Aight, y’all KNOW I really, REALLY try my ass off to live #GAP, #LIFE & #SPM. I’m all about the gratitudes and affirmations. ALL about it. So, tonight I was working hard in my laboratory of Positivism to write SOMEthing good about how living with an incurable disease, everyday pain and a completely fucked up future. It actually wasn’t that difficult or time consuming. Besides all the optimism I rock and roll now, maaaaaaaaan am I patient. I don’t have prejudices, stereotypes and just the powerful image of a black man to protect me. My strength has always been wordplay, understanding, comprehension and communication. As my body fails, I realize I’ve become patient AF along with being so grateful and optimistic. What do I mean? You know I know you wanna know. 😉
Angry Black Man
-Yeah, it was a friggin detriment to my existence as a healthy, black man. Police glares. Colonizer’s stares. (Ohhhhh, surely you’ve seen Black Panther?) Well, the angry black man stereotype sucked. Once, I was pulled over, questioned, license ran and the whole nine because the responding officer said, “you looked menacingly at the woman driving beside you.” WTF?! It was my wife he was talking about and all this mess happened in front of my kids crying and worried I was in trouble. (We were driving separate cars.) Life is hectic and dangerous as a black man because you’re engulfed in the aura of angry energy, perceived or not. Now that I’m handicapped and require canes, walker or a wheelchair, I realize that same aura of angry energy was a tool for my daily manipulation. I’m not an angry guy but I definitely used my voice, eyes, facial expressions and body language to control my environment. If I’m in one of those weird, staring contests over parking spaces, elevators, position in line, etc., I could move the opposing colonizer without a confrontation. The angry, Black Man stereotype was actually a benefit in that regard. If I entered a store, building, anything, I felt like the alpha animal, the hunter, the aggressor. With my kids and family, this was a benefit. People didn’t disturb us and we kinda designed our everyday interactions around the fact. I was never conscious of this until it was gone. As a handicapped, Black father and husband, I’m learning that my skillset must change dramatically. I introduce myself in public more and smile at strangers because I’m eerily aware that I’m prey now. As such, I need to extend lines of communication as a precaution and quickly decipher the information to judge who/what/where are the hunters. I’m constantly scanning the area and horizon for hunters. It’s tiring and damn depressing because throughout all of this, I must admit that I’m prey now. My handicaps place my kids and family in the role of prey and I hate that.
Fear with kids
I don’t have it with my kids anymore either. That my-daddy-will-handle-me-quick-for-disrespect-and-misbehavior aura left the building with my mobility. Once upon a time, my kids pretty much did what I asked/demanded because I was the parent who whooped, fussed, grounded, etc. My kids listened and followed orders out of fear and routine, not love or respect. I never understood that until now. Well, I don’t have that anymore. Of course I can still punish my kids but I built my parenting on the backbone stereotype that daddy is the punisher, leader, provider and tone setter. Neither of these are still true as a handicapped father. My kids know my physical limitations and play me as such. Chores aren’t done upstairs because they know I can’t get up there to check. When I call someone, they give me, “Oh sorry, didn’t hear you”. I have to tear down how I parented and start over. I must learn to communicate with my kids WITHOUT the fear of punishment and general threat of my-Daddy-is-a-badass. Before the MS, I never, EVER thought of this but nowadays, it’s a prevalent thought. I talk with my kids more because I must develop new lines of communication with them and ground it in transparency over obediance expectations. I gotta know what little things make them tick and go because I can’t rely on my own image as an enforcer.
I’m inspired by these challenges to build and develop stronger bonds with my loved ones. I’m growing my business as I take more chances introducing myself and profiling hunters and prey. That’s the GOOD thing and where I’ll leave it. The skills I’m learning in my role as handicapped and prey will absolutely make me a better father and human being.