I haven't written in a long time...or rather, I haven't POSTED, I've written plenty. Unfortunately, I'm very selfish with my personal thoughts. I'm generally open about my experiences, I don't care who knows what, yet I don't care to share how I feel about those events either. That's how I was raised...private things are private. You don't tell, you never tell. I've never snitched in my life, I've never told on my siblings, even if they hurt me. I never told on my abuser. I endured shit that I can't even open my mouth to tell people about because I swear it would burn my tongue and the stuff I will tell is a nightmare to most. To be fair, I've also DONE some real fuck shit, things I wouldnt want anyone to know about. Things I sometimes don't want to admit to myself. At any rate, that was the culture...privacy, discretion...and it became a lack of communication.
As I got older (as in early 20's), things I had stuffed deep down in me, started seeping out because I truly feel that the human psyche can only tolerate so much. Because I didn't dare talk to my friends or family about current or past events, I went to a counselor, you know, someone you PAY to listen to your secrets for a promise of discretion. That in itself was a tragedy. The main thing I took away from that was that my culture was right...don't share, it only fucks stuff up worse. Why? Because "most" counselors were fucked up people seeking to fix their self and thought by fixing others it would alleviate their distress. Now, I'm not referring to elders or people that are culturally compatible...I generally only mean western medicine practicing, drug prescribing, let me give you this anti anxiety medicine so that you won't feel your pain...or your joy, or your orgasm, or anything (excuse the vulgarity but have you read the side effects of some psychological drugs? Yikes!). And I said "most" because it would be irresponsible to assume all just from my small amount of experience. I'm sure there are some good ones. Somewhere. I don't know where. Maybe you do.
Fast forward a couple more years and I became an open book...tell EVERYTHING to those I cared about...right up front. But that wasn't healthy either...why? Because it was fear. Fear of when someone would leave and what part of me they would take with them when they left. You see, I had no doubt they were leaving...they all did, I just didn't know when and had my mind set that there was no way they were taking anything from me that I wasn't ready to part with. So here, take this load of bullshit and if you can't handle it, good riddance, I hadn't wasted too much time. What a fucking joke I was. I thought I knew everything.
Somewhere along those 20-something's I learned myself. All praises due to Allah, literally, I got knowledge and it saved my life. I learned what I was comfortable with and what I could compromise on. I also learned real quick what values I would not bend or break...amongst other things, honor, ethics, and the right to tell people to fuck off if I was wronged. I also learned a very valuable lesson from a very, very smart person who loved me enough to tell me that all things are not meant to be forgiven. The reason this struck me so hard and changed my perception was, it was his own deed that he was telling me didn't deserve or warrant forgiveness. Understanding comes in time...and sometimes, that time is right damn now. That's how significant it was to me. If there was any ounce of me that still clung to the idea of a mystery, it evaporated with that. That moment began the entire process of understanding myself, I no longer had to cling to inflicted wounds because I felt that I must forgive the inflictor in order to find peace. Nuh uh, I'm the home of peace, there's no searching required. With that came responsibility, because I also had to accept that I can't expect or insist that someone forgive me for my transgressions. That's their choice, their path and their right to offer relief to trespassers or to shoot them in the ass for being on their land. Hey...the sign was posted.
Anyway...I went a little off track. My whole thought process to begin with was that if we aren't super careful, our culture isn't OURS, it's the product of our environment. For example, I was taught at an incredibly young age that honor is all you have, no matter what someone does or says or wants, they can not take your honor from you. With that in mind, it was quite simple for me to understand that snitching was a no no, because it went against a personal code of honor. Now, that's all good, but at times you gotta consider peoples motives for constantly feeding you a specific dish. They might give you pickled pigs feet evryday, because thats all they have. Before I went to live with my papi -which if you don't know and you probably don't, is actually my uncle- I lived in a household where adults that couldn't find babysitters, would NEVER leave children home alone while they went to rob a store, because what if they got hurt or something while they were alone. That would be irresponsible, right? You gotta keep kids by your side, teach them to be ride or die before they're five...and make damn sure they know not to snitch. So while I took a wonderful code of honor into adulthood with me, that food was some porkshit. I could have easily allowed that food, that environment, those lessons to become my culture. I made a different choice, but statistics show that not many do. Or can.
Another example...physicians receive benefits for pushing specific drugs. It may not be cash, it may be free meds for their impoverished patients that need things like insulin to live. Or it may be cash. Whatever, point is, you're in their office and the drug rep just left some 8,000mg chill the fuck out pills and promised to supply 2 months of insulin to his 8 diabetic patients...or give him a big load of cash...if he writes 32 prescriptions for the new and improved 8,000mg chill the fuck out pill. For one, it isn't new, they just added an extra tablespoon of sugar to the fillers so that legally they could patent it as a separate drug and hold that patent for another 20 years. And it sure isn't improved because it costs 12X as much because now it's branded and you gotta pay for the Prada of prescriptions. I'm not saying that some people, a lot of people, do not need certain chemicals to make life possible or of better quality, all I'm saying is be wary of the hand that feeds you...it could've just been scratching somebody's behind. And manipulation could become your culture if its all you ever know...but so could dependency. Not sure which disturbs me more.
Last example, fear is not nutritious. And deciding to self sabotage is stupid. Not everyone leaves, not everyone hurts you, not everyone is even thinking about you enough to want to harm you. Putting all your ugly on blast so that you weed out the runners is stupid. And it doesn't work. I'll share a secret...I'm scared of the dark. Yes folks, I'm 32 years old, have kos, have been a mother for 12 years and my silly ass is scared of the dark. Because of that, I sleep with a light on. There's always light wherever I am. A lamp, a flashlight, a lighter, my phone has a handy dandy flashlight app. Anyway, my children have grown up with this. They have never heard me say 'the dark frightens me', but they know at 4 am when they creep in my room because they think even if I do wake up, I won't kick them out, that a light will be on. So guess what? They sleep with a light on too. See, my fear became my culture and because they have always known that, my fear also became THEIR culture. And when I cared about people and dumped all my shit out for them to peruse and decide if it was tolerable...I set the culture up...they dumped their shit out too. It doesn't work...you know all the horrible things about eachother and nothing good. Bad idea.
Be the change you want to see. What I've learned through my years is that no matter what you wanna call it (karma, nothing new under the sun, or just plain old mathematics), what you put out there is coming back. You want love? Put it out there. Spread it all around. Love YOURSELF. You want peace? BE peace. Patience, be patient. Kindness, be kind. Too bad it doesn't work with money but y'all get the point. Choose your culture...don't become your environment.