Family: Reuniting, Feeling the Love

My baby brother Maurice, Me, and our Mom|Savannah, Georgia
My brother Joshua, Me, and my brother Michael|Savannah, Georgia

the beauty of love everlasting–
the kind that sneaks up on
you when you’ve forgotten it ever
existed…

you remember it when you
are next to a beating heart that
pumps the same blood
as your meaty veins
and you cling to it…

it is a love that only a tortured soul
can dream up in the middle
of a breakdown and lean into it,
drenched in its essence–
buried under its weight.

you cannot help
but feel this kind of
love.
you cannot help
but share this
kind of love.

Young Ones: You Have A Voice. Use It.

I am posting this here as well just in case there are some young, active users on Medium who may not receive letters from A Cornered Gurl or may not know how to begin their writing journey with a publication. WordPress, you are family–I know how you are about our young ones, how we have to raise them up, give them their space, and allow them a chance to step foot into this world the way that they need to by sounding off… Here is just one opportunity. There will be more.


Young Minds of Medium

A Challenge: Let Me Hear You Roar!

Samuel Scrimshaw|Unsplash

This is a call for submissions. Young Minds of Medium — this is your challenge. I am looking for work from the young Writers here on Medium, ages 15–25. Submissions will be reviewed and posted on Mondays and Fridays during the month of April. This is your time to shine. I want to hear from you. I want to feel, connect with, and help you bring to light what you have held inside for so long — what you want to write about but may not know how to.

Your theme: “Let Me Hear You Roar!”

What am I asking?

Give me the anger that’s swelling deep inside you, channel it and let’s get creative with it. You think you can’t put what you’re feeling into words, try me — let’s make it happen together.

I am looking for:

Poetry
Micropoetry
Fiction (no more than 850 words)
Non-fiction (no more than 850 words)
And, your heart. ❤


•You will need to be a current user on Medium for this challenge. Request to be added as a Writer by emailing me at acorneredgurl@gmail.com with “Please Add Me” as the subject line. For the young ones, ages 15–25 already contributing to ACG, please submit your work in draft-form directly to A Cornered Gurl for review, scheduling, and/or publishing. You can submit twice per week, your works will be published on Monday and Friday of that week. Please have a suitable image for your work with notable credit to its source/artist (please include the link). You can find a host of great images via Unsplash, Pixabay, and Pexels. If you are the source for your image, please caption that.

Please subtitle your entries “Young Minds of Medium Anger Call” and tag your pieces with the following “Growth” & “Anger.” The other three tags, you can choose at your own discretion. CHALLENGE SUBMISSIONS BEGINS NOW!

The start date for publishing the YMOM pieces is Monday, April 1, 2019, and the end date is Monday, April 28, 2019. Other contributors to ACG, please do not fret. You can submit as you normally would to A Cornered Gurl and your work will be published as well, however, a total of three pieces will be published on Mondays and Fridays for all other Writers, leaving the floor wide open for our young ones. I hope you can understand and accept this.


Please remember that A Cornered Gurl is a read-for-all community and there will be no metered paywall or locked pieces published here. Thank you.

Young Minds of Medium, LET ME HEAR YOU ROAR!

ACG Submission Guidelines:


Originally published via A Cornered Gurl on Medium.

The Journey Back to Mental Wellness

My First Therapist Session

koreansoup
Korean Soup for the Soul. My good friend Heej/Classical Sass makes this per my request every time I visit. It is a happy place for me. Photo Credit: Tremaine L. Loadholt

found myself working through a fit of disconnectedness on Wednesday, March 20, 2019, simply trying to get through the day to get to my first therapist appointment at 12:30 pm. Jernee spiked a fever the day before and we had been to the Vet’s office for what was supposed to be just her annual exam but turned into a big-to-do because the fever would not break, however, given one day to rest and be at home to romp about at will, she began to feel much better. Wednesday also found me in a meeting at my job for most of my scheduled half-day of work, so I felt all out of sorts with just a little bit more weight on my shoulders from Tuesday’s doggy shenanigans.

But, when I walked through the door of the psychiatric practice/mood treatment facility, a calming sense of peace came over me. I registered at the check-in desk by presenting my insurance card, recent lab work, and my Living Will and Testament. I paid my copay and before I could sit down, the lady who would be my therapist greeted me at the door to lead me on my journey and even said my name correctly. If I had a gold star in my pocket, she would have received it. We circled the hall and walked towards her office where she guided me to a medium-sized room, big enough for a comfortable couch, two even more comfortable chairs, and her desk space/work area.

She added to my increased level of comfort by asking me which type of lighting I preferred. I said to myself, “I am going to like her.” And, I did. I do. We began by breaking the ice, introducing ourselves, and then she said, “So, tell me what is going on,” and I let it rip. I started from when I noticed my mood changes and my decline in happiness and overall feeling of unworthiness and informed her that it all came to an intense spike a couple of weeks ago. As I was talking, I maintained eye contact, and so did she. She only broke my verbal stride to clarify what I was saying and to be sure she heard everything correctly. She took actual notes, reading back to me what was stated to her.

The entire session felt like a conversational hug — like something I had deep down inside, tucked in a corner that was afraid to come out, and at that moment, decided to present itself to be coddled. I felt a sense of genuine welcome and there was soft lighting in every nook of the office with a fragrance that smelled close to vanilla or lavender or a mixture of both in the air. I did not feel any pressure. Oddly enough, this space, the one we created, seemed very much like a space of peace.

Just like the soup that you see as the photo above, the space we created was my happy place. I felt warm, understood, and heard. I had a voice with her. She acknowledged my concern and addressed it, and advised me to continue to use the tools that I am using to increase my happiness and shift my mood when a dark cloud hovers, however, she was vocal about contacting her directly if I felt as though a volcanic eruption could occur. She is letting me set my schedule to meet with her and at this time, I feel as though, twice per month, will be good.

The next session, we will get deeper into other helpful tools that will assist me in getting back to a level of balance and to also learn about a few other things that can combat the molehill that I have possibly turned into a mountain simply because that is how it feels. There is a good chance that I may have some homework too, she actually said this, “Tre, I may give you some homework as time goes on.” Overall, my first impression of her? Genuine — is doing the job she is meant to do, and a great listener.

I think I am on my way… In time, at least, I hope so

 


Originally published via A Cornered Gurl on Medium.

My Journey so far:

The Caretaker & Biting the Bullet

Going Mobile

Lenovolaptop
Lenovo Chromebook|Jernee as my wallpaper/Photo Credit: Tremaine L. Loadholt

The 39th birthday is coming up in April and with the success and growth of A Cornered Gurl via Medium, it was high time that I purchased a companion to accompany me while doing work when I am mobile. I have a lot of trips scheduled, the first will be next Thursday as I will go home to Savannah, Georgia for a few days. With the addition of new contributors to the publication, stats’ numbers rising, and multiple drafts submitted for review and publishing, this is going to be my new best friend. I am thinking of ways to keep the pub current and a place for growth and an embracing environment for those who feel as though they are not being heard or they are not loud enough on Medium.

A Cornered Gurl is a read-for-all community, meaning that I do not allow locked or metered paywall pieces to be published in this publication. Since Medium has transitioned to a member/subscription platform, more and more of the work that is curated is locked or paywalled and you have to be a subscribing user to read them or you have to wait to use your freebies each month in order to be able to enjoy the paywalled pieces. I wanted this publication to give readers what they’re paying for to read for free–the same quality work, by most of the Writers they are used to reading. Writers are already noticing the benefits of contributing to the publication and just recently, I implemented a new way of showing my appreciation to those who exceed 1,000 claps on Medium. For Writers who reach this milestone, I will issue $10.00 to them via PayPal or via an Amazon e-gift card. So far, there have been two contributors to meet and exceed 1K claps in A Cornered Gurl. Another one is quite close to this milestone.

I think it is important to show people who are helping you grow that you appreciate them, that you want to invest in their talents. Here via the WordPress site, I am featuring various Writers from the Medium pub each month and so far, both featured Writers have been quite pleased with the results of their work. I want A Cornered Gurl to continue to grow and I want to continue to reach people and touch their hearts. Going mobile and branching out a bit more is just two of the most recent visions that I have for ACG. In my heart of hearts, this feels like work that I am supposed to do, that I am meant to do and I LOVE IT!

Coming up in April, there will be a call for submissions for the Young Minds of Medium (ages 15-25) to submit their work for the entire month to be published on Mondays and Fridays. The theme has not been chosen yet, but I am narrowing it down to my top three topics. I am hoping to get the young ones to write their hearts out about the theme and possibly attract a little more eyes to their work. I am not just shooting for the stars here folks, I am trying to pull those babies outta the sky.

If you want to help us out in any way that you can or fund our journey with the smallest gift, I have implemented a PayPal button (in the social media section of the sidebar) for you to be able to donate whatever you like to A Cornered Gurl. Please know that I appreciate your time, eyes, hard-earned money and all proceeds received will go to honoring these contributors the best way that I can and eventually, send their voices out into the ether where they can be their loudest.

Peace and blessings.

“Biting The Bullet”

I Have An Appointment. Hello, Anxiety.

My favorite piece of artwork, gifted to me by one of my aunts. It reminds me of Shug Avery singing in the juke joint in The Color Purple. Photo Credit: Tremaine L. Loadholt

Lately, it has become evident that the walls are tumbling down around me and trying to steady them — maintain their stillness is lost on me. I am intelligent enough to know when I have to pull back. Essentially, I had to come to grips with pulling back, letting go, and letting someone else tackle the very fabric of my being in hopes of stitching me back together again. I think I told one of my loved ones something along the lines of, “I just need some help piecing me back together again. I am tired of feeling jigsawed.” Searching for a therapist is taxing. In my area, there are so many professionals who do what they do, but how many of them will do it the way that I need/prefer?

I did my research. I took names of establishments, opinions from others, and logged on to my computer with the information given. Thankfully, I am in the medical field as well as my cousin, and knowing what we know, it was not as hard for me to select an entity that made the cut. The one that I did select has everything that I am looking to experience in a center that has counselors, psychiatrists, etc., who also take the natural approach when aiming to better someone’s mental health. My fear has always been landing a therapist who feigns listening, writes me a prescription, then schedules me for another visit where the same thing occurs. No, thank you.

I want to be heard. I want this person to help me continue to break down what is going on and assist in leading me back to a path that keeps me from shaming myself, feeling as though I want to hurt/harm/kill myself, and to understand that I know from where everything is coming, I need a better understanding of why…Over the past year, I have been struggling with feelings of worthlessness from being rejected, not to mention trying to maintain everything on my own with no break, thus being exhausted. I have had a few people make commitments, then back out on them, numerous times. Add in my work schedule and the fact that I began a new job (after being in a toxic environment with my last employer for five years) with an organization that I love and my supervisor recently expressed to us that she is leaving to take on a new adventure and the flood not only hovered over me, it dropped down and my levees broke.

I was trying to get to a place where happiness could hold me a little tighter than it had and just when I thought I was getting there, life happened. Life always happens. To say that my supervisor is the glue for our team is an understatement. She has taken a team of seven women, all from different backgrounds and spanning across different age ranges and turned us into “The Dream Team.” At my job, we get things done and we know how to properly because of her. Getting that news — the last straw for the camel’s back, shattered me. It has been eons since I felt as though I belonged in my workplace, since I felt no pressure to overexert myself, or take on the tasks of someone else because they will not or cannot do them. I finally felt at home.

On that day, I felt everything that I felt in my teens — neglect, abandonment, feeling as though I was to blame, etc. And since that day, I cannot (un)feel those emotions. I submitted my inquiry. I filled out the questionnaire about my background and what I am looking for in a therapist. I corresponded with their New Client Intake Personnel and landed an appointment, and now, I wait. Next week, I will begin a journey that I have fretted for quite some time, but now — now, I am ready. Having done all of this, fear is creeping in and it has decided to bring its buddy anxiety and they are having some sort of weird shindig in my head and I just want to belt this initial appointment and move into a helpful routine.

I am asking myself off-the-wall questions like: “What will she think of me?” “Will there be a diagnosis?” “If so, when?” “What will the diagnosis be, will it be correct?” “Will she suggest medication and how will I react to that?” Every question that I can think of has greeted me and today, I finally said — “No more, you’ve bitten the bullet, now wait.” And I have to tell myself this in order to stop the questions, in order to get through my days.

The most important thing now is that I have taken the first step. Everything else that comes along will be managed, dealt with, and entertained when each bridge presents itself.

I am finally ready to cross them.


Originally published in A Cornered Gurlvia Medium.


My journey began here:

The Caretaker