I Know Why the Caged Mom Drinks: Dark Season

Supermom

August has barely even ended and I am already wrapped up and completely done with summer. My final pedicure was 2 weeks ago (no gel) and my final stage performance on August 25th ended with me browsing online for comfy fall sweaters. The kids have their school clothes, and—after one last trip for additional school supplies this weekend—I am battening down the hatches and lying in wait.

It is Dark Season, my friends. As a parent who compartmentalizes A LOT I find this time of year stressful af and I have never identified with the commercials showing parents dancing gleefully down the aisles of office supply stores celebrating back to school season. There are so many moving pieces to my life that my head starts pre-spinning in mid-August, fretting about the stress of my commute, time management, shorter days with less sun and juggling parenting and school obligations vs. work and Whiskey Girl obligations. I am a walking, talking ball of stress and emotions at least until spring—and that’s a long time to be absolutely out of your mind while pretending to be a functioning adult.

This year, it’s looking as if Dark Season is being combined with my worst nightmare: actual success. Together, the two are a recipe for a mental health disaster! I have had more invitations to speak on mental health, to perform and to host and produce events than I have ever dreamed would come to fruition. I am over the moon excited that my little brand has gained some traction but I am also riddled with anxiety that I may not be able to juggle this lifestyle. I can’t sacrifice sleep because without sleep I am a murderer. I can’t sacrifice any more time with my daughters because I want to be a real cook dinner, help with homework, embarrass-you-while-bra-shopping kind of mom. Lastly, I absolutely cannot sacrifice my full-time job for obvious reasons like health insurance and not starving to death. [Side note: I have eliminated dating but that’s not really adding any time back into my schedule since dating nowadays is mainly “wyd” texts from dudes sent well after 10pm].

Last night, after the kids went to bed, I found that I couldn’t open a jar of salsa so I sat on my couch and cried for half an hour. Today, I used a knife to pry the jar open and performed an epic victory dance that probably lasted about 30 seconds longer than it should have. Clearly, I need to brace myself for the peaks and the valleys, because the fear is that if this is the first week of school I may end up in a mental institution by December. My challenge to myself this year is to do a better job of leveling my emotions so that I can experience more balance instead of the constant rise and fall of a terrifying roller coaster.

Although I am a single parent I still recognize that I am a privileged parent. I have hella family support, I have hella flexibility with my 9-5 job and I am starting to gain support for my creative endeavors. I am a person motivated by the good deeds of others and the concept of paying it forward, so in this case NOT having a nervous breakdown is definitely a way to show that I am worth the investment! I feel as if I owe it to my parents, my job and mental health sufferers/fellow advocates alike to keep my shit together for as long as I feel led to spread myself across these various projects. Most importantly, I feel that if I successfully juggle this lifestyle I will be able to show my daughters a realistic example of what it looks like when you follow your dreams.

 At the end of the day, I want my daughters to know that on the road to finding and fulfilling your life’s purpose, some days you may cry over unopened salsa.

 

**Stay tuned for Dark Season updates throughout the fall and winter season**

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Whiskey’s Guide to Navigating Casual Sex

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It’s me Whiskey!

The official start of summer is nigh and you are scared. Maybe you contemplated celibacy but now that the sun is out and melanin is glistening and muscles are visible beneath those sleeveless jerseys, with long dreaded hair gleaming in the light of day and cascading down sweaty necks—ahem, sorry I digress. Bottom line is: niggas are hot right now and any plans you had for celibacy have gone by the wayside. You are ready to live your BEST. LIFE [aka get your hoe on].

Never fear, Whiskey Girl here to give you some random ass advice on navigating casual sex this summer. My biggest lesson for men has always been to stop playing around with the emotions of women who are looking for real love and solid relationships. I find it particularly irresponsible because there are plenty of women out here that would love a casual roll in hay with an attractive semi-stranger [*raises hand sheepishly*] Men are savages biologically called to bust their nuts far and wide among many nations, while women are sensitive beings biologically called to cling and form emotional attachments—at least I know that I am.

So, for all of you sensitive women like me who have fragile egos and tons of emotions, let me give you some tips to help you try to stay in the casual sex game this summer. May the odds be in your favor…

Dont ask for advice

Warning: I’m really not the best person to be giving advice

Manage Your Expectations

After a few failed relationships I can’t help but mourn the loss of companionship with people who meant something to me. However, at one point I considered dating good fun and only 53% percent completely stressful as I found myself wrapped up in fantasy what-ifs and my need to try to control the outcome of every single romantic encounter. Oh, me and this person seem to like each other so naturally it’s time to daydream about a long and happy future together! It is the typical hopeless romantic’s way of jumping the gun and expecting way too much out of a basic meet and greet. If you’re going to be casual then the first thing you have to do is free your mind of any and all expectations.

Maybe it sounds easier said than done but it’s really the only foolproof way to prevent disappointment. The minute you think to yourself that a casual encounter or situation could be something more than exactly what it is [great sex plus maybe a dope hangout] you are screwed—and not in the intended way.

If you are a woman who struggles with the need to feel validated by a lover’s attention or affection then casual sex is definitely not the move for you. Typically, men who are up for casually banging you no strings attached are not much into validating your need to feel pretty or managing your emotions in any way. A hard dick may very well be the only evidence you have to work with as proof that he’s mildly interested in you at all. Even then, chances are that his interest doesn’t travel far beyond a sexual nature.

I wouldn’t even say something as optimistic as “expect the unexpected”. Bitch, if you are going to do this then you need to expect absolutely nothing. Casual sex is primal, it is in the moment and ultimately it amounts to nothing—your expectations should match those parameters and stay within them.

Poets and Whores

Limit Social Media. Period

I am a sort of millennial so of course I use social media a TON, but for mental health reasons I try to regulate it to sharing my crappy poetry and to promote my upcoming performances only. Hot bitches run amok on my timeline and even as a person with fairly high self-esteem, I find myself extremely depressed by the fact that another woman’s sexy selfies [posted 17 different times CONSECUTIVELY] will beat out my blog posts /emo-poetry any day. Social media is invasive and designed to trigger an obsessive response by giving you way too much information about other people in the form of stupid captions and shallow images. Newsflash: Instagram wants you to know that he liked and commented on that bitch’s picture.

In a normal world you would not care, but in this stupid world we’ve created where dumb shit like social media likes mean something [or they really don’t] you find yourself bothered. You don’t need to be bothered! YOU should not have to worry your pretty little head about a thing.

Casual sex is supposed to be fun! Caring about what a nigga double taps while he’s taking a dump and scrolling his timeline is not as much fun. Keep your self-esteem high and your online presence low profile. Try not to see something so you never have to say anything. Sensitive women get caught up in the pitfalls of “but why did he comment heart eyed emojis underneath her twerk video?” every day, and if you want to play the game you have to be more than your triggers. Assumptions, overthinking and obsessing have no place in casual sex because it makes you a Buzz Killington. Social media is a major perpetuator of jealousy and envy and if you don’t believe me, take a break for a few weeks and see how your self-esteem shoots through the roof. Do yourself a favor and stay away from a nigga’s page and if you don’t follow him on any medias—that’s FANTASTIC— you are ahead of the game!

Possibility for jealous reactions aside, there is also just something that feels nice about limiting interactions with people. Yes, Instagram and Facebook have their many benefits but it also makes it impossible to get a person out of your mind when they are constantly popping up on your feed. Take some space and follow if you must but refrain from obsessing and/or assuming anything from an online persona that does nothing to showcase the actual layers of a person’s day, let alone who they really are as a person.

Spend More Time Alone Than with A Partner

And I don’t mean spending time alone touching yourself. I’ve done it and many of us do—we touch ourselves because we feel lonely or the need for some kind of release or stress relief. If you’ve gone a while without having sex and start up again with a casual partner then your sex drive is going to spike. You are probably going to want sex more often and that’s normal, but also, you are not in a relationship so you can’t really monopolize someone else’s time in that way. I think it makes sense to spend time alone and engaged in other fulfilling activities to get used to your own company and reflection in the mirror.

Dick is a nice bonusEngaging in casual sexual encounters can become hurtful for sensitive women when we use it as crutch for companionship or do so to seek validation. Casual sex partners are vacation. They do not require the same maintenance or time as potential relationships and you should look at it as a chance to be free. Just as he doesn’t have to validate your need to feel desired or rearrange his schedule for you, you don’t have to make him a sandwich or talk about his day afterward if you don’t want to. Are you enjoying the sex? –is pretty much a yes or no question that has the power to make or break this flimsy acquaintance. If the answer is “no”, then move it along and find someone who looks how you want them to look and makes you feel how you want to feel in the moment.

I will say, the moment you stop feeling freedom in your situation you need to get the hell out of there! The moment you find yourself obsessing and caring a bit too much about what he thinks and expecting treatment outside of the scope of your original intentions then you’ve already fucked up and you need to retreat ASAP! Even if just for a moment to regroup and get your head back in the game.

Don’t Fuck Your Friends

*sing to the tune of Don’t Bite Your Friends by the gang at Yo Gabba Gabba*

You Don’t Have to Juggle Multiple Partners

Body countIt’s casual, you are not in a committed relationship. But remember, it’s ok if you don’t want to juggle multiple sex partners too. Either way it’s really no one’s business but your own. If you are using protection then there’s no reason other sex partners should come up in conversation, anyway. Sex is intimate, it is possession and it is a very serious thing that we have turned into a lite version of itself but our bodies and our brains know what it really is no matter how we try to convince them otherwise. Men have a habit of wanting to possess you [your snatch, really] with no intention of actually wanting to be with you so avoid the “how many other people are you seeing?” conversation like the plague.

Whether you are seeing multiple or just the one person—never answer that question. Ever. You have no loyalty to this person, and at the same time have to understand that they have no loyalty to you either.

Communication is Key

I find that communication is easier in casual situations because there’s nothing for anyone to lose so I’m prone to being more direct. If you say or do something too honest or transparent that turns him off…ok, well on to the next! However, the difficult part about open communication and transparency is that you have to be open and honest with yourself. What is it that you want out of your casual sex relationship? Are you killing time until you feel ready to date for the purpose of a long term relationship? Are you open to more than just a sexual relationship? Are you having sex with a specific person in the hopes that maybe they will grow to like you and want something more? It’s ok to be honest with your intentions and to communicate those things with your sex partner. It is also ok for your thoughts and intentions to change over time—it’s just important to stay in touch with your emotions before and after each physical encounter. Take a moment to come down from the sexual high and evaluate how you feel.

Or, if you’re like me and just riding the wave until you figure out what you’re doing, then you can be honest about that, too. You don’t have to know or have a plan for where the path is going to lead, you just check in with yourself often to make sure that you are happy with the journey.

Or, Maybe Don’t Do This…

…if you find for any reason you are not happy or are engaging in empty sex out of loneliness or during a confusing time in your life. You don’t have to know the answers to everything, but your instincts and intuition can tell you right away if you are not about this life. Sex is treat! It’s hella fun and beautiful–one of my very favorite past times—but it’s also very private, personal and seriously intimate. It can be a mindfuck if you have an innate  reverence for other people’s spirits and bodies.

Personally, I am not even sure if I am about this life and I’m not really following this advice all that closely. Were I to play the casual sex game the way it were supposed to be played I would become fearful of who that would make me.

I want to feel things.

Honestly, I think we are all fucking up a little bit. We’ve ruined intimacy and the specialness of human touch and real conversation. We use sex as a cheap and instant way to pretend we feel alive and connected, but are we, really? Or are we just so hardened by life experiences that sex is the only time we feel comfortable being vulnerable with each other? Sex is the only action that speaks more softly than words—it’s value is next to nothing these days. Through all the nonsense I subject myself to, I  am keenly aware that my value is much more than the frivolous activities I often engage in as I’m sure that yours is too.

Let’s hope that at least one of us will rise above this kind of bullshit and not travel so far down the road of casual sexual encounters that we become a little lost in its nonsense. Have your fun now, but it doesn’t hurt to check in every once in awhile and ask yourself, “Am I still having fun?”

Freedom and self harm

 

*WG is a Washington, DC-based blogger, self-published author and spoken word artist. For more content please visit www.whiskeyandpoetry.com*

I Know Why the Caged Mom Drinks: Black Panther

I wanted to do something nice for the girls this weekend. I wanted us to go see Black Panther and I wanted to paint their little faces– but I don’t have white paint. So it was going to be black dots– which would be fine because they are low maintenance and they don’t really care about that sort of thing.

I had it planned, I would order the tickets online, we would watch a movie together and when they went to bed I’d tell them that tomorrow we are all going to see Black Panther.

So I tried to order the tickets and the transaction wouldn’t go through. I tried again with updated information and received an email from my bank. Apparently, I didn’t have enough funds in my account to purchase our tickets. That’s not right– because my funds are low but they exist and I know there is enough for this! This, I needed– this, I had planned for…

My bank had counted each error as an actual transaction and taken the money out of my account, placed it back, then took it out again. I sat on the phone on hold with the movie theater for about an hour. I vaguely noticed the chatter of the kids slowly died down. They eventually retired to their room, I still had the phone to my ear feeling frustrated and entirely defeated. Nothing is simple. Ever.

I got off the phone realizing that Black Panther was not going to happen for us this weekend. My money is all crazy and it will likely be awhile before the bank releases it back onto my account. I was disappointed and just sick of living this kind of life. What is the balance? Do you live poorly and save, do you make the most of your money, try to stretch, save and enjoy it? Do you martyr yourself and spend it all on the children? I don’t know the rules. I’m barely even in the game.

“Ok babies, what movie do you want to watch?” I call out to them. Silence. Walking through the foyer I notice the light in their bedroom. Peaking inside I see that and both are fast asleep with the radio on. I walked back into the livingroom, sat on the couch and cried. Is this what motherhood is? Running on a treadmill with the best of intentions and never going anywhere at all?

I don’t know how to juggle any of this. I don’t know what I am doing and I’m just so worried I’m going to screw them up in the process of figuring it all out.

Come Back Whole

Tell me - MIRI’m sitting here trying to ignore the sound of notifications dinging on my phone. It is nonstop. It.is. maddening! I am home from work for my third day in a row attempting to fully recover from the flu before diving back into the several days worth of work piling up in my email inbox. The stress of thinking about work is hindering my recovery just a little. I’m annoyed and exhausted thinking about it and to be honest I’m just not quite ready to engage. “Worry about your health, first,” they say. But what they really mean is “Restore yourself enough to be what I need you to be…”

The expectations of others always seem to be pounding away at my door. It is the reason I contemplated getting dressed this morning and heading into work. I was almost willing to do anything to silence those stupid email notifications on my phone. Technically, I feel ok. I mean, I’m just milking this, right? I should be over this flu by now. But who is anyone to dictate what my body or my mind needs to go through in order to properly heal? Lying on my couch dying of the flu really caused me to question: when was the last time I allowed myself to properly heal from something?

The end of a friendship, relationships, minor disappointments and disillusionments take their toll on us every day. Sometimes I truly wonder if we are actual savages, cutting off friendships and posting about it on our social medias with little care or remorse. Or, have we just hardened ourselves to rejection and disappointment playing this stupid game of pretend where we act as if the “weaker” emotions within us don’t exist? I don’t know about everyone else but my mental health is too fragile to avoid fully processing through my emotions. My soul craves connections with other like-minded human beings! Each time I trust enough to let someone into my world and they trash the place with their bad energy and ill intentions it breaks my heart a little.

This year, I want to be more careful with my heart and soul. I want to journal more to stay in touch with my true emotions and not what others project onto me. I want to lean less on the advice of others and try to view my sensitivities as positive attributes and not weaknesses. It’s ok to be wounded, and it’s ok elevate the wound, saturate it in healing oils, pray over it, rehabilitate slowly and thoroughly until it is whole again. There is beauty, love, laughter and many wonderful things in this world but there is also something to be said for acknowledging the darkness. Not everyone cares about your wellbeing—many of us are inherently selfish and we just need you to be ok for us. WE want to laugh with you again, monopolize your time and rely on you to make us feel good about ourselves. WE need you to entertain us and to provide us with that good feeling and on some level we don’t care about the internal process it takes for you to get there. I recommend that you ignore US, and do whatever you need to do to come back whole.

Practicing What I Preach

I don’t consider this advice, I consider this a few tips for myself that I would like to put into practice.

  • Ignore Work Emails  I’ve designated today—a Sunday–as a writing day. I’m here on my couch writing away and receiving emails about work assignments for tomorrow. I will read the email TOMORROW. I work 5 days a week from 9am – 5pm which means I only get two days a week to keep and cherish for myself. It’s completely unfair of any co-worker to infringe upon that time, so it’s up to me to set the boundaries. I monitor emails for emergencies but not for to-do lists that don’t go into effect until the very next day. IMG_20180211_163242

My work is ok, it’s enjoyable enough but it’s not what I want to occupy my thoughts and time while I’m not in the office or on the clock. The immediacy of technology puts pressure on us to be more available than we are. Even Instagram changed their settings to show when other people are online—a feature I quickly disabled. I don’t need to watch my unanswered direct messages and feel bothered that Such-and-Such has not responded to me but just posted a meme and has been active on Instagram for the last half hour. Such-and-Such is a person that deserves to use their time as they very damn well please. I myself have learned to become more forgiving and realistic about response times because I enjoy the same courtesy in return. I will respond to messages when I am in the right mindset to do so.

  • Go Where the Love Is       …be it the arms of a lover, the presence of a good friend or a favorite coffee shop. I am teaching myself the art of chasing after good vibes. I take notice of who I am around and what I am doing that provides me with a good feeling and I recreate the environment when I am hurting or my soul is in search of some healing. We absorb soft rejections and experience psychological triggers more often than we are likely aware. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with seeking comfort and restoration in familiar places and with familiar people. Furthermore, healing is a personal journey and it’s totally up to me to…

 

  • Communicate Within My Comfort Zone My friends don’t have to know why I am seeking their comfort and quality time. No one has to know of my personal struggles—I’ve had to heal from dropping an entire jug of milk onto the kitchen floor before! Sometimes, there are small events that can trigger chaos within my psyche. Confiding and confessing to friends is always an option but it’s not a requirement. Healing is for me alone and cultivating healthy relationships is restorative by default. Being near someone who has a calming effect or being in the right environment can be enough in some situations. You don’t have to create a spectacle or engage in “bitching about that thing that happened” — you can just BE!

 

  • Trust My Personal Process Everyone heals differently! Maybe that woman broke up with her man 3 weeks ago and is already back in the dating pool but what is for her is not for me. After being with me for 33 years, I have learned that sex is not something I take lightly and it does take quite awhile for me to move on from being sexually bound to someone. After putting in time to learn a person so intimately, the thought of reaching that level with someone else is daunting. Rushing to sleep with someone new after a break up will NEVER be my go-to move because I know that it would slow up and even damage my healing process. When pain and tragedy hits, it can be an opportune time to evaluate what it means to “get over” something, what it means to “restore” and to set realistic expectations on whether you even expect or wish to return to being the same person or a different version of yourself.

For me, keeping busy is a coping mechanism that deters me from properly handling my emotions. It has taken me years of trial and error to differentiate between unhealthy things I do just to appear over something versus what I really need to do to activate healing. Healing doesn’t always look like the easy way—sometimes it looks like reliving painful memories, journaling them down and reading over again until control and sanity is regained. Healing is a reality that we live in that includes the acknowledgment that there is a hurting or unpleasantness to heal from. Much like self-love, it’s not just about bubble baths and treating yourself to nice dinners.

  • Come Back Whole The expectations of others often cause me to act out of the desire to avoid disappointing people. Disappointment is inevitable and sometimes cutting myself some slack is necessary when it comes to prioritizing my own health and wellbeing. I absolutely hate taking breaks from the performance arts scene. I love to be booked and busy, I love performing and using my words to connect with an audience but I don’t love to be immersed in a scene that involves hidden politics and constant self-promotion. The pressure I feel to keep an audience engaged and to constantly present myself as an interesting person whose writing you just HAVE to read takes its toll and sometimes makes me hate being a creative.

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This year, I am on a quest for freedom. I want the freedom to write and express however I wish to and the freedom to focus on who I actually am outside of my art and my perceived persona. I have decided to cut down on my performance schedule this year because I want to spend more time with my children and adulting in my life outside of the creative arts. I’ve spent a ton of time and money investing into my art and working so hard, I now just want to make sure that I am doing what I truly enjoy. I don’t feel the need to take every gig offered to me or to continue to appear at places where I don’t feel particularly welcome or happy to be. I am taking the time to focus on what makes my life fulfilling and to do those things almost exclusively.

There are incidents that have happened years ago in my life that I have finally admitted to myself that I have never fully recovered from. Lately I’ve found myself being constantly triggered because I never allowed myself to go through the full experience. After a hurtful event occurs, there is an entire process that I’ve been skipping because I don’t want to feel the pain of it and I don’t want to put in the work it takes to restore myself back to good. The time for quick fixes are now over…

I don’t want to return to a version of myself that is tolerable and acceptable to others. I want to return to the truest version of myself, I want to be the most of myself. I no longer want life experiences to chip away at my being until there are parts of me missing that I will never be able to restore. I want to do the work—and when I decide to come back–within my own time– I want to come back whole.

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*If you enjoy my writing, please visit www.whiskeyandpoetry.com for more*

No Room at the Table

Table Meme

If you had showed 23 year old me a glimpse into the day in the life of Whiskey Girl I would be in a state of disbelief. Although, I suppose ten years is plenty of time to have morphed into a totally different person. Ok…well, I won’t be as dramatic as all that but I will say that I never expected to be living out this version of myself. The early teenaged me would be quite proud—and slightly puzzled that I have two children when I vowed to never have kids and to focus solely on my career (as an advertising executive because I was obsessed with the movie Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter’s Dead). Anywho, the early 20’s me would be horrified. That version of me made the mistake of falling head over heels with a man and fantasized about a life of wifery on a daily basis. Who cares about education and life goals when you can cook, clean and cater to a man who barely even deserves it, right…?

We all know my story ends in divorce so let’s just hop right to it. That divorce was one of the most painful things I’ve ever had to go through. I remember feeling so empty, depressed, lonely and unfulfilled throughout the whole mourning and separation process. Alas, I was a wife missing a husband to complete me and fulfill my purpose (barf!) Surely I needed a man in my life, in my household, in my presence just to be happy! Fast forward to the present annnnnnd—what I need a nigga for again?

 

Material World, Traditional Girl

I am aware that feminists don’t all the way like me because by today’s definition of the word I probably don’t really qualify as one. I like the part where I can sleep around and not be considered a hoe and attend marches but for the most part I’m a boring bitch who believes in the traditional gender roles. No one is angrier than I am when I have to carry groceries by my damned self, take out the trash or get an oil change. If I have a dude in my life why am I doing these things? I want to give great bjs and get my nails done while someone else worries about paying all the bills—but the way my single motherhood is set up; it ain’t happenin’! I am not hot enough (or motivated enough to hit the gym) for random men to be paying my bills so I’ve had to choose the life of a “for real” single mom. Like, work 9 to 5, pay all the bills and file my own damned taxes—there is no knight in shining Jordans for me.

Even when I lost my mind over some good dick and literally had a mental breakdown that culminated in job loss, I didn’t have time to dwell on unemployment and try to find a Sugar Daddy to help supplement the household bills. I ended up pulling money out of my 401k and taking a quick woosah before re-entering the workforce and finding a job to sustain myself and the kids.

Fast forward 5 years and I’m making $30K more than I made when I was fired and I haven’t asked my parents to borrow money in about two years now. (I HAVE asked my brother A LOT, but that’s neither here nor there). This is a story of triumph, my friends! I am holding it down, dropping kids off to school, helping with homework, doing hair, killing it at work, trying to kill it in the writing/poetry field—my life is FULL. My table is dope and I built the shit all by myself and provided all the food—I’m not sure what anyone else can bring to that table…

Dog passed out meme

Gotta offer more than just good sex these days! There are options out there, my dude

 

There’s the Rub…

So, here is where we have a dilemma: if I am already responsible for and happy with “holding it down” for myself and the kids then why would I be interested in adding a grown ass man to the mix who expects me to hold it down for him, as well? There was a time when I couldn’t wait to take care of a man and devote my life to his happiness. I wanted the bottom bitch fairytale where I helped a man come into his own greatness and as a reward he would never cheat on me and someday make me his wife. How lame is that? Especially since these days, men my age only seem to be offering pretty package relationships that look great on social media but lack any real substance outside of that. Can a bitch cuddle in your lap and shoot the shit about future dreams and past heartaches or nah? How are you going to support me? While I am doing this whole “submissive and supportive to my man” bit, are my emotions being taken care of/managed/supplemented? Are you emotionally supporting me, or just murmuring “For real, that’s crazy” every time I try to talk to you about what’s going on in my life?

I am not a doting housewife. I can’t absorb a partner’s emotional stress without being poured into and loved on in the way that feeds me, as well. If you aren’t giving me attention and affection then I could give a fuck about broiling your salmon or doing your laundry. Love is not enough of a motivator to have me catering to a man who is essentially bringing the same shit to the table that I am. When he walks in the door after a long day of work, I am walking in at the same time having worked the same amount of hours on top of a laundry list of household and Whiskey Girl things to handle before the day is over. My lifestyle is already overwhelming for my temperament and mental health, so the thought of adding another person to that list of responsibilities sounds downright stressful.

EVOLVE, MY NIGGAS

The success of black women is a topic of conversation these days, but men don’t seem to want to address what our evolution and our success means for them. Well, my niggas… I will tell you.

Emotional support is the new breadwinner. Gone are the days when you choose a woman and take care of all the bills while she stays home and runs the household like the CEO of your life. These days, women have full-time careers and are working just as hard as men—if not harder because of the multi-tasking and juggling that goes into childrearing (don’t get me started on entrepreneurialism!)— while bringing substantial money into the household to sustain it. To be the main person responsible for maintaining the household while making significant financial contributions is a bit much to ask. You don’t have the right to expect more of this woman, you don’t get to stress this woman or treat this woman as if she is not a real or enough or lazy because she doesn’t make a four-course meal for you every night like your Mama used to do for your Daddy. She is not that woman. She is a new breed of woman, and she doesn’t really need you in the same way that generations of men before you were needed.

I feel the hate and the weight of the world on a daily basis. I have to be a straight up thug almost every single day, so at the end of it I’m not really looking to cater to a man’s needs while forsaking my own desire for love and affection. I want us to come home and breathe life into each other. I want to take turns cooking meals and helping kids with homework and cleaning. I have no desire to be a super woman juggling it all and accepting a quick plowing at night as the only physical intimacy from my significant other. The days of phenomenal dick and half-assed conversation being enough are over—it’s time to step up the game, fellas!

F with yourself

I think black women have been more than generous with the excuses for why it makes sense for us to be the glue that holds the relationship together. The long term effects of the cruelty of slavery, history of family separation, generational curses, yes, yes, to all that—but also, no. For generations we are the ones who have been cheated on, abandoned, emotionally and physically abused by men who no doubt suffered from some very deep-sated mental health issues. We are known for our perseverance and strength in spite of these factors—if you are a man who desires to lead a black woman of such character it’s high time you started coming correct. Don’t nobody care about your degree or your air of self-importance because you’ve never gone to jail or gotten caught cheating. Accomplishing personal goals and being good to your significant other is shit you are supposed to do. In my opinion, the traditional role of the provider has been missing the emotional aspect for far too long. Nowadays, you’re bringing home the bacon to a table that already has a feast laid out on it—what else do you have to offer, my dude?

And to be honest, some of you aren’t even all that interesting. You treat us like we are a game to be played, or like a whiny inferior person whose “spoiled ass” you have to give in to just to shut her up. You show up to meet the friends and you pose for the selfie but you’re not really taking the time to know who we are as people. You express a mild interest in our daily activities but intimacy and connection never seem to be the ultimate goal. In my experience, many men don’t seem to bother making the effort to really connect on deeper levels beyond slow missionary sex and fun conversations about nothing. If you want a place at the table I would suggest you explore deeper. Barging into an independent woman’s life just to prove that you can get in is lame. If you fight your way in make sure you have a purpose there and please GOD don’t waste her time!

She built the table herself, yes, but there’s so much more to carpentry than furniture. Cater to her emotional needs; build the foundation that will sustain the table and any other beautiful thing this woman decides to create in all her strength and independence. I promise you, there is room for you—your presence, your admiration, your genuine love and your time. Those are all things I would welcome with no hesitation or questions asked.

Sext

This guy gets it!

But…Not All Men!

Of course it’s not ALL men—shut up! This is a blog post to offer you something to think about. If it doesn’t apply to you, that’s ok. And if you are a good dude that knows how to complement, respect and keep a woman happy, perhaps you should spread the knowledge to your friends instead of always commenting on how you’re a good dude to an audience who doesn’t benefit from the declaration.

Comments are welcome below. (Don’t be a dick, please)

 

Medicate. Is HERE!

medicate-w-poem

In February of 2016 I released my first chapbook and quickly realized that thanks to online do it yourself programs, self publishing is easy! So, naturally I started to plan and compile my next project and it’s FINALLY here.

Medicate. is dear to my heart just as Trigger was. It is raw and emotional and draws from my own personal experiences and perceptions. I truly believe that most of us on this Earth suffer from mental health issues at one time or another, we are just resourceful creatures and have found ways to self medicate. This book explores just a few of those ways; touching on substance abuse, over eating, losing yourself in others, the Internet, religion (and so much more!) in a way I hope is relatable and sheds light on a growing issue across the world. Whether you laugh a bit or cry I do hope the book provokes you to some genuine emotion.

I am offering the PDF version of the book on sale for $7.99 to my mailing list subscribers. The normal price of $10 will resume after the weekend is over. I always struggle with the pricing, I wish I could give them away for free but I invest so much time and money into each of these projects I can’t afford to be a philanthropist just yet!

In addition to the soft rollout of the book, I am sharing with you the link to the Whiskey Girl store. As of now there are Medicate. mugs available for purchase and I will soon be adding t shirts and other fun things I hope entice you to order.

Thank you again for your support. Purchase, enjoy and let me know what you think.

~good vibes always~
WG

WG

So I suppose that a lot of my readers (or folks who trash this post as soon as it reaches their inboxes) don’t know that in my real life I spend time as a spoken word artist. I use the term very loosely because I low-key do not think of myself in that way. Spoken word artists are loved by all, powerful and captivating and I am just a nerdy writer girl who likes to share out of some inexplicable need to connect. When I first started sharing live poems at open mic my stage name was WG—which is for Whiskey Girl. But for whatever reason folks like and prefer to call me Whiskey. I can dig it. But the WG moniker was also an acronym for White Girl and Weird Girl. I do think the latter is probably most fitting.

Someone asked me a few days ago how I deal with stage fright and my douchey answer was that I actually don’t get it that much anymore. I really do think of WG as a separate person—it’s just an aspect of my personality that I play up but it’s not the core of who I am. So when I have a bad night I can say to myself, “Whiskey had a bad night, Naomi is doing just fine.” That mantra has not been working for me lately. I’ve been busting my ass to try to make a reputation and name for myself and it’s like running into a brick wall. In high school, I never had to bother being a cool kid, because I just knew that I wasn’t. In this community, the creative community, it’s as if I have to try to fit in with the cool kids just to be given a chance and I think it might be wearing on my mental health a little bit. For whatever reason I keep coming to the same conclusion: I am not that likeable and I’m 32 so this is it! I pretty much am who I am :-\

I had a show a few days ago. My very own show! I decided to do my own event because I just got tired of waiting around and begging for other creatives to like and accept me enough to give me a chance. Around me folks were pairing up with mentors and I was just there, alone, going from event to event trying to connect. I also had this crazy notion that the poetry community would be a world of misfits that understood what it’s like to be part of the outcasts and misfits—instead I found that it was the cool kids AGAIN. There I am assuming the position on the outside of things. So I put on my own show, just to prove to myself that I could. I gave myself my own feature because I don’t think I am the world’s greatest poet but I have something to say, and my narcissism tells me that the message is important to communicate with others. I got the flyers, paid the vendors, bust my ass trying to sell tickets, even got some other poets on board and hash tagged the shit out of my social media and the people actually CAME! I was exhausted but I felt so good and so proud of myself, in spite of what others thought, I had proven to MYSELF that I could do it.

Bullied

And it was time for me to take the stage as a headliner, and folks cheered as if I were somebody special. I had something to say and there were people that actually paid money to listen. So I spoke, and I had no trouble with the words because it’s never really me up there it’s WG. She was waxing poetic about life, and good sex and heartbreak when I kept hearing the voices of rowdy audience members override her. The voices only got louder so I watched as she moved in front of their faces and recited in front of them in an effort to bring them back in—captivate them! Because this was her show and at the very least she could pretend that she was good enough to headline it for a night. The loud voices got up and moved to the back of the room in response. Their volume increased and became more aggressive. Perhaps I, as Naomi, didn’t know how to handle it but WG did. That’s what she does, she takes the stage and she says what needs to be said in a way that compels people to listen or at least be polite. But for whatever reason, it wasn’t working this time!

That’s when I heard laughter, and I don’t know what happened to her (I am still angry at her for this) but Whiskey disappeared. It was me up there, a lowly under study that knew all the lines to the play but was almost too hysterical to perform. It wasn’t the kind of laughter that flowed out with mine until the sounds met across the room and blended into a melodious unison. No, it was the singular sound of laughter. The laughter of walking through the halls of high school in skater clothes and being made fun of for my dog collar and short hair that would just never grow. The sound of him saying that it didn’t matter how many layers of clothes I wore it was clear that I was fat underneath. It was the sound of boys laughing under their breaths, calling me sexy when just the year before I was an ugly gap toothed nobody. So WHICH IS IT? How am I supposed to gain control of my identity when people can’t even seem to decide what the FUCK it is?! Am I that loser with the clarinet and the chain around her neck and Skechers on her feet or am I Whiskey? Did you come hear to make fun or to LISTEN?

ETC - Awkward bullyingWell one thing is for sure; that night I was Naomi. This woman laughing and talking shit about me got under my skin and she triggered an old feeling inside of me I thought was long buried away. I’m never going to be the cool kid—and on some level I thought I was ok with that. I thought I had fully embraced that others were attracted to me for some indefinite reason and that I’m not going to fit into the categories they choose most often. I was a chubby girl in too much makeup and an annoying voice playing princess at my own event for the evening. I bleed on this keyboard for 4 readers and I pretend that I am making progress but I feel this event may have set me back to the beginning emotionally. I’m deciding marketing and promotional strategies—asking male counterparts for assistance and they smile and wink at me and tell me I can do the work all by myself. Because to them I am just that nerdy girl craving male attention so much that a wink and a little flirtation is supposed to be enough for me to do everybody’s fucking homework!

High school never ends—this is NOT the shit I signed up for! But I am in the midst of this shit so apparently I have to keep going. At the very least until I can find Whiskey again…

DoItForYou

Shattered Pieces

I have a thing for broken men
I am no fixer, I just want to lay next to their shattered pieces
to worship
Cut my cheek on jagged edges
Taste blood as it runs down my face
And I tell myself this is what alive feels like
Knowing the both of us are really dead
Slow bled out a long time ago
But the truth is never real as long as you say it isn’t so
And I’ll probably never leave you if you tell me not to go
I am unhappy
But it’s my favorite dress and I tend to wear it so well
How it fits like a glove over the exaggerated swell of my hips
Just past the honey bee tattoo you used to lick and kiss
But I haven’t seen you and your tongue is fast becoming a memory
Visions of our future are slowly erasing, fading
Trading themselves in for loneliness and neglect
The irritable clench of your jaw as I pleaded and I wept
For the us that I thought we could be
Watching your passion transform into apathy
It was beautiful sad, it was just like you
It was sleeping late curled up in bed …the countless times you’ve never come through
I watch you stop caring and I withdraw further into myself
Tell me, are you so much in love with yourself you have none to spare for anyone else?
Or maybe just a little more for me
See, I’m a bit tired
Of waking up to missed text messages that I wonder if you sent because you knew I was asleep
And of leaving voicemails laced with desperation after the sound of the beep
Wishing for time and touch with abated breath
Flat lining on this table, you are the surgeon with each incision I fear you will call a time of death
Love doesn’t live here, didn’t give enough notice when it left
and I am being evicted in its wake
Let me stay, give me more pain I promise you I can take it
I am a pro, an underdog a masochistic hero
And besides, I am a lot more crazy than you know
I have  thing for you
I am obsessed with your shattered pieces
Let me lie prostrate, and let’s sit in silence as I worship
At your feet

**********************

I’ve been reading articles lately—trying to find out what psychologists have to say about ways to love and, more importantly, ways to keep it. Something about retaining it is not my strong suit; it always slips through. Or, I hold on too long and I don’t know when to let it go and stop trying. People are hard to read these days, they don’t tell you when they’re through with you, they try to hang on to you while simultaneously reaching out to something more, something BETTER or just different. Society is insatiable and cruel. I seem to only be left with the prayer that everything will end up alright in the end—because I’m tired of spending a relationship’s duration flinging cheating accusations and keeping tally of love lost and considerations that slowly diminish with time.

Loveland Art Image 2

Loveland Art

I can’t stomach another break up—break apart. I don’t have the mental capacity to deal with this level of trial and error; the stakes are too high. I’ve given of body and time, spirit—pieces of me I won’t be quite so generous with the next time around. I’m only 32 but kind of feeling like I’m getting too old for the “next time around”. After this age it seems like we’re all kidding ourselves, arriving at the door with too much baggage and only the worst parts of ourselves to offer because we’re too beaten, broken down and plain selfish to offer up the good parts…the naked parts. Tell me, where do you hide your good parts?

 

No matter the outcome—of life and so many things— I suppose there is comfort in the possibility of finding peace within my own self-worth, and power in knowing I don’t have to force someone into validating that for me.

 

*************

*All artwork in this blog post courtesy of Loveland Art. Please click the link to check out more; also follow on Instagram: @lovelandart.

Big Things in 2016: Chapbook Release Preview

 

C Book Cover.png

I am happy and so excited to announce that I will be releasing my first chapbook later this month! This particular work is a small collection of my original poems and writing pieces woven together to tell the story of a difficult period in my life.

I believe that most people wrestle with demons and struggle with mental health issues every day. For some, depression is innate as a result of a chemical imbalance—for others, there are “triggers”, or situations that can cause depression and send one on a downward spiral. For me, a series of events related to heartbreak, job loss and unexpected pregnancy propelled me into the darkest of places. The only way I know to describe it is an IMPLOSION—as if a gun had gone off internally, yet to others I appeared just fine on the outside. Out of this concept Trigger was born.

This project is very dear to me so it was important that I take the time to do it right and find ways to give readers more bang for their buck. My best friend and favorite artist, Traci L. Turner, was gracious enough to take on this project and work with me to design the cover which I reveal to you today. So even if you think the writing is crap, at least you will be investing in a wonderful piece of art for your coffee table or bookshelf. 

Take a look and stay tuned for the official release date!

Also, check me out on internet radio this Saturday, February 6 at noon EST. Visit my website for more details…

I Know

ImageI leave work just on time and I hit the door of the building running at almost a full sprint. It seems I am always running these days. I fly through crosswalks and bump into other metro passengers to clumsily bumble down the endless escalator stumbling onto the platform to make the next train.

I needed this. I needed this to work for me. I needed this commute to be a smooth and seamless as possible because I want to keep my job and I want my child in daycare so at the very least, from the outside looking in, it would seem as if I had my shit together. I know that I do not. I’m always running, and when not running I am trapped underwater barely able to move.

I arrive at my transfer station and I run up the escalator glancing at my phone to check the time. I am ok. If I make the next rush hour train and the bus comes exactly when it’s supposed to I will be ok. I will bust in the daycare doors like a hero and sigh in relief when she comes running to me screaming my name, and I can hug her and nod a calm greeting to her daycare providers knowing that I didn’t inconvenience them by being late—AND, that I didn’t have to pay their extortionate late fees. This would be a good day, I could feel it.

I noticed the crowd as soon as I stepped off that last metal stair. There were throngs of people, an atmosphere of overall confusion, and a static voice over the loud speaker announcing that someone had been struck by a train. We all knew what that really meant. “Struck by a train” is metro code for: someone jumped in front of the train. I knew I wouldn’t be going anywhere for a long while.

I called the daycare to notify them I might be late for pickup. I knew that I would be more than just a little tardy– this wasn’t going to be a half hour deal, I was going to be here for the long haul. I called my mom to ask her to pick the baby up instead. I could just feel that umbilical cord snap me back to where I didn’t want to be. I just want my independence and my freedom. I just want to be free of depending on anyone for anything and I don’t know why achieving this has to be so difficult!

The other passengers in their anxious need to board whichever train arrived next had abandoned the hard concrete benches and stood in a crowded bunch on the platform. I plopped myself onto one of the benches and tried not to curse under my breath when an older gentleman sat right next to me, his eyes on me and his mouth ready to start up a chat.

“It’s a shame,” he said, trying to make eye contact. “Why in the world someone would jump in front of the train, I just don’t know.” He made this declaration as if it all made sense in his head, and I just stared through him without responding. I am not that socially awkward, I know I should have made an agreeable noise, nodded my head or SOMEthing, but without really thinking about it I chose to say nothing at all. When I get wind of news of a jumper on the train sadness comes over me yes– but also the tiniest bit of envy. Maybe that person has finally found freedom from a life of torture.

I would never condone suicide on any level, but I would be a liar if I said I didn’t understand it.  I know what it is to stand on the edge of that metro train platform, swaying back and forth; you’re brain daring you to take the leap. I know what it is to see a razorblade at your wrist through a vision blurred by tears, asking yourself if this would be the day you would finally have the guts and the violence to follow through with it. A means of escape is all it really is and I’ve contemplated the option during my most cowardly moments. Why? Because who wants this? Who wants this life and who wants to be constantly fighting for peace of mind and freedom and happiness? For some it is a struggle simply to wake each morning, while others pop their eyes open simply thanking their god for another day of existence. Not everyone wants to exist; and in our search solace we plot out the worst. And you don’t have to understand us but you should at least know our story.

I should have told him the this, but I chose to remain silent.—just as silent as those of us who suffer. I had the opportunity to expose another truth to this man, other than that which fit neatly into his ideals and beliefs about what life is and what life should be. “Why in the world would someone jump in front of a train, I just don’t know!”  I should have turned my face toward him and responded loud and clear, “I know…”