In case anyone out there wants to know what are some signs of abuse…
Archives for April 2016
WILLOW’S STORY: Doors closing. Suffocating me. I could see the outside but yet it seemed too far to reach. Not sure how my life got this way. I was strong and independent and even though life was never easy for me…I was always my own person. So how did I get here? Where did I go wrong? Educated and beautiful…I never felt less than but that’s the thing no one tells you….this can happen to ANY woman. It doesn’t matter your race, educational level, nor economic status…by the time that first hit occurs, we were all groomed. He was charming yet not the normal physical attractiveness I liked in a guy. But there was something about him that made him seem irresistible. Maybe it was the way he smiled at me? His name was Tom and we met in New York. Tom appeared in my life at a time I had damn near given up on love. My family life had always been rough. We weren’t close at all so I put my everything into wanting to create a family of my own. Tom wasted no time telling me he loved me and begged me to move in with him. It was all happening so fast but shouldn’t true love sweep you off your feet?! I held on to my independence for a while because I had been burnt by love so many times before. Tom became my Prince Charming! He wined and dined me to the point where I was convinced that this unconventional man was the one for me! Finally, I accepted his invitation to live with him. The wining and dining stopped but I figured in serious relationships things can’t feel like the honeymoon period did. We were growing as a couple. His behavior became controlling now that we were living together. I couldn’t talk to any of my male friends and could only spend a few minutes on the phone with my female friends. Tom expected my focus to be on him 100% of the time. As time went by, he barely allowed me to hang out with friends and family. Everywhere I went, I had to check in when I got there. If I went to my sister’s house, I had to put her on the phone with Tom as soon as I arrived to prove that I was actually at her house. At first, I thought he was concerned for my safety but as the months went on, I realized he was tracking everything I did. I swear to you, I don’t know how my life got this way. But there I was…evolving into a person I no longer recognized. Tom made sure I went straight from home to work and back. Soon he convinced me to move with him to Florida where the cost of living was cheaper and so we could be closer to his family. After the move to Florida, I started to slowly see a different side of him. He didn’t want to work so I was the only one working. My first job in Florida was the “Steak and Shake!” I only worked there for one hour! Just hearing myself say “Welcome to Steak and Shake” made me want to lose it! After all, Tom was home watching television while I was surrounded by grease! Then one day he came home with a puppy without even discussing it with me. Looking back now, the dog was a blessing. Animals and children tend to expose sides of people that you would not see unless you had to care for someone else. We argued all the time about the dog. Tom bought the puppy but he was my responsibility to walk, feed, and clean up after. Not to mention, after a long day at work (I got a job at the bank but Tom was still not working), I had to have Tom’s dinner ready for him…even if he had been home all day! Our arguing got worse! Sometimes he would call me out my name and tell me that there was nothing I ever did right. Yet, I tried even harder to make it work! I believed in love and I loved Tom. I know you are reading this and are thinking how could I not see the first hit coming…but I didn’t. Tom had already isolated me from everyone I loved and made me feel like his love was the only thing that mattered. He had gradually mind fucked me to the point where he took a strong and independent woman and made her seem weak, easily controlled, and uncertain of the world. If I felt trapped, I couldn’t imagine how the women who had to depend on their spouse for financial support felt. Scary! I was in a nightmare and didn’t know how to get out. One night we got into a very intense argument about who was suppose to be taking care of the dog. I expressed to Tom that he needed to help out with the dog and he didn’t like it. Tom had always been short tempered but on this particular night…he was enraged. He came towards me and knocked the dog’s leash out my hand and punched me in my face. It felt like I had flown a couple feet as I was about 120lbs at the time. Before I could land on the ground, it seemed as if our entire relationship flashed before my eyes. This is the moment I thought….the moment I could get up and fight back or the moment Tom would fully own my soul. I had always heard…if you stay after the first hit…there will be more where that came from. I got up, somewhat shocked, and started to fight back. The neighbors heard the fighting and called the cops. Tom wouldn’t say what happened when the cops got there but one of us had to leave our apartment. So I spoke up. To my surprise, I was put in handcuffs! The cops said that if there is a domestic violence incident, they have to take one person in and since I opened up my mouth, they took me in! I don’t understand the legal aspect of what happened and later on had to get an attorney to expunge my record from ever having the charge show up. The next week was a blur. Charges were dropped against me but the physical and emotional scars were still there. Shortly after, my uncle drove down and helped me move all my things from the south to the north. I never returned Tom’s phone calls nor accepted his apologies. The lump on my face showed me just how much he loved me. I can’t tell you why some women stay and why some of us instantly leave. It isn’t for me to speak for all victims of domestic violence. I can only tell you that I knew I was in danger and had to get out. Tom definitely groomed me before the first hit happened but the one thing he didn’t bank on…was my inner strength! He had only known me for two years but prior to meeting him, I had survived so much on my own. This relationship was one of the hardest ones I had endured. No one likes to be a battered woman or even admit they have allowed this type of behavior. But I don’t hide in shame…for hopes that my story will serve as a warning sign for someone else out there. I’ve always heard…“you are only as sick as your secrets.” That’s why I’m coming forward today. If you are in a domestic violence relationship, get help and get out! If you are an abuser, seek help as well! No one should have to live in fear with someone they claim love them. God bless! Willow💜 ABOVE WAS MY FIRST PERSON ACCOUNT OF WOMEN (Willow and my Aunt Jennifer) WHO WERE GROOMED TO RECEIVE AND ACCEPT PHYSICAL ABUSE AT THE HANDS OF A MAN WHO CLAIMED TO LOVE THEM: Today I shared one of Willow’s past relationship experiences with domestic violence. Domestic violence is an issue close to my heart as I grew up around it. Out of all the women in my family, I watched my Aunt Jennifer’s abuse from beginning to end. I was very close to her when her abuser (who later became her husband and now ex husband) was grooming her. Whether we know it or not, abusers typically choose their victims and they groom them before the first act of physical abuse ever takes place. Often we miss the warning signs. From seeing other acts of violence committed on the older women in my family, I knew my Aunt Jennifer was in trouble before the first punch! I knew before she knew! Thank God both her and Willow made it out alive. Above I spoke in the FIRST person so that you can get a better idea of what grooming looks like. It is important to note here that (1) I’ve never personally been in a physically abusive relationship, (2) I’m mixing some of Willow and my Aunt Jennifer’s experiences though this is really Willow’s story, and (3) Willow fought back and left when the first hit occurred while my aunt stayed with her abuser for over a decade. Two different women and two different outcomes yet there were some similarities in their grooming period. I hope today’s blog resonates with someone out there and saves a life. ~KJM on Flashback Friday. One Love💜
It’s Spring cleaning and here at “Kingston Expressions” we do not like to leave any stone unturned. Some of y’all are currently throwing out anything from old clothes to cheating boyfriends but I encourage you to look deeper and evaluate your friendship circle. Mama Michaels has the most old skool ghetto trash friends! In the over three decades on this earth that I’ve known my mom, she never could turn a lost nor evil soul away. I, on the other hand, treat friendships like Papa Michaels. R.E.S.P.E.C.T. is the foundation of all my friendships and if it isn’t there, I don’t care how many years we have been down…YOU GOT TO GO! Luckily, I’ve been very blessed in friendship. Most of my friendships are 30, 20, or at least 15 years old! What can I say? Bitches (excuse my language here lol) get good friends. To me friendship is higher than any romantic relationship but marriage. I’m not the worlds best girlfriend but if I’ve been your friend, you are loved and respected in a way most of my boyfriends have never been! Also, I’ve almost an equal amount of male and female friends. Contrary to popular belief, a strong woman loves to have strong women friends! My friends are diverse, loyal, hardworking, honest, and got my back. I’m forever grateful for the love they give me. Special shout out to all my Penn State friends! Met most of y’all in 1999 and no matter where you all live in the US, I’ve a home and true friendship in you! WE ARE! PENN STATE! Now to get to the meat of this blog. If you find that you have a friend that exhibits two or more of these traits on this list…it might be time to reevaluate that friendship. Here are the many so called friends myself, Willow, and Mama Michaels have known in life. The Bitches Got To Go List:
20. NO NEW FRIENDS: Drake warned about “no new friends” and he wasn’t lying. Everyone defines a new friend in different ways but for me, a new friend is anyone I’ve been friends with for less than 10 years! Until we cross that 10 year mark, I always keep my eyes on how the friendship is growing. However, there were a few cockroaches (um I mean so called friends) that manage to hide their dirty deeds until after the 10 year mark and even then they had to go. The thing to learn here is like any relationship, trust has to be earned. Generally, you can only learn that over time! ✌🏾
19. THE WE BEEN DOWN FOREVER FOLKS: But have we? Down for me means you have had my back openly and honestly throughout the friendship. Just like a cheating and lying boyfriend, I don’t care how much space you take up in my life. Time means nothing to me if you were hiding your true self. Even if we were friends for 20 years and I figure out you betrayed our friendship, I will let you go! ✌🏾
18. TREAT YOU WELL BUT SHIT ON OTHERS FRIEND: I’ve a “friend” who seems to be caring and kind to me yet does some nasty deeds to other people we care about. At first, I defended her actions and felt maybe there is a good reason she treats others the way she does but as the years went on…I started thinking it’s a matter of time before she starts treating me like shit! So until I can figure out if she is friend or foe, I keep her at a distance.✌🏾 I love a friend, like Willow, who has a great heart! Willow could be in Alaska and hear that one of my friends whom she doesn’t know well had a baby and Willow will send a care package for the parents and the baby! I’ve seen her do this for people who she didn’t care for but knew they meant a lot to me. Bless her heart!💙
17. THE I DON’T WANT YOU TO GET AHEAD FRIEND: well we’ve all bumped into this asshole! The one who when you are looking for a job, offers to pass your resume on to someone she knows yet no one ever called nor emailed you in the 15 years you’ve known her! Yikes! She has a state or federal job and claims to be well connected but still can’t even get you one interview. This chick just keeps sending you to her company website and telling you to keep applying. Well let me just help you out! It’s been 15 years and she ain’t really trying to help. The jig is up! Her connections are just for HER…which would be fine if she didn’t pretend to help all of these years! ✌🏾
16. THE ALWAYS FORGOT HER WALLET FRIEND: Mama Michaels has some of the most broke down friends ever. These folks are in their 50s yet still going out to dinner and claiming to have forgotten their wallet when the bill comes! What the fuck?! It’s been 30 years of this chick celebrating Mama Michaels’ birthday yet my mama always has to pay for her own dinner (that her “friend” invited her out for), her friend’s dinner, and the drinks the bitch had…when y’all know my mama don’t drink! Whoa…I’m about to go left on this one! And so I digress for a second! Lol. Who does this as a grown woman?! The bill comes and folks are scattering like cockroaches! Jesus fix it! ✌🏾
15. THE FINANCE MY LIFESTYLE FRIEND: while we on Mama Michaels’ broke down friends let me give a shout out to them bitches who expect my mama to always have money to pay their bills and buy them things. Yes Mama Michaels is a professional and married woman. Her money from her career is for her, her husband, and her children. It’s not to buy some shoes from you that your ex boyfriend gave you and you now need to sell to be able to buy soap and deodorant for your nasty ass! Seriously! This shit really happens! My mom gets voicemails from “friends” who “desperately” need money because they choose not to work and expect her finance their rent, clothes, food etc. Where do they do that at?! I just can’t with these bitches!✌🏾
14. THE ALWAYS BORROW YET NEVER PAY YOU BACK FRIEND: I hate to revisit Mama Michaels’ friends like a bad yeast infection returning but let’s be real! These tricks take the cake! People borrow and borrow money from my mother and spend decades not paying her back! One “friend” threw my mama’s occupation in her face when my mom said she did not have money to lend her this time. Does this trick even have a job besides laying on her back?! Yes even if you are in your 50s…there are old hoes! Never want to work, always on their back, and sticking their hand out for money from others and then getting pissed if my mama can’t help them! I seriously wish I could fire 99% of my mother’s friends! Why she puts up with them…I will never understand! I think she likes to see the good in people no matter how many times they harm her! Thank goodness I have my father’s heart and mind! Papa Michaels definitely don’t play that with his friends! ✌🏾
13. THE PUT YOUR BUSINESS ON THE STREET FRIEND: ugh we all know this person! Quick to contact you when they know you have had a hard day and then spread your hardships to the entire neighborhood. I had a childhood friend like that. She was like a sister to me. However, once I got older and found out she put some of my mother’s personal business out in the street…the bitch had to go! I don’t care how long we been down…you hurt my family….you hurt me! ✌🏾
12. THE NEGATIVE FRIEND: some people never have a positive thing to say. Sometimes it’s not their fault. They could be suffering from depression. However, we all know somebody who is in their damn right mind that thrives off of negativity! When you are trying to regain your life after a breakup or job loss, she is nicely encouraging you to stay down so she can feel good about herself. This type of fake friend is hard to spot. At first, they seem generally concerned but their actions say they love it when you are down. Once you are doing well, they never pick up your phone calls! Don’t worry they will be back once they bump into your gossipy friend at the supermarket and find out you are getting a divorce! A negative friend never stays too far. After all, they are like blood suckers who feed off of negativity!✌🏾
11. THE LOW SELF ESTEEM FRIEND: once again this is a tricky one because sometimes people are suffering from depression. Still be careful here! If a person has no love for themselves, how much love can they have for you? Self love is often a reflection of the amount of love they can give others. Someone who is drowning has the ability to pull you down with them. Sometimes you just have to swim off by yourself.✌🏾
10. THE ATTENTION WHORE FRIEND: Faith and I had a childhood friend that was unbelievably selfish. We knocked heads many times. I’m short tempered and she’s selfish. It wasn’t a good recipe for a friendship. Faith is the main reason why I stayed friends with this person so long. She was our peace maker. However, when Faith had her aneurysm, my friendship with this selfish woman could no longer continue. I got tired of her calling me at least 15 times a day. If I broke a leg and she broke a nail, we spent five seconds on my broken leg and hours on her nail. In time of disaster, hurt, or need I could never count on this person yet she wouldn’t hesitate to call me at 3am with her latest manicure issues! It took me over 16 years but I finally ended that friendship. I had a lot of love for her but in my lowest moments in life…she left me to drown when I had spent 16 years throwing her a life jacket. That shit hurts but all I could do was just move on! ✌🏾
9. THE SHE WILL SLEEP WITH YOUR MAN FRIEND: Willow had a dear friend from college come and visit her in NYC. She allowed this close friend to come stay with her and her boyfriend only to find this chick coming out the shower buck naked and making a play for her man! Willow showed her the door and they never spoke again! The nerve! ✌🏾
8. THE SHE AIN’T GOT NO MAN AND DON’T WANT YOU TO HAVE ONE EITHER FRIEND: let’s have a moment of silent prayer for this one! You ready? Because I’m going in! Mama Michaels roll with these no men having laying down with somebody else’s husband but never have a quarter to buy bubble gum chicks! Papa Michaels ain’t perfect but he is there for my mother and has done a damn good job raising us kids. Some of her friends don’t even know who they baby daddy is but got the nerve to throw salt on my father! I keep telling my mother to roll with other married women! These single desperate friends got her looking crazy. Misery loves company! They don’t have a pot to piss in nor a window to throw it out of but got the nerve to look down on my parents’ relationship. Granted Mama Michaels does have to take responsibility for the company she keeps and the information she gives them. Does anyone else think it’s crazy this stuff happens even in your 50s?! Wtf?! ✌🏾
7. THE ALWAYS GIVING BAD ADVICE THAT SHE WOULDN’T EVEN TAKE FRIEND: while we are on the subject, sometimes you have a friend that’s in a terrible relationship but always gives you advice about yours yet her back yard is so dirty. She is telling you to leave your man because he forgot to get you a gift for your birthday yet she’s been with hers for over ten years and he’s never bought her spit! This type of friend will tell you your man is so disrespectful when she just got off the phone with mistress number five for her man! She laid up with her biggest problem but got the nerve to be all up in your business! Yea…she definitely got to go! This friend means you no good!✌🏾
6. THE CRAB MENTALITY FRIEND: okay! We have all befriended a person that they expect only good things to happen to them and not you! I had a friend that had to get married and have children first before our entire friend group. She had to have the biggest house and the biggest wedding ring and she let it be known that no one in the group shall surpass her. Of course this was all said in jest. However, there is almost always some truth in things that are said in a joking manner. If you ever naturally get ahead, she will either pull you down or drop you as a friend! This chick has to be the smartest in her group….even if she ain’t!✌🏾
5. YOUR PARTY ONLY FRIEND: I don’t know about you but I’m getting too old to have friends that are only good for partying with. If I can’t actually have a conversation with you about life, you gots to go! This isn’t high school! We are in the adult school of life! I need loyal, trustworthy, and kind friends to share my journey with it.✌🏾
4. YOUR PATHOLOGICAL LIAR FRIEND: I’ve a friend that lies so much that I’m not sure if she lied about being a woman when she’s really a man! The crazy thing is I can’t figure out if she is a con artist or has had some kind of mental breakdown years ago. I honestly believe she believes her lies. Truth is never going to be her thing. Only reason why I haven’t 100% dropped her is we’ve been friends for like a decade and a half and if she is really suffering from some sort of a personality disorder, I want to be there for her so I can encourage her to get help. If she’s a con artist, however, she will be tossed out like them old clothes you throwing out. Into the garbage she shall go because I ain’t got no time to have a con ran on me! Jesus fix it….✌🏾
3. THE ALWAYS ACCUSING YOU OF WANTING HER MAN FRIEND: ugh! I cringe writing this one. It’s hard to say this without offending others but let me keep it real. I had a low self esteem friend who I knew for 17 years. She always had a thing for 40 year old gang members with felonies. It’s painful to be accused of wanting any of your friends’ men but I found this to be particularly offensive! Of all the men in the world, why would I ever want this type of man? They beat her, lived off of her, cheated on her, and then left her for someone else! In all my life of having female friends, no other friend had ever accused me of such a thing! I just can’t with this chick! Woosa! ✌🏾
2. THE CRIME SPREE FRIEND: I’ve met at least two friends who were professionals but addicted to a life of crime. Deep down inside, I always want to believe that people can change and work on themselves. Most of the time this is true. However, sometimes you get a friend that’s trying to “Thelma and Louise” you! No ma’am, I’m not going down with you. This is the point where I get off this circus ride because I’ve got one life to live and orange jump suits just don’t suit me! So if you ever befriend a female Bernie Madoff, RUN! ✌🏾
1. THE NOT EQUALLY YOKED FRIEND: I’ve always heard in relationships that one must be equally yoked to their spouse. Mama Michaels, despite her refusal to get rid of her trifling friends, recently opened my eyes to the fact that this theory applies to friendships as well. I’ve at least one friend that is an atheist. Now let me be clear here. I’ve known many atheists growing up. For many of them, atheism was passed down to them like Christianity was passed down to me. They may not be religious but they are open to spirituality and they never question my beliefs. The current atheist friend I’m referring to is NOT open to other people’s faith and directly rebukes the existence of any spiritual being. Mama Michaels feels that if someone believes in nothing and I believe in God and Jesus, there is only so far that the friendships can go. I’ve friends of many faiths and while there are some differences, our respect for each others’ beliefs and deep seeded spirituality are never questioned. For Mama Michaels, being equally yoked in friendship means respecting and being open to each other’s spiritual journey. She believes that one with no spiritual journey is lost and can never really find their way into the circle of trust of one on a spiritual journey. Mama Michaels isn’t saying that the Christian is better than the atheist…what she is saying is they are not equally yoked. This person should always be kept at a distance! Deep… Unfortunately, as the years go on, I’m beginning to understand what she meant. ✌🏾~KJM saying “show me your friends and I will tell you who you are” on Hump Day! Food for thought….Happy Spring cleaning!
I can’t leave you guys without telling you one more thing about Jonathan aka The Great Apologizer. In the years where we were just friends/associates (2001-2010), he put on about 80 lbs. His once athletic body was gone and his hair was turning grey fast! I don’t have any physical requirements for friendship so I looked past it all as long as I never had to sleep with him! While I was in graduate school, I was broke as can be so when any friend invited me out, I didn’t hesitate to accept! Free meals! I had to start declining the Great Apologizer’s invitations, however, because while he paid for very extravagant meals (well extravagant to a graduate student who mostly ate ramen noodles), during each course of every meal, he would rub his hands together and I kid you not….make the same sound the Pillsbury Doughboy made when people poked his tummy! Plus all Jonathan ever ate for his main courses was steak! Even as broke as I was and as grateful as I was for a nice meal, the Great Apologizer started to turn me off from food! I can still see him rubbing his hands together and making the sound of the Pillsbury Doughboy as he ate his meal AND the rest of mine! I….just….can’t….with him! He made ramen noodles and a meal without any sounds seem like heaven! ~KJM totally grossed out as I relive those dinners on Temptation Tuesday!
These are true events as I know it. As you read this, keep in mind I can’t make this shit up if I tried! I lived it and I’m still in disbelief it all happened. Below is the story of Jonathan aka The Great Apologizer, the first guy to ever cheat on me. After my first year at Penn State, Julio and I broke up. He was my first love but it just wasn’t working so after over 3 years of seriously dating…we went our separate ways (for now). The summer of my 19th birthday, I decided to finally give Jonathan a chance to date me. I met Jonathan my freshman year of high school. He was the best friend of my childhood best friend’s, Faith, boyfriend Carl. Wow that’s a lot to swallow! Recap: I have known Faith for 30 years. We met in kindergarten and are still friends to this day! She instantly fell in love with Carl at a barbecue our Freshman year of high school. Jonathan was Carl’s best friend and about two years older than Faith and I. Are you following now? Good! When Jonathan first approached me, I had never dated anyone before. 1995 was the year I wasn’t into light skinned guys so I told Jonathan to beat it but he always kept in touch since our best friends were dating. Don’t worry, I went on to date all types of men no matter their complexion but you have to admit….what’s sweeter than dark chocolate?! Not a damn thing! Yum. Lol. But I digress. Once Julio and I broke up, Jonathan didn’t waste any time asking me out…and I finally accepted. It was a world wind romance. His personality was more easy going and like-able than Julio’s so I brought Jonathan to all family and friend events in summer 2000. Everyone loved him! I wasn’t in love but he was such a great and attentive boyfriend (and the only guy I’ve ever spent my birthday with) that I felt like love could come in a couple of years. After all, I was never quick to give my heart. In the midst of our summer, Jonathan had to go to Cuba for 2 weeks on some save the world mission! Don’t ask me the details of how the hell he was getting into Cuba at that time but I don’t think the group he was going with were directly traveling from the US. I didn’t want him to go! Jonathan was so good to me. He took me on the best dates, cooked for me, and pampered the hell out of me in a way Julio never did and never would. But my man had a mission to help bring peace to the world and so I had to support it. When he was leaving, I gave him a picture of me and one of my thongs for him to get through those two weeks without me easily. Little did I know, he would have no problem living out his days in Cuba…filled with passion. To help the time pass quickly while Jonathan was away, my aunt, Jennifer, asked me to drive to Atlantic City with her to pick up tickets for a trip she won. I didn’t think much of her request since at that time, she was the aunt I was the closest to. Once in Atlantic City, we had to wait a few hours to pick up my aunt’s plane tickets so she suggested we go on the boardwalk and hang out. Let me preface this by saying, I had heard rumors in my family that my aunt Jennifer believed in black magic but in the Michaels house, we had always been a God fearing family and I figured since my mother was Jennifer’s older sister, there had to be some mixup in what her faith was. Aunt Jennifer suggested we go into this mother/daughter fortune telling shop. I was hesitant and told her my faith tells me not to believe in such things. Aunt Jennifer told me it was for entertainment purposes only and since I couldn’t gamble, it was a fun way to pass the time. Me being 19, naive, and trusting of my aunt, decided to go in and get a reading with her. I pray God has forgiven me because what happened next I could never have foreseen. The daughter fortune teller took me in one room and the mother took my aunt in another. I was nervous but was careful never to give any information to the daughter. She predicted my future occupation (which she was right to an extent), what my weakness in life was, and told me some things about my family. Still in my mind, I felt this is just entertainment so maybe she just got lucky with the things she said. Here’s where things got creepy: the daughter fortune teller told me I was dating a guy who was currently on an island….only he was on the island with his ex girlfriend and was cheating on me! She gave me his initial (J) and the ex girlfriend’s (W). She told me our relationship would never work out because J would spend his life chasing W. Also, she told me that W was not my same race. Chills went up and down my spine but I still reminded myself that this had to be all coincidental! After all, Jonathan was in Cuba saving the world! Before the daughter fortune teller could finish my reading, I heard my aunt Jennifer cursing out the mother fortune teller and could hear my aunt flipping the table over in the next room! Needless to say we left in a hurry and my aunt never did explain what happened in her reading to get her so angry. I put all I had heard behind me and life went on. Two weeks later when Jonathan came back from Cuba, he didn’t call me. Instead he went to the movies with Faith and Carl his first night back. After a few calls and beeps (yea beepers were in back then!), Jonathan returned my call and I only saw him once again that summer. Something was off and he was distant. He stopped returning my calls and beeps and then I went back to Penn State for my sophomore year. I beeped him once at Penn State with one of my friends from DC’s number. He called back and when he found out it was me, he apologized for how our relationship ended but would not tell me why such a happy couple got so distant so quickly. I would not see nor hear from Jonathan again until the following summer when Faith had an aneurysm that nearly killed her! Summer 2001, while we took turns car pooling to visit Faith in the ICU at a hospital in NYC, Jonathan tried to win me back. From that point on, I friend zoned him and continued with my life. Tragedy made it so we had to work together but that didn’t mean I had to date such a shady person again! One day I was on the bus and I ran into one of Jonathan’s neighbors, Stacey. Stacey knew some of my cousins and went to high school with Jonathan. She told me their whole block was sad when Jonathan and I broke up and that she hoped he wasn’t still chasing “that dusty white girl, Wanita!” Once again, chills went up and down my spine but still I felt it all had to be a terrible coincidence! This all seemed ludicrous to me! I don’t believe in fortune tellers! So I moved on with my life as Jonathan stayed close over the years. From 2001-2010, Jonathan would call or text to tell me he loved me and wanted to make things work. I had permanently friend zoned him. On my second year in my graduate program, Jonathan called me and we stayed up all night talking about Faith and Carl. Faith never fully recovered and Carl couldn’t take it so he went into the military and moved away. Faith is paralyzed on one side of her body, can barely talk, and was never able to walk on her own again. It broke all our hearts. That’s what kept me in touch with Jonathan. He lived in the same town as Faith, so he could always go check on her while I was moving from state to state for school or work. That night we stayed up and talked about so much. Of course, Jonathan professed his love for me and I ignored him. Then something creepy happened: Jonathan told me that a year before Faith’s accident, her and Carl went to a fortune teller who told them a terrible accident would forever separate them! Jonathan claimed he did not believe in such things and the fortune teller was bogus. Suddenly all my memories of my reading from summer 2000 came back to me. The next morning I called Jonathan up and confronted him about what the fortune teller told me years ago. He confirmed all of it except he claimed he did not chase Wanita! I didn’t know what was worse….the fact Jonathan did cheat on me or the fact that 8 years later it was Jonathan’s word against the fortune teller and the dumb Motherfucker was too stupid to lie at this point! Come on now…it was his word against the fortune tellers! I would have lied and never admitted to the affair in order to preserve my current friendship with the person I claimed I loved! Maybe that’s just me! I was floored but still gave Jonathan the benefit of the doubt when it came to our friendship! We had not dated in over 9 years so how could I hold his transgressions against him in our friendship? Had I still been dating him….that would have been another story! This dude was stuck on stupid and nothing could help him. Embarrassed, Jonathan once again stopped picking up my phone calls even after I told him I forgave him for mistakes he made as a young adult. I finally gave up on the friendship and continued with my life. Of course, he continued to call or text once a year to tell me he loved me until, in 2010, I text him back to say he should lose my number and to “cease and desist” from ever contacting me again! The fucking nerve of him! 2010 was the last time I heard from the Great Apologizer! Can you believe the fortune teller told me that he cheated….and he admitted it?! What a way to get caught! Guess it’s true what they say…what’s done in the dark always comes into light…eventually! Wtf?! ~KJM laughing so hard on Temptation Tuesday! There’s one born every minute…a fool that is!
My greatest mistake was staying too long in a place I knew damn well I no longer belong. It’s a tragic feeling to live in a place I felt less like being. It seemed like everyone around me had found their way yet I waited and waited each day….for peace, love, and blessings…never realizing that I had to stop being complacent and clean up my messes. Then I heard a voice say…’prayer without works is dead!’ And I realized that if I waited one more day that would be my life instead. ~KJM on Serenity Saturday.
This week has been very difficult for me…the first week after a breakup typically is and then I bounce back (well with everyone but the ex factor). I’ve learned so much and on this Serenity Saturday, I want to share 5 things I learned through painful growth: 5. ADVICE! Everyone does things differently so when your family and friends offer advice…remember that they don’t know everything and they are only speaking from their own experiences. You do not have to take their advice, after all you are the master of your own destiny. 4. FEARS! It is human nature for people to give advice from a place of FEARS. Typically when you are making a huge change in your life, loved ones will immediately give advice warning you off of what they are scared to do. If packing up your things and leaving a bad relationship within 24 hours are what you desire to do…don’t let anyone stop you. We all have different fears and strengths. Don’t let other people hold you back. Tap into your strengths and take the risk of moving forward! 3. THOSE WHO ARE WAIT AND SEE PEOPLE! For the last couple years, I’ve felt trapped in my current occupation. This week I asked a friend (who is in a career I would love to be) for some advice and she told me my resume was fine and I just need to keep applying. Now I asked for her advice so I’m not mad she gave it. However, in life, her and I are drastically different! She is a “wait and see person” while I grab life by the balls, roll the dice, and push forward into the unknown. Her advice was good for her but I knew I couldn’t take it. It did not match my destiny on all levels! I could wait and see if Elijah will grow (maybe at age 50? Fml) into a less cheap and controlling man or can do what I did…dump his ass and hand my number to the next dude. Some folks will watch their lives pass them by waiting and seeing. I’m not judging…I’m just saying it’s not for me! I am the master of my own destiny and the only person (besides God) that can determine where I go next is me. I’m not afraid to take the risks! Being trapped, whether in a career or relationship, is a horrible feeling but some people get complacent and accept that this is all their life is going to be! NOT ME! 2. FAITH! If you are a person of deep faith and spirituality, you can never be a wait and see person! Like my good friend, Grace, always reminds me, “Faith without works is dead!” (James 2:14-26). It’s the truth! You can’t just pray about it…you got to be about it! So I know many women would have stayed with Elijah without him ever making a change but that’s not me! Same with my career! I can no longer stay here…I must move on! 1. DESTINY! You are the master of your own destiny! No matter how much family and friends love you, it is ultimately YOU who needs to be invested in your life! No one can walk the walk with you nor talk the talk with you…nor should you expect them to! Good friends and family will check in while you are on your journey but will respect that you have to find your own way! Honor your spirit and your strengths by moving forward in a way that feels good for you. Don’t be afraid to take risks but pray while you do. We are not meant to be exactly alike so even if someone is giving you some annoying advice…respect the fact that you two are different and that they care to offer advice. Most of all, in order to hear your inner voice more clear, remind everyone that in difficult times what you need the most is not a counselor but a LISTENING ear! With all I’ve said, I have faith that this new chapter in all our lives will be great! One Love💙~KJM on Serenity Saturday! Get ready for next week! I have some surprises in store for you! Also check out my friends blog, ToiTime at toitime.wordpress.com.
Ever since I had to let Elijah go Friday night, I’ve been in bed. Mind you…today is Wednesday and I’m just getting out of bed for the first time. I think I’ve been showering every two days! Thank the stars I don’t carry body odor unless I haven’t showered for like a week! Food….one meal a day is all I’ve been able to hold down. Delivery has been my friend. And I just did my hair for the first time in almost 5 days. I’ve had some really great family and friends check in on me (to which I reply I’m doing great when I know damn well I’m deep under my covers) and some nosey ass fake friends who are on some misery loves company shit and that’s why they text…to get the gossip. Trust me I’ve a great understanding of who is who. God bless Willow! She stayed on the phone with me for hours one day and I felt strong. A funny thing happened when we hung up…Harmony, my closest friend from the West Coast, text me. Harmony is a G for real. I texted her back the same reply I’ve been giving everyone…I’m good! But then I broke down crying (finally) and text Harmony back that I’m a mess! She said that she understood that the tears weren’t for Elijah….they were for me. When Willow called back I told her how I broke down and she said good…I have to get it out. It’s a beautiful thing to be surrounded by such strong women! Toi, Willow, and Harmony really came through. I finally let myself grieve…not for Elijah…but for what he represented. He represented HOPE. That’s why it took me so long to name him on my blog. I wanted his name to speak to me in my darkest hours…never realizing he was going to bring some clouds. With both the Ex Factor and Elijah, I grieved the promise…the promise to be good to me, not hurt me, to build with me, and to finally feel like I didn’t have to take on the world alone. As I’ve mentioned before, I stayed with the ex factor on and off for over 5 years because out of all my men…my gut told me he would have been the most amazing father. When he wanted to, the ex factor could make the sun come out. He rode with me through joblessness, being broke, and days when I doubted my career would actually take off. That’s why I stayed with him when he lost his job. I rode with him until he was on his feet. My love was just that deep for him but we didn’t work. We will never work. And while it’s great to know there is a part of him that misses me, I can’t wait to hear about when he’s met the woman for him and decided to be the great man I know he could be. You know you once loved when you have walked away and only want the best for your past. When I met Elijah 3 weeks before I left the ex factor, I thought he was sent to me by God. After all, I was crying and praying on my subway ride to work and shortly after I arrived at my destination, Elijah introduced himself to me. I had never had a prayer answered so quickly. Even still, it took me 3 weeks before I gave Elijah my business card. I had to be sure he was an Act of GOD and not the devil. During times of sorrow, it isn’t just God that can hear your cries and I was aware of this. But how do you know who sent your next boyfriend?! I stepped out on faith and did something I had never done in any prior relationship…I prayed on Elijah and I. The irony here is I don’t think Elijah even believes in God! He said he was open to Jesus the day we met but as the months went by…it became clear he was not. That’s how I knew it wasn’t God who sent him though my faith tells me that there is nothing and no one that God can’t heal and change….so I hung in there. I still believe GOD can change any man. No task is too big for HIM🙌🏽 Still I laid in the bed…sometimes praying, sometimes crying, sometimes feeling helpless, and THEN finally getting up. That’s the thing most people won’t tell you…strength isn’t about pretending not to be hurt. Strength is falling apart, picking up the pieces, healing, and moving forward with love in your heart! So if you are feeling stuck and going through something major…don’t feel like you have to walk around like nothing has happened. Fall apart if you need to but don’t forget God isn’t going to leave you in pieces! In the words of someone unknown, “a breakdown is a set up for a breakthrough!” I encourage my readers to have a breakthrough with me! You are not alone!🙏🏽 ~KJM is so thankful for my wonderful friends and family. Check out ToiTime at toitime.wordpress.com. It’s an awesome blog, written by my friend Toi, that shines light on so many issues especially for those of you with families💜 Happy Hump Day😘
Last night, one of my married friends who is also a blogger, Toi, responded privately to my blog “Do Husbands Get Soaked In The Rain?” It’s like she knew I needed someone to talk to in a way that gave me peace with my decision. She replied “yes husbands do get soaked in the rain with their wives…if they want to stay husbands!” Toi also reminded me that “old fools were once young fools.” The thing is I’ve known a lot of wives who married husbands that would not get soaked in the rain with them and many of them are either remarried to great husbands or stayed way too long and are now divorced. I love to learn from other people’s experiences. Unlike most of these young folks out here, I don’t want to learn everything for myself even when wiser people are warning me of things. I am happy to grab a pen and a pad and take notes! When I wrote last night’s blog, I wasn’t waivering from my decision. Elijah just was not ready for real love and commitment. And if there’s anything I’ve learned from my two longest relationships, Julio and the ex factor, it is to stay away from selfish people and save yourself! No amount of love is going to change a person if they don’t want to change! I explained to Toi that had I been angry when Elijah would not meet me out in the rain, we would probably still be dating! But I felt disappointment and then sadness…feelings I’m not use to and they were my indication that I’ve done all I can do in this relationship. Elijah needs a woman who will always come to him and he never has to show up for her. I’m not that woman! My future spouse has to be willing to walk away from it all and come get soaked in the rain with me when he senses I need him! Yes I was strong enough to make the journey all the way to see Elijah. I did not need him to carry me over puddles like some back in the day movie but I needed to know he would come for me. It was the act itself that I needed to see and feel. Independent means I can do for myself but that doesn’t mean I don’t want a companion in life who has my back and I have his! On a recent trip, my cab driver, who picked me up from the airport, and I discussed relationships. He asked me why such a beautiful and intelligent woman such as myself was not married. My reply…”until I meet a man where when I look in his eyes I see the unconditional love my father has for me…I shall be single!” My cab driver paused and then turned around to look at me at a red light and said “you know that may be damn near impossible because no one loves you like your father!” He is probably right but my daddy has spent all 34 years of my life carrying me in the rain! Papa Michaels made me into the very strong young woman I am today and there’s nothing I’ve ever done in life that made his love for me waiver. I am my father’s joy and I wake up knowing it every day. Until I see even a glimmer of that unconditional love in a man’s eyes romantically, there’s no way I can become a wife! I was built to stand in the rain by myself and to know when to get out of the rain but true love to me…like the love I’ve known since my creation…is the type of love worth getting soaked for! And so I wait. Thank you so much Papa Michaels for loving my spoil behind in a way where I won’t be with someone who wouldn’t get soaked in the rain with me! I wish this kind of love, whether through family and/or romantically to all my readers! ~KJM on Charm School Monday saying thanks for being there Toi!