Monday, May 17, 2010
On Sharing What I've Learned
Pookie and I have been kicking it for nearly 4 years now, so needless to say, we've become quite familiar with each other's families and situations. Pookie has a cousin that kicked it with a girl I'll call Sherita. Sherita and I took to one another like glue. She's so nutty and naive that she reminds me of myself. That being said, we've forged a bit of a friendship over the years and she's become a tad like a little sister to me.
Sherita recently called me to complain that Pookie's cousin has taken up with a skank and despite she and the cousin remaining close friends he tries to play Sherita to the left while his new chick is around. Suddenly the new broad is contacting Sherita and telling her to leave dude alone. When Sherita calls him, if the chick is around, he'll forcefully tell her to beat it, only to call her back begging and pleading once his girlfriend is gone. When Sherita called me to complain that the chick is making things hard and that she loves him and only wants to be friends (bullshit) I told Sherita point blank to let his ass go.
Sherita saw no point in letting him go. She feels that she was with the cousin first and she should be a priority. I explained to her that no matter how many couldas, wouldas, and shouldas, she could come up with, it was a lost cause. I told her point blank that despite what my ex would tell his pill popping slut, he and I both knew that he had a real love for me. But it took me 10 years to finally see how full of shit he truly was and is. I told Sherita that she didn't want to be with a man that couldn't show loyalty to any one woman (the fact is, he's playing both of them), either his girlfriend or his "homegirl." Sherita had so many reasons that she should hold on. Their history, their love, their deep friendship, their long conversations. I told her straight up that all of that meant nothing if he wasn't man enough to be honest with his girlfriend about Sherita's friendship.
It wasn't until that conversation that I realized that perhaps I truly have learned a little about love and relationships from my ordeal with my ex. Now that I've had time to digest things and sit back and reflect, I'm that much more thankful that I have been able to move on and find a new love. No, I'm not loving another man, I'm learning to truly love myself first.
Moving on, this past weekend, Pookie and I went to Middle Georgia to his uncle's surprise birthday party. I had a great time getting to hang out with the family. While there, I ran into the girlfriend of another cousin (Cousin 2). She and I had actually met a few years ago at the birthday party of Pookie's baby cousin. She was his new girlfriend and since I was pretty new to the clan, I knew to fall back and let my questions answer themselves. I could tell that they (the women in the family) weren't too fond of her for one reason or another. She came in with an infant in her arms (not his child) and she remained silently on the couch after being announced and saying her hellos. I hated to see her sitting by herself, so I made it a point to talk to her and try to help her feel comfortable. She was only 19 and had 2 children (neither of them were his). From there I could understand why she may not look like a prize to the women in Cousin 2's family. But from where I stood, she struck me as a humble, loving, and sweet girl. She even called me ma'am even though I was only 8 years older than her. I'd wondered how she'd been since then.
When I ran into her at the party, I told her that it was good to see her and that I was glad she'd stuck around. Although I have no idea how Cousin 2 would be in a relationship, I know firsthand that despite being very loving and open, the women in Pookie's family are protective of their men (as most women are of the men in their families). She told me point blank that Cousin 2 wasn't holding up his end of the relationship and she's frustrated as hell because he doesn't do or take care of shit. I took a long sip of my margarita and told her to dump his ass. Even though I consider Pookie's relatives my in-laws despite us not being married (which would kind of make Cousin 2 like my cousin) I looked her square in the eye and told her that if after 2 years he still isn't making her happy, to let his ass go. Dammit, that was a good margarita. Anyway, she said how much she loves him and blah blah blah. I repeated to let him go. Cousin 2 is a talented artist and she wants to move to Atlanta for herself and for his career, however dude doesn't want to move with her. She thinks that if she makes the trip solo, he'll try to move in with her, while leaving her to carry the financial burden (damned if that didn't sound familiar) and stress of handling the move alone. I told her again to let it go. I even told her that if she wants to come visit Atlanta and see the city to check on moving here, she's always welcome on me and Pookie's couch. She remained nervous, but in love. I could see in her eye that she wasn't going anywhere (not now at least).
I recalled to her that I spent 10 years trying to make a man love me. A man that no matter what, he'll never remotely love any woman (not even his mama) as much as he loves himself. That fool isn't even that involved in his daughter's life. And while Pookie is most certainly an upgrade from my ex, he still isn't capable of fully giving me the love I want and deserve. Which is why I'm moving out. And I couldn't be happier with that.
For a long time I'd wondered why my life had to be so hard. I've always been loving and loyal. I've always been outgoing and easily made friends. So what the hell did I do to deserve some of the shit I'd been through? I'd even tried to kill myself once and seriously wanted to a few times after that. No matter what I'd had in mind, the higher power chose to keep me here. But now that I have a job where I work with troubled children, I see that much of it happened to me for a reason. I can talk to a kid for 10 minutes and get inside of their head. I know what they want and how they think and what they need. One of my girls is 17 and she's dealing with a guy that was a lot like my ex (and he was her first, just like my ex was my first). I want so bad to head her off at the pass so she doesn't waste a decade of her life loving a man with a shitload of issues the way I did. I'd always hoped that the crazy stuff I went through could eventually be used to help other people in trouble.
It looks like I'm finally getting my wish.