I made a promise, to myself, that I would make one post a day so that my blog would stay “relevant.”
After spending the end of the day, alone, in my office, in tears I knew I would break the promise I made to myself. The last thing I wanted to- or could do- was go home and write.
Around 4:00 p.m., I texted my WSWL (Wise Seasoned White Lady) and said, “I am you. I’m locked in my office crying.”
Her response: “I know the feeling. Wipe your eyes and go home. Start over tomorrow.”
So, I wiped my eyes and went home with the intent of starting my day over tomorrow.
I went home physically, emotionally, spiritually and mentally exhausted.
Back in the day (like six months ago), I would turn on my ratchet TV shows and allow myself to drift into a state of comatose. That was my type of self-care.
Fast forward six months and I’m living in my new apartment; without cable. This was my attempt at finding peace in my new found aloneness.
This meant one thing…. no comatose; not tonight. The state of deep unconsciousness I so desperately craved was not even an option.
Like a true Millennial, I did the worst thing one could do when they want to ‘clear their mind’… log on to Facebook.
An article from the Delaware News Journal appeared in my news feed. It was Robert Teat’s- also known as Bobby Dime$- mother some how finding the strength to address the recent murder of her son.
Now I’m back to where I was nearly four hours ago. Spending the end of my night alone, now locked in the comfort of my home crying; mourning the life of a man I don’t even know.
That doesn’t matter though. I don’t have to know Robert to feel the pain his mother, children, family and friends feel.
He is my brother.
My beautiful, Black brother.
When his family weeps, I weep.
When his family feel pain, I feel pain.
Since comatose wasn’t an option and Facebook put me back in my bag, I decided to log onto WordPress to check my daily stats. Once on, I was greeted with today’s “one-word prompt.”
The word was faded.
fād/verbpast tense: faded; past participle: faded
- Gradually grow faint and disappear.
- Lose or cause to lose color or brightness.
- Gradually become thin and weak, especially to the point of death.
- Lose strength or drop back, especially after a promising start.
- Gradually lose intensity.
- Become temporarily less efficient as a result of frictional heating.
Tonight, I’m faded Out Delaware.
Just an idealistic country girl who implanted herself into a community stricken by trauma, violence and chronic adversity. Here, my economic and academic privilege strikes me with guilt each and every day. I can go to work and fight the good fight. I can buy a cup of coffee for Dwayne when I see him outside of 7-ll on 4th during my morning visit to chat with Ms. Rupender, the owner of the store. I can attend a community event and debate about how to solve the problems plaguing Wilmington.
Whatever it I choose to do for that day, one thing is-for the most part- promised: At the end of that day, I always get to retreat to the comfort of my home. Where I am safe. Where I am warm. Where I have food to eat. Where I can take a break from the trauma, violence and adversity I theorize about at work, but don’t actually live. Where I can get on Skype and chat with my family and friends. Breath. Relax. Listen to my ratchet tunes. Sleep.
I shouldn’t say sleep; I take that back. I may have the ability to do so, but I can’t.
The guilt coupled with vicarious trauma keeps me up at night.
With every announcement of death, my spirit fades. Gradually growing faint to the point of disappearance. Losing the bright color that radiates from the smile I typically carry from ear to ear. Feeling weak. Maybe not to the point of death but to the point of giving up. Losing the strength of my idealism, despite the moments when I feel like I’ve made a difference causing the same adrenaline rush I had after a promising start to a race back in my cross country days. Losing intensity, gradually. Becoming less efficient; unable to withstand the friction of the chaos surrounding me and my inability to just stop the madness; cease the violence.
If only it was that easy.
My WSWL (Wise Seasoned White Lady) followed her initial text, with: “Sometimes your sanity is all you need to preserve.”
She always knows whats I need to hear.
Despite feeling Faded Out Delaware today, I can’t stop. I must address the trauma and practice self-care all while working through the pain.
Now is not the time to be breaking promises.
That means writing my post so my blog remains relevant; allowing myself to feel guilty, just not stay guilty or operate from my guilt; taking care of myself; preserving my sanity; and not giving up on the beautiful city I now call home.
May you rest in peace, Robert.