Lone Ranger : As I celebrate Juneteenth, I... - My OCD Community

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Lone Ranger

sparrows profile image
sparrowsIOCDF Advocate

As I celebrate Juneteenth, I find myself feeling disappointed and certainly discouraged with the continuous lack of brown and black involvement within this community. What can/must I do being a woman color with a mental illness, in order to increase the interest; as well as the numbers within communities of color? I’m feeling clueless?

For example, I went to the OCD walk this past weekend, in Oakland Ca. I made the four hour (round trip), because SF/Bay Area/Oakland reeks of diversity at its finest. I had high expectations of seeing people of color in high numbers. Oh how wrong I was. Granted, it was an extremely hot day for walking ( well into the high ninety’s) by early morning. But Lake Merritt, where the event was nearly packed with people of all color hues ; attending various events through out the park, including other walking activities.

I don’t think that I had factor in the possibility of my husband and myself being the Lone Rangers (POC) at the walk! But, we were the only ones. I must admit that I felt embarrassed in front of my husband. I knew it was not the lack of advertising or the affiliates fault, but rather the once again non show from communities of color. As we waited listening to the opening remarks; I was busy begging God to please, please, Pleezeee let just one other person of color show up! No such luck ☹️ As my husband and myself drove home in silence.. I felt a tear roll down my cheek, pondering what more can we do? What is it going to take ? Where’s my people at? What’s the answer to the problem..because I’m out of ideas!

Hugs

14 Replies

I'm sorry you felt/feel alone. Being a minority is no doubt hard at times (I don't say this from experience but observation) but those with OCD are an even smaller group and that probably has something to do with it. A minority within a minority, if you will. I hope you can embrace the things that make you you and unique, be glad that you could be a voice for those who feel the way you do, in that respect you can fight the very thing that concerns you about there not being enough representation. Take care and God bless.

sparrows profile image
sparrowsIOCDF Advocate in reply to PaperTigers

Thank you PaperTigers. I think because I grew up in Oakland, years ago I failed to remember that communities do indeed change. However, I was encouraged by the group of people who did show up..that’s definitely worth celebrating..hugs

Perhaps other POC folk fear they might be singled out for ridicule if they took part. It's a tough choice to expose yourself to.

I don't have any advice, unfortunately.

Cheers, Midori

sparrows profile image
sparrowsIOCDF Advocate in reply to Midori

Yes Midori, I completely understand that because stigma is still such a threat afterwards. Thank you for reminding me this is such an individual journey..hugs

alexandraisobsessed profile image
alexandraisobsessedIOCDF Advocate

Val,

I see this in the Latine community as well. I've had many message me privately to tell me they appreciate the work I'm doing and would love to participate behind the scenes, but are just too afraid to speak out publicly.

It is so so hard and I'm so sorry that you had that experience. I've had many thoughts on why it is that it's hard to get marginalized communities to turn out and my mind always goes back to systemic inequity.

Speaking from my experience as a Latine, treatment for mental illness has historically been something we do not participate in and I believe that a great part of that is lack of accessibility.

It's really really hard to find an OCD specialist who will work on a sliding scale and let you rack up debt right off the bat. It's also hard to even focus on educating yourself enough to find a specialist when you're busy trying to pay bills alongside your mental illness. I feel it's a self-perpetuating cycle.

Add in a culture that discourages mental health treatment and it's a recipe for non-participation. There are many other little factors too, but I think these are the big ones that I experienced.

Maybe there is something we can do to reach more people. I'm willing to help if you like.

Sending lots of love. I hope you had a joyous holiday yesterday.

Alex

sparrows profile image
sparrowsIOCDF Advocate in reply to alexandraisobsessed

You are such a jewel! Your grace and sunshine are beautiful, as well as encouraging. Please know that I appreciate you ..HUGS

alexandraisobsessed profile image
alexandraisobsessedIOCDF Advocate in reply to sparrows

You made me smile SO BIG! I'm so happy my words brought you some encouragement. I appreciate you as well and I'm so so so excited to meet you at the conference! **HUGS**

sparrows profile image
sparrowsIOCDF Advocate in reply to alexandraisobsessed

Ditto

I suppose it must feel lonely, but you are part of the solution. Too often women and people of colour hold themselves back from speaking up - the notion that it isn't our 'place' to speak up becomes ingrained in us. I've trained myself, as a woman, to speak up, and I'm pleased that other women have as well, but still the doubts remain: am I being relevant or will I say it well or am I merely stating the obvious etc - and those doubts are there although many people would say I'm opinionated!

I'm originally from Toronto, which I think is the most multi-ethnic city there is, and when I came to live in England at 11 it felt really foreign (although my parents are English) - all these white English people! And a lot of people treated me as a foreigner, particularly at school. But the area gradually became more mixed. I felt more at home, and not many years later we elected a girl of colour (Asian) as head girl.

I think in the area of mental health, it would be good to make sure therapists, psychiatrists, mental health nurses etc of all ethnicities are aware of the problems encountered by black people in a society that is still racist and white dominated. Experiences of racism, whether big or small, add up to trauma. And those experiences can be internalized - no matter how much you know you are worth as much as anyone else in your head, the wounds are still there inside you.

But just by being here you are helping to break down barriers. And more black and brown people will hear about it and be inspired. And that is good for all of us.

sparrows profile image
sparrowsIOCDF Advocate

Sally skins, I can’t thank you enough for your kindness and words of encouragement. I take comfort in your words, knowing that I am alone in my journey and perhaps more importantly in my feelings. As I grow older and hopefully wiser; it becomes more apparent that life experience’s that go unseen, unaddressed, and deemed unimportant; shapes so much of who you are.. life constantly reminds me that I’m Black! Despite being totally comfortable/proud of the skin I’m in, it’s wonderful to know across the ocean there’s someone who cares. Hugs

sparrows profile image
sparrowsIOCDF Advocate

Not alone

God bless you from an Aussie 🙏 We are all equal in the eyes of the Lord.

I applaud you for going!!! Thank you for that. Hopefully your example will show others that they also should involve themselves next time. I'm sure there are plenty of stigmas yet out there concerning OCD. We are doing better, but still takes time?

sparrows profile image
sparrowsIOCDF Advocate

Thank you for sharing and your kindness

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