My mother was born in the late 1950s. A military family, she moved all over. Oklahoma, the Dakotas, Kansas, Missouri and finally settling in California in 1970. I call her Sis. 

Sis and her sister were one of the first Black children in an integrated school in Wichita. In the second grade, she and her sister entered the school with all eyes on them. She hated the attention. She also hated what she later learned as micro aggressions and…there was just flat out fucking racism. Her parents prayed through it and told her that this is just the way it is. Sis went on through life thinking this way–pray about it, ignore it and whatever it is, things will get better. 

She raised me to be this way. Ignore what’s happening, pray about it, it’s going to get better. 

It didn’t. 

I have gone through a lot, as a lot of us have. I was molested as a child. I was raped and gay bashed as a teen. My boyfriend committed suicide. I went through a lot of things that I probably shouldn’t have. 

Since then, I’ve unpacked and worked through those issues and I can thank God for being so well adjusted after all of these things. However, I never worked on addressing abuse head on. 

I’ve often told people to ignore abuse, you know? “Oh, just ignore them.” “They’re nobody.” “They’re not worth your time.” I’ve come to grow and understand that approach is more damaging than it is helpful. And I guess in turn, that makes me an abuser, too. I’m sorry for that. What’s helpful is to listen and support. 

That’s what I’ll do from now on.

For myself, too. 

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