Why His or Her Betrayal?

 

 

Book cover of His or Her Betrayal? A woman is looking into a mirror, but a man's face is reflected back at her instead of her own image

 

I often get asked the question,

 

“Why did you decide to write a story about a trans-gender person? Don’t you think people won’t read your book because of your topic choice?”

 

My answer is because it is a taboo subject in society. Especially in the African-American community. Most people don’t want to talk about it because it makes them uncomfortable. I am sensitive to everyone. I don’t hold ill-feelings towards someone just because of their sexual preference or gender identity. People who suffer from (GID), or gender identity disorder are just as human as you or me. I don’t discriminate against them or anyone else. I have enough that I am discriminated on myself in my daily life, so I am not one to judge or point fingers. I think of anyone in the LGBTQ community just as I think of myself. I am discriminated against just for being blind, so why would I put that same hurt and pain on someone else? I know how hard it can be. Our pain might be different, but we all suffer in one way or another.

 

I wanted to tell this story from the point of view of an African-American family. Because most African-American families grow up in the Christian faith, it is taught that homosexuality is a sin. In some cases, people believe it is a sin punishable by death. Some people in society are so homophobic, they believe that every person that is attracted to the same sex that they automatically are attracted to them. For instance, some heterosexual men assume that a gay man wants them just because he is gay. That is not the case. Just because someone is attracted to the same sex that you are, doesn’t mean they want you. That kind of thinking really gets on my nerves. As long as someone is not disrespecting you, then I don’t think that their sexual orientation should matter, but that’s just my own opinion. No matter what, people are going to be people. They’re going to think how they want to think, and there is nothing anyone can do to change what has been in-graved in them.

 

In the story “His or Her Betrayal?”, I wanted to depict a real-life situation that is happening in society today. Unfortunately, this is the time we live in. No matter how much we progress, there are still some who want to remain ignorant and hate people for one reason or another. People like to use the Bible as a source for why they think that everyone in the LGBTQ community are sinners and are going to hell. I don’t believe that. I think God made everyone exactly how he wanted them to be. Some think it’s a choice, but I beg to differ. In some cases it is a choice, but not in all circumstances. Personally I know of people who are Gay, Lesbian, or even trans-gender, and I know it wasn’t a choice that they made. Nobody wants to purposely be ridiculed and tormented all their lives. Sometimes you can tell when a child is young that they are going to be gay, lesbian, or trans-gender. Do you think children really choose that? No. As children we have no idea what sexuality is. So, how can they choose to be gay, lesbian, or trans-gender? Things people say sometimes just doesn’t make any sense. They just want to find a reason to shun someone.

 

Although my story didn’t end in a happily-ever-after, I wanted to depict a real reaction that someone would have when they found out the person they loved wasn’t who they led them to believe. My character Michelle had been degraded and ridiculed all her life by her father because of who she was, so she felt that the only way she could find happiness was by keeping her past a secret. It was the wrong thing to do, and the story ended in tragedy. I didn’t want Michelle’s life to end so soon, but the reality was more important than my fantasy. If I had made Jason react in a positive way to finding out about Michelle’s past, then the story would not have reflected reality. In this day and time, people are not fond of trans-gender people, so Jason’s reaction to the news expressed his hurt, anger, and feelings of betrayal. The second part of the story tells the father’s story. Now, I know it probably came as a shock to the readers when they found out why Melvin felt the way he did about his own child. The purpose of me writing this part of the story was to show how society sometimes forces people to hide who they truly are in order to fit society’s mold of who we should be. The truth was exposed in the end and lives were lost, but all secrets were revealed.

 

I feel things like this can be avoided if people would just stop worrying so much about what is right and wrong according to their beliefs. If they let people live their lives the way they see fit, then tragedies like this wouldn’t happen. I feel if God disagrees with the way someone is living their life, then he and only he can be the judge of that. It is not up to anyone else to tell someone how they should live life. I am a Christian and I do believe in God, but I also believe that he doesn’t make any mistakes. He made everyone different for his own particular reason, and it isn’t up to you or me to ask why. As long as someone isn’t harming you, your family, or mistreating you in any way, then they should be allowed to live life in peace. I am open-minded and I don’t believe that everything is black and white. We don’t know why God created the things he did, but it’s not for us to question. I just try to live my life as I see fit and worry about what is going on in my own life, instead of what someone else is or isn’t doing in theirs. When judgment day arrives, we will all have to answer to our life choices. Until then, live for you and not how someone else tells you you’re supposed to live.

 

The title of the book is punctuated with a question mark because I want you as the reader to determine who you believe has been betrayed. That is a conclusion I want you to draw once you have read the book in its entirety. If you haven’t had a chance to check out my novel, “His or Her Betrayal?” Please do so and leave me your thoughts with a review. You can navigate over to my Blaque Diamond’s Books link where my published books are listed. There you can choose from which retailer you would like to purchase your copy of “His or Her Betrayal?” It is available in paperback and as an EBook. I look forward to hearing from you.

 

The Triumph in Me Book Review

 

Picture of The Triumph in Me: Living to Die, but Decided to Live book cover

 

The triumph in me: Living to Die, but Decided to Live

 

By: Kashinda T. Marche

 

While at a book-signing event this past weekend, I was given an autographed copy of this book. The author talked a little about the book during the event, and I was intrigued to find out more about it. Because of my visual impairment, the print book wouldn’t have done me any good since I can’t read the words. I did appreciate receiving a signed copy from the author though, so I added it to my library in my home-office for safe-keeping. I didn’t want to wait to have someone read it to me, so I went on Amazon to see if the book was available as an EBook. Yes!!! It was available on Kindle, so I wouldn’t miss out on a great read. I immediately downloaded the book to my Kindle library and began to read.

 

I was drawn into the story just by the first few lines. Tharisse, the main character was a young girl growing up in the urban streets of New Jersey. The story talked about her life growing up and the things she and her friends got into as young teens. Her parents were on drugs, so Tharisse was practically raising herself and her younger siblings. She became promiscuous in her teen years, looking for the acceptance she always yearned for.

 

When Tharisse is fifteen-years-old, she meets Eugene, who is twenty-seven-years-old. He treats Tharisse like she has always wanted to be treated. He buys her the latest fashions, he chauffeurs her and her friends around town in his car, and he even gives her money. To her young mind, this is love. Love is something she has always been trying to find, so to her, Eugene is her knight in shining armor. Her mother has a problem with Tharisse dating Eugene, but she continues to date him anyway. Tharisse falls head-over-heels in love with Eugene, and she doesn’t care who doesn’t like it.

 

At the age of seventeen, Tharisse finds herself pregnant with Eugene’s baby. When Tharisse tells her mother that she is pregnant, she walks away disappointed in her daughter; even though she was the same exact age when she gave birth to Tharisse. Eugene never reacted to the news of Tharisse’s pregnancy either way. Tharisse’s pregnancy was a hard one filled with sickness and misery, but thankfully she delivered a healthy baby girl. Tharisse strived to be the best mother she could be to her daughter. She didn’t want her to grow up in the life that she had, so she did what she had to do to show her daughter a different way of life. When her daughter was just eleven-months old, Tharisse got some devastating news that would change her life forever. She was diagnosed with HIV. Somehow, Eugene had contracted the virus, and he had given it to Tharisse. She wasn’t sure how long she had the virus, but when she went to be tested, she was told that she was infected.

 

Tharisse hoped and prayed that her daughter had not contracted the virus, and by the grace of God, she had not. Tharisse went into a deep depression after finding out the news. She couldn’t figure out how she would raise her daughter when she had been pronounced with a death sentence. The story goes on to describe Tharisse’s life and struggles of dealing with her HIV status. There were plenty of ups and downs as she comes to terms with her illness. Tharisse instills positive skills and inspirations in her daughter as she grows up, trying to guide her in the right direction. She didn’t want her daughter to make the same mistakes, or worse mistakes than she did.

 

Tharisse deals with low self-esteem issues, so she makes her daughter stand in the mirror every day and tell herself that she is beautiful. Tharisse is later diagnosed with mental illnesses as well, and she attempts suicide when her lover exposes her condition to another of her lovers. Tharisse was truthful to some people about her condition, but she kept her status from others as well, so when her lover exposed her, she fell over the deep edge. She didn’t think that life was worth living anymore since she was already dying from HIV. Thankfully, Tharisse was not successful in her suicide attempt, and she got the help that she needed through therapy. She decided to turn her life around in a more positive direction for her daughter. She didn’t want to traumatize her child for the rest of her life, so she started living her life with a purpose instead of living her life recklessly.

 

This was a story that really hit home for me. Having a family member who died from HIV, made this story so real to me. The fact that Tharisse contracted the virus at such a young age, brought tears to my eyes. All she ever wanted was to be loved, and the one man she gave her heart to, gave her a death sentence. She was looking for love and thought she found it, but sadly, she was mistaken. Growing up in a world uninformed and uneducated, caused Tharisse to go down the wrong path in life, searching for the love she never found in herself. What she hadn’t been taught, she tried to teach to her daughter. She wanted her to have a better outlook on life than she did.

 

What I took from this book is, nothing is promised to anyone. In the blink of an eye, your life as you know it can be swept up from under you without any explanation. Good health, life, wealth, love, or anything else isn’t promised to anyone, so you should live your life to the best of your ability. When Tharisse finally decided to change her mind-set, she saw the world through different eyes. She was able to see positivity where she once saw only negativity. I definitely recommend this book to anyone who is looking for a story of strength and inspiration. It will allow you to take a look at your own life situations and possibly change the way you do things.

 

None of us is perfect, and we all have done things that we are not too proud of, but the only way we can get pass them is if we change. We have to change our thinking, change our attitudes on life, and change the way we react to situations. We can’t wait around for someone to change things for us, we have to be that change we want to see in our life. It was unfortunate what happened to Tharisse, but in the end she changed. She changed for the betterment of her daughter, and she changed for the betterment of herself. She began to live, instead of living to die.

 

 

Coming to the Light

A picture of open french doors with light spilling through

I never would’ve guessed that my last fight would be the very last fight of my life. On March 14th, 2005 was the day that my life would be forever changed in a dramatic way. I got into an altercation with my brother, and it caused me to be where I am today, and where I will probably be for the rest of my life. At the tender age of fourteen, I got into a fist fight with my brother, and this time it wasn’t like our usual fights. I would walk away the loser of much more than just the fight, but also my sight.

I was already partially blind due to mal-practice at birth, but I still had good vision. I was not considered legally blind because I still had perfect vision in the “good eye.” I wore glasses to keep that eye strong. My retina had been detached in the right eye during my birth due to the doctors mishandling of the forceps, so my vision was already delicate. I didn’t find out why I couldn’t see out of that eye until I was an adult. I had always been told that my optic nerves never developed in that eye. I also developed a cataract in that eye at the age of five due to the trauma to the eye.

My brother and I got into the fight over a radio because of me changing the station that was playing. For most people, this is probably such a trivial thing to fight over, but in the violent household and environment that we were living in, this was the norm. Since my brother did not like the fact that I had changed the channel on the radio, he became enraged with me. We began to fight for the radio. He hauled off and punched me in the eye, and I immediately saw red dots. I thought that maybe my eye had been cut and that I was bleeding in my eye. I thought that it was just a minor injury and that I would be back to normal in no time, but I was wrong. That one punch caused me to be in darkness for the rest of my life.

After the fight was over, I tried telling my family that I was having trouble seeing, but I wasn’t believed. My sight did not go away right away, but it was the start of the damage. Losing the vision in that eye happened over time until I woke up one day and couldn’t see anything. When my mother finally did take me serious and took me to the doctor, it was found that it was too late. They could do nothing to fix my vision. Too much time had passed, and the tissue of the eye had already started scarring over. Since it took my mother seven months to get me help for my vision, the doctors didn’t hold up much hope of me getting any of my sight back. Surgeries were performed to see if it would make a difference, but sadly it was useless. From that one fist punch, my retina had become detached and the damage was irreversible. At that point, I felt life was now not worth living for me since I could no longer see.

My self-esteem took a huge nose dive. I felt that I would never be able to live a normal life. The only people that I had ever seen that were blind were elderly people and that happened with age. I thought that I was too young to be blind, and I went into a deep depression. So many scary thoughts were going through my mind. I kept replaying that day over and over wishing that I could rewind the hands of time and do it all over again. Well, my reality was that I couldn’t get a redo, so I had to deal with the circumstances that I was left to deal with. Not having any family support didn’t make the transition any easier either. I was left to deal with this tragedy all on my own.

Over the years, I learned to adapt to my new situation once I finally got out of my depression phase. It was a long and treacherous journey filled with many nights of tears and self-pity. I had to take a hard look at myself and my situation and wonder if I wanted to be that cripple or disabled girl that had to have someone do her basic needs for her, and I knew that was not the life I wanted for myself. So, I began to embrace my new life and learn all that I needed to know so I could live a normal and happy life. I learned braille, computers with the aid of text to speech software, independent living skills, and how to travel alone with a white cane. These skills were very necessary for me to live the life I wanted. I took on every new task with gusto because I was determined to be as independent as I possibly could. I didn’t want to feel like a burden to anyone, and I wanted to be able to take care of myself with minimal assistance.

There were times when I just wanted to give up, but whenever I would think of the outcome if I didn’t push myself, it made me go even harder to learn all that I needed to know. I would always think of people who had other disabilities that were worse than mine, and I would think that I was lucky to just be blind. Even though I could no longer see physically, I could still walk, talk, feed myself, think for myself, and all the other great body functions we take for granted. I felt that things could’ve been worse and I know that I am blessed. I eventually started mentoring people who were just like me. They were struggling with the life that they now had to live because of their visual impairment. Before going blind myself, I would have never known that there were millions of people all over the world just like me young and old dealing with the same situation. Some weren’t taking it so great like I was at one time and others were taking it in stride. So, I look at my situation as a blessing in disguise. I could’ve died that night, but instead god had other plans for me.

I enjoy encouraging other blind and visually impaired people to become as independent as they possibly can. I always like to say, “Just because society sees us as being handicapped and unable to do for ourselves, doesn’t mean that we must live up to that standard or stigma that is placed upon us.” I take pride in knowing that I can do for myself despite what others may think or say because they are not in my situation. It took a while for me to get to where I am today in my thinking, but I am glad that I experienced all that I have in life because it made me the person that I am today. I wouldn’t change one thing about my past because if I did, then I probably wouldn’t be the same person that everyone knows and loves. My faith has a lot to do with how I got through my situation and remain positive about it. I feel that god doesn’t make any mistakes in our lives, so what happened to me must have happened for a specific purpose.

Now, I’m not going to lie and say that life is easy because of course it’s not. I still struggle everyday with the fact that I can’t experience some of the day to day activities that most people who can see take for granted. Driving for example; I would love to be able to drive myself to and from work every day. I would also like to be able to go into a grocery store and pick out my own items without the assistance of someone. Going out to a place that I am not familiar with without assistance from someone who can see is something that I also wish I could do, but I am thankful for the blessings that I do have. There are some out here in the world who have it a lot worse than I do. I get frustrated from time to time when I must depend on someone who can see to read stuff for me or help me fill out paperwork, but that is minor compared to the circumstances that others must go through on a daily basis.

As of right now, there is no cure or treatment for my eye condition, but I have faith that one day there will be a way for me to regain my sight. If that day never comes, then I am comfortable in who and what I am. I have adapted to my life just fine and enjoy all the many blessings that god has bestowed upon me. I do not let my disability stop me from living and enjoying all that life has to offer. My life had to be adapted to fit my new situation of being blind, but with the way technology is, it makes it a fun and great learning experience for me. I had to come to the light by accepting who I now am and loving myself despite my circumstance. Every negative occurrence doesn’t have to be a tragedy. Sometimes things happen for a reason because life is something we have no guarantees in.

As an author, my visual impairment does throw up some road blocks that I have no control over. For instance, I have to depend on people to design my book covers and my website for me. I tell them what I imagine my items to look like, but the fact that I can’t see them for myself makes me have to trust their creative skills. I do have someone close to me check them out for me, but in these instances I have to go on what someone else thinks. As someone who used to be into graphics and drawing, the fact that I don’t have that ability anymore sometimes does get to me. Being artistic was a gift that I was proud of, but now I have to use the artistic talents of someone else to get my message across the way I picture it. The fact that I have seen before makes it easy to tell someone how I want something to look, but it still isn’t the same as me designing what I picture myself. When you have a visual impairment, you have to learn to trust people. There are things in life that having a visual impairment will alter, but there are ways to get around it. Everyone needs someone else for something since no one is totally independent and able to do everything themselves. Having that knowledge brings me relief and makes it easier for me to accept my circumstances and live life to the best of my ability.

I shared my story to encourage and inspire those who may be struggling with circumstances in life that they may feel have made them lose hope in themselves. There is still hope if you have faith in god and in yourself. You may see a situation in your life as a mountain or hill that is too steep for you to climb, but all you have to do is step back and evaluate your situation and figure out a new way to accomplish that task. Look at your situation in a positive light instead of as a bad thing. What could’ve happened to make your situation worse? For me the other outcome would’ve been death, so for me losing my sight was a minor inconvenience than losing my life. Every situation won’t be that easy to look at in a positive way, but to grow and accomplish whatever you are trying to succeed at you must see the light at the end of the tunnel.

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