As a child, my maternal grandmother lived in a large three story home complete with hanging chandeliers and maid quarters. I asked my mother what her mother did for work she started explaining using words such as domesticate, household, cleaning and I blurted out “oh maid”. Which was explained to me that we don’t use the word “maid”. She was trying to teach me about the power of words. Answering my question meant a lot to her when I asked what her job was.
Because of how I talk, straight no chaser, when I asked my mother as a child what she did at work, she chose her words carefully and said, “I’m a butcher they don’t call me that at work but that’s what I do”. She further explained that she wasn’t paid the same as the white men that worked the same job. She came home in a white, blood-stained coat every night from cutting meat. Her hands smelled of bleach and her knuckles were beginning to show signs of arthritis.
After the incident that changed everything in my life. Once a month on her day off she would dress herself in her prettiest dress, put me in a dress, ribbons in my hair and my shiny Mary Jane’s would travel downtown Philadelphia to a restaurant to have brunch. We would be the only Black people in the restaurant and the stares were too much for me and I remember telling my mother. I didn’t like it and the people staring at us made me feel afraid. My mother just said, they are only starring because you are so beautiful. We got ice cream with cherries on top and my mother tasted my treat and smiled. She wasn’t a smiler because she hated the gap in her front teeth. So, this was her defiance and her contribution to the movement. She and a 5-year-old waging war with smiles and ice cream.
A few days past I created a post for my social media that read, “IF ALL IS NEEDED IS AIR, FOOD AND SHELTER ALL ELSE ARE SUCCESSFUL SCAMS”. My post lacked a$$ shaking, pain or shiny things, so it was ignored. The shiny things in today’s world are topics and some of the trending topics are regarding homosexuals, race, violence and politics.
Manipulation – “the action of puppeteering in a skillful manner”.
As a child I can remember saying, “I can’t wait to grow up” my mother asked me, “why”? I told her because I could do what I want. She laughed and told me that being adult that I could do what I want but I had to be responsible for my actions, my decisions and how I had to make sure the outcomes were the ones I wanted. My mother was teaching me how to be a critical thinker. How to use foresight. Of course, I didn’t master this for a long time.
I’ve fallen victim to clickbait or only seeing the surface. Not taking the time to investigate for myself out of lack of interest or lazy. What I didn’t do was pass around the surface information because I didn’t do the work myself. I understand all too well why it’s important to investigate, gain knowledge for one’s self. I’m careful because I don’t want to tell my children or anyone else falsehoods. Just like being a parent doesn’t end being a responsible adult doesn’t end either because there is always someone looking to you for understanding. We could all be superheroes.
My mother was a smart, beautiful woman deeply troubled. When my mother slept, she had such violent dreams that she screamed, moaned and fought in her sleep. I cry writing this because until the age of 45 so did I.
My mother and her sister were left to be raised by relatives where the two of them suffered hungry times. It was the “depression” and during the 1920’s the country was hungry, but these relatives lived and worked a farm. I know of chickens because mom would tell me about how she and her sister were always given the chicken feet to eat and never the plentiful parts of the bird. She developed a disorder about food.
She left the farm and headed to Harlem where she met and married her first husband. They soon had two boys and a girl. He and his family were unkind to my mother. I don’t want to paint a picture that my mother was a willing victim. My mother was the prettiest woman you’d ever get your ass whoop from. But, I think because her past was difficult for her to verbalize to me she would get angry and sad if I pressed too hard. I pieced together my mother with help from my siblings over the years. After my mother had my sister, she left the boys and fled NY. Five years later she met and married my father and that marriage produced my brother and myself. My father was hard working eventually owning his own business. All children want to know from where they start, and my sister was no different. At thirteen she and her best friend skipped school and travelled to NY to visit a father she knew nothing about. It was a short visit which just coincidentally coincides with her addiction to alcohol (her story, but she is sober today for many years).
I work to heal myself and doing so crushing this cycle of illness my mother’s past sicken her mentally and emotionally. When we know better, we do better!
Ida came through and washed the surface of my world. I sat on the phone with my husband while he worked in the storm. It got sketchy several times and I thought he would end up sleeping in the vehicle because all the roads were washed out.
Ida and I tore through our emotions, she soaked the outside and I saturated my face and shirt with tears. My book has come to a pause because the energy and the emotions drain and drowned me in sorrow. Then I need to recover, breathe and meditate to bring my balance back in line. I’ve never been great in asking for help or giving up, but I know when I need assistance because it hits me like a slap in the face sometimes.
Someone close to me said flippantly that she could write her story in six months because she is healed. At first her statement stung because it is taking me so long. Then I remembered not to compare and me being me I understood where her statement came from. Hurt people, hurt people, and healed people heal people.
This age of Revelations has me invigorated with expectation and hope and at the same time I’m completely wiped out both physically and emotionally.
I admire and keep up with a few YouTubers, one, H. Campbell who came out as a victim of child abuse. I watched as men (some his peers) laughed and made light of his pain. Clearly exposing their ignorance of mental anguish and maturity levels, but again, hurt people!
consciousness · the state of being conscious; awareness of one’s own existence, sensations, thoughts, surroundings, etc. · the thoughts and feelings, collectively …
Navigating the YouTube waves are tricky, not impossible. S Studio’s (not the name) host kept viable information regarding another man’s character a secret. I think men that harbor secrets like pedophilia are the worst of any community.
I want to poLightly talk about brothers trolling the hood for single mothers. Single mothers are easy targets because they are seeking companions to help raise children and financial aid. These wolves are not interested in you as much as they are interested in your children. This accusation of child molestation hit the community hard, as for me, it left me triggered, angry and disillusioned. I know I wasn’t alone in my feelings. In a self-made patriarchal society in which we live; I believe the men have a duty to protect.
I did so much deep breathing this week, several times I made myself dizzy. Triggered all week. Just when you think you’ve reached a place in your healing, BANG, I’m ticking, and crying, then anger and my anger wasn’t towards myself for my feelings but rather towards men. Our reality is what we make it, is there a gender war? Or a gigantic misinterpretation of fear. We don’t like to talk about things that bring us pain. But ignoring all this pain has us all swimming in madness.
Or is this another missed opportunity to recognize mental distress? Sure, it seems to get the “bag” one must operate on such a low frequency that it attracts the great majority. Ooops, did I just say that? “yes I said, the great majority of the population is mentally ill, in mental distress, mentally immature. Yes, that’s what I said.
I came across her by ear first and thought what talent this and I began digging for more of her catalog. The typical hurt for someone in her age range regarding her lyrics but her raw talent leaves me spellbound and sad at the same time. I find myself asking where is her female mentor? Where are the loving understanding arms of a mother? I laugh at myself over thinking everything and my daughters tell me I’m tripping, but I see more than a girl twerking, crying, singing. I see her! The question I have is, “why am I the only one?”
When you belong to a community that refuses to acknowledge mental illness the hardest thing to live with is the loneliness. Find your tribe, how when communication is the one thing you struggle with daily? Every cliché is wrong and disturbingly insulting. If I have days of not having to explain myself are days that I have to spend alone or in silence. “Being lonely is a state of being” or something absurd like that. I answered some hard truths about myself and understanding the origins of some of well, “me”.
“We’re born alone, we live alone, we die alone. Only through our love and friendship can we create the illusion for the moment that we’re not alone.”– Orson Welles
I realized the trouble I’m having finding my literary voice is the overwhelming sense of responsibility of representing myself as well as being a representative of my community, my family, all the internal bs. Fortunately, I learned at a young age how to say, “_uck it and say my truth”. I never did well with fear although fear and I have a long and ugly relationship. I feel fear creeping up and that turns to anger at myself for being afraid and then I verbally explode, or some action is taken.
Anger and frustration is where I find myself within my community. Like attracts like and when I release my fear and exhale my fingers speed across the keys and I think, “thanks brain”.
Life with two boyfriends, a triad consisting of a black woman, her two boyfriends, one is man is black the other is white. She says, “I get to tap into areas of myself that I don’t with the other”. Meaning, she has a cultural connection and understanding with the one boyfriend because they belong to the same culture. I found her statement interesting. “Why aren’t you yourself all the time? Code Switching, Mirroring all to fit in, fit in with whom”?
Another I followed for some insight into this lifestyle was “3isBetter”. In this threesome it’s one man and two women. I followed the stories of others as well and what I noticed in all the stories/relationships was one common thread. None had longevity, I couldn’t find any older than 2 years in America.
My interest in this subject wasn’t a welcomed energy in my home. My husband at first said, “men that can manage two households might find comfort in a polygamous relationship” and he carried on for a while (my husband is a talker). A song and a funny meme popped into my head while he talked. Nicki Minaj’s “I Get Crazy” flashed for a fraction of a second and I laughed at myself while my husband was explaining the benefits of polygamy. I like asking him his opinion on subjects because he doesn’t have the left or right, hot or cold brain that I have, so I enjoy his perspectives. I then turned my attention towards women that have more than one husband living together. I found an interesting story of a woman and her seven husbands.
I shared that last story with my husband and for some peculiar reason, he changed his stance about polygamy.
It is not a lifestyle for everyone, however, for those considering I have just this to mention. In nature there is yin/yang or balance. One must ask themselves; how does it benefit me because it looks like too many are entering into something in which they have fairy tailed the scenario and love will carry them. It is difficult to maintain mental health for oneself let alone juggling the mental states of plural individuals living together under one roof. The financial benefits of living together and communing are over shadowed by fragile mental states.
This relationship style works in situations where there is one common goal, such as maintaining a farm or land.
As I stumble through this digital world, I realize that my age group isn’t the only one finding it difficult. I envy the young and how effortless they navigate computers and all platforms. The ability to exercise foresight, perspective and deliver a message to those in need of answers is truly a blessing. When you are in possession of these attributes and chose to offer advice to those seeking answers to life’s puzzles. It’s imperative that you know what you’re talking about. However, there is another component, and it has nothing to do with the one in possession of said power of knowledge. As the one seeking knowledge, seeking doesn’t make you powerless. If you want to learn how to fix a flat tire, you seek information from someone who has CHANGED a tire. In other words, experience. A popular male YouTuber offering dating advice to a large audience of women I found intriguing. But, I’m always interested in popular or influential not because of the obvious but I study people. I study what I lack but isn’t that the point? I might listen to one because of their cadence of speech.
Having Tourette’s I’m interested in communication. I might listen to another because they can hold a listener’s attention and what they do to achieve that as I tend to ramble. I don’t necessarily like, agree or believe all that is being said.
In case no one told you, “Nothing in this life is free” and “the masses are asses”. You might say, information is free. It requires work to seek answers, who is supplying the information I’m seeking and how much of their opinion versus facts is littered in their “work” all is important in my decision making.
“Mindful Distractions”, is not only the title of my book but something I think about often. Most people hear “distraction” and think negatively of the concept. But, mindful distractions are as welcomed as a good belly laugh. For me, I draw, paint, make jewelry or I write it’s always been something I would do every once in awhile. My interest cycle around like the seasons. Having fallen behind technology, getting my images into the digital world has been all consuming.
I’m determined not to be left behind in this digital kingdom. However, some of these artistic platforms make it increasingly difficult. Momma didn’t raise no punk/quitter so I kept plugging at it and writing down success and failures. Watching countless videos to help me attain my goals. In between, remembering to stay present while attempting to accomplish tasks has been laughable as of late. I’d get an idea about something, look for my pen and the idea is gone. For two weeks give a day or two more, I’ve been slightly off balance. Leaving my keys in a store, roaming a parking lot because I forgot where I parked, talk about feeling vulnerable.
When I’m off balance, everything comes to a halt and I must do an assessment, a circuit check. Sleep (check), Diet (check), Exercise (damn it), Kids (check) I neglected being in nature or slowing down to appreciate my present(s). My workouts consist of walking and stretching (not yoga) but Leega. Like everything I do, I make it my own.