I know that many of you have experienced rape, incest, homelessness, depression, sickness and disease, and abuse of every kind from those who are closest to you, from those who are supposed to have your back and protect you. You have been lied to and cheated on.
But, don't look back! Refuse to be the victim any longer. Stop grudging up the past. Stop hitting rewind and replaying all the hurt and pain over and over again.
The song says, "The Sun Will Come Out Tomorrow" but it seems like tomorrow never comes. Well, you don't have to wait another day for the sun to come out. Why not make your tomorrowm, today?
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HOPE FOR THE BROKEN-HEARTEDDo Not Allow Your Past To Steal Your Future
By Crystal Buffington
AuthorHouseCopyright © 2012 Crystal Buffington
All right reserved.
Chapter OneTHE BEGINNING: IDENTITY CRISIS
Too often and unfortunately, parents and extended family don't understand the long term effect the things they say and do can have on a child. Either negative or positive, the effects can become a generational curse or a generational blessing.
A positive or negative view of oneself usually develops from the familial influence and environment that you are subjected to in the early, primary stages of life.
A child, who is looked upon as if they are nothing, unimportant, invisible and sometimes verbally told that they are nothing and will never be anything, can grow to believe that's the truth about them. The child develops an identity crisis. They don't know who they are. They don't know that they were created with the potential for greatness already on the inside of them.
My grandmother's boyfriend would tell me that I was going to be nothing but a drunk. I was 12-14 years old. At that age, I had not done anything to justify him saying that to me. He just wanted to speak negatively into my life.
I was often treated like the proverbial "step-child". Everyone else received attention and praise for everything and for nothing, just because they were who they were and wasn't me, it seemed.
Many times I wondered, "Why would God place me in a family that clearly cared very little about me?" It wasn't just my maternal family. My paternal family showed very little interest in me as well. So, it had to be me. I had to be the problem. Something had to be wrong with me. How could I be invisible to both families? How could I be of so little value to both families? No one ever celebrated the day I was born. My birthday went unrecognized year after year. I do not recall ever having a birthday cake until my fortieth birthday. You will find out later who did that for me.
I know how much of a blessing my son and daughter are to me and have been from the day they were born. I just recently became a grandmother. I was blessed to be permitted in the delivery room and witnessed his birth. Instantly, I was in love and there is nothing that I would not do to ensure that he knows that he is loved. I just do not understand how a family can without any shame, even until this very day, be so careless and insensitive to another's feelings, especially parents. How can you still go on as if you have been the poster child for the parent of the year award? How can you not have any remorse and apologize for physically and emotionally abandoning your child?
I was so unsure about where I belonged. However, the one constant in my life was my mother. Thank God for my mother. I knew she loved me unconditionally. But, she was always sick and in and out of the hospital. She suffered with heart problems and asthma. My grandmother loved me but she was wrapped up in her own life a lot of times.
When I was about seven years old, my mother was in the hospital recovering from open heart surgery, my grandmother left me with my great grandmother and uncle to go visit my mom. I don't know why she didn't take me, maybe because of my age. Anyway, it was a very cold, wintry January night and my uncle and great-grandmother made me sit outside in the cold and dark alone without any food for hours. When my grandmother returned, I was still outside and she never addressed it with them. She just picked me up and took me home. It was simply ignored.
Then a few years later, tragedy hit like a mack truck. What happens when the one person you feel really loves you is suddenly gone?
Chapter TwoLOST LOVES
I remember that day as if it was just yesterday, but it was Wednesday, November 7, 1979. The morning started like any other week day morning, nothing strange or out of the ordinary. I would have never imagined in my wildest of imaginations that the day would have ended the way it did. Actually, that day ended before it really had a chance to begin. My mother woke me up for school. I was a seventh grader in the Baltimore City public school system.
That morning my mom made me French toast, scrambled eggs and bacon for breakfast. After I ate, she gave me my money for the bus, told me to have a good day, hugged and kissed me and said goodbye. I had no way of knowing how special that moment really was and that it was truly goodbye. Don't take the ordinary, everyday things for granted. There was no way to know that would be the last kiss, the last hug, the last smile, the last time I would hear, "I love you" from my mother. I yelled goodbye to my grandmother who was upstairs and left for school.
I had to take two buses to get to school. As I was about to board the second bus, I realized I lost my transfer ticket. My dilemma, use the money for my trip home to continue on to school and try to figure out how I would get home at the end of the school day or go back home and get more money. I decided to go back home.
I had only been gone about 15-20 minutes. I knocked and knocked on the front door. No one answered so I began to bang on the door. My grandmother's bedroom was right above the front door. She lifted her window and saw that it was me at the door and yelled down to my mother to open the door.
After a few seconds, my grandmother flung the door open so quick it startled me and the look on her face was terrifying. Without saying a word, she immediately turned and ran back to the powder room located on the first level right near the kitchen.
My grandmother was calling my mother's name in a voice that was filled with fear and desperation. It was like something I never heard before or since, not even in the scariest horror movies. As I got closer, to the bathroom, my worst nightmare comes true. My mother was lying on the floor and she was not responding to my grandmother. My body reacted like a circus show. My heart dropped, my stomach flipped, and my head pounded. Fear gripped me. I ran to the neighbor's house and they called the paramedics.
When the paramedics arrived, they pulled her out of the bathroom and began performing Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR). A few minutes later, they pronounced my mother dead, right there on our kitchen floor where she had just cooked me breakfast just an hour before.
How could this be? Everything seemed to slow down to this unbelievable pace. I was there but I wasn't there. I could see my grandmother, our neighbor, and the paramedics talking but I couldn't hear them. Everything turned into this big, black hole and it was swallowing me.
I was in a state of shock and unbelief. What now?! Where will I go? What's going to happen to me? This cannot be! This cannot be happening! What will I do without my mother?!
My father was never a constant presence in my life but after the home going service for my mother, I thought I would go live with him. That would be the most logical thing, right? Was that such an unrealistic expectation? If your mother is not there and you have a father, wouldn't and shouldn't that be the person that would take you, love you, nurture you, and provide for you? I knew that over the years his visits had been sporadic and inconsistent but, still I thought, "This is different, my mom is gone". He won't just leave me here with my grandmother and her crazy boyfriend. He has to step up and be the consistent, dependable, loving father that his 11 years old daughter, who just lost her mother, needs him to be."
After all, he was a self-proclaimed Christian from a long line of Pastors, Deacons and Ministers. God will never leave nor forsake His children. So, my biological father, who studies the Word, believes the Word, know the Word would by all means be a doer of the Word, right? The Bible tells us, "But be doers of the Word [obey the message], and not merely listeners to it, betraying yourselves [into deception by reasoning contrary to the Truth]," (James 1:22, Amplified).
So, my father and step-mother reasoned with themselves that not stepping up on my behalf was the right thing to do. They both deceived themselves because not only was that decision contrary to the Truth, but also made them worse than an unbeliever, as seen in the scripture reference below.
First Timothy 5:8 (Amplified) says, "If anyone fails to provide for his relatives, and especially for those of his own family, he has disowned the faith [by failing to accompany it with fruits] and is worse than an unbeliever [who performs his obligation in these matters]."
My father did not perform his obligation. He left the obligation of raising his child up to someone else. I was left with my grandmother. I felt abandoned. I always felt as if he saw me as his "bastard" child. He treated my brother and sister better than me. I always thought it was because he was married to their mother.
My step-mother has always attempted to point the finger at my father. She told me, "I told your father to get you but he did not listen". Now, anyone who knows my step-mother, knows that she is not a woman who takes "no" for an answer. She is a very strong—willed and strong-minded woman who more times than not get what she wants.
She and my father in conversation, in front of me and directly to me, have commented on how my step-mother talked about how my grandmother dressed me when I was young. Each time I hear this from them and it has been several times, in my mind I am screaming, "How dare you criticize what someone else did or did not do for me when you did not do all that you could have done for me!!!" I mean really, the audacity.
I am also a step-mother to three daughters. Their mother is alive and well but when things were not going appropriately in their home, I did not casually mention to their father that he should get them. I insisted that "we" get them and we did. There were times when we had all three of the girls. There were times when we had two of them and there were other times when just one of them lived with us.
My step-mother has one biological child and three step-children. I have two biological children and three step-children. My husband and I have had all five at the same time. It would have been one hundred times easier for my father and step-mom to gain custody of me than it was for my husband and I, but we put the girls first and we did it. They were two employed adults who lived in a nice single family, detached house with multiple bedrooms compared to my grandmother who was on a fixed-income. So, I think it's an extremely sad, unfortunate, and unacceptable cop-out to point the finger solely at my father. Yes, he should have been more of a man and did the right thing but she could have given him the nudge that I needed especially, since she always say that I am her daughter. But, everyone did what was best for them and told themselves it was what was best for me. Whatever makes your sleep better at night.
I recently met a woman who told me that her mother committed suicide when she was 13 years old. Her father took her and her four siblings to live with his wife and him with whom he had two other children. Her father and his wife raised all six children. She also said that her father lavished her with money and material things in an attempt to fill the void of her not having her mother.
I never expected nor wanted my father to lavish me with anything but his love. I just wanted to be "daddy's little girl". He did not even try to fill the emotional void left by not having my mother, let alone any financial void. Life is about choices and he chose not to be there for me. He knew I was drowning yet, he chose not to jump in to save me nor did he throw me a life jacket. But, praise God, I am still here.
It wasn't as if they could not afford to have me live with them. After all, they took in a god-daughter, my brother and sister who had their mother and a step-dad, my sister was an adult when she went to live in their home, they took in their adult siblings, in-laws, nieces, nephews and other unrelated people.
As an adult, I asked my father, "Why didn't you get me?
He replied, "Your mother was your grandmother's only child and you were your mother's only child. Your grandmother asked me to leave you with her. If I had taken you from your grandmother she would have been alone".
First, my grandmother was not alone. She had her crazy boyfriend. Second and more important, as I have previously stated, everyone did what was best for them but told themselves they were doing what was best for me.
I lived in a household where we weren't sure from one weekend to the next if it was going to be in the words of Boxing Announcer Michael Buffer, a "Let's Get Ready to Rumble" weekend or more like a "Let's Get Ready to Run" to the neighbor's house for refuge when my grandmother's boyfriend would come in drunk and ready to fight.
So, that's where I was and home was not getting better. I was tired of my grandmother's boyfriend coming in drunk and fighting every other weekend. I can recall one Sunday afternoon hiding in the closet for hours praying that he wouldn't find me after he was done slapping my grandmother around. He would call my name with such mania; I cringed and prayed that he would not find me. But, family members, until this very day, deny knowing what was going on, sticking your head in the sand, does not make you less guilty.
I remember one night in particular. My grandmother's boyfriend was really deranged as if he was on drugs, other than just alcohol. He had slapped my grandmother around pretty good this night. Somehow, she managed to get away from him and ran to the neighbor's. He came upstairs and saw me on the phone calling the police and slapped me. He turned and ran down the stairs calling my grandmother's name and screaming he was going to kill her. I honestly believe if she had not gotten out of the house already he might have killed her that night.
Of course, the fact that he hit me didn't change one thing. I was unprotected again. Although, he never hit me again, he continued to fight my grandmother for at least two more years.
No child should be subjected to that type of environment. But, it never ceases to amaze me how adults choose not to take any responsibility for their child's rebellious behavior. My Pastor has often said, "More is Caught than Taught." Parents run loose households without any structure, living their lives any way they want to in front of their child and then expect the child to walk this perfect, straight line. Do as I say, not as I do, is not the principle you should rely on to raise your child. So, you reap what you have sown yet you're angry and disappointed with the behavior of your child. In the words of the late, great Michael Jackson, "Start with the man (woman) in the mirror".
Now, I know that this is not applicable to every situation. But, if it is your situation, be honest with yourself. Stop pointing your finger at your child. Once you take some responsibility as a parent for your part in the issue, you and your child will be able to build a great relationship and begin moving towards a brighter future individually and as a family. Many times, parents don't realize the long-term effects their actions have on their child.
* * *
MY FIRST LOVE
When I was 14, a freshman in high school, I started receiving attention from a boy at school, he was two years older.
It is extremely important for fathers to be an active part of their daughters' lives. Fathers should always let their daughters know that they are beautiful, special, valuable, wonderfully and fearfully made. Otherwise, they will easily fall prey to LOSERS and believe that's the best they can do.
His name was Derwyn. He was the first boy to pay me any real attention and when you're not getting attention from anyone else, including at home, well let's just say any attention is good attention.
I thought Derwyn was cute; he was funny and said whatever he wanted. He exuded confidence. I was attracted to that because it was everything that I lacked. I didn't think I was pretty and I definitely was not confident.
Now, I know what you're thinking ... 14 is too young to think about love anyway. I should have been focusing on my school work. Yeah, yeah, well, hindsight is 20/20. Besides that, it's just like feeling hungry for food. You have this feeling of emptiness in your stomach and you may even get hunger pains. Anyone knows when they're hungry, even babies cry when they're hungry. It's the same way with feeling hungry for love. Age is not a factor when it comes to wanting to be loved even pets want our love and attention. There's emptiness that you just want filled.
Excerpted from HOPE FOR THE BROKEN-HEARTED by Crystal Buffington Copyright © 2012 by Crystal Buffington. Excerpted by permission of AuthorHouse. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Table of Contents
Chapter 1 The Beginning: Identity Crisis....................1
Chapter 2 Lost Loves....................7
Derwyn My First Love....................19
King Husband #1....................29
My Pride And Joy....................47
Attachment Without Commitment....................65
Husband #2 Marriage #1....................71
About The Author....................101