*For the human mind, be it the product of evolution or a created thing, it is excellent at segmenting ideas and emotions. For every zig there has to be a zag, and the yin cannot exist without the yang, for every right there has to be a wrong. It sometimes seems like it’s nearly impossible for the mind to imagine the one without the other, but the heart knows better.
The heart is aware of those shades of gray. It appears as though author Jamilah Creekmur is all too aware of this phenomenon as well. In her new offering “Raised by the Mistress,” the author speaks of heartache, confusion, pain and eventual reconciliation. Our Lee Bailey caught up with Ms. Creekmur to discuss her new literary offering.
“It actually came to me the moment I actually realized I wanted to write the book,” Creekmur said of the book’s title. “I literally had the epiphany moment. This story is much bigger than me, much bigger than my mother even. Much bigger than even Wayne (her mother’s long time lover and now husband) and I really felt compelled to share that story.
“The moment I thought about writing the book, two things popped into my head: one was ‘Rainbow on the Wall’ and the other was ‘Raised by the Mistress.’ ‘Rainbow on the Wall’ has its significance as well. It’s because there’s a story in the book where my parents, when they were getting divorced and my mother left the home. My dad had a huge rainbow painted on the wall and that is one of the things that stuck in my memory. But I ended up going with ‘Raised by the Mistress’ because it was a little bit catchier because it gets right to the content.”
Infidelity is often looked at from two viewpoints: that of the male and the female involved. But there are actually three viewpoints involved. The aforementioned male and female, but also from a child’s point of view; they’re never asked their opinion. Most feel children are flexible enough to simply fall in line. Sadly, others don’t think about the children at all. Creekmur tells our Lee Bailey the book was 20 years in the making and a way to finally shut the door.
“It was my way of dealing with 20 years of frustration that I was dealing with growing up,” she explained. “It was a way for me to deal with my own closure to theses feelings that I’ve held onto for so long, and then, in today’s society, all of these different sensationalized versions of what being a mistress is. You hear about the Tiger Wood’s scandal and the John Edwards scandal, Tiki Barber. All these different crazy scenarios, but you never hear about common families like mine that really struggled with infidelity and, for me, I grew up watching it. It really had a profound impact on me and I wanted to share what the cost of infidelity really is on families and how it impacts children. I understand how there’s a huge amount of TMI (too much information) here. This whole book is TMI. But the reality is there are hundreds and thousands of people that share a very similar story that people are not talking about.”
Though she has been hurt by infidelity in the past, Creekmur is not shying away from it. On the contrary, she wants this book to be the beginning of an honest dialectic.
“I want to talk about marriage and I want to talk about infidelity and have intellectual conversations about what the institution of marriage really means,” she told EURweb.com. “I am seeing it happen! I’ve been talking to women all across the country and I’ve really been in awe of how open people are being off of the platform of having read my book. A lot of people are sort of confronting some of their own issues and challenges.”
One of the things that African Americans generally do not do is seek medical or clinical help. Mental health in particular, but Jamilah Creekmur says she does not make that mistake anymore.
“I invest in my counseling the same way I invest in the dentist,” she joked. “My mental health is very important to me. At the time it was going on I didn’t get any therapy because I didn’t think it was something that was readily available to me. It was something that I wasn’t really open to pursuing and I just did what people normally do. I took all of my burdens and put them in a bag and you have your own baggage that you carry with you throughout your life. So, I did that for over 20 years and I just got to the point where I was in a place where I could actually have a therapist and go and talk to my counselor about my emotional feelings to make sure my mental state is not compromised by things that I’ve seen growing up.”
“Raised by the Mistress” is in bookstores now as well as at Amazon.com. It’s quite a page turner and for all you brothers thinking it’s another addition to the library of anti-male propaganda that litters the newsstands, you are mistaken. Nine reviewers at Amazon.com give it a perfect five stars out of five. Creekmur’s mother Valli Lampkin, her husband Wayne Lampkin and Aliya S. King are also listed as contributing authors. Read excerpts for yourself at http://www.amazon.com/Raised-Mistress-Jamilah-B-Creekmur/dp/