Thursday, September 8, 2011

My Story - Charlotte Stanley

I am so not a celebrity follower, so to me I knew of Michael Jackson because you would have to be living under a rock to not know him in some form. I knew of the Jackson 5 growing up but in the 70's where Im from there wasnt much exposure to me of black americans. I remember growing up being a big Osmond fan. In fact I was in Love with Donny Osmond. I wanted to marry him. To me I thought the Jackson group was copying The Osmonds. What did I know? Donny Osmond was on all the teen magazines I used to get. I know Michael was on some of those magazines, but either I never noticed him or he wasnt exposed much.... I truly cant remember him much but when I see old magazines now for sale I see he was there. I dont recall hearing too much of their music growing up either. By the time I was graduating from high school is when Thriller was just coming to its peak in 1983. I do remember Off The Wall and I really liked some of those songs and some of the earlier songs of The Jacksons stuff after they left Motown. It was nothing more than appreciating the songs, in fact I dont think I even associated that it was them until after Thriller got huge. Then of course I saw everything that every one else did because Michael became very exposed to everyone. Still I admired Michael as an artist and loved his videos and music but you know I never even bought his albums. I was very into music and tech at this time. I had great Hi Fi equipment and very nice stereo system but I never bought the Thriller album. What? I guess because it was a time when albums were starting to go the wayside and soon the digital age was just starting to arrive and CD's were coming out. I was into cutting edge technology so I think I kind of  stopped buying records to opt for the cds when they came out.  I never even bought Thriller on CD though. I was beginning to go out into the world at this time of my life and so music and all that became less important. I had other expenses and such.
As I went into my eventual career,  that took over completely. I only knew of Michael by the songs played on the radio and what was on television and what I heard in the media. Im not one to believe everything I hear even if it was the media. I guess I must have seen something in Michael, that childlike innocence he seemed to have, but I never really believed the lies. Im sure I had some doubt at times but even if he was a pedophile it didnt matter to me. It was just in one ear and out the other. I do remember watching some of the Bashir interview but I think they broadcast it in parts originally and I dont think I saw the whole thing. I do remember the media making a big deal about the part with Gavin. Thats when I really remember the sensationalism with him started. Whatever I watched was just curiosity and a passing fancy. I think I kinda felt sorry for him and I remember thinking could this really be true? He just doesnt seem like that to me, but again I thought what do I know about pedophiles? I didnt follow Michaels life enough to know anything other then what was fed  by mainstream media. Still I never turned from his music. Whatever people said about him didnt matter to me. I thought , well hes rich and famous so maybe hes weird but I like his music and hes a great entertainer so who cares about his personal life. I cant beleive thats the way I thought but I did.
Now Ive thought that maybe since Michael has been in the background of my Life because of the era of my growing up and his age is not far from mine, and in fact is the same age as my husband is as Michael is only 4 months older. I thought these were the reasons maybe that his death had such an interest.... I dont know. When Michael passed away I never made that much of it though on the day it happened. I was shocked as so much of the world because I think everyone thinks of Michael as forever youthful and that hed always be around. I didnt even know anything of the what he was doing in recent years. Like I said whatever I heard about him was a blip of news here and there. The world always wanted to know what he was doing but he was slowly fading away after the trial. I do remember seeing the pain and hurt in his eyes after the trial. At that time in my life  I was so concentrating on my career etc and life and my own problems, never a thought much went into anything else.
Now Ive always been spiritual but  I think I was just not in tune like I am now. This is the amazing thing. After a few weeks went by and a lot of coverage of Michaels passing, somehow I couldnt stop thinking of him. It just didnt go in one ear and out the other like it used to. I dont know why either. For some reason I felt compelled to research everything. I just had to know for myself the real man behind Michael Jackson. Why did this matter to me? It wouldnt effect my life one way or the other. To say the least Michaels life was fascinating. In learning about him, the more I wnted to know and I was amazed how much there was to know that was out there to discover and how everything I had heard years before was so misconstued and well we all know the rest. I had such deep sorrow for this man I never knew in real life. I couldnt understand what was happening to me. I was obsessed with knowing him. I felt like I did know him. I felt like I had lost a family member. I thought it would go away but as the months went by it got stronger. I discovered the Cry forum in Nov. 2009. I felt like I was losing my mind and I thought maybe there are others out there. I wonder... hmmm there must be or Im going crazy. I googled something, dont remember what I put, but it brought me to find the Cry forum that Ale started. I found a home there and what a relief it was. There were others. Wow, I was amazed and we all were on the same discovery train and helping each other, supporting one another, learning from each other. I can safely say my life will never be the same. I can now reflect, and I totally believe Michael has led me to the path. I still dont know what and why me and why the timing but Im grateful. I have described this as a spiritual awakening to my mother and some (very few) friends in my life. It is still hard to talk about to non understanding people. I dont think a spiritual awakening is hard to understand, but the fact that its from Michael is the hard part to explain.
So thats my story. Im still discovering and trying to incorporate Michael into my life and find ways to expose him to others. This is not an easy task but I feel a mission that we were all chosen for.

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