"I am NOT going to take their meds: I am NOT bi-polar"
A beautiful young womon declares, as she slumps into the seat next to me.
"I'm angry" she continues, "I have a right to be angry".
April was put on meds at 14 years old, diagnosed by somebody as "bi-polar". What the hell is that, when womyn respond to their abuse and oppression with anger and outrage when they are expected to be quiet and conforming?
April was placed as an infant in foster homes and stayed there - if not in jail - for her entire life.
"All my other siblings got to stay with my mom, with each other. I'm angry!"
I tell her I believe her. I tell her she has a right to be angry. I tell her she must use her anger to fuel her empowerment, not to hurt herself.
She looks at me wide-eyed and then confesses to all the ways in which she has directed her anger to hurt herself.
She gets it.
We talk about controlling her anger, harnessing it, not allowing it to control her, to devastate her, to make her end up in jail.
She tells me some of the other things she has to be angry about, as if being tossed out as an infant and then medicated by the time she's 14 is not enough.
She was raped by the time she was 9, and then further abused by the adult she went to for help.
She was picked up last time for selling drugs, her car, her computer, her cell phone, her bank accounts, her cash, her whole apartment confiscated by the police. Leaving her once again - after jail and court - on the streets penniless.
She's been prostituting to make money to spend the nite - or her non-working hours - in a motel. She has no one to call to bail her out of jail, no one to call to let them know she's in jail.
I want to wrap her up and take her with me. I know people are working to get me out of jail as we speak. I know I will be let out of jail on my own recognizance.
She does not even know to ask for o.r. She does know she will be sent to prison for 4 years now that she's been picked up again, so soon after the drug bust.
She wishes she would have met me a year ago. I wish I would have met her mom before she got pregnant.
April - I make her memorize my p.o. box so she will write to me in jail. I hope she remembers. For April is a warrior, she's a fighter, and I want her on my team through life.