Cite Your Sources
Yesterday, I did my first Your Inner Lily IG Live that expressed the importance of sharing my vulnerability; but also, introduced my theme for the rest of the month. Our theme is How the Anti-Abortion community effects Black Women. A theme that I think many will understand and few may not. A theme that needs to be discussed much more in our communiteas*.
As I was talking with one of my girlfriends the other day, I shared what I experienced when I made the decision to terminate my pregnancy. I shared my hesitation to share this experience with my Your Inner Lily Communitea and how it would impact my personal relationships. Despite my initial apprehension, after this morning’s response to my IG Live I feel it even more important to Speak Up.
Before discussing my situation I would like to pose a few questions to the audience. They are relevant in understanding how I will share this experience; and why validation is not necessary in some cases. I do not plan to answer all these questions for you but implore you to look into them during personal reflection.
Why is it important to cite your sources? Is it because you don't want people to think you plagiarized your work? Or do you want people to know where you learned your information? Why is plagiarism a thing? Why do people steal the work of others? Why is it an assumption that if someone shares their opinion, they are claiming to be an expert on the matter?
Do I have to write a disclaimer on every post that says these are my opinions? I struggle with validating myself for others. Every step of the way I had/have to explain my intelligence and the validity of my experiences. I never claimed (or claim) to be an expert on anything other than myself and my experiences. I speak from my experiences. I speak in response to the information that I have researched myself.
When I write something, often my research comes from my experience and conversations with others. However, sometimes, I have to step outside of my purview to see more (often new/alternative) perspectives. In research however, sometimes I find it difficult to give light to some of the speakers that have opposing views. This is mainly because I do not want to give more exposure to their (sometimes) polarizing views of how the world works.
This month I want to refresh my Your Inner Lily persona. By that, I mean, I would like to once again be completely open and honest without the question of how others will receive it. I know that some of the things that I say will not be received well. My purpose though, is not to write for everyone, but instead write for those who need to see it. To walk in my own authenticity, I cannot get caught up on what people may or may not agree with; but instead focus on what information I can and want to share. Today’s post is just an introduction to my perspective and a contextual prequel to the blogs to come.
Now, back to the the topic of How the Anti-Abortion community effects Black Women. Here is a little bit of backstory about my personal experiences.
It is also, note-worthy to say that I did not make any decision by myself or just for myself. While that is the situation for some, it is not for me. I made this decision with my partner and we both agreed that this was the best decision for me (primarily) and us (secondarily); for a number of reasons.
During this extremely pleasant pandemic, I experienced the difficulties of pregnancy yet again. I went from:
“Don’t do that Sis, that’s definitely gonna get you pregnant.” to -
“Damn, I just did that anyway; it’s above me now.” to -
“Yikes, I told yo ass.” to -
“Wow. Am I dying?” in MAYBE 4 weeks.
From the very beginning, everything I experienced with Kimei was happening, AGAIN.
When I said, “Am I dying?” some may think that was drama. It was actually my reality. Anyone who had the pleasure of assisting me through 2018, can tell you that I struggled for 40 weeks...straight. Everyday was a different challenge that I would not trade for anything in the world. I made it. I was privileged enough to have a medical staff and support system that I trusted and felt comfortable with the entire time. I, unlike so many other Black Women, was able to safely deliver our baby girl on January 9, 2019. It was one of the best days of my life. Back to 2020…
As I evaluated what was happening to my body, I was also understanding that the conversation with my partner would be different this time. The turning point in the conversation was hearing, “You may not want to hear this but, I don’t think I want more kids if this is what you will have to go through.” Those words to me, were both unexpected and very well received. It was like a lightbulb illuminating my apathetic reflection of the moment. Was I willing to endure another 40 weeks of life-threatening challenges, which were already physically present? Did I actually want to potentially experience another 2 years of Postpartum Depression and Anxiety? No. I wasn't. I didn’t.
With this realization, came guilt and shame, at first. It wasn’t until I finally told my mom that I felt unapologetic and true in our choice. While the process for me was simple, the aftermath...not so much…
Tune in Next Week for Part 2: Motherhood.
Cite Your Sources is the first post in this series because I needed to introduce:
What my Area of Expertise is? My AoE is Myself, My Journey.
How do I decide what is genuine knowledge and understanding? I equate experience to knowledge and research to understanding. If you reflect on your experiences and research the things you don’t understand your opinion is well-informed in some way.
When do I cite sources? I will cite sources that I support as being well-informed and diverse. Any other information will come from unnamed sources because you (the reader) can always form your own opinions. After all, as most things I say are just that, OPINIONS.
What is my experience with Pregnancy? Kimei was unequivocally the boss for 40 weeks straight. I was exhausted, weak, and could not eat just about 82% of the time.
What is my experience with Abortion? We made the decision to terminate this pregnancy at about 7-8 weeks.
Upcoming Posts in this Series:
Motherhood : a look into what it is like for me (and Black Women in general) to carry life; and how that affects the decision to stay the course or terminate.
Pro-It’s Your Body Sis : a look into my experience with an Anti-Abortion group; and the subsequent research and triggers that came with it.
Again, thank you for taking the time to hear my voice. So many of us grow through experiences we may not know how to process or express. This is a judgement free communitea; that works to dispel stigmas about experiences that are more common than they appear. If you or anyone you know, has a story to share, anonymously or otherwise, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Happy Topic Tuesday! Please engage with the polls that will be available on the YourInnerLily IG Story. Your Voice Matters.
*definitions to be later expanded upon