“Peeping through my Window pt 2”
I’m a boy.
We all gotta grow up sometime right?
But how, where do we fit, when did we find that fit, who did we imprint on?
Well I never really had a father figure, and no shots but the father I had was a step dad that died while cheating on my mom. He was the father of my two youngest brothers; and the other dad I wanted, kept sending me out along with the woman I wanted to be like a mom, though they were already family so it was kind of a double titled thing.
Maybe that’s why it didn’t work- too many titles and identities to keep up with. As for me, juggling identities was a WayOfLife. I thrived at it, because I didn’t know who or what I wanted to be besides a little bit of everything. So early on, after moving from a predominantly black area, there was nothing but white all around me, I began to absorb a bit of them because I found out that you can’t be too black around white people. Again, being a pro at this talent, I continued making others comfortable at my expense. There’s no real win here because I’d visit my family, and my cousins would say, “I sounded white”. I couldn’t hear it but I knew what they meant. That made me even a little more aggressive just to protect my blackness and not seem soft, I had to be both. Ironically, I took the worst of black attributes as a defense mechanism, and inhabited the best of white people’s attributes, or what I perceived to be white. Balancing impulse and thought, fearlessness and premeditation, slang and big words, but I kept my swag and dress code, everything ain’t for sale!
How do you grow, when you don’t know? You just become I guess. So I became someone to be loved, even if I didn’t love myself. I figured out exploitation early on, because only the good tangible things of me people wanted while condemning me for the undesirable characteristics I had. No one understood trauma or emotional chaos back then; at least I wasn’t aware of that consideration. I was an internal mess that no one dared acknowledge or consider, as if I was the prototypical upbringing of any child, and it was only me that went astray. I saw early on that people make excuses for themselves before they find them for someone else, unless you really love that person. Guess I wasn’t really loved ha!
I didn’t experience that love to a fault that you see that makes people in denial of their problem child or abusive partners. I was always this trial and error experiment it felt like, believed to be an angry untamable black child. Then I started to see an underlining narrative: if I admit or succumb to what people think I am, then at least they’ll understand that and have hope for me, having reason to afford me chances, and accept me, versus me opposing their judgements, and being pushed out again. So I did! I became every title and name, until medications got involved and I showed them that I’m good without them, that’s when they figured I was too smart for my own good and really got tossed around. I don’t like pills, but that was the answer back then to kids like me. Times haven’t changed, just pill vials. Ironically, as I’ve grown up, pills sound like the greatest excuse to exist in the state of what I’ve always felt, down trodden and adrift.
I exploited what people wanted, respected and loved the most. They like smart, funny and athletic people, so that’s what I became. I fought my friends’ battles just to vent the part of me that I had to hide, otherwise I was this walking talking void of suppressed expression and repressed emotion with fake smiles and laughter. I laughed when happy, I laughed when angry, I laughed when sad, so I never knew exactly how I felt when every reaction was the same until rage came forth, because tears lost their purpose.
I felt like superman when a girl would like me. I saw myself with my eyes, not theirs, so I was always mystified like “what, me?!” Bet! And that attention made me work harder to be the best boyfriend, again, even at my own expense. But I couldn’t just get attention from her, most people weren’t as deep as me, they hadn’t gone through the same roads, so I needed more company to feel the most. It was being a player, it was stuffing, it was escapism. I even put that same tireless effort in being the best kind of friend to every friend I had, hoping to feel like I was a part of their families, making up for feeling separated from mine. Though I made every teacher and coach work for my trust because I hated authority figures, they always represented pain, manipulation, lies and control to me. I felt like dirt in their eyes, especially cops and case workers. It felt like they peered into my soul and saw what most kids couldn’t see, even if they could sense it, and was disgusted. So I felt naked and invaded in their presence. I was a great athlete, and student. As far as grades, though a class clown, I could concentrate and do the work fast to prove a point. But I was restless. My mind stayed busy fighting ghosts. I learned how to express myself, but I was rebellious to their wishes, they were just like every adult I’d ever known, say one thing for your trust, then trick you and send you away.
As a state ward, I felt like a paycheck to most. I won’t really expound too far on the things I went through in some foster homes or on my grandpa too much in this, maybe for another book, or later on in this book. Who knows, maybe more courage may surface. Just because I express myself openly doesn’t mean it’s easy. People take too many things for granted; they see the product but stay naive of the process. Like wrapped presents.
Adults get more thinner than kids as they grow, imagine that paradox! So I grew up into this fractured teen representing a whole hole, but no one ever saw the hole, only the obvious troubles. So my escape was and is my relationships.