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When You Know You’re Not In Someone’s League

Young Woman With Ibis- Edgar Degas 1860-1862

There’s a league,
some know it, some are
bound to stay in their place,
but I am stubborn.
I know no league of my own,
however, I wouldn’t dare cross yours.

The door is padlocked,
no one has a key.
I’ll never be that lucky.
With all my rights, my wrongs
take over and they tell me that
I am not worthy,
I cannot open you.

I can sit and listen to
the ailments that come from
a broken heart, can lend a kind word,
send a tight hug, but I
deny you from my dreams.
You are sacred territory,
I am not fit to clean
the grounds
or roam them freely.

I know this.
The knowing introduces itself
at night, it comes cloaked as
an angel, but I know the Devil
even when in disguise.
I shake the hinges and chain
my heart.

There’s no room for me,
not now.
There’s no way for me,
not now.
I observe every league and count
the beings who are diamonds to
my gold.

My love,
I am not fit to shine
in your direction. I am a
hollowed wall, crumbling in
your midst.
You are what I fear.

I Am Not The Bluest

she’s looking for pain
that pulsates in the darkest hour,
I am not on call, I cannot
rush to her aid, but I long
to be her fulfillment, however,
she says my search for happiness
scares her.

I find myself in a riddle, mixed
within markers that bypass a selected
territory. I carry my weight in pain
on my shoulders, eager to take
a chance on this woman who
counts clouds backward and
chews cinnamon flavored gum.
little pet peeves of mine, swept
under the rug, avoided like
the elephant in the room.

she braces herself for sunlight
that has been tapping on her eyelids for decades,
begging for entry.
there is no safe passage.
she has boarded up her
fragile heart and I collect
salty tears from the edge of
her lids, cup them in my
soul, and pray for forgiveness.

I am not the bluest.
I can only give her part-time
sadness and this… this
scares her.

“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

Featured Writer for March

Photo by Tess on Unsplash

Askia Shantel:

When one receives a piece of writing from a family member to host in their publication, there is no describing it. Askia is one of my older cousins — one, I have always looked up to; she encourages me and has always supported me and reads my work regardless of where it appears. To see her share with all of us here makes my heart smile. Please, encourage her, beautiful people. It takes a lot to jump back into something you have neglected for such a long time. She is our Featured Writer for the next two weeks of March. And now, “Watchful Eye.”


Watchful Eye…

Leaving out of the dress shop, my brain is swirling — I just bought a formal dress for my daughter to attend the military ball at her high school. So, everything seems to be fuzzy because I’m feeling fuzzy all over. As we walk to the car, I see a little bit of a commotion that sort of snaps me back to reality.

A young guy and a very young girl having a bit of a confrontation.

Not really a confrontation — an altercation. He’s pulling her. She’s pulling away.

At first, I don’t think it’s a big deal. Lover’s quarrel. But she’s begging him to leave her alone.

So, now I have two options. I can pull off and mind my own business or I can make sure she’s ok. I choose door #2. I don’t leave because my heart aches for her.

Now I have another decision to make. Should I call the police and get them to help or do I put my window down and give the girl a ride? This time, I go for door #1. As I start to think clearly, if he’s bold enough to assault this young lady outside in broad daylight, he may be in fight or flight mode himself.

So I call the police. I’m moving my car from parking spot to parking spot. I want them to see meI want them to know that someone is watchingI want HER to know that I am there. It doesn’t seem to be deterring him — he’s still pulling, pushing and shouting at her. Another passenger sees this too and stops near the couple. I make eye contact with him and let him know that I’m calling the police.

The dispatcher eagerly asks for a description and a location. She is very helpful and thorough. I feel like she wants the girl to be safe and smart just as much as I do. I’m following. The dispatcher is questioning. The man is yelling. The girl is crying. My heart is breaking.

Just when I think she’s about to really walk away and find help, he grabs her around the neck in a hug/choke. He’s whispering now. Whatever he says works for him. She willingly gets in the car. He glares at me as they speed off.

I feel sick. I can’t believe my eyes.

I am trying not to cry. I want her to get in the car with me so that I can take her to safety. But she’s gone.

I get a glimpse of my daughter. She’s stunned and in disbelief. I can’t help but wonder if my daughter would know what to do if she were in this situation. I wonder if she’s ever witnessed anything like this. I wonder…would someone stop and check on her well-being. I pray someone does…


Originally published in A Cornered Gurl via Medium.