Cleveland

November 22, 2014

I’m standing in the kitchen trying to prepare dinner. Munch is in his room watching television and waiting for his dinner. I hear the news. A 12 year old boy named Tamir Rice was just gunned down in a park in Cleveland, Ohio by two police officers. The glass I was holding shatters.

He was 12. The picture shows a sweet smiling little boy. I watch the news with tears as I wonder how anyone could kill a 12 year old boy. What has this world come too? A mother burying her son. This isn’t how the world is supposed to work. We are supposed to have our children bury us after many years lived.

He won’t have that opportunity. I wonder is anywhere safe. I wonder if this little boy’s mom thought that the city of Cleveland was safe. If her street or neighborhood was safe. If she thought that those who were supposed to protect and serve would never harm her son.

Another boy dies. Another mother weeps. A life cut short. How can I protect my four year old son? No guns. No play guns. No Nerf guns. I have to keep Munch safe.

I clean up the broken glass and think that this is life. We’re all broken. The police are broken. This family is broken. The justice system is broken.

No rest for mothers tonight.

 

C

 

 

This post was part of the A2Z challenge and the letter “C” is for Cleveland. My posts will be written as a journal style for the challenge and will be on the theme: Mothering While Black. I hope you enjoyed it.

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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He’s Not Your Man – Part 2

In yesterday’s post He’s Not Your Man – Part 1 I told you about the awkward situation that I found myself in when my having dinner with my male best friend. One of the women that he was dating actually showed up at the restaurant to blast him for having dinner with me. She was upset that instead of spending time with her he was spending it with me. His best friend of 30 years.

I was astounded that in this day and age (over 40) that you would literally walk up on someone who is not your husband or man to confront them. Why? It was astonishing and sad. I’m going to tell you why.

Dating is a Game

Back in the day (read prior to my marriage) I played the game. I was the woman that was pursued and I entered and ended relationships as I saw fit. I have been the woman that dated a man knowing that I wasn’t the only one. It was horrible. I wouldn’t recommend this to any woman. It creates a false sense of a relationship when in reality you’re just friends with benefits and in many cases you’re not friends. You have to play the game or you will get hurt.

If you seek a relationship then you need to step back from the man that you know is not looking for that. You need to date men that are on the same wavelength as you. You need to not look at every woman as competition because they are not. You are only in competition with yourself.

Recognize His Game

The key to dating and not courting is that you have to recognize his game. Game is game. No way about it. If ya’ll go out occasionally and are sexing and he doesn’t want to put labels on it, you are going nowhere sis. You are a place filler. Temporary in hopes of being permanent. But, if that’s what you want…cool. However, please don’t switch up and then say you want more and expect him to give it to you. Why would anyone stop living the single and free life and they are enjoying it? It’s like asking me to stop eating pizza. I ain’t gonna do it.

Be Cool and Know Who Your Enemies Are

I am not your enemy. I am the best friend. The safe one. The one who he can laugh with, tell secrets to and support. I am the one that he’ll show up to my son’s soccer games, take us out to dinner and help my son with homework. I am his friend. Nothing more. I am not your enemy. I could be the one rallying for you if you weren’t so insecure and you talked to me like a lady. I have a lot of pull. I am not going anywhere. It’s been 30 years. You are your own enemy. Men don’t want stress. Had I been another one of his women, you just showed out and I would have taken advantage of that situation that night. But, I’m his friend. Respect the role.

At the end of all of this, I love my best friend. I told him that he should stop sleeping with this woman because she’s delusional about the lines. She needs to work on her own issues and get a real relationship if that is what she wants. He’s not going to do anything he doesn’t want to do.

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I was disappointed that she felt threatened by me and then was dismissive of me. I am an advocate of women and I never disrespected her. When she kept calling him as we were leaving, he was ignoring her calls and sending her to voicemail. I told him to answer the phone as she needed to speak with him. He did. She was yelling and screaming and she called me a “Bi*ch”. What?

He was a gentleman and told her that he would not tolerate her calling me that and hung up the phone. A best friend would do that. A man would do that. My advice is simple…don’t let your frustrations over not getting the love you want pull you out of your character. Your behavior is a genuine reflection of you and only you because in reality he’s not your man.

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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/.

Kiss From Death

He appears before you when you least expect it.  The embodiment of your heart’s deepest longings, you are enchanted.  Like a Siren luring her victim with her song, so too are you caught within Death’s grasp.  You greedily drink his words from his goblet, so tender and sweet.  Enthralled by his promise to fill the void, you are intoxicated by his poison.

Ever so gracefully, the phantom whisks his prey onto the dance floor of twilight’s masquerade.  You notice not the talons that dig deeply into your flesh, for you are bewitched.  A veil he places over your consciousness, which you gladly accept.  Numb to the wounds inflicted are you, as you dance this dance with Death.

Ensnared in his clutches, you desperately cling to idle promises.  Weary you become, as your light slowly begins to fade.  Once a star burning ever so bright, now a mere ember you are.  A shadow of your former self, you feel your spirit drifting away.  A mere shell you have now become, and you are dying.

You are drowning, engulfed in despair.  Yet, as you struggle to lift your head above the water, you manage to catch a glimpse of the phantom behind the mask.  Choose to release yourself from his enchantment, for you hold the power.  Give not into his sweet illusion, for it is merely a mirage.  I beg you, ignore not the phantom’s true identity.  For by doing so, you will be given a kiss from Death.

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This post was contributed by Feather from Beyond The Light. I stumbled on her much by coincidence as she found me in October when I did my Domestic Violence series. An incredible woman who is also a survivor of domestic violence who wishes to break the silence that shrouds survivors on a daily basis. She knows that there is hope that we can break the shackles of domestic abuse together.  Check out her blog: Beyond The Light

Day 14: Lessons Learned

I am human. I will make mistakes. We all will. But, I’m thankful for the lessons learned. In all that I do, I try to see what the lesson is that I was supposed to learn. Many times I discover it and I’m thankful for it.

That’s what life is about. Learning lessons. Learning in spite of your trials and tribulations. Learning through your pain. It’s hard. I know. I’ve been there.

But, there is always a lesson and it will get better. No matter what you are going through there is a light at the end of the tunnel. You may not be able to see it but it is there. When you get to the end, make sure you share your story because someone else may benefit from your story of triumph.

Be a blessing to others and learn the lesson that you were supposed to learn. It’s day 14 and I’m thankful for lessons learned in my #23daysofthankfulness.

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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/.

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.

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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/.

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

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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/.

Domestic Violence and Silence

Do you hear that? It is the sound of a fist hitting flesh. Bam. Blood dripping off the lip of the victim. She whimpers. Most of the bruises she can hide with make-up. This is physical abuse.

Will you help her?

Did you know? That she left her ex-husband and he’s not supporting his children. He wanted her to stay at home and raise the children. She did. She left and he turned off all her cards and put all the money in the joint account in his private one. She doesn’t have money for food. This is financial abuse.

Will you help her?

Did you know that he called her “b*tch” so much that she thought that was her name? That he cussed her and put her down in front of his friends. Did you watch him make “jokes” at her expense and the painstakingly way she laughed off?  Did you know that he tells her personal and painful history to his new partner as a way to hurt her and humiliate her. This is emotional abuse. 

Will you help her?

Did you know that she endured sex so many times because he wanted it? She hated having sex with him whenever he wanted it but he told her that her body belonged to him. She died each time. This is sexual abuse. 

Will you help her?

Did you know that he sends her harassing emails putting her down and telling her “his beliefs and opinions” about her and what kind of parent she is? He talks about her negatively on social media. This is digital abuse.

Will you help her?

October is Domestic Violence Awareness month. Did you know? Did you know that many women suffer from domestic violence that goes unreported.

Domestic violence does not discriminate. Anyone of any race, age, sexual orientation, religion or gender can be a victim – or perpetrator – of domestic violence. It can happen to people who are married, living together or who are dating. It affects people of all socioeconomic backgrounds and education levels. – National Domestic Violence Hotline

The CDC reports that before the age of 18 – 8.5 million women first experienced rape. I am one of those women. I am a survivor of domestic violence, as I was a victim of rape before the age of 18. I’ve also suffered emotional violence. Violence is never okay.

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Many men don’t see it as emotional violence because they feel that they aren’t physically assaulting you. That’s a myth. If you can’t control your temper and you use tactics to humiliate, embarrass or belittle your former partner, you need help. My rape isn’t my fault. My sexual assault isn’t my fault. My molestation isn’t my fault. Victim shaming is a form of humiliation and is insulting to the victim. You’ve now become a batterer.

I am a survivor and you need to know that violence is never the answer. Don’t ignore the pain of those that may need your support because your silence may kill. Help those that may be hurting.

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Do you know someone? Are you in an abusive relationship? Please get help. Call:

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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/.