Last night I went to see the new Tyler Perry movie “For Colored Girls” with my mother. It was truly a moving, well-performed picture with parts that still are very present in my mind. Earlier that day I checked out a new-to-me blog – Black and Married with Children – and there was a post about separation and can a couple survive it. After reading the blog I felt compelled to leave a comment about my situation and how I absolutely believed that a couple can survive a separation and be stronger because of it.
Now to have read the blog early in the day and then go see the movie (which was about the lives and relationships of several different women that all become intertwined through relationships/jobs/circumstances) that evening; my mind kept straying back to my relationship and me – my person, my attitude, my perception of me. So excuse me ya’ll if I get a little deep…this is only for tonight. Tomorrow I’ll come back to the light bubbly me.
When I reflect on my reasons for separating from my husband and my expectations when I separated, one particular reason comes to mind – I started to lose touch with me. I started doubting me. Growing up I was not the prettiest thing going…I was real thin, tall, flat chested (ya’ll remember Dear God, it’s me Margaret and “I must, I must, I must increase my bust”…that was me), a lot slough-footed, had a slightly flared nose, and a lot of thick, long hair to top it off. I didn’t become this good-looking until I got out of high school. 🙂 Anyway…everyone knows that no matter how much your parents tell you, you’re beautiful or pretty, it’s what your peers tell you that counts, unless you have your own confidence that can’t be taken away by anyone. I let my peers dictate to me for one year…and that was the pits. I soon realized that I had to be secure in myself and forget what anybody else had to say about me…if I was fine with me than I could give a rats ass what you had to say, cuz it didn’t matter. This did not come easy and I worked hard at it…but once I got it, I was a self-confident force to be recon with. So later on in my life when I am told I’m too ethnic by a French modeling agency because I had decided to cut off all that thick hair and show all my beautiful ethnic features…I was able to walk out of the meeting still feeling proud and beautiful and say this modeling crap is for the birds and I refuse to let another person tell me I’m too ethnic when everyone saw Alec Weck on cover the cover of Elle magazine three months later. This same thought process is something that I am working hard to instill in my daughter today so that she can be assured in herself when peer pressure becomes REALLY difficult (believe it or not there is stupid peer pressure in the 1st grade). Why am I giving you all of this…to say that if no one ever told me I was beautiful or special or great…I could tell myself and believe it. I’m my biggest fan and at time my biggest critic…but even when I’m criticizing, I’m still pumping myself up.
So…back to my marriage. It got to a point where I started doubting myself. Am I doing all that I can to make sure my husband is happy? Am I asking too much from him; am I expecting too much, am I letting myself go (although I was going to the gym at least three times a week, getting my hair done regularly, dressing nicely)? I started thinking maybe there is something or someone out there who can do this better than me. STOP!!!! Hold up!!! I had started to let someone/something make me doubt me. You see…I was raised to be a wife. I was raised to be independent don’t get it twisted, but I was RAISED to be a wife. I saw my mother being a great wife to my father, a helpmate, a cheerleader, a friend, a lover. Someone who took care of a household and everyone in it and we all felt loved. Especially my father…he felt loved and cherished (this was reciprocated also). This is what I saw growing up and from seeing it I learned how to be that. Now if there was someone out there that could do that for my husband better than me (and for that particular man…there AIN’T nobody…yep I went ebonics on you) then more power to them. But for me to doubt myself, it was becoming a problem. So after much prayer, I was released to leave and get a chance to find me again. I didn’t have to look far (I said I’m my biggest fan), but I did need to pamper and take care of me for a minute – the inner me, not so much the outer.
Don’t get me wrong…Stan is a good man, he is probably one of my best friends. He lost his way for a minute and acted a little foolish; but he came to realize my worth and the worth of our marriage. I’m not saying I’m perfect either (I’m pretty darn close though 🙂 ); but it takes two to make it work and he wasn’t trying to work.
What does this have to do with the movie… There was a scene in the movie when Loretta Devine’s character told the others she has this phrase “my love is too (you fill in the blank) for you to slap it back in my face.” Each woman said what her love is; and I thought what is my love?
My love is too all-consuming, self-confident for you to slap it back in my face.
What’s your love? My love is too…