I didn’t do anything wrong. I know I need to let myself off the hook. It can be so hard to trust your heart again when it didn’t seem to give any indication that I was going to get hurt by the choices I made. I gave as much as I could.
The events that surround that time reinforced the idea that I was not good enough. And everything that came after that time was me hiding because I didn’t want the world to see and reaffirm that I wasn’t good enough too.
America is a racist entity. It is also a sexist entity. And if you vow to be different, if you say to yourself that you are not going to tow the line, that you will, with an open heart, do a new thing, there often will be backlash. Sometimes even the people who look like you, in your times of need, will be unwilling to offer you comfort and instead say, “I told you so” and imply that you were or are wrong when you really are in fact blameless. And it hurts.
Right now, I feel like Job in the bible. When you trust your heart and you keep God in your thoughts and attempt to be the light and you still get hurt or wind up with others seemingly rejoicing in your misfortune, or avoiding you when in pain, it can hurt. Sometimes you want compassion and comfort. Sometimes you want others to acknowledge that you are, in fact, blameless. Vindication would have been nice. But sometimes vindication takes a long, long, time.
Maybe one day I’ll write a book. And in it I’ll talk about the black people in my life who judged me (because they want to acknowledge the truth) and everybody else who didn’t want to acknowledge my feelings were valid. My feelings are still valid. My heart is broken, but I want to be healed.
I’ve been sitting with my pain. In college, I was in a theology class where the professor talked about how the Catholic church is the one true church and how the Catholic church has never changed. I challenged this belief. I wanted people to wake up. Maybe this was not the setting to do it. But I was passionate about this topic and appalled by the indoctrination of it all. My classmates completely disagreed and argued that that Catholic church has never ever changed. How could they not see it? What broke my heart most of all was that they honestly believed I was wrong, despite all the evidence, despite everything the professor had said in class about how the church changed their views and have become more inclusive, etc, they still felt I was wrong. All I could think was, “was nobody listening in class? Am I crazy?” But they were damn sure I was wrong and really set out to prove it and did not want to talk to me much afterwards. Oh well.
I remember nursing school. Sitting in the back of the class all alone. Not really understanding whiteness and why it is they were so clique-ish and unconcerned about inclusivity. I remember the first month approaching a white female in my class and trying to engage her in conversation. She power walked away from me like i didnt exist. She clearly did not want to talk to me. I remember wanting to join a dance club to salsa dancing and hearing, “we don’t have salsa dancing here but we do have urban dancing, your people seem to like that.”
I was angry at that comment because who is this white person that decided what a group of people, an entire population like? And I use to make jokes about painful events like this. But it hurt me so much that I wasn’t able to laugh or make a humorous piece on the crazy that is upper middle class white America and the people who cater to them.
I think I will write a piece on just that on day.