I went to see Moonlight today. I loved it. I cried heavily in the theater. I can relate to the i & ii parts the most, maybe cause I’m still starting on iii of my own life. I thought no one else out there ever experienced hating their mother or being mugged by their own mother for substance abuse money. Or questioning being queer at a young age. Using other people’s homes for sleep or safety. Sometimes not wanting to stay anywhere because you just didn’t want to talk about it. This movie is important. Historically important.
After watching the movie I suddenly wanted to thank the mother’s of friends who let me lay on their couches and floors so I would have a safe place to sleep. The encouragement I got from them to keep me going during rough peaks. I know it is so much harder for people of color to go through this. Especially in the school system. My own experience from hearing the words “you’re never going to amount to anything” or “you’re never going to go to college” from school faculty. I went through bullying by neighborhood kids, fellow students and those who I thought were my friends. I know apart of it was not letting them know what happened in my home life. I can only imagine the disdain it must feel to go through a system not meant for you based on the color of your skin.
The silence of Chiron at the table after he experienced the lows of him and his mother’s relationship hit home with me the most. I could remember sitting in school during class at my desk, just zoning out for the entire time because I was trying to make sense of what happened at home. Being asked by teachers to leave the class and go to the office because you didn’t want to talk… I felt like people hated me, they probably did or were overly frustrated by me. It is the weirdest feeling being a child and not knowing how to communicate what is wrong. The confusion of having a school psychologist telling you there’s hope and then you have your parents whom you love or you think you love them.. or asking yourself do you love them? Parents telling you that if you say anything that you’ll never see them again. I remember crying over that dilemma the most. I thank myself and one brave school psychologist while I was in B.D classes at 16 guiding me through proper legal emancipation steps. Yet, being told to wait until I am legal age to leave my house would most likely be better. It was a let down. It hurt.
Learning about co-dependent relationships and how to properly deal with them was hard after I left the household. Actually going through with it was harder. Repairing the relationship with my parents is still in process. There is a saying that a psych professor said to me once: “after studying psychology the less you get mad at people about their behavior because the more you understand the reason behind their behavior.” From experience yes, it is a bit true. However I sometimes look back, not to dwell, but to reflect. While this is happening, I start to look at the memory differently. I want that healing feeling to happen to kids who deal with what I went through sooner than it happened to to me.
Which is why I choose jobs to work with kids in recreation instead of education. I believe I am meant for that more than educating children. I’m still there apart of the education world and I still get to support it. I respect those who choose to teach. However, I want the kids to be able to express and let go. I remember sometimes, school was a better place than home, but it wasn’t the best place. I remember the times between schools, filled up with me wearing headphones alone in my room, out for a walk, or dancing between classes dance academy. I know the freedom of recreation and moving my body helped my find serenity. It still does.
Yet, I find myself struggling to manage myself a “profession” in this society. Especially one that doesn’t give aid to going to school with a bit of an imperfect past. Which is why I work harder. I am well aware that it is 10x of a hardship for people of color. Which is why I will continue standing up to the theory of racism, racist acts and the rights for people of color as well as queer humans. The little infliction that I experienced taught me a lot. I have some privilege and I want to use it to help those in need. Sometimes I think I want to be involved in politics, or maybe help out by being a psychologist… why can’t I do both? Will I be able to do both? I am still uncertain about my future in this country. Which makes me uncertain for the future of those whom I love and have friendships with. I want to use my privilege to help, but I’m a bit lost in how.