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

Purchase Scarred and Faceless

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 it’s good to break the mold…

Stones,

I have been gone. I apologize for that. I know consistency is important and doing what you say you’re going to do is important. However, I can’t pour from an empty cup. I can’t write under duress and constraint. Well, I can but I can’t write well so, I’d rather disappear then produce crap. I am doing better now I hope you stick with me through this process.

So here are the thoughts that plague my mind.

Why do people feel the need to fit into a predesigned mold that doesn’t fit them to chase after success?

Here is the backstory. Because I have issues with consistency and sometimes have issues writing I have been looking up those generic “how to create popular blogs” and “Popular blog posts” type articles and videos. I got a bunch of the same generic, one size fits all type information. Then, I downloaded a PDF of 8,000+ blog ideas. Let me say first of all that these were not bad ideas. They just weren’t what I’m about. They were about writing blogs about food, crafts, how-tos, DIY’s, things of that nature. This is great for creative people, for mom bloggers, for people who have that audience. As much as I would like the popularity that comes with those topics, that’s unfortunately not where I am. I am not of the bright and shiny collective. I am more of the “cynical hopeless romantic” variety. That’s okay. Blogging, like America, should be a melting pot.

I say that to say this.

I would like to be a very popular and successful writer and author. I can’t however, sacrifice my voice or my identity for the sake of possible success. That’s just not me that’s anyone. I see it day in and day out. Talented people who sacrifice their individuality for a quick buck. Some call it “selling out”. I call it “giving in”. Some people don’t have the strength to stay true to themselves and sadly it’s soul-crushing to settle.

I’m no expert. I don’t have all or any answers really. I can’t offer any “fix it” advice. The only thing I can offer is perspective. I can offer ideas. I’d much rather exist as me tap dancing on the lines of obscurity, then a fabulous life in the spotlight that doesn’t coincide with my values. Think about it; who’s a better you than you?

Until next we meet,

S. Hollisway

Because sometimes feelings are facts and ties need to be cut…

This simply a post about how to end normal toxic relationships. If you are in an abusive relationship I full heartedly urge you to get out now. Call the hotline and get the help you need to get out.

1−800−799−7233

Sinceraly, Me.

Stones,

When do ties need to be cut? Who decides when enough is enough? Who does the cutting of ties? Where are the scissors? Can I get a pair, please?

All jokes aside, when does it become obviously apparent that ties need to be severed? Humans are social creatures we were not made to isolate or be alone. We crave human interactions and to form attachments and bonds with others. Very rarely can people sever attachments with ease, swiftly, without looking back. I’d kill to have that superpower.

Gift or curse, I’d love to have the ability to sever ties in one swift chop and be able to leave it lay. But unfortunately, I’m one to cut ties and the go back and try to reassemble them. Even those relationships that are one-sided. Even those relationships that are toxic. Even those relationships that are detrimental to you and everyone around you. I still try to retie them.

I have this, unfortunate characteristic of being loyal to a fault. I’d like to say it’s a gift but most times it a curse. I am extremely loyal to people who don’t deserve it. I also will give my heart to people I feel do deserve it. I don’t exactly form the healthiest attachments. I am a tad codependent and I definitely overextend and lend myself to anyone who shows anything resembling altruistic kindness. If you can identify with any of these things, I’d be willing to bet my most valuable possession that you’ve experienced this need to repair these toxic relationships under the guise of “closure”.

I say all of that, to say this.

What does it take for you to end a toxic relationship and walk away? Some may feel as though it’s wrong to desert those we’ve known for so long, toxic or not. At some point we do need to consider ourselves before society’s conventional belief of not giving up on family, not abandoning someone who is suffering no matter the pain, or the “Ride or Die” trap.

My call to action is this…

Examine any relationship that is draining more times than not. A relationship you almost dread to engage in. The one that has you thinking right now that it’s, “Not all bad” or that you instinctively feel compelled to defend without reading the rest of the call to action. I want you to really examine the feelings you get at the mere mention of this persons’ name. Recount all the words that still sting, the psychological scarring, the torment done to your very being. Now imagine your dearest friend came to you, with everything that has been done to you, to them. What would you suggest they do?

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 purging is necessary…..

Stones,

I do apologize for the hiatus. The surgery took more of a toll on me then I had hoped.  It makes it very difficult to post once a week. Hopefully, I am back now for good with the regularly scheduled post on Wednesday. I also unintentionally blocked most of my post which I was not aware of. Thankfully, I fixed that.   I wish I had known that earlier, it’s been like that for weeks now. It’s so frustrating.

Okay, so you know the phrase, “No Good Deed Goes Unpunished”? Well, after a recent experience I highly doubt that.  I went out of my way to help someone and got nothing but turmoil and heartache in return. Worst of all, I have to shell out money to fix a door I didn’t break.  But let me start from the beginning.

My “Good Deed”

So, I reached out to an old friend who was having a rough time. Let’s call her…Bella. Bella expressed that she was in a dark place and was suicidal and couldn’t find her will to live.  Of course, because Bella and I were close once, I was very concerned. She expressed that she had no one to help and that she alone and had devised a plan to end her life.

For those that have been with me for some time, you know my history with mental illness so (before all my post got blocked) and the last thing I wanted was to lose another friend to mental illness.  I suggested that since her living situation was so subpar and she was so alone that I had an extra bedroom and perhaps she’d like to stay with me on a temporary basis (HUGE MISTAKE NUMBER 1).  She didn’t know what to say and doubted the genuineness of my offer. Looking back, I shouldn’t have pressed the issue. A couple of days later she agreed. After talking over the next few days, I found out that she was having serious money troubles (Red Flag Number 1). I told her not to worry and that we would help her get on her feet. (HUGE MISTAKE NUMBER 2).

So, we are talking over the next few days and steadily making plans she tells me that she has absolutely no one in her corner ( Red Flag Number 2).  A therapist once told me that when people are in exile there is typically a reason. I should have asked more questions.

So we reach the day she is scheduled to come and she does.  Things are great…the first night. I make chili, everyone eats themselves silly. We talk and laugh and Bella and my fiance get to know each other. Everything is great, we talk about each other’s triggers. She said that she was still nervous and then I told her I wanted her to be comfortable. I told her to make herself comfortable (GIANORMOUS AND FATAL MISTAKE NUMBER 3).  So we had rearranged the house for her. We gave her my sons’ room because he’s only 1 and he sleeps with us most nights anyway. We brought her a blow-up mattress and new sheets and blankets, the whole nine yards. She had her own space that she quickly made her own and she had that space to be comfortable as she wanted. What could possibly wrong?

The Demise

The next morning, I woke up to my entire kitchen rearranged. Cabinets were reorganized, food was moved around and thrown away, tables were reorganized and all without permission. It was chaos. My fiancee has OCD and likes things a certain way and Bella also had OCD and wanted things her way.  There is nothing wrong with compromise but as a guest, you would think it needed to be discussed first with the owners!  Things went downhill from there. She made unsolicited “suggestions” about our parenting style, was wasteful with food and toiletries, and interjected herself into our private disagreements.

You have three adults with mental illness living in one house, there are bound to be disagreements but this was unbearable.  They argued over everything; tobacco, coffee, my son, our relationship, her being the oldest,  everything! They got into an argument so bad, it resulted in the door being broken! It was just terrible. Then, the pettiness started. Things were hidden, things were stolen, and kept in rooms. Things got pretty bad and I didn’t know what to do.

Then one day, like magic she found another place to live. She said she couldn’t do it anymore and someone had offered her a house to live in. I was relieved and asked when she was leaving. She said she would let me know. She promised she wouldn’t leave without saying something. That same day, I had a health scare and had to go to the hospital. I got back and she was gone. She took all her belongings, plus the bed we bought, and for some reason, I’m sure just to be petty she took all the sugar and all the creamer.

The lesson learned

I’m not playing the victim. This was my fault. I made a snap decision and made a rash judgment.  The good is, we don’t speak anymore. I purged her from my life and my world and she doesn’t exist to me anymore. She was toxic, always played the victim. It got old really quickly. But again my fault. Sometimes purging people is necessary. Purging all the toxicity out of your life should be a daily practice. It could save you a lot of drama and theft.

I hope you enjoyed story time. 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