Isolation: Not Mommy's Fault

Lex - Posted on 09 April 2013


In the largest, creaky-est, most beautiful Victorian house on the block of a suburb of Detroit, resides the most beautiful Puerto-Rican, Filipina, Japanese, and White family. Each member of the family locks themselves in their own room.  The silence and loneliness in a house that is a home to 9 people is unnatural- frightening even.

Sounds like no one is home. But, we are all home- with me in my big, empty room, sitting on my bed, sobbing, using any sharp school supplies in my room to pierce through my skin of my stick-thin arm.  Wanting to control the pain on the outside cause I wasn’t able to control the pain- the cycling self-deprecating thoughts on the inside.

“One of the ways abusers gain control over their victims is by isolating them.  It is often one of the earliest signs of a domestic violence relationship.”  Perpetuators control their victims this way.

Not only that, “One in three adolescents in the U.S. is a victim of physical, sexual, emotional or verbal abuse from a dating partner.”  That was my reality- at 15 years old.  With my then boyfriend-17 years old.

But I thought it was okay because that is what my mom said.  My dad treated her worse.  She was stronger cause she endured mistreatment longer.

We didn’t know that capitalism forced us to disconnect us women of color from each other.  Made us feel like being in relationship with white man (who colonized our brown bodies) made us more successful. Or that the cycle of violence in families are often passed down from generation to generation. 

I didn’t know that. And I was fast to blame my own mother.  (Mommy-what I still call her, at 27 years old)  Why did she model that it was okay to date a white guy that treated us, women of color inferior?  Why wasn’t she there to support me when I needed her the most?

Clearly the men were committing the abuse, but the deep pain I felt inside was from my own mom. Because she was really me too.

There is an urgency to immediately decolonize our own minds. 

I just need reframe the questions to-

What can we do to heal from the pain from these patriarchal white supremacist systems?  How can we (my mom and I) feel closer and rebuild our relationship??

It is a revolutionary act-challenging the cycle of isolation and bringing my beautiful family together. Talking about issues without the resentment brewing inside, as we sit in our rooms alone.

As Tiny Aka Lisa Gray-Garcia from POORmag puts it:

“Colonization destroyed women of color, Our mamaz, internalize and perpetrate pain, depression and anger on their own poor bodies of color, bad-food- eating, unexercise-getting bodies. And then we, their daughters, are encouraged by the same colonizers, and Euro-centric, western belief systems who destroyed us and our indigenous ancestors.   We’re tryin to survive and resist Capitalist lies and teaching ourselves back what was stolen from us. It isn’t easy. Inter-Dependence Never is.”


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