Africa summarized at best right now.

How to summarize Africa.

Well, I am forever changed, changed by the souls and the voices of others living a day to day that we would find deplorable and bittersweet if you had eyes that see beyond the surface in America.

 

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Callous

There is this callous

around my heart

where i let you in

and you but your fist

inside my chest

And broke the cage

in a fit of rage

that destroyed us both

you destroyed this

golden heart

and made it possible

to make it harder than hot

and now the cavity that is me

is fiery, a wild fire at its worst

and I wonder who can handle it

so much repressed passion

for a furious space

looking for a face to ignite a burst

of all consuming

like the time I was crying

in your arms

of that moment, when you were mine

and I was yours

in a new form, I long for the simile

i don’t long for your eyes

or you scent anymore

I long for that electricity

between two souls

I long for that reference

of stars becoming one

i long for that callous

to be brutally ripped off.

 

 

 

 

 

Journey of Understanding my Body again

I’m going to discuss something that some men will blush at, and some women too.

However I need to discuss the path towards sexual freedom I have had since having an IUD and being single post-rape.

We live in a hook-up culture, and for me that has been something I have adapted to, almost too successfully. My ventures in finding a mate has been interesting, but lovers I have no problem finding, it’s a heart that has been the hardest to find that matches mine.

I have found that I am not bothered as much by some of the things that used to bother me for so long. Part of it is letting go of an expectation that love, and sex, are the same thing, when in fact they are NOT the same thing.

Love is born out of liking things about other people, appreciating how they act towards others, how they sneeze, or even the stuff some may find stupid, like the sound they make snoring, or the look they have on their face when they think you are not paying attention, or the empathy you feel towards another human being. There are different facets of love and affection, but true, I’ll tell you when I actually find it, I know it will happen someday.

Like my ex, I loved how he rubbed his feet together at night, how he would wrap himself like a butterfly in a cocoon when he had the bed all to himself. There are things I have found in several people I have loved on a simple level, appreciated for who they are, but also know intuitively it is and has been a temporary time, to teach me how to love. Then there are some that the things they did still bother me to this day, and if I see that similar behavior in someone else, I flashback to the awful ways they treated me for example, and I even treated them because of how awful it was truly. Some people are just not good for one another as well.

Sex is different, each person has their different smell, their different desires, their different energy and ways of having sex. But their body is one thing, it is different than their soul, or their heart even. Sex is just being present with the body of another person. Not about control of that person, it’s about just enjoying that time together, even if it is temporary, and if its not enjoyable, walk away, that is what I have done, politely and gently. I have not had sex with every man I have been seen with. I have not participated with every person that has voiced or shown me their interest. I have mistakenly been with some guys, I have had no business being with, because I’m not some notch to put on a belt, and some of these guys, I’ve been just that.

But I had choices, and I have the power to choose. And that is the difference post-rape. With that man, who has a soul, who is sick and twisted in his mind, he used sex as a way to dominate a woman, It could have been any woman, it wasn’t about me. And that is the hardest thing to understand. We are emotionally detached from our bodies, and the violation done to my body was so traumatizing, it scrambled me up like a blender. I won’t equipped to deal with it, I wasn’t able to handle it, and I got so lost in that, I lost myself, which is the worse thing possible.

Instead I have had people treat my body, and my sexuality as an extension of my inner soul, and this has been useful. My body is the vessel that carries my soul during however long of a time I have on this planet as me. After that I’m in God’s hands. I may be someone else in reincarnate form, I may go to heaven, who knows, I may just be a transfer of energy to the local plants I am spread on or I am planted under. There is no telling what will happen to this body when it is time for it to quit. But right now my body is mine, and I have choices, and it all starts with my thoughts being in line with my heart, in line with my soul, in line with my body and its actions.

I have learned enough about my sexuality and my sexual desires to know, I’m not interested in idle hook ups, but I know that each person has taught me something about myself, and is leading me to who I am meant to be with. It has also brought me closer to myself, and who I want to be, and also has shown me who I don’t want to be. Despite some people’s vocalization of calling me names and other things, I know god knows me, and the only thing I can do is try to do no harm, and leave people better than when I found them.

And as I learned going to Africa, witnessing and speaking with teenage women who were subject to Female Genital Mutilation, and how they risked death to run away from their family, and was found by the people of the school and saved, and given a second chance, I am thankful I have grown up in America. Some of the things I have discovered from this trip is how thankful I am to at least know, I have a choice, just like they did, and I can choose a better life, even facing possible death. Those girls have courage, some were raped before being found, some even married and sold for 6 cows before they ran away. And I am the same as those teenage girls, we are of the same tribe, a group of women who have known hate for being a woman, been taught to hate our bodies, been taught to be nothing more than a slave to a man.

I remember how I felt hatred for myself, for being punished to not being willing to pop out children for my ex, at least not yet, even if I loved him, he punished me for my insolence and found a younger woman to pop out children for him. And that is fine, they are souls and they are people too, they have a right to live that life, and to choose that life. But I was punished for it, and hated and ridiculed for it, more so from the psychological abuse and damage done to me from the rejection, and I think that made me more vulnerable to other attacks by others, because a woman is no man’s best friend according to my ex. At least that is what he told me, I wasn’t good enough as a woman to be a best friend.

And I’m not that woman that he told me I am, like the young woman in Africa I was blessed to meet, we have strength and we have courage, and we have voices, and we share a connection no man could ever understand. Men want to think they are gods, but they are not, a true man is a man or woman who knows they are of god, but not god. And some woman would like to think that being a sex object makes her worthy, or a goddess herself. And that is what my body needed, to know myself, and to know I’m truly not alone, that I’m human, a woman, and that is strong and good enough.  In Africa and in the US, in the other places I have been, I am enough as I am, and I’m sorry if you don’t understand that, I hope you do someday.

 

 

 

Stigma of surviving depression from trauma/depression

https://health.usnews.com/health-news/patient-advice/articles/2015/09/09/suicide-and-stigma-moving-past-silence-and-shame

Please educate yourself and know. When i came out in the open about depression and crime victimization, and the mental health system failed me and those closest to me, as well as myself when i went through a rough time, i discovered since then i hVe been labeled crazy, etc etc.

And when there were still residual affects of the trauma, this would be true, however, that has not been the case.

The stigma of trauma, or depression, has cost me so much time, my last tear in school, and jobs, and my own money. It has cost me myself, the only thing i have regardless of status, money, beauty, etc etc.

The only thing i have is me. The only thing we ever truly have is ourselves.

Please educate yourself. I am a naturally optimistic person. I am a naturally compassionate, empathetic, and kind person. I’m a bitch if you give me reason.

But this does not mean i can’t handle life.

I have feelings, i have doubts just like anyone else, and i have joy. I’m a human being. Just like you.

So please stop trying to make me out to be someone i am not. Thank you!

Africa Day 3

I am currently laying in bed, hoping the nasal decongestant kicks in so I can go and do some more house visits this afternoon.

Part of the journey here is of a spiritual nature, not biblical, although for some on this excursion it is. For others it is not, like myself, but I believe god is present in all facets, like the woman Caroline who is accepting the help of christians, and is muslim. I came to see, to witness, to be reconnected with humility, humanity, love, and compassion, that those who once were apart of my life left scars on my heart in place of that. I came to see, as our team leader has asked us to focus on, our heart print on others, and to express my heart song.

Some of you know that I was sexually assaulted, robed, and almost murdered merely four years ago, abandoned by friends and rejected by family for being a failure, not strong enough, for being weak and sick, and the rage I felt and reaction to their rejection affected me in such away I gave them what they wanted: an excuse to be judgmental, and unresponsive, to react in anger, as they did towards me, cutting and heartless, because they decided, my tribe, decided, I was not welcome anymore. And instead of giving love to offset the damage, they gave hate instead, and taught me hate, and I responded in kind. Not my most proud of moments. However, I know my heart song, and what I wanted deep down inside, to feel important, to know I’m important, and to feel like I matter to someone else, to know love. Just like them.

As I am here, searching through the sea of faces, going to homes in the largest slum in Africa counting over 1 Million, I got to help participate, bear witness, and facilitate giving hope to these women, and children, in need of an education to improve themselves and their lives. I come with this small group of seven women, to tell these women, your child can go to school.

2017-09-22 07.47.04

And as far as my ego, I am feeling completely and utterly powerless, and unimportant. All I am is the greeter to a new life for these people, the rest of the work is in the hands of the teachers, administrators, non-profit runners, cooks, drivers, and children. The work I can not claim as my own (but possibly someday), and the work of this Icelandic woman named Thorrin, who was once a seller of dried fish in her country, to a creator of a social group for the handicapped, to this woman who came with a suitcase and within a week housed 25 street children at her new home in Kenya, she has done the work, she has done the magic, she has bleed, and sweat, and cried with her efforts to just give others a chance.

These are the fruits of her labor, not of mine, and of her staff, and of the work of others, I am just a human sharing space for others and the energy of love, and light, to the best of my ability.

I remember when I was homeless for the short stint I was, I cried for those I loved to do the same for me every night, and when I awoke with the hope that they heard me, that our souls were connected, I only woke and dealt with either destruction, anger, or ignorance. My own, as well as theirs, especially when I was at a point where my heart was beginning to soften and it would fill up temporarily with hope, and then loneliness and isolation contributed to my wanting to die, and standing on an overpass in Texas, deciding whether to jump or not. But knowing if I jumped it would cause an accident, and I was probably better of drowning myself in a lake, because it is better to be forgettable, its easier and more compassionate to others to die quietly. People try to act like what they do does not affect others, your old enough to know better or to let someone get to you like that, but that comes from someone who has never known what it was like to love deeply once, to have no money, no food, and the echos of an abusive fathers words  being mirrored in your life by strangers and those who know you.

“If you love them let them go, or better to love and lost than to never to have loved at all.” Those people haven’t known what it is like to truly live and love or need with every atom of your soul, they have never truly loved the energy flow of the other person, the unspoken connection between other human beings, it’s almost bound in the blood, like your body needs it like sunlight to live. No one has known that type of love, and no one has ever asked or understand how I loved. What it has meant to me, and that is my heart.  They take love for granted, it’s like choosing toothpaste at Walgreens to them. “Today I feel like cool mint instead of spearmint.”

All I can truly give is a fragment of a moment, give a spark of a hand held, or a frown turned to a smile, to give my heart in that moment is an honor, and to know that it is all I am asked to do at this time, is wonderful, while faced with the conditions, rusted metal on the ground, broken glass and plastic everywhere, entry ways and streets littered with clothes and underwear crumpled and walked on. Mud floored homes with steel walls creating a hot box of odor nestled into hills, where people of 100-200 share one latrine, a hole in the ground, where people aren’t even using the hole, and toilet paper is a non-existent. And to think these houses, without electricity, without windows, the wallpaper magazines and newspapers, are down hill to the latrine, and water and rain just flows through their homes, washing that to their spaces. There is no sanctuary here, home is so exposed, privacy is imaginary.

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Where water is 5 shillings for 20 liters. And these women are making $6 US dollars a week. To pay for rent, food, electricity is stolen, and often times water too. These one room homes housing 6-7 people sometimes, the size of some people’s closets in America. And these numbers are real, not an inflation or bait and switch, they are real.

My only gift I hope to give is to be able to show what my eyes see, the beauty in the beastliness of the city and slums, the perfection of light, love and hope that these people hold onto in a sea of imperfection. But is it enough? That is the hardest part of this, I know my little bit is not enough to inspire and keep the life light for others alive, but I hope to just be a seed to lead these people to grasp onto the string to be woven into a blanket of arriving to comfort, to a better life, to growth, to wholeness someday. To help these kids possibly to go to University, or at least believe that it will happen for them, because they believe they will and can. Just because people are willing to care, to share their hearts, and love. That is a tribe I’d rather belong in.

 

Africa

I have arrived in africa safe and sound. And i hope this venture encourages a blessing in my heart and soul, of which it already has.

It is difficult to explain the poverty, because no american has such an understanding not really, not unless you have gone and been in the camps of the homeless, and even then, my stint in homelessness is nothing compared to this.

It is exhausting to try and describe the extent of the layer upon layer of impoverishment. How a school is settled amongst the slums, trash everywhere, the stale meandering smell of feces, and the mixture of laughter, and education wrapped up in rough hewn surfaces of metal, concrete, stone and grass.

The earth is rich with iron, a purple red, and the children, some with shoes, and some without, wearing torn uniforms, tattered and kinked from attempts of less refined presentation.

I sat and watched these children, eager and hungry, dance, sing worship songs, speaking swahili, and other derivatives of the native language mixed with english. But the mood is excitement, despite what they have, Americans wouldn’t even fathom it. They grasped my hands and flooded my personal space, of which for them, i have none. Girls and boys hugging me, walking together arm around arm, community, but more so family and immediate integration into the environment. Such a welcome i can not explain, except to describe how when presented with a scarf, i tucked down to her 9 year old body, and squirmed my way into it, resulting in a laugh, my goal completed, and then she just stood next to me, arm at my hip, and we swayed to the singing of her peers.

Friendship. Unadulterated, simple, hand holding friendship.

A girl came up to me immediately and took me to see the different classrooms, dirt floors and corrugated steel walls, rough hewn table/desks, in a space the size of a master bedroom.

I sat there and felt the death of my previous relationships in that one moment, finite and time ended, the selfishness of those who put themselves before the needs of others, who treated me crazy for wanting to do something like this all my life. I don’t dare to be a missionary in the style of scripture, i dare to just be, and be love, as much as i can.

As the children flitted around and posed for pictures, the intimidation of the world and the streets just outside, right at the doorstep of the school, i see how tempting and how easy these kids could go back to their norm of desperation and unease, and yet, they stay, some orphaned, living in bunk beds and shared quarters, and i wonder, will i ever be able to enjoy my creature comforts again, without guilt or desire to share it with them.

In honor of my son i chose not to have, partially due to the selfishness of the partner i had, and my own at the time. I realize how happy i would have been, and its the only thing i regret in my life.

Maybe i am supposed to sponsor a child here, maybe i’m meant to teach, all i know i am amazed at the strength and courage of the people here, who traveled from iceland to start this school, people from africa, women castrated and ran here to find another non-traditional life.

This is just the beginning.

He grazes my heart with captured moments amongst our arms

Kissing me softly, just the right

Touch.

And i shut my heart, i can’t

Doubts smoking my brain with fear

You are never here.

Lovers maim you trying to tame you

Is my hearts concern

Ever learned

And you find me repulsive

Insecure, terrifying, unnerving

At my american gregariousness

And this is mentally affecting me

Every waking moment

Of each and every breath