Yecheilyah’s Book Reviews: Relentlessly Resilient: Overcoming the Resistance by Monique Johnson

Title: Relentlessly Resilient: Overcoming the Resistance
Author: Monique Johnson
Publisher: Monique Johnson
Published: July 4, 2022
Pages: 193

In Relentlessly Resilient, the author gives us an unflinching look at her life as a young woman enduring trial after trial and her resolve to overcome all the hurdles thrown her way. Seduced by the cute, play-boy, roughneck types, Monique learns the hard way that looks can deceive when a boy she falls for forces himself on her.

From the trauma of sexual assault, becoming a young mother, battling diabetes, and much more, this book kicks into gear quickly, starting with a series of tumultuous relationships, including dating a guy who had become addicted to drugs. I grew up around many addicts in the projects, including my parents, so I know their ways and could empathize with how she felt about the disappearing acts and stolen TV.

When she went to get the stolen bike back from the dealer, I was yelling at the book at this point. Girl, what are you doing? But nothing happened, to which the author credits her faith. The dealer actually gave her the bike back. Whew. That was close.

I enjoyed the author’s candor when discussing her thought patterns during these challenging times and talking us through the lessons she learned. One of the most important ones involved her son, Tyrell. Although she was working hard and providing for her son’s needs physically, she projected the stress she took on onto him every time she yelled at him to get ready or couldn’t spend time with him because of her busy schedule.

Relentlessly Resilient is a story I believe we can all relate to on some level. At the end of each chapter, the author shares a reflection as a final touch.

Monique’s story is a reminder of the strength of the human spirit. Constantly thrown through life’s curveballs, the author always recovers quickly and regains her strength.


Strong Introduction: 4/5

Authenticity / Believable: 5/5

Organization: 4/5

Thought Provoking: 5/5

Solid Conclusion: 4/5

Overall: 4/5

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Bloggers: May You Come Out of The Closet – #May Challenge Day 1

No, not like that. By “Come Out of The Closet” I just mean to reveal yourself to your readers. I know, I know, you MAY not consider yourself to be that much of a blogger to have “readers”. It MAY feel arrogant in nature, narcissistic or whatever, but the truth is that its not. It doesn’t matter how big or small your blog is we all have readers. There is someone somewhere who reads your blog. Someone somewhere who is always watching, silently and consistently keeping track of everything you post. Scary isn’t it? In some ways yes. You MAY feel that one day you’re going to be judged, called out, accused. I wouldn’t worry about that. First of all, no one reading this is my judge. Neither of you have the power to give my breath or to take it away from me. So for me personally, if I were you, judgement is not something I would worry about.

Today is the first day of the #May Writing Challenge and my first message is MAY you come out of the closet. For most of our lives we’ve been taught to keep our skeletons in the closet, which means to keep those most intimate parts of ourselves, those mistakes and faults secret. The closet represents something hidden, the heart if you will. We are taught to keep our deepest darkest secrets in the deepest darkest places of our hearts. The problem with blogging this way is that readers will never get the chance to see who you truly are. It is not about airing dirty laundry (My motto is always to: Keep Ya House Out Ya Mouth” meaning everything that goes on in your home should not be shared). So obviously we’re not talking about that. What we’re talking about is the kind of openness and intimacy that will allow people to get to know the real you because that’s what people want to connect to. Not something fake, something transparent, something real.

Bloggers: May You Come Out of The Closet

Tell us something about you that is personal. By personal I mean your favorite food, music, movie, your mistakes, your experiences. By personal I mean something that we can connect to. Something we can bridge to. Experiences are what connects us. Sure, we MAY make mistakes but that’s the beauty behind the whole process. Re-blogs are cool, writing tips are always good, and quotes are uplifting but sometimes that gets boring. It gets boring because people read blogs not just to be inspired or encouraged but to be informed. People want to know who you are on the inside, what your life is like, or did that new recipe work out for you? Yesterday I read a post about a woman’s journey to conception and it was truly touching and close to my heart. Truth is you never know how sharing your experiences can help others. In the end its about blogging without fear. Don’t be afraid to share a piece of yourself with your readers so that they can have something to connect to. Its the only way to build.

The Voice of a Slave: CNN Freedom Project

Check this video out. Its the voice of a man who was a slave who reveals briefly his experience. Of course I had to find something like this, but I’m really passionate about reliving history at the foot of the elders. I’ve always loved listening to the elders speak about their experience picking cotton and sharecropping and all of that, which nurtured my decision to write more about  black history.

Speaking of Slave Ships, has anyone ever wondered what happened to those ships? Why are there no authentic slave ships in museums? I’m not talking about the replicas. How did whole ships just disappear? Is it possible that the wood was used to make other things? It does after all hold a lot of energy. Blacks were also hung from trees, which is also wood. What do we call a thick Forrest? We call it the woods. Can there be a significance to this? Just trying to expand my understanding on the whole institution of slavery itself. It’s not just that blacks committed suicide, but could it also be that they were sacrificed as well? Not everyone jumped ship, some were murdered. Just a thought.

Never Having Been a Girl

This poem is based on a true story. A sista I know  requested I write a poem based on her childhood. And after hearing her testimony, this is the result.

Silence lingers on every street corner of her heart
surrounded by the sounds of her own heartbeat
the only child
who knew that loneliness could be so loud?
Never remembering ever being a girl
womanhood emerging from her mother’s womb
responsibilities following her home wrapped in soft blankets and warm booties
yet infancy is kicked off too soon
and replaced with scavenger instincts
tearing away at empty cupboards
hope falling asleep like heroine nods
quickly replaced with the tears of a three year old
silence tearing away at the soft eardrums of a toddler’s pride
never remembering ever being a girl
Quick paces of little feet turned nine
gotta get the cigarettes on time
crowded streets
little feet
unknown eyes that are watching me
(at least somebody’s watching me)
careful now these little feet
having never been a girl
Twelve times twelve,
twelve arrives
sadness in mommies cancer eyes
watch him do it and do it right
gotta give the medicine exactly right
the internal cries of that youthful voice (never really having been young)
somebody please tell me,
where is mommies tongue?
gotta carry cause mommies gone
will someone sing her daughters song?
The woman with the pink ribbons in her curls
the woman never having been a girl
Restaurants to wash myself
weed and drinks cause I watch myself
who cares for cute sinks when nothings left
seems like childhood just up and left
me sitting beside myself
empty benches now colored with the stench of my pain
smelly armpits reach out to beg for change
while relatives sit at home and count my change
whose willing to see this woman change?
Never having been a girl
Hustle proved its source of love
where does an instant woman find true love?
inside the arms of an abusive man she seeks her refuge from lazy hands
money giving light to dark places
apartment buildings giving substance to misplacement’s
where has it gone? My love? Where’s your part?
where oh where have you hidden my heart?
Numbers fade away like living water upon dirty dishes
this daughter of mine the result of these stitches
Entering the world as if she owns it!
Gotta hope another woman has not entered this world
praying my first child has the chance to at least,
just be
a girl.