New Year, Old Me

Every year in January, folks set out to enact resolutions for the new year and that’s cool. I used to do that. I stopped, though, many years ago. Here’s why.

In my mind, starting anew can happen any old day of the week. It doesn’t have to be the first of the year, the first of the month, or the first of the week. Wednesday is just as good a day as any. Thursday or Friday can be your new start date, too. It’s all about starting the thing — the day you start is irrelevant.

I have so many things in the works. My entrepreneurial ventures are going to explode this year. There’s a portion of Proverbs 31 that screams at me to get off my duff and use my skills, talents, and desires to flourish in order to prosper. I have all I need to succeed, so put simply, that’s what I’m going to do.

Don’t wait. Get hustlin’! I promise the day of week is not relevant — it’s all about the hustle.

Lies, Rumors, Truth

From the very beginning, I knew something was off. Everyone who knows us knows something was off. We knew from the start that the things that happened and the way things crumbled were out of character for him. We all knew that his actions and reactions were totally out of character.

Lies

Even though I couldn’t put my finger on it, I knew the actions of my ex were not normal. Things started getting really weird last summer when he was being hit left and right with all kinds of false allegations. He was being accused of things that were supposedly presented by opposing counsel in his divorce case. In the end, he was told that some of accusations weren’t true, just “standard protocol”. Stupid acts, very stupid acts. Man…

There were lies about me, namely that he bought me the car I’m driving now. Y’all know that set me off because the truth is, I had to amend my own divorce decree to allow my ex-husband to buy that car for me. I didn’t want anything else from that man, but I had to swallow my pride and let him get it for me. My ex-husband literally got the deal neatly tied up in a day and had the car in my driveway the next evening. Even though I told him, in no uncertain terms that we wouldn’t be getting back together just because he got the car for me, he still thought there was hope. As y’all know, there was none.

Say What, Now??

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Anyway, back to the subject at hand. There is a guy from this area who has been trying to pull me into a “relationship” since the late 80s. I was never interested in him in a romantic sense. This area is comprised of several small towns and everybody knows everybody. It’s never been a secret that this scum wanted to get with me and he’s managed to insert himself in my story. Way back in 1991, he came to see me ONCE! That visit ended with him telling me that he had heard I was a hoe and that he had come to see if it was true. Y’all know how I reacted. I lost my freaking mind! I asked him who would have said some crap like that and he named two people. He didn’t stutter, he didn’t stop to think about it, he named them plainly.

That was 1991. Fast-forward to 2016 and the opportunity presented itself for me to bring that to his remembrance. He quickly told me that he would never say anything like that. Almost immediately, I knew something was about to breakthrough. He became extremely defensive. First, he said he was drinking at that time, and don’t remember saying that. THEN he said he was actually covering for my ex, who had actually been the one who said that. Seriously? When he first started trying to get me to let him come see me again last year, I told him that I was committed to JW, which was true. He claimed he didn’t know who I was talking about. For real? Now, he’s telling me that he named the two other people in an effort to cover for JW. Y’all know I drilled him to the point that he finally told me that he doesn’t really remember the conversation at all.

I also found out that he’s been telling people that we were together as a couple and had been for several months. It’s not true. I cannot stand that man. The mere thought of him makes me want to vomit. Lord, please make this stop!

Matters of the Heart

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I haven’t talked to JW in several months. I don’t know when I will or even if I ever will again. We didn’t part in the most peaceful manner, but I know for a fact that lies and rumors played a great role in our dismantling of what is one of the greatest love stories of all times. There are several little things that happened over on good old Facebook that solidifies the fact that things were way, way wrong. People were sent to spy. I know this. My problem with that is if he heard these things, he should have come to me. I also understand that there was absolutely no more room on his plate for any other issue, but that doesn’t excuse the fact that what we had should have meant more. Meh…

We’ve been apart before. This time, though, I don’t know if we’ll come back together.

Do I still love him? Madly.

Will I always love him? Yes.

Do I believe he is my soulmate? Absolutely. He believes that, too.

We were each other’s backbones. He knows that I’ll always be there for him. Always.

 

“He’s Gon’ Treat You Right”

This morning, before daybreak, I was awake. That’s nothing unusual. For the last 20 or more years, I’ve awakened between 4:00 and 4:30 AM almost every morning. In the beginning, I would just lie there and let all my worries, well…worry me, but eventually, I started being much more productive and used that quiet time to write. That works out great unless I have Mia. When she’s here, I move around like a ghost so I don’t wake her up.

No Troubles, No Worries

Anyway, this morning, I woke up super early, but instead of writing, I was filled with worry. My faith tells me not to worry because it is a sin against God. As Christians, we are taught to hand all our troubles over to him, but as a woman made of flesh and blood, sometimes, I’m overcome with my burdens. As I normally do when I start to worry, I began to pray. When I was finished, I spoke into the air, “You cannot trust him and worry at the same time”. Those words escaped my mouth before I even realized they were in my head. I’ve always known that you can’t pray then get up and commence worrying about the things you just prayed about. That is the greatest contradiction imaginable. One of them has to go. I choose to pray and trust Him. I choose to believe that, just as his word says, he will never leave or forsake me. I’ve cast my cares on Him.

The Encounter

I had to take my car in for an oil change this morning and I took it to the same place my parents, aunts and uncles, cousins and friends, take theirs. I knew there would be a little wait time so I sat out front on the little oily bench. Under normal circumstances, I wouldn’t have wanted to, but it wasn’t too hot out and it was so peaceful. I’ve known most of the mechanics who work there my whole life and while I was chatting away with one of them, an older gentleman came out and sat next to me. He had told the mechanic that he was going home because he didn’t feel well, but that he needed to rest for a minute. I had never spoken to that man before, but me being me, I looked at him and said, “So you’re not feeling good, huh? Is it the heat?” He told me that he had thought maybe it was his medicine. The conversation took off from there.

Somehow, I told him that I had been divorced for three years and after he told me his story of divorce, he looked at me and said, “You’re a good woman. You won’t be by yourself long. The next man is gon’ treat you like a queen. He’s gon’ treat you right, just watch and see.” I told him that I wasn’t really interested in anything like that right now because I have so much to do for myself, my son, and my granddaughter. He then said, “It don’t matter if you’re ready or not, when the right man sees you, he’s coming for you. Ain’t no good man gon’ be stupid enough to let you get away.” That made me chuckle. We’ll see.

Blindsided, Blindfolded, or Close-eyed

The Differences

Blindside – while blindsiding a person usually involves catching him or her off-guard in an unpleasant manner, it can also simply mean that you were caught unprepared. I’ll give you examples of both today.

Blindfold

  1. to cover the eyes of a person with or as if with a bandage

  2. to hinder from seeing; especially: to keep from comprehension

Close-Eyed

You know exactly what this one means – YOUR EYES ARE VOLUNTARILY CLOSED!

Blindsided

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The Good – One of the most pleasant surprises I’ve ever had came on July  26, 2013, when the man who has been a part of my life in an off-and-on relationship for over 30 years inboxed me on Facebook asking if I was home. Home for both of us is Louisiana. We grew up 20 minutes from each other and our families have been intertwined for many, many generations. It’s a well-known fact that the men in his family are extremely attracted to the women in my family. My mom and three of her sisters were married to four of his uncles. That’s just the way it is.

Anyway, everyone knows our backstory and the only reason I’m mentioning it (again) in this post is to point out that his contacting me after more than 16 years after our last “encounter”, totally out of the blue – and I mean TOTALLY – was one of the things that brough me back to life. I wasn’t expecting it. Even though we’ve gone our separate ways for various reasons at different times, we’ve always found our way back to each other. Always. It’s just that I didn’t even know I was on his mind at the time. We hadn’t spoken since 1998 or 1999. I had wished him happy birthday on Facebook, but that was all. That inbox message on July 26, 2013, totally blindsided me. I was unprepared for any goodness because that contact came at the end of my wretched marriage, a debilitating divorce, and a hellish summer.

The Bad – So many things about my ex-husband and his actions blindsided me. Within the first two weeks that I was in Denver, he raped me. I’m going to write all about that in my book, but no one on this side of heaven and that side of hell could have convinced me that he would do something like that to me. No one could have convinced me that he would have allowed his daughter’s mom to call me a nigger then tell me that I would have to deal with it because he wasn’t going to let anything to keep him from seeing his daughter, especially me. That hurt. That wouldn’t be the most hurtful thing he said or did over those 19 years, but it hurt.

Blindfolded

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Let’s talk about the old blindfold. The best example I can give you of being blindfoldedwhile in a relationship was my marriage. To blindfold a person is to deprive him or her of sight by tying a piece of cloth around the head so as to cover the eyes. That cloth is not always material. Mine wasn’t. He kept me in the dark about so much. The drugs. The excessive drinking. The gambling. I was blindfolded, period. Eventually, I took that blindfold off, though. If you’re wearing one, you can take your’s off, too.

Close-Eyed

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After a while, I knew exactly what that man was capable of. I closed my eyes to a lot of the things he said because I didn’t want to feel the pain. I didn’t deal with the consequences of his retribution in response to my getting angry or getting back at him for something he’d done. It was ugly and it was stupid, but it’s what happened. I loved him with such intensity that I chose to close my eyes to all the nastiness. At the time, I was willing to sacrifice my dignity to hold on to my marriage. That’s what happens lots of times in an abusive relationship. It will never happen to me. Ever.

A Clear Vision

I’m old enough to know that life can be unpleasant because there will always be unplesant people in existance. Whenever I would question why some people seem to enjoy making other’s lives a living hell, my mom would reply, “That’s their job.” You’re not responsible for the way people behave. You’re responsible for you, your life, and your happiness. Stay awake.

 

Woot!

Guess who is *this* close to being fully enrolled in Southern New Hampshire University’s Master of Art in English and Creative Writing program?? Yep, that would be me!

I’m currently working on the Statement of Purpose and my writing sample so I’ll be busy with that the next couple of days.

I can’t begin to describe what this means to me and my future. Besides using that advanced degree to further my own dreams in writing, I will extend the knowledge I gain to students at the university level who desire to express themselves through creative writing.

I’m 48 years old. I’ve had a ton of setbacks in life, but the time is now for my dreams to be realized.

That Lemonade

By now, everybody and their Aunt Susie has seen or at least heard Beyoncé’s Lemonade. My timelines on Twitter and Facebook lit up like Christmas trees. Immediately, the world assumed that Bey was letting us in on the things she’d experienced with Jay. After some thought and common-sense application, some begged to differ. Here’s what I think.

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Intuition

Right off the bat, Bey says, “In the tradition of men in my blood, you come home at 3 A.M. and lie to me. What are you hiding?” Just in case you need confirmation, let me assure you that she’s speaking of her daddy. That’s what the word tradition implies. We all know that Papa Knowles liked to explore and it’s no secret that his girls are aware of it. They saw it. Bless Tina’s heart for moving on and doing better.

Now, whether or not Jay was unfaithful, what Bey did was speak on that thing we all have: intuition. My intuition has seen me through so much. Whether or not I acted on it, I always knew when my ex-husband was out acting a fool. I always knew. Very little that he did blind-sided me. He was good at hiding his shenanigans, but not one thing he ever did surprised me.

Once, he had flown to Florida to spend a few days with his old college buddies. At that time, I had not met any of them. In a dream — A DREAM Y’ALL — I saw him standing next to a black car and there were two women in it. One for him, one for his friend. When he called me the second day he was there, I asked him if he had been in a black car. He was taken aback and said, “Yes.” I said, “Who were those girls?” He hung up.

When he got with that chick in Colorado Springs, it took him getting arrested to tell me, but I’m telling you guys, I knew. I couldn’t put my finger on it, but I knew he had done something bad the night it happened.

Denial 

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“Are you cheating? Are you cheating on me?” Sigh. I just found myself giving that old side-eye that I’m famous for. I asked. He lied. He denied. That’s how he rolled. Lie after lie after lie. Some men would rather lie than breathe. I know several. In the book, I’m going to name names. Should the need arise (and I’m sure it will), I’ll name them here. One thing I can’t tolerate is lying.

Anger

I get where Bey is coming from in this saga. I became so angry once that I threatened to cut William’s head off and carry it around in a shoe box. I didn’t come up with the idea myself — saw it in a Melanie Griffith movie — but, I was hot enough to do it. I was tired of the lying, cheating, and most importantly, the abuse. At the time, I fully believed that three hots  and a cot wasn’t a bad thing. In jail, I would get to read as much as I wanted to, I’d get to work out (I would have needed to because I’m sure I would have been fighting every day), and I would lose weight because from what I hear, there’s not much more than ramen and bologna sandwiches in the hole so I was okay with going. Besides that, I would have gotten him back.

Apathy

I’m not going there in this post.

Emptiness

In the book, I’ll tell everything that I did because as I’ve said, for a lot of years, I handed him all he could deal with. He spent many nights scared.

Accountability

Bey’s daddy warned her about men like Jay; my mama warned me about the one I married. So did my brother. I didn’t listen.

Reformation

“But, you are the love of my life.” I can’t honestly say that William was the love of my life because that’s not true. Another person holds that honor. More on him later. A lot on him later.

Forgiveness

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I forgave that man 2000000 times. He messed up 2000001 times. The last time was enough. I’m glad Bey forgave Jay, even if this entire album may be fictional.

Resurrection

There will never be a resurrection of us. There IS an ongoing resurrection of Trease herself.

Hope

No comment.

Redemption

“Then my torturer became my remedy, so we’re gonna heal.” Nope, no we’re not. He will never be my remedy. Never. I am my own redemption.

 

No Discounts, No Free Rent

“A man can’t do no mo’ to you than you let him.” Mama said that to me more times that I can remember and I knew she was telling the truth. I’ve “repackaged” that little bit of knowledge in order to pass it on to my son because I want him to understand that no one in this world can mistreat him unless he allows it. Read on before you jump to any conclusions.

Everyone in the universe knows that I was subjected to severe mental and emotional domestic abuse, with some physical violence during the 19 years I was married. As in almost all cases of abuse, outsiders wonder why I didn’t just leave. There were many times when I, myself, wondered why I just didn’t get up and go. Well, as I’ve said time and time again, I was like a captured bird who didn’t realize the door to the cage was not only unlocked but was standing wide open. I just didn’t have the courage or confidence to walk through it. My ex-husband was living in my psyche rent-free. He was not contributing anything to that space except pain, heartache, and chaos.

I had discounted my own value to a price far below its true worth. I cared so little for myself. All the relentless abuse had beaten me down to the point that I couldn’t see that I was still the owner of a good heart. I couldn’t see the fact that I was the owner of an amazing brain that functioned in an exceptional manner. I couldn’t see that I had a great personality, and despite the fact that he told me otherwise, my attitude was just fine. Looking back, I allowed myself to be placed on the discount rack by someone who was manipulative enough to do just that. The time came, though, when I realized that I didn’t belong and that I would never allow anyone else to mistreat, misuse, neglect, or reject my love.

You owe it to no one on this planet to discount your self-worth. You are not to allow anyone on this planet to live rent-free in your psyche. Guard yourself with the greatest of protection. Shield yourself from anyone who won’t love you unconditionally.