Living in your own world, in the world

Here’s a question that compelled me to share my thoughts.

Question:

How have you seen individualism influence families you know?

I did a word search for, Individualism.

One definition reads:The pursuit of individual rather than common or collective interest”.

Here’s a verse which coincides with my thoughts.

Judges 21:25

“In those days there was no King in Israel: every man did which was right in his own eyes.” KJV

From conducting research, it seems individualism can be concerned a controversial philosophy.

From my standpoint, yes we all have to take care and look out for ourselves and our families as best as we can. If you don’t no one else will. BUT, at the same time it shouldn’t be practiced or manipulated in any way where it can cause harm to others in some form or fashion.

Morals  and values are being surpressed.Or just simply doing what’s right isn’t being practiced.A blind eye and deaf ear is pretty popular now a days. Just to add, there are a few situations where minding your business would be best and safer, but in one of my experiences I expressed, minding your business didn’t apply. It was practiced, every man for himself.

Within, “Neighbors can’t live with them or without them, Parts 1 and 2″, I shared situations and circumstances involving a relationship filled with verbal abuse, and humiliation. Also, neighbors whom weren’t so neighborly.

Before proceeding on, expressing my experiences and thoughts.The mission is not to spread malice, judgement or even ridicule towards the people I am referencing in my expressions.

I’ve witnessed how people are the ONLY standards of their own lives. Referring back to my post mentioned above, one neighbor found it entertaining, being publicly humiliated. It seemed her philosophy was, this isn’t my problem or my man, I don’t want to get involved, but I will watch.

The gentleman neighbor with the legal situation, it seemed his philosophy was, this is my problem that I don’t want to be involved with, I need a scapegoat.

Here’s my points:

What’s happened to Mark 12:31

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

Not saying the lady neighbor had to run out in the street with me throwing jabs and upper cuts to beat the guy down. Nor I am saying the gentleman neighbor had to turn himself in once he was aware of his legal situation that he sent my way. What I would like to say is this form of individualism is something I will not pursue or encourage.

These examples have made  me realize the importance of being apart of a mission geared towards building up our communities because outreach is needed in every area of all our lives. Teamwork makes the dream work.

One of the reasons I am proud to be a Circles Leader of Circles Metro Atlanta East Chapter is simple, I’ve been introduced to an extended family. A family where we all come together from different income levels, backgrounds, walks of life with an understanding of each other’s struggles and aspirations.

I would like to encourage everyone, if you are compelled as I was to answer this question, please do and share. RESPECTFUL discussions and comments are welcomed.

 

Neighbors, can’t live with them or without them Part 2

In my first post, Neighbors can’t live  them or without them, I spoke of a gentleman I was dealing with during one of the darkest times of my life. Him and I had an argument, and one of my neighbors at the time found it entertaining.

This man humiliated me for no reason at all. This takes me back to that same time with another neighbor who lived directly across from me. We were neighbors for about 3 years.

The thing about this neighbor he was the candyman. His apartment was the complex’s convenient store. You name it he had it for sell. As time went on, it became evident he sold more the candy.

This neighbor was so embedded in this product that some how this information got back to the leasing manager. He was asked to leave. He left being escorted out by the local Marshall department.

So, I am like okay, now there will be peace. No loud music all times out night. People running in and out all times of night. No more people knocking on my door looking for the Candy man or asking me when he’d be back or if he had left me anything to “Sell” for him.(People are something else).

Once he left I thought everything would be everything.I was wrong. One morning about 1 a.m., there was a loud knock on my door. Like a policeman’s knock. I go to look out the peck whole, and it was a policeman.

As I open the door, this police office along with two other MALE police officers ask for a male and he stated the man’s given name. I had no idea to whom he was referring to until I was shown this man’s picture.

In disbelieve it was my neighbor the Candy man. At some point he had gotten into some legal situation and used my address as his place of residence. My neighbors, you gotta love them.

Here’s my point:

Be careful of the company you keep, this includes neighbors.

Don’t just look back, say something

Back home in Philly there’s a concert every year called “The Powerhouse”. I’ve had the opportunity to attend quit a few.

On October 30, 1995, my son’s father and I attended. I can’t recall all of the performers, as a matter of fact I can’t recall any of the them Hahaha. I do recall seeing one of my older brothers that night.

He was in our neighborhood down Da Bottom, standing in front of the Chinese store. My son’s father went into the store, spoke with my brother for a minute or two.

I stayed in the car because our son was in the car seat in the backseat. Looking back on my son I could see my brother, who we called Block (because he had a block head) Hahaha standing on the Chinese store steps.

At that time I was 17 years old, with a month and a half-year old son, still in High School, no job and on welfare. However, I understood my life changed and wasn’t just responsible for myself. I was ready to take on my new role. This is something I wanted to express to my brother.

My brother embraced the fact that I had a child, but hey he was a big brother. He may have been slightly displeased, but he was still there for me.

When my son’s father returned back to the car, I was still looking at my brother I remember saying, I wanna get out and have a heart to heart with my brother. It was just something I felt I should have done. I really can’t explain it I just remember the feeling.

We ended up driving off and I said to myself, I’ll just rap with him when I see him again.

The next time I saw my brother Block, was on November 1, 1995. He had passed away from a drug overdose.

 

Here’s my point:

DON’T JUST LOOK BACK SAY SOMETHING

How will you respond?

friendships

There’s a young lady I’ve grown to know over the past 3 months or so. She’s an all around cool person, usually in good spirits.

The last time I spoke with her she wasn’t in good spirits. She said something that bothered me. I greeted her as always asking if she was alright. Her reply was, ” No, it seems when I try to take two steps forward, I get pushed back 3 steps.” My response was, “Keep pushing.”

My friend then said, “It may be better for everybody if I were dead”. This time I did not respond, instead I prayed for her, because it seemed she was in “pity party mode”. Been there, done that.

As the day went along, I began to reflect back to a time when the same words came out of my mouth.

One of the times I  adopted a character and personality that was me but wasn’t me. Which led to hanging with the wrong crowd of people. Don’t get me wrong, they were good people, just not the people who I needed to “Vent” with during my time of despair.

It seemed to be a good idea at the time, to hang with people who were in “The Struggle” like me. We would go on and on about all the trials and tribulations we had. The people who got on our nerves, pissed us of to the point where emotions would take over and a few choice words were said. Spilling our guts, business all out in the street, and plenty of pity parties.You know the ones, Oh, Lord why Me? My mindset said, “Yea they feel me”.

Sometimes we as people lean on the same kind of approach to rough times not realizing that that’s the problem.

I realized, there will be no resolution if I continue to think, act, talk and hang with the same old same old. Staying, promoted negative thoughts and behavior. A lot of times the people we “Vent” to really don’t want to hear what we are saying anyways, now we become a pain in the butt or a drag.

It’s alright to let go of the people, places and things that we’re used to. Not saying love is lost, but if we’re looking to elevate, we have to get on the elevator a push the bottom that will take you to the top.

Here’s my point:

We ask God to provide a way, then that’s all we do, just Ask. I’ve realized in my own life this. Asking God, Lord, help me with this, remove that. Didn’t get He was doing so. Introducing me to a NEW approach but I stayed in pity party mode.

Had to really dig up on myself. I was in my own way.

We have to be mindful of what we ask God for and be ready for  His answers. He answers prayers. The question at hand is, How will you respond?

 

Ask the right questions

Back home in Philly, in my early 20’s, can’t remember exactly how but was reintroduced to an old flame. This man was incarcerated at the time.

To go back when we first met, this man was like my knight in shining armor. He came to my defense when my sons father set a car I brought on fire and he wanted to pretty much beat me up, since he saw me with another man. Not to mention, he was in a relationship with another woman and brought her to fight me. That day, as a matter of fact that whole week was crazy. I was only 18 at this time and still in High School.

Getting back to me and this man. We wrote letters, talked on the phone, and I went to visit him in prison, for about a year or so. He seemed to be “The One”. We even share the same birthday.

We made plans to get married and everything. I introduced him to my children. A little while after he was released he moved in with us. This was AFTER his other plan was already in motion.

He convinced me I was the only woman in his life, BUT, from my understanding, this man was seeing another woman. The two were robbing local stores and banks. And to make matters worse, people in the neighborhood thought I was the woman alongside of him.

I had no clue. It wasn’t until I got a phone call, saying he’d been arrested and to turn on the news. There was video footage of a man and woman robbing a bank. I can’t say  it was him in the footage, but from what I last heard he is serving 80 plus years in prison.

The point of sharing this is not to belittle this man. He was a very good dude, had a good heart but sometimes people can become a product of their environment, so people only do what they know.I don’t blame him for anything.

This is to express, how I realized I was looking at love in the wrong way and reasons.

I felt indebted to this man for having my back the first time we met. Went along with pursuing the relationship out of obligation, plus I was lonely.

But I had to go through these things to understand the importance of knowing what I am looking for in a relationship. I needed to ask myself the right questions. Like self, What are your expectations when trying to build a relationship?Can you both be friends after he’s been in jail 8 years already? Can he be institutionalized?(Just to name a few)

After going through a rough time with being humiliated, angry, tired of people asking me about money I didn’t know about or have, God gave me the strength to pick myself back up again and move on.

Proverbs 2:7

” He stores up sound wisdom for the upright: He is a shield to those who walk in integrity”

 

 

Daily Prompt: Dilemma

via Daily Prompt: Dilemma

Back on December 16, 2006 , I had an experience that changed my life. It was one of those situations of being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

In my hometown of Philly, I grew up in an area called Da Bottom. It was just that. Full of good and bad times.It’s apart of town where everything goes on drug dealing, shootings, robberies, killings you name it, was and is there.

On this night I was getting myself ready to have a good time with my co-workers the next day. We were having a Christmas party. I never made it to the party.

Was on my way to one of the local stores, when all of a sudden shooting broke out. I ducked in front of a van until it stopped, then it started again. So I ran back towards my apartment complex.

Once I got into my apartment complex, started feeling pressure in my lower back. Took one hand to feel, only to see the palm of my hand full of blood. I’ve been shot in the back.

Thank God, I survived. Had to go to physical therapy for a few months to get my body back in shape, but my mental state was all out of shape.

I was living in fear. My thoughts were all over the place. Were the shooters looking for me? Would they try to kidnap my kids so I wouldn’t snitch?  I was on the verge of having a nervous breakdown.

The idea of relocating to another state was brought to my attention by a co-worker. Did my research on Atlanta, GA. It took about a year or so to get everything in order. Only to find out I needed to have permission from the state to relocate my daughter. Here’s where the DILEMMA kicks in.

There was a Child Custody and Child Support order in place with me and my daughter’s father. There had to be a court hearing in place BEFORE I could relocate with her. The court calendar was booked for the whole year.

I spoke with my daughter’s father to see if we could negotiate, no luck. I had already made arrangements with the house in Atlanta, Georgia. I paid the security deposit, had furniture, food. Found out about the schools, bus line, had things in order. Accept, the court hearing date.

I had no clue what to do. Didn’t want to get into any trouble for kidnapping or anything, but at the same time I was going to lose my mind if I stayed. The only thing I could think to do is leave and take my chances with the courts.

So we left for Atlanta,Georgia. That was on April 1, 2008, and we are still here. It turns out, magically I was able to get a court hearing date June 2008. We came back for court. My daughter’s father didn’t show up because he had a bench warrant out for non-payment of child support.

The judge read my petition. Granted me permission. She also expressed to me  had my daughter’s father shown up she would have had him arrested. Also, it was a good thing I was doing for me and my children and said Don’t let anybody tell me anything different.

The hearing last for about 15 minutes. Case closed.

Baby momma drama

I was watching Stevie Harvey show today. A woman got up seeking advice pertaining to an uncomfortable situation she had been facing for quit some time.This woman is married and her husband’s family would host family gatherings. On the invite list was his Ex-Wife for each gathering.

From listening to this woman and reading her body language it was evident, she’d felt uncomfortable and displaced. She mentioned she would isolate herself from the party behind these feelings. Like go in the kitchen and do dishes or something.

This took me back to a time where I’ve felt this form of discomfort. I was never married to my son’s father but we had a relationship and a son. After we broke up, when my son was very young, it took some time but I got over it.

Here’s how it felt uncomfortable for me. At that time me and my sons grandmom lived right next door to one another (For years). We could  open our doors and literally see in each other’s apartments. We did that a lot. During that time, in the projects we lived in, it was a thing we could do.

At that time we did have a good relationship, despite her son and I not being in one. She acknowledged me as her grandson’s mother. I truly appreciated that. However, I couldn’t understand how it was okay for her son to have a current girlfriend over and he’d just walk pass his son and  I as if we did not exist.

Not sharing to discredit her or him but instead, sharing my “Emotional status”. It was very uncomfortable. Weird energy I had to face, and looks. Even senseless arguments.

It was even weird for my son’s father because he had to prove a point to his current girlfriend him and I weren’t “messing around”. That was a portion of why he wasn’t in our son’s life as much as he should have been.

This one girlfriend was a trip, had to the nerve to knock on my door.At an inappropriate time of night, drunk talking crazy ready to fight.I was mad so, we fought. The thing was him and I were not together, and they weren’t either. He only gave me and ride to the store that night.But it made sense after deep thought, I had something she didn’t, a son by him, and she had a problem with that.

Here’s my point:

I never did any harm or say anything bad to this woman, but it didn’t matter. I had to realize this woman was envious of  my position as baby mom. From her negative actions towards me,she wanted the role of baby mom and/or wifey.

Not sure the reasons behind their break-up, but she was angry, and took it out on me. I realized this woman would rather create animosity towards me, instead of just simply moving on with her life.

For me I had to check myself as well. I can’t control who likes me or not, but I can control how I respond. I was mad at myself after I went toe to toe with this lady. But you know what each time I saw her after that, I just walked in the opposite direction. Never had any more issues with her since then.

 

Did you call your mom yet?

When trying to form a romantic relationship, there’s a lot to factor in from both parties. Where you grew up, the era, values. Who raised you, could have been just mom and or grandmom just to name a few.

A key element no matter who you were raised by, emotional support is needed. While in early development stage, if emotional balance is taught and practiced, it’s something that can be utilized once reaching adulthood.

Don’t get me wrong, LIFE can take you here and there for so many different reasons, but there is a way to tap into emotional stability, especially if it had been insulted already.At times it’s not easy, but it is doable if you try.

Emotional connections are essential to building all kinds of relationships. For example a mother and son relationship. Naturally mothers have a connection with their children. However, some times emotional connection isn’t there, for so many different circumstances and situations.

In my posts, “Going along with the flow” and “Neighbors can’t live with them or without them“, I spoke of a man once involved with. In “Going along with the flow“, I mention how I ignored the “Red Flags”. Would like to elaborate on these “Red Flags”.

There’s a saying that makes a lot of sense to me. Was said to me many of times throughout my life, Pay attention to how a man treats his mother. Going back in my mind, pertaining to the time involved with this man, it was evident, he had Mommy issues.

Was told by this man, at an early age he was raised by his grandmom. His mom wasn’t around. Mom was pretty much in her own world. Dad had gone to jail, didn’t want to stay with his step mom because she was mean to him.

It seems at an early age he painted a picture of women and it wasn’t a good one. After being around him for a while, I’d asked him why he doesn’t talk to his mom”. First time, received a convincing sad story that led me to try to help him work through his Emotional Abandonment from his mom.That was the wrong move.

He would get defensive every time after that. I was flat-out told, you don’t know what she did, or what’s going on. I  could see the anger, the edge in his body language.Words and tone of voice, he had some major beef with his mom. From all of this, it meant mind your business.

So, I stopped asking about mom dukes, asked about ex girlfriend’s. For some reason I wasn’t surprised, he had nothing good to say about them either.

Then it all made sense to me I wasn’t any different, he had a huge dislike for ALL women.This man wasn’t a wounded lion-cub, that I could nurse him back from his wounds. It also made me question the reasons, he chose to be in a relationship with me.

He wanted to play my “Hero”. Superman is what I used to call him. As I mention in my posts,”Going along with the flow‘ and “Neighbors can’t live with them or without them“, my life was pretty much all over the place when we met. Was stuck. But once, I started getting my groove back, his masked emotions emerged.

He didn’t like me being able to stand on my own to feet. His PLAN for ME, was to depend on him for everything. Whenever there was a change in his plan because I wanted to better myself, the rage came out. We would pick senseless arguments. His rage took him all the way to another planet.He would come back to planet Earth as if he had no clue he just act a fool for no reason. I think saying something disparaging to me and about me was his favorite.

He needed someone who made him feel, strong, competent,masculine, most of all “NOT A NUT CASE”. I tried all of this, but it had to be crafted the way he wanted it to be. Meaning he had to have control. He was looking for a puppet. But I was the wrong one for the position.

I came to an understanding his emotions were stunned behind him having or the lack of having a relationship with the most prominent woman of his life, His mother.

In all seriousness, he needed therapy. His issues were way above my pay grade, they needed to be brought to the surface and handled. He was trying to hide what was illing him on the inside, but demonstrating a character of charm, heroism, and a deep concern to help someone in need. That was all a LIE.

He was indeed a “Predator”. He needed a woman who was down on her luck.Easy to fool because of her circumstances.

The thing about this dude, he didn’t want to change. He was well aware of what he was saying and doing. He knew he was emotionally detached from the world. Had a temper like one I haven’t  had to deal with up close and personally.Yet he remained the same. Once he realized the “Jig was up” and I was on to him. He had no choice but to let me be and leave me alone forever and a day.

Here’s my point:

DO NOT IGNORE THE “RED FLAGS”