This blog post is going to be somewhat an elaboration on the post I made about Kelly Clarkson's song Piece By Piece titled: Piece By Piece, A Girl's Ode To Daddy. Today I was thinking about the men in my life including my father and the significant roles they played in developing my self-esteem, but my overall character. My father was straight forward, he wasn't really "kid friendly." He treated me more like a little adult. There wasn't space for me to be a child doing childish things. He emphasized the cruelty of the world and how struggling for greatness was what you should want to do. Having a critical eye on the world and the people you come into contact with is a must. Don't get played and always assume whatever presented is a falsehood until facts prove otherwise. As a child, I didn't understand why my father was so cold and stoic. It wasn't until I was in my early twenties I learned his character development stemmed from his childhood upbringing. Our powwow closed a lot of gaps and misunderstandings between us two.
My uncle was another significant male figure. He was what my father lacked in a sense; he had all the compassion and fun that my father couldn't give. My uncle to me as a child was invincible. I remember clear as day the time I let go of a birthday balloon I was given for my birthday. It got caught up in a big tree in front of my mother's apartment complex. Although I wanted the balloon back, I could have lived with it being out of reach. My uncle, a chain-smoking, average sized man of a particular age climbed the tree like a champ and came down with the balloon in his hand like he went a cross the street for a pack of Marlboro Reds. Watching him move with such agility gave me life, of course, he was my uncle, and I loved him dearly, but at that moment he wasn't my uncle but my hero.
As a young woman, I had relationships with a few men, for the most part, the experiences were okay. I usually had great expectations that they couldn't fulfill, and when they realized that my standards were uncompromising, and I realized giving my all was a waste, the relationship dissipated. With each failed relationship I guess you could say it left a scar on an already fragile love that my womanhood was connected to. The break-ups weren't hard on me per se; it was the future I expected that didn't manifest was what tore me apart internally. The same needs you would expect a father to provide, in addition to commitment to his child, regardless of gender is the same requirement I had for these men and like my father they fell short. The vulnerability I expressed, the desire for the future I pictured, and the subpar commitment devoured me whole. I felt naive and unworthy of the "happily ever after." Six months later I met "Grouch."
"Grouch" to the outside world is the stereotype of every negative thing about Black men. He's loud, aggressive, uncompromising, challenging, smart, assertive, self-guiding, confident . . . and a street nigga. Yes, one of the pookies and ray rays. Typically I stay clear from men like this because they're up to no good and most often than not they'll leave you with a baby and bad credit (though Salle Mae has beaten them to the punch but that's another conversation). And who wants that? A guy who will use and abuse you then turn his back like he never knew you. However, "Grouch" didn't fit into that narrative. I met "Grouch" at school, not in the trap house, not in a strip club, not at the probation office. We indirectly communicated in class; I hardly noticed him or anyone matter a fact. A few weeks into the class we ended up having a direct conversation which I shared my goals relating to my book MEMOIRS OF A FORGOTTEN CHILD, and he shared his various legit business ventures. He asked me if I read 48 Laws Of Power and other books targeting entrepreneurs. During our conversation "Grouch" gave me resources he knew that could stir me into the right direction regarding self-publishing. He gave me names and locations and his contact information if I needed any more aid.
"Grouch" and I shared many first, many arguments, many laughs, and many hurts. We developed a bond and through our relationship, he unknowingly validated my womanhood. He recognized me as a woman and respected it. My uncle was able to give me emotional stability. My father was able to provide the basic necessities a man should for his child. A father who has a secure attachment with his child, daughter, in particular, he is the first man to tell her and show her that she is a woman and how a man is supposed to approach a woman. This validation often occurs during that preteen/teenager stage when a girl is physically developing into a woman. She's gaining hips, breast, becoming curvier and the young boys are paying her attention. The father's job is to stand in the way of hormones and to set the standard of how she should carry herself and who he permits limited access to his daughter while setting the terms to obtaining that access to all the boys who sniffs around his daughter. My father didn't do that, thus the past failed relationships that I greenlighted without my father's examination of if they were worthy. "Grouch" being more experienced than I am could have played me (I like to think I'm a pretty smart girl, but when it comes to intimate relationships, my lack of experience could have made me gullible, but my standards would block me from crossing a threshold I wasn't ready to pass. At least that's what I believed.) Instead of Grouch manipulating me, "Grouch" gave me "game" that my father didn't. He made sure to mean what he said and follow through. He confided in me that created trust between us and I in return confided in him.
The way "Grouch" and I interacted wasn't on some tit for tat agreement or an unequal power exchange where he was above me. We installed into each other what the other was lacking, in my case, my womanhood. In his case, humanity. I tell "Grouch" all the time that he saw me the first time we spoke. He read me like an open book, on some Miss Cleo clairvoyance type vibe. He didn't ask anything inappropriate; he didn't try to push up on me, he didn't ask me out on a date. He let things fall as they may as well as options, and whatever I chose he agreed with me. The feeling of choosing what I wanted without judgment, hostility, or force made it easy for me to be open with "Grouch." "Grouch" is the type of person to bite the head off of anyone due to his line of business, but if he cares about you, he'll treat you with the highest form of respect, and that to him is protection. "I need you to protect me like I protect you." Because "Grouch" has certain requirements, he'll make sure whatever he asks, is mutual without coercion, "Do what you want to do, don't do it for me, think of yourself." I appreciate him letting me be emotional. Allowing me to express myself. Allowing me to speak my mind even if we don't concur. The more time that passes, the crazier it is to me as to how well he knows me by observation. The smallest facial expression, the way my feet touch the ground, or the lack of dialogue between us all signals something to him. His personality and character traits are similar to my father where I had to even tell him early on in our interactions that he reminded me of my father and that I didn't like that. They say that a girl will end up with a guy who is like her father, in some cases that is true. In other cases, she may end up with a guy who is nothing like her father, the man could be abusive or treat her like a queen. It's all about the choice of men she allows in and the vibration she unconsciously signals out to men. In the case of "Grouch" in some aspects, he is like my father down to the mannerisms. In other aspects, where it matters, validating my womanhood, he's the exact opposite.
Be Entertained. Be Enlightened. Be Loved. ✌