My Mama cursed me never to find love the same way she was cursed.

“You won’t find love in the sewer, Gardorty May,” my Mama told me when I was twelve. While looking directly into my eyes with a half-crooked smile and a cracked, broken tooth, she told me, “Never—and I do mean never—find yourself on the wrong side of love, Gardorty May, because if you do, it will hurt like nothing you ever felt before and worse than any punishment you could receive.”

I was not hearing it, so I paid Mama no mind. She always talked crazy like this. She had no love in her life. Men would be there today and gone by the end of the week, and no one stayed. As the seasons changed and I got older, I promised myself I would not end up searching for love like my Mama. Mama’s lack of loving relationships made her bitter. She had a real hatred for men and, after a while, wanted nothing to do with any of them. I would not be on the wrong side of love—a place Mama lived in and could not find her way out.

I moved far away from Mama, but not far enough because I could not escape the lack of love in my life. I have been in love a few times, but nothing serious; men seemed to come and go. I must be doing something wrong because the wrong side of love finds me every time like it found my Mama.

Ending my three-year relationship with Samuel took work. Unlike Mama, I did not need to depend on a man. I broke relationships just like Mama, or that is what I felt. I could never get it right. Mama could never get it right, and it was never her fault. I know it’s not all my doing, but I find Mama’s words true. No matter how hard I tried to be different from her regarding love, I was more like Mama than I wanted to admit. It scared me.

I am just like her; I seem to find love in the sewer and end up on the wrong side of love. Thanks to my Mama, I have been cursed not to find love, and I have been cursed only to find myself attracted to the wrong side of love. How can I change my view on love when Mama’s words and the sad experience of love are all I know?

Like Mama, I am tired of looking for love and someone to accept me as I am, and I have become tired of love. The soft words of Mama were not gentle when it came to her views about love, and she made sure I would not experience love either.

How hard is it to find love? I wondered when I was younger. It was harder than I could imagine. Mama was right, as far as I could see; love was difficult to find. Being on the wrong side of love was easily accessible, but not true love. I have begun to question everything in my life. Sometimes, I think that if Mama wasn’t so angry about love herself, she could have made love find me instead of me looking for it. Now, I feel so much pain and much more loneliness.

How some people can find and hold on to love amazes me. I am my Mama when it comes to love; although I tried to be me, I am tired, overworked, and lonely, just like Mama. When you try not to be like someone, you become just like them. Today I am going to love myself!


Photo by Tyler Nix on Unsplash