Leaving The Pity Pool: On Internalized Messages and Echo Chambers

When I was a teenager the mother of a close friend cautioned me about the dangers of swimming in pity pools. Even with that warning I made the mistake of entering one. Even worse was the fact that my pity pool was tied to my identity as an African-American woman. What should have served as a source of joy was too often treated as a burden, my race and gender linked in my mind to the notion of suffering. It would take the combination of a sobering critique from a friend and a TED Talk  to shake me out of my mental stagnation. In this vlog I discuss my uncomfortable realization that I had a self-defeating and negative mindset and how began the process of moving way from it:

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A native Seattleite and recent East Coast transplant, I have been interested in politics, religion, and race from the day I saw “The Autobiography of Malcolm X” on the bookshelf belonging to my BFF’s mom back in 1991. While my zealotry has thankfully diminished with maturity, I remain the deep thinking, passionate, and humble woman I have always been. I reside in the suburbs of NYC with my husband, daughter, and our two feisty but deeply loved cats.

2 thoughts on “Leaving The Pity Pool: On Internalized Messages and Echo Chambers

  1. I have read your work, and I have never seen you as a martyr. I have always seen you as an intelligent woman who was passionate and outspoken where so many others would choose to remain silent, due to racism or internalized oppression. You would have a martyr complex…if the things you were talking about were relegated to the past, or merely figments of your own imagination, but they are not.

    Not speaking on things doesn’t make them go away. Righteous indignation and speaking for marginalized groups (and who is more marginalized than the Black woman) isn’t something that should be shamed or dismissed.

  2. I enjoy your work, and I’ve learned a lot from you! I understand, though, if you’ve assessed your writings and come to certain conclusions about yourself. Perhaps you found you were only sharing one side of the (your) story and this is why you critiqued yourself in this way. I appreciate what you’ve shared here and plenty of past posts. Thank you for teaching me more about your experiences in life!

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