Oldest Child Problems

A couple of weeks ago I read this great article over at Bougie Black Girl (BBG) about how parents use their older children to watch their younger siblings, much to the expense of the older child. I’m not speaking about an occasional babysitting job, but a child having to cook and clean and take care of her siblings like she birthed the babies. This article hit home for me.

See, because I was one of the girls that she was talking about. It happens a lot in the African American community. We tend to make our older girls the caregivers for their younger siblings. They didn’t give birth to your children.

Now, I’m not going to sit here and tell you that my mother was a bad mom. She wasn’t. Do I agree with everything she did? Nope. Do I believe she tried her best with the information and skills that she had at that time. Yep. But, there was damage.

You see when my daddy walked out of our lives, I was the oldest. I was 9 years old and my sister was 6. My brother was just 9 months old.  I had to become an “adult” and parent my siblings because my mother was in the military and worked swing shift. That means she was on for 18 hours and then off and back at work. She was exhausted.

I would have to pick my sister up from her classroom (we went to the same school) and walk her to pick up my brother from the babysitter to then go home. My mother left instructions for how to heat up dinner (she was exhausted but thankfully she still managed to cook). I would help my sister with her homework and we would eat dinner. I would bathe them both and put them to bed.

I would then sit down and do my homework, take a bath and head to bed. It was exhausting. I was a child. I had no choice. My mom didn’t have a choice. This was our lot in life.

When my mom got out of the military and we moved to Maryland, she had to work three jobs to take care of us. My dad didn’t pay child support and she made $10.00 too much to qualify for food stamps so working that many jobs put food on the table and clothes on our backs.  I received reduced lunches. I wasn’t embarrassed. I needed to eat.

I became their “de facto mother”. I doled out punishments and enforced chores. I had to make sure everything was done so that I wouldn’t be held liable.

I didn’t want to be a mother when I was still a child. I didn’t know how not to be. This kind of forced motherhood made me never want to have children. This made me feel as though my needs didn’t matter. The needs of my siblings came before my own needs.

The thing about not having your needs met is that you feel like you don’t matter. I couldn’t create boundaries because no one would respect them. I had no choice. I had no voice. I had to take care of my siblings.

I had a lot of pain during that time because I was a child raising children. I felt like my siblings didn’t respect me. Even now I sometimes feel the pain of past issues that manifest itself as disrespect. I’m sure that they don’t think of it in those terms, but they don’t know the sacrifices that I made too. Not just the ones made by our mother.

I didn’t get to participate in any after school activities until they were old enough to be left alone or my mom could watch them. There was no money for extras and no time. There was a schedule that had to be maintained.

I remember telling my mother a few years ago that I am tired of the disrespect of this family. I told her that I did everything to raise children that I didn’t bear. That I got raped and had to go home to take care of her children because that was my responsibility. I asked her who was ever going to take care of me?

It seemed as if no one was going to take care of me. I was on my own. That is why I am fiercely independent and choose not to show weakness. I hate being vulnerable. I hate not being able to do something. I’ve always taken care of me.

Even when it hurt to do so. Being in a healthy relationship allows me to appreciate the things that I didn’t even realize that I had. Things that I took for granted. Being a mother of an only child allows me the opportunity to give him experiences that I never had. I want Munch to enjoy being a child. No pressure. Not too much responsibility.

Does this mean that I don’t give him any responsibility? Nope. I do. I dole it out in stages. Cleaning your room, getting good grades and being civic minded have rewards attached to them. He’s a child. He’s learning.

I’m still learning and you know what? I’m pretty happy that BBG spoke about this topic. It’s pretty taboo in the black community, but the point of it all is that you as a parent have a responsibility to make sure that your children are children. Not the surrogate parent to their siblings.

 

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/.

Don’t Judge a Person by Their Vote – True Confessions of a Trump Supporter 

This post right here is everything. Please read this beautiful post and you will understand why I say that.

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In the weeks since the election I have been called many things. I’ve been called racist, homophobic and sexist. I’ve been told I am contributing to rape culture and that I have no respe…

Source: Don’t Judge a Person by Their Vote – True Confessions of a Trump Supporter 

Land of Confusion

It was kind of cold. Her lightweight jacket was doing minimal to protect her from the chill. The rain outside had pounded her umbrella and jacket. This weather sucks she thought. She descended the stairs in the big gray building. She was buzzed inside.

The hum of the air conditioner could be heard as she approached the counter to sign in. “Just sign in and we’ll call you up in a minute” said the heavy set woman behind the counter. Jade smiled and signed her name.

She sat down and remembered how important it was to be respectful. She thought back to all the many conversations she had with her mother.  You must always smile her mother would tell her. A lady always smile. It’s a sign of respect to smile. You never know dear, your smile could be the only bright spot in someone’s day.

Maybe if she hadn’t smiled she wouldn’t be here today. Maybe she should have been more angry. Practiced her “I don’t give a fuck look”

Niceties. It doesn’t pay to be nice she thought. She pulled her jacket up as she began to shiver.

“Jade Matthews” the woman behind the counter called. She walked up to the counter. “Can you please fill out this paperwork and let me know if you’ll be using your insurance?” she asked. “No. I’ll be paying in cash” she responded.

Jade took the forms and went to fill them out. She thought this day would never come. This was almost too difficult to bear. She sighed.

Name. That’s easy. Jade Lauren Matthews she wrote. Age 18. Date of last menstrual cycle. January 1st. Last date you had intercourse. January 14th.

She stopped. She began reflecting how she ended up here. She was confused. Her memory was cloudy. She remembered her birthday party a couple of months ago.

Her friends threw her a big party and someone had brought alcohol. She had never drank before but it tasted so good. It didn’t taste funny like she had always assumed it would taste. It was good and sweet. She had never felt so free. She danced the night away.

Tommy approached her for a slow dance. They danced all night. Slowly. He was so handsome. So perfect. He kissed her gently on her neck. Her cheek. Her lips.

It was her first kiss. She smiled up at him. She wrapped her arms around him lovingly.

He told her that he’d always loved her. He told her that she was beautiful and smart and desired by many of her classmates both male and female. She smiled. She liked Tommy.

He grabbed her hand and led her upstairs. She could barely walk. She almost fell and he picked her up and carried her. He whispered that he would never let her fall. She smiled. She was so tired. So sleepy.

She remembered him laying her on the bed. She remembered him kissing her slowly at first and then harder. He began pulling at her clothes. Her dress was hiked up and her underwear were ripped off. She began to fight.

She was too tired. She had no strength. She said “Stop”. He ignored her. He forced himself on her. He penetrated her with no regard to the fact that she was still a virgin. That she had never had sex. He didn’t care that she wanted to save herself for marriage. He wanted Jade’s emerald box.

Tommy raped her that night. On her 18th birthday she suffered the worst sex of her life. There was blood on the sheets. A little piece of her died inside.

Her friends told her not to say anything about the rape. Tommy’s parents are well-known. It will be okay. You will get past this.

She just listened. No words. Tears streaming down her face. It hurt to walk.

Two months later she was throwing up at school. It was a couple of months before graduation. She knew she was pregnant. She gathered her things and left school to buy a pregnancy test.

Alone she sat in her bathroom. This one test would determine her fate. Remind her of the worst night of her life. She peed on the stick and began the three minute wait.

It was positive.

Jade felt hopeless. She had to do something. She went looking for her parents. They were out. In her parent’s office she found their box of important items. She sat there opening it. All her baby pictures, their wills and their tax returns. She sifted through the pictures of her parents when they were younger. She smiled.

They were a beautiful couple. She was looking for the most important item in the box. She kept digging and moving items around until she found it. She smiled. It was exquisite. Her parents had great taste. Always had.

She ran a bath of hot water and added lots of bubble bath. She was too confused. She needed to clear her head and a hot bath always helped her to do so.

She turned on the music and lit the candles. The sound of smooth jazz floated through the speakers. The bathroom smelled of gardenias. She loved the smell of gardenias.

She stepped into the tub and let the hot water comfort her body. She began to relax. Her mind was clearing her from this land of confusion she was in. She grabbed the most important item that she found in the family box. She pointed the beautiful gun to her forehead and pulled the trigger.

Confusion over.

 

This post is part of the Daily Post. The word was land of confusion.

Restoration Stories – Tikeetha Thomas 

So, here is my restoration story that was featured on one of my favorite blogs, “Restored Ministries” over the weekend. Please read it, share it and comment. It is an awesome blog and I was thankful to be able to share my story.

Restored Ministries Blog


Just email me your story how God has restored you with your life verse. That was all they were asking.

Wow! Too many times. Too many situations. God had restored me on so many occasions could I possibly just tell one story that would make people understand?

Nope. Not the way that you needed to hear. Not the way you needed to understand the grace and mercy that God has shown to me. So, here’s my story…

I was molested at 13. I was sexually assaulted at 13 and I was raped at 14. Three traumatic events that shaped my belief in men. Men took from you. Men didn’t value you. You were nothing more than eye candy for men. Those were all the things that ran through my mind.

At 14 my boyfriend and I broke up. He blamed me for my rape. I was devastated. I felt unloved…

View original post 1,023 more words

Broken Trust

I thought we were friends. I trusted him. I believed in him. I didn’t know that one sunny spring day he would force himself on me. I didn’t know how to handle the fact that I had been raped. So, I pushed it to the back of my mind.

I left feeling like I wanted to die. This was the third time that I had been touched. That a boy or man had put his hands on me against my will. Why the hell did this keep happening to me?

I had so many questions, but I pushed them through the back of my mind. I needed to go home. I didn’t want to go home. I went to my best friend’s house. I cried. She hugged me. She begged me to call the police. “No” I responded.

I didn’t want anyone to know. I couldn’t take the ridicule from the kids at school. Two boys had forced themselves on me on the school bus. They held me down as they tried to kiss me. Grinded on me as I begged them to stop. They felt my breasts.

I couldn’t sleep. I went to the school counselor. They were so upset and concerned. They filed a report. Called my mother. Reported the boys. The boys were popular. I was not. I was vilified. Ridiculed. I asked for it.

Funny thing is how can you ask for something you didn’t want? How could you ask for someone to touch you inappropriately as you begged them to get off you? Damn kids. I hated men. I never wanted a man.

The rape brought up those same feelings of inadequacy. He was popular. I would be ostracized again. I couldn’t take it anymore. The saltiness of my tears mixed with the shower water as my best friend bathed my naked body and cried with me.

I made her promise. Promise not to tell anyone. A child promising to keep the secret that her best friend had been raped. 

I didn’t know the magnitude of that burden that I asked her to carry. I just needed to get home. To take care of my brother and sister. I had to heat up dinner, help with homework, clean the kitchen and put them to bed.

I cried myself to sleep that night begging God to take my life.

Rape Survival

Survivors of rape feel shame. They feel alone, rejected and helpless. Horrific thoughts and what if’s run through their heads. What if I had fought harder? What if I had taken another way home from school? What if I hadn’t gone to his room? What if I had been stronger?

Many more thoughts on trying to understand the irrational. To bring clarity to the fog that your head is in. To try to explain the trauma you just suffered in a way that doesn’t mean you lose your mind.

Because you will. You will lose your mind. You will lose your spirit. You will lose your ability to see men the same again. You will never forget. You can’t. You just hope to be able to move past the pain to process and heal. Some do move past and heal. Many don’t.

Society continually fails the victim. We’ve got to stop doing this. We’ve got to support our victims. Too many women come forward and report their rape only to be told that they weren’t raped or become raped again by the police and society. That keeps others from coming forward.

I didn’t come forward about my rape because he was popular. No one would have believed me. The year before when I was sexually assaulted the boys were suspended and faced expulsion before the school board. The kids turned on me. The same kids who said or did nothing as these boys held me down on the school bus feeling me up and I screamed for help blamed me. I was hated. Ridiculed.

So, why would I report my rape? I couldn’t face the pressure of going through that again. I understand when women don’t report it. I just wish it was easier for victims to step forward. Rapists continue to live, grow old and have families with no thoughts of their victim. They don’t have nightmares.

They don’t suffer the years of self-sabotage, body images and feelings of worthlessness. They don’t see that sometimes you wish that you were invisible because you don’t want to be touched or hear catcalls or be loved. You just want to get through the day.

Lately, I’ve been reading so much about rape that I felt I needed to write on it. This poem was the piece that pushed me to do so. I, like many women could relate.

 

Untitled Poem

When I was six years old, I gave my first blowjob.
“It’s a game”, said He. “Don’t you want to play?”
It was too big, and I threw up on him.
He said I’d do better the next time.

When I was seven years old, I watched a group of fellow second graders cheer as a boy in my class tried to kiss me. He hugged me from behind, giggling all the while.
I threw sand in his eyes, and was sent to the Principal.

When I was eight years old, I had an elderly teacher ask me to stay behind in class. He carried me on his shoulders, and called me pretty.
“Teacher’s Pet!” my friends declared, the envy visible on their faces.
They ignored me at lunch that day.

When I was nine years old, an older girl on the school bus would ask me to lift my skirt up for her. She was pretty and kind, and told me that I could only be her friend if I did what she said.
I wanted to be her friend.

When I was ten years old, a relative demanded that he get a kiss on the cheek every time we met. He was large and loud, and I proceeded to hide under my bed whenever I learnt that he was visiting.
I was known as a rude child.

When I was eleven, my auto-man told me that we would only leave if I gave him a hug every day.
He smelled like cheap soap and cigarettes.

When I was twelve years old, I watched as a man on the street touched my mother’s breast as he passed us. She slapped him amidst the shouts of onlookers telling her to calm down.
She didn’t calm down.

When I was thirteen years old, I exited a restaurant only to see a man visibly masturbating as he walked towards me. As he passed, he winked lasciviously.
My friends and I shifted our gazes down, aghast.

When I was fourteen, a young man in an expensive car followed me home as I walked back from an evening class. I ignored his offer to give me a ride, and I panicked when he got out, only to buy me a box of chocolate that I refused. He parked at the end of my road, and didn’t go away for an hour.
“It turns me on to see you so scared.”

When I was fifteen, I was groped on a bus. It was with a heart full of shame that I confided in a friend, only to be met with his anger and disappointment that I had not shouted at the molester at the time when it happened. My soft protests of being afraid and alone were drowned out as he berated my inaction. To him, my passiveness and silence were the reasons why things like this continue to happen.
He did not wait for my response.

When I was sixteen, I discovered that Facebook had a section of inbox messages named ‘others’, which contained those mails received from strangers, automatically stored as spam. Curious, I opened it to find numerous messages from men I had never seen before. I was propositioned, called sexy, asked for nudes, and insulted.
Delete message.

When I was seventeen, I called for help as a drunken man tried to sexually harass me in a crowded street.
The people around me seemed to walk by quicker.

At eighteen, I was told that sexism doesn’t exist in modern society.
I was told that harassment couldn’t be as bad as us women make it out to be.
That I should watch what I wear.
Never mind you were six, never mind you were wearing pink pajamas.
That I should be louder.
But not too loud, a lady must be polite.
That I should always ask for help.
But stop overreacting, there’s a difference.
That I should stay in at night, because it isn’t safe.
You can’t get harassed in broad daylight.
That I should always travel with no less than two boys with me.
You need to be protected. 

That it can’t be that hard to be a girl.

I am now nineteen years old.
I am now tired.

 

(This poem was anonymously submitted to Glasnost.)

 

 

Raped Again: When Fools & Social Media Mix

The story of a 16 year old girl named Jada came out last week.  Have you heard about it?  Well, if not love, sit back and let me tell you how our society continues to have no sympathy for our young women and girls that are raped.  It is an atrocity when we as a country have an attitude of not believing the victim of rape and supporting the rapist.  Where does that happen?  In America. The home of the free and the brave.  But, is it brave to post and ruin a minor’s life by raping her and posting it on social media? Is it brave to make fun of a rape victim and strike a #jadapose on twit videos?  How about saying that you only gave her Ciroc and you have bail money?  Isn’t the legal drinking age in this country 21, not 16?

Are you disgusted yet?  Mortified?  Me too.  Here’s what we know…Jada went to a house party with some friends from school a few weeks ago.  Someone handed her a cup with something to drink and she didn’t remember anything that happened next.  She fell unconscious, was stripped naked and allegedly raped. Then pictures of her naked, unconscious and laid out on the floor began to appear on social media.  It of course went viral which is where the hashtag #jadapose came in and people began to mimic and mock her assault.

When is violence against children ever acceptable?  So few women ever report their crimes.  It is sickening to know that in this country alone, 60% of sexual assaults are unreported each year. Why do women not report their sexual assaults?  Mainly because who would believe them.  Fear?  Fear of being assaulted and raped all over again.  Fear of having to replay the nightmare that you’re trying desperately to wake up from. Fear of being called a “whore” or being told “she asked for it”.  Our bodies are not our own in a country that allows women and girls to be victimized with no action that is taken.  What’s worse is that in a day and age where we have social media, you’re being forced to relive your worst fears while people mock you in ignorance.

Jada is trying to reclaim her life after this horrific incident.  She wants her rapist to be brought to justice and arrested.  This video surfaced last week on World Star Hip Hop that showed one of the rapists admitting to taking the pictures of her naked, but he stated he didn’t “hit it”.  Apparently, he had a threesome with two other girls who were 14 and 15 at the party.  I pray that it is enough to get this foolish young man arrested and into some counseling.  It really is tragic.

I don’t ask for much out of this world.  I guess decency is too much.  Commentators have said that she was doing something she shouldn’t have been doing and it’s her fault.  Wow, really?  I am heartbroken to know that Jada has to endure this kind of pain over and over again in the media for the rest of her life.  But, I am prayerful that she knows that she can now turn this situation into a healing one for herself and many others. She was a victim, but her taking back her life shows that she is a survivor.  I am a mother and I feel for Jada and her family, but I vow to stand with her and let the world know too, that #IAMJADA