Why We Stay: Broken Wings Don’t Mean We Can’t Fly!

Do you have aabutterfly story to tell? Are you a domestic violence survivor who stayed in a relationship although abuse was taking place? Are you comfortable telling us why you stayed? It can be in the form of a poem, personal essays or even just a sentence that describes why you stayed. Feel free to be creative, share only what you are comfortable sharing, and hopefully the process of writing is cathartic for you, at the very least.
Please exclude: the name of the abuser, any information that would identify them, time or location of the incident. Your submission should be geared towards you, what happened to you, and why you stayed in that relationship. You can also write about what it was that made you leave.Please keep submissions to no more than 1,000 words. You can email them to me directly at healempowermotivate@gmail.com.
This isn’t a paid opportunity, but in telling your story you give others the courage to examine their own lives, learn, heal broken wings, and fly!

Advertisements

An Open Letter To Police Officers Everywhere

Please stop killing Black men. Please, please, please stop killing our sons. Please stop killing my brothers. Please stop killing us. Please stop killing our sons. Please stop killing us. Please stop killing our boys. Please stop killing our sons. Please stop killing our sons. Please stop killing our sons. Please stop killing Black men. Please, please, please stop killing our sons. Please stop killing my brothers. Please stop killing us. Please stop killing our sons. Please stop killing us. Please stop killing our boys. Please stop killing our sons. Please stop killing our sons. Please stop killing our sons. Please stop killing Black men. Please, please, please stop killing our sons. Please stop killing my brothers. Please stop killing us. Please stop killing our sons. Please stop killing us. Please stop killing our boys. Please stop killing our sons. Please stop killing our sons. Please stop killing our sons. Please stop killing Black men. Please, please, please stop killing our sons. Please stop killing my brothers. Please stop killing us. Please stop killing our sons. Please stop killing us. Please stop killing our boys. Please stop killing our sons. Please stop killing our sons. Please stop killing our sons. Please stop killing Black men. Please, please, please stop killing our sons. Please stop killing my brothers. Please stop killing us. Please stop killing our sons. Please stop killing us. Please stop killing our boys. Please stop killing our sons. Please stop killing our sons. Please stop killing our sons. Please stop killing Black men. Please, please, please stop killing our sons. Please stop killing my brothers. Please stop killing us. Please stop killing our sons. Please stop killing us. Please stop killing our boys. Please stop killing our sons. Please stop killing our sons. Please stop killing our sons. Please stop killing Black men. Please, please, please stop killing our sons. Please stop killing my brothers. Please stop killing us. Please stop killing our sons. Please stop killing us. Please stop killing our boys. Please stop killing our sons. Please stop killing our sons. Please stop killing our sons. Please stop killing Black men. Please, please, please stop killing our sons. Please stop killing my brothers. Please stop killing us. Please stop killing our sons. Please stop killing us. Please stop killing our boys. Please stop killing our sons. Please stop killing our sons. Please stop killing our sons. Please stop killing Black men. Please, please, please stop killing our sons. Please stop killing my brothers. Please stop killing us. Please stop killing our sons. Please stop killing us. Please stop killing our boys. Please stop killing our sons. Please stop killing our sons. Please stop killing our sons. Please stop killing Black men. Please, please, please stop killing our sons. Please stop killing my brothers. Please stop killing us. Please stop killing our sons. Please stop killing us. Please stop killing our boys. Please stop killing our sons. Please stop killing our sons. Please stop killing our sons. Please stop killing Black men. Please, please, please stop killing our sons. Please stop killing my brothers. Please stop killing us. Please stop killing our sons. Please stop killing us. Please stop killing our boys. Please stop killing our sons. Please stop killing our sons. Please stop killing our sons. Please stop killing Black men. Please, please, please stop killing our sons. Please stop killing my brothers. Please stop killing us. Please stop killing our sons. Please stop killing us. Please stop killing our boys. Please stop killing our sons. Please stop killing our sons. Please stop killing our sons. Please stop killing Black men. Please, please, please stop killing our sons. Please stop killing my brothers. Please stop killing us. Please stop killing our sons. Please stop killing us. Please stop killing our boys. Please stop killing our sons. Please stop killing our sons. Please stop killing our sons. Please stop killing Black men. Please, please, please stop killing our sons. Please stop killing my brothers. Please stop killing us. Please stop killing our sons. Please stop killing us. Please stop killing our boys. Please stop killing our sons. Please stop killing our sons. Please stop killing our sons. Please stop killing Black men. Please, please, please stop killing our sons. Please stop killing my brothers. Please stop killing us. Please stop killing our sons. Please stop killing us. Please stop killing our boys. Please stop killing our sons. Please stop killing our sons. Please stop killing our sons. Please stop killing Black men. Please, please, please stop killing our sons. Please stop killing my brothers. Please stop killing us. Please stop killing our sons. Please stop killing us. Please stop killing our boys. Please stop killing our sons. Please stop killing our sons. Please stop killing our sons. Please stop killing Black men. Please, please, please stop killing our sons. Please stop killing my brothers. Please stop killing us. Please stop killing our sons. Please stop killing us. Please stop killing our boys. Please stop killing our sons. Please stop killing our sons. Please stop killing our sons. Please stop killing Black men. Please, please, please stop killing our sons. Please stop killing my brothers. Please stop killing us. Please stop killing our sons. Please stop killing us. Please stop killing our boys. Please stop killing our sons. Please stop killing our sons. Please stop killing our sons. 

Sincerely,

VersAnnette Blackman

 

2014-07-12 23.16.39

One morning this past Winter I went for a quiet walk in Barrington forest preserve. even though I was the only weirdo out there, enjoying my coffee & clove, freezing my ass off, oohing and ahhing at the sight of a full white frozen snow blanket, I experienced a peace that I had no choice to surrender to. Months later, the image and what I felt happened to show up in a mixed media painting I recently created.

Here’s the poem inspired by it all:

dear god,

thank you for the gift that is morning.

thank you for giving me the eyes to see what others cannot.

thank you for giving me words to express what is beautiful.

and thank you for trees that reflect our nature –

enduring harsh seasons and still standing.

firm and beautiful, though we often forget.

thank you for the quiet rhythm of winter,

the promise of spring,

for the mighty silence of all that is growing around us,

and the ability to stop and choose to listen.

It is here, for me, that your presence is most evident.

Where I can pause, reflect,

and just be.

 

When Pillars Crumble

loneliness

 

What are we having for dinner? Mommy, can we go shopping? Girl, where you been! I called you, and you didn’t call me back. Can I borrow $50 for a bus pass? I need a ride home; it’s only an hour away. Its pouring rain with wind gusts over 70mph. Why Massage Therapy? I don’t see you doing that for long. Your reports are late. I’m bored! You’re over reacting, blowing this way outta proportion! Can you help me move? My homework is due.  You didn’t come to my event! I need you to edit my bio. Being fancy and broke ain’t helping. You failed the last quiz, looks like you need more time to study. I’m sitting in a 3 hour staff meeting. Did you see my Facebook status?  I tagged you! I’m in town with four kids and an adult, can I stop by? You’re taking her side! It’s your day, whatever you want…wait – we have to wear what?! Yup. I’ll pass. This whole thing where you tell everybody how you feel –you need to dial it back. Guess I should be less honest. Bitches need to learn to stay in their rightful place! Oh, you’re going to Vegas to celebrate your birthday? Hmph. Must be nice. We’re outta bread. Again. She’s being mean. She’s being malicious. He’s completely resigned. I need you to fund me! Why didn’t you answer your phone?

What you see above is a barrage of things said. What no one sees is when the pillar crumbles.

A pillar is defined as a person or thing regarded as reliably providing essential support for something.Pillars can also be people who remain constant and unwavering in love and support while other people pile their needs, demands, requests and baggage on them with little regards to how they can reciprocate that same support.

The reality is that many of us will lend ourselves, our time, our ears and endless support to people we love. And while this certainly isn’t a bad thing – it can become dangerous when those people come to rely on you, despite where you are and what’s going in your own life. They can ruin joyous events in your life with baggage and bitterness. They will come and live with you, drain you, then talk about you behind your back and complain about your lack of regard for their struggles. They will expect you to figure out their problems and do the work for them. They will sit back and say…well now that you’ve made it, you gotta help me make it! And how dare you try to be happy and live larger than the box I have you in???

In the last 45 days I’ve learned some really crucial lessons about expectation, accountability and authenticity. The distinguishing differences in what people say, and what they show you. The all too familiar crushing and agonizing hurt that follows when people are stuck in ruts and they’d like to show up for you – but can’t fully do so because in their world, it’s all about them.

I tire of people. That’s about all I’m willing to admit on this lovely rainy day, beauties. Because everything is eventual. And the heart is resilient. And to everything there is a season. But it is always our responsibility to notice when the spirit is crumbling, so that as pieces fall and break away, we will grasp tightly those pieces we can’t live without, and let go of those that no longer serve us.

Blessings,

Verse

Blowing Dandelions

71ebe35e9a649a52

Remember when you were just a girl and all you did was daydream? Okay, maybe I was the only one. Anyways, I’ve been reflecting a TON on what it means to be free. What I’ve mostly come up with is an image of me at eight where i just wanted to hang out in nature, play with mud pies, dream big and let my imagination run wild.

30 years later, I realize it’s totally up to me to keep hope alive.

Sunshine for Rainy Days

Sunshine for Rainy Days

My father’s birthday is today. He is dead. He taught me the song, you are my sunshine, my only sunshine…you make me happy when skies are gray, you’ll never know dear, how much I love you…please don’t take my sunshine away. This is one of the few good things he left me with.

Be Good, Lion’s Song by Gregory Porter

this video lifts my spirits when I’m feeling especially funky. It’s just beautiful, and Gregory Porter is my most loved jazz artist. Together his spirit,his voice, the song, and the director’s creative mo-jo makes this a hit all the way around. Check it out. you won’t be disappointed.

R.I.P Coffeemaker

My coffeemaker broke this morning. And in turn, something broke inside of me. There is a sort of restlessness and anger residing in my my oil well heart. It’s making me want to turn over tables and scream really loudly. I refrain as I realize this will harm those closest to me. I haven’t seen my boyfriend in two months. Lately when I call him he is too busy to talk. The voice I hear echoing in the background is that of an X chromosome with thick dirty southern accent that makes me want to both puke and laugh at the same time. I just needed some coffee this morning and mayhap a cigarette to ease the tension. So much seems to be missing right now…

perhaps I’m also just a wee bit agitated because everything in life seems to be on a rigorous schedule that leaves me little time to just be. I just wanna a goddamn cup of coffee this morning. why does everything have to be so fucking hard?Image

tis the season of weepyness.

tis the season of weepyness.

I hate this wretched willow soul of mine, patiently enduring, plaited or twisted by other hands.

Karin Boye