The Culture that Raised Me...Part 2/8

Poverty and the hood can be fertilizer for thoughts and feelings that you're not good enough. Especially if you grow up in a culture where attaining certain things equates to status and value. What does it mean when you don't have these things? What is it like to grow up in a culture where not having... can put you at risk of being ridiculed, bullied, eat away your worth. Cause you to try to be things you aren't just to survive and avoid pain. Poverty, or being just above that threshold, can exacerbate feeling like an outsider, not fitting in, or being worthy in your community. And our brains are so complex about the messaging sewn throughout our childhoods, creating the garments we wear today. Some of those garments need to be reevaluated, deconstructed, thrown away, and replaced with garments that fit and support us, right? But people don't often stop to consider how some of their childhood messaging has become unconscious automatic thinking and habits (**therapy can help you with awareness in these areas). Did you know that certain cultures have habits...and standard ways of doing things....but we'll get into that latent automated processing later...


For now, know that our brains are fantastic and unique. It's amazing how the brain sops up specific memories like a biscuit sliding on a plate to get that last swivel of gravy—the minute details. I remember my cousin's purple and green striped polo shirt that he let me wear to school....(because the quest to look like you were cool was a matter of life and death in middle school...bullying tho, not at the level it is today, was still trash). Well, maybe he let me wear it, or I snuck to. I don't know because I did a mixture of both back then. I vividly remember hiding in the basement, waiting for everyone to go to their rooms, so I could sneak upstairs without being seen in his polo shirt. It's not like I was going to get beat up or something....it wasn't fear; it was shame... I was ashamed, and I felt powerless and unsafe.


But then there were other areas where I felt valued and safe. I felt valued at church because I could sing at a very young age. I felt valued at school because I loved reading and consistently scored high in reading on those CBS tests (who remembers those DC public school tests). I felt valued at school because I was smart, was told I was brilliant and could craft and make things. I believed it. I wrote songs and poems in elementary school. I made pottery. I sang in the glee club. I did punch embroidery. I was forced to go to church, and I had my graham as my best friend when I felt lonely or misunderstood. All these things were happening, but at the same time, so was hell...


Leave a comment & stay tuned for part 3.


What was some of the messaging from your culture or childhood?