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,

Battle with Depression

I’m writing this in complete shock of what transpired with Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain. My thoughts and prayers are with their families at this difficult time. I’ve been reading a lot of comments regarding this situation, and everyone keeps saying how they don’t understand how Kate and Anthony got to this point. The comments are beyond hurtful as many people don’t know how mental illness and depression can alter your emotions. You will have mood swings, and thoughts of suicide can occur. These thoughts take place over the course of days, weeks, months, and even years. It is a constant battle of trying to get better and pretending that you’re okay. It is a private hell that I don’t wish on anyone. My intention with this post is to shed some light on this subject. The insensitivity I’m seeing is all the more reason why it’s essential to have this conversation. With many prayers and conversations with myself, I decided to share my own story. I have reservations about it, but I think it’s critical that I put my feelings aside. If this story can save one life, then it will be all worth it. Most importantly I hope that someone out there will think before they bully or judge someone. You have no idea what that person is dealing with or if the night before unsuccessfully (Thank God) tried to commit suicide.

My first experience with depression started when I was a teenager. I experienced a traumatic event in my life which prompted this. I didn’t properly learn how to process and deal with my emotions. I sought help, but the first therapist that I interacted with wasn’t helpful. She made me feel as if the situation was my fault. I was already blaming myself, so this situation just pushed me over the edge. I had so much pent-up aggression inside that I just wanted it to be released. I begin to self-harm as a way to cope with my emotions. Of course, this didn’t help at all, and my pain only intensified as time went on. The pain was becoming unbearable to the point where suicide was viewed as the best option. I didn’t feel comfortable discussing my struggles with anyone. When I would explain my issues with family, I would hear you don’t have anything to be sad about, or you need to pray more. Not sure why people think hearing that would be helpful in some way. Of course, this does nothing to cure your depression or boost your self-esteem. I kept myself busy with school and extracurricular activities. All I did was mask the pain I was dealing with, but it did nothing to cure the depression I was feeling. My family and friends thought I was okay because I did an excellent job of hiding my emotions.

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I am a very great actress, and I hid it very well. I don’t want to come across as weak or complaining, so I keep things to myself. When I did open up to the family, I didn’t get the support I was seeking. They were listening to me, but they didn’t understand what I was feeling. In their mind, I was a teen, and this is what teens deal with, so you will grow out of it. This thinking was wrong as I didn’t grow out of it and it only became worse. When you first open up about your feelings and don’t  receive a heartfelt response, you decide to not speak on it anymore. Everybody wants to be understood so when that doesn’t occur it’s easier to keep your thoughts to yourself. Depression followed me well into my adulthood, and I still struggle with it daily. Happy events were occurring in my life, but I was battling my own demons that I couldn’t enjoy it. I know I wasn’t the most relaxed person to date during that time as I was suffering in silence. I was going through the motions of life and being miserable at the same time. I got to the point when ending it all was the best option just to alleviate the noise in my head. This is when I unsuccessfully attempted suicide, and I’m so incredibly grateful it was unsuccessful.

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I went to work the next day as if nothing happened the night before. I remember that day as if it was yesterday. I had a horrible day at work, and my coworkers had no idea the previous night I had. At that point is when I decided to seek therapy again. I know you are wondering the first attempt didn’t work out so why try it again? I knew that I couldn’t do this alone and who better to see but a professional. I met an excellent therapist and credited her with helping to save me from myself. I had been a broken person all these years. My inner child never fully healed, so she became an adult without the emotional coping skills necessary in life. Even though I was an adult emotionally, I was still a teen, and that version of myself was the one making the decisions. Until I learned to heal that inner child, I would never be able to move forward. Those were the skills I learned in therapy, and that’s why I’m here today. With her guidance, I was able to finally heal my inner child and gain the closure I desperately needed for that chapter in my life.

I am a stronger, healthier person now because of therapy. I am a massive advocate for treatment, and I encourage anyone who needs healing to get it. After speaking about my struggles, I noticed that some family and friends are going through similar issues. Being preoccupied with how I came across, I never thought that maybe there are people who understand me. When you are in your head too much, you don’t reason with reality. My family and friends are more than willing to help me if I would let them in my world. Therapy taught me that I need to stop building walls around myself and be open to people as everyone isn’t going to hurt me. I don’t want anyone to read this story and feel sorry for me. I’m in a much better place, and this experience has only made me stronger. I hope that you read this story and it opens your eyes that depression doesn’t have a look. Anyone at any given time could be experiencing depression. If you have a loved one that is struggling even if they give hints, please don’t ignore them. That is their way of asking for help.

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Unfortunately, there is a still a stigma associated with mental illness and depression. Due to that people are still afraid to come forward with their truth. If you are struggling, please feel free to email me even if it’s to vent. I don’t want you to feel alone. Seek treatment and speak to a trusted friend or family member. Use this post as a way to help facilitate a conversation if necessary. Don’t let your struggles get the best of you. There is a way that you can overcome your obstacles don’t be afraid to ask for help. If one person doesn’t listen or give you the response you are seeking keep trying. There are others out there who do so don’t give up. Please share this on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and leave your comments below. Let’s continue to add commas to our lives and not a period.

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Until next time,

Thkeya Life (1)

Removing Baggage

Once you reach your thirties, it’s difficult to experience life at this point without baggage. You can’t escape it, but you should be open about it. Being honest is even more critical when it impacts your dating life. You should be as truthful as possible as the choice to be with you should be a mutual decision. Don’t ever take the option out of the hands of your potential mate. Eventually, that person will develop resentment and mistrust if you do. I understand being skeptical about revealing too much as it can work against you. However, if that person is ready to leave, then they aren’t meant for you. Do you want someone who will give up easily and not stick it out? I didn’t think so. It is better, to tell the truth as a way to weed out the wrong individuals. Be sure to prepare for a relationship before getting involved in one. Please review the items below before jumping into a relationship. I understand the need for companionship/love, but if you genuinely aren’t open (i.e., emotionally unavailable, rebound, baby mama/daddy drama and lack of time) it’s not fair to invite someone into that drama.

Emotionally Unavailable

If you are dealing with past pain, mistrust, or stuck on an ex, then you aren’t ready to date. Please don’t use someone for companionship or be prepared to have the windows busted out your car. That other person has emotions, and it’s unfair to allow someone to fall for you when emotionally you can’t commit to a relationship. Be open and honest about where you are and let that other person decide to continue to deal with you.

Rebound

I know the old saying is the best way to get over someone is under someone new. I completely disagree with this statement. That new person again has feelings, and all you will be doing is toying with them. Your new romantic partner will be under the impression that you are ready for a relationship just like they are. They will feel that way because you lead them to believe that. Getting over an ex is not the new person’s responsible it’s yours. Take the time to be single and work through your issues before a new relationship. Of course, you should continue to improve yourself while in a relationship. However, it’s vital that significant problems like your previous relationship ending should be worked out before starting a new one. A long-term relationship ending doesn’t mean jumping into another relationship a few months later. You aren’t ready nor have you healed. Don’t use someone else to mask that pain. You will end up on an episode of “Snapped” if you aren’t careful.

Baby Mama/Daddy Drama

If you are dealing with a crazy ex who happens to be the mother or father of your children, please work through that before starting a relationship. Everyone needs love which I understand entirely, but that’s a lot of drama to ask someone to take on. If there are child support and custody issues, get that together beforehand. Your new relationship shouldn’t now be the time to want to work on those issues. The ex will feel that your new relationship is causing problems and they will start to become angry. The ex may, unfortunately, begin to take out their anger on the children. The way this can occur is by seeing the children less and in some cases stop paying child support. Also, if your new significant other doesn’t have children the expectation of time will be required. If you don’t have a visitation schedule in place how can you properly develop a relationship? Save everyone the heartache and figure out any loose ends before starting a new relationship.

Lack of Time

If you are too busy due to work, business travel or whatever your reasons are be upfront about it. Don’t start a new relationship if you will not have the time necessary to dedicate to it. Things become even more complicated if the other person is fully present and ready for a relationship. If you don’t have the time to commit to a relationship, then you have to let the other person know that. Allow the other person to decide if this relationship is right for them. You may not want to hear if the answer is no, but you don’t have the right to make decisions for others. It’s not fair for a person to get involved with you under the assumption you can commit to a relationship. Due to your lack of time, you most likely want something more casual. There is nothing wrong with this, but you have to be forthcoming about it.

I know this sounds like you can’t be in a relationship ever and I hope that’s not the message you’re getting. The purpose of this is to remind you of the importance of being a healthy and happy person before a new relationship. You want to come into a new relationship ready to start fresh and be open to new experiences. You can’t do that with the baggage I just described. The types of baggage discussed in this post doesn’t allow for a sustainable and prosperous relationship. It is imperative that these types of baggage be nonexistent before starting a new relationship. Otherwise, you will be in a never-ending string of bad relationships.  All because your past issues are still present.

Until next time,

Thkeya Life (1)