Welcome to Ask Willie D, Rocks Off's advice column where the Geto Boys MC answers reader questions about matters, in his own words, "funny, serious or unpredictable." Something on your mind? Ask Willie D!
I'M 15: I SMOKE, I DRINK AND I'M SEXUALLY ACTIVE
I have had sex with five different boys and a 22-year old man. I do it because my parents care about their jobs more than me. They are almost never home and when they are, they're either working or sleeping. I can hardly remember a time when they were there to help me with homework or answer a question about a pressing issue; they left that to babysitters and housekeepers.
Because I seldom spend quality time with them, I feel like I don't even know them and they certainly don't know me. For a long time I was Sweet Polly Purebred. I did everything their way without question. I was their perfect little angel.
But now I don't care anymore. We are always fighting and I'm always on punishment. But since they're never around to enforce punishment, it doesn't mean anything so I still do whatever I want.
My grades are falling off now. I went from a straight-A student to barely maintaining a C average. My personal life is a disaster.
I'm really not a bad person; I'm just acting out because I'm mad. I want to get back on good terms with my mom and dad and leave alcohol and drugs alone. I also want to get my grades back up and stop being promiscuous because I don't want to be labeled a slut. Can you tell me how to get back on track?
I'm convinced you are a good person. The root of your anger is your resentment for your parents' overzealous work ethic, but before you attempt to correct their behavior, you need to correct your own. Stop drinking, doing drugs and having sex, period! You're too young for the consequences.
Schedule a family meeting with your mom and dad during a time that you think both of them are most likely to be home. The gesture will intrigue them because family meetings usually involve serious discussions that kids want no part of.
Tell your parents how you feel about having always been left with babysitters and housekeepers. Give them examples of times when you faced issues alone and wished they were there to aid you or to simply say, it'll be okay.
It might even be a good idea to tell them that you recently stopped drinking, doing drugs and having sex. If that don't snap them back to reality, nothing will.
Even though the information will be disturbing, they will probably be so grateful that you have already self-addressed the situation that they will do anything to make sure it doesn't happen again. They are also likely to have a newfound trust in you because you fessed up to some serious transgressions that you didn't have to.
Parents are often in denial about the emotional effects their busy work schedules have on their children. Innocently enough, as long as they're living under the same roof, putting food on the table, and buying clothes, iPhones, and XBoxes, they don't think of limited time teaching and disciplining their kids as negligence.
Negligence is a form of abuse. That's why there are so many rich and middle-income kids with major behavior problems. Most parents work their butts off to give their kids life's luxuries but what good is it for a child to gain the world yet forfeit her soul?
WHITE MAN, BLACK WOMAN
I am a white man in love with a black woman. Our decision to be together has caused strains on both of our relationships with friends and relatives. My mother hates her and both of her parents hate me. I find myself not inviting her to certain functions because I don't want to get into a fight with someone for snickering or making a stupid comment.
We keep our circle small and calculate the places we go to avoid the unnecessary drama that interracial couples endure. God, the stares we get from people could melt an iceberg. What the hell is wrong with this world? I need some real advice from a standup guy. Will you please help me understand why are people so hung up on skin color?
People are hung up over skin color because the hatemongers - many of whom earn a living spreading vile messages of separatism and fear - told them to be. I bet if any of them or their family members got into a serious accident and needed a life-saving blood transfusion or an organ they wouldn't care if the donor was razzmatazz.
There are millions of people who trip over race but have no problem associating with or being child abusers, woman-beaters, deadbeat parents, thieves, liars, adulterers, perverts, winos, dope fiends, back-stabbers... the list goes on. I know you're trying to protect your woman, but don't exclude her from social gatherings. If she's not welcome, you're not welcomed.
James Taylor said, "The secret of life is enjoying the passage of time." We live in a cold, dark world. Some people are in the afterlife, still looking for Mr. or Mrs. Right.
Regardless of race, if I found someone I loved to ride this thing called life out with me, someone to enjoy the passage of time with who had my back during my disappointments as well as my successes, I wouldn't care what a crackhead monkey thought. I'm living for me and mine, not you and yours.
GETTING ALONG WITH MY NEGATIVE MOTHER
When I was ten years old, I painted a canvas of my family at school and took it home. I was so proud of it that I wouldn't let anyone see it, including my sister until my parents saw it.
Upon seeing my painting, my dad was excited. He gave me the biggest hug ever, kissed me on the cheek and said he was proud of me. A few minutes later when my mom saw it, she balled it up, threw it in the trash and said, "This looks nothing like me."
I was devastated. No, "Good job. That's nice. I'm proud of you." Nothing! She was totally dismissive.
My grandmother is the most positive-minded person I know. So how on God's green earth did she raise my mom, who is the most negative person on earth? Nothing is ever right. Nothing I do is ever good enough.
I'm a 30-year-old divorcee with two kids of my own now and nothing's changed. Financially, things are hard, with my ex-husband providing little to no child support. My mom helps out, but in exchange for her assistance I have to hear her mouth about how, if I had never gotten married and had kids I wouldn't be in this position. Duh - really?
I don't know how anybody could live with that much negative energy. It's one thing to offend me, but now she's starting on my kids. Complaining about the way they talk, walk, sit, and play annoys me to no end.
It's been a week since we last spoke because I finally told her about herself. She started crying and said that I disrespected her. Was I right to tell her off? It's bothering me - what should I do?
Your mom needs counseling. The fact that she would be so insensitive as to throw a child's artwork in a trash can and not even acknowledge her efforts is unconscionable. I'm pissed. Children need to be praised and rewarded for their efforts frequently.
It sounds like your mom may have some self-esteem issues of her own, and to make herself feel better she uses her criticism of others as a defense mechanism.
In any event, I don't think you were right to tell your mother off. You tell the phone-company rep and the teacher who picks on your kid off. You talk to your mother and seek resolution. Humble yourself. Call or visit her and explain how you feel. Talk calmly and be polite. It's your mother, not some chick on the street.
Sometimes parents need to be punished. You may have to distance yourself and her grandchildren from her for a period of time until she learns to stop being so negative. You also have to stop accepting her money. As long as she's helping you financially, she'll feel entitled to have a say in your personal life.
Teach her to respect and appreciate your presence, and when it seems she doesn't, pull away again and again until she gets the message. Because she loves you she will change, but be patient. It's taken her a lifetime to become who she is.
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Ask Willie D anything at askwillied.com, and come back next Thursday for more of his best answers.