I am being bullied at work. It has gotten so bad that it borders on harassment. The side effect of bullying, whether by children or colleagues, is trauma. Being bullied is an experience that makes you question everything you know about yourself. It makes you question your self-esteem. It makes you sad and it is, in a word, depressing.
So, for my own personal (and legal) protection. I sought therapy.
But, I can’t just have any therapist…Honey, I needs me a Sistah as my therapist.
So, I scrolled my insurance company’s website for more information and to find a doctor and only jotted down the names of women who sounded Black. I went by first and last name… Pamela? Maybe. Pamela Humphrey? Probably. I scrolled and scrolled until I found a Sistah with an African name. Bingo. I called her, got her voicemail. Yep. Black. AND she said, “Have a blessed day.” Ladies and Gentlemen, we have a winner.
But, before I tell her anything. I need her to pass the test.
- I would like to taste your potato salad. How much mustard and mayonnaise do you use? Dill or no? Tasting your potato salad will help me understand how much balance you have in your own life while you trying to help me. While you at it, let me see what that Kool-Aid hitting on.
- Where your people from? How black are we talking here? Are you a born in Africa Sistah with an African name? Or a born in Georgia “suh” with an African name. Because it kind of makes a difference. I can’t lie, I am really interested in someone who has a Black American experience because it is one that is very unique. I need for you to understand when I give you the head tilt and raise an eyebrow.
- Prince or Michael Jackson? Yes, they are both great artists. Legends. But, EVERYBODY knows that all people love one just a little more than the other. So, which one is it, Doc? You about that substance and lyrical genius? Or is it all about the show for you? Let me know.
All jokes aside (even though I’m dead serious). Mental health is a real issue. I am struggling with anxiety, anger, and a little sprinkle (ok, a lot of sprinkle) of depression. I need somebody to help me learn coping skills that don’t include Newports. I need somebody to help me deal with the trauma of seeing my folks getting shot up by the police without walking around with a deep sense of fear. I need somebody to help me rebuild the low self-esteem that comes from surviving abusive relationships with friends, lovers, and white folks in general.
Black women are not getting the mental help that we really need. I know it because I see it in my news feed. I see it in my friends. I see it in myself. I don’t know about anyone else, but I am about to be all up on that couch talking and crying until one day, my tears dry on their own.