Listening ears on: God told me to visit my ex in-laws.

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Being human is hard. Add being a Christian and you have a whole list of rules and regulations you must follow in order to truly be a follower of Christ. Usually, especially now, doing the right thing and being sweet and kind has come easily. Even things that would trigger me, just goes over my head and I say a prayer in my mind, grin, and keep it moving. Last week however, I was thrown a curve ball that I really just wanted to dodge.

My ex told me that his parents were going to be cooking a big meal and asked if the kids and I would come over. Without hesitation, I said NO. I mean, why would I? Besides the fact that I’d have to drive over 45 minutes, I’d have to come in close contact with the family of the man I abruptly left in the middle of the night, with a week’s worth of clothing, and my kids. It wasn’t exactly a peaceful breakup and I found myself on the hated end of the stick. His father had a lot to say about me in the past and would quickly jump on social media in defense of his son, whenever I was the topic of a falsified rant.

I insisted that I had no business going there and I prayed to God that some crazy occurrence would happen so it would be set in stone that I couldn’t go. Be careful what you pray for because four days later a tropical storm came through AND a tornado happened 9 minutes away from us. We were obviously spared and I thought that was God’s answer to my prayers– no honestly! You want to know something? It wasn’t.

My ex told me he would be getting out of work early so he could take us if I didn’t feel like driving. I told him that was great because that meant he could take the kids and leave me out of the equation. He seemed hurt and told me not to be that way. They weren’t my family and I remember how dysfunctional it was when all of us lived together. I did not want to go so I purposely ignored all my ex’s text after that.

You know, God works in very BLUNT ways and as I headed to the bathroom I heard, “Go” in a vey soft voice. Now, don’t call the luny bin on me but I heard it clearly. I remember saying, “yeah right, God. You would never want me to go there.” I then saw a vision of me walking into their home and a voice said, “Go, so they can see all I’ve done for you. Go to be a light. ” Guys, I laughed so hard and said NO! Then I tried to convince myself that I was the one creating the instructions that I had but when I said the word “Go” in my mind it sounded different from what I first heard. This was not something I wanted to be obedient to. I didn’t want to feel uncomfortable and I didn’t want to break bread with my ex’s family.

When my ex arrived, I grabbed my purse and roughly told him to hurry up and let’s go. He was shocked but he got up from the chair quickly and we headed to me car. Once we were all buckled and ready to go, my ex thanked me for going. I heard a voice say, “I told you.” I rolled my eyes and replied ok God, of course in my head because I didn’t want to sound crazy. 😂

The drive down was actually enjoyable and I didn’t find myself ready to jump out the car or complain to the heavens. But when we got to his parents house I found myself feeling uncomfortable and nervous. My girls rushed inside and I bought myself time by getting my son out of his carseat. Surprisingly, I was greeted genuinely and asked if I wanted some food and my ex made me a plate. I can’t even lie, for a second I thought they were trying to poison me so I asked my kids if they wanted some food and when no one screamed out “No”, I knew that the food wasn’t unsafe to eat.

I stayed for maybe an hour and a half and I watched as my kids enthusiastically ran around and played with the side of their family they hadn’t seen for so long. I felt relieved. My kids were so happy and I felt good. I talked with everyone and at no point did I want to run for the door. When I left I almost felt sad. His dad thanked me for coming and said we could do something for Christmas if I had no plans.

Before last Sunday, I had so much anger towards my ex father in-law. I was upset because he knew what I went through with his son and he completely turned against me when I left. I was mad and hurt and really wanted nothing to do with him ever again. Visiting him was a healing moment for me. It thought me forgiveness in a way I did think I needed. There is so much truth in forgiveness being for you and not the other person. I was released from the grip of anger.

If there’s anyone you need to forgive, whether they said you an open invitation or not, forgive them. Listen to the voice inside that sounds crazy because it goes against every logical thing you believe in. I listened to God and went somewhere I DID NOT want to go and it ended up being a beautiful moment for me.

I hope you liked this post and as always Hugs and Love!

Lost in the choas

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I don’t always feel like a complete failure but when I do, the voices in my head chanting my defeat are deafening. A crippling sense of  utter disaster overtakes me. For a moment I feel suspended in time, then as my heart begins to race, I’m thrusted into a fast paced world of terror.

What does that all mean? It means that you are not alone. Yes, YOU! You know you’ve been there. We all go through times in our lives that leave us breathless for all the wrong reasons. It’s okay to feel claustrophobic out in the open. Some cages can’t be seen.

Society today is unapologetically unaware of all the pressures individuals like me face. Or they blatantly don’t care. Parents, minorities, adults and children in school, people who are told they are way too skinny or way too fat— the list goes on and on, these are societies redheaded step children. Everyday people  deal with seemingly normal problems that they supposedly should be able to fix on their own.

But heres the thing, being on their own is the problem. Mothers can’t express how much they suffer while trying to raise a child without being judged. School kids face pressure from their parents, peers, and social media to be perfect. With no where to turn, many struggle in silence.

You hear it all the time, “It could be worse.” “Someone else has it worse.” That doesn’t make another person’s situation any less of a difficulty. And since when are we in the business of comparing hardships?

I can admit that there’s been moments where I wanted to fade away into the shadows because coming to the realization that my life was a mess, was too hard. Have you ever felt that way? Even your dreams seem comical and unattainable. You have this feeling of not being good enough, so everything that comes from your head seems like a wasteful fantasy.

Time…time is all we need to recenter ourselves, to get our life back on track. A moment of clarity and some positive affirmations to bring our confidence back. Truth is, support is not always easy to come by and at times you’ll have to pull yourself up by the bootstraps and it’s going to be hard!

I found myself watching the social media craziness between James Charles and others. The way he spoke, made it seem like the events that transpired gave him thoughts of ending his life. I don’t know him nor did I ever watch his videos before but what he said hurt. It pains me when anyone so overcome by grief thinks not living is a proper solution to their problems.

This great big world can feel so empty and cold. It doesn’t matter if you’re famous or a regular joe. Struggle is guaranteed. I had to learn this the hard way.

If you read my last post and are now reading this one, you might be wondering what the heck is happening to me. Well, reflection happened. I’m a mess but I’ve stumbled upon others who also frequent Hot Mess Avenue and I found it only right to express my thoughts for the sake of helping someone else.

You are awesome!  You can do it! You, my friend, are not alone in this. Everyone goes through some sort of battle and yours is not to be minimized. When doubt fills your head, remember that you have the power to overcome anything. You are STRONG! Hurt doesn’t make you less of a bad ass. Remember all the times you made it through a difficult situation and know you’ll get through anything that comes your way!

 

As always ((HUGGS & LOVE))

I’m obsessed with watching my kids eat

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Growing up, my family struggled a lot. We were poor—not just poor but very poor. I remember one time, the only thing in our stomachs, for five days, was water from the facet. I lost about ten pounds during that time. Food stamps ending our five days of tears, stomach growls, and despair. I think that had to be the hardest time in my mother’s life.

We struggled, yes, but it was never that bad before and thankfully never got that bad again. We were always grarunteed two meals at school so even if we had little at home, we still ate. Unfortunately, those five days were during Christmas break and there was no chance of us getting fed any other way. It was difficult time to say the least.

Now that I’m a mother, the fear of not being able to feed my kids sometimes cripples me. I pinch every penny, I look for the best deals, and I never spend more than I have to. I don’t want to feel the devastation my mother did. I sometimes think her life echoes in mine as I come to the realization that at my age, she too was a single mom of three. Could history repeat itself and cause me to be so down on my luck that I wouldn’t be able to provide such a basic need?

As of now, that hasn’t happened and I find myself cooking and preparing meals with immense glee knowing that my kids won’t go hungry. When I set their plates before them, I see their faces light up and they usually shriek with excitement. “Yummy mommy!”, “I like this food.”, is what I hear from time to time in between bites. It’s like music to my ears and I can’t help but smile.

There are moments after we say grace and they begin eating, that I tune out the world and just stare at them. Their giggles filling the dining room. Conversations about how their day was and what they want to do during the weekend bounce off the walls and invade my observation. “We can do that on Saturday”, would be my reply to their inquiries. I soak up every bit of those times.

There is no better feeling than knowing despite my hardships, my children won’t go without. They know nothing of my struggle and dinner time is a celebration and not a reminder of how bad we really have it. Happiness stretched across their faces is a complete contrast to the days I would cry to my mother telling her I was hungry and she’d tell me, “I know baby”, and hand me a cup of water with a little sugar in it.

I know  what I went through was something that humbled me but that’s not the way I want my kids to grow up. That’s not how I want my kids to become appreciative people.  We all go through some lessons that taught us something and hope to God that our kids don’t have to go through it too. I don’t want the pain of watching my kids starve and I’ve been blessed enough not to have to. So, when I see my children stuffing their messy little faces, sometimes getting food all over the table, I’m thankful knowing that their bowls will be empty for the right reasons.

As always ((Huggs & Love))

 

My “Me too” Story

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This story might be a bit much or some readers, discretion is advised.

 

I want to be completely honest and extremely transparent with you all. Everything I’m about to say in the post is true and it happened to me almost nine years ago. I was 17 and just a few months shy of high school graduation. At this time in my life, I was a “YES” girl. I never wanted to seem rude or hurt anyone’s feelings. I had a very hard time saying NO, even to complete strangers. My mother raised me to be very respectful. Despite my anger issues back then, I was a very polite child.

I had only ever kissed one boy and it was ONE time, about two months prior to this indecent.  I never had a boyfriend and never did anything sexual before. Kissing was as far as I had gotten and wanted to get, at that point in my life.

It was May 4th, 2009. I spent all day shopping and hanging out with my cousin, who was the same age as I was. We were preparing for prom and graduation. Neither of us had a car, so our only means of transportation were taxis. The taxis back home are different from the ones in the states. They are 15 passenger buses, cost $2.50, and only drive on the main road. They usually stop running around 6 pm, 6:30 pm. My cousin lost track of time and we ended up going to the bus stop after 6. She lived on the other side of the island and though that might not seem like much, for a place only 22 miles long, being 17  with no way home is not ideal.

On our way to the bus stop, a guy in a silver car motioned me over. Now, this is where my “YES” girl mentally screwed me. I didn’t want to go but I didn’t want to be rude. He said his hello told me his name was Alfredo or Alfred for short and asked me my name. In about 5-7 minutes, we talked about what school I went to, my future plans, and exchanged phone numbers. Once again, I didn’t want to do any of this but I was too damn nice for my own good. To get away, I told him my cousin really needed to catch a taxi so she could get home and I had to go.

Of course, my cousin asked me 21 questions about this guy. I told her everything we had talked about, in that short time span, as we waited on the bus. As time went by there was no sign of any taxis. I told me cousin that I’d call my other cousin in hopes that he’d be able to take her home but she declined. That’s when Alfred called and everything went straight to the crapper. I didn’t want to answer but my cousin insisted I did.

“Hello?” I said

“Yeah, where are you?” He questioned.

“Still at the bus stop.”

“You coming?”

“Huh?” I was puzzled.

“I’ll carry her home. Are you coming?”

I moved the phone away from my ear and told my cousin what he said. She eagerly accepted the ride. My stomach was in knots. I never planned on getting into that car. I thought to myself, If I don’t go, he might hurt her and it would be my fault. It hadn’t hit me that I was the one he really wanted and I’d have to take the ride back ALONE with him.

He made it to the bus stop in no time. It was almost like he never left the area where I first saw him and was lurking around stalking us. I got in the front seat and my cousin hopped in the back. When I attempted to close the door, some weird creature stung my finger. First damn sign that entering that car was a bad idea.  Once we were on our way, this man couldn’t stop talking. Yes, MAN! He told us that he was 26 years old. Mind you, he knew our age before we ever got in his car.

For the most part, he kept everything Pg13 while my cousin was in the car. Once she left, I realized what a terrible choice I had made. It finally hit me that I had to take this 25 minute drive alone with some strange man because I didn’t want him to try anything with my cousin. He went from telling me he was a drug dealer to saying he had a gun in his trunk just in case he needed to protect himself because he lived a dangerous life. He went on to ask me if I knew certain girls who went to my school and told me explicit stories about his relations with them. All this girls where younger than I was by about TWO years.

Needless to say, I was very uncomfortable. And when I was just 5 minutes away from home, he asked me if I’d mind if he stopped by his house for something. Like a fool, I said okay. Now, I’m thinking his house was on the way to mine. NOPE! Instead of making a left he drove straight ahead onto a back road, a road I had never taken before. What I didn’t know was that road bypassed my home and if he had gone the normal way he would’ve had to drop me home and drive about 10 minutes to his house. He knew exactly what he was doing.

When we got to his house, he proceeded to recline his chair back. He told me he wanted me to preform oral on him. JUST LIKE THAT! I was horrified and refused. I told him to take me home but he said he would once I did what he asked. He begged and begged. The he got close to me and started to rub my stomach, saying he could imagine putting something in there. Then he began to touch my breast. I was wearing a strapless top and prayed that he wouldn’t take it down. I remember thinking that I had only kissed one person and knew nothing about nothing, now I was alone with someone who was probably planning to force themselves on me.

You know the saying, “Flight or fight?”. I did neither. I froze up like water in the freezer. I was numb. My mind went to a whole other place. Finally, he said he needed to give something to his brother. When his brother opened the door, all I could see was this giant person in the shadows. Alfred was scrawny but his brother was humongous. When they both turned around to look at the car, I wanted to cry. I knew for sure that they would attack me…together. I wanted to run but I couldn’t move. I was frozen with fear. I didn’t know where I was. My cousin called to make sure I was okay because it had been over an hour since we left her house. My phone died in the middle of our conversation. Bad sign…disastrous sign!!

After a few minutes of talking, his brother went back inside and closed the door. Alfred came back inside the car with a big smile on his face and continued trying to pressure me. My mind would start to say, Well, if you just… I rejected the thought of giving in to that perv. I wasn’t about to do it willingly. I told him to take me home. He again said no and that he was taking me somewhere else instead. I started to recognized the area and knew that I was far enough from home that walking would probably take me two hours. He stopped somewhere I had never been. It was on a dirt road surrounded by dead trees. No one would hear me if I screamed. No one one would find my body if he killed me. At that point, I had it in my head that he’d have to kill me before I did anything with him. I even saw my obituary when my life flashed before my eyes. I was scared but came to terms with what might happen next.

He took out his phone and told me even if I tried to call for help, I wouldn’t be able to because there was no reception in that area.

“No service!” He said, as he shoved his phone in my face. He followed it with the most annoying laugh I ever heard. “Haaaaaaaaaaaa! Haaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!” He was taunting me.

I stilled refused, then he asked if I wanted to go to a beach called Lagoon. He claimed he wanted to make me comfortable enough to give him what he wanted. Lagoon was about a 30 minute walk to my house, so I agreed. Before I knew what was going on he park the car in a little ditch and told me we weren’t going to Lagoon. He then asked if I thought he was stupid and I only agreed to go because I could walk home from there. He then laughed in my face…again.

At first I wanted to cry then I got pissed. I thought about my father, for whatever reason, and it give me strength. I was so upset. I wanted to hit him, fight him. Wring his skinny little neck until he passed out. I was tired of being afraid, of being mocked. I didn’t care that he could really have a gun in his trunk. I was going to do whatever I had to do if he wasn’t going to let me go. So, I went off on him. I flipped out. He laughed at me again but it was a different type of laugh that time. He said he’d take me home and started up the car again. Of course he didn’t take me home. He said he needed something from his house and when I realized he was going up the hill to his place, I opened up the door to jump out. It made him yell out, “Okay. Okay. I’ll take you home.” He still went up the hill to his house but to turn around.

He asked me where I lived and made sure to drop me a 3-5 minute walk away from my house. He told me I had better delete his number because he deleted mine. He shoved the phone in my face. The list of names started with “Di” but my name starts with a “De” so I knew he didn’t delete it. At that point I didn’t care, I was just happy to get the hell out of that car. I made sure he or anyone else wasn’t following me and walked home.

He kept me hostage for four hours. I got home after 11 pm. My usually paranoid mother never asked me where I was. When I told my sister what happened she was horrified and was glad I made it out alive. I put my phone to charge and immediately put Alfred’s number on the reject list. I called my cousin once my phone had enough battery life and the amount of guilty she felt was obvious. Think it crazy, but I rather that had happened to me than her. I don’t know if she would have had the will to refuse that guy. I don’t know if fear would have made her do something that would have scared her for life.

I never saw him again but he did call me a couple of times months later. I had given my sister my phone and got another one. She deleted all my contacts so naturally, his number was no longer blocked. She actually talked to him for a bit and was going to ask me if it was okay to give him my number. Then it hit her that he was the guy that refused to take me home, not some long time friend checking up on me. She quickly blocked him when I confirmed his number. Freaking creep.

Because of that night, my trust for people has almost completely died. I stopped being so polite. If something doesn’t seem right to me I go with my gut. Only a few people knew this story. My mother doesn’t even know. I was ashamed. I knew better than to get in a strangers car but I did. I didn’t go to the police because I thought I’d be blamed for what happened. It took a long time for me to realize that it wasn’t my fault. I was a child at the mercy of a grown man, who knew better. I sometimes fear that he did the same thing to someone else, someone who gave in. I live with the guilt of wondering if I was his only victim or if I gave him the courage to do it again.  I guess I’ll never know.

It’s really hard for me to even think about what happened to me. I go through all the same emotions. It’s painful to relive. Someone thought it would be comforting to tell me at least I wasn’t raped. That’s like telling a hungry person at least you don’t live in Africa where people are starving. It was a horrifying experience nonetheless! Just talking about it takes a lot of courage.

I hope this story helps someone come forward with theirs. I hope it gives someone strength. I know things could have been worse for me but I’m still here. Never be too trusting. Never think that saying no to someone is disrespectful, especial if something doesn’t seem right. Don’t be ashamed. You could help someone else by speaking out, most importantly, you can help yourself. Talk to your kids about things like this –girls AND boys– so they can stay as safe as possible. It goes beyond saying don’t get in cars with strangers because I heard that all my life and still did it.

Be safe and like always ((HUGS & LOVE))

 

 

 

 

Suicide

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I just came off the phone with my cousin. A really good friend of ours was rushed to the emergency room while my cousin followed behind the ambulance. My cousin has no idea what happened to our friend. Our friend, who is such an amazing person, has been through a lot. You would never know, because she hides it well behind a smile, that she is suicidal.

It got me thinking more about the dream I had last night. I dreamt one of my classmates hung herself. I prayed that it was just a dream. As crazy as it sounds, some of my dreams have came true… the bad ones anyway. Not like a dejavu but REALLY coming true, whether in entirety or in part.

Earlier my mother, who works at a school, told me that one of the students tried to commit suicide. He is 11! He wanted to jump off of a ledge and kill himself because he wanted to talk to his brother. I found out that his brother was my former schoolmate. He was shot and killed, in 2015, outside of a night club. Just a year later, this little boy’s other two older brothers were in a car crash that took the life of one of them. Heartbroken and defeated, this child would rather be dead than live with the pain of losing his brothers. It is obvious that he needs to speak to a counselor. I fear he might succeed in killing himself and create yet another tragedy for his family if he doesn’t get help.

The theme of today seemed to be suicide and it’s frightening. I’ve been through some crazy things in my life but I have never thought about killing myself. What causes a person to what to do that? How much pain are they feeling that instead of overcoming it, they rather turn it off for good?

It brings tears to my eyes thinking about it. So many people have these thoughts and now even children have begun to see suicide as their only option. I recall reading that a 7 year-old(SEVEN) killed himself because of bullying. At seven, you’re still a baby! How did he even know about such a thing?

I’ve helped three people not go through with their suicide in the past. The most recent was a couple months ago and the others were in 2009. Once I see posts about “not wanting to live” or being “better off dead” right away I jump into action. I don’t care if I don’t know you; I’ll do everything I can to stop you from taking your life. I wish other people were like that. Some either think it’s not their business or don’t take it seriously. Anyone who talks negatively about life in general and how much they don’t want to live, should be taken serious. It is a matter of life and death. It’s a cry for help.

I hope  those considering killing themselves seak help. I pray that someone gets to them before they end their life. If you have felt this way, I may not know you but, you are AMAZING, UNIQUE, PERFECT. God doesn’t make mistakes. And if you question God and where he is in your pain, know that he is in everyone willing to help you! As always guys (Hugs and Love)! Good night.

My year long journey to self-awareness

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via Daily Prompt: Aware

I’ve always thought that I knew myself, knew what I would or wouldn’t put up with. I believed I knew what I could and couldn’t take. I’d imagine myself in certain situations and think I know what I would do. I’ve been put to the test beyond my wildest imagination but nothing has come close to what I’ve dealt with in the past year.

Around this time last year I was nine months pregnant with my 1st biological child. I was already raising my ex’s daughter who I love with all my heart and soul and the new addition was a joy. The problem was my ex boyfriend. He was mean, aggressive, and manipulative. I dreaded almost every waking moment with him. He had some good moments but the bad ones always outweighed them. He made me feel like a burden because I didn’t work so I could take care of our little girl. That’s what he wanted. He said I that I shouldn’t work just take care of the baby(yes BABY) and enjoy my pregnancy. It wasn’t before long until he started saying he was the only one working hard and no one was helping him.

I would constantly be put down and I cried every day, which turned into multiple times a days. He told me to move across the country to his friends home or he would leave me. I flew at 35 weeks 5 days to live with him at his friends place. At this point I had high blood pressure, my daughter was behind in her growth, I was told by my doctor that I needed to stay off my feet, and was admitted twice into the hospital and had to get a shot to stop my contractions at 28 weeks. With all that I still had to take care of a baby by myself. My ex worked two jobs and didn’t do much besides that and because I didn’t support our family I was continuously getting heat for it. He complained that I didn’t cook enough. I didn’t even want to be there, I was getting cursed out every day, and I had to take care of a baby while having a struggling pregnancy…no I didn’t cook much! I wasn’t even supposed to be on my feet alot.

I stayed thinking he would change in the beginning but learned the hard way he wouldn’t. He doesn’t even see anything wrong with his actions still. He says I “Looked for it.” and that I should be happy and was lucky that I was only getting cursed at because other women were being  physically abused. He said I was playing victim and my “battered woman act” was getting old. I still made it my mission that whenever he would go through something bad I’d be there for him knowing he was the reason I felt like crap. He’s consistently done things to spite me and hurt me and I wonder why I took it for so long.

I was aware of what he was doing to me but I was NOT AWARE OF WHAT I WAS DOING TO MYSELF! I was putting myself through hell to keep a family. I was losing my sanity to have someone to share a bed with. I was forcing myself to pretend to be happy, when all I really wanted to do was RUN! I wasn’t aware that I had a part to play in my own misery by staying in such a situation. Believe me it’s hard to leave especially when you have no family or friends near.

When I started to really understand what was happening, I slowly started to back away. I made sure I had proper footing before I took each step. Looking from the outside in at bad relationships you think you know all the answers, then you go through it and have no clue what to do. This last year has changed me. I’ve been through things no one but me and him know. He’s told me things to break me and sometimes, when I didn’t cry, I’d say something to hurt him so he’d understand my pain. It was all a losing battle honestly.

I hope that anyone going through anything like what I did, wakes up and leaves. No man or woman is worth your self-peace. I hesitate, even now, to tell my full story. Talking about it helps me cope and if I tell people the truth it makes it impossible for me to sweep everything under the rug and go back to him. This topic is something I fear to talk about but need to and I hope it speaks to someone out there.