I have a confession. When I married my husband I did so with the relief of knowing that should I conceive it would be within the covenant of marriage and the security of not having to go through “baby daddy” drama. (sorry ladies, I mean no offense) But when my husband’s company was sold I got a taste of what it meant to be a single mother. Now I know the difference between a single mom and a married woman with children but I can honestly say that for the first 5 months of Noah’s life my husband was absent and all responsibility, excluding financial, fell on me like a ton of bricks.
I’ll be the first to say that there is no one on this planet more proud of my husband than I am. He is a man of integrity, full of generosity and he loves like there’s no tomorrow. When our lives were hit with such a drastic blow we both, like champs, mustered up a supernatural kind of strength, went into our individual corners and refused to be knocked down. It reaffirmed what our marriage was based on, we put each other first.
Being a new mom, scared and overwhelmed, it wasn’t enough to be all alone in a whole other state without my blood family but on top of that my husband was absent and so I felt a new kind of loneliness. Granted, I did have the best sister in law and best friend in the world who supported me from the day I told them of Noah’s arrival and for that I’m forever in their debt. It was the days that ran into nights and the nights that only promised more days of the same. With postpartum depression at my heels I could only keep moving for Noah’s sake.
My husband would lie and say he’d be home around 7’oclock but arrive at 11’oclock when Noah would then choose to wake up and stay up until about 6’oclock in the morning. Now, I know that this may seem like such a small lie, such a little white thing but under exhaustion and panic and being alone all day 7’oclock seemed like the rescue of a life time that never came. My husband would walk in and take the baby so I could shower or finish dinner or pump for Noah’s next feeding but all of that went away and I truly learned how to juggle it all.
My husband cheated me not just out of little respites of time to collect myself but also of the dream and the security of knowing that in marriage I wouldn’t have to feel alone with a baby. I know he didn’t mean it, that sounds like the most cliché excuse, to be honest he did it on purpose. He cheated me on purpose and ironically I’m thankful for it. Although I can never get those 5 months back my husband’s sacrifice afforded a house to shelter my baby, electricity to pump and store his food, and water to wash away the panic of the day. So my husband was there just in object form, I was surrounded by things that he had sacrificed himself to give me, to provide for me and Noah. I was comforted knowing that my marriage was thriving in its first test, even during and after that earthquake that shook our foundation we stood strong knowing that through this period of absence we endured it all for the promise of being together again. And when it was over my eyes were open to truly see that my lying cheating husband was the best husband I could’ve hoped for.
Written by Vanessa Clark
I hate white people, the kind of white people defined in history as executors of slavery over every known race bold enough to cross the American borders. Sea tossed, river drowned and frost bitten people from every corner of the world coming to an unknown land ignorant to the robbers who lie await to steal every original idea from their cultures. I hate those white people, the ones who murdered, maimed and enslaved every race and ethnicity that differed from their own. I don’t hate them because they were ”white”, I hate them for what their hatred has done to an entire country, an entire world. The white people whose self-induced superiority is responsible for the microscopic influence and space that inhabits my own mind.
In this one body flows many races. My bloodline consists of African, Spanish, Taino Indian and Dutch mixes. Due to these mixes, I’ve been called a mutt several times in my life and no matter what the situation, comical or hateful, it always made me feel less than human. My mother is Puerto Rican and my father is African American. My Puerto Rican traits are physically more visible and I was predominately raised with the Hispanic side of my family. My skin tone was the perfect caramel combination of both my parents and my hair was a bit coarse and thick like my father but also curly like my mother’s. But oh the jealousy that fueled years of bullying just because those two features didn’t look black enough or Hispanic enough.
When I was in junior high girls use to throw gum in my hair and even after hours of trying to work it out of my hair I ended up cutting it out anyway. I was considered the conceited Puerto Rican ho who tried to steal all their boyfriends, as if! My, my what jealousy does to the brain. My curly hair in all its glory could cause my fellow peers to invent scenarios in their minds where I was so much better than them with my “good” hair that obviously I was sleeping with their boyfriends. Needless to say, I had more guy friends than girlfriends.
Being raised by my Hispanic side of the family made me more aware of how non-black everyone else treated me. When I stayed with my black family I had one member that use to tote me and my twin sister around leaving my brother and older sister behind for looking too black. We curly haired, light skinned baby dolls were trotted around other black family members to be shown off because of how pretty we were. And on my Hispanic side, some of the great grands didn’t want anything to do with my dark-skinned father, going as far as calling him a monkey. Well great grands, then what exactly does that make me? More importantly, what does that make my son? I believe in the power of knowledge and I’ll instill the same belief in Noah. Loving everyone because we all bleed red is an absolute revelatory forward way of thinking but he’ll also know that he comes from every shade of white and black known to the human eye.
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If those hated white settlers could have their way my brain would continue the tug of war and I’d somehow end up hating myself. The Spanish part of my blood owned the African part of my blood. What a convolution of territory and pride. So which side should I stick up for or be more proud of? Spanish conquerors, who made a mark in history or African slaves who’s lives were used to make that mark? It’s not a “white” thing, even my Dutch great grandfather was a slave, and it’s not a “black” thing. Being racist means having the mindset that one race is superior to others but what if you are made up of more than one race can you even the scale and consider them all superior? I do. I’m a racist.