Saturday, August 24, 2013

Oreo Debate

Read an article today about offensive products. Well, the problem with Oreo being attributed to a black person is that is a derogatory term used against Standard English-speaking black people (could also refer to their taste in music, clothing, friends). The offender uses the term to say, you may look like a black person on the outside but you're definitely white on the inside. It's just another way to point out that you don't belong. White people think you're ignorant by skin color; black people think you're bougie/pretentious by voice/action/preference.

In Remembrance of Andrew

Hurricane Andrew was one of the reasons I kept a land line until two years ago. Most of the people who live in S. Florida now came after Andrew and take hurricanes for a joke and not the powerhouse of destruction they truly are. If we get one that only does minimal damage, people post stupid memes not realizing how lucky they were that that's all that occurred. I've had students stupidly wishing to see a tornado or be inside of a hurricane. Before Andrew, that had never been my wish. After Andrew, that would be my nightmare.

As Brian Norcross stated, the mattress did save lives. We were hunkered down in the bathroom (the only room w/o a window), seven of us, when the tiled walls started rattling. That mattress went over our heads so quickly, it would have been comical had the situation not been so scary. The winds came in through slung-open doors and broken windows, whipping through the house and, had that storm lasted an hour more, that house wouldn't have been left standing.

Brian Norcross became someone we trusted. Many of us were sad to see him leave channel four. But
August 24, 1992 did a lot more than give us a weatherman to look up to; it gave us survivors a healthy dose of respect and fear for hurricanes.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Same Love

Earlier this week, I had the opportunity to be in the car by myself for quite a distance of driving when Macklemore's Same Love came on the radio. I started thinking about my son and the things that should have counted as signs that I missed. The PTSD therapist said he had to have been a victim before he entered school and I agree with her so I traveled back in my mind as far as I could to behaviors I would pay attention to now with more knowledge (hindsight 20/20 and I want to avoid making the same mistakes with these children).

There was the screaming when only a certain person would pick him up from daycare. The daycare would call me, asking if it was ok b/c my younger son would throw a fit. Being that this person was a relative I asked to pick him up, I said yes. But he would only scream and refuse to go with that person. I don't think she was causing him harm but maybe someone else in her house. Then the bad behavior in daycare started. He also started crying in his sleep. I moved his daycare because I got sick of hearing about all the bad things plus he wasn't learning there. And I got a job at South Miami Senior High and it was located across the street from the daycare.

At the new daycare, he flourished. Never had a problem going, never had a problem reported. But just months after leaving the other day care, he developed a cold sore. The doctor called it Herpes Simplex 1. After the panicked whirlwind of feelings over that, I chalked it up to him kissing the girls in the other day care, maybe putting the same toys as another kid in his mouth.

That summer I caught him naked by himself and I flew into a rage at him b/c I felt dirty. He said he was getting married and he saw it on tv when he was babysat by someone. I didn't react well at all. Now this is the kid who always found his third leg as a baby so I thought I was raising a pervert. Felt sure he was gonna be a porn star or something else embarrassing.

All along there was bed wetting that never went away (a sign the therapist said). And still bad behavior with people other than me.

Then came kindergarten. It wasn't long before he started saying he hated it; he would cry to not go. This is a boy who never had a problem with school; was extremely smart and caught on fast to things. He had to be tested before he entered that new daycare I sent him to (I didn't know) and he passed with flying colors. The teacher had said he was very mature.

But kindergarten brought self-esteem issues. He had a problem with being black. He said he was fat. He even said he wanted to kill himself. He developed problems socializing with kids his age. He even through a (excuse me) white-kid tantrum in school-- on the floor, kicking, screaming, everything. I'm chalking all of this up to him. I found out two years ago, there was a kid in his class molesting and sexually harassing him. Yes, in kindergarten.

Things got progressively worse and by 4th grade he was flat out failing and rude and the bedwetting increased. I again chalked it up to him. One day he told me of a dream he had where an alligator was trying to eat him and he called out to me but I didn't hear him. The alligator chomped off his head. I had no idea that he was telling me something big with that dream. Alligators mean betrayal by friends. Found out two years ago, the neighbor's kid was sexually harassing and molesting him and quite a bit further.

Like the therapist said, "Always a victim. Predators know how to find the ones who have already been hurt."

I had no idea. I just thought he was being disobedient when he would go to that house after I said not to. Disturbing dreams were coming to me by then but they always featured my other son so I got him a cell phone, talked to him about calling me whenever he felt something wasn't right, and to tell me if something happened. My youngest was still bedwetting, still having nightmares, and began asking for a step-father. In hindsight, this reminded me of when I wanted a big brother. I knew it was impossible to get, considering I was the oldest, but I wanted someone to protect me b/c I was being molested too and older disgusting men would try to talk to me whenever I played outside or walked to friends' houses by myself. Always a victim. But I didn't think of that. I thought he just wanted a dad b/c his brother had one.

I had taken him to a therapist at this point but the only issue that kept coming up were his daddy issues and that wasn't something I could fix so I stopped.

Fast forward two more years (to two years ago). My world imploded. All this stuff came out and I realized I never got to have my real son because of the perversions of other people and due to my being blind. In one really hard moment, he likened his feelings over his father's broken promises and inattentiveness to the feelings of a kid he met in the hospital who had been raped by his own father; he felt he gave his love and trust to someone only to have it violated. That admission rocked me to the core and made me so angry at my 19-year old self for being stupid enough in choosing the man who ultimately hurt my child the most.

Sometimes there are glimpses of who he would have been without the negative interference and it makes me long for that child. He is really far gone-- mentally, emotionally, academically, and physically. Sexually orientation all changed now; he's not who he was supposed to be. And as much as he insists he can change because he knows how unhappy (understatement of the year) I am with all the revelations, I know that he can't. I've accepted that though he hasn't. All of this thought sparked to life on a lonely drive by a song.

Becoming a teacher and having to care about other people's children was the worst thing I could have done for my family. I was too burnt out by the end of the day to give him what he needed. Thankfully, my oldest son had football but my younger son never found his niche to fill his void.

What he has been through is what made me the most upset about being pregnant again. That's why I thought about abortion and adoption. That's why I couldn't go through with adoption. Not being able to protect my child again is not something I can fathom. So that's why I decided to keep them. I prayed hard for daughters, though, because I know how to deal with what comes with a girl. But knowing I have another son on the way...I am truly scared of fucking up again.