This Black Girl on Forgiveness.

Okay guys, so we’re going to go a little deeper on this post. I promise these post will get a little more uplifting eventually, but again I hope getting this off my chest can help someone sort through their problems. This is something that I’ve never really talked about because I never knew how to, but you guys are about to learn where my emotional fragility comes from. As promised, this post has a sound track that you can listen to here.

Now one thing you will learn about me is that I am probably one of the biggest Jay-Z fans on this planet. Although I love his wife more, his music has always helped me elevate myself, his words have always been the motivation to my hustle. They say that the worst part about having heroes is that you eventually learn that they are human, but Jay’s my hero because he’s always been human to me. Even at a young age, I related to his lyrics more than I should have. I understood his drive, his ambition, even the anger, and animosity he held towards his circumstances (real fans know what I mean). So you can assume that the award winning 4:44 (I know it hasn’t won anything yet but come on, it’s Hov) has been churning the wheels in my head since it dropped. Specifically the bonus track Adnis, where he talks about his relationship with his father. In the footnotes, he created for the song he talks about being able to release the anger he held towards his dad once he understood why his father left, once he had a better understanding of who his father was. I can relate to the anger part but I haven’t quite learned how to release the anger. Let me explain. 

I am the by-product of two 19-year-old teens, who made a mistake, and neither was prepared to deal with the consequence (neither of which I’m communicating with at the moment). Once I was conceived, my father immediately took off to college, not because he was smart and actually wanted to continue school, but to run and to continue living life as the child he still currently is. My mother, on the other hand, bared the burden and treated me as such since the day I was born. She despised me and took her anger out on me anytime she could. Before I continue, I want you to take a deep breath as I just did because shit is about to get real. 

If you grew up in a black family you may understand how most “issues” get swept under the rug and never dealt with (not a generalization, I just know it’s a good 90% of our realities). Things like drug abuse, child molestation, adultery etc. Which is why it has always been hard for me to speak about the abuse I faced from my mother. Everyone knew about it, but no one did anything about it because most people viewed it as discipline… I remember a time when I was around 6 or 7. She had a few of her “friends” and few of our family members over for one of their usual ratchet gatherings. I was sitting in my room playing with a BuzzLight year toy that I had. You see my homie Buzz was getting attacked Zurg right, and I had to let him know what was going down. 

“Buzz our ship, our ship!” I yelled to let him know that shit was about to go down. But before we could clap back my mother called me into the living room. I knew I fucked up because she cut the music down, but the rhythm of the room never stopped. 

“What the fuck did you just say? You cursing now?” She yelled as she slapped me in front of everyone. 

“I didn’t curse, I said my ship.” I cried but she slapped me again. Apparently, the word “ship” is a curse word although my 7-year-old mind thought it was just slang for Buzz’s main method of transportation. Her friends laughed as she continuously slapped in the face, once she finished entertaining them she took Buzz and grounded me for 3 weeks. That was the first time I ever contemplated suicide. At 7 years old I felt that death was better than my circumstance. Sadly that wasn’t the last time. 

Things got increasingly worse when my younger sisters were born and my step dad moved in. Even with the physical and mental abuse that I faced every day, the worst thing she ever did to me was feed my sisters the same animosity she held towards me. I was never really apart of “their” family. She would make that very clear to me, like the time my dad dropped me off home after one of his quarterly visits. He called ahead to let her know that I would be home soon and she told him she would be there. But after the 5 minutes that it took us to travel to my house, there was no answer when I knocked on my apartment door. I sat in the hallway for four and a half hours waiting for them to come home. When they did, my little sister happily ran to me to show me their “family” photo. 

She broke me at a very young age because although I began to develop a resentment towards her, I also developed a need for her to accept me. I thought that would happen after a sudden change of events. When I was in the 4th grade she was hospitalized after suffering from a severe stroke that left her unable to speak and unable to use her right hand. My step dad split immediately leaving us high and dry. Even after all she had done to me, I felt sympathy for her, I knew how it felt to want love from someone so badly only to have them treat you like a burden.  I thought we could start over, I thought she would be nicer, but I was still unimportant. Without the ability to speak she still showed me that I would be nothing more to her than that mistake she made at 19. 

My dad, on the other hand, has always been exactly what I stated above, a child. Unlike me, he had a 2 parent household with a mother that would do anything for him. He’s extremely spoiled and the thought of taking care of anything outside of himself was a foreign concept.. it still is. I don’t think I’ve ever really respected him or even viewed him as a man or a father. He never really fought to prove those things to me either. Hell if anything I should be calling his mother my dad, she took care of all his unwanted responsibilities, including me. Even though I understood that, I loved spending time with her. She was the only person that made sure I had few good child hood memories. Every year on my birthday she would rent a room at the Marriot Marquis in Time Square and take me to see a play of my choice. It would be times like these that I would completely forget about the reality that I had to face at home. She had no idea what was happening to me and I honestly couldn’t bring myself to tell her. Being with her was a safe space and I feared that I would ruin that by opening my mouth. But even that haven came to an end.

When I was 16 years old I visited her to attend a huge birthday celebration she was throwing for herself. She had recently gotten remarried to the Grinch (paternal grandfather, who never liked me for some unknown reason) who had an attitude with me the entire time I was there. He would often say very disrespectful things about me, even in front of my dad, and like the child he is, he would let it happen. Once the party began to wind down and everyone began leaving someone accidentally locked him out the house. He was infuriated that he had to reach in his pocket, grab his key, and open the door. He immediately blamed me for it, because I had nothing better to do than to lock an old man out of my grandmother’s house. After expressing that to him he attacked me. Once my cousin was finally able to get him off of me my eye was swollen shut, I had bruises all over my face… the old fucker almost killed me. My aunt called the police but all of the witnesses and my face was no match for my Grandmothers badge and testimony that I attacked him first. My father also believed that and rather than calling to comfort me he called to ask me why the fuck I put my hands on his father? He also stated that I deserved whatever I got for starting the situation. Without asking me what happened or even if I was okay. 

These are just a few of the things that keep me awake at night. I put up with abuse and mistreatment for damn near my entire life. Which caused me to put up with it from people that I thought were friends and lovers because that was all I knew. They would say they would love me and I would believe them because whatever love they were giving me felt better than what I received at home. I needed to get this off my chest because I am ready to finally love myself, I have finally stopped feeling sorry for myself and have grabbed the reigns of my reality. I have realized that I can’t change anything that happened to me, but I can change how I let it affect me. I’m tired of allowing these past pains to control my current mindset. I have let what they did to me control every step I’ve made in this life.  In order to move on, I had to release this. 

Although I’m not speaking to my family at the moment, I just want to say that one day I may be able to face you all without resentment. One day I will allow myself to be empathetic for whatever drove you to what you all put me through, but until then just know that I forgive you.

I hope this post will help you start the conversations you need to, don’t let the tradition of sweeping shit under the rug keep you from speaking up or keeping your sanity.

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This Black Girl In Love

We’re going to start this thing off a little heavy. This has been the heaviest thing on my heart for a few years now, and now that I have finally picked up my crown, dusted it off and placed it back where it belonged, I can finally release this. I am going to tell you the story of this black girls first time being in love, and falling into a never ending cycle of heart break. Like promised, there is a soundtrack to this journey, you can click here if you’re interested in listening.

Now the words you will will read come from the heart, every emotion that I felt helped build this strong yet fragile soul that’s writing this. We will begin at the point of departure, the moment I was pushed into beginning this impetuous journey. The moment I met him… When we first met we couldn’t stand each other. He wanted to be the center of attention so badly it bothered me. We were polar opposites. When his fire began to grow, it would be my water that would extinguish the spark. But eventually I became the wind, the wind that ignited his spark which grew into his roaring ego. I blew and blew until I was the one who got burned.

It all started with a simple compliment. I wasn’t really used to receiving those from anyone, especially someone like him. He commented on a picture of mine and even used an emoji with heart eyes. Heart eyes, staring at me? I was never the girl that was looked at, but this time he was staring directly at me, with heart eyes. I know it seems childish but please acknowledge that I’m a millennial, those heart eyes held a lot of meaning. He began flirting through all forms of social media, letting the world know that I was the one he wanted. But of course, I played it as cool as Whitley Gilbert did in her pursuit of Dwayne (If you don’t understand this reference I suggest you take a moment to grasp your life and head to your nearest search engine). I acted like those heart eyes didn’t mean a thing, although I smiled about them for days. It had been a while since I received this kind of attention from anyone, and then came my friend’s birthday kick back. (We went to a very dry,  qwhite boring institution in New Jersey, so her parties were the highlights of our college experience.) I was excited to see him, but refused to show it, and then he showed up.

We played cat and mouse that entire night, until he finally cornered me. Surrounded by a plethora of drunk college students, all I could do was stare in those eyes of yours, I felt so warm, so safe. That was the only reason he received my number that night, well that and the assistance of my friend Jack Daniels. 

We talked practically every day since that night, becoming more and more intrigued by each other. We had more in common than I thought. Our birthday were six days apart, we were both Scorpios (Let me clarify that male Scorpios are the crazy ones, no bias). Hardheaded, stubborn, determined Scorpios. Which explained his persistence and my resilience. I wasn’t ready to date again, not after the last time and he understood that. Before meeting each other we both experienced pain. We both had significant others, that decided we weren’t that significant. We both felt the pain of loving someone who decided to give that love to someone else. Even though he was persistent I knew he had his doubts too, he was just as afraid as I was. But he was destined to convince me to give him a chance, and that he did. 

On September 21st, 2013 we had our first real date. I smiled so much that night my cheeks burned for days afterwards. That’s when he got me, that’s when I decided to let down my guard and allow my heart to defrost. It would still take some time, but I was ready.  I knew I was ready! After a year and a half, I was ready to let someone in. I was ready to feel love, to be loved. I was tired of being so hard, so angry, I was ready for vulnerability. I WAS READY. At least that was what I thought, after a few months of pure bliss my fears begin to creep back in. I found myself constantly thinking that this was to good to be true, seeing an impending doom although he was doing everything he needed. On one shoulder I had India Arie melodically whispering her tune “I am ready for love” in my ear, while Beyonce dug her six inch stilettos in the other shoulder and belted Resentment. One reminding me of what I wanted and the other reminding me of  my fears. Eventually Beyonce won the battle and I decided to end my own happiness to avoid getting stung. 

But before I could shoot him that “we need to talk” text, our mutual friend brought me news that could silence even Beyonce’s best rendition of Resentment. His mother had passed away, right in front of him. All I wanted was to hold him, to hear him, to console him. I couldn’t leave, my empathetic heart overpowered my brain and immediately went into Wonder Woman mode. I was there for him in anyway he needed and although the circumstances were extremely horrible, we grew closer. We both allowed ourselves to experience this vulnerability together. I completely silenced Beyonce and allowed India to continue whispering her melody as I fell in love with this man.

Love. Who knew that such a small word could mean so much? L-O-V-E, just four letters. I honestly never felt that I would find it, until I met him. A soul that consumed me and made me believe that maybe those four letter weren’t such a bad thing. Before I knew it, those four letter tripped me and I fell freely, because I knew that whenever I landed you would be there to catch me. Those four letters felt so sweet, that I manifested myself his essence as if it were my destiny. I felt complete, like my other half, my missing piece had finally found me. Creating a feeling so savory that I felt undeserving. But once the love dust settled things began to take a turn. 

A week after Valentines Day, I came to him with an ultimatum after he introduced me to one if his peers as his “friend.” All I was to you was a friend? I can normally keep my composure, but after all that we had been through, all I had done, all that I put up with, I was just his friend. I wasn’t having it. Beyonce then came back with a vengeance, kicking India off my shoulder and belting that damn song at the top of her lungs.  We got into a argument that night where I told  him that I was either his girlfriend or nothing, there wasn’t a doubt in my mind he would make the right choice. Until he said “I guess we’re nothing then.”

My heart immediately sank into my stomach. Just like that it was over.  Adele couldn’t even put how I felt into words. He was the first man that I have ever fallen in love with, the first man I had ever been that vulnerable with, the first man who knew my body better than I did, the first man I had ever been in love with…. and he left just like that. I have never experienced a pain so severe. Normally no matter what pain I felt, I could pick myself up and keep it pushing. But I wasn’t myself, the smile that was practically tattooed on my face was no where to be found, I even lost 30 pounds in a month because I couldn’t fathom eating. You would think after experiencing this pain I would have learned my lesson. But like most insecure people in love, I gave him chance after chance after chance to make things right. Each time feeling more defeated than before. I became his punching bag, he never physically hit me but I was an outlet he used to make himself feel better. He extinguished the little confidence I developed, turning out to be exactly what I feared. Every time I would leave, my heart and the promise of change would bring me right back where I started. 

Until the day I finally realized that this was not the love I deserved. He began to joke about the pain he had put me through, saying that I should be over it by now. He then went on to say that he treated me the way that he did simply because I was unattractive and uninteresting. Those were his actual words. I fell deeply in love with a man for damn near 5 years and he just told me that he broke my heart because I was unattractive and uninteresting. Although that isn’t the worst thing he said to me, that was the final nail in the coffin. I left feeling empty and broken but I left and for the first time I didn’t have the urge to back. 

The hardest part about moving on from this experience has been forgiving myself. I’ll be honest with you guys, I’m still picking up the pieces. There is still this internal hate for allowing myself to remain in that situation for so long.  I completely lost myself while dealing with him.  But I look forward to getting to know who I am without his negative commentary and I must say I’m pretty impressed with what I see so far. I’m ready to fall in love with myself, to provide myself with the happiness that I expected from him.

A wise queen named of Hadiya Barbel once said “Forgive yourself for accepting less than you deserve, but DON’T do it again.” I hope none of you ever allow any one to make you feel less than the Queen or King that you are. Keep that crown in it’s rightful place, they were placed on our heads for a reason. 

This Black Girls Magic.

This black girls magic, this black girls story, this black girls journey. This blog will be somewhat of an outlet for me, a place to get some things off my chest. I’m not sure if anyone will ever read this, but if you do I hope that the words that are written here help you in some type of way. Writing is the only way I know how to express myself, it allows me to release everything that I have in this chaotic head of mine. I hope you can have a few laughs, shed a few tears, form a few opinions (that I would love to challenge), but overall I just hope you feel something, I hope these words I write help you cope in some way. The same way writing them is helping me.

But here’s a little more insight, before we dive into all of that. I’m 22 years old and from the very entertaining but problematic city of Washington DC, which you will soon notice from my various uses of the cities slang. Things will probably go from 0 to ratchet really quick but don’t worry, I can normally keep it together. It’s been some what of tough journey so far, but like many cocoa queens before me I’ve been pushing through (def: persevering). Learning from my mistakes, but still seeking to learn who this black girl is.

You should also know I’m a lover music, most of these post will include a link for songs or a playlist so that you guys can really vibe with me. With that being said, i’d like to conclude this post with a song that I think will prepare you and I for this journey:

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