Wednesday, February 24, 2010


Today I shed tears for a woman I barely knew.

My adoptive mothers sister passed away from cancer last week. She was still in her sixties. I didn't know her very all to be honest because she was excluded from the family on account of her being crazy and all.

It happened very quickly...or at least that's how it seemed. So quickly that I couldn't even tell you the type of cancer she had. She went from being in bad shape to dead in a span of a few hours. It was so quick that her son left the hospital being told she wasn't doing well only to come back later in the evening to find his mother dead.

They hadn't even removed her from her bed yet. He sat in a room with his dead mother. The doctors didn't even have the chance to stop and forewarn him.

I was told all of this by my cousins wife. She kept referring to her as "grandma". "Grandma Evelyn was dead." I didn't tell her that the woman who just died wasn't my grandmother, but my aunt. That my actual grandmother died four years ago...a funeral the woman she was referring to as "grandma" was not invited to. My grandmothers daughter and her children were not invited to that funeral.

It wasn't Beverly's fault (my cousin's wife). I was a little girl of four when she married into the family. There wasn't too much contact over the years because as I stated before, my aunt was crazy.

I could tell by the condescending tone she used to tell me my aunt had died that she probably still imagined she was talking to a four year old.

My aunt was three years older than my mother. Their baby sister passed when my mom was three, than soon after so did their father. At some point in time during her childhood, my aunt witnessed someone drowning at the beach, and was present when the body was pulled out of the lake.

She saw the body being pulled out of the lake.

She witnessed a lot of death as a child.

My adoptive mother is going to the funeral, but only to be supportive of her nephews whose lives she has been absent from because she refused to put up with her sister's shit. She is adamant though that my aunt not be buried beside her mother (she wasn't very nice to my grandmother so I kind of get that).

Their brother has no intention of flying from out west to come to the funeral.

I was not asked to be present (nor should I have been...???)

There was one other thing Beverly told me on the phone. My aunt had died lonely.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Friday Find(s): Home is Where the Food is

Home is Where the Food is from The Juki Museum on Vimeo.

I came across the film above via one of the many tumblr blogs I follow. The artist's tumblr can be found here along with her blog here and her personal website here.

Friday, February 12, 2010


I talked to my birth mother again. The last time I talked to her the phone card cut off in the middle of our conversation and I didn't bother to call her back for a couple of weeks. Finding out that out of her (soon to be) five children I was the only one she gave up, and that I wasn't even her first child - so it wasn't like she was new at being a mom - threw me.

That's the first time I really have admitted that to myself in its entirety and severity. That shit threw me off bad. I've played hermit for the past few weeks, and its most definitely a result of that admission...

It just hurts, and seems kind of like a cruel thing to do a child. I still don't know why she did it really, but I will give her some credit. She does seem like she's willing to make an honest effort to make things better (if that's even possible) and she is being honest about things I didn't expect her to be honest about.

And I think she realizes that its not about her. Which is fantastic, because my other mother is behaving herself as well and realizing it too. I have a sneaking suspicion that my other mother not only knows better, but is relieved that the blame is no longer being placed solely on her.

Which I still have mixed feelings about, because so often she is in the habit of misinterpreting situations and absolving herself of the guilt I'm sure she at least subconsciously should feel, but I'm sure I will remind her soon enough that she is not off the hook, because it would seem I may have found my voice.

The other day at work I actually had a conversation with a coworker about what it was like growing up as an adoptee with my mother. It was casual enough, and I didn't feel like shit after, in fact I felt better. And thats fan-freakin-tastic, because most of the time those sorts of conversations leave me feeling like I should've kept my damn mouth shut, because usually those who aren't adoptees don't get it at all. But this wasn't the case at all.

Its funny though, I'm really starting to realize how fucked up/good at coping with bullshit(?) I am. I would have jumped in front of a mac truck years ago if it wasn't for my ability to double think my life. On the one hand this is my life, and it is fucked up, but on the other I'm so used to hurting I'm just numb to any emotion I ought to be feeling but can't because (even though I know better) there's a little voice in my head that keeps telling me "this can't be real, this can't be happening, things have to get better, it won't always be like this".

I do believe the last part about shit getting better. It has to.

So on a positive note, I say my natural mother is trying because she revealed something to me I didn't expect to hear. It was about my father. Now I seriously wasn't expecting to know shit about my dad ever. I'm almost positive none of her children have the same fathers (or at least I don't think my brother, me and the new baby have the same dads) so what she told me shocked the shit out of me.

My father is here. He's in Canada, and he's been looking for least that's what I've been told. My mother also told me that he left when she was pregnant, but she says its her fault because she was on him for being lazy and not getting a job. When he came back, I was gone. He had nothing to do with giving me up, he never wanted it, and that's why as she says "he searched all of Canada for you."

Shit. I just started crying.

I really don't want to get excited bout this for fear of being let down...but I can't help but let my mind get carried away. I've never had a dad, and my adoptive mother had suggested that my father had wanted nothing to do with me (and basically made the claim that Afro-Caribbean men made bad fathers in the first place, which brought the rage out in me, and my insistance that my father did love me - and turns out I was right).

This is all so new and confusing.

Monday, February 01, 2010

Making sense of things.

So I said in an earlier post that I was going to write about this when my mind was able to make sense of things. The truth is, that hasn't happened. To be entirely honest, I don't think that anything ever will make sense...that I'm destined to live a very confusing and messy sort of life never really grasping what the fuck the purpose of it all is.

Perhaps I should explain.

As I said before in that earlier post, I have a brother and two sisters...and another sibling on the way. Up until a few weeks ago, I was an only adopted child...

It all started a few months back. My left hand would go numb and my breast would swell. After about a month of the swelling not going away I went to see the doctor. She couldn't feel any lumps, but being the thorough doctor that she is, she sent me for an ultrasound anyway. About a month later after putting it off, I went for the test.

I really didn't think anything serious was wrong.

Turns out I was suffering from Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) better known as clotting in the veins. Apparently, blood clots in ones arms are somewhat unusual (mine was actually in my armpit, hence the swelling of my breast). Anywho, needless to say I ended up in the hospital.

From that point on my health deteriorated. My body just started acting up, and for apparently no damn good reason either. My daily headaches went to daily migraines. My menstrual cramps went from controllable to unbearable. On top of everything else, because of the clot I had to go on blood thinners. Funny thing about me and blood thinners...they take forever to work. Even now they haven't stablized, even though I'm on such a high dose that the pharmacist initially refused to fill my script before double checking if the dosage I was to take was indeed acurate.

And all through this, all the doctors and nurses and specialist kept asking the same irritating question:

"Do you have a history of this in your family?"

That question burned like a slap across the face every time I was asked. It took every ounce of control I had to not lose my damn mind. In fact, to be honest I did kind of lose my mind. To be entirely truthful, I lost my damn mind years ago.

On top of everything else, some of the more "quirky" attributes of my personality became more pronounced. Like listening to the same song on repeat for days at a time, or counting my footsteps and having panic attacks if I accidentally stepped on the cracks of the sidewalk. Turns out on top of everything else I'm OCD and suffer from post traumatic stress disorder.

Not really a surprise. When I confided this to one of my closest friends, her response was a sarcastic "no, really?"

Like I said before, life has always and probably will remain rather messy regardless.

Anywho, the unsurprising revelation about the OCD brought upon another asking of the now dreaded question. My adoptive mother being the wonderfully sympathetic person that she is </sarcasm> decided to make light of the entire situation by cracking an OCD joke, which of course led to the arguments of all arguments which resulted in her making the remark asking me "to stop bullying" her about adopting me, and to "grow up" and "get over it".

When things cooled off (not without almost completely ruining Christmas) and I decided to talk to her again, I demanded that she get me some answers. I was tired of not knowing something so basic as my family's medical history. Those who have the privilege of being raised in their natural families take for granted this basic fundamental right of "knowing" that adoptees simply are not privy to.

My "answers" came in the form of a Vincentian cell phone number. The owner of the cell phone being the woman who gave birth to me. It only took one week to track her down.

Apparently she was eager to reconnect with me, and re-establish a relationship. I was told she was very happy to have the contact.

I was nervous and excited. I had never been angry up until that point at my birth mother for placing me up for adoption. It took a week for me to work up the nerve to call her. My friend came over to hold my hand when I made the call.

The first call was when I found out I had 2 sisters and a brother. I cried too much to ask any medical questions. I found out I had a sister who was a year younger than I was, and another who was 9. I didn't find out my brothers age until I called the second time.

See, up until that moment I assumed I was my natural mothers only child. Being an only child is how I've identified myself my entire life. Of course I knew there was a possibility my birth mother had other children, but I guess I just didn't want to believe it.

I wanted to believe that my mother was so heartbroken after giving me up that she could never have another child after me.

When I realized I had siblings, I immediately had mixed emotions. But these were quickly forgotten in the excitement of having sisters. I always wanted a sister. I begged my adopted mom for one when I was a kid, but it never happened, and now I had two! I just assumed that I must have been my birth mothers oldest child, and all was immediately forgiven. Besides, she wasn't that old when she had me, maybe a year later when she had my sister she had gotten her shit together.

The second time I called, I told myself I was going to get some answers to my medical questions. I realize now that I called because I had to confirm that I was indeed my mothers eldest child.

Of course, I'm not. And as I said before, my birth mother is yet again pregnant and I've been told by her she won't be letting go of this fifth child. So even though she told me that all these years she pined for me, or that when anyone asked she always told them about her fourth child who lived in Canada, I can't help but feel like her words were hollow and empty.

Of her five children, why was I the only one she didn't love enough to keep?

She already had kept one baby, and she had another only a year after me. I wasn't sick as a baby, I had no health problems...

And it sucks, because I now am angry at her. Because I bought into the whole bullshit myth of "she loved you so much that she gave you up..." I built her up in my head as some sort of saint, and now I'm realizing she's only human.

And I hate humans (most of them anyways). I think humans are destructive and cruel and often evil. And as much as I wanna play up the whole "evil white lady abstracting me from my true culture and destiny" card, I can't ignore the glaring fact that it took a Black woman who didn't love me enough to keep me and raise me as part of her family to put me in such a vulnerable position.

Hating white people would be easy. But I don't really hate white people though, even though at times I want to because its an easy hatred that keeps things uncomplicated. Whats hard is hating Black people, specifically Black women. I just can't do it, because hating Black women would mean hating myself, and I can honestly say I don't hate myself.

So I'm left forever in this confusingly tormented state of mind. Its bad, its 7:35am and I haven't gotten any sleep yet. I have class this after noon until the evening, and I have to go because playing hooky will only make shit worse.

I'm really fucking tired of the amount of bullshit life has handed me, and damnit I know that I can't let all this nonsense define me. I know I have to forgive and move on. I will never belong here or there, my history simply starts with me and myself alone. But shit, where do I start? When does life start, when is it time for me to live for myself...not as someones substitute to the real thing, or another's cast off...thrown away.

You know what, damnit...My story starts today. From here on out its about me. Being the best I can be for myself...