How internalised racism takes part in my depression

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There’s a lot in the world I get sad about,(and yes, I use to word “sad” so i don’t have to use the D-word). One of them is people’s lack of understanding on how internalised racism works. No, it doesn’t always have to be about a “race thing” all the time, but this “race thing” has been around for so long, that getting rid of it so you can avoid the guilt trip is something I can not let slide so easy.

People have comment multiple times on how I seem to always be dating white people, to this I always come back with:
No, I’ve dated plenty of coloured people“- which is true but since I’m calling myself out on my own internalised racism, this is the equivalent of:
Omg no, my brother’s, neighbour’s, uncle is black“.

This is what society have done to me.

My internalised racism has stopped me from pursuing relationships with people of colour (POC) because society has taught me that white = wealth, white = class, white = less hassle, so I’ve unconsciously picked partners of a lighter shade in hope that I could somehow attain these qualities; but later, I realise that, although I may not be all of these things, I can work towards attaining them, and my skin colour has nothing to do with it (even though society will somehow make my skin colour be an obstacle).

In addition, my internalised racism, with the help of my “sadness”, has created a level of self-hate where my confidence is a mask and my being is a performance.

Although I advocate the beauty of those who are blessed with a high level of melanin, I, at times, find myself uncomfortable when my naked skin is exposed under a light. I still feel the need to cover my bits even when I stand in front of my partner, turn and lean against the wall to hide the way the stretch-marks on my derrière are more prominent against my dark skin, not to mention the dark patches on my skin where the skin are closer together (e.g my knees/elbows etc). These are the things I try to love but its hard when the media is telling you you’re only a sub-culture or a trend but never a wholesome being.

In dating someone white, I find myself questioning why they are actually with me. I start to find other white people and match them. I look at my round nose and find myself matching them with someone with a more slender and symmetrical nose. This is how deep my internalised racism has reached, where I feel unworthy to be loved based on the shape of my nose.

This is not a post for me to fish for your compliments or for you to tell me things about the beauty of my skin like I don’t already know them. This is a post for you to recognise your position and how you allow levels of racism to exist. This is a post for you to understand how racism doesn’t have to be verbal or physical for it to exist, for the internalisation of it is a toxic existence that harms the individuals mental state. But most importantly, this is a post for me to recognise my own internalised racism and begin the journey of tackling it. I am worthy of love and I am worthy of blessings, my skin will have nothing to do with it.

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Let Love Go

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Have you ever been in a position where you’re the one who has to make the choice of breaking something you don’t want to? Yes? No? Well I have.

After nearly three years of being together, I have made the hardest choice ever of letting someone I truly love go. They’re right when they say ‘love is blind’, but maybe it’s more denial than being blind. Maybe, just maybe,  you refuse to realise the bad things that has been there this whole time. Maybe, just maybe, you wish this person was your one and only so you ignore all the bad for the sake of love. However, it doesn’t work that way. Well it shouldn’t anyways for your sake.

Everyone deserves love, this is true! But they deserve that type of love that you can just fully immerse yourself in and not feel a single hint of doubt. You deserve those type of love where if you’ve been hurt, you know you have someone to be there to lick all the wounds. Relationships are hard, there’s no doubt about that and ye, sometimes you just have to work through it all. But, sometimes, and these are probably just the rare ones, maybe two people were meant to fall in love but just not stay together.

Last weekend I finally had to bid my goodbyes because finally, I realise my own worth and to be in a relationship where your worth is questioned is something I wouldn’t wish on anybody. Remember, love to the fullest, but always remember that you as an individual mean something, so never let anyone enter your life and eliminate that light within you. They may love you, but if you’re being treated in a way that puts you out in the dark, then stop, breathe and slow walk away from that darkness. You deserve that light, you deserve that happiness, so don’t waste your time with someone who doesn’t give you that security and warmth that we all crave.

Love takes time, so maybe isn’t now for you, but sooner or later you will find your other half of the puzzle.

A Little Thing Called ‘Love’

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It’s a funny thing isn’t it? Love! No one can ever prepare you for the complexities of love. You can watch all the rom-coms in the world, sit through every drama, play and poetry that has ever spelled out love, every song that hummed its melody, but experience is something completely different.

I was always told to “always be yourself!“, “never let anyone change you“, “if your other half doesn’t love you for who you are, then they aren’t the one“. But how far do we believe that throughout a relationship a person never changes? That not once do they alter their behaviour and personality in order to please their other half? Is that even a REAL relationship? And how come there are so many things to check off on the ‘checklist list of love’.

  • Trust
  • Communication
  • Interest in each other’s interest
  • Compliments
  • Expression of Love
  • Expression of Happiness
  • Any positive expression whatsoever to confirm that your relationship was meant to be.

But then the deeper you go in, the more list you make for yourself:

  • Don’t interrupt him when his busy with work
  • Don’t swear, he doesn’t like it
  • Do tell him you’re upset if he’s stressed from work
  • Stop bringing up that guy who came and asked for his number. It was “nothing”.

Then you realise that you have made so many compromises that you no longer even recognise yourself. Your personal checklist then comes into conflict with the general checklist. Trust is no more, communication begins to decrease and all the rest that follows just seem to crumble, so you sit alone in a corner and then realise ‘maybe this was not meant to be‘ and then after a week away you decided to end it.

A new era has begun. You now have this independent mindset where you decide to finally do things for yourself from now on. You go watch that animation he didn’t want to go with you to. You went to that dance class he once pest you about because it ran on too late. You took walks on your own without having someone texting you “where the f*ck are you?”. You tell yourself that you’re enjoying your new found freedom, but then you come home. You lie on your bed and then for some reason your single bed somehow feels like a quadruple king size bed, ‘how come I have all this space to myself?‘.

Six months on your own you begin to hate doing the things you love. You wish you still had someone to go watch a movie with, to watch you dance, to take those walks with you and just talk about life. And as you think these thoughts, your ex pops up with a text saying “I miss you”, and all over it begins.

How can one really know what to do in love without hitting some bumps? But how many bumps is too much or enough to find that perfect balance? People always learn from their mistakes, this is true. But do I have to make several mistakes with different people to find the one? Or can I just make several mistakes in this one relationship till we both find that place we’ve both been craving? I myself don’t know. I mean, I’m only 23. But parts of me have grown enough to know how to deal with these questions, unfortunately my experience is different to yours, so I can’t tell you how to fix it, you’re gonna have to do that yourself. But one thing I know we must all do, is be true to your emotions, be true to yourself really. Yes change is a good thing, but not too much that you’re unrecognisable.

Funny isn’t it? This little thing called ‘Love‘!