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!!
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?
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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This morning I was watching I Love Lucy as I do every morning. Today was just a little different. I have watched this show for many years and the revelation I received this morning I never noticed before. Many times we watch shows and laugh at the shenanigans that go on never really seeing the true message. Well, today I received it loud and clear.
Lucy is always coming up with some type of scheme on the show. And usually they never work out the way she intends for them to. But what I noticed today was how every time Ricky has to do a show with another woman she goes overboard. Now on the show Ricky has never done anything to make her think he is cheating yet she always goes bananas when another woman comes around. The question that I asked myself was “Is this her being insecure about herself or is it something Ricky did?” Then I began to think about other episodes that I watched where she was always trying to change the way she looked because she didn’t feel like she lived up to a certain image. Or every time a woman from Ricky’s country came around she would compare herself to them.
Now let me jump over into the real world. How many times have you accused a man of something based off of what another man did to you? The reason it is so easy for us to do this because we have not dealt with how that betrayal made us feel. Now we are insecure thinking that there was something wrong with us that made him betray our trust. You find yourself comparing the way you look to the other woman/women. Or every time a woman is around your mate you find yourself giving him the side eye because you think he’s looking at her. Let me say this women if you have not dealt with your past hurt and healed from it stay single until you do. Truth be told that if you get a good man you wouldn’t be able to tell because your insecurities will drive him away. Then you will be with your girlfriends talking about how you knew he was sorry and all the while you are the problem. Now is the time to take a minute to examine where you are with yourself. Take responsibility and let us stop blaming every man because we are insecure. There are still good men out here in this world and if you don’t be honest about your insecurities you may just pass him right on by or should I say run him away!!!
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).
I often sit and listen to others talk about their relationships and wonder do they really hear what they are saying. Most of the time I don’t say anything because I love observing others. And I do understand people wanting to keep their relationship private in hopes to getting to know each other without the input of outside forces. Many times we allow the opinion of others to cloud our judgement when it comes to relationships. Or we have people volunteering information that you didn’t even ask for. So therefore you don’t want to share the fact that you are dating with the people that you love. Keeping things private for a while is not a bad thing. Now on the other hand keeping it a secret is something totally different. So let me jump right in.
Private means affecting or involving only a particular person or group of people. See most of the time when people decide to keep things private only maybe a best friend knows about the relationship. They make a decision not to involve everyone in the family on their new adventure. Maybe they realize that having everyone involved can cause things to go south before they even start. This comes with knowing the people in your life. We all know that when you first start dating sometimes people want to give you the run down on that person. What they have heard from others and maybe a rundown of that person’s past. They do this without ever giving you a chance to see if this is someone you even really want to entertain. So being private is not a bad thing.
Secret means not known or seen or meant to be known or seen by others. The moment you become the person that is only seen late at night and no one knows that you are even in the picture there is a problem. When someone is begging you to be quiet about the fact that you’re involved that is a red flag. Why do you have to be a secret?? That’s the question you should be asking. This person denies you anytime someone asks if the two of you are involved. There are usually only 2 reasons someone would keep you secret they have a mate already or they are ashamed. Never allow anyone to treat like you’re not worthy of being loved.
Don’t ever be confused about what is private and what is secret. Because nothing good ever comes out of a secret. If you allow yourself to remain a secret prepare yourself for hurt to follow. No man or woman that truly cares for you would want to keep you a dirty little secret. Know that you are worth more that being a secret.
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)
It must be a wonderful feeling in your heart when you can pick up the phone and hear your mother’s voice on the other end. Well I dont have that feeling anymore. I have seen people mistreat their mothers. Do and say anything to them as if they were trash. That angers me cause I would give anything just to see her smile. I want to hear your voice. See understand that this is the flesh talking. The part of me that misses being able to share the things that are going on in my life with my mother. I have to say that she really was my best friend. We talked about everything. I shared my darkest secrets with her. She was my rock when I couldn’t stand on my own. I wake up some days and look at my phone knowing that I can’t call you. Some nights I cry myself to sleep because it hurts so much. I do take comfort in the fact that your not here suffering anymore. But there is a void in my heart that I know only the Lord can fill. Ma sometimes I just dont know how to allow Him to do that. You were everthing to me. Even when you thought I wasnt listening to you I heard every word. You never gave up on me even when I had given up on life. You were there to pull me up, you dusted me off and let me know it would be okay. When others thought I would be the mud on the bottom of their shoes, you let me know those same ppl would be my stepping stones. A mothers Love is the best thing in this world. Its to be cherished not take for granted. Cause once its gone you can never go back and change things. Its then gone forever. Im thankful that the Lord gave me the chance to say all the things I wanted and needed to say before you left this earth. I can find peace in that you knew just how much you meant to me. And how grateful I was for all you did for me and my children. As Im sitting here writing I just feel this empty place in my heart. God this hurts so much. I always thought it would get better but it seems harder. There is so much I want to tell you. Right now you would be praying telling me Angel God is in control so whatever His will is let it be done. Then you would tell me not to worry. Ma Im not worried anymore because I do have in my heart all that you taught me. I close my eyes and I see and hear you speaking to me. With that I have comfort with whats going on. You have been with me through every major thing in my life and now I just feel lost at times. Ma I Love You and I Miss You more than words could ever say. So if you still have your mother here on this earth with you be sure to let her know just what she means to you. If there is a rift between you and your mother ask God to help you find a way to fix it, heal from it and move on. When their gone thats it you will never have the chance to say or do the things you want to with them. Just something to think about.