Blog Challenge: Day 8 — Someone who has made your life hell, or treated you like shit…

Just when I thought the challenge would cut me some slack and be easy for more than a day, a resounding da f*ck????? gets expelled from my mouth and I stare at the screen with fingers hovering over the keyboard.

 

migrainekick dirt

 

I have experienced many an emotional pain in my life, but sadly, none has been greater than that inflicted upon me from my own mother.  I take absolutely NO pleasure in revealing this information; however, I’m an honest person and in order to complete this challenge, I need to expose some not so pleasant things in the process, be they about myself or others.

Given that I’m my mother’s only daughter, one would think that there would be sense of camaraderie between us; a shared bond; or something that mirrored a kinship, well, that simply wasn’t the case.  Growing up, I found my relationship with my mother tempered on anger, bitterness, aggression,  and a plethora of similar adjectives. She showed no keen interest in raising me to feel special, beautiful, smart, or even wanted.  I have very few memories; if any of doing things with  my mother as I did with my daughter.  In fact, what I do recall is being pawned off to an elderly neighbour who was like a pseudo Grandmother to me or being sent off with one of her girlfriends, which I later came to realize was her way of trying to gather information about me.  Fortunately, her friends did not betray my confidence, but I gave them very little to betray as self-preservation was always in full-effect with me.

My mother did not tell me I was pretty; a good student or athlete, and whatever I did by way of an accomplishment was somehow made about her.  (pause)  Truth be told, I’m really not enjoying writing this post and will most likely limit details as I see they’re not necessary to tell my story.

Suffice it to say, growing up with my mother was not an easy experience and it was laden with emotional, mental, and on occasion physical abuse.  Children’s Services was actually called on my behalf as a result of a beating she’d inflicted.  The words that came from her mouth in response to their call would make Joan Crawford in Mommy Dearest look like Joan Cleaver!

I wouldn’t say I was a hard child to raise, but I’m sure for her standards or reasoning, I wasn’t easy either.  I suspect that a lot of her negative treatment toward me was borne of her feelings toward my father.  I often felt the verbal wrath of her viciousness toward him as if I had anything to do with being born or who he was.  Mothers can be so nasty and ugly in this vein as I came to learn and experience.

Mother’s attitude toward me has been manifested in so many hateful, ugly, and down right mean ways on so many occasions in my life that I’ve lost track.  I’ve exacted the proverbial 70 x 70 acts of forgiveness the Bible speaks on where she’s concerned because I grew too wary to even bother to entertain the hows and whys of her behaviour toward me.

At this point in my life, we’re actually in a place where we can speak without all the bitterness, anger, and frustration.  I resigned myself to forgiveness both toward her and inward for myself.  I don’t carry what she’s done anymore and I’d still done plenty for her in spite of myself over the years.  The one thing that hasn’t been resolved is how my daughter feels toward her grandmother and I’m saddened by that.  They used to have a great relationship and my daughter spent many summers with her Grammy being spoiled and pampered.  My daughter had unfortunately bore witness by sight, word, or deed to mother’s treatment of me over the years and when she came to a point where she could make decisions for herself, she did…She stopped speaking to her Grammy.  It’s now been 4 years since they’ve last spoken and it’s up to them to have a relationship or not.  I’ve made my peace with her and can interact with her without the drama as I previously stated.  It wasn’t easy by any stretch of the imagination, but one that was necessary for me to heal and move on.

No child should have their mother be the person responsible for so much pain and heartache in their life, but it happens.  I’m glad I broke the cycle and raised my daughter better than that!

 

Yea, I said it!

Sins of a father…

I read the following post Schadenfreude and as much as I didn’t want to reply, I couldn’t help myself, but given that I knew my reply would resemble a post, I decided I’d simply do just that.

As a child born out of wedlock, I’ve often wondered what it would have been like to have never known my father. Actually, had mother had her way, I would have done just that and probably gone through life thinking my step-father was my father even though he’s light-skinned of mixed Jamaican and Chinese heritage. She’d pulled off that lie for five years until my father found her/us.

After coming to know my father and two of the eight total children he’d fathered, I was both happy and confused at my existence since I didn’t fully understand the full life dynamics that come with ‘external’ children…My father was married at the time of my conception. My father was good to me and my two siblings, but I didn’t realize there were still five more of us whom I’d yet to know or meet. That would come about well into my adulthood. Correction, I met my oldest and now deceased eldest brother when I was about 13. He was a nice guy and was saddened by his passing because I never had the opportunity to really know him unlike the two immediately above me.

During the years I’d spent shuttling back and forth to my father’s house, I came to see and know a man I actually disliked. He had an affinity for women making it rather difficult for me to form a bond with any of them since I wasn’t quite sure they’d be around from one weekend to the next. The two above me no longer lived with our father, so I ended up being there with him or whatever woman was in his life at the time.

Unlike, the father(s) mentioned in the referenced post, my father acknowledged all of his children; however, he was still no real father in the true sense of the word. He ruled with an iron fist with the “it’s my way or the highway” mentality and imposed strict and sometimes unrealistic expectations of his children. He disowned my brother above me because his children they were bi-racial and to date has yet to acknowledge their existence. He additionally refused to allow my brother into his home because my brother grew locks and my father vehemently disapproved of this hairstyle. My sister, the eldest of the three of us was disowned for the same and additional reasons.
As I got older, I questioned and challenged my father’s actions toward his children because it was wrong. My father was and remains a devout member of the Pentecostal church and prescribes to its many dictates; well, those accordingly to how he wants to interpret them. I’ve read the Bible, conferred with those who are also of his particular sect of Christianity, in addition to other pastors and nowhere in the Bible or in my conversations does it say it’s okay to disown ones children due to one’s personal beliefs, prejudices, or thoughts on life/society.

To date, I’ve met all but one of my siblings and maintain a relationship with three of them. To date, I am the only one of my father’s children that speak or have a relationship with him. He has successfully estranged himself from his children with his bull-headed, rigid, and often down right insulting ways. It’s a crying shame that a man; a father would treat his children with such disdain and disrespect. His actions have also distanced him from his grandchildren.

Some irony to my father’s antics is that he has embraced my daughter who is also bi-racial, which I gave him some serious grief over. Of his children, I’m the only one who does not have his last name and I’m the only one who he has a relationship with. I have and continue to argue and challenge things he says because I’m not afraid to call bullshit. I’m also the one he calls when he wants something that’s out of his limited budget. For someone who’s pushed just about everyone away, he’s the one who needs someone close to him the most – He lives in Jamaica and I’m in the US. The two of his children that reside in Jamaica have nothing to do with him.

I have limited respect for my father as father because he’s failed so miserably at being a good one even when he had the chance to be. I still wonder what it would have been like to have never have met or known him. He came into my life when I was 5 and I left the UK when I was 15, so he was only actively in my life for 10 years. I saw and spent time with him upon my return in 1986 and we maintained a long distance relationship for a while until he once again pissed me off and after that time, we were estranged for about 10 years. It wasn’t until 2007 when he and I actually started communication again and I was 39 at that point. So, here I am pushing 47 and have had a short and somewhat strained relationship with the man who help put me in this world. I can’t say I love the man and I can’t say I hate him. I maintain feelings of a familial connection and wish him no harm. Somewhere deep in his abyss is a sad, hurt, and broken boy who never healed and he took his pain out on his children, wives, ex-wives, girlfriends and ex-girlfriends, and most importantly himself and lost some of the absolute best relationships he could have had in life. I allow him to take no credit for my successes in life. What I do, do is credit him for some traits and qualities he’s passed on be they good or bad. I couldn’t choose who my father was and I accept who he is, but what I can’t and won’t do is minimize the negative effects both his presence and lack thereof caused. Fortunately, I’ve long since resolved and moved on in order to stop carrying the emotional baggage I had.

Sadly and unfortunately, there are no lessons or training for being a parent; though I wish there was. I further wish that men who help create children take care of them in every way possible. Children need their fathers as much as they need their mothers and any man who fails to live up to the responsibility that comes with his title is a poor and lame excuse for a man.

Yea, I said it!

Fantasy vs Reality Part 2

I previously posted Fantasy vs. Reality Part 1

where I spoke about relationships as we create them to be and what they actually are.

I’m still reading the book: The Adventures of a Love Investigator, 527 Naked Men & One Woman – Barbara Silkstone that inspired the post and the more I read it, the more I see how and why so many relationships thrive or fail. I’m encouraged that the men are speaking so freely, openly, and honestly to the women interviewing them because they’re speaking truths; albeit their own, but it can be a truth none the less.

I think of this statement, “How do you take the first steps toward divorce? You marry the wrong person.” I can’t tell you how true this is. I did it. The writing was on the wall in my marriage from the very start. I was involved with a man who was cheating on his wife. He also cheated on my while cheating on her, which should have been enough for me to let him go, but I thought I was completely in love with him and he thought the same. Writing these words, Tina Turner’s ‘What’s Love Got To Do With It?’ Comes to mind and I laugh a sad laugh because it’s true. Love can very often be exactly what you want it to be and in my case, I wanted it to be him. I’d had a crush on him since I was 19, but avoided a relationship due our eight year age difference and I was months shy of starting my military career, which would and have to take precedence over a relationship. Years later, we came back into each other lives and I thought it was fate for us to be together, but it was yet another left turn. When we finally became a couple it was almost founded on duress after a close mutual friend told him I was too nice a girl to waiting around and certainly didn’t deserve to be a side piece.

Long story short, all the signs that I’d previously ignored shone so brightly they couldn’t be ignored anymore and after some initial trying, we couldn’t make it work and divorced. The ironic part of it all is that he and I were such good friends initially and we seemed like one of those couple who’d remain friends even after a break up, but that wasn’t to be. The absolute saddest part of it all was/is all the things he initially loved about me, became all the things he grew to hate; hence, the opening quote.

I know quite a few people I’ve had to have the “good people aren’t always good together” talk with based on my own experience, common sense, and that state of their relationship. We have to learn that signs are there for a reason. They’re God’s little whisper to us to pay attention, but given that most of us are completely hard-headed, we ignore the signs, forge onward, and then wonder “how did I get here” too late after the fact.

I’ve learned the importance of knowing myself before entering into a relationship because I didn’t want to be one of those “women..guilty of inserting themselves into the man-puzzle when it suits their agenda…” which so many, many women do. It’s a tremendously bad and damaging position to hold and she’ll ultimately do more harm than good in the relationship. I’ve also certainly taken every effort to know whom I’m getting involved with. My Love and I didn’t have it easy in the beginning, but with time, patience, and lots of open and honest dialogue we saw through the issues to make things work. I hold no fantasies of what our lives could and would be, but accepted the reality of our many differences, life experiences, and life goals, which are far more important. I reserve fantasy for my celebrity crushes! 😉

Yea, I said it!

On Being Mary-Jane…

Being #2

For those familiar with the BET show Being Mary-Jane, I don’t need to refresh you with the clip, but for those unfamiliar, here’s a quick synopsis, “The series centers on successful talk show host Mary Jane Paul (played by Gabrielle Union), her professional and private family life, while searching for “Mr. Right”. Mary Jane Paul has it all: she’s a successful TV news anchor, entirely self-sufficient – an all-around powerhouse who remains devoted to a family that doesn’t share her motivation. As Mary Jane juggles her life, her work and her commitment to her family, we find out how far she’s willing to go to find the puzzle pieces that she, and society, insist are missing from her life as a single Black female.”   That’s compliments of Wikipedia. I’ll add what they didn’t…she’s a mistress!

I reluctantly began watching the show because I’m not a fan of BET or Gabrielle Union, but since the show is mostly worth watching and represents a better cross-section of black women than the Real Housewives of Wherever, Love and Hip-Hop, or whatever faux reality show that’s on, it’s gotten my attention.  I can identify with the issues, concerns, family drama, etc that the show illustrates; even down to the adulterous relationship that Mary-Jane is caught up in.  As black women, we’ve either been party to an affair by participation or by knowing someone who’s been in or is in such a relationship. While I admit to having been a party to an adulterous relationship, I certainly don’t condone them nor would I ever partake in one again regardless of why he’s stepping out.

When I saw the episode in which the clip pertains to, I was gobsmacked by her brazen albeit slick comeback to the wife of the man she’s sleeping with.

Personally, I think the wife had every reason to throw shade and make snarky comments to MJ because regardless of the state of her marriage, she’s still married and doesn’t need her husbands mistress trying to check her.  MJ needed to know her place as the mistress and keep her trap shut. Verbally assaulting the wife did nothing more than make her look even less of a woman to the wife and strengthen any case that can be made against her. 

What this show and episode also showed me is how desperate some black women are to have a man.  Yea, I get there’s a so-called shortage of black men, but it can’t possibly be that bad that they’re content being a mistress.  Whatever they’re getting from that man to fill the void in their lives still doesn’t make him hers when he goes home to wife and kids if he has any.  There’s little that they can do in public because they’re not supposed to be together in the first place.  The sex will always be good because in many respects that’s what brought them together in the first place.  They create issues where trust and fidelity is concerned because he’s already stepping out, which violates the trust in his marriage and how can she really trust him anyway when his integrity leaves much to be desired.  And how can he fully trust that she’s not getting her blanks filled in when he’s not around?  There are too many negatives that come with being the mistress.  Women as successful at MJ is purported to be in the show, she could consider dating outside her race.  Yes, I realize the newness of it, the cultural and social differences, and whatever other reasons one can come up with, but why not?  With variety being the spice of life, I think it opens the playing field that much more instead of settling for being a mistress. 

I can raise the same issue with Scandal where Olivia is having an affair with the President and again, I’m not condoning infidelity, at least in this case, his wife knows and pretty much has sanctioned it.  Well, until she has one of her little pissy fits, but outside of that, she’s presents herself to be fine with it.  The stark difference between the two characters is that MJ always carries an air of being clingy, stifling, and even needy where Olivia can and does function without those traits.  That not to say she doesn’t love, want or need her lover for the same reasons MJ does hers, but at least she doesn’t come off pathetic and even when she had relationships with other men, she was open about her actions. 

I know drama sells and we all love a good scandal; no pun intended, but wouldn’t it be nice to actually see a show that promotes a monogamous relationship equipped with its highs and lows instead of being overly indulgent in adultery, inappropriate behaviour from alleged adults, or making women look petty and rather skanky? 

I think infidelity and being someone’s side piece need not be celebrated as almost a rite of passage.  I want to see men and women refrain from settling for being less than honest, respectful, and have emotional integrity.  I’d like to see men and women actually communicate with each other instead talking about each other to their friends or lovers.  I know relationships are work, but would we simply quit a job because the benefits changed or our coworkers stop speaking to each other?  I highly doubt it, but people aren’t putting in the work anymore and they damn sure aren’t being honest. 

In closing I’ll say this.  When I did have a relationship with a married man and he shared his home life issue with me, I told him he needed to talk to her and confront their issues.  I told him he needed to look inward and see where he was deficient in order to get through his crisis.  I didn’t want to be his crutch, his comfort zone when his home was chaos, and I damn sure didn’t want to be a catalyst for his leaving if that’s what he chose to do.  There’s a lot of drama that comes with entering into a monogamous relationship with someone you were once the side piece for and it’s something that can make or break said relationship; trust me I know.  I married the man I was once having an affair with…He later cheated on me. 

Men and women out there, please be careful.  We reap what we sow.  It’s better to cultivate your own yard and figure out how to keep it relatively weed free than to think the grass in greener on the other side.  Just a little food for thought.

 

Yea, I said that!

 

For the love of soy sauce!…

Work has had me busier than a hooker when the military comes to town the past week; hence, why I’ve been MIA in my posts, but things have finally slowed down and I have some semblance of sanity and order back in my life. Phew!

All that aside, I was on the web checking out the news stories when this one caught my eye Former NFL player arrested for assault of ex-boyfriend. WHAT???? 😕 Naturally, I had to read the story even though I couldn’t tell you who the majority of NFL players are anyway, but the subject was curious as all hell.

So, I start reading and I as I get further into the story, I feel laughter erupting from the pit of my stomach and I hollered! Yes, I had a full on; full-out laugh out loud moment right there at my desk. I couldn’t help it. When you read the story, I’m sure you, too, will laugh your behinds off because this story is just that silly and humourous.

Take a read and by all means, share your uncensored and unadulterated comments for the entire class. This is definitely a run tell dat moment. 😉

Live the life you love; love the life you live!