Category Archives: Painful Reflections

When I Speak

This poem does not reflect where I am, but it does represent the space that many of us live in daily. Learn the signs of mental distress. Ask the questions and be a part of the solution. I have included a few resources below if you or someone you know is struggling and need assistance.

They say “it’s all in your head” right before they pray for me.
I respond with, “I know that” but knowing is not helping me.
I’m crying out for help while I’m facing this insanity.
I’m hoping that this feeling does not cause the death of me.

I shed tears in silence because sharing them makes me weak.
I have tried to talk about it but no one hears me when I speak.

I am living life like a robot, just going through the motions.
Everyone watches my actions but they don’t consider the notions.
I am trapped in a place where everything I do is wrong.
When I try to escape, the hurts and pain come along.

So I shed my tears in silence ’cause sharing them makes me look weak.
I have tried to talk about it but no one listens when I speak.

I am taking matters into my hands since my actions are what opens your eyes.
But I am not sure how long I can hold on for I am slowly reaching my demise.
I try to keep fighting but I still find myself in this space.
I don’t want to live here, but I am stuck in this dark place.

But I still shed my tears in silence because sharing them will make me speak.
I have tried to talk about it but you don’t see my struggle, you just see me as weak.

If you know anyone that is going through something, reach out to them. Talk to them. Help them. So many people are resorting to abuse, suicide, and homicide to deal with their internal issues. We all go through rough patches in life. Our journeys are all different. Nonetheless, we need one another to survive! We have to be active in the villages of one another.

Take care of your mind! Take care of your heart! Take care of your soul! Take care of one another!

National Alliance on Mental Illness Helpline: 1-800-950-6264

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255

National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-7233

National Sexual Assault Hotline: 1-800-656-4673

Spoken Silence

I sit and think about the voice that has yet to be heard. I think about the stories that go untold. The pain that goes unnoticed. The questions that no one will acknowledge let alone answer. I think about my sister and her death. I think about how much she struggled in her relationship before her life was taken. If someone would have only listened to her cries for help maybe she would still be here. Then I think, “were her cries camouflaged as joy or were people simply unaware of how to help?” When tragedy strikes, we look back and ask a multitude of questions about what could have been done differently.

Me personally, I think about what I could have done to help. How could I have changed the outcome? How could I make a difference? What could I do?

I was 13 when my sister was killed and I was frequently silenced when I sought answers and justice. As a young teen, I was unclear of how to help or how to speak up without being told to be quiet. I remember the feeling that came over me the day before my sister was killed. I was spiritually shaken and told to get her home or I would never see her again.

“How could this feeling be right?”, I thought. Even in my youth I was unafraid to try to make a difference. I spoke to her and attempted multiple times to get her to come to me. I tried everything that my mind knew to try besides telling her about the eerie feeling that I had before making the call. I tried to save her the best way that I could. I tried.

I do not want others to know the pain that I felt that Saturday morning when I heard that my sister had been shot. I do not want others to be silenced in their suffering nor silenced in their quest for justice. Domestic violence is something that has plagued my family for generations. The only thing that will change that is our efforts. Voices have to rise from silence and speak up. Cries for help have to be met with shoulders of support instead of tiny white flags to wipe away the tears.

We have to do our part to change the way that we are treated. We have to stop allowing pain to be a catalyst for silence. We have to speak up for those that have had their words beaten from them. We have to speak for the ones whose voices have been permanently silenced. The rocks should not cry louder than the people. We have to speak! Speak when we are not spoken to. Speak when we are ignored. Speak when injustice is served.

United We Stand

Colored, Black, nigger, African-American…it doesn’t matter what we are called, we are still fair game. We are the hunted. We are the targets. We are the threats. We are the truth that this country attempts to hide.

Constantly referred to as less than but WE ARE the leaders. Treated as the scum of the earth, but WE ARE the soil. Years of oppression have not made us bitter, it made us builders. We are not just the strong backs that the country has become dependent on.

We are more than murders, drug dealers, and dead beats. We are more than hoochies, baby mommas, and strippers. We do more than play sports and make music. We induce more than fear.

We inspire. We create. We imagine. We are everything that the country didn’t want us to be.

We have been used, abused, mistreated, killed, lynched, slain, bombed, destroyed, choked, shot, stabbed, stoned, tortured, raped and looked at as if we should still smile.

We are not happy to wake up and here that another person has lost their life because they are not who the world wants them to be. There is a raw cut that America leaves open and rubs salt into daily. BLACK PEOPLE ARE HUNTED.

Revolts, revolutions, and rampages seem to be the steam powering our caravans of change. We are tired of dying daily due to senselessness. We are tired of burying our families as the rest of America watches our pain and moves on with their life. We are tired of being roadkill. We are tired of being America’s target.

The slogans, the hashtags, the RIP tee-shirts, the vigils, the tears, the pain, the death, the blood, the graphic videos, the shaking voices are the stains of American Love. The fact that more than anything America would rather focus on things that are not related to the importance of BLACK LIVES shows the truth about how black lives are viewed in this country. The fact that people can KILL a black person and not suffer consequences while a black person has to constantly live in fear is a clear example of how America feels about US.

Mentioning that there is a black president in times like this is just like someone saying that they have black friends when they are accused of being racist.

America so desperately wants US to get over the past but America allows OUR history to remain present. Our culture is the most mimicked. Our style is the most copied. Our sound is the most imitated. We are the most feared people in America but also the most oppressed.

It is not just about race. It is about people who are being targeted BECAUSE of their race. No one was able to put in a special request to be born a specific way so that they can avoid such things. Black people are not lazy, dumb, and ignorant. Black people are tired.

The rest period will have to come at the end of the race for my people. We have to keep fighting. We have to be united and stand together so that this does not continue to continue. WAKE UP PEOPLE! Actions speak louder than words and we have to realize that our voices are not being heard. The time has been upon us to stand up.

UNITED WE STAND. Divided we die.

women with fist

Death Destruction and Detroit

For years the city of Detroit has induced strange looks and snide remarks when people ask me where I’m from. Although I have not lived there for close to 12 years, I still defend my city. I get defensive when people speak negatively about my city. I still represent my home teams in every sport. I am a Detroit girl all the way. I love my city.

Welcome to Detroit
Welcome to Detroit

In recent years I’ve noticed a drastic change in the city that I love so dearly. My city has been raped of it’s beauty and it’s treasure. It has been deprived of quality time and attention from its inhabitants. It has been overthrown by death and destruction.

The city has begun to turn people against one another. Reports of mothers torturing and killing their children. Reports of dead bodies found in cars. Reports of missing and exploited children. Reports of people murdered in their homes. Reports of babies being left in cars intentionally. Reports of semi-arsenals being used in road rage shootings. Reports of fatal domestic violence against women and children.

Every day as I defend my city from the strange stares and snide remarks, my city is attempting to defend itself from implosion. I’m slightly removed from the direct pain that my city is experiencing but everyday I am exposed. Every day, as I scroll through my timeline, I see posts with news of more reports of death and destruction in Detroit.

I hurt for every family that gets the call or the visit or the message that their brother, daughter, niece, sister, mother, cousin, aunt, husband, uncle, nephew, father will never be home again. I know the feeling of having to sit in a room and view a recording of a person that you were just speaking to and laughing with in order to confirm their identity because the catastrophic gunshot has caused severe mutilation to the skull and you cannot go in and view the body directly.

I know what it is like to be told to be quiet when you are speaking up asking for answers. I know what it means to be forced to suppress your desire for justice when justice is all that you want. I know what it feels like to have someone who you love an cherish ripped away from you due to violence.

I still love my city. That will always be home. It hurts to know that home is a place that I may not be able to go back to. Home is not as welcoming as it once was. Visitors become victims and suspects become ghosts. Crime ensues and heartbreak increases.

Schools are closing faster than church doors at prayer time and desperation is flooding the communities. Phones go unanswered for fear that there will be more reports of death on the other end. Message notifications get muted in case there is more news of tragedy attempting to get through. The city…this city…my city is attempting suicide. My city is crying out for help and the streets are filled with tears of blood. The screams break the glass of the abandoned buildings. The fight for survival is the only fight they have left.

They want peace and prosperity. They want success and support. They want love and loyalty. I want them to live to tell about how they got through it all.

Painless Tears

As I tell my story my face begins to change. My voice continues at the same pace but my face is not the same. My story reveals pain that was locked away. It revives the dead memories.

On the inside it feels like fire is shooting from my soul. To you it just looks like I’m crying. The wounds of life last longer than those of flesh. My heart couldn’t take the pain so I laid these feelings to rest.

With every part of my lips more truth is spilled. I cannot contain the facts. They run from my throat. My words escape and search for the nearest heart to rest on. The pain that my story holds supports the burden of others.

It feels good when the tears don’t hurt anymore