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Forum Activity for @melissa-gibbs

Melissa Gibbs
04/25/14 01:18:00AM
2 posts

A new TV series with the intention to dispel the myths and stereotypes around people with dreadlocks

Dreads as Community Leaders/Builders

Thank you so much for sharing. I have yet to go to a Rainbow Gathering but have always wanted to when I lived near Humboldt County in Ca. Did my fair share of hot springs and met many people who had been and shared the joy. Sometimes good does come out of tragedy and when you are grateful to be alive you can weather any storm. I have the little people to live for - just am trying to learn how to live for myself too! Wish I could have been part of your community, but am glad I found this one. Probably many people here who can help me find some comfy and more "me" style clothes too lol. Another someday maybe when the littles aren't needing so much ( keep growin outta everything!) I'll set the dreads free more often and see if that helps :) Also I am from Vermont originally , beautiful place to have a gathering!

I'll be looking for your next novel ;)

soaring eagle said:

those shoes are awesome

and that story blew me away and inspired me to tell mine..long version

but 1st ill suggest u leave your dreads down more tying up all the times probably causing the issue u are trying to hide

when i was young..well lets say alotta this is embarrassing ..especialy at the time, when i was in elementary thru high school i was told what i was alowed to wear on a daily basis..and it was always the ultimate in geekiness no not even geekiness when real young it was absolutely re3diculouse but later ele3mentary into jr high my parents tried forcing me to be the ultimate preppy n type even to the point oif 1st day of jr high a suite n tie and ..ack..breifcase..

as u can guess this was sooo not me..not even close but i was never really alowed to be any way.. from the music i was alowed to listen to (they liked opera classical and oldies) the 1st albulms i wsas permitted to have was foreigner 4 and the soundtrack tio star wars cause they were the least like "jungle music"

i would go to bed with a tiny speaker under my pillow listening to the coledge radio stations just to be less closed off frtrom it all (just started and didnt think id go into so much detail) anyway back to school being forced into that role i was bullied alot ofcourse, started sneaking out to our horse trailer or barn b4 school to chyange into something more normal and again back to the ..whowever that was they wanted me to be aftyer school

but normal wasnt good enough n started dressing pretty crazy (it was the late 70's early 80's /crazy was relative) then 1 day decided to lighten mty hair a tad in the front..all hell broke loose and was told "you can be yourself only after you move oyut"..

oh backtrack this might also be important to mentioin

as far back as i can remember (age 3?) my mom always insisted on cutting everyone hair herself..horibly..just cause she was so anal youd need a crowbar to pry a single penny oloose from her grasop..not that we were hurting for money at all just super tight (actualy counted the number of toiletpaper squares u were alowed to use and there were condiments and stiff in the fridge and cabinets from before they got married )

anyways when it came time to cut my hair wich i hated it was always a chase tackle pin down stop squirming or youll lose an ear situation that often did end with almost losing an ear

untill the day i moved out i had only 1 5 dollar my life.. wich was a sucky cut too but sure was a hell of alot better then the cutting by force

ill skip over all the crazy ideas they had of disapline like throwing all the kids (especialy me the oldest) out of the house 1-3 times a week to live on the front porch then scrub a brick with a toothbrush for up to 8 hoiurs straight to get back in..but needless to say i took off at an early age..14

had a few crazy years back then..wild..slightly dangerouse but fun too (looking back now tho i have no idea why i thought it was fun)

i ended up at my 1st rainbow gathering at 19..totaly lifechanging..really discovered myself there during the wild years after escaping b4 the gathering i was ..i guess trying on a diferent rebelios me.;.i felt like me inside but didnt act like me outwardly didnt look or dresass like me either

i cant remember if i started dreading my 1st set b4 or after the gathering but was around then

i hadnt realized just how much dreading changed me either or no helped me feel ok being me

they were truly the neglect word tho all congos 2 horns and a beavertail..crazy ..and ill admit dirty (was as close to n the streets as u can be without being on the streets the house we shared..insanely strange wild house..had no plumbing at all)

it wasnt a goo0d situation but then again it was because it was bringing me to myself..and not givijng me any choice in the matter lol

well maybe a year or 2 later ex (super materialistic 5000 dollar makeup and hairspray habbit ..whatever u wanna call her without using anything starting with b..(no idea what i was thinking) well her and my parents talked me into my ultimate horror

went to a barber off came the dreads (tearfully devestatingly even tho that set was prettyu..umm messed up? still oloved them) and on went a business suite..ugh.. i tried hard to not be so everyone else .. thin leather tie maybe the oants lil more style lil less..bland but hated it never felt like me was profoundly deporessed like i lost everything t5hat meant anything at all

so off i went to school for computer programming (mainframes ..lil pc but only ..dos ..codinmg where u write 1000 pages just to get a paper to print out saying this is printing..and a . or , or space misplaced causes a crash u got to sort thro0ugh 1's and 0's to find (i give my dad credit when he was a programmer it was all done on punch cards that 1000 page program would fill the room to the ceiling with cards .. drop 1 and your screwed) anyway point of this rambling is..although i was getting great grades ..i had a massive headache constantly was stressed tense..miserable


like the above poster being thankful for a brain nsurgery and memory loss my salvation came with a cost too

at my graduation party the ex that talked me into this misery i went to go pick her up and that whas the moment she decided to be an ex (thank god but the timing ..oh the timing) so off i go bacik to a party a career a life i didnt want miserable and pissed off

i decided to take my bros motorcycle out for a soin around the block (country blocks wich was around 3-5 miles) and on a sharpo corner was a huge pothole..the size of the mane (and bros bikje was a crotch rocket) it threw me into tye guard rail anbd ui went flying ..landing on a rock in a creekbed and breaking my back

as the paramedics show iup im screaming in the worse pain u can imagine i hear my parents show up..and guess what ui hear? "why do they have to cut off his suite ui just bought that suite"//yup that was my moms number 1 concern at that momment

so off to the hospitol i go with a broken back and severed spine ..ironicly to spend the exacyt same length of time hospitolized as i did in the forgot most of what they crammed in in a hurry

the day i get out of the hosp now in a wheelchair still in lots of pain and weak they take me to show me a luxury apartment that was way out of my price range that they picked out for me expectimng me to have a job programming making 30,000 to start within a week..and even had the insight to hand me a budget that budjetted every single pe3nny to afford the place..ugh i had it i decided then and there that my life woiuld be my choice froim then on\

2 weeks later i was flying gliders with ands started trying to get my glider pilots liscene

that was a start..felt set free

a few months later was back in the woods at a rainbow gathering..ahhh home again (and 2 weeks pushing a wheelchair on mountain terain sure makes u strong in a hurry)

few more months and was at the gathering in vermont ..between gaqtherings i think i cut the top of my hair to quiet complaints but let the back get linger (didmnt know that was a mullet at the time lol) at the vt gathering i traded for a few beads had a sister stick em in tyhe back and a few ppl gave me hair wraps a few places on the shorter top

that was the day these dreads began and on that day i knew 1 thing was certain

they would never be cut..they would trim themselves by wearing off frrom dragging on the ground

funny how that was the 1 and only thing id ever been so sure of at that pouint

i know this is getting very long but were just getting to the good parts


yup here i am..finaly and permenatly

from this point on the story gets better

so no9w that my dreads are growing and im doing my thing ive had several jobs but always jobs i i felt good helping peopole

when i couldnt do that i worked for me makimg jewlery

but when i had a legit job it was always something to help maker the world a better place (often in the non profit secter)

i kept going to gatherings as well when 1 day the gathering came to me in a small but big way

1 single rainmbow kitchen showed up just down the street

rigfht across the street from my apartment was a tiny lil street..alley almost called budd street (buddism is enlightenmentism budd enlightenment) budd st was 3 blocks long and ended in the gut just around the corner from the bottoms ..aka cracktown

right in the center of craxcktown was a corner where budd ended ..only 2 houses remained intact the rest crumbling or collapsing or missing whole walls. and the rest empty lots 1 the whole block..with a hermit shack full of garbage and get the picture gheto as gheto gets

but what a magical place full of the most colorful charachets..and love ]but im getting ahead of myself the day the kitchen on a schoolbus called everybodies kitchen (legaly owned and registered to everybody..including you) showed up on budd st it was a diferent throwing rocks at you, guns beinjg oulled prostitution and drug dealing in the open every morn signs of tricks right there in the ipen or possiboly rape (sheaded clothes) everyone u saw out to stel from you

but that was day 1

day t2 1500-3000 fed..3 meals..not soup kitchen slop the most amazing yummy veggie food u ever had (i got so fat) ontop f that 2 tons of produce given awauy a day..and they were treated kindly with respect

the neighbourhood changed..drasticly week by week

the kitchen remained there for 3 monthgs duriung the rnc protests and beyiond

at the end of the 3 months they left to move on and every crackhead and homeless and alcaholic..anmd the entiure neighbourhood for blocks..and the police too asked me eveery single day "whens the bus commimng back"

(srry bout typos i'm so tired a seem like ive been typing hours)

anywho all that was loeft was a kickaszs adobe oven and 4 garden beds full of mung mbeans

but me and a mentaly challenged guy from the hood candyman (only guy smart enough to not drink or do drugs was retarded haha) (what a sweet amazing man though) we were left to try to maintain thed love

we ketpt that oven burning 24/7 it literaly heated the whole bloock and was soo amazingly eficient it smoked 2 minm when u lit it then put out zero smoke just enough heat to warm the block all winter

anyway we decided to do something special

me, candyman and hamdiya mu were there the day we came up with the namee 'lots of love"

and oh my god was it ever

arms asleep ouch typing may get worse but were at a great point in this story 1 i am so propud of

u could say lots of love was a community garden..but most community gardens have gates and fees and assigned plots and rules (after a few years we had 1 rule no hard drugs)

we had none of was open to everybody anyone could plant anything anywhere

anyone could come harvest a bag of tomatoes or garlic or eggplant or things ive never even heard of

there was a tray attached to the outside of the fence where wed put everything we picked that day for the takinmg

there was a picnic table that always had food ion it..but noone had any idea where the food ccame from]

every morning wed find art hanging on the idea where it came from i was often there till 4 am after 4 years i mst the artist hed put it there at 5 am every dayt

it was so safe iean..the safest i have ever felt anywhere the drugs moved away out of respect so did the vioelence the kids that threw rocks now cooked food tended gardens amnd..hugged everyone instead..oh how those kids changted! we tutured them we did crafts took them oin trips..practicly took on the parent roles (all had fatheres lost to drugs or violence)

people came from the oposite side of the country to air sleeping under the stars or in tents in the middle of what was a violent crack hood

hell it was so peacefil and beautiful i had dates there ..azt 4 am

the cops oh they were so wonderful ..knew them all by 1st name and they would stop me and ask me if i knew where john (the leitenant) wzass

the cops cooked with ius (even after smelling up the whole block baking ganja cookies) they gave us veggies out of their gardens

even a new door for the adobe oven (technically ilegal to have a fire in the middle of trhe boloick)

the neighbourhood gave us the last remaininjg houses (the city promiced us the buildings too

we started a non profit too rising phoenix artist collective i on the board of directors and a founding member

the goal was to use the existing houses on the block for free artists studio space as well as teaching arts toi the kids in the hood (the artists to get free space had to teach classes in thier mediums to the kids as well as other community projects block cleanups etc etc)

we had the city council involved congressmen local churches nu name it

anyway ..after 8 years..nearly a decade of magic everyone involved moved away leaving me and candymanm trying to keep the fire going as the drugs moved back in the block became a trash dump again (even abandoned buldozers were dumped there to rot)

every morning wed clean up 6 huge garbage cans of empty 40 oz beers bottles and thousands ..oirtarly thousands of used needles

it was too much for just us to do and the city went back on thier word and leveled every building ariound..then buldozed the block..lots of love was no more now new low income houses stand there and a new crack hood


theres more to my story

i havent gotten to this swite yet

but that will come in the next

srry was so long rambling and typed badly

Melissa Gibbs
04/24/14 09:26:31PM
2 posts

A new TV series with the intention to dispel the myths and stereotypes around people with dreadlocks

Dreads as Community Leaders/Builders

Sorry if this posted twice?? I haven't done this before and I think I did the first one wrong!

I'm a mother of three in suburbia, very mainstream family ( mom, dad, sisters grandma , uncle) who haven't ever really said anything negative regarding my dreads? But don't really understand them either. They also don't get my tattoos and piercings - except my sis , so that didn't really surprise me.

I had several brain surgeries when I turned 30 and was forced to cut my long, thick , curly hair. It was fairly traumatic for me as my hair was a big part of my self esteem. On top of the new bald look was a ton of weight gain and the loss of my job and quite a bit of memory so all in all I didn't feel like myself anymore. No longer dressed the way I felt comfortable and instead have been reduced to Walmart threads and just kinda lost my way. I had just finished my college course as a medical office specialist and had only been working 2 years in that field when I ended up on SSI and at home ALL the time.Financially strapped, depressed, with the surgeries triggering agoraphobia issues, and memory lapses and ramping up my OCD and bipolar conditions, life has been very challenging the last ten years.

About two years ago my little boy decided he wanted a Doctor Who backpack and as I was broke I decided to make him one- that was the beginning of a crazy journey into an Etsy shop where I sell hand painted shoes and bags. I had been crafty before ? but hadn't had any luck ever capturing anything in painting or drawing. 200 sales later and a Facebook page with over 6,500 members I am now thankful for my surgeries as I am pretty sure they are what somehow revealed my artistic talent. I get to be a geek for a living :)

About 8 months ago my hair had grown long again but was thin, falling out and had serious tangling issues. I was so afraid I was going to be bald,and permanently this time! I have always loved the idea of dreads but was afraid of the "dirty" aspect and the stories you hear about what is inside of them lol. Plus I didn't have the wardrobe I felt I needed to go with them. Finally after months of debate and research I decided to go for it!!! A friend came over and helped me start them out. I wanted them to be a journey and a beginning of getting MYSELF back. Not just a mom and a sometimes wife ( long story) but that fun, quirky, independent person I was before life knocked me down. With my shoes giving me renewed confidence I was hoping to get healthy again and enjoy life- beginning with my dreadies. They aren't what I had imagined at all? Having issues with my neck and arm, palm rolling was difficult and many sites said not to do it anyways- another idea maybe for your show. The conflicting and confusing information regarding the best method and product or lack of that you find when researching dreadlocks. My hair is insanely curly and my dreads have become kinked and shrunk up to my chin! They locked up in weeks and blunted themselves in no time. Not a uniform size at all either so my OCD doesn't love them lol. I wear them up most of the time and leave my favorite one down :) I'm hoping that if I stick with them for years and they start to grow long maybe the will unkink or at least not look bent and larger on the bottom. Getting through the dandruff stage was tough and I'm sure it will come back. I also had issues with glitter over the holidays, the ornaments I made had huge snow glitter and it was everywhere including in my dreads!

At this point they are part of me and I can't imagine cutting them off. Not perfect by any means and a bit kinked - like me. I make beads to put in them and they tell a story like my ink. I'm still painting shoes and am realizing that I can actually call myself an artist which is wicked cool! Even my teenage daughter doesn't hate them now. My little boys absently play with them when we cuddle and my baby niece likes my favorite dread too :P

So that's the story of my dread journey so far. There will be a day when I love them and can proudly post pictures. Weight loss hasn't happened- too busy painting shoes lol, but I'm feeling motivated to work on it again. Someday I will be funky hippie chick again, but at least my dreads make me feel more unique and brave!

I attached pics pf my shoes just because I'm kinda proud of them? And since you asked about businesses and nobody ever gets it when I say I paint shoes lol.

updated by @melissa-gibbs: 07/23/15 07:45:48AM
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