Hello?

Things have been crazier than usual. Living in my world has been like riding a tremendous tailwind through the eye of a hurricane after being tossed around by a typhoon.

My life continues to be tilted because of my nephew’s death, but I’ve taken the steps I need to in order to get back on track. Grief is a bully and it’s staunch in its efforts to drag you under. I hate that its taken such a hold of me, but I’m fighting back. I can tell y’all this — the death of a person you’re extremely close to is not one you get over, but at some point, you’ll make it through. I’m getting there. I visited his gravesite for the first time since he’s been gone. I went on Memorial Day and it was surreal. In some ways, I think it was still too early, but I’m okay. Seeing his name on that tombstone was just…

Photo credit: Trease Shine Hinton

I’m getting myself back on schedule, but know that mourning has a way of disrupting not only your calendar, it’ll destroy your very being. I’m doing my best to get back to blogging and writing consistently, and living a good life. It’s so hard. It’s no longer about taking one day at a time for me; sometimes I strive to make it one hour at a time.

Over the past few months, I’ve had to let go of a relationship that was so toxic, it was slowly draining the life out of me. The person that I finally released from my life (for good, forever, for real) should have been a source of peace and relief; instead, he only added to my pain and grief. He was deliberate in his decision to include me in his life knowing full well there was no room for me there. He claimed an addiction to me, one that has been around for nearly 30 years. There may well be one, but what I refused to be was his 50-year old side chick. Nah.

Be careful who you let in. Selfishness is a bitch and I finally accepted the fact that I have no room in my life for anyone who is only around for selfish gain. Was it hard to let go? Yes and no. Yes, because we’ve known each other our whole lives. I once considered him my soulmate. I loved him with everything I had. He didn’t appreciate it. Therein lies the “no”. He wasn’t always an ass, but he allowed himself to be morphed into, well, an ass.

I think the poorest excuse a person can have for being bitter, angry, or any other selfish thing is that someone made them that way. No, that’s not true. You control who you are. You control how you react. After a bad relationship is over, it’s up to you to become a better person in spite of the pain. You don’t have to become the person who hurt you. I refuse to become jaded because of my past relationships. Just because they were stupid doesn’t mean that the next man will be. I will always believe in true love. I will always believe that I deserve it.

I’ve made some final decisions as to where I plan to live. I’ve also made some other decisions that require me to spread my wings and fly. It’s time to make a move.

I’m coming back, y’all. I’m coming back.

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.

Your Chair

Some of our folks were here this past weekend for the “little” family reunion. Since it’s an off-year, your sisters, nieces, and nephews from Texas were the only ones to come. Your little brother from San Francisco wasn’t here, and neither was your little brother who lives in Texas. Since this wasn’t the “big” reunion, we didn’t expect Grady to come. We probably shouldn’t have expected Santee, either.

I was so happy to see everyone. Aunt Mae Ethel and Uncle Clydell were here, and the years are catching up with them. They’re also catching up with Aunt Sugardoll. All of them, though, are still getting around. Aunt Adeline wasn’t here this year. I missed seeing her, but I know Jackie-Nett would have brought her if at all possible.

That Chair

For the most part, your recliner sat empty. Oh, occasionally, someone would flop down in it, but no one sat there for a prolonged period. At one point, Uncle Clydell made a pit-stop and needed to sit for a few. I sat there a long time. Overall, we were the only ones. Your chair sat empty, even though there were over 30 people here.

I wish more than anything you had been here to take your rightful place in that chair. I wish you had been here to eat all of the delicious, down-home food that our reunions are known for. I wish you were here to agree with your sisters and ALL my cousins in telling me that I need a boyfriend. They were dead serious. I told them all that I miss part of a “union” and I do. I also told them that after 19 years of being treated so poorly, I won’t rush into anything. While my heart’s not too fragile for a relationship, I won’t waste my time and energy on anyone who isn’t interested in the future. I’m very protective of my heart and my feelings. They all agreed.

I wish more than anything you had been here to fuss at me for not wanting to help clear away the dishes and clean. I wish you had been here to tell me I should have had on a dress or skirt instead of those pants.

The Broken Heart

I miss you so much. I miss you so much some days that I nearly loose my breath. I sat in your chair longer than anyone else this weekend. I needed to feel near you, Mama. I still visit the cemetery every single day. It seems that lately, I’m more lost than ever without you. I talk to you constantly and wish more than anything, I could see you just one more time. I can’t get the last image of you out of my mind. The last time I saw you before the funeral was shortly after you passed on and while you looked at peace, I couldn’t help but think about all the horrific pain you had been in those two days before you finally drifted off into eternal sleep. It destroys me every time I think about it. Septic shock took you in the end.

To be honest, I know you weren’t fighting very hard because I know you were tired. You told me that a million times. I knew you were tired that Thursday afternoon when they finally got you to Willis Knighton’s ICU. I knew, when you could actually hear me (without my yelling) tell you that it was okay for you to go, it wouldn’t be long. I knew as I tried so hard to keep up with the ambulance that carried you to the little hospital in Springhill, that you were leaving home for the last time. I knew you would never sit in that chair again.

Till We Meet Again

In my spirit, I feel that God is going to allow me to live to see as many years as he allowed you to see. In that light, it will be quite some time before I cross over into glory, but I can’t wait to see you and Daddy again. Just know that until then, my hearts bleeds for you, Mama.

 

 

That Mouth Of His

For 19 years, my ex-husband did and said horrible things to hurt me. The physical abuse in that marriage came in the form of the two rapes and those two incidents made me hate3 sex. I mean, I absolutely detested it. I felt the act of sexual intercourse was dirty. I felt dirty. In my book, I will disclose some things I came to learn about that whole wretched sexual experience with him, but just the thought of it all make me want to vomit. Before our divorce was final in April 2013, we had not had sex since December 2011. I didn’t want him to touch me and he knew that. What married couple does that?? It’s not normal for married couples not to have sex. The only good thing that came from sex with him was my son.

The things he did to batter me mentally and emotionally varied from not talking to me to getting a blow job from another woman, but blaming me. He has to be one of the stupidest people on this planet.

No Longer Your Target

For years, he took mental and emotional shots at me. He was equally as bad with Will, but his main focus was me. If he could hurt me in any way, his mission was complete. Now that he can’t get to me, he took everything out on Will. That was, until yesterday.

He has always said horrid things to Will then turn around and try to justify it by saying it was because Will didn’t respect him. Once, he got mad at Will and told him that he was going to have another baby so he would have someone to love him like a child should. What was there to respect? I am a very spiritual person and I believe wholeheartedly in the bible. I know that we are to respect our parents. Will tried so hard. The bible also tells us as parents that we are not to provoke our children to wrath. William has done that repeatedly. Yesterday was the last day that will have happened.

3331609467936e567714f73ede1fd017Will needed his dad’s help yesterday. He needed it desperately. Will called him in despair and his response was, “I’ll let you know Saturday.” My baby needed help immediately, but once again, it all boiled down to control for his dad. When he called to tell me about the conversation, I could hear the pain in his voice. I could hear his spirit deflating. He eventually texted me and said, “This stuff hurts, Mom. I’m really done.”

When he finally made it home, he looked defeated. He looked like a small child who had lost all his friends. The reality, though, is he’s finally had enough of the man who is supposed to be there for him before everyone else. My child was destroyed.

That man has a total of four children. His hasn’t spoken with his daughter, who is 25, in years. His 26-year-old son will go months (many months) without answering his calls. He has a new child who is less than a year old, but will likely fall victim to his hate just like his other kids. My son was his only adult child who talked to him. I believe that’s a thing of the past now. Just like he did to me, he finally succeeded in killing my son mentally and emotionally yesterday.

The Healing

beauty-is-in-the-spirit-of-everything

I don’t know how long it’s going to take my child to recoup. I don’t know if he will need counseling again. I do know that he has finally come to terms with the fact that his dad sucks as a human being.

A few days ago, he had an extremely heated argument with his father and said to him, “You left me and mom out in the cold.” His father then said, “I tried to get back with your mom in November of 2014…” to which Will responded, “Why would she want to get back with somebody who caused her to have an aneurysm?” His dad didn’t reply.

As parents, it’s our job to raise courteous yet strong individuals. I did that with my son. I just hate that he has to experience the worst in society through his own father.

Falling and Rising

Falling

It’s impossible to be a human being with even half a pulse and not be affected, in some way, by all the atrocities the United States is experiencing as a whole. I say as a whole because I don’t care what race you are, what your sexual orientation is, what your religious affiliation is, or where you stand politically, you are included, somehow, in the ruckus. Whether you realize it or not, you’re included.

In all honesty, it’s taken me this long to fully shake loose from all that’s happened over the past week enough that I became focused on my actual day-to-day living. Yes, I was stunned enough by all the killing that I fell back into that state of numbness that I fought so hard to pull myself out of. I was floored by all the blatant hatred. Well, I didn’t fall all the way back into that place, but I had reached a point that I knew I had to start fighting to get up and out of there.

I spent many years behind that wall of safety. I don’t care what happened — as long as it didn’t hurt Will, it didn’t hurt me. It didn’t matter what was done and said to me, I showed little, if any emotion. I felt very little so I showed very little. That’s what can happen after years of abuse. You just don’t care. Your main mission is to live. You just want to live. You just want to make it one more day, but so often, you don’t know why because you lose sight of your purpose. You lose the will to do anything more than just what it will take to keep the criticism to a minimum. Once you learn that regardless of how well you do a thing, there’ll still be something wrong with it, you lose the will to even do the little you were doing.

Rising

This world is filled with chaos. It’s so easy to get caught up in the things going on around us. This past week, I got caught up in the news. I am passionate about all the positions I take on all the issues, but I also know that I have to remain focused on my goals, my child, my grandchild, and my purpose. I’ve been in my prayer closet a lot this week. I was shaken, but I’m back on track now.

Shelter

One of the things that I’ve never shared here, and have rarely shared with others, even in my closest circle, is that I spent a night in a domestic violence shelter early on in my marriage.

I was sent there (actually, I was escorted there) one night after my ex-husband and I had been arguing and things blew up. He had come in drunk and high, and I wasn’t having it that night. It started around 11:30 that night and he was just making it in from work. He hadn’t worked overtime or anything like that, he had just decided to go out drugging and drinking instead of coming home after work. I was *L*I*V*I*D*! I knew I was going to go after him when he came in, whether or not he was inebriated. I had gotten tired of those habits of his coming before me.

I didn’t have a full understanding of the pull of addiction, all I knew was that he much preferred going out and snorting up half of Denver than spending time with me. Even without the drugs and alcohol, he was still a hateful man. I had seen and experienced, first-hand, just how much of a fool he could be when things didn’t go his way.

THAT NIGHT

I was waiting for him. The second he walked through that door, I started yelling like there was no tomorrow. Initially, he just stared at me and that made me 100 times angrier! He knew that not responding to me when we argued only added fuel to the fire and that night, neither of us were backing down. The long and short of it is that in my rage, I started throwing things. I don’t remember if I hit him or not — I had excellent aim, but he was pretty quick — but I broke up A LOT of stuff. The neighbors called the police and since I had been the one throwing stuff, I had to leave. I told the police that I didn’t have anywhere to go because by that time (around 1:00 AM), I dared not show up at anyone’s house because of that foolishness. As I’ve said numerous times before, no one knew what was going on behind the closed door of my home and I wasn’t itching to tell them.

THE PLACE

Even now, some 22 years later, I remember walking into that shelter and feeling a sense of peace that I had not felt in all the time I had lived in Denver up to that date. It was crowded, but there was so much peace in the air. I realize now that, that peace was present because those of us who were there were finally able to sleep or at the very least, lie down without the threat of conflict. Once I was signed in, I slept. Even though it was well after 2 AM before I fell into that wonderful sleep, I had to be up around 6:00 AM to get ready for work.

I never went back there again in any capacity, but it is my intent to go back there someday and offer my services in any capacity that they’ll have me.

Most of you know that I am a sales consultant with Mary Kay and while it’s my intent to start a separate beauty blog, I would like to make mention of a special that Mary Kay is offering right now. It’s important because it benefits the effort to end domestic violence. The Mary Kay foundation strives to end that mess.

IMG_5768

If you want  to support the effort, go to www.marykay.com/thinton2145 and purchase the lipstick, Hearts Together. I won’t do any advertising for my Mary Kay business on this blog except when it benefits my effort to demolish what nearly demolished me. I would appreciate your support.

Many more horrible nights followed the one that I spent in that shelter, but I will never forget what the four walls of that place provided for me. Domestic violence shelters are a place of safety, security, and peace for women who desperately need it.

Acceptance

One of the greatest acts any person can undertake in any situation is one of acceptance. Good or bad, your current situation is exactly what it is.The most immediate truth is that you have to accept where you are at this moment to appreciate where you ultimately want to be and moreover, how you plan to move forward to that point.

Once you’ve accepted the truth of where you are, you can then accept whether you or not you’re willing to stay there. The choice is yours. I’m going to take a chance here and say that if you find yourself in any situation that is not pleasing to you or your purpose/calling, you’re going to want to move on.

WHEN THE TRUTH HITS YOU

Back in 2013 when my divorce was nearing its final stage, I was more confused than I had ever been in my entire life. Besides the fact that I had been left with a 3500 square foot home to pack by myself (my son had already left for college), very little money, confused, anxious pets, and a true sense of abandonment, I had no clue what I was going to do with my life.

I didn’t want to accept the fact that the last 20 years of my life would soon be packed away in boxes. I didn’t want to accept the fact that I was no longer a part of a marital unit. I loved being a wife. I loved being a part of a two-parent household. I loved, and will always love, the sanctity of marriage. I believe in it and always will. It’s beautiful.

It took me a long time to accept that fact that I had to move back to Louisiana. I didn’t want to move back to the state, let alone the tiny town I grew up in. My biggest childhood dream was to escape this area and never come back here to reside. Well, here I am. The man who is my soulmate told me numerous times that God sent me home to help with my mom and after some time, I realized that was true.

Eventually, I came to accept that this is where I belong. I fought it, but I didn’t accept it willingly or with pleasure. I do now. So many things have fallen into place and being here, surrounded by my family, on our land, with every single thing that we need to live and thrive makes it even better. There came a point when I could have left. I could leave now, but I choose not to. This is what I mean when I say you can accept where you are or you move on.

When I decided that I wouldn’t accept foul treatment, being placed second in anyone’s life, being subtly mistreated, being ignored, rejected, or placed on the back-burner of a man’s life, things turned around. I accepted that sort of treatment for a lot of years, hoping against hope that he would one day love and appreciate me. We all know how that turned out. The greatest release I will ever have received was that which came through my divorce.

FINAL WORD

You’ll constantly receive the behavior and treatment you accept. What you accept is what people will expect you to always accept. If you want goodness, only accept goodness.