Cleveland

November 22, 2014

I’m standing in the kitchen trying to prepare dinner. Munch is in his room watching television and waiting for his dinner. I hear the news. A 12 year old boy named Tamir Rice was just gunned down in a park in Cleveland, Ohio by two police officers. The glass I was holding shatters.

He was 12. The picture shows a sweet smiling little boy. I watch the news with tears as I wonder how anyone could kill a 12 year old boy. What has this world come too? A mother burying her son. This isn’t how the world is supposed to work. We are supposed to have our children bury us after many years lived.

He won’t have that opportunity. I wonder is anywhere safe. I wonder if this little boy’s mom thought that the city of Cleveland was safe. If her street or neighborhood was safe. If she thought that those who were supposed to protect and serve would never harm her son.

Another boy dies. Another mother weeps. A life cut short. How can I protect my four year old son? No guns. No play guns. No Nerf guns. I have to keep Munch safe.

I clean up the broken glass and think that this is life. We’re all broken. The police are broken. This family is broken. The justice system is broken.

No rest for mothers tonight.

 

C

 

 

This post was part of the A2Z challenge and the letter “C” is for Cleveland. My posts will be written as a journal style for the challenge and will be on the theme: Mothering While Black. I hope you enjoyed it.

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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Anguish

July 6, 2016

Today I cried. A silent cry. Tears streamed down my face. I stifled my anguish. I silenced the wail that was building in my throat. Another. Another black man was shot by the police. This time in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. He was 37. He had a name. It was Alton Sterling. He had a family.

He was more than the media make him out to be. He is was more. He was a father. He was a son. He wasn’t alone.

Second day of blood shed. I watched the video and tried to rationalize that something must have happened. But, I couldn’t. I couldn’t understand this murder. It was murder right?

Another black man who leaves behind a black son who will always remember that his father was murdered. In cold blood. At a gas station. Who will protect and serve him from this tragedy?

He will grow up. He won’t forget. None of us will. I pray that his anger and rage are used for positive. I pray that he sees that he will be the force of change.

I pray that his mother will get the strength to preach love and peace in a chaotic time to the black boy that she must raise alone. That she knows that heavy the crown she wears now because it is at this point that she must choose love no matter how easy it is to choose hate. I pray that she doesn’t succumb to the pain and leave her son alone to fend for himself because he needs her. He needs everyone. He needs to know that he is not alone.

I stifle my anger and anguish and think of the words of Langston Hughes poem: A Dream Deferred:

What happens to a dream deferred?
Does it dry up
Like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore–
And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over–
like a syrupy sweet?
Maybe it just sags
like a heavy load.
Or does it explode?

I shall pray harder tonight. I shall hold my son harder. I shall kiss him longer. I shall pray that this madness stops. I shall pray that no more mothers have to bury their children. I shall try to scrub the bulls eye off his back.

If only for one more night.

A

This post was part of the A2Z challenge and the letter “A” is for anguish. My posts will be written as a journal style for the challenge and will be on the theme: Mothering While Black. I hope you enjoyed it.

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/.

Kiss From Death

He appears before you when you least expect it.  The embodiment of your heart’s deepest longings, you are enchanted.  Like a Siren luring her victim with her song, so too are you caught within Death’s grasp.  You greedily drink his words from his goblet, so tender and sweet.  Enthralled by his promise to fill the void, you are intoxicated by his poison.

Ever so gracefully, the phantom whisks his prey onto the dance floor of twilight’s masquerade.  You notice not the talons that dig deeply into your flesh, for you are bewitched.  A veil he places over your consciousness, which you gladly accept.  Numb to the wounds inflicted are you, as you dance this dance with Death.

Ensnared in his clutches, you desperately cling to idle promises.  Weary you become, as your light slowly begins to fade.  Once a star burning ever so bright, now a mere ember you are.  A shadow of your former self, you feel your spirit drifting away.  A mere shell you have now become, and you are dying.

You are drowning, engulfed in despair.  Yet, as you struggle to lift your head above the water, you manage to catch a glimpse of the phantom behind the mask.  Choose to release yourself from his enchantment, for you hold the power.  Give not into his sweet illusion, for it is merely a mirage.  I beg you, ignore not the phantom’s true identity.  For by doing so, you will be given a kiss from Death.

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This post was contributed by Feather from Beyond The Light. I stumbled on her much by coincidence as she found me in October when I did my Domestic Violence series. An incredible woman who is also a survivor of domestic violence who wishes to break the silence that shrouds survivors on a daily basis. She knows that there is hope that we can break the shackles of domestic abuse together.  Check out her blog: Beyond The Light

The Harsh Truth About Spanking – Part 1

This will be a two part post. I want to talk about discipline and more specifically spanking and how it must be done. I want to talk about how we need to change our mindset about spanking i.e. corporal punishment.

I’m using my platform to speak about something that has been on my mind for the last few weeks. The whole Tyrese issue and him acting like a mental health case. The man just won’t go away. Let me be clear. He needs to stay off social media, get his life and just focus on being a good father and husband.

But, his antics caused me to get into many arguments with well meaning folks about the issue of spanking. I don’t spank Munch. I’ve spanked him once in his life and it hurt me to my heart. That was four years ago. I try to talk and redirect his behavior and encourage him without violence. Why? Because I firmly believe that violence begets violence. I’m not trying to give my son a lesson in violence.

The whole Tyrese fiasco had many a people up in arms on social media either defending or laughing at this man’s behavior. I didn’t defend nor laugh, but wondered whether or not he was seeking mental help because it appeared that he was having a breakdown before my eyes.  He was apparently crying out for sympathy in his ongoing custody battle with his ex-wife. Something that I find ridiculous considering he basically talks crap about women and tries to pit them against each other. I’m not a fan of this man’s character.

However, the fact that I’m not a fan doesn’t mean that I want a parent to lose access to their child. This goes for both men and women. I don’t think children should grow up without their parents. So, this is isn’t about custody and a parent being allowed to not be able to see their child.

My issue is that Tyrese was in this situation over a claim that he held his daughter down on her stomach and spanked her so hard that she couldn’t sit because she had allegedly taken money from her piggy bank. Two things here: 1. If it is her piggy bank, can’t she take money from it? 2. Did you really need to hold her down and spank her that hard? How much does she weigh in comparison to you?

I got spanked as a child. Did I like it? No. Did I believe it made me better? No. Do I believe that had I not got spanked I would be a crack head or a criminal? No. There’s a whole lot of parenting that occurs between when your child is first born and then gets old enough to use drugs or get involved in illegal activities. But, even if you spanked your child that doesn’t mean that they won’t turn to drugs.

The thing is that you have to be better for your children. If you as the adult can’t find ways to parent that doesn’t involve violence, what does that say about you? Mr. C and I disagree on this. He says that I’m a new age parent. I asked him did he get spanked as a child? He said “Yes”. I asked “Do you believe that had your parents not spanked you when you were young that you would somehow be different? Think about who they are and the values that they taught you?” He had no response.

I want us to change our thinking about spankings and calling it discipline. Let’s look at the word discipline. Dictionary.com showed many different meanings and I’ve pulled out my four three.

discipline (noun)

1. training to act in accordance with rules; drill: military discipline.
2. punishment inflicted by way of correction and training.
3. behavior in accord with rules of conduct; behavior and order maintained by training and control: good discipline in an army.
4. a set or system of rules and regulations.

Discipline doesn’t have to be physical and it doesn’t have to be spanking based on the above definitions. I got disciplined in school and it wasn’t physical. How many of us had to go to study hall? That was a form of punishment. I didn’t do what I was supposed to do so there were consequences.

Not physical.

-To be continued-

 

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/.

Monday Motivation – 11.6.17

Today I struggled to find ways to motivate you. To inspire you. To help you get through this week. This world… This world is tiring. I’m tired. I’m tired of hearing about tragedies and I’m tired of thinking that we will be better. That we can be better.

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Hearing about the tragedy that took place in a church in Texas yesterday had me wondering what the hell is going on? How can we be dealing with this again? Wasn’t it just last month that a shooter killed 58 people in Las Vegas? Now we have Sutherland Spring, Texas. Another place of worship. Another lone gunman killing innocent people.

When would this end?

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I prayed. I went to God for help. I needed peace. I was afraid. Afraid of not being able to to go anywhere. Church is no longer safe. I mean we could rationalize and say Charleston was a one time tragedy, but no. More people. More worshipers. No where was safe.

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God reminded me that He has the whole world in his hands. That I need to lean on His word and know that it would be okay. That I am supposed to trust.  That was what he wanted to remind me. Like it says in Psalm 56:3…

Psalm 56:3 (NRSV)

when I am afraid,

I put my trust in you.

My Motivational Monday Moment is about trust. Trusting in God when it seems you can’t see what’s in front of you. Trust in Him.

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Trust doesn’t mean that you won’t fear. We all do. I am afraid. I am afraid of what is going on in this world. I am heartbroken at the fact that people had to endure gunfire in a house of worship. But, I trust God. I do. In the midst of all this tragedy and heartbreak, I trust Him.

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I trust him when all hell is breaking loose around me. I trust God. Please trust Him.

Let’s pray for those that are hurting. Let’s pray for those that are in power and let’s pray for each other. We need it.

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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/.

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/.

Co-Parenting: Violence

I’ve heard so many sad stories on this journey to co-parenting with my ex. People who’ve suffered abuse and have to deal with mental health issues. I’m not judging. I’m just saying that my transition is not like everyone else’s.

I saw this video last week on Facebook and my heart broke. This woman is smashing up her ex’s car. The children were in the back seat:

Now, what is scary as heck about this situation and what has garnered a discussion on co-parenting is whether or not this woman’s behavior was acceptable. I said “Hell, no. She’s dead wrong. The children were in the car. She could have hurt them babies.” But, another woman said “You don’t know what she’s been through.” Umm, whatever.

Then another woman talked about violence in her relationship and how she literally flipped on her abuser who was her child’s father and did the same thing. Was she right? Nope. But, we don’t know the full story. I paused.

I’m not advocating violence on any level. With anyone. Especially with your children around. But, no man or woman is worth me losing my job over because I am mad at them or the situation I find myself in. I get it.

I grew up in a violent home. My dad was abusive. There was blood and the sounds of fists hitting flesh. I don’t wish this on anyone. Those images have stayed with me for years. I can’t ever forget and neither will these children.

It is important that we understand the cycle of abuse. If you are in an abusive situation, please get out. Immediately. Call the National Domestic Violence Hotline 1-800-799-SAFE (7233). Get help!

If you have children with your abuser, please get them out of that situation. Report all acts of violence immediately to your local law enforcement. You have to be an advocate for yourself.

Don’t lose your children because you are in jail. Don’t allow your partner or ex-partner put you in a situation where you can’t defend your children. If you won’t protect them, then who will?

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/.