“When parents have specific goals for their children, this sets up a conflict in the child’s will. The child will be torn between [fear of] the parents, and the need to develop his or own power. If the child is loyal to the parents’ expectations, he or she will probably not find his or her own unique form of creative expression.” ~ Excerpt from Chakras: Understanding Your Inner Energy by Joy Garner
Confession. I changed a bit of this quote. The original part in the brackets says “love for” but I had a problem with that. It should be noted that the definition of love is, of course, subjective. People experience love in a multitude of ways. What’s love to one person, may be considered toxicity, control and manipulation to another. We are all different and it is important to honour our differences as human beings.
But I have an objection.
I, for one, would love to have the chat about how we are raised. When I say we, I mean those who share my context: ‘black, South African, female’. Or ‘Black [Queer] South African female?’ Or maybe ‘Black queer South African female [that isn’t a virgin]?’ Actually I’ve got it: ‘Black queer South African female that isn’t a virgin [and grew up in multicultural spaces with maybe a little too much exposure to Western doctrines and pollution from white people].’
Coming from that context is taxing on my psyche. It prevents me from being the “paradigm of feminine decorum” in the ‘African way’. I think Tsitsi Dangarembga really helped exemplify this through the creation of Nyasha in Nervous Conditions. ‘I… may have a Nyasha Complex of some sort’. This was a thought I had 5 years ago in high school. And, to my dismay, my psychological state has only worsened since then.
Sidenote: our parents really had it rough shem. Growing up black during Apartheid can NOT have been easy. I can’t imagine the trauma that they should be dealing with but pretend doesn’t exist because they were not taught about the importance of mental health awareness. This on its own deserves a blog (2021, I pwwwoooomisss). But today I’m talking about myself (and those who share my context lol) because New Years Eve equals self-reflection babyyyy.
Anywho, I don’t know how to say this eloquently… there’s really no cute way of saying this… but it’s our parents driving us further and further away from our gifts and talents for me. There’s just something about using violence as a threat to keep a child in check that screams ‘I’m exerting control over your entire being’ for me. It’s the blind obedience that follows suit because of years of trauma and pain, and the fear of more violence actualising for me.
It’s us fearing our personal power for me.
For me, it’s our fervor and eagerness to live and ‘make a mark’ turning into existential apathy. It’s the dwindling of our intellectual capacity and the dampening of our spirits. It’s the fear to participate in the world, and constant exhaustion at the thought. It’s blind obedience being called ‘respect’ and respect meaning blind obedience. (There’s some African saying about how respecting your parents allows things in your life to go smoothly or something like that). Fun fact: people respect their parents all the way to dreams that aren’t theirs and jobs they hate, people they don’t love but marry anyways because ‘you know the varbs’, until their dying days when they’re now filled with regret for not living the life they wanted to live for themselves.
You will be left alone on this earth with your resentment and regret. You will be left alone to deal with the anxiety, depression and trauma that has developed from your blind obedience. No look of pity from strange faces will cure you. And then, like everyone else, you’ll die. I’m sure there’s someone twisting in their grave right now from regret.
It’s truly frightening, especially when you think about how sacred life is and how small we all are in the grand scheme of things. I don’t think life is designed to be smooth, whether you live out your dreams or not. There will always be turbulence. I reckon it’s better if that turbulence comes from you reaching towards that which your spirit has called you to do on Earth… It won’t be easy, but it would truly be a shame for you to carry on this way. All shrunken and afraid. If you want to know what I think, Love would never lead you astray.
P.S. But then again what do I know lmaooooooooooooooooooooooo.
P.P.S. Jk, I hope the new year is a banger for you, yea?
P.P.P.S. Let’s fuck shit up with our masks on, yea?
P.P.P.P.S. I have faith in you and your dreams and I love you. Yea?
P.P.P.P.P.S. Okay bye.