I'm Gonna Help My Sister FLY
One day I was sitting down thinking about the impact of domestic abuse, the residual trauma that resides in the body and how the PTSD invades peoples daily experience.
"High Functioning and Domestically Abuse" is a saying that I came up with when I was thinking about my experience of domestic abuse and how I did not fit the archetype of what a domestically abused woman is supposed to look like when I initially tried to seek support with my situation.
In one instance, I was using a trauma-informed service and a support worker wanted me to be a part of their peer mentor programme because it was said that I was very inspiring and I could help other women feel empowered as they worked through their situations. The support worker proceeded to put measures in place only to return with news that I could no longer be a peer mentor because I did not have any criminal convictions, have recreational drug use issues, nor were my children allocated a social worker. I was dumbstruck. The bureaucratic red tape had found its way into the Domestic Abuse (DA) advocacy world.
As time went one, I was constantly met with puzzled looks from support workers, and family and friend insinuating if I was sure I had experienced abuse because I look so well and seem to be just getting on with things. Someone even remarked "You are very high functioning considering". It then got me thinking that I am what is considered a high functioning individual and .., who's face
value representation suggested that all was well but in the inner parts had been gravely wounded. I then began speaking more openly about my experience and I find that many women particularly women racialised as Black Afro Caribbean and Black African could relate and were facing this misrepresentation and that is how the poem I'm Gonna Help My Sister Rise came about:
I'M GONNA HELP MY SISTERS FLY
Oh Sister Girl, oh Sister friend, I know you feel like your pain won’t end.
You be trying to fly wherever you go, but underneath it all is a story that is not being told.
High Functioning and domestically abuse, a domestic violence perspective that it is rarely seen on the news.
Lookin’ oh so fly wherever you goes but underneath it all is a story that’s needs to be told.
She could be your mother or your grandma too, the nice lady at the bank who is always smiling when she greets you.
She could be your child’s teacher or even the daughter of the preacher.
She could be all fine in the billionaire’s club, or one of our sisters on her knees daily having to scrub.
She could be our CEO getting her S#@t done, but at the end of the day, all she ever feels is numb.
But I am here to tell you that she, YOU can get through because everything She needs already resides in you.
So, the next time you hear your intuition speak to ya, listen keenly because it's your intuition tryin to reach yeah saying:
“I’m gonna see my sister fly, coz I‘m gonna help my sister to rise.
“I’m gonna see my sister fly, coz I’m gonna help my sister to rise.
Your Sister may not look like you, she may not look like me
But we sisters are all united in the truth to our stories
So, let’s do as the an-Sisters are tryin’ to teach us and stretch out your hand so your sister can reach ya and say:
I’m gonna see my sister fly, coz I’m gonna help my sister rise
I’m gonna see my sister fly, coz I’m gonna help my sister to rise.
When you look in the mirror, I want you to see,
That no matter why they say or what they do you are the beauty of you’re an-Sisters wildest dream
So, let’s do them oh so proud and stand together and say it out loud:
I’m gonna see my sister fly, coz I‘m gonna help my sister to rise
I’m gonna see my sister fly, coz I’m gonna help my sister to rise
High Functioning and no longer abused, this is why we march, stand and talk so we can change the narrative in the news
And Yes, we are going to fly wherever we go, because now the truth to our stories are starting to be told:
Cos we helped our sister to rise, that’s how we see our sister fly
Coz we help our sister to rise, that’s how we see all our SISTER’s FLY.
Art and Poem By Amja Unabashedly
What are your thoughts on this matter?
Have you ever tried to get support with your situation be it domestic abuse or any other support service and you feel that your experience is being minimised?
Love and Light Infinitely