we can love our families of origin and also name the ways that we’ve been hurt within them. ( Whew…That line was not easy for me to write .)
My mama. Black. Woman. My daddy Black. Man. Both had so much pressure and stress. So much unsolved trauma and pain- personal, familial and systemic.
I now deeply understand that in raising me- they did the best that they could do, from moment to moment.
And that from moment to moment, it varied greatly.
I also understand that some times their best was muted and messy. tangled up with fear, shame, rage, and too much pain.
My awareness of all of their struggles (and more than I can type here) makes me extremely protective of my parents. That need to hold them safe in my heart, memory, and any re-tellings of my own life- even at my own expense makes the inner work I am currently engaging in: the digging in-
the excavating-the seeking to understand the roots of the roots of the root of so much of my “stuff”—That work is challenged by my protecting of them within me.
where I come from, we don’t air our dirty laundry. We scrub up real nice before anything is revealed.
Where I come from we are misunderstood and misrepresented so often that we are careful not to add to it by talking too loud or too long about our dysfunction, pain, hurt- no matter where the infliction comes from.
I understand it and perhaps you do as well.
and… I can’t honor that code anymore. At least, not within myself. I can no longer leave things un-examined within me in order to “protect” someone else.
I won’t be standing on a soap box talking about what my folks did or didn’t do. I don’t need the public to “consume” that. me or us.
I do have to look and feel- for myself -the impact and experience of “their best” even when it was mangled and a misstep.
It’s an act of deeper love for self, my parents, and family. It’s a deeper devotion to examine and name our collective darkness . I know that all of those ways were learned, internalized, and passed on.
Which means they can be unlearned, released, and stopped.
As I heal, I transform my lineage and legacy.