As a Black Woman, I’m Either Hyper Visible or Utterly Unseen

I was only five years old the first time I mentally code switched and went into another person’s experience. My father was never able to handle the pain caused by the sickle cell anemia I was born with, and it was in the throes of a painful sickle cell crisis that I learned he couldn’t cope with hospitals. Children are very perceptive to their parents’ emotions, and in that moment I could feel his terror and helplessness pulsing within me as if it were my own. During that experience I decided that I had to be strong for the both …

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