Friday, December 19, 2008

ABW Part 5: Know Your Worth

Be honest. How much do you discuss men? Think about men? Dream about men? Do you want a relationship? Are you 'dying' for a man to look at you the way McDreamy looks at Meredith in Grey's Anatomy? I know it is Hollywood but that man looks at that woman and those eyes... those eyes tell it all. Yes, I'll take one McDreamy to Go, please. My sister prayer circle (my network of loving and supportive sistas) and I have had many discussions about men. What do men really want? What kind of relationships do we want? Can we have a "FWINE" Brotha, with some money, who loves God, reads his bible, and has a real relationship with Jesus Christ? Is that too much to Ask? What is going on with this "down-low mess? Are there real men (who LOOK good) that love Jesus? Can we really have it "all" in a relationship? LOL We have read the books. We have studied, we have probed, and we have believed! We want to be loved... We can't deny it. We want to be loved WELL. We want to be treasured. We want to be blessed with a man who sees our inherent value and will love and cherish us unconditionally. Our god-fearing, knight-in-shiny-armani... We have dedicated so much time to the Y chromosome that it will make your brain go "TILT" overload, overload... and make a beeping noise. LOL After all of this discussion, prayers, teers, jeers, and cheers... you know the point I have arrived at today? I need to see my own worth before a man will ever see it! I need to nourish and cherish myself and see my own inherent value before I can demand that a man see it. I once loved a guy so much until it made my heart hurt. I'm telling you... I had a toothache kind of pain where my heartbeat shoulda been. He was the kind of guy that made your liver quiver... education, quasi-spiritual, good looking, nice job, easy going, easy talker... all the qualities for the making of that once-in-a-lifetime soulmate kind of relationship. Problem was... and you knew there was a problem didn't you... hell, I am angry for a reason. LOL Problem was... Dude knew his worth... and I did not know mine. He perfected the art of the disengaged-I-can-let-you-go-at-the-drop-of-a-dime-and-replace-you-with-another-model brand of love. I wish I coulda perfected the let-me-go-then-fool-I-am-the-best-thing-that-ever-happened-to-you brand of reciprocity. But OH NO! There is something about love that sometimes enables a woman to separate herself from her self-respect. LOL I think I divorced my self-respect at times in this relationship. After many, many, months on the best shrink in the world's sofa (his name is Dr. Jesus), Dr. J gave me some prescriptions that I had to take 3 - 4 times a day. I had to learn to VALUE myself. I had to LEARN to RELAX in God's love. Dr. J has a way of rubbing off on you if you hang out with him enough. For the Angry Black Woman inside of you, please learn, study, understand, and KNOW YOUR WORTH! Anger Management 101: KNOW YOUR WORTH! LOL Class dismissed!

Friday, December 12, 2008

ABW Part 4: Never Knew a Father's Love

If you have been keeping up with my blog spots, you know that I have taken up residence in Faithville in search of the meaning of my life. Jesus is the Sheriff of this new town. LOL Ok, Ok... I'm going on with the point. I have been soul searching... Why was I born? Why during this time? No such journey can really be complete SANS self-introspection. I have had to search myself... really, stop everything...really, think long and hard about my life. I wasn't kidding in my thanksgiving blog post about doing a full-body-cavity search... figuratively of worries...LOL My parents never got married. I don't know exactly why but I know that my father tried to control my mother with his money... bad, bad, idea. My father was a man of means ...well, "black people" means...LOL meaning he was a honorably discharged veteran who had a good government job (he worked at the post office), he had good benefits, he owned his own home, he had amassed a considerable savings, with stock options and bonds (totalling well over half a million dollars). He had some money. Without giving too many details (I tell the whole story in the "No Stranger to Pain" chapter of my upcoming Speak Life Book), my father had made a unilateral decision that my mother could not be trusted with money. She had made too many poor financial decisions and frankly, he shirked his responsibilities. He didn't pay child support and he didn't help out as much as he should have... as much as he COULD have. My father wasn't hurting for money. Suffice it to say, I suffered terribly as a child. My mother hauled my father to court (as well she should have) and he was so determined for her to not have his money, that he denied being my father... that's just the real. A real shame too. Needless to say, we did the whole blood test thing and he died before we got the results. My mother had established paternity (of course, I was his child. I look just like him.) And all the money, he had FOUGHT SO hard to protect - landed smack dab in the middle of my mother's hands... that dear reader is IRONY at its finest and a whole nother story. Sidebar: Money in the wrong hands can be a curse... and I'll just leave it at that. OK! Enough of my dysfunctional family... The point I really wanted to make today is... I never knew a father's LOVE. My father was a military man. He was strict. When he did come around, he was always barking orders at me to line up my shoes, get my room clean, lose weight... nothing positive. EVER! There weren't any father and daughter dances. He didn't come to any parent teachers conferences. He didn't sit with me and do homework. My art work wasn't on his wall... My picture wasn't on his refrigerator. My father never told me that he loved me. Never. As you can imagine, by this admission alone, I was horrible at love. In my life, I never had one "good" man truly love me...truly... unconditionally... Just LOVE ME... until I met Jesus. He loved me... Like the Shemar Moore character in Tyler Perry's Movie Diary of a Mad Black Woman: "Jesus loved me past my pain." HE DID! He loved me with the love of a thousand good men. He really did. He took away my secret shame, low self-esteem, and self-hatred. As I search for the deeper meaning of my life, I don't search for a father's love anymore. Jesus put it in my heart. I didn't even realize how deeply I had been hurt by the way I grew up until God showed me. God saved me... in more ways than one.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Part 3: Personal Accountability

I heard a brotha in the barbershop say that Obama's presidency had ushered in the era of Personal Accountability (my words not his)... basically this man said, "We don't have any more excuses. Obama didn't have a daddy and he didn't come from money but he made it anyway. We need to do better by our kids and our black women." The truth is powerful. You know? I've taken my Angry Black Woman (ABW) Monologue on the road. I am a blogging maniac now...LOL who knew that it would be this cathartic, this freeing, and this much fun? LOL I have had some interesting chats with brothas across this nation. And the message of one brotha did resonate with me. He picked up where the brotha in the barbershop left off - there is no getting around Personal Accountability. He responded to my ABW rant about how Michelle Obama validated the black woman... The gist of what he said was this: "Michelle attracted Barack because of the kind of woman she was. If you are not meeting the kind of men that you want to meet, then you need to take a look at you." The truth is powerful. LOL... I respected what he wrote but I AM a good woman LOL Why am I not attracting GOOD QUALITY MEN??? LOL I wanna know... despite my mental protests, there was truth in what he said... Raw, naked, and undeniable TRUTH. THE TRUTH IS POWERFUL. It is true - seed DOES produce like seed... I mean... I have to take some personal accountability for my wrong relationships. NO more excuses! No More Lies! Frankly, NFL and NBA players are not known for their moral and intellectual acumen. And if we didn't know this, Plaxico Burress, served as a recent reminder. There are a lot of us out there - angry black women - and I KNOW FIRST HAND that we have a right to be angry about a whole lot of stuff. LOL No question. BUT, at the end of the day, if I want a certain kind of man, the reality is - I need to be that kind of woman - no excuses, and no lies - that dear reader is -Personal Accountability. Does this mean I am putting the Angry Black Woman away? NOT HARDLY! LOL There is such a thing as righteous indignation. I really do have RIGHTEOUS indignation about the fact that no white (heck I'd take even one Latino, Samoan, ASIAN(?) LOL NO non-black professional athelete (NFL, NBA, Baseball, Hockey - you name it) has a BLACK WIFE. Why is that??? I really wanna know... It's so bad that when I moved to SoCal and found out that the San Diego Chargers superstar, LaDanian Tomlinson, had a black wife - I was SHOCKED. LOL I was actually suprised... and I do take a mental note of my response... the stats are so low now that when you see a black professional athelete with a black wife - you are surprised. LOL The points I made are valid but at some point, I do need to look at ME. The truth IS powerful!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Part 2: No Stranger to Pain

I am no stranger to pain. I would venture to say many angry black women are on a first-name basis with pain. Maybe even women who are not so angry... that's the deal with pain... Pain is NOT monogamous. I am sure many of you reading this right now have your own Pain Tale to tell. We, angry black women, have common ground. I have had my heart broken into a million teeny tiny pieces - many times. How about you? At one time, I did not think that all those fragments could ever be put back together. My mother died when she was 56 years old.... pushing when she was tired of pushing... going when she just couldn't go anymore. I was even beginning to walk in those shoes. Working a job that I had come to hate... working 6 days a week sometimes 12 hours or more a day. Gaining weight... Hair falling out... and then I had the NERVE to get adult ACNE of all things. Hormones all in an uproar, for many reasons, but the primary reason is lack of sex... I took the purity challenge (I know... how old am I? LOL... it doesn't matter, it is never too late to become celibate again and listen, it is not such a bad decision considering all this down-low mess). Yes, I'm still angry. I have unnamed family members who think I am out of my mind. How in the world did I just up and quit my job like that? Did I not hear about this economy? Besides just quitting, I moved clear across the country... I got the heck outta dodge. Yeah, I'm angry! Mad at myself for not quitting sooner... that's just if you ask me... Leaving my City of Detroit job was the single best decision I ever made in my life. I quit for me! Working to the point of exhaustion... letting myself go... I really quit caring about ME... the ME in ME! What was I doing all that for anyway? A three bedroom house in the Burbs? A three bedroom house in the Burbs is NOT worth my premature death. I was so miserable. I didn't even know the depths of my misery until I quit. I had become so accustomed to being miserable, I just thought that was the way it was supposed to be. I was no stranger to pain... hell, it was par for the course considering my life. To my surprise, there was a WHOLE new world waiting for me. I bet I learned that from my mother's death. You don't have to keep pushing when you are plain tired of pushing. You don't have to keep going when you just can't 'go' anymore. What are you doing all that for anyway? I guess by the time I finish posting my Ink Spots, I'll be less angry...LOL you never know though. For now, I'll settle for being on a sir-name basis with pain... pain and I are not as familiar or as close as we once were... and I thank God for that, dear reader.

Angry Black Woman Monologue

You know? Maybe, I am a little angry. Maybe, I have a right to be a ‘little’ angry. I often see black women depicted as combative, unsupportive, overweight, and really undesired. I mean take one look at the NBA wives. Need I say more? How often do you hear of a white NFL or NBA player marrying a black woman? Has it happened? Please clue me in but I think the statistics are not favorable. Then, black men wonder why we are angry. When you think of high profile, successful, and powerful black women – Oprah and Condoleezza are at the top of the short list. Noticeably absent from their lives is traditional family – a husband, the two kids, and the proverbial white picket fence. I think it was an unintended message but a message all the same – the successful BLACK woman is successful at the expense of traditional family. I am a single, thirty-something, professional black woman… an aspiring writer… a desperate writer is more like it. I have felt a tad vilified by popular media. The media tells us that we are intimidating to black men. We are mouthy, not knowing quite when to keep quiet. We use the hammer on our men when all they really need IS encouragement. Funny how all the responsibility for making the relationship work has been relegated to the black woman. When the relationships we do have don’t work out, we are left asking the question, “What’s wrong with me?” We are often made to feel that the available pool of successful black men is really a puddle. I think the latest statistics suggest that for every man there are seven women vying for his affections. Don’t even mention the whole “down-low” mess… the black men who are secretly having sex with other men. It’s bad enough having to compete with seven other women for one man’s attention, but there may also be men in that mix. That's a scary thought and can you say NASTAY? Yuck, Yuck, Yuck LOL Yes, I am a little angry. We are out pacing our males in academia, earnings, and social standing. Hedoublehockeysticks yeah, I’m angry… just a little. Where is my knight-in-shiny-Armani? Can I really have it ALL? Successful career, family, and devoted husband? I’m having all these thoughts before I put keystroke to screen. Somehow some subliminal messages have found their way into my psyche. I have this ever intruding voice of self-doubt, saying I’m not funny enough, not pretty enough; there aren’t any good God-fearing men left. Maybe, I really can’t have it all. Maybe I need to redefine FOR MYSELF what ‘having-it-all’ means? For the last couple of years, I’ve been engrossed in this phenomenal and INTERNAL Angry Black Woman monologue. I think I probably have enough material for a one woman show. I play with the idea for names: Angry Black Woman Monologue or Angry Black Woman Chronicles? What should I say? Should I speak politically correct or should I speak the truth as I’ve come to know it? I’m busy writing and giving birth to this thing. YES! I have a voice for my anger. I sprinkle a little humor here and there. Maybe somebody will like my writing. Somebody, anybody. And, you know what happens? An amazing thing happens… Barack Obama gets elected president. My anger gets a portal… I get some vindication… or should I say validation? Enter stage left: Michelle Obama. She is beautiful, strong, classy, smart, prosperous, with two beautiful children, and a smart man… I especially like the last one: "... and a SMART MAN." Dare, I say it? Can we really have it ALL? Michelle Obama goes a long way to make a case for the angry woman in me! Shoot, she flat out gives me hope. I see 'ME' in the white house. I mean a sister of a darker hue, signature black woman curves, and essence. I do SEE ME! I SEE ME as deserving of LOVE and ALL the BEST that God has for me. I SEE me in the eyes of Michelle Obama... and I'm less Angry. The NBA and NFL stars need to catch a 'clue.' Amen.