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Kara Thunderstorm: Her Story. (Part One)!
By Karen Lynn Vidra, The Texas Tornado   


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A Native American woman living in Tennessee shares her story. Her best friend is Pulalay Khelefi; they live in an apartment, where they are roommates.

Image of approaching thunderhead (c) 2011, by Karla Dorman.

Nashville, Tennessee, July 23, 2011~

Greetings!  My name is Kara Joy Thunderstorm (nee Begay).  Yes, that is my real given (married) name; please do not make jokes or laugh.  Believe me, I have heard everything you can imagine and at times I find it highly annoying!

I am 32 years old.  I live in an apartment for people who are disabled.  I do not work because I have seizures that are hard to control.  I take medication every day, but things in life stress me out and stress only makes the seizures worse.  It's a pain having to depend on others because I cannot work or drive!  I do get a small disability stipend, but after bills, I'm lucky IF I have ten dollars to my name to last me the rest of the month!

I have a baby boy.  He is a little over a year old and he is the apple of my eye.  He is my world; I love him so much!  His name is Eddie-Jack and he brings much joy into my otherwise drab life (as does my roommate, Pulalay Khelefi [I hope I spelled her name right!] ).  Little E.J. (as I call him) is walking and talking up a storm.  His full name is Eddie-Jack Wyoming Thunderstrom.

I was married to his father, Eddie, but he proved to be very abusive to me, both physically and mentally/emotionally.  I had to get out in order to save my life and the life of my son; he called me nasty names and hit me or pushed me.  I can't tell you how many times I have had to go to a hospital ER to get treatment; sometimes his violent outbursts were so severe I ended up in the hospital (like the time when he kicked me in the stomach and ruptured my spleen and fractured several ribs; I was in the hospital for five days on that one).

It was really bad!  I still have nightmares and can't trust most people now because of it.  Sometimes the nightmares are so bad I wake up gasping for air and pouring sweat and shaking like a leaf.  I am seeing a counselor at the mental health clinic to help me deal with these strong emotions but I just started; I really don't see it making any difference in my life.

Anyway, Pulalay was born in Africa, in Sudan.  She is extremely dark (her skin reminds me of polished ebony; in the summer it turns nearly jet-black) and towers over me by a good two feet (she is 6'7"; I am 4'7").  She is excessively tall for a woman; she is the tallest woman I have ever seen in my life!

Pulalay is a writer.  She is thinking of writing a book, but she has had several articles published in several local newspaper (she writes about local events and news stories).  She graduated from college; she is extreemely smart!

I am Native American.  I guess you have probably figured that out already just by hearing my last name.  I can guarantee you this much: once you hear it, you are likely never to forget it.  I am Dine' (Navajo); I was born in Arizona, but moved here to Tennessee when I started college.  I never graduated; I always felt that I was too dumb to finish it.  Do I regret it? Some days, yes, but on other days, no, because even going to college doesn't gurantee you a job.  I know that much and having epilepsy has just about killed that chance altogether.  So I get a small disability stipend every month, as I said before.

I was teased growing up.  What made it really bad was that most of the kids who teased me were Native Americans themselves, so why did they pick on me?  Maybe it was because I was so much tinier than the rest of them, I don't know, but it caused me to go home from school in tears most days.  They also teased me about my last name. I hated school; I was never so glad to get out of there!

College was okay, but as I said, I am not smart and most of what they taught was way over my head, so I dropped out.

I have my son now to raise.  Now that Eddie my ex is out of the picture (hopefully for good!), E.J. is my focus in life and trying to get my seizures/stress under control.  That is sometimes next to impossible!  Thank God I have Pulalay to help out; she makes an awesome baby sistter; she is so good with little kids it's unreal!  I think she would make a great mamma herself one day!

Well, I have to eat, so I can take my nightly dose of Phenobarbitol, then I will probably watch a kiddie movie with E.J. and Pulalay and call it a night once the drug starts to take hold; Phenobarbitol makes me very sleepy.  I will write in here again; until later, this is Kara saying so long!  May the Great Spirit bless you in your walk in life!

~Kara Joy. :)

~To be continued.~  



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    Gold and Platinum Members


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