Black Relationships : MOMMY DEAREST...

Discussion in 'Black Relationships' started by Isaiah, Apr 11, 2006.

  1. Isaiah

    Isaiah Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    This is the Relationship Forum, right peops??? Doesn't matter what kind of relationship it is right??? Well, I thought I would share a few thoughts about my first relationship with a woman, my mother...

    Let me begin by saying that I've reconciled, to some extent, a great deal of the things I found frustrating about our relationship, my mother and I, but some anger and resentment still remain... In fact, they may contribute mightily to an issue I've had with my anger for a very long time... But when I say I have reconciled our relationship, I mean, I long ago stopped blaming her about stuff she could not change about herself... Subsequent revelations about her own childhood have further reinforced for me that I made the right decision in not harrassing her about her basic personality...

    Firstly, my mother and I have such different personalities, and yet we are one and the same... She was a sunny southern belle, with a very sweet disposition, though not very affectionate, particularly with us boys. We got our affection from our dad, and fellow siblings...Additional affection came from my SHEROE for life, my Grand Mother...

    So as the youngest, I got it from everyone except the "girl" who was most important in my life. To compound that, my mother was very dedicated to THE CHURCH... She baked them sweet potata pies, and slaved over that fried chicken and potata salad on a saturday afternoon into night, to take to the church on sunday morning... Meanwhile, in an economically poor family of 8(2 parents, 6 children)her outlays to the church meant we had to ration that food, and so on them saturday nights in the mid-1960's, my siblings and I were reduced to licking those sweet potata bowls, and promises of eating hearty the next day in church...(smile!)

    This is only a sampling of what I resented for so long about my mother, but could never put into words. Later on, my brother, who took a different tack in confronting her on these things than I did, had lots of discussions about these events in our childhoods. Those discussions, and his frequent tantrums directed at mom, helped to clarify some stuff for me, though my anger was addressed in the streets, or at pony-league football, where I was 24/7 ornery... What was clear to me at that time was, my mother was 45 years old when I was born in '59... By the time I came of age, she was well into her late 50's and 60's... Even as a teenager I sinced she was far too fragile to subject to a lot of emotional anger piled on top of emotional mayhem...

    Cutting to the end of this piece, my brother and I recently came upon some information about our mother that explained a lot to us about her lack of affection... It is not exactly fare for this discussion board, nor for folks whom I neither know nor trust very much, but I thought I would share it, because I know that there are a lot of sisters whose experiences are similar to my mother's experience... It is a very complex thing, and something that has continually touched my life... I've heard it said that men marry women who're a lot like their mothers, and I was no different. Needless to say, I still deal with these things, from the women I associate with, to observing what goes on with parents and their children. My brother and I long ago determined from our personal experiences that the greatest thing a parent can give to a child is not a new car, nor even a college education, but hugs of love and emotional support. It makes the child feel loved... It makes them feel protected... It makes them feel SECURE... Were this act practieced more in our society, I am convinced that every negative stat we know of among children would markedly decrease over night....


    Peace!
    Isaiah
     
  2. MississippiRed

    MississippiRed Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Thanks for posting that Isaiah now that right there is Real Talk Bruh.....I think all men have some Mama issues ...I know I sho do.......reading your post made me think of this song though by Bukka White...Strange Place Blues...."I'm a stranger at this place and I'm lookin' for my mother's grave (2x)
    Well it seems like to me, ooh well, well some of us goin' to wail

    I was at mother's grave, when they put my mother away (2x)
    And I can't find no one ooh, well, to take her place

    After my mother was put away, I thought my wife would take her place (2x)
    I'll show you the diff'rence 'tween a mother and a wife, well, my wife done throw me away

    I wished I could find someone to take my mother's place (2x)
    And if I can't find no one, ooh well, well you'll find me at her grave

    I'm standin' on my mother's grave and I wished I could seen her face (2x)
    I'll be glad when that day comes, ooh well, well when it be to dive me away "



    I didn't marry a woman that acted like my Mama she's quite the opposite actually.......but the interaction between myself , my Mama and the lack of ever knowing of meeting my mother has let's say made for some real funky mood swings and anger issues along with some truly rough attitudes and arguements........I feel you Isaiah man.....again Thank you for that..


    MississippiRed
     
  3. cursed heart

    cursed heart Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Brother Isaiah it took alot for you to come to this realization.
    I myself have mama issues and it use to consume me horribly.
    I was the smartest,sweetest and most reliable of the four of us.
    She is very manipulative and money hungry.
    I am the complete opposite!
    Though she did what she had to do to give us a comfortable living she is now regretting the way she went about it.
    My stepfather who'm she met when I was two was a street hustler.
    He sold everything from on tv(do you remember that?)toilet bowel stuff,they had a pawn shop and then he became a drug dealer.
    My mother had fine cars and a big house and a sitterwell at least until they started ripping my parents off).
    She worked for a while but she became very mean because she had to work.
    Only to me!
    She was physically and emotionally abusive toward me usually because she was unhappy with her life and I was as sweet as sugar!
    I was verbally abused daily especially when I was happy.
    I've been kicked down stairs,choked,beat to the point of bloodshed,slapped,callled b's,whores,fat a$$es even when i was 123 pounds just because!
    I helped her raise my 3 siblings because she stayed in the street trying to make it as a singer.
    Cooked full course meals at 9yrs old,cleaned the entire house,combed heads,bathed them,fed them,took them everywhere with me.I would miss 45 days a yr of school because I was tired after doing all of these things plus school work.I still don't know how I graduated from highschool on time with 2 credits over.
    I didn't go out alot until I was 17 but even then she verbally abused me if I wanted to have dinner at a friends house or simply have company.
    She blamed me for not making it in the music business.
    Although I don't remember asking to be born either.
    I questioned her about these things yrs ago but she said she was just going through something.
    They are no longer together so she is struggling to continue to live the luxurious life she once knew but it's not working out too well.
    I look back on all the child hood abuse and think to myself how in the world did I overcome such things and still manage to make it?
    How did I stay so kind hearted and sweet.
    I am slowly trying to let go of my anger.
    I still love her dearly and i would give my life if i knew how to make her happy.
    It is hard but if I don't let go it will continue to depress/oppress me.
    I know how you feel and I am glad you were able to overcome your obstacles.
    Much luv brother Isaiah:blowkiss: :blowkiss: :blowkiss: :blowkiss: :blowkiss: :blowkiss:
     
  4. Isaiah

    Isaiah Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Sister Cursed Heart - TAKE THIS HEART OF MINE - MARVIN GAYE(SMILE!)

    That was some powerful piece of honesty there, and somewhere someone is the beneficiary of your ability to articulate and ventilate it... Believe it or not, you are ever overcoming just by being able to openly expose that wound... Wounds exposed to the air often heal faster... The bottom line for all of us who've had similar experiences as yourself and I is, we were not at fault for our parents issues and hang-ups, and in most cases, neither were they... They bore their own crosses in their childhoods, and because they failed to understand themselves, made their children victims... That is where they are at fault - and that is where I tried to end the cycle with my babies....

    I may be a hothead, but for all of my life I've been an observer who trusted my powers of observation... Having seen the tumult between my siblings and my mother - who, by the way, was left holding the funky bag after my father passed on - I said, I got the power to change this, and I will... Simple as that, and it was done... My mother and I had one bad argument during the Christmas season of 1984, and it was the first and last one... After that, I think I humored her to tears - literally...(smile!) I thought she needed it after my father, her father, and 7 babies, and that's real...

    But it hasn't been ALL about me, and my powers of observation... My brother and I have always been great friends... He's an intelligent, wise, and talented man, who "taught me precious secrets of a true love, witholding nothing", to paraphrase the song by Donny Hathaway, and I always think of HIM when I hear that song, ironically... He ENABLED me by being honest with me... In other words, I could never go to my sisters, or to the women in my life, and tell them about my issues with my mother... Well, my brother made me understand that it was alright, that it wasn't about dirty nasty mother hatred, like something out of an Alfred Hitchcock film(smile!) We'd actually laugh together over a joint or something, about the crap we went through in our childhood... We still do to this day...and it makes it that much easier for us both to reconcile ourselves to our experience, because we've got each other, as well as, our other siblings...

    Sister Cursed Heart, this is a very deep subject - and it's great therapy to talk about it... I feel like you and brother Mississippi Red and I are stronger in our friendship because of this honesty... I want you to remember, sister, that you are not responsible for your mother's behaviour, she is... And until she can find it in herself to change, you can do nothing about it - nothing... Therefore, don't put your life, and the things you REALLY want to do on hold, waiting for the epiphany... When she's ready, she'll be ready...



    Peace!
    Isaiah
     
  5. Isaiah

    Isaiah Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Sip, that song was beautiful, manLOL!

    Wow, like a brother needs all of this poignancy and profoundness so early in the morning!!!!!LOL! WHEW, how'm I gone make it through this day after that???!(smile!) Thank you for your honesty, as well, good brother!

    Yeah, brother, I can vouch for the authenticity of that song... Bukka speaks to me as if he knew my hole card backwards and forwards(smile!) I remember that when my mother passed, and I rolled back through 40 years of memories with her, I couldn't even hear a gospel song, or see a movie, or an old bow-legged Black woman without fits of uncontrollable weeping... I remembered only the good things, how she shuffled her arms in a running motion as she described the man who made her a Brooklyn Dodger fan, Jackie Robinson, or the time in 1969 when she took me to see my first Met game... Nothing is so powerful as the love we have for our mothers, brother... They can be wrong like bikini in Antarctica, but the love is always so strong...(smile!)


    Peace!
    Isaiah
     
  6. MANASIAC

    MANASIAC Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Me and My Mother had issues also:

    I am the oldest out of 3 kids. During the course of my life I was always at war with my mother, we did not really stop battling until last year.

    Being the oldest of the clique was not promising, my mother was more affectionate towards my younger brother and sister, and they were more spoiled than I was. My relationship with my mother was strained because I was a behavior problem in school and was just all around bad. The other kids were easier to manage, and I was always causing trouble. During my younger years, my interests were a lot different than my peers, and I learned a lot quicker than others, so I would make mannish statements and I was just growing up too quick. Also I used to envy my cousins who always had new clothes and video games, and I would blame my mother for my lack of material possessions. My aunt used to allow me to get the scraps from her table as for as material possession were concerned, and I swore allegiance to my aunt instead of my mother. I also gave allegiance to my great-grandmother because she always seemed more loving and materially supportive than my mother.

    One of the other reasons why I and my mother were at war was because of the matriarchal structure of our family. At a young age (around 5) I started gathering resentment to the women in my family; it was like they ran everything! I would ask my uncles and other males in my family why they never said anything or why they never had any power. They would only say that son, when you get older you will understand why. After not getting any answers I swore that I would never be like the men in my family, and thus this started my small rebellion against women.

    Over the years this attitude really strained relations with my mother, because she was the matriarch and I was the follower who felt like she was inadequate to lead. I ran away several times before age 10, thinking that I could stay with other relatives, and I wound up right back in the eagles nest. This lead to depression, because my family life was not good and also because at school I was not the coolest because mama never bought me fresh clothes. I attempted suicide at age 10 and this created even more distance between me and my mother. She thought of herself as a failure and it lead to a dark period in both of our lives.

    The aunt that I pledged allegiance too had me removed out of my mothers custody a year later (My aunt was a well respected Social Worker in Florida) and I left the eagles nest for two years. I went from program to program, home to home, and nothing ever seemed to work out correctly, finally after being at a runaway shelter called interface, me and my mother attempted to mend our fences, and she got me back out of state custody. We were doing good until my great grand mother passed and I started getting into more trouble which led to a year of incarceration at the age of 13, followed by another 3 years of incarceration until 18. Once again we were back were started at war.

    For the next 8 years I and my mother were at odds with each other, it was not until I was homeless that we got closer.

    Little did I know that my rebellion against females is actually what made me into a man. I believe my mother in her infinite wisdom, allowed me to rebel because I unintentionally developed independence. This created a work ethic, drive, and energy that are not seen with men in my generation, and I am so thankful.

    I realize now after several experiences, that my mother has been my supporter, and the one who is truly the reason for the season. My mother raised 3 children without a father, and none of us have children out of wedlock, we are stable and our sister is married and expecting. It is truly amazing to me that the woman that I saw as unfit at a young age actually gave us the tools to succeed. Now after 27 years the woman who was declared unfit in a court of law, now has been redeemed and freed from her shackles of thinking she was a failure. My aunt’s children are not doing as well as we are, and even my aunt gives my mother her propz.

    Me and my mother now talk daily and we provide each other the support we need in order to survive. In the beginning me and my mother fought a long hard battle, but now we enjoy the peace of friendship and trust.

    I even found out that all the women I have gotten along with, dated, loved and have respect for, are just like mama… I guess is true, that even us men of power cannot live without women, I am glad I learned this before 50.
     
  7. IfUComeSoftly

    IfUComeSoftly Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    My mama...

    the relationship with my mama is a strange one. My mother is a Battle and that name carries a lot of meaning in my family and where my family is from. she comes from a long line of tough women; i think i saw her cry twice. she's well liked and loved in the community. everyone thinks she is the nicest person in the world;but, she **** near mean as hell. she was nicer when her life was harder... i haven't figured that one out yet. she got married fresh out of high school... had the three of us... and go divorced shortly thereafter... my father wasn't a nice man and he tried to beat every ounce of self respect, power, and worth she had in her. i didn't know what stalking was at the time btu i know now... my father stalked her... every where we went there he was with a hunting knife or a rifle trying to intimidate her. it may have worked when they were married but it never did after that... i think the whole ordeal broke her spirit... he beat her... when i called the police he beat me... he called her out her name and when i yelled back... he called me out my name...
    there are large portions of my childhood... basically during my father's reign of terror that i cannot talk about. the only person who knows and will admit it, my mother, refuses to speak on it... i hated her for that for a long time. it's like she just wanted to forget it happened. the battle creed is if you don't talk about it then it isn't real... shame to admit i like by it now... i needed to tlak about it... for years since my mother has refused.... only remembering that he hit her... never that he hit me... i hated her...
    when i was 15 i was raped... i tried to tell her about it... and all that she heard... <cause anyone that knows me knows that i my mind skips sometimes when i'm telling a story... can be hard to keep track> was that i had had sex... cursed me out... called me out my name and everything... i decided then that i wouldn't tell her butt not another dang thing... and i didn't for years... when i married a man just like my father... the one she told me to leave along adn not marry... i was too ashamed to tell her... not to mention i didn't trust her... when i was pregnant <both times> i didn't tell her... whenever anythign major happened in my life... she had to hear about it from other people... cause i didn't tell her...
    she was tough... she is tough... i remember for the longest time she wouldnt' tell me that she loved me... i'd tell her everytime i talked to her despite our strange relatoinship... she'd ignore it<whether we were on the phone or in person>... she wouldn't tell me back... that hurt me.... then one day... i mean... not too long ago maybe three years... i told her that it was ridiculous that she couldnt' tell me... a tear ran down her check <one of the only times i've seen that happen> and she said that of course she loved me... i was her baby... i cried... she didn't... now she tells me that she loves me everytime i speak to her.
    when the guy that raped me was finally caught and i realized just how many women were hurt by my unwillingness to call the police... i broke down... became a walking zombie... when i finally pulled myself out of it... i didn't feel like i had anybody to talk to... my mother and i had an arguement... heated one... a few months later and she asked me in anger.. why was i so secretive why couldnt i tell her anything... why didn't i trust her..... and i told her of the rape adn all that had transpired thereafter... she looked at me, sadness in her face, and said... i hope you get the help you need to get over that... she stood and walked out the room... i hated her even more...

    finally one day... i was just thinking about life and family... and i had an ephiphany... i never hated my mama... i hated that i didn't understand her... that's how my mama handles issues... it might be unhealthy for me... but it must work for her... she didn't want to talk about my father... the rape... my ex-husband cause she thinks that she's failed me... she didn't tell me that she loved me cause in her mind it was just understood... she loves me... my siblings... my children... we are all she has... she's just tough... and tough ain't a bad thing...

    now i don't know if we'll ever have the relationship of some mother/daughters that i covet but we're trying to develop a healtier relationship that works for US... my mother internalizes her problems... now that i understand that... now that i recognize that my mother is HUMAN... and not some super hero that doubles as my mama... i can appreciate her for who she really is and what she has meant to me... i love my mama.....
     
  8. Isaiah

    Isaiah Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Wow, Sister Softly, your story leaves me speechless...but then, that is what this thread is about, aint it??? Folks need to LISTEN to our pain, allow us to let it all out, because holding it all in for years is what kills us...

    Besides that brutal honesty and courage you have shown by sharing it with those of us brave enough to read it, encourages others to be stronger... What is troubling about our stories in their aggregate is a belief I've long held, and that is that there is a cycle of pain, abuse, and neglect in Black families all around this country, and we're a very perfidious about it... We like to tell the world that "it's all love", and "it's all good, even when we know damned well it aint... We need to stop lying to ourselves and the world, as African people, and admit that we've got issues... It's not only therapeutic, it is truly human, as all humans have their problems...

    Thank you, Sister Softly, for being so brave and corageously sharing your experience... Like you, I'll always love my mama, too, and I would give an arm to just to hear her voice again...


    Peace
     
  9. MANASIAC

    MANASIAC Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    This is a beautiful post my sister. I am glad too see you that you and other people who have responded to this thread have turned tragedy into triumph.
     
  10. Isaiah

    Isaiah Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Thanks for sharing your experience, brother Manasiac!

    The great thing is that you've never allowed those early experiences to impact on your perspective of women in general, and that comes across in your writting... In many ways I feel you experience as almost an extension of my own...

    Peace!
    Isaiah
     
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