Anyone Still There?

*A note from the writer* I started this blog nearly ten years ago along with my stent as a freelance writer for a local publication here in my hometown; “The Evening Whirl”. My “career” as a blogger started out as something just for fun, but my journey as a writer began as therapy. When I was a fifteen years old and a freshman in high school my father dropped dead from a heart attack at the age of thirty-six. I had just spoken to him only hours earlier and he was ok. When I lost my daddy I lost a piece of me and I turned inward; I was sad. It wasn’t until my ninth grade English teacher told me that I needed to figure out how to channel all I was feeling into something worth while; he told me to write. And so I did, hence the start of my journey. That was well over nineteen years ago. For a long time I used writing as my tool to get my point across. Not to anyone in particular but just to let it out. And then I stopped! Literally just stopped, the last post on this blog is from December 2016; nearly two years ago. When I stopped writing I starting hurting myself, both in a physical and mental way. Instead of using my outlet in times of stress or crisis I began to hold everything in until I would explode. But not only that, I’d become so lost in myself and self pity that I lost myself (does that make sense? I hope it makes sense). My identity had changed hands, I was now a wife, a mother on a crusade for justice for her son, a friend, a daughter, an advocate for mental illness and  I forgot who I really was, who I was really born to be; a writer.

The title of this post is “Anyone Still There?” but really the question is rhetorical because I don’t care if one or one thousand people read this blog I’m not doing it for them, I’m doing it for me. However, if in the process the right pair of eyes should come in contact with this content know that you are not alone. I’m here with you. This is the first day of doing something again for the first time. Thank you for reading. ~B

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Let Them Walk….

I can never share this sermon by Bishop T.D Jakes enough. It is one that I have printed the transcript for and taped it to the mirror in my bathroom. There are often times when someone wants to leave our lives and our first instinct is to the ask or beg them to stay. Not realizing that sometimes you have to let people walk away from you, and that doing so is OKAY! This is my  blessing to someone who is holding on to people who truly want to leave.

B

 

“There are people who can walk away from you.
And hear me when I tell you this! When people can walk
Away from you: let them walk.
I don’t want you to try to talk another person into staying with you,
Loving you, calling you, caring about you, coming to see you,
Staying attached to you.
I mean hang up the phone.
When people can walk away from you let them walk.
Your destiny is never tied to anybody that left.
The Bible said that, they came out from us that it might
Be made manifest that they were not for us.
For had they been of us, no doubt they
Would have continued with us. [1 John 2:19]
People leave you because they are not joined to you.
And if they are not joined to you, you can’t make them stay.
Let them go.
And it doesn’t mean that they are a bad person it just means
That their part in the story is over. And you’ve got
To know when people’s part in your story is over so that you
Don’t keep trying to raise the dead.
You’ve got to know when it’s dead.
You’ve got to know when it’s over. Let me tell you something.
I’ve got the gift of good-bye. It’s the tenth spiritual gift,
I believe in good-bye. It’s not that I’m hateful,
it’s that I’m faithful, and I know whatever God
Means for me to have He’ll give it to me.
And if it takes too much sweat I don’t need it.
Stop begging people to stay.
Let them go!!” ~Bishop T.D. Jakes

Tattoo Tuesday…

“Heavily tattooed women can be said to control and subvert the ever-present ‘male gaze’ by forcing men (and women) to look at their bodies in a manner that exerts control.”~Margo Demello

As I was getting dressed for work this morning I stopped to admire the art that covers nearly 85% of my right arm. Each tattoo carefully chosen and strategically placed so that once complete the canvas will stand out and make complete sense. Today’s dress is short sleeved which of course allows each spot of ink of to be seen. While outside of my corporate job I am simply Brendolyn a woman with lots of tattoos who is proud to show them off. However, once I step foot inside my office I take on the role of a professional, one who seeks to be respected by not only her peers, but her subordinates as well as her superiors. Being young and being a woman is difficult enough, without standing out; right? So as I dressed this morning, putting on a cardigan to cover my tattooed arms I smiled because even I know that my tattoos do not impede my ability to do my job and to do my job well. For I am the “Tattooed Admin” and we all know, tattooed people do everything better.

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Happy Tattoo Tuesday!!

Open Wounds

“Until you heal the wounds of your past, you are to bleed. You can bandage the bleeding with food, with alcohol, with drugs, with work, with cigarettes, with sex; but eventually, it will all ooze through and stain your life. You must find the strength to open the wounds, stick your hands inside, pull out the core of the pain that is holding you in your past, the memories and make peace with them.” ~ Author Unknown

[Black] Girl, Interrupted

“It’s like you’re screaming and no one can hear you.”-Angelina Jolie as Lisa Rowe “Girl, Interrupted”

One of my favorite movies is the 1999 film “Girl, Interrupted” by James Mangold starring Wynona Ryder and Angelina Jolie[who won an Oscar for her performance as Lisa Rowe]. MV5BMTUyNjUzMjk2MF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwNDQyMTAxMw@@._V1_SX640_SY720_This film takes you inside the 18-month stay of Susanna Kaysen in an 1960’s psychiatric hospital following a suicide attempt. Showing a raw and uncut look at the struggles of women from various walks of life with mental illness. Funny thing about this film is that it there are no African-American patients on the ward, one of the only black faces in the movie is that of Whoopi Goldberg who plays nurse Valerie Owens. It wasn’t until recently that I noticed the lack of black faces “on the ward” on this film, but then it occurred to me that this was not because the hospital [in the film] was segregated but because even then mental illness in the African-American community is and still is considered taboo. Why? In 2016, when there are so many treatment options is the stigma of mental illness in African-American women still a “thing?” Continue reading