This is a poem I found that I wrote some years ago, I’m not sure exactly when or why I wrote this…but I wanted to share it.
Thrown a back and shoved into your mind, the visions, memories, the acts of hurt, ramming up against the walls of your brain & thrusting you upon the
de-railed demented thoughts that overpowers, then consumes.
Invaded constantly with the ins and outs of a roller coaster ride,
Through abandon emotional bends & turns and forcing you to relinquish your body,
Your precious body they have ravaged,
Torn open your heart to rip out your soul,
Replaced…with visions of cruel intentions and long felt repercussions.
Memories that mimic heart crushing pleasure,
Manifests in your physical scars to show a hint of your emotional amputations,
Cutting off all feelings of happiness, joy & self-worth.
Worthy of redress you take cover fully in the blame,
the what ifs & the whys
“If I had only adorned myself in a black thick robe shielding all hint of sensual-feminity…”
“If I?, If I?, If I…”
But you are.
You are a woman of pure power & light which makes it impossible to eclipse your being,
But being subjected to a ruthless and callous invasion that slowly erodes your soul.
Mangled into pieces,
immortally leaves you shivering in a fetal position,
Begging for total protection.
Invaded, polluted & constantly jaded
Your mind is fucked.
Destroy & Rebuild,
Reclaim & Ensure,
That your chosen path of life is to be completed.
Well at one point in time I was “marga”, but there was nothing I could do about that, my metabolism was running 48hr shifts everyday.
But I was ok with me, essentially.
I wanted to put on more weight because I felt my penis could use a bit more…girth (yes, widening…based on porn)
All and all I was fine with what I was.
My self image was being dampened more with my own mind than anything else…
Even when I’d hear stuff like…
“You could use a likkle bit a more muscles”
”You cyan manage mi” or “boy, yu nah nyam??”
As you might have guessed, these comments were from females and I’d take comfort in the fact that my oldest brother looked exactly like me up til 23, now he’s competing with pops for the belly of the year award.
People used to say that they didn’t know who was carrying the baby, him or his wife. (ok, ok, I said it)
So years have passed and now I stand with a bit more meat to me and a small gut which I’m proud of.
Now the comments are like…
”You’ve filled out”, “you look like you can manage this now” or “You looking like a man now” have replaced those of old.
All this I must point out from the supposedly kinder fairer sex…sure!
Anyways, words never really affected me alot but I knew the power of them and became respectful of that power.
As I mentioned before my self image hinged on my own thoughts.
You see growing up in a family of 10-13 people you learn to satisfy, take stock of what you have and make the best of it, even take it a step further and make some sacrifices for the greater good of your kin.
I had a strong sense of who I was from a young age, thou I could chameleon a bit, never to the stage where people would question my authenticity but I could hang out uptown, downtown, with christians or with whores, pretty much most groups.
I was respectful of their space and expressions and I tried to relate in a bid to understand human behavior…I guess that’s when I started studying people.
Years of that led me to introducing myself like:
“Hi, I’m Dre and I hate people, because I know them so well”
Now why am I saying all of this, alluding back to the title of the post.
I’ve notice…well I can’t help but notice whenever I go on my IG timeline, Facebook or on the t.v. over by someone’s house that they won’t turn off, through casual conversations I had overheard.
It’s saturated mostly with gym this, lose weight now, I want butt implants that.
Is it that we are never satisfied with ourselves, being duped in a certain body type is the only healthy size?
Wooden spoon deep in our yearning for attention we’d rather transform to fit into a mold?
Now I recognize that some people are living a health lifestyle by eating right and exercising, but is that the majority? And most people will answer ‘yes’, very defensively, and cite the job creation and self esteem issues from this industry.
As I was mentioned earlier about my own shortcomings and it’s even in the name “self esteem” we can be ok and confident in whatever shape we are in, but perception is a bitch.
We tend to use certain statements to justify our own selfishness, laziness or plain old vanity.
”Beauty is only skin deep.”
”Beauty is in the eye of the beholder”
”You’re as young as you feel”
”The early bird catches the worm.”
Ok, that’s a bit of a stretch because whatever time I’m allowed to leave my job and get down to the store, they better restock them worms!
But all of these terms are spewed out very hypocritically, with the same breath they murmur
“…The only skin deep she knows are the deep fried bucket of chicken she just had as a mid-morning snack”
The exercise industry is a billon dollar industry yet the world is filled with fat people and everyone knows that in order to make a successful business you need repeat customers. So this industry feeds on the insecurities of the wider society. They weren’t a lot of fat people around back in the day, because you had to walk everywhere you went, plant or catch your own food, run dung Oman…literally or beat a dude’s ass for his woman! That’s all the exercise you needed right there.
Now things have modernized a bit right?
The transportation system means you walk from your house to your car or the bus stop, travel how many miles, sitting on your ass all the way then take 2 more steps to work where you sit on your ass all day for 5 days out of the week. Then weekend comes around, TGIF right?
You’ll have dinner…on your ass,
Have a drink or seven…on your ass,
Go to the movies…on your ass…
Win at the games night…on your ass.
The remainder of the weekend is where you clean the house, go to the store for hours on end, play football or whatever sport, wash the car etc…(add your weekend chores here) that’s a lot tiring work right? Because it’s a small break from being on your ass during the week?
So it is said that in order to live a health green lifestyle you need a 1hr in the gym daily…or was it 4? I don’t know, it increases every time I hear the pitch yelled at you by some muscled dude in tank top that looks like he shops at the baby gap, when fat shaming doesn’t work. Women are more susceptible to this selfish world view.
They are riddled with insecurities based on part biology and part societal norms and in turn trickles down to men when they add this in their bag of vagina hunting survival kit.
All this is based on my observations when I tend to boil down human behavioral motivations down to the rue of what we are as human beings which are normally simply just survival…
Procreation…survival of ones genes, Teaching culture…survival of a lifestyle and values, nurturing or parenting survival of your experiences and lessons.
This is my brother…Marlon Hutchinson, and he’s autistic.
Not a lot of people know that I have an autistic brother, you might think it’s because I’m ashamed of that fact…or of him?
That would be a stern No!
I am ashamed…but not of him or his condition…I’m ashamed of the facilities and lack of resources to help him.
No I haven’t really spoken about this to anyone more than a few close friends and family…why? Well because it’s not really anybody’s business and it tends to evoke two emotions;
A smug nonchalance or pity, and when someone is trying to live their life the best way they can the worse thing you can give to them is pity.
Sympathy and pity without thought and a dose of reality makes you donate toys and shoes to starving kids in Africa. It’s a nice gesture but that’s all it is…just a gesture…it doesn’t help the real problems.
Now Marlon is my younger brother by 2 years, after him came a girl and before me was a girl so I missed out on that close sibling comradeship brothers that close in age tend to have. Growing up he wasn’t a difficult child, he developed as a normal kid would, then came the withdrawal and the lack of speech. And as a kid myself this became routine. I guess I had my own battle dealing with, being asthmatic and constantly hospitalized so I missed a lot back then, plus I was four what would I remember??
What I do remember is accompanying my mother to the School of Hope, in August town, Kingston and the routines; Dropping him off and going back for him, being at the bus stop in Downtown, Kingston to head back to Portmore where we lived which was about 30mins drive, as he got to the bus stop he would get his “bag juice” and snack from the vendors outside…come to think of it…I think it was one or two people and they would look out for him…knowing the drill…he chose what he wanted and my mother or older brother would pay…who wasn’t far behind, then the waiting for the bus to leave to go home.
After awhile this routine stopped…
Marlon wasn’t allowed to return to school…he was…for lack of a better term…”expelled”.
You see the School of Hope was a school for mentally and physically retarded children. Back then in 1980s, no one knew what autism was in Jamaica, so he was classified as mentally retarded and sent to that school where he was subsequently expelled because he became ‘violent to some of kids and adults”. It was no big deal to me as I said I was young not privy to all the info, it just meant he was always home now.
The extent of this violence was hitting, biting and strategic scratching (‘scrabing’). I got my fair share of these as I shared a room and a bunk bed with him, and as with any siblings, messing with my stuff and me with his, the loud mumbling, singing certain parts of songs on the radio pretty loudly I might add led to most fights.
His outbursts would continue and intensify mostly from a bit of “family annoyance” and that we were not fully understanding his patterns. I got to understand that these outbursts stemmed from his frustrations of not being able to express himself to the degree that we readily understood.
People in the community would refer to him as my “mad brother”, of which I don’t really talk to anymore because clearly they’re idiots…but I was already selective in the people that I interacted with so that mattered not to me. And that’s how the general Jamaican public dismiss and label things they don’t really understand; homeless people are simply called “Mad Men”, people with any degree of a disability are call “Hhandycapp” and deaf people or any young person with a hearing aid are “Dummies”. I’m not too upset with the labels because that’s part of our culture, the oversimplified labels for pretty much everything, but what it does do is it marginalizes people and their daily struggles, not seeing the ranges of disabilities or lack there of.
The misdiagnosis all those years ago influenced how we approached his development, after the School of Hope there was nothing, no other academically incline option for him. It wasn’t until a couple years ago we recognize that he was autistic based on some research. We were worried mainly because though there might be more awareness of autism in recent times and they are schools and facilities being built to help as well as different programs being developed, these are mostly for young children up to 20 years old, My brother will be 35 years old in July.
Looking back I saw him as just another one of my many siblings, in a large family you are trying to find your own identity, purposes and quiet (God they’re a noisy bunch). Growing up I guess he was insulated by wonderful parents and cool enough siblings. He mostly taught himself to read; he writes with a stencil (which he doesn’t use anymore, but looking through his books you wouldn’t know); he documents and collect things and have them in chronological order which you don’t touch unless he shows it to you; he’s a very curious person and watches you like a hawk…then mimics you until he understands it; watches t.v. on mute (I think everyone should 😀, or not at all). He washes his own clothes and mine when I was living with him, no I didn’t ask nor did I stop him…until I realized my clothes were getting too clean and one of my blue shirts was on its way to being white with the amount of scrubbing, and I know I wasn’t that dirty.
I’m not sure why I wrote this or why I’m even sharing it, I still think this is mostly a family matter and I don’t trust people enough with the responsibility to fully understand unless you grew up with us, but I guess some people will see some sort of similarities in our experiences as we move to highlight and build awareness to all the lives that this mental condition affects.
And I’ve recognized that the highlight is mostly on the children with autism and not the adults that will have to deal the morality of life and its changes.