FIGHTING EGO & PERCEPTION PT.2
Prior to Khirie's conception, his mother and I spent a reasonable amount of time together. She saw what I went through for Karrington and the emphasis I put on how important it was to provide for her. All she wanted to do was support me. She was aware of my lifestyle, but I understood above all else that she was down for me, and I used that to my advantage. The time I spent with her unintentionally made her fall in love with me, yet I had no intention of being committed to her. I couldn't commit to myself, let alone my daughter, so it didn't consciously make sense to be able to commit to anyone else. She was my support system, and I abused that blessing because I wasn't ready for it. I let her think that I was in love with her, but my actions proved otherwise. The time and consistency of my presence were enough to make her feel that the love between us was mutual. We were so young and felt that saying it and spending time with each other was enough. I had no understanding that love is as much an action as it is a feeling. In the back of my head, I knew that I was just infatuated with the idea of having women that gave me comfort. I was willing to portray the image of love to get what I needed physically and emotionally.
Although Khirie was unexpected, I have always wanted my first son to be named after me. Looking back at the conversations I had with Khirie's mother, most of what I wanted for him came true because of her. The same is true for Karrington; a lot was made possible for her because of her mother. I always stressed how important it was for Karrington to receive a good education. Khirie's mother understood that, and I believe that set the tone for what I expected for him and his upbringing. Growing up, my personal academic experience in private school challenged me. It showed me how far life could take me by questioning my way of thinking. It also taught me that there was more to life than the world around me. I wanted to make sure that my children had the same opportunity to have those experiences. Out of respect for me and the sake of our kids, their mothers made those things happen even in my absence. They never asked me for much, just time. I manipulated the situation, so I was able to spend my time with them the way that I wanted to. As long as I remained a properly functioning atm, no one would say anything. It never dawned on me that when you make the same piss poor decisions in life, you will continue to recycle the same life situations. Living in the fast lane, a few months after having my son, I would have my second daughter Amaya Rose Williams. Instead of changing me for the better, another child caused resistance. I was just not able to commit to the duty of being and acting as a father. I was afraid of the responsibility that I would be facing. Now not only was I responsible for myself but three other human beings that I helped create. They didn't choose to be here, but they were here because of the choices I made, and I couldn't deal with that. I blamed every outcome on everyone but myself. I chose to be the victim rather than taking responsibility for my actions.
After having Karrington in 2009, I would have expected to learn to be the father I needed to be for her. Here I am, four years later, Khirie and Amaya are born, and I hadn't elevated as a parent in the slightest. Once again, Amaya's mother only asked me for time, and once again, I found a way not to deliver. Even though time is free, my ego made me feel like I couldn't afford it if I wanted to keep up with whom I had become. Amaya's mother saw the drive in me and had always been positive towards my ambitions in life. I knew the potential she saw in me, and I never reciprocated that energy towards her or Amaya.
Of all my children, I made the most excuses in regards to my presence in Amaya's life. Of the three mothers I had to interact with, Amaya's mother asked the least of me and was grateful for any moment that I tried to be around. I took advantage of that and never went out of my way for Amaya if I didn't have to. I tried to be there when it was most convenient for me, but that wasn't often. Having two daughters and a son to be an example for, and three women to answer to as a result of my reckless behavior, you would think I learned my lesson. One would think I would have learned to value and treat women differently, but unfortunately, it would take more for me to come to that understanding. Their existence wasn't enough to submit to the lifestyle that being a father would bring. The cycle continued because I was not ready to change for them or myself. At a young age, I discovered I had potential, and I held on to that. I envisioned my future as a successful individual who was living a lavish lifestyle full of vices and indulgences at its finest. Never would I have imagined having to take on the responsibility of having three kids and all that came with it in my early 20's. The obsession I had with creating this life I had always imagined made me depend on money to provide for my kids. As a result, I displaced my time so I could live the life I so badly didn't want to miss out on. Looking at the situation at hand, I had to sit back and realize that I placed these mothers into single parenthood. They were forced to face more fears and take on more responsibility than I could ever imagine.
“Many people view money as having more value than time.”
This misconception allowed me to manipulate, with ease, anyone who knew my situation, including their mothers. They believed that it took more effort for me to get money than it did for me to give them my time. I made financial stability seem like the hardest part and downplayed the role of parenting. Those sleepless nights spent taking care of a crying baby and being there to help them with their school work would've been far more challenging for me. Living my life with money as the priority was much easier because I would've done that whether or not I was responsible for providing for a child. Having to raise a child while still having to go to work to pick up the slack of an absent father is where the challenge really lies. In reality, the courage it takes to commit to raising a child by yourself is the strongest thing a person could ever do. Having to fill the role of a father forced them to face the fear of being enough of a mother to do it. This put pressure on the mothers of my children to become stronger not only as mothers but as women.
Looking back at that time, I had no sense of responsibility. I'm surprised I don't have more kids than the three I have now. My commitment to self-control didn't exist, and as a result, I would’ve had sex with any girl that would give me attention. I lacked value in myself, along with having a lack of self-control, which is why I behaved the way that I did. At some point, my reality should have set in. I had to realize that I was leading a lifestyle that was unhealthy for me, and the women I encouraged to participate. Unfortunately, that wasn't the case, and once again, the image I wanted to maintain wasn't allowing me to make a change. On top of having self-image issues, I was embarrassed by having three kids by three different women, two of whom were just a few months apart.
To protect my ego, I chose to discuss the details of my current situation with a select group of individuals. To have three kids by three different women sounded too crazy to me. To protect my ego, I kept Amaya a secret, and only mentioned Khirie if it was necessary. With being so active on social media, the thought of introducing two more kids to the world scared me. People knew about Karrington but acknowledging all of my kids forced me to face the judgment of my recklessness in public.
Strategically, I hid my truth. I chose to post Karrington, the child that my viewers were already familiar with along with what I believed people wanted to see. I couldn't really see it at the time, but this coping mechanism was familiar to me. It was exactly what I did as a child to deal with the dis- ease caused by worrying about whether others would accept my family dynamic. I was reliving the cycle I had allowed to take hold of me many years ago. Family and friends knew I had Karrington and Khirie Jr, but only a couple of close friends and absolutely none of my family knew about Amaya. I convinced myself that as long as I was there financially for Karrington, Khirie, and Amaya, eventually it would all play out in my favor. I didn't realize that the longer I went without facing my truths, the harder it would be for me to tell them in the future. Not only would I have to explain myself to everyone my children were kept a secret from, but I knew one day I'd have to face Amaya and her mother as well.
Running from my responsibilities as a parent allowed me to imagine how my father could possibly decide that he wasn't going to have a hand in raising me. Although I lived just a few blocks away from him, I understood the mental battle he may have had with himself or the possible reasons for the lack thereof? The reason it was so easy for me to be like this towards my kids stemmed from my childhood. Although my godmother showed me love and gave me time, the only point of reference I used was the way my parents treated me growing up. I believe this is because I never truly dealt with how I felt about the way they spent their time, and I unintentionally took it out on my kids. My father had 11 children, and seeing the choices I made I realized I was a reflection of him. I put each of my kids in the position he put me in so I can't point fingers at him for who he is as a parent. I couldn't blame my mother for the time she didn't spend with me because it was a reflection of how my dad treated her. The way I chose to treat my kids' mothers was a reflection of the way my father treated my own. In retrospect, I saw that this was the result of a generational curse that I was unknowingly feeding into. My responsibility wasn't to judge, but only to make sure my kids didn't go through what I went through as a child. It forced me to face the issues that my parents didn't while raising me. I had to break my family's generational curse to have the right state of mind as a parent. The priority was to protect my children from experiencing the same thing that I experienced as a child.
Trauma Defined: "a severe emotional shock and pain caused by an extremely upsetting experiences"
— Cambridge dictionary.
Transgenerational Defined: "Acting upon multiple generations"
Since becoming a parent, I failed to realize that I am no different from my mother. I was choosing to provide money, versus time with my own kids consistently, and I couldn't understand why we were both like this. At the base of it all, who am I to judge until I clean up my mess first, and even at that point I still wouldn't be perfect. I had to figure out the issues I needed to change, and then fearlessly take steps towards making them happen. I had to be brave enough to fix my family situation with time and truth. To be able to reach my dreams and complete the goals that I've set for myself, I needed my life to be in order. I had to handle my responsibilities. The only possible way to fix myself was by starting from within. I had to have faith that I could show up for myself in order to show up for my children.
In May of 2018, I battled the fact that I didn't know how to be a real father, but I realized then that I couldn't go any further without trying. I was ready to face the fact that my kids didn't deserve the years that I kept them from their father. I had to address all of the years I spent running away. Although I could never make it up to them, I understand that I have to do better now. It was finally time to put them first and make sure that this time, I do it the right way. Regardless of my lack of experience, I set my new life's intentions. I decided to face all my fears head-on to get the outcomes I desired. I was willing to take action to elevate my life in a more positive direction. I understood that by using my time more wisely and focusing that time on what matters, I could do just about anything. Although I was aware of this, it was time to challenge myself and prove it by making conscious decisions while being considerate to those around me. Change seemed to be my biggest fear because it was so easy to get comfortable in old habits. I feared change because it comes with a lot of new responsibility, but I found that new responsibility becomes even more uncomfortable the more I put it off. The world evolves every moment of every day without my consent, so I made an effort to grow and develop with it. I couldn't allow my ego to continue to hold me back and keep me from growth, happiness, and my dire need to help and inspire those around me. If I was too fearful of growth, I knew that there was no way to make a lasting impact on the lives of my children, family, or friends. I want to challenge those who are important to me to face their fears, but first I had to prove that it was possible. How could I get someone to face fears and distractions if I wasn't doing it myself?
The misuse of TIME has occurred throughout generations in my family, and this cycle will only continue if I don't find the courage to address it. As a father, I have the responsibility to make sure that I pass on what's most valuable. I had to realize that TIME is my most valuable possession, and I wanted to exemplify the best way to use it. In a way, I felt like I was behind because I knew that if I understood the value of time at an earlier point in life, I could have made those changes sooner. I would have spent more time with my kids and family and found productive uses for the money I wasted. Instead of investing in my kids, I used money as a tool to deflect from my lack of time with them. I have also gained a newfound appreciation for my family. Newfound in the sense that I feel I have more to offer in order to ensure that we grow together. I never really spent time with my family unless it was convenient for me. I never went out of my way for them, but instead, I gave my time to the girls I chased, and the money I used to maintain my lifestyle. My current reality had become a product of where and how I spent my time based on how I perceived its value. By refocusing my perception, I was able to make changes in my life. We all have something to learn and everything to gain by coming together and being there for each other. Taking ownership of my mishandled use of time allowed me to be able to take full responsibility for the past actions of the life I once lived. This enabled me to move forward and use my past as guidance for my future.
Choosing to hide kids from my family and the people around me is scandalous, and I know it. I'm the one that made these horrible choices and the fact that I was capable of doing it has left me heartbroken. With the way I felt about the situation, I had even contemplated taking it to the grave, but I knew that was the easy way out and unfair to my children. I had to get over the idea of people judging me and face this situation. There will be positives within the things we see as negatives and lessons to learn from everything that may seem like a problem. Through contemplation and the search for the positive, I had to think back and remember that the common factor for each mother has always been the time. I would always hear the phrase "TIME IS MONEY." My original interpretation of this phrase was, "if it ain't making money, then I don't have time for it." I interpreted the quote all wrong. Money isn't the most valuable possession…. time is.
I've always wanted the most out of life. How I was prioritizing my kids and the TIME I gave them is precisely how I prioritized TIME towards working on myself as an individual. I chose not to spend time working on self-development, and instead, I placed the energy towards upkeep in relationships with women. I realized I relied on their emotional support and allowed that to be a significant factor in the decisions I made. I would claim to have these major dreams and personal life desires but didn't give them the attention they needed to manifest.
At first, it was hard for me to understand time and how to make better choices on what I entertained. I realized that not knowing wasn't cool, but understanding my ignorance, it became my responsibility to find out. With Amaya and Khirie being 5 and Karrington being 10, I’m fortunate to have come into this awareness while my kids are still in an early stage of their life. With Khirie and Amaya specifically, I missed some pretty important moments. What keeps me going is knowing that there are many more moments left to be there for them. Karrington had a slight advantage because she had more of an opportunity to spend time with me throughout the course of the earlier stages of her life. Since they were born, I spent the majority of my TIME approaching our relationship thinking I had all the time in the world to be there for them. The question I couldn't answer was, Why Not NOW?
“TIME IS LIKE MONEY; YOU HAVE TO SPEND IT WISELY BECAUSE WHATEVER YOU SPEND IT ON WILL END UP APPEARING IN YOUR REALITY”