I have been for the past three years a woman haunted.
Haunted, followed, shadowed by this shade that refuse to let me go. This thing that screams look at me
I did not know this until yesterday
3 years ago I misdiagnosed myself as crazy, unhinged and simply bitter… needing for education in the fine art of processing
guidance in the rituals of letting go.
I prayed, sang feverish songs, made smoke offerings to my gods to make the anger fade
Sometimes a few months would go by peaceful and then it would come back
You would come back
I was frustrated with myself
Angry that I was letting you get to me
get in me
I wanted you out of me
Yesterday I realized that it was not you
it was me
Tyler Perry recently butchered a brilliant play by Ntozake Shange… seriously if the woman were dead she would be rolling in her grave over what Perry did to her amazing choreopoem. I winced my way through the horrible things that struck too close to home. I put up shields and focused on his flaws at directing. The way he made black women into broken empty shells.
I bitched and nagged instead of listening to the prolific prose but towards the end a phrase reached right through me and into me and shattered me thoroughly “Somebody almost walked off with all my stuff… Somebody almost walked off with all my stuff and didn’t even know they had it”
The freshest of the scabs ripped back
and I poured out
That’s me running behind you screaming: Hey give me my stuff back! You tread all through me and that thing you have dragging at the bottom of your shoe
give it back
I became a new person to fill the space of the person that I no longer was
I made new stuff.
Instead of going back to salvage the tattered bits of me I left the person I no longer wanted to be behind
I demonized her. I told myself that she was weak for staying so long, that she was stupid for taking all that shit for so long that she deserved everything that she was dealt that she asked for it though an ill conceived notion of love and it was her punishment for not listening to her mother and the wise women who had gone before her, suffered and survived.
Stupid, silly, bitch.
Now had this woman not been me I would have been softer. I would have been kinder. I would have rallied to her, swept her into my arms, been harbor in the hurricane, nurtured and loved but it was not another woman. It was me. And I did not at that time in my life have the grace to forgive myself so I killed myself.
Buried myself in an unmarked grave.
“You’ve changed” a friend would say “You are not who you used to be” and I would always respond. Of course not. This is the new me I killed the waste of space that was here before.
I was proud
Unable to sleep, to dream, to slow down to be still because she was at my heels demanding that I see her, respect her, save her, reclaim her.
She was still being drug across hot summer cement on the back of his fucking shoe.
I was still being drug across hot summer cement on the back of his fucking shoe.
I was not weak… I was strong enough to withstand with myself intact
I was not stupid… I was smart enough to leave.
I did not deserve what happened.
I did not deserve what happened.
What I do deserve is to give to myself to same compassion that I would give to someone else.
What I do deserve is to understand deep in my soul that I am not the solely to blame.
What I do deserve is to claim this broken piece of me and remake myself whole.