Racism Is As Real As Today

We watched One Night In Miami last night and it had me tearing up. Just knowing that Malcom X knew that the end was near and kept trying as hard as he could to have his words, his friends words, speak for the racial tension and for what was happening every day.

Speaking about the movie my boyfriend admitted that he doesn’t feel safe taking a walk in the early morning. It gauged my heart out but I’m just always hyper aware of the tension that is around and racism he’s dealt with most of his life. We were talking and all we need is someone calling in a black man walking around the neighborhood, the wrong cop coming out, and him being killed.

This is real.

Every day this is real.

My love is a black man who I’ve seen, more than once, twice, just countless times that he is looked at more than twice. Just walking around. He always engages people in saying “Hello” first when we’re walking together. To let them know he sees them, is what he explains is why he does this when we’re out. I tend to keep my eyes down and not engage anyone when we’re out.

He calls me gregarious and I call him the same.

We have to explain to kids that racism is real, and rampant, and my friends with their children have to specify to their little boys “show your hands even if you didn’t do anything wrong. Show you’re smaller.”

What road is the wrong one?

What street is watching you too closely?

Who called you as a threat when you weren’t even one for a second?

What are we doing to make this well-known? All I do is explain it, say it, make it into poetry, and have full discussions about race and admit my white privilege I own and have.

Matrimony Made Unmaking

I never believed in love. I figured, if it doesn’t believe in you why should you believe in it? I believed in myself, and I still hold onto this. This belief in myself above all else. I become my own deity, not to say it’s ego driven, just knowing that if I’m drowning there isn’t anything that will be sent down to save me. I gotta grip my hand, pull up, and get myself out of the well.

Cue, me now, writing some of the best poetry I’ve ever written hands down and I have love. I have the best kind of love, safe, easy, always there, strong, compassionate, giving, considerate, and always appreciating me for what and who I am.

How many times you’ve been told you’re broken so love will never find you?

I have, but the funny thing is, it’s not true.

My parents married out of necessity. I had a brother before me, my mother was divorced, and my dad just fell in love with the hurricane that is my mother. She said either buck up and marry me, I don’t have time for games, or get the hell out. They were married in three months. My mother needed a father figure for my brother.

He still speaks warmly that my mother knows the best places to go to (she does, honestly, honing pigeon of a woman) and what she comes up with is exciting.

My mother talks less now about how much she distastes my dad. And, my dad had his own times where the power flipped. But, it was never healthy. There’s so many different things I see where I go, well, I can see why my own ways of repeating history happened. Even though, I always screamed from the rooftops I was strong.

When I met the love of my life, I wasn’t looking. I never am looking. I would prefer to be left alone and just left to my own devices. Remember, the only thing that can save me is myself? Add a person to that and it almost always would turn out, well, not good.

Our rituals we have in our relationship are sacred and I love them. We always kiss when we wake up in the morning or return to each other in bed. He is basically like my silent editor you never see with my poetry getting his help if I feel like it needs some extra something. I share all of myself with him and don’t feel like a fear he will use anything against me. Which was a constant.

I was raised from a system of love that I knew I didn’t want. So, I thought I didn’t want love period. Just goes to show that I wanted it, just the kind that gives, receives, trusts, and embodies you like cashmere sunsets.

When Suicide Is In Your Skin

Trigger for suicide, performance poem of mine.

Heavy subject today you guys, what do you do when suicide is in familial structure?

What do you do and what can you do and how do you protect yourself when mental illness is inherited?

I get asked a lot about my need to be a mental health advocate. Being a creature of suicidal survival, severe depression, anxiety, panic attacks, waiting eating disorders which I fight, and the list goes on and on, is just one of many reasons. Another is that fact both of my grandmas suffered severely from mental health issues and no one spoke about it.

I just wrote a poem dealing with my grandma in the mental institution and visiting her there as a kid. She had tried to take her life, failed, and we were visiting. No one looked her in the eye. Everyone tried to pretend she was having a bad case of the “blues” and that she’d be fine. She wasn’t, obviously, but we never faced the honest truth.

I have spent most of my life being aware I probably have some mental illnesses but they’re pretty maintained except my PTSD that can be activated at any time and other parts that aren’t so easy to turn off. The pandemic put my mental health in a garbage can with anxiety and I don’t know how I stay above the well water of depression.

I lied, I do, it’s a very strong support system of a man I love so damn dearly, friends I’ve acquired because of the pandemic, such as Kimberly Shaw, Marissa, Ma Dukes, Becca, Christine, and the names go on and on of friends I consider so near and dear to me. I can’t even probably put it on one page people I can reach out and they’ll reach back and say I get it.

I can’t tell you how many times me not being happy puts people at unease. I had to work hard to make parents happy that could snap at any moment at me. I loved them, but that was how it was as a child. Walking on eggshells, not sunshine. And it didn’t feel good.

I have always been told that I need to buck up with any sort of mental illness I’ve had. And, I finally have the support system that says hey, it’s okay to not be okay. We got you.

This is all to say I don’t know the answer to your genetics predisposing you to mental illness. I also have a hormonal disorder that puts my body out of whack for every possible thing imagined. Except that the support system is a huge thing to rely on when you just don’t have the strength to get up. They don’t need to tell you you’re going to be okay. Just sit in the darkness with you and let you know you’re not alone in this.

How Do You Say I Miss You To Your Molester?

This isn’t where I’m at today

I don’t even know how to handle writing this post. But it’s something that I can’t seem to get out of. I saw a movie of mine that is the closest a movie has gotten to my family. They are dysfunctional, fucked up, and the grandfather is the closest to my grandfather.

Manipulative, cruel, messed up, very few glimmers of goodness. Besides, him trying at the end to reconcile. And that leaves a bad taste in my mouth because it makes me miss that. We never did that. He knew for two years he would die and instead of getting better, like Royal in the movie, he just got worse.

So much worse.

I find my poetry going back to scenarios I hate. Going back to questions I don’t want. Like the sickness I feel for my favorite grandparent being the man who molested me most of my life. Starting at a very young age, until he died with my family taking care of him 24/7 as caregivers in our home.

I was nursemaid to my molester.

Chew on that for awhile.

I try not to go too deep into my life. I don’t know whether this blog should work as a journal, just an update to follow me on my author journey and poetic journey, or if this is a megaphone to scream out listen to your children!

I guess today it’s that question lying heavy on me. As well as some news kind of rocking my world in a really, really terrible way. I look so normal on the outside when all this shit happens. I get panic attacks, anxiety, depression, and a hormonal syndrome that boosts my suicidal issues and depression and anxiety and puts mental health in a pot.

I get asked a lot why am I an advocate for mental health?

My grandma tried to kill herself so many times.

My other grandma was put through electro shock for severe depression before my mother was born and lost huge amounts of her memory from that.

And all this is hardly even spoken about? Why? Mental health just means buck up. Batten down. Be better. Put your big britches on.

Bullshit.

Sometimes the best thing you can ever do in this world is just say I’m not okay. Today, I’m near not okay. I reached out to a dear friend and aired out some fears. They said what I know but what anxiety, fear, and being overwhelmed won’t listen to. I need to take care of myself. And so here I am, knowing the way, but not knowing how to stop shaking.

1-7-21 The Poetry Stream Feature

https://www.twitch.tv/videos/865164047

It went down for my feature and it was the most amazing thing.

Today is End The Stigma with Guerilla Poets and the poet heading the workshop is my dear friend, Ma Dukes.

Our focus was the zones we stay within, comfort, learning, fear, and growth.

The prompts didn’t seem to do anything for me at first. I was frustrated as shit. It felt like poetic spin cycle on my laundry. Wash. Rinse. Repeat. Me.

Then, I guess, they did a lot for me.

I’ll be exploring each one deeper but prompts are generally automatic with me and this wasn’t and felt like a struggle. But the poets were blown away with my poems so I guess they were stronger than my thoughts.

This goes to say: poets do not believe your words are less than just because you’re frustrated with what you wrote. Bounce it off open and objective ears and get feedback. You may have better than you imagined in that poetic pile and you should be proud you just created.

You’re a creator. That is amazing in itself, go out there, make worlds, make trauma visible, realize your feelings are valid and your words are just as valid.

Everyone needs to hear what you say. And if they don’t connect? They’ll find their tribe. And when you find your tribe? Welcome them in, love them, share the love, and be inspired.

Defending Against A Loaded Gun

I woke up thinking about what happened yesterday. I thought of race and how it is a constant within a system that’s broken and needs to be corrected. I thought about the blatant racism my boyfriend deals with every day and the fear I try to quell of losing him because of his skin color.

I thought of my friends and them coaching their black sons to be small, shrink in size, if they are approached by cops to save their lives. Always show your hands to them. Always.

I think of the racism and looks we may deal with because we are a biracial couple. And, the fact that our children would have to face what is going on as well. The conversations. The quiet killing happening daily, and the loud gunshots we hear and don’t hear around this country. Constantly happening.

I thought of how to word this. To word the pain. And I did it, but I feel like it’s never enough. And when I explain this to him he just says to keep at it. Keep doing what I’m doing.

I wrote it in a poem that I posted and that I expanded into a performance piece. I feel like all of my Racial Injustice poems could be stronger. I always feel like I’m not doing enough. I need to do more. This voice is important and there’s so many things I want it to scream from the rafters we need to talk about.

Race. Mental health matters. Black lives matter. Suicide. Molestation. Sexual Assault. Rape. Rape in marriage. Rape by family members. Your child’s voice matters. Predators are normally a part of your structure already. Anxiety. Depression. Gay rights.

I was asked by a friend with my second feature with the Word Is Write whether there are any poems I ever write I don’t like? I said no. I’m thinking, I love all my poems, but my poems on race, on what he’s faced, on my fear of losing him, could always be stronger. My voice just doesn’t seem strong enough to make a difference in my mind.

Tonight is my feature with The Poetry Stream and I’m excited for it. I’m excited for a new day despite all the bullshit there is. I’m excited about life. I’m excited about love. I’m overjoyed I have it in my life and it is a wonderfully amazing human being who gets me 100%. Plus. I am grateful for his family I adore, and are hilarious, and amazing human beings on this planet.

If you want to join in my feature with The Poetry Stream the link is: www.twich.com/sc_says

I would be beyond grateful to have you with me. To all those I love I am so damn grateful for love.

Trigger Finger Suicide

JANUARY 6TH, 2021 POST

Topic For Today? Trigger Finger Suicide. What is the bullet on your tongue? What is the trigger you finger in your head?

Welcome to updates about me day by day! (ish) I never like to keep communication too consistent but since this is my author site, figure you guys getting a look in my brain is good?

I wrote a poem that unloaded some deep trauma I’ve never talked about.

It’s weird how it ticked 2021 and all this stuff wanted to get unloaded.

It’s called “Trigger Finger Suicide” so the title itself gives you a good idea of the mental space. Molestation, suicide survival, assault inside of it and some experiences I’m just starting to go back to and unload poetically.

One of the things I enjoy the most about poetry is I get to speak through metaphors real, life experiences that I’ve never shared. Then, people don’t ask me what happened. Because honestly? Lots of times I would shutdown if you asked me what spurred it. It’s in the poem and I don’t like to go into the details, the details are in the poem.

I live with trauma daily. Trying to pick apart living on eggshells being broken by my mere steps forward. So, that trauma can be accessed through poems but when I explain them it’s like I’ve already conquered the situations. But, I haven’t. Just because I’ve written something thousands of times doesn’t mean it gets smaller each time it’s written.

Sometimes, and most of the time, it gets bigger. And it looks like it might crush me by revisiting it. But, I know, if I can help with explaining it and my experiences, it’s worth it.

Poetry Breathes In Everything

January 5th, 2021 Post

This Thursday I’ll be featured in https://www.twitch.tv/sc_says as a Featured Poet!

I’ll be featuring all new Poetry from 2021 which I’ve made a lot even within this short amount of time in the New Year. The subjects I’ve been diving into are grief, domestic abuse, and severe depression where it’s so bad that depression becomes like a seductress.

I haven’t been able to word depression like I’ve wanted to in these new poems. Or, I even haven’t expressed grief in any of my poems over the years. So, this should be an incredible experience and I’m very honored to be a part of it.

Thank you, as always, for reading me! Poetry is embodied through movement just like life needs movement, the world needs poetry.

Sarah Bellum Mental 

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