The Internet can be a cruel and unusual abyss of half-cocked opinions and bargain basement analysis, especially when it comes to Black wom...
Damaged Goods & Trying to Find the Road To Recovery
He said the words we all so desperately want to hear; whether we be He or She.
“I was fully vested.”
Ok, so the “was” part isn’t exactly in the time frame we shoot for, past tense tends to be less satisfying a meal than present. But the words “fully vested” floored me.
I was 24 years young and embarking on something I had already been warned would be love. You know, the kind that porch swings are built on, and the imaginings of grandchildren visiting. SCREEEEEEEEEEEEEECH to a halt right here. This is where my insecurities set in. It’s very hard to have grandchildren when having children in the first place presents such a huge problem. I knew this man-child had a right to know that all the rabbit-style humpin’ we were into would NEVER create any offspring. He wanted children (a daughter to be exact), and even upon hearing my truth, he apparently wanted me more.
Beautiful, right? Absolutely. What I didn’t tell him at that time was that I was prone to depression. I figured one thing that could run a man off was to go over the one crazy per woman limit. I didn’t want to press my luck. Plus, the main thing in my life that would lead me into that abysmal retreat inside myself was this no-children thing. I had seen myself as nothing more than a mother since the age of 3. And what is a woman if not the bearer of the uterus and the deliverer of children? Basically, I hadn’t a clue who I was or what I was ever going to be, if the most obvious indentifier of women was out of reach. So, I told the larger story and left the smaller details out. Hell, in my mind, they were one in the same anyway and honestly didn’t cross my mind as a separate issue. I was trying my best on a daily basis not to come unraveled while out there playing adult. I didn’t want to be looked at with the side-eye or treated with kid gloves. I didn’t want my every off day to be labeled as crazy when it was just Tuesday.
In recent conversation, over 1 of the worst flicks either of us has ever seen, he asked me why I never told him. He said he could tell I was unhappy with myself, but that was information he should have had. He wondered why my mother didn’t tell him. In her defense, my mother just told me 2 years ago that she even recognized that I was depressed. Scared of who I’d be on medication, all she knew to do was give me tough love. They’re both Capricorns, he and my mother, the toughest of the tough cookies. He was already a tough one to deal with and I couldn’t have taken any more. But he was serious. He felt he had a right to know. He did, but I didn’t know how to tell him and risk having to watch his back walk away from me. He said if he’d known we’d have done happier things.
Ironies are some of my favorite things to track in this life. Some adventurists prefer tracking animals with claws, or heard of but never seen tribes of pygmies living in treacherous forests. I prefer to track just how often life does the one thing you prepared yourself against. Me being…challenged…didn’t run him away directly. He didn’t know it to name it. Still, in the end, we were no more. We weren’t happy because, as he put it, I wasn’t happy. I beg to differ on many points, but in truth I wasn’t happy. I had to find a way to save myself from the dark clouds that followed my every step. I was tired of crying. I was tired of being mad. I was tired of not recognizing myself in the mirror. I couldn’t remember what I wanted out of life anymore and I couldn’t wait for him to define it for me, scared of only being known as “His girl.” I needed to get out in the world and define what “woman” meant to me based on what I had available in ME. I’ve done that.
Painstakingly, I’ve discovered who I am, for now. Not on that take a break from life kinda way you hear about on TV. That’s some bullshit. Instead, I got knee deep in self and worked really hard to put some things together for ME. The structure has crumbled more than once since then, but the foundation remains, as does the drive to put it all back together better than before. One of my dreams in life has always been to mean enough to a person to be put first. I didn’t fully understand that then, but I see now, my wish was granted. It’s just too bad that the bow has faded under 10 years of sun rays beating down on it. No matter…it’s still a treasure to me.
He has another treasure all his own. He’s the proud father of a sweet little girl! Who knows? Maybe it was more important that I move out of the way so that his daughter could make it here and bless him to be the wonderful Daddy that he is. There’s no way to know now.
All these years later, I'm still trying to learn how to hear this. Trust it. Believe it. & get out of its way for as long as it chooses to be here. Love can't be kept in a bull pen. Too bad I got a little Wilhemina Pickett in me (learning moment: google Bill Pickett) and just haven't figured out how to let it roam free. When I do let go...it's so beautiful!!!
Watch me [keep learning how to] move.