Family First


Tiny - Posted on 17 December 2013

Author: 
Leontyne Smith/PNN Poverty Scholar

As I came out of my mother’s womb she didn’t push me out. As a child I asked her how was my birth? and she told me I felt a hot sensation and she screamed because something was on fire. That was our first breath and my mom’s first set of twins. I was reared to be compassionate and loving, mentally dependent on my mother because she is my co-creator. For some reason, I’ve always thought whatever my mom’s pregnancy was like is also a reflection of me. And I made a bond with mom in the beginning from the first nine months.  My book is complicated, but everyone starts out helpless and dependent. It’s not necessarily a bad dependence, just the emotional bond you’re supposed to make for life. My Momma will do anything to take care of her children but as I write this story, it seems like a circle, which is the natural way of life: a loop.

            Yes, I came out of my mom who bonds us. but when I was young I put myself in a bubble of isolation.  I started hanging out on 24th and mission at ten years old. I never came home and was a run away for a couple of years. I went through different changes culturally, physically, and mentally. I ended up kicking it with Cholas to hanging out in Hunters Point, making friends with the wrong people. I was even banned from my school.  I would not only recruit people from my school to cut class, but other schools as well. We would cut school and kick it. My dad whooped me every night for years and I never broke down, I would even fight back. My Father, Mother, and Step Dad gave up on me, but I started studying Malcolm X and I practiced his consciousness. After I read his book in two days I changed, but I was still independent and never home with family

            As a teenager, I thought I was boss, and I wanted to sleep over at everybody’s house, mostly my home girls’ houses, and do my own thing. The crisis came when my friends, who I kicked it with and grew up with, turned on me. I hit the floor headfirst feeling like I couldn’t get myself back up, like I was kicked in the face, but the most miraculous thing was… I became dependent. I took care of myself but I got close to my family at twenty-one. I feel bad to this day because I never knew how blessed I really was when adulthood came. My family could have kicked me to the curb because of what I put my them through but the opposite happened.

            As I was experiencing my nervous breakdown, keeping it one hundred, the only person who visited me was my immediate family and my cousin who everybody makes fun of because she is severely disabled. She was my strongest support. I called my one best friend while in psychosis and she told me to call her back.I had to think a lot as well as get medicated with some rest. I realized my family is all I got in this world. And I am blessed to have a Mother who cares about me with a responsible Father. I think, damn my dad took care of three kids at thirty by himself being dark skinned and around people who were never close to his culture or life. He worked on the bottom of a company with all Asians and slept in the living room half his life so we can have rooms of our own.

Now that I think about that I realized I can barely take care of myself and my dad did it alone with no help. Mom was sick. After I was older in adulthood is when I found out why momma used to shake, pace up and down the halls, cry, and sleep a lot. She was considered too sick to take care of her kids. I hated that and maybe that’s what contributed to my isolation at a young age. My worst crisis felt like millions of people stabbing me in the heart, but the light came when my mom and I got hella tight.

 Now I am following the way indigenous people used to practice, Family First. I feel guilty for fucking up my parents’ life but I realize now what I have. I changed my ways by doing all that I can to stay tight with my parents, twin, and brother. My Mom gave me life and my cycle of life ended up positive because I learned how to be with the family that god gave me and that’s all I care about now.

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