words

In Case You Forgot, I’m Black

In elementary school, I was oblivious to racial issues. I was in classes with mostly white people. All of my best friends were white; they were my sisters and brothers. When I was in elementary school, I rarely heard about or dealt with racial issues.

It wasn’t until middle school that I knew something was different. There was a boy who always called me horrible names and made fun of my dark skin. Who does that? At the time I wasn’t aware, but what I experienced was racism.

When I was a teenager, I loved going to the mall and stores with my mom. One notable shopping experience happened when I was 14 or 15. My mom, my sister, and I had gone to Kmart. Because I got bored easily, I usually wandered around the store alone while my mom shopped. Usually I stayed in the book section, but I was curious about makeup, so I went to that aisle to look at all the different products. You know that weird feeling you get when someone is staring at you? I had that feeling. When I looked behind me, I saw an employee turn the corner really fast. I didn’t think anything of it at the time, but when I made it to the next aisle over, the employee confronted me. I’ll never forget him. He was an older white guy with grey hair around the sides, and he wore round glasses. He demanded that I open my purse. I immediately started crying. . I didn’t know why he wanted me to open my purse, but I opened it anyway. I had lip gloss, my wallet, and a book in there. He demanded that I show him a receipt for my lip gloss–My half-used lip gloss. Through my tears, I told him that it was mine and that I didn’t have a receipt because my mom bought it from the pharmacy near my house. He huffed and walked away. I ran to find my mom and stopped wandering around stores for quite a while after that. I mean, I was so scared! I didn’t even tell my mom what happened. I was THAT scared. I thought I’d done something wrong.

Fast forward to later in high school. My group of friends was more diverse, but still included a lot of white people. Often, I had friends call me names like “Oreo” or “Black-white girl” because I “acted white.” I usually laughed with my friends about it, but I’d go home and cry. I wasn’t comfortable in my own skin. I felt like I wasn’t acting the way I was supposed to. I didn’t like the stereotypical black things and everyone pointed it out to me. In the same breath, those who called me the previously mentioned names also called me “clear.” They didn’t see me as black. What does that even mean?

All of this, among other things, led me to self-harm. I just didn’t want to be here anymore. I mean, my friends couldn’t even go a day without pointing out how different I was. I felt like a freak.

I’m now 27 and confident in my skin. I know who I am. When people tell me they don’t see color, I speak up. When people say something racist, I speak up. When people say things to me in an attempt to joke around because I’m not a “typical black girl,” I speak up. Yes, I’m black. Yes, my hair is kinky. No, you can’t touch it. When the cashier at Walmart decided that I didn’t deserve a proper greeting, but instead asked for my WIC payment information, I spoke up. When the random woman in the mall walked by and said,  “She is from Africa, look at the baby back there,” I spoke up. When the greeting card store employee followed me around the entire store, I spoke up.

I may not always share my personal struggles, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t deal with racism. I feel like people forget that I’m black. I do experience racism. I do experience judgment. Just because you’re white and you’re my friend doesn’t mean that every other white person in the world treats me the same loving way you do.

I don’t even know why I feel that I need to disprove the claims from many of my white friends who think I don’t experience racism. It’s probably because every time I post an article about racism, I get asked “Well, how does that affect you?” It’s probably because every time I post a status update about racism, I am told “Brittany, I love you, but I am tired of hearing about this all the time.” It’s probably because every time I post a picture about racism, I’m told “Hey, that is reverse racism!” Getting an insider’s view of what it is like to deal with racism in America is not an easy thing to digest. You’re not going to always want to see it. Be happy that you don’t have to live that every single day.

Hey friends? In case you forgot, I’m black.

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Maxine, Pregnancy

Discovering Maxine

So I was looking back at a couple of private entries from when I first found out I was pregnant with Maxine and got all teary-eyed! I was in a dark place before I found out that I was pregnant with her. Something told me to take that test though. I am so glad I did. It was just what I needed.  I’m ready to share these two entries!

A reason to live||February 10, 2013

Just when I though it was no longer worth it.

Just when I though I didn’t matter.

Just when I was giving up.

You happened.

Dear M of the future,
I will meet you in hopefully 8 months.

Dear Maxine Elisabeth or Vincent,

I already love you.

I really hope I don’t lose you.

Please stay
Please don’t go away

Please…keep giving me this reason to live.

I can’t believe it.

I AM PREGNANT.

FINALLY. 

finally.

Grandma and Grandpa Brown || February 12, 2013

Today I told mom and dad that they are going to be grandparents!!

I got them a valentine’s card that was for grandma and grandpa and added in a “future” and “soon-to-be” in front of the grandparents on the card.

They were shocked and said, “what? I don’t understand. What are you trying to say?” then dad said, “wait, are you pregnant!?”

I told them yes and they were very congratulatory. I think they took it very very well. I am very happy that they know now!

They seemed very happy.

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Maxine changed my life SO MUCH. I am so thankful and elated that she is in my life now. She is the greatest gift that my husband and I have ever received and I love watching how fast she is growing. Three months have already flown by. Time, can you slow down now?!

speak

Isolation

I feel like lately, I have really been isolated from people.

 

I mean, I hang out with my best friend…but that’s about it.

 

 

I’ve been so sick lately that all I can do is stay home, but since no one ever really comes here it’s just isolating. I don’t have the energy to go out. I don’t have the energy to drive.  I just don’t…anything.

 

This isolation has only made my depression increase. I wish I could be holding my baby now…at least feel it kick.

 

I really do miss being happy. I can’t remember the last time that I was genuinely happy without the slightest twinge of depression. I’m pretty sure I was a child.

 

 

It’s not as easy as just snapping out of it.

 

 

I know things will work out for me eventually. I know things will get better eventually.

 

 

I just wish this isolation was less suffocating.

 

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speak

drop

when you know it is there
you can't do anything
you fall
       you cry
             you try
                     
why is it so hard to go on with your life?
each passing moon
       each rising sun
                each turn

you can't do this
you can't feel anything
    
                                                numb.

Where do you go from here?
          Where do you love?
                      who?

Why do you try?

Is it worth it?

Are you sure you can be this person?

Why are you crying?
Why are you bleeding?

Stop

Don't do this

You can fix this

You can make it better

are you sure this is what you want?

I'll miss your broken smile

health

Vent

Endometriosis sucks.

Fibromyalgia sucks.

Bipolar Disorder sucks

Fibro and Endo BOTH  make me feel so sick all of the time.  They make me feel constant pain. Usually I can just smile through the illness and pain, but today I just feel  like crying about it. I could not stay at work today because my stomach is upset from them. I can’t eat what I want. I have yet to find the perfect combination of foods to eat that will prevent my gastroenterological issues.  This just makes me sadder than I already am. More depressed. More angry. More emotional.

Why can’t this be easier?

Why can’t there be a cure for  these issues?

 

 

 

Why me?

 

 

Chronic and mental illnesses really fucking suck.

words

Hold On

Tonight I was sitting and talking to my best friend, and how things used to be came up.

That’s always a hard subject.

I went through such a hard time emotionally. Not many people realize this.

I attempted suicide once and failed.

I used to cut, and I have scars from it.

Through everything, I see now that I would not be who I am today without the troubles.

I hit rock bottom twice. The second time I was seriously contemplating suicide, this song, saved my life. It made me see that things are not that bad. That everyone has their problems. Good Charlotte is the reason why I am alive today, as silly as that sounds. THIS SONG, is why I am alive today.

 

 

 

 

This world
This world is cold
But you don’t
You don’t have to go
You’re feeling sad, you’re feeling lonely, and no one seems to care
Your mother’s gone and your father hits you
This pain you cannot bear

But we all bleed the same way as you do
And we all have the same things to go through

Hold on if you feel like letting go
Hold on it gets better than you know

Your days
You say they’re way too long
And your nights
You can’t sleep at all
Hold on
And you’re not sure what you’re waiting for, but you don’t want to know more
And you’re not sure what you’re looking for, but you don’t want to know more

But we all bleed the same way as you do
And we all have the same things to go through

Hold on if you feel like letting go
Hold on it gets better than you know
Don’t stop looking, you’re one step closer
Don’t stop searching, it’s not over
Hold on

What are you looking for?
What are you waiting for?
Do you know what you’re doing to me?
Go ahead…What are you waiting for?

Hold on if you feel like letting go
Hold on it gets better than you know
Don’t stop looking, you’re one step closer
Don’t stop searching, it’s not over
Hold on if you feel like letting go
Hold on it gets better than you know
Hold on

words

One of Those Days

Today I am having one of those don’t-wanna-move-off-the-couch-hate-myself-hate-my-life-i’m-pathetic days…well…weeks! I am trying to figure out what put me in this funk. All I have been doing is sleeping. I did go to my first class yesterday but just felt so down that I could not go to my other two classes so I went home and slept. I’ve tried doing homework…fail. I tried picking up my guitar to practice that some…fail. I tried reading MY FAVORITE THING TO DO…fail. Sigh. I just need to be cuddled.

Sometimes I wonder if I should just go back to the doctor and get back on my medication for bipolar disorder. I really can’t take my down days. I welcome my manic days with open arms…minus the no sleep part…but I can’t tolerate these depressed days anymore.

I need to be on a beach somewhere trying to relax.