Empowering also entails a responsibility to others to permit them the space to become who they are meant to be, not who I want them to be. And finally, "opening" creates a channel of connection to the people in my life. Where I once built walls, I now build bridges to hope.
Nervous, I stood in the back of the room so as to not be noticed making what I anticipated would be a fool of myself. I'd left my contact lenses at home so that I wouldn't be able to see myself in the mirror, but I could still make out the shape of my body in the distance.
Victim isn't a bad word. It shouldn't imply that someone is a loser, a weakling, a malingerer or a chronic sad sack. For most people, being a victim is a stage in response to experiencing something traumatic that had a victimizing impact on them.
Angela M. Carter was born, and raised, in a Virginia farming town of less than 280 country-folk. Carter moved abroad, to England, for nearly five years and returned to sweet Virginia with a new-found confidence, and voice.
"When a person says to a friend, 'I'll see you later,' or a parent says to a child at bedtime, 'I'll see you in the morning,' these are statements, like delusions, whose validity is not open for discussion.
What 9/11 did to us as a nation is solidify tensions of Brown/Black bodies carrying terror. From the security line to workplace to college campuses, brown bodies are policed and monitored. But this is how we are. This is the America we foster and develop.
Jeanne and I are left feeling strangely off balance. I imagine a three-legged stool, and how each leg is essential for its function. Over our lifetime, my siblings and I learned how to continually interact as a unit, calling upon our very different talents and personalities.
We all know far too well that aching disconnect between who we really are and what we project into the world. For many of us, we consciously choose to disappear -- to be "less than" because the fear of allowing ourselves to be completely "exposed."
Internationally recognized traumatologist Dr. Charles Figley thinks we should reevaluate medical marijuana for use in treating trauma like PTSD, especially in the face of veterans being overprescribed pharmaceuticals and psychotropic drugs, often very powerful ones, and sometimes several at a time.
Maybe in our time of not-knowing, we who are white can realize that we should not try to be in charge for a change, that we should support the leadership of people of color, the experts in this movement. Maybe we can try to take a few steps forward together.
My coping mechanism became my writing. I felt compelled to tell my story. Like Roland Barthes' discourse on love, this was my discourse too. The love I had for myself pushed me to understand my trauma and forced me to break silence.
My heart aches as I've learned that of the thousands of Central American children detained at the U.S.-Mexico border this year, as many as 800 are less than five years old -- and as many as 94 of these children aren't even a year old.
Shifting my outlook in this way has allowed me to be more attuned to what I like to call "signposts" that help me along the way. I thought I would share with you a few of those "signposts" that I've stumbled upon this past week.