I wrote these words two months ago, but the events of the past weeks in regards to Philando Castile and Charleena Lyles drew me to revisit them today and finally post this... I take a seat at the diversity training the way I usually do: leaned forward and legs crossed. I nod at a few … Continue reading fragile
In relation to yesterday's post, here and here are the other posts I've written about race-related stress and racial trauma. As an added caveat, I think it's important to remember that the presence of trauma of any kind does not reduce a person's situation to the oppressor/victim dichotomy our polarized society is so fond of.
Frustration sets in as I navigate through my expectations of my white friends and whether those expectations are fair or not. When another race-related event turns up, I find myself waiting for them to reach out to me. I don't need a full conversation or a therapy session with them--just a text asking if I'm okay. I find myself yearning for their acknowledgement that the racism underlying both the daily realities and big, mainstream-worthy headlines affects me in a different way. Then I have to inevitably sort through those thoughts and question if I'm really asking for their recognition of my hurt or for their permission to express it.
I think that black and brown people, my minority brothers and sisters of Asian and indigenous descent, we should not be ashamed of the interludes where we don't have everything together--where we are messy and unfiltered and simply trying to recuperate and process all we are doing and desire to do. We need to prioritize our mental and emotional health, despite the demands placed on us by our own sense of responsibility and our broken world.
I learned in a social work course about grief, loss, and bereavement that the stages of grief do not exist. I watched my classmates' eyes widen as the professor explained with an irreverent toss of hand that there is no slow, steady progression through the realms of denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. Grief is … Continue reading respite