It seems the most natural place for me to begin is my role as a mother. I happen to be a mother without a partner currently so I suppose that would make me a single-mom.
I tend to not appreciate labels for the boxes feel restrictive and imprisoning.
I have a daughter who will be seventeen soon. Her father and I met when I was a junior in college. The warning signs were there that our relationship was bound to be unsuccessful and it even became clear that I would be much better off without him, as would she. At the time, at that age, I was unable to heed such warnings without putting up a resistance. I was very much afraid of being a single mother and “failing”. I see now that she was our success and that perspective is seriously the main issue, perhaps the only issue.
He was a very volatile young man and in love with his own victimhood. His trials in life took precedence over his responsibilities as a father. He had a hard time helping me during my pregnancy so by the time I had given birth it was obvious he was incapable. Mentally his words didn’t even seem to form clear concise statements and I wondered how I had become involved with this person to such an extent. I lamented throughout the first year of her life hoping that some miracle would change him or my life but eventually time healed me, gave me hope and plenty of new opportunities.
After that first year we never heard from him again. I had eventually moved to the same city that I knew his family lived in because it was close to my parents’ home in the suburbs and I needed to be in an urban environment. I never reached out to his family nor him and no one looked for us. I also decided not to pursue child support through the courts because I had some sense of loyalty to him as a black man and also didn’t need the complications of him knowing our whereabouts. Although he seemed entirely unconcerned, I did have some reasons to believe that he might try and take my daughter.
Years went by and I became more spiritually developed and centered. I changed my diet and lifestyle, started fasting and meditating. I decided to dissolve my anger towards this person and see if he could enjoy the person my daughter has become and perhaps vice versa. When she was around 8 or 9 we sent him a letter and within a couple weeks he had called us. I spoke with him first and it was odd, a bunch of excuses really. I was no longer in the habit of caring about his victimhood any longer. What struck me was that he had a daughter who was maybe 5 years old whose birthday was a day before my daughter’s and who had a similar name (identical middle names). He brageed to me about how expensive her clothes were and how she was a daddy’s girl. I wanted to spit fire and curse but I didn’t. I simply asked if he wanted to speak to his daughter which he did.
The most interesting thing was how my daughter couldn’t understand a word he was saying. I had raised her to be so intelligent and articulate that she could hold her own in a conversation with confidence. She could not make any sense of his mumbled excuses and was understandably very confused on so many different levels. I had to wonder if he would have adversely affected her life the way I had always kind of felt he might. As I was having some financial issues I would call him just to see if he had any money to contribute. I figured it was the least he could do.
His younger daughter’s mother had been deleting my messages according to him and not wanting him to see or speak to us. I was pretty aloof about their relationship issues as they hadn’t much to do with me in my opninon. Another interesting twist happened a few months after our inital reunion. He was working, doing construction on a building near my office and we met up a few times so he could give me money here and there for groceries. It wasn’t much but it helped and he was seemingly happy to have something to offer. He had tried to kiss me on the neck for some bizarre reason and I quickly lean back and told him he was buggin (I’m from Brooklyn. That’s how I’m known to speak.)
I received a call one night from the hospital asking to speak with my daughter. I remember saying she was nine and asleep and the person explained that she was being contacted as next of kin since he had been shot and in critical condition. She had never met him (or didn’t remember him from when she was a baby) despite the few times he and I met up but was planning to schedule a time to introduce himself. I figured if he was possibly dying perhaps now is the best time and lat time for the to meet. I didn’t want to traumatize my daughter but I thought we might regret this last opportunity for them to be together.
I woke her and we went to the hospital. When we got there I was told he had been deceased upon arrival and that they could not reveal that information over the telephone. Turns out his daughter’s mother/girlfriend had fatally stabbed him. I couldn’t make this up nor would I want to.
Fast forward fourteen years later, I now have two small boys ages one and three. Their father is a truck driver. Perhaps that fact alone was a read flag? He has also neglected my children and is having another baby, somehow having the time, energy (and money) to romance and procreate anew. I have filed for child support through the courts this time because I realize the children deserve his accountabilty. He has not been paying consistently. This is the nature of my current vibrations and I recognize a theme. I believe that I can change that theme and I am breathing deeply and changing my story even as I type it.
I am committing myself to sharing because there is someone out there who needs to read this. So many women are in relationships that they will not leave because the don’t want to be alone. They are so concerned with how others will see them rather than knowing they are worthy of much better in every aspect of their lives. I can relate to a fair amount of self-pity and delusion but I am also a rebellious savage bruja. Always have been, even in my most quiet placid moments. My spirit is not in alignment with being a victim and the universe sends me signs of patterns working behind the veil. This is my ground zero. It’s only up from here.
I am in my parents’ home.
I am nursing a clingy baby and soliciting cuddles from a busy toddler.
I am laughing with and admiring a growing young woman.
I am dancing and moving with growing vitality.
I am quickly approaching 40.
I am breathing through negative emotion into positive action.
I am tuning in to the right channels.
I am rising from the ashes.