As a child and adolescent crisis therapist I see crises every day in schools, homes; wherever I am called to assess a client. I’ve seen a lot and sometimes the children’s stories of the trauma they have endured is heartbreaking. I’ve seen how a child’s behavior can be an outward expression of vomiting out the pain. It’s my hope that as clinicians we are catching their behaviors at an early age, helping them identify coping skills in order to keep themselves and others safe around them in today’s society.
Unfortunately, today I went to McDonald’s with my fiancé, (don’t judge us lol), and there was a African-American drunk man at the register asking people for a dollar. He later became escalated when the manager asked him to leave repeatedly and he refused. He began aggressively destroying property, throwing things at the staff, yelling, it was heartbreaking and a little frightful to experience. Of course, cell phones were taken out to record him…but when he heard the cops were coming he immediately got on the ground, put his hands up yelling don’t shoot before the cops arrived. I was in awe that even in his drunken state, he was still cognizant that he was a black man, that had shown rage, and he was the threat.
“Get your money, black man..
This is America…
Don’t catch you slippin’ up…..”
– Donald Glover (Childish Gambino)
As an African-American woman and clinician there was a lot of emotions to feel. I was afraid for my fiancé that this man would turn to him in rage, afraid for myself, and although he yelled he would not hurt anyone as he was destroying property, I was afraid for him as well. I felt a bit of helplessness. I wondered about what his triggers were that made him go from asking for money to becoming escalated. I wondered if there was past childhood trauma in his life. I immediately started praying for him when the cops arrived. I don’t know what will happen to him but I pray he gets the help he needs. The timing of this was interesting because right before we went to McDonald’s, I had just read about a young man, 24-year-old named Danye Jones who was lynched last month. It’s no coincidence that his mother was an activist for the Ferguson grassroot project right after Michael Brown’s death. It has been reported some of the activist from the project are being killed ..all “unsolved”. I found myself being afraid to even post the facts about the deaths on IG, afraid it would get copied several times with my IG handle on it and then later get into the hands of someone who was apart of these killings. For me to think that shows just how a person’s hatred can reach people physically including killings but mentally as well; inputting fear into the minds of thousands. I thought about the persons who are exposed to violence daily, like today, or even worse and view it as just “another day”, and then to come home to reading or watching about more trauma? That has to be a lot! I had to lean on my own writing that was published 2 years ago called, “LEANING ON FAITH: USING SPIRITUALITY TO PRESERVE MY SANITY” , but outside of my emotions, I felt a tug in my heart on the importance on these mid-term elections to vote. To make sure the right people are in place to help change hatred. To target the policies on health care that affect our community. I am praying for our nation. This blog post is not as spiritual as my usual ones, but voting is a biblical application as it says:
Proverbs 31:8-9: Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.
“It’s time to vote for our representation so that our voices are heard, its time for us to save ourselves.” – Angela Rye.