So, for those of you who don’t know my recent story, the long and short of it is my mother died and I have to be out of her apartment by December 4th. This recent turn of events got me thinking about the latter half of my life. These past ten years have been one hell of a thing to experience.
I’ve always wanted to move the fuck away from here. My mom got this apartment after we left the shelter when I was in middle school. It was not the best of neighborhoods back then. Sirens, gunshots, robberies, police on foot patrol. We had it all. It was ours though. First time since we left Atlanta and my dad left that we had our own place.
We were happy. To a point. My stubborn ass still wanted to travel. I wanted to live somewhere exciting. Why did we have to leave Atlanta? Why couldn’t we live with my brother up in Maryland? Why couldn’t we be near the beach? I think even my mom missed traveling. She used to always tell me stories about her and her best friends and how they’d always go down to Myrtle Beach.
That just made my Black ass even more determined to get the fuck out of the hood and into a nice place with extra funds so I could travel. I did that, for a while. I went to college, got married, flew on a plane for the first time, moved out of the whole state.
And then things fell apart.
Funds got low, marriage fell apart, and I was forced right back into that same damn apartment in the hood with my mom. This time the neighborhood was quiet and there weren’t as many cops around and a good number of the people I knew were gone.
It was home though. At least, it had to be. I didn’t have too much of a choice in the matter. After moving back in, instead of dreaming of moving out to travel, I just wanted to move out to give my kids a home I didn’t have. Something in a nice, quiet neighborhood, with a yard they could play in safely. I wanted them to have stability.
I was determined to get out, but I was stuck because my mom wasn’t in the best of health anymore (no matter how hard she denied it) and I had two kids, one in school and an infant in need of daycare. I needed a job but needed daycare but couldn’t afford daycare without a job. I tried for daycare assistance, but the wait-list is months long. In short, it’s a vicious cycle.
Even though I knew I was stretching myself to the limit and I knew I was doing everything in my power, I still felt like a failure. A failure as a person, as an adult, and as a parent. Even though I knew I shouldn’t, I continued to compare myself to everyone I saw, and I just felt like I’d done fuck all compared to them. Here I was, another Black single mother living in public housing; a statistic. That’s what I felt like, just another statistic racists and hoteps could use to point to the failure of the Black race. (Hello respectability politics! You’re back to ruin another life, are you?)
Even with all that stewing in my brain, I pushed it all to the side and simply focused on getting though day to day life. I just wanted to make it to the next day. That was my goal. I did that for a long time, just letting life pass me by as I barely made it through.
And then my mom died.
My mommy. My rock, my support, the woman who had been with me since birth and never left my side. She was gone. I didn’t– I don’t know what to do. Every decision I make just feels wrong now. I’d normally go to her for help at times like this, but now there’s no one. No one knew me like she did and no one ever will.
I can’t help but blame myself for this. If I had known she was that sick, I could’ve gotten her to the hospital sooner and maybe they could’ve helped her. If I had tried harder to get her to stop drinking, maybe she’d be here right now. If I hadn’t wished so hard for a change in my fucking life, maybe she’d still be here and I’d be going through the same bullshit, comforting ass routine, but no. I wanted a change. I wanted something different. I wanted a fucking way out and I got it.
Now I’m being forced out of this apartment I’ve been in for a good portion of my life, in the middle of holiday season. I now have no choice but to find a way to do all the things that I literally couldn’t do before. Not only that, I have to do it in a completely new city. My anxiety is through the roof, bipolar is off the charts, depression is threatening to hit new lows, and all I really wanna do is sit in a corner and stare at a wall for a few hours and cry. But I can’t. I have to hold it together because there is no one else. I have to do this, for me and for the kids. I can’t break down and I can’t let it all go. At least, not yet. Later, when we have a home and some type of stability, I can let go. But not now.
Right now, I have to be an adult who somewhat has her shit together in order to get through these next few weeks. When it comes down to it though, as childish as it sounds, I just really miss my mommy and I want her back.