This blog is dedicated to all my strong ladies, who might cry in the shower. Let me be clear, I don’t know any women that are thugs by the definition. In our skewed universe we are thugs (in our minds) because we are tough, we don’t take any crap (actually we might take more than we admit) and we are bad ass…we still might cry though. I was compelled to write this to myself about myself, with a smirk on my face and possibly a tear in my eye.
For way too many years, I’ve lived a pretty mundane life. In that I mean due to the hell that was raging for so long, it was a look good on the surface type thing but behind the closed doors and curtains, my life kinda sucked. My marriage was a shambled mess, my self esteem was pretty low and I had unresolved trauma that was undealt with…but to see me, you wouldn’t know it. I put on the face of strength and positivity and I pressed forward. All the while inside I was dying, and crying and barely holding it together…
This past week I had to share with a friend that my feelings were hurt over their reaction to some news that I shared. Of course they were unaware. That in and of itself wasn’t the issue. The issue was mine per usual and here’s why. When you have been hurt, damaged, traumatized and overall abused in any relationship especially a marriage, you may be a little gun shy, unable to recognize and more importantly ACCEPT genuine love and concern. Me, I am this person. Expressed concern from people I know and LOVE, uhhh makes me uncomfortable like I’m being criticized or judged then my feelings are hurt and then I start a slow spiral into the “dark place”. It’s crazy how fast I can just be back there, of my own doing.
Why do I do that, I ask myself, fighting tears at that point cause I’m a thug so I can’t cry right? So instead I just hold it in and work through it and push it away, until it comes up again. Now I gotta face it. Listen to this, I don’t HAVE to face it but I know that it’s in my best health interest to let that shit go. So I do, I express how I felt and then I realize that I am breathing again…I stifle my own growth by doing the very thing I have paid plenty of money to my therapist to learn. Talk that shit out. Why am I this way??? I’ll tell you…because on matters of the heart I’m still super sensitive. To the point where I don’t even pretend to know what I’m doing. I’m just winging it…I think. I can’t believe that at this point of my life I have been so jacked up that I can’t even recognize authentic concern.
That’s sad but it’s also a learning opportunity for me. To embrace my feelings, they are MINE!!! I don’t have to like what was said but I need to understand the place it was coming from. When you were in a relationship with someone who beats you down and wasn’t supportive or never praised you let alone looked out for your best interest you might not know what that looks like or how to respond in kind. The reality that I had to process is that I actually have people that love me just because. No strings attached. Just me, just lil ole Andrea Latrice. That’s it, that is all. Why is that so hard for me to grasp? It’s foreign and it’s scary but it’s so refreshing and when I finally was able to digest it, internalize it and stand back and look for the second time minus the emotions…ah ha. The outcome was different. That’s what love looks like.
I said all of that to say this. Allow someone to love your mean ass. That’s a running joke between a sister friend and I but it’s true. Love comes in many different forms from friends looking out for your best interest to your children calling to make sue you are okay. Not all disagreements are arguments and not all questions are character assassinations. As I navigate further into this new area of my life and trying to be in a relationship there are so many hills and valleys that I must climb and travel through. They are part of this journey of life with my own side hustle of living my best life. I am here for it. Whatever comes my way I am going to meet it with a smile and the determination not to cry. I am a thug after all…I’ll just wait til I get in the shower.