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New Year Same Me

It’s New Years Day, 2015. I’m sure I’m supposed to use this time and this space to make resolutions, predictions, and promises. But I really don’t see 2015 being much different from 2014, if at all.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that 2014 was bad. It wasn’t. In fact all in all it was a pretty good year. I saw my kid a few times, I visited my parents, I passed all my classes, I presented at conferences. But I wasn’t transformed.

I didn’t finally commit to clean living despite wanting to be healthier. I didn’t join a gym or start running despite wanting to get in shape. I didn’t give up all possible migraine triggers despite wanting to get a better handle on my chronic migraines. I did find a therapist, but I also fired her after a bad session. And by fired I mean just never went back because I’m ever so “good” at confrontation and termination.

And the thing  is I’m not saying any of this because I plan to change it or because I feel badly about these supposed failings. I don’t. I’m still the same me and I’ll be the same me in 2015. And I’m more than okay with that.

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They’re killing our kids.

Is there nothing to be done?

Just screaming into a pillow as the tears fall.

I’m not surprised not even a little.

But I really didn’t want to be right.

Not this time, not last time or the time before or the one that comes next.

I don’t want to feel relief that my son looks white

…but i do.

Without A Map

There’s no roadmap for open adoption. We’re all just figuring it out as we go. But for spouses/partners/significant others of birth parents (and adoptees) the course is even less clear, which is why it’s all the more impressive that TeacherMan is such a freaking rock star this weekend.

He met Kidlet and M a year ago on our turf. Then six months ago Kidlet came to visit us. However, this weekend we’re in their state, for their event, surrounded by their extended family. TeacherMan is taking it all in stride and being super attentive to any possible emotional needs I could possibly have.

He’s a good guy this husband of mine and I’m such a lucky girl.

Sometimes It’s Hard

Sometimes it’s hard being a Black* Chick married to a White Guy.  Being a six hour plane ride from my family and only a 45 minute from his makes it harder.  We spend a lot of time with them which only increases the amount of time I spend in soley white spaces.  White, conservative, Christian spaces. It takes a lot of energy to be the right kind of me for that. I always end the evening drained. I don’t say this to play the martyr. I LOVE my sister-in-law even if she was born in the 90s and I have to exclaim “WHY ARE YOU SO YOUNG” way too often when she doesn’t immediately understand my pop culture references.

But sometimes, just sometimes, I wish I had (more) Black friends.

School is a bit more diverse, but there are no other Black social work doctoral students. Chinese, Korean, Japanese, White, Indian (from India), Mexican, Latino American but I’m the only Black. It’s great to be around such diversity the international components and perspectives are great.

But I wish I had (more) Black friends.

I wish I could talk about white privilege without having to qualify it and jump to intersectionality to quell the “but I’m not as privileged as…” comments. I wish I could talk mention racism without having to immediately apologize.

I’m tired of conversations like the one I had yesterday.

“I’m not saying he’s a racist I’m saying what he said was racist.”

“lets say…condescending…or problematic…”

“uhhh it was racist”

“thats not helpful”

I wish I had Black friends.

I want to go see Dear White People. TeacherMan admits he thinks it may make him uncomfortable**. I know how that feels. I don’t want to be the cause of that so I told him I’d go see it alone. This upsets him.

I wish I had Black friends.

*I used to use the term Black-ish, but now thats a tv show. so yeah.

**Not the word he used but I can’t remember the exact word so close enough.

What’s This Really About?

I ask myself as I crouch down on my sister in law’s porch. Trying to wipe away the tears that are coming way too fast for it to be about the lack of competence of such a trivial skill.

Biting back accusations instead of hurling them at my husband is a step in the right direction, but why am I even thinking them? Is he happy I failed? Will he get joy from my embarrassment? Where is this coming from? What’s this really about?

Dark thoughts swirl in my brain. I believe myself when I swear these types of thoughts don’t exist. They’ve been gone long enough it’s like they never were here. And then they’re back and make no sense. Where’s they come from? What’s this really about?

I suppose it’s just another reminder I’m broken. A warning not to get too comfortable. I’ll always be dark and twisty. Incompetent. Incapable. That’s what it’s really about.

Fight, Flight, or Freeze

I sat in my therapist’s office crying. Heart racing. Feeling like I couldn’t breathe.

I reminded myself that while I felt like I coudn’t breathe I was in fact breathing. I took some deep abdominal breaths.

I heard her voice, but it wasn’t really registering.

I froze.

I just needed a few moments to center and ground myself. A few moments of silence to pull myself together.

She kept talking.

I’m not sure what she was really saying, but her tone grew increasingly frustrated and in turn frustrating.

I had been trying to get myself together, to continue the session. Instead I decided to end it.

I fled.

I gathered my things, took the elevator down, walked out into the sun.

And almost immediately I could breathe.

I want therapy to fix me.  I want my therapist to fix me or tell me how to fix myself.

I may never be fixed.

I cannot postpone all life’s events until I’m fixed.

I may never be fixed.

Instead of hoping things will be easier, better, normal once I’m fixed I need to figure out how to function as I am.

I may never be fixed.

But I will fight.

Brutal Honesty

In the wake of the murder of Michael Brown and so many other Black children in our country. I have some things to say.

I hold my breath when I see police. I’ve been driving for 16 years and been pulled over only three times. I’d say I actually deserved to be pulled over two of those times. One unwarranted traffic stop in 16 years is damn good odds for a Black chick in this country. But the truth is I was terrified through each and every one of those stops.

Regardless of the jokes we may make, and abrupt “I didn’t do it” at the sound of sirens. A jovial “smile like a white kid” when the cruiser is spotted in on coming traffic. I am terrified of the police. I grew up with an Uncle who was a sheriff. I grew up on military installations where my neighbors were MPs. We had Dare Officers and demonstrations from police dogs in our schools. And still. I am terrified of the police.

As I sat outside the social work building on the college campus where I am currently a doctoral student in broad daylight a police officer drove by, and I held my breath and immediately wondered if anything I was doing could be construed as suspicious.

I know not every cop is racist or violent. I know there are more good cops than bad. But I also know it just takes one moment of bad luck with one bad cop.

After the police car passed I exhaled and again had the thought I’m not proud to admit has passed through my mind way too frequently recently.  I am so glad Kidlet looks white.  He’s 13 now. No longer a cute little kid, now a handsome teenager, but still protected by fair skin, blond hair, and light eyes. There are so many ways in which I hope he will always embrace his Black heritage, but I am so thankful a fear of being shot for existing isn’t one of them.