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.⁠