It was the betrayal that blessed me, she said. Have you ever been betrayed by someone? I have. I've been betrayed by so many people, I started thinking it may have been me with the issue. I started thinking have I possibly done things to deserve the deceit I was receiving. Did I put myself in situations for this to happen, or could it just possibly be karma? Am I finally reaping something I had sewn and had long forgotten about?
I can count how many times, I've been betrayed by people I trusted. I'll give you a few different scenarios - because, I think this is just crazy. 1) I thought I had a friend, we were "friends" for many years. One year around holiday season, I was rushing around visiting so many people that I did not link up with them. When, I didn't link up with them, this put ultimate betrayal in play. - This person, lied on me, befriended someone who was trying to harm me, slept with my ex, threatened me, lied on me again & ultimately tried to assassinate my character. Crazy right? When I asked them, what I had done to deserve such a betrayal, they simply said - "nothing, I was upset that you didn't come to see me like you'd said."2) I'd befriended someone who wanted to be me. It was evident in so many ways, yet I completely ignored it. She made up a story about me trying to get with the guy she was dating at the time. It wasn't until later that, I realized I had been lied on; because, I never even met the guy or knew his real name. We laughed about it, once we put two & two together. 3) I was married to a completely different person than I thought I'd married, we'll just leave that one there. Talk about a betrayal; ha. 4) The last and most recent betrayal, I opened my heart, my family, my home to someone. I gave them shelter, refuge, clothes, food, a safety net; I would've given them the shirt off my damn back. In fact, I think I had before. And man, let me tell you, if you don't pick up the phone for some people it is obviously a trigger and a reason to usher in, you guessed it - BETRAYAL.
Am I to blame for their betrayal? No. Am I to blame for being too trusting? Eh, that's a tough one. I could've been more diligent in choosing people to befriend. However, they also could have been better people. It's hard to make an assumption on who is right or wrong in these type of situations. People will only use you as much as you allow them to, so self-awareness plays a big part in that. I can't say whether or not they were wrong or I was wrong in allowing them in my life. What I can say is, I've been learning discernment with each of these situations. I've taken lessons from each of them & I am learning to use better judgment. Honestly, some of these people probably didn't even look at their actions as betrayal & that's important too. You have to befriend people who have the same levels of loyalty and respect as you do.
As much as each one of these betrayals through me for a loop, in the end it was the betrayal is what blessed me, sis. Although, these people preyed on me while I was praying for them, I am still going to come out the victor because I allowed myself to do what was right in my heart. My blessings will still be large and bountiful. Don't allow anyone who has betrayed you or been disloyal to you STOP you from being you. Be mindful, have discernment but don't close off your heart. What are something's that people have done to betray you? How have you dealt with the betrayal you've faced in your life?
I'm married to a man with a child.
People I meet are always shocked when they hear that from me. I always get stares and then, "Oh girl, how is that?" "Whaaaaat? You? Girl, I know that's the last thing you wanted." And my favorite one - "Do you have baby mama drama?" So, then I get all Kandi Buruss irritated face like sis.
Don't get me wrong my husband is amazing & we have the most solid, healthy, beautiful, loving, honest relationship I have ever had in my life. I would marry him 10x over, but this stepmom thing is for the birds; So, I'll break this down for you really quick.
- His ex and I used to be able to be cordial. We didn't start off that way though; she found out he was dating someone and immediately starting bashing me. She and her friends scurried to my instagram page & commenced Operation Name Calling - I'll list a few of my favorites: (So, you just gonna let the world know you're a home wrecker? His mistress, someone who's mom didn't raise them right) you know the typical things exes & their friends say. I tell you, a lie doesn't care who tells it. Mind you, their divorced had been finalized. I'm a divorcee, so I get it. I figured, you know what ... that's probably my karma from when I was nasty to my ex's new girlfriend. Nonetheless, I was a bit irritated. I was watching it all go down at work like ... I let it slide & continued basking in my relationship. A few months had passed, his child fell in love with me. I thought to myself, if I were a mother, I would really want to know who was around my child so, I reached out. (You can read about that here: StepMom Feels Despite the bad blood, I'm all let's bury the hatchet. I wanted to make sure she was comfortable with her child being with his father & understanding that I would be around. I wanted an open line of communication to make sure everyone was on the same page. Things were going well for let's say, 3 months. 90 days. A whole probationary period. A trial period. Like, you're not even eligible to take PTO or get insurance yet period. 90 days and then all hell broke loose.
When I tell you, I've heard stories from my guy friends about their exes and the "baby mama drama" they were dealing with, but I never fathomed anything quite like what I was about to experience. We went from adults trying to maneuver co-parenting a toddler; communicating through bruised egos and harbored emotions to strangers battling one another in court. I watched my husband break into pieces as his son was ripped away from him again and again and again. I watched my stepson break as his father disappeared from his life. I watched my mother, father and brother in laws break as they watched their son & their brother hurt. I watched my parents become increasingly anxious as they watched me juggle everything that transpired. I began to ask myself, why the hell am I here? Why the hell would I purposely put myself in this situation? Why am I with someone who purposely put themselves in a situation, with someone who was so intentionally evil. Am I crazy? Is he crazy? I battled myself. Then, I realized her actions did not have anything to do with him nor myself. Did I say, this stepmom shit is not for the weak at heart.
I found myself caught in a battle that had nothing to do with me. Granted, I added some gas to the flames. I just didn't expect for the flames to set the entire city on fire. I was collateral damage. I was being blown away by the crash because I was too close. I had become accused of kidnapping, holding a child hostage, barricading myself in my home with a child. I had, had my home rushed like an episode of Chicago P.D. I mean, I love Voight, but I wasn't trying to live that shit. This happened when no one was even home. I had been in a high speed chase almost run off the road. I'd been in the middle of an altercation in an airport atrium. I'd been on high alert at every interaction as if I were still active military - in a war zone. Like, did I get married to a man with a child or did I join the Army & go to Afghanistan? Can you imagine my psyche? Sis, these kind of things are not normal. These kind of interactions on a daily are not healthy. These types of reactions are common in violent and abusive environments. This is how people who don't know how to communicate effectively react to situations. By lashing out and using violence as a speaking tool. This is not acceptable.
If you are thinking about being in a relationship with someone who has a child, please evaluate the situation. Evaluate the entire situation. That goes for if you're looking at being in a relationship with anyone. Evaluate their family, their upbringing, how they react to situations, if they overreact, if they don't react at all. If you find yourself relating to the person, do some self-reflection. These types of behaviors have become common and acceptable in "baby daddy-baby mama" dynamics. Why is that? If the roles were switched, the man would be looked at as a violent monster, who was abusive, aggressive, a danger. He would be intertwined in the same shackles and chains that intertwine the minds of the people who make the final decisions in this being acceptable behavior.
I'm married to a man with a child. An amazing, humble, hardworking, delicate, diligent man. A man who loves with every fiber of his being. I would marry him 10x over. But, when I tell you sis - think again, if you're thinking this task is easy - because, this stepmom shit, is not for the weak at heart.
Poison (n) -
We too often surround ourselves with poison. We allow toxic and poisonous people to inhabit our space. We fill our minds with poisonous thoughts, we indulge in poisonous behavior and we look at it as normal. We often try to decipher why our spirits aren't filled with the positive energy we are looking for and why depression and anxiety seem to consume us; but we never look at the toxicity we allow into our lives.
Toxic and volatile relationships, toxic jobs, toxic atmosphere's, it's almost impossible to breathe any sense of relief when we are engulfed in these ever so suffocating habits. So, you ask how do you move forward? How do you let go of that toxic relationship that you're so used to because you're afraid of branching out, or maybe you're comfortable, or maybe you enjoy toxicity. How do you quit that job that doesn't pay you what you deserve and also makes you wish you could just catch the flu for a week so you didn't have to go in. How do you tell your friends their problems are draining you and if their boyfriend keeps cheating on them to just leave? You just do. You have to find time for yourself, time to breathe, time to acknowledge this toxicity. Sometimes, we are so used to toxicity consuming us, we don't even realize why we're suffocating.
It's is 16 days into New Year. Normally, when the new year rolls in - I take a look at all the things, I don't want to bring in with me before the end of the year and I make a decision. This year, was different. I had already let go of so many toxic behaviors, friendships and loved ones that the only thing left to look at was myself. I'd dropped everything that was causing me to feel smothered that the only thing left was myself. I'd let go of jealous friends. I'd let go of behaviors that would bring poison into my heart. I'd let go of loved ones who were draining me but never replenishing. I can't tell you how freeing that is. For the first time in a long time, I started to just deal with and worry about myself. Although, I still dabble a bit in situations - I've learned the art of disengaging and that's freeing. Letting go of all the poison in your life and allowing yourself to heal, is one of the greatest things I could have done for me. What are you holding onto? What toxicity in your life is weighing you down?
- A few years ago, I wrote about the chronicles of the women from the fatherless tribe. We are always hearing about fathers not being apart of their children's lives, more than we hear about the women who are apart of the motherless tribe. It may be less common but we are definitely here, whether it be due to losing a mother to death, sickness, career, inability to be a mother, or those of us who grew up without a figure we considered a mother. Being a part of these tribes teach you lessons you may have never learned had you not been from them. A few lessons I learned that I didn't appreciate until I got older are listed below:
- Resiliency (adj.) - (of a person or animal) able to withstand or recover quickly from difficult conditions. - Discernment (noun.) - the ability to judge well. - Empathy (noun.) - ability to understand and share the feelings of another.When I was younger, I didn't acknowledge the gift I had been given by being apart of the motherless tribe. I didn't understand why I was chosen to be apart of a group I wanted no parts of; I didn't understand why so many of my friends had relationships with mother's I could have only dreamed to have. Life had thrown me so many curve balls, I should have been a baseball player. I had taken so many different paths, I should probably own stock in some automobile company. I have learned that even playing the best hand with the cards you are dealt may not always guarantee you a full house. I learn a lesson each time. I always recover. I am always moving forward to something better. I am always making a mental note on how to not make the same mistake twice. I am always looking for a lesson in each mistake. I don't trust people easily, I try to weed out the people who don't mean me well and although, I'm not always the best at it. I've done pretty well thus far. I am constantly, putting myself in another person's shoes and simulating how they would feel. I had taught myself that this is and how life was and how it would continue to be. Then one day, it hit me. All the while, I was envying the relationships my friends had with their mothers and focusing on not having a birth mother, I had something much better. I had a mother who wanted a child as much as I wanted a mother. I had a woman who taught me resiliency, empathy and discernment. I had a woman who taught me to be self-aware, who taught me that there is a lesson in each and every mistake I would make. I had a woman who loved me unconditionally, no matter the mistakes I would make, even if I didn't learn from them. I had this amazing, powerful, strong, intelligent mother the entire time. Often times, we are so focused on what we don't have, that we aren't paying attention to things that are right in front of us. A lot of us have these same mother figures and we don't acknowledge it as we should. There are women who are mothers that surround all of us, you just have to take a deeper look. -- The Woman from the Motherless Tribe.
Today, I acknowledged something I had been looking over for some time now.
jeal·ous - ˈjeləs/ (adj.) feeling or showing envy of someone or their achievements and advantages.
Jealousy - let's talk about jealousy. What is jealousy to you? Most of the time I hear, well I'm prettier than this person or I make more money. I'm smarter, I'm in better shape, I have longer hair, I drive a newer model car, I have more freedom, I have the ability to do things they can't. This person likes me more than they like them, I got the job they wanted, I slept with whomever they liked and the list goes on...
Rarely, do I hear that jealousy has to do with the way people love you. Seldom, do I hear people are jealous because the heart a person possesses or the character, their charisma, their willingness to persevere through obstacles in their lives. Today, out of twenty five years on this Earth, it hit me. The majority of what I've witnessed and experienced were not the materialistic things people reflected their jealousy on but the intangible things that they wish they could get.
I realized that most of my life had been saturated with people who were jealous of the way other people loved me. People who were jealous of the fact that I could overcome obstacles that would have torn them apart, people who pretended to be praying for me but were preying on me. You hear me, sis? Pretending to be praying for me, but we're preying on me.
I had unknowingly surrounded myself with people who had no good intentions for me. They were just eager to find out how and why people were loving me the way they were. How I was overcoming so much, how I continued to keep a smile on my face while things were coming apart around me. How did I get there? How did I not see it before? It was like an epiphany.
Why were there so many people in my circle who weren't in my corner? Why were there so many people who wanted to sabotage relationships I had with other people? They didn't understand why they could love me as they did and not feel the same about them. It hit me like a ton of bricks, a light bulb went off, a boulder fell on my chest. This had always been the case for so many people I allowed in my life. They were just there to observe. I had done this to myself. I had family like this, friends, relationships, I'd seen it before. Beware of the people who serve no purpose in your life but to just try and find out why others flock to you. Steer clear of people whom are in your circle but not in your corner, the people who don't clap when you succeed. The people who criticize every move you make. Recognize the faces of those who pretend to love you but are truly snakes in the grass. Acknowledge the people who hurt you but don't apologize. The people who try to make your feelings invalid with excuses, a great friend of mine once said pray for discernment and accept what people show you rather than what they tell you and I have asked God for that ever since.
What are some characteristics you possess that you think make people jealous? Tell me in the comments.
- I've started to realize more so lately, that everyone is not going down the same path as you, be it friends, family, loved ones or just people you've grown fond of over time. Everyone is not meant to be on the same journey you take in life. Sometimes, we are so busy making excuses for people's behaviors that we overlook distinctive character flaws as someone just having an off moment. We have to remind ourselves that we deserve the same respect we exude. We make mistakes when we place temporary people in permanent positions. It can be difficult to decipher who deserves to be in which places. We take people places they should have never gone with us for far too long. I know I've been guilty of this many times and I wondered why things weren't going my way, it was because I had the wrong people placed in positions they didn't deserve. People don't support you like you'd think they would when you are heading in different directions than them. They don't reach out as much, they start to dwindle, they start to become busier than they ever were when you knew them. I've been trying to plan out how things will be once we relocate and which people will still be in my life and which people I am okay with letting go, and the decisions are difficult. We want so much for the ones we've become close to, to follow us and support us in our dreams and goals but I've realized that this isn't always what is best for our lives. More often times than not the people who we want to be there for us are never there the way we want for them to be or in some instances not there at all. When I questioned friends about starting my blog and my goals in the very near future, I was met with so much excitement and encouragement I was assured I had the confidence and the talent to excel. As, I got more into my blog that excitement and encouragement began to diminish. I didn't understand until I reached out to other women doing the same thing, and I did not truly understand until I read another one of these amazing women's blog post. If you're going through this, you can find this blog post here: Support From Friends - But seriously, I contemplated on whether my friends were truly my friends and analyzed if it had been me, what I would have done and then it hit me, everyone is not like me. I needed to be placing the people that were supportive of me in the positions I was placing the people I expected to be supportive of me. Sometimes, we are so busy making excuses for why people aren't doing what we want them to do instead of recognizing who they are and placing them in the correct position in your life, so you aren't disappointed.
- A tribute to my best friend, my life partner and my forever valentine. I couldn't think of better man for God to have paired me with. Thank you for being the best teammate and uplifting me when I'm down, for always giving me encouraging words when I need it. Thank you for always having my best interest at heart and being the extraordinary man you are. I am so honored to be marrying you, I will forever say YES. Being with you has made me proud, I'm a better person because of it. I know I say this a lot but I love you, you ask me why I reminisce so much and it's because I like to go back and compare the way you looked at me then, to how you look at me now. I like to examine how your eyes are still the same. I like to sit back and hear the songs you introduced me to and realize how 409 days have passed and how that song still makes me feel the same way it did when I heard it the first time. I love knowing that I have an amazing teammate who even if my team is losing is pushing for the win.
- I didn't think I would ever fall in love with anyone else's child. I never wanted to be apart of an already made family. I have always been selfish with my time, my sleep, my food, especially my food but then comes this little innocent child who wanted nothing but to be under me. (If you've read the other blog posts, you'll know my fiance has a child from his previous marriage). It took me a while to even accept this as I've never wanted anything to do with men from the fatherhood tribe, but there I was completely taken by a child who had nothing to do with the circumstances he was born into and wanting to spend more time with him. I was introduced to my fiancé's son last year unexpectedly. Actually, his entire family was thrust on me in mere minutes and I had no chance of running away. A friend of mine & I were supposed to meet him & a friend of his at the mall before they left to go back to Virginia; little did we know, we would be meeting his son, two brothers, mom and dad. I tried to run away immediately. I had been bamboozled. I acted like I didn't even know who he was. I continued to walk with my friend and pretend I didn't know him. Little did I know, I would be more involved than I thought. A few months passed and we got his son a couple of times, within about two to three-month intervals (he's military so, he's had little time off, in my previous posts I've discussed this) I was a little anxious this go around, because this was the time I was supposed to meet his son's mother. The first time we conversed which was over Instagram wasn't the greatest. So, I had reached out to her in hopes of smoothing things over for the good of their child and was hopeful things would go smoothly this time. Fast forward to the meet, we ended up meeting in not the best circumstances (she had to take their son to the ER, he is fine) but it went over very well. Later that night, my fiancé, his child's mother, her boyfriend and I all met for dinner to go over how things would work moving forward. I don't think any of us actually came to a concrete decision on what exactly to do, but things seem less chaotic than before. We had his son for about four days, it took me a little less than a month to fall in love with his father after reconnecting with him; so, I should've known his son would have been as lovable, but I wasn't aware it was possible to fall in love with someone else in such a short amount of time. His little boy stole my heart. I joked with friends that I had become a mother overnight. I found toys in my purse, I was waking up early and going to sleep late; making breakfast for a child who was a finicky eater, looking up how to make healthy meals more fun for toddlers and trying to find family friendly things to do (mind you we have two large dogs as well). I was at Walmart in the middle of the night trying to find the most homeopathic cough syrup for a toddler under 3 (Zarbee's is awesome by the way). I found myself sending my fiancé to the store to find things to help with his congestion just so he could sleep through the night without such a stuffy nose. My heart was broken at how congested he was and he got better within a couple days, I was overjoyed. I couldn't help but think how did I, someone who last year was out until 5am with her girlfriends bar hopping, trying to plan road trips across the US, the friend who found any occasion to celebrate with Tequila was now apart of an already made family. I had a ninja turtle in my purse, guys and I was okay with that. I was more cautious of the things I said, how I pronounced words that were important. I watched as he imitated me, how I stood, the things I said, the facial expressions I made and it made me a more conscious person. How could someone so small, in such a short amount of time change such a big portion of my life? He gravitated to our dogs immediately, I would find him sitting next to them having a conversation and my heart smiled. I realized, I may have been missed out on such a blessing in my life trying to avoid the men of the fatherhood tribe. I am so grateful that my relationship with my soon to be husband blossomed into what we are and that his mother continues to work with us to keep their relationship healthy. This two year old has taught me in such a short amount of time to be more conscious of myself, time-management and opening your heart to love more and he had no idea. I am forever grateful and I look forward to a long-lasting relationship.
- I've written and deleted this so many times before making a conscious decision to actually, just introduce this to the world. I wrote this poem my senior year of high school for a multi-genre project based on a part of history that happened before I was born. Considering the recent issues that are happening in our society today, I felt this poem is still relevant; I no longer want to be spoon-fed teachings that assault my being, things that force us to assimilate to what is "normal". I'm tired of keeping the status quo, these are the times to shake things up, these are the times to take a stand and have a voice. These are the times to ask yourself even if you felt like the minority rule didn't affect you; are you safe? Are those you consider friends, family, co-workers, neighbors, the people you pass at the grocery store. Are they safe?
I have a dream, no not Martin’s dream. See, although his dream was nice and dandy, his dream a’int my dream See, I got my own dream My dream is to be treated with respect. My dream is that one day my fellow brothers and sisters won’t have to live their lives in an undeclared war with themselves, with society and with the color of their skin. See, my dream contains a question and an answer How can WE speak LOVE for YOU, when YOU’VE injected us with NOTHING but HATE for OURSELVES. See, Governor Reagan can come to the hood to stop free breakfast plans, but cops don’t come to the hood, to stop one of their own from killing a man. See, I dream that we won’t have to carry guns in our neighborhoods to protect ourselves from the pigs And that the kids in my community can get a stop light, so they won’t get hit. I dream my intelligence will override my distinctive features of African descent. And that we can stop sangin’ and won’t have to start swangin’ cause the man ain’t tryna take us out. That I won’t get ridiculed, if power to the people happens to come out of my mouth. I dream that J. Edgar would get off his fat ass and Martin can stop waiting for free at last. With these political prisoners, with gun in hand, as we storm down the street screaming “down with the man”; see, I wanna devise a plan, that won’t have me writing letters from jail. Cause’ I used self-defense, against a police-man! I wanna illuminate your soul with the rights of my people. The Letters Huey sent Bobby and from Bobby to he and the “Free Huey” rallies that lasted for weeks. The calendars we made to count out our days, filled with free groceries, meals and breakfasts unpaid. See, we saved for our people, we were meant to help them out. We gave power to the people our liberation shouts. But, all they see are some crazy militant niggas, riding down the streets with their fingers on the trigga’. It’s like cause and effect, ‘cause when we try to fight back, they wanna up and arrest change the laws so we can be unarmed; committing genocide, in a now mental form. BUT, I refuse! I refuse to be a victim; I refuse to be a slave, so I'm hoping you'll stand with me to bring about a change.
So, again ask yourself, are you really as safe as you think you are. Are you uncomfortable yet? Does the devastation that others are facing not make you, even a little upset? Is it okay for this to happen, is it acceptable in fact? Are you satisfying your lack of concern because your life is still in tact? Are the families you've known for years, fearing their lifestyles right now? Are you as safe as you thought you were and you say you are no doubt, are you seriously okay with this and if so tell me how?
Friendship is a funny thing, it's something we're taught all our lives subconsciously. Learn to share, learn to love, learn to make friends. We're taught to build relationships with others, this is supposed to make us more empathetic, more successful, more loving, more sociable. The more friends you have, the happier you are. I've learned otherwise. The less you have, the happier you are or should I say, the less negative people you surround yourself with the happier you are .
I wrote this poem a few years ago, after realizing friendships do not always mean the same to everyone.
Lately, I’ve not had much to say;
My words have been few and far between
And everyone is looking for inspiration from me, like a beak of sunlight on a rainy day.
Only to be disappointed with a lack of what I have to say.
I’ve said everything my loves,
My pencil led is running out.
And all of the people I used to run to are now just running mouths
Spreading lies, sprinkled with truths, showing the world every inch of their youth
attempting to smear character.
Allowing whatever four letter verb they felt for me, to be dictated by the fact that I’m not there enough.
And I make no apologies for the distance I’ve placed between myself and you…
Because, whether you’d like to admit it or not, you’ve placed a distance there too
I guess, as of lately my words haven’t been meaning that much.
I’ve been putting so much action behind them
I’m feeling out of touch
I write sentence on sentence, of things I’ve already accomplished
Sharing less and less information with my “so-called” accomplice
See, I’ve worked it out in my head that, I don’t really need that many people
And I find myself going back and reminiscing on when I was little
Like, I didn’t have much of anybody
but my pencil and paper
So, why am I so intent on adding to my foundation when all along I’ve had the staple?I've always wanted to be some type of inspiration for others; an inspiration I was searching for on days when it was hard to get out of bed. I've lost so many people to losing themselves, or better yet maybe finding who they truly were. I wouldn't change a thing. I've been spending more time doing the things that make me happy and less of what doesn't involve my happiness. I've been searching for an answer or some type of support from my peers and realized that is not where I will find it. Sometimes, the most support you are going to get will come from people you have never met and that is okay. So, what does a friendship consist of? Supporting those who support you or just finding friends to share a good story over a bottle of wine with? There has to be more than that to a friendship, I'm sure of it. Are your friend's the people who encourage you to get out of bed when you want to stay there or are your friend's the people who come over and make sure you get out of it? I like to consider myself an amazing friend. I'm sure some people may disagree, but we're all adults. So, what is the making of a good friend? I may not know surely how to spot it in others, but I know how to spot it in myself and how to remain true to that. What do you consider a true friend?