THE STRUGGLE (Part One)

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In life most people struggle with something; no one is without it. Most people struggle to decide what world they want to live in. Some people struggle with drug addiction and float between a drug induced high life and that of their day to day work and family life. How about the avid church attendee? This person will be the usher or in the choir and is there for every church service but maybe has slept with half the city and their sexual appetite is still not satisfied. Pretty soon these lines start to blur, people will soon find out and then how will they see you?

Thank God I don’t have a drug addiction and I am not some wild sex addict (although I know some wish I was lol yea I’m feeling myself). My struggle is more of an identity crisis. Yes I am (insert age here) and I am still trying to figure out where I belong.

Many of you know my story but I am sure there will be a few that don’t. This is deeply personal to me but the way I look at it, is if I am going through this others must be as well. As humans we want to identify with other people like us or share the same views

No one wants to be alone in their struggle. If your boss is giving you a hard time, you want to be sure you are not the only person in the world having issues with their boss. So what do you do? You consult friends, family, or even Google. Surely Google will have the answer! But no matter who you consult we need to know we are not alone in our struggle.

Lately I have been thinking about my friends I surround myself with and I have always considered myself a well rounded person. I have friends from different backgrounds, right? Right? Wrong!!!! It seems that the majority of my friends or people I associate with are Nigerian. For goodness sake I haven’t even considered dating an American guy (African American) as a matter of fact I have very few African American friends. Where is the diversity in that? I would much rather be friends with a white person, Indian, Middle Eastern, anything but Black. Before you dismiss me I just ask that you hear me out.

I can only give my thoughts based on things that have happened to me. I recall a childhood friend who happens to be African American had a birthday celebration. Upon arrival everyone was super clicked together and did not seem open for meeting new people. At one point one of the girls came up to me and interrogated me as to how I knew the celebrant. I was in utter shock! Furthermore the person I came there with and I wanted to take a picture and as in many situations you ask someone nearby if they mind taking it. The young lady we asked literally looked at us up and down and turned her back! I guess their motto is #nonewfriends. It wasn’t until we went into the bathroom and met a Persian lady that someone was being nice to us.

 

This has been my story since I was a small girl. I have always had a diverse group of friends growing up but none of them were African American. In my adult life I find a large group of my friends are Nigerian with a few others sprinkled in to flavor my stew of friends.

Some may say “What’s the problem with that, aren’t you Nigerian?” the answer to that is no. I am 100% American. I am sure you are now wondering what is my struggle? Even though I am a fully American my upbringing was not that at all.  I had an integrated childhood, Nigerian and American.

I think everyone that grew up in my age group (which is to be determined lol) that was first generation or new to the states struggled with being Nigerian American. Some tried really hard to be “down” but as time and age went on not only did they accept but embraced who they were.  But where did I fit in?

My mother married a Nigerian man after her and my biological father divorced. My biological father wasn’t the best husband or father, but he was a good business man if that means anything. My mother has been with my dad (Step father) since I was about 3. Up until I was 18 I could count on my hands the interactions I had with my biological father. I honestly didn’t know how his lack of participation affected me until a few years ago. There are certain things I cannot tolerate in a man because of him. Such as flashy guys because he is super flashy, guys that need to be known by everyone when they walk in the room, because he needs to be known by EVERYONE, and lastly a man that can’t keep his promise. Even though our interactions were few, he could never seem to hold his word when he said something. Something like that for a child can be hard to handle and he did it all the time. Even though I did not grow up with him, I am my “fathers” daughter. He has that “I don’t take mess” attitude, and so do I. He can be a little wild and crazy, me too. He makes friends everywhere he goes and has the gift of gab and I am the same way. Although I admire some of these traits there are others I do not, and wish they did not come from him!

As you grow into an adult you know what it means to care for a child. When your so called father decides he doesn’t want to do that for his own selfish reasons its hard to accept. I remember telling my mom I wish I didn’t have his blood in me. I think that hurt her, but I don’t want to be a part of something that doesn’t want anything to do with me. Don’t get me wrong I am not completely heartless and cold towards my biological father. Anyone that knows me knows I am a kind hearted person and if he was sick or something I would be there by his side for his last breaths. Other than that I don’t think I could have much interaction with him.

If you were to meet him you would probably like him. He is a very likable person, he is fun, loud, has jokes, pays for everything (except my education) and he loves to have a good time. But does this make a good father??? Of course not!!! He never had my best interest at heart. When I was 18 I decided to go and live with him despite my mother’s wishes. After living with him I see why mom advised against it. He is OCD, super cray cray, he explodes without warning, I mean anything could set him off. On the flip-side he was a good business man, he introduced me to influential people I would have not otherwise met. But everything he did had a selfish undertone, I never felt like the things he did he did for me alone. There seemed to always be some kind of motive behind it; kind of like Olivia Pope’s dad on Scandal. We don’t know if we are suppose to trust him or not. That is not a good feeling to have when it comes to the person that is suppose to be your father.

Recently he contacted one of my friends. My friend contacted me on Facebook to let me know that my biological father was trying to get in touch with me. Oh the reason he has her number is because he tried to holler at her (ugh). I figured he wanted something, and indeed he did. She told me that he wanted to know if I still worked for the radio station because he was going to be speaking at a seminar in Dallas and he wanted to know if I knew any of the radio personalities so he could advertise on the stations there.  This is after about four or five years of no communication! SMH!!! He didn’t ask how I was, what I was up to, if I was ok, nothing. He couldn’t get in touch with me so my friend that is in radio sufficed. When you know who you are dealing with nothing they do will surprise you.

 

Baby Leslie Christina

 

Part 2 coming Wednesday  

5 thoughts on “THE STRUGGLE (Part One)

  1. Wow.. I really enjoyed reading this.. Very open and very sincere and you’re right a lot of people struggle with a sense of belonging.. I grew up around Jamaicans and truth be told an more comfortable around them although lately I’m mixing more with Nigerians and getting more accustomed to them.. I don’t sweat it though, get in where you fit in really and keep it moving.. But for real though. Keep it up with the blog and I will be looking out for part 2

  2. I honestly think you surround yourself with Nigerians because you can easily identify with us….my guess is that after your mom remarried, at your young age, it was automatic that u mostlikely went with them to most social gatherings. Him being Nigerian meant that mostlike other Nigerians were there too. Now through all your unidentified ages, lol, you became accustomed to Nigerians. Show me your friends and I’ll tell you who you are. Many Nigerians in the US will count at least list 5 other Nigerians as friends before friends from other cultures. Lastly, I think if your biological father became your dad, it would be a different story, you would likely have less Nigerian friends.

  3. Great blog LC! That was pretty real and I wonder how your dad would feel if he read it. I hope you both can work on your relationship at this point in your life. It sounds like you need to forgive him 100% which is difficult from all the pain he has caused from not being there. As you work on forgiving him 100%, I advise that you focus on Jesus and remember that this life here on earth is not about you or him but is about being like Jesus and living a life of forgiveness, kindness and mercy so that we can be examples to others and lead them to believe in Jesus as well so that they can have a relationship with our God!

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