michael, may you now be at peace: a reflection (no. 96)


michael, i can’t shake the feeling that you’re upset with me somehow. it goes to two things:  the first being your insistence that you have never had a desire to end your life (that is, of course, unless you were told there were no more children in the world).  thew other being that there actually HAVE been some who either committed suicide or attempted it, upon hearing of your transcendence.  as you know, i was heartbroken by it all, but i never once thought of ending my life because of it.

it’s hard to live in a world which continues to stigmatize suicide; where it’s thought of as selfish or done just to get attention.  rarely is there an actual discussion of how unbearable life can be for some…  the same aspects of life others can just deal with.  i don’t know anyone (and i’m including myself here) who takes the consideration of ending a life lightly.  it can be something thought about for months or years- and no one else would even know.


no one else would even know how lonely it is in a world you can’t even make sense of.

How does it feel
When you’re alone
And you’re cold inside

when no one even knows, and just assumes you’re ‘having a bad day’.  so they laugh it off and say, ‘oh, it’ll get better.’    when you want to be able to talk to someone, but you work and live in a place which is not necessarily conducive to asking for any sort of help of this nature…  where people drift away at the mere inkling of despair.

Mask of life, feelin’ insane
Swift and sudden fall from grace
Sunny days seem far away

where every day is a struggle to even leave the house…  where every day is a struggle to even say ‘hello’.  where you DO seem insame, and wrong for feeling this way, when everyone else is smiling and laughing.  where you think you will never see the sun.  people talk all around you and yet you are absolutely alone.  you have not isolated yourself from the world, and yet, you are alone.

Happy days will drown the pain

when will those happy days return…  when you can get out of bed and look forward to doing whatever it is you always love to do.  when you can laugh with the rest of the world around you.

when you’re down it’s so hard to get back up; trying hard but running into doors that shut

i keep trying, i really do.  i never want to be one of those people who ruin everyone’s mood, where they never want to be around me.  i want to try so hard, and then the triggers happen.  and it’s like everything i worked so hard for just disappears within seconds.  to watch it all melt away is devastating.  it becomes an unpredictable cycle.  you learn to cope most of the time.  but then you are triggered by past events, and you learn to disassociate.


you learn by either shutting down, or taking everything out on yourself.

i have indeed done both, but right now i am dealing with the latter.  this is why i can’t stop thinking you’re upset with me.

How does it feel
When you’re alone
And you’re cold inside

i don’t know if you’ve ever experienced taking a knife to yourself and cutting.  but it’s a feeling that gives you so much warmth and calm, when you feel so cold, in your spirit and in your body.  to look at your wrists, your arms, and know that you actually feel something…  that you’re not that alone…  the scars show the life within you.


i never knew how to manifest my feelings or sensations in relation to what i was doing…  “While self-injury may bring a momentary sense of calm and a release of tension, it’s usually followed by guilt and shame and the return of painful emotions.”  (http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/self-injury/DS00775 )

ultimately, i feel conflicted about what i do, primarily because i am reacting to something that just will not go away.  “self-injury has some addictive qualities, making it hard to overcome on your own.” (http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/self-injury/DS00775/DSECTION=symptoms)  i have only told a handful of people about this.  i suppose now, in this very public conversation with you, others will know.

indeed, it is very addicting.  whenever i do it, all of the anxiety i had melts away.  it literally melts away.  i can feel all of the energy sliding to the floor, and i breathe a sigh of relief. the endorphins it releases- in even just thinking about doing it again- is addicting.  for just those moments, even though you are deliberately causing pain to yourself…  you have no pain.

this is what’s commonly known as self-harm (or self-injury), in terms of the mayo clinic page:

    • Severe scratching
    • Cutting
    • Burning
    • Poisoning
    • Carving words or symbols on the skin
    • Breaking bones
    • Hitting or punching
    • Piercing the skin with sharp objects
    • Head banging
    • Biting
    • Pulling out hair
    • Interfering with wound healing


i have done about five of these things at different points in my life; but predominately have stuck with the second and third act.  i do it where people don’t even know.  this is what i do whenever i’m facing an excessive amount of anxiety, or have the (suicidal) relapses.    everyone tells me not to kill myself, but i’m not sure of where to go.  people won’t talk to me.  so i just do this in order to deal with my thoughts.

sometimes i wonder if any of this has to do with a chemical imbalance.  i found this (http://www.brainphysics.com/self-injury.php ) along my journey to find some semblance of an explanation:  “People who self-injure are often found to have higher rates of anxiety than those who do not and research has reported that most people who self-injure have a diagnosable anxiety disorder.  Research has also reported that people who self-injure have reported higher rates of physical and emotional abuse in childhood than those who do not. ”

it makes me wonder if others in my family have dealt with self-injury for years, without informing anyone about it.  this is something i had been doing for years, and now i’ve made the decision to be public about it, in this conversation with you.


so why do i think you are upset with me then?

some would argue that, because of your experiences with rhinoplasty (as well as opting for a cleft in the chin) you are performing some type of self-mutilation.  even though i think those operations were directly related to whatever trauma you experienced as a child; there is a fine line between altering you appearance (which is a very public announcement of your decisions) and say, cutting or bruising yourself (which in many instances is very private).  altering the looks you came on this earth with are not necessarily connected with depression.

but have you ever starved yourself?  have you ever used food as a means of control?  i have a bit of trouble thinking there was some way you didn’t try to ‘control’ the pain you’ve felt due to trauma.  sometimes i watch you when you speak, and i could tell you have not pro-actively dealt with what you went through; and such a figure as public as you, knew you couldn’t reveal every detail.  but you spoke about what you could, and STILL the world did not understand.  people defended you frankly because, well, you’re YOU.  you are looked at as the ‘icon’ and not the man.  but imagine if you were some man on the street talking to himself.  you would most likely be a statistic- or even worse beaten by the police until you were no more on this earth, for ‘resisting arrest’.  even people who say they love you, could never know the extent to what pain you (or i) feel.

studying your behavior and casing over the years; you initially sort of carry a look of innocence (even in the face of trauma); after a certain point everything about you hardened…  there was a certain point where you looked older, yet at the same time looked younger than your years.  this is very hard for me to even explain in writing.  you looked hardened by experience, yet ageless.  this could not be proven more than when, on the day of your transcendence, people were in shock of your actual age.


there is a type of mask people who have dealt with trauma have to wear in order to even deal day to day.  as a result of the trauma you become more than one person.  you become the person everyone sees you as (the ‘performative’ state); you become the person who is incapable of dealing with ‘the outside world’; and you become the person who shuts down from the world.  these may give someone an ‘anti-social’ appearance.  there is the assumption that this person is mean.  most likely what is happening is that someone is dealing with a complex post-traumatic stress disorder.  according to judith herman, these are the instances on most likely suffers (http://www.palace.net/~llama/psych/cptsd.html):

A history of subjection to totalitarian control over a prolonged period (months to years). Examples include hostages, prisoners of war, concentration-camp survivors, and survivors of some religious cults. Examples also include those subjected to totalitarian systems in sexual and domestic life, including survivors of domestic battering, childhood physical or sexual abuse, and organized sexual exploitation.

it isn’t hard to make the connection between this situation, and many people who experience high levels of fame.  we see increasing rates of people encountering fame at rates quicker than people used to…  as well as these same people acting out ‘alter egos’.

i already mentioned to you about the state of music these days becoming detached…  it would make sense if indeed, these artists were actually programmed.  i didn’t see you necessarily having a literal alter ego (aka beyonce).  but i DID indeed see the dissociative behavior within you…  the idea that you were ‘peter pan in (your) heart’ did not come out of nowhere.

when you spoke of your trauma, people did not connect everything else around it, and just assumed you were crazy or immature.  what happened to you as a child, and even when you were at the height of fame during the ‘thriller’ period were indeed different degrees of trauma-based programming.  people thought it was cute that you wore the sunglasses; however, if one were to look into those enormous, deep brown eyes of yours they’d see something very sad.

even berry gordy acknowledged this programming in some way, when he stated that you and your brothers being signed to motown engendered “the last big stars to come rolling off (his) assembly line.”  was the abuse you and your brothers by your father even an issue with gordy, if that trauma was to make him a lot of money?  it is interesting, certainly, that motown was home to individuals such as marvin gaye, tammi terrell and florence ballard, who endured traumas such as rape and (emotional/physical) abuse.  due to it’s obvious ‘nature’ disney is consistently looked at in relation to trauma-based programming (http://nesara.insights2.org/Monarch.html) yet the varying degrees in which other ‘corporations’ (IF you know what i mean) contribute to that programming are not as emphasized.

people look at ‘celebrity’ or the paparazzi as being the cause of these disassociative behaviors, without examining the role government plays in aligning itself with media. returning to disney for a moment; people look to the 1943 production ‘education for death’ as proof of walt disney’s anti-nazism.  looking a the history behind the film though, i still qustion his intent.  disney was under government contract to produce this and other films, since he was running out of money, and a significant portion of his staff went on strike, as they were not credited in the films.  gerard c. raiti explains the politics behind such films as ‘education for death’ (in comparison to modern media) in the essay ‘the disappearance of disney animated propaganda:  a globalization perspective’.

describing the main character’s journey from being ‘free’ to being brainwashed/programmed, the narrator of ‘education for death’ states:

Manhood finds him still heiling and marching. But the grim years of regimentation have done their work; now he’s a good Nazi. He sees nothing but what the party wants him to see, he says nothing but what the party wants him to say, and he does no more than the party wants him to do. And so, he marches on with his millions of comrades, trampling on the rights of others… for now his education is complete. His education… for death.

this is not just nazism you can refer this to…  this “regimentation” is done in popular cultural in general.  when we choose not to unplug ourselves from the ‘hidden in plain sight’ programming, we are dying a spiritual, cellular and psychic death.  we no longer engage each other, nor do we question the world around us.  we just become ‘good consumers’.

in marc  eliot’s book, ‘walt disney:  hollywood’s dark prince’ it is explained, amongst many things, that:

‘The trou­ble began early in the year, in Jan­u­ary, when Dis­ney sent pro­ducer Jerry Sims to Wash­ing­ton to final­ize plans with the Bureau for a two-minute ‘Mickey Mouse Club’ news­reel of a group of chil­dren tour­ing the Bureau’s D.C. head­quar­ters. Sims sub­mit­ted a pre­lim­i­nary script to an FBI agent iden­ti­fied as Kem­per, who duti­fully passed it on to Lou Nichols, the Bureau’s head of pub­lic rela­tions. Nichols reviewed the mate­r­ial and ini­tially approved the ven­ture. How­ever a week later he appar­ently changed his mind when he returned Kemper’s report with a mes­sage scrawled in ink across the bot­tom that read “i don’t think we should.” Kem­per then called Sims and told him the bureau would be unable to assist on the project.

“When Walt received news of the FBI’s turn­down he phoned Hoover to find out why. Hoover told Dis­ney he would per­son­ally look into the sit­u­a­tion and ask his close friend Clyde Tol­son, the Bureau’s assis­tant direc­tor and sec­ond to com­mand, to inves­ti­gate the mat­ter. Tol­son ordered a com­plete review of what had now become in FBI head­quar­ters as the ‘Dis­ney Sit­u­a­tion,’ after which he reaf­firmed Nichols’s deci­sion not to coop­er­ate with Dis­ney.”

you can check for more quotes from the book here:  http://ce399fascism.wordpress.com/2011/05/10/walt-disney-nazi-sympathizer-spitefire-ftr-301/

walt disney and berry gordy actually have a lot in common regarding the companies they created…  they both considered everyone involved to be part of the illusion of ‘family’, and programmed everyone as such.  those who protested were ostracized.  and also like disney, because it was a ‘family’, you were not to complain about the low amount of pay, or royalties.


as the great elder and ancestor gil scott-heron said, we deal in too many externals.  that said, never can we deal in proper methods for true freedom from the ‘cult of personality’ or, from the programming of trauma.  due to our refusal to remove ourself from our conditioning and just complaining, we have encountered a whole generation only familiar with ‘american idol’ and autotune.  never will they have known anything else, unless there are elders in their lives to help them.

we deal in too many externals…  where people only look to ‘thriller’ for inspiration in terms of reaching success, but never find inspiration in the teachings beneath the linn drum and guitar lick.

Lift Your Head Up High
And Scream Out To The World
I Know I Am Someone
And Let The Truth Unfurl

and we can never become someone…  unless we refuse to be  programmed to believe that others are supposed to validate our existence.  we have been programmed to believe that we can become the ‘next…  idol’.

No One Can Hurt You Now
Because You Know What’s True
Yes, I Believe In Me
So You Believe In You

this teaching (yes, teaching, one of the few teachings on the ‘thriller’ album) mirror’s one of martin luther king’s greatest statements:

Believe in yourself and believe that you’re somebody… nobody else can do this for us. No document can do this for us.  No Lincolnian emancipation proclamation can do this for us; no Kennesonian or Johnsonian civil rights bill can do this for us.  If the negro is to be free, he must move down into the inner resources of his own soul and sign with a pen and ink of self-assertive manhood HIS OWN emancipation proclamation.”

and of course he was assassinated, since he publicly questioned the programming he was a part of, amidst the admonishments of his community and peers.  and like martin luther king jr., some people thought you were shaking things up a bit too much when you decided to openly speak on the institution (of racism, of ‘money’, of trauma).



for black people like gordy to rarely, if ever publicly acknowledge the traumas we continue to face, due to the ravishes of enslavement stay with us to this day.  for gordy to encourage an environment which worked to promote assimilation served its purpose in the larger scheme of things (unfortunately); but gordy selling it off to a white-owned company in the 1980s reads miles about how much he was about developing people into a market, as opposed to recognizing those people as having distinct personalities- and pain.

and of course, like disney, cultural critics observe how gordy transformed a people as being part of the ‘american cultural fabric’. but at what price did people have to pay to get there?

motown’s decision to create an ‘assembly line’ structure (evoking racist henry ford) contributed to our struggle as black people to never engage our communities regarding trauma.  ‘black people don’t commit suicide; that’s just not how we do.  suicide is a white people’s thing’.  even if, statistically, ‘we’ never engaged in suicidal behavior prior to being shipped to this country, we still must acknowledge the trauma  that continues to occur possibly because of it.

when you decided to go public with your trauma, a whole bunch of black people claimed it was you being influenced by ‘white people’. never will some people acknowledge that abuse is very real, and very painful.  never will some people acknowledge that emotional abuse in some ways is more scarring than the physical.  you can hide the physical, but how you feel about yourself due to certain words being ingrained becomes apparent.

‘well, black people, that’s what we do.  we beat our kids.’  we can never acknowledge the possibility that this attitude was ingrained in us due to colonialization.  ‘that’s what we do’?  was there some research done, stating this was the case?  does anybody just by way of nature, beat their kids until they are bruised, or tell their kids they are ugly or stupid?  THIS is supposed to build character in a world that already doesn’t see value in us?

when i see you, i see the scarring.  i see the effects of that trauma, because it’s more common than we choose to acknowledge.  in many ways, you were the public face of the ‘hidden in plain sight’ effects of it.  because you had access to a lot of money, you channeled the trauma in different ways; ways which appeared to be a ‘detachment from reality’ to many.  ultimately, it WAS  a form of detachment, but not in the way others come to think of it.  even though you were very clear in your reasoning for, say, creating neverland; people still do not make the connections between your actions and the trauma you faced.  and the fact that you never pro-actively dealt with/healed from them is a crucial part of the narrative.


and STILL, why do i think you are upset with me?  because i find it hard to pro-actively deal as well.  it’s not as if i’m doing a good job at healing myself, before i can go and ‘heal the world’.

don’t even feel like seeing kids because of how i am.  i don’t want them to see me.  they could not even make me smile.  lately i’ve been even feeling that in this state, if i ever were to give birth to a child i’d suffer postpartum depression so bad…  i don’t even want to consider the possibilities.

when i am here writing/talking to you, i feel a sense of comfort. because it’s just me, and you, and my thoughts.  but at this point i have an intense fear of going out into the world, going to work…  and having to explain why i’m feeling what i am feeling.  people laugh, they do not want to talk.  so i’m frozen.  so i deal with it by putting hot matches to my wrist, in order to feel warmth.  in order to see the cells on my skin move and change. when i don’t feel that, i feel cold,  ‘alone and cold inside…’  i look at my arm and see the results of that, and it makes me feel like i’ve accomplished something.  because at this point, i don’t feel very motivated to do much else.  i feel like whatever else i’m going to do, everything else i had planned, is just going to fail.  and i don’t know why.

and because you are somewhere else i don’t know if you even hear me.  i’m not able to communicate with you in a way where you could respond in kind, so all i have is these words.  all i have is this format to tell you i apologize for letting you down if i have, and that i love you.

love, jamilah


About jamilah

i think about a lot of things, and sometimes i write about them.
This entry was posted in africa, children, freedom, life, michael jackson, parenting, politics, transcendence. Bookmark the permalink.

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