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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[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