Monday, October 8, 2012

Interview with Aleja founder of Stay Strong and Stand

I called Aleja and asked her for an interview that I could post here on  my blog for you all.  She is the author of  "All I Can Do Is Stand" and founder of  'Stay Strong and Stand'.   Her bravery is inspiring and this is her story.

Me:         How old were you when the abuse began?

Aleja:     I was 6 months old.  My mother left my siblings and I alone in an apartment and didn't return.  When the police found us they took us to the New York Foundling in Manhattan.  I had pneumonia. 
                When they found my mother she gave up all rights to me and my siblings.  They separated us,  having different families adopt us.  At 40 years old I still don't know who they are.
                Then at 2 I was adopted by a deacon and deaconess and that was when the nightmare began.

Me:         What did they do?

Aleja:     They would physically abuse me and mentally as well.  They would dress me nice, but only feed me when the felt like it. They would call me names like retard, idiot, and liar. 

Me:         So they basically only cared about what people saw?

Aleja:     Yes. 

Me:         How did you get through what your adoptive parents were doing?

Aleja:     I realized I was blessed with a voice.  Singing made all the trauma and abuse bearable.  When I would sing I would cry, which was a relief.  I also became active in church.  I joined the choir, attended bible study, excreta.  I even started writing.
                I also learned to sleep with one eye open.  As I got older I wasn't as scared.  I would stay with friends.  Though they weren't very good friends.  My boyfriends were crack heads, drug addicts, and abusers as well.
                I also would drink.  A lot.  I eventually got up to drinking about a half-gallon of liquor a day.  I did try to drink a lot of water to compensate because I was still trying to be conscious about my health.

Me:         What caused you to stop drinking?

Aleja:     I went to the doctor and he gave me clean bill of health even after all of my drinking.  It made me realize that God had been taking care of me.  There was no other excuse.  It made me realize that there was something important I had to do in my life.

Me:         You mentioned you started to write.  At what age did you first write?  What was it?

Aleja:     I started writing in High School.  It took me 4 years to write my book and when I graduated I got my writings in a book.  It was amazing to have that.  Then one day I went to go take a bath and when I got done my book had disappeared.  I didn't write again until I was 25.

Me:         What did you write then?

Aleja:     I wrote "Being Alive".  It was my first poem I had written after my book had been stolen.  In 2006 I wrote "Only The Strong Can Survive" it was published by America Published.  They also published other book of my poetry, "Beautiful Poetic Strategy and Recovery" in 2008. 
                They didn't get it out very well so I decided to become a self-published author.  Since then I have published 8 more books on my own.

Me:         Can you tell me a little bit about your family?

Aleja:     My daughter is going to college in Wisconsin.  I unfortunately went through a hard time and my grandmother had to take care of her when she was younger but I still tried to be there for her. 
                One day she broke her foot while at school.  I gave everything I had including my rent money to be there for her.  She is my daughter, I was just being a good mother.  My grandmother thought I was an idiot for doing that.
                The rest of my family was around when they found out I published my first book, but when they realized that I didn't make a lot of money off of it they all disappeared again.

Me:         Is there anything you wish you could say to those reading this or those going through something similar?

Aleja:     Yes.  Find out what your purpose is.  Find out why the enemy wants to destroy you.  When it comes down to it be the winner.  Don't let the destroyer, destroy you.

Me:         Thank you so much for doing this interview.

Aleja:     Thank you for calling me.