Johari’s Living Autobiography, Square Two

This series is my living autobiography, here my voice, my life is shared with transparency and reflection. I’ll share my experiences as a young African American woman, an academic with mental illness and a child abuse survivor.

If that is interesting to you read my autobiography’s first chapter, SquareOne.


This is a trigger WARNING for the following

  • Mental Illness
  • Self-harm
  • Child abuse
  • Honesty & Transparency

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SquareTwo of my Living Autobiography

I left a house that wouldn’t let me go. I had good grades and that would save me, a life without their blundering control.

School came first, and I was tired of being so depressed and isolated from any real support. Support like my sister-mama and my dad.

As a teenager, I would fight back verbally because my voice was all I had. My voice didn’t matter. I didn’t understand, maybe I would understand when I was an adult. When I became closer to God, like my evangelical Christian parents preached, then I would understand why I was abused.

Once, I threatened to call the police. They were both in the room ready to bring down the word of god. Quickly, challengingly me, my stepfather.

He said, “Go ahead and call the police they can’t do anything.” At the time I was powerless, and I believed him, I was 16 years old with as much agency as a toddler.

Suddenly a phone was pushed into my face. “Go ahead,” he said. I didn’t I froze. Remember, it is either Fright, Flight, or Freeze!

Next, the police station.

After I was given a fresh set of bruises from my parent, I went to the police. I was done with that sense of smug born-again importance. I fantasized about never seeing that face again.

Police always remind me that I’m unlawfully black in America. So like all mixed kids I was told, ‘you’re black. You can only be respectful to cops. Never give them a reason to stop you. “Please”, “Thank you,” “Sir” the whole nine yards.

I was in the police parking lot. I jumped out of my high school boyfriends’ truck and into a small investigation room. I was asked questions about my abuse. I told them about the latest batches of bruises, they took pictures as evidence.

He said, “Go ahead and call the police can’t do anything.” At the time I was powerless, and I believed him, I was 16 years old with as much agency as a toddler.

Even after I was freed from their custody, I forgave them and tried to have them in my life.

I still went back to that house. Without even an acknowledgment of the scares they left.

This would be like Matilda and Miss Trunchbull becoming friends, without addressing the closet coated in nails. Miss Trunchbull put kids in closest as a punishment, because she didn’t like their behavior. Closets with nails point inwards towards whatever small child entered.

Some of my approved behaviors included becoming an evangelical warrior for Christ. Which is fine as long as you don’t abuse your authority.

I found solace in religion for most of my life.I was trying to be the best Christian I could be, but that wasn’t enough.

After I moved out of my parent’s house I was fired as a Sunday school teacher. All of the oh so subtle slut shaming, in the church. Which really bummed me out because I taught 2-year-olds about Jesus, which was basically arts and crafts with snacks.

I started working for my parent when I was a legally allowed to. This job as a fast food employee was lost as soon as I entered that police station.

Now, back to that day, I went to the police which was my bridge to the world. I got to live with my Dad where I would be safe from harm.

After the police station, I ate a pound of Laffey Taffy and cheap mixed drinks. Teenage copping skills at there finest! There was a gathering of four or five at a friend’s house, many cheap Starbursts flavored mixed drinks. It was safe and not home.

During all this, Child Services stopped by my parent’s house.

Events following the police station.

  1. Later that night I would throw up rainbow
  2. Ignore the displeased looks on my parent’s faces
  3. Then passed out in my bed, zero emotion just rest

When I woke up my Dad was there to whisk me away, he never knew the extent of damage they had caused. I told my Dad what I could access and not much more for the next eight years. He thought that leaving my Brother and myself with my parent would be best.

Like many kids of divorce, I was used as a pawn to cause petty pain. I remember two events happening in quick succession I left some dresser drawer open on my way to school.

So my weekend with my Dad was canceled. My Dad would never hit me, harm me.

Those weekends were a break from my reality.

The end of SquareTwo.

qoute mia angelo__ 10.10.2018

If you want to learn more about my life at SquareOne, then stay tuned for SquareThree of this series.


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