Reblog: Suffer the Little Children

Growing up in an abusive home, I saw the face of domestic violence in my mother. I saw it in my aunts and in my cousins. The need to love a man that is broken because you have no idea what love is. The desire to fix or heal that part of him because you think that is what marriage or relationship is supposed to be. The women in my family were “ride or die” before I even knew what that meant. They were literally willing to die at the hands of their man.

Each October we spend so much time focusing on Breast Cancer Awareness by turning everything pink, but what about turning it purple? Purple is the color of Domestic Violence Awareness. Which is also in the month of October. How many of you actually knew that? Not me. Not until recently.

The last eighteen months of my life have been about an evolution of change. Growing, learning and striving to be better. I’ve been digging up the roots of my past and trying to figure out why I am who I am. It’s been a journey of self-discovery and immense pain. The pain of violence that I had hidden away and didn’t want to share. Until now.

I grew up in a broken home with broken people. Love was shown through busted lips and bloody noses. I watched my momma love a broken man until I turned nine. That’s how old I was when my momma decided she’d had enough. She put my daddy out and chose us over him. I rejoiced a little. No more violence. No more acting like my furniture was broken because it was old. It was broken because my daddy pushed my momma into it.

She fought back too, but does it matter? What kind of life was that for us to grow up into?

With her escape and choice she became my hero. She chose to raise her children alone than in an abused situation any longer. I was proud. I was also affected. I don’t think she knew it. Counseling wasn’t something “black people” did back then so it was kind of hard for her to see that her girl was damaged by the violence.

I remember my momma telling me that “If a man ever puts his hands on you, I will kill him.” Calmly. After dinner one night. She was a lion protecting her cubs. But, she didn’t know that a man was already violent towards me.

It wasn’t physical violence but pain inflicted through sexual assault, emotional and psychological abuse. I was made to feel inferior. Less than a woman. Someone with no rights whatsoever. I had no voice. I hid behind baggy clothes to make myself less flattering and unattractive to men and everyone. I fooled people with my cocky and confident persona because I thought that if you looked too closely you could see the cracks in my relationships.

The last eighteen months of my life have seen me entering a new territory. A territory where I have found my voice, renewed my faith and shared my testimony. One in four women will be a victim of domestic violence in their lifetime. We need to bring awareness to this topic now. It shouldn’t take a football player cold cocking his fiancée for you to care. You should care every day because there are too many nameless women out there who need you to wear purple too.

* * *

For more information about and help dealing with domestic violence in the African American community, check out the following organizations:

The Institute On Domestic Violence In the African American Community
The Feminist Majority Foundation (has a great list of national domestic violence advocacy groups)
Purple Reign
National Domestic Violence Hotline (800-799-SAFE (7233))
National Sexual Assault Hotline (800-656-4673)
National Sexual Assault Online Hotline

This is a reblog of a post I wrote for My Brown Baby. Please check out the article here: Suffer the Little Children

 

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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Reblog: Domestic Violence is Purple

October is more than just pink shoes and pink footballs

It’s more than pink wrappers or pink scrubs it’s also about purple

Purple like the bruise on my momma’s face last night

Purple like my sister’s busted lip last week

 

I watch with tears in my eyes as many people ignore the signs

The cries for help

The sounds of fists flying, furniture breaking and babies crying

 

Go unheard because pink is prettier

Pink is silent and doesn’t scream to be heard

Pink is stealth and knows its place therefore it’s worthy for attention

Pink doesn’t seek to breakdown the truth about violence in our country

Pink happens as luck of the draw

 

Purple is what you choose when you stay with someone who you love

You think you can change them that you walk around with bruises

Broken bones, busted lips and no self-esteem praying that you can change

The broken one who beats you

 

But sometimes the purple is not flowing like blood on the carpet

Sometimes it comes in the form of “You’re a Fat Whore!”

Or “No one loves you!”

Words yelled in anger and you hold your head in shame

 

Covering up your purple abused heart because you love too much

You love someone who is incapable of loving you the way you deserve

You love because you need love in return; you crave it the way you give it

Only sometimes you wish this love would come to you in a way that doesn’t make you wish for death

In a pink casket

domestic-violence

 

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:

BSabuse

 

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/.

Sound

Excerpt from my story Jacob’s Girl:

The last image I have of my family together occurred when I was nine years old. My mom had just walked in the house from a long day of work.  She was tired and you could see it in her face.  My dad had been drinking.  My ten month old brother and I were playing in the living room.  The sound of the television playing in the background as I made my brother laugh.

My mom came in and sat down on the couch. My dad had a frightening look in his eyes. The next sound I heard was his fist hit her across her face. I screamed. My baby brother fell and started to cry. My mom started fighting back and screaming at me to get my brother! Get the baby and go in your room! I did. I picked up the baby and ran into my bedroom.

My six year old sister was crying and I being the oldest tried to comfort them both. I heard the sound of glass breaking. Blood curdling screams. Cursing and crying. Fists punching, the sounds of pain being inflicted in the name of love. This is what it was right? This was love.

©Tikeetha Thomas

This post is in response to the Daily Post. The word today was sound.

The Third Love

Let me tell you about the types of men I’ve loved. Some good. Some bad. Was it all there fault? Nope. In many cases, I didn’t know who I was so they could never love me the way that I needed to be loved.

I didn’t know me.

I didn’t love me.

I couldn’t love them the way that they deserved to be loved.

Love was a concept to big to put in words and yet I desired it so much. I believed in it. I craved it. I wanted love and I needed to be loved.

Don’t most people?

What happens when you wake up and realize that you keep falling in love with the wrong type of people? What happens if that love abuses you or leaves you so messed up that you can’t fathom the pain of ever giving of yourself so completely? You sigh. You withdraw. You start to believe that you will never know love. True love.

That’s how I felt. I kept falling in love with the same kind of men. Until Mr. C. He was different. I couldn’t explain it. For the first time. I felt safe. I felt wanted. I felt loved. It was easy. It felt natural. It was healthy.

I was in shock. I was surprised. I was scared. I didn’t believe that a love without cursing or yelling, cheating or hitting was possible. We women are taught that no one is perfect and that we must fight for love. That love was hard.

However, that’s not true. I read this great article called  We Only Fall in Love with Three People in Our Lifetime – Each One for a Specific Reason by Kate Rose while perusing Facebook about a month ago. Man, this article was the truth.

This article had a profound effect because it basically summarized my  life story. I wasn’t alone. It basically said that we fall in love with three people in our lifetime:

  • Idealistic love—the one that seems like the fairy tales we read as children.
  • Hard love—the one that teaches us lessons about who we are and how we often want or need to be loved.
  • Third love  – the one we never see coming. The one that usually looks all wrong for us and that destroys any lingering ideals we clung to about what love is supposed to be.

I’ve had 5 idealistic loves. I’m not sure if they knew it. We just existed in this space between fantasy and reality and planned lives we would never have and futures that wouldn’t be. We believed in fairy tales. These loves occurred between high school and college.

I’ve had 2 hard loves. These loves were painful. They were loves that I tried to fit. Loves that I wanted to mold and manipulate into the greatest love ever to be. But, they couldn’t. They weren’t designed to be my forever love. They were designed to teach me about myself. I was hurt. I was broken. They shaped my belief that this can’t be real. This can’t be the love that God has for me.

And then there was three. The third love from the third type of person. The love that just works. That’s the best type of love. I know because I have it. For the first time in my life.

You can too. We just have to get out of our own way and love ourselves enough to heal from love #2 to get to the third love.  We can’t let number #2 have all the power over how our lives turn out. We have to move past the pain,the anger, the resentment, the failure – all of it. Once we do, we allow ourselves to know and appreciate a safe and easy love.

Fight

She sat there screaming.

Glass was breaking.

Crying.

Fists flying.

Busted lips.

Black eyes.

Broken furniture.

She had to fight.

Fight to get him off her.

Fight.

That’s all she knew how to do.

That’s what men do.

They hit women.

They fight the woman they love.

She knew no other way.

Most of her sisters had to fight.

Fight the men that loved them.

Fight for the dysfunction.

Fight for the bullshit of security.

Fight for the illusion that marriage was good.

Fight for a no good bastard who fathered their children.

Fight.

I never wanted to fight.

I would never use my fists to inflict pain on someone I loved.

I didn’t want to fight.

But I did.

I had to fight.

Fight for my marriage.

Fight to prove that I loved him.

Fight for my sanity.

Not physical.

Emotional.

I was tired of fighting.

I realized that I hated fighting.

I just want love.

No more broken glass.

No more broken furniture.

No more bruises.

To fight the one you love is wrong.

I’ve healed.

I’m learning.

I’m trusting.

I’m growing.

I want you to fight for me.

Not fight me.

 

 

This post is inspired by today’s Daily post. The word is fight.