Our Precious Butterfly. 12 Years.

It is a few hours away from December 20, 2018 – a day I will never forget! It would be a few months before she’d arrive when we both stood in our living room, overlooking the pond yet wondering ‘What would be the gender?’ What would become of us as first-time parents to whom God would trust a life to properly nurture?’ ‘Were we prepared enough to ensure she’d become better than ourselves?’ These were among the many questions pondered, while contemplating if we, ourselves, would sustain our marriage and family. We had waited so long, so patiently, and I at age 35 and he 41, our prayers were finally answered. Yet, unbeknownst to us, our commitment to parent on one accord would always be tested in what has now become a healthy co-parenting relationship.

Her Papa finally agreed to the name Torrie because it was so suitable and simple, and it complemented her default-first name ‘Lou’ (the name given to daughters whose fathers belong to the ethnic group Guru in Ivory Coast, West Africa that means Daughter of her Father). Conversely, Lou Torrie Semi’s birth would give me many chances to correct a lot of wrongdoings.  I never knew love like this before. Frankly, I never believed someone would be so forgiving. Parenting at the current age of 47 is made easy and simple because of Lou and I am sure her ‘Village’ would echo.

Being vulnerable in her company has never felt so good insomuch she understands my flaws and simply expects me to be me, no more & no less. She challenges me to push harder, be better and never give up. It is her determination, stamina and self-accountability that elevates me to another level of quality parenting. Further, she is always receptive to what she’ll call ‘constructive criticism’ at doubtful times when she needs reminders about her reasons for being. Of course I can go on and on about Lou, yet I will leave you with this. Her shoulder is a placeholder for my tears of joy when she gently wipes them away.

My description of our daughter’s character isn’t adequately described in words. You have to really know her to know her, which rarely happens on the first introduction.  Butterfly is slow to anger, yet quick to protect. Further, she is learning to trust her whole heart in the company of others, but not without complete observation. She rarely needs reminding about the importance of an education, inclusive of the lessons learned outside of the classroom. Her recent achievement has been accepting her authentic self in the company of peers, who differ from her at her new school where cultural shock met her face on. And she has now fully grasped the concept of ‘being the salt‘ – to remain calm in the storm and quiet amidst noise. I am a better me because of her and I thank God daily for choosing us to be her parents. To my Village: where would I be without your unwavering support? Only God knows, only God knows …

Happy birthday Sweetheart ❤️ 🦋

Each day of our lives we make deposits in the memory banks of our children.

– Charles R. Swindoll

 

 

 

 

Recovering People Pleaser

A great read from my fellow Blogger!

Grief to Life

I’m a, what I like to call, recovering people pleaser. I no longer feel bad for saying no to things that I don’t think I should do. I no longer give of my precious time to those that are negative and toxic. I no longer force my kids to be around people that haven’t actively been a part of their lives. I decided to stop explaining and defending myself to people who will only see from their chosen perspective anyway. I no longer make decisions based on how others might think of me. I now make myself a priority rather than being the last on the list. And you know what? I don’t even feel bad about it!

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The Power of 1 + 1: males & females

If you live in the ATL Georgia area and are willing to learn about the negative effects of Parental Alienation (PA) or if you know of anyone who has directly experienced PA practices, please join me face-to-face at a ‘MeetUp’ where discussions about PA practices are shared in a setting to bring about positive change. The group desperately seeks the voice of men and fathers, who are regularly labeled ‘deadbeats’ or ‘unfit,’ when in fact they are instrumental in the lives of their kids, yet inadvertently introduced to physical barriers that blinds their kids from seeing positive images.

Hence, the ‘Power of 1+1’ is not a foreign practice because it simply means that one person joined with another can be the beginning of making a difference. So come join me, realizing that building a quality group requires a willingness to discuss issues that may be systemic, i.e. what happened to your parents is in direct relation to what you are now experiencing. Let’s begin to say ‘no more’ with open dialog – join me.

Correcting the wrongs of PA in Georgia

Atlanta, GA
1 Members

This group is exclusively designed for adults who are parents or for those who serve as parental figures to kids who are co-parented. The focus is to bring forth the wrongdoin…

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Unhappy in my messy closet

Today the minister read a statement from a person who accurately described the church and those who regularly attend. The letter was explained this way, and I paraphrase –

Every person sitting in a pew outwardly projects a poised, stable, un-messy and carefully structured life insomuch that to reveal their true identity would lift a veil that would have all standing to their feet because the inward selves would show stark resemblances to their neighbor. Hence, the choice to supposedly belong and remain covert is perceived as ‘having it together’ because it looks good and is expected by society , yet the soul of the churchgoers will slowly grow poisoned and contaminated because no one dares to handle their mess – thus, the congregation (society) suffers collectively.

Address the Mess

The message: no one person is living or has lived an un-messy life. Therefore, you have two choices: (1) Acknowledge the mess or (2) Ignore the mess. Whatever your decision, you cannot escape it! As for me, I am handling my mess the best I know how and will blog again when I am moved to share positive information that is worthy of passing forward.

-FW-

Anxiety in Relationships

No words need adding. Please find this great read on my blog or you may opt to visit the original blogger. Both are appreciated.

Discovering Your Happiness

Anxiety tells you that something is inherently wrong with you daily.

How can you expect anyone else to understand you if I don’t even understand yourself? Society throws around the term “anxiety” as if it’s something we all share and must all learn how to overcome. What most people are generally dealing with is stress, not anxiety. Stress creeps into your life as a result of looming deadlines, problems that need addressed, and the constant state of busyness we all live in today. Stress usually ends once those stressors are addressed and handled. Anxiety is a constant state of worry that convinces you everything is going wrong. It overthinks, over questions, and over analyzes to the point that no productivity can be achieved.

When you have generalized anxiety, you wake up every day fighting a battle that people without anxiety will never understand. Some days are easier than others. It…

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Finding your Pretty

When I was a little girl I knew I would marry one day. Although I did not know how to become a desirable woman to attract the right guy, I searched for him very early. I was introduced to womanhood very slowly, but the need to belong to someone who would love me was my driving force. As a youngster I can count how many times I was told ‘You are pretty,’ yet there was a myriad of negative remarks about my physique (even still today) insomuch that it led me to doubt my adequacy, image, significance and acceptance by others.

How you make me feel

I never thought about the emotional damage that came from the name-calling or innuendos because it was so routine that any constructive praise came as a surprise. Just imagine a person trying to use malice words in a positive way and this sums up the mood and ambiance in a house that was led by women who were mainly parenting from their agony. I know the words ‘You are pretty’ that were never spoken does not define me, as a person. But the little girl then didn’t know that. I only wanted to hear something different than what society could offer.

My story about female wounds is like so many other girls of my race and culture. Thus, another blog can be written about how patterns are repeated and passed along through generations in the black community, and in some homes of mixed-relations, when hurt is the regulator of most actions and decisions. I believe the pain from which our black community parents is inadvertently related to the psychosomatic conditions of slavery that now reveals itself in the muteness of stories, the bearings of distress and the inability to discern a cyclical array of the same problems that continue from one generation to the next. Hence, the chastising and bondage, if you will, has disabled innate traits like nurturing, loving and hugging that was either severed, forced shut or forever hidden and replaced with thrashings, hatred or nonacceptance.

So instead of releasing the hurt to learn of new coping methods that leads to better understanding and accepting for and towards one another, the black family has built walls of defense to guard the heart and seal it away from sensations in deep places that are alleged to be unreachable. This action leads to remnants of our pain that grow dormant because it is now a part of our normalcy, living within us today. The fragments are further witnessed in accusations about and at each other and also present in our parenting styles when we first whip our children  in hopes to solve an issue before we know the problem because releasing our frustration makes us feel good, temporarily. Adopting this approach is unhealthy and counterproductive because hitting is a temporary attempt to address a long-term problem that can be unearthed using different approaches, i.e. intervention, confession of faults, etc. Conversely, a person in today’s era still practices yesteryear’s tendencies, challenging change because it is unaccustomed.

So, the little girl that lives in me today is aware of why the unkind remarks about my image were voiced and the emotional closeness was practiced because the positive of the two simply couldn’t be found in the heart of that young girl who also remains active in my mother’s life that yearned for the same compliment from her own mother who didn’t properly validate. A scholar, name Dr. Shefali Tasbary speaks and writes about the dichotomy of the parent-child relationship (among other subjects) and she asserts how the personalities within us as parents can have a stronghold on different aspects of our life, particularly when we parent.

The scholar is quoted saying, “Moment after moment after moment, your child acts as your mirror. Through every interaction you have with your child, you are really interacting with yourself. Every way you relate to your child is a reflection of how you relate to your own inner world.” This statement is profound and it speaks to different facets of a parent-child relationship and it helps me to better know and consent to the emotional space I share with my mother.

To better understand is to know one’s past hurt.  – Felita Williams, MPH

Playing the Victim

Parental Alienation

Self-pity is easily the most destructive of the non-pharmaceutical narcotics; it is addictive, gives momentary pleasure and separates the victim from reality. John W. Gardner

If it’s never our fault, we can’t take responsibility for it. If we can’t take responsibility for it, we’ll always be its victim. Richard Bach

Take your life in your own hands, and what happens? A terrible thing: no one to blame. Erica Jong

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Rest, Be still, Have faith

Sleepness nightsToday is one of those days where I often find myself behind the computer searching for that position. The position that will just get me over the edge until the next career find. This has been my status in society for over 5 years now, juggling things from attending school to remain competitive in the job market, to parenting full-time, neither of which I regret. However, the irregular sleeps and the midnight sweats like the one last night is beginning to wear on me.

Before I decided to bring up this subject and write about it, I prayed about it. I prayed about if sharing it with the public would put me in a bad light. I also prayed about what you’d say about the person you thought you knew, who supposedly has it altogether. And then, it hit me! Writing is to express, to share, to exchange, to reach and everything in between. I was scheduled to teach a certain number of ESOL classes today, but somehow the students who were previously registered to attend decided to cancel.

Canceling a class is an individual right, but when an online class is scheduled beforehand or within 5 minutes of instructor entry, there is no pay for that session. Hence, I only made a fraction of what I had budgeted for today. Likewise, I recently read a friend blogger write about how she had similar challenges of trying to find the next gig when everything she ultimately needed was staring her in the face – faith in her writing and the ability to communicate her candor. Conversely, I am no different in that description because you may have your own opinion, but I believe that each supposed job I’ve had, e.g. PRN health instructor, interim business development lead, substitute teacher, full-time student, part-time staffing agent and the list continues in the span of five+ years (which, by the way is the time I left my marriage) reflects why I haven’t been blessed with the things I need because I haven’t learned to be still and wait.

When you believe and have faith that HE hears and has heard your prayers, you must trust the process that will develop on HIS time. Hence, today is another one of those days, but a different one. I trust the process and have faith that my stability and that ideal profession will find me instead of attempting to find it. So as of right now, my role is to write to share my story with complete openness because this unemployed mother has never gone without the necessities and I am without doubt that on this 2nd day of October me and my daughter will be abundantly blessed.