I have to try this. I love her results. Except no matter what foam I use, my hair ends up hard. Maybe I will find a light weight oil to mix with it – like Coconut and some Shea Butter.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.