The Diatribe’s Jocelyn Barnes
When I was growing up, my teachers said I should journal. My mom bought me notebooks and pretty colored pens, then encouraged me to craft whole worlds outside of my own.
I filled up diary after diary with my own little secrets.
Once when I was away at school, my mom read my entries. She didn’t like what she found.
I came home to find she had thrown these pieces of myself away. I asked for an explanation and all she did was shame me.
And so I forgot how to put my words on paper. In the years that I needed it most, my pen became a foreign object.
My house became a dark cave. My mother became a stranger. But her boyfriend and his desires became all too familiar. And I forgot how to speak my own truth.
When I finally did, I was sixteen. At his judgement day, the jury couldn’t make up their minds. His 12 legally appointed peers couldn’t decide if what I had to say was worth believing.
They call that a hung trial, but I felt like I was the only one in the courtroom left hanging. I decided to make it the last time anyone doubted me when I spoke. I got re-accustomed to the sound of my own voice through spoken word.
Poetry has become a sacred form of healing in my life. It has made me realize the importance of sharing my story, and helped me give pieces of myself to those that might not even know they needed it. For me, there’s nothing more impactful than that. I believe that finding the ability to share your inner-most self can change the world and that there are an infinite number of ways to achieve it. Poetry does that for me. What does it for you?
Comic Made By