Sometimes I want to stand in my backyard naked and just scream.
My 31 years on this planet have been filled with pain, heartache, disappointment, hope, determination and achievement. But whose life hasn’t? That’s what life is about. Overcoming adversity in all of it’s shapes and forms. This year, I finally have a home of my own, with a large backyard, to finally scream in. However, instead of screaming, I decided that I would start a blog.
I am one of the most candid people that I know. I gave up having shame years ago. Currently, I am a black, female, atheist, twice divorced single mother of four children.
Now, I was born black and female. How the atheism, divorces and children came about is the interesting part.
“Mom, you are always just trying to ruin my fun!”… I would eventually come to regret EVER saying those words. At the young age of 17, I just knew I was in love. I met him in my 12th grade English class; he was there visiting a teacher that he once had when he attended the school. He had graduated two years before. To this day, my ex-husband, Tony, claims that as I entered that classroom, smoke filled the room and he only had eyes for me. Classic emotional manipulator. I gave him my number and he gave me his.
I could not wait for him to call me. I needed the escape. I’d had a rough year. Prior to meeting Tony, I decided to play hooky with a senior whom I’d had an elective in school with. We drove all over town to the point that I had no idea where we were; he bought me lunch and said that he needed to stop by his cousin’s house to pick something up. He invited me in. No one else was there. He plopped down on the dingy, tattered couch. He reached out and patted the seat beside him, “come on, sit down.” So I did. He told me how pretty I was and how he had been looking at me ever since that Ballroom dance class that we had together. He moved in to kiss me. And I kissed him back, but his breath reeked of marijuana. I pulled back. I was ready to go. However, he wasn’t. As he sat on the couch, he unzipped his pants. I looked at him with disgust, “Um, what are you doing? We’re not about to do that.” “Come on, stop being a punk. Just do this for me”, he grimaced. I stood up and demanded that he take me home. He stood up too; all 6’ 2” of him. “I’ll take you home after… you do this for me.” He motioned to his penis with one hand and grabbed my hair with the other. I knew what he wanted me to do. I looked at the room, hoping to find a phone, but in the mess and clutter of the unfamiliar room, I found nothing. It was getting late in the day and I knew that my mom would be there at the school soon enough to pick me up. If I wasn’t there, she would be furious and demand an explanation for where I was. If I ran out the door, where was I going and how was I going to get back to school? I had no money on me. So, I did what he wanted me to do. And I hated it. I didn’t even like him like that. It seemed like it took him forever to cum. I spit and almost threw up. He then zipped up his pants and told me to go to the car. The ride back to the school was quiet. As SOON as he pulled back up to the school, I swung the door open and ran into the school. I dodged him for the remaining few months of school; thankful that he would graduate that year. I never saw him again.
Another reason that I needed escape was that my father, who had been in prison for the previous twelve years, had just come back into my life and all I wanted was out of the house. His superficial belief in ‘Allah’ was just too much for me. I already had a love/hate relationship with religion because for the life of me, I just could not figure out why a loving god would take my grandmother, the only person my mother had, away from us before I could even meet her. My aunt, the Jehovah’s Witness of the family, also scared the shit out of me with thinking that the world was coming to an end… and soon. All I can remember thinking was, “If the end of the world is coming and no one knows when it will be, what the hell is the point of me cleaning up my room?”
I guess you could say my mom and I were going through the same vulnerable stage at the time. The boy that I had dated the year before cheated on me and I never felt such pain. My mom had just gone through a divorce from the man she married just so that we could have double income in the house, basically, she didn’t marry for love. She loved my father. And there was not ‘bout a-doubt that’, as my mom quoted my father.
So boom, I didn’t know what hit me. All I know is that I was head over heels. Tony was not my type. Not that he was unattractive at all, but I liked guys that were tall, skinny and light skinned. That’s what my previous boyfriend was. But Tony’s eyes and dimples drew me in. Not to mention that his voice was as deep as Barry White’s. He wasn’t a tall or big man, but his voice and presence made him seem as such. He had his own car, he worked and made $17 and hour (that was big for two young kids). He wanted out of Detroit and so did I. He promised to never cheat on me the way that my ex-boyfriend did and he kept that promise. We both came from broken homes and we promised each other that we would have our kids and would never part. Funny enough, he had just gotten back in contact with his father after twelve years as well. Our children would be raised in a home with both parents and we would be married.
Back when I believed, I heard this saying from Oprah, “God whispers before he yells”. I should have known back then that the relationship would be as turbulent as it was. I remember our first real date. We went to the movies and then out to a restaurant. He said that he had a migraine. He was so rude to the waiter and I was so embarrassed. It was closing time and the clean-up guy was putting up chairs. The waiter asked us if we wanted to go boxes. Tony just about jumped the guy, but I calmed him down. Needless to say, I cut dinner short. I told Tony that I could not stand the way that he was acting so I was going to go to the car while he paid the bill. I got to the car, backed up, and before I knew it, there was a person and a foot coming through my windshield. It was Tony. He was pissed. All I could see was his Timberland boot and hear him screaming, “SO, YOU JUST GONE LEAVE ME AT THE MOTHERFUCKIN’ RESTAURANT, HUH?!” I was terrified. We had arguments before, even physical fights, but nothing like this. I had no idea what to do. In my rear view mirror, I could see the waiter run out to get Tony’s attention because, as I later found out, Tony never paid the bill. As I sat there in shock, I saw Tony walk around to the passenger side of the car. Just then, another car, driven by a drunk driver, hit Tony! Talk about a hell of a night. Tony was not hurt, but he was incapacitated. All I could do was get out of the car and run. I ran to the restaurant, but they wanted no part of our drama and would not let me use their phone to call the police. They asked me to leave and locked the door behind me. My only other option was to run to the gas station next door. They let me use the phone and I called the police. They picked up Tony and he was in jail for about three days. He was charged with malicious destruction of property and ordered to attend anger management classes. Tony apologized, begged and pleaded that I forgive him. Like an idiot, I did. I just loved him so; I loved his ‘potential’. Looking back now, potential ain’t worth shit.
And at this time, I have to go and fix lunch for my little ones. I will continue this in part two.