I Change My Mind – Black Lives Matter

That title makes me sound like I was a racist at one point.

Oops.

0.o

Nope! Never have been. Racism is one of those things I never understood.

But anywho – I have changed my opinion on one part of the racism issue.

 

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You see – I went off on Twitter a little while ago about how I wouldn’t carry a sign reading, “black lives matter”, but I would carry a sign reading, “all lives matter”.

I thought to carry a sign that said only one race of human beings mattered was, in fact, racist.

Now, I’m not saying I didn’t care about black people, nor am I saying that I now don’t believe all lives matter.

The difference between then and now is, I would now carry a sign stating, “black lives matter”.

 

What changed my mind?

A woman.

An honest, open woman, who happens to be black, and also happens to be willing to talk to white people like they aren’t scum. She talks to all people like we’re… all people. *gasps* What a thought! 😉

 

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You see, I watched this video on Youtube, with Franchesca Ramsey and the host, Marie Forleo. (And totally fell in love by the way.)

For those of you who haven’t seen it, I will link to it in the bottom of this post.

 

I’ve only watched it one time but I remember the metaphor she gave that changed my mind.

It went something like this.

If I am doing a breast cancer walk, no one is going to come up to me and go, “hey! What about thyroid cancer? You should support and talk about thyroid cancer too!”

Because when we’re supporting breast cancer or the end of something like animal abuse or domestic violence – we are taking a slice of our time out to focus on one specific thing. But going on a walk for women’s rights doesn’t mean we hate men. Supporting breast cancer doesn’t slight thyroid cancer.

In the same vein of thinking, when I hold a sign reading “black lives matter”, I am not saying that I only believe lives of black people matter. What I am saying is.

They.

Matter

 

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I still believe all lives matter. But I don’t have to approach every situation or moral issue in a black or white mindset.

I realize that saying one person matters, doesn’t mean that is the only person I care about.

 

I also realize that before I watched this youtube video, I wasn’t entirely comfortable talking about racism. I believe we need a safe place to talk about these things, without people yelling in our faces or telling us we’re evil or ignorant.

We might be ignorant. But we’re never going to change if all anyone brings to the table is hate.

What do you think? 

Would you hold up a sign that reads, “Black Lives Matter”? I would.

 

 

 

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I Didn’t Lose You – Goodbye

I lost something this year.

Something I’ve never had before.

A friend.

I mean, I’ve had friends. Loads. I never had a problem making friends. But this was different. He didn’t want to have sex with me. He didn’t want to stay in an unhealthy phase of life. He did want to connect. To uplift. To be uplifted. Real friendship.

I typically only get along with people this way when they’re older than me by a decade or two. Been that way since I was a munchkin. I tried to fight it for a while in my teen years. But why? I mean, I believe we existed before this life. I could be substantially older than my mother. My younger brother could be eons older than me. *shrug*

Anywho, the amazing thing about this, is the relationship was healthy. The only healthy relationship this gal has ever had from start to finish.

I met him in the blogosphere when I began blogging, about 6 years ago. We had a lot in common. We critiqued each other’s novels. I learned a lot. He was honest. We called each other out. We consoled one another. We got each other… On the same wavelength, you know? He sent me a box of books. If that doesn’t scream friendship right there, I don’t know what does.

This relationship has been my rock. He, along with a book series and my family, are the reasons I got vulnerable enough to consider therapy. Which I chose to allow me to change my life for the better.

This relationship is what got me through a lot of my issues. Helped me remain humane with myself. Remember that I mattered, wasn’t a monster, and having issues didn’t make me unlovable. I learned to trust someone. I learned self-value in part because of this friendship. Someone else who saw all my damage could love me.

But, as I’ve recently learned, friendships don’t last forever. Not even the healthy ones. People change. We grow, evolve, move forward in different directions. This friendship died a healthy death.

That’s never happened before, and I, therefore, didn’t know how to deal with it. All my unhealthy coping mechanisms were gone, you know? I’d burned them alive and let them die the painful death we needed them to die. So I looked for a healthy one.

I chose to write about it.

I figured I’d share the resulting poem with you. I cried writing it. I cried reading it. I cried sending it. But I cannot say I have any regrets. I cannot say I regret anything with this relationship. I believe we all have people come into our lives for a reason. And I believe we come into others’ lives for a purpose.

Maybe the truth is that I did NOT lose something this year. I grew. He grew. We figured out how to create a real relationship where neither of us ended up hating one another, but instead parted in healthy ways for healthy reasons. We bettered each others’ lives. Ta da. Healthy relationship. I certainly learned a lot about myself (and my writing).

 

But I digress. Here are my blood and tears, encapsulated in ink and vocal chords.

 

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Pieces of Me

 

Perhaps this is part of becoming new
I am not so broken up
But I am

How can I be a phantom
Yet so brilliantly alive
In the same heart beats
Through my veins
All at once
Then not at all

These same tears
Are saying two different things

Goodbye

Perhaps this is part of becoming new
Shedding dead skins
And remembering them fondly

These dew drops of joy
I’ll store them in a jar
There will be so many more mornings
Dewdrops to collect

I’ll keep the safety
In this snapshot
Never having to worry
More was building
I never breathed so freely

I think maybe perhaps
I will buy some new jars
Open the lids

I cut my hair short
Put my old stories through the shredder
I sent out a letter
There’s a purple ruby on my desk
It’s from you

Perhaps this is part of becoming new
Final nail in the coffin
Of the phantom in me
Last crack in my shell
Something winged set free

Dying a natural death
In other words, change
Transmutation
Alchemy of the soul

We each need different chemicals
To destroy ourselves
Combust
So we can rebuild our bones
Trade fins for wings
Maturation into brilliancy

This is part of becoming new
You were a much-needed ingredient
So I could see the dead skin cells
I clung to
Wipe them away
Close my eyes
Clean up with all these tears
To break through
Reach in
And pull myself out
Vibrantly alive
And ever so new

It was is time

Please wake up
To something beautiful
Something new
In you

Goodbye

 

By Daphne Shadows

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Happy Birthday to a Dead Man

I deleted an email once.

I regret it now.

Now that I think about it, there were two emails that I wish I would have saved.

One of them tied me to him, and both of us to family who came before. Funny how that never seemed important to me. I grew up in an abusive home. Love wasn’t something I associated with family. Consequently, family history was NOT something I understood.

An urge to connect with family before my family …. why was that a good idea? Simply leads to more souls born into families who broke and brainwashed them so that they could then go on to do the same to their children, and so on and so on.

But now I find I’m simply curious. I found a photo of his mother. And I wondered… Who was she? What was she like? Was she tough love or sweet, strict or a secret grinner? Did she like to ride horses? To sing? How did she treat him? What did he think of her?

I guess I won’t find out until I too, am dead and gone from this probationary life.

If I had kept that email…

He sent photos of relatives. People who tied him to people. So they tied to me too.

Curious now. I don’t really know exactly what I feel or what I think entirely. Simply curious.

 

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“Experience is a brutal teacher, but you learn. My God, do you learn.”

C. S. Lewis

 

The second email tied his compassion for me to my spine. Forever wrapping me in the certainty that what was important to me, was important to him.

It was a list.

One I wish I had now.

Nothing huge. But important to me.

You see, Papa was great at psychology. He sent me a list of all the best to read if I was interested in psychology. I was. But I didn’t have eyes to see or ears to hear. I had no heart to feel with, to live with. I was slowly shutting down. Done with living inside a porcelain suit.

Here I am now, regretting that deletion. I am interested in it again. Want to breathe life into the marrow I carry.

I’m left remembering a list in an email that I can never get back.

 

Grief is funny like that.

The things we remember.

I wanted to make an upside down pineapple cake. It was his favorite. Today is the first birthday of his where he is there and I am here. On two different sides of the veil. I don’t have the money though. Perhaps Christmas then. Or Thanksgiving. Yeah. I think that’s a better idea anyway. I’d prefer to eat it on a happier day. One where we can celebrate.

Not that his life isn’t worth celebrating. But it’s the first birthday where he isn’t here, you know? There’s too much grief still. It seems to creep over the good memories and tint them in something grey and

 

He was a great cook. Was a professional chef for a while.

He would have had the best recipe. Would’ve known to teach me the best way to cook it.

Why didn’t I ask him?

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Happy birthday Papa. 83 years today.

I will see you again. You’re in trouble then. Stuck teaching me all your cooking and psychology tips.

See you then.

 

“I think about her everyday. It does get better, Hotch. Losing someone is never easy… but one day, you’ll remember her and you won’t hurt.”

Jennifer Jareau from Criminal Minds

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If Life Was a Street Sweeper

It has been a painful past couple of weeks.

One hit after the other. In all different categories of life.

But I will tell you what. Sometimes pain has a way of cleansing you from the inside out. It’s like a fire that burns away all the cobwebs and dust, cleans the gunk that was stuck in the corners, as the flames flick off the outer shell you didn’t realize you’d developed.

 

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Like the new pink, soft skin that grows after the scab has fallen off.

Clears up your perspective.

Shakes loose old habits or beliefs you didn’t realize you’d clung to.

I was planning on doing some fun research into the Egyptian Scarab beetle or Rafiki from The Lion King for my next post.

Sometimes life sneaks up on you in the form of a street sweeper and knocks you off your feet.

I kinda stood around dazed only to realize I wasn’t standing, I’d landed on my bum on the sidewalk and the leaves had already started falling on top of me like an all natural Fall coffin, before I’d become aware of it.

 

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I feel like, if life was a street sweeper, it would have a crazy huge bumper with some wicked sign on the front, plastered atop a smirking smiley. There would definitely NOT be anyone behind the wheel. But I imagine a sweet smile plastered to the back.

Because aren’t we typically better off once life has knocked us off balance?

I am currently dusting myself off, enjoying the Fall leaves about me (yes, I know it’s not Fall, don’t worry I didn’t hit my head), and just glanced the smiley on the back of the truck before it turned the corner.

I’m fairly certain I’m still in Kansas but don’t quote me on that. I don’t know what street I’m on, because hey, life typically doesn’t tell us where it’s going to drop us. There are no tornadoes, small dogs, or sparkly red shoes, so I think it’s safe to say I’m conscious.

The question always lingers at this point. Where to now?

 

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The Monster

“Are you sure?”

*slams head into desk*

*rolls eyes*

*dramatic sigh*

Is anyone, ever, one-hundred- percent certain?

Ever?!

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Persephone Knows

This is a poem I wrote some time ago and published here in October of 2015. I’ve re-written it. I’d take the previous one down, but that feels ingenuine. I often take what I’ve made and rip it apart, before stitching it back together with different thread.

Since writing them, I’ve gone through many of poems and changed them. Without telling anyone. Just so you know. 😉

So without any further fuss
I give you –
Persephone Knows

 

My feet

They won’t walk right

My legs

They don’t shift light

My thoughts

So staggered

My sense

It’s shattered

No meter, no rhythm

Guess the lies never mattered


 

Beautiful how the truth can be.

Daringly sinister, you see.

The duality.

 

The beauty it can create.

Hearts it can incinerate.

 

Depending on the paintbrush

Using oils or lye

On which canvas

The why?

 

Even as the teardrops drip

And lips pout red

Something grows inside

As this truth is fed.

 

It’s really quite simple, darling.

Though that doesn’t make it easy.

It’s really not that hard.

Rather filled to empty.

 

Balances what’s inside me.

If I can’t be real

I can’t be free.

 

But now and then

I rummage and shuffle

Pretend I’m not me

Hide in this muzzle

 

Tips the scales and down I go

Falling until I hit bone and bow

 

When it comes to me,

Well, you see

Only hurt can smother the doubt

Always seem to take this route

 

So, I sit here and burn

Fight myself at every turn

Forget to breathe

Struggle and seethe

 

Scrape at the dead skin

Beg the truth not to win

Drowning in plastic again

 

I slam the windows

Barricade the door

But truth drags me by the feet

And I wash up on the shore

 

Drowning in flames

Dancing in the darkness

Shadows flickering

In duality’s likeness.

 

If only I’d remember

If only I’d learn

What always is salvaged.

Persephone knows

Death can be lovely

And flowers can be damaged.

 

If only I’d listen

I cannot hide pieces

And not be stricken.

 

The sun doesn’t always shine

The moon sometimes takes her time

I cannot smudge parts of my soul

And expect to live whole.

 

Truth cannot speak, only strike

Dormant matches in my chest

My beast never hides

Truth burns me best.

 

If only, if only

If only, I’d learn.

 

But always,

Always

I choose to burn.

 

by Daphne Shadows

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(this poem is disjointed instead of flowy, on purpose)

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How to Talk to Your Mentally Ill Friend

 

If you wouldn’t say it to someone with cancer…

If you wouldn’t say it to an amputee…

Don’t say it to someone with mental health challenges.

 

A person who is missing a limb can pray to God for help all day and night long. I’m pretty certain God (insert your Higher Power here, if not God) isn’t going to grow their limb back. We aren’t lizards. Not how it works.

Mental illness challenges are much the same. Not saying they’re the same as having your arms blown off, but you get me.

 

I get told to pray to God and He will take away my sadness.

One – depression and sadness are NOT the same thing.

Two – God gives us challenges on purpose. So we can figure out how to live with them in the way He wants us to. As well as help others who suffer from the same challenges. These things help us grow, challenge ourselves, rise to the occasion. Pretending like being bipolar is something I can just pray away is an insult to God and to myself. He has trusted me to handle this.

Perhaps it will go away. That happens.

Or perhaps it will be more like getting a knee injury. Occasionally, that knee will act up and I’ll have to deal with it.

There is no one way that mental health challenges work. Different person, different life experiences with mental illness.

But none of us can simply get up, decide to no longer have mental illness issues, and *poof* be healthy. Doesn’t work that way.

A cancer patient doesn’t get the diagnosis, decide to stop having it, and *poof* no more cancer. Uh-uh. They have to fight it. Give it everything they’ve got.

Sometimes the disease kills them.

Sometimes it doesn’t.

Sometimes it goes into remission and comes back, only to go into remission once again.

 

If you aren’t sure how to approach or talk to someone with mental health challenges, consider how you’d talk to a friend who has fibromyalgia or is in the process of going blind.

Mental illness isn’t a choice.

 

 

Yes, making good choices can alleviate it or even get rid of it. But that’s a process. And is true of all illnesses. Get diabetes or cancer, you’re going to have to change what you’re doing, eating, etc. Get panic disorder and you’re going to have to do the same.

We can all make good choices.

That includes aiming for understanding, empathy, kindness, compassion. Instead of telling someone with devastating depression or a mood disorder or any host of other mental illnesses, to simply “knock it off”, “get over it”, “choose to be happy,” “pray and trust God to take it away”, etc.

Perhaps your Higher Power will take it away. Just as He might take away cancer. But that’s not going to happen without the person trying, working for it, making changes, and suffering through a lot of pain that they didn’t choose to have.

 

We can be happy and depressed at the same time. Because happiness is the opposite of sadness. Not depression. Depression is an illness.

You wouldn’t tell someone to just knock it off and quit sneezing when they have a cold, would you?

 

SO IF YOU’RE UNCERTAIN whether or not to say something to someone who struggles with mental health issues (anxiety, depression, personality disorders, dissociative disorders, mood disorders, etc.) a pretty good guideline is:

If you wouldn’t say it to someone with cancer…

If you wouldn’t say it to an amputee…

Don’t say it to someone with mental health challenges.

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