Would you believe that I made a whole video on my reaction to the Pierce Morgan interview ( regarding Megan and Harry) the other day, and my anxiety kicked in and I just never published it? I deleted it. I need to stop doing that. What I said needed to be said and frankly, I hit the nail on the head prior to Piers "stepping down."
So here. I am taking to the blog. It's been awhile, anyway! I have a few things to say, coming from my lens of being trauma informed and what it looks like to seek recovery from anxiety and trauma from a somatic therapeutic lens.
First things first...
I am very saddened that in the POC community, we, collectively have a habitual pattern to shame and blame females that speak up when they are mistreated. I am speaking on behalf of all the girls who were molested, raped, sexually assaulted, or physically abused and they were shamed for bringing that to light.
I'd love it if we, collectively, can make telling the truth legal and socially acceptable!
I'd love for people who tell the truth to be acknowledged, validated, and given the space to heal.
However, this is what I have seen and experienced within communities of color and the public in general.
I have seen black girls shamed for experiencing puberty. They are called "fast" and "promiscuous" if they start to develop into "being a women." Is it a girl's fault she starts to show and grow breast? No! However, the inherent message sent is "you shouldn't be showing and because you are showing you are being bad!"
I have seen black girls who were molested, raped, sexually assaulted, or verbally harassed and their accusers "got away with it." And the women that spoke up? They were shamed, and sometimes punished. Their abuse was ignored and they were not validated or their experience was minimized.
And of course, I have seen black girls mistreated simply because they are a person of color.
I have seen judges award custody to abusers
I have seen judges give minimal or not sentences whatsoever for being abusive.
So, there's that. There are just some of the challenges I've had to navigate myself or things that I have seen other black girls and women navigate within their own communities!
With traumatic, or unfair treatment, thought processes can develop called "schemas". These can be thought of as "conscious or unconscious rules to live by". We develop these thoughts processes based on our experiences and on things we are told during our lifespan. We can think of these as "mental messages." Now everyone has schemas. Having a schema is not where we run into problems. We run into problems when these schemes hinder us from experiencing life to its fullest extent of pleasure and contentment.
When a black female has the above experiences, I can safely say that majority of the mental messages that develop are not healthy and are maladaptive. Some of these messages can be "I deserve to be mistreated", "Being mistreated doesn't matter", "What's the point of speaking up?", "It keeps happening so I must be at fault", and "I am the problem for speaking up!", and "Its my fault this keeps happening to me."
A big one "I look like this so I must deserve it!"
First of all ( clears throat, takes off earrings, sits us straight and points the finger!)
It is not a woman's fault for simple existing and being black! ( I know you may have experiences that may send a message otherwise, but those messages are lies!) Being black is a gift. Being a women is a gift. Every single body part is a gift and shaming a woman for being black and having woman's body parts is disgraceful. We should be shaming rape culture and men that violate, not women for simply being women!
We have the right to exist!
2. It is no one's right to minimize someone's else's pain! If a woman like Megan Markle speaks up it is not anyone place to say otherwise. The courage it takes to speak up is plenty of moxie needed for change to take place. If you find yourself in a place of shaming someone for speaking up for being mistreated, I send full intentions of the shame you send to be placed back on you ten fold. Energetically, I will not accept it and I encourage all women to not accept it either. Be on the side of the person who spoke up and be on the side of truth. Seek the truth and stop trying to shut an abused survivor up just because you don't have the courage or capacity to handle the mess someone else caused. Their healing is not based on your lack of capacity to handle the mess. Move! You are holding up someone's else healing and progress. Just move already! And by move I mean to shut up if you cant put up some level of support.
We have the right to speak up and tell the truth.
3. Do your own work! By that, I mean, that collectively, we have to be responsible for how we show up for others. We have to learn how to assess our levels of discomfort and assess if that level of discomfort is a harm or hinderance to someone else's healing. Questions to ask yourself? I have ideas. "Can a love one or friend come to me with a revelation, and even if it makes me uncomfortable or angry, will I hear them out? Will I hold space for them? Will I shame or blame them in any way? What will I say to them that will help them tell me more? What will I say to them that will help bring their abuser to justice? Will I empower them?" Ask the questions because if you are not part of someone's healing journey you can potentially be part of the problems related to their pain and retraumatized experiences!
We have to hold ourselves accountable for collective healing.
So yes, I support truth tellers. I support people who have the courage to share their story. I do not shame story tellers. I do not tell them it is their fault they were abused. I do not lie about what I have the capacity to do to help them. If I can not hold the space, I am honest about it and give them resources of where they can go to support their healing. If I find I cant hold the space I figure out the whys and hold myself accountable for the whys. I do not blame others for my lack of courage or lack of ability to hold space. I, however, do not retraumatize! ( Check the blog on how to support someone with PTSD for how to do this!)
In closing I will say this :
Light can not have fellowship with darkness. Pick a side and stop being a wolf amongst the sheep. Folks have healing to do!
Be part of the solution and stop being part of the problem!
---If you want more information on how to support loved ones be sure to check out previous blog entry "How to love on someone with PTSD".
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