Today is Saturday, April 4, 2015, and it is my 43rd birthday. I have to stop and be grateful for my life, and reflect on how far I’ve come. I never write anything of this nature on my site, but I wanted to write something on this day. I know where the inspiration comes from to write this. But, I don’t know where the inspiration came from to write this today. I just took out a sheet of paper and a pen and started writing (Yes, I still write everything on paper first before I type it out. LOL!).
I remember growing up in a hell I didn’t know how I would ever escape. A lot of tears were shed for a lot of years. I always received everything I ever wanted, except unconditional love. Not every single moment was a house of horrors, but it was dysfunctional to the point where I didn’t understand why I had to be born into a tunnel of chaos.
I remember the Saturday that my father drunkenly humiliated me in front of family members. He said, “Just look at her. She’s so stupid.” All I could do was stand there and be hurt and embarrassed. I wanted to cry, but I held in my tears, and at the age of 8, I silently made a promise to myself. I promised that I would never become a victim of drugs, alcohol, or a miserable relationship. I promised that I would go to college and make something of myself. I promised to grow up and be happy. I promised to never make any child suffer. I promised to be greater than the poor examples that I was being shown at home. I promised to one day fly away and be free.
I remember on this same Saturday where I, as a stupid little 8 year old, as my father called me, had to help my father steer the car and keep it in the right lane. My father was driving on the wrong side of the street and cars were approaching us. I had to keep him awake, help him steer the car, and tell him when to stop. As hurt as I was, I wanted to live, even if he didn’t. This was the beginning of my will to survive and to keep my promises.
We made it home safely, and I didn’t mention anything to my mother, as I was somewhat a motherless child. She was there, but only in the physical sense. For my entire life, my mother has done and said every despicable thing she could do and say to try to break me down to feeling worthless. I remember her calling me a whore when I was a teenager. I wasn’t sexually active, and I wasn’t even allowed to date. As a little kid, I didn’t understand her actions, words, and hatred towards me. But a a young adult, I understood her clearly. My mother, a light skinned Black woman, called me an “ugly Black bitch.” This woman never told me that she loved me, nor called me beautiful. She could only see the beauty of my “pretty, light brown eyes.” She could never see the beauty that is ME. As my own mother said those hateful words to me, I just stood with a look of disgust on my face. I now understood her hatred towards me, and now understood the love she showed to my light skinned sister. I now understood her as a problem in the Black community. The admiration of her that was never there, would never come to be. I never did anything to deserve such horrible treatment. I was just too dark for her taste. I was too dark and too intelligent. Thank goodness I had knowledge of self and self esteem, to not fall victim to self hatred and hatred of my own people, as she did. I had my promises, and hope to see me through the storm. I knew one day I’d fly away and be free.
I did fly away to my freedom, as I kept all of my promises I made as an 8 year old. Through all of the dysfunction that I was subjected to, it made me strong. It made me be able to stand on my own two feet, no matter where I am. It gave me the courage and confidence to survive. Through all of their dysfunction that they subjected me to, I have to thank my parents for the strong woman that I am today. Here I am today. Free. And I can look myself in the mirror each and every day and stand proud. I’m proud of who I am. I am truly grateful.