Being bi-racial, Taylor Newcomb spent much of her life trying to understand where she fit in her family and in the world. She also needed to understand where she fit within herself and the all-important question, who am I? Newcomb, a resident of Sioux Falls, South Dakota, embarked on a journey of self-discovery that led her to GirlTrek. She shares her #BlackGirlHealing story of finding herself and sisterhood with BlackDoctor.org.
I often joke that I am the literal “Black Sheep” of my family. It’s true that the way I view the world differs vastly from the way that the majority of my family members do. But the world views me as different, too. I am a bi-racial woman; my biological father is a Black man and my mother is white. I have yet to meet my father, and have spent the whole of my life being surrounded and influenced by my mother’s family.
Where Do I Belong?
As a young girl, I longed to fit in with them. I remember feeling ashamed of the way that I looked, praying for lighter skin and straight, sleek hair. I couldn’t understand why I looked different. Standing out always felt more like a punishment to me than a blessing. As I got older, the chasm between myself and the only family that I knew began to grow wider.
At home, my mother struggled and vented her frustrations with styling my hair. My younger siblings would tease me about the size of my lips and the golden-brown hue of my skin. At school, it seemed I was constantly fielding questions from my peers about whether or not I was adopted. They’d crack racially insensitive jokes at my expense or tell me that I wasn’t a real Black person, whatever that meant. I didn’t dare share these experiences with anyone, fearing that they wouldn’t understand and that perhaps they’d become even more aware of how different I was. The isolation that I felt only grew deeper.
My inward struggle to accept myself and find my place soon became a battle with depression. I remember spending large amounts of time holed up in my bedroom. My self-esteem was non-existent and I had little drive to take proper care of my body and my mind. The concept of self-worth did not exist in my world at this time and if it had, I imagine I’d have thought my worth to be very low, if I had any at all. Thankfully, this all began to change in my 23rd year of life.
I happened upon an Instagram account belonging to Alexandra Elle, a Black woman who wrote beautifully about self-love and care. I purchased her first book, “Words from A Wanderer,” and devoured it as though her words were the nourishment my aching mind and heart were so desperately in need of. After reading and re-reading her book of daily affirmations, I began to recognize the magic that had …