For some reason, I am having a hard time processing all that is going on in today’s world. When we were going through the beginning stages of COVID and all the changes that came with this pandemic, it was really hard for me to mentally adjust. Going into stores that I would normally just go into with no problem, had now presented a problem because, life as we knew it, was no longer that way. I think the hardest part for me was how my mind perceived and processed this experience I was going through for the first time in my life.
Being black while shopping already presented its own set of problems, but being black during this epidemic while shopping wasn't particularly easy either. I already had to deal with feeling like I was being watched as I shopped in stores, now I'm feeling like I can't sneeze, cough or show any signs of sickness out of fear that people would think I was infected. Having to be extra cautious when navigating the world, left me feeling like I was this tainted person that needed to be approached with extra care because people who looked like me seemed to be the most affected by COVID.
Every time I would have to encounter the world to do my essential shopping or attend doctors appointments, it like I felt I was being judged or looked down on like something was wrong with me or like I was this nasty person needing to be avoided at all cost. Even though, I was aware that this was a pandemic that not only affected me but every living, breathing being on earth, I still seemed to process this experience differently because my race seemed to be at the forefront of the pandemic.
Not being able to just go into a store or make contact with other people because the fear of being infected compromised our normal way of living, did something to me. Of course, I understood how serious this matter was and how important it was to function in this manner, but mentally it was hard to truly process this new way of living.
I didn't really mind the downtime, nor did I mind, staying at home because I truly am an introvert who enjoys time at home and to myself. I had a problem with my choice being taken away from me. Not having the privilege to just go out and have a drink at the bar or dinner at a restaurant when I wanted to was what I was struggling with and I found myself experiencing some major frustration every time I was reminded of this reality. I went through a moment where I was in denial that this was real, then the anger started to set in, which made abiding to this new normal presented challenging on a mental level.
My problems, like everyone else, didn't just stop at dealing with COVID. I was dealing with so many other things in conjunction with dealing with COVID and trying to stay mentally sane was the biggest concern with all of this. I was pregnant, I was going through a bad break up from a 16-yr relationship, I was experiencing major anxiety and depression and I was forced to stay at home in my room and in my feelings. Day in and day out, it was just me, my phone, and my four walls because I was also without a tv due to the breakup. I was lonely, confused, and confined to not only my home but my feelings as well. I not only had to make some changes with the way I had to function due to COVID. I also had to adjust to the changes of pregnancy and boy was that challenging. I was losing weight due to horrible morning sickness and emotionally I was going through it because I just didn't feel like myself any more.
Once I got through that experience, which ended with me losing the baby, I was now trying to heal and move on with coping during the pandemic. Then we were presented with yet another challenge, which again, had another effect on my life due to the color of my skin and that was the murders of unarmed African Americans at the hand of white cops that sparked riots, protests and just an all out race war.
I have to say with everything that has transpired from the personal things in my life to the pandemic and the murders of unarmed black people, 2020 ain't so clear after all, the vision has been lost and shit looks real blurry right now. I am experiencing a lot of uncertainty, doubt and frustration as I strive to maintain my sanity and the little peace I have, but being reminded of these traumas and unprecedent events around me on the daily basis, doesn't help.
If you can relate to just feeling uncertain about the future and experiencing some issues with your mental health, I urge you to give yourself a mental break from all the news and social media exposure. Please speak with a mental health professional because not only are we dealing with shit in our own personal lives, we are dealing with shit on a national level as well. No one cares about your mental health and how everything around you might be affecting you because again we are all going through this together, so it is important that you care.
I'm have so many fucking feelings right now at the shit that's going on, I can't fathom why this looting and burning down businesses is okay. If these people weren't so concerned about fulfilling a personal agenda they would have thought about how this would affect all of us in the long run.
Now y'all running to Indiana after y'all burned all y'all shit down, buying up all the food out here. What y'all was doing was for personal gain, living in the moment, not thinking about how this could affect you in the long run.
I don't care that your justification is that these stores are ran by other races and they should suffer for our sufferings. Those stores still hold are necessities of life. Maybe if we come together, build our community and open black own stores in our communities, we’d start to see some change. Nah, y'all burning them down too. These lawmakers and politicians could make it worse than it already is in your neighborhoods. Y'all already gotta travel outside your neighborhood to get real groceries, what y'all think y'all about to do now? Once buildings get burned, I very rarely see them built again, it's either torn down or abandoned. Then you'll trying to break in people’s house and rob them. I'm never dismissng that there's a bigger problem at hand, but this is a problem too.
Congratulations you are pregnant”, were the words my doctor said to me after patiently awaiting confirmation of what I already knew. I’ll never forget those two bold lines plastered across the screen of the drug store pregnancy test I had taken the night before because it left me in total disbelief.
I thought I’d never hear those words because, in mind, I wasn’t able to have children. I had declared myself physically and mentally unable to have a baby, so receiving confirmation that this was happening, made me have mixed feelings. I quickly realized I was embarking on a new chapter that evoked a lot of feelings I didn’t know how to handle.
I was 31 years old and for the first time in my life, I was going through life events I thought I’d never experience, especially not at the same time. Everything in my life was happening so fast and so unexpectedly that it took away my joys of pregnancy most women experienceduring this time in their lives.
I thought I’d be excited to learn that I could indeed have children, especially after being in a 16-yr. relationship where I never ended up getting pregnant, but with everything going on around me, this moment seemed to be overshadowed by hurt and uncertainty.
I not only found out that I was pregnant by a man I barely knew, but I was also dealing with a bad breakup from a man who I had known most of my life and thought I’d be experiencing this moment with.
I have to say that both experiences forced me to step into a new chapter of life, that for me, was scary as hell because of the fear of the unknown and the changes that ensued. I was no longer in a relationship with the man I thought I could never live without, I was trying to find myself and now I was no longer able to focus on me because my focus was now on becoming the best mother I could be even amid my brokenness.
The resistance I was having with embracing this new chapter was due to the difficult time I was having with adjusting to the challenges I was facing as a new mom-to-be. I was experiencing changes with my body, changes with how I normally did things and changes with how I functioned overall. I was already losing weight due to stress, but now I was battling horrible morning sickness to the point that I couldn’t eat and all the clothes I had once fitted perfectly, were falling off my body. I didn’t like the way I looked or the way I felt and couldn’t understand how women could go through this chapter in life and still be happy because I wasn’t. I found myself crying every day and it even got to a point where I was praying for a miscarriage because I couldn’t bring myself to get an abortion, but I was struggling with embracing this new chapter in my life.
I later learned that what I was experiencing was resistance to change during what was supposed to be one of the most amazing and life-changing chapters of my life. I should have been joyful that I was able to bring another life into this world because so many women wished they were able to do so, yet they can’t. Although, I did experience challenges with embracing motherhood, I did learn the importance of embracing new chapters in life, even amid adversity.
What good is attention, when there’s no solution to come of it. You can get attention all day, for all the wrong reasons and there not be any change that takes place after. Looting and burning down stores in your community that not only you depend on for your needs, but others depend on as well, doesn’t really effectively get the message across. I understand that my people are angry, disappointed and fed up with the unjust treatment of our people, especially seeing that we have not only built this country, but we also continue to build the economy, being one of the largest consumers in this country. You have every right to stand up and fight for your rights.
However, when you are showing that your main concern is how much stuff you can loot to sale and look fly in, it ends up negating the purpose, especially if your purpose doesn’t align with the cause. I realize that not everyone has the same agenda when it comes to this matter and that is my concern.
I don’t care that they are looting, I care that their actions aren’t about the cause. Nor does it garner the respect and change we need on a national level because this is bigger than US. This behavior takes away from the cause, the life and the tragedy of not only George Floyd, but the countless other blacks affected by the unjust treatment of African Americans. Now the focus becomes on controlling these “thugs” and stopping these behaviors.
I understand that a lot of people feel that no matter if you are peaceful or not, they still won’t listen, "so you gotta do what you gotta do". I just feel that it’s difficult to get the message when the actions don’t align with the purpose. It’s hard for people to understand the message you are relaying when the message is overshadowed by foolishness. Would you be able to listen or take someone serious if they are behaving in a manner that contradicts the message? They can't and won't get the message when your actions are distracting from the real concern.
Of course we know that change isn’t going to happen overnight and more needs to be done, US alone won’t change how they think about US and I feel the looting and burning of our communities further perpetuates those negative thoughts they have about us as a people that results in the mistreatment of blacks. No, we are not to blame for their racist thoughts or actions.
No, it's not our place to change how they think about us because that's not our job to do so, we need whites and other non-colored people to stand up and change the narrative of black people as a whole. We need those who are in positions of power to change the story about black people and for policies to be set in place to help enforce the changes we need.
We are not all just criminals and bad people deserving of mistreatment because our existence somehow triggers the deep-rooted hate within certain individuals. However, some of the behaviors being displayed during these trying times, seem to perpetuate those thoughts and feelings further, and as a result, the narrative of blacks change and the focus is shifted.
I don't have all the answers and if I'm being honest, I've never quite understood and still don't understand why the color of my skin evokes so much hatred in a group of people who not only inflicted pain on my ancestors but as a result created generations filled with trauma, dysfunction, and confusion that affects our people in more ways than one.
What are your thoughts on this matter? How are you holding up as you take in everything that has transpired over the past week?