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Mamma and How I Learned To Honor Women by Sherri Rosen

Mother was a piece of work!

I grew up in New England in a place called Lynn, Mass.  Our home was one block away from the ocean. That was my consolation.
The inside of my home was like what I call “the hell realm”.  I was the scapegoat for my mother’s and sister’s rage.  So when either of
them would go off, they would come after me:  my mom, with this wide brown leather strap and my sister with her clenched hands.
Both of these women were much smaller than myself, but at the time I was so abused I didn’t have the energy or strength to fight back.
There weren’t any females in my family I could lookup too.  The only female I looked up to was my Uncle John’s mistress-Florence.
She and I hit it off.  She was beautiful, smart, always took her sister Lillian wherever she would live, she was fun, and she saw me.
When I say she saw me what i mean is many many folks talk to me but don’t see me or get me.  They just can’t for whatever reason
see who I really am.  Perhaps it’s judgements that we make even before a person speaks about who this person is.  In any event,
Florence and I would listen to one another, she never abused me or scapegoated me and she never made me feel as though
I was crazy because I was so honest. She loved my honesty.  I didn’t care if she was my uncle’s mistress, because when I was together
with him when he was with Florence he was so loving and fun.  When he was with his own family—many of my aunts, uncles and
cousins, he was angry and mean and I was afraid of him.  Florence encouraged and supported and loved me.
Also I always heard the women in our family always gossiping about one another behind everyone’s back. There was no such thing
as true friendship with women and true honesty, and the women would always blame someone else for their mistakes.
When I was with mum, she never allowed me to buy clothes that I liked when I was young. Never encouraged independence and always
wanted me to be and dress like her. My sister was a carbon copy of mum and I was a complete failure,
As a result of never really having any positive female role models I kept my distance from many women. I did not trust them and I did not trust myself
being with them.
A few years ago I reconnected with a woman I was friends with when we both had young families living in Forest Hills, NY.  When I went back
to visit with her, she lived in the very same apartment building, and her apartment was the same with nothing moved out of place from 40 years ago.
I realized she was a very controlling person and really didn’t know how to be flexible and had to do things her way.  She had recently lost her husband
and was now left alone, trying to maintain a life as a single woman.  I felt great compassion towards her and I understood why I was friends with her
when I was young.  She offered me a safety and a predictability that I needed in my life.   I knew after I was with her that day that we would never
have the same kind of friendship we had in the past.  I also knew that she was planning to vote for Trump because she agreed with him with many of the changes he wanted to bring to the table and couldn’t even see or feel his lack of humanity.  That turned me off completely.  So both of us never pursued having a friendship.
As the years went on, again and again, if I was friends with women, I usually kept a far distance. The biggest problem was with myself.  I didn’t have self esteem,
my boundaries were off and I just didn’t see myself as a strong and powerful woman, and I was filled with wounds from the past.
As the years went on I was consistently working on myself to work through all of the wounds that occurred with my mother and sister.  With the help of a male therapist and many alternative healers, I was able to work through much of the abusiveness that was manifested in my biological family.
Now I have a strong sense of who I am.  I know that my honesty is there to protect me.  I also know that my honesty isn’t used as a weapon to hurt someone and I am so
aware of my own and other’s boundaries. I also have come to realize that when women act out , most times it has nothing to do with me and what I can offer them now is love, where I could not do that in the past.  I’ve enough confidence now to know that I can be with all types of women, choose who I would like to be friends with, and know that we aren’t perfect, but if the love in the friendship is truly there, when difficulties arise that we can work things out.  And if we cannot I know it’s time to move on.
Thank goodness today, I honor and respect women.
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This entry was posted on Monday, January 28th, 2019 at 9:20 am and is filed under African American, Clients. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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