Collisions at the intersection by Yaari

The Past Haunts.

I write because the past haunts me.  I am not sure why it started or how it started, but my hand found a pen and my thoughts were captured by history and all of the unanswered questions.

I wanted to answer women questions.  I was looking for a way to build my confidence, to claim my individuality, to find a path in my own agency that had as little to do with someone else’s expectations about who I should be depending on the particular lens by which they were viewing me.

I was bone weary of hearing “NO” and bone weary of all the various boxes I was suppose to fit into and bone weary of all the passive and aggressive punishments that were like shards of glass in every direction I treaded.

I was always unprepared for the double conscious behavior; I could never figure out how to be girl and independent; strong woman and subservient seductress…. And, I could never figure out how to dodge the barbs and survive the pain of ostracism and marginalization so I went hunting for any others who understood the destructive contradictions of what it meant to be woman and black.  Instinctively I knew they were out there buried in history and battling the day to day lives of those caught in the poisonous webs of gender, mental illness, sexuality, age and race discrimination.

Marginalizations:  gender

I love my womanhood; I live with anger; I twist and turn in the day-to-day battle with illogical behavior.  I swallow my disgust at the hypocrisy.

Yet, the struggle against invisibility and the daily struggle for respect has worked to give me a gaze of extraordinary intensity.

Mental Illness

Let’s talk about how mental illness marginalizes and how often it is used as a weapon: a weapon with multiple results.

It is a social embarrassment.  Like leprosy society itself is ashamed that it produced those who cannot “hold it together.”  Therefore, they opening ignore those who suffer and they bury them in deep, dark invisibility, but they do this in open sight.

The Caribbean is notorious for keeping secrets in the closet; they are notorious for “be but don’t tell.”  A person who is connected in any family way to someone who lives with the painful sadness of mental and emotional torture lives with the cast of suspicion in spite of any sense that others might have.

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