Thank you for the invitation, Joseph.
Allison Washington
12

Thank you both, Allison and Joseph. I was unprepared for the trip I’d take in coming to this reply, but in a good way, I think.
I read each of the links you included in your original comment (Allison). 
I visited your site (Joseph) and read a little bit about you.

For the longest time, I had nothing to complain about, nothing to overcome. Only things to be grateful for. It wasn’t until this past year that I was introduced to the idea that maybe this wasn’t all true.

That everyone has something to overcome, even me. Why else would I feel strange attending a support group of ‘my people’ for the first time? It was only a dozen or so, but I’d never met anyone else with my sleep disorder. I’d spent 7 years thinking I was lazy, distracted, and had terrible time management.

Why else would I have such a reaction to recollections you’ve each written about parents?

I’ve not been shamed for being white either. And I agree that to have pride, you must first have shame (simplifying, but in general). I’m not sure if my own shame is sufficient. Is anyone’s? I would say yes, if we fully experience and go through it. And accept that like anything else, it’s not all or nothing. You don’t just go from shame to pride. Once you recognize it, it will crawl forward and slip backward, depending on the situation, for years and years to come.

I think I’m somewhere near the beginning of that dance, and I truly appreciate hearing and learning from people like yourselves who have been at this a bit longer and can show me a different step.

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