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OUR STORIES

 


     
 

7/13:

Last night was real tough. Sometimes I can’t help but blame myself for the current situation I am in today. I have 2 children. I had 3, but I now only have 2. The child who is no longer with me was taken away from me. She was 12 years old and I had her since she was 8. I hurts to think that I may have been able to prevent the breakup. But I have to trust that it was all for the good.

The two that I currently have are precious. I have a 17 year and a 10 year old girl. Both kids are great. They are helpful around the house, and my 17 year old just graduated high school. I hope that she does something amazing with her life. My 10 year old is the sparkle in my eye. She is learning be leaps and bounds and growing so tall.

But last night, I wanted it all done. I wanted to end it all. I wanted to end my life. I wanted to leave this world. The pain was just so overwhelming that I even took a belt and tied it around my neck. But I am too pathetic. Maybe I like myself too much to even do something like that. Maybe I am too chicken-shit. I don’t like the idea of taking away my life. I don’t like the idea of dying before the time is “right”. Is there  a time to die, a time to be gone, to be rid of this place. And who dictates that time?

As the blows to my face and leg got stronger and stronger, the better I started to feel. It was as if I wanted to endure the outside pain. Because the outside pain is what kept feeling pain…I didn’t want to feel the inner pain so feeling the outside pain made me feel better. So sick…I know. But sometimes that is just the way it is.

I start to think in “if only” statements. If only I had not written that book and shared my true feelings. If only I had not adopted my kids, if only I had not come back to make sure my oldest receive a good education, if only I had not worked at a prestigious school, if only, if only, if only. And the more I thought about the “if onlys” the more I realized how many “I’s” were placed in the statements. It’s not about me, its about them. I didn’t come back and get my kid through school for me, I did it for them. I didn’t adopt for me, I did it for them. I didn’t work for me, I did it so that I could earn a living to provide for them. And the person who is helping me and making all of this very possible for me is the person I love and will always love forever and ever amen!


7/11: It has been about 3 years now since I last spoke with my mother. Unfortunately, I never had a good relationship with her. Partly it was my fault, but I do believe that it takes two to tango.

As a teenager I was difficult. I would not however necessarily classify myself as a "typical teenage" but I would voluntarily admit that I hated that stage in my life.

My background is unique in that I am black, but I was raised in a Caucasian family. At the age of 4 I was adopted and have since then carried their last name.

One is supposed to believe that after adoption comes a "better" life. A life that all the other children sitting in the orphanage only dream about having. No more laying on defecated and urine-filled mattresses. No more eating the same oatmeal and wearing the same outfit for days on end. Shoes are put on your feel and no more will you have blisters on your little toes.

Food! You will get food, and plenty of it now that you were adopted. At night, you will no longer have teenage boys touching you while the "nuns" or caretakers were asleep, or having a smoke during their shift break. 

Love! Unconditional love was now ahead of you. Regardless of what you do, love would abound.

I thought all of this, I guess. I am not sure how I felt as I was driving away from the only place I called home for the first four years of life. I didn't really have a "language" I spoke, for I didn't speak till later, 5 or 6. I listened. Like today, at 34, I listen.....and then I write.

Writing was the only way I felt I could express myself. I didn't feel close to my mother. I had an ok relationship with my father. In fact, I Idolized him. I did this mainly because he was weak. He didn't seem to have a bone in his body, he would go limp at the sight or sound of my mother.

But I wanted him to stand up for himself for one, just once, just this time. I wanted him to say "this is wrong." But he never did. And so I had to, finally. And now...neither speak with me.

I can't blame them. Though I never intended for my book to do harm to anyone, I can see how it could hurt. The truth, like they say, really does hurt, especially if you still fail to acknowledge it. And the sad thing is, it does not just hurt the doer, but it also hurts the receiver.

My book was written when I was a teenager. I had not published it yet because I didn't have the financial means, nor the time to. But I started piecing together my life, one leaf at a time. As I strung my life together, I eagerly shared my thoughts with both my parents but neither of them cared. 

The book was about me. It was about my life and how I was raised and who I felt I was and what I could possibly become. With every autobiography comes a memoir that evokes truth in its essence. But it is not until others fall upon it that the truth permeates and damages what we held most dear. Intimacy.

My life lacked intimacy. I will blame myself for that. I couldn't find intimacy in any way, shape or form. I always had felt different. I felt that I could not relate to my siblings, nor to my parents. I felt that intimacy was not possible. Until I disconnected from myself and injected my love into a child, I realized that it was possible to be part of that wonderful feeling of closeness. This is where I found intimacy.

And this is what my book is about. But with every tale comes the composition and the making of the person. Though I protected my book by changing names, copyrighting the material, injecting "I think and I believe statements", It still killed my parents.

I think my dad was hurt because I had exposed his weakness, while at the same time, uplifting him as my hero.

My mother couldn't stand the fact that I had unveiled the truth about who she was, despite all of the "eversooften" good times we had together. Those were few.

But the book was published during my final year in college. I can remeber spending hours and hours working on it and editing it. Once I was finally done, I let my parents know that it was ready to be published. And so I did just that. By the time I was in my mid-twenties, I was pretty computer savvy. I found a publishing company online and spent the 1,000 dollars to get my first pride out into the world.

It was a book of healing. Not a condemnatory piece. It was supposed to open the eyes of children who had gone through the same kind of mental, physical, emotional and sexual abuse I had endured. It was a book that illustrated the importance of having that single "thread" of hope that would get me through. I couldn't disown my book, I couldn't disown my essence, my faith, my heart, nor my will. But everything I had put into it had become the internet's property.

So as I graciously announced the publication of my book I received congratulations from my family and other friends. It was not until my final book was published did my parents realize the content matter. And this is when all hell broke lose.

When people started to wonder about their integrity, and started to question the content of my writing against the facade being painted by them, my parents actually decided to "read" the book. And when I say read, I mean skim. Because if they had read the actual book, they would have noticed that the book was in no way about them. The book was about me.

In part I selfishly wrote the book not to promote who I am as a person, but to heal. I wanted healing. And talking  about what had happened to me as a child was not enough. I wanted healing and part of healing is being able to express the root of your being with others who can relate. I was not able to find this healing with my family, and it was too complicated to talk about with my friends, so writing it was my best bet.

Writing my book meant sacrifice, along with risking my relationship. I could say that my relationship was not that great in the first place, which is true, but I can't say that it was worth risking what I did have with my family.

But with risk comes change. And who I am today is a result of what I chose to do in my past. I will share that part of my story next time.

 
 

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