T/W: Mention of Drugging
By Tanay Adams
Black women have historically been the most powerful, magical, resourceful, and intuitive people on this planet. We’ve constantly seen how listening to and following Black women has changed the course of history and saved lives, yet people love to paint Black women as ‘crazy’ and continuously proclaim that we “do too much. Whether it’s calling to know where you are throughout the day, telling you not to eat the food at a specific place, or advising you to go by a particular store rather than the one that’s convenient to you, Black women be knowin’. The ability to sense lies, danger, and potentially traumatic situations have been passed down to us from the Black women in our lineage who endured unimaginable violence. This sense exists within us so that we do not have to experience this same trauma. This deep sense of knowing has kept generations of Black folks safe, fed, and provided for, and it is still as powerful today within Black women as it has always been.
My mama used to tell me when I was younger that every time I didn’t listen to my Holy Ghost, I would end up looking stupid. I didn’t fully understand her then, but as I got older, every time I was about to go somewhere or do something, and I ignored that feeling in my chest (for some folks, it’s in their stomach), I indeed ended up in some situations. One time, my best friend at the time started dating a guy that I didn’t like, but I couldn’t figure out why. Everyone in our friend group adored him, and he even would buy me things to win my favor because he knew that she and I were close, but it didn’t matter what he did or bought; every time he was around, my body would go on high alert. Whenever I would express how I felt about him to my friend and others in my friend group, they would chalk it up to me feeling jealous that she was dating someone and that these were normal feelings to be had when your best friend starts a new relationship. I loved her dearly and always wanted the best for her, so I knew I wasn’t jealous but couldn’t figure out why my attitude would shift so severely when he was around. Eventually, I just wrote it off as jealously as everyone said, and it made me feel like a horrible friend because this was her first boyfriend, and I knew how much she had longed to be in a relationship.
Two months later, my friend was leaving for a week-long trip with her family, and we had a girl’s night at a mutual friend’s house to spend time together before she left. We were all at the house, having a good time, and suddenly her boyfriend knocks on the door, upset that he was trying to reach her and she wasn’t picking up the phone. We were all confused about why he showed up at the house and why he was upset because we had heard our friend tell him that she was having a girl’s night and seemed cool with it. After they talked for a bit outside, she invites him to come in and chill for a moment before leaving.
Mind you, it’s girl’s night, so we’re all a little tipsy and loudly talking and laughing with each other, and he’s the only male there, looking salty. As an attempt to sweeten the sour mood he was permeating in the atmosphere, I asked him if he wanted a drink since we were all drinking. He said yes, and offered to pour the drinks since we were all playing a game, and he didn’t want us to have to pause. Long story short, he ended up mixing some kind of sleep aid in our shots, without us knowing, and drugged my other friend in her house and me so that he could have time with his girlfriend without us. When I woke up, I was pissed, and everything in me was like, “I KNEW something was off!” and though I 100% blame him for his actions; it was another reminder to me that I knew what the hell I was talking about when I said, “I don’t like him.”
My mama refers to this “sense” as her Holy Ghost, or “the Spirit of Discernment,” and some like to refer to it as a feeling, intuition, or the ancestors communicating with them, and to all of this, I say; yes. Whatever your preference in naming is, know that what you are feeling is real and is occurring within you to protect you and everyone and everything associated with you. To be completely honest, it took me an extended period, several heartbreaks, and several traumatic situations to get me to listen to my intuition, even though she is rarely wrong. This personal act of self-gas lighting was not something I came up with on my own, but reflected what everyone else was doing to me in society. As a Black woman, I am constantly gas lit when it comes to my body and my feelings; this happens in personal relationships, at the doctor’s office, at work, and in other common situations.
When I express to others what my body is telling me about a situation or person, I’m described as being too sensitive, over-exaggerating, or jumping too quickly to conclusions, but rarely is my concern taken seriously. This, in turn, has created unnecessary doubt within myself and my feelings, and it has taken time for me to listen to myself with absolute certainty, THE FIRST TIME. Only when I began trusting my intuition more than the people around me, and even my own eyes, is when I became more sure of myself and who the hell I was.
The Black women before us were so sure of themselves that they betted their own and families lives on their intuition; it was this act that is why we are here today. It didn’t fail them, and I believe it won’t fail us. I am seriously urging Black women to believe in themselves again, to listen to their intuition. She is real, your feelings are real, and you are not doing too much; you could never! When we truly harness this generational gift within us, we continue the legacy of the Black women before us as we birth and protect generations and generations after.
Tanay Adams – Tanay M.A. is a contributing writer for the Pedestal Project, LLC. Tanay’s passions lie in holistic education and creative/poetry writing; both are heavily influenced by her love of Black Women, and her love of creation. You can follow her on Instagram @theamazingtanayzing.