(spoken over Erykah Badu's bag lady instrumental)

I want to take you back with me to a place
About 5 years ago, and hopefully you can flow with me
And maybe you might even be able to feel me like
it's you or someone you love
But I hope that I don't take you too far down
that you can't come back up with me.

Healing is funny because it never ends.
We are all healing from something traumatic.
Because we all know that "this world is so traumatic."
And healing is funny because sometimes when
Your deepest pits of despair you don't even know
How much work you've already done.
And healing is funny because it never stops happening.
I'm doing it right now, and I've made a commitment
to continue to work on my healing.
I continue to work on it after I walk out this door tonight,
Through the next door that opens a new part of my path
And the many doors that I'm sure to have to walk through
In the years to come...
Cuz I decided soon after all that shit went down, that I deserved to live, and I had so much love left to give and they can try to take take take away my soul but they can't cuz I will survive, live to give, live to heal yes I will, yes I have.

* * * * * * *

There is a pride I feel for how far I've traveled
There is a warmth and a smile when I think about my struggle
Because at the time it seemed like it would never end,
That I would never again be normal
And that this was not the first time, and this was not
The last time that fucking me,
touching me, stalking me, wanting to
fuck me without my consent, without my full understanding of what I was really getting into was something that was just going to be a part of growing,
a part of learning shit the hard way, learning the hard truth about being born a female in this world.
"Boys will be boys", and girls will get fucked.

I remember an anxiety attack over the Alhambra delivery man. Him taking up half of the elevator with his masculinity and his tall stack of 5 gallon water jugs on a steel framed dolly. I actually thought that he would somehow notice that I just left my counselor's office, and he would harass and taunt me once he read the invoice for the "rape trauma center". (breathless)

I remember the cars I crashed, the cars I nearly crashed, endless nights of anger, tears and confusion erupting unexpectedly, apologizing to my friends when I freaked out again. Another night when they would have to escort my messy ass out of the club after I'd just snapped at another "straight guy." (frantic emotion)
I remember believing heterosexual men were the downfall of the world. I remember believing the fate of all men was to rape and the fate of all women was to be raped. I remember thinking not "if I get raped again" but rather, "when I get raped again." I remember my dreams of a lesbian universe with me, my future wife and my future daughter taking over the world and fucking all men by not fucking them at all. I remember thinking that if my child were to be born a boy I would throw it in the well just like they did in the old days to girls in China.

(uplifting house beat)
But even at this very moment, I can close my eyes and think about a time almost 4 years ago. It was New Year's Day 2000, and I was flying high on chemical ecstasy. and you might tell me it was just the pills but I swear to you it really me feeling a feeling so real I can still remember it to this day. For the very first time there was a light at the end of the tunnel and for the first time that morning I could see it shine, feel it and almost taste it. It was like a rainbow embracing my soul longing to be freed of all this pain. I remember tears flowing and flowing for the first time not out of anguish but of happiness and of joy because I wanted so badly for my fucking healing to happen, but just realized that it had been all along.

I bet you love will make it better.
Need someone to love you right."
And though I sang along and bobbed my head as I drove, I knew that I had long given up on the idea that real love was even possible.

But love
was what I needed so very badly
Because attempting any healing
while filled with loneliness and despair
Is probably the most difficult thing you can try to do to yourself.
And we don't mean to do it to ourselves but sometimes we can
Do a great job in making things harder just because
Some idiot kept saying that the key to survival was to
"be a man and suck it up." And all the so called real men,
and me and the rest of the tough girls
learn this one too and we've coined this notion "strength" and
we are too ashamed to cry real tears of our need for love and healing
so instead we cry out in
prejudice, hate, assumption, distance, payback,
retribution, pre-emptive strike
forever perpetuating the cycle of misunderstanding and violence.




in peace

and heal each other




















So I tried to take back the night by chasing his power, making it my own power, fucking never loving, detatching, dissing, dismissing, and rediscovering my stolen boundaries through commodifying power
disregarding, dehumanizing and objectifying them for once,

"Just take out your fucking tool and let's do this.

This is what you want and it's the only thing you're good for

don't try to talk about love like you're really interested or even capable,
just make me cum"
(out on top), or so I thought it could be that easy, and it was for a while

Until one day, love crashed into my picture
And he flipped my theory on men on it's back for
For the very first time.
He said,"I bet you love will make it better.
Need someone to love you right."
And I said,"fuck you. I don't need shit but sex
From men because that's all they ever took from me,
Their heads, their dicks are filled with nothing
but rape, hate, and wars.

And I remember listening to him crying in my arms
As he told me about having his arms being tied up
Behind him with duct tape
While his adult brother in law pounded his innocent boyhood
Until it bled
he told me about having his arms being tied up
Behind him with duct tape
While his adult brother in law pounded his innocent boyhood
To his own selfish satisfaction, condemning him to a life of
rage, confusion, addiction and destruction of self and others.

He spent too much time as a prisoner of pain,

He spent too much time as a prisoner of denial.

One day he pointed a gun at someone

hoping to reclaim the power he long ago lost

and he soon spent too much time as a prisoner

in these institutions America calls "correctional facilities"

It took all of this drama to make me see

he and his kind were no longer the enemy,
But a reflection of me and who I could be if
I let this rage and pain consume the best of me.

And though our love didn't last as long as my struggle
I learned a new theory about love and men that I take with me
that has forever changed and shaped me as much as my rapes have
And if you wonder why I don't hate anymore
And if you think I'm a sell out of if you think that I'm
Too idealistic
Remember I, too, have come from a place where
Anger and rage was law and payback was a motherfucker.
But this new place where love is law is a place
That I want to and am now able to rest my head
with my true love whenever she or he comes along.

These days I rejoice in lifting up the baby boy spirit of my 2 year old nephew, doing what he knows how to do best: cracking up laughing and running around
One of the main purposes of my life is to make his fate everything other than what I once believed would happen inevitably
to all men or all boys when I was deep in my trauma.

His fate is none other than to love and be loved

He will grow up to be the nice guy that WILL come in first, because

he WILL respect without being told, he WILL ask and not take first, he will find safety in knowing someone else feels safe-
If his auntie could only ensure the absorption of these basic things,

If I could somehow transfer the wisdom from all my pain into the growing of my nephew and the next generation, then maybe we could be that much closer to

sleeping in peace and healing each other
And loving each other
Without fearing each other
Without hurting and destroying each other
We shall sleep a lot better
without guns tucked under our pillows
We sleep in peace and heal each other.