whats freedom if I aint lily white?

http://www.theartstory.org/artist-basquiat-jean-michel-artworks.htm

Day9 lemonade.
In my spirit I am not free.

To be black in America, as a woman, with no spouse and a child… who is black Jewish and autistic makes me feel hyper vulnerable.
It’s not that I wake up and see blatant violence; lynchings, mothers and fathers torn apart, tar and feather. it’s what I feel.

It’s how I perceive the world.

Dr. Robin diangelo talks about seeing people through frames, these are the frames that you view people through. These frames are comprised of our experiences,our nationhood, our social status, ethnicity, class.
these are the things that plague me.

I sit, waiting for a miracle to happen and it never does. Read more

Advertisements

47 more hours til I’m a mommy

‚Äč4 years ago i posted on my facebook: “After 21 hours I’m not progressing and being sent home ūüė¶ hopefully i’ll sleep and wake up to a new baby boy. Keep me in your prayers.”

Another 47 hours and he would be here. Man I remember this day…chubby’s entry into the world was difficult, lonely, and at times traumatic. I wanted my body to “do what it was supposed to” but it didn’t, because mentally I couldn’t.  It was too much, I felt scared and unsafe. The father of my son would show up high and smelly. My friends would feel more bonded than his family. 
The doctor tore my bandages off with no remorse and no pain medication. I was a welfare mom with a child born near a holiday. I didn’t see the same doctor for the c section, the check up or the check out. The nurses and my girl Nicole would hold me down. Bringing me soup, listening to me cry, laugh with me. 
Nurse Linda still has a special place in my heart. The Chicano nurses would come in and we would talk shit and watch Mike Epps, laughing and happy. I would walk even when they told me not to. I stayed a week from how sick and weak I became. 
I remember learning to breastfeed. It was so very painful. His hardened gums sucking more of my life force from me as I bled from my surgery and my vagina. I felt tired after. His dad asking me dumb ass questions. 
His white grandmother shows up…unwraps my child to see if he looks like her son. That bitch ain’t slick. She needed to stay her ass at home. But she intrudes. Her children intrude. I want all the white people out of my birthing room. They leave. 
My dad, his wife, my auntie are there. My cousin  and her boyfriend too. They are in and out. They watch the white people and we laugh. They kept me sane in that moment. They made sure I knew I was loved. My father and step mom have since divorced. My auntie is still a bad one. And my cousin…that’s a story for another day. 

 I cried to my mama and told her I needed her. I needed her to help me. I felt like a prisoner in that hospital room. The daily massages and peaks of sun light weren’t good enough. We hadn’t spoke since she found out I was pregnant. We didn’t talk while I was homeless during those 7 months. But in that moment I needed her. 

Before I leave the hospital I walk the corridors one more time. Wheeling my baby around. The doctors in the other departments have gotten to know me. My afro, my fair skinned almond eyed beautiful baby, and my quick wit. I make them laugh and they hug me goodbye. The nurses all come to pay me a visit as they find out I’m about to leave. Even the lady who stuffs and cleans my deformed wound gives me a gift before I go. 

My baby boys birth was difficult. I still feel flustered at times that I didn’t push him out of me. I feel like a fool for being so stubborn in distancing myself from my family. I feel angry that I allowed the father of my son to hurt me with his words. I wonder if my son’s disabilities are my fault. I was homeless for 7 of the 9 months I was pregnant. I lacked basic nutrition and access to food for at least 4 months.  

I pondered having an abortion.but I chose life. I chose his life. I chose my life. I chose motherhood. I chose and continue to choose to love him daily. I chose long nights, restless days, hormones and stretch marks.  

I’m so glad I chose my son. He woke up today and was moody. I cuddled him anyways. His entry was hard but he reminds me every day that today is only momentary, tomorrow is always coming. I’m so glad tomorrow is near. 4 years from his birth I am still in love with my little monster. His soft cheeks, his curls, his smile, his one liners. His tears and hugs all in one. I would do it all again to feel a love like this. 

Weeping may endure for a night but joy comes in the morning

Getting fat…

I was never on a healthy diet as a kid. I ate whatever I could when I could. Be default I walked about 5 to 10 miles a day on a paper route we had. My body was in shape but I was always tired and stressed. 

My mother was one of those fat moms that always told her daughters how fat they were. Our bodies were something to be ashamed of. So when I went to college and found out my fat was sexy I was pumped. 

And now I look back and realize how wrong I was about my body image. How I perceived myself was based on other people’s opinions. My mother, my ex, the bullies, and the beauty images of black women. “Snatched” waist lines which seemed unattainable, perfectly sewn weaves, big  butts that sat up high and perfect skin. I had all those things and yet I couldn’t see them. 

My weight has ballooned in stressful periods of my life. When I was suicidal and suffering from deep depression I would lose so much weight that people didn’t recognize me. After my baby was born my weight sky rocketed. My weight is becoming my enemy. My psychological angst. I can’t stop thinking about it. 

I hate what I see, what I’ve become. I look at myself and feel disgusted. I don’t see myself as sexy or desirable and it shows. I’ve never been a big girl and now I am one. I could cry, but I don’t. I just suffer silently because I hate acknowledging my problem. 

I have a mothafucking problem 

I need it to pass. I can’t do it anymore. I’m just fat for the sake of being fat. I’m stressed and tired and sleep deprived. I’m uncomfortable, irritated and sad. I don’t feel sexy even when I’m standing in the presence of a man who wants my physically. I don’t want this shit to weigh on me anymore. 

I bought the book It Starts With Food and I understand that my cravings are not my fault. That bread and instant shit have sugars in them meant to fuck me up. I see that the food industry is seeded with greed and not health. I know fast food will be the death of me. I finally realized that the pain I feel in my body is a reflection of what I’m eating and how I’m feeling. 
I’m struggling everyday to not be a fat bitch. I’ve lost these past couple of days. Falling on and off the wagon depending on where I’m at for the day. I don’t wanna be that way anymore. 

 today I will try again 

chelsea handler kinda fresh out here tho

I watched Chelsea Handlers “Chelsea Does” series and was truly inspired. And I’m thinking the whole time

whoa this shit is ill.

Like I know that weddings are a charade, and marriages can fail, but there’s something so beautiful and sweet at its core that is makes you weep in joy. I don’t know what that is like, but I want to feel that with someone one day. I want to grow old with someone. I want to have sex in the morning before the kids wake. I want to dance and argue and then make up. I want to go through my pain with someone who gets me. I want to encourage them and uplift them without rejection. This is who I want to marry. That man is somewhere. And maybe it is because I’m a romantic, maybe I watched too much Disney and evidently I keep fucking up with these men I let stick their penises in me…but fuck it. I want a partner for life and if that happens more than once I won’t be mad about it.

So she moves on to conquering the tech world. It was intriguing to see that something so simple, like concentration, takes a team of elite engineers to hone and focus on. And it made me realize both the power and limitations of the brain. It explains why these innovations are both fascinating and human. The creators of all of these products are humans. I thought it was dope that Chelsea sat next to the girl in the room. I like that she highlighted this goofy kid who she bantered with. Without knowing it (or doing it intentionally) Chelsea reminded me that women are dope and when we enter a room, in whatever vicinity we kick ass.

But then she shows us the South. Literally showing us a plantation that acts as a tourist location and resort.¬†She attends a confederate memorial type of thing and the white folks literally reject the reality of a bad slave experience (which in itself sounds fucked up…basically they deny slavery). They make it seem as if the brutalities of slavery were either unknown or happened once in a while. Now mind you, this is South Carolina. Walter Scott, Bree Newsome, and the Redneck shop. These people have to at the very minimum be 50 years old, meaning that they were born during the 1960’s and their parents were born in the 40’s and grandparents the 1920’s. Are you kidding me? You’re cognitive dissonance is showing girl.

Chelsea picked up on something that I thought was great to highlight. There was a black man cooking across the street. He said that 50 years ago he couldn’t look at a white woman or he would have been killed. But now he can look at a white woman and said things were better.¬†What I love is that Chelsea expressed true white rage and even asked black people, including the Walter Scott family, why they weren’t angry. What I saw in my people was a sense of humanity, a sense of dignity, a true sense of God manifested in the flesh. To witness their pain and continual strife and “make do” is astonishing and humbled me dearly.

Last she showed us drugs. Not only did she talk about her own personal drug use, she showed it in both its destruction and beauty. Talking to former addicts, experiencing drugs with friends, and watching people have revelations was dope. She took this drug called Ayahuasca and it was fucking trippy shit. I think what I thought was cool was that everyone who experienced it had a moment of clarity.

I’ve smoked pot, snorted cocaine twice, and done molly one time. I was a Coug so drinking was mandatory. I’ve smoked cigarettes a well. The hardest to kick of all of the drugs I’ve taken is cigarettes.

I think that becoming a mom made me feel like partaking in drug use was dangerous. I’m responsible for someone’s life. But I know that I have a family and friends around me who would never let me slip into something to escape reality because I was running from something. And that’s the biggest thing right? Like you can get high as fuck, drunk off your ass, yakked out but if you’re doing it to repress something that is hurting you, you’re only doing more damage. And I get it too. I was in an abusive relationship¬†and he introduced me to heavy pot smoking. I smoked blunts daily with him and prior to had only smoked a bowl here and there. Looking back, I didn’t realize that he was in a dark place and that he was coping by¬†smoking weed. I liked how I felt and loved the sex that followed but it wasnt real. I was drowning in sadness and trying to smoke my way through it. I think thats why it took me so long to process what had happened to me.

When Chelsea’s homegirl was crying during her ayahuasca experience she said that she was overwhelmed with how much she could love her son. She loved her son¬†but she saw a better way to love him. I was touched and started crying too. I think as moms we are so rigid and strict with ourselves that it can hinder our emotional ties to our children. Not withstanding the fact that kids are little shits some times, but they’re our little shits and that’s enough. The crazy thing is, is that if we were honest with ourselves, we would acknowledge that we fuck up, make mistakes and sometimes reward “bad behavior”. But we’re human beings with like 16-30 years more life lived and trying to raise someone who we witnessed laugh for the first time. That’s some heavy ass shit. Dont take it too seriously, love literally conquers all in parenting.

I learned a lot about perceptions and attitudes. I think I gained a new respect for mankind and appreciated showing the glaring issues we have as human beings. We’re a hot mess and we do and use things to justify, cope, and neglect the reality of which we live in. I love that this docu-series gave me hope. We have come a long way as a species but we are stunting our growth by not healing. We have to go back to the root of marriage – how it is communal. We have to address the innovation of tech and respect our humanity in relation to it, to stop being fearful or ignorant. We have to demolish racism- but that only happens by talking about its formation and acknowledging our own humanity. Its an individual (micro) and global (macro) work for justice. We have to respect drugs – by understanding why we indulge and what we are seeking. Knowledge is power.

It has been a great 4 hours of Netflix and now I’m hungry. Ciao

 

 

30th Day of Lemonade

 

 

During my final semester in college, I was draining out. My son was being evaluated for special needs, I had completed three major event programs and I was a senior in classes that devoted too much of  my time. I was stretched thin, working, had to kick my cousin out again, let go of friends and my car axle had snapped. Talk about some EXTRA shit, I encapsulated that phrase.

I set my alarm to ring Earth Wind and Fire’s Shining Star. It got me up without fail. There were ¬†times where I would turn it off, feeling depleted all ready. One incident in particular stands out in my mind. It was a Thursday. I had failed an exam and was exhausted from dealing with my two year old who would not eat. It was like pulling teeth. I was so angry and frustrated with him. I was tired from tossing and turning. As my alarm went off, I threw my phone and cried until I fell asleep again.

When I woke up, my son had his chubby arms wrapped around my neck and was asleep in my hair. He was so precious, so beautiful. To him I was a shining star. All he knew was me and him. I stumbled with him, made mistakes and witnessed a lot of wins. I graduated, walked and when I got out, I held him all the way home. Getting to that moment was tough. As I watched people walk with their families, I remembered how we all were stars to our loved ones. My walk meant something to my friends, my siblings, my mama, my son and so many more.

For 30 days I have struggled with thinking how could I turn my lemons into Lemonade. Shit has not been easy but I have practiced the following 7 things:

  1. Reading — whether its a news article, blog post or book. Reading is essential to the soul. It improves your vocabulary and eases your mind. I’m currently reading¬†It Starts With Food. I am sure you will witness my journey with my health and I will post about how this works or does not
  2. Talking with loved ones — a week or so ago, I walked off my job in pure emotional rage. My baby sister answered the phone as I deliriously cried to her. She was calm and loving and patient and told me “girl! do whatever you have to do to feel better”. So I left my job, went to a friends house then rode the train to see more friends. My baby sister rocked out for me
  3. Laugh when you get mad. Literally, when someone makes you mad, shaking mad, crack a joke. As Dustin from The Friend Zone would say “on a petty note”! Laugh at em! Most of the time people are hurting and looking to hurt and that’s why they come at you sideways all up out the blue.
  4. Listening to The Read, The Friend Zone, Another Round. These three podcasts are made from a black perspective and they offer a plethora of advice and have fun while doing it. They’re inspiring and honest in more ways than one, but its helped me get my shit together
  5. Taking hot showers with the door closed has been new for me. I’ve been a single parent from the conception of my child and always had to shower with the door open to make sure nothing happened. You know how toddlers can be. But now my son is nearing 4 years old and the most he’ll do is leave the fridge open when hes jackin strawberries. Taking this moment to myself has been doing wonders
  6. Meditate and praying. I don’t do them often or at all. In fact ¬†as I’m typing, I just realized I missed my meditation moment. DAMN IT! O well..which brings me to my final gem
  7. Practicing not beating myself up for not being my ideal human being. I use an app called SuperBetter and it really helps me navigate my emotions. I’ve always struggled with who I’m supposed to be and who I am and what I want to become. I’m still working on it.

I hope that everyone reading this enjoyed this past month. I’m looking forward to more lemonade than lemons. In the meantime, stay tuned! My journey is not over yet…

‚ÄúDid you hear about the rose that grew from a crack in the concrete? Proving nature’s laws wrong, it learned to walk without having feet. Funny, it seems to by keeping it’s dreams; it learned to breathe fresh air. Long live the rose that grew from concrete when no one else even cared.‚ÄĚ – 2pac Shakur

 

 

Practicing Dreaming

Day 29 –

I read The Secret about three years ago. The book was first introduced to me by a friend. I have been stumbling these past couple of days. Today I was accosted by a former friends mother, Freddie Gray’s murderer wasnt charged¬†and I spent the day being thrown off my schedule. Buses stalled, a practitioner was 30 minutes late, missed meetings. I slammed on my brakes today super pissed.

I look in the mirror and I see my sons optimistic face.

He’s a rambunctious child. I’ve struggled with disciplining him, teaching him, communicating with him. We have grown so far. I’m still learning. He’s taught me the importance of looking me in the eye.

When I see him, I pause. I know that ALL of my actions affect him in a very real and long standing way. I still get mad at my mama because I remember her anger. I just wanna heal.

So I meditated.

“The Secret means that we are creators of our Universe, and that everyr wish that we want to create will manifest in our lives. Therefore, our wishes, thoughts, and feelings are very important because they will manifest”.

These past 4 weeks I have spoke more about trying to heal versus actually practicing.¬†I learned Transcendental Meditation¬†about two years ago. I fall off and on the wagon and in recent months, I haven’t practiced at all. This was a gift, given to me from The David Lynch Foundation and I keep pushing it away. This morning I meditated and as my day went to shit, I sat back and dismissed what I had done this morning.

I took my son to the beach. Watching the waves crash on the tide, seeing a seal bob its head, two surfers and a naval ship. I sat listening to The Friend Zone as they discussed #Flint. As Hey Fran Hey began to speak, she noted that for our mental health, to create a grateful wall.

Today I am grateful for the power to recognize that I must take self care seriously. This is something that I say but not do, preach but dont practice. I get flustered with my students when they dont prioritize their health above all things. How can I reprimand an action that I am clearly not abiding by in my own life?

I am a hypocrite, an arrogant fool.

I am grateful for aging. I have experienced so much in these 28 years and know that I have a good 60 to 70 years ahead. I know that I am a blink in history but I will make my life count. I have grown smarter, wiser, more vulnerable, more in tune with my body. This is space and time in motion. I can see my future in my dreams and know that I have years to look forward too.

I am grateful for dreams. Not the type that you sleep through, the dreams you have when you stand in the shower. I see my son walking with his diploma, me and my mentors standing smiling with lights flashing and my hand wrapped in my loves. These dreams keep me motivated, pushing, yearning for better. For Freedom.

Family First

Day 26

I have a cousin…shes beautiful.

Growing up, she made sure I knew that she was the “better” one. She’s younger than I (by a matter of days) but on my fathers side, she was a gem. She(DK) along with another cousin(MK), took joy in bullying me and my other cousin(WK). Me and WK would have sleep overs and do our homework together. We were easy targets. I was the black girl who went to private school. I grew up on the north end of town and visited my family on the eastside. WK was easy to target because she could pass for white, case closed.

I remember going home and crying after leaving DK’s house. She was supposed to be my family, but she acted like she hated me. She was the token cousin, she was special, she had long straight hair with perfect brown skin. I was a rough and tumble kid with braids and no friends. Her family on her paternal side were well known in the church, and they had a huge family. On my mothers side I come from an evangelist and a missionary. My¬†family was smaller though, a little bourgeois but thats only because of our view of the Peninsula Bay.

As time went on, after my parents divorce, I only saw the family on special occasions. ¬†Even then, she was judgmental, rude and treated me like a peasant. To this day, I have no clue what caused her to detest me so. But I got over it. And for a while, after I had my son, she was kind to me. We would talk here and there. I would read her blog, send her my love, and admire her. I knew it couldnt be easy having two very separate lives to live.I remember thinking that maybe she was mean because she wasnt happy with her own self… but that wasnt it.

pho485x309education

The Riff the Broke the Camels Back 

Donald Sterling¬†and his infamous recording by his ex Vi set me off. I was in my second to last semester of college, majoring in Comparative Ethnic Studies. This recording pissed me off and I, like the majority of GenX’s took my complaint to Facebook. My comments were cool until this white girl with mixed kids decided ¬†to tell me and other black people to suck it up and accept the fact that white people called us niggers. I went IN on that ass, had a couple other people tag team, white black and Asian. In my anger, I used a plethora of curse words to drive my point across.

I take a step away from my post, I had a message from my cousin. I open it up, thinking its something about going to church, when I would be home again, hows the baby. NOPE! She let me know that she loved me BUT I needed to remove my profile picture showing my grandmother (the one that we share) holding my son. I was floored.

How could a Facebook profile picture and comments on one of my MANY politicized, curse word filled posts piss her off this much. I clapped back. She then said that our grandmother had requested the removal. Of course I didnt believe her because how could my grandmother, who birthed 9 children who all but 1 had been divorced, all of the men and one of the women had been incarcerated, one of my uncles was a pimp AND  a drug dealer, another was a theif, another was a heroine addict, and two of them (including my father) had abondonded their wives and children. This grandma was telling me that because I used curse words, she wanted me to remove my picture of 4 generations?? The level of petty and bullshit pissed me off on a whole new level. And I let her know it.

I was offended and pissed off. I still am if I’m being honest. I dont look at her or my grandmother the same. I cant.

Time passed, we didnt speak. I was working in Seattle and so was she. After months of traveling I look up and she was on the same train. I made the mistake of smiling and trying to speak to her. That was met with a snub. It probably was my fault for not reaching out…

We spoke once, she told me she loved me and I told her I loved her as well. We went about our separate ways. She didnt want to sit with me and and my son on the train, the feeling was mutual.

I saw her last weekend at a conference that I was volunteering at. I gave her a hug, made light conversation and then avoided making eye contact or entertaining her presence after. It’s not that I dont love her, I just think its best to let it be like this. I dont feel awkward but I do feel that we have nothing more to build.

We dont know each other…

And yet, I want to have a strong bond with the black women in my family. Especially my generation. I dont know what I’m supposed to do, how I’m supposed to heal this…I’m hoping time will figure it out for us both.

Since loving is about knowing, we have more meaningful love relationships when we know each other and it takes time to know each other. – bell hooks

 

 

Black Girl Beauty Politikin

Day 25

Crazy for feeling so blue
I knew you’d love me as long as you wanted
And then some day
You’d leave me for somebody new

Worry
Why do I let myself worry?
Wondering
What in the world did I do

Patsy Cline – Crazy

I started using OKcupid this Saturday. My longtime friend and her roommate had me sign up. And as expected the messages and likes began rolling in. It was so cool to see my phone light up. When I finally checked, my inbox was filled with men. I started scrolling through…I couldn’t find a brotha no where! I immediately thought I should have put up a picture of my shape…but wouldnt that be twisted? In order to spark interest the interest of a black man, I thought I needed to show my body. How did I get here? How did we get here? Was Wale’s apology enough? Naw….

There’s a statue (and many photos) of the Black Venus, this woman carved to command beauty. Standing bronzed, her face, hips and hair are unapologetically black. She used to be the mold of beautiful. Once could even argue she is still the standard of beauty. We see it most commonly displayed by the Kardashian family, the co opting of hair styles, ass and skin color is something white women have and continue to steal. However, black women are still disrespected. Even by our own….

Amandla Stenberg, a rising figure of black womanhood, posted to Instagram about how this phenomenon of a blatant double standard is foul. Black women are ostracized and denigrated for having naturally thick hips, full lips, dark skin, full hair, style and word play. But all the Beckys are allowed to take these attributes, apply them to themselves and then make literal money and grow capitol from stealing from black women. But that isnt my issue, stealing from black folks is as American as apple pie.

My issue lies in the fact that black men and women tear down black women for fun. I’m pissed that as a black girl and now as a black young woman, I have been shitted on the most by black men. Yes, I know its a marker from slavery that we have to learn to resist, but it dont mean it doesnt hurt. I grew up in Tacoma and lived on the white side of town. When they started busing in black kids to the middle school, I finally had contact with black boys who dug me. They didnt mind that my hips and butt were wide and round. The played with my relaxed hair (and as an adult loved putting their fingers through my fro). But that soon gave way to me meeting the girls where they were from.

I was considered brown skinned, medium toned, but they called me a “red bone“. Huh? I aint mixed or Creole… I talked “white” (it wasnt until much later than I would finesse code switching) so I was different. As I grew older, the boys who I thought liked me for me, always chose lighter versions of me. Alot of the girls they chose were mixed race with 3B curls. That wasnt me…

I didnt get it, I didnt understand what was wrong with me. Middle school, turned into high school, where I attended Bellarmine Preparatory School – a private Catholic school in the Jesuit tradition. Even though I was on student government, participated in debates, gave speeches, kept private, I was still deemed a stereotypical black girl while the boys could be straight up goons and be applauded.

I’ll never forget that all the girls had crushes on John. I sat next to him on my first day. He was so fine. He had beautiful dark skin, a pretty white smile and muscles. He kissed me once, I was so shy that I couldnt make eye contact with him the next day. He brushed me off and started dating Alex. Alex was white, freckled, with braces, no lips, and no figure. Once again, I thought it was me. I tried to be more chill, ignore how I felt, remain lonely. Who cares?!

College was a whole other ball game! But I still got passed up for lighter, thinner, “better” women. Even brothas who rocked an ankh chain, loved having a white girl by their side. Nothing made sense. It still dont! The black woman is the most disrespected person in this nation, let alone the world.¬†Look how we treat Africa, the mother of all lands. Look at the statistics on rape and prosecution when the victim is a black woman. Look at the literal statistics of black women on welfare, recognize that we are not abusing or using the system any where near white women, but who is the welfare queen?

I know the odds are stacked against me institutionally. I know that black folks have many issues in this area of black beauty. But what I do know is that no matter what my past feelings have been, I am a black woman and I am beautiful. I still have hope in black love and I’ll keep looking for a man who matches and loves my blackness. I have hope.

“black women were created of
brown sugar and warm honey.
the sweetest thing to bless the earth.
be wary of anyone who tells you otherwise.‚ÄĚ

-Alexandra Elle

mama told me so…

kitchen-table16
mama sees you

Day 24

Growing up, I’ve always been surrounded by people. Good people. Christian people. Educators. Pastors. Military members. Family. I always had a village. As time went by and people moved, things changed and we just got older, that village formed itself. Sure, some people from the past still remained, but its never the same. Which is good, and bad.

Before my father and mother split, I grew up at True Vine, a black C.O.G.I.C. church. We have a song in the church that says:¬†this is the church of God in Christ, this is the church of God in Chriiiiist. You can’t just join in.. Ya Got to be Boooorrrnnn In, this is the Church of God in Christ.¬† I was born in. That means my god parents, family friends and (parents) colleagues were heavily connected and “blessed”. That blessing didnt stop my parents divorce.

When my mama was in school, single parenting 4 children and working 2 jobs I was 11. She would give me the “responsibility” of waiting for her on the couch with the remote. We would practice blocking the door. She trusted me though. Sometimes when she would get off her night shift, she would swing by the food bank and come home with buckets of food. From her work in the social services field, our village changed dramatically. We were friends with kids who parents were in school for social services. Lets just say we all knew the I statement.

We first were at one of my sisters god parents church and then moved to Uncle Chuckies church. It was small but we had a great group of people. We were all poor working families who had a heart for the community. I remember the other single parents, the kids who were all around the same age, shouting and praising God. We had bowling nights and sleep overs. We babysat for one another, then Chuckie had a brain aneurysm. He was a vegetable. The church split up.

I went to college. After 8 years, I can truly say that my village changed contingent on whether I was in or out of school, who graduated, where I worked, where I drank, where I lived, what classes I took and what extra-curriculars I was involved in. The crazy thing is that through it all, I found people who loved me and I loved them back. My mentors, day care teachers, professors, even the President at times comprised of a village of people who supported me through some of my hardest days, motherhood and the path to graduation.

No matter how much my village changed, I can still look back and be grateful. The people who were present during each stage were there for a reason. I’m glad I was close to my parents family as children, for my foundation is strong and I know I have a huge family who’s down to ride. My church family from my conception to the present, remind me of the legacy of the black church and how it directly affects me as a representative of the church. My school support team have no clue how much I appreciate the soft smiles, the closed doors so I could cry, letting me slide on an assignment, hugging me when I failed and when I rocked out.

Now I think about my son. What is his village going to look like? Do I have enough people in his village? Even with his father, I am well aware that my childs village is my responsibility. The loved ones in my sons life, the family, the friends, the therapists, the teachers and the countless neighbors and peers who are rooting for me and my son. As I grow, I am pushing every day to strengthen my village and strengthen my sons village.

Coldplay has a song called Everglow¬†that truly nails the feeling of a village…how important it is. The ending lyric says

so if you love someone, you should let them know
oh the light that you left me will everglow

My thoughts exactly

Mama Pt. 2

image

Day 21 

Accepting my son’s disabilities were hard…

It started after his 18 month shots.

He wouldn’t look at me, wouldn’t eat his favorite food (homemade chili and cornbread) didn’t play with other kids, sounded like a minion…it was strange.

His fever lasted a week and a half. He was fussy but still functioning. I couldn’t figure out what was happening. He would eat and throw up and diarrhea. I didn’t know what to do. I called the nurse and they kept telling me it was normal but when I was in the room, they told me 2 days…

What was happening?

He got worse. He wouldn’t sit, listen, respond, smile, sleep…he just wasn’t him…

I called my mama and told her to come get him. I was frustrated and angry. It was my last semester in college and I thought I was gonna lose it. She kept him for periods of time…more than I should have let. I didn’t know what was happening to my baby

I sought help.

A table of 7 white women tell me what’s wrong with my son. I don’t know how to take it. They suggest a psychological evaluation. I flat out refuse. Resources come slowly…one speech therapy session. I call my mama crying:I need to come home!

Home…me and mama ain’t lived together in 10 years. She berates me, insults me, yells at me. We fight in front of my son. He’s so used to it, he checks out.

I work in Seattle for a black female attorney. She’s a bitter woman. Jaded by life. I don’t hold it against her but she’s a real peach.

Her, my mama, my sister…it’s all fucked up. But me and chubby start occupational therapy. I cut my hours. He goes to daycare with my auntie. I get a new job. Finally the chaos has subsided.

We start making progress. He gives me kisses and hugs. He starts playing with his homies. He’s starting school.

We’ve had many bumps along the way but what helped most was housing, an increase in income, transportation, consistent therapies and support of family and friends.

My son turns 4 in July and he has grown into a rambunctious energetic and loving little boy. He has his rough moment daily but I live for the peaceful night, laughter filled afternoons and sweet mornings.

We’re getting there…

Single motherhood: Part 1

Day 20

William plays peek a boo by himself. 

William plays outside with the big kids. 

I watch him. 

William cant stay asleep, he screams, yells, hops on mama 

its 3am 

Go to sleep William 

He wont go 

GO TO SLEEP WILLIAM 

pick him up, lay him down, be stern

try and fall asleep….¬†

 

This is my life. Daily. I am tired. I am worn down. I am starting to break, but I cant. I need my family to all do something. The father of my son is a joke and an enormous burden to bear. I have been patient, accommodating and fair. I don’t ask for much.

All I want is time to myself to re coop from a long ass week. All I want is for people to stop judging me or saying slick ass remarks. To be fair, its not people, its just my baby daddy and a fuck boy I aint fuckin no mo.

They remind me how weak people are. How fragile everyone else gets to be. Black men are degraded, so as black women we pacify them excessively. I had a black male friend who I cracked a joke about parenting and my personal situation. He berated me and made me feel like I was a bad person for wanting a day off of my son. He aint got a mama so maybe he’s hurting.

White male fragility is a joke. White males are told they can do whatever and say whatever without consequence. They display it in their reckless behavior and how they act walk and talk entitled. White men have a tendency to believe that they are the final say so, and when they speak at you like they are entitled it pushes someone like me to silence so I can simmer down.

White girls…so many pointless tears. Ugh GIRL!

 

I’m tired, worn down¬†

I wanna cry 

I wanna scream 

Life aint fair 

I’m done…¬†

I have drawn my foot in the sand and peace must be upon me 

I will not allow people to hurt me intentionally, and unintentional aint an option  

I’m learning to love¬†

Its getting hard 

try to fall asleep. 

#30DaysofLemonade