Wednesday, January 27, 2010

My Personal Haiti

I think the one thing Haiti has done for a lot of people is put there lives into perspective. I mean really, if you are young or in the middle of a big growing pain something like Haiti helps put your problems in check real quick. I can not tell you how many tweets about Haiti I have seen that say before Haiti I complained and thought about the minutest shit. For some they have had a fairly good life, a life that can't comprehend the devastation and despair that is now front and center on their TV screens. A lot are not people who have had what I would call their personal Haiti. I mean after all many of us have been in the place Haiti is right now emotionally. We have had our worlds shaken to the core. For some it was losing a parent or close loved one (through death or divorce), for others it was just the overwhelming weight of your life sitting on an unstable foundation and for others it was being a the brink of deaths door (by your hands or someone else's).
And as someone who has been so sad and felt so alone and close to giving up, the strength and determination of the Haitian people makes me cry with admiration. It makes me proud to see how the people of the first recognized black Republic DO NOT DIE. After all the Diaspora is strong especially those on this side of the Atlantic. Descendants of the fittest of the slaves who mange to reach the shores of the new land. Haitians are strong in spirit and I feel their hope as much as I see their despair in the streets. Survival has become synonymous with Haitian to me, as I watch stories of people who are being pulled out the rubble days after recovery specialist expected to find life, defying the rules/laws of nature. Their will to live should serve as an inspiration to any one going through anything emotional right now or who has ever survived a core rattling event in life.
I remember being buried in the rubble of my life, thinking that I could dig myself out, not even thinking I should ask for help. I remember thinking I have been in rubble before and got out, never mind this rubble was the equivalent to being under a collapsed hotel. I remember thinking I got a stronghold and a leg up only to fall back into the pile of trash that was once my life. I remember thinking it was better to just die than to try and get out the rubble. I remember thinking it would be easier because the task at hand, saving myself, was one I was just to tired to do, not once thinking to scream for help.
However one day after a very intense day, a day that I sat in my car and thought, as watch the garage door close, "if I don't turn off the car right now I could die and this, this horrible useless worthless feeling would go a way I would go away. hmmm". Wow that looks more horrible when I type it out. I mean I assure you it was a fleeting thought, like running down options to buy a good pair of black pumps. Not dramtical (yes I know that's not a word) and Lifetime movie like. However it still was a suicidal thought. And for me having that thought, like a real I should just end it thought made me decide I needed to ask for help. Man, I remember crying and feeling like a failure. I remember thinking how foolish I would look to my friends and family, I mean I had been "acting" fine all this time all these months. Now they were going to see I was weak and I needed some one to fix my head. They were going to judge me as crazy or even foolish because of the trigger event that sent me into the tailspin. I just cried. I never cry, I was raised by a man who raised my like a man in many aspects and one of those was crying was for the weak. However even if I didn't have a bout with depression I would soon start crying, thanks to my hormones.
I remember telling my best friend, Mandy, I'm crying right now telling you about this. I dunno know it just seemed like telling her was the hardest thing I had to do. I felt like I had failed her and now here I was looking foolish over "this" of all things. Over everything she had seen me go through in my life, I mean everything. She had watched me bury my father, get married, get a divorce, leave one home and build another, and even move to a city with out knowing anyone there. Now, she was seeing something as simple as "this*" break me down to my core. Break me so hard I needed help. I just felt silly, for crying, for letting my life get there and for not being strong enough to course-correct. One day I'll blog on being strong and what it doesn't get you (AB4AD).
Her response was the best and exactly what I needed, she said she was glad I was getting help and sometimes we need help. And to be honest "I'm glad to know you are human and have feelings. We can't all be superwomen all the time." After that it was like I could see the daylight outside and I could hear the rescuers outside to help me. What a relief. I'm so glad I chose to shout out through the rubble of what was my life and ask for help. I was so relieved after I knew I was gonna get help that I actually felt a change immediately.
Really to be honest what triggered my depression was so deep and wrapped up in my childhood it blew my mind. I was sitting here thinking "this*" was the trigger when in reality he had to do with some unresolved Daddy issues, that I wasn't FULLY aware I had until I started peeling the layers with my therapist. The work I did with my therapist to be able to cope and deal with things that for most of my life I never dealt with or even thought I had issues with was instrumental in me pushing forward to this next new phase in my life. I've said this before many years ago, growing hurts. I'm convinced it is why we do most of it as children because it physically hurts and mentally hurts. Eventually the physical stops, oh but the mental growth should continue, well in my opinion.
Before therapy bad shyt would happen to me and I would deal with it, but I wouldn't emotionally process it. Meaning I would create a plan on how to deal with whatever happened, you know a plan B, but I would never feel about that situation or even address I felt some kinda way. I'd just be like ok so we're not going to be married any more. That means I should figure out how we are gonna split assets, when should we file, what will we share.... I never felt oh my God I am a failure at this. I can not manage to chose someone to spend my life with. I can not love someone unconditionally. I have lied to God. I mean that's what I felt... failure.
Unfortunately I think what I did often happens in the black community. We have been told and designed to well "get over it" for lack of better phrase. Not necessarily process it, but get over it. Or we don't want to feel the emotion, because we don't want to be labeled as a victim or weak or crazy. Well I take that back maybe not the black community but my personal local black community. Many of us just think going to a therapist means we are crazy. Again my personal local black community.
I don't know in these days in times I think its best that you just ask for help whenever things feel wrong. There are so many people out there waiting to help you dig out your rubble. Sometimes you don't even need professional help; I was the kind of person who never asked friends for anything, while giving everything. And not because I don't have friends that will help me out and do for me, but because my mom and dad raised me that you can only truly depend on yourself. However through this episode in life I have learned to open my mouth when I'm hurt even if it means others are not comfortable. I have learned that no man is an island. (I have this urge to quote Andre 3k here...Peninsula maybe// It makes no sense, I know crazy// Give up all this pussy cat that's in my lap//No lookin' back// Spaceships..." Every time I say/type/think no man is an island, that verse pops into my head.) I do realize everyone does not have the strong support system of friends and family I have, but no matter what you think you have open your mouth and talk about it, cry about it even be a bitch about it, sometimes that can help keep you from slipping.
In hindsight and with therapist help I realized that I had gone through a lot of emotional stress and never released, never really work through all of my issues. And at 36 I'm happy to say that I feel well adjusted and healthy and happy. I love my life. It doesn't mean I don't have those Fuck My Life days. I also now allow myself to feel and cry and be weak, something that was very hard for me to do. Something else uncovered in therapy. I think these days I am much better at being well rounded emotionally. I have learned to take from my friends, because they are interested in a give and take. Real friends want to help as much as they want to be helped. I have learned to cry when I'm sad for as long as I think I need it, not just right before I beat a bytch down. And I have learned most importantly to only worry about what's going on now, more than what went on and what will happen. I mean I have goals and I know my past, but I never let what will or didn't happen completely CHANGE my trajectory, only guide it. I can only live and exist in this moment that is happening right NOW. Not my past a minute ago and not my future in the next second.
That's all I have for today. As I watch the physical pain and suffering in Haiti I feel blessed that my personal Haiti is a Haiti and not a Vietnam. For when I see the Haitian people I also feel the re-birth and renewal I see the hope in their spirits. It's a good feeling and it makes me smile the same way I did when I finished my therapy. You know like a Phoenix from the ashes and all that jazz!
Be EZ,
OG
*- This is the event that triggered my massive depression. Something that I felt should not have made me fall into the depression I fell into. It was in the same vain of a similar depression I managed to pull myself out of. And one I thought I had protected myself from ever going through again.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

In Response to Why Were Not Friends

I just can’t blog in people’s comment section anymore. The following is a response to this post . Lauren is my #twittertwin and if you haven’t checked out her blog you should. She has some good points but I kinda didn’t all the way agree with her post, I went to comment and had so much to say- well it turn into this, my second post of 2010 ( I know Imma lame). So this post really won’t make sense unless you have read her post. It may not make sense even if you do read her post, I'm cryptic that way. Anyway go there THEN read my response in this blog. Please get you some in the comments section (hers, mine, or both). Think of this as a cross over blog post. Enjoy!

My Response to this lovely post

I dunno #twittertwin I think it can be done and done well *brushing my shoulders off* I really don’t get offended in my old age and for the most part I am friends with most of my exes, well besides the BIG EX (the ex-hubby) and that was his choice, not mine. Well kinda mine too, he’s totally not cool enough to let bygones be bygones, which is one of the reasons we split. We really did have irreconcilable differences.

I guess you are saying there should be a certain amount of time before you’re friends with a man that has put it on you, makes sense. I just don’t think it requires another person to come in and knock your back out better, before you engage in the friendship. Then again my pride is the only thing stronger than my libido. I can do all things with a Hitachi Magic Wand that strengthens me.

I am trying to keep in mind how I live and date has never been the norm, I have been known to date men for long periods of time and never once request or think I’m his woman. I’ve dated men and refused to be their lovah. Mostly because I take that whole relationship thing seriously and for me to even want to be a man’s one and only, takes a GREAT movement of the world. My family often jokes how my ex went from being my friend to my fiancĂ©, like there was no courtship period. #truestory

I guess the problem to me is women don’t really know how to enter into the friend zone, maybe its dick whippedness, maybe it’s the longing for the romantic comedy ending, maybe its just pure stoopidness. It’s the same reason I don’t go handing out the he’s my man title to every man that likes to spend time in my face (or spend his time burying his face in me). I mean we really can be friends, until you can be the kinda dude I looking for in man. As a matter of fact as long as you don’t have no issues with me seeing others and quite possibly bedding someone else (safely of course) while you trying to step your game up, we all good. I come from the school of shut that shit down. I think all women ho or angel will tell you if a man is doing what he is supposed to he can shut that outside shit down no matter what his title is. (that’s AB4AD)

Actually me living my love life that way really helps me determine the wheat from the shaft (ha ha ha I said shaft) in love and it really helps you determine the men who should be in my life and the men who shouldn’t (in all capacities). Because if a man is really serious about you and he sees you out there still looking either he will step his game up and tell you he wants you to be his girl and ask you what it takes to be your man or you will know he really ain’t that worried about you and hopefully you will cease and desist with the sweatin’ him and increase the application taking. Or at the least adjust your feeling accordingly. But Imma ho, so what do I know.

Personally I know it can be done, I have put one of best d*cks I ever had on friend zone status and lord it made my p*ssy walls quake to do so. I mean as far as sexual chemistry WOOWZA!! However he was back and forth in his separation with his wife and I didn’t like the way it was making me feel. Then he was demanding that I stop dating other folks while he was trying to date me and still work on it with his wife. GTFOH with that mess… DENEID. So finally one day when he was on the phone with me complaining about me dating others I said, its obvious you can’t handle this arrangement, lets just be friends. He agreed, probably because he thought I didn’t have full control over my loins and would cave. However the one thing my divorce taught me is MEAN what you say and SAY what you mean.

He eventually stopped calling after it was clear that I was serious about being friends and ONLY friends. I believe the last thing I said to him was “Big Dick Bandit*, I told you I am not having sex with you anymore. What’d I say!” And since it was like 3 in the morning when I said that half sleepily in the phone, I’d say he got the point. Once you can’t manage to talk a semi-celibate half sleep always horny for you woman out of her draws at three in the morning, I think you know it’s probably over. And I do miss him sometimes, but not that much. Like I said, my pride beats the p*ssy errytime (ok almost errytime)

I really think you should not be going into a friendship with a man if you think it will take you back down memory lane, however if you are woman enough to do it, go for it. My friendships with former lovers have happened both instantly and on delay, it really depended on the kind of friendship we had before we was doin it and doin it and doit in like LL.

I love for men to put me in the friend zone though because most of them are the ones that can’t handle it. The number one rule is if we’re just friends I will see you when I feel like it point blank period which is different if were dating. SELFISH game on propah! If were dating I take your feelings into consideration. However, at the beginning of an after romance friendship you at ground zero with me, you gotta earn me giving a phuck about your feelings. I mean why should I, you apparently didn’t give a phuck about mine and then you decided we’re over and I should be good with just hanging out until I just get the hint and disappear. Grow a pair!

My rules for an after the love friendships are simple. I pretty much let HIM initiate all contact in the beginning, one that tells me if he is serious about being friends. I usually don’t hang out with him on the first invite either, just another way to tell if he really wants to be friends or he’s just too chicken shit to man up and end it. So far handling the friends thing this way has worked for me. I think before, when I was younger, I took lets be friends as that and was calling and setting up time to hang out hoping it would end like the some movie I’d seen. WRONG WRONG WRONG ! I once told someone that the friendship was on him and I wouldn’t be calling, IMing, or texting unless he text me first. I haven’t heard from that man yet and that was like almost 5 years ago. *lol* Its funny to me now, but its where I learned how to put together a friendship with a man who has seen your phuck face. He and I went back and forth forever (Well I went back and forth, cause in hindsight he wasn’t doing shyt but answering the phone and hanging out with me when he felt like it.)

The key to the friend thang, for me is let the man initiate the hang out time, otherwise you are doomed. Because what happens is YOU call, YOU make the plans, he says sure. THEN something else comes up (the new chick he wants to get on top of) and he bails on you and you feel stupid because you can’t say nothing cause YOU’RE friends and you really just trying to keep your foot in the door. Point blank if a man says he wants to be friends after it’s over, YOU let him do the legwork. I find men don’t just call women they don’t want to spend time with. And hey Imma a cool chick that you might want keep around even if we can’t play the love game together we most certainly CAN watch some stupid shit on TV, listen to the Roots (or even some ignant stuff), and pass the dutch.

It’s tricky to master this friends after lovers thing, because men DO spend time with women they don’t want to spend time with. Face it men are LAZY so if YOU call and they ain't busy and they wanna shoot the shit or pass the blunt with someone who doesn’t have a Y chromosome and hasn't bust the windows out their car, you could be in like flinn. Sadly, that means nothing other than he ain’t got nothing better to do. If you’re doing the calling and making the plans for y’all 's friendevous, then he’s probably just bored and nice. Most men don’t really know how to end it; no guy wants to be the asshole that destroyed your Princess and the Frog dreams.

Trust if a man picks up the phone to arrange anything with you in person (not a late night text or thirst lined phone call) he probably does want to be your friend in some capacity. That capacity can range from date for the office parties to smoke buddy to Bestie, so don’t get ahead of your self. He may also be lonely too, but if you just view it as someone to pass the time with, then you shouldn’t get your feelings hurt when/if the new chick pops up. Don’t mistake those actions for love but it most certainly can mean he wants you in his life as friends. Sometimes being friends is the best space for both of you. I am friends with the ex love of my life and we have been for many many years (like 15 years man). We don’t hang out a lot, we mostly text or IM etc and happy hour occasionally. He is married with kids now, but I call him friend. (He’s in my top five on the headboard banger scale). Anyway I dunno how I got here in this comment section, I think Imma make this a blog post response. I said ALL that to say it can work, but not everybody is grown enough to do it. So boys and girls just listen to Lauren and do it her way. It will probably save you some heartache.

Be EZ,

OG

Monday, January 18, 2010

Service


Well, today is King day and I feel the commemoration of Dr. King’s birthday and the aftermath of the quakes in Haiti are great reasons for me to blog. I warn you now that this blog has not been outlined or even conceived in my head. It’s a straight of the dome blog for me today. I’m stepping in the booth with no paper and just what ever flows outta my heart will be what you read today. Yes folks, Im going Wayne* on y’all today. I’m gonna be all over this blog like “sprankals”!

Service. Service is what I wanna talk about on what would have been Dr. King’s 81st birthday. In my life I believe that service is the foundation of all. I believe that in this life God has put us here to serve/bless others and through service we gain something valuable in ourselves, for in service is freedom. Through unselfishly giving our time, talents, and/or thoughts to help move others forward we propel ourselves light years into the next phase of growth in our life. In service we learn that if we had made a left instead of a right, told someone yes instead of no, or been at the wrong place at the wrong time we could be the one in need of service instead of serving.

In service we learn there is nothing special about us that places us atop our platinum pedestal. We meet people whose stories mirrored ours; great family, great job, great life, and great friends. Stories that mirrored ours until- UNTIL the recession came, until the earthquake came, until the hurricane came, until the levees broke, until it ALL FELL DOWN. In service we realize that life could change for us in a blink of an eye. And because we serve others we not only help others get through their rough times, we teach ourselves appreciation at the most rudimentary level. It is service that teaches us to be grateful. It is service that teaches us to be thankful. It is service that teaches us to hold the ones we love a little tighter and be cheerful while we give to those who looked like us only yesterday. Through true service one will not only serve his/her fellow man they will truly understand how humanity works.

So on this very special day commemorating a man who chose to serve his community and gave his life in service of that community, I ask you to take some time and serve your community today. What am I doing today? you ask. Well, I plan on going somewhere and lending my hands and giving my things to those in Haiti, many who were in need of my service before the quake.

I think in a very non-Pat Robertson way, maybe this earthquake will end up being a good thing for Haiti. Sans all the pseudo religious racist subtext of that phrase when Robertson delivered it, Haiti being on the world stage is a good thing (as long as the worl respects their humanity-which sadly they have not). Haiti should have long been on our minds as black folks** and well, now it is. I wish death and destruction did not have to come, but since they have your attention… now some of us realize how much our Haitian brothers and sisters need our service, needed our service. Perhaps now you know your black history a little better and understand how the formation of the first black republic in the world aided America in her most significant growing pain. The relationship that we as black American share with Haiti is quite an interesting one. Stuff that books are made of, get you one if you don’t know. Perhaps now you not only understand the plight of Haiti, you want to change it beyond earthquake relief.

Or maybe you don’t, maybe you just think it’s the “thing” to do, a way to floss and show that you are on your perch bestowing the have-nots with the remnants of your have (also known as shittin’ on these hoes). If that is you, I pray that at some point while twitpic’ing your donation and letting us know of your benevolence via your FaceBook status you will also GET. A. CLUE.

Happy King Day! Be of good service this day. It will change not only the world, but your world.


Be EZ,
OG


*-Yes I o realize the extreme irony of mentioning Wayne in a MLK post. I’m from the South sue me!

** Everyone really, but I’m not speaking for white people. I’m not white.