Native American Day of Mourning…..

The sun was barely in the sky. I found myself laying in bed fuming like a chimney. My mother had questioned my heavy weight despite my clear boundary of don’t. It continued with a laugh. I countered with a texting rant of how she has to respect my boundaries before I vanish again. I did not speak to her for two years and she wonders why.
Melancholy and forlorn, I bustled around my house. Her response indicated a zero balance in her negative account which left me speechless and pensive. Why did god choose this woman to be my mother? I will never know. She has caused many a day of pain in my life and this will be another one to add to the heap.
As my sandwich was consumed, I thought about the me of 2009. By now, I figured that I would be married with a family perhaps living elsewhere. Instead, I’m single and still reside in the same home. My heart knows more bitterness from failed romantic endeavors and has resigned itself to being alone. A divine union has eluded me for my entire adulthood. Love is beyond my grasp. People are used to me being alone. No one asks me if I’m seeing someone because I never am. I am not the girl that has tried on a wedding dress. It simply never happened for me. Then the spark came.
The relationship that I have with my mother is one of contention. She is unable to accept me for who I am. It has caused her to be jealous, bitter, toxic, and outright cruel towards me. Control freak, master gaslighter, and the ultimate complainer. Nothing has ever been good enough for her when it comes to me and I settled on the fact that it never would be in my younger days. When you compare this void to my love life, the complicated puzzle begins to make sense. Is it any wonder that I believe in Mother Mary so very strongly?
I am not Catholic. Mary was not a part of my upbringing beyond making Christmas appearances. As an adult, I have come to know her as a very loving presence that embraces you regardless of any trappings that a human life places upon you. She sees you as a being that she loves. Period. You are welcome in her family. You have a purpose and she supports you. She is the ultimate divine mother for whom I am grateful. There are other maternal presences in my life. There is a fairy godmother that cheers for me on the sidelines as well as a few aunties here and there. I wonder how my father shakes his head at the mess his widow has made in his eternal slumber.

A Moment of Jealousy

It was the height of the massive weight loss. I sent the picture of myself in a Jamaican flag swimsuit. It was originally too small and now it was big on me. Friends sent words of joy and encouragement. My own mother responded with, “Great. Now all you have to do is lose another ten pounds.” Her text perplexed me. My weight was always more of an issue for her than it was for me. I informed her that she was the only one that had something negative to say. She responded with, “I’m the only one that told you the truth.” Her phone rang. My voice was soon heard explaining to her that I sent her that info so that she could be happy for me, not call me fat. The call did not last long because it was most unpleasant. In retrospect, I realized that she was jealous. My own mother was jealous of me. Unfortunately, I do not think it was the first time.
While preparing for my debutante cotillion, my dress had been fluffed. My hair and make up were complete. Someone was even present to make balloons for me. My mother said, “Boy, when you get old, no one pays attention to you.” Why would she make such a comment during such a happy time? She had a role in it. She put most of the after events together. Why then would she feel so insecure about herself?
At some point, my father told me that I was dealing with a fat, insecure, jealous woman. As an adult, I have often wondered what my father saw in her. She always complains and is never satisfied with anything. It has been one of the greatest mysteries of my life.

Rejection: Two Way Street

I can’t give you what you want. You should meet someone else. My response was in agreement with the instructions, and my life continued happily. Approximately nine months later, the same individual asked me for a sexual encounter. When I did not respond with bells on, the insane antics began. Furious text messages began at 8am. An offer for a date ensued. My state of shock was translated with no text back. Two days later, an early morning text informed me that I was receiving a visit later on that day. A shower would be taken first and then I would be greeted with company. Two screenshots were sent to my friends because I was now scared for my safety. Later that day, my presence was elsewhere as planned. There was complete and utter shock because I was not at home awaiting an unwanted visitor with my legs agape. Remember, I was the one that was rejected. This is what ensued.
My former girlfriend informed me that she was moving out of my home. It felt as if a bullet was going through my body. Despite the pain, I stood up and exclaimed that I thought it was a brilliant idea. It was not a full ten minutes before she broke into tears begging to work things out. A look of sheer disgust appeared on my face. I helped her move out and told her to never contact me again in life…for anything.
The last foray into the land of romance completely confused the entire hell out of me. She never had time for me. She would ghost me when we had plans. There was never a moment when we could just be together. She left me. It is almost a year later and she is still trying to contact in spite of the numbers that I have blocked. She claims that she misses me. She wants to talk. By now you have seen the trend.
What is the phenomena with being pushed all the way out of a life, only to be pursued relentlessly. When I am told that my presence is no longer needed, that is exactly how I take it. It is my responsibility to accept the rejection for the blessing that it is. It is time for me to heal and take time for myself so that I can deal with getting over whatever the relationship was and at some point try once more. Why on earth would I try to convince another party to stay with me? A decision has been made without any consultation or consideration for me. You made this decision in your best interest. Why the pursuit? Why should I now honor your feelings of loneliness or demands for contact?
Flowers, cards, teddy bears…all of them were left on my porch. A video hit my cell phone. Calls from a friend of hers kept coming in. Block and block. It seems as if rejection is hard to take from the very people that dole it out. This is something that is difficult to understand. Perhaps one day I will meet someone that is mentally stable enough to handle their own emotions. Finding a mate that is clear about what she wants has proven impossible. Have I given up hope? Well, let’s say for now that my focus is on other things…..

Building Boundaries

She has been using me left, right, and center; my beloved best friend. I was not aware of the situation. I thought that I was helping her instead, my kindness enabled her disease. My lack of boundaries and willingness to assist left little time to myself. One day, I found a spiritual path that truly spoke to me. All of my time was consumed with reading about it overnight. Drum circles and acupuncture appeared. Suddenly, my schedule changed. There was no time for me to visit her at work. I had to go home and read.
The phone rang one day. The demand for me to contact someone on her behalf came through when my voice interrupted with confusion. “Why don’t you call Carlos?”. Instead of calling me to call him for you, why don’t you call him directly. She was stunned and responded with the cover that, “I don’t have his number…” which was a complete lie. How is it possible that you spend thousands of dollars with someone and you do not have their number? I told her to hang up and sent it to her. My activities resumed completely unaware of what just transpired. In retrospect, that was the first time that I put a boundary in place.
Another day, while talking on the phone, she needed to make a call. Instead of excusing herself to handle her business, she asked me to call for her. Why do I have to make a call for you? Does it have anything to do with me? Didn’t we already handle this? My response was swift. “I can hang up so that you can make your phone call”. She persisted. Since my words were not honored the first time, I simply repeated myself with more emphasis. “Well, I can hang UP…..so that YOU…can make your phone call..”. She finally relented and ended our call. Second nail in the coffin. She was beginning to realize that I would no longer deal with her bullshit.
Our friendship eventually ended because she betrayed me as a last resort of control. It backfired to her surprise. I was no longer the same person that she met and could not be handled anymore. She was dismissed from my life without so much as a bon voyage party. Eight years of so called friendship and I did not even miss her. I blocked her number last year along with her sister. Apparently, both of them were still trying to contact me about what, I do not know.

A Regular Day

It was a regular morning in my life. My cell phone rang. It was my best friend at the time. She wanted me to contact Carlos about something when I interrupted her. I asked why she could not call him herself. She sounded as if she was going to drop the phone when she responded with, “I don’t have his number”. It is hard to believe that she spent thousands of dollars with this individual and did not have his phone number. Why didn’t she ask me for it? He would not mind if I gave it to her. The answer is very simple. It was easier to get me to do her bidding whenever she wanted. I responded with, “Hang up, I will text it to you.”. It was that morning that the nails in her coffin began. Slowly but surely, her bullshit was being thrown out with the trash.
Weight began dropping off me. It was a very difficult process but attention was being showered upon me like rain. I started dressing differently and wearing make up. There was an intention with my outfits: I feel good. Everyone took notice and shared their enthusiasm with the exception of one person. There was the off colored comment to my brother which visibly upset me to the point that I left her alone in the room.
We would hang out almost every night in a restaurant somewhere. We would eat expensive food and do so late at night. The summer brought about pilates in the morning and bellydancing at night. That interrupted our lifestyle. New people entered my entourage and they showed me new things that capture my interest. The invites to drum circles began to come in. Womens’ Festivals and henna were placed on my schedule. Water and healthy cooking became a part of my days. Someone took notice and held her jealousy like a backed up colon holds shit.
My days as a wallflower were over. I was no longer the friend that was preparing her for her dates or picking her up for yet another food run. Other people requested my presence for healthier forays and positive input. She would always talk about her lackluster life and how she wished she could change it. The power was hers all along but she simply wanted to stay put. Complacent. The problem was that I was no longer around to hear it and had flown away without her. Apparently, that was not a welcome change for my so called best friend of eight years.
Betrayal soon followed and I sent her packing. Her jealousy was evident to everyone except for me. This was ten years ago and I can still tell you the entire story word for word. Her negativity taught me a lot. It made me understand the nature of a broken woman. Control and victimization go hand in hand. You can’t be friends with someone that is not happy to see you happy. You can’t be friends with someone that screams in the middle of a parking lot, “I just want the old Crystal back…”.
This life was not meant for me to have a best friend. While it is a staple in most lives, it does not exist for me. I have a small circle of friends that rotate to keep me enthused. This is the way my life is on yet another regular day.

Mother to Daughter: Heart to Heart

As an adult, I have come to realize that I always hated when my mother would try to talk to me about personal matters: my first kiss, my first boyfriend, always asking questions about my menstrual cycle. In my opinion she simply was not the right person to have an open conversation with and still is not. Why?
Imagine wanting to have a genuine conversation with an individual that is supposed to automatically be on your side. Now you hear criticism that is not constructive for every action or feeling that you have followed by negative commentary. Throw in unsolicited advice here and there for situations that were never brought to said individual’s attention. Why on earth would anyone subject themselves to such misery?
Serious relationships have come and gone. Pain and heartbreak. Joy & euphoria. None of it has been shared with her. I look at other mother daughter relationships and admire how close they are. What is it like to have a mother that is fierce with her support of her daughter? Even without this important relationship in my life, there are still many blessings.
There are other maternal women that treat me like their own daughters. There are friends that treat me more like family than a friend. Such bonds help me to remain thankful for the life that I have and the people that I know. There is more to life than a text or FB messenger.

Church Discomfort

It was another church service. I must have been in middle school. There I sat in the church service next to my mother. We never sat in the front but more towards the back. People were going up to the altar as the pastor gave his call. This is something that never resonated with me. It was a very emotional time for many people but it simply left me in an unbothered state. However, on this day, my mother decided that both of us were going to the altar.
She was sitting to my left instead of my right. I would have to move in order for her to leave the pew. She stood there hastening me to get up and go with her. It was the last thing on earth that I wanted to do. My eyes could have cried tears of embarrassment. There I was in front of the entire church; uncomfortable.

Stories from the Vault of Crystal

It was a 3 day cruise. I covered both tickets. I made arrangements to get both of us to the ship and I would ride home solo so that I could get to work. Also, I was informed, “I’m a grown ass man and can take care of myself.” We shall revisit that statement.

This was in the time way before Uber was even a twinkle in transportation’s eye. It was taxi cab or taxi cab. Upon arrival to the port, my luggage was ready to go. He began calling friends at 6am to come get him. No one answered. Not a one. All of the men that frequented his home on a regular basis and not one person responded. I began to hear the frustration in the form of low “man”, sighs, and the sucking of teeth.

I pretended not to notice the sudden gaze upon my person as a solution. “Eh”. I’m assuming that translates to hey. I looked in his general direction. “Let me hold ten dollars.” I blinked and asked why. “So I can catch a cab…”. I don’t know a lot about cab fare but I’m going to venture that a ride from the port of Miami to Miami Lakes and then to Miami Gardens was way more than $10.00. However, I brought enough cash to take care of myself…especially since I was told, “I’m a grown ass man and can take care of myself…”

Six Months

It was six months of me not getting what I wanted. Adults have needs that can be met by being with other adults in intimate 1:1 situations. That was the sole purpose of the association. After a one time encounter, it never happened again much to my dismay. My invitations were met with, “you play too much”. Instead, I received occasional visits which were filled with lukewarm conversation. Small talk is nice. Since it was all that was being offered, my invitations stopped. I accepted the small talk. Six months passed and a train hit me like a ton of bricks.
Out of the middle of nowhere, I was invited to a night of adult fun. If I said that I was not pleased, it would not properly describe the magnitude of disdain in which I responded. The next day brought the offer of a date after a barrage of nonsense. My silence was deafening. It was not long before text messages about games and the real me appeared. My response was simple, “I do not play games. For six months, you were not interested in me. I stopped requesting your company and accepted the fact that you just wanted to be friends. My life continued.” As the sun rose the next day, I was informed that after work, a shower would be taken and that I would have company for the evening. My growing fear did not allow me to respond. Imagine my shock when I found out that company appeared on my property without invitation. Fortunately, my schedule had me elsewhere. I asked for all future communication to halt. My request was denied.
Phone calls from a friend started to hit my phone. Gifts began to appear on my porch. My rage began. The gifts were promptly collected and delivered to the local Goodwill. I was insulted by the fact that all of this effort was now being made to chase me when it could have been made well over six months ago. You were not interested in me and placed me on a shelf. After a mutual friend stepped in, all attempts to flatter me ceased.
This experience proved many things to me. You need to appreciate opportunities when they present themselves to you. Time will make you appreciate what you had. Intentions should be communicated from day one. Too little too late will leave people alone in the dust. Life does not stop simply because someone does not know your worth. What you want for yourself, is not always what you need; this situation is the perfect example of this.
Ten years ago, I would have sat around twiddling my thumbs awaiting my turn in the spotlight. Now, I am forty and forty pounds lighter. Not only do I have options in my life, but I also want to be with someone that wants to be with me and makes that clear as day. There are people in the world that would shout from the top of mountains that you are their beloved regardless of what is happening in their life. That is the type of person that I want to be with.
Make me feel like you know that I exist. Put forth actual effort into making me feel special. It does not require the budget of a millionaire; it is free. Acknowledge my presence in spite of the fact that you have the entire world on your schedule. A morning text message goes a long way, and so does a good night text. It is the little things that make the heart of a woman melt. It is the moments in which words are not shared and feelings are that connect two people. At the end of the day, that is all any of us want. A meaningful connection with another human being in an intimate relationship. It has nothing to do with sex, and everything to do with the basic human need of togetherness.

Love: The Red Flags

In an effort to find love, we have all been guilty of ignoring the warning signs. While it is important to see the good in every person, it is also important to know when two people do not belong together. Communication styles must be similar. Common interests are a major plus. While it is possible to have different religious beliefs, it helps if there is some sort of connection between the two. Here is a list of common red flags that everyone is familiar with:

1.) Jealousy: This is an evil form of insecurity. It ruins relationships and divides entire communities. When someone has a problem with another person in your life, be aware of how this affects you. Unfortunately, you may be forced to choose sides. I can say that I have always chosen in favor of the person that was present first. 9 out of 10 times, the new person is the true issue.

2.) Neediness: When an individual expects you to be at their beck and call 24hrs a day, regardless of your work, bathroom, or sleep requirements, you need to put a great space in between the two of you. A human being is allowed to be without their significant other during various periods during the day. You are not responsible for the needs of another adult that is perfectly capable of taking care of themselves.

3.) Tantrums: People that throw adult sized tantrums whenever they do not get exactly what they want from you, should be left in their crib to knock themselves out.

4.) Excuses: Recognize when you are not a priority. When someone says to you, “I was not able to call you back because I was walking my dogs…..”, do not call that person anymore. “Let me think about it” is another phrase that is used to waste your time.

This list is small but speaks volumes. Sometimes, it is better to stay home on a Friday night and watch Netflix vs. dealing with individuals that do not know what they want and should truly be in therapy vs. any social arena.