Daddy Woes

Since I was a little girl, my parents did their best to protect me from the horrors of the world. That included the horrors of our family and household as well. Like I said, they did their best, but it wasn’t too long before I would find out that my father had an addiction to drugs. To be honest, I can’t even remember how I found out. I’ll probably remember when I finally commit to going to therapy and blog about it lol.

Nevertheless, my father was amazing! He was what every great father is to his daughter. The apple of her eye… the love of her life… her king. His name was Bobby. He was an amazing cook, artist, guitar player and more. He was absolutely amazing with his hands. He could handle all things electric, plumbing, building and more. He actually helped rebuild my elementary school’s playground. He was a high school drop out, but committed and received his diploma my sophomore year of high school. That man LOVED his girls ( my mother, sister and I) as well as the family that we took in. We spent so much time together that I didn’t notice anything “different” about my father. I remember when he wasn’t home, my mother would say “daddy had to go out-of-town to handle business for work.” It didn’t click until I was writing this sentence that there was no way my father could have been out of town for work when he was at home with me all time. When he wasn’t at home, he worked at my elementary school. Where was he going that no one else was going?

So that was some of the good! I gave you that first because in my opinion, it outweighed the bad. I’m confident that my mother and sister feel the same way. But my father’s drug addiction definitely changed my life in many ways. I won’t get too deep into it right now. I’ll blog about it more another day AND you can read it in my book when I stop backing out and write it lol.

Once I knew he was on drugs, I guess you can say I became “woke.” When he was around things felt so right, but it was when he would be gone for three days or a week that would kill me. I worried every day that my father wasn’t home that he was hurt or dead and i would never see him again. I became severely attached to my mother because I didn’t want her to be hurt, but I was still attached to my father because we did so much together. I mean I literally had to argue with this man to stop walking me to the bus stop before I entered high school. Now I understand more than ever why he didn’t want to stop. So when my father died, I lost a part of me. I was confused. I felt like I didn’t get enough of him because I had to share a lot of our time with the streets or rehab. I often wonder if he died thinking I was mad or disappointed in him. My attachment gained a new friend… Abandonment.

My husband was with me through a portion of the experience. I kept it a secret as long as I could. Things got so bad at home I broke up with him in the 9th grade. I had to choose between him or my grades, and my parents expected nothing but A’s and B’s. He kept asking, “was it something I did wrong?” My answer was so cliché. “It’s not you, it’s me!” He said “tell me what’s wrong, what’s going on?” I spilled the beans. “My father is a drug addict!” I yelled. He replied, “that’s it?!” He then chuckled. “I thought it was something bad, like somebody died. My father does drugs too!” We crack up about that conversation til this day. But after my husband found out, that’s when my attachment to him began to form. It got really intense when my father passed away. I never wanted to leave my husband’s side. That’s why him becoming a truck driver crushed me. He couldn’t understand why I would cry so much when he had to go. It was like PTSD or something. I would feel abandoned by him leaving and constantly afraid that something would happen to him. Just as I did with my father. My oldest daughter would cling to me because she knew I was sad. Just as I did with my mother. I remember when she was two, she told my mother “my mommy’s eyes are broken” because I had been crying so much.

I clung to how great my father was though. I expected my husband to be great just like him, but to take it up a notch. This wasn’t a problem for my husband because he’s naturally a great husband and father. It was our age that created an issue. We did everything SO young. We fell in love young (14), had our first child young (21), got married young (23) and have been building as a family in our youth. Since we moved into “adulthood” pretty fast, I expected my husband to jump into gear and get it all right. My expectations of my husband were so high, it was crazy. In my mind, there was no room for mistakes. I didn’t see my father make any besides his drug addiction. Since my husband didn’t have a drug addiction, there shouldn’t have been anything holding him back. He already placed pressure on himself and I made it worse by setting a bar too high for him to reach. He hadn’t had enough time to learn and grow.

When I discovered that I was placing my daddy issues on my husband, I couldn’t stop apologizing. I felt terrible. Not for what I went through, but for what I put him through.

It is vital that we take a look at our childhood and life experiences when approaching relationships. That includes friendships as well. An individual will never know why drinking and smoking bothers you if you don’t tell them addiction runs in your family, and you’re terrified the same will happen to you. That’s just an example. There are so many hidden secrets we have, and hurt/pain that we haven’t uncovered because we don’t like to visit those dark places. Our relationships, especially our marriages and relationships with our children will not be healthy if we don’t tackle our deep issues. This doesn’t mean hold onto your hurt and pain, it means deal with it so that you may move past it.

I’m still a work in progress…

My First Go at Pregnancy: Part Two

“You have to protect yourself. You can’t trust that he will always be around.”

Continued… James (my husband) really hoped that my boss was a man at that point because he couldn’t understand how another woman, a mother, could speak so negatively to a young soon-to-be mother. As usual, he stopped me in the mist of my crying and said, “If you believe what that woman said to you, you’re just as stupid as she is. She doesn’t know who you are, so who gives a f**k about what she thinks.” That may sound a little harsh or rough to some, but it was just what I needed to hear.

SO! As a smack in my boss’ face, and any other person who doubted me, I finished the semester with a 3.0 GPA exact (my goal). It was the lowest GPA I had in my entire life. I couldn’t have been more proud of myself. After fighting every urge to strip from my cap and gown, and dress (I was the only pregnant, hot and hormonal student in there), I walked across the stage at 7 months pregnant. I conquered the illustrious Pennsylvania State University. But even in that moment, I was still faced with some hurtful truths. My father wasn’t alive to witness me graduate from college (he died my in my first semester of college), my fiance’ didn’t have a job, I had no job, he and I would be living in two different homes, and at the end of the day I was just unprepared to be a mother. Although I was 20 years old, I felt like a 16-year-old who had no guidance. I was scared to be honest.

I came home to prenatal visits that were now every two weeks, planning a baby shower, job hunting with James, and just stress! Since I was under the age of 26 with no job, I was still covered by my mother’s health insurance. We were members of Kaiser Permanente, and since I wasn’t the policy holder, the only way my child would be covered by her insurance was if my mother adopted her. That made no sense to me, but I had to move to plan B. I had to go Medicaid office and apply for insurance in order for my daughter to be covered.

The day I went to apply was terrible. First, in order to not spend your entire day in that place you have to wake up at the break of dawn (literally) and stand in line. After finally getting into the building (James was right there with me) I started the process. I actually had a case manager who was the mother of two sisters I went to middle school with. I thought “Oh, I know her daughters! I will be okay.” I was absolutely wrong. Right from the jump she categorized me as a young, single mother who didn’t have a relationship with her child’s father. In no way am I saying that women who have been or are in that situation are, for lack of better words, at the bottom of the barrel, but at the end of the day it is a stigma placed among young black women. I was so ignorant to the process, so I was intimated by all the paperwork that had to be signed. I needed all the benefits I could get though. As I’m filling out the paperwork, I noticed there was a portion that needed the father’s contact information. I then saw something about child support. I told her that I didn’t want to provide that information because my fiance’ and I were together and he was in the waiting area. She said that it was protocol, that I had to provide it, and that it helps to have his information on there just in case anything ever happened. She said, “You have to protect yourself. You can’t trust that he will always be around.” I responded by saying, “I’ve known this man since I was 10 years old and our families are joined together. We’re okay.” But I still added his information because I was under the impression that it needed to be done in order to receive the services.

So we walk out of the building, head to the car and make our way to James’ parents house. We stopped to get food, and then soon after the car started making a very loud sound. We stopped at Advance AutoParts, and he put a little oil in the car to hold us over until we got home. While we were there I told him how uncomfortable the woman at the Medicaid office made me, and how I had to put his name down on the application. You should have seen his face. He said, “You put me on child support?!” I replied, “No! I don’t think so. She told me I had to do it!” He then said, “I don’t have a job Tiana. If those people charge me for child support I can have my CDL (Class A for being a truck driver) taken away.” I immediately began to cry. I told him I was so sorry. I didn’t know that’s what I had done. He knew what that system was like from his own experience. I felt so taken advantage of and dumb. I was hurt and confused. We decided to go another day to correct the information and started driving home…

On the way home, the rattling sound in the car got louder. The car started shaking and going slower and slower… I couldn’t believe that after all of that, we were about to break down on the side of the road in the middle of the Summer. Through the grace of God we made it to his parents driveway and the car finally broke down. Now we were young, pregnant, unmarried, no jobs, no home of our own, and no car. Off to a great start huh? 

Let’s stop there…

Splitting my pregnancy experience up is somewhat therapeutic. I find myself feeling the same emotions I felt in those very moments while writing. The feeling of fear, like I’m 20 again, frustration and more. When I reread this post, I said WOW. Look at how far we’ve come. I’m holding back tears at this very moment. The same boy the woman at the Medicaid office counted out, is my very best friend, husband of four years, a working, Christian man, and the father of two beautiful princesses. I tell people all the time. People think that a good and stable relationship and/or marriage is solely based off of lovey-dovey moments filled with pixie dust and rainbows. It’s the complete opposite in my opinion. In my experience, it was the moments of pain, confusion, frustration, desperation and destruction that made my husband and I’s bond unbreakable. It was in those moments that we grew closer and stronger. We would cling together so hard because we knew  “we all we got.”

To be continued…

 

 

Hair or No Hair??

This post is random but so relevant in my opinion lol. If you can’t tell from my other posts, I’m pretty open and honest about a lot. I plan on continuing with my pregnancy experiences, but when I get the feeling to write I just can’t hold back.

Just in case you’re just now tuning into Queendom Wife and Mother, I gave birth to my second daughter almost three months ago. Since then it’s been pretty difficult for me to separate from her. This isn’t the greatest situation to be in especially when it comes to the need for self-care. For example, I recently went to the hairdresser to have my locs maintained and she was right on my chest in her baby wrap. I changed her diaper and nursed her when needed during the entire process. I’m so grateful my loctician had no issues with it and actually encouraged me to nurse my baby girl without care.

Now… the problem is I’ve neglected shaving/waxing since having my daughter. Why?? Let’s go through my list of reasons. Reason #1: I had to heal. Reason #2: I could (still can’t) barely pee, poop, shower or eat without the child crying to eat, be changed or see mommy (this includes my 6-year-old). Reason #3: Shaving is SO hard!! I have long locs so they get in the way and are too heavy in bun, AND it takes way too much time if you’re doing it right. I like to look well-groomed, none of that stubby half job mess. Reason #4: Watching the hairs die from Veet scares the living daylights out of me. Reason #5: I like to get waxed, and having an infant with you while your hairs are being snatched is not an option for me. The both of us aren’t allowed to cry at the same time. Reason #6 My husband doesn’t care at all!

Now, the last reason is so important to me and is why I had to blog about this. Don’t get me wrong, my husband loves when I get waxed, BUT he has made it very clear that it’s not important. Although it doesn’t bother him, it definitely bothers me! You can ask any woman and she will agree with this statement… “when your hair isn’t done, you don’t feel like yourself.” Watch the confidence level increase in a woman as she looks in the mirror before she pays her stylist. She’s ready to be seen and take over the world. The same goes for my precious Jewel. Life ain’t right when she’s out here looking like a bear in hibernation (judge me all you want, my husband still loves me lol). But when your girl gets a fresh wax?! I’m ready to run a marathon and ready to model for my man. “Look at her Love, isn’t she pretty?!” Lol I do it every time.

So I need to know, do women shave, wax or veet for themselves or for their man?? If your partner said he didn’t have a problem with your hair, would removing them still be as important to you? I personally do it for myself AND my husband. He may not care, but we both know pubic hair can definitely hold a stench, and I respect and love him way too much to walk around smelling crazy. Also, I feel comfortable and confident when I have been “groomed.” I will say that since having hair doesn’t bother my husband, it takes away the pressure of having to take care of home, the kids, him, and the hair on Jewel! LOL