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Tuesday, January 09, 2007
Learning About La Bella Part 2
I know it's unusual for me to post such personal stuff, but it's been on my mind and since you all read my stuff, you may as well know a little more about me. So don't worry, I haven't fallen off the emotional deep end, lol.

At some point in a woman's life she learns what a real man is, but some learn that by seeing what a real man isn't.

I could and probably should be angry at him, but my heart won't let me. Many days, I'm caught between feeling sorry for him and thanking him for contributing half of my DNA. Twenty-one years ago he divorced not only my mom, but all of us, and walked away leaving my mom to raise a four year old and a twelve year old.

My life with this man has been a continuous lesson in forgiveness. At four years old, I shouldn't have been learning how to vacillate between feigning giddiness, happiness, and confusion. My first trip to a gynecologist shouldn't have been for at least ten more years, but I was there getting poked and prodded and violated because I opened my mouth and told my mom what he did. You don't expect a child to know the phrase 'Baby he violated you', but I did. And I still do. But I'm not bitter, I'm a survivor now. I saw him locked up for a while (just about a year), but after a lot of long converstations with my mom, the police, and my therapist he was released and I was happy. Forgiveness in the eyes of a five year old looks a little bit different than forgiveness from an adult's eyes, but it means much more. At a point, I didn't care about him being in trouble anymore, I just wanted my daddy back. My family sometimes questions why I forgave him and why I continue to maintain a relationship with him and all I can say is that it's not my place to judge him. He has demons, not me, and his demons can't define me or the relationship we have.

Going to grade school shouldn't be uncertain, especially when you go to a school that costs more per year than most colleges, but for me it was. Ever heard of "no child left behind"?. Well, I was. It wasn't the money, it wasn't my brainpower--all that was covered. It was actually getting there. He told me that he'd pick me up and take me to school every day, but 5 times over the course of two weeks, he called my house 20 minutes after the scheduled pick up time to tell me that he'd forgotten about me and was already at work so he couldn't come to get me and to get to school the best way I could. The first time it happened, I called my mom, she left work and took me to school. After that, I figured things out on my own and managed to get to school on time. Quite a feat for a fifth grader. I didn't tell my mom that happened until I'd graduated from high school, because she didn't need to know. He forgot about me, but I'm not bitter. It made me resourceful.

I listened to him call my mother a "dope feenin' bitch", "project mentality hoe" and all kinds of untrue unpleasantries to my face. But I'm not bitter, I'm resilient.

I cried when I saw that he and some of his family stole my identity and FUCKED my credit up. But I'm not bitter, I'm financially savvy now and know how to clear my name.

I was mortified when I found out that a story was made up about me that I died in a train accident so someone could collect life insurance money (not sure exactly who did this, but I know they wanted my dad's cut). But I'm not bitter, I'm protected even better.

He begged me for money when I was working part time in high school even though he had a high paying job. But I'm not bitter, I'm happy I have enough to spare.

On my graduation from high school he came in as we were organizing our processional to tell me how proud he was that I'd done so much work under his watch. I cried, but I'm not bitter, I just pay close attention to who paid my tuition by herself the whole time I was in private school. (My mom is my hero)

He told me that I have a half brother older than my older full-blood brother at the same time he told me that him and his wife were going to be having a baby and I'd be a big sister. But I'm not bitter, I have more brothers to protect me.

He lied the first five times I asked if he ever cheated on my mother until I presented him with hard evidence. But I'm not bitter, I now can smell bullshit five miles away.

When I got my second undergrad degree, he called it "his degree" because his daughter earned it. But I'm not bitter, I'm more educated.

He beams with pride when he hears about my successes in school, business, and life even though he was absent for most of it. But I'm not bitter, I'm happy that he can find some peace knowing that his daughter made it on her own.

I have a propensity to read, be hungry for knowledge, be spiritually liberal, be open to all cultures, and don't feel sorry for myself. I'm not bitter, because that's me, and he contributed to that. I like those things about me, about him.

He's my father and I can't change that. Sure I was raised by my mom and later by her and my stepdad, so another man has taken the name of "Daddy" in my life. But I refuse to hide his iniquities, his shortcomings, his sins, and his good traits. I wouldn't be here without him, and I wouldn't bae at the place in my life that I am currently if it hadn't been for the experiences that he's created. There's no need for me to be angry because it's not my fault that he wasn't ready to be the man he needed to be. He did things to my person, but not to ME. At the end of the day, ME is better because of everything that went down. His actions don't define me, nor do they define him. His actions are just that, his actions. And at some point, I had to separate him from his actions. I'll always love my father, but not what he did/does.

Every day I open my eyes, I'm grateful that this man is my father. I went through all of that to learn to forgive and to learn about the woman that is La Bella Noire--La Bella ME. Regardless of what anyone says, I forgive, still love, and welcome not only him, but ME.


Blogger TNDRHRT said...

Forgiveness creates a pure heart. This is a great post!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree, it is a good thing to forgive. I held a grudge against my mother for 10 years after my father died. I love this post. You come with it everytime.

Ya doin your thing.
I know he wishes he was there for you as a positive in your life through all your success.

It seems like you used the negative and maked it your positive. I did the same thing. You can't let things tear you down. Use it as your motivation...

: )

Blogger mocha.barbie said...

you are an inspiration!

i hope one day to be able to forgive those who have hurt me.

great post

Anonymous aulelia said...

this was a really powerful post; you are a brave girl. it takes more strength to let sleeping dogs lie than to be angry and you have found it in you to do that so you are already a better person than him.

fathers and daughters are relationships that are so complex yet co-exist with how we feel as women and how we see relationships with men. dealing with hardships with a father or even grief of a lost father is enough to show me that a parent does have a certain amount of control in how we see ourselves but it comes to a point when we take over and thank god for that.

Blogger field negro said...

Great Post, let me negotiate the book deal for you :)

On a real, you had me tearing up.

Way to survive!

Blogger Gunfighter said...

Great job, Tasha!

I drafted a similar post for my blog. Maybe I should post mine, too.


Blogger Enigma said...

First time commenting. I am just saying more of the same that everyone else has said, you are strong, and yes, without a doubt forgiving a person is the way to go to move on from what they do/did.

Blogger CreativeTDF said...

I am going to be the dissenter here please forgive me...OK? I think you are brave you know my personal stuff too and you have to forgive to moive on I have learned that...however, I don't think you can separate your farthers actions from who he is.

Actions are displays of your character...your father, please excuse my language seems to be a selfish, shithead (sorta like my kids father). The fact that you can love him anyway proves that your mother raised a beautifula woman. I applaud you for that.

Blogger Tasha said...

@Everyone- Thanks. It's been interesting to say the least dealing with him.

@Creative- I hear you about actions being displays of character and I agree. My father is quite selfish and is a shithead, but I can't hate him for it. I don't have room in my heart to hate half the reason why I exist. Karma will deal with him.

Anonymous Asabagna said...

The realist thing I've read for a long time. Like FN, you had me tearing up! I am about to be a Dad. Thanks for the life lesson.

God Bless.

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