How Life Scars Changed Me: The Rising Phoenix

Because this is the internet, I am not going to use it as my diary and empty out 100% of my secrets.

But I would like to be semi-transparent like that hazy shower door, the one where you can make out a fuzzy, foggy figure on the other side, you know it’s naked, but unless it pushes up against the door, you cannot make out distinct images.

That’s how I care for the world to see me. I care for the world to see me naked behind the shower door but I do not care to press up against it. Just like my inspiration Frida Khalo, I aspire to be as transparent as she was through her artwork and life. I am only twenty-six years old and I am not fully secure in myself. Most adults aren’t either. I’m at about 80% confidence on my good days, 70% on most days and 50% on my bad days. That’s a pretty good place to be considering the lows that I was coming from.

So…the hard part…the Life Scars…and how they changed me…

I used to be incredibly naive and optimistic about life and people in general. I believed that most people were good and people who were not good were simply slightly not good or hurting, and that’s why they were not good. People went into those two categories: good and not good.

I trusted everyone until they gave me a reason not to trust them. I thought everyone wanted the same things that I wanted.

I thought that everyone wanted the best for everyone, that everyone wanted to help everyone, that everyone wanted unity and wanted to fight for it.

I was wrong, and I was pretty crushed when I realized how wrong I was. When I share some of my life changing life scars I won’t share all the details but it will be enough to get my point across. I will go from 2nd most traumatic the least. I cannot share my first most traumatic because it’s too personal.

All I can say about my first most traumatic experience was that I had to be rescued by one of my parents, and the bad thing that happened, happened in front of a bunch of people. My parents can’t really talk about it, we almost never talked about it afterwards, and I didn’t get therapy for it until later and my first therapist didn’t really believe me so I stopped talking about it. It happened when I was sixteen years old. It was humiliating and embarrassing.

That situation taught me that I need to tell people that I am having problems before it gets out of control. I shouldn’t wait, or try to contain my problems myself when I need help from others. I was dealing with growing problems for a whole year before it climaxed. Lesson learned. Say something to somebody when you know you’re in danger.

The second most traumatic experience I had was one with doctors and another counselor. Because of what I said I was feeling to this counselor, she became frightened and insisted I go somewhere. That somewhere was not a nice place. It was not a safe place for me to be. There were lies said about me and I suffered. When I left that place, I did not even remember how to dress myself. That’s how mentally effed up that place made me on top of everything leading up to it.

The third most traumatic experience was the school I attended that lead up to several breakdowns, leading up to the previous place I was sent after.

The fourth most traumatic was not direct, it was actually two people who are very close to me who were hurt in one of the worst ways. I felt like I should have protected them, which I could not have done. I briefly recanted my faith in God because I was angry at him/her for not protecting them. I did come back to God, but that was the first time I left the faith, for a few weeks, or a month, I don’t care to remember.

It hurt so bad, I felt responsible, even though I wasn’t. I wanted to kill the person who did this to them, but I couldn’t. He is out there somewhere, living and breathing and probably hurting others and I cannot do anything about it. It used to give me feelings of nausea, livid rage and I did unhealthy things to cope, which I had to get out of doing because I was getting sick.

What I learned from that situation was, even if someone else is hurt, especially as an empath, it is important to do self care. It was a secret that I kept to myself and I played nurse and I couldn’t show how much I was hurting because they were the focus. I hurt because they hurt. I did not care for myself because I figured, they were the full focus, not me, and my job was caregiver. Caregivers need help too. Don’t ever forget that.

Those four cover what I would consider traumatic experiences. The rest of the seven are just really bad in comparison.

Fifth: In vague terms I’ll just say a man broke my heart very badly and never fully committed to me, simply did everything a boyfriend would do without ever agreeing to be my actual boyfriend and I settled for that situationship.

I will never, ever settle for that kind of thing again. I deserve so much more than that.

Sixth: A white boy in high school whom I had a crush on who flirted with me every day, became disgusted when it was revealed to him by me that I was fully black. He, including many others, automatically assumed that I am mixed and half white. Apparently he was ok with flirting with me and liking me that way, but upon discovering I was not, he was horrified. That was when race became very real for me. It became something that would affect my romantic relationships, how I was treated, and how I would be seen  by people who thought I was otherwise.

I used to envy the people who were “obviously” Black because they fit in more, their Blackness was never questioned and while people could argue that instant rejection hurts more, I would argue that acceptance on a false premise only to be rejected later hurts.

With people accepting me as “not Black, different than Black or mixed or almost White” in their mind, hurts me in a way that some others can not understand, and even though I have opportunities given to me because I am lighter skinned, I am still a Black woman, and I still receive societal rejection because of that, and it may come later, and usually it does but it does hurt to have numerous situations where people are “fake nice” to me only because they think I am a mixed woman.

Seventh: There was a camper that my parents and I stayed in over vacation. We were the only Black people there. Bad things happened there. A hurricane came and almost swept the camper up off the ground. There were some white kids in the pool who finally spoke to me and when  my sister came over who was a darker brown complexion, the slowly disappeared off away from me. That was when I realized that I would be treated differently than her, and that my father and sister’s presence would affect how people treated me once they realized how Black I really am.

*Eighth: On another vacation, my family was denied service at a restaurant where we sat for an hour and the waitress only came by twice, said she would serve us in a few minutes and continued to serve every other white member in that restaurant. Believe it or not, I wasn’t so much angry as embarrassed. I felt like an alien then with a bright white spotlight and an invisible sign that said, “Don’t Serve The Negroes.”

*Ninth: There was an older man I trusted who tried to have sex with me without asking if I wanted to have sex, he just assumed. He wasn’t successful, but it was scary thinking that he might try to force it. On top of that he was very insulting to me, disguising it as jokes and told my secrets to his friends who were also disrespectful to me.

*Tenth: I spent three years of college dating on an off someone who was disrespectful and abusive towards me. It was a toxic relationship and I was abusive back. I will never enter into a relationship like that again.

So why did I share all of this? I shared it because I want people who say they are so inspired by me to know that I have a basement and a closet of bad moments, mistakes and pain and I did not just automatically become successful. There are many times I look at my life and what it is now and I am just baffled like, how the heck did I get here? There are things that I replay in my mind when I feel doubtful about myself and I wish I didn’t. I would like to forget that these things happened because they haunt me.

If I inspire you, please don’t ever get the idea that I am perfect, that my life is, or that I never made any mistakes because I have. It took a long time to get here. I am still growing an developing. That is why I chose the name Rising Phoenix, because without the fire, I could not fly and I would not rise from ashes and I would not transform into something greater, wiser and stronger.