Sunday, February 01, 2009

not letting the sun go down on my wrath

Okay, there are all these stereotypes about angry black women. When I was growing up I was so aware of these stereotypes. Hey, I wonder if that was a way the white culture used to silence us. Or maybe it's an observance of some of the women in our countries who are indeed pretty angry because of cultural racism and family emotional issues. Maybe it's both. Society silences us --because we want to seem all non-ghetto and all...and our emotional upbringing messes us up.

Anyway, I'm on all this because lately I've been having dreams in which I meet someone who hurt me very badly and which I tell them what they did. I don't argue with them, mind you. I simply talk to them and tell them what they did to upset me.
And honestly, these dreams are way pushy and way often. So I feel they're hinting that I get my honesty act together.

First, I generally do not tell folks when they bother me. I just don't. Then I sit around seething or I simply stop talking to them. Then they think they have been hurt BY me when they are really the ones who started it.

For instance, evil mother-in-law. Oh my gosh!!!! I suffered at the hand of this woman! And creepy self-centered ministers. Like the one who stole my books. Like the one who gossiped about me and told my business to the entire church. And what do I do when crappy stuff happens to me? I say nothing. I simply cannot confront. I remember a friend who was having money problems. Granted, she had about nine family members living with her and five of them were working...and the only person bringing money into my family is my hubby. But this girl was in trouble cause all her family members were wasting their money elsewhere. One of them actually took their part of the mortgage and went to Atlantic city and lost it. So, I stepped in and gave them some money. About $1000. Yeah, although we didn't have anything and that money was part of an inheritance I inherited. So what happens after I give the money? Her young ten year old son gives me a look and says our house is poor. It was the kinda look that a kid gives you when he's heard his family talking about you behind your back. You know that look. I was so hurt. From then on I simply stopped talking to the woman. Never said anything mean mind you. Wasn't cruel to her when I saw her but always had somewhere else to go. And when she dropped by to visit my house, I would nod then go inside. And there'd she be at the gate wondering why I simply left.

Yeah, i know. Not the most sane of behaviors but when one is brought up in the 60's by a very abusive minister grandfather and in the 70's by a very class-conscious mother who doesn't want you to behave like a ghetto black angry woman (yet who nevertheless was a very litigious woman) this is how one turns out.

I promised God that if I see this friend today -- since I dreamed of her this morning-- I will definitely tell her why I'm not talking to her. IF she asks me. Only IF. May I actually do that. This life of silence is obviously something God wants me to handle.

I also think that this is one of the reasons why I have forgiveness issues with my mother-in-law. I sat there and let her blast me. Christians folks say to go over and forgive her and to ask her to let us be friends and pretend nothing happened. They say Jesus wants us to forgive. I can forgive but Jesus tells us that if our brother offends us we should go and tell our brother our heart. I have actually tried that with my mother-in-law (one of those rare times I actually tried to let someone who wounded me see my side) and (like all those rare times I actually tried to let others see my side) she refused to see it. And isn't that one of the worst parts of confrontation, the actual battling through to make someone see one's side?

So befriending her --under the scheme of forgiveness-- would be another case of me swallowing the grief and cruelty she sent me. Aargh
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