Imagine little orphan Annie with all the issues she had growing up. We all know the story. It is the story of foster children all over the globe. It is the story of orphans in third world countries. It is the stories of children who grow up to be adults that condition themselves to not speak about the painful past and how it effects today. I don’t want to be quiet anymore! I was quiet for a while because I am an orphan who grew up, went to school, got a degree, got married, then I was going to have a family, right? Wrong! I beat the odds despite the 80/ 20% statistic that says I would fail. I did it, the “American Dream.” I set myself up to have it all. The success that the world says we should have and in the order they say is ideal. Things happen and I understand but I wanted so bad to get it right. I wanted so bad to beat the odds that I was determined to do things in order. 1) Get a degree 2) Start your career 3) Get married 4) Have a family. Where did I go wrong?
I trusted. See one thing that many can identify with growing up as an orphan is lack of trust. Don’t trust no one is what the world will teach you. When I grew up I taught myself how to trust because I realized it was a valuable necessity to building healthy relationships and I did not want to be hindered from the ability to love and be loved. So I learned how to trust. At step 3, I trusted the wrong person at the right time. I got swooned by a man twice my age. He romanticized this life that I would build with him in Silicon Valley, so close to San Francisco where I could pursue my modeling and the arts. He came in riding on his white horse and I fell for that. He seemed honest about who he was, his insecurities, and was open about how he felt about me. This man twice my age was running laps around the suitors I had met before! Why shouldn’t he, he is old enough to know right? See I did not think things all the way through as I should have. Here was this man confessing and professing his love to me and I wanted so much to love him back. Here was my chance to love and be loved, have that family, have the life I never had.
When you have a good heart people know. They see it in the way you treat others, the way you speak about your passions, goals, and desires. They can see the truth in you. When you are honest to a fault, people WILL use it against you. I am no pessimist so NOT EVERYONE is out to get you, but be aware. I was so honest pouring out my heart, my faults, my past and all the while he was checking his boxes and dotting his eyes (that is not a typo). “She needs someone who won’t give up on her huh?” Check. “She needs someone to support her emotionally,” Check! “She is ready to be a wife,” Check, check, and checkmate! I am going to put it out there because I have been respectful for too long. I am not vindictive and don’t seek to tell my story to bring shame to the party involved but how many women has this happened to? How many orphan Annies grow up and become me? Imagine, they are your best friend, your sister, your mother. I have to tell my story, because it is the story of so many before and I want it to be the story of so few after.
The timing that we got married was timely nonetheless. I did not get my white wedding from my knight. I got some court documents that I signed and a ceremony that had one witness, his witness. At the time I was going through the aftermath of a situation that cost me everything. I wasn’t seeking someone to help me. I did not want anyone to help me, but he wanted to help. “No one is supposed to live on their own island,” he said. Oh, and I fell for that too! Now here I am 2 years later and in the same spot that he married me from. He could have left me where I was. See orphans are very familiar with shelters, we are very familiar with the need to survive and those who can learn from life learn to be resilient. No matter what you pour on them they wake up each day as if the day before did not bother them. It doesn’t mean that it doesn’t hurt, it means that they don’t have time to cry because they/ WE need to find a solution.
Imagine that 2 years has passed, you have been accused of being the worst wife ever! You are disrespectful and oh so dishonest. Imagine that you almost begin to believe the lies that you are told on a daily basis until you do a little self analysis and remember who you are and where you came from, because you know you have already been tested by life. After 1.5 months my husband informed me that he was no longer in love with me. I hit better than Kim K did! How did I manage to cause a man to fall out of love in a month and a half? Dang, I must good! I began the fix it process before there was anything to fix. The marriage was broken from the beginning and I had to wonder why? Why did he ask for my hand in marriage? What did I do wrong? How do I fix it? After all, I prayed about this so how could I have gotten it wrong? I trusted the wrong person at the right time.
Imagine that you have been warned many times over to be careful because some men from Africa marry you for their green card. I shrugged it off time and time again. I taught myself how to trust. I pray about the people in my life. That is NOT going to happen to me right? Interesting question. I married a man that I met online and after a 8-month courtship I got married in a courthouse and a week later I filled out his immigration paperwork and 6 weeks later he was no longer in love with me. That is convenient right? Oh, but I rationalized that for the next year and a half while I tried to make my marriage “WORK.” It was work alright. I wanted counseling, he went to one session. I wanted to go to the pastor, he wanted me to keep it on the DL (google it). He can’t afford to be humiliated in a private office speaking to the pastor of the church seeking MARRIAGE COUNSELING, right? Well once again I made excuses. I figured that I had my own part to own up to. It is not easy being married to “orphan Annie” who requires so much love and attention right? She only requires the same amount of love that is necessary for a wife to survive and thrive in a marriage.
Side note: people who come from hardships do need a lot of things emotionally, but that is if they do not take the necessary steps to HEAL from their past.
I am sharing my story despite how much I think that maybe it is too much for the public. Perhaps I am throwing myself under the bus in my attempts to be the VOICE that will NOT be SILENCED. When I was in foster care I had to find my voice not to become a number. In this world where there are so many people from so many different walks of life, YOU NEED a VOICE. Otherwise the world will swallow you whole and spit you out and you won’t have a backbone to stand. I lost my voice when I became a wife. I spoke in the home and tried to get respect as a wife but I was quiet outside the home. What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, baby! That was something I learned as a child. What happens in the confines of our home should stay in our home.
Note: For the most part it kind of should, especially when there are leeches in the world that do untrustworthy things with the information provided.
Back to the original program: It is no one’s business that, “you are not my child.” So my home life has always been sacred or SECRET and I treated my marriage the same. I RESPECTED the man of my home and in turn I CHOSE to not SEEK the HELP that I NEEDED WHEN I NEEDED IT UNTIL it was TOO LATE! I did not want to embarrass the man I was with by speaking of our personal issues. I should have, because the one with the real issue was ME. I was married to a man who married me for his green card. No ifs, ands, buts about it. He got me. He got over on me and I was the fool all the while he claimed that he was the fool and I was the gold digging, advantage taking, money hungry woman who was out to get him. Really? Have you seen my life lately? Do you see where my passions lie? I can’t fake the heart that I have, but I can cut people off. Even after my gut told me to report this man for what I felt in my HEART had taken place I did not. Why? Oh this is good! Because he has a son, and I know what it is like to grow up without my father and I did not want that boy to grow up without his.
Imagine, that your heart bleeds so much for people around you that sometimes you feel that you were designed to be a VOICE. I feel I have been put in certain situations at the time that I have been put in them only because God knows I am going to speak up. He knows that I am going to be the one that fights, who tries to educate others to get it right. The next time you feel like going off on someone, treating someone with disrespect for whatever reason why don’t you stop and think again? Imagine that you don’t know their life story, imagine they are that orphan Annie and everyday they wake up, get dressed, and go to their casting calls with their modelesque figure with their Louis Vuitton in tow and Chanel perfume like nothing is wrong. Perhaps nothing is wrong per se but they have been somewhere too. If you have felt pain, they have felt it too. Don’t take advantage of others because your so busy trying to get to the top. Pay attention to those around you. Imagine that the next person in line, may be the one who is sacrificing their tears just to be your VOICE, why HURT them? Why not try to have compassion for who they may or may not be and assist them to get to that next level in life? If you are incapable of doing that then at least walk away with who you are and leave them alone.
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