I didn’t want to, but I am…

The #metoo that’s going around has had me at odds with whether or not I wanted to talk about it, but after reading about Joy Bryant, my heart broke as I found a touching similarity to her story. Read it here… Joy Bryant’s story

I do not know the entirety of the story behind my conception save for the he say/she say versions my parents have served up, but I do know that neither parent knew how to parent well.  Their varied backgrounds prevented them from loving their children in the right way.

From what I’ve learned of my father’s childhood it was violent, angry, bitter, and strict.  He was academically smart; however, his father prevented him from seeking further education , so he filtered his skills into being a good craftsman and working with his hands.  His relationship with his mother was tenuous and the foundation for his misogyny.  My father was an extremely attractive man and that parlayed into his ability to score women and oftentimes in inappropriate ways.

After conversations with my half-sister and his current last wife, I learned some extremely ugly things about my father, and while I was in many ways appalled, I can’t say I was entirely shocked, as I saw things first hand growing up that my half-siblings did not and it set the tone for how I viewed him.  I saw women come and go on the weekends I spent with him, and learned not to get attached to any of them because I didn’t know how long they’d last.  Some were nice and some were not, but again, it didn’t really matter because I wasn’t sure if they’d last as I said.  This fluctuation in women translated into my inability to bond with women or even fully trust them since some of the women my father dealt ill treated me.

I learned how abusive my father then, and as recent as this February when he passed, I learned more.  And again, while disturbing, I was not entirely shocked, but what sickened me the most was hearing my half-sister detail her own conception, which led me to thinking, I could have very well been conceived the same way…out of violence/force/coercion…Rape!

I wanted to ask my mother about it, but don’t really want to dredge up the past and have her go into one of her many tirades about my father.  I’d actually rather know about her childhood and relationship with her mother.  Her father passed when she was two.  She’s never really detailed what it was like growing up, but from the fragments I’ve heard from my deceased aunt/uncle and my mother’s sister, it wasn’t great.  The little she’s shared about her relationship with my father was drenched in bitterness and anger.

About ten years ago, she blurted out that he raped her, but I dismissed it, not that I didn’t believe her, but she said it in mixed company; (around MY friends) and it was an inappropriate time and place for such a revelation.  I never brought it up again. Given what I learned from my half-sister, previous conversations with my half-brother, and my father’s last wife, I don’t dispute my mother’s revelation.  I don’t have any resentful or angry feelings about it in all honesty because I had an acrimonious and tenuous relationship with my father anyway.  I have long since reconciled my feelings; or lack thereof toward him, so when he passed, I was completely fine.  I’d been previously estranged from him for ten years and it wasn’t until 2007 that I allowed myself contact with him again.  Those seven years were fraught with drama and I merely tolerated his existence all while forging a very close relationship with his now widow of whom he treated her poorly too!

I have always had an oil and water relationship with my mother; a little similar to how Ms. Bryant explained hers with her mother.  She was verbally, emotionally, and mentally abusive toward me and there were a few extreme physically violent episodes too.  I think there was a lot of envy that she had toward me as I succeeded in things she’d hoped to and she found ways to either take credit for my accomplishments, demean them in some way, or find ways to steal the spotlight.  The myriad of things she’s done to assassinate my character, make assumptions about me, or misrepresent the facts of my life has caused a lot of hurt and pain over the years and fractured my relationship with my siblings and my eldest brothers children.  (Fortunately, we’ve grown through and past them now – but that was decades in the making)  The combination of my mothers abuse and that which I fortunately escaped from my father sexually, served as a painful foundation for my life. For decades, I lived with a level of self-hatred, in spite of the Colgate smile I wore and then somehow amassed herculean strength to overcome all of the pain of the various abuse I endured.

My own #metoo is something I’m choosing not to discuss because it’s not necessary.  I know what I went through and what’s more important, is that I came though it to be where I am today.  Speaking about the foundation of it all is a sealing part of the healing package.  Reading Ms. Bryant’s story allowed me to speak to parts of my #metoo in a different way.  I even more understand the adage, “hurt people; hurt people“.  I make zero excuses for my parents behaviour in any way as it is inexcusable.  I just see it all for the ugly truth that it is.  MY truth! MY healing! MY catharsis!  MY closure!

I wholly empathize with the women; and men, that have been sexually assaulted, molested, raped, and/or sodomized.  I wholly empathize with those who have been abused in any way and I stand in solidarity with those who’ve had the courage to speak up about their experiences.  I understand why it was “easier” to not say anything than to speak up.  I commend those who now have come forward and are speaking publically about their experiences.  I silently pray for those who still do not have the voice or courage to speak up and pray they’ll one day be able to heal and not remain in emotional bondage.

In closing, I hope that we can and will find a way to accept the ugly truth about what is truly an epidemic in society and find ways to embrace and heal those affected and hold the perpetrators accountable for their actions.  Abuse in its varied forms should not be swept under the rug and victims should not be shamed or disbelieved for speaking up.

#Solidarity!

Life’s lessons

Reason, Season, or Lifetime

People come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime.

When you figure out which one it is,

you will know what to do for each person. – Unknown

Knowing, understanding, and accepting the aforementioned is one of the most complex and agonizing of life’s lessons and experiences we will face and with age, I’ve found it to be one of the most liberating experiences I go through. 

In the past, I tended to rationalize the behaviour and actions of others and allow them to stay well past their expiration dates; in turn, providing them with a revolving door into my life and emotional capital of which was squandered.  There were too many Reasons and Seasons that I almost allowed to become Lifetimes. 

At this stage of life, I find myself closing doors more easily and more often.  I no longer allow myself to be held by nostalgia, chronology, and some misplaced sense of loyalty even when the other party finds a way; or at least attempts to reign me back in using those very same things to assuage their guilt for lack of contribution or participation. 

I favour and embrace the truth of where we are now, instead, of the role we each once played in the other’s lives and what we gained in those times or moments.  I recognize the varying degrees of relationships and the impression they had; however, to remain bound by that adds no gain.  My life is tantamount to an investment portfolio, where I have to regard the deposits made and the interest earned to determine whether I’m getting the most for my life’s relationship investments.  I choose not to live my life in the red or leaning toward emotional bankruptcy.  I reserve the right to close accounts and send statements of insufficient funds when people have overdrawn from my life and emotional well-being.  I refuse to continuously allow people to deplete me, be it financially, emotionally, physically, or mentally. 

I have to recognize the signs of the Reason, the Season, or the Lifetime in order to grow in every aspect of my life.  I cannot rationalize what doesn’t warrant the thought process because if I have to rationalize where we stand, I already have my answer.  What I must do is honour the Reason that became as Season for what it provided and reserve myself for those who are the Lifetime, and at the forefront of that is Myself. 

I’m currently liberating myself of someone who was a Reason, a Season, and what I thought would be a Lifetime.  I openly, fully, and wholly accept the Reason and the very many Seasons they played, and realize that Lifetimes are wholly reciprocal relationships.  Lifetimes are proactive, inspiring, uplifting, bullshit calling, and wholesome.  Lifetimes make others a priority and honour those who have bought the ticket with the true intent to ride until the end. 

This closure has been in the making for some time now; not entirely of their own making; however, and in spite of their words, their action has proven itself to be terminal.  There is nothing to wrestle anymore.  There is no taking into account the two plus decades of friendship (Reasons and Seasons) where we once saw each other through the others eyes, or saw each other through the myriad of life’s ups and downs.  All there is, is to let go. 

What was once perceived to be the embodiment of a Lifetime will become a fading memory shrinking further and further into the distance and will eventually set on the horizon of this part of my life’s chapter.  I am very much okay with that.  I honestly didn’t think I would be, but I truly am and in an odd way, I feel a bit relieved; exhilarated even as it feels like I reached past an emotional plateau.

So, here I am, older, wiser, and much lighter on my life’s journey.  I hear Ms. Badu clapping in my head and praising me for not being a Bag Lady.  (I told you before, music is always in my head!) 

If you’re struggling with Reasons, Seasons, and Lifetimes, take a moment to set your life up like a bank account or investment portfolio so you can see if you’re truly getting the best out of your life.

 

Honour thyeslf always! J

 

F*ck you and your thoughts on women…

From Steve Harvey, to Tyrese, to Isiah Washington and all those in between, I’m more than sick and tired of you all trying to tell me how to be a woman; how I should behave; how I should wear my hair, and every damn thing else you all think you have a right to say.

You all have had no problems having sex with us out of wedlock, while already in relationships; having kids with us in or out of a relationship; using and manipulating us in the name of love; and enjoying the fruits of what we’ve contributed to your life in whatever capacity, and now you want to try and govern us.  The fug outta here man!!!  The very last thing I need in my life is some man telling me how to live MY life!

My foremothers fought and died for me to have the right to vote; work outside the home; my reproductive rights; how to dress; and most important how to govern my life for about ME  and not for some hypocritical arse hole to tell me how to do it.  How I dress; style my hair; whom I sleep with or how many I sleep with; what I choose as a profession; requires not a word from them or any man.  Instead of worrying about me, they need to focus their attentions of themselves and building up the manhood.  Where are these men when their counterparts aren’t stepping up to their own self-worth; raising their children; maintaining their fidelity; finding work and staying employed?  Where are these men when their counterparts are running around looking like shit with their expired cornrows, unkempt locks, pants hanging of their dirty behinds, and not maintaining their health?  Those are the questions that need to be answered.

I’m a grown woman who does not need their so-called point of view on how I should govern myself and my life.  My various hair styles are worn to suit ME.  My weight is maintained for MY health and well-being.  My style of dress is a reflection of MYSELF and how I feel in that moment.  My self-worth and self-esteem is not predicated on whether some man thinks is or is not appropriate.

I wish the men who felt they have a right to tell a woman how to live could live in our lives for a year to see what it’s actually like to be a woman.  I would like to see them endure their monthly cycle.  I would like to see them walk in heels.  I would like to see them undergo a gynecological exam or a mammogram.  I would like them to experience labour pains.  I would like to experience what it’s like to be treated like a second class citizen in a work environment they’re amply qualified to be in.  I would like them to feel the sting of inappropriate contact or conversation.  I would like them to be in the heart-wrenching position of having to decide on carrying a child, terminating it or giving it up for adoption.  I would like them to experience the abandonment of having to raise a child alone with no support or interaction of the other parent.   Most of all, I’d simply just like them to shut the fuck up!

Men think they’re the end all; be all on many things and they’re not.  They like to think they’re so empowered and so strong, but the wonderful words and wisdom of Betty White, says it all.

woman-meme-6

And that’s all that needs to be said!

View from where I am now…

It’s been years since my last post and it actually feels a little strange starting over. I was going to create an entirely new blog, but said eff it, let’s just go on from here and the most important thing to me right now is that I start writing again instead of talking about writing again.

I’m not going to recap the events of the past two years as there’s been too much that has happen and I’d exhaust both you and myself in even trying to detail everything.  Suffice it to say, the most important thing is that I’ve made it through; I’m still standing; and that now being 50 feel freaking amazing!

My life outlook is more enhanced and definitely more self-centered now.  I’ve spent a lot of my previous decades catering to the wants and needs of others and seldom focusing some of that time and energy on myself, but not anymore.  I have made myself a full time priority and make no apologizing for it.  Life is too short to waste time and energy on planning with no intent to execute action.

From hence forth, my posts will focus on self-awareness and preservation, what being a whole woman looks life from my point of view, and will of course make comment on the wanton and errant assault on black women and how we should govern ourselves.  There will be lots of profanity laced responses to the aforementioned and there will be kind and compassionate commentary and take on many other topics I chose to discuss.  I will make no apologies for my words as they are MINE and I am entitled to speak my mind and my truth.

If what I say is of any interest to you, please feel free to comment and if not, I’m not here for the “likes” anyway, so regardless, I’ll still share my thoughts however and whenever the mood strikes.

Til the next time…

 

Can We Talk?

I happened upon this post as a ‘pingback’ to one I’d written some time ago. In reading this post, I can’t say I disagree with what the author has stated. Sadly, we coexist in a society where we’re habitually disconnected in spite of how much technology can allegedly keep us connected.

Read and see if you don’t find yourself agreeing. If you’re reading yourself in this post, maybe it’s time to rethink how you communicate.

Remember this…”(real) communication kills assumption”. If you can’t read, understand, or interpret the nuance, emoji, or text speak, then assumption is going to win hands down. It’s past time to reconnect in a human way.

COW PASTURE CHRONICLES

DAILY PROMPT
Ready, Set, Done
Our free-write is back by popular demand: today, write about anything — but you must write for exactly ten minutes, no more, no less.

Can we talk? No, I mean really talk? Have a conversation, put our phones down, look each other in the face (eye contact might be too much) and talk?  

Cause it seems to me we’ve forgotten how to communicate on the most basic level.

We have become a superficial society of acquaintances communicating in 140 characters and anonymous  Likes on Facebook.  Our kids are growing up unable to interpret simple nuances, expressions of subtle body language, or the tone of ones voice. One-on-one social interaction has become uncomfortable and outdated.

We’ve given our kids cell phones 24/7 on the pretense of keeping them safe, but if we were honest with ourselves, convenience was the real reason. Convenient…

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Life, transitions, serendipity, and other miscellaneous occurrences…

It’s been four months since I last posted anything and while I have about 87.3 entirely legitimate reasons for my absence, I’m not happy about it.

Life events have a way to disrupting ones routine and said disruption has shown me why routine is not always a good thing. I’ve come to truly understand and appreciate that there are many things in life that should occur spontaneously and impulsively in order to feel the fullest effects of the many ups and downs of life.  Controlling what we do day in and day out can make us rather dull and keep us out of touch with the multitude of things, people, and events occurring around us.

Granted, there are things one has to maintain consistency on, such as our jobs, finances, and taking care of our varied responsibilities, but those aside, I’ve realized that once those have been tended to, it’s important to live and be a part of this one-time event called Life.  There are no encores and no do-overs to speak of, so why not live while you’re alive.  Give those who may one day mourn your loss a reason to speak truthfully in their recollections of you and your life. No one wants a liar at their memorial service.  Well, there’ll be some simply because it’s human nature, but at least go out knowing you left an indelible mark where it was supposed to be.

I’m currently in the final stage of moving from a house I’ve spent almost 16 years living in to one I’ve been split living in for almost 4.  This particular transition is tremendously hard for me; not because I don’t want to move, but because I’m not used to living with other people.  Shared spaces are a little hard for me. As I’ve stated in previous posts, I’m territorial, I like order, and I like cleanliness.  I abhor things not being in their respective and rightful places. Things should be cleaned up after being messed up. And one should have the presence of mind to respect things of which are not their own.  Small children, 10 and 7 come with this move, so I’ve been the more strict in how the house should be kept.

Most children these days aren’t being taught to take care of their things, space, and cleanliness; thus, making even more work for the adults in the house. That is a major NO GO with me. Children aren’t to be coddled and allowed to be visitors in their homes; they’re to take care of it because it is their home and space. I reiterate the importance of taking care of their home and cleaning up behind themselves.  Many a toy has been trashed on account of their not maintaining their things. Laundry has gone unwashed because I will not remove underwear left in bottoms. Yes, I know it may sound petty, but I treated my Lil Lady that way, so I won’t make exceptions for my future step-children.

Speaking or marital events, I’m now engaged! That serendipitous event took place in July.  🙂

Friendships have taken turns for the better and worst in the many life events underway in my life. I’ve began removing people for their lack of reciprocity, controlling/manipulative/narcissistic ways/or simply because our season is over.  I’ve come to value my quality of friends rather than the quantity even more than before. I refuse to be a sponge and learned to be a sieve and release that which has no value added. I fully embrace the joys of the real and wholesome relationships where we heal, restore, value, reciprocate, uplift, encourage, enhance, and positively influence each other. Relationships have to be more than titular in order to have real purpose and value.

I have to credit and thank Barefoot Contessa for her checking in on me, encouraging, and sometimes doing her best to entice me into some form of salacious behaviour since she and I are quite alike in many ways. Her unsolicited emails have been a wonderful source of inspiration and she’s now going to become my accountability partner to keep me writing. It’s not that I entirely need one, it’s just without a well-functioning pc or laptop, I’m limited to my tablet, which isn’t that easiest thing to use as a writing tool. I can post from work, of which I’m currently doing, but that ability is contingent on my daily projects. I’ve decided, I’ll allow an additional 30 minutes to my work day for personal use until I’m able to remedy my home pc situation.

I’m in the midst of planning months where I can travel since I miss it tremendously and need to get back out into the world so to speak.  Florida is on tap for May and Vegas for July.  In between that, I’d like to swing Jamaica too.  I’m sure there’ll be day or long weekends to NYC, Maryland, VA, and wherever else draws me in.

So, I’d like to get back to the living life bit.  Time is of the essence and with all the craziness taking place in the US and globally, it’s another indicator that we have to seize as many moments as we possibly can.  We can’t always wait until the weekend to go to the movies, go out to dinner, go shopping, meet friends etc.  We have to do things impulsively, spontaneously, and with vigor. We have to give thanks each day that we’re blessed with in order to show The Divine we’re grateful for the life he’s prescribed.  We can’t keep holding on to things and/or people for sentimental reasons.  We must be diligent in living right NOW.  Heal what’s hurting. Release the weights holding you back.  Forgive, let go, and move on. Keep your heart channels open to both give and receive.  Don’t grudge others for what they have; not everything is for everyone. Restore yourself and walk with your head held high; especially toward those who’ve cursed and demeaned you.

Embrace the transitions; even, no, especially the scary ones.  Trust The Divine to be with you through it.  Open your life to serendipity; she’s a beautiful surprise.  Take chances; take risks; break free of routine.  Set attainable goals and work those plans you’ve set.

Each occurrence in life is whatever you deem it to be…a mistake is typically a learning or life lesson.  A new experience awards an achievement. Don’t let something new scare you.  Face that thing head on and show it who’s boss, but don’t fake it til you make.  Own the so-called losses because they truly do make you stronger and help you find a better coping skill.

I know I’ve been a bit random here and I’m okay with that. I’ve got going on in this head of mine and with time I’ll sort through it all, but in the mean time and between time, I’m just letting it all flow.  Something good always washes ashore.

Be well and sign your name in indelible ink wherever you go and in whatever you do.

Blu

Check out this song and read the lyrics. I think it sums things up quite nicely.
That’s How Life Goes

My life’s a twisting roller coaster on the run
I get no warning when the bad turns are gonna come
It’s a journey with no certainty
so I’ll make my peace with whatever will be
That’s how life goes
That’s how it goes
So you live and you learn to let go
That’s how life goes
That’s how it goes
So in good and in bad you let go
That’s how it goes
I could wonder what my life might have been
had I chosen to float down the other stream
Though some days felt like a slap in the face
there is nothing in my past I’d erase
The good days are enough to keep me strong
So I’ll make my peace with whatever may come
That’s how life goes…
I will let go of the dark thoughts that were ruling me
I will let go of my worries
I will live by the dreams that have been driving me
I’ll try to be the best I can be

Books and covers…

abuse

 

We see many people and gleen an impression of whom we thing they are. What’s wrong with that picture? Well, maybe after reading the image and this post, you may just stop doing that.

I saw this on Pinterest and found myself deeply moved by its content. Not because it spoke to the mysterious “he” that it spoke of, but more to the fact that it so reminded me of a friend.  What impacted me the most about it, was it spoke damn near spot on to how I watched her act in almost all the years we’ve been friends, but primarily over the past decade.  She promotes self-imposed image and role of the “good girl”, the poster image mother, the entitled, and other such lofty positions/opinions. I’ve watched her polish up the veneer she wears so proudly to detract from the fact that this very thought-provoking image proves.

All too often, things such as the B&B and depicted is targeted toward me; however, I’d like to counter that and say, women as pretty much on par with this form of behaviour.  It’s more socially acceptable for the women to be or play “the victim”, so they’re more likely to get away with it or have it dismissed or ignored.  Personally, I think it’s all bullsh*t!  I’m sick and tired of the ghosts of women past, who fought and died for the equal rights women have come to afford, want, and/or expect, essentially for naught.  Now, I’m not saying there aren’t those who are actual victims, but for crying out loud, let’s not continue to buy into the bullsh*t.  Yes, men are often times guilty and less likely to seek counseling, treatment, or some form of help for whatever their emotional issue is, but I bet any one of you fine readers can identify a woman who personifies the B&B.

Please don’t think for one minute I’m disparaging my friend of speaking behind her back because that is certainly not the case. I have spoken with her about her viewpoint, antics, and actions and I very much still care for her; however, her antics leave much to be continually desired.  I’ve been the party that sided with her and comforted her while she played the victim.  For decades she has chosen this behaviour as a front to not dealing with real issues.  Sadly, the Baiting and Bashing has played a part in the demise of her marriage and adversely affected our friendship.  Her soon to be ex-husband has his own issues and culpability, which lead to where they are now, but, I say once again, I’ve seen and heard first hand the B&B.  I’ve tried to talk to my friend and offer my suggestions on how to best work through her issues, but it remains an action undone.  I can’t continue to aid and abet in such behaviour as I find it counter-intuitive to ones growth and development, so I remain distant and hope that she’ll one day see past herself and deal with the issues that have caused her to be this way.

At the end of the day, I live by the rule of, “what’s right is right and what’s wrong is wrong”.  I’m not a sugar coat it kind of gal; I say what I mean and mean what I say.  I’m rarely passive-aggressive and would rather own my words and actions than pass the blame.  Life comes with good and bad and we must accept it and work toward that which we’ve earned and not what we feel entitled too.

angrynarc1

Yea, I said it!