Effort

July 2013

It requires a lot of effort to fake indifference at my lot in life. To get up each morning and put on a smile and try for the sake of my son to be present in the moment. To not stress over the bulls*it games. To disengage from the noise and focus on being there regardless of those weapons formed against me.

But, I will not give up. Effort is exerting. I am tired. I’m trying to focus on the positive of my situation and accepting that Munch will be okay. I have to smile, show up and love. Love without limits and give freely of myself.

How can I do that though?

As he sat there packing his clothes to move out, he told me today that he could sue me for full custody and take half of my retirement. I couldn’t breathe. Life stopped. What were mere seconds felt like an eternity. How could you?

I don’t care about money. I care about Munch. I squared my shoulders and said “I don’t know who is filling your head with this BS but I will leave this house, put everything in storage and move in with my mother and get the best attorney and fight you with every thing I have. I will spend my yearly salary on an attorney, but you will not take him from me and when I’m done wasting your time and money in court, you will have 83 days a year instead of the 182 I offered.”

Silence. The thickness of my words filled the room. He stared at me.

The truth in my words lay like at his feet. Only death would keep me from my son. I wasn’t going to die.

Rage. I was filled with rage.

It takes effort to fix your mind when the person you loved the most tries to take the one thing you live for. The one person you breathe for. The person that needs you now more than ever. I have to stay strong. Munch needs me. I need to keep my sanity. Keeping my sanity requires effort.

I pray that God will continue to have mercy on me and give me the strength to keep moving forward. One foot in front of the other. I must keep walking for Munch. For me.

No matter what.

 

E

This post was part of the A2Z challenge and the letter “E” is for Effort. 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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Marriage Advice From A Divorcee

Late last year I read on Facebook a post from a “friend” that stated that he didn’t want to hear marriage advice from a divorced person. I was stunned. Wow! Since when did being divorce mean that you couldn’t give advice and probably better advice since you’re away from the responsibility of marriage?

But, I realized he wasn’t alone. Many people feel that way. They see divorced people as pariahs with no real value or definitely not advice that could be imparted on those that are married. What could you possibly have to say to me seeing as though your own marriage failed?

Honestly? We can say a lot.

See, I recognized the failure of my marriage. The marriage between two people that should have never gotten married, but believe that love would make everything alright. Love would sustain us. We were delusional. Love is never enough.

I had this awakening of spirit last weekend as I watched my brother marry. It was a beautiful wedding surrounded by beautiful people who loved the couple. The preacher encouraged them to keep God first because love wasn’t enough.

That’s where I find myself today offering these words to encourage/inspire you to take my advice and use it as you please. Moving from a wonderful moment to an epiphany of hope for people who want to marry. Words of wisdom and advice are all I have to offer and I pray that you are encouraged by these five pieces of advice:

5 Pieces of Advice for Your Marriage:

  1. Keep God First! This is the biggest and most important advice that I can give. I literally sat there in tears when my ex-husband and I talked to the pastor at the end of our marriage. He asked “Where was God in your marriage?” I sat there crying. We left God out. We had literally turned our backs on our faith and chose to do it alone. That is the worst thing you can do. Sometimes all you can do is just pray for your spouse. Get on your knees and cry out “God we need you. Something is going on and we need you to protect our house and our family.” Keep God first.
  2. Don’t leave. You can’t leave your house and stay out overnight if you are mad. No way. No how. Your marital home is a place of safety. If you leave the home and stay out all night you are literally inviting trouble into your marriage. You have to trust that whatever is happening, that you two will get through it. If you are a man leaving and staying out all night? How are you leading the family if you are leaving them unprotected? Nothing is solved by staying out all night. Stay and fight for your family.
  3. Keep the established routine. Some couples have a “No going to bed angry” and others have a “We don’t spend more than 3 days away from each other” policy. If your spouse travels a lot how do you keep it fresh? Your marriage? How do you make time for each other? How do you find the time to pour into your marriage what he/she needs. If you have a weekly “anything goes in the bedroom routine” you need to keep it. Everyone likes the established and agreed upon patterns. Keep your routines.
  4. Don’t say all you can say. This was the best piece of advice that a girlfriend of mine had given to me after I told her that I was divorcing. She said “I’m sorry to hear that. Don’t say all you can say.” I was confused and asked her to clarify. She said “Don’t say all you can say because you can’t take it back no matter what.” She was right. So, fight fair and focus on the issues. No name calling and remember don’t say all you can say. No amount of apologies can repair that damage.
  5. Do marriage check-ins. You need to do this. Preferably outside of when you’re discussing bill money or tough issues. I suggest quarterly. I suggest that you go into couples therapy quarterly to make sure that all is well with both of you. Make sure you are sharpening your skills to listen and advocate for a deeper and stronger connection with your spouse. If your spouse says that you are not meeting their needs be okay with it. Listen to what their concerns are. Hear what they are telling you and ask follow-up questions. Be willing to take the good with the bad to improve the overall health of your marriage.

There are obviously many more things that I could suggest, but trust me your marriage is a business. You get paid (whether literally, emotionally or spiritually), there may be acquisitions (children or parents moving in) or restructuring (death of a family member) and furloughs (someone could lose their job).  How you deal with these issues by building a strong foundation will let you know whether or not your marriage will turn a profit that year or not. Love is only the beginning.

 

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/.

 

 

interracial dating-black woman-white man-relationship

My Issue With Interracial Dating

Recently, I had a conversation about interracial dating with a group of women (and some men).  This group was predominantly black (or of African descent), mixed with women and men from other races as well.

I asked them,

“Are you open to other races? Have you always been? What made you open up your options?”

Some of the responses were startling

“I prefer chocolate men but with the shortage of black men, I may have to explore other options.”

Really, I hadn’t realized that black men had gone the way of the Siberian Tiger.  Needless to say, there are a lot of black women who have bought into the hype that good black men are becoming extinct. This is very disheartening.

Even worse is this response from another black woman.

“Before I wasn’t. Now I am. I only changed my mind because there are very limited good options in the black community…..I used to say I want to be with somebody who understands us and our struggle; however, I now realize that also comes with lots of trauma and negative energy too sometimes. I’ll pass.”

So you’ll pass on black men, and date interracial because of your choices in men?  I find that some women and men, “switch-up-the-program,” because of their negative experience with a handful of people. As a result, this lack of accountability mutates into misguided anger and resentment for black men, or women overall.

Continue reading “My Issue With Interracial Dating”

Girl – Fall in Line

Yesterday, I posted Real Men Lead about how to know whether or not a man can lead. Now, I want to talk about women submitting. As stated in yesterday’s post…you should only submit to your spouse. Not your boyfriend.

Is it hard? Yep, but you have to know that submission is what is required for a union to work. You can’t solely focus on the ring and the wedding and miss the signs that the man can’t or won’t lead you. He has to be able to lead the family.

I know that when Mr. C and I marry that I will be able to submit. Why? I’m older and wiser now. When I married last, I remember the pastor saying that a “house can’t have two kings Tikeetha. You have to submit.” I laughed and said “I’ll submit. He’s the head, but I’m the neck.” He sighed.

I didn’t realize what I was doing. I didn’t accept my husband’s role in the marriage and I didn’t understand my own. That is something that I’m so serious about this time. Letting a man of God lead our family. I am vowing to give that to Mr. C.

Many of you may be asking how I can knowingly submit to this man. I’ll tell you how, two reasons:

  1. Because I prayed to God to send me Mr. C. and HE did. Mr. C is my answered prayer
  2. Because the Bible tells me too.

Women, we need to understand that our role in a marriage is not to break or destroy our men, but to be their rib. Your rib protects your vital organs. We need to protect him. We can’t lead our house. That is our husband’s job. We need to submit to his leadership. Can you?

If you are struggling to submit to his leadership maybe it’s because you don’t trust his leadership and if you don’t trust his leadership then why did you marry him? It’s something you need to ask yourself. You need to work together to get back on track because trust is fundamental in a marriage. If there is no trust you can’t operate with one mindset that the marriage is the of the utmost priority in the household. Your goals for the family must be in alignment.

If you examine where you are with trust, it may be time to seek out professional counseling to work on rebuilding and securing your strong foundation. You two deserve to have a great marriage and you just need to be willing to put in the work. A good marriage requires two people willing to work at it.

Now, if you are not married and looking for guidance as to what you need to do in order to submit. I want to offer this disclaimer: You can’t make someone submit. You can’t. If you are married and your wife is choosing not to submit you can’t force her. You can suggest counseling because there are issues that your wife may be dealing with because submission is not something she wants to do.

Just like in my last marriage, I will offer this advice I received “A home can’t have two kings.” I know some women may be thinking “Well, I’m not a king, but a queen and I can do it by myself.” Then I offer this…“Why didn’t you stay single and run your own queendom?” Marriage is a partnership and you must understand your role.

5 Things You Must Know Before Submitting:

  1. You have to deal with your own issues before marriage. Making sure that you are mentally healthy and ready for the partnership and unity. Deal with any trust issues you have. Your husband should not pay for the problems of the past. Work them out in therapy and enter your marriage mentally healthy and ready to submit.
  2. You are the rib. You are not the head. You are not leading the marriage. You are supposed to understand that it is a partnership and that your marriage is a priority. Let him lead and be the support. You have to support your husband. Support his choices and decisions knowing that he is following God and will do what is best for the family. Protect him from harm. Have his back and love him through both his good and bad days.
  3. You will sometimes feel alone in your submission. But, you’re not. Ultimately, what is happening is that when you submit to your husband, you are submitting to the will of God and that will is what is working in your marriage. You have to trust this and trust your husband.
  4. Submission means willing to receive direction. Your husband is directing the family because he can’t do it on his own. Realistically speaking, he shouldn’t. It takes two people to make sure that your foundation is firm and your bond unbreakable. Allow him to delegate and follow his lead.
  5. Submission allows your husband to love you completely. If he’s not competing for the role of leader he can love you and focus on the best interest of the family. That means that he will be invested in protecting his family. The family unit stays in tact when you both are working towards the common goal that marriage is a journey and you’re not in a rush to get to the destination.

Savor it sis. Let the man love and lead you the way you’re supposed to be loved. Be giving. Be gracious and be submissive.

 

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/.

Real Men Lead

Let’s be real. We all want a man. A real man. A man to lead us. To lead our family. To be the true head of the household.

Can you imagine it? Do you have that already? Isn’t it awesome?

For those of you that don’t have that now or are looking for it, this post is for you. For those of you that are fortunate to have this kind of man, you are blessed. Keep living your happy lives knowing that two become one when you are united. I love it.

Now, one of the things that I’m realizing is that many women say that they want a man to lead, but don’t know how to submit. Let me clarify this…submission is only in marriage. Not dating or living together. Don’t shack up and submit. If you can shack up then you should get married so you can submit to your husband because let’s keep it real…it will be hard to submit once you transition from living together as boyfriend and girlfriend to married folks.

Been there and done that. That’s why Mr. C and I aren’t shacking up with our children until we jump that proverbial broom. The day that we say our vows, will be the day that we stand before God and our children and pledge our lives to each other. It is the day that I will know that my prayers have been answered and God has sent me the man to lead our family.

I will completely submit to my husband’s lead. I will follow and love and protect our family something fierce. I will pray for him and our children as I do myself and encourage his dreams. I will trust in God’s will as God has trusted him to lead.

Submission is easy when you know that the man that you are with is a good leader. Real men lead sis. Let’s cut to the chase. Leading is not instinctive in many cases, neither is submission, but I’ll discuss that later. Leadership requires sacrifice, a strong work ethic and a brilliant mind. Does your man have those qualities?

A man that will lead you needs to know these 5 things:

  1. He needs to know and follow God. This is absolutely the most important thing. How can a man lead when he’s not being led by God? He can’t. He is just winging it. You will go through things in your marriage that will try to break and destroy you. Who will your man lean on? Will he pray for you? Will he pray for guidance from God? Will he pray for your marriage? A man can’t lead you if he’s floundering out in the wilderness with no compass. God is the compass sis!
  2. He needs to know his issues and is seeking to work on them through therapy or has resolved them. A broken man can’t lead. No way. No how. If he has trust issues, money problems or a problem being faithful, he is broken. He can’t lead and you can’t follow. Don’t try to fix him sis. Keep it moving.
  3. He needs to be an investor in your marriage. That means that he has to put your marriage first all the time. ALL THE TIME. No ifs, ands or buts about it. Your marriage must come first. Your marriage is an investment that he will spend time watching and working on to make sure that the investment yields a tangible profit…happiness.
  4. He needs to have a fighting spirit. Marriage is not easy. Everyone goes through things. It’s a part of the cycle. Sometimes it will get too heavy. There may be illness, infidelity or just a lazy spirit in your marriage. He needs to be fighting for your marriage even when you don’t. Divorce should not be an option.
  5. He needs to be able to delegate. A man can’t do everything. No one can do everything. But, if he can delegate his needs to you it will bring you closer. People that try to do everything by themselves either burn themselves out or fail miserably. Trust me. I speak from experience. Being able to communicate his needs and want and delegate some responsibilities to you will allow you both to develop closer as a unit and marriage. Unity is the key.

Now, that you know what it takes for a real man to lead. Are you married to a man that is leading you? Have you ever dated a man that knows how to lead?

Tomorrow’s post will discuss a woman’s role in submission to a man.

-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/.

My IVF Journey: The Road Less Traveled

The two week wait was agonizing. How could I continue to act like nothing was going on? I was possibly creating life in my womb. I was scared yet hopeful that God would be in all that was happening.

I went about my daily life trying to occupy my time and thoughts. Luckily, I was gearing up for my busy season at work, but my marriage took a hit. I thought I was losing my damn mind. Nothing could prepare me for the hell that I found myself in.

I spent so much time crying out to God. I wanted to know why o’ why had He forsaken me? Why did he allow me to be in so much pain? I put my mask back on. The mask of pretending that I was okay when I was in an unfathomable amount of pain.

I was losing control. Nothing in life seemed to be going as it should. I couldn’t let the world see.

The world couldn’t see that I was dying and trying to hold on to my sanity. I am a survivor. I had survived worse, but how much more was I expected to bear?

I prayed that God could hear my cries. I was alone. Trapped in the pain of my mind. The weight of my wedding ring was burning my skin. The  two week wait passed with more tears and numbness than I thought possible.

I got up and went to the fertility clinic. I had survived the two week wait. I had to get my blood drawn. I was used to needles by then. Hated them, but I was becoming indifferent to pain. They told me that my nurse would call me later with the results.

I sighed. I knew the drill. It was probably another negative. I mean how could I be pregnant at this point? I couldn’t think about it. I had to get to work.

Waiting for the call from my fertility nurse was agonizing. I busied myself with meetings and work. I still had a job to do. A job that I needed with so much uncertainty surrounding me.

I was traveling a road that was new to me. Foreign. Was I pregnant? Did I want to stay in my marriage? Am I strong enough?

I checked my voicemail. The nurse had called. I called her back. She was unavailable. I had to wait for her to call me back.

Damn it!

Keep moving. Keep working. Occupy your mind and thoughts.

She called 30 minutes later. She said that my test was positive.

I was pregnant.

Tears rolled down my eyes.

I was pregnant.

I closed my eyes. “Are you sure?” I asked.

“Yes, your test came back positive” she said.

I was now a mommy. I was standing at the crossroads in my marriage and I was finally pregnant. God has a strange sense of humor. I didn’t sign up for this. What’s happening to me?

-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/.

My IVF Journey: Back to the Drawing Board

I ignored my husband. The egg number was low as compared to the woman in the other room. Too low. I just closed my eyes and prayed. Prayed that one of those eggs would give us a baby.

We left and I spent the rest of the day trying to clear my head. We decided that we had to be different. This stress of going through the process couldn’t destroy us again.

The nurse called to tell us about the embryos developing. All was good. Five had made it to the blastocyst stage. Good news.

We were scheduled for a day 5 transfer. I was nervous as hell. The same beautiful Indian doctor who did the retrieval was scheduled to do my transplant. Where the hell was my doctor? He was the one who believed that he could get me pregnant again.

She explained how excited that she was to see me again. She said that she remembered me from the retrieval and she had great news about our eggs. They were beautiful and strong. Five made it and she began to discuss the transplant.

If we transferred one embryo the chance of getting pregnant was 32%. If she transferred two Grade AA embryos the chance of getting pregnant was 54%, but the chance of twins was 57%. I stopped.

I mean I had thought about twins, but not really. I thought about how beautiful my babies would be with my husband’s eyes and mouth, but I knew that I would be exhausted…mentally, spiritually and financially. I hesitated. I looked at my husband.

He recommended two. Of course he would. He had no clue what it would be like raising two babies. He just wanted a baby. By any means necessary.

I looked at the doctor and asked “What would you do?” She said “If it were me, I would transfer 2, but it is up to you. Do you think you could handle twins?” I didn’t know if I could handle twins. But, I knew the odds were higher that one of the embryos would implant and give us a baby.

I agreed to transfer two embryos. She smiled and they transferred two beautiful eggs back into my womb. I prayed that one of those eggs would implant. I wanted a baby.

It was now time to wait. The two week process was grueling as hell, but we were determined that we could wait. We had dinner plans with friends and my husband’s birthday was coming up.

I had bought him tickets to watch his favorite football team, the Redskins, play on his birthday. It was a couple of great seats that included parking and a full tail gate pass. I even told him that he could take one of his friends. I hate football, so I didn’t want him to feel obligated.

But, he didn’t care. He wanted to experience it with me. Why? I hate football. It was hot and all I could do to quench this insatiable thirst was drink beer. I hate beer. I still didn’t know if I was pregnant, but I wasn’t going to deny myself alcohol waiting on another negative.

The game was long, hot and I was sticky. I was happy when we got to leave and go home. I was a little dizzy from the heat and beer. There was one more day.

We only had to wait one more day before finding out if the egg implanted or not. I couldn’t take it. I was coming apart at the seams. My marriage was suffering a major set back and I didn’t know how much I could take before breaking.

I didn’t know if being pregnant would have been good at that moment. I had prayed for this baby and I know I was wondering if my entire life was a mistake. What were we doing?

-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/.