I Didn't See… Poem by Chelsea Abili

I Didn't See…

By Chelsea Abili


You can't see it, but it's always there.

In the educational system, the workplace and through government ideology. These are due to the issues mentally that are formed in the human subconscious mind through lack of representations that aren't created in educational and environmental atmospheres, and it's greatly affected the structure of my individuality in the past, as a result of years of lack of information in the cultural sector.

‘You're so Weird'

Through my past experiences as a child, the lack of portrayal in diversity growing up resulted in me as an individual forming negative opinions against myself and my inner being through verbal insights from hers.

No older sister, no black dolls.
Only plastic Barbie dolls, I'm afraid.

The lack of foreign representation in my youth played a significant role in the forming of the view of myself as a child, which led to the subconscious adaptation to the Caucasian culture as a result.

This was seen as an escape goat from my reality, as I emerged into the sudden likeness of those around me, adjusting to the customs and traditional lifestyle of the Irish, suburbian heritage.

To avoid occasional isolation from others due to lack of knowledge on conventional and habitual social beliefs, I would build a new identity, forming a counterfeit version of myself, a knock off imitation of those around me, in an attempt to demolish the former identification of my inner being, because I didn't see.

I didn't see the distinctive, exquisite, precious soul, made in the image of my creator that I was. I didn't see the artistic, remarkable, astonishing young black women mirroring my reflection whenever I took a quick glance.

I couldn't see.
I couldn't find her.

The concept of Religion played a vital role in the construction of my subconscious addiction to conformity.

Conforming to gossiping and conversations that didn't appear true to my identity in Christ was a process I indulged in as a form of protection against verbal oppression from others.

It clogged me with guilt, but the self condemnation was all too familiar to reject, to leave behind. I'd rather deal with the true guilt of discarding my religious and cultural beliefs than absorb my own personal values and use that to grow.

Because that would be hard, and we didn't like hard. We liked it easy, at the time.

If bad-mouthing hers was the cure to prevent myself from standing out, so be it.
Or so I thought.

Instead of spending time alone, in an attempt to build up the courage to form self love, I would abandon my black culture, hating on its traditions, such as braiding hair. I would see its common customs as a form of hatred towards me, and couldn't comprehend it's reasons.

I didn't cherish the value of weave, or hold in high regard the fact that weave is an example of a primordial style.

A form of art.

Hair separates us by texture, colour and racial classification, which we know as a construct, though it's also the very thing that brings us together.

This is why I see adaptation like a thief in the night. We aren't aware of the hour, day or time.
But it's there. It's always there.

Society just appears fearful of the hidden consequences of sole independence, that we are willing to trade our individuality for comfort, adjustment and ease.

Conformity is a mugger of peace.
A bandit of originality.

It's an illness, and we all suffer from it.
But I'm healed. So now I see.

The outstanding, beyond comparable soul. Living inside of me.

I see her....
She was always there.
Her pential was just waiting to be discovered

Chinedu Dike 11 June 2022

Well conceived and nicely written with conviction. An insightful piece of poetry. Thanks for sharing and do remain enriched.

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