Tuesday, February 19, 2013

A Place to Call Home

So I uploaded the last post before posting an entry about why the hell I'm here again. If this blog is accurate, I haven't posted in almost 3 years. I miss writing. I miss it all the time. I don't know why I don't do it more often. I could say that I don't have the time. I could say that I forget. I could say that maybe sometimes it's just too hard. It's too hard to write your truth, your reality because you can't really undo it. Sure, I can erase a post and pretend it never happened, but it did. And writing feels like being home. It's that feeling you get that washes over you and you feel still and perfect and at peace because this is my truth. My reality. My life. I want to challenge myself to write more often because I owe it to myself. Honestly, I think I have way too many thoughts in my head not to write. This blog though had always been like an open diary. I don't know if that's what I'm ready for now, but let's see. Maybe it's better to start in a new virtual space. Maybe I start here, at home. We'll see.

Lessons in Love

The following letter is real in that I mean everything that I say. The following letter is fake in that I have no daughter and she's not really reading this letter. I wrote this in an effort to process some stuff that came up for me so strongly, I thought I wouldn't make it past the day.


Dear Ayanna,

I am writing you this letter to tell you about something I learned today. I am crying at work even though it’s completely embarrassing, but sometimes you just can’t help it. A couple of years ago I met a man and fell in love. Now people fall in love everyday and so sometimes you take it for granted. For me, it was different; I had already loved your brother’s father and that relationship did not last. I was devastated by that loss and sometimes I thought I would never find someone that I loved or that would love me. This is false. I think fear makes people think that they’ll never be loved again, but the truth is that love is all around us. We’re loved every day by family, by friends, and in due time, by a romantic partner. But I didn’t believe this enough when I was younger. By the time I met this man, let’s call him H, I had been on too many dates to count and had learned the hard way that men will treat you the way you allow them to treat you. When I met this man, I didn’t like his shoes. I thought they were too feminine even though they matched his shirt. Then again, I thought his shirt was too feminine. Few men can pull off any shade of pink and I wasn’t too sure he was one of them. He was short too. Not shorter than me because I’m 5’4 and most men aren’t that short anyway. He was 5’8 and apparently my first, but not last, short partner. On our first date, we were supposed to just meet for a few minutes and confirm we were who we claimed to be. After all, we had met online. Yes, your mother turned to the cyber world to meet someone after her in-person interactions left much to be desired. I can honestly say that there’s value to meeting people any way you meet them, but a couple of years ago I was almost embarrassed to share that we met online. Anyway, I digress *smile*. What should have been a few minutes turned into no less than about 10 hours of walking through the park, getting dinner, and watching movies together. H and I were nearly inseparable for the next 6 months. We spent hours on the phone and in person. He met people that were important to me, including your brother, and I met his important people, including his son. We adjusted the amount of time we spent as time went on because frankly we both had jobs and responsibilities. I loved H fiercely and it was liberating. It was the first time I fell in love as an adult with no strings attached. I didn’t feel like I loved him “because he did things for me or helped me out of anything”. I did feel that way about your brother’s father and that kind of love doesn’t last. It’s more obligation than passion. I felt passion in H’s words and the way he would look at me. I remember waking up to text messages that read, “You’re beautiful even in your sleep”. He was thoughtful and deliberate in the way he expressed his love. It was a different experience for your mother. I spent a year and a half pretending that I didn’t need love or a partner but I was really just afraid of getting hurt. Now, I’d like to tell you that H and I had this everlasting love, but that’s not how the story went. Eventually, in what seemed like a cruel twist of fate, H continued to suffer from depression to the extent that he no longer felt that he could be with me. I was devastated. I felt rejected, I felt abandoned, and I felt stupid. I wished against all hope that I had never allowed myself to feel so deeply when I “knew” relationships didn’t last. I was angry. I was hurt. I was confused. Sometimes I didn’t even believe this was the reason. I thought that he had just decided that he didn’t really want to be with me anymore because he had already been married once. The truth is sometimes you have to accept people’s reasons for what they are because adding the ideas of what you think their reasons really are just makes it worse. I have trouble being clear about my own stuff sometimes, so I don’t think attempting to read someone else’s mind is where I should be placing my energy. After the breakup, I really never spoke or saw H for about a year and a half and though I often thought of him, I continued to live my life without him. I even started to date again (another letter for another day my love). Anyway, H emailed me today and now I’m all mixed up inside. What I am clear about is that our time has passed. I don’t feel love for him in the same way and I wouldn’t date him again. Part of that reason is that I’m dating someone else, but part of it is that I don’t think H was ever supposed to be my One and Only (I sure hope you know that’s an Adele reference *smile*). But while I’m able to know we’re not meant to be together, it doesn’t make the time we spent any less beautiful. I think, if anything, H was an absolutely necessary “visitor” in my life. There’s this poem called Reasons, Seasons, and Lifetime. If you’re reading this as an adult, then I will have referenced it in conversation with you a bajillion times already. I believe I needed H to show me, if only briefly, what it means to be loved passionately. In words and in actions. During our season, I allowed myself to love freely even when I was afraid. My boss thought I should write you this letter and share with you today’s lesson. After all, there’s something to be learned in everything. I can’t find just one lesson because I think there’s so much in this story. So, I think the lessons are as follows:

1. You must always be loved in actions and in words because both are important.

2. Passion is important to a relationship, but so is commitment and dedication.

3. You can love someone and still not be able to be with them, but you should be honest about it.

4. Don’t be afraid to leave a situation even if it hurts or you’re afraid.

5. Don’t be afraid to stay even if it might be hard.

6. We always think the other person is being selfish when they don’t do what we want them to do as we want them to do it. This is our way of being selfish.

a. Being selfish isn’t always a bad thing.

7. Everyone processes things at a different pace; it doesn’t make the process or the feelings that emerge any less valid.

8. If someone you once loved hurts you, feel it, process it and then release it.

a. You can’t love someone fully if you’re still holding onto pain from loving and losing someone else.

9. Love yourself and don’t be so shocked when other people love you too. It’s not a gift or a favor. It’s what you deserve.

10. Love can hurt. Do it anyway. I promise you that loving someone and being loved are unmatched experiences in the journey called Life.

a. So as Bassey Ikpi likes to say, “Love someone and mean it”.



Thursday, June 10, 2010

It's Not a Date

At least that's what I keep telling myself. It's a reunion of sorts. Hi guy who broke my heart. How are you today? How has life been since we stopped sleeping with each other? Please keep it superficial. I don't want any indication that you've moved on...not ready for that just yet.

This meeting is for closure. Did you get that memo? This is the day where we reminisce on good times, skim over what went wrong, and talk about how we're glad that we can be friends. After all, we got to know alot about each other and it would be a shame to let that go to waste. Except that I still want to love you...

Excuse me? Oh no, I didn't mean to say that out loud. I was just thinking to myself that I don't want to be your friend because I wanted to love you. It seems impossible to look at you as a friend because wouldn't that mean that eventually we would hang out and scope singles together. You used to hold me. I can't forget that. You used to kiss me. I don't want to forget that. Maybe this was a bad idea. I'm having trouble maintaining eye contact. You said my eyes were always honest. Don't look now. They'll tell you how hard this is.

I know it's over. It's been over for a while. That's what today is about remember...sealing the ending. But why are we really here? Who won't let it go? And more importantly, why not? Oh, I bought you something for your recent accomplishment. That's right, so it's me. But you wouldn't let me give it to you when it was right in my hands three weeks ago. So it's you. I mean that means you wanted to see me again, right? Why? I think we're both as confused outside of this relationship as we were in it. I mean you canceled our reunion once and i canceled twice. (I always like to one-up people that make me feel vulnerable) I think tomorrow we'll do it...end i mean. Officially.

I agreed to this? That was a bad idea. I'm nauseous now-how am I supposed to go to work afterwards? You're a guy, you'll swallow once and reset the program. You're probably not even nervous now. Shit, why did you agree to this? I've always been a glutton for melodrama...let me find out we're more similar than i thought. Better yet, don't let me find that out. I'm working on reasons to forget about you, not give you another little piece of my heart (now baby)...

Maybe you'll cancel tomorrow. Maybe we'll get another few days to pretend whatever we're pretending until it's real. Maybe we'll be grown ups and get it over with. There's a part of me that's done enough mourning to feel like I'm ready to move on. The woman in me that can acknowledge that that which is not healthy has no place in my life. But the other part of me, the one that can only focus on getting that "old thing back"-well she understands Third Eye Blind:

"I want to get myself back in again/the soft dive of oblivion/i want to taste the salt of your skin/the soft dive of oblivion/oblivion"

Oblivion never sounded so beautiful as it does tonight. But I know I'm not a fool and we have to do this, so guy just remember to stay superficial. Do it for me.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Adventures in Mommyhood

On Sunday my son shit on my floor...twice. Today he is running around partially naked slamming his yucky toddler butt on my sofa. He is almost 3 and should be well on his way to potty training. However, it appears I'm not that lucky. I have a son that hates diapers, loves being nude, yet refuses to attempt potty training. I have too many stories that begin with "I don't know why he keeps peeing on my floor". I've purchased pull-ups, favorite character underwear, potty seats, lollipops for treats, etc. Frankly, I'm tired and did i mention that my son shit on my floor...twice. After the first year of life, toddler poop is really adult poop, so picture that...on my floor...twice. Too gross.

I made him help me clean it up (safely of course) and his simple response was, "Mommy, this is yuck". Kid, you just made your first understatement. I've tried to take him to the bathroom every hour. I've given him "you're a big boy and big boys use the toilet"speeches. I've read articles. Nothing is working. And yet, he is obviously uncomfortable with wet or soiled diapers because he tears them off as soon as they're no longer 'fresh'. Is he going to wake up one morning and decide to use the toilet or am I going to be telling his first girlfriend stories of him soiling himself at 7 years of age? *Deep Sigh*

But is there a such thing as parental peer pressure? Because to be honest, he's my first child and if he still doesn't want to potty in the toilet it doesn't bother me that much. That is, until it comes up in conversation. You know-THE conversations-the ones in which everyone talks about what their kid is or isn't doing. Now, I love to tell the "And then so & so said, 'Mommy, i think the dog is shyyyyy"...because really when your 2 year old uses the word shy correctly, your chest automatically swells.

But then you have to sit your ass back down, when the conversation goes like this:
Person A: "Is he potty trained yet?"
Me: "No"
Person A: "And how old is he?"
Me: *Insert mumbled "almost 3" here*
Person A: (Disappointed slow nod)

Because all of our children's accomplishments are because of us, their failures are also directly our fault. What? That's not how it goes? Okay, pretend that's not the unwritten rule if you want, but then why do you feel bad when someone questions your kids' weird scratching? I mean really, why does your kid scratch himself like that?

Nevermind, I digress.

My point is that I don't like when my son soils my floor with bodily fluids, but I don't know how to change it right now. And i don't want to feel bad about it either. It's gross, but it's far from the end of the world. And I wonder how he feels. He's only been alive for two years and eight months and now I want to change up something very routine and sacred to him-the diaper change. I'm damn near 26 years old and I still get ornery when I don't have lunch between 12pm and 2pm. Imagine how I would feel if someone told me I had to start using the bathroom upside down or something. Change is hard...for all of us. So I guess, FOR NOW, I can relax a little and just really, really pray I never find poop on my floor...again.

Monday, June 07, 2010


But I'm in so deep/You know I'm such a fool for you/You've got me wrapped around your finger/Do you have to let it linger? (Linger by The Cranberries)

I did it again. The one thing I didn't think I could. Didn't think I'd want to do. Hell, I really didn't want to and it happened anyway. I loved again.

Let me be clear. I don't really know how it happened. I dated a guy on and off, healthily and unhealthily, with labels and without them for almost 8 months. I couldn't understand why I cared about every interaction, why I missed laughing with him, why I was struggling once it was over and why the prospect of dating other men made me nauseous. And then my girlfriend said it so non chalantly, "Well, I guess it would be a lot easier to get over him if you didn't love him". I am not exaggerating when I say I cursed that woman out and laughed like a madwoman. "Love who? Him? Hell no. I don't love nobody but myself and my baby. Are you crazy? What do I have I have to love him for?" And frankly, once you start rambling and your grammar falls apart, you know you're full of it. It's over and you've lost this verbal battle.

I was a mess. I love him? I love him? I love him. How did that happen? How many times did we laugh together before it happened? How many future plans did we share before it happened? How many family history/war stories did we swap until it happened? Was it when I slept over? Was it the hugs or the kisses? Was it the fact that we had a good chance of having a dark skinned little girl with green eyes...don't ask, but scientifically it was true! And worse than this discovery, was the ugly truth staring at me mercilessly. We weren't even together anymore and the chances that HE loved ME were slim. So as if loving someone again, against your will, after being hurt on multiple occasions, was not enough; I wouldn't even be able to count on having that person love me back. Excuse me while I jump off the nearest NYC bridge. This is ri-damn-diculous.

Now if you're like me, you might also find it difficult to find the point in loving someone who can't/won't/or just don't love you back. I could lie and say that I sat with all these emotions and tried to figure out how I felt and what I could do with these feelings (positive things of course). But I love to swim in this river called DE-NIAL and instead I pretended my friend was crazy and I had sense in my head. I went out that weekend with a bunch of friends to celebrate a major accomplishment for this man, exchanged some laughs, had a few drinks (on an empty stomach) and by the end of the night, proclaimed my love for this man...to this man. Now ask me a simple question like "How did that happen?" and I'll say "Hell if I know, I don't remember". As if me falling in love was not a betrayal enough, my poor empty stomach couldn't handle my drinking and allowed the alcohol to create what I like to call "holes" in my brain. In one of those holes lies the whole conversation in which I thought it would be a good idea to let the "ex" know I loved him. I completely understand what Pink meant when she said she was a "hazard" to herself.

Long story short, he told a mutual friend about it...twice. This mutual friend attempted to clean it up by saying that I had a lot to drink and probably meant "love" like we all love our friends. Kisses and hugs to the friend who tried to clean up this disaster. I do not believe with any ounce of my being that the ex believed it though. Luckily, I could depend on one of his worst flaws to be one of my greatest saving graces right now--he hates confrontation on any issues of importance. And hell, love is pretty important. So I could depend...i could bet...on him not asking me about it directly and thus live a semi normal life thereafter.

I've seen him since then and to be honest, we're supposed to "have lunch" this week. Somehow I get the sense that a one on one lunch date versus the group at a BBQ venue (the last time i saw him) will be slightly different. I also get the sense that I will have trouble making eye contact. Or will he? I mean, what's it like to have someone love you and not feel that back? Is it at least flattering or is it damn uncomfortable? Can't say I've been there and if I have, can't say that I knew.

I sometimes ask myself why bother with all this...there has to be a better way of getting over relationships. Why can't I wake up and wish all the emotion away? Why can't I reason with myself, "Self, this ship has sailed, save yourself"? Why can't I get angry, cry, break some shit, and breathe, knowing that it's all over? Well, as I've been reminded, they can't even cure the common cold yet. So frankly, if you're looking for answers over here, I've got nothing for you. All I know is that once upon a time, I loved a man so deeply that when it fell apart I routinely cried the mascara off my face everyday right before work. And now, I can count the amount of times I think about him on a daily basis using two fingers (both middle fingers mind you).

And so all I know is that loving someone that doesn't love you back is far from the worst relationship souvenir you could keep.

And loving someone after you've been hurt is a sign that you haven't been defeated.

Oh yeah...and while falling in love is out of our hands, staying in love is a choice and so no matter what, this too shall pass.

Let's just hope it's before the next BBQ ;-p

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Because I'm in the Mood

My best friend is a huge fan of Audre Lorde and well, friends are supposed to put you on to new things :-p So blog world, I share this poem with you and add some commentary at the end...

Stations by Audre Lorde

Some women love to wait for life
for a ring in the June light
for a touch of the sun to heal them
for another woman's voice
to make them whole
to untie their hands
put words in their mouths
form to the passages
sound to their screams
for some other sleeper to remember
their future
their past.

Some women wait for their right train
in the wrong station
in the alleys of morning
for the noon to holler
the night come down.

Some women wait for love
to rise up
the child of their promise
to gather from earth
what they do not plant
to claim pain for labor
to become
the tip of an arrow
to aim at the heart of now
but it never stays.

Some women wait for visions
that do not return
where they were not welcomed
for invitations to places
they always wanted to visit
to be repeated.

Some women wait for themselves
around the next corner
and call the empty spot peace
but the opposite of living
is only not living
and the stars do not care.

Some women wait for something to change
and nothing does change
so they change

There is so much that speaks to me in this poem that it's actually difficult to start. I think about the last 3 lines-"Some women wait for something to change and nothing does change so they change" and it's odd to me that one can interpret them in 2 different ways, both accurate & fitting.

On the one hand, a person can only sit waiting for something to be different before they DECIDE to be different. A woman walks away from a loveless marriage, Mom goes back to school after years of home making, the Social Worker changes careers, or the real estate agent just decides to travel because she can. Their lives WILL be different because they choose it to be. On the other hand, sometimes a person can get so stifled by the stagnancy of their lives that they adapt and stop wanting things to be different just so they can have peace. Perhaps that's the woman who stops wanting more from her partner, the woman who never does anything that doesn't revolve around her family & children, the woman who can't make a decision her Church doesn't agree with, or the woman who stays at her job because it's stable. I'm both of these women at different times and I suppose that's how life goes.


Warning: The following is a conversation I've had with myself...it is mostly unedited and tragically accurate. Proceed.

Why doesn't it feel okay to be alone? Or more specifically single? I have beautiful friends & family and yet singledom weighs heavily on my shoulders. Sometimes I physically feel a heaviness as if being single is something to live through, a cancer of sorts. How did I get here? And seriously, how do I get out? I remember the end of my last relationship as one of the saddest, most traumatic experiences of my life. (Trust me, if you knew the details you would agree it's not an exaggeration) There were days I sobbed the mascara right off my lashes, forgot what food taste like because I missed all meals, and generally curled up in bed until the next day of work. Those days have been long gone. I've partied, dated like a champ, took some 'Naively Engaging with the Opposite Sex' L's, sat in silence, verbally vomited in therapy, read relationship books, and made positive changes in my life. At various points I went to church, worked out, re-examined my career choices, and focused on my little one...all in over 13 months.

13 months...and I'm still here. Where is here you ask? Oh, just waiting for my Tyler Perry ending. Almost literally waiting for a "blue collar" handsome, Church going man of color to come and rescue me from my life and make me believe in love again. Well, except that I actually prefer a white collar man, Church is preferred, but not mandatory, and I don't want to be saved at all. I just want to believe in love again. I want to believe that people care about more than themselves. More than money. More than sex. More than popping friggin bottles at the club. Jesus Christ, my dating experiences this past year have encompassed quite a few characters, from a corner store bodega worker to legal staff on Wall Street. No winners. And maybe the truth is that I'm not frustrated that I haven't found THE ONE to settle down with, but that the options are so similarly disappointing. Broke or well off, high school drop out or college educated, broken home or 2 parent household, inner city or suburbs, every man makes me lose a little bit of faith in humanity. Literally.

I suppose what I'm really looking for is purity, integrity, commitment, and honesty. I want a man that won't lie to my face about his intentions or behaviors. I want a man that can tell me it's not working for him instead of slowly but surely ignoring my text messages. I want a man that truly understands that it's NOT okay to have your cake and eat it too. I want a man to know that he is NEVER allowed to tell me that he can "have me" any time he wants. I'm not a fool. I know that sometimes we play a bigger role in our interactions than we like to admit. I also know that there are times I'm disrespected because the other person really believes it's okay. Not because it's me per se, but because I'm a woman and who cares how I feel? Why don't they understand how much that hurts? Better yet, why don't they care? I'm not asking them to see me as the best thing since slice bread, I'm asking them to see me as human. To see that I have intrinsic value and worth. Is that ideal too great? Or just not of worth?

Well I challenge men to play fair at least. To play hard ball without tricks. Simply understand the truth won't kill me. I've survived too much to feel bad because you don't like me. Shit, I don't like you all either. However, I will continue to feel bad that you don't even deem me worthy enough of that conversation though. It's a double edged sword-I feel like I get treated like some china doll that can't handle the truth because it will shatter me, yet men seem to think I can handle being treated like shit with no issue. Fuck you. Not the men that "just didn't work out"-fuck the ones that treated me like shit despite telling me various times, various ways that they would in fact "not treat me like shit".

I could almost understand if men just said this shit to sleep with you and it always worked. But not with me. My digits are loooooooooooooow in that arena and thank God because really, my vagina is not for practice. But.........being single is lonely...even surrounded by friends, even surrounded by family, even surrounded by a boisterous almost 2 year old. And I wish it was just the sex because that's easy to address, but it's not. It's the fact that after a long day of work, there's no one waiting to hear about it. There's no one that's been waiting all day just to see your beautiful face or hear your voice on the phone. There's no one to argue with about dinner choices. No one to snuggle with during a rain storm. No one to be silent with on a Sunday morning. No one to discuss celebrity shenanigans. No one to hold your hair back when you puke after a long, crazy night out with the ladies. I suppose these things actually make up that nasty word: intimacy. I'm terrified of it. Feel vulnerable because of it. Ah, but I miss intimacy. Soledad/Solitude feels like shit.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Is there a way to know?

Sometimes I think to myself that it's easy to judge what makes a good or bad mom. On the train, you hear a mom call her daughter a "little bitch" and it makes you cringe. Mom smacks little boy across his face for wanting candy and you remember Katt Williams say "He's 2 years old, he's supposed to want Skittles, you simple bitch"-easy judgments in my book. I revoke their mommy card immediately and maybe that's wrong, but maybe it's not. But forget about the easy stuff. Forget about the things we see that we make jokes about, or report on our status updates, or share via text message. What about all that isn't seen, but is felt like hot coal? What about the interactions that no one would ever know or hear about without our disclosure-the ones that actually in essence cement the foundation of our beings. It's not dramatic, let's face it a parent can make or break a lot of who and what we are. At one end of the ring, we strive to be everything that parent was not and at the other end of the ring, we look in the mirror and realize that the 'enemy' sits firmly in the middle of our chests. Some of our worse habits can be traced back up the gene pool with ease as we simultaneously praise ourselves for not being "as" selfish, ignorant, and flawed as Mommy or Daddy Dearest.

I look at my son and I wonder what mistakes I will make, what mistakes I've already made, and whether I'll ever do some really great stuff in his life. I joke that every kid needs something to talk about in therapy, but who really wants to be the focus of that conversation? Not I said the cat; especially when week after week I find myself bashing one parent or the other in my own therapy sessions. I've struggled with whether or not therapy is self-indulgent. After all when was the last time a woman of color got a minute, let alone 45, to talk about all that is wrong without having to find the solutions for someone else's problems? Don't worry, I'll wait. I've spent so much of my short life taking care of other people that talking about situations where I've REALLY been wronged or people FAILED to take care of me is HARD. Hating my stepfather or my real father and talking about the reasons is difficult, but stepping up to the plate to swing at my mother has been the hardest conversation I've ever had to have.

If I had to put it in simple terms, my stepfather abused me, my biological father neglected me, and my mom just failed to act. She never came up to the plate for me or my siblings. She never fought back. She never did right by us. She always chose him or maybe worse, maybe she always chose herself. She didn't want to be a single mom. She didn't want to be on public assistance forever. She didn't want us to grow up without fathers. These days she talks about divorcing my stepfather and all I keep thinking is "well that's a day late and a dollar short". I battle chronic depression, my sister has anxiety attacks, my youngest sister has an eating disorder, and well my younger brothers (who are still in middle & high school) are early in their visual dysfunction. One dabbled in the usual acting out behaviors, smoking weed, drinking, truancy and the other has decided that stealing and lying is okay as long as he gets what he wants. Ask him why he does certain things and at 12, he'll answer, "Cuz I want attention. Just some attention". I can pat my parents on the back for making sure we all, at least, valued education and hard work. But I can also provide them with a big "F*ck you" for being selfish bastards.

Yesterday I told my mother, "I've decided to eliminate people from my life that don't contribute positively to it and refuse entry to new people who won't contribute positively". Silence on the phone. Hmmm, let's guess what mommy is thinking. #1) She's thinking I'm talking about my stepfather (she's mostly right) & #2) She thinks I'm talking about her (guilt sure is a motherf*cker when you're actually wrong). I ask her why she's quiet and she answers as only she can, "Oh no, nothing. I respect your opinion, it's just that you sound bitter and I don't think you'll always feel that way". Hmmm, no shit Sherlock, you let our father abuse us for years and yet you want us to still come around and play nice. Even though, he's still a selfish alcoholic. He still hasn't apologized to anyone for the years of misery. And he has yet to make any attempt to become a different man.

Me on the other hand-I fight like hell to keep my head above water so I'm not on antidepressants. My sister's anxiety attacks have become more frequent. And I just saw my youngest sister who is once again so thin her eyes look black as if she's been punched. I asked her about it and she looks at me with obvious pain and says "You know, good weeks, bad weeks. It's a bad couple of weeks, I've just been thinking alot".

F*ck you dad for being an abusive, remorseless prick & f*ck you mom for being a coward.

"I don't think you'll always feel that way"

Guess what? I don't know what later will feel like or look like, but I know today and today you suck. And i like to think that my son will NEVER think of me in this way, but is there a way to know? Will I choose my needs over his? Will I ever choose a man over my baby? Will I sit back and watch evil and misery chip away at my little boy's soul? I once heard in a clinical training that trauma slowly destroys a child's ability to dream. Little by little, that child will begin to limit what they believe they can do in life, what they believe can happen, what they believe people are capable of. Would I let my son lose that faith? Would I help him lose it? I think to myself, "Hell no, I know better", but is there a way to know?

Could my mom have ever dreamed at 16 that she would still sleep with a man who hurt her daughter even after she knew?

Could my mom ever dream as a child that she would be punched like a man in front of her kids by her husband?

Could she dream that she would then wake up the next day and make him breakfast?

Could she dream that her oldest daughter would eventually be her protector?

Could she dream of just how much it broke her spirit to be that?

Empathy would ask me to put myself in her shoes and understand her fears, her concerns, her limitations. But Anacaona would say I would never wear those shoes so why bother? I love my mother in the most painful of ways, but I'm ashamed of her weakness. Growing up I thought my mom was so strong to put up a brave front for the world when she suffered so much. It took me years to identify that strength as "fear". Fear of change, fear of loneliness, fear of the unknown. And shit we're all scared of some/all of these things, but it does not freeze us all. Why couldn't my mother do better? Simply do better. Simply love better. Choose better. Be better.

I could run circles around the possible reasons and grow dizzy from the possibilities, but aside from all the clinical excuses, is there a real way to know? What could anyone tell me now to heal? To forget? To be.

And if I knew any more, any deeper, would I be any different? Is there a way to know?

Friday, July 03, 2009

Because it matters

Why is it so hard to write again? When does a passion become a task? Excuses can be plentiful: "oh between work & mommying, i'm just so busy", "i'm tired after doing x, y, & z", "I don't know what to write about". Blah, blah, blah-but why lie about something that you care so much about?

I love writing-I've always loved writing. I didn't understand why it was so important to me-didn't get where I got this from (do you get it from somewhere at all?)-all I knew was that my whole life, moments, thoughts, and feelings transferred from the inside walls of my head to a paper or a screen. And in that moment all was well with the world. It was peaceful, it was redemptive, it was me. But these past few months have been so very chaotic for me, so painful, so turbulent that i questioned my reality on a daily basis, questioned my passion as self-indulgent even. And I outlined these moments in so many papers & posts that somehow never made it anywhere that anyone else could see. And as I write this, I think get why. I think i get past the excuses and towards reasons0. Whenever something painful makes it to paper, makes into indelible words, makes contact with another person, it's real. Reality doesn't bite because it "hurts", reality bites because its undoable. Because you could kick, scream, cry, or laugh and it would never undo the truth. The truth can inspire greatness, can trigger love, can beg for redemption, but it has to scar first. It has to carve reality into your soul, into the inner spaces that no one else sees, into the rooms of your brain that you sometimes have to stifle to get through your day.

My truth is that I loved a man who never loved me, but convinced me he did & manipulated accordingly. I loved a man that made me question my own truth everyday and I was never strong enough to do different, to move differently. And I don't want to waste this space on how that happens, on details that ultimately don't matter, or on voyeuristic pictures of anguish that still celebrate his place in my life. This space is for my writing. This space is to reclaim the truth, inspire a paradigm shift if you will. A space to remember that some of the lessons we learn sting, some burn, and some threaten to break us...but ultimately, we rise like a flower in the concrete jungle & despite all odds, we remain beautiful.

In reclaiming your life, one has to review all that was lost. Mourning occurs, anger flairs, more mistakes are made, but eventually there is redemption. And that space recaptures all that was yours, not shared, not borrowed, not pretended. Writing was mine, is mine, and will be mine. And it will not be done to prove anything to anyone or inspire legions to do the same. I will write because I can, because I want to, and because it matters.