Thursday, November 10, 2016

A Reminder As We Go Forward

A reminder to those trying to comfort minority friends who are distraught at the moment: For those who wonder why all these stories of hate are coming out now and wonder why you haven't heard about them before, I can't speak for everyone, but most of us don't like to talk about the things that hurt us. As much as we've been told it does, it often does not personally help us to share our pain with others.

Because, by retelling it, we have to relive it. Because we often meet disbelief or scrutiny even when we do. Because often we end up having to comfort the people we tell our stories to because they didn't know the world they lived in and are now shaken by its unseen reality. Because often the people we'd like to tell are so overwhelmed or desensitized to these kinds of stories that adding ours to it seems pointless or even cruel. Because, even after all that, we still have to live in this reality and it can be exhausting.

I don't talk about the details of most of the harassment I get about my race or gender or religion or sexuality. I'm a child of abuse; I've learned from childhood that letting others see my weak spots could be used against me. 

I tend to share the "cute" discrimination, the "cute" kind of hate with you. The kind we can laugh at. Because they can't hurt me with that.

The stuff I cry about, you will likely never hear about it.

Because I can't.

I, personally, just can't.

But I am proud of those who can. Because those are stories we all need to hear. Just remember the likely reason why you're hearing about these stories now from those of us who are hurting is that, even though it personally hurts and exhausts us to go through it and then relive it to tell you about it, is because, even though we're bleeding from our wounds now, we're hoping our pain prevents someone else's.

So thank you for the support, lord knows we need it, but just always keep in mind that, for every story you do hear and are shocked by, there are countless that you will never. We know we have been through this before and survived. And we will again. That, more than anything else I've personally seen, is--for better or worse--the enduring American story. 

Just give us a moment of weakness before asking us to find the strength to do so again.

No comments:

Post a Comment