Have you ever felt like a goldfish in a bowl-the way the goldfish seems to be full of anxiety swimming around in circles as if trying to find a way out?
In this memoir, author Onika Pointer discusses how she felt like a goldfish in a bowl for most of her life, and she demonstrates how she learns to take responsibility for her own happiness.
Granddaughter and great niece of the famous singing group, The Pointer Sisters, Onika was born at the peak of the group's success. In Humble Bastard,
she talks about the privileges and advantages afforded to her as a result of her family's stardom. But this memoir also addresses how some of that privilege came with pain.
Abused by her mother both physically and emotionally for seventeen years, Onika reveals the darkness in her life-weight issues, suicide attempts, homelessness, a tragic accident, and the deaths of those close to her.
Endowed with a sixth sense that allows her to see past time and before time, Onika looks within herself, discovers personal strength, and prevails. Humble Bastard speaks to those in similar situations and demonstrates that hopes,
goals, and inner peace are all attainable.
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.84(d)|
About the Author
Sisters. Pointer lives in Hollywood, California, and is now working as a film actress and spends her time auditioning, writing, and volunteering at a homeless shelter.
Read an Excerpt
Humble BastardA Memoir
By ONIKA POINTER
iUniverse, Inc.Copyright © 2010 ONIKA POINTER
All right reserved.
Chapter Onethe sickness
When I was 12 years old I began to get these really odd feelings like I wasn't real, like I was watching myself and everyone around me. I would slip in and out of this feeling, and the only way that I could remind myself that I am real and that my life is really happening and that it's happening to me. Was to take my right hand and caress it with my left one. Then I would stare directly at my hands and I would say softly to myself but out loud, "I'm real this is real I'm not in a dream. My hands are real my fingers are real. If I cut my finger real blood will come out of me because this is a real finger!" I would have to do this until that dizzy like weird feeling passed away. What was this odd brain laps that was invading my consciousness? The strangest thing was I remember my sister saying to me that she had the same issue sometimes. And I believed her.
She was the only person accept for myself that could put into words what this brain laps felt like. All I had were my hands and they were, and still are the only thing that can I trust to remind myself that I am real and that I am alive at that very moment. I know my hands and I trust them. But I could not trust my own brain. I Did not know the explanation for this problem when I first began experiencing it. But I would come to learn in my teen years that it was emotional anxiety. I think one of the reasons I had these anxiety attacks is because for people like me that have been blessed and cursed with the gift of prophecy or clairvoyant ability, Everything on this earth that I come into contact with affects me ten times if not more than it would the average person or a person who is not a medium or clairvoyant Wether it be an animal I come into contact with or a specific situation good or bad. My energy level and overall emotional state is affected on a deeper level than most people. I'm what you would call a clairvoyant or spiritual medium. This means that I have a deep sixth sense I and am able to feel the feelings of people and animals around me. I can sometimes see into ones past and see into the near future. The gift comes with the ability to see and often communicate with spirits as well. Now this may sound like poppycock to the average Joe. But if you are reading this book then you are not the average Joe. You know and understand the different dimensions on this earth and the energy and space we sometimes share with those on the other side, the spiritual world.
I was raised in the Christian church, so all of the gifts I have were seemingly ungodly. The whole ability to see past time and before time and communicate with spirits in Christianity is considered witchcraft. But this gift I possessed was also in my blooodline My great grandmother had it, my mother has it, and my great aunt June the abilities as well. So there were some people in my family that had an understanding about what was happening to me. But I was still put in therapy by the age of five because of my odd personality and accurately strange prognostications. I remember the therapy sessions vividly. The head doctor was a nice enough fellow. He reminded me of Mr. Rogers. You know? Super soft spoken and always wore a slight light smile on his face, and moved around like a turtle. He was very inquisitive naturally being my therapist. But I personally felt like he found me to be very odd for someone of my age. I mean there I was five years old and I'm complaining of ghosts and saying specific events will soon happen and then they would happen. It obviously baffled this man. He bonded with me over a game of candy land in every session. We would often talk about the things I would see, and why I believed them to be real. I knew these occurrences that were happening to me were real. yet I also felt that I wasn't quite normal. I was so vulnerable to human emotion I would just break apart when I saw anyone in pain or emotional turmoil. I never felt like the ground underneath my feet was still for me. I was always on shaky ground.
I experienced so much rejection from my mother starting at such a young age that I began to act out in anger and eat my emotions. While I was growing up my mother Faun was my boogieman under the bed, she was my all-time most feared monster.
My mother Faun was a hardcore drug addict for the first 13 years of my life. I think her addiction was inspired by her feelings of rejection from her mother with a combination of being privileged and sexually abused by a family in law. So Fauns life long struggle with drug addiction's is not something I want to bash her for. However, when she did use certain drugs she would beat the shit out of me. She never hit my half sister Sadako who is younger than me by one year and six months though. Sadako and I have different fathers you see, our mother Faun loved her father but she hated mine. The way that my mom met my a dad was they went out on a double date with our cousin Jada whom was like a sister to my mom because Jada and my biological mother Faun were born around the same time and Jada is my great aunt Anita's only daughter.
Apparently my mom had sex with my father for less than 20 minutes while standing up. 8 months later I showed up.
When I was a little kid, there were so many things happening to me that I had absolutely no control over
Because when you're a minor people don't listen to what you have to say. I mean sometimes they hear you but most adults won't take children seriously. Accept for my Grandma Sarah whom took me seriously and never failed me. My great Grandma Sarah was the air I breathed and my reason for living. But my mother was jealous of my great Grandma's love and adoration for me and so Faun began to treat me like she hated me with a passion.
Faun would come to the house when she ran out of money or ran into trouble. And when she did come to the house, she would do things to me that would destroy my trust in adults for most of my life. The first memory I have of my mom being high was when I was about five years old. She was drunk but under the influence of something else I later found out was a drug called fairy dust or pcp. My great Grandma had been in the hospital so Faun my sister and I were the only people in the house during that time. My sister Sadako and I were sitting on my grandma saraha's bedroom floor watching the television when our mother Faun came storming through the door with a wild frantic expression on her face.
She immediately grabbed my sister and I by our little arms and dragged us into my great grandma sarah's bedroom walk-in closet. I remember seeing the door shut and watching the door handle turn as she locked us in. All I could here on the outside of the door was ranting and raving about the house being on fire. She was screaming "I know you did! I know you set the house on fire mother fucker get the fuck out get out"!!! then I heard more screaming followed by breaking glass noises.
My mother Faun had been so high that she had hallucinated the entire incident. There was no fire, there wasn't anyone home besides Sadako, myself and our mother who had gone absolutely insane. Being locked in a closet is terrifying for a child. My sister and I were in complete darkness just waiting for smoke to seep through the closet door. But there was no smoke or fire, just madness beyond the closet door. And as far as I was concerned, Sadako and I weren't safe on either side of that door!
When my uncle fritz brought my Grandma Sarah home from the hospital, the house was a disaster area.
My mother had dangerous frivolous junkies over and my sister and I had missed weeks of school.
In my family the generations start young so we would refer to our grandmothers as Nana, and our great grandmother's as Grandma. My great Grandma Sarah raised me with such love and patience I know that she absolutely adored me. But Faun and her hysterics was wearing my Grandma out. My Grandma Sarah was a diabetic and high stress levels would cause her to get high blood pressure. I remember giving her insulin shot's in her arm and stomach when I was just a little girl. I always felt responsible for my great grandma's health.
but between the friction between my mom and I, and the dysfunctional lifestyle that my she brought into the house. My Grandma sarah became overwhelmingly stressed out and began to get i'll very often not. So my Nana Ruthy saw fit to have me move into her house in Malibu with her and her youngest daughter at the time my aunt Issa.
I know she had loving intentions towards me when she moved me into her house in Malibu and offered me a taste of "the good life". But being separated from my grandma sarah was a huge deal because I was so attached to her that I couldn't even sleep away from her. I just couldn't imagine life without her. Grandma was my whole world. She was the most important aspect of my life, and my life evolved around her well being and physical health. I slept next to Grandma until I was 15 years old so that I could make sure her heart was always beating. When I was a little girl like 5 I remember waking up in the middle of the night and asking Grandma to walk with me to the bathroom. I was so scared of being alone and I was having really horrific nightmares at the time. The situation wasn't that I wasn't potty trained. I was just so scared of being away from my Grandma Sarah that I wanted her with me everywhere I went and I wanted to be wherever she was. The funny thing is that the bathroom was in her bedroom. I mean it was a master bedroom with a bathroom in it. So I only had to walk 10 to 12 feet from the bed to the bathroom. That's how attached to my Grandma I was. She loved me so much that she would walk me every time I had to go in the middle of the night and she never huffed or complained about it.
Life is so interesting because after a series of strokes. the circulation in my Grandma's legs got worse which made it hard for her to walk. So By the time I was 15 years old I was walking her to the bathroom in the middle of the night to make sure she wouldn't fall.
And I did it with honor. I loved her beyond human comprehension.
I really want to emphasize her importance in my life. She was my life! I loved her so much that when we would travel to see her daughter's my great aunts Anita, June and my Nana Ruthy perform. I would have no qualms about a possible plane crash because that meant that my Grandma and I would die together. And I would never have to live my life without her. We were so inseparable that when we were separated for a long length of time, one of us would get physically ill.
Still the family discussed it and I was sent to Malibu to live with my Nana Ruthy. I had been attending a French school since I was in pre -school in Tiburon California when I lived in Novato. So when I moved to Malibu, I attended Lycee Francais in Santa Monica on overland. I really did enjoy life at the time even though I couldn't sleep at night. Being separated from my Grandma Sarah was starting to affect my sleeping habits but I did have some good days.
I attended the Lycee Francais in Santa Monica for a very limited time though. I was soon enrolled into a catholic school in Malibu. It was one of the most popular posh private schools in Malibu.
Our principal was a nun by the name of Sister Mary Margarete. Sister Mary Margarete was perpetually angry. Her face looked like a bunched up ball of crinkled paper and she always had this look on her face like she smelled something awful. She was short tempered and quick to judge people. I mean the woman was notorious for making students to cry over really embarrassing personal adolescent crisis like acne and weight fluctuations among the teenage girls, which were absolutely normal occurrences for teenagers and pre-teens to be going through when their bodies are changing.
I had been living at my Nana's for almost a year when Mike, grandpa number five showed up. At least he would become grandpa number five. I don't understand how it happened so quickly, I mean I feel like he moved in on her like a disguised snake in the grass, like a predatory animal in the wild. He was very charming but so sneaky and mean to me. Mike treated me like I was a big piece of furniture that was wedged in the middle of a hallway that he desperately was trying to pass through. When he saw how much my Nana loved me. He realized that he couldn't just get rid of me by requesting that I be sent away. Like an odd chair that just didn't fit with the rest of the house but was loved by the lady of the house. He would have to break off pieces of me until there was so little left of me, that I would become easy to remove. He would break me down so much until I wanted to be removed. He would make me feel so emotionally inadequate and unwanted to the point that I would want to leave voluntarily, and he wouldn't have to be "the bad guy".
The house Nana Ruthy had in Malibu made allot of strange noises in the middle of the night. There had been an infestation of tarantulas and mice just before I moved there, so there were still some critters crawling around and making noises throughout house at night. We were in the Malibu hills were there were allot of coyotes, mountain lions and other wild animals that would find their way onto my Nana's ruthy's property.
In Malibu the nights would get windy, and my room was not originally built to be a bedroom. It was originally the garage. So the room sounded like a jungle at night because of it's proximity to the driveway and all of the trees. My Nana Ruthy had furnished and remodeled the space with the bunk beds, a dresser a television and a business desk before i moved in. The whole house was gorgeous including my bedroom. but it was so cold and as soon as Mike moved in the the love that had kept it warm for while was quickly gone the moment his clean white shirts found their way into my nana's bedroom dresser's. Before Mike moved into the house I had a loving close relationship with my nana Ruthy. sometimes On the night's I was to scared to sleep alone I would knock on Nana's bedroom door hoping she would let me in her room, which she did.
She would open the door with a smile and let me climb into her bed. She would assure my safety in the embrace of her arms and then I immediately fell asleep. But all of that ended when mike moved in.
I'm telling you that this guy had such a dark energy that as soon as he looked me in the eye an told me that he was marrying my Nana, I felt an uneasy chill that made me sick to my stomach. After I was informed that Mike and my Nana were going to get married, everything in the house was adjusted or changed for his comfort because he was a complete control freak.
This part of my childhood is perhaps the most crucial because this is when my eating disorder began to manifest itself.
My Nana Ruthy had a nanny to help take care of my aunt Issa her second daughter 4 years my senior and I. The nanny would take us to school every morning, pick us up from school in the afternoon and make sure that we eat. Issa was adored by Nana Ruthy so I don't think that any of the nanny's played the psychological head games with her that they played with me.
Excerpted from Humble Bastard by ONIKA POINTER Copyright © 2010 by ONIKA POINTER. Excerpted by permission.
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