My story is a perpetual game of tug of war.
My mother and father never really raised me; my Aunt & Uncle did. Society said that was weird. Most people automatically assumed my Aunt & Uncle were against my biological parents.
Nature vs. exposure and opportunity
The first sad emotion I ever felt was abandonment. I couldn’t run back home because I lived with my Aunt & Uncle in New Orleans where they had “more resources.” To me, their best resource was food. The only rule was “Take all you want, but eat all you take.” As the feelings of abandonment increased, I wanted more. So I took more. Eventually society said I had taken too much because I was too heavy. Society didn’t say anything about the abandonment.
Fulfillment vs. being full
I always loved learning and demanded that my Aunt & Uncle put me in a high school that would challenge me. Even if that meant going to boarding school. The New Orleans culture I had come to love said the academically advanced local high school I wanted to attend should be closed because it was predominantly white in a city that was predominantly black.
Education vs. my race
I never knew why so many people in my family took pills every morning and night but looked totally healthy. When I had a major panic attack in college, I was sent the same pills. I turned down the pills and decided to work through my feelings. I wanted to find practical ways to prevent panic attacks before they happened. My family scoffed at the assertion that I could use logic to minimize anxiety.
Trust in family vs. my mental health
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The bad news is that these are just a few of the battles I’ve fought.
The good news is that I’ve won all of these battles and many more.
Since the day I felt my first sad feeling, I’ve been researching and learning how to get into a space where sad feelings didn’t have control of me. And even though every time I dealt with one feeling another sad one came along, I kept learning. I refused to let those feelings take root in my life. They weren’t there when my life began, so I wasn’t going to let them stay!
It took over 20 years to get them all out, and some of them try to come back paired up with new experiences. But, because of my ever improving awareness, I’m able to spot the feelings early so I can let the door knob hit them where the good Lord split them!