To the Woman on the Porch

To the Woman on the Porch,

I’m not sure where to start or even who to address this letter to. I mean, how do you start a letter to a woman you don’t know but briefly met over ten years ago?

I guess I can start by saying thank you. 12 years ago, sometime in the summer, when the sun was shining and life was good I, along with my twin sister and grandma where in a horrible car accident right outside your home. To this day I’m not sure whose fault it was my grandma’s who had a stop sign and was turning left or the drunk man that was speeding down the road at 80mph. All I do know is one minute it was clear and the next it wasn’t.  And then, time froze. I looked to the right out my window and considered climbing out of the car and climbing onto the small grassy mound that was part of someone’s front yard because there was more than enough time to get to safety. As I turned to my grandma to tell her my plan the cars collided and everything went black.

And then a man, the one that had been sitting on your front porch with you was opening my grandma’s door and putting her cold-water bottle to her forehead while telling her not to move. I went into control mode and quickly climbed out of the car, wanting to help just as my grandma began panicking thinking that powder from the airbags was smoke. As the man calmed her I unbuckled my twin sister who was in the backseat behind me and pulled her from the car. We thankfully where able to walk away. But my grandma wasn’t so lucky.

By now my parents, little sister, and paternal grandparents where on the scene and I broke. I was only 11 but was disgusted with myself for crying but I couldn’t stop. And I only cried harder as I ran to my parents who were parked down the street and passed the man who had hit us. He was covering his face with a bloody towel. I would later learn that he wasn’t wearing a seatbelt and had hit his windshield. I’ve never hated anyone before but I hated that man. My grandma was being loaded into an ambulance at that moment because of him and we weren’t sure she would live. His car had hit her door perfectly, the car was totaled.

As my family and I made are way back to the scene to see my grandma off to the hospital my tears became heavier and I realize now that I was having a panic attack. Then, you approached. The man that had helped us was long gone but you where there with presents of all things. Offering each one of us a stuffed animal which I gratefully accepted and hugged it to my chest. Realizing only in that moment that my chest hurt, I had a slight burn from the airbag on my chest. But that didn’t matter. All I cared about was my grandma. As the ambulance left you offered words of comfort to us. Explaining what the neck brace she had been wearing was for and that everything would be okay. And then you were gone but I have never forgotten you.

I was a stranger to you and you cared for me. You were a blessing. My family and I could have crashed and no one could have come to our aid. Neither my sister, grandma, or I had a cellphone and what would have happened to the drunk man who was nearly unconscious after we crashed?

Yet you were there and you helped me. Someone who could not pay you back. And while I no longer have the stuffed animal you gifted with me or even remember what it looked like I remember you and always will. You and that wonderful man that were seated on the porch.

Thank You.

Peace&Love,

Rai

For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me. -Matthew 25:35

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To My Best Friend

 

Sup Punk?

I’m sure I don’t even to address this letter because anyone significant in my life knows who I’m talking about because it seems that I can’t help but mention you at least once in every conversation I have because besides my sisters most of my memories that I hold involve you the good and the bad but mostly the good.

Accord to my Facebook memories it’s been about a year since I last saw you in person. Since hugged you in front of a bunch of strangers in front of an airport, since laughed in the same room as you, watched a scary movie that scared you way too easily to the point that it had to be followed by a Disney movie. It’s been a while.

And while we don’t talk everyday there is still not a day that doesn’t pass where I don’t see something that makes me think of you. That’s why I’m always tagging in the comments of silly post on Facebook and sending you pins on Pinterest.

And can I tell you a secret? You are the only person that I don’t worry about because you’re strong, stronger than most people. You’ve had journeys in your life that have been hell and you’ve come out on the other side more beautiful than I thought was even possible. I won’t go into details because they’re your stories to tell but I am proud of you.

You’re also the only person that I doesn’t have me worrying about my weight when we’re hanging out or out in public. Why? I’m not sure. but you ensure an incredible about of confidence in me when I’m with you. Maybe because I know if anyone says anything you’ll beat them to a bloody pulp despite your small frame. Or because your charm has me not caring for once in my life. Your power over me is amazing.

I hope I’ve had half the influence on you as you have had on me. Friends since kindergarten, you have played a big role on who I am as a person. I can’t believe that there was once a time where going a week without seeing each other was too long and now it’s been a year and we’ve survived!

And the best part? When I do see you again it will be like nothing has changed. That’s what I love the most.

Peace&Love,

Rai

PS: Look up Beautiful Thing by Grace Vanderwaalon YouTube. Do it Punk!

 

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Well, it’s been a while. Much longer than I would like to admit, over a month and it’s crazy to think that so much has changed in such short time. Not big things that will redirect my life but little things that slowly add up until they overwhelm me and I retreat to what I know…disrespecting my body. Which is why I am laying out some of the changes, both good and bad. For my sanity than anything.

First? I got bangs! (Bonus points if you read that as Serena from Legally Blonde.)

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I’m quite fond of them and it’s been a surprisingly big change for me. Whenever I change anything about my appearance I tend to panic for a period of time as my mind adjust and realizes that this is my body and I can do with what I wish.

I also got a tattoo. It’s a pink carnation in dedication to my mama and it’s lovely. It was painful, although not as painful as the tattoo I got touched up on my foot but totally worth it. People often wonder why I decorate my body with tattoos. Because it makes me more self confident. It reminds me that I am a work of art, made in God’s image and I am beautiful.

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And of course I’m on Fat People Hate again which is no surprise. I seem to pop up there every few months. I just wish there was something I could do about it but I feel powerless. Especially since Voat refuses to answer my emails about the site.

I got a new camera and have been teaching myself a bit about photography and I’m proud of what I’ve done so far. Yay for being self-taught!

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The fifth thing is a bit hard to type out because I’ve never considered myself a quitter but I quit my job at a popular retail store. Not because of my coworkers, managers, or the company but because my anxiety has flared up to the point that I cannot physically drive to work. I was calling out so often, it just wasn’t far to the rest of my coworkers and the company.

So I’ve had to reevaluate myself and mental health. I am in the process of going off my effector for my medication because my psychiatrist fears that it numbs me but I think he just hopes I lose weight once I’m off it. Still I do want to take less medication so I’m sticking with it and think that with therapy I can handle it. So I’m going back to therapy which I have no shame in admitting. Having no job also means that I have to set a schedule for myself including some form of exercise and a regular sleep cycle.

It”s going to be a challenge but I want to be as healthy as possible before I go back to school this fall. And I will be.

Peace&Love,

Rai

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A War Shed of Hunger

With long hair and short eyelashes,

She wonders if she would ever be beautiful,

Surrounded by women half her size,

The tattooed belief “thin is in” on her bones burns

And she realizes that an ongoing battle will rage for her soul until the very end,

 

Spear sharpened fingernails claw at the memories,

Nostalgia is a deadly disease,

Because hunger and the high that it promises sounds too good,

 

Vile builds up her throat,

Erupted from the pits of fire within her,

And she realizes that this is what control feels like,

 

Loss is drowning in the piles of promises that cannot be kept,

Comfort is temporary,

Better take it while she can,

 

With carvings into her god made thighs,

And the disrespect of the temple gifted to her,

Lacking the ability to understand where she truly stands,

Belief is a two-way street,

 

A metamorphosis occurs slowly within,

And the clawing for memories becomes a desperate need for safety,

To make a new,

For the future not the past,

 

A war for her life becomes mini battles every day,

From sun, up to the fall of night,

When the moon is clouded over

And the stars are hidden

This is her battlefield,

 

One breath at a time,

One spoonful of hope,

One chance at life again.

 

Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.

1 Corinthians 6:19&20

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I Didn’t Celebrate Easter

This year Easter feels different. Not because I have fallen out of love with Jesus but because I’ve fallen out of love with the church, my church specifically. For the first time in years I did not attend church on Easter Sunday. A time that is to be celebrated but I couldn’t bring myself to get out of bed this morning with the normal excitement that typically surrounds this holiday. Maybe it’s because I had only slept for a few hours or because I hate the thought of leaving my mom who just had hip replacement surgery or maybe it’s simply because my church, the one I’ve been attending for 23 years, my whole life doesn’t feel like home anymore.

I feel the underline anxiety that carry with me most strange, new places when I walk through the doors of my church now. So maybe it’s for the best that we are closing because I never thought I would be anxious at my second home. I feel as though a line has been drawn in the sand not just among me and my fellow church goers but among many Christians and the church.

Because I fail to see how you can claim to be full of nothing love but be so strongly against basic human rights: love, respect, and equality something every American has a right to. Because the bottom line is that whether the person’s lifestyle is a sin or not, their rights are protected under the Constitution.

“But Rachel, this country was founded on Christian roots. How can we go against the Bible?”

I beg to differ, how can a nation built on war, bloodshed, rape, and slavery be one of Christ? We have never been a Christian nation and if we want to become one we must drastically change our views on the world. Starting with love.

Something so many people seem to forget that I desperately hang on to is that Jesus surrounded himself with the outsiders. The prostitutes, tax collectors, fishermen, and anyone else that did not belong. He did not shame them, he loved them. He did not take away their rights or shame them. He loved them and that made them want to become better people.

I could go on and on but the bottom line is I did not celebrate Easter this year. Maybe that makes me a bad Christian or maybe it’s me just reflecting off the rest of the United States who has fallen out of love with the Jesus that people try to imagine. Not the real loving, caring Jesus but the Jesus that is being manipulated to fit onto political posters. The kind I want nothing to do with.

I still love Jesus and the amazing feat that he conquered when he rose from the dead is not lost on me but celebrating his death and my second chance at life with people who I can’t understand anymore holds no interest to me.

I’m sorry.

 

Peace&Love,

Rai

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I Am Woman

I see the world through eyes that are filtered through the stars,

With a mind, as vast as the sun.

And a soul with scars that mirror the craters on the moon.

 

My tears water the bullet holes in my heart,

Shot by those that do not understand.

For I am a lost one,

A strange one,

A healed one.

 

Climbing a mountain made of self-doubt and regret,

Conquering one hill at a time with chances and loss,

Where I fall on my face but get back up,

Rinse the dirt from my eyes,

And clean the scrapes off my chest,

For I am a warrior.

 

Made of steel,

Dented and misshapen but still standing tall.

For I am a proud woman,

Made in God’s image not man’s.

 

Strong enough to bear the future when my counterpart cannot,

Strong enough to be a proud type of humble,

Strong enough to be what I am told is wrong.

 

I am a woman,

Hear me roar.

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I Hope I’ve Made You Proud

It’s February 27, 2017 and it’s been 4 years since Sharon Jordan left this world. I wish I could say  something that was less clique the usual things people say after the loss of a loved one. Like, “I miss her everyday” or “Things will never be the same.” But those are exactly the words that so desperately want to fall from my lips. I miss her. She was my best friend and helped raise me. She wasn’t your average active grandma she went so far beyond that. Maybe that’s why I feel the need to please her but how can you please a ghost? Especially when it’s someone you know would never judge you to begin with?

I live with the chronic belief that I must make everyone I cherish in my life proud and if I’m not doing that then I am failing at life. I want to live my life my way but I also have an underlining need to be perfect. Or at least thin.

So, that’s where my current struggles begin. Recently I went on a date that I found very pleasurable and promising. The boy however, did not feel the same way as he has not spoken to me since. And while logically I know that rejection hurts everyone no matter what your size it seems in my mind that my rejection is far worse then what any other person could feel.

I realize this is a greatly flawed way of thinking but I cannot help the emotions that I feel. I also can’t help but wonder and pity myself for my size. I know realistically that my weight most likely played a big part (no pun intended) as to why I did not get a second date. Because a selfie from the chest up on a dating site can only give a very small idea as to how big I truly am.

And as you can guess once I get sent into this state of mind it is a downward spiral. From being told by my own family that most men will probably not find me attractive and society telling me that I am a horrible, ugly, lazy human being, it leaves little hope that one day I will be able to replace my purity ring with an engagement ring.

As I’m sure most single people have done this evening I began daydreaming about being in love but quickly realize that my love will not be like the movies. I will not be able to be the small spoon, be carried by my man, and many other things that “normal” sized couples do. Sex will even have to be different.

The eating disorder that still lives inside of my revels at these thoughts and enjoys my misery because it gives it power and a chance to creep back into my life. But I know that if I truly want to make Grandma Sharon proud I need to stay strong in recovery and stubborn, very stubborn.

Peace&Love,

Rai

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