Anyone who knows me is aware of how important it is for me to honor my little-girl-self. This daily act comes as a result of a difficult childhood where the feelings and actions adults often took precedent over my own. In turn, I felt my feelings very quietly – in late night writings in my journal, in the world of books where I could fall into someone else’s story, in art where I learned that artists could make art with their pain and in TV where I could turn up visual distraction to turn down my brain.
And if you know me really well, you know I am obsessed with cats – mainly Hello Kitty – and unicorns – hence my identity as a Black Unicorn.
So when I discovered that Lego character Unikitty had her own show, I was all over it.
She reminds me a lot of myself. It’s not simply about her being as adorable as everyone tells me I am as they view me through my history as a sweet, smart leather girl (an identity I am still having trouble shedding as a newly identified genderqueer femme presenting woman, an identity I am ofcourse still working to understand as I feel more and more aligned with trans identity everyday – a questioning gender discourse that warrants another post). Unikitty feels her feelings as strongly as I do while having the responsibility of running her kingdom along with an action team of her brother Puppycorn, Dr. Fox, Hawkodile and Richard.
The difference between me and Unikitty is that she is very much willing to feel her feelings out loud. Her emotions, confusion and love are expressed by her cheeks and in Sparkle Matter, shapes that literally fly from her crown when she has a feeling (okay, we are actually similar in that way). But Unikitty’s anger changes her sweet, pink, loving body into a hot, red kitty that throws fire and destroys everything in her path with her rage.
So here’s the episode that really hit me like a ton of feelings bricks: Episode 6 – Fire and Nice.
On Problem-Fixy Day, Unikitty invites all the Lego folks in the kingdom to bring there problems to her to help solve. The real problem is that Unikitty’s rage side grows out of control with anger over the pressure of having to fix people’s problems in ways she does not want to. So she asks Dr. Fox to remove her rage kitty out of her so she can be nice all the time without getting angry. This obviously creates an even bigger problem: as Unikitty stays nice and agreeable, her separated rage kitty grows and grows until it destroy’s the kingdom. She realizes that she cannot remove her rage from herself, that she has to live with it and work with it so she can express how she really feels.
When the episode was over, I was a crying mess with the waterworks on full blast.
Earlier that day, I was sitting in therapy talking to my therapist about how I am afraid to have my anger. I’m afraid of being seen as a stereotypical angry Black woman, unsure of how to show my anger since I’ve only known how to deal with it by drinking and breaking things and whats worse is I punish myself for having anger in the first place, particularly when it comes to my divorce. My therapist gave me a puzzled look when she leaned in and asked, “Are you really punishing yourself for being upset about your divorce? A relationship that you were in for almost a decade? Ofcourse you’re sad and ofcourse you have every right to be, feel and express your anger. There must be some logical part of you that knows that going so far as to beat yourself for having those feelings is completely unfair.”
And ofcourse, my therapist is right. After spending years as my own personal sadist, I find any reason to beat myself for having feelings that I need to feel. Self-punishment has also functioned as a way to avoid dealing with the feelings all together. If I spend all my energy making myself wrong for even having the feelings in the first place, I will never have the energy to even begin dealing with them. I am finding it even more difficult to face feelings of anger and sadness while I am experiencing so many successes post divorce – starting a business, getting the writing gig of my dreams, receiving a new love in D/s relationship where I am blossoming as a Dominate Mama, beginning a new gender exploration that is redefining my commitment to myself. I am doing so well, it is hard for me to deal with not always feeling so well. In many ways, I’ve learned how to manage sadness but it is anger that I am still really struggling with. Watching Unikitty destroy her own kingdom in rage reminded me of the following: just because I am excelling, doesn’t mean my achievements have completely eradicated my anger.
I am a fire kitty filled with rage constantly blocked as to how to express it.
But Unikitty has taught me something. As I learn how to navigate expressing these feelings, I’ve been communicating how I feel in all forms of sparkle matter. I thank my sweet new boi for this as they are just as big of a fan of Unikitty as I am (in fact, I think of them as my Richard). On the days I find hardest to express how I’m feeling, they ask me “tell me in sparkle matter.” And as I imagine question marks, explanation points, thunder bolts, raindrops, misshapen hearts and memory bubbles flying from my crown, I imagine that one day soon I’ll be able to work with my anger the way Unikitty does.