I had in a foil pouch in our bag.  She ignored the carrot coins I'd offered her.  Later on at home, Belle sorted through a bowl of beef stew and peas I served for dinner.  She did not eat a bite.  I will make another attempt with a similar food.

Wee iron woman

I made creative use of boxed infant cereal:  pancakes!  I combined iron rich oat cereal, rice cereal and whole wheat flour with one egg, fruit puree and fruit juice and fired up the griddle.  I made about eighteen dense cakes, of which Belle and I ate half.  I would have stopped at three had it not pleased Belle to keep a pancake in my hand at all times.  They were tasty.  I used an apple and cherry fruit blend and grape juice without sugar instead of milk.

Belle took a few more steps during our pancake feast.  She still prefers crawling over all, as evidenced at last Wednesday's La Leche League meeting.  Belle confidently met every mom and every infant and toddler present.  She thoroughly enjoyed herself outside of me.  I am guessing she is aware, or is increasingly becoming aware, of herself as an individual.  We still need each other one hundred percent though.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Baby steps

Belle took her first steps without assistance last night. We were sitting on the kitchen floor, listening to Miles Davis' "All Blues" when Belle rose up and took a few short steps from me to a closed cabinet. She spent the rest of the evening power crawling.

Belle has also started spoonfeeding me and herself. She recently brought me a jar of beef puree, not for herself, but to feed me. Belle used her tiny fingers as a fork and seemed rather pleased with herself for feeding mommy.

I am actually looking forward to Belle's upcoming 15 month appointment. While Belle may still be more petite than most, she can walk. She has one tooth slowly breaking through. She has a hearty appetite for healthy foods. If I am pleased, which I am, so will the doctor.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013


I was always "Camille, her parents are deceased."  I always knew that I would receive a yearly sum at a certain age for a specified time.  I always knew that I would inherit my paternal grandmother's duplex at her death.  That is what I was groomed for by my grandmothers.  Who was I really?  What did I really want?

I have only gone through the motions in my adult life, never truly living, only having brief moments of brightness amidst darkness.  I had survived a childhood trauma, reaped financial and material benefits from the trauma and later used those resources to numb any residual pain leftover from the trauma.  That is all.

This came to a head in Alameda.  I had real money and property without a real job in a changing economy.  I was also new in town and open to meeting new people, particularly inside bars.  Some people, especially men, couldn't handle me.  Tensions grew so thick that I had to stop frequenting a coffee bar or else.  It only went downhill from there. 

It literally hit home when one of my neighbours rejected me.  He made it very clear that I did not belong here.  This rejection, coupled with minimal peer support and weak connections to my family of origin sent me over the edge.  I gave up.  I disappeared into a dive bar, drinking and flirting with the socially alienated.  I grew bloated and belligerent, a far cry from anything my grandmothers had ever groomed me to be.

I sealed myself into a vacuum here at home when this failed, calling forth my right livelihood through various prayers and rituals.  I worked my way through the wine cabinet and chocolates, steadily clearing out the clutter and getting organised.  I quickly attracted a boozy romp with Belle's dad.  This triggered a return to eating local, organically grown foods (Belle's dad used to live in a house located along the farmer's market.), and, eventually, Belle.  Who am I really?  What do I really want?

I am Belle's mom.  I am recouping a sense of self through motherhood.  As challenging as it is, this is work I must do without her father, my parents or his.  This is work I must do in Alameda, despite any adversity I once experienced as a young [black] woman with real money and property without a real job.  I am stepping out from behind "Camille, her parents are deceased" and finally being reunited with my creativity and playfulness, something which became repressed in my maternal grandmother's apartment.  I am becoming my authentic self.

Sunday, March 17, 2013


I had one of the best Sundays ever spent in Alameda today.  I took Belle to the Catholic church across town for a change.  I noticed we arrived early despite commuting by bus (We always arrive during the homily whenever we walk to our neighbourhood church.).  Belle felt so comfortable at mass that she would have crowd surfed had I allowed her.  I, too, felt uplifted, which doesn't always happen at our parish.

I treated myself to a large coffee and a lemon bar on our side of town after mass.  Belle ate hand torn pieces of fluffy Bosnian bread.  I had conversations with the shopkeeper and other patrons of every age.  Later we walked across the street to greet a friend before walking home.  We were quickly joined by a third woman, making it a lively round table.  The four of us walked back over to the coffee market for decaf and more conversation.  I felt so energized by all of this, a far cry from my "happy hour" days before Belle.  I need more days like this.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Monday, March 11, 2013

astro career

Libra Midheaven.  Venus in Cancer conjunct Sun, sextile Jupiter, conjunct Saturn and square Uranus.  Venus in natal seventh and relocated eighth house.

I am an artist, designer and writer. 

I was on the right track with the creative writing major, the acting workshop, the scam modeling agency and even the adult telephone acting.

I should have completed that interior design course.

I didn't know how to market myself as a makeup artist after I completed the course.

I had ZERO support from my grandmothers as an actor or writer.

I traded in my creative writing degree for elder care, property management and real estate.

I lost myself.

I used alcohol, food, sex and shopping as an escape.

I tried to force my way into alternative healing fields because I am genuinely motivated by holistic health, personal growth and the occult.

I am damn good at tarot and the intuitive arts.

I keep going in circles.

I am an artist, designer and writer at my core.

It is time I embrace this truth and create a lifestyle around it.

15 mos

Belle is fifteen months old now. I am embracing motherhood, attachment parenting Belle, cooking the fruits of our harvests against a backdrop of jazz music. Sometimes there is beer or wine, but often not. To pass the time, I brain storm with psychics and spiritualists on internet radio as I create money and work I love from home. I accept and love myself and Belle and I understand our role in the macrocosm.