The brazen and senseless murders of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile have taken an emotional toll on me. I just recently accepted that I suffer from CPTSD, depression and anxiety as a result of child sexual abuse and emotional abuse. I tried my best to avoid watching the deaths of Alton and Philando, but it was practically unavoidable. I’ve been crying ever since. Given that I’m already new to self-care, these recent events have forced me to be even more vigilant.
As a black woman and mother of a black boy, I can’t really turn a blind’s eye to any of this. It’s imperative that I watch the news; if there’s another shooting or a KKK rally, I need to know where not to be. It’s also necessary to keep watch on the viewpoints of white and black America alike. The impulsive explosions of anger toward people of a different color and officers in blue via social media and during demonstrations are further indications that America’s rage is boiling over. And just like hot water spewing out the sides of a pot, if you’re nearby, you’re bound to get burned.
So how do you self care AND stay aware?
HuffPost Black Voices offers tips if you’re on social media:
- Turn off video auto play.
- Follow accounts that inform AND nurture
- Ignore trolls.
- Log off.
When you decide to step away from the computer or cell phone, do something you enjoy. Last night, I took a walk and listened to blues music. It cleared my heart and mind and allowed me to focus on life. Doing so helped me realize that a part of me was feeling guilty. I was watching Lavish watch her boyfriend die as I sat at home safe. It didn’t seem right for me to binge on Game of Thrones or market my book or pull up silly YouTube videos.
While those feelings are valid, there really wasn’t much I could have done in either situation. I don’t know the victims and don’t live in Baton Rouge or Minneapolis. Although I will be demonstrating and attending community meetings, maintaining feelings of anxiety and sadness doesn’t help anyone and it actually causes more harm than good. So, in the interest of myself and my kids, I’ll periodically be closed for self-care.