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Ardentley

 

Crazy. Obsessed. Delusional. Attached. These words labeled across my black flesh at any moment of vulnerability. The act of vulnerability has consequences if you look like I do. Before I knew it that piece of me was fleeing. Quickly. Abruptly. But it felt like it had to go because I could not afford to be misunderstood… I just wanted to be heard. To express my heart in a way that although difficult for me, felt important to try to say “what you’ve done has hurt.” I knew it wouldn’t matter though because you had already decided I was MAD.

 

It’s interesting that when you hurt someone you spin it back on them {as if it is our fault that they don’t love us anymore}. I felt that humiliation for years, I was naive and new to love. I should of listened. Love had always presented itself as the biggest burden. As if it had DANGER written across. 

 

Growing up I saw what vulnerability looked like on my mother. I watched her fight for her peace and she’s still fighting. Crazy. Obsessed. Delusional. Attached. These words labeled across her black flesh in front of her little girls with their hair in twists enclosed with burettes.

 

And she watched her mother fight the same fight, screaming and making a fuss while pinned against a decorated wall. And you’ll notice the neighbor, and the coworker, and the so-forth wearing the label on their black flesh. Wearing the lineage of the mad black woman created by the white man. 

 

The most disrespected woman in America is the black woman (Malcom X). In this life when you are born a black woman, you are taught to fight. There is no time to cry nor heal. The trope behind being a Mad Black Woman begins as early as the 1950s based on the popular radio show Amos ‘n’ Andy. Where they were caricatured with sassy exaggerated expressions of anger after being provoked and taunted.

 

When media depicts an angry white man it is his stamina that is praised and we are taught that he is powerful. When media depicts an angry white woman she is simply responding as a victim to a situation she shouldn’t be in, a mere damsel in distress. Black women, however, even socially acclaimed profound women like Michelle Obama and Serena Williams, were publically scrutinized for their vulnerability. Intentionally misgendering them as men and calling them unhinged. 

 

No matter the setting, whether at home or in a place of work if our composure isn’t kept, we face risking too much. A fight designed for us to lose. With every flesh open wound, salt is poured and we bite down on a wet rag. 

 

You live like this for so long you forget how to cry. Even with no one around to shame you, you start to shame yourself. As a little girl, I felt so connected to my being when I wept. It wouldn’t be until I got older when pieces of my heart were thrown at me like a stoning and I was told that I was not entitled to express my pain that I started to realize this road leads to a hollow tree with a noose. And no, I am not being dramatic. It felt like the only way to prevent traveling that pre-destined road was to suck it up. You are a strong independent black woman, aren’t you?

 

Here is my truth: I know some days I have to brave face. I have to be a shoulder. I have to remember to laugh. And re-learn it’s okay to weep. So, when I need to be the damsel, I want to be held instead of mocked. If I am crazy it is because of the way you lie about love. If I am obsessed, it is because you keep 10% of your promises and I am still hoping for the rest. If I am delusional, it is because you gave me a reason to trust once before. If I am attached it is because you said “I love you” first. Here I am explaining myself to avoid being misunderstood…If her pain is what makes her angry why not be her peace?

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Ardentley

"Passion in the disocvery of one's pleasure"