Hate is raging in the wake of being handed power and its ideals glorified. As I process the impact I notice a duality manifesting in my core: I want to fight back and be seen, be heard, refuse to have my unapologetic Blackness/womanhood/creativity throttled or silenced, my humanity erased...but I also want to shrink, make myself smaller, quieter, invisible, underground. I want to hide, and withdraw back into myself, into my mind and back to mechanisms used for survival.
As as a child, survival for me meant suppressing everything deep into nonexistence and expressing nothing. As an adult nearing my mid-thirties, thriving has meant unlearning, re-claiming and owning my body, my voice, my sexuality, and my rights to expression and embodiment of who I am.
So as hate continues to swell and bloat and feed like a parasite across our government and within our culture, I feel the constriction of fear pressing its way into my bones, screaming its demand that I shrink or face the consequences. But I refuse to be pushed back, to be suffocated and eaten from the inside out. I refuse to be gutted. I refuse to be defenseless. I refuse to go quietly because going back is to die to myself and I've grown to love myself for who I am too much for death to take me before I've lived the life I deserve. I will not abort myself. I will not normalize oppression or its weapons of mass destruction.
Maybe fear has you shaking, lost, wondering what to do, how to survive, how to go on living in a culture that doesn't value you for exactly who you are. I understand the fear, and the temptation to die to yourself so you can survive and minimize risk of harm. Adjust. Make an action plan. Put safeguards in place. Fortify yourself for what's ahead. Prepare. But don't let the constriction of oppression force you to shrink. Twist. Shift. Breathe in. Breathe out. Use the energy from the pressure to root further into who you are, into a determination to embody your fullness. Expand. Push back. Don't shrink. Hold your line, my sister, hold your line my brother. Lock your arm into mine and let's hold the line. I'm with you.