I want to take this time to reflect on 2020. To heal, we must address the issues, never forget, and make changes to move forward.
After the killing of Breonna Taylor, many people were still learning about the killing of Ahmaud Arbery, and we all ran in neighbors posting hashtags. What shook the world was the killing of George Floyd. His murder and the two killings before him made me want to speak out and start blogging.
Though I was diagnosed with postpartum depression, I learned through Counseling that it was so much more. I don't think I would have spoken out if it hadn't been for these murders. The reason being that people didn't see the world as I saw it, and I was becoming too much for people. The Summer of 2020 protest changed people's perspectives and created room for me to feel and see my voice being heard.
I already feared what most Black mothers worried about—their child's death at an early age due to police brutality. The 2012 killing of Travon Martin and the 2014 killing of Tamir Rice raced through my mind when I realized I was expecting our first child. At the time of my early pregnancy, I was still coming into my own identity as a Black woman in a majority White setting. It took me a while to come to terms with the salience of my identity. Many may not want to say it, but being a Black woman in the South has its challenges. Something I had never considered until I became a professional.
Once I stepped into the role of motherhood, I knew I had to heal from my past trauma. I knew I couldn't be the mother I needed to be with the burdens I was carrying around. Race-based traumatic stress is a real thing that I learned about through therapy. Anytime we experience mistreatment due to our race, we can share feelings of anxiety, depression, and physical health issues. I had to learn to acknowledge my pain, accept it, and heal in that order. There were many times before I was diagnosed that I couldn't explain what I was feeling, but I knew I wasn't well. Through therapy, I learned that I genuinely had anxiety at an early age, and I learned how to suppress it over the years.
I have now learned that it's okay not to be okay. It's okay to slow down and not have all the answers. I was exhausted, and I felt like my hurt was building.
I'm learning to unplug during moments of uncertainty and provide myself with space to feel and breathe. My healing process began the day I started to accept the things I could no longer control.
Being a mom is my greatest accomplishment. Raising a Black Boy with the on-going battle of social injustice is hard enough without facing your struggles.
I had to learn how to mother myself in a time where police brutality is recorded, and people ask, "why was he wearing a hoodie?" I had to learn how to love myself when people don't get that if I advocate for Black and Brown people, it doesn't mean that I don't like you. I had to learn how to mother the social justice warrior inside of me before I could mother a Black boy because that side was hurting and needed to be healed.