Updated: Apr 27, 2019
Hello again dear readers, sorry that I missed you last week, but I was on a much needed vacation. So many people who know me, don’t know my story. When Sally first invited me to write a blog, I thought of writing something inspirational, encouraging and uplifting, but to be completely honest with you, I was afraid to put my story out there because I didn’t want anyone to change how they saw me. But after much thought and introspection, I decided that “my story” is inspirational, encouraging and uplifting and if one person can find hope in this blog, then it was worth it regardless of the outcome to me personally.
To understand the woman, you have to understand the child, let me introduce you to little Monica. As I’ve said before, my parents were not physically abusive, drug addicts or alcoholics, but as all humans do, they had their flaws. My mother drove a cab day and night to keep my brother and I in private school and pay bills. Life was awesome until my parents split up when I was 6 and my father made the decision that if he couldn’t have the marriage, he didn’t want the kids. As a result of my mother’s work schedule, I ended up being shuttled between grandparents who really had no desire or interest in having me around and they made that clear. My maternal grandmother suffered from mental illness (I know that now), and my paternal grandmother just plain didn’t like me.
My mother loved me, but she was never around, so through my child’s eyes I saw abandonment, weeks sometimes months passed when I didn’t see her. And it didn’t help that adults in my life told me lies about her. Both my father and grandfather told me that my mother was actually a prostitute (I didn’t know what it was, but I knew it was something bad) and my father, when I did see him, told me that my mother didn’t love or want me. A child doesn’t ask who is paying tuition or buying expensive uniforms, I just knew that she wasn’t there.
I was always that child that wanted everyone to love me and would do whatever it took to get that love and acceptance I so desperately needed. As a child I was so thin, that my clothes always had to be taken up, my paternal grandmother’s family tended to be on the heavy so, so she felt the need to fatten me up. She would give me huge plates of food and forbid me to leave the table until I finished it all. I would spend hours at the table, while my aunt taunted me. I would eat until my stomach hurt and then eat some more and eventually, my stomach stretched along with my body (to this day, big plates of food make me nauseous). I grew fat at an amazing rate and by the time I was 10 it was almost impossible to find clothes to fit me, they didn’t have “Big girl” clothes back then. By 5th grade I was easily 200 pounds, which brought relentless bullying, I was a fat Catholic school girl, with long pony tails, and glasses. I was just 10 when I attempted suicide the first time, luckily I didn’t know what I was doing and swallowed a bottle of aspirin, which just made me immensely ill and while I didn’t die, I sure felt like I was going to.
My stories as a child of emotional and sexual abuse are many and varied and I will put them in my memoir one day. I just want to set a background for you my dear readers of where I started. Next week, we will explore Monica the teen-ager.
Meanwhile take a listen to "Keep Your Head to the Sky", by Earth, Wind & Fire, it is one of my soul songs, it keeps me forging ahead, with my head held high.
Author: Monica Chatmon
Publisher: VocalzMusic & Publishing
(Part 2 of two part blog series)