Hello again…

Ever feel like you’re on a loop, you keep returning to the same places, retelling the same stories and encountering the same people?

I’m having a very strong sense of deja vu. Heck, even the opening statement is one I’ve uttered previously. Three years ago, right after moving to Italy, I started another blog (That Former Sidekick Girl) and had decided that I was going to be a Lifestyle blogger and share my life in Italy and just be fabulous.

But life got in the way.

I had a hard time adjusting to Italy. I was lonely. I was experiencing discrimination…in another language. And I suffered from severe depression because of it. I know what you’re thinking, why didn’t I write about all that? You’re right. And at first I tried. I really tried to write weekly posts and step up my Instagram game and become an “influencer.”

But life got in the way again. I got pregnant. And all I could think about was my baby and my new family. But 16 weeks into the pregnancy I had a Pprom and I swear part of me died with the child I never got to meet. And I lost my mind for awhile. But then I got pregnant again and my husband and I were so surprised because we weren’t expecting it to happen again so soon. But we were so happy. For 17 weeks.

I had another Pprom and to this day I blame the doctors that dismissed my concerns and quietly I hate myself for speaking up more and insisting they hear me. (A word of advice for Black women; racism in the medical field is just as prevalent abroad as it is in the US. Do whatever you can to protect yourself.)

After the loss of our second baby, I started the process of putting myself back together again. I was lost in a sea of pain and confusion and depression for a long time. I’m just now coming up for air. This loop I mentioned earlier has occurred in different areas of my life. With friendships, with jobs and with writing. I think I needed to learn an important lesson in order to get out of the loop.

With friendships, I had to stop being afraid of people abandoning me if I stood up for myself. The Black Lives Matter protests have been a huge wake up call for me. The non-Black people who’ve remained silent and continue to pretend like nothing’s going on – they’re easy to cut from my life. The fake allies and Karens have been trickier to identify. I had to take a closer look at those people. I had to watch for the signs and once I realized I was in the company of a Karen, I got rid of her.

Where work was concerned – I simply stopped forcing myself to do things I wasn’t passionate about. I stopped trying to force myself to be “normal” and work a regular job that required me to be around other people. It’s not that I don’t like people but I’m an introvert and I have anxiety. I also suffer from the trauma of past workplace microaggressions. Whenever I tried to be a regular office worker bad things would happen. I’ve officially been working from home for a little over a year and, again, it’s been pure bliss.

As for my writing, well, it always comes back to writing. Deep down I know I’m meant to be a writer. But imposter syndrome, a crippling fear of failure and that good old trauma from past microaggressions paralyzes me. I keep giving up on the thing I love most. And yet I come back to it. Or rather it comes back to me. I never truly took blogging seriously because I didn’t think anyone would actually read my posts. I’m guilty of mostly looking at the pictures in the blog posts, anyone else?

So I would think why should I leave my heart here on these digital pages when no one will see them?That was ego, wasn’t it? Or perhaps bravado because let’s not forget that fear I mentioned. That fear wasn’t that people wouldn’t read my posts but that they would and they’d tell me my writing was rubbish. Fear is such a son of a *bleep* isn’t it?

And yet here I am. Again.

I guess I still have stories to tell. While I’m sharing, I’d like to explore ways we can separate the wheat from the tares within our social circles. We all have at least 5 people in our lives who are not good for us. I think it’s about time we cleaned house, don’t you? I don’t want you to waste time in bad friendships and around toxic people. Let’s work together to heal from our past trauma, cut the karens from our lives and find new ways to build healthy, fulfilling friendships with good people. Stay with me here and also stay tuned for my new podcast, Karen Free Black Girl.

I look forward to connecting with you. In the meantime, stay safe – please wear a mask- and look out for each other.

Yours,

Dawn Melissa

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