~Mantra’s Story~ Making My Way Clear

Her-Story Badge

I Survived (Domestic Abuse!) Her-Story Challenged!



I sit.. eyes still sleepy..lashes fluttering, but..Awake

Just awakening from about a 15 year gray haze…
Blurry shadowy figures, dim lights and distant screams
Cursed whispers lie in the corners o f my eyes
Sore hands wiped down my face
Blistered feet resting on hardwood floor
achy bottom sitting on the edge of the bed

I call upon the unconscious strength of yesteryear..(the ones that sat where I sit),
with knees buckling and shaking thighs
with tender back I stand.

I wiggle and sway,
…the heels of my feet whine and my toes protest…But, I stand

Stumbling through the darkness,
Knocking over cords and shoes
Like the first steps of a baby; clumsily falling toward the window


Reaching for the long thin string and…I PULL..
Raising the shades and bringing sight

Eyes wide open..

I let in the light.
The light that hid and let the flowers die
the light that only flickered in my dreams
the light that hid deep in the darkness..

When I let in the light…

I saw humming birds and butterflies
I saw waterfalls and daisies, lit oceans,
happy faces, and candy eyed children..

but best of all with 20/20 vision I saw myself, glistening , glowing, shining, and smiling.


I made it over mountains and hills

I made it over bruises and breaks
I made it over back-hand slaps and kicks..
over bloody sheets and name calling
over dark fallen locks of hair and scraped scalp..

over hidden secrets and hushed cries…


I made it through the “You can’t do this!, You won’t do that! and If you do I’ll kill you!”
I made it through “You ain’t nothing but a woman, You ain’t nothing but a girl, a bitch, a slut and a whore!”

I made it though the suicidal thoughts, the never’s and the have-nots and “God created you for one thing only, to please men..Look at ya, you ain’t good for nothing else. Who in the hell do you think you are? You’re a woman..that’s all.”

But..when the sunlight hit my eyes, for the first time I saw all the abuse,
I felt all the abandonment
I felt all the shame
I felt all the ugliness, the hopelessness and the fear, the sadness and sickness

I saw the reality of my “Lifetime” plays, my Humorous Skits, my War Movies..
I saw it all

When I let the sunshine in, I saw the ability in all of my aspirations
I saw the finish product in the resting in the palm of my hand
I saw completion

I saw ME! A Mother, A Woman, A True Advocate for myself, A Revolutionist for Change
I saw a Determined Woman who NEVER gave up.

When I let the sunshine in, I saw myself in all its splendor; blessed with all of God’s Glory..
Beautifully hued and perfect. Strong and Courageous!

No More..No More..No More!

No more Hurt, No more Pain
No more Abuse
No more Battered Woman
No more Fear
No more Running from myself

No more and never again will I be a “victim”
No more and never again will someone else take what’s mine!
No more and never again will I cry in the face of laughter
No more and never again will anyone hit me, touch me, hurt me, scare me, and get away with it

No more sleeping
No more suffering
No more dis-ease
No more make-up and mask

(hush)…It’s all over now. (hush) It’s all over now..
It’s all over now

The hiding..(it’s all over)
The closed mouth and tight lip..
The clogged ears and numbness..
The silence and the unnatural responses..(it’s all over, now)

Degradation, Spiritual rape, fake smiles, depression, feelings of inferiority, muffled screams..
(It’s all over)

No more doubts and delusions
No more false hopes and lies

All the tragedy..it’s gone.

I have learned and grown. I have experienced all of what I must. I am in control..

Head held High..Bright and illuminated..glowing and gleaming.
With fist clutched and firm stance..Upright and fearless..I SHOUT..NO MORE! NO MORE!
Facing my enemy and all evils..NO MORE! NO MORE! and NEVER AGAIN!


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~ Risha’s Story~ “AND AIN’T I AN AMERICAN?”

The Girl with the flag.


Her-Story Badge

I Survived (Discrimination and Racism!) Her-Story Challenged!

“Dedicated to Maria Elena Ramirez and Sojourner Truth”


All of my life, I’ve been told, “You speak good English” or asked, “What country are you from?” Sometimes I think, “Not again, with the questions.”

In fancy neighborhoods, sometimes security guards follow me in stores or search my bags before I leave.

I want to tell them, “My ancestors worked hard to build the railroads here, back in the 1800’s.” And ain’t I an American?

My Asian American family has lived in the USA for generations. I’m no foreigner. I’m an AMERICAN.

Listen…my speech has no Asian accent. On the phone, some folks think I’m white, like them. When I show up at their office for the first time, they look behind me, searching for some invisible, white woman. It’s a trip.

And ain’t I an American? REAL Americans come in all colors.

But Asian Americans are invisible here. We are perpetual foreigners in our birthland, trying to stay afloat in a sea of ignorance. We answer questions all of our lives like, “What country are you REALLY from?”

Hey, I grew up with Santana, Clapton, Motown and the Jeffersons. And like you, my family has always celebrated Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Some say my family has been here longer than theirs — yet our children are still called ‘Chink’ or ‘Jap’ in American school yards or told to “Go back to China (or Japan).” Latinos or Mexican Americans are told to go back to Mexico. African Americans are told to go back to Africa. Muslim Americans are told to go back home. But this IS our home.

I was born in the USA. But as a kid, I was asked in a new school, if I knew the Pledge of Allegiance. This question politicized me. And ain’t I an AMERICAN?

We belong here. There ain’t no place for us to go back to. This is it! America is home. We are Americans, just like you. We all were immigrants once (except for the Natives).

And ain’t I an American? Read a history book. My ancestors panned for gold and helped to build the Transcontinental Railroad — blasting dynamite through huge, granite mountains. Dying in droves here. Others were run out of town, once the jobs dried up.

We need some of you to get it. Now…  And we’re waiting for the day when you’ll look at us and see us as REAL Americans, not as foreigners. We’ve been waiting for generations.

And ain’t I an American? Don’t make me break out my southern drawl, y’all.

© 2012, Risha. All rights reserved.

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