I wrote this while at the hospital (with Insane Mama). I was exploring the transition from where I was to where I was headed.
Internal battles within the war
Climbing from the trenches
Dazed and confused
The landmines of life
Shrapnel hits from the ones I love
I fear the fight and want to lie down
Sink into a fox-hole
Watching life go by
The danger above rivals the pain inside
Can’t climb out
Sitting too long
Tree roots and vines snap from my weight
Helpless and hopeless
Starting to give up
A rope swings down
Hope is in sight
Is there enough strength to climb out again?
Gripping for life
I need to be pulled up
I hold on for life
The life I know I can have
Saturday, July 26, 2008
I wrote this while at the hospital (with Insane Mama). I was exploring the transition from where I was to where I was headed.
Friday, July 25, 2008
I would like to thank you all for all of your support, guidance and comments regarding the issues that I am facing with my birth mother. I am glad that I took the time to read your comments as well as to ponder the situation carefully before making any rash decisions.
This is an email that I just got from her.
WHEW!!!! Just saw my brother Fred off for home. He arrived here the 29th of June! I love having him here but glad to have my space back now...AND my computer.
The trip home was fine; the usual lack of real service that infects most airlines but without any real impact on me or my fellow travellers.
I did get a lovely email from you immediately following your visit. You had very kingd and generous words to share. I THOUGHT I responded but as distracted with work and company as I have been I may be recalling an intention rather than a fact.
I am so impressed with you, and Mariah. Your poise, intellect, humor and honesty. It was a real joy to spend time with you! I hope we can do it again sometime! In the meantime I want very much to stay in touch with you.
From time to time I find myself looking at my hands and recalling cupping your face in them...it brings tears of joy. I marvel that after all this time I was once again able to hold my baby. Thank you for this amazing gift!
Again..thank you all. This is a huge load off. .....Now I do not have to shoot anyone or jump off a bridge or anything stupid. ........My next book will be titled..."How Blogging Saved My Life!"
Thursday, July 24, 2008
The inner office reeked of a mixture of cologne, leather and pipe smoke. Standing in the doorway, now with a scared look on my face, I started towards the oversized burgundy leather couch. The principal stopped me and said, “Sit there!” pointing to a single wooden chair in the corner of the room. As I sat down, fear descended upon me.
The principal began by asking me what I had done…but he really did not care. I sat there and listened to him scold and talk down to me like I was not even worthy of being in “His” school. After leaving his office, I sat in the hall for a few minute and knew that this was going to be a battle. I put my plan into action…full force. The year started with my classroom remarks, making jokes, throwing crumpled papers at the teacher’s desk, and talking back to the teacher. I would get in trouble EVERYDAY and at least 3 times a week I would end up in the principal’s office. I knew that this was not good, but I also noticed that the other kids in the class were starting to laugh at me...whether it was something I said…or the fashion in which I was sent off to see the principal…shit…I did not care, they were actually laughing with me.
I carefully weighed the progress that I was making with the other kids against the trouble I was getting in at school and knew that I had to withstand the punishment that I got from my parents for the good of my physical safety. As the year progressed, fewer of the kids started fights with me and some actually prodded me, in class, to tell jokes and harass the teacher so that they could laugh. I was more than willing to accommodate them. There were still a few of the “tough guy” kids that wanted a piece of me and I knew that this would not end until I was able to hold my own on the playground.
I remember approaching the stairwell that led down to the lunch room one day and seeing a few of these kids standing at the landing…just waiting. I cleared my head and knew that I would have to fight them. There were three of them and I was terrified. As I got closer to them, I averted my eyes to see if I’d be able to just walk by them. That was not going to happen. They moved from leaning against the wall to blocking access to the stairs. I stood there not knowing what to do. There were people behind me and the stairwell above became crowded with kids watching this development. The three started to approach me, when from behind me, I heard a voice of another boy yell out, “one at a time!” I was in complete shock…there was someone that was standing up for me.
I quickly numbed myself, as I had learned to do over the years, balled up my fists and got into a fighting stance. The biggest of the boys moved forward. All I could see at that point was his huge fists. I knew that I would have to avoid them at all costs. The first swing came at my face. Quickly ducking, I felt his fist fly over my head. I backed up and he swung again, this time for my gut. I doubled over in pain as his fist seemed to go straight through me. Just then I told myself that if I did not beat this kid, I would really be in for it and that the plan that was working…would have been a complete waste and things would go back to the way they were. I struck out from where I was and landed a fist to his balls. (shit. I did not care about fair fighting…they never did.) He let out a yelp and went to a knee. I stood straight up and punched him square in the nose followed by the hardest kick I had ever delivered, straight to the center of his chest. The other two boys looked at each other and moved toward me. I did not know who to go after first …so I waited for them. As they approached, a boy from behind them held one of them back. I did not hesitate in my attack. I swiftly began to punch and kick this boy until his friend did not have to be restrained anymore…he just stood there and watched as I bloodied his “tough guy” friend.
A few minutes later, there was yelling from the top of the stairs. It was a teacher coming. Everyone disbursed and ran in different directions. That is...everyone except me. I just stood there with two boys in front of me, blood on there faces and blood splattered on my shoes and dripping from my hands. The teacher got to the landing and immediately grabbed me, while looking at the two kids’ injuries. Needles to say, they went to the nurse and me…off to the principal. Now, with my record with the principal…I was scared of what he might do.
The principal made me sit in his office, on that hard wooden chair for the rest of the day. I sat there, unable to say a word as he called my mother and told her about the incident. I did not know what she was saying, but his recount of what had happened was so ill-founded…the jerk wasn’t even there. I did worry about what I would say to my mother when I got home. I did not want her to make a big stink…knowing that it would only make things worse….but I was not the instigator of the fight and I wanted to be able to tell her that…but I knew that I couldn’t.
After that day, I found that my plan was indeed working. I not only had kids actually laughing WITH me but there were a few that would talk to me. Things got better from there. I still had fights here and there, was in trouble with teachers and the principal a lot…but I was making friends and the tough guys started to think twice before jumping me. Now that I had proven that I could fight.
The year was tough but I ended it with a couple pretty good friends…and a girlfriend. That was a great way to end a year in my book.
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
It was never one on one and I could no longer just try to defend myself…I had to think of something to get out of the fights. Being outnumbered the way I was…I knew that I had to find another way. The fights …and hiding continued through 4th grade and that is when I finally figured that if I could not beat them, I’d have to find a way to join them. I spent that summer trying to figure out a way to make everyone like me …or at least put up with me.
Mid summer, it came to me. Now, I had 5 brothers and sisters and at home, I was a pretty funny guy and I also found that I had the ability to “change.” I could adjust my attitude and personality to fit well with the person that I was with. I spent the rest of the summer honing my chameleon-like skills…as well as my humor. It was going to be all or nothing this year. I could not continue hiding bruises, bloody nooses and fat lips on top of lying about the cuts and scrapes that I had gotten used to over the past few years.
At the arrival of the first day of 5th grade, I was waiting for the bus with my brothers and sisters. I was overrun with anxiety about the day ahead of me. With the recent years of practice I had become a pretty tough kid, but there was only so much I could do while outnumbered. I got frustrated, thinking of how I might be able to avoid the impending beatings that day. Just then, the bus pulled up. After watching my siblings hurry onto the bus and find seats with their friends, I realized that once again I would have to sit alone in the back seat.
Staring out the window, seeing a miserable little boy in the reflection in the glass, I knew that I had to change things…NOW. Hearing the laughter and fooling around in the seats in front of me made the silence and solitude of the back seat that much more intense. The 20 minute ride to school usually seemed like an eternity, but that day …it was different. By the time the bus pulled up in front of the school the reflection that I saw in the window had changed …to one resembling that of a scientist discovering the cure for a deadly disease. I had an idea and with all of the courage that I could muster…would try it today.
Making my way down the long corridor to class, I noticed the usual dirty looks, snickering and racist comments following me as I walked. I quickly took refuge in my classroom, which was empty for the moment. I sat at a desk and put more thought into the details of my plan. Smiling to myself, I was startled when the door opened again. It was Mrs. Brooks, my new teacher. As she walked in and closed the door, she looked over at me and greeted me with a smile and “good morning.” After putting her things down at her desk, she turned and asked me if everything was OK. Now I knew Mrs. Brooks from last year…she was one teacher that had always treated me fairly…and now I was going to ruin that. I, trying to hide the unfamiliar mischievous smile on my face, told her that everything was fine.
Just then, letting my eyes move back down to their normal position…staring at the front of my desk, as to not attract any unwanted attention. I watched as the other kids in the class started to file into the small classroom. All of the chatter and moving around ceased as Mrs. Brooks rose from her desk. My anxiety was high and I know that I was sweating profusely. I was lost in my own head, trying to decide when I should put my new plan into action.
I knew that my attitude change could not be too drastic – I needed this to work. After about 15 minutes, I found my first opportunity for my plan to start. After the class was done reciting the Pledge of Allegiance, the class was silent, waiting for our teacher to sit down and prepare for class. All of the sudden a fart erupted and echoed throughout the entire room. The whole class began to burst out into laughter…all except Mrs. Brooks. As the other kids in the class saw the extremely irritated look in her eyes, there were suddenly about a dozen fingers pointed directly at me.
Mrs. Brooks marched through the classroom and stood over me, with her hands on her hips. The look on her face was one of complete disgust and anger. This was a new side of her…one that I had never seen before. Her daunting presence gave off a very unfamiliar air of unemotional superiority from her…which was far different than the empathy and safety that I had felt …until now. Mrs. Brooks instructed me to stand up. As I did, she barked, “Why did you do that? It disrupted the entire class.” My planned response, an attempt to make my classmates laugh again – “I only burped…it just came out of my ass.”
Mrs. Brooks grabbed me by the back of my neck, obviously not worried about the fingernails that were working their way beneath my skin. She stormed me down the hall to the principal’s office. Upon entering the outer office, Mrs. Brooks informed the secretary that I had disrupted the class and was being vulgar and rude. On her way out the door, she glanced over her shoulder and added, I don’t want to see him in my classroom until after lunch.”
The secretary pointed to a row of hard wooden chairs across from her desk and instructed me to “sit.” She then quickly picked up her phone and whispered something …while glaring at me. Perched atop one of the uncomfortable wooden chairs, my eyes surveyed the room. There was a mixture of pictures, certificates and school rules pined to the textured walls. Until now…I had never noticed anything about this office…I had been here before, but generally stared at the floor. Time seemed to stand still, but it was really only a matter of minutes before the phone buzzed. The secretary looked at me and said, “He’ll see you now.”
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
Stemming from my adoption…I will give you a bit of a back story on me.
My natural mother is white and natural father is black (making me…an Oreo.) I was adopted in 1967, when I was 10 days old by a very loving couple (both white.) They already had one daughter and then had a miscarriage, so they decided to adopt me. Now, I can’t say how I felt then…cuz I was tiny little thing that only knew to cry, poo and eat. What I can say is that we lived in rural New Hampshire…where everything (except the leaves in the Fall) was white. Oh….but not me…I was/am more of a caramel. Anyway, life was good, at least from where I sat and in my baby world.
As I got a bit older (5 or 6), I started to experience racism…and this was even before I really knew what it was. I obviously knew that I looked different than EVERYONE…but I just thought that everyone WAS different…some pale, some pinkish, some fat, some skinny, some had black hair, some blonde, etc. I guess that I never really brought it up cuz I thought my skin was a bit darker. Boy it would be great if everyone had my 6 year old attitude. Soon after going into first grade and coming home from school with stories of people being mean and not seeing anyone else that looked anything like me, my mother sat me down for a discussion.
My mother told me that (in a longer, more descriptive way) that I was adopted and that one of my natural parents was black. At the time…I guess that was enough…now I knew why I was different. The community that we lived in was completely white. Iwas the only person of colorin the entire school at that point. My mother then told me that if people were being mean to me, that I should immediately tell my teacher or the principal. At the time…that sounded good to me, figuring that the teachers would straighten things out.
As time went on, kids were still mean and basically ignored me…unless they were picking on me. I told the teachers a few times, but the message that I got from them was, “kids this age can be mean…you have to just get used to it.”
In second and third grades, things got worse. There was more of the same nagging and kids making fun of me as well as a lot of pushing and instigating trouble. It was in third grade when I got into my first real fight. It was not what one would think of third graders, it was me trying to defend myself against several boys throwing punches and calling me “nigger.” After I thoroughly got thrashed, I did go to the principal’s office to report the fight and the boys who were responsible. The principal flipped through a book and then looked over at me before stating that there have been a lot of “reports” of trouble that included me. Then he proceeded to tell me that I would be in serious trouble if there were any more.
I knew, from that point on that the teachers and the principal would be of no help to me. I did not want to tell my parents because I knew that they would call the principal and then I would be in worse trouble. Now, looking back on this…it was some pretty intense thought for a 9 year old. After that first fight, the fights became a regular thing. I came to expect that I would spend my recess either hiding or fighting. At that point, I did not want to call on my older sister or younger brother for “back up, cuz I did not want them to have to endure what I was going through and did not want them to have to fight my battles for me. I knew that this had to be figured our by me…and me alone.
TO BE CONTINUED….
Sunday, July 20, 2008
Ok everyone. It has now been 33 days since I met my birth mother. As I stated in my last posts on this subject…The meeting seemed to go very well and we parted with me feeling great and that we’d stay in touch. (get up to date)
YEAH……RIGHT!!!! I AM REALLY FUCKING PISSED OFF RIGHT NOW!
I have not heard a word since her one line email, sent on the day we met, stating that she was happy that I came and she would write more later. I did not think that she was saying later as in a few months from then. I have sent her two emails since our meeting and have heard NOTHING in return.
I am soooooo pissed off. I mean…she emailed me before her trip to CA, asking if Id make the drive to go meet her. She was very excited and called me to confirm, etc. Now….nothing! I guess I just don’t get it. I think I need to get / have some sort of closure on this issue as I’ve been driving myself crazy with the shit-ass thinking that now I’ve been dumped by this lady….TWICE!!!!
I feel like a freakin pinball…thoughts bouncing all over the place. Did she close “that chapter” in her life? She checked it off her list and is now moving on? If so…fine…just tell me so. I could then at least know what the heck is going on. Is she sick…unable to call or email? Should I be worried? Should I call her? Did I do something at the visit that made her not like me?
I think that I’ve been through enough in life to be able to handle whatever it is, but…I just need to be told. If you don’t like me…tell me. If you do…tell me. If you just want to exchange emails once a year…tell me. If you want me in ...or out of your life…tell me. I could, at this point, give a shit. I have gone 40 years not knowing her and going back and forth about wanting to meet her. I can go the next 40 without her in my life. I’ve met her, know the story, etc…so…just give me SOMETHING!!!!!
I guess that the part that really gets to me is the fact that at the meeting (which Insane Mama was at too) everything seemed fine and it seemed like she wanted us to get together again. She talked about me and my half brother getting together (he only lives 2 hours away.)
The thing that I am scared of is closing the door, getting my closure and then having her call or email. I can’t go back and forth. At the same time…I can’t leave things as is and go on continuing to not know where she stands.
Maybe I’ll just send her a link to this blog so that she knows the hell that I am feeling. I don’t know.