image

Remember that..?
The year was 1994. I was 22 years old.
Young. Impressionable. Mean as ever, but this film taught me a valuable lesson. I believed in love.
I was in young love at the time, but I didn’t want my love. Oh no, I wanted the love  Jason was showing Lyric.

Jason’s Lyric is a romantic drama, written by Bobby Smith, Jr, and directed by Doug McHenry. These two were notable and equally successful as producers with various films, including the classic, New Jack City.

Jason’s Lyric features actors including Allen Payne (who I was in love with), Jada Pinkett Smith, Bokeem Woodbine, Treach, Eddie Griffin, Lahmard Tate, Lisa Nicole Carson, and Forest Whitaker. The story is set in Houston, Texas, and centers around a group of young adults who learn to deal with hurt, love and maturity, in the mist of very trying times.

Jason (Allen Payne my love *smile*) is a stand up guy who could have been a product of his colorful environment, but instead has a straight track mind, and a job in a television repair shop. He  lives at home with his loving, hard-working mom (Suzzanne Douglas) whom he adores. His bad, narrow minded brother Joshua (Bokeem Woodbine) is the younger of the two and has just been released from prison, and he and Jason are like night and day. Josh is a volatile, alcoholic who is clearly mental and extremely disturbed. He’s an an ex-con who is destined for nothing short of a violent end. He deals drugs for petty cash and joins a crew plotting a bank robbery.

When Lyric (Jada Pinkett Smith) walks into the shop where Jason works to buy a television, Jason is immediately smitten. She has dreams laced in what seems like fairytale, etched in poetry, mapped out by way of escape. She inspires Jason, and invites him into another world that he didnt know existed. Their relationship suddenly blossoms into love.

Jason has nightmares of his rocky childhood, that is filled with domestic abuse and tradgedy. Forest Whitaker plays his father, Mad Dog. Througout the film we learn that either Jason or Joshua killed Mad Dog while he drunkenly attacked their beloved mother. Lyric forces him in the most gentle , but truthful way to learn to deal with his past, and move on with his life.

“I can’t be hurt by you Jason, but that’s exactly what your gonna do if you keep trying to save a brother that don’t wanna be saved.”

“Sometimes heroes have to walk away. Walk away, Jason… or we can’t be together.”

Damn…

This comes enlight of the brewing war between Lyrics thug ass brother Alonzo, and the death wish crazy gun toting Joshua.

The plot thickens..

Now look, when I saw this film in the movies, I was with a group of eight, yet it was if I was there alone. Well, me and Jason.
Tehe…
I was so enthralled in it, that it was like I had become Lyric. There is a part near the end when she was shot, and I began to weep. Not cry. Honey, I wept. Loudly.
It took me a while to come down from that moment. Someone sitting in back of me said out loud, “Damn, what you know them.”
That’s when I snapped back to reality. I was so embarrassed. I couldn’t believe I had let my hard, no nonsense self slip in puplic like that. I didn’t even know I had those kinds of feelings. But that was the day that I realized I believed in love.

These were young black folks, just like me. I’ve always loved the magic and enchantment of the fairytale. Because of Jason’s Lyric, baby I knew that true love existed.

Aahh…

Nostalgia.

Instead of a crowded movie theater with friends, I’m watching with my eighteen year old daughter. Thinking, reflecting, and remembering young love.
I told her the story of the movie theater when I cried out. No… When I wept. And she laughed at me so hard.

I told her, one day you may be so captivated by something, so caught up on the idea of love that it might bite your little prissy behind in the butt too.

Ha!

Jason’s Lyric. A cult classic in my book.
Do you remember? Please share your thoughts.

As always
Peace and love,
Dee

Advertisements

image

Yo.
Did I just say yo.
Yes I did.. let me say it again for effect.
Yo!
Fox’s EMPIRE  finale was off the chain.
Full of twist and turns, and truly what I needed it to be.
Sometimes, you walk away from a finale show feeling disappointed, like something is missing, feeling confused, lost, and bewildered.
Trust me, that was not the case with Empire.
I’m not fan of the Fox network in general, but credit is certainly due to the network for bringing forth this artistry.
Every week viewership has steadily climbed, and it’s not just the young hip hop community that’s watching. It’s all cultures, everywhere.. watching.
I had my doubts in the beginning and almost didn’t tune in.
I was thinking not another urban hip hop show. Why should I waste my time watching this stereotypical propaganda.
And then… something magical happened.
Taraji P. Henson.
Chile… She was phenomenal. Almost born for this Cookie role it seems.
The chemistry between her character, and the others worked well.
I couldn’t get the music out of my head.
The guest appearances were great.
The show simply worked.
It has festered itself into the folds of my Wednesday nights, and it has done so boldly, fiercely, and unapologetically.
I walked away from last night’s episode with this in mind.
While some aspects of the finale were predictable, others were not and caught me totally off guard.
I found myself screaming loudly during some of the scenes, and let me tell you, I haven’t done that since the second season of Scandal.
Yea chile, even had some palpitations…
I can’t wait for the next season.
Will this Empire continue to rise, or will said Empire fall? We shall see.
I walked away feeling genuinely satisfied also with this in mind, the show isn’t real life. It’s entertainment. It’s goal is to entertain. No more, no less.
I don’t want to spoil it for those who haven’t watched the finale yet, so I won’t go into a full recap.
Just know.. trust your girl on this. I’m rarely wrong about these things. You must watch the Empire 2 hour season finale. You won’t be disappointed.
I could be partial, but I honestly think anybody who didn’t feel anything must be emotionally limp.
Or purely un-entertainable at best. Is that a word? Oh who cares. I used it. hmph!
For those that did watch, what did you think? Did you enjoy the finale show as much as me or am I living in a made up fantasy world?
🙂

Peace and love,
Dee

Slowly surely, 
I walk away from that old desperate and dazed love.
caught up in the maze of love, the crazy craze of love. 
thought it was good.
thought it was real.
thought it was but, it wasn’t love 

I just don’t know….

(Conclusion)

image

Agnes had convinced daddy that she was doing some kind of therapy on me to make sure I wouldn’t turn out to be a sissy. Daddy was so driven in his desire to have a real man for a son, that he would have agreed to almost anything.

Agnes started out real low key for the first few years. She would talk to me and tell me that Todd was wrong for what he was doing. She said it wasn’t right for boys to mess with boys. Boys should be with girls to grow up, and get married. Boys couldn’t get married to boys she said. Todd shouldn’t have made me think it was okay. Funny thing about it though, Agnes never once said it was wrong for grown men to mess with children, she kept telling me about being a sissy, and how that would break my daddy’s heart. I guess she didn’t take into account how her sleeping with me was going to break his heart too.

Back in the courtroom, I realized I had done it again. I blacked out. My thoughts had traveled off to horrible thoughts of my past.

My Dad was on trial. For killing dirty Agnes, and I felt nothing about that.

I was asked a series of questions.

Yes, Agnes abused me for many years.

Yes, I started to get confused somewhere around the age of fourteen, and I thought I’d started to like it.

She tried to convince me that we had to get away from my father and be together. I never for a second considered going anywhere with Agnes.

No, I didn’t plan to kill her with my father. He did that all on his own.

I don’t think he thought about it much. It was like he just snapped. He’d had enough. Because of him bringing Agnes into our lives, and then her brother. He also realized that my innocence was lost. It was all too much to bear.

The phone calls from my school, the vandalism, the fights, the hiding out in the girls bathroom, grabbing girls on the ass, getting expelled from school, it was all becoming too much.

The best thing he did for me was send me to a psychotherapist. At that point, everything started to become clear. I always knew that Agnes was wrong. I despised her for it, but when she came into my room to drag me into the basement, I never denied her.

My therapist explained that I had started to identify with my abuser. It didn’t mean I liked it, but it became normal. The reaction from my body was related to stimulation and being an adolescent, I couldn’t control that.  Again, it was my way of coping. I started off telling my therapist bits and pieces at first. I told her everything about Todd. But I would only elude to certain things as it related to Agnes.

The therapist was no dummy. Childhood trauma and abuse were her areas of expertise. She told me that what we talked about was confidential, but she was also required to tell me that if anything I told her was harmful to myself or others, she would most likely have to report it. I guess I wanted her to in a way. As luck would have it, she was a day late and a dollar short with her reporting because the next thing you know, Daddy had took care of Agnes.

And now he is here on trial. For murder.

Daddy told Agnes that she was just as wrong as Todd, if not more for the way she carried on with me. He told her it wasn’t normal and it needed to stop. He told her he was sending me to see a certified therapist to help me out the right way. He told her to stop.

But she didn’t.

It would be that last time he walked in and she had me on the sofa trying to unzip my pants. He walked into the house, spotted us, and went into the back. Ten seconds later he was back with glazed eyes, and a gun.

Pop goes the weasel.

Agnes fell to her death right in our living room and I felt nothing.

Daddy picked up the phone and called the police and told them he had just killed his wife.

Daddy then made another phone call and I heard him say, “I need you to look after Bryant. I’m going a way for a while and he needs some help. He doesn’t have anybody else. He has been through so much, and it’s time for you to be here for him. He needs you. Don’t let him down.”

At the time, I couldn’t figure out who daddy was talking to.

When the police came, daddy had his hands up. He said he was unarmed. He had placed the gun in a paper bag on the table.

He looked at me and told me he was sorry for the things he had allowed to happen to me. He said he hoped one day I’d forgive him.

He said he did it for me so that I could get free.

He did it so that I could have a chance.

The police called a social worker and daddy gave her a number saying that the person was going to take care of me and they should call them right away.

The person Daddy had contacted was my real mother. Cynthia Sails. I’m living with her now. It was hard at first, because I didn’t  know her. It had been over a decade since I last saw her, and Daddy told me she was gone and never coming back. I didn’t know that my mother had suffered a nervous breakdown after the loss of her second child. A girl. She named her Dasia. I didn’t know I had a baby sister that died in my mother’s arms at the hospital before she had a chance to bring her home. I didn’t know that it caused her great pain to look me in the eyes, and see the same eyes as her dead baby. I didn’t know. Daddy never said a word. He only said she wasn’t coming back, but he never said a word, good bad or indifferent against my mother. We simply didn’t discuss her. I was angry at her for so long, and never considered that she was in the messed up state of mind that she was.

She had lived in a wellness facility for three years after she left.

She had gone back to school and obtained a degree to practice wellness therapy herself. She said that it had saved her life, and she wanted to do the same for as many people has she could. She had rebuilt her life from the ground up. The only unfinished business she had was me.

She had tried to contact me. First through yearly birthday and Christmas cards. I never received one.

She’d located where we lived and showed up at the house several times but she was always turned away by Agnes.

She had called, but was always told that I nor my father were willing to speak to her.

Daddy never knew either. He had recently found out about a week before the shooting, that my mother had been trying to contact us. She ran into an old friend of theirs from high school. He was still friendly with Daddy. He passed the information on to him. They met for coffee and had a long talk. He never told my mom about the abuse that I’d suffered in detail. He only told her that he had messed up in raising me and he had subjected me to dysfunction that could potentially ruin my life. He had already been speaking to her about taking me. She was ready to do whatever it took to have me back in her life. And now, I am living with her. I’ve told her everything about my abuse. She has encouraged me to continue with therapy and I have. She has helped me out a great deal also.

Through therapy, I realized the visions that I had of harming women, of wanting to “getting mines” even if it meant taking it, the thoughts of harming myself, was all a direct result of what I’d suffered. I wanted to change. I was ready for change.

Daddy ended up being sentenced to ten years in prison for the murder of his wife. The judge believed that daddy had truly snapped when he pulled the trigger on Agnes. Although Daddy was a victim of Agnes’ sickness, he believed that Daddy could have stopped the abuse a long time ago, and he failed to protect me in that. For this reason, Daddy couldn’t beat his case.

We never saw or heard from Todd again.

I’m twenty-two years old now, and I have completely turned my life around. I didn’t do it alone. First off, God is the source of my strength and he helps me stay grounded in my faith. My therapist who I’ve been working with consistently for almost five years has been a great asset in my health. My mother who referred me to a wellness center for two years and continues to support me and be a listening ear when life gets a bit hard. My lovely wife. I would have never believed I’d have someone who would love me with all my flaws, who would soothe me at night, and hold my hand during the moments that matter most. My wife Angela is my biggest supporter. It may seem unbelievable, but my father is my greatest champion. He saved my life. The best way he knew how to at the time, he saved it. And he reconnected me with my mom. We keep in touch through letters, and although I don’t visit him much, I’ve forgiven him for the active role he took in my childhood abuse. I went back to school and obtained my general equivalency diploma. I went to college and graduated with honors. I’ve since become an advocate for childhood trauma and abuse, and a motivational speaker. I want to use my life as an example and my voice as a vessel. Things happen in life that make no sense and that is often so hard to understand. I am here to tell others that my life was a mess, but even if we go through terrible experiences, we can still rise. It takes work. It takes determination. But we can rise. I no longer carry the shame I use to carry because I know it was never my fault. I no longer walk alone because I know there is always someone walking with me. Waiting for me at the finish line. I no longer walk alone, now I walk with many.
_______________________________________
Earlier last week I posted part 1 which you can read here https://deejourneyofafabmom.wordpress.com/2015/02/05/you-dont-know-my-shame-i-walk-alone/ this week I posted part 2 herehttps://deejourneyofafabmom.wordpress.com/2015/02/16/you-dont-know-my-shame-i-walk-alone-part-2/

In the beginning, this story was difficult to write. It’s even harder for me to read some of the earlier parts I’ve written. Trust me when I tell you that my heart cries out for this character. When Bryant was a child and what he went through, It wasn’t easy for me to try and bring that to life. With telling this story, I am in no way bringing glory or sensationalism to childhood abuse, pedophiles, or those who victimize children. These types of people are the lowest scums of life as far as I’m concerned. However, these things do happen. I don’t think we discuss it enough or take the proper steps to protect children and help them gain normalcy after something as traumatic as this.

The story was created purely from my imagination as a way to raise awareness. The hope is that maybe someone who has been a victim will seek help. The hope is that others will know that they are not alone. There is help, there is hope, and there is support. Although Bryant, the character in the story isn’t based on anybody that I personally know, these awful events happen all the time, and he could be someone that you the reader knows. Pretending that it doesn’t exist won’t help any of these helpless, often voiceless victims.

As the story progressed, I wanted to show him going through various degrees of feelings. He went from sadness, to shame, to anger, to violence, to desperation, to despair, to hope, to faith, to health, to freedom, to success, to love, and to life. He got help, he began living life and moving on. Rising above it because after all, that is real. Many of us rise above our circumstance, and become survivors. If you are a victim or know someone else who is a victim of any type of abuse, please try to get help. If needed a list of resources are below.

This story is my contribution. Each one, teach one.

Peace and Love,
Dee

National childhelp abuse hot line – 1-800- 4-A-CHILD that’s 1-800-422-4453

National sexual assult hotline 1-800-656-HOPE that’s 1-800-656-4673

National Children’s Advocacy Center contact 256-533-5437 ( to find one in your area)

It’s your fault I’m so militant !

image

First off, as a mother I don’t want to hear my child telling me anything is my fault. It somehow unravels the natural fibers of my mother ego.

Secondly, I did not teach my daughter to be militant. I taught her…. things.. Black history.
Pride.
The facts.
But never the behavior of militancy.

There is a storty here.
A backdrop.
My anaylitical mind is perculating, and I need answers.
I think I know how it happened.
When I was a kid, I loved reading, learning and discovering new things. I especially loved history. I devoured anything black history. I wanted to know all that I could. I wanted to know about my people, and I was proud. Althought indirectly, my mother fed me history, but it was mainly through music. Everything we listened to was about having pride, getting up, never giving up, and keeping on. I’m a product of the 70’s.

I was a smart kid. I loved school and english was my favorite subject. Any time reading and writing was involved,  I was all in.  Well as much as I loved school, I did a lot of stupid things. Manly dropping out of school so I could rip and run the streets. When I wasn’t in school, my obsession with the dictionary grew to new heights. I studied it daily. Wrote words and definitions over and over and quizzed myself. Even though I dropped out, I went back for my GED. A fact that brought me much shame through the years and one of the things I’ll always regret. I vowed, when I became a mother my children would be educated and would take that education as far as it could go.

The time had come. I had my first child at twenty years old. I was a young mother, and I had so much to prove to myself, and everyone else. I taught my daughter everything I knew. We spent all of our time at libraries and museum’s. Around the age of three, I started teaching her about African American history. I showed her movies. I had her watch cartoons based on the lives of Martin Luther King, Malcom X, Harriet Tubman, and so on. And as she got older, I started taking her to historical places based on slavery and freedom. I thought I was doing the right thing. I knew I was doing right by teaching her to take pride in herself and teaching her the culture,  her culture. But somehow, it went south. She went to predominantly mixed raced schools, and I have to admit, early on, the child was very militant, even at a young age. I may be over using the word militant here, but for the sake of this post, I’ll keep it. I mean, she is not walking around in war gear and standing on front lines against anything. Although she did lay in the street for Mike Brown, but I’ll save that for another day. Let me be clear, she is not racist. But yes, black power ish to the 10th power the girl is. Like the long lost daughter of a black panther. Yes, a bit prejudice, I mean we all have some level of prejudice in us, and it’s not always directed at the other race.  Prejudice can come in various forms.
I am not sugar coating anything.
I genuinely want to know, have I failed my child?
She is a grown woman now and perfectly able to make her own decisions, but she did not miss the opportunity to let me know that I had ruined her. I taught her history, and she wore it like the scarlet letter. We speak freely about it. We even laugh at about it now. The way I drilled these historical events in her life. The way she cried when I took her on the makeshift slave ship at the Blacks and Wax museum.  But when she told me it was my fault that she was so militant, I searched my brain trying to figure out where I went wrong. My other kids are different, and I taught them different. But this oldest girl, she got it bad. I have one more shot with my eight year old. Just like her sister, she is eager to learn, and taking pride in herself. I must make sure this doesn’t turn wrong. I have to make sure I don’t raise another militant child.
Lord…

Side note: my daughter is totally harmless. She isn’t outwardly displaying any bad overly rude behavior. She is quiet. An observer. She was also taught to love everyone equally and with a clean slate. And she does that, but she has her views of which I do respect.

How do you teach your children of a difficult history without shaping their minds into something… militant?

I’m no expert. I’m just trying to do right by mines with the information I’ve been given. I won’t water it down. And I won’t teach hate. It’s all about the truth with me. Always, truth reigns.

Peace and love,
Dee

“I don’t want no sissy for a son switching and twitching around here.”

image

Imagine walking around in a fog for pretty much all of your childhood. Well, that’s what it was like for me, a hazzy fog.

There is so much about my life that I don’t remember. I am missing total periods of time. Those memories are so traumatic that my therapist said it’s my way of protecting myself by blocking things out. I told the therapist that when the images became bad I would just bang my head up against the wall until everything went black. She wrote down on her notepad and gave me a very concerned look.

I didn’t know what to think. Who I liked or could trust. I still didn’t know why my Mom had disappeared one day and never returned. Daddy only told me that she was gone and I needed a new mother.

In comes stepmother Agnes.

Dirty Agnes.

And then came her brother Todd.

Nasty Todd.

Uncle Todd continued to fool with me every chance he got. He always told me if I ever told on him, my Daddy would go to jail because he would surely kill him. Then he explained that I would be put into foster care with folks that I didn’t know and who would subject me to greater horrors than him tugging on my thing. And for a long while, I didn’t say a word.

Todd started becoming more aggressive with me and he was talking crazy saying that I should be grateful that he loved me so much. He always wanted me to watch these movies with him where men were tugging and pulling on each other. He said the movies would show me that it was all in fun. I never watched. I would shut my eyes tight, and only opened them when Uncle Todd caught me.  He tried to introduce a new game and I wasn’t having that. I managed to talk him out of it that time. I decided, I was going to tell my Dad everything. If Todd ended up dead, at least his sick games, as he called them, would stop.

My Dad was a straight up madman when he found out what Uncle Todd had been doing to me. He beat Agnes to a pulp for bringing her brother into our lives. He went everywhere looking for Todd; his job, the gym, his friends houses and he soon found out that Todd was on the run. I don’t know what happened, but I never saw him again.

Daddy was angrier than ever and he was always blowing off his on the road trucking jobs and this wasn’t good because that job was our bread and butter. He didn’t trust Agnes anymore. He was afraid that if he left for an extended amount of time, that Todd would come back.  I heard him whispering to Agnes, “I don’t want no sissy for a son, switching and twitching around here.” He said he noticed that I had a switch in my walk now, and I was a little bit too soft for his standards. He blamed Agnes for it all. Daddy never blamed me, but he never was able to look me in my eyes quite the same again. When he did, tears would well up in his. He spent all his time jumping down Agnes’ throat. She told him she would work with me and fix what her pediphile brother had done. She promised to make it right.  Daddy agreed, but he had no idea that her “fixing me” meant that she would soon take over where Todd left off.
________________________________________

This is a continuation of my short story, You Don’t Know My Shame (I walk alone.) I posted part one last week. You can read it by clicking here  https://deejourneyofafabmom.wordpress.com/2015/02/05/you-dont-know-my-shame-i-walk-alone/  I will post the conclusion to this story one day this week.
As I said in my earlier post, this story is a work of fiction. I was reminded by someone that boys are abused, molested, and victimized by women and men also. The characters came alive in my head, and I believe these stories haven’t been told enough. It is not to sensationalize the abuse, but to raise awareness. it is also my hope to help someone. We are often faced with individuals who truly crazy, and out of their minds, and I believe some people are just that way. But, sometimes I think to myself,  how did they get that way. It’s almost always some underlying childhood abuse, trauma, or rage that took place. When we read headlines where people have done senseless acts, we don’t think often of how the person got that way. I’m not vindicating anyone. I’m simply here for the children. The voiceless ones. The hurt ones. The lost ones. As a victim of childhood abuse myself, I feel it my duty to bring awareness, and create a dialog that will prayerfully evoke some sort of change. As uncomfortable as it is to read, its that much harder for me to write. But… these kids need us. They need us to advocate, to speak up and tell their stories. This…. is my contribution.

Each one, teach one.

Peace and love,
Dee
Xoxo