medicine for the wounded [predator]
Imagine that: get your head together or die. Just like that. I chose to live, and it demanded very painful confrontations with everyone in my life having an impact on my emotional health, good or bad–and everything in between.
One year ago, I was the slave or the unpaid servant, emotionally, but I was in the ultimate position of the slave in that I was unaware of my state of being. I was being drained by a shaman in a cave in a parallel universe while in an ecstatic trance.
In both universes, I had two grand mal seizures that forced me into full consciousness and memory of the far past. All of this feels familiar as if this has already happened, as if I am writing in a time-warped teachable moment.
Regardless of your status or perceived status, if you are a Black woman, man, person, or child, you will be faced with systemic racism at some point in your lifetime—and at times frequently for no reason other than being there doing your job, sleeping, working, playing, sitting still, walking, breathing.
That’s not including the work-related discrimination, microaggressions, getting healthcare while Black, driving while Black, education-related discrimination, and other biases lodged against you if you are a woman/girl, LGBTQIA+, disabled, international, etc. at an HBCU that has yet to deal with its own classism, racism, sexism, colorism, homophobia, transphobia, biphobia. Black folk weaponing hate against our own in order to survive these same isms. Or think of it this way—I did not fall unconscious on the floor of a classroom during a faculty meeting last fall due to me being diabetic because I am not close to becoming diabetic or pre-diabetic. Instead, I had a grand mal seizure at 53. In other words, my body went into restart mode.
Chronic or sudden illness is what systemic racism does to your body and mind—and if one is wounded enough, your spirit also suffers, eventually.
I reject the entirety of the Cult of True Womanhood, Cult of Southern Womanhood, Cult of Domesticity, the Cult of Mary, Black Respectability politics aka plantation politics, which means I don’t allow men or women to put me in a box where I smile and endure abuse in silence.
To be a touchstone to a predator
So much I have learned about myself
about people and patience
about self-esteem and courage
about human weakness
(what is a touchstone to a predator?)
and empathy for the wounded
I stand on my principles
regardless of the consequences
presented to me because
that is the woman
my mother and my father raised
My seizures are God’s reminder to
make my voice heard and
be the person I am who I NAME
You just happened to meet me
as I was emerging from a long journey
through anxiety while claiming
full humanity and watching you watch me
You being who you are,
being free of subservience and
free of self-demeaning
came partially to you but
you don’t understand it from a
Black woman’s perspective.
You see it but you are not
empathetic to it as a Black man
Do you remember how
You were talking about how
neglected you emotionally,
made you feel inadequate
how much of that you inherited
how you carried something in you
escaping release and expression
life is not a singularity of edge
you asked for this truth
so be a grownup and
respond like a grownup
you are not a fucking robot and
social justice work is hard on my brain
especially when some folk sometimes
including you yes you do
mansplain or red-bone-splain bullshit
while using their/your privileges to
complete agendas at the expense of
the routinely ignored and oppressed
though you don’t see it that way or
you may not intend it that way as
you fulfill your own needs and as
you avoid conflict because
you are wounded and
you are feeding on others to heal
me most of all,
me the one who still loves you
the one telling you need help and prayer.