Where I am at this moment

Childhood emotional neglect has played a huge role in my life for a long time. I didn’t know that’s what it was until therapy. For a long time I also didn’t really know who I was, what I like, or wanted for a long time. I lived in the shadows of my siblings and paid for my love every time I was ignored. I had no idea how to say no without feeling guilty, and then eventually, I started to feel resentful. I had a great childhood up until my grandmother died when I was 12. I wondered, why is everyone around me so happy, and alive, especially my siblings? I didn’t know the difference between emotional abuse, or neglect. At one point in my life I thought I had a great childhood and couldn’t pinpoint any severe deficit or trauma that could account for my sadness, and depression. I also learned that childhood emotional neglect tends to be a bit more subtle, harder to pinpoint, and thus a lot hard to recognize and to understand.

After I was told what was going on with me, it broke me really bad. I became more depressed then when I didn’t know. I was mad at God, I question everything including if these people were my real family. The bad thing about all of this is, the separation from my ex husband, and dealing with the rape all came up at the same time. It was like God was telling me to deal with it so I could move on.

My therapist warn me, you are going to feel a lot of different emotions, but acceptance will be the last before you move on. I was mad when I heard that because at that point I was already tired. I had been battling my demons, I was emotionally drained. I couldn’t sleep, my mind worked overtime all day and night with little, sometimes no sleep for days, up crying every time the thought of never having my mom to hold me, be there for me, listen, understand, and believe came to my mind.

Today I am in the acceptance stage, and it’s hard. Because I thought when I accept my faith, I’ll be done and move on. But this stage is harder, I find myself excepting things one at a time. Everything is playing back from years and I’m realizing, omg these people will never change. It’s hard, I won’t lie because I see people who has had great relationships with their parents that are no longer and I have family alive and well but chose to not want to be there. I am about 70% there, I can’t wait to be free and sleep through the night. Be able to talk about it without crying or grieving, because every time I think about it, I grieve my grandmother and myself as an orphan. I ask more “WHY”? My prayer is continuous forgiveness everyday, my therapist also said the people that are there for me are my family I need to let them in, so I did.

My new position

I have the most amazing job, something I actually realized about 2 1/2 months into getting the position. I hesitated when asked about taking the position but reluctantly did. I am currently doing the COVID screenings at an emergency department and the first person you see before checking into the emergency room. I am a black female with an African accent that a lot of melanin-free individuals find me giving them instructions on company policies of the emergency room during a pandemic very abnormal. I was very alert, even concerned about my job the first 2 weeks because, besides patients not liking me, there were a few melanin-free nurses who were finding everything wrong with the way I did a simple COVID screening. But I have been blessed with the most amazing manager who listens to me before anyone else. The first month I was so scared I’ll lose my job because there were and still are a few nurses that just don’t like me and have complained or will come asked me questions about what some patients think about me or how they say I was not nice or inviting. OMG, I became worried, watching my back and forgetting whose I am. I forgot my God owns it all and everything He does has a reason. Until one day the head of administration came by to check on me and see how things were going. She thanked me for all I do, asked me if I needed anything if the process set up was working, and reminded me I was the face of the company because I was the first person patients see before getting service. On my way home that day I apologized to God for my doubt in Him and His promise for me. I’ve gotten so much racism in this state since I’ve been here sometimes it messes with my faith. God spoke to me and said you were asked to be in that position because there are patients who want and need your kindness before they see a doctor. You are the first person they see, you have a gift you’ve always shared, this is another opportunity to continue to share it at a larger serving skill. When I got home and parked, I bend my head on the car wheels, took a minute to ask God to please forgive me and give me His strength to keep moving. Every time I pray, I’ll say, “Lord, I don’t know why I’m here, but I’ll wait for your directions”. This one of the hardest positions I’ve ever held in my life. And I realized my melanin-free patient just doesn’t want to take directions from a melanin-filled person with an accent so they get rude, disrespectful, and act like I don’t know my job. So when they do complain to the melanin-free nurses that don’t favor me much, they blow it up, but all of that dies when it gets to the ones that are on my side. I forgot at the rescue so miraculous only my heavenly Father could give me. He has done so much for me; from helping me with my self-confidence, hope opened my eyes to individuals (including family) that didn’t have my best interest at heart. But sadly, that gratitude wears off over time, and soon new worries stole my attention, making me forget there is a reason for this adventure He has me on. God’s ultimate proof happened 2,000 years ago, for me to have unshakable confidence, thank you JESUS.

That’s how I look at work. FYI I’m not a nurse tho.

Tenacious March born

Once I had my mind made up with a firm decision on my direction, my tenacity fired up even more. The weeks leading up to this month made me more fired up when I thought about the decision to really keep moving forward. Everyone has opposition, it is a natural thing, but finding encouragement during those times is so hard. I needed to be strong in every aspect of my life and for work especially I needed to be. I have never struggled with keeping a job like I have since I moved to the Carolinas. People hate me just because I’m different from them. I fight as a black woman and harder as an African with an accent, and last year I realized that it all happened over the past 10 years. The definition of tenacity that seems most appropriate when it comes to influence in the workplace, is “persistence of purpose”. (February 19, 2013, by Colin Gautrey). It’s also the ability to display a commitment to what anyone believes in. I was fighting every day, wondering why, instead of just doing my work, having faith, and focusing on myself. Today, I’m going to keep picking myself up, dusting myself off, and quickly get going again having learned a little more, key words, learn more. Everything that happened to me I realized God wanted me to learn from, and without that, He repeated the situations. Tenacious is not to be confused with being stubborn, but humble, strong, kind, and open-minded if it means modifying the route sometimes to get to your destination, let it be. I was never crystal clear about my purpose like I am now. Tenacity is important because it’s about pushing through barriers of doubt and self-limiting beliefs, and most importantly, having the willingness to persist despite all odds.

Visualizing my 2021

Today is January 21st, 2021, and I have been blessed unlike a lot of people in 2020. In 2019, I was offered the job of my dreams, which helped me meet and helped different types of people,, got my own place in, and later got a new car (one I always wanted) in 2020. I never quarantine in 2020, but 2019 to 2020 thought me how to love myself, and helped me figure out what I really wanted out of life. So I’ve decided to continue down that path and keep putting myself first by continuing to fulfill my God-given purpose under this sun. So the idea of creating a vision’s board and visualize me through 2021, by first reflecting on the pass, which made me more determined. I’ve had a couple of romantic relationships and noticed these men were actually trying to hold me back, but for a second there I wanted to blame myself for letting them in, then I remembered, there’s a lesson. In the past, the devil knows that I’ll stress, want to fix everything, and blame myself, so he tried to take me down that path again, but it didn’t work. For 2021, I visualize my future self to be the best God-fearing woman, self-care by working out more, eat well, grow my hair back, continue loving and giving, continue to read and write, listen, continue counseling, listen to my intuitions more, continue to have faith, do something every so often out of my comfort zone, get more sleep and above all, have fun. I have acknowledged that no one is perfect; so I won’t wait for perfect either. I want to share my story more with other women, the abuse at the hands of my ex, how family neglected me at the mostvulnerable time in my life, because I know there’s another like me who’s ashamed or blame herself.

I’ve Got This

2020 has been a wonderful year for me; I found the job of my dreams back in November 2019, got my own place, and was learning to do “ME”. But life changes can leave you reeling and feeling unsure of what to do next, especially as a good person.  Sometimes I want to hurt the people that hurt me so they experience what I feel. Coping with everything, especially divorce has been difficult, but I had to let go of my control and let God take control.  It’s still not always easy to figure out what my next step should be, but again I trust God’s process. I’m going to talk about some of the things I had to do to move forward, number 1, acknowledge my emotions. While I had no idea what that was, because I’ve never had anyone to talk to about my real feelings and how it affected my everyday life, it was hard to face. 2, Modify my thinking. That was my biggest and most difficult issue, because I would reply the story of how I got here in my head over and over to the point I felt so sorry for myself and it took me into a deep depression I’ve never experience, or could control. 3, Practice acceptance. This seemed impossible for me because the people I had to except were family, and every time I thought about what they did and how I needed to accept them, it hurt worse.  4, Prioritize self-care, another thing I just did not know how to do because my ex-husband was my life, and what I didn’t realize was, despite my hardships, much of life needed to go on.  And finally, getting therapy. This was never mentioned in my family, so talking to friends was embarrassing, but in a nonjudgmental environment, it has been a blessing. When I look back at relationships, things how people treated me, I was mad and didn’t want anyone to convince me to forgive, so I didn’t get therapy for months. But when I did, it helped me explore my mind and my situations in ways that encourages growth. Therapy also helped me realized my purpose for helping others was a good way of healing.  2021, here I come, buckle up buttercup because I’m gonna give you a run for your money.

Picture from Home Cavaa print

Every time I sing

Today is Tuesday December 15, 2020 and I have been thinking about my cousin and play dad two wonderful men that got me into singing outside my hospital room and realizing one of my best passions. I was 9 years old when I joined the choir, I only sang because I had nothing else to do. I was a sickly child who spent most of my time in the bed listening to music and singing until my nana suggested joining the choir. My first singing group was because of my play dad. He encouraged and put together a youth singing group and I enjoyed. So I thought why not sing, it will take away some of my pain. In 1999 I lost my play dad and didn’t have the chance to see him. During the war, my cousin a music genius took to my voice and decided to train me and put me in every singing group he had something to do with. I sounded good but I was very shy to the point I would shake the entire time I sing. That made him more interested in helping, so he guided and, encouraged me. I was so scared that I would be far from the microphone when I sing. He made me confident about my talent and told me I sound very good and that God gave me the voice to use it. He would take gigs at every church and take me to sing with him, and little by little I was able to overcome the fear and sing by myself. When I came to the states, in the process of getting on my feet my favorite cousin got sick and died, I never got the chance to speak to him or help him. But for the past few years as I’ve gotten older, I’ve been thinking about him, especially every time I sing. He played a pivotal role in molding my voice, my confidence and knowledge in music and how it played a hug role in my life, then and now. My sister sent me a song by Stephen Manders called Heaven, when I heard that song, I thought about him. I imagined how he would teach that song, how he would make me listen and feel it and more importantly how I would sing it. Besides my nana these two were only ones that believed in me. Pastor David Garmonyou, and Charles Dahn, I will never forget you as long as I’m alive, and can listen to or sing a song. Rest in peace until we meet again on that great getting up morning.

Look no further

Matthew 11:2, Now when John the Baptist, while imprisoned, heard of the works of Christ, he sent word by his disciples and said to Him, “Are You the Expected One, or shall we look for someone else?” In a world filled with uncertainty, doubt is a constant way of life especially when you’re getting hit so many times, it becomes a stumbling block to your faith. The devil uses people that are close to you, the ones you trust to hurt you over and over that, your faith wavers. You see doubt do not discriminate, as long as you open the doors, it will gladly walk in, unpack and set up shop. I was that individual, the devil played me so well, I let doubt in and it got comfortable and ran my life. I worried, I stressed and wanted to control every aspect of my life, because I didn’t look any further than my troubles. But today with prayer, I am a different person. God has blessed me, He saw my needs a look beyond all my faults, forgive me and gave me His calm spirit. I had to think, is happiness a choice or not? As Aristotle said, “Happiness is the meaning and the purpose of life, the whole aim of human existence.” But for many who fake it, don’t know God is the center of any and every happiness. When I surrender is ALL, realizing that I was actually performing my duties, my purpose I started to become happy again. I am enjoying the change, I don’t worry, always wondering if and when, because God is my peace of mind. What Is Happiness, Anyway? It’s when you put God at the center of your life. Letting go fully trusting in His will, and sometimes it’s difficult because it makes no sense. A sustainable sense of spiritual contentment that arises from deep within, because God should be at the center of your everything. And what I’ve realized that many people don’t, is that happiness is the result of many decisions made (whether consciously or unconsciously). Some lead to mistakes that made me cry for days, one even lasted 10 years, but it’s the lesson learned, and the surrendering to God that helped me healed and fixed myself, got ride of the doubt and let Baba be the captain of my ship.

@Jbw_art picture

Who am I

When people used to ask me this question, who are you, I sorely based my identity on other people’s (especially family) opinion about me. Am I what I do for a living, my purpose, my passions, dreams and aspirations, who is Meme the Barbie? It’s a simple but difficult question, which surprisingly forces one to ask yourself, especially if you really don’t know yourself like I did a few years ago. Therapy opened my eyes to a lot of things, including this question, because I never really knew myself. I also found out that it’s very easy going through life never consciously answering this question because, to me, I always thought knew “ME”, but I didn’t. So the first answer I will gave anyone, because these things well revolve around this question is work, children, hobbies and accomplishments. Yes a lot of those things can be a part of what we do, but it’s not only who we are.

I was married for 10 years and lost every bit of myself, including dreams and aspirations. I’ve learned that what others think of me, and what I have are all naturally good, but making them my identity kept me from finding lasting peace, because I compared myself to others. Therapy taught me the biggest reason it was so hard for me to be happy was that I tried to be who my family wanted me to be, I want Ed to please them but it was killing me. Most people strive to be more, better, and different than their peers, for me, I strived to make sure family was happy with everything especially my career choices and didn’t even realize it. For that reason, I use my time and energy on proving I maintain a broken marriage, be a nurse and a respectful person. But no matter how much I tried to do all that and achieve a little of what I wanted, it wasn’t good enough. But through prayers, I’m reminded that Jesus was never good enough no matter how He tried, but He refused to find his identity through people’s eyes. Today my answer to this question is the reverse, Whose am I? I am God’s beloved, in fact, the most accurate way to think of ourselves is that we exist as a broad set of potentialities, rather than as a narrow set of traits. So besides the obvious, memories, experience, feelings, thoughts, relationships, and values I am God’s own child, and knowing that makes everything I have ever wanted from this life easy to make a reality, and that’s who I am.

Finding my moment

 

It’s time to stop and enjoy my achievements, but how do I do that, I asked myself. Today’s world can sometimes be a little bleak, because everyday everything you do is judged by everyone, just by looking from the outside. So you try to do and be what everyone wants you to be. I went back to school, made good grades, serve my church and community, I’m respectful, kind and a great example to my children, but that was not enough because everyone thinks its not, all because they don’t really know you. What a wonderful life I’ve had, but I only wish I’d realized it sooner. School was always easy, I had great friends and God always brought people my way, but my family and culture kept me from seeing it all. I was stuck pleasing others, and did not see all I had done in my life. To get a startup off the ground, and have any success, however little, is one hell of an achievement. All the sleepless nights studying, refining, laying the foundations without a job in my field, and working at the fast food restaurant to make ends meet while holding everything down and keeping it together, and having to put all of what I had done in a drawer, hurt. I didn’t know how to celebrate all God had done for me. I was so worried about everyone’s (especially family) opinion; I forgot to celebrate me, the hard work, my blood, tears and sweat. I didn’t go to my college graduation because my oldest son and I graduated the same year, and I was afraid people would look at me as a bad mother if I celebrated knowing he just finished high school. Today I see things differently because of therapy, and reading books about self-love. Today I ask myself what did I enjoy the most about my journey? What were my strengths, and obstacles, and what do I feel confident about? God has been so good to me; He has been my every way through all of this. I always believe the prayer of my grandmother has kept me going, because I had more dark days than I can count.  It really boils down to this, what is the point in achieving anything, if you don’t take some personal satisfaction from it?  I celebrate now by exposing myself to opportunities, surround myself with good people, become a more confident person and the biggest, stop comparing myself to others.

What I would tell my younger self

Next March I would have live more than 40 years on planet earth.  It’s something about turning 40, that at this age, it’s inevitable that you reflect more deeply about what’s left of your life. In my case I’ve been let down so many times, that my faith and trust in God was limited, (without knowing), I wanted to do everything on my own, but now, I’m ready to make changes. God and I have been on a long journey together with many twists and turns, but I believe I am at a good place to look back and reflect. Reflecting on the past is good as long as you don’t dwell on the negatives, and for me I needed that to be able to move on, because I was holding on to people that added no growth to my life.  In the mist of my journey, I was sick, hurt, tired and ready for this journey to end, because it all felt like torture. But now, I am enjoying the journey more than ever, because where I am, I understand and know myself better, which renewed my faith. Today what would I tell my younger self? Although I must say, my answer would have been different and selfish 5 years ago.

So now I would tell my younger self, to take the Bible text, I will never leave you nor forsake you seriously, because it is truth. It’s good that God don’t let us know what our struggles are before we go through them, because just the thought will make us gave up. I would tell my younger self, it’s hard to speak up, but get the courage, because when you do, it’s empowering, people are amazed with your story and it is important. Accept yourself as God made you, never, ever, ever compare yourself to people around you, especially family. For me I did that, so most of my 20s I thought that my experiences singled me out as being abnormal. Looking back helps you reassess what you liked and disliked about your experiences, and help you come up with ways to improve them. Your hard work in school will be worth it.  You are not the only person in the world who feels this way, whatever “this way” is that you’re feeling. The church is made of different types of people; don’t let some of them make church bad for you. And lastly, stop watching so much TV, read. Remember one very important thing, everything happens for a reason, regret nothing, but find the lesson to help you grow.  Its amazing to watch God answer my prayer list, one item at a time and it gives me chills.