Because sometimes moms matter…

Stones,

For anyone that is a mother, have you ever been told it’s not about you anymore? Have you been told that it’s all about the baby or the children come first? That your time is over?

Well, let me be the first (or second) to tell you that that is a big steaming pile of crap.

Hear me out!

If you think about it, a child’s first connection is with her mother. They help form their view of the world. So how can you expect them to take care of a child when they aren’t taking care of themselves. You can’t pour from an empty cup. I know I use that saying a lot because it’s true. I have a lot of experience draining myself for the sake of other people.

I remember when I had my son. I was already diagnosed with mental health issues and couldn’t take my medication for 9 months. I was depressed I was suicidal and for most of my pregnancy, I was alone. I was barely coping or keeping it together. I got into a situation with CPS and I couldn’t be with my baby for 11 days. Everyone expected me to be a robot until this situation was over. I wasn’t allowed to go through postpartum or go see a doctor’s determination on what meds I could safely breastfeed on. No one cared. My son became more important.

That’s not to say that he wasn’t important. Of course, he was important. He was and still is the most important person in my life. But how could I be trusted to take care of my son when I didn’t have the time or resources to take care of myself. People are so quick to pick the flower and forget about the roots. Here are some quick statistics for you:

Did you know…

Approximately 70% to 80% will experience, at a minimum, the ‘baby blues’. Many of these women will experience the more severe condition of postpartum depression or a related condition.

The reported rate of clinical postpartum depression among new mothers is between 10% to 20%.

One recent study found that 1 in 7 women may experience PPD in the year after giving birth. With approximately 4 million live births occurring each year in the United States, this equates to almost 600,000 postpartum depression diagnoses.

https://www.postpartumdepression.org/resources/statistics/

I do encourage you to finish the article in its entirety because it does include a lot of helpful information. I also want to inform you that this article was written early in 2019 so can you imagine how those numbers have grown? I can say from personal experience that the mental health field isn’t competent or compassionate towards women. Not all of them mind you, but I’ve encountered enough of them. One time I had a doctor suggest taking Lithium because there was a 1 in 5 chance my firstborn child would be stillborn or serious birth defects. A 20 percent chance was okay with him.

I say all of that to say this. Of course children matter but mama’s matter too. There is no more or less here because I feel as though they are equal. We worry so much about our children, but we need to make sure their moms are okay too.

Until Next we meet,

S.Hollisway

Scarred and Faceless

Because sometimes all lives don’t matter…

I feel like I will get so much backlash for this and quite frankly I don’t care.

The latest world events have weighed so heavily on me. I feel like I’ve built up so much outrage that I haven’t been able to articulate and if I don’t now then it’ll spill out of the seams.

Black lives matter. All lives won’t matter until Black lives matter because black lives ARE apart of all lives. Anyone who ignores this fact is racist and fall victim to their implicit biases. It’s not a matter of opinion anymore. It was never a matter of opinion. It was a truth distorted by the loud, strategic oppressor. 

Some people, however, specifically non-people of color, specifically white people, try to discredit this fact because the narrative that is unfolding doesn’t suit their liking. Even while writing this I know that people will claim that I am being racist or biased or that I have my agenda because that narrative suits them best. I am not racist by any stretch of the imagination. I would almost consider myself “racially biased”.

Let’s think about it, shall we?

The definition of the word biased would be, “a particular tendency, trend, inclination, feeling, or opinion, especially one that is preconceived or unreasoned” or “unreasonably hostile feelings or opinions about a social group; prejudice” (dictionary.com).

The operative word in the definition being any derivates of the word “unreasonable”. History and a distinct and predictable pattern of perfidy would make being biased an impossibility. People of color are painstakingly aware of the influence that people in power have. Even more so, they are aware of the power that they wield and we all know that with great power comes great responsibility.

Read the next part carefully.

I am not condemning all white people.

Let me say that again for the people in the back.

I am not condemning all white people.

I am condemning the WHITE PRIVILEGE.

What I am saying is that white people aren’t doing enough to dismantle the systemic oppression that is racism. For all those ignoramuses, yes IGNORAMUSES, that suggests that racism ceased with President Obama or popular black athletes and performers, you are welcome to leave now!

I will not waste valuable brain cells explaining to you the reality of living in white America as a black person when you are clearly the #KarenofEverything.

For those who act as if racism and implicit and external don’t biases exist, I am thoroughly confused. You under that plot of X-men and Zootopia perfectly, but are too dense to see the parallel to life? I find this very highly unlikely.

I have to wonder where the disconnect is. Is it because pro-white means anti-black and people of color so vice versa is the assumption? Is it because the media has helped color your perception of black and other people of color? Is it that you do not experience the very oppression that you are so dismissive of?

Is it the way we protest?

Well, we tried peaceful sit-ins and that didn’t work. We tried Nat Turner’s was and that wasn’t to your liking. Martin Luther King Jr, Malcolm X, Colin Kaepernick, nothing seems to suit you. Maybe it’s the protesting that the real issue.

Whatever the reason, it’s not enough. We are no longer accepting your excuses. We drew the lines firmly in the sand with our bloodshed in the name of being an “American”. Before the oh so familiar idiotic phrase “If you don’t like it, go back where you from” leave your diluted racist little fingertips let me offer a history lesson. The Oppressor captured and brought our ancestors here, emphasis on the word “brought”. No one kept a receipt. We aren’t going anywhere. Your homework is to look up Black Wall Street because our utopia burned down too.

We are now united. Do you want to find out what we can do standing together as one?

Until next we meet,

S.Hollisway

Pick up Scarred and Faceless

Because sometimes you are the toxic one…

Stones,

Day 3046 of the Covid19 quarantine: I bought a stuffy. Her name is Elle. She is my only friend.

No seriously though, I hope everyone is being safe, social distancing, masks and all that. I am considered essential so yeah, no break for me. Which is fine because when I’m working thousands of ideas run through my mind.

Some call it ADD, I call it inspiration.

So people can suck. People can be cruel and evil and just plain mean. Hurt people hurt people, this we know. Toxic people are detrimental to the health of those around them.

What happens when that person is you?

Now lower the pitchforks and torches and hear me out.

I am not suggesting that everyone who is toxic is malicious. I’m simply stating that everyone deals with traumas in their own ways. Everyone has been through things and has suffered because let’s be honest, life sucks. Although everyone’s pain is valid, the way we react to trauma can be problematic. It’s not logical to hurt someone because you are hurting. Most people don’t plan on. The issue comes to play when people act as if their pain is bigger and more traumatic or matters more than another person.

We as people don’t get to quantify trauma. It’s not possible and it’s unfair. We also don’t get to mentally and emotionally bleed everywhere. That is misplaced aggression and anger and is also unacceptable. There needs to be a balance between the validation of feelings and respect for others. No trauma trumps any others because we are all different and the same trauma could impact everyone differently.

So my call to action is…

Reevaluate your relationships. Reevaluate your positions in the lives of others. If you find that you are the toxic one, be aware of that. Make a conscious effort to get help to change it.

There was a person in my life that I miss very much. We ended horribly because of me and my actions. I may never get to repair said relationship because of my past traumas that leaked into unaccountability. That’s on me for not healing.

Being aware of you crap and fixing your cap are two very different things.

Until Next We Meet,

S.Hollisway

Scarred and Faceless Here

Because sometimes trust is shattered…

Stones,

Good evening as I am writing this after 10:30. Writing is a struggle. Like I love it and it’s my passion but it is not easy. Sometimes I wonder if I even measure up to “actual writers” because I mostly do editorial pieces and I don’t have a super-strong following. But this is my beginning and while building up my consistency, I know that these are the hoops that I have to go through to earn an established writing career and it’ll be well worth it when my words are used to heal people.

But I digress…

The topic of the week is trust. It is such a delegate fragile thing that we take for granted. When flourished it as mighty as an Oak. When broken it’s strong enough to destroy an entire city and the neighboring town. Trust can be salvaged but it will never be the same. It’s like a mirror that has been broken. It can be pieced back together but you can still see the cracks in the reflections.

I’m sure all this information has been regurgitated on one platform or another. Here is something that I’ve been contemplating, how many cracks are enough cracks? When do all the second chances stop? When is the breaking point?

I know I have written previous posts similar but this one has me truly perplexed. When you’ve noticed an established pattern that appears to have no end in sight, what makes you stay? What makes you think that trust can ever be repaired, especially when all the attempts are one-sided?

I speak from a place of pain and experience.

I’ve been in situations where I was giving too many undeserving chances. For the sake of transparency, most of my relationships were like that. Abusive, manipulative, unfulfilling, and one-sided. A good part of my marriage was like that. I often ask myself why I stayed so long.

Misery loves company but suffering doesn’t make you a martyr.

At some point you have to see that a mirror with too many cracks is pointless. It’s impossible to see through it, or a future for that matter.

I say all that to say this…

How many cracks before a mirror is rendered useless? I urge you to take stock of how many useless mirrors you have.

Until Next We Meet,

S.Hollisway

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My new logo!

Because sometimes chasing dreams and motherhood don’t mix…

Stones,

First of all, I got a new logo that included in the post. Let me know what you think. I think it came out fantastic. It makes me really happy and proud as an author.

But back to this weeks epiphany.

So for those of you who don’t know, I gave birth to a little monster by the name of Oscar. I have talked about him in previous posts more notably my first Odes post here. He is one a very large part of why I am still alive today. I love him with every breath in me. As much as I love him, motherhood is absolutely terrifying.

No seriously, there should be some sort of test because I’m positive that I would have failed. I can honestly say that I have NO idea what I’m doing. I love my little monster and I would do anything for him so he’ll have a better life. But as far as a plan, yeah I’m kind of clueless. My basic strategy is to give him a childhood that he doesn’t have to heal from. That is basically my sole purpose in life.

The only issue with being a parent and especially a mother is that people expect mothering to be your only goal and sole purpose in life. I’m not sad to admit, that it’s not mine.

I have other dreams.

I have other goals.

There are a lot of things I want to do and achieve.

It’s not selfish of me to want to be more than a mother as long as I’m not neglecting my child.

This goes for EVERY mother. You are so much more than just a mother. Don’t let motherhood be your only credentials.

There are so many things I want to do. I am a writer. That is a passion of mine that I want to share with the world. No one should be limited because of a title.

Until next we meet,

S.Hollisway

Because sometimes Odes are due (Part 2)…

Stones,

This will be my second post in a row which is great momentum to start and hopefully, I can continue it. I don’t know if any of you remember my original Odes post. I will link it here. It was all about my son who will be 4 soon and about how much I wanted to be better for him. Well it’s been quite a while since that post and I’m still not where I want to me but I am one step closer. He will always be my driving force.

I am learning, however, that I shouldn’t put that much pressure on his mere existence. It has to be my choice and my decision. But it’s always good to have people in your corner cheering you on. Oscar will always have a permanent space on my bleachers. I’m learning to accept that that’s okay. I’m learning that I have other cheerleaders and that is also okay.

My little sister is one of my biggest cheerleaders.

Kyesha

Background information, I am the oldest of 5 children and the middle of 11 I believe. My sister and I who share the same mother and father were really close when I was younger. Even though I was older she was always the protector. We kind of grew about when she became a “cool girl” which was through no real fault of her own. We had rough patches like sisters do but she was always there. She went through a lot, from having children at a young age to supporting a child who spent a year and a half confined to the hospital after having multiple surgeries, to tragically losing the father of her oldest two children. She healed and now she has 5 beautiful children and is an amazing mother.

She’s always been the “mom” sibling. Before we got a “real” adult, we go to her for advice, a reality check, and support. Even with 5 kids, she seems to have a neverending supply. I love her so much and one of the reasons I exist is to make her proud of me. She has earned a seat in the bleachers of my life.

My third cheerleader is one of my best friends in the entire world. She is a fireball.

Alissa

Background information: We met at a place where minds and bodies go to relax and heal. We bonded immediately which is rare because I don’t typically get along with females and neither does she. But we bonded as quick as Meredith and Cristina did in Shondaland. For the longest time, I never knew the benefits of having female relationships. They never seemed genuine instead full of relational aggression. She is the exception. She is wonderful in every way. She loves just like me; hard, passionate, and unconditionally. If you are lucky enough to crash into her you become overwhelmed by her “halo” for lack of a better term. She is kind, warm and supportive but will tear your throat out if need be. She will have your back in the worst times and reign a vicious reality check on you when it’s needed. The best of both worlds.

She has done her very best to keep me afloat. I want to do everything I can to make her proud and pay her back for all her kindness with spades.

These are my cheerleaders for now and I hope to see my cheer section keep growing. I love this and I love accepting support and love for those closest to me. I will no longer be held down by who I used to be. It would have been easier to write a poem but sometimes words need to be written out.

Pain didn’t change me, I changed my pain.

-Icon for Hire “Demons”

Until next we meet,

S.Hollisway

Because sometimes we need inspiration…

Stones,

Happy 2020 and fake new year. The world was created. Humans inhabited the Earth. Someone invents time. 60 seconds in a minute, 60 minutes in an hour, 24 hours a day. Cool. 12 months, four different seasons. 12 months divided by 4 seasons would equal 3 months per season. Why in the world would you start a new year in the middle of a season? Insert April 1st being Aprils Fools Day because April 1st is really the beginning of the new year. But I digress, let’s stay on topic.

Welcome to the New Year. It is supposed to be the time of the “New Year, New Me” cliche. I was never immune to it, I fell into that trap every year too. This year, however, I can finally admit to myself that I have no idea who I am. Not a single clue. My entire life I have had my insides brutalized, damaged, and spilled all over the place. So I’ve collected up what I could along with God knows what else along the way, filled myself up, and stitched myself close. Welp, as the years’ have gone by the stitches have begun to wear, and my three-year-old just pulled the string holding me together. So figuratively, my insides have spilled out all over the place. I’m trying to find me in all of this mess and quite frankly, I’ve never felt more lost, vulnerable, and exposed.

Life is complicated. Imagine trying to find yourself when you have no actual time to find yourself. Living is like that job where the only training is on the job, and you have a new trainer every day sometimes really good and sometimes horrible. Living doesn’t pay enough, and the worst part is that it definitely constitutes as face to face customer service. Forced face to face customer service at that. I stand corrected, the worst part is that NO ONE IS DOING THE JOB THEY SIGNED UP FOR.

However in the interest of my word for the decade which happens to be “THRIVE”, I refuse to exist in another decade where:

  1. I am still allowing things to happen to me; and
  2. I have no clue who I am

No more! I refuse to just exist. I am going to THRIVE.

I have so many goals I want to reach. I am 25 years and besides having a kid which let’s be honest isn’t that miraculous, I have nothing to show for being on Earth this long.

Before everyone sharpens their pitchforks, let me clarify. Physically having a child, for most women, is not a huge feat. Being a mother, however, is a different story.

I’d like to leave a lasting impression. Not so much to live in fame or infamy, just impressionable. I’d like a positive lasting impression on everyone I met, but there is no pleasing everyone and good girls don’t make history. I also have the same cape of most social justice warriors so I’m bound to piss at least half the world off. It’s funny how being 25 can make you feel like you’re halfway there and nowhere at the same time. It’s not quite 30 but it’s definitely not 21. But the expectations are there. Expectations from when you were 13 to when you hit the dirty 40, pressure from both sides hitting you right now to achieve the way society wants you to. The madness. When will it all end?

As far as figuring out who I am, I’d love for you all to enjoy the spectacle. There are so many levels to who I am, but for right now I’d love to share this journey with you all of finding out who I am as a writer. I’ve wanted to do so much with my voice and really I’ve just felt like I’ve been squandering my gift. So, I want to throw caution to the wind, bare my soul to the world, and see what I can do if I act as if I cannot fail.

My call to action: Share with me what you are going to do this year as if you could not fail.

It doesn’t matter how big or how small, but maybe by sharing it we can work toward our goals together. Really corny, played out and cliche I know, but I work best when I’m working on behalf of someone else, or I’m accountable to someone. So let’s hold each other’s hands as we take a leap of faith.

Until next Sunday.

Exist and Bleed,

S.Hollisway

Because sometimes projects change….

Stones,

So, I’m so happy I’ve been consistent with posting on my blog thus far. I’ve been having the worlds’ worst case of writers’ block. I can’t write to finish my last book and I can’t be inspired to start the next book. This is getting out of hand. I have never had it this bad before. The only thing that I can write is “I have writers’ block!” Maybe I need to write a book about writers’ block. If only I could write. If you guys have any ideas to help with this let me know in the comments.

So, I may have found a publisher for my first book. The only thing I’m wondering is if I should submit this for the contest portion or should I just submit it just as a regular manuscript. The idea of losing the contest is just horrifying for me, so I might just submit it as a manuscript. However, if I was to win the contest I get an immediate boost as an author and the book gets an immediate boost. I still haven’t made a decision, but what I do know is that I need to finish the book first which I could do if I could just write. UGH! You may be asking how I can finish this blog post if I have such bad writers’ block. Welp, very simply these are just my thoughts.

I have some exciting news. In a few short weeks, I will be launching Hollisway Comforts which is a line of homemade crocheted items made by yours truly. You will be able to buy them on this website in the shop. I will be selling shrugs (sweaters), dolls, rugs, baskets, afghans, scarves, and fingerless gloves. They will be in various colors and then I will stock the stores in batches because it takes a while to make enough of these items.

Okay, that’s all the news I have for the day. Until next we meet.

Bleed and Exist,

S. Hollisway

Pick up Scarred and Faceless Here

Because love NEVER hurts…

Stones,

I don’t know who needs to hear this today but love does not hurt. Let me say it louder for the peope in the back, LOVE DOES NOT HURT. It never hurts. Love doesn’t make you feel inferior. It doesn’t leave you broken hearted. Love doesn’t abandon you. It doesn’t critize. Love doesn’t expose your faults. It doesn’t use your weaknesses against you. There is no degragration.

Love should be beautiful. That’s not to say that it’s perfect and without pain or hardships. But love doesn’t hurt. The pain isn’t intentional. Love protects you. It uplifts and supports you.  Love doesn’t hurt.

I find myself like the majority of people I know question love and it’s true intentions. We are told all these stories about love and everyone has their own ideals but, what is love really? Some willl say it varies, but that can’t true. There has to be some fundatmental love rules for every people. Or maybe it depends on the type of relationship. But even still there have to be rules because any relationship can be considered toxic or abusive. So what are these love rules? Well, love is hard to navigate.  You would think that mutal self respect would be of top priotrity but everyone relationship is different. Here is an example:

Story Time

I have a friend. Let’s call her Kay. Well, Kay has been in a relationship for 3.5 years with a man 15 years her senior. They have a child together.  Everything is great between them now. Kay’s boyfriend used to be an abusive drug addict but now that he’s sober the abuse has stopped, right? Well, you would be incorrect. The physical abuse has stopped sure, but emotional and mental abuse continued and without the bruises it’s harder to notice. Kay thinks she’s fine because he’s not always mean but when he get’s mad, he is vicious. He brings up her childhood traumas, exposes her flaws to the world, and berates and degrades her. I tell her this isn’t healthy and she says she should just stop making him angry.

How can I help her?

LOVE DOES NOT HURT! Be it a mother/daughter relationship, father/son, boyfriend/girlfriend, brother/sister, it doesn’t hurt. All relationships have their ups and downs but it shouldn’t hurt.

Until next we meet

Bleed and Exist,

S. Hollisway

Pick up Scarred and Faceless Here

Storytelling is important sometimes because…

Stones,

I feel as though storytelling is for the masses.  Certain stories just have a way of resonating with people in a way that benefits them. This is not a happy story.  It doesn’t have a happy ending. It has an ending that is typical because life is typical. Although every story is unique, no story is special in the sense of tragedies. Everyone goes through them. Everyone suffers.

“Life’s a bitch, and then you die.”

-Narrorator of 1000 Ways to Die

Being homeless in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania was an adventure, to say the least. I wouldn’t dare use any word synonymous with “enjoyable” nor would I recommend this experience to anyone. It’s almost like going to prison, an experience you would exchange for just about else.

I was one of the lucky ones. I never completely got engrossed in the lifestyle. I had a job, had meager funds to buy things, and wasn’t active in my drug addiction  (over 2 years clean and sober!)

There’s so much to know about being homeless. So many unspoken rules to follow. So many secrets you need to know.

Like I mention before, I had a job.  So I’d wake up, go to work and endure the nonsense of earning a paycheck. I loved my job. It was a break from all the craziness and the politics of being outside.

On days, when I didn’t work, I’d go to the local homeless shelter where you could sleep and eat lunch a noon.  It was like being in school. There were rules that had to be followed and monitored very carefully by staff. There were all sorts of things you could do there. Like take a shower, get clean clothes, get mail, get your hair cut, it was a homeless paradise.  There was also tones of trouble you could get into to, so they kicked us out at.

Then it was back to killing time til Dinner time.

There were always people coming to feed the homeless. Some people were forced to but the majority were just decent people. They’d bring huge spreads with a variety of foods for us too. Granted with the amount of us it wouldn’t last but it was, it was still delicious. After dinner, all there was left to do was kill time until nightfall. And nightfall was when all the drama began.

Nightfall was when the drugs and alcohol came out. It was when all the drama started. There was no shelter to it. The best you could do was stay out of it.  It helped to stay with people who had a sense of immunity to it. Or at least people who favored you enough to keep you out of it. I was lucky.  I ran with people who had jobs as well. People who could separate themselves from the drama. People who took care of themselves. When you are homeless, it’s important to remember to put yourself first and not get absorbed into the world around you.  Always remember, that you don’t want to make this temporary situation a permanent one.

Mine was temporary. After about 3 months, my father invited me to stay with him. Things worked out for a while, but not permanently. My point is every situation, however good or bad is not permanent. Things change in the blink of an eye. Stay ready, and be prepared.

Until next we meet

Breath and Exist,

S. Hollisway

Pick up Scarred and Faceless Here