Because sometimes scars tell all…

Stones,

Last week I talked about suicide and it turned out to a pretty relevant topic that made for a pretty well-received blog post. Today I want to talk about another topic that is sensitive but desperately needs to be discussed:

Self harm.

I think the reason that fewer people take this as serious is because of the stigma of an angsty, “emo” teen slitting their wrist blasting “alternative” music when they don’t get their way. But the issue is so much deeper than that. Self-harm can look like a lot of things. It could range from moderate things like scratching, cutting, burning, and pulling out one hair to as severe as causing broken bones. It varies from person to person but doesn’t lessen the severity.

I remember when I first started cutting. I was around 12 and when my grandmother found out she took me to my pediatrician and told her that I was cutting. I’m not quite sure what my grandmother was expecting but I don’t think either of us was expecting what my doctor said next. She equated cutting to smoking, in the way that they were both addicting stress relievers. Once you get stressed out, you have to do the action again to relieve that stress. She then said that we have to find better-coping skills.

Things went back and forth over the next few years, I had really good months when I’d be fine. Then there were other times where my arm barely had time to heal before I was adding more scar tissue. Things hit a head during one summer but I think the lowest point was having my grandma clean my wounds after I had cut and then fell asleep because I had drained myself of all my energy.

We never talked about that night after that. If we had I wonder how that conversation would have gone. The only thing she ever said really in regards to the subject was that I was going to get an infection. I feel like at that point sometimes I would cut just to prove her wrong. I always used clean razors but cheap never the good one because was a waste of money. Looking back now I can see how easy it would have been. Funny how hindsight is 20/20 when you can look back and realize how misguided you were.

Now at almost 26, I can say that I’ve have self-harmed in a while. Most of the superficial cuts have faded away. I am however left with a very unsightly burn mark a year ago when I couldn’t find any razors. As much as I really don’t recommend self-harm, self-harming out of desperation is even less of a good idea. I’m lucky that this is the only real damage that I’ve sustained after all these years. If I had the chance I’d go back and talk to that confused and traumatized little girl.

A lot of times things like this aren’t talked about. How would one even approach the subject? Typically the times when you have to have these talks an incident has already occurred. How can we take a sort of preemptive strike? Let me know what you think in the comments below.

Until next we meet,

S. Hollisway

Scarred and Faceless

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 “No” is necessary…

Stones,

“No” is a full sentence. Use it.”

-Amy Landino

I have a confession to make: I am a people pleaser.

It has been lessened as I grew older but the tendency is still there. This wonderful tendency results in me putting myself into some very interesting situations.

This makes saying “No” very difficult for me. I always feel like my “No’s” warrant an explanation. But in reality, they don’t. None do.

“No” does not require validation and your reasons are your own. In fact, “No” is essential to mental health.

Think about it. How many times have we spread ourselves paper-thin for fear of using “No” that we couldn’t take on any more? How many times have we been taken advantage of or sacrificed our sanity for the sake of doing more for others that we don’t have the time for ourselves?

You can not pour from an empty cup!

You can not give what you don’t have.

I like to remind myself of this before I put myself in these situations. I like to think that it will make saying “No” easier. Sometimes it does, sometimes I lose the battle. I tend to think in extremes, like black and white thinking. I think that “No” is for extreme cases but the little things matter too.

My recent encounter when I should have used the word “No” early on was on a date that I had. Nothing illegal happened but I definitely should have said no earlier. It was awkward and uncomfortable and I shouldn’t have sacrificed my comfort for his feelings.

You don’t have to spent emotionally or physically to use your “No”. The little “No’s” help build up the confidence for situations that require the big “No”. Then there are no people taking advantage of you and no way to be hurt.

Well, that’s the theory. In a perfect world that’s how pain would end. People wouldn’t be afraid to be vulnerable because when someone would step on a boundary a quick “No” would either end a relationship or the relationship would blossom into a healthy tree of respect. What an easy life that would be.

Until next we meet,

S. Hollisway

Scarred and Faceless

The video I got the quote from. Check out the other 34 tips. This video is not sponsored in any way, shape, or form. I am not affiliated with her in anyway, just a fan.

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