Confessions Of A Borderline B!tch: Bra Shopping With My Pops, An OG Ex-Felon

November 18, 2013  |  

One day while shopping with my dad, St. Louis, the unthinkable happened. First of all, I’m big chested, which of course is old people talk for just plain big. Then too, I’m gaining weight. So my big chest, which I inherited from women in St. Louis’s family in the first place, is on swole. And it gets better — daddy Louis is taking me bra shopping. Yes, pop is an OG, unafraid of popping bras. He was 35 when I was born, his first child, only daughter.

Now, before I talk about the unthinkable let me tell the unfortunate and very thinkable. St. Louis is an ex-felon with armed robbery charges and an ex-user — anything illegal and anything legal in illegal doses. Whatever my dad does (past or future), he goes hard at. So now that he’s clean, he doesn’t smoke or drink. Now that he eats healthy, he’s vegan. Now that he’s taut, he wears tight white jeans. Dad doesn’t see gray areas. And we sort of speak the same language, because a part of Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) is seeing people as either good or bad, trusting people or not trusting them. It’s a quick switch. And it’s funny how the default for anyone in this life can be: ain’t nobody got time for that!

So inside of the department store, we’re shopping like it ain’t no tomorrow. My dad let’s me think he’s going to buy the whole farm, and then he shuts that ish down at the register; hence I’m a bit surly about a blouse as we approach the exit. At the very moment of impact, of us breathing in fresh air from outdoors instead of stale air from mall guts, security swarms us. They’re several of them. They’re yelling calm instructions and pointing directions at St. Louis. They shoo us fast down a corridor. If there are onlookers, I don’t notice. My head is down, and I only see the white, starchy hem of my father’s jeans.

Inside the room for criminal shoppers, St. Louis is calm and curious. His face is a mashup of mutherf**kers (used as nouns and adverbs). He wants to know if all this is over a few items that the store expects to lose anyway— inventory shrinkage. At no point does he look my way. Not until the black security guard asks him straight up, “Why you do this with her here?” St. Louis says, “She alright, man.” Then he looks at me as if to say, ain’t you, baby?

On the drive home, I’m still crying, which ironically started up when daddy said I was alright. Why you crying? Stop crying. We alright. St. Louis really wants to know why water is coming out of my eyes over this bullsh!t. I shrug my shoulders to his questions. There is no analysis for my tears. I’m not crying because my father is no longer my hero or because I want him to feel my pain. My father has felt a hero’s pain. I’m crying because this day is up. I instinctively know that family is sort of outside of us, temporary, borrowed from God, so really I’m crying because I’m my only family in this moment.

Nobody really knows how much of themselves they can safely give or how much they can safely expect from others. So maybe the best way to describe my BPD is a constant belief that the world and everything in it is dangerous. Whereas St. Louis is able to find a groove—calm and curiosity—I’m lost and grooveless.

Next: My Five BFFs and Food Addiction

Confessions of a Borderline B!tch is an open, honest, and humorous column about living with Borderline Personality Disorder.

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