xoxo Moongirl

Nicole Burgio. A woman who could be called helpless, defeated, jaded yet she is resilient, strong, and pushing through a life of chaos, pain, and violence. We sometimes live in our mini worlds overtaken by our own experiences. We interact with one another based on those experiences and don’t realize that our past definitely defines us only if we allow it. There is beauty in pain when you embrace it and use it to evoke change.

I attended xoxo: Moongirl at their opening show. If you remember I attended Communitas a few weeks prior. This was more raw than that show. It’s suggested for ages 13 and up. I might add upping the age to about 15 due to violent themes.

Nicole used magic, and acrobatic technique to show points of pain. The pain of knowing your mother was being beat by the hand of her father. The pain again feeling hopeless even after reaching adulthood. Why? Why can’t she take back this power? People sometimes only focus on the immediate dangers of violence in the home. Once you escape you think the journey has ended but does it?

How can you not be in a home and show signs of anxiety, hurt, distrust? Do you gravitate towards the same toxic behavior that you know is wrong but fine yourself in over and over again?! It sounds so deep and heavy and it should be to a point. You can’t sit and not be uncomfortable. However in the uncomfortable feeling there is still beauty. Healing isn’t linear. It’s an up and down path. It’s high one day like Nicole in her acrobat stance and low like Nicole in a anxious fit.

I left in peace. I left feeling hopeful. Yes you can encounter someone’s pain and still feel at peace watching them go up and down in their journey.

Domestic violence happens daily. 1 in every 4 women will experience violence from an intimate partner according to National Domestic Violence Hotline

Nicole is using her powerful story while utilizing her skills in the most provocative and informational way. We need to scream it out so friends can stop turning a blind eye to their abuser friends. We need to speak it so we can stop acting like it’s just a thing that happened in the past. There may be a few in your inner circle covering up the horror. The shame alone holds people in bad relationships where violence is the way to bind them to their partner.

There’s a way for you to see this performance:

  • Saturday, June 15, 3 p.m.

  • Saturday June 15, 8 p.m.

  • Sunday, June 16, 3 p.m.

  • Monday, June 17, 7 p.m.

  • Wednesday, June 19 7 p.m.

  • Thursday, June 20, 7 p.m.

  • Thursday, June 20, 9 p.m.

  • Friday, June 21, 8 p.m.

  • Saturday, June 22, 3 p.m.

  • Saturday, June 22, 8 p.m.

  • Sunday, June 23, 7 p.m.

You can purchase tickets here

You might be saying well I would love to come but none of the above show times fit my schedule, how can I still donate or help?

I can help you! This amazing show is also on its way to Edinburgh. That’s right and they could use some help getting there. Right now they have a donor that is willing to match so that means your one donation will go twice as far. One thing about theatre is that it takes the support of the community! Let’s donate here!

I encourage all to come out and show Nicole and Mel Hsu who single handedly provided live music accompaniment. Mel’s voice is pure amazement and I loved hearing her.

So let’s take some time to flood Funicular Station located at 416 Coulter Street with love. Get out and see xoxo: Moongirl and learn, engage, enjoy a little magic as Nicole travels to the Moon to gain strength and let’s stand up to pain and turn it into a thing of beauty!!

To learn more about Almanac Dance Circus Theatre, click here!

How to Catch Creation

I had the honor of being invited to attend the opening show of How to Catch Creation. I actually withheld reading any reviews, or any the media write-up before hand because I love coming in without any thoughts of what to expect before hand. I was pleasantly surprised of this production. First of all the set was magnificent. I grew up in theatre so sets matter to me. Secondly the cast looked like me. I loved seeing all of the representation of pretty brown faces.  Third, the play captured my attention and gave me a whirlwind of surprises some subtle and some knocking me over.

Let me give honor to whom honor is due by saying that How to Catch Creation is coming off the acclaimed Kilroy’s list.  It’s a play about discovering legacy as well as what it means to create and how creation shifts during periods of life. Creation takes many forms from art, life, relationships, and how all of the loops come together. As a creator myself it definitely spoke to the hills and lows of life and watching my own work take dips according to what may or may not have taken off.

Christina Anderson, playwright, did an amazing job on capturing the experience of black queer feminist writer and how through her life, life has taken on turns that end up bringing the most unexpected people to unite. When you see the connection I found myself holding back in the audience try not to mess it up for someone who might not have. I laughed so hard during this play.  I loved at moments when the audience interacted right on cue without a notion. I also loved seeing Christina Anderson herself in the audience as well as the director, Nataki Garrett. Seeing them watch their work had to be amazing.

This play is for everyone. I do love how it highlights love and heartache for same-sex relationships.  To be honest sometimes society in my opinion forgets that they have an experience like everyone else. It’s not as easy even with society beginning to open up to what it means to be apart of the LGBTQ community and also be Black.  I enjoyed hearing prior to the show from Amber Hikes who is the Executive Director of LGBT Affairs for the city of Philadelphia. I didn’t even know there was a division first of all.  I also didn’t know that are only 3 other positions in the cities of the United States like it. There is definitely a need for all of us to be aware of what our city is offering. It was great knowing that the city of Philadelphia and the Mayor’s office is representing all walks of life.

So what were some of the themes presented:

Despair, from seeing Lindsay Smiling who played Griffin, try to work his way to normality after being wrongfully accused of a crime and incarcerated for 25 years. His struggle to want to have a child of his own as he learns about his mother and her past was incredible.

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Love, from Tiffani Barbour who play GK Marche a writer who falls in love with Natalie played by Shauna Miles and seeing who their love goes from incredible highs to the lows of breaking up and infidelity. Their love was priceless and unmatched until loneliness lead Natalie into the arms of another.

love one

Betrayal, Shayna Small plays Riley a young woman who has motivated her boyfriend, Stokes, played by Jonathan Bangs, who is losing his focus and rhythm.  Their beat is thrown off when Riley falls in love with Tami, played by Stephanie Weeks who is opening herself up to this forbidden love.  The beat is so off that now in order to get the rhythm back do they let go?  Do they go back to life before the betrayal? Can they co-exist?

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Explosive, fun, witty, and most importantly colorful are some of the best words to describe my experience. You are not going to want to miss out on this adventure. How to Catch Creation will be playing until April 14th. You can purchase tickets which range from $10-69 by clicking here

I would strongly encourage you to see the play and take some friends or family along as well. Thank you to the Philadelphia Theatre Company for as always inviting me and treating me above well. Thank you to Kory Aversa and Aversa PR for these opportunities as well. Thank you to the amazing cast of How to Catch Creation for such a wonderful time.  You all were professional and most gracious as well after the show.  Thanks to my personal team for always helping me get to these shows and for being the best caretakers for my littles!

 

 

 

 

Surviving R. Kelly; My Thoughts

Let’s cut to the chase on this. There is so much to unravel! These are my thoughts:

R. Kelly is a sick. He really is. There is zero doubt about that. No excuses!! No bull. It is what it is. He was molested himself as a child and that’s so super unfortunate. However he then inflicted pain on others. He doesn’t get to get a pass for his sexual misconduct that had been brewing for years. There comes a point when you even in your pain still have to take responsibility for your actions.

Aaliyah

First of all my heart goes out to her. She is a victim. There are a lot of boys let alone men with money and influence that manipulate girls and women all the time. It’s wrong. So it’s not far fetched that she too was manipulated. My anger resides with R. Kelly being an adult. He knew better. I’ve heard theories that he was sick in the mind due to his own abuse endured but it doesn’t mean he wasn’t aware of what he was doing was wrong. The mere cover up of her age means he knew better from a legal standpoint.

My second place of anger is with Aaliyah’s parents. I’ve read the statement about them stating that they were with her and that at no time had she been alone with R. Kelly! However they weren’t there when she got married. The documents were forged and I get that. What I’m saying is there had to be a financial gain for them to allow their daughter to have this “best friend” in R Kelly who was grown. My child is monitored on friends her age let alone my husband would lose his mind if he found out there was a grown man who was her best friend hanging around her. What in the actual world could you have in common with a child?

I hope every parent put yourself in the place of Aaliyah and the other parents of children who were assaulted that you take a firm against such behaviors. I pray that you don’t have to be known as someone didn’t have your children’s best interest at heart!

The ideal that Aaliyah was wise beyond her years or that she was fast or that she was pretty much the reason why she was groomed towards this is completely out of pocket. Aaliyah was a child and her parents failed her and R. Kelly was WRONG!!!!!!!! He was and is disgusting and it’s disgraceful!!

I get you don’t want to speak ill of the dead so since she’s not here it would be in their best interest to rely on a Non disclosures or that $100 they or she was given for her silence. It doesn’t change the marriage being done. I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again he married her to sleep with her without others having a legal issue. Anything done that is based on a lie wouldn’t last. Yes it was annulled. I do understand that but what type of relationship could I have with a man who took my daughter to marry her and hence sleep with her even if I wanted to maintain that I was a loving and doting mother?! Even if I wanted to distance myself and make myself be a victim I would want to protect her and therefore would not cover for him. I would be attempting until his dying day to end him. I pray I never allow my daughters to be compromised and I pray that my daughters never feel the need to be tempted to succumb to anything in any realm such as this!!

Family Ain’t……

His family and friends who knew and now are speaking up about this all should be locked up. They all NOW claim how horrible they feel. They feel so bad but did the checks dry up? When benefits did you receive that would okay seeing girls that could very well be the same age of kids you should have been protecting. All of them don’t get how self incriminating it is for them to place themselves in these circles with him and want to push blame on him alone not seeing how complacent they are and were and how they too have a large responsibility to the victims of whom they thought very little of. All of the adults that knew and can recall such details failed each child they came in contact with and knew of R. Kelly’s mess as it unfolded!

Multiple Tapes

We know about the infamous tape where R. Kelly and I’ll use the legal “allegedly” filmed himself doing down right things to this child but the parts that stuck out to me are as follows:

The back up singer knew and saw him “allegedly” sleep with Aaliyah at age 15 but is crying and upset about him in the tape with Sparkle’s niece who was 14. My question is does she feel this pain now or was she feeling that at the time?! I really want to know because I catch you in the act once I wouldn’t be shocked seeing it again. I would be mad but not shocked!

Separate the man from the artist

R. Kelly had been known to tape his encounters, there are more than the infamous tape out! I’m sure there were more than just the children they were discussed on this series. This is why I don’t get why people don’t believe that he really is the man he is being painted to be. The ideal that you can separate the man from the artist….

How can we separate this musical genius from the fact that he literally has a network of enablers that literally helped him to abuse kids. Like are these people void of care? The ones that have kids scare me the most. Like watching this has reaffirmed my ability to make sure that I don’t allow my kids to be groomed like this. Despite the fact that he was so influential, others like him are in our very own communities. They say the things that young people want to hear. They scare them into silence. They abuse them into fear. It’s scary. I’ve been teaching my kids good and bad touch since before they could barely talk. The thought that I could know my children were sexually abused but sit with the abuser of my kids for any reason is overwhelming.

Am I supposed to be like well it ain’t my kids, let’s step in the name of love?! That’s basically what it sounds like. Let’s just keep the party going cause it’s unfortunate that kids that don’t belong to me went through horrible things but it ain’t my issue. If I read a story online I get moved. Kids should be off limits. Kids should be protected and I for one stopped listening to him and stopping the playing of his music around my family. My choice but to keep money flowing into R. Kelly’s pockets as he continues to “allegedly” imprison and groom women (who knows if they are underage or not) would be misguided for me as a woman! What am I doing at a concert as he parades knowing he likes young girls?! Aaliyah was not fluke. Aaliyah wasn’t this special child that he just bonded with. She on her own outside of him was phenomenal but the relationship of Aaliyah wasn’t isolated. R. Kelly doesn’t see anything wrong with having sex with children.

There are way too similar allegations for me to pull a Stevie Wonder. If there is smoke there is fire. I personally am disgusted by the whole documentary thus far.

R. Kelly is like the predator that you know but people tell you he’s not as bad as he seems. It’s like a group of people with evidence of abuse and documentation of abuse but we have to support him and for what? Music. As iconic as his music has been, he is equally flawed. He is problematic. He is an abuser. He is a manipulator. It’s disgusting!

I think the more you know you bear the responsibility of walking in life better. Having R. Kelly the musician’s craft block out years of abuse toward women as a woman myself and definitely as a mom isn’t a price I’m willing to pay. The fact that most of the forgiving fans have been women worries me. Do women lie about such things? Yes. Is everyone telling the same lie? I highly doubt it and I believe them. Not everyone is telling the same lie. Some of these women have been attempting to speak up way before Lifetime produced this series.

So there is a lot to unload. These are my raw feelings. This is how I feel. It’s hurtful as a woman to watch this. It’s almost triggering. It was difficult and is difficult to watch. It’s hard and I made triple certain that none one of my kids were up as I watched this. Although I talk to them for their age to prevent as much as I can with the help of God no way would I allow them to hear that a grown man made kids do the things that R. Kelly is being accused of. I’m grown and it was hard to hear that some of the very beloved songs actually meant more than we imagined. It’s hard! As more men are being held accountable, I pray that even if R. Kelly feels or felt like he is getting away that karma steps up and does her thing.

I hope you make your own decisions if you have an opportunity to catch the series. My opinion is not to make you believe what I believe. Personal choices on whether or not to support R. Kelly, is just that, personal.

There are countless women and men to be honest watching this and having this all hit is a lot! A lot of the stories we knew about. R Kelly has been accused since I can remember. He has been known to mess with young girls. But seeing the lengths that not only he took to cover it is jaw dropping. To see the network unfold in how he would have his own wife in the house suffering abuse while still continuing his life is crazy.

Here is a clip from the Boondocks that pretty much had it right (I do not own rights to this episode; trigger for strong offensive language):

R Kelly Boondocks Trial

To victims of abuse especially sexual abuse who have never told their story and need support, or even the ones who find themselves triggered:

What a wicked way to treat the girl that loves you

So I’m out and about today. While out a woman is behind me talking to another woman. The one woman asks where her husband was. Her answer was he just started chemotherapy and he’s home. So I’m like wow Lord bless her and give her strength. Then they keep talking and she said well he also is evil. It caught me off guard. I’m like oh wow either way help them both God! She stated that he was abusive now and before his treatment and she’s just trying to get through whatever happens to him.

My heart immediately dropped. She appears to be an older woman and even with her husband going through chemo she still is aware of how he treats her. Should she give him a pass? No. When the woman tried to tell her she should be nicer to him because of his medical condition she made it clear that she might have except he’s still abusing her now and had done it before. It made me think about how some people define their vows of in sickness and in health. Yes you’re supposed to be there for him but she chose the words abuse. Abuse is not okay. She remembers what he did and what he’s doing.

Abuse is not something you tolerate. I hear so many times of people abusing their spouses in other forms not just physical. Gaslighting a person is a form of abuse. Financial abuse where one partner withholds money and resources or makes their partner practically beg for money is a abuse. What about the men who asks for a detailed list of what their spouse bought, but he doesn’t have to? Don’t even hit me with well what if the woman doesn’t work?! I was a stay at home mom for years and if my spouse made me feel like I was his child instead of a partner when it came to abuse then I would be writing this piece from the perspective that he was abusive and a shitty partner period! This isn’t love. This is demeaning and abusive!!

What a wicked way to treat your spouse if you can to yourself yes my spouse does those things to me. How about the husband or spouse who embarrasses them out in public? What about the spouse that deliberately reveals the spouse’s intimate moments to others? This is abuse. Women are expected to ride or die for a man and not receive love, understanding, and commitment. It’s not okay to sit and hope one day their spouse will treat them well. Note for the good man, this may not be you but you can speak openly to your friends when you are alone with them and they speak of doing these things. I have had male friends who do these very horrible things to their spouses and girlfriends and guess what if I know about it I speak about it. How could someone you love be treated so badly by the hand of the one saying I love you. You don’t get to say well I don’t have male role models in my life therefore I just can’t…..

I read a story this week where a fiancé was going through cancer and he had like the married couple of today’s story treated her with abuse before and during. She left him and everyone was all up in arms about it. What was she supposed to do? Stay and wait for his treatment to be over while being abuse? He wasn’t moved by his treatment neither did he focus on his health and make a decision to be kind to the one taken care of him. She wasn’t even married so she had more to lose than the wife of today’s story. She decided that being abused and leaving was more important than the folks who would condemn her inability to ride it out during his treatment. His treatment is unfortunate but if you get that close to potential pain and death and that can’t change your behavior, you have bigger issues!

Relationships are great when two parties want to make things work. They can also be Hell on Earth if one or more partner thinks that it’s okay to be disrespectful or when one party things you should stick it all at your expense. Be careful who you align yourself with. Always find ways to speak up for yourself. If you find yourself in an abusive do everything you can to get away. What you’re thinking isn’t wrong. What you feel is your inner voice telling you that the late nights alone while they run the streets isn’t okay. What you feel when they set you up for failure or tell you no one will love you like them isn’t just an alarm to leave it’s an alarm to run.

Abuse is not okay. He can love you all day with his words but if his or her actions says different, pay attention to action. Actions matter! It’s not okay to stick it out just so others will think you left a person when the chips were down. The chips are already down if you’re being abused. You being abused is wrong. There is no good time to leave abuse. You don’t have to wait until you think it’s socially acceptable to leave. Your mental and emotional well being matters!!

Please make the best decision in love. Not all love is made up abuse. I love love. I love hearing two people come together and just mesh so well. I love to hear when two people come together and beat all odds. Love isn’t about being beat, emotional drained or mentally beat down but smile and bear

Ask Toi…..Marriage and Divorce Edition?

So its been a minute since I have openly answered my Ask Toi segment although I have privately given the asking party their answers.  Keep in mind that if you want to Ask Toi; please send your email to toitimeblog@gmail.com

I will answer your question and keep you completely anonymous.  Feel free to ask any question that you may want. If it’s about me or if you’re asking something about me or my family I reserve all rights not to answer.

Ask Toi: my husband wants a divorce but I want to work it out, how can I proceed?

Well there is this old saying that it takes two to tango and that is true in a marriage. It takes two people who are willing to do the work to make a marriage work.  We keep believing that this lovey dovey feeling is all we need to live on to sustain a marriage. Real life hits in marriage because you have a mirror up to you being reflected from your partner. They know all of your dark secrets. They know who you are offline and online.  They know the little things about you that make you tick or make them tick too.  However what makes folks stay? Some say its the willingness and knowing that no one is perfect and that the flaws present isn’t enough to send them packing. If your husband wants a divorce has he given you a reason? If you say yes, than you know why he wants out and you know if its workable situation. You can ask him if he’s willing to go to a few counseling sessions prior to filling. Let me help you with some advice on counseling.

When you go if he’s willing to go, keep in mind that not only will this space give you answers its going to make you mad. You will hear all kinds of things being said. It may not stop the divorce. Let me repeat that, it may not stop your husband after counseling from filing for divorce.  Your objective is to listen and pour out. Sometimes it may give you closure.  Divorce is messy at times even when its amicable. Love hurts. However if you come to the conclusion that your husband is either unwilling to go to counseling, or once in counseling still wants a divorce, you can either fight him on it or give him what he wants. As a married woman this is a personal decision that my advice can’t give you. This is a battle within yourself and with him where you go from there. What I will say is there is life after divorce. I know that you can pull through it and gather yourself and make a great life for yourself with or without a husband. Don’t let this define you but know this is going to a bumpy ride. Also know some men or women say they want a divorce to inflict pain they aren’t willing to address with their partner. Please never use divorce as a way to punish but only use it if you are ready to go through it. Also be clear in who you let in during this time. Don’t speak on everything with everyone around you. They can’t push the decision one way or another. You do not need everyone in your ear influencing you. Be clear with your husband as much as you can. Start finding ways to practice some extra self-care. Regardless of how it goes, this is a hard hit to you and your emotions. I really hope things work out for you and his best interest.

Ask Toi: My Husband is different online than he is in real life? Its draining me and I don’t know what to do, how do I handle it? He is gone for days at a time and comes home with gifts….

Well just to let my readers know the wife stated that the husband appears to be super romantic online towards her but in real life he is the polar opposite.

Now that we got that little disclaimer out the way let’s proceed. We all want to put our best foot forward online. Online is a mix of real life with touches of filters. Some of those filters only filter pics and some of them distort who we really are. This is why it’s always to reverse the situation and show nice pics but be real so that your online and your offline can meet.  Your husband wanting the world to know that he loves you online but is distant in real life, can go days without speaking is an issue. I would suggest that you bring it to him. I would take him out where you can change the atmosphere. Tell him you are glad that he paints the relationship online as beautiful. Keep that in mind because your issues isn’t in what he puts online it’s what he does toward you offline.

Down right not talking for a week, or leaving the house for days as you suggested is disrespectful. No husband can just up and leave for days talking about he’s mad. His behavior is suggestive to say the least. I have a lot of married male friends and at no time has any of them rolled out for days at a time unless that wife and them were in a separated lifestyle. This leave and go where is my question? Cause if every time it gets hard, he runs is showing you he isn’t equipped to handle this and somebody got to be clear that they still want to be married. He is making himself appear that he’s doing more in the streets if nothing else leaving without being honest about his whereabouts. Nobody should have that type of relationship in a marriage. That is the type of thing, a boyfriend does not a husband.  He either wants his cake and eat it too or wants it to appear that way. I mean that is my being nice about it but in reality no man would think he could come home bearing gifts unless this has been how its been and you have accepted it. Just because you have before the only way to let him know that he can’t would be to show him better than you can tell him. I would talk to him about it and when he rolled out again I would have met with my attorney to draw up the paperwork for a legal separation. I would present it to him (ONLY IF I PLAN TO PULL THE TRIGGER). Please don’t this on a I hope that he won’t do it. Be prepared to file if you are serious. This whole thing of playing games has to stop with you. If you one of these women that like to bark with no bite, this plan isn’t for you. You can do the whole reason with him and plead with him until you are sick AND tired of this. Like my momma would tell me, you can be sick one day. Tired the next day, but when both sick and tired comes together for real, it evokes change in you.

How much are you worth?  If you are only worth some flowers and trinkets that’s what he is going to keep giving. If you are worth more than he can give by doing the right thing, than you do the right thing for you. It may mean that the loving husband online is going to have to be without you. Expect backlash. He has created an online persona of the supportive loving husband. Your peace is worth you leaving. There is not an ounce of you that should be more concerned over what folks outside of your marriage think while you take on the impact of his real life persona. You are stressed out, and in an unloving marriage. No woman is deserving of that treatment.  I pray you protection and love as you go through this. It’s time to get a plan and work that plan!

Counseling Days

I know I am going to say a few things that may come off of a few folks.  Whenever it rains it makes me pull out my journals.  I have been in counseling on and off for a few years. So when rainy days it takes me back to that moment. I believe in counseling by licensed counselor.  I am not all for folks running to everyone with their issues.  The reason is everyone don’t have the license and mindset to rightly divide where a person is.  So it’s not that you can’t run to a friend, or a pastor but you just got to be careful.  I do love licensed pastors because they can be a jewel to the community having the spiritual understanding with the licenses can be super helpful. So for some they get so upset the second you say don’t run to the pastors. I didn’t say don’t I said be careful. It could be from my level of hurt that I am openly saying I am still working through since my old pastor tried it.  I will say is some folks will talk to you and then have their message be your life on Sunday. Some folks like to do that prayer list conversation and reality your life becomes the tea of the week.  So be careful. People are messy individuals in real life no matter what their title!

In counseling I noticed that my days that I would go in was on rainy days.  It wasn’t that many sunny days. It really could just be that during those times I noticed the rainy days because of the down place that made me go there in the first place.  I can admit that made a lot of sense.  However today’s rain made me pull a few lessons for my current life. Not that life has totally went left, but emotionally I really want to respond to those around me in the proper way even when my petty, smart assed mouth yes I said smart assed mouth is ever-present.  I really struggle with balanced my life in those regards.  I really am sweet but if pushed or provoked or I just want to let loose, I can and will and I know deep down in my heart, that life will not bring me any good down the line.  So I dusted off a few techniques so I could find the place where I needed to be.

silver newton s balance ball

Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

I was asked  in my Facebook message what reasons have I gone to counseling a few weeks ago and I acted like I hadn’t seen the message, but I seen it. I have gone initially for postpartum.  So a few years ago after the birth of my son, moving from one city to another and being a stay at home mom of 2 under 2 my life was under pressure and after almost calling the police at my fiancé at the time, I called me a counselor who saw me stat.  Ever since then I have gone for various things. If I feel triggered about something in my childhood, issues within myself, or issues with motherhood or being a wife, I stroll right down.  My last session was almost 2 years ago with a counselor in person.  I also have done some pick me up sessions with a mobile counselor meaning I call them and they say hey Toi, what’s going on how can I help.  I prefer in person counseling but it is hard to do with working full-time, and being a wife and a mother that the mobile counselor is what I rely on.  Now I don’t call every time something gets on my nerves. I only call if I feel like I am overwhelmed and reaching out to strategic friends and family who are not the cause in my head of the trigger doesn’t help, I will call my mobile therapist.  They are wonderful. Always warm, and if they are judging you it’s in their head and not out their mouths. They give you real life tips and they have been helpful to and for me.

Now growing up the general message was that you don’t share your business. I now know that is wrong information. You have to be strategic in who you share. If I am not comfortable and for me I choose male or female depending on what’s going on.  So shout out to my counselors because altogether they have been super bomb. Let me encourage a few of you who have never gone but are super on edge on if you should go.  Consider asking your insurance who to go to so it’s covered.  Watch your coins. Sometimes it ain’t free and you need to know that.  You can get services through your job at times.  Even them free 6 sessions can be the difference between bail money, suicide, a fight, or a mental meltdown.  Trust me-no shame at all.  If you know of someone in your inner circle who is getting counseling unless they tell you to give that information out to others its imperative to shut your mouth and let people be great.  I had that happen the first year that I went and someone super close to me told others how I was in counseling and taking meds at a time where I wouldn’t have shared the information with anyone.  I hadn’t even told my momma and two its super personal and set me to trigger even more. But counseling is necessary for those who need it. I honestly think that everyone can benefit going at least once.  Even the super happy folks have things inside of them that need worked out.

Benefits of Therapy

  • Having a 3rd party call you out without having a personal relationship
  • Healing whether mental or emotional healing
  • Consistent sessions give you something positive to look forward

Pitfalls of Therapy

  • Opens other wounds as you process
  • Emotionally down for about an hour after session and having to recover
  • If not taken serious or stopping too soon can make things work, so commit

The pitfalls aren’t anything that is super detrimental but needed to be said.  You may go to counseling and think you will leave skipping and jumping and that may not be the case. I have left therapy mad more times before because of the assignments given after you leave make you think.  That is what the counseling is supposed to do.  So be aware that its work.  It’s not a great high time like the movies show you.

The other day I wrote about national family day and then this week I felt like just unblocking folks, and walking in full healing I just wanted to be sure that it was for the right reason. I called my counselor and letting him/her know about it.  She was so happy about it but the reality is I have been walking in but these last steps of speaking openly about my family was super good for me even if no one else felt what I was trying to say. Not to say that no one does because I love reading your comments as well as your emails about some of the issues you may have had in your own family.  That made me feel good knowing that I wasn’t the only one who had to be tried in that area.  Also today the rain allowed me to write.  It allowed me to share with my therapist about a few things that transpired and helped me to find ways to be a help to those around me and not give into things I know will trigger me.  Also I find that a lot of techniques I end up practicing on those around me even if they don’t know I am.  But the results is the only thing I am looking for. I am looking to be the right that I want or need in my life.  I really don’t want to be a hinderance to myself and especially the ones I live with. If I am walking around mad, pissed off, yelling, testy, what will that do for anyone?  No!  So although I am not perfect I am very grateful for balance and attempting to balance me in all areas.  I am really not working towards perfection.  That perfect life for me just doesn’t exist.  However if I can balance things better than that works for me.

Shout out to all of you who like me are a work in progress and rely on therapy or ever had it to make you whole!

National Family Day

Families are wonderful to be involved in. Families don’t have to be the set parents and siblings that we think they should be.  Family dynamics change all the time. What is important for any family structure is love being in the center. Being in a family and being in close proximity is the fact that there are times when you will be irritated, hurt, or angry with a family member.   How you pick up the pieces is what defines what family means to you.

No One Wins when the Family Feuds

I have been in arguments with family members.  It’s a part of life. Not all family members mesh well. If you are blood related just because you are angry won’t change that you are family.  The issue sometimes comes from when you aren’t.  Not all step families are super welcoming.  Shoot, blood members act fun too so let’s be super clear.  Families feud. I am not just talking about a fight over who is making the mac and cheese for the holiday dinner, I am talking about the types of fighting that would make Love and Hip Hop blush.  Family members can be super messy.  It would be super nice if you’re able to dust yourself off from family spats and pick up as if none of the issues ever happened. People are left bruised and battered by family members and its hard to navigate yourself back into the fold.  The reality time is the biggest thing that you lose when family members fight. You don’t get that time back.  You could be interacting and enjoying one another’s company but a rift can be super damaging. I encourage everyone to attempt to make peace with those that you can. Be aware there are times that even with the best intentions, some folks run out of chances and distance may be the best solution. Learn to wish folks well and don’t speak ill will towards them.

Family Breaks

Some folks opt to take a break or a breather. Some opt to break away altogether and wipe their hands clean.  This is a personal decision. Kids don’t get to know members of the family and the family use the kids to bring the adults back.  There are times if we are honest that some family members are super toxic. Bringing a kid into toxicity if you can avoid it, please do.  It’s one thing to simply not deal with a Family member but to know that if you left your child in a room with a person that all that venom inside of them would spew on a child, those types of things you disconnect from.  I would personally never allow my children around any side of the family if I thought that would be the case.  Why would I as a parent set up my kids who can’t defend themselves around that?  Why would I as an adult want to be around that? If you need a break, take a break.  If you break completely than at least make sure that if you talked it out, you said all that needed to be said. If you can say to yourself I mean whomever no harm and if something happened to them you would be of a clear conscience than so be it. If you can’t there’s work to be done to hopefully reconcile. Toxic situations we should all strive to remove ourselves from them. So no you don’t go around violence, abuse, etc in the name of nobody family or not.  Let’s not ever do that!

two women with man hugging by the sea

Photo by nappy on Pexels.com

Marriage Anyone?

Once you get married, you leave your original family structure and become your own unit.  This doesn’t wait until kids are in the midst.  A husband and wife are their own family now.  As tight as a family can be, if you are getting married be prepared to leave your original and cleave to your spouse, this is your new family. You will always be connected to both of your original family but you shouldn’t be at the point where you can’t find health boundaries in how you interact. Marriages have been in shambles because if the original family has the presence made known in the couple’s lives and then dictates their every move, animosity sets in. You should be able to do things as your new structure like vacation, go on date nights, have fun between both sets of family members etc without your original family having to sign off.  I know of couples who were lets say for argument’s sake, the bride only deals with the brides’ side. This is not cool.  Find a way to fuse both sides.  Start your marriage where the couple make decisions together and find ways of agreeing and learn to keep family as a focus but keep them out of your union.  This means stop running your mouth every time something happens and then get mad when the family is mad at your spouse. Your husband shouldn’t feel like you still need your parents or family to agree on decisions and vice versa. You married into, you didn’t marry the individual bonus members of each other’s new family. Make sure your marriage is strong and have fun and do things with each side. No one side should dominate anything. If you aren’t mature to do that, I would advise not getting married.

Now What? Framily?

If you say, but ToiTime I took a break, I walked away from some folks, I keep folks out of my business but continued to enjoy the ones that were willing, but there is a void and I need it filled and my family is just too much.  I would say, look in your inner circle. I always believe we truly do not lose, there is fulfillment with framily. Framily are friends who become family. This doesn’t mean you don’t have family. This doesn’t mean you do more for your friends than your family. The flip to that is too, family will say you are doing too much for your framily but forget the times they weren’t there and a friend had to step in.  This is so real! I have had friends jump quicker than my family members.  This didn’t take away from my family, it meant that who was supposed to be there for me at that time. If there is a pattern of family not being involved, a conversation needs to be had. I would say, if a family member is mad at a friend for stepping in, to the family member ask yourself how often have you stepped in.  Even if the family member in question shuts you out, how often did you pick up the phone, check in, etc?  I was always taught than regardless of how another person acts that you have to be willing to try. So for me that means, I will call when no one answers. I have sent cards to family members and never got a thank you. I sent gifts and never got a thank you, but my heart is clear knowing one I didn’t do it for the recognition and two I have done all I could and if they are okay with doing nothing on their side, I am okay waiting for them to reach out and my reach may temporarily stop.

five women laughing

Photo by nappy on Pexels.com

Family I don’t Deal with

Even with all of this wisdom basically from being burned by folks over the years, having my family aka my parents teach me how to handle bad situations there are still family members that I haven’t seen, talked to, or associated with in years.  I will never go into the why especially on an open forum. Regardless of what may have said or done I only can own my part in it and say that anything said I meant and I take full responsibility for my actions.  I take full responsibility because I can never blame a person for what came out of my mouth or what was done.  I don’t live my life waiting to play the blame game.  Those situations were unfortunate but it revealed things about me mostly.  It revealed how easily upset I was.  It revealed parts about things that I thought I had healed and discovered I wasn’t truly healed. So it allowed me to go back into counseling to deal with them.  Its been enough years that whatever sting or grudge I carried and carried it well then is NO LONGER an issue now.  The distance and quietness and simply my own refusal to be apart of the equation was what I needed. It had nothing to do with being mad.  I never want to give anyone the opportunity to ruffle me to the point where I am not in control of my own emotions and responses. However what I am learning is that removing myself and dealing with only me allowed me peace and it made me deal with the negative things that the very family members brought up.  There was truth to the things said so I owned it.  There was lies and misjudgments too. Now that I have owned it no one can roll up and say “but you aint..”My response would be simply, you were right on a few things but now I am good should I ever see them again.  Will I ever see them?  I am sure I will! Am I looking for an apology? Nope I gave myself permission to forgive them and me without getting one.  I dropped the charges at least a year after the big blow up.  Should I have done it sooner? Maybe but I wasn’t ready!  I needed that time to live in that and it forever changed how I operate as a person.

The Incredible Storr 5

What I love about my little family now is that we apologize.  Especially my husband and I towards each other, and with and to our kids. I learned a lot from them as a whole. We get to see the good and the bad sides of each other but we also see each other daily striving to be our best version.  There are a lot of people who would love my portion and I am grateful everyday that we wake up together and get to try to get it right!

My husband and I come from good families.  They aren’t perfect either but we have made up in our house that we will always be a family that keeps the drama to a bare minimal, we keep space in our home and keep peace, we allow our kids to be around same like-minded families, we have fun, we serve and love God, and we try our best even when it looks like we are failing to get it right!  We will always protect the 5 in that home at all cost and that’s from a mental, emotional, and physical standpoint. I have seen my husband take stands with others concerning me and I do the same for him.  And you can pretty much forget it if you think the 3 littles in our home will be in the middle of some mess.  Like Jay’Z said:

“And I don´t have to worry, only worry is him
She do anything necessary for him
And I do anything necessary for her
So don´t let the necessary occur, yep!”

jayz