The Joy & Pain of a Broken Empath

Empathy. Many days, it's awful. Being a broken empath? Nearly unbearable. I understand the "gift" of empathy. I understand that those of you who connect with my writing & have encouraged me to *finally* finish my memoir -or any book for that matter- see the spiritual gift of empathy in me. Being able to see & speak into the pain of others is a tremendously beautiful gift God has graciously allowed me to have to make my sista-frans & beautiful brothas a bit more at home in a world full of rejection. But. Empathy is the taking on of others pain. And I am a "high empath." Which means I'm feeling another's pain *almost* as if it were my own. If I'm closely connected to someone who's pain is unleashed in irresponsible ways, I am literally absorbing toxicity much like the dude on the 1st season of Heroes who absorbed others powers after he killed them, except I don't kill people so there's that. I digress.Yesterday I had a safe space conversation in which I ran through … [Read more...]

In Which Rescue is on Deck

I turn 40 later this month, and as such have become hella reflective. This year has been one of the worst years of my life. So much so, I’m thinking of canceling my 40th birthday party. Please, please forgive my swears, but what is the gottdamb mutha-effin’ point of a celebration when you are wildly swiveling through the five stages of grief every other day or week? And please know, I do not say any of this lightly. I do not say that for the sake of page hits, Facebook hyperbole, ‘likes’ or pity.I say this because it’s completely, wildly, disappointingly, surprisingly, mortifyingly true. For those of you who’ve kept up with my blog & my writings know that the implosion of my 1st marriage, a complete breakdown, a fierce custody battle, an ugly divorce are all a part of my story, and that too was deeply painful. This year rivals the level of pain & hopelessness of those years. I cannot say why. I am still surprised at the turn of events. I only know life is as equally a nightm … [Read more...]

I Hate Thanksgiving

The day after Thanksgiving, I sat & cried with my husband about how much I hate Thanksgiving. This year, I find myself emotionally gutted over Drumpf's politics of course. Who isn't?  Even bigger than that my heart remained heavy at the treatment of the Standing Rock protesters. On Thanksgiving. With frigid water. In frigid temperatures. Why can't the United States keep it's treaties with Native Americans?  Why are we incapable of treating Native Americans fairly? Why God why? My heart hurts for them. They fight to protect sacred land & get nearly killed for doing so.So. There's that. Sigh.Without fail, every year I tend to dread Thanksgiving & Christmas. Has anyone else noticed this incredible expectation attached to these days? YOU AND YOUR BIG, BEAUTIFUL FAMILY MUST ALL BE HAPPY! THANKFUL! FULL! *Insert eye-roll emoji* This expectation was something I read loud & clear long before social media gave us clues about not only what we should feel on these holidays … [Read more...]

Rage

If I had the power of invisibility the power of flight the power of unlimited strengthI would unleash a rage built up over these years settling on tired shoulders.A rage like this world has never seen.Rage at my father Rage for little girls, cut. Rage for my people Rage at the powerful Rage at the law makers Rage at the suits Rage for black women Rage for sex slavery Rage at his betrayal Rage for Kalief Browder Rage for beaten dogs Rage for colonization Rage for my cityRage. Rage here Rage there Rage everywhere and there would be no end.While the heavens cry out the glory of God my reign of terror would barely be satiated by death's sting at murderous hands.But I have no power of invisibility of flight of unlimited strength. No platform. No flight. No fight. No strength. No money. No home.Nothing to brag or boast.There is no power to speak of but this muffled voice which boasts of my rage and asks who'd I'd be if … [Read more...]

If I Had Died in 1999

I must admit I'm borrowing the idea for this post from fellow Patheos blogger, Steve Austin's powerful post...Today is World Suicide Prevention Day. I'm woefully familiar with the suicide battle. I've struggled with suicidal ideations & a near attempt in 1999. A close consideration in 2004. A close call in 2014. Basically,  all of my adult life I've struggled on and off with some form of depression: the regular kind, post traumatic stress disorder, P.M.D.D. and two bouts of postpartum depression. As of today, I'm 8 weeks out from having a newborn, wading through some form of Baby Blues praying it doesn't evolve into another heavy round of postpartum, but is likely more a symptom of situational life stress.A lot of my struggles with mental illness issues come directly from childhood trauma that bled into teen trauma, that bled into college trauma, that bled into marriage, life & situational traumas. Some of my own doing...divorce, addiction and such. For those of us … [Read more...]

Without Self Pity: Ruthless

Yesterday, I posted on my public FB page about life being impossible and awful and how I had no hope and therefore must die. Or...something like that.A bit ago, the company I was working for folded & all of sudden *poof* I'm unemployed. As it turns out, they were straight up swindlers. They owe a lot of us a good chunk of change & made it impossible for any of us to collect unemployment in the midst of this abrupt change. No notice, just goodbye and right before the holidays.A few weeks ago the stress of this situation started folding in on me like a backpack of stress getting heavier by the day. But last week, I got THEE MOST unexpected news that I could be suffering from a serious non-pregnancy related medical condition and we're still waiting on test results. What in the actual? I've been healthy as a horse. I'm significantly jarred.When life is unpredictable like this, particularly because I'm pregnant & suffering through hella morning sickness straight … [Read more...]

I Am at Peace

After years & yearsof angst & soul crushing sorrow,I am at peace.What I've been through to get here......seems downright unmentionable.Peace born from resolve,is greater than happiness.But also, surprisingly there’s happiness too!I am so in love with my husband.My boys are priceless, rowdy treasures.And the joy of a bonus daughter?What four on earth could be more beautiful?I'd give them the sun, moon, stars & the ocean,each & every one.There’s something different about this love I’m receiving,this love I’m giving...its overflowing & going outwildly.I'm softening to enemies,previous abusersand just regular old shitty, inconsistent friends.This love is overflowing & going outwildly.I’m learning to practice this: love anyway.I’m rejecting petty,because, God’s daughter.I’m longing for peace & reconciliation,in new, in confusing ways.I don’t know the “how” just yet,let me live,let me learn. … [Read more...]

Things Are Changing

Things are changing. I'm so grateful, Good Lawd, God Almighty in heaven, I am so grateful. So. So. Grateful.I'm in reinvention: the absolute necessity to start again, the demand for change before rock-bottom meets certain death, the soul crying out for hope begging you to not to give up on your life type of reinvention. I'm in the latter half I believe. I'm through the hardest part. I'm peeking out now at the horizon seeing it's beauty, awestruck.The valley part, the low part, it's still dark there. I've had more than one ugly cry over the scariness of reinvention and the losses that crystallize. My job, for example, is the first career-oriented position in for-profit work I've had in 15 years. Career-wise, I had no choice but to reinvent.What is 2nd marriage if NOT the opportunity to reinvent the asshattery you brought to the 1st one? If I do nothing different in my 2nd marriage I have not evolved I've merely added a new spinning plate.  And my new husband is anything but … [Read more...]

In which it is okay for me to exist here

I shared a FaceBook post last week that made me feel powerfully vulnerable and ashamed.  Bloggers call this a "vulnerability hangover," which seems pretty all true.  I shared it after tossing and turning one night, after hearing some harsh words spoken about me, I wanted to rise up and defend myself.On a subterranean level, I wanted to articulate that it was okay with me to be heard, to be powerful, to stand up for myself.  I wanted to acknowledge the depth of my struggles -as I've tried to again & again- while also acknowledging that my marriage as a living, breathing organism deeply wounded me as well.  That's not something I've been able to articulate in very many settings, if it all.  I've mentioned over the years an abiding depth of sadness but Lord knows I wasn't able to articulate the plethora of issues we faced beyond my counselor and 2 trusted friends who "got" it.Later, the fall out.  A few Faceboook friends lost (though I did invite this) & an acknowledgement … [Read more...]

The Shame Oh the Shame Oh the Shame

I hung out with some of my alumni recently.  (If you're new here...I worked in college ministry for 12 yrs.)  My guuuuurl, Tia noticed me lookin' all sad and dejected.  When we talked later, I told her it wasn't about anything she'd imagined, but just regular ole shame.  The type of shame that makes you wanna burrow under blankets with angry loud music to drown out the thoughts.  I sat there, huddled on the carpeted basement floor leaning on Shan's & Stephen's legs, laughing and listening to the cadence of their lives as they march through their late 20's to early 30's to the beat of their own brilliant drums.Most of them, I'd met as snotty nose freshman.  Most of them, are married with children.  I was -at one point- their respected leader.  I was -at one point- the one they went to with relationship or marriage advice. Now, I'm not.  Truth is, I'm not anything remotely close to what I used to be for them.  The impact of that hit me in a new way while I sat & laughed wi … [Read more...]