Insanity

When a man is insane,

He does not even realize

When

He

Has

Lost

Himself.

So he continues to lose himself,

Over, and over again.

Until he can muster the courage to see himself for who he really is,

He will make a sure fool of himself with actions and thinking that are distorted and twisted.

And he may never know what it means to be in his right mind.

© 2018 annalise fonza, Ph.D.

Advertisements

We Black Women: Seen, Heard, and Beautiful

This blog entry is partially written in response to someone who recently said to me, “See that’s what is wrong with you black women.” With a cowardly text, and out of nowhere, this man – a black man who repeatedly claimed to love me (allegedly “more” than I loved him) – spewed his contempt and hate toward me and toward black women by saying, “Something is wrong with you black women.” Needless to say, I was infuriated by his hateful rant, yet it was one that helped me to see him for who he really is: a misogynist – one who hates women; one who holds women in contempt. It was a painful realization that I did not want to face because he is a black man, born of a black woman and raised by his black sisters. His misogyny is something that I did not want to acknowledge or admit. I wanted to believe that he was better than the man that he kept proving himself to be (despite all of his best apologies) – after two years of knowing him, intimately.

Finally, after getting that text, a fearful coward’s move from behind his telephone screen where he was hiding, apparently thinking that he was unseen, jolted me out of my denial and caused me to recognize him for who he is, and for the awfully abusive man that he obviously wants to be, since he too knows and admits that he has “issues” with black women, yet he refuses to address those issues. And, in spite of his own “issues,” he keeps getting involved with black women and, tragically, the contempt and hate he feels for black women keeps oozing out, sabotaging his relationships with black women, including the ones he has with the women in his family. Consequently, he repeatedly hurts himself and others, going back and forth between fight-flight mode until, finally, he is exhausted, as he runs, hides, and blames it all on the “black b*tches” that he chooses to be with. Of course, later – after he has vomited his hateful feelings upon the black women in his life – he apologizes, he even claims to take “full responsibility” for the undoing of the relationship; but, because he is not getting help for his pain, he cycles right back into a painful cycle of of abuse and disappointment with yet another black woman.

Yes, this is the very definition of insanity; it is also a description of a man who is emotionally incompetent and sick and he will make women (especially black women) eventually sick (of his bullsh*t) if they, in turn, choose to be with him. In addition, he is a rageful man and he becomes even more angry (on top of the anger he already feels from childhood trauma) and dismissive with the women who rightfully walk and sometimes run out of his life. He resents them for leaving him, yet, unfortunately, he hasn’t figured it out: no woman wants (or needs) to be with a man – no matter what color he is – who is not in control of his emotions and who refuses to gain control. The hatred and contempt that he feels towards black women is/will not be limited to black women – because as soon as he is triggered by the pain and fear that belong to his past by any woman, black or non-black, he reacts as he has always done – fighting, with abusive words and actions until he runs away, all the while claiming -falsely- that he has been abandoned. Yet, no woman, black, white, red, or yellow, has to, under any circumstances, put up with any abuse, and definitely not from such a troubled man who chooses to stay that way. Of course, he doesn’t really get that. Indeed, with him it is as one of my friends so accurately said: he is a walking dead man. And he will stay that way until he does something to stop his pain, or until it stops him.

Turning the corner. For those of you who might be wondering, writing is cathartic to me. I write, first and foremost, for myself. It helps me to process my feelings, and it is my way of being heard; my way of standing up for myself and for my feelings. My relationship to writing began when I was a child/adolescent when my mother would send me to my room on punishment. In response to that punishment, I would tape notes to my bedroom door (which would be closed); with those notes I expressed my feelings, and most of all, it was my reaction to being silenced and unseen. Who knew that the practice of posting notes to my bedroom door would turn into a passion and an ability to write?

That said, I do not write to “get paid,” although getting paid for my writing is not something that I turn away. I write because I can; it is something that I  am good at; and, the act of writing for me is what I do to heal myself from pain and from the hatefulness, dismissal, or the harm that I feel. Writing helps me to express and free myself in a world that is compromised by pain, past and present. And, since I have been writing on public platforms, such as Facebook and WordPress, I have been contacted and told by many that I have helped them to do the same. You cannot imagine how it feels to me to know that my writing (and thus my thinking) has helped others to find their voices. That is what freedom is all about: liberation for self and for others.

If you would like to republish my work in a larger platform or in a book, please contact me. I would be more than happy to discuss how that could be done and what it would cost. And now, today’s blog, inspired by the pain from a very abusive and disappointing, but eye-opening relationship:

 

WE BLACK WOMEN

We black women are

Mamas, sisters, friends, lovers, teachers, warriors, and sometimes enemies of those who hate us and who want to exploit and use us, mostly for sex and company,

We black women have stood strong and proud in the face of hate and rejection by those who do not see us, who do not love us,

Because of their own pain and their own fears.

But we black women

 

We are like Maya Angelou

And Fannie Lou Hamer

And Nina Simone

And Angela Davis

And Elaine Brown

And Billie Holiday

And Alice Walker

And Abbey Lincoln

And Shirley Horn

And Bessie Smith

And June Jordan

And Marimba Ani

And Toni Morrison

And Anita Hill

And bell hooks

And many, many more black women – like my own mother and sister.

We are black, and we are women

We have changed our worlds and this world for the better and the world sees us and knows what we have done.

The world knows who we are.

 

Not all black women do good, not all black women are good

There are some black women have done irreparable harm to their children and to their families,

But most of all they have abandoned themselves.

There are black women who have given up on living their own lives

Maybe they did and do not know how to live for themselves

Maybe the fear of life and others has overcome and overpowered them

Maybe they have believed what others said about them, so therefore they lived the lies of others.

 

But there are many of us, black women, who have turned other peoples’ lies upside down

We black women have told and written our own stories

We black women are remembered as the authors and finishers of our own fates

And, we black women have survived the unthinkable, the unimaginable when we could have been dead and gone.

 

We black women.

 

We black.

We black.

We black.

And, we women.

We women.

We women.

We women.

We black women are proudly black and we will be seen, heard, for indeed, we are very, very beautiful.

© 2017 annalise fonza, Ph.D.

 

Everyone Suffers When Alcoholism and Addiction are Involved

When alcohol and addiction are involved

Everyone suffers

Everyone is sad and lonely

To some extent

At some point in time

Until the desire for sobriety and honesty becomes stronger

Than it does to endure the consequences of denying the truth and numbing the pain. 

©2017 annalise fonza, Ph.D.

The Seriousness of Stress

Today, I was in a meeting, and an 88 year old man was talking about the stressors in his life and how he has managed to handle them. In the process of sharing he said something like, “Stress will get you pain; stress will get you cancer; and stress will get you dead.” On a day like today, when I was feeling a considerable amount of stress about some of the changes that are in the very near future, I was reminded of the seriousness of stress. Being a black woman, who is threatened everyday with harmful expressions (particularly of maleness and whiteness), I know that notwithstanding those threats, stress can be just as deadly, if not more.

Of course, I have carried my share of of stress in my lifetime. However, I have suffered the worst when I have taken on the stress of others, specifically when I took on other peoples’ pain. On the one hand, it is good to have compassion for others, and it is good to be there in times of need. On the other hand, I also know people who are going through stress because of self-destructive thinking and behaviors. Indeed, my upbringing has taught me to be there for others and to show empathy. But, when I show more care and compassion for those who are not willing or able to take care of themselves (and with a little honesty and effort on their part they could or should be able to take care of themselves), then I suffer from their stress, while  meanwhile they seem to go along as if nothing is wrong. It is hard to see others’ struggle, but it is even harder to watch someone who is under considerable stress and in denial.

I was grateful to be reminded today that “stress will get you dead” by someone who has lived through more than eight decades of stress. I appreciated his honesty and his vulnerability, and his ability to tell those of us who are younger that it shouldn’t take eighty plus years to learn how to handle stress. Stress is an everyday part of life, and I am willing to take on my stress, the stress that belongs to me. But, what I have to remember is that I do not have to take on any body else’s stress, and especially not when they are not able or conscious enough to admit that they are in trouble and suffering with their own stressors. Taking on their stress when for one reason or another they are inept or unable to even name their stress is, in fact, something that will get me dead; and it is a stress that I simply cannot afford.

© 2017 annalise fonza, Ph.D.