“Not Guilty”

The guilty seek punishment.  I have chosen to stop beating up on myself and declare myself not guilty.  Being guilty suggests that I have done something wrong.  I realize that I have done nothing wrong.  My intentions when making the decisions that haunt me were pure.

I would be guilty if I’d made deliberate decisions with malice or ill will.  Guilt says that I intentionally did harm and expected a bad result.  Innocence suggests that the decision was made expecting a good outcome.

At the time that is what was best.  Of course after years of experience I now have a 20/20 hindsight view.  I dealt with life based on the knowledge and experience I had up till that moment.

So it is okay to let myself off the hook.  I can forgive myself.

I can accept that I deserve love.

I am worthy of all things good.

I am much more than the sum of my choices.

When we know better we do better.

Forgiving myself opens the door to my ability to forgive others.  It has been said

“In all your getting, get understanding”. Even when I don’t understand I trust the process.  Love covers a multitude of sins.

I forgive me

Love is an inexhaustible stream

given at birth for me to give away

the only power I have

the only thing I could ever control

is my choice to love

I don’t have to chase it

or look for it I am it

so I decide to love

right now this second

giving you my love

makes my love overflow

the only reason to be alive is to love

any other reason and you are just biding time

I was thinking about what motivated me to quit smoking.  I was not walking my talk.  Now that I know what self-love really looks like I am finding it easy to make changes in my life that prove how much i love myself.

Since my earlier post where I talked about not yet having forgiven the man who raped me at five,  I have done a lot of thinking about forgiveness.

I forgave the little girl in me for being vulnerable.  I forgave her all the things she thought she had done wrong because she really had done nothing wrong.  It was not her fault and it had nothing to do with her personally.  I forgave her for crying and for loving the wrong people because she did not know how to protect herself.  I told her how strong she is and how brave she has been.  I told her how proud i am of her for all of her accomplishments  because she had a lot to overcome.

I forgave her and told her that I loved her and would always be here to protect her.

After that forgiving my perpetrator was easy.  That is the gift of self-love I give to myself.

This Sh** Aint Easy

Reality is kicking my a**.  I just realized there are a few people I have not consciously forgiven.  This journey to self-love has proven much more laborious than I thought.  I was watching “Behind the Music” – Mary J Blige,  and she said something so profound.

I LOVE Mary, watching her growth has been inspirational.  I have always felt a deep connection to her as a person and her music has been balm for my healing. Until this week I was not aware of her abuse at five, but now I understand my ability to relate to whatever she expressed.

She said “I am living proof that you can come from anywhere and have gone through anything and still make it.”  She talked about the man who raped her when she was five years old and how she had forgiven him.

All of a sudden a light bulb came on in my mind.  I have not consciously forgiven the man who raped me when I was five years old.

In my heart and mind I tried but I could not do it.  I want to so badly, but I am stuck.  So, I sit here asking myself,   “Is my ability to forgive in direct proportion to my self worth?”  Dam this sh** is getting hard.

I find it impossible to speak the words and thinking them is just not going to happen now.  I have spent a lot of time in and out of therapy thinking and talking about the effects of my abuse.  Looking at how that crap manifested in my behavior and thinking has been challenging.  Changing my thoughts and behavior has been grueling and I still have a long way to go.

Once I got past all the anger I could forgive my mother and grandmother and anyone else I felt had victimized me because what happened made sense.  I could relate to their behaviors and I understood therefore, it was easy to have compassion.

I have been trying so hard to finish my book.  It seems the more I want it completed the more resistance I get from the universe.  I am working to be in a space of non-resistance.  The reality is I will not get there without this most important piece of the puzzle.  Forgiveness, I am working on it y’all and I will keep you posted.

Again Mary J. Blige is my inspiration.  I love you Mary.

The Birthday Call

“Bring me to my knees” was written because my mother did not call me on my birthday.  I will not try nor do I feel the need to justify my feelings about this but I have gained a lot of insight and I want to share.  If you have followed the blog you already know my history of neglect and childhood sexual trauma.

As a child living with my grand mother every birthday the only thing I really wanted was acknowledgement by my mother.  A phone call would have sufficed or a card would have been even better, but no calls or cards ever came.

I don’t have the words to explain how unimportant I felt.  It did not matter what party I had or gifts I had received, no call from her said I did not matter to any body especially my mother.  In therapy I learned to ask for what I wanted so I explained to my mother in my mid thirties how her behavior made me feel.  She started from then on at least calling me on my birthday.

This year that I turned Fifty was a big deal for me because I have survived and thrived.  There was a lot of discussion about what I was going to do for the big 50 born day and for many reasons I just wanted to be away from home.  The main reason being I did not want to spend any energy pretending every thing is okay with our family.

I was concerned that maybe something was seriously wrong with her because I had come to expect the call.  When I called to ask about her well-being she told me she did not forget.  She just did not call.

I hung up the phone and started to cry.  I was the little bare footed five-year old all alone in a dark roach infested apartment by herself with no food crying for her mother.  PTSD is horrific.

This time though I was different.  I loved my self enough to validate my own feelings.  It is okay to cry.  It is okay to feel bad about this I told myself, but it is not okay to wallow in it.  So I decided to talk about how I felt honestly with a couple of friends that I knew would just listen so I could process the feelings.

In the past I would have went straight into a deep depression feeling sorry for myself.  I used to be the queen of pity parties but I have grown.  I know not to take her behavior personally it is not now, nor has it ever been about me.  But that does not change the fact that it hurts.

I love my mother.  I want to facilitate her healing but she lacks the courage to face her demons.  So, now I find myself on my knees praying for my mother instead of praying for my self.  I pray for our healing.

I am continually striving to learn how to give more love.

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.

Agony

my groans are unutterable

the pain is too deep

the cries have no sound

and yet I weep

the soul is bound

with love nowhere found

not one person to connect with

“I am bound”

not one person to understand

that my suffering is my own

conceived by a wicked plan

if you say you love me

why can’t I feel it

why is your touch non-existent

am I alone in this great big world

will there be healing for this little girl

How are you supposed to feel about yourself when  accused of trying to kill your little brother at the age of three or four.  You know the truth although you are only three years old.  You know that your mother is lying to cover her own ass.  She knows damn well she left a three-year old and a two-year old in the apartment by themselves.  This is my very first memory of childhood.

Again, please let me say that I do not want pity.  I truly believe my soul chose the circumstances of my life.  All of these traumas were mine to experience to get the lessons I needed to evolve.  But, that does not mean I did not feel, or endure the effects of the traumas.  I am telling my story because I feel compelled to do so.  Maybe it is just for me to finally purge this crap.  Or, it might be someone needs to know they can make it and see that it does get better with time and hard work.

Yeah, it sucks that you have to fix your self.  I know there are people who have experienced things more horrific  but if my soul chose this, then it is safe to say that this is all I could handle.  We all walk our own path.

I would hear “yo mama did not want you, if it were not for me aint no telling where your little high yellow ass would be”  This may have been true but the delivery of the message was brutal.  I grew up feeling like I owed everybody something.  I felt I did not deserve love.  Come on, if I were worthy my mother would not have left me, right.  I could not see that them taking me in and protecting me was Love. My grandmother was correct, if she and my auntie and great-grandmother had not took me in only God knows………….

Fear was my everything.  It helped me survive when I was a child but as an adult it stopped me from having healthy relationships.  Through therapy I have learned to not take my mother’s neglect (leaving me in apartment alone for at least 2 days) personally.  I was caught up in her drama or sickness and it had nothing to do with me except this was what my soul chose.  She would have been what she was even if I had never been born.  Knowing that has freed me so much that words can not explain.  It wasn’t my fault.

I still had to heal from the side effects of her does not remove the effects of her boyfriend raping me when I was five years old.  I have abandonment issues, trust issues and fear was a part of my   Anger was my armor.  It kept people away from me so they could not hurt me.  Anger made me powerful and in control but nothing could be further from the truth.  It was controlling me because my anger was always inappropriate to the situation.

I really would not trade anything for my journey.  Everything is Everything and it all has a purpose.  It took me a while to get here but all that matters is I am here.  Love

p.s.

My brother survived only to die at the age 36 from the effects of alcoholism and drug addiction.  I don’t believe he ever healed from the abuse and neglect.