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Chapter 10: Where Do I Begin…

Hello my Cheaper Than Therapy family! It has been almost a year since I last put fingertips to keyboard to connect with everyone and share my online self-counseling sessions with the Interwebs, and a LOT has happened during that time. Shyt, a lot is STILL happening as I sit here on my couch with my dog at my feet and incense burning to cleanse the energy in my apartment. I’ll bullet point the highlights below, and then when we’re caught up I’ll resume my reunion tour:

  • Ended things with a potential boo thang.
  • Got laid off from a job I hated.
  • Followed my passion for wine into the wonderful world of Wine Education via Wine and Spirits Education Trust.
  • Waited tables at a wine bar and restaurant…poorly…she ain’t meant for service, y’all.
  • Lost some weight…gained most back. Being a stress-eater suuuuucks. 😦
  • Got offered a career opportunity so amazing and out of the box that I just KNEW it had to be a blessing from God! SIKE!!! Opportunity turned into a manifestation of the Devil on Earth with some key players (not I, said the fly…) being indicted on federal fraud charges. I’m in the clear, but holy shyt that was a stressful revelation to live through.
  • Joined a mentoring organization to insert myself into circles of wealthy and positive individuals…refuse to do the work required to benefit from said organization.
  • Lost some old friends to the passage of time because our seasons had definitely run their course.
  • Still out here trying to figure out just what in theeeeee entire fcuk these last 16 months were supposed to teach me besides how close I can be pushed to my limit before I suffer a psychotic break and require a padded room and the strong tranquilizers to settle down.

Caught up? Fabulous!  Questions or comments? Save ’em…a bish it too tired. All I can do right now is figure out what is best for MYSELF at this moment, and it does not include entertaining other people’s opinions on just WTF I am doing or how I am processing all of the emotions I’ve been tasked with carrying these past many months. This is the entire purpose behind starting the blog – to get crap out of my head without having to write a check for a copay (can’t afford my actual shrink right now anyways), but I don’t have the energy to entertain people’s well-intentioned advice. I’ve literally spent the past year with this nagging sensation that I should be documenting what I’m going through to help myself and possibly help someone else, but I would always chicken out and internalize my struggles because when you put it all down and then read your life back to you, it forces you to re-live some pretty horrible moments that you tried to bury deep inside of yourself so you can keep pushing ahead. We are all going through various levels of BS and just trying to do the best we can, but I was ashamed and embarrassed and overwhelmed by everything I had going on.

There were so many moments in the past year where I just KNEW I was about to get a win – Lord knows I’ve earned one by now – but even my wins turned into even bigger losses, and I just wanted to crawl inside myself and die. Not literally die because I’m not suicidal, but I am tired. And as much as we want to put on a brave face and say how strong we are and that we can handle anything with prayer, or by drinking water, or by eating our veggies, there inevitably comes a point where you honestly don’t think you can do this shyt anymore. But since you aren’t suicidal you don’t even get the peace that comes from knowing that an ending to your pain and loneliness and exhaustion is on the horizon. There is no fucking horizon. There is no light. There is no hope. And who wants to put these thoughts on paper (so to speak) to be ridiculed or judged by other people telling you how it’s going to be ok and just keep moving forward or how God’s got this? Who wants that? And let me tell you something, I am a proud woman of Faith but my biggest daily struggle has been not to get angry with God. To keep trusting Him even when I don’t feel Him near, to be still and not feel guilty about the stillness because there is a difference between being still and doing nothing.

I feel like I am losing the ability to be happy for other people’s victories, and that is not my personality. I celebrate my friends when they accomplish new goals and victories because that’s what a non-shitty friend does. But I’m tapped out, y’all. My every waking thought is consumed with how to get out of a hole that is closing in on me with every passing day, and that leaves zero room for me to pull from my emotional well to celebrate pregnancies, weddings, promotions, new houses, new cars, etc. I just ain’t got it. And a lot of my friends didn’t know I was battling all of this because for so long I kept the worst of it confined to a small group of those people to whom I am the closest. They were, and still very much are, my backbone when I have no more strength to stand on my own. Other folks thought I was just being a bitch or something and to those folks I say to get over yourself. Seriously. If I have been acting out of character lately, a real friend would have checked in, not checked out. Cleaning out my friends list and reassigning other people to different roles in my life has probably been the only silver lining I can think of at this time. And that’s not to say that it’s anyone else’s responsibility but mine to police my emotions, but isn’t that what we have our nearest and dearest for in the first place? To check on you when you’re down? To support you sometimes just by sitting with you in silence while you cry silent tears of hopelessness, but at least you don’t have to cry alone? Would they not want the same from me if I noticed their mood changed or they because withdrawn? No? Just me? Meh.

This return to writing, my acknowledgment of the darkest of dark places I have walked through these past few months, is being done for purely selfish reasons. I. Am. Fucking. Tired. I feel like I am going to explode from the inside, and that I will be found in my own body puddle clutching a bottle of bourbon with one hand while my dog lays next to me chewing on my hair if I don’t get some of this out of my system. The anger. The rage. The pain. The hopelessness. The loneliness. The utter desperation that comes from legit not knowing what your life is going to look like in the next 30 days, and having that idea keep you up at night clutching a bottle of bourbon instead of making you hopeful for whatever new adventure is coming your way. I’ve learned a lot about myself over the past year and change, and some of it ain’t pretty. I’ve become more emotionally vulnerable and humble than I have ever been in my life, but I hate the feeling of neediness that is associated with this new evolved version of myself. I hate needing help. And I gotta tell ya…I need help. Lots of help. But I am used to helping others and then helping myself. This is new. And I don’t like it.

I’ve got some work to do in the next few weeks, and as uncomfortable as these past few months have been I have a feeling that between now and October 1 it is about to get a lot worse. And I am afraid I won’t make it. I am afraid I will crumble and break and fall apart and be too defeated to keep fighting. But as much love and support as I get from my friends and family, I am all I really have and am the only one who can pull myself out of the darkness. I don’t have anyone who can take this burden off my shoulders and carry me while I rest and regroup. This is on me emotionally, even while I’ve been humbled to the point of accepting tangible help from outside individuals. I think it actually adds to my burden because I feel like I owe them for their generosity, and that added debt tacked on to my current situation feels like a weight is sitting on my chest.

How do you pull it together? How do you know that everything will be ok? What does ok even look like anymore? What do you do when you reach a crossroads and things haven’t worked themselves out? How the fcuk do you recover?

I know I’m not the only person going through some horrendous growing pains right now, so hopefully this post makes you feel less lonely. It won’t make you feel better to know that other people are suffering like you are right now…but maybe it will help with the deafening roar of failure that is draining whatever positivity you might have left to keep fighting.

And we must keep fighting. What other choice do we really even have? And it’s that revelation that makes me the most tired out of everything. And that says a lot about how tired I truly am.

Chapter Nine – Uncomfortable Truths

Some of the people I have spoken with over the past few days have been very dismissive of the apparent avalanche of sexual assault/harassment stories that have come to the forefront in recent months, but I think it finally occurred to me why that is.

Women- you’re dismissive because if you think back far enough, you’ll probably realize there have been times in your life where you were on the receiving end of an unwanted assault. You might not have known it at the time, but something didn’t feel ok about whatever you were experiencing- a hug that lasted a little too long; an inappropriate joke from your creepy uncle or family friend; being felt up by a cute guy at a party that made you feel gross when society said it was supposed to be a compliment. Maybe even sexual partners who did not rape you but applied so much pressure in the moment that you felt guilty if you didn’t say yes. We’ve all heard the lies men tell when they want to get between your thighs – If I don’t cum I’ll get sick/blue balls; Why are you being a tease?; We don’t have to do anything, just lay here naked with me. And we do because we’ve been conditioned to think that if we end up in these scenarios then it’s our fault for whatever might happen. We asked for it. Men can not control themselves. Boys will be boys. You look back on your own experiences, and now you might be feeling the dread of knowing that even if you had spoken up or out that it would have been *your* reputation that was ruined. Your family that would have turned on you. You start to remember all the times when something didn’t feel right or when something was done to you and for the first time you might feel like a victim. You might feel guilty for not reporting it. Guilty for giving permissions to men for their bad behavior for your entire life and not saying or doing anything about it. You might have some compassion for the women who are speaking out now, or you might feel resentment because you know you’ll never publicly name or shame the person who took little pieces of yourself from you that you’ll never get back. So you dismiss the accusers because you think they need to either get over themselves, get over the trauma, or you’re jealous that their voices will be heard on a level yours never will.

Men- some of you are dismissing these claims because if you think back you might have actually been “that guy” to someone in your past. Maybe you got too handsy at a party? Maybe you remember a time at the movies when you slipped your date’s hand down your pants and held it there while she tried pulling it back without making noise in the theater to draw attention to the issue. Or maybe you remember when you and a group of your guys took turns having sex with a girl at a party while she and everyone else was drunk and watching because that’s just what raucous young men do. It wasn’t rape if you were having sex with someone and you and your friend switched out from behind and the girl didn’t consent to a different partner. It wasn’t an assault when you grabbed the girls breasts or slapped her ass when walking past you and your group of friends while waiting for the bell to ring for next period. It was just a joke when you locked yourself in a room with a girl and pressured her into a sex act while she performed it with tears running down her face at a party. And it was hilarious when at school the next day you told everyone she was a slut and her reputation was ruined for high school and sullied for college. None of these behaviors from your past count as assaults to you because it was just fun and games. Kids being kids. Boys being boys. You hadn’t even thought about it in 10, 20, 30 years and it certainly doesn’t make you a monster. It doesn’t make you *like the men you hear about and see on TV.*

Parents – while going through all of the above feelings about your own pasts and the actions endured and performed, you realize you’re perpetuating the cycle with your own kids. You teach girls how not to get raped, but don’t teach your sons not to rape in the first place. You tell a girl that she was asking for *it* based on how she was dressed, and you dismiss the sexually deviant acts of young boys and men as “boys being boys.” It’s normal. It’s how it always has been. That’s why raising boys is deemed “easier” than girls. That’s why girls get the lectures and the curfews and the daddies threatening their dates with shot guns. Dads know how these boys are being brought up, so while they’re thinking of all the things that the date could do to his daughter that would drive him to murder, the conversations he’s having with his son before a date don’t have anything to do with respecting a girl’s space or her body. He’s beaming with pride at the idea of his son scoring and slipping him a condom so he doesn’t get the little “slut” knocked up. Y’all are upset because you’ve realized that you’re raising the next generation of predators under your own roof, but you are also too afraid to take a different stance because of how sexual deviancy has been normalized. You’ve probably also realized that some of the behaviors from friends and family are inappropriate towards your kids, and now you feel guilty for bringing them around but you know they “didn’t meant anything” and “that’s just how they are.” Uncle Jimmy has always been a little handsy. Your friend from work was checking out your daughter, but she shouldn’t be wearing those shorts around the house anyway. You make your daughter dress in layers when she leaves the house to make her as invisible as possible to members of the opposite sex because you “know how men are.”

None of this is normal. None of this is ok. Not all victims will tell our stories out of shame or fear or embarrassment. Men won’t own up to their behaviors because they don’t view themselves the same as the men being dragged through the media. If the assault wasn’t violent then there wasn’t ever really an assault, right? If it was as bad as the girl says, she would have spoken out earlier. Can’t she take a joke? You know how boys can be with their hormones. She was dressed like a whore in the first place, what did she think was going to happen?

That’s why y’all are so upset. And that’s why this cycle won’t end.

Chapter Eight – Battlefield of Perfectionism

There are times when I honestly feel the root of mental illness, depression, anxiety, etc. is the overwhelming need to be perfect. Perfection can mean different things to different people, and I will even go out on a limb and say that not all perfectionists crave perfection in every aspect of their lives (raises hand and looks around the room for validation). I have only really wanted to be perfect in those tasks and deeds at which I excelled at naturally. I wanted to be the best soccer player on the field, the smartest kid in the class, the best writer in college, and the best employee at my job. I managed to make it all the way to college feeling pretty perfect about my accomplishments, and had zero doubt in my mind that whatever I wanted in life was mine for the taking. I had never really failed before. I had never allowed myself to even entertain the idea of failing because I am a Harrell and Harrells don’t fail. We piss excellence, kick ass and take names, exude grace and confidence in everything we do. But we damn sure do not fail. Sounds ridiculous to me now, but these were the phrases used to govern my life and I never had a reason to believe otherwise. And then adulthood happened.

I dropped out of law school, moved to the other side of the country, and began working for the first time in my life. Ever. And it was horrible…but I always felt it would be temporary because I piss excellence and there was no way that I was going to stay in my rut for one day longer than necessary. This too would pass, etc. And even though I hated my job, I wanted to be the best at it to prepare myself for the day I would get the opportunity to take my perfection and apply it to something I was passionate about – something I truly loved so that I could become even *more* perfect that I was before. It was a brass ring that I chased year after year, job after job, city after city, but I was never ever ever happy. I blamed myself for my failures while holding those people who were doing *better* than myself up on a resentful pedestal, even if it was just a facade. I was jealous of their facade and the fact that they even had the ability to pretend that everything was perfect, because on an almost daily basis I just could not get my shit together enough to pretend I was as perfect as I longed to be professionally or personally.

The need, the almost obsession, to be at a certain level of your own imagination can be soul-crushing and immobilizing at the same time. The older you get and the more divorced from your dreams that you become, you make sacrifices and excuses for why you aren’t happy and even start to think that tolerance for your situation is a decent substitute, at least in the interim. I am guilty of that on an almost daily basis. The industry that I managed to land in after four years of college and a year of law school was something that I looked down on. I felt it was beneath me in almost every capacity. I did not think the people with whom I worked or who worked *for* me were beneath me, but I hated the industry I was in with such passion that it became the ruler with which I measured my own failings. And I resented the shit out of myself. I hated that I did not have an immediately identifiable passion to pursue on the side which would deliver me from my hell of mediocrity. I HATED most of my bosses who I felt were intellectually inferior to me, and more than a few of them had the emotional intelligence of a scorpion. I felt trapped by bills and responsibilities and a lifestyle to which I was accustomed. And all of these feelings of failure and rage and resentment built up inside of me year after year after year, becoming more pronounced with each passing birthday or major milestone in the life of a friend or loved one.

With these feelings came an extreme bout of anxiety and moderate depression. More anxiety than depression for me, but my perfectionist mentality made me shun asking for help and I turned my nose up at medicating the problem. I didn’t need a pill to make my life suck less, I needed to click my heels three times and land in the career of my dreams. Only then, when I was making the money I wanted in the field that I was perfectly suited to be in, would I allow myself to consider what comes next. Only once I was perfect would I concentrate on my health, traveling, dating, or on increasing my volunteer presence in my community. How could I go help out the disenfranchised when *EYE* was suffering too?!

I wasn’t sleeping. I wasn’t going out with friends. Mama loved herself about a bottle of Chardonnay each evening before bedtime. I was suffering from blinding migraines, tightness in my chest, an irregular heartbeat, and my hands were going numb. And the more my anxiety manifested itself in the physical and the more doctor’s appointments I went to in order to confirm that I wasn’t actually dying, the more shit my boss gave me (in my head) for leaving work early or taking the day off. He never actually said anything to me, but I was convinced that he was judging me and doubting my commitment to my job (that I hated) and plotting on a way to get rid of me (scorpion) before I had a chance to liberate myself from Hell and move on to my destiny!! I just had no idea what that “something” actually was, how to find out, how to afford making any major life changes while living in one of the most expensive cities in America and maintaining my autonomy. You know…the pesky little details. Sometimes life makes those decisions for you, and that temporary loss of control is exhilarating and horrifying at the same time. Perfectionist = control freak.

I cling so desperately to the idea of perfection because with that perfect life would come the illusion of stability (IT IS ALL AN ILLUSION!!!). This yearning for perfection, and as an extension my desire for stability, has made me operate from a place of fear for a very long time. I would rather be miserable with a secure source of income than take a step back (emotionally and financially), look deep inside myself to discover who I am without a job title behind my name or other people’s expectations having a predominant place in my head, discover what I am truly supposed to be doing with myself, and figure out how to make my days on this planet extraordinary and satisfying. And allllll of this added up over time gives you the glorious mess of an imperfect human being that I am today.

In my short 35 years on this planet, I have experienced a lot. I have had some amazing good times, but have also suffered some soul-snatching losses and defeats. Consistently I have been carrying guilt and pain and the burdens of imperfection for many, many years. I have measured my reality against my own expectations for my life, found myself lacking, and then consistently beat myself up emotionally for it. I fight a paralyzing fear of worthlessness on a daily basis while still being expected to show up and excel at whatever is in front of me when all I want to do is scream and cry and fade into the shadows if my star can’t shine as brightly as I feel it is meant to. And what I feel is not unique to just myself. These overwhelming feelings haunt the minds and hearts of millions of people in this country each day, but we are just now getting comfortable talking about and trying to normalize how we as humans process our emotions.

There are so many people out there fighting an all-out war on a daily basis, and their number one opponent on the battlefield is themselves. Some people think that depressed people or people suffering from anxiety are always the people who are “emo” dressed in black, sitting alone crying all the time, or who are just down-in-the-dumps. If that is all they care to understand about mental health issues, then it’s easy to ignore the symptoms in themselves or in the people they love. If a person is sad they are depressed, but if a person comes to work every day and can tell a funny joke or smile in a picture for Instagram then they are OK, right? Then they act shocked when that person takes their own life or otherwise hurts themselves with addiction or mutilation, saying things like “they were always so happy,” or “I guess you never know what’s going on with a person.” So as a parting gift for reading this post, I am going to try and post some words of wisdom for all parties so that there can be understanding, self-love, and compassion moving forward.

To my fellow perfectionists or anyone suffering from depression or anxiety my advice is the one I give myself on a daily basis: Forgive yourself. Forgive yourself for not being whatever you think your version of perfect or accomplished or gifted or blessed looks like, and try really hard to think of the people and experiences that bring you joy. Try and find peace there so that you can navigate around the noise in your own head and come out on the other side with a clarity and renewed sense of direction and purpose so you aren’t frozen in place forever. And speak with a professional if you aren’t comfortable speaking with close friends or family. An objective opinion is often helpful for showing you that while you are valid in not being content with where you are, you do have the power to change your circumstances. And if for some reason you cannot immediately change your circumstances, it might give you the strength to change you attitude about them. Perfectionism is the driving force of greatness! Do not apologize for having a high opinion of yourself and what you are meant to accomplish! But find peace in accepting where you are in this present moment, and use those experiences as tools to add to your arsenal so that when your time arrives you are a force of nature that cannot be stopped. Remind people why storms are named after people and leave your mark on the world in a way where people will speak about you with admiration for your talents and your compassion for others fighting the same battles that tried to take you out.

To my readers who do not suffer from mental illness I say the following: Do not dismiss the feelings of someone who is literally fighting themselves for their life simply because you do not understand the burden that they carry. It is not your job to give them “tough love” or remind them that there are people who are worse off than them in the world to try and provide perspective. That shit does NOT work, and they will close off the part of themselves that they allowed to become vulnerable until the cancer destroys them from the inside. Remind them they are loved and valuable and encourage them to follow their passions (or in my case, discover what their passions are), but then don’t follow it up with some patronizing sentiment that is really designed to make you feel better for helping them rather than actually being of any real assistance to the person in need. Remind them that where they are right now is a stepping stone that they can pick up and add to their personal or professional foundations to make themselves stronger for whatever is coming their way next. But do not make them feel weak for baring their souls to someone with whom they felt comfortable enough to let their walls down. Be kind. Encourage forgiveness of self. Love them for who they are right now, not for who you or they think they will become. And if you are truly scared for their health and safety, do not rest until you have gotten them the professional help they need. You would rather they be upset with you for a few months or years than cry over their absence if the burden got too heavy for them to carry by themselves.

Love yourself. Love each other. Tomorrow is a better day.

 

Chapter Seven – When is Karma a curse and when is your curse a blessing?

Hello CTT family! I hope everyone is gearing up to have a safe and fun Memorial Day weekend! Let’s take a moment to acknowledge the true meaning of the holiday before diving into BBQ’s and swimming pools, because we wouldn’t have what we have today if it weren’t for the sacrifices of the brave men and women of our military.

Well now that *that* has been covered, onto today’s topic at hand – when the hell is something your Karma or when is it your blessing? Can something bad that happened to you be the Karmic bitchslap of when you did someone dirty, but also turn around and become your biggest blessing?

This isn’t a long and deep post today, this was literally a thought I had this morning while cooking breakfast. They say when God closes a door that he opens a window, but is it God *and* Karma if that door actually hits you in the ass on the way out? If you are currently suffering and it’s darkest before your dawn, how does the Universe balance out lifting you back onto your feet with the rage you feel knowing someone else is delighting in your misery? Do you lessen your blessings and prolong your curse if you’re waiting for Karma to slap the taste out of their mouth too?

I have had a lot going on lately and I am sure when I have come through the other side I will share it with you all, but for now these are the questions that I need answers to at this present time.

Ok that note I hope everyone has a wonderful and safe weekend! Catch up soon!

Chapter Six – All Racists Can Catch It With Me – Period

Hello my Cheaper Than Therapy familia! It’s been a while, and you all have been missed! It’s been more than a month since my last post, but there has been so much going on lately that today I decided to stop pretending to be productive at work (I kid! I kid!), and jot down a few thoughts that have been floating around in my head for the past couple of days.

This post is going to be a bit of a departure for me – I’m not reflecting on a past trauma or imagining ways that I can inspire the masses with a “learning to love myself” soliloquy while draping myself figuratively in a giant afghan of love while holding a hot cup of comfort tea. Nope. It truly only has one meaning behind it, and there should be no room whatsoever for misunderstanding or miscommunication. I am putting all racists/sympathizers/white nationalists on notice that 2018 is the Year of the Troll. I have come to poke the bear, agitate the hive, and laugh at your cyber hissy fits with a mirth generated in my spirit by my ancestors who have come before me. Generational Petty. Ancestral Reads for the Gods. This won’t be like what the trumpsters try and do whenever their Cheeto-In-Chief tweets something godawful and they are forced to spin it and talk about what he “really meant to say.” In all truth, it will be *exactly* like what tr__p actually posts himself – exactly what I mean in the exact tone that I mean it. No muss. No fuss. No confusion.

GREAT NEWS EVERYONE! Equality has finally been achieved in 2018 y’all!! But before you get excited, understand what this equality actually means to you and possibly the people you love the most. In being an equal-opportunity troll, that means that you, your spouse, your mother, father, brother, sister, kids (yea, I’ll come for your kids), cousins, priest/pastor/bishop/deacon, Meemaw, Pawpaw, etc. are all equal in my beautiful brown eyes. Congrats! This equality comes in the form of me reading for absolute FILTH anyone who I deem to be a racist or racist sympathizer.

Due to the wonderful invention that is the Internet, I am bombarded with the absolute WORST in the people I thought I knew and loved or who I was close with growing up. I continuously see self-righteous people using false statistics (WRONG!) or political commentary laced with dog-whistle racist vernacular (FAKE NEWS!!) to make themselves feel good and justified for feeling the way that they do because they are tired of being “politically correct.” When I was growing up we just called being respectful of people who were different from us “not being an asshole,” but whatevs…#FirstAmendmentRights #WWJD

Here is a list of the people with whom I am done being “politically correct”, and to whom all of the shade available in the Amazon Rainforest will be thrown for each and every stupid, backwoods, ignorant, tone-deaf racist comment that I see come across my timeline. This is not an exhaustive list by any means, these are just the people I have encountered in the past 24-48 hours so they are fresh on my mind. I ain’t mad fam. I ain’t mad at all. I’m just done. At this point you are encouraging or living in willful ignorance, and it is not my ministry to keep being your Knee-grow interpreter. I am not going to do for you what human decency, a love of Christ, or at least a Google search can do for you. I’m done with all of that. Now I troll. Hard. And then laugh. And then block you. Got it? Ahem. The following individuals can CATCH THESE INTERNET HANDS without warning and at any time:

  • All those people who think that “such and such wouldn’t even be on the news/be a hero/ if he wasn’t A BLACK PERSON.”
  • The people who think that Chicago is the baseline for how all of Black behavior/culture should be measured. Full. Stop. You sound stupid. And racist as fcuk. There have always been resources on the ground trying to stop the violence in the affected communities, but the people doing good in the community never make the national news because Blacks uplifting other Blacks isn’t sexy television. And whenever something good just so happens to make the news, you have douchebags like the people listed in bullet point #1 who have to try and tear it all apart. #ThanksObama #ObamaWasNotThePresidentOfChicago #TrumpAbolishedMyBrothersKeeperDayOneInOffice #DoYouFeelStupidYet?
    • Question – Have y’all held town halls on how to stop angry white men from shooting up concerts/churches/schools/theaters/restaurants yet? Holla at me when you do and we can have an actual conversation, but until then STFU.
  • The people who are spewing #BlueLivesMatter (not a real thing) or #AllLivesMatter (duh! but ours are the ones currently being extinguished unjustly) all over my timeline, but never ever ever have anything to say against the homicides of unarmed people of color because “they should have complied.” How many times have the police cameras shown people in full compliance or even with their backs to the cops and they are still shot like rabid animals with absolutely no remorse. None. An unlawful arrest is just that – unlawful. And the human body will automatically tense up when being attacked, especially if you have your hands cuffed behind your back. Seriously. And just for shits, imagine the righteous indignation you would feel if you were unjustly approached by the police/kicked out of Starbucks/harassed at a golf course where you are a dang member. Try and imagine the people in these videos as being someone you love or at least the same color as someone you love. Can you honestly say that the excessive violence is always justified? Do you honestly not think that a deeper melanin hue is *not* inherently viewed as a weapon in and of itself? Are we still telling ourselves these lies to make ourselves feel better about our predisposed views on race?
  • People who move into communities of color and then want to complain about said community and call the police to impose the kind of change they wish to see. I’m looking at *you* Gentrifiers. You moved to Harlem, Linda. Washington, D.C. used to be nicknamed “Chocolate City,” Susan. There are communities of color a rich history and a proud culture all across the country, and if you want to move there and become part of the narrative then nobody will stop you. But if you come in and immediately try and change everything that made those communities beloved and unique, then you have crossed the dang line. #ThatsRacist
  • The people talking about how the Black family is falling apart, but take no responsibility for the Prison Industrial Complex, the failed and blatantly racist “War on Drugs,” the systematic imprisonment of minorities for non-violent offenses when whites would get treatment or community service, support of for-profit prisons, a lack of proper educational opportunities/facilities in minority communities, no access to feminine healthcare/birth control, etc. It is all inter-connected and we have been trying to tell you this for years…
  • To the people who start every single discussion with, “I’m not a racist, but…” You are a racist. Idiot.
  • To absolutely anyone who quotes the Revered Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to justify your ridiculously biased views on Black America. Have you guys ever even read any of his writings or listened to any of his speeches besides “I Have A Dream”? It will shake you to your core and show you that you really don’t know who he was at all.
  • To anyone with a Black friend who refuses to listen to us when we try and explain to you our daily interactions with microaggressions. What are microaggressions? They are defined as “everyday verbal, nonverbal, and environmental slights, snubs, or insults, whether intentional or unintentional, which communicate hostile, derogatory, or negative messages to target persons based solely upon their marginalized group membership.” How do you choose not to understand that decades of exposure to these microaggressions can be just as harmful as seeing a cross burned in your yard or being called a nigger by your friends or their family? You are a shitty friend.
  • If you, or anyone you know, still tells racist jokes and then thinks that we are “being too sensitive” when we tell you that your shit is raggedy. You are some of my least favorite humans, and my backlash will be swift and personal.
  • If you dismiss old people’s racism as being ok because Meemaw or Peepaw are old and “set in their ways.” You understand that actually makes them worse people in my eyes? How did they manage to live through all of the advancements from Civil Rights Movement and still come out on the wrong side of history 50 years later? FOH man. Eff your Meemaw and Peepaw with their old racist behinds.

Some people wonder why I go so hard online for my people, and I do not understand what is there not to understand? Why on earth would I just sit here and ignore provocative posts from people who are in my extended circle or try and use kid gloves to gently try and ease them out of their prejudiced ways? Since when did the burden fall on me and my community to make others feel better and less threatened by the ever-forward surge in demanding equality and equity and peace and respect? That ship sailed, sunk, and will never be seen or heard from again. Y’all are going to get *this* version forever and ever so either get on board or get to steppin’.

Carry on, be great, and be good to each other. Stop trying to justify viewpoints that reduce a strong and proud people to the images which are portrayed in the media simply to make yourselves feel morally or culturally superior. I’ll be forced to bitch-slap you with some real history lessons (you know, the ones they don’t teach in school because history is written by the conquerors), and then I will troll you until your eyeball starts to twitch and your mouth goes dry from cursing me out through your computer. And I won’t give a single, solitary, curly-haired fcuk about it. Peace out, racial intolerant MOFOs. Your antiquated mentalities might have gotten this train-wreck of a “president” elected in a wave of post-Obama blacklash, but its time has passed and we are going to move forward together as a progressive nation whether you like it or not.

**sets off fireworks in the colors of the Pan-African flag while throwing up the “X” for Wakanda and singing “Left Every Voice And Sing aka the Black National Anthem**