Saturday, October 02, 2010


This is how I know we have so far to go - because of actions like this. I just came back from an indoor playground. It was extremely busy with children, thankfully it is really big. There was a man who trying to teach his 2 sons (they were maybe 2 and 3 years old) how to box. Yes.. I said box.
At first I was in shock, and then I was thinking - why am I in shock. He is copying what he knows - what his version of masculinity is... and I was also thinking - he is going to teach the other children to be really really aggressive - and he was. This indoor gym has two dozen multiple colored hanging bags so the children can run and bump into them. That's the point. It's for the children. But this fool has decided he's going to use them like boxing punching bags. Seriously hitting them hard and very targeted.
So I watch for a while (perhaps 5 minutes) and my blood starts to boil. I start to thinking about confronting the man - and then thinking - if he can do that no problem - perhaps he's not of sound mind anyway. He may not even understand if I suggest to him that it is not appropriate. Clearly - he's feeling good about his actions.
Then his children come over to him.. one is 2 the other is a maximum of 3 years. Now they start pretending to box like their dad and the younger one gets picked up by their dad and he starts to put place his hands on the hanging bags.

I look around - my children are on the other side of the indoor gym doing their own thing. I start to think.. I can't just DO nothing. Surely - children are gonna get more and more aggressive and eventually a child may end up knocking into my kids - edged on by this moron-father and his children.

I look to the staff. They look at him, and they look away.
The father moves off to do something else - but comes back a few minutes later.

He continues.
I look at the staff again. I start to approach fed up with his behaviour. I look at my cell phone on way over to the man- for the time and notice that our time at the indoor playground had run out. He don't want to be charged more time and see my kids - still on the other side of the play park.

"I'll just have a quick word with this man before we leave, I say to myself out loud" as I reach the father.

Then - just as I get to within talking distance - a woman intercepts me and comes up to the man.

"Honey!.. you are doing such a good job - I can't believe it - his aim is just like yours" and she lays one kiss on her partner. And I'm thinking: seriously? .. is this some kind of candid camera moment - this is not real. Then my daughter - at full throttle - comes running into me - apparently I have been made "T.O." - time out- for the chase game she is playing. I look at her, sigh, and we go look for her brother we leave.

I never did end up saying anything to the father. Sigh.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

BLAME: Can't just blame my mother

After some conversation today - a harsh reality is swirling in my head around the choices that I make - and the choices my mother had a couple of years back. 

**If you're new to this blog please go back and read some posts cause I'm not much interested in doing a full re-cap of everything. Thanks in advance**

So - a couple of years ago - my mother invited me into her counseling sessions. I was intially excited. Progress. Connection. Commitment. Now, keep in mind - most folks would be mega excited to be trying to work through stuff with there parents - if they were willing. But this IS complicated stuff with lots of layers. Let me explain.  (And as always - let me know YOUR thoughts)..  T.B>continued..

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Pre-Visit to Mother's Counselor

So - I just spoke to my mother and I am going to be heading to her counselor tomorrow. She doesn't know why I am heading there - and I still have to write out - like MY counselor suggested - exactly what I want to say. I also need to let my mother's counselor know that she uses her, OR her health, anxiety - anything to avoid conversations and I hope that this will not happen in this conversation. Yesterday I wrote about realizations re: my mother's behaviour and on the advice of my partner and my counselor - I need to draw a line in the sand.

I actually don't know what the result of this is going to be. Not a clue. Both my folks are unpredictable in some ways - but really it comes done to how seriously am **I** going to take this. My counselor says that for my own protection, sanity, and for the sake of being able to have relationships that are deep and close - this needs to happen.

I need to stop protecting her. What am I protecting her from? I'm not sure.

Monday, September 27, 2010

New post! Feelings & Manipulations

So. What has brought me back to blog land. My relationship being on the brink and me thinking - you know what - maybe it will help if folks know what I'm thinking. So - I'm just gonna dive in. But folks? I'd really like it if you commented. Cause it is a lonely internet world out here..
Today I cried in my counseling appointment. I had been describing what happened over the weekend with my mother (and by extension my father) and realized how fucked up it was.  
Weeks back my mother had told me that she was going to New York City and I said to her: directly to her face that it would great to take daughter with her because she was going to an art exhibit and going to see a famous African American artist.  She sounded positive - as though that would be a grand idea - only - to not mention it again. In fact, first she said she was feeling under the weather days leading up to her departure - and then the day before - she announced that she was going.  

But no mention of daughter coming with her.  Just an offer:   "would you like to borrow our car during the time we are gone?"  WOw, I'm just seeing here how manipulative she can be.

But then, so can I. That's where I learned it.

So - this past weekend I went over to Monorovia - the house I grew up in.  I had son & daughter with me.  I observed a lot of behaviours that I had decided I don't "really" do. My father was there too - he did his usual "pleasantries" - not very interactive at all. He seemed to very interested in son. But that is only when Oli is interactive with him - otherwise - he'll go and watch the american all news network.

On Sunday morning - I told daughter and son that we'd be going to a park downtown for a show featuring many of their personalities from their favorite children's television network. They were very excited.  I was excited for them. About 15 minutes before we left the house - my mother asked if she could come. 

I said yes.. but was curious about why she wanted to come. 
She said it was because she had just gotten back from a huge metropolis south of the border and didn't feel like staying home.  I thought to myself: oh, it's not because she wants to spend more time with the grandchildren. lol... 

We all went to the event and the children had an amazing time. Then we went out to dinner at restaurant. 

But the point of this post is (and this came out in my counseling session) is that I still operate in a mode that is protecting my mother. I don't want to hurt her feelings, and what's more - I don't want her to hurt mine. I hurts me that she didn't want to take daughter away with her - to an exhibition she would have loved.  It also hurts that she wouldn't talk about it. What's more: then she offers up a "carrot" like her car - something that she surely knows my family would find useful here and there.

This reminds me of some of my behaviour in what are suppose to be close relationships. I tend to think that NOT addressing an issue and offering up WHAT I BELIEVE will be useful is better than actually dealing with an issue.  But really - I think it is just about NOT dealing it, and pretending it will all go away. But what that amounts to is me just getting what I want and disregarding the other person's feelings.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Why speaking nicely to me doesn't work.

'You sound angry.'
'You sound sweet.'
'You sound ...'
well - in truth it doesn't matter what you sound like - all that matters is how I've constructed you. More on this in my next post.

When memories rule your life and you won't admit it

When I was grwoing up, I learned the most important thing I can do - is make everything good, and nice, and cover it over so things appear great. So I've never talked about when my 5year daughter was angry with me for something years back - she decided to use her head as a clobber. The end of that story is what I don't talk about - cause it does not sound nice, or tidy, or make me look good. I also learned, that - that was also crucial for survival. 'Make sure you look good'.

Some back story:

As I've written here before - I was beaten up, and terrorized by my brothers on an almost daily basis starting at the age of 8. It was a difficult time, scary, and wrong. And it effected the way I grew up, and understood my relationships with men... and in fact all people.

I would avoid relationships with men altogether - or just not believe that real friendship interactions were possible. Or I'd understood that it all had to do with power and domination, and humiliation. That was what I understood.

That is what I understand.

I must always be on guard for an attack, or I must always be on the defensive. And well, I must always communicate subtle sarcastic tones to try and unnerve people around me. I'm not always like this - but it is part of me for sure. Admitting and talking about this after such a long while came only because of an argument 1TMB and I were having. And argument that brought our relationship and family to the brink of collapse. It still teders ...

You see, I chose to see her as my oppressor, dominator too. It affords me a lot of room to not listen to her, be mean, and overall have a place to put my anger - yes -
without any regard for how she feels.

Did I mention feelings were not really a big priority in my house growing up?
They weren't at all - and in fact, they aren't now either.

So, at the top - I mentioned how my daughter was frustrated at me ( her father) and decided she was going to try and bump me with her head to show her discontent. Having not dealt with any of my triggers, memories, and family in any meaningful way - I suddenly saw my daughter as my abusive brother - barreling down at me.

She was 5.

Didn't matter.

I moved out of her way, which resulted in her bumping into the wall behind me, and starting to cry.


It has taken me years and years and under INTENSE pressure to even murmur any words about his. And I mean murmur because 1tbm has been hitting her head against a metaphorical brick wall for almost 8 years - trying to get me to speak open and honestly about this and other feelings happening in my head.

I refuse.

She tells me it is important, for our children's lives, our family house, for what is left of our relationship/friendship connection.

I refuse. I refuse. I refuse.

Clearly something is wrong here.

My daughter? Well, thankful she has a mother like 1tbm who does use a lot of words. 1tbm and herself have great connection and 1tbm has been filling in much of the gaps (I have left gulfs..) that I created in some of my interactions with daughter.

This was not the way it was suppose to be.

My son is 3.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

You know what is really hard? Tracking my behaviours

I was sitting on my verandha having a conversation with DD a few moments ago and after much struggle to get me to talk (still as we close in on 10 years), and I begin to realize that I totally take relationships: the construction, the maintenance, the crafting, the building, the caring - .. I totally take it all for granted.

I never saw anyone crafting the kind of relationships they wanted to have with others growing up. From what I could tell, and from what my parents have told me, you're just supposed to roll with whatever the Universe has dealt you.

I know FOR ME, I certainly didn't grow up understanding the need to put thought into relationships. I really didn't. If they happened they did, if they didn't, they didn't. And my relationship with DD - that's a nightmare so much of the time in terms of communicating and building (except when I want something done).

Deep exhale.

I say to myself, that I'd like a partner in crime, someone to share everything with, but I'm not sure that's true.

I know I say this all the time.. but I will start more blogging again. It does help.
Gotta pick up daughter from camp now.

Friday, July 03, 2009

Equity, a start

The mornings, and nighttime are a hard place for me. They always have been.

Hands around neck

No One coming.
That really hurts.


Above: a memory from my past between my abusive brother and I.

I find myself in the same place again.
Well, maybe this is a different place today. THIS morning I actually decided to write something.

It was about 5am and Sholee my 3 year old woke up and wanted to see his mother. He is being taken off breast milk and I can see that DD doesn't get full sleep when he sleeps with her. He moves his legs, arms, waist every which way while breastfeeding.
It has taken me a while to even sleep with him- I didn't want too - I just wanted to try and get some sleep. But DD repeatedly asked me how I understood getting restful sleep over and over again- while she did not.

How did I understand doing that, but still expect her to function fully in the house and in our various art/business schemes.

Well really, I didn't really care.
I know, it sounds bad. But I didn't.

I just wanted what I wanted. And I still want WHAT I want - inequitably. You see, I think I understand equity in theory - but I need reminding in real life. You know, I also think to myself - these arguments would not be happening with a man, because I would already (built into the patriarchy) respect them enough to not try and make an effort to be equitable.

But DD isn't a man, and so here I am writing on the computer and feeling very sad about communicating not being taught to me when I was a child, whether it was by my father (which it was not) or whether was a brother or well someone.

That really sucks. My little boy longs for it, and thinks DD is his parent. Not a good place for either DD or myself.

My little boy sees DD as the father he didn't have.