I’m in and around my home 24/7. I’m obeying the lockdown order and exercising some great self-quarantine behavior during this COVID-19 pandemic.
This era of life has forced me to reckon with the broken bits of my soul. The isolation I feel reminds me of the isolation I felt growing up dirt poor on the South Side of Chicago as a kid. I am an only child, so I had no one to work though issues with except the other voices in my head. I didn’t work through anything with my parents because they divorced when I was 5 years old.
They were part of the Great Migration. They were Southern and they were emotionally and physically abused. So you didn’t talk about feelings. You didn’t explore abstract thoughts or concepts. You did what the f*** they said do and no back talk.
Hence, I spent a lot of time arguing my point, getting an ass whipping or grounded, mulling around all my personal existential crises in my head and writing my thoughts until I had no more room in my notepads.
As I walk around my home during quarantine, all the broken bits of me seem to be present holding a glass of wine and ready to talk. — but there is so much I haven’t addressed. The sadness in my house after the divorce, my lack of interior design skills without my ex-husband, being working class poor and not being able to decorate the house the way I wanted to, the clutter — all the emotional clutter from the bad years of my marriage that I held on to and seemingly wont let go, the hoards of magazines I never read, the inability to just carve out some time and clean because my Sarcoidosis is KICKING MY NARROW ASS QUIETLY. I’m sitting with all of this and it’s heavy because it’s a tertiary weight on my soul compared to wanting to keep my kid alive and wanting to stay alive in all this COVID-19 madness.
I know that if I get sick, my family, my life will be in great peril. I’m a Black American Mother in the United States of America — my country does not give one single f*** about me or my child’s humanity. So avoiding this virus is truly a matter of life and death for not only me and my child, but their future.
All these thoughts are flooding my mind to a quiet soundtrack of the dogs barking, the laptop for work hummin, and texts pinging. All these thoughts are racing through my head as I make sure I stay on top of bills that need to be paid, making sure I pick up my meds, and trying to institute some routine of self-care so I don’t go into a weird and deep depression.
I want to organize all the broken bits in my soul and give them due dates in which I shall addressed them, but I can barely re-organize my pantry, so how am I going to re-organize my soul???? It’s going to be a logistical nightmare, for sure. And the shhhhh is going to take years – quarantine is going to be way over by then.
Pray for me and other parents like me who are trying to keep a smile on their face for their children while they navigate the uncertainty of this pandemic and what it means for our livelihoods and emotional / mental stability.
What are you sitting with right now in the quiet of this pandemic? What is your biggest fear?