A: Grief. So, when my mother passed, I went through a very dark time. But by the graces of God, I was able to... Climb out of a very dangerous place and come out better than before. Period.
A: What have I survived? I have survived um... Poverty. I have survived racial discrimination. I have survived love-hurt. I have survived difficult situations. Um, I have survived... I guess, a thing I'm surviving myself right now is my battle within myself. That's what I'm surviving right now.
A: Oh, what have I survived... I would say in the past, fear. I've survived, well... I made some decisions that other people may call 'not logical'. But I made them for a purpose. And even though I put myself in situations where... well, actually I'm kind of still in a situation where I don't have all my needs met, you know? [...] Sometimes I was kind of worried about what I was going through or what I was doing and I was like, man... Am I gonna like, make it through this? [...] I would say I have survived the consequences of my own decisions.
A: Hmm, that's a good question, actually. It is a good question. Uhhh, I've survived living in the ghetto my whole life. Hmm...
A: Uh. That's a really good question. What have I survived? Uh. I survived a couple things. Moving to California. Uh, battling heroine. Battling boredom. Boredom's a lot to deal with, but since I've been hanging out with these guys, we get bored together and it's not as bad. What have I survived? Trying to play the ukulele. Getting out of a small town. I'm still trying to survive like, talking to people. I'm kind of antisocial.
A: I've survived a lot of things. The first honest answer that has really come to my mind is rape. I've survived rape.
A: Parenting, girl. Cold hustle.
A: I have survived heartbreak. And it's not heartbreak in a relationship sense. It's heartbreak that I've experienced with my parents. I've recently lost both of my parents within a year apart and it has broken my heart in pieces because it was unexpected. Because it was hard, it was a harsh reality that I had to experience way before I planned. And I know that it will continue to be hard, but day by day I have to pick up my heart pieces.
[Editor's Cut] A: Molestation. Domestic violence.
I began asking this question in Oakland, CA forgetting that at some point I'd need to answer my own question. To be honest, I was going to omit my answer or just keep postponing this project, but I was inspired by too many people who have let me, a stranger, in and of course, I knew that not doing this would defeat the very purpose of thathonestything. This is the most vulnerable I can probably be. I know I'm not to be ashamed, but our culture shames people and labels people and pities people and makes up stories about people who parallel similar truths to mine. That's where the want to keep these things hidden comes from. But it's not my job to hide or carry the burden of what was done to me. Bearing it was enough. These few chapters in my life cannot tarnish my entire book. We all go through things, but we can (with love and guidance 👆🏿) use our strength to overpower what has once made us feel powerless.
Many thanks to everyone who participated-- hella love.