• Bre'a Belle

Easter 2002

Updated: Sep 23, 2019

I know that Easter is a very religious holiday meant to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ. It's Spring and it's pretty much the time of the beginning of the year where everything changes and goes from gloomy and dark to sunshine and vibrant colors. It's when everything makes a drastic change. But, for the last 18 years, it's been difficult for me. March 31, 2002 is when I experienced a drastic change and my life would never be the same ever again.

Easter always made me feel so shiny and new. I was always excited for that Sunday morning where we'd wake up to giant Easter baskets, I'd get to wear a pretty dress with cute little ruffle socks, and we would get to spend the evening at Paw Paw's house eating and just being together as a family (I would eat pickled eggs until I made myself sick and I would still do it to this very day).

I'll never forget that day. I was 5 years old and I couldn't stop smiling because I woke up that morning, I ran to get my mom and dad to show them what the Easter Bunny brought us. Back then, of course I had the mind of a 5 year old. I knew my parents' names, my last name was Belle when my siblings' last names were Joyce (a question I never got a straight answer to back then).

At that age, I was pretty close to my dad. He was my favorite person in the world. We'd play school and watch movies all the time (and the Fresh Prince of Bel air where he taught me to rap every word to the intro perfectly).

I remember sitting on the couch when I noticed people coming up the stairs through Paw Paw's big picture window. There were 6 of them, 5 adults and one child. They came through the front door and I froze when all 6 sets of eyes stared at me. I didn't know if I wanted to cry because I was afraid of the strangers or if I wanted to run and hide until they left. Turns out, I was meeting my granny, aunt, uncle, step-mother, sister, and my biological father for the very first time.

I remember they brought me baskets stuffed with toys (specifically doll that I couldn't even open by myself because I was so scared and confused). I wouldn't touch anything and I wouldn't talk. I had too many questions running through my head at that moment to want to interact with them. I remember seeing Lex for the first time and I stared at her features. It felt like I was looking into a mirror. When I was introduced to my biological dad, I was telling myself that that couldn't be true because my daddy was at home. I had just seen him earlier that day and the man I was staring at with wide eyes was nowhere near the man I saw and called my dad every single day.

To this day, thinking about how confused I was still brings me to tears. Everything that I thought I knew about my life had been a lie. I felt like someone was telling me that I had to forget everything I knew and learn to accept something totally different. That day, I figured out why my last name was different from Mia and Shakur's. I found out that I had a big brother and sister when just the year before I didn't know who would protect me when I went to school because I thought I didn't have a big brother or sister.

Throughout the years, I felt like I was being tugged in two different directions and I was lost because none of the stories about the events prior to us meeting ever made any since. At one point, I even tried to get closer to one parent just to piss off the other one. Eventually, I was able to sit back and I raised ten kinds of hell until everyone told the truth and filled in the blanks when it came to what happened and why I didn't meet my biological father until then. I heard a million and one stories, but only one person told the same story and continues to tell it to this very day. I could call them at any given moment and they could tell me, word for word, the same thing they always told me.

I love my biological father and all of the family that came with meeting him and I wouldn't trade our memories for anything in this world. But, Charles Joyce will always have a hand in making me what I am today. I talk shit, I can be cocky and way too proud, I run my mouth, and I'm a hard ass and that's because of him. He has his issues and things were crazy for a long time in my life, but he will always be my dad. Regardless of how much we fight and how evil I think he is at times, I know that his heart is pure. Anybody that can love a child unconditionally when they don't have to are some of the most beautiful people in the world. He came into my life when I was 3 months old when I didn't even belong to him and because of that, he'll forever hold a special place in my life. Sometimes it's enough to make me look past of all the wrong that he's done.

Somewhere along the way when I would try to put the pieces together to figure out what happened before I was born, I developed abandonment issues. I always resorted to not being good enough for someone to want to stay in my life and that led to me giving my time to people that didn't deserve it and hurting myself more than I needed to.

I was 18 years old when I decided that I was tired of it all. My soul was so very tired. Tired of the lies. Tired of all the different stories. And I was tired of letting this control my life and my emotions. When I finally let it all go and became Switzerland (neutral. It's a Twilight reference)with everyone, it was amazing. I had never experienced anything as magnificent as letting everything go and realizing that I was an adult and there was no reason for anyone to lie. It was like I was walking away from it all. I buried the past and came to love all of my parents equally.

I dread the day that Draven starts to ask about his biological father. Ever since he walked out of our lives,, I've tried to imagine how that first conversation will go and no matter how many times I play it out in my head, I know that I won't know what to say or do. But I know that I will tell the truth every single time he asks questions. I know I won't be able to handle him asking me why he didn't want him the same way I did when I asked my mom. But a part of me is proud of what happened when I was younger because when that day comes for Draven, I won't have to go at it blindly.

I can wholeheartedly say that not everyone can understand how it feels to be raised by someone that didn't help create you and what it feels like when you eventually meet the person that did. If your biological parents have always been in your life, you don't know how it feels. It fucking hurts. That is and always will be the greatest trauma that I will ever experience in my life, but I'm glad that I didn't let it turn my life into a tragedy.

Instead of trying to fight against each other, we are finally able to hold hands and walk together peacefully. No more anger. No more grudges. No more tears. No more negative energy. I love my families equally and I always will. It might have knocked a few screws loose in my mind, but I can live with that. It's not the end of the world.