Finding My Voice: Speaking The Truth

Yesterday, I did a good and wonderful thing. While I wanted to write about it on the day it happened, I instead decided to sit with the experience to allow it to process.

Yesterday, I went to Wegmans with the intent of buying a few ingredients in order to make grilled Galbi steak. It was a particularly…exhausting day. I had a Health Assessment exam and then went to a class I greatly dislike because it makes me hyperaware that I am an African American woman with Caribbean roots and it is highly ostracizing to experience this amongst white women who are constantly complaining about their rights and their children because for some reason it’s never enough. For some reason, they feel the need to be in everything. And yet, nothing that pertains to the African American community or minorities. Often comments are met with silence or changing of topic. Because in truth, when it comes to health care and healthcare policies, there isn’t much support or resources in place.

On this day, I gave up on white people. Again. This time I assured myself it was for good. Because in my heart, I don’t think anything good and uplifting can truly come out of “whiteness” when you’re labeled as “black”. In truth, the entire creation of the term blackness to identify a group of people is by definition an opposite/opposition to whiteness. I know, that in a society that tries to make me feel as though I have no history, that my history extends beyond and exists beyond slavery. I have roots. I have origins. I have a home and a connection to something greater than myself that can not be erased.

But on this day, I was particularly exhausted. As I walked through Wegmans, I felt the drain of sitting in a class of all white females and one middle aged white female professor discussing health policy and feeling like I need not be there. By the time I got to the register, I couldn’t even muster a heartfelt smile to greet the cashier. But I tried. She asked how my day was going.

In that moment, I wasn’t even thinking about telling the truth. I wanted to tell her that my day was going fine. I wanted to tell her that I’m feeling great and peachy and ask her how she was doing in return. But I couldn’t. I told her the truth of my feelings. The cliffnotes version though.

I call this truth telling a great and wonderful thing because for the longest time, I could not even write the truth. Let alone speak it. So to be able to open my mouth and say, even if it was just a few words, how I actually felt. To have what I say, do, think, and feel align, felt wonderful. It felt congruent. Because it was.


Tell The Truth: Maybe I’m Not Wrong OR Right

I’m not angry with my family anymore. It’s not anger. I’ve learned that it’s important to forgive everyone for everything. Instead, the fire that burned in the barren wasteland, turned to ashes. Now, there where the ashes use to be is a beautiful forest. I’m not angry. Instead what I feel is compassion for my family. They did the best they could with what they had.

For years I felt the need for justice. I wanted to be right! That was always the overarching theme in my desire for justice. I wanted to be confirmed right while the others had to be wrong. In this, I would seek an apology, justice, confirmation. I then came to a new realization: What if I wasn’t wrong? What if I’m not wrong? What if NONE of us were wrong? But…what if none of us were right either?

I’ve come to realize that I am on a quest for truth. I want to know what’s true for me and of me. So many of the beliefs I acquired were acquired subconsciously, without them being directly taught. The impact they had were substantial. I realize now that I’m not “wrong” or “bad” for feeling what I feel or thinking what I think or looking at life the way that I do. But I’m on a quest of constant self-examination and evolution, more and more becoming who and what I really am. And I realize that for a long time this is the battle I have been dealing with.

I have been asking the 5 Whys and the H of Inadequacy for years. These are the questions I have been asking myself: Who and What made me wrong? When did it happen? Where did it happen? Why am I not good enough? And how do I fix it? In the past I wreaked rage and anger towards my family because they were the ones I felt taught me the most untruths about myself. I understand now that it was projection and I am no longer angry. They were trying to fix me as a way of fixing themselves. “Look good” when I go out was their way of trying to make themselves look good through me. It wasn’t really about me. It was about them just as the experiences I have and the things and people that get to me are about me.

I’m starting to see myself everywhere. I will quote Iyanla Vanzant on this one: ““I have no fear of seeing my Self, knowing my Self, being my Self.”



Vanzant, Iyanla. One Day My Soul Just Opened Up: 40 Days And 40 Nights Toward Spiritual Strength And Personal Growth (p. 307). Touchstone. Kindle Edition.


Tell The Truth: The Fire Turned to Ashes

During therapy, I told the truth about all the anger I felt. I explained that the solid boulder I felt in my heart had transformed into a fire that burned throughout my chest. I could see the flames. My therapist instructed me to invite the energy of my mother into the fire and tell her everything I was feeling. I did.

I wish you had the courage in yourself to advocate for yourself. If you did, you would’ve had the courage to advocate for me. I wish you had more love for yourself so that you wouldn’t have projected all of your self-disdain onto me, your daughter. 

That was all I had to say. My therapist asked how I felt and what images I saw. I didn’t know how to explain it at the time. I needed to process. I simply said I felt sore. All the areas that the boulder blocked, all the areas that had burned with flames were gone. I imagined eschar being removed from a wound so it could heal. I didn’t tell her that. What I saw was ashes. Throughout all the areas where the fire had burned, in this seemingly vast wasteland, ashes were now in its place.

One of the things I asked my therapist was whether or not healing meant having to be ‘best friends’ with my mother. I do know (or use to know) people who are best friends with their mom. I told her how I noticed that my cousin often goes into a baby voice whenever she speaks with her mom and that she tells her mother everything. While I thought this was cute, I didn’t want to have that kind of relationship with my mom. I wanted to be able to keep some things to myself if I so chose to. She said that was okay. The truth is that in that moment I sought validation for who I am and what I wanted. She asked if I could honor that. I said yes and felt relieved.

My therapist asked what it is the little girl in me needed as it is possible for me to give her what she needs. I said a voice. She needs to be heard, she needs to continue to tell the truth, be sincere, be authentic, she needs validation and a support system that works for her. Lastly, she needs to advocate for herself. I asked her why these people treated me this way. She said from what I told her it seemed as though they saw me as being strong and resilient and could handle them. I can see this. My original thought is that they tried to break me. But I realize now that they were all cowards. They were scared and taking their fear out on me because I was the most vulnerable.




After my experience in counseling, I learned to create a permeable bubble that allows me to keep my “stuff” separate from other’s “stuff”. This has been good for me as I work to untangle myself from my family. At first I felt great. I felt lighter and freer. I felt happier. Then, I started to encounter my own stuff. The stuff that originates from the mind.

One of the things I’ve noticed since allowing myself to untangle is the judgement I place on myself. I can be very hard on myself. I bash and chastise myself whenever I make a mistake. The other thing I noticed about myself is the need I feel to control everything. This need to control everything shows up in my shoulders and in my body as tightness. It’s like I’m clenching down trying to hold something in place that wants to move. I’m trying to control it and keep it tightly down and in my control. During a visualization exercise in which we work with imagery, I saw myself holding on tightly to a tree as I tried to brace myself from getting blown away by a very strong wind. Then I heard in my mind that I’m not in control of anything. My shoulders hurt as I clenched even tighter to try and hold on to the tree branch that is rooted deeply within the ground. It is unmoved by the strong winds that blow in its direction.

Lately, I’ve found myself getting present. In the present moment I feel awake and connected. However, not long after I feel gripped with fear. I feel like something is in the room with me. My mind starts racing and I think that if I don’t spend time in my head thinking, trying to control what likely could happen, I’m not doing the right thing. I am whisked away from the present moment again. Anxious. Scared. Not able to focus or regroup.

I talked about this experience in counseling. This fear that creeps in after finding myself fully in the present moment. What is the fear? I have a lot of curiosity surrounding it.


Why Did I Become A Nurse?

Last week, when I visited my counselor, she had me lay down and do some mindfulness technique to assist in alleviating the headaches and grounding. Grounding is somewhat difficult for me it seems and as a result of this I tend to get a lot of pressure-like aches in the middle of my forehead where my third-eye is. I was able to seat myself in my heart-space again. Doing so led me to reconnect with my own inner voice and essentially pick back up where I left off.

It seems as though I’ve been asleep for so long because I’ve been unconsciously doing what I was told I should do but not quite allowing myself to be conscious of why I’m doing what I’m doing. A lot of emotions have been coming to the surface since that last session. A lot sensations and questions.

One of these questions is Why did I become a nurse?

It often feels as though nursing is so left field from every other aspect of my life, what I want, who I want to be. I couldn’t seem to remember where the decision to be a nurse came from. I felt so consumed.

I’m starting to remember. Nursing for me wasn’t about the work. It was a means to an end, a way to support myself as I focused on what truly mattered to me in life, spiritual growth and expansion, as opposed to moving up the corporate healthcare ladder, the politics, the science itself, etc. I think at some point my own spiritual growth scared me, particularly when I began to ‘see’ and ‘hear’. I didn’t have an adequate support system at that time and found myself trying to lose myself in what felt safe and familiar.

In essence: I’ve been running from myself because I didn’t like what I had to say and I didn’t like what my inner self was showing me. Deeper still, I was scared to trust the information I got because nothing around me seemed to validate it.

External validation and validation seeking has played a significant role in my life. It seems as though I’ve always looked for someone somewhere to tell me that ‘I am okay’, that what I feel, think, do, want, say, is okay. As a result, I ignore my own inner messages unless they are confirmed.

I want to be on my own team and support myself in the way I wish my mom, my dad, my friends, onlookers who witnessed injustice would. I want to give myself the validation I often wished I had growing up, in school, in college, in the workplace. I want to be on my side, to support my own dreams, desires, wishes, growth, and expansion. Every energy in this world is not supportive. Every energy in this world is not my friend. But I want to be my friend and support myself. I want to listen to and counsel myself, to talk to myself, to get to know myself and rebuild those lines of trust and connectivity so that I’m not running myself into abusive external situations anymore hoping others will see what is impossible for them to see.

I remember why I became a nurse now. I became a nurse because I wanted the flexibility to come and go as I pleased without having to be bound to one job, one space, one company, one city or state. I chose nursing because I suspected that my spiritual evolution would one day require me to branch out and I needed a flexible enough option in order to do just that.

What is Normal: Belonging

My counselor suggested that I revisit that 11 year old girl who went through a myriad of transitions at once and experienced a lot of pain as a result of her resistance to those changes. She asked what it is that girl, me, needed at that time. That 11 year old girl, I, was angry. Very angry. In many ways she’s still angry. She wanted belonging, validation, and respect. None of which she felt she truly received. But she blamed herself. I think deep inside she wanted to know that she was good enough and that nothing was inherently wrong with her.

The 11 year old girl came up with a lot of reasons why she wasn’t wrong and the rest of the world was the problem. And this was how she coped for years. I think my encounter with God was always humbling but confusing. When I no longer saw the world as being “the problem”, when I felt like I did everything “right”, I again began to question what was wrong with me. This is where I am now. This is what I feel, how I often feel. Like I don’t belong.

I’ve been trying to write myself a new story for years. I’ve been trying to create a new script. I do remember growing up feeling like I had to change who I am in order to fit in. I remember opting not to change, to remain true to myself, even if it meant feeling lonely. But that wasn’t always easy.

Many times my feelings of anger are aimed towards my family that I often felt only supported me so long as my changes weren’t too outside their own comfort zones for approval. My desires weren’t “bad”. Just not acceptable. I realize that even to this day it influences my life.

Most recently, I developed very strong feelings for a man who smokes marijuana. I like him more than any man I’ve met so far. We just click! But I kept destroying the connection because my mother would not approve of the fact that he smoked marijuana. I dumped him. In my heart I think I do regret it because the feelings I have for him are very real.

One of the things I did notice about myself during this time of reflection is that I actually know who I am and what I like and want. I’ve just been afraid to acknowledge it because I deemed many of my wants or feelings or thoughts to be unacceptable. My counselor suggested acknowledging how I feel without judgement. So here it is…

I want to be in control of my life

I want to be heard

I feel I’m a natural born leader

I would really like to reconnect with that guy

I feel myself to be strong, loving, supportive, insightful, intuitive, independent, pretty

I see myself happy

I see myself as an advocate for myself

I see myself growing in the direction of my dreams

I know where I truly belong…it might not be exactly where I am right now

At Age 25

I’ve been gone for a while because I’ve been trying to come to terms with what I am again. It’s an ongoing process but I’m 26 years old and feel as though now is the time to come to terms with myself in this grand scheme. I quit my job in the NICU over an hour away and took a job closer to home working only PRN (as needed for my non-nurse readers) for a time to recover from my burnout and possible anxiety and depression. I vowed never to work in that institute again as it’s the only organization I’ve attempted to run from…twice. Slowly but surely I’ve been reconstructing my life, removing those things that make me unhappy and replacing them with peace and joy and love. With the encouragement of my boyfriend, I took a risk and bought myself a puppy. He’s a Shiba Inu puppy, the breed I’ve wanted since I was 19 years old. I adore him although I’m not sure how much he adores me. lol He’s very independent-minded and dominant. But I can tell that he has begun to warm up to me and it makes me so happy to come home and see him jumping, ears bent back, tail wagging and happy to see I’ve returned.

Currently, I’m broke. That’s not my dilemma though. My degree and the shortage of experienced nurses available makes it so that I can work pretty much anywhere. I’ve never had a problem getting hired. My dilemma is that lately, I haven’t wanted to work anywhere. In most instances, I haven’t really wanted to work at all. That’s a dilemma for me because I want to move out now. I’ve finally reached a point where the thought of living at home for even another two years has become unbearable. And it doesn’t stem from hate. In general, I care about my family. It’s just that I’ve come to accept that in many ways I’m different from them. Quite frankly, I just want my space. I just want complete control of my life.

So this is what I’ve been working with as of late. Figuring out how to move out and into my own space for my own development and happiness.