Following the Blind

I used to follow this woman on Facebook. Her page described her as an author/writer. Someone had shared one of her posts in a group that I’m in and I liked what she had to say. So, I went to check out her page and found many things that resonated with me. I clicked the follow button and became one of the 4,000 plus followers to her page. I began engaging in communication with other like-minded women on her page. Things that spoke to the strong black woman. The woman that is the back bone to society. The woman that doesn’t put up with foolishness. The woman that stands on her morals. I was in agreement. I felt like I found a tribe. A tribe of strong black women.

But, that tribe turned into a cult to me yesterday. The writer had posted a piece about the television show A Different World that aired in the late 80’s to early 90’s. It was a spin-off of the Cosby Show. Two of the main characters in that show were a woman named Whitley and a man named Dwayne. It was a good show. It showed black children in college and attending a fictional Historically Black College or University (HBCU) and all the fun things that came with matriculating amongst your people. The writers nailed it.

As great as that show was it showed love, young love as misguided and ever changing as we grow and evolve into young adults. The story of Dwayne and Whitley made many women swoon as we dreamed of a love story like theirs. A love that showed two flawed people that encouraged each other’s dreams and supported each other no matter what. A determined kind of love. Or at least that’s what I know the show to be.

However, the writer that I followed made a long post that was accusatory and bitter painting Whitley as some young woman who was beat down into dating Dwayne. The writer said Dwayne was trash and that the many women he pursued were out of his league including Whitley. I was like “Huh?” I literally stopped.

I wondered did she watch another show called A Different World because I knew this show inside and out and if she saw something different, it can’t be the same show that I watched. But, it was the same show, however I’m convinced that she just didn’t watch all the episodes. She wrote a biased piece bashing love. Black love. A man. A love between two young and flawed individuals that worked out for them.

Her own demons were projected throughout the piece. Men were trash who took advantage of us. It was disturbing.

My tribe had changed. The women started agreeing with her post. When I asked questions challenging the post based on actual episodes she accused me of making Dwayne out to be a victim. Seriously? Why in the hell does anyone have to be a victim? I felt my balloon of hope pop as the needle was stuck into it. The air slowly deflated my hope that this was my tribe.

The author was deflecting and argumentative to me and my opinion. Who the hell does that? Aren’t you allowed to have opinions? Aren’t you allowed to have different perspectives and voice them or are you only supposed to follow blindly what others tell you. I assumed the later. I exited stage left and unfollowed her.

That post got me to thinking – is the expectation of writers, authors, bloggers, media figures, etc. that we blindly follow and co-sign on what the writer says regardless of whether or not it makes sense to the reader? Are we creating/crafting a culture of minions without opinions to validate our existence?

I prayed not.

I hurt for what this writer was doing. I believe in love. I cherish it. I prayerfully know that I will find and have love, but I don’t want to bash a good man because it didn’t work out and we didn’t get it right. I am a feminist. I’m a womanist. I’m not going to bash all men. I have a son to raise. Bitter women raise bitter children. We have to do better.

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 @mskeeinmd.

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Skipah’s World

When I got an email from Double T recently asking if I wouldn’t mind spewing my special brand of B.S. on her website while she would be down for a bit, to say I leaped at the chance would be an understatement.  I mean seriously, one of the most intelligent women I have the pleasure to call a colleague in the blogosphere asked this college flunky for a post, I would have been an idiot not to say yes.  That still doesn’t excuse the fact I’m an idiot, but I mean we are talking DOUBLE EFFING T asked ME for a guest post.

Double T is one of my sisters from a different mister.  We’ve both dealt with divorce, single parenting, and the mysterious phenomena known as family law.  It’s been so long ago I’m not exactly sure what brought our paths together.  It’s the wonderful thing about being a regular blogger, you meet people (not literally, but Double T and I almost did meet last year when I was in her part of the world for a couple of days).  I just remember reading some of her earlier posts about her precious “Munch,” and it just brought a warm and fuzzy smile to my face.  I was in the middle of an ugly custody battle that I ultimately lost and reading Double T’s blog and how much she looked out for Munch always had a connection with me.

Plus Double T and I are similar bloggers.  We just speak what is on our mind for the most part.  Baby momma/daddy does something stupid, we put them on blast with our words.  Remember now I’m an idiot, it cost me a ton of money legally, but I’m still pounding out meaningless words on a keyboard and meeting interesting characters along the way.

So who am I?  I’m the Skipah, a nickname that has stuck with me since I was a young teenager.  I got into this crazy little world of blogging back when I was blindsided by a divorce in 2014 fresh off a three day stay at the hospital after an unsuccessful attempt at perfecting the Klonopin diet.  I thought eating thirty of them would help me sleep a little better or, like, forever, but thankfully it didn’t.  In a state of confusion that I wouldn’t wish on anyone, I thought what the hell let’s start a blog.  Second chance on life, no reason to go back to the status quo and thus, Skipah’s Realm was born.

What started out as a nightly series of my own personal “keyboard” therapy as I was figuring out life while going through a divorce and one of the nastiest custody battles this area has ever seen quickly morphed into a passion.  The early days of my blogging career were literally me figuring out life on the fly, looking out for my daughter every way I could, and learning very quickly that the aforementioned family law game doesn’t work on common sense and facts.  More like the best lawyer(s) and the threat of a suicide attempt held over your head at every turn.  Of course, my little digital love child definitely didn’t help, and I learned quickly that a family law judge can pretty much make up the rules as he sees fit regardless if they are considered “legal” under criminal court.

Always centered around my daughter first and everything second, my blogging days morphed into just telling my story on a semi regular basis in hopes that some soon to be divorced dad would maybe stumble upon my little sector of the internet and figure out that life doesn’t end with an unwanted divorce.  In fact it is quite the opposite. Your child(ren) become your rock and keep you distracted when yet another legal bill comes in the mail and you are torn between peanut butter crackers or a can of Campbell’s soup for dinner because frankly that is all you can afford! After my divorce and suicide attempt, I really don’t get to rattled now when things don’t go my way.  Sure I bitch and moan (I am a man after all), but at the end of the day things usually seem to work themselves out.

Blogger world got a whole lot more interesting for me though on July 28, 2015.  I had been on a few dates post divorce, some went ok, one went into the batshit crazy zone, and one inconspicuous date had me travelling 45 minutes from home to this podunk little piece of Americana better known as Madison, Indiana.  Coincidentally it would be the last date I would go on with someone I had never met.

When Miss Madison (now my wife) walked into the land of Skipahsphere, that next year was easily the most fun I’ve had in blogging.  Between her, my daughter’s former KGB spy hamster (now deceased…R.I.P. Hammy), my future step-children, and good lord all the travelling Miss Madison introduced me to, Skipah’s Realm was a fun place to visit from time to time when you were missing out on something to read while killing time at the airport or sitting in the car rider line at school.

My proudest blogging accomplishment would be back when I did a little freelance work for Credit.Com and had an article featured in the financial section of Time.Com and the Yahoo finance page, as well as a few of the bigger newspapers in the country.  When I received a grant to go to the Dad 2.0 Blogger Conference in San Diego last year was pretty exciting also.  Throw in some big ticket product reviews and overall my career as a blogger has been eye opening to say the least.  What started out as my personal therapy really grew into something I would have never thought back when I hit publish for the first time.

So anytime you are bored and need to something to read to fall asleep, come on over to Skipah’s Realm.  These days it’s a series of bad jokes, me bitching about millennials, enjoying life with my new family, and currently trying to get this damn pool cleared up in our new house we just moved into a few months ago!  It’s never dull and boring around here, so come on by, hell you never know what we are up to around here!

Now before I go, my mom would rip my ass if I didn’t thank my buddy Double T for the opportunity to say a little piece on her site.  When I get back to the D.C. area I’ve already promised Double T dinner on me and we are eating some of the finest seafood the Chesapeake Bay can offer!  Give “Munch” a high five from me, and keep doing what you are doing as a single mom!

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This post was submitted by my friend Gary over at Skipah’s Realm. Check him out.

A is for Afflicted

“Two people can only keep a secret if one of them is dead.”

Out of all the crazy stuff my Dominican abuela (I mean, grandmother) used to say, that was the wisest and truest thing to ever come out of her big uncensored mouth.

You see, the secret I’ve been keeping has been eating away at me. And with each passing day, the story keeps bubbling up inside of me, trying to escape.

I’ve never told anyone about what happened, at least not all of it.

But I have to get this weight off of my chest and the only way I can do it is by writing it down. If I was really smart, I wouldn’t write it down at all, especially online where people could find it. But I need to tell my story and figure out how I ended up here in the first place.

This blog is really meant for me and my eyes only. I mean, who would even care about my incoherent ramblings?

But just in case someone does stumble across this blog (and if you are reading this, I mean YOU), please remember that I’m not a bad person. I had to take Abuela’s words to heart and I did what needed to be done to save myself.

Truth be told, a little part of me hopes that you do find this blog. I mean, maybe you’ll help me piece this all together and help me see where I went wrong, though I kind of already know.

And of course, I’m writing this anonymously so I won’t tell you my real name. But you can call me “Cara”, short for “Caramel”. That was Abuela’s nickname for me because she loved the color of my skin. She also said that I was like burnt sugar with a bitter aftertaste. Back then, I never knew what she meant by that and the only time I had the nerve to ask, she had simply shrugged her shoulders and said:

Mas sabe el diablo por viejo que por diablo“.

Yes, the devil knows more from experience than from being the devil. Maybe Abuela saw something in me back then that I only discovered later and that I’m reconciling with now…who knows.

But I’m getting off topic. Maybe I’ll write about that later.

Right now, I need to start at the beginning and tell you how I met my abuser Dex..

Cara

_A_ is for _Afflicted_

Continuation: B is for “Bomb”

All Rights Reserved ©2018 Marquessa Matthews. Graphic above created with Canva.

 

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This guest post by Marquessa Matthews. It is a repost from her A to Z Challenge and you must read all the posts in this challenge. She is an incredible writer that I’m praying gets to publishing a collection of her short stories soon. Please check out her blog at https://marquessamatthews.com/

2500+ Thank You’s

I recently hit 2,500 WordPress followers. I humbly thank each and every one of you for following me. It has been an amazing journey and I am continuing to grow and learn with each passing month.

I’ve changed the layout of my blog and I’m trying some new things this year. Tell me what you think. I’m also going to start promoting the works of others. Bear with me as I will be out of commission for the next couple of weeks.

But, more importantly, I want to say that I am thankful for each and every one of you. You continue to read and engage me in my posts and I’m genuinely thankful for the interaction. You’ve become family. Here’s to continued growth for all of us.

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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/.

Guest Hosting 2018

Hello my faithful and wonderful readers. I am taking a blogging break from May 31, 2018 through June 15, 2018. I will be on medical leave. Don’t worry, I will be fine. All glory goes to God because I know HE has me.

However, I need you. I need guest bloggers. If you would like to guest host on my blog during this time, let me know and I would love to host you.

What do you have to do? Here are my housekeeping items because there are always rules. I need you to know what you’re getting into. Here goes…

  • Read through my site. I discuss everything about life, love, dating, parenting and relationships and anything in between. Keep with my genre topics.
  • Make it fun and relateable. Your goal is to get the reader to want to know more about you and to follow you.
  • Respond to any comments a reader leaves on my page. This is a must for me. Let them know that you appreciate their response on your post and answer any questions.
  • Keep the swearing to a minimum. I love a good curse word two, but your post shouldn’t be all about your invention of new curse words.
  • Posts should be between 250-800 words
  • Create a catchy title
  • Reblog and share on your site and social media handles

I will be scheduling posts in advance and reading through comments and responding to some posts in between my recovery. If you’re interested, please email me at athomaspointofview@gmail.com.

Thank you in advance.

guest-blogging

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/.

Welcome May

It’s the first day of May! Happy May Day! We survived another month. Yay! Have you set your monthly goals yet?

I am writing my down. I am just trying to get it all together. There is a lot going on. Having survived “Sprinter” (spring and winter) I think spring is finally here. Definitely more outdoor fun.

welcome may

Now, that I’m done with the A to Z Challenge I’m going to spend more time blogging. I’ve missed you guys. I’ve missed sharing my life with you. I’ll be having surgery at the end of the month so I won’t be posting as much. I am looking for volunteers to post while I’m recovering, so please let me know if you are interested.

Here are my goals for May:

  • Submit at least one article for publication
  • Post at least 3 times a week
  • Schedule posts on the 2 Facebook groups I moderate and my own blog
  • Surgery preparation
  • Schedule a couple of blog posts
  • Attend sorority events and meeting
  • Brunch with my girls
  • Pay off Brennan’s summer camp
  • Write at least 25 pages in my book this month (this will be the hardest)

 

That’s it for me. What are your goals? Are you interested in guest posting while I’m out on medical?

 

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/.

It’s the A to Z Challenge

I’ve decided to participate in the A to Z Challenge for the month of April. This is the first time that I’ve done the challenge and I’m excited. I will try to limit my posts to once a day to coincide with the challenge so that you are not bombarded. But, please bear with me.

The challenge will run through the month of April. Check out how you can sign-up to participate and be on the lookout for my theme reveal next week.

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The A to Z challenge is scheduled to run through the month of April. You can sign-up now through April 1st here:  AtoZ Challenge

Wish me luck!

 

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 Sins of My Father

I have a confession. I’ve struggled with forgiveness for so long. I told ya’ll about what my therapist said about how I gave my dad grace and not forgiveness. So, here I am feeling somewhat guilty because it has been 3 weeks since my dad called me. He called me on my birthday.

The first time in 34 years. Do you know how disappointed I used to be each and every year? But, God. Each year got easier. I realized that it just didn’t matter to him.

Until 2018. I guess it did matter. He called and left a message saying Happy Birthday. 

I haven’t returned his call. I made up excuses. I had some real stuff going on and real health issues that took priority. But, I haven’t called him back. Why?

I honestly don’t know. I think I am just struggling with my feelings for him. So, I’ve been trying to catch up on some blog posts. Forgive me for my delays. Muddling through emails, throwing myself back in work and then I read two posts about forgiveness.  I stopped.

One was by Maya Moore entitled Football & Forgiveness  and the other by Chris Weatherly entitled What I Wish Everyone Understood About Forgiveness. Two posts in less than 30 minutes about forgiveness? What was going on?

It was as though God was speaking to me. Talking to me. Telling me to push forward and understand where I’m at and decide where I want to be. To talk to him and to let him know. The truth.

I declined to do so. Me and God don’t always see eye to eye, but I know that in the end His word is forevermore, no matter how stubborn I am. So, I pushed his voice to the side and kept it moving. Until Chris Weatherly posted this:

via What I Wish Everyone Understood about Forgiveness

I couldn’t hide anymore. I couldn’t ignore. God was trying to tell me something.

Please read these posts about forgiveness. It will truly encourage you. Are you struggling like me?

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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 AM STRONG & BRAVE

This particular Saturday morning, I’m looking at my 2-year-old son playing with puzzles. He looked at me and said: “Mommy, this is too hard, but I got it.”

All parents have read about bed or morning routines. Even Daniel Tiger and Elmo have this covered. My family has always believed in the power of words or confessions. My mother confessed to my sister every morning: “You are the head and not the tail, above only and not beneath.”  I believe (& think my SiSi would agree) that these words resonated in her mind when she wanted to throw in the towel.

Every night we pray for my son to be thankful for family, friends, and provisions. But additionally, I pray (out loud) for my son to be strong & brave. I never saw that world as a scary place until I became a mother. These glasses of parenting put a filter on everything as terrifying. Most importantly, I know the world will be unkind to a young black man. The joy he has today is delicate and needs to be preserved. I want to protect him, cover him, shield him… but I know I can’t. I can only pray that he always finds the strength to be joyous, strength to trust God and Strength to be brave enough to keep moving forward when the world will feel cold.

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I guess, I never meant for this reflection to be so emotionally heavy. I am generally not that type of writer, but out of your heart flows the truth. Take the time to speak life over the children your world. Nieces, nephews, God-children,  neighbors, & friends every child deserves to hear that they are loved and amazing.

With Love;

Southern Fried Mommy

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This post was shared by Southern Fried City Girl. I love her blog. She’s one of the newer blogs that I discovered and I’m happy to share her work. She’s a wife, a mom, a woman of faith and everything in between. Go follow her at her wonderful blog called: Southern Fried City Girl

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