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Tinu thousand 19. @Tinu
, 24 tweets, 3 min read Read on Twitter
Can I be an American born Nigerian for five minutes?

Around 4th grade my guidance counselor asked me what I did when I got home from school.

THEY asked ME.
I'd been seeing this old white dude on the regular. Didn't occur to me to lie. I thought my life was NORMAL.
So I listed some of my chores. In my mind, not a lot:

- housework
- laundry
- dinner for the family
- more dishes
- sweeping or mopping
- trash etc.

Like what 9/10 year old can’t pop frozen entrees in the oven in the 80s. We were latch-key kids.
Come and see trouble.

They called my parents. And I guess scolded them?
Chores were redistributed among my siblings.

And it became a running family joke that I went crying to my school about chores.
Literally the passive-aggressive jokes about me snitching didn't stop until I was a teenager and confident enough to point out that I didn't snitch.

I just answered a question truthfully.
Not once was there a discussion about the REASON the counselor asked in the first place.

Nor that the fact I was in counseling in the first place was indicative of a problem.
I had skipped a grade. And was in the Talented and Gifted program.

This was the first Black neighborhood we'd lived in.

And they were trying to figure out why I didn't have friends, didn't seem to care, never smiled and seemed bored by school.
From here on, I was no longer the golden child. I honestly believe my parents were just repeating what they learned.

But things hurt me just the same.
Things like how sleeping past 7 on weekends meant I was lazy. That word came up a lot, lazy.

And as kind of a weird kid I thought "if I go back to being perfect it'll be harder on my sisters."
So I rolled with that rep. They found scoliosis, foot problems that needed inserts and back problems.

Never had an inhaler for my asthma.
But yeah, lazy. Not sick. Not too many chores to be in programs that expect you to do homework all afternoon.
Which one is depression? Face your books.

(By now the milder abuse from non-immediate-family-members had occurred.)
Even now I'm low key worried about

- how my family on Twitter will feel reading this,
- how other "real" Nigerians will judge me
- or if my Black American friends will think I'm doing "you think YOU had it bad."
When my point is really - not every community in Africa is patriarchal - or was before Colonizer - so how much if Superwoman syndrome was brought here on slave ships?
How much might be revenge for matriarchal community preceding it?
Who saw my mother as lazy? Since it’s a common curse from the elders that we raise the children we were?
What’s the relationship between the pain of remembering how much I was called lazy/snitch etc & how hard I work to not be seen as either now?
How much did this factor into becoming a workaholic and possibly working myself sicker?
How am I 46 years old and just now discovering natural rest?

As opposed to pausing between complete physical exhaustion and working towards mental exhaustion?
And of course just the ever-present once-abled disables self-query - how much did living by BS like “I’ll sleep when I’m dead” contribute to my decline in health?
So. That’s what’s in #MySpoons today. Trying to understand and then grow and learn.
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