All Articles Tagged "hurt"
Why The Discussion About Colorism Won’t Change Or End Unless We’re Honest With Ourselves And Deal With Our Own Pain
Aside from being a big topic of discussion after A$AP Rocky’s words about women of a darker complexion needing to pass on bright red lipstick, colorism was also the topic of discussion on Twitter a few weeks ago. And the question posed that intrigued me to the point of response was simply:
“Will colorism end without discussing it? Have things improved due to the relative silence over the subject?
I didn’t have to think very hard about that. Every discussion I had been a part of up to a few months ago and every discussion I silently watched unfold ended in hurt feelings and intense anger on one or both sides. For a long time I just chalked it up to years of, “Well that’s just the way it is.” But seeing the discussion get started on Twitter once again, I really got to the root of why I believed simply DISCUSSING colorism will not improve anything.
I grew up being called “high yella” and enduring jabs from classmates telling me that I was trying to be a white girl. When I wasn’t being dissed I was being asked, “Are you mixed? What are you?” People were genuinely interested when they thought I was some exotic mixture of ethnic blood. When I convinced them I was simply and awesomely black, interest was lost. I don’t have time to get into how that tug-of-war effed up my sense of self royally. Nor do I want to go into it. Why? Because there will always be a few who are darker than me who will be outraged by the fact that I even allude to struggling with color issues. And that’s fine, but the discussion about colorism will NOT improve or erase colorism because a great many people just DO NOT respect the other side’s struggle. And if there is no respect between dark and light, there can never be a discussion that will make things better. If there is no foundation of empathy and compassion, what good will a discussion do?
My sister is a few shades darker than me and for years we fought like cats and dogs. I had no real understanding of why. I thought she just hated me and I left it at that. Fine. I hated her too.
It wasn’t until last summer, both of us in our late twenties, that we sat and had a real conversation about it. She revealed to me that her whole life she felt people cared about me more because I was lighter and deemed prettier than her. It blew my mind because I never considered colorism in my own household with my own family. It was “out there,” but not “in here” in my mind. I just thought she had the devil in her when we fought. I had no idea how deep a hurt she was dealing with. But once I shut up and invited her to speak freely, I got it. I understood her and she understood me. But it wasn’t until we decided to drop our defenses and hear each other out objectively that a conversation about colorism would help us to progress. We had to grow up first. And that is something most folks can’t/won’t do. They want to stay stuck in their own little worlds of hurt ON BOTH SIDES of the debate and not acknowledge the pain and frustration on the other side of the line. That is and will always be counterproductive.
The other reason that a discussion about colorism won’t improve the situation is because no one wants to take self-inventory. It’s easy to say “I’m dark-skinned and I’ve been discriminated against” or “I’m light-skinned and been unfairly judged” and never look to see what part you might have played in the discrimination/unfair judgment by someone who isn’t on your side of it all. Were you a light-skinned child who teased and berated darker-skinned girls? Did you stand by and ALLOW it to happen even if you never partook in such behavior? Were you an insecure child of a darker complexion who bullied the child lighter than you because you felt inferior? Let’s get real. We all have hurt and pain, but how often do we dig deeper to see what hurt we’ve inflicted on others?
If we can be honest with ourselves first, and deal with our pain/pre-judgments, then a progressive discussion can happen. But not before. Take it from a sister who is still digging deep daily, learning about herself and others and striving to become better.
La Truly’s writing is powered by a lifetime of anecdotal proof that awkward can transform to awesome and fear can cast its crown before courage. La seeks to encourage thought, discussion and change among young women through her writing. Check her out on Twitter: @AshleyLaTruly and AboutMe www.about.me/latruly.
Before you call me a maneater, I should point out that this wasn’t just any man; this was a three-year, on-again, off-again, ex man who got his feelings hurt by foolishly thinking that he could keep making me an option and I would continue to keep him as my priority. I totally know why he thought that, that’s how things had been for the majority of our relationship as I swallowed his explanations of why he couldn’t do this, or be there, or provide x, y, and z, and continued to put in work overtime to show him the value of investing in whatever bullcrap of a relationship we had. Eventually though, I found myself in a position of being the one getting her phone blown up, and being begged for explanations, and asked why I did this, that, and the third and you know what, it felt damn good.
It all started with taking a trip to my ex’s city. I had conveniently put up a status mentioning I was in the city, on his birthday no less, and though I know it was incredibly childish, I wanted him to know I was within arm’s reach yet didn’t bother to call. Though we had been in some sort of potential reconciliation stage a few months prior, we hadn’t spoken in months and for good reason, and not engaging him was a personal triumph for me and not necessarily a punishment for him. He called though. Almost as soon as was back in my hometown, I looked at my phone and found 24 missed calls within an 11-minute span. That’s that good old T-mobile rejection option for you—shows all the calls that came through but you don’t even have to hear them or be tempted to answer in the moment. I was curious what he had to say though and since I was far enough away that we couldn’t come in physical contact, I calmly called back and asked if something was wrong. That’s when I was grilled about where I was and why I didn’t call and when I said I was shown actions that told me he didn’t want to be called I was hung up on.
That was just the beginning. By the time my airport ride was over I had texts asking me what I was doing while in his city, why I didn’t call and when two minutes went by without a response I was called and asked why I didn’t answer, again why I didn’t call and questioned about who I was with as if he was still my man. Oh, but just in case I thought otherwise, by his obsessive inquisition, he wasn’t mad though. I obliged his questions, and repeated the details of my trip in a continuous circle as no matter whether we were talking about the sky being blue or the price of tea in China, we kept coming back to the same question of who was I messing with—again as if he deserved an answer.
In the midst of all this he somehow decided to give a speech that almost sounded like a breakup talk that I found extremely comical since in my head we’d been broken up for more than a year now. But since he wanted to let me know we were just “cool” now and nothing more, yet still continued with a modified question of whether I’d talked to anyone since we’d semi-rekindled things, I decided to be completely honest and say I had. Truthfully, the other person wasn’t even worth mentioning for the two, three weeks max that we were in contact with each other, but since my ex wanted to know and we were “just friends” now I figured I might as well appease him. I didn’t expect the reaction I got, but he obviously was fronting about how “just cool” we were because I suddenly became every name in the book other than Brande—which is very telling of a man’s character by the way—even though he wasn’t mad, he just thought it was “funny.” So funny, that he had to call me another 25 times, leave me four voicemails, send me a slew of texts about all the terrible things he wishes would happen to me, and still think that I would believe for a second he wasn’t mad, hurt (or crazy).
While I really should have been mad at the way he handled the situation, all I felt was an odd sense of satisfaction—increasingly with every call. I used to be the one blowing his phone up, asking where he was, why he wasn’t answering, why he did something to hurt me. But this time I just felt sorry for him because the more someone tries to prove to you how mad they’re not, the more you know just how hurt they are. And I wouldn’t even say it’s necessarily because he loved me so much and realized he lost me, some of his aggression was pure ego showing itself because he didn’t think I’d ever go anywhere because I’d tolerated so much, and that’s something I take responsibility for. There’s also something about not engaging someone when they want to transfer their anger to you that sets them off more than anything. I refused to stoop to his level or apologize for not doing anything wrong. I simply sent a friendly reminder that if he wanted to be mad at anyone, he should be mad at himself because he dropped the ball and didn’t step up to the plate like he should have, and from his perspective another man was now picking up where he left off, and that’s exactly where his mind needed to be.
The borderline harassment carried over to the next morning as more calls poured in nonstop from 10 am til about 10:45 the next day and when I finally answered and he claimed he wanted to talk about me “misleading” him I didn’t have time for it. Again, I reminded him that he was mad because his feelings were hurt because he had no one to blame for this situation but himself. He messed up and now he has to live with the consequence of that decision and by the sheer number of times he’s reached out to prove he’s not tripping, it’s evident he is. I, on the other hand, am chilling and relishing in the moment every woman who’s been in a bad relationship dreams about. The chance where she gets to flip the tables and transfer some of that hurt back to the person who first initiated it not in a vengeful way but more like something coming full circle. I didn’t set out to purposely inflict the level of anger, hurt, or whatever he’s going through over the course of our conversation but I can’t say I regret that he feels it, because it’s a pain I’ve known for much longer and that I won’t ever feel with him again. They say karma is a bia, and now he definitely knows it.
Have you ever felt just the slightest ounce of satisfaction when a man you’re over experiences the pain he caused you?
Brande Victorian is a blogger and culture writer in New York City. Follower her on Twitter at @be_vic.
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By Angele D. Russell
We’ve all been there: break up with a guy, go out with girlfriends for a celebratory “he wasn’t worth your time” party, and then you wake up the next day wondering if you made the wrong decision. While you might still be holding enough feelings to believe he might change in the future, with some men, it’s best to just count your losses and take your experiences with him as a life lesson instead of running back. Here are six reasons why you should keep it movin’ and not give him a second chance.
We’ve all had that moment where we were having a bad day (or week) and lost our marbles on somebody on the train, somebody at work, or sadly, somebody at home (actually, all cases are pretty sad). It might have even been a whole lot of attitude that happened to show up when your mother asked you to do something–I’m sure she set you straight. However, if you lose your marbles with people like this on the regular and that’s the reputation attached to you, then that’s a problem. Nobody likes nor cares for the “angry black woman” stereotype, but rage is real, and you can’t be out on the streets releasing it on any ‘ol body who looks at you cross, steps on your shoe, or happens to wheel into the long a** checkout line at Target with a cart full of mess right as you were trying to get in it with two items. If you don’t get your temper in order, believe me, you’ll be doing more damage to yourself than the people you’re losing your mind over.
By Alyssa Johnson
In the Sex and the City episode, “Luck Be an Old Lady,” Samantha is confronted with a major decision regarding her beau Richard who has a wandering eye. Catching him cheating on her has only made Samantha’s paranoia skyrocket as they hit the Atlantic City Casinos for a weekend getaway. Not being able to take the “what if’s” of the relationship, Samantha throws all her cards on the table and while breaking up with Richard says, “I love you Richard, but I love me more.”
In television land, Samantha knew when to let go and what her deal breaker was, but in reality, so many other factors play a part in staying in a situation that we know is not the best for us. Letting go isn’t always as easy as proclaiming our love for ourselves and dropping the baggage on the way out. In your relationships, are you confident as to what your deal breakers are or do you find yourself compromising way too much of yourself just to be in the relationship? Whether married or cohabiting together, a relationship has its ups and downs, but ultimately, shouldn’t the ups outweigh the downs? Here are six examples of when you know it’s time to let go.
People always say that your first examples in life are your parents. From a young age we look up to our parents for guidance. A parent’s behavior sets the trend for how you act and how you approach life. We may not always realize how much of an impact our parents’ behavior has on us, but it does. Even middle-aged adults can still be brought to tears by the memory of a harsh word from a parent.
The lack of a parent, for example a father or mother who wasn’t around, affects the child. Your parents are your first emotional connection or in some cases lack there of.
For example, if we want to look at reality TV, Olivia on the show Love & Hip-Hop has had emotional issues with her mother. She had a heart to heart on this past episode with her cousin Jackie. Olivia’s mother has said hurtful things to Olivia over the years. She has also written her hurtful letters. Those experiences still affect Olivia to this day. She claims that her experiences with her mother are part of the reason why she can’t express herself when she needs to. Olivia is a grown woman but at the end of the day her mother can still get under her skin. Even Chris Brown blamed his violent actions on the fact that he saw domestic violence in his home. Only a parent can bring you to that emotional and sometimes dark place.
I always thought that the fact that my parents went through a rough marriage and got a divorce did not affect me. Because I was older when my parents were divorced so it didn’t hit me as hard as children who saw their parents get divorced at 6 or 7. Everyone goes through their own experience when dealing with their emotional problems. Sometimes coming from a broken home can affect how you look at relationships. I know people who say that they would never get married in fear of getting divorced. I also know people who have no trust in men which translates into relationship problems.
Working through family issues can be the hardest kind because you need to address the source of the problem ( your parents) before you can fix the problem within yourself. What woman wants to sit down and tell their mother how she hurt her? What son wants to look into their father’s eyes and explain how his actions have affected him? It is not a pleasant situation. It may not change anything in regards to your relationship with your parents, but letting it all go can be the first step in healing for you. In order to have happy and healthy relationships we need to look into our past and see what influence our parents have had on who we are today. It can be a very emotional road, but you will be all the better for it.
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