Hello my beautiful readers so I hope you all have has an Amazing new year in 2012. Have you all made any resolutions? We all look forward to a new year with new life challenges and goals. This experience I am about to share with you has given me such a different look on my life and the way things will play out in 2012.
I will apologize in advance for those that may feel this is too personal and this is a Beauty Blog not a personal life blog. However I like letting you all in on seeing that not everything is about the next best lipstick shade our foundation. There is real life happening beyond the computer screen as well. This is going to let you in on a good chunk of who Cathy is and who she has been for the past 28 years of life.
Grab your favorite snack and get comfortable because it is about to get very real very quickly. I am devoted to all my readers in the aspect of showing that I have personality and that I am human and no one's life is perfect. There will be many that can relate to this post, there will be many that may feel sadness or pity.
I am not looking for pity or remorse. I feel I need an outlet to share this experience and what better way than doing what I love doing.
I was born in Brooklyn hospital in 1983. My mother was 19 when she had me at the time. I have very vivid memories of my childhood then . Some I have blurs of but shockingly enough I have very vivid ones.
My mother and father dated for a few years apparently and didn't work out too well and what I understand is that I ended up living with just my mother , grandmother, and grandfather in Queens, NY.
I remember my mother as being very tall, dark complexion, beautiful skin, large coke bottle glasses and even a Fro!
Those are the only good memories I have of her. I am the age of 5 or 6. There were a a lot of things my mother did to me that for the sake of this post and other family reading I will leave out. I remember everything in exact detail . I couldn't understand what I was doing wrong to deserve such punishments. Someone a while ago had told me that they remembered my mother and she was a very disturbed individual. When she found out she was pregnant with me it was already too late to do something about the pregnancy. You can imagine the emotions I felt at that time.
So now I believe I lived with my mother in queens for a few years. My grandfather was extremely tall very dark complexion and my grandmother completely the opposite. Very petite and short red hair. I vaguely remember my aunt my mother's sister and that she had so many freckles and beautiful long black hair down to her waist and she was maybe in her teens at the time. I somewhat remember going to maybe a catholic school out there but my vivid memories are of the house itself. It was a 3 story house gated and to me was just massive. My mother and I lived in the attic where I had a bedroom looked like a little apartment of its own up there.
Forgive me for all the gaps between this story because I am still trying to pieces of it together myself. I remember in my grandfathers room there was a boom box that played music all day and he would watch Happy Days , Taxi, all these shows on this small tv in the room. There was a window I would sit at and directly across was another building of which I use to actually communicate with another little girl across the way. He would scold me for shouting buildings across but when he dosed off I would take the opportunity to chat with her.
I remember that my father had visitation rights and picked me up every single weekend. I could not wait until Friday afternoons. He was God in my Eyes. He was my rock my escape. On Sundays when he was to bring me back to Queens I remember kicking and screaming because I didn't want to go back to that horrible place. I was terrified of my Mother and Grandfather. Scared for my life. I saw the agony in my father's eyes whenever he needed to bring me back home.
My mother and I then moved to NJ. I remember the one bedroom apartment and to this day whenever I drive passed it I always get the urge to want to see inside. I cant just go there and ring who ever is living there's door bell though.
I am 6 and I was going to a Catholic school near by. I had this awful plaid uniform and these shoes that never fit.She made me wear them even knowing they didn't fit. I had a little afro just like her. I was teased a lot because of it but every child has those moments I suppose. Whenever my mother put me to sleep she would turn the radio on and when I fell asleep she would turn it off. I can not remember my mother ever kissing me on the forehead or tucking me in. I had an imaginary friend I use to talk to in the window. She did not like that one bit and she made sure she let me know of it verbally and physically.
I remember my father stopping in here and there but wasn't to pick me up on the weekends. I wasn't sure why those stopped. I saw him less frequently and when I asked he would tell me sorry baby but I have to work. My mother started dating a man name Bruce. Bruce was a tall white man that was just so amazing in my eyes. He always had the neatest trick up his sleeve and always always played with me. He would take me and mom out on trips and I was always infatuated with his shiny bald head. I was just so mesmerized by it and he would get a kick out of me rubbing it all the time.
My mother was pregnant shortly after dating Bruce. I remember going with her to an ultrasound and seeing this blurry gray screen and what was to be my new little brother. Words could not express the excitement I had once I knew I had a sibling. Maybe Mom would be nicer now? I will have someone to play with and keep me company. I stayed in NY when my mother went into labor. I hated it. My grandfather was very strict and just wasn't very loving towards me at all. My grandmother was always working. I remember coming home and every Friday she would bring me a new pair of flip flops or house slippers.
Matthew was born August 15th 1990. I remember he we looked nothing alike. He had beautiful blonde hair and blue eyes and had such a fair complexion. Very much like his father Bruce. I remember he loved being in the swing and I would play with him and loved how we interacted. My mother was indeed different. She was playful and sweet with him. She was happy. Who is this person and why have I never met her before?
I am not sure what happened after that. My brother was 4 months old and I was 6 or 7. We all ended up moving back to NY I believe and was the last time I saw my brother. I remember social services being involved and me being questioned and not understanding what was going on . I had significant amount of bruising and marks and a lot people had been reporting what had been going on with me and my mother in the house. My father was granted full custody of me! He saved me.
Now Let's rewind for a second. In the middle of all of this going on with me my father had apparently been dating someone and had a child with them . My oldest sister Jessica. I never new of her. I remember my mother showing me a picture of her once but never understood what it meant. At the time my father felt compelled that he needed to make a tough decision. She had her mother and a lot of family supporting her. My father was and is legally blind. He was limited to what he could do. He felt he needed to save the child that needed him most at the time he decided it was me.
I remember my mother grabbing every single one of my belongings, packing every stitch of clothing, toy etc. She sat me outside on the front porch with all of my things and shut the door. She told me my father would be coming to get me. I sat there for what seemed like hours until he came. He did come with a woman in the car as well.
Who is this woman? My dad said she was a friend. She was very pretty but knew no English. Once we arrived to NJ my father said this was my new home. I asked him when will I see Mom? He said on the weekends she will come for you. She never did.
My stepmother was from Venezuela. She would show me pictures of all 5 of her Children and her sister and parents. We had no way of communicating. I didn't speak spanish and she didn't speak english. Needles to say she is who taught me how to speak Spanish. Later on my father ended up bringing all of her children and parents to the U.S.
We then moved to a huge yellow house . Here I was I believe 8. I was no longer an only child. I had 2 Step Brothers, 2 Step Sisters, you name it. Everyone was older than me I was the youngest. This happy new life of mine was very short lived. I do not have the best memories of her either. I was the outcast for some reason . When my father would leave for work she would use that time to do the things she did to me and well what proof did I have. My father wouldn't believe me. Even despite the fact that other family was telling him what was going on . Just when I think things would get better they all just seemed to be the same as if when living with my mother. That marriage ended with my father and I losing the house with not even a stitch of clothing on our backs. That woman got everything house and all of his money. All she wanted him for was to bring everyone here and be legalized.
So now I am maybe 10. Here is my father who can not see raising a daughter without a home . My father did everything in his power to provide for me . He always made sure I had a warm bed to sleep in, food in my stomach, and that I was ok. My godmother and family stepped in to help raise me. My father was always working so I lived with them for a few years. She was the world to me . I had so many cousins and family that loved and took care of me. I hated that I never saw my dad because he was always working so hard to provide me with a better life.
My godmother and family all had a family gathering one year .I was told I would meet my Sister Jessica. Of course I am in disbelief but excited all at the same time. I met my sister and could not believe how much we resembled each other. From how short we both were to dads chubby cheeks. I saw her maybe one more time after that and never saw her again. Never understood why and when I asked my father would change the conversation and tell me not to be concerned.
My father finally saved up to get a condo and we moved in an was the most amazing place to me . From the Loft and curvy staircase and the fact that I had my own huuge bedroom all to myself. I was maybe 12 or 13 at this point. I walked to school from where I was. I had to learn to do things faster because my father could not drive and he always taught me to be self sufficient and not to rely on anyone. I had to learn how to cook early to feed him when he got home from work. I remember wearing his clothes to school because we couldn't afford much and well I was starting to develop and he felt the baggier the clothes the less eyes on me lol.
My father meets my now current step mother. They worked for the same company but in different locations. I remember her coming to our home and how great she smelled. She had gorgeous Black hair to die for and was just phenomenal to me. At this point I was very attatched to my Dad. I never liked anyone getting close to him because of our past and it seemed like every woman he met always treated me like crap and took advantage of his disability.I learned to get use to the idea that she was different. She had no children and shoe was not able to . This was all new for us all. I had horrible experiences with women in my life and wasn't too sure this one would go to well either Was a major adjustment. She was now going to be my step mother and I her step daughter. She was very sweet to me , but for several reasons we just never seemed to get along. I believe that its is just a difference in personality. I will never put her in the same category as the other women in my life but for whatever reason I just wasnt able to click with her. We had major hurdles as I got into my teens. She wasnt motherly. I understood she didnt know how to because she didnt have any children of her own . This was all new to her. Once again I tried for my father to make it work . He needed someone in his life to take care of him because of his disability and sometimes felt that he made poor choices with women because of that.
When I turned 18 I moved out. It had gotten to a point where none of us were getting along and I needed to part ways. I struggled her and there moved to different apartments till I made a huge move to Florida for about 5 years. I packed up my little Sentra and my father made the trip with me and off I went.
Fast Forward to a few years later closer to now. I moved back to NJ to be with my husband. I decided despite the fact that I loved Florida that I would make the move because he had so much more family than I did and didn't think he would have adjusted to living in FL and being away from all of his family. For me I also had my dad living in NJ so wasn't too bad.
A few years later my Sister Jessica found me through Myspace. She had sent me a message if such and such was my father and we needed to catch up. I was floored. So many years I wondered about her but had no clue where to begin. We met and I also learned she had a beautiful son my nephew Ben . I was filled with so much emotion because I could not believe how much I had missed out on . The fact that he really has no idea I am his aunt and he has a grandfather here too. My sister and my relationship at the time was rocky because she was looking for answers about our father . This was touchy for me. She had an anger like no other. We shared the same anger. I had it about my mother she had it because of our father. How can listen to someone have such anger and mean things to say about the person that raised me? I could understand because I was in the same position. I was in the middle and somewhat still am because I cant speak for him. A child deserves answers and only he can give them . A few years pass that my sister and I so not speak. It is just to hard to when there was just so many unresolved issues.
Earlier 2011 my sister found me again through Facebook. I was hesitant to respond only because of our last encounter. I decided to take it slowly and be a little more guarded. She seemed to be in a better place in her life and since then we are closer than ever. Although she lives in Brooklyn with her family we make it a point of communicating as often as possible.
So here we are New Years Eve 2011. I am home with my husband because even though we had plans to go out we decided last minute we were kinda partied out from the holidays and just stayed in. I am watching a little tv and sitting with my laptop on my lap. It is exactly 11:30 pm. I receive this Email:
I dropped my laptop scream for my husband to come. I am shaking and tears begin to just flow. Is this really him? How can this be? I was never able to find my mother or brother because I had no info. No last name , birth dates, socials zippo. Just 1st names.
I respond immediately shaking as I typed of course. Something deep within me knew this was him . I can not put into words the emotions I felt looking at his name on the screen. I had another tab on my computer open and I facebooked him Immediately. I open his Photos and I am speechless. I can not breath, speak, all I can do is just cry non stop. I saw my mother's eyes in him.
I stared at the email tab waiting anxiously for him to reply to my email.We exchange phone numbers. My house phone is ringing and it is him.
I can barely speak. Where is he? How did he find me? Where is Mom. Mom a word I have never been able to reiterate to anyone in my life. A word so sacred to me that using it made me feel like I was using the lords name in vain and if I was ever to use it was only with someone that sacred to me.
I hear his voice. A sweet soft pitched angelic voice. Our first hello. So many thoughts racing through my mind. Last I saw him was in diapers and in a swing. Is this really happening? Moments before the clock strikes midnight before the 2012 begins?
My 1st words are Hi and how are you and every other breath of tears in between He giggles dont cry. Reassuring me its ok. How is he so strong? How does he feel did he know he really had an older sister? Does he care to know ? What does he know.
We pause and all we can do is giggle and saw wow a million times. He is 21 years old. I can not believe how old he is. He was always a baby in my mind. He tells me he lives in South Carolina and is in the Army Reserves. My God words cant express how overwhelmingly proud I was to hear him say that . I felt so protective of him . How had he been taken care of? Was he abandoned like I was? Who raised him? How did he live were there more of us?
He was raised by my mother , aunt Lynda and grandpa. He said he found me through the White Pages. He told me that Mom always asked about me and he knew of me most of his life. He knew my full name and that my grandmother has a book with important dates in it and my Birthdate marked. I can not believe what I am hearing. All these years I thought no one cared to look for me or wanted anything to do with me. Does he know what mom did to me and put me through? I couldnt bring myself to go into details of those events because I wasnt fair to him if she did right by him to tarnish that.
I am overjoyed. I am immediately flooded with so much love and affection for this young man . My Brother. My Brother. I still can not believe I have a brother. Years as an only child and I have gained a Sister, Nephew, Brother, and even a grandmother.
I ask him about my grandfather and he tells me he passed. He tells me he died of a Hear attack. Yes I am sad even knowing how mean he was felt sadness. He tells me that Bruce asked and has asked for me. He tells me that Bruce walked out on him at the age of 6. How could this be? Why he was always so loving. Why did he do this to my brother. So we now had something in common unfortunately.
At this time I was not sure if I wanted to ask about my mother. Does he know where she is? How is she ? How did she treat him?
There is a bit of silence and a lot of umms....
I remember my mother was Diabetic. I remember her always pricking her finger and how much of a sweet tooth she had. I have always had too keep my health in check because I remembered that, I have a major sweet tooth myself.
My Mother passed on June 16th 2008 at the young age of 44.
I was speechless. What? I didnt hear this right. I can gather from the little I have spoken to my brother that he isnt very emotional or expressive. Is he numb? How could this have happened? All these years I imagined all the hatred and anger I had towards her. I imagined going off on her and giving her a piece of my mind if I ever saw her. I would ask about my brother.
A part of me died as well. The anger, the hate, the resentment. To think that one could just easily let go of all of those wasteful emotions and be filled with even more love. How can I love someone I never really knew? How could I love someone who abandoned me and abused me? I can't even Fathom the idea of her not being on this earth. How is this so? Why do I care so much? As much as I wanted not to I couldnt breath and my chest felt so tight. As my husband holds my hand, the phone is silent. I know if my brother was there he would have embraced me. To think he has dealt with this all alone. I have missed so much of his life. Why wasn't I given the chance to be his bigger sister and be there for him throughout all this turmoil?
With my mother's diabetes came a series of other medical complications. She had had about 5 heart attacks and had kidney failure. He explained that she spent most of her times in and out of hospitals and doctors than actually home. She had had a kidney transplant and she caught the flu. She died shortly after.
He tells me how incredibly intelligent she was. She was working on her Master's in teaching .
The thought of never getting so see or speak to her is overwhelming. I want to be angry but simply can not. What I would give to speak to her one last time. To hear her voice. I no longer feel angry towards her. A sense of forgiveness empowers me. My brother explained for a year she was committed to an asylum for BiPolar disorder. Could this explain her behavior towards me. Did my father know? Did anyone know?
My mother had remarried. She was unable to have anymore children because of Endometriosis. A disease that unfortunately I inherited from her. This picture is not how I remembered her. Her sickness changed her physically as well.
My brother and mother. To think I missed such an important time in her life. To think she wasn't there to see me walk down the aisle. How she will not be there for my brother's wedding. Our 1st Children.
Why has this happened? I cant understand she was too young. My brother is still too young to be motherless. So many why's and what ifs. I think back of all the events in 2008. What I could have been doing the month she passed where was I . If only I had known or if Matt had reached out sooner. Why wasn't I there for her? She needed love and support and I wasnt there. Every negative thought I had of her just vanishes and this feeling of helplessness envelopes me instantly wishing I could have been there to help her if she needed me. Is this weird? Is something wrong with me for feeling like I dont hate her anymore? That I can care for her this much?
Her sister has also reached out to me. Everything seems so sureal. She said my mom always wanted to find me and see me. That everyone wanted to find me.
The man my mother married I hear want much to speak of.He hasn't really done good by my brother or mother for that matter. After my mother's passing my brother tells me that they all went there separate ways. I am still trying to figure out some details but my mother is buried in South Carolina. I am going to meet my Brother and Mother after 22 years!
I am feeling elated. I can not wait to give all the love I have to my brother. He has changed my life so much for the better already. I will try with every fiber of my being to never miss a step or beat with him. I have missed so much already. I want to be there for his 1st heart break , for his 1st crazy adventure, for everything. I want to be a part of my nephew's life. I want him to know that I am his aunt. I want my sister to know that I am always there for her.
If I could only turn back the hands of time so many thing I would do differently . Did I not try hard enough to find my brother? My mother?
I know that no matter how my mother was that I know that I am glad we can reconnect the family for her. Even though I didn't really know her I know she would have wanted Matt and I to reunite. I wonder if I would have called her Mom would I have embraced her? I really believe I would have. I think that if the love I feel and the bond I feel is as strong as it is with Matt for me that I would have put everything aside and told her mom you children are here for you.
Food for thought:
For those of you going through similar situations. Sit back and think. Is it really worth being angry and having resentment towards someone? What if you never get a second chance to fix things? What if you never get to see that person you are so mad at ever again? Will you be able to live with that? Wouldnt you rather channel that energy into something more positive? Be the Bigger Person? Prove to them that I am ok . I will be ok and so will they?
Could I have let this all effect me and make me bitter towards people in my life? Sure it did at some point. I did not feel that I was worthy of love and affection. If my own mother did not want me who else will? For years this affected relationships I had with friends, and maybe even men that tried to be a part of my life. I wouldn't allow for anyone to get to close. I was guarded. No matter how great they were I found something wrong and only thought it is just a matter of time until they leave or have something wrong with them. Was I broken? Yes . I felt unfixable.
I learned how to not depend on anyone for the things I needed whether I struggled or not. I learned if you expect the worse when good comes from it its a great surprise and you won't be let down or hurt because you prepared for it. I had a hard time when people were genuinely nice to me or tried to show affection or even compliment me. I didn't exactly have the warm and fuzzy upbringing. Something as simple as a hug or kiss was hard for me to accept of even give myself voluntarily. I have a hard time still when people try to . I am extremely loving but have a hard time showing it for fear of not being reciprocated. I have a special love for children because they are so innocent and loving and they're embraces and warmth are so genuine. I am not surrounded by affectionate people generally so I have just learned to be that way. When I have children I know I will be warm and loving. Everyone has there own way of showing there love even if they do not say it or physically show it. I have come to terms with that
My husband had changed a lot of these emotions for me. Even though he is a Man behind a Badge and had a rough upbringing himself he will always make time for me. He will drop it all for me. He has shown me that there can be love with no reservation. There is hope. It is ok to say I Love You. To hug to hold hands. That even if I do not say it as often as he may that I love him to the end of time. I say it to him more that I have to anyone else because he has fixed me . Without him I don't know if I could have taken certain struggles so gracefully.
Make amends with the people in your life. You will be a better person for it. Forgiveness is so much more rewarding and empowering.