Justice, Retribution & Revenge

I’m trying not to get too angry. I really want to tell this story in as clear a way as I possibly can. Not only because I need to put down the truth as I see it, but also so I can really purge myself of my negative feelings towards this person.

Who is this person? To look at her from the outside, she’s a tiny little woman just turning 70. She professes to be a spiritual worker, a woman charged with certain spiritual duties, yet with regards to me, she was grossly negligent.

Me, I know now I was at my weakest point, in my most vulnerable state. This was the only way they could have even the partial success they enjoyed.

Where to begin? I suppose I’d need to write and qualify all the experiences that led up to this point, but since that’s impossible, the best I can manage is a few major milestones along the way.

Personally, like death is wont to do, this journey began when Keffi died. She was my best friend and one of the cornerstones of my support system and on a story level alone I think, the first real indication to me that something was definitely wrong in my life.

Her death made me examine my complacency, the nature of the blocks I was encountering. I couldn’t understand how, for the previous four years or so, how nothing I seemed to start got finished and why I couldn’t get and keep a decently paying job. I was mystified by the truculence of financial institutions to back my projects, despite the clearly marketability and potential in them. I was quite literally, spinning in mud, going no where at all.

This wasn’t caused by Keffi’s death. Let me make that clear. However the emotional and spiritual aftermath of her death forced me acknowledge that despite my efforts and hard work, there was some vital element I was missing in my calculations.

My relationships with men were truncated, emotionally arid affairs and I suffered aching loneliness for many, many long nights. Occasionally a lover would appear, only to melt away again in a mist of emotional irresponsibility or sexual incompatibility.

My friends kind of laugh and tell me my life is like a soap opera, but those days were about outright drudgery. To be yoked to a machine and pull, pull, pull against the weight of it, trying to achieve your dreams and seeing it all crumble, seeing nothing progress beyond a certain point, that is the essence of drudgery.

The six years I spent in Barbados were some of the most challenging of my life. As are all years I suppose, except these were not leavened with much, so it was just struggle, struggle, struggle against an unseen enemy, unpredictable forces all saying, “The way forward is closed.”

By May of 2001, in the throes of a failing relationship with KSS, a business going nowhere just limping along and just an overwhelming sense of being prevented from something. I was seeing the muffled, dulled, greyed out shapes of my dreams through the veil of something, but unable to pierce it sufficiently to get to what I wanted. Another analogy I particularly like is seeing a field of fruits and vegetables and being starving hungry for some, yet some Star Trek-type force field, unseen and impenetrable preventing me from the feast.

I was getting accolades and praise for being clever and talented, on having so much potential, but all attempts to capitalise on gains major and minor, made no difference. Most notable, Sunhead and I were accepted to the Barbados Investment Development Corporation’s business incubator programme—I got the letter the day we buried Keffi—was even given the Number 1 slot, the first office when you cross the door, yet could not gain the financial backing to really turn that into a reality.

This was when in conversation with a sister who has also been accepted to the same programme, that I got Astra’s name and telephone number, and I got in a mini bus and went up to Jackson to see her.

Of the things she revealed to me, of course the most notable was that an enemy was holding me back, and that they were doing spiritual work against me.

Surprised, because being the trusting, naive chick I am known to be, the thought that someone could do that, that I was even open to such a thing was alien to me. However, things she said stuck in my mind. Especially the part about needing spiritual baths to cleanse me, that I needed to cut away the negative energies around me.

Then at Christmas of 2001, I met RBB. This tall, handsome dreadlocked man. Lovely man. However, as lovely as we were, we hit a wall early on in our relationship where sex was concerned. Then for a while, when money was at its worse, for a few months he augmented my small income, helping me get to by.

I never asked him for anything, let me clarify, he offered. I have never believed in asking anyone for anything, much less a man. I refused him many times and there were times we argued because I just kept on dealing with whatever I was dealing with, and having to find ways to do it without asking anyone for help. He felt as though I was keeping him out of my life. He loved me, he would help me in any way he could and that is how it started.

Now I have asked my UT for help. He’s like the only real father type figure that I have from my childhood. He helped to take care of me. Our relationship now is that of mentor, but he’s pulled me out of trouble more times than I care to tell you. He’s always found ways to help me when he could, and I owe him debts least of all of money I know it may take me a while, maybe a lifetime to repay. Maybe more than one.

We didn’t start out that way, but he has been one of my great allies over the last ten years. Don’t think I don’t know it. However, I hated even asking him for help, and it’s always been a desperate last, bitter resort for me to ask. Much less a man I’ve known, but you know, when you’re in a relationship, part of the growing together is learning how to lean on each other, so I leaned on him. He encouraged me. From the beginning I had difficulty with it. As much as he said these things, I sense there was subtle difference in our relationship after and I didn’t like the tone of things.

Also, when I leaned on him, the weight of the negativity I’d been carrying around came with me, you know? I don’t blame the dude. RBB was just not able to handle many things, he just wasn’t equipped for them. He tried though. He’s the first one that stuck it out as long as he did, and well, we remain good friends to this day. He’s become another friend I can depend on to help when I need it, and there are no hard feeling between us regarding our relationship’s demise.

I started to realise, that after three years of trying to make Sunhead happen in Barbados, that there just was no way for it to work. I just couldn’t get the money I needed, and operating in Barbados—paying my rent and telephone bill and buying food—became too difficult.

It had been six years since I left Trinidad. I had for most of that time, been impoverished, went long periods without work, four months, five months as long as eight or nine months once. If it hadn’t been for UT, Keffi and my mother, there is no way I would have been able to keep myself or my brother afloat.

Exhausted from this frustrating, disappointing period of wheel-spinning, I began to weaken tremendously. Robbie was a blessing, because he helped me to keep it together for those last six months in Barbados.

His own emotional insecurities did us in, in the end. I didn’t like the emotional storms and moodiness, and tendency to break promises and not stick to what we agreed to. I also felt he was trying to control me on a subtle level, and the issue of money started to become an arguing point, so I began to look for work in Barbados.

None was to be had. I looked, I asked around, I called around. Nothing. Nada.

So I started sending out feelers in Trinidad. Then there was a nibble and then a bite, and in June of 2002, I flew down to Trinidad to interview for the job I just recently resigned from.

I managed to get both first and second interviews scheduled during the four days I was there.

However, this tale is only moderate interested with those events, other than they happened.

What I speak of more in the subsequent sequence of events, is the fact that I went to see my father. Prior to this meeting, I had had little or no experience with Orisa. None. The first time I heard the name of an Orisa, was in this line of verse, written by ( ) for the film, “love jones” and sppoken by Larenz Tate, in his big swagger scene.

The line goes,

“are you Yemaya? Aww hell naw, you got to be Osun!”

However, both those names resonated with me.

So I went to my father and told him what the woman in Barbados had said about the spiritual baths. I had just finished telling him, when he got up, told me to put on my shoes and then come with him. So I went.

He took me about five, ten minutes walk away from his place, to the home of the woman I called Big Mama K. Now, from the time I met her, I realised he had a semi-coarse, common kind of manner, but she covered it us as best as she could with a veneer of gentility and manners, but you know on a level, she could really hold a candle to my biological mother. My mother for all her faults, is a classy chic, and well, apple trees do not make cherries!

Big Mama K, was loud, brassy and very warm, so you know, being the loud, brassy and warm girl I am, I embraced her. I respected her, because clearly she had some power, whatever it was.

She told me that very day, that the shrine she had at the side of her house, was hers because my father donated his work and expertise, and built it for her with his hands and his sweat. My father is a builder. This has been part of his life’s work.

She arranged for me to go up to the Salybia River, far into the east of Trinidad, (but not as far as Toco, or Grand Rivere for that matter.) She told me she would give me my first bath, and she would introduce me to Osun.

I wrote that tale down in a dead tree journal somewhere, so you’ll pardon me if I don’t feel inclined to go into it right now. We have other parts of the tale to deal with. The point is we went, it was a transforming experience, and well that is really where the story of how I woke up really begins.

After the river, I went back to St James, and rushed down to the office to meet the MD of the company for my final interview. He told me flat out he would give me a job and squeeze out the best salary he could for me while doing it.

I went back to Barbados, calm, feeling like I had done the right thing. As soon as I got off the plane, RBB was quiet while I babbled on about all I done and seen during my four day trip. When we got back to my mother’s house, he had barely said anything, but as we sat in the car, he said to me, “I think we should just call this quits.”

I was stunned. We argued, heatedly.

The end result was a tentative truce and a deferral of rash decisions.

He didn’t see the point in continuing, because I was leaving him. He felt we should just make a clean break right a away and call it george. Why even pretend our relationship was going anywhere? He couldn’t deal with standing by why I prepared to walk out of his life. So why should we see each other at all during the coming months.

I said I saw no reason why we should end our relationship because I was going. I felt we could try to work things out some way or the other. We could come back and forth for weekends, maybe he could see if he could do some business in Trinidad, and we could try to keep what we had and build it despite the adversity.

Besides, at that point, I hadn’t got the job yet, nothing was certain or decided.

He wasn’t convinced, but he agreed not to call it quits that night.

Everything moved kind of quickly after that. I got a little pick at a local web development firm filling in for someone during their holiday for month, and I made tentative plans to leave.

The whole time, RBB and I battled and fought and he was very nasty to me more than once, but I remained patient all except once, and eventually he began to support my efforts, but not willingly.

Now we began to have sex again, now when he was losing me.

In September of 2002 I quit Bim (hopefully for good). I got down to Trinidad and one of the first things I did was seek out Big Mama K (even using these names now pisses me off, but in a way, I feel continuity is important).

She was glad to see me and I expressed an interest in learning more about the Orisas and the tradition. I felt in every way, I needed to move slowly, so for the most part we were just friends, me and BMK.

She wasn’t a part of an ile, and wasn’t going to any regular ijuba (service), so I never attended anything like that with her.

I was invited to cover the Egungun Festival in Princes Town in November of that year and that was my introduction to the greater tradition and in truth, the Orisa community.

The Egungun masquerade was one of the fascinating experience, and it was an evening of many meetings. I meant one of the brightest intellectual Garveyites for the first time. Much to my embarrassment, as I shook Tony Martin’s hand, I had no idea who he was. That’s another story, one I am getting pretty close to telling.

The point is, that was the first time for me in a great many ways. It was my first time attending any Orisa events, it was the first time I met Osunyemi, it was a day of firsts for me.

I’m trying not to get too angry. I really want to tell this story in as clear a way as I possibly can. Not only because I need to put down the truth as I see it, but also so I can really purge myself of my negative feelings towards this person.

Who is this person? To look at her from the outside, she’s a tiny little woman just turning 70. She professes to be a spiritual worker, a woman charged with certain spiritual duties, yet with regards to me, she was grossly negligent.

Me, I know now I was at my weakest point, in my most vulnerable state. This was the only way they could have even the partial success they enjoyed.

Where to begin? I suppose I’d need to write and qualify all the experiences that led up to this point, but since that’s impossible, the best I can manage is a few major milestones along the way.

Personally, like death is wont to do, this journey began when Keffi died. She was my best friend and one of the cornerstones of my support system and on a story level alone I think, the first real indication to me that something was definitely wrong in my life.

Her death made me examine my complacency, the nature of the blocks I was encountering. I couldn’t understand how, for the previous four years or so, how nothing I seemed to start got finished and why I couldn’t get and keep a decently paying job. I was mystified by the truculence of financial institutions to back my projects, despite the clearly marketability and potential in them. I was quite literally, spinning in mud, going no where at all.

This wasn’t caused by Keffi’s death. Let me make that clear. However the emotional and spiritual aftermath of her death forced me acknowledge that despite my efforts and hard work, there was some vital element I was missing in my calculations.

My relationships with men were truncated, emotionally arid affairs and I suffered aching loneliness for many, many long nights. Occasionally a lover would appear, only to melt away again in a mist of emotional irresponsibility or sexual incompatibility.

My friends kind of laugh and tell me my life is like a soap opera, but those days were about outright drudgery. To be yoked to a machine and pull, pull, pull against the weight of it, trying to achieve your dreams and seeing it all crumble, seeing nothing progress beyond a certain point, that is the essence of drudgery.

The six years I spent in Barbados were some of the most challenging of my life. As are all years I suppose, except these were not leavened with much, so it was just struggle, struggle, struggle against an unseen enemy, unpredictable forces all saying, “The way forward is closed.”

By May of 2001, in the throes of a failing relationship with KSS, a business going nowhere just limping along and just an overwhelming sense of being prevented from something. I was seeing the muffled, dulled, greyed out shapes of my dreams through the veil of something, but unable to pierce it sufficiently to get to what I wanted. Another analogy I particularly like is seeing a field of fruits and vegetables and being starving hungry for some, yet some Star Trek-type force field, unseen and impenetrable preventing me from the feast.

I was getting accolades and praise for being clever and talented, on having so much potential, but all attempts to capitalise on gains major and minor, made no difference. Most notable, Sunhead and I were accepted to the Barbados Investment Development Corporation’s business incubator programme—I got the letter the day we buried Keffi—was even given the Number 1 slot, the first office when you cross the door, yet could not gain the financial backing to really turn that into a reality.

This was when in conversation with a sister who has also been accepted to the same programme, that I got Astra’s name and telephone number, and I got in a mini bus and went up to Jackson to see her.

Of the things she revealed to me, of course the most notable was that an enemy was holding me back, and that they were doing spiritual work against me.

Surprised, because being the trusting, naive chick I am known to be, the thought that someone could do that, that I was even open to such a thing was alien to me. However, things she said stuck in my mind. Especially the part about needing spiritual baths to cleanse me, that I needed to cut away the negative energies around me.

Then at Christmas of 2001, I met RBB. This tall, handsome dreadlocked man. Lovely man. However, as lovely as we were, we hit a wall early on in our relationship where sex was concerned. Then for a while, when money was at its worse, for a few months he augmented my small income, helping me get to by.

I never asked him for anything, let me clarify, he offered. I have never believed in asking anyone for anything, much less a man. I refused him many times and there were times we argued because I just kept on dealing with whatever I was dealing with, and having to find ways to do it without asking anyone for help. He felt as though I was keeping him out of my life. He loved me, he would help me in any way he could and that is how it started.

Now I have asked my UT for help. He’s like the only real father type figure that I have from my childhood. He helped to take care of me. Our relationship now is that of mentor, but he’s pulled me out of trouble more times than I care to tell you. He’s always found ways to help me when he could, and I owe him debts least of all of money I know it may take me a while, maybe a lifetime to repay. Maybe more than one.

We didn’t start out that way, but he has been one of my great allies over the last ten years. Don’t think I don’t know it. However, I hated even asking him for help, and it’s always been a desperate last, bitter resort for me to ask. Much less a man I’ve known, but you know, when you’re in a relationship, part of the growing together is learning how to lean on each other, so I leaned on him. He encouraged me. From the beginning I had difficulty with it. As much as he said these things, I sense there was subtle difference in our relationship after and I didn’t like the tone of things.

Also, when I leaned on him, the weight of the negativity I’d been carrying around came with me, you know? I don’t blame the dude. RBB was just not able to handle many things, he just wasn’t equipped for them. He tried though. He’s the first one that stuck it out as long as he did, and well, we remain good friends to this day. He’s become another friend I can depend on to help when I need it, and there are no hard feeling between us regarding our relationship’s demise.

I started to realise, that after three years of trying to make Sunhead happen in Barbados, that there just was no way for it to work. I just couldn’t get the money I needed, and operating in Barbados—paying my rent and telephone bill and buying food—became too difficult.

It had been six years since I left Trinidad. I had for most of that time, been impoverished, went long periods without work, four months, five months as long as eight or nine months once. If it hadn’t been for UT, Keffi and my mother, there is no way I would have been able to keep myself or my brother afloat.

Exhausted from this frustrating, disappointing period of wheel-spinning, I began to weaken tremendously. Robbie was a blessing, because he helped me to keep it together for those last six months in Barbados.

His own emotional insecurities did us in, in the end. I didn’t like the emotional storms and moodiness, and tendency to break promises and not stick to what we agreed to. I also felt he was trying to control me on a subtle level, and the issue of money started to become an arguing point, so I began to look for work in Barbados.

None was to be had. I looked, I asked around, I called around. Nothing. Nada.

So I started sending out feelers in Trinidad. Then there was a nibble and then a bite, and in June of 2002, I flew down to Trinidad to interview for the job I just recently resigned from.

I managed to get both first and second interviews scheduled during the four days I was there.

However, this tale is only moderate interested with those events, other than they happened.

What I speak of more in the subsequent sequence of events, is the fact that I went to see my father. Prior to this meeting, I had had little or no experience with Orisa. None. The first time I heard the name of an Orisa, was in this line of verse, written by ( ) for the film, “love jones” and sppoken by Larenz Tate, in his big swagger scene.

The line goes,

“are you Yemaya? Aww hell naw, you got to be Osun!”

However, both those names resonated with me.

So I went to my father and told him what the woman in Barbados had said about the spiritual baths. I had just finished telling him, when he got up, told me to put on my shoes and then come with him. So I went.

He took me about five, ten minutes walk away from his place, to the home of the woman I called Big Mama K. Now, from the time I met her, I realised he had a semi-coarse, common kind of manner, but she covered it us as best as she could with a veneer of gentility and manners, but you know on a level, she could really hold a candle to my biological mother. My mother for all her faults, is a classy chic, and well, apple trees do not make cherries!

Big Mama K, was loud, brassy and very warm, so you know, being the loud, brassy and warm girl I am, I embraced her. I respected her, because clearly she had some power, whatever it was.

She told me that very day, that the shrine she had at the side of her house, was hers because my father donated his work and expertise, and built it for her with his hands and his sweat. My father is a builder. This has been part of his life’s work.

She arranged for me to go up to the Salybia River, far into the east of Trinidad, (but not as far as Toco, or Grand Rivere for that matter.) She told me she would give me my first bath, and she would introduce me to Osun.

I wrote that tale down in a dead tree journal somewhere, so you’ll pardon me if I don’t feel inclined to go into it right now. We have other parts of the tale to deal with. The point is we went, it was a transforming experience, and well that is really where the story of how I woke up really begins.

After the river, I went back to St James, and rushed down to the office to meet the MD of the company for my final interview. He told me flat out he would give me a job and squeeze out the best salary he could for me while doing it.

I went back to Barbados, calm, feeling like I had done the right thing. As soon as I got off the plane, RBB was quiet while I babbled on about all I done and seen during my four day trip. When we got back to my mother’s house, he had barely said anything, but as we sat in the car, he said to me, “I think we should just call this quits.”

I was stunned. We argued, heatedly.

The end result was a tentative truce and a deferral of rash decisions.

He didn’t see the point in continuing, because I was leaving him. He felt we should just make a clean break right a away and call it george. Why even pretend our relationship was going anywhere? He couldn’t deal with standing by why I prepared to walk out of his life. So why should we see each other at all during the coming months.

I said I saw no reason why we should end our relationship because I was going. I felt we could try to work things out some way or the other. We could come back and forth for weekends, maybe he could see if he could do some business in Trinidad, and we could try to keep what we had and build it despite the adversity.

Besides, at that point, I hadn’t got the job yet, nothing was certain or decided.

He wasn’t convinced, but he agreed not to call it quits that night.

Everything moved kind of quickly after that. I got a little pick at a local web development firm filling in for someone during their holiday for month, and I made tentative plans to leave.

The whole time, RBB and I battled and fought and he was very nasty to me more than once, but I remained patient all except once, and eventually he began to support my efforts, but not willingly.

Now we began to have sex again, now when he was losing me.

In September of 2002 I quit Bim (hopefully for good). I got down to Trinidad and one of the first things I did was seek out Big Mama K (even using these names now pisses me off, but in a way, I feel continuity is important).

She was glad to see me and I expressed an interest in learning more about the Orisas and the tradition. I felt in every way, I needed to move slowly, so for the most part we were just friends, me and BMK.

She wasn’t a part of an ile, and wasn’t going to any regular ijuba (service), so I never attended anything like that with her.

I was invited to cover the Egungun Festival in Princes Town in November of that year and that was my introduction to the greater tradition and in truth, the Orisa community.

The Egungun masquerade was one of the fascinating experience, and it was an evening of many meetings. I meant one of the brightest intellectual Garveyites for the first time. Much to my embarrassment, as I shook Tony Martin’s hand, I had no idea who he was. That’s another story, one I am getting pretty close to telling.

The point is, that was the first time for me in a great many ways. It was my first time attending any Orisa events, it was the first time I met Osunyemi, it was a day of firsts for me.

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thegoddessroom

The Vault

sungoddess

mermaid, dayo's mama, water priestess, writer, web developer, omo yemoja, dos aguas, obsessive reader, sci-fi fan, trini-bajan, combermerian, second life, music, music, music!