As I sit here, watching my kids play with each other, I struggle to find the “right way” to start this story. Do I start with a joke? A quote? Or a sweet memory? Actually, I’ll just give it to you straight. *inhale* My name is Priscilla and I’m a fucked up individual. *exhale*
Now before you go off rolling your eyes, I’m fully aware that a lot of us are all fucked up. I also agree that everyone has a story. My story just has volumes and more sequels than Saw. My story, however, doesn’t have a kidnapper wearing a pig mask or a mini cassette with pre-recordings of a strange man telling me my own business. Instead, it involves a very loving mother, a few men and an offspring. And in between those lie broken windows, infidelity, bruises and life threatening decisions. I’ve learned not to cry (about this particular story) anymore because I’ve become numb and I guess “overcame this obstacle” without sounding so cliche.
As a child, I didn’t care about going to Disney World, Canada’s Wonderland, Niagara Falls or anything like that. I just wanted to spend time with my father. You see, my parents split when I was extremely young. Although I can’t remember everything in my childhood, I sometimes have brief flashbacks and it wasn’t all rainbows and butterflies. It was more like… weed smoke, needles, fights and a pissy staircase. I was too young to understand but as I got older, I put 2 and 2 together and wished I didn’t know basic mathematics.
Anyone who knew my mother, knew how much of a hard worker she was. She worked a full time job and was in school. She worked overnight, came home to tend to me, nap and then head for school. When she came home from school, she slept for a bit, put me to sleep then headed back to work. Clockwork. I stayed home with my dad. I mean, my father. Without getting into too much detail (since that’ll spoil future blog entries), my mommy ended up leaving my father. It wasn’t a safe environment to have a baby around drugs, constant fights and neglect. So my mommy packed up our belongings and left. Of course, this happened a few days after my father kicked us out the apartment to sleep in the staircase of our building. I can still smell the urine in the corner. Or was it my own from my diaper? Maybe both.
Almost in a blink of an eye, my mommy had met another man. This man all of the sudden became my step-dad. I mean, step-father. He moved into OUR apartment, took over OUR television and everything that was OURS was now his. Ughh! I was so confused. Where the hell did he come from? Who the hell is he? And what the hell is his name?! My mommy asked that I call him “dad.” Was she on the same shit my dad was on? I already had a dad. I mean, father. I believe that “dads” are active in their kids’ lives. “Fathers” are ones who helped make a baby. Yeah, you’re a father but you ain’t my dad, homie. Anyway, my mom’s new husband was in my life now… but only by default. The good thing about him was that he was a good business man. He had a booth at our local flea market selling video games and video game systems. Then he had a dry cleaning service (which got robbed twice) then a restaurant. Things were going well. My mom got pregnant and had a baby boy. Seemed like they were on cloud 9. But nothing isn’t always what it seems.
Everyday after my brother was born, my mom and her husband were fighting. But this wasn’t your average “I hate you, motherfucker!” and “I hate you more, bitch!” type of fight. Something was always breaking or crashing. Someone was always getting locked in the closet. Someone was always crying. I was too afraid to jump in. Hell, I was only 6! Needless to say, her husband was creeping on her and she wasn’t having it. She tried to keep her family together by pleading him to stop cheating and well… he wasn’t having it. Eventually, my mom grew bigger balls than him and left. Unfortunately, it wasn’t all that easy. He was planning on moving overseas and wanted to take my brother with him. Naturally, my mom said “no” and in retaliation, he threatened to kidnap my brother and have me killed. Yes, such human beings like him exist. My mother had no choice. I guess in a way, she saved my life. But at that point, it didn’t feel like much of a life anyway.
I blinked again and out of thin air appeared another man. How did my mom find another man THAT quick? I mean, my mom is Micheal Jackson Bad but c’mon, can my eyes focus after a blink first? She moved in with him. At this time, my brother was back… and so was his dad. Things seemed pretty cool with her new beau but none of us in the family accepted him. Not because of his race, ethnicity, religion or what-have-you, but only because he came out of nowhere and my mom expected us to accept him. Maybe my dad slipped something in her drink because I was convinced she was on something.
Like anyone in the world, my mom deserves happiness. I deserve happiness. You deserve happiness. Was it okay that she found happiness that fast? Was it sheer luck? Or maybe she had them waiting on the sidelines. Either way, I saw how happy she became when she got her last beau. I wanted that happiness, too. I looked for happiness from anyone with a beard and an Adam’s apple. When one didn’t work, I got another one. I was determined! But I was also scorned. Hell, I didn’t really have a dad. The one that was supposed to be my dad spent more time with biohazard substances than his biological daughter. My step-“dad” spent more time cheating and fighting instead of laughing and joking. My uncle tried to be my dad. Emphasis on the TRIED. Rather than guiding me, I was told what to do and what not to do. That’s not how you raise a child. That’s how you make a child run away. I looked for that father figure in any and everyone.
I’m not a whore. I didn’t sleep with anyone with a dick. That’s just disgusting. But I tried to get close with men. I was the oldest of my generation. I had no older siblings. Majority of my friends were males, but not by choice. I never had a problem with girls. I just connected with my male friends more. Male friends lead to more male friends and eventually lead to lust interests. My ultimate goal was to be happy like my mom but what I failed at was how I was going to get to that happiness the right way. I thought I could find happiness faster if I jumped from one man to the other. I was wrong. I was SO WRONG and for a long time, I blamed my mother for it. She never knew I blamed her though. I blamed her for allowing me to believe that when one relationship doesn’t work, go on and get into another one. I blamed her for allowing me to believe that physical altercations with your spouse was quite alright. I blamed her allowing me to believe that she never made mistakes. She was my Super Woman who did everything right. I blamed her and I secretly hated her for it all.
Now that I’m older with my own children, I’ve grown up in a way. Those mistakes my mother made humanized her. I made those same mistakes. Almost like it was cycle. I have a 5 year old intelligent daughter and I’ll be damned if she go through the same bullshit my mother and her own mother went through. I rarely bring her around my male friends (she’s only met 2) and I let her know that I, too, make bad decisions. I’m not perfect. Don’t be anything like me. Be better than me. It’s one thing to learn from your own mistakes but it’s another thing to let others learn from your mistakes. I’m learning everyday and I learned to forgive my mommy. She’s far from perfect and I love that. She’s made bad decisions that affected me but she’s forgiven. I know now not to use her shit as a scapegoat and own up to my own shit. I just hope I will be forgiven.