Creative Christ


The Experience

I had the most exhilarating, freeing time of my entire life the two weeks I was in Barbados. Staying with an amazing soul, Aunt Renee (who is Bajan at heart) and a born and raised Jamacian, Aunt Joy was absolutely epic! Being immersed in nature and a culture where love is the first language was invigorating. Eating Bajan food while being taught how to make Jamaican food was the DOPEST! Constantly being encouraged and inspired through simple yet profound conversations with random people brought joy to my heart. Waking up to a calm crisp breeze, roosters crowing, the sound of the cars driving by and calypso music playing on someone's loudspeaker was peace to me. Often, I was asked if I was Bajan because reggae music and calypso would instantly cause me to go into a trance as my body swayed to the island beat so freely and effortlessly. Watching every promised sunset as the waves caressed my toes was enlightening. 
Being hand delivered bread, fruit, ackee and coconuts by a fine gentleman was lovely.  I was free to be me in every way without a single need to feel as if I had to put up a facade of any sort. Being free to be me allowed me to realize I found a place to call home...a place where the atmosphere was so rich that the need and desire for “things” ceased in every way. I learned what it meant to be whole and to truly be present in the now. 
Barbados fed my soul in ways I never new was possible! A very special thanks to a PHENOMENAL woman, Aunt / Mama Renee for blessing me with such a life-altering experience.

Christyal Rood
Haunted Images

Haunted images,
nurturing future visions
of past mistakes and love affairs that ushered the four chambered walls into Code Blue.
Injections injected into ventricles through the body, unaware of the wear and tear cutting oxygen from arteries.
Leaving side effects of paranoia.
They wonder if this is genetic, a chemical imbalance, or ignited by trauma.
Trusting only what she can see through a distorted mirage of imagery.
Waking up in cold sweats nightly.
For she’s the author of this dream.
Terror is her way of functioning,
a reality she’s overpowering with suppression, that’s leading her into a perfect hallucination.
Suffocating in feels that aren’t real.
So they say…
“Get over it, you’re okay.”
You know, the lovely critics, critiquing ignorantly...
They say if you or I take a prescribed pill then we’re messed up mentally.
Marginalized as
Highly paranoid,
Highly unstable...
Acting as if the thought of suicide only has to be for someone who is classified as mentally ill.
Mentally institutionalizing us because of what the medic said.
Diagnoses made, now we’re stigmatized by society’s lies.
A misfit in the world’s eyes, because treatment is publicly known and a doctor chooses to label us based on a practice that they’re practicing.
Would things be different if we, too, self medicated on our own?
Would we be less prone to the stigma if we handled our “crazy” behind closed doors in our homes.
Yes I said crazy, because that's what others say. However the only difference between you and me, us and them, you and him, is you may not have the same thoughts everyday. But you have them and they are real.
We all think things that make us feel uncomfortable.
I wonder if things would be different if we weren't marginalized as mental?
We all experience a breakdown in the psyche at some point or another. There’s levels to it but, because you don't understand it, I must be rejected and classified as insane or deranged.
Have you ever thought about the possibility that I may be gifted, seeing things you can't see?
Never mind, I may be getting too deep spiritually.
I think you get the point though. We all deal with things that we all handle differently.
I, we, she, he, shouldn't be casted out because of the things we see, feel, or hear mentally.
We are all striving for mental sanity.

Christyal Rood
She's Been a Victim Too

My sister Brittany contacted me to do a shoot with her for Domestic Violence Awareness. She's a makeup artist who wanted to utilize her talents to create images depicting the struggles many of us have encountered from personal experiences as the victim or the onlooker.

I didn't realize how much emotion this shoot was going to evoke within me.

While shooting, it ignited something within my heart, and past pain surfaced from what I've experienced as the victim and onlooker. It's interesting because I remember always being in denial of such a title.

Victim, me? No way!

These memories of domestic violence started for me as a little girl when my mother told me my biological father wasn't around because she chose to leave because she felt he was going to one day kill her.

It makes me think of the domestic issues I had in previous relationships. You know the, “I hate you,” “Fuck you,” “You aint shit,” arguments with some pushing and mushing. The ones many of us don't classify as being domestic. Sad thing about it is, they are exactly that. This is the beginning to a road which leads to mental or physical death.

I remember my childhood best friend being in an abusive relationship with a guy who was once a good friend of mine. They had been dating for a while at this point; I was off at college, so she and I only hung out when I would come home and visit. One night, we went out to T.G.I. Fridays for couple of drinks, and we went back to her house afterwards. We walked in laughing and joking when she says, “I think he may be asleep. Let’s go check.” So we go upstairs to their room, and he appears to be asleep. She says, “Shh. We have to be quite; he will get mad if we wake him.” Me being me, I didn't understand how and why she was so scared of him. I was ignorant to this world of domestic violence because I never experienced it in this context, so I thought it was simple to stand up, voice your opinion, and defend yourself. So after she said be quiet, I said, “Girl, he is fine. We are having a good time, and we aren't even that loud.” He wakes up asking me “what the fuck” I said. At this point, we were standing at the top of the stairs. I looked at him and said, “Who the fuck are you talking to. You've gone crazy!” Then he pushes me down the stairs. He comes down gets on top of me and starts punching me. I fight back, and I'm able to get away to call the police. Of course, he leaves, and in doing so, he throws a brick through the windshield of my car. My friend supposedly tried pulling him off of me, and in doing so received a busted lip. As we were waiting for the police to arrive, she says, “I got a busted lip for you.” I’m sure my facial expression said a lot more than what was spoken in that moment. I looked at her and said, “You didn't get a busted lip for me. This is what you choose to live with on a regular basis.” I was angry for some time as those words replayed in my mind, “I got a busted lip for you.” She really believed this to be true.

I remember vividly the abusive relationships I encountered on the street as a police officer. I remember locking up both lovers because they were mutual combatants, and for some strange reason, the women thought they are untouchable. They could say and do whatever they wanted and not be held accountable. Unfortunately, that's a misconception.

Then it reminded me of ME! November 2016, the day I thought my significant other was going to kill me. He placed both hands around my neck and started slamming my head on the stairs. I was defenseless. Nothing in me could fight back; I didn't know how. The man I trusted and loved had me in a position I had never been in. It's easy to fight someone you don't know, but to fight the person who’s supposed to protect you is something completely different when it first happens. What do you do when your lover unexpectedly attacks you? When it’s the person you love who’s supposed to protect you? I froze!

My life to flashed before my eyes; the only things I thought of were my two boys and how they needed me. I don't know what triggered him to finally let go, but as soon as he did, I called the police. He got locked up. I felt like complete shit. How did I not fight back? How was I, of all people, defenseless? Me...Christyal, who’s been a fighter all her life, spiritually, mentally, and physically, had no strength in that moment. How did we get to that point in our relationship? Why was the first thing I thought to do calling the police? I wrestled with these and many other thoughts. What are people thinking of me? How could I be so weak? Am I weak? This wasn't supposed to happen to me! Scenario after scenario continued on replay. That's when I realized this domestic violence stuff is real. The things that go through your mind about yourself, about your significant other are on a constant flow. You hope that it won't ever happen again. You blame yourself for why it’s happened in the first place, and you try so hard to make sense of it all in some way, shape, or form. Although he never put his hands on me again, our relationship remained toxic. Recognizing that is hard though. It's hard to let go of something you’re believing and hoping will change or get better. It’s hard to stop fighting for something you think you want! We tried to work things out for almost a year after this occurred. It didn't work out for various reasons. I know the struggle of why people stay, but it’s not worth it! It will NEVER be!

Christyal RoodComment