I’m borrowing this picture from my fellow blogger Persia because it makes the perfect statement for this particular blog post.
As one gets older and hopefully more mature you develop a thicker skin. As a writer this is mandatory. I write about my experiences as a Black Woman in America and as the Sister of a brother who has Autism. Now I realize these topics especially the former bring strong reactions and/or responses.
Sometimes the people who post comments give unsolicited advice and expect me to go along with their program. As with any comments, advice, or suggestions I will listen/read then go ahead and do what I was gonna do in the first place. I don’t sugarcoat my experiences, feelings or emotions.
For one of my previous blog posts one woman gave me the label of being angry. Anger or Righteous Indignation is a good thing. Too many women just roll over and play dead, shy away, or don’t speak up for themselves.
I try my best to avoid confrontations but if it comes to me I’m prepared to defend myself as Malcolm X said, “By Any Means Necessary.” I’m nobody’s fool. My mother Mable Palmer did not raise me to be a doormat.
I’m not that type of woman. I am a strong woman with strong opinions. As for accepting supposed words of support, well I don’t have to accept it and in most cases I don’t need it. I’m not looking to be validated by other people. Nor am I interested in whatever their philosophy, mind-set or religious beliefs. I have mine. They have theirs.
As far as bullying goes because I was in an abusive relationship in the past I vowed to never allow a man to put their hands on me ever again. I might die defending myself but so be it. Unfortunately in the past seven years I’ve had to defend myself against both women and men. I was raised in a tough neighborhood and lived in perhaps less desirable neighborhoods all my life.
Example: A few years ago a white male co-worker pinned me up against the wall in one of the galleries. Nobody came to help me. Let’s just say I got the Pillsbury Dough-boy off me. Another male co-worker threatened to tie me up and various other perverted comments. Well I got into two fights with him. Told him I would beat his ass all up and down 5th Avenue. Things got so bad the supervisor had to intervene. Needless to say I fight to win. I’m not asking for anybody’s sympathy or words of support. This is the real world I live in. BTW, those two guys are no longer at the workplace. I’m only 5’1″ and weight about 125 lbs on a good day.
Lesson learned, as a woman you must learn to physically defend yourself against any and all attackers. You can’t go around allowing others to beat your or your kids up. I understand bullying because I was that kid always getting beat up because I was small. When I was in high school I was pushed down a flight of stairs.
When I was about eight or nine every day I would walk to the bus stop an older boy would take my lunch and every day I would come home hungry and crying. After a while my Mom Mable Palmer asked me what was wrong. I told her about the bully boy and the next day she walked with me to the bus stop. Now keep in mind my Mom was about 4′ 11′ and weighed about 95 lbs but she was a tough cookie. The teenage boy approached me and my Mom thinking that she was a little girl. The boy attempted to take my lunch. My Mom decked him with a right hook. She hit the boy and that boy hit the ground. He had the audacity to say, I’m gonna get my Mama. My Mom said, “Go get your mother and I’ll kick her ass too!”
LL Cool J – Mama Said Knock You Out
When I joined the Army in 1977 I was away from Mom and Dad for the first time in my life. As with any occupation there were bullies there also. One room-mate who was a drug dealer as well as a bully threatened to beat me up. For a while I wandered all over the post afraid to go back to my room but finally it dawned on that fear was not the answer and I had to return. I got a baseball bat, keep it near my bed and would have beaten that bitch within an inch of her life if she had touched me. It’s all about being tough. The Army helped toughen me up. Avoidance and peaceful negotiation don’t always work.
It’s nice to have support, kind and comforting words but I graduated from the “School of Hard Knocks.” Life is composed of the good, the bad and the ugly. I validate me. No apologies. No excuses. No shame in my game.
So go ahead and bring it! I’m Ready!