Ups and Downs With My Four Ladies

(WARNING, THIS POST IS VERY LONG)

I’ve never been one of those people to go great lengths to keep people “out of my business”.

I’ve never thought of my business to be that important to have to be classified.

So allow me to open up about my life with my ladies and the things I’ve learned.

MY DISCOVERY

Something I hadn’t thought much about until recently was the fact that all my life I have lived with women. I grew up with my mother and my sister and there was even a few year period when my aunt lived there too. Actually for my 32 years on Earth, I’ve only spent about 4 years living in the company of a guy, my dad.

Now I live with my off, on again, off again, now back on for good wife. And proving that God is indeed consistent, we have a daughter.

I am very close to all my ladies. There are four of them in my life now and there are aspects of it that are clear to me. Others, no so much. But clearly God intended for me to have lots of ladies in my life. Which I’m cool with. But I find there to be one thing missing.

FATHER FIGURES

The flip side of the coin is that for every woman I’ve had in my life, I’ve not had a Father Figure.

My father was absent for most of my childhood for whatever reasons. That was my main reason for moving in with him at the age of 16. Thinking it would force him to be a father. After all, surely he would have no choice with me being there daily, right?

Well, it was a thought.

Then I got close to one of my uncles on my mom’s side. Despite me living in the house with my father, my uncle would travel down about 20 miles to pick me up and take me out driving (my mom did it too, but this section is about dudes). My father never once took me out to drive.

My uncle got me my first car, a 1995 Nissan Altima. It was actually his wife’s car that he let me take over the payments for, as he helped me with some of it and paid my insurance.

In a random act of stupidity, this made my dad jealous. He would never refer to the car as “your car” when talking to me. It was always “that car”. You didn’t want to help me get it or even learn to drive it, but you want to be jealous that another dude did it for me.

I would later discover my dad to be a very insecure person who saw his son as more of a threat to his manhood, than someone he wanted to groom. He never wanted me to be better than him. His goal was to remain superior to me in every way.

LOL. I’m sorry. That’s just funny to me.

At the same time, my uncle and I had great conversations and he often shared his views. They were not of family values, however. We talked about things as if we were two men hanging out in a bar. The usual: Women and their body parts. Sports. Women and their abilities. Cars. Women and their body parts. Stories from the past. Women and their abilities.

My uncle had gone through some drama in his life with his first daughter’s mother and then with the eventual divorce from his wife. His bitterness about certain things was evident to me in conversations we had.

But it still surprised me that when I told him that I was going to be a dad, his reaction was “you’ll be sorry”.

Great guy who helped me so much in my young adult life. But not the father figure I needed for the next part of my life. We’re still cool though. Always.

MY FOUR LADIES IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER

I absolutely love my daughter with a passion. As a man, I feel compelled to keep her safe and raise her to be the best woman she can be. I am not the most patient father. I’m the harder parent. The disciplinarian. I have no idea how to be a nurturing parent. Fortunately my daughter has her mother for that, who is the complete opposite of me. The things I do most are generally centered around being the bad guy for the greater good of her future, which I accept. I want so bad for her to succeed but have no idea how to be a parent. So I figure it out as I go. But I wouldn’t trade the experience of being a dad for anything in the world. I don’t understand how so many fathers can miss out on contributing to the development of their child. Mine is my heartbeat.

My wife and I have gone through both sides of extreme together. Extreme love, extreme turmoil. I had no idea how to handle the changes. So I did what I know. I argued, I yelled, I got upset. We were not on the same page with most things. We’re complete opposites in so many ways, but the biggest things that you need we actually have those in common so it balances out. Those things are love for each other and love for our little girl. I have come to appreciate us more after our separation. What I’ve learned is that people can only be themselves. If they love you, they love you the best way they know how. Not how you want them to. She’s grown so much. I’m proud of her. And us. And I do love her.

My sister is irritatingly spoiled but she has a great heart. She’s much more of a people person than I am. She’s generally pretty easygoing. We have warped sense of humors so we can be pretty hilarious together. She also has a smart mouth. She does thing when she’s talking lip to me that let’s me know that she’s about to piss me off. Her eyebrows kinda curl down in to a knot and her lips become crooked when she’s talking smack. But there is nothing that she won’t do for her family. And she is always there for me. I wouldn’t trade her for anything. I love the stinkin’ brat.

My mom is the rock. She raised us alone. She’s short, but she didn’t play. I hated my mom growing up. Not because of her but because I didn’t understand her. It wasn’t until I moved out with my dad (a move she hated with a passion) that I fully understood what she did for me and my sis. It was a good thing and a bad thing. We talk regularly. We’re most comfortable teasing each other, but she grows weary of it at times, I think. We’re both ridiculously stubborn.  She finds it hard to not be a parent to an adult, I feel that she’s raised me to be an independent person and should let me be. She also raised me to be a leader. But she’s one too. As you can imagine, we bump heads a lot. But I love her dearly.

RELATIONSHIP WITH MOM AND SIS

My mother and sister are very tight. They have a completely different relationship with each other than either of them have with me.

Though we joke about it, I truly do not believe that my mother loves either of us more or less than the other. She loves us both equally.

But she relates to my sister more. They have more in common. They’ve experienced things together as women. I’m the outsider. Not in a bad way. Not as a victim. Just different. We’ve gone to dinner and I’ve been out of the conversation for an extended period many times. Because I had no idea what they were talking about. It makes sense that they would be closer than they are with me. I understand it and it doesn’t bother me at all.

SO WHAT DOES BOTHER ME

Partly because of our differences (combined with a long comfort of knowing me my whole life), it’s easy for them to dismiss me. Often when I share a thought that may not be popular with them, I’m greeted with a phrase that I despise greatly:

“Shut up Spiritt”.

Sometimes they’re joking. It’s cool when they are. But sometimes they’re serious. That’s when I hate it.

They are not thinking about the fact that they are degrading a 32 year old, grown man. Why? Because they don’t see me like that. I’m her son. I’m her brother. It’s just Spiritt. It’s whatever.

So why don’t I say anything anymore? Because THAT conversation also irritates me and I don’t need the stress. Once I say I don’t like something, I’ll often hear:

“Oh Spiritt stop being so sensitive”.

“I’m not being sensitive, I don’t agree with what you said”.

“You are just being sensitive”.

(sigh) Never mind.

Why would I argue about how I feel? No one knows more than me what’s going on with me. Hear me out instead of concluding.

THE FIGHT WITH SIS

A few months ago we were hanging out at my sister’s place, playing cards. My sister made a comment about my daughter that I didn’t like. I got upset. My mom was saying that she didn’t mean it the way she said it. I disagreed and got more upset.

After a few minutes of heated exchange, my sister eventually went in to her room and slammed the door. I asked my mom if that meant the game was over.

She said, “it depends on how long she stays in there”.

Hated that comment. Even at that point, it was all about how the one she related to more felt.

Then I start going off about why I got upset, and loudly pointed out that she had to SLAM THE DOOR!

My mom looked at me with a confused look on her face and asked, “Spiritt did you have a bad day?”.

That was the final straw. I threw my hands up in the air and sarcastically said, “of course”, left the apt and slammed the door.

I was so upset on the way home I couldn’t think straight. I couldn’t go to anyone that understood my side. I was battling alone. No I didn’t have a bad day. I was upset at what was said. It didn’t matter if you agree with why I was upset, just understand I’m upset and let me calm down. Isn’t that’s what’s expected of me?

My sis was allowed to be upset. She could go in the room and slam her door and we were supposed to wait. But for the few minutes before that, I couldn’t be upset about a comment that was made about MY daughter.

THE FIGHT WITH MY MOM

Last night, I kinda got into it with my mom. I wanted something I thought would be help my mom and make things easier, but she refused. I got upset about it. I would have let it go after a few minutes.

But then she told me, “I suggest you take that attitude out of your voice”.

What am I 14 years old?

They don’t understand why I feel the way I do. Last night I was angry but I wasn’t going to cross any lines. Just let me be upset, I’ll get over it, we’ll move on.

They will never fully know my side. Plus they have their own different point of view. It’s impossible to put ourselves in each others shoes. It’s like me claiming to know what it’s like to be a single mother of two children. I’ll never experience that.

But since this is my blog I can express my side. AHA!!

MY REVELATION AND ONE REGRET

I think if I had been taught by a male role model how to deal with things in my life, things would be different. I would be much easier to get along with. I would get so frustrated about not knowing what to do. Or feeling like there’s no one who will understand my side.

As with everything I’m learning as I go. Everything I’ve figured out about being a man is self-taught. Clearly a much longer way to do it, but I am left with no choice. I have no idea how to be a good brother, son, father, husband. But I know enough to know that I want to be and, as long as I’m breathing, I will never stop trying my hardest.

It’s times like this that I regret not having a father figure.

So then I’m left with typing a million words in a blog. Sorry.

When I was an older teenager my dad told me “I was behind all other kids”.

Ok, first of all why would you say that to your child. Again, insecurity feeling like you have to reign over your child.

But second, that’s like somebody walking up to you and stabbing you, then telling you that you’re bleeding.

Uh, yeah fool. Thanks to you!

But here’s what I know for sure. I love all my ladies with all I’ve got and I know they all love me the same. I want them to know I’m sorry for my mistakes and that it takes me such a long time to figure out what I’m supposed to do. But know that I am trying my absolute best. And that’s all I can do.

I love you all.

And I guess since this is so long…

“SHUT UP SPIRITT”.

Grrrr

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2 thoughts on “Ups and Downs With My Four Ladies

  1. Thanks my friend. You are so right! LOL at you arguing that women are always right. While it might not be true, it sure is the general census among women. LOL. But I thank you for the encouragement. I return it to you in your endeavors. Your dad missed out on really knowing his great daughter. That’s a shame. And you’re right, my women do DRIVE ME NUTS. But I love them all.

  2. I liked this one a lot!! I like you grew up without a dad….but the difference is I am a woman. I think the absence of a parent affects us in ways we will never be fully aware of. I agree with you in the fact that men DEFINITELY think differently then women, and I would argue that we are always right….but we both know that wouldn’t be true! I think what you see as a piece of your life as missing…I see as a piece of your life that is giving you the opportunity to be the best man you can be! Sometimes those that are self taught end up being the most successful!! So I say take your time learning my friend….and try and be patient with the four women in your life….because God knows they are going to drive you nuts!

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