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/.

The Art of Being A Wife Tour

Sorry for the post that wasn’t. I’ve had a busy week and haven’t been able to catch up on a lot of your posts. Please know that I will be doing that over the next few days including this weekend. However, I wanted to tell you about this awesome session that I attended last Saturday. It was called The Art of Being a Wife Tour.

The tour was designed to get women to think of the following questions:

Do I have what it takes to be a great wife?

How do I bring sexy back to my bedroom?

How can I get “me” back after losing her in my marriage?

Am I the only one going through in my marriage?

Can I stay even when the thrill is obviously gone?

As someone who plans to be a wife to Mr. C one day, I wanted to go and check it out. Plus, I knew Tanya Barnett. She wrote the book Being A Wife Just Got Real: Things I Wish I Knew Before I Said “I Do” that I reviewed. I had read the book, but I wanted to know more.

The Women

I had never met Dominique Clarke, but I am glad I did. They were incredible leaders in helping us to really dig dip into things that affect us. Dominique is a matchmaker who has been married for 8 years and she’s only 30. What? How awesome is that?

I couldn’t imagine being married at 22, but she’s making it work. She shares her tips for dating, relationships and marriage with you. She has a book entitled She’s Valuable (But Does She Know It?) that I purchased and started to read. I’ll do a book review on this later.

Tanya Barnett is an entrepreneur, author, mom, wife, radio host and many other titles. She shares her testimony about her relationship struggles in her marriage and what she had to do to fix herself. She tells you how God told her that her marriage was her ministry.

How many of us think of marriage as our ministry? But, it really is. That was an amazing nugget to take away. Her book is amazing and a must read.

What It Wasn’t

It wasn’t a male bashing session. It was a session to help us women figure out what we can work on within ourselves. That in itself was different because we always want to turn it into a male bashing session or point the other finger to our partners when we get around other women.

We aren’t accountable for our own actions. There was none of that. It was all love and respect. It was really getting to what you desire for yourself and your partner so you can strengthen your relationships. I had a ball.

What I Wish

What did I wish they had? A workbook with some excerpts and tips from their own book that they could share. It was a lot of women and we couldn’t get through everything, but have us do the work and talk about what we expect to get out of this. Have us work on ourselves at home.

What I Want You To Know

I learned some things. I learned from the women around me at my table and I was able to share some wisdom as a divorced woman. This was an excellent opportunity for sister bonding and empowerment. Self-improvement always is and will be one of my top priorities in my life.

Highlight

The next stop is in Raleigh, North Carolina. If you are in the area, please go check out this awesome tour. There are only a few tickets remaining. I was also fortunate to give a testimonial. Check it out:

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/.

#ThursdayThoughts

My blog is my blog. It is a reflection of how I feel. If you read the tag line it is my high horse journalistic point of view.

Thank you for reading and commenting. I value each and every one of you. As my readership grows, I want to thank you for being a part of this journey with me.

It’s an amazing journey where you will witness me sharing my soul and opening up my heart and mind to the things that I’ve endured. It’s not a pretty story, but is life pretty? It is my truth. I make no apologies for sharing it.

Some things you’ll be able to relate to and other things you won’t. I get it. Life is about finding people you can learn and grow from. I spoke about it on Monday. Find your tribe.

If you haven’t had the opportunity to do so, check out my page and learn a little about me: I Am Me

tumblr_lt4otbM7v11qjqz6co1_500

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: Blackout

I was in a perpetual hell. Pain. The pain was indescribable. No one knew how bad I was suffering. The excuses.

I made so many excuses for not being present. I became engrossed in work. Always working late or focusing on other things. Hiding the mask of pain for those who knew me best. Those who knew my struggle.

I had other things to focus on. My cousin was dying. He was 9 months older than me. He was my best friend. My life’s purpose became about making sure he was okay.

We talked often. I told him of my fear that I was broken. I told him how I feared that I couldn’t give my husband a baby. That I was scared. That maybe God was punishing me.

He listened. He loved. He encouraged. He never judged.

Even after his radiation treatments or chemo treatments he encouraged me to talk to my husband. To let him know what I was feeling. I couldn’t. I changed the subject.

I made my cousin promise that he wouldn’t leave me. That he wouldn’t die and leave me alone because I had no one. My heart was breaking and I told him that I couldn’t have another organ breaking since my womb was broken. He laughed.

He was tired. He was exhausted. A planned trip to spend some time with him in April was just what I needed. I needed to get home to see my family. To hear the sounds and laughter of those that loved me.

I felt so alone in my house that it was hard to come home. I would smile.  I would make polite conversation. I would go into the room and watch television. I tuned out. I turned my back on my marriage and grew smaller in my shell.

We became roommates.

I told my husband that I needed to go home to Tennessee. I needed to be with my cousin. He thought it would be a good idea. He encouraged me to go. Maybe he was hoping it would help me. A change of scenery. A breath of fresh air in this toxic environment that we were creating.

I went home to spend the weekend with my cousin and his new wife. She seemed nice enough. Surface. I couldn’t see beyond the surface of her personality so I just accepted his choices. He was who I needed to encourage me. He was who I was there to see.

My cousin had baked two pies for me. My favorite custard pie called a chess pie. It was so good. Perfect. Even after his cancer treatments he wanted to do something for me. He told his wife “My cousin is coming. I want to do it for her.” I felt special.

A bond that had formed when I was born this man was the big brother I never had. The father figure. The protector. I ate and slept that weekend. Good conversation, food and family. It was as though my life was reset. I saw value in the things that mattered.

I took my cousin and his wife out to dinner. I bought them groceries. He was on a fixed income. He had to maintain his COBRA payments until Medicare kicked in. She didn’t work. She took care of him. Food stamps helped some. But, she longed for coffee.

Coffee.

That was the least I could do. I called my husband and asked him was it okay that I bought them food. They had little and had given me so much. He encouraged my generosity.

I was at peace.

My cousin decided that he wanted to bake me a couple of pies and a caramel cake to take home. I asked “How am I expected to get this home?” “Ship it.” I laughed.

We shipped 4 desserts back to Maryland packed with ice packs. It was expensive, but I needed it. I needed a piece of family. I needed the love that was in that box. The love that a man who was dying gave me every day.

The next day I headed home. Back to my life. Back to the toxic feeling of failure that was engulfing my spirit. I wasn’t getting better.

I was getting better at hiding my pain.

-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/.

The Thought Catalog

A couple of week’s ago I was ecstatic after receiving a message from one of the coordinators at The Thought Catalog. She said one of their staff writers had ran across one of my posts and thought it would be a good fit for their site. She asked me would I be interested in sharing it. “Uh yeah” I said.

Well, it was posted a couple of days ago and I wanted to share it with you. This is another avenue that will allow me to expand my readership and really get my name out there. I love the idea of sharing my work to big sites that have millions of readers. I am honored.

That being said, please check out my profile here: My Profile and share my post here:  6 Dating Mistakes You Make When You’re A Girl That’s Too Nice

 

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/.

 

Make Better Choices Girlfriend

It’s true. We’ve all been there. Dating men who were beneath us in terms of socio-economics, but should we really date a broke man? A man that is not able to provide for us?

I’ve been seeing a lot of questions on social media and in the various groups that I belong to asking whether or not our standards are too high. Maybe, but we are making poor choices when it comes to the men we are choosing to partner ourselves with and I need us to stop, drop and roll.

Do you know what I mean?

Stop

Stop dating and fathering children with men that don’t have. They don’t have a job so you see this as an opportunity to show him that you are down. Down for what sis? Poverty? Paying for all the dates? He’s broke. He shouldn’t be dating you much less dating anyone until he gets his life together. A real man doesn’t use a woman for a come up. Let me repeat that…A real man will never use you, date you and/or sleep with you trying to come up on your coat tails. If the man you are with is doing this then you need to stop dating him. He is not the man for you.

Drop

Drop all the excuses you tell yourself for supporting a broke man with no desire to work. Poverty isn’t in. It never was. If you’ve fathered children with a man that can’t take care of them, pick yourself up and move on Martha. If you’re doing it by yourself then you’re technically by yourself. Children require more than love. What about medical expenses, child care or basic school supplies? Broke men with no ambition and/or desire to provide should be dropped from your social calendar immediately. Run! Pack up your suitcases and leave that dog before you get fleas that you can’t get rid of.

Roll

Roll out on situations with men that are beneath who you are. You should never settle. You should never have expectations so high that even Jesus wouldn’t qualify to date you. You should find a happy medium. When your expectations are right and you are all about loving and living your happy life is when God will send a wonderful man into your life. A man that wants to build with you and not take from you. A man that will offer his everything and not just a broke piece of penis. Roll out of situations that require you to change who you are. You are not required to support people you didn’t birth. Especially grown men that don’t want to help you. Roll out and roll on from the struggle life. Again, poverty isn’t in and it ain’t cute.

Do you find yourself lowering your standards when dating? What about in relationships? Would you date a man or woman with no job? Talk to me.

 

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/.

 

Five Years Later

This popped up on Facebook today:

0711

It was a picture of a luau. Five years ago my ex and I were celebrating our 10 year wedding anniversary in Hawaii. Munch was four years old.

We spent nine beautiful days in Hawaii. This was the first of two luaus that we would attend on a beautiful island. Hawaii was perfect. We needed that trip. It was designed to give us time to reflect and strengthen our marriage knowing that we made it this far.

But, it was a short trip down memory lane. Seven months after our Hawaii trip, I was asking for a divorce. I was exhausted. I couldn’t do it anymore. There were many reasons why, but ultimately I wanted each of us to find happiness because we were making each other miserable.

Five years later we’ve both found happiness. At least I believe we have. But, there are still things that aren’t working. Mainly our ability to co-parent.  I have many wishes or as my friends say expectations of how I want things to work. However, I’m an eternal optimist and I like the word “wish”. It brings sincere hope for something better. So, here are my three wishes five years later:

3 Wishes – 5 Years Later

  1. I wish that we would talk to each other about our son. I mean truly talk. Not forceful or accusatory conversation but a conversation designed to help lead our child down the right path. Really listening and respecting the other person’s point of view.
  2. I wish that we could co-parent Munch. You see many people tell you how you should co-parent, but don’t tell you the tools required to do so. The judge believes we can, others pray for it.  But, we’re not co-parenting. Until we can respect each other it will always be a wish. We begin to parallel parent. That kind of parenting hurts Munch.
  3. I wish that we could remember that Munch is watching us. Munch will never forget how we act towards each other and it will sit with him forever. He is watching and observing our behavior and he will craft his own perception of how things are and were during his younger years.

I’m not perfect. I’m an alpha female. I’ve always been that way. I won’t change. I don’t expect you to change. But, we’ve got to do better. I know that you want the best for Munch. I want the best for Munch, but the more that we continue to have painful conversations, lengthy emails or text messages that don’t have anything to do with Munch. The more time is wasted on bulls*it rather than focusing on Munch.

We have to proceed in these next few years as a unit committed to loving and raising our son. It’s five years later. Time has passed quickly and pretty soon Munch will be leaving our home and going to college where he will be responsible for creating his own destiny. What lessons would Munch have learned from us?

 

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/.