Growth

Defining success, setting goals to reach dreams; these are all indicators of #Growth.

 

When you grow, sometimes it makes those around you uncomfortable. Even the very people who beg for you to change, despise you for doing exactly that.

For years my mother and sister pretty much played Mariah Carey’s “Why You So Obsessed with Me” at the thought of Step Dad #2. And for good reason. he was more than border line obsessed with my mother. Asking my pre-teen sister questions about her mother that should be reserved for dialogue between adults, showing up to her home unannounced searching for items he “left behind”, repeatedly declaring his desire to “Get his family back”. Until one day…THE BROTHER GOT A NEW GIRLFRIEND.

Taraji-P-Henson-clapping

Now, from the outside looking in, that’s a beautiful thing. No more Psycho-Bob behavior; but had he really outgrown his stalk-ish ways? And at what cost?

My sister expressed her simultaneous joy and disappointment in her father’s new love life. On the one hand, he appeared to be happy. On the other hand, he made her feel disrespectful for asking the same questions of him, that he had asked her in regards to our mother’s love life. Simple questions like “How long have you been dating?” Furthermore, as he grew closer to this new woman, he seemed to be growing away from his child.

drifting

Much like the confusion I felt watching Buddha pick-up and drop-off someone else’s daughters to the same grammar school I attended WHILE I was still a student there; my sister is perplexed by her father’s behavior. She hears from her cousins about all of the cool stuff her dad does with his girlfriend…and her teenaged daughter.

minion-o

Yup! That’s right, he’s dating a woman with a daughter the same age as his, but it hasn’t dawned on him yet to include his own kid on the ski trips and island cruises.

 

Unfortunately, there’s no big “I don’t grow that way anymore” moment of enlightenment in this post.

In becoming parents, not all men see their love lives as having a direct correlation to their children’s foundation of love, how to love and how to receive love.

love graph

Keeping in the spirit of growth and love, February’s posts will revolve around my perception of my foundation of love and can be accessed on DaaamnDaddy

February marks ONE YEAR on my journey of blogging & what better way than to celebrate with a transition?

#DaaamnDaddyThursdays will resume on February 4th, 2016 via DaaamnDaddy

Advertisements

Success: Stuntin Like My Daddy

January is a month to set goals to reach dreams and achieve some level of success.

goals

I remember a couple of years ago I was in the car with my mother, Step Dad #1 and my stepsister. We rode by a Mercedes-Benz dealership and Step Dad #1 got hype like a kid in a candy store looking at this white coupe perched up on the platform, beaming form the son above the lot. At 42 years old he was enamored with this vehicle and proclaimed that one day he would have it and he was going to be riding through the hood “Stuntin’”.

I knew my mother was thinking it. I felt her thinking it. And I for damn sure was thinking it, because as much as I hate to admit it sometimes, I am my mother’s child. Thankfully, it wasn’t either of us that said “Daddy? Stuntin’? REALLY? You 42 out here talking bout some STUNTIN’?” accompanied with the heartiest, dream crushing laugh.

Laughing Naomi

Step Dad #1 has 5 children and 3 grandchildren and at the time he was still paying child support for at least 2 of his children.

That moment never left me. Initially, like my stepsister I was judging him, but slowly that judgment transformed into empathy. He was 42 years old and had been somebody’s daddy for more than half his life. He missed his moment to stunt on ‘em, and he wasn’t ready to let it go.

He has an E Class Benz now. It may not have been a wise investment, but for him, it symbolizes success.

I used to want a Cadillac. I still do, I hope that I earn it before I’m 42, so I won’t be Stuntin’ like my Daddy.

Stuntin like my Daddy

But then again, I don’t see cars as a sign of success anymore. 

¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Dreams

I’ve been binge watching Jane the Virgin. If you’re not familiar here’s a link.

Anyway, In Season One, somewhere between Chapter 11 & Chapter 19, they all blur together when you’re binge watching, Rafael says to Jane what her Momma Xiomara was trying to tell her since Chapter 5. “We’re too different to have a successful relationship boo.”

jane-the-virgin (1)

That scene got me to thinking about my own relationship goals and expectations for co-parenting.

Had you asked me as a child I would have shared my Cheaper by the Dozen dreams and fantasies complete with list of names, middle names, and illustrations of my future children. (Yes, I had THAT much time on my hands)

The older I got, the further from reality those fantasies drifted.

I watched my mother stay ten years too long trying to make her family fantasies come true. I’m just not that patient.

Like me, Jane grew up without her father present. His absence caused her to spend most of her 23 years of life imagining what it would be like to have two loving parents. When she becomes pregnant (still a virgin), she was game to give the baby to the biological dad, until she found out his marriage was in shambles. Jane desperately wanted her baby to have the loving two parent household she never did.

generation girls.jpg

I remember being a young girl playing with my Generation Girls Barbie collection, declaring my desire to have an Italian baby, a Mexican baby, an Australian baby etc. not connecting that all of these babies would require different fathers.

Fortunately, I eventually got old enough to connect these dots, and I knew I wanted my children to have two loving parents in the same household, like Jane never did.

But then, I looked to a friend. I had this friend as a teenager that I fell in love with and I just knew he would be the father of my imaginary children. We were happy together, I was willing to compromise, and we made each other laugh. I knew we had differing opinions on some things when it came to child rearing, but we were kids, and grown-ups work things like that out. We jokingly shared dreams of our future together, and even agreed to marry each other if neither of us were married by the time I turned 25. When I was 19 however, those dreams blew up in flames. Much like how Step Dad #1 having a baby ended the seven-year friendship and relationship with my mother, my friend confessed his love to me, only to marry someone else two weeks later.

illustrations

I’ve never drawn any illustrations of my unborn children since then.

I’ve also ended several relationships based on my feelings that like Jane and Rafael “We’re too different to raise kids together boo”

I used to want 12 kids, I don’t have dreams like that anymore.

Goals

Everyone is screaming “New Year, New Me!” and talking about their “vision” and going after their “GOALS”.

Meanwhile, I’m having recurring dreams about my future wedding. No I’m not getting married this year, I’m not even currently dating, but most women fantasize about their weddings, right?

daydreaming

At a young age I determined that my mom and aunt were unlikely to get married before me, therefore I’d allow my grandfather the honor of walking me down the aisle and giving me away. Back then I also thought I’d be married by age 18. Here I am, 25 with a grandfather closing in on 75 and not even any players warming the bench.

It was a goal of mine to be married at 18 so I could be fruitful and multiply by 20. This goal caused me quite a bit of stress and depression when I didn’t reach it. *2010 was a VERY difficult year for me*

 

Back to this dream. For the past 3 years I’ve gone to the Wedding Expo with a friend for her birthday. My stepsister is getting married and I suggested she go to one, but then I decided, I don’t want to go this year.

PRODIGY_REID - WIN_20151012_075753

I don’t wanna go

For the past several months I’ve been having this dream where ALL my “Daddies” walk me down the aisle, even Buddha. I pick this grand venue where there’s enough space for each of them to walk me enough steps representing the years they played a large role in my life with ultimately my uncle and grandfather giving me away at the alter. The over-analyst in me dreams of what venue could accommodate such a vision; and would Step Dad #1 and Step Dad #2 put their differences aside for me long enough to pass me from one pew to the next? Am I worth setting aside a beef?

Then begs the question, “How many of my uncles participate?” Will Buddha ever be out long enough for things like this?

Suddenly, the dream is no longer about a joyous celebration of love, but more so a nightmare about my worth to the men who were to supposed to lay that foundation of love.

While everyone else is gluing wedding dresses and engagement rings on their vision boards, I’m haunted by my unmet marriage goals.

did not get engaged

It’s funny how you’re told to stay out of grown folks’ business your whole childhood, but the adults seem to be blind to the impact their actions have on the child’s adulthood.

I used to want to be married at 18 and have kids at 20 and let my grandfather give me away at the ceremony.

I don’t make those kinds of goals anymore.

Birthdays

A week ago today I turned 25.

I woke up to a phone call from a good friend motivating me to make the best of a difficult career related decision, a couple of voicemails and a few Facebook posts.

I showered, took a few selfies and head out to work early because I knew I would be taking the next few days off. Instead of going straight to work I hit Party City & bought myself a “Create your own Age” Happy Birthday pin, because apparently turning 25 isn’t a very marketable milestone. Then I treated myself to Chick-fil-A for breakfast. It was raining so these two stops took about 45 minutes away from my “getting to work early”. I didn’t care though, because despite having a nose dripping like a leaky faucet the entire day before; it was my birthday and I felt renewed!

Step Dad #1 called me to say Happy Birthday and remind me he loves me while I was in the Chick-Fil-A drive thru.

I worked 12 hours that day so by the time I got home it was less than 10 minutes til midnight and all I could think was “One out of three ain’t so bad.”

For the second year in a row I felt forgotten by my fathers on my birthday.

Last year, I spent my birthday riding with my mom and my youngest sister back to their home from grandparents home in all the post Thanksgiving traffic. Step Dad #1 called my mother about something, and when she asked if I had spoken to him already, we realized he had forgotten. I got the apologetic text after my mother said something to him, but it wasn’t the same as being remembered.

Same thing happened with my sister’s dad, the baby boss fussed him out something terrible for forgetting, then came the false enthusiastic Happy Birthday phone call. This year I didn’t hear from him until the third; his mother’s birthday, which was probably his only realization that he had forgotten.

Funny thing is, Buddha is the only one didn’t reach out on the day of or the days following. I did unexpectedly hear from him days before.

My aunt called me on Thanksgiving with Buddha on 3-way. I said “Hello”, and responded as coolly as possible to his inquiries about my whereabouts and well-being, but then I redirected my attention back to my aunt. And without much to contribute to the conversation, I guess he just hung up.

I never know how to feel about Buddha, I can’t decide If I want him to try harder or to quit trying altogether.

I’m the same way with communicating with men in relationships or men who are interested in me. Try harder or leave me alone.

I had a wonderful 25th birthday. My work day went smoothly, I won concert tickets on the radio for floor seats to see Jill Scott!!!! I took a few days off to rest and visit Philly with friends, but I couldn’t help feeling forgotten again.

 

The 25 Days of Healing

Check out our sister site! #The25DaysofHealing

daaamndaddy

The 25 Days of Healing

 In 27 days I’ll be 25 years old. December 1st marks the completion of 25 years of life for me. I started this 25th year of life with something I chose to call #The25DaysofMIKO where for 25 days I did things to make me happy. Being the “Broke College Graduate” that I was, facing depression from the embarrassment of unemployment and not Graduating Grad School with my Cohort, those 25 days weren’t as adventurous as I intended.

Fast Forward a few months and I started my blog Dealing With Daddy Issues as a way too vent about the way my complicated parenting was manifesting itself in my young adult life. Full-time employment rocked the flow of my blog a little bit, but recent life events encouraged me to tie in Domestic Violence Awareness. Then it hit me. I wanted to end year 25 the same…

View original post 93 more words

CRAY-DAR

My mother must have something magical at that midpoint that serves as the meeting place where the lines of her thighs meet, because all three of my “Daddy’s” have had some stalk-ish moments when it comes to her. Unfortunately, she seems to have a broken CRAY-Dar. Or maybe it’s the magic in her regal region that makes them this way.

Cray-Dar Definition

Now that we know what a CRAY-DAR is, let me give you some history. It’s been rumored that even in infancy I was able to “See Red” in people and advise my mother not to date them. I’m guessing my CRAY-DAR kicked in early.

Buddha used to write me letters (some before I could read) of how things would be different when he came “Out on vacation”. Sold dreams of this family he and I would be with my mother. Needless to say I was thoroughly confused as to why he thought we could be a “family” when things were just fine with me, my mother and Step Dad #1. Buddha was CRAZY.

Step Dad #1 & my mom have tried their hand at reuniting on multiple occasions. He’s probably the least possessively aggressive when it came to her, but he still has illusions of a “perfect relationship” between them, where it’s ok for him to see other people, yet it’s painful to see her with anyone else.

Umm No

My CRAY-DAR was definitely strongest with my sister’s father. He knew things only possible to have know if he had been listening to conversations she had in his assumed absence or following her to destinations throughout the day. To this day I have most of my phone conversations in the car for fear of my apartment being bugged due to things I’ve witnessed. Throughout their decade + long relationship, he’s shown up unannounced at work functions & assaulted coworkers, called the police & pressed charges on her in the middle of the night when she had a house full of children, used the SUPER BASS in his voice as a weapon against her family and guests, drove through the neighborhood monitoring who is entering and exiting the home, and constantly plead that he wants his “family” back while continuing to live in a façade where their relationship has yet to end.

Maury Meme

When she met him, he had siblings & nieces & nephews, friends, a god-son, co-workers, band-mates that he wrote songs with.

Over time he slowly cut those people off and became more deeply entwined in my mother’s family, so much so that my sister barely knows the aunts & cousins that I met before her birth and actually grew to like in her early years of life. It was so noticeable to me that I actually flat-out asked him “WHAT HAPPENED TO YOUR FRIENDS? DIDN’T YOU HAVE YOUR OWN LIFE?”

Me looking for the friends he used to sing with

Me looking for the friends he used to sing with

Anyway, witnessing all of that foolishness has made my CRAY-DAR stronger than whatever the MARS rover is made of.

In my last relationship, Paranoid Pete was a native to the city we lived in. His mother was here, & the few friends he had were pretty much local.

I have a history of over-thinking things, but in the beginning we spent most of our dates on trips to the movies. Always a new movie theater further out from the city itself each time. I felt like he was hiding me. My mother said, “Stop over-thinking things, have fun”.

I tried to put it out of my mind, and invited Paranoid Pete to my mother’s house for one of our big annual family functions. Two things happened: 1. His possessive personality appeared 2. He became attached to my family. We drove separate vehicles & despite the fact that I had made the trip plenty of times alone, he wanted me to leave when he left so he could be sure I made it home safely.

Read You

I thought it was stupid. He’s a grown man with GPS & a cell phone & I would be safe at my mother’s home until the next morning. My mother thought it was sweet & suggested I leave when he left because he may have been nervous taking the trip back alone after following me there. I left. After that he continuously found reason to want to accompany me on every visit I made home, while simultaneously spending less time with his own family and friends. I was quickly reminded of the behaviors I witnessed in my sister’s father. My mother said, “Don’t compare the two. Just enjoy that he’s caring and wants to spend time with you.” I eventually grew tired of trying to work things out in our relationship and took a trip to visit my brother for a break. Unfortunately, I had a car accident during my visit and Paranoid Pete came to the rescue. In the months following my accident, he drove me to work & helped me look for a new vehicle in the evenings.

KellyKellyBig

I told my grandfather, “He always wants to look at cars and sometimes I have other things to do. I feel like every time I decide on a car he finds something wrong with I, even if he suggested it in the first place! I’m beginning to think he’s just prolonging the process to spend more time with me.” My grandfather always encourages me to see the best in people, so he wasn’t game for my explanation. Finally I reached a breaking point and chose to stay with my mom for the summer and catch an Uber or taxi for any necessary activities. Then it happened, I needed a ride to a location I knew wouldn’t take Paranoid Pete out of his way so I asked for a ride. This dude showed up in the car I wanted most that he had convinced me NOT to buy! He had the nerve to ask “You like my new car?” as if he thought him buying the car I wanted was going to make me want to be back with him. I had ignored my CRAY-DAR long enough, but that was the tipping point.

bruh

It’s been over a year and I still receive occasional messages asking how I’ve been & confessing his love and desire to get back together. I recently was invited to a party by a mutual friend. I didn’t attend because I had a FEELING that he would go anticipating seeing me. He called a few days after the event & said “I went to K’s event hoping to see you” and that’s when I KNEW the CRAY-Dar was real. He even moved into a housing complex down the street from me. My mother encouraged me to give him another chance. “The circumstances around your relationship have changed” I’ve decided not the listen to my mother any more. Her CRAY-DAR’s broken.