You Probably Need Therapy

I believe in therapy. I believe that there has been a mental shift in this country in how we really deal with our issues. In fact, we don’t deal with them. We walk around wearing masks like there is absolutely nothing wrong with us.

But, it is a lie.

There are things that are wrong with you.

There is something wrong with me.

There is something wrong with you.

There is something wrong with all of us.

Let’s stop pretending.

Did you know that 44% of Americans between the ages of 18-44 suffer from depression? It’s staggering, yet imaginable. The media isn’t helping. The weather isn’t helping. Life is just overwhelming some days.

The NIMH estimates that in the United States, 16 million adults had at least one major depressive episode in 2012. That’s 6.9 percent of the population. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 350 million people worldwide suffer from depression. It is a leading cause of disability.

That’s a lot of us that are depressed. Depression is common and many of us overlook it. I’ve suffered from depression and I’m pretty sure that if you think back to life’s events that have affected you…you probably have too. Was there a death of a loved one? Divorce? Job loss?

I’ve seen therapists many times as an adult. It was in therapy that I realized that I suffer from anxiety. I knew that I had a way of processing that was different, but I couldn’t put my fingers on it. When I explained to my closest friends about my anxiety. They sighed and said “Yep, that’s it.”

My anxiety may not be as severe as other people, but it is something that I recognize and realized that I’ve passed down to Munch. It’s difficult to find the words to encourage my baby to stop worrying about things and as my grandma used to say “borrow tomorrow’s troubles”. He is anxious. He’s 9. He shouldn’t worry.

But, he got it honestly. I worry A LOT. I’m just learning to let things go and not let them stress me out. Through friends and my absolutely fabulous therapist, I’m learning to process what I need too and disregard the rest of the noise. This is part of why I’ve been sharing my self-preservation and the power is within you posts.

I’m learning. I’m growing. I’m accepting that I don’t have all the answers. That I can’t figure it out all by myself. I needed help. I’m getting it.

We have to stop stigmatizing mental health issues. I know in the black community we don’t seem to believe in therapy. We believe that you can pray your way out of anything. Including mental health.

This is not true.

Prayer helps and I believe that God hears all and sees all. But, how can you hear God if you’re hearing voices because you have schizophrenia? You can’t.  It’s impossible.

Now, ya’ll know that I think all black people need three things: Jesus, wine and therapy. We have to stop labeling mental health issues as crazy and start supporting and encouraging our love ones (and ourselves) to get the help we need. It’s about time we stop promoting the strong black woman bulls*it and just promote healthy minds for a healthy you.

It’s time to take care our mental health and spirit too.

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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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Motivational Monday Moment – 10.2.17

It’s the first Monday in a new month. The 10th month of the year. Are you excited yet? Are you enjoying and loving the cooler weather? It is just starting to feel like fall here in Maryland and I’m ecstatic. I told you that I love fall right?

I love the cooler days and nights. I love pumpkin patches, hay rides and hot apple cider. I love the leaves changing colors and comfy sweaters. I love boots and roaring fires. I love everything about fall.

Okay, now that I told you how I’m crushing on fall, let’s get to this Motivational Monday Moment. This topic came to me a few weeks ago and then faded into the background of my mind. However, I realized that I need to talk about it and share it with you after last week.

The topic is self-preservation. Self-preservation is the preservation of oneself from harm or danger. Simple huh? How many of you actually believe this? How many of you actually practice this?

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I know that I didn’t. I would believe that I had to practice societal norms at the expense of my own happiness. I talked about that in my post: You Have The Power

I would believe that someone else’s happiness mattered more than my own. I would in essence people please. To the point of my freaking sanity. I always tried to be the peacemaker. To be the bigger person. To try to make amends. To heal and conqueror our issues.

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However, not anymore. I am only human. I have one life. One heart, one mind and one body. I choose to focus on the good in people and things, but I choose me first. See, in order to not go crazy and lose my dang mind in this life, I have to put my needs (especially mental) above all else.

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I will no longer stress myself out or allow others to break me. Nope, not gonna do it. I choose me. I have to make sure that I’m okay because Munch needs me more than anyone else in this world. So, he is my first and in reality only priority.

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In choosing you first, you realize that you are better than the situation and circumstances that you were trying to fix. You decide that if it doesn’t affect my ability to eat, live, breathe, etc is it really worth it? Probably not.

In many cases I would say absolutely it isn’t worth it. If you know it’s not affecting you in the way you need to live or breathe then why invest time at your own expense? It doesn’t make sense.

Now, I’m not saying that you can’t try to make amends for wrongs that you’ve committed if you should choose too. Nope, I’m saying that you can’t exhaust your energy trying to fix something that probably should stay broken. Refocus your time and energy on analyzing the situation and decide for yourself where you want to be in the situation.

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You can’t allow toxic people or situations to destroy what you are trying to create. You have to be able to navigate the landscape and drama of a situation and sometimes just walk away. For you. For your sanity. For your health.

I know it is hard, but if a situation or person is destroying you mentally, why are you letting it? How is it benefiting you? Is the situation getting better? Probably not so deciding that you will not allow it to exhaust you mentally or physically is choosing you first.

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So, my Monday Motivational Moment is about choosing to live your best life. With you at the forefront of it. Not on the sidelines. Don’t allow negative people, things or situations destroy your peace of mind. You have to choose you. If it doesn’t benefit you then disregard it. This includes relationships love.

If a relationship isn’t symbiotic it is parasitic and parasites destroy. Don’t allow anyone or anything to destroy you. You are way more valuable than you think so you must practice self-preservation first.

 

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/.

 

Make Better Choices Girlfriend

It’s true. We’ve all been there. Dating men who were beneath us in terms of socio-economics, but should we really date a broke man? A man that is not able to provide for us?

I’ve been seeing a lot of questions on social media and in the various groups that I belong to asking whether or not our standards are too high. Maybe, but we are making poor choices when it comes to the men we are choosing to partner ourselves with and I need us to stop, drop and roll.

Do you know what I mean?

Stop

Stop dating and fathering children with men that don’t have. They don’t have a job so you see this as an opportunity to show him that you are down. Down for what sis? Poverty? Paying for all the dates? He’s broke. He shouldn’t be dating you much less dating anyone until he gets his life together. A real man doesn’t use a woman for a come up. Let me repeat that…A real man will never use you, date you and/or sleep with you trying to come up on your coat tails. If the man you are with is doing this then you need to stop dating him. He is not the man for you.

Drop

Drop all the excuses you tell yourself for supporting a broke man with no desire to work. Poverty isn’t in. It never was. If you’ve fathered children with a man that can’t take care of them, pick yourself up and move on Martha. If you’re doing it by yourself then you’re technically by yourself. Children require more than love. What about medical expenses, child care or basic school supplies? Broke men with no ambition and/or desire to provide should be dropped from your social calendar immediately. Run! Pack up your suitcases and leave that dog before you get fleas that you can’t get rid of.

Roll

Roll out on situations with men that are beneath who you are. You should never settle. You should never have expectations so high that even Jesus wouldn’t qualify to date you. You should find a happy medium. When your expectations are right and you are all about loving and living your happy life is when God will send a wonderful man into your life. A man that wants to build with you and not take from you. A man that will offer his everything and not just a broke piece of penis. Roll out of situations that require you to change who you are. You are not required to support people you didn’t birth. Especially grown men that don’t want to help you. Roll out and roll on from the struggle life. Again, poverty isn’t in and it ain’t cute.

Do you find yourself lowering your standards when dating? What about in relationships? Would you date a man or woman with no job? Talk to me.

 

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/.

 

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/.

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/.

Dating Chronicles: The Filler

I never thought that I would meet someone on-line. I never subscribed to the belief that my happily ever after” was out in cyberspace somewhere. But, that belief changed when I realized that no one was approaching me and asking me out for a date. I’m an attractive woman. I’m successful, sweet, charming and all those good things. Heck, I love me.

But, where were all those available men? Where had they gone? The ones that pursued me with a purpose before my marriage. I struggled with the fact that men didn’t approach me anymore. However, I had a lot of rules. What kind of rules? Well, you can’t ask me out if you are directly involved with my son through his school or social activities. No dating people from church. You can’t approach me if you see me with my son.

Yep, I laugh at this, but I was really limiting my choices on how to find a suitable partner. With all those limitations that I had placed on myself, then how would I ever meet someone? I had no choice but to try on-line dating.

Ugh, it was hard as heck. There were so many men that were fronting on their qualifications (looks, employment or what they were really looking for) that I became frustrated and uninterested. Every man was a potential waster of my time. Not everyone.

There were a few men that I actually met that I still keep in touch with. We weren’t compatible. It didn’t work out. Their issues and my issues made us an atomic bomb waiting to detonate. There were good times. There were bad times. There were just times.

I fell for one though. I started to love someone after my ex-husband. I didn’t believe it possible, but I did. He made me laugh. He made me feel beautiful, alive and sexy. He helped me regain the confidence of my youth. He said the right things. Most of the time.

He was a filler. A filler for the emptiness that I was feeling inside. I was lonely ya’ll. I wanted someone to love me and I wanted to love again. To trust again. To believe that I could find someone to be in a relationship with. He confused me.

Whew! He had it going on. He was both romantic and affectionate with me. Something that I never had. I never experienced a man kissing and making out with me like I was the most beautiful woman in the world.

Everywhere. In the car, in restaurants and on the street. He made me feel loved. I wrote about him a lot on this blog. He was the inspiration behind my short story By Faith. It was his love that I yearned for. I wanted him to give it to only me. Not the countless women he was dating. Just me.

I told him how I wanted more. I told you how I wanted More from him. He couldn’t give me more. I called him a collector, but he really was a filler. He was there filling my time and mind and confusing me. Here I was asking, wanting and pleading for more of a real relationship with just us two in it.

Begging. Why the hell should you have to beg someone for a relationship? If it was meant to be then it will be. No force. So, I had to unwrap my soul from his. Free myself from his hold. Recognize that I’m worth more than those free moments of passion. I deserve love. True love.

So, I ended it. I wrote about it in my post Death to Love. It was hard. He was sexy. He had swagger. He smelled so good. He was a great kisser. He was a great lover. He was all those things he should have been, but he wasn’t for me. His purpose was to fill in the gaps and remind me of how beautiful I am. To show me that I am worthy of real love and true love, not just with him.

And that’s what he did. He laid the foundation for me to know and experience the kind of love I deserved. However, it wasn’t that easy for me to break from negative habits and behaviors. I was lonely and craved sincerity and companionship.

I met someone after him. Different from the one that I loved and yet somehow similar. He was the perfect gentleman. Or so I thought.

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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/.

None

She had none.

No money. No food. Nothing.

Her children were hungry.

What would they eat?

Her babies.

Her failed marriage had left her nothing.

Her ex-husband was a narcissistic abuser.

She left him. Dead of night. Two kids in tow.

With $2,000 to her name, she found a safe place for her and the children in a new town. She had no family. No friends. He made sure of that. None.

All she had was her kids. Her life. Her car. Nothing else mattered without her kids.

They lived cheaply.

She found a job. It didn’t pay much. But, it was something.

She had to make more money.

She washed her clothes out on hand in the motel room and hung them to dry.

She had an idea. She put her hair up. Put on make-up. Put on some nice clothes.

She put on some heels. Grabbed her coat and purse. Left her sleeping babies to make some money.

She walked the streets. Wishing that someone would stop and give her some money for a service. The kids would be up in a few hours and she had to feed them breakfast.

A car stopped. She asked him what he wanted. He told her “A blow job”. She told him a price “$50.” He told her that was too much. He would pay her $20.00. She could take it or leave it.

She thought about her pride for a moment. She was willing to sell her body on the streets to feed her children. Is this really what life had become? She slowly opened the door to his car and hopped in. He drove off.

She realized that she didn’t need to think about pride. She had none left.

 

This post is inspired by the Daily Post. The word prompt of the day is none

 

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/.