…FOR ACTUALLY BEING SHOT. OR LIVING WHILE BLACK.
I’m trying to recognize my privilege while also realizing that I can care, can be an ally, and want to help but also deal with my own anxiety and depression and C-PTSD.
I get overwhelmed. I buckle under. I fall to pieces. And none of it has anything to do with being targeted simply because of the color of my skin.
My life could be one of those movies or novels that you see — matricide, drug abuse, domestic violence, natural disasters…young single motherhood, mental illness and rising above it, blah blah blah. Right? Sounds like a movie Oprah Winfrey would produce.
And yet still, I’ve had access to healthcare, mental health care, resources and assistance that are often denied to BIPOC.
None of this is fair. I suffer from C-PTSD because my life has been a series of hellish experiences foisted upon me by others, none of which I asked for or deserved; most of which were done by folks that were just seriously messed up members of my family that I loved.
But none of it had fuck-all to do with the color of my skin. My story isn’t even all that different than those of many black women, tell the truth. I bet you can find a few black women who have lived my same story … but I did while being a middle-class (ha), college-educated white woman. Therefore, when I tell it, I get applauded for overcoming it all. They still have to deal with their past hurts, and be a target while living their lives.
I don’t know how to be supportive while wanting or needing to curl under the blankets and hide; when I need to take care of my own mental health needs. I feel so privileged to just say “I need a mental health break” knowing that the BIPOC that I am supporting on the front lines can’t do that. That the protests go on, the violence continues, and that the young men and women putting their bodies and lives on the line for Black Lives Matters cannot stop and go hide under the covers. That even those same people going on about their lives can’t hide because they are targets, and don’t have the same privilege that I do.
I’m not sure how to end this post, since it’s not a post looking for answers — as there really are no answers to this. It’s not looking for sympathy — I don’t need nor want any. None of this is even about me. It’s rambling about a problem I see far too often from white allies, and will sometimes feel myself and then feel guilty, “I’m tired of the bad, sad, distressing, etc., news, I’m taking a break”. Well, since our brothers and sisters of color can’t take a break…why do we white folks think we can get away with it?