Thank you for choosing to begin your journey through me. As the vessel to nurture you and bring you forth into this world, I accepted the responsibility. Not a light one either.
Each day from the moment I knew of you, my decisions have caused me anxiety. Am I teaching you the right things? Am I nurturing enough? Do you REALLY know how much I love you?
Even now, as the ‘original kids’, you have reached that milestone of adulthood and I am terrified. Did I show you enough love? Was I affectionate enough? Did my failures in love dissuade you from seeking it? Did I inadvertently pass down hurts that were passed on to me?
Motherhood is a strange emotional ride. The never ending roller coaster. More so for me as I am still trying to figure out my combination lock to life. It feels like the calculus class I took multiple times as a freshman in college and never passed. Some days I feel like I am drowning in the center of the ocean and other days I feel like I am sprinting down the coast with warm sand under my toes.
Amidst the tears, uncompromising expectations (of self) and unpredictability, I wouldn’t change being a mother. It took 20 years to appreciate my stretch marks, but I earned every one. Thank you to all of my children for choosing me to be their mother.
My youngest child started preschool today. My last born, my last first day of school and I didn’t cry. The reality that my son’s external educational journey has begun is stirring up mixed emotions in me. We’ve waited a long time for this day but now that it’s here I don’t want my baby boy growing up too fast.
And that’s what it is. Today marks the end of his baby days. The hugs, kisses and snuggles will soon be traded for friends, toys and school crushes. I’m not ready, but I’m preparing. My daughter, who’s going into kindergarten this year, is already writing love letters to some boy from her class last year. Surprisingly, I didn’t react. I listened as she read her letter. I observed my daughter and then reflected on my personality at her age. Damn. She is like me, but bolder. She’s a lot more gutsy than I was at five years old. I feel like time is getting away from me.
This is a very different mental space for me. My children are growing, my parents are aging and I’m in the middle of life’s upward escalator unable to backtrack. Transitions. These moments kind of sneak up on you unexpectedly. But they are necessary. I don’t always like them, but I understand they are catalysts for growth and change. And we all know that change is the only constant.
Many times when October rolls around many people are thinking about Columbus Day, Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas plans. Many times the quiet woman nursing bruises is overlooked. The timid woman in the office is ignored. The mother who averts her gaze when picking her child up from school is mistaken for being stuck up. Many times this is not the case. Many times she is trying her hardest to avoid abuse at home should she not return fast enough, should she be caught or suspected to interact with others. Our job as a community is to learn what the warning signs of domestic violence looks like. Our job is to speak up and speak out to end the cycle of domestic violence in our communities.
The media always portrays domestic violence as always being physical violence, like when Rhianna’s image flew across the internet after Chris Brown abused her. Yes, that is domestic violence but that is not the only form it comes in. Because society believes that is the only face of domestic violence many women stay silent for fear of being ridiculed and judged for not resembling Rhianna. In all cases of domestic violence the beginning stages include emotional and psychological manipulation. Loving words and gestures while slowly, methodically, and quietly separating the prey from any and all forms of outside support, i.e. friends, family, loved ones. Once the separation is complete then the loving words turn into judgments, put-downs, insults, ridicule and cruelty. The longer this stage is allowed to continue unchecked and unchallenged the more dangerous the situation becomes. In the most dangerous cases sexual and physical abuse begins.
Recognize the mental and psychological abuse: “You’re fat. Nobody’s gonna want your fat ass!”; “You didn’t have anything when I met you!”; “Everything you have is because of me!”; “I saw you looking at that person, so I know you slept with them!”; “You ain’t shit! Everything you think is an idea that came from me!”; “If you try to leave me I will call the police and have you arrested!”; “But baby I said those things because I love you. I NEED you! I can’t be without you!” Other forms of domestic violence include financial abuse, and sexual abuse. Being in a relationship does not entitle anyone to sex. NO means NO! Another misconception is that only women get abused. It is rare but men can also be victims of domestic violence too. Recognize the signs, ask careful questions, lend a listening ear and offer genuine help. Especially when children are involved. Children learn what they live. If you or someone you care about is in an abusive situation call the National Domestic Violence Hotline (from a secure phone line) for help: 1-800-799-7233
Well, I have been fighting back tears all day today. Happy tears. Tears of joy and acceptance. My little girl is on the road to growing up and growing independent of me. She has started preschool today. Gone are the innocent days of her looking solely to me for her answers. Newly arrived are the days of testing the rules and challenging her limits (more than she already does).
I dropped my daughter off to school this morning half hoping for, but not really, some resemblance of her wanting to miss me. Not a screaming fit or anything like that but just some sign that she would miss me during the time that she would be at school. I received a good bye hug and kiss and off she ran to play with her new school mates. Not a glance back was had. Not a ‘mommy don’t go’ like some of the other kids. In a way I guess that means I have raised her to be independent so far and that’s good – right? Could it mean that she couldn’t wait to get away from me and school is a welcomed reprieve? A mother wonders sometimes.
I believe she is courageously independent and well adjusted for a three year old. More wise than her years and in her wisdom, did not cry when I arrived to pick her up this afternoon. She was excited to return home and when I asked about her day she told of some of her adventures with excitement in her eyes and laughter in her voice. She recalled that she had meatloaf for lunch and a banana with her breakfast! She told me that a little boy took a red ball from her and the teacher said to him, “Give Yehudi back that red ball!”
Yehudi is asleep now. She is eager to wake up and go back to her school so she can play with her friends some more. She is excited to sing the alphabet song with her peers and to recite the story time rules we have here at home:
rule #1 – sit down quietly
rule #2 – put your hands in your lap
rule #3 – listen and enjoy the story
How can you not enjoy story time with easy to remember rules like those? Then on twitter this afternoon I found this inspirational quote to cheer me up. Well, it’s time for me to pick out her school clothes for tomorrow and begin to plan toddler activities for Chava for this school year. He’s one now but he’ll be three and headed to preschool before I can blink!
I received a happy phone call this morning. School starts on September 8, 2015, according to the school’s director, Mr. Nick.
My daughter excitedly stated she wanted to go to school all by herself. *Tears* She is growing up so fast. She worked very hard to learn how to go to the bathroom. (I’ll post more on how I potty trained her in a future post. I’m going to need it as a reference for when I potty train my baby boy).
Excitement and my son steadily trying to tiptoe into the kitchen, is blocking my thought process.
So, last night I indulged in one of my favorite shows: Flip or Flop on HGTV. I sacrificed sleep because I love watching the transformation of the auction homes in California’s neighborhoods. Seeing the different construction and design elements fascinates me because I love watching construction. When I was a young girl I wanted to learn carpentry but was quickly told that was no profession for a girl. BOO!
Tarek and Christina look like they have so much fun, even when their budget is stretched to the max, while working on a flip property. Well, they may or may not realize this but each project they take on is an inspirational story to all of their viewers: Love what you do, and do what you love. That is a great lesson to share with others be it directly or indirectly.
My goal for my children is to be able to instill in them the passion to follow their dreams and the courage the defend those dreams. Even should that be against me! Thanks Tarek and Christina!
A few days later Nathan met up with Mark at the Red Roof Inn on Roosevelt Boulevard. Mark was sitting in his Black Acura MDX listening to All Eyez on Me by Tupac when Nathan tapped three times on the tinted window. “Aye man what‘s good,” Nathan smirked.
“Come on man, let’s go relax. My girl Diamond is in there and she brought out all of her best girls.”
“Is Ruff Ryder in there?”
“You know it. I told you, Diamond brought all of her best girls. You need to relax after what you‘ve been through. We‘re in room 313.”
“Then let’s go.” Nathan stepped back from the car so Mark could get out and they began walking towards the hotel.
Mark called Diamond after he left Nathan’s house three days ago. He was positive that Nathan was the cause of all of Lydia’s ‘accidents’ and miscarriages. Just like with Georgia. Nathan didn’t know that Mark bought the plane ticket for Georgia and her son to leave and gave her money to start her life over in California. He knew Nathan was insecure about getting older but not to the point of targeting young girls so he can manipulate and viciously abuse them. After explaining what he saw at Nathan’s house with Lydia, and telling about Nathan’s treatment of Georgia, Diamond was all too eager to get even.
Nathan walked into room 313 and smiled when he saw the variety of women waiting. In the far corner of the room on a chaise lounge, sat a slender Thai woman dressed in a pale pink, sheer baby doll trimmed in fur. Her tight nipples were visible from where he stood at the door. She smiled at him and gave him a thai bow. Sitting next to her was a curvy Puerto Rican mami, with fiery red hair and a Caribbean blue thong on with matching bra and boots. A set of twins, Russian, were teasing each other on the floor wearing matching white leather one pieces. Sitting on the floor in front of a desk near the window was an olive colored Italian beauty. Large, almond shaped eyes and dark hair accented full breasts cloaked in an emerald green velvet gown. A black velvet choker with a chain attached drew the attention from her eyes to her full breasts. The chain led up to a leather handle held by a deep chocolate woman with curves like Nikki Minaj and Kim Kardashian who sat on top of the desk dressed in a black leather cat suit and boots, watching everything.
“That bitch must be Diamond. Sitting there like she run shit. Hmph. She better watch her step. I’m no body’s punk bitch,” Nathan thought as he eyed her up and down.
“You must be Nathan.” Diamond extended her hand as she rose up from the desk and stepped towards him. Nathan looked her in the eye, “Yeah.” Pulling her hand back she smiled and waved her hand at her ladies, “These are my ’diamonds’. I have cultivated each of them to be skilled in pleasure, be it their own or someone else’s. I understand you are a fan of Ruff Ryder. She is unable to be with us today but I am sure the rest of my ladies can thoroughly entertain you in her absence.” Nathan began smiling, “This bitch think she slick. She fucking with the right one. She mess around and I’ll have her bent the fuck over, fucking her in the ass to let her know I’ll fuck her up.”
Diamond recognized an egotistical, bitch-ass man when she saw one. It had only been fifteen years since she got up the courage to dispose of her own after living in a tortured hell for ten years. Her elite ‘diamonds’ were very skilled at entertaining customers such as Nathan…
Lisa Sparrow is an inspirational woman. She sat with me for an hour on my blogtalk radio show, On Why Yet’s Watch, and was completely open about her daily battle with mental illness. That in itself is bravery in my book. Mental illness is such a touchy topic to speak on because growing up we (as a society) were taught to only speak of such things in the house – especially when it pertained to a relative or close loved one. Lisa shared her story with our listeners and I am truly grateful.
Depression is the most common form of mental illness that people are familiar with. There is NO one single cause of depression. There can be a combination of causes that can trigger depression:
Trauma – a serious trauma that occurs early in life can change our brain’s response mechanism.
Genetics – mood disorders and risk of suicide tend to run in families but anyone with a genetic tendency would be more likely to show signs of depression at an early age
Life Circumstances – marital status, financial standing, where you live could all influence or trigger depression
Brain Structure – depression is associated with changing how your brain responds to hormone stimulation
Drug and Alcohol Abuse – 30% of people with substance abuse problems also have depression
16 million Americans had a least one major depressive episode last year, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). Women are 70% more likely than men to experience depression. Young adults aged 18-25 are 60% more likely to experience depression than people aged 50 and over. Unfortunately, Blacks and Latinos are more likely to be misdiagnosed.
There are many forms of treatment:
Brain Stimulation Therapies
Self Management Strategies and Education
Should you or someone you know suffer from depression or believe you do, seek help. There is strength in asking for help because we all need help at one time or another. For more information about depression and some of the causes of depression check out the following websites:
Good morning. *Yawn, stretch, rubs tired eyes* Yesterday my baby girl turned three years old! Her nanna had bought her a pretty pink princess dress with matching princess shoes and she had been waiting patiently (or as patiently as a two year old can) for two months to wear them. “You have to wait until your birthday comes to wear your princess dress,” I had to remind her – at least once a week. Yesterday was the day. She woke up ready. Came downstairs, ate her breakfast and once she finished she dashed back upstairs to put on her princess dress. Princess Yehudi proceeded to enjoy the rest of her birthday in style…
Three years is a long time. And Yehudi has grown – a lot. I didn’t realize how fast she was beginning to develop her own personality so fast. I should have took notes when I was pregnant with her because she had her own mind, even then. In the womb she was bossy. Dictated what I would eat and when. Dominated my sleep patterns and positions. Physically assaulted my ribs from the inside, hahaha. I can laugh now but I wasn’t laughing then. We didn’t want to know her gender until she was born so everyone tried guessing based on the shape and positioning of my stomach. Even strangers waiting at red lights stopped to yell across the street and predict what gender baby I was carrying. She had fun tricking people. She even dictated my delivery.
When I went into labor it was normal for my fifth child. Contractions began speeding up in frequency and intensity while my body aches increased dramatically. By the time we arrived at the hospital I had enough strength to walk in and sit down in the first wheelchair that was within reach. Anticipating the cooling relief of an epidural my daughter played one her final jokes before arriving. While lying on the labor room bed and waiting for my epidural this little lady decides to karate kick my water bag AND dilate my cervix to the full 10 centimeters! Yup, no epidural for me. Then she practically delivered herself because she wasn’t waiting for anybody. Luckily the nurses were there to “catch” her as she, for her final joke before birth, showed me what the ring of fire really meant. Heh, Heh. Again, I can laugh now but I wasn’t laughing then.
She is definitely her own person. And that makes me smile sometimes. Other times it causes mounds of frustration because she doesn’t want to do what she has to do or what she is told to do. I see her laughing and blazing her own trails as a beautiful young woman and I pray I have the fortitude to allow her the flexibility to do so.