Monday, October 29, 2007

Going back, But Not Quite

Tomorrow morning, I will board a plane to Austin, Texas, a place that I haven't been in nearly 15 years. A place that I swore to never return for all the days of my life. But tomorrow, I'm going back.

Do I feel the same way I felt when I swore to never set foot on the soil of Austin? Um, nope... What can I say... I was a fractured, imature, heart-broken 17-year-old. When you're 17-years-old, the little stuff seems so big; and the big stuff seems so little. Boy, ain't I'm glad that I turned 30 already. I sware when you're 29 and younger... Let's just say that you're not as smart as you think you are. But I digress...

After I land in Austin in the morning, I'll be catching a taxi to a building that's actually right across the street from the place that I was forced to call home for 4 long, seemingly abusive, heart breaking years. What place is this? Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired

When I write about TSBVI, I don't know why it feels like I'm writing about the deadly, frightful concentration camps in Germany, or the plantations where so many of my people were physically tortured and psychologically abused for 300 years. Because honestly, it wasn't that bad. In fact, it wasn't half as bad as I for so many years pegged it to be.

I guess TSBVI represents so much more to me than just the place I went to school and lived.
It's the place that I lost my eye sight.
It's the place that I had to live instead of living with my parents.
It's the place that I grew apart and started feeling segmented from my sisters.
It's the place that I had to learn how to deal with covert and overt racism.
It's the place that I had to learn how to deal with sexual harassment.
It's the place that I had paranormal experiences all the time. (Oh, yes... And it wasn't my imagination either.)
It's the place that I felt so lonely.
It's the place that I started feeling like I was losing so much control.
It's the place that I was scorn, rather than rewarded for being so smart.
It's the place that I rathered die than live.

So, even though I can still feel the pain from those years, I don't blame it on TSBVI. They didn't do it. In fact, they helped me to keep my head above a disability that was sure to drown me if I had not gotten the right kind of education, training, coping skills, and strategies for daily living. Now, after all these years, I realize that TSBVI was my blessing.

Tomorrow, I won't actually get a chance to go to TSBVI's campus to see the building that I walked up and down the halls to go to class, the dorm that I shared a room with my now deceased roommate, Ladama, or the sidewalks that I learned to master to go visit other friends that lived in different dorms.

But my heart is going to be able to be right across the street from the place that I experienced so much pain, and my heart won't be broken up filled with pain. Instead my heart is whole and full of thanks.

I will go to Austin again the week of November 12th. I'm going to make it my business to set aside some time to travel to TSBVI. I think actually going there, seeing some of the teachers that impacted my life, and being in the atmosphere of the whole system will do my heart good. I think that going back to the campus is a necessary intersection that I must travel to advance my healing.

I'll keep all of you that bother to read my blog updated about both of these Austin trips. It should be interesting.

Check you later.



Mizrepresent said...

OMG, Angela, or Angel...for some reason i want to call you...that was beautiful and thanks for visiting my blog. I wish you the best on your visit luv, take care, be safe and enjoy!

Angie Braden said...

Thanks Mizrepresent for your kind words. You're so sweet.

Yeah, I like your blog. Honestly , I spend too much time on political/social blogs than I should. I need to spend more time at some feel good blogs, such as yours. I'll be over there to check you out more.

Much peace and happiness,