Ëvery girl deserves all the flowers in her hair…
Have you ever wondered what turns a beautiful, bouncy and curious baby into a depressed, lost and lonely teenager or young adult? These musings inspired Amahle and turned into a story she had to tell and expose what most families are guilty of.
Some of us don’t need to spend too long thinking about this because, for the most part, our lives turned out okay. What about the ones who have been unlucky? These are the young girls and inner children Amahle is bringing to the foreground.
Children don’t raise themselves
Adults tend to forget this nugget; children don’t raise themselves. When a child hasn’t turned out the way an adult thought the child should. This is the case with (We will call her my cousin because no one has time to go through the entire family thread.) my cousin, and she is the centre of this story, she is Amahle.
My cousin is 12 years younger than me and when she was born I was obsessed with her. She was cute and grew into a curious toddler, and that is where the “damage” began. Her toddler adventures were met with disdain. Instead of gentle correction; the adults treated her like an annoyance. I don’t believe she knows what it is like to be out on a date with her mother and/or dad. She was rarely given the time of day. She was treated like her job was to make life easier for the adults, when they were meant to be her place of peace.
Disclaimer: The events that take place in the book did not occur in my cousin’s life, not to my knowledge. Amahle expresses the feelings and thoughts I believe may mirror the feelings my cousin may feel based on where her life is at the moment.
Neglect, families are guilty of neglect
In most black families (I speak for black families because this is my lived experience.) it is enough for adults to put food on the table, clothe you, take you to school and check homework. Anything beyond that is seen as a luxury, an extra you can do without. Among these “extras” is emotional support, conflict resolution, meeting you where you are and validating your existence not based on achievement but just for being.
Forgetting A Generation
Amahle highlights how children are forgotten in a family through how their feelings are not a priority. Amahle goes through hard situations and it doesn’t occur to anyone to ask, “What happened to you?” or “How is your heart?” or “How are you finding the world?”Instead, she is surrounded by people who believe they are doing her a huge favour by keeping her alive, when all she does is, question why she is even here?
We need to do better
The young lady who has inspired this story and many like her are suffering, not in silence but blowing their trumpets from the rooftops and all the adults have to say is, “you’re ruining your life, I didn’t raise you like this…” When sadly, they didn’t raise them at all or at the very least not in a way that nourished their souls. Again, this is not aimed to vilify those who came before us because we all do the best we know how. This is to highlight for us, who are now the adults with the power to shape the lives of those who come after us, there is room to do better. We are the ones who must see and hear the ones who come after us. We are the ones who must empower them and give them soft landing places. We are the ones who must feed them the truth of our own lives, our mistakes and biggest regrets and help them navigate this life with confidence knowing, At home, I know they have my back!
What I hope…
I hope every young girl or woman with an inner girl child who feels like Amahle does, feels seen and understood after reading this book. If you can’t relate to Amahle, count yourself lucky but I hope the experience with the book helps you slow down long enough to spot the Amahle within your circle. And when you find her I hope you are brave enough to ask, “What happened to you?” and then I pray you are open and ready to hold space for her should she feel safe enough to let you in.
Finally, I hope we all learn to see the people who are around us and strive to help each other find our whole.
As always, wishing you all the healing, you deserve it!