Please forgive my tardiness again. It’s been hectic trying to write lately. Maybe it’s a good thing as I’ve had quite a bit on my mind. Being on social media, you may hear and read some of the most outrageous stories. Unbelievable, in fact. People say that everything isn’t meant to be shared and you definitely shouldn’t use the airwaves to do so. This may be true. But true for who? Those who have secrets and want them to stay that way? Me…I’m an open book. I feel that you can’t use anything against me because I put it out there. I use my dirty laundry airing as a healing mechanism, if you will for those who may feel the same way as I but scared to share it. I’ve gotten through to a few folks because of my openness about the nastiest, most taboo, unbelievable, and earth shattering events from my life. Secrets are curses of bondage and I refuse to adorn my mental self with chains. I speak because I’m free! My freedom has led me to jot down things that normally wouldn’t be voiced.
My mom crosses my mind quite often. She passed a few years back and I wasn’t there. It’s not that I couldn’t be. She didn’t want me to be. She died not speaking to me as we had no relationship. This messes with me. I tried, on a few occasions, to talk with her about my desire to build a real loving relationship. My first attempt ended very badly with her cursing me out and I couldn’t pour any knowledge into her, she stated. I, being newly converted to Jesus, SNAPPED! I got to cursing, too and told her I refused to carry on sweeping things under the rug. She asked me who I was talking to and I sank back into the little shell of a girl that I always identified with whenever my mom flicked her whip. I was taught that silence is golden growing up. I did as I was told…no questions. It would be an issue otherwise.
One of the deepest pains I have towards Mama was when my cousins and aunt beat me up in the middle of street across the way from my house. I couldn’t fight and never had to. I came from Ohio and then later moved to Mississippi where I was cool with everybody I knew. I didn’t have to fight! Then when we moved to Illinois, life was much different as I learned I had to throw them ‘bows. I remember, in the midst of all the punches and hay-makers, falling and everybody whooping my butt. I couldn’t see and could barely hear as I was kicked in my head. I looked over and remember screaming for my mom to come and get me.I made eye contact with her, it appeared. I reached my hands out to her as I was being beat and she……..turned her back and finished sweeping the front porch. What the flim-flam?!!! I figured she heard me but then figured maybe I didn’t scream loud enough over the large noisy crowd as my own hearing was coming and going. I remember crying not just from the beating, but from the back of my protector, my provider, my mother, being turned.
In that moment, I was abandoned. I was left for dead. I remember slipping in and out of consciousness and finally getting relief as my brothers came out of nowhere to get my relatives off of me. They helped to walk me back home and I was devastated. I think this is where my hatred toward her was kindled. I kept seeing her turn her back to me and it replayed for some time through out that day. I didn’t really talk much as I was sore and pissed. I couldn’t even bring myself to look at my mama without feeling sick as she tried to doctor on me. “Why didn’t you help me, Mama?” would be an audible voice in my head for some time. Maybe she was as scared as I was so she froze. We weren’t a violent or fighting family. Maybe she was just scared. Maybe. I never knew. I was too angry and afraid to find out.
Towards the end of that same night, my aunt and cousins came to the house to talk and my mom just let them in all Willy Nilly. I was too done! Somebody needs to get it! I closed up inside trying to concoct the right dose of medicine for my assailants. My silence became real. I stopped talking. Literally. I said nothing. My pain was the engine for one of the greatest lies ever told. I went to bed not talking. I got up the next morning…still not talking. I drooled a little bit and I severely and purposely slurred my speech. My family started getting worried but I didn’t say a mumbling word.LOL I started folding my left hand and foot up as if I had a stroke. I had a lot going in my favor. Prior to my beat down, I suffered an injury playing football with my brothers and their friends and ended up needing a brace for my neck as doctors were concerned I had some head trauma. Well, they had that part right. Lies were broiling inside and were ready to be served. How did I know how to fake the symptoms of a stroke? My dad suffered a stroke and I remembered how he looked. I mimicked what I remembered. My fake paralysis took its toll on my young body. My eyesight was riveted with blindness and my hearing was gone.I stopped eating. I stopped walking, too. I didn’t attend school afterwards. I was eventually hospitalized for a week. How did I pull that off? Ya’ll thought I was kidding when I said I was nuts at one time! The doctors ran all kinds of tests on me and were boggled. They later came to the conclusion that I just suffered from severe muscle spasms. I was doped up on meds and given great attention. Well sure… I was dying. LOL
But, I did die. Mentally, psychologically, spiritually, and finally physically. The abandonment killed me. The lack of defense from my mother for me killed me. Seeing my relatives come into my house as if nothing took place killed me. Having to be quiet despite how I felt all my life killed me. Not having a voice or a person to go to when I needed to get things off of my chest killed me. Looking in her eyes telling myself I had no beef with her killed me. Not knowing how to tell her so without coming across disrespectful killed me.Being lured into other things that went against my better judgment killed me. I held on to that pain for years which became normal. And guess what? It killed me. I never thought I’d break free of my prison.
When I got myself together, God had me write letters to people that I had hurt and, of course, my every issue with her as well as wrongs against her, including details of my fake stroke, had to come out. I told her why and apologized and asked for forgiveness. She said she was happy to have learned everything but we were still no closer to a real relationship. My truth may have been a hard pill to swallow and maybe hindered things; I don’t know. Later my siblings had gotten into a really big altercation that was discussed on Facebook. I stepped in, opposite the “Old Ignorant Cheryl”, stating pray instead of doing all the bickering. My statement wasn’t well received. My transformation pissed folks off. But when you see the light and yourself for who you are, you can’t help but get it together and call things what they are. I did. Everyone backed off and I was now the holy roller. Well, I knew my stupidity didn’t get me anywhere and I didn’t want my people to find out the hard way like I did. I guess my mom didn’t like it so she backed off as well. Silence from the whole family. I felt the bitter cold from it. Luckily, God had prepared people to step in so when I got knocked over, they could help buffer the fall. I’d be ready with open arms when my family would receive me again.
My mom didn’t receive me. My attempts at communication were met with obstacles. My last phone call attempt was full of hang ups stating that I couldn’t be heard. We had Skype at the time so the call quality was monitored and the reception on both ends was perfect. I remembered all the bad, the ugly, the unspoken pain I had for her in that instant. A couple years passed with no contact until family reached out about her hospitalization and passing. I loved her so much and couldn’t tell her because she was gone. We had no relationship. No more talking about the good, the bad, or indifferent. Had we gotten to talk, I would have voiced my real feelings: I wanted to say, “Mama, I hated you. I hated you for what you put me through. I hated you for what you allowed me to go through. I hated God for giving me the hand He dealt me. I hated the things I felt I had to do in order to make it. I hated the ways I felt towards you. You were the blame for all my sexual acts, my bullying, my bitterness, my self hatred…Even now, I still have healing to do. But, God has used this pain to make me stronger. God has used this pain to motivate me to forgive, to be an example, and to encourage. He has used this pain to tell people that joy truly does come in the morning. I forgive you, Mama and I’m so sorry for any pain inflicted on you through ill will on my part. Please forgive me. I love you so much. May you rest in peace.”
I’m sure this is a topic many might say I could have kept to myself but this is my diary and I write in it what and as I please. I spoke at my mother’s funeral with these thoughts in my head as I looked down at her casket. Regret and and anger was present. Mixed emotions and fears along with a whole host of others. I really missed her. I know that had our relationship been built on a strong foundation, the sickening paths of destruction I took would never have come about. Had I known love, peace and joy, I never would have searched in the wrong places for it nor became a monster dictated by emotions I allowed to run rampant. I’m sure she may have also came to some of the same self conclusions. But these paths were walked and I’m grateful.There was a time that my mom had seen me on a better path and she rejoiced with my friends that she as elated that I was doing better. I have more testimony than a lil bit and I would be sinning to keep quiet. Silence is not golden and to remain so can and will bring death, in some form, to yourself and to those that you could have helped by telling what you have endured and finally overcame. Their blood is literally on your hands. I share with you as I know there are people dealing or have dealt with some of what I have spoken. You can make it. You can get healing and you can live, be, and speak…Free!
I love you all with the love of Jesus Christ as only He can bring about this transformation of love and forgiveness. How selfish of me it would be not to share what He has so graciously given me to bare witness for His very Existence and His Glory and His Mercy. He is Love.