Oldest Child Problems

A couple of weeks ago I read this great article over at Bougie Black Girl (BBG) about how parents use their older children to watch their younger siblings, much to the expense of the older child. I’m not speaking about an occasional babysitting job, but a child having to cook and clean and take care of her siblings like she birthed the babies. This article hit home for me.

See, because I was one of the girls that she was talking about. It happens a lot in the African American community. We tend to make our older girls the caregivers for their younger siblings. They didn’t give birth to your children.

Now, I’m not going to sit here and tell you that my mother was a bad mom. She wasn’t. Do I agree with everything she did? Nope. Do I believe she tried her best with the information and skills that she had at that time. Yep. But, there was damage.

You see when my daddy walked out of our lives, I was the oldest. I was 9 years old and my sister was 6. My brother was just 9 months old.  I had to become an “adult” and parent my siblings because my mother was in the military and worked swing shift. That means she was on for 18 hours and then off and back at work. She was exhausted.

I would have to pick my sister up from her classroom (we went to the same school) and walk her to pick up my brother from the babysitter to then go home. My mother left instructions for how to heat up dinner (she was exhausted but thankfully she still managed to cook). I would help my sister with her homework and we would eat dinner. I would bathe them both and put them to bed.

I would then sit down and do my homework, take a bath and head to bed. It was exhausting. I was a child. I had no choice. My mom didn’t have a choice. This was our lot in life.

When my mom got out of the military and we moved to Maryland, she had to work three jobs to take care of us. My dad didn’t pay child support and she made $10.00 too much to qualify for food stamps so working that many jobs put food on the table and clothes on our backs.  I received reduced lunches. I wasn’t embarrassed. I needed to eat.

I became their “de facto mother”. I doled out punishments and enforced chores. I had to make sure everything was done so that I wouldn’t be held liable.

I didn’t want to be a mother when I was still a child. I didn’t know how not to be. This kind of forced motherhood made me never want to have children. This made me feel as though my needs didn’t matter. The needs of my siblings came before my own needs.

The thing about not having your needs met is that you feel like you don’t matter. I couldn’t create boundaries because no one would respect them. I had no choice. I had no voice. I had to take care of my siblings.

I had a lot of pain during that time because I was a child raising children. I felt like my siblings didn’t respect me. Even now I sometimes feel the pain of past issues that manifest itself as disrespect. I’m sure that they don’t think of it in those terms, but they don’t know the sacrifices that I made too. Not just the ones made by our mother.

I didn’t get to participate in any after school activities until they were old enough to be left alone or my mom could watch them. There was no money for extras and no time. There was a schedule that had to be maintained.

I remember telling my mother a few years ago that I am tired of the disrespect of this family. I told her that I did everything to raise children that I didn’t bear. That I got raped and had to go home to take care of her children because that was my responsibility. I asked her who was ever going to take care of me?

It seemed as if no one was going to take care of me. I was on my own. That is why I am fiercely independent and choose not to show weakness. I hate being vulnerable. I hate not being able to do something. I’ve always taken care of me.

Even when it hurt to do so. Being in a healthy relationship allows me to appreciate the things that I didn’t even realize that I had. Things that I took for granted. Being a mother of an only child allows me the opportunity to give him experiences that I never had. I want Munch to enjoy being a child. No pressure. Not too much responsibility.

Does this mean that I don’t give him any responsibility? Nope. I do. I dole it out in stages. Cleaning your room, getting good grades and being civic minded have rewards attached to them. He’s a child. He’s learning.

I’m still learning and you know what? I’m pretty happy that BBG spoke about this topic. It’s pretty taboo in the black community, but the point of it all is that you as a parent have a responsibility to make sure that your children are children. Not the surrogate parent to their siblings.

 

Want to keep in touch? You can find me on social media at the following links: Twitter @mskeeinmd, Facebook page A Thomas Point of View and my Instagram page https://www.instagram.com/mskeeinmd/.

Ordinary

It was an ordinary day. On an ordinary street. In an ordinary house. In that house sat three ordinary girls. They were laughing and playing and giggling like the 13 year old girls they were. They talked about boys, dreams and their parents.

They discussed how they hated some of their teachers and school was so boring. They dreamed of summer vacations and new clothes. It was almost over. Summer was almost here and they vowed to make this an extraordinary summer.

Savannah logged into her laptop. She quickly logged into a website and started chatting up her new friend. He was an older boy. He was 18. She liked him. They had been chatting on-line for a few weeks now.

She sent him pictures of herself and he always told her that she was beautiful. She liked that. She never thought of herself as beautiful. Cute and ordinary. However, Paul (that was his name) always made her believe that she was beautiful.

He told her she could be a model. Paul asked her to face time him with her friends around. She did. They giggled and smiled and posed as Paul said that they were beautiful and could all be models.

Paul asked them to meet them in the parking lot at the local mall. They agreed. They told their parents that they were going to the mall and would be back in a couple of hours. They were careful. Nothing would happen to the three of them.

They were taught that you always travel together. So, they did. It was nothing special. A bus took them to the mall and they waited in the parking lot by the local Macy’s. They laughed with the fact that one of them had a boyfriend. They giggled.

They weren’t able to date yet.

Across the parking lot, Paul approached them. He was so sexy. He had on nice clothes and shoes and the biggest smile. His teeth were straight. Wow! He was gorgeous.

They were so busy pointing and smiling at Paul that they didn’t see the van pull up behind them and the men grab them and stuff them in the truck. An ordinary black van filled with men holding them down as they struggled and screamed and then went limp.

Ordinary girls are sold into sex-trafficking every day. We need to do something about this. No more silence please.

 

 

This post is part of the Daily post. The word of the day was ordinary.

Want to keep in touch? You can find me on social media at the following links:  Twitter @mskeeinmd, Facebook page A Thomas Point of View and my Instagram page https://www.instagram.com/mskeeinmd/

Minimal

He assumed that there would be minimal damage. What harm was there in the game he was playing? He wanted her. He had to have her.

She was beautiful. Kind of shy. But, he was attracted to her. Not just her. Others too. But, she would be the one that would be in his bed tonight.

Slowly he hunted her like his prey.

He wined and dined her with minimal thought to how she was falling in love with him. She laughed at his jokes, smiled when he told her she was beautiful and fell captive to his charm. She required minimal things.

She told him that she needed a man that was authentic and transparent. He had to believe and practice honesty in his daily life. His words and actions must be above reproach. He had to be a man that she could trust.

He lied to her about his intentions. No thought or concern to the words that he was using to bring her in. She fell for it. She fell in love.

With a man that was using her for sex. She didn’t know it. She gave her body. Her soul. Her heart and her mind. He was an amazing lover.

He made her feel as though she were the most beautiful and loved woman ever. It was a game. A game of manipulation and seduction. She was of minimal concern. She was dismissed.

He left her alone. Beautiful and broken. She would always remember him. He had left her with HIV because he couldn’t be concerned about how having unprotected sex would affect her. After all, she was of minimal concern to him.

This post is inspired by the Daily Prompt. The word of the day was minimal.

 

Want to keep in touch? You can find me on social media at the following links:  Twitter @mskeeinmd, Facebook page A Thomas Point of View and my Instagram page https://www.instagram.com/mskeeinmd/.

Motivational Monday Moment – 3/13/2017

My Motivational Monday Moment is inspired by a conversation that I had with a male friend who said that he seems to meet a lot of women with no self-esteem. I asked him to explain. He said that so many women that he meets have been dealing with whack dudes that they have no idea of what should and shouldn’t be accepted. My heart broke a little.

Why?

Because these are my sisters. They need to stop accepting anything less than they are worth from men. They need to learn the value in self-worth.

self-worth (n)
the sense of one’s own value or worth as a person; self-esteem; self-respect.

Self-worth is the Motivational Monday Moment that I want to examine. Self-worth is the sense of one’s own value or worth as a person; self-esteem; self-respect. Dang. That’s pretty deep, right?

Self-worth is how we feel about ourselves. How we feel about ourselves translates into what we are willing to accept, how we dress and how we think. It is the very essence of who we are as women. If we feel that we are trash then it is reflected in our appearance, in our behavior and in our relationships.

We put up with stuff. Not good stuff. Bad stuff.

We run away good men dealing with our own issues and then we keep falling for the same men because we don’t believe that we deserve better. We are so desperate for anything that we accept less than we’re worth thinking that it is better than nothing. Umm, that’s a lie.

Peace of mind is the most invaluable commodity you could have. My momma told me a long time ago “You can’t put a price tag on peace of mind.” I understood that when I became an adult and got married. Your mind is a powerful tool and if you don’t have self-worth, you convince yourself that you are unworthy.

There are those that want to hide and act like they are in control and convince us that it is all good. They have have a man. They are okay with only night visits, STD’s, lies and violence. They try to sell us on the brand of crack that they’ve been smoking so long (its name is delusion) to tell us that they are okay. They love themselves.

No, you don’t.

It’s time to stop lying to us because truthfully, we don’t matter. You matter. Stop lying to yourself. Stop defining yourself by someone’s opinion of who you are.

Let me tell you something…

Come closer to the screen…

You are a beautiful child of God.

You are loved.

You are wanted.

You are valuable.

You need to know that man can never make you happy unless you are happy with yourself. You need to take a time out sis. You need to heal.

You need to love yourself.

You need to invest in a healthy mindset.

You need to invest in you.

No one deserves to be disrespected. No one deserves to be abused. No one deserves to get cussed out. No one deserves STD’s. No one.

Not even you.

Whatever is in your mind that has you thinking you deserve this treatment I need you to get rid of it. Stop that negative thinking. Get help. Get professional help.

Not just your girlfriends.

Talk to a professional to find out what it is that allows you to be able to take disrespect from men. Get to the root cause of your issue. Strengthen your self-esteem. Know what you’re worth.

Believe it.

Two truths that I want to leave you with…

  1. A man will treat you how you allow him to treat you.
  2. Real men don’t want weak women. Weak women don’t know their self-worth.

It’s the truth love. You deserve to know it. You need to understand it. You need to evaluate your situation and know that only you can change the outcome of your life. You control your destiny. You are more valuable than you know.

I believe it.

I just need you to believe it.

motivational-monday-moment

 

 

Want to keep in touch? You can find me on social media at the following links:  Twitter @mskeeinmd, Facebook page A Thomas Point of View and my Instagram page https://www.instagram.com/mskeeinmd/.

FBF: Self-Esteem

I found a book that I had created my junior/senior year of photos of me and my friends in high school. It was weird looking at the hairstyles and some of the outfits, but it was good. I was looking back at the photos and remembering how I thought I was fat at the time.

I was always the biggest girl it seemed but I really hated my shape. I had a big head, big nose and a big butt. I thought of myself as the odd girl out. The oddly shaped girl who wasn’t quite right. But, I was perfectly fine.

See at that time I just wanted to be invisible. To be seen as a beautiful girl to one boy. I smiled on the outside when many times I was so broken and damaged inside that people couldn’t see it. You can’t see the scars of the abuse. You can’t see the pain that I carried while trying to have a “normal” childhood.

Normal. What the hell was normal?

I guess it was boyfriends and dances. Dates and parties. Friends and fun. I had those memories. Hidden inside my size 12/14 frame.

What I learned…We are our own worst critics. Stop judging yourself and just love the person looking back in the mirror. You are beautiful just the way you are.

The Shiftless Man

I decided that I needed to speak to the ladies today. I wanted to share some wisdom, advice or have girl talk about men. One type of man in particular.

One thing that I’ve realized in the many relationships that I’ve had or discussed with my girlfriends is that there is a population of men that like to call you victims. These men – for lack of a better word we’ll call them The Shiftless Man will do everything in his power to convince a woman that she is trying to be a victim when he is being a bully.

Beware of The Shiftless Man. He is a modern day con artist. He will do everything in his power to shift the blame to you. His traits and characteristics are noticeable, but his actions may seem to fool an untrained eye. So, let me give you some things you should look for if you are in a relationship with The Shiftless Man.

  • The Shiftless Man will cheat on you and have you believing that it is your fault that he cheated on you. He will tell you that it was because you didn’t cook for him, wash his clothes, pay his child support and/or slob his knob on a regular and consistent basis as the reason that he chose to step outside of your relationship. It’s your fault that he couldn’t be faithful. You will undoubtedly be angered, hot and beyond pissed and then the tears will fall. You can’t believe the audacity of this man that you know that you want to punch him in his throat, slash his tires or paper the city with his photo of being a cheat that you can’t help but cry. He in his self-centered mind will tell you that you’re trying to play the victim in this situation. Really? Girl, get out now before he gives you an STD or something that you can’t get rid of.
  • The Shiftless Man will be verbally abusive. He can’t help it. It’s part of his make-up. You deal with it. You love him. You believe that you can change him. You want the relationship to work. You want your family so you take it. You take it over and over again. Your love diminishes as your hatred grows. You are boiling with anger and pain and wondering how the hell did you end up here. You did everything right, but why are you allowing this man to be verbally abusive to you? He calls you names: fat, b*tch, hoe, slut, dumb as*, etc and you just cry. However, he mistakes those tears for sympathy in hopes that you’ll do better. He’s the dumb a*s because everyone knows that those tears are tears of pain and time wasted. You wonder why do you put up with this and he tells you to stop being the victim. Girl please! You are not the victim. You are just trying not to be the perpetrator of the crime and kill him. Oh, but he’s too busy blowing smoke up his own butt that he can’t see your love switching to anger. Get out now! No man is worth a murder rap.
  • The Shiftless Man will play mind games. It’s part of his make-up. He wants you to believe that he is smarter than you. He will try to manipulate and control you in all situations and have you believing that his a*s is the King of a foreign country. You’ll play along. Why? Because you fell in love with a very nice man. You think that the man that you fell in love with will return. I mean how could he be so mean to you? You work full-time, keep in shape, take care of the house, pleasure him regularly and still manage to play nice with his trifling friends and family. But, he won’t change. You’ll demand respect and he’ll laugh in your face. You’ll demand honesty and he will walk right past you. You will get so mad that your tears will start to flow. He’ll look at you and through you and say “Stop playing the victim. You’re always the victim.” Girl, get out now. Convince him that you are going to have a sex change because he is not man enough for you. Get on with your life and stop letting him hold you down or hold you back.

If you are a woman in a relationship with The Shiftless Man, I need you to get out now! You have to focus on your mental health and this man will tear you down. Don’t believe what he says. You are not a victim! You are beautiful. You are intelligent and more importantly…you deserve better.

Stand up and shed the dead weight of The Shiftless Man and realize that you are a survivor. You survived the insults. You survived the constant cheating on you. You survived the mental abuse. You survived the verbal abuse. You survived. That is your testimony. Plain and simple love.

Be you. Be happy. Be encouraged.

Day 5: Seven Days of Thankfulness

I’m thankful for discernment.

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I haven’t always been able to judge well. I’ve trusted people that I shouldn’t have. I’ve allowed people in my life who shouldn’t have been there. I was young. I was naive. I didn’t know how to discern what it was that God wanted me to do.

But, I tell you that something happened when I turned 40. I trusted in the Master’s Plan for my life. I started to follow my inner voice and be able to discern what was His will and what was my will.

I began to grow. I began to watch my life manifest right before my eyes. Things started happening and chains started being broken. People started to leave. I began to feel alone. I cried out for God to help me and He sent people in my life that showed up and showed out. He shook my foundation and allowed some roots to stay planted where they were.

He was moving me in a different direction.

When I realized that it was God and that He was cleansing me from those who weren’t allowed to go to the next level with me I started to feel the power of His presence. Sense that He was ordering my steps. I bridled my tongue and endured some foolishness because I heard him clearly say that my destiny has been determined and you can’t afford to lose your way.

See, He knows what he is doing in my life and that there are folks in my life that are trying to distract me. My destiny is too important to give up for anything. Whew! I tell you that when I realized that it was He who was moving me in another direction, I adjusted the sails and set course for better days.

Discernment. I’m so thankful for that gift. I’m able to realize what is worth it and what isn’t. I won’t go back.