Tag Archives: rape

Elm City Vineyard! God’s place of residence!

Elm City Vineyard is my church. The people who attend are my brothers and sister and non-binary siblings. I come from an abusive background, raped, molested, and beaten for 16 years. My aunts were always drinking, my cousins smoking weed, and I was reminded by the aunts and uncles that I was supposed to feel safe with that “my mother doesn’t love me, I deserved to be raped, that’s why I am in foster care.” I remember vividly being raped at 6 years old and sodomized with a gun to my head and looking at my mom and she walked away. My mom would beat me until I bled and then only then say it’s because I love you. My twin brother was a terror. If I didn’t do what he said, he would threaten to kill our own mother. He abused me, beat me, and would laugh and say, “That’s why mommy loves me more.” I’ll never forget the day my grandmother choked me, and before I blacked out my aunt said, “Ma, you are killing her.” I ended up in the hospital, at age 11. My cousins would beat me naked. My aunt one day when I was 14 called me a little girl, pushed me against the wall, and started to beat me up and I finally fought back. I reported to my DCF in emails all the abuse, and she would say that because I’m bipolar and heard voices, I wasn’t meant for a family, and when I did have a family, I messed up and was mentally ill. I was kicked out of my home at 24 when I was in a psych ward and told not to returnn. I slept on the streets, and on the beach where I showered in the ocean. I developed hypoglycemia because I couldn’t afford food. I moved to NC to experience trauma. I moved back to Connecticut and had nowhere to go. I was asked, “Can you go back to your grams?” I did and slept on the floor with a sheet. I ate only tuna fish because of my allergies. I worked but wasn’t stable enough to keep a job. It wasn’t until Continuum of Care took me under their wing, through Jesus I was protected and given a shelter home. I moved into independent living with staff but couldn’t afford it, and eventually, I moved into my own apartment, where I saw drugs, addicts, sex, overdoses, and death. I moved and am still seeing it. Then I asked God for a church home where I would feel safe at least one day a week, a job where I would be valued, not judged if I had to be hospitalized, and a compassionate boss. God granted me my request. I work for an amazing company, and I love my clients. I work hard and am learning that August 24, 2023, will make a year of stable employment. My boss has an open heart, is kind and respectful. I am a MSW student at Western New Mexico University and I am excelling. Elm City Vineyard is a diverse church of races, mixed families, and different orientations of people and I am accepted as a man. I see beautiful young African Queens and I tell their parents their daughters are beautiful, and their hair is perfect. I met a young woman with a daughter, and I told her to tell her every day that she is beautiful and today I called her a queen. Her mom told me how she picked out a fancy dress for daycare. Her mom is a singer and she doesn’t know, Elm City Vineyard doesn’t know that they are healing my inner child, and I feel God ever more present in my life. I celebrated May 20, 2023, with 6 years of no psychiatric hospitalizations and 6 years of not being homeless on May 21st, 2023. Boy, the old Baptist saying I was glad when they said unto me let us go into the house of the Lord. It is my anthem of praise. I love my church and pastors. When I saw a young Black girl making a mistake during service, her mom went over to her and kissed her. I felt God hugging me and giving me the kisses, I’d never received. I bring my client to church and Elm City Vineyard is healing them too. I love this church because they are accepting but preach the true word of God in a tangible and relatable way. God no longer feels like a God in space but a friend that is near. God is who I am dependent on. I rely on him for resources. Food, and I want to honor him with my life. Elm City Vineyard challenges me to better myself and to be a better person to the world around me. I know instead of a Ph.D. I want to go to Seminary at Yale Seminary University. Pastor Josh and Patrick have a yearning for the people, I don’t know the other pastors by name, but there is this one woman who works with the kiddos, and I admire her and thank her in my heart. One day I’ll tell her. I am reaffirming my faith through baptism soon. I hope to be a full member of Elm City Vineyard. I already feel like I’m family. If God never blesses me again, a church home was the medicine I needed all along. Thank you, Elm City Vineyard, for the past two months. I love you and your community. I love you because you love God and put the people and community first. To the young kings and queens grow in the Lord you’ll never regret it. To the mother of this princess, thank you for pouring into my life and the recent conversations we have had. I plan to grow in friendship with you in Christ. Elm City Vineyard is a rare beauty and a glimpse of heaven. As Pastor Josh’s wife preached my first Sunday there titled: what’s the point? I finally found an answer within myself God is the point and shepherding his people. The End

What has happened to the: Ole’ Negro Soul

The Black church wasn’t founded on the grounds of discrimination, religious intolerance, hate and false ideologies. No! It was founded in a time of despair, in a time of racial segregation, racial intolerance, limited education, limited funds, and separation.

The Black Church Ole’ Negro Soul was birth in the fields own by slave masters that was attended by Negro’s who were not worth a penny. We were sold, made fools of, raped, killed, lynched, beaten, given little food, considered property and separated from our families. What kept us together was unity, faith in a God bigger than us and hope. As we worked those fields, cleaned houses, called “niggers”, and endured true slavery- we sang what are called Ole’ Negro songs, about God and how our future generations would have it better. They didn’t kill each other like we’re doing. Our Black Brothers are killing each other. Brother vs. Brother. We’re doing what was done to us by the police, masters and society and killing one another.

The Ole’ Negro prayers birth leaders like MLK, who fought discrimination and hate with peace. Fought injustice with the power of education, and knowing our God given rights. I am only four generations away from slavery. It wasn’t that long ago, my ancestors were praying for my future, my parents future, and grandparents future. No!

The Black church was a place that taught politics, taught each other how to read, empowered one another, prayed and ate together. Under pressure, under fire, facing and accepting the realization that death was at our door; we kept on moving. The first book we were taught to read was the bible, the truth of God, and each story with a negative beginning had a powerful end. The greats was the birth of Jesus, who came with “Good news.” The church was a place of where we cried out to Jesus with our boisterous voice, dance in praise, spoke in unknown tongues and spoke life for a better generation.

The Ole’ Negro Soul- gave birth to leaders like W. E. B Du Bois, leaders like Malcolm X, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The voice of writers like Zora Neal Hurston, Alice Walker, Dr. Maya Angelou, Langston Hughes. The songs of singers like Ella Fitzgerald, Josephine Baker, and Mahalia Jackson. The Ole’ Negro soul, knew we would have a African American President. John Lewis, Oprah Winfrey, Toni Morrison, Earl Stafford, Dr. Sheryl W. Barnes, Revend King, Pastor Martha V. Green (local affluent black leaders) T.D Jakes, Condelezza Rice and so much more. My mayor: Toni Harp. These African American people are still fighting for our voices, rights and believing in out abilities. We have to keep the fight.

To my brothers and sisters lets not forget about our history, the four black girls killed and how the community came together. The fight to vote, police beatings, dogs biting our youth, unable to attend school, burned churches and burdened hearts. Lets not forget where we come from! Lets be the change we are demanding from our government. Let’s take office, lets vote, attend town hall meetings, turn off the tv and listen to the presidential address. Stay focus. Even in our music we’ve lost our voice. Our woman were raped, shamed and beaten naked, and abused, we’ve forgotten where we come from, and show our privates, “twerk” doing everything we were once forced to do. BET wasn’t founded on that, but I do believe it’s forgotten it’s roots and now we rap about drugs, killings, sex, money instead of building our community.

Historically Black Colleges/Universities are so expensive because after we graduate no one will donate back into the institutions making it hard for brothers and sisters to attend. Some have become so prestigious that we pick through tests created against the minority community to determine if you are good enough for an education. EVERY ONE HAS A RIGHT TO EDUCATION. Why are we making it so hard for our brothers and sisters, trying to make a difference. We deny them access, and so much many won’t apply because they don’t feel like they’re Howard material, Spellman worthy or Morehouse worthiness.

Where is the Ole’ Negro Soul? I think of our older generations the ones that are dying off, we need to take heed to their word, listen to their testimonies and use their passion and start a new revolution, built on our truths and faith. The generations that fought, walked and marched. We’ve forgotten where we’ve come from and confirmed to a world that is not right. We are killing one another, hating one another, relying on government handouts and destroying ourselves with words, guns and lies. Where is that Ole’ Negro Soul, who fought to stay together.

Don’t forget our history, our fights, our dreams, our voice and who helped made it a reality. What do you think Dr. Martin Luther King would say if he saw us today? It’s not enough to have a black president. It starts at home, in our communities and schools. Take charge, for yourself, your children for our God! I can’t speak for other races, I can only speak for mine. But every race needs to stick true to there roots and progress.

What has happened to the Ole’ Negro Soul?

Yolanda Adams- Thank-you. Please read and share!

Everyone who knows me, knows that Yolanda Adams is my favorite singer. However, not many people know why. So here it is:

I first heard Yolanda Adams in 1995. I was 5 years old, and I asked my aunt to turn of the music, she refused. My aunt told me that there would be a day that I would need gospel music. She was right. A week later, I was raped by my mom’s boyfriend; scared, crying with a gun held to my head, I heard her music that a neighbor was playing. I found rest and peace in her music from a young age. I was raped, and abused repeatedly by my mom’s boyfriend, I was abused physically by my twin brother every day, for 10 years. All I could do was sing “The Battle is Not Yours, It’s the Lords.”

Every time I was raped, hit and experiencing abuse, a stranger who knew nothing of me, was playing/singing Yolanda Adams. Through her music at a young age, I was able to hold true to my faith in God, and I believed that it had to get better. One night, coming home from school the door bell rung, it was a state social worker, telling me that I was leaving my house and was put into a foster care. I felt relief finally I was being saved, and Ms. Yolanda Adams was right–“Not matter what you are going remember this God only wants a chance to use you, for the battle is not your’s.”

I thought my life was finally changing, and it did! Not for the good. I was placed in my grandmothers home, and experienced physical abuse from my cousins, and verbal abuse from aunts and uncles. I was told “your just like your mother” “your mother doesn’t love you” “that’s why you were raped” “you don’t deserve a family” I went to bed crying, and went to church praying. They only thing I had the encouraged me, and allowed my heart to not become bitter was her voice, and the words in her songs. At 15 my mother told me “I don’t know how to love you.”

When I was 11 years old, I attempted suicide for the first time. I cut my wrists, and then I remember in a song she said “don’t give up, step out on faith” and I called 911. I was later diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder, Psychosis, and PTSD. I experienced pain and abuse that my mind turned. I live with an incurable disease. I lived in a mental hospital for over a year, in the hospital and I heard people singing her music (new music) and I would cry and pray. I was only 11, lost and alone, but I felt as though she understood and was saying to God what I couldn’t verbally say.

I found faith, and began to believe in myself. At a young age even lead a few youth in foster care to Christ, because of her music. I found solitude in school, and I flourished. I was good, and I realized I was smart. Although I lived in group homes, and residential homes I started to buy her cd’s. Determined, I bought every cd by her, until I knew God for myself, and was able to testify.

I went through court dates, depression, more hospitalizations, interviewing for families hoping to get adopted. Never happened! All I had was the word of God, music, social workers, therapists, and school. Finally, I found a church, and a spiritual mom, who helped change my life. I finally found someone I could call, pray with, laugh with, and cry with. Someone who wouldn’t reject me. Someone who loved me for me. I wish that she was my real mom, and often wished that she’d adopt me. I love my Mommy! I found my sister in Christ, who was my social worker, and now is my big sister. Similar to my spiritual mom she has opened her home to me, her family and answers every time I call. Over time I started to create my own family, and built a lifestyle based on the songs sang by Ms. Yolanda Adams.

Every time I’ve been hospitalized due to my health, and moved I’d listened to her music. I watched her performances. I followed my dreams. I gave my life to Christ. I give back to youth in foster care. I’m 23 years old, in college, eventually hoping to attend law school, become a politician. Newly engaged! Living with an illness. Thanks to Ms. Yolanda Adams, my mom, sister, church family-I’m following my dreams. I am changing my life, and creating a better future. I am a scholar. I have a voice. I can make a difference, and will.

Share this! Maybe Yolanda Adams will read it. I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to meet her. I pray I do. However, I just wanted to tell you “Thank-you” for you have changed my life and helped my heart healed. Because you stayed true to yourself, and God–I am doing well. I play your music when I’m stressed, happy all the time. I minister to young people, and have a huge heart. Thank-you.

-Domenia “Mia” Dickey