leg·a·cy[leg-uh-see] Show IPA noun, plural -cies.
Law . a gift of property, especially personal property, asmoney, by will; a bequest.
anything handed down from the past, as from an ancestoror predecessor: the legacy of ancient Rome
The term has come up a few times in the past few weeks between my husband and I. Because we are really trying to leave a better legacy for our children than what was left for us. Now do not get me wrong... when I say legacy I am not talking about money or property or stocks. I hope to be able to leave that also for my children one day but I am more addressing the term legacy from the standpoint of what I grew up in and with.
I grew up, my opinion, in an unfortunate manner and I lived through such much drama and dysfunction. I have spent much of my life trying to outshine and outlive the legacy/history that was placed before me. I was born into a situation with so much stacked against me and so much wrong around me. I know it sounds melodramatic yet it is true just the same. Anyone who knows me well, knows my story as I am an open book. I am not ashamed (not anymore at least) of my childhood because it was out of my control. I am also not ashamed of the choices I have made in my 20+ years of adulthood because they are a direct and indirect product of my past, its effect on me ( both consciously and unconsciously), and how I have chosen to live my life.
Here are some basics of my history...
- I was born to a single, white female and married, black man and lived my childhood in a town that was not the most accepting of racial diversity at the time. I never felt like I quite fit in.
- My mother was an insecure, selfish, and lonely woman who was desperate to find love from anyone and anywhere even at the expense of her safety, her dignity, or my expense. Some of the insanity I dealt with in terms of relationship were her dating/living with an alcoholic who beat her, and coke head who turned her onto to cocaine, a few years she even lived as a lesbian, then there were the countless men she brought home from night clubs. Not much can screw you up worse than waking up the and and hearing your moms crewing some random man in the middle of the night. Trust me I know.
- My father was a self serving, absent figure from my life until I was 14/15 years old. How is a young girl supposed to know how a man should treat her if she has no father. I spent my teens looking for love and acceptance from me because I always felt unworthy and unloved due tony fathers absence. He was too busy living his life from him to make time for me. I truly believe if I had had a real father in my life so much of the stuff I put myself through would have never occurred.
So in terms of a legacies I was shown a few things very early in life...
- its ok to have a sex before marriage
- its ok to sleep with a married man
- its ok to have a child out of wedlock with a married man
- its ok to not facilitate a relationship between my child and his/her father
- its ok to not require my child's father to financially support his child and let my child go without basic care
- its ok to expose my child to sex, drugs, and alcohol
- male approval matter above all else
SOooo... if you are still reading you can tell I have some issues with how I was brought into this world and raised. I do, but I have forgiven both of my parents and still allow them in my life. I do, however, acknowledge that their choices have shaped my life in both bad and good ways. I have followed in their footsteps, unfortunately, in some ways. In other ways, I went to entire other direction. As I continue to grow older and a little bit wiser I become more and more conscious about how I want my children to grow up seeing, doing, feeling, and living life.
I am now, more than ever, more deliberate in the choices I make in terms of what I will expose my children to. I really could write on this all day, but I will stop here for now.
Just ask yourself....