shallow breaths

today feels…. weird.

I have a million feelings swirling in my head, which definitely means I’m overwhelmed and still processing. But I also feel like maybe writing something out will help me understand better. I don’t know. Bear with me, please.

I’m really really really really really confused as to where I fit into this movement of social justice. My body is feeling super achy, which I believe is my intrinsic connection to the Black struggle. I’m so fucking tired.

I’m tired of all the justifications I make for my white family and friends who hurt me. They’re trying. Have patience. They didn’t mean to say that thing in that way. They’re the “good ones.”

I’m tired of all the justifications I make for Black people who don’t take my blackness seriously. That’s how they were socialized. A lot of mixed people can be problematic. That’s part of the culture.

I’m tired of all the justifications I make for Mixed people who refuse to acknowledge their mixed privileges. It’s an act of reclamation. To the world, they’re not seen as mixed.

I’m tired of all the justifications I make for myself on a daily basis. You’re trying. You’re confused. You’re doing your best.

I’m not doing my best. I don’t know what I’m doing, but it’s most certainly not my best. I benefit from a system that is oppressive towards my own people. I benefit from a system that is oppressive towards my own people. I benefit from a system that is oppressive towards my own people.

Two days ago, I woke up with a pit in my gut. I turned towards my white husband and said, “I just… I don’t know what I’m supposed to do. I know that’s the thing that every good activist out there say’s not to say. There are a million resources out there, I should just look this up. But I don’t know — I’m just feeling really, really gross. Every single day I participate in capitalist structures that uplift white supremacy. I am an over consumer. I bought one of those stupid sunset lamps that keep getting advertised to me on instagram. It doesn’t create a beautiful sunset at all. It’s just a neon orange reading lamp. I just paid $34.99 for a neon orange reading lamp. I see all of these people I think I admire talking about how we need to abolish the police without acknowledging the role they play in this current police state. I’m quick to judge right now, to look for the cracks, the ugliness, the hopelessness.

Some of my truths:

  • I wish I had the rule book on how to enter the field of professional psychology without selling my soul. I cannot claim to be practicing anti-racism daily if I’m also charging $200 per therapy session to people who can pay out of network. I just can’t.

  • I refuse to get involved in the indigenous practices of psychedelic healing in white washed spaces that charge $2500 for a “therapeutic journey”

  • I can’t support any version of integration where I’m the only Black person invited into the conversation

  • I don’t want to be a sucker for capitalism, but spoiler: I am. I don’t know how to motivate myself in my work without monetary gain.

  • I like nice, expensive things. I’m sorry but it’s the damn truth. I like treating myself to massages, taking random vacations at a moment’s notice, decorating my home with beautiful textiles, planning elaborate dinner parties. I’m sure that makes me a sell out, but I’m tired of pretending otherwise.

  • Sometimes I hide my diamond engagement ring in public. Walking down the street, without even thinking twice, I’ll swivel it around so only the gold band is showing.

  • I’m so tired of the satisfaction I get from calling other people out on their own bullshit. That is internalized policing, and I’m done doing it.

Shame is: I am bad. Guilt is: I did something bad.

I genuinely have no idea where we go from here.

My therapist keeps telling me to protect my joy. I’m TRYING Gabrielle, I’m really trying. But it feels selfish. It feels pointless. It feels… shameful.

My ex-boyfriend’s nick name in his college fraternity was TJ, short for Thomas Jefferson. As in… I wish I couldn’t believe I’m explaining this, but here we are: I was his Sally Hemmings. I’ve only shared this with a few people. I used to get squirmy when I would hear his fraternity brothers yell “Yo TJ!” while I peed in the bile stained bathrooms in their basement. I’d hold my breath for a few seconds then exhale. The exhales would leave my body in quick putters.

I

am

not

tragic.

I am so sorry we failed you, George Floyd. I’m working on being better and doing better. You should be alive today.

love,

Jesse