I am in a period of healing.
When I’m not in the process of doing it, I always visualize healing as this beautiful space full of puffy clouds and fluffy robes and beautiful flowers with no thorns. I imagine it as a relaxed and happy place where I am at peace. Restful. Rejuvenating. Blissful. Yeah, I love that vision of healing. But it is a lie.
The reality is that healing is a giant vat of pain that you need to sit in indefinitely until you don’t need to anymore. Healing is realizing that you are in pain and you have to continually care for and nurture your wounds until they don’t hurt anymore. Sometimes healing is reopening the wound because it’s infected and is poisoning you from the inside. Sometimes healing is rooting around in the wound to find the shit that shouldn’t be there. Sometimes…most times healing requires you to take off the band-aid and look directly at your pain and figure out how to heal it healthily while figuring out whether this injury is avoidable or just something you have to learn to live with and create a plan for recovery.
Too much of this life is learning to live with bullshit while managing my constant re-injuring and healing.
I hate this world. I hate so much about it. I hate how suffering is considered acceptable collateral damage by those seeking power. I hate how violence against Black womxn is so fucking normal that speaking about it puts your fucking life at risk. Pushing back puts you at risk. Refusing to believe and accept heaping bowls of bullshit are chocolate pudding makes you an enemy of the state. Any type of resistance puts you as risk of state sanctioned emotional and physical harm and death with the full knowledge that depending on what rung the perpetrator sits on the social hierarchical ladder will determine whether they are punished at all.
I live in a world where I am constantly having to deal with psychological abuse and physical threats while being told constant lies. Lies I had to trust at one point in my life to survive. Lies I had to believe in order to move forward. Lies that have proven to be lies time and time again yet when I expose the lies for what they are, somehow, it’s my fault. It’s my fault if I warn you because I’m “speaking it into truth.” It’s my fault if I say nothing because I didn’t try to prevent it. It’s my fault for not being “nice” enough or “kind” enough or for “asking for too much” or whatever bullshit dehumanizing reason they can manufacture at the moment.
It’s my fault because I haven’t figured out the perfect way to maintain my boundaries without you feeling hurt by my refusal to do what you want. To be who you want. To act the way you want. To submit to whatever the fuck you want because everything about you matters more than me.
I am tired of living in a world that just takes and takes and takes and then scolds or punishes me for the audacity of not giving more of myself…all of myself. A world that feels entitled to ghost me in my lived experience…that feels entitled to erase many Black womxn from their lived experiences.
And I’m tired. I am tired of constantly being surrounded by fuckery that few people will acknowledge exists, much less admit to or try to address it. I’m tired of either sitting in the midst of it and pretending it’s not fucking with me or continue to have people dislike and push me away because I dare to speak about it. I’m tired of having asinine discussions with people who seem to understand racism just fine but not hate speech when it applies to LGBTQIA+ individuals and communities. I’m tired of dealing with people who understand sexism but can’t fucking grasp the racist shit they do and buy into. I can’t have any more conversations with people who are comfortable finding infinite ways to punish womxn for enjoying sex while they cannot manage to have a friendship with any womxn they haven’t fucked at least once. I’m tired of being told that I have no right to a voice or a right to say no. I’m tired of being told that I should just appreciate that I’m allowed to exist at all.
I’m tired of my humanity being debatable. I’m tired of constantly growing my skin back thicker and thicker every time it’s stripped from me. I’m tired of being told I’m too cold, too hard, too mean, too defensive, too untrusting while I am constantly subjected to the pain, humiliation, and deaths of those who were softer, kinder, less defensive, and more trusting. While I am constantly told the horror stories of womxn who were murdered for saying “I’m not interested,” “stop hurting me,” and “no.” While I have my skin weaponized and pre-emptively attacked yet still remain marginalized and excluded because according to this shit hierarchy, Black womxn are not human and deserve nothing. We are a variety of parts available to be used at the whim of everyone else and fuck us for refusing to accept that bullshit quietly.
I am fucking tired of the fucking emotional acrobatics I am pushed to perform so I can live honestly in this world. I am tired of the constant assessing and anticipating I have to do to try to avoid danger. I am fucking tired of how I have to sit and wait for people to do the shitty things I knew they were going to do months ago because until they do them, I’m just being paranoid. I am fucking exhausted by the fact that no matter what the fuck I do, it’s not enough. It’s never enough. And regardless of it all, somehow, it’s still my fucking fault.
This is not the existence I saw for myself. This is not the society I want to be in. The only reason I keep pushing forward is because I don’t believe in an afterlife. This shit, this combative, degrading, demeaning, oppressive bullshit is all I’ve got and the only thing I can think to do is to keep trying to make the best of it. And I’m fucking tired of trying to make the best shit soup out of the shit ingredients y’all make available to me. I am tired of the non-stop innovation and creativity I have to exercise just to fucking be seen and heard on my terms. I am tired of fighting for you to fucking see me instead of whatever ridiculous image you’ve assigned me in your head. I’m tired of fighting for the fucking space to just be.
The first time I heard the phrase, “Black womxn are doing it for themselves,” I was proud. I was proud to be part of an ambitious and mobilized group of people. What I didn’t understand was that we’re doing it for ourselves because not enough people will acknowledge our needs. If we don’t do it for ourselves, this shit ain’t getting done. And that’s a sad ass commentary on what it means to be a Black womxn today.
We know the deal. We’ll do it for ourselves and then some man or non-Black person will copy it and get the credit.
So, here I am, knowing that this isn’t the last time I’ll be sitting in this stew of pain. Knowing that this is just one more mass healing in a series of mass healings I will find myself enduring. I will still love and take care of myself. I will keep pushing forward until something more violent than me stops me for good. But until then, I will fight, I will get hurt, and I will heal…again.
But right now, I’m mired in the what the fuck of this life and I cannot pretend that I’m okay with this shit. I’m not okay with it and I refuse to deal with it in a way that makes others feel comfortable. I’m prioritizing myself and taking as much time as I can to get better. I’m not there yet and I don’t know when I will be.
I know what’s on the other side of this and I can’t even work up the energy to feel hopeful about it. I know that no matter what, I’m gonna end up right back here, eventually. My best hope is to figure out how to make the intervals longer without sacrificing parts of me in the process.
But yeah. Fuck ALL this shit.