Everything that you said to me was directly out of a script. You posed your words to have the utmost effect on my fragile, nubile sensibilities. The stage was set, enter, you. You who were all wisdom and experience. How many roads have you walked down? Feet bare and tan, curling your toes deep into the earth on each downbeat. Wandering down some obscure path, uncertain of your future, ambling forward just the same. Standing a little bit taller for coming out the other side. Yes you, weathered adventurer, you who walked in from stage left, and spun a wonderfully woven web. That web, certain to snare the cagiest of prey, most formidable of foes, and I was caught.
Lately, the I have been thinking a lot about my experience and how it impacts the ways in which I walk out my days. Common themes have arisen, such as validation, safety and acceptance. These are things which have often been in short supply during the course of my life, primarily in my childhood, but also in later years spanning to the present.
Tonight I was in an environment which made me feel unsafe, unloved and invalidated. Growing up as a person of color in a white family having been adopted as an infant, living in a white town, housed in a white state, has instilled deep within me some fairly intense insecurities surrounding my feelings of belonging and acceptance within the black community.
I’ve been making steps toward reaching out and joining that space which I had been so long denied access to. Tonight though, I left a discussion feeling disheartened and less than. I shared my perspective, which is rooted in a white backdrop of a black experience and I felt judged. I felt my fear come to life and it really bummed me out.
Some of the white people heard me and validated me, but by the people of color in the room, I felt that I was greeted with a dismissive attitude and though I am not surprised, I am sad. Mine is an experience which is not unique, but it is not common and I just wish that there lived a safe space for me and those like me, to share my views without negativity.
I’d like to expand on this further, but for now, I just need to get something down so I can maybe get some sleep.