Monday, January 15, 2018

Martin Luther King Jr., life given for what?

What do you think was Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.'s biggest legacy?

     I was checking my email earlier and saw this survey question and it got me thinking... of course everyone is taught about the "I Have a Dream" speech.  We know that he played an intricate part in the Civil Rights movement and participated in the Selma to Montgomery march, but honestly do people really know that he did not then, nor ever to my knowledge, condone violence in any way?  He believed in standing strong and using your voice, your presence and your intelligence to make people understand what you were working towards and see that it was a good and positive thing.  He made points that showed how strong this country could be if the black population were allowed in the same places to do the same as anyone else.  He believed that there was a great untapped source in the black youth.  He believed something great and gave his life for that belief.

     Most people say that the news only focuses on the indiscretions of blacks and that police target black people more than whites.  That may be true, but the the harder truth is that black people ARE doing those things.  Every single day I watch the news and see robbing, shootings, gang banging, drug dealing, forgery and more tagged to black people.  We've used phrases like "poor socioeconomic standing", "impoverished childhoods", "dysfunctional families" and so on for so long that it has given right for young black people living in poor conditions with divorced parents to do anything they want to without thought or remorse.  It's okay that Michael is drug dealing because his mother didn't raise him herself, he doesn't know who his father is and he lived with his grandmother in government housing with food stamps, welfare and medicaid; he was just trying to have more than he was raised with.  Considering MLK, Jr. made great strides and helped to open the doors for education and job opportunities, how dare we expect Michael to study, graduate, go to college and make a good life for himself that way.  I mean really, being equal means that you do the hard work and progress the same way as we expect white kids to do or did I miss something?

     Then we have groups like "Black Lives Matter" that make it seem like it is okay to fight against the police.  It's deemed a good thing to protest and riot over the deaths of known drug dealers and thieves because they were killed by police. It isn't enough that you protest this, but most of the time you riot and loot, destroy and steal in the process; therefore, you want police to leave you alone while you are committing more crimes to try and demonstrate your point.  Makes sense right... WRONG!  And, if you aren't marching with them you are against them and they are even "allowed" to respond physically against other opposing groups without people seeing them as being in the wrong.  Why not riot and march against your own people who are committing drive by shootings killing innocent children in their homes, drug dealers selling to single mothers leaving their kids alone at home hungry and afraid, gangs inducting your children into a life of crime and murder?  How can anyone take you serious in your fight when you aren't fighting against what draws the police to you?  

     Then there is the talk of how white people cross the street, hold their purses tighter or avoid areas after dark and we are seen as racist bigots.  I've been to the mall, out shopping and to events in Atlanta and have felt extremely uncomfortable and afraid.  I've had a group of young black men walk behind me in the mall and make comments or joke about snatching my bags.  I've parked in a deck and been accosted by a group of young black people and had them follow me and make comments about beating the hell out of me and taking my car.  So, yes, I do in fact hold my purse tighter and avoid certain places alone and try my best to disappear when I feel that I am being outnumbered or sized up.  I've been in line to check out and have had a black person shove my cart out of the way and ask me "what are you gonna do?".  My children and I were in McDonald's for dinner one night and this black boy came in screaming, cussing and threatening on of the employees with a gun; needless to say, I was a bit more than a little afraid for myself and my children.  But yet, I am suppose to see these incidents as nothing major and continue life as usual.

    I've also spent a lot of years working in the general public (i.e. grocery stores, gas stations, and warehouse).  I know for a fact that we had two women, single mothers with one child both making $17.75 per hours apply for food stamps.  In fact, they rode together.  Same paperwork, same situation... white woman walks out with less than $300 food stamps and told to get a second job or move to a cheaper place as this was only temporary; the black woman was given over $1100 food stamps, offered to register her home on Section 8 and given paperwork to get assistance with utilities.  White folks are suppose to overlook this, but in the name of equality, this doesn't add up.  And I've seen this with my own eyes over and over again for almost 30 years.  In the work place most companies are afraid to hold black people to the same standard for fear of discrimination cases.  The inequalities are outrageous.

   And let us not forget the "white privilege" bullshit that floats around constantly.  Apparently there are no white people who are poor or from broken homes.  Being born white means that I have always had everything I've ever wanted or needed, I have had a better than good education, I went to an ivy league college and now am working as a CEO of a Fortune 500 company... WRONG!!!!  News flash!!!!  White children are born into poor, broken families, we attend whatever school our district dictates, pray we are able to either attend any college or find a halfway decent job straight out college.  Not all of us are born with silver spoons, golden cups or surnames like Hilton or Walton.  Yes, we have poor white people too who make bad choices but we aren't rallying around blaming every other race for it and trying to make excuses for it to be deemed as okay in general society.

   In closing, I believe that Martin Luther King, Jr. was an incredible man with deep faith and belief in a way of life.  He was intelligent, articulate and charismatic.  His talks were filled with insight and hope.  If he had continued his journey I'm sure things would have been significantly different than how they are now.  With a sad heart I have to say that I believe his death was in vain.  The fight he was sacrificed for has been made into a mockery by the generations after his death.  If you want to be seen as equal then understand that trying to raise yourself by abusing those around you doesn't work.  As long as continue to act as a threat, we see you as a threat.  As long as you act uncivilized and less than, we see you as uncivilized and less than.  Help me to believe that it can be different by teaching our children, all children, to be more like this amazing man... educate about his vision and encourage them to see that too.

Saturday, May 06, 2017

I may not be perfect, but....

This has been pretty good, a few emotional setbacks, but for the most part pretty good.  I'm having some issues with feeling broken, but it isn't with my immediate family that I feel this way.  My extended, almost non-existent, family makes me feel this way.  But when I disengage with that part of me and I focus on my family within my reach... I feel great!

I know without doubt that I am not the best mom in the world, but I try to be better than what I had and more of what I always wanted for myself.  I attempt to listen and hear what my children have to say.  I try to empathize with where they are in their lives (and sometimes that a reach considering the differences in the way I was raised).  I don't over-indulge, but at the same time I don't make them deliberately do without.  I think I keep a healthy balance between wants and reality for them.

Today my daughter is having her 8th grade formal.  It's a closing of a chapter and an opening of her "high school" book.  I won't deny that it makes me more than a bit uncomfortable knowing that she's growing more and more into a young woman and further away from my baby.  I tried desperately to find her a great outfit that we both agreed on.  I fell short a little on that, but instead of being angry with me... she stands in the kitchen and says... "I'm so glad you're my mom; not just my mother, but my mom."  I could have floated right off the planet.  My heart felt good and full.

These are the moments that I live for.  I pray every single day that I can have more and more of those moments before the moments run out.

Thursday, May 04, 2017


I wish I could say that I didn't know when it happened, but I do.  I recall every single event vividly that created the monster that resides in the shadows of my memory.  It's the words, looks, actions and attitudes that destroyed everything that I thought I was.  

Not to sound narcissistic, when I was younger I really did think I wasn't that bad of a catch.  I knew that I wasn't the thinnest, smartest, funniest or prettiest of girls, but I definitely thought I could hold my own with the best of them.  I saw myself as someone worthy of the better things since I had survived some of the worst.

Then the world came in, people came in, men came in and life showed me that I wasn't anything near what I thought I was.  I had to leave school in 10th grade to work and all the "friends" I thought I had bailed on me because I wasn't in their circle anymore. I was ridiculed and looked down on.  Everyone had their ideas of what the reason for my leaving was and none of those reasons were in a good light.  I was the slut who was pregnant, I was the addict with a monkey, the list was endless, but never the truth.

The relationships I was a part of were never initiated by the men.  No one, not one, ever approached me, so I suppose in hind sight I did this all to myself.  Regardless, they would come in, see me for a short period of time and then decide that I wasn't enough.  They would lie, cheat and leave.  The words said to push me away tore right through to a part that refused to die, but can't ever really live again.  I was made to feel stupid, ugly, untouchable and unworthy.  I'd buy a new outfit and get all dressed up only to be told how much of a waste it was.  I'd put myself out there only to be left completely alone.

Now, even though I have an amazing husband who has NEVER said a harsh word to me in any way, I can't get past the past.  When I try to dress nice or make my face all I hear are the taunts and phrase " you can put lipstick on a pig, but it's still just a pig".  I look at the cute clothes, but I don't feel that I'm worthy of the cost.  I try to make an effort to go out, but then I don't want to embarrass anyone by being seen with me.

I'd like to say that all these feelings are from outside people, but some of this comes from the lack of relationships I have with family.  Not one living member of my family has ever made me feel vital or important.  There is no connection and that makes me feel lonely.  I'm fearful that I'll never be able to build that bridge and have something more than what I have right now.  Emotionally I am broken into a million pieces and I have no clue where to begin to fix things.

I've thought of writing letters, but what do I say?  What if it's misconstrued as blame?  How do I welcome people who have chosen (and yes, I feel they have chosen the path as well) to keep distance to come closer?  I don't want to appear needy, but that is what I am... emotional needy.  Not one person walking this planet wants to feel empty and alone,  but I fear there are more us doing just that than not.  

Friday, April 08, 2016

Yep, A Good Day!

     Shocking as it may sound, I had a great day today! I didn't allow any negativity into my mind and it felt good. My husband and daughter left this morning for a daddy/daughter camping trip. I think it's a great thing for them to spend some quality time together. She's fortunate to have a great step-dad who loves her like completely. I would have given anything to have had that, even in small doses, through my childhood.  Since I didn't, I know the value of it and it makes me happy.
    As for me and the youngest... we had a "date".  It started out simple enough with a stop at the pet store for some guinea pig food. We left there and had a late lunch of Chinese food with no one to complain that "we always have Chinese".  Played for a few hours at the kids' arcade place and then stopped for a sweet at Dunkin'.  It was nothing expensive or fancy, but it was great! We played and took our time doing our thing without the older one getting frustrated or the dad noticing all the things we could do differently.
     I know that sounds like I'm pushing the blame on the ones that weren't with us, but it seemed a lot calmer just the two of us. I know the deal though. The twelve year old doesn't recall being a six and finds everything totally annoying.  Instead of asking quietly or politely for him to stop whatever behavior is on her nerves, she sees to it that everyone can hear her side and that causes all kinds of problems. At that point, Dad usually steps in and screams at the six year old and follows every movement like a hawk from that point on.  Today, it was different... I know what it's like being the youngest and I don't wish to fight over every small thing that doesn't really amount to anything.
    Yeah, it was good.  I had the one someone with me that never sees me as anything else than the best mom ever and I liked it. Now, don't get me wrong, I know my daughter loves me and that my husband is mine, but it doesn't mean that they don't make me feel bad sometimes. Truthfully, they make me feel unappreciated on a regular basis, so the break this weekend from that will be a nice change of pace for me.  I think I need the break; mentally, emotionally and physically.  Just in time too because next week will put me to the test again.
     My mother will be going back into the hospital again. This will be the seventeenth surgery on her legs for blood clots.  They are having to do the grafting from cadaver veins because hers have been completely used up.  I am concerned that we are getting to the end of our rope for "fixing" these issues. Thankfully she has had the brilliance of her vascular surgeon. (Sometimes the miracle isn't a healing, but who God puts in front of you!)  Anyway, the true stress comes from figuring out what to do with my kiddos. She's the only someone I have to take them to and get them from school.  Both suffer from horrible bus sickness (all the bouncing and stopping kills them).  I leave at 5:30 am and don't get back home until 6 pm.  They could go to after school, but if I don't have them picked up by 6 pm then they call DFACS on me. If I hit traffic of any kind I won't make it.  It causes stress like you wouldn't believe because I don't work for a company that really cares or understands about things like this, so it gets ugly real fast.
   Oh well, I'll worry about that tomorrow.  Today has been good and I want to relish in that for a while.  Life is good when the eyes of a six year old are shining and it's all because of a little time :D

Saturday, March 26, 2016


     Do you ever know, without doubt, that you need help?  And I'm not talking about the kind of help that just anyone can give you.  I can handle the things like cooking, cleaning, washing and working. True, I'd like some help with those things, but it's not the help that I feel I need most right now.  I'm feeling more and more broken all the time and I think, no, I know, that I need some professional help.  I was smart enough to take my daughter for help with her depression, but I'm terrified of delving into my own pool of blackness.  I sat in on her appointment and answered the questions asked of me and at the end of it, the doctor said that he hated that he didn't treat adults anymore, but that I seriously needed to reach out to someone.
     He's right, absolutely right!  I know that I need to figure out why I'm always sad.  There has to be something beyond feeling worthless, crying and just not certain being alive one more day will make any difference at all.  I find my thoughts going in and out of the realm of not coming back.  I drive on interstate and wonder just how much will my family be hurt if I veered too far one way or the other.  Just this morning, sitting at my dining table having breakfast, I wondered what it would do to my kids if I just got in my car and never returned. Would they be devastated?  Would they be fine?  Would they miss ME or just the fact that I did and do everything for them?  How long would it take for them to be "normal" if something did change with me?
     I'd like to say that these thoughts are only because I feel unappreciated, but it goes beyond that. I feel that this has been brewing since my birth.  Each person in my life, past and present, never really consider me or my feelings.  Sure, there's the occasional "how are you?", but it isn't followed through with any true concern to hear me.  It doesn't matter that I'm the first one out the door in the morning and last one back home. Just keep going; cook, clean, listen, do and then, only after everything else is taken care of, can you collapse into a numb slumber that has to be induced by sleeping pills.  My mother is draining on me and is a big preventative in me being able to change things. My sisters are worthless when it comes to helping take some of the burden. My husband can't see that he can do anything without intense direction by me. My children, well they're like all other children, selfish and lazy.  (That would be my own fault for not teaching them better.)
     I want to change everything! I don't want to work to support my mother who should have made better choices for herself.  I don't want to feel disconnected from my entire family.  I don't want to be the one who's the maid, cook, nurse, laundress and everything else for everyone else.  I WANT TO HAVE SOMETHING LEFT INSIDE OF ME FOR ME!!!!  I want the therapeutic help, but I'm terrified of letting that wall down.  I'm afraid that once that drip starts it will become a flood and I won't be able to return to what I've grown sadly comfortable with.  How do you decide how far to go with asking for help?  Where do you start and how do you get beyond the embarrassment of asking for help?  GOD HELP ME!

Friday, January 23, 2015

Does super glue work on humans?

It's pretty sad when you wake in the morning with the feeling that you are utterly broken inside.  From the moment I opened my eyes this morning I've wanted to cry.  I try to put on a face that will hide what's inside and I must do it well because no one ever asks differently.  I go through the motions and get both kids ready for school, I kiss the husband goodbye for the day and I turn the rest off.  The voices in my head that tear me down over and over again go quiet, but never silent.

I drop the youngest off at school and that gives me and my daughter about half an hour before she can go into the school.  We're sitting in the parking lot and I try to talk to her, but she cuts me quick with sharp, snide comments.  Then on the radio we hear where a caller asks what she should do because her daughter (14) was invited to a baby shower for another 14 year old.  I turned and looked at Chris and said that would break my heart if you came to me with this.  Without hesitation she pounced and snipped at me that she wished I'd stop saying things to her about NOT wanting her to get sexually active early and that really I needed to just shut up and stop being judgmental.

I was a bit more than hurt by this. I've never tried to hide anything from Chris.  I want to be deliberately honest with her so that she's aware of what the risks are and that the world isn't a warm, fuzzy place all the time.  I've talked with her in great detail about drugs, drinking, sex and the consequences that can follow all her choices.  I have no notion that my children will NEVER do anything, but I'm hoping to educate them to the point where they won't destroy themselves or someone else.  I want them to know their lives are made by the choices they make and consequences (both good and bad) that come with those choices.  One bad decision can send your life spiraling in a way you can't get control again.  I want to arm them in a way that if something should happen to me they'll be okay.  I want my kids to be aware that they have ONE life, live it to the best of your abilities and enjoy it.

Somehow these teachings and talks that I've had with her is now being thrown back in my face with a vengeance.   If I discuss anything I've seen or heard on the news it's like I'm making up lies in order to have a dialect with her.  I speak of my opinions about certain issues and ask her opinion to try and get her to think for herself and learn to articulate her opinions in a positive, productive way and she just turns it on me as being mean.  I try to invite her into a conversation that will make her use her brain and to build her own character, thoughts, opinions and ideas, but instead it all leads to her making me feel stupid and small.

And it isn't just my daughter that does this to me.  Yesterday at the store my family made me feel absolutely miserable.  There is no place we can go to that doesn't lead to either my husband and son battling it out or my daughter being snippy and moody to the point I just want to hide away.  I'm walking through getting what we need and every other word from all of them is either a whine, a snipe or a complaint.  Passing a mirror, glancing in,  I thought this is all my fault and I'm a horrible broken person who can't even make their own family work.  I can't seem to make anyone even want to pretend to be happy for a while.  It's like everyone is miserable and I'm the common denominator in this; therefore, it's all my fault.

I so wish I knew what kind of glue to buy that would put my pieces back in order so that I can find order with everything else.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Crying Over a Television Show

Yep, that's what I just said... I'm sitting here crying over something being said by a woman on "What Not To Wear".  She's describing her dressing style and she says "I never think of myself unless I'm thinking of ways to fix something that's wrong with me."  Man, that hit me extremely hard because that is EXACTLY what I do on a daily basis.  I simply don't exist except when I'm the one that's in my own way.  

I never had an extremely high self-esteem and over the years people have beat it down well below sea level. Better said, I've allowed people to beat it down. Somehow I've always been drawn to "friends" that lifted themselves up by putting me down. I dated boys/men that never put me first and showed me that I meant something more than just a few hours.  I've said it before, but I was NEVER asked out. Not one time did a guy approach me to ask for my number, to sit with me or buy me a drink at a bar, ask me to dance... NOTHING!  I always had to make the first move and then pursue with fervor if I wanted anything to happen.  I so wanted that first move to be made by someone, but someone never came along and I always felt like I was begging for someone to notice me.

Those things may seem trivial to most folks, but I'm here to tell you that it has been devastating to my overall life and perception of myself.  I've never felt anything other than the "sure thing".  Meaning I'm the girl the parents love, but you don't really care to be with. I'm short, overweight, not particularly beautiful (or even pretty) and I'm not well educated.  I came from a shattered home with extremely dysfunctional family members that included everything from alcoholics to severe narcissists.  I suppose I filed myself away as the most normal simply because I didn't cause the drama.  Because I lived with that drama and filed myself away for so long, I no longer know how to put myself first or even define what my wants really are.

At 21 I became a wife for the first time and that failed miserably. I tried for seven years to fix the problems that weren't mine to fix.  My husband was extremely attractive and extremely unhealthy for me. He started cheating just months after we got married and that combined with his partying, it was awful.  When I left that relationship I got involved with someone I'd known since I was 18 and that was a bust too. He constantly spouted off about all his exes and how wonderful they were (and noted that I didn't compare in any way).  The best part of that relationship is that I had my beautiful daughter.  

Then I started seeing my current husband.  We started off as friends, so we didn't do that weird "first date" thing.  We were honest with who and what we were.  That took a few years to grow, but we eventually figured out we were in love and wanted to be married. I knew quite a bit about his previous relationship and some of the things they had done.  They went places, spent time together and had fun being together though they had children.  I thought I'd get similar treatment when we became a couple.  And, at first, we did do some of those things.  Then it all fell away.  Rarely do we do anything outside of the house.  And I couldn't tell you the last time I got flowers just because or was taken to dinner on the fly.  We haven't had a date night in ages and I can't remember our last personal conversation.  Yes, we do have intimate moments, but they are simply for release not TRUE INTIMACY.

I know that I can't base my relationship on previous relationships, but I'm more than a little angry. When will it be my turn for me to be something more than the definite?  I know I'm smart financially and I don't do things without thinking of the outcome. I know that I'm the one you can bank on when no one else will be there, but damn! when do I get seen as more than that?  When is it my turn to be spoiled or pampered?  When do I get the feeling that I'm worth more than the usual?  Aren't I special enough to be put first?  Don't just look at me and say you love me... SHOW ME YOU LOVE ME AND WANT ME!  Show me that I'm more than the mom, the maid, the cook, the chauffeur, the accountant and all the things that I do all the time.

This sounds angry at everyone else, truth is, I'm most angry with myself. I've done this. I do this.  I'm the one holding me back from seeing my worth. I look in the mirror just enough to get the knots out of my hair, brush my teeth without leaving paste on my face and check to make sure no holes are in my shirts.  I try to think of me in a different light, but I can't. I'm so filed away that I don't know how to resurface and find something in me worth shining. I talk of getting my hair and nails done, but then I see it as a waste of money.  I think it won't make a difference if I dab on makeup cause it's still just me underneath it all.  I could buy clothes, but I'm still too short, too fat and too ugly.  And even if I did all this to feel pretty for a while, I'm only going to be at home, so why "waste" it.

I'm going back to writing. I need to purge my thoughts and feelings.  I may be redundant, but I have to get things out and see them myself.  I'm hoping that in this year I can find something better inside me by putting it all out there.  I'm hopeful to find a better me, a happier me.  I'm HOPEFUL!  and I pray that's enough.