What a realization I had. All of the emotion I witnessed throughout the years; unforgettable. The bellowing yells of pain echoed into me, haunting my soul. I feared they would kill each other. I wanted to protect them, from themselves. I tried jumping in the middle a few times. I figured, they wouldn’t hurt their baby. So as long as we were there, it could only be yelling. Maybe they told me “whatever happens in our household, stays in this household” but as a child, I wouldn’t dare embarrass myself that way. I imagined everyone else had their own trouble and didn’t need to be bothered by a girl with both of her parents living under the same roof. Well, at least back then. I was and am still grateful for everything that was put in place for our benefit. But, why couldn’t they just get along? I wanted a divorce.
Mama prayed alone for her marriage with tears of desperation rolling down her cheeks. Daddy prayed alone in his car, spent with frustration and unaware of where he went wrong. We prayed, alone at night in our beds. Not really understanding what to ask God for, because all we really wanted was peace. I could not focus around the yelling. I started tensing up every time someone raised their voice; hoping it wouldn’t last too long. To, one day, escape the dysfunction and embarrassment was my dream.
I knew it all. I knew how I wanted to talk, and not argue. I knew what my body wanted. I knew who I wanted to be when I could finally escape. What a realization I had, when I experienced adult life first hand. All of it, the dysfunction of my past, tried rushing back in. I knew nothing.
Unforgettable: Vicarious Trauma of a Black Girl is a memoir blog series I decided to write as a tribute to all of our lost stories, the things that were too painful to talk about for so long, the things we’d rather count blessings, than struggles. “The elephant in the room” is often a phrase used to suggest a big problem that is so awkward, people would rather ignore. From my perspective, that elephant, is the struggle incurred from misrepresentation of my people (African Americans). But we are #elephantstrong because we continue to be blessed and flourish despite the circumstance. I hope that this blog encourages you to share your stories and break the stronghold of those past traumas. We must create, not beg others to move on our behalf.