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Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Self Care for the Brokenhearted




I can't mend this torn state I'm in. Getting nothing in return. What did I do to deserve the pain of this slow burn--Christina Aguilera 

I wish that he had hit me. I wish that he had physically beaten me with his fist. I wish he had grabbed me by the back of my neck and slammed my head into a wall. I wish he had pulled my hair and screamed in my face I DON'T LOVE YOU! No, I am not a masochist, I simply believe that physical injuries do not hurt as much as the emotional scars caused by a disloyal partner. The broken promises, the disloyal actions, the refusal of your partner to protect the person he called his one and only, hurt worse than broken ribs, concussions, and pulled hair.

Broken ribs repair, scars fade over time, but unrepented emotional damage lingers on relentlessly. If you are a survivor of childhood trauma like me, than disloyalty in any form only serves to re-traumatize. It slices open old scars, it turns the volume up on the record that plays ad nauseam in your head, "no one will ever love me." After all, it took Navy Seal bravery for you to allow yourself to love, to let yourself be vulnerable, to give selflessly of yourself so that the relationship could succeed, to trust...again. Now this person has chosen someone or something else over your. He has demonstrated a lack of compassion and empathy, he has reneged on his promises, he has been unkind. You are facing a break up or you have already broken up. What do you do?

There are no quick fixes to this. But here are some strategies I have personally used to help me move forward. 

1) Weep and cry. You have a right to be in pain. No matter what he said to try to trivialize your pain. No matter if he implied you were crazy, irrational etc. you have the right to hurt. You are not crazy! You were ill-treated in some way and the real apology  you needed was never offered. Only more blame and character attacks. YOU are not crazy! No one has a right to tell you how to feel. Feel however you want.

2) Yes, there are still things that need to be done, even though you are facing this emotionally difficult time. You need to go to work. The kids need to go to school. Bills need to get paid. You feel shattered, but understand that many women have been in your shoes.If you can take the time from work than do so, without guilt. If you can send your kids to their grandparents/sitter, do that. Do what you need to do to get through. The other day I had to wash my face, put on my make up and business clothes and go to work. You can do it!

3) Keep a safe distance between you and the person who hurt you. Ignore or delete him on social media. Do not call, text, or email him. Do not imagine all the fun things he is doing without you. As much as you love him and long to reach out to him, he has violated you and now you must protect yourself from him. 

4) Eat. If you are the type of person who is an emotional eater. Feel free to indulge and don't let anyone criticize you. This a short-term feel good strategy. When your emotions even out (and they will) your diet will get better. In the meantime, bon apetite! If you are an emotional non-eater like me, you still need to eat. Sometimes it's easier to drink than eat. Drink smoothies, milkshakes, and juices, so that your body is getting it's caloric needs met. Drink water and try to swallow a multi-vitamin. The longer you go without food, the worse you will feel. You have already been harmed by the one you love, you don't need to punish yourself for his cruelty. 

5) Sleep. Sleep as long as you like. Take an over the counter sleep aid if it helps, but you must rest. You must allow your mind and body to recuperate from the damage they have undergone. Don't abuse sleep aids, but it's ok to take them in the short-term while you recover.

6) Breath. Go outside. Inhale fresh air. You might feel dead inside, but the fresh air reminds you and your body that you are still alive. As long as you are alive there is hope. There is hope of reconciliation or there is hope that you will get stronger and move on to someone who truly values you. 

Image result for brokenhearted7) After you have lived like a hermit, start gradually reaching out to friends and family. Yes it can be cathartic to post on social media and tell everyone who will listen how you have been treated, but that only makes you the victim. You may well be the victim now, but eventually you will be the survivor. Reach out to only those close friends and loved ones. Speak freely and honestly and with each sentence you speak imagine you are releasing bits of your pain. Don't reach back out for them. Just release. 

8) Confront the offender. If the time and opportunity present itself, and if it is safe to do so tell the offender how you felt, why you felt what you felt and why it hurts so bad. You don't have to get closure. You don't have to get a sincere apology. You don't have to talk of reconciliation at this time. This is an information session and you are dispensing the information. Tell him that the only thing you want from him is that he listen respectfully to you. Then respectfully tell him how you feel. You're not accusing. You're not blaming. You are owning your feelings. You are restating what has happened to you. An example might be, "I feel hurt and betrayed by you. I really trusted myself to you and that is why the cheating (insert hurt here) hurts so bad." Have this conversation face to face, not over the phone or on social media.

9) If the person is not available for you to talk to then have the conversation in your head. Imagine the two of you are sitting across from each other. What would you say. What would you want him to know. Say it out loud if you have to. Yes it sounds crazy having a one sided conversation, but in this forum you don't have to care what he thinks. You can get angry. You can call him names. Just remember that you need to tell him what he did, and how that affected you.  You can also write him a letter. You don't have to send it. If you do want to send a letter, send it a week or two later after you written it so that you have time to re-read it and make sure it's a true reflection of the situation and how you actually feel. 

10) Pray. Lift you and the person up in prayer. Ask God for the power to help you get through, reconcile, or recover. You should do this step everyday, multiple times a day. Instead of seeking revenge, ask God to deal with the person. 

11) You have to live again. Take care of yourself. Use these baby steps to get through when you are in crisis mode, but as time moves forward don't rely on these as a crutch. Move forward in dignity and determination to live happier and better than ever!











Monday, March 13, 2017

Top 5 Reasons Not to Marry a Black Man


Image result for no good black men

Money taking, heart breaking and you wonder why women hate men!--Lauryn Hill 


I have often said that one of the most difficult things about being a black woman is having to date black men. I have talked a little about about how to date black men  in a tongue in cheek sort of way, but I would like to offer you some insight into why it's not a good idea to marry them.
So here are reasons you may NOT want to consider dating/marrying a black man.

1) You want a spiritual head of your house. Black men and Christianity go together like hot dogs and oatmeal. Even the kindest and most well-meaning of black men I have met is terribly estranged from faith. The most you can hope for is his company at church and maybe a rushed grace over dinner. Don't expect him to make sound spiritual decisions. Don't expect him to lead you in family worship or to be able to lean on him if you need some spiritual encouragement. 

2) Lack of sexual integrity. The black community is bereft of black fathers. As a result there are few role models to teach men how to treat and value women and how to best manage and appreciate their sexuality. Consequently, you see more cheating among black men than any other race. Now before I get hate mail, let me explain that there are three ways black men choose to cheat: Emotionally, Mentally, and Physically. If you are lucky he will choose to cheat on you emotionally and mentally. It's really not a matter of if he will cheat, simply when he will cheat. PS. Mentally cheating is porn, strip clubs, sex saturated TV, and intentionally fantasizing about any person other than you. Usually mentally cheating is the precursor to emotionally and physically cheating.  

3) Poor finances. Let's face it, black men have horrible finances! Even the 2 or 3 who manage to make a good living often manage their money poorly. The rest are drowning in debt, unemployed (or refusing to find gainful employment), or live so far above their means that their financial status hangs on a tenuous thread. 

4) Irrevocable sexism. As discussed on previous posts, black men benefit sexually from sexism. Much the same as white supremacy works to keep blacks and other minorities in positions of subjugation and white people in positions of power, black male sexism bolters the black male status and ego and does so on the backs of women. Don't believe me? Ask your man how comfortable he is with women being referred to a b's and whores. Consider the type of music he listens to (Hint: It's usually hip hop which has a history of disgracing black women with brutally misogynistic lyrics). Now before you give me the side eye, understand that there are degrees of sexism just as there are degrees of racism. Just like all racists don't wear sheets and burn crosses, all sexists aren't raping and killing women. Some are simply disparaging women when with their male friends, judging women solely on their anatomy, abusing women through dishonesty and infidelity, or remaining silent in the company of male friends when women are being abused or referred to in pejorative terms. 

5) Body counts. Now not all women have a problem with, uh, experienced men so this may not be a negative for you. While the average man has had sex with 7 partners. with black man that average doubles or even triples. Google it! Black men run through women like Usain Bolt does finish lines. If promiscuity is your thing, you'll find no shortage of it in black men. 

6) Bonus: Baby Daddy! Let's be real. How many black men of marrying age don't have children (usually multiple children) from various partnerships and hook ups. That means that not only do you get to play mommy, but you get the unfortunate circumstance of dealing with 'da baby mama'. Not fun. Not fair. 

I am sure I could keep going, but I'll stop there. Let me know if you have any you want to add by writing in the comment section. BTW before I hear it, yes there are a few black men who don't fall into any of those categories, but those brothers are so rare that they are practically on the brink of extinction. 

Til next time!