Have you ever been in a situation where the parent of your partner hated you?
All because I was unapologetically infatuated with myself.
I met my ex boyfriend in July of 2015.
Found out he lived four blocks away from me in a house I thought was up for sale.
My ex boyfriend’s mother hated my very presence. The look of scorn that would cross her tight lipped skeleton face when I entered a room, would send a pang of guilt through me. I just couldn’t fathom why a woman who, never even bothered to acknowledge my presence would be so bothered by my being.
Then one day, he very uncomfortably explained to me why this was normal for girls like me.
Girls like me.
The hell was that supposed to mean?
Now for those of you who haven’t already noticed by my avatar, I am black. I have always been black and will remain black in all of my sweet sweet chocolatey glory. I was raised in a Caribbean family, ranging in a variety of shades.
I just happened to be on the darker side of the spectrum and I was completely content with that.
He on the other hand was not.
He was Jamaican.
An American born Jamaican. His parents were considered to be half bred. Born and raised Chinese in Jamaica, they naturally existed on the lighter high yellowish side of the spectrum.
He stood at a gaping 6’3 and 179 pounds. His black hair sat on top of head with the loosest curl pattern I’d ever seen, and these full pink lips that I bit on every time we kissed.
I think I just groaned a little.
I needed to understand why a woman who knew nothing about me-had grown to resent me within such a short span of time. I distinctively remember a conversation we had one night while we were sitting downstairs in his basement watching a movie. His mother had came downstairs to visit the laundry room, never once acknowledging my presence. I waited till after she left to say something.
“Jay I don’t think your mother likes me very much.”
“Why do you say that?”
“Well she never acknowledges my presence for one thing. She rarely greets me. She rarely looks in my direction.”
He chuckled, “I mean she’s just not used to…you know girls like you.”
I quirked my eyebrows in curiosity. “Girls like me? You’ve had girlfriends before. The fuck makes me so different?”
“Have you seen yourself Elle? You’re short, you shaved half of your head, you have tattoos, and you show skin. My mother wasn’t like that growing up. She wore long skirts and read the Bible.”
“So she hates me because I’m not a Bible toting Christian who wears skirts down to my ankles…”
“That, and she probably thinks you’re a hood rat.”
PAUSE THE STORY.
I mentioned before in a previous post, that I was raised by a single mother. A COLLEGE EDUCATED mother. She held several degrees to her name as well as my brother. My grandparents are now both retired doctors. My aunts both work in either the medical or education field. I was raised in a successful black family. I was groomed to have aspirations and achieve higher than what is expected of me.
He knew this.
We have our flaws, but nonetheless I was far from ever acquiring that title.
Let me remind you, my ex at the time was in his mid twenties and still living with his parents. He was forced to go to school to acquire an Associates in Business. He was a well known poker player, and sold weed on the side.
Isn’t that the pot calling the kettle black? Worrying about what color female would earn the title as daughter in law, whilst her son was an underachieving pot head who aspired to be nothing more than an alcoholic gambler.
“I mean all my other exes didn’t look like you. They were all light skinned. You’re the darkest I’ve ever dealt with. Look my mother’s kinda racist. She doesn’t like dark skinned people.”
“Does your mother know she’s black?”
Brownie point for me.
This is where I’ll stop the recollection of my memory.
At that very moment, I was forced to swallow back my own tears. I’d bitten down on my lip so hard, I drew blood. What was there to say? I couldn’t open my mouth without words, being pushed off my tongue in a rush of pain and embarrassment. How could I define myself in such a way, without offending he and his mother’s views?
I never had to defend myself against someone whom I’d grown to love.
Could embarrassment really describe that emptiness that crept up along my spine like an unsuspecting intruder?
I…I couldn’t defend myself.
I couldn’t…was I supposed to apologize for loving her son?
I spent the rest of our months together avoiding all contact with his mother. Her very presence alerted me-sending every hair on my body to stand attention.
I sat there in that very basement, listening to a repetition of arguments after she’d said something coyly under her breathe about my hair or choice of clothing.
All because I was dark.
Unapologetically dark at that.
I was educated.
But it wasn’t enough.
The day came when I embraced that it wouldn’t be enough.
I embraced that I couldn’t fight a woman who despised my very being, because I couldn’t crawl out of my skin.
I embraced that I couldn’t apologize for my existence or lack there of rather.
I embraced that I wouldn’t apologize for my self love being more than the love I’d ever receive from she or her son.
I embraced that I could spew hatred among others who couldn’t apologize for their being.
Moral of the story;
For those of you, that couldn’t seem to get past the fact I was referring to being unapologetically dark-I’ll explain. This post was intended to inspire women to love thy self in spite of indifference from someone else.
You only have one life to live. One skin to wear. One heart to heal and your own burdens to bare.
Poetic. Brownie point for me.
Never apologize for existing.
Because there is no greater love than self love. Without it, who are you really?
Be unapologetically infatuated with your essence.
But what do I know? I’m only 20.