Continue reading “How The Loss Of My Brother changed my life”
If you read my blog post “Covid 19 and Mental Health”, then the title explains it all. Finally! I was able to get back to my babies in my early childhood development program on June 15th. Not working for a total of three months really drove me into a deep depression, well at least that was my experience. See i had adapted to my day to day routine. Wake up, go to work, get off work, run errands, go home, relax, eat, shower, bed. Once my state ordered a mandatory quarentine, my routine became non existent. For people who struggle with Anxiety and panic disorder (Raising my hand) we tend to go over the edge if our routine is broken. Our senses are very heightened, our brian is already in fight or flight mode, but for something to come in and and cause mass hysteria like Covid 19? Forget about it. All the tools that I learned to manage my anxiety went right out the damn window. Breathing techniques, logical thoughts, girl bye!
Little did I know, hope was coming over the horizon. Finally I would be returning to work, I was going to see my babies (pre school students) again. Of course my job wouldn’t be the same as it was before the pandemic. Classroom Ratios were cut in half, masks were mandatory, temperature checks were done daily for teachers and children before we were able to clock in,or be signed in. Most learning toys has to be put away in storage, there were so many changes! but this wasn’t a shock or surprise, I still felt anxious about returning after being away from my babies for so long.
So Boom! I start working again, i pick out my clothes the night before (felt like a kid on the first day of school i would have slept in my clothes but it was too damn hot and I’m too old to even go there) I begin to get into a rhythm of a “routine, my life started to seem normal again. I noticed that the more tasks I took on, the feelings of sadness and anxiety disappeared. All the thoughts and flashbacks I had during quarantine seemed pointless and to put it quite frank, dumb as hell. See all I needed was some normalcy, I needed to keep busy, have you ever felt like that? just bored out of your mind, creating scenarios in your head because you have absolutely nothing to do to replace those thoughts, just being in your head? Working ensured that my thoughts and worry would be no more, because im thinking of tasks that need to be accomplished. My mood was also completely altered. I no longer slouched, I no longer appeared sad or down. I started to feel like myself again, like Teacher Cesi again. Now I did have a difficult time physically. Hey, can you blame me? I think we all sat, ate, slept, ate, and ate some more. Yes, I could have eaten healthier and turned on youtube exercise videos, but Instead I caught up with my favorite shows and worked my damn lips like it was no one’s business. This was a time to rest, reflect and relax. I literally became a lazy sac, which in turn turned out to be a challenge once I went back to work. Being a early childhood educator is much more than conducting engaging circle times, and “playing” with children all day, it’s a Job, Job. I am constantly moving, constantly on alert, always ensuring the health and safety of my babies, so when I began getting back into my role as an educator, I realized I was completely out of shape (I will later discuss my KETO journey).
As the weeks went by things started to become easier. I was determined to loose weight and become more active. So far I’ve lost 10 lbs and I’m mighty proud. I notice a big difference! I have more energy, I’m not out breath when I walk around the classroom. Even though things look different for everyone I can say i was blessed to be able to return to do the work I love. I acknowledge that many did not have the luxury of staying employed. God came through in the clutch like he always does and made sure I would be able to be there for my kids and their families.
Featured Photo: Essence
Did the pandemic change your life and routine? Share Below i would love to hear from you😊
Today I had the amazing opportunity to talk to one of my old high school friends. Over the years I have watched her grow. Thank God for social media! We were always able to keep in touch and say “Hey Girl!” now and then. Her posts and messages on social media always grabbed my attention. The girl is damn brilliant! She would post issues that plague the African American community, she would discuss motherhood and spirituality. She even had the pleasure of speaking in front of the great Dr.Cornell West. She believed in most of what I believed in so I had to get her on my join me on my social media to drop some knowledge.
Before the words could even escape my mouth, she expressed that we should discuss “Black Men”. That girl must have read my mind, i swear I think she has telepathy. While discussing black men we brought up things that pose a major concern within the black community, specifically Black men and trauma. Why is it that so many black men remain silent after experiencing trauma? Why don’t they seek out therapy, even resources to support their healing?
First lets look at the statistics shall we?
- African Americans are more likely to have feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and worthlessness than adult whites.
- Blacks and African Americans are less likely than white people to die from suicide at all ages. However, Black and African American teenagers are more likely to attempt suicide than White teenagers (9.8 percent v. 6.1 percent).
- Studies examining trauma exposure among community samples of Black males show that approximately 62% have directly experienced a traumatic event in their lifetime, 72% witnessed a traumatic event, and 59% have learned of a traumatic event involving a friend or family member
- Trauma has been identified as a major public health and medical issue, and Black males ages 18 and older are at a noticeably high risk for trauma exposure.
- Homicide rates for Black males are 26.77 per 100,000 compared to 2.67 per 100,000 for their White counterparts, and they are roughly three times more likely than White men to be victims of a nonfatal injury by firearm.
The statistics are shocking and very frightening. Many black males who experience a traumatic event will go on with their lives without persistent lasting negative outcomes, but other men may experience traumatic stress that lead to mental and/or behavioral outcomes. Young men of color in communities where violence is prevalent can develop post-traumatic stress disorder from events they have experienced or witnessed. For example witnessing physical abuse, being a victim of physical and sexual abuse, witnessing drug abuse seeing a person they love get killed in front of them or knowing someone close to them who has been killed. Those experiences shape, mold, and determine how the male will view the world and the people in it. Many African Americans lack access to the health care system, so they self-medicate with alcohol or drugs, or sexual promiscuity. This can impair their ability to get a job, so they fall into illicit and illegal activities. It can impair their ability to get a proper education. Black men don’t trust the police to protect them, so they carry a gun. This can lead to violent interactions, incarceration or death. Throughout Men’s lives, racism amplifies the lack of opportunities they face.
With acknowledging this information, what can we do as black women to support black men who have experienced trauma? How can we love them through their healing process? During my live interview with my high school friend Ashley she discussed some of the reasons why so many black men experience trauma and why most don’t or wont seek the help they require.
This is a piece of our conversation on self love.
Me: “How can we help men to navigate and heal from trauma”?
Ashley: “What’s interesting is what i learned on my journey is understanding that you heal naturally when you first have learned to heal thyself, and what happens is the love abound within you should be on a frequency level, that is spiritual. See there’s no denying the spiritual. Spritually and loving unconditionally dosent necessarily mean we will be around them to take on their pain, but by loving unconditionally given the spirit and frequency, it offers up a certain level of perspective that allow men to change their thinking which then causes them to go in and do their individual work and heal”.
Ashley: “For me, when i look at the black man ecspecialy men i have i personally dealt with i notice the same line of defense, every man is operating from thier trauma and their spritual awareness, or lack there of”.
Me: “I agree some men are disconnected from spirituality”.
Ashley: “Yea, When a black man is not aware of his spirituality he is weakened by the human experience. That human experience is very dramatic, its very emotionally imbalanced, its very toxic, and there’s no power, no authentic living, there is no real love, they become hardened then we become hardened. We take on this energy, the roles get switched and next thing you know, there is no submission, there is no submission to each other, there’s no submission to purpose, there’s no submission to the internal being that is, and then we are out of whack”.
Me: nodding my head
Ashley: Language is also important. Being on that spiritual journey requires acceptance. Prayer is a form of language. Where are you praying from? a lot of black men they pray from a spirit of begging “lord if you just give me this ill stop”, women do it too, but it’s the spirit of begging, not knowing that what you say is so, not knowing and understanding that as a black man you have the authority to dictate and control how you think, but you’ve been bombarded with improper food, drinking alcohol, things that minimize your vibration, Bad toxic previous relationships, and beliefs that don’t serve you”.
Me” Yes, Yes!”
Ashley: “We put a lot of responsibility on the black man, which there is a responsibility but, as a woman, you came from my womb i carry the “burden” of your trauma now because our families have been torn apart by racism, by slavery, by the oppressive society all the way down to the welfare system where the black man is not allowed to be in the home if you want to collect food stamps and aide for your home, your not allowed to have a dual family home.
Me: “So that self love takes time”?
Ashley: “Yes! loving thyself doesn’t happen over night because it a journey, but we want that self love to come quick, like instant gratification that’s our problem. As a black man, especially as a black woman, self love is not just saying “i love myself”, its literally combing through the nuts and bolts, the trauma, the pain, the justification for being angry, the “you were wrong you hurt me”, all of that energy being able to take that and observe it, not identifying with it and letting it pass creates a level of abundance and prosperity of which they cant fuck with. Create the foundation of loving thy self first”.
Me: “Wow, what are other things that we can do as black women to support black men”?
Ashley: “Listen! shut up and listen not everything needs to be a discussion, every error he makes dosent need to be corrected by you, natural consequences are the best teachers in life, just be there, help him push through. Be supportive offer little sentiments like text messages that encourage him saying “i hope you have a great day”.”When you walk past a black man on the street, smile and say “hey black man, i hope you have a great day.”
Black and African American hold beliefs related to stigma, psychological openness, and help-seeking, which in turn affects their coping behaviors. African American men are particularly concerned about stigma. Stigma and judgment prevent African American people from seeking treatment for their mental illnesses. However, it is important to note that reservations against treatment may be rooted in actual experiences of racism and encounters with medical professionals lacking cultural awareness. Research indicates that Blacks and African Americans believe that mild depression or anxiety would be considered “crazy” in their social circles. Furthermore, many believe that discussions about mental illness would not be appropriate to speak about even among family. Many African Americans also have concerns about treatment effectiveness, which may be due to both lack of education and cultural beliefs. Apprehension about clashing with the morals or worldview of the clinician can cause ambivalence about seeking help, and this may be especially true for the many who believe that mental health treatment was designed by white people for white people.
Financial And Other Factors
Many black men lack financial resources to for mental health treatment. Most don’t have the extra income or health insurance to seek treatment. African Americans also view the typical psychologist as an older, white male or white female who would be insensitive to the social and economic realities of their lives. In the psychology profession there aren’t many therapists or psychiatrist that look the black men who require treatment. Work, family responsibilities, commitments, and transportation issues can overshadow the need for therapy, Another way to reduce fears is to offer free assessments and phone consultations, which will help familiarize potential patients with the clinic, clinician, and treatment. Clinicians might use initial contacts to address fears of being involuntarily hospitalized by explaining the difference between typical mental health challenges and “being crazy”.
Hearing the reality of black men and how they deal with trauma opened my eyes. I now hold so much appreciation for black men. So much is put on their shoulders, and as black women, its critical that the black man feels loved and supported, he needs to know that we will be there in his corner when his world seems to be falling apart. As black people we also need to acknowledge that this “system” that was made for us will not go away. My Friend Ashley had this to say about the “system”. “The system is not going to change, you have to change. As a black man or black woman you must step inside your divinity, your power, your spirit, and operate from that power source in order for you to not even be affected by whats happening in this world today, that’s the only way”.
BLACK MEN WE LOVE YOU!
BLACK MEN WE NEED YOU!
BLACK MEN YOU ARE IMPORTANT!
BLACK MEN YOU ARE APPRECIATED!
If you would like to view more of our conversation
Follow me on Instagram @theofficialblackgirldiaries
Featured Photo: Rawpixel
CDC. (2018). Health United States, 2017 Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/hus/hus17.pdf
Exposure to trauma: a comparison of cocaine-dependent cases and a community-matched .Afful SE, Strickland JR, Cottler L, Bierut LJDrug Alcohol Dependancy. 2010 Nov 1;46-53
Cuff R, & Matheson FI (2015). Women, trauma & incarceration: What they say, how we work. Retrieved from http://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/USDOJBOPNIC/bulletins/111206c
Race/ethnic differences in exposure to traumatic events, development of post-traumatic stress disorder, and treatment-seeking for post-traumatic stress disorder in the United States.Roberts AL, Gilman SE, Breslau J, Breslau N, Koenen KCPsychol Med. 2011 Jan;71-83
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Division of Analysis, Research, and Practice Integration. (2016). 2014 Violence-related all injury causes nonfatal injuries and rates per 100,000. http://webappa.cdc.gov/sasweb/ncipc/nfirates2001.html
Treatment barriers for low-income, urban African Americans with undiagnosed posttraumatic stress disorder.Davis RG, Ressler KJ, Schwartz AC, Stephens KJ, Bradley RGJ Trauma Stress. 2008 Apr; 21. 218-22
CDC. (2019). Summary Health Statistics: National Health Interview Survey: 2017 https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nhis/shs/tables.htm
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I grew up in a single parent home. My mother raised me all by herself. To me, she was mom and dad. As a child I always felt like there was something missing, My father. Ah! So many great memories of my absent father, Shall we take a walk down memory lane? Let’s see, my mother ran him over when I was a young child (He lived don’t worry) but technically he had it coming. I spent one weekend with him and my two older brothers where he bought me two pairs of shoes (such a generous man) Oh! and let me not forget the after birthday visit when he dropped off a bunch of Nsync memorabilia in the middle of the night, no wait, or that one time he came to a track meet and stayed for 30 minutes. Father of the year award goes to………
Those three memories stuck with me, those were the only times I could recall being with my dad. My mom was not one of those hard to deal with babymama’s, she wanted my father to be play an active role in my life. She wanted me to spend time with him and build a relationship. She didn’t talk bad about him (not to me anyway) but I know she felt some type of way about my father being a dead beat. My father had struggles with addiction, I’m sure he had experienced trauma, but I always thought to myself “is that really an excuse”? As a little girl I thought he could have he could have tried a tad bit harder.
I was not his only child, just his only girl out of 8 boys. I felt as if I wasn’t a priority in his life, I wanted to desperately be apart of his world no matter if he had an addiction or not, I didn’t care, I just wanted my daddy. I often felt as if he never cared. I cried for my father, most nights. I would ask myself “What did I do wrong” “why doesn’t daddy want me”? A little girl shouldn’t have to ask those questions, they should be asking “daddy can I have an ice cream cone”? Or “daddy can you read me a story”? Not “daddy do you love, do you want me”? Little girls should be able to depend on their father when they need them the most. A girls father is her first love. I would fantasize that my father and I would have the same type of relationship that singer Brandy had with her on screen father on the show “Moesha”. The simple Daddy/daughter pleasures of life were non existent. He didn’t teach me how to ride a bike, he wasn’t there to hold me when I cried, he missed great report cards, parent meetings, holidays, birthdays, prom, high graduation, all my firsts. Do you know how damaged I was as a kid? as a teen? as a grown adult now? I needed my father!
There were many times when I would go into the bathroom at my My elementary school, cry, and hide in the bathroom stall when it was occasions involving fathers. It could be a father’s day celebration, field trips, father and Daughter dances. My mom wasn’t able to attend most of these events due to the fact that she worked her was off to provide for my sister and i, so I understood she couldn’t participate. I can admit now that i would be jealous and heartbroken when my friends father’s would take them trick or treating, or pick them up early from school for a picnic or trip to the movies. Why couldn’t I experience the same joys?
My mother, bless her heart, did the best she could to teach me about life, about responsibility, the importance of education, and how to become independent, but there were some things that my father should have taught me, things that only a dad would be able to explain to his babygirl. The absence of my father not only affected the way I felt about myself, but it affected the way I viewed men. I didn’t have the slightest idea of what it was meant to be loved by the opposite sex, there was no outline or diagram that I could have utilized to avoid a shit load of heartbreak. How was I to know that not all men had The best intentions? My father could have talked to me about it if he had been present. How would I be able to recognize genuine intention from the opposite sex?
The yearning for make attention spilled over into my teenage and adult life. I wanted so desperately to be loved, accepted, and desired by a man that I knew didn’t have my best interest at heart. I would jump into “relationships” completely blind, I had no expectations for men, I didn’t know that it was my right to have certain expectations. I had no clue that some men boys/men could be total assholes, not all But some. My mother would put me on game about boys/men, but it’s different when the message is coming from another trusted male in your life, your father. Would a mother be able to talk to her son about certain things that only a male can explain? Am I making sense here?
I find myself blaming my father for a lot of heartbreak that I have experienced being with men, I shouldn’t put all the blame on him, but I think my life would have turned out slightly different if my dad and I had a relationship. I resented my father for many years. I loathed him. The more I learned and experienced this so called thing called “life” I was able to identify what it meant to be truly loved, to love myself, and receiving love from a man. Don’t get me wrong, I love my father, I have to from a Christian stand point, I’m also apart of him. I hope My father and I get to get to a point where we can hash things out and I can be completely transparent with him. I even fear now that whatever I say will miss him off and he will leave again.
For the past few years my father and i have tried to work on our relationship, but to be completely honest, at times I find it extremely hard to connect. I feel like the bonding portion of our relationship is non existent, I feel like it has passed. I’m unsure if we will ever be able to have a great father/daughter relationship, but I’m hopeful. I’m on the long road to healing myself, i’m doing my part to ensure I am mentally and spiritually ready to open up to my dad. Attending therapy and talking about my issues with my father has been very helpful. It’s definitely a process. I’m not sure if my father has ever healed from his trauma, but I hope he can also break the cycle of stigma around black men and mental health. One day I hope we can physically reunite, and when we do I want him to say “Baby girl I’m here, daddy isn’t going anywhere and nothing can keep me from you”.
Featured Photo: Quotes Gram
I swear Instagram will be the death of me. Listening to Moses Sumney and coming across cute babies and pregnant bellies on my Instagram explore page is not what i had in mind for a Friday night. I find that these days, any little thing can trigger past trauma. Mostly my decesion to terminate a pregnancy 11 years ago. I am in total desperation to have children of my own. I am 32 years old, and have no children. Now, let’s look at my dilemma, there are many factors that one must consider before having a child right? A Husband, a home, financial stability. I have observed that it is imparitive to know who you are creating life with. It’s like you’re applying for a new job, filling out an application, then going in for the interview. Now, you don’t even have to engage in the actual act of sex, you can go to a sperm bank and take your pick of the most potent sperm from eligable donors (there’s also suragacy and insemination). But i want both parents in the home, a family dynamic. I want to enjoy the process of conceiving a child (wink wink that’s the fun part) but i want to start this journey with a man that i know will be there. I hope I’m not loosing you here, are you still with me? Great!
Children are an absolute joy to be around (parents i know sometimes they can drive you nuts). Their honesty is unparalleled, and their laughs are contagious! I imagined that I would be hearing that giggle, but unfortunately I made a decision that haunts me, and will haunt me for the rest of my days.
I’m saying all this to say, i am ready for a child. I have been asked so many questions, such as, “why would you want kids”? you’re young, your free, kids will just slow you down, travel, see the world, live your best life”! Well, I’m here to say “my best life would be me becoming a mother, bring it on”! I think i would be a great loving parent.
I often ask important people in my life what it’s like to be a parent, some reactions I get are pretty positive and pretty awesome, some are not, but being a parent and raising a child is no easy task. I witness it daily. As an early childhood educator i get a front row seat and witness parenthood, I get to observe the bond and love a parent has for thier child. Me working with young children can, at times, trigger feelings and memories of what could have been. I put so much dedication and passion into my profession, it’s always been natural. Why wouldn’t I want to put that energy and love into my own child?
I’ve asked parents How they felt when they first held their child in their arms”? “what is it like”? with most responses, parents cannot begin to express how deeply centered and connected they have become to their newborn child. As soon as that child enters the world screaming his or her lungs out, that is the moment of total and utter unexplainable, unconditional love. I’m sure the words I’m using does it no justice, but stay with me.
Lets talk about the gift if Bonding between a child and a parent. Bonding is probably one of the most pleasurable parts of being a parent . This happens during the sensitive time in the first hours and days after birth when parents make a deep connection with their baby, Physical closeness can promote an emotion. To put it best, you fall “madly in love” with your child that had lived inside your womb for 9 months. Children thrive from having a parent or other adults in their life who loves them unconditionally and vice versa. This is an experience that I yearn to live out one day.
Having a family of my own remains a priority. Having a child would fill this uncontrollable void in my soul that was created when i chose to not keep my unborn child. I hope that this time around with therapy I will be able to manage unrealistic thought patterns surronding love and what it means to be “whole”. Will my need to have a child of my own complete me? Will having a “family” make me whole? Will i be able to properly heal from past experience with abortion? only time will tell.
What If I had ran out of the clinic that day? What if i didn’t go through with it?Well I imagine something like this…………
I ran out of the clinic to save your life, it’s because I had fallen in love with you. It rained on my head, but it didn’t matter, as long as you had a safe secure place inside me. I vowed from that moment on to protect you, no one would ever harm you. On my way home I strategized, I planned. I started feeling nervous, then sad, happy, then mad, I was preparing for your arrival. Your Grandma is going to chew me out, but it will be worth it. She will see the beauty in you too.
The first trimester, and I’m I was constantly sick. Nausea over has taken over my body. I can’t keep anything down. I cry lot over the simplest things. When I Misplace items, when I can’t find clothes that fit, when I’m stressed from work, rubbing my belly is the only form of comfort. I talk to you like crazy, I even bought headphones to place on my tummy so you could hear Miles Davis. The second trimester is the home stretch.
My stomach has become rounder. My breast feel full and tender. I could finally eat! Pizza was a definite favorite. At night, when you move around I play Stevie Wonder’s “You and I” you love that song, so much that you stop kicking. You absolutely love music.
Its time, your almost here, mommy is scared. Will you be healthy? Will I be able to make it without an epidural? I am embracing the the birth process, as long as I got to hold you in my arms. Exhausted from pushing you finally are here. You are magnificent. I gave birth to a superhuman that I will love unconditionally. You have ten toes, ten fingers, lots of hair. When I hear your cries, I cry. It’s not because of the pain, or worries, I cry because I almost ended you life. You chose me to be your mother. I am so proud of that. You grew perfectly inside me. The nurse handed you to me. I looked righr into those eyes. A cosmic Feeling took over my entire body, a feeling hard to explain. It felt like the earth had shifted, I started too see and think about things clearly. Everything made sense, you made sense.
Watching you sleep, changing diapers, kissing your soft cheeks, holding you when you cried, I enjoy every moment. I am fortunate enough to to be apart of your development. I smiled from ear to ear when you took your first steps, clapped when you could hold the bottle in your own. “That’s my baby”! I would yell, your grandma loves it too. I became even more happy when you started to talk, can you guess what my favorite saying of yours is? You shouting “Mommy”! over and over with a innocent smile. When you learned the word, I would become overwhelmed with happiness and joy. You bring me happiness. When you cry I immediately tend to you, you are my first and only priority. I hate to see my baby cry, whether you Fall down, or just not getting your way. I kiss your soft chocolate cheeks and tickle you. God I love your laugh it reminds me of what I created. You are so smart, kind, curious, and helpful. God couldn’t have blessed me more. I will teach you about life. I will teach you what it is to be a generous human. I promise, i will be there beside you at every important phase in your life (first day of school, birthday parties, Zoo trips, prom, college).
I don’t know what my life would be like without you in it, and i couldn’t imagine being without you.
Featured Photo: mapodile/Getty Images
I hate that you’re happy
Hate that you moved on
Satisfaction becomes of you
So content, in control
How am I? you ask
How can it be that
It’s not the other way around?
It is me to who fills your position
I take on the weight you carried
Weight that is now invisible to you
You walk proudly in it
You brag and stop people in the street you yell “look at me, Look at me, I’m blessed”!
While people continue to move when I appear
Energies transfered in the same wake of sexual pleasure
Passing your vengeful demons unto my sacred place
I beg to God for your sins
May I wrap it in gift wrap for you?
Sorrow in a pretty decorated box
Let’s switch shall we?
I will indulge in life
You indulging in isolation and silence
I want your power
The ability to love without consequence
must be nice.
It was a beautiful summer night. The stars were shinning, the 80 degree breeze felt wonderful, and crisp. My top remined down on my new mercedes benz truck. Snob Alegra’s “I want you around” played through the spkeakers. I couldn’t help but to sing along, this was a beat. “I want you around, around, i want you around, around, i want you around”. I was excited. Excited to see Don, and excited to get a little loving. I knew Don and i were just having “fun”, but I’m starting to feel Don, i might want to take it further than just some great casual sex.
I made my exit on the highway, i started feeling nervous “I know Don looking too good, i thought “I hope he likes what I have planned”. Before making my way to Don’s I stopped by Bevomo for a alcoholic beveragered. Wine is my drink of choice, well wine and tequila. When I walked inside, it was empty, i expected it to be slow, judging on the time of night. I went on a search for a sweet red wine. They didn’t have any wine that i liked, so i decided on Apothic Red wine. I grabbed two bottles and headed for the cash register. The female clerk at the register was rude as hell. She chewed her gum loudly and had the nerve not to greet me. I had to initiate the greeting.
See, my mother taught me about manners and speaking to people, obviously this girls momma and grandma didn’t teacher her shit. Staring her in the face i slightly yell “Hi, how are you today”? She looked at me popped her gum and “Good” she replied with a snarky attitude, she started to swipe the wine bottles across the scanner. I thought to myself “damn this place has terrible customer service”. She then pointed to the small screen, and said dryly, “That’s your total”, she replied after scanning my wines I was outdone, this chick was a damn trip. “Is your manager here”? i asked “No”. I looked to see what her name was on her badge. “Well Ebonye, it seems like you have an attitude”. She sighed “M’aam I don’t have an attitude “. “You must, you didn’t speak, and you damn near broke my bottles of wine swiping them hard across scanner, how can i reach your manager, is he or she available”? Miss Ebonye smacked her lips, grabbed a pen and a sticky note. Aggressively she wtote down the number and handed it to me. “You should be happy you have a job, but you have the nerve to have an attitude”. Ebonye crossed her arms, “Anything else ma’am”? “Yea, yo ass need to attend customer service training too”. She then stared at me, not saying a word. “This heffa here” I thought. I searched my Gucci purse for my wallet, i took out my credit card out and inserted it into the machine. Once the payment was approved I placed my debit card back into my wallet and zipped my purse closed. Miss Ebonye was lucky I didn’t knock her ass off in this establishment. She’s lucky I’m a christan woman and i have a dick appointment, or else we would have to move all the alchol back. Ebonye printed out my recepit and dropped it in a plastic bag along with the red wine. She looked at me, she said nothing, not even a “Have a great night”. I was going to make sure to call her supervisor on Monday.
As i grabbed my bag, and said these words to miss attitude, “Get happy sweetheart, it will suit you better”. I then picked up my bag from the counter, twirled, and walked out of the double doors. No one was going to kill my vibe tonight………….
Part 2 of 3
(Story Contains Graphic Language)
“Damn”! i shouted as my Gucci Bloom perfume slipped from my greasy hands landing on my hardwood floor. Looking down at my ringing phone was Tanisha, “I just talked to this heffa an hour ago”. The sound of “life is good” by Drake and future played as i started to shake my ass in the mirror. knowing the song would be over i decided to pick up “Hey Girl” i let out a deep breath, “Tanisha, did i not talk to you an hour ago? what’s up? “Um, excuse me! i can call my best friend whenever i damn well feel like it, i don’t care if it was ten minutes ago, why do you have an attitude with me tramp”? “I don’t”, rolling my eyes “I’m trying to get dressed for my date with Don tonight”. i hear utter silence, did she just hang up on me? “Uh, hello Nisha you there”? Tanisha sucked her teeth “Yea, i’m still here”, “Didn’t you hear what i just said”? “Yea, Yea i heard you, i was trying to think of how i was going to respond”. This bitch was starting to piss me off “Go ahead say what you have to say, cause i know you have something to say, Tanisha”. I could hear the hesitation in her voice “Spit it out bitch”! “Okay, look i know you feeling Don and all, but i just have a feeling about him, i just don’t think that he is really interested, i think he is looking for something more, casual”. This bitch had her nerve, when she first met Eric i supported her, when Eric proposed, i was there, when she found out she was pregnant guess who was there? Me! this bitch was in the delivery room witnessing the worst horror show ever and now she wants to tell me about my relationship? Nisha was my best friend, my sister but i needed her to shut the fuck up, and support the Dick movement. “Here we go Nisha, same shit”. “Look i know, but when we went on that double date to the bowling alley, don stayed on his phone, he seemed like he didn’t want to be there, i just don’t want you hurt like the last time”. Water started to fill my eyes remembering what i went through with Dre. Shit i’m gong to mess up my freshly done make-up, i did an extra special beat for tonight. i grabbed a tissue from my nightstand and dabbed my cheeks. ” Neesh i know you are worried and your looking out for me but i’m a big girl, i can handle whatever, its nothing serious, anyway we just having fun okay”?, “Alright i’m not going to say anything else, i’m zipping my damn lips, you are right you are a big girl, a horny ass big girl, but none the less a big girl”. I let out a chuckle “Shut up tramp, all my sexual needs will be met by the end of the night, don’t be jealous cause Eric had that little incident and ya’ll cant get down for another two weeks”. Nisha gasped, ” I thought we weren’t going to bring that up”, she whispered “You know he is sensitive about that, plus he has a mouth, the dick is just a bonus”. ” Ewwww too much information”! We both laughed “Well i’m going to let you go i’m still trying to put the finishing touches on my hair”. “Alright now, that shit gone be all over your head in the morning anyway”. “Ha Ha! Whatever”! “Be safe Simone”. “Okay Nisha”. “I love you”. Nisha replied “I love you more”.
After the phone call i went back into the bathroom to apply edge control to my edges. I looked damn good tonight, i’m sure Don and i will get it popping when i hit the door, fuck it we can eat afterward. Laughing out loud i make my final twirl in my full size mirror ” “Simone you are a sexy bitch”. I blow a kiss to myself, grab my Gucci overnight bag and purse and head for the door.
Part 1 of 3 part series
Featured Photo: Innerbeautysavage.com
Since the COVID-19 pandemic, the stay at home order, The death of George Floyd and global protests, things have been uncomfortable and difficult to cope with. I found that my anxiety has taken a toll for the worst. I have heard that with this time of isolation, it should be viewed as an opportunity to slow down, rest, regroup, re-prioritize, and to sit in whatever your feeling, positive or negative. I sat way too damn long. I found myself being swallowed by thoughts that i don’t usually have when i’m occupied. The thoughts are not really thoughts at all, but memories. Good and bad. Don’t you just hate good happy memories? i mean think about it, all the good memories that you may have experienced with people who are no longer in your life. The of laughter, peace, fun, excitement, great sex. Those memories are ingrained forever, they weigh out the bad memories. Scientist explain memories as “formed proteins that stimulate our brains cells to grow and form new connections literally rewiring our minds’ circuitry. Once that happens, a memory is stored in your mind, and for most of us, it’ll stay there as long as we occasionally reflect upon it or revisit it”. “In fact, every time we revisit a memory, that memory becomes malleable again, the memory remains there as long as we revisit it from time to time,and is reset stronger and more vividly than before”. Isn’t that something? i know some of you wish that there was a way to erase the bad memories, some of the good one’s too depending on who is in it. It sounds silly imagining myself lying under a large magnetic device to swipe my memory hardrive, or taking a prescribed pill with the name “memory be gone” on the bottle is rather weird, but in a way, i wished that they both existed. I’m pretty sure i’m not the only one that experiences this often am i? Memories get intense, especially when you have nothing to do. I mean, its only so much cleaning, organizing, and reading a girl can do. I find it exciting and stimulating when there is noise all around, people here and there, kids screaming while they play, but it’s been a ghost town. This quarantine has opened up memories that i tried so hard to forget. When i sit in isolation, i take a deep journey into the unknown, the most dangerous place, my mind.
Finding out that i will be reunited with co workers, students, and parents on June 15th, made me jump for joy, Finally! i can become so immersed in my occupation that i wont have time to think of good or bad memories. If i do begin thinking of one of my many memories, my little alarm clocks will go off, (my students) and they will bring me back to the current moment. I will be able to center myself and fill my thoughts of tasks that need to be completed for that particular day. But what happens when i’m alone again? what happens when i have completed all my tasks and my “thoughts” start to wander? Realizing that i may have to let go of a person, the memory of them, and the good times that were created, is painful. I want to relive that period in my life. I find myself fantasizing and creating new memories around the ones that remain there, as if i’m a director of my own movie. But the only thing about fantasy, it’s just that, a fantasy, a story that you create in your head, that in most cases never come to fruition. Acknowledging my thoughts and fantasies, and what i create in my head can trigger anxiety, trigger depression. Before the quarantine, i thought i had been mentally prepared to take on whatever fear, i thought i was prepared to sit in isolation.
Though Prayer, bible reading, and writing, kept my attention, my soul longed for something else, someone else. The progress i made with past therapy sessions and retreats had all of a sudden dissipated. I became “Her” all of a sudden. I Thought i had gotten rid of her, years ago, but she is still remains with me. So, since i am having a difficult time managing my “thoughts” and living in my own a mental prison, i decided that i should try therapy again,specifically CBT ( Cognitive Behavioral Therapy). This time around, i hope to focus purely on my “thoughts” and how they can manipulate my decision making. I so desperately want to learn how to let go of the past memories and make better one’s. I want to learn in depth how to control my way thinking. I want the undivided individual attention of someone who will listen and remain judgement free. According to the conversation, an online article, “Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is one of the most scientifically reported treatments for anxiety disorders, But unfortunately, a recent us study indicates that in around 50% of patients, old fear memories resurface four years after CBT or drug treatment”. “Put in another way, the old fear memories seem impermeable to erasure through gold-standard therapy or drug treatment”. I wish to not become apart of The 50%. look forward to going back to work the week after next. I look forward to having a daily routine again. (can also trigger my anxiety)
When i return to work to see those adorable little faces, maybe the memories will decrease, maybe they won’t, but in any case…….I think i need therapy.
Featured Photo: Madamenoire.com
Newall, Carol, and Rick Richardson. “You Can’t ‘Erase’ Bad Memories, but You Can Learn Ways to Cope with Them.” The Conversation, 2 Mar. 2020, theconversation.com/you-cant-erase-bad-memories-but-you-can-learn-ways-to-cope-with-them-103161.
MacDonald, Fiona. “Scientists Already Know How to ‘Erase’ Your Painful Memories… And Add New Ones.” ScienceAlert, Fiona Macdonald, 15 Feb. 2016, http://www.sciencealert.com/scientists-have-figured-out-how-to-to-erase-your-painful-memories.