Why Do We Love Wrong?
A s a child I grew up around toxic relationships. My entire family was a toxic relationship; it's just our truth. The majority of my friends' families were all in toxic relationships. It was just all around us. There would be one couple here or there that seemed to have it right but I didn't live in their home so I don't know what went on behind closed doors. You never know what goes on behind closed doors.
My mother and father had an average relationship. In many eyes they were above average. They were married for over 20 years. We were always together as a family. My parents never missed a game. That doesn't mean everything was perfect. My father lost his mother at a very young age. He lost his father at a young age also. He had 11 older siblings. My mother lost her father at a young age. She also had 11 older siblings. They both came from humble beginnings: hardworking families just trying to get by.
It's always been said that love doesn't pay bills. In a household we seek order. We try to find balance. We do the best we know how. After all, the history of the black race in America isn't one that was designed for peace and happiness in the home. We were kind of wired to just come together to reproduce but not really to love, cherish, and respect. I saw at an early age that was the majority of black families. I saw other races going through divorces and things too, but all I could try to understand at that time was my own race and our issues.
I would see my mother and father argue a lot in my early years. My mother was a fireball and my dad was an enforcer. They got better over the years but I later found out that it wasn't because of maturity. It was because they were growing apart. I saw a lot of things in my home that I couldn't decipher as a child. I didn't know that it was toxic. I thought it was normal. I didn't know that yelling and screaming and arguing for hours wasn't normal. I thought that was normal. I can't remember what they would be arguing about. I saw physical altercations, but I couldn't tell usually who was the initial aggressor. I never saw my dad hit my mom or vice versa. They would lock up with another and my mom would always yell that they were just playing. OK, yeah mom. I realized later that what they were going through was normal in the grand scheme of things, but it's not what love was intended to be. I never saw a black eye, busted lip, bruises, cuts, broken bones, police, or anything that we would consider a real fight. It was just loud and could get pushy at times. But as a child that confused me.
I had both of my parents in the home for the 18 years I lived there. After about the age of 8 or 9 I didn't see anymore physical altercations with them bear-hugging or wrestling or whatever it was they were doing. And no, it wasn't sex. I know the difference. So my home became more peaceful as my parents got older. They relaxed and began to grow up. My parents had me when my mom was 20 and my dad was 21. Coming from where they came from, they didn't have much of a clue what they were doing at that young age. They were doing what they knew how to do and emulated what they saw growing up, and obviously they didn't have the best examples.
My dad's parents both died before I was born. My mom's dad passed either right after I was born or right before - I don't remember how the story goes. I spent a lot of time at my grandmother's house. She would tell me stories of the fights she would have with her ex-husbands. I believe she had like three or four husbands or something in that ballpark. She had 12 children total that I remember. All of them were alive while I was growing up, except one. My grandmother's stories would involve her throwing hot grease, hot water, or hot grits at her man. One time she said she bit a man's finger off when he put his finger in her face during an argument. I remember t