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control over. I got so tired of the verbal ass kickings, that when I would see her phone number on the caller ID, I stopped answering the phone. I could not take her insults anymore and most of all I was tired. When I stopped answering her calls, she showed up at my house and continued the insults. I was the rebellious daughter. The one that was always guaranteed to go against the grain so I knew that I was going to have to take a lot of shit for being so different and for choosing to handle things the way that I did. Not only was I no longer a Christian, but I had the audacity to not encourage school and to allow my young adult children to think for themselves. I am not saying that my choices as a parent were right or wrong and everything that I did was perfect, but I did the best I could at that time. I was a very tired single parent and I certainly was not going to take on another battle about school. None of my children had serious police records (other than minor traffic tickets), none of them were drug dealers or pimps, they were not stealing from people, and they were doing just fine. I knew Mama had Eric’s best interest at heart, but I felt the situation was out of my hands. Mama finally had to accept that she could not influence Eric one way or the other so she gave up. She still had very harsh words for me, but I did not care at all. I am a member of an African American Christian family and my children and I are the only ones that do not believe in Jesus. Living that life had given me a very thick skin. I knew I could weather the storm and I did. I came out just fine and so did my children. What troubled me most about Mama attempting to break me down the way that she did, was that she was acting completely out of ch... ... middle of paper ... ...be they had changed everything, maybe they were ready to really get organized and get things done in the African American community and I could be a great help in that way. As long as he understood that I did not believe in their messiah and I was not going to conform to what they said a woman is supposed to do and I certainly was not going to allow Nadia to be my spiritual leader. I knew that I did not fit in with that bunch at all. I thought it better to just ignore the whole damn thing and let it go. My life was fine without them. I grabbed my stuff and I went back inside the house. When I walked in the kitchen, I could hear Morgan asking Eric questions about the Hebrew Israelites. I did not interrupt their discussion. I walked right past them and went straight to my room. When I got into my room, I looked at myself in the mirror. I examined myself closely.
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