Allowances by Angenita Williams-Childs



I was up until 5:35 this morning reading Stacey Patton’s book, That Mean Old Yesterday. In it, she talks about her being whupped as a child, well, not just  whupped, but mentally, physically, and emotionally abused by the adoptive parents who so called loved her. She brilliantly tied her abuse with slavery. I was captivated.

Reading her book made me realize a lot about myself. It made me realize that somehow, we were connected in ways I could never imagined. I was whupped and I whupped my kids thinking that’s discipline. It’s control. Power. Fear. And I reflect back to those years and some of her feelings I felt; abandonment, fear, low worth. These carried over into adulthood.

It also made me realize something else. Allowances. It made me realize that the way I sought validation, the way I let people hurt me, the way I allowed myself to be in situations I didn’t want to be in was because I allowed myself to do those things out of fear of rejection. Allowed myself to be led down paths I had no business walking on. Allowed people to hurt me in my core. Allowed the real me to be tucked away, hidden because that me was not acceptable. She didn’t fit, and rejection was scary. Someone needed to accept me. That someone was me.

I allowed so much pain and longing to control me; my thoughts, my style, the way I deal with men. I morphed into whatever a person needed me to be, not allowing myself the joy I deserve. I think back to the first time I can remember expressing my anger and hurt.  I was eight, and my mom and I went to a little rural store a few miles from my grandmother’s house. I wanted something I couldn’t have. I told my mother that it wasn’t fair. I told her I would just walk back to my grandmother’s house. I was greeted with a backhand to my mouth. Anytime I expressed hurt, I was told to get over it. Stay in my place. But no one ever told me what that was. What, exactly, is my place?

As I type this, tears stream down my face and thirty-four years worth of pain floods my heart. My regrets. My sorrows. My allowances. I’ve wasted so much time trying to be what I’m not. I realize that I can’t hit the rewind button and start over, but I can make a new beginning. The days are gone allowing others to trample my heart, my soul, my spirit. Controlling me behind rejection’s fears.

No more allowances.


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