I was born and raised in Borrado Territory, part of the Tāp Pīlam Coahuiltecan Nation, in the area now vulgarly known as Monterrey, Nuevo León, México. Disrupted, bordered, the Tāp Pīlam Coahuiltecan Nation was torn between two state apparati, feeling as if it belonged to neither.
I descend from mostly Borrado and Guachichil ancestry, seasoned with European – predominantly Iberian and Gaelic. Thus, I am racialised as Mestiza, as the majority of the population in modern Mexico and other parts of today’s Latin America: products of the territorial, sexual and psychic invasion of White-appearing Europeans unto the indigenous residents of Turtle Island, Anahuac and Abya Yala.
I am also – and I often fall prey to the same mistake in official monitoring forms – wrongly racialised as Latinx. While, geographically and slightly culturally – there are cultures within cultures – I do fit into the descriptor of Latinx, we need to be aware that Latinx is not an ethnicity: some Latinx are racialised as Black, others as White, others as Mestizx, or as Asian in origin, or as native of any of the original tribes – also, remember there were other tribes before them, already assimilated into the predominant systems that were ruling way before chariots and vessels abroad ever considered asking for royalist funding.
But loosely paraphrasing Hannah Gadsby, what I am the most is tired. Tired of reductionism, of pity, of milk of sorrow and separation from the Earth, of detachment from the surrounding and inner cosmos. Tired of a blind denial of the unknown, of pseudo-intellectual and social enlightenment leading to darkness. Tired of edgy postures and their thousand paper cuts. Of persistent trauma and drama, underlined so many times the original words have long ago faded and only liquid see-through highlighter remains. Of placing more stones on my chest rather than digging my way out. Digging my way through.
In Buddhist psychology, the primary feelings give rise to the secondary feelings. For instance, the primary feeling might be fear, and the secondary feeling could be the aversion or resistance to this feeling.
The primary pain, in my case, in our case, lies in the ancestral and the historical. Not just what the deepest roots of my collective tree went through, but also the family tree patterns of abandonment and this lifetime’s echoes of these invasions and abandonments. These being pawned and discardeds, these mockeries.
In pasts and presents, shame as a secondary emotion reigns supreme. The timeline leads to being continuously embarrassed, crestfallen, resentful. The spit in my mouth tastes like bile. “Why me’s” promptly followed by “because me’s”. If I were less myself, I could escape, surely. And if I didn’t let others be myself around me, it would stop us, would stop me, from an horrendous familiar fate.
It does not. In fact, it brings it closer.
Elsewhere*, I’ve said “shame” is the number one killer in my family. Feeling it against ourselves, then spreading it to others. I have noticed, even in other cultures and backgrounds, the case repeats. Even within circles that are all about “pride”, the fingers won’t stop pointing at the tiniest inconveniences, eyes that will stare at your errors until you erase yourself. In their darkest, very constant hours, these fingers leave prints on their own chests. These stares shatter mirrors and windows. Erasers are rubbed on one’s forehead, ‘til they reach the tip of the toes.
The inevitable grief is then monitorised. Someone leaves and then, tip of a knife hovers over your throat. The sense of abandonment is threatened with more abandonment. Shame. I’ve seen the kindest hearts made to dunce in a corner.
I am tired of the embarrassment, of the resentment. Of the weights on the warlock’s diaphragm.
So, today, I declare, I’m no longer ashamed. Those who left way before me are no longer ashamed.
We’re not sulking in cisterns, we’re now stretching in waterfalls.
The resentment won’t eat us before we feast on justice.
No one is getting grounded. No more social exile.
No more hovering threat. We’re now free. We survived.
Even those who in their lifetimes fell. They survive now through me.
No amount of eyes, knives, erasers, will detach us again from the cosmos around and inside us.
Our tree roots know no borders. No love without compassion.
You are safe with me. I’m safe with me. I’m safe with us.
Whatever we are or were, we are people of this Earth. We belong. It’s our turf. Time to breathe.
And if anything clogs our mouths, we’ll bite through it.
*I know, I haven’t moved out yet. We’re still on a bit of a lockdown, but a shift will happen in a very very near future.