Tag Archives: mentalhealth

my sisters hands

hot like they had spent a lifetime sizzling beneath the sun
nails peeling back at the cuticles of her own insecurities
her own beatings
her own twisted memories
shortcomings
in her palms she carried the weight
weight of the pain
weight of the pressure
weight of this world
weight of the wait
waiting for someone to acknowledge her own scars
she chose to inflict them on me
whip after whip
she slapped and she punched
breaking and breaking me
and anyone who got in her way
through her finger tips she grated me
thought she was twisting me into a better molding
more like her and less and less of me
even her knuckles were scolding
let her tell it she experienced worse things
purple, black and blue faded her golden hue
like weapons she used
my sister, she used her hands for giving tattoos
marking her territory
at times she used them for good
from studying to cooking
to clapping to grabbing
to writing and dancing
to creating and shaping
but most memorable to me, for breaking
for bondage
with the same hands she sought to lead me with
she would slap a smile right off of my face
sweat, tears and a mean mug
my own hands trembling
burning with a silent rage
at how I could let my sister touch me that way
little sisters must stay in little sisters place
if only our mothers knew
how i looked myself in the mirror and couldn’t feel the same
so ashamed
tears ablaze
my own hands became rough like sand paper
a crinkling that even lotion couldn’t soothe
my head bowed
bloody and bruised
mushed to the ground
I learned to fear her hands more than her words
those hands
sometimes they would swing
sometimes they would fly
ball up and blow all over me
even with the lights off
those hands always found a way back
I remember a rare moment of peace
once we held our shaking palms to one another
wrist to wrist
and like puzzle pieces they just fit together
It’s like we saw each other in one another
but her pulse flickered electricity into mine
triggers
the trauma
a shocking thought electrocuted me
how could I be my sisters keeper
to laugh and to love her
To help and encourage
to hold and to heal her
a sister who’s hands held secrets of their own
hands used to mislead me
deceive me
to discipline me into a violent room trapped in dark thoughts
hazy with a lack of care
hands I thought that I once needed
they Inflicted such a pain
Such a grief
I lost sight of what there was to gain
We could have been best friends back then
Using those hands for weaving each others hair
We could have been real family
The kind who hugs and holds and shares whatever their hands touch
we could’ve used those hands to hold mics and to sing old jams together
Or from the same bowl we could have eaten together
she could have used those hands to teach me to read
or to point me in the right directions
And although we tried those things later on
It was much too late
damage done
It was never really the same
Engulfed in shame
Low eyes, a razor tongue and a gut full of guilt
And my own unforgiveness to the fact that she used those hands
to strangle my life from my veins
what kind of sister
Could love you and still seek to change your name
And what kind of sister would I be if I didn’t take part of the blame
twisted convictions reshape our perceptions
But those hands they taught me lessons
Cruel cruel lessons
that my sisters hands, fierce as they were
also had big sisters who used hands on her
hands that influenced what she thought her own hands should be made of

Laugh Til We Cry

A, bb appreciation prose 🌹

Numb

This pain
It was sharp and alive,
Not like the kind I’ve long been used to.
It was the kind that consumes
With dark gloomy clouds raining down well into my June
I got used to this feeling
This feeling of being used
It becomes so great sometimes you have to question if you’re still ‘you’
It’s the kind you can’t shake off
with pins and needles everywhere
You just feel lost

It’s the kind you can only see through half smiles
It affects you through invisible, unspeakable ways
They say,
The eyes are the window to your soul but your smile is the shield behind which you can hide 
It’s that reminder that so long as the sun is out, even though you may feel cold and afraid,

You have to smile
And imagine that things are alright
You’re grateful for your life but that stinging never quite fades away.
Through darkness and in light it stands by
See this was different.
It was unwelcomed and persistent
It was like exhaling and never breathing again
It made you wish you couldn’t feel a thing
It’s when walking through thunderstorms is easier than blending in with a sunny day

This pain was different…

It seemed like nothing would be the same, I was forced to surrender my flame
I’d muted all emotion
And my eyes adjusted to the night
Because when this darkness came
It stayed
It became my only friend
Smothered me with black, heavy chains
that held me down and drowned me in rain
And some nights I’d howl to the moon
I envied how no matter how dark the night, it still shined through

But one night,
I saw God in that moon
And my heart flickered.

The Lamar Odom’s of the World

I’m concerned for the life of Lamar Odom and the perception of what he is going through. Mental health is so stigmatized and ignored that it becomes volcanic in the sense that people rarely pay attention until things have erupted. We have watched this man struggle with traumatic events and drugs for years now. But we’ve ignored a silent cry that our ears haven’t been conditioned to be able to hear.
I hope people aren’t deceived to believe that the drugs are the problem. It’s a by-product of the problem that has been suppressed by himself likely as a result of the culture and disregard for mental health issues in society. Like who does a person turn to? Better yet how do you translate a plethora of feelings and emotions in your mind and communicate that to someone who could potentially help? It’s instances like this that I’m reminded of my passion for bringing awareness to mental health. I want to create a space where people don’t feel alone. Where people can talk and recieve resources. It’s too important. I want to target the youth so that the generations behind me may have better opportunities of dealing with mental health as real and getting the help they deserve.
I told my dream to just a few people. It’s very specific. And I find myself becoming more eager to achieve it. The dream is becoming more detailed and vivid with each story like Lamar Odom’s coming to the surface. Mental health issues are real and can result in the end of someone’s life. I don’t want the world to wait anymore until people die. It’s tough going through anything mentally but there are precautionary actions we can take to help people everyday with their mental health and therapists and prescriptions don’t always have to be the only answer.
I’m dreaming of a substantial change in our culture. A simple smile, compliment, conversation could go a long way. I’m not saying it might work wonders medically but that there’s the potential that if we encourage our society to be more open to one another and make it more acceptable to not be okay sometimes and feel able to express that then we’re making a major step. I asked a guy on the metro “How are you feeling today?” And he looked at me like I was crazy. Like 1. Who actually talks to strangers on the metro? and 2. You care about how I’m doing today? Bizarre. I could tell it took him back a bit and I’m thinking why is this not normal. We have conditioned our people to suppress suppress suppress and get deeper and deeper into ourselves to the point where we have successfully isolated a population of people who are not ok to suffer in silence.
Ah man.

I just want better. I want little black and brown kids like me especially to know that you don’t have to just suck it up. You don’t have to deal with it on your own. You don’t have to be okay all the time. Vulnerability and weakness are not synonymous. There’s hope through each and every hardship. Life does not have to be this spiraling staircase downwards into this dark and scary place where it’s just you. There’s light. And I want to help spread that light.
For my senior capstone I’m a part of a group taking the initiative to teach 3rd-5th grade students about their mental health and stress. Not in a very sciency/serious/complicated way. It’s just teaching them about different emotions and how there are no bad emotions but life is about balancing those emotions and using healthy coping mechanisms throughout your different circumstances. I don’t think I’ve ever done a more important project than this one I’m about to produce. It’s too important. Life is too valuable and too precious to continue to let people suffer and suffer and suffer. Someone has to care. Someone had to do something. It’s too important.

Numb

So I was thinking a lot about why I write. I’ve always prided myself on writing “For and By Sua” this is why I often don’t share. But I’ve never really been much of a selfish person. And I think it’s a beautiful thing to be able to capture something so personal and to be so vulnerable, and to share, and have someone tell you they could relate to that. Or that they got hope from that… I recently applied to volunteer for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, and we’ve been in correspondence and they asked for a writing sample. So I chose this piece which I recently re-worked in order to bring a lot more light in it while still staying true to the darkness and depth of the original piece. So here goes… this is called “Numb”

This pain
It was sharp and alive,
Not like the kind I’ve long been used to.
It was the kind that consumes
With dark gloomy clouds raining down well into my June
I got used to this feeling
This feeling of being used
It becomes so great sometimes you have to question if you’re still ‘you’
It’s the kind you can’t shake off
with pins and needles everywhere
You just feel lost

It’s the kind you can only see through half smiles
It affects you through invisible, unspeakable ways
They say,
The eyes are the window to your soul but your smile is the shield behind which you can hide
It’s that reminder that so long as the sun is out, even though you may feel cold and afraid,

You have to smile
And imagine that things are alright
You’re grateful for your life but that stinging never quite fades away.
Through darkness and in light it stands by
See this was different.
It was unwelcomed and persistent
It was like exhaling and never breathing again
It made you wish you couldn’t feel a thing
It’s when walking through thunderstorms is easier than blending in with a sunny day

This pain was different…

It seemed like nothing would be the same, I was forced to surrender my flame
I’d muted all emotion
And my eyes adjusted to the night
Because when this darkness came
It stayed
It became my only friend
Smothered me with black, heavy chains
that held me down and drowned me in rain
And some nights I’d howl to the moon
I envied how no matter how dark the night, it still shined through

But one night,
I saw God in that moon
And my heart flickered.

How you know it’s “real”?

I’m a Public Health major with a particular interest in Mental Health. I thought my reasons for this was obvious (especially to ppl who know me) but it’s interesting not many people knew this about me. Well anyways, if you dontttttt know now ya know *biggie voice*

So I was in my multicultural health class and we were discussing why there aren’t a lot of mental health resources made available or that are covered under most insurances. This girl said something to the extent that “well I understand why mental health isn’t as invested in like physical health matters are concerned because they are more immediately dangerous to a persons health”
My head snapped up with a quickness and honestly it took a lot of strength and focus to channel my passion to use this moment as a learning opportunity for her instead of just blasting her. Because this is a fairly common belief.

But I found myself rambling. I felt like I didn’t have the right words or enough tools or knowledge to back me up when I told her I disagreed. But I basically told her, because people see an oozing gash of blood on someone’s head or a broken limb, it’s easy to sympathize with that person and take their injuries as ‘real’. Where as with mental health, besides some of the symptoms of disease/disorder you can’t really see the problem with just the naked eye. So because you can’t see the mental warfare it’s assumed this is not ‘real’. We really trust our eyes. In fact we live in a world where seeing is believing. You only believe it because you’ve seen it.

Now this made me rewind to back in the day when I was young and chipper and actually had a few athiest friends. They were smart and witty. And they thought critically of the world. So they’d ask these critical questions or we’d get into these long discussions about how I had no real evidence to prove my God exists. I’d be flustered thinking “just believe me I know!” especially because I knew even less about the bible then than I do now so I really [felt] I had no real tangible evidence. And these convos always left me feeling defeated. Like God’d be disappointed in how pathetically I was trying to represent him.

But like the mental health situation it’s like I started wondering… How do I know this is real? Well I feel like it’s similar to asking a person how they know they’re in love. Your heart just knows.

Yes, there is a physical presence of God in my life. Like I can physically see how I’m blessed if I’m measuring by oh idk the fact that I woke up this morning or that taxi driver giving me a free ride when I was broke and stranded with no money. I know that’s God, however, for the most part it’s because my heart just knows. Because no one has ever seen him.

And when you love someone it’s hard to explain why because it’s like your heart just knows. I was talking to a friend about what God means to me and it was hard. It was like just like they teach you in school the basic essentials in life are food, water, shelter well for me i’d include God. Why? Because I can’t make it through my next breath alone without him. He’s in any and everything and I just feel like a lot of religious ppl go about spreading their faith to others the wrong way. Since we live in this world where seeing is believing just let them see God in you. Light through you. Then it’s up to them to believe if it’s real.