Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Buy Me Some Happiness..

I couldn't sleep last night. 

Anything and everything was on my mind from getting a nose job to Tin Man to online dating to the product that I am supposed to be trying to develop.  A lot of thinking and zero 'doing'.  And I do mean ZERO.

Clothes and shoes just lay in piles in the corner and on the bed until I just can't stand it anymore (and that may take a week or two for me to get to that point).  I'll take the dirty sheets off the bed, and then won't put new sheets on it for days.  I take out the clean sheets and pillowcases, but I don't put them on.  I'll just lay on top of them instead.  Weird.

And the couch.  Man this couch is like my new boyfriend or something.  I find myself laying on it with the TV off, in the dark, with just a pair of panties on, embracing the decorative pillows --- just thinking crazy thoughts.  In dead quiet.  For hours.   I can't even watch a TV show or movie straight through anymore.  I can focus on it for maybe 15 minutes and then I pause the TV.  It takes me days to watch a one hour show sometimes.  It's crazy.  No wonder my head has been hurting lately.  My mind is always racing, racing, racing.  Too many things going on in there.



I did another surgery yesterday.  On my earlobe.  The stretching wasn't terrible, but it wasn't cute either.  I coulda lived with it, but why should I?  No one noticed it or ever said anything about it, so why after all of these years did I bother doing it? 

(takes deep breath)

Because someone said that I had flaws.  A mean someone said I had flaws.  Recently.  Just to hurt me.  Now they didn't say what the flaws were, and if I asked I'm sure they would have told me.  But I didn't want to ask because I didn't want to hear it.  I should have asked anyway though, because later all I did was torture myself and wonder what they could have meant by the "flaws" statement.  Were they talking about my looks?  My personality? 

(to myself)

"Nah, it couldn't be my personality cuz I'm a cool azz chick.  So he must have been talking about something physical."

This is where my mind went with it.   Straight to Crazy Town.  I guess I haven't heard anything negative like that since my teenage days that it floored me.  It brought me right back to remembering the occasional shyt my mother used to tell me when I was younger. 

She used to tell me to squeeze my nose so it wouldn't be so wide in the middle. 

She told me to hold my lips a certain way so that wouldn't look so full. 

She has 'nice' hair but instead I got my father's hair - the coarse stuff that you had to straighten with a pressing comb. 

My hair.  My hair.  My hair! 

She was forever telling me to 'fix it'. 

Fix it.  Fix it.  Fix it! 

For years I heard this.  When you think that your own mother is telling you you're not okay the way you are --- you carry that with you forever.  I don't think I ever heard her tell me that I was pretty or cute or smart or anything like that.  I know she didn't mean it to be mean.  I think she was trying to help me I guess?  But it didn't, and I would never tell her that either because she will probably just say, "Aw you still remembering that?  Oh my God!  You just need to MOVE ON!"  So I will probably never tell her that it bothered me and just made me an insecure mess cuz I don't want to hurt HER feelings.  Mine have already been hurt so no need to drag her into the pot too.  But the slightest mention of a flaw, or a comment on my nose or appearance...something comes over me.  I revert back to yesteryear and I turn into the insecure eleven year old again.

Now that I am older and figured out to make what I have work for me, I don't hear those things anymore.  A lot of times you get attention not just because you have a pretty face, but it's also in how you move and the way you carry yourself.  I'm grown and sexy now, and I seem to do okay I guess.  I just learned how to use other things to increase my attractiveness, but no way am I 'cured'.  I never take compliments well.  Never. 

"You have flaws and I'm compromising with those because I said to myself everyone can't be perfect."

Yep.  That's what was said to me.  My feelings were smashed like a bug, and the next week I go running to the plastic surgeon for a consultation.  I asked about this and that, and how much this and that would cost. Thousands.  Yep.  Thousands.

Doctor:  "What's wrong with your nose?"

(insert a WTF face here)

I told the therapist I went.  She had the same WTF look expression on her face too. 

Therapist:   "If a plastic surgeon said that to you then what does that tell you then about your nose?"

Me:  "Well what else would he say?  I mean he can't be like, 'Oh yeah I see what you mean? Damn!'  I mean he wouldn't be so bold as to say that right?  That's what he is supposed to say - 'what's wrong?'"

After she listened to my rationalization, she just looked at me and frowned.  Oh well.  LOL. 

Then I explained it to her.  I told her the story about what my moms would say to me, and how people would say mean stuff to me when I was younger.  Even to this day, she is telling my brother to squeeze his newborn baby girl's nose too.  See what I mean?  She is obsessed with noses and she has got me doing the same damn thing!

So after I took my therapist on a trip down memory lane with me, she said something that I thought was really cool.  She said well you have one life, and you want to be happy.  People get tummy tucks, bigger boobs, and nose jobs because they feel it would make them happier and make them feel good, and there's nothing wrong with that.  If the surgery makes you happy and helps you to get past the bad childhood memories and feelings then do it.  If changing something physically about yourself helps you mentally then there is nothing wrong choosing plastic surgery for yourself.

Cool!  Sounds good to me.  I like my therapist a lot.

So yesterday I went and did something small.  I fixed my ear.  It kinda hurts today but when it's all healed it will look gooooood!!  I already did my toes last year and I love them!  I did my teeth and I love them!  So imagine if I could love my nose too??!  The thought of it just makes me smile.

As for the naysayers, I told a  couple folks about it and they think I'm nutty.  My friend Kim says that I have a Nubian nose and I should be proud of that, and she asked why am I trying to look like the Europeans (white folk).  Girl...I don't have to prove my Nubian-ness to anyone with my nose!  My complexion and my lips represents my Nubianism plenty enough.  She knows I ain't listening to her and that Nubian shyt so that's that.  I'm not trying to get a skinny nose, just a slimmer one.  I think I will just keep my mouth shut about it from this point on though.  Dayum.  Now I see why people don't tell others that they want to change something because they look at you crazy, criticize you, and say even meaner things to you to make you feel worse.  So no more discussions.  With anybody. 

But you know what was surprising about my office visit?  There were five chicks in the waiting room...and they were all Black!  For some reason seeing that kinda bugged me out.  What they were getting done I don't know.  There was one American (i.e., home grown), and the others were from Africa and the Caribbean.    I guess they  all were in there trying to find 'happiness' too  --- or at least they were in there asking how much 'happiness' would cost them.   

So there.  I put it out there.  It's kinda scary too, but then liberating at the same time.  I am really exposing something that has been buried so deep inside me for all of these years, but I consider it the first step to being comfortable with whatever decision I choose to make down the road.   I mean in reality there is probably nothing really wrong with my nose, but I just think it can look better that's all.  And what's wrong with wanting to look better?  Nothing if you ask me. 

I only get one life, so why not be happy?

(MORAL OF THIS STORY:  Be careful what you say to your kids cuz you never know how it will affect them later.  The smallest statement can stick with them for life.)


  1. I understand this post all too well. My mom used to say some pretty harsh things to me when I was growing up too. And I know she didn't mean for it to be harsh, she used to joke about my appearance and give me nicknames about it, but it really really bothered me. When I brought it up months ago, she laughed it off and told me she was never being mean to me. And in her mind she wasn't. But in my mind that shit gave me a complex that I still carry. I gave myself a little plastic surgery for myself earlier this year and didn't tell anyone until I had it done 'cause I didn't wanna hear anything from them. The few people I hypothetically brought it up to beforehand looked at me like I was crazy and then started looking really hard at the area I said I wanted corrected, so I stopped talking about it till after the fact. And I'm SOOOO glad I did it. So good for you, girl. Do what you gotta do 'cause you're the one living with it, not them.

  2. DAMN..I feel guilty.

    Alright, I will admit that I clown my daughter regularly about inheriting her daddy's hair and her dark chocolate complexion. In my situation, sometimes I'm joking and sometimes I'm not.


  3. I just read every single post on your blog! Have you considered writing a book or something? Your posts were so well written and so honest... definitely going to add you to my reader.
    It kind of made me sad to read about your issues with your hair. The funny thing is that you probably have a beautiful head of hair, if only you knew how to handle the hair. I went natural last year and it was the most liberating experience ever. There are so many natural hair blogs out there that you might find useful..
    As far as surgery, do whatever makes you happy... but just make sure you're doing it for the right reasons. I can see myself looking at breast lifts in the future..

  4. This is pretty deep stuff, and it's nice you shared it. Please know you are not alone on this issue and many people will be glad to read that someone else goes through similar things.

    In my personal instance, it was not my family but some in my peer group. There were those who made fun of my nose, lips and hair. Everything but my skin colour because, you know, 'making fun of black skin is racist' :-/ The way it affected me was that I ended up relaxing my hair to try to get the eurocentric look. But I think after a time, I just said "fuck it - I want to be happy being me". And I think that because my family instilled in me the massage that being me was OK, I could do it. What people routinely say at home really matter because it's a message that is reinforced all the time.

    I'm sorry the things your mother said stayed with you and bothered you. But you are right: you should do what makes you happy and what works to help you move forward and enjoy life. Some people will find your choices in how you do that hard to understand especially when they are not in your shoes. But they are not in your shoes. I hope you will find the right direction with this and it helps. And cheers for sharing too :-)

  5. Hey everyone! Sorry for the delayed response but for some reason I couldn't make a comment on my own blog? I fixed it though.

    Thanks for the encouraging words about what I wrote, and thanks for understanding where I am coming from.

    @ test...Oh I kinda dig my natural hair now. I don't wear it out much. I do go and get it flat ironed and trimmed every now and then, but I rock the wigs because I am in the gym a lot. And thanks for that fantastic question regarding a book. Nah girl, never thought about it. I don't think it would sell many copies lol. But I have this little movie short that is pretty cool. Maybe one day I'll write it as a full length deal. Writing doesn't come that easy..it's pure labor. That's why I don't post that much. Too lazy. :)

    @ Eden...Your comment was wonderful. It's cool when someone can relate to what you are talking about.

    @LakiSwirl...You go Mami!!! I'm glad you did your surgery too. And again, thanks for sharing your experience growing up. Shoot your moms said more than mine would have. My moms would have just turned it back on me so mentioning it wouldn't do a thing for me or her at this point.

    @ Jetaime...awww girl. Well like you said, you will do better. Being a parent is not easy and there is always something to learn. I was telling my friend something about what he says to his daughter and his response was, "Oh she don't even be thinking about that." Ok so how do you know? See what I mean? She will remember more than he knows. Please believe that.

  6. There is a lot here but the part about your mum is what got me the most... The role that mothers play in our lives is defining. I remember moments when my mum said the most hurtful things to me without realising the gravity of her words... And others when she lifted me from some serious depression without knowing she just saved me from myself... Sometimes their words can make or break us... We just have to remember that, despite how important they are, we have the final say. Our mums can influence them, but we actually create the persons we want to be...