Three Mondays ago, when this blog started, we had the wind knocked out of us with what has seemingly become the "temple(s) of our familiars" in this country. The brutal, unjust, flagrant, horrific, surreal, incomprehensible, violent, killings of our darker hued sons, Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, were played over and over again and in a manner that I cannot remember ever having been a witness to, on every media outlet available. We, the Infamous Mothers, had to hit the ground running, as they say, and respond to where we were as a society that was simply drenched with tears that ran as though there was no beginning nor would there ever be an end. I, as a mother with scared children and as a woman with brown skin and as a writer and a feeler, got stuck, momentarily, in that dangerous place where the dark seemed to only get darker...that place where the wailing never ceased as the film clips played over and over again in my head. I am so grateful today that I was able to crawl, claw, and climb my way out of that cavernous hole so I could keep breathing and very importantly, show my babies how to stop gasping and draw long, steady, pure breaths of air so they so that they would not get stuck in that dark place created by hatred.
So. I'm finna change up a little bit. I know there are issues...but there have always been issues. Am I right? Nobody here is new to this shit and I, like you and you and you have had do many times in our lives when the whole fuccn bottom dropped out from under us and everybody thought, "Surely, she must be dead." Today, I am gonna remind us 'bout them times when there was nothing to be seen but rubble for miles and miles but suddenly, singing could be heard. You following me? From under the rubble, a rebel, now to be regarded as an INFAMOUS song, came up through the dirt and rocks and remnants of what we were before our "bottoms" crashed and suddenly hunny, lemme tell you, we came up StrongerBetterWiser! Distill us down to our very essences and that, sisters, is who we are! And when you come through some times and some places like that, you ain't got the time not the inclination to try to be a "nice" lady. Hear me when I tell you that when your a** is on that line, you ain't got time to be cute or coy or proper or demure...because we have counted the cost. We KNOW souls are hanging in the balance and if we don't get and moving and doing and being, our babies will be left with no one. And that shit, dear friends, ain't gonna happen on my watch.
Hi. (smile) My name is Ruby TruthSeeker. I am a story teller and I am so glad to meet you. I am OVER THE MOON excited about my time here on Mothers Mondays! I don't have to, I get to share stories of my journey from back "there" alllllll the way to my right "here" WITH MY BABIES! in my quirky, manic, #zerofuqs, oft misunderstood, very articulated, well-modulated, SyNcOpAtEd, and very obviously, "tri-educated," manner about why I ain't a "Nice Lady." I am going to tell you stories about my trying and failing and ultimately surviving trying to navigate motherhood as broken woman turned addict. There will be some dramatic and sad beginnings about a little girl that lost her voice and then some arduous middles, fraught with fear, bad love, betrayal, abuse, and confused and abandoned children that cried in their sleep at night. Then, I get to take it right to the "big ol' brang it on home to yo' mama" pinnacle that tell you that you are not alone in your experience of all the bad things that happen to broken women who think they are simply failing at being Bad Bitches...only then, to gently take you down the other side of that mountain into the denouement or the Resolution where God tenderly and gently, taught me, for the first time in my life what Love looked like. Love, my sisters, truly changed the game.
Naw...hell naw, I ain't no "nice lady" but hunny lemme tell you, I am a hell of a Woman!
See, when you find that thing called Freedom, you realize that you don't have to accept certain titles or treatment from others that don't apply to you. They never did! We know that we betta not silence that “still small voice” or what I like to call the “primal nudge” that says, “I’m uncomfortable.” or “I’m angry!” or “You are hurting me!” or simply, “I see you. Stop that shit.” Looking back over my experience of “becoming a lady” I see all the messages I internalized that really only served to steal my Voice and as a result, started the slow death of my spirit in bits and pieces. “I don’t want to be a bad girl. He might think I’m a bitch!” Or the big one, since I am a preacher’s kid, “That’s Rev. So and So, I better be nice because he’s so IMPOTENT.” (Misspelling deliberate) We know if we speak out (or talk back) we are accused of being too emotional, possibly suffering from “female hysteria,” crazy, in need of a shit load of psychotropic medications, on our periods, or just in need of a really good orgasm….well, maybe the latter, but you know what I’m trying to say! If there is one important lesson I’d like to teach my daughters, it would be, “Young ladies, learn to live comfortably close to who you are.” It does not matter WHO, WHY, WHAT, WHEN, or WHERE– do not accept what you perceive to be abuse, disrespect, poor taste, ignorance-or anything that just doesn’t “sit well” with you. And the glorious part of that ladies, is we do not have to provide evidence or proof or present “empirical data” that supports or substantiates our assertions blah blah blah blah! Feel me, ladies? It's wild, it's crazy, it's beautiful. If folks can't accept that, well, it just is what it is. Move out the way.
So, for those who will inevitably say, “RubyT, why are you so mean?” I say to you, I cannot love you until I love me. And if I cannot love me by validating myself and acknowledging the stirrings and rumblings in my spirit….well, I say to you, you need to BEWARE! I will bring MAYHEM to your lives. Because I understand that, “Behavior is the consequence of the inner,” your minimal expectation can be CARNAGE, CASUALTIES, AND COLLATERAL DAMAGE. Oh, and let us not forget that I will be responsible for raising a couple more generations of broken, spiritually sick women that will perpetuate a wildly colorful and creative array of dysfunctions in this world. I can do that. Truly, I can.
Now, when I think of Jesus, with His bad self, cleansing the Temple and crying, “Money Changers!” and knocking s*** over….never once does His righteous indignation, his anger take away from his message of Love and who he was and impact on the world. And remember that tramp at the well-who YET had a man at her home who was NOT her husband??? He offered her "Living Water!" He found her Worthy. I understand that some of my pasts and my present and my views and beliefs and potential and strength may make some uncomfortable. Good! I guess I’m just not a nice lady.
We are Women, mothers, a products of the legal system, baby mama's, broke, hard working, loving lovers, prostitutes-inside their marriages or out (yeah, we gonna tell the truth about some stuff) and crazed defenders, addicts, broken, rejected and abandoned. Women who haven't been loved well so as a result, grew up never knowing what Love even looked like...
Women just like me. You see, all that be me. There are parts of my story that can be told like an elegant poem and other parts that I can only articulate from that primal place where I just gotta get lowdown as f*** when I speak of them. And I can stand in the brutal brilliance of all of that and be utterly convinced of my Restoration, Redemption, and Reconciliation to all the things that were meant for me before the world got a chance to subdue my spirit and steal my voice. Today, I know my life is a "working model" of what Love truly looks like and if needed, comes complete with evidence and empirical data to silence the naysayers. "I'm sorry you feel that way, but I am a Woman and a Mother..and Infamously so!