I am embodying a practice of refusal. Studying histories of race, racism, race relations, and systems of harm gave me a language to process and discuss my past and ongoing experiences with psychological violence and interpersonal neglect within white suburbia + its institutions. From my late teenage years on, I slowly adopted a built a vocabulary that privileged resistance. I vigorously consumed information, from books to news to tumblr posts, to learn how to be better at resisting.
Resisting agains harm creates stress in the body. Anticipating harm maintains stress in the body. My depression, my off-and-on companion of 17 years, thrives off on stress. Years ago, I recognized what this was doing to my body, but I kept going. If not me, who will push against misogynoir/homophobia/xenophobia/etc etc in X space?
Will the world collapse if I refuse?
The world did not collapse. My body did not collapse. I became more free.
I love life. I love myself. I love what my body can do. I love that I am blessed enough to have the option to refuse.
The world is not ending; it is getting more difficult for most of us. For some of us, the difficulty remains the same, but its form has changed/is undergoing a change.
I will take the opportunity to shape my life, in spite of that, like my ancestors before. And I have the best moment to do that, to spin the silk that crafts a gorgeous, intricate web for myself, my loved ones, and the things that matter.
I do not have any words of hope for anyone else but myself. This is compassion of the highest degree, for myself.
Onwards. I’m mine.