Still Small Voice

If you’re real then where are you?

And if you’re real, then how could you?

Why do you abondon us, leave us in the hands of our mental warfare, it’s unjust of you and I don’t think I can trust you

I remember falling face down before you…all I wanted was to adore you, but you said yourself it wasn’t enough and now I don’t think I can trust you

I made myself open the blinds, unlocked the door then stepped outside and all I found was me

Yes, all I found was me

I broke the rocks, called upon the wind, fell to my knees from the earth quaking, I built a fire inside a cave, but you never spoke my name, I sat and listened anyway

Then in the silence I heard someone speak, it was a still small voice and the voice was me

This shit used to mean something  But Elijah it was your voice, baby

Fall to my knees scared to try to breathe. My own voice was foreign to me

If you’re real, where are you?

And if you’re real, how could you?

You leave us in these dark places  it’s chemical warfare behind the  Traces of lines on my many faces

And I don’t think I can trust you

Written by: Stacy Johnson 7-4-19, cycle day 9 Mother/maiden

You Feel Me? Rambling Prose, maybe Rhyme…IDK IDK

Steph—-you will be the only one who grasps each line

When we were little girls we used to sing about sipping cider, now we sip our coffee before the sun

We don’t talk about what’s to come, we talk about the past. Reminiscing on our lessons, on the things that we’ve done

We laugh and we have answers—-but then, we were little girls whose dreams were lost in the patriarchy

We ponder aloud, “Who could we have been? Where could we be?” Because no matter how hard we love, this shit is still bitter tasting

“Did I ever belong to me?” I ask. She says, “No, we never did and oh my God- I was so fucking stupid.”

Don’t say that. Don’t say that; It wasn’t our choice that the system degraded us to nothingness

The only goal then was marry someone and have some children…

On our own, we held no worth

But my beautiful sister, we know now—-we know, we know, we know

We know so deeply its reshaped our bones

You know its not just keeping tabs, its using what we have, to seal up the wounds in the gaps where it stabs

That, or bleed out, bleed out—- I think they’d  rather the latter than to simply sit down and ask, “What’s the matter?”

“Oh the places you’ll go and the places you’ll see,” I grew up on that shit but its forsaken me

False promises, Seuss. Don’t say that to little girls, it causes them to dream while their under the roof, or glass ceiling really

But——We are who we needed; We are who we needed. And, We have all we need, behind our eye-lids

We let Silence do it’s work and then for our kids—-we sit with it, no teaching-no preaching—just being

Can’t wake the dead with a kiss, maybe we can rouse them with our metaphorical fists

Cause I’m not ever going to stop blasting this shit, if I ever do might as well slit my wrists—-but only with a butter knife 

So as not to cut too deep, I’m not letting go of this world, I don’t need it- but it needs me

I’m rambling on at this point because my coffee is getting cold, and as the warmth leaves my cup, my ideas start to fold

So now its time for me to sit here and think, of all the things that mean nothing and are everything to me

Rambled and Written by: Stacy Johnson (Day 2 Crone, 6-26-19)

The Work of Clouds

I saw a cloud of splendor,
it was floating on a breeze.
I thought of its good fortune,
without a single aim to please.

It was just as it is,
no desire, expectation, or lean,
An elemental compound 
without a recollection of me.

I stood in awe of its color,
the blue, the gray, the green,
and as I looked upon it,
my pain within began to scream.

Oh, to be that cloud,
out of every person‘s reach.
Just suspended in forward motion
without the slightest thought of needs.

Then  I watched that cloud spill over
from fluff to angry beast, 
and in a few short moments 
the cloud shed tears as my reprieve.

Perhaps it was looking down
and saw a girl with a cloud all her own.
Then decided to rinse the gray from her, 
to strip her down to her gloom-soaked bones. 

Maybe the clouds can only 
make room for so much gray,
and after that they must unleash
for we both can’t stay that way.

So the cloud gave way to falling,
did the work of its heaviness.
And upon the on-looker below,
a cleansing downpour of tenderness.

I stood with heart wide open,
receiving what was nature’s drenching gift.
And with every drop that rolled off me,
my gray turned from its bitterness.

Fading from the atmosphere,
the cloud drifted to nothingness.
I whispered, “Someday, not just yet,
I’ll join you,
in the place where we don’t exist.”

By: Stacy Johnson, 4-28-19





Anxiety

One of the struggles I face most after leaving the Christian faith is an inability to quiet my mind’s desire to unhinge the religion. I so wish to pick each and every part out that damaged me, and announce to the world-how we can fix it, I so badly want to SCREAM, “You have google at your fingertips, Christian people—— research the shit out of this——you are DAMAGING your thinking children, and you won’t know it til it’s too late!”

Imagine one of those billboards that stream their message flashing from left to right. That is precisely what my thoughts look like running through my mind. And what’s strange is that I’m up and about, going and doing, but ALWAYS in these two places. My head is invested in whatever my hands are doing, but the flashing billboard is zipping by, sometimes slow, but usually fast. When it’s rapid firing, I notice that I’m tense, my jaw is clenched, and I have to force myself to loosen up. So much of this is based on the fact that my subconscious is hurting and angry. The systems at work inside Christianity are so degrading and I was raised in them from birth. I torment myself at times by mentally listing the ways it warped me, here are a few things I believed and in the parentheses is the reality:

You are worthy of hell,  (but there’s not one)

Your natural state is sinful, (I’m actually innately good)

You must ask forgiveness for Every Sin, (harm no one and there is no sin)

Women caused the fall of man,  (Patriarchal folktale)

Women are weaker minded, (FALSE)

Women need leadership, (FALSE)

Women must submit, (FALSE)

Women can’t teach men- only children, (laughably false)

Your body isn’t yours-it’s your dad or husband’s, it’s a temple, (She is fully mine)

You can’t trust yourself, (Always Always trust yourself)

You can’t trust your questions, (ask and research EVERY question for yourself)

Women have roles in the home that men shouldn’t, (Patriarchal BS)

You must not divorce unless there is an affair or physical abuse—-but really you should stay to work it out… (Get out the moment you realize they aren’t who you thought they were.)

Besides the basic false teachings of the church, the folktales that were told to me as fact, as God’s word, that I’ve had to research and tear down the walls of, I’ve also got these corrupt brain hi-jackers, that were embedded in me, that aren’t as easy to silence as a mythical Bible story. I know they aren’t true—-but I believed with my whole heart every bit of it, and that means for most of my life, I believed I was not good. I was a child, believing that I was innately in my core, bad. That is some tough shit to recover from. So the flashing lights stream on, playing over and over. This is simply me trying to pinpoint where the pain is coming from, me trying to undo the abusive talk of a subconscious that was herself, abused.. Sometimes I just wonder who I could’ve been had these systems not been at play. I mourn and lament for her…

Dear Patriarchy

Dear Patriarchy,

I was placed into your grasp as a little girl. I ate the crumbs from your gnarled and mangled hands. I watched you work the system and create a breed of subservient little female beings. You chewed us up and spit us out and told us our purpose was to simply be present to help You. You needed our fertility, open our legs for your pleasure and your cum. Carry your babies so you don’t fade away into oblivion. We sit here now foaming at the mouth ready to rip your fucking throats out, and you tell us to smile, keep quiet, be a lady. Meanwhile, you’re lusting for the blossoms in the church pew, with your pious and godly wife sitting right there beside you. But she doesn’t know how to be the Slut you need. The Sacred Whore within, she’s never unleashed. You did that to her. You, Patriarchy! You told her to be good, but with everything you are, you like em bad. So so bad. You told us to be honest, but you’ve got your secrets. You snicker, and you smile, and you keep things under the table. Your army, your squad, your “good ol boys”—- they uphold you as the Man among men, and while your wife may be fooled cause she’s a product of her raising, just know-your daughter won’t bow down to ANY SYSTEM that’s degrading, she’s not just the winds of change-she’s a fucking tornado. She is tearing this shit down and you don’t know what to do. You hang on to your faith cause it ALWAYS WORKS FOR YOU. Cling to your traditions, the empire built by men for men, but your daughter yells, “No!” She’s watched and she’s listened to every command made on her mother and her sisters, she’s thirsty for the blood of every person whose ever said, “A woman’s place is in the kitchen.” She is harsh and bold and she is ready to hurt your feelings. She yells, “Fuck you and fuck your religion! You pieces of shit-stealing the minds of the innocent, and they can’t even think critically enough to harbor resentment.” Your daughters are coming for you, Patriarchy, are you shaking in your work boots? We are coming for you, right after we untie your shoes.

Written by: Stacy Johnson

Glorious Girl, a poem

So you’re turning 14

That’s a big number to mommy

You’re turning 14

I didn’t know it’d be this hard on me

See, when I was 14, I let my divinity go…

I cut my beautiful hair, I traded in lion king panties for lacy underwear

I went from having never been kissed to loving someone deeply, and being completely dismissed

At 14, my first heartbreak left me different but not totally broken

with threads of insecurity, my heart was stitched up but gaps were still open

At 14, I watched on confused as the light of innocence left me

Hell was coming, no matter how hard I prayed, no matter how much they preached grace, I still knew my place

After every sin, I knew I’d need to repent again,

and so this game of guilt and shame was one I could not win

At 14, I understood fear to be the driving force, behind every single of one my life’s choices

It wasn’t about following my heart, it wasn’t about using my smarts, I’d only be okay if I learned early to play it safe, stay inside the boundaries so I’d be covered by grace

At 14, deep longings for more, resounded in my spirit, but because of indoctrination the flow of life couldn’t heal it. My divinity whispered for me to draw near, but I simply could not hear it.

See, I didn’t know I was still perfectly precious, I didn’t know I was still totally infectious, Being a sinner is what I let define me, not the amazing woman who was hiding inside me

So, Baby girl I just have to share, you carry a warrior’s glare and you have a mighty stare,

Your wear your armor daily with your strands of gold and copper hair

YOU know your truth and with YOUR hands you build your empire, and don’t forget like a dragoness, my girl you can breathe fire,

Your veins hold the pulsing of women

who fought so hard to be here, hold up your hands and cup their courage should you ever find yourself in need, dear

You have fierce wisdom of Athena

And great beauty of Aphrodite

Put them together and channel that strength, it’s beyond almighty

In your mind you carry the intuition of Dione and you hold wilderness of Artemis, listen to the call from within, she won’t leave you mistaken

Baby girl, at 14, you can begin to manifest your dreams, you can leave people behind if they don’t align, don’t feel guilty and deep down just know, that’s how you grow

And don’t you for one second think a mess-up is reflective of who you are, when wounded be proud of your scars, and deep down in the marrow of your bones, know your beauty, your truth, and your worth.

And baby girl at 14, when insecurity creeps in, acknowledge her presence but don’t let her win, make her an acquaintance but not a close friend,

Remember you earned your place on this earth, you get to be here for this moment in time, and though you’re only 14, you’re able to see, that this in itself is truly divine

When mommy set out to write this for you, I let my mind go back in time, I don’t know why but I started to cry and so I stayed there for awhile.

That girl was beautiful with a heart of gold and smile she could not hide, but oh the sadness, such sadness were hiding in those green eyes.

I saw the Universe in those eyes, and I heard a whisper in the wind, you, JUST you, you are enough, so I let that voice rage from within,

I placed my arm around that girl sitting to my side, I said- chin up sister, it’s a matter of time, you’re gonna be just fine,

I gave her a hug and left her there

because 14 year old me, could not see it, much less try to live out and be it…

My baby girl now, I’m calling you out, I see your glory, your beauty, your grandeur….and at 14, if there’s only one thing you let engulf you and fill you up, please let it be that warrior raging within, “I KNOW I AM more than enough.”

Written by-Stacy Johnson, April 13, 2018

I wrote this last year on the eve of my daughter’s 14th birthday. I needed to channel the energy I was feeling into something positive, as 14 was a tricky year for me…

MY GLORIOUS GIRL:

******Today, I watched that 14 year old, stand before 150 high school band students and play a solo. A 3 minute piece that captured the magical essence that is my daughter. You see, my girl had only picked up a saxophone 9 months ago. Her teacher didn’t believe her when she told him she’d be first chair by Christmas, but SHE believed in herself, and that’s all she’ll ever need. She is not only first chair, but was was chosen to do that solo, I couldn’t have been prouder to watch her play up there. I witnessed the anxiety ridden tears throughout the week, but SHE GOT UP THERE AND NAILED IT. She cupped that courage and it paid off. I cried. And I’m giddy. She’s brave.

Thank you to:

My sister over at The Irresponsible Blogger, she reminded me that today was International Women’s Day and this poem goes right along with celebrating women, healing women, and empowerment of women. Thank you for reading, Friends!

My BEST GIRLS and Me (plus one sleeping lil guy):

Alone With My Thoughts

Thoughts, how dangerous, how absolutely dangerous.

How beautiful they once were.

I recall a time in the not so distant past where things were different in my head, before leaving faith, before realizing that “submitting” was actually me agreeing to be silenced, before waking up to the abusive tactics patriarchy implores-and calls this God.

Back then, in the “before” period of my life, for every negative self-talk, there was a dozen scriptures-racing to take the place of the daggers inflicted by that of the “devil.”

I needed the devil. I could blame him for putting such awful images in my brain about myself. 

But I needed God even more. I needed a savior outside myself to come in and “make me new.” I needed God to swoop down, ya know, cause that’s what the God of the Christians says  He’ll do, He’ll swoop down and meet you where you are—He is, the only God who does this—— 

I needed that God to rescue me from myself.

I had after all, been taught that my own thoughts, my own will, my own nature was inherently and irrevocably dangerous, not to be trusted. Not even to do the work of asking questions…

From the earliest of days, being told that hell awaits those who reject God, was terrifying, everything was a rejection of God. Eating too much, reading for pleasure when I should be reading the Bible, secular music was a gateway to humanism, television watching would corrupt your purity,  spending money was an idol, high-lighting my hair-vanity… it never ended,  until I eventually took everything about myself away. I lived this out for years in an attempt to bring God all the glory. 

Every fucking thing I could do, could be a way to reject God, and I couldn’t chance it.

So, I denied myself every possible avenue of joy in my life minus mothering. 

Then……Silence. Disappearing into nothingness. 

When I first realized this way of life had led me into a severe depression, Friends would ask, “well, what’s your favorite music?” 

Me: I do not know.

“What shows do you enjoy?” 

Me: I don’t.

“What is your hobby?” 

Me: I don’t have any.

Folks, I kid you not, religion stole Me from Me. 

The Dark Night of the Soul led me to the blatant realization that not “being of the world,” means you are VERY LONELY within. Cutting myself out of the culture of our time, left me in a state of adolescent adulthood. 

Denying myself time and time again. Over and over, in every circumstance because Jesus was self-sacrificing, did baaaaaad things to me. I had no identity beyond wife and mother. 

Typing that, my stomach turns, because that is supposed to be enough—-I should be filled with praise, and here I sit, alone with these thoughts, telling me that because it is not enough, I am bad-so bad.

But isn’t that the pattern of what religion does to us. It tells you to do something/be something, something you can’t, you realize you can’t and you ask for a savior, when that isn’t enough, there you sit—- “I’m naturally bad.” The only difference is, for the believer, they think God cleanses the bad away. But for those of us who don’t believe, WE must do the work to remove the “I am bad,” sense of self, and this is not easy.

I don’t know how to do that. 

Instead I sit with the pattern of self-defeat regularly. How badly, I want MY TWO HANDS, My brain, to figure out how to LOVE MYSELF. But being told you’re a sinner from childhood on, well-its damaged me. There are other relationships that have damaged me along the way, but because I struggle to love myself, I allow them. 

I HOPE to find a way to mend the pieces of me. If you are a recovering former believer, what have you done to help you LOVE YOURSELF? Or, if depression is a battle you’ve faced, what helps you most? 

Thanks for stopping by, friends…