I’ve lived in NH the longest I ever lived anywhere. I am miserable and have never been so unhappy in my entire life. I thought Massachusetts was terrible and it was. I miss being around black people. Interestingly, I didn’t always feel this way.
Within the last year, the source of my unhappiness revealed itself when I started to date again. Dating made me realize I don’t want to be with a white man yet those are the only men asking me out. I want to be around people of color where my culture is embraced instead of ignored. I went to see Blackkklansman (my suggestion) on a date with a white guy, and his only comment after the movie, it was intense.
Social media reconnected me to my past. It helped me reconnect with friends from high school, college, medical school, and residency. This year I discovered my unhappiness stemmed from not being around my own culture. I miss having black friends in my life. I am not sure how I ended up surrounded by so few black friends.
I use to have real fun, and I use to feel love. While I made the decision to live here, it was the wrong one because it robbed me of happiness. I caution black people who may be considering a move to the area, NE is different. Think carefully especially if you have young children attending school.
When I speak to my friends of color I have to relearn being black:
- I have to learn to trust again.
- I have to relearn letting go.
- I have to relearn forgiveness.
- I have to relearn faith.
- Most of all, I have to relearn being real.
The present culture is suffocating me. It’s not my values or beliefs that I feel pressured to embrace to maintain the peace. I can’t be me when the air is so thin and void of oxygen. The real me is rather simple, maybe not. The grass always seems greener on the other side. The truth lies somewhere in between. Perhaps the problem is me.
It is me. If I kept in contact with friends, I would have had tremendous support throughout residency. Unfortunately, I was unknowingly processing traumas from my childhood triggered by an extremely stressful environment. It was then that I should have reached out to old friends, but instead, I withdrew. I always do or push people away.
My family didn’t know how to care. Imagine a 9-year-old daddy’s girl lost her dad and no one seemed to notice or care. No loving arms told me I would be safe. I don’t recall anyone showing affection or concern for my feelings or my brothers. As children, we had no choice but to control our emotions. Children’s tears did not trigger affection but rather had the opposite effect. After my father died, I remember leaving my home then us moving in with different relatives or friends until we immigrated to the US.
I didn’t realize the significance of my father’s death in my life’s trajectory until I had therapy some 35 years later. I underwent a form of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) called eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR). It revealed my father’s death was a pivotal turning point the brain hadn’t processed properly.
In one therapy session, I visualized a 9-year-old me sitting across from the adult me. I was to tell the 9-year-old me I would take care of her. At first, I couldn’t utter those words. It took a few sessions before I could. That moment was significant because the 9-year-old me finally got the comfort she never received. And the adult me finally processed the memory associated with living in darkness that haunted me most of life.
It’s amazing how writing can give one insight. When I started the post, I didn’t know where it would end. Now I understand how I ended up here: a job and wanting to get away from people.
- Life is about connections to people and from that everything flows. In general, good connections lead to a good life; bad connections lead to a bad life.
- Don’t be afraid to share your joy and fear with friends. Through sharing our lives, we understand each other and develop trust.
- Spending time with friends is a way to relieve stress. When you spend time with people who care about you, it’s food for the soul. You also create memories that live on forever.
Has anyone else ever found themselves in a miserable situation and wondered how did they land there?
#Mythoughts is a cathartic section of FTL to unload and work through feelings.
Note: This post does not negate my appreciation for the support of friends and acquaintances in NE.