I get it now…

March 1, 2008, I lost someone very dear to me. This person was my dad. He was more than a dad to me, he was my friend.

My dad wasn’t a perfect man, he did the very best he could to be apart of my life since the beginning of mine on April 13, 1978. One of things I will always cherish is, he would  talk with me and share stories. (which I think is a family trait)

There was something my dad had been battling with ever since I’ve known him. This was alcoholism. Now from me knowing my dad, he was a functional drinker. In a sense he had it “Under control”. While in his addiction he maintained a stable job for over 25 years in which he retired from. However, there were a few situations were he had seizures behind this addiction.

One time, while I was on vacation in Cancun, Mexico, I return to find my dad in the hospital.He fell down a flight of steps at the Main Post Office back home in Philly. These steps are marble. When he fell, it was head first.

While in the hospital, he was connected to a bunch of tubs, and talking gibberish. This was the very first time seeing my dad in the hospital and learning why he was there. That was also the first time I learned how this form of addiction can cause medical conditions.

About a year or so later, same thing again. My dad had to be hospitalized. Had another seizure but this time, he was having trouble walking. He had to under go Physical therapy before beginning discharged. This was very heartbreaking for me to witness. It was like teaching a child how to walk. But he was my dad. I stayed to help, because he was my dad.

This last time in the hospital, he could not be released without supervision because of the falls and head injuries. I signed up, because he was my dad.

To go back to when I mentioned my dad always talked with me. During those times of drinking, my dad shared with me some of his hurts. When expressing them, I could tell he was angry, felt used and was tired of people. Especially when he was told by a few all they have done for him.He was able to share even more stories with me when he retired from his job.This is when, his drinking became uncontrolled.All he had was time, but nothing to do with it.

There was stories he shared when he’d express how he himself tried to help others out and he did. But in his time of need, there was no one to be found.

I too had shared a few of my dads battles. Especially an alcohol addiction.Felt I had it “under control”. I wanted to take care of everybody because in a few chapters in my life, I had steady work.So I shared whenever someone needed help.

It was when I was laid off work a few years back, the depression kicked in and my drinking became “uncontrolled”. I felt the world was against me. I couldn’t catch a break. Couldn’t provide for myself and my kids. It was like a dark cloud followed me for years. No matter how hard I tried to shake it, it wouldn’t go away.

So, my outlet was drinking. I convinced myself, I was cool. I’m not bothering anybody. I’m grown I can do what I want no matter what anybody says or thinks.

There was a gentleman neighbor I had a few years back. He was a drinker. I lost touch with him. Some how we made contact. When we did, for a whole week straight we drank. He called me in the morning, had a ride to pick me up. We went to the liquor store, got what we both drank.

Throughout the week hanging out with him, this gentleman would hardly eat anything. And he was drinking liquor. FYI every drinker knows before you drink any white or dark liquor you have to put something on your stomach.

I was trying my best to make sure he would eat. I’d clean his house and everything. On that 8th day, I decided not to hang out with him. It was becoming too much work trying to take care of a grown person when I could barely take care of myself at that time.

On that 11th day, I got a call from the driver who came to pick me during me and the gentleman’s drinking week. This person informed me that the gentleman was found in his apartment, unconscious. He had falling and hit his head, and he had passed away.

Here’s my point:

I GET IT NOW…After hearing he passed. I said out loud, “Man I don’t even want to drink anymore”. I was supposed to hang out with him for that week to see what I was doing to myself. Because the whole time I’m trying to get him to eat and fix his place up, I wasn’t even doing these things for myself. And the rate I was going, I had to bare witness of the outcome.

I didn’t get it the first time, placed in a situation to learn and received a message. I believe I didn’t really pay attention to the message because the person used to show me the message was my dad. I was so heartbroken that I felt a part of me died too. I was too focused on my pain.

I prayed to God asking him to remove the taste of alcohol out of my mouth. He did. It has been a little over two years now for me…Alcohol free. I realized never needed it anyways…When you ask God something it will be added upon you…

 

I got 99 problems, but GOD isn’t 1

There were two questions brought to my attention today.

Why do you think God allows bad things to happen to good people?

How do you think God wants you to pray in the middle of your pain?

A chapter or two back in my life, I had a lot of things going on. I was stuck. It was hard to find a job, didn’t have any “Real money” to get just the basic necessities, like toilet paper, soap and toothpaste.

Had two friends.They are in a relationship with each other, and are younger than me. However, they’re old enough to live on their own and have children. Asked the two, if my children and I could stay with them. We needed to move out of the apartment complex we lived in at that time.

Went over the Do’s and Don’ts. It was made clear what I can do and can not do financial wise, since I was working on finding a place for me and my children.But if I wasn’t busy, there was no problem watching their children. BUT they took that and ran with it.

It turns out, these people were looking for live in FREE babysitters, maids and a butler(my son was the butler). They became mean spirit people. Picking arguments, started acting funny about food.This people would sit and eat food in our faces and wouldn’t even offer a piece of bread. Would leave their kids in the apartment not even ask if we would watch them, they just left and we had to take the hint.

It got so bad that the”Lady of the house” would hide soap, toilet paper and toothpaste in their room. True story one time the“Lady of the house” threw a bar of soap in the trash, said it had hair on it”.(it didn’t). The lady even took the only T.V. in the apartment, in their room when she was ready to go to sleep every night.Usually when somebody wanted to watch something she wasn’t interested in. We were living in a prison.

This one time, the “Man of the house” wanted to have a one on one talk with me. I said ok. The plan this man had been for me to watch their children while they go to work, for FREE. But I declined to do so. Simply because, I was tired of the mistreatment and we needed our own space. I would not have been able to make any moves if I were stuck in the house watching 2 kids(and they came back whenever they felt like it). 

These people really thought it was okay to schedule my time for me, and were upset because I flat-out told them, Man I am grown as hell, old enough to be y’all mom, ain’t no way in this world or any other world could you ever dictate my time(In that order in that order)in Momma Dee Voice

They knew I needed help with trying to get the finances needed to move into a new place. So I had to hustle and get on my grind, from the muscle.

Well, since I didn’t say, “OK”, the  man hinted if I didn’t watch his kids we would have to leave. Had we left, we would’ve had to stay in a shelter.

To go back a little with the history of me and the two people, as I said they are younger than me. The man started out as a friend of my son. When me and my children moved to Georgia 8 years ago they became best of friends. So, he became my son from another mother, and he called me “Mom”.

He came over all the time, spend the night, played video games with my son, ate well like my children, he was treated like family. I’m from Philly, the “City of Brotherly Love”, so that’s all I know to show.

There were many of times this young man needed a listening ear I was there, a few dollars to help him with his family. Whatever I could do to help I did. No strings attached, or hidden agendas.

So after the hint, I said to myself, SELF you got to get the heck out of there because somebody is going to get hurt and it ain’t gonna be me. Real talk. The nerve of this man, asking so much of me as if I owed him something behind staying at his place of residence for about 2 to 3 months.

But this man didn’t understand, I started out on my own while he was still in Pampers just learning how to walk. I had to make  grown up decisions for myself and a child starting at the age of 16.

I remember how rough it was plenty of times with finding a babysitter and the money to pay the babysitter. Been there done that, while trying to juggle all other obligations, for me was finishing High School back then.( I was in the 10th grade when I had my son)

Tried to help the two  as best as I could, but they were vampire’s. They tried to suck everything out of me, to the point where there would be no room for me to do anything for myself.

My feelings were so hurt and I was angry at the same time. I couldn’t understand why we were being treated like this. But,  I had to keep pushing. About a week later I had a job interview, got the job started about two weeks after that.

During that same timeframe, had another appointment, to participate as a Circle’s Leader with an organization called Circles, I was accepted.

To answer the first question, I feel God uses our pain for good.It was a good thing my children and I stayed with them. It helped us to see their “true colors”. We were shown what a one-sided friendship, and being used looks like first hand. Man people can change like the weather.

People can use your vulnerabilities to their advantage. It was good to see these people didn’t want to see us elevate.Yes, they are haters, like crabs in a brawl.And not to mention, they had a hustlers mentality.

In my opinion, they were hustling backwards.The both of them were  in a dark place. They were trying to hide it, but trying to hide it made them go deeper into that place and it was easier to see.

To answer the second question. I think God wanted me to pray for a peace of mind. He wanted me to pray asking Him to remove the people, places and things that meant me no good, that would cause a stunt in my spiritual growth. He wanted me to pray for the strength, wisdom, and courage to keep Pushing no matter what was going on around me or to me, in the name of Jesus.Amen

There is power in prayer. Now, I have a peace of mind. My kids and I moved got our own place and never returned to that environment and never looked back. Don’t have to worry about toilet paper, soap and toothpaste being hidden or thrown in the trash(I still can’t believe that one).

Since I’ve been participating with Circles, I have an extended family, who has no interest in using me for their own personal reasons.

Everyone in our group has their own story. But what we do have in common is, we are working together to “Thrive”.We give to one another unconditionally because “Team work makes the dream work”.

This story’s intent was not to bad mouth the two or even discredit them. Instead it contributed to  answering the two questions in a way it could be understood by whoever is interested in understanding.

Having my 1 GOD and trusting in Him, walking by faith and not by sight, those 99 Problems exist no more.

2 Corinthians 4:16-17 NLT

“This is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying our spirits are being renewed everyday. For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever”.

 

Neighbors, can’t live with them or without them

In my post,”Going along with the flow”, I talked about being with a man with hidden agendas. Referring back to the disagreement, he made a big performance that allowed neighbors to see and hear.

At that time I live in an apartment complex. Had two neighbors below and two above me. One of the neighbors below me, was a “Church going woman”. She quoted scripture and spoke very highly of the church she was a member of. How she goes with her church to help feed the hungry etc.

This lady seemed neighborly. On that of the disagreement, the front door was wide open. Was so frustrated behind having a senseless argument, so I found something to do. Walked to the dumpster to take out the trash.

Returning back from the dumpster, I saw the “Church going woman” coming up the steps leading to the parking lot(She didn’t see me though). This lady looked up the steps leading to my apartment and said, “Oh look, her door open let’s stand here and see what happens” and laughing while talking with her friend.

As I’m walking and looking, she’s standing there (arms folded), looking, waiting to hear and see all of the madness. The only things she was missing were a bag of popcorn and recliner.Then, she noticed me. Her whole face expression changed. She became quite as a “Church mouse”.

At that point, my frustration had surpassed the maximum. As I’m walking towards her, all I could think was, Dang this lady finds this as a source of entertainment. How I know she did, I walked right by this lady, and not once did she ask me if I was okay, or do I need her to call the police or anything.Or say I will help you kick his you know what. No form of empathy at all. This lady had a “Deceiving character”.

From her face expression and body language it showed me, she was worried that I would fight her. To be honest, I wanted to show her how Philly women rumble, and that’s Real talk.

But, I just walked by and gave her a look of disappointment.

I have a couple of points here. Let me start with this one.

Proverbs 21:13

Whoever closes his ear to the cry of the poor will himself call out and not be answered.

I’ve come to understand in this life, we will all need a helping hand during any chapter(s) of our lives for many different reasons. To downright ignore or have no form of empathy knowing there may be some way you could assist, is Not pleasing to God. Nor is having a double spirit. Cause you can’t be of the flesh and of the spirit at the same time. Using God to your own advantage(Flesh) to deceive people won’t get you to far. Because there will be a time you may cry out for whatever reason(s) and you will be ignored.(I’m just saying).

Every time I saw that lady after that, I wanted to knock her head off. We as woman can be our worse enemies at times. But you know what helped me get past the emotion and that action.

Mark 12:31

The second commandment is this, “Love your neighbor as yourself”. There is no commandment greater than these.” NIV

I didn’t hate that lady, hated her reaction to my situation, but people only do what they know. I still spoke to that lady, just keep my distance. Yes, I was in a verbally abusive relationship, this lady was a witness to that. Because she decided to use it as a source of entertainment, me going toe to toe with her, or even trash talking her would have been useless, a waste of time and energy.Instead, releasing my frustration, and being neighborly was the best solution. I knew it was because, this lady felt bad each time she saw me afterwards and tried her best to be my best friend.