For those who feel too much

and other stories.

March 1

I’m a writer. If there’s anything i’ve consistently done in my life for at least ten years, it’s reading, and writing. But I haven’t completed a novel I started in about 4 years. Four years ago my sisters and I left a fellowship we’d been part of for, collectively, over 10 years. It was hard. but the environment was toxic. I have some posts about it.

I’ve tried to maintain writing. Writing is my hammer. It’s been my voice. I can see my growth through the stories i’ve written over the years. The nights I spent completing works of fiction, however cringey. I didn’t even know it was a thing. I just did it, and it felt right. It was easy. I never had to think about it. When I was thirteen, my sister would come home from school, and she would tell us about her friends and what her day had been like. I started writing a series of children’s books with her and her friends as the main characters and I would illustrate them. When I was 12, I would draw comic books based on my classmates at school. I did the same in grade 9, with my friend at the time. I have been a storyteller,in some form or another. I think I only realised it was a thing when my English teacher in grade ten made a big deal about my ability to write well. I grew up reading, I spent all my breaks in the library in primary school. I would read one book, and take it back to get a new one at second break. I would finish our prescribed books the day we got them. I loved reading, and I think that developed my imagination to a place that wanted to make those books a reality. In my own words.

I mention the church thing, because it was trauma. It stole something, from me, from us. It was an assault. It was an attack on my identity. It had been. Leaving and staying were both hard. It was performing, but not being seen. It was trying to not be too much, but not enough. It was wondering if our blackness was getting in the way? It was wondering if there was room for us, as three young black women. It was seeing the difference between the ways in which we were treated, and the ways others were treated, and knowing that there was nothing we could do to change it. It was trying to get involved in “the life of the church,” only to be told somewhere down the line, that actually, you’re not really wanted here. it was that. it was the straw that broke the camel’s back. we left. i have no regrets.

Later, after the emotions had died down, my sisters and I would have conversations about who we were. Now that we were no longer part of that fellowship, what happened to our gifts? I was not the only one struggling to write. I was not the only one struggling to hear God. It was easier in the church setting. It was hard, but it was easier than floundering in this space.

The journey has not been an easy one. We were already on a journey of questioning what christianity and churchianity really was to us. Questioning who Jesus is. Who he’s been. I’m still questioning. But what I can say, is he’s not in exclusivity. He’s found in community. In friendships, in the margins, on the fray. I think I have been on the fray all my life. It does not make me better or worse than those in the ‘in crowd’ but I’m glad he can be found here. I’m glad he finds me here, when I feel like I am not like other people.

I am still finding myself. Still choosing me. Still finding out what it means to choose me and show up for me. Today I decided that I would write again. Because that’s what I know how to do. It’s what i love. I’m out of practise, terribly so. But i know what lights my fire. and this does. Little by little, I am reclaiming my gifts, my identity. I am reclaiming me in all my glory.


“Our definition of perfect was written when you were born.”

 It Was Love.

it was love. i know you know that. 




This month marks the fourth year since my sisters and I left churchianity. It’s been four whole years, and I think I thought I was over it. But maybe I’m not. I think there are parts of me that still carry resentment, about the way we were treated. The way we were outsiders for much of our time there. I won’t deny that God in his goodness certainly worked it out for our good, because we made some good friends. Although I remember my mother would tell us, ‘hey guys, I think you should leave,’ and we probably should have listened. But we stuck it out. We were like let’s give this another chance. I say ‘we’ even though we didn’t all agree at the time, but when we left, we left together, and we were in agreement that it was time.

It was a painful experience. I was there for eight years, my older sister more, my younger sisters less. It was a lesson in acceptance, and self-worth. A battle to be accepted by your peers, but even after everything, they still don’t accept you. I’ve come to realise now, that as a person, I am not for everyone. And I am fine with that. But learning it was a traumatic experience, and it has made me so leery of some people in the church. I remember going to this girl’s Facebook page, only to find that she had unfriended me, and my sisters. She was one of the elder’s kids, so from that we knew that the story had probably made its rounds in the leadership, and she was my sister’s classmate. She was more of an acquaintance to me, but I remember thinking, how come you get to unfriend me? As if you were the one suffering at the hand of cliquishness and churchianity? Why do you get to unfriend me, as if I am in the wrong? It made no sense to me. Unfriending people is something very serious in my world, I don’t take it lightly. I still haven’t unfriended these guys to be honest. And I don’t know why. Maybe healing starts with that. Maybe healing and moving on starts with actually just removing them completely from my life. Part of me says that, but part of me is also like, but we were in each others’ lives for a long time. We grew up together. You can’t just throw that away.

Maybe I’m just sentimental. Because it turns out, that you can.

This is the first post in a series. We’ll see how it goes.

On depression and Chester Bennington.

This morning I woke up to the news that the lead vocalist of Linkin Park, Chester Bennington had passed away. It put me in a pensive state so here I am writing about it. I wouldn’t say Linkin Park was one of those bands that had an earth-shattering impact on my teenage years but they had songs that spoke my emotions in a way I felt I couldn’t. 

When I was 17 I dealt with depression. I remember singing along to ‘Numb’ and ‘The End’ as well as ‘Breaking the Habit’ and ‘What I’ve Done’ when these singles were released. I could relate to these songs and I would belt them out at the top of my lungs. And cry. Because I felt so much. And while the situations in the songs may have been different to mine, they helped. I’d felt that way, people being disappointed in me, hell, I was disappointed in me. The need for escape, the overwhelming desire to start over. Those years were full of that. Depression is something that creeps up on you, back then I didn’t even know it had a name. I just knew that I wasn’t okay and some days I didn’t want to be alive. Music helped in those days. Writing helped. I never spoke to anyone about it and my sisters thought something had happened to me, because I was just so angry. 

I think of someone like Chester Bennington and I wonder what drove him to a point where he felt like he couldn’t go on. Where the lies that this was the best solution became the truth and he couldn’t see a way out. The articles say he had a lot of friends. I wonder if they could tell. If they talked. But I also know that talking isn’t easy because sometimes you don’t even know what you’re feeling. And the last thing you feel like doing is talking.

For me I think my turnaround started when I took a To Write Love On Her Arms survey and I was able to get out of my head and process my emotions. I wonder if he ever had that. Or maybe the depression came in waves of drowning and gasping for air. Maybe he felt alone. I don’t know what he was feeling but i guess it feels close to home because this can happen to anyone. 

For anyone dealing with the overwhelming feelings that depression brings, i hope you know you’re not alone. I hope you know that there are people,  willing to listen and work through everything you’re feeling. I hope you have an outlet. And i hope you don’t believe the lies that say you can’t make it out alive. May Life and light always find you. May you always choose it.

 Please, Choose life beloveds.

To Chester, may angels lead you in.

After all this time.

“She’s loving him still. After all this time.”

my bravest self 

I am super brave. I moved halfway across the world to study in a country where English isn’t the main country spoken. I work and study. And i am responsible. 

But the last year has taught me that there have been some deep-seated issues surrounding relationships and my relationships with boys in particular. I met someone. And i didn’t know what to do about it. He also would end up leaving to go back to the US at some point which i didn’t know at the time. I realised that my encounters with boys in the past had taught me to be afraid of reactions. Or non-reactions. They’d taught me to blame myself  because maybe I’d been too much. Maybe I’m a lot to deal with. Too outspoken,  too opinionated,  a firecracker, a firestarter. Too much woman. I’d internalised these things and I swore I wouldn’t be that this time. 

But that was acting out of fear. Which is something I never want to do. So I had to work through those issues. Why do i feel this way? Who told me i was too much? 

I would write a letter to this person and second-guess myself because, what if i was being too much? 

My sister said something she’d picked up from watching an Oprah life class, and she shared it with me. It was one of the most freeing things I’d heard in a long time and it moved me to act.

What would your bravest self do? What would your strongest self do?”

My bravest self acts without fear. And always expects good. My bravest and strongest self is confident in who she is.

I think that sometimes we allow the past to dictate our present and then our future. We think that because it was that way in the past, it will be that way in the future. As though out default setting is that fearful behaviour. As if we are condemned to repeat our mistakes over and over again. As someone who thinks a lot, I tend to replay moments and condemn myself for them. But I’m learning. Maybe we were immature back then,  fine, but let’s forgive ourselves and let it go. Don’t letthe past impede on the hope and good you can expect from the future. Don’t let your past self keep you from being your best self today.

Today, I am being intentional about being my bravest self. 

I hope you are too.

“your love is more than worth it’s weight in gold.”

this song.

Future tense.

 I met someone who made me believe that a different narrative was possible. That a truly incredible love story is possible. That I’m not condemned to the past and my mistakes or questionable actions and decisions. We didn’t get to talk much or even hang out even though i asked him out for coffee- something i have never done with someone I’m not friends with- but he means something to me. I’m grateful for the experience, although I’m caught in my feelings. I thought of him in the future tense. I saw him in my life. I considered what it would be like for him to meet my family,  my brother, my sisters. My mother. My father. Would he want to learn my mother tongue? Would he move back with me? 

Funnily enough I don’t even know him well. And he never gave me any clear indication that he was interested in me. But I’m an empath. I feel deeply. Keenly. And with him I felt hope. And I believed again. 

Even if it comes to nothing,

I know i won’t forget him quickly. 

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