October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month (#DVAM). We just premiered Enrique Jesus Hernandez’s latest music video “theCHILD” for Sadcore Sundays and now, here is Part 1 of an interview about his EP about experiencing domestic abuse. Read the whole interview in our free zine here.
What advice would you give to those seeking help?
(sighs) The advice that I would give to those seeking help… You know, domestic abuse and violence is serious in the sense that… every scenario is specific. There are a lot of times there are financial ties that are keeping someone in a situation. It’s not always safe to, sort of, blow the whistle on a really destructive scenario. So the advice- first and foremost, I think, the feeling that they’re not alone and that there’s no sense of terminal uniqueness and the feeling that it’s their fault… I feel tackling those two personal issues in their mind would be first and foremost. But I think the advice would be just to be honest with friends and the people that you feel love you.
One thing that I’m so grateful for [is that] there is this level of honesty, actually there is this one moment when I wasn’t honest and I share this moment in the track “theSTORM”… my second grade teacher who was around during the incident that I mentioned where my mom got hit and I ran out into the street and I felt like I was going to be consumed by the city.
My second grade teacher was aware that there was some domestic issues going on and I ran into her the next year, near my elementary school when I was in third grade, when she saw me she said,
“Hi, Enrique, you look so great. How are you?”
I’m like, “I’m good how are you?”
she’s like, “I’m good. Everything’s good? You’re safe?”
Just referring to all the stuff she knew about and there was a moment of embarrassment that I had because we didn’t leave the person that hit my mom.
We were still involved with him, we were still living with him and I just felt like I couldn’t share that with her, because I didn’t want my mom to look bad… I just knew it could open up a whole other can of worms, so I lied and I said, “Yeah, totally. We left. She got a new boyfriend.”
That’s actually specifically what she asked, she said, “Did your mom get a new boyfriend?” and I answered yes. And in that moment… and in those moments to those who are in situations and those being abused, those are the moments where a shift can happen. And if I were to be honest and say, like, “No, we’re still in the same place.” maybe something… I don’t know what would have happened.
It could have changed the course of just me being given a resource for teens dealing with domestic abuse and violence.
I could have felt like I wasn’t alone sooner in life.
I could have been given a book or some literature or a video that would inspire me to know that these things aren’t my fault. So I feel like when people ask you how you’re doing and when you’re surrounded by people that you love, I hope for anybody to have at least one person they can be really honest with and to start developing a plan to move forward and a plan to escape.
When you have a hard day, how do you get yourself back on track to positive thinking and getting back on your grind when things get a little tough?
I try and start my mornings off with- I had a voice teacher, her name’s Joanna… she asked me to make an artist statement, like who am I in this world? What’s my purpose?
And she asked me to read that every morning and implement it into meditation and I have meditation readings and I try and take a moment of pause to really connect to my higher power and this greater sense of purpose because I really believe, I have to believe- well the fact that I used to take me wanting to sing and my voice for granted and just thought it’s so fun, of course I want to do this.
And then developing, or experiencing other aspects of entertainment like dancing, or… I painted a lot as a kid and I still feel fulfillment in that, but it’s not the same as writing a song and expressing myself on stage.
And so I recognize that I’m actually drawn to this particular medium and I’m owning that as being my purpose… so I believe it’s a gift, and I try and receive it as a gift and every day I just think of my projects, honestly.
I think as a creative, we have to constantly be in action and constantly be productive… there’s got to be water in the pipes flowing constantly. If I plug myself up, if I stop this filtration system, that’s when it starts to rust and break down and stuff starts feeling really bad.
So I try and stay in action with a project and try and understand that despite how I feel, this project has a purpose of its own to help others and to be out in the world and it’s my responsibility to do that. And I try and have all the scenarios, whether it’s traffic or someone rubbing me the wrong way… that it is such a small moment compared to anything else; compared to what I want to do and- if life is the journey, I want my journey to be as pleasant as possible, so I try and not unnecessarily be upset about too many things.
Thank you so much, Enrique! You’re welcome! This was Enrique’s first interview and this was my first interview. Yeah! This was great. Do you have any final thoughts for the audience?
Yeah, I do have a final thought for you guys. Really appreciative that you’ve made it this far. I really hope that you listen to your inner voice and you follow your passions and you follow your dreams and you work hard because everything that you believe you deserve in life is true and it’s just a matter of you taking initiative and working towards that. If you or anyone you know is involved in an abusive relationship or in a violent relationship in an intimate… violent… can we cut that out? I don’t think so (laughs). I just mumbled my words, but if you’re experiencing violence in an intimate relationship, there’s help, there are resources.
Go to my website and there’s a national number you can call if you’re in U.S. and I really hope that you’re safe. What is your website? www.enriquejesushernandez.com Thank you guys, much love.
Read the whole interview in our free zine here.
Georgia St. Jones is a California broke girl using music, art, and literature as a way to be universal and staff contributor for The Strange is Beautiful.
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