Venting Post: When The Straw Breaks…

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I chose two images because they both reflect how I have been feeling lately.

The camel is this morning when the straw broke it’s back…

The chains breaking is my freedom to do what I want to do in regards to how I want to do it. I do not live for others anymore.

The last couple of days have been emotionally and physically draining for me. As one who is empathic, this is my burden and blessing being able to feel other’s emotions. We have been struggling financially for the last two almost three years, actually when we started building our family is when the money problems started. Having to be resourceful to get funds, borrowing, putting some here instead of there, the list goes on and on; but you have to do what you have to do to feed your family and keep a roof over your heads. Sacrifices must be made for the bigger picture. Don’t get me wrong, I adore being a mom; it was an arduous and emotional journey for me because I thought I couldn’t have children, but it can be hard, sometimes to the point where you just want to say “Stop World, I wanna get off!” Because you need a reset button, but there isn’t one, you find yourself sinking, drowning in “how”, and “why”, and “not now”.

You get those days when the straw will break the camel’s back; that little piece of straw carries the heaviest weight. This week has been like that for us. Watching my husband struggle to be breadwinner when I’m able to work is heartbreaking. I don’t work right now because financially it was the most feasible option- stay home and take care of the kids, but once again many sacrifices are manifested each month in order for us to stay afloat. We smile through rent time and laugh when I miraculously (through God’s Grace) make twenty dollars stretch for another week in groceries. It’s wonderful what you can whip up in the kitchen when you are low on resources, but as long as we eat, we’re happy. But again, you get those moments when the straw piles up and continuously does so until…you find yourself crying.

My family is in back in my home state. They have no want to go anywhere, do anything. Growing up, I always said I would get out and go someplace warm and I was blessed to find someone who felt the same way. So after we became married, we packed up on faith and hopes of exploring someplace new leaving our families behind; we have been gone 14 years and have no need to move back. Before the babies, we traveled back and forth home to visit or go on our vacations; post babies, traveling is few and far between. I’m constantly bombarded with “when are you coming home?”, “I want to see my grandbabies!”, “if only you were here, things would be easier”. All of these statements are from my mother.

Previous posts I have discussed my relationship with my mother and it’s strained (the easiest way to describe it) for the most part. My mother is a headstrong, controlling woman with narcissistic tendencies that border on, in my opinion, BPD (borderline personality disorder). A condition that will never be acknowledged so help won’t be sought. She makes all the decisions in her house and her mood dictates the mood of the other inhabitants (my father, brother, and baby sister). Three adults that can’t do anything unless my mother has her say so in the matter; this is why I could never live with her and can only visit for a couple of days at a time.

When I started to build my family, I would dream of family visits all the time. Babies laughing at my silly dad, my mom cooking a huge dinner, laughing and sharing memories with my siblings, you know family stuff; well, not this isn’t the case in my family. My mother wants to see my kids but not bad enough where she will make the first move; it has always been her way or that’s it. I have been shunned for all the major holidays (Thanksgiving, Christmas, etc) for family to gather where I am, where it is warm and sunny, for material happiness (Christmas gifts, her house being decorated, etc). Although she has decided to replace my presence with material things, I still here the statements I mentioned above. It sickens me, it annoys me, and it’s borderline gaslighting because in some roundabout way it’s my fault. “If you were up here…”, “why don’t you come home?” and all other statements used to guilt trip someone into doing something you want; I’m over it.

We were to go back home to visit because my mother-in-law who isn’t able to leave the state due to age and health would love to see her grandchildren, while my immediate family who is unable to leave due to misplacement of priorities is waiting to see my kids. There’s a difference. So while we have been struggling to make ends meet, we have ultimately decided to forgo the trip. It’s easiest. We have to do what’s best for us.

Why won’t my family come to see us?

I’ve asked myself constantly. At one point, it consumed me. Thoughts of trying to understand why my family puts me last on their list racked my brain. ‘They should want to come where the weather is nice’, ‘they should want to get out of town’, ‘they get to see how well we are doing’…well, none of those reasons play apart in their decision-making process and you know what? That’s perfectly alright with me. I have to focus on my family- my kids and husband. We can make fun for our family. We won’t live for anyone else. I’m not looking forward to the call where I tell them this news, but it is what it is and I’ll be wearing a nonchalant shrug while doing so. If my family are only able to see my kids via FB and whatever pictures I send them, so be it. It’ll be that way until someone decides to make the same trek we have been making for years. Family is reciprocal- it should be anyway.

Until that happens we are moving forward.

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Thoughts: Feeling Invisible in A Group of People

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courtesy of Pixabay

I chose this picture for my motif of fish; and watching koi is relaxing to me.

This is a venting post…

In my feelings today…

Today I feel alone in a group of people, a little fish in a big pond.

Why am I so lonely within this big pond? Well, the inhabitants of said pond are similar to me; they are my peers on a social level.

#beingintrovertedlyhuman my introversion is wired slightly different. Growing up, I struggled with wanting to be in circles I never really fit into. Hoping that something would click, I would morph into whatever the trend of a group happened to be. I was an adaptable friend, one who could be in a circle but at the same time outside of it. The one thing about this pattern is when I got tired of trying to fit in, I could leave.  But it left me lonely until I found one person who I could say was truly my friend, hence the reason my friends are spread out across three states.

I feel left out most of the time, but I keep going to swim in this pond because of the company; the strong bonds that each fish has with each other, the many and random conversations that are had, the laughs, the tears, etc. The pond is a good pond.  Most of these fish are so comfortable with each other, that they have broken off and created a space all their own; but I don’t fit in- at least that’s how I feel.

Usually, I share my thoughts, most of them funny, through GIF or meme, and the fish laugh along with me but if I share an idea, many say they want to partake but the many don’t. Scant amount of the many only come to my side pond and they don’t do much talking; I’m the one engaging but no feedback. I keep my pond going though in hopes someone who wants to hold open discussions will do so. In the meantime, I swim through making my presence known by submitting a GIF or meme.

It has gotten to the point where I feel I’m in a mad dash to contribute so I could be the first counted amongst the many to be noticed.  This childish maneuver had gotten me in trouble a few weeks back, and I ghosted myself out of shame but have since come back. But as I read my timeline, I am starting to notice somethings that have me alienating myself from this group.

Most of my peers in this pond enjoy complete solitude, they like to travel alone or not at all, they can be mean-spirited when approached by people; these are not my traits but a small percentage of me can be this way depending on the situation. For the most part, I am warm to others if approached easily, I enjoy groups but only in small numbers of 1-3 people, and I love to travel possibly with a small number of people. Media is how I express myself- through books, writing, movies/shows, but the many things I enjoy my peers do not. I try to share my stories, but if it’s about drama (which doesn’t happen enough for me to share) I fall to the wayside.  It seems that my introverted voice isn’t loud or as exciting enough for the other introverts.

When I joined said pond, I was ecstatic to be amongst others like me. But now at times, when I swim through, all the many personalities that are akin to one another will bombard me as if I’m being shoved through a crowded lane until I eventually push myself out; there’s no room for me. I would like to suggest making friends but there is a fear that no one will answer or they will and won’t make plans stick (which is a common occurrence on some of their posts).  Essentially, I don’t feel the friendship unless I was dramatic. Although I do enjoy some of their stories, at times they can be extremely overwhelming.

So, what’s the problem? Why won’t I just not go to this pond?

I have tried to find other ponds, but to no avail. I am a stay at home mom who does have friends but schedules, locations, finances, and the like are what keep us from linking up in some way; either one or all component(s) will sway the whole plan, resulting in a lengthy time before a plan could be made to link up again. There will be a time where I will be looking for a job again and it’s how I make friends, but until then I frequent this pond. It’s frustrating.

What’s my resolution to counteract this feeling of loneliness?

I will do what I’ve always done: ghosting. I can’t be where I’m not seen unless I’m following the norm, the trend. What works for others, doesn’t work for me.

Have you ever felt lonely in a group of people?

 

Sense Memory: Music

 

 

Courtesy of  VEVO YouTube Michael Jackson subscription

Ever tasted a favorite childhood candy that could transport you back to the first time you ate it? The sugary sweetness, the artificial fruit flavor makes you think of that awesome summer day when all the neighborhood kids came together for one day to play kickball?

Ever smelled the spicy, woodiness of nutmeg and cinnamon and were instantly transported to a time when your grandma had everyone over for Thanksgiving and Christmas and no one fought?

Ever heard the lyrics or melody to a song that transported you to a time when you were most sad? Or happy? Or most sexy?
If you have then, you have experienced sense memory.

What is sense memory? According to Wikipedia it is a component of affective memory used for acting that “requires actors to call on the memory of details from similar situation (or more recently a situation with similar emotions) …” Sense memory or “emotional recall is the basis for Lee Strasberg’s method acting… It is the recall of physical sensations surrounding emotional events (instead of the emotions themselves).”

I experience sense memory all the time especially with music. My music catalog has always been extensive, I was never one to shy away from different music genres. Given that I’m Black American, many of us are raised to listen to one type of music: R&B, Hip-Hop and its variants, and Soul. If you didn’t listen to any of it, you were labeled “odd” by your peers. Growing up in the 90s MTV generation, I loved listening to Alternative, British pop, soul, and EDM alongside the. I had room for all music, all emotions, all experiences.

Any song from the 90s, was when I really started to appreciate music. The voices screaming about standing up and being counted, not wanting to fit in with the status quo, police brutality, or just club bangers; this was my era, my generation. Anytime I hear 90s music, I also remember how stressed I was as a child. When my introversion started to develop alongside puberty, I found myself wanting to be alone in my room to dance as hard as I could, get lost in a book (s), write my own stories, or create my own mixtapes.

Whenever I hear a song from long ago, I immediately remember that day I heard it.
One of those songs just so happened to have been played recently, the song “Leave Me Alone” by Michael Jackson. As I listened, I remember the day I first saw the video. MTV was premiering the new video and at first glance the imagery was weird, but I couldn’t turn away. The lyrics, truthful about how he was feeling being in the media spotlight and he wanted everyone to leave him alone. (MJ was undoubtedly an introvert!) Tears ran down my face because I felt his pain. So anytime I hear that song, automatic tears.

Another song that alights my sense memory is “Mama” by Boyz II Men. When I first heard it, I was dealing with my mother’s imprisonment. She was just sentenced to 6 months in prison and I was now “mother” to my 8-year-old and 2-year-old brothers. Although, she was guilty, we remained hopeful that the court would be lenient because she was a first-time offender, so when she went for her final hearing, we received a call from her saying they were taking her. I was thrust into “mother” alongside my grandmother and father by keeping up with a willful 8-year-old and a young toddler, while trying to remain a teen and keep up with high school. When I heard “Mama” I bawled. Cried because the words were sweet and beautiful, and I missed her. We weren’t the closest, but those lyrics created a picture of a time where we were. I held onto those words as if she were hugging me herself but alas the dream wasn’t the reality.
To this day, I hear “Mama” and I cry because I remember that stressful period of 6 months where I had to be an adult.

Do you have a song(s) that evokes sense memory?

 

Is Wrenching Children From Parents The New Normal Cuz It Sure Ain’t Christian

 

History replays itself

Another hot and humid day awaited Hannah and her “husband” Henry Lee. She woke up to do her daily duties: cooking for her three children and “husband” Henry Lee, followed by doing the washing, and having to go out to the fields for harvest. How was it possible that Hannah could do all of these things BEFORE having to go out to do the back breaking labor that was expected and enforced? Where do I get the energy?! This question plagued her mind everyday since she was sent to Applewood Plantation from back East. She was born into this “lifestyle” that no one envied, no one strived to achieve. Her mother, or the woman she knew as Mama, told her that her and others like them came from a far away place; forced onto ships and brutalized for being who they were. “But this is what we are!” she would say in response to Mama. “Well, what we are makes others not like us uncomfortable” Mama would reply. Hannah tried her best to be the best harvester in an unobtainable quota; her children gleaned just as fast along side her, while Henry Lee hoisted bales and whatever other jobs they switched on him at any given notice. This was their daily routine….

Today though was different, she knew it when she got up to accomplish the same repetitive duties. As always the sun was shining, it was humid, but there was a spark in the air; a morbidity to the atmosphere. She carried on not knowing what to think, until she heard yelling and a high pitched scream. At first she thought it was one of the children, but she remembered they went off with Henry Lee to the fields. The scream then became a wail, causing Hannah to run out the door. She came across one of the women who became her closest friend, America and the overseer and his assistants. They were pulling America’s newborn baby away from her and all she could do was scream and wail. Watching in horror as America pulled and tried to wrench away from the assistant, Hannah became angry. She had free hands, she could tackle down the overseer and take the little one and run. But where would we run? What about my children I left behind? If I tackled the overseer, they would surely kill both us! All of these thoughts flooded her brain as she watched – helpless. She wanted to comfort her friend, to tell her that there would be more and to place this one in her heart; but no matter how many more they had, the one that was taken could never be replaced. Wracked with a plethora of emotion Hannah found herself screaming alongside America for in eight months time, she could find herself in the same situation, but who would comfort her then?

I found this picture on FB this morning and up until this point, I had to write about it. Rocking my now 6 month old to sleep was what sparked me to pick this picture as well as all the news coverage about the children of detainees being separated. The picture below sparked outrage yet it is the

little girl at borderreality of our current situation. History not only repeats itself for art, fashion, music, but it does also for social injustice. Be it Black, Latino, or any other POC, we are treated more harshly and as expendables. The administration we are under tells us that everyday and how they justify it is use The Bible, out of context of course. Just because it was written in Scripture how foreigners were in bondage(Jews, Cushites, etc) doesn’t mean it was right. It just shows the thought process of the human race as a whole. Put down those who are different, because different is evil, it’s menial and it saturates “normal”society with its culture and tries to usurp the status quo. NO!

We are children of The One(God, Allah, The Infinite) and as children we should all know how to play together, but it’s not that easy. If only we used pre-school rules to problem solve many of societies issues but alas, no. Sharing, loving, inspiring growth in others should be America’s creed but instead those who feel inferior of difference get to run our country and inspire those like them with scenes like the pictures above. How can they sleep at night knowing that they are pulling children away from the only people they know in a new land, a new place? Easy, they just sleep.

Dream Interpretation, Vikings, & A Mother’s Love

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It’s late night, the best time for me to write. I’m a random chick, hence the random post.

The kids & hubby are asleep, I’m eating egg-less cookie dough, my evening is complete.

I haven’t been blogging recently because of my rambunctious toddler and newly busy infant but it doesn’t mean stuffs haven’t been swirling through my introverted brain.

What has been on my heart?

Being avid binge watchers in my household is our guilty pleasure. Our newest conquest is Vikings and we are in love!!! I have been drawn not only to the star of the show lol but to the storyline with his queen and his sons. She’s an insecure, vain, and lazy person and mother, alas he chose her just for looks alone and his choice has bitten him one too many times on the butt. There was a scene with one of her adult sons, the second to last talking to his oldest brother. Their father’s former wife was coming to overthrow their mother and the oldest wanted to defend her honor. The response of the second to last was poignant yet relatable. He didn’t want to defend her because he said she never cared about any of them only her youngest, so if the youngest wants to defend her then he can but he would stay out of it. He didn’t feel a connection to his parent.

My response to that scene: I can relate.

Well, it started 2 weeks ago on Memorial Day. It started with a phone call from my mother. For years, as far back as I can remember, we have a different type of relationship. It was mother-daughter but she would have liked it to be more mother-daughter-friends. As a teenager our personalities clashed in more ways than not, causing years of anger, anxiety, and stress until I embarked on my own life. As we talked on the phone this Memorial Day, {my mom who splits me and my siblings down the middle based on control levels, dotes on my baby sister(she controls her) and younger brother(she likes the way how messed up his life is) while she really doesn’t bat an eyelash at me or my youngest brother(we are independent)} I dawned on me in mid conversation that my mother and I have no mother-daughter connection at all.

I found myself silently crying because I knew that the mother-daughter connection was really gone. When I got off the phone, I sat down and just stared into space, thoughts swirling through my brain about my emotions and how messed up is it that I actually feel this way. My hubby had been watching me while I was on the phone and he knew something was wrong, but I didn’t know how to explain it to him. Finally I explained how I feel like I just got the phone with friend but not my mother and it hurts. She talks about my younger siblings but I never hear how great or good a job I’m doing. He shed some light: you’re never going to hear you did a great job and that’s what really hurts. I was stunned by the truthfulness and accuracy of the statement. He said it so easily and I pitter-patted around it knowing that that was what it really was.

While my role as oldest child was to be responsible, reliable, and structured I never got praise for it. I loved school and got good grades, but my mother never checked on me to see if I needed anything. As much as I wanted to date in highschool, I didn’t because it would be too stressful to bring my date home to meet my mother who would critique my acumen. “Don’t say that”, Don’t act silly”, or she would try to belittle me in front of company, I didn’t want to deal with any of that. I thank God I had friends who loved me for me and never let her opinion of me sway them.  So, now that I’m an adult and not in my home state, I’m free to be who I am or want to be with a support from my hubby that rivals anything in this world. But to never hear “You doing so great/good” from your mother still hurts. I don’t always tell her my accomplishments (if I have any) or I may tell her and get “oh okay”  or we don’t say “I love you” when hanging up because it seems forced. It is what it is.

All of this to say why I’m writing tonight…

Dream Interpretation. I’m a dreamer, always have been. It is actually apart of my personality type: INFP.  Like the prophets of old (I’m nowhere near a prophet lol) I believe that dreams harness messages. I have been really focusing on the messages my dreams have been trying to convey. The other night I had a dream where I consumed a dying mouse. Yes, it’s disgusting and no, I would never do that in real life, I love animals. But the message behind that was powerful and I needed to know what it meant. According to a website dreamingandsleeping.com killing a mouse means your will to remove all the bad people from your life and live without all of the ones who are burdening you in any way. After that phone call from my mother and my new realization that interpretation was actually accurate. Lately, I don’t spread myself thin for my family anymore because I have my own to worry about. The headaches, blood pressure rises that present themselves from just a phone call have pushed me to not being available-I don’t answer if I don’t want to and it’s great!

I always had vivid (and sometimes unsettling) dreams. But since embracing #beingintrovertedlyhuman, being empathic and honing in spiritual messages wherever I get them, I feel more complete. I pray and invoke the many names of God for whatever is on my mind, for discernment and I feel much clearer, more secure with my person. My strength always comes from Him and I wear it proudly.

Don’t get me wrong, I love my mother, I love my family, but I at 36 feel more confident that by not being available for them, there is nothing wrong with that. Besides, being there for someone friend or family is reciprocal.

 

 

Shame, Shame, Shame

“You shouldn’t…”

“I always…”

“You’re (fill in negative adjective of choice)…”

The phrases listed above allude to knowledge, in fact, concrete knowledge of a subject. Usually, phrases like these are the preamble to judgement.

We all believe we can do something better than the other, no matter how small it may be. Especially when it comes to motherhood and lifestyle choices.

I’m in two FB groups, one for mothers and the other is for introverts. The latter I’ve grown to appreciate over time because I had to learn each virtual friend through their comments; while the former, I quickly grew into once I seen that the cyber dynamic mirrored the introverts group.

Both groups have helped me to find my voice on life’s topics and also help me pass the day with hilarious posts on food, kids, awkward social interactions, and sex.

But there is a downside to groups. Being in a like minded dynamic can cause the think tank to shame those outside of its confines. The irony is that by feeling like an outsider, you find those who are similar but then turn around and ostracize those who don’t act like your majority(if that makes sense?)

But what I also come to see while being in these groups, is that it’s easy to start a great discussion but if many don’t agree, it becomes a petty party.

*petty party: when the minority clapbacks at the majority for not agreeing with them*

A discussion was brought up about breastfeeding. One group member posted a question(not really one) about her observations saying(I’m paraphrasing) that it seemed that mothers are sacrificing breast milk for formula and she herself thinks it’s selfish. Resulting in a slew of clapbacks that would make anyone hide under their bed!

I commented because I felt I had to set the record straight. I explained how I couldn’t breastfeed because I didn’t make enough for my sons to sustain totally; so her logic was arrogant. Many agreed and in turn, this group member had gotten so many negative responses, she turned the comments off. It had only been an hour from the time she posted.

But the boldness of her observation made me realize that social media has made it a safe haven for commenting without borders.

*commenting without borders: saying whatever the heck you want, no matter how far off you may be*

Her observation seemed to be her fact and thus she felt inclined to post about others lack of participating in it. But what she didn’t do before hitting enter/send was think of those who couldn’t breastfeed, those who can’t even express, and those who only formula feed. She definitely didnt consider the backlash.

As mothers, we all tend to think we know what’s best for us and (some who are bold) others. But there is a time and a place for advice. And if you’re advocating formsomething, there’s a certain way to word it without coming off judgemental or shaming.

Another discussion was brought up about polygamy/polyamory, which is a broiling topic. Many people are coming out admitting to living or dating more than one partner openly.

I actually missed this discussion on the day it happened so I was getting caught up on the comments alone lol. Many said all forms of no, hell no, and naw; but there were a few who agreed and currently lived it and others who were on the fence.

A virtual fight ensued because one woman said a joke and another took it too seriously. The petty party commenced and resulted in someone being excommunicated and the comments, once again, turned off.

If this is the life you lead, why share? Or if this is your point of view, why share?

We share because it’s our First Amendment right, because we want to educate, advocate or just because we like to get an opinion.

As humans though, shame is inevitable. We may not do whatever is being mentioned and as a result phrases I listed at the beginning of this post are used. The tone of voice makes a difference too.

If you can see yourself shaking you finger while your typing your thought out, reword it. Instead ask a question about the aforementioned and end it with “I’m just curious.” This really helps!

As Christian, we are to not judge unless in turn we are to be judged. Shaming works the same way. We all dont do the same thing, eat the same foods, etc. But if that’s your thing, then that’s what it is. If.ut bothers you that much, you don’t have to be around them, simple.

Second Time Mom, Not Enough Time

It’s seems lie it’s been centuries that I haven’t written, when it’s only been for the course of my second pregnancy. I decided to stop because it’s a struggle to come up with a string of words on a regular day but for a pregnant me to come up with a coherent sentence is a feat within itself.

Which is what brings me to today. I’ve had a lot on my mind since giving birth, most of it having to do with new motherhood. Yes, I did it before but now all of those anxieties that I had gotten over previous have now returned again and so I decided to put one of my biggest anxieties to paper.

TIME:

Time and its management is a tight subject because now I have two that I have to feed and try to potty train by myself because my husband is the bread winner currently. I always feel like I’m on a hamster wheel and can never get off. In order for me to have a little time for some sense of a nap, I learned to put my oldest to naptime on his own (that was a fight because he goes retro when he wants attention. Screaming fits and wanting to sleep in my lap, etc). Once he is finally sleep (which can be anywhere from 5 mins to 30 mins), hopefully my youngest will be going to sleep or dozing. I have since learned to not get in my bed during the day because at any given time, my youngest will start whining because I have put him down. I sleep in the livingroom my head propped on a pillow resting against the arm of my couch, just in case he decides to wake up.

After my oldest’s nap, he has gotten his second wind and he’s at it teaming up with the dog and grabbing my legs as soon as i get up…or slamming into my legs head first…or screeching to the top of his lungs. Send him to his room to play in his own space…NOPE!!! He wants to be where he thinks the action is, the livingroom where I am. Youngest may have gotten up somewhere between all of this mess, yelling for assistance, and I get him and tend to his needs all for my oldest to jump in his face without courtesy(my youngest is only a month old and has shown he dislikes that at times). My new catchphrase is “Stay outta his face!!”

Dinner for my oldest, he may eat at the table…or he may want to go back and forth. I may squeeze in a bite for myself and then my husband is home.

Now my husband tags himself in for the schenanigans until my oldest bedtime(we cast lots fo bedtime duty) which is a fight because he likes to play in bed, even more so if the baby is in the crib and the oldest wants to hear his voice echo off the walls!

The baby is now up full force and fighting his sleep after having 5 oz of warm formula. My husband has him and is dozing off himself, while I try to pump the little breast milk I can put into the baby’s next round of bottles.

Now, I can sleep.

So when do I have the time to write? I don’t really, but…

What I’ve learned to do is any idea or character outline, I write down with the plan of coming back to it later. I have developed 2 character outlines and 3 stories in the works (one of them is finished but I have to go back and edit). I do plan on agoing back and completing the first but I feel by doing smaller projects will build my momentum for the bigger one. By at least getting the idea on paper, I can always go back and develop it.

Or am I fooling myself? I sure hope not. I pray Heavenly Father that you keep my brain flooded with new ideas, and I’ll keep writing them down…for later.