A Familiar Kind of Love

More than anything I wanted to be loved. I wanted to know that somebody truly loved me. I craved to feel of value to another person, mostly because I was unsure of my value. I knew all the catch phrases, I knew that I was beautiful inside and out, I knew that I was supposed to love myself, I knew that I was in charge of my own happiness, and I really believed those things but only on a surface level. I would tell myself all of those things and smile. I would tell others positive thing about themselves and life and smile, I would remind myself over and over that I was good and deserved to be loved and smile. But my inner self had turned on me years ago and it controlled everything below the surface. Below the surface was a dark destructive core with the ability to cause shifts that could not only break through the surface, it could rip it open and allow molten hot negativity to flow up to the surface and destroy the thin layer of positive energy I had managed to create. My inner voice was the meanest of mean girls. Everything I did, every move I made, she was there ready with the most negative and horrible things to spew. I was never good enough, not smart enough, nor pretty enough for anyone to love and I never would be. She would say “no matter how you try to change or hide it you will always be a dirty little poor black girl. Your own parents don’t care about you. Why would anyone else?” I never had good comebacks. I would just feel this deep sadness and tears that longed to escape but I would not allow them to. When the negativity cooled I would begin to rebuild the surface. It was like I was two people one trying to survive, and one bent on my destruction and downfall.

Scean from The Color Purple

I loved the movie The Color Purple. I felt different aspects of myself and my life were represented by all the women in the movie, and the way I handled life was a combination of the two main charters Mrs. Celie and Mrs. Sofia. The one scene that shows the dueling dynamics of the two was the scene just after Harpo had beat Sofia and she confronts Celie in the corn field. “Celie: Dis life be ova soon. Heaven last always. Sofia: Girl, you betta bash Mister’s head open and think about Heaven later!” I laugh at this scene because most of the time I was Celie, just accepting life no matter how bad it was and doing wat I needed to quietly to get by, but there were also times when I would shift into Sofia mode, because one can only be Celie for so long. Hell by the end of the movie even Celie shifts into Sofia mode! The inner turmoil and struggle to be myself and to see myself as worthy dictated my relationship with Mike.

With Mike, I was Celie exclusively. No, he didn’t hit me but he was an awful boyfriend. I don’t hold any ill will towards him now. We were both young going through our own individual shit and trying to figure out how to do life. The first issue we had was that he apparently had gotten a girl pregnant (supposedly right before we started dating, like the day of or whatever the dates didn’t add up though, but I let it go) I was understanding. We hadn’t been together long, and I had no care about what happened before me. He also drank a lot. Don’t get me wrong I drank (started when I was in eighth grade) but it was usually just wine coolers or just a couple mixed drinks. He would get waisted and I was always there to clean him up pick him up and try and control him when he was about to get into a fight or something crazy. Basically, he was the male version of my mom!

** Just realized this today, right now, in this moment!!  I truly recommend a deep thorough analysis of your life you won’t regret it I swear!!**

While I was in it I believed it to be love, and now looking back I will say it was what I knew love to be, it was what I had experienced, what I was familiar with, so I accepted it, but it was not love. He was jealous and controlling but also wanted the freedom to do as he chose, and I went along with it and actually wanted to get married to him and be together for ever. I craved love and stability. I was willing to deal with a lot to obtain it, but I really didn’t have a clue what those things really were. So, Mike was my guy and I was his ride or die.

Living at my mom’s didn’t last long. She was never there and there had been a few incidents. My sister burned the kitchen up while making chicken one day, one night the power line snapped and was sparking and arcing all over the yard. We had no phone in either situation, we didn’t really know any of our neighbors, and we were living in the hood and afraid to ask for help. My aunts finally told my grand mama what was going on and she drove up from Arkansas to take us to live with her. I didn’t want to go, I was a senior and didn’t have much time to go so I stayed with my aunt Valerie in the Peabody projects instead. My mom had no idea, she had been gone for who knows how long, but when she found out she was on a war path. Two occasions stand out, I was at my aunt Ann’s apartment when my mom found out that my grand mama had taken the kids. She immediately blamed Ann (she has a difficult time admitting that this was because of her actions). One minute she was cussing and fussing next thing I knew, Ann was flying through the air, like in a movie, landing on a glass coffee table and shattering it pieces!!

Scean from Fight Club

The next battle was to take place at my aunt Valerie’s house. Mom came over and there was talk of her moving to Arkansas to try and get the kids back and something about me coming with her. I was sitting on the floor up close to the coffee table eating a plate of crinkle cut fries with a large glass bottle of catsup in front of me. When she finished talking I calmly, and as nicely as I could told her no, I would not be going anywhere with her and told her all the things she did to cause this situation. She was pissed, she grabbed the glass bottle and held it over my head like she was about to crush my skull with it my aunt was fussing and trying to hold her back. I sat there eating my fries not acknowledging her or her actions, she yelled that she was going to kill me, and I said ok. I looked at her and simply stated that I wasn’t leaving with her and if she was going to beat me or hit me with the bottle to just do it because I would never live with her again. I did not make eye contact with her, I finished my fries and she left. Something in me had begun to shift, I was not completely empowered, but I felt kinda like Mrs. Sofia, ready to bash open Misses head and think about heaven later.

The crazy part is my new ability to deal with my mom did not translate into my relationship with Mike. It was actually the opposite. The distance I created between my mom had pushed me closer to Mike. I was holding on to a love that felt familiar even though what I really wanted was a love unlike any I had ever known.

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