Friday, October 31, 2014

The Conundrum of Parenthood

Today started out great but it sure isn't ending up that way.

Had an interview this morning. Killed it. Came home to find my son STRAIGHT CHILLIN in his drawz. WTF??? I was in such shock I couldn't even move - lucky for him. I do remember telling him he had 3 minutes to get his clothes on and get his ass to school and he was outta here in 2. I managed to get myself together enough not to let it bother me for the rest of the day and I wondered if he would be smart enough to stay out til curfew. I mean CLEARLY he was gonna be on punishment. That's a given, right?

This boy strolls up around 5:30, two girls in tow and his best friend at the door. He tells me he needs to get something for him. Fine, get it... but you know you not going with them, right? All hell breaks loose. He wants to negotiate if he gets to go out tonight, because its Halloween, he will be on punishment for the next 2 weeks. Oh, silly, misguided child LOL. This is not up for discussion. He had the nerve to say "I could just leave," as in what am I really gonna do if he did. "How long would I be on punishment for?" I'm sure there is no caption for the look I gave him other than (in my Wyclef voice) "Someone please call 911."

At that point I texted his father because in 3,2,1, he was gonna need to come get what would be left of this little muthafucka. He called and spoke to him, made him apologize and all has been quiet, aside from a few groans, ever since. Here is my problem with that:

I love my kids father... with a grain of salt LOL.... but why does it take for him to call and threaten you for you to act like you got some gotdamn sense? Why am I the parent you live with, who supplies ALL of your day to day needs, gets you where you need to go, answers your random ass questions and makes all the sacrifices and you don't feel an obligation to be just as obedient in a heated moment because I can keep composed and not knock your fucken teeth down your throat? Is that really what it comes down to? I mean don't get me wrong, I aint got no problem fucking a 16 year old boy up. HOWEVER I am of the mindset that it should not be necessary. I'm wired to think past the moment to the repercussions and I know there is no scenario in which that would end well, so as much as it is a full body and soul struggle, I maintain my composure.

It is rare that I find myself in this situation. My kids are both generally respectful and obedient as anyone who knows them would tell you. That being said, my son is 16 and we are all well aware that kids at that age will try their parents. Every now and then he gets to feeling himself and every once in a rare while he loses his gotdamn mind. This is the second time as I recall.

A third will end differently.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Why I dont mess wit my mama

She gets some stuff for the midgets for school so I tell her I would send her money to pay for it when I got paid again. I had no idea how much it came to initially but I figure 100 should more than cover it. Rather than just let me send her the $100, she calls me for my card information so she can just pay the bill directly online. No problem. Turns out the bill is only about $60.

Why this woman thinks I owe her the other $40? LOL And she really mad about it, son!

SMH. #icant

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Love is...

Love is.... interesting.

The older and wiser you get, the more you realize that it doesn't always look the way you've believed most of your life that it should. It isn't this fantasy feeling that comes over you and makes you vulnerable and fearful of somebody now having an ability to break you into pieces. Real love doesn't transform you into some would-be victim. Love in its realest sense empowers you because the things that draw you to a person reflect the best parts of YOU. That's the kind of love that makes you stronger, encouraged and determined to be even more awesome than you suddenly see that you are. So even when it doesn't come in the package you're expecting, you appreciate having it in whatever way that you do. That's a lesson I learned this week. If you waste too much time wishing things were more, you never take the time to appreciate how they are. Its more than acceptance - that sounds like surrender or some kind of settle. Its awakening. Its ... epiphany. Its everything.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Update

It has been an... interesting couple of weeks. I have been on the highest of highs and the lowest of lows consecutively for just about that whole time, so my lack of blogging has definitely not been due to lack of material. I just haven't had the energy.

I started seeing somebody a couple of weeks ago that I thought had some real potential but I know my history, while at the time knowing very little of his, so I played it close to the vest. He started out just about everything I would have wanted him to be, punctuality notwithstanding, but he was on 10 very early in the game, which gave me pause. The old me would have gone with it, saying love's not on a timer, but the more mature, sophisticated me knew better. There did come a time when I thought I could risk it, but as soon as I started to lend myself to that idea, he started showing me that I shouldn't. A trip I made upstate seemed to derail the whole shit. We got past it and were geared up to pick up where we left off, but a conversation we had the next time out, again, gave me pause.

He had told me he had a 17-year old daughter and two sons but he never wanted to talk about the boys. Then finally that night, I found out that one was 21, so I guess there wasn't much to talk about there...?.... and then I found out his other son was just one year old. It didn't really set off any alarms initially, but then he told me that he was conceived with a woman he had stepped out on his 7-year relationship with. He emphasized that the relationship was pretty much over at the time, but y'all know my position on that. "Pretty much" ain't the same as over. He said he dealt with the chick (who happens to be from the same place upstate I just left - sheesh) for about 7 or 8 months before he couldn't take it anymore. By that time, she was already pregnant. He gave me 10 reasons he couldn't stay with her but I didn't really hear any of them. Then the conversation turned a bit and I asked him when the last time he had sex was. "Does oral count?" he asked. Yes, nigga, it counts LOL. He says two weeks ago (which at the time would have been a week before we started seeing each other) and goes on to tell me he felt like he just wanted some head so he called some broad he's known since high school because "that's what she does." Now I don't know about y'all but me personally? I am not comfortable with the idea that a man has head on speed dial. I'm no rookie - I know most men probably do - but to be comfortable enough to say that to me, the woman you want to be YOUR woman, like I'm supposed to be "oh ok, one of those" didn't sit well. While he's going through all this background, he says he doesn't want to know about my past. He's not concerned with anything prior to our connecting. That didn't sit well with me either. I don't think you necessarily need to dredge up EVERYTHING you've done or been through, but how are you going to build a real relationship with someone who's history and patterns you know nothing about? If nothing else, you should want to know why their LAST relationship ended.... if they have a history of cheating... thrown a brick through a window LOL.... something. All things considered (not to mention the weekend disappearing acts) I'm supposed to trust you? But I kept it to myself. A week and some other bullshit later, I'm done. Ain't nobody got time for that.

Then Friday I found myself a plead away from quitting my job. My new manager straight showed his ass with me in a very public display and one thing I do not play is disrespect in the work place. I was in that space where I wanted to hit or throw something, knowing I couldn't, and restraint - though it APPEARS easy for me - is the hardest thing for me to swallow. Expressing myself is what I do. I've mastered the ability to do so very eloquently and still get my point across no matter the setting. However in this particular case, there was no finessing it. The only way to express myself with the amount of anger that had built up inside of me was to cry, and cry I did. In the conference room with my HR lady after my manager felt like he had better shit to do than to continue being fucken wrong, I cried. I told her I was going back to my desk to pack my shit and she pleaded with me not to. "You're an important part of that team, we need you here," she said. I didn't give a gotdamn, but I knew leaving that way would be something I would regret and at the end of the day, I have a family to provide for. In that regard, I am grateful she talked me down from the ledge but if I didn't have enough reason to move on before, I definitely have it now.

Some other things transpired too but these two things..... sighhhhhhh. I just wanted to come in here and give some account for my time away and say that although I am extremely exhausted from all of it, I'll try my best to get back to this. One thing I can say is when things take you to such emotional highs and lows so quickly and you find yourself drained of energy, you also find yourself drained of spiritual clutter. I haven't felt so mentally and spiritually clear in a long time, so I guess that's the silver lining. I'll take it.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Honest fear

I think people take for granted when they call me on the ledge that I just automatically know what to say to make it all better. Truth is when I get that call, I am terrified. Contrary to popular belief, I don't have all the answers and sometimes I don't even have the split second it takes to ask the Lord to guide me and give me whatever it is you need to hear to keep you from jumping. I just take a breath and start talking and hope He answers the beep. I am just a woman, yall. A person. Human, like you. I'm imperfect and don't always even know what I should be doing moment to moment, but because you trust me, I trust me, and I hope upon all hopes when I open my mouth that it serves you.

My mama called me tonight while I was in the middle of a conversation with my daughter about her day so she (my daughter) witnessed this chaos of very odd order first hand. I didn't even realize until about 5 minutes into it when I saw her face looking so intrigued as to what was transpiring. I almost sent her to her room until it hit me that she probably needed to see this. She probably needed to know that this thing I do is not at all easy. She needed to see me close my eyes and send that split-second prayer up for help. But most of all, she needed to see me take the time out to give somebody that 5 minutes that could make all the difference. My mom was angry and itching and losing her mind and had no real idea why. The instructions I gave her came out of nowhere but they helped and I can only thank the Lord for that. Had to be Him cause ya girl... yeah. No clue. And I was so afraid in that moment.... so afraid. But I think what helped most is being honest in that moment and just telling her I loved her and if she had no other reason to hang in there, just do it for me. That wouldn't work for all of yall LOL.... but thank God it worked for her.

I am so exhausted. In the last week I have had 5 "take em to Jesus" conversations. One of them was with myself LOL. Sometimes I am grasping at straws trying to pull you from the depths. One of my best friends called me this week with an issue that had me about an inch from calling her out her name LOL. I am frantic in these moments, yall. Its THAT important to me that you survive the night, so if you find your way into my call log, please be patient with me. I don't know what I would do if I failed you...

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Epic Summer

My son was texting me a little while ago letting me know that he was going to be a few minutes after curfew. Not a big deal - I appreciate the heads up... but as per the rules, he loses an hour tomorrow. It's the first hour he's lost since summer began and I know it was just an oversight that made him a little late tonight but the rules are the rules. Still I took a minute to thank the Lord that I've got a good kid who... almost always makes it home on time. I started seeing him in my head, walking down the boulevard with his friends, hanging out up at the park, riding the light rail and, yes, at his girlfriend's house (*cringe*) and I realized it was the first time I had ever stopped to think about his experiences outside of our house. He's not the kind of kid that makes you worry about what he might be doing when he's not home. I go to work during the week, come home and he's not here but he's usually only about an hour gone, according to my daughter, and a few hours later, again, he's home right on time. But when I saw him in my head this evening, it hit me; epic summer.

Epic summer is the summer of epiphany. The summer when most adolescents have a series of experiences that quietly shape the way they will view love, friendship and identity going forward. It's the summer when teenagers are challenged to take those first steps toward who they will eventually become... decide where they stand... and when to run hard and fast in the other direction. It's a summer they see things they shouldn't, do things they never have before and learn things you wish they never had to. Its as pain-staking as it is awesome and you never, ever forget it. Although the timing of epic summer might vary from person to person, for most it seems to occur the summer going into 11th or 12th grade. For me it was the summer of '91 - the summer before my junior year.

I learned so much that summer I couldn't run it all down to you if I tried. What I remember most is a sleepover on Warwick, late nights at Bev's and having my heart broken for the very first time. I went through the ringer but that summer put me at what I'd view to be my perfect self. After the wounds healed, what I was left with was the lessons and I... was... everything. In truth, I'd give most anything to be that person again, but eventually some experience is going to find that one part of you that you never knew existed. Some experience will hit you in that place and rock you so far off your square that try as you may, you won't ever find your way back. You'll feel yourself close at times.... maybe at the corner.... or across the street.... but you'll never be quite THERE again. It's bittersweet, really. Maybe you cant go back but you've LIVED. Grown. Embraced. Accepted. Survived. I saw something the other day that said something like, "Don't be ashamed of the scars; they serve to show that you were stronger than whatever tried to destroy you." There should be no regret in that.

I don't know if my son is having his epic summer or not, but I know my mother had no clue I was having mine. She was checked out and even if she wasn't, I'm not sure she had the luxury of having her own to recognize it if she saw it. If my son is having his right now, I just hope he's paying attention.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Weekly Wrap-up

So what's been going on in my life? I wish I knew LOL. This has definitely been an... interesting week, to say the least.

First, I get a text from a homie of mine about a guy we went to high school with. He wanted to know if I remembered the guy because apparently the guy asked him about me the night before when they spoke. This threw me a bit because while I did remember the dude, I also recall that he and I never had a conversation past "whats up" in the time we went to school together. The only reason he even knew who I was, as far as I could tell, was because I had a history with one of his boys who incidentally is NOT the guy who texted me. Our relationship was more of an obscure one, though it did exist. I can't even imagine why the guy would think he'd be the one to ask about me except in noticing that we're friends on FB. What made things even more confusing was that the guy seemed to be trying to hook us up, encouraging me to hit this guy up because he lives somewhat near me. Again, I barely spoke two words to this guy so.... but I hit him up like I said I would. It was about 5 days before he was on FB again and left me a note to call him (without the forethought to also leave his number lol) so at this point we still haven't connected but I'll admit I'm curious.

Then, which should be no surprise given my history, I'm hit up by somebody else I use to know back in the day. He's another person I never really spoke more than two words to but I guess we eyed each other enough. He was a hustler and part of a popular crew. Being the insightful person I like to think I've always been, I knew it was probably best to keep my distance. 20-some-odd years later, we're FB friends, so I was a little confused to get a second friend request from him. I accept and shoot him a message to find out what the deal was (you know there are weirdos out there who duplicate people's pages, request all that person's friends and subject them to all kinds of viruses and what not) and his response was that he wanted to call me. I allow it.

First off, I had no idea you could make a call to someone whose number you don't have via the FB app - you learn something new every day - but he called me that way. He said his first page had been hacked so he had to make a new one but he always liked me so when I hit him, he took advantage of the opening. I guess I get it, but here we go again, you know what I'm saying? In a then-pleasant turn of events though, we ended up talking for like 5 hours, the caveat being that the majority of that time was spent talking about his previous relationships (of which there were many) and his kids (of which there were many as well - 7 to be exact - WTF?) The second day we spent about 6 or 7 hours on the phone but by this time, I'm more intrigued by the things all his rambling is pumping into my profiling tank - I'm a psychologist to my very core - but in no way am I feeling like he and I could ever be a couple. Not only is he all wrong, both on and off paper, but he's in denial about all the reasons why. I found myself ignoring his calls the third day because he had become just too much by then. I also didn't know you could leave someone audio messages in the FB chat, but again, learning something every day. This fool left me audio after audio after audio - one-minute messages all basically saying the same thing: nothing much.

I think I took a 2-day break from him before I finally called him. First off, I was feeling kinda crappy all that weekend, still trying to recuperate from strep. Secondly, I was tired of him talking my head off about this past of his that he didn't seem to be able to stop going back to. I told him as much when I called and his response was that he was just trying to put everything on the table early so I wouldn't feel like he held out on me. I get it but some things should be left until after it is determined if there is even a connection or not. If I don't like you, nothing you say is going to matter, and I told him; I think you are a cool dude but we don't have a future. We could be friends - in truth, I think a lot of his draw to me was just having someone to talk to in a way he was never able to before - and though he said he was ok with that, he still talked like we were... on a road. He was writing me love poems in the chat window, sending me these romantic emes but where I finally rang the bell to get off was when he sent me the message about not hitting him up to say good night...

"Im sorry?" LOL

Dude was all in his feelings. Im like SON! We not even like that, why would you be expecting such things? Then he went into this "I like you more than you like me" pity party, at which time I had to remind him that I didn't like him at all in the way he was referencing. But he wont hear me when I say that. He's still convinced its just gonna take time. How do I get myself into these things??? Don't answer that LOL.

Something kinda scary happened the first night I spoke to dude too. I fell asleep around 11 or so, woke up to see I had missed his call and sent him a FB note that I'd talk to him tomorrow. It's about 1 am now. I lay back down and start falling back to sleep with my back to my bedroom door. Suddenly I'm hearing a little noise which isn't too uncommon - my upstairs neighbors sometimes sound like they are coming through the ceiling - but I'm home alone so I'm sharp. I hear someone in a bathroom - again not uncommon. My upstairs neighbors' apartment is made exactly like mine and when they flush and stuff you hear the water coming down the pipes in the wall. But this doesn't sound like that. This sounds too close, like its coming from one of MY bathrooms. I just don't feel right so I roll over toward the door and see my hall light is on. I'm like oh shit! I sit up in my bed in a bit of a panic and before I can move, here comes this nigga walking INTO MY BEDROOM! I immediately realize its my upstairs neighbor so while I'm still paralyzed, I'm not afraid - we know each other and he's a relatively harmless older guy. He sees me, stops, goes "Oh hey," and turns around and walks back out the room LOL. WTF??? I get up and follow him down the hall, through the kitchen and to the door. He says something like "Its alright, we're just trying to fix this hole in the wall out here." I follow him into the hallway between our apartments and there is NO damage to any of the walls. I'm so fucken confused at this point. He goes down the stairs to the front door and tells me don't worry about it, there's nothing wrong with the wall and goes outside. I stand there another minute before I go back inside, sit on my bed for about 5 minutes and then go back up front. From the window I see a cab pulling off and he doesn't appear to be outside anymore so I assume he's gotten into it and left. I knock on his apartment door wanting to speak to his wife or daughter but no one answers so I go back inside, lock the door and sit processing for about 10 minutes. What I can say definitively is that he didn't seem all there, like he had had way too many beers or something, but the idea that he wasnt in his right mind is even more disturbing. It's not long before I get back to sleep, because like I said, I wasn't afraid when I saw it was him, but I still want to know why he was in my house and how the fuck he got in. As I thought about it I realize there is a better than 50/50 chance that I left the door open because when I first came home from work that day, I was supposed to go right back out to take the garbage down but something happened to derail me and I may never have gone back to lock the door. The alternative to that would be that my neighbor has a key to my house which is very unsettling. I wait for the apology the next day - it never comes.

Nobody was home all day on the 4th but I see him coming in the next day and meet him in the hallway with a "look". First thing out his mouth is "I sleepwalk." Really, nigga? You sleepwalk? That's what you got for me? LOL He says he is so very sorry and he doesn't know how he got into my house and when he walked into my room he must have thought he was going into his room (same floor plan and all). He says he doesn't have keys. I am still confused by a lot of what happened but I am pretty sure he wasn't sleepwalking. My understanding of sleepwalking is that one cannot have coherent conversation in that state and also doesn't have the ability to demonstrate fine motor skills such as required for unlocking doors for example, and they also don't generally remember the event. That being said, I am still of the opinion that he was drunk. He was clearly shaken by my confronting him in the hall and I knew I wasn't going to get a better story out of him so I dismiss him and commit myself to taking it up with his wife when I see her, only I haven't seen her all week. I'm still waiting to run into her but you better believe she and I are going to have a chat. I don't think he understood the graveness of the situation - I coulda shot his ass and I would have been totally justified in doing so. SMH

Lastly the kicker of all kickers; who pops back up outta nowhere but my ex - the one in the navy. If you recall a couple years back, he got deployed and long story short, we didn't make it. The same morning I had to tell the other dude "its too early for this shit, my nigga" LOL I get to work and find an email from him in my inbox. He's sorry, he misses me, he misses us and he's still overseas. That was the gist of what he said but I didn't get the point of him saying it. After all, he was still overseas and the other issues that got in the way of the happy ending we both thought so inevitable were still unresolved. He says he didn't mean for it to be two years before he got back in touch but due to his assignment it was the first opportunity he had to do so. I had resigned myself to the idea that I'd never hear from him again so I was taken aback by his reemergence. He called later that night, we spoke, and it wasn't nearly as difficult as I would have expected it to be. I also didn't crumble into a heap of emotions like I would have expected. Guess I really am over it. There was some allusion to a reunion and an "if I send for you, will you come" and again I surprised myself in saying no. I'm not angry at him, we NEEDED to break up, but I'm wise enough not to put myself back into a situation where the deck is stacked against me. I told him as much. He had no choice but to respect it. But I will say I am glad it took two years because a year ago this blog might read differently. Today I'm able to be friends and make sure that line in the sand is a moat.... filled with man-eating piranhas LOL

So an eventful week, to say the least. I ended it with a surprisingly fun happy hour with a bunch of my coworkers. The dude that professed his love for me last week took a moment to reiterate it I drank for 3 hours, not paying for a single one and earlier in the day I qualified for an entry into a contest where an all-expense paid trip to Turks & Caicos is the prize. Wouldn't it be some shit if I won it..... seeing as how I don't have a passport? The irony. But this is me we're talking about so it would not surprise me one bit.