There has been an outpouring of information and support for people healing their past traumas. I absolutely love it! Time and time again, I see post about people working to break generational curses. Just dont post about it. Be about it. Lets get personal. Although people describe me as a private person, if you ask me, I will give you a straight truthful answer. No matter the subject. That’s how healing works. Its my truth and once I have healed from it, its nothing you can say or do to bring that pain back to me.
Back to the story. While growing up, I always saw my mom with a man. I didnt know how detrimental it was when I was younger of course. But as an adult, I can unpack it. So my mom and my biological father had a toxic relationship. One of the worst I have ever seen in my life. After she broke free of him (and I mean that literally) she stayed with a man. She had an abusive relationship with my bio dad. It really damaged her self worth. Being with a man validated her whole being. I was beyond annoyed by it. When she had a new slick, (got that from my pastor lol) home girl was ALL IN every single time. These men became priority. Somehow and some way these men would still cash out. We had every thing from these men. I was getting gifts galore. They were even buying me pets. One thing I will say, I never went to these men houses. My mom didnt play that. If you were going to play her game, you were going to play by her rules and on her court.
I remember one particular guy. He was a long haul bus driver. You remember back in the day when large families would rent the charter buses for their family reunions or trips? That’s what he did. He had a trip to six flags he was doing for a family and he got me and my mom free tickets. Listen the lady was good ok. It didnt matter. I still hated all these men. They were occupying my moms time. A lot of her time. And I was beyond sick of it.
I saw a glimpse of me going down this path as a teenager. Honey I was boy crazy. Thinking back now, it was bad. Although I wasnt sexual, I literally kept a dude in rotation. Im glad I grew out of that. As an adult, I work really hard to be careful of the men I allow in my space. After every break up, I take time to be by myself. I am intentional about defining my worth in other things. My career, my goals, my family, my spiritual life, my friends and the list goes on. Its not always easy. It takes a strong support system. Reassurance doesnt always have to come from a man. I have the best hype men and women in my life. They keep me grounded. Sending you all encouragement and strength to keep breaking chains. Adulting is rough sometimes. You got this!
“And when I turn into a savage boy don’t ask me why” -Queen Naija
Ladies have you ever just been in that mood? There were times when I felt like why am I being the good girl to just get dealt a bad hand when it came to men. Sometimes you just feel like Eff it then. I’m so bad, that I have a whole playlist just to get me through that mood. My friends know about my playlist and have asked me to send it to them too. My mostly calm friends would say “oh no don’t do that. Don’t listen to that stuff while you’re mad. It’s just going to make things worse.”
Nah. Forget that. Play that playlist sis. That play list will help you remember the pain when you feel like you want company. That playlist will quickly stop you from sending the “I Miss You” text. You might go through a lot of emotions with this playlist. You may be angry one minute and sad the next. Play it anyway. But only for a season.
When that season is over, make a new playlist. Put that one to rest for a while. Playing it too long might make you jaded. It had its purpose. Everything has a season. Even if you are only savage for this season.
Hey yall! Its been a while. So Sorry! Holidays, New Year, activities, volunteering, planning, the list goes on. Lets get to it! Story Time!!
I say all the time that value my relationships. Even ex romantic relationships. Although a romantic relationship may end badly, somehow we still end up being friends years later. Its a gift and a curse. But you have to know how to have good boundaries. Ah boundaries. My favorite. One of my strengths is being a good listener. Chile, these men test my listening skills often. A couple months ago I received a call from an ex that I hadnt heard from in years. I was out with my family but I stepped away to answer it because we hadnt talked in forever. I really just answered to have a 30 second conversation and then tell him I would call him later. NOPE! Homeboy ended up talking about his issues with his children, baby mom issues work issues and the list goes on. How do you call someone and just dump your issues on to them like that?! I was in public so I was choosing my words carefully. Trying not to offend him. Quickly told him I was out with family and that I had to go. Of course he apologized but he also was inconsiderate and didnt ask if I could talk before he unloaded his problems.
Fast forward to a couple days later, he texted me asking if I had time to talk. Ok, better. I responded that we could talk but I did not have the emotional capacity to be his therapist tonight. Boom. Ladies and Gents that is effectively how you set boundaries. The first conversation he caught me off guard. I was prepared this time.
We have to be careful to not others weigh us down. Too many times, my friends and I trade stories about men who will randomly call and then all of sudden you feel weighed down by their problems. I cant carry your emotional baggage sir. I have my own.
I guess youre wondering what did the guy say when I told him I couldnt be his therapist? He said danngg I wasnt calling to do that. Why would you say that? I told him how thats exactly what happened the last time and I wasnt going to allow it to happen again. We talked about other things and the conversation went smoothly.
Setting boundaries doesnt come easy. It takes practice and some feelings may get hurt. Remember to always say things in love and kindness.
As promised, I am going to give you guys the scoop on some of the activities we did while in couples therapy. Obviously, communication was a big part of our problem. Although we talked often, we weren’t communicating effectively. Man we received soooo many tools. This part of therapy was awesome. These are skills I will keep for the rest of my life. I dont remember the order of the activities of when we completed them, but they were all useful. Lets divulge.
We had been together so long that things just became complacent. We were well into year 5. We were basically just doing the every day things to go through life. One of the first activities we did while looking at each other, we had to list reasons why we loved the other. I know I know. It sounds cliche. But you would be surprised how much time you can let pass by without telling your partner specific reasons why you love them. This was hard for me because I was in a state of Eff him Lol. But it can really soften your heart. When is the last time you said to your partner, “I love ___ about you.”
We were challenged to be intentional about dating. Prior to this task, we were in the habit of hanging with friends, or just hanging at home. We barely left the house to hang out with each other. Maybe once every 3 weeks. We started being intentional with date night again. Thursday night movie nights were our thing for new releases. We started to have so much fun by including things like bowling to bike rides to jazz clubs. This is how we built the friendship again.
We had to practice being intentional about our words. Sure its easy to say, I appreciate you. But it means so much more when you say I appreciate that you cooked dinner tonight. Thank you for ironing my clothes. Even just saying Im sorry. Sure its easy to say, Im sorry. But it means so much more when you say, Im sorry for yelling at you. Im sorry I wasnt listening. I apologize for not calling those people when I told you I would. Man this part is so humbling. Its so next level. You are forced to put your pride to the side.
Speaking of apologies. Did you know that people receive apologies different ways? There are apology languages just like there are love languages. https://www.5lovelanguages.com/quizzes/apology-quiz/ Heres the website. My apology language is to accept responsibility. Yes and that was spot on for me. You have to admit that you were wrong for me to accept your apology. The other ones are 1. Requesting forgiveness 2. Genuinely repent 3. Expressing reget and 4. Make restitution.
The Five Love Languages is always paramount. My love language is acts of service. I think my mom created this in me. My mom used to help me with everything. Even in adulthood, my mom would cook for me and help me pack. When people help me out, it means the world to me. Take that quiz also. https://www.5lovelanguages.com/quizzes/
We were challenged to serve each other. Who can out give each other? This was so good. It changed my mindset into working with a partner. This isnt about gifts at all. Its about being a helper to your partner. We started to love doing things for one another. It didnt feel like one person was doing more than the other. It felt equal. It was small things like getting my charger when my phone was dying or me getting up to get him a bottle of water. This was such a raw expression of love.
Lastly my all time favorite. The Four Horsemen from the Gottman Institute. Dr John Gottman is like the godfather to relationships. The Four Horsemen is an approach to identifying conflict in relationship. These are the 4 things you need to identify like right now in order for your relationship to survive. They are 1. Criticism 2. Contempt 3. Defensiveness 4. Stonewalling. The last one was big for me. It means shutting down and withdrawing. I did this all the time and it was causing a major tiff between us. I had to work through which was not easy. I had to allow my partner to call me out when I would resort to this behavior. That was difficult too. Here is the link. https://www.gottman.com/blog/category/column/the-four-horsemen/
I hope these tools have been helpful. Put them in your toolbox and pull them out when you need them! Comment below and tell me what you think.
I came across this video posted by comedian David Arnold on Instagram. He told a story about how he ended up in couples counseling over an argument about oatmeal! I laughed so hard because that is seriously how it happens sometimes. The last straw may seem so petty!
I ended up in couples counseling over toilet paper! No lie. The toilet paper was the argument that broke the camels back. Let me paint the picture. We were watching a movie and he went to the bathroom. He went to grab the toilet paper but was annoyed that I accidentally bought paper towels instead of toilet paper. Oh Baby! He was sooo mad. He wanted me to leave the house at 8 at night in the winter to get him some toilet paper pronto. Nah fam. I wasnt doing that. You all know that its gets pitch black dark at 3p in the winter. Besides, we were watching a movie. So I suggested that he go downstairs to the lobby and use the restroom. Nope, homeboy wasnt having it. So we ended up arguing because I wouldn’t go to the store and he wouldn’t go downstairs. Needless to say, the night was ruined. And that, ladies and gentlemen had us in front of a therapist.
I had absolutely no idea what I was getting myself into when we went to therapy. Therapy was his idea actually. Im a social worker so I was totally in agreement with going. But chilleee someone should have told me to buckle up for that ride. I literally had no idea that our relationship was in such turmoil. Hanging on by a thread. Im pretty sure I cried at every darn session for months. I thought we would go, talk about feelings, chat it up. Nah son. Sis had us pulling back layers and layers. Hurtful things were said. But a lot of healing was done.
You have to be emotionally prepared for this. I was not. Its a safe space for both partners to express how they feel. Ask yourself some questions before going. Give yourself a pep talk that you will be receptive to what your partner says even though it may cut deep. And most importantly, you have to commit to doing the work. In the future, Ill talk about some exercises we did. Keep tuning in.
I’ve had my share of tough break ups. But as I get older, things arent as black and white as they used to be. When I was younger, I could walk away from a relationship and not even think about looking back. My cut-off game was REAL. Now, things arent that easy. My friends and I have had countless of conversations about when should you be patient and when should you let go.
We talk to each other about weighing the pros and cons. Finding compatible people seems to be extremely difficult these days. Yeah, you could go on countless of dates but that gets old. And fast. In my time of singleness, I started to get annoyed sitting on the other side of a table with a guy and Im thinking WTF is he even talking about. Or what is he looking at because his eye contact is horrible. BORING.
That brings me back so our discussion of how do you make the decision of being patient with someone verses just letting them go. One of my friends has a really good connection with a guy. The conversation is awesome. It flows freely. The connection is there. Boom. The drive to push each other is there. Jackpot. They have fun and can share intimate details. That’s also a win. So what’s the problem?! BABY! These men have commitment issues. You can check all the boxes and still find that something is missing. So should she walk away or stick around and be patient for him to get it together? Walking away may be easy for you to say unless your heart is involved.
Here is my take. I don’t have all of the answers but I know for sure my peace means the world to me. If you are disrupting my peace, then I cannot wait. Losing sleep, feeling unsure of myself and all the rest that goes with that AHT AHT. Gotta go.
Also I have to step back and assess the internal work you are doing. I ask myself, what am I waiting for you to do? Where is the goal mark and what does it look like? Is that something I want to wait for you to do? Or are you just stringing me along with no real end goal? After asking and answering these questions, things become more clear.
Regardless, you can talk to your friends to get their opinions until you are blue in the face. But let me tell you, when you’ve had enough, you’ve had enough. Your heart will scream, its time to go.
Lately there has been more recognition and discussion about friendship breakups. I am totally here for it. It’s a discussion that is way overdue. Unfortunately, ya girl has had her fair share of one too many friend break ups. I take my friends seriously. And I mean seriously. In my younger years, I used to come off so over bearing in friendships.
My first break up hurrrtt. My best friend from middle school. Although we went to different high schools, we didn’t miss a beat. We knew for sure we would go to the same college. Chilleee by the time we got to Hampton, (What’s up HU!) we weren’t even talking. She started hanging out with other girls and I felt like I just didn’t fit in her life anymore. Let’s put a pin in that one and we will come back.
Then I had another friendship break up with a girl from high school. We were close as well. We fell out because she started dating a guy who was no good for her and I couldn’t just sit back and watch him destroy my friend. Tough lesson for me. I think I may have come off judgmental. My protective nature couldn’t take it!
And thennnn I had another friendship break up with my college best friend. Chillee by this time, I was emotionally exhausted from friendship break ups. I had no more fight. We stopped talking for a while and tried it again. Sounds just like a romantic relationship huh? Well we fell out again.
I said that’s it. It was time for me to do some self-reflection. I was tired of losing close girlfriends who I genuinely loved. I told myself I was too over protective. Let these darn girls make mistakes just like you have to. And when they do, just be there for them. DUH I wish I would have told myself that 10 years ago. Also, I ask permission to give advice. Sometimes girlfriends just want to talk. An opinion is not needed every time. And last but not least, sis had to go to therapy. That was the last piece to the puzzle.
These days I tell my friends, if I did something to hurt your feelings, just tell me. Im too darn old to be losing any more friends. It’s hard to make friends at my age LOL.
But some things are worth fighting for. My best friend from middle school and I reconciled. It wasn’t easy but it was so worth it. I pray I never have to lose a GF every again.
I know I will probably step on some toes with this one. Let me first just say that this is not a post to man bash. Just follow me.
I know I don’t have children but I am always planning ahead, thinking about the future. I like to have thought provoking conversations often. I had a conversation with a guy I was dating. He already had a child. I always found it interesting that men insist on the child having the fathers last name, although he never married the child’s mother.
Anywho, back to his guy. We had a hypothetical conversation one day about us having a child and the child automatically receiving his last name. See, I am kind of opposed to that. Most times, the child lives primarily with the mother if the relationship doesn’t work. The mother is the one going to Drs appts, making and receiving calls, going to the school and is the emergency contact. I don’t know how other mom’s feel, but I don’t want to have 2-3 kids in my house with all different last names. Maybe it doesn’t bother some people. But if the relationship doesn’t work out, and I decide to have children with someone else, then the new guy also feels entitled for my child to have his last name. No sir. This is too complicated for me. So it’s ok for the guy to have all his children having the same last name even if he isn’t the primary parent? It’s actually a conversation that I have with men who I am serious about. I set the standard and let them know that if you want your child to have the same last name as you, then you very well better make sure his/her mother carries that same last name. So it’s on you… partna.
Ooo I’m shaking the table. Leave your comments below 😉
One afternoon during quarantine, I was having another in-depth conversation with one of my closest girlfriends. See, our conversations can go on for hours at a time. She’s a psychologist by trade, and I, chose the field of social work. Somehow, we started discussing if we considered ourselves to be private people and how we viewed each other. She viewed herself as an open book and I thought the same of myself. Ironically, we both thought the other was private. It’s always interesting to get an understanding how others view you from time to time. We’ve been girlfriends for years. Even were roommates in college. I told her “Girl we’ve known each other too long. We have to ask some new people.”
That’s when the epiphany hit us. When is the last time we’ve had a new friend? A new close friend? How are we showing up in the world? Are we showing up as the people we want to be? When you first meet someone, how do you want them to view you?
I immediately had to get my new girlfriend’s opinion. We’ve been friends for about a year. I asked her did she consider me a private person. She paused and thought for a little. She said she didn’t think that of me and figured I wouldn’t share anything of importance if I was private. To me, I heard that she felt connected. That we built a pretty solid friendship. I thought about the times we spent together and the things we did. Like how she showed up for me for Mother’s Day and I showed up for her for Father’s Day. We both lost our parents some years ago. Yup, that’s how I want to show up in the world. I want to be there for my friends in their difficult times. So ask yourself, are you showing up like you want to? Are there improvements you can make? Then, don’t wait. Start making the adjustments necessary.
My name is Brittany. I decided to create this blog because writing was always my first love. Not writing in a sense of a paper, but creative writing. I enjoy writing about the topics that are near and dear to my heart. I enjoy deep thoughts and abstract emotions. It’s my connection with myself and others. I may not have any answers but I hope this blog will help you to think beyond the surface level as well. Enjoy!