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'Survivors'

Writing ‘Survivor’ was so deeply personal to me. There was a shedding I could physically feel as I wrote my truth to power. I still tingle when I read it and remember how present I was in such a healing moment for myself. I felt the spirit of every Black women I’ve known, starting with my mother, that has been put through so much trauma and never got the space to express their pain. I want to make space for all my resilient ‘Survivors’ to find some healing in my words. May it be your sweet friend on this journey through healing.


Survivor

1

At first, survivor sounds strong

Convinces you that

you are brave

and then you remember

what you survived

is inhumane

But then the world urges you,

Don't cry, don't shed a tear—

you are strong, you are fierce.

"Here", said the world, "wear your shield."

They don't tell you they'll blame you for it later.

Wait, it isn't heavy enough.

"Here, cover it with shame".

What if the community finds out?

This will break my family's heart.

Protect them at all cost.

Your mind keeps spinning until a little voice whispers.

But...aren't I the victim?


2

They called you a survivor.

before you understood what you would be surviving.

She told her story so she must be okay.

They don't see the tremors.

The nightmares.

The overthinking,

The anxiety of being caught off guard.

The hardening of the shield they gave.

Such a strong woman.

Don't cry, don't shed a tear.

They forget to tell you it stops love from coming in.

The moment has passed.

You can't make relationships last,

You can't stop getting sad.

Or you get really mad.

They told you that you survived.

so...where's the book on life after "survival"?


3

Slowly, she found her way.

Some picked her up, held her.

They lit her candles.

And kept her safe.

They showed her real love.

They taught her that she doesn't deserve pain.

She started by shedding the shame.

She no longer carries what happened to her.

The burden was too grave.

Then she started peeling back the shield.

Layer by layer she began to heal.

no longer would she hear

don't cry, don't shed a tear.

she is a superwoman

and now she remembers she can take the cape off.


4

So yes, survivor she was

but it is never one size fits all,

The journey requires all terrain wheels.

You ARE brave.

But you deserve a seatbelt.

Better yet, get in the driver's seat.

Navigate to the next stop.

You took your life back.

We're taking notes on how to do that.



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