Sunday, March 26, 2017

Moment of Transparency

Moment of Transparency: Depression isn't a disease that just goes away after medication. It's a constant fight. And the craziest part is ur fighting ur thoughts. Friday, I felt myself losing it. I found myself dwelling on my past mistakes.
I felt like I wanted to cry and be sad but I had no justification. I opted to take myself on a date. I saw Power Rangers. It was great but I felt something was missing. A cloud covered me.
Yesterday, I didn't want to leave my bed. I considered quitting my part time. I considered hiding under the covers. Not coming out until Monday maybe. I forced myself to go to work. When I got there, my coworkers individually and unknowingly made me appreciate being there. I didn't realize I was up for my annual review. My boss raved about my performance. Encouraged me to consider a leadership position. My best friend texted me "ur aunt is looking for you" I remember thinking like Lord what I do now. I left work. Anxious to get home. Then I remembered I promised a friend to support her event. I can't not keep my word. My phone rings. My grandmother says "it's ur grandfathers birthday, come to dinner" in my mind I'm thinking about how I just wanna be alone in my bed away from humans. I agreed I will be in attendance. I made a stop. Then I went to my friend's event. It was amazing to see so many women supporting each other. Encouraging each other.  I watched in amazement and appreciation for being there. Didn't stay long, Grand dad's dinner. I went and ate and laughed and talked and .... I felt like I was home for the first time in a long time. FaceTimed my sister; we sang happy birthday ate cake. Laughed with my cousins. Before I even realized it, we had moved to the front porch, more talking with family, while the kids played. I observed and just took it all in. In those moments, I didn't realize had I made the decision to let my depression keep me in the house, I would have missed what appeared to be nothing but in reality was everything.
Today I woke up, I fought myself to get out the bed again, but then I reflected on what I woulda missed yesterday, and I realize, I belong. I am missed when I'm not around. I am appreciated most when I am present. I will make an effort to be present more often as selfish as it sounds, but because I want to live in more of those moments. I want to be present in those moments, I don't want to hear the stories or see the pictures.
I want to be present and accounted for. Today as work, I caught a glimpse of myself, in a peaceful state, beautifully being myself. I looked at the beautiful woman in the mirror and I was proud of myself for continuing to fight. No matter what. In spite of everything that could be wrong, I push forward..... Tonight I am thankful.... I've come so far and I have further to go. But in the end I will win.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

You Protect what is Valuable to You ....

This morning as I Lyft'd (not a word; def made that word up but it fits soooo moving along) ... My driver struck up conversation with me. The usual "U like the area... what do you think about it? ... It is changing so fast" My white driver referencing gentrification always makes me think does he really know whats going on... He is apart of the THEM who wants US out... I digress... ok back to the topic...

As we arrived to Julian's school, I ask him a couple questions to remind him of his daily affirmations. The life I speak into my babies. It is a very important part of my morning. "Are you going to make good choices today? Rushing, I get a yes. "Are you going to be a strong leader today?" Annoyingly I get a second Yes. "Are you going to show  yourself respect by respecting others today?" Straight face he answers: Yes. His tone says "I have had enough Mom let me go." I had swooped him in my arms and help him hostage for those yes. and a few kisses lol.  I watch as he runs to the building. He always moves slowly so he can stop to say hello to his friends along the way even tho I tell him to go straight to class so he will not be late. I digress again.  He makes it safely inside.
As I get back into the car, my driver says " I have never heard that before" Not realizing what he is speaking about I give him a "what chu talkin bout Willis look" (God that was a great show). He proceeds to admire my parenting. I thank him. As the car ride progresses he asks, "Who taught you how to be a parent"... I chuckled. "AIN'T NO MANUAL FOR THIS HERE! I AM WINGING IT BRO!" He laughed at my prompt response. I proceeded to tell him about becoming mother at 16 and how I really am just realizing how hard this parenting thing is. "Its 3 of them and One of Me... who da hell told me to sign up for this!" ** Please note how I am bat shit crazy because I want more, With a husband preferably twins 'insert Dab here'**  Probably, ask myself this question once a damn day. If I get a phone call home from a teacher, twice in one day. Maybe 3 times....

As our conversation progressed and I mentioned how hard it is being a mom to a teenager. You know that does teen things. She knows everything. She steals my clothes. She talks back. She rather sleep all day and not do a single chore. Oh you guys this baby once told me "Just because it is not done ur way, does not mean it aint done"... She probably regretted that statement when she picked herself up off the floor. But today in this conversation,  I reflected on myself as a teen and I reflected on a situation with close family members.

On Feb. 28, 2017, a 14 year old relative went missing. She was missing until March 4, 2017. During the time she was gone, I imagined everything under the sun. From Sex trafficking to homicide. I shared every flyer. I prayed. I was afraid for her. By the grace of God, she was returned home in one piece. I'm sure she is hurting. I'm sure she is afraid. I am sure her view of the world has changed now that she has had a taste of what every parent tries to protect their child from. I pray for her now as I would hope someone would pray for my 14 year old if she ever finds herself in that position.

I used this as a teaching tool. I went to my daughter. The rules that I have in place are not because I want to ruin ur life. The rules that are in place are because I want you to have your life. I want you to be able to experience a full life. I want you to remain as innocent as you possibly can for as long as you possibly can. I recently went thru my 14 year old's cell phone. The things I found were not a big deal. But to me they were enough for me to spazz over. Small simple rules were broken but to me small rule breaking leads to larger rule breaker so lets just cut the head off now and stay focused.

Idk the details on what happened that lead to my relative being missing. I just know the rules were broken somewhere in there. Not to blame her, but to say, rules are in place for protection. Period. Guidelines are in place for protection. As a parent, not even just in being a parent, as a person, a human, you protect what you value. If it is important to you,  you will protect it at all costs and by any measure.

Life is so hard, Living a life when it is truly you VS the World is even harder! Lord these babies just do not know.  When everyone has a motive and everyone wants something from you, and no one genuinely loves you for who  you are. Only based on what you can give or do for them is HELL. Literally, hard as hell. I have not experienced hell but I am almost sure that is close to it.

But one day, I hope my babies grow to see that EVERYTHING, every decision, every step, every move I have made up until this point has been to protect them. I have seen this world, I have experienced how it can eat u up if you allow it, and I will not give them to the streets. That is why I am hard on them, that is why I push them to be the best version of themselves. I value them. This world, does not and will not.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

You Need You More Than They Need You

"You are only obligated to urself n ur children" my best friend told me.... in my head I remember thinking but u don't understand because if I don't ...

Dad won't eat right. He will get sick n die.
My sister and her children need me.... who else is going to save them?
My brother is young he doesn't know any better; I have to show him.
My friends need guidance, I have to teach them. And if they don't have it I gotta get it to them because I have it. It's just the right thing to do.
I have to support all my friends in all their business ventures because they are my friends and that's what just what u do.

Yes I'm only having sex with him, but we are friends and he has to know, no one got him like I got him. He is my friend and lover in one. How cool is this? I can tell him all my secrets and have all the amazing sex I want. WINNING. 😐.... and that's just a few... I obligated myself to everyone I cared for.

Encourage. Support. Love. Teach. Show them ur mistakes so they won't make the same ones.
That was my mindset for everyone close to me. Everyone I ever said that I love. Everyone I ever connected myself to. I had to pour myself into them because that's just what is required. I love that's just what I do. Even if it doesn't come back to me. Even if it's never ever reciprocated. Even if it's unwarranted. Even if they are undeserving. It's just what I do.

April 23,2016. I was involved in single car accident. 4 ribs fractured right lung punctured. I remember thinking I killed my son... I remember worrying about being late for work. I think of the guy I was sleeping with at the time. I remember waking up to seeing 4 ppl. My father. 3 close female friends. Where was everyone else? I got a few phone calls. My sister who I hadn't spoken to in months... I remember her walking into the room and tears pouring out her face. I scared her. I immediately wanted to hug. I needed her there. Her showing up gave me strength.
I remember waking up and thinking FUCK IM LATE FOR WORK. They are gonna fire me. I remember being in the hospital room alone and thinking "where are all those damn ppl I woulda showed up for" .... Death knocked on my door and I can count on one hand who showed up for me. That was my peak. See God had started removing things from me n I didn't even notice until he exposed me to me. All the material things that mattered to me were gone; my car was the final piece. He had to expose me to myself. 4/23/16 he did. I tried to fight it. I accepted excuses and apologies. It was ok. I mean, I only could have died. No big deal. Really. Clearly. It was ok. In reality, it wasn't tho.
I was so busy loving everyone else.... I never took the time out to love me.
I never had the time to notice I was growing and changing and by the time I did, my body was broken n bruised all up. I wasn't happy with myself. I didn't recognize the person I had become. I was so angry inside. I was so sad inside. I was so distraught inside. But I couldn't stop. I had gotten into the habit of loving everyone else, I didn't even know how to love the woman I had become. I had no clue where to begin. So I started small. My appearance was always important to me. But I had realized my hair wasn't what made me beautiful. All my life I had ppl around me who raved over this thick curly hair.
I cut it all off.
Next. I realized I had so many negative ppl around me. I established a distance. I still love you .... but I gotta protect my space. This new woman, the woman I am becoming, I cannot be attached to negativity. I left them where they stood. I didn't warn them. I didn't explain myself. I just moved.
It's minor but I stopped the regular maintenance. Nails. Brows. Hair. I made an effort to get back into the habit. Those are things I do for myself. Non negotiable.

Then. My friends. The hardest part was removing ppl I never imagined living without. I mean how do u go from speaking everyday to not speaking at all. That's when I learned. Friends don't do things to u, that can bring u pain. Even if it's intentional, they won't make decisions that could possibly hurt u. They know u week enough to know what hurts u, what wouldn't. At least friends should. Not saying ur friends won't ever hurt u, they will. It's a difference between mistakes and choices. I looked at myself and said I'm this type of friend to my friends so why are u allowing this type of behaviors from ur "friends." I moved. No explanations. No warnings. We are grown. Just move. Everyone has sight but not everyone has vision and not everyone can go where u are going.

I remember being at therapy and my therapist asked.... "who makes time to take care of u while ur taking care of everyone else" and I sit down and thought about it and I realized. I have to be that person. I have to save me. No one else will.
And I made a promise to myself not to tolerate anything I wouldn't be willing to accept. Friends. Family. Any human.
I am only obligated to myself and my children.


Thursday, March 2, 2017

Blended Families ... The 2017 Version

Blended Families... Not so uncommon today... Very uncommon when I was growing up. I remember my 6th grade graduation... Standing proudly on the stage to receive my honor roll certificate. I remember seeing my mom on one side. My dad on another with my aunts. I remember my blue dress and sandals that I was so press to wear. I remember being so excited because I get to see my daddy. I also remember hearing "suck my dick bitch" ... "Fuck u aint no dick to suck"... I remember posing for a photo with my dad and never taking a single photo with my mother that day.

I remember my Aunt Netta looking at me saying how proud she was but I couldn't feel that because my parents were broken. My parents could not stand as the unit they were. They couldn't even stand together in a single photo for 30 seconds in honor of their child making honor roll. I did not make honor roll after that. No more award ceremonies for me. I remember holidays with no dad. Him sneaking up to my middle school to give my presents. I remember my mother finding my presents later and destroying them. Child this was a broken family. My father would have a new baby. Never got remarried. Still single today. My mother would have a new baby remarry later. That ended in divorce as well. Still not married today. I never wanted that broken family for my children. 

I went on a search to create the family I never had. I had my first child at 16. I was so pressed for my little family. I didn't want anyone to take it away from me. I did everything I could to make sure it flourished. He had another child 13 months after our daughter was born. I was devastated. My family was not my family. He was just spreading his seed every where. I did everything I could to force him to accept our family. Even took the offer to move with our baby into his parents house. He rarely came home once I moved in. He ending up moving out unofficially, a few months after I moved in. I hated his son's mother. Not because of who she was or what she did but because I blamed her for my broken family. Not realizing he never was committed to the idea of us being a family in the first place. We were children having children, playing house. It was so much drama!! 

The first few years were rough. I would help with his son. I loved that boy. I always wanted a son. I remember he was a few months and I gave him water to drink. His mother was livid. I never wanted to hurt him; I hope she understands that I would never hurt her child. I loved him like he was mine. My sister's brother. I wanted them to grow closely together. She and I re-established our friendship. Our common denominator was him. We agreed to focus on being friends for our babies. It was great. We even took family pictures once. He would sleep over our house sometimes and my baby loved her brother. Eventually, I moved onto another relationship and not even realizing I created a distance.I lost my old family and created a new family. He had a new baby with another woman. I was NOT interested in blending families with her. Just raggedy. I distanced myself more. I wanted to reach out to his son's mom, tell her I was praying for her. I know she was hurting. But we were friends for the sake of the kids.  So the few rare times we did speak; it was about the children. 
Eventually my relationship ended.  My new family was broken. My old family was broken. So I was just going thru the motions of making things work best I could. 

My oldest daughter's dad re-established our relationship based on our daughter. He would bring his boys over to visit every now and then. Her birthday parties everyone must attend. My children, not their sibling but my two, do not really know their sister's siblings. But it is in progress. 

My experiences have taught me being a broken family means u can never be a blended family. You cannot come together when you are broken. Families only blend when the adults take the time to resolve/heal from their issues while doing what is in the best interest of the children involved. I appreciate my daughter's brothers' mother. We have figured out what works for us and our blended family. Kids deserve to be loved on from all angles despite the adults relationships. That's the only way they are well grow to be great. They have to understand no person is perfect but the image of perfection comes with maturity and working thru the differences in spite of the pain. I pray my children understand this. and I pray my husband (whenever he arrives) understands that, its deeper than babies in common. We are a blended family. A support team. This is the village. We have to love thru the adult mistakes, to create better humans. Its all about choices. So far, so good. 

I am so ready for the day of us having a Christmas or Thanksgiving together all under one roof. <3