Writing Life: Over Reactions: Am I Addicted to Research?

“Let me get this straight,” I began. I was overreacting. I knew it when I felt the tingling of blood rushing into my fingertips as I dialed the number.

“I’m just going to put you on hold and a specialist will be able to help you,” the representative had said.

I admit my lack of coffee and my recent addiction to research have left me closer to the edge than usual. I’m researching reuniting the African American/Black American family after the Emancipation.  The research is often painful—the stories of children being stolen from their parents; of parents divided from babies they would never hold again; and of people stripped of everything except hope—the utter despair between the facts and within each story is painful.

“You’re asking me to hold again although I’ve just told you I was on hold twice for twenty minutes each without any one coming to the phone?”

“Umm…yes, the best way to get the issue resolved is…”

“Is for me to hold in the hopes that this time someone will answer?”

And so I knew when I called to straighten a problem out for my child that I was overreacting.  There was a time when as a black woman I wouldn’t have been able to speak up to protect my child; a time when no matter how someone hurt my child the only protection I could have offered was silence. Perhaps that’s why now I feel so strongly about doing protecting my children that I will protect them from things they don’t need my protection from.

“…No; for me to transfer you to a specialist; they will definitely answer.”
“Do you transfer differently?”
“Is the way you transfer different from the way the other two, the representatives who transferred me until no one answered, transferred their calls?”

She was a customer service agent who came in between my daughter and what she wanted

The research made me do it would not likely stand up in court any more than it stands up off the page.


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