I compartmentalized my traumas in hopes to bury them in the mess. In hopes they’d get lost in a stack of loose leaf memories or between the lines. I labeled them “Madison Heights” and thought those 7 sq miles would keep the secrets I wasn’t ready to tell New York, a self storage for the shame I’m still not ready to feel my way through to get to the other side. The shame I don’t even speak to the therapist I pay to listen. Because acknowledgement is confirmation and what difference does the distance and determination make if I’m confirmed the daughter of a drunk who’s beat every woman he’s ever loved whether it be with words or his actual fists. A daughter with the same quick tongue and self defeating sympathy. What’s years of kindness when cruelty comes in zero to sixty, insecurities coming to light through what I’d label self preservation. Groupthink at it’s best boasting “you do what you have to do” because they can’t understand choosing to do what you want to do, that struggle isn’t always strength and that cycles aren’t broken by following what came before. But crabs in a bucket, back to the bottom we go. To a world where we struggle to see the light because it only ever signified the end of another dark period.
i had to get away to get back. i live in NY bc its safe to me. in my mind it is a place that has space for all of us + as of recent ive been reminded this isnt always true + we as a country have been reminded its especially not true for many parts of this country + as a white person who cannot fathom spewing the kind of hate weve been watching over the last year plus my heart fucking shatters for anyone who looks at these victims + sees themselves, their siblings, their children, their parents, their grandparents being mistreated or beaten + even killed. + every time i see one of them cry i say to myself – what else can you do? you have to do something. + i donate + post on instagram + i remind my non white friends + family that im here to listen + defend + i apologize for the white people who try to silence them + i go to war with the people i know who further oppress their voices + i disassociate with the ones sitting silent + it never feels like enough because every other week we wake up to another devastation. perspective is so important + while i wouldnt trade my brooklyn bubble for the world its good to remember what else is out there, good + bad. we drove through parts of the US on this trip that i try to pretend dont exist bc while theyre beautiful to look at theyre so ugly to experience. theyre the hometown we left on purpose. they are places where lives are stolen from innocent people, a place where crabs are sentenced to a life in the bucket. to watch covid + people of color be blatantly rejected, myself being rejected bc i pulled up with a NY license plate + a liberal view (+ a mask, *gasp*). but pretending these places dont exist doesnt make them disappear. it doesnt mean theyre not procreating + breeding the kind of hate + ignorance that is tearing this country apart so to all my friends + family who believe in kindness i ask you to pay attention to the news in the states you prefer least. sign petitions, write, volunteer + donate to the non profits + businesses advocating for local change. use that big city voice + enthusiasm in a small town where you could potentially make a big difference, possibly even save a life. talking about it over brunch isnt enough anymore.