Charles - Vulnerability
As each day proceeds to commence, I find myself astonished by the lack of attention present to the current issue of our mental health. Stating “we should talk more about it!” or “It isn’t talked about as much”. If this is the case why aren’t we talking about it right now!?? In this moment!? Growing up as a black man – I have always been told in one way or another to withhold my emotions. Being told that by showing emotions that I am weak, that I am too vulnerable to grow into a proper man. Given all that I faced as a lone black kid growing up, this simply was impossible. Raised under a household with two parents who constantly fought, claiming they loved their child but couldn’t find the love between themselves to keep the family together. One parent gone, becoming the norm for this child from then on out. Crying was one of the only options! Told by other children of the same age that crying was a sign of weakness, and I should grow up at the age of 7. Why should I have to deal with this?? Why am I to fit into this norm of a strong black man set by societal standards? Can this “strong black man” even be considered to be just that? Why must I be direct and unbothered by the natural occurrences of my everyday life? Even till this day, where is my outlet as I struggle to find myself in college? I am living day by day to obtain grades, eat well, make money, and as my friends and relatives call to ask me how I am doing they expect to hear good in these areas. Yet my mental state is of no concern, even to myself. Why are my cries for help ignored as I make them, can I even make them?? But I mean, it’s the normal so I shouldn’t complain right?