I was raised under a strong black mother, who didn’t take no shit. Straight up. I know for a fact that my little patience in dealing with stupid stuff comes from my mother. But honestly, It’s a gift and a curse.
My upbringing was more of a tough schooling in etiquette and good morals, than it was a fun childhood. I was taught to take care of myself, do the right thing, and respect others no matter what. I won’t say I prevailed in perfection at these lessons, but I do my best.
I always wondered why my mother was so harsh in raising me. Most days, I felt miserably controlled. It was like I was living under a dictatorship. Other days, I just felt sheltered and trapped. If I did something wrong, big or small, and my mother found out, you better believe she would make me do it over and over again until I did it right. Until I said it right. Until I learned my lesson.
Speaking, walking, cleaning, folding, schooling, washing, driving, sweeping. I had no choice to do the wrong thing, that wasn’t acceptable. It had to be done NOW, it had to be done FAST, and it had to be done RIGHT. Otherwise, I'm in trouble. And I took that so deeply, that I developed a fear of messing up in anything...therefore, I didn’t try to excel at the many things I loved to do. Anxiety came into my life, and perfectionism consumed me. And I felt like a failure every time I messed up with something or someone. Because in my eyes, from my understanding, you say the wrong thing, you’re dumb. Don’t speak again. You do the wrong thing, you should have known better. Do something else. Someone doesn’t talk to you, you’re the problem, you did something wrong for sure. It’s you. Not them. You could have done something or said something to make them stay...to make them like you...to understand you. This made me crazy. So I didn’t want to talk much. I didn’t want to make more friends. And I didn’t want to do more of what I loved because of the fear of failing at anything, with anyone, for any reason...and what a tragic life that decision gave me.
I started to doubt so many things on a daily basis. It became hard to have high energy to do more than what I absolutely had to do, like work, school, and basic conversation. But I was confident about a few things...The fact that I was a good person, I was forgiving and accepting, and that moral compass led over my desire to fit in.
My mother recently told me “See that’s why I know you’ll do your best because you care. You care about everything.” She’s right, I always cared about everything...until I don’t. I can only take so much abuse until I really don’t give a damn anymore, and I won’t look back after I make that choice. To care about everything is exhausting, even if it always comes natural for me. Having this trait makes you vulnerable, and people will find you to be an easy target to manipulate. I wanted to correct my mother when she said this by saying “I care about a lot of things, but not everything. If I don’t care, I don’t care. Once I reach that point about something or someone, that’s it. It’s because I gave it all I had, and their chances ran out. The pain was too strong to keep caring.” But instead of replying, I just kept quiet. Because I need her to know that I care a lot, even if I don’t show it the way she wants to see it. I know she needs that for her conscience.
But what I struggle with is why people don’t care more about things as I do. It seems like the older I get, the more I realize that a lot of people weren’t raised to have a moral compass at all and they go through life using and abusing people over and over again without seeing a problem. There are people in this world that have no shame in not giving a damn about anyone but themselves, but they are too proud to admit it. All the while, they find genuine and innocent souls to break to make them feel empowered. I never understood why more people couldn’t care more and just be a genuinely good person with good intentions. No ill will towards each other, and no unnecessary competition. And I couldn’t understand why someone like me, who cares most and loves hard, always gets the short end of the stick in life. I often get stuck dealing with selfish people who lack empathy and generosity. It’s like a lifelong lesson I have to learn ten times over. I can’t seem to get away from them. The people who have lived their life being lazy, ignorant, hypocrites. The habitual liars, abusers, and manipulators who seek temporary companionship only to meet their needs that they can’t go and fulfill themselves. And I think...how can these people sleep at night knowing they’ve negatively affected someone's mind and self-respect. They’ve made people think they are unworthy of love because they are incapable of giving it. They’re incapable of loving themselves, so they decide to ruin other people's visions of a happy positive life with someone they’re compatible with; friend or lover. So I wonder...if someone like me has such a good heart, with good intentions, and a moral code...why am I always left in the dust? And do I need to become like the negative people that have hurt me to live a happier life? What is it gonna be? The Devil or the Angel?
But then I have to stop and ask...make notes rather...to remind myself to stay positive after someone hurt me, and to not seek revenge by asking the question...
“Why are you letting
someone who is beneath you in character,
make you feel inadequate?"
What makes you think that this person is better than you after the way they have treated you? They aren’t. They’re character is beneath you, and you shouldn’t waste your tears and vengeful ways on a person who really should live among the rats…
You gave them peace, and they gave you anxiety in return. You made them feel special, while they put you on the back burner. You showed patience, when they were irresponsible on a daily basis. You showed genuine loyalty, while they gave fake loyalty elsewhere, to someone less than. You have an open-mind with a high desire to learn and grow, they are complacent and stubborn, with a low desire to live a better life. You want to fix problems, they’d rather create them. And you lay in bed in wonderment of what YOU did wrong to make them act this way towards you? Why?
You’re wasting away trying to figure out something only they would know. What made them do it? Why were they so cruel? Did you give the wrong impression? This is a waste of time. You do not have the luxury of reading minds and fixing people, so let those negative thoughts go. Because obviously, they weren’t raised to be kind, generous, and empathetic. Obviously, they see you are a threat, or someone they have no future with because of their lack of intelligence. They are doing you a favor by treating you like an option. Like you are small. Take this favorable gesture and run with it. You’re not stupid, therefore you don’t need to deal with stupid people.
Mamma didn’t raise no little punk, so don’t show your weakness. They just don’t know who you are. You unknowingly made yourself small for them so you could meet them at their level as a courtesy. But forget that. From now on, you stand tall. From now on, you tell them how you want to be treated ONCE, that’s it. Stop explaining things to people who are bound to misunderstand you or not care at all. It will always fall on deaf ears.
You see, they got the wrong idea about you. They thought you were in the large mix of small stars, clustered in packs like everyone else; but that’s not so. You are so much more, and so much bigger than that. With a mighty glow, that no one should ever be able to dim.
Take your lead in this world, and live life not in fear of messing up, but in confidence. For you are the sun...own it! You have always been enough. You have always been worthy. You are so strong. Intelligent. And you have no reason to ever feel inadequate. You have love in your heart, guard it. You have peace in your soul, keep it. Your mind is always open, keep the path clear, and the ones deserving of knowing you will understand just fine."