Say it with me: THERAPY IS YOUR FRIEND!
In the previous discussion, Neurochik brought up a very important issue and point: Black women/people need to stop viewing therapy as the devil.
Like she mentioned, decades upon decades of racism, sexism, and many more things can and does have an effect on the psyche of Blacks – especially Black women since we bear the brunt of these issues with little to no support.
For many decades Black women have declared to be STRONG. This was a way for BW to take on everyone else burdens (including our own) and somehow believe we can come away unscathed with our sanity, health and mental and emotional state in tact.
THE STRONG BLACK WOMAN NEEDS TO GO THE WAY OF THE DINOSAUR – INTO EXTINCTION
I am glad to see more and more Black women walking away from that “STRONG BLACK WOMAN” title and recognizing that you can be a woman that has strength but that you are still a woman, human being and not an animal or machine that can take and everything and not be affected by it.
I do believe Black women possess a certain / special strength that most other races of women don’t. That is because day to day and for centuries we have our humanity as women challenged based on the color of our skin – something that other races of women do not deal with.
In spite of, we keep moving and doing and making things happen the best way we can. We hold our heads high and understand that, that takes a lot of courage and strength.
I look at suicide stats and you would think with all the shit Black women put up with on the regular as a collective that our suicide numbers would be the highest. But its not! Black women are least of all groups to commit suicide. Groups who have privilege and such commit suicide in far greater numbers than Black women and I believe that says something to our strength and courage as women.
But that does not mean that BW do not “kill” or self destruct in so many other ways.
BLACK WOMEN LOVE PLAYING THE ROLE OF CAPTAIN SAVE A HO / BROTHER / AND ANYONE NEEDING BLACK WOMEN’S TIME, MONEY, ENERGY, RESOURCES
Basically being a MAMMY.
backbone… ahem MAMMY with no support of your own – that alone will kill you inside, especially if you are not receiving that same kind of support back. When you allow others to continuously drain you from inside and outside, you leave yourself no room to live prosperous for yourself and to create boundaries for yourself. Its like anything goes.
Which leads me to the point of this post – THERAPY!
I was on another BW board and recognized from many posts from Black women, that the relationships with their mothers were / are very damaging. Many also did not have fathers around to counterbalance anything so they have no healthy realities of what healthy relationships look like.
Mainly because their mothers have made the atypical bad decisions for their lives as Black women and feel their daughters also need to “suffer” and carry on those hard burdens that their mothers placed on themselves with making bad decision. Instead of these Black mothers encouraging and supporting their daughters to break the cycle and chain of dysfunction, they are emotionally unavailable, harass and harbor envy, hate and jealousy of their own Black daughters who appear to be moving in a more prosperous direction that they have.
Its truly sickening!
How does a person work through this? THERAPY!
This is why Progressive Black women need to understand that THERAPY is not evil, wrong or stupid or simply for the CRAZY or rich people in Beverly Hills. ITs very helpful in helping a person put things in perspective. Yeah I know that church and religion are also great ways for Black women to deal with issues but its not the only thing you need to be utilizing to help yourself. The problem with BW and their religion/church is many BW do not really understand how to use that and other things to find peace and happiness.
Too many BW simply rely on church and God to make the moves for them. The reality is, you are to use the “word” and encouragements from the preacher to be PRO ACTIVE about making healthy choices for your life. God is not going to do everything for you. You have to meet him halfway and be pro active in making things happen for yourself.
I know a lot of BW these days are anti church and whatnot for obvious reasons. I’m not as long as you find a healthy place of worship and understand the church is not the be all end all of anything. I go to church and have a deep faith in God, but I am also not foolish like some BW who put all their eggs in the Church basket and alter. I utilize everything to help myself – my religion, faith in God AND outside sources that are going to give me tangible ways to do well for myself.
DON’T ALWAYS BE ON THE RECEIVING END OF OTHER PEOPLE’S ISSUES
I remember a therapy session I had with my therapist, him telling me one day that it was not MY or any person’s job to be on the receiving end of family, friends or anyone’s constant problems. At the time, I had a friend/co-worker who was having major problems in the job and who was not getting along with our boss. This person DAILY (and even multiple times a day) filled my ears with negativity because she was dealing with a lot and was stressed and depressed because of it. And because I was her friend AND because I worked wither and knew what was going on, she would constantly go on and on about how she hated the job, how she hated our boss, why the job is stupid, why we need to find something else, how the company was the devil and so on and on.
It started really affecting me and I started to believe I hated my job and found myself daily not being motivated. Although I was not dealing with the same problems she was dealing with. And the times I tried to take a positive approach, she would shoot that down. It started taking a toll on my emotional state.
Finally, after complaining about my job my therapist realized a lot of it stemmed from being on the phone daily and around with this person and their negativity about the job, and he finally said – enough is enough. That I had my own problems and issues to work through and constantly allowing another person’s negativity and problems become your own just further drags you down.
And he said, “she needs a THERAPIST! You are not to be taking on her problems.” And that is exactly what I told her after my session with him – that she needs to find and make an appointment with a therapist because I could no longer continue to listen to the negativity as it was affecting me. She needed to take a bigger step to help herself besides bitching and complaining all day everyday as it was not helping her emotionally.
And she did! She got on meds for her depression and went to therapy. Finally she found another job and is now realizing the grass aint greener! LOL
Had I not gone to therapy, i probably would have made a bad decision to leave and quit my job to go somewhere else with even more problems. But I didn’t and now I realize how blessed I am to have the job I have.
SO – friends and family who consistently want to pour and drop all of their burdens and issues in your ear all of the time is not what we are here for. There are professionals to deal with people and their problems. Do not allow yourself to be the constant receiving end of someone else and their problems. If they have that many issues they need to seek out a therapist who is trained to compartmentalize everyone’s issues.
When you are constantly listening to and helping tragic friends and family with their issue, that only adds to your own problems being ignored and now you are not only taking on your own issues and problem but you are also taking on OTHERS issues and problems which can eventually lead to emotional and mental breakdowns and depression.
This is something every BW needs to hear and understand. Its ok to want to help a friend and family in need. But if they are constantly using you as their “therapy” to dump all their problems on, its time for them to find a professional therapist who is trained to handle people with issues and help them work through it.
Black women have A LOT of things to work through daily and they are not always uplifting. This is why therapy is in order for a lot of us because it really does help to put things in perspective and gives you an opportunity to “dump” all your problems on a trained professional that can help you sort through things and make your life the best it can be.
SO, you have my permission to seek therapy at any time. It does not mean you are nuts or cray cray – it means you are human and every now and then need an emotional detox with a professional that is trained to help you through it.
Also, you may not find *that* therapist you click with on the he first go round. Some people have to go through multiple therapists before they find the one they feel most comfy with. That too is normal and ok. I got lucky because I got a referral from a friend. But if you don’t find a great therapist on the first go round, do not give up until you find that good therapist.