I have always been the type of person that is influenced by my surroundings. When I finally realized this, I was in my mid 30's and I had already made really bad choices in my life. My surroundings weren't always positive and the more I think about it, I was always surrounded by negative people. The only real exception is when I was in a learning environment. There, my ideas were accepted and my voice was heard. My mind was open to explore and learn even more. But once I left that environment it was really hard to stay on a positive path..because of my negative surroundings at home and in my work environment. I always questioned why me? Why do people always take my kindness for weakness and try to take advantage of my caring nature? I used to get really depressed about it and sometimes cried about the situation. But after so much of being used like recycled paper, I began to question myself. What type of vibe was I giving to people that made them want to treat me that way? And how do I dare allow this to happen?! I started to get pissed. I started to question who, what, when, why and how? I began to grow. But more importantly I began to understand. And after the understanding comes the healing. Then more growing.
So here I am writing about my experiences and how I moved beyond what was expected of me. These expectations came from family, friends, co-workers and even life itself. I have thoughts and beliefs that aren't easily accepted, so therefore I don't fit in with crowds. I never did. At first I didn't like it. I wanted to laugh at jokes that weren't funny and actually try to care about what was being said. That didn't work. I discovered myself drawing further and further from the average human, let alone the ones that need serious help! I craved intellectual and stimulating conversation. I wanted to understand of why I was feeling this way.
Before my discoveries, I decided to write about my feelings in the raw. After completing a poem, I would proofread it and say, “Wow, that's pretty damn good”. I also would feel a lot better about whatever situation I was in. ( A prayer and a poem)..The second thing I did was acknowledge what I didn't like. That led to me knowing more and more what I wanted out of life, my relationships and my surroundings. No one could change my life but me. No matter how dire the situation or how much I cried. No matter how much I prayed and how much I lied. (To myself).
I knew on my quest I would cause some tears myself, but never intentionally like my negative partners or family members. Even in writing this, I will cause problems, but this is my muse. My escape. My voice. I hope that women like me will open their minds and understand that you have to listen to yourself. You have to listen to your intuition. You must aim higher than what is expected of you. But do it now and don't wait! Because while your procrastinating on your life's dreams, someone else is either making theirs happen or living it. So who do you want to be? The person complaining about what you don't have? Or the person secure on all levels? Mentally, physically, emotionally, financially, and spiritually. Keep striving. You will succeed.
WE WON'T CALL IT THAT
Call it what you want but I know how I feel
My heart, my mind, my body they all know the deal
We have been here before but not like this
I saw it coming, it was either get or miss.
It's funny because now I question everything I do
Will he like this? What about my hair?
What about when I hang out with my crew?
What we wont call it will do that to you,
Having you feeling all crazy, then good again
Then you go dreaming, hoping this is the one until the end.
Don't be scared just go with the flow
Just keep it to yourself until you know.
Many have tried but they weren't deep enough
They could talk the talk and hit the stuff!
But looking past the mirage it was all a bluff.
But once again the tables have turned...
Back on that cloud again with many-a-lesson learned.
Feelings of pain, bridges were burned
Yet it never made me discouraged to find what was true
My yearning for something real always came through
But we wont call it that because I'm trying to be cool
Trying to prevent myself from being used again like a favorite tool.
"Don't give up", it says. "Just live your life".
Anticipating the day I can be called wife.
But for now, I will live and learn to love from within
And we wont use that word called LOVE although I know where its at
It's in my mind, my heart, my body and my soul..
And if flows through my spirit this word called LOVE.
But..we wont call it that.
Eddie Monster. That's who this guy reminded me of. Yes his looks. Those bushy eyebrows and that hairline made it seem like he gave birth to Eddie.What Eddie didn't have on him was his height. Standing 6 ft tall, this light-brown skinned brother paid attention to me and at that time that's all that mattered. He listened, he cared, he spoke with respect. He called me his queen, he also called me collect. This was a man doing time. You would be surprised how many women correspond with inmates because of loneliness or lack of attention. And little did I know, it wouldn't be my last. I met Dwight through one of my male cousins who was also in jail. I call myself doing him a favor. Someone else he was locked up with did him a favor, now he's trying to return the favor with me. I don't think so. "I don't talk to niggas in jail cousin, sorry." " Nah, dude is cool as hell, plus he's about to get out in a couple of months." "So?" I said, "What can he do for me?" "Just write the nigga girl damn! It ain't gonna hurt you to write him." "Okay, Okay!" Silly me, I was so easily influenced. So I gave in. I convinced myself that I was doing the right thing by aiding in someones happiness. Plus I was looking out for family.
So we started corresponding by mail. I always loved writing. So sending letter on a regular wasn't a problem for me. I really liked receiving letters from him. It was like receiving a gift in the mail every week! His words were very charming to this lonely woman, and I was impressed with how he was attentive to my needs. It was hard for me to believe that someone that wasn't actually in my presence could make me feel the way he did. I was very lonely, vulnerable, and insecure about men. But during that trying time, he made those negative feelings disappear. He was first man to send me poetry. I thought I won a first prize in a contest for my emotions. There was no need to continue looking. I met my match. Yes, I was falling for this man (and his words) before I even seen his face. Pathetic isn't it?
But would you expect anything better? Prior to my mother raising me by herself my father was in the home. I was just too young to remember. From what I know, he left when I was no more than 6 months old. All I remember is him not being there the majority of my life. So I didn't have the values instilled in me about good decent men. I didn't realize that most men that I was attracted to were images of my father. I didn't know that same thing my father did to me, that the men in my life would do the same. To not be there. To leave. Eventually I expected it from them.
Since I wasn't with anyone at that time, I felt what harm could it do? It was just correspondence with a stranger who wanted a friend. Plus my cousin said he was pretty cool. So I gave him a pass. In addition, he didn't have that much time left. In about 6 months or so he would be a free man. He scored other points with me because he wasn't trying to move in with me when he got out. I had enough of live in boyfriends. He also had a job lined up when he got out. Extra cool! He seems to have more going for him than most guys I meet on a daily basis.
As time went by, he started pressing me about hearing my voice. He told me of dreams he had of how I looked and of what my voice sounded like. His charm was unmatched in my mind. I adored the attention. Yet, I hesitated to allow him to call collect. I couldn't afford it and he knew I had 3 kids to support. I wasn't having it. So, the letters became more frequent. Two or three times a week I received my gifts and I didn't want them to stop. I found myself wanting to talk to him just as much as he wanted to talk to me. I wanted to see if his voice would touch my soul like I felt it would.
One day, I allowed my cousin to call me collect. I heard from my aunt that he wasn't doing so well, so I decided to see if I could give him some encouraging words. One of the worst feelings in the world is to feel that you don't have anyone that cares about you. I didn't want that for my cousin. He immediately started talking about his issues with the jail system and how he misses his family. He said he also will be suing the State of Wisconsin for neglecting his medical needs. He had diabetes. The only people he heard from was his mother and his other brother that was also locked up. I felt sorry for him and felt that it was worth the $1.99 a minute.
"Hey, I have a surprise for you, give me a second." "Hello?" Another voice pops up on the phone. "Yes, who is this?" "This is Dwight at your service." It was him. His voice was deep, sexy and memorizing. Yeah, it touched me. "Wow, this is a surprise. I didn't think I was ever going to hear your voice. At least not this soon. How are you?" "Better now since you are fulfilling one of my dreams." "Really? What are you talking about? You barely know me?" This guy is running game from the start of the conversation. He asks, "Do you remember when I told you about me sensing what your voice sounded like? Well I was right.""And what were you right about?" "I knew I was going to like your voice." I didn't really know how to react after that. So I came up with something quick. " I'm glad you enjoy it." "Do you like my voice?" he asks. "Yes, very much!" Now why did I tell him very much? I should have just said yes I do. Now hes gonna get all cocky! "I'm glad, I'm glad." I could feel his smile through the phone, so I mention it. "Yeah I can tell you are cheesing really hard." I chuckle. As he laughs he asks, "How can you tell?" "I told you I have special powers." "Oh yeah, anything I should be afraid of?" "Only if you been a bad boy." I busted out laughing and so did he. "Man,I think I may like that kind of punishment!" Next thing I know I hear my cousin in the background saying, "That's enough of that shit dog, time to pass the line!" Is my cousin hating or does he know that that 20 minutes is almost up? "Let me get off this phone before old boy starts crying and shit!" I hear Lonnie in the background saying, "I ain't no boy punk." "O.k well, maybe we could talk again soon?" Damn. Did I just give it away that I would allow him to call me collect? "That would be real nice, here is your cousin." After some shuffling of the phone Lonnie says," Ya'll cant talk no more on my time, dude is gonna have to call on his own, I need you to dial this number for me." Next thing I heard a voice saying, you have one minute left. That lady saved me. "Sorry, maybe another time. And don't make this a habit. I don't have it like that." "I got you Kay and thanks." I knew he was lying.
It's funny sometimes the stupid shit we do for love. I allowed my cousin to call me collect, mainly because I knew I would be able to talk to Dwight. Isn't my cousin putting me in the same position that I said I would't allow Dwight to put me in? Isn't my phone bill going to be outrageous with my cousin calling me trying to 3 way me to death? Does he even care? Has he offered me any money to pay on the bill? Hell no! I think its time I stopped this fashion show and told him about himself. The next time he called I immediately accepted and I started going in on him right away. " This is going to have to be the last call you make . You are blowing me the fuck up and I can't afford that shit, dude strait-up!" He responds on the defense. " You don't be saying that shit when you talk to Dwayne, why are you coming at me like that?" Oh my goodness, here we go. I actually had to explain this to him. "For one, you don't know what I talk to Dwayne about. Secondly, he's not the one calling collect. You are. And Third, I think its a weak move for you to be on the defense and try to put down your guy. Especially when you haven't offered to pay any cash to pay this mother-fucker! If my phone gets cut off you wont lose any sleep about it, but on the other hand I would be stressed out about the situation." "Oh its like that? If you need some money I can get you some money for your bill, all you had to do was ask." Unbelievable. He acts like those are magic words and its going to make my extremely high bill disappear. "Until I see the cash, I'm standing on what I say. Now what's the number of the bitch you want me to call for you?" "That"s cold cousin, 414-543....." I love my cousin, but I cant allow him to continue to use me. Bottom line.
Weeks go by and my cousin hasn't called. I was relieved. I began to think he actually understood. As far as Dwayne goes, I was still in contact with him through the mail. I did share with him the conversation I had with my cousin. I didn't tell him about what was said about him though. He stated that he had a talk with my cousin and said that he should stop calling so much.
A few weeks go by and I finally get a chance to talk to Dwight. I enjoyed hearing from him. We go right in talking about my cousin. "Did you know that you have a hard headed cousin?" I sigh. "Some things will never change I see." "So you already knew?" "Yeah I knew he was hard-headed, but didn't know that he would try to use me like that. I guess I will charge it to the game. " He response, "No you need to charge it to the phone bill!" We both laugh out loud. I enjoyed talking to him. And I said to myself I didn't want him to get off the phone. Soon enough, I was allowing him to call me collect on a regular basis.
After months of writing and speaking to each other it was time for him to be released. We were both very excited and nervous. We had exchanged photos, phone calls, and letters but never met each other face to face. What if he didn't like what he seen? Although he said I was a fine chocolate sister doesn't mean he was telling me the truth. He could have been talking shit just to get on my good side. He also could be using me as some jail bitch. A woman men talk to in jail just for bragging rights. He doesn't even have to be in a relationship with her. Correspondence was enough. I began to feel insecure about this relationship and where it was going. At the same time I felt that I should at least give him a chance to try to prove himself.
The countdown was on. So let the stress begin. Dwight asked me for a favor for the first time. "I need you to do something for me." "Whats that?" "I am in desperate need for a coat for the winter. You know how this Wisconsin weather can get." "I hear you." Now I'm wondering if this man is asking me to get him a winter coat? He must be crazy. "I'm saying baby, I'm going to send you the money for it. I want a trench coat. As a matter of fact a Matrix trench! That would be the shit don't you think? I bust out laughing. " Dude, what is a Matrix coat?" " I'm serious woman. I seen some in a magazine up here and they are pretty nice. But they are expensive though. I'd figure that you can find one for a cheaper price?" "Well I guess I could go up to Burlington to see what they got." "Nah baby not Burlington, I want you to try looking online and see what they got. I also am going to need you to write down my sizes and the address you need to send it to. If you send it to the address you normally use, it will be returned." Damn, now this nigga has a list. Why I gotta do all this shit? I thought that he was the type to handle his own. "Listen bae, I have your sizes already, so just give me the address and I will check online at work tomorrow." As I was grabbing a pen and paper my daughter asks me to help her with her homework. "Of course I can help you, but give me a minute okay?" "Who was that?" "That was one of my daughters, you didn't hear her?" "Nah, I was distracted by this punk ass guard acting funny and shit." "Oh well, as I said before I will look into that for you." " Okay. I need to get off this phone before my time is extended in this bitch for whooping a guard." "Cool. I'm about to help my daughter with her homework anyway. Take care." "You do the same." The moment I hang up I noticed that I didn't get the address. Damn.
The day came when I had to get this coat to him before he got out. The weather is typical for a winter in Wisconsin. I received the money order weeks ago, but I procrastinated and now he is about to be out in 3 days. He sent me the address with the money order, so I had the information I needed. But I still waited. Why do I do these things to myself? Now I'm all stressed because I had to ask my mother to drive me to the post office tomorrow right before I go to work. Damn. She is very nosy. That's the last thing I need right now is my mom down my throat. The next day when she picks me up she immediately asked me about why I need to go to the post office. So I tell her its for a friend and try to change the subject right away. In addition to all this, I am running late for work.