The Hardest Time

I am a researcher and diversity professional.

The last few weeks have been the most difficult of my career. All day, every weekday and some weekends I’ve been on calls, zooms, chats, and other modes of communication talking about strategies for change in the wake of the murder of George Floyd.

I’ve watched my blood pressure rise, and this week I broke out in hives and have a twitch in my right eye. I sleep like the dead and still wake up tired. My office calendar suggests that I have blocks of free time throughout the day, but it’s a lie. I don’t get much done on my to do list; I return calls, take on the fly meetings and dole out advice. It’s been almost 3 weeks at this pace, and while I feel like I’m making a difference, I know I can’t sustain this pace.

And that’s just at work. Hope and I have had several conversations about Black liberation, about police brutality and over-policing, about our hopes and our fears. I take great solace in how thoughtful Hope is about these things and how strongly she feels about justice. We watched Mr. Floyd’s funeral in Minneapolis last week together and talked about this moment in history.

Not even a pandemic can protect us from racism.

Through these weeks though, I hardly have had time to deal with my personal emotions around police brutality, the protests and racism. I took last Friday off, and plan to take a day or so next week, but I know it’s not enough.

I’m physically and emotionally exhausted. And just when I think folks can’t be anymore stupid, they prove me wrong.

I’ve been trying to practice self-care. I continue to walk a few miles in the morning. I allow myself to eat whatever I want (within reason). I have a bed-time. I allow myself to self-medicate when necessary. My social media feeds are a blend of social justice content, general news, and dog accounts, lots and lots of dog accounts. I mean, lots of dog accounts—like probably 10 more than you’re thinking.

I’ve allowed professional colleagues to see my struggle publicly, by allowing some of my normally private posts to be open for all to see. It was liberating because I stopped caring what they thought of me. This is an epic collision of personal and professional, and I wanted people to know that, to see it, to know that some folks aren’t good allies. Even in those moments I was teaching—so I was still caring.

I just hope my vulnerability was worth it.

In the grand scheme of things, I’m ok. Hope is ok. These are challenging times. They make me sad and angry, but they also give me hope. I don’t want Hope to be my age saying I remember the protests of 2020 as people take to the streets protesting the same thing. I I hope this flurry of activity leads to change. I’m a realist, but I’m still hopeful.

I’m hoping everyone is doing ok during this challenging time. Tell me what you’re feeling in the comments.

#BlackLivesMatter

About AdoptiveBlackMom

I'm a single Black professional woman living in the DC area. I adopted a tween daughter 6 years ago, and this blog chronicles my journey. Feel free to contact me at adoptiveblackmom@gmail.com, on Facebook at Adoptive Black Mom, and on Twitter @adoptiveblkmom. ©www.AdoptiveBlackMom.com, 2013-2020. All rights reserved. (Don't copy my ish without credit!) View all posts by AdoptiveBlackMom

8 responses to “The Hardest Time

  • rose

    75 yrs. Terrible grief, tiny hope. It needs to end.
    I cannot even imagine how you are standing up. I am super proud of Hope and my granddaughters who are 5&9 years younger than she is.
    PRAYERS that people VOTE this year and in 2 years and again in 4 more years.
    I am so over the death and inequality and stupid bigotry. and greed.

  • Ellen Hawley

    For me, flashes of guilt that I’m living in another country and can’t be out there. The guilt doesn’t help anything, but it’s there anyway. Flashes of hope–can we make a lasting change this time? The national conversation–as far as I can tell from here–seems to have changed. Fear. Genuine fascists have been unleashed in the country and I can’t even begin to predict what they’ll do next.

  • Beth

    so many things. fear for my children, and wishing I could somehow move them away to a faraway country where racism will not touch them. but of course there is no such place. heartbreak having to try to explain this f’ed up country to them. will one of them someday be shot for taking a walk? hope that this time, this death, this wave of protests will be different. maybe? because for the first time, a large majority of Americans support the protests. that is shocking and wonderful to me. there have been so many of these deaths and always white America said it was an isolated incident, or found other ways to excuse it and look away. also amazing to me is to see huge crowds protesting in other countries. France, the Netherlands, Japan, Korea. I don’t know what to make of that. I’m glad but surprised and puzzled that people so far away care that much.

    I’m a doctor and for the past few months I have been starting every visit asking the patient how they are doing with their stress, because of the pandemic. Now when I have black patients I feel I should be saying something more, to let them know I am worried for them for this other reason to. I don’t know what I should be saying though.

    • AdoptiveBlackMom

      Be honest and open. Say, hey, I just want to really check in and let you know I understand how stressful this can be. My resting heart rate has increased 10pts since the day the video was released. It comes down a little on the weekends when I’m not immersed in work and can redirect my energies but during the week I’m a mess.

  • Belladonna Took

    I feel shame. Grief. Rage. I’m ashamed and grief-stricken and enraged in part because there are people in my life, people I LOVE, dammit, who just don’t get it … They wear “Stand for the flag, kneel for the cross” tee-shirts and tut-tut over the looting and simply don’t get it. I still love them, but I’m done trying to explain. Done trying to be an interpreter. I have other people I love SO MUCH who are victims of bigotry. They also say stupid things. I still love them, and – again – I’m done trying to explain where they’re getting it wrong, because how can I? I’m not a victim. I don’t really get how their perceptions got to be where they’re at.

    What a mess. I’m praying a lot more than I was. I guess that’s something.

  • K E Garland

    That part about being more vulnerable is what’s been happening with me. I’m typically authentic in all spaces, but I’ve always been careful about not being too black on the blog or at work or wherever. I’ve decided there’s no more time to do that. I have to speak freely about even the slightest injustice, microagression, whatever, and it has to be a big deal because small things grow into bigger things, and that’s partially how we get where we are today.

    • AdoptiveBlackMom

      Yes yes yes. I decided years ago that I needed to be authentic in my work in ways I had avoided in my younger years. I needed ppl to see and see me a complex Black woman. It prepared me for this moment, for sure, but whew. As for the blog, my persona in this space has always been Black, Blackity, Black. Wishing you all of the freedom sister!

  • skinnyhobbit

    Hugs if wanted. I have no words.

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