Tuesday, September 07, 2010

things that shouldn't be said out loud.

Everyone tells me I look like my dad. My birth mothers second daughter looks just like her. They have the same nose, the same mouth, the same eyes, and the same colour skin. I'm the odd one out. With my slanted eyes, swollen lips and skin paled by 25 years of Canadian winter, I don't look like I belong. Probably because I simply don't.

One of the things my father and I talked about before communication came to a halt was the fact that I was the baby that looked like him. I can't help but wonder if I had looked more like my birth mother maybe she would have kept me. My sister was born 13 months after me almost to the day. According to my birth mother, her father like mine and all her children's fathers (excluding the last) too was a deadbeat. So why keep your first and your third (and the fourth and fifth) but not your second?

The child in me wants to scream "because she hated you, that's why!" but adults don't say things like that out loud, or even dare to contemplate the possible validity of such a statement. To be fair, she never got to know me to decide if she hated me or not, but then she did make the decision that she'd rather not get to know me.

When I came to see her, she paraded me around town (my friend in toe) like some sort of freak show, proclaiming to anyone who'd listen how my friend and I were her "two daughters".

I don't know why she did that. I don't know why she does anything, but I hated every second of it.

It was an interesting experiment though. By the end of the trip, my white friend had more than enough of being a minority, and constantly being put on display. I told her welcome to my world. From the time I could remember I was surrounded by people who looked nothing like me, but claimed to be my family. From the time I could remember, I stuck out.. a black spec in a sea of white clinging to the white arm of a woman who everyone knew wasn't really my mother.

I thought it would be different with my birth mother, but it was just the same. People still weren't buying that she was my mother.

I've come to a decision. Whether it be temporary or permanent will have to be determined at a later date. I have no desire to have anything to do with my birth mother. She made the decision that she'd rather not get to know me all those years ago, and now its my turn to decide that I too rather not know her either.

I know I'm over simplifying the situation. I know it was much more than whether or not she liked me or not that made her decide to abandoned her first daughter born, but I do wonder if appearances would have made a difference. I truly believe that people for the most part fool themselves into believing things are much more complicated than they really are in an effort to preserve the idea that we somehow are more than simply animals who act on instinct.

I mean when you think about it, there is nothing wrong with acting on instinct and trusting your gut. We understand so little about our own consciousness that to believe that it is somehow different or more complex than that of other creatures is really rather silly and conceited on our part.

I don't look like my mother, I look like my father. A man she never did know or love. When she looked at me and held me as a baby, did she resent me? Did my appearance remind her of the person who was suppose to save her but didn't?

I mean it happens all the time! I've heard stories of women with children that resemble their father and for whatever reason these women seem to not get past that fact. Its ironic though, because the feeling in regards to my birth mother is mutual.

And I should perhaps feel guilty about it, and to an extent I do.. but not enough to force a relationship with someone I do not know, I do not love, and can't ever see being a positive force in my life. She doesn't look like family. Neither do the rest of her children really.. and that's a disappointment.

Its hard to admit, but things didn't click when I saw my mother, I still didn't get where I fit in. All my life all I wanted was to be part of a real family with people that looked like me. My friend even admitted to me on our trip that if my birth mother hadn't known the right dates she would have thought she were a fraud based solely on the fact that we look nothing alike. As shallow as this sounds, I think if I had resembled her more I might be a little more active in trying to establish some sort of relationship. Cause the thing is, my big sister from my dad's side I love, and did love from the moment I laid eyes on her. We look just alike.

But thoughts like these shouldn't be said aloud, on account that they aren't very nice, and are extremely confusing.

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

How to be alone

A friend posted this on facebook, so I posted it to my tumblr.. but its too beautiful not to share so I'm posting it here too, enjoy!

How to be alone
By Tanya Davis

If you are at first lonely, be patient. If you’ve not been alone much, or if when you were you were not okay with it, then just wait. You’ll find its fine to be alone once you’re embracing it. We can start with the acceptable places, the bathroom, the coffee shop, the library, where you can stall and read the paper, where you can get your caffeine fix and sit and stay there. Where you can browse the stacks and smell the books, your not suppose to talk much anyway so its safe there. There is also the gym, if your shy, you can hang out with yourself and mirrors, you can put headphones in.

There’s public transportation, we all gotta go places. And there’s prayer and mediation, no one will think less if your hanging with your breath seeking peace and salvation. Start simple. Things you may have previously avoided based on avoid being principles. The lunch counter, where you will be surrounded by “chow downers”, employees who only have an hour and their spouse work across town, and they, like you, will be alone. Resist the urge to hang out with your cell phone.

When you are comfortable with “eat lunch and run”, take yourself out to dinner to a restaurant with linen and silver wear. You’re no less an intriguing a person when you are eating solo desert and cleaning the whip cream from the dish with your finger. In fact, some people at full tables will wish they were where you were. Go to the movies. Where it’s dark and soothing, alone in your seat amidst fleeting community. And then take yourself out dancing, to a club where no one knows you, stand on the outside of the floor until the lights convince you more and more and the music shows you. Dance like no ones watching because they are probably not. And if they are, assume it is with best human intentions. The way bodies move genuinely move to beats, after-all, is gorgeous and affecting. Dance till you’re sweating. And beads of perspiration remind you of life’s best things. Down your back, like a book of blessings.

Go to the woods alone, and the trees and squirrels will watch for you. Go to an unfamiliar city, roam the streets, they are always statues to talk to, and benches made for sitting gives strangers a shared existence if only for a minute, these moments can be so uplifting and the conversation you get in by sitting alone on benches, might of never happened had you not been there by yourself.

Society is afraid of alone though. Like lonely hearts are wasting away in basements. Like people must have problems if after awhile no one is dating them. But lonely is a freedom that breaths easy and weightless, and lonely is healing if you make it. You can stand swaffed by groups and mobs and hands with your partner, look both further and farther in the endless quest for company. But no one is in your head. And by the time you translate your thoughts an essence of them maybe lost or perhaps it is just kept.

Perhaps in the interest of loving oneself, perhaps all those sappy slogans from pre-school over to high school groaning, we’re tokens for holding the lonely at bay. Cause if you’re happy in your head, and solitude is blessed, and alone is okay., Its okay if no one believes like you, all experiences unique, no one has the same synapses can’t think like you, this me/ be ?, keeps things interesting, lifes magic things ?, and it doesn’t mean you aren’t connected, the community is not present, just take back to you get from being one person in one head and feel the effects of it. Take silence and respect it, if you have an art that needs practice stop neglecting it, if your family doesn’t get you or a religious sect is not meant for you, don’t obsess about it. You could be in an instant surrounded if you need it, if your heart is bleeding, make the best of it, there is heat and freezing be a testimate.

Monday, August 02, 2010

like a cat

I don't go through phases, I go through lives (perhaps that is why they call me kat.. perhaps not). I've been meaning to write, but I don't know where to start. Believe me, I have tried.. but all those typed words seemed empty. Its a strange feeling; living a new life, being a new person. But its the only way to describe how I feel. Like I've died and been reborn. Like I will never be the person I was before. Like no matter how hard I try, I can't go back to my former normal.

One month and twenty-four days ago, I got on a plane. To paradise. A plane to paradise. My country of origin was everything I had dreamed it would be. It was heaven on earth. And I knew it. It was familiar. All these years I had dreamed of home, knew it, tasted it, smelled it. How, I don't know. I was a tiny baby when I left, less than three months old. But I knew this land. I belonged to this land. When the cold froze me to the core of my being, deep down.. unconsciously I dreamt of sunshine and black sand.

It rained the day I left. I got locked out of my apartment and almost murdered my one roommate (if I didn't have a plane to catch, I may of well have been sitting in a jail cell). They lost my luggage. I got off the plane in a foul mood. I was lagging behind my friend, miserable about the prospect of living in the same outfit for god-only-knew how long, but excited to see the woman who gave birth to me over two decades ago. I should have known better. In fact, I did know better. I didn't manage to muster up any sort of excitement until the day before I left. My life has been full of heartbreak. I drink it in, letting it penetrate every fiber of my being. Its what keeps me going (even when I think I can't take no more). Its the reason I fight to stay alive, because one day, I will look back at my life and say, "life has been good. Life has been fun. Life has been a fairytale."

What is life if there is no struggle? What good is a fairytale if there isn't first a trial (or many) to overcome?

My birth mother was a disappointment. She is a disappointment. As my friend and I exited the airport, I got my first glimpse of her. I look nothing like her. Throughout my trip I would question whether or not she really was my mother. I'm sure that sounds cruel, but it is what it is.

The first person she was to embrace was not me, but my friend. After twenty-four plus years, the first person this woman hugs is the white bitch standing next to me. I don't think I can accurately describe the emotions I felt. Hurt and anger are too soft to describe the inner torment I felt at that moment. I thought my head and my heart might explode, my head because the act made no sense (does not compute. does not compute) my heart because it felt like someone had literally stuck it with a billion razors blades. I did not cry tears of joy when I met my mother. That one act alone numbed me for my entire trip.

My maternal grandmother is beautiful. She has a quiet elegance that was completely absent in my mother. My aunties had it though. I really don't get that woman (my mother). Not at all, not for a minute.

All those months we had been conversing on the phone, she had promised to come clean; to explain herself. She refused to do it over the phone, it had to be face to face. Looking back at it now, maybe she lost her nerve and that's why all I got was deception and lies. But damn it, she fucking owes me one.

I think I know why I didn't get one. But things so selfish rarely get uttered aloud.

Our heart to heart was the same shit I heard before on the phone. Except this time with a fair amount more slandering of my father, and this time my brother as well. Apparently my brother isn't sending her any money. Everyone is pissed she went and had this fifth child.

She raved about how Amanda (my younger sister by a year and some odd months) sent her things all the time. This is the same sister that lives off the money her baby father sends her. The same sister that is cheating on her current husband. The same sister that lets her current husband beat her eldest daughter (the one who's biological father pays for his survival by default). I want to murder my sister's husband. He is trash, and my sister is an idiot. But that is my privileged point of view, and believe me.. I am painfully aware of the privileged position from which I stand. I have no place to judge.

In the middle of raving about how wonderful Amanda was for sending her things, and bemoaning her (somewhat?) chosen poverty, she decided to hit up both myself and the friend that accompanied me for our charity.

I didn't eat for three months to be able to pay for all the crap I bought for her and my sisters. Granted, the not eating was mainly induced by stress and other crap, but still.

I can't feel sorry for someone who has children by five different men, I can't feel sorry for someone who has a child by a man who was/is married, I can't feel sorry for someone with zero ambition, but who is looking for a free ride, who's unusual relationship with her boss get's her bills and expenses paid for (he's pissed too she had this last baby), someone who has a good man standing in front of her, but is more interested in his status than the fact that he is a genuinely decent human being. I can't feel sorry for someone who makes children not out of love, but for personal gain.

My mother didn't love my father, nor did he love her. They weren't ever really involved I don't think.

All those months ago, the first thing my mother asked me was if I was beautiful. Not if I was smart, or if I was in school, what my job was, or even if I was feeling better (she had been told about the blood clot, but confided in my friend that she had thought I had been afflicted with a boil).

When we spoke of my father she went on and on about what a good looking man he was. He was such a good looking man (although a useless provider,) blahblahblah. See, my father was a dancehall singer. People knew his name, he had status and he was attractive.

I am the child of a groupie.

But see, dad had no cash, and this pissed mom off. I was an inconvenience, so she got rid of me.

I can't write anymore now. I promise its not all horrible, but this reunion shit really sucks. I'll explain it all later, but for now I am too drained.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

I'm not dead.

I haven't been abducted by aliens, I haven't fallen off the face of the earth, I'm just a horrible blogger and haven't written in months.. because there is too much to write about, and none of it makes sense. And it probably never will make sense. But I will write soon, I promise...

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Strong Black (Adopted) Woman Part One: The Whore

I've been avoiding posting. I hate coming off as some sort of negative Nancy (even though I am) but fuck it, my options are limited. Since my roommates bf doesn't seem to be following through on his offer of a spliff, escaping this reality isn't an option. Its either I write or end up hairless from tearing out my own hair.

This is my warning to anybody that may read this: this post may be triggering. Seriously, I need to unload some serious shit and some of its not so nice for the traumatized mind to deal with. I know, because I myself have read things that have had warnings, not paid them any heed, and ended up non functional for days. Do not read this if your soul is of a delicate nature. At the moment, I am suffering from insomnia and anxiety, so much so that I've stopped eating. I think the not eating part is fantastic seeing as I've already lost a considerable amount of weight...but I know better. Needless to say, my mind is not right. I may have gone a little crazy, but in my insanity I've found a brutalized clarity which is both honest and painful.

When I got sick, and was complaining about hospitals and how shitty needles were to a friend one time, he responded by proclaiming that I was a strong Black woman, and he was sure that I'd be fine. I was infuriated, and of course let him know. I was/am a strong Black woman because I had to be. I didn't have a choice in the matter, it was either live and fight another day or kill myself.

More recently while complaining to said friend about how completely fucked up I was, I got the response that no, indeed I wasn't and that I just needed to relax (or some such shit). That's when I snapped and asked:

"What the fuck do you really know about me? You don't have a fucking clue as to the extent of the shit I've had to deal with, so don't act like you know what you are talking about..."

He did have a clue. But apparently us Black women are incapable of human emotions, so anything that happens to us is no big deal.

I have no doubt that my reunion with my first family will be excruciatingly raw. Sure questions will be finally answered, but I will be forced to deal with the reality of my life. This may be good, but parts of this scare the bejesus out of me.

I first realized this fact after the discovery of my father and brother. My father turns out is a douchebag. He spreads his seed, but takes responsibility for none. From the little I've learned about him, he seems at the very least incredibly selfish and immature, and at the worst just plain cruel. But I expected that.

My brother on the other hand seems like a decent human being trying to navigate his way through this crazy world. To him I'm not just the sister he heard about, but the baby sister he had but then disappeared. My big brother remembers the baby that disappeared, and loved and missed her. And I don't know how to deal with that. Because I'm used to men being douchebags. I'm used to them being untrustworthy.

In all honesty, I hate men. What that declaration really means is a mystery even to me. Every man that has ever been in my life has done me wrong in some way or another, with maybe one exception. That exception was only because I did him wrong before he could do any real damage. To be fair, a more accurate word for what I feel might be fear. I fear men. As a woman who has only ever been with men, and probably will continue to be with men this serves as quite the dilemma.

Unfortunately, my fear in truth is of a specific type of man. The Black man. My brother is a Black man. My family is full of Black men. Not that I haven't been wronged by men of other races in my lifetime, but the fear I have of Black men is induced as a result of some serious trauma.

I was in the wrong place at the wrong time. I was there looking out for a friend while she had casual sex. It wasn't the first time I went along with her to make sure she was okay, to take a taxi with her home or give her a ride if I was driving. I'd sit on the couch and watch tv in some strangers house making small talk with people I rather not have to talk to while she got her jollies. No big deal. She was a big girl and could make her own decisions, and I could make mine. I worried about her sexcapades, but then in all honesty have had my own so I didn't feel the need to judge as long as she was ok with it all.

This time was different. Nothing about that night made sense. I remember being lead upstairs by one guy, then three grown men being on me. Me screaming for them to stop, me being held down, me crying, begging for it to stop. Me trying to persuade them to at least wear condoms. Always two holding me down. People coming in and out of the room. All men. I managed to escape, but couldn't find my clothes, so I locked myself in the bathroom and contemplated running to my friends apartment close by. The door. The door being broken open, me trying to close it...being dragged back to the room to endure more.

When it was all done I asked for my friend, we had to go. My friend was sleeping I was told. I shouldn't wake her I was told. I shouldn't worry about finding my clothes, they could be found in the morning. I cried. I fell asleep in the arms of one of my rapists.

I don't know why I am writing this. I've only ever told one person in detail the events of that night. That night. The events. The memory haunts me like a hostile spirit whom has not been properly laid to rest. Every damn day of my life I deal with what happened to me four years ago. Every time I get onto an elevator with a Black man by myself, or have to wait at a bus stop, or walk down the street. Instinctively my body reacts like the animal of prey in the presence of a predator. And I hate it. And I hate myself even more for even feeling and thinking the thoughts which go along with the uncontrollable actions of one who is afraid. How can one hate what they also love?

The first man I saw after the incident happened was my ex. A Black man. I cried to him, told him what had happened. He got mad and became physically abusive because I refused to sleep with him. The next relationship I got into was sheer stupidity on my part. I was desperate for a sense of security. I needed a big strong Black man to hold my hand and let me cry while telling me it was ok. To take it slow. That's not what I got. Instead this next man held me down too, and forced himself inside of me. I told him to get tested because of what happened, that I had contracted 2 STDs from my rapists, and that it hadn't been that long since I was advised to not have sex. I am stupid. I know. But I had just moved to a new city where I knew nobody.

Next dude tested positive for an STD. Obviously it was me who gave it to him. Obviously there could be no one else who could of done such a thing. He was oh so understanding about it though. Considering the situation, its not like it was really my fault. Then my results came back from the test I retook. Turns out I was clean. I.was.clean. His ex gave him the disease, not me. The drugs must have been in my system still, so I was fine. Followup tests, fine. Fuck you jackass.

The next man I dated, I dated out of spite to hurt the one man who never really hurt me, who was actually good to me. It was his best friend. We took it slow. Real slow. I adored him. I figured after waiting so long he must have to respect me. I waited so long because in honesty I needed to be 100% sure I wasn't HIV positive. I wasn't. We finally did the act...and...

When I finally got tired of the games, I came right out and let it be known that I wanted things to be serious. I explained to him why I made him wait...big mistake. If I had ever thought I had ever been anything other than a whore to him, a sideline ho that he called now and again for a booty call, I got my dose of Buckley's and recovered from that delusion.

This is my history. This is my life. Part of my life. A small part of my life. There are things that have happened to me in my past that I may never talk about openly. How will my first family understand? I'm afraid to meet my own brother because I don't understand what family is, I don't understand what having a brother is like, I don't get how people can love me, just because... My brother is a man, but he is my brother...so I love someone whom I hate? Or I hate someone whom I love?


Strong Black (adopted) woman....more like scared little Black (abandoned) girl.

The word whore should be in the dictionary as a synonym for damaged goods.

*Photo Credit via Revolvver

Monday, March 29, 2010

Baby girl

Today I am in a good mood. Its been awhile.

I've been hesitant to write anything these past few weeks because in all honesty I've been miserable. Life just seemed to be too much of a mess to even write down. Although my life still seems to be on the messy side, things are looking up. I feel for possibly the very first time in a long time that I am loved.

I should start from the beginning.

My funk started with a rather stupid and thoughtless comment from my amother. This whole me finding my original family has proved too much for her to tolerate. People who are outside of the exclusive state of the adoptee seem only too ready to defend her when I tell them about what she said, but I guess that is natural (or as natural as anything concerning adoption can be).

She seems to want to prove to me that adoption is a wonderful thing. I'm not buying it. Personally, adoption has meant many years of one painful experience after another. For the most part, I wish that I had never been adopted...or rather that I had never been adopted by her. I don't think she will ever get the emotional trauma living with her has done to me. But that's okay. I can't change her, but I can change me. My life does not have to be forever a mess.

I can hardly bare to even write what she said. Most people don't really get what the big deal is, and I'm probably making something out of nothing. I don't really believe that it is nothing, but I guess that is just my opinion. We were in the hospital at the time when she made the comment. I had been fighting with everyone just to get some stupid blood tests done (everywhere I went refused to do them until my hematologist stepped in and demanded that they be performed). Long story short, after bringing up adoption whenever she got the chance, she brought up the fact that she didn't understand why more people didn't adopt, because fertility treatment was expensive and adoption was (for her) cheaper than buying a car.

A car.

My life was worth less than a car.


I'm not gonna lie, that comment destroyed me for a bit, but whats come out of it is that I've finally started talking. Instead of pretending to be okay, I've started talking about how hurt I am to people I trust. I've realized (and for once sincerely believe) that there is something very wrong with my amothers thought process. The mean things she has said and done over the years are not okay, and I don't have to put up with that sort of mess from her.

On to more happier developments!

My mom received the picture album I sent her, and was ecstatic to get it! She told me yesterday that she carries it around with her wherever she goes. She's happy that she has such a beautiful daughter, and can't wait to see me. She also sent my sister my number, and we've been able to talk online. Its been great, but I never realized what a language barrier there would be even though we all technically speak the same language! Talking online has made it easier to get more details that I may have missed in translation.

There is one thing I'm concerned about though. Because my mom feels guilty about giving me up, she's playing favourites and I think it might be bothering my sister a bit. I've essentially replaced her spot in the family. She has gone from being my mom's eldest girl child to being smack dab in the middle. I know she is having her own issues right now too, so I hope this isn't too painful for her.

Yesterday was an absolutely monstrous day at work (which unfortunately is not unusual). I ended up being suspended for calling for a price check (I'm a cashier...its my job...but my manager is on a power trip apparently and felt the need to make an example of me I guess. It probably doesn't help that when disrespected I throw caution to the wind and run my mouth. Not even, I just have the tendency to call things as I see them...and most managers do not like being told that they are wrong). When I got home from work I was incredibly angry and upset, and spent a good amount of time crying over the phone to one of my co-workers.

After I got off the phone with her, I called my mom to see how she was. She was happy to hear from me, but worried that she wasn't going to make it to work the next day because of the pains in her belly. Her baby was supposed to be due anywhere from the 3rd of next month to the 15th. I told her not to push herself, and to make sure she and the baby were okay because they're far more important than a job. I asked about my dad again (he's no longer in Canada, but back in the Caribbean) which upset her. I found out that he has around 15 children...15! I told her not to worry about him if he was going to act stupid, and that if he really wanted a relationship with me like he claimed then it was on him to act right. I hope she doesn't call for him again. He seems like a lot of headache and drama.

A little later, my phone rang. The number indicated that it was a calling card calling, which struck me as unusual. When I picked up, a deep voice responded:

"Hello, is this Kat-rine? This is your your brother, Alson."

Now I've been bothering my mother and my sister about the whereabouts of my brother ever since I learned that he had come to Canada for work. I guess after my mom had gotten off the phone with me, he had called her and gotten my number. I was so happy to hear his voice! Talking to him was so easy, and just simply wonderful! Turns out he's working out East, but had worked a few years in Ontario before. He had been at a farm not too far from the city I grew up in. It is very possible that we could have met, and neither of us would have ever known it. He told me that mom had been talking to my step sister, which confused the hell out of me because I don't have a step sister. Turns out it was this girl I had known from when I was young (who was another Vincy adoptee) that to put it nicely I am less than friendly with. He told me something told him not to really talk to her, which thrilled me because I can be sort of a snotbag, and knowing that he snubbed somebody whom had snubbed myself and people close to me brought me joy (petty I know, but what can I say).

I am a little disappointed that she never tried to contact me to tell me she had spoken with my mother. It wouldn't have been that hard to do, but the girl can't drop some nonsense that happened 10 years ago in high school, so I can't say her actions were unexpected.

I hope to meet my brother soon. He told me he'd feel "like a boss" if he got to meet me first!

I hardly slept last night, I was so happy to hear from my brother. He seems like such a normal, decent person. Even though my dad seems to be somewhat of a shady character (as my mom put it, he makes babies and leaves) having a big brother that has obviously grown up to be a good man makes up for it. I really have no desire at this time to know any of my dad's 15 children. They don't really seem like family the way my mom's children do...which is horrible because all of my siblings are halfs, so they are just as much related to me as the other side is. My feelings might change. I might try to find them one day, but it probably will depend largely on how my relationship with my father develops. If he isn't willing to try, than it will be next to impossible anyway. I'll worry about it when that day comes, but for now I just want to concentrate on the new family that I do know.

This morning I was woken up by a phone call from my sister. She had tried to get ahold of mom, but couldn't so ended up calling her boyfriend. Turns out, after she got off the phone with Alson the pains got so bad she had to go to the hospital. Baby sister is coming into the world, I wonder what she will look like?

Mommy said I could name her. I don't know if she was being serious, and I really have no clue what to name her anyway! After I got off the phone with my sister, the union rep for my store called and we had a nice long conversation. He repeatedly called my store manager a "fuckin dummy" which only helped to make my day even brighter!

Bittersweet is the best kind of sweet, because you know you won't be left with a toothache. Its real and imperfect. My 1st family is very different from the adoptive family I've known. First off I have 6 aunties (one passed) and 4 uncles. Girls seem to be common, whereas in my adoptive family there was nothing but boys (except one girl cousin)! Everyone talks to everyone else (even if they don't all get along) whereas in my adoptive family nobody is all of that close. Its going to take some serious adjustments (as my friend was saying, the bigger the family the more potential for drama) but I know that I am loved and wanted, and much more valuable than a car, or any other commodity.

I think I'm ready for this. The fantasy has been killed, and what is left is the reality...and for once it just seems right.

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 well...at 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 me...at 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...