Thursday, September 1, 2016

The Past | In Retrospect

I realize that there are many young people who are hurting, broken and afraid to be themselves. They fear rejection, ridicule and judgments. They drive themselves insane trying to fit the mold and be who everyone else wants them to be. They have no true identity, no real purpose and no passion to live beyond an expectation that no one else has met.

How do you tell them to stop waiting for a breakthrough and break through the inefficacy of their past, present and circumstantial.

I get questions all the time about life and what certain things are like, what I would do and how I cope. It has never occurred to me that I have wisdom to deposit to anyone. I have never thought of myself or my life as anything special.

I am honored that my sisters talk to me about their lives and the difficulties they face. That for me is a big deal. I love them endlessly and they know they can come to me if they need anything.

I often think of my very own children and that I want them to share everything with me, to never leave a single detail out, all the while knowing that nothing can make me love them less.

I want them to live and take chances. To be open and honest. To be so determined in life that no one can stop them from doing the great things they are meant to be. I want them to understand that being great is more than just titles but a serious responsibility.

I will never doubt their capacity and they shouldn't either.

At the end of the ninth grade when I was to move on to the tenth grade my mom told me she was done, that she couldn't do anymore. I purposed in my mind that whatever I had to do I would have to do it on my own.

Looking back now I don't think she was talking out of hate but rather she was a single mom with six children doing what she believed was her best at the time.

God had different plans for my life.

Uncle Berley came to my rescue and my granma bought me uniforms. Then Uncle Ken sent me money for books and I thought about God's small mercies and miracles.

I used to cry a lot when I was growing up. I was always sad though I pretended I was brave. I really wasn't, but the church I went to at the time was home for me and within the congregation I felt I had a real family and that is what gave me strength to keep fighting.

I lived in the ghetto,  my sisters were young, my brother hadn't been born yet but he was soon to come. I lived there for seventeen years and opportunities were scarce because back then and probably even now your address could cripple your life chances.

We moved because war erupted and our yard became gun man territory. I remember being dragged off the bed by my mom as gunshots echoed. I also remember the lashing I got from my mother when I came home from DVBS one evening because my sisters had fallen asleep under the bed as gun shots rang out around them.

It was my responsibility to take care of them. I had since they were born. I changed my share of nappies and diapers and prepared baby bottles too. I dressed them for the nursery, dropped them off and picked them up too. I would then catch the Half Way Tree bus from down town near their nursery to go to school.

It was the last years of primary school and the first few years of high school.

I loved doing it. It took a lot of pressure off mommy.

It's true that I missed out on my childhood and that is why I didn't want children of my own but those years also thought me maturity and resilience.

I had my share of mommy and daddy issues and seemed to look for love in all wrong places. If Uncle Berley hadn't been in my life I would have been rebellious and wanton, but he was like a father to me.
He thought me selflessness and love. He was my hero. I knew what love looked like and I avoided careless relationships.

I crushed heavily on my bestfriend's brother for what seemed like decades and I did the most shameful things to get his attention. Oh God, I wrote him love letters and love stories and it's strange in a way but I feel as if he loved the attention and led me on in a way, but I actually don't mind now that I think about it. He was totally worth crushing on. I just know that that wasn't love but a complete infatuation with a guy almost as dreamy as the ones you read about except I knew absolutely nothing about him.

Haha David, you dream boat you.

The first time I had any kind of relationship with a guy he sexually assaulted me.

I had learnt then that I didn't want to be in a relationship.

It had also become very hard for me to trust men and I was very awkward around them.

I didn't have a father. My mom told me he abandoned her when she was pregnant with me, that he ran off to the country and left her. I resented him.

I grew up hearing that I was worthless like my father. She would always say I looked like him and whenever I asked for anything she would say "Mi nuh like yuh enuh, go look fi yuh pupa!"

I decided she hated me. She often told me she did. I often felt abused both physically and verbally.

That didn't change how much I yearned for her approval.

I would have to buy my own sanitary napkins and deodorant from the age of eleven. I had never seen my siblings treated this way.

When I was eleven I cut my wrists. I got razor blades and I cut into my flesh. I layed on the floor waiting for the life to ebb from my body but I woke up in a caked up puddle of my own blood instead.

I tried again when I was seventeen. I threw myself over the edge of the veranda. I didn't break any bones but I was pretty cut up.

I did it again sometime after that.

I took a knife from the kitchen and I ran it through my left side once. It was a flesh wound, no real damage was done but it hurt like hell.

One morning on my way to school I walked out into the road and I wanted to get hit by a car but a friend of mine clutched my arm and pulled me back onto the side walk.

I stopped because she threatened to tell the guidance counselor.

I battled with suicidal thoughts and tendencies well into my marriage and even during the pregnancy of my third child (a child I didn't even know was there or maybe I just was in denial of the fact).

University for me was a sordid affair. I hated it there.

I did my best to make good grades and I did for the most part until I got distracted by a man who made me believe he was my friend and that he cared about me.

It was a time when my mom had up rooted all of us from the church we grew up in and had taken us down to another church that pretended to have Christ as head. I had gone through so much misery there that I ended up with even lower self esteem than I had initially and I cut off my hair.

I was a wife without a ring!

He raped me.

He fooled me and all he had to do to make me stay was tell me he loved me.

Then one night he called me and asked me to come down to his house and I told him "No". I told him I wanted someone who would make me feel special every single day for the rest of my life. I also told him he was just not boyfriend material and that he was ugly and selfish and not even the least bit attractive to me.

I wanted handsome, hard working and debonair.

I prayed to God that night for a friend and someone I could talk to who wouldn't take advantage of me or want sex from me, and though I didn't want to go to  the beach with my family the next day-I did and that is when I met Kevin.

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