Crazy week

This has been a crazy week. On Monday, my father kicked me out! He came to my work to get my keys as he needed something from my closet and he couldn’t get it as I lock my room and my closet. He informed he that he was kicking me out and that I was not allowed to eat or drink at the hotel either. It was insane. His reason was that I was not working enough at the hotel… I teach from 7:30 until 3, I am a full time college student getting my second degree and I was working at the hotel, but after 6, I am tired and want to go home. And every time I tried to work, he was on the phone or with some girl… that is not working! So, I am kicked out. He doesn’t want me to work at the Hotel. It will be his fault when he have no relationship.

So, I moved in with my boyfriend which is fast. Very fast. We haven’t been together for even a month. It feels natural though, normal. I love it waking up to him every morning, him taking me to work, him picking me up, us having dinner every dinner and falling next to him. This is real. This is what a real adult relationship is like. It is what I have always wanted. I can feel that we are going to build our empire together.

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Thanksgiving

Living away from my family at times is hard, especially during the holidays. I am grateful that I still get to celebrate thanksgiving with good friends and good food. We do have a little community of American expats. So, I went to my friend Jaci’s house who I work with at the school. It was the people I work with at the school and Nadia’s and Jaci’s husband.

Thanksgiving is a holiday to remind people to be grateful. I try my best to be grateful every day, but there are times that I forget. This year has been a crazy exciting year.

I am grateful for:

  1. Graduating from La Sorbonne
  2. My God daughter Arya being born
  3. My best friend Michaela always being there for me
  4. Moving back to Haiti
  5. Working my first job as a teacher
  6. Meeting amazing people in Haiti and having a real community

 

 

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My father

My father is a character. He had a tough childhood. He lost his mother when he was seven. She died from breast cancer. After her death, my grandfather lost himself. In many ways, he died when she died. He showed no love towards his children. My father and his sister did not go to college as my grandfather did not want to pay for it. He was cheap.

For many years, I hated my father. I hated him for many reasons. I hated him for not protecting me against my mother. I was hurt that he chose to do drugs with her instead of being a father. As a baby, my mother did drugs while nursing me and he did not stop her. He got back with her after she left the first time. If he hasn’t, I wouldn’t have remembered her and would be better off. I was so angry with everything. It felt like he chose her instead of me. He always said woman come and go but children are forever… but at that time, she came first. He told me the reason he did drugs was because it was intolerable to be with someone who does drugs when sober.

After my mother left for the second and final time, I remember him being very hard on me school wise. He was trying to teach me math and I was frustrated and he would yell. We started traveling a lot, moving from one place to another every year. We lived in Haiti, Jerusalem, Ukraine than back to Panama. He got sick in Panama and went to New York for treatment which I then joined him. That is where I was tested and diagnosed for ADD. I remember being in school and not understand something that everyone else got. I felt like my brain was stupid and I did not want to tell my father as he was sick and I did not want to worry him even more so I kept quiet. The only positive thing in my life at that time was that it was because of my father that I became an actress. I auditioned and got a lot of callbacks. Casting directors liked me but I never got hired for anything.

After New York, we moved to Argentina. The day before moving, I went on tape for a movie called Bee Season. I loved Argentina. It was a beautiful, vibrant and fun place to be. It felt like home. I was in Argentina when I found out that the directors of Bee Season were interested in me and they did not want me to cut my hair. My father and I read the script together. It was the first script I fell in love with and knew I wanted this role. I had a call back schedule in LA for December. The audition lasted five hours as they wanted me to act beside the actors who would play my brother in the movie. I even auditioned with my actual brother, Eli. It was fun to act beside him. Few days after the audition, my father and I went to Ethiopia for vacation. We were there for two weeks traveling around with a friend that we knew from Israel. My father got food poisoning so, he ended up in the hospital. I remember going to the hospital and him mumbling something. He said “you got the job” but I did not understand what he was saying. My manager called the hospital and told me that I got the job for Bee Season. I screamed at the hospital. When we returned to Los Angeles, I had to go to fox searchlight to do my costume fittings. That is when it hit my father that this was real. I was so excited. We started shooting in January. I was 11 years old. It was an amazing experience. :)

During that time, my father was taking a lot of pain killers and one morning, it was so bad that Harley, my older brother had to come from LA to San Francisco to take him to the hospital. It was scary and it was the first time in my life that I really understood that he had a problem with alcohol and drugs.

After the movie was wrapped, I returned to Argentina. I was living with a family there so that my father could travel. I only saw my father on weekends as our apartment was so far away from my school. I loved living with that family. They had a daughter who was in my class and a son who was only an few years older. It felt like home. My father hired a secretary who I met who then turned out to be his girlfriend. I remember the first time he slept with her. It was during my halloween party. I remember telling him that night, “I am okay if she is your secretary but I do not want you sleeping with her”. I was angry and jealous. This was his first girlfriend that I knew about since my mother left. Things already weren’t going well with us. We started fighting. He would show me movies and ask me about them but I just wanted to be a kid. My father never treated me like a kid which most of the time I appreciated, but sometimes it was a lot of pressure. His girlfriend was younger than Eli so I was very unhappy. Her name was Vivianna. We fought a lot for my fathers attention. I only would see him on weekends and he spent most of his time with her.  My father was out once and I went to lunch with her and she told me that my father did not love me. I ran all the way home crying.I remember trying everything to get rid of her. I just wanted to have my father all to myself. I felt so lost during that time because he was the only parent I had and I felt as if I was loosing him. It hurt. I remember listening to them fight and it reminded me of my childhood when he would fight with my mother. I would start shaking in my room.

We travelled to Haiti together. I hated that she was there. Haiti was special to me and she was invading it. We then went to New York which is where she found out she was pregnant. I was terrified but figured I would have to get used to the idea and then I started to become excited to have a baby brother or sister. We went back to Argentina and one day I came home, and my house door was locked. I banged and banged on the door and my father told me that the baby had died. She had a miscarriage and I was genuinely sad. I wanted to have a baby sister or brother. We went to Paris together and they were fighting a lot. I stayed with a family friend for a week as things were so bad. Then, I stayed with them again but in a different apartment but right next to them. One day my father came back from getting me clothing and I was really happy. She got so angry because he got me clothing. I was his kid. His daughter. She had daddy issues as she didn’t grow up with a father. She took it out on me and my relationship with my father. That moment, she got so angry and told me that I killed the baby. I was in shock and so upset that my father was not saying anything. He kept quiet. He did not defend me. Obviously, I knew she was insane for thinking that but I felt like at that moment… I did not matter and all he cared about was her.

A few months later, I moved to Los Angeles to live with Harley, my older brother. My father never told me why. I thought it was because I was causing problems with him and Vivianna. I felt as if I was being abandoned again by another parent.  Things got worse and worse. I hated talking to him on the phone as he would boss me around and I did not want him to as he was nor raising me. He had my brother do it. I loved my brother.

My relationship with my father was so toxic. I had so much anger build inside. All we did was fight and I felt like it got worse and worse throughout the years. I would hang up on him. I hated when he visited. We lived together again for a year and it was bad. He would try to help me with homework and I did not want his help. He cooked for me and I never helped him to clean up. Nothing. I was angry because it felt like he was trying to finally be a father after all this time. Also, he was on drugs at that time. I remember him falling asleep mid sentence because of all the drugs.

It was not until last year that it was okay. And the reason we began to have a relationship after so many years was because of his ex. She told him to leave me alone and not tell me what to do and it was not until then, that I was okay with him. It took time for me to trust him. I finally forgave him for everything because I looked past him mistakes and saw everything good he did as a father.

He was always there. He made sure I went to the best schools. He was always supportive about my acting. He made sure I was safe even when he travelled. He did the best job he could. He protected me as best he could. He did give me a life and an interested life at that with travel and culture. I love my father and I forgive him. I will never forgive my mother but he always tried his best. He is a human being and he is not perfect, but he is a great father. He gave me two amazing brothers. I owe him everything. He gave me the life I have. I love him and I am grateful for everything he did for me and continues to do for me.

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Age

When I was a kid, most of my friends wee younger than me. I felt more comfortable with younger people. My best friend, Michaela is 2 years younger than me, but she is very mature for her age.

When I moved to Haiti in June, somehow most of my friends were older than me, most of them are in their 30’s and somehow the guys I have started getting involved with are also in their 30’s. Not sure why, but I prefer it. They take me more seriously and they are more serious, they have their life together which is something I need. Even though they are serious, I have come to realize that no matter their age, guys don’t really change. They still are full of hormones and still ask, stupid questions.

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A letter to Bill

Dear Bill,

Today would have been your birthday. You would have been 79 years old. I miss you so much. I would do anything to have you here, or have one more day with you. I wish you could have seen me graduate high school, and college. I wish you could have seen me start my first teaching job. I wonder what you have thought about me being a teacher and not an actress. I know you would have been happy and proud of me as long as I was happy. You were always so amazing and kind. I miss your voice. I miss your advice. I wish I could talk to you about boys.

I hate that you are not here. You not being here still makes me cry. Every year, twice a year, on the anniversary of your death and on your birthday, it hits me like a ton of bricks and I can’t breath and all I want is to have you here and have you hold me. I loved our daily movie nights with dinner and ice cream at home. I loved living with you. I loved watching jeopardy and American idol with you. I loved reading you my scripts that I was writing at the time.  I loved having you as my best friend.

I wanted more time. I thought we had time. You died when I was 15 and now, I am 23 years old. They say the pain fades, no it doesn’t and I don’t think it ever will. You are missing so much of my life. You are going to miss being at my wedding when I get married to whoever, me having kids and me opening my own school. I hope you are proud of me.

I love you and I always will.

Thank you for influencing my life and changing it for the better.

I miss everything about you. The stories I wish I could tell you.

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Haiti is where I belong 

I went to NY for a few days to help my father and it was interesting to be back. It made me realize there is nothing left for me in the western world. I am unhappy being in a civilized civilization. I am happy in Haiti. When I was in NY, I could feel myself being moody and not wanting to get out of bed, but in Haiti I wake up early and I am happy to. Of course, sometimes I am exhausted and I think to myself I want sleep, but that is different from not wanting to get out of bed which is what my life was like in NY and France and California. I can’t do that again! I don’t want to be depressed and I was because of my situation. 

Haiti to me is like an antidepressant except it isn’t a drug. I am happy there and I really can’t see myself wanting to leave. I belong in Haiti. 

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I survived my first hurricane

I live in Haiti and this week, I survive my first hurricane. I know Hurricanes are a part of living in the Caribbean, but I did not think that I would be in a category 4 Hurricane. My town was lucky. We survived and did not have a lot of destruction unlike towns like Les Cayes and Jérémie. I saw photos and I am feeling grateful for my town, my home and my life.

I am sitting at home on my roof with a beautiful view of the beach and I am reminded of why I chose to move back to Haiti. When I meet people in the US and I tell them I live in Haiti, they give me this concerned look like it is the worst place I could live. They say these ignorant things of how dangerous it must be. A day after the hurricane, people are out and about, back to work like any other day. This country is resilient and loving. It is my home.

In the western world, when a disaster happens, people freeze and feel bad for themselves. Not in Haiti. Here, we move on quickly because disasters will always happen and you can not pity yourself. We work hard and we live.

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