Sisterhood Saved Me At A Time When I Least Expected It (Christina)

For as long as I can remember I’ve been presented with these false narratives. Narratives that perpetrated the belief that women are catty, jealous, bitter, and incapable of nurturing and maintaining genuine relationships with each other. We have of course also been presented with positive displays of sisterhood in movies, television, and magazines. I just couldn’t help but notice the overwhelming number of portrayals that depict women in a light that made it seem slightly unrealistic for women to possess drama-free, healthy, and stable relationships. Portrayals that failed to show women who aren’t always in competition with each other. Women having light hearted fun with each other. Women trusting each other enough to be vulnerable and free in each other’s presence.

These depictions had such a heavy impact on shaping the way my peers and I viewed and approached the idea of sisterhood. I recall young girls being reluctant to develop friendships with other girls because they had soaked up beliefs that boys made better friends on account of being more “trustworthy” and less “dramatic”.

Despite being fortunate enough to have had many friendships with other girls throughout the course of my whole life, I found myself also giving into these beliefs and narratives at times.

As some friendships transitioned or even faded away completely, I began to question the validity of sisterhood and its importance. I remember going through a stage where I felt like isolating myself from friends to focus on my little family. I felt like I didn’t really need many friends and became afraid of building new relationships with other women for them to eventually fade away. Scarred by one or two friendships in the past that had fallen apart, I confidently boasted “no new friends”, not realizing how much I was blocking my blessings.

Last year happened to be the most challenging year of my life as it was filled with disruptive moments, marital issues, health scares, and confusion. At the beginning of that year, after making a personal decision to move back to my hometown with my daughter and husband, I began working full time at my current job — a change that was initially made for financial benefit also became extremely beneficial for my personal growth and mental health as well.

In the past year I’ve been blessed enough to have developed new beautiful, meaningful and solid friendships with some of the most inspirational women I’ve come across with in my life. Many of whom I currently work with.

I am surrounded by a team of women — women of color — who share a common goal of protecting and serving disadvantaged children who have been placed in foster care. Women who are passionately committed to their work in the child welfare system and aren’t afraid to voice their concerns and share their ideas. We gather daily and have thought provoking conversations about how we can better cater to the needs of the population we serve. We have conversations about racial and gender politics. We sit around each other during breaks and share stories of our romantic relationships and pictures of our children, nieces, and nephews. We share lunches together that serve as sessions to vent or to laugh uncontrollably. We link up with each other outside of work for food and drinks, just chatting the night away not even conscious of all the hours that are slipping by. In these moments we spend together, nothing else matters much. Around the time I began to lose hope in the promise of sisterhood, sisterhood arrived and showed me it’s worth and I couldn’t be more grateful.

2018 did more than just create new friendships for me, it allowed me to build even deeper relationships with women who were already in my life and opportunities to re-kindle some friendships as well. I spent day after day chatting with my good friend in Maryland. Despite the distance, us bonding daily had become routine. We just “get” each other. We’d bond over talk about men, shared memes, beauty tips, and even detailed talk about our sex lives. The acronym “TMI” doesn’t even exist in our space. I also began spending more time with my childhood best friend as well. Time that consist of playdates with our daughters who refer to each other as sisters too.  Words can’t even explain how much it warms my heart to see our daughters playing and professing their love for each other. I feel so blessed when I see my sister kiss and hug my daughter tightly as if she was her own. She has added value to my life, and my family’s as well. She’s right there when we need someone to depend on and she knows I’m always here to return that favor, reinforcing the belief that “it takes a village to raise a child”.

Recalling these many moments as well as the ones I’ve shared with my sisters from work is comforting to me. Moments where we’ve shared remedies with each other for our sick babies. Moments of sharing each other’s pain with talks of the sleepless nights, the c-sections, and all the times our children nearly gave us heart attacks lunging head first off anything they can get on top off. We somehow always manage to turn these fearful moments into a series of jokes and non-stop laughs.

Despite whatever life threw my way last year, these women give me endless reasons to smile and the will to push forward. It’s these moments that embody the essence of sisterhood. Knowing that you have a team of women around you, guiding and uplifting you, can make you feel so magical. These women inspire me to be the best version of myself that I can possibly be. I’ve made it a point to do for these women all that they do for me. I faithfully believe that together there’s nothing that we can’t accomplish. We have created a space where we can affirm each other and remind each other that we are loved.

This is the beauty of sisterhood and how powerful it can be. My sisters have completely dismissed any notion in my mind that suggest women aren’t capable of establishing healthy and dynamic relationships with each other. I look forward to all the years we have ahead us and I wish the same for all women.

This post is written by Christina Wright, as part of DEAR QUEENS’ Sisterhood Saved Me series, dedicated to honoring, celebrating, and inspiring black female friendship.

Christina Wright is a 28 year old Caribbean-American Brooklyn native currently working in the foster care system. Also the co-host of the All Ways Wright podcast, a position shared with her husband Calvin. The role she's most proud of is that of Mother to a precious 3 year old girl. When she's not at work, concentrating on multiple creative projects, or spending time with her little family, she's busy exploring museums or dancing around in whatever private spaces she can find to the sounds of throwbacks from the 90's.