Carrington Scott Whitehead

baby carringtonEighteen years ago, after 22 weeks of a healthy pregnancy, my water unexpectedly  broke, and that was the beginning of an end that still hurts me to this day.

The only thing I think I have ever wanted to be was, and still is to some extent, is a mother.  To have someone to call me Mommy, Mom or Momma has been a desire since I first took care of my baby doll.  I was born to be this.  My first job was babysitting.  I became a teacher in large part to have the summer off with my 2.5 kids, dog, and husband.  I had names selected, planned and envisioned their lives and my role as their mother.   President of the PTA, bake sales, sports mom, choir rehearsals all were on the calendar of life.  I could not wait to purchase the first little green and white outfit so that a YPD’er would be in the house.

We actually got pregnant celebrating our first wedding anniversary.  I was ecstatic, beyond joy.  I bought books and had emails that explained and showed me what my little one looked like in my belly.  I joined AOL chat rooms, didn’t everyone back then.  You entered the room with your location and due date.  I craved Taco Bell tacos and cinnamon twists, scrambled eggs and canned pears were for breakfast every day.  My morning sickness lasted into midday and on to the evening.  I lost more than 25 pounds because I couldn’t keep anything down. This child was a very picky eater.

I remember visiting my Dad in Indianapolis and got my usual all day sickness.  The rest of the visit, he followed me around with a little bucket, just in case I got sick again.  And I did.

Then I woke up one Friday morning, 22 weeks pregnant, and my water broke.

I didn’t know what was happening until I was at the hospital and they said to the medical students surrounding my bed “An ultrasound has three things.  What is missing here?”  (Note to self, never ever go to a teaching hospital when you are looking for a bit of bed side manner and you become the lesson for the day.)  What was missing was the amniotic fluid that was supposed to protect my little one.  That was supposed to keep my baby from harm and support his journey into this world.    It was missing.  Gone.

My mind raced a million miles a second.  Can they put fluid in me?  Can I be on bed rest? Can I make more fluid?  What can we do to save the one thing I have always wanted in this world?  There is something that we can do to save my precious one?  Right, there is something?  But there was nothing that could be done.

Tears flowed, and my chest became tight.  I could not breathe.  I wanted to scream, but I couldn’t.  Not a sound came out of my mouth.  I did manage to cuss out a Nurse’s Assistant when she entered the room and asked me about a car seat. I also later apologized to her because it was not her fault; I was in Labor and Delivery. Nothing came out of my mouth when they told me that I would have to deliver my little one.  Nothing came out of my mouth when they induced my labor.  Nothing came out of my mouth when they gave me medication to ease the pain.  But the pain could not be eased.  It never has been eased.  It still hurts.

I delivered a baby boy we had named Carrington Scott Whitehead.  I did not want people to judge and make assumptions about his name when he was older and especially on his resume.  If she were a girl, she would have been Carrington Maurice, same reason.  I can’t remember where I got that name from.  But I loved it, I still do.

I was able to hold Carrington.  This precious little one I desired with all my heart and soul.  This little guy that I wanted to love and to be his Mother with all my strength, hopes and dreams.  They wrapped my little Carrington in a blanket as he was very still and quiet  in my arms as I cried silently.  Just tears, no sound.  The chaplain came and prayed with us, but I could not see Jesus that day.  I did not see God.

There is a scream that has been bottled up in me since that day.  I internally measure all pain I have ever had by the pain of that day.  Nothing since that day has even come close for me to scream about.  Not the loss of my Father, the anger of the end of my marriage, the loss of friends and loved ones, nothing.  The physical pain of illness, the anger of caused from situations, people, myself or any of my problems has not driven a scream from my mouth.  Nothing I have ever been through, or experienced in the 18 years since, measures to the pain of that day.   I have had no pain that can even begin to compare to the pain of that day, February 26, 1999.

I have had great days and moments of joy since then.  I have accomplished much.  I have laughed and cried tears of happiness and celebration.  I have seen life begin, seen it end, and discovered love to maintain me through trials and tribulation.  I have witnessed strength and power and have on occasion summoned those gifts personally to get me through times of desperation.

I have forgiven God.  I did not see it as fair, but I know that it was for the good.

I still have a twinge in my heart each time I see a new born, or I think of what Carrington would be doing now.  He would be getting ready to graduate from High School, and headed off to college with an athletic and academic scholarship.  Attending a Historically Black College or University for undergrad and Ivy league for graduate school.

I would not be truthful or transparent if I did not acknowledge the pain that still sprouts up when Mother’s Day and other holidays come around.  I am sometimes amazed at the things I can write about, sex, money, relationships, politics, and other things that are not important, but this has been the hardest piece that I have ever written.

Maybe this is my scream.

Today is the day

washington-monumentToday we have an opportunity to create a “new” political system.  Yes, today, amidst all the confusion, anger, hurt, and pain, we can create something new.

The future looks daunting.  We don’t know what is in store, though I can only imagine what an interesting landscape that awaits us, but we have an opportunity.  The challenge is to see our role in it in a way we have not seen before.  We need to see that we can be empowering even when we have no perceived power.  We need to understand that we can be the agent of change, even if that change comes one voice at a time.  We should begin this know that we can be advocates for the right for everyone to be treated with decency and respect, even if we don’t agree.  Can’t we see the value of being diligent while carefully watching what is really happening? Don’t we understand that we must never stand still, but always be moving forward.

We are the army that will bring about a peaceful revolution.

This is the time when we fight the good fight, live a caring life, laugh with compassion and dance with those who can’t even take their first step.  This is our chance to have the community we have always imagined.  The chance to live the dream that our parents hoped for us.  Our chance to fight for those who cannot fight for themselves.  Our fight is for us, not a war against anyone.  It is a fight for the good of all.  It is a battle for our very lives, and there will be a victor.

This is the battle that we have been groomed to fight. All the wars on poverty, drugs, the aged, race, gender, human rights, housing, food security, mental health protection, health care, gun control, reproductive freedom, those wars begin today.  At this moment, during this time, today.

Everything prior to today was a scrimmage. Today is war.  Today the revolution begins.  It is the war for the heart of life as we know it and the life of what will become.  It is not going to be a pretty, this war, and at times, while it is not a war that is violent, it will have causalities that we were not prepared to give, but we will not surrender.  We will not give up.  We will not give up.  WE WILL NOT GIVE UP.

Our battle plan is simple.  We will learn the process.  We will understand the process.  We will participate in the process.  We will let those who are in positions of decision making know what we feel through the ballot box, sitting on juries, holding them accountable for actions and behaviors that are not acceptable and detrimental to the good.  We will not be silent.  We will not be silent. WE WILL NOT BE SILENT.

We will write letters and emails.  We will call and text.  We will attend town hall meetings, school board meetings, city council meetings, and participate, speak, learn and listen. We will learn the new “buzz words’ of contention and call out language and challenge the attitudes of those that created those them to cause harm and indifference to those who have no voice.  We will comment on legislation, nominations and policies.  We will read and listen.  We will read and listen.  WE WILL READ AND LISTEN.

We have the opportunity to spend our money with those who support us.  To take our dollars and cents and understand the power that we really have even when we may not seem to have as much as others.  We will understand that many pennies together create millions of choices.  We will save and spend wisely.  We will save and spend wisely.  WE WILL SAVE AND SPEND WISELY.

Today we have the opportunity to fight for what we believe in.  I am willing to work with everyone who says they want what is best for me, but I will also give opportunities to those who may have deep philosophical differences with, but I will be watching.  I will be watching and I will be looking.  I will be watching and speaking.  I will be watching and taking action.  I will be watching and mobilizing.  I will be watching.  I will be watching.  I WILL BE WATCHING.   Just as I expect you to watch me and to call me out on the behaviors I exhibit that are not conducive to what I say I represent.   I expect you to let me know when there is something that I do or say that you may not agree with.  I expect you to tell me how you feel.  We can agree to disagree, but to respect each other and appreciate our unique opinions about how we see our future.

Today is that day.  Today is the day that we begin anew.  Today is the day that change begins. This is the day, let’s get started.

No sex for me…really???

older-couple-couch

I told him that I had not had sex in over 4 years, and that I did not want to have it again until I knew that I was with the person that I was going to be with.  He looked at me, smiled, and said “OK”.

I do not make good decisions when sex is involved, so I took it off the table.  I stay with people longer than I should…good sex.  I end things with people probably before I should…bad sex.  Not good decisions.

Is it possible for a person over the age of 50 to date without sex especially when you have had it before, and liked it?    I don’t know, but I am going to find out, or at least I am going to try. (If I fall of the wagon, oh, well…)

Let me first start off by saying that I am not opposed to sex.  Actually, it is pretty great thing, a wonderful gift from God that once you receive it, you are eternally grateful.   Very grateful.  I have recognized that there are times, when moving forward in a relationship, at least if sex is involved, my decision-making process becomes warped and in many cases just plain unexplainable.  It is also explains James (both of them), Michael, Joe, and especially Terry…lol.

There is something to be said for the theory that you leave a bit of yourself when you are involved in physical intimacy with someone.  Sex takes your “relationship” to a different level, with a set of different expectations, and many times we are not ready for the next step.  We confuse having sex with someone as being in a relationship with them, and that is not the case.  It just means that she accidently  got wet, he got a hard on, they met in the middle, and then it was over.  Hell, most of us don’t even know what good sex is, because we have never taken the time to find out what really turns us on, or we become too scared to say for fear of them not understanding you and your body.  And if we are too afraid to tell our partner what makes us filled with desire and passion, what makes us wet and our nipples hard, are you really ready to be in a relationship with them?

When we base our feelings on literally how we feel when our yahoo is fingered, touched or rubbed, then we forget what we are left with when the rubbing stops.  When the rubbing stops, he still smacks his food, doesn’t clean up behind himself, still hasn’t introduced you to his family or friends…that is what happens when the rubbing stops.  When he finds someone younger, prettier, tighter than you.  When someone easier comes along, that does not question or nag,  what happen to us?  We don’t quite remember that while we were “easy” there is always someone easier, and do we want someone who goes for or is that easy?  Life is hard, why should I be easy?.

I want someone who will jump through hoops for me.  I want someone who will wait until it is right for us, whenever right is and however right comes.  I want to know someone intimately in a spiritual way.  I want to share the intimacy of laughing, the orgasm of sharing joy and shedding tears, the penetration of my mind, caressing of my heart and the joining of one with my soul.

That type of relationship does not come with easy, that comes with work, hard work. That kind of relationship does not come with sex.  It comes with being safe and open to being vulnerable.  That type of relationship is founded on friendship, understanding and misunderstanding.  It is birthed in faith in each other, and knowing that at his core, he is who he is.  This relationship has a foundation of trust, love, commonalities, differences, knowledge and exploration.  It does not happen overnight, but over time. It comes with communication.

That comes with you not trying to talk my panties off nor me whispering in your ear to make your dick hard.  No, I want the real next level.  I want you to go deeper than your penis ever could.

2016 -Painful Growth

2016-peel-backI can sum up 2016 in a few words…a year of painful growth.

I have learned many lessons.  Some pleasant that left me laughing and filled with joy.  Those lessons taught me that there is still good in people regardless of what you may see.   Lessons of faith that flowed during times when I was not sure of where to go or where to turn.

I was taught lessons from some of life’s most unusual teachers.  A six-year-old who taught me the value of telling your story no matter what others may think about it.  It is my story and I own it.  A co-worker who taught me the lesson of quiet patience because as with every change comes opportunities sometimes we just have to wait on them.  A homeless neighbor taught me that I had more than I thought I had, even when I thought I had nothing.  Just jump in and do it was a lesson I gained from my business partner, and she was right, as usual.

This year I learned how to speak power when I felt powerless, to find joy in times of sorrow, how to create my own happiness and that there is renewal in fellowship.  My lessons topics included life, romance, love, family, friendships, relationships, and my spiritual growth.  Waiters, children, co-workers, friends, family, strangers, those I loved and those I disliked have been my teachers this year, and I appreciate each of them for pouring into me that thing that only they could give.

I also had some very difficult lessons that left me in on my knees, in tears, silently screaming to the top of my lung why.  Still, I am grateful to those lessons too, because even then, I learned.  I learned from death many tortured lessons that sucker-gut-punched me and reached me in places I had not touched in many years, but I learned that I would survive.  Illness taught me that there are ups and downs and thing I can and cannot control, but if I do what I am to do, I will be healthier.  Money taught me that there are lean times and fat times, I can make the changes economically that I need to that allows me to keep a roof over my head, food on the table, and that is really all that matters. Love taught me that I was not sure what that word was, and I am not quite sure if I know how to receive and/or how to give it.  But love also showed me how it shows up in experiences that literally nothing else can survive.

There were many disappointments in 2016, many that were shocking, confusing, and frustrating.  2016 also brought moments of surprise and awe.  I guess that is how life goes.  How you react and live in those moments is what tells the most about you.  For me it was a painful growing season.

But when you think about it, most growth happens from pain.  The pain of loss and being uncomfortable in that loss.  The pain of gaining something or someone and being comfortable in that gain.  Maybe it was the amount of growth opportunities that came in 2016 that made it what seems to be one of the most incredibly difficult years I have lived through.

Ahh…but I lived through it.  I made it to this day, the last day of this year.  I have survived.  I have scars, bruises, scabs, broken hearts, fractured minds, and wounded egos, but I am still standing, and for that, I am eternally grateful. For every lesson and every teacher that came my way, taught me something new, and created an environment that allowed me to grow I am thankful.

So, I have sharpened my pencils, have new notebooks, and have charged up the laptop to take notes and learn the lessons in store in 2017.

Thank you 2016.  I could not have made it this far without you.

Do I know how to love?

do-i-know-how-to-loveHe said that he loved me.

I said “that’s nice”.

I didn’t know what else to say.  I did not know him to love him, or did I?  Even more than that, I was not sure if I even know how to love.  How do you love someone?  What does that mean?  I know that it is more than just the words, there are some behaviors that must go with that.  I know enough to know that love is a verb.  It is an action.  It requires more than just an emotion, while an emotion is there, it demands action.

I know that love is patient and kind.  It never gives up and cares for others.  It cares more for others than it does for itself.  It does not force itself on others, it doesn’t keep score.  Love does not revel when others grovel.  Love takes pleasure in the truth.  I know that love is not puffed up, always looks for the best, and keeps going to the end.  Love is the greatest, that is what my Bible tells me.  I know this in my head, my family, my friends, but not romantically.  Is something wrong with me?

What the Bible does not tell me is how does love protect me from the pain that I am anticipating.  How do I not get hurt when I give my heart and soul to someone?  When I first sense that I have been lied to, and especially when I lose trust, my first instinct is to build my hedge of protection.  How do I pull it down or even better, how do I not feel the need to build it in the first place?  How do I know when to trust, when to give a second chance, what is a second chance?   I don’t know, and what is even sadder, is that I don’t know where to begin.

Why am I anticipating this pain?  Because it always happens, doesn’t it?  People inevitably hurt you.  No, not always on purpose, but how do you tell the difference between inadvertent pain and that which is purposeful?  When that pain happen, regardless of the type, what are you to do?  I know I am to forgive, and I do, but how do I forget?  And since I can’t forget, how do I move on?  And I find myself always moving on.

I know that this is making me sound like a total nut case, but I can’t be the only one, can I?  Somewhere in my life, I never learned that I would survive hurt of pain. And when I have survived, it is because of my self preservation mechanisms. Or maybe it was that I have been hurt so many times, that I just automatically begin to protect myself.

I don’t remember what exactly happened the first time I felt my heart break, but I think I was in nursery school in Georgetown, SC when, while eating a banana, Paul Patterson called me monkey girl.  I liked Paul Patterson.  I liked him very much for a 5 year old, and the fact that I still know his name, after over 50 years, means that it affected me deeply when he called me that name.  (That is also the reason that I don’t eat bananas or banana pudding to this day…lol.)  I just remember the pain of that rejection, and I think that I determined at that moment, at 5-years old, I would never feel hurt like that again.  That I would do whatever it took to protect myself from the angst that I felt that day, at lunch, in nursery school.   To this day, I continue to do the same thing, protect my heart.

When someone says that they love me, I am always looking for the reason.  What is the real motive?  What do they want from me?  Of course, there is something that they want, because, dare I say it, truly they don’t love me for nothing more than it is me.  That they see the value I have brought into their lives.  That they want me to understand that their feelings for me are more than just a casual acquaintance or a football buddy friendship.  That they enjoy my company, and want to spend time with me, talk to me, care for me only because I am me.  I know this is not right thinking, but it seeps into my brain, grabs a cup of tea, sits on the couch and takes up residence in my head space.

I am 52 years old, and I am not sure if I have ever really loved someone.  I have lusted after, deeply cared for, admired, respected, and even liked a lot, but I don’t think that I have ever truly loved.  Oh, I have dreamed of being in love.  Dreamed of having that special person in my life that gets me.  That takes the time to understand the quirkiness that is me.  Gets my sense of humor, my love of my family.  Takes the time to learn of my desire and drive to help others and why I have the friends I do.  I have wanted someone to support me in the adventures I embark on, and to join me in the experiences that I desire to have.  Build a future, grow old together, rub each other feet and our what nots, sit on the front porch, wave at the neighbors walking by and hold hands while we look at the sun set.

Someone who can look past me to really see me.  Am I asking too much?  But then I realize that maybe it is because I don’t have a real genuine love to give someone.  Could it be that in always waiting for the other shoe to fall, and being prepared to protect myself, I have cut myself off from those who are willing to love me.  I don’t know how to be vulnerable.  I have a difficult time asking and accepting help.  I have always done it myself, because I don’t want the disappointment of some else not being able to do, say be…whatever.  And, I have discovered that in doing it myself, I have not allowed others to be a blessing to me, to love me, and to show me how to love them.  Which also means that I have not allowed them to learn how to love me.

And so, he told me that he loved me, and I said “that’s nice”.

The doors closed…

I felt as if I had done something wrong.  I felt dirty, ashamed, scared, nervous, angry, trapped, alone and overwhelmed, all of this with a feeling of helplessness.  What did I do to deserve this?  How was this possible at this place and this time?

It happened more than 40 years ago, while I have gotten over it, I have not forgotten.  I never will forget.  How do you forget…when the doors closed.

girl eyes closed

I kept my eyes closed and waited…

I remember it like it was yesterday, Orlando, FL, and I think I was about 12 years old.  Each summer our family would go on these magical vacations. They were usually associated with church conferences that my father was to attend.  During these conferences, I was able to meet up with other PK’s (preacher’s kids) from across the country and we would commandeer whatever hotel was fortunate to have us.  We would play pinball and video games, eat at the restaurants, swim in the pools and basically made a nuisance of ourselves with the hotel staff.  What fun and adventurous summers those were.

Our parents trusted us and the environment we were in – no one would harm or bother us.  It was a church conference for goodness sake, filled with ministers, pastors, bishops, missionaries, and good ole fashioned church folk.  This was our summer village, where everyone was your Mom and Dad or at least your Aunt and Uncle.  They fed us, gave us quarters for the video games, gave us money to buy stuff, and they watched over us.

On this day, I was headed back to our hotel room from the lobby and for whatever reason, I was alone.  I got on the elevator with this man.  I did not know him by name, but I knew he was a minister, because I had seen him with my Dad’s friends.  He was one of us, one of the “safe” persons.  I was not concerned, nor did I feel uneasy.  He was part of my group, an extended member of the family, someone that I was sure that once I had met him officially, would become one of the many “Uncles” I had.  A person that I could count on and depend upon to watch out for my PK comrades and I, or at least supply a quarter or two to play pinball.  Then the doors of the elevator closed.

I developed my breasts at the normal age, but they were fully grown and out of training contraptions very early.  I knew that I had them, but it wasn’t until much, much later that I could comprehend the power that they held, especially to men.  I mean I was all of 11 or 12 years old, and very naïve for my age, until the elevator doors closed.

It never occurred to me that a grown man would look at me, a kid, that way.  I did not even know  all of what “that” way even meant.  I had never been leered at, ogled at, felt as if I was a piece of meat before the doors closed.  I never knew what it felt to feel threatened in a way I could not verbalize, felt smothered, and searching for the fresh air before the doors closed.

As this man approached me in the confined spaces of the elevator, my mind was spinning as I was thinking what should I do, and more importantly, what is he going to do to me. I felt uneasy, and knew that something was wrong with this situation.   I was cornered and trapped as he came closer and closer with a smile on his face that was not a smile, but more of a smirk.  I held my breath.  I could not find the air to breathe, and I felt tears beginning to well in my eyes, but I would not cry, I could not cry.  I was just frozen in time, knowing that something bad was about to happen, and there was nothing that I could do to escape from it.  I had nowhere to run nor hide.  The doors to the elevator were closed.

He was looking at me like I was about to be some secret treat, as he reached out to put his hand on my breast.  I was frozen in fear and was confused.  Should I scream, should I kick, should I run? But where to go, I am in an elevator, and the door is closed.  All I could do was close my eyes. Close my eyes and wait for the bad thing to happen.  Close my eyes so that I could not see.  Close my eyes so I could not remember, but, as you see, I do remember.  I closed my eyes and waited.

I must have been praying because the elevator stopped, and as the doors opened, he abruptly exited as a group of women came on, laughing and talking amongst themselves.  They paid no attention to me, and I began to finally breathe and wipe the tears that found their way down my cheeks.  I got off on the next floor, and just sat in front of the elevator, not sure what to do.  Later in the trip, as we were at dinner, I remember seeing the man again. We were in line to eat at the buffet.  He smiled and spoke to Dad, and commented on what a lovely family we were.  I got sick.

I was afraid to tell my Dad, because I knew he would make me find the man, and he would literally kill him. I did not want my Dad in a Florida jail, and that is exactly what would have happened.  I don’t know why I did not feel I could tell my Mom.  Maybe I felt too embarrassed, and I think she would have told Dad, as she should have, and then my Dad would be in jail.

So I kept the secret.  That is, I kept it until today.  So why share today?  I don’t know, maybe it was time.  I don’t know who this man was. He was an African-American minister wearing a brown and mustard plaid suit, with a solid yellow shirt, brown, yellow, and orange striped tie, matching pocket square with brown wing tip shoes.  Salt and pepper hair, and probably about 6 feet tall.  I don’t know where he was from, I don’t know how he sounded, but I remember that suit.  I will always remember that suit.

I am sure that he does not know the damage he caused.  My feelings of insecurity around men for many years. Purposely buying and wearing clothing that was larger than my true size so that I would not invite unwanted attention because things maybe too tight.  Gaining weight so men would not be attracted to me.  Believing that men only were interested in me because of my breasts. The years of promiscuity because my breasts equal attention and attention must be affection and affection must be a relationship, and a relationship must be love. Only to discover that none of that was love or worth anything, and I can beat you in determining that I am worthless way before you can.  There is a list of issues and dramatic problems that I had, but years of counseling and therapy are amazing blessings that more people should take advantage of.

Now, this could turn into a rant about the need to have more than discussions in the black church about the problem of predators in the pulpit, and the need for a call to real action.  We all know Rev. So-and-So who likes little girls or little boys, but we are hoping that we can just “pray” it away and/or hide it under a rug.   It could also become a statement about why women in the Bill Cosby case waited so long to tell their story.  Embarrassed. Humiliated. Ashamed. Scared. Who would believe them against this man with power.  Or it could be about what is our role in protecting all the members in the community against those who will abuse their power and position…but this is not that piece.  This is about me.  My story in my time, power and in my voice.

For many years, I spent church conferences looking for him, hoping not to run into him, but more importantly hoping that he was not touching some other little girl.  That he was not making some other little girl feel less than what she is worth because in a corner of an elevator somewhere, there is a man in a brown suit, leering at a little girl holding her breath, praying more than anything that the elevator door will just open.

 

 

He loved me, but it was not enough

 

Unhappy-couple-2“Too many times we fall so in love with the idea of what we want, that we don’t even realize they aren’t capable of giving it to us.”

He always told me that he loved me, it wasn’t until it was much too late that I realized it was not enough.

His love was not what I needed to nurture me and to allow me to grow. It was a smothering type of love that was too afraid to support me in discovering me. That discovery would be too threatening, and smothering was his way of showing his need for me to be only for him. To be only his and be only for me could not and did not exist in his world. His love was not enough.

His love was isolating. He kept me to himself, and put me in a tower that only he had access to. If there were no others, then I could love only him. No family, no friends, no anybody…just the two of us. Not in the Bill Withers sort of way, but then again maybe it was just like Bill, just the two of us, building castles in the sky, just the two of us, you and I. Isolating indeed. It was not enough.

His love was the type of love that he knew how to give. Where ever he learned how to love, however he learned to love, and whatever he learned to love is how he loved me. He always told me that I did not understand how much he loved me, and he was right, I didn’t, because all I saw was that it was not the love that I needed. Yet, it was the only love that he knew and it was not enough.

Many times people come into our lives, and they offer us the best that they know how to give, but that is not good enough for how we need to survive. We continue to ask people to love us, hold us, pray for us, and to do for us in a particular way without realizing that just maybe, the very one that we love is not capable of giving us what we need. Through no fault of their own, they are not able to love, hold, give, pray for us how we need it to be. It is not their fault that they can’t, maybe it is our fault we continue to ask.

The question then becomes why are we settling for something and someone that just can’t do what we need them to do? Why do we think that there is some flaw in us when a person can’t provide what we have determined is a “non-negotiable” in life? Is there a time when you recognize that there is no amount of education, modeling behavior, yelling, shouting, and loving that will get you what you desire from that person?

There are some people that can’t learn a skill. I will never be good at painting the edges of a wall. I do a great job with the center of a room, but the edges, window sill and door frame, will come out looking like a 5-year old did it. Now if you can live with a painter who can only do the middle of a room, then hire me, I’m your girl. But if the edges are important to you, I am not the one you need.

Many times we think we can live with just the center of the room painted. If we cover up the door with beads, put long curtains on the window and dim the lights no one will be the wiser. But you will know. You will know that it is not a good paint job. It is not that the center of the room isn’t great, it may be the greatest center of the room paint job in the world, but it is not the paint job for you. I am not capable of getting a straight edge, and you should not have to live with a sloppy corner.

There is no sin or crime committed when you have to walk away.  The sin comes when you continually ask someone to do something that you know they can’t do and the crime is that you continue to expect them to do it differently. They don’t have the skill to do, don’t want to learn to do, don’t know how to do, and literally can’t do what you need them to do. Both of you suffer when that becomes the everyday issue, the pain of loving someone who doesn’t seem to love you back.

When we realize that there is no one to blame and accept each other for what we have to offer and what we have to give, then we can truly love each other. And that love will allow us to stop asking for what we won’t get, accept what we can get, and leave when we realize that it is just not enough.

His love wasn’t enough for me, and I am pretty sure that mine was not good enough for him either…