The FINAL Shake.
It's been a while since I've given myself permission to feel anything. I want today's post to be about me shedding some old skin and finally healing once and for all. I'm not perfect in any way nor do I want others to feel they have to be. All I ask for is an ear (well in this case an eye) to hear my heart as I take one last shake before my rug is officially clean. This is hard for me because last time I did this, I was accused of many things and what's to say it doesn't happen again? Despite my worries, I know it's time to reveal everything I've kept buried deep inside. Before I begin, I'm not placing blame on anyone and I'm not looking for sympathy. Once again I am healing and yes, I'm aware things can get messy as fuck, but that's the risk I'm willing to take. So shall we begin?
I'm numb. More numb than I've ever been to be honest. I recently sat in my car and reminisced about my childhood. I spoke aloud about my choices in boys, my terrible lies, my ridiculous punishments etc. and after each specific moment, I would say to myself, "but that's ok". Granted I assumed if I told myself I was alright, I would feel alright. Wrong. I was upset.
I pictured myself as a little girl again, in my room during summer break watching as the other kids played. Their laughter was so pure and filled with happiness. They'd knock on my door and ask if I could come outside and instantly my heart would break. I knew I couldn't come outside, but I still had some ounce of hope. I couldn't go outside because I had gotten in trouble for something silly like, missing the breadcrumbs under the toaster. Why focus on breadcrumbs, instead of appreciating the kitchen was cleaned. Oh the little details always mattered in my household. I remember getting an ass whooping because I spilled juice on the refrigerator. I poured juice in my cup and without thinking, I pressed the ice button on the fridge and placed my cup underneath. Juice splattered everywhere. Before getting a chance to clean it, I was called into the room and got my ass whooped by my step dad. I refer to him as my dad, but for the sake of it, I don't want y'all to be confused. Imagine being a girl excited about something and because you make a minor mistake, all hell breaks loose. Imagine having to ask for everything like eating food, drinking something other than water, being able to play outside. Hell imagine begging someone to let you just be a kid.
Being the only child was rough. In fact, I hated it. People assumed my life was easy, but in fact I begged for siblings just to have someone take the heat off me. My routine was the same every day. School, chores, homework, dinner, and sleep. Monday through Friday and like most of us, as kids we never received homework on Fridays. But that never mattered to my step dad. I always had to study for something. I always had to be ahead of everyone else. He checked my grades twice a week (it felt like) and I was constantly explaining assignments and grades to him and my mom. It got so bad that I was asking my teachers to sign my planner just to prove that what I was assigned for the day was true. Imagine being 12 years old trying to explain to your teachers why your parents are requesting for them to sign your planner. I was pitied at school. Teachers would say how they felt bad for me because I was a really great student, but at home me being a great student was my job. Bad grades weren't acceptable and watching television all day was only a priviledge when earned. It was never earned by the way. The only time I could get peace of mind was when I was home alone. But that's not even the half of it. If I didn't understand my math homework, instead of teaching me how to do it (mind you I said TEACH and not DO), I would be told, "read the examples". So, I'd read the examples and still struggle, but when asking for help, the response never changed. He'd say, "If I have to sit here and read the examples, then you can take the time to read the examples. I'm not going to do it for you." This would make me so annoyed to where I would stay up until 2-3AM getting 3-4 hours of sleep some nights. Eventually, I gave him homework that was never assigned and the homework that was assigned, I did in class. My math teacher never understood why I was so eager to know what the homework was, but he soon caught on. I don't know it never made sense why shit happened the way it did. Granted I didn't turn out bad. I'm just shedding some old skin because I realize I'm still angry. That's all.
I lived in this big house, but it never felt like home to me. I just lived there. I ate at the dinner table alone every night while everyone else ate in their room. I wasn't allowed to eat in my room and when I did eat in my room, that bothered my step dad. "This table was bought to eat at, so come down here and eat your food", he'd say. Being in my room wasn't safe either because I was always being asked to do something. If it was too quiet, my name was called just to see what I was doing. There wasn't much for me to do in my room. Couldn't hang posters, paint my room pink or anything so majority of the time I was laying down or drawing. Yes, I had a television and for a short amount of time I had a cable box, but that was unplugged whenever I'd get in trouble for my "nasty attitude". My attitude wasn't terrible, I was honestly misunderstood by both my parents. My aunt would visit and take me places with her because she knew I wasn't happy, but that too was short lived. There was always some bullshit reason why I couldn't leave my room. I'll never forget the time I had to write 2,500 standards because I lied about something. It started off with 500 standards, then 1000 standards, then 1500 standards, then 2000 standards. Now, I am not a good liar clearly. Never have been and I'm pretty sure I never will be, but for some reason I lied about something and my punishment was to write standards. This was my mom's doing by the way. It took me about 2 days to finish and on the last day, family came over and was asking for me to come downstairs with them. I kept telling them to wait just a few more hours, but they eventually left. I had my cousins with me, so I wasn't alone, but fuck 2,500 standards for lying? I would rather get my ass whooped to be honest.
Ok, so maybe I'd prefer the standards over the ass whooping. Either way, I suffered. Now, everything wasn't bad. I was rewarded with designer shoes and jewelry for getting straight A's, but I honestly didn't care about that. I just wanted to feel accepted. I didn't want to feel judged because I didn't act like other kids. Act meaning, me picking up a book instead of a cell phone or not being so "rough" at school. Look, if I want to race with my friends to see who's the fastest, that's completely normal. I like laughing and I enjoy being goofy wherever I am, but "home" wasn't the place for that. I didn't have privacy so everything was written as a metaphor just so I didn't have to explain myself. Truth is, I was afraid to be myself. I was afraid to just be honest with anyone and do you think my parents ever caught on to why I rather shut down than be vocal? Of course not. they just wanted me to be the 'perfect daughter" until they realized I wasn't.
My choices in boys weren't the best to some, but they were to me at the time. I never understood why boys were off limits considering I would meet one eventually. I get my parents didn't want me to "grow up" too fast, but let's be clear for a second, I was already ahead of my time. I had my first kiss in the second grade and was fully aware of what sex was. Now, before you try to judge me, just know I wasn't trying to have sex with anyone, I was just very mature for my age. I liked boys who liked me and as desperate as that may sound, I wasn't desperate at all. I was big on chances and was hoping to fill a void. I lacked emotional protection and desired it from whoever was willing to give it to me. There was Luther, my sixth grade Valentine. There was Tyler, my 13 year old bad boy. There was Robert, my first "love". Now, there's Eric, my wonderful husband. Of course there are more guys than this, but these four taught me valuable things about myself.
Luther taught me that even at the age of 11, I should be showered with genuine gifts just because I deserved it. Luther was so nice to me and was extremely intelligent. We both made straight A's and always took pictures together at award ceremonies. His parents were really nice, well his step mom, and he was always the perfect gentlemen. He just always took the time to talk to me and understand me when I felt alone. After sixth grade, I never heard from Luther because he moved away, but I appreciated the time we shared.
Tyler was the complete opposite. He didn't care about flowers and candy. He just wanted to kiss and touch and hold me the way he saw his parents do to each other. He made me feel wanted in a weird way. His affection was deeper than what I've ever seen and experienced, but Tyler didn't care to know me. He didn't care to give me what I deserved. He just wanted to use me to his advantage and didn't care about how that made me feel. He forced me to learn my worth because I understood I was never going to find anything deep within him.
Robert was my biggest lesson. I thought I was so in love and maybe I wasn't because I soon realized love didn't hurt. Robert protected me and made me feel safe in a way I never knew existed. He was willing to fight for me because someone said I wasn't pretty. It was crazy because although he was willing to fight for me, he wasn't willing to fight to keep me. It was easy for me to leave and easier for him to move on. We were the real definition of toxic. But he showed me I didn't have to pretend to be something I wasn't nor should I have pretended to feel things I never truly felt. Especially love.
Eric is my blessing. He has given me more than I could ever ask for and that's hope. I don't want people to think my marriage is perfect because we have episodes like many, but Eric doesn't give up on me. He fights to keep me. He teaches me I'm worth fighting for and that's something I've never seen or experienced in my life. He keeps me safe and my love for him doesn't hurt so I know it's real. I know I have his heart and this gives me comfort. His affection is deeper than any, his genuine gifts are always the "little things" I don't expect and his protection is greatly needed. I don't know what better way to out it other than, Eric has made more sacrifices for me than I can count and for that, I am forever grateful.
I say all of this to say, everything I've experienced, I've held on to. I believed I didn't deserve the love I have now because I wasn't sure on what that came with. I wasn't sure I could love anyone because there wasn't love in my household. My step dad and I don't really have an active relationship unless I reach out first. He missed out on me moving into my first place, my wedding day and who knows what else. I was angry, but honestly I forgive him for everything. I'm not angry with you anymore. I accept it and now I'm moving on from it.
Well, this was my final shake and it feels really good.