‘I live in the space of vulnerability’ Iyanla Vanzant
My first counselling started with laughter. Humouring my pain was what I was used to. Less than 3 minutes in and I was in tears. I cried and cried and cried and cried. For me and my ancestors, I cried.
It shook me to my core what I released over the months and what I remembered. I had so much guilt for leaving my youngest sister. What more could I have done to help her? I was in a weak state but in being there I became vulnerable. I stopped putting up a front and felt the pain I had been suppressing. Everything that required healing rushed to the surface. I felt the pain and I wept.
Coming from a place of vulnerability was new to me. As a dark skinned woman I was on guard. I had to protect myself from other peoples burdens. In doing so I shut my feelings off, I paid no attention to the emotion of sadness. If everywhere you went family, friends, work colleagues and strangers your being was constantly seen as negative, described as ‘aggressive’ because the colour of your skin was already seen as a threat, you had to tip toe around life and be overtly non threatening in your behaviour because everything from passion to tears will be seen as aggressive…you find coping mechanisms or you die. Sometimes that involved shutting those sad feelings off. Scars are easier to talk about than they are to show. Rarely do we see wounds that are healing.
Alternatively I still died. Suppressing everything about me because in an unfair world my mere existence was seen as a threat was only hurting me. Regardless of whether I spoke my truth or not I would still be labelled negatively. Racism is violent but in this weird world being called a racist is more upsetting than actually being a racist.
MUA Tesh Lewis
Hairstylist Rohmarra Kerr
Stylist Amie Wolfe
*Disclaimer: These posts were written last year (2017) Visuals shot (2018).