I often look back over my life and think about the many different things that have occurred. A few years ago I had to take a look at my relationships and why they didn’t work. See before I was quick to put the blame on others. There was always something about the other person that I couldn’t live with. Maybe it was me trying to find something wrong with them in order for me to walk away. But you can best believe it was never about me. Sometimes we try to walk around like we are flawless but we both know that is a lie. We are human so we all have flaws some are more evident than others.
So here I am taking the time to examine myself. First let my say this to admit that maybe just maybe I was the problem was HARD. But when I sat down I realized that I was the common denominator in every equation. Could I really be the problem? And what is it about me that was causing the problem? Now I have to go back and take a real look at how I truly view relationships. The honest truth was I don’t think I ever saw a healthy relationship in my life. Even the ones that looked healthy on the outside were dysfunctional in some way. Just because people stayed married does not mean they were a living example of what marriage was to be. And many times I thought to myself if this is the example of what marriage looks like I can do without it. I had programmed my mind from an early age that I didn’t need to be married because there was nothing good about it. So, why bother?
Now that brings me to why the relationships didn’t work. Well anytime it looked as if I was close to marriage I would sabotage things. Commitment was scary for me. My sister in law would often ask me if I had my running shoes on. At first I just took it as a joke but then I realized that she a valid point. I was a runner!! I also think that in that programming came with hearing the women in my family saying that we were cursed to be alone. You hear something enough you begin to believe the very thing you hear. What I have learned is that I had to reprogram the way I thought. Not just about marriage but men in general. I had to stop looking at things in the negative light and focus on what was positive. That marriage is a beautiful thing when you have the right man in your life. That marriage is work and you get out of it what you put in it. That I am NOT cursed to spend the rest of my life alone. So, now I am in a place where I look forward to one day being married to the man who is just for me. The man that will love and support me flaws and all while I do the same for him.
The moral here is that it is important to always examine yourself. Examine your mindset when it comes to relationships and that means all relationships. Are you being the very thing that you want others to be to you? Because we sometimes put standards on others and yet we are not living up to those same standards. Never look for something from another that you yourself are not willing to give to them.
Where do I begin? Well let me start by saying this little guy means the world to our family. He brings so much joy to us. In that I have to share that it has been a long hard road for us. As I think back to where we all started on this journey and look at where we are now I know it was nothing but God. So now I am going to share with you this journey of living with a child diagnosed with Autism.
Let me introduce you to Jahmez! Do you see that beautiful smile? This smile just feels my heart with so much love every time I see it. But what I need you to understand is that this was not always the case. Looking back at where he started I didn’t think we would see the day that he would be so joyous. I can recall a time when this little guy would not give us eye contact. It was almost like he would become anxious if you tried to look at him. I often wondered how life would be for him. Like God will this precious little guy ever be able to express love to any of us. Will he ever be able to allow us to show him love. Hugging was a no no for him. But I always would want to just pick him up and hug and kiss on him. I knew that would send him into a frenzy but he was just so cute! But I think one of the hardest things in the world was him being non-verbal. Having a child not be able to tell you when they’re not feeling well or that they’re hungry is hard. Just thinking of the everyday things that he may need but can’t express to you that he wants. Now as hard as it was for us can you imagine what it’s like for him or others like him? I can’t even begin to internalize what it would be like for me not to be able to express how I’m feeling.
Now let me jump over to the here and now. I am so excited about the progress that Jahmez has made over the years. The little boy who was once non-verbal is now putting words together. To hear him speak to me is a blessing. When ever I hear his voice I just smile. Watching him walk to the cabinet or refrigerator and telling us what he wants is amazing. But one of the best things is telling him that I love him and Jahmez grabbing my face, pulling it to him so that I can kiss his check. That is his I Love You to me. This was something that I once could not do. He is so full of affection until you just want to love on him all of the time.
My family is so thankful to all of the teacher’s that work with him. Teacher’s have the job of pouring into our children daily which I’m sure is hard. But as I think of teacher’s who have the pleasure of working with special needs children I realize they have to have a special heart. This experience has given me the chance to look at teacher’s in a different light and with much more appreciation than I ever had before.
I wrote this to say that if we as a family would have just gone with Jahmez is on the autism spectrum and just went with that would he be where he is now? I watched my mother fight for this little boy because she had so much hope for him. I have seen him grow in ways we never thought possible. Many times we have a diagnosis but does that mean that diagnosis is the end game? It is possible for life to be different from what you saw in the beginning. Don’t just take the diagnosis and give up. Fight to see your children progress in ways you never imagined. Even the small changes that I see in him make me excited because I know that God is an AWESOME GOD!!
So I was sitting here thinking about sisterhood. Sometimes we are quick to call another sister but what does that word really mean? Is it just a word that we use freely? Or does it truly have meaning when you say the word SISTER? Before you call another sister make sure you understand what it means to be a sister. Some of you may say well I am a sister. And this may very well be true. I’m a sister to 3 brothers but does that mean I understand true sisterhood? No it just means that I have siblings.
I wanted to talk about sisterhood because of a group of ladies that are showing me the true meaning of the word. When I looked the word up this was what I found. Sisterhood sense of ” women having some common characteristic or calling”. But I have to say that this group of ladies have truly blessed me. Some of them I have known longer than the others but yet it’s like we’ve been together a lifetime. They have been warm and caring since day one. Having a group of women that you can be vulnerable with so that you work through past hurt is amazing. And the best part is they love God with all of their heart.
They don’t mind sharing their stories with me. And not just the good parts but those deep dark places that caused so much pain. Showing me that I’m not alone in whatever I am going through. We pray for one another and our families. It’s all about trust and honesty. If you can’t trust each other how can you truly call yourselves sisters? I am thankful to have this sisterhood. In the time I have been with my sisters I have learned a lot about me and where I am. I have also formed a spiritual bond with my sisters. And this has to be the best thing about my sisters. When you can have a conversation about the Father and come out with knowledge that you didn’t have before is wonderful.
Sisterhood should not just be a word that we use lightly. Sisterhood should be about trusting each other. It should be based on love for each other. The ability to be vulnerable before one another. When life has knocked you down you should be able to turn to your sisters for prayer. Sisters can talk and laugh together but most of all they can cry together. I’m finally able to close some doors from my past all because my sisters have given me the tools to move forward. I think every woman should have the experience of true sisterhood!!
Do you see that little girl looking out the window at the world? What is she thinking as she stares at the trees moving in the wind? Why is her eyes full of water? Is she okay or is she dying on the inside? From the outside shes looks to be about 8 or 9. But in truth she is a grown woman full of pain and anger. Shes looking out trying to figure out where things went so wrong in her life. How so many could claim to love her but continue to hurt her so. Was there something wrong with her? Absolutely not but that was a thought that haunted her all of the time. See we can look in at the life of others and think that life is great. But we really don’t know what is going on in the mind and heart of another. So we need to stop being so consumed with things that really shouldn’t matter and start opening our eyes to whats right in front of us. So many people are suffering from depression and thinking of taking their own lives. So when you see that fake smile on a persons face ask God to show the hurt hidden in their heart. What a difference you could make in the life of another if we could stop being so selfish with our time.
Yes, I understand that we all go through something but what I have learned is that when I’m going through there is another who is suffering worse than me. Everything that we endure in life is for the benefit of another. When will we stop being ashamed to tell our story raw and uncut? Granted there are some things that you may not want to share and I believe you should be guided on what to share. As for me I was purposed to share my story and not the story of another. A story that tried to break my very spirit but God would not allow my spirit to die! He has given me strength in my weakest moments. He has loved me when I couldn’t stomach loving myself. He has guided me when I lost direction. He has protected me when I placed myself in danger. See one thing we must understand that God is almighty but the choices that we make will have a negative or positive outcome. Then there will be things that happen to us that we have no control over those things you have to turn around in order to free someone else from the prison they live in. I have never claimed to know it all and there are things that I am still walking through but I do know that God didn’t spare my life for me to waste it feeling sorry for my suffering!! What will you do with your suffering?? Will you let it imprison you or will you set yourself free?
I remember it like it was yesterday. I was walking up our driveway, it was in the evening time somewhat dark outside. As, I was walking I saw this man he came from the side of the house. He got close to me told me he had been watching me and I didn’t even know it. Before I knew it he grabbed me covered my mouth and dragged me back to this shed we had. I tried my best to fight him off. He told me, if I scream he would kill me. I was in the fifth grade so of course I was scared and believed him. After it was over I had to get myself together, walk into my house as though nothing happened. I never said anything about the incident for along time, when I finally did it was too late. Meaning no one believed me.
This damaged me beyond what felt like could be repaired. I really didn’t know how to handle what had happened to me. My life from there just become a roller-coaster ride. It changed me in more ways than one, but most importantly it shaped me in a bad way . I became depressed wanting to kill myself, even tried to on more than one occasion. This made me angry causing me to deal by holding everything inside.
I am now about to be 32 years old and this still hurts me to this day. I found it difficult to trust at one point in my life I even turned to women. I didn’t trust men when I would meet them I would sleep with them, because I was scared to say NO. Because saying No meant the possibility of them just taking it from me. I still don’t allow people to get close to me because of the fear of getting hurt. I have even damaged some relationships which I’m not proud of because of the hurt that I was feeling . I’m very guarded causing me to build this wall which has an affect on my relationships today. I was told that I have BPD which is a mental illness .
However, I believe God and as I go through this process called Life this is one of the things that God has to heal me from. As a child I never dealt with this I just tried to covered it up in the hopes of blocking it out. Listen that never works!! One thing that I have learned is that you can’t fix won’t you won’t face.
This story was shared by someone who wanted to remain anonymous. I would like to take the time to thank them for allowing me to share their story with others.
As a young girl I hated my life to the point I wanted a new family. The misery I felt I knew this was not what everybody else felt within their family. All my friends had moms who were involved in their life 24/7 in a positive way. My mom was phenomenal as far as I wanted to believe, but she was an alcoholic who at times made everyone feel the raft when sobriety kicked in. The way my mom yelled and cursed at my siblings and I 16 years of my life played a huge role in how I almost 10 years later parent my daughter. She’s the apple of my eye, and even though my mom has been deceased for nearly a decade her ways are not what I want to utilize when it comes to disciplining my child. When my mom was angry she made sure we knew and felt every ounce of anger she had. This in return made me angry as a child. Which prompted no result other than me being angry while she was angry and led to me becoming rebellious and abused both mentally, physically, and emotionally. Now, as an adult, I promised myself, my spouse, and more importantly my daughter to never become my mom, as a mom. So far so good, but there are days I catch myself being my mom and I have to remind myself that yelling at my daughter when she does things I don’t like will force her to believe it’s OK to be angry when someone does something she don’t like.. like my mother.. My mom lacked patience, and at almost 26, so do I. Working with being patient with my daughter when she act out has showed me she responds better when I inform her on ways to deal with things. This process is long and hard but I know the generational curse will soon be diminished. Hurt people, hurt people and I refuse to allow pain to dictate how much joy and happiness I can obtain in my life.. Because I am a better person from my childhood situation I have hopes that I’ll become a better mom. My life shaped my vision on what I want my daughter to endure because I wasn’t given the opportunity of positivity in my life, so I vowed to be the positivity I yearned for as a kid… but for my child..
Thank You Amina Kali Okafor for sharing this with us.
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