Elegant Ambivalence


SKU ebook Category

175 in stock


By Ruben Roa

ISBN: 978-1-78382-102-0
Published: 2014
Pages: 239
Key Themes: Mental Health, Bipolar, Family, Relationships, Religion


Thank You, Lord Jesus, for giving me life, purpose and ambition. I’d be lost, nowhere and nothing without you. Amen.

Thank You, Lord Jesus, for (also) always blessing me with such phenomenal people. I would be enormously bored without all of them. This entire work is whole-heatedly dedicated to all of the following –

Louis & Zulay Roa, Juan & Hilda Medina, Carmen & Antonio Roa, Aida & Jesus “Chucho” Peraza; All My Family Members from Both Sides; Olga, Chris, All My Babies (you know who you are); All the many different Doctors, Nurses, Therapists & Clinicians (dead or alive) whose patience, grace and delicacy towards me has always been the absolute best; Madonna, Mr. Jewell, my now New Family at Chipmunka Publishing & Everyone in my life: past, present and future.

You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy.
Psalm 30:11 New International Version (NIV)

Please Also Be Advised That Some Names throughout This Work Have Been Altered To Protect Certain Identities. I now present you with Elegant Ambivalence.
Please Enjoy. Thank you.

About the Author

Ruben Roa is a God-fearing Christian and Homosexual male whom originally hails from Caracas, Venezuela. Ruben’s parents immigrated to the United States in the late 1970’s where they first lived in Rochester, New York before settling in Northern Virginia in 1984. Arlington County is where Ruben and his parents lived, and though Ruben’s parents never lost sight of their Latin American Culture and Heritage, they always made sure Ruben’s upbringing also incorporated anything and everything from the great American Dream. Ruben’s parents learned English while still young, worked hard for everything they ever earned, completed college meanwhile working full-time and supporting their only child. Though not at all rich, Ruben was spoiled rotten from day one and never once went without want, period.
This near-perfect-happy-looking Latino family was colorful; fun yet conventional, while always openly displaying affection. However secretly and behind closed doors, Ruben’s parent’s marriage was intense and quite often tumultuous, at best. Emotional infidelity and extramarital affairs rocked the family to its very core.
Ruben was roughly seven years old as all this drama unfolded, thus he and his mother relocated back to their native Venezuela. It was there where Ruben was reintroduced to his mother’s side of the family, and also where a highly impressionable little boy first learned of his family’s mantra, Elegant Ambivalence. Said mantra implied that one always had to look their absolute best (outwardly) despite any internal flaws, or bad breaks. Nearly two years later, Ruben’s parents reconciled thus the “happy” family reunited and resumed residing in Northern Virginia.
Ruben’s first mental breakdown occurred at age fifteen and from then on, Ruben recklessly and miraculously endured through nineteen crazy years of a (mostly always) highly manic, Bipolar I Disorder afflicted life. Ruben only survived because God’s hands of favor (and also his family’s countless prayers) were constantly on him.
Ironically, Ruben also majored in Psychology while enrolled in Community College, however never completed his studies. Dropping out of school was an easy choice, as he more heavily focused on working (to spend ALL his money), “playing and having fun” all throughout his twenties. Ruben finally “woke up” in 2008 after experiencing his darkest mental and most near-lethal Mixed Bipolar Episode.
From there, Ruben finally learned, and chose to pick himself up by his own boot straps and fortunately through God’s and COUNTLESS Mental Health Professionals’ help, collectively mended (and healed) his broken self.
This entire body of work is SERIOUSLY dedicated to ALL of the professional and personal souls heavily involved, always fully emotionally, and yet still objectively vested throughout Ruben’s turbulent ride, and massive healing and recovery. Ruben greatly and permanently graciously thanks ALL of you!
Ruben also worked in Medical Office Administration for six years before returning to his preferable professional, working habitat of Customer Service, where he is currently (and happily) slaving away as a busy bee!
Ruben’s intentions with Elegant Ambivalence are to educate, and entertain to a global audience about bringing a stronger awareness to Mental Illness and all those afflicted by it… and yes, the suburban Washington, D.C. area is still home!
“Rock it out and God-speed,” as Ruben would casually, and most likely always encourage all to say and practice!

Book Extract

In Arlington, Virginia, I had had my own room. I had had my own space. I had had my own furniture – bed, night stand, vanity set, toy box, and closet. I had had it all. Up until that point in my life, there’s no luxury I lacked having. It was as simple as that. I was spoiled rotten, overly protected and smothered with constant love, praise and attention. My parent’s separation made me feel as I’d been ambushed, because suddenly my super comfortable lifestyle had been compromised. What the hell? What the fuck?! I came into the world rather lavishly. Unlike my parents before me, I actually had a plentiful abundance of material possessions. Since my conception at a hotel, I was already jet-setting in-uterus! My parents spent my mother’s first trimester in Venezuela, the second and third, gallivanting all over Toronto, Canada, Manhattan and also Rochester, New York.

My father (the then college professor) had landed a job working as a research analyst for the fine folks at Kodak. By job title alone, I don’t even know what that position meant and consisted of. I never even bothered asking my father! The new job also helped transfer my parents from Caracas to Rochester, New York and it was there that they settled down, attempting to start out their new lives together. My dad was soon sent off, out onto “the field” requiring him to travel throughout different U.S. cities, states, and also internationally. My mother was then twenty-three years old and also a foreigner, learning a new language with no friends or any family nearby to lean on for support. It was then, towards “the eleventh hour” at eight and a half months pregnant that she decided to bounce, per se. She felt alone and decided it wise to head back home to Venezuela, where she felt she had access to anything and everything she needed in preparation for my birth and impending arrival! She hopped on a Greyhound bus en route to Manhattan. From Grand Central Station, she hailed a cab and headed straight to JFK International Airport. The fine folks at the airport were reluctant to let her fly as to she was so obviously pregnant! She was so big at one point, that her doctor thought she was carrying twins! Jesus, she must have been as big as a house! Well, pictures do confirm and prove it. Nonetheless, she was still a beautiful, youthful looking, vibrant woman. Back in Caracas, she was well received by family members, and her grandparents Juan and Hilda made sure she settled in with them. Within a few weeks, she went into labor as I was getting ready to make my big splash, out into the world! My father had been on assignment in Mexico when he first got wind of the news. He put work on pause and attempted getting on the first flight out to Venezuela. The only problem was that there weren’t any direct flights into our country so while en route, my father had to embark on two different layovers. He first stopped in Panama and from Panama to Colombia. In Colombia, he was finally able to connect to Venezuela.The timing of my birth was perfect as to it seemed that I literally waited until his arrival, so I could make my grand entrance! Neither of my parents was once stupid with any of the medical expenses – Kodak paid for the entire birth! Therefore, my mother made sure she checked herself into a posh; lucrative Caracas Celebrity Hospital with only the finest of everything! She had gotten herself a celebrity doctor who had previously helped her favorite Venezuelan Soap Opera Diva deliver a little girl an hour before my birth.

I was also ironically the only male baby born at the ward that day, and was later placed smack down in the middle of six baby girls also being housed in the nursery. My parents literally to this day, swear by the following story – It’s so elaborate that I’ve often questioned its full validity! It’s rumored that even though a newborn, I was also rocking out perfectly combed jet black hair! What?! No way! Parents can be such liars when fabricating epic stories such as that one! Perhaps that’s how it all really went down! Being the only baby boy born at that ward that day was also a sure tall tale sign that I would either one day become a full out pimp, or a flaming homosexual. Either alternative worked! So there you have it. As mentioned earlier – from birth, I was a spoiled rotten little apple. I’d had a cherry pinewood crib, linen-cloth diapers. I’d had my own room, space, toys and a family which unconditionally loved me. I had it all, and then at age seven, it seemed it was all taken away. Damn! I then found myself having to share a room with my mother and Grandmother Aida, and also my uncle Marcos. The transition was obviously a weird one for me, however I had no other option other than to quickly adapt. I was enrolled in school and then found myself in a massive common square along with what seemed to be two thousand students. It seemed like something out of this world for me. It was insane how there was a massive square in the middle of the school and each morning before classes got rolling – each different grade level had to stand in single file lines and sing the Venezuelan national anthem. After the ritual everyone went to their respective classes and that was also another handful! Each classroom consisted of thirty to forty some odd children, and I remember that the desks were rather Victorian. They had a mahogany hue and always seemed to be dusty. Gross!

Sitting in class sometimes seemed arduous and boring. I was also then introduced to the concept of skipping class and playing hooky. Which one of my classmates taught me, I don’t really remember! What I do remember is going out into the school yard, climbing what seemed to be a fifty-foot tree; then jumping onto a high wall, and from there on, jumping over the wall and finally out onto a somewhat busy side street.


There are no reviews yet.

Only logged in customers who have purchased this product may leave a review.