Day 8: Perseverance

It’s Day 8 of my #23DaysofThankfulness. Today, I’m thankful for perseverance.  Perseverance is defined as steady persistence in a course of action, a purpose, a state, etc., in spite of difficulties, obstacles, or discouragement. Have you persevered in something? Did it make you stronger? Did it change you?

perseverance (noun)

steady persistence in a course of action, a purpose, a state, etc., especially in spite of difficulties, obstacles, or discouragement.

I have. I never thought I would survive some of the things that I’ve been through, but thank God. He’s infused strength in me that I didn’t know existed. It has allowed me to persevere in spite of trials and tribulations.

I don’t give up. I won’t give up. I am a fighter. So are you. Let your strength shine through so you can keep persevering despite your circumstances.

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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Read: Men Rape Us And You Let Them

One of my favorite sites is For Harriet and I read such a powerful essay the other day that I just had to share it. This writer’s words resonate with so many of us that have been victims of sexual assault. You know that I’m a survivor, but many of you are also a survivor. Many of your friends, family or acquaintances may have suffered sexual assault or abuse. It never ends.

Before Bill Cosby, Harvey Weinstein or the many other famous men that have been accused, there are just normal men out here that are hurting women and children. No one should have to be a victim of abuse. No one should have to tell the story of their #metoo assault for you to realize that we have to be advocates. Advocates for every one.

My prayer is that you will start seeing that this is a problem in our country and finding ways to stop the violence. To stop the predators. To protect the victims before they even become victims. It will take a village.

Please read this powerful essay by Nicole Shawan Junior entitled Men Rape Us and You Let Them

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Note: I don’t own the rights to this photo. Through a Google search it came up.

 

 

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/.

Surviving the BS – Part 2

This is a continuation of my post yesterday

I’m tired of staying silent. I’m tired of wearing a mask hiding the pain of what I’m enduring and everyone taking sides not knowing half of the truth. It doesn’t matter. My life. My story. My pain.

God has given me great people to help support me throughout my life. I am thankful for them. For their continued prayer and support. For their strength when I forward the emails that I receive because I’m filled with such anxiety over what will be said next.

It’s October. It’s Domestic Violence Awareness month and I’m tired of protecting the person who abuses me. I will no longer allow the oppressor to continue to oppress me. I am not going to be silent. Verbal and emotional abuse are just as important as physical. Could you imagine receiving emails from someone throwing your pain of when you were a child in your face? Verbal abuse is abuse and is never justified.

Think about the allegations against Harvey Weinstein. It’s been 30 years of accusations that this man victimized many over the years. Some spoke out and some didn’t. Many victims don’t speak out. Fear. Ridicule. Humiliation. Loss of opportunities.

“He was violent toward women and men, and his abuse came in many forms — from screaming and berating to character assassination and nonconsensual advances. His behavior was both an open secret and a secret ritual.” – Violence. Threats. Begging. Harvey Weinstein’s 30-year pattern of abuse in Hollywood. – Monica Hesse and Dan Zak 

Sound familiar? But, men can be victims of sexual assault as well. We learned that when actor Terry Crews spoke out about his sexual assault. He gets it. Do you?

I am overprotective of my son. So, what? I know that 1 in 6 boys will be sexually assaulted before the age of 18. The number is probably larger than that as many boys don’t report the assault. They repress the memories. Think Tyler Perry. He was abused and shared his story for the first time while I was pregnant with Munch.

I stand for all those that have been victimized and/or abused. I stand ready to add my voice to the list of people that have suffered. To speak for those that have lost their voice and to defend those that are too tired to fight. You matter. I matter.

We all matter.

I had to remind myself of that these last couple of weeks. I had to stop the tears, the nightmares and repressed memories that are seeping through from yet another trauma. I had to regain my strength, dry my tears and let you know that I’m a victim too. But, no more.

No one has a right to tell you that you don’t matter. No one has a right to harass, intimidate and bully you. No one has the right to break you down after you’ve been broken down by so many other men. No one has the right to deny you the right to live your happy ass life.

So, I’m choosing me. I want you to choose you too. I want you to let go of all the pain of the past and give it to God. I want you to find peace. Like I’m trying to do. I’m letting go. I’m allowing this battle to be fought by God. I will continue to love and raise my son as I see fit. I will no longer be a victim for anyone. Including my ex.

 

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/.

I Know Not

I know not the moment when my innocence was shattered. When my belief in man became so obscure that I thought death was better than life. I’m lying.

I remember.

I remember the day that you touched me as I slept. The moment that my innocence was shattered and I was left to pick up the pieces of the dirty word I had become. I know not why I had to endure that pain.

Maybe someone can explain.

I know not why I was assaulted by two boys on the school bus. Why they held me down and hunched me as I screamed out.  Kissing me. Holding my wrists. Why they chose to grind their adolescent penises in my crotch all to show me their manhood. I know not why no one came to my rescue. I screamed for help.

I remember.

Because I was just a girl. Faceless. I didn’t matter. They were popular. I was a nobody. Or that was how I was treated after the boys got in trouble. I was just an unknown. I asked for it. I know not how a child asks for boys to hold her down as they humped her and she screamed for help.

I know not why I was abandoned.

The isolation of classmates created such loneliness in my spirit that I understood that a nobody liked me must have deserved the unwanted attention as I was just a girl. A child. It didn’t matter. I don’t know why the expectation is that I wanted this.

I know not why I remember the day that my classmate raped me. I remember the feel of his penis pushing through me as I screamed and fought. The words “No one likes a tease” as I laid there crying and fighting for my spirit. I remember praying to God to die as he penetrated me relentlessly.

I know not why I saw me outside my body. I sang a song. A song of comfort. My mind was breaking apart. I imagined singing. I was a young girl. Maybe about 6 or 7. I sang This Little Light of Mine as he raped me. I know not why that song came to me.

I remember. I remember believing that God was protecting me. That walls were being built all around my mind to protect me from the pain. The pain was insurmountable. The memories would be too painful and I felt numb.

I died that day. Spiritually.

Each time I was touched. I lost a piece of me. But, I lived. I know not why.

Maybe it is because God had greater plans for my life than I could have ever imagined. I know not why.

God gave me a son to raise after boys and a man destroyed many parts of my youth. But, He must have a sense of humor right? Cause why would my womb carry a man?

I know not why.

I know not why the answers to many questions remain unclear. Like fragments and repressed memories they fight to come to light. Buried memories of things not spoken about.

But, I know that I have a purpose. I am better than my perpetrators. I am better than my past. I’m better than the man who tries to break me down by accusing me of emasculating my son when I am the one who brought forth light and named him Munch. I know not why.

 

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/.

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/.