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. Iâ€™ve been crying ever since. Given that Iâ€™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 canâ€™t really turn a blindâ€™s eye to any of this. Itâ€™s imperative that I watch the news; if thereâ€™s another shooting or a KKK rally, I need to know where not to be. Itâ€™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 Americaâ€™s rage is boiling over. And just like hot water spewing out the sides of a pot, if youâ€™re nearby, youâ€™re bound to get burned.
So how do you self care AND stay aware?
HuffPost Black Voices offers tips if youâ€™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 didnâ€™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 wasnâ€™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 doesnâ€™t help anyone and it actually causes more harm than good. So, in the interest of myself and my kids, Iâ€™ll periodically be closed for self-care.