The legacy of my Patriarch (personal thoughts)

Learn something new everyday. Today I was informed for the first time ever by my Grandma that my Papa had once upon a time (in the early 1960s) become involved with the Ku Klux Klan during their short stint living in Louisiana. She claimed that for a couple years there he got pretty wrapped up in it, going so far as to donate so much of his paychecks that he was leaving his wife and young son to go without, which is what prompted her to call her brother-in-law to drive over and bring her and the kid back to Mississippi to live with her sister for a while. Wow. That was news to me. Continue reading

Received an email about my biological father

My stepdad sent me an email recently that I just noticed today mentioning some tax form my mother filled out back in 1994 where she listed the (supposed) name of my biological father. My dad (that is, my stepdad, the only dad I’ve ever known) didn’t provide the name yet but said he’d forward it along to me if I’m interested, and I am. She told me back around that same year that his name was Mohammed (sp?) Harbi, so I’m curious if she wrote the same thing down there too. She’s not big on telling the truth, so it’s always remained a mystery.

Kinda weird news to run into today. Guess I’ll just have to wait to see what she claimed on that form before paying it too much mind.

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Dad called this afternoon and we had a good chat. She had written down the same name, so new news there (thank god). I’ve opted to post the man’s name because I’m told it’s about as common as “John Smith” in America.

But I did learn that Dad remarried…back in December…interesting to learn…

Came to a decision today

With Mother’s Day approaching, I’ve had some things on my mind. Realized a few days ago the holiday is upon us, then drug my feet.

Then today I ran into a woman I spoke to about a month ago a few times, she being a neighbor of someone I work for. We wound up in a few deep conversations, she being what some might describe as a “mystic Christian” of sorts and in her 50s. Met her originally quite a while back but didn’t know what to think of her right off. Still don’t. But that’s irrelevant to the story that’s on my mind tonight.

We got to talking a little about where we come from, places and then people and then family, and she expressed her doneness with her own mother as of about 4 years ago or so. Well, I’ve been very estranged from my mother for over a decade and our relationship has been eroding all my life, most markedly from age 10 onward. Continue reading

Brené Brown on the power of vulnerability and listening to shame (plus personal story sharing)

Brené Brown: The power of vulnerability:

Brené Brown: Listening to shame:

Her demeanor in the second video really shows how far she’d come and how much all of her research and personal soul-searching had impacted her. Less joking and trying to smooth things over, more focus on the real problem at hand. I got the impression there were tears behind her eyes as she was speaking there.

Yes, shame…that’s the culprit I’ve been trying to wrestle with too. Continue reading

A woman who never learns

Had a rude awakening this morning at 4:30am. My mother texted freaking out because my 28-year-old brother moved out on Saturday without giving her any notice. She came in from work and found his shit packed and gone, and he hasn’t answered her calls since.

To which I thought: good for him. About damn time.

I gave him a jingle this morning to make sure he was all right and he texted back to say he was fine and that she had basically expected him to support her, to which he refused. He said there was no easy way to break it to her, so he simply moved out. Honestly, I’m surprised this hasn’t happened much, much sooner. Continue reading

Tell me again about my supposed privilege for being born female (personal story-sharing)

Had another rough thought on my mind, but first a song, this one by Simon and Garfunkel titled “The Sound of Silence” (not because it’s associated with these thoughts, was just playing earlier in my car and is a song I love):

While I recognize there are laws on the books I could exploit, I preferred not to do so for various reasons. One being that I wish to believe in the power of love and therefore have no interest in marrying (and divorcing) for money. Furthermore, I don’t see it as the State’s place to approve our unions and so see no reason in going forward to bow to social custom and agree to pay a fine to marry and an even bigger fine to divorce if it doesn’t work out. I paid for my last divorce and do not wish to pony up like that again. And as for using children to extort money from their father, I will not have children (a long-standing decision) and take serious issue with anyone who uses and abuses children in that manner, because it only messes people up and creates needless pain that is completely unfair and immoral. That is my stance on marriage and children and has been for a very long time, as it will remain.

But people like to bark these days about the imbalance of power between the sexes, especially when it comes to those two areas, and now that I am a grown woman I tend to be blamed preemptively for my potential to change my mind and abuse the system to serve my own ends. Well, people can bark all they want — my own views there are set in stone and were brought into being by my own life experiences, which no outside argument can sway. No one needs to believe me, and it shouldn’t matter since I’m not even in the dating game anymore. I have my people and stick with them, and that’s all there is to it. But I share my views because they exist and I see no reason to remain silent.

The thing is that legality isn’t the only area where imbalances can and do occur. We can (and plenty do) experience unfair partiality within our own families. Continue reading

It only hurts me when I cry… (personal story-sharing)

A song playing in my car today, Dwight Yoakam’s “It Only Hurts When I Cry”:

Got something on my mind right now. A male relative called and we discussed some matters that are pretty sad to contemplate. Continue reading