These are My Confessions Part 3: Open Windows

I chose my Therapist. Purposefully. He had worked with a former client of mine, and he struck me during our interactions as a smart man. Who understood the dichotomy of being black in Tucson, and how it would affect a child in the foster care system. 

So when I made the decision to seek out some profeasional help, I called him first. I crossed my fingers, and hoped he was accepting new patients. I know it was God that opened up that spot, cuz the day before I called him he had closed out a case. 

Today, was the first time I laughed and smiled during a session. Last week was 30 minutes of tears, because the world is so scary. But today, I laughed so loud and long. Because I’m figuring shit out, finally. My emotions are no longer taking over my rational mind. Which is beautiful. 

I laughed because he is so quick to call me on my shit. Sometimes he can just do it with a look. He doesn’t allow me to be ashamed of anything, he makes me address shit. I’ve been living in survival mode for so long, I’d forgotten how good mental clarity felt. 

Today, I smiled and laughed and talked about my feelings without fear. I caught myself speaking some truth I wasn’t expecting. I’m changing the way I interact with people. I’m letting people in, and it doesn’t terrify me….as much. It’s progress. 

Therapy is frequently my favorite part of the week. For an hour, it’s all about me unpacking my life. It’s dedicated time each week to do the work. Part of me still thinks it’s hella selfish. That I could be spending that money on something else. But that’s a VERY small part of me. Because I’m finally starting to see the results of the work. 

Confession #3: I leave windows open for those people I’m hoping will come back into my life. 

I don’t usually announce I’m leaving the window open, but it’s there. Cuz I’m quick to block people I no longer want to have access to my life. Be it via Social Media, or by blocking their phone number and/or email addresses. When I’m done, I’m done. 

My laughter in today’s session came from the realization that I blocked my family on social media….but I didn’t block the Unicorn. Cuz I’m hoping he comes back. I’m not done with that yet. I’m not done with him yet.  Do I want to just tell him off, or am I hoping there is another chance somewhere in there? I don’t know. I know, up until he started liking my pics on Instagram recently, he wasn’t on my radar. But I hadn’t denied him access, I just took away MY access to him. 

Truth be told, he hurt my feelings. Deeply. Until I get to say that to his face, I’m going to always feel a way. And that’s okay. Maybe next week, I’ll unpack that a little bit more. But I’m still smiling, cuz everything for a reason and in its own time.  

A Letter to My 17 Year Old Self

Dear MJ,

By now, you’ve been in college for 3 whole weeks.  Enjoy it, this is the best time of your life.  This is where you meet the people who change your life forever.  Savor the geographical closeness of friends, and take full advantage of every new experience.  Try everything at least once, take pictures of everything.  It doesn’t stay like this forever.  There are some very dark times ahead.  You will use the happiness of this year to get you through some of those times.  Be Glad I warned you.

On Friendship . . . 

The people you meet in these 4 years, are your family.  Not just friends in passing, but the shoulders you will cry on when life is falling apart.  You will leave college with Brothers would would fight a bear for you.  You will leave with Sisters who will fight that same bear, and probably send evil text messages to that bear’s whole family for years, just because they love you.  Some of the people you start this journey with, won’t make it until the end.  You will lose great friends, but find them again  . . . even if it takes 17 more years to reconnect. MJ, these friends are lifetime friends.  Don’t take them for granted.

On Your Hair . . . 

MJ, you are going natural in 1999.  A full 10 years before the Natural Revolution.  Good Job being a pioneer.  Going natural for you was a necessity, and not a protest of the white man’s wish that you assimilate to European standards of beauty.  You just don’t know how to do your hair, and that’s okay.   But your hair is beautiful, enjoy the texture.  You are Beautiful, MJ. Everything about you is Beautiful. Sadly, no one is going to recognize you need to hear that from time to time.  You won’t feel beautiful until your 20’s,  But I’m telling you now.

On Your Career . . .

Right now, you are probably sitting in your programming class, wondering how the hell you are going to program a damn computer to play Rock Paper Scissors with you.  You are going to get your first failing grade on a test.  Don’t worry, it’s going to get better!

You are going to find your calling, Children.  You are going to go through a few different phases.  Education, Tutoring, and you are going to land on Social Work.  God put you on this earth, MJ, to help children.  You are great at it.  You will make a lasting impact on hundreds of children.

Sadly, the profession you choose isn’t gonna keep them pockets fat.  You are going to end up being the poor friend.  Except, you won’t figure that out until you are 34.  You learn to survive with what you have.  Some years are going to be much worse than others, but as you get closer to your true purpose, you will figure out how be handle your money better.

Money is going to cause you to shed some tears, some ugly ass tears.  But MJ, you will survive it.  So keep going, even when you feel like you can’t.

On Love . . . 

People are going to break your heart.  Remember those dark times I was talking about . . . The first time is coming in about 10 months.  Don’t try to stop it.  He’s your soulmate.  That kind of love is going to stay with you for the rest of your life.  He’s going to stay with you the rest of your life.  But losing it, is going to break you.

I mean, devastate you, and no one around you will see it.  No one around you will recognize the signs of depression, because Black People Don’t Get Depressed.  It takes about 10 years, but he comes back, and he’s one of your best friends.

True Love is something you are going to look for in almost every person you meet, which is stupid.  Nora Roberts fucked you on that.  There is no such thing.  It’s just emotional connections that work out or not.  The other two guys, who will both break your heart by the way, they aren’t bad people.  They just couldn’t handle you, and how intense you can be.  Calm the fuck down, MJ. Take it slowly.  Stop trying to make every guy your future husband.  Calm the FUCK Down.

On Sex . . . 

You are going to waste your college years.  This is the time in life, when you should be whoring it up. But you won’t, because they told you men only marry the good girls.  THEY LIED. Men marry the Jump Offs.  You are going to be SO PISSED once you figure that out.  Sorry girl, you should have been a heaux. You had the PERFECT dating app, Greek Life. And what are you gonna do, MJ? Be friends with everyone.  Dumb Ass.

However, your greatest sexual encounters are going to be with people you’ve been friends with most of your life.  So that’s something, right MJ? You can hold out for that, you’ve only got like 13 more years to wait.

On Your Sexual Identity . . .

It’s okay that you like girls too.  It’s okay that you have crushes on girls in college.  Even though you grew up in church, and they told you something was wrong with you because you liked girls . . . It’s okay. Even though people in your family drop the F-Word with ease, and try to shame their male children for being sensitive . . . it’s OKAY.

It’s perfectly NORMAL to be BiSexual. You will be happier once you stop hiding it.  And you are going to meet some amazing people that help you get there.  Let Your Flag Fly MJ. It’s okay to be Queer.

Finally, MJ . . . 

These plans you have right now for your life, on who you are going to be, and where you are going to end up . . . WRONG. Stop trying to be like everyone else.  You aren’t.  You are so Different, and Special, and Beautiful, and Unique.  There is no one in this world like you. Your personal freedom will come, when you embrace yourself.

Stop comparing yourself to your friends, it won’t bode well for you.  Be Proud of who you are, in that moment.  Every single tear is going to be worth it.  The pain won’t last always, MJ. You are going to make it.  And it’s going to be Spectacular.

I’m Proud of You MJ,

34 Year Old You.

White Picket Dreams or TAMC Part 2a

I’m sitting here looking at this old canvas
And the picture looks so different from you
Yes it does, yes it does
Maybe it’s time to go back to the drawing board
Cause it’s likely that the man I drew is fictional

Here’s the thing . . . I haven’t listened to this album in a while.  I can’t tell you why, I just haven’t.  But thanks to my Spotify Discover Weekly, this song popped up, and Solange changed my life again.  Cuz I’ve been painting over the same canvas for years.  That image of the perfect family, the perfect life, the perfect relationship.  I continue to try to make people (men and women) I meet fit on one of the canvases I created in college, that was supposed to represent what my life should be.  Even while knowing the canvas is bullshit.  Because it is.

For five long years
I thought you were my man
But I found out
I’m just a link in your chain

It took me 10 years to get over my first love (TBTLINY). Through mostly no fault of his own, I was just holding on to the hope that we could make it work.  Because the connection was so deep, and the love was so strong. It just HAD to work. But in real life, he was just meant to be my friend (I think). {I might still be holding out hope that he will come to his senses, so sue me.  You don’t know my life.} But he’s been the prototype, for everyone that has come afterward.  They have to make me feel like I did when I first heard his voice, I have to want to be with them like I wanted to be with TBTLINY. The connection had to be that strong. Repainting on the same canvas.

If I could… could forget him, I would… please believe me
And I know that I should throw the towel in
But baby it’s not… not that easy
You treat me so much better than him, And if I was sane there’d be no competition

But… but I’m in love with someone else (ooh)
And I’m so sorry hey hey
I’m in love with another man
And I know it ain’t right

Instead of trying to heal, you tried to move on.  Even though you weren’t ready.  You might have even found a good guy/girl.  But you were still staring at that old canvas.  Longing for the life you had created in your head and your heart.  It’s so hard to let go of the image, once it’s been solidified in your mind.  That painting is stuck to the walls, and it’s not coming down until it wants to.

I used to cry myself to sleep at night
But that was all before he came
I thought love had to hurt to turn out right
But now he’s here
It’s not the same, it’s not the same

So then you meet this new person, and they can do all the things.  They make you smile all day, and you feel all the feelings, and they fit the mold.  Finally, you can take that portrait off the wall, and start making a new one.  But instead of starting over, you use the outline of the last painting to create this one.At first, it works perfectly.  Slowly but surely, it’s the little things that don’t quite fit.  The painting starts to go outside the lines. They don’t quite seem so perfect, you start to see the flaws, the colors start changing, lines get blurred.  Once again, the picture in your head was wrong.

Some of you know what it feels like
Caught up just in his life
Don’t wanna try again, thinking what’s the difference?
Why am I not interested?
Cause when you’ve been broken, you feel like no one can fix it

I’ve decided to stop painting.  I just . . . Quit. And I’m okay with that. Clearly, me trying to control every bit of this isn’t working. So I’m done now.  I just needed to say that.  Cuz yeah.  That’s the conclusion I reached yesterday. Just stop trying, cuz Adulting is hard enough without trying to be a master painter.

My need to control every little part of my life is driving me crazy.  I can say that now, probably because when this blog is published, not that many people will read it.  I wrote this a few months ago, but then I didn’t publish it.  At the time, it was because I couldn’t get the Spotify links to work right . . . But you know, everything in time.  So I’ll post it now, and let this be another part of Confession #2.




These are my Confessions Part 2

I think, I’ve only been in love 3 times. I’m not talking about bullshit crushes or infatuation. But genuine love, the kind that makes for a beautiful relationship if nurtured correctly. 

#1 is and will always be my first love/soul mate. We literally grew up together. We argue, and fall out, and Hate each other frequently. But he has a piece of me forever. 

#2 is The One That Got Away. We speak very infrequently, maybe once or twice a year. It was easy to forget WHY I fell for him in the first place. But that love is still there. Just under the surface every time we talk.

#3 broke my heart, and to cope, I stopped feeling things. Most emotions are non-existent for me, and have been for the last 4 years. It wasn’t a conscious decision on my part, but I’ve noticed it and commented on it a few times in the past. 

There was a time when being emotionally numb kept me from losing my shit on an hourly basis. My mind created this block to save me from myself. I understand that. I’ve felt safe in the numbness for these past few years. I had a whole ass 9 month long relationship, and not one feeling was exchanged. Not any real ones anyway. I was actually able to fake a relationship. 

But…. for a brief moment today, I felt something. And it scared the fuck outta me, and I relished the feeling all at the same time. I was smiling, and my heart did that flutter thing it does when you get excited about a guy {is that just me?}

It was of course, one of those 3 people I mentioned before. Because I can feel a myriad of emotions for people in my past. I can bring up those feelings and those moments with ease. I can bask in the safety those moments (good and bad) bring me, without any real fear of the outcome. Because those are MY memories. 

I don’t have to share them with anyone, even if those memories involve another person. But making NEW memories, extending myself and investing an emotion in someone new….impossible for me. 

And even as I see this happening, I’m unable to force my brain, mind, heart, soul, or whatever controls my emotional muscles, to push (it)themselves past what they already know.  

He made me smile today, just because he thought of me, and had to call.  My heart jumped, and I was short of breath as I picked up the phone. And I felt the love that has always been there, that I’d had forgotten was still there. 

And my first reaction, was to call him back after our conversation ended, and say I need a break from these feels. We can’t talk for a while, because I don’t like this feeling. Not at all. I can’t feel anything real for you, I don’t do that anymore. 

My Confession: I’m really worried I’ll never love anyone again. I’m worried I won’t even try to find it, all because losing it might just take me all the way out. 

These are my Confessions…. Part I

The last 6 months…..So much. But that blog will be written another day. It’s important to acknowledge that as a result of the last 6 months, I’m now in Therapy. Like legit therapy. Like charges $150 a session and ObamaCare only gives me an $80 a session discount type therapy. Shits real in These Here Streets. 

It’s important to know I’m in therapy not to…ask for sympathy but to instead explain my need to write this blog tonight. Part of my sessions have been about me NOT letting people know:

  1. What’s going on in my life…
  2. How I feel about the things that are going on in my life…
  3. How the things in my life have and are currently affecting me. 

So this is my way of expressing my…stuff right now.  This isn’t going to be a weekly blog or a daily blog or anything like that. But it will serve as my releasing of certain emotional/mental/spiritual”Bricks”that have been holding me down for quite some time. 

1) My main motivator in life, other than a need to just be awesome, is male approval. 

Let’s call it “Daddy Issues+.” I’ve known this since I was about 14, and I’ve been ashamed of it since then. Today, I decided to embrace it. Here’s why: 

  • As long as I’m making choices/decision that will positively affect my life, who cares what my motivation is?!?!
  • Feelings are not facts. Just because I’m judging myself for it, doesn’t mean the world is.

Today I went on an accidental 1.5 mile hike.  I say accidental because the original intention was just to walk to the end of my street. I didn’t know that was .7 miles UPHILL. My thighs are KILLING me.  I went on this walk, because someone male commented on the firmness of my calves. I mentioned the fact that I live in a house now with stairs, and I walk a lot more. “It looks good on you 😉” = Male Approval —-> Me talking a long ass walk, around my block, before dark. 

Does walking make my life better, yes. Will it help with this depression that’s always lurking, yes. Do I need to exercise more consistently, yes. So even tho I was motivated by the thought, “Wait until the next time he sees me!” I did something I need to do and is a good choice. 

So I’m releasing that shame today. Sending it out into the cosmos, never to rest or reside in me again. And I’m proud of myself for being able to do that. 

Truth Is . . . . I’m Tired

I used to tell everyone what was going on with me.  My Facebook used to be a minute by minute detailing of every emotion, action, and life event.  I didn’t expect people to wonder where I was, I told them . . .often.

Slowly, I’ve become the opposite.  With every Black Child/Man/Woman who has been killed at the hands of the “authorities,” I’ve slowly shut down. I’ve kept my problems to myself, because they seem quite trivial in the face of Systematic Racism and Murder.  No one told me to stop talking, I just don’t.

With every new hashtag, and every new addition to the “Dangerous to do While Black” list, I’ve become more and more reclusive.  I seem to have collapsed inside myself, and I’m not even sure if I want to come out at this point.  It’s hard at this point, when every single time I open my FB or my Twitter, I’m seeing pictures of people being killed by police, or videos of the aftermath of someone being killed.  Or watching a press conference where a family member breaks down.

Black Pain has become fodder for all to consume.  Even when you try to ignore it, someone is tagging you in a post, or sending you a link.  I tried to escape to Instagram today, and all the Black Celebs that were a day late, and several dollars were posting the videos, or even still pics of crime scenes.  That shit HURTS.  It causes my body to cease up in pain, because I feel every bullet.  I can feel the pain of every mother crying out for their lost child.

This . . . situation . . . has been weighing on me since the Trayvon Martin Trial (We don’t say his killer’s name). I thought about all the children I’ve taught, and the smiles on their faces, and just felt lost. Because I can’t save them.  I can’t hold them close, and make sure they are going to live forever.  I can’t even guarantee that a trip to the pool won’t end in abuse.  I can’t tell them walking to the store won’t end their death.  My crew is driving now, I can’t guarantee they won’t get pulled over and killed during a “routine” traffic stop.

That existence, the fact that I live in a world where this is the Norm, TERRIFIES me.  Since my seizure, my emotions have started to work differently.  I don’t understand them.  In addition to that, and I know this sounds crazy, I’ve been having prophetic dreams.  Nothing normal like, “so and so is pregnant,” or “you should play these numbers tomorrow.”  No, I wake up in tears, trying to stop screams from escaping my mouth so my mom doesn’t hear me.

On  the morning of June 12th, I had the scariest dream to date.  My mom and I had gone to a club to see someone perform, and we were having a great time.  All of a sudden people were running and screaming, “There is an Arabic Guy coming to kill us!” We guided everyone into the bathroom, and we were all huddled in one stall.  As he walked in the bathroom, I turned to my mom and told her I loved her, because I knew we were going to die.  Then I woke up.

I checked my phone to see news of the Pulse nightclub shooting.  I haven’t been right since.  Because, What the FUCK?!?! If that’s a Gift from God, I’m not sure how he expects me to use it.  Since that dream, I’ve only been able to remember parts of.  But I’m still afraid of where my mind will take me some nights. This World . . . This World is stressing me OUT.

I haven’t even talked about what’s been going on in my LIFE this year.  I probably won’t. Because my burdens are small compared to those of others.  Problems have come up, I’ve solved them, the best way I know how.  Maybe, when I’m famous, I’ll talk about how my life changed in 2016.  ‘Cuz it surely has.

This post is all over the place. It’s not very coherent (in my opinion). But I promised my Therapist (yes, I have one of those now) I would take at least 15 minutes to write. And I try to keep my promises, especially when they are basically homework toward healing.