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WE AT BRANDED HAVE SOME OF THE BEST WRITERS IN THE GAME SO THEY HAVE COME TO SHARE SOME OF THEIR WRITTEN WORK WITH YOU.

My name is Erin Adams-Phillips, but most people call me “Dedee or Dee”. I am a professional writer, and owner of Quality Writing & Editing LLC. I am originally from Alabama, but now reside in Cincinnati, Ohio. YES, I am a true Southern Belle with a deep Southern drawl. Within the coming months, I will have a non-profit organization, Erin’s Echo! Erin’s Echo will support families stricken by life-threatening and/or debilitating illnesses who cannot receive help from the federal or state and other non-profit organizations due to having a “middle class” income. Erin’s Echo will also serve as an awareness organization for Sarcoidoisis (SARCS). SARCS is an autoimmune disease of unknown cause, characterized by granulomatous tubercles of the skin, lymph nodes, lungs, eyes, and other structures. I was diagnosed with SARCS earlier this year and I long to share my wows and my woes. All of my blogs will be from personal experiences and life lessons. They are generalized and not directed at certain groups, people, places, or things. If I say something once, I can say it again, and again, and again ~hence Erin’s echo~

the return of the Dolphin: I once was lost

 
If I told you how many times I rewrote this blog, you would say, “Was it really that serious?” My answer would be “YES”…because this piece eulogizes the me I have been for the last 18 years and resurrects the who I was before—complimented by maturity. I cannot start to explain with all the society branded “negatives” presently in my life how positive and happy I feel at this moment…that is a BLESSING…that’s confirmation…that’s God!
I find it ironic, comical even that until 1994, I NEVER had people refer to me as “fake”.  I never needed nor wanted neither acceptance nor validity. For the last 18 years of my life, “you fake this” and “you fake that” has been the anthem when I enter and exit a room. Even people who don’t KNOW me say “you so fake”! While I am a natural born hell-raiser (genetic from my Daddy), I let much slide, but the sting of it all…it never died…it lives inside of me…it haunts me (but it doesn’t hurt me)!
Recently, I won’t even lie, I smoked a blunt…looked in the mirror…eyes small…hair jet black…natural skin…no make-up…and I said, “Damn, Dee…how did you lose yourself? When did you stop smiling? More importantly; why?”
As the tears started to fall down my full cheeks, I rolled my eyes up to God…shook my head…closed my eyes…and found myself on my knees! Not one word escaped my lips…I was just there and my heart did all the confessing (that He already knew)…I just stayed there kneeled and crying and crying and crying! Finally in ASL, I signed “In Jesus name, Amen”.
I really couldn’t speak (maybe I was too high…I don’t know…but I could not voice one word…spooky huh?).
I have a blister on my knee right now…I love that blister!
See, I’m wise enough to know that change starts with oneSELF…I changed…morphed myself into someone I was not for people I didn’t even know and did NOT care to know! I did that…yes, I did…for 18 years. Before, I was so outgoing, bubbly, happy…hey, they say flirtatious…I say…so be it. I allowed other people’s thinking and thoughts to matter and dictate the who I was when they never should have mattered to me at all; however, I was young, immature…out to prove to others something that was nothing.
“…accepting your inner truths all the while listening to your inner voice of reason and sanity. It’s funny all my life you have been my best friend, my first lover. Still, I abandoned you for years, but you waited for me when I lost myself, because you understood my immaturity and my fears” ~from Me, Myself, & I by Erin Adams-Phillips~
That action was confirmation that I had officially lost myself. When I looked in the mirror, the image staring back at me was surrounded by human-devils and bible thumpers…singing holier than thou praises and labeling me with their sins…because of their own insecurities.
As time went on, so many things happened to me…I lost my bestest cousin to death…he was murdered. I slipped into a major depression. I was like a zombie living outside of myself watching my mock life. I started to let other people opinions of me shape me into the who they thought I should be. I was easily influenced by family, friends, and foes alike when they revealed to me both truths and lies. During it all, the backstabbers and assbackwards were untruthing my truths.
Contrary to the lies they said about me, I lived a sheltered life, not only as compared to them, but to most. Really, I am not being sarcastic. The small county in Alabama I am from, just became a “wet” county in the last few years…we have no movies…no shopping outlets…we have small schools…everybody knows everybody…I was allowed small freedom, but I was always on a short leash. I thought when I moved to Montgomery, Alabama in 1992, I was in the city now (Montgomery is so not city). I was able to go and come without a curfew…I had freedom! I did not care what anyone thought about me because I knew who I was, where I came from, and what I stood for. I never explained myself nor my actions to anyone. Hell, I was 18 years old living on my own. I was outspoken and sure of myself. I stayed true to my who…to me.
Now, I am back…I have returned…thank you, Jesus!  I’m not called Dolphin Dedee because I look like a dolphin (they are too cute)…I am called that because I’m LOYAL like dolphins…I am HAPPY like dolphins…I SMILE like dolphins…I’m CONFIDENT like dolphins.
I allowed myself to be rearranged by an inner-me that I did not know…I allowed situations and conditions to shape me like clay…people, that is how you get labeled FAKE…and truth is, for me, they were on point…I was FAKE…I was trying to be someone I was not to be accepted by a group that I did not even want to belong to…no matter how I try to spin that, the outcome remains the same—I WAS FAKE!
I am so happy to announce, that Bitch is dead and gone…bitch, bye!  You have held me down in bondage far too long…you…are…not…welcome…here…any…more!!! Get out of my house….out of my head…out of my heart! You have been evicted…terminated…cancelled…replaced!
DAMN ~whew, give me a minute here to cry and do my praise dance~ / /0\ / ~wiping tears~
I have been sick off and on since 2009. Finally, it was confirmed I have Sarcoidosis…no surprises there…it runs in my family. I have been through so much with this illness due to the way it attacks your body and STRESS…STRESS kills! I was having flare-up after flare-up…my childs had to watch me repeatedly get needle-stuck because I have regurged every ounce of fluid in my body…my childs! My babies. MY BABIES. When I thought prayers were going unanswered, truth is, the answer was in front of me ~tears flowing~.
On one occasion, I had to call the Police to go to my home and get my underage child who I left there while I went to the ER thinking I would get fluids and come home, but little did I know I was 48 hours from DEATH…had I not went to the ER, I would be DEAD…the mocked me…the forced me have cried so much and wanted to prove to others so badly that I could survive anything that I made my childs endure things a child should never have to endure…let me echo that again…I was so lost, I MADE my childs endure things a child should never have to endure! Even sadder, for all the wrong reasons!
…hell, I had marital problems…but my kids were NOT in that…they are our childs…part of our family…NOT part of our marriage…Phil  has been and will always be a STAND-UP father…I am NOT A FACTOR when it comes to his kids…why the hell do you think I’ve loved him so long? Ain’t shit like a good ass father…sue me…and he is just that…I give credit where credit is due…BOOM!
My illness was/is difficult for him…I respect that and I understand and I have not one bad thing to say against him because HE WAS THERE for me and he tried to reassure and console our childs and my Mommy…it is not easy to see your spouse as sick as I have been. I will forever appreciate that and respect that for life!  BUT…there is always a but; right?…
Phil was not happy with me…how could he be?…he doesn’t even know ME…because I lost myself…18 years ago!!!!!
How can you love someone you don’t know? I cheated him…not on him ~roll eyes~…I cheated him…trying to conform to the standards of what others thought I should be (others who have a mucked up relationship if they have one at all). He loved the pseudo, mock, morphed image “Darlene”…scoffs…that chick ain’t me…in fact, I didn’t even like her ass!
This…this is ME…this is Erin…this is Dedee…this is Dee…this is Dee-A…this is Dolphin Dee…small town chick from the backwoods of Monroeville, Alabama…I like to confuse my us’es and we’s and say come’mere versus come here…I like ham hocks and rice…I like oxtails and gravy…I like fish and grits…I have skinned rabbits and coons and roasted pigs in the backyard…and damnit, I even eat my collards with my hands…and WHAT!?
I laugh loud…with my mouth wide open…I don’t try to look cute…I’m not a girly girl…I prefer to hang out on the front porch of my Mamma’s house with my brothers and nephews and debate (oh, I’m sawry…talk shit) about sports, guns, cars, and hip hop verses sitting in the kitchen with my sisters n’em talking who had a baby…I don’t do gossip…I don’t do MESS!!! I’m outspoken…oh, just admit it….I curse like a sailor…but I’m ride or die…I’m LOYAL…I’m TRUE……..but…….
Eighteen years ago, I lost myself and cheated a man, whom I married, out of knowing ME…he possibly could have loved ME…and maybe our vows would have been to death do us part…maybe not…who knows. This era of our life is over. Though it hurts to let go of something good, we both know that you have to let go of the good if you want your GREAT!
What I do know is that the damage done to my name…my life resume…my HEART cannot be fixed. I’ve been accused of everything from being Jezebel to King Tut …I’ve slept with Methuselah and his 9 kids…or did he have more?…my body was used to part to the Red Sea…that wasn’t God (I’m being sarcastic)…to get the Israelites that was lost in me out of Egypt and back home..Moses is my best friend ~roll eyes~. Gossip…envy…and lies all through the eyes of others about me! That is OVER…it is now time to start living and stop surviving…no more lies through anyone eyes about me!!
“No more lies through your eyes…No more opinionated cries…
No more who, what, where, or whys…No more emotional distress
No more dramafied mess…No more unhappiness…I chose to live not live to die”
~ from Lies Through Your Eyes by Erin Adams-Phillips~
Whew…I don’t care what anyone thinks of me…You think I don’t know my own flaws? My own sins? I know who I am…I was just LOST…I slipped into a depression…I thought moving across 3 states would help me embrace this pseudo girl I didn’t even like that was within me and heal my marriage…but that is no more…no more untruthing my truths!!…I asked the image in the mirror…
“How much does a woman have to take, Oh mirror, mirror, to be justified, liberated, educated on she?… How many nights will she fall to her knees asking for death to rescue her from her own personal hell?…Begging death to swallow her up before her own soul she sells?…To be justified, must she truth her lies, regain her pride, collect her dignity, and walk in stride…Smile, not only with her lips, but with her heart and her eyes”
 ~from Mirror, Mirror by Erin Adams-Phillips~
Reality of it all, you cannot escape the TRUE you. You can lose weight…gain weight…wear colored contacts…bounce the bestest weave…live in the dopest home…drive the finest car…but under all the fabrication is YOUR HEART…and if you don’t love YOU…if you are not happy with YOU…if you don’t appreciate YOU…if you do not respect YOU…YOU should not expect for anyone else to love you…be happy with you…appreciate you…nor respect you!
“I never thought I could love a person the way I that I love you…Unconditional~ I’m willing to accept your flaws…Compromise to make minor changes for the better without changing who I am and break no laws…” ~from Me, Myself, & I by Erin Adams-Phillips~
Though I feel I was raped prematurely by society and people more life-experienced than I…I am grateful that I experienced love…I am thankful I felt what it feels like to be loved. I am humbled by the hurt I endured and the hurt I caused. I thank those in my path who stayed true to their whoremongering and trick-filled ways and ever so impolitely removed their filth from my life. Today, I am balanced…my soul connects with my heart…I smile…like a perfect puzzle…everything fits and reveals the true me that I lost 18 years ago…complimented by maturity.
…like a dolphin caged in too shallow waters by man’s selfishness, who can no longer perform impressive, acrobatic flips they naturally long to do, I suppressed my TRUE SELF within man’s cage; however, I found an escape…I’m back swimming in true waters…I’m not wading…I’m embracing the corals deep in the sea…as I spin out of control in the air and cry the prettiest wale to my Mommy…my Daddy…my brothers…my sisters…my Aunties…my Nephews…my Nieces…my friends…hey girlsssss…I’m back…as I introduce myself to my daughters…for the first time…they get to meet ME…no more lies…no more false impersonations…and I see the tears in my Mommy eyes…she can’t speak…so her arms say, “Welcome back, my child! I missed you!”
“… I can’t wait to take you home to Momma. She will be overcome with joy when she sees the smile of happiness on my face…The signs of joy in my heart- she told me from you to never part…This is my PROMISE to you…To always be true…I will NEVER forsake you; for you are me… And starting today, you will see I’m yours for all eternity! Today, I PLEDGE this to you SELF! To always accept my self-worth, conquer my self-esteem, appreciate my self-confidence and honor my self-respect. Because if I don’t love you, NO ONE else will or can So, I COMMIT to you today…I am DEVOTED to you from this day forward And I promise to love and honor you for the rest of my life. Upon my death until the day I die. For better or for worse for richer or poorer I will love you…Me, Myself, and I”
~from Me, Myself, and I by Erin Adams-Phillips~

Dana Arentzen 

Dana was born and raised in Washington State. Her interests include, reading (anything by Frank McCourt), travel,
Facebook and cooking. She has been writing Erotica for a while and prior to this wrote for the Examiner.com as a
Relationship specialist. Dana has two daughters.

He was so amazing. When he looked at her she felt her whole body flush and he knew what he did to her and he loved it. He touched her cheek with his lips, so lightly and moved his hand toher breasts. She breathed deeply, afraid to move, she didn’t want to spoil the moment. He undid her bra with the skill of a magician and bent down to kiss the nipples which were so hard to his touch. He smiled, not at her, just the smile of a man who knew what he was doing. She stood there, naked and shivering, not from the cold, but the anticipation of what he would do next.

Ever so slowly he followed every curve on her body with his tongue. From her lips, to her neck, down to her breasts, across her stomach, her navel and then she felt him there. His breathing getting deeper, she felt his tongue between her legs and she wanted to cry out it felt so good.

He brought her body to the edge but stopped short of giving her what she wanted. He stood up and kissed her long and hard, she tasted herself on his mouth. He was so hard now, wanting her to please him. She got on her knees and took him in her mouth, using her tongue with the same skill he used on her.

She loved the taste of him. He had his hand on the back of her head as he moved her back and forth, he was ready to cum, she could tell. He picked her up and carried her to the bed, laying her on her back. She opened her legs, and he pushed himself into her. She gasped, it didn’t matter how many times they were together, she still felt like a virgin whenever he entered her.

It didn’t last very long, but the intensity and craving was so animalistic. His breathing and her telling him how good it felt, he held her so close when he came, when they came together all sweaty and hot, and then fell back laughing at how much they needed each other. That was when he looked at her and smiled.

The breeze from the ocean felt good. She could taste the salt on her lips. Sometimes it was good to get away and this was one of those times.

She was tired, mentally drained from the emotional rollercoaster she had been on for the past two years. But it was mostly her fault. How can you have a relationship with someone who you have never met face to face? How many men had told her that they loved her? And she had always believed them. All the phone sex, Skype sex, the late night conversations and texts that seemed to go on forever with promises of meetings that never took place.

Was she that lonely? So pathetic that becoming a victim of love was her only way to happiness?  She sat down on a log and thought about that. She loved them all, that was the problem. Each man brought something to her that she needed and if you combined them all you would have the perfect man.

But she was lonely. The nights could be long and she wondered what they were doing, who they were doing. And although each one claimed there was no one else but her, she had to laugh. She wasn’t stupid. Strong, good looking young men usually did not sleep alone. And she would see pictures in magazines of parties they had attended with some sexy looking woman, or read about plans they had made for weekends without her. But come Monday, her phone would start to vibrate with messages and calls like nothing had happened.

How many times had she deleted them? Getting rid of any trace that they existed. But they would find her and it would start all over again. And yet whenever she would try to have a normal relationship with someone who lived closer, she couldn’t. They would meet, go out a few times, fuck and then she would lose interest or find something wrong with the poor guy.

Was this going to be her life? If she managed to hold onto her looks for another five years was this how it would end? Would she be alone and miserable waiting for someone to call her?

There were times when the thought of her future threatened to drive her mad. She would panic and hide under her blankets for days not wanting to face the reality of what she had created. All she had ever wanted was to be with a good, hardworking man who loved her and would take care of her. What she had created was in her mind what she deserved and maybe it was time to face her reality….alone.

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