Life In Moscow, Update (Part 1) My Mentality
Hello, Dear Readers. Let me start by saying, Brava to you. If my past few weeks is any indication of society´s general vibe, I want to remind you to give yourself a pat on the back for surviving each day. Hopefully, you are not just surviving, but continuing to thrive and enjoy your life, regardless. I want to remind you that you are not alone in your efforts to live the life you deserve. And if its taken everything in your power just to make it through the day.... you should be beyond proud of yourself. Let´s not forget we are not robots. We are humans. We do NOT subscribe to "what doesnt kill us makes us stronger." The correct saying is "what doesnt kill us MAY make us stronger". If you arrive at your destination broken, tattered, and traumatized....is that considered "stronger"? Sometimes the journey is not worth the destination. Or sometimes we need to reroute because the path we have chosen is damaging, more than helping. And sometimes, we just need to pause, and recharge. Pausing and recharging is the option I have chosen lately...hence, the reason I havent blogged lately.
I love blogging. But sometimes i dont have the energy to create one with quality. And those times are when I choose to post on Instagram, because that doesnt take much effort. so be sure to connect with me there. Now, onto my Life in Moscow Update...
Though I have been keeping a steady progression with everything on my plate...my entire life came to screeching halt last week. I had a mini- emotional breakdown. Even as I blog right now, I am starting to tear up a little, thinking about everything I am trying to handle. Coming from a cult, I am used to being an outcast. And as Black American woman, racism and discrimination is familiar to me. However, having the ENTIRE world clump the entire country of Russia as a group of blood thirsty, war mongers has been heartbreaking, to say the least. I have been traveling here for over eleven years, and lived here full time for nine, so far. Would I continue to stay here if that was the general consensus of the people? Why would I exchange my life of racism against Black people in America to reside in another country that has just as much hatred in their heart?? The American government ONLY THIS YEAR are starting to pass laws that says Black CHILDREN can now wear their natural hairstyles in school (thats a minute example of discrimination in the U.S). Before that, kids as young as five years old, were being sent home. When i was in school, I put chemicals in my hair, to make it straight like white people´s hair. The chemicals are very damaging, and as of late, has been liked to certain cancers. Does that mean the ENTIRE country hate black people? Meanwhile, People are yelling for Russia to protest in a country that jails people for fifteen years if they do so. And yet, these very same people have no logical resolutions for the Russian protesters who will loose everything. These critics do not say "I will take care of your family, as you rot in jail." They sit behind their computer, in the comfort of their home and start spewing off at the mouth about people they have NEVER met. These same people have never protested a day in their life. My American friends are the main ones pointing fingers at Russians, though they have done Nothing about Black people being killed in their own country. They scream "Victory for Ukraine", but have never uttered to names Trayvon Martin, Sandra Bland, Dante Dwight, Andre Hill, George Floyd, Breonna Taylor....
They fill my inbox with rhetoric of why I should leave Russia. But the thought never crossed their mind of leaving America after the death of Alatina Jefferson, Aura Rosser, Stephon Clark, Botham Jean, Philando Castile...
I have lost friendships with people because they feel I am against Ukraine since I continue to enjoy my life in Russia. Are you freaking kidding me?? It saddens me to learn they were never real friends. Before the war started, the American Embassy in Moscow was urging Americans to get out the country. They didnt say why. But they insinuated Russians will start hurting Americans as a retaliation tactic. Meanwhile, my performance booking have increased, due to foreign performers´ fearing to come to Russia. I have watch my Russian friends lives change over nite, due to the discrimination against them. Many have lost jobs; and all of their savings. Many have family in Ukraine who have disassociated themselves , declared they are no longer family. And ALOT have family that have died in Ukraine, or missing. As an empath, I tend to hyper- empathize with others. I believe it comes from being in a cult, where youre encouraged to put other people´s feelings before yours, even if it means to the point of devaluing yourself. But I digress.
Though America is constantly entangled in wars, it is never on American soil. This is not the case with Russia. The citizens are used to feeling direct conflict. Though Moscow is hundreds of miles away, I am reminded in my everyday life of the bloodshed taking place not too far from me. I am enduring bouts of anxiety and depression. I was at a fellow musicians house when they told me that their two latest shows were canceled, due to them speaking out. I was in shock. The two days I stayed at their house, I constantly checked their front door to see if a red Z was painted on it. I urge them to not allow their emotions override their reasoning, and have plan B, before risking their entire career. Some of my friends want to tag me in their anti posts. But when I remove the tag, or ask them to untag me, they see me as some kind of traitor...but that is not the case at all.
As many of you know, I have performed for American troops in the Middle East. But that did not mean I agreed with the war taking place over there. I am a Musician. Not a politician. My job was to bring joy to the soldiers. And I made the trip SEVERAL times. I have the ability to separate the feelings i had from the soldiers needing a taste of home, and from their cause. Today, I have the ability to detach my life in Russia, from their invasion in Ukraine. It´s no more logical to think I support the war because I live in Russia, than to believe all non Blacks who live in America supports racism against my people. Their are large communities of Russians living in the US, as well as Ukrainians. But I do not remember any MASS exit at ANY one group of people in history as Black people continue to fight for justice. Suddenly, I am either for or against a battle that doesnt involve me? In addition to loosing friends and support across the world, ....local friends have allowed their emotions to condemn me bc I prefer they leave me out of their posts of disapproval. The entire world´s volume was at 10, when George Floyd died at hands of the police, but Russia and Ukraine remained silent. Should I have accused them of being compliant to what happened?
The life I have chosen to lead was built on purpose by MY choices alone. It has taken me years to strip off the remnants from being raised in a cult. And I´m still not done. I still suffer from PTSD that I am learning to manage on a daily. And as strange as it is in the eyes of others, I have found peace in a small corner of the world that happens to be in Russia. Its only been about four years since I realised that god wasnt going to destroy me for leaving the sexually-abusing- infested sector. Until then, i lived my life as a zombie, with no roots nor home. I have my own mental wars, triggers, and battles that I must manage. And to be stuck in the middle of being an outcast again by people i love only triggers memories of being disassociated by those I lost to the cult.
This is how my life is going in Moscow.