Read: Men Rape Us And You Let Them

One of my favorite sites is For Harriet and I read such a powerful essay the other day that I just had to share it. This writer’s words resonate with so many of us that have been victims of sexual assault. You know that I’m a survivor, but many of you are also a survivor. Many of your friends, family or acquaintances may have suffered sexual assault or abuse. It never ends.

Before Bill Cosby, Harvey Weinstein or the many other famous men that have been accused, there are just normal men out here that are hurting women and children. No one should have to be a victim of abuse. No one should have to tell the story of their #metoo assault for you to realize that we have to be advocates. Advocates for every one.

My prayer is that you will start seeing that this is a problem in our country and finding ways to stop the violence. To stop the predators. To protect the victims before they even become victims. It will take a village.

Please read this powerful essay by Nicole Shawan Junior entitled Men Rape Us and You Let Them

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Note: I don’t own the rights to this photo. Through a Google search it came up.

 

 

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/.

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Surviving the BS – Part 2

This is a continuation of my post yesterday

I’m tired of staying silent. I’m tired of wearing a mask hiding the pain of what I’m enduring and everyone taking sides not knowing half of the truth. It doesn’t matter. My life. My story. My pain.

God has given me great people to help support me throughout my life. I am thankful for them. For their continued prayer and support. For their strength when I forward the emails that I receive because I’m filled with such anxiety over what will be said next.

It’s October. It’s Domestic Violence Awareness month and I’m tired of protecting the person who abuses me. I will no longer allow the oppressor to continue to oppress me. I am not going to be silent. Verbal and emotional abuse are just as important as physical. Could you imagine receiving emails from someone throwing your pain of when you were a child in your face? Verbal abuse is abuse and is never justified.

Think about the allegations against Harvey Weinstein. It’s been 30 years of accusations that this man victimized many over the years. Some spoke out and some didn’t. Many victims don’t speak out. Fear. Ridicule. Humiliation. Loss of opportunities.

“He was violent toward women and men, and his abuse came in many forms — from screaming and berating to character assassination and nonconsensual advances. His behavior was both an open secret and a secret ritual.” – Violence. Threats. Begging. Harvey Weinstein’s 30-year pattern of abuse in Hollywood. – Monica Hesse and Dan Zak 

Sound familiar? But, men can be victims of sexual assault as well. We learned that when actor Terry Crews spoke out about his sexual assault. He gets it. Do you?

I am overprotective of my son. So, what? I know that 1 in 6 boys will be sexually assaulted before the age of 18. The number is probably larger than that as many boys don’t report the assault. They repress the memories. Think Tyler Perry. He was abused and shared his story for the first time while I was pregnant with Munch.

I stand for all those that have been victimized and/or abused. I stand ready to add my voice to the list of people that have suffered. To speak for those that have lost their voice and to defend those that are too tired to fight. You matter. I matter.

We all matter.

I had to remind myself of that these last couple of weeks. I had to stop the tears, the nightmares and repressed memories that are seeping through from yet another trauma. I had to regain my strength, dry my tears and let you know that I’m a victim too. But, no more.

No one has a right to tell you that you don’t matter. No one has a right to harass, intimidate and bully you. No one has the right to break you down after you’ve been broken down by so many other men. No one has the right to deny you the right to live your happy ass life.

So, I’m choosing me. I want you to choose you too. I want you to let go of all the pain of the past and give it to God. I want you to find peace. Like I’m trying to do. I’m letting go. I’m allowing this battle to be fought by God. I will continue to love and raise my son as I see fit. I will no longer be a victim for anyone. Including my ex.

 

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/.

Surviving the BS – Part 1

The goal of my blog has always been to tell you what’s going on in my life. In all honesty, I started writing to blog about my life and family when I was happily pregnant with Munch. I had many starts and stops and I wasn’t consistent. Life got in the way.

I came back to it at the end of my marriage. It was a way for me to maintain my sanity through all the drama and the noise. It was my free therapy. However, I held back a lot. I was doing it under the guise of protecting my son. But, I was hurting. I was dying.

No more.

I’m tired ya’ll. I’m exhausted. I can no longer remain silent while I continue experiencing this drama. It’s not fair to me. It’s not fair to Munch.

For the last year, I’ve gone back and forth to court with my ex-husband. I told you how it stressed me out. The last court date was on September 11th. They accepted our parenting agreement. An agreement that we supposedly entered in a good faith effort to co-parent.

But, we don’t co-parent. We can’t. I hate him. He hates me and we’re left trying not to mess up Munch. Every therapy appointment I tell my therapist that is my fear. That my son will be damaged by the choices his parents have made. She reminds me that children are resilient and that I can love and do the best that I can and it will make a difference.

I’m not as optimistic.

How did I get to the point of hating my ex? From all the senseless back and forth. The name calling, the BS passive aggressive behavior, the court drama, the insertion of his wife, the mediation, etc. My life was in suspended animation and I had no choice but to participate in this custody drama. I thought there would be peace. At least for a little while.

However, I was wrong. I underestimated the man that I was dealing with. I believed that somehow we would call a “cease fire” and leave each other alone. No contact or communication unless it pertained to our son. All email communications would only be about our son.

But, I was naive.

It was a rough first week in October. We went back and forth on our son’s flute and swim lessons. Unnecessarily long emails that really don’t matter. I was tired. I was tired of receiving the emails and asked him to please stop contacting me unless it had something to do with our son because these back and forth emails were harassing and emotionally draining to me.

This was what I received:

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I highlighted the piece of text that caused me anger, angst and feelings of violation. I realized that I was being battered and suffering emotional abuse by my ex-husband. He copied his wife on the email. I blacked out the email addresses and names. Why? Did they care when they sent me this BS? Probably not.

You see I told you about being a survivor of sexual assault, molestation and rape in my post: I Know Not. I shared my story because my ex-husband wanted to use it as an excuse to verbally abuse me. He wanted to harass and embarrass me in front of his wife as a form of intimidation.

So, if she wanted to know what really happened as a woman and a mother, she could read about it in my own damn words or she could support the man that continues to abuse me. But, it’s not about her. It’s about him. It’s about me. It’s about me saying that I will no longer allow this man to continue to insult and humiliate me. I am a survivor.

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I will no longer be silent.

-To Be Continued-

 

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/.

I Know Not

I know not the moment when my innocence was shattered. When my belief in man became so obscure that I thought death was better than life. I’m lying.

I remember.

I remember the day that you touched me as I slept. The moment that my innocence was shattered and I was left to pick up the pieces of the dirty word I had become. I know not why I had to endure that pain.

Maybe someone can explain.

I know not why I was assaulted by two boys on the school bus. Why they held me down and hunched me as I screamed out.  Kissing me. Holding my wrists. Why they chose to grind their adolescent penises in my crotch all to show me their manhood. I know not why no one came to my rescue. I screamed for help.

I remember.

Because I was just a girl. Faceless. I didn’t matter. They were popular. I was a nobody. Or that was how I was treated after the boys got in trouble. I was just an unknown. I asked for it. I know not how a child asks for boys to hold her down as they humped her and she screamed for help.

I know not why I was abandoned.

The isolation of classmates created such loneliness in my spirit that I understood that a nobody liked me must have deserved the unwanted attention as I was just a girl. A child. It didn’t matter. I don’t know why the expectation is that I wanted this.

I know not why I remember the day that my classmate raped me. I remember the feel of his penis pushing through me as I screamed and fought. The words “No one likes a tease” as I laid there crying and fighting for my spirit. I remember praying to God to die as he penetrated me relentlessly.

I know not why I saw me outside my body. I sang a song. A song of comfort. My mind was breaking apart. I imagined singing. I was a young girl. Maybe about 6 or 7. I sang This Little Light of Mine as he raped me. I know not why that song came to me.

I remember. I remember believing that God was protecting me. That walls were being built all around my mind to protect me from the pain. The pain was insurmountable. The memories would be too painful and I felt numb.

I died that day. Spiritually.

Each time I was touched. I lost a piece of me. But, I lived. I know not why.

Maybe it is because God had greater plans for my life than I could have ever imagined. I know not why.

God gave me a son to raise after boys and a man destroyed many parts of my youth. But, He must have a sense of humor right? Cause why would my womb carry a man?

I know not why.

I know not why the answers to many questions remain unclear. Like fragments and repressed memories they fight to come to light. Buried memories of things not spoken about.

But, I know that I have a purpose. I am better than my perpetrators. I am better than my past. I’m better than the man who tries to break me down by accusing me of emasculating my son when I am the one who brought forth light and named him Munch. I know not why.

 

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/.

Let’s Talk About Sex

So, we’ve all heard about Usher giving herpes to a woman that he had sex with and then paying her off. Now, another woman has come forward and said that she had sex with him back in April (he’s married) at her house and then in New Orleans and that Usher never shared his diagnosis with her. She’s asking for 20 million! Say what? Yep, 20 million.

Now, back to the paid settlement woman. This woman said in court documents that she saw a greenish discharge from his penis and Usher told her he was negative for any sexually transmitted diseases. What is wrong with this woman? Let me be clear to any man or woman….If you see some green stuff coming out of a man’s penis or a woman’s vagina – please run. Why would you then have unprotected sex with someone after that? Because they are a celebrity?

That was mind-blowing. On to the next case where she is asking for 20 million. I understand she’s scared and is now saying she has she tested positive, but is money going to make it better? Why’d you have unprotected sex with him? He’s married. Why were you even sleeping with him? Ugh! I suspect that a lot more women are going to coming forward and bring law suits against him. I feel for Usher. It is his private medical that has been shared publicly, but dang man. Why didn’t you tell the women you were sleeping with? Give them the option to decide if they want to sleep with you especially since you knew you had herpes.

All this drama got me to thinking when did we get so cavalier about sharing our bodies with just anyone. I don’t care if he’s a superstar or Rodney on the corner. What happened to practicing safe sex?

Remember, in the 90’s there was all the talk about wrapping it up and safe sex and even Salt-n-Pepa sang Let’s Talk About Sexy Baby. When did we stop caring about safe sex? When did we see so little value in our bodies?

Was it when we realized that Majic Johnson is still living with HIV and fine? When did we become risk takers? With our bodies? With our minds?

A friend of mine told me a few years ago that most people don’t get tested for Herpes when they do their annual physicals or gynecological visits for women. It has to be specifically asked for. What? How the hell are doctors not doing this?

His doctor told him that herpes is so common and causes no problems that it’s no big deal. So, the medical community is in a conspiracy? What the hell! We have to be an advocate for our own health. This is no joke.

Wrap it up. Protect yourself. Know your status with everything.

safersex

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/.

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/