“Why You Wanna Change Me?”

Man…it feels so funny being here again. I was sure that I was done blogging, like I have said so many times before and here I am. I am right back here sitting in front of my laptop with so many thoughts, ideas, words, and just things to say in general. I have to say that I sincerely missed blogging but I just felt that it was becoming too much and I was having people read my blogs and I was getting attention from people who knew me but didn’t know my story and they were asking questions that I wasn’t sure that I was ready to answer so I deleted the add-on Facebook page that my blogs were attached to and I quit, cold turkey. I didn’t give any explanation nor did I let anyone know that I was leaving. I couldn’t. I didn’t want anyone to question me or try and talk me out of it. I said to myself that I was unsure if this was what I was “called or meant to do” anyway. I didn’t know. Was I even really helping people or was I just giving people a free look and insight into my deep and dark past that I have to pretend didn’t exist every time I stepped outside? I didn’t know and I still don’t. I said that I was not going to start blogging again until God showed me a sign or instructed me to move. I battled with this. I really did. I just gave it up, again. That wasn’t fair but I did it and I hadn’t looked back until now. I got a message the other day from someone who read my blogs and me and the person were just talking and all of a sudden they asked me, “when are you going to write again?” Those words hit me like a ton of bricks. I felt it right in my stomach. I told them that I had been thinking about it but hadn’t done it yet and that I was actually waiting on a sign on whether or not I should start back. This person told me that I should and that my blogs really helped them and they were sure that it would help others as well. I had heard this sooooo many times before but this time it was different. It felt like a breath of fresh air and I had been without oxygen. I thanked the person and days later, here I am. So if you are reading this, you know exactly who you are. I want to say thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Today my husband and I were having a conversation about relationships in general. He was giving me his opinion from the outlook of a man and I was giving him mine from the outlook of a woman. I realized that a lot of us women tend to blame the men, all men for the mistakes and wrong doings of one. I am not saying by any means that the men should be excused for all of the things that they do to hurt us because I know that they have the capability to cause us gut wrenching pain. Today though, while him and I were talking, I had a thought, ” were the men responsible for the pain that we feel or are we breaking our own hearts?” Before you all go in on me in the comments, just hear me out please. Think about this, have you ever been in a relationship or getting to know a man and everything seems great? Y’all vibe, he makes you laugh, you get butterflies when he’s around, you’ve told your girls about him and they can’t wait to meet him, etc..etc… everything is great except there is just this one thing. There’s just one thing about him that you don’t like and you can’t seem to shake it. All of the good that he has about him just doesn’t compare to this one bad thing. You tell your friends and everyone else that knows about him, “it’s okay y’all. Don’t even worry about it. Once we get together and make this thang official. I’ll change all that. I’m not even worried. He will change for me.” Be honest. How many times have you said this either to friends/family or at least to yourself? We all have. He has a habit or a trait about him that we don’t like and the first thing we want to do is swoop in with our capes on and save/change him. Well what happens when we do make “this thang official” and he doesn’t change because we cannot change him? Do you let him go because your expectations are unrealistic and he doesn’t budge or do you stick around because you think that if you let him go now someone else will get the man that you have invested all of this time in and she will be able to reap the benefits rather than you? If you answered yes to either of these questions, then you my dear may be truly breaking your own heart.

I had to learn a long time ago that before I got into any kind of relationship that I had to love myself first. I had to love myself wholeheartedly because at the end of the day, with or without a relationship I had me. I was born alone and I would die the same so I needed to love and feel good about me before I could get into any relationship no matter whether or not it was serious. I had to know the ins and outs of myself. I had to know my worth, the things that I liked and didn’t like, the things that I would and would not tolerate, etc. Of course, me being 14 when I got with my now husband, I did not know any of this. None. All I knew was that there was an older boy who played football and whose picture I saw in the yearbook and instantaneously fell in love with, and I was going to get him. I did. I got him. 13 years, 2 little girls, countless memories and tons of heartache, tears and growth later, we are still together. It was hard though. It really was. I was that young girl who saw things that I didn’t like about him and thought that I could change him. I can change him because that is what is necessary. If he loved me then he would do it. He will change for me. Now being almost 30 and a lot wiser I know how silly all of that sounded. It sounded ridiculous because it was. I looked at this man and I saw him and fell in love with him because of a picture. I said that I was going to get him and I did. First off, I wanted him because of his looks which was extremely childish and vain. Over time I saw more and more things about him that I didn’t like that the picture did not reveal to me. Even if it would have, I don’t think that it would have made a difference because I was sure that I was the one that could change all of that without a problem. WRONG!!!! WRONG!! WRONG!!!

It is my sincere belief that we should never go into anything with anyone in the hopes of changing them. I believe that this is a recipe for disaster. Most people, especially men feel as though if they were a certain way from the very beginning and you did not mention or bring up the issue then, why now? Most would even say, well you knew this about me going into this..why do i need to be the one to change? Why am I the one with the issue? You don’t think you have things that I want to change about you? I just don’t bring it up because I care about your feelings. I have heard it all before. I have had so many friends bring this up to me and I have even mentioned it to a few myself. It really made me think too. Dang, I really did know that there were things about you that I did not like but I didn’t mention them to you because I was sure that I could change them. I could be the one to make you put the toilet seat down, stop chewing with your mouth open, put your dirty clothes in the dirty clothes bin, stop texting your ex, stop hurting me and blaming me for it, etc. All of us have things that we do that are completely fine and normal to us but it drives others up the wall. Let someone try and tell us not to wear our bonnets to the store when our hair isn’t right, stop talking to people on speakerphone, stop patting our heads when it itches instead of scratching it, stop talking to that ex of ours who we already know means us no good and that is the reason why we aren’t together today, etc. We would lose our minds!! We don’t want anyone talking to us that way or telling us what to do because we are “grown.” It’s funny, isn’t it?? It isn’t any fun when the rabbit has the gun.

When starting something new, or even maintaining something that you have been in for years like me, let’s decide that we are going to change the mindset of, “I’m gonna change you” and start saying, “I want to grow with you.” Growing means that you will not be comfortable and if you are comfortable that means that you aren’t growing. Changing someone sounds offensive and automatically makes them defensive. Growing says, this is where we are now but if we hope to go higher and get to the next level of greater that I know that we can get to then there are some things that are going to have to be done differently. Staying where we are now allows us to get comfortable and getting comfortable means that things stay the same. If things stay the same then neither of us are growing and we grow complacent. Complacency turns into boredom and boredom could lead to us looking to other people for the things that we want/need from one another. That isn’t what we want to happen so let’s just agree to grow together.

Relationships/Friendships are difficult enough on their own without anyone throwing the C word around. There needs to be an open communication always. Say how you feel but make sure that it is not done in a judgmental way. Say how you feel without passing blame. The blame game is never fun. I have always been told that anything worth having is worth fighting for. So, fight for it…not against it. Thanks for reading!!

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“My MISPLACED Presence.”

 

Misplaced- Adj. Incorrectly positioned. Temporarily lost.

 

Have you ever been in a place in life or in a location in general and you just like you were not meant to be there or you did not fit in? Have you ever been in a place and just become so uncomfortable that it took everything in you to stay inside of your skin? We have all heard the saying, “If you are comfortable then you aren’t growing.” I get that and I even utilize the saying quite frequently but when it comes to matters such as these; I am starting to wonder if I believe that the quote still applies.

I have found that in most locations or scenarios in life, most of them come with meeting new people. Because I am such an introvert, it takes a lot more time for me to warm up and start talking to people than it would your typical extrovert. I am aware of this and I have grown to embrace this fact. I often times come off as being stuck-up, not social, rude, thinking that I am better than others, etc. This usually lasts up until I am done observing the people that I am being placed around and deciding which ones would be “good” for ne and which ones wouldn’t. Once I start talking to people and getting to know them, I usually find that I click with at least a few of them. We laugh, talk, find each other on social media, probably exchange numbers, etc. This is a CONSTANT pattern for me. Everything is all good and peachy keen. I start to think, wow, these people are great. I may actually have finally found “friends.” Out of all of the “new friends” that I have made, I always seems to get closer to one than the others and then I get the thought that I may even acquire a “best friend.” I talk to the person and we get closer and closer and we even toss the phrase “best friend” around a few times. Then one day, everything just comes to a screeching halt. I never really know what happens. And it never just seems to happen all in one day. It is a gradual thing that seems to happen over time. You meet that person and you seem to have so much in common, you laugh, exchange secrets, meet each other’s families, talk about your kids, etc. You then notice that you do not text as long as you use to. You do not talk on the phone as much as you use to. You do not meet up and the plans that you have made somehow always end up getting cancelled and you only see each other at work. You don’t really know what is going on in each other’s lives and you start to wonder what in the world is happening to your friendship. How and why does it seem to be coming apart at the seams? The next thing you know, you are barely talking and you are just in this weird and uncomfortable place of “friend or no friend limbo.” This is the worst feeling in the world, I might add. Your gut gives you warning signs from the very beginning but you ignore them and choose your head over your gut and you end up here. EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. You then sit by yourself and wonder why this continues to happen to you. There is no way that you are that bad of a friend.

My daddy once told me that the reason that I never seem to fit in was because I was meant to stand out. When I first heard him say that it made me feel proud. I poked my chest out and held my head up high and I carried that; at least for a while. When I realized that it seemed like everyone and everything that I came in contact with had an expiration date, my chest no longer poked out and my head was so low that all I was able to see was my shoes as I continued walking to my next destination. My daddy’s words were kind of like an old, wet and dirty Band-Aid. They no longer stuck. My daddy’s words meant a lot to be so when that one no longer held true to me, I was sad. I then tried to use another quote and apply it to my life to lessen the pain of no matter how many people seemed to come into my life, none of them stayed. “Everyone that comes into your life is not meant to stay there. Some people come and stay for a season. Some are a lesson and some are a blessing.” I have heard this all before and I was going to roll with it because it was all I had.

As I got older, I started to wonder if I was using people/friends to fill some sort of void within myself. Was I missing something and I needed people that I met along the way to take that place? If so, why? Why did it bother me that people did not want to stay in my life? Why did it hurt so much? Why did I continue to beat myself up for their loss? Was I even a loss? The fact that I felt alone started a long time ago. This started when I was a child. I definitely did not fit in with my family members. I was different, I stayed to myself, I read a lot, I was called names, I loved to read and write, I loved writing pens, love stories and things like that. To everyone around me I was weird and I was normally only wanted around when it benefitted someone else. When I was called on to participate in something I felt needed. I felt as though I may finally have my chance to fit in with someone, anyone. Someone has to want me. There has to be someone out there that can relate. There are millions..maybe even billions of people in the world and there isn’t even one like me? Why am I being misplaced over and over again? Why is it that when this happens it gets down in my spirit, hurts my heart and will not move? Why is that I am the one walking around hurt and everyone else is completely fine? Why can’t I be fine and allow someone else to feel the immense pain that I have felt all of my life when this happens? Why do I feel or why do I allow others to make me feel like I am not good enough for them to stick around? I know that I am human and I make mistakes but my heart is pure and my intentions are always good. I guess this is why most of my time is spent alone. I guess I am better off that way. I am surrounded in my own company and I do not have to wonder about how long I, myself am going to be there before I decide to leave as well.

Being or feeling misplaced is the worst. I absolutely detest when I lose my keys or something that I use and need on a daily basis. It is frustrating! I sometimes wonder, do people ever feel that way about me. When I am not around or if they have not seen me in a while do they look around or wonder where I have been? Do they try to find me or do they just count it as a loss and go out and find someone or something else to take the spot of the thing or person that they recently misplaced? Is that what happens when people no longer speak? Kind of makes you wonder, doesn’t it? Thanks for reading!!!

 

 

 

 

 

It Is “Okay” Not To Be “Okay.”

First off I would like to apologize that it is has been sooooo long since my last blog post. There has been a lot going on in my life since the last time I blogged. Hubby and I were able to moved out of our apartment and get a brand new home! We packed up and left our hometown and went a few towns over and settled in with our baby girl. It was a long and tedious process but we are so grateful for the opportunity and our new home. Thank you all for checking in and liking the page and for even coming to me and asking me, “hey, when are you going to blog again?” It did not fall on deaf ears I promise. I ‘m back! 🙂

So as I am sure that most of you know, most of my blog posts come from a very painful but important and necessary part of my past and I try my best to listen so that I can be directed in the way in which I should go when it comes to them. But yesterday was different. Yesterday I was listening to someone speak about something that they were going through and as I was listening to hear and understand instead of listening to just respond, I heard it as clear as day…what you are speaking to her about will be your next blog post. You will use it and apply it. Others need this and you will remove the fear that you have and speak to their pain. Comfort them. Be there for them. As I spoke and the tears continued to stream down her face, I tried so hard not to let that fear of “hurting her or saying something that was too much for her” overtake me and make me stay quiet. I was being prompted and pushed out of my comfort zone. I sat there going back and forth with myself, my heart, brain and The Holy Spirit. I heard all of them loud and clear and they were all in sync and saying the exact same things and obviously it was what she needed. She stated that she felt that I had a “gift.” I sat there dumbfounded and I said, “Me, having a gift? No way. That is not me. I just wanted to give to you what was given to me. Apparently what I had said to her, it resonated with her and it provided her with the confirmation that she needed to get through this certain situation. I was so hesitant to even open my mouth and begin to speak because I was not sure whose words these were, where they were coming from, or how I got them.

What I told her was, it was okay for her to not be okay. I feel like she carried a lot of other burdens for other people and she would talk them through all of their pain and help them with whatever they were going through but when it comes to herself, she would always feel as though she had to be “okay.” She was not allowed to be angry, hurt, upset and she definitely would not allow herself to feel or say anything besides, “all is well.” When I spoke to her yesterday, I told her that I felt that she always tried to talk herself out of the pain that she felt because she always wanted to be okay and any emotion other than “okay or fine” was not permitted within her. I think that a lot of times we feel this way. We feel that we have to be okay, we have to keep it together, and we cannot allow ourselves to fall apart.

I often sit back and wonder where in the world we got this type of mentality from and to be completely honest, this is a hat that I wear as well. You have to get up, dress up and put on the face that everything is fine so that you can make it through the day being the person that we believe everyone believes we are. No one is okay all the time and that is what makes us human. It is okay to break down and lose it and to struggle with putting the pieces together. I know for myself there would be a lot of days where I would get up and smile my face off just to get in my car and lose everything that I worked so hard to keep together. The crazy thing about it is, I do not think that anyone ever assumed that I was “not okay.” I had to teach myself to be honest with myself and others about my feelings. When I am not feeling well then I will say that instead of lying to myself and others. For me, I think that I would pretend to be okay because I did not want to deal with the judgmental stares and opinions of others. If I did tell them that I was not okay, in my mind they would probably say, “there is ALWAYS something wrong with her, does she ever have a “good” day, who messed her up, I don’t need to be around anyone like that.” I have also learned that most people do not care about your problems. Most people just want a front row seat and some buttered popcorn to enjoy the show and they cannot wait until it is over so they can go and play “telephone” with your business.

I had to develop thick skin. When I started this blog I had to make the decision to be okay with the fact that people that I knew and some that I did not know would see the post, hopefully read it and enjoy. I also knew that there would be some that would see it, ignore it, some that would read it, talk negatively about me and the things that I have experienced and probably never look at me the same again. I had to be “okay” with that. For a long time all of the things that I experienced did not exist because I did not want to face the realization that those things were not “okay” I may not even be “okay.” I am not sure where to start putting my life back together, I am not sure how to forgive these people, do they care to even be forgiven, how do I protect my daughter from the hurt and pain that I have felt, how do I move on and become a better person going forward?” There were so many questions that I did not have the answer for but I was going to press through and continue with my blog because it was like therapy for me or a diary so to speak. It was saving me and allowing me to get all of the toxic things that happened out of my heart and mind. It was removing the anger and the hurt, one word at a time. The bricks that I had around my heart, they were coming down one pebble at a time and I thanked God for that.

I remember telling my friend that everything she was feeling at that exact moment was something that she needed to feel. She needed to feel it and cry or scream or whatever emotion was necessary. She needed to do that because this exact moment she was going to need to remember to help bring someone else out of what she was currently going through. God makes no mistakes and his timing is PERFECT. Sometimes God places us in certain situations not just for ourselves but because he knows that there is GREATER in us and He has to take us THROUGH it in order for us to get TO the things He has for us. Thanks for reading!

 

 

 

“Plus One Is The Loneliest Number.”

I am prefacing this blog by saying that this one was mostly for me. I needed to get this down but also take this and apply it to myself. Being and feeling alone is hard but being with someone and feeling alone is even harder especially if you have not examined and established a love relationship with self. ( I am also aware that this blog is shorter than my blogs typically are but that is because I have another one in the works but while working on that one, this one jumped right in my spirit and I was prompted to complete and submit this one first.)

“I am so tired of doing this alone.” “I am so tired of feeling alone.” “I just wish that I had someone to understand.” “It is not fair that I am the only one dealing with this.” “All I need is just one person to understand all that I am feeling right now.” “I just need one person to help me.” “God, I cannot do this on my own.” How familiar does any of these phrases sound? I swear I have said all of these at least 100 times in my mind and out loud for the past month or so. I have just been exhausted. I have been physically, mentally, spiritually exhausted. It made me angry too. I looked around at everyone around me and it was like everyone was perfectly fine and well and I felt like I was sinking…fast. I just kept saying that if only I had someone that could or would be willing to help me or at least understand, all of my problems would just fade away. Oh, if it were only that simple.

Have you ever heard someone say that they have been in a room with a hundred people but they have never felt more alone in their life? I remember reading a quote by Robin Williams that went something like this, “I use to think that the worse feeling was being alone, it’s not. The worse thing is life is to end up with people that make you feel all alone.” I remember reading that quote for the first time and feeling like I had discovered the lost world of Atlantis or something. It hit me dead in my heart and I was like, oh my goodness! I do not think that truer words have ever been spoken. We can be with someone or several people because we think that is going to make us feel better or somehow change our situation for the better. That is not always true though. Being with some people will drain every single ounce of energy that you have and you will still feel like you are the only one there. You give everything that you have to offer to them, you speak life into them, encourage the, wipe their tears, pray with and for them but whenever they are around, you still feel empty. You feel cheated. I think that this is because not everyone is meant to be in our space. I also believe that this could be due to the fact that before we can be content or happy with having someone else in our space until we are comfortable or genuinely happy with being in our space with just ourselves. I think that is the most difficult part. We have voids within ourselves that we look for other people to fill instead of examining what is going on inside of our own heads and hearts. No person on this earth can fill that void. I think that is difficult to realize and deal with though. So instead, we go from person to person looking for them to fill it. When the first person doesn’t work, we go to the next. When the second doesn’t work we pacify ourselves by saying “oh well, they just weren’t the one that I was meant to have in my life to help me get through this.” That is not true at all. You can go through a million people, stand in a room with another hundred thousand people and still feel so lonely that you just want to burst into tears. That feeling starts with self, in my opinion.

We spend so much of our lives screaming, “I need someone to support me, love me, be there for me, tell me it’s going to be okay, not judge me, hold my hand, etc. The question that I pose is this, all the things that we are looking for the next person to do, are we doing or giving to ourselves? Are we sowing the seeds within ourselves? What, if anything are we even sowing? Who are we sowing into? One thing that I have learned dealing with and studying the human brain is that no matter how “good or sincere” a person may appear that may not always mean that they are “good” for us. My great-grandmother use to say all the time, “Everything that looks good to you is not good for you.” I carry that with me everywhere I go. One thing that I do pride myself on is the fact that I always try my best to have sincere intentions. Everyone needs someone in this life but everyone does not fit everyone’s needs and that is why we struggle to find that one person that “fits in the void of our hearts.” Not everyone that we cross paths with is going to have “what is best for us” in their minds. Some people just want you to speak so that they can see exactly what it is that they can get out of you so they can tell it to the next person. Not every shoulder that is offered should be cried on, not every ear offered should be spoken into.

The things that we want to come to pass, we have to learn to speak into ourselves. We have to learn to be our biggest fan instead of our worse critic; we have to choose to support ourselves as opposed to waiting for someone to be sent to us to support us. Not everyone is meant to know what you are doing or meant to do and that this beauty of us all having our own destinies to fulfill. I have also learned that God will not reveal to us what our own destiny is until He is sure that we can handle it and start to walk in it. Destiny is a HUGE role to fill and it could scare you if you are not ready to receive it. I also learned that not all who wander are lost. Thanks for reading!

The Apple(s) & The Tree(s) 🍎🍏🌳🌲

Once again, when it comes to these blogs I was hard-headed. I did not listen and completely follow the directions that I was given. In my spirit, I heard complete this blog in the manner that I have directed you. Start with the title that I placed in your heart and follow through with the meat of the blog and carry through all the way until the end. Include everything that I have prepared you to do and do not stray. I heard all of this as clear as day and I did not do the things that I was prompted to do and as a result, I am back to complete the blog entry that God placed on my heart and in my spirit.

My last blog, The Road Less Traveled was very important to me. Those things needed to be stated when it comes to my healing process. I am glad that I got them off my chest. However, I feel as though this blog was meant to come first and that is why God kept prompting me to write it. I have not been able to rest because God wanted to blog. I do feel that He feels that this a MAJOR part of my healing process. I must say, I agree.

In life, we are given certain “hands or cards” to play, if you will. I also believe that we model behaviors that we have been exposed to. Most of the time we do it and we don’t even realize we are doing it. I remember being a little girl and wondering how in the world two people could not even speak to each other, but look just alike and act the exact same. This was the case when it came to two very important key players in my life. My mother and my sister. In the previous blog I stated that my sister and I did not speak until I was 18 and that was when we established a relationship. What I didn’t inform you of was the fact that she did not speak to our mother either. I am not really sure why. I do not know the complete story behind what took place and the reasoning behind why they did not speak. All I know is that they didn’t and it was painful for all parties involved whether they are willing to admit it or not. I do know that there were demons involved. Not the ones that you see on TV that are red and have a black tail. I am talking about real life ones that you battle daily. I believe that my sister and I both tried so hard not to end up like, and invoke the pain that we dealt with on our child(ren) that in a sense, we ended up just like the woman we did not want to be. I saw a quote that said, “sometimes I open my mouth and my mother comes out.” That was definitely the case for us.

I believe that my mother may have had some sort of a painful past. Maybe it is the fact that her father was not really in her life the way that he “should have” been, maybe it is the fact that a man that she really loved died in a horrible car crash when she was younger and she did not grieve that the way she needed to, maybe it is the fact that she sees emotions as weakness and she does not want to be seen as weak, maybe it is the fact that she had her first child at 17/18 and she was left to raise her alone. I think that it was a combination of things that may have made my mother the way that she is. My mother’s words are venom at times. They burn you to your soul. She is a straight shooter and she will tell you exactly what she thinks and does not care about your feelings. I do not ever remember feeling that my mother was proud of me or ever feeling like I was genuinely loved and understood by her. Instead I felt judged, hurt, and abandoned. In a sense I feel as though my sister and I may have resented my mother because she left us for others to raise. The two beautiful girls she brought into this world were passed onto others for them to raise and she was fine with that. It made me wonder, why wasn’t I good enough? What should/could I have done differently to make you be around me? Did you love me? If you did was it because you were suppose to or because you sincerely wanted to? When I confided in you about what he tried to do to me why didn’t you protect me instead of saying that I would not remember? Why am I almost 30 years old and I can’t get past this but you are almost 60 and you act that it never happened? Why are you “okay” but I am not? Why and how is this fair, mama?

My mother also scarred my sister. PLEASE UNDERSTAND THAT I AM NOT SAYING ALL OF THIS TO PASS THE BLAME ONTO MY MOTHER TO MAKE HER LOOK LIKE AN AWFUL HUMAN BEING. I believe that she was only doing what she saw, was taught and she used the only tools that she had. She was hard, didn’t show emotion and was unapologetic. She had two daughters that were the same way. It bothered me that my mama and sister would sit in the same room for hours at a time and they would act like the other was invisible. Meanwhile, I was DYING on the inside. I wanted my mama and my sister and I really didn’t have either. Their dislike for each other was just fuel to a lifelong fire. They needed each other but the pain of their pasts would not allow them to put their pride to the side.

My sister had my first nephew at 18/19. He was and still is amazing. He definitely has his mother’s strength and perseverance. She then had my youngest nephew later. I remember that shortly after that her and my nephews’ father were no longer together.  (Remember my mama? She raised my sister alone because her father wasn’t there.) I do think that he was her “great love” and he left her. She was hurt and angry. She didn’t feel it was fair that she had to do this alone and she was right. She didn’t make them alone so why should she have to raise them alone. Looking at my sister and my nephews I could see the same dynamic that our mother had with us, she had with them. She was strict, short-tempered, hurt because she was doing it alone, trying to take care of three people, and working countless hours to try and make ends meet. I am still amazed and in awe of her because she was able to. I do feel as though she had to work so much that it cut out some of the bonding time that she needed with them. She could not be there the way she wanted to because she had to work and provide for them. She was a single, black woman left to take care of two young boys. I think that maybe she did not think that it would impact them because they had everything that they wanted and needed except,  their mama. She did what she thought was best for them. I admire her strength for that. She had to make a choice, stay at home with the kids and not work or go to work and get what they needed. She played the hand she had.

Now that I have Amaria I sometimes fear that I may be too harsh to her or hurt her feelings. I sometimes hear things that come out of my mouth and I get teary eyed because I sound just like my mother. I was afraid to have children because I was afraid that would not be able to do it. All I had was a rough childhood, scars, and a whole lot of love that I wanted to give. Because I  had a mother that was not affectionate, didn’t say I love you regularly, and was tough as nails, I did not know how to. I didn’t want to scar her the way that I was. It wouldn’t be fair. I did not know who I was suppose to be all I knew I what I did not want to be.

I titled this blog, The Apple(s) and The Tree(s) because I have always heard that the apple doesn’t fall from the tree. I agree with that in some ways and others I do not. I believe that without the tree, there would be no apples. Apples need a foundation. They need roots or something to form from. Without the tree, how would they grow or even exist? I do not think that just because you come from a tree that you have to behave or “become that tree” I believe that once we are ready and ripe, we fall from that tree. We choose who we become. We choose how we go on. Do we continue to allow our past define us or do we change? We can choose to break that cycle. My sister and I did. We choose every single moment to forgive our mother. We work towards a relationship with her. I believe that just because you have a forgiving heart does not mean that we have to have a forgetful mind. Forgiveness does not mean that you have to forget. You remember what happened so you do not allow yourself to back to that painful place but you choose forgiveness so that it does not define you. Thanks for reading!

 

“The Road Less Traveled…👟🌳🛣❤️”

I have changed this blog entry’s title soooo many times in my head. I’ve had it in my heart mind and spirit for a while now but I never wrote it because the title was just somewhat off to me. Anyone that knows me, knows that I am OCD to my heart and a perfectionist…or at least to a fault. I needed the title to really express the point that I was trying to get across in this entry. And for some reason the poem that I had to recite in high school, Mrs. Owens’s class popped in my mind. I didn’t wanna recite it. Especially not in front of everyone. I was vulnerable and subjected to all of their giggles, rolling eyes, yawns, etc. My anxiety wouldn’t be able to take it. So, I didn’t. She came to me and told me if I didn’t recite it I would have a low C or possibly a D because it was weighted so heavily. I currently had an A and my daddy would kill me about that C, smh. I was panicking in my mind but on the outside, I stuck to my guns. “I’m not reciting it, ” I told her. I remember she came to me after class one day and she said to me, “Bridney you can do this. You know this poem like the back of your hand. I’ve never heard you speak it but I know you. You’re allowing your fear to hold you hostage. Why don’t you go against your fear and take the road less traveled? Fight your fear.” I closed my eyes and recited that poem to her verbatim. Needless to say, I got my A. 

I said all of that because in my life, not just in school I’ve had to try and figure out if my decisions were the “right” ones. Was fear speaking for me or was I speaking for me? In my blogs, I try to protect other people’s confidentiality. I never speak names or at least I try not to because I know most of my readers and they know me and my family as well but in this entry, I am being obedient to The Holy Spirit and I’m allowing it to lead my fingertips.  

On Facebook recently, I saw this picture and it was about two boys and their father was an alcoholic. One of the boys turned into an alcoholic and his reasoning was, “I watched my father.” The other son never touched a drop of alcohol and his reasoning was, “I watched my father.” Two boys raised in the same household with the same father but had two different outlooks on the choices they made. Mind boggling, isn’t it? This resonated with me. I have an older sister. We are 15 years apart. My sister helped raise me…I give her the highest honor of praise for that. She was 15 raising a child that wasn’t hers, that’s enough to make anyone upset or hurt. In her mind and heart I can imagine her thinking, I was the baby all this time and then here you come. As a result, my sister and I didn’t speak until I was 18 years old. Do I fault her? No. Did I wish that I could have that time back? I’m not sure because she needed that to get to the place that we are in today. Was it difficult carrying around that my big sister dislikes me and I’m unsure why? Absolutely! It hurt a lot and I couldn’t figure out why she disliked me. I took that as fuel and just added it to the fire and ignored and talked junk about her as well although in my heart of hearts, I needed her too. 

We share the same mother. Different daddies. Was my childhood easy? No. Was hers easy? I’m not sure because I came so much later but I can imagine that she fought some of the same demons that I do. She felt the same hurt and loneliness that I did. I didn’t understand that when I was younger. I didn’t understand why she was so angry, why she never wanted to be around the family, why she never came to any of the gatherings, why her and mama never spoke on the phone and why she communicated through my daddy. I was lost. Was she crazy? Why was she so mean? What did I do? Why won’t she talk to me? Why doesn’t she love me? It took me years, a lot of tears, some heartbreaks and getting some backs turned on me to understand her. She wasn’t crazy. She was hurt. She felt alone. She felt as though no one could possibly understand the things she felt and she didn’t wanna be judged for the way she felt. Demons are real. I just couldn’t see them at that age but she saw them as clear as day. I think my sister longed and needed like validation that she didn’t have once I was born. She felt alone. I get that. Having to help raise someone else’s child and you don’t have a say in that takes strength and courage. To put yourself aside and deal takes strength. She dealt with things the only way that she knew how.

What I have learned now at 27 and her at 41, is that it doesn’t matter where you start but how you finish. Things between my sister and I were scarred and tainted. We both blamed each other for things that were out of our control and as a result, we lost A LOT of time and that’s something that waits for no one and you can’t get it back. Today, we are in a much better place. We talk. We understand each other. We laugh. We hang out. My daughter loves her to pieces and she loves her back. 

I do believe that hurt people, hurting people is real. I also believe that people, children especially, model behavior. They do and say what they see over and over again. It becomes a cycle and eventually a generational curse and with a lot of people it continues and carries on down the line. My sister and I chose to forgive each other and to break that curse that was once on us. We chose to never speak of the past or let it dictate how close we become. We were given a clean slate and we took full advantage of it. Just like anything that makes a wound, of course there is a scar there but when it is touched, ours doesn’t hurt. Forgiveness is something that has to be done every second of the day. There is effort that has to take place. You have to choose forgiveness and live it for the rest of your days because if not just when you think you’ve got it mastered, it will sneak up on you and prove you wrong. I’m thankful for my sister, our journey and our relationship. I’m so thankful that we chose the road less traveled and we are walking it together. Thanks for reading. ❤️💋

When is “ENOUGH,” enough?? 🤷🏾‍♀️🤔

Man, it’s been awhile. A long while in fact. I just felt like I needed a break. I wasn’t sure if I was running from or to something. My last blog, “the life she hid” left me with a lot of feelings. Some good and some bad. Some were mixed emotions. It was a plethora of feelings. I thought that by getting all of that out in the open I would feel better, or worse, or at least I would feel something. The opposite of that was true though. I felt nothing. Numb. It was like I was waiting on something or someone to come and validate my feelings that I had regarding my past. It never happened. Why I needed that? I’m not sure. I guess it’s still the six year old inside of me. 

During the break that I took from blogging, I definitely missed it. I thought about it everyday. Blogging had become my best friend in a way, my diary and my outlet. I just decided to cut “her” off cold turkey without any explaination. I didn’t really have one to give except for the fact that my best friend was actually wearing me down more than she was “helping” me. She was leaving me with all of these feelings and I had nothing to do for once but actually “feel them.” I couldn’t run or  take two unisom or some Tylenol PM to make them go away because when I woke up, there they were waiting for me. I cut my best friend (my blogs) off and I didn’t plan on talking to “her” ever again. Well….about a week later as life carried on, I missed my “best friend”. I needed someone to confide in and I had no one. Of course I had my human best friend(s) but the relationship that I had with my electronic one had been the one that had helped me and according to my readers, she had helped others too. I needed her. Of course, being prideful, I ignored my urge to continue my friendship. I put it in the back of my mind and carried on with my life. It was difficult but in the beginning I was able to manage. I guess you can say it was “the enemy” but every time I told myself to go back to my “best friend” (blogging) something else would come to mind. “Did I give Amaria her medicine? How much money did I collect today? What am I gonna have for lunch tomorrow? Why didn’t I get out my work clothes? That bathroom is a mess! I really need to fold those clothes.” Any and everything to keep me and my best friend apart. I even gave my laptop away to my little sister so that she could continue perfecting her craft of becoming a photographer. “Here, take it. I don’t need it. I have another one or I could use my phone.” It was true. But I felt guilty about it afterwards. This wasn’t my gift. Surely not! This was just something I did in my spare time to keep me from losing my mind. No one reads this anyway. Was it the enemy or was it me?? I wasn’t sure. I just knew that it seemed like the relationship that my best friend and I had was over. I had given up. 

I posted a status about a week or so ago stating that I missed blogging. I missed it and no matter how much or how far I tried to put it out of my mind it always resurfaced. I got comments and likes but nothing spectacular and then my little sister told me to continue to do it. She told me that I shouldn’t fight it and if I was passionate about it then I should do it. She even told me that she would give me my laptop back. That made me smile. Was this a sign that me and my best friend were not meant to part ways? What was I doing? I loved blogging! How could I just give it up that way. That wasn’t fair. I needed to blog! I needed to get all of the feelings that I had about certain situations out. Maybe someone did need my blogs just like I did. When was being tired enough, depressed enough, sick enough and good enough going to be enough??!! When was I going to be able to put my pride aside and actually admit that I needed this? The truth was that I did. 

There are several people who don’t know my life story and why I act the way that I do. They don’t know how smiles can hide a life time of pain. They don’t know that most of the time the prettiest smiles can hide the deepest and darkest pain. I do know that. I lived it and I survived. It was no coincidence. I was meant to live on and to share to maybe even help someone out of their own hell. Hell is real. Believe me. It gets lonely and it gets hard. You cry and you pray and wish that there was just one person that understands. You wonder why people don’t want you around, why they don’t call, why they don’t check on you, why it seems as though everyone is enjoying and having the time of their life except for you. You become angry and bitter. You seclude yourself and you don’t say anything to anyone. I’ll show them, you say. That’s doing nothing but setting up a big ol pity party for yourself. That’s setting yourself up for failure. Maybe they didn’t call, but you didn’t either. That is doing nothing but setting up a big playground for the enemy. Sit alone with nothing but your thoughts for a while. He will creep right on in. The enemy almost separated myself from something that I love to do, blog. Blogging is my best friend! I can tell it anything. It never judges or tells me that I’m wrong. People may do that but that’s a chance I took when I discovered my love for blogging and telling my story. I’m human. I struggle daily. I just decided to make certain parts of my life an open book in the hopes of saving and helping someone else. Thanks for reading! ❤️