lj-mood: pissed the fuck off
lj-music: The Old Man grunting
It’s not hard to understand how women become bitter and angry and distrustful of men. Having been taken for a ride by enough men, and in particular the last one in my life, I realise you do make a choice to go into anger and stay there. It’s not just that they pick up up, drive you there and then leave you there to your own devices. You CHOOSE to go. That’s part of the emotional responsibility you take on.
That said, I am fucking pissed off and I need to vent about this shit.
When my son was born more than a month ago, I came back from the hospital to find more emails than I could read in a few minutes. Hardly surprising, I was gone for five nights and 24 hours of not checking my mail is long enough for them to all back up seriously. Among all the emails I received, I didn’t see the email from the baby’s father until I started clearing out my mailboxes.
There it was…
The first communication of his own volition that I had received from him in seven months. Congratulating me (although, why he didn’t feel the need to congratulate himself seems odd, like he’s emailing some stranger who had a baby rather than a woman he had promised to marry and his one and only son) and hoping that we were both fine. Innocuous enough right? He tells me he hasn’t sold his house yet, but that when he does he will help me out and asks for my address. Added to the bottom of the email was this arrogant ass comment about it being time to stop fighting and start parenting.
I was fresh back from the hospital, moony and baby foolish, so I wrote him back and told him that the baby was gorgeous, thanked him for his email and gave him my address and phone number; and even though the parenting comment pissed me off when I read it, because I was the ONLY one doing any parenting of the little boy, I just left it alone.
As usual, it wasn’t until after I had time to think about his email, the situation and all the things that have happened that some real pertinent questions began to present themselves. That’s me… I react first and often think through things later. However, I find that my first reaction is always the most true one.
He wrote me back, and when he did it wasn’t that he seemed genuinely interested in the boy. Did he ask the boy’s name? Did he say he was coming for a visit, or that we should come for a visit? No. He makes comments about the boy needing a father so that he doesn’t become a pretty faced boy who is good for nothing.
The following email contained an edict, (and I am paraphrasing here) “Please don’t put pictures of OUR son up on the Internet because jealous people will try to harm him,”; an insult to my intelligence “You weren’t to know about the photos so don’t worry,” and an attempt to engage me in gossip about the Orisha community in England.
I’m sitting there, reading these emails thinking “What The FUCK!?”
I wrote back and in a neutral tone inquired if any support for the boy was forthcoming. I get back some shit about how hard things have been for him, and how he can’t tell me his business because he can’t ‘abide’ it ‘being on Broadway’ (what are we, living in 1955?). Since he and I are ‘no longer an item’ , he can’t be expected to trust me with the details of his life. We’re two different people and we both have to respect that. He doesn’t want to fight with me about the boy, but that despite his rough time, he’s achieved emotional tranquility and that he wants to preserve it at any cost.
I wrote back and said I had no interest in his business. I didn’t lie. The man could be spinning on his headtop in Oxford Circus for pennies and peanuts, I’d be like, “Yeah… wha’ever!”
All I care about is MY son. He wasn’t OUR SON, the whole time he was in my belly. Not one message, not one phone call, not one single inquiry as to my health and the progress of the pregnancy. He was MY son the whole time I was struggling to find the money to pay for my medical expenses, and keep food flowing. He was MY SON when I was struggling trying to figure out how I was going to get all the stuff I needed to care for the little boy. He wasn’t OUR son then. Not one offer of assistance to prepare for the child… NOTHING!!
MY SON has been clothed and I was helped to prepare for him by MY friends, MY family and STRANGERS, but his father didn’t give a shit one way or the other for more than seven months. Not one stitch of clothing, not one diaper, no wet wipes, not a single bottle, nothing this child has was provided for him by his biological father. Dayo wasn’t this man’s son when he needed socks, or a crib, or a stroller… but put some pictures up on the ‘Net, for MY friends and MY family (who actually HELPED me and the little boy) to see him, and all of a sudden, Dayo is OUR son.
And speaking of ‘OUR son’: he still needs diapers. He still needs wet wipes and formula.
Instead I have to hear about how ‘difficult’ the last seven months have been for this man. Like the last seven months were just me laying in a flower scented bower and having lovely Mandigo-looking men fan me with peacock feathers and squeeze grape juice for me. What the ASS????!!!!!!
So who is really paying for this man’s emotional tranquility?
Right now it’s Dayo. Right now it’s me. I am still not working. My clients are mostly full of shit. They will ask me how my son is when I call, but drag their feet about their part in the work or cheques or whatever. So right now, I have no way to buy the things my son needs, and am surviving on the charity of friends and family (mostly my mother).
But Dayo’s biological father, the Big Accountant (who has worked for a number of Big Companies, as he is so willing to tell anyone who will listen), who’s making #16340,000 plus per annum cannot even squeeze off money to help buy him diapers, wipes, formula. Yet, I am supposed to testify to all who ask that this man is a GOOD man, right?
His house was supposed to sell in March, it’s now October… in his initial email, his contributing to Dayo’s welfare was dependent on selling the house. Isn’t that the luxury of convenience? I mean, if the house doesn’t sell for another year, will it be that long before we see any support from him? This is how he thinks though. He doesn’t have to do anything until or unless it’s convenient to him.
I was also told in the later email that ‘as soon as he gets paid he will send what he can’. Not what I need mind you, but what he can. And with a caveat no less: he cannot make promises he cannot keep. Since the last time I saw him, all he felt he needed to give me in terms of financial support was a crudely thrust at me #1632 (Which I refused… the motherfucker! I’m pregnant and hungry and all you can muster is #1632? It was an INSULT!!) and a crudely thrust at me #16310, which was immediately followed by a storming out and a seven month silent sulk. So when he sends me another #16310, I wonder what he really thinks he is going to be doing for Dayo.
I’m like, “What fucking eva nigga.” Isn’t fatherhood wonderful for some men? They can take it off and put it on like a pair of kiss-me-ass shoes!! They can put a price on it that doesn’t dent their bottom lines, and deal with it at their convenience. There is no sense of urgency for them, because well they don’t change diapers, and they don’t make bottles, or feed children from their bodies, right?
What is amazing to me is that this man still thinks I am a fool. I’m just some island girl with no sense and he doesn’t have to take me or this situation seriously, because I can not do him anything.
I KNOW in my heart that he isn’t going to do much of anything for MY SON. I know it, because I was TOLD. Not by him, not by anyone who knows him, but someone with The Sight. So as much as he thinks he’s being so altruistic and a ‘Good Man’, he’s not only lying to me and lying to Dayo. Above all he is lying to himself. He’s promising to make things right, but because in truth he is a miser and the only money he finds it easy to spend is on himself (and even then his tastes run towards the cheesy and cheap) and what’s important to him, he will never find the emotional maturity, the spiritual responsibility and the financial wherewithal to put his money where his mouth is.
I can’t afford to buy a pair of shoes. I have almost no clothes. I have spent almost no money on myself since I got pregnant. Everything I have made has gone towards this little boy. Do I care? No!!! Because motherhood is not like a pair of shoes!!! Motherhood isn’t about doing it when it is convenient for you. It’s a lifetime commitment.
At any rate, I did not get emotional when I emailed him back. I focussed on the only important thing in this equation… DAYO!!! It doesn’t matter to me whether the man like me, hate me or doesn’t give a fuck. He could say anything he wants about me, about what happened between me and him. I know what Ifa said to do, and I know that in every way this man, Mr. I Am Going To Be A Babalawo has PROVED IFA right. I think though, underlying it all was that he thought I was going to be so grateful he made contact, and so overjoyed about the baby, and grateful for his sperm, that I was going to go, “I love you! I miss you!!”
I told him when our relationship traversed from platonic to romantic that I take no shit. I told him I can be bitch if you push me. I told him I didn’t need a man to survive. I told him I was never going to sublimate myself or my life for a man. I told him if he puts his hands on me it’s over between us. I told him people who interfere with me without just cause have a tendency to have bad shit happen to them. But that man did not believe me.
The difference between me and him is this: I meant what I said, and everything I have done has been consistent with my beliefs, my self-knowledge and my knowledge of right and wrong and what I will accept and what I won’t.
He means nothing he says. He said he was a good man, and his intentions towards me were good; that he wanted the best for me and that no matter what happened when we went to Ifa, he would be there for me. Well all that turned out to be some bullshit, but that’s okay. All the promises he made to me and never, ever kept a single one, that can all be ignored, put aside, worked through, forgotten.
What is fucked up is that for all this man’s ‘intelligence’ and his setting himself up as morally superior, and the fact that he has two grown daughters, and adopted a third, that he doesn’t seem to realise the importance of doing for your children. It’s fucked up that in this day and age, that this so called ‘enlightened man’ could divorce himself so completely from his responsibilities. Doing the minimum required is not enough; the minimum doesn’t make you responsible or a ‘Good Man’.
Throughout this whole experience, I have had an opportunity to observe men who are actively parenting their children and see how they behave. I see how they are awed by their children. #160I see how they go out and work, and no matter how hard things are, they find a way to provide for their children.
It’s been more than a month, why doesn’t he even care to ask me the child’s name? I suppose he knows. So that’s why he doesn’t ask. Why not, he’s got witches to help him, same as me. It’s a pity that these women seem to forget the way they have been used, betrayed and abandoned by men and sided with a man doing that to another woman and child. But hey, money motivates all kinds of people right?
In all my communications with him since the birth of my son, I was about the business of the thing. What is he going to do for the child? I didn’t get into it about our relationship, I just wanted to focus on Dayo and how to help him. I am not getting into any fights, not willing to get into confrontation, because ultimately I know there is no use in it.
The point of this little diatribe right here is this: It’s October 7th. It’s been almost a month since I heard from the man, and in all the time since I was pregnant his contribution to the welfare of this child totals #16310.
I cannot seem to get a straight answer or a commitment out of him regarding this child, and for all his protestations that he is a ‘Good Man’ and that he is doing the ‘right thing’, he is 47 years old and it’s taking him just a little shy of a years to actually DO the right thing where I am concerned, and well the better part of that time not DOING the right thing for this child.
I realise this is what separates Good Men from bad men. It isn’t that they are not assholes. Ladies, all men are assholes. The same way they walk around saying we’re all bitches, they are assholes. Even the good ones. Trust me when I tell you this. Even the best man can inspire murderous fantasies where you are ‘squeeze-choking’ him. Accept it, and in a lot of ways it makes dealing with the shit a lot easier. Let’s face it, man/woman shit is when it boils down to it, just that: SHIT. Even good men do shit…. serious amounts of it too. But it’s the human condition. Women do shit too.
Good men however, don’t need to be told explicitly what the right thing to do in this kind of situation is. They just do it. They don’t threaten women and they don’t hesitate even for one second to make sacrifices for their children NO MATTER what the emotional circumstances between them and the mother of their children may be. What is emotional tranquility or financial difficulties in the face of a newborn baby’s needs? Nothing right? Nothing but drops of water on a hot skillet.
It’s not like he’s calling me up and saying, “What do you need? What can I help you with? Are you alright? Is the baby alright?”
All he cares about is being right, not doing the right thing.
Bad men… they cop out. Take their time. Hesitate. Withhold giving of themselves and their labours so they can hold on to false ideas about pride and ego. They’re still assholes mind you, but adding parental copping out just makes that a far more concentrated assholishness, oui?
So as I look at my beautiful boy this morning, and struggle to quell a minor panic attack that I have no money, am running out of diapers, wipes and formula, and deal with my mother’s overwhelming pressure regarding money and how I am to provide for my son and contribute to the household I live in, I wonder if the man who sired my son has toilet paper to wipe his ass. I wonder if he has food in his fridge. I wonder if he has money to go to the doctor if there’s an emergency. I wonder how he looks at his reflection in the mirror every morning while he shaves his fat fucking head.
I wonder how is it, that he cannot see pass his anger and false sense of indignation and simply DO THE RIGHT THING. I wonder how he lives everyday without at least acknowledging that what he is doing and not doing is fucked up. I wonder if he understands the nature of what he is doing.
I think he does, he just doesn’t have it in himself to care much about anyone else but himself.
I wonder HOW he could be so cold, so selfish, possess so much self hatred, arrogance, ignorance and self-righteousness, that he could choose to do anything else but work hard like shite and lay down everything he has to take care of this little boy. And in the next thought I ask, well did I expect anything different? Truth is, I didn’t. I expected him to be a shit, but I hoped he would prove me wrong too.
I am proud. I have my own ego, and I will not beg this man for anything. I know I will get help to clothe and feed him. Why? Blessings. It’s that simple.
I mean, I haven’t got any reason not to believe that the Universe is going to keep giving me the resources to care for myself and this little boy. I know it’s hard, and going to be hard, but hear what? I done make up my mind not to expect anything from this man. He may send a little money here and there, #160and be very proud of himself. He will convince himself that his son is only worth whatever pithy amount he lets off at his convenience, instead of giving him everything he can and more. The way I do everyday. He’s free to do that. He is free to console himself that he has been utterly righteous, utterly considerate and kind. Does it make it true, of course it doesn’t…. but does it change the fundamental fact that Dayo needs clothes, diapers, food etc. No of course it doesn’t.
I am a mother, and I will go without so Dayo can have. Allyuh don’t know this story?
I already know it’s going to irk me, because when Dayo is a man, his father is going to do what my father did. That is absolutely nothing and still be proud of the person I became as if he actually did something. My father goes around telling people, “This is my daughter. Look at my one and only daughter,” but did he do anything emotionally or financially to raise me? Nope, not one fucking bit of it.
Dayo’s father said something to me once; about his two grown daughters. He said their mother turned the children against him. How did she do that? I add to my long list of things I wonder about. I have thought so many times. He always portrayed her in such a negative light, (in fact all of his former girlfriends he portrays in a negative light, but you have to ask yourself ‘how many of these women saw the real man?’) but you know, in retrospect I wonder what his other child mother must have gone through. I wonder what her two daughters watched her go through, and then turned to look at their father and realised that he just didn’t give a fuck enough about them to make their lives just that much easier. I wonder at his ability to lie to himself that their dislike of him is based on anything other than his consummate self-interest.
See, I have lived that experience from the perspective of a child. Nothing my mother said or did could turn me against my father. It was who my father was that made me alter my understanding of what really went down. I didn’t see that until I was a big girl, but once I recognised it my feelings towards and about my father changed.
I also do not question Ifa telling me to back pedal from marrying this man. That plays heavily into my feelings about all of this, but divination is just a tool for self empowerment. I just know I did the right thing by allowing Ifa’s wisdom to guide me. When I walked away from this man, I was prepared to raise my son on my own. I knew that some way, somehow I was going to get through this no matter how hard it was, because Dayo was worth it, and I had my faith to sustain me. I just know that taking any man’s shit just so I can have a husband and a father for a child he is morally and spiritually responsible for, is simply not going to happen.
That just is not me.
I will not beg this man for help. I may need help, but I won’t beg him. I don’t want him to help me for me, because it would make things easier for me. He should help me because when Dayo is a man, he won’t be able to say, “My father doesn’t put his money where his mouth is.” I want Dayo’s father to do the right thing for his own spiritual salvation, not mine. Like I said, Good Men don’t need to be asked, they know and DO!! They don’t give anyone, ANYONE an opportunity to say that they don’t take care of their children. A good man would never want that said about him, because he flicking well KNOWS what is right and what is wrong.
What is so hypocritical is how he’s managed to convince himself that he is a good father and a good man and this is what gnaws. He’s going to teach Dayo how to be a man, right? He’s going to teach Dayo how to be good for something, because he knows how to do that, right?
Me, I can testify after two years of knowing his father, that his father so far has proved to be good for absolutely nothing, so how is he going to teach my son how to be a good man? How is he going to stop fighting and start parenting, if he only does it when it’s convenient for him and if you offend his sensibilities even slightly he’ll withdraw all help and communication. That’s a perfect example of unselfish, unconditional love and parenting, RIGHT?
He tells me in early September, that when he gets paid (as soon as he gets paid) he will send some money. It’s now a week into October, and I’ve received nothing and no communication either. #160It’s things like that, that are the crux of my disgust, when I am providing for my son on the charity of other people and whatever I can scrounge on my own. Shouldn’t a successful accountant, a spiritual man and leader who can stand and deliver lectures about our spiritual tradition be able to provide for his only son?
Would I like this to change? Of course.
Do I expect it to change? Of course not.
Small ting right? Yeah, wha’eva. I have my popo to mind.
His father can be proud in twenty years, but you know, Dayo will have eyes to see what is what in the end. #160He won’t say I turned him against his father, but I won’t lie to him either. When he asks me, I will tell him the truth. Dayo won’t be able to say I lied to him. Children have sense. They’re not stupid.
The other thing is this: Because of the size of the Lukumi community, and the number of macomere’s that come to this blog and read it so they can feel they know me and know my life, and can gossip about shit, I have opted not to really discuss this situation in much detail. I have chosen NOT to vent my feelings about the rank cowardice and lack of responsibility I have witnessed and endured, because 1) I didn’t want to reveal too much, because they really are some bad minded people out there, and 2) I didn’t want him to come and read this blog and get even more self-righteous and decide he’s not minding the boy because of my anger towards him.
However, I have had enough. I am not pregnant anymore… I may have a young baby, but I am not as physically vulnerable anymore, and all those extra hormones are fading away. I am not much bigger than I was before I delivered. I look good. When my son’s father said he wanted to ruin my body with children, he didn’t really know me. My body is almost what is was before, and my spirit is infinitely stronger.
I will not live in fear, nor hold my tongue and be tamed into just forgetting that I am my child’s advocate. I am celebrating my child, his life, and I am committed to his growth and development and his protection. I dare anyone to harm him in jealousy. I dare anyone to interfere with him. The retribution I will visit upon them and their house for a thousand years is no idle threat. FUCK WITH MY CHILD AND SEE!!! This is why the comment about not putting photos of the baby online was just pure control-freak related, like everything to do with this man. I will not raise my son to live in fear either. I will not live my life worrying about what stupid fucking people have to say, and what they will do. Fuck that.
I am NOT going to lie or remain silent to protect this man anymore. So this post will not be going in ‘the back room’. It won’t be a favourites only post. This is what is happening in my life. This is all I care about right now. #160The Lukumi community is small, and this man is setting himself up to be some kind of leader, and I am sure would like it all to go away, so his ’emotional tranquility’ remains undisturbed, and his ‘financial difficulties’ don’t get more difficult. I refuse to be silent and say to anyone, this man is a Good Man, an Honest Man, a man who you can trust with your spiritual growth, your personal safety or to do the honourable thing in all matters.
His behaviour, and those of the people who are protecting him, and empowering his bullshit, have done more to turn me away from a community that should have done more to protect me and my child. This is why I am not a politician. I don’t think politics should matter in the face of caring for children.
I can’t say it’s his blood family, because he never introduced me to any of them, nor do I think that he has told any of them about this child. They probably don’t know they have a new brother or grandchild.
My disappointment in him, is the same as my disappointment in the Lukumi tradition and the elders. The actions of a few of the people who attacked me, and those who watched and remained silent, has done more to make me realise that Orisha communities like all spiritual communities is a nasty place to be sometimes. It has sharpened my faith in God, #160Ori, Egun, Orisa, and myself, but has made me seriously doubt many of the ‘leaders’ of this tradition.
My sisters in this tradition have been staunch, but they are not ‘elders’. They are people like me. I am grateful to them for it too.
I know I run the risk of raising his ire if he reads this, or one of his lackeys comes by and reads this and second-hands the information. I mean, it would be CONVENIENT (oh so convenient) if I shut the fuck up, don’t complain, say nothing and take whatever he gives me and lick his ass and the asses of those in the community who judge based on some fucked up standards. I should thank him profusely for impregnating me and for the crumbs he lets fall off his table. I am to humbly collect those crumbs and feed my child with them, right? No matter how thin the meal is.
Either that, or I am to go out and hunt on my own and not look to him for anything. This way he can continue to tell himself “I am Good”, “I am Doing All I Can”. He can continue to sell himself to a spiritual community as a spiritual man, and righteous man with no blemishes to his character whatsoever. I am to let him off the hook, because to INSIST he does the right thing is trying to CONTROL him right?
Yeah… wha’eva nigga.
As long as I live, and as long as I draw breath, I will speak the truth about this man. Like I said before, his selfishness and self-righteousness is disgusting. As long as I have to struggle to do for my son without adequate, consistent, committed assistance from his father, I will speak the truth about this man. He won’t be able to hide from what he has done and not done in this situation. I told him once, what he does with me could make or break him. Let him perceive me as a threat to his reputation. I have REMOVED MY ASE from this man. He can keep all his secrets, but I won’t be swept under any carpets and I won’t allow him to sweep Dayo under any carpets either. FUCK THAT!!!
So although this man picked me up, drove me to the land where fury lives, dropped me off and left me there without food or water, I know why I stay. It’s making me strong, and strengthen my will to fight and live for my son.
Let anyone come and tell me I should be quiet. Let anyone come and tell me that I shouldn’t expose this man. Let anyone tell me I shouldn’t fight tooth and nail to get my son what he deserves. I’ll show them all that his father has done. Right now it is nothing, because I have not one receipt that says this man has contributed to this child’s life besides the moment of selfish sexual pleasure he took from me that made the baby, oui? I can’t point to anything in this room and say he brought or sent it and I think he’s had long enough to get his shit together.
In my conversations with him, when I took him at his word rather than his deeds, he would cry down Black men, and talk about how all they do is put their dicks about and father children they don’t look after. My ex-boyfriend, who is still in love with me and furious that Dayo is not his son, said to me, “A carpenter always talks about his work.”
What I hope more than anything is that my son will truly be a different kind of man. I want Dayo to be a Good Man. I want Dayo to be a man who can be taken by both his words and his deeds. I want Dayo to be the kind of man who will never put a woman through what I am going through right now. I’ll tell you what too, if I ever find out my son did anything like what I have gone through with his father, I will have his ASS!
God is good. Spirit is good, and I know it’s only a month into Dayo’s life, but believe me, the Universe loves this boy. He is a lucky boy, so he doesn’t need his father to help him to survive, he will survive. He needs it for other reasons. Dayo going to get the help he needs, and has been getting it. Maybe one day, a REAL MAN will step up and be Dayo’s FATHER, the one who shows him how to be good for something and can actually back up his talk with real action instead of bullshit.
All I can hope for is that all this ends up not mattering too much. I have enough love for Dayo to get him through so that doesn’t worry me. Although I struggle everyday with the overwhelming task of raising my son without his father’s help, I know I am par for the course. God provides.
I won’t let this make me bitter. It will just have to run its course and I will continue to seek guidance so my child will get the best possible future.
It’s a familiar story and of course, women out there who’ve gone through it, and I am not so different.