I sat in that bus, on my way to work, on my way to make a living and I saw you. I have no idea who you are, your name or age; but I know you are someone’s son, someone’s friend, and yet there you are, dying on the street. One person, one out of the dozens all around you – including me – stopped to help you. I sometimes wish I was the type of person to bang on bus doors, to cause a scene, to act in impulse, but I’m not, and I’m sorry. I should have ran to help him, help you. I watched from that seat on the bus as he checked for your pulse, but your skin was so grey I doubt he found one. No one else even seemed to care, I looked around the bus to see if anyone else felt the way I did, and not one person looked phased by the idea that you were dying. There were 5 other people on the side walk where your body laid and they didn’t do anything but stare and walk away. I tried so hard to hold it together, to act the way everyone else did, but I couldn’t. I cried for you, I cried because I know something happened to bring you to where you were, I cried because no one wants to get involved, no one wants to help. No one sees that you are just a kid with serious demons, just a person who struggles with memories of the past. You are so much more then an addict, you are so much more than a junkie, you are a human; you are here for a reason, you matter. It’s not okay, none of it. It’s not okay that someone or something hurt you to the point where you had to find a way to escape your pain. It’s not okay that you ended up addicted to a drug that ruined your life, it’s not okay that you have to use to live. It’s not okay that a drug dealer is making money off your addiction, or that they are cutting drugs with poison. It’s not okay that society labels you, but doesn’t help you. It’s not okay that you died. It’s not okay that people didn’t stop. None of this okay, none of it is acceptable. We need to stop building giant shopping malls, and invest in mental health, in better schools, in affordable homes, in people’s lives. My only hope is that you are now feee of pain. God has you in his arms now, along with all the other human souls that died because of greedy drug dealers, and shitty people. Society, you disgust me.
Like the bottom of the ocean, the vast night sky, it captivates me. Everything seems so silent, all around me the world is sleeping, dreaming. & here I am, lying awake in the darkness that surrounds me, trying to find ways to escape the nightmares you left me with.
How cruel it was for you to leave this world, without answers, without explanation, without saying goodbye. I am haunted by you, your death, and the people you left behind every night in my dreams – my nightmares. I see you, I feel you, I feel your pain, I watch you die, you come alive. You bring your son to a dinner I am at, and you disappear just as he tells me he’s happy your back. But you never come back, you’ll never come back, your gone. Your body is now in its final resting place, your soul is no longer in the physical world, you are no longer here. My heart breaks. My heart is broken. You had so much life left to live, didn’t you know that? Didn’t you know how many people loved you, how much we all cared about you? How much we miss you? How none of us can sleep, how much we wish we could have helped you. I’m sorry we didn’t, I’m sorry you suffered so much: I’m sorry you left.
I don’t know the reason. I doubtI ever will but an amazing friend, father, and man ended his life on October 31 2017, at the tender age of only 29 years old. He was my rock through so many of my depressive moments, and he was always so strong. I wish I knew in those final days what changed in him. I’m so embarrassed to say that I had stopped talking to him weeks before his death, and can’t help but blame myself for not being there for him. Shane Charles Whatley, I hope you are at peace; I miss you so much, I love you, thank you for taking the time to break down my walls and showing me that all men are not the same. I will remember you forever.♥️
Darkness engulfs me, I really can’t seem to find a way out; maybe I’m not really looking hard enough. I stand at the edge of a steep cliff centimeters away from falling to my death, it’s overwhelming and I take a step forward. I am thrown back into reality, fluorescent lights shine brightly above me, cooking my brain and making it feel as though my head is boiling over and about to explode. I am brought back to my feet planted firmly on hard floors, back to expectations, and standards I don’t think I’ll ever measure up to. Back to the feeling of being the size of a grain of sand, back to feeling insignificant, back to being replaceable; and with a single misspoken word, or action I am back in that dark place, blinded by the dark midnight black that surrounds me.
My chest tightens and it becomes almost unbearable to breath, to move, to think. Those typical nervous butterflies have turned into angry wasps and are fighting for a way out. I am shaking, I am clammy and cold, yet I am dripping sweat and I feel as though I just drank 50 espresso shots, 5 Red Bull’s, and washed it all down with speed. I am fidgety and I am hyper-vigilant to anything and anyone around me; I am attempting to force myself to focus on a single task so I do not fly away like a helium balloon. Nothing helps, my over stimulated heart is dancing with the angry wasps and I feel faint. I return to that I-must-have-been-hit-in-the-head feeling and slowly collapse into the darkness; hoping I’ll find a way out.
My past, visions of all the things I did wrong, all the times where I was made to feel inferior to those around me – to those who are suppose to be my family, suppose to be my friends – plays over and over again, reminding me of how worthless I am, how I have never been and never will be enough for anyone.
After what feels like a life time, the panic and anxiety hides its self away and I can feel “normal” for a few beautiful moments. But it never goes away, no drug or drink, no prescription for Antidepressants or Anti-anxiety medicine can take away this worthless feeling, this self distructive behavior, or the constant reminder that I have failed young me, I have failed her, my parents, and God so many times, and it breaks my heart; because 7 year old me had so many dreams.
Its Sunday, and It’s raining today, for the first time in who-knows how long, the tiny rain drops fall like wet kisses upon my head.
And I think of you.
I think of how, like tiny drops of rain, your tears fell from your eyes the last day I saw you. And how you planted wet kisses upon my head whenever you’d say goodbye.
I think about the day you left, and how the sky cried for you. How I tried, oh how I tried, to disguise the pain I felt and the gloomy cloud that somehow followed me wherever I went.
I think of your laugh, your infectious laugh that I can still hear in my dreams, and I think about how wonderful each moment spent with you was, how Sundays were filled with visits to your house, the best peanut butter cookies in the world, and spending time with you.
As each raindrop lands on me I smile, engulfed by the idea that each drop of rain is a kiss from you, and each time my tears mix with the rain I am restored with faith that you are all around us still.
Its Sunday, and it’s raining today, for the first time in who-knows how long, the tiny raindrops fall like wet kisses upon my head.
And I think of you, and how grateful I am to have known you.
It was like you were the light; Bright, vibrant and attractive
And I was the unexpecting insect; curious and in awe of you and so, I risked my life just to be close to you.
But I soon realized that, the closer I flew towards your glow, the more damaging you became.
Your touch sent fire to my veins and restricted my air. Your guiding glow became my home. No matter how much you hurt me, no matter how many times your power knocked me to the ground, I would collected myself, wipe off the dirt, and fly back to you hoping that this time would be the one time you wouldn’t scorch my wings.
It’s been years since the first night I laid eyes on your light, I am all but a body now. My wings have been burnt to ash and my legs are broken. However, I’m still here, Im still clinging on to the unrealistic hope that you will lift me up with your powerful light and love me the way I love you.
But all I am is a bug, and you, you are a radiant and powerful light.
Change is the end result of all true learning
As an infant, we were taught to speak and our parents rejoiced when we half heartily mumbled the first mama or dada. We are encouraged as children to learn and expand our vocabulary, knowing that we may never use these long complicated words in everyday life, yet we are praised on our intelligence. Everyday we are expected to communicate verbally, whether it’s at work or in your personal life. But what happens, or what consequences are we faced with when the one thing we were encouraged and praise for becomes something that’s used to hurt other people? Why can’t we – as a generation – learn to speak and listen without blame, without judgement, without fear that our words, thoughts, or beliefs will be disregarded or used as a weapon in destroying our self worth. Better still, why are we so careless with the words we use?
We, as a whole, have a rather bad case of speaking without thinking, of judging without knowing, of disregarding what other people have to say if it is opposite of what we believe. I remember visiting my dads side of the family as a child and being told to be quiet, not to speak out of turn, and basically, to be seen but not heard. I never understood this, I never understood why I was being discouraged to speak around my family. Particularly because my mother’s family rejoiced in noise and talking and laughing. I couldn’t understand why I was told to be quiet in class, yet told to speak louder when asking or answering a question and I was unable to defer the two, especially at 6. I never understood, I still don’t understand, how its okay to be loud when people want you too and yet you are judged for being loud or “obnoxious” when you are having fun with friends. Why is the volume of one’s voice so important to other people? Why are we either labeled quiet or loud when we are simply just human? We are a generation, a human race, that sit behind computer or phone screens proclaiming that our beliefs trump those who disagree with us. We have bred wars, we have encouraged hate, we have teleported back in time where race is the most important thing of our lives. We have ruined the world out forefathers (and mothers) worked so hard to create. We have allowed ignorance to cloud our perspectives.
I digress often.
Perhaps I’m aging myself, but who remembers that little rhyme we’d say as children “Sticks and Stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me”? It was in those words that we minimalized the impact that insults an gossip truly hurts. The bruises your sticks and stones leave, the broken bones, the scrapes and cuts will heal, however words stay with you. My mothers’ favorite line was “they’re just words” and I suppose that was the way she was raised, but in my personal, and not so personal, experience words cause just as much, if not more, damage. Damage that is irreversible once they fester, damage that no cast or band aid or kiss can heal. We blurt out insults and judgements and think that a simple word – sorry – will take away that hurt, when in reality it doesn’t help. Sorry is just another word, another half-hearted compound of sounds that we have given too much power too. We are expected and encourage to act like nothing happened once a person says sorry, like the knives that were thrown into our souls didn’t cut us.
Our words have so much more power than people like to believe, or care to acknowledge.
Again, maybe its just me; The way that words and phrases that have been said to you stick with you. Like the first time you were rejected or the first time someone told you they loved you. The syllables and compounds that come together to form words replay in your mind, the entire memory engulfs you and you relive the happiness, excitement, or pain all over again. This happens a little too often to me and it cuts a little deeper each time. How can someone who claims that they care about you mutter the words they know will hurt you. Why would someone who “loves you” spew cruel and degrading insults at you?
I grew up with so many unstable people, so many people who spoke without thinking, and used my insecurities and downfalls against me. I grew up caring too much about the words people said, and now words are my biggest enemy. I am constantly fearful that I will be judged and ridiculed for the things I say, that I wont be deemed truthful. I fear these things based on my past, based on the things that happened to me, the way the people around me did things. But I know consciously, now that I have had the time to grow, that I cannot be consumed with what happened in the past. I cannot live in the rear-view mirror if I ever want to get ‘better’. If I ever want to be healthy and happy again I need to internally change. I know nothing is built in a day, but I have begun to deal with my past. I have been able to speak openly about the things that happened in my life, from the sexual assault that I allowed to ruin my life, to the loss of my dog and everything in between. I have been able to address and confront the people and words that have torn apart my soul. The things that use to be my dark secrets are now just another part of my journey and I am proud of that now.
Again, I find myself digressing from the topic I am trying to address.
I allowed a boy’s – he’s an adult now, but he’s still just a boy in my eyes – drunken words to fool me into thinking that I was enough for him. I allowed his broken promises and dishonest “feelings” to break me into 10,000 pieces and I never once confronted him about it, until recently. I finally stood up to the one person who always had the one up over me because I let him. I finally stood my ground and in a way, it back fired. By standing up for myself he is no longer in my life, by voicing my opinion and speaking up against him I lost who I thought was my best friend. Twice in one year I am faced with the sobering reality that I am without the two beings that knew me the best. Jayda and Peter knew everything about me, and I shared so much with both and to have neither one of them here for me or with me feels like my entire life has changed; and it has changed, I have changed. I realize now that by removing him from my life I have lifted a rock that was crushing me. I can breathe again, despite the pain. I use to think that our friendship could withstand any storm but failed to realize that he was the storm. His passive aggressive comments and mentally abusive tactics formed waves that engulfed me and pulled me back into the water no matter how hard I tried to escape. I thought that without him I would be lost, but it wasn’t until I was at my lowest that I found that he kept me lost. He spun me around in circles until I was weak and unable to see straight, and then left me to figure out where to go afterwards. His compassion was tainted with selfishness and pushed me away when I needed more, he dangled a dream in front of me just far enough away that I couldn’t reach and then gave a piece of it to any aboriginal, dark eyed girl he could see. He killed parts of me, parts of myself I use to like. I gave so much to someone because I fell for the words he spoke, because I believed fabricated tales of a life we could make together. I have learned to hard way that I must learn to fall for actions and not words. I fell to rock bottom, but it was there I was able to rediscover what I need and deserve.
Not the kind of race in which we run and see who crosses the finish line first, that’s simple; No, I’m talking about the color of our skin, the place our ancestors came from, the box we check when we’re asked about our ethnicity. Our roots, while very important, are not suppose to be all the outside world sees; our ethnicity isn’t suppose to separate us from other people or stick us in subcategories that we really don’t fit into. The year is 2016, but sometimes I feel like it is still 1916, 1816.
Why does the pigment of our skin, the religion we follow, the language we speak, the customs we participate in, or the place our families migrated from matter? Why do we still base every little thing on race. Why do we group people of the same religion in with the “bad” people who fall within the same religion, ethnicity, etc. We stereotype people based on what we think we “know”. People assume Syrian refugees are only here to harm us, or bring their war over seas, those same people assume all African American men are thugs or that all Indigenous people are all lazy drunks. We blame an entire group of people for what happened on September 11th many years ago, and we belittle an entire race of people for the way they coped with residential school trauma.
Why do we continue down this hatred paved path where we allow our ignorance to cloud our judgement and continuously blame innocent people for things that they weren’t even a part of? I don’t know, But I know it needs to stop. Something needs to change, we need to stop looking into the roots of people, at the color of their skin, or of how they decide to dress and base our judgements – because people will always judge – on the person they personally are, not who they remind us of or on who they may be related to. We need to realise that our world started out as one, whether you believe in creation or evolution, we all came from the same place. We all began, every race, every ancestor, in Pangea. Our world was one. I am one of the palest white girls I have ever known, mostly because I hate bugs and being hot so I don’t go tanning in the summer, but its also my genetics. I was born with blue eyes and dark blonde hair and so the world just sees me as a Caucasian. I like to surprise them and inform them that, yes mostly white/Caucasian/European and I haven’t had to deal with racism and (as much) hate, I am also Middle eastern, Native American, and a whole handful of other ethnicities. What I’m trying to prove is that we are not our race or the color of our skin. We are not our religion, we are not the language we speak or the god we pray to, we are not the same as the bad people who share the same home land, we are all unique and beautiful and we shouldn’t fear being who we are or be procescuted for what our ancestors did before we were even a thought in our parents minds; we are all one.
I realize that most people don’t see it that way, or perhaps I’m generalizing as well, but I have met more people who judge others by what happened in the past or by what they look like. I’m not going to sit here and act like I haven’t been that kind of person, I can’t say I never placed a certain religion, race or type of people in one group based on what the media reports or because of one bad person. But ive realized that no one deserves to be judged based on what we don’t know or understand or because of their skin tone. I guess once the roles are reversed and you get a taste of how much it hurts you change.
I’m not perfect and I know that, I use to fear middle eastern people and judge East Asian families based on their ability to build dream homes – which in reality was just my jealousy – but I also judged my primary race. I use to speak down on catholic people because of Residential schools. I would judge Europeans for taking land that wasn’t available to be “claimed”, for enslaving other races, for their ignorance and holy-er than thou attitudes. I was always trying to cope with the fact that my primary ethnicity, my ancestors, hurt – and continue to hurt – so many people in so many ways and in my own way make up for their mistakes. But when I fell in love with a boy from another ethnicity he only saw me as a white girl. He knew who I was inside, he knew how much I hated the fact that Europeans caused so much pain to other races, he knew I wasn’t the same and yet he grouped me into that category and used it against me. I let him. I won’t put it all on him because I was already struggling with it. I allowed him to stay close to me because I thought he would change his mind one day, if he saw how much I loved him, how much I hated my own “kind”. It never worked, it just allowed the wound to fester and cause irreversible pain.
That pain changed me. Every time I see or hear someone judging someone based on what they looked like on the outside I remember the pain I felt. I put myself in their shoes and I understand; I empathize, I can’t understand the depths of the pain people feel when they love with the racism daily, but I can empathize, And it kills me. It kills me to know that people deal with this daily.