When I was in the 6th grade, I attended my brother’s little league games. There was a boy in little league who was also in my classes at school. He used to always call me I Man, instead of Iman. The boy, Donovan Reese, knew very well how to correctly pronounce my name. I voiced my frustration to my mother, and she responded with the words many girls have hear: “he’s only picking on you because he likes you”. Baby queer Iman gave zero fucks about Donovan’s crush. I wondered why, in validating his actions, my mother invalidated my self-worth.
I don’t want to live a life of regrets. I want to fall in love and scrape my knees.
noooo I’m getting thinner.
I want to bask in the glory of my fatness.
I want to submit to Black Girl Dangerous, but I’m so terrified of being harshly criticized by readers that I won’t do it. Of course, that probably won’t happen, but the possibility exists.
The last time I tried therapy, my roommates and then girlfriend thought I was lying because I didn’t tell them right away. They didn’t understand why they didn’t know every detail of my life. Therapy is so stigmatized that I don’t tell people who don’t need to know. It is especially stigmatized in Black and Christian circles, where people are told that therapy is for white people or God will fix everything.
I grew up hearing that so many things were for white people: therapy, speaking “proper”, intellectualism… I’m tired of hearing about what’s for white people. It’s all a concocted lie. People of color are told these things because they know we don’t want to (outwardly) identify with whiteness. We will avoid therapy to keep our POCness.
When I first told my family that I wanted to go to therapy, my minister mother instructed me to go to church instead. The idea that we should “let go and let God” robs us of accountability. I wasn’t functioning. I needed to go to therapy. As it is written, faith without works is dead.
I am an advocate of therapy, though I know it is not feasible for everyone. My insurance is great, but I’m still paying $100 a month for sessions. It is expensive, but I can afford it. I figured I could spend $100 a month on liquor and eating out, or I could spend it on my health. The decision for me as a Black lesbian to take care of myself is revolutionary.
A friend once told me that she was willing to help me get through my anxiety and depression as she got through hers, but she could only help me if I truly wanted help. I felt offended. Why wouldn’t I want help? Being too anxious to leave my room wasn’t fun. Feeling too depressed to do homework wasn’t fun. How dare she assume that I didn’t want help? But then I thought it over. It’s so easy to just be complacent and stay where you are. Sure, I was struggling, but I felt like there was no way out. I felt like I was stuck. Most importantly, I felt like if I didn’t have anxiety and depression, I wouldn’t be me anymore. My personality felt embedded in the mood swings and self destructive behavior. I felt like I was my mental illness. After some time, I started taking mood stabilizers (which took some destigmatization), and it felt unnatural. I had been struggling with extreme moods so long, I forgot what a healthy dose of emotions was. I was still anxious, but I could leave my room. I was still sad, but I wouldn’t sleep 15 hours a day and miss class and assignments. I didn’t have spurts of uncontrollable energy. I was… Normal.
I have an appointment with a new therapist for Monday. I’m anxious, but in a healthy way. I’m looking forward to going (and actually being able to leave my room). And going to therapy regularly will take some budgeting, but I finally feel like I’m worth it.
One of my goals for my 22nd year is to write one poem a week. The first one is due by the 22nd. The problem is, nothing is moving me. I feel so disconnected to life that I can barely function (hopefully I can make it through the next 3 months of school without failing). I have no inspiration and it’s really bothering me.
I didn’t go to IvyQ because my abusive ex was going.
I wanted to go though, but self care comes first
My abuser might be interested in a group focusing on LGBTQ domestic violence.
That’s like a killer following the investigation of his victims