May 29, 2023

X Factor

It could all be so simple

But you’d rather make it hard

Loving is you like a battle

And we both end up with scars

Tell me who I have to be

To gain some reciprocity

See no one loves you more than me

And no one ever will

Is this just a silly game

That forces you act this way

Forces you to scream my name

Then pretend that you can’t stay

Tell me who I have to be

To gain some reciprocity

See no one loves you more than me

And no one ever will

No matter how I think we grow

You always seem to let me know

It ain’t working

No it ain’t working

No matter how I try to walk away

You hurt yourself to make me stay

This is crazy, this is crazy

I keep letting you back in

How can I explain myself

As painful as this thing has been

I just can’t be with no one else

See I know what we got to do

You let go and I’ll let go too

Cause no one’s hurt me more than you

And no one ever will

Care for me, care for me

I know you care for me

There for me, there for me

You said you’d be there for me

Cry for me, cry for me

You said you’d die for me

Give to me, give to me

Why won’t you live for me?

Lauryn Hill

(The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill)


It’s moments like these, that I’m glad I have a journal that I can pour out my feelings, my disappointments and my frustrations into.  I think if I didn’t I would have gone off completely by now.

Back in November when I wrote about going to England, and getting out of the Caribbean, I declared one of my greatest hurdles was getting past my mother. So said so done.

When it comes to doing things I want to do, my mother is like a vulture watching me walk out the desert, or through canyons and mountains, alone.  She will wait and watch. When the dream dies, she will swoop down and caw, crow over it’s bones and consumes the thin stringy flesh of what is left of my aspirations. She will never mourn the death of my dreams with me, she’s glad to see them fall. If that isn’t true, then in my thirty years of life, she’s yet to show me differently, or say anything that’s differently.

I spoke too soon when I said she was being supportive earlier this week. I should have known it wasn’t going to be so easy with her.

My paperwork in the High Commission is stuck. Right now, they want me to show them a bank statement, declaring I have at least the equivalent of one thousand pounds or thereabouts in the bank or somewhere, anywhere, to prove I have funds to live on at least for the first month or so while I am in England.

All my money right now is tied up in my possessions, which I am selling slowly, my salary, which I am trying to save and whatever extra work I still have outstanding and or can pick up before I leave Trinidad.

Right now, I feel like I cannot resign from my job officially, or make any other moves until they’ve stamped my passport to travel. So everything is stuck at the moment, mired down in what I can prove on paper.

I called up one of my aunties here and asked if she’d be kind enough to help me. She asked me “Why don’t you ask your Mummy? I’m sure she would help.”

“Nah…. with Mummy, to get her to help there is always some kind of histrionics and drama. I want to avoid that kind of stuff. It’s just never worth it to ask her for help. I know she is your friend, but what she puts me through puts me off completely.”

As I have written before, in more journals that this one, in more entries than just this one, my mother and I have had a difficult relationship. I don’t like asking her to help me at all, even if it’s in a simple, menial way. Major assistance, whether it’s financial or otherwise, I tend to look to other sources for assistance or depend on my own wits.

Why? To get my mother’s assistance regarding this kind of endeavour, my mother always demands her pound of flesh and tortures me emotionally. It doesn’t matter how independent I have been, or how little I ask her for help or if the requests for assistance come two years, one year apart. As long as I request assistance from her, it’s like I have to declare open season on my ass, because unless I allow her to put me down, and dis me, she won’t help me.

My auntie helped me. However, it wasn’t enough to satisfy the High Commission, so I’ve been trying to find a way to get what I need to leave. I have been trying to find alternate solutions, but without any real success.

She’s been encouraging me to apply for the CPU Fellowship, and all our recent conversations have been filled with the talk of going, and other discussions regarding strategy and what not. So, like always I felt maybe she could help me with this small thing.

In desperation I called my mother and proposed that I send her my ATM card for my bank account in Barbados, and she deposit the money there long enough for me to get a bank statement on the account, and then take her money back out.

Her only response was, “Let me think about it for 24 hours.”

That was on Wednesday. I called her back this morning to say hello, and for our regular weekly chat.

She answers the phone, “Hello.”

“Hey!” I said.

“You call to find out about the money.”

“Oh gosh… don’t say it like that. I called for our regular convo. Sure that whole thing would’ve come up, but….”

And then the whole drama started. She started throwing shit at me about things I did when I was younger; mistakes I made with money. She starts saying I’m just trying to use her, and all kinds of shit about how I need to be independent, and helping me now isn’t really helping me, by helping me. She tells me all I care about is her money… and well you know how it goes. She kept bring up all this old shit, old talk.

I got fucking annoyed. “I don’t know why I thought I could depend on you.”

I mean, I really do not know what it would take for my mother to just help me once without her normal ‘woe-is-fucking-me’ schtick. I  said as little as I could.

“Look, I have to go Mummy,” I said. I am thirty years old. Do I really need to hear about shit I did ten years ago, like I wasn’t a human being? She hung up, then called me back less than a minute later to get back into my ass again over the matter.

She bitterly accused me of being unfair, that she has always helped me, and she has the receipts to prove it. In my mind, I’m thinking, why are you keeping score? I’ve forgotten half the shit you’ve done to me. She accused me of only being upset because I’m not getting what I want out of her. She says I’m like everyone else in our family, using her. Now she’s lumping me with her reprehensible brothers, who have done nothing but abuse and belittle us both since were were both four or five years old.

“Oi! Doan get fucking tie up, Mummy. When everybody else is vilifying you, I am the one who defends you! I am the only one who has your back! I’m the one that supports you when everyone else in the family thinks you’re being an ass and causing trouble.”

In my mind, I’m thinking, I’m probably the only one who really calls you out of genuine concern on a regular basis.

She says I am being immature, and that I should only attempt the trip to England when I am on more stable footing, that I shouldn’t over extend my reach. She also said something akin to my always wanting and expecting her to come and bail me out.

Then somehow the conversation veers down some familiar, but in my thinking completely unrelated terrain.

I just got so fucking sick of it. I’m so sick of hearing how awful a daughter I am, and hearing more evidence that the way she sees me hasn’t changed, not the way I have changed and my life has changed. What’s more, she was wrong to begin with. Somehow, I’m not allowed to be a child, or to be human. Not the way I’ve allowed her to be human, and downright un-maternal on a regular basis. I am tired of her continually holding me up against all these real and imaginary crimes I’ve supposedly committed. Especially now, when a little three-point assist is all I am looking for.

Damn, I can do my shit for myself. I can find a way, someone will help me.

She asked me to, just put myself in her position, and see it from her perspective. So I am thinking, If I were in her shoes, and my child said to me, “Mami, I need help,” I wouldn’t shut down her dreams of flight just so I can feel more secure. It’s moments like these, I wonder if my mother isn’t really harbouring a lot of jealousy towards me. I can’t explain her behaviour any other way. Astra’s warning is almost always blinking in neon lights at moments like these. “Your mother is no good for you. She holds you back on purpose.”

It’s hard not for me to see her responses towards this occasional needing of help, as efforts to hold me back, put me in my place, teach me a lesson I never want to learn. In almost every case, it’s not beyond her ability, and if it is, I am more than willing to understand and find another a way or give up.

I hope my children never feel the way I do, that they couldn’t come/go to their mother for help if they needed it.  That I wouldn’t be willing to support them in what they’re doing.

She did her usual do in these circumstances, she went on and on. In the end, her accusations annoyed my ass so much, I slammed down the telephone. She called back again, but instead of answering I went into the kitchen and made coffee.

There was a angry sounding pulsing dial tone when I picked up the phone. Probably an invective of some sort in my mother’s cultured Trinidadian accent telling me how much of a fuck up I am… or something akin to that. I deleted it a few minutes ago without listening to it. Maybe wrong and fuelled by my anger, but I did it, it’s gone. I know her too well to expect anything more than crisply accentuated declarations and accusations.

As my angry frustrated tears dried on my cheeks, and the routine of putting water to boil to make my coffee, and washing the dishes in the sink, preparing to put the last of my coffee into the rolling water on the stove — a kind of deadly calm came over me.

I ran over all of my options, all those that did not include asking either Mummy or UT for help. I don’t like asking UT for help either, but for different reasons.

I glanced into my space for Osun, where a candle spell was working asking for assistance to get to England, and to get to the next level of my development. The flame stood burning brightly and cleanly.

The worry about where the money was coming from, evaporated. I still have options, and I am not giving up because the one person who should have my back doesn’t. It’s not the first time she’s let me down, I really hope it’s the last. I never want to need her like this again and have her swipe my arms away.

It’s like when I was little all over again. I’m four or five, and go to give her a hug, and a kiss and tell her I love her, and she pushes me away and tell me that I am too big to hug, too big to kiss. My whole life, I’ve been waiting for her to reach out and hug me, to reach out and grab me for a kiss. I’ve been waiting for hugs and kisses that will never come. Even now, when I reach out to hold her, she is stiff and unyielding. My need to feel her reach out to me, grows less and less as I get older, but it’s still there inside of me.

I was expecting my mother to do this. When I ask for her for help, even though there’s a part of me that always wishes she would just say, “Sure baby, what do you need me to do,” just once, I know she must go through this awful scene. Just once, I’d like her to help me without her feeling like she’s giving too much, and me feeling like she’s taking too much in return. I just don’t expect it. I hope she’ll surprise me, but she never does.

Now, one of two things will happen. After a couple of days, maybe even today, she will call me back and agree to help me, but only with a bit more verbal haranguing, making sure I know how much of a sacrifice she is making to help me, and reminding me that she is adding up all that she has done for me, and that you know, this has to be the last time.

The other possibility, the one I am going towards, is doing my shit on my own. Just finding someone else to help me, or just figuring it out on my own. I just don’t ever think my mother’s help is worth it. It’s just not worth it.

Personally, I have grown to hate asking my mother for assistance of any kind. I hate asking her to post  a letter for me, or to lift anything from point a and move it to point b.   It’s not because I think she’ll outright refuse; she may do it. Just not willingly. I can’t remember a time in my life where my mother has willingly helped me to do anything. Not only that, she is always keeping a score. The score is what pisses me off more than anything.

She is so busy keeping score of all of my wrongs, all of my mistakes, she can never look inside herself and see her own wrongs and mistakes. This morning I say, “So you’ve gone through your life with no help from anyone, right? No assistance from anyone to do what you’re doing, right?”

I know different. I know how much my grandmother contributed; I know how my UT and AG contributed to raising me and my brother. I also know how many times my mother has abandoned me for selfish, self absorbed reasons, and how she has flat out refused to support my efforts, whether it was a job I took, or a job I left, or a trip I took or purchase I made she disagreed with, or a coming to my graduation from secondary school. She’s never really there when I need her, and she fucking knows it. However, this is what she consistently chooses. She chooses not to be there.

My brother says the same thing about her. Even when she promises you things, promises to do things, and let’s you make plans, then when the moment comes for her to back up what she says, she pulls back, says she changed her mind. The end result is that it’s hard to trust her word.

For my mother, it’s when she offers to help that you need to watch her the most. That’s when she is at her most dangerous and treacherous. She only offers and gives her help, so she can add to her mental score card or she finds she needs to feel like an influential part of our lives. You still get the haranguing and such, but she has also offered her help so she can later refuse, or bring it up in a conversation later to add to all the reasons she is really the suffering martyr in our family, and such and such. Good God, I’m just so sick of it!

Back over Christmas, when Mummy was here and making me miserable, I had known this moment was coming. I knew that before the end, I was going to need her help and this drama was going to ensue. I was trying to find a way, an alternative to it, but just couldn’t seem to. Maybe that’s my own need to feel validated by her. Maybe it’s just my karma to keep giving her opportunities to give unselfishly, even if it’s at my own emotional, mental expense.

It’s like she wants me to ask for her help, to need her; but when it happens, she can’t just help, she has to pull me to pieces and insult me, declare how much of a fuck up I am in order for her to feel better about helping me. Or have the satisfaction of refusing all together. I can’t explain this to her, she thinks it’s her right to exact her emotional price for her help.

All the scores she is keeping, I wonder if she thinks we’ve forgotten all the fucked up shitting things she has done to my brother and I, the betrayals and the let downs. That’s my mother though, can dish out the medicine, but can’t take hers to save her life.

I don’t have to say it, in these fights she is the first to throw out the words, “I know you all think I’m a bad mother,” or one of my personal favourites, “I know you think I’m a bitch, right?”

She says it sarcastically, and dripping in poisonous toxic matter, speaking our deepest held feelings, knowing her own guilty conscience regarding the bullshit she has done to both my brother and I in my thirty years of life. Again, this is what she chooses. No matter what loyalty I have shown since, what sacrifices I have made to my own ultimate detriment. It doesn’t matter what my successes have been, she just doesn’t want to see that, or hear that or know that.

Our relationship is like that song from “The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill”, “The X Factor”. Everytime I hear that song, I think of my mother.

So right now, I still have to find a way to get this fucking Visa stamped into my passport, so I can get the fuck out of Dodge. I refuse to worry about it. I’m just going to find a way to do it, with or without my mother’s dodgy ass help. I’d prefer to be able to refuse her help. I hate to say it, but despite knowing it would hurt her more to refuse her help when she offers it, I also just hate the kind of dirty feeling it gives me.

If Mummy offered help with love and without reservation and with no strings, it would make the bullshit so much easier to take. If I knew that she loved me enough, to be willing to give anything to see me fly as high and as far away as I could, so I could come back and share all I saw and all I did with her, I would feel better. Right now, I’m feeling something I’ve felt too much when it comes to my mother, bitter fucking disappointment.

The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill (sic: me)

My world it moves so fast today

The past it seems so far away

And I squeeze so tight, I can’t breathe

And everytime I try to be

What someone has thought of me

So caught up, I wasn’t able to achieve

But deep in my heart the answer was inside of me

And I made up my mind to find my own destiny

I look at my environment

And wonder where the fire went

What happened to everything we used to be

I hear so many cry for help

Searching outside of themselves

Now I know His strength is within me

And deep in my heart the answer it was in me

And I made up my mind to find my own destiny

And deep in my heart the answer it was in me

And I made up my mind to find my own destiny


dayo's mama, writer, web developer, orisha devotee, omo yemoja, dos aguas, apple addict, obsessive reader, sci-fi fan, blog pig, trini-bajan, book slut, second life entrepreneur, combermerian, baby mama, second life, music, music, music!

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dayo's mama, writer, web developer, orisha devotee, omo yemoja, dos aguas, apple addict, obsessive reader, sci-fi fan, blog pig, trini-bajan, book slut, second life entrepreneur, combermerian, baby mama, second life, music, music, music!


Oshun Chant
Women of the Calabash
99 days ago