It’s more than my brain’s unbalanced chemicals. It’s hundreds of years of colonialism. It’s the guilt of leaving my country for its oppressor. It’s being first generation migrant in a post-first generation society. It’s my only surrounding community hyphenating -American into their identity when my ancestors and I never had the choice. It’s being asked to cite and source my experiences to validate them.
Because when I post my frustrations my white Facebook friends have to one up me. Because those I called my friends hit me with “do you want nachos with that” jokes whenever I dare grace them by sharing my Spanish. Because those “friends” skip my cafre music cause they don’t like listening to foreign music, but European music is just fine. Because my White Feminist friend lets that shit slide knowing full well it’s wrong because I was never a favorite. Because they like all my posts calling out the privileged but won’t share them to their own privileged audience. Because all my friends are white.
How am I supposed to walk into my university’s mental health facilities in West Virginia and get the help I truly need? So that some white person can sit there and tell me that I don’t have to place the burden of my isla on my shoulders without understanding that they’re complicit in piling on the weight. That the chances of whoever is there to guide me in my healing likely voted for the exacerbator of my illness.
My creative writing classmates always have the same note on my writing. “Too much Spanish”, “had to Google Translate it”, “not everyone can understand it”. As if I already didn’t hand hold them with context clues and follow up translations. Because I didn’t write it for them. Because I DARED not write for them. They stay quiet in class and don’t turn in notes because my essay is littered with the word gringo and themes of colonialism but I have to read about their friend who hurls racial slurs over Xbox chat as a funny descriptor.
Depression is commodified, it’s a tear jerker and sells empty TV shows when it’s the specific “they never should have been sad” depression. So my depression passed down from my Mami and all their Mami’s before them since Colón is too political, too controversial, too uncomfortable to treat. Because the treatment isn’t meds or therapy but liberation. Y me duele dudar que algún dia llegue.