Tuesday, March 6, 2012

This is why

Well I figured I'd give a little background about my not good enough issues.

Now reading this you will probably think my mother is horrible!  She really isn't though.  My mother is such a sweetheart.   My mother definitely didn't mean harm and I'm sure had no idea they were doing.  And if you are a parent yourself you know there are times you don't know what to or realize what you are doing is not the right thing.  Co-Sleeping (s/o to Monique) or crying it out?  Spankings or Time Outs? Teach a boy to "Man Up" or let him be in touch with his feelings? Ritalin or no Ritalin?  So I in no way harbor any ill feelings about my childhood.  But I do recognize that this feeling on inferiority and being not worth it, not good enough comes from my childhood.

Here's some background on my parents to help you understand why my mother was the way she was.

My mother grew up in a home being raised by her mother and grandmother.  He father had died when she was a toddler.  Her grandmother ran a successful salon.  They lived in a nice house.  But her mother was a terrible alcoholic.  My grandmother was tons and tons of fun sober.  But drunk she was meeeeean!  she would say terrible things.  I remember all the names she'd call me when she was drunk.  My mother had a little brother (same father) and a little sister (different father).  Two things I found out later in life that I affected my mother deeply were #1 her mother killed her father.  In self-defense.  But she did.  My mother didn't know this until later in life.  Kids used to tease her but she always thought it was just a mean rumor and gave it no second thought.  But she did have a reoccurring dream her whole life.  She used to dream that she was in her crib and saw her mother stab her father.  Later (sometime in there 30s or early 40s) she found out it was actually a memory and not a dream when her mother told her.  she was in fact in her crib watching when this happened.  Another thing that I think is important to know is that my mother's little sister's father molested my mother.  Details I don't know and I don't want to know.  A few months ago, when I had Mini's birthday party at the skating rink my mother wouldn't come because she said when she was little he would make her come with him and she had bad memories about the location.  I didn't pry.  I just said ok.

Anyway.  I know that as soon as she could my mother left and went to college, Fisk University (s/o to Freckles) That is where she met my Father who was attending MeHarry Medical School.  My father was from the same state as her but grew up in a more affluent family.  My grandparents were college graduates.  I'm pretty sure they graduated sometime in the late 1920s early 1930s.  My grandfather was a member of Omega Psi Phi and my Grandmother was a member of Zeta Phi Beta.  My Grandfather was a Reverend and my grandmother a teacher.  Alex Haley is a cousin and the story of Roots is my family's story.  Well anyways... so as you can see my parents came from 2 very different worlds.  So they met in Tennessee and were friends.  Buddies.  then for whatever reason my dad asked my mother to marry him.  she said yes.  She called home and her friends put together a wedding and  they came home to NJ, got married and went back to school. So my father was looking to open his own practice so he says "Listen you will be a teacher so that we have good health benefits"  My mother at heart is an artist and a writer.  And she's not fond of children.  But she did it.  I'll tell you later what it is she really wanted to do.  At 24 she had my brother.  At 27 she had me.  Back home in NJ life went on.  The town I grew up in most of the Black families there were friends.  Many attended school together (Morgan, Howard, MeHarry... you know the).  almost everyone was either a Que or a Kappa or a Delta or AKA with sprinklings of Sigmas and Zetas here and there.  Most people were in Jack and Jill which is a social organization for Black mothers and children.  You had to be invited into it and income is certainly a factor (just keeping in 100) and at one point in time color.  My mother wasn't allowed to join when she was younger.  And let me tell you my mother was (is) beautiful.  She is darkskinned and had gorgeous long hair.  For those weave wearers think 24 inch Remy.  Anyways so now my mother was in this new social circle but with people she'd grown up with.  So now they're all married to doctors and lawyers and the like and they are living a pretty nice life.

But here's the thing.  This is not what my mother wanted.  So she was depressed.  And that probably affected things.  She probably said a lot to me that you wouldn't normally say to your child in a regular circumstance like:

When you were born I was so disappointed.  I always dreamed of have a beautiful brown baby girl with big eyes and you were so light with little beady eyes.


I never wanted kids.  I wanted to be a flight attendant and see the world but your father hid my birth control


I don't know how you got here because I had a diaphragm

The list goes on and on.  I was often ignored.  Over-looked.  Short changed.  Told to shut up no one cared about what I thought.  I felt invisible most of the time.  I remember being little  I used to sit with my eyes closed and wish I could evaporate. So no one would have to worry about burying me.  No funeral which I imagined would be empty anyway.  I just wanted to disappear and be gone. I didn't however think my mother was not nice to me though. I just remember thinking that I sucked.  That I was not good enough. But not because of what she said.  Just that was how I felt.  But I see why I felt that way  now.  And I see how I quit a lot or never tried because I always felt I wasn't good enough anyway.  I see how that affected me.  I was never willing to even try anything.  I'm good at a lot.  But felt I'd never be good enough.  I still hold back (as you can see)  like I could do a lot more with my face painting business.  But I have this "You'll never be the best" mentality.  And it's not a loud voice in my head.  I usually only realize after the fact that I've held myself back.  And it's had to change a voice that was put there from the beginning.  Over 30 years of time.  Telling me how inadequate I am.  That's why I smother Mini.  No matter what I tell him he's gorgeous, handsome, smart, hilarious.  I tell him how badly I wanted him.  How scared I was he'd be a girl and how thrilled I was to find out that he was a boy.  I hug him.  I kiss him.  I hold his hand.  Tell him I will always be there to listen.

But now for me.  I just want to be worth it.  Good enough to be wanted and not settled for.  That's all I want.

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