“Mental health issues are not real. Be stronger.” – My black family.
If you feel depressed, go have fun. If you’re silently suffering, go hang out with your friends. I would get ripped to shreds if I talked about mental health in a black family. It was fiction.
I didn’t understand the way my brain worked. I wasn’t allowed to be mentally hurt – I wasn’t allowed to heal.
I went through a great deal of emotional, physical, and sexual abuse when I was a child. I thought it was normal. Normal to be screamed at. Normal to be hit. Normal to be touched. I would get nightmares of a shadowed man that kept following me wherever I went. Have you ever experienced sleep paralysis while having a nightmare? I did. It was as if someone was pushing against my chest and I couldn’t move, while being pinned down. By said shadowed man. I cried at night for months. Silently of course, so that my siblings wouldn’t hear me.
Black folks, why is it that mental health was/is a taboo in our community? There was pain in my eyes, but no one looked at me. I was screaming in a black hole, but no one heard me.
It was me, myself, and my thoughts.