Sarah’s Suppression: The Obsession to Not Feel

happy

When things suddenly change and you’re supposed to remain un-bothered. It’s all a part of the defiant act of living. Denying our humaneness to appear emotionally stable. There is no stability in emotions. No solid form, it’s like trying to nail jello to a tree.

They will not submit to the subtle choke of a leash. Untamed. They are erratic and unapologetic. Yet we suppress, deny and act as if they don’t matter. Meanwhile, in our disdain, they seethe and start to seep…

They linger in backgrounds like memories taking me back around that time when he was more consistent. When my insecurity was silenced by his predictability.

But what do we do when patterns die and what is left is a faint whisper, an un-returned text and the toothbrush he left weeks ago, sitting as a reminder that he’s there somewhere in the in-between. He hasn’t arrived and he hasn’t completely left.

The gripping pain of the lingering.

And you better be quiet girl. You better keep cool.

Don’t let your humanness emerge and show him something exist inside you besides an orgasm and a sweaty thrill ride with soaked up sheets and bed hair.

Better not show him you care. He wants to know that you don’t so that your love doesn’t smother him. Since when did love become a sinister sadist roaming the earth looking for victims to torture? After all, isn’t love the giver of life? I can’t breathe air into you if you aren’t willing to be revived.

And after weeks of analyzing his sudden plot twist in my romantic story line, he casually replies to a text I sent 16 days ago…

He said, “I’m just doing me.”

In which I replied, “Oh, so that would imply your no longer doing me.”

He paused for about 30 minutes before responding and replied…

“huh?”

Tidbits with the ignorant conversationalist… More to come.

By Janell Hihi Copyright@2017

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5 Ted Talks Every Woman Should Watch

Skip the reality show for just one night and watch these thought-provoking, essential Ted Talks that can potentially change your life. Be encouraged, stay open to learn and continue to evolve!

#1) We Should all be feminist.

The first Ted Talk every girl should watch is from Nigerian Author Chimamanda Ngozi. Her thought-provoking, eloquent and unique perspective on the importance of divine feminism will have you in absolute awe. On Beyonce’s album, the song title  “Flawless,” You can hear the beautiful and strong words of Chimamanda in the background breaking the chains of patriarchy. A must watch for all the ladies!

 

#2) Trust Your Struggle. 

There is beauty in the struggle although it may feel awful, we need the lessons. They shape us and make us even when we feel like they are breaking us. Listen to this heartfelt Ted Talk about this young lady’s struggle and how she used it as a catalyst to fulfill her dreams.

 

#3) How online abuse of women has spiraled out of control

Actress Ashley Judd shares personal stories of online and offline abuse she has experienced as a woman throughout her life. Online bullying has recently spiraled out of control and it is affecting young woman’s lives in devastating ways. Watch and learn, forward the video to every young woman you know.

 

#4) The Power of Vulnerability

There is no greater power in the world than to take the risk to love despite knowing it can break your heart. Many women, especially African American, struggle with vulnerability because we are overly-shamed for making human mistakes. Fear of being scolded, not loved in return or being hurt keep us from experiencing true love. This video is necessary for every woman alive to watch now!

 

#5) Honest Liars — the psychology of self-deception

By providing content, resources, and connections, Dr. Cortney Warren’s goal is to support anyone who is brave enough to live a more conscious life. For when we are honest about who we really are, we have the opportunity to change. Are you lying to yourself? If you are, you are missing out on the experience of an authentic life. A must see!

 

#6) The Art of Being Yourself.

Caroline McHugh nails this Ted Talks with very useful information about the power of being yourself. It is the only way to experience true fulfillment, happiness, and intimacy. We can never be happy pretending to be someone that we are not. Watch it as soon as you get a chance and remember being yourself will get you closer to the authentic lifestyle you wish for.

 

 

By Janell Hihi Copyright@2017

The Guardsmen & The Bridge People: A Short Story.

bridge people

I created worlds to escape into, when the gunshots rattled and the arguments simmered then boiled over like the pot of boxed mac N cheese on the stove mom forgot about because she was dragged into a yelling match with dad, I shrunk into myself, became a vehicle, turned the engine on and headed towards a light that I hoped would help navigate me to a distant dimension.

Upon arrival to this place, this place I had no yet named. This place I refer to as going away… I was excited but also filled with anxiety… will I create a good enough world? Will things be safe, unlike my neighborhood that adults refer to as a ghetto?  Will there be no such things as drugs or disease? No funerals burying friends? No sorrows?

I had a lot to discuss with myself as I constructed the landscape of my new world.

I approached the gold shimmering gates that were so blinged out it hurt my eyes looking at them, it was as if I were looking at the sun. The gates appeared to be so high I could not see which galaxy the top of the gate extended into. I know it was far off and beyond what I could ever imagine. Maybe it goes into the infinite, the never ending.

Things always end where I am from. Friendships, love, life. Things stop and they don’t go on forever like the glittery gates at this place. In the material world, we even make up places endings go to when they stop being, when they stop living. Things like heaven and hell. Which I always thought was a bit contradicting because if we believe in endings, how is it that they are allowed to go somewhere else? To end is to cease to exist right? If uncle Bobby’s life ended and he went to heaven, it didn’t really end, it just went somewhere else.

I wanted to go somewhere else, especially when the claws of the material world pounced at me and threatened to pierce my young and tender skin.

Nightmares were a relief to reality sometimes, even monsters chasing me in my sleep were less terrifying than police, gang bangers and the god-awful rattling of guns and the lingering smoke left from drugs being devoured by those who want nothing more than immediate relief from reality. Addicts just wanted to get out of this place… who could blame them?

My trembling hands reached out to touch the knobs of the golden gates.

golden gate

But I was rudely interrupted by the guardsmen at the door who took their jobs a little too seriously.

“Wait just one-minute little lady! Don’t move!”

I replied confused

“What is it, I’ve arrived, I am ready to create my corridors”

The guards looked at me laughing… then begin speaking to me in a shrieking high-pitched voice…

“You bridge people are hilarious, show me your papers doll!”

I rolled my eyes and shook my head with confusion. “I don’t have any papers, what papers?”

The guardsmen appeared irritated with my ignorance and retorted…

“Your story!”

“My story I made up?”  I replied confusingly.

The guard impatiently answered, “Yes! Or you can return back to the other side and deal with the degenerates you call family.” They both laughed like witches tilting their heads back while their overly pronounced long noses shot up into the air forcing me to see things I’d rather not.

I could see the curly hair in their nostrils smothered in boogers and I couldn’t take any more observation of their self-important demeanor. Like everyone else, they thought they were better than me. I reached into my jeans and pulled out a crumpled piece of paper and reluctantly handed it to the guards. I didn’t want them, or anyone else for that matter to know about my stories and the things I make up.

The guardsmen finally stopped laughing and put my story into their pockets and stuffed it far down into their camouflage pants as if I would never get it back again.

“Okay now, can I get through please” I quietly demanded, tapping my pink, pinky the princess sneakers against the slick silver pavement.

The guardsmen replied angrily,

“No! first, you need to drop your luggage, nothing from that awful place in which you live shall ever, ever, never be brought past these gates!”

I replied shaking my head in refusal, “But, But” I stuttered…

“These are my things, the things I will transform from the other side into something good on this side. I am Goddess of Transmutation. Princess Alchemy, I need my things, I need to fix them, I need to change them here, past those gates, they will be rebuilt into something fantastic!”

The guards looked touched by my plea but refused to allow the sympathy they felt for me to override their prestigious position as guardsmen. “Come here little bridge girl person, come on, let me see your ear. We cannot go against policy; you can’t bring your stuff here it will contaminate our environment. Perhaps if you are who you say you are, little bridge girl, use your alchemy in front of our very eyes now! Show us transmutation! Transform your baggage to make it allowable in the Imagine X Kingdom now!”

I was taken back by their demands.

The truth is I wasn’t ready. I didn’t know if I could spontaneously pull it off. On the other side of the bridge, I had to be running from something to access the powers they are now asking me to show them in this very moment. I had to transform from a girl into an escapist, turn on my imagination and walk into a story I construct.

In that moment, from that very thought, I believe I may have put it all together, the pieces of the puzzling puzzle! So, I think! The story was the doorway to the other side but how could I continue the journey if I am creating characters that challenge me? The gatekeepers only exist because I put them there.

What self-imposed test am I demanding myself to take? Why won’t I allow myself on the other side of the gate?

 

To be continued…

 

By Janell Hihi

Copyright@ 2017

Your Hair Is So Pretty, What Are You Mixed With? Transcripts of Stupid Conversations.

“Your hair is so pretty, what are you mixed with?”

I answered rolling my eyes, “Hell, fire and savagery.”

I know you’re mixed with something, you aren’t all black are you?

I roll my eyes and wonder if I should storm off like an angry black woman or give into my boredom and tolerate this man so at least I’d have something to do for the rest of the evening.

I reply, with a seductive look in my eyes as I play with the straw in my mouth from my cocktail, twirling it about my full lips.

“I am whatever you want me to be.” Since it was so important that I wasn’t “full” black, I wanted to tease him and not give him the satisfaction of a direct answer.

He became irritated and looked at me as if he had pity for me. He replied,

“You don’t have to be embarrassed of your ethnicity, I’ve dated girls of all races, I don’t see color.”

I gave him a bitch’s gaze. You know that hazy brown eyed girl gaze that looks into souls like an x-ray examines fractures in bones. I see cracks but because he is black I muster up enough sympathy to empathize with his self-hatred.

He interrupted my read by pointing out a girl sitting at the bar to me by saying,

“What ethnicity do you think that girl is over there in the red shirt at the bar? She looks like she’s maybe Latina from South America?”

I swiftly retort, “Who cares?!”

He further explains he likes to people watch, but I know he has a fascination for the non-black exotic, any woman who isn’t like his own. I yawn in boredom. Then he quickly returns his attention back to me.

I repeat his statement he made a few moments ago back to him “You dated all races and you don’t see color?”

I could not contain my laughter. I couldn’t help but think, is this negro serious? Everyone see’s your color, but you claim to be colorblind? Of course, I’d love to live in a world where people didn’t see color, but I live in this place called reality, the color lines are obvious in this dimension. I’m reminded of my blackness. Even now, at this restaurant with this black man, I am being challenged to prove my ethnicity, my non-blackness. The fuck?!

I responded reluctantly, but the liquor kicked in and I gave in to my inherent sass.

“If color doesn’t matter, why you stressing me about what I’m mixed with? Oh, wait! Is it because you want me to validate your taste, because if I wasn’t mixed I probably wouldn’t be desirable to you because I would reflect too much of you, back to you?” You see color, you see hair texture and you see a mixed girl.”

The conversations I have with the self-hating, mice of men in Minnesota.

To be continued.

By Janell Hihi Copyright@2017

Don’t Love The Monsters

 

cuffed

Who are you trying to save?

You loved me when I was a monster, and I am not grateful for it. In fact, I despise how you love black, how you treat the dark like the day lit by a July sun. I wasn’t light – You were either blind or oblivious

Oh how I wish you would have just left me alone, to wither like a raisin and shrivel up so that every broken part of me would crumble off my soul like dust – but instead you allowed me to cover it up – like a pill suppresses symptoms only leaving the disease to persist.

Enabling is not a cure. You have cursed me with the energy of stagnation. Sold me a hope of escape. I long to be my own hero since I am my own villain. But you wanted to say you freed me so you could feed me to your unrelenting ego. How many of us linger in the belly of the beast? How many of us did you swallow whole?

You thought you liberated me, you destroyed what would have been a journey in healing What good is a cheap band-aid over a gaping wound?

demons

You wanted to be the light in the tunnel but that’s not how my becoming was supposed to be. I needed to crawl in the dark for a while, with the night creatures.

I wanted to find my own way out. But then you emerged with your torch and an ego as vivid as my nightmares trying to deliver me.

Don’t love us

For your love is an interruption – a frustrating halt.

Your love is not the key that will open our hearts.

It won’t spark our evolution.

It only delays.

We

Don’t want to feel.

We want to rage what was left unraged

Light every fire within us ablaze

To burn is to bathe in the soothing effect of pain

It is my only deliverance.

By Janell Hihi

Copyright@2017

Dear Racist Grandfather

Profile of little African girl writing  in classroom.
Profile of little African girl writing in classroom.

I remember that rainy day. The sky was a heavy gray, clouds were low and depressed as if the sky wanted to collapse and submerge into earth.

Even clouds don’t want to fly sometimes. We think ecstasy is in the sky but we learn that there is freedom in the fall.

When we surrender. Gravity is a fierce teacher.

Like all the bodies do when they get buried from gun violence. Bang bang is all I heard. I smell gun smoke mixed with the smell of ghetto rain, someone down the street was frying chicken too. When aromas merged they stink. The urban life.

I turned to my mother who was desperately rummaging through papers on the kitchen table. Rollers in her hair, her night gown unbuttoned on the top. I could see her pale white breast as she slouched over, eyes piercing blue with a watery gloss over them.

She was about to cry.

“What’s wrong mommy?” I asked with a shaking voice. Afraid of the answer.

Tears raced down her red cheeks. She put her hands over her face as if she was ashamed of crying. But crying was brave in my eyes. Hiding feelings was cowardly. Hiding feelings is what I did often as a child.

Finally she blurted out the words like she suffered from a severe version of terrets and said, “My father just died.” I walked up to her to give her a reluctant hug. She wrapped one arm around me loosely for two seconds then quickly turned away.

Mommy wasn’t very affectionate. And I never knew my grandfather so I couldn’t share in her grief. All I knew was his name was Lawrence. He is German and he once threatened my fathers life with a gun.

My grandfather didn’t want his daughter dating an African American man. He disowned her and all of her kids. I felt unloved from a young age. From racist family members who never even considered meeting me, not even on their death bed, just because of my genetic blessing of melanin.

Thankfully, I’m beyond his disdain for me. I heard he was a proud Christian but white supremacy was his real religion. Racism before God for his kind. Of course if the world truly practiced it’s so called religions, the world would be damn near perfect. Heaven would anchor down to earth…

The comedian George Lopez talked about racism during one of his shows. He said “Mexicans have two rules, don’t marry a black person and don’t Park in front of my house.”

Most immigrants and older generation white Americans have that rule. I don’t take offense to it now but as a biracial child it cut at my heart. Seeing my mother suffer because she loved a man that society taught her to hate. People think racism towards blacks is an American thing. Nah, it’s everywhere and in every country. Ask me how it feels to be hated for my DNA. Ask me how I manage to carry on carrying it. Ask me…

One thing is for sure, mommy went against the grain. I don’t descend from sheep, I was birthed by a soldier of love.

I still blink twice and swallow hard as I stare at Her. Even today, her wrinkles on her face can trace a maze of pain, but mostly triumph and raw, down to the bone, pure love!

The unapologetic bravery and supreme level of not giving a fuck she emits, her aura is not even a color, it’s an element, fire!

Her warmth unprecedented.

And fuck you Lawrence Von Raduenz, the grandpa who put his racism before his so-called god and before his family.

Before his humanity

Before his daughter

Before me.

This is how iron is split open. When they hate that you LOVE.

By Janell Hihi

Copyright@2017

I am an Actor in a Shitty Play

Yesterday I was asked if I had any acting experience…

I replied, “Well, of course, I do! I pretend I like people 8 hours a day, for 40 hours a week for the last 20 years of my life.”

If that isn’t a hell of a resume’ I don’t know what is. Hopefully, I can trade in my current part in this shitty play for a new leading role where I can surround myself with people who are not content with settling and accepting bullshit. A place where I don’t have to be fake. A place where pretending doesn’t feel like a part of me is dying off everyday.

A place where I don’t have to be positive all the time for fucks-sake!

by Janell