Tales from a Broken Home - Part 1 - Lala Nicole
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06 Apr Tales from a Broken Home – Part 1

childhoodMy mother managed to birth six children who all have absolutely nothing in common – except that she’s our mother. My siblings and I have never gotten along. The truth is we were never taught to love or to defend each other; but is this really an excuse to continue this charade in our adult life? I don’t think so. We’ve spent most of our lives fighting, misunderstanding, and judging each other. That includes me.  We’ve also had different life experiences; everyone has children except for our disabled sister and me. We’ve all lived in different states for almost 20 years; the last six years alone, I’ve lived in two different states – Florida and California.

Growing up, our household was very dark. We spent most of our days cleaning or in our bedroom watching TV. I still hate seeing a stain on the wall. My mother worked nights, so we barely saw her but when we did, there was an overwhelming amount of fear that overcame us. She knew how to yell our names in a way that would send a shock through our bodies. We’d sprint through the house, arriving at the edge of her bed within seconds, “Ma,am”. My mother set the tone for the house; we never talked to each other; we preferred yelling. We never went out to eat as a family, we never celebrated our birthdays, and she never picked up our report cards from school. We didn’t have yearly checkups at the doctor or go to the dentist to get a teeth cleaning. I didn’t go to the dentist for the first time until I was twelve (12) years old and when I did, let’s just say it became my second home.

As time went by, one by one, my siblings started to leave the house, leaving me alone with my mother.  After they left, we barely spoke to each other; we’d speak maybe once or twice a year. We didn’t have family reunions, so we only saw each other when we traveled down south for funerals. Over time, I grew accustomed to being the only child in the house but just like my siblings, I would eventually plan an exit strategy.  Everyone before me had given up on education; they dropped out or were kicked out and never went back. However, I really enjoyed learning, so I thought maybe if I graduate from high school, I’d get my mother and siblings attention – I thought, maybe I could help change the family dynamic – maybe they’ll see that there is more to life if I do it -maybe I’ll be the hero. This was such a childlike dream and one that has not come to fruition.

Instead of coming together as a family, it drew us farther apart; they started saying that I acted and talked white. What exactly does that mean? They said that I was choosing friends over family, I left them, and that I was pretending to be someone that I wasn’t. I would say that from their perspectives, all of these things are true. However, my truth is that my friends are my family, I ran when I got the opportunity to go to college, and I’m simply not the twelve (12) year old little girl that they used to know. I’ve grown up and have evolved over the years so since they didn’t see the evolution of me from grade school to adulthood, then surely my life looks like a sham to them.  We  started to argue more; I was actually trying to defend getting an education.  SMH I have learned that when you’re trying to defend yourself to someone who has his or her mind made up about you, you are wasting your time! It’s like I’m under a microscope; my every move is being watched and opinions are constantly being formed. So I started to share a limited amount to no details about my life with them. I didn’t trust that they’d receive me wholeheartedly without making the same fictitious claims.

Being the fifth child and the first to graduate from high school didn’t come with lavish gifts or praise from my siblings. In fact, no one called to congratulate me; it was like another day of the week, and another day that we went without speaking. I could say that it’s due to the age gap – my oldest brother and I are seven years apart, but it’s deeper than age. I think there is more than one thing that has contributed to the brokenness. There are layers and years of damage meaning: it’s going to take years to create a new bond. I strategically said create because to say repair would imply that there was once a bond. I would conclude that it includes pride, stubbornness, ignorance, pettiness, and capacity. We’re limited in knowledge and only know the bare minimum about each other. No one wants to apologize or accept responsibility for his or her part in the brokenness. It’s been a common trend to blame my mother for not teaching us how to love each other and although I partially agree with this statement, but I would add that I do not believe that she is solely responsible. Our capacities extend only to what we are comfortable with or familiar with, we all have different definitions of family, and how to love one another.

I often wonder if ignorance is a justifiable answer for all of our issues. I can’t tell you why they don’t show up or call, but I can speak for me – I’ve had challenges showing them love. Let me explain. To say you love someone is easy, but love is an action word, a verb. When someone tells you they love you, you can feel if they are genuine or not. It’s usually because it matches your love language, so you can feel it. I care for my sisters and brothers, but I didn’t know how to love them.

One Sunday, my pastor shared his testimony. I felt compelled to asked him about my situation so after service, I walked up to him and asked him for some advice.  Surprisingly, he didn’t give me this long thought out overly religious answer. “God has already given you everything that you need, so don’t look for them to love you or to validate you. You just be love to them.” You mean to tell me that’s it! I considered all that I had done and how I tried to manipulate them; where was my heart? I’ve always had good intentions, planning family trips, reunions, and activities – but all with the motivation of if I do this, then maybe they’ll do that.  My love for them was conditional, but I was expecting perfection from them. It was a reality check, one that changed my perspective on love and freed me from this conditional bondage.

God, thank you for your wisdom. I haven’t always been fair, I haven’t always gotten it right, but I thank you for correcting and forgiving me.  I pray that you touch the lives of all of my family, especially my siblings. We’ve looked for love in all the wong places. We’ve blamed everyone for the things we didn’t have and we’ve failed to acknowledge that You’ve already given us everything that we need. I thank you for this revelation. I pray that with your truth, we will find new ways to communicate. I declare a healing over this family. We will no longer be bound by the chains of our past, but we will look to the future and the abundant plans that You have for our lives. You did not call for us to be apart, but You’ve intentionally put us together for a reason – to build, stretch, and empower us to be better. You are not a God of mistakes so even in our darkest moments, you had great intentions for us. I pray that we embrace Your will for this family. Use us in a mighty way, in a way that will break chains and generational curses. I decree and declare that we are free from all the yokes that have kept us in bondage. I ask all of these things in Your son Jesus’s name. Amen. 

17 Comments
  • Adri
    Posted at 01:39h, 06 April Reply

    Amazing story thanks for being transparent

  • Valencia
    Posted at 02:46h, 06 April Reply

    I enjoyed reading this it was very relatable

  • Janelle Lee
    Posted at 02:47h, 06 April Reply

    GREAT READ, LALA.!
    BeBlessed/ Great Prayers

  • Katee Grace
    Posted at 02:55h, 06 April Reply

    Relational disconnect and brokenness within the family is so difficult and heartbreaking. Your transparency and openness is beautiful, gracious, honest and inspiring. Thank you. xoxo!

  • Nu-Nu
    Posted at 04:11h, 06 April Reply

    So proud of you!

  • Lashawn wallace
    Posted at 13:04h, 06 April Reply

    I’m proud of you! Truth is we all have a story but it is self love and faith that allows us to open up and tell our story. Your writing will help others. Keep pushing!

    L

  • Nicole Rose
    Posted at 15:06h, 06 April Reply

    This is good stuff! I’m reexamining myself and my intentions as I read the words you’ve spoken. It’s easy to tell a person or people how and when they are wrong but what makes the difference to me is giving the necessary steps needed to make amends, rectify, correct and/or create a better outcome.

    Thankful for you Ma’am!!!

  • Lisa Sterling Edwards
    Posted at 15:39h, 06 April Reply

    Wow, this post must have taken a lot of bravery! Thanks LaLa. This is deep, insightfu,l and quite helpful!
    LuvLi

  • Alexzandra B.
    Posted at 00:20h, 07 April Reply

    This story is so eye opening! Everyone has their own story but rarely do we have the courage to tell the world our real struggles. Keep telling your story people are definitely listening

    • lala
      Posted at 02:36h, 07 April Reply

      Thank you for your words of encouragement. I’ll definitely continue to share. Please feel free to share the blogs on your social media as well using the gadgets on the posts.

  • Tymesia
    Posted at 01:19h, 07 April Reply

    You’re not the only one disconnected with family…My situation is so similar but so different…I could definitely relate! One thing I learned is people are going to be who they are regardless…You can’t change or make anyone be who they should be to you. Just accept them & love them anyway…The best thing you can do is continue to love yourself & teach the generation beneath you to love & build a foundation from there. One day you can hope they come around…Until then continue to focus on you & spread the love that you have embedded & have been yearning to give…Sometimes strangers need it more than blood…I often say to myself even though I am single, when I have a family of my own the love I have will be so strong that I will build my own generation that will never be broken…Dont give up on them most importantly don’t give up on you. I too hope to bring my family together…I was considering a family therapist because I think there are deep routed issues that may be present that I don’t know about…Family secrets go deep so maybe there is a reason why everything is the way it is…It may take time & patience but don’t stop trying…Too many broken black families…Good reads! Love It! God Bless! Muah!

    • lala
      Posted at 02:35h, 07 April Reply

      Absolutely. I understand everything you just. I’ve also thought maybe the change that I make is supposed to be when I have children. The adults are hard to change, but I will continue to love them, near or far, and focus on sharing and giving wherever I’m lead. Thanks for sharing your points. They were on point!

  • Carise Williams
    Posted at 14:31h, 08 April Reply

    Lala….we have very similar stories. This is refreshing. Like you, God showed me that love is the only answer. With no conditions, just love. For a while I didn’t know how to love either until I learned what God’s love is. That was the answer for me.

    • LalaNicole
      Posted at 15:15h, 08 April Reply

      Wow – really? I’ve tried everything that I could do, but I had to surrender and even now, things aren’t perfect. We still don’t really speak, but my heart is filled with love for them, and I know that He is in control and that even this is working for our good.

  • Tatiana
    Posted at 00:57h, 26 April Reply

    I absolutely agree, love is not conditional. Love is love period. For most of my life I struggled with this concept but it took me loving myself unconditionally to really understand that all I could do is love and not with the intentions of having others love me back. Im so thankful and inspired by you and your journey and cant wait to see what else is in store!

  • Thelma
    Posted at 02:56h, 28 April Reply

    I am so inspired by your writing! It’s very moving and shows victory! Great job, Soror!

    • LalaNicole
      Posted at 05:20h, 28 April Reply

      Thank you so much for supporting. I truly appreciate it.

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