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Monthly Archives: October 2011

As the month is about to close, I didn’t want it to end without touching on an issue that is very important to me. There have been many breast cancer walks and fundraisers this month to bring awareness to breast cancer and I totally support that cause. I just wanted to touch on a cause that is often overlooked, but very prevalent in our society and that is Domestic violence. Many people aren’t even aware that this is the month we bring awareness to this horrible epidemic. Most everyone knows somebody who has been affected by it, going through it, or has come out of a violent situation. Although I don’t want to diminish the fact that men are often abused by their partners, I am not a man so I cannot speak from the male perspective. I have been on both sides of the coin so to speak as I witnessed my mother involved in an abusive situation, and I went through one myself as an adult. For the abuser there can be various reasons they are classified as such. There are four main types of Domestic abuse. The national coalition against domestic violence defines that:

 Physical violence

Is the intentional use of physical force with the potential for causing death, disability, injury, or harm. Physical violence includes, but is not limited to, scratching; pushing; shoving; throwing; grabbing; biting; choking; shaking; slapping; punching; burning; use of a weapon; and use of restraints or one’s body, size, or strength against another person.

Sexual violence is divided into three categories:

1) The use of physical force to compel a person to engage in a sexual act against his or her will, whether or not the act is completed;

2) attempted or completed sex act involving a person who is unable to understand the nature or condition of the act, to decline participation, or to communicate unwillingness to engage in the sexual act, e.g., because of illness, disability, or the influence of alcohol or other drugs, or because of intimidation or pressure; and

3) Abusive sexual contact.  

Threats of physical or sexual violence

The use of words, gestures, or weapons to communicate the intent to cause death, disability, injury, or physical harm.  

Psychological/emotional violence

Involves trauma to the victim caused by acts, threats of acts, or coercive tactics. Psychological/emotional abuse can include, but is not limited to, humiliating the victim, controlling what the victim can and cannot do, withholding information from the victim, deliberately doing something to make the victim feel diminished or embarrassed, isolating the victim from friends and family, and denying the victim access to money or other basic resources. It is considered psychological/emotional violence when there has been prior physical or sexual violence or prior threat of physical or sexual violence. In addition, stalking is often included among the types of IPV (intimate partner violence). Stalking generally refers to “harassing or threatening behavior that an individual engages in repeatedly, such as following a person, appearing at a person’s home or place of business, making harassing phone calls, leaving written messages or objects, or vandalizing a person’s property”. 

Each year about 4.8 million women are abused or sexually assaulted. It’s a vicious cycle that is likely passed down from generation to generation. The biggest tragedy of this whole thing to me is how the woman is almost always made to feel like it’s something that she must have done to warrant being battered. I am no exception. After watching my mother go through that situation, I vowed that it could never be me, and don’t you know, it still ended up being me. I didn’t understand how I ended up in a situation where I was being abused. It didn’t help that my abuser was an excellent provider, an all around likeable guy and completely adored by everyone in my family. Upon hearing about a fight between us, I can’t tell you how many times my family members asked me, “Well, what did you do”? “You had to do something for him to act like that”. Although I knew that I didn’t, having family members who I looked up to say that made me question myself and think, yeah, maybe I did do something. It has got to be me. I was a young girl at the time, and I didn’t even know who I was as a woman. Every woman I looked up to seemed to blame me. I often searched my mind, blaming myself, knowing that it was surely something I had done, or some warning signs that I overlooked. As I stated previously, I was really young then, but I have since educated myself, and even volunteered at a domestic violence shelter for several years following that. Today, I know that it was not me. It was him. It was his need to control me, and to make me feel powerless to him. Throughout the relationship, he hit me once or maybe twice and each time after that was an increasing mental psychological/emotional violence. He never hit me again, but he didn’t need to. He used intimidation, and threats to control me. No matter what I did, his mood was completely unpredictable. I did the whole leave him, go back, and leave again, and go back thing a few times. I stayed with family members who, worked in connection with him to get us “back together”. Ha! Talk about betrayal! I basically had nowhere to turn to, and I knew that I had to break free and do it on my own. One day, I just decided, that was not the life I wanted. I was young, I was beautiful, I was smart, I was somebody, and I was tired of being made to feel that I wasn’t. I prayed everyday and I asked God to give me a way out. I prayed to God to release me from that situation, and he did. Once I got that release from God, I gained strength I needed to stand on my own, I was gone and, I never looked back. This is just a part of my story. There are many women who unfortunately never make it out to tell their stories. There are many women who don’t have a support system and who feel alone. It’s a big misconception that women stay because they like being abused. This is an ugly horrible untruth, and a complete judgment made by someone who has no idea of what it’s like to be in this situation. Do these people really believe that someone wants to be abused or beaten in any way for breakfast, lunch, and dinner? Do they honestly believe that someone wants to be a prisoner in their own homes, or walk on egg shells because they don’t know what will trigger the abuser off the next time? When will we wake up! This issue is very dear to my heart, and I will never stop fighting for it, I will never stop educating, and I will never blame a victim for being abused. Through the grace of God, I had the power in me to leave my abuser. I was no longer a victim nor was I powerless to my circumstance. I took my power back and I gained freedom. But, I can’t help but think about the four million women who are not able to leave. There are varying reasons why they don’t leave. Some of the reasons can include but are not limited to lack of education, support, career, finances, hardship, low self-image, fear, children, guilt, and a lack of resources.  We don’t have enough shelters, safe houses, support networks, or supportive families to give everyone a fair shot out of domestic violence. For many women, this is all they know. I just want to help bring awareness to the issue. I would like for every mother, father, brother, sister, aunt, uncle, cousin, and friend to get involved if you suspect one of your loved ones is being abused. Don’t close off the lines of communication, and do offer them alternatives other than going back to the abuser. If someone cries out to you for help, hear them. How many women, and children, and families have to be destroyed before we properly educate people and punish the individuals that are committing these crimes? Victims should not be judged for being abused. Don’t ever judge a book by its cover because I am one of them and one is too many…

If you or someone you know needs help please contact the National Domestic Violence confidential/hotline 24/7 at:
1.800.799.SAFE (7233)

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New Psalmist Baptist Church and Bishop Thomas have been a blessing to my life in so many ways. I have been able to experience God in ways much deeper than I’ve ever known during my fellowship at NPBC. Throughout my life I’ve dealt with a variety of issues from homelessness, domestic abuse, self-hatred, disappointment, rejection, powerlessness, hopelessness, isolation, and fear. Through the power of God, I have been able to overcome these things, move forward in my life, and claim my rightful place in the body of Christ. Through my heavenly father I have learned to love myself unconditionally, to have faith through the uncomfortable times, and declare with a voice of triumph that my name is victory! This walk is a deep call to the deep and many have laughed or doubted me along my journey, but it really doesn’t matter because I have my eye on a bigger prize and though, I am far from perfect, and even fall short on a daily basis, I thank God for pouring his power into my life. Everything the enemy has told me about my self has been a lie. I am a part of God’s devine plan and I’ve learned to master this right way thinking through skills I have built through my fellowship at New Psalmist Baptist Church. The life applications I’ve learned there, I intend to apply to my life daily. Without them, without this fellowship, and most importantly without God, I would still be lost. I joined this church not because “they’re on TV”, not because it’s a so-called “Mega” church, and not because my “cousin” is a member, but because the “holy spirit” convicted me to. It was like, this is your place, your home and I was set free!! Bishop Thomas speaks into my life every time I’m there, as if he has read my thoughts. How can so many people be in that building, at different stages in their lives, yet Bishop is ministering to us all, touching us in different places, for different reasons, and we share a common bond! If that ain’t the power of the holy spirit, then I don’t know what is. After service I’ve heard many say, Bishop was on my street, he knocked on my door, he turned the key and sat down on my sofa, and I’m saying, you got that right, me too! So I keep going back, and I keep getting better, and I keep growing, and I keep changing, and I continue my fellowship. The miracle of God in my life is amazing. After the woes of life have beat me down, and I am mentally drained from my work week, I can’t wait to get to church and get that word. I love NPBC, to me it’s just like home.

This is the part of my blog where I have a nice little venting session. I’m just saying! These jobs have some nerve. I received this friendly, colorful, bright and sunshine day type of email from my employer. Once I opened up the attachment, the sunshine turn to thunder as it informed me that it’s now mandatory for “me”, the employee to get vaccinated against influenza. The email went on to say that if “I” am not compliant within a certain time frame, “my” job could be compromised. Hmmmm… So let me get this straight. “I” am being forced, against my will to get a vaccine that I totally don’t want right? ( this is just for me)
I’ve been in healthcare for several years, and I was vaccinated with the influenza vaccine one time, and within 24 hours I was as sick as a dog! I remained shackled by this illness for well over a week, and had never felt so bad in my life. That was the first and only time I’ve ever had the flu. So you see how it’s easy for me to say not getting vaccinated is a win/win. The CDC and every other healthcare conglomerate claims, that this vaccine is not a live virus and that only the mist has small traces of live influenza. I don’t know if I believe them. I stress, that these are my views. I am in no way, persuading folks to do a occupy healthcare protest against the administration of flu vaccine, but I am only saying that I should be able to make my own choices about getting it. I shouldn’t be forced and bribed by dangling my job before me. After some probing, I found that our company still offers a declination form. I’m wondering if I should just fill it out, checking off all the choices.

I am allergic to eggs √
I am allergic to the vaccine or a vaccine component √
I have a religious belief that keeps me from getting vaccinated √
If checked yes, please explain………………………………………
HUH?
Now I have to explain my religious views and how it relates to not wanting to get vaccinated? This is all to much for a chic like me to handle on a Friday. I’m fired up. Let’s just call it “Fired up Friday”. Ok, maybe fired up is not the term I should use here since it’s not that serious. But… I’m just saying, sure seems a little controlling though.
I don’t know what I’m going to do, or how I’ll handle it. I’m good at pleading my case and standing up for what I believe in, but when it comes to taking care of these little faces:

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I’ll do whatever has to be done. If that means getting stabbed in my muscle with a vaccine, so be it. LOL… My job will most definitely not be compromised for refusing vaccination. The court is now adjourned and vent session is over.
Happy Friday all. I am certainly praying that you all have a safe and blessed weekend. Now run along, and go get your flu shots. 🙂
Here is what I am wearing today.
Silk blouse- Thrifted
Blazer- Thrifted
Pink Skinny Jeans- Target
Bag- Target
Belt- Arden B
Shoes- Target
Earrings- Dots
Watch- Gift
Bracelets- Lori’s Gifts

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What is your passion? Ever thought about what you’d do if fear wasn’t a factor? Sometime ago, my Pastor posed this question at church, and it has been on my mind, as well as it has been my driving force ever since. It’s amazing how many of us let fear hold us back from following our hearts desire. When that thing comes up, we question ourselves and negativity takes control of our thoughts. Are we good enough? Will we be accepted? Will we fail? I have done this to myself many times, and I have to be honest, this very thinking has held me back more often than I’m even comfortable with admitting. When I was in 7th grade, we had an assignment to write a 300 word essay. After a week, the teacher passed the graded work back to the class, and some students read theirs aloud during class, which had me baffled because I was the only student who didn’t get my aasignment passed back to me at all. At the end of class, the teacher asked me to stay behind. I was so worried, I thought, I must have really messed up bad on my essay. Let me just say, no one can ever tell me that a teacher can’t make the world of difference in the life of a child. What she said to me that day, changed my life forever. She said “You are a brilliant writer, your only in 7th grade and you write really, really well. I want you to promise me that you will never stop writing and I was so impressed with your essay that I showed it to the principle and some of the other teachers and we all agreed that we want you to enter the national essay contest”. I couldn’t believe it. I remember crying, and being extremely embarrassed. The short end of the story is that I was entered in that contest, and although, I didn’t win, the experience with my teacher is something that I will never forget. That day, in that classroom, something was birthed in me, and from that day to this one, I haven’t stopped writing. Since then, I’ve been passionate about it. Although, I have mainly just been writing for myself, it’s still super important to me. Over the years so many friends and family have truly encouraged me to write, to share my gift with the world. To write my life story even. This is hard, and I have to be honest again and admit, this is where the fear kicks in. Honestly, I want people to like what I write, but at the same time, I don’t want to be judged for my views. I’m very guarded and extremely private. I have a small circle, and I keep the most important parts of me, to me. I am my own worst critic, and through my writing, I reveal to myself that, I didn’t go as far as I should have in the educational sense, and I beat myself up for that. My premature education, my privacy, nor my heart, should be judged. At this time in my life, I’m just sort of at an, it is what it is type of place, and fear cannot keep me shackled any longer. And this is how I came to the realization at church that day. I was meant to be there, and I was meant to get that message, and yes, it did happen just like that. It may seem minute, but for me, it was profound. Bishop Thomas asked “what would you do if fear wasn’t a factor? That thing, that you fear the most, is the thing you should be doing”. It was like someone had turned on a lightbulb and it was my true Ah ha moment. And so, after much praying and self encouragement I started writing my blog :-). I’m on the world wide web now, so I’ll say, fear is out the window and anonymity is no longer a factor. Even though it’s a baby step for me, compared to the giant leap I will take someday, I am on my way. And it feels great! Even if no one gets me, and even if no one reads me, I have taken steps to conquer my fear and I, am winning. I am being true to me, keeping my faith, one story at a time.

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Hebrews 11:1
Have a blessed day all!

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Today started off eventful enough to have me a tiny bit wiped out. For starters, I had a meeting scheduled at work that I definately needed to be in attendance for. The family got off well enough with no oversleeping, mishaps, arguments, or anything so I was already feeling good. I proceeded to leave, looking good, and feeling good. I ponder on this question often, and i really want to know. Why is that when your rushing, with something super important to do, such as, make it to a meeting.. on time, something always happens, such as a freaking flat tire! Uurrrgggghhhhh. boom! I stopped at a service station and sure enough, the tire was flat as toast. I put air in the tire, and I was good to go. I rushed to work, and only arrived 15 mins late, which was excellent time for having a flat, and not so excellent for a meeting. Funny thing is, the meeting was cancelled. Ha! All that stressing, over nothing. It just goes to show, even when I think the universe is working against me, God is working for me. I was all worked up in a tizzy. Posting on Facebook and twitter about my flat tire. My aunt responded to my post saying, “Be grateful for the flat, it means you have a car”! Leave it up to an Auntie to put it all in perspective. But, that’s not where my story ends. My daughter took the car to be checked out and guess what, the tire had gone away to it’s final resting place; the trash! Lol.. Kids say the darndest things. My four year old said to me,

Momma, do tires go to heaven?

And she had a straight face! Im still laughing at that 🙂 My older daughter had the tire replaced and picked me up from work. At the end of the day, it all worked out well. I pray that everyone had a blessed and productive day. Here is what me and two of the kiddies where wearing today.(the other two kiddies didn’t want to take pictures)

Me:
Gold sweater- Love Culture
Yellow/tan trim blazer- thrifted
Red slacks- thrifted
Brown heels- Target
Brown bag- TJ Max
Earrings, bracelet- N York & Co
Necklace- Lori’s Gifts
Watch- gift

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Fourteen is wearing:
Purple T-shirt dress- Forever21
Multi colored scarf- Burlington
Ugg Boots- Nordstrom
Necklace, handband- Claire’s
Earrings- Hot Topic

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Four is wearing:
Disney Princess shirt- JC Penny’s
Pink Leggins- Target
Sweater- Gymboree
Boots- Marshalls

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Ok I”ll admit, I’m a tad bit retarded when it comes to things like twitter, blogging, and the social media scene as a whole. I guess I don’t know the proper etiquette either, because how I was raised is when someone speaks to you, you are to speak back. When someone ask you a question, you are to answer them. These spawns of the social media won’t even interact with you unless of course your in some social media circle. It is all too reminiscent of high school and the mean girls syndrome. Too bad I don’t do cliques, I didn’t do it then, and this grown woman sure ain’t doing it now. I’ve only been on twitter for about 3 days and already it reeks of childrens banter, mixed in with hints of the great pretenders. I wanted this to be a way for me to connect with my readers, which by the way are non existent at this point. I am so very not desperate, but really am curious as to where my people are at! I have a voice, and I certainly write well enough. So where, o where art thou? Lol… I guess I’m on the short bus when it comes to these things. Oh well, back to my regularly scheduled blog and the subject at hand. I haven’t really taken any pictures of myself. I’ve been really chill this weekend, so I will devote this time to the kiddies fashions. They are so cute, and fashionable my babies.
I keep them looking nice and fabulously fresh all the time, and it doesn’t require a trip to Bergdorf’s to do it. I mean how many of today’s economy of parents can truly afford shopping like that? I sure can’t and I’m not going to pretend that I can. While saving for college funds, it’s just not possible. Besides, they are only going to outgrown and ruin their clothes because they, are kids. This Cheap and Fab Mom knows how to stretch a nickel. I’m reminded of the kids rhyme I recited as a child, “trying to make a dollar out of fifteen cents”. TA! I make it happen. Check out some of their fresh diggs below:

Four is wearing- black faux leather jacket- Burlington
White Tee- Carters
Black and White Tutu skirt- the Children’s Place
Black and White Polo rain boot- Shoe City
Necklace- Claire’s

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Twelve is wearing- Graphic Tee- children’s place.
Levi Skinny Jeans- Marshalls
Converse sneaker- Shoe City
Fitted Cap- Lids hat store
Nerd glasses- Incognito

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Fourteen is wearing- Varsity Jacket- Forever 21
Blue Tank- Wet Seal
Skinny Jeans- Thrifted
Oxford ballerina flats- Target
Necklace, Feather Headband- Forever 21
Bracelets- various stores (love the arm candy)

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You ever go shopping at a thrift store and loose your mind? Ever seen another customer in the aisle you’ve been in for 10 mins who waltzes right in and finds the thing you’ve been looking for? That truly erks my soul. Now, you turn into a stalker, relentlessly eyeballing and following the customer around hoping that she changes her mind and no longer wants that boyfriend blazer, or palazzo pants you’ve been searching for. And you know the items are just your size. Aaarrrgghh.. I went thrifting bright and early last Saturday and I took my time and scanned all the aisles. And then, this lil skinny thing breezes past me and picks up a brand new pair of brown Oxford boots. Brand new!!!! I stared her down, but didn’t want to seem obvious so, I said

oh wow, those shoes look really horrible cute on you, what size are they?

She told me they were a size 6. Son of a…. Just my size. I was thinking in my mind, this is war!!!! I followed her, watched her, and mentally tried to will her to put those oxfords back, but to know avail. This is one thrifting war that I lost. So it’s Saturday again.. And I’m headed out to search for some cheap yet, fabulous items. And hopefully today, I don’t have to stalk anybody. Because I am prepared for war.. Lol..
I will post pics later of what I’m wearing. Check out these photos in the mean time of items I’ve lost in the war:

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