Protect Black Girls

I watched the first two episodes of “Surviving R. Kelly,” and I was punching the air. I was disgusted by what all these women described, and my heart goes out to them. They were very brave to share their stories, and I pray that they continue to lead productive lives in spite of what has occurred. This story brought up many emotions in me, but one, in particular, is related to anger. Black girls are not even thought of when it comes to matters of sexual abuse. There are countless stories of abused black girls, and it gets swept under the rug. When things like this happen to other girls, it makes national headlines, and there is a public outcry. What about black girls? Do their lives not matter? It raises even more questions about why in the black community do we protect the abuser instead of the abused. There is that one uncle that is a little too friendly, or you hear family members speak about not letting a specific person babysit. Let’s take it a step further to mom’s new boyfriend/husband or even the pastor. It’s that guy that hangs out at the school that graduated many years ago or picking up a young girl from school. It’s the guy that has a preference for young girls or a hiring manager telling a potential hire how badly do you want this job? I can go on and on with a gamut of situations. Everything goes back to why is this allowed to continue?

The worse part of it all is women victim blaming other women for their sexual abuse. They will be very quick to say she’s fast or she deserved it based off how she dressed. It doesn’t matter how someone looks or acts. They can be butt naked walking down the street. Nobody has a right to touch or harass them in any way. As a society, there is too much victim blaming, and the anger should be towards the person who deserves it. When will protection for the abusers STOP?! Every person who is aware of a black girl who is victimized and does nothing is just as guilty as the person committing the crime. Please stop having girls go around their abuser pretending as nothing happened. That is hurtful and insulting to their mental wellbeing. You are in essence telling them to accept toxic behavior and don’t expect anyone to come to their aid. Being silent is also telling girls that their only purpose is for the sexual gratification of men. This brainwashing mentality then gets passed down to the next generation and so forth. Break the cycle now and stop protecting these revolting men and have them locked up.

Some things you can rehabilitate from, but pedophilia is not something that I believe you can turn around (my opinion). One of the hardest things for survivors to deal with is people calling them liars. Once you do finally get over the guilt/shame and then to be called a lair is disheartening. I can think of many things to lie about but being sexually abused is not one of them. You are scrutinized and deemed as a deviant so who would want that drama. Put your pride to the side and loneliness to protect your child. Single mothers especially need to be careful as someone could date you to get close to your daughter. We all could be more vigilant and be more cautious about who we let around our children. Also, we need to create an avenue when girls speak out about being abused that help at the forefront. Support is going to the police and getting therapy to name a few ideas. It takes a lot of courage to speak out. If more girls saw that it was safe to tell their truth, it will help others to say theirs as well. Not everyone who smiles in your face has good intentions. Stop protecting these abusers as speaking out can save someone else’s life.

What are your thoughts on the R. Kelly situation? Have you dealt with this or know someone who has? If so, what was the outcome? What are some ideas that we can do as a community to prevent this from happening in the future? Let’s continue the dialogue in the comment section below. FYI I know that many girls are impacted by sexually abused. I’m calling out black girls due to the backlash that these brave women were receiving online from speaking out about R. Kelly.

Until next time,

Prescription for Self-Care

When you hear the word self-care what comes to mind? For me, it’s something that I don’t do enough. I’m always running around but never take the time to focus on myself entirely. We all need time to ourselves to unwind from the stresses of the day. You can’t be fully present for others if you have yet to be there for yourself. I’m learning that I can’t give my all and saying no is okay. I still feel guilty when I do however not being there for myself is even worse. How can you say you love yourself if you don’t give yourself the same care as everything else? Internally you deserve the same amount of attention as your job, bills, etc. No more excuses! From this day forward self-care will no longer be a slogan but a complete lifestyle change.

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I concluded that I lacked self-care while being on this leadership council for a non-profit organization. I tried to make myself available to all the meetings and any activities that came up. Due to my work commitments being on this council was proving to be quite challenging. It didn’t matter however because I was determined to give back even if meant hurting myself in the process. Since this council is new, it requires a lot of time and effort. I could provide support but only in a limited capacity. I started to see that my availability and the council needs weren’t in alignment. I kept forcing myself to fit into a puzzle piece that doesn’t fit. I realize that honestly, I could give my all but at what cost? Sure I would be giving back, but I won’t be fully present as I would be exhausted. I have to take better care of myself if I’m going to be an asset. Until I cater to my needs, I can’t possibly be there for others.

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Putting others before yourself is selfish because as a human you have needs as well. Not catering to your own needs creates resentment. Taking time to recharge your batteries gives you the space you need so you can get in touch with yourself. Also, it’s okay if you can’t be involved in everything. It’s better to dedicate yourself to a few events as opposed to every occasion and not enjoying it.  Be honest about what your schedule permits. People may expect more but don’t let guilt deter you. Don’t let others have free reign over your time as you don’t get that back. You should be happy and excited anytime you are spending time on something. If your energy is continuously depleting that means you are neglecting your needs and you need to look into that. I’m practicing self-care currently, and unfortunately, it’s taking some adjustments on my part. I’m hoping you do the same if you haven’t started already. What are some of your self-care methods that you tried? Please share your comments below. Don’t forget to fill your daily dose of self-care or seek your treatment as needed.

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Until next time,

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