You are (not) broken.

NOTE: Fair warning, this month I decided to post only once. Today’s blog is incredibly long but completely worth the read. I will be posting again before you know it!

 

In this week’s post, I need to get a lot off my chest. This time, I plan to talk about something that makes a lot of fucking people uncomfortable. However, it still needs to be discussed. The topic that make some people cringe is something that people sometimes turn a blind eye to, but no more. The topic(s) I will discuss is rape, abuse, and harassment. Uncomfortable yet? You shouldn’t be, but if you are, please click out of this post now while you still can, because this is only going to get worse.

In light of the most recent events involving, Harvey Weinstein. Wait, sorry, I shouldn’t even address him by his actual name, let’s just start calling him what he actually is, i.e. a piece of shit. Here we go, a person of power taking advantage of others by praying on the weak because they have this insane mentality that it’s ok to just “grab them by the pussy” so to speak. There are some out there giving the victims a lot of heat since many stars are coming “out of the wood work” at the same time accusing the same man of sexual abuse. Here’s the thing, it’s a fucking scary situation to talk about. Whether you’re famous or not. No one wants to relive a horrible situation by discussing it repeatedly. Not only that, but when issues like this are taken to court for instance, sometimes it is just swept under the rug as you sit there and continue to speak of the situation with a room full of strangers and/or loved ones. That all takes a toll on a persons mind. Currently, I have a friend going through this exact situation and it’s been over a year. Nothing has been done for her and in the process, while this man still roams free, she’s getting sick over this due to the amount of stress it has put on her life.

Yet, let us not forget that this isn’t always a male attacking female thing. Sometimes it’s vice versa and yet those are rarely ever discussed. But I know at least two men that it has happened to, one of which I will bring up further into this blog.

Some of you have not gone through such a traumatizing situation and maybe some of you have. To speak out about an ordeal like that is incredibly strong, whether you talk about it immediately after or twenty plus years later. Some of you may wonder, well if it happened why now? Why say anything at this point if you could have stopped so many others from being a victim? Sadly, it’s not that easy for some people.

At the age of 19, I was forced on by my “friend” at the time. Not only did I try to fight him off, but he continued to push himself onto me. After? After, I had to share a bed with the man that raped me because I was afraid. I didn’t sleep, I didn’t even move until my alarm went off and I had to go to work. Only, by the time I got in I was shaking. I felt strange but continued to stay at work. Soon after, I fell to the floor, vomited, and passed out for a moment. I told everyone my sugar was low and maybe it was because I didn’t eat breakfast. I was sent home and immediately went to my room. From there, I called my ex-boyfriend because I didn’t know who else to tell.  While telling him, he began to raise his voice and then refused to believe me. Instead, he blamed me and thought I was trying to get back at him since we only broke up a couple weeks prior. After he hung up on me, I called his mom trying to explain what happened and still he continued to blame me.

Do you know what it feels like to be blamed for something you had no control over? To replay that scenario over and over in your mind and trick yourself into thinking it was actually your fault? I wanted to die. I wanted my skin to be burned off. I was terrified because I began to believe I actually did it to myself. Maybe it was something I did or said that provoked him? Maybe I shouldn’t have had those two bud lights and could have been drunk? Maybe I should have called for help and it would have never happened?

I laid on my floor crying for a while, getting text from the man that hurt me and I refused to speak to the person that completely destroyed me and for a while it worked, I ignored all his calls. Then finally I responded because I began to think that maybe he was the victim here and I was blaming him for something I did. After all, my ex hated me so maybe I was this “slut” he thought me out to be. I remember telling one of my friends at work, she turned to me and asked if I said no. I told her I said no repeatedly and it just happened and she looked down and said, “Christie if you said no then that is technically rape” but I already had it set in my head that it was still just a miscommunication. I thought about what she said, I thought about it for months. Till this day I even think about it. I was in such denial about what happened to me. Until one day, a few months down the road, I was in a women’s studies course. Now you’re probably thinking, school? Where the hell is she going with this?

My teacher at the time, a male, was asked by a student asked why and English professor was teaching the class. Flat out, he admitted the department was short staffed but also he is “a strong advocate for women’s rights”, going on and on about voices needing to be heard, and not always by a men. Then, a girl in back asked why, and all he did was turn to her, giving an answer along the lines of, maybe he will tell us one day. The night before the next class, he sent out an essay he wrote years ago. Within that essay, he discussed his experience of being molested as a child. Our teacher, a complete stranger at the time, told us his entire story in just a few pages. In our next class, everyone poured their heart out and I just remember crying. I remember crying because it dawned on me that what happened to me at 19 was not a “misunderstanding”. I raised my hand, and I told a room full of strangers what happened to me on that day. Slowly, one by one, others shared their story. A room, full of twenty or so strangers, and almost half of them were sexually abused, molested, or raped. Almost half of the class. I’m not telling this story for sympathy or pity, I’m telling this story because I know what it is like to take time and understand what it is that has happened to you. So, women “coming out of the wood work” involving Weinstein, should not be belittled or degraded for telling their story. Why? Because sometimes you have to hear that you aren’t the only one and you should no longer live in fear of something that you were completely powerless of.

During the “Me too” movement, in under 24 hours, more than a dozen people posted “me too” on my news feed. More than over a dozen is a fucking big deal! People have suffered and there is so much pain out there. Some have yet to tell their story or name their attackers out of fear, discomfort, or reliving a traumatizing event. So yes, I understand why some people take years to say anything at all, however that does not take away from the fact that it has happened. A human being has destroyed another and it is a vicious cycle that continues to happen but we as people need to fucking do a lot better. Starting with how we treat and care for others. This is a very large issue that continues to happen all over our world and this should not be taken lightly. There needs to be some serious repercussion to all the individuals that are so willing to break us.

I want to make it clear to anyone who has gone through this or is going through this, you are not alone, you are not broken, you are whole, you are here, and you are strong. We no longer should let this destroy our soul. Together, we will not let them break us but instead we will rise and continue to grow.

C.H.

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Time stands still for no one…

NOTE: This is a sad post. Below this post, (titled “so many sorry’s…”) are actual text screenshots of everything I received after the passing of my friend. There are a few that are also the last text messages I exchanged with her before she passed. This is an inside of where my mind was after the loss of a close friend.

P.S: I still have a bad mouth. 

 

Sadly, death happens. We don’t understand it, but it scares the fuck out of us; it scares the fuck out of most of us. Some people are so scared of death that they soon fear life. Then, there are people like me, I don’t fear my own death. I fear. I fear not cherishing every moment I go through because in an instant, it’s gone.

What I honestly fear most is, time. That’s right, T I M E. Not knowing when death is going to happen, scares the complete shit out of me. Now you’re probably thinking, “you say that now Christie, but what if you died a horrible death?” Well, if you’re as morbid as I am than I can only assume you were thinking that or some crazy shit along those lines. Yeah, that still doesn’t scare me and maybe it’s because I’ve never looked death in the face, in order for it to strike a real fear in my heart, but one thing I am able to witness, is how quickly time is going by and how there is still so much to be done while it ticks by.

We expect to live our life to the fullest, hoping we will die when we’re old and hopefully asleep in our beds. Which is the ideal way to go but what is so fucked up is that some of us can’t even make it to being old. Some die before they’re even a quarter of a century. Some die before they even reach thirty. Some manage to die peacefully. Some manage to die in the most devastating way. I just so happen to have been best friends with one that died in the most devastating way.

Now you may be wondering why I’m sharing a sad story about death. At this point, you may be sitting there thinking, “wow this bitch is morbid as fuuuuck, what’s her problem?” and well, here’s a news flash, I’m morbid as fuck, so I’m glad we cleared the air on that before you read any future post. But lately, more than ever, my mind has been darker and slowly I’m coming back from a very dark place that I was in once before, many years ago.

 

So lets get to it.

 

May 6th, 2017, my greatest friend died in a car accident. I found out the next day. However, on the night of May 6th, I was with my boyfriend and his brother, sharing a few drinks. Suddenly, I dazed out, looked on my phone and sent a couple of snapchats, slowly I fade back into the conversation after I had a sharp pain in my stomach and someone said “… this could be the worse day of your life” and little did I know, it already was. At first, her stepmom was sad that she would be the one to tell me. After all, she watched Caitlin and I grow up together for 18 years. The phone call went straight into, “I don’t know how to say this, so I’m just going to go ahead and say it…” I knew what was coming next. I went numb. I fell to the ground. I felt like I got sucked right into the floor. Now, I’ve lost loved ones before but it is so completely different when you lose someone you imagined would be in your life until your time was up. There’s that fucking word again…time.

Let’s rewind a few weeks prior. I was at a funeral telling everyone “I’m sorry for your loss”. His name was Nick. He was awesome. Sadly, Nick lost his battle to cancer. I witnessed my friend cry at her boyfriend’s grave and my other friend cry as they lowered his casket. Two of my friends were burying their loved one and what was worse, was that his parents had to bury their youngest son. My “I’m sorry for you loss” kept being repeated to this group of 25 and 26 year olds who had to bury a friend the same age. That was so fucking hard to witness and yet there was so much love to witness. To say sorry to so many people who were so young and to see someone so full of life have his time cut short was such a gut wrenching feeling. I cried when no one was around because I couldn’t imagine the pain they were going through. I remember saying all of this to Caitlin a week later, over dinner. I remember telling her how much my heart hurt for his family and friends. Then, before I know it, three weeks pass and now people are saying it to me, “I’m sorry for your loss…”. After a while, it sounded like a broken record. After a while I didn’t want to hear it anymore…all I wanted to do was die.

I lost a few things after my friend died. I lost my happiness, I lost my light, I lost my positive state of mind, I lost it all. There is nothing worse than being lost. The first month was the hardest for me. I quietly cried myself to sleep most nights. I even debated on physically hurting myself and I was scared. I was even scared to get in a car which is something I never feared. I was nervous to drive next to any pickup truck for weeks. The second month was basically the same except I was sleeping more. She was the first person to ever come out as bisexual. I was 13 and it didn’t weird me out at all, nor did it make me view her differently. At one point I feel like most of my weekends was spent with Caitlin when I was a child and never once was I bored with them, if anything I was excited for the next one. We never had the same group of friends since we didn’t live in the same town but we always found our way to one another. Then she moved further and further but still we clung to one another. To have that all ripped away from you is a huge wake up call in realizing what you truly have until it’s gone.

Slowly but surely, I got back on track and learned that to feel the pain I’m feeling now helped me understand and cope with the fact that it is real, and it did happen. Now, I catch myself thinking about her from time to time and then I hear her stepmom say the words, “I don’t know how to tell you this…” then the pain floods back and I almost cry. Instead, I take a deep breath and remind myself that no matter what, I must continue to live the life she knew I was capable of living. There was so much potential she saw in me that I did not see in myself, at least not until recently. I am forever grateful that she constantly reminded me of that. I believe in myself because she believed in me and I will continue to believe in myself, because I believed in her.

After her passing I was so lost and yet with her passing I have discovered how much love and value we held for one another within our 18 years friendship. Although she is no longer here, I am going to cheer for 18 more. Our friendship is not over yet, our friendship will still live on and that is something I am in complete control of as I hold such a kindred spirit near and dear to my heart, forever and always.

 

To lose does not mean you have lost and to have been loved does not mean you have to stop loving.

 

-C.H.

Now, this is just and introduction, before I blow your mind…

My name is Christie Henriquez. Obviously, you already know that if you clicked this link on one of my social media accounts because odds are, you’re more likely to be a facebook friend rather than a fan I had no idea about. Let’s face it, it’s only my first blog (the poem below this doesn’t count because who the hell was I in 2012) so I’m not expecting much here. Now this post is just a bit about myself. It’s nothing crazy and should only take a few moments of your time. I just figured I would lay you readers down with a little foundation before we build anything here. So, continue reading if you want. If you get bored, well then to hell with you anyway, I guess just wait for round two.

(p.s: there is some foul language so, hide yo’ kids, hide yo’ wife, and hide yo’ husband, cause we cursin a lot out hea’)

(p.p.s: I have the mouth of a sailor so do what you will with that ya filthy animals)

A little bit about myself from childhood

I was weird as shit. Maybe it’s because my sisters thought it would be funny to drop me a lot as a child, who knows. But all I do know, is that I was weird as shit.

A little bit about my (early) teen years

I was bullied HORRIBLY, but the ones that bullied me probably will never understand how close they brought me to the edge. That’s an entire story in itself, which I will later discuss in another blog as I continue to URGE making any “bully” to go to jail if they get a human being to end their own life.

Being bullied fucking SUCKED. I bullied this girl once in 7th grade to look cool and immediately after when we were alone I apologized. Again, I’m sorry Sarah H. if you somehow see this. Ever since then, I’m convinced my years of being bullied all steamed from that one act I did as a child.

However! Being bullied is probably what made me who I am today. It’s a small fragment, yes, but it most certainly made me who I am today.

A little about my (late) teen/adult years

Am I boring you yet? Well let me keep this part simple. I was a fucking mess. An absolute mess as a teenager. Literally, I thought I knew everything but instead I was finally starting to learn things. I was a vile little twat. I was a out of control. From constantly cursing at my parents (well my mother, who is nothing but a saint) to slitting my wrist or my legs whichever was the least noticeable during the season. Constantly thinking of ways to end my life while still smiling in public. Now, I don’t take self-harm lightly but it is definitely a topic that involves more than just this paragraph I’m typing here, which again, we will get to in another blog. However, I am a stranger to most of you. Even the ones that do know me, very few actually “knew” me.

Present day

Now that we’re up to date and you know that my mind is a bit of a mess, I can tell you what I’ve been up to as of late. I graduated from college and it took 7 years but who gives a shit because I GRADUATED FROM COLLEGE! Big…no HUGE (Donald Trump’s dumbass voice) accomplishment for me since I never thought I could amount to anything considering I originally wanted to be an actress. Well, acting didn’t work out so I used my experiences and pain to become a writer. I graduated with my B.A in English. While I loved my teachers and all, it sure as hell feels good to now be typing this for me and not for an assignment. Originally, when I started college I didn’t think I was good at anything except for being dramatic (which I’m still kickass at doing exactly that) then I was able to recall one of my classes from high school. Strange, I know. High school English class, was the only class I ever really excelled in and thanks to Jared (yes, I can call him Jared because we are officially facebook friends, like I am with most of my teachers and no I will not say his last name, you stalkers) he made learning in his class…fun! It was awesome actually. It was nice knowing I made a difference in such a small space only because I participated in class. So, shout out to Jared for doing his thing and props if you read this!

Then I met another teacher in Community College. It was creative writing and his name is John (again you won’t know his last name because why do you need it? Weirdo!) who helped me realize my script writing and short stories were actually good. They were so good he encouraged me to share them with the public.  So when I finished community college I did what I was good at, I went to become an English major.

There are a variety of English teacher that led me where I am today and maybe you’ll hear about them further down the line. But the moral is, because of them it helped me today. Which is why I’m right here folks!

*          *          *

I like to think I’m here today for a number of reasons. Maybe it’s because I read Phoebe Robinson’s book You Can’t touch my hair, which was the most relatable book for me to read as a black woman still trying to love herself and feel wonderful in her own skin. And in today’s world I think that black culture needs to be looked at now more than ever since there are those trying to ignore it. Or maybe I’m here because it’s a quarter life crisis? That’s what everyone goes through when they’re on the brink of turning 25 right? Well, it’s a number of things. As I get older I realize just how precious time is becoming; how quickly time will end. My best friend died recently and there was so much she had yet to do.  There was so much she had to live for. So maybe I’m writing because I still have trouble sleeping while I think about her most nights. Maybe even because I know I have so much more potential to offer to the world. There could literally be an infinite amount of “maybe’s”! All i know is that I’m finally doing it.

So, now I am choosing to live to my greatest ability. I am choosing to write because life is too short and whether it’s a blog, or an article in a magazine I am going to choose to write for myself! I am going to choose to do what I love no matter how small it may seem.

I am here because I am doing this for me, not for you. Whether you follow me or just read one post I greatly appreciate it. But just remember before you continue, I’m here to please no one, but myself.

With that I will try to end my post on a positive note whether it’s a word or a small saying.

No matter what, you must remember to follow your heart.

C.H.

Façade

Facade

By: Christie Henriquez

The one that holds the noble crown
Does it make them feel good
while others are down

Do they do it for pleasure
Curse everyone as fools

While they stand there perfect
and we look like ghouls

With there conquering hand waving high
As they look at the peasants walking on by

What makes them better then the rest?

Because there well known
and they know what’s best?

Last time I heard, perfect’s a sham

You had your power
for as brief as you can
Now that its ended

you’re just normal again…