2020 has been a complete shit show, I’m sure we’re all aware. Month after month, we’ve dealt with isolation, a deadly virus, a no good “President,” and so much more. I just have to ask, are we there, yet? You know, the point where we come together and acknowledge that mental health is real …. in the black community, we NEED to start being more open. The murder of George Floyd brought forth so many emotions, so much turmoil …. a trauma we can’t seem to rid our minds of. Oh wait, then there’s Breonna Taylor. Elijah McClain. Atatiana Jefferson. Botham Jean. Stephon Clark. Eric Garner. Michael Brown. Alonzo Smith.
….. Should I keep going, or you get it so far? No, all of these beautiful black people weren’t all murdered in 2020, but by now haven’t we experienced enough trauma to admit, “I’m not okay.” Because if you haven’t, trust me, I have. How many of us watch these stories all over social media daily and just cry? I mean, is it just me …. am I the only who, sometimes, feels defeated?
Don’t get me wrong, it’s not just the trauma we see in the media. It’s what we experience first hand at home – yes, even with our loved ones. It’s the fear of not being able to speak out and say, “something doesn’t feel right.” Because, the people you thought you could come to for anything are so consumed in their world or they tell you things like, “You’ll be okay,” when deep down you know you won’t be.
It’s the mental and verbal – sometimes physical – abuse we take on a daily because they’re family, they know what’s “best” for us, so we don’t feel the need to speak out. Or maybe it’s that sometimes, we don’t want to feel judged or less of a man/woman so we bury our emotions deep within us …. while we slowly torture ourselves on the inside. We think that if we don’t talk about it, if we don’t acknowledge it, everything disappears.
Like magic, right?
I wish it was that easy. Black people, I am tired. Tired.
Are we ready to acknowledge toxic family members? Mothers, fathers, sisters, etc who don’t do anything but bring others down for their personal benefit? How about those toxic ass relationships we stay in because we don’t think we can, “do better?” Baby, I’m ready to acknowledge it, ALL.
Are we there, yet?
Are we ready to talk about why we don’t acknowledge counseling, what the stigma is behind it? Of course, nobody wants to put their business out there – because, like Mama Tabitha says, it’s ours. But some things aren’t meant to be held in. There’s this stigma that going to therapy somehow makes you weak, that sitting (or lying down) for an hour and letting a complete stranger know about the issues in your life is the worst thing you could possibly do. Sometimes we need that release, because somebody who is not personally involved with you can give you some insight on the issues occurring in your life. It’s a perspective that is needed; we are so wrapped in our own thoughts that it’s hard to make sense of them. I have to say that I am an advocate for therapy and that we should feel no shame in participating. After all, the goal in life is to live happy … to live freely and not be bound by the negative thoughts that consume us.
So, let me ask you again.
Are we there, yet?
Asking for a friend.