How many times have you gone somewhere and thought: I hope someone doesn't say anything to me about his shoes, his tantrum, or his mask, etc.?
Having anxiety makes daily tasks just a little harder. I find myself getting worked up about going to the grocery store, going to the park, or having my son be seen on a zoom call without pants on for the fourth time in a given week.
I always find myself watching my son and the people around us like a lioness, observing every move and ready to do whatever it takes to protect her cub. While it's nurturing, it can also be debilitating. Sometimes I'd find that we haven't left the house in 3 or more days because of it. When you have a mental illness, you often have to find the root of the issue so that you can best manage the skills, tools, and resources you need to cope.
So why is it such a big deal?
This picture, explains it all!
I'm a Capricorn, I'm a twin, I'm Bahamian and Haitian, and I was raised in Miami-Dade County; just to give you quick summary. As my friends and I would jokingly say, we were raised by Trick and Trina (IYKTYK). The reality is my fear is not necessarily what people would do or say to me or my child; but the way that it would make me or him feel and how I'd react because of it out of care and protection for my child.
I've always been a protector, sometimes over protector, for the people that I love and care for. I'm the friend that people wait to tell their boyfriends about, the friend that will pull up with no questions asked, the friend that will craft that professionally petty email for you, just to name a few. People who know me personally know that I will give this face to them and for them on any day, at any cost.
What follows is my fear:
- Will my heart beat faster?
- Will adrenaline kick in?
- Will I say something hurtful?
- Will I do something hurtful?
- Will I blackout?
I don't always know what's going to happen and maybe that's an additional fear I have. What I do know is that the world is continuously showing me that I can't trust it. It continues to show me it doesn't value me as a black woman and one day my black son will be a threat and not for something he says or does but simply because of what he looks like. It scares me to know that I have to raise my child with these fears and lack of trust.
The unsolicited "advice" or "demanding instruction" from perfect moms like BBQ Becky, Permit Patty, Cornerstore Caroline, and all the Karens of the world, further my anxieties when it comes to being in public places. I always ask myself at what day or moment will it happen? When will I have to defend my blackness or my family's blackness publicly and to what extreme will I have to defend it?
It's a worry but every day is another day of faith and another day I grow better and stronger: coping with my anxieties and getting pass them.
How about you? What's stopping you from completing tasks or doing certain things?