Our Stories

Black, Female, Disabled, Empowerment Poem/Monologue and Painting

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Kateri is my name
I am
The world would define me as marginalized, disadvantage, feel sorry for me, say I could not achieve anything
That I am destined to be poor, miserable, and incapable of achieving greatness
Yes, this world has been harsh to me
But what the world has destined me to be has not been my TRUTH
Yes, I am black, female, obese, and disabled
But I have achieved so much
I played sports and dominated in my positions
I was a beast in the gym lifting mad weights
I got accepted into college and graduated with honors
I was president of multiple organizations
I planned events and conferences that were successful
I am a leader
I am an artist
I am a fighter
I got accepted into grad school when people told me I shouldn’t go
That’s a huge accomplishment
At a time, my disability got worst
But I am a beast!
Who has major surgery goes to rehab and then goes to school the next day?
That was me!
Who goes to the hospital before school starts and gets discharged and goes to school the same day!?
That was me!
I am a beast!
Shit happens
To this date I have had 5 surgeries to quote fix me
But each time meant more time recovering, more pain, less mobility
More surgeries are likely in the future
My body doesn’t want to work properly
Often times doesn’t want to cooperate
Yes, I am disabled
But at the same time
I am able
I am capable
I can write like crazy
And I am good at it
I am a professional blogger for a huge company!
That’s fucking amazing
I can think critically
I am intelligent
I can analyze
I can be that person who can give a big huge when you need it
I can sing
I can play the flute
I can paint
I can be a good friend
I can be a good aunt
I can drive!
Fuck if I couldn’t I would go crazy! Lol
There is more to be than being disabled
There is more to me than having to use a wheelchair
There is more to me than having to use a cane
There is more to me than having to wear sneakers and customized orthotics
There is more to me than majority of my days/weeks/months being at medical appointments
I am all these things
Black, Female, Obese, and Disabled
Not going to lie I struggle with accepting all these
Well more being disabled and able
Why do we have to separate?
Why do we have to judge?
No one is better than the person next to each other
I am a beast
I will be a beast while being both disabled and able
I will continue to fight for myself
I will fight for people who are disabled because in their own way they too are able
This society needs to stop limiting us so called disabled people
We are so quote not normal
But what the fuck is normal anyway?
Some days will be easier
Some days will be harder
Some days I will feel defeated
But I was born to fight
Even when I feel I don’t have it in me
It’s like I cannot give up
Maybe it’s really not about me
Maybe it about the future people I will meet
Anything is possible
If it requires using a wheelchair you can still conquer the world
If it means signing your words you too can conquer the world
If you can’t speak you too can conquer the world
If you live with a mental illness, don’t give up and continue to fight because you too can conquer the world
Whatever our abilities are
Whether able, disabled, and both
We all can conquer the world
We can all make a difference
No matter how small or big
The world is our play ground
Let us play, fly, and never allow anyone to stop us
I have had a hard life
But I refuse to let that stop me
It might take time for me to heal
Might have to relearn how to really walk again
But life is too short to allow my failures, disappointments, traumas, shit and crap to get in the way any more
I must move on
It’s time to move on
I know I can make a difference
I want to be a world changer
Whether small or big
I am a conqueror
I am a beast
I am capable
I am a fighter
I am beautiful
I am creative
I am powerful
I am authentic
I have a heart of gold I want to spread
I might not be able to control my failing body
But I can do my best because my best is good enough
I can choose to move forward and not backward
I can choose to create joy in a world that wants to hate me
I can choose to prove the world wrong and be a great success
I might fall
Literally and figuratively
But I will choose to get back up
The power is within me and it’s time to use it



This particular painting was painted during a depressive episode, but trying to come out of the episode. I was still depressed, but I could begin to start to see the light in the future. I love all bright colors and the back is painted all black because of how emotionally raw, depressed, and intense I was feeling, but the bright colors symbolized where I wanted to go and what I wanted to eventually shine out of me…brightness and full of life.