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I have visions of being cradled by you.
You smelling my first breath.
Giving me my first kiss, and showing me the first love of a man so that I’d know.
Helping me to drive a car, and being that shoulder to cry on.
The guiding voice of reason.
I have visions.
Many visions but, they are false.
Because you weren’t there.
These visions are tangled in the corners of my mind and they warp any sense of what should be, of what could be for me.
When my first love beat me with his fist like the violent rhythms of a nasty drum beat, you weren’t there to tell me, ‘no baby this isn’t how it should be.’
When my legs were pryed open by the first man who said I love you girl, you weren’t there to tell me ‘baby, just because he said it doesn’t mean it’s love.’
Wait for the one who God sends.
You didn’t tell me.
I didn’t know.
Because you didn’t show me the ways of love between a man and a woman, or between a father and a child.
I simply didn’t know.
I got older yes, but still I was messed up inside.
I’ve learned the ways of man by looking through the only glasses that have been provided for me. And these glasses are dingy.
They can’t seem to get clean.
And then, after all, now, you come back saying you want to show me how to love.
You want to show me what to except, and you want me to trust you.
You want me to forgive you because you weren’t there but, you don’t keep your word.
And you fool me again. This time the lesson you teach is one of disappointment, lies, and judgements.
From your lessons I still don’t know what it looks like between a man and a woman.
Now when I meet someone who is truly good, I run.
He wants to love me and it feels all wrong.
I pick him to pieces, searching, looking for that bad piece to fit the puzzle I am so use to.
I self destruct because good isn’t what I’m here for.
Good isn’t what you’ve shown me.
I keep waitin for you to validate me.
Waiting for you to accept me, waiting for you to love me,
love me,
love me.
And you can’t deliver.
And I cry, and die a little more inside everytime you try.
But today, I stand.
I hear a voice. so loud, so clear. so pure.
It’s the voice of God.
He gently tells me, that the validation I’ve been seeking is from my earthly father but “I am” your Heavenly Father.
The father of all nations, the father high in all the earth.
And I am yours.
I kissed you with the sun.
I cuddled you at night, I breathed life into you from that day to the next day to this day.
I was here to show you always what the love of a father looked like but you didn’t see me.
Do you see me now?
I will never leave you.
I will never forsake you.
I made you in the image of what is most important to me.
I gave you gifts, I gave you joy, I even gave you some trials, but I am always here.
I will always accept you,
and I will always love you,
love you,
love you.
You my child, are delivered.

© D. Lavon 2003- all rights reserved
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I know it’s late, or for some it may be early. I was up revisiting some old journals, and I came across this. I thought, hmmmmmm.. This might be good for somebody. So yes, I’m posting it now.
Quick.
Fast.
And in a hurry before I change my mind. This is one of those times when my annoyingly private self is having a full blown moment of transparency.
Let me hit post and log off before I come to my private, secret squirrel senses and hit delete.
Yikes!
By the way, happy July. I completely missed posting in the month of June. Maybe we can play catch up. I have lots to share..

Disclaimer: this piece is not an attack or vendetta against anyone. I don’t bash men, or my father. This is simply Dee. Straight, no chaser in 2003.

Let me know your thoughts on the subject.

Peace & Love
Dee

Introduction
Other than God, no one knows the pain that wakes me up at night, yearning, missing, and thinking of my first baby. My baby bruddah.

The commotion starts, the kind reminiscent of a war cry. I see the tears streaming her face and I feel like a piece of garbage for not being able to help her. She doesn’t make eye contact with me, and immediately I know it’s because she can’t. Looking at me will just put a sting to her already stained eyes. Looking at me and bruddah hurts too much right now.
She is ashamed.
Clearly shaken.
She is defeated.
I feel like garbage.
She cradles the phone. She’s looking at no where in particular, still holding onto the phone.
Eventually, she dials a number. She explains as best she can that she has been beat into oblivion; Again.
She can’t live like this anymore. She is scared to death. She is afraid she may die.
She succeeds in saying all this because for the moment, the monster is gone. Running for drugs, or even better laying up with one of his women. One thing for sure, he hurts her every chance he gets. He is indeed the enemy.

After that phone call, everything happened in fast forward. Packing clothes, U-haul truck, the grandparents, at long last showing up to save us. It all happened so fast.

I held my baby brother. His eyes looking to me for answers that I didn’t have. All I knew is, I couldn’t let him go. If I did, I would break apart. I might even die. For he was my everything. I loved him so. His smell, his eyes brown and bright, his smile, his curly hair, and his tiny fingers, he was mine. The cutest little boy in the world. And he was so easy to love. I protected him from the night terrors, the boogie man, and from that viciously swinging  belt. It was my job, he was mIne. He looked up to me, but yet, I wanted to do everything he did. He sucked his thumb at night, I sucked mine’s too. He carried a special blanket around, and I wanted one too. He was remarkable. He could light the sky with that smile of his, and he always had the power to make her feel better after one of many attacks from the monster. Baby bruddah was our world.

Finally, our help came and we were free from the monster. Except, he took hold of the one thing in life that meant anything to me.
I felt my heart beating faster.
Maybe I’m hyperventilating.
Maybe I’m dying.
He is the air I breathe. I’m fainting. I’m seven years old, and I’ve passed out from confusion. When I woke up, baby bruddah was gone.
Just like that.
Gone.

It was decided, “you can go, take your daughter, but you can’t have my son.”

I can’t explain how I felt. How I still feel. The pain that grips me. Sometimes daily. One person loved me alot. One person held my hand at night. One person depended on me. It was him. Baby bruddah. He took him away from me.
Was I ever considered?  Did anyone for a second think about what this would do to me, or him. I became angry. I lashed out at her, as if she had the strength or power to take on an entire monster. She wasn’t built for it. Her love was deep. Her heart was broken, but fight, she could not. This changed us all. In a nutshell, it has shaped our lives.

Now as adults, we struggle to put back together what was so selfishly ripped from us. I feel cheated. My brother feels cheated. And, after all these years, I still harbor a tremendous amount of guilt mostly caused by a death that cut off any chance of reconnection between a mother and her baby son. It rattles my mind, and my heart, and I ache for what could have been.

I live. I love. I’m happy. I’m conscious of my feelings. I know, I know, I cannot live in the past. 
But guess what.
I still ache.
I still get angry about it.

This is extremely difficult for me to write. Not so much that I’m afraid of the feelings, but it still shocks me that my heart breaks like this. It’s difficult watching my tears soak the pages of my notebook. It doesn’t matter how soaked the pages get, the feelings don’t wash away.
These tears signify liquid prayers.
A river of liquid prayers.

We’ve gotten better. We know that what happened wasn’t our fault. We know it, but we still struggle.

I thought about asking my brother if he’d be okay with me writing this. It was a hard decision. We are both extremely private. I wrote it a long time ago and never really had the courage to post it. Then I read a fellow bloggers story of her life without her brothers and it seemed so interconnected with my own thoughts and feelings. I cried the whole time reading it, and I felt relieved that someone else felt like me. That was when I knew, this post wasn’t going to just be for me. It’s someone else that may need to hear a story like this.

I’ve written it to the best of my ability. It’s the way the spirit lead me to do it. I’ve gone as deep as I’m willing to.

To my bruddah. I’ve said it before. I’ll say it again, we loved you back then. I love you still. The closest and only thing other than my kids that connects me to our mother. It’s you. The eyes. The spirit. I see her in you. I am proud of you and the man you’ve become. The father you’ve become, truly phenomenal. We promised each other. We made a vow. We must never forget, or loose ourselves again. I pray you understand my heart and my words. The ultimate goal in this would be for you to know, more than anything, I was affected. And you are loved.

A true life short by Dee

Snow.
Ice.
School delay.
School closing.

My job doesn’t care about any of it,  be on time.
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These weather related school closings are hell on parents, especially single ones. If another parent were in the home, I would be like, “uh un, I’m not staying home, it’s your time,  I did it last week.”

Tehehe..

I’m laughing but I’m pissed!

Look I know the rules ok..
I follow the rules. My work ethic is solid.
And every now and then, unforeseen foolery occurs.

But now, it’s starting to affect my upcoming vacation time. If this continues my children will be sitting around singing “kum ba yah my lord” during their spring break instead of being on a gorgeous vacation.

UGH!

and then….
adding insult to injury, school resumed today,  well all schools except my seven years olds school. The power still hasn’t been restored in some areas/schools.
I should be understanding huh? Even though this is ruining my paid time off.

Now the hard choice comes in.
Do I:
1. Keep the older kids at home with the little kid?
2. Stay home with the little kid and get the occurrence and use yet another day of vacation time? (It’ll be the 6th day in the last 3wks, all weather/school closing related)
3. Take little miss I’m out of school today to work with me and have coworkers, patients,  doctors, nurses all look at me like I’m crazy?

Choices, choices…

I tried to talk to my manager about this,  and she is basically Ray Charles to it. She doesn’t see that a problem exist for me. GET To Work On Time.  That’s what she knows.
The life of a single mother,  it ain’t easy!
Where are you SPRING. I need you. ..
UGH!
This too shall pass.

xoxo
Dee

” The bone collector. I chew em up, and spit em out like snuff.”

Men that is. But not in the way you might think. It seems, I’ve developed quite a reputation. I don’t wait years or even months to aknowledge the truth of what a man shows me. If he has questionable behavior, or is disrespectful, or has character defects that just won’t do for me, I end it. Immediately.
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Look, I’m a grown woman. I even have an adult child. I don’t have time for chaos, or confusion. I can’t and I won’t waste my time on someone who starts off wrong. It’s me and, I make no apologies for that. Those who are close to me joke me about it though. A few of us were together the other night, and I was talked about like I wasn’t even there. It was all in fun, but still they weren’t holding back. My cousin mentioned her husband asked how things are going with a guy I was newly dating because, “we all know that it could be over in a flash as soon as he does something she doesn’t like.” (By she, she meant me.)
They all chimed in laughing in unison,  slapping fives and agreeing that his bones could being laying in the box along with the rest at any minute. I laughed it off too, but it has certainly forced me to think this thing over. Especially after my date with that same man they were referring to, ended in haste. At first, I was having a good time. Really just enjoying getting to know him, and then all in one date,  everything was revealed to me.
This guy is the antithesis of everything that I’m not. Things I told him I didn’t like, he agreed with me, yet, he revealed those very same things in himself. All in one date. I sat back, and watched, listened, and shook my head to the tune of, I am was just too damn good for this. I’m not going to get into deep details, but, it had alot to do with drugs and alcohol, marriage, and a closeness that began to feel…..fake. I didn’t want to marry him, I had just met him. He was already planning our engagement pictures. Then a wedding. Scratch that. This fool is crazy.
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Love should be organic. Not rushed, or forced just…natural.

Underneath all the mess, I guess he was a nice guy, but clearly not for me. I ran from him. NOT WALKED, I RAN. There is no way I can accept lies, deceit, and disorderly conduct. It happened so fast, his head was spinning. My final words…I’m done.

Bone collector strikes again.

I don’t really like having such a reputation for sniffing out the bull, but I guess I’ve earned it. How you start is how you finish. If you have behavior from day one that I cant stomach, why would I continue?  In relationships we often give away too much, too soon. So fast that we don’t get to see the questionable behavior that could be lying underneath. It gets clouded by emotion and we can’t see clearly. Therefore, we later complain about these issues but, ignore what’s been there from the start. I’ve been there and done that. No more. I won’t…I’m done.

Dee
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A true life short by Dee.

“I thought my life was over,  and then God met me in the mist of my mess and basically told me to fight because he had work for me to do.”
– Nicole Elmore founder
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You Can’t Hurt Me No More is a powerful movement that is committed to helping others find there own voice through motivational speaking, life experience,  poetry, stage plays, and more. The YOU can represent many things ranging from fear, peer pressure, depression, debt, anger, abuse, insecurity, bullying, doubt, whatever your YOU is, you have the power to overcome it. Meet Nicole Elmore the groups founder, owner and others that are a part of this movement as they share and explained what YCHMNM is, where it’s going, and how you can be a part of it.

Nicole and I are comfortable with each other. We are apart of a sisterhood and I am one of many women that help serve as an extension of YCHMNM. Even still, I honestly interviewed Nicole as if I didn’t know her for this post so that I could capture the essence of her message.

I started by asking the obvious. Nicole, what is You Can’t Hurt Me No More.

NICOLE’S STORY
YCHMNM Is a poetic, heartfelt movement that reaches the soul and nourishes it.. I started YCHMNM during a difficult time in my life.  I had given up on life and God met me in the mist of my mess and told me I had the power to fight back. I started writing poetry in 2011 and the more I would write,  the better I felt. I was at home with my kids. I shared it with them. They were my first audience. I later shared my vision with other women who I handpicked from my hometown of Allendale, SC.
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and other women I picked from my current city I now live in. I knew we all shared a common ground and I asked them to help me with my vision and they all said, yes!!! And we are not just about women. Men, woman, and teens and children are a part of the YCHMNM experience. Men hurt too, and we have had several men speak out and share their stories. Hurt is not gender, race, or creed related. All people hurt. I am here to reach all people. Since starting YCHMNM, the thing I learned most about myself is that I am a fighter. Amazingly, I never knew this before starting YCHMNM. In the past, I would give up so easily, but my passion for YCHMNM has taught me the strength that I have inside of me. I have received so much positive feedback and support!!! And I truly appreciate all the love.

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So many people have shown their love and support for YCHMNM. Alot of people are hurting out here and when I share my story, I have learned that the power in sharing a story gives others strength to release their hurt. Often times we think we are alone. We tend to think that no one understands. Those thoughts are a set up to keep us isolated. But I am here to tell isolation that you can’t hurt me No more. Even with the positivity others have showed my organization,  I’ve also experienced some hate. I don’t even let hate rent space in my mind. I don’t give it the time or energy. Expect haters because they are confirming that you are doing something great. When I think about YCHMNM in five years,  I sit back and say, WOW..… I am a dreamer so excuse me while I dream.

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I see YCHMNM in movies, on broadway, and with God, there is no limit for my vision and my dream. And to you my sister Dee, I thank you for this positive atmosphere. I love your energy.. Thank you for creating a platform with your blog to raise my voice.. It’s enough of hurting silently.

BRANDY’S STORY
I’m glad to be a part of YCHMNM. My “You” was not loving myself and the skin that I’m in. Now, I’m feeling comfortable about me regardless. If I’m overweight, not loosing weight or just maintaining my current weight,  I’m making sure I love me no matter how hard I struggle. Self esteem is serious and without it people tend to be lost. I wanna be free to be whoever and whatever I am.

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I love what YCHMNM stands for. I love the fact that I am not alone in my struggles in life. I wish I had something like this growing up. I know that other people can benefit from what YCHMNM has to offer. Having a group of positive woman with similar life experiences can really help people. For anybody struggling with issues of weight or self image, I first want to say you are not alone. There are so many people dealing with the same issues. Don’t cover it up like I did with cardigans, and layers of clothes.

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whatever it is,  tell somebody, write it down do whatever it takes to get rid of the stress.  I tell my struggles and the things I’ve done to overcome my issues and offer any encouragement that I have to help anybody with their struggles. People need to know that they are not alone. We seem to think when we are going through things, that it’s just us. Well guess what? It’s not just you. So many people are broken and YCHMNM is the place to help you free yourself. Since I’ve been with YCHMNM, I feel so confident and I have been changing things about myself to help me feel even more confident. I do things for myself now. I put on a little makeup and dress up a little more often and do different things to my hair to step out of my comfort zone, being spontaneous and, I feel great, sexy and beautiful…lol

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I am here being a part of YCHMNM, going to the next level. We are working on getting more involved in the community. Trying to reach out to as many people as possible. You never know who u can touch with your testimony. ..

VERNEA’S STORY
My “you” is many things. I’ve been a victim of domestic violence, I have insecurities, and worry about what others think of me. I have family issues. But the biggest “You” is that I have eczema. To me, eczema is where my insecurities stem from which could have been one of the reason I needed relationships to validate me. 

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Being a part of YCHMNM is a blessing for me and, an outlet. I met others that have been through the same things I have in life. I felt alone for along time but this helps me with unity, sisterhood, and, I get to express myself the best way I know how, through speech. I feel good knowing that I can help others to be more productive in life after the hurt.

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My advice to others going through struggles is to keep moving, believe in yourself, and be the best you can be. If you don’t know how, reach out and use the resorces around you. Life is short, so stop worrying and let it go. Do something, be something, smile, have fun, and live for you. Dance to your own drum. Women are suppose to be strong and fearless, so let your light shine no matter how uncomfortable someone else is with your light.

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Acknowledging your issues doesn’t make you confident, but that’s the first step. It is a process with yourself, and God. Strive for a healthy spirit and life. Except your imperfections,  and finding beauty in you helps more with confidence. My future goals are to be healthy in everything I do. I’m working on starting my own business. I would love to do investigations on a federal level with the big boyz (lol), I want to be a motivational speaker, because I most definitely enjoy doing this with YCHMNM. I want to be wealthy and give back to my peers and youth.

DEE’S STORY
My “you” represents many things. I’ve shared my story of being a victim of domestic violence. I’ve been hurt by gossip, lies, and even some truth. I’ve witnessed the whispers taking place around me,  about me. And I was a victim of that for a long time. It’s been a long time coming, but I now can look all of those experiences in the face and tell them you can’t hurt me no more.

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A few years ago, Nicole and I discovered we shared a love for writing, poetry, and we also shared some of the same pain. When she started YCHMNM I thought it was awesome. I thought it was anointed,  and I believed it was right on time. When she asked me to be a part of her movement,  I was scared to death. I was scared to tell my truth. Scared to expose my hurt,  and terrified of speaking in public. Nicole encouraged me and told me that my story needed to be told. Sure, I’ve been writing my whole life,  but public speaking, out loud?  In front of an audience,  that was not a part of my plan. But God….
Nicole convinced me, prayed with me through my fright, and next thing you know, showtime. It was the most liberating experience I’ve ever felt. YCHMNM gave me my voice back. It boosted my confidence,  and it is something I proudly support. People are hurting, people are dying, and people are being misled. We have no idea of the power that lies within us. We all have the power to change our lives and those around us. YCHMNM is on a misson, and we won’t be stopped.

imageNicole, Brandy, Dee, and Vernea at YCHMNM launch party.

To support and learn more about Nicole Elmore, and You Can’t Hurt Me No More,  visit us up on facebook by clicking the link. 

Most photos used by Michael Lawson for Glow Optical

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I hope all who read this post have been encouraged,  inspired,  and enlightened.
Peace and blessings
Dee

Ok! Get ready for my last rant of the year. It may be TMI for some, and if it is, I dont apologize, because this is really an issue and I need to sound off.

Firstoff, I realize its been almost a year since my last blog post (I can’t even begin to explain why at this moment).
In what is my first blog post in nearly a year, not to blog about fashion,thrifting, shopping or anything like that. What brings me here is something that isn’t new under the sun, something that has been around since women have been women, and something that has consumed my life since the age of 14. Oh yes reader, women in particular, this “thing” I speak of, that has brought me back to my blog to sound off after nearly a year is my monthly cycle.

Since it’s very existence in my life this thing has literally been a pain to me in more ways than one. From the fevers,to the vomiting, to the back pain, to the earth shattering cramps,and not being able to function, this thing has always shown up and showed out. I’ve had jobs jeopardized, I’ve had very important life events that I’ve had to miss all because of this thing. Nevermind the painkillers, which by the way don’t work for me anyhow. Nevermind the home remedies, the herbal teas, the birth control pills, the heating pads, nevermind it all as none of this has truly helped me in this quest to make this monthly painfest end. The only comfort I feel is when the cycle ends. Ain’t that a blip? I can literally feel my insides doing a violent dance for seven whole days. Boi, that’s a helluva dance! I can truly feel every fiber of ovulation as well as my eggs dropping into position I want to scream at this thing, “Sucker, I have 4 kids you can keep your aches, your eggs, and your ovulation because I don’t need you anymore. Cycle, monthly, mensuration, mother nature, unwanted guest, I don’t need you anymore—- go away. I have earned my stripes, I have slothed off the years and tears and shedding enough for 45 thousand lifetimes. AND today, I’m mad as hell. Its new years eve, and I always spend new years eve in church and this, is nothing new, it’s what I do every year. But as always you show up at the wrong time. And I will instead spend my New Years Eve shaking in pain, damn near overdosing on motrin, rocking back and forth, and moaning in agony over the first day of my cycle. You woke me up bright and early this morning, I mean you came in with a bang and already this pain is too much to bear. I’m so sick of you, and I don’t want you anymore. Your purpose has been served. If I had a dollar for every time you’ve done this to me, shown up and showed out, I’d be on the cover of Forbes magazine rich beyond belief. but you don’t give dollars, you only give excruciating pain, and make me weak until I’m dizzy from anemia, blood count always on the low. And even more, you make me mean! You have messed up Egyptian cotton sheets, and more panties than one can own in a lifetime. And the only option which really ain’t the option I want to rid myself of thee is a Hysterectomy? Chile, you are something else. In all the misery you’ve caused me, you are consistent, even I will give you that. First thing in the morning with this pain though, really? Oh well, all this ranting aint gonna change a damn thing. So, I guess I’ll stop whining now, good morning heartache, sit down”.

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