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Last week, while driving, I had a nosebleed.
I reached up to swipe what I thought was a slight runny nose caused by Chicago’s weather forecast traveling from -23 to 73 degrees in 3 windy hours. So when I looked down at my fingertips and saw crimson, I almost crashed the car.
Actually, I didn’t swerve or miss a beat. But in my head, I crashed my mom-mobile right into that Chicago Hot dog stand on the corner because the gravity of my nose bleeding again was almost too much for me to bear.
I can’t remember how young I was when I first realized that my daddy hit my mommy, my brothers, and I too much. That there was something wrong with the yelling, the negativity and the “Everything is perfect outside but all fucked up insided-ness” of my family.
At any given moment, we could go from happy, laughing family to punches flying in the car, yelling in the streets, and crying in my bed. Maybe I was 6, Maybe I was 7. But at some point I started to recognize the instability and it stressed me all the way out.
Around this time, I started to get sick all the time. Headaches, colds, flus, tummy aches, and general “I don’t feeeeeeeel good.” It is very hard to feel good when you live in constant apprehension of, What is this motherfucker going to do to us next? My family began to accuse me of faking and being a baby. I was just looking for a way to cope.
Eventually, I stopped feeling so sick. Or maybe I just decided to keep my mouth shut about my tummy and quit making everybody’s lives more difficult. But when I shut my 8 year-old mouth, blood started pouring from my nostrils.
I started getting spontaneous, unexplained nosebleeds, ALL. THE. TIME. Several times a week, just out of the blue. I distinctly remember sitting in class and being terror-stricken as I watched the red drops rain all over my spelling test. I still got a 100% on that test though, cause SistaTV is a BOSS. But bossy or not, walking around with bloody tissues stuffed up your nose was humiliating.
One morning, I was jolted awake to my mother screaming like an actual banshee and shouting, “ Father GOD, PLEASE HELP ME! HELP ME!!!” I opened my eyes and saw her earrings go flying across my room. I have no idea why but when my Ghananian mother is really upset or nervous the very first thing she does is whip off her earrings
She also ineffectively uses American curse words. I can’t tell you the internal struggles I’ve had trying not to laugh while she was angrily yelling “ You betta put you assfuckers togetha” or flicking the wrong middle finger up.
But when I saw her earring go flying across my dresser, I knew that some major ish had gone down and I was NOT waiting around to figure out what hilarious combination of curse words were going to come flying from her lips. So I jumped out of the bed and was halfway down the block before I began to wonder why my face and hair felt so sticky.
Apparently, I had slept through an epic nosebleed in the middle of the night. So when my mom came into wake me up for school all she saw was a river of blood all over me, my nightgown, and the comforter. This had led her to the completely logical conclusion that somebody had quietly crept into our 2-story house and silently axe-murdered her only baby girl while she was sleeping peacefully a mere 10 feet away. Waking up to her daughter sleeping in a bloody crime scene was understandably her last straw.
“I can not fuck this, Senam. We are taking our assholes to the doctor.”
So we went. But there was no medical explanation.
My sinuses. Fine.
Sickle cell anemia? No.
Did I have a TUMAAH Like Kindergarten Cop? No.
Was it the nosebleed cancer I was certain it was? Nope!
I was fine.
It was just one of those unexplained things that kept happening to me with less and less frequency until I was about 18 and then they completely stopped. It never happened to me when I went away to college.
I hadn’t given much thought to why I’d gotten all those nosebleeds when I was little or what had caused them at all. But on Tuesday, I knew. I finally figured out why I had gotten all those nosebleed back then. And why I was in the middle of one right then.
Because although the circumstances are very different, I have been feeling exactly like that trapped little girl with blood on her spelling test and fear of the unknowns in her heart.
I can’t tell you what is going on. Mostly, cause I have no idea what is going to be happening from one moment to the next. So I can’t tell you why I feel like my life is crumbling but I can tell you that my current stress level is so off the charts that it is an actual wonder that I am able to get up, breathe, care for my children or write these words.
A few months ago, just as everything started hitting the fan, I was crying my way through yet another episode of my heart’s Mama, Oprah’s LifeClass when my Aunty-in-my-head Iyanla Vanzant said something that made me sit up straight in my bed.
Until you heal the wounds of your past, you will continue to bleed into your future. - Aunty Iyanla
For me, that nosebleed was like an actual text message from God telling me it was time to heal. I am not going to be that scared, confused, nose-bleeding little girl, anymore. And I will take my asshole to the ends of this life and the next to ensure that my sons and my daughter will never, ever be her either.
So, the very next day I finally signed the contract to become a writer for XOJane, started putting some action into all these dreams, and made the decision to do what I tell all of you all to do at the end of every SistaTV video. I’m going to love myself.
No more bleeding. Instead, I’m healing and comforted by the indisputable knowledge that this time I already know what happens next. This time I'm going to be fine.
Senam SistaTV Amegashie spends most of her time waiting for someone to give her a TV show, already! While waiting for that to happen you can find her @sistatv Tweeting, @sistaTV Facebooking, and making hilarious but wonkily edited SistaTV Youtube videos. And remember SistaTV loves you!