Scary Widow by Cheryl Barnes

Updated: Nov 17, 2019

Why do people act scared of me? This is quite the loaded question. I cultivated being feared at one point in my life: I was self appointed protector to my younger siblings and to my friends. When I had children, I became a fierce mama lioness who protected her cubs from all comers and naysayers with everything I had. When my Tony became ill, I became a stronger and smarter lioness to protect him from what the doctors were and weren't doing for him. I even had some doctors afraid to see me coming!...and in some ways, from his illness itself. But I couldn't protect him from death…. That isn't what this is about though. Why are people so scared of me? Once the idea of Tony's being gone had sunk in, I was not only sad and devastated, I was angry. Before I get into this, as I said, I already had somewhat of a reputation for being a strong, outspoken woman. Read that as “Angry Black Woman.” So when my grief anger rose, I personally didn't think much of it. But others did. People who hadn't backed away naturally due to Tony's death practically ran from me when my anger rose. I was bitter and I didn't care who knew it and worse, I lashed out. Recognizing my anger, I tried to cool it down some. I apologized a lot. But it was too late. I was abandoned by more people. I felt sorry for myself because I had even fewer friends than before. I alternated between being angry because people couldn't recognize why I was angry, and overwhelming self pity. It just cycled over and over. I think another reason people are afraid of me is they simply cannot relate to me now. I was a wife for so long and Tony was my king. I am now a Queen without a King. Does the Queen command the same respect and love from others as she before if she's forced to rule without her partner? Time and situations say no. Are people afraid because they think death is catching? Are they afraid my husband's death will rub off on them? I believe that to be a real fear for some. Tony and I were a couple, and then he died. No one wants to admit that it could happen to them, although it most certainly will. Maybe they think if they have to talk to me, it will come to them faster? That must be it. Are they afraid my depression is contagious too? Yes I have depression in “partial remission,” as my doctor says. But I'm still depressed and many people just don't understand issues concerning mental health. Maybe they are afraid I will need their help in some way.. I had no life insurance, just two children and mountains of debts. They have their own issues...they surely don't want to help me with mine. Staying away from me will help people avoid having to see how hard things are for me. Perhaps people are afraid to talk to me at all. After all, if they ask how I am, I may mention Tony's death and start to cry. What should they do then? I'm supposed to be beyond that behavior now anyway...but I'm not. No one wants to see that. Are people afraid to see me trying to date? I still grieve my husband but not having love in my life is not an option. Looking for companionship isn't a bad thing...and no, I'm not looking at your man for that. Also if I'm dating it means I've forgotten him…? No, not going to happen. I wish people weren't so afraid of death. Then people wouldn't be so afraid of me. They instead might learn some how strong everything I've been through has made me. How my boys love me even more fiercely now because of how our lives have changed. Or how many things I've learned that I can do because there's only me and I have to do them. I've learned to take more risks. I've learned to think about things in new ways. Live is all together different now. I've learned to embrace that. I feel that in spite of my incredible pain at losing my husband, I have gained immeasurable power within myself. Even on days I'm brought low by grief, I manage to rise and keep myself and everything else moving. Ah. That's what people are afraid much stronger I have had to become to simply live. Huh. Oh well.

#CherylBarnes #ScaryWidow #Anger #BlackWoman

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