I guess it was the best thing for me to put my phone on silence one afternoon because when I finally glanced at the screen, I saw the 17 missed text messages. I browsed through the messages, which were all the same.

Often as women, predominately Black women, there is a taboo that since we are stronger then we can handle the pain.

My ex-boyfriend recently announced his upcoming nuptials and those who knew of our past were curious to know if I was going to his wedding. However, what they did not know is that I was not even invited to the wedding nor was I aware that he was seeing someone. Few months later, as I was scrolling down my social media, I came across his wedding pictures. An ocean of tears flowed down my face and I released a scream in my head that only I could hear. I was angry.

I tried to fake a smile and pretend that everything was ok. I was hurt. He had promised me a forever too. I was supposed to be the one that he said his vows to. This anger was hard to bear as my emotions spiraled out of control. Ephesians 4:26-27 states, “Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath. Neither give place to the devil.”

Sometimes, we mask the pain so that no one will be able to see it. If we are harboring anger, we think masking it keeps others from discovering the real you or it will actually make the pain go away. Therefore, we hide behind a variety of masks in an attempt to have others believe that we are not impacted by what has happened or there is no residue of the pain inflicted.

If we get mad and raise our voice then we are deemed as the “Angry Black Woman”. If we have experienced pain then it is best to stay silent as a Black woman because our strength has told us not to cry or show emotion.

Everyone, from every race, gender or socioeconomic status, deals with anger. Pain has a home and if you are not careful then it will stay longer than expected. Especially women, we have to police our emotions because we may not be rational when we are upset. Proverbs 4:23 says, “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it”.

Anger can come without words and all you can do is react prematurely. We feel something and it causes a reaction. Often as women, predominately Black women, there is a taboo that since we are stronger then we can handle the pain. If we get mad and raise our voice then we are deemed as the “Angry Black Woman”. If we have experienced pain then it is best to stay silent as a Black woman because our strength has told us not to cry or show emotion.

Even having a relationship with God, there are some things that you will encounter that will cause you to be angry – losing a loved one, break-up, job loss, divorce, and etc.

Even having a relationship with God, there are some things that you will encounter that will cause you to be angry – losing a loved one, break-up, job loss, divorce, and etc. When my mom died, I was angry at God. He knew I needed her in my life but He called her home. It wasn’t fair and bitterness laid at my doorsteps. When I lost my job, I was angry at myself for investing so much in a company that replaced me so quickly. I kept being optimistic but I kept getting hurt and it made me more angry. It didn’t seem fair at all.

Sometimes, it would be nice to hear that it is okay to cry and be defenseless. Or, it’s okay to express how I am feeling and I don’t have to be the shoulder for everyone to cry on or provide the emotional labor to the world. As a Black woman, society has made it difficult for us to be anything but strong. Yet, I refuse to allow anger to rob me of peace, live in unforgiveness, or be stripped from enjoying life to the fullest.

Article first appeared in Broward Christian Voice.

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