“Do you feel safe in your own body?”
I hear that question as I fight back daily panic attacks. My heart flutters and my mind races. Increasing. Decreasing. Never stopping.
I breathe through them but not before wondering how long I’d just been breathing through things. Normalizing my fear.
I hear that question as flashes of memory invade my everyday thoughts. Someone was in my home. Someone violated me in my home. That someone is still free.
It’s been over a year. I don’t cry as much. I laugh more. I am able to leave the house and find comfort in other spaces. This normalization is odd to me. I scold myself half heartedly. Half a heart given because society has told me and I believe them: I have to get over this thing.
I hear that question as auto play forces me to watch my brothers slain in the streets, in front of their children and Queens. As the collection of mamas burying a baby grows.
Sometimes the hum of the question is drowned completely out by gunshots that I don’t even flinch at anymore. Or sirens that no longer make me run to my door.
My panic triggers the flight in my fight or flight. What fight do I have left? I have nothing left to give but a little Black boy on The Spectrum.
I can’t help but think; Will he be the next hashtag?
He leaves the house my heart quickens.
He wants to ride the city bus by himself. My heart….
He can walk to the store.
He’s a little late getting home.
He’s bullying. He is being bullied.
Did that cruiser just slow down when they saw him walking by himself.
My heart. I can’t breathe. I have to go. All I can do is think about escaping this space. My ancestors call me. Beckoning with promises of home.
I hear the question. I answer NO.
Then there’s the challenge;
So what will you do? What will you do? How will you change things? Does that pillar tell you to be of service or does it tell you to tuck tail and run?
I start to plot. Maybe I’ll go. Maybe I’ll stay. One thing is for certain I have to DO something.
I’ll spend the month of August blogging about all of the things that I’m doing to bring me peace of mind. For my readers….
DO YOU FEEL SAFE IN YOUR BODY?