First off, I want to say that depression mixed with anxiety and imposter syndrome …sucks. I’ve never been the same since my brother died. I was looking for another word to use instead of “died”. Something softer, more pliable, less finite. Maybe “transitioned?” Something warm and fuzzy to make the impact less permanent. But I have to face it. He is dead and nothing has ever been the same since.
Growing up in Nigeria, as a young 5 or 6 year old, I had terrible separation anxiety. I would cry each time someone would leave after a visit. My mom had left my and my brother to the care of my grandparents while she pursued a ‘new life’ in the states as a new ‘head of household’ before coming back for us. For me as a child, fear would cripple me when people would leave. And I would cry. My best friend and brother was all I had, really. He was the only one who went along with me through the entire journey and understood me like a worn leather shoe that I didn’t have to break in. He was my solitude. My little bog brother, born 23 months after me.
He left me in 2016. He fulfilled his duty here and returned to spirit world unexpectedly. He visited this life and left unexpectedly, and I became numb. I became extremely detached with everything. I was under the impression that anyone can leave at anytime so I better put a layer of cement around my heart. It didn’t help that I also left my marriage shortly after his passing. I’m sure he would have been happy that I made that decision but still, there was trauma ready to stay.
It’s been almost 5 years and I’ve been actively trying to find that person who is still here but is still hiding because she was afraid . Luckily she can’t leave me. She is me. She is my authentic self . She is that little girl who created a room of protection at the tender age of 6 when her innocence was taken. She is that little girl who was assaulted and blamed her 6 year old self when she saw blood running down her legs. She is me. She is that artist who used rap and poetry as a means of escape. Of survival. She’s that person with whom creativity loves to visit… and stay indefinitely.
Did I lose her? Is she stationary? Where is the direction back to me? Therapy is showing me bit by bit the tools needed to find my map. My way back. God has positioned me with my tribe who inadvertently show me each time that I’m on the right path. Earth angels, unbeknownst to them. Along this new arduous yet rewarding journey that I have embarked, my memories are my torchlight.
I am also a reflection of others who are on their own individual journeys. We see and help each other along the way. The journey is a selfish one. We have to walk alone but we are never alone. God is with us. It takes a village. We are the village. We are the answer to our prayers. As we take this journey back to our authenticity… May we have a safe trip. May we take the scenic route on our return to self.