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Today I Cried by Phyllis Dickerson

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Eric Jones, TGIM CEO with Phyllis Dickerson, Chief of Staff Little Rock Mayor's Office

Today I cried, not because I lost my job or best friend, not because my loved one passed away, or because I don't have money in the bank.

Today I cried because I saw the faces of men who had the potential to be my husband or the father of my child.

Today I cried because none of them looked as if they knew I missed them all these years.

I missed their smiles, conversation, and their warm embrace.

Today I cried because they traded me in like a used car, but the trade-in wasn't even.

I got traded for a hustle. Did they not see my value or my potential?

Today I cried because they weren't around to inspire me to reach my goals or congratulate me on my achievements. Did they not know I needed them cheering for me at the finish line?

Today I cried because they missed graduations, weddings, baptisms, reunions, and the holidays. I thought about buying them a gift, but I couldn't count on them to ever come home to open it.

Today I cried because Father-Time has taken my joy and changed it to bitterness. I am like Naomi, but now I am Mara.

Today I cried because they didn't even see my pain growing inside my belly like a terminal cancer just waiting on the doctor to give the estimated time of death.

Today I cried because they weren't in the delivery room to help me give birth to my potential. I had to give birth alone with no one to hold my hand.

Please help wipe the tears from my eyes. Make my final years better than my beginning, so that my pain will not be in vain.

Writing is Therapy

Phyllis wrote this after volunteering at a Re-Entry Program. I met her and Mayor Mark Stodola at the MacAuthor Victory Walk to End Violence this past weekend. After sharing information about Writing for the Soul Workshop™, Phyllis suggested that I come to her office today so that she could learn more about the program. Today, after sharing with her how we use our program as a trauma informed approach to help students safely get what's on the inside ...out -Phyllis shared "Today I Cried" with me. I asked if I could share it on our network. Someone's loved one needed to read this, and to know that they are not alone. Writing is therapy, but the magic happens when we share. Thank you for sharing Phyllis.

Our Trauma Informed Approach

In schools that have already adopted a trauma informed approach, the results have been amazing. Arnone Elementary, for example, which has 826 students from kindergarten through 5th grade, 86 percent of which are minorities, has seen a 40 percent drop in suspensions after implementing a trauma informed approach. When Lincoln High School implemented a trauma-informed approach, suspensions dropped by 83 percent and expulsions dropped by 40 percent in the year following implementation.

Hurt people hurt people. Creating a trauma informed approach starts with changing the dialogue around behavioral issues. Instead of asking the question, “What’s wrong with him/her?” the real question is “what happened to him/her?” This is where our Writing for the Soul Workshop™ program emerges as a viable component for organizations and schools to help better work with trauma impacted youth. Contact us to discuss implementing our program at (682) 235-8446 today.