i have mental health issues.
(there, I’ve said it)
Many Asian American friends have started to open up and break down dams that once held back a flood of painful stories. Physical abuse by his partner. Emotionally distraught after his partner left him. Attempts at her life by her own birthmother. Another case of sexual abuse. Rape. But the common thread that runs through the scarred is the realization that we are but tiny “model minority” students in this monstrous institution that simply denies our feelings of helplessness and utter emptiness.
i never knew that your silent screams would sound like mine
Something is wrong with our institution. We see therapists more often than professors at their office hours. There are no Asian American, let alone people of color therapists at Psychological Services. I have mistaken straight, white, male friends’ blindness and straight-up bigotry for my own shortcomings in the friendship. sorry and thank you. We spend more effort pretending to engage with dead writers of floppy, worn-out books than a person with different perspectives. Knowing that this institution chose me out of hundreds and thousands, just plucked me out of suburban Minnesota, makes me think that perhaps they thought me more malleable — “full of potential” and quite promising in their mission to craft more like-minded, money producing subjects of this hegemony.
warning: may cause dizziness
I don’t need anymore reminders that this is just a taste of the America I will have to suffer through. And as far as I know, no one has yet found a way to negotiate this painful reality. We are still taught to lead with the power, charisma, and boldness — and remain detached from emotions “like a man.” For heavens sake, smile in deference, young lady. Push down and turn. Succeed white. Pop open the cap. Swallow your yellowness — daily.
“why are there no therapists that are people of color?”
“oh, we have the black therapist. dr. johnson.”
White fatigue syndrome, I call it. Learning that not only do white friends not understand you and ignore your personal experiences, but that the institution actively supports their ignorance while simultaneously hindering your pursuit of learning subjects vaguely relevant to your life as a person of color in this country. Simply stifling protest with the absence of options.
Well, nice try. But you can’t drug my discontent away.