Tuesday, June 20, 2023

Defund the Police and Other Stupidity

 Something to consider... I understand the intent of this post, but, I would like to make you aware of something.

Yes, when some crimes occur, police sometimes come and help with the immediate needs, coincidently by contacting other agencies (medics, court, social services). 

That is absolutely not enough. 

I doubt you will find many police officers who tell you that they didn’t wish more services were available to assist them. As a hotline advocate I have had that conversation with police countless times. 

When we say defund the police, we are not saying no police. We are saying we need to increase the community and social services so that the police are both not needed as much and can link victims to support when they are.

I have worked well over 20 yrs with victims of domestic violence, rape, sexual assault, human trafficking, child abuse, and homelessness. 

I can tell you that when you find out your two year old (or any child) has been raped and call the police, they may come to take a report, but, they call the Department of Social Services and Children’s Advocacy Centers to help the parent and child. Those agencies are DEEPLY UNDERFUNDED and unable to provide adequate support. 

Human trafficking, child abuse and neglect is handled, or mishandled, the same way. 

When someone struggles with addiction, arrest is momentary and a temporary solution to one tiny piece of the problem. The person struggling with addiction, and their victims, need medical care, counseling, and community support. Those agencies are DEEPLY UNDERFUNDED and unable to provide adequate support. 

Let’s sit all that aside. Let’s say the most important thing is an officer showing up and arresting someone. Please know that even if the offender is arrested, they are most often released at some point, usually immediately, by the court system. When that happens, the victim needs safe housing or a shelter, free legal support, counseling, etc... Those agencies are DEEPLY UNDERFUNDED and unable to provide adequate support. 

I speak from deeply personal experiences...

as a child who was abused, 



a woman who many times laid beaten and bloody on the floor, 

a foster parent of children abused and neglected, 

an advocate for victims of domestic violence, 

sexual assault, and

human trafficking. 

I say that as someone who has lived and worked with all of these scenarios intimately. It is not a news report, case number, or social media post. It is my 3 am panicked wake ups, my tears while speaking to that Mama who’s child has been raped, my frantically seeking services for victims from agencies who have exhausted their resources and cannot help them. 

We, they, don’t need more police. We, they, need social services and community supports to both prevent and respond.

Wanna check me on any of this....pick a scenario, any of them, and contact who you think is helping.

Tuesday, February 14, 2023

They Left Me

I realized recently that maybe you don’t know, so I should probably tell you. I spent my whole life in church. I was abused by many in my childhood on Friday and in church on Sunday. My ex husband would break my ankle on Saturday and lead praise and worship alone on Sunday. I’ve read the Bible back and forth many times and can probably outdo most on quoting it.

From 1994-2011 I led youth groups, praise and worship, held small groups in my home, spoke in front of thousands about Jesus and my faith. And lots of things happened to change how I saw things. I respect anyone’s faith. I have solid Christian friends who I rest in their goodness. It is a constant reminder of who God can be, if people were not so rotten. 

I just wanted you to know that the Euphrates drying up is something I know. I just choose to not participate in a faith that throws away people. I don’t think the God that I know would do that. People were soooo damn busy worrying about “the gays”, the end of days, tithing, abortion, that they always left me. 

They left 2 yr old me being raped by a grandparent. They left 4 yr old me cleaning my moms blood off the floor. They left 8 yr old me clinging onto my siblings begging child protective services not to take my babies. They left 10 yr old me begging my stepmom to leave while I had more bruises than skin. They left 11 yr old me who was gang raped by 5 men, 3 of which attended a local Christian college. They left 15 yr old me who met 25 yr old him. They left me over and over and over until I finally decided I was leaving. 

So it’s not that I don’t know about your faith, or I can’t recite the whitewashed version of the Bible, but that I know better. 

Emotional Resource Guarding for Child Abuse Victims

I’ve recently had a painful epiphany. I’m aware of situations where my siblings and I will “find an in” on a typically strained relationship and we hide it, we tuck it away. We don’t talk about it because if we do, our other family may ruin or take it in some way. Resource guarding. 43 years old and I never ever thought of this. 

I’m gonna go see such and such family member but I can’t tell you.

Don’t  tell such and such I’m here 

Shhhhh so they don’t know I’m talking to you.

It’s so sad and awful and gosh why do we do this. 

Tuesday, January 03, 2023

They Aren’t Her

 To say the last couple of years have been the worst in my life would be an understatement. 

Yes, I have fantastic children, an amazing Stephen, precious friends who fill in the missing places, and the most Earth shattering grandson that ever existed; but, at the end of every day, I lay down, and my heart literally hurts because my sister isn't here.

I know I should be gratefu,l and at times I am, but most times I'm just mad. Combined with other losses, it feels most times impossible. Combined with my literally begging people for "normal" I genuinely cannot find enough tears. 

It's all made worse because I really do have all those people and things above, and I know that I have hurt all of them in this place. They are trying, they are some really phenomenal people, but they are not my Andreana. Or Andramada, as I called her, well, because. 

They are not the baby I spent countless hours wrapping their broken leg in Saran wrap before I bathed her. 

They aren't the little red headed baby I grieved heavily over as I bounced through foster care. 

They aren't the funny little barefooted girl who hid amongst my pile of stuffed animals for photos. 

They aren't the young woman who worked so hard to rise above her circumstances. 

They aren't the Mama who chose life for her babies when she knew it might kill her. 

They aren't my saving grace when life broke me, who gave me one cheddar round, and a sweet tea, every morning when she drove my babies to school. 

They aren't the ones who laughed as I cut all the chocolate off my Snickers bars and ate it because the chocolate ratio was off. 

They aren't the one who waxed places we should not have waxed, when we clearly should not have been waxing. 

They aren't the ones who did the Cupid shuffle with my parrot with me. 

They aren't the one who drove way too fast to Gatlinburg to rescue my babies, and piled way too many people in their little ass car, because they could get there faster than me. 

They aren't the ones who grabbed my Mama and drove to Charlotte when they knew I had reached my breaking point. 

They aren't the ones who sat up with me all night, for days, when I hurt too much to see morning.

They aren’t and can’t be. I don’t know how to navigate feeling this way. 

Friday, December 16, 2022

What you need to know about suicide

 As most know, I work in the mental health field and have spent the last two years taking calls, all day long, from people in crisis, many of whom are suicidal. Here are some things you need to know.

1. Every single caller I have spoken to thinks that everyone else is ok. I will say to them, “Listen, I’m sure your company loves and appreciates you. BUT, I’m expensive. Your company would not hire an entire staff of counselors like me if you were the only one who needed help.” Most give a little nervous laugh but still don’t believe me because when they look around they see everyone else doing great.” So, I’ll ask them, Who knows you are talking to me right now? No one. Right, and in the same way, you don’t know who else is calling either.” 

2. There are sometimes delays with the National Suicide Hotline (988) or Crisis Text Line (741741). If you are giving out resources to someone you know that is struggling, give multiple options. An easy way to find resources is to search the topic they are dealing with or their demographics + crisis line. An example, for a new mom, you could search new parent crisis hotline. 

3. Be nice to people calling you, yes, even unwanted calls.  You really don’t know what the person is going through behind the scenes. I have been on calls with customer service employees who were in hysterics and would get a call and have to put me on hold. I would hear them take a breath and switch on their professional voice to get through the call. I would wait on the wailing that comes after suffocating oneself for the sake of security. That customer had no idea their actions or words could be what pushes that person to suicide. 

4. Do NOT be afraid to ask hard questions. People want to talk. They are silently begging for someone to see them.

Thursday, December 15, 2022

Do you hear me, even now?

 I’m sure it is no surprise to you that we aren’t friends right now. 

I forgave you for him, and him, and so many hims, most days,  my heart can’t breathe.

I forgave you for lost babies.

I forgave you for repeated patterns,  loneliness, and even still….

You took my Andramada.

Fuck you for that. 

And with that, most of your people just stopped listening. 

Jessi said bad words. 

They can’t handle bad words or big brokenness. They have somehow deluded themselves into thinking it is what you said.

They forgot about what it must feel like to have nails hammered through your wrists while your people said nothing.

They forgot how much your heart broke knowing he could have stopped this, but didn’t.

So many things I could say, but…..

But NOWHERE did you ever preach a prosperity gospel.

You knew it was nonsense created by the comfortable

NOWHERE did you ever say things would be ok, you just promised we wouldn’t be alone.

So here I am, the most screwed up of these, begging your people to show up, because people are dying.

People are smiling on TikTok, being snarky on instagram, and dying in the darkness.

So if they won’t, I have reached a point where my love for them is bigger than my anger for you. My guess is that is how you may have felt. 

This should be interesting. 

Defund the Police and Other Stupidity

 Something to consider... I understand the intent of this post, but, I would like to make you aware of something. Yes, when some crimes occu...