Reblog: Suffer the Little Children

Growing up in an abusive home, I saw the face of domestic violence in my mother. I saw it in my aunts and in my cousins. The need to love a man that is broken because you have no idea what love is. The desire to fix or heal that part of him because you think that is what marriage or relationship is supposed to be. The women in my family were “ride or die” before I even knew what that meant. They were literally willing to die at the hands of their man.

Each October we spend so much time focusing on Breast Cancer Awareness by turning everything pink, but what about turning it purple? Purple is the color of Domestic Violence Awareness. Which is also in the month of October. How many of you actually knew that? Not me. Not until recently.

The last eighteen months of my life have been about an evolution of change. Growing, learning and striving to be better. I’ve been digging up the roots of my past and trying to figure out why I am who I am. It’s been a journey of self-discovery and immense pain. The pain of violence that I had hidden away and didn’t want to share. Until now.

I grew up in a broken home with broken people. Love was shown through busted lips and bloody noses. I watched my momma love a broken man until I turned nine. That’s how old I was when my momma decided she’d had enough. She put my daddy out and chose us over him. I rejoiced a little. No more violence. No more acting like my furniture was broken because it was old. It was broken because my daddy pushed my momma into it.

She fought back too, but does it matter? What kind of life was that for us to grow up into?

With her escape and choice she became my hero. She chose to raise her children alone than in an abused situation any longer. I was proud. I was also affected. I don’t think she knew it. Counseling wasn’t something “black people” did back then so it was kind of hard for her to see that her girl was damaged by the violence.

I remember my momma telling me that “If a man ever puts his hands on you, I will kill him.” Calmly. After dinner one night. She was a lion protecting her cubs. But, she didn’t know that a man was already violent towards me.

It wasn’t physical violence but pain inflicted through sexual assault, emotional and psychological abuse. I was made to feel inferior. Less than a woman. Someone with no rights whatsoever. I had no voice. I hid behind baggy clothes to make myself less flattering and unattractive to men and everyone. I fooled people with my cocky and confident persona because I thought that if you looked too closely you could see the cracks in my relationships.

The last eighteen months of my life have seen me entering a new territory. A territory where I have found my voice, renewed my faith and shared my testimony. One in four women will be a victim of domestic violence in their lifetime. We need to bring awareness to this topic now. It shouldn’t take a football player cold cocking his fiancée for you to care. You should care every day because there are too many nameless women out there who need you to wear purple too.

* * *

For more information about and help dealing with domestic violence in the African American community, check out the following organizations:

The Institute On Domestic Violence In the African American Community
The Feminist Majority Foundation (has a great list of national domestic violence advocacy groups)
Purple Reign
National Domestic Violence Hotline (800-799-SAFE (7233))
National Sexual Assault Hotline (800-656-4673)
National Sexual Assault Online Hotline

This is a reblog of a post I wrote for My Brown Baby. Please check out the article here: Suffer the Little Children

 

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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Reblog: Domestic Violence is Purple

October is more than just pink shoes and pink footballs

It’s more than pink wrappers or pink scrubs it’s also about purple

Purple like the bruise on my momma’s face last night

Purple like my sister’s busted lip last week

 

I watch with tears in my eyes as many people ignore the signs

The cries for help

The sounds of fists flying, furniture breaking and babies crying

 

Go unheard because pink is prettier

Pink is silent and doesn’t scream to be heard

Pink is stealth and knows its place therefore it’s worthy for attention

Pink doesn’t seek to breakdown the truth about violence in our country

Pink happens as luck of the draw

 

Purple is what you choose when you stay with someone who you love

You think you can change them that you walk around with bruises

Broken bones, busted lips and no self-esteem praying that you can change

The broken one who beats you

 

But sometimes the purple is not flowing like blood on the carpet

Sometimes it comes in the form of “You’re a Fat Whore!”

Or “No one loves you!”

Words yelled in anger and you hold your head in shame

 

Covering up your purple abused heart because you love too much

You love someone who is incapable of loving you the way you deserve

You love because you need love in return; you crave it the way you give it

Only sometimes you wish this love would come to you in a way that doesn’t make you wish for death

In a pink casket

domestic-violence

 

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/.

Surviving the BS – Part 1

The goal of my blog has always been to tell you what’s going on in my life. In all honesty, I started writing to blog about my life and family when I was happily pregnant with Munch. I had many starts and stops and I wasn’t consistent. Life got in the way.

I came back to it at the end of my marriage. It was a way for me to maintain my sanity through all the drama and the noise. It was my free therapy. However, I held back a lot. I was doing it under the guise of protecting my son. But, I was hurting. I was dying.

No more.

I’m tired ya’ll. I’m exhausted. I can no longer remain silent while I continue experiencing this drama. It’s not fair to me. It’s not fair to Munch.

For the last year, I’ve gone back and forth to court with my ex-husband. I told you how it stressed me out. The last court date was on September 11th. They accepted our parenting agreement. An agreement that we supposedly entered in a good faith effort to co-parent.

But, we don’t co-parent. We can’t. I hate him. He hates me and we’re left trying not to mess up Munch. Every therapy appointment I tell my therapist that is my fear. That my son will be damaged by the choices his parents have made. She reminds me that children are resilient and that I can love and do the best that I can and it will make a difference.

I’m not as optimistic.

How did I get to the point of hating my ex? From all the senseless back and forth. The name calling, the BS passive aggressive behavior, the court drama, the insertion of his wife, the mediation, etc. My life was in suspended animation and I had no choice but to participate in this custody drama. I thought there would be peace. At least for a little while.

However, I was wrong. I underestimated the man that I was dealing with. I believed that somehow we would call a “cease fire” and leave each other alone. No contact or communication unless it pertained to our son. All email communications would only be about our son.

But, I was naive.

It was a rough first week in October. We went back and forth on our son’s flute and swim lessons. Unnecessarily long emails that really don’t matter. I was tired. I was tired of receiving the emails and asked him to please stop contacting me unless it had something to do with our son because these back and forth emails were harassing and emotionally draining to me.

This was what I received:

BSabuse

 

I highlighted the piece of text that caused me anger, angst and feelings of violation. I realized that I was being battered and suffering emotional abuse by my ex-husband. He copied his wife on the email. I blacked out the email addresses and names. Why? Did they care when they sent me this BS? Probably not.

You see I told you about being a survivor of sexual assault, molestation and rape in my post: I Know Not. I shared my story because my ex-husband wanted to use it as an excuse to verbally abuse me. He wanted to harass and embarrass me in front of his wife as a form of intimidation.

So, if she wanted to know what really happened as a woman and a mother, she could read about it in my own damn words or she could support the man that continues to abuse me. But, it’s not about her. It’s about him. It’s about me. It’s about me saying that I will no longer allow this man to continue to insult and humiliate me. I am a survivor.

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I will no longer be silent.

-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/.

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/.

Random Rumblings – 10.12.17

Hey Loves,

Sorry for the silence. So much has been going on. I feel like I’m losing my dang mind on some things. I will update you later in the week.

But, as many of you are aware it is both Breast Cancer Awareness month and Domestic Violence Awareness month. Both are equally important causes that we should know and support. I post more on domestic violence because I am a survivor of abuse and find it important that we stand up for those that are being victimized.

All is well with Mr. C and I. Still happy and in love. Still living our happy black a** life despite some people trying to bring BS to my door. I love that man. Can I just say that? I thank God for sending me a partner that stands with me and for me against those that wish to commit evil.

Munch is doing awesome in school. I was reviewing his grades on-line and it’s all A’s and B’s. He’s adjusting well to 4th grade and went on his first field trip to a science center. I am thankful for his continued growth.

I’ve been in a mood the last week and attended a birthday party honoring my girlfriend a couple of nights ago. It was such the perfect distraction to the drama and I am thankful for my friends. See, God has given me such a support group that I can’t even begin to thank Him for all that I have.

I attended the first PTA meeting last night at school. I signed up for some committees. I think I’m going to try to write a grant to get yoga or a mindfulness instructor teaching the kids at school for a month. The sky’s the limit. I also signed up to be a part of a community advocacy group. Last year, Munch wanted to do a coat drive and PTA couldn’t make it happen. They confirmed to me last night that it will happen this year. What a blessing to be a blessing.

Between chairing the Veteran’s Committee for my sorority and some committees at Munch’s school it’s going to be a busy year, but I’m excited for the opportunity. That’s all for now. I’ll update you later on and I hope you have an amazing day.

 

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/.