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Re: The Unmasked Ball -- a Family Reunion

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  • docilechicken24
    I have a similar story. I found out I wasn t White when I went to college. I may have talked about it before, but my dad s family were passing Creoles, came
    Message 1 of 17 , Mar 7, 2007
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      I have a similar story.
      I found out I wasn't White when I went to college.
      I may have talked about it before, but my dad's family were
      "passing" Creoles, came to California and married White.

      barac1998@... wrote:

      Yes this is quite a story. I have seen Bliss on Creole sites.
      I remember this story on discussions of passing a few years ago.
      I met someone at the Creole Heritage convention in Las
      Vegas and she told me of her father who had passed.
      She was always told that she was part Italian.
      She stated that even a darker relative came to a picnic
      and she wondered, but was told that was the Italian side.
      Her daughter did the family reserch
      and discovered their Creole ancestry.
      Many family members are still in denial.
      It is great to see family ties mending.

      Related Link:
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Generation-Mixed/message/2596
    • j s
      Hey docile - I was thinking about you the other day actually and wondering how things were. Yeah it s tough when you have your world turned on its side and
      Message 2 of 17 , Mar 7, 2007
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        Hey docile - I was thinking about you the other day actually and wondering how things were.
         
        Yeah it's tough when you have your world turned on its side and everything
        you thought was the "truth" was in fact a lie or mistake. I got mine at 14.  

        docilechicken24 <kjoule70@...> wrote:
        I have a similar story.
        I found out I wasn't White when I went to college.
        I may have talked about it before, but my dad's family were
        "passing" Creoles, came to California and married White.

        barac1998@.. . wrote:

        Yes this is quite a story. I have seen Bliss on Creole sites.
        I remember this story on discussions of passing a few years ago.
        I met someone at the Creole Heritage convention in Las
        Vegas and she told me of her father who had passed.
        She was always told that she was part Italian.
        She stated that even a darker relative came to a picnic
        and she wondered, but was told that was the Italian side.
        Her daughter did the family reserch
        and discovered their Creole ancestry.
        Many family members are still in denial.
        It is great to see family ties mending.

        Related Link:
        http://groups. yahoo.com/ group/Generation -Mixed/message/ 2596

      • mulatta_loca
        This is fascinating to me because both of my parents are Mixed and back in the day they sometimes tried to pass for White, but no one believed them! Not
        Message 3 of 17 , Mar 8, 2007
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          This is fascinating to me because both of my parents
          are Mixed and back in the day they sometimes tried
          to "pass" for White, but no one believed them!
          Not White people and not black people!
          So, I'm wondering how it is that people get away with this
          for decades. Does it have to do with geographical region?
          I grew up in New York City, so maybe people
          were a tad bit more hip to the game there?
          I don't know, that's why I'm asking. Any thoughts or stories?
          I'd like to know more about this "passing" thing.



          j s <creolescience@...> wrote:


          Hey docile - I was thinking about you the other
          day actually and wondering how things were.

          Yeah it's tough when you have your world
          turned on its side and everything you thought
          was the "truth" was in fact a lie or mistake.

          I got mine at 14.



          docilechicken24 <kjoule70@...> wrote:


          I have a similar story.
          I found out I wasn't White when I went to college.
          I may have talked about it before, but my dad's family were
          "passing" Creoles, came to California and married White.



          barac1998@... wrote:



          Yes this is quite a story. I have seen Bliss on Creole sites.
          I remember this story on discussions of passing a few years ago.
          I met someone at the Creole Heritage convention in Las
          Vegas and she told me of her father who had passed.
          She was always told that she was part Italian.
          She stated that even a darker relative came to a picnic
          and she wondered, but was told that was the Italian side.
          Her daughter did the family reserch
          and discovered their Creole ancestry.
          Many family members are still in denial.
          It is great to see family ties mending.

          Related Link:
          http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Generation-Mixed/message/2596
        • wintyreeve@aol.com
          Hello Friends, My kids can pass for white--seriously, I get all sorts of dirty looks and comments when people see us together, and a lot of people don t think
          Message 4 of 17 , Mar 8, 2007
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            Hello Friends,
             
            My kids can pass for white--seriously, I get all sorts of dirty looks and comments when people see us together, and alot of people don't think I am the mom. I make sure my kids know they are Mixed and I never let them pass for anything--I refuse to check the stupid race boxes and all that.
             
            Well my 6 year old son, comes home from school and he is quiet and looks sad. I ask what happened in school. My son tells me that someone "made fun of his Blackness". Yeah, my son tells me that someone at school said "I hate black people". And my son told me he couldn't figure out why, especially because the person had brown skin themselves. I was really sorry my son was hurting, and we did have a talk. But another part of me was really proud that my son stood up for being Mixed--even when it is not so obvious. And that my son embraces all of his heritage, even so young. I guess its going to be the other way around for him--looking white and trying to pass for (what???). I think what is important is when you get to a point where what society and other people say doesn't matter--you know who you are.
             
            Love & Light~ Lynn
             
             




          • barac1998@aol.com
            Just that some can pass and others can t If you look at Broyard from the picture I saw you can see it in him. I had some friends and their father passed at
            Message 5 of 17 , Mar 8, 2007
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              Just that some can pass and others can't If you look at
              Broyard from the picture I saw you can see it in him.
              I had some friends and their father passed at work.
              He lived in a black neighborhood. His wife couldn't pass.
              I have also seen people whiter than others and never pass.

              In the early 20th century there was a artist that
              passed. He did the Krazy Kat comic strip. They say
              he kept his hat on in public because of his hair.

              People had to leave the south where no one knew them.
              Even change their French names to English or Italian ones.
              In the south people knew what family you can from.
              In Louisiana a surname could be associated with color.
              For example LeBlanc is associated more with Whites and
              DeBlanc with blacks. Although I knew of some black LeBlancs.

              Hope this gives some insight.
               
              Peter




            • docilechicken24
              I m hanging in there. Trying to figure out what I am going to want to do with my life while getting by in grad school. I ll try and get you an email of the
              Message 6 of 17 , Mar 9, 2007
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                I'm hanging in there. Trying to figure out what I am
                going to want to do with my life while getting by in grad
                school. I'll try and get you an email of the goings on soon.

                j s <creolescience@...> wrote:

                Hey docile - I was thinking about you the other
                day actually and wondering how things were.

                Yeah it's tough when you have your world turned
                on its side and everything you thought was
                the "truth" was in fact a lie or mistake.
                I got mine at 14.

                docilechicken24 <kjoule70@...> wrote:

                I have a similar story.
                I found out I wasn't White when I went to college.
                I may have talked about it before, but my dad's family were
                "passing" Creoles, came to California and married White.

                barac1998@ wrote:

                Yes this is quite a story. I have seen Bliss on Creole sites.
                I remember this story on discussions of passing a few years ago.
                I met someone at the Creole Heritage convention in Las
                Vegas and she told me of her father who had passed.
                She was always told that she was part Italian.
                She stated that even a darker relative came to a picnic
                and she wondered, but was told that was the Italian side.
                Her daughter did the family reserch
                and discovered their Creole ancestry.
                Many family members are still in denial.
                It is great to see family ties mending.

                Related Link:
                http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Generation-Mixed/message/2596
              • docilechicken24
                Passing -in the case of my family- was not a matter of convincing the world. You just had to convince those closest to you. My dad in work still gets treated
                Message 7 of 17 , Mar 9, 2007
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                  Passing -in the case of my family- was
                  not a matter of convincing the world.
                  You just had to convince those closest to you.
                  My dad in work still gets treated as a-person-of-color,
                  all of us kids were repeatedly asked what we were and
                  often people insisted on the fact that we weren't White.
                  We were passing because we believed it and we
                  convinced those closest to us that we were White.
                  Growing up I had virtually no black friends,
                  and my friends that did question me about color,
                  didn't make me question my family because
                  I believed that my family wouldn't lie
                  to me or hide things like that from me.
                  That's why it took so long.

                  Also, in Louisiana, where my dad's family
                  came from, race is very ambiguous.
                  The color line is not solid at all, so
                  if you are darker, but the White people
                  accept you as much, then you are white.

                  I have one sister living white in Louisiana, even
                  though she is asked if she's Creole and says that's part
                  of her heritage (which I am shocked that she would).
                  I study Afro-American studies at UCLA and I was
                  down there and talking about my studies and I had
                  my ex-brother in law tell me, but you're still white.

                  Whiteness in Louisiana is not biological, or
                  even complexion based (at least not solely),
                  just as significant is who you associate with.

                  It's kind of strange that way.
                  I don't actually know how my family is benefitting from this
                  (except psychologically, from my experience it is a lot more
                  difficult psychologically being a-person-of-color than White).

                  My birth certificate has no race on it,
                  we are distinguishable as people-of-color, many
                  of us at least, but the family is still white.
                  They hold on tight to the identity.

                  Hope that helps



                  "mulatta_loca" <rosanna_armendariz@...> wrote:



                  This is fascinating to me because both of my parents
                  are Mixed and back in the day they sometimes tried
                  to "pass" for White, but no one believed them!
                  Not White people and not black people!
                  So, I'm wondering how it is that people get away with this
                  for decades. Does it have to do with geographical region?
                  I grew up in New York City, so maybe people
                  were a tad bit more hip to the game there?
                  I don't know, that's why I'm asking. Any thoughts or stories?
                  I'd like to know more about this "passing" thing.



                  j s <creolescience@> wrote:


                  Hey docile - I was thinking about you the other
                  day actually and wondering how things were.

                  Yeah it's tough when you have your world
                  turned on its side and everything you thought
                  was the "truth" was in fact a lie or mistake.

                  I got mine at 14.



                  docilechicken24 <kjoule70@...> wrote:


                  I have a similar story.
                  I found out I wasn't White when I went to college.
                  I may have talked about it before, but my dad's family were
                  "passing" Creoles, came to California and married White.



                  barac1998@ wrote:



                  Yes this is quite a story. I have seen Bliss on Creole sites.
                  I remember this story on discussions of passing a few years ago.
                  I met someone at the Creole Heritage convention in Las
                  Vegas and she told me of her father who had passed.
                  She was always told that she was part Italian.
                  She stated that even a darker relative came to a picnic
                  and she wondered, but was told that was the Italian side.
                  Her daughter did the family reserch
                  and discovered their Creole ancestry.
                  Many family members are still in denial.
                  It is great to see family ties mending.

                  Related Link:
                  http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Generation-Mixed/message/2596
                • wintyreeve@aol.com
                  Here is a question ... Do you know anyone or have family that would rather pass for black -- than admit they are Mixed-Race, and also white ? My family is
                  Message 8 of 17 , Mar 9, 2007
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                    Here is a question ... Do you know anyone or
                    have family that would rather pass for "black" color
                    --
                    than admit they are Mixed-Race color, and also 'white'?

                    My family is from the South, from
                    one of the largest families in town
                    --everybody knows everybody.

                    It's more than obvious that my grandfather is Mixed color
                    but nobody wants to talk about "what that means" color,
                    let alone admit what he is mixed with.

                    There are other members of my family who decided to
                    pass for "black" colorinstead of admitting they are Mixed color.

                    I always wondered why if that was part of the reason
                    that the members of my family with lighter skin moved
                    away, cut all ties and really became a separate family.

                    Or if the tension/feelings were mutual?
                     
                    Just a Thought.. Lynn




                    .
                  • mulatta_loca
                    Yes, to answer your question, I ve met a lot of Mixed people who identify as black , and won t talk out being part-White unless they have to. That is,
                    Message 9 of 17 , Mar 10, 2007
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                      Yes, to answer your question, I've met a lot of
                      Mixed people who 'identify' as "black", and won't
                      talk out being part-White unless they have to.

                      That is, unless someone sees them with their
                      White mother or father and asks, "who was that
                      old White woman/man you were with the other day?"

                      I think this is more accepted
                      than to try to "pass" for White.



                      wintyreeve@... wrote:



                      Here is a question ... Do you know anyone or
                      have family that would rather pass for "black" --
                      than admit they are Mixed-Race, and also 'white'?

                      My family is from the South, from one
                      of the largest families in town
                      -- everybody knows everybody.

                      It's more than obvious that my grandfather is Mixed
                      but nobody wants to talk about what that means,
                      let alone admit what he is mixed with.

                      There are other members of my family who decided to
                      pass for "black" instead of admitting they are Mixed.

                      I always wondered why if that was part of the reason
                      that the members of my family with lighter skin moved
                      away, cut all ties and really became a separate family.

                      Or if the tension/feelings were mutual?

                      Just a Thought.. Lynn


                      **************************************
                    • docilechicken24
                      I personally prefer and am more comfortable identifying as multi-cultural rather than multi-racial. Racial categories give me a headache, especially since it
                      Message 10 of 17 , Mar 10, 2007
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                        I personally prefer and am more comfortable
                        identifying as multi-cultural rather than multi-racial.
                        Racial categories give me a headache, especially
                        since it is just a social construct, and I almost
                        never explicitly give a racial designation
                        unless I am forced into the situation.
                        Then my response varies depending on
                        my mood and who I'm talking to. lol

                        Dustin
                      • mulatta_loca
                        I hear you. For me, personally, I view race as my genetic makeup. In this sense, I m multi-racial. Unlike race , I view culture as something I chose. In
                        Message 11 of 17 , Mar 11, 2007
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                          I hear you. For me, personally, I view "race" as
                          my genetic makeup. In this sense, I'm multi-racial.
                          Unlike "race", I view 'culture' as something
                          I chose. In this sense, I'm multi-cultural
                          b/c I 'identify' with more than one 'culture'.
                          So, I think of myself as both multi-racial
                          and multi-cultural, but I understand how
                          there are people who think differently.
                          For instance, I've met people who are bi-racial or
                          multi-racial but 'identify' with only one 'culture'.
                          I've also come across people who say (as you do
                          below) that it's all socially-created. I respect
                          that viewpoint but don't totally agree with it.
                          I think that there are distinct "races", but
                          what that means is mostly socially-created.
                          Plus, I don't think "race" is a bad thing, in
                          and of itself, so I don't reject the concept.
                          I think it's what we do with the concept
                          that can be either positive or negative.



                          "docilechicken24" <kjoule70@...> wrote:



                          I personally prefer and am more comfortable
                          identifying as multi-cultural rather than multi-racial.
                          Racial categories give me a headache, especially
                          since it is just a social construct, and I almost
                          never explicitly give a racial designation
                          unless I am forced into the situation.
                          Then my response varies depending on
                          my mood and who I'm talking to. lol

                          Dustin
                        • Heather Stimmel
                          Hi, Lynn! Interesting question. It s actually one of the things that irritates me the most, in our family. No one ( black side or white side... not even
                          Message 12 of 17 , Mar 11, 2007
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                            Hi, Lynn! Interesting question.
                            It's actually one of the things that
                            irritates me the most, in our family.
                            No one ('black' side or 'white' side...
                            not even including the fact that the "blacks" color
                            are really Mixed, as well as some of the "whites")
                            wants to admit to being anything OTHER than
                            one, specific race ('black' or 'white').
                            The fact of the matter is... I have always done,
                            and said, whatever was in my power to raise
                            my own son to see every, single side to who
                            he really is, and not just the "one-sided version"
                            many of our own family members want us to see.
                            That said, Alex (my son) has always referred to
                            himself as "brown..." always stating that his mommy
                            has "peach" skin and daddy has "brown" skin.
                            We've moved around a lot, too, so- surely-
                            that has had an effect on the situation /
                            his feelings, concerning himself, as well.
                            He was born in MD and was around many, different
                            colors of people then (mainly people who identify
                            themselves as "black" color, though, and ONLY "black" color).
                            Then, when he was 4 1/2, we
                            moved to OH... where I grew up.
                            I was adopted, as a baby, and I was adopted by
                            'White' parents... so, that's how I was raised.
                            I did, however, grow up around people who
                            identify themselves as "black" color and "hispanic,"
                            as well... unlike many of my adoptive family
                            members (you know- the generation thing).
                            We lived in OH until Alex was 7, then moved
                            back to MD... but, to a much more- shall we
                            say... NOT DIVERSE ('black') neighborhood.
                            We lived there for a couple of yrs., moving around
                            (for the next 2/3 yrs.) Baltimore (many, more
                            different places- loooooooooooong story).
                            The thing is... the more we moved,
                            the worse the neighborhoods got.
                            We moved, one last time (in MD), to a much better
                            neighborhood (just couldn't affort to continue
                            staying there, unfortunately), but ended up moving to the
                            OTHER extreme... to WV- where some of my biological family
                            lives (awful move- did it mainly out of financial difficulties).
                            So, here we are, years and years later, and my
                            now 14-yr. old son considers himself "black" color.
                            I really believe he does this out of anger ... anger
                            toward racist 'whites', 'blacks' and- yes- even, ME!
                            Needless to say, our lives have been anything
                            but easy (and, that's putting it mildly!).
                            The thing is ... with all that I have taught Alex and
                            all the talks we've had (about race, racism- all sides),
                            I find myself angry that he would want to identify
                            himself with "black" color --and-- not anything else?!
                            I want to say, "I don't get it," out of
                            hurt and frustration, but ... I DO GET IT.
                            He's 14, angry, full of hormones, doesn't
                            exactly look to dear, ol' mom as someone
                            he wants to confide in right now, and so-forth.
                            A lot of it, I think, is who I've
                            allowed him to associate with.
                            He's been around some really terrible, awful
                            things ... and, I do sooooooooooo regret that.
                            We still talk about it.
                            We've even been to counseling over it.
                            I love him sooooooooooo much, though, that
                            ... no matter how bad he acts (things he's said
                            and done, etc.), I am his mother and I am
                            (as I've always been) here for the long haul.
                            Now, his (biological) father
                            is another story, completely.
                            He and his wife live in Baltimore (not far from his
                            mother / father is deceased and other brothers/sisters).
                            He does not call, visit, acknowledge Alex in any
                            way other than wage-garnished child support
                            (and has- in the past- even signed legal papers
                            to relinquish custody of Alex ... just so he
                            didn't have to pay child support any longer!).
                            I could go on and on about him and his
                            family, but I will spare you the gorey details.
                            I know this hurts (and always has hurt) Alex.
                            How can it NOT?
                            His bio. father is / has always been
                            "inconsistent" (to say the least) in his
                            visitation, and ... shall I say, LOVE, for Alex.
                            The way he defines love is buying him
                            things (the handfuls of times Alex
                            HAS gotten to spend time with him).
                            I'm sure, this whole situation has had a
                            bad affect on Alex, as well ... as well as
                            many, other, terrible things that we've lived
                            and witnessed throughout our short lives.
                            Other than feel guilt and deep sadness over
                            how Alex feels about himself, these days ... I really
                            don't know what, if anything, I can do to help him.
                            If anyone has any advice or ideas, I sure
                            would appreciate them right about now!!!
                            Thank you, so much, for listening
                            and for allowing me to vent=)
                            Sincerely, Heather

                            Related Link:
                            http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Generation-Mixed/message/2615
                          • docilechicken24
                            That s quite interesting, because my conception of these things are reversed from yours. To me, culture is not really chosen, the base of who I am and how I
                            Message 13 of 17 , Mar 12, 2007
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                              That's quite interesting, because my conception
                              of these things are reversed from yours.
                              To me, culture is not really chosen, the base of who I am
                              and how I perceive the world happened when I was young,
                              and even if I choose to change aspects of the way I do
                              things and who I am, to me I am changing it with the
                              cultural base I was brought up with as a reference point.
                              For me, I cannot deny the influence my mother has
                              had on who I am, but my identity, how I see myself
                              has always stemmed from my dad's side of the family.
                              Although both sets of parents in my case, claim Whiteness,
                              I never identified as half mom and half dad, but as
                              different than my mom's side and similar to my dad's side.
                              These differences were exacerbated by experiences with White people.
                              This ties into the story that was just posted about someones son.
                              There came a point that no matter what I said or shared
                              in common with White people at the time, I was different.
                              I didn't feel half the same, yet of course I didn't
                              want to deny my mothers contribution to who I was,
                              so that is where culture comes in for me.
                              Again these experiences take race as a social identity
                              and construct, not as a biological reality, which
                              differs from the way you conceive race, so it actually
                              makes perfect sense that we define ourselves differently.

                              Also, I do think growing up "black" and then finding out you
                              aren't, is fundamentally different than growing up White
                              and finding out you are "black" due to White privilege.
                              When I found out I wasn't White, I saw things
                              that I had never saw or paid attention to
                              before and it changed the way I see things.
                              I don't think someone growing up "black" would be anxious
                              to adopt the views that stem from White privilege, just
                              because he/she found out they weren't "black".


                              "mulatta_loca" <rosanna_armendariz@...> wrote:


                              I hear you. For me, personally, I view "race" as
                              my genetic makeup. In this sense, I'm multi-racial.
                              Unlike "race", I view 'culture' as something
                              I chose. In this sense, I'm multi-cultural
                              b/c I 'identify' with more than one 'culture'.
                              So, I think of myself as both multi-racial
                              and multi-cultural, but I understand how
                              there are people who think differently.
                              For instance, I've met people who are bi-racial or
                              multi-racial but 'identify' with only one 'culture'.
                              I've also come across people who say (as you do
                              below) that it's all socially-created. I respect
                              that viewpoint but don't totally agree with it.
                              I think that there are distinct "races", but
                              what that means is mostly socially-created.
                              Plus, I don't think "race" is a bad thing, in
                              and of itself, so I don't reject the concept.
                              I think it's what we do with the concept
                              that can be either positive or negative.



                              "docilechicken24" <kjoule70@> wrote:



                              I personally prefer and am more comfortable
                              identifying as multi-cultural rather than multi-racial.
                              Racial categories give me a headache, especially
                              since it is just a social construct, and I almost
                              never explicitly give a racial designation
                              unless I am forced into the situation.
                              Then my response varies depending on
                              my mood and who I'm talking to. lol

                              Dustin
                            • wintyreeve@aol.com
                              Hello Heather, Have you tried getting Alex a mentor? Or maybe signed up with some after school activities like the Boys and Girls Clubs or sports? Maybe there
                              Message 14 of 17 , Mar 13, 2007
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                                Hello Heather,
                                 
                                Have you tried getting Alex a mentor? Or maybe signed up with some
                                after school activities like the Boys and Girls Clubs or sports?
                                Maybe there is something you can use to bridge the differences
                                between you? Movies? Music? A family outing? Doing something
                                with a mutual friend or relative? Sharing something you both like?

                                I was a handful for my mom when I was kid...and I can
                                honestly say that no matter what kind of trouble I got
                                into, I always knew she loved me and would be there for me.
                                Heather, its more than obvious that you love Alex and
                                are doing everything you can to help him--if nothing
                                else, be consistent in the love you give him.
                                He will know that you are there; and maybe
                                when he is ready he will come to you.
                                I will be praying for you both.
                                 
                                Blessings~ Lynn
                                 


                                Related Link:

                                http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Generation-Mixed/message/2630




                              • Heather Stimmel
                                I have to agree, here. You raise your children with all the love and knowledge about ALL SIDES, with all the tools you ve been given (where you live, who your
                                Message 15 of 17 , Mar 15, 2007
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                                  I have to agree, here. You raise your children with all the love and knowledge about ALL SIDES, with all the tools you've been given (where you live, who your family is, etc.), and hopefully they turn out just fine. Of course, there's much more to raising children than just these things- lol, but if you're always honest (in age-appropriate terms, of course) with your children, loving them and teaching them they are special BECAUSE of their uniqueness, then (as I said earlier...) HOPEFULLY they turn out o.k. The issue I have with my son is... he is 14 and been through/seen way, too much in his short 14 yrs. here, on earth. I know I can't change the past (it hurts), but I can go on from here. He's very angry at the "white" people (kids and adults) who've been ignorant (racist) toward him. We're working on that anger. He hangs around with mainly "black" kids now, but before... it was always anyone who was a good friend to him (black, white, latino, asian, indian, etc... he didn't care). Several years ago, I was in a very abusive relationship with a man (the 3 of us lived together about 4 1/2 yrs. ago) and when I left him, Alex (my son) was very, very angry (not that I left, but that I didn't leave earlier!). We'd been through more in those last 2-4 yrs. than any other time in our lives. It was bad. I've tried to understand, and accept, how he feels. He's STILL very angry about it (towards me), and I know there are things (counseling, for one) outside of what I'm able to give him that, HOPEFULLY, will assist him in getting through that anger. I don't know. All I can do is try. I sooooooooo wish I could turn back time, sometimes, but... if I could do all that, then I don't know that I'd have really learned anything from life, in general. Like I said earlier, though... you just show your children the love, support and TRUTH they need and they should be just fine=) You have their best interests at heart, so you know, better than anyone else, what they need and when they need it. Follow your "motherly instincts." That's helped me out, too! Another thing I've found extremely beneficial to me is, my religion. I was raised Catholic, but (for various reasons) wanted to find another religion. So began our search for the "right" religion. Fast-forward 10 or so yrs. later, and I think I've found it=) Not only does the religion, itself, feel "right," but the people are the kindest, most GENUINE people you'd ever want to meet. I won't go into details, because I do not want to offend. I merely want to say that, in our situation, our religion has been a LIFESAVER for me... truly!!! The people here, in the group, are fantastic to talk to and to ask advice from. They truly know their stuff!!!!! By the way... my name is Heather ("white" and, possibly, indian) and I have one son, Alex ("white," "black" and indian). It is very nice to see new members! I'm fairly new, myself=) Hopefully, some of this will help. Have a great day!
                                • Heather Stimmel
                                  Hi, Lynn! Thank you sooooooooooooooo much!!! Really! That was so nice, and sweet, of you to say=) I know what you mean, about being a handful when you re
                                  Message 16 of 17 , Mar 15, 2007
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                                    Hi, Lynn! Thank you sooooooooooooooo much!!! Really! That was so nice, and sweet, of you to say=) I know what you mean, about being a "handful" when you're growing up! I was the exact, same way! That's what's wierd about Alex... he is TOO MUCH like me-lolol!!!!! Thanks for the suggestions, too. I've been sick lately (bronchitis- blah!), so we haven't gotten out a whole lot. Those are all great ideas you have, and some of them we do do. When the weather's nice, I'll shoot hoops with him (although he thinks he's the "big shot" around!) and we'll go places (when we're able). We used to do a lot of stuff surrounding our religion, but that, too, is something Alex says he wants nothing to do with, these days?! A year ago, he loved doing things like that (giving public talks, in our congregation... talking to others about our religion and so-forth). One day, he just up and decided he wanted nothing to do with it anymore! I tried my best to figure out what was going on with him (was it just a normal, teen "phase" he was going through... identity crisis, trying to figure out who he wants to be, or was it something deeper, like kids making fun of him for different aspects of our religion???), but came up empty. One day, I just asked him, directly, to give me a reason and he said, "I just don't want to. I want my freedom." Hmmmmmmmmm. Well, I know how he feels. I felt that way, too (albeit, not at 14), as a teen. So, I'm backing off and allowing him to "find himself." Oh! You said something about a mentor. Alex had 2 different mentors, in B'more. The 1st one I figured wouldn't work out (just not our "type"), then the 2nd one was almost TOO PERFECT. He lasted a while, things were going very well, and then... his visits became more and more infrequent, then drizzled down to almost nothing. I called the agency, they "got on him" about it, and he said he'd try harder (had a lot going on in his own life, too). One more time he didn't show up and I could tell, Alex was starting to view the situation with his mentor the exact, same way he did his relationship with his own father... "Mom, he's NOT coming! I knew he wouldn't show up." The mentor was simply becoming a person we could not depend on, so I called the agency and told them we'd have to end the mentorship. It was frustrating, but something that had to be done... for Alex's mental health, and my peace of mind. Anyhow, we now live in a small city in WV (loooooooooooong story!) and services like that are few and far between, here. Our religion (without too much detail) is huge in our lives- first... before anything else (within reason, of course). That said, for certain reasons... we work on choosing our associations (friends) and things (hobbies, recreation, tv shows, movies, music, etc.) very carefully, keeping in full mind that our religion comes into play when we consider what we want to do. I hope I haven't confused you, there=) It's kind-of confusing when I read it- lol! O.k... I know this has been a looooooooong reply, so I'm gonna' leave it here. Thanks, again for the great advice and (((HUGS))) to you for praying for us! We could all use a few extra prayers=)=)=) Take care, Lynn! Heather
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