Wow! This is the final chapter in our 5-week series on the effects of Post-Traumatic Slavery Disorder on the Black Family. First and foremost, I just want to pat myself on the back…I wrote for 5 consistent weeks without missing one?! For those of you who know me, you know that is major. This blog is very personal for me, and I have a tendency to get caught up with what I think I’m supposed to do and throw my own personal passions to the wayside (read the previous post). What’s most intriguing about this is how relevant it is to today’s topic.
If you’ve been following us, then you understand that PTSD is a silent assassin. We often don’t even know we’re suffering from it until it’s too late. We live life under the teachings of those who came before us, though sometimes (not always) we haven’t learned how to adapt those practices to the modern-day world in which we live.
For those of you just joining us, we have been looking at the deconstruction of the black family with respect to the roles black men and women take in their own lives and now we will consider what that often looks like in their intimate relationships.
Black men have historically been the victims of systemic dehumanization with respect to respect. Because of the power they wield to heal, educate, build, and surpass – Black men are taught to question themselves and their power.
Black women on the other hand are taught to question everything but themselves and their power. We are taught that our power is impossible to surpass. More often than not, even when we are being humble it is serving a purpose we’ve not yet unveiled.
Now imagine these two people in a relationship. There isn’t likely to be one after a while, and if there is the two of them are probably putting up with more “mess” than a little bit. It is unneccessary, but it happens because these two have not learned enough about themselves to even begin understanding someone else.
She is well prepared to live life without him – he’s only there because she wants him to be. He is just hanging on and having fun until she pushes him out – what’s he really contributing to the mix anyway?
Well Brothers and Sisters, the time has come for us to learn the truth about ourselves. That truth is the same for everyone, but it will manifest itself differently in each of our relationships. Here it is: Brothers you have to step up, and Sisters you have to step back.
Now, I am not saying that we need to resort to a conventional, Puritan concept of marriage. I firmly believe that the only commonality in marriage is that there are two people who agree to commit their whole-selves and their lives to one another until death. What happens at all points in between is up to those making the commitment. But what do I mean by your whole-selves?
Brothers, I charged you to live your life without excuses and without blame. When you place blame and you make excuses, you are essentially saying you are not enough. There is no reason not to achieve and attain all that you desire. There are too many opportunities, too many support systems, and far too many unblazed trails for excuses and blame.
Sisters, I charged you to do a little extra – including doing nothing at all when the time called for it. When you push yourself to the max, when you are afraid to say no, when you do more than is required at the expense of self – you are basically saying that you do not trust yourself or anything around you (contrary to popular belief). You are telling yourself, the universe, and all those in it that you do not believe people care enough to be present when you need it (and that you are not whole enough to choose people who can be present).
We cannot communicate what we don’t know we feel. We cannot feel it without first being aware of self. And we cannot be truly aware of self until we are willing to go within.
If we are to heal the Black Family and keep it together, we must go within to find our whole-selves. If our love is to survive, if we are to teach our children something different, we must learn something new and do something different.
When we change our minds, we change our perceptions of things. Though nothing is different, our response is. And when our actions change, then things around us begin to change, too. But it all begins with the choice to trust – trust yourself, trust the change.
Trust yourself to make the right choices – including the right choices about those in whom you place your trust. Just for today, know that you are enough just the way you are – work in pogress and all.
Change your mind, change the world.
Wishing you well,
Kiki B., The WILD Side