Black Women and Our Mothers: Love Vs. Guilt by Oshun/Aphrodite

A stellar comment by Oshun/Aphrodite:

You are being manipulated.  Ask me how I know. Just ask…  LOL

Because I have been in your shoes!  Literally! My mother did a lot of right things by me, but she also did some bad things by me.  I think when you grow up and you have been taught to respect authority you equate your parents with God.  They are not, they are human just like everyone else and sometimes act with selfish intentions.  Your mother is being very selfish right now.  She is only thinking of herself.  Also you have an attachment to her and want to please her.  I can raise my hand on that one too because I have had to go through people pleasing deprogramming bootcamp myself.

Monae, when my mother discovered I was leaving home to complete my undergrad she threw herself across my bed sobbing and crying in a hysterical fit and told me she didn’t know how she was going to make it, she couldn’t live without me and I was mortified.  Add to that she has had health issues and I started concocting all sorts of scenarios in my head of my mother dying and me feeling responsible etc My mother became alternately passive aggressive, openly hostile, and even got in a few attempts at sabotage. She enlisted other folks to side with her…you name it- I went through it.

The other similarity that we share is that your mother is grooming you to be the caretaker/burden bearer in your family. It is that “raise” the girls, but “love” the boys meme in the so called Black community.  I can tell from what you shared that you are responsible. When I worked I also chipped in and paid bills and bought groceries.  But since I was an ambitious yet unskilled worker- low wages and mind numbing work chipped away at my self esteem.  The thing is this will only grow to become a larger burden that will be difficult to get out from under as time passes. Your family will come to rely on you more and more as you are the “responsible” one and if you can be easily guilted and manipulated now because of a desire to please and avoid conflict – they have your number.

Tell my why you are buying a new computer when you weren’t the one that broke it? When someone damages someone else’s property they compensate that person for it.  Your cousin should be at whatever store buying you a replacement or at least having it repaired.

At any rate your mother:

1. may not be prepared for you to grow up
2. may not wish to see you surpass her accomplishments
3. may wish to leech off of you emotionally and financially
4. may be using you as a crutch to avoid facing deeper psychological issues she is not addressing
5. may want to live vicariously through you and your youth

Whatever the reason, it is not your responsibility take care of her and work through her issues.  Parents raise children not the other way around. If you are 24 then your mother is young enough and wise enough to navigate through life and care for herself! Unless she is missing all her arms and legs and has been declared mentally incompetent by the state your mother can and will survive if you leave.

And even if she wasn’t wise enough to plan for her health issues or her old age that still isn’t your responsibility. You have to plan for your own health issues and retirement! If anything your mother should want you to be as successful as possible so that should she really need you – when she is 74 and really can’t do for herself you will be able to assist her if you are so inclined.

My advice to you is to work through your attachment issues. Address your fear of leaving and work though that now.  Until you do you are setting yourself up for being exploited. They can always play on that.  Do not discuss your plans with her or others and if you do slip up, do so in vague terms so she can’t employ psychological warfare or sabotage to derail you.  If you mother is that intense, then give her the okey doke just like she is doing to you say, “mother, I am doing this for the benefit of all of us” or whatever you have to to get the space to do what you need to do.

Major life changes are stressful even if you have tons of support, but since this is something you lack you need to have clarity at all times to stay centered and keep your emotions on an even keel.

If you don’t do what makes you happy you will have regrets. If you don’t do what makes you happy you will develop a seething resentment towards you mother that may have you considering homicide! LOL

Ask me how I know…LOL

You may develop resentments even if you go on and do what you want much later than intended because you will have to play the catch up and unlearn game and neither of those are fun.  So don’t give your power away.  Seize the moment!

I want to tell you that despite my mother I left anyway and had some of the most fabulous years of my life.  And you know what?  My mother got over it and kept on living.  All those things I was responsible for – they got done in my absence.  And your mother will do the same. My mother did not fall apart – if anything my separation redefined our relationship for the better. I think she now sees me as an adult/whole person – separate and distinct from her. There is a dramatic difference in the way she relates to me now in both speech and action.

I know that the whole process seems overwhelming, but ask if you need advice or info and I wish you much success.

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Black Women: Starting Over, Moving On and Out

When is the best time to move? NOW.

When is the best time to start over? NOW.

Spring is a marvelous time of year to run from wherever we are to someplace better. Right now.

The following quote comes from Monae:

It’s not that easy to meet white guys where I live. It’s not like they’re around, except delivery men. I don’t date at all now because the choices are bad. Plus, I am educated but only by going to the library, being on the internet and watching movies. I didn’t learn anything in school but it didn’t matter because I was beat down at school for trying to act white. Even though I know a lot I know I still sound like I’m from the hood, so I don’t know how many white men would want to talk to me just hearing the way I talk. What white guy is going to want to date a little black girl that sounds getto and still works at Long John Silvers when she is 24? How can I get away to somplace else. Thought about joining the army but I don’t think the army is for me.

GoldenAh

You have a lot of time to begin crafting the new you. You can start by not regarding yourself as ghetto. It doesn’t help to put yourself down. You want more out of life, and that’s the best thing in the world.

Before you think of men, ask yourself what do you want out of life? To go back to school, and pursue a degree (2 year / 4 year?)? Learn a specific trade? Maybe take a couple of courses for a certificate degree? Nothing is out of reach, and you don’t have to go into crazy debt to do it.

I recommend you move. You sound wise enough to want to cut and run, so Don’t Tell Anyone. Especially any negaholics who enjoy putting you down. Just run. First, research where you want to live (low crime rate, maybe a Community College nearby) and see about moving there. The new job hunt can start later, maybe even find a part time to help bridge the expense gap and save money. Real estate web sites give plenty of crime and school info. Or you can hunt for work in a new neighborhood, and once you have that new position, move somewhere nearby.

It’s not going to be easy making these moves, but stick with a plan: 1) move, then new job, or 2) new job, then move, THEN 3) more schooling in new area, or 4) 2nd job to save for new area… AND 5) widen your social circle by finding new interests.

The Ladies Respond

Here are the responses from many fabulous and helpful sisters. There can never be too much information in helping someone save their own life by changing it.

NijaG

As for your speech, that could be changed. You can buy a cheap tape recorder and practice your pronunciations and speech patterns by reading out loud. There are many books/tapes on grammar, enunciation, etc. I’m sure you can even find them online. Material geared towards people where English is a second language could be helpful.

Before even concentrating on men, think about the person you want to be and the life you want to have. I would say start with a short general life plan. Example, where you see yourself at age 30 and then break those down into yearly goals.

There are many books you could probably find on life/vision goals and planning. I would look maybe at Amazon.com for reviews and suggestions and then borrow from the library. There are also many career/job centers that offer counseling and advice for free. See if you can find out. The library may even have some info on this.

Formal education is key. The whole world is getting very competitive nowadays. There are many career fields that don’t require a traditional 4-year college. You can finish in 2-3 years depending. Whatever you choose make sure the schools are accredited and recognized.

While some people consider student loans to be a bad thing, they can actually be very helpful. Student loans are not only given to pay for education, put to sometimes help students live. If you start off at a community college or in-state school, the tuition rate are usually cheaper than private. Most times there is money left over. If you use the money wisely, this could actually help in getting you out your neighborhood.

I went to an in-state school, and with the money left over each semester, I was able to buy my books, and have money for at least 3-4 months rent. This definitely helped reduce some stress.

Goldenah has given some very good suggestions. Moving out from your environment and into a better one is so important. Roommate situations are very good place to start in order to cut down expenses. With the current economy you’ll be surprised some of the deals you can find in very nice neighborhood with homeowners looking to make some extra money by renting out extra rooms, garages, or basements.

Tracy

By being a self starter and studying on your own, you have shown that you are curious about the world and are ready for something more and better. Don’t knock the Internet – that is how I learned – in my thirties up to now at forty four – FOUR different languages! Speaking, comprehending and writing – so you keep looking stuff up and broadening your mind.

The only thing that I can add to the already great advice is this: BW are the best actresses in the world, so while you are bettering yourself, fake it till you make it!

That white girl accent you got in trouble for in high school – rock it girl! Surround yourself with greatness, visit a consignment shop and get some nice designer duds, treat yourself and act as the wonderful being you are! You will be surprised at how fast you get used to it!

Another thing – expounding on the Dont Tell Anyone – when you move, consider a studio apartment. DONT GET A HOUSE!! Some folks are nosy – cant find a job or a life but they can find you. So if that happens, don’t give them a reason to think that you are their ” home away from home”. This happened to a single girlfriend of mine – got a house with way too much space and soon she became a flop house for whoever wasn’t getting along with “mama” or “random trifling negro”. Don’t let that happen to you – minimalize while you maximize your life!

You can do it!! Good luck to you!

Oshun/Aphrodite

The cool thing is that there are tons of non traditional students (over the age of 21 who attend college full time)

AND college is the best place to meet WM.

AND men do marry down…I am not saying you are down or don’t strive, but most functional men aren’t looking for women to be breadwinners.

You are at an age where you can easily position yourself to marry UP…

Diction, the way you dress, and carry yourself can all be polished simultaneously- the key is getting into the environments where it will pay off so to speak.

Ruth

Monae –

I almost started crying when I read your comment, I wish I could just hug you and squeeze you and and tell you everything is going to be all right, and take you out of there tomorrow. But I can’t, all I can do is offer you some counsel.

Listen to these older sisters on here; they’re speaking the truth. You’re still very young, and the good thing is you have already figured out that you want to be better than you are now, and, that no one around that you know at this time is likely to help you towards that goal. There are a lot of black women who come to that epiphany very slowly. They don’t get there until they’re 30, or 40, or even 50 years old. So, you are way ahead of the game in that regard.

I’m not going to re-hash what the others said, it’s all good advice that I agree with. I’ll try to add some things here and there, based on my own struggles and successes. I’m sure some of it may possibly seem like overkill or “over the top” to you or others, but you just don’t know how tough some parts of leaving your current situation are going to be until the time comes.

First of all, get out of there first (start planning to do this tomorrow), and then after the first move, pick a place where you’re going to live for at least a few years while you go to school. Since you’ll be working jobs that don’t pay very much, just like we all had to, and those jobs exist everywhere, then it’s really just a matter of where you want to live. Most Western states and some Southern states have junior colleges and community colleges that are quite inexpensive in terms of credit hours. It sounds like you don’t have a car, so a city would be best. If it were me, I think I’d try a place like Seattle or Portland, Oregon. And maybe you could stay there for your four-year degree, too. But, that’s what the internet is for, check out lots of places. There are also two European countries (Sweden and Norway, I think?) that offer free tuition to any student that is accepted, if you think that might interest you later, as you get some credit hours under your belt. And European men love American BW.

Which brings me to my next point: Don’t get pregnant. Your dreams will be completely derailed by an unexpected pregnancy, so when you have sex, use birth control! I cannot stress this strongly enough. And use protection against STDs, too.

Buy everything you can used. Except a computer, definitely buy a NEW laptop, don’t buy a used computer. But almost everything else can be bought in good or great condition for a reasonable percentage of what it cost new, and the only one that will ever know you bought it used is you. And I mean everything – clothing, furniture, cars, dishes, stereos, etc. Craigslist, baby! You can buy quality brands if you buy used, and you buy quality, it will last a long time. Just don’t buy cheap stuff used. This habit persists with me today – when I finally got enough money from years of working, I bought a used ladies Rolex for $1800 (the exact same model is $11,600 new), which looks great and runs great, and my new husband just (laughingly) told me a couple of months ago that when he first met me and saw I had an old Rolex on, he just assumed that I was “from a family that had money” and had received the watch from a relative when she passed. Yes, that’s how a lot of white people think. He said he knew it wasn’t fake, because no one wears an old fake Rolex, and so he saw that I like quality, and, that I was frugal. That little stupid thing made me even more desireable to him; the fact that I didn’t need a new Rolex, that I was happy with an older one. Sounds crazy, doesn’t it? Not really. I was ecstatic when he pulled up in a perfect-condition 20 year-old Mercedes – that was much better than a shiny new luxury car to me. I still buy used things whenever I can.

Change the name you use. If you have a middle name that is what most people consider a typical name, than use that name. If people see “Monae” on a resume, you may as well put “I was born poor and black” at the top of the resume as well. I’m sorry, but this is the way people think. BTW, it’s the same thing when you see a resume from “Krystal” with a “K” – you know she’s white and was born in the South in a trailer park. I’m just sayin’. I speak from experience as my original birth certificate said Latisha on it. My middle name was Ruth (my grandmother’s name), which I hated when I was younger because it was so plain and boring, but which I started using when I was in my early twenties. Just like magic, I started getting a lot more interviews from my resume. When I got in front of them, I was still a black woman, but at least I was now in front of them with a real chance to impress them with what I knew. At least I got my shot at the job. And I got those jobs. Latisha is now no more. I legally changed my first name to Ruth years ago, and picked a new middle name to go with it. I know it seems like a huge, radical step, but if you don’t have a good middle name, think about legally changing your first name now, before you go to school, so it’s the same name as your school records later. My husband knows me as Ruth, which he loves, and thinks the Latisha thing is pretty hilarious. Uh-huh. I asked him if he would have gone out with a Latisha, and he said, “Hmmm, that’s a good question”.

Last item. When you do the things you need to do to improve yourself, your family and current friends will undoubtedly accuse you of not “keepin it real”. My sister still does, she still pulls that on me.

She has three children from three different fathers, none of whom have ever paid any child support, and she works as a shampoo girl at a beauty shop. She lives paycheck to paycheck, has bad credit, a broken-down car, is in very poor health due to smoking and her weight, and bounces from one bad man to another (but every one of these black kings is “the one” while he’s around).

So she’s definitely “keepin it real”. You know, I love her because she’s my sister, but sometimes I don’t like her very much. She’s made a lot of bad choices, and still has the nerve to tell me that I have turned my back on my race and my neighborhood.

Don’t let people drag you down, girl. Because they definitely will if you give them even half a chance to do so. Unfortunately, I came from a very toxic environment, the whole “crabs in a barrel” thing. I was bullied mercilessly at school for “acting white”. My own mother said I was a sell-out and a whore to the white man when I started dating my husband. This from a woman whose husband left when I was a baby, and never came back. I never even knew my father. And she said that about my future husband? That really, really hurt my feelings at the time.

Now, this same man makes sure that she has everything she needs now, she lacks for nothing. It’s his paycheck that’s providing it, and he’s never complained about doing it, he’s never hesitated to take that on. I have an MBA and I had a very good job (6 months pregnant now, so no job now because I resigned recently), and still, I married up! He’s a good man.

Keep moving forward, make something of yourself. Lots of successful people in America started out with nothing and they came from dirt-poor families. Lots of successful people have completely re-invented themselves in this country. You don’t have to be like you’re always been.

{{Virtual hugs.}}

I recommend you move. You sound wise enough to want to cut and run, so Don’t Tell Anyone. Especially any negaholics who enjoy putting you down. Just run. First, research where you want to live (low crime rate, maybe a Community College nearby) and see about moving there. The new job hunt can start later, maybe even find a part time to help bridge the expense gap and save money. Real estate web sites give plenty of crime and school info. Or you can hunt for work in a new neighborhood, and once you have that new position, move somewhere nearby.

It’s not going to be easy making these moves, but stick with a plan: 1) move, then new job, or 2) new job, then move, THEN 3) more schooling in new area, or 4) 2nd job to save for new area… AND 5) widen your social circle by finding new interests.

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For Black Women: Why White Men are a Better Choice

A topic guaranteed to make your teeth grind or make you smile. I am tongue in cheek, so if you don’t see any clarifications like the word some, I still don’t mean all.

So, I’m looking around the web, and as a woman who likes men I’m seeing a positive development: black women affirming an interest in white men.

Didn’t know it was still taboo? Didya? I didn’t either, but like nappy hair versus relaxed, when a topic involves black women expect DRAMA, okay? Okay!

So I offer the following (slightly tongue in cheek) as to why white men are a better choice than black men:

1. No shortage here. There are a lot of white men, dark to light, tall to short, fat to lean. Take your pick. Plenty to go around.

2. He is The Man. Remember all those expressions from the 1960’s and 1970’s (and some people still use today)? The man’s keeping people down, the man’s got all these conspiracies… yada…yada…yada. Why not just be his woman? The white man does have all the power, in being with him a black woman gets the inside track on what The Man is up to.

3. He has the money to buy the food, clothing, housing, etc. He will not leave you to foot the bill or play “going dutch.” His tip will be more than sufficient, and the waitress wont give you the dirty look. Don’t know that look? Date a cheap and broke black man – you will see it and know it.

4. A white man will not accuse you of being a gold digger. He’s quite happy to marry them. You’ll be wife number 3, because he believes in the motto: if at first you don’t succeed, get another wife.

5. He marries. No baby daddy drama for this guy. He wants to be “Father Knows Best.”

6. The first thing that’ll strike you as odd is how your blood pressure goes down around this guy. Why? He’s not going to argue over every little nutty issue like a black man will. For a white man, life is an individual effort, there’s no systematic effort to keep him down. So he’ll be a rational man, not an emotional one.

7. A black woman’s hair is not an issue with a white man – in spite of what Imus said. Natural or relaxed, he doesn’t care.

8. A white man will find your feisty hot temper (if you have one), rather, ah, er, amusing. Yes, that’s right, amusing. He is not afraid of you. He will also like your “tell it like it is” spirit.

9. He’s going to have a strange hobby. He may be one of those guys collecting Star Wars, Star Trek and obscure 1950’s movie memorabilia off of eBay. It’s totally harmless and as the “40 Year Virgin” showed, could be worth quite a lot of money one day.

10. Looks aren’t everything. The features are different, skin and hair color / texture certainly is. Yet, that wont change the fact he can have a heart of gold. The nicest guys I’ve known have been white men. Nothing I made happen, it’s just my personal experience.

The list is incomplete, but there are plenty more reasons to decide why white men are a better choice than black men.

It’s great to get feedback from men, and the following is one from Anvil Orange:

Baby, I hear you.

And as a white guy who has had a couple of long-term relationships with black women, these are ones that the black women I’ve been with say they like the most:

3. He has the money to buy the food, clothing, housing, etc.

You know it. I make good money, and as far as I’m concerned, my job is to drive the car, and to pay for, well, whatever.

5. He marries. No baby daddy drama for this guy. He wants to be “Father Knows Best.”

Well, I haven’t been married to a black woman yet, but I’m down with the idea, if everything synchs up right. And if someone gets knocked up, then I’m ALWAYS going to do the right thing.

7. A black woman’s hair is not an issue with a white man.

True. I just don’t give a damn. Wear it any way you like, do the weave thing, whatever, just don’t make it too BIG. I don’t dig the whole big hair thing, no matter what race you are. One of the black women I dated wore hers natural, and I’m cool with that, too. You just knock yourself out – see #3.

8. A white man will find your feisty hot temper (if you have one), rather, ah, er, amusing.

True. And all the black women I’ve dated so far had a very quick temper. It is always funny, and sometimes hilarious, to see what they get worked up about.

9. He’s going to have a strange hobby.

I have three, but none anywhere as nerdy as anything having to do with Star Wars.

Here’s another one you left out:

Black guys care whether you’re light-skinned or dark, but most white guys just don’t care at all. We’re already dating a black chick; what do we care how black she is? Because no matter how light she is, she’s still gonna be darker than almost every white guy.

So, that’s the deal.

There is one downside – most white guys that date black women are fine with a few extra pounds, BUT, they can’t hang with the obesity thing. I know black guys have a pretty high affection/tolerance for women who are 5’5″ and 190 lbs. but most white guys just can’t see their way to it.

Same with me, and I love a big butt on a woman, as long as that thing is firm. But white guys are not into ‘bakery rolls” and folds of excess flesh.

One of those cultural differences, I suppose.

One more thing, and its an important one – I’m in a long-term, monogamous relationship with a black woman right now, and I could not be happier.

I haven’t asked yet, but I would say the chances of us getting married are around 95% and climbing.

She’s smart, funny and beautiful. I feel lucky.

And there you have it….

** Update: Please Have Sex With White Men **

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Caprica Sucks

Why is this show so criminally bad? Why does it suck so bad? Why did a show with so much potential go wrong so fast?

I couldn’t make it past episode four. With Battlestar Galactica at least I made it to the third year. It started off very very good and went downhill.

I suspect Caprica is horrid on purpose. I am nauseated by it. I find it hard to even write about it, it’s so awful.

Everything takes place at least 58 years before the Cylons come back and destroy everything. Caprica shows where the fissure begins and is based on how the monotheists are much more distructive and judgmental as compared to the polytheists.

The polytheists are people whose religion follows our horoscope charts. Hence the names of the 12 planets being Caprica, Tauron, etc. In this world, the monotheists are oppressed and strike back by becoming terrorists. I’ll let you figure out the modern day parallels.

Frankly, both groups suck. It’s hard to even see where one group is good and the other is bad. I’d give a slight edge of the grossness to the monotheists since they practice polyamorous marriages. The polytheists are amoral, serially monogamous, along with being corrupt to the core thrown in.

Caprica is about two families: the Adamas and the Graystones. It has Eric Stolz playing Daniel Graystone of Caprica, the inventor of the Cylon. It has the handsome Esai Morales playing Joseph Adama, born of Tauron with a Caprican soul.

David Eick and Ronald D. Moore made this dreck along with the “re-imagining” of Battlestar Galactica, so I was not surprised to see the same crappy retread of ethnic stereotypes. The Taurons are mobsters / gangsters who look Latino / Italian. The Graystones are your typical rich, ultra-pale, narcissistic, and “brilliant” yuppies. The blacks are in the background as low level servants.

The writers can only mine the depths of what they know: absolutely nothing.

There’s no creativity or originality in this show. Aside from the casual sex themes: homosexual marriages, polygamous marriages, poly-amorous marriages, and virtual-reality-anything-goes-worlds, which I suspect is more a reflection of modern-day Hollywood than of normal people in the rest of the world. I’m surprised they haven’t shown pedophiles in a positive light yet, I’m sure pederasts will get a high five eventually.

Caprica may seem to focus on religion, but it comes across as though it’s written and produced by atheists, anti-humanists, or people whose value systems come from Hollywood, the bottom feeding cesspool capital of the world. Atheists believe in no religion, and the show indicates that religion makes things worse. It even implies that religion doesn’t make a difference in human behavior.

If that’s the case, what’s the point of the show? Everyone is better off dead?

Last note: the technology used in Caprica is not new, interesting, or forward looking.

Does this indicate that science fiction writing (from Hollywood) is reaching a creative dead end? I can only think so with even the current President intent on killing NASA off. Sad. Really sad. We’ve lost our collective imagination and based on the content of Caprica, our collective minds.

Update: 3/27/2010

And not only is it bad, the author, screenwriter, and creator of this dreck, being a typical, left wing nutjob, and oversensitive creep, sent me a profanity laced, hate note.

Thanks Ronald, or your creepy, weird, identity stealing fan!

That’s the Hollywood left for you. He acts as though the opinion of little ol’ me matters. 😀

Work on your material, dear Ronald, maybe someone will respect the crap-o-fest you’re able to put together.

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As a Child

I used to decapitate my dolls.

I used to set things on fire.

Today, I’d take the shortcut and set my dolls on fire.

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