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/.

1500 Thank You’s

Today I learned that I had more than 1500 WordPress followers. I just wanted to scream when I saw that. I’m honored you chose to follow me.

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I never believed that I would reach this milestone, but Mr. C did. He encouraged me to write and knew that others would enjoy reading what he enjoyed reading. I am thankful. I am blessed.

I could have never imagined growing this blog. The pace may be slow to others, but it works for me because I believe that everything happens in God’s time. In late October of 2015 (19 months ago) I had only 200 followers. Thank you for staying with me. Thank you for reading. Thank you for taking this journey with me.

For my new followers I write about things that matter to me. Things that have shaped my world and perspective. Things like love. From my first love, to dating, relationships and my divorce and all the things in between. I believe in love. I’m grateful for it.

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I also know pain. Pain from past abuses and broken promises. Pain of a divorce. Pain of infertility.  I write about that too.

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I write about my faith. I love God and am a follower of Christ. Super flawed and I talk about it. I struggle with making sure that my fear doesn’t overpower my faith. I struggle with a lot of things. I’m a work in progress. Each day I choose to be better. But, through it all I know that God has never abandoned me and loves me.

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I talk about social issues. Things that affect me…as a woman, as a black woman, as a mom and as a human being. I believe in the unity of all and I am blessed to have people from all different backgrounds in my tribe.

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I write about parenting. I’m a mother to a 9 year old little boy that I affectionately refer to as Munch. He is the light of my life. He’s a rising fourth grader in a French Immersion program. I’m overjoyed at his birth because he was created by God through help of medical science (I did IVF).

So, that’s my life. That’s who I am. That’s what I write about. I thank you for following and look forward to connecting with each and every one of you.

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Disclaimer: I own no rights to any photos except the picture of my son and I. All others were found on Google.com.

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/.

Territory

She had marked her territory. He was her man and she wanted to make sure all the other women knew it. So, she insisted that he didn’t hang out with his female friends anymore. If they were married, they could do couple dates. She was to be the only woman in his life.

One day she stopped by his job to bring him lunch. He was happy to see her. She noticed a woman lurking around and playful touching her man. She didn’t like it. He was hers. She waited.

Later that evening she asked her boyfriend about the woman. “Oh, she’s just a friend. Very nice woman” he replied. She smiled. This woman was infringing on her territory.

She didn’t like that.

Later that week, she began observing the woman. Watching her. She wondered what her motives were. Why did she think she could have her man?

She became obsessed with the other woman. She reasoned she was protecting her territory so it was okay. She began stalking the woman’s every move. On-line and in person.

She slashed three of her tires one night. Wrote “slut” on her car. Sent her a dead cat via a courier service. She wanted her to move on. Leave the state. To leave her job. To leave her man alone.

But, this woman wouldn’t budge.

Her relationship with her boyfriend changed. He began to feel sorry for his co-worker. He started to be concerned about her safety and well-being. He even had the nerve to cancel dinner one night. He wanted to check on her.

She told him that she understood. She told him that was why she loved him. His loyalty to friends. She told him that she would keep dinner warm for later.

He loved her. She was such an understanding woman. He wondered how he had ever gotten so lucky.

So she went to the woman’s house that night. Stayed in her car and watched them. She was intent to find out what was going on between her man and that woman.

She got out of her car and peeked in the window. She saw them sitting on the couch. The woman had her head on her boyfriend’s lap. She looked scared.

She smiled.

She returned to her car and grabbed her 9mm. She walked up to the front door of the woman’s house. Her boyfriend opened the door. He looked surprised. He smiled.

She shot him in the chest.

Blood pooled on his shirt. He fell forward. She stepped over his body and entered the woman’s house. The woman screamed and began to run away. She shot her in the back. Point blank. In her head.

She smiled.

All those lessons at the gun range paid off. She was able to hit a moving target. Her instructor would be impressed.

She took her fingers and dipped them in the woman’s blood and wrote one word on the wall.

Mine.

 

This post was inspired by the Daily Prompt. The word was territory.

 

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/.

Ordinary

It was an ordinary day. On an ordinary street. In an ordinary house. In that house sat three ordinary girls. They were laughing and playing and giggling like the 13 year old girls they were. They talked about boys, dreams and their parents.

They discussed how they hated some of their teachers and school was so boring. They dreamed of summer vacations and new clothes. It was almost over. Summer was almost here and they vowed to make this an extraordinary summer.

Savannah logged into her laptop. She quickly logged into a website and started chatting up her new friend. He was an older boy. He was 18. She liked him. They had been chatting on-line for a few weeks now.

She sent him pictures of herself and he always told her that she was beautiful. She liked that. She never thought of herself as beautiful. Cute and ordinary. However, Paul (that was his name) always made her believe that she was beautiful.

He told her she could be a model. Paul asked her to face time him with her friends around. She did. They giggled and smiled and posed as Paul said that they were beautiful and could all be models.

Paul asked them to meet them in the parking lot at the local mall. They agreed. They told their parents that they were going to the mall and would be back in a couple of hours. They were careful. Nothing would happen to the three of them.

They were taught that you always travel together. So, they did. It was nothing special. A bus took them to the mall and they waited in the parking lot by the local Macy’s. They laughed with the fact that one of them had a boyfriend. They giggled.

They weren’t able to date yet.

Across the parking lot, Paul approached them. He was so sexy. He had on nice clothes and shoes and the biggest smile. His teeth were straight. Wow! He was gorgeous.

They were so busy pointing and smiling at Paul that they didn’t see the van pull up behind them and the men grab them and stuff them in the truck. An ordinary black van filled with men holding them down as they struggled and screamed and then went limp.

Ordinary girls are sold into sex-trafficking every day. We need to do something about this. No more silence please.

 

 

This post is part of the Daily post. The word of the day was ordinary.

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/

Instinct

My instinct told me that he wasn’t the one for me.

I ignored it.

I was in that place of blissful ignorance and called it love.

Why was I ignoring my instinct?

My instinct told me that he was a liar and an abuser.

I ignored it.

Even after that first punch, my heart protected him.

My instinct told me to run.

The continued physical and emotional abuse had left me broken.

An empty shell.

I was dying inside.

My instinct kept telling me that one day he would kill me.

I ignored it.

Death was better than this.

I loved him.

I just had to be better.

I had to be more of what he wanted.

I had to change.

I woke up this morning and my instinct told me that today was the last day I would be alive.

I ignored it.

I laid next to him.

Watching him sleep silently.

He was beautiful.

I reached under my pillow and grabbed the blade.

I stabbed the hell out of him.

He lay choking in his own blood.

My instinct was wrong.

Today was the day he took his last breath.

 

Today’s post is inspired by the Daily Post. The word was instinct.

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/.

Sound

Excerpt from my story Jacob’s Girl:

The last image I have of my family together occurred when I was nine years old. My mom had just walked in the house from a long day of work.  She was tired and you could see it in her face.  My dad had been drinking.  My ten month old brother and I were playing in the living room.  The sound of the television playing in the background as I made my brother laugh.

My mom came in and sat down on the couch. My dad had a frightening look in his eyes. The next sound I heard was his fist hit her across her face. I screamed. My baby brother fell and started to cry. My mom started fighting back and screaming at me to get my brother! Get the baby and go in your room! I did. I picked up the baby and ran into my bedroom.

My six year old sister was crying and I being the oldest tried to comfort them both. I heard the sound of glass breaking. Blood curdling screams. Cursing and crying. Fists punching, the sounds of pain being inflicted in the name of love. This is what it was right? This was love.

©Tikeetha Thomas

This post is in response to the Daily Post. The word today was sound.