MW: Before you lost your virginity, did you think about sex at all? Did you imagine what your first time would be like?
I guess I did. It wasn't like now when we have the internet. I had boyfriends before. I had not gone all the way but to be honest with you, yeah I had thought about it. I just kind of wanted to get it over with.
MW: Ok, what does that mean, get it over with?
You know I was raised in the church where you were told to keep it to yourself, right? But I’ve always been a little bit of a wild child too. And I guess I've always been fairly aware of myself. I guess I was a little fast, is what they would call it. I was a little older than my chronological age. I hung with boys and talked to boys and flirted with boys and stuff like that. Did the obligatory sneak a boy in and all that shit. I guess I wasn't sure what it was and I kind of wanted to know what it would be like and I wanted to get that part over with. I always kind of ran with guys who were older than me.
MW: Did running with older guys come from an experience you had?
You know, my dad was 30 years older than my mom. I always was attracted to older guys. My mom was 19 and my dad was 47 when they got married.
Yeah, right? I’ve tended to stick to that model. Although my husband is only 10 years older than me. You gotta be at least 10 years older. I don’t deal with no niggas born after 1970.
MW: In the questionnaire about why you wanted to do the interview, you said you had been r**** by a “grown ass man.” Honestly I don’t even like to say the word. Its too personal. That’s your experience, that’s your word to say. if you choose.
Yeah. I didn’t even realize I had been violated until I was grown. Grown, grown. Because it wasn’t like it was violent or he kicked my ass or anything like that. I was hanging with my oldest friend. We've been friends since we were three or four. I was hanging with her -- you know this is on the west side - so we were on 16th street with her little boyfriend. I say little but he was about 20. We were 14. We ended up at his friend’s house who was a year older than him, so his friend was 21. I was 14. We was hanging and talking shit, and I remember he gave me some St. Ides. And the next thing I know, we were fucking. Well I can’t even say we was fucking because I don’t even know what I was feeling. I just remember feeling a lot of pressure. But I thought I remembered him using protection. But apparently that shit broke or I thought wrong because sure as shit, I ended up pregnant. From the first time I had sex.
MW: Did he become your boyfriend? Did you have more contact with him?
Well after that day, maybe we talked a couple times sporadically, but again it wasn't like now with the whole cell phone thing. I was 14. My high school was on Christmas break. He and I talked a couple times but he never was my boyfriend. I knew something was amiss when I missed my period. And I'm like shit! And I can’t ask my mama for no money for no fucking pregnancy test. So we were in the grocery store. It was a Saturday, it was me, my mom and my little sister. I had the smart idea to try and steal a pregnancy test, and that is how my mother found out. She took me to the doctor that Monday, and that confirmed what I already knew. I'm like what the fuck. Lady we need to get rid of this baby. She said, naw you gon’ have this baby.
MW: Your mom said you had to have it??
Yeah. I was raised in church so, no abortions.
MW: Aw shit.
So, she takes me to his house. By this time he was in jail. His older brother and his dad were there. My mom was like, this is my daughter, she’s 14, and your son got her pregnant. They were like ok, well we can come up with the money to fix this situation. She was like, ain’t gon’ be none of that. She gon’ have this baby. And so I carried that baby-- a lot of people couldn’t tell but I was pregnant my freshman year of high school. I was due October of my sophomore year. But over the summer, toward the end of June I ended up going into preterm labor. So I delivered a son. Not even 2 pounds. I was 24 weeks. So he was pretty sick. He lived five days. So then I was a mother, and then I was not a mother. And my mom insisted, he was here, he was a baby, we’re gonna have a funeral, so then I had to go through this fucking funeral.
MW: Oh my God.
Yeah. So needless to say, I didn’t do no more fucking in my immediate future for a couple of years. I think about the fact that I would have a 23 year old son right now. That shit’s crazy. I talk about that sporadically. My oldest knows that she would have had a older brother but my youngest two, I haven't had that conversation with them. I try to keep it 100 with my oldest. She’s 17.
"But. You know, fucking around, my ass ended up pregnant again. This was going into junior year of high school."
MW: After that experience, when did you start dating again?
Well, my friends have always been a couple of years older than me. I was hanging on the block with my girl and we ran into this guy. I was 16, about to turn 17. He was a wild boy. He was a block boy. He lived with his grandparents. His mom had a drug problem and then cleaned herself up, but she was still kind of rough and not really stable, so he didn’t live with her. He lived with his grandparents. So we started dating and he taught me pretty much everything -- I’m not gon’ say he taught me everything I know about screwing, but he taught me how to ride a dick. He taught what he liked I guess. He was 18, I was 16. It was nothing but hormones and we did a whole bunch of screwing. I cut school to get to that dick. I remember us being at his mom’s house and both of us were supposed to be at school. She let us do what we wanted to do, and I remember her walking in and me on top of him with ass in the air. She was like oh I’m sorry, and backed out the room and closed the door.
Right. Yeah. But. You know, fucking around, my ass ended up pregnant again. This was going into junior year of high school. My dad was terminally ill at that time. My dad passed away Valentine’s Day 1997, junior year. I was fucked up for a while, obviously, but I was also about three and a half months pregnant at his funeral. And I was trying to figure out - 'cause I was like, I can’t tell my mom, she just got her head back on straight from my last episode. I’m not about to tell this lady I’m popped again and her husband died and shit? So I’m like, let me get in this phone book and figure out what the hell I’m gon’ do. I remember on the train, they had ads that said Pregnant? Confused? Call this number. So I called that number and went in. They gave me a pregnancy test that confirmed what I already knew. And they were like, adoption! And I was like, no, I don’t want to do that, I want to do this. And they were like nawl but adoption! I was like nawl, I’ll holla.
I contacted Planned Parenthood like, man. I’m in a situation. I’m almost 4 months. I need this taken care of. I might of only had like 50 or 100 bucks. I'm like, but I’ll bring you everything I got. I was right at 16 weeks. That was horrible. But I didn’t let them put me to sleep. So I was awake. It was awful. Ugh. But I was relieved because I didn’t have to worry my mom who had just turned 40 and also just buried her husband. And I never gave Planned Parenthood the rest of their damn money (laughs) but I’m grateful.
I had a tough time in high school. I ended up dropping out at the end of junior year. I had to go to night school in order to get my diploma but I didn’t walk or anything like that. I had a rough time. It wasn't any tougher than anyone else’s, but --
MW: Oh no. It was definitely rougher than some people’s.
Yeah, everybody has a story. But in ‘95 I had this kid and buried this kid. In ‘96 I ended up burying a good friend from grammar school who shot himself, committed suicide. And then the following year I buried my dad. So my high school experience was just a tough time for me. And I was kind of glad to get past it.
MW: That's the type of shit they should give out diplomas for. You made it.
Living real life. Bitches under pressure. For real for real. When you said in your poem, cutting class for abortion money, that shit hit me right in my goddamn chest. For real, for real.
"When I was 21 I was footloose and fancy free, and I only had one kid, and between my mother and his mother, that was they kid, you know what I’m saying? I see y’all when I see y’all."
MW: You said you’ve had other terminations. Do you want to talk about that?
Yeah. I had my first kid at 21, the first one that made it to the light of day. That's my 17 year old. I was with her dad. He was about 5 or 6 years older than me. He had a little bit of a drinking problem. But I got with him shortly after my dad died, and now looking back, I see why. He and I were together probably about 3 years. I had my daughter and shortly after I had her -- clearly this bitch is a breeder, you blow on my ass and I’m pregnant. So, I was pregnant shortly after having my daughter and I was like, I can’t. I’m not. I didn’t think I was going have any more children. And I asked my doctor after I had my daughter to tie my fucking tubes. And they were like no, you're too young. But when I got pregnant I was like, no I can’t do this. And I said to myself, okay bitch, you going around here using abortion as a form of birth control. You need to get your life together. And I’m knowing this is stuff I can’t tell my mother.
So after about three years, he and I ended up parting ways. I always had my own shit, my own crib, my own car, my own shit. He lived with me for a little while, but he liked to drink and when he drink he like to fight. And I’m not a battered wife, I’ve never been that type. Now I’m not gon’ say I haven’t had my share of fights with a nigga, but I’m not -- you not just gon’ sit up and kick my ass. So that didn’t last too long.
When I was 21 I was footloose and fancy free, and I only had one kid, and between my mother and his mother, that was they kid, you know what I’m saying? I see y’all when I see y’all. I worked for the phone company so I was making really good money. My daughter wanted for nothing but she didn’t see too much of me. Or her dad for that matter. She was with her grannies.
So she was born in ‘01, I had my son at ‘05. I met his father at working at the phone company, even though dating somebody at work was against my policy. I had a couple of reasons why I didn’t want to talk to his ass, starting with the fact that he was not very attractive at all, but he was one of those ugly niggas with a lot of swag. And if I was making 90k, he was making more than me. And so, I was like aight. So we hung out a couple times and he started sending me flowers every other day. All my kids are love children. We dealt with each other for about 9 months and we cool to this day. I’m cool with all my children’s fathers. And they’re all cool with each other. Its a village and that’s the way its gotta be.
Sidenote: my son graduates 8th grade next year and my oldest daughter graduates high school next year. They gon’ be like, that’s all my mama’s baby daddies, and Imma be like, yep, that’s the village, yep, that's the rainbow coalition goddammit.
MW: And that’s the queen.
And the motherfucking queen. Even though I let my stable go. I'm with this big light skinned man for the duration. But anyway -
So like I said, I dated my son’s father a little under a year, and he was really jealous. He didn’t like to fight but he could be real aggressive when he was mad, or jealous, or felt threatened, which he felt half the time. But I didn’t have to ask him for anything. He made sure I had everything I needed. So anyway, he was too jealous, we broke up. This was right before he turned 25. But I had planned him a 25th birthday party. He and I hadn’t been together for a couple of months but I still went ahead with the party ‘cause all our friends were coming. The party was at this really popular club. I prolly had too many Long Islands, he came back to my house, we were intimate, and in them little two and a half minutes, I got this 13 year old big ass nigga in my house. (laughs) He's bigger than his daddy at this point.
And that was what it was after that. He and I were not really a relationship. During the time I was pregnant with my son, I met my youngest child’s father. We were together for 13 plus years. He met me when I was pregnant with my son but I didn’t know I was pregnant with my son at the time. He and I went on our first date. I was sick as fuck. I’m like, you gotta pull over cause I gotta puke. And he always fucked with me about that, he was like, now that I think about it, you were pregnant then. And I was. But he and I were dating for about four to six weeks before I was intimate with him, so for a hot second, I’m not even gon' lie, there was a question -- who the pappy? But when my son came out super chocolate, I said oh, this is definitely my ex’s baby. And I knew that all along I think, on some level.
So since I met my youngest daughter’s father when I was pregnant with my son, he’s been around forever. Right after I had my son I was pregnant. We got rid of it. And it happened again right after I had my daughter. So I had two abortions with him. He and I were together for a very long time.
"A lot of that is a blur, I can’t even lie, because I smoked a lot, I drank alot and I took a lot of Vicodin."
I probably left out a little bit. Let me back up slightly. Like I said, my oldest daughter lived between my mom and her dad’s mom. Her was very controlling, so after I left him, he flipped. He decided to take me to court for custody of daughter, the one that neither one of ever fucking saw. This was around 2006 when she was five. Literally, his mom would have her during the week, I would pick her up Thursday night, she would be with me at my mom’s until Monday when I would drop her off back at his mother’s house. That’s how that went.
One weekend my mom called me. It was in May. She had my daughter, I was in the streets doing God knows what. She called me and said, hey, I don’t feel too good, you need to come home. I said, girl what the hell you talking ‘bout, I’m on my way to this party, lay your ass down, you’ll be alright, I’ll see y'all in the morning. She said, nawl I really don’t feel too good. So I cut it short because something told me to cut it short. I went home. My mother sometimes had vertigo so I thought that’s what she may have had going on. She said she was really dizzy. And she was like, I went to put your clothes in the dryer, I was winded, literally from walking to the dryer. I’m like, that’s weird. So Sunday she kind of slept all day, Monday she was really sick so I had my sister take her to the emergency room. I remember my mother went to the emergency room and she was dead within six weeks.
At the same time this is happening I get a certified letter that I’m being taken to court for custody of my kid. My mom - they can’t figure out what’s wrong with her, first they say its a blood clot in her heart, they keep her for a couple weeks but they can’t figure out what’s really wrong with her, then they find out she has this really rare blood cancer that’s gon’ kill her within 18 months. And it was kind of crazy because my mother was a vegetarian, didn’t smoke, didn’t drink, school teacher. And so its like, what the hell? My father also died of cancer. So its like, how did this happen? So they’re like, you can have the surgery, we can get it all out. So she said ok, I’ll have the surgery but I’m not doing chemo and I’m not doing radiation. She had the surgery and they said it was successful but long story short, over a six week period she just declined to the point where they were like, its nothing else we can do for you. She was like, I want to go home. I don’t want to go here. I want to go home. So they sent her home. Which is where she passed away. May 23rd is when she went to the emergency room, July 16th is when she passed away.
During this I’m back and forth to work, I’m back and forth to the hospital, I’m back and forth to court. I’m ‘bout to lose my fucking mind. A lot of that is a blur, I can’t even lie, because I smoked a lot, I drank alot and I took a lot of Vicodin. Long story short, I really couldn’t… I didn’t have the money for an attorney. I did, but in my head - I made 70, 80 thousand dollars a year, but in my head that’s for spending, not spending on no fucking attorney. I mean who in the world, what court is gonna take a kid from their mother on no grounds. But the truth of the matter is, they did have grounds. I never had her. Long story short, her father - in the courtroom - he lied, he did a lot of lying, he had people lie for him. Even though I carried her on my insurance, even though I paid for everything, even though she was on my taxes - they took my kid and gave her to her daddy. Because they said all I did was work and party and I was never home, and she would be better off with her dad because he stayed with his mom and his mom was retired. So I buried my mama and then they took my oldest child away. I was all over the place.
"He looked at me and said, you got a lot to learn before you could be my wife. I said, oh really? And this was after 10 years."
At the same time I’m in this relationship with my youngest daughter’s father and he saw me through a whole lot. The death of my mother -- and then his grandmother died the same day. Crazy. I met him in 2004 and we were together until last year. I know people who haven’t been married as long. We met just on some -- at the time I was a weed smoker who couldn’t roll weed. Me and my girl would pull up on guys at this popular chill spot like, would you roll our weed for us? Thank you :) We rolled up on him and this guy and he rolled our weed for us, and that’s how I met him. It was never supposed to be 13, 14 years later. He was the first piece of for real grown man dick I ever had, and I lost my mind I’m not gon' lie. I was like, really? Oh, this how it supposed to… ? Okay. I for real lost my mind. There's about a 12 year age difference between us, so I was 24 and he was 36.
MW: Oh he was groooown…
Baby bye. He put that shit down I was like, oh I can’t go back. But it turned into something that just went on too long although I got mad love for him. We got a whole lot of history. But he was a chronic cheater. And I always been a workaholic. I always made sure I provided for me and mine if I ain’t do shit else. I’m not gon’ lie, even when I was off for about four years when my kids were little, I sold weed and butter cookies. I’ve always had my own. And my youngest child’s father is just the quintessential stoner. He’s a chef. He worked… but he was content sometimes to watch me struggle. And that bothered me. I remember being at his brother and his wife's house, and this was after we’d been together about 10 years, and I told him, maybe I think I might want to be your wife one day. And it made me feel kind of funny to say it because I don’t feel it's something a female should bring up, but I was all warm and fuzzy and shit, and he looked at me and said, you got a lot to learn before you could be my wife. I said, oh really? And this was after 10 years. And I know at that point we were just together because we were kind of codependent on each other and it still went on a little while longer but… he stopped cheating and I started.
I’ve been an Eastern Star for about 10 years and I was very active. And that’s not something he ever wanted to have a part in. We do a lot of shit that ain’t always strictly for membership. There was opportunities - he could’ve - but he was never interested. It's a pretty big part of my life. I do a lot of volunteer work through them. I’m social but I’m not the most social person. I socialize selectively. And he never really wanted to do anything like that with me. And so I kind of outgrew him. I was really conflicted for awhile. I’m like, I’ve been with this man all this time, I got all these fucking baby daddies, maybe this is where I’m supposed to be. I went to counseling for awhile and I was talking to this white Jew lady and we were getting somewhere. We were making headway. And I was so motherfucking scared that she was going to tell me or advise me or suggest that I leave him. I stopped going and she was looking for me. She said, I was worried about you. But I said, I can’t no more. I didn’t think it could get any better for me.
I didn’t go to my 10 year high school class reunion because I was like, I ain't doing shit that measured up to anything anybody else has done. Remember when I said I wasn’t proud of myself for awhile? That’s what I meant. But the truth of the matter is, I made $40,000 a year sitting home selling weed and butter cookies. Maybe I don't have a degree, maybe I'm not a doctor, but I’m not gon’ say I’m not successful.
MW: I know that’s right.
"My other guy is in Cleveland. So I'm living with a motherfucker, and I’m fucking with a nigga, and I still feel like a single mother out here. And I’m like, this shit don’t work for me."
I think we all have a type that we look for when we’re dating. Being an Eastern Star, I’m always all over the country. We drink, we smoke, we do what we do, and we do charity work and we be fucked up sometimes, but they know it and it's alright. We brought a 5,000 check so shut up, who cares. (laughs)
On one of these trips, I met a gentleman in Cleveland. We started dating. He and I decided to go on a trip to Arkansas with the membership. It was about 100 of us that went. And on this trip, one of drivers of the van, during a stop, came over to our van I guess to stretch his legs. He was driving a lot of the older ladies, in their 50s, 60s, 70s, and he was like, y’all will not believe how nasty they are, they talking about sucking dick and shit! He struck up conversation with us. We kind of chit chatted and then we back on the road. We get to Arkansas and I bump into the same cat. He’s a real light skinned nigga, he ain’t even my type. But he’s really cool so I was kind of talking and vibing but I was trying to hook him up with one of the sisters in my chapter cause I’m like, he is a really good man. My spirit was telling me this is a good guy, and I’m like, she need a good man. So I’m trying to hook them up. He and I exchanged numbers on that pretense.
Um… they didn’t work out. So long story short, I’m married to his ass now.
MW: Wait… What?
Yeah girl, I know right? I was with my youngest child’s father up until last year. We lived together and everything. I was still dealing with the gentleman in Cleveland as well. Although me and my kid’s father were living separate lives for the most part, just sharing bills and child rearing responsibilities. And I was back and forth to Cleveland once or twice a month. Because like I said, he stopped cheating and I started. He kind of let me just do what I do ‘cause he knows me, and he was just like, as long as you didn’t rock the boat I wasn't gon’ say anything.
MW: What did you say you were going to Cleveland for? Did you just say, I’m going to see my other man?
Naw I’d be like, I’m going to a function. Because he had never been interested in the shit before! I’d just say, I’m going with the chapter, I’ll be back. We taking water to Flint, Michigan. And I mean, I did. But then I kept on going to Cleveland. (laughs) Girl please. I know he was like, this bitch need an award. But I had my ass right in Cleveland 374 miles away. I’ve driven, I’ve flown. He was a really nice guy, He’s still a really nice guy but you know, the distance, it wasn’t going to work. He is 56. He has some pretty good dick for a 56 year old man. He’s retired semi-pro football and he’s kept himself in pretty good shape. He treated me very well. It was some good old man dick but the distance wasn’t going to work. And he and I kind of fizzled out and remain friends. But I never stopped talking to Light Skin. We would talk and I would say, how is my friend I tried to hook you up with? How are you? Kind of getting to know each other. And within a few months he let it be known that he was attracted to me but I was like, I’m with my kid’s father, I got this dip off in Cleveland, right now it's entirely too much. And he was like, well I can dig it. But he persisted.
In October of last year my house caught fire. We were all asleep but my mini-me was up watching Netflix in the kitchen. She was like mom, its a strange light, it smells funny in the kitchen, and she woke us up and saved everybody. Long story short we wound up burned out. But I work in housing so I was able to secure housing fairly quickly for us. But during this time period I just kind of- it was like, I’m doing everything, I’m working and… this motherfucker done caught fire probably 'cause he done flicked a Newport off the back porch. We ain't gon' tell nobody that shit, and now here I am struggling trying to find a place for me and my kids to go. And my other guy is Cleveland and I’m...I’m living with a motherfucker, and I’m fucking with a nigga, and I still feel like a single mother out here. And I’m like, this shit don’t work for me. And my husband called me because he saw my Facebook post about the fire, and he asked, where are you? And I’m like, I’m at the new place trying to get things situated. He was like, give me the address, I’m on my way. And I’m like, okay. He’s a Mason, you know, he’s a brother, and he’s coming to help out a sis. So I said, no don’t worry, don’t worry about it, I got a whole baby daddy right here. But he just told me, he's like you know, I see you doing everything and you make it look easy. And he said, I just want to lighten your load. Girl! I have never had anyone… when I say if it’s raining outside he pulling up to the front door because he don’t want my feet to get wet?
And I have never felt... I mean we never even dated. He was just like, I knew you were my wife when I first laid eyes on you. He was like, but you had a lot on your plate and I respect that. He was like, I know you weren’t a virgin when I met you so I ain’t tripping on where you been or who you been with. I just want to lighten your load. And since that point, he don’t let me do nothing. He don’t let me carry nothing except my Dooney and Bourke, that's it. And I say all that - you know I’ve been around the block. I ain't ashamed of that. And this man says, behind all that Trap Queen, behind all that, you are a fucking queen. And I'm here to speak life into you. I’m here to be a light to you. That is what I'm here for. Like I said, we didn’t wait. He had a knee replacement surgery in September. We went on a lunch date in October, in November he bought this ring. We got married in January. I had the ring appraised. It appraises for $8500.
But he is not without… I mean he’s a black man. He's not without his own set of issues. I will say this -- he is my own personal superhero. He was an army sergeant and he’s had his share of trauma. He came back from the war with PTSD. But he’s from the west side of Chicago so he’d seen plenty of shit before he went to the war. He has a master’s degree in social work so he counsels veterans with PTSD. I have never in my life seen anyone-- the way he speaks to those veterans. He does really good work. He’s just one of the most positive people I ever met, and I never thought this would be me. I never thought I would get married to a wonderful person, you know what I’m saying? Because I’ve done my share. But I own it. I’m not less than proud of myself anymore. You know, I am who I am, I handle mine, I take care of my business, and I’m trying to do my best to raise my children to use their voices and do the same. But also to not make -- particularly with my oldest daughter, under her dad’s care-- he got married, moved in a cousin who violated my child. And she didn’t tell me for three years. So. Everybody's got a story. You know, you never know what the fuck is behind somebody’s smile. I mean I just, I keep pushing, you know? That’s really all I can do.
"I just feel covered and I feel protected and safe in a way that I haven’t felt since my father died in 1997."
MW: What would you go back and tell yourself? At any age?
You know what? Listen to your mama. I was so headstrong, you know what I’m saying? The universe tries to keep you from harm’s way most of the time, and I was just so headstrong and I just wanted to be me, and do what I wanted to do, and I don’t want to say I’m still paying for it… but it’s had far reaching effects. So I just… I would have just paid attention to the people around me who were for my own good trying to tell me certain things. I wouldn't trade my road for the world. But just some of the things-- if I had been listening to my mama instead of hanging out with my little girlfriend and got caught up in that bullshit, because I think that started a chain reaction. I would listen but also...a lot of times we just take what we given and we don’t ask no questions. And we don’t push back. Or we push back in a way like I did and I just did what the fuck I wanted to do. I think I would have listened to and not taken my mother for granted. That’s probably one of the things I have regrets about. She died so young, she was 49. If I had listened to her more… I guess…. But I am who I am. This made me who I am.
MW: You know what part in the bible where Jacob wrestles with the spirit of God, and he fights all night -- and he’s clearly lost the fight -- but he says, I’m not going to let you go until you bless me? What blessed you? What can you let go of because it blessed you?
I have been blessed with a man who loves me exactly the way I need to be loved, without me having to say a fucking word. Without me having to ask him for anything. I feel like I had to go through the relationship with my youngest daughter’s father - because he was my only real relationship out of my children’s fathers - I had to go through him in order to be ready for my husband. Now he wasn’t no bad guy, not by no stretch. I still love the shit out of him. I want him to treat the next woman the way he should have treated me. The way he wanted to treat me at the end but time was too far gone.
I have been blessed with my for real life superhero. I don’t feel the need to blast that shit on social media, or tell every gotdamn body. A lot of people don’t even know we married. I am in a good space overall. My children are happy. I’m happy as I can be. I’m supported 150 percent. I’m not without my struggles, we all got our day to day shit, but I’m good.
MW: Can we talk about the difference between living with a baby daddy and being a wife? You mentioned living with a motherfucker and fucking with a nigga and still feeling like a single mother. But now that you’re married, you feel supported - even though you lived with your daughter’s father longer. A lot of people don’t like to acknowledge the difference in the dynamic between living together and being married. I know I didn’t want to, before me my baby daddy got married.
It's a crazy feeling to be sitting next to somebody, pay bills with somebody, and still feel like you’re a single mom. Because I had a singular mindset. And I don’t think it was because we hadn’t gotten an actual marriage license and the actual paperwork, I think it was because he had… he was not deliberate in his intentions as far as they related to me. You know what I mean? It was the path of least resistance to be together, he’s 46, I’m 35, we’re not trying to go out and date anybody else. As far as I was concerned, I kind of resigned myself to, this is what its gon’ be. I’m gon’ live with him, we gon’ pay bills, raise these kids, and Imma do what I do and he gon’ do what he do. But it wasn’t well with my soul. And that don’t have nothing to do with church or Jesus, I was unsettled.
But even before turning that romantic corner with my husband, he was always pouring into me. He wanted to make sure that I was okay. He would ask me what I needed or how my day went. I felt covered. It’s the difference between being a baby mama with someone for 12 or 13 years in they mama’s rental property, and having a husband who bought a ring before he even asked me to marry him. My husband works a long way away and only comes home on weekends. He’s not even next to me Monday through Thursday and I still don’t feel like a single mother. I still don’t feel like I’m doing it by myself because he lets me know that I am a priority, that me and the kids are the only priority. And I just feel covered and I feel protected and safe in a way that I haven’t felt since my father died in 1997.
MW: That’s 20 years.
Yep. 20 years of being out here, for real like you gotta fend for yourself. 20 years of having to do that. While having a man with you. That’s, yeah. Now, I breathe. Because I’m still a black woman in America with a black husband and black children of course I’m going to have a certain level of anxiety. But for the most part, I breathe easy. I'm not anxious. I’m in a much healthier place.