I have become so accustomed to keeping my emotions in, that I have trapped myself in a tower deep inside me. In this tower, I sit on top of my feelings and emotions, my thoughts and memories, trapped in by my fears. Every Time I have denied myself the opportunity to express my emotions they filter into this tower and push me toward the top. At the top of the tower lies Crazy. No, there are no inventive names for it. It’s pure unadulterated craziness. Not the, she’s a little depressed or moody craziness, the she lost it, run for the hills crazy! It’s like the mouth of the beast a breathing, quivering, slobbering, hungry hole at the top of this tower that I am quickly ascending to. I can feel it shaking which causes me to tremble in fear. The fear, that soon this bubble will pop and I will have no control or filter for the feelings, emotions, or actions that will come spilling out. I know that impending doom is near. I want to cry, to laugh and to scream. To fix this problem I’ve caused. It’s been so long however since I have shown any feelings, that I can’t shed a tear. I am stuck. Trapped in this dark dank place with all my emotions and I can’t get out.

I want to cry so bad when the shadow of misery corners me, but I can’t. Even when the mountains of pressure, responsibilities, sorrow, and insecurities that surround me, fall on my shoulders, I can’t waiver and I can’t faint because I’m black and black women are supposed to be strong. We are the backbone of the family, the nurturers, teachers, supporters and in a pinch (which is most of the time) we are the disciplinarians, providers, and leaders of the family and therefore can’t afford to be weak! God forbid we be human beings! We have to be superwomen at all times and use our black girl magic to keep it all together.

We are told constantly that we can handle things that other people will break down from and have even been accused of being the problem when trying to deliver solutions. Black women are not getting the help and support we need because we are supposed to be strong because we are supposed to see the lesson in everything and move on. This is why a child can be thrown to the ground by a grown man while sitting at a desk and the first thing said is, “Well what did she do?” or when black girls go missing they ran away but white girls are kidnapped.


My whole life I was told to toughen up. I was jumped on by a group of 8th-grade boys in 1st grade and when I told, I was asked if I wanted to be suspended. When I was nine I found out that my dad was cheating on my mom and was blamed for them breaking up. At eleven I was raped, but nothing happened because I had to look out for his kids. I was bullied from pre-k through College for being smart, most of the time nothing happen to the bullies. My freshman year of high school I made these girls (that I didn’t even know) so upset that they had a gang waiting outside for me. My junior year I lost my virginity and got pregnant because he took off the condom and didn’t tell me. Then he told me the baby wasn’t his and didn’t contribute anything to raising him. My pastor proceeded to kick me out of all my roles in the church and an oratory contest that was going to pay for my college education because I had sex before marriage. But replaced me with a young man with a two-year-old. I’ve been in several abusive relationships including my first marriage. I smiled through all of these things and hardly cried, however, I am still called overly emotional.

Now I am going through my second divorce in 7 years. This was supposed to be it for me, the one, my forever. Instead, I am wondering how I stayed as long as I did and how I got talked out of seeing the writing on the wall for 2 years. I am hurt and angry! My heart feels like it received 1,000 paper cuts and was then soaked in alcohol. This pain is sitting in my chest making it difficult to breathe. It’s bubbling through my veins, coursing through my body, making all of my body parts stand at attention. My eyes, however, aren’t working properly. No matter how much I try to push this pain through them they are dry as a bone. I WANT TO BE WEAK! Even if for a second. I just want to lay in someone’s arms and cry! I want to speak my truth without thinking about making him look bad. I just want to release. But I probably won’t. Because I’ve been strong so long that now I’m stone. That is until I reach the top of this tower.

Remember Black Women are still women and every woman needs to be loved and protected like a little girl sometimes.

Bearing my soul to heal yours

Cherlnell Lane