mental health

I’m Not Angry

Period. I. AM. NOT. ANGRY.

I am a Black Indigenous woman. I am tired of being painted as angry/aggressive when I have a feeling aside from those that are societally approved for me. It needs to be heavily recorded and shouted from the rooftops that how I feel has nothing to do with anyone else. I do not speak for anyone else but I know it will resonate. If you take nothing else from this understand that when it comes to feelings as a woman: I said what the fuck I said.

I am more in control and aware of my emotional state than I would care to be on most days. There are a few parts of myself that I would say I don’t know very well. So when I am told that I lack emotion, that I play “billy badass” and “you have things to be angry about, but..” you will watch my eyes glaze over. When I am told I need to cry but “just won’t” you’ll see the muscles in my face get tight. When unwarranted heat is placed on me about how I am existing, you will absolutely see a defeated relief pass through me when it is over.

Not because I feel “seen”. It is because this is a belated recognization of where I am at in my process. If I seem distant, removed, etc , etc…I am because I have just taken on my issues. I know that when I am in the midst of tangling with my own demons, stresses, and sadness I am not the optimal form of myself. I try to put my best foot forward whenever I can. At least the best image of me (fake it til ya make it amiiright?). I withdraw and stay in my own space and work through things in the ways that I know how (writing, creating, music, etc.).

No, I am not hiding anything from anyone. I would argue that I am one of the more emotive and vocal people when it comes to my psyche. I do attempt to reach out and let it be known by at least one person that I consider close to me that I know will not judge or put my pain under scrutiny. We will talk about it and make sure it is worked out and I can talk my way through it but initially, it is just a notice to make sure someone keeps a tether on me. Mostly so I don’t get bogged down and drowned in my own thoughts.

Many times I do not know the exact cause of my pain and weakness. There are times that I do. More often than not it is a complicated mixture of the two. I notice that I am emotionally chained down when I let go of certain things. Specifically educational endeavors and life process improvement activities like bullet journaling and goal setting which I have really come to enjoy. Having also been under the weather and on meds, I think this time it was easier for it all to come to the surface because of my physical state.

In the last month or so I have been EXTREMELY vivid dreams and I’ve been tangling with feelings of:

  • lack of achievement
  • lack of progress
  • financial insecurity
  • self-doubt
  • imposter syndrome
  • not belonging
  • uncertainty and directionlessness in regards to relationships (romantic)

Which singularly can be a mountain to tackle. But all together at once is….a special pool of the maelstrom to scream into. But that is ok. Things do pile up and I know for me that it happens because "get things done" comes first. Because the last thing I want is a daunting to-do list on top of not having my head in the game.

So I’ve been sitting with these things individually and some of them as a group because they are interconnected. And in those moments I find what it is I need or what it is I feel like I don’t have use for.

*Pause for cheesy self-help about releasing things that don’t serve you*

This is never not an extremely surprising and utterly “what the fuckin fuck” type of moment. Usually, I write it down but not always. I sort through the runoff. Thoroughly. I don’t give myself the easy out. I make it a priority to sort myself no matter how it feels or looks. And while already feeling ill it is much easier to do something less than pleasant. So that list from a moment ago? Let’s get back into it, shall we?

Here’s what I have found/determined to be a solution:

  • lack of achievement – I need to define what this is for me
  • lack of progress – towards what and why
  • financial insecurity – Create additional streams of income and be mindful of the historical events that are transpiring
  • self-doubt – everyone experiences this. Reevaluate and reaffirm while committing to work on this daily
  • imposter syndrome – Different instrument, a different beat, that is my value
  • not belonging – Find and connect with my community proactively
  • uncertainty and directionlessness in regards to relationships- continue to make a dedicated effort to make choices that align with my needs and what I want to see in front of me. Manifest actively.

Without a doubt, it seems more manageable from here. But from here, from the right now, what anyone is seeing from me is the gas burning off. I had been burning hot for weeks and it takes some time for that inferno to die down and become a warming glow of growth. This is a process I’ve seen some of the strongest women I know go through. Shamelessly, humbly, with caution thrown to the wind to get right. Regardless of how it makes others feel.

In saying that, I want to be very clear again that how I feel, how any woman feels, is no one’s business. It is not to be questioned, laughed at, or otherwise tabled as a discussion unless by the person who possesses the feelings. On a more personal note, it hurts when I am attacked for withdrawing. It comes in the form of “well I noticed” or “you haven’t been ____ lately”. And I guess it is well-intended but it is badly delivered no matter how often or by whom. I am AWARE I am operating differently. Unless I took it up with you it isn’t about you. While everyone’s feelings are valid (except racists, sexists, Nazis, non-intersectional feminists, TERFs, etc) I don’t care how you feel about my process.

It hurts my feelings to be called names and be run through (is how it feels) for not performing to specification based on what someone thinks a mood or feeling should look like. It is 100% the reason I choose to work on myself, heal and reach out in the ways that I do. 100% the reason I am careful who I share with, confide to and what resources I use. Calling me angry, an asshole, unfeeling, snippy…calling me anything except my name is unacceptable when MY feelings are the discussion by someone else’s hand. You brought this up, not me. Which should let you know where you stand. I don’t trust you to share anything as close as my spirit with you.

I don’t want to talk about my Dad after his death. Not because he doesn’t mean absolutely everything to me. It is because when I needed support when I need to talk, to cry to scream to fall apart because my world was gone…I DIDN’T GET IT. I wasn’t granted the privilege of a respite. Or solace. Of peace or open arms. A break. It was labor. It was details and functions. It was collapsing in on myself and no one else showing a shred of emotion. I’m not sad or angry. I don’t have daddy issues except that I have to live without him.

I don’t want to talk about being/feeling “stuck”. I am working my way out of it as fast as possible. Constant third-party assessment of my trajectory won’t get me there any faster. I wasn’t given the help and guidance when I needed it most. I learned on my own. I make my own way and then I am not beholden to anyone. Because if I’ve learned nothing it is that “I want you to do good” is performative as fuck. Those that mean it provide impactful, palpable, encouragement and aid in moving towards that success.

I will talk when I want to. When I do, I will speak my truth. I will share as much as I feel ok with. If that makes me angry, so be it. But I am not giving up on myself to make anyone feel good or useful. Because I deserve every chance in this world.

Signed,

a Black Indigenous woman who doesn’t give a fuck how you feel about her feelings.