Tuesday, June 8, 2010

The Ms. Celie Effect

Its that time of the year again....graduations, vacations, end-of-year reports and massive cleaning projects. Though, I regret leaving my massive fan base ("The Tappers") to wander aimlessly, I hoped you missed me!

Anyhoo, I recently had a conversation with an older confidante of mine. She was brainstorming about her steps with a potential suitor that she started talking to again.

I seem to be THAT girlfriend. The one you haven't talked to in a year but if you recently found love or divorced your husband, I'm the first one that pops into your mind. Whether its helping you pick out your freak'um dress, watching your kids so you can get some, or guarding your freak nasty skeletons like The Mint. I'm full-service. LOL!! But I digress...

In her conversations with her potential, he mentioned his concern about his daughters' thoughts about their fledgling relationship. She dispensed some advice to him about discussing their feelings about her coming around more often, and that this is a special person to him. This all sounds like wonderful parenting advice, especially if your kids were 12 year-old. But these were grown ass 30-something women like myself. That's grown folk business, as long as this woman didn't act indecent or indignant, what could they say?

I held this belief very firmly and it wasn't until this recent conversation was my thinking ever challenged. My confidante gently let me know that her suitor really cared what his daughters thought and wanted to handle this right considering some of his behaviors of the past and she respected the fact that he wanted to gently bring her into the fold.

I had to process this for a minute because she really supported his intentions and gave him a handle around thinking about his daughters. She mentioned that it was the right thing to do.

Hmm, the right thing to do? Acknowledging his daughters feelings and being thoughtful about their role, if any, in this. This took me a minute to rock with, as Shai would say. I looked at my own experience with my parental units.

As long as I have known them they have been separated. Mom Dukes was always hesitant about bringing new men around Numpsy and I. Even when they were crazy about me, she never overexposed us to them. Hell, I've even played the Littlest Wingman on several dates with her.

Now Papa Bear, that's a different story all together. Shit, I ain't have a horse in any race he was running with the ladies. Papa Bear stocked his stable with fillies that definitely weren't feeling me and I wasn't crankin' on them either. But I wouldn't dare say a word about my feelings towards them. The fear of being rejected by him was paralyzing. Papa Bear had a habit of always choosing the side of the women he dated over anything I said that may contradict them. Sadly, this has happened more times than I liked to admit.

So I learned to keep it in and accept whatever he did. In my history there were more women I disliked than liked and I continued to suffer in the silence of being voiceless and defenseless. Its funny, even though Mom Dukes set the example to follow, it was Papa Bear whose actions and choices seemed to had a more penetrable affect on me.

Thus the Ms. Celie Effect. (Sidebar: I am operating on the assumption that all The Tappers have seen the Color Purple at least 20 times. If not, put it on your Net Flicks.)

Ms. Celie was soooo use to being treated badly that she actually corroborated with her abusers and perpetrators. Whether it was turning on display, on the command of her stepfather, like some chattel he possessed to suggesting to Harpo to beat his wife when she didn't obey his command. Sometimes the pain of mistreatment is so bad that you subject others to it, intentional or unintentional, because the idea of you being the only one suffering through this is too brutal to bear.

Who Papa Bear dated wasn't as much of the issue as it was that it didn't matter what happened to me in the process of his dating. There was no future for me in his thinking or acting. How I would benefit or suffer was never a consideration, and the idea of speaking up on the issue was both beyond my process and mired with consequence.

Flashback sequence: I was around 10 or 11, when Papa Bear picked me up for a weekend visit. We were going to visit with his new "Lady Friend" as he called them. Now, because he was late as usual, I spent my time eating Funyuns and falling asleep, so you can imagine the hotness. So Papa Bear suggested I get something to freshen up with from the store and use it at Lady Friend's place. Well, get to Lady Friend and he made it a point to say obnoxiously in front of her, "now go in the bathroom and drink that whole thing of Scope down". Lady Friend busts out in laughter along with him. To this day, the idea of being the butt of his joke was beyond hurtful. And that stupid wench laughing just put the dagger in further.

As I got older, I realized how many of my girlfriends were princesses to their Dads (and not in the prissy ass way either). Their Daddies are the greatest men in their lives and the last thing any of them wanted to do is intentionally undermine their daughter's feelings to get some pussy. I guess I wasn't so lucky.

Thinking back on what my confidante was doing, I finally get it. It IS the right thing to do....matter of fact, it is the expected thing to do.

How can anyone, whether family, friends or lovers, dare say that they truly love you and that you mean the world to them, if they could care less about respecting your presence, time, space or well-being?

And so the Ms. Celie Effect continues on like the butterfly effect (check it out on Wikipedia if you need to).

As I sit thinking about myself and my experiences with this, the next question in my head is: when do I start putting knives to the throats of muhfckas?

'Til Next Time,
~ T-Gyrl

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