Cloak of Guilt

A journal entry from 1.3.2013

All day today I have been hearing that Mary J. Blige song “Just Fine”.  I made it through a tumultuous year.  If you had told me everything that happened in my life was a promise I would have laughed.  I believe I can be more than a survivor.  I can thrive.  I know how to hold on to my Joy.  (still holding 3.25.2013)

I am still in therapy and I plan on staying for the long haul this time.  I am truly falling in love with me.  I had told myself that I deserved bad things to happen to me as restitution to what I thought I had done to people I love.  My therapist had me look at blame and what I found was that I was quick to take the blame for everything that went wrong in my children’s’ lives, the people I was in relationship with or any other situation.  It was easier to be the scapegoat that way I did not have to address the issues.

Our society conditions women to wear guilt like a cloak of honor.  A case in point is my divorce and the custody battle.  My ex husband had one of the best and most expensive lawyers in Missouri and they had plotted their plan of action against me months before I ever spoke to a legal aid lawyer.  The Legal Services of Eastern Missouri  http://www.lsem.org/ could not help me  in the late 90’s, I hope the patriarchal stupidity has stopped
because they used his income to decide if I qualified for help.  Although,  it was documented that he was physically abusive.

Of course he won custody but I am still treated as if I abandoned my children.  Not once has anyone said anything negative about a man who would take his children from their mother when there was no history of anything negative.  As I look back I can understand his perseverance  to keep them away from my incestuous family.  He knew all about the molestation of me and my siblings and was determined to keep his children from that and I don’t blame him.  Looking back with 20/20, things happened the way that they were supposed to.

But I do blame myself and allow others to guilt trip me.  (working on changing my thoughts)

It showed up in my relationships.  Particularly the most recent involvement with a woman that triggered me to relive my childhood sexual abuse, trauma and neglect.   I clung to her with my life, and would not let go because doing so meant I had to stop blaming myself and do the hard work of healing.  I willing allowed her to tell me all of our problems were because “I had issues”.  She was abusive and I made excuses for her so I could live in denial, but that is another story..

I am grateful to know that I can be alone with myself and have peace.  That was something I had lost last year.

I am still free from the fear of being alone.  3.25.2013

the Mamie and Bertha in me

I am a woman

and I honor the Mamie and Bertha in me

the image they continue to give me is one of possibility

I do not have to look back

I will stay on track by taking care of me

these women

they stood tall I never saw their backs break

a slight bend now and again but never broken

I never saw them without what they needed

they showed me with hard work

anything can be defeated

I am not afraid to break a sweat

so you have not even seen the best of me yet

I am like my Great Grandmother Bertha,

she walked through this world on her own terms

she paid the price to decide

when to prop up her feet and go home

this is who I am

my grandmother Mamie turned around and did the same thing

you would always her saying

I will go home before I lose my independence

and she left this world on her own terms

this is where I come from

backs do not break

we walk on through

our souls help us decide what to do

like their great, great, and great-granddaughter Melisa

even though they left her for dead

she has a mission

and she will decide when it is time to go home

so I am going to be all right

this is where I come from

and I have decided

I have more work to do

more light to shine

more seeds to be sown before I go home

I am going to lay my burdens  down

at Mamie, Bertha, Cara, and Margie’s feet

they are already free

and they are waiting on me to finish up this work

and come home and be free

by mozayik “the souls’ poet”  3.11.13