There comes a point for every POC, after you have “awakened” to the virulent and systematic nature of your own oppression and that of others, after which your life simply will never be the same. Everything from your life beforehand is called into question–things you said and did, the words and lessons of your parents, and BS societal motifs like the “American Dream” and America being “the land of opportunity” as well. All of these things are suddenly cast in doubt because you just didn’t get it then, and hindsight truly is 20/20.
At this point, too, even the friendships you made during that time require reexamination. “Best” friends you had from beforehand are suddenly evaluated on whether or not they actually get these issues or not.
And then there comes a scary point when you realize that the vast majority of them actually do not.
And as you continue to peer backward, a haunting realization slowly creeps up your back, telling you that those friendships can and will never be the same. The closeness you shared so deeply will be swapped for distance. The support and love you had nurtured over years will slowly turn to ambivalence. Those friendships will not be what they once were in light of your awakening, and as painful as your awakening has already been, it will now also require you to leave behind many of your close friends as well.
As if the pain of oppression wasn’t hard enough already.
But at the same time as you are realizing all of these things, you know that having your awakening was still arguably the most important moment in your life. You know that you’re starting to understand these issues, and how they fit in your life and that of others both like and unlike you. You know that you are standing on the side of justice and up against what is just fundamentally wrong and unjust in the world. And you know that your conviction and love for doing good will be able to carry you through that painful transition at the end of the day, as you slowly find a new community of people who actually do get it and care about these issues as much as people should.