"Deeper than Dirt" – SB

I am from Southeast DC. I was born on October 9th, 2002.

I love eating, writing, reading, joking around, debating, dancing, acting, singing and RAPPING! I have seven siblings, four brothers and three sisters. My favorite subject is English but I want to be an investment accountant. I will be attending Thurgood Marshall with three of my close friends in the fall. I am a really nice person, well unless I have a reason to be otherwise.  My father is my biggest role model because he teaches me to never give up and always do better. As you assumed, I am Muslim and I take pride in that. I hope you like my story!

Pain, grief, depression. They always say, ”You’ll be okay.” I know better than that though. I hoped so long for happiness and it never came, there won’t ever be a change. When you are hurting so much and you are already broken it doesn’t matter, nothing matters, but you still hope for better. However, that hole is always going to be in my heart, it’s like nothing can fill it and things that have a slight chance at filling the void, are the very things that caused the hole. Maybe I’ll suffer this burden until the day I finally crumble away. When you look around, most families always have a mother, it is usually the father that walks out on the family. Girls need their mothers just like boys need their fathers. I mean of course, everyone needs both parents, but at some point during life, we start to need one more than the other.

In my case, I don’t have my mother and my father did not walk out on me. Instead, my mother disappeared and my father stayed to take care of us and I owe the world to him for that. My dad worked his hardest for us, even when he was going through real tough situations. I don’t hold anything against my mom though because I know what she is dealing with and I still love her, even if I don’t know her very much. I did use to constantly think about why she wasn’t here but I soon realized there is no point of wondering. My parents got divorced when I was a small baby, so no mama for me. When me and my older sister were younger, we always had to go to one of our aunt’s house. Basically, we had to be passed from house to house because my dad had to work and there was nobody at home to watch us. Specifically, we hated going over our aunt Monica’s house. She has a lot of children and some of them had children of their own. Our cousins were all bigger and older than us and they treated us terribly. They would sit on us, tease us, choke us, throw us out in the snow and burn our baby dolls. They changed now, and of course I still love them but it was really sad going over their house. We never told our father though because he would be beyond angry and I did not want to have him stressing. I honor all the times my uncle Anthony, who we always called “Unc Unc,’’ would protect us from our cousins mean ways but the police that wrongly shot and killed him, took away all that protection. My uncle’s death is one of the main reasons that I hate police. They said they shot him because “they thought he was someone else,” but I know they just shot him because he was black, the police can do whatever they please.

I  remember everybody else having a mother to go home to but mine was nowhere to be found. People might say, well why do you miss her if you barely knew her? It’s really complicated but I want her in my life. You see it is very unfortunate to have an absent parent, regardless if it’s a mom or dad. Even worse, you become very disconsolate when your parent does know where you are and they never even come by to say as much as, “Hi, how have you been?” If I can recall right, my mother has never seen me be promoted to the next grade, graduate, win a spelling bee or get an award. The crazy thing is my sister and I just got in touch with our grandfather on our biological mother’s side last school year with the help of our step mother. My father drove to Philadelphia last summer, so my older sister could stay and visit our family, who we have not seen in more than a decade. Sadly, I did not get the opportunity to attend the family gathering in Philly because I had a college prep program to attend. Maybe I will see them another time, no... not maybe, I will! It feels kind of weird to bring things like this up. When people ask me where my mother is or do I ever see her, I usually answer but nevertheless it is still an uncomfortable, sensitive topic.

Also, when people ask where my mom is and I point to my step mom, they look at me like I’m crazy because they know there is no way she is my real mom, that’s generally when I have to tell them that she is my step mom. Especially, when adults bring up my predicament they make me feel really bad because if my mom was in my life in the first place, they would not have to ask me a million questions about my mother while my heart is feeling extremely heavy. This is random but about 2 or 3 years ago, me and some other girls were trying to make ourselves cry and one of the girls asked me how I did it and I told her, all you have to do is think about something sad, that is when she looked at me and told me she knew what I was thinking about. I just looked away-- annoyed, not saying anything. I obviously knew she was referring to my mother, I in fact did not even think about that to make myself cry. I also remember when my five year old sister asked me where my mom was. I smiled at her feeling a little weird and asked how she knew her mom, my step mom, was not really my mother and she said she knew because I did not call my step mother “mom”, instead I call her by her name. It is not to be rude, it is just that I never got used to calling her mom.What makes this difficult and much more unpleasant, is that I have too much going on, my problems are beyond my mother not being here. There are so many complications I have to deal with, that life is no longer life anymore. It is kind of like I am living but I am not alive, basically my heart continues to pump but my soul is dead. Maybe you know this feeling?  

It’s that feeling where you’re empty but your heart still cries out. Trust me, I know it all, agony is like my best friend, so you cannot tell me about any unhappy moment that I would not understand. That is one of the good things about me, I am a very understanding person. Sometimes, I wonder where my hope has gone than I think I am better off without it because it might be false hope anyway, which it normally turns out to be. When I want to give up I think about all my loved ones. My teachers like Ms.Austin, Mr. Christmas and Ms. Morris who really helped me to believe in myself. My parents raised me good and taught me to keep going no matter how hard it is. My other family, like my siblings, who care so much for me would never want me to give up. Also, I have great friends. I have a great group of friends, I love them so much, the friends I call ‘’sus or my mans’’. The friends like Ke, who I refuse to fail. I can’t cave in, even if I want to. I’m trying for them, and with whatever I do I just give it my all. Whenever it hurts too much and my heart is burning out my chest, but I do not want to turn to my mournful state, I write.

I write out my problems-how my day went, I write a poem, or I write a rap. Rapping really helps me express my feelings and it is one of my best talents. I just want everyone to know that when it gets too hard, when you are at the edge, don’t jump down. Try to pull yourself up because if you don’t you will just end up drowning. Also, if you do not have your own back you can’t expect anybody else to go head over heels for you. My advice to the upcoming 8th graders is to just simply mind your business, try your best to stay out of drama, do ALL you work and be yourself. One of the biggest things is to be yourself because once you switch up, people are going to notice that was never the real you and you are going to have a lot of problems for that one incident in which you are truly identified as a snake. School is not for you to play or chat with your friends but to find your pathway into success. How can you succeed if you never tried. Every single day until I am crying on my knees, I aim for the top, so don’t give up. You cannot be successful without struggle that’s just how life is. Even when you are broken and you know there is nothing that can piece you back together, keep going. Even when the only thing that reminds you that you are alive are your scars, keep pushing. Even when you can’t put on that fake smile anymore, keep smiling bright, they can’t comprehend the burden upon your heart. Even when you don’t want to live, keep living. Life is precious, even if it is overwhelming, so always know that your life’s worth living no matter what anybody says. Maybe the hurting will never end but you still have to keep striving. It is kind of like you have a lamp but no light bulb so you can never turn on the light and make the days brighter. I know what it is like to have so much aching because my suffering is deeper than water, deeper than blood...deeper than dirt. I want to leave you with a quote that has helped me through difficult times, “The loneliest people are the kindest. The saddest people smile the brightest.The most damaged people are the wisest. All because they do not wish to see anyone else suffer the way they did.”

– SB