Since I was young, my mother would always tell me, “Honey, you need to put on your big girl boots,” to combat any feeling I felt was considered to be seen as weakness. I needed to put my boots on to be ready to fight any battle that comes my way from psychical to emotional. I needed to be strong. As a Black woman, I knew that I couldn’t show any weakness to the enemy; my feelings. In my culture, Black women are seen and expected to be strong, independent; able to overcome any adversity.
I felt like I needed to put my big girl’s boots on in my everyday life. So, to overcome my weakness, I would put a smile on my face as if everything was okay, my attitude would consist of “no nonsense” to battle my internal anger, and wearing sunglasses to block other from viewing my eyes turning red from the tears falling from my eyes. I was ready for war, the war of emotions that I could block with ease; however, I never knew that my battle gear would be shed with an event that would change my life forever.
On March 5th 2012, I felt beautiful inside and out, I was beaming with pride that I was finally showing. I was going to become a mommy; I was five months and two weeks pregnant. My fiancé and I went to dinner and I wore a long white and orange striped cotton dress that highlighted my glowing skin that day. We had an amazing dinner and I had a mommy mock-tail (a non-alcoholic drink for mothers to be), and we decided to go back home. We had relaxed for a bit until I felt something weird happening, my water broke. I did not know what to do and I did the best thing I could do was to call my momma. I explained to her that my water broke and she had calmly told me that, I might be having a miscarriage. I screamed out, “No”, until I couldn’t no more. I lost control, the person that is always in control and able to figure anything out was not in control. From that very moment I knew I had lost my child, Chloé.
Days after her stillborn birth, I felt completely down and my big girl’s boots were nowhere to be found. I was a completely different person from the one I used to know. I was now a mess. My face was pale, my eyes were empty from the hope and love that I lost, my hair was everywhere, and I wore baggy clothes on top of baggy clothes. My first experience out of the hospital I forced myself to go to move on, so I decided with my fiancé to go to the grocery store to buy things for my mother’s home. I was in waiting to pay and I just broke down crying. Everyone was staring at me crying and I felt so ashamed for crying, I needed to be strong and I just ran out the grocery store to the car. I felt alone, even with great support from everyone that I loved and from strangers who would look at me and felt the need to give me a hug or words of encouragement.
I thought I would be able to move on within a week and be myself again. But within two weeks after my loss, I had an altercation with a family member on my fiancé’s side, my property was being stolen for drugs, and my daughter’s first dress was thrown away by my fiancé’s nephew, David, for revenge. I thought I could live through this and put on my “big girl’s boots,” yet I felt completely weak. My heart hurt and ached for someone to save me. I just wanted the pain to go away.
Currently, today, I am able to say, I am depressed and I thank God I am getting help for this. I finally realize that I am strong because I can ask for professional help. I can let my guard down and cry because I feel down. I do not need sunglasses to cover the pain I that feel inside. I can now be angry for what happened to me but without the attitude of “I can do anything because I am an independent woman”. I can now smile for my experience, grow through my grief, and not hide it like a coward. It took me three weeks to write this, however, my friend Odell told me, “BE FEARLESS! Just write my friend and wherever it takes us is where we go. Writing comes from pain and joy. So, you write what you feel and fuck what happens!”
I would like to say thank you for reading my experience and dealing with being depressed as an African American/ Black woman. I am learning how to BE FEARLESS and enjoy the ride we call life one day at a time.
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