The African American community will always be at odds because of the drastic disconnect between the older and younger generations. Slavery plays a big part in this discussion but the lack of accountability and open vulnerability from the older generations is the biggest issue. A lot of times you will hear the older generations speak on what they would do or would have done if they were in the current shoes of the youth. I call complete bullshit to all of that because if they had that type of influence or awareness then the younger generations would not be as lost as they are now. A lot of the males from the older generations were blindly selfish when they were our age. They were ignorant and naive to how their actions in the moment would affect their offspring 20-30 years down the line. Their behavior in their young adult days was passed down genetically. Then when they see themselves in the mirror they backpedal with their words but the actions have already been done.
The younger generations feel alone. They feel misunderstood. They act out, not because they want to intentionally be bad people but because they don't see another way. A lot of them are crying out for attention. They are crying out for love and affection. A lot of the male youth who don't have an active father in their life are forced to be the "man" too early. This takes away from their natural emotions and forces them to become numb to life. When you are numb to your own life, you become numb to other people's life. You are then more susceptible to lie, rob, kill, cheat, deceive etc with no remorse because you feel cheated at a young age. You feel you have nothing to lose. You feel you were dealt an unfair hand from the start.
Granted the government has played a role in this as well. From slavery to the crack era, which destroyed the strong black household and family structure. The child support system has done its long term damage as well. But no matter what has been thrown into our community from outside forces, self accountability is key. And collectively, it can be argued that the older generations failed us.
The older generations were doing the best they could with the resources they had but the same can be said for today's current generations. More technology and money does not equal improved quality of life or understanding.
We are in a cycle of pointing the finger when the actions of today are a byproduct of the past. We are all a reflection of our previous generations. The curse gets broken when the younger ones collectively come together to breakdown their own family history. If we don't psychoanalyze ourselves at a young age and have these gut wrenching awkward conversations early, we will quickly continue to be at a point of no return.
I have been blessed and privileged to have both parents in the same household all the way until I was a senior in high school. However this was a gift and a curse. Being able to see both parents everyday was a blessing but they were never on the same page. Their vastly different upbringings left a void that could never be fixed. My parent's traumas from their childhood were never openly discussed or acknowledged which led to a tug and pull of emotions for years.
When there are a lot of children born from just sex without proper planning and understanding from the parents, we are left with generations of pawns. It becomes a woman vs man battle with the children caught in the middle. When a man has multiple children by different women without a concise plan, that leaves the door open for years of chaos. Then when a marriage is added to the equation, jealousy kicks in.
I was blessed to see both of my parents in the same household everyday but was cursed with being a target since my inception. All my life I've had to feel the jealousy and envy from siblings, friends, and bystanders who from the outside looking in thought my life was perfect. They assumed my life was perfect because they lacked what they thought I had, a loving married two parent household. This silent trauma has festered in my heart for 20+ years. I am gradually breaking out of this curse but it is because of the gut wrenching awkward conversations over the past few years. Before I was just silently living with the pain. My smiles and active lifestyle covered the internal bruises.
I limited myself a lot in life simply because I didn't want to make those around me jealous or feel less than themselves. I felt the negative energy around me. I sensed the energy at a young age. Granted my mom warned me early what was to come. She would always tell me, this person is jealous of you be careful. That person doesn't really like you, be careful. Don't say this to that person, it will backfire and so on. At the time I would tell her that she was overdoing it and wouldn't believe her. But as I got older I began to see and feel it for myself. She was right with every single warning.
We can't look down on the youth without first pointing the blame at ourselves. Even if you don't have children yet you must look deep within yourself to see exactly how you became who you are today. This can be done by yourself or through therapy. You have to see what traits, whether they are positive or negative that you inherited from your mom and dad. If you don't have either parent in your life you must still try to find yourself before having children. Behavior is passed down genetically through the blood and through observation. If you don't identify your actions early, you will surely pass it down to your offspring and next thing you know they will be repeating the same cycle.
I don't have any memories of my grandfathers. I do know that they both suffered from addictions. I was raised in a family of matriarchs.The women ran the household. Often times I feel myself conflicted with if this was the best route or if a family of patriarchs would have made a difference. Then there are times when I feel like a woman will only lead when the male counterpart isn't capable of leading themselves. A leader doesn't have to be told to lead. A leader doesn't have to be forced to take initiative.They just do it and are vocal about it. I believe a woman will fall in line or submit to a man that she trusts and is leading in the right direction. A lot of woman are not only raising their children, they are also raising their husbands and significant others.
I believe this played a huge role in the matriarchs of my family developing Alzheimers. They had the entire burden of the family on their shoulders and the stress was too much. The more I have to experience Alzheimer's head on the more I can see how emotional stress plays a role. This stress gets passed down to the future generations of women and they began to repeat the same cycle.
Now don't get me wrong, men deal with a lot of stress of their own especially in the black community but what ends up happening is they die young. This leaves the women alive longer holding on to all the baggage and stress that leads to diseases like Alzheimers. A lot of recent studies are linking Alzheimer's to nutrition which does contribute to it but the missing component that can't be studied specifically after the fact is stress. I can clearly see how someone can lose their mind with stress and emotional pain.I can clearly see how trauma can psyche the brain out and cause permanent confusion/damage.
My mom was dealing with a lot of consistent stress before she was diagnosed with Alzheimers. Her Alzheimers is a catch 22 because her memory and behavior may be declining but the stress she was dealing with is no longer showing physically. I do believe deep in her soul the pain is still there because it was never openly discussed or released but from the outside looking in, she is a kid again. She has a clean slate. Her pain and struggling and responsibilities have been transferred to me.
I am aware of what stress can do to the mind and body so I am very cautious. I feel the pain she suffered because I am a direct extension of her. All of the paperwork and responsibilities that she had fall on me now. The lesson that I have learned from this is to never allow my future partners to handle this alone. I will never put all these responsibilities on a woman. Whoever I partner with in my life I will ensure that it is indeed a true partnership and will share in all of the struggles and journey. If I have children I will make sure regardless of our romantic status, I will always split the emotional responsibilities because money isn't everything. Paying for bills isn't everything. Mental and emotional health are key. I will ensure that our sanity is intact at all times regardless if the romantic love is there or not.
I am constantly caught in the middle of different viewpoints, something I think I'll be at odds with for the rest of my life. Nobody is perfect and we all make mistakes. We will all continue to make mistakes that we must continue to learn from. All I am doing is questioning my entire existence and writing for better understanding. I love my family unconditionally because blood is blood regardless of what comes in between. You don't pick your blood family, that's an inheritance from God. I just want to understand as much of my history before I start to embark on the journey of having my own family.
I want to be able to share my history with my significant other or others and children at the very beginning versus the tail end so that everything is on the table from the jump. I want to have these conversations with all my children while they are very young so that what was once an awkward conversation will start to become a standard or norm. I envision my future children to have group therapy with each other as soon as they are able to comprehend English. The sooner the better. At the current path of society, it is never too young to introduce children to reality. With the internet and social media, they are exposed to everything right away.
One day maybe I can meet the likes of Nick Cannon to see how he is able to pull off his lifestyle because I see myself going down a similar path. (iykyk...)
(to be continued)...