(In my Cathartic letters group, the last assignment for the course was a letter to myself. It has been over 7 years of going no contact with my adoptive family.)
Dear me, you are black girl magic!
You have gone through many different emotions from birth to your 40s. And these emotions are all part of the universe’s’ way of reminding you that you are alive-not dead.
I remember when you were stolen from your birth family. The sadness. You didn’t’ really express anger, but you expressed sadness and to no longer feel that pain, you decided that cutting yourself would allow you to feel physical pain that can better be explained.
Remember when you got new siblings because the people who were raising you were trying to “fix” you so they went and purchased two more children? You were happy. You finally had two people who looked a bit more like you. You finally could care for someone else. You began to be more happy, until they grew up a bit and began to go through their own issues.
Oh that time when you taught yourself how to play the guitar because your a-mom didn’t want to pay for lessons anymore because you were not improving the way she wanted you to. Now you have your own album, can sing and have even started playing a new instrument. You also picked up the violin along with the mandolin because you are talented….in your own way.
That time you wrote your first book detailing the abuse you went through, I know was hard. It was hard for you to write that and then to continue to not get support. I could tell in your eyes how sad you were, but I could also see your undying strength. You stayed alive. You are alive.
Remember that night in Puerto Rico when you were on the public bus and you just broke down in front of everyone around you? I could tell you were having epiphany after epiphany of what it means to be white in a black person’s body.
I can remember when your oldest daughter called you on facebook to tell you that thieves had come to the home and stolen some very valuable items. They took the batteries that powered the house along with other things. But you were so relieved to find that the washing machine was not stolen nor was the car. You were so happy to realize that while you were looking for a new machine to purchase for the owner of the apartment, your daughter was making sure everything was being put back in its place.
Your love for the child you helped raise was and is so strong. You did everything for her and it is clear she has love for you. You fostered her from age 10 to adulthood and were constant with her even before that. I know you always had the fear that you were not good enough for her. That your past would make you a horrible care taker. And yet she reminds you every day that you did what you could at the time and that you are doing the best you can now.
Remember Mae Claire when your middle child’s birth mother decided to raise her? It broke your heart but yet every morning you still got up to take care of the other two who had depended on you. You were conflicted when your middle child showed up to your class every day because you were her English teacher and that could not and would not change. I think you would have rather moved to another part of the country….to get away from your past. You would take the who who still “loved” you and yet daily you remind yourself that it was not her fault…nor was it yours….nor anyone’s for that matter. Life takes many different turns and we can either go with or against it.
That day you cut your oldest daughter’s hair would mark her for life and she would never forget it. I will admit that was one of the many bad decisions you made in the name of “parenting” and yet when you talk to your daughter now, years later, she does not seem to hate you for it. You have realized that she has forgiven you for something that you have yet to forgive yourself for. This is why it still hurts because you know deep down you were motivated by fear and anger, instead of love and discipline.
Mae Claire do you remember when your lover left you for a younger model and you went outside in the rain, laid on top of your car in the driveway and let the rain wash away your tears? That was some good cathartic shit, wasn’t it?
How about the day when your biological aunt called you using watsapp and you had no idea who she was or if it was a prank and then 3 weeks later you decided to surprise her at her place of residence. That was brave of you, and I am sure very scary at the same time. You didn’t even know she existed. You had no idea that any of your real family was alive, except for the one you knew online and the one who had visited you in your home country.
I remember sitting with you while you were at the bar and dancing with you. Do you remember when you invited your friends to your country and you ended up kissing one of them for no real reason? I know you were both drunk but still. That was awesome!
How about the day you took your kids to the capital and you all stayed in a hotel and then at at a restaurant for 3 nights in a row. Your kids loved it, and you enjoyed spending such quality time with them.
I found you once and you were in the emergency room because you had had a motorcycle accident. Part of your face was mashed up but thankfully you were ok and so was the daughter who had joined you on the trip that day. Your adoptive parents didn’t even come and visit. I know you felt they didn’t care. And you are probably right.
Oh, and get this. You went to work the very next day. You managed to wear crutches and have a portion of your face ripped up and you still went to work….because you had to. You had to do it for your kids.
And now look at you. Your parents didn’t think you would make anything of yourself but you did. You have 2 beautiful kids who are successful and independent. One is in college and the other is going into high school. Scary time, but I know you will be there for her and help her through.
And you got married to a wonderful person. You let your guard down and you allowed yourself to trust someone other than yourself. You allowed yourself to be loved. Even though your APs were horrible people, and didn’t love you, they stopped contacting you and they let you go. Your forgiveness of their actions has allowed you to move on in ways that you never thought possible.
You may want to realize that you are a great person and that the love you have for your kids, your wife and also the dog….and your job is huge. Because of your strength, you are able to see things that others could not.
Keep being the person you were made to be in spite of how you were raised and what you were forced to go through. You are strong….you are beautiful. You are BLACK GIRL MAGIC.
We surprise ourselves in spite of ourselves. Tough people outlast tough situations. I think I need to write a letter to myself.
Yes!!!! Totally write one.