Following the Blind

I used to follow this woman on Facebook. Her page described her as an author/writer. Someone had shared one of her posts in a group that I’m in and I liked what she had to say. So, I went to check out her page and found many things that resonated with me. I clicked the follow button and became one of the 4,000 plus followers to her page. I began engaging in communication with other like-minded women on her page. Things that spoke to the strong black woman. The woman that is the back bone to society. The woman that doesn’t put up with foolishness. The woman that stands on her morals. I was in agreement. I felt like I found a tribe. A tribe of strong black women.

But, that tribe turned into a cult to me yesterday. The writer had posted a piece about the television show A Different World that aired in the late 80’s to early 90’s. It was a spin-off of the Cosby Show. Two of the main characters in that show were a woman named Whitley and a man named Dwayne. It was a good show. It showed black children in college and attending a fictional Historically Black College or University (HBCU) and all the fun things that came with matriculating amongst your people. The writers nailed it.

As great as that show was it showed love, young love as misguided and ever changing as we grow and evolve into young adults. The story of Dwayne and Whitley made many women swoon as we dreamed of a love story like theirs. A love that showed two flawed people that encouraged each other’s dreams and supported each other no matter what. A determined kind of love. Or at least that’s what I know the show to be.

However, the writer that I followed made a long post that was accusatory and bitter painting Whitley as some young woman who was beat down into dating Dwayne. The writer said Dwayne was trash and that the many women he pursued were out of his league including Whitley. I was like “Huh?” I literally stopped.

I wondered did she watch another show called A Different World because I knew this show inside and out and if she saw something different, it can’t be the same show that I watched. But, it was the same show, however I’m convinced that she just didn’t watch all the episodes. She wrote a biased piece bashing love. Black love. A man. A love between two young and flawed individuals that worked out for them.

Her own demons were projected throughout the piece. Men were trash who took advantage of us. It was disturbing.

My tribe had changed. The women started agreeing with her post. When I asked questions challenging the post based on actual episodes she accused me of making Dwayne out to be a victim. Seriously? Why in the hell does anyone have to be a victim? I felt my balloon of hope pop as the needle was stuck into it. The air slowly deflated my hope that this was my tribe.

The author was deflecting and argumentative to me and my opinion. Who the hell does that? Aren’t you allowed to have opinions? Aren’t you allowed to have different perspectives and voice them or are you only supposed to follow blindly what others tell you. I assumed the later. I exited stage left and unfollowed her.

That post got me to thinking – is the expectation of writers, authors, bloggers, media figures, etc. that we blindly follow and co-sign on what the writer says regardless of whether or not it makes sense to the reader? Are we creating/crafting a culture of minions without opinions to validate our existence?

I prayed not.

I hurt for what this writer was doing. I believe in love. I cherish it. I prayerfully know that I will find and have love, but I don’t want to bash a good man because it didn’t work out and we didn’t get it right. I am a feminist. I’m a womanist. I’m not going to bash all men. I have a son to raise. Bitter women raise bitter children. We have to do better.

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 @mskeeinmd.

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Random Thoughts – 06.20.18

Last week I was drinking some water and spilled half the bottle of water on my computer. My computer won’t cut back on. I sighed. I complained. I wanted to cry. Heck, Munch did cry because he wanted to play a Sonic The Hedgehog game on my computer. I didn’t stay in the place of despair.

I quietly said a prayer and ordered a new computer. It’s been 3 years. It was unfortunate, but I’m going to be spending a lot of time this year writing and blogging so I need a working computer. I also need to work with Munch this summer with typing as he will now be typing his papers for English class. I guess it died when it needed to. But, thank God that I could afford another one.

I’m feeling better mentally and physically. Mentally about my break-up and physically with my body. I’m feeling better than I’ve felt in years. I can’t wait to get back to the gym. I learned some interesting things about my body during this process, but it was all good. I started making a list again – yes a list. A list of qualities that I want in a partner since it’s been a while dating other people. Ya’ll know I kissed a lot of frogs before meeting Mr. C, so I’m not looking forward to the frog kissing stage, but I’ll be dating.

I’m probably looking more to spending this summer living my best life and focusing on me and enjoying each day. I have some things planned with Munch and I’m getting serious about my book. I’ve done the outline and I’m just trying to get the short stories together to develop it into the masterpiece I pray it will be.

I have a busy summer with Munch. Between his swimming, private flute lessons and summer camp I’m adding tutoring at Mathnasium so that he can stay fresh in math and that he can work through these word problems. I discovered this year that Munch likes to just work on a math problem on a computer, but he won’t pull out a piece of paper and pencil and work the problem first before answering the question. This leads to many failed tests. That’s something we’ll be working on.

Between the beach and the trip home to Tennessee it will go by quickly. I won’t be taking any long trips because I exhausted leave for my surgery and I’ve only been at my job for two years so I don’t have much leave. Oh, today is my 2 year work anniversary. I still love my job. I consider myself blessed.

That’s about it for the random things in my life right now. How are you? Any exciting plans?

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 @mskeeinmd.

Return of the Blogger

Hello My Beautiful Readers:

I’m back! My surgery went well and I’ve returned to work today. I was losing my dang mind. But, I have to tell you that laparoscopic surgery is the best. Shorter recovery time and I just feel better than any of my prior surgeries.

I still can’t lift over 20 pounds and work out of 6 weeks, but I’m moving around and have been medication free for about four days. That’s good news! So many things have happened over the last few weeks that put my mind on the track that I need to write about them. So, look out for some things to come.

I am so excited because I got my hard print copy of my work in KE Garland’s new book “Daddy”. You can find it on Amazon by clicking the link or you can purchase the paper back copy of the book by clicking the picture of the book to the right of my page. I’m reading it and will have my write up next week about the book.

I am excited to be among the living and I’m feeling so much better. I’ve missed each and every one of you and I can’t wait to catch-up on your posts. Please bear with me.

 

 

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 @mskeeinmd.

Skipah’s World

When I got an email from Double T recently asking if I wouldn’t mind spewing my special brand of B.S. on her website while she would be down for a bit, to say I leaped at the chance would be an understatement.  I mean seriously, one of the most intelligent women I have the pleasure to call a colleague in the blogosphere asked this college flunky for a post, I would have been an idiot not to say yes.  That still doesn’t excuse the fact I’m an idiot, but I mean we are talking DOUBLE EFFING T asked ME for a guest post.

Double T is one of my sisters from a different mister.  We’ve both dealt with divorce, single parenting, and the mysterious phenomena known as family law.  It’s been so long ago I’m not exactly sure what brought our paths together.  It’s the wonderful thing about being a regular blogger, you meet people (not literally, but Double T and I almost did meet last year when I was in her part of the world for a couple of days).  I just remember reading some of her earlier posts about her precious “Munch,” and it just brought a warm and fuzzy smile to my face.  I was in the middle of an ugly custody battle that I ultimately lost and reading Double T’s blog and how much she looked out for Munch always had a connection with me.

Plus Double T and I are similar bloggers.  We just speak what is on our mind for the most part.  Baby momma/daddy does something stupid, we put them on blast with our words.  Remember now I’m an idiot, it cost me a ton of money legally, but I’m still pounding out meaningless words on a keyboard and meeting interesting characters along the way.

So who am I?  I’m the Skipah, a nickname that has stuck with me since I was a young teenager.  I got into this crazy little world of blogging back when I was blindsided by a divorce in 2014 fresh off a three day stay at the hospital after an unsuccessful attempt at perfecting the Klonopin diet.  I thought eating thirty of them would help me sleep a little better or, like, forever, but thankfully it didn’t.  In a state of confusion that I wouldn’t wish on anyone, I thought what the hell let’s start a blog.  Second chance on life, no reason to go back to the status quo and thus, Skipah’s Realm was born.

What started out as a nightly series of my own personal “keyboard” therapy as I was figuring out life while going through a divorce and one of the nastiest custody battles this area has ever seen quickly morphed into a passion.  The early days of my blogging career were literally me figuring out life on the fly, looking out for my daughter every way I could, and learning very quickly that the aforementioned family law game doesn’t work on common sense and facts.  More like the best lawyer(s) and the threat of a suicide attempt held over your head at every turn.  Of course, my little digital love child definitely didn’t help, and I learned quickly that a family law judge can pretty much make up the rules as he sees fit regardless if they are considered “legal” under criminal court.

Always centered around my daughter first and everything second, my blogging days morphed into just telling my story on a semi regular basis in hopes that some soon to be divorced dad would maybe stumble upon my little sector of the internet and figure out that life doesn’t end with an unwanted divorce.  In fact it is quite the opposite. Your child(ren) become your rock and keep you distracted when yet another legal bill comes in the mail and you are torn between peanut butter crackers or a can of Campbell’s soup for dinner because frankly that is all you can afford! After my divorce and suicide attempt, I really don’t get to rattled now when things don’t go my way.  Sure I bitch and moan (I am a man after all), but at the end of the day things usually seem to work themselves out.

Blogger world got a whole lot more interesting for me though on July 28, 2015.  I had been on a few dates post divorce, some went ok, one went into the batshit crazy zone, and one inconspicuous date had me travelling 45 minutes from home to this podunk little piece of Americana better known as Madison, Indiana.  Coincidentally it would be the last date I would go on with someone I had never met.

When Miss Madison (now my wife) walked into the land of Skipahsphere, that next year was easily the most fun I’ve had in blogging.  Between her, my daughter’s former KGB spy hamster (now deceased…R.I.P. Hammy), my future step-children, and good lord all the travelling Miss Madison introduced me to, Skipah’s Realm was a fun place to visit from time to time when you were missing out on something to read while killing time at the airport or sitting in the car rider line at school.

My proudest blogging accomplishment would be back when I did a little freelance work for Credit.Com and had an article featured in the financial section of Time.Com and the Yahoo finance page, as well as a few of the bigger newspapers in the country.  When I received a grant to go to the Dad 2.0 Blogger Conference in San Diego last year was pretty exciting also.  Throw in some big ticket product reviews and overall my career as a blogger has been eye opening to say the least.  What started out as my personal therapy really grew into something I would have never thought back when I hit publish for the first time.

So anytime you are bored and need to something to read to fall asleep, come on over to Skipah’s Realm.  These days it’s a series of bad jokes, me bitching about millennials, enjoying life with my new family, and currently trying to get this damn pool cleared up in our new house we just moved into a few months ago!  It’s never dull and boring around here, so come on by, hell you never know what we are up to around here!

Now before I go, my mom would rip my ass if I didn’t thank my buddy Double T for the opportunity to say a little piece on her site.  When I get back to the D.C. area I’ve already promised Double T dinner on me and we are eating some of the finest seafood the Chesapeake Bay can offer!  Give “Munch” a high five from me, and keep doing what you are doing as a single mom!

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This post was submitted by my friend Gary over at Skipah’s Realm. Check him out.

A Sister’s Love and My Mom

Sisters, women are the keeping source of families. Recently, I recovered a letter my eldest Auntie wrote to her sister, my mother. My Auntie is 88 years old, will be 89 in a week.

“Both within the family and without, our sisters hold up our mirrors: our images of who we are and of who we can dare to be.” -Elizabeth Fishel 

My mother transitioned a few years back at the age of 76. May is a difficult month for me. Her birthday is May 8th and then there is the celebration of Mother’s Day. All my life Mother’s Day was spent with her. Even though I am a mother, there is always a major part of me missing on Mother’s Day. Grief does not get easier. I am learning that time, memories and the foundation of our roots, how one is taught moves the missing to the good memories, to the best of what love offers.

This letter brought tears, happy tears and I paused. I smiled. At times, I do not believe we realize the major pieces we give ourselves to others. The two were inseparable. My mother was quite the humblest person I ever met. Their love for each other is rare and so traditional.  I believe my sister Keyna put a presentation of letters written together by her children, friends and families for one of Momma’s many birthdays.

moms letter

These two were always stylish, always supportive of everyone and loved their communities. Our family bonds are important, worth keeping together. How we live is important. It is thirteen siblings on my mother’s side –we are huge! I have three sisters and three brothers. As you read this, I hope you live as long as you want and never want as long as you live.

Daddy and Momma
Daddy and Momma married August 8, 1959

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This post was submitted by Michelle. Michelle recently graduated with her Masters in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. She is the mother of four and Umi to Dawn Michele. You can follow, like, comment on her blog: amichelleexperience.me

 

A is for Afflicted

“Two people can only keep a secret if one of them is dead.”

Out of all the crazy stuff my Dominican abuela (I mean, grandmother) used to say, that was the wisest and truest thing to ever come out of her big uncensored mouth.

You see, the secret I’ve been keeping has been eating away at me. And with each passing day, the story keeps bubbling up inside of me, trying to escape.

I’ve never told anyone about what happened, at least not all of it.

But I have to get this weight off of my chest and the only way I can do it is by writing it down. If I was really smart, I wouldn’t write it down at all, especially online where people could find it. But I need to tell my story and figure out how I ended up here in the first place.

This blog is really meant for me and my eyes only. I mean, who would even care about my incoherent ramblings?

But just in case someone does stumble across this blog (and if you are reading this, I mean YOU), please remember that I’m not a bad person. I had to take Abuela’s words to heart and I did what needed to be done to save myself.

Truth be told, a little part of me hopes that you do find this blog. I mean, maybe you’ll help me piece this all together and help me see where I went wrong, though I kind of already know.

And of course, I’m writing this anonymously so I won’t tell you my real name. But you can call me “Cara”, short for “Caramel”. That was Abuela’s nickname for me because she loved the color of my skin. She also said that I was like burnt sugar with a bitter aftertaste. Back then, I never knew what she meant by that and the only time I had the nerve to ask, she had simply shrugged her shoulders and said:

Mas sabe el diablo por viejo que por diablo“.

Yes, the devil knows more from experience than from being the devil. Maybe Abuela saw something in me back then that I only discovered later and that I’m reconciling with now…who knows.

But I’m getting off topic. Maybe I’ll write about that later.

Right now, I need to start at the beginning and tell you how I met my abuser Dex..

Cara

_A_ is for _Afflicted_

Continuation: B is for “Bomb”

All Rights Reserved ©2018 Marquessa Matthews. Graphic above created with Canva.

 

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This guest post by Marquessa Matthews. It is a repost from her A to Z Challenge and you must read all the posts in this challenge. She is an incredible writer that I’m praying gets to publishing a collection of her short stories soon. Please check out her blog at https://marquessamatthews.com/

2500+ Thank You’s

I recently hit 2,500 WordPress followers. I humbly thank each and every one of you for following me. It has been an amazing journey and I am continuing to grow and learn with each passing month.

I’ve changed the layout of my blog and I’m trying some new things this year. Tell me what you think. I’m also going to start promoting the works of others. Bear with me as I will be out of commission for the next couple of weeks.

But, more importantly, I want to say that I am thankful for each and every one of you. You continue to read and engage me in my posts and I’m genuinely thankful for the interaction. You’ve become family. Here’s to continued growth for all of us.

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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/.

Moving to a Self-Hosted Platform

Help! One of my goals for 2018 was to move to a self-hosted platform and I’m struggling to make a decision. For those of you that may be new to blogging, moving to a self-hosted platform will allow me more control over my blog with regards to customizing functions and style. It’s daunting as heck, but oh so worth it.

I know this. I’ve watched my blog grow from about 100 followers in 2014 when I first started to get back into blogging to 700 in late 2016 and now I’m almost at 2,500 WordPress subscribers. There has been growth.

In that time, I’ve contributed to two books being published and many posts. I’m working on my craft and working on turning my passion into profit. To that end, I want to be able to have more control on my blog and website. It’s time.

But, I’m overwhelmed by it all. I know that I can’t be alone. Were you overwhelmed when you started researching the move to a self-hosted platform? How did you make the choice to move? Which platform did you select? Was it hard to implement? What was the cost? I’m looking at cost, ease of use and unmetered storage.

It’s just me. Doing it on my own, but I’m hoping to have an interactive blog/website running by year end. Did you get overwhelmed by doing it yourself? What are some of the things/thoughts that I should be thinking about?

I really need your help. All advice is greatly appreciated.

Thanks!

 

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/.

Guest Hosting 2018

Hello my faithful and wonderful readers. I am taking a blogging break from May 31, 2018 through June 15, 2018. I will be on medical leave. Don’t worry, I will be fine. All glory goes to God because I know HE has me.

However, I need you. I need guest bloggers. If you would like to guest host on my blog during this time, let me know and I would love to host you.

What do you have to do? Here are my housekeeping items because there are always rules. I need you to know what you’re getting into. Here goes…

  • Read through my site. I discuss everything about life, love, dating, parenting and relationships and anything in between. Keep with my genre topics.
  • Make it fun and relateable. Your goal is to get the reader to want to know more about you and to follow you.
  • Respond to any comments a reader leaves on my page. This is a must for me. Let them know that you appreciate their response on your post and answer any questions.
  • Keep the swearing to a minimum. I love a good curse word two, but your post shouldn’t be all about your invention of new curse words.
  • Posts should be between 250-800 words
  • Create a catchy title
  • Reblog and share on your site and social media handles

I will be scheduling posts in advance and reading through comments and responding to some posts in between my recovery. If you’re interested, please email me at athomaspointofview@gmail.com.

Thank you in advance.

guest-blogging

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/.

Reflections on the A-to-Z Challenge

It was my first year doing the challenge. It was hard. I learned a lot about me and my ability to come up with posts for thirty days. Thankfully, it is over. LOL. Here are my reflections:

  • I needed to pre-plan my posts and actually schedule them. I usually had a rough draft and concept done, but I didn’t plan them in advance. That probably would have saved me time when life got in the way and I didn’t post that day.
  • It was hard trying to think of words that matched the alphabet that weren’t always really simple. You know how hard it was coming up with X and Z? Whew!
  • I like the idea of a theme but would probably find a different one next time that was a little easier. I am proud of myself for jumping out there with a difficult theme, but I probably should have picked an easier one for the first time.
  • It was good to be writing consistently. It’s hard to blog some days when you feel like you have nothing to talk about or life gets in the way. Planning what you’re going to post forces you to get comfortable blogging on a consistent basis.

That’s about it. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience and I may participate again later this year. If you missed any of my posts you can check them out here:

Anguish

Black

Cleveland

Divorce

Effort

Fear

God

Heavy

Insurance

Jordan

Knowledge

Love

Mom

Nursing

Objective

Perception

Querulous

Responsible

Saved

Trayvon

Unjust

Version

Wise

Xerarch

Yearning

Zappy

 

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/.