The Devil Wears H&M

The other day my ex-boyfriend called me an emotional bully, and my first thought was “That’s awesome!” Eventually, thanks to my public school education, I was able to deduce that any description with the word bully tacked onto the end is probably not very good. I need to mention that the ex is the intellectual type so what he was basically trying to tell me is that I’m a bitch.

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I laugh about it now because I do realize that I WAS a bitch—and still am a little bit but it’s a work in progress.

 I know it derives from having a sensitive heart. I would prefer to live my life with my heart on my sleeve, walk around stroking it like an exotic fur coat…however, there are some real assholes out there that wouldn’t hesitate to throw blood all over it. I’ve learned to protect myself with sarcasm, wit and a thick web of bitchiness. This has not helped me in my love relationships. Sorry if you’re tired of me talking about my wack love life…but I will say that the demise of my two major relationships have played a large part in the downward spiral of my mental health. I can’t help but to talk about it. Anyway, read real closely folks, because I this is my attempt to be completely upfront about my negative contributions to these relationships.

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Image from: favim.com

 Confused Spirit: My first husband was also my first boyfriend. No one ever told me that it was my job as a girlfriend to be nice. Just as nobody told me I was a crazy ass bitch. I remember one time he got on my nerves I dropped him off in the middle of a busy street and told him I didn’t care how he got home, he just wasn’t going home with me. That’s crazy stuff, highly disrespectful and I would NEVER do that to anyone now. Looking back, I’m not entirely sure how he managed to put up with me and/or why.

 We barely made it through marriage counseling, it was definitely not a good plan for us to follow through with the marriage. I didn’t think the same way I do now and I definitely wasn’t into the concept of submission at all. I didn’t trust him, I bossed him around a lot and I was downright volatile. I was 21 and just unsure of myself and who I was as a whole. I didn’t know that I was an introvert and that I needed time alone in order to function. His presence in my life was a burden and it became more and more clear that we were incompatible. Instead of assessing my part of our issues I withdrew further into myself and became incapable of any healthy communication. I didn’t know how to be affectionate, I didn’t know how to curb my sarcasm, and I didn’t know how to request what I really wanted and needed without things escalating into a fight. It was the infidelity that eventually led to the demise of the marriage, but I can’t pretend that I didn’t contribute to it. It’s fun to be the victim and to have a sense of self-righteousness about how a situation went down but the fact of the matter is that my bitchy protective armor played a large part in costing me my marriage.

Wounded Spirit: I was madly in love with him. I was wrapped around his finger from the moment we reacquainted. His energy was lovely to me and I enjoyed his presence and his voice. I would sit and smile and listen to him talk to me about anything and everything. I was gentle with him and I couldn’t take my hands off of him. I always needed to be touching, holding his hand or kissing his face. Darkness eventually came to light and the truth was revealed that he had been in a relationship with his so-called “best friend” for four years and I was just a side piece. I became ruled by devastation, and allowed a coldness to seep into my heart. I loved him and I stuck by him in spite of the lies but the softness I had for him was gone. I couldn’t let the pain go.

 In retrospect, I realize all he had done to try to get back into my good graces—including begging for forgiveness, but it just wasn’t enough for me. I didn’t realize at the time that he could never do enough to make up for the damage already done. Once someone breaks my heart I just have to be completely done or I’ll continue to hold on to what once was, while my emotions won’t allow me to completely heal. We stayed “together” but I was a constant ball of fire. I allowed jealousy and anger to drive me absolutely crazy. The old me believed that all is fair in love and war so when we did fight I went for the jugular. There’s and old Hole song lyric that would play over and over in my head, “someday, you will ache like I ache”…and I found myself on a mission to make that happen. Eventually my bitchy attitude just turned into a way for me to self-sabotage. Two years later we actually tried our hand at a normal and committed relationship together but it just couldn’t last because my self esteem and mental health had unraveled too far.

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Image from: h3sean.com

 

Free Spirit: I know how to love, I know how to be nice. I am that chick that cooks dinner, and cuts toenails and gives massages. I will lay in bed with you and listen to your hopes and dreams and shoot your adoring looks every once in awhile across the room at a party—but after being so hurt I made it so that any man would have to fight to the death to tap into that side of me. When I lost my job and I lost my love within months of each other, that hard side of me slowly began to dissipate. I just wanted to be myself without the armor attached. Being damaged is exhausting! The bitchiness left a furrow in my brow and a heaviness that was weighing me down beyond belief. I happened to have met a man around that time—he was very genuine and unassuming in his approach but later it was revealed that he was emotionally unavailable to me—but it actually felt good to interact with him kindly. I was open about my feelings and I was able to be sweet and patient toward him. That situation didn’t work out the way I would have liked but I am glad that I was able to relax and be myself. For the first time I felt like I was acting and reacting as an adult instead of being ruled by my protective emotions.

 I feel like it’s taken me forever to get to this place, but I’ve calmed down. I am open to something good.

 

 

 

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Identity Series: Weight, What?

Vocabulary words for the day:

Potent- short for potential bf; love interest

Suburban- hot male at least 6’ or taller, over 200lbs

I’ve decided to make eating right and weight loss my latest obsession. Unfortunately, I have a short attention span so I have to make myself become obsessed with it in order to try to take it seriously and see results. Furthermore, I think I’m going to make a deal with the devil and join my local gym (booooooo!) But the main reason behind any sort of diet plan that I’m involved in is: looking good naked.

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Image from: skreened.com

The Right Fit: Going through the list of exes, and potents it’s clear that I have no rhyme or reason about size and fit. For a brief stint I went through a “suburban” phase because awesome. I am 5’ 7” myself and even at my smallest size I am not a tiny girl SO, of course it’s nice to curl up next to a strapping Suburban that can throw you around and still tower over you when you wear your 6” stilettos. However, lately I’ve found myself reverting back to my high school tastes—the little guys are just doing it for me now!

Not long ago, I went to meet a friend for drinks in the city and, like a true mom that doesn’t give a damn, I threw on yoga pants, a cutoff sweatshirt and still had on that morning’s makeup to complete my “look”.  I got a couple beers in and on one of my many trips back from the bathroom I notice a gorgeous young man sitting in the once empty barstool next to mine. As I returned to my seat, he looks me up and down and says, “Hey, Beautiful”. HAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHA–sorry, that was my initial reaction inside of my head. I gave him a tight smile and quickly turned my back to him. Yeah.right. This guy was way too gorgeous, way too young and he was about my height and looked like if I tried to sit on his lap he would snap in half. What the hell? Anyway, fast forward to me being in a particularly friendly mood and this guy actually ended up becoming a potent. Later I had to ask him why he would even dare hit on me while I was clearly WEARING PAJAMAS IN PUBLIC. His response: “Your ass was just so phat and it was hanging off the barstool—I just had to talk to you.” Wait, what?

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Image from: curvessandabs.tumblr.com

Mo’ Booty, Mo Problems: Somewhere in the land of crazy black dudes this all makes sense to them! I can put on my tightest dress and walk by a group of 6 guys; 4 will whistle and comment that I’m “phat as shit” (good) and the other 3 will shake their heads and consider me just plain fat. (And I’m not bad at math, I know 4+3= 7 not 6, but when it comes to checking out women there always seems to be one straggler that joins the crowd and wants to insert his opinion, too). For whatever the reason, the more weight I gain the smaller the guy I attract. The greatest thing I have to fear in losing weight is losing my sex appeal…wait, what? While it is great to put on a few pounds and still get male attention, I know that I can’t be the only one confused about this phenomenon. There’s a joke I read on Twitter the other day: I hope to one day have as much confidence as a plus sized black woman. Plus sized black women are simply confused individuals, so the safest thing to do is to at least be confident about it…I say this speaking as one myself. Though I still buy regular sized clothes, so I don’t really consider myself one—but I’ve had other women refer to me as plus-sized. I’ve had guys refer to me as thick, or on the lighter of side thick, or phat or WHATEVER! I really just…don’t…know. But I do know that my ass and boobs will shrink back to their normal size and with it will go this newfound mojo I’ve discovered with hot, lean guys. All those lanky bones, flat stomachs and sinewy physiques—sighhhhhh, but I DIGRESS!

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Image from: thatsnotthinprivilege.tumblr.com

Confidence is Close to Loveliness: What I do know is that my confidence and self-esteem is at an all time low. In spite of all the extra attention I have been getting from males, the fact of the matter is that I am no longer comfortable with my body at this current weight. I appreciate that there are men out there that don’t mind that fries and a four-piece nugget come along with this shake, but the fact that I’m not happy means I need to do something about it for ME. I suck at discipline but I am going to try…and I’ll try not to sob when my friends look at me and ask, “What happened to your ass?”

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Image from: healthyisthenewskinny.com

Baggage Claim

I cannot move. I’m standing in front of the conveyor belt, clutching my skis and duffel bag tightly to my side. I’ve been excited about this trip for so long and it’s finally here. This is going to be my vacation– this is going to be my fun.

But I cannot move. All the other passengers have come to claim their bags. Most had light duffels, small suitcases or skis like me. We are all here for the same reason, we are all here for fun. Still, I stare at the conveyor belt, mesmerized by the single piece of luggage possibly lost and definitely unclaimed. It’s rotating round and around. No one had come to get it. It doesn’t belong here in ski town. It is big, heavy and black. It looks businesslike and cumbersome. Most likely the airline had transported it to the wrong place– it doesn’t belong here.

I want it. I watch it come around again and I feel the yearning and tugging in my heart. I am drawn to it. It is stuffed to capacity, I know I can’t even lift it off the belt if I tried. It doesn’t belong to me but I am bothered that no one has come to possess it. I want it for myself. I am running late for check-in at the hotel but I know I won’t make it on time. I am where I want to be; standing and coveting this luggage…wanting something I cannot have.

Anxiety: A Love Story

 I see it in him immediately. I am quiet as I each my nachos slowly and watchfully. His knee is bobbing up and down and he’s giving off a nervous energy. He keeps looking around at the people coming and going and he’s chatting about nothing then lapsing into awkward silence. He can’t control my rambunctious two-year old sitting next to me, just as he can’t control anyone’s reaction to her. He can’t control the appearance of things—the fact that I am so much older than him; that I have children and that no matter where we go together we look like a family. It’s plaguing him and I wonder to myself if it will eat away at him slowly as anxiety often does.

He works the late shift, and as a dutiful “significant other” I awaken at 3:00a.m. to drive into the city to pick him up. With my recent traffic issues I am scared and on edge. He gets in the car and I make a wrong turn. My anxiety level goes through the roof. I can’t breathe. My heart is beating out of my chest and he’s frustrated with me because he sees me panicking. He doesn’t raise his voice but it’s rough in tone and I am sensitive. It takes everything within me not to cry, I just have to get us out this city! A cop car appears out of nowhere and I am almost in full meltdown mode. I sloppily pull over to the curb, blind with fear and we watch gratefully as the cop passes us. He tells me to calm down and I can hear the effort of patience in his voice. I’m calm on the outside but I feel like I’m having a heart attack and I just might spontaneously combust. He’s staring at me from the passenger seat.

He doesn’t recognize that we aren’t that different from each other. Most people aren’t….they just want to be. 

Ridin’ Dirty

Author’s Note: Riding dirty is driving in an automobile while having at least a felony charge worth of illegal drugs and or unregistered firearms with you.

Via urban dictionary.com

 This is not funny. This is actually the least funny thing that has happened to me in awhile and I really debated about whether I would share this or not. I’m forcing myself right now. This is painful to type….

 A few months ago I was pulled over for a traffic violation. I was driving an uninsured vehicle. I have not been the best or the most responsible with handling money since the split from my husband. It’s kind of strange because I was definitely the keeper of all the finances when we were together. Perhaps it is an identity thing within me trying to shed that old identity. Anyway, the cop issued me three tickets and by some miracle of God didn’t impound my vehicle—though I deserved it because I was definitely riding dirty. Fast forward five months later, I check the mail on my way to taking the kids to a birthday party and I receive a notification that there is a bench warrant out for my arrest for failing to appear in court. I knew it was coming up but I had just plain forgotten. Of all the irresponsible things I have done and will do, I’m pretty sure that this is at the top of the list as the worst. You see, when you fail to appear in court there are no warnings or second chances—your ass is going to jail. And to jail I went.

 I didn’t know who to call or what to do. I spoke with the commissioner’s office and discovered that the only thing to do was to turn myself in. Scared and near meltdown I contacted my ex boyfriend. He did a number on me, hurt me beyond belief but when I’m on the brink of destruction he is always who I call and always reliable when I am frayed and on the edge. (Also, I am the primary caretaker of our daughter so it kind of works in his favor if I don’t do anything self-destructive). He came to pick me up the following morning and it was an emotional drive to the county Correctional Facility. I am dramatic, yes but the somber mood had more to do with the fact that I have no job right now, I drink too much, I’m sad, I’m struggling to maintain a healthy mental state, and now I’m a criminal. Just when you think there’s no possible way to go down from where you are, the bottom drops out. I felt like I was free falling, and that maybe there isn’t a bottom to this downward spiral. Maybe I will just continue falling…I’m so fallen.

 I turned myself in at 10:30 in the morning, gripping his hand tightly in the waiting room anxious for when they would finally come to take me into their custody. I didn’t go in alone, there were a few other guys with me. They came for us and immediately treated us like criminals. You can’t wear that, remove this—the woman who searched me opened up my pants and looked at my behind! I think it’s definitely top 10 of the most humiliating experiences of my life. I am a mess. There’s no hiding that fact when you’re in orange coveralls sitting in a room waiting to see a commissioner to decide your fate. (There were a few other women there, most for traffic violations as well, and we all kind of stuck together. We actually formed a bond and I’m positive I will never see them again but I will also never forget them). I wasn’t released from police custody until 3:30a.m. I allude to freedom a lot on this blog, it is something that is very important to me. I just want to be free. Being kept in a holding room and unable to decide what I wanted to eat, when to use the bathroom, when I could use the phone, my own fate— was too much for me. I willed myself away from a nervous breakdown because I knew that getting hysterical and being taken to the jail hospital would be far worse than just sitting there and taking it. I am losing my control, I am fucking up big time. As punishment my control was taken from me. Even if only for a few hours, it’s left it’s mark on me.

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 I’m trying to let this be a lesson to me in my life that I’ve been riding dirty the past few years. I have been scraping by and trying not to get caught or be exposed. I have been riding around on stolen license plates, I’m drunk, there are bodies in the trunk, illegal handgun in the glove compartment and cocaine all over the floor. I am now more than a bit of a mess when I allow something so important to completely slip my mind and the ending consequence was something I could barely handle. I’m not strong enough for jail, I am not strong enough to continue on this path of destruction. I know I need to turn myself in. I need to come clean about everything and figure out what I’m going to do with my life once and for all. It’s going to be a painful and confining process. It’s going to be sitting in that holding room with no control over my fate. It’s going to be me, willing myself not to break down. It’s going to be me, ankle shackled to a chair in front of that window awaiting my destiny….and I am the commissioner.

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Image from: quotez.co

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Comfortably Numb

For more information or to sponsor my walk to prevent suicide click here.

I just finished eating dinner. I washed it all down with a gin and ginger ale in an effort to keep things cool and in control. This is a terrible habit that began years ago and I’m a bit ashamed for not being totally upfront about it. While I do not take mood-altering medication, I do drink—probably heavily. I haven’t decided how much of a problem it is. I do know, that it is frustrating for me. I am sure there are women out there that have fought similar battles and are single mothers that can deal with the same hardships in stride. At some point in my life I’ve had to accept that I am soft hearted. I don’t feel exactly like the rest and I’m not able to recover as quickly. To be strong pushes me way too far out of my comfort zone.

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When I was married I had an inkling that something wasn’t right about the way that I was living. I went to church, I tried to be a good wife, I tried to wrap my head around this brand of happiness for the rest of my life…but I knew that it would be less happiness and more settling for a façade and faking who I was in an effort to bring out the best in others. There had to be another way, but I couldn’t find one. I never drank and I didn’t even know how. The only thing I could remember is that women order rum and coke at the bar in a few movies I’d seen. So I bought a bottle of rum I used to keep hidden and I would mix it with anything and everything. I just needed something to keep the edge off. There was heaviness to my countenance that I couldn’t get rid of and I needed something to keep it from haunting me. It wasn’t often I did it, but when things got unbearable I had to.

 The Social: When I split from my ex husband I lived in a small house with just my oldest daughter (3 years old at the time) and myself. It was lonely and it was scary—the thought of cutting the grass had the power to send me into a downward spiral. I was living in a house that was meant for a family and now I was by myself, a stereotypical single mother. She went to be with her Dad every other weekend and on those weekends I partied hard. My mother calls this my mourning period but I’m not exactly sure the name that I would have for it.

 Anyway, it began with a bad snowstorm that winter. I was struggling to make the rental payments by myself, it was a pain to shovel snow off of my car in the pitch black of morning just to make it to work where I constantly battled not to have a nervous breakdown.  The snowstorm hit and I was stuck in the house alone with only the company of my thoughts. Since then I have contemplated suicide, even so much as held a blade to my wrist but I still don’t think my thoughts ever got as dark as they did that night. I’m as naïve as a little girl. I believe in unconditional love, in hope, in working things out—walking away from my marriage was the renouncing of all of those beautiful things that I thought made me ME. And after that night I had come so close in completely shutting down I vowed that I could never go to that place again.

So I drank, and I drink. When you see me out it’s most likely I appear to be the life of the party but it’s just something I need to do because that’s what’s expected of me and most times it’s an escape from loneliness. Furthermore, I can’t speak for anyone else but for me there was a complete loss of identity once my marriage was severed. I felt dirty and exposed, like someone’s tossed away garbage. I was forced out of a bond because someone did not want me. He was still alive, I saw him often but I couldn’t extract from him the answers I needed to help me cope with the loss of us. I fully expected to be married the rest of my life it never occurred to me that there were any other options! I still feel those feelings of exposure most times. When I was married I was way more secure because I knew that no matter what I did that day I would be able to come home to someone who loved and accepted me for the way I am. I lost that person and I lost that confidence in myself.

So, I still drink socially now, though I’m in a healthier place self-esteem wise, because sometimes you do have to fake it until you make it. I go out with my friends and they are all beautiful I have to get on that level and act like I’m the greatest thing in the room in order to not have my ego crushed and my mind racked with jealousy. I get in my head a lot and I revert back to that same old girl from high school that knows deep down that the same people who have love for me now would be no where to be found 10 years ago. I drink because sometimes I’m not really having fun. I just want to be at home, staring at the wall and not worrying about a thing. I drink because I still feel exposed. With the divorce hanging over my head I still have moments when I feel like someone else’s leftovers. I don’t want to be sober enough to recognize those that see straight through me and maybe even have to explain myself. I drink to avoid the eye contact of those who really see me.

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Image from: amithea.deviantart.com

 The Loner: After the night of the snowstorm, I did make a conscious vow that I could never revisit that place again–the darkest part of my soul where the will to give up on life lived. In an effort to do that my mind sort of kicked into survival mode—which is great for a temporary fix but terrible for the long term. Months after my separation from my husband I rekindled a former love with a broken man that did more damage to my soul than I thought was possible. While I was in it, I never allowed myself to feel the gravity of the pain of what was happening to me. I felt the bliss of survival mode. I was numb. I used to feel like it was a super power. There I was, blessed with the amazing ability of not having to deal with life because I could zone out at any time. It didn’t matter what was happening to me because I wasn’t really there and I didn’t have to be bothered with the burden of feeling. I created my own world for myself and I chose to live there to avoid feeling any unpleasantness ever again. However, reality intervened at a certain point and I had to step outside to survey the damage of the hurricane that swept through my life while I hid in my storm shelter.

 So, now I drink to remember how to feel, while most people drink to forget. It is a struggle for me to remain present and for me to feel emotions without going into my natural protection mode. I used to disappear from friends for weeks at a time–you couldn’t hold me accountable for anything because I didn’t care enough. I locked my soft heart in a safe and I refused to be held accountable for any pain I could possibly have inflicted on others because fuck them! No one had been there to protect me. I try to be aware of when I’m in that survival mode now. I sit back on my couch and I make myself a drink trying to wrap my head around how I feel about the day’s events. I most desire to be free without the help of outside substances but for now it’s about coping with the issues at hand. Writing a blog doesn’t mean I have access to all the answers.

 I drink to avoid the despair of having become so numb.

 

 

“Hey…”

I have a serious knack for attracting people who refuse to contribute their part to the conversation. I know I can be a little over the top sometimes, if you text me “hey” I then text 3 paragraphs and 7 emoticons and receive a cool “lol” in return. I feel like a Vegas stripper on the morning shift, working for the one straggler that comes in before work. Well….”hey” and “lol” are now considered chump change. If you want a lap dance you’re going to have to give me something more…

No, I Won’t Have A Threesome With You: A Love Story

Not too far in the dating game and I’m about ready to tap out. Seriously, I’ve been propositioned with a threesome so many times it really makes me wonder what kind of slutty vibes I’m giving out. Being free doesn’t mean that I am loose. Being in touch with my sexuality is something I learned by default through being married at such a young age and I’ve just kind of kept it with me. If you’re insecure they don’t want you, if you exude confidence they want too much of you. They take advantage of your high self esteem and they drain the life out of you like you’re not even a person.

I realize they don’t even see me. I’m just jiggly thighs and ass– and that’s not even my gimmick. I’m nowhere near a video ho, the cellulite on my body would get me immediately dismissed from the set. I just want to be myself, I’m interested in being free. I try to communicate who I am and it’s just not making a sound. So this pretty young thing comes along and he’s saying the right things. He asks me about who I am, compliments my dress and loves that I’m a mom. He says I make him feel warm inside and more comfortable with himself. He sees I’m laidback and carefree in spite of my pain. He wants to share me with another woman.

I study him, smile, and tell him I’m just not that girl. He smiles back at me…