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Mbonde’s Musings

Welcome to my blog where I integrate the personal and the political, my academic and artistic self. As a Black feminist anthropologist-in-the-making, this is where I process how my lived experiences with motherhood and mental health intersect with my research interests and my professional identity as a writer and a scholar.

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Madness & Single Motherhood

I think people assume that those of us with a “severe” mental health diagnosis would be the ones in need of caretaking instead of the ones doing the primary caregiving. But here I find myself, almost three years postpartum, a single mom and a mad one at that. When I started my journey as a parent, I never imagined that I would be embarking on this journey alone. I guess this may be the experience…

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Addiction & Codependency

If it was not obvious from my last few blog posts, I am going through a lot right now! In the spirit of speaking my truth while upholding my integrity and respect for others’ privacy, confidentiality, and anonymity, I am writing about a deeply inter/personal experience only sharing the lessons and insights it has given me that may help a fellow survivor. As I have continued to work on myself and move through some intense…

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Mad Love: Don’t Say You Can’t Live Without Me

When I was younger, I thought phrases like “I can’t live without you,” “You are my world,” and “You give me purpose” were romantic. Codependency was the central ingredient to what I thought was the most beautiful love story. Forbidden Love. Us Against The World. Your Ride or Die. These were all the chapter titles of my future romantic memoir. As an empathic enabler who has historically minimized my own pain and amplified that of…

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Mad Love & The Dilemma of Domestic Violence

It’s time the community of Mad, Neurodivergent, and Mentally Ill people contend with the violence we experience within our community and the violence we may inflict on others. Given the stigma against our community, it is understandable why this has not been a public conversation. I am not trying to play into the stereotype that we are inherently violent and have tendencies to random acts of violence like school shootings and attacking strangers. More often…

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Meditations on Mad Love: Using Lessons from Polyamory as a Roadmap

I have been thinking a lot about love lately and the importance of unlearning certain cultural scripts about how love should be, including it being only between a man and a woman or monogamous. While we have witnessed great strides towards openness and equality in who and how we love, I am still challenged by the fact that there is barely any conversation around Disabled, Neurodivergent, or Mad love. I have been thinking about this…

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