By Paulette Orhii
Content warning: domestic abuse. I wrote this because I had a literal dream that was more like an
epiphany. It displayed the extent of emotional abuse in my parents’ relationship. In light of MLK
day, I want to highlight the stories of Black womxn and intergenerational trauma, and show that
we are just as worthy of love and redemption. Peace, Love, and Solidarity, Paulette
I had a dream
That woke me to reality.
My father’s rage, built up from years of ego-boosting, put his finger on the trigger and started
My father’s rage, tinted with entitlement of other people’s emotions. Over three decades of
degrees and education couldn’t remedy the wounds of his youth’s destitution.
My father’s rage, weaponized to make us the salt of the earth around us.
He didn’t fear God but he feared destiny.
Injustice was a menace but education was the key. My father’s rage
My mom feared him more than she feared God
She started confiding to me when I was 8. And to this day
Out of 4 kids and 3 boys, the only girl inherited his rage.
Blind to the damage he’s done, she makes excuses like some kind of coping mechanism.
She says be careful about your feminism
Because no one will want you due to society’s sexism.
I was like thank God because I’d never want a man like him
If that’s my option then I’d rather live a life of sin
I lost my faith in love and God because of him.
And yet her words cut deep in my self reflection.
I have a dream
That is my reality.
A man with a warm soul wrapped his arms around me
As I escaped that household of rage.
He’s not my Savior but an angel
He helped restore my love and faith.
He held my hand as I tried to mediate
But my mother is too deep in to try to save.
Though she is physically safe from pain
My father’s messages still remain deeply ingrained.
Almost caught in the crossfires, we can’t erase my parents’ history
But we can make our own story. So I have a duty
To end my lineage’s legacy of pain and oppression.
My father’s mother is helping me learn these lessons
As she rests in peace and appears to me
In my dreams.