All posts by Chanshie B

About Chanshie B

My name is Chantellee Britton. I have a passion for writing and editing.

Everything is gone to Dust

Love is intense, beautiful, intriguing, passionate, companionship, happiness. I could go on but it would be never-ending because we all know that love is infinite.

Because of all these wonderful things sometimes love makes it hard to move on. It makes it hard for us to break up so we hold on.

There is so much uncertainty in life and when it comes to our relationships, some of us are even more unaware of what may happen. So instead we detach ourselves emotionally, sexually and mentally before actually departing physically.

We are scared of the hurt and pain that we may have to endure after a loving chapter has ended. We are scared because we are uncertain what will follow. We are afraid to live in regret so we choose the known over the unknown.

The reality is break ups can be hard.

Breaking up takes a toll because when we are in love our feelings are intensified.

That is why when we crash we burn!

We all know that love does entail some form of suffering but I am sure we all know when we have suffered enough.

Should we save ourselves from the immense grief and sorrow that follows a break up by continuing to wobble in unhappiness and uncertainty?

I think we at least owe it to ourselves to walk away when things have turned into dust;

And when it is quite clear that consistent happiness is no long possible.

It is so crazy that although we know we can start over, we are terrified of what will follow when a chapter in our life is ended…

However it may seem, I’m not obligated

Kindness and assistance can be rare commodities because the world is never always amiable to us. Hence, it is of utmost importance to let others know that we are grateful and express gratitude whenever someone offer us assistance in any form.

The thing, however, is that sometimes dependency on others, can give rise to relations based on obligation.

I know for some people, obligation and help do not have any correlation. On the contrary, there are situations in which people allow those who they have helped to feel as though they are forever indebted to them- this is the type of obligation I speak of.

Being raised in the Caribbean, obligation is sometimes evident within some parental relations.

It is the norm for mothers and fathers to take care of their children. However, when you have reached a certain age and start to earn income there may be certain indicators, which suggest that it is the children’s turn to start taking care of their parents.

The obligated riddled parental relationship is usually expressed through reverse psychology, guilt trips and blatantly telling the child/ children how many sacrifices were made so that they could be in the position they are today.

There is also another form of obligation that comes with being helped in our social relationships.

Yes! Our friends may very well be there for us in our times of need. But not every friend will let your thank you be enough. You may get a reminder in the form of jokes, in private whispers behind your back or even blatantly to your face.


However, there is a deeper issue that comes with the whole notion of obligation and help.

The person who feels obligated is oftentimes overwhelmed, stressed, anxious and even depressed. There is a heavy burden as one person is trapped in the idea that he/she always has to say yes or be there because he/she was given help.

As such, the onus is upon the obligated person to channel his/her captive emotions to freedom. There has to be a point in which you, as the obligated person, realize that you are grateful (hopefully) for whatever was offered to you or for whatever was done on your behalf.

This will be your first step towards breaking the ties of your parasitic relationships.

You have to know that it is acceptable to say no or not to show up if it is literally not possible. Do not inconvenient yourself solely because you feel as though you have no choice.

There is always a choice.

And the best part is, the moment you detach yourself from the feelings of obligation begotten through help, you will have your peace of mind. The burden you once feel will be irrevocably removed from your life.

I also know that sometimes when you make the decision to stop feeling and acting obligated it may start an inner fight. But always remember that:

“Detachment, sometimes it’s necessary in order to restore your sanity. [And] Your peace of mind.” – Anonymous

The Void

When I look at you I completely know what we have.

But there is just this feeling inside that I can’t seem to find- it’s there but it is also very hollow.

Maybe they are attached to the things I wish for:

  • your support in every little adventure
  • your understanding
  • your selflessness
  • your interests in all things trivial.

There is just this emptiness inside me that is riddled with doubts, confusion, detachment and little to no expectations.

Some people say communication is the key but what is the point to communicate if things will be the same?

In good times the feeling is different, the void disappears and happiness takes over.

But like everything in this god-forsaken world, that feeling is also temporary.

I can feel the happiness ascending and then the void takes over.

Not gonna lie it keeps me up at nights, it makes me surly in the day time and overall I walk around with a head filled with uncertainty.

I can’t stop thinking about this void inside.

I cannot really pinpoint why I put myself through this.

Why do we always try to hold on to things that have done their time?

Given my current situation, I really cannot provide this answer.

But hopefully there will be a silver lining.

Our Poor Black Men

The world has come a far way.

From caves to palaces, slavery to freedom, segregation to unity. I would say equality but Iiving in a capitalist society does not afford such luxury.

There are so much remnants of the past that continue to linger in our present state, casting doubts in our institutions, in the way we see each other and the way we treat each other.

Our black men have continue to live the tale of freedom intertwined with negation, distress, violence and even death.

It is never so easy to understand someone, their experiences and life challenges. Despite this difficulty, we can draw on a series of events that are responsible for the lives our black men have lived and the things they have endured-Slavery and Environment.


Slavery has gifted us with racism, segregation and inequality. Although the latter two are no longer the foundational principles on which our society, and even the world, operates, there is an ever present trait of segregation and inequality bottled up in our stereotypical dispositions of certain races.

Environment, on the other hand, is pretty straight forward.

There is a saying that children are a product of their environment. And since children grow to become adults, adults are also a product of their environment. Give and take that roughly about 10% of us escape being replicas of our environment, the rest of us are living breathing testimonies of where we grew up and how we were raised.

Let me include some statistics to help bring across the point I am trying to make.

“About 62.9% of black children whose families were in the bottom fourth of all families by income remained in the bottom fourth as adults and only 3.6% of black children from the bottom fourth made it to the top fourth of the income scale, an upward mobility rate about one-fourth the rate for whites” (The State of Working America).

It is then clear that a large percentage of the black population is predisposed to continue living in poverty. And we all know that with poverty comes certain attributes: lack of education, poor/no health care, emotional and physical abuse, distress, gangs, violence, and high crime rate, to name a few.

The lives some of our black men have lived as children are responsible for the paths some of them have chosen and even unintendedly tumbled upon.

This statement is purely factual and not an excuse for certain illegitimate acts that have been committed by our black men.


Society, however, has long dictated the countless odds that are suppose to be stacked against our black men.

Stereotypes have become the new order of the day for our social institutions and some citizens of our society. We no longer open our hearts and minds to the possibility that some black men are good and are capable of being model citizens.

Instead we take a look from miles away or we hunt them down like dogs in the streets, solely based on some ill-conceived notions we have in our minds of who our black men are and what they will do.

Black men such as The Central Park 5, Trayvon Martin, Walter Scott, Tamir Rice, Eric Garner, Freddie Gray, Michael Brown, and Ahmaud Arbery to name a few are living, and mostly dead, examples of how brutal, discriminatory and unjust society is to our black men.

Mothers with black sons worry about their future and the ability to safely protect them in a society that is riddled with judgements and act mostly on stereotypical expectations. It is heart-wrenching to know that as your black sons grow there is an escalating imminent vulnerability that grows with them. A vulnerability that is based on the color of their skin.

We attach racism to slavery. And the end of slavery and later segregation, should also initiate the end of racism. But the things we witness, hear and live in our present day paradigm echo that our social institutions, and society at large, are still guilty of racial profiling.

But before I go, I want you guys to think about who make up our social institutions and society.

If we should strip our schools, religions, communities, judicial systems and so on of their names, we would be left with only the living souls that comprise these institutions.

The point is we should not cast doubts and blames on society and social institutions as if they are entities separate and apart from us- without us they would have been hollow embodiments.

Therefore the issue is us.

It is not the police force that harms our black men but it is the police officers who make judgement calls based on stereotypes and their racist nature. It is not society that harms a poor black man jogging in his neighborhood but it is individuals who are filled with hate, ill-conceived ideas and feel threatened because the jogger committed the crime of being black.

I can never understand how someone can be hateful solely on the premise of someone sounding different and looking different than them.

The fact is evil comes in every color, gender and sex. So do not spend your time singling out persons based on physique. Let us take up the mantle of giving the benefit of the doubt, of trying to know someone based on who he/she is and not based on stereotype and most importantly we should stop making judgement calls that are based on race.

Instead we should open our hearts and see the beauty in others.

Confinement

Is this what I really need?

To be confined in the arms of my lover?

To be confined with one person to eternity?

For you to be trapped in my head?

For me to be trapped inside my head?

For all I think about is you?

Why should I spend all my time with you?

What about my friends?

What about your friends?

With over 7 billion people on Earth, why do we get to declare that our forever should be with only us?

What should I ever do if I meet someone else that I actually like?

What about that person who I feel connected to?

Why can’t I get over you?

The truth is, I feel confined to you and on some days I wish you feel confined to me too…

Culture of Nothingness

I can hear the pain in your voice, yet still you say nothing is wrong.

I can see the tears rolling down your face, yet still you say nothing.

I have heard stuff that you are going through, but you opened not your heart to share it with someone.

Why does it feel so wrong to bare the most ugly and painful parts of us with everyone?

As Caribbean children we are taught to bite our lips and nod our heads to the point that saying nothing transcends everything.

We wobble in pain, grief, uncertainty, chaos and misery but we have no courage to speak. We force a smile or put on a facade just to avoid being asked why we are sad.

And the funny thing is, even in our greatest moments nothingness seems to prevail over everything.

Why are we so reluctant to share even our wins and our success?

It is as though we were indirectly taught that silence is everything. We turn a blind eye, we cover our ears and we bound our tongues only to pretend that what we have witnessed, heard and want to say is imperceptible.

There are a myriad of reasons we do not want to share certain aspects of our lives with the world. I, however, no longer am afraid to speak my truth.

Some wise person once said that with experience comes knowledge. And I can attest to that as each day I live, I have learned that:

  • It does not matter if those who have ill-will hear of your pain or your triumphs (they are not a part of your life anyways)
  • Not because you have bad experiences and speak of them, it does not necessarily mean you are bitter or hung up on the past
  • Self- expression is great
  • Your story (whether good or bad) may just save someone
  • You only hurt yourself when you keep everything bottled up inside
  • Open up your heart and share the good and bad if you feel comfortable or inclined to.

So, today I implore anyone (Caribbean affiliation or not) who is reading this to remember that it is ok to choose someone to share your wins and losses with.

It is totally fine to even share them with the world.

Do not be caught up in the culture of silence and nothingness.

Take the time to understand yourself in your best and worst moments. Embrace who you are. Share your stories with the world- they may just be a safe haven to someone somewhere.

Disappear with Me

A few years ago one of the sweetest couple I know suffered an unimaginable accidental loss. There is always something about accidents and loss that almost always remind us of three things:

  • as humans we are vulnerable
  • we should always cherish the life we live and
  • our life can be shorter than what we have in mind.

There are things that happen to some people who we may say are undeserving of the pain and suffering that was haphazardly brought upon them.

I remember talking about how beautiful the wedding looked, the food and the chef. And in the moment when I thought it was lone celebratory happiness, we received the devastating news about an accident that had occurred.

In that very moment, I pledged that I will always be happy by surrounding myself with only those who care, who had ‘good vibes only,’ and those who ensure my tranquility and peace of mind.

For a while I was doing well but as usual life happens.


There are some things about the dark that are absolutely unsure.

When we think of the dark or darkness, we think of total absence of light, evil or danger. On the other hand, darkness can also alludes to tranquility, solace, control and isolation. The truth, however, is that you cannot always tell what you will find in the dark.

There are times in my life when I can feel the darkness creeping in. My chest tightens, my heart rate elevates, my sleeping pattern is disrupted, I am extremely lethargic and I can barely make it to the bathroom to take a shower. In those very instances I am overwhelmed, depressed and I begin my days in isolation.

If I may be transparent, oftentimes I do know my triggers but there are days when things that I might have tucked away in my subconsciousness resurface and take a toll on my mental state.

It might sound weird but the truth is whenever I disappear I enjoy raveling in the dark ALONE until I am able to find ‘myself ‘again.


I have a couple friends that within 48- 72 hours of disappearing, they will immediately text to ask when I am coming back to the real world- they have learned how I am. There are others who think I am just ignoring them. Some even think that I am busy with my other sets of friends.

I almost never clarify the misconception. I, sometimes, am too overwhelmed by my own personal happenings or mishaps to explain the struggles that I am experiencing. I also always find it to be so painful reliving my darkest moments. As such,I choose silence over explanation and try to pick up where we left off.


About three years ago, some sweet lady asked me a series of questions, vetted my answers and then gave me some advice.

Everything that was said is what I already knew but had never put into perspective. I came out of that conversation with a plethora of information that helped me accept my flaws, weaknesses, strengths, vulnerabilities and myself.

All of the above mentioned tenets laid a new foundation with how I handle both my social and intimate relationships. I think my biggest flaw is embedded in my strongest feature. I am vulnerable because of my ever so willingness to help.

As a consequence, I have made it my duty to incorporate certain things in shaping the person who I am today:

  • I have learned that it is perfectly fine to not save everyone who comes my way,
  • to know that not everybody who asks of me will receive,
  • to always ensure that I reserve some of me and,
  • to not give all of me away because no one is deserving to get more from me than what I give to myself.

I know it all sounds so selfish. But if you truly know me that would probably be one of the last adjectives you would use to describe me.


Now that I have let you all in on some cup of ‘tea’- as my fellow young generation would say, I want anyone who is reading this to know that it is perfectly pleasing to love every inch of you. Do not feel guilty to change how you operate within your relationships, especially if your new actions will bring you satisfaction, peace and happiness. Protect your heart, body, mind and soul from friends, family and strangers who will ruin you and bring you running into the darkness.

Take some time away from everyone if that is what works for you because the truth is you may never know what will happen if the darkness consumes you.

Disappear with me in the dark to self- evaluate and reconstruct because it is better to seek control and understanding than to be destroyed by it.

For My Father, I hope you can read

There is so much damage that can be done to a child who does not have the right tools as he/she grows.

Sometimes we have all the material things, a traditional family (mom, dad and child), one parent (a mom or a dad) or an adoptive parent (strangers who become your own flesh and blood) to help mold us into the person we are today.

The reality is there is a child somewhere who does not have any of these things.

The effects of an absentee parent can never be ignored. I am grateful enough to never had a biological father in my life and came out without any ‘daddy issues,’ as psychiatrists and people like to put it.

I had a grandfather who loved me as much as he loved his own children. An uncle, who every time he was around treated me like a daughter and not like a niece. A few random men who made it their duties to care for me emotionally and financially as if I were their child.

Maybe all of this saved me and for that I am thankful.

But daddy I have a few questions that have been boggling my mind:

  • what did I ever do for you to think I do not deserve to have you as a part of my life?
  • why do you think it was ok to not give me your love?
  • why do we have no bond, even though I tried to create one when I was older?
  • why is it so easy to go about your day without thinking of me?
  • why was is it so easy to take care of all the women in your life but not me?
  • why did we live minutes apart but you never showed up unless you were being paid to deliver sand at my house?
  • why did you be a father to my sister but not to me?
  • why did you not be a father to my other sister who is living with your parents but you are a father to another child who was born around the same time? Are we both excluded from your life because we have things in common?
  • why did it take a strange lady to encourage you to make me a part of your life?
  • why did you let my mom struggle even though you could afford to care for me financially?
  • why did you left your responsibility up to other men?
  • why did you had to let my aunts and uncle had to help my mom financially?
  • do you ever remember that you have a child who is existing in some part of the world?
  • why is it so weird that I do not think of you? Is it because you also do not think of me?

This is for my father and I hope you can read.

Quarantine and Think

When it comes on to the future there is always a high level of uncertainty. Despite this known phenomenon, we are still grappling with this pandemic and its effects on our lives. We are wrapped in a never ending cycle of disbelief and are very much puzzled by the current disruption we are encountering.

For the first time in my life I have witnessed worldwide disruption.

I will definitely be able to tell my children and my grandchildren that I was a part of this horrific historical event. And the sad truth is, a part of me feels elated to be living in a time that will definitely be written down in our history books.

I cannot quite imagine what life was like in the Great Depression of the 1930s or even during World War I. However, I am sure that those era are very much similar to the havoc COVID-19 has been reigning down on us.

It is the first time in a long while that students are pulled from schools, almost every business is closed and those who always whine about having to turn up to work on a daily basis, have no choice but to stay at home- unless of course they are essential workers.


One of the most prevalent topic that has been parading through this whole quarantine life is money. Most people are taking the time to start a new business, are being encouraged to ensure that they have residual income or are thinking of how they can make better financial decisions once this ‘new normal’ has passed.

All of this is completely understandable. However, with so much time to just sit at home and think, I have thought of so much more than financial stability.

Please do not get me wrong.

I do understand that money is just as essential as our basic needs- food, shelter and clothes. There is no doubt that the amount of money you have determines the lifestyle that you live.

The reality is everyone needs money.

I, however, cannot stop thinking of how COVID-19 has reinforced a factual ideology. The ideology of how unpredictable life is. Everytime I think of what we are experiencing, the only thing I can say is ‘this is so crazy.’

Although I should not be reacting like that, since I already know that tomorrow is not guaranteed and noone knows what the future holds.


During this time, I, like many of you, have thought of money, how it is needed and how saving for a rainy day is not just a saying but a philosophy that we need to live by.

However, I just happen to be indifferent towards the overzealous attitude most people tend to have about money.

The truth is there is so much more to life than what’s in our bank accounts. And if for some reason you are in disagreement, just check how often celebrities, socialites and affluent people have committed suicide.

So let us get back to the things I have been thinking about during quarantine.

Some important things (not money) that I have thought about and would like to share with you are:

– if this disease should be the end of humanity, it would not have mattered if we are rich or poor,

– we should not confine ourselves to unhappy situations,

– our happiness and peace of mind are essential,

– learn to be kind to everyone,

– learn to love, share and encourage good,

– we should take pride in both our health and mental well-being,

– be accepting of others even if they do not share our beliefs, values and faith,

– appreciate our freedom and make good use of it,

– seize the moment, and last but not least;

– do what we desire as you only live once (Y.O.L.O).

The complex road to a man’s heart

The complexity of human interaction can be found in one of our most humble characteristics – our uniqueness. The more I keep in touch with people the more it is obvious that no two people are a like.

Whether it be on a social or an intimate level, we find ourselves hanging out or planning to start a life with those with whom we have found some level of comfort or connection. It is expected that people with shared beliefs, values, goals or desires will unify because they have similarities.

However, at the center of all that is uniqueness. A crucial factor that oftentimes disrupts the natural flow of things.

It is always so amusing to interact with people of different nationality, race, social and geographical background. The experience we get from being exposed to a diverse population is thrilling and suspenseful because you never really know who you will get.

What do I actually mean?

Have you ever met two people who are identical in terms of socioeconomic and geographical background? One may turn out to be the most welcoming person you have ever met. On the contrary, the other may be the most obnoxious person you have ever encountered in your life.


Everything I have said so far is relatable on a social level. However, on an intimate scale, our unique principles and behavior may also turn out to be detrimental to the happiness and peace we so often venture out to find in the arms of our lover(s).

Relationships are fueled with high velocity of emotions. There is love, passion, sex and chemistry. All of which can be tumultuous. We all crave for that relationship that makes us feel like we are on a high. It is so exhilarating to talk about the new found fling or lover.

The sad thing, however, is that relationships are similar to a story plot. They all seem to have a climax and then a fall. After being with someone for a while, you start to realize that love becomes customary.

You love them and you know that they love you.

It is just a weird form of knowledge that you have without needing “I love you” to be said to you every second of the day.

When you are at this point in your relationship, you start to have epiphanic revelations. It is as though the emotions were clouding your sight. You start to realize that there are so much complexities associated with keeping a relationship alive.

All the things that you like and love, all the things that make you irritable and annoyed take precedence and if you are not careful the life you once yearn for will be instantly snatched from you.

And the sad part is, everything you experience from this point on all boils down to each person’s uniqueness.


The way to a man’s heart is really complicated and challenging. It is never smooth sailing. There is just a level of intricacy that reveals itself after the honeymoon phase has passed.

Because of this I want you to always remember these little things:

Don’t be hard on each other because you think someone has lost their touch, Don’t go having affairs because you want to get that thrill back and Don’t be quick to think that it is the end.

Although, maybe it is.