Salon Performance Copy: medicine for the wounded [predator]

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,

Black man

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

your father

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.