Sup everybody? At this moment, the television in this sushi restaurant is playing sports and it’s all I can hear. My brain feels a bit frazzled honestly. Today I began my teaching semester and, since the holiday season began and ended, life has thrown some radical changes – no judgement of bad or good, however. These changes are necessary and welcome as much as they were surprising and challenging.
Dedication: Today, I dedicate this newsletter to my students. I teach at a community college and my students are adults ranging from 17-65 years old. They are from diverse backgrounds and work hard for the education they’re receiving (mostly). Back in 2002, I started attending ACC and worked 2 jobs while taking care of my grandparents. It took me 4 years to graduate with my associates (a 2-year degree) and then transferred to Appalachian. I respect these students and their experiences because I’ve been there. Teaching critical thinking to humans from Alamance County is a feat I couldn’t have imagined getting into – but it is sacred work, as much as I may bitch about the tedious “process” of working in a public education. I found myself looking forward to teaching today for the first time since I began last year. I blasted Lizzo on the radio about being my own Soulmate and taught two fabulous classes filled with students who seem to give a damn. Nothing could be a better gift. I’m real with them, present them with difficult, thought-provoking material, and honor their opinions while challenging them with the task of examining from where those opinions originated. Rock star status.
Song: Soulmate by Lizzo – that’s the song of the day. If you don’t know Lizzo, here ya go. You’re welcome. Soulmate by Lizzo Interview with Lizzo on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah, my biggest celebrity crush. Daily Show Lizzo Interview I am in love with Lizzo’s amazing messages – they are transformational and challenging patriarchy at EVERY TURN. *yes, please*
Quote: “Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.” – Dr. Maya Angelou *application yall*
Dear humans, TONIGHT special airing solo show on facebook live show hosted by Neville’s Quarter! Lex and Brian are hosting and I’m their grateful guest! Look up Neville’s Quarter on Facebook to see the live show tonight at 6!
More shows to come yall! So much love! Tune in tonight~!
I am making a promise to myself right now.
I will always protect you Anita. I will look out for your best interests and remove you from harmful, hurtful situations. I will never allow anyone to abuse you in any way. I will do my best to recognize quickly if that is happening. I will always validate your feelings. They are legitimate and worthy of consideration, even when everyone else chooses to ignore them or forgets them altogether. I will ask you how you feel and what you think about any given situation, but especially hard situations. I will give you time to consider them and space to come to your conclusions without pressure. I’ll give you all the time you need to pray, journal, and seek answers. When you have found them, I will honor them and be proud of you for the work you’ve done of searching your own soul for your own truth. I will light a candle for your resilience and support you in your decisions and love you unconditionally. I will understand that you are doing your best and that your best will not look the same in all situations.
Lastly, I will remember that it is OK if you change your mind and be open to learning what caused you to do so. You deserve all these things, as does everyone else. However, I will always remember only *I* can provide *YOU* with these things, no one else. I cannot provide for everyone and I am only obligated to you to act in your best interests. Your well-being and safety must come first. I will always believe you, trust. I will always take nurturing care of you.
You deserve love and a safe home to which you can return at any time, I will give that to you. Especially at Christmas, if you need to return home, I will take you home.
I love you,
TuesDayNewsDay Vol.2 Issue 17, October 30th – CAUTION: Trigger Warning – this newsletter contains triggering sexual violence references. Please take care.
Dedication: Today’s issue is dedicated to my therapist Karen. Today, while going through what came up in therapy, I realized I would drive to the place, where in October of 1990, I was first molested. I was seven years old. I decided I would drive there, sit on the ground and take a photo. I would also take something of the earth to work with this healing. As the idea came to me, a light bulb exploded in my head. Karen said, “Anita, don’t take your wounded little girl there without your whole adult self holding her, seeing her, and telling her that you are there for her no matter what. You are her nurturing parent now, hold her in your arms.”
I pulled my car into the driveway for the first time ever on my way home from therapy, realizing I have never driven into that driveway before in my life.
This spot, which I have to drive by every time I go to my grandparents’ house, is also a block from where my mother still lives with the pedophile step-father just across the railroad tracks. When I say this healing is a daily, a moment to moment process, I mean it. Literally facing those places every day has wrecked havoc on my insides – but I am resilient and strong, vulnerable and honest with myself. The place is a vacant lot in a trailer park on Pomeroy Street in Graham, where my home used to sit. Now it’s an empty, dirty space with an overgrown concrete platform over which there was a carport. Under that porch, I remember having to take all of our stuffed animals outside to be thrown away because there was such a terrible flea infestation. I remember sneaking up late at night after everyone was asleep, turning on the television to watch Alfred Hitchcock and the Twilight Zone, my face about an inch from the screen, ever wary of any sounds coming from my mother’s end of the trailer lest I get caught.
Vividly, I remember the game we were playing that night in October. My baby sister, a developmentally disabled boy named Jason, and his sister Tasha and I were playing charades. Jason and Tasha were the teenage children of my mother’s red-headed boyfriend. We played in teams and it was decided we would go into the closet to decide what animal or character we would pretend to be. I was seven years old, my sister was 2. I was on Jason’s team. Jason was sixteen. (Typing this I can feel my heart racing and the old familiar anxiety aching in my chest and shoulders, my left eye and cheek twitching.). When we went into that closet and Jason molested me, I was too afraid to move, too afraid to scream, too afraid to fight, too afraid to do anything at all except to freeze. So, I froze. I could feel his icy cold, trembling hands on me. To this day I can still feel the darkness of that closet, the walls closing in around me. When we came out of that closet, I was sick. I don’t remember anything else. I don’t remember the game, nothing. I remember after they left that night, I told my mother what happened. She said to me, “Honey, if it happens again, let me know.”
Those words etched endless caves into the crevices of my heart. Those words are the haunting. Those words represent the moment I knew I was on my own. With no one else to turn to, my grandparents were gone to Disneyland at the time, I was completely alone. I prayed and prayed and heard nothing. Those words mark the day when I, as a seven year old, realized that god didn’t exist and that I wasn’t worth saving. Those words created children’s tears. They cannot be undone, and of course, it happened again.
Despite those memories buried deep in endless caves and my mother within shouting distance, I went. It was my nurturing, accepting, loving, and whole adult self who sat on that ground. I felt the cold, wet grass and soil underneath me. I looked at the trailers to the right and left of me. My phone was propped on the very metal bracket that once held that trailer to the ground. I snapped a shot of me sitting on that sacred ground. It took less than a minute. Leaving, I searched for a four-leaf clover in the tiny patch of yard, but found none. Instead, now a big green black walnut from that place is with me. I plan to do some ritual with that walnut. It tried to escape twice from me before walking up my back-porch steps in Saxapahaw. Something inside told me not to bring it inside my house, so I left it on the back patio table. It is not clear what kind of ritual will come about, but it is sure to be a powerful one of releasing the physical ghosts of that moment. It will be one of forgiving my mother for not knowing or realizing what she was doing. It will be a process of exorcising the grief and trauma which has been sitting in my bones and blood, blooming into the person you see today. Today is all I have.
Quote: Choice is all we get, change is all that’s real.
Song: Silence is the song today folks, listen to your heart beat. – my Tuesday video song series is available here: TuesDay Song Series Video on Facebook
Today’s post wasn’t meant to be this way. The events of today were not planned, but have made a mark. The words of my song, Darlene, record this event in a lyrical, symbolic sort of way. Being an artist is a privilege because it lets us put words and visions to feelings and thoughts. We are able to somehow transform our feelings into a universal language others can share. Today with Karen, I admitted to trying to let go of my fears: people won’t like my arts and I’m not good enough to walk in the footsteps of my idols. Slowly and purposefully, she said, “Let’s transform that. You are working on your language, so let’s start here.” So after thinking, my mouth said, “I am letting go of my concern for people not liking my art or me as a person.” I do not need validation of others to justify my existence. This self-work is Sacred. I feed on it; it makes me feel more and more alive and free every day to uncover and unleash the demons. Turns out, they aren’t demons at all. They are one scared, frozen little girl, stepping into who she is destined to be, not solely a victim of her circumstance. I looked Karen in the eyes today and spoke my gratitude for her being here with me this last year and a half of journeying, visioning and healing. It was the first time I’d ever asked to hold hands with anyone. With our feet on the floor, we grounded, I closed my eyes and saw little Anita sitting on my right knee. There Karen prepared me to go sit on that patch of grass, which someday, I will drive by without flinching. I will drive by proud to have been seated there.
We The People Deserve Fair Elections
Are you okay with the fact that North Carolina politicians receive huge donations from wealthy contributors and give tax breaks to the rich and corporations while they cut funding for schools, public safety and for other critical, life-saving services? If you want a government that cares about and listens to ordinary North Carolinians, then I have good news. There is a coalition of organizations in our state right now working to take back our democracy advocating average citizens speaking out against these injustices who want to get this private money out of OUR election system. “We the people” are being railroaded by wealthy campaign donors like Art Pope (billionaire CEO of Roses, Maxway and other chain discount stores) whose political money is silencing the overwhelming majority of North Carolinian voices, all the while implementing new laws restricting our right to vote!
Until this year, North Carolina had a public financing option for our Supreme Court races. Currently, in state legislative races Connecticut, Maine, and Arizona, and city races in New York City, among others, the citizens have fair representation because candidates are not ruled by big dollars but by the needs of the people. Imagine politicians spending time talking with you and solving problems, instead of using precious hours each day raising money from wealthy contributors. It means that highly paid corporate lobbyists lose their clout! It means that if you have good ideas, you can run for office even without millions in your bank account!
However, by the end of our latest legislative session, Art Pope used his new position as the Budget Director for Governor Pat McCrory, along with a very small group of ideologically driven politicians, to completely gut our Judicial Fair Elections program. DESPITE the fact that over 93 percent of North Carolina voters believe that campaign contributions can affect a judges ruling (according to a 2011 poll from the nonpartisan N.C. Center for Voter Education.) This complete and utter disregard of our voices is leaving us in the dark. We need accountable and representative government., not one beholden to the money that pays candidates’ campaigns. This is a non-partisan issue. Money floods our election system and drowns out ALL of our voices. But there is something that YOU can do and something that North Carolina is doing right now, to make this legislature and governor accountable to their electorate. Thousands of people across this state have been protesting at Moral Monday rallies, standing up for their rights, and making it known that we will not re-elect those who are tearing apart our foundation of Democracy.
Alamance County is hosting a Moral Monday event, Monday October the 28th, from 5-6:30pm at the Burlington Historic Depot Amphitheater. We will be rallying to show both our complete disapproval of the actions of our legislature and governor and also rejoicing the efforts of ordinary citizens to stand up and be heard. We are inviting you to join us in our mission to bring to light the harsh injustices that have been hidden beneath the surface here in North Carolina. Uncovering the truth that corruption and money are silencing people like us and keeping us from the Democracy that we fight for and deserve. We should be able to run for office with the support of our communities, not because of how much money we can raise to outspend our competition. If ordinary citizens had the resources to run for office independent of special interest money, it could lead to the break we need from the powerful hold that money has on our democracy.
The truth is that with YOUR help, a more accountable North Carolina government could be within our grasp, even though powerful corporate donors are fighting to retain their grip on our political process. That’s why we need you! Minorities, veterans, the elderly, women, the disabled, unemployed, students, and all working people across the state have an important role in deciding whether North Carolina will have a political system where everyone’s voice is heard. If you want your representatives in Raleigh to listen to YOU, join our Moral Monday rally in Burlington, October 28th to show your support for a fair and inclusive democracy. North Carolinians deserve a state government that is of, by and for the people of North Carolina — not one bought and paid for with big campaign checks. Together we can do it! Forward together, not one step back!
NC Schoolteacher blog: http://allisunrae.wordpress.com/2013/07/30/moral-monday/
Video about NC voting rights http://vimeo.com/41520430
In North Carolina, we were just denied $10,000,000,000 by our governor, Pat McCrory.
March 5, 2013
“Today behind closed doors, a smiling governor signed a bill that blocks Medicaid expansion in North Carolina… McCrory denied health insurance to half a million North Carolinians – health insurance that would have been paid for 100% by the federal government for three years and 90% by the federal government thereafter.”
This is absolutely ridiculous. We didn’t get to vote on whether or not we needed that money for health care! While alienating his constituencies, McCrory has created a hostility between the poor and his cabinet – raising their salaries (because he felt they weren’t paid enough vs. the private sector!)
The bridge between the rich and the poor is wider than it has ever been. See this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=QPKKQnijnsM
We need to recall this governor. I think we need to change NC. Private money and corporate billions created a rift in this state this election year (and before) that enabled people like McCrory, not interested in helping to mend this rift but to only widen it, to ruin our state; to make life that much more difficult for the working people who are the backbone of society. Stealing from us with budget cuts all the while spending billions of subsidies to corporations, while wealthy individuals and those corporations are making millions from tax loopholes!
We need working people protections. We need opportunity for the poor and shrinking middle class. We need leaders who KNOW what it is to be POOR AND HAVE NO VOICE IN THE POLITICAL GAME. People who understand that voting isn’t the ONLY way a person can have their voice heard in the government. The only way we can do this is to call for public financing of elections in NC. What does that mean? See below for details:
This is an old version of this information. NOW the info about how much $ was spent and favors that are provided ARE EVEN WORSE and DRASTICALLY MORE. Let’s get $ out of politics and recall McCrory.