On Tuesday, March 16, eight people were shot and killed in targeted attacks in massage parlors in Atlanta. Six of the victims were Asian and seven of the victims were women. To be honest, I had been tuning out of current events lately from emotional exhaustion. I try to stay on top of recent news as much as possible in order to be present for my clients throughout this pandemic. But time and time again, we have had so much sadness and hatred that I have found myself needing a break. On Wednesday night, as I was celebrating St. Patrick’s Day, I received texts from caring friends asking if I was okay. Confused, I turned and asked my husband if something against Asians had happened recently as I have been tuning out social media and news networks. Strangely, I somehow knew that my friends were referencing something that had to do with race even though their texts didn’t state anything specific. I then replied with, “Oh”, and didn’t say anything further. It was as if my mind and body was numb to all the hate crimes that have been occurring since the start of the pandemic. This shooting isn’t something new.
I am grieving for you and with you.
As I sit down and write this blog, I’m starting to have a rush of emotions coursing through my body. I am remembering the micro-aggressions I experienced while my husband and I were traveling across the country from Virginia back to California when the pandemic began. The times I had been looked at strangely, people keeping their distances (pre social-distancing requirements), and employees quickly wiping up the self check-out counters after I had used them. None of these experiences happened to my husband, who is White. And unfortunately, he has had to accompany me at every gas station and grocery store until we made our way home.
As an Asian-American woman, I have experienced micro-aggressions and harassment my entire life. “Can you see with those eyes?” “How are you speaking perfect English?” “You’re so exotic.” So many words, statements, and rushes of emotions that I have reached a point of becoming numb. But since when did this become normal in America?
My heart goes out to all the victims and their families, and everyone in the Asian American community. I am grieving for you, and with you. And as we grieve, we must also find constructive ways to respond to this tragedy. I am still present, to hold my Asian-American clients’ grief and sadness during this time while I hold my own. I am grateful for my friends and colleagues who have reached out and asked about my well-being. I am calling on our allies to stand in solidarity with those in your community who are experiencing systemic racism and gender-based violence. Let us rebuild and create a place that spreads love and kindness.
As always, if you have any concerns for your well-being or your loved ones, it may be time to reach out to a mental health professional. If you would like to speak about yourself, a child, or a teen attending therapy, reach out at 858-522-9415 for a free consultation today!
Asian Americans Advancing Justice
Asian American Psychological Association: Bullying Resources for K-12
National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum
OCA – Asian Pacific American Advocates