Another conversation-with-E-inspired realization:

The women in my family–as far as I can tell, all of them, with the exception of yours truly–are generally incredibly emotionally unavailable. This is also known as being “strong,” and is unfortunately oftentimes considered synonymous with simply being a Black woman. We take shit and keep it movin, right? We have to keep it together for everyone else’s benefits…oftentimes ignoring our own needs. 
This wasn’t a radical realization. I knew this, at least about my mother and younger sister, I just hadn’t ever managed to put that label on it. I could say that my mom and I don’t know how to “talk”–we can chitchat, and we can argue, but we can’t have real conversations. We don’t deal with emotions like “scared” or “hurt”–we can manage worry and reassurances neither of us probably really believe, but that’s about as deep as it can go. To the best of my knowledge, I have seen my mother cry twice in 21 years of life. We didn’t start regularly saying we loved each other until I left for college. I’ve only heard her say the word “proud” in relation to me once. My sister…won’t be Facebook friends with me. Getting her to eat dinner with us on one of the rare nights my mother, brother, and I all sit at the same table is like pulling teeth. I try to give her hugs when I come home and she tells me to get off of her. 
Another thing to add to the list of reasons why I can’t actually be a member of my family and must have been switched at birth is the fact that I am generally ruled by my emotions. We’ve talked about this. But when I go home, I feel like the only emotions surrounding me are mine. It’s kind of oppressive. It’s not NORMAL–at least, I hope for the sake of humanity it’s not normative. Try as they did to teach me, I never learned to live with my game-face on. It makes me uncomfortable. Just like feeling like I’m being judged for caring makes me uncomfortable. This is just reason # next that I feel like I can’t really be myself around my family. And it’s nice to be able to verbalize it finally, but it would be nicer to be able to change it. 

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About alaiyo0685

I'm a kind of quirky, pretty stubborn, way too opinionated, twenty-something, intellectual, introspective, queer, Black, female, in a polyamorous relationship, and this is where I try to figure out my life.

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