Thursday, April 02, 2009

Matryoshka Dolls


There are days when I don't face crisis with temerity. I don't always cope with trauma as a 32 year old should, because age is a lot like those stackable Matryoshka dolls that fit one inside the other. On the outside, I am 32, but on the inside I am also 31, 30, 29, 28, 27, 26, 25....

Like the day my mother left me. I was 16 years old, but the one year old inside me wanted to curl up in the fetal position and hibernate until the pain went away. Or that day last year in December when I learned that I had my first miscarriage with my third child. I should have been able to explain to my husband how empty I felt, because I am 32. I am expected to convey those complex feelings in a sophisticated way. But all I could say was, It's not fair....not fair....not fair.., and then the three year old in me came pouring out of my eyes like so many waterfalls.

Now, I wish I was 50. Then, I would have known how to address the white woman who pulled her midnight blue Toyota up to my bumper.  She followed behind me hugging my bumper while blaring her horn. I should have known what to say when she spewed all over me and my two girls her 2 minute tirade of foul mouthed abuse from her driver's side window, instead of just sitting there with that dumb look on my face and nothing coming out of my mouth.  Apparently, I hadn't taken advantage of a wink in time to make a right turn just before a pedestrian had stepped off of the curb.  Or maybe I was driving too slowly towards the stop light moments earlier.  Still perhaps it wasn't my driving that had set her off at all.  If I was 150, I would have known what to say when she pulled along side me at the next stop light, and called me and my daughters F*#@ing N*&&ers and Crack Whores. I opened my mouth, but nothing came out.

In that space, I was keenly aware of my girls, and the onlookers. I was overcome with shame. In my head I'm thinking how long till we get home, how long until I can just close myself up in my room and let go all of the years that I had been holding inside since that moment at Chapman Avenue.

11 comments:

Brazenlilly said...

I...am searching for words. I am crying and nauseous at how this post turned out. Forget age--I wish I were a bird so I could fly down and hug you.

I love being in my blessed little bubble and forgetting there is such inexcusable evil and hatred in the world. I hate leaving my bubble to find that someone I care about has to be the target of such filth...and I'm sure we all know that it hurt you infinitely more to have your girls be there.

You are strong, Dionne. You are strong, and you will teach them wisdom and LOVE and strength unlike and beyond anything your mother taught you. They are lucky to have you. They are blessed. You are their secure bubble.

I'm so sorry to hear about the loss of your third baby. I've not experienced it myself, but many ver close to me have, and it rocked their world.

I hope that sharing and being vulnerable has helped you unload a tiny bit of your pain and frustration. You are loved!

Mike and Katie said...

I'm sorry, honey. It just isn't right.

Alli said...

I'm so sorry, Dionne. Especially that your precious girls had to experience such hatred. You are a beautiful and worthy child of God and so are your little girls. No one, NO ONE can take that away from you.

Sometimes I think society has come a long way, and then I hear these stories of hateful people who spend their miserable lives tearing other people down. I don't know what possesses people to act that way, but remember that you are a bigger person than she is. She is obviously a very small person who is driven by fear and ignorance. You, on the other hand, are beautiful, vivacious, smart, fun, loving, and wise. Hold on to those truths and teach them to your beautiful daughters and to your students at school.

Love you, girl!

Diane Davis said...

Bunch wants to fly down and hug you. I want to come and punch that person in the face. I'm so freaking angry. So angry.

Racism is alive and well in the world and I thank you for being willing to give others that do not live in this space of the world a picture. It's just so real and I honor your voice. Always.

This is a very well written post that makes me think of my own inner child that isn't always nurtured. Heart and head don't always go hand in hand. I think your heart and your head is beautiful and I thank you for sharing it.

With that said, I want to do bodily harm to that woman... I'll admit that.

Love you.

D

Tee-Tee said...

Racisism still rears it's ugly head....even with an African-American President in office. You handled the situation with such dignity and grace...once again, displaying what a Woman of Distinction, A Woman of Valor, A Beautiful Woman of Color you truly are....and what an extraordinary role model for your beautiful daughters.

You are fearless in your fight to live life, despite your struggles and tragedies...your willingness to be vulnerable with some of your most personal experiences and thoughts is truly commendable and therapeutic, both for your readers and I hope for you. I am humbled and honored to call you my sister!!

Tee- Tee said...

Racism in mean...got so excited about writing a comment, I forgot to spell check (sorry)

PS: Yes, I am up at 1:45am because I can't sleep...QB coach told me after practice tonight that he was going to talk with head coach about having me as the starting QB in the season opener next Saturday!!! He got me all excited and anxious that I can't settle down and rest!!!!

The Reverend's Lover said...

What?!!!! You've got to to be kidding!!!

I am sorry for that woman - so pitifully sorry that her life is so miserable and devoid of hope that she is blind and abusive. Tragic.

I think if you were 50 you might have done the same thing; taming the tongue is one of the highest forms of wisdom and discipline. So, well done - your life speaks.

My thoughts...

Carrie said...

I love how you have expressed the feelings that come out of us and how they coincide with our "inside" ages. At any age, though, I pity the narrow-minded stupid woman. You are beautiful and brilliant. I am sorry for the pain in your heart, but the words that flow are insightful and lovely. I wish I could crawl into your clever mind and marvel at the thoughts that exist there.

Kristen said...

This is a beautiful post. I revert to my six-year-old self a lot. A LOT. I'm not proud of it.

I agree, though, in this situation it sounds like you handled yourself like an adult woman with amazing self-control. I probably would have screamed obsenities back and made a scene in front of my children. So I would have acted like a 12-year-old . . . and scarred my kids even more.

I am also grateful for you sharing this story. It is a reminder that we need to be vigilant and intolerant of racism no matter how far we think we've come.

Lyonslove said...

Oh Dionne- I am so glad that you shared your thoughts. I am so sorry for the loss of your baby. You are a strong and wonderful mother who is teaching her girls to also be strong and wonderful. I think you did the right thing with that crazy lady. Where do people get off? There is SO much hate in this world but you need to remember how many people love you! I love you!

Ramon said...

I can't really say nothin. I can't even say I wish I was there and this is what I would have said back. I am in a place where I am speechless and yet I know that I am hurt, angry, sad, and dejected by what happened to you. You and your girls are in our prayers.

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