I’m taking a class later this month entitled, “CREATING A VIBRANT FUTURE WITH OUR PARENTS AND FOR OURSELVES”. It’s being taught by a 30+ year mid-life specialist. I guess that qualifies me eh? Lol.
So, a large part of my days have been spent facing things I normally avoid, not realizing how many freakin problems and stress I create for myself unnecessarily. My goal this week was to pick one thing, and one thing only to face head on without turning the other way. Hence me taking this class so that I can learn about and develop a plan for taking care of my mom in her older days. I felt a twinge of fear when I read the heading because I knew that her struggles with her health and mental well-being would only increase and get worse over time.
You haven’t heard me talk much about my family because it’s a pretty sensitive topic. On the real, shyt can be really phuked up sometimes and I feel like I’m the parent and sole person responsible for a 50 year old mom and a 20 year old brother that has no real example of what a black man should be. These two people have caused me so much stress, anger and at times loss in my own life that I have totally detached myself emotionally and in a lot of ways physically from them. I’m not sure if I can ever get the emotional and paternal connection with my mom back. I care for her, but I can’t remember the last time I hugged her for real for real. There’s a numbness there.
My sense of family is kinda phuked up. I pretty much keep to myself, me and my daughters, and we make moves as a unit together. Just us. I’m the one that could really care less about getting together on holidays or birthdays or whatever because that shyt really doesn’t mean anything to me. I’d much rather be doing something else. A ‘holiday’ is just another day. I know all of this comes from somewhere but I never really asked myself why I didn’t get excited when the opportunity to gather as a family group came about. That could be a number of reasons…
Perhaps it’s because I have no real sense of home really? I don’t even claim Atlanta as my native spot despite me being here for so long. I was born on a military base in NC, my dad was a gunnery Sgt and I think the Marines made him phukin crazy lol (in a funny way). I know nothing about my birth place let alone where it is. We spent my entire childhood moving around the country and abroad. Kicking it for 6 months to a year, and then we’d be out. Anyone I’d even begun to call friend became an instant memory, only with them you couldn’t add water and stir it with a spoon to make it all fluid again. They were gone forever. I wasn’t close to my dad, and the things I did see of him where things no black girl should ever see in the home but, whatever. My mom was no saint either and whom I often times feel was the catalyst in the majority of their battles. Regardless, I honestly don’t feel like I can pick up the phone and rely on them to be there for me when I need them…even if it’s just getting a break from the kids or an ear to listen. I remember one time I got drunk and sent my pops a long email just talking about my life and what was going on. About the men I’d dated, his granddaughters that don’t know him, and just random shyt about the drama that my mom’s and lil bro were going through. At the end I put, “Just thought you might like to know how your old family was doing.” Nevertheless, I feel as though I have no safety net in family. I fall, oh well. Do you know how scary it is to live your life feeling like you have no foundation of support?
Regardless of that reason and the others I won’t get into, I am who I am. And now I am faced with the haunting reality that I’m going to have to make sure my mom is straight and that this is kinda urgent. I need to start putting these things in order now so she’s not stuck in some home somewhere wallowing in her own poop for days. Not gonna happen. It’s scary because both she and my brother depend on me so much. Too much. My mom emotionally a lot of times. Sometimes she just calls to talk to me about whatever and I’m just holding the phone. I give her more life advice than she does me! She tells people I’m her best friend and I wanna say, “I’m not your phukin best friend so stop telling people that crap!” How shyty of me to think that huh? I have four children and no best friend anywhere in that equation. Some days I don’t even answer my phone because I know somebody needs something and honestly I don’t feel like helping anyone with shyt anymore. The last time I sacrificed space in my home, my time and my money they phuked me over and did it raw. It was affecting me and my girls so adversely that I had to step away.
Yes, we all go through things as a family but with mine and those two, it’s a vicious cycle. It’s like they act first, think later, and then call on me to clean up the messes they’ve made. It’s been this way all of my life with my mom especially. All is cool, then it’s not, and then you are made out to be the bad person because you had to draw the line, even though you were the only mofo that was around to help their asses when the griddle got hot. Then, when the iron cools down…they’re happy again and want to come around and spend time with me and the girls like everything is cool. What the FUCK! I can forgive all day, but when you do the same shyt so many times how can I forget? Because of this I have become emotionally withdrawn from the both of them for my own sake and well being. I have an issue with that and to me it’s abusive when it turns into a cycle that has run rampant all of my life.
I think that this last incident that spanned the course of 6 long months with my mother, father and brother has really put me in a place where I’ve pulled the plug and have said phuk it. But how can you do that when it’s ‘Family’? As much as I want to be left alone they still show up unannounced at my crib at 9am or want to hang out ‘just because’. At this point I want to be done but I can’t. Both of them rely on me so heavily that it’s upsetting and the stress kills me at times. My attempts to break away don’t do much good when they know how to find me and how to get into my gate even if I don’t answer my phone. Lol. Which leads me to the truth that I, JUST I, will be the sole person responsible for taking care of my mom in an even greater capacity as she gets older. She’s got some serious issues, as we all do, and she’s working on them and I support…but I know that she won’t be in the position to fend for her own when that time comes. If I had loot I’d just buy a house and let her do as she pleased. But that’s not reality. Reality is that I have the worries of two little girls that I’m fending for on my own, and one hitting college in 4 years. My problem is that I want to help everyone I can, but I’ve realized that my generosity has made me a sitting target for manipulation and an easy way out. When I stand up for myself I get shyt from 1999 thrown back in my face topped with a…”Don’t forget where you came from.” I wanna say, “Do you even know where you’re phukin going?”
I’m sure this class will help me put things into perspective and exercise the options that I’ll have when my mom becomes my sole responsibility but…where does that leave me?
The burden is heavy.
Filed under: Flicks
“This is what raw beauty looks like to me. It reminds me of the home I’ve never seen, tasted or touched.”
Hi friends…had to take an impromptu hiatus (for 8 days) lol. As usual I’m a working dog that’s constantly looking for ways to work smarter and not harder but…damn! *shaking head* Either I want this or I don’t right?
I’ve been looking over all of the wonderful comments and emails that you guys have left me over the past few days and I just have to say thanks so much. I know I sound like a broken record but I TRULY enjoy the fact that people can relate to my experiences from the A to the Netherlands! J That’s so dope. If you’re a writer at heart you know exactly what I’m talking about.
I can’t explain the joy and fulfillment I get when I read your notes about your own personal things going on and how similar we are as a human race. It’s interesting how we find solace through similarity whether good or bad. I’ve realized through this project that regardless of race of background, our experiences are similar in a lot of ways. So yea…black girl is still around and you’ll be hearing what’s new on me soon. For now just enjoy the photo above and think about what beauty in pure and raw form looks like to you. Email your pics to firstname.lastname@example.org by 5/30 and I’ll include them in an upcoming post. Don’t forget to tell me WHY your photo represents true beauty in two sentences or less. We all want to hear what you have to say, especially me. 🙂
Now enuf of that soft shyt and back to business.
this is a long one. I owed you! 🙂
I chose him on purpose. He’s an African one at that. I wasn’t surprised when I heard myself blurt to the front desk attendant, “I need a black man.” Lol She paused and looked at me kinda funny like, Beech wut? Which prompted me to further explain my statement. “I’m saying I just want a black doctor. All black.” She blinked blank on me before taking a deep breath…exhaling an “ok.”
There was a reason for that. Let’s just be real. We all have issues that we battle on a regular basis. All of us. The thing that differentiates us is the way in which we handle those issues. Some swallow them in whatever coke or liquor they can find. Others ignore them all together but can often be caught scratching their head wondering why their lives are so phuked up. Then there are those, like me, who want to become better people and are willing to face their deep rooted fears for the sake of a better quality of life.
A couple of weeks past and I’m at my first visit. I get to the office (on time for a change) and dared myself to back out of it all the way there. I even stopped at Starbuck’s to give myself time to ‘rationally think about this.’ See, the last time I tried therapy 4 or so years back it was a nightmare. I was a young mom with two small children in college and working a day AND night job. Need I say more? Back to the nightmare, this doctor was white. He had a tall flanky older lady as an assistant who asked me all of these crazy azz questions. She dug deep under the principal that it was for, “background gathering purposes.” Yea eefin right. So, we got through the whole questions thing and the actual therapist dude comes in with starch white hair. He sits down and says hello before he instructs the flanky lady to “in one minute or less tell me about black girl’s life.” This bitch blurts the facts plain and unaltered from the beginning to that point, the words hurled toward me like bullets. The truth was going to eat through my skin at any moment. In one minute this lady was able to summarize my entire life leaving me a wounded soldier lying helplessly in the ambush. I’d never heard someone else tell me about the life that I knew and I remember. I was thinking, “damn my shyt was phuked up!” lol. I never went back because the experience was so painful.
Nevertheless I got over that and have pretty much entered into a new set of ‘thangs to address’. Kinda like being promoted from Jedi to Jedi Master (or however you say it). Now that I have been able to focus on myself and truly get to know me I’ve grown to dig the chick in my skin. She’s pretty cool if I say so myself! So, when you’re diggin someone -you invest in them no? Investing in me had grown to become a priority as my life as mommy became more and more flexible. Part of that being addressing my issues, facing them one by one, and getting to the heart of it all…
Dr. Amenyori (name changed) pulled a rolling chair from around his desk, swung it in front of me and sat in it. He was tall and thin with blue black flawless skin. All motherlandish and stuff. He was dressed casually and his office seemed very modern compared to my usual perception of high back chairs and antique paintings hung over piles of dusty books. Amenyori’s office, on the other hand, was filled with bright color combinations and square plum colored furniture. The couch was my home. He reached out to shake my hand. It was strong and firm. “Pleasure.” His accent sounded British, but I only knew it was African because it was the same as Leonardo DeCaprio’s dialect in ‘Blood Diamond’. LMAO! Yea I need to get out more.
Amenyori smiled to reveal a huge picture perfect grin. I searched for my father somewhere in his eyes but…nothing. Wasn’t surprised.
Before he could get the first sentence out I said, “You know why I chose you right?” I was bold and confident. All defenses on go.
He laughed and said, “Because I’m one of the best in my field and come highly recommended?”
I snarfed a, “uh no.” Shrugged my shoulders and crossed my legs at the knee. “Because you’re black,” I huffed.
“What is the difference between a white specialist and a black specialist?” I could tell he was going into quizzical mode. He began tapping his pencil on his thick raggedy notepad that was frayed at the ends.
“The difference is that I can identify more with one than I can the other,” I answered.
“So you have to be able to identify with someone you talk about your life to.”
I shook my head a few times quickly and gave a frustrated, “Noooo. I’m not just talking about my life to you. A white man doesn’t know a black woman. I don’t care how it’s argued, they don’t really know. I want to get to the bottom of some shyt. A black man needs to help a black woman get to the bottom of her shyt every now and then.” I unpeeld about four layers of my consciousness when I said that.
He paused for a second before nodding with a smile. “Ok, ok. I got you.” His voice became a little more laxed and he took the ‘we’re just cool shootin the breeze’ approach. I admit it made me a bit more comfortable in his presence; I just hoped it would not backfire to my disliking.
“Let’s get to the bottom of your shyt.” I heard a click and noticed him reaching over to turn off a small tape recorder that I never even knew was recording our convo. That’s what I get for not reading the paperwork before I sign it lol. The good thing is he turned it off. I felt a sense that he really wanted to help me be an even better me, like sincerely. That in itself was rarely a given thing in the parts of my life I remember.
“I don’t know where to start.” I tossed my right palm out and shook my head.
“Start anywhere, what was the last thing you thought about before you stepped into my office?”
“Sex,” he repeated.
“Yes. Sex!” I snorted.
“Of all of the things in the world you could be thinking about why would it be sex?” he probed.
“I don’t know. I just like it and like to have it as often as I can. Is that a crime?” I was getting aggy already.
“Sex is a natural thing. It’s cool. Are you seeing anybody special right now?”
“Hell no.” I folded my arms and glanced past him. Started doing that dangling thing with my high heel on the tip of my feet.
“Why so mad about it?”
“I’m not mad.” But you wouldn’t have been able to tell the way my bottom lip was poked out.
“Ok frustrated. Annoyed. Irritated. Better?”
“Good,” he continued, “So why are you frustrated about being without someone?”
I shook my head and unfolded my arms again. I was on some fidgety stuff for real. “Being by myself is not my frustration. I’m really just annoyed with having the desire to eventually want to get to that point thus going skating and busting my ass over and over and jacking myself up. I just don’t want to want it anymore so I can stop hurting myself.” I’m not even gonna lie, I was about to cry.
“So let me get this straight. You don’t want to want something because you can’t get it right away and perhaps may take a little work and time acquiring,” he interpreted.
“You twisted my words.”
“Not really The difference between what I said and what you said is that one is the truth and the other is in wonderland somewhere. You’re a spoiled brat black girl.”
WTF did he just say? This was so about to be over.
“Who the hell are you to tell me that I’m in wonderland and am a spoiled brat?” I jolted.
He didn’t say anything. Just pointed to the thick black framed degrees neatly arranged on a brick wall. Four of them to be exact, the most notable being Stanford. I saw Alabama A&M too. When I think back on this part I laugh because he went so G-Style on me. Didn’t say anything, just pointed to the wall shawty. Lol
I fell back into my comfort spot. “Those degrees don’t mean shyt to me. Do you even remember half of what was in those textbooks or have you mostly learned through real world experience?”
“Both compliment each other. Stop diverting the topic. Listen,” his mannerisms were less challenging and more sincere, “Do you see what just happened?”
“What?” My eyebrows gathered toward the middle of my head.
“I challenged you with the truth. First you got uncomfortable, then you got angry, and then you lashed out. Finally you tried to change the topic all together by psychologically diverting the conversation. Playing dumb won’t work with me. Mind games are pointless, I know the mind. I know how highly intelligent you are.”
“Ok,” I nodded. I see what you’re saying.” The pill was huge and thick. I’d need a lot more than water to swallow it.
“What are you saying?” There was that challenging thing that pissed me off so much.
I took a deep breath. “I’m saying that I’m running from the truths about me on overtime and I don’t like anyone else telling me about myself and how I should do me. I’m know I’m here talking to you for a reason.”
“To conquer your fears.”
“Among other things,” I said in a near whisper.
“Realizing my strengths. And honestly, I just think a lot. I think I should be talking about these things vs. internalizing them.”
“I see. Think back to my initial question and now here is the second. How is your relationship with your father?”
I shook my head and looked down at my freshly tanned legs. “Shyt, yo. Let’s skip to the next thing.”
I guess its like Mary said, we’re all a work in progress.
It’s those little moments that make it all worth while.