Life / Writings

Open Letter to a Family Member

The pain you carry is palpable. Generations of oppression induced trauma are your foe. I am no stranger to this. My heart sobs for you and all the others effected, included myself. Years of abandonment, abuse, mental illness, alcoholism (direct and indirect) has worn a crater into your very soul. The elders did not protect us, could not protect us from themselves. I tried to protect you but did not have the capacity. I tried to protect my brother but did not have the capacity. There is no comparison of trauma. Your trauma is my own, my trauma belongs to you as well. Trauma is trauma. One can not say my trauma was worse than yours. The difference is, only you have the capacity to FEEL yours. I may empathize but cannot carry anyone else’s load.
You are not a victim. To admit to being a victim means you concede and that which victimizes you wins. I will not cosign that. You are STRENGTH. You are POWER. You are LOVE and nothing less. I have tried to be there for you over the years but noticed that you had developed a support system among your friends. I was never mad at this. I was happy that you found the support you needed. Regardless, I am here.
Our road has been riddled with pain. For years I was sad, angry and resentful. What had I done to deserve this life? What had our parents done and their parents done to deserve such a plight? Then it dawned on me, we had done nothing but been born, born into a system of living that traumatizes it’s Black and Poor people. Along the way we coupled that trauma with bad choices. Hence, the resulting pain is inevitable.
I have come to a point of reconciliation. I can no longer deny that which is my journey. I can no longer be upset with the hand I’ve been dealt. I believe with my entire being in the All encompassing spirit most refer to as God. Nothing exists outside of this spirit. Therefore, I can no longer believe in God but deny and disrespect the path placed before me. I ACCEPT the pain, the tears, and the trauma because it is the only way I can walk forward in POWER.
You are not a victim, nor am I. You are the embodiment of STRENGTH and POWER. Free yourself from this burden, accept that life can be unjust and embrace the path which has been laid before you. Nothing in your journey has been a mistake. Nothing.
I Love You Dearly,
Day “Dream” Alston
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