Shaka Zulu

As a kid I have always felt that my father and grandmother in particular showed favouritism in our home. My grandmother would always treat my siblings better than me; and I have also felt that my Dad would treat my siblings much better than myself. I have a plethora of examples that outline some instances of favouritism; on the one hand, my grandmother would often cook food for my siblings and not offer me any. Also, when she returned home from trips she would give my siblings and I, an equal amount of treats, which she had brought back from her excursions, as if my youngest sibling could eat as much as me. On the other hand if I mentioned anything about the unequal distribution of treats, she would tell me to eat my sisters left overs! I would communicate to my mother about my grandmother’s treatment  towards me and she did nothing! I eventually told my grandfather because my mom wasn’t taking me seriously. I am unsure what was said during his exchange of words with my mom but, she eventually told my grandmother that she had to leave because of how she was treating me.

One day, when I was home alone I had a gut feeling and heard a voice! I know that this sounds crazy, but I heard a voice and it told me to go to the basement. By now I had been following the voice in my head, that led me to the crawl space under the stairs; the voice proceeded to tell me to search in specific boxes, it told me what to move, and where to look. What I was looking for, I couldn’t be sure of yet. Then I found a card in one of the boxes and the voice instructed me to open the card. I saw a name that I have never seen before on the card; It stated my birthday, my first name, but the last name I was using was not on this card. Once I saw the name on the card the voices were gone; and all I could think about, was who am I really?

I told my cousins later and one of them recognized the name; but all he said to me was, “Your life is fucked.” He was laughing because our aunt had the same last name. After that my cousin started doing investigations for me. My cousins brought information to me about my real father that blew my mind. They told me my “dad” wasn’t my biological dad (which explains A LOT). My biological dad was my….. my moms cousins husband. I was mind blown! I remembered that as a baby I had lived with my uncles and grandparents because my mom had left Jamaica to live in Canada. On top of all of this juice, everyone knew and neglected to mention to me, I was in shock to say the least and belive me when I say that a lot had changed after that! I never confronted my mom about anything that I had discovered for years; and with all of the questions my cousins were asking me it had got back to her that I knew about my real dad. My mother confronted me one day about the rumours that were circulating in the family about her husband not being my father (Thanking God). She asked me if I wanted to meet him, but all I really wanted was for her to be honest with me; I needed her to explain to me why she chose to lie to me about who my father was and why she ignored me every single time I told her that I felt like her husband and his mother treated me differently. I had many more questions like, why her mother in law told my younger brother that he was her first grandson, I just wanted answers, I felt as though I deserved them! While we were arguing, her husband decided that he needed to intervene and began yelling at me as well. He didn’t like the way I was speaking to my mother – but….. you try having a calm conversation with your mother who had lied to you, for your entire life, about the identity of your father; all while you were being mistreated by your fake father and fake grandmother..at least that is what I had thought. But her husband was so angry he headbutt me and my mom did absolutely nothing. I was furious! That was only the beginning.

After that my moms husband would begin arguing with me for no reason; I was so used to the torture that I had stopped crying when he would beat me, to the point where I would just laugh and I tell him straight up that, every time he hit me I would beat his daughter. His daughter, who by the way was my little sister, but she was his pride and joy. He loved her to death; I also loved her to death. But I wanted to torment him the way he did to me, and since he was an adult my only retaliation would be to lock my sister in the garbage room, kick her, make her walk home from school alone then, she had started to tell her dad. But I wasn’t afraid, I told her to ensure she told her dad what I had done to her!  I know that this sounds cruel, but he stopped beating me after that. I love my sister and I would do anything for her, but her dad needed a lesson.

My first conversation with my biological father was 10 years after I searched that crawl space and I began I learning more from him. He originally had me on his health insurance, but my mom told him that her husband was the father and that was the end of that. He expressed to me that he wanted to be in my life, but it was out of his hands. He also expressed that he wanted to build a relationship with me and my kids, but I was already a grown man. I didn’t need a father anymore. I had my uncles to teach me about girls, I had my grandfather to protect me, and my cousins who supported me; I am at that stage in this situation where I don’t know how to introduce people anymore. All of this time I grew up thinking my brother was my cousin, so now how do I go about introducing him? Do I say this is my cousin/brother now? My father is welcomed to get to know my kids, but it’ll take us time to get there.

I’m a grown man now with a family. I aim to be the best father that I can be; and I have a great relationship with all of my kids. Have I had the conversation with my mother? Unfortunately no I have not, but she has an amazing relationship with my kids. Maybe she’s trying to make up for all her mistakes, I’m not sure; but I do know that she loves me. I think she just didn’t know how to be a mom until it was too late. I think she regrets some of her decisions.. atleast I hope she does.