24 April 2008

I was double tagged!

Being tagged is kind of cool, but being double tagged is the ish right there. Both Rosemarie and Wendy.

Da Rulez!

Link the person who tagged you.
Mention the rules in your blog.
Tell about 6 unspectacular quirks of yours.
Tag 6 following bloggers by linking them.
Leave a comment on each of the tagged blogger's blogs letting them know they've been tagged. Here goes:

1. Said it before, but I'll say it again. I CAN NOT STAND it when people hold conversations on the phone or text while using public rest rooms. It's just so nasty.

2. I'll flip between speaking plain English and Jamaican patois (pat..wah) when speaking with my family. It's funny because my American friends look at me like, "what the hell did you just say?"

3. I'm prone to leave a restaurant prematurely if I'm seated near children who are loud and their parents think nothing of it. Me and OPKs (Other People's Kids) isn't a good mix.

4. I'm very punctual and it's a sure fired way to piss me off if I have to wait longer than necessary for anyone.

5. I have to sit facing the door when I'm in a restuarant. I have to see who's coming and going; I look around discretely from time to time too, because I need to be aware of my surrounding at all times.

6. Seeing parents ignore their children while they're being spoken to and then when the child gets louder, the parent gets pissed. Well, if you paid attention to it in the first place, it wouldn't have had to get loud. *ugh*

Tagging...Don, Mizrepresent, Terry, Ali's Zay, Lyrically Yours, T.C

22 April 2008

a blast from the past

I was sorting through some old files and came across this poem. Upon reading it, I immediately recalled why I wrote it and this being Sexual Assault Awareness Month; thought it appropriate to share it. It wrote it at a time in my life when I was trying to deal with everything that had happened to me. Looking back on it now, I'm impressed and amazed with myself for having overcome and for the woman I am today.

I am but a ghost that lives a human existence
I am a fleshed being with no substance
I am eyes with no face
I am all and yet nothing.

In this fragile life I live
I ease my way though
Without disturbing the peace
Suffering the pain
Of trials I am not guilty of.

Who is it that sentences me
To such cruel states of indignation
Those of you who allow yourselves
To be the victor of the day
And worse of all
Me for allowing it to take place.

To you I shall cast no stones
I shall carry no malice
For in your time of judgement
You have only yourself to blame.

Blu Jewel 3-23-93


21 April 2008

The Gift Inside; life Packaging

I struggled with what to post today and then in my inbox was this little beauty that HAD to be shared....

We have all had the experience of encountering someone whose life seems so completely different from ours that we can almost imagine we have nothing in common. However, if we go deeper into observing, we will see that we all have the same things going on in our lives. It is as if our different lives are in essence the same gift, wrapped in an infinite variety of containers, wrapping paper, ribbons, and bows. Everybody experiences loss, grief, happiness, excitement, anger, and fear. Everyone can have money issues of one kind or another, and everyone struggles with difficult choices.

Our lives show up differently for each one of us because we each learn in different ways. One person may need to learn the value of money by having too little of it, while another may need to learn by having more than enough. We each learn about work and love, with experiences that are tailored to our particular perspective. Even as it appears that some people have it easy while others are in a continual state of struggle, the truth is that we are all learning, and it is very difficult to tell, when looking only at the exterior of a person, what’s going on inside.

This is one of the many things that can be so valuable about cultivating relationships with people from all walks of life. As we get to know those who seem so different from us, we get to really see how much of life’s challenges and joys are universal. We begin to look beyond the packaging of skin color, clothing preferences, and socioeconomic differences, hairstyles, and the cars we drive to the heart of the human experience.

It is important to honor and value the differences in our packaging, but it is just as important to honor the gift of life inside each one of us, and the fact that, no matter how different the packaging, the gift inside is the same.


18 April 2008

mind dumping

i'm tired as hell

nipping ish in the bud is the best course of action

rewarding negative behavior is just wrong

an abused child forms a glitch in the global matrix

i need a vacation

you can show me better than you can tell me

"reach out and touch somebody's hand, make this world a better place if you can" powerful lyrics

why is Tiny (T.I's baby mama) registered at Babies R Us?

why do I know that fans are going to buy them stuff?

why am I appalled at that?

i think kids these days need to go through Basic Training

it just occurred to me that i haven't read this weeks PostSecret

Organized Noise doesn't seem to have his blog up and I'm on myspace too infrequently to keep in touch with him

shout out to Karrie.b cause you're such "an effin lady" *lol*

shout out to my regulars, who've stuck with me and thanks to the new visitors for stopping by

who's heard of MiraLenz?

i've noticed that some bloggers only visit you, if you visit them

i'm still intruiged by the bloggerazzi

"if loving you was a crime, i'd do 10-life, just to make you mine"

teenage girls who dress, think, and act grown have no idea what it's really like to be a woman

words are as poweful and painful as a slap in the face

if blacks are hated so much, why are we constantly being emulated?

Kim Khardashian = a big butt and a smile *singing, Poison by BBD*

i'd love to rewrite episodes of Y&R

i'd love to create my own soap opera

my mum's going to Jamaica on Sat and i'm not *sad face* but happy for her; she needs a break

well, that's enough from me for this edition of my random ish. It's currently 3:35 am and I can't wait to get to bed *yawn*


17 April 2008

Quotes for overcoming...

As this is Sexual Abuse Awareness Month, these quotes are and can be instrumental is helping anyone overcome the abuse they've suffered. In addition, they're empowering for each of use for whatever trials we've been through or are currently struggling with. The time for improvement, for taking a stand, or for just wanting the best for your life is right NOW!

The past is over and done and has no power over me. I can begin to be free in this moment. Today's thoughts create my future. I am in charge. I now take my own power back. I am safe and I am free. – Louise L. Hay *my fave*

Fearlessness may be a gift but perhaps more precious is the courage acquired through endeavor, courage that comes from cultivating the habit of refusing to let fear dictate one's actions. – Aung san Suu Kyi

Our sorrows and wounds are healed only when we touch them with compassion. – Buddha

Life is demanding of me, start again. Begin new things. Again set to work to build your world. – Jean Toomer


Since I kind of closed the lounge, I haven't posted any poems other than the two collbos I did with Sojourner, but yesterday, something hit me and I'm sharing it with you now

Dormant thoughts suddenly arise
Trading darkened recesses for the light
At the suddenness of your presence
Unexpected synchronicity ensued
And inhibition relaxed as I yielded
To my sudden willingness to release
The gates of reluctance and resistance

16 April 2008

protecting our chldren part 2

On Monday afternoon I caught an episode of Montel where he was updating the viewers on previous guests. I watched in curious anticipation of what the show would entail and I quickly found out, and was immediately moved to tears as a result.

Montel was getting the current status on children who’d been assaulted on school grounds. I was shocked, appalled, and almost homicidal as the guests recounted the trauma that their children suffered at the hands of their peers. One boy and his friend (both aged 7) had been in the bathroom when four older boys (aged 12) came in and began threatening them. They kicked and punched the one boy, pushed him down, pulled his pants off and began raping him with a stick and then forced the stick into his penis. The four boys went on to force their penises in the boy’s mouth and in fear the remaining boy ran out to get help. He told the playground monitor what was happening and they disregarded his pleas; giving him no comfort at all. The abused boy lived in fear, pain, and intimidation for 31 days before he finally spoke up. Naturally, his mother contacted the school and sought retribution for her child only to be slapped in the face by the school not acknowledging the assault and rape. The offending boys were not suspended, expelled, or given any disciplinary punishment. The abused child under gone two surgical procedures to help correct the damage done to him and is facing a third; in spite of all the surgeries he will be scarred for life.

The real sad part of this story and the others I heard about is that the victim was treated like the bad guy. He was given no protection where needed and his abuse was compounded by school officials denying the severity of the problem and not ensuring the offenders were punished. To add insult to injury, the DA refused to prosecute citing they didn’t have enough proof or grounds. WTF? So, a 7 year old boy is violently attacked and raped, which was in part witnessed by his friend who reported it and you don’t have enough grounds? Friends, I had no words. None, zip, zero, nada! I was stunned and appalled that the school and the so-called judical system failed that child in gargantuan proportions.

This is one of many; if not hundreds of incidents that is occurring in our schools today. As parents, aunts, uncles, older brothers or sisters, we must play an active role in our children’s live in terms of their safety. We must get active in the school and find out what its policies are on bullying, assault, and other crimes that take place on school grounds. It’s important that we monitor our children’s grades, health, and behavior in order to know when something isn’t quite right. We must not remove our children from the schools when they are the victims because by doing that we’re allowing the problem to continue and leave other children in a violent environment. Instead we must remain diligent in our efforts to force the school and local authorities to take the appropriate action against the offenders. And where applicable, seek legal counsel from a lawyer who specializes in crimes against children because they are the most receptive to the issue.

Child on child violence is nothing to ignore as it can be equally brutal to adult on child violence. Furthermore, it forces dialog on how these offending children became so violent and dangerous in the first place. More often than not, the offending child was a victim of some form of abuse and/or exposed to sexual things prematurely. We cannot continue to sit idly by while our children are either becoming victims or the victimizer. Intervention and counseling is necessary for these children to understand that their actions are wrong and unacceptable. Appropriate action is mandatory to reducing this potential epidemic.

“I believe the children are our future; teach them well and let them lead the way; show them all the beauty they possess inside…” *excerpt from “Greatest Love of All”*

If that is really true, then we have of work to do; starting right NOW!


13 April 2008

40 Tips for a Better Life


1. Take a 10-30 minute walk every day. And while you walk, smile. It is the ultimate anti-depressant.

2. Sit in silence for at least 10 minutes each day. Lock the door if you have to.

3. Buy a DVD Recorder and tape your late night shows/games so that you can get more sleep.

4. When you wake up in the morning complete the following statement, 'My purpose is to __________ today.'

5. Live with the 3 E's -- Energy, Enthusiasm, and Empathy. (The ability to understand and share the feelings of others.)

6. Play more games and read more books than you did in 2007.

7. Take your time to pray. Don't rush. It provides us with daily fuel for our busy lives.

8. Spend time with people over the age of 70 and under the age of 6.

9. Dream more while you are awake.

10. Eat more foods that grow on trees and plants and eat less foods that are manufactured in plants.

11. Drink green tea and plenty of water. Eat blueberries, salmon, broccoli, almonds and walnuts.

12. Try to make at least three people smile each day.

13. Clear clutter from your house, your car, your desk and let new and flowing energy into your life.

14. Don't waste your precious energy on gossip, unnecessary things that drain your energy, issues of the past, negative thoughts or things you cannot control. Instead, invest your energy in the positive and present moment.

15. Realize that life is a school and you are here to learn. Problems are simply part of the curriculum that appear and fade away like algebra class but the lessons you learn will last a lifetime.

16. Eat breakfast like a king/queen, lunch like a prince/princess and dinner like a college kid with a limited charge card.

17. Smile and laugh more. It will keep the energy vampires away.

18. Life isn't fair, but it is wonderful.

19. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.

20. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.

21. You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.

22. Make peace with your past so it won't spoil the present.

23. Don't compare your life to others'. You have no idea what their journey is all about.

24. No one is in charge of your happiness except you.

25. Frame every so-called 'disaster' with these words: "In five years, will this matter?"

26. Forgive everyone for everything.

27. What other people think of you is none of your business.

28. GOD -- if He so chooses -- can heal anything. Pray regularly.

29. However good or bad a situation is; it will change.

30. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends will. Stay in touch.

31. Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful or joyful.

32. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.

33. The best is yet to come.

34. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.

35. Do the right thing!

36. Call your family often.

37. Each night before you go to bed complete the following statements: I am thankful for __________, (a friend or colleague). Today I accomplished _______________________.

38. Remember that you are too blessed to be stressed.

39. Enjoy the ride. Remember this is not Disney World and you certainly don't want a fast pass. You only have one ride through life so make the most of it.

40. And remember that love starts with loving yourself.


10 April 2008

what would you do?

You find out that your son has raped his step sister; do you confront him; tell your stepchild’s father; or do you say nothing?

Naturally, the latter is never the option; however, it was an option exacted by a woman who alleges that her son could never and would never do something like that. The young lady in question was very forthright about what happened and was unwavering in her telling of the story. One would assume that her father would be supportive and protective of his daughter, but instead he did little to aid in a positive outcome. His reasoning was that he didn’t want to disrupt the family and the boy would be put on any form of punishment the daughter deemed necessary. WTF? Is what I hear coming through the bloglines. Yes, that was my reaction and then some.

Naturally, this situation caused a lot of disruption in the household and to add insult to injury the father then began to touch his daughter inappropriately while she slept. Again, the daughter spoke up, but to no avail and her stepmother gave her even more grief than before.

Long story short, the young lady finally spoke up to someone who believed her and in her and provided some much needed support. She moved out of the home and into the home of a caring person. Eventually, the young lady contacted the police and charges were filed.

This story is one that is particularly painful for me to comprehend because there is no reason why the father was so complacent in his roles and responsibilities. Wait, I digress. I guess it was obvious per his own molestation of his daughter, that he had issues and couldn’t be the father he was supposed to be. He shirked his responsibility when he downplayed what his stepson had done as did his wife; citing the boy couldn’t do such a thing. Why could he not. The girl was not his blood relative, she might have been attractive to him, and he could simply be deviant in his behavior traits. Whatever the case, this situation is a illustration of how families downplay and perpetuate sexual assault.

As I stated in yesterday’s post, we must stop acting like these things couldn’t happen to us or our children. We must believe in our children when they say someone did something to them. There is minimal reason why any child would lie about something like that. Yes, there are those who are malicious enough to lie, but for the most part that happens infrequently.

Reinforcing family values, family codes of conduct, and talking about sexual issues is paramount to establishing a good and functional family structure. We live in a society that blurs the lines on so many sexual topics, but this should not be one of them. It is more than important to educate our children and family members about proper sexual tones and overtures. We must teach our children to know the difference between a good touch and a bad touch. Educating males and females from an early age on is essential to their knowing how to conduct themselves and how to be treated by others in spite of the sexual overtones they’re exposed to.

I look forward to the day when sexual abuse is eradicated.


09 April 2008

And I wonder Part 2

I look at lil lady who'll be 16 on Friday and wonder what I'd do if someone violated her in any way. As one who's been on the down side of that issue, I know my gut instinct would be to shoot first; ask questions later. Naturally, that wouldn't serve either my daughter of myself well seeing as I'd end up indicted because I wouldn't be able to conjure up Johnny Cochran (RIP) to get me off.

Since lil lady was 18 months old, I began teaching her about "good touch' bad touch" because she was enterting pre-school and I wanted her to know that people couldn't just touch her any old kind of way. I told her that neither an adult nor a child could touch her under her clothes, between her legs, or in any way that made her uncomfortable. Fortunately, lil lady was quite a talker at an early age and seemed to comprehend what I was saying and was vocal (in her own way) in asking about what I meant. I checked her over daily and asked if anyone had touched her when she went to the bathroom. Thank goodness there were no negative reports, but it never gave me room for pause because I know how quickly and easily these things can occur.

As she aged, I continued to educate her about "good touch; bad touch" and reinforced how important it was to tell me or another adult she trusted if someone did anything to her. I also reinforced to her that she could talk to me about anything no matter what it was because I would be there to support her through everything. Again, I was and continue to be fortunate that nothing bad has happened to her and I pray that it never will. I feel good as a parent that I take the time to talk to my daughter about not letting anyone do anything to her or be in a position where she could be violated or compromised in any way. As a survivor, I speak from first hand knowledge to lil lady so I don't sound text book, so she can know beyond a shadow of a doubt that I'll be there in everyway, and that I'll always advocate her safety and well being. I refuse to be that parent who doesn't speak about sexual crimes to their daughter or son for that matter. I refuse to think that it couldn't happen to mine. I also refuse to accept that she should remain silent God-forbid something happened to her. We've discussed the importance of speaking up, coming forward, and enlisting the law if necessary. Forget embarassment and such; sexual assault is a CRIME!

I wasn't fortunate to receive all the warnings, advice, and information that I provide lil lady. I also didn't have the confidence in telling anyone what happened to me until much later in my life. I was blessed to receive strong pastoral guidance, the care of two great counselors, and a few compassionate friends to aid in my recovery and survivorship. I'm in a wonderful place in my life and have put that past very far behind me. It's my goal to help anyone male or female through the recovery process of sexual abuse. It's a heinous and ugly crime that is inflicted far too often.

Whether we realize it or not, we all know someone who's been a victim of a sexual crime. Sexual crimes are not crimes of violence; though the act itself can be; it's a crime of deviance and control. We must not allow this to continue. I ask that each of you get in touch with a resource center and see what you can do to help those affected by sexual crimes. We react to the raping of children in other countries with disgust and passion, yet fail to react when it happens in our homes or communities. Though it's a global epidemic, we must take care of home first. We need to rebuild our communities and prevent this dysfunction and the silence from continuing. We must attention to the behavior patterns of our children. We must stop using sex as a tool or a weapon of mass desrtuction. We have to encourage open dialog on this topic and stop shying away from it. That uncle whom we know it a little "off" so we stay away from him must be confronted if his behavior is that questionable. We can NOT ignore the signs that are often very much obvious.

I'm not embarassed to air my past because I feel that by doing so I'm letting it go and also helping someone else work toward their own healing and recovery.


08 April 2008

Open Letter #2

April is Sexual Abuse Awareness Month and it's important for each of us to play our part in helping those affected by this awful act inflicted upon so many.

This story is true, but has been embelished a little to protect the guilty and not so guilty. It sheds like on how easily people set themselves up or get set up for failure.

She says she loves you and you’re the best thing that has ever happened to her. She says you love her and you treat her well, but I’m unfazed by your six-figured salary, your Italian custom-made suit, the gated community you reside in and your high-priced car. I don’t care that you have flawless credit, the sexiness in your swagger, or the luminousness of your smile. None of that means a thing when you don’t know how to treat the woman you’re with and your reward to her is slapping her around for the slightest infraction of the rules you’ve laid down. She can swear up and down it was a one time deal; until the next time she’s bruised and hiding behind MAC makeup. I could care less that you can afford to fly her to Paradise Island on a whim and shower her with jewels to make it “better” and profess your love behind a sinister smile.

Personally, I think she’d be better off with someone who had less than the material things that made you that much more impressive to her than Average Joe. She’s a good woman though I’m starting to lose sight of the girl I once knew who loved to go out with her girls, get her hair/nails done, and sip martinis over girl talk. Now all I see is the shell of who she was; extra heavy make up and hear the plethora of reasons why she can’t hang out or talk on the phone; well unless she’s at work.

Friends and family of home girl, please find a way to intercede. I’ve tried talking to her and I know she hears me, but she won’t listen. She makes excuses for him and says it’s not so bad. She says it’s better than being with Average Joe and tries to convince me that he treats her well because he showers her with anything she wants. I challenge that by asking if he fulfills her needs. That’s an answer I never get. I recall the miscarriage after her got her drunk at a party and raped her because she told him she wasn’t feeling well as a result of the alcohol. Now she can’t have children because he took his time getting her to the doctor.

Mom, you should be ashamed of yourself because you have an inkling of what’s going on and you won’t do anything about it. You’re reaping the fruits of her beatings when he pays your bills and sends you on vacations. Is this the life you want for your baby girl? Are you so blinded by the benjamins that you can no longer see your child? Average Joe may not have been able to pay more than his share of the bills, or didn’t live in a gated community, but he sure as hell treated your daughter well. He gave her his love; real love, he respected her, and treated her as he equal; not his dog or servant. The sad thing is you’d be the first one protesting for his conviction if he ever enforced a fatal blow.

Dad, where were you when you’re daughter needed you while she was growing up? How come you’d rather spend your time and energy with your new family instead of excluding your daughter from it? Where were you when she needed those father-daughter talks? Sending a check every other week wasn’t enough; she needed you. She needed your guidance, your love, and your discipline. She needed that male figure that was supposed to have given her some insight as to what men could be like. You failed her miserably and then embraced Mr. Six-Figures when you met him purely by chance saying that at least someone else was taking care of her now. What? What kind of bullshit is that? You’re a silent contributor to her plight and you make me sick.

Mister Six-Figures that’s all you are. You’re a farce and a poor excuse for a man. A real man wouldn’t need to beat his woman, force her into sex, which is called rape by the way; nor would he isolate her from her friends/family. I’m not sure what happened to you along the way to make you the person you’ve become, but I’m here to say, you need help. There’ll only be so many times that you can abuse her before she finally snaps or you kill her. You need help and you need it now. I’ll continue to keep you both in prayer because Lord know it’s what you both really need.