I usually never lay down but today I crawl towards the bed because I'm exhausted and nauseated.
I am not now nor have I ever been an angry or aggressive person but I do tend to lock things away until I implode.
The in-laws aren't bad people, they just weren't very good to me. I wish we were close and that they loved me and my boys the way they seem to love all their other family. I wish they came to visit us as they do their other daughters and grandchildren. I wish we got invited to those family beach trips and hotel stays instead of just reunions where I had to pretend that I was accepted into the family.
After all the years that had passed I still just wanted to be a part of them without the ridicule, the judgment or the rumors. I didn't fight for myself and I made sure I was respectful (except for that time when I called my husband's sister a witch and bitch) so that God would fight for me.
I honor my mother and father and my father has my undying respect even if he's just a "stall man" because whenever I have a job or interview or anything else I can leave my children with him and he will gladly miss work or his hustle to look after them.
He cooks for them, plays with them and never leave Aaron's side because he knows Aaron doesn't like to be left alone. If I am running late I don't have to worry because he picks up Ayden from school.
When they get home they can't eat the dinner I cook because "grampa" cooked ackee and salt fish and dumplings for them or chicken and rice and he packs up their bags with snacks and juice.
Those are the things I focus on. I focus on the positives. The people like my aunty Joan and aunt Karen who always remember me and my family. People like Jodi-Gay who lets me know we are always in her prayers. The people who never forget my birthday even when I have. I have a profound support system and nothing changes in our relationship even if they don't call or write or come by because those are bonds that can never be broken.
When uncle Berley died I thought God was unfair and cruel. I felt like he had taken the only person left in my life who truly loved me but God showed me that everyone loves differently.
I never feel alone because I have Aaron, Ayden and Kevin. I have very few friends but that's all I need. Nieka has always been my cheerleader, my sister, my confidant. Aunty Karen a mom and sister all tied up in one from the days I used to sit in church and weep like the willow Aunty Karen was there. No judgement, just words of comfort and kindness.
Aunty Joan, my rock. I remember her wiping my tears and encouraging my husband. I remember her last week she and Aaron walking hand in hand and I thought to myself "We have all the family we need, my children are loved."
I laughed to myself as I remember how Rashada, their aunt, my sister, went out of her way to buy Ayden a birthday cake on his 5th birthday. She was adamant that she had to get him something and late that night she did just that and even got his name and everything written on it.
My family will tell you that I never ask for help and even refuse it when it is extended. I don't want to make anyone uncomfortable and I like managing my own responsibilities. I don't ever want to be called a "user" ever again. Yes I was called a user some years ago by someone I had never asked for anything ever in my life.
We do okay and if we don't have we do without and as adults we must be willing to teach this to our children.
My husband says he doesn't feel any kind of way to do the most for me or get me an expensive lipstick because whenever I have mine I spend it all on him and the kids and I never complain.
Truth is doing all the things I do for my family makes me happy.
I'm not mad at the in-laws, not even a little bit.
I'm not looking for a hand out and my mom and my aunt will tell you about me. My mom calls it pride, but my aunt calls it fear. It's neither. I just want to be able to say at the end of the day that "We did it."
I'm looking for opportunities so give me that. I work hard and I never make excuses and my husband is a work-a-holic.
I don't want your money or gifts for the children. I would however be happy to accept a job.
I want to hold my own.