Thursday, October 21, 2010

I Know How He Feels

Even though I was very sleepy, I watched Tyler Perry's interview yesterday. I had to. I needed to know why he chose the projects he has chosen and they all are parallel to what he experienced as a child.

I am the female version of him. One of many. My mother was the abuser in our home. She belittled me and like his father, felt you were only working if you were using your hands. When I was 15, she asked me what I wanted to do with my life. I told her I wanted to be a writer and she went crazy yelling, "That's sitting down. That ain't work." I was devastated and for many of my dead years, (from birth to 26) I experienced a lot of writers block, although for some reason I was able to keep writing about my daily experiences. I have kept a journal since I was 15.

This saved my life. The other day I went to a training that was talking about kids who do not receive the proper care from their main caregivers. As the psychiatrist was talking about the subject, I had an true "Ah Hah" moment. I completely realized the extent of the neglect I experienced and was completely aware of. Being hypersensitive, I somehow always felt I didn't get the nurturing I needed past infancy. And if what I am told is true, she let me cry a lot. She didn't believe in holding children. What a throwback attitude from slavery. They separated us and it was hard for some of us to let go of the old slave survival ways.

I was neglected. I finally understood completely why I would always say to them, "Thanks for growing me up," because that is literally all they did. I no where near got the attention I deserved and most definitely no respect for who I was, or who I could be. Seeing him, and having the experience I had the day before has opened me up even more if that is possible.

Whereas he waited until his mother died before purging himself, I waited until my brother grew up enough to get from under my mother's apron. When he was in his 30's, he called me one day and told me they had fallen out. Almost immediately I began putting my autobiography together. It was published in 2003. Telling the Truth and Shaming the Devil is the name of the book. I had to write it. I had to take care of the little girl who was almost destroyed.

Girls just got it going on. The entire way we're made makes us so capable and I am no different. The psychiatrist said to me, "You were lucky. Your brain found a way to process what happened to you." And she is right. I have always been blessed with the ability to self-soothe. So, unlike most people who do not get the proper nurturing and seek everything but what they need, I knew I needed to be intimate. I knew I needed to learn to love and be loved.

Even with all the suffering I have endured, I am very proud of the woman I have become. I have had 18 months of professional therapy, but for the most part, I have healed myself. My eyes don't cry no more. I used to not be able to even think about the past abuse, or my parents without crying. Those tears have long dried up and I truly have forgiven them. I don't have much contact with my mother. She threatened to sue me when she read the book and literally cut my kids off. They are in shock because they no longer have the wonderful grandmother she portrayed herself to be, but as I have always known, as soon as something does not go her way, its on the highway and my kids are no different. Yet, she claims when I said in the book how distant and self-centered she was I am lying. She claims the cruelty she still displays is a lie. What she has successfully done is proven me right by her actions.

I can deal with the alienation. I know I can if the little girl I was could. She took beatings, floggings, pinching, verbal abuse, and neglect. She was strong and like Tyler Perry, I owe it to her to be successful and I have been. I have successfully stopped the cycle of abuse in my family. My children won't neglect theirs because they were loved with every inch of my being and they know it and proudly boast about it.

Tyler Perry needed to let that stuff out, otherwise he stood a great chance of losing all he has accomplished because like Oprah said and knows so well, all the money in the world can't fix you. It can't soothe the pain and it doesn't get you from one day to the next. He did exactly what he should. The striking similarity is when I approached my mother about the abuse, she laughed at and mocked me just a his father did him. Those type of people live to try to make their wrongs right. My theory is it is most the over opinionated and undereducated who have the most to say about what they don't know.

I am proud of Tyler.

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