Hopes and Dreams and Scattered Things

Hopes and dreams,

and scattered things

and I can’t find myself

a part of me is missing

lost in the cares of life

that kept my dreams at bay

a part of me is missing

don’t you hear what I say

a part of me is missing

and I want it back today

woke up today

did not know where I was

why was I living

someone else’ dream

here I go again giving away self

just to get some loving

I’m asking me

where I be

and who is this we are

what happened to my dream

is it on a shelf, in a jar

waiting

while I follow some one else’ star

has it died

or just been deferred

will I go back to sleep

or finally wake up

knowing

everything has a price

love is never enough

if the price is myself

hopes and dreams

and scattered things

and I can’t find myself

What I know about love has been hard-earned.  I once thought sex was love.  I believed if I gave my partner enough mind-blowing sex they would love me like I craved to be loved.  I had no concept of self-love.  When someone usually a therapist or a well-meaning friend would say you have to love yourself first.  I always thought to myself that it was easier said than done.  They would make the statement as if it were so easy.  Something that comes naturally to all of us.

What the hell did loving self-love look like?  I tried all the things I thought self-love was.  I faithfully went to the hair stylist and nail technician.  I made sure I had my pedicures and nice clothes.  I would even take myself out to dinner or cook a candle light dinner at home with a bubble bath and sexy lingerie.  None of these activities filled the gaping hole in my heart.

I have had lovers that made my every wish their command and still I did not know love.  I have done things trying to acquire love that put my life at risk just to be loved unconditionally by somebody, anybody.  That feeling of safety is what you get in the first years of life from your parents.  A normal childhood does not come with worries about closing your eyes at night.

I misplaced my trust and allowed people into my life that did not deserve to be there and meant me no good.

My journey to love started when I got real with myself.  When I forgave myself for believing that it was my fault that bad things happened to me as a child.  When I was able to tell the little girl inside me that she did nothing wrong.  I told her it was okay to be afraid and vulnerable.  I told her I would protect her from harm to the best of my abilities.  I promised her that when I knew better I would do better.  I had to rely on my instinct to always do what was in my own best interest.

I had to mother myself.  Even after having six children of my own I could not tell you what mother love embodied.  I could not relate to a close mother child relationship where your mother would give her life to protect you.  That was a foreign concept to me.  I sometimes weep knowing what my children and I missed out on.

That explains why it was so easy for me to detach from people.  Because of the neglect I endured as a child my ability to bond was disabled.  People became disposable.  But as the years went on I started to notice the pattern and through therapy and self-help books I discovered the pathology of my family of origin.

As I gained an understanding of myself I was able to forgive.  Forgiving myself was an act of self-love.  Now because I recognize love when I see it, I have boundaries and I don’t allow anyone to disrespect me nor do I disrespect others.  I understand that how I treat others is a direct reflection of how I feel about myself.  Hence the golden rule “do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

I love me enough to teach you how to treat me by the way I treat you.

Sing Cry Moan

Barren Hearts, Fruitful Wombs

sing for the mothers
cry for the mothers
moan for the mothers
with barren hearts and fruitful wombs

spirits broken
leaky souls drained of love
wail their moans
weep for their wounds
who understands their woe
the liquor they swallow
is to dull the pain
their world is a dungeon
filled with heroin or crack cocaine
coursing through their veins

they use to silence terrorist demons
that torment their souls
who will really see
that the men creeping in and out
of their bedroom doors
are only a band-aid for heart aching sores
don’t call them whore or junkies
they’re only a product of this country

striped of ancestral wisdom
culture snatched
when foremothers were brought
to these so called united shores
they united in striping us
of our dignity language and families
it’s time to restore
it’s time to look
these mothers in the eyes
look at the reality of why they cry

sing for the mothers
cry for the mothers
moan for the mothers
barren hearts fruitful womb

accept them as they are
show them you care
everyone has a reason
why they are what they are
some are only scarred
unable to cope so they take dope
they have no faith
in these so-called united states
they only do what they’ve seen
of course they lie
this country was founded on a lie
they spew out slander trick and connive
it the only way they know to survive

her foremothers were slaves
and she still has a slave’s mentality
she sacrifices her children for a dollar
or any man giving her a holla
we were brought here
robbed of our heritage
they threw us their garbage
and some of us sucked it up
happily grateful for some sup
it’s time to throw that shit back
let us educate our own

sing for the mothers
cry for the mothers
moan for the mothers
barren hearts fruitful womb

yeah she’s a dirty disease infested
skinny drug addicted alcoholic
wearing a dress of death and gloom
she may have lied cheated deserted
and aborted the fruit of her womb
we can still take her in our arms
lovingly accept and educate her
show her she is a descendant of queens
mother to the pharaohs of Egypt

maybe then we’ll see mothers
with fruitful wombs and loving hearts
giving birth to a proud nation
that nurtures their sisters and brothers
maybe then there won’t be
any more killing of ourselves
or our babies dying in the streets
shot down by faces
that look like you and me
who is willing to go
into the spiritual birthing room and labor

sing a song for the mothers
cry for the mothers
moan for the mothers
who are not yet free
in these so-called united states

 

I wrote this poem while sitting in a Ethiopian Juice Bar.  It was close to mother’s day and I was dreading the day as usual.  Every year mother’s day was the start of a very long depression that lasted sometimes until July.  The period would include my birthday because I knew I would not get a call from my mother acknowledging my birth. Also, ironically my twin boys were born on mother’s day and after placing them for adoption of course this forever branded this day in my heart as a day to not be remembered.

I have since healed and no longer go into deep depression at this time of the year.  I think it is mainly because I understand my mother more and I truly forgive her and have healed a lot from the effects of the childhood abuse and neglect.  I realize now that my mother had her own demons of abuse to deal with and she is only a product of her environment. I have also healed more because I have forgiven myself.  I have tried to renew my relationship with my sons.

Maya Angelou has been quoted as saying “when we know better we do better”  My mother did not have a clue how to mother me as I did not have a clue how to mother my own children.  I made horrible mistakes just as she did in mothering me.  I know that mental illness and substance abuse played a big part in my mother’s treatment of me.  I know that just like me she did what she knew how to do and I am not angry at her anymore.  She has not really changed but I have. I already see cycle being broken in my own children.

I have so much compassion for women that struggle to mother in spite of  not having the necessary tools.