Chapter 19: Hero with the Wrong Answer
Empress & her Spectacle: Hero with the Wrong Answer
Remember when teachers would say there are no stupid questions? Well, at the age of 23 I finally realized that the proper reply to that is there are many stupid answers before the right one comes along. At some point, we have to realize that when it really comes down to it, it's pretty easy to seek emotional refuge in the wrong people.
Trust for me and my ilk comes as easy as breathing diamonds. Anyone who knows me should know how I feel about the diamond industry. So those moments where I step outside of my cactus box and share genuinely or ask for help are tremendous steps. I get scared. Scared of rejection or judgment. I step outside of myself and try to solve my issues on my own. I don't ever recommend that method. Solo quests while initially probably very efficient eventually wear you down. It's a common narrative that black women are strong and can do everything by themselves. From raising kids to being a CEO of a big business. People sometimes find that who they admire are symbols of strength. Instead of realizing, that the projection of their perception can hinder that person from seeking help.
With that being said. I've stepped out my social media image and asked for help. Forgetting that with the image of strength people perceive me to have, people tend to suggest that I can tough it out. It's not that simple for us strong-willed types. The severity of any issue with mental health, people of color, artists, and women (all which are not mutually exclusive topics and align together all the time) should always be greeted with an openness and seriousness that is often lost in passivity. Teaching yourself to listen, and be present in a space to help, advise, or support is difficult. Too often we think the best form of support is spouting advice. Where in reality the best method is to assist the person with processing their circumstances and helping them find a solution. Think of it as not you answering the problem, but rather helping them answer it themselves. We all are capable of coming to our own conclusions, but sometimes a little help is needed to get there.
Hero Spotlight fails, are you still a Hero?
There are spaces where our advice does not suit the time. Spaces where expertise is misplaced, and where empathy is required. Allocating our time to help our friends is usually a given. Jumping through time and space, or catching a lift on the Tardis to assist our loved ones or save the world is just a daily thing. We all channel a little bit of heroism in our souls. Though when the batman spotlight shines and someone needs your help the expensive heroism falls short. Despite the failed heroism you still claim the illustrious label of hero. Perhaps a friend, your strong friend, came to you in distress. The moment of heroism was swept away and in its place, you significantly turned down being a safe space for your strong friend to be weak.
How do you come back from that? Gadgetry and fancy suits might be a good start, but no its better to actually step back and let your friend just vent. Yes, your friend is strong in your eyes but more than likely that person doesn't feel strong 100% of the time. It's exhausting to live up anyone's perception of strength. I needed someone, but people get caught up in images and just think everything is okay. Smiles, success, memes, and vents on social media mean very little if as the friend you're passive in support. Promise, dear reader that you won't just share tweets, and numbers during the next brief social media spotlight making a spectacle out of death and despair. Check on your friends, check on your strong friend, and don't become a space that excludes the people you love so dearly.
Passive advice, during a time a crisis is the worst for those going through a journey all on their own seeking help. Trust me i've been on all sides of the coin for advice and support gone wrong, Empress Jade