Monday, November 7, 2011

The Light

How can one be anxious about writing when writing is what I’m doing? It seems odd to express my true emotions to others but I’m used to writing to myself. What’s the difference then between talking to myself and talking to you? This is a great question to ask oneself and evaluate why I don’t want anyone to see the true me, the broken me, the human me?

Most people would say that they are their true selves at all times. I haven’t had the luxury of saying that. It seems to be that I’ve walked through most of my life with a mask on. Afraid to let my true self be tainted by the surroundings I was in and hiding from reality at the same time. My body survived the war of evil that set upon me. It started early on and lasted what seems like eternity. From pain to violation to burns and tears, the scars covered my body but eventually healed. Or so I thought. It seems as though those scars just permeated my skin and became hidden but untreated. They were still bleeding, still infected and still hurting but no one could see. The hidden self knew something was terribly wrong but kept hiding for fear of what it would find. So years go by, the hidden self is still hiding and the body has grown into a semi-healthy woman. I say semi-healthy because the burden of carrying around those unhealed wounds became toxic causing the body to ail; ulcers, anxiety, depression, unhealthy eating habits, thyroid issues and high cholesterol. Now medical professionals may say that some of these issues can’t be related to trauma but I’m sure the dark cloud of depression that started when I was 7 was a direct result of current events. Maybe the unhealthy eating habits can be considered out of that scope but then if we look back there is a direct correlation between how I was starved emotionally and physically as a child so that it makes it challenging as an adult to feed the same body the way it deserves to be.

Anyway, I got off track for a moment. The question was why am I afraid to let people see me. I would probably say that I’m afraid of seeing me so why would I subject another to the unknown. I was hiding so long that I forgot where to look to find myself. I’m sure there is still a small beacon of light in there that keeps beating. I know this because if God wanted me to die during my overdose I wouldn’t be here today. Rachel CJ didn’t leave when she had to hide from the ogres of the 70’s and 80’s she just created a safe, complex world within that has secured the spirit that was meant to survive. I see lots of darkness when I look inside but when I am very still and quiet and I look deep enough I see and feel the heat of that light beating like a heart. The more I look at it the bigger it gets and maybe one day it will fill the worn body completely busting out of its hiding place because there is now no longer a reason to hide. The light will be seen in my eyes and in my smile and I will glow with the strength, beauty and love that God has blessed me with. I suppose the answer to the question is closer to when will I see all of the infected wounds, treat them and let my insides match my outer beauty. When will I break down that decrepit tenement that I built as a sanctuary and allow my light to expand into every cell of me and be felt by others from my fingertips. Now is the time to stop asking when. The sooner I let myself see the sooner others will be able to see me. I suppose when I allow the light behind my eyes to shine then I will be allowing myself to be seen. I look forward to that time.

Thursday, September 22, 2011


…It’s like when you break a bone and it gets healed but you still see that small line where it never fits back together the way it used to be. Fractured…but I’m not talking about bones, it’s something much deeper than just the bone.

The only fracture I have had on my body is my wrist but if I die of natural causes no one would ever be able to know that, no one would be able to tell. There’ll be no autopsy done on the internal mechanisms of what happened to me. Nothing will show unless there’s trauma to my hand or my arm that that wrist had once been broken, just like nothing will show the fracture that took place deep down inside of me many years ago. I wouldn’t say it got as deep as my core but it’s somewhere between my core, my soul and my body where I was fractured. It is a place where there was a break and a shift; it healed but it didn’t heal correctly so that gap that small small area where the things that were broken don’t fit completely together as perfect as they had been. There’s a small overlap and that’s what I’m missing. I need for that overlap to be pushed back into place so I won’t be fractured anymore, so that when I have the memories that are coming to me and I have the flashbacks that are of me ,that are not quite clear when they try to cross over that line that designates where the fracture occurred, they come in blurry. But if I close that gap and shift the bones or shift that place in me back in sync with all of me then maybe I can remember, maybe I’ll start to recall more things than just the abortion that I had when I was fifteen and the way the needle that was stuck in my stomach moved as she died. She was trying to get away from the poison that they injected into me which eventually killed her and induced labor. I saw her when she came out, very red, very dark, covered in blood. I saw them cut the umbilical cord and they told me to rest because I would have to give birth again to the “after birth”…what was keeping her alive was now going to come out of me dead, as she did.

It’ll keep me…it’ll help me remember more than realizing that there wasn’t just someone laying in my bed behind me, there wasn’t just a person who I would wake up in the morning and they would be there. Realizing that yes I did feel something between my legs. And yes I did feel something not quite right, but I don’t recall all of what exactly happened. I guess that’s when the fracturing started taking place. It was a slow fracture it wasn’t something that just snapped instantly, I don’t think. I think it was something that cracked over time and with each atrocity and with each pain and with each violation the crack got bigger and bigger until I lost everything in that gap.

I hope that either the edges will be soldered down and there will be no more gaps or that I will shift. I feel like I’m shifting. I feel like eventually I’ll know everything…I’m not sure if I WANT to know but I feel like there’s a place in me that’s mending that I never knew existed. I guess I was intellectually aware of the fracture, I was intellectually aware of the gaps but I really didn’t know them until I was forced to address them.

Those gaps put me, well they didn’t put me anywhere, they didn’t allow me to fully experience who I am. That fracture that occurred kept me from living life, making connections, loving people and being loved. That gap that was there, that’s shrinking as I look at it now, kept me from enjoying life. I walked thru life, I survived, I existed, I fought, I grinded my teeth…I exceeded, I excelled but now as I sit still and try to go deeper inside of myself and look at the fracture and look at the scar and look at the broken places that an autopsy would never show I realize that I have a second chance. I realize that if I keep going inside to look at and take care of and heal and push the gap…smaller and smaller, push the bones back in sync with each other, push that energy and that space back in alignment then I will eventually be free of the gap, free of the overlap, free of the cloudy images that haunt me when I’m not expecting them. I think I’m going be free one day soon.

(spoken then typed)

Tuesday, July 26, 2011


My Pastor asked us a few days ago if we were in a” Physical” relationship with God or were we “Intimate.” I’ve been thinking about this since and have decided to be honest with myself, I don’t really know the meaning of Intimacy. I know it’s defined as “ a close, familiar, and usually affectionate or loving personal relationship"...well from as far back as I can remember being truly close to anyone is a big problem for me.

Closeness, giving yourself fully to someone, trusting with all you have; are things that make the sirens go off in my ears and flash the red light at my pupils. I stop. I’ve stopped in my human relationships and I’ve stopped in my relationship with God. This could be because of knowing that pain is real or maybe knowing how unprotected it feels to truly be intimate--To feel that sense of falling with nothing to grab on to; or maybe that release of energy that bleeds out of you. Wait, from those words it seems like I know how it feels. Well I am familiar with these waves of intimacy but not a steady intimacy that is lasting and ever-flowing.

To get lost in something/someone is a major leap of faith (do you remember that “trust” game we played as kids where you would fall back and hoped that the other person catches you? Yeah, that feeling right before the person catches or drops you…smh). It requires so much exposure and confidence, not only in that person, but in you too. To tell yourself that you are so loved and so adored that there is no way that person would let you go, that you are so cherished that you will always be cared for. That is a boldness that I don’t think I feel daily. I wouldn’t want to put that much pressure on a person either, but what about God? I know God is the creator of all things and that we are loved as part of His creation. I’m confident in knowing that God will never leave me. So if this is the case why am I not willing to be intimate with God?

This is something I can’t answer right now but I know it is something I will ask myself every day until maybe one day I realize that I’ve started being intimate and didn’t even know it. I want to feel totally secure in my life, decisions and beliefs and in order to do that God has to be my “Lover”.  I want to love God, need God and want God intimately and walk in confidence knowing that God is in Love with me.

(to be continued…)


I woke up to the smell of heat. Not overwhelming heat but an aroma letting me know that the sun was out, the birds were awake and morning had come. The smell of the trees and the heat took me back to a place the feels so familiar but that I can’t fully recall. As my fingers glide overs theses keys and the subtle breeze passes thru the window gate I am floating back to…where? Back to a place I was but I wasn’t. I see a smaller me; a dark, quiet girl, serious and unsure. I see a girl whose demeanor is like an egg that was meant to be boiled but taken out of the water to soon. The shell looks hard and ready but one touch and the contents will come oozing out. I see dirt and grime mixed into the beauty of the trees, the sun and the air. I see me…sitting on the steps of the brownstone, book in hand, not knowing what to do with my time but knowing what I wanted to avoid. I see me there and not there.

As the sun warms my face in 2011 I struggle to find those moments of long and talk to that little lost girl. I know she lives inside me and is angry, alone, confused and scared but I need to help her grow and heal so that we can go forward as one. This journey is intense, scary and revealing because I can no longer recall all that this child has seen or felt and I’m told I’ll have to experience it “again” in order for her to find peace. As I travel along this journey I’m praying that this shell does not crack, that I’ve been left in the water long enough not to shatter when I encounter the realities of the past.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Suffering and Crisis...A response

I know now that the suffering and trauma I have endured has made me who I really am. I know now that I may not be as open to learning, empathy, growth and life had I not gone through the many challenges. For years I hid the pain, scars and broken pieces of myself that were being held together by what seemed like old elmers glue that had dried out. I was rigid holding the pieces together by pure will but when the one small piece fell the entire facade shattered and I am forever thankful. Now I am living and experiencing life like I never have. A friend asked me a couple of days ago what it felt like to be amongst the living again and I responded that it wasn't again because I am in a place I've never been.

I used to be ashamed of my crisis's and suffering. Afraid if people knew they would look at me as damaged. I thought that those things defined who I am but I'm thankful for my breakdown and breakthrough. Never has life been so rich, so good, so real.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

The Window

I've been wanting to share all week but for whatever reason I've been exhausted. I was thinking the other day that I didn't want the only memories I post to be those of trauma and pain. Last week when I adjusted my window, so that I could get more air while I sleep, I was flooded by a wonderful image of my cousin and I looking out of my Aunt's 6th floor window on 135th Street. I guess we had to be somewhere around 10 & 12 because we were old enough that her little brother was born but young enough to find joy in something so simple as looking at the wonderful skyline of downtown Manhattan. The Empire State Building and the World Trade Center lit the night sky but seemed close enough that we used to reach our hands through the child safety bars to try to touch them. We used to play this game where we would both choose a side and count the cars that came down each side of the street, the winner being the one who counted the most. That was our late night game that we would sometimes fall asleep while playing (honestly my cousin always fell asleep first). Things seemed so simple at moments like this.

If my memory serves correctly, it had to be summertime because there was no school, I was not on Bradhurst Avenue and we were always playing like there was no care in the world. Not every season of my young life was hurt filled. As I got older and would still spend some summers at my Aunt's, or when I got older and was between places to call home, I recall always sitting in that same window finding solace in the breeze. Funny how everywhere I've gone the breeze has always been my comfort; the way it covers my body like a silk sheet and carries all scents into my nostrils while strengthening/energizing me like spinach does Popeye. I remember lying on my back with my head out of the window staring at the stars instead of the sidewalk. I would secretly wish to be rescued because I kept thinking life wasn't supposed to hurt like it did. As I look back that window was a sacred place. It's where I wondered, played, observed and prayed. It's where I started most of my dreaming. Funny how small things leave such a beautiful mark.

Friday, February 18, 2011


I was mad at my blog. Sounds weird doesn't it? Mad at something I intentionally created, that was born directly from what's inside of me. I reread my writings to date and realized why it was always difficult for me to share my previous writings or even be honest about my past. The word "Honest" sounds weird too considering I wouldn't or couldn't even recall most of my past. So yeah, the floodgates are now cracked and my mind is becoming an infestation of visions mushed together like someone keeps flicking the remote of the HDTV with an endless selection of channels. Yep, I know they are flashbacks and not all of them are clear yet but I'm getting glimpses of situations I had thought I must've read about or just made up. It's very disturbing to really accept that my mind, which was protecting me, is now causing me pain. I'm sure these things must be revealed and every defense mechanism will eventually become a problem but this is just a bit much.

So I was sitting on the subway today and this woman gets on right as the doors are closing. I look up and I'm suddenly around 9 years old, standing in the dimly lit "living room" of this, what could have been beautiful, brownstone. I'm supposed to be on my way to the store with the food stamp booklet but I'm waiting for the list. As she's writing and breathing extremely heavy in that way she did, she begins to slow down, then the pen stops mid-word and her head begins to bow slowly. She's nodding off again. I was standing there as usual, clenched hands trying to make natural sounding noises like clearing my throat so that she would wake up. If I walked away I would get in trouble because it was considered disrespectful to walk away from an adult before they were through with you. I stood there for what seemed like hours listening to the unnatural rattling of the one lung she had straining to support a heroine/methadone riddled body. That poor lung must've been working like a slave cuz it got no benefits being in that body. Since she was nodding I figured it was the methadone. How did I know this at such a young age?...well because I noticed some patterns. When she would come back to the house from "the program", she'd be a bit weirder than usual. I remember the first time I found the needles clearly hidden in my top dresser draw. There was a syringe with an old looking rubber balloon on the top, a long rubber cord and some other things I can't describe. I later found out they were called their "works" or the kit they used to shoot up. There would be times when she would be baking a cake and be so on and engaged that I was concerned about all the body twisting and jerking but then there was these times like this one where I stood still, trying not to be seen or disrespectful and call out her name but desperately wanting to move, for her to wake up and for me to get out of the door or maybe just disappear. I learned how to shut down my body in those moments and to become numb. I did this so if I got tired of standing still I could shut it off, if I got fidgety I'd hold it in, and if I had to pee I would wait and hold it for as long as it took. I guess this was my mind already starting to become familiar with disassociation.

So the woman on the train eventually sits next to me, just my luck, and starts rummaging thru her bag non-stop. She's in the fidgety mode right before the nodding starts. Sure enough her head starts going down and she leans to her left, towards me. As I squeeze my body against the cold steel of the seat barrier next to the door I kept saying to myself that I was going to have three huge marks on my side. I was pressed against the poles so hard that I was spilling out of the other side. The lady eventually jumped up and started rummaging again and I realized I was holding my breath so I exhaled. I ask myself now why didn't I just get up and go to another seat or change cars but it was just like the living room…I was held captive by that nod. I was paralyzed until I was acknowledged again. The drug came first and then someone along the line I did.

So yeah, back to mad at my blog. I guess this recall phase of my treatment isn't going to be pleasant at all. Being transported back in time almost 30 years can be debilitating. I suppose an average person would have just gotten up from their seat or may not even have noticed that the woman on the train had a heroine/methadone issue. Guess I will never be considered average.