Struggle Olympics

 Do you ever randomly think of people who were around in a certain season or time but have basically fallen off the face of the earth in your life? I do this quite often... So many people have come and gone in my life. From classmates, coworkers, friends, acquaintances and even my father. I think the reality of the fact that people won't always stick around started when I was about 13. My parents went through a painful divorce when I was 11 and every other weekend for about 2 years we were with my dad. One day he left and I didn't see him for 2 years. The summer I turned 15 I spent two weeks with him and from that point I didn't see him again until I was 20, saw him again when I was 22 then he moved back to my hometown when I was 23 then left again, haven't seen him since. The rift, the distance angered me, changed me, defined the course of my life and I was convinced that people never stick around. I've never been a clingy person for this very reason, it just became inevitable to me that people always leave. I hadn't quite learned about seasonal and permanent at that point in life so to me everyone was suspect! 
 My life was defined by who didn't stay because the ultimate human relationship which is first built with your parents had been broken. In our society, in my world we as girls, women, particularly black women are so familiar with coming from single parent homes and situations. We are taught to survive in dysfunction, we are taught to be strong and realize that we aren't the only ones surviving with one parent. That messes with you, that causes insecurities and questions of why wasn't I worthy of love and attention. I can only speak from the perspective of a black girl/woman so that's going to always be where my stance and view is coming from. You find yourself looking for love in the absolute worst places, you find yourself settling and trying to fill an empty space because you weren't built up or prepped for the battle called life. My mother and I always butted heads because she didn't understand me, my issues or my pain. She simply thought I was being an emotional teenager  or a drama queen, she and I had lived different lives under different circumstances. She had a father who was always present, always consistent and always there. We get along much better now that I'm older but at times when I mention certain things she says that still bothers you? For example recently I saw pictures on FB of father daughter dances and dinners and it got to me. I expressed how I felt and she asked why it bothered me. She doesn't come from a place of rudeness or anything it's just something that she's never experienced. We need to understand that in this life it's hard to connect to people on certain levels and with certain situations that we've never dealt with. 
 Going on 29, I'm saved, spirit filled, I walk with God daily yet there are areas in my life he's still healing. I'm 29 and still have "daddy issues" and honestly those issues will randomly rear their ugly head, I submit them to God whenever I feel some type of way but the reality is that they've never been solved in the natural. I've come to understand that I'll never receive an apology so I had to forgive even though nobody said sorry. Life owes you nothing and until people see themselves your best bet is to accept an apology that you'll never get. This is where that "you're not the only one" mentality strikes and you start to feel guilty for being upset about the neglect that you had nothing to do with. You start saying oh well at least my dad didn't do this to me, he didn't physically abuse me etc and we NEGLECT the fact that we were neglected. That's emotional abuse but you're not taught that! Can I tell you that you don't have to walk around feeling like your situation was irrelevant because someone struggled MORE. I absolutely despise the struggle Olympics and you may ask what that pertains to. The struggle Olympics is a state of mind or notion that because someone else experienced a different type of pain or faced a different issue that your circumstances are less substantial. This frame of thinking causes us to go through life accepting, letting people treat us however because someone out there in the universe is experiencing worse. I've heard everything from oh well at least you know your dad (barely) or who he is as if that fixes the giant hole from years of absence. I don't make excuses for him and I don't make excuses for myself, that kind of mindset destroys people. As women we have this bad, we want to coddle, protect the people we love so we make excuses. Time after time I've been called mean because I don't make excuses for my family. I'll stick up for you when you're right but if you're wrong then you're just wrong! You'll often hear well his or her father wasn't around etc ect while in the back of your mind you realize that at least 75% of your black peers, family and friends didn't have a father. Yes I'm one who blames society, the system because it failed us! Now that's not making excuses for everyone black so you can exit stage left now if you think that because you've just misinterpreted and misunderstood everything I've written. 
 As black women it's embedded in our being to always be strong simply because if we go back centuries to slavery we've been stripped of dignity, pride and nobody could protect them. Their husbands and children were often separated from them therefore they had to do life in the face of adversity. It is my strongest belief that YOU and I along with many generations before us were given this burden to never let our emotions or life's struggle show. The struggle Olympics come into play when you think of those ancestors etc ect and once again you accept anything. Now we can break this all the way down if you're still reading! You carry this mindset into friendships and relationships am I correct? People walk all over your feelings, your heart and you just take it because you were taught that somebody has it worse so be grateful. Can I tell you that is a dysfunctional curse? You deserve love, honor and to be treated with respect. Who taught me this? Jesus. I also watched how my grandfather has always treated my grandmother so to me being loved and respected wasn't far fetched or make believe because he set the bar pretty high. It may have never been practiced in my own home growing up and maybe not yours either but know that it's out there. In this lost, broken and fallen world there are still genuine people who care about you. 
 Your insecurities, trust issues and inferiority complex came from neglect in some form. Even if you had two active parents if you're struggling with insecurities and inferiority somebody neglected to tell you that you're enough, that you're special and that you're loved! 
Maybe your parents weren't the ones who necessarily failed you, maybe you've let close friends or other family members get inside your head and cause you to be insecure. I often struggle with the jealousy concept because It's not my battle. Now of course being human I've gotten jealous over little things but in all honesty I can't quite wrap my mind around jealousy. My concept of jealousy is that someone has something you want and you covet that right? Well in my mind when thinking of jealousy I feel that if you have more than me such as a better house, a car, job etc then that's when it strikes. Simply because who gets jealous of someone doing worse than them? Who gets jealous of someone who has something you already have or a better version of it? That's my mindset because it's not my issue or battle to wrestle with. Your insecurities are loud and your confidence is often quiet because you don't feel the need to put an emphasis on the things that are covered. Over the course of the next few months, year, however long it takes I'd like you to join me on this journey of healing from the pain of people who left us feeling insecure. We have to submit this to Jesus because it's a plague of destruction. Can we take a moment to pray before I wrap this up? "Jesus we come to you with our broken hearts, we come to you with our insecurities, frustrations and fears. We come to you because you're the healer and the mender of broken hearts and minds. Lord I don't know who's reading this, I don't know their personal battle, issue or struggle but I know that we all have them. Whether it's mommy or daddy issues, whether it's friendships or relationships we need you to heal our hearts. Lord we go through life stuffing, hiding and avoiding the fact that we were wronged but right now we submit that to you!  We understand that the burden of an unforgiving nature and mindset is much too heavy for us to carry. We forgive our fathers, mothers or those who've wronged us by neglecting our emotions, our lives and our situations. We know that your love is the only love that can cancel out our pain, our issues and self doubt. You see the depth of our hearts, you see the battle we face daily so right now we are going to place these LOUD insecurities at your feet and walk boldly. In the days, months, years to come we trust that you'll continue healing us emotionally, physically and continue spiritually guiding us. We can't handle or deal with life's pressures on our own so we turn it over to you. Thank you for dying for our sins and loving us past our pain. Amen
 I'm praying that you'll keep following me, my journey and that this blesses someone out there regardless of race, gender or age.- CDJ


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