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FiguringThingsOut

People Of Color And Mental Illness

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As a black woman who has been in therapy a few times over the years, I know that there is a stigma in the black community when it comes to getting help. You're supposed to go to church and "pray on it," and some black people have an issue with "letting people know your business." I am not a churchy person and I have no problem seeking help when I need it. Some family and friends know about my being in therapy in the past, but there is still a stigma regarding it.

For those who are people of color dealing with mental illness, have you had to deal with those same cultural expectations and limitations? How did you cope?

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I don't have the credentials to contribute but subbing so I can follow the discussion. I'll be on the sidelines beaming positive thoughts and encouragement in your direction. :-)

brown mouse,

caucasoid male human

from tapatalk (Galaxy Note 2)

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Like BrownMouse, I do not have the credentials to contribute. I will say that I hate the stigma associated with MI. As a result, I mostly keep my condition to myself - I have to keep my job and maintain a "happy face" to the world. It is not right, but I have to make a living.

Sending best wishes to you! -jmg :flowers:

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I have several friends here on the DF who have faced the same issue as you. They have developed the attitude that they will do whatever is necessary for their own health and wellbeing. But, they have suffered at the hands of family members about their MI.

I'll contact my DF friends and be sure they see your post.

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i don't have the credentials either ; but just have to say how angry it makes me feel when people just "expect" you do things a certain way "just because" (just because you are a woman, just because of your skin colour, just because of your sexuality......) argghhhhhh. My parents expected me to be roman catholic just like them but i didnt believe. so i stopped going to church. they really frowned upon me because of that. the whole stigma thing about mental illness if also irritating. It took me a few years to get there but now I just think if someone doesn't like it that i have depression & i see a counsellor - well tough. i don't care. fortunately most people who know have been very supportive. some don't say anything but that's ok because i know they aren't frowning upon me. however, a few years back when i told my parents i was seeing a therapist, they freaked. i thought they might become warm & welcoming; but it just went on like usual, coldness. i really thought if they knew i was struggling that somehow their attitude would change. but sadly it didn't. but i do have friends who have made up for that with their kindness. not least people here at DF who are so genuinely caring its heart warming to have their friendship. so even if i cant really help or totally understand your troubles at least i can offer you support & try to understand.

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As a black woman who has been in therapy a few times over the years, I know that there is a stigma in the black community when it comes to getting help. You're supposed to go to church and "pray on it," and some black people have an issue with "letting people know your business." I am not a churchy person and I have no problem seeking help when I need it. Some family and friends know about my being in therapy in the past, but there is still a stigma regarding it.

For those who are people of color dealing with mental illness, have you had to deal with those same cultural expectations and limitations? How did you cope?

Hi...to some extent, I know what you're talking about. When I first told my mother I had depression, I was about 13 and I was suffering the trauma of being raped, as well as feeling vulnerable in a school where most of the other kids seemed unfriendly. She took me to a psychologist but her general idea was that prayer would solve all of my problems.

I attended church frequently, but I knew that it wasn't helping at all. I remember that during one of my sessions with a psychiatrist, my mother was out in the lobby with an African American woman who told her that "fellowship" (prayer) was what I really needed to help me through my depression. I am of mixed race and my Jamaican relatives believe that talking about mental illness is something you just don't do. I recall that when I was growing up, it wasn't uncommon to have people shouting at me, "why can't you be normal?!"

I was also accused of seeking attention and being manipulative. One of my aunts was very cruel in the way she handled me, too...my paternal grandmother (who is dead) apparently suffered from severe depression and schizophrenia. She was institutionalized in the 1960's. It was so bad that she could hardly take care of her 12 children. Whenever my aunt wanted to hurt me, she would taunt me about being just like my "crazy" grandmother Pat, and she would also encourage my cousins to taunt me about it. So I pretty much feel that maybe my depression is partly inherited and partly the result of growing up in a somewhat harsh environment.

And yes, I remember being told not to air my "dirty laundry" and tell people my business. But I told some people about my depression anyway (I was very naive)...the reactions were extremely hurtful, to say the least. I was called "psycho" and "crazy b*tch". People weren't sensitive or understanding at all.

I believe that mental illness runs in both sides of my family but my father's side is the only one that admits to it. I think my mother had some issues when I was growing up, too. She was a single parent and there was a lot of strain on her. She loved me but sometimes she would fly into fits of rage for no apparent reason or she would try to relive the life she had before my birth, by partying with her boyfriends and ignoring me. Sometimes I would even see her with this blank expression on her face but her lips would be moving, like she was talking to herself, but no sound would come out...that was a bit scary. I believe my stepfather has bipolar disorder and there was a LOT of abuse and dysfunction in our home. But we simply went to church and played "normal". Behind closed doors, it was a completely different story.

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Hey FeelingBlue, thanks for posting. Your post really makes me feel so sad that people will treat their own family members so cruelly. My Dad was the biggest bully in my life. Dad's are supposed to love their children and help them and teach them to be good people. Dad's are supposed to want to spend time with their children, and help them build up their self-esteem and confidence. I never had any of that. Only constant belittling, criticism and super strict control.

I'm off topic, I know, but this whole thread makes me want to cry at how terribly many of us were treated when we were younger, and by our own famlies!

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Very true, LL. My father was a nightmare, had it in for me. Abusive to my mom, too. Among the highlights, he pointed guns at me several times, and accused me of having an incestuous relationship with my mother, which was completely in his mind and very hurtful.

My new thing - be tough, stay strong, use the pain as a tool to move forward, and never stop fighting. I almost gave in last year, but things I saw scared the Hell out of me. My survival instinct came out, and now I'm very happy with the results.

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Denninmi, I'm glad you have a good survival instinct! The thing I always say, to myself and others, is to never, EVER give up. You have to keep moving forward towards wellness, even if your steps are tiny!

I'm so thankful you are here!

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Hey FeelingBlue, thanks for posting. Your post really makes me feel so sad that people will treat their own family members so cruelly. My Dad was the biggest bully in my life. Dad's are supposed to love their children and help them and teach them to be good people. Dad's are supposed to want to spend time with their children, and help them build up their self-esteem and confidence. I never had any of that. Only constant belittling, criticism and super strict control.

I'm off topic, I know, but this whole thread makes me want to cry at how terribly many of us were treated when we were younger, and by our own famlies!

I feel you, LL...I understand. I've been through my share of tough times, too. My bio-father was never around that much so my mother had to be responsible for me all by herself. But it was difficult for her sometimes, so she looked for men who could take his place. Out of all the men she was involved with, there was only one who truly made a difference in my life...I wish she'd married him. He was very kind to me and he didn't have to be, but I guess he knew that little girls need a daddy who loves them. He had children of his own (they were all older than me). This man taught me how to ride a bike, he attended my school plays, he patiently helped me with homework, he told me I was smart and pretty, he showered me with love. I never called him Dad, but I would have been proud to tell people that I finally had a father, somebody who cared about me. Sometimes I feel a bit sad when I consider what could have been if they got married...my self-esteem was at its highest when he was in our lives. I don't know if he ever realized what a positive influence he was back then, nor how much it meant to a skinny little girl to have him in her life, if only for a short time.

Unfortunately, my mother ended that relationship and wound up with my stepfather who immediately showed his abusive side after only a few weeks of meeting him. What hurts is that she never thought about MY feelings. All that seemed to matter was that she had a man in her life...never mind that this one was constantly angry and lashing out at me. LL, your story reminds me of a friend I haven't seen in a long time. She grew up in a home with both of her parents (there was no divorce and remarriage) but her father mistreated her for years. To this day, she has low self-esteem because of it and she actually got pregnant while she was in college because she wanted to be loved. Her dad just never treated her right and it was sad because her daughter's father turned out to be abusive, too.

I would say that as a woman of color (speaking only for myself and no particular community), I've had to hide my feelings about many things. This has only made my depression worse. It definitely would help if I had a supportive network in real life, but everyone here on DF has been wonderful...you guys are like family to me and we've never met!

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Some other thoughts on how mental illness might affect people of color...I remember another forum member posted a similar thread a while back. He had some very insightful comments about how past trauma (the slavery/genocide of our ancestors in the US, Caribbean, and elsewhere) combined with our present-day struggles can all contribute to mental illness and depression.

I believe that as a woman of color, who is in some ways an "invisible" minority, I often feel that I have to be silent about the racism/sexism I encounter because people don't take me seriously. I have to deal with not fitting into certain beauty standards and this has not only affected my self image, but also how I'm perceived by others, including those in my community. I am too white for some and too black for others. I have to become my own advocate and make my voice heard because that is the only way to make a change.

Like I stated before, I'm familiar with the notion of "praying it away"...but what some folks don't realize is that religion isn't a cure-all for what ails society. I have no doubt that it can be helpful in some cases, but I think what is truly helpful is being able to confide in somebody (a person you can actually see) who will listen and not judge. Whether that is a doctor, a trusted friend, whatever.

As FiguringThingsOut said, there is indeed a stigma and it only does more damage, IMO. Black women are often encouraged to be "strong"...strength is definitely a positive quality but in this case it is a double-edged sword. I was told from a very early age by my mother that I had to be strong and independent. I guess she wanted me to be somewhat prepared for a difficult life. I was told never to depend on anyone, not even her. If I cried, she would get mad and tell me to stop or she would hit me. She didn't want to raise a weak daughter, although I was born premature and remained sickly and underweight until the age of 25. I was raised more like a boy would be raised except that she wanted me to look pretty, be mild-mannered, etc. So I was essentially supposed to be outwardly feminine but hard as steel on the inside...not easy for a sensitive girl.

When the symptoms of my depression started showing, I think she viewed herself as having failed because I wasn't strong, mentally or emotionally. She told me I had to "toughen up" and not show my feelings. Now I believe I have gender identity issues although I'm married and I identify as feminine. To clarify what I mean by that...I've been treated roughly, like a man almost, for so long that I'm afraid to be vulnerable. Showing my emotions has opened me up to being hurt even more. Being able to cry freely and without fear of contempt is a luxury.

I'm sure my mom battled depression too, or some type of internal struggle, because she never seemed quite stable when I was growing up. But she tried not to show it. The few times she has been vulnerable and cried, showed her real emotions, it's been very sad. It hurts me to see anyone in pain, especially my mother. Her mother, my grandmother, was a very stoic woman who never cried outwardly and didn't display her emotions too often. Maybe that's where she learned to be that way? Or perhaps it was the death of my grandfather when my mother was still very young, or when my parents divorced? Maybe she figured she had to be a tower of strength for me because I didn't have my father around and she'd lost hers in a car accident.

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As a black woman who has been in therapy a few times over the years, I know that there is a stigma in the black community when it comes to getting help. You're supposed to go to church and "pray on it," and some black people have an issue with "letting people know your business." I am not a churchy person and I have no problem seeking help when I need it. Some family and friends know about my being in therapy in the past, but there is still a stigma regarding it.

For those who are people of color dealing with mental illness, have you had to deal with those same cultural expectations and limitations? How did you cope?

I never really had to cope with what people thought -- I simply found it easier not to tell other black people about my personal struggles. I never really found our community to be supportive anyway in many areas (which is ridiculously sad). As a kid I grew up in a multicultural neighborhood and I've had friends of all ethnicities so I'm comfortable associating outside of the black community, probably more so than within it.

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I believe that as a woman of color, who is in some ways an "invisible" minority, I often feel that I have to be silent about the racism/sexism I encounter because people don't take me seriously. I have to deal with not fitting into certain beauty standards and this has not only affected my self image, but also how I'm perceived by others, including those in my community. I am too white for some and too black for others. I have to become my own advocate and make my voice heard because that is the only way to make a change.

I can relate for the most part. White people write me off as dumb and condescend to me, while black people give me drama because they think that I act "better" than them. I grew up thinking that I was "ugly" because I found myself more attracted to white boys who wanted nothing to do with black girls, and got teased mercilessly by the black kids for being a "loser" and a "nerd." Even though I've long grown out of my ugly duckling phase, feel that I have a way with fashion and feel that I can be attractive if I need to be, I still have those lingering feelings of insecurity about my looks. I've never had a boyfriend and have only been on a few mediocre dates. The only male attention I get is from creeps in public, which does nothing for my self-esteem. I know that I don't need men's approbation of my looks, but I would like to get positive male attention from quality men of character from time to time.

...I simply found it easier not to tell other black people about my personal struggles.

It is hard finding other black people who have been there and who get it. I hear you.

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As a black woman who has been in therapy a few times over the years, I know that there is a stigma in the black community when it comes to getting help. You're supposed to go to church and "pray on it," and some black people have an issue with "letting people know your business." I am not a churchy person and I have no problem seeking help when I need it. Some family and friends know about my being in therapy in the past, but there is still a stigma regarding it.

For those who are people of color dealing with mental illness, have you had to deal with those same cultural expectations and limitations? How did you cope?

Somewhat like xora, I didn't grow up in a multicultural neighborhood, but I was bused into a multicultural school program while in grammar school and JHS. Out of about ten classes, there were only about 7-10 black students. We were all equally "gifted" academically but I was just never "down" enough socially. Very light-skinned and very long-haired -- I stuck out like a sore thumb -- and very, very unhip due to being raised in an abusive and fanatical Pentacostal household...I just never fit in with the girls then and never really have with black women since. Two of my closest friends are white, and I met them here on DF. I definitely identify more strongly with the mental health community than I do with my racial/ethnic community.

When I first started treatment, I had a black girlfriend -- a co-worker -- who told me, "Don't let them put you on those pills!" I said, "Too late," and kept it moving. I found the admonition to be devoid of any real understanding or medical knowledge. Would you tell a diabetic, "Don't let them put you on that insulin?" Ugh. I also ran into an old West Indian girlfriend who told me that I needed to go back to smoking my trees and chillin' out and that that depression stuff isn't real. We haven't talked since.

My mother is absolutely mentally ill and is also one of the most prayingest people I know. She's also one of the meanest. So, I'm now an atheist; my ex-con brother is as well; and my recovering addict sister is what I call a "modern" Christian (like, she talks about God but then goes off and fornicates with her boyfriend *shrugs*).

I don't handle stigma very well; I don't like it and generally regard it as a much-needed opportunity to educate others (either directly or by example). In terms of "praying on it," -- if anyone were to say something like that to me, which, thank goodness, no one really does -- I could possibly respond that "faith without works is dead" and that if I pray without seeing a qualified professional for a serious problem, then I'm also depriving myself of the tools that the Lord has made available for me on this earth. Or, I could just politely leave it at "You have your way, and I have mine. Thanks." Although I'm an atheist, I'm generally still very respectful of others' beliefs...as long as they don't start preaching to me. Then, I have to respectfully disagree that they know how to help relieve my ailments. Interestingly, I've encountered a number of black men who've tried to convert me back and have tied in my issues with a lack of God in my life. *sigh* I personally find the whole church thing very tired.

Regarding letting people know my business, I think that this fear in the community is a complete joke. It's better to get unfounded, horribly skewed advice from sista-friends who'll possibly spread all my business around than go to a non-black professional who's legally bound to keep my issues private?! Ugh. Yeah, I don't handle ignorance well either. (And this paragraph alone would probably raise the hackles of many a person of color, for me to actually bad-mouth the community on a forum that's outside of the community!!! *another sigh* (I can't be bothered with censoring myself here or anywhere else...or maybe I'm just in a particularly foul mood today. I dunno.)

All in all, I'm well-versed enough in this area by now that no stigma formed against me shall prosper. ;) But seriously though...stigmas are often formed by ignorance; ignorance often comes from lack of knowledge; and lack of knowledge is a very big part of what holds people -- any people -- back. So, I actually try to speak intelligently with people and answer questions from anyone who asks and/or is truly concerned. I try to educate, as I once needed to be educated about all of this. And I think that there are A LOT more people of color getting treatment than we might think, but the stigma and all that keeps everyone from talking about it. The more we talk, the more the stigma starts to go away. 'Cause stigma is also about separateness. Once it becomes more "out," more common, then hopefully there'll be less resistance and shame associated with it. Hopefully...

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I believe that as a woman of color, who is in some ways an "invisible" minority, I often feel that I have to be silent about the racism/sexism I encounter because people don't take me seriously. I have to deal with not fitting into certain beauty standards and this has not only affected my self image, but also how I'm perceived by others, including those in my community. I am too white for some and too black for others. I have to become my own advocate and make my voice heard because that is the only way to make a change.

I can relate for the most part. White people write me off as dumb and condescend to me, while black people give me drama because they think that I act "better" than them. I grew up thinking that I was "ugly" because I found myself more attracted to white boys who wanted nothing to do with black girls, and got teased mercilessly by the black kids for being a "loser" and a "nerd." Even though I've long grown out of my ugly duckling phase, feel that I have a way with fashion and feel that I can be attractive if I need to be, I still have those lingering feelings of insecurity about my looks. I've never had a boyfriend and have only been on a few mediocre dates. The only male attention I get is from creeps in public, which does nothing for my self-esteem. I know that I don't need men's approbation of my looks, but I would like to get positive male attention from quality men of character from time to time.

...I simply found it easier not to tell other black people about my personal struggles.

It is hard finding other black people who have been there and who get it. I hear you.

I also think the problem of having to fit people of color's beauty somewhere into a society that largely rejects that beauty really contributes to issues regarding self-image, self-esteem, self-worth, etc. Over a long period of time, low feelings in these areas can turn into a clinical problem. My sister's hair is literally falling out, but she will NOT stop relaxing it. I chopped off all my hair 18 years ago; I've 100% given up on trying to fit in. I may "look" better with long hair, but I "feel" better with short hair. I dunno whether it makes a good or bad difference. I would hope that my feeling better would be an advantage, but admittedly, it's not a guarantee. A lot of people (men) are stuck on certain looks, and I'm not one who can (or who even wants to at this point) meet those kinds of requirements. I've gotten to a point where I want to meet (and actually have met...but that's a LONG story) someone who appreciates that my energy goes into being a better person, not just a better-looking person. And it goes both ways, as I appreciate that he's not the most "attractive" on paper (i.e., not your "usual" man of character.) It's definitely a process of patience, but in the long run, it satisfies my sense of integrity...that I'm living my life according to my rules and values, and not doing the fitting-in thing. But that's just me.

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Even though I'm a "black woman" I was never raised in a "black community". It's a bit disheartening to hear that they aren't too much kinder to their own. Maybe it's because they don't understand mental illnesses all that much, and that prayer is always the default answer. I know friends & family are suppose to be there for you, but sometimes you have to find an option to speak with someone else.

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As a black woman with mental health issues, I can vouch from my own experience that the black and south Asian community are more than a little behind the times when it comes to dealing with this. I have a relative who has been institutionalised several times for schizophrenia and my family simply don't talk about him, it’s as if he's some kind of dirty little secret. This is why my mom is the only member of my family who knows I have depression. She doesn't even know the whole story because I know that she is uncomfortable about it. She is always voicing her concern that I will turn out like "you know who." So she doesn't know the full extent of my condition.

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As a black woman with mental health issues, I can vouch from my own experience that the black and south Asian community are more than a little behind the times when it comes to dealing with this. I have a relative who has been institutionalised several times for schizophrenia and my family simply don't talk about him, it’s as if he's some kind of dirty little secret. This is why my mom is the only member of my family who knows I have depression. She doesn't even know the whole story because I know that she is uncomfortable about it. She is always voicing her concern that I will turn out like "you know who." So she doesn't know the full extent of my condition.

Your family's hiding it won't make the situation go away. If only they felt more comfortable talking about things. I feel that I deal with that a lot, where I want to talk about something and put my feelings out there, while family and friends would rather shush me. I'm only allowed to be happy and talk about happy thoughts with them. That's why I have a lot bottled up inside. I don't always have an outlet.

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FiguringThingsOut.... It's good that we have an outlet here. My family have never encouraged open discussion, emotions were pretty much banned or at the least they were frowned upon. According to my father, depression is just a state of mind. Fortunately I have some friends now who will listen, they will encourage you to open up. I am lucky too as when I have experienced depression over the last year, they have been really supportive. I've been able to go & see a counsellor during work time, I was told I didn't need to make the time up, but I have done anyway. But it has been so refreshing not to have to hide any of it.

My colleagues all knew i had suffered a bereavement (though only a few know that he was my abuser). when I started counselling, my boss asked me how I would like my absences explained. So I said, lets just be totally open, if someone asks I don't mind them knowing I'm seeing a counsellor. I just thought, why should I hide it? I have no problem with needing help. In fact if someone had asked why I was having difficulty, then if they really wanted to know, I probably would tell them.. Since then, all I have had is support. I am very grateful for this as work seems to be a place I can be myself. And on most good days i do feel comfortable about myself.

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Hi Tessar,

I'm glad that your employers are so supportive. My previous line manager was less than helpful. However, my current line manager is brilliant. As are my colleagues. I take comfort in knowing I can say something to someone, even if it isn't someone as close to me as I'd like.

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I believe that as a woman of color, who is in some ways an "invisible" minority, I often feel that I have to be silent about the racism/sexism I encounter because people don't take me seriously. I have to deal with not fitting into certain beauty standards and this has not only affected my self image, but also how I'm perceived by others, including those in my community. I am too white for some and too black for others. I have to become my own advocate and make my voice heard because that is the only way to make a change.

I can relate for the most part. White people write me off as dumb and condescend to me, while black people give me drama because they think that I act "better" than them. I grew up thinking that I was "ugly" because I found myself more attracted to white boys who wanted nothing to do with black girls, and got teased mercilessly by the black kids for being a "loser" and a "nerd." Even though I've long grown out of my ugly duckling phase, feel that I have a way with fashion and feel that I can be attractive if I need to be, I still have those lingering feelings of insecurity about my looks. I've never had a boyfriend and have only been on a few mediocre dates. The only male attention I get is from creeps in public, which does nothing for my self-esteem. I know that I don't need men's approbation of my looks, but I would like to get positive male attention from quality men of character from time to time.

...I simply found it easier not to tell other black people about my personal struggles.

It is hard finding other black people who have been there and who get it. I hear you.

I also think the problem of having to fit people of color's beauty somewhere into a society that largely rejects that beauty really contributes to issues regarding self-image, self-esteem, self-worth, etc. Over a long period of time, low feelings in these areas can turn into a clinical problem. My sister's hair is literally falling out, but she will NOT stop relaxing it. I chopped off all my hair 18 years ago; I've 100% given up on trying to fit in. I may "look" better with long hair, but I "feel" better with short hair. I dunno whether it makes a good or bad difference. I would hope that my feeling better would be an advantage, but admittedly, it's not a guarantee. A lot of people (men) are stuck on certain looks, and I'm not one who can (or who even wants to at this point) meet those kinds of requirements. I've gotten to a point where I want to meet (and actually have met...but that's a LONG story) someone who appreciates that my energy goes into being a better person, not just a better-looking person. And it goes both ways, as I appreciate that he's not the most "attractive" on paper (i.e., not your "usual" man of character.) It's definitely a process of patience, but in the long run, it satisfies my sense of integrity...that I'm living my life according to my rules and values, and not doing the fitting-in thing. But that's just me.

frangipani, that is very true! I am VERY light-skinned with "delicate" features. So as a woman of mixed race who looks mostly white, I struggle with how I am perceived. I've had both long and short hair at different times in my life. I will admit to feeling prettier and more feminine with long hair, but I also realize that this is mostly because of social conditioning. I contemplated going natural last year and stopped relaxing my hair for a while, but started worrying about how I would take care of it, what people would say, etc.

So I still relax my hair and for the most part it is long, thick, and healthy. But one day I plan on cutting it short, going natural, and maybe even experimenting with a bold new color.

And what you said is true about POC developing low self-esteem because of racist beauty standards. When I was growing up, I looked white so I was rejected by Black people but some whites and other minorities called me the "N" word because of my curly hair. I also have a friend who at 30 years old, still has issues with herself because she is dark-skinned and she was told that dark-skinned women are ugly.

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I also have a friend who at 30 years old, still has issues with herself because she is dark-skinned and she was told that dark-skinned women are ugly.

That is sad to hear. People complain about white people being the worst towards black people, but I feel that black people can tend to be the worst towards other black people.

FiguringThingsOut.... It's good that we have an outlet here.

Yes it is. Here it's okay for me to not be happy and smiling all the time. Outside of this forum, people can't handle my not being happy all the time.

I wanted to add something that came to mind after I posted in the obsessed with celebrities thread. Years ago, when I was a teenager in therapy, I was told by my therapist that my issues with black men may be because of my father. At the time I thought "gross! I don't see my father that way!" I've had many negative encounters with black men, who come off too strong, too aggressive, too sexual, and violent if they don't get their way. My father was physically and verbally abusive to me, and my therapist at the time thought that I may have written off all black men as violent and aggressive. I felt that at the time I may have had more negative feelings towards them, but I've had more positive experiences with black men as I got older. Nothing romantic, but finding friends and the like that don't fit stereotypes.

Looking back I can finally understand what my therapist was getting at. It is hard to overcome mental programming and conditioning though. If I had a negative thought about black people, I'd be written off as racist against my race. It's not fair.

Edited by FiguringThingsOut

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...I also have a friend who at 30 years old, still has issues with herself because she is dark-skinned and she was told that dark-skinned women are ugly.

You only need to see models like Georgie Badiel, Naomi Cambell and Iman to know that dark-skinned women are as beautiful as any other.

Edited by SufferInSilence
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