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/.

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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/.

You Will Not Believe This

I told you all about how my ex and I are going back to court for custody and that when we arrived to have our custody hearing we were told that we were still married. No? You can read about it in Failure of the Court and in Divorced Again. Long story short…we were both shocked as hell.

We went to a Pendente Lite (temporary custody) hearing on May 4th only to be told that nothing can be done because the second divorce hadn’t been signed off. Yep, another day off work. Another day of time wasted. Another day of stress. The magistrate then said that we have a custody hearing in August so it would wait. What the hell? More delays. More stress. More time off work.

I was beyond frustrated and barely holding on with all this back and forth. I felt like the courts had failed me. Could no one do their job? Would I have to continue in this state of unknown until August? Yep. Apparently.

I was a wreck a few days after the hearing as you can imagine because I was mentally and physically tired. I allowed myself a couple of days to focus on other things and to get my mind right. There were still things that I had to do and Munch still needed to be taken care of. After a few days of moping around, I got up and moved on with my life.

Well, last Monday when I went to get the mail I had three notices from the courts. Not thinking it was anything other than the second divorce paper and update on the August trial, I was shocked to read:

The Scheduling Order dated April 20, 2017 and the Magistrate recommendations of April 11, 2017 and May 4, 2017 are stricken. The Judgment of Absolute Divorce dated March 17, 2016 remains in full force and effect. The parties’ respective Motions for Modification shall be scheduled for three hours on the earliest available date. Notice to be sent to the parties.

What? Was I reading this correctly? That meant that a judge had reviewed our complicated file and decided that all that extra BS we were going through was not necessary and that the original divorce stood as is. Custody remained as is. We were legally divorced back to the original date granted.

I ripped open the other two envelopes and one said to schedule the Motions for Modification hearing on June 21st and to remove the merits hearing scheduled for August. The final was the hearing confirmation from the court house calendar management division. It was real. It was happening. Sooner rather than later and I didn’t have to wait until August.

What’s the big deal? Nothing really. Time. I am tired of all the back and forth and the courts are stressing me the hell out. First we’re divorced, then we’re not divorced, then we can’t have a hearing on custody because the second divorce hadn’t been signed off and then we’re really divorced (my bad) let’s go to court next month.  It is exhausting. Heck, I’m exhausted telling you about it.

But, thankfully a judge reviewed the file in it’s entirety and upheld the original divorce and decided that we didn’t have to start all over. Again. I appreciated that. I don’t know what will happen in court next month, but I’m convinced that God’s will will be done. So, I ask that you keep us all (Munch, my ex and I) in your prayers because truthfully we need 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/.

Motivational Monday Moment – 5/22/2017

My Motivational Monday Moment is late. I know. I apologize. I wasn’t sure what to write about. I had been thinking of what I wanted to share all week and nothing was coming to me. I wrote this during lunch. I needed inspiration/clarification.

I attended a seminar today at work and I had an Aha Moment! The seminar was pretty cool. However, the seminar reminded me of all the things that I had learned before, but it was if God was reminding me of them again today. I learned that I along with many of you have biases. It’s human nature.

I know you’re probably thinking “T, I know this or I’m not bias – I love everyone”, but I would beg to differ.  Bias as a noun is…

bias (noun)

a particular tendency, trend, inclination, feeling, or opinion, especially one that is preconceived or unreasoned

Let me tell you how my bias reared it’s ugly head this weekend. I attended the Liver Walk this weekend and learned so much about people who had liver problems. In my naivete, I’ve always thought that the only people that had liver issues were those that suffered from Hepatitis C problems or those that drank (alcoholics) their liver to death. That’s it.

Never did I imagine how many people suffer different kinds of problems with their livers and they can happen out of nowhere. One gentleman came up to me and told me his story. He was older, maybe in his early mid-60’s and was very muscular. He explained that he was an athlete and he went to the doctor’s one day for his annual check-up and his doctor said his heart was too big. He told me that he knew that because he was an athlete and all athletes have bigger hearts. The doctor told him no, it’s too big. Tests were ordered and a diagnosis was given.  His heart and liver were failing. He was a double transplant recipient of both a heart and a liver. I was in awe of this man. He was telling me why he walks and raises awareness for both issues.

His story was so powerful. But, I know you’re wondering about what this has to do with my bias. Well, I’ll tell you…a man approached the stage to say why he was there and I was overwhelmed by his outward beauty. He was so hot!!! Very handsome man, but when he talked I paused. He was slow in his speech and I was thinking “Oh, he must be an athlete.” Well, he was an athlete, but when he told his story, I got smacked with the truth that I was being biased.

This beautiful man told us how he was playing football one day and suffered from heat exhaustion and when he woke up he was in the hospital. He suffered both kidney and liver failure. His kidneys recovered and his liver didn’t. He had to have a liver transplant. He had to learn to walk and talk again.

You see? I thought he was a “dumb jock” because of how he was speaking and this beautiful man was thanking us for walking because he was the recipient of a liver. You see how I was being biased right? I had to check myself. I was embarrassed. This beautiful soul could have lost his life and I was judging him not knowing he has a story.

My Motivational Monday Moment is about remembering that we all have a story. I judged this man on the way he spoke and had assumed that he was another dumb jock. Far from it. I was actually embarrassed by my thoughts. But, I wanted to share with you what I was reminded of today. We all have biases, but we can’t let them give us an unfavorable opinion of someone without having knowledge. I did.

No, I don’t like it when someone does it to me and here I was doing it myself. We all have biases and sometimes we need to remember when our biases are allowing us to craft a narrative of someone we don’t even know. I had to check myself. I was wrong. I know better. Sometimes you need a reminder that you’re better than your thoughts. I know I did.

Be encouraged. Be open. Be honest. Be loving.

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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/.

Dating Chronicles: Take Two

I told you in yesterday’s post how I met and fell in love with a man after my ex that really was a filler. This was difficult because I didn’t believe in love, but after trying on-line dating and meeting this man that wooed me, I believed I could meet someone. He wasn’t the one.

So, I ended things and took a brief break. Until one day I reactivated my profile and met another man. He was different than most. Funny and short with a body made of pure muscle he had some endearing qualities. He was older than the last man and definitely one of the oldest men that I had dated. He as 8 years older than me. I didn’t even agree to meet him for an official date until 3 months of back and forth consistent communication.

He understood. Never pressured me. I believed that the age gap had made us somewhat able to relate. How wrong I had been. I wrote about him and our experiences in getting to know each other when I asked him Why Are You Single? He was showing me a different side. Not romance, but chivalry. We both led busy lives. His son was home from college and had no driver’s license. He lived in Baltimore County and that was a long way from me living in the southern part of Prince George’s County.

We made it work when we could. I was a soccer mom with a pretty predictable schedule. I wanted to take my time and make sure that he was genuine so I was dating a couple of other men during that time. Nothing serious. All were fillers. My heart wasn’t in it. It was with the last one. I was getting over him.

But, Mr. K had problems. Commitment problems. Time was his biggest issue. We could never connect. I believed him when he made excuses. I was being naive. Too trustworthy for someone who didn’t even know the meaning of the word. He cancelled more dates due to him being sick than anyone I have ever met in my life. One of the hardest ones was to the Beer, Bourbon and BBQ festival.

We were supposed to smoke cigars and drink. I only lived 3 miles away and I was hoping to get hammered. He cancelled. I went with my best friend and had a great time, but it wasn’t the same. It ended shortly thereafter because I don’t like liars. I have a smart mouth and I don’t have time for the fake ones. I wrote it about here:  And It’s Done.

I became frustrated about the lack of honesty and transparency when dating. I still had contact with Mr. K. Not sure why. Maybe I was believing that we could just be friends, but did I really need another friend? Probably not, but I was hard headed and I started to let my guard down with him.

Giving him more chances than I would with anyone else because I believed that somewhere there was a nice guy there. Why? Because he would say the nicest things to me. Why was this so hard? I wasn’t looking to rush down the altar (been there and done that) nor was I looking for a father to my son (he has one) so what was the issue? I know that I intimidate a lot of men for various reasons (a lot of it is my intellect) but I really wanted to find someone that could appreciate all the awesomeness of me.

But, I was sliding into old behaviors and sliding into the bed with the one that I loved and left. I missed him. I missed us. Old feelings started to resurface. I was getting caught up again. He was a bad habit that I couldn’t break. I was hurting from the one that I thought was awesome with all the great qualities and feeling lonely because the man I loved didn’t love me back.

I needed to get off this dang roller coaster of emotions and stop myself. Eventually, Mr. K slow faded me. It was cool. I figured it should have happened months before. I deserved better. I needed and wanted someone to love and take care of me. Not financially, but emotionally. I needed my own love. I craved it. I made a decision.

Quotes About Bad Relationships 1000+ Bad Relationship Quotes On Pinterest | Bad Relationship

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/.