‘Cause at the END is where our true BEGINNING awaits...
I missed out on so many opportunities because of my ptsd, it’s symptoms and the consequences how it never being properly addressed or treated until now.
I was in denial for so many years. I’m too young. I have a passion, dreams, goals and purpose. MUSIC duh! 🖤And quite frankly,
my Momma didn’t raise no fool and I still had great days where I felt wild, invincible, and POSSIBLE despite not having the absolutely needed support and medication;
I always had conviction.
But MOST of the time. I wanted out. I was over living (life like this.)
I was morbid and ready to go. Not even mad or sad just ready but too scared to end my own life. So I loathed myself and my weakness to take matters into my own hands. The fight to end my life or not.
I lost so many years to depression...
Depression is a symptom of PTSD in which in my personal experience there’s what I call; the 4 Henchmen of ptsd.
I will be focusing mainly on my DEPRESSION...
First of, just getting out of bed was the ultimate challenge
(I now figured out a way to edit, eq, record, copyright and create content from bed: hello MORNING HAIR) but still
I have flat out lost years sleeping away just to escape the feelings, agony, darkness and complete lack of energy to do anything whilst awake....
And on my good/greats days I was just attempting to catch up.
Ha! Never caught up.
My wild child energy plummeted.
Fuck self-love, pampering, health first or even wearing makeup.
I wouldn’t even shower or brush my teeth for days (GROSS MAHJ!)
Then came the physical internalizing
I got sick. I was always crying, sobbing, screaming...hitting myself.
I lost my voice and couldn’t sing and that KILLED ME! I tried to quit the music and singing so many times. Failed many times.
I had been elected by ASCAP in ‘09, had Grammy nominated producers trying to work and mess with me; driving me to music conferences because I still don’t drive (thanks ptsd). I had NBA trainers trying to take me under their wing among other things. I had dope fellow artists and influencers letting me stay at their mansions with their Ducati and mango trees giving me free clothes, photoshoots. I had VPs naming BCBG heels after me and throwing bags of free shows and designer clothes to me. I had producers trying to put me in wack girl groups (sorry they were beautifu, y’all and skinny just not in it for the music)
I have great contacts. I have songs. Thousands actually. I have a voice, the passion; the PAIN.
I can write a whole love song in minutes and shop it to teams of the bed tof the best. I had movie soundtrack composers goving me microphones and transcribing my love songs into piano pieces. I had genuine and talented af producers, hip hops artists and agents out for a piece of me and I shot them all down. I couldn’t even get out of bed! I even had a publishing contract then I self sabotaged because I realized I didn’t want to be a staff writer anymore. I wanted to be the artist. The one on stage, secreting my written stories and leaving it all stage for the people. Not them. that was a blessing in disguise but still, burned like hell on a hot summer day.
On my best, most normal days; I am beyond qualified to handle the industry, men, vultures in perfect tandem with my work ethic, ambitious creative prolific mind and visionary/intuitive though freaky empowered ways.
I traveled and got to picked the brains of the greats! Dallas Austin, Quincy Jones, The array, Natasha Benningfeld, Debby Harry, JT, Bill Withere, Tricky Stewart, Teddy, Inner Circle members, and their providers and team, I studied music law and business in college. I was accepted to perform at the Olympics in China @19. But instead of using it. I refused it all. Self-sabotage is real within depression. You want and work for somethings so bad but then don’t allow yourself to aquire it because you’re not worthy, pathetic, and nothing good every happens to you anyways and if it did; it’s not going to last yong Mandi J. So don’t even bother. You want to die soon anyways.
But instead, the childhood trauma when I was 4-5years and beyond made me a in empowered empath, I fell in platonic love with complete strangers BUT I also felt their psin and thus:
I felt the weight of the world on my big Latina/Taino shoulders.
I was so utterly sad, overwhelmed with sadness of the world it seemed. So I had no right to complain for some many others had it worse. And I certainly couldn’t seek further help if I couldn’t even work woth Grammy nominated producers and teams.
Honestly-It’s a sheer miracle I am BLESSfully married (not blissfully. Impossible given love, humans plus mood disorder) because I tried leaving him; my hearts MUSIC and HEAVEN in human form soooo many times! He would not let me go! I tried! I broke his heart so many times just to realize I was living for him now.
(That’s you Ramy Abdalla! What up boo!😍🐼)
And worst of all, if I wasn’t physically hurting myself or him (as I did with my older beautiful beyond magical angel of a sister) when I was a child and teen; I was busy having cutting class and work to have foreay, fights, arguments, sex and or master-bating unhealthily. And when I was a good girl in school-I was thinking about it.
NOW UNDERSTAND: if it was NOT for my biological father being a drug addict and traumatizing me in the first place, I would of became a drug addict myself. I had so many sources. Dated and lived with drug dealers.
BUT if it wasn’t for MUSIC and vocal music conservatory teaching me about vocal health and alcohol I would of been an alcoholic too.
I had the money, lived next to a bunch of bars and liquor stored and was always given free anything I wanted. Especially alcohol.
•Btw shout out to Brooklyn Conservatory of Music for those scholarships. What I learned then changed my life as a vocalist forever student•
(I need to finish my delayed vent! But I about to perform and before I was in the Uber driving to my vegan dinner but I need to finish what I started. Love you all...my inspirations. I owe you the truth, the reasons, and then the dream turned reality! Stay Tuned and always #StayINSPIRED!)
...At the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music I learned about how hormones could change your vocals as a singer so after that, I had this anxiety my voice would change. And IT DID! I was a soprano1 all in conservatory, high school and Brooklyn College as a vocal performance major then @24years I got this new low register and couldn’t keep my high notes. I worked really hard for those but the years weren’t wasted because I recorded soooo many songs so thank goodness.
NOW understand. I am absolutely NOT complaining. I honestly feel like the luckiest unlucky human.
I feel things deeper than most.
I dream things years in advance (it has been proven by my drawings) and I have the most amazing sex life with myself and relationship with my body, soul, and libido because when you are exposed to a lot of sex (I mean high off drugs fucking like vampires, unicorns and wrestlers) I learned to touch myself, feel things, control and release them sustain and repeat again.
So safe to say I was in-touch with a very experienced last of life at a very young age BUT I was also the school hoe because I was so friendly and loving as an empath but “sexy”, showing cleavage and preferring heels and going commando.
BUT the trauma made me asexual and so I was also the lesbian.
I remember in Jr.High School the “mean kids” wrote on the wall with my home # (before smart phones) that I was the school lesbian whore. I never even tongue kissed yet mich less had sex with anyone or def never got paid for being nice and looking sexy.
Cause even though I was a sex feign I believed in love, consent, earning and being worthy of anothers body, soul and ones sacral plexes and ones mana prana and chi.
Hence all the masterbation. And once I started meditating to help with my terrifying suicidal thoughts and fantasies; I would get more horny but on a purely spiritual plane...
Fast forward: thank god for self love, coconut oil, hot water pressure, sex toys and cucumbers!
That was just one faucet of my childhood, pre teens years and then teenage years. College was the worst and thank god as an artist I had to give it up. But I tried 2x. Deans list and all y’all! And definitely had no awesome experimental college sex either.
...the worst part about being exposed to a lot of sex and being physically introduced to it @5years old is feeling this uncontrollable need for sex. In most of its facets. Pure physical relief, release and ease. But I didn’t consent to it until I was 15 years old with my first fiancé. (I know wtf? 15 and engaged but if he wanted this rarity he had to put a ring on it and obviously it did not pan out)
See, I couldn’t fucked just anybody/everybody. I wanted to, I easily could of but with also being emotional traumatized you become asexual (I can’t speak for other survivors of child hood sexual abuse and incest) but for me I know I loved, needed, wanted, crave and desired sex since 7 but
I didn’t want to be touched by anybody! It was torture.
Oh man, I remember being home from surgery and with my fresh stitches on my abdomen I was caught master bating in the shower.
Now, my mother is so amazing y’all!
I’m sure she holds so much guilt but honestly, she was the warrior of strength, Phenoix fire and oure love I needed. Plus, she has been healing from her own awful horrific trauma and mine was LuCKY compared to hers (at least it was my own father and only when he was high on drugs) because when he was sober...he was so inspriring. A whole different human.
My mom has to be so strong and fearless for my sister and I while being terrified, depressed and anxious all at once. And then she had to make sure I didn’t rip my stitches.
While my father god knows where had to sober up and realize what he did and life with it. We made Peace and I love my father very much. But as a family member never a father.
Luckily he gave me the gift of anti drugs! Thanks Michael.
My mother was my supposed enemy growing up. I was depressed and wild but she had to raise us strong as a single unbroken mother. God. I’m so head over heels in love and in awe of her. She doesn’t have fb but I LOVE YOU Esther! You are the truest warrior of pure love, strength, resilience, fire powers, beauty, brilliance, compassion and Puerto Rican ass whippings. Also, thank you for never asking to me to shut up for all the 17 years I lived with you and had to sing my guts out to the radio, my walkmen, my cds and your cassettes.
Back to sex, because I’m considered a fetish which is ridiculous. You normal people are the exception not the rule and that’s cool. More power to you but is freaks are the rule and norm in my book.
I only fucked men and women who truly loved me and who I held true love for. I was never in love until my husband but I definitely felt love and sex was just my favorite way to express it and explore it. Also reading. Reading, food and sex are my loves.
So I always felt lost, dirty, absolutely never understood and absolutely not fucked enough. I needed it and it was intense. I been pregnant 2x by two of past boyfriends and both times; thank god I found out early on and chose to abort. THANK YOU MEDICAID! Sooo many people told me to keep the first one. But deep down I knew. I was still the 5 year old girl needing a true father figure, HOPE, and the RESILIENCE to want to keep on living. To love myself the way I fucked myself. Over and over and over again. I worked my ass off too. My jobs loved me and thought I was so obedient and loyal which I was BUT to myself, dreams, conviction NEVER THEM! Sorry not sorry but I was also a 5 year old mentally stuck now in a supple 20 year old body! It’s funny, I quit alcohol and eating pork @21 due to the real uneasiness I felt while under the influence. I was already hot and cold beyond norm. I was already manic then depressive. I was already reckless, horny, immature, easily discouraged, sad, angry af without it. So I quit it BUT unfortunately that was easy compared to failing at quitting being depressed, a hot mess and an emotional wreck.
Thank God she gave me MUSIC as songwriting and singing because this once powerful outlet became my life.
At 19 I was loving on my own, working full time working 2 jobs at Macy’s (shout out COTY PRESTIGE and Men’s Wear House: Nasser my angel) then finally at Saks Fifth Ave where I really blossomed in regards to just living in the uws and in Manhattan. But I was still in reconcilable. I would bring my song binder to work and end up in the stock room working on nail BUT when o had an opportunity I perform. I sank! Fast and hard. #Titanic 💔
And it wasn’t just normal oh you just laying your dues, getting your chops up. NO, I couldn’t deliver the way I did when I was by myself. In my element. I would rehearse for hours every day with the greats (Hiiiii Mariah Carey,Destiny Child,Mya, Barbara, Alicia Keyes, Elton John, Cher, Tina Turner, Diana, all Motown, Mozart, Dolly, to name a few of course our music angels Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, Barry, Lurther, Jimi, Janis, Queen, David Bowie, Prince💜 to name a few)
I felt it surge through me BUT to YOU guys! I would choke up. I was terrified. I had these big dreams and the god given gods but I couldn’t deliver! Wtf! It was prison.
Look, having no real active support towards one real passions and dreams as a child, teenager and young adult didn’t help. It takes a village and I never had one. All I had was my mom, sister and amazing uncle Eddie who is now an angel who I miss soooo much! By my mother was too just taking care of food, shelter; our livelihood and my sister had her own struggle. Aside from a crazy wild baby sister! Tio Eddie made me my first business cards as a singer. Still have one.
But beside that. It was all on me and that was sooo lonely I honestly could of lost my mind if it wasn’t for the creative healing joyous LIVE SAVING process of just creating and writing new songs, singing them, singing covers and performing for my stuffed animals. That was almost enough and made me feel so powerful, possible and strong enough.
I MEAN CONE ON! The sheer undeniable power of ONE SONG! One cd. One album. MUSIC SAVES SOULS!!!!!!
It saved mine every. single. time and will for my last dying breath!
But forget about performing live or recording studios young Mandi J.
I met amazing people, artists, musicians, humans through music. By when you can’t deliver the goods and have no one mentoring you. The struggle is real so I retreated into behind the scene work.
So many years lost. I would get sooo depressed then almost terrified I would shut down...go completely numb then black out.
Then back to sleep. On my worst night. I was ready to go. I was going to take all the pills in my apartment and go. Thats when I had my first epiphany.
That was INSANE!
There was blinding light everywhere. It hurt and I was on the floor in fetus position waiting to die and this voice, message; BLINDING BRIGHT AS FUCK LIGHT.
Was I dreaming!? Am I dead?
then a message. Not a voice but a clear message.
Sing your songs. You will find JOY. Sing Mandi. You will become JOY. SING, JOY then total NOTHING!
it was pitch black in the apt and I was about to turn 25 years old.
Some say it was a quad life crisis, other believe it was a near death experience and all I now believe it was GOD.
The next day I sang one of my songs on Facebook.
This was before LIVE but y’all know it was just as terrifying recording a video and then pressing that button that sends the post! Ended up saving my life. I did something I was terrified to do. Post a video of me in all the camera singing one of my beloved original songs. The feedback was amazing and the love was real and it felt soooo good! Addicting? Thank goodness no but from all the waiting and suffering it felt good. Like being constipated for so long and finally taking a good ol big healthy shit. It all came out and I felt lighter and empowered!
Fuck you depression, self-sabotage, suicidal thoughts/hopes/fantasies, fuck violent angered outburst, triggers every other block, survival fight mode, hopelessness, completely lack of interest in the things I know in my hearts soul and souls heart that I am passionate about and mean to do.
Fuck slipping away to oblivion by sleeping away my life. Fucking over eating everything in the house or nothing at all for days. Fuck running away. Hiding away, feeling ashamed for what happened to me as a 4 year old, 5 year old and every year after! For a lot more sexual harassment from boys when I was 4 to former managers and friends of ex boyfriends and total complete fucked up strangers and nasty neighbors. FUCK ALL OF YOU! I know you got your karma. While me, I must be getting stronger because I’m simply: NOT DEAD YET!
Some days, I find myself slipping and fast. Can’t get out of bed. Won’t allow myself to sing. Finish a song. Emailing fellow possible collaborator back, not going back for that audition, free class, free studio time, not joining the wack af girl group.
Omg, the worse was living with rock star wannabees who were recovering addicts and allowing myself to get sick with full blown pneumonia, acute exhaustion and more trauma like the night the FBI raided the apt and gave me a heart attack and aimed a rifle at me. Or the time there was a bomb delivered to the first floor of the house where we were living on second floor and the bomb went off and again my heart stopped while windows smashed and the bomb squad and FBI tried to cover it up.
I have experienced a lot and I feel soooo old bit at the same time. I feel so young and wild which brings me to thE RIGHT HERE AND NOW!
I’m not in no way complaining or explaining myself to any of you. Half of you know we hold real love and humane compassion for each other and we are all going through our story and unique experience alone; together but the other half I know of you are just waiting to see me fail, suffer, stay down and disappear. Well, sorry. Ain’t gonna happen. Y’all need to learn to love, forgive, let go and heal ya selves. I believe in you and even you I shall remain choosing LOVE.
I’m just letting it all out NOW because a week ago exactly today I had a solid near death experience.
...Or as some of you veterans would say and really really bad trip!
DISCLAIMER: I DO NOT DO DRUGS. But I am not bashing them or against them. This was a first and last time thing. 🙏🏽
I will not get into the crazy details because I am still reeling and stunned from it BUT know this.
I experienced an overdose and felt my body and all its systems shutting down.
Whole experience lasted 11+ solid hours from intake of drug to surviving the whole ordeal.
I slept most of it off.
But the ear dearh experience was real. I thought I was dying. And it was so conscious and the most ethereal and hyper aware I have ever felt.
I felt like I was dying and I was READY to go! I was terrified like it was this but I was ready to go and all I could do was apologize to my husband (who saved my life by the way; I 100000% know this for fact. He also cleaned up the most throw up a human my height and weight should ever throw up and he also did not leave me side)
Back to the still unspeakable and indescribable experience.
I was ready to go. I didn’t think about my mother, sister, family, music, rescue fur babies. I didn’t feel bad or ready to fight and I didn’t feel angry, sad, happy, relieved, depressed...just accepting and waiting for the next phase I guess but then I felt trapped. Like if this is dying then why am I feeling so stuck. I was thinking; is this purgatory. While you slowly ever so consciously separate from your physical body. Because that’s how it felt and seemed. Like a slow stream of hyper awareness and detaching from the body which was nice becaisw before I felt my heart beating right out my chest, fast, hard; depleted and my ability to just breathe complete slipping away. So strange, to be alive is simply breathing non stop. What a weird sensation to take advantage of...
I was fading in and out yet totally stuck ultra aware and conscious of it all. My thoughts, my acceptance, my readiness for next level and my body shutting down.
And in the end I could say to Ramy was I was so sorry. That he was a true king and shouldn’t be here going through this. That I loved him and he was so amazing.
I do recall remaining quite calm with him especially because I didn’t want him freaking out seeing me freak out. But he knew I felt I was ODing and dying; slowly and ever so consciously ready and accepting.
I HAVE NO IDEA how long this lasted. Before knocking out into oblivion I do recall waking up in and out of consciousness and always seeing him next to me, coming towards me or holding me and at one point I think I asked for donuts and McDonalds chicken nuggets and fries. Last meal requests are real at least for this pmsing at the moment foodie.
When I woke, I knew I survived and for the next 3 days I DID NOT once leave my husband side. I was his tail and just needed to be my him.
A new found love, respect, admiration and holiness for my always bigger, better; hairier half.
Of course he told me if I ever took drugs like that again he would divorce me. At least he knows this was not a full blown suicide attempt. Just an overdue; much desired and needed escape.
But when I can to I was different. Forever different. I felt lighter. I felt empty in the most beautiful, blissful, intriguing sense. No sad thoughts, no lack of focus, no depressing thoughts, anxiety, concerns, desires or pain. Just empty. Then I started singing and out of no where finished a song I recorded 7+ years ago maybe.
And ever since then...a week later and as of right now.
I feel the most alive, capable, free, in my truth and still light. I feel so immensely in love with my life, my gifts, my passions, my PRESENT and fully confident in my capacity to achieve my dream head on with no doubts, fears, anxious negative voices or tightness.
I’m still me. The essence and physical state but my brain is different I believe. My soul is more in charge, aware and ready to party it seems in the most non party way. If that makes any fucking sense.
I been non stop recording new songs, finishing old ones, performing last minute, planning and scheduling and LIVING right here and now. I feel the most stable and solid I have ever felt. Which is fascinating in the best way because when a child or any persons deals with a real trauma we remember every single thing not just in unreliable memory but in stark vivid remembrance and re experience.
And the way I felt at 4, 5, 6 years and every in between to NOW is completely new. Solid. Light. Capable. Hyper aware and relaxed. Excited even. Ready. Delightfully nervous, utterly fragile yet feeling so much empower surging through my whole being+human and absolutely okay with it.
Not to say, I’m not back to my day to day routines and environments but my mind and soul is 10000% altered and I truly believe for the better and most bold and beautiful to come.
Now, I had no inkling or hairline intention of writing all this. Especially when I was on my way to eat and perform. So before and after. Interesting. Strange and now that I am almost done saying what I have to say. Weirded out in the most cathartic way.
Yes. I have suffered most of my life. In my own sad fucked up head.
Yes. I’ve had been in therapy since I was 6 on and off and been in a ptsd prison of sorts.
And yes, I have missed out on a lot of opportunities but RIGHT HERE and NOW I have been given the BEST most amazing miraculous opportunity. To simply be ALIVE and altered enough yet more cemented in my true being that nothing can take that away from me.
Even if I get struck down and really die tomorrow or in 40, 50, 60 years.
I will have lived and died a true survivor and blessed to share my experience and realizations and truth with all of you.
So THANK YOU inspirations and this is ONLY the beginning! Because I saw the end and that’s where all the best beginnings truly await...
Your songstress, your neighbor, your fellow human, Mandi Abdalla Hernandez Jimenez