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Triggered by the Insurrection? You're Not Alone.

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This story reflects an individual’s experience and is not an endorsement from The Mighty. We believe in sharing a variety of perspectives from our community.

I could not figure out why I was crying when I was so not surprised by the insurrection all at the same time.

• What is PTSD?

A white friend of mine expressed that she was surprised by the events of January 6, 2021. I smirked because I am not surprised, and I am not surprised that she is surprised.

White privilege was on full display on Wednesday. How could a mob of people execute a planned and public insurrection on the Capitol? I tell you how. They come into this world white. Nothing more. Just born into the privilege and the righteousness to defy authorities, rules and norms and claim what they consider rightfully theirs, by any means necessary.

I am not surprised.

I have had abusers/bullies in my life who have felt emboldened to dictate my level of safety and to abuse me without consequence. Wednesday triggered those feeling of powerlessness and fear that I am once again not safe. That at any moment those in power would threaten my life and I would have no protection.

I am tired of being the scared child they terrified. Worried about when the next shoe is going to drop and I will my find myself vulnerable once again. What happened to the people who are charged with protecting me? They were hiding under desks. They too were scared by the mob.

Now what are we going to do?

Being Black in America is hard and is becoming increasingly harder. Being a person who has experienced trauma is hard, too.

Through all of this 24/7 TV news and print publications, not to mention Facebook and Twitter, I am bombarded with images of violence directed at Black people, all while the people at the Capitol were met with minimal pushback. I am sick of it all and we need leaders who are going to stand up and say enough is enough.

I am tired of being the victim of a society that does not care about me and my well-being. That considers me expendable and worthy of nothing. As a child alone in her room after unspeakable things have happened to her, she gets up, puts on her clothes and prepares for school. I am tired of preparing for school/my day as if nothing has happened to me. Moving around in a world where there is no acknowledgement of what happened. My perpetrators smile with a wink and nod and say have a good day at school, see you later.

I am worthy of my place in their world. I am a child of God and I deserve love. I am a citizen of this country and I am deserving of the pursuit of happiness. I have human rights and deserve to be respected. Everyone has the right to his or her opinions but when it infringes on my right to exist you have gone too far.

So to the neo-Nazis, KKK, skinheads, white supremacists and Proud Boys, I say: this nation is on sacred land that was stolen, and we are all guests here. You have no rights above mine to be here. So, “stand back and stand by” as we retake this nation giving respect to its rightful owners and treating this country and its people as sacred.

You have no claim here. You have no claim here above and beyond mine. You will no longer terrorize us. I will no longer just put on my clothes and move through the day stunned and disillusioned. You do not own me. The tide is changing, and we are here to stay.

To my fellow survivors:

  • Have no fear, help is on the way
  • Your tears are seen and relief is coming
  • You are heard and your prayers will be answered
  • You do not stand alone
  • This is not like last time, you will find peace
  • Black is bold and brave
  • Our safety is a priority, and we will claim it as such
  • We do not deserve this and will stand up with our allies for what is right

The Mighty will not fall before them. We will rise up and make the difference for each other that matters.

Photo by Ashley Byrd on Unsplash

Originally published: January 12, 2021
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