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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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/.

RIP to the Phenomenal Purple One

Today the world learned that the one and only purple passionate one has died. I’m talking about Prince Rogers Nelson. The man who changed not only the music industry but the world with his music. I, like many of you, am a Prince fan.

His music was by far one of the reasons for my sanity today. His music helped me get through many tough times. Not sure how? Check out the lyrics to “Let’s Go Crazy”. He told you that there was a God. That everything will be alright in the after world. That you have to enjoy this life why you’re in it.

 

 

‘Cause in this life
Things are much harder than in the after world
In this life
You’re on your own

And if the elevator tries to bring you down
Go crazy, punch a higher floor

We’re all excited
But we don’t know why
Maybe it’s ’cause
We’re all gonna die

And when we do (When we do)
What’s it all for (What’s it all for)
You better live now
Before the grim reaper come knocking on your door

Now, if that right there don’t let you know that God is real! Whew! I’m thankful that this man loved him some God and believed that this life and pain we go through is only temporary.

But, not just his love for God, but his love for woman made me hope and pray that someday I would find a man like him. A man that would just love me. A man who was not above telling me like Prince said in “Adore”...

Baby, yes
Until the end of time
I’ll be there for you
You own my heart and mind
I truly adore you
If God one day struck me blind
Your beauty I’d still see
Love is to weak to define
Just what you mean to me

I am thankful that the purple one that gave me so much peace and passion through his music is in a better place. Prince Rogers Nelson (June 7, 1958 – April 21, 2016) you are forever in our hearts and minds. Know that you are phenomenal and we will always remember.

Prince_at_Coachella

Disclaimer: I don’t own any rights to the above photo. I did a Google search.

October is Domestic Violence Awareness

Not sure if you know it or not, but October is Domestic Violence Awareness month too. I realized that many may overlook it because it’s easier to remember to wear pink and show support for an equally worthy cause, breast cancer. But when I read this article on USA Today about the National Football League (NFL), I was in agreement with the author and decided to do something about it. So, I will spend some time each week bringing light to domestic violence in hopes of educating and encouraging us to recognize the signs and to hopefully seek help to get out of unhealthy situations. It’s not just women that are abused. Men too.

It’s about control. Plain and simple. I witnessed domestic violence first hand as a child. As a young woman in relationships, I was a victim too it. Not to the physical violence, but the emotional, psychological and sexual violence. I am the face of domestic violence. But, I didn’t know it was domestic violence. No one ever told me.

October is not just Breast Cancer Awareness month but also Domestic Violence Awareness month. Although I don’t know anyone who has ever been diagnosed with breast cancer, I still support it. But, as a victim of domestic violence, I think I have to take a stand and promote this awareness. Not just for me, but for my friends, family and others who may be suffering.

So, each week I will dedicate one post to hopefully bring about awareness to this serious and just as worthy cause.

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My Little Pony

I have an announcement to make:  My son loves “My Little Pony”.  He watches it religiously on Netflix.  He loves ponies.  He loves horses too.  He loves all animals.  That being said, I want to let the world know that I don’t have to defend my son’s love of a show, animals or magical creatures to you or anyone.  You see, when he was born we promised to allow him the freedom to grow and discover new things.  We said we would support him.  We said we would encourage him.  We said we would love him just the way he is. So, why does him loving “My Little Pony” bother some folks?  

Case in point, last month, McDonald’s had “My Little Pony” toys as part of their happy meals. We stopped by McDonald’s on a Monday night after soccer practice and he asked for a nugget happy meal with milk.  He wanted the nuggets in the purple package.  What?  He meant the mighty kids meal (6 piece nuggets).   He then said, “Mommy, I want a pony.”  I said, “Okay, love.” I went up to the register and told the cashier my order.  When I said that I wanted the pony toy instead of the other toy, she replied loudly, “So, you want a girl’s toy while looking down at my son?” I replied firmly, “Yes”.  She yelled to her runner (the person fixing my order), get the girl toy.

What kind of foolishness was this?  Why did she have to get loud as though I didn’t understand my own request?  Why would she think that I as his mother would not get him the toy he wants? I wasn’t embarrassed.  I was angry.  My son shouldn’t have to hear this foolishness.  He’s impressionable.  I never tell him what is a girl’s toy or what is a boy’s toy.  He can play with whatever he likes.  And he did. He was ecstatic to get the purple pony and happily sat down to eat his dinner and play with his pony.  People stared.  I stared back at them.  My son was happy.  I was frustrated and disgusted that people thought it weird that my son wanted a “girl toy” instead of the “boy toy”.  If you know what the show is about, gender doesn’t really matter. Why can’t boys play with dolls or ponies?  What is the big deal? Why can’t we view ponies as gender neutral?  Aren’t there boy ponies?


So, I did some research and wanted to learn everything that I could about “My Little Pony”. After searching on the web I found some disturbing news regarding boys being bullied for liking “My Little Pony”. How could that be?  Isn’t this a child like fantasy world where ponies are based on the six elements of harmony; loyalty, honesty, generosity, laughter, kindness and magic? Wow, they teach how to live harmoniously.  They focus on friendship.  Minus magic, I think I talk to Brennan everyday about these different elements as a basis of principles for how he should behave. 


What is happening that where boys can’t like toys that are based on sound principles that are non-threatening and educational?  Our society has to get better.  Just this year, all kinds of stories about boys liking “My Little Pony”.  Some were horror stories.  Like this one little boy attempting suicide earlier this year. Can a boy like a show that is fun and encouraging without being bullied?  Maybe not, after all this little boy was told by his school to ditch his “My Little Pony” book bag because it is a trigger for bullying.  Really now?


I pray that my son will grow up knowing that he is loved and that it is okay for you to play with any and all toys.  Toys don’t determine his sexuality.  He can play with dolls, trucks, ponies or anything that is not dangerous and parent approved.  His kindergarten teacher told me “I love the fact that Brennan has an imagination.  So many children entering kindergarten having lost their innocence and Brennan is still pure and innocent.” I smiled and thanked her and ran to call his dad to share the praise.  


My son has an imaginary friend and a love for the color purple.  How can I tell him that there is no such thing as magic when I’m trying to teach him about faith.  His imaginary friend plays with him, protects him and plays with him.  I accept that.  You see, I love him just they way he is and I refuse to stifle his spirit by pushing society’s pre-conceived notions of what my boy should play with on him.  He is mine. He was divinely created, grown in a broken vessel and given to God. Let him keep his innocence.

FYI – This is Twilight Sparkle from “My Little Pony”.  She represents the element of magic.  This is the one he received in his happy meal.