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!!
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.
First let me define domestic violence as violent or aggressive behavior within the home typically involving the violent abuse of a spouse or partner. In the wake of the murder of the young lady and her 3 children in my surrounding area I felt the need to write on this subject. As I have read many comments on Facebook some heart touching while others were heart breaking.
Many times people respond in a negative way because this is a life that they have never lived. Even when you are a witness to it you still may never understand how hard it is to leave. I read comments saying “why didn’t she just leave?” I have seen comments that said, “I would never allow a person to abuse me.” You get the picture of where I am going with this. There are many factors to these types of relationships. Many of you may not understand it but please stop making victims feel stupid when they are already being demeaned on a daily basis. Control is the key to domestic violence. Usually a person has already lost control of their lives long before the physical abuse even starts.
Fear-an unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain, or a threat. (Verb) be afraid of (someone or something) as likely to be dangerous, painful, or threatening. With that being said fear is the main reason many stay. People may think it’s because they are so in love…No that is not it. Fear of being homeless, losing your children or your life and not feeling worthy to be loved. This is a hard spot to be in and when people make you feel stupid for being there it’s even harder to leave. Think of it this way when you make that person feel demeaned you are no better than the abuser…yeah I said it! Because I’m sure that many of you never saw it that way. The verbal and emotional abuse from their spouse has already beat them down so why would you want to beat them down any more?
Take the time to educate yourself on this issue. Make an effort to volunteer at your local shelter or at an event that supports domestic violence awareness. And if you know a person is living this life please just make yourself aware of information that you can pass on to them in order to help. Find out what you can do to help by calling your local shelter or the National Hotline. Here is the number to The National Hotline 1-800-799-SAFE(7233) OR 1-800-787-3224(TTY).
According to the Webster’s Standard Dictionary the meaning of insecure is uncertain; lacking stability. We have all had an encounter with insecurity whether it was someone we know or ourselves. Many people put on the mask of security but all along they are truly insecure. Wearing that mask can be a full time job. Why work that hard when there is a solution to every problem.
Last week I wrote about rejection but I want you to see how rejection can cause insecurity. My father died when I was only six and that one event changed my life. In my mind as a child I thought that God took him because I wasn’t good enough to have the love of a father. And that made me feel rejected which caused me to want to please others. Children may perceive things differently from what they really are. But that feeling of rejection caused a deep rooted seed of insecurity, feeling like I was never good enough. It wasn’t until I started to deal with the root of rejection that I realized just how insecure I really was.
A lot of people base security on materialistic things. She/he must be secure because they live in a mansion or drive an expensive car. It doesn’t matter if you’re making a million dollars or wearing designer clothes that does not make you secure. Take a true and honest look at where you are and what has caused you to be insecure. We don’t have to be ashamed about where we are. Just know that God can help us through anything.
Understand this others my reject us but be secure in the fact that the Lord will not. Psalm 27:10, “Though my father and mother forsake me, the Lord will receive me.” Join us at www.facebook.com/luv2beu as we discuss insecurity this week.
We have all experienced rejection at some point in our lives with different results. There are many different causes and results of rejection. Being rejected doesn’t mean that you come from an abusive home. People from stable homes experience rejection. There are so many things that can happen in life to open the door for rejection. I will be sharing some of those causes with you.
- Death of a parent
- A child born with disabilities
- Comparing a child to sibling
- Being put up for adoption
- Abuse (physical, verbal, emotional and sexual)
- Peer rejection
Rejection is everywhere and when there is cause there is also a result. The results of rejection can alter our spiritual, physical and emotional wellbeing. Here is a short list of some of the results of rejection.
You do not have to be held in bondage to rejection. It is possible to be free but you have to be willing to do the work. Join me on www.facebook.com/luv2beu as we discuss this a little more throughout the month of January.
The question that I have to ask is “Why is sexual/physical abuse still taboo in families?” The reason I ask this is because some families still don’t want to address this problem. Is it because they don’t want others looking at their family differently or they just don’t want to believe that it happened? You have some families where this is a generational thing meaning it is a cycle. How can the cycle be broken if the problem is never talked about? Now is the time to make a difference and break the cycle!!!!
So let us first look at sexual abuse. There are so many victims /survivors of sexual abuse. This is not something that just happens to girls but many boys are victims as well. People need to be aware of this fact and not look at it as a one sided problem. We need to be talking to our children and letting them know they can come to us with anything. Have the discussion with your children about sexual abuse. So many people think this could never happen in my family well that is their first mistake. It can happen in any family and awareness is the key. The main thing is that we need to make sure that the child understands that IT’S NOT THEIR FAULT! There are adults who are walking around still blaming themselves for what happened to them as children. This offense is something that a child carries with them into adulthood. Some find it hard to trust others with their own children. It haunts them in their sleep. Sexual abuse causes some to fall into a state of depression. We have to stop sweeping this issue under the rug and face it head on. This has to be done so that others can be SET FREE from this bondage.
How many of you have seen your mother be abused and end up in the same type of relationship? Physical abuse is such a vicious cycle whether you are the abuser or the one being abused. There are so many red flags that we sometimes ignore before it ever gets to the point of turning physical. I sometimes hear women say they stay because of financial reasons, fear, afraid of being alone or because they love them. I have heard men say they stay because of the stigma behind being a battered man. There is nothing that a person can say or do that warrants another to beat their spouse. Also, the verbal abuse is just as devastating as the physical. When a person hears something over and over again they begin to believe the awful things that are being said about them. Words cut you deep just like taking a knife and making a wound. You have to know that there are places out here that can help if you are a victim of abuse. If there is a chance that you can make it out alive please take it. There are many who lose their lives due to Domestic Violence. Don’t allow yourself to be just another statistic.
Abuse can leave more than just physical scars. There are emotional scars that run so deep a person may feel like they will never be able to move forward. Well I am here to tell you that it is possible to have a very product life after abuse. Sometimes in life there will be things that will trigger that painful moment but it is how you respond that will determine if you have healed or not. Don’t allow the pain, anger, bitterness, fear or shame to hold you hostage. Below will be a list of resources that you can use.
National Sexual Assault Hotline 1-800-656-HOPE(4673)
National Sexual Violence Resource 1-877-739-3895
National Domestic Violence Hotline 1-800-799-SAFE(7233)
Depression is defined as feeling sad, blue, unhappy, miserable, or down in the dumps. So many people suffer in silence because they are ashamed to ask others for help. I find that most people try to hide or should I say mask their hurt. They struggle just to get out of bed and make it through the day. Sometimes you have to just really pay attention to the people around you. The person next to you could be fighting back the tears. It seems like depression is on the rise and being overlooked. We need to bring awareness to this disease that sucks the life right out of people. Depression causes people to feel like they are alone in this battle. I hate depression and all that it steals from you. People know and understand that there are people out here who want to help you stomp on depression. You don’t have to suffer in silence let your voice be heard. Do Not isolate yourself from the love of others. God we ask tonight that you touch those who are suffering with depression. Let them know that they are not alone. Where they feel sad give them joy. When they feel alone let them feel love. When they feel they are carrying the world on their backs give them peace. Depression happens to people from all walks of life so let’s not judge those who suffer. See them as a human being in need of help.
Have you ever wonder why the word “family” is so different today than it was years ago? As I look at my own family it’s something that has been bothering me to the core of my heart. Have I lost the meaning of this word to the point of not showing my children what it means to have family. I remember my daughter telling me one time that she felt out of place because she didn’t know her family. I was crushed because I grew up with my cousins. I look at both of my girls and they really don’t have close relationships with their cousins and they have missed out on so much. I have so many stories to look back on that I will be able to share with them. But they will never be able to experience that. Or us coming together every single Sunday after Church for dinner. Are we so new school that we can’t even sit down to have dinner together? Most of us don’t even sit down during the week for dinner so why on earth would we do it on Sunday? Oh, I recall my grandmother making food to take to the sick. Or just going to visit to see if there was anything that she could do for them but God forbid we do that now. I just remember when I was little family being important. We helped each other, you looked out for one another no matter what.
We have become a generation of teaching our children that it is more important to look out for self. Nothing could be further from the truth. And the saddest part of that statement is that as Christians we need to be teaching them the value of family-love. As for myself I have to make some major changes because I want my children to sit down as a family and have dinner like I use to do. So one day they will do the same with their families and so on. I want them to understand having the heart to want to help those in need. There are some things about the older generation that we better not forget because of them family stayed together. This new generation well lets just say family what is that? I look back at the older generation and yes they had some flaws but they understood the value of family. They fought to make sure that family stayed together. Grandmothers raised their grandchildren and other family members children if they had to just so family could stay together. Now days you better do the best you can to figure it out. So please don’t be so quick to write off the ways of the older generation they must have done something right because they truly understood what the word family meant.
So take a look at your family and ask the question are you just getting together for family reunions or funerals? If the answer is yes this is something that you may want to change. People are dying so fast these days and the young are dying younger. I think Rev. Run had a wonderful idea bringing his family together for Sunday dinner. A time to talk, share and reflect on the week. Just a time to love on one another. To my own children I vow to you to do better as a mother when it comes to giving you the value of family.