This applies to every day of the year, but since the holidays are approaching it seems like a perfect time to write about this.
It’s so easy for people on the outside to say, “Oh you can suck it up for one day.” Frankly no, I cannot suck it up for one day. I hate rocking the boat. I hate making waves. I don’t enjoy confrontation. But I do it because where there is something threatening my identity as an adoptee, woman of color, and human, I need to stand up for myself.
I wasn’t always like that. I compromised a lot of myself so I wouldn’t make waves. I let the racism and microaggressions slide because I didn’t want to make a scene. I listened to those people who told me I should be able to put my feelings aside for one day, one week, one event… all so I could keep the peace.
As I’ve processed my story more (yes, not just the adoption parts) I’ve realized that I’m not doing anything wrong by standing up for myself. It’s not me that’s the problem. If peace is what people want, then they should treat me as an equal human being. But, why am I responsible for how the day goes? Why do they get a pass, but my reaction to their toxic actions is what defines the day?
We deserve more than to give sad smiles in response to the racist jokes and comments about how we aren’t really family. We deserve the same respect as everyone else. We are not bad for standing up for ourselves. We are not heartless if we do not forgive.
Whoever you are, never ask someone to accept toxicity and aggression just so you can have a pleasant day. Being able to ask that of someone comes from a place of privilege… a place where you are not threatened by the behavior you want them to accept.
My Adoption Story Pt. 55 | I Pick My Own Battles