Archive for the ‘Healing’ Tag

Am I Not Good Enough? by Angenita Williams

*This is NOT a blog about being sad, or feeling unworthy. It IS a reflection.*

In the midst of my reading and studying, I usually play music or have the TV on for background noise. Sometimes, I have both. But yesterday, I decided to listen to the YouTube personality April Mason. She is an empowering woman with some really good points. I just wasn’t ready for what she had to say.

She had a letter from a young woman who explained that there was a guy she was “dating.” He was nice. He treated her well. He was fine. His sex was awesome. But he didn’t want to be in a relationship. Although he did all the things that couples do, he made it clear that a relationship was something he did not want. She was understandably confused. His actions did not match his words….definitely something I can relate to.

April went through all the usual relationship advice: why buy the cow when you get the milk for free; you allowed him to dictate the “relationship;” you must love yourself first…and so on and so forth. But then she said this:

“This may sound harsh, but you are not good enough.”

I stopped studying.

“You are good enough to hang out and go to the movies with. You are good enough to share meals with. You are good enough to have sex with. But you are not good enough to be his WOMAN. You are a placeholder for his permanent one.”

I sat up. Not good enough to be his woman?

I’ve often felt like I was never good enough. My self-esteem hasn’t been the highest. Although I was always told I was beautiful, I didn’t really believe it – I was fat. I didn’t have a nice shape and I was bigger than most guys – but I was still cute and my smile lit up a room.  I knew I was smart – my grades showed it. I was a little short on being street smart until I got to the streets and had to learn to navigate. I never quite learned how to navigate relationships with men though.

I was always good enough to converse with because I do have a nice conversation. I have a brain and I can go from goofy to intellect in a split second. I was nice to hang around because I carry an aura of comfort; of loving. I can cook a little bit, so of course I was good enough to make meals for a man. Of course I was always good enough to have sex with. I’m a nice looking, fluffy woman that’s well endowed. I take care of my kids. I’m smart. I’m funny. I’m loyal.

But I still wasn’t good enough.

 I wasn’t good enough for my father to love me enough to show me that I was indeed worthy to be treated like a human being.  I didn’t have a very high bar to compare any man to. Attention was enough I suppose. I wasn’t good enough for my ex to not marry a woman that I knew was all the way wrong for him, but yet he still came to me on plenty of nights until I stopped him. I wasn’t good enough for the guy who told me he wouldn’t hurt me, but he didn’t want a relationship…after sex. Or the one that said that no man would really want me because of my ready made family. Or the one who stopped talking to me when I took sex off the table. Or the one that sent unsolicited penis pics. Or the one who thought I would stay despite his abuse.  When I got married, I felt that finally I WAS good enough…I secured a lifelong bond with a man I was madly in love with…

But I wasn’t even good enough for my husband. No matter how loyal or loving or supportive I was, I just wasn’t good enough to keep him from the abandonment or the side chicks.

In the aftermath of all of this, I find that I am still just not good enough. I’m good enough to hang with or converse with, or even to sex…but I’m not good enough to be a man’s significant other. I’m not good enough to be the ONE.

My attributes are great. I am wonderfully flawed.  I’m beautiful. I’m sarcastic. Intelligent. I like sports. I cuss like a sailor. I am articulate. I can get moody. I can appear standoffish or disinterested.  I can discuss politics, Beyonce, Maya, and Bugs Bunny. I am lovingly loyal – I would say to a bit of a fault. I am a sweetheart when I want to be. I’m the perfect homegirl. I’m caring. I’m supportive – an awesome cheerleader. I adore my children and my grandchildren. I will go to war with the world over my children. I love my family. I work hard. I hustle harder. I strive to be the best I can be with all my flaws. 

This year marks my 40th year on this Earth. I look at the world through a lens of life experiences. I do have faith in God, something I can’t say I’ve always had. My confidence level as definitely increased by the multitudes. But, in the area of relationships and commitment, something always falls relatively short. And with all the #inboxfoolishness I get, with all the dates that are made but never completed, all the notions of just wanting sex from me and nothing more, I wonder…

Will I ever be good enough?

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Tragedy and Travesty of Violence by Angenita Williams

 

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We only become what we are by the radical and deep-seated refusal of that which others have made of us.

~ Jean-Paul Sartre

I cried when the Trayvon Martin verdict was read….I cried when I learned that Jordan Davis’ killer didn’t get convicted of his murder, but of attempted murder of his friends…I was in dismay and utter disbelief when Eric Garner’s death was ruled a homicide, yet it doesn’t appear an arrest has been made…and angered at how long it took to even get a name of the police officer that shot Michael Brown…

I’m left with the questions of how can my son, grandsons, and nephews trust the police to protect and serve them when they are viewed threats and unworthy of living? How can the community not be in a state of fear and depression when oppressors are all around them? How do these actions and circumstances differ from a 1960’s state of America? Isn’t this modern-day lynching? When is that change gone come? How is it gonna come?

Our men are accustomed to being the last rung on the ladder when it comes to this country. They are put down as nothing; regarded to animals. A professor by the name of Charles Carroll details this in his book “The Negro A Beast” or “In the Image of God” published in 1900. And something from so long ago still resonates in our country. It’s also worthy to note, the Bible is also used in this book to justify that Black people are not human, and according to page 138 of that text, scientific research demonstrates that “no wooly-haired nation has ever had an important history.”

It doesn’t help that Black America cannot unite unless some tragedy occurs; nor does it help that our youth of today buck authority, and just don’t care. But how can they when they are resorted to being shot like raging beasts when all they try to do is surrender, break up a fight, or lay face down and follow orders? Can one even imagine how depressing living in that manner is? It’s a wonder that we still have some strong men left in our community.

The stereotype of Black America will always supersede the accomplishments of Black America, and that alone makes for a bleak existence in this country. What is extremely disheartening is that many folks in the community either believe the stereotype completely or perpetuate it. Look at those who leave the ‘hood never to return, and snub their noses at where they came from. What about those who don’t reach back to the ‘hood to help those in need? What about those who refer to their own people as “useless, unkempt, and unnecessary?” Whatever the case, though, stereotypes should never, ever equal death. Books should never be judged by their cover, and when it comes to our men, the covering of their skin is justifiable homicide…simply because of America’s belief that black men are simply unworthy and animalistic. Men who were once deemed as kings are resorted to being less important that mistreated dogs. (See Michael Vick.)

The protests happening in Missouri attempt to thwart the notion that we can be peaceful. But it’s kinda hard to do when you have armored tanks, weapons, and tear gas descending upon you when all you want is justice. It’s hard to turn a cheek when you are being bullied by the powers that be. It’s really difficult when your questions have no answers. Peace is extremely hard to attain when there are a few indignant people causing mayhem. At this stage, no one will remember the good about the situation (peaceful protestors protecting businesses), but the bad that is being done out there right now.

My favorite author, Maya Angelou said it best: “If we lose love and self-respect for each other, this is how we finally die.” The best way to get our respect – is to LOVE each other, and stand together to not only right the wrongs of the forces that are upon us, but to also dismantle the killing of our own people by our own people. The youth of today have generations of worthlessness upon them. I’ve said it before, and I will keep saying it – fathers need to return to the home. The trends of the downfall of Black America can be directly correlated to the absence of a real dad. And when I say return to the home, I mean DO SOMETHING. Parent, participate, love, discipline, listen, and respect your kids. Because in all honesty, if we cannot come together and show that we are worthy, there are going to be many more Mike Browns, Eric Garners, Oscar Grants, Ezell Fords, Sean Bells, Trayvon Martins, Jordan Davis’s, Ramarley Grahams, etc…and justice will simply refuse to prevail.

Well Done, Maya by Angenita Williams

She rose from the depths
Of what society said
She should be
Tall, black, woman

Silenced
For years
After her words killed
A violator

But still, she rose

Her stature captured nations
Civility unmatched
Humble beyond measure
Loving spirit

Wisdom…
A teacher
A motivator
A Queen

And still…

Clouds produce storms
Rainbows are the products of storms
And clouds
They happen when the sunlight reflects moisture 

In the air
At just the right time
And angle
Nature’s splendor 

And still…

Her quotes…
Made you say…
Where did she get THAT?
How was that obtained? 

And her works
Will guide
On exactly where it was
Revealed 

And Still… 

Her voice…unmistakable
Her spirit…full
Her life…of purpose
Her legacy…everlasting
Her honor…noble
Her being…marvelous

Simple, awesome…love

When I wrote the blog last October, Clouds and Rainbows, I knew that Maya Angelou was ill. She was still boisterous, funny, and full of wisdom, but her body was frail. The shell that housed her was getting weak. But in her strength…she didn’t let it be known…

The strength of this woman is unlike many I have seen. By rights, a teen mother should not be this successful and full of life. She shouldn’t have all these experiences. She should grow to be a welfare mother with a house full of children with no daddies. Stigmatized. Alienated.

But through love and guidance, THIS, teen mothers, abused women, lost and lonely girls…THIS…is what you CAN be. Life can toss you so many things, and people can give you so many excuses as to why they can’t do something. But the LIFE of Maya Angelou dispels everything that anyone can say to you to impact you negatively. Her statuesque life. Her larger than life personality. Her…spirit motivated you to want to move. A simple reading of any of her works will get you up and out your seat.

God called her home on May 28, 2014. His purpose for her shell is done.

Rest in Peace, Dr. Maya Angelou. I’m sure you have already heard this by a bigger voice than mine, but, job well done. JOB WELL DONE …

Whatever you want to do, if you want to be great at it, you have to love it and be able to make sacrifices for it…

~Maya Angelou

Time, Peace, and Serenity – Interrupted by Angenita Williams

Life is funny.

One minute everything is A-OK. The next minute, everything is crumbling down. Every emotion that you could possibly feel is being felt, and you try to control them. But they bubble to the surface, and become overwhelming.

Even those who are totally healed from past demons get those days where everything seems to weigh on them at once.  Emotions can be on a roller coaster, and they feel the world closing in on their sanity. And it couldn’t come at the worse time – when one thing happens and snowballs. Questions start being asked. Things tend to feel as if they are just not right. Doubt can set it. The world can turn upside down, wrongside up. What do you do?

That is a good question.

When the world seems to just be too much, your emotions cannot afford to spiral. You cannot ignore them. You cannot just keep telling yourself you are ok, and that nothing is bothering you. You have to deal with the emotions and stop lying to yourself. Face it – you are just having a moment or two. And it’s ok, because you are human.

Praying, walking, meditating are some good ways to get back to your peace. Writing, and being real with yourself, and understanding who you are as person will get you back to serenity. It may take some time, but it’s well worth it.

I know firsthand. Last week was rough.

I look forward to getting it right this week. I had to learn that just because I had a really tough week doesn’t mean I’m not healed, it just means I had a rough week. And that happens sometimes. It was pointed out to me that the old me would have gone to old vices to deal with ‘out of control’ emotions. But I didn’t. So that speaks volumes to where I am in my healing process.

It is a journey that never ends. But it’s so good to know that I can deal rather than bury. Growth is an awesome thing.

Have a great week.

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It Starts With a LifeClass by Angenita Williams

Lifeclass2I started my day out with a sleepless night. This was an opportunity that I could not pass up. Let me backtrack a little…

I was perusing FaceBook one night, and since I follow Oprah and Iyanla, I get their updates. They had a call for daddyless daughters. I thought, “What the hell? Let’s see what happens.” I went to the website and told my story. I forgot about it until I got the email inviting me to be in the audience.

I was excited. I wasn’t a featured speaker, but I was gonna figure out a way to be heard. I wanted someone to go with me, but I really couldn’t think of anyone to go. I set out on the journey by myself.

I replied to the email. I decided I would make it a day trip. I have family in the area, so I knew that I could stop by and say hello.

I woke up and got ready for work. I went to work. My plan was to leave around noon. I was too anxious and excited to focus on work. I decided to leave earlier. I didn’t know if there was construction and I refused to be late. I hit the road.

Lyfe Jennings, Jill Scott, Maxwell, Chrisette Michele, and Heather Hadley kept me company as I rolled my way towards Chicago. My stomach was nervous.

One thing you all have to understand…and this is really within the last few years, but I admire Oprah. It is the strength that she shows, and how the world knows, reveres, and respects her. How she took so many no’s and made them yes’s. How she bumped her head, fell down, got up, and became who she is. The warmth that comes through. Her success and her journey inspire me. She overcame teen pregnancy, drug use, low self-esteem, being overweight, told she was nothing, to become a powerhouse in the media. To own her own network. To promote positivity on television. So, for me, this was big.

I went through some of the same things she did. There is no reason why I can’t be where she is…or at least close. I mean I started a little late, but I can get there…

I totally spaced the time difference, so I made it to Illinois around ten-thirty in the morning. I talked with my aunt for a while. She was happy to see me. I was happy to see her. I learned a lot about her that I never knew.  My aunt is a true Diva! Another thing I realized about my auntie is that she does her own thing. Has always done her own thing, always been an entrepreneur. I think I may follow in her footsteps. I see the drive I have, in her. She is an inspiration, too.

I left around four o’clock. I didn’t know anything about Chicago traffic. I had it in my mind that I could not be late.

I arrive around four forty-five. I parked and sat in the car. I powdered my nose. Checked the earrings. Put on the white shirt. Put on the pumps. Checked out my lips. Debated on taking my purse. Decided to take it. Popped the trunk. Grabbed a book. Checked to make sure I had enough business cards. Walked towards the studio.

I stopped to take a picture of the sign. Two ladies walked up just as I did.

“Hey, would you like a picture? I’ll take it for you,” one lady said.

“Thank you!” I replied gave her my phone, and posed to take the picture.

I took their pictures in return.

“So, where are you from?” I asked.

“We are from Wisconsin. We would have been here earlier, but that traffic!” she said.

“Girl, I know. I left Dolton about an hour ago and just now getting here.”

“You from Chicago?”

“No, I’m from Indiana.”

It was hot! We walked and stood in line. We were let inside, my purse was checked in, and we were sent to a holding area and given water. I was so nervous. I listened to the conversations around me; trying to get a feel for the crowd. We were finally called to the studio and seated. Oprah walked out. It was time.

The show began, and I made it a point to have good eye contact with Oprah and Iyanla. I jumped to answer the first question I said something to the likes of, “I was promiscuous, I did things I had to do to get boys to like me. That turned into pregnant at fourteen, baby at fifteen, and it just so happens, I had a son. It was not until I started writing that I realized the cycle…”

Oprah nodded. “It is a cycle.”

The show was moving. I was brought to tears. I knew that being a Daddyless Daughter affected me. I wrote about it in the book. I thought I was further along in my healing, but I realized that it was ok to be hurt sometimes. I’m still in the healing process.  I realize that. I also realized that it feels so much better on the healing side, and that I’m doing the work it takes to become the woman I always wanted to be.

A lady waited for me when I came out of the bathroom. She said, “Thank you so much for telling your story. That was my life. I don’t think I could have said that on TV, but it was me. Thank you so much.”

She gave me the biggest hug, and she held on to me. When we separated, I grabbed her hands and told her what I did.  I told her I was glad it helped her. I gave her a card, and told her she could call me if she needed to talk.

I spoke with the ladies around me. I got business cards from women doing things in their respective fields.

It hit the highway back home filled with a renewed sense of purpose.

I did not get to speak to Oprah personally…but one day…and soon…I will.

I have a Next Chapter. I want to be in the Master Class. It starts with a LifeClass.

Healing Hidden Insecurities by Angenita Williams-Childs

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A few weeks ago, I wrote a blog about domestic violence. I took three couples and compared and contrasted their domestic violence issues and outcomes: Ike and Tina, Rihanna and Chris, and Evelyn and Chad. The couple I want to discuss is Evelyn and Chad: partially because of what I wrote before, and partially because I watched her on Iyanla: Fix My Life on OWN.

Now, my assumption of Evelyn was based on what I “heard” through those who watched VH-1’s Basketball Wives. Reality shows that depict grown women showing out and acting a fool are a turn off for me. Honestly, any reality show that does little to motivate someone to do what’s right in life is a big turn off – Jersey Shore, Love and Hip-Hop Atlanta, Mob Wives or Bad Girls Club.

Anyway, Evelyn was, in Iyanla’s terms, a “thug amongst women.” She cussed any and everybody out. She leapt across tables. Threw drinks in people’s faces, and was the explosive one. She challenged everyone with her sharp tongue. She was just an all around hot mess with a pretty face.

Seeing her interviews with Iyanla actually made me realize something about her, me, and a lot of other women: this is the product of the “Daddy Syndrome”…and like my business partner said, a product of unhealed wounds.

Now everything that happened on Basketball Wives makes complete sense. Hear me out…

As a product of the “Daddy Syndrome,” I saw a lot of myself in her. She was angry, hurt, alone, looking for love in all the wrong places, and worse, sought validation of her self-worth in the arms of a man. The sad part is that it didn’t matter to her what man it was. She allowed herself to be used, abused, and cheated on. She gave the green light, not thinking she is worth enough to command respect. So many women deal with this daily.

The feelings of nothing that permeate their souls, stain their faces with tears. Give way to insomnia, drugs, alcohol. Depression, self hate and loss of all being happy because she somehow feels abandoned. Like how can she love herself if the man who created her didn’t? Like how could she ever hope to have a man in her life, when the very first one she knew walked out on her?

Men really don’t know just how much their absence affects a young girl who wants her dad’s love and attention. All she wants him to do is love her, be there for her, make her feel special. And when he doesn’t, the empty promises made by those who see her weakness sound good, real good… so sweet and tender. That is, until he talks her panties off, and is finished with her…leaving a trail of heartache, heartbreak, and more damage to her self-worth.  I think more damage is done when dad is alive and right around the corner, or a phone call away, yet never does. There is an empty inside and the constant question of why…Why doesn’t he love me? Am I that bad? Did I do something to make him turn his back on me?

I saw it all over her. She had some deep rooted Daddy issues, but what makes it worse is that she was never taught to heal. She didn’t know how. She set herself up in the same situations with different bodies, and couldn’t see the road she traveled. She didn’t recognize the patterns. It all was familiar to her. And sadly, her blindness about herself made her react in ways that were unbecoming of a lady. The hard exterior was her shell of protection to let no one in. She was angry, and displaced.

I knew exactly what she felt. I, too, went that route. I was angry and sad. But I was able to start my healing through writing my portion of Revealing & Healing: 3 Women’s Stories of Survival. It’s funny because until I wrote out some of the most intimate details of my life, I didn’t realize how bad I truly was, how depressed I was, how unhappy I was. I thought I was confident, but I wasn’t. I too still had Daddy issues. I didn’t know how those issues affected me in my relationships until I wrote them out and saw the similarities of relationships gone wrong.

Now, I’m not all on her side, because I still believe that she is not telling the entire truth. I think some of her anger and attitude still got the best of her. I’m only saying that now, I understand. I get it. So Evelyn, time out for all that. It’s time to start healing. You’ve got to be real with who you really are. Once you do that, the process can begin. There are two great loves in this world; the love of God, and the love of self. I tend to think they go hand in hand.

Healing starts when the pain is its greatest. We cannot continue to carry the burdens of the past on our shoulders. Open wounds get infected. It’s time to clean them out and stitch them up.

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