What did I allow you to do to me?
I left as a baby but returned as a little child filled with hope and you raped me. You raped me of my voice, my style, my ability to rely on my own body’s messages, my intuitive ability and sense of wonder. I came willing to share my gifts, but you weren’t satisfied unless you were inside every vulnerable hole I had. I was naive and let you in. I thought you could help me, save me even, from what you implied was my wretched existence. My blackness, my caribbean roots, my connection to divinity, my natural beauty, gifts, and talents, were something to be ashamed of. It’s one thing to be black. It’s another thing to be black and in love with the reflection of the divine within you, when to the outside world you have nothing to be in love with. So you sought to break me. Your history of rejecting difference and preferring the illusion of normalcy and assimilation serving as your compass. You made me believe that what I knew was inaccurate, that my poise was a stuck up demeanor, that my ability to note self destruction and despair was me being boring.
I was ridiculed for eating only when I was hungry. So I binged. I binged on your lies and your own misguidedness. Your illusion of power convincing me that it was the only way. You told me, often subtly, sometimes not, that who I am and what I am, was unnatural.
You sought to change me while in the same breath offering me spiritually in a bottle, as if to say, “get to know yourself. love yourself. But only the parts that allow others to love and admire you. Still hide the ugly. Keep it to yourself.”
I called myself weird because of you. I came up with a host of terms and wove together stories trying to piece together the why’s, when’s, and how’s of my weirdness. I beat myself up, pulled myself apart and, on several occasions, have broken down trying to figure out what it was that is/was so wrong with me. I asked hosts of people throughout the years for their approval, crumbling when I didnt get it. I attempted to look inward by looking outward for some indication of your approval of what I was becoming. Did I fit? Was I finally right with you?
I was using your ruler to measure my worth. I was looking at myself through your twisted, distorted mirror, filled with bias, racism, discrimination, judgement, persecution, uncertainty and doubt, ridicule, friendship and belonging, team behavior, despair, and illusions. But no unconditional love. So many conditions were placed on my acceptability that I could never quite fit, this afro-caribbean descent girl with dual citizenship, who ate only when she was hungry, who was joyful because God put it in her to be so. Who danced in her own way, enjoyed her own company, was smart, observant, intuitive, and selective with the company she kept. She stood out simply for being.
I ask myself now, after all is said and done, what’s right with me? And I like every answer that comes through.