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Sometimes I forget you’re there. But you come back. You remind me that you’re still around.

Bile comes rising up and froths at my trembling lips. It’s hard to imagine you used to consume most of me and that I thought it was normal to walk alongside you, pointing, laughing and making others feel small.

You take over and I watch you insult others. You hurt with your ego-drenched vitriol. Some call you the ego, but you’re a lot worse than that to me.

I don’t want to confront you, but it is necessary. I need to grow and for that you must not; you cannot be allowed any strength. I know that facing you is hard, but necessary, like when I wrote letters to my heartbroken self and younger self.

Those set me free in some way. They began my healing. To know who I am, I must know who you are and where you came from. Why you wont leave me alone.

I was talking to a group of people who told me that its so hard trying to remember you are, because we are so conditioned to be someone else.  We are all trying to be different – better, bigger, whiter, cleaner, harder. They were talking about what it means to be black in a world so predominantly white, that while trying to fit in, they forget who they really are. We all want to fit in and be accepted as we are.

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I am just trying to be my self.

You come back as patronising words and condescension, and then I am reminded how far I’ve come, but also how much more work there is to be done. I am reminded of you and I laugh when I think how I called people with glasses “four eyes”, or “bompie” (fatty) for people bigger than you. And then I get spectacles and I gain weight, and the universe laughs and points. But I am fine with it. I know this is my journey. A friend on Twitter tells me how she was teased for wearing spectacles as a child and being heavy, and you’re grateful to have met her when you (former bitchy self) were not at your peak.

You’ve shrunk. You’re ashamed to come out. You should be.

I reprimand you and put you in your place. I could use harsher words and even violence, but I know that we are one. You might always be there, just in different forms.

I’m glad you’re smaller. I am glad you’re shirked in the corner. I know I have to live with you. I don’t hate you, but I do thank you.

 

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<p>Author <a href=”https://plus.google.com/102128103971030481396” target=”blank” rel=”author”>Jerome Cornelius</a></p>

 

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