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!

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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.

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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

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Hurt People Hurt People But You Can Do Better

It would be nice if we lived in a world where we all could uplift one another.  This is simply and unfortunately not the case.  We live in the world where with the change in political climate we spend hours of a date arguing and tearing one another down. Even politics aside the nature of the human spirit is tested to do the right thing and help one another.  Listen outside of religion and race we are do really share a lot of common experiences.  Think about a new mom who is struggling with life for those first weeks. I don’t know a mom who either experienced or not doesn’t understand what that feels like. What about a new marriage?  A couple unites and struggles with the fusing of this new life.  This is a common experience.

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We need to do a better job in uplifting one another not just when things go wrong like for instance the example of Hurricane Harvey.  Although it’s a beautiful thing to see and is needed, we need to learn to not allow a disaster to come along and THEN we step up.  We have a human right to extend the very best to our fellow sisters and brothers all around the world.  Let me also put things into perspective.  I have some folks that I have a general disdain.  I do not like them, they do not like me, but I give them and anyonelse respect.  I do not have to break bread with some folks to show respect. This costs me nothing. However at the end of the day if I was in a fire, or sick, or drowning would it matter at that moment who saved me?  Most likely not.  My disdain would only come into play when I can control the playing field. With that in mind, I try to make sure that although I may close the door of fellowship based upon personal experience with others that I do not do that with people who have done nothing to me.  Meaning for some when they are hurt they take out on the rest of the world their pain.  Pain is very overwhelming.  However pain I am having with family doesn’t need to spill into my social life.  It’s hard too when that pain resembles and is reminded.  It’s like having a band-aid on and having it peeled off temporarily and the wound hasn’t healed.

I win when I show in spirit, thought, and deed in others’ winning with me or around me. I can’t tell you the countless times as a blogger that I have been asked questions about what to do in a situation.  I am about to celebrate 3 years I don’t even consider myself to be the best, YET, but helping someone get to where I am in hopes that they take off with their site, makes me happy and fulfilled.  Uplifting and wanting what’s best even for those that I may not know is important.  To the ones I don’t vibe well with, I never practice ill will towards them.  It’s a hard balance at times when you have been hurt but me holding onto hurt does nothing but brings me down.  I am not perfect in that category but I am definitely working towards being a better version of myself.  With this in mind, there may come a time when I get to a place where I can sit in their presence and enjoy it.  I can sit in anyone’s presence when I have to and not let it get to me but to be willing to do so when I don’t have to is called personal choice.  I feel that it shouldn’t be forced.  It should be natural.  I can be in a room and say hello, and keep it moving. However to be in the room and chat it up unnecessarily is a personal choice.  I can uplift them and want what’s best for them without interacting outside of the need.

As I see stories of families, friends and strangers coming together during Harvey I am hoping that this continues to spread after the effects of Harvey dies.  I hope this continues in how we interact with one another even on social media.  I am a professional debater but I refuse to tear someone down just because we don’t agree.  Now I may decide to keep it real and not interact with someone who I don’t have to, wish them well and move on but I am at a point that I am not going out of my way to be malicious.  I am going to show support of who you are and your right to be who you are.  No different from knowing a person who is nasty in their spirit.  From a far I can not interact with you, show you respect, but make a personal choice that the vibes you send isn’t right for my spirit and not interact on a personal level.  However I have no right to dislike you and treat you badly, and then say I am a positive person.  Closing a door to a person who means you ill will doesn’t mean you are wishing them ill will either.  You have a right to protect your spirit.  You don’t have a right to be indirectly or directly mean and bash a person for being who they want to.  So I pray for all of those who is reading this blog, that they would be in a place to deal with hurt but don’t continue to hurt others or tear them down.  You have a responsibility to do the right thing towards even your enemies even when you choose to not interact with what they bring to your life.

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I am practicing these things and I am constantly checking myself so that I don’t respond when it’s not pure in heart.  I trust that even if I get it wrong that I can make it right by just doing what works for me and allowing others to do the same.

Ask Toi: My husband cheated and now wants to go to counseling after months of asking. I don’t want to go now because I feel like it’s after the point. I also don’t want to sit and hear about how sorry he is now when I don’t believe him….

Well first of all let me say how sorry I am that you have been put in this situation.  First of all let me acknowledge that how you feel is real and honest.  I am quite sure that was your rated G version that you expressed.  Cheating is horrible.  It hurt.  It cuts.  The wound that cheating brings is not easily fixable.  My thing is for you is not just not simply not go. I would go ONLY if you really want to.  You may not want to hear the sordid details of what happened.  That may be just how you feel now.  Cheating can and will give you so many emotions at one time and then those emotions will be ever-changing.

I would go just to see what he wants to put on the table.  Him not going before now and now wanting to go means that he believes this will save your marriage.  If you have a good counselor they will let you both know that simply showing up for the sessions will not fix your marriage.  Counseling doesn’t erase pain.  It actually takes the band-aid of your relationship off and makes you look at it.  You can after you do that decide that cheating is a deal breaker.  You may decide that you don’t want your husband back.  Cheating changes the person who does it but also the one holding the emotional bags afterwards.  That’s why usually the one who cheated wants you to hurry up and process this and move on.  It’s easier to say you want to be done with it after you create it.  I will tell you one thing if you can’t get over it and after time has gone by and you still feel the need to bring it up due to real unforgiveness you have to do what you have to do.  We tell women to forgive.  We tell them that they should deal but reality is that NO ONE deserves to be cheated on.  To men it’s simply an act, to women it’s an act of betrayal.  There are relationships that claim they forgive but bring it up all the time because they think they are in the right to do so because they are hurt.  You can forgive and love still and still want to be out of that type of disrespectful relationship.

I can’t say I know his why.  He knows his why and maybe he finds a way to communicate that to you.  I would say what you feel is real.  It’s like having to watch him pour out his heart NOW but didn’t want to do a lot of communicating that could have saved this pain from your life before it began.  It feels as if you are being punished.  Relationships are hard but the one thing you did when you say you are marrying another person is to find a way to be an adult and communicate and if you can’t stay married for the right reasons, speak up to those sentiments.  One thing I can tell you is that counseling can help you heal even if that means healing together is not going to take place.  I pray for your healing.  I pray that you and your husband can get to a better place together even if you don’t end up together. This journey is yours as much as it is his.  Feel what you need to, this too is a part of the process.  NO one can tell you how to go through this.  You will feel alone, angry, hurt, sad, and sometimes at the same time.  You may not even be able to tell those that are closest to you how you feel or what is going on.  Be careful in who you confide in.  Remember that those who you speak to will push you one way or the other.  You hold your own spirit.  It doesn’t matter what others think, you ALONE have to stay in this or leave.  No one will be there to get you through the way you are going to want them to be.  Friends say they will be there but have their own lives.  Do not make a decision based upon what your friends say they would do because when they get it in they have no idea how they will really respond.  Love on yourself.  Regardless of what took place, his cheating was HIS doing.  He alone is wrong and you don’t have to take on HIS cheating as your own. He is grown and made a choice.  This didn’t happen by accident.  He is wrong.

 

Keep Your Knee Pads

I want every lady to hear me.  I need you to hear me loud and clear this morning.  We as ladies have to have respect for ourselves.  I had a discussion with my husband and we talked about the male and female ratio.  We know that women for the most part out number men.  However just because of those numbers doesn’t give a man a right to disrespect women and settle or put up with foolishness either.  Think about that for a second.  You are a woman who is waiting on Mr. Right but instead Mr. Right Now comes and wants to ask you to do things that you aren’t comfortable with just because he thinks he can.

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I in my own young life have done things to disrespect myself.  Let’s keep it all the way 100. I can’t blame relationships, situationships or down right just doing things that were disrespected myself on others.  I can take my L where the L is needed.  However think about all of the times I turned down the foolishness too.  I know for women we all have been approached in less than honorable ways from co-workers, bosses, the man cat calling us on the corner, etc.  Women are constantly having to make someone respect our NO.  In the last years it’s getting out of hand that you can turn down a man’s advancement and get killed.  I think about all of the times someone grabbed my hand or my butt and because I spoke up for myself and said NO I could have been hurt or even killed.  It scares me as a mother because the reality is that I am teaching my daughters to be confident and direct.

I had men do some things in my time.  I had a male boss tell me that the only way I would get ahead is if I sucked his dick.  Now let me just say for all you too churchy folks that I have reading this blog I will never sugar coat a thing.  If you looking for a flower blog this ain’t one.  The thought that ran in my head is my education, my long nights, my hard work and it comes down to sucking dick to get ahead?  Naw I will pass.  I could have just went with the flow.  However what wouldn’t have gotten me-nothing.  Any waves I make in my career won’t be gotten by short cuts, feel ups, or knee pads.  I know there are women forced in these situations every day.  But before I get on my knees I will quit a job.  Before I lower myself and have a random man’s penis in my face let alone in my mouth I will be on welfare before I take that kind of L.

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Men think that because statistically they make more money than most women they can literally sexually black mail women to get anything from us.  The only way it stops if we put aside the superficial benefit and understand that everything cost.  I had a friend who had a relationship with her boss.  She had to come running into his office anytime he called.  It got so bad he would show up at her house unannounced.  The issue was that you will never pay that type of debt in full.  The more you do the more they want.  It’s much harder to get out of these types of things.  The same way you were offered raises, and cash to get into it you end up paying with your dignity and sometimes life to get out. She had to start filming him doing things, saying things, etc.  Even then the humility to admit that she once did these and consenting was embarrassment enough.

I have a few friends who struggle to make ends meet.  They are on the cusp of pushing to do the basics.  However one thing I learned from the strong women in my family that life with struggle is better than life with handouts any day.  But on the flip of that keep in mind that you better know that man you entertain as well.  It don’t have to be some horned up boss that disrespect you.  It could be the one you lay up with and the one you feed as well.  These boyfriends and husbands aren’t always loyal.  Women can and are raped and forced to do sexual favors from the men they trust the most.  Anything that is done that doesn’t make you comfortable should stop.  I know we hear as women that when you get married you are supposed to be freaks in the bedroom.  You are supposed to always be on.  However its more important to have a connection and relationship built on mutual respect even in the bedroom.  As a wife no husband should be asking for sexual acts and favors under the guidance that we are married especially if the wife doesn’t feel comfortable doing them.  I’m sorry every sex trick ain’t for everybody.  Why as a husband can you see the fear on your wife’s face and be okay with that as long as you get your release? Where do you as a husband or boyfriend feel the need to push this mess on the women you claim you are here to protect.  Women aren’t blow up dolls.  If you want one of those to manipulate and do whatever you want, than go and get you one.  Your bedroom should consists of both consenting adults and not just consenting only on the strength because of title or so you as a husband or wife won’t stray.  I have said it before an I will say it again, you can’t hold a man’s dick in your hand.  You can’t stop him from doing what is in him to do.

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Respect for women needs to return.  The things I see men post about women disgust me. These boyfriends and husbands will disrespect you quick if you allow it.  Do NOT allow anyone to disrespect you.  Do not take an advancement for sexual favors.  Do not allow someone to tell you what you can’t get accomplished just because you won’t do either. There are women in other countries who don’t even have a simple voice.  Why in the United States do we allow the same thing in our homes or at our place of workplace?  Oh and let me say to my socially woke folks as well, you can’t be woke and disrespect women. Sorry you can’t wake and sleep to what you want and call yourself woke.  I saw a man on Facebook make a statement about women and then say he wants us to be respected.  How Sway?  How can that happen when you contradict yourself.  I spoke up and he told me that he meant that for the women who look good.  Oh so respect is only earned if a women’s heels are of a certain length?  Or let me guess, if her skirt is of a certain length as well? Nope not only did I unsubscribe to his foolishness but that is not the man I want in my circle or one that will have the opportunity to be around one of my daughters. A man’s arrogance will never be an excuse for the crap he deals.  I am learning now that arrogant men and I do not click well.  Ladies let’s end this on all levels. Stop the foolishness you allow and kick a knee pad before you allow yourself to be degraded.