Life with my mom & why I don't trust men!
I feel I am a very complicated woman and that I have always been that way.When you go through enough, to damage you for three lifetimes, I believe it is extremely hard not to be complicated. I am not writing this so that people will feel sorry for me. I am writing this to heal my soul and also let others know that if I can get through it, they can too. I won’t go in chronological order and recite my truths as they come.
I grew up in south central Los Angeles right in the middle of danger, I lived with my mom and my grandparents in a second level two bedroom apartment gave me the opportunity to get to know and make friends close to me. I will not use anyone’s real name due to confidentiality.
I can remember how my mom would often go to the hospital and for that reason alone she didn’t leave my grandma’s house. You see, she had sickle cell disease, and living with a small child who also has the same disease; she carried a heavy burden and at times it was overwhelming.
I never understood the magnitude of the guilt and stress my mom was under as a result. It was not until I became an adult myself and had a child that I understood. I hope that my mother understood how strong she was despite it all. Watching some of it was traumatizing for me. Her constant trips to the ER, the Dialysis two or three times a week, the scarring, the pain filled nights, the epileptic episodes.
I remember one in particular when she and I were driving on a busy street one day, and her first seizure came on quickly. I was so afraid. The car was parked before she completely blanked out. It was a miracle. It showed how much she valued my life regardless of her condition and circumstances. I remembered the ambulance, the fire trucks, and being so afraid for my mother. She was still worried about me too at that moment. Not to mention, the fear from my grandparents after our dangerous encounter had me on high alert for my mom.
Everytime she would move too fast it would alarm me. I felt as though it could be a seizure coming on. I knew that was something that set my anxiety in motion at such an early age. The fact that there was nothing we could do to help her once it started happening; I remembered her being frustrated with the constant cradling and limitations on her life.
The first and only time we moved out on our own is when my mom got serious with a guy she had known for a good while. He was my first lesson that you never truly know a person until they reveal their true colors. He was the nicest guy to us until he became a monster. He would beat my mom, threaten her, degrade her worth right in my face. He would rip her earrings out of her ears and call her out of her name. I mean the way he would treat her I vowed never to let any man treat me that way. I can remember him threatening her life by pulling a gun out on her. As if she needed any help putting her life in jeopardy? I was upset to the point that I pulled a knife out on him and threatened to kill him. Yes I did and I don’t regret a word or action. Frankly I would do it all over again if I am being honest. I was so angry at my mom for allowing any man to diminish her worth especially in front of her child-me.
I can remember trying to keep her secret but it got to the point that I could no longer tolerate the treatment he burdened my mom with. I told my mom to leave him or I would tell my dad. Those words held weight considering he was in a gang, and with all they had been through, my dad still loved my mom. Not only did he love her, but he didn’t play when it came to me. My mom and I moved out and back with my grandparents.
It was a relief to me to be away from that man who revealed himself to be dangerous for my mother’s already diminishing health. I couldn’t believe how hard it was for her to actually let him go. I mean I eventually hated him and everything he stood for. To put my mom through the horrifying things he did and still expect her love, loyalty and support, was sickening to me, It confused me even more when she actually humored him. I mean I know both me and my mom were shocked when we found out that he suffered from mental illness.
Wow! That blew our minds and I hoped that it was not a good reason to go back to him. I reeled, that he either didn’t take his meds or they did not work.He seemed to have turned into a monster overnight. I mean, even though I had a great example of how a man was supposed to treat a woman, my grandfather totally changed the way I viewed men. However, the traumatic experience with the monster would have me thinking when I meet a nice man ‘when will he finally show his true ugly self.’ Oftentimes I would actually be correct when it came to men. It’s still something I struggle with that I know I need to work on. The monster broke my heart and my faith in men at an early age.
When he actually shot at my uncle and attempted to murder him; it almost tore my family apart. At six years old having to get on stand and testify to the events that led up to him shooting my uncle with a twelve gage shotgun, I begged my mother to leave before we were involved with anything of this magnitude. It was absolutely horrifying and honestly I tried my best to bury it so deep in my emotional suitcase that I could barely remember him at all. He was a distant memory and a blur of tragedy. My mom finally let him go a little while after he went to prison. I never understood her reason for trying to see the best side of a monster. That is how I saw him and it caused me to harbor resentment toward her because of it.
As a woman now with a child; I had to learn to make better decisions and although I had my fair share of mistakes choosing men who weren’t right for me, putting myself in toxic situations, and ultimately diminishing my own self worth; I am so careful now as to who I bring around my child. To tell the truth, I have been single and celibate since her father and I broke up four years ago. I don’t intend to rush into anything or show my daughter anything less than how a man is supposed to treat a woman. I guess in so many ways through my mother’s past relationship, I learned a valuable lesson. A lesson that I continue to teach my own child now. Nobody is worth your peace or you worth. It’s entirely too expensive and you can’t get back what time you lose pouring your all into a person who intends to bleed you dry until you have nothing left.
I thought I would have more time with my mom. More time to heal, more time to love her where she felt empty and incomplete. More time to eventually understand her as I am a mother now so I get why she did the things she did. That time was ultimately cut short and I was denied that chance. My mother was a wonderful mother, she was also flawed but that is a part of being human. I could only imagine the immense pressure she was under with having this life threatening and debilitating disease. I know now that I owe it to my pain from losing her for becoming the great writer that I am today. Right after she passed away, I didn’t know how to feel, I wasn’t sure if I was living in a nightmare that I would wake up from. After a few days, I realized I was awake and this was now my new reality, she was gone and there was nothing I could do about it. I had to write to get my feelings out! I wrote to her, and wrote about her. It sparked something inside of me that let me know I could now rely on my words more than vocalizing my emotions to others. I became really good at it. Even at seven years old. I can’t help but wonder if it were not for having to deal with my mother’s death, would I have ever found writing to be my passion the way it is now.