Let’s talk a little bit about when it hurts. I woke up this morning (well yesterday) and it was a rough day for me. My heart was broken in a few places, and I’m talking temporary hurt. The kind that comes and breaks you apart in moments, then releases you, and then revisits again in a few months or years. My heart was not broken simply because of me, but my heart was broken for women. Specifically Black women! The demand that is placed on us and the damage that is done to us over and over again is exhausting.
I never knew how much this $5 shirt would mean to me on a day like yesterday, but it meant everything to me in every way. I woke up with a broken heart because of something that happened to me, but also something that happened to someone I love, and my mind began to spin! My heart broke into more and more pieces as I thought about all the women just like me who have dealt with heartache, embarrassment, mental instability, lies, defeat, judgement, ridicule, do I need to continue? This feeling is not an anomaly amongst women, and it surely is not uncommon for Black women. As a Black woman I can say my heart does not just break, it shatters every time. The trust and effort we put into a world that continues to let us down, continues to tell us we are less than, worthless and emotionally deranged, yep, the angry Black woman, the Bitter Black women, the Unappreciative Black woman, the Ugly Black woman… thats the woman I wake up avoiding every day, but others manage to make that woman surface so often.
The culprit of much of this hurt and heartbreak is often other Black women and Black men. The cycles we are placed in, the ways we are taught to think and act toward one another…being seen as competitors and not as family, but then being judged because we don’t see each other as family plays an enormous role in the positivity that many of us lack as Black women. We have to carry the burden of competing with one another, accepting the mistakes and damage from our Black men, the disrespect and hatred from our sisters, all while healing ourselves all alone. Yes, I know there are sisterhood groups and women’s empowerment movements, but how often are those dramafree as well?
How often can we go into a circle or community of Black individuals and not end up apart of their past… often the negative past, the mistakes, the open wounds…those are the places Black women often dwell, not because we want to, but because we have to. We are almost trapped in so many ways. Our community is the only community that accepts us…wait I lied…our community is more likely to accept us than others, but I know quite a few brothas who see value in every woman but the Black woman. When we do connect with a brotha, give all we have (because thats what we’re taught to do) there is no perfect potion for it, the hurt is bound to happen, the hurt often happens, and the hurt carries over.
I have seen over and over again women suffering for the damage that someone else did. For example, when I think of men, they have hurt, pain, injustice (especially Black men) but they also have privilege. Privilege to be with whoever they want to be with… (ask me how many men outside my race I’ve been with, Ask a brotha how many women outside of his race has he been with, or even had a chance at….) our answers will be very different. But i’ll deal with that in an actual video on my youtube channel. You need to see my passion and facial expression!
As I carried around my pain yesterday underneath a “Stay Positive” shirt I carried a smile for all the pain and heartbreak Black women have to hide daily… I decided to pray for other women to be able to sit with their heartbreak and be ok, feel safe. I’d do the smiling for them, I’d be the happy face for them today (although I too was hurting), and I did it for most of the day, but once the smiling came to an end I decided I needed to make a post. A post to share that although I have an amazing life, I have been where so many Black women are, I still have days and moments that remind me that the choices I make as well as the choices other people make often effect me the most because of who I am and what I look like.
I am choosing to stay positive, even with a broken heart. My heart is still healing and I am learning to be ok with sitting with my pain, anger, and emotions. It is okay to have emotions and it even more ok to take your time. Now that I know this and am able to accept that my life will have ups and downs, I can face them with a positive outlook.