TW: This post features talks of sexual violence, misogyny, racism and depressive feelings. Please practice self care. I see you. I love you. I speak my truth.
I’ve always thought that if I live past 30, it will be because of sheer revolutionary spirit. The oldest matriarch in my family is 90 years old and the only left of a variety of a generation that quickly died of stress, poor diet and of course racism. Sometimes I really do wonder if I’ll ever get passed 30.
I woke up this morning and wondered just what I would and/or could write about. What would the world throw at me today that I could only make sense of through cleverly crafted words? I’ve been thinking this week about how familial dysfunction facilitates sexual violence perpetuated on the youth of the family. I wasn’t raped by a direct family member ever, but how did no one notice sexual violence as the ongoing narrative in my family? What were the precautionary measures that we failed to take because of trauma?
Let’s go back. I’ve been watching a documentary lately by the name of “Monogamish”, directed by Tao Ruspoli. In the documentary, monogamy, polygamy and polyamory are placed side by side or in depth analysis. Not only that, but I seem to be surrounded with friends who are all questioning sexual, emotional relationship capabilities and I am reminded that I am not monogamous not by “nature” but just because that’s who I found myself to be as I grew and engaged in romantic relationships paired with emotional care and creation. I don’t think that monogamy is impossible, I just don’t believe that everyone is monogamous. I personally, am not. I don’t see myself ever getting married to someone purely for love and wanting of sexual and emotional exclusivity. Does this come from me being sexually assaulted? I don’t know.
I don’t think that polyamory and polygamy are anti-commitment institutions. In fact, it’s the opposite. Engaging in polyamory in a healthy way truly requires so much commitment to self and others. But on family. My family is dysfunctional. Truly. My nuclear and extended family are what I suppose is pretty common across black and Indian circles. Racism and trauma can change how families react and engage with each other. In thinking about the family that I’ve cultivated, it isn’t based on perfection or societal familiarity. My family structure that has been cultivated is based on soul tie, communication, and lots and lots of love. How does racism, sexism, etc come into play when talking about my sexual violence experiences? I’m not exactly sure. Maybe I’m angry that no one saw something wrong with me and did work to figure it out. Maybe I feel that the trauma of identity, moves through families of color and allows us to forget that children need to be loved and protected, guarded, etc. The matriarchal makeup taken into patriarchal context fluctuates and breaks instead of bends. So what now? How do we stop these atrocities?
I think about the saying that black and native womxn love their sons and raise their daughters. Most recently, I was expected to do some emotional labor for a cis-hetero man and I refused. I am not here to do the emotional labor of others, especially not cis-het men. Is that revolutionary? Is it revolutionary to put my absolute needs first and foremost? So many cis-het men are steeped in misogyny, expected brown womxn to do their work. In family, in reclamation of matriarchal ways, how do we encourage the independence of all while still protecting our young people, putting our elders first and living in truth and spiritual growth?
I’ve been thinking a lot about how many black and brown folx are dying because of the racial and societal structures in place. In being a queer brown womxn, I can feel my body internalize the pain in my existence and trauma. I’m not saying that for a moment of “woe is me”, I’m saying it because that’s the truth. It’s why I wonder just how long my life will be. Sure. I’m passionate and vocal and strong, but so was Erica Garner and countless other native women who are no longer with us on this plane. I want to exist past just the primal existence of the 20s. I want to be an elder. How? How do I survive and thrive through the pain and pleasure?
For Healing (For Family)
I want to engage in healing with my self
How? How is this done?
Is it done with academia? With words of truth fostered from African White Ideology
Stolen from God Knows When
Maybe school isn’t my answer
I want to wash in the ocean and hear the waves
Move and soothe my soul as I remember a past that’s too far to explain with words
And I want to breathe constant questions and not worry about being a
Because what is
Black or White
Maybe it’s all just Black and Grey
and that’s okay
SO for now
I decide that the pain my body internalized is slowly seeping out of me with red light
And I will only accept in my body what is not charged with pain
I will not do your work for you
I have enough of my own
I want to be able to have sex that is fulfilling and babies that are level birth weight
and we both live to tell the tale if that’s what I’m meant for
Maybe that’s hoping for too much and I’ll never use my womb for anything other that bleeding and orgasms
Maybe I will.
It’s all unknown and that’s whats beautiful.