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Thursday, October 27, 2011

Crime and Punishment.

Last weekend, I rode around town with my best friend helping her with a project. We talked about men and relationships mostly. Somehow, we got on the subject of how she used to give her husband pedicures and how "you really gotta love a dude to pedicure his feet."
True that.
I used to do the same thing for my ex-husband but I hated it. His feet smelled and he insisted that I do it on a bi-weekly basis.
Looking back on it; I clipped his toenails more often than we had sex. As I lamented about how this ritual bothered me and is the source of my absolute hatred of feet; my best friend told me that him making me do that for him was a punishment.
That was a harsh thought; but I knew it was true. He'd have me do it even if I was already laying down for bed and without so much as washing his feet.
I think about what it is that I must have done to him that would make him want to punish me, not just in that way but in the others that I have talked about, and for the life of me; I can't figure it out. Punishment without a crime isn't justice; it is unjust.
I think I've figured it out though; my crime was loving him.
Misplaced affections always, always, always come back to bite you. Since he was my husband; the very definition of that relationship is [supposed to be] love; but it wasn't. I've deduced that that means I wasn't supposed to have been with him.
But that's almost too simple.
I often wondered what my life would have looked like had I not married him. In hindsight; it's super easy to blame an ex for all of the things you failed to accomplish during and after your time with them. So my real question to myself is what the heck have I been doing with my time since getting ghost from him?
The short answer is; healing. It took a long time for me to get past a lot of the things that I dealt with in that marriage and with all of the things that came after leaving and with the divorce.
My heart was shattered, I was fragile, I had low self esteem and was hot in the ass all at the same time.
Each of these things took me to a bunch of different places; giving my heart to undeserving men, drinking excessively, then finally; back where I should have been all along; in my own head and reverting back to those things that I knew were going to put me where I needed to be.
It's taken a lot of time (almost two years divorced, just under four years apart) but I'm over it. Songs that used to trigger weird emotions  don't anymore. A big part of it, I know, is because I made a decision that his presence in my life shouldn't impact my life one way or another. I used to let it upset me when he wouldn't take Shey when he was supposed to or when he would make a shitty remark to me, when he was oddly nice to me... all of these things at one time, had the ability to throw me out of whack. Now; I just don't care anymore.
At some point in this time away from him; I figured out that his presence is irrelevant. Shey and I have done just fine all along without him. Is that how I wanted it to be? How I thought it would be? No. But, I'm okay with the fact that it is. Now.
And that, friends, is freedom.

Shey's first Easter; 2007. Both pictures were taken in the kitchen of the apartment that Shey and I lived in with her dad. This was the day that I told him that we were leaving. We were gone less than a month later.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Who put out my fire?

I'm watching a documentary of Jill Scott, easily my favorite artist (next to Anita Baker). I saw her in concert over the summer and left feeling inspired. Her songs come from the soul, from her heart. You can tell because it feels like she's talking to you, just having a conversation. She talks to you like she's talking to a friend.
My best friend/writing partner Racheal tells me that I'm a great writer (agreed) but that it feels stuffy, too journalistic. She tells me to write as if I'm talking to her.

Watching this documentary about Jill, she talks about how she'll write on anything; paper bags, her pants, a (wtf Jill?)
I used to be the same way. I was constantly scribbling on whatever I could find. There was a fire that drove me to read constantly, to write incessantly. In the years that have passed; I find myself now trying to get that fire back.

I'd like to blame the fizzling out of my flame on lots of things; work, being a mommy, my ex-husband, boys I've dated, my present relationship, being tired. Which would suffice for a while, but the truth is; it's all me. I alone am the reason why I haven't succeeded with writing. I don't do it enough to perfect it and I blame not doing it on everything else.

I started off writing because it made me feel better. Writing down my feelings gave me a voice when I wasn't allowed to talk. As long as there was something to write on; there was somewhere for my mind to go... Away from my shitty marriage, the hood that I lived in, the crack addicted dad and the teasing and rejection from boys. The more I began to find myself as an adult; the more the writer in me seemed to regress. As I gave voice to my thoughts and opinions, suddenly, writing wasn't as important, as necessary, as it had been before when I couldn't speak.

It's ironic; with more freedom my creativity became stifled.

Well, I'd like to say that I'm getting back to the old me. The writer who couldn't get enough of writing, who couldn't get out of her own head. That chick was a beast! Silent in speech but vocal with my hands. Alls I can hope for is that now; the combination of the two will help me make my dreams come true. 

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Getting Used to Life... I think

It's been a while since I've blogged, or written anything for that matter. A lot's been happening since Shey started school.The most pivotal of them all is that I've decided to dead the relationship between my ex-husband and us.
Supposedly; he and I share joint custody of my daughter which means equal parenting time; no less than 15 overnights with the child every month.
The reality is that he might see her12 hours a month. It all came to a head on a Wednesday a few weeks back. I called him after dropping Shey off at school later than I had wanted since I knew I had to work late that day. I asked him to pick her up between 3:30 and 5:00. His response to me was "Why?"
As in "That's not my job; why can't you do it?" I told him that as parents; it's our responsibility to make sure that our children get to and from school. And that because I do 98% of the work when it comes to our daughter that I would expect no push back from him when the other 2% of the time, I need help from him.
"Aside from your sarcasm, Achsha, why can't you do it?" I didn't feel the need to explain to him that I was behind at work and that this new schedule of dropping Shey off in the morning no earlier than 7:00 and picking her up no later than 5:00 put a serious damper on my ability to sell to the customers on my route the way I had become used to.
Instead of telling him anything; I simply asked him again, if he would do it. Again; more resistance. "You don't know what I had planned to do today." I told him that his plans were irrelevant. That we are supposed to plan our lives around our children not the other way around.
He reluctantly agreed and that didn't sit well with me.
Then and there; I decided that I was done trying to give him the benefit of the doubt and I later told him not to worry about picking up my daughter; that I would take care of my responsibility as I always have.
He told me that I was getting in the way of him being a good father. I corrected him and told him that he was the only person who knew anything of the situation who thought he was a good father.
The truth was; I hated asking him to do anything for our daughter. She hated going to his house and I had to force her to call him whenever they did speak.
My statement must have hit a nerve because I have not heard from him since. Even when my mom was hospitalized for almost a week and I reached out to him to take Shey to a doctor's appointment.
I can't say I'm surprised at all at his behavior. It's typical of him to act this way. In truth; I would have been more surprised if he had done the right thing.
The only thing that will get a rise or any sort of reaction out of him is when the child support payments begin to kick in. Once I'm awarded sole legal custody of our daughter and he has no say in the way she is being raised.
It's sad really. Not the way that he's behaving; but the fact that I thought he would ever behave any differently than he ever has. Maya Angelou says that when someone shows you who they are; believe them.
Suffice it to say; he has, and I do.