Ashley Peterson, LPC
Take up space Sis
Just wanted to share this here. As always, I hope it helps someone, somewhere :) - Ashley
One of the most dangerous things that I’ve been told as a black woman is “you’ll be okay”. If I’m always “okay”, how do I learn when to stop? When to rest? When to leave a job, friendship, relationship?
That belief that others have instilled in black women, a belief that I bought into as well- has at times robbed me of my humanity and ability to be fragile. Being okay doesn’t mean that you feel whole, it doesn’t mean that you’re not close to breaking mentally/spiritually. Being told “you’ll be okay” doesn’t offer you the ability to take up space and be vulnerable. Believing you will be okay can gaslight you through your fair and needed/necessary emotional responses or releases. Whenever I ask “will you be okay?”, I also ask abt the plan to be okay. Having someone respond with a yes or no, isn't realistic for someone who is hurting. Yes or no replies are more of a courtesy for the person inquiring. The assumption that as a black woman, I am not allowed to have moments of weakness, overwhelming dread or just cry until I feel better is harmful. When I raise my voice out of sheer frustration because I’m not being heard, I am then seen as acting irrational and can be treated as a threat. It’s honestly exhausting. It sometimes feels like a luxury to find a person(s) who allows and encourages you to rest, to happily assist in problem solving or just listen without judgment. .
If you are a black woman who can identify with this, I hope you are able to find some comfort in feeling seen, understood and validated. I hope you are able to find community that supports and uplifts you, that offers to accompany you on your journey, no matter where it leads. You deserve a trusted space to feel all of your emotions. Life is hard, you don’t have to be <3
*Most mornings I listen to “Take up Space Sis” by Toni Jones, it always helps me to feel grounded, affirmed and reminds me to readjust my crown whenever I feel it slipping 👑👸🏽