As mothers it's easy to love our children, but much harder to fully love ourselves.
Daughters age 19 & 9
" I just always wanted someone to accept me.. to love me.. and that left me really, really vulnerable. It took 37 years, but I finally learned that self respect and truly knowing your self worth is the biggest act of love." -Patrice
As mothers if we had to choose between breathing and loving our children, we would use our last breath to tell them we love them. As children a mothers love is all we need to survive. But what happens when your mother's love starts to fade away. How do you survive? For Patrice trying to survive developed a love for catering to other's and longing to be loved developed a deep love for herself.
Welcome to her Kweendom.
Hello Beau2ful's Philosophy is, "Who we are as a daughter, influences who we are as a woman, and impacts who we are as a mother. I call this cycle our Kweendom. Tell me about your Kweendom.
In the beginning, before we moved away from Philadelphia, me and my mom had a really close relationship. We would sit and read books together, and my mom would take me to so many places. One of my favorite childhood memories is going to the Ice Capades, I loved it! I had all the flags lined up all over my room. We had a great bond, I felt accepted, wanted, and loved. I don't know all the details, but one day my mom and dad had a really big argument... I remember it being a huge fight. The next thing I know, my mom told me, we were moving to Virginia. I was five years old and my whole life got flipped upside down. When we first moved we still had the same quirky dynamic. We spent a lot of time getting to know the new city by playing what we called "getting lost".
We would just hop in the car and drive around for hours, looking at all the people, exploring new areas, and then try to find our way back home. What I didn't know was ...my mom was lost. Our family back in Philadelphia was very close and I think the PTSD from being a U.S Marine, and the isolation of being away from her family took a toll on her. Things changed drastically. We used to be attached at the hip but she started pulling away from me. There was a lot of horrible choices in men, and there were a lot of closed doors. I used to sit by her bedroom door crying for hours for her to let me in, for us to have our talks, for her to love me like she use to. I think being able to live without the judging eyes of all her siblings/parents allowed her to give her love to something else...drugs.
My grandparents had 10 children. 9 of them were all raised together in one house. My mom and her siblings were very close. I started longing for a sibling. I was so lonely. I craved someone to be around because she was no longer there. When I was 7 my little brother came along. I was so excited. Finally, my mother would open her door, I would be loved, accepted, and wanted again. We would be a family. That didn't happen. Instead, now he was getting all the attention. I thought by having a sibling I would be gaining a friend but now I gained an enemy. I went from being his sister and trying to help my mom with feeding him, and changing his diapers, to me having to take care of him by myself all the time. This made me feel even more lonely. At the age of 10 I tried to hurt myself a couple of times. But something preventing me from going through with it. God wouldn't let me! It was like God was right there with me talking to me. I've had a very intimate relationship with God ever since. Sometimes, I would get lost in my thoughts and only have God to talk to. I wasn't allowed to express the way I was feeling. My mother was old school and militant. So whenever I had a problem or needed to talk... it was just me and God. Every-time I would go to church I would accept Jesus over and over. I didn't understand I only had to do it once. (LOL) I just would become so overwhelmed with emotion, and I longed for someone to love me and I knew that He loved me. I thank God everyday for his grace and mercy because without it I would not be here today!
Of course I love my brother now and we are very close, but at the time I couldn't stand him. (LOL) It just wasn't fair! I couldn't go anywhere without him and I felt like my childhood was stripped away. Eventually, this motherly instinct kicked in. I still had resentment towards my brother, but he didn't deserve to feel the way I felt. It was me and him against the world... and we had to survive. I started learning how to cook. It's like cooking gave me a place to release my anger and frustration. It started as a means of survival for me, but it turned into my peace. Being in the kitchen cooking with just my thoughts allowed me to talk to God and it reminded me of family. It gave me that feeling of being accepted and loved. Cooking is my source of love and now its life's purpose and source of income with my catering business. #TriceyTidbits
In high school we moved to South Carolina but every summer my mom would put me on a bus and send me back to Philadelphia. I loved coming back to be with my family. I always felt loved with them. During the hard times I clung to those memories of being with my family. I craved someone to love me. I finally left my mother's house and moved back to Philly when I was 18. I wanted that feeling I had clung so hard to. But things changed. It's like all of my mother's mistakes was a dark cloud they hung over me, they pulled away from me, and once again I wasn't accepted. This made me so vulnerable. It left me really, really, really vulnerable especially in relationships. I didn't want to be with a whole bunch of different men like I saw with my mother. I didn't want to be someone's after thought, I wanted someone to love me, to want me, just me, because I felt like I was never anyone's priority. I think this made me tolerate a lot more than I should throughout my life. Not just in relationships, but in friendships, and with family too. I felt like if I love you and only you, then I would get that reciprocated, not realizing that's just not how life is at all. Not dealing with this vulnerability definitely made me accept a lot more abuse, like mental and emotional abuse from a lot of people that I should not have dealt with.
When I became a mother, I didn't want my kids to ever feel the way I did growing up. I always make sure I give them all the love that they need from me. I give them all the love I could possibly give. I tell them I will never ever abandon them. I teach them that they should never allow people to abuse them or take them for granted. I teach them to stand up for what they believe in and stand up for how they should be loved. One very important thing I always say is " You are strong, you don't need anyone to accept you, love yourself because you are your own own validation." What's crazy is I just started taking that advice for myself. At 37 I finally learned that self respect and truly knowing your self worth is the biggest act of love.
Share a challenging issue you've had to deal with raising your daughters. Please share how you overcame it or how you're still working on it.
Well with my eldest daughter, who is not my birth child but my step daughter, we had to overcome the fact that I did not birth her. Going into a relationship with a man who already has a child is already challenging enough. Dealing with unresolved feelings and issues between the father and mother is a task in itself but to have to try and build a relationship with a child during that time is whollllleeee other task.(LOL) For many years I was thought to be the person who "stole her daddy from her mommy". So trying to build a meaningful relationship with her was a huge challenge to say the least. However, through constant and consistent love, I was able to show her the type of woman I truly am. She was able to grow up and see through her own eyes that I was only here to love her and help shape her for life! With my second daughter, the biggest challenge with her is just ensuring I instill values that she will carry on through life. I always question if I'm teaching her enough so that she can protect herself in this crazy world we live in. Letting her know there are predators in the world who want to do harm but letting her know Im here and she can always come to me no matter. I try to keep an open relationship with her that allows her to be able to speak her truth.
Whats your favorite thing about having daughters?
My favorite thing is that hey are my ready made best friends!
In what ways are you and your daughter similar and in what ways are you different?
My youngest daughter definitely has my attitude, smh! But she also has my natural instincts, which I am so happy for. She will be able to thrive in any situation! They are different from me because they are lazy! (LOL) They didn't get that mess from me. (LOL)
Love is an action word. In what ways have you shown your daughter/s she is loved and how she should be loved?
For me self respect is the biggest act of love that you can show yourself. And you must have respect for your fellow man. I am also blessed to have a healthy relationship with their father that shows just how a man should treat and respect you!
Life often throws us lemons. If you can teach your daughter one life lesson what would it be?
Never allow anyone but yourself to determine your worth. You are the director of your life and no one can dictate the way your movie ends but You!
Kbeau2ful's Final Thoughts:
In the moments of deep despair, the only solution Patrice thought would help her end the pain of loneliness and longing for someone to love her... was to end her life. But instead she found the greatest love of all.... God's love. Many women suffer from the childhood trauma of abandonment. Even if they do eventually reconcile with their parents, the pain of not feeling loved often makes them vulnerable and constantly seeking love in the wrong places. Patrice's story teaches us, to find love in our passions and purpose, pursue true love with our spouses, give unwavering love to our children, and above all love ourselves the way God loves us.
Follow #TriceyTidbits on Instagram @TriceyTidbits
"Love a word that comes and goes, but few people really know what it means to really love somebody. Love, though the tears may fade away, I'm so glad your love will stay 'Cause I love you and you show me Jesus what it really means to love."-Kirk Franklin