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/.

The Fat Tales: Respecting Your Issues

I’m a control freak! Yep, I said it. I own it. Will all the control freaks please stand up? But, I own it. I don’t deny that is one of my issues. I respect it.
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As I’m on my health journey to live and be a healthier version of myself I realized that a lot of the things that I enjoy are packed with calories. I mean isn’t that why I enjoy them? I love sauces on everything. I love pizza. I love wine. I love vodka. Calories. Alcohol has calories too.

I was having a conversation last week with a friend and was explaining to him why I am controlled about my life. I told him that I’m a social drinker, but that I’m constantly controlling and monitoring my alcohol intake because my daddy is an alcoholic.

It’s so easy to lose control with things in my life like drinking that I am trying to handle my weight loss like I handle my alcohol consumption. Controlling and monitoring my intake. Careful monitoring of what I eat is just as important as what I drink. I can do it is what I’m telling myself.

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But, it gets hard. It’s a struggle some days to want to give up the fight to be healthy. I’ve survived some pretty horrific things and sometimes the memories are so painful that when I’m going through something I am transplanted back in time. I can’t sleep. I feel restless. I feel alone. Do you understand what I’m getting at? Sometimes the pain is so rough that you just want a few moments of peace. You need to numb the pain.

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I’m always conscious of where the pain is coming from. Owning it and watching my reactions. It would be easier to just accept it and self-medicate to feel better. To reach for that bottle of wine to just have a glass and then realize you’ve just drank the entire bottle.

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Has that ever happened to you? Maybe not with alcohol, but how about with pills? I know people who need to take a pill just to sleep every night. Why? Have you tried other alternatives other than self-medicating? What is the root cause of why you need a pill to sleep every night?

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Even if that isn’t you, how about when you have surgery and they give you the “good stuff”. Some of the good stuff includes:

Yeah, I’ve had some of those powerful pills after dental surgery, regular surgery and delivery. They are controlled substances. Easy to get addicted to. They cause the pain to subside and you’re able to rest. But, they limit the amount of pills you get and the amount you can have in a time period.

I remember having my myomectomy surgery and I almost died from the pain. One small incision had me hunched over in pain. I couldn’t take it. I just wanted to sleep away the pain. Anyone know what I’m talking about? Well, I remember the label of my Vicodin said to take 1 pill every 4 to 6 hours for pain. Well, I took 1 pill every 6 hours for pain and ran out of medication in two weeks. When I tried to refill the prescription the pharmacy said it was too soon. The insurance company wouldn’t authorize payment. I was in pain. You know what I did? Explained my case and said “You gave me 30 pills and the instructions said that I could take 1 pill every 4 to 6 hours so doing the math, I should be eligible for a refill.” “Not according to your insurance company” replied the pharmacy technician. I paid for the refill out of my pocket.

Now, I was in serious pain and never got addicted to the pills, but it would have been so easy. I’ve not taken Vicodin since I gave birth almost 8 years ago. I don’t crave it. I don’t try to sneak pills from other people who’ve had surgery and don’t take their medications (I actually know people who do this). I don’t self-medicate. I’m controlled. I don’t want to be an addict.

What about something else that you could use to self-medicate? Something that is oh so delicious and available everywhere without a prescription? Food. I love good food. I crave breads, rice and pasta. There is nothing like the smell of carbohydrates. But, carbs are not my friend. I know that. I don’t use food to self-medicate but it would be so easy to do.

Woman sitting at food covered table eating piece of chocolate cake

That one piece of cake. That one piece of pie. What about just a taste of Butter Pecan ice cream? When you look up you’ve consumed about 4000 calories. In one meal. You feel better because you’re full, but you’ve just self-medicated and now you start to feel sad. You start to complain about your weight gain. Your clothes feel tight. You feel sad.

This is my vice…pizza.

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But, I’m trying which is why I’m on my mindful eating game. I want to recognize that I can enjoy things in moderation, but I’ve got to put in the work for it. Just like I’m mindfully controlling my personality to not crave or self-medicate the pain, I have to do the same thing with food. Make healthier choices.

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It sucks sometimes, but I want to LIVE! I have goals and that is part of respecting my issues and trying to change the things that are unhealthy. Listening to my body and respecting it. I don’t want to feel like I am not in control of my life. I AM IN CONTROL OF MY LIFE. Aren’t you?051043aae497fa5143629084d6efd471d79e2f-wm

Don’t let your own issues prevent you from making a change. Self-medicating does no one any good. Trust me.  You can make a change. Own your issues, respect them and change them if necessary. Life is about inventing yourself.

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You have a choice to not stay a victim. Let’s choose survival. I promise you it is so much better.

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Emailing that Dang Death to Love Man

Okay, so here’s the deal…

You can’t treat me like I’ve stolen your puppy or run over your foot in my car. Why are you acting like I destroyed you? I told you how I felt when we last spoke and my world forever changed. Without any thought to how I feel or what I’m going through, you act like you’re hurt. Are you really going to say that you are the victim here? Do you know or even care how I feel? I told you that I needed space and time because I knew the rules of this situationship when we met. I knew. But, somehow I couldn’t stay within my lane and I caught feelings. I wasn’t trying too. I was trying to take it for what it was. Casual dating.

I told you last week that my spirit was in turmoil and that I wasn’t sleeping or eating because I knew it was time I got off this merry go round. I was a wreck this weekend and I kept breathing and saying, “I need to take this one day at a time”. One second becomes one minute which becomes one hour until I can make it through the day. I told my friends that I did the impossible and ended it with you. I told them that it hurts. They replied, “I know, but I love you and it will get easier.”

I told my family that I had fallen in love with someone who I wasn’t ready to introduce to them but we broke up. I said, “He doesn’t love me and I can’t breathe because it hurts like hell.” My sister replied for me to repeat after her “We don’t love them ho*s”. I laughed with tears in my eyes and sighed, “But, I do.” My mother told me, “Baby, I’m sorry, but I never thought I would survive your break up at 15 when you overdosed on pills and slit your wrists. Hell, I never thought you would survive it. But, you did. If you could survive that you can survive anything.” I told her, “I know I will survive. It just hurts like hell.”

Again, I wallowed in my pain and bathed in my heartache praying for peace. My plea to you to stop calling me wasn’t because I don’t want to be your friend or be in your life. It was because I don’t have the strength to stop talking to you. Because I’m weak. I want to know how you’re doing. I want to hear your voice and know that you are okay. I want to laugh about stupid stuff or whatever. It’s my problem. I know. I’m not blaming you. I just need time to get my head on straight and be able to truly be your friend without having these feelings for you. I owe it to myself to choose me first.

So, I will do what I do best and journal my pain. I wish only the best for you and know that you are in my prayers and thoughts always. Only time can heal this chasm of pain.

Beywagon

Okay, so let me start off by saying that I truly love and respect Beyonce as an artist. She’s talented, beautiful and just an incredible representation of a woman with class. Now, I don’t think I’m part of the #beyhive or anything, but I am a fan. Not a diehard, I would spend my baby’s after care money to go see her in concert fan, but a fan who can watch and observe from the sidelines.

That being said…during my time of transition, I’ve gone through a metamorphisis and I realized that Beyonce has songs that really speak to where I’ve been, where I’m going and where I’m at. This is real here folks, I’m baring my soul so please don’t judge me.

Here are the four songs that speak to my life:

Crazy in Love

Believe it or not, I was crazy in love. I was his ride or die. I was the chick that always had his back until we had a child. I couldn’t seem to balance being his everything and being a mother. I went from being crazy in love to just being crazy in the end. But, in the beginning it was fire! Fire that burned out of control and caused an inferno.

 

I’m Scared of Lonely

Right after it ended and I was laying on the floor wanting to find peace in chaos it was this song that spoke to me. Beyonce sang “And I’m scared of being the only shadow along the wall and I’m scared hearing the only heartbeat I hear beating is my own and I’m scared being alone.” Yep, I was in it. Wallowing, self-pity, heartbreak and pain. Trying to breathe. Realizing that I am alone.

 

Love a Woman – (Okay Not All Bey, but fabulous nonetheless) Mary J Blige featuring Beyonce

But, after I got up off that floor realizing that it is going to be okay, I needed something to keep me motivated. It was this song that spoke life into me.  Mary sang “If you think you know how to love a woman, I feel there are some things you still need to know…”

Yep, I was there like “Sang it ladies”! (As she lifts her wine glass with tears in her eyes) Dang, I was going through it.

 

I Was Here

Now, isn’t that what it’s all about? Getting to the point of accepting your new reality? Realizing that what doesn’t kill you will make you stronger? Understanding that pain is a part of life and that you must go through some things to gain clarity on who you are as a person. Beyonce sang, “I was here. I lived, I loved. I was here.” No, there was no happy ending for me, but I loved. Truly. Completely. I’m a better person for my experiences. I’m stronger than I knew I could be.

 

So, there you have it folks. Sometimes you will go through situations where you see no way out and they are seemingly hopeless, volatile and unmanageable, but I tell you from experience…breathe and know that it will get better. The hardest and darkest days are seemingly while you are going through your storm, but there is always a light at the end of the tunnel. Get to the end of it because I promise it will get better.

Knowing Your Worth

The sounds of screams, fists flying, furniture breaking and blood on clothing; are all vivid images from my childhood that still haunt me to this day. My mother left. Many women don’t. Domestic violence is not always physical. It can take many forms including sexual, emotional, verbal and psychological. It’s all about power and control. It has lasting effects.

I read this article last month on My Brown Baby entitled “#WhyIStayed: Teaching our Daughters & Sons How to Love Sans Violence” and was moved to write about this topic in October. Why? Because October is also Domestic Violence Awareness month and we need to stop blaming the victims for domestic violence and encourage them to get help and get out of destructive situations.

So, how did domestic violence affect me after witnessing it? I suffered all forms of domestic violence at one point in my life with the exception of physical, but it was just as painful.  Domestic violence affected my self-esteem and made me vulnerable and susceptible to unhealthy situations and relationships. You know the kinds of relationships where you think your first name is B*tch? How about the relationships where you’re being yelled at constantly with no regard to your feelings? How about the relationships where you feel that you’re just not good enough because he likes skinny women and I’m too thick for him? How about the relationship where he forced himself on you?

Domestic violence is serious. I suffered the affects for many years. Silently. As confident as I was on the outside, I was a wreck on the inside. I thought no one cared or that it was “my cross to bear”. Suffering alone and in silence strips you of your voice. You begin to doubt yourself and realize that maybe just maybe you deserved all those bad words or things that have happened to you. But, you don’t.

Domestic violence is simply about power and control. Hurt people hurt people. You can’t change someone. You have to love you first. Loving you is the fundamental point of everything we do in life. If you can’t love you, how can you expect someone else to love you? Truth? You can’t.

You can’t change someone.  You can’t heal a broken person when you in fact are broken. I know. I tried. I failed. All I earned was a broken, battered, abused heart and spirit. So, what do you do? You focus on you. Till this day, the best line I ever heard was from the comedian; Katt Williams when he says “B*tch, it’s called self-esteem! It’s the esteem of your mother*cking self. How the f*ck can I f*ck up how you feel about you…?” Vulgar and crude…Yes. But, it’s accurate and on point nonetheless.

That sketch reminded me that I’m the only one who can control how I feel about myself. I stopped waiting on others to validate me or my existence. I accepted who I am and I love me first. Think of it this way…when you fly they always instruct you in an emergency situation if the oxygen masks should deploy that you secure your mask first before helping someone else. Why? Because you can’t help someone else if you die. Help yourself first.

I Remember

I remember seeing domestic violence first hand as a child. I remember the sounds of fists flying and blood curdling screams. I remember. I remember broken glass and bruised body parts. I remember crying and wanting it to end. I remember.

By now, you all have seen the Ray Rice video that was posted by TMZ on Monday that showed Ray knocking out his then fiancee, Janay Palmer (now wife), in an elevator in Atlantic City last February. I was heartbroken. I talked about domestic violence a couple of months when Stephen A. Smith made that asinine comment about provoking violence. It seems that I need to say more.

How about this? Safe Horizon states that:

  • Women are more likely to be killed by an intimate partner than men
  • Women ages 20 to 24 are at greatest risk of becoming victims of domestic violence.
  • Every year, 1 in 3 women who is a victim of homicide is murdered by her current or former partner

The Families Suffer too:

  • Every year, more than 3 million children witness domestic violence in their homes.
  • Children who live in homes where there is domestic violence also suffer abuse or neglect at high rates (30% to 60%).
  • A 2005 Michigan study found that children exposed to domestic violence at home are more likely to have health problems, including becoming sick more often, having frequent headaches or stomachaches, and being more tired and lethargic.
  • A 2003 study found that children are more likely to intervene when they witness severe violence against a parent – which can place a child at great risk for injury or even death.

I Remember

The Ravens dropped Ray Rice from their roster and he is no longer employed after the video was posted. Now, there is a question of whether they had seen the full video prior to the two game suspension or were they just doing it after the full video was posted and everyone was outraged. No one knows. That situation is still being fleshed out and will come to light shortly about who knew what when, but what was surprising was the Instagram post by Janay.

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Wow! Is Janay really worrying about Ray having to get a job after knocking her out? I know she didn’t want her life thrust into the public, but when you marry a professional athlete and he knocks you out in public, you can’t hide. Think Rihanna and Chris Brown. Rihanna probably wished that her abuse wasn’t made national news, but remember what the Bible says:

For whatever is hidden is meant to be disclosed, and whatever is concealed is meant to be brought out into the open.  Mark 4:22 (NIV)

I can’t imagine the humiliation she feels, but this situation right here needed to come to light. We needed to see this so that we can shed light on the fact that 1 out of every  4 women will experience domestic violence in their lifetime. We need to talk about it. We need to get help and we need to hold each other accountable for our choices. Choices have consequences. Good or bad, you must live with the decision. I know that if Janay had a clock she would love to rewind the events that occurred that fateful evening, but she doesn’t. She will always remember.

My advice is simple: Stand up. Be accountable. Get help. Use this tragedy for your triumph. Teach others and know that you will always remember.

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