Friday, May 22, 2009

Hey There, Red Sheep!!

Dear Bloggers,

I mentioned last post that my [immediate] family would never do anything to purposely hurt me, with that being said, it doesn’t mean that certain family members haven’t. I love my family, and the same way how I do not want people to expect me to be perfect, I acknowledge my family’s flaws and love them regardless. But for years, when I was younger, I did whatever I could to separate myself from them.

I wasn’t always the happy go-get-‘em girl most of you know. While I was younger, I dealt with a lot of depression that stemmed from certain injustices that I personally encountered or witnessed. Some of these things will be shared in later posts, while others will probably be between me and the ones who were unfortunate to share these incidents with me.

Things like my skin tone (I’m the darkest one out of all my sisters), intellect (my sisters received good grades in all their classes, while the only classes I truly excelled in were English ones; thus my major), and speech impediment made me feel insignificant in comparison to them, and furthered the gap between us.

In elementary school, I wasn’t allowed to play with most of my friends, because they were boys, and the boys and girls had to be separate. So, sometimes during recess, when I would begin to feel depressed I would sit by the gates and watch people play. One day a guy walked past, and engaged me in conversation. For the next few days, we would meet, with the playground’s fence being our barricade and we would talk. He must have picked up on my loneliness and offered a new family setting to me. The only thing was, I couldn’t wear certain colors, and I would have to learn how to secretly sell crack without being detected. Yes, readers, I was offered a spot into the elite family environment of gang members. All I had to do was meet at an abandoned house in the middle of the night, and I would be in!!

The only problem was that by this time, my family and I moved out of East St. Louis, and I couldn’t find a way to get to the abandoned paradise where all of my loneliness problems would be solved by a few black eyes, and rapes. Later on, I would meet more and more gang members. They would come to the school campus to meet their possible new acolyte, and try to figure out how they could get me to the house for my initiation. However, due to the eagle eye of my mother, and my sisters and I sharing a room at the time, proved to be a roadblock. We finally found a time, and I was excited to finally be accepted into a family that hadn’t scarred me for so many years.

It wasn’t until the true consequences of what my joining this institution would cause me. I had dreams of being a great writer. Were prison walls an appropriate canvas for talent? I had dreams of travelling around the world, not from state penitentiary to state penitentiary. I wanted to be accepted by my family, but realized that I was blaming them for the injustices brought on me by others.

After announcing my decision to change my mind I got harassed for a few months, but at that point, I was fine, and no longer felt a fear of wearing the wrong colors. I decided that instead of working on a COMPLETELY convoluted plan to meet up with a bunch of guys who go shopping for potentials at elementary school playgrounds, I decided to work on my relationship with my family instead. It took years to get over many things, and to finally be able to trust certain people, but the work was well worth it. My family might unintentionally hurt me, but I’ll rather be the black sheep of my family than a red one any day.


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