Let’s Talk About It

Lately I’ve been leaning into a mantra in all my comments and posts on Instagram and it feels a little hokey if I am honest but after the bullshit that my sibling put me through in June I am needing the reminder of why I do what I do.

Actually a post on I saw that I’ll insert here to the right moved me to write this blog entry.

I keep repeating “your light and voice matters” (yeah it’s bad grammar, oops) but it’s a lot to explain what this actually means to me. It’s not meant to be fluffy words as one of my Instagram followers felt it as, I don’t blame them. If I’m not thinking those words feel that way to me too. In my struggles with mental health and poverty I’m used to beatitudes being used against me and to silence me. That’s not my goal here.

Image that was a post by "Happiness Learned"

The truth is as a narcissistic abuse survivor there’s the real me that my father tried to snub out. It’s the real me that my sibling tries to snub out as well. If they were to accept the real me and let her live they would have to look at the real them. My sibling would have to look at their selfishness, their callousness, their abandonment and all the problematic and toxic behavior they’ve been putting on me for my whole life. He’s too weak to face reality. My father is dead but that narrative that he indoctrinated in me still rages on and when I’m in a trauma response the masking occurs and Little Sabi goes dormant and gives up. Little Sabi wants to disappear because hidden or dead she’s safe.

So what do I mean when I say our voice and light matters? That voice is your power to fight through the lies, guilt and shame that suffering, trauma, oppression and marginalization bring about. Your voice has the power to shut down the cacophony of a society that keeps saying you’re not good enough.

You need a “professional” recording with “professional” equipment and “professional” production and “professional” mixing before you can produce an album. You need some impossible to reach level of skill before you can share your drawings or paintings or sculptures. You need a “real publishing company” to “take you seriously” before you can share your poetry or writing. You need the “proper” lighting, camera, microphone and other such equipment to share your photography or videography. You need Photoshop and an iPad to make digital art or animations. You need the right computer and set up to start streaming. I could go on but this list is long enough. We are told to continually try to attain things or we are trash and worthless.

When you can’t get the stuff then it’s the system that doesn’t allow you to get the stuff, “Well, I’ll never be able to — until I have the money to buy —.” I’m using examples of what creators face because it’s close to home. Because everyone is quick to call you a “failure” if you can’t make money from what you love and society loves to make us drink the kool-aid that the only way a creative person is “successful” is if we have MILLIONS OF VIEWS or before social media got RADIO PLAY for musicians or the FANCIEST THEATER or some elite venue as a stage, for traditional artists the FANCIEST GALLERIES WITH FANCY RICH PEOPLE DYING TO BUY OUR ART… It’s bullshit and not true. Make that post, make that YouTube video, upload that song or album to Spotify, stream with a janky camera and horrible audio. The heart of those things is you and you’re irreplaceable.

We have the perpetual race to “make it” the perpetual need to pit yourself against your colleagues and fellow artists because you see if we accept one another at all levels of skill and all levels of audience/reach and all levels of means to create then we don’t see how the “industry standards” are silencing us. They divide us and marginalize us to make us dependant on the “industry standards.”

These “industry standards” keep us powerless and scared. They are the narcissistic abuser that tell you again and again in backwards and gaslighting kind of ways that you’re nothing without them. We stay in the shadow of the golden children of the “industry” and we’re out casts and “unsuccessful” because we cannot “make money.” We live out a toxic family system as creatives. FYI in the toxic family system the golden child is also being abused and silenced. Their true self isn’t allowed to thrive either.

If you step into the power of using your voice wherever you are to whoever is hearing, it will call out to those who need to listen, that person might be yourself. That person might be someone you don’t even know or might never know. I truly believe this matters even for those of you who don’t believe you’re creative, though I would probably argue in another blog that like intelligence, creativity has many forms and renderings.

Put it simply the meanings used now just keep us able to devalue the arts as less than in our current society. The creatives like myself continue to be othered and cast aside like the disabled and people of color as well. At any rate to keep on my original point, your voice matters even if you don’t sing or dance or draw.

Your voice is your power to say “here I am” no matter where you are or want to be. The more you use it the more it grows. For those of you who grew up in a toxic home or endured a toxic relationship of any kind or for those who have faced systemic oppression, using your voice is ripping off the mask that make others “comfortable” around us. The reality is that, that “comfort” is self betrayal and denial and a perpetuation of generational trauma; instead of healing and growth we get numbing and fabrication. If you want the world to be better and have less suffering use your voice. It makes a difference, it matters, it has weight and power. Every bit counts, it adds up.

Some examples of this that I come across personally… In the sea of ablism it’s your ability to say as a disabled person, here I am and I deserve accessibility. In the sea of racism it’s your ability to say I am still being cast aside and othered, I have value and worth as does my culture and traditions and everything I have to offer this world. In the sea of classism it’s your ability to say here I am, I am not “lazy” or “worthless” or a “user” just because my body had less nutrition, less safety and therefore more trauma and less opportunities. I am just as human as you are and have just as much capacity as you would had I had as much of a chance as you did.

Now what do I mean when I say your voice and your light matters? What is the light that one carries. What does it really matter? It’s easy to see the beauty in the sun as it warms our bodies and gives energy to the plants that feed us and other fellow animals on this planet we inhabit. It’s easy to see the mystery and elegance of the moon as it reflects the sun’s brighter light on us when the earth casts a shadow on itself at night. It’s also easy to see the power of other suns and celestial bodies in how they cut through time and space that for me seems so vast it’s impossible to really grasp the size and because of those bodies we have thousands of stars in the sky. It’s easy to understand the dichotomy of light and dark in these physical things around us. Oddly enough we see more of the smaller light sources when the larger or closer ones are away or blocked. This doesn’t reflect their value or worth.

What about your light or my light? What is that? When I say my light I mean my true self. The self I spent years masking and hiding away. In childhood it was for survival. Now, I keep carrying the shame and pain of my narcissistic father and I often want to revert to that mask. Even as I am writing this I am afraid. Are you afraid to be your real self? Has the world/your life told you that no one gives a fuck? Have you been let down and pushed down and beaten down physically, emotionally, mentally or spiritually time and time again that you feel “if I am myself I will fail… I am worthless” or anything similar?

I’m interjecting, I have some incredibly beautiful friends whose light has kept me warm in my darkest hours. They carry this narrative in their hearts, that the real them isn’t enough, that they’re bound to fail, that their dreams are stupid and useless and pointless. Without them shining even a little, the little bit that has felt safe to them, I wouldn’t have survived my suicidal ideation. I wouldn’t have survived the abuse from toxic work places. I wouldn’t have had the strength to write this nor would I have seen my worth enough to cut out toxic people from my life like my sibling. I wouldn’t be continually fighting poverty and I would have ended up homeless. I would have said “my dad’s right, I should have never been born.” I would’ve given up. My mom would be dead, my bunny too.

That my lovelies is your light and we need you. I know it might sound fluffy and trite but for me it’s what I fight for day and night. I know that it might be hard to take this in if you’re basic needs aren’t being met but all your needs matter. I know it’s difficult to see or hear especially when you have physical pain or you’ve already been cast out to die on the street or you’re in an unsafe situation but please don’t give up. Together we can fight for one another. Together we can shine and bring more to this world.

I’ve recently learned what mutual aid is and I am trying to learn more about it. I’ve seen several people in poverty like myself use their voice to ask for others who are just as bad off as them to also have their needs met. This is the power of using your voice and knowing the warmth and life you carry to shine your light. Know your worth find ways to remember, fight for it, stand up for it.

It might seem silly. It might seem like platitudes. I assure you that each and every drop that we are in this sea can make waves of change. You have touched me and to me that matters. I might not ever even know you exist but I am writing this for you just as the person Beth Clark who was quoted in the post by Happiness Learned (which I shared at the beginning of this) has no idea who I am. Their voice and light had weight enough to help me now and I am using it to speak up and fight for me, for you, for all of us.

One drop can save the world.

Please send some love and support to my lovely creator friends.

Teal Fish Studio – Rosemary Teal and her husband Brandon have an incredible amount of skill and talent together they run a small business that has a lot to offer. Monthly support would help them out more energy into their music and art. In particular Rosemary’s song “Token” helps me fight when I want to give up existing. It’s on Spotify. In private she’s helped me see when people are being assholes to me and helped me feel less crazy. When I lost my emotional support bunny she was there for me when I just wanted to disappear from the pain and she used her art to help me grieve. Her and Brandon are beautiful humans. They’re working hard to build a community for creatives and encourage them to use their creative muscles.

Teal Fish Studio – Rosemary Teal and her husband Brandon have an incredible amount of skill and talent together they run a small business that has a lot to offer. Monthly support would help them out more energy into their music and art. In particular Rosemary’s song “Token” helps me fight when I want to give up existing. It’s on Spotify. In private she’s helped me see when people are being assholes to me and helped me feel less crazy. When I lost my emotional support bunny she was there for me when I just wanted to disappear from the pain and she used her art to help me grieve. Her and Brandon are beautiful humans. They’re working hard to build a community for creatives and encourage them to use their creative muscles.

I wrote the song “Ripple Effect” that will be in my third album “Into the Light” with my friend Resurrection Fern in mind. She shares her original music on Twitch and does covers as well. She does fundraisers for type 1 diabetes as a person with t1db she’s using her platform to make a difference there. Her heartfelt streams full of openness and her light have helped me find a safe place and her song “Warrior” has helped me find strength when I didn’t even know I needed it. It’s on Spotify. She was vulnerable and authentic enough to express how small and powerless she feels when all I see is a powerful songwriter who loves deeply and passionately.

Because of Fern I met a beautiful man who calls himself Old Depressed Gamer. ODG as we call him streams on Twitch to be there for others who fight depression like he does, much like I do. Through the years when I am struggling to cope I have known he is there like a rock even if I can’t hear from him immediately there have been many dark nights when I sent him a message and just knowing he cares has helped me feel heard and seen. He’s immensely intelligent in the traditional sense and is working on a chat bot to help increase engagement in on streams if you’re ever feeling alone and need a cathartic release and he’s streaming know you have someone who is free of judgment and there is no need to mask in his stream. Come as you are and get a sense of rest.

Oddly enough many of my beautiful friends I have met through Twitch. One friend who has helped me embrace my disability and opened up a world of acceptance to me is my amazing friend Styna. Styna is a disability advocate, musician and writer who is starting their own publishing company called Sick and Tired Publishing. The focus will be for disabled writers with disabled characters with real representation. Styna’s friendship has been steadfast for five plus years. Even with long pauses of communication they welcome me with open arms and understanding. Let me tell you, I am used to being ghosted and discarded and abandoned so this is a huge deal for me. They were the key for me to find self compassion reminding me that my needs matter and this was truly a start to healing the narrative left in me by my father. I am forever grateful to them using their voice and light.

Another friend I made on Twitch is my dear sister Jelz. I am really bad at names so I don’t remember her screen name but as I edit this later I will link the proper things. She has taught me so much that my boundaries aren’t unreasonable. She is honest and quick to call me out when I am being harsh in myself in such a gentle and compassionate way. Her endless encouragement has healed a lot of pain from my past when sharing my art. If you found me from my daily posts on Instagram she is a huge part of what made me strong enough to even try, my therapist started it, but Jelz always cheering me on, they way my heart has always needed is what helped me be brave enough to put myself out there. She has incredible heartfelt music and is an amazing human and I hope to keep seeing her also step into the light.

Now when I think of Jelz I always think of Jo. I met them pretty much at the same time through the same people. Jo doesn’t have anything I can link you to like a stream or social media but if you ever join my discord or my streams you will find her. She’s my mod on Twitch but before anything she’s a kind and caring and sweet tender friend. If you need peace, gentleness or compassion she’s gor that to offer tenfold. I wanted to boast about my friends as a way to support their work but I couldn’t boast about my friends without mentioning her. A fellow spoonie she has equally taught me about boundaries and healed so much of my trauma around friendships. I am so grateful to have met her.

Last but not least I want to mention my one Bun Supporter, DaveyScorsese aka #DaveySCORES. I’ve only known Davey a few months but for whatever reason he kept telling me he believes on me. He’s been a kind and authentic friend who had the means to support me financially and if I am honest the days I think that everything I am doing is ridiculous and a waste of time and that my family is going to die because of my dreams I remember his reactions to my early vlogs. I remember that seven, almost eight years ago I sat in my mom’s sewing room in an apartment that later would have no power on half the rooms using a cheap phone clumsily propped on a pile of music books and said “here goes nothing,” and I hoped that sometime, somewhere, someone would see it and think “if she did it so can I.” Davey didn’t say that but he acknowledged my growth. Davey is a kind person who wears his heart on his sleeve. He streams on Twitch and YouTube and is working hard to follow his dreams. He relentlessly shares his passion for film and horror with a sense of comedy that’s golden all while sharing his journey with BPD. He also has music that he wrote from the heart that he doesn’t really talk about. He was vulnerable enough to tell me that my music reached him. Unlike the abuser from my past who used that against me, Davey didn’t. He unknowingly healed a part of my heart just by being himself.

This isn’t an end all be all list of my friends whose light and voice has helped me along the way, but I hope that it can be some encouragement to live in authenticity. Shame and fear binds us to pain and suffering. They live within our bodies even if we try to deny them in our minds. I truly do wish you all love and peace whatever it may mean to you. You deserve love and kindness and you have a right to be seen and heard as the true self you were meant to be. Sometimes it’s just a glimmer of life within us but even that little bit makes a difference. Be unapologetically you.

Don’t think that if you’re struggling to exist that you aren’t powerful and have reach. All my friends listed here and many I am thinking of as I write this have trauma or chronic illness or disabilities or poverty or some sort of suffering that makes is difficult to strive for life. They’re brave and courageous and do their best.

You’re brave and courageous and you’re doing your best and that’s all we can ask for. That is the voice and light that has strength and courage and beauty. Be unashamed, my friends, and if you need help reach out. We’re all in this together and you’re not alone. I don’t say these things lightly.

I may not have all the riches in the world. I may not have a huge following. I may not have the best skills or technology or stability. I may not have energy everyday. I may have to take several weeks to rest and sleep and recover. That is all true but I have love for all of you and I am trying to have love for myself and for all of us I will fight.

There’s a saying in my country Nicaragua “hoy para ti, mañana por mi” meaning “today for you, tomorrow for me.” I will do everything I can to help you meet your needs whatever they may be. That’s the best I can offer whether it’s sharing your links to crowd funding, streams, videos, art or whether it’s listening to your story to help you find your way. That’s what brings me life.

Thanks for reading 💚🐇

My new album “Into the Light” is very close to being done. I’m planning on release in early September if I can keep a roof over my head and keep my neighbor from killing me, almost a joke. Please consider becoming a Bun Supporter through my Kofi. Monthly support would help me move to a safer home, reliably cover my expenses like rent, electricity, phone, therapy, car stuff etc and spend more time creating than trying to raise funds for survival.

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