“I can’t deal with y’all shit, mommy shit and Rashaad’s shit!”
Last year almost pushed me to the edge.
That was me breaking on my sisters in our group chat…
In 2018, I found myself in the eye of a hurricane holding onto my mom, sisters and brother. Making sure they didn’t get pulled away by the storm.
My mother found herself in a situation that I couldn’t imagine having to deal with in a marriage that lasted over twenty years, ESPECIALLY AT HER AGE!
My stepdads actions were storm-like; every day felt like we were walking through strong winds and heavy precipitation.
His actions made me question relationships that I may have in the future, like,
“Will I really have to keep dealing with these type of situations at 50+ years old?”
So, while I had my own shit to deal with like house shit, parent shit and on and off again relationship shit.
I had to deal with this shit that was heavy in my mother’s household.
I was the listening ear to my mom, the iron that tried to straighten the wrinkles forming in my brother and the logic for my sisters.
I also had to answer one of the biggest questions my son ever had to ask,
” Is dad still part of our family?”
(my son calls his grandpa, dad)
Talking to my mother everyday hearing her hurt was a burden in itself. I remember when I felt that hurt, but her hurt was on another level. I also knew my mother isn’t as strong as I am. So, as much as I wanted her to get over it, so I wouldn’t have to deal; I knew it would take longer than expected.
There were also times when I wanted to ask,
Why didn’t you have a fucking exit strategy?! You had to know something wasn’t right!
But, at her age and how long she’s been in that marriage, an exit strategy was probably far from her mind and it’s easy to ignore signs when you’re that comfortable in your relationship.
I even found myself being my mothers spokesperson when it came to a lot of things. When family members asked questions I would answer on my mothers behalf, however when it came to resolving a conflict she had with my stepdad, I found myself trying not to pick sides. Which made me have conflict within myself, because even though thats my stepdad, she’s still my MOTHER. I think that was hard on not only me, but my sisters and brother as well…
Being pulled in two different directions.
And while a part of me wanted to be the woman who stands behind women, the good girlfriend that has your back and says,
“Fuck him! Tell him to kiss your ass! Throw all his shit in the trash!”
I had to realize, this was also a person that was practically my dad. My mom met him when I was 5 years old. He was the only father figure I had growing up. I mean, I knew my real dad, but my stepfather was the man who raised me. He was what I thought a man should be. He took great care of us. There were times where I would compare my ex husband to him. I would be like, “you can’t lift that television?! My stepfather can lift three of those and carry us up the stairs!”
So, of course I had to use discretion, but sometimes I just couldn’t help it.
Watching my mother re-learn everything she knew before my stepdad was hard too. She had to re-learn how to manage her bills, work full-time (of course he’s still paying the bills, but me being her coach, told her to start working full-time because we don’t know when he’ll try to be spiteful and stop. I know this tactic, it happened to me. Or whenever he just can’t afford to take care of her home and himself. Things happen, but he did bring this on himself; so we can’t feel too sorry for him, right?), she had to learn how to drive long distances by herself (my mother hates to drive highways, so when she showed up at my house I was super proud of her although she came unannounced), she learned to smile more and not those fake smiles that I was noticing, she had to re-learn how to be single after 20+ years and although she’s still learning; she’s come pretty far.
Being put in this situation made me feel child-like. I would’ve never thought that my parents splitting would’ve had an effect on me because I’m an adult.
But it did
And although, I am my mother’s child, I knew I couldn’t be in the capacity of her child but as her equal. I had to become the person that held her hand and guide her through one of the most toughest times of her life.
It was difficult, but I stepped up and made some hard decisions. Now, I’ve learned how to not let it consume me. I’ve also learned how to cut off the conversation when its becoming too overwhelming and keep my responses short and to the point. I don’t want to be dismissive, but I can’ t be held hostage by this anymore.
And she shouldn’t either.
In the end, this taught me that it doesn’t matter how long or how comfortable you are in a relationship, it can turn at any point. It’s also not about being black or white; male or female; old or young; things happen and there’s no way to protect yourself and although you might think the world of someone; they can let you down…
You just have to learn how to pick yourself up everyday and keep going.
“In the end, only three things matter: how much you loved, how gently you lived, and how gracefully you let go of things not meant for you”
-Budda’s Little Instruction Book
*This is just the gist of what happened. We all have our own stories to tell and we are still maneuvering through this.