Mitigating Revolutionary Trauma

The past few months have been heavy on the hearts of many. Starting in mid-March, we entered quarantine. Being stuck inside forced us to incubate in confusion, fear, and uncertainty for months. A new normal was on the horizon and we were all seeking for an answer as to what it would look like. Everything we were living for would look altered, except for one thing. the value of black lives to the establishment.

when I say that I mean that no matter what may be going on in the world currently, white supremacy and police brutality will always occur, I mean events like the last few weeks. We were still in a quarantined condition across the country when Minneapolis begin the domino effect that sparked a revolutionary movement. the sudden caution for people’s health went out the window because of the fact that black lives were still being unjustly killed. Even during quarantine, there were studies showing black people especially in impoverished neighborhoods dying at higher rates than others. black lives seem to always become at the epitome of destruction and pain, and this is an exact example, therefore it will consistently supersede the tides the world faces at any moment. And it will always be draining to fight against, especially when we are victims of a system designed for us to fail ( black people).

Over a month ago we were informed that Ahmad Arbery was hunted down like a wild animal. That incident occurred in February, we were given footage in May. a few more Black lives were lost and revealed days after that.

We then got the news of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd. Then, the country went into a rampage. The uncontrollable hurricane of loss after loss began rushing in and flooding our timelines and media with no end in sight. The protests and riots began rising like fires getting fanned and tearing down forests with prejudice.

The mental fatigue began mounting on top of all the trauma black people have faced for generations. The fatigue we have already felt from being victims to this system of white supremacy that daily churns a machine to our destruction added more fuel to their fire. Now we are peaking and it’s scary how demonstrative these times are.

Now we are into week three of protest, and black lives are still being gunned down. As I’m writing this,

Breonna Taylor’s killers are still at large,

Rashard Brooks was just recorded being killed while running away from police at a Wendys in Atlanta.

Activist Oluwatoyin Salau’s body has just been found dead after going missing for days.

Several cases of black bodies being hung in Los Angeles have been reported.

The amount of fatigue for the deaths of black bodies has reached critical mass. I’ve spoken to people who have felt insurmountable amounts of fatigue. I’ll say myself, I’m fatigued. Seeing so many black people die without explanation can cause mental degradation for anyone, imagine black folks seeing and hearing this amount of death.

This pain is overwhelming. It’s overwhelming because there’s a constant feeling like the message is not getting across. that message is to stop police brutality, as well as changing the entirety of the system of white supremacy that oppresses black people.

There’s a constant feeling of hopelessness in the attempt to make people realize you matter in this world.

To have to tell people that black lives matter over and over again for decades and centuries is frustrating and exhausting.

And right now, the feeling of being overwhelmed with the trauma is slowly becoming numbing. It’s to the point that you don’t even wish to watch the videos. Someone placed their knee on a man’s neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds. Breonna Taylor’s killers roam free after barging into her home. Oluwatoyin was a young leader on the front lines fighting for a morality issue.

Over and over again the pain drains the energy of those that only wish for equity and to be left alone. For those begging for justice and peace. This fight is never easy, but it is a mental destroying tactic that leaves so many of us holding back tears that flood like waterfalls in a spring oasis midday. There’s no end to the pain and it seems as if it keeps getting worse.

To anyone and everyone fighting this fight, be it on the front lines protesting, or doing the little things like giving supplies or donating or signing petitions, or even educating people who need to be educating. Please find ways to take breaks and remember the value in your life, even if the system makes it seem like it doesn’t. This message is made especially to my black brothers and sisters.

The mental fatigue of the past few weeks seems to overbear on us even more than quarantine did. Why? Because black lives will always become targets no matter what time we are in.

How can you do that? I’ll give you some pointers on what I’ve done.

1.Breathe.

Breathe, take a deep breath, and feel the world around you. remember the basic use of that. It’s important to breathe during this time and simplify yourself for a moment.

2. Find a way to connect your passion into the movement

For me, my passion is writing, I love to create visual symphonies through the use of scribing. right now, I’m recording this movement so that it may be a part of the history through the narrative of someone that lives and breathes through this movement. So I’m taking my passion and putting use for it at the moment. Controlling the narrative and making sure that our story is heard from our eyes, absent from media that may portray us in a dark light.

If you need a little motivation or a means to help without protesting or make you feel like you’re progressing, or even if it could help you feel better, you can combine your passion with the movement. Find ways to do so without exploiting the people, an acquaintance of mine sold masks to protestors then donated the proceeds to the cause. This is massive, these are ways to put a passion into productivity in this movement.

3. Take a break

It is okay to take a break, to step away from this battle. You don’t need to be fighting the revolution every day to fight the revolution every day. our very bodies as black people are protests in themselves to the systems that bind us. It is okay to take a step back and break from the madness we’re in. There’s nothing wrong with stepping away, we deserve a break.

4. Step away from media

The media can be consuming because of the images, false information, and even ignorant people spewing their false narratives and non-factual views. It is important to step away from that realm and recharge.

 

These methods may not work for everyone, these are just a few ways I stepped away from all the chaos that has happened and the detrimental attacks on our people. If you’re reading this and have other methods, please share and use them as well. this battle started long before us and will continue long after us. It is imperative that if we’re going to be in this fight ( we fight it every day, wherever we are) that you fight it at full strength.

 

Thank you for reading,

A.I.R.

 

 

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