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Showing posts from 2013

The truth about this Christmas

Typically, the holidays are the time of year I look forward to when it comes to being with family and "at home."  This year is different. Not because I don't want to be in Portsmouth and spend my day in and out of Cavalier Manor, but because I'm not feeling like I have anything to contribute to the people and the places I've gotten so much from.  They don't care... I know this. They just want to see my face and catch one of my rare genuine smiles or laughs.  I just feel as if that person is only around in fleeting moments.  He doesn't come to the surface unless all is clear and there's no one who will remind him of all the things he didn't do correctly in life. Going home would probably fix a lot of the anxiety I have about adjusting to life away from the only place I've ever known (honestly). But, once again, I would also have anxiety about being a 31 year old man in his hometown who has to get rides to and from everywhere, eat at others gen…


Days like this...

Days like today really make me wonder if I'm bipolar or not. I mean, nothing has changed between yesterday and today, but I feel completely down in the dumps right now.  I have food, shelter, and more than enough clothes, but for some reason I'm simply feeling like I'm not worthy of any of it.  I have tried to reach out and talk to a few people, but I feel like everyone I want to talk to is too busy to to respond to me, and that makes me feel like shit.  On the occasion that I do get to talk to someone, I feel like they're not really listening and it makes me upset when I feel like they are simply telling me the same parables and fairy tales that someone told them. It upsets me when people say everything is going to work out alright when they dont even know what I'm going through or what I'm dealing with.  That alone makes me feel like giving up on it all.  The same people who work each and every day and are broke will sit with a straight face and tell me thing…

'Tis the Season

It's Official!!!

I'm going to be a godfather!!!



Since I've lived in Richmond I've been seeing therapists regularly to help sort out some of my problems. Some have been licensed professional counselor a and others have simply been people who were willing to lend an open ear. 
Today I met with my case manager, Rodney. He's a great guy who allows me to be myself and returns the favor by being completely genuine with me as well. He's moving on to another position so today we really had a heart to heart. Rodney has continuously advised me that I need to forgive myself and see myself as worthy and loved. We go back and forth about it in almost every meeting we have, and it often works to make me more upset. But I know he says it out of general concern and care. 
We also talked about my latest court appearance and how I felt fucked over once again. I'd already been considering just withdrawing my appeal and simply doing the five days over weekend time, and after speaking with Rodney and hearing him suggest the same it le…

I really hate alcohol...

Not because of any personal dislike for it, but because people tend to put it on a pedestal above marijuana as if it's a safer or more "fancy" substance.  Drinking makes people act like fools and for some reason, the people who shouldn't drink are always the ones trying to drink the most.  I never understood it and I probably won't gain any better understanding of it either.

I'm used to weed. Weed is what helps me feel better.  Alcohol has never really done anything for me other than make me go to sleep.  It's pointless to me to waste money on bottles of this, that or the other, only to act so foolish that you can't remember what you did or said the night before.  That's crazy!

When weed becomes legal (which it will) what will people's excuses be then?  How will they spin alcohol as a better alternative than something that's proven to be safer, healthier, and less problematic than alcohol has been in all of recorded human history?

5 more days?

Yeah, they want me to do 5 more days over this bitch!  I'm pissed, but I'm also still confused about whether or not to even try to fight this. The lawyer I had was a piece of shit, not prepared, not even acting as if he wanted to try to help me in the case at all.  I appealed the decision, and he doesn't even agree with that. It all makes no real sense to me in the first place because in my mind I already served time for what I said to that bitch, but she feels very strongly about it obviously and I'm sure that if it were up to her I'd be locked away forever all over a fucking text and phone call.

I know I should forgive and move on, but this shit bothers me deeply.  To know that I live in a world where a woman can cut a man down with words all day long but never have to answer to it legally, makes me sick to my stomach. And to know that a woman can act like a bitch but can't be called out on her behavior makes me even sicker.  This world is fucked up with doub…

Remembering the Million Man March

How can I come back from all this?

Days like today, I sit and think about my life and the situation I find myself in. Often I wonder if it's something that I will ever be able to recover from.  I get told that I can't beat myself up for things...and I truly understand that.  But, knowing that even if I wanted to blame someone else that it wouldn't been seen as mature or accepted in any sense, I find that there's nobody to blame other than me. And in accepting that blame, I also accept the shame, guilt and feelings of inferiority that go along with that.

People also tell me that nobody is perfect. I hear them and understand what they're saying. But, I also feel that society deems certain people perfect, and others imperfect, or broken, or unfit to do or be certain things.  As wrong as I know that is down in my heart and soul, as a second or third class citizen of this nation, I find myself helpless and hopeless to do anything to change my own station in life.
Don't think that I lack faith, becaus…

Does the world want me to be fake?

I know I have my own set of problems and issues.  I've come to the point where I can admit that to myself or others who inquire about them.  But, where I still find myself stuck is when folk expect me to be "positive" or to have some type of "confidence" in my future.  How can I be positive when I feel like shit?  But, I guess that's just how we do things in America, we fake it until we make it.  But, if I'm being fake as hell and really not expressing anything, who does that help?  Not me.

I've been a failure my entire life.  I've never done anything right.  Either I've taken too long finishing college, or I haven't had the right amount of patience and tolerance with a job that others felt I should have stuck with.  Time and time again I simply see myself in a bad light and I really don't know how to begin to change it or even if it can be changed.

I've been told that I'm too hard on myself.  I can understand what people mea…

40 Days and a Wake Up...

Picture this... Me... Richmond City Jail...40 of the longest days of my life...never to be re-lived or won-back from time.

I honestly don't even want to write about my experience there, but I'm sure that some type of revelation can come through a cathartic session like this one.  There were so many different areas where I felt tested and tried while incarcerated, but to point out one as more important than another would do them all injustice.  
I definitely learned my lesson.  Watching HOW I SAY things to people makes a big difference.  WHAT I SAY to them can be done without putting myself in a situation where they have a reason or the motivation to take what I've said to the authorities.  And being able to recognize when something or someone is not even worth the dignity of a response would be an asset. I'm intelligent enough to choose my words wisely, and to know when the situation is beneath my involvement.  
I gained an opportunity to meet people who saw the outsid…

Just another day feeling like I feel...

I don't think I've ever really fit in anywhere. Earlier in my life, people simply accepted me because I was smart and well-mannered. But now, I feel that I'm not really the type of person that fits in anywhere, other than in my own world which is barren and devoid of anything good.

I sit at home, watching other people develop their friendships and relationships and I wonder what's wrong with me that I don't have these same experiences.  I watch people go to and from work and I wonder what's wrong with me that I can't use my skills or experience to make myself a living.  I watch people talk about how much fun they had with their friends and family, and I wonder what's wrong with me that none of my friends and family even want to be bothered with me.

I know folk who love me will say that what I'm feeling is not true, but I also know they'll lie to me in order to save my feelings, so I can't take what they say as fact.  What I do know is that I…

Education vs. Incarceration

"Broken Promises"

The father tells his son, "I PROMISE you'll see me tomorrow." The father does not show up. The son's heart is filled with sorrow.
The son's heart is deeply broken. That trust can't be replaced. The son will never.... ever  Want to see his father's face.
The son will soon learn to hate the man To which "Daddy" was his name. Every time the man shows his face The son feels nothing but shame.

"Honor thy mother and father" Should be something simple to do. But don't you think that fathers Should have to honor their sons too?

Fathers should take time out And spend it with their boys. The should take them to football games, Not argue, fight and make noise.

A boy shouldn't have to face Becoming a man all on his own. He should have someone to go to Or talk to on the phone.

He shouldn't have to wonder About what he's going through. He shouldn't have to sit and think About who he can talk to.

A son needs a father Someone there at all times He needs someone…


Today is my 31st birthday.  And even though I felt that I wasn't going to welcome it as I have others ages along my journey, but the truth is I'm very happy. I'm happy to know that there are people out there who love me enough to remember and send me well wishes on today.  I'm happy to know that I haven't spent my whole life doing nothing, or wasting time. I might not be where I thought I'd be at this time when I was a kid, but I'm definitely not doing too bad either.  There are some things that I can improve on, but I think that anyone who lives another day, could say the same about themselves and their lives.  Things might not be perfect right now, but I have so much to live for and to look forward to.

I just wanted to take a moment and thank God for showing me His grace and mercy in allowing me to see this day.  There could have been so many situations and so many times where my life could have been lost, but I'm here.  There could have been so man…

Pony Pasture Rapids

Since moving to Richmond a year ago, I've really enjoyed being so close to the James River and all of the small parks and waterside spots that offer a piece of nature right in the middle of the city. Going down to the rapids and listening to the never-ending rush of millions of gallons of water is at it's very least, relaxing.  Taking a break from life's issues and going down to admire the ducks, the rocks, the fallen trees, the grass that seems to grow up out of the middle of the river and even the people as they swim, raft, wade and fish, is all part of it's magic.

Today, after my man got off work, we took a trip down to Pony Pasture Park.  We'd been there before, walking the trails just to get some exercise. But this time the water level was a little lower and many of the river's rocks were exposed, offering a much more interesting panorama than we'd experienced down there before.

Enjoy the pictures I took. Hopefully we'll go back down there this we…

I hate hearing how "articulate" I am

"You're so articulate."
Whether you realize it or not, that's an insult.  What it means to me is that you don't expect much of people who look like I do. Basically, you think all other Black men are fools, or that we speak like runaways or hiphop minstrels?  
I speak in the way my parents sent me to school to learn.  I don't mask my accent or words that I might use among my own people.  I speak how a gentleman should, despite the color of his skin.  The fact that I'm Black should never give you a free pass to assume that my language skills would be any less impressive than yours.
I did not come here on a boat.  Neither did my parents, grandparents, or even great-grandparents.  We're all American-born.  I wouldn't call us Americans, simply because everything I've taught and learned has shown me that we're not treated as such. Even my own life's experiences have allowed me to see the subtle differences between my class and yours.

Ban The Box. But is that enough?

I've written before about my background and my experiences with the law, and most of my readers already know that I'm a convicted felon.  I try to stay informed on news that relates to felons' rights and how local, state and federal government is acting to address the problems of mass incarceration, recidivism, and the restoration of rights of persons who have completed their respective sentences.

 Recently, I came across an article in The Virginian Pilot about the city of Norfolk deciding to remove the question of a person's past criminal history from initial employment applications.  This has taken on the name of the Ban The Box Movement across the United States. Of course, I was happy to hear that step being taken by Norfolk, following my hometown of Portsmouth, VA, which removed that question from it's employment applications back in April.  The city of Richmond has also joined the Ban The Box movement, and they've taken the question off of their city emplo…

My mornings are so boring.

Every morning I wake up when my boyfriend leaves for work. I have a few responsibilities that keep me busy: taking out the dog, watering the plants and cleaning up whatever mess we left the house in before we went to bed.  Sounds like a lot, but it really is not.  After about 30 minutes, I'm sitting in front of the television or on the laptop bored out of my mind, looking for something to do to keep me occupied and productive. Most times, I fail at that though.

I've been looking for work, a job that's not too serious, but something that I can at least go to and feel like I'm doing something somewhere.  I've been looking for volunteer positions, but I've found that they are even more difficult to come across, especially for someone like me who has a criminal history.  And sitting at home day after day watching uneducated and unqualified people go to jobs that they may or may not love, really makes me more and more depressed as the days go on.

In a few days I'…

Why? Mama, why?

So, yesterday I got a small envelope from my Aunt Bert. Initially, I got excited because I thought it might be some cash because there was no reason for her to have sent such a small letter in the mail when we talk every other day anyway. But, when I opened it, I found a letter from my mom, Patricia, and it was not one bearing good news.

My mother and father have both battled drug addiction and other legal problems related to that for many many years, my entire life to be exact.  I've never lived with them in the same household so it has never really presented itself as a serious problem for me, or at least I didn't allow it to look like it was to the people around me.  The truth is, yes, it hurt to have your parents locked up for any reason. Even if it's their fault, it still hurts.  Well, that hurt that I thought I'd left behind and wouldn't have to feel anymore came back when I read that my mom was locked up once again.

Although I was sad to hear that news, I ca…

My feelings about the Zimmerman verdict

How am I supposed to feel? I didn't know Trayvon or his family, but his life was no less important than if I would have.  For over a year, I have followed this trial in hopes that justice would come from a system being watched by the nation and the world.  But, in another disappointing decision by the court system, true justice has escaped us in lieu of twisted words and one-sided testimonies.

My heart and soul cracked when I heard the words, "Not guilty" uttered by the clerk in that courtroom.  It shocked and sickened me all at the same time.  In my mind, I couldn't understand how anyone could not see what I and almost every other Black person was seeing.  I felt let down.  But, I also understood in that instant what it meant to be a Black man or a Brown boy in America.

I can't say that my life today is really much better than the lives that my grandparents led when it comes to how race plays a part in how we are seen by the nation we called home.  No, I've …

Justice for Trayvon

I've been watching the Zimmerman/Martin murder trail since it began. At times it's been difficult to watch but it's been interesting either way the tide has seemed to flow in the case.  I am sure the nation and the world is still tuned in to the case and the upcoming verdict, but I hope we as a people have not forgotten how much attention we had to bring to the case for it to even be brought to charges and a trial.  I simply wanted to share a few images that I felt were powerful reminders of the kind of support we should still be showing to the family, and for the support of finding justice.