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When God Gives Your Daddy Back in Service

BMarcell Williams, the Youth Cheerleader, Brunch & Bible visionary & founder of Jewels Inc. Enrichment Program shares her story about, grief, guidance, & how God gave her Daddy back in ways she never expected. I met Marcell in Fall of 2008 when I applied to be a mentor with Jewels Incorporated. She was floating through the room like a fairy snapping photos, capturing moments, and we didn’t even know who she was. In serving as a member of Jewels Inc. I grew to learn more about Marcell, she was a mother, a former Campus Pal & Bison Cheerleader, and her Dad had died. Losing her Dad crushed her, he was her biggest cheerleader, her example of love & an avid community servant himself. She had to take a semester off to go home to St. Louis and grieve and upon her return, God gave her the vision of Jewels. Eleven years later, Jewels has served it’s purpose to outlive her time at Howard University & has grown to serve other communities as well. She shares her father’s love of serving children & the moment God took over her pen & released this vision in The Discussion Room, play for details.

 

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New Beginnings with Nicole’s Network

Happy New Year! The beginning of the New Year usually has folks motivated to change. There’s usually at least one person on your timeline or in your life, sharing a laundry list of people and things, getting left in “Insert any year of choice”.

What if we stopped talking about New Years from a lens of who who we’re leaving behind & focused on who we intend to build and connect, or in this case RE-build with? Tiara Riley, author of “23 & FINALLY Loving ME” met me in The Discussion Room last Thursday, December 28th to discuss, why NOW at 26 she’s choosing to reestablish a relationship with her biological dad. She shares how pregnancy opened her up to the idea of reconnecting with a man she told at 20 years old she wanted nothing more to do with him.

We talked about everything from therapy & miscarriage, to being protective of our sisters & the things we wish our mothers knew; most importantly how she’s planned to begin again with her father. We hit some heavy topics but we had so much fun! Press play to step inside The Discussion Room and hear about her New Beginnings.

 

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Are You Ready to Date?

Have you ever been on a date with someone, who suddenly began to talk about their ex? Do you walk into new dating experiences with the expectation that all of your compatible matches are the same? Did you witness your parents’ relationship fall apart? Did that change your opinion and approach to dating and relationships?

If you answered yes to any of that, you HAVE to watch my discussion with matchmaker and dating coach Valerie Rivera of Val’s Bytes about Dating and Daddy Issues. We talked about the types of insecurities that show up in relationships, and how their often times manifestations of our Daddy Issues. She shared some tips on how both men and women can assess themselves and make sure they are READY to date before they hop into another relationship hurting, or hurt someone else.

Press play for more, & let us know if and where you fall on the “Abandonment Spectrum”

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Your Man is NOT your Dad

Last night I had the pleasure of speaking with Life Coach, Judith Rapley. We discussed Perfect Daddy Syndrome, which leads many women tobe disappointed when the men the date or marry don’t live up to the foundations that their Dads have laid for them. One of the greatest take-a-ways I gained from this conversation was “We often forget the nature of the father-daughter relationship was never intended to mirror that of a romantic partnership” You should not be looking for a man to replicate the relationship you have with your Dad because a king rules alongside his QUEEN, not his princess. It’s ok to want your mate to share certain qualities with your Dad, but partnerships and parenthood are not synonymous. Take a glance at our conversation and learn not only about “Perfect Daddy Syndrome” but also about seasonal depression and family ties. Feel free to leave a comment if you have any questions.

 

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Step Parenting Ain’t Easy…but Sherelle has a Secret to Share

Whether you’ve dated a Daddy like I did, became a bonus mom like Jada when she married Will, or find yourself caught up in Baby Mama drama like some of the ladies on your favorite reality tv series, Sherelle Avery has a tip for you. A proud stepmother, learning through LOVE everyday Sherelle decided to be a resource to other blended families by sharing her story. She started The Secret Behind the Step a year ago, to share the lessons she learned as a mother in a blended family, not just about parenting but about all the complexities that come along with it. She’s organized a brunch with panelists from all fields of life to support the needs of blended families still figuring it out. To learn more about the Blended, Beautiful & Blessed Brunch, WHY she started The Secret Behind the Step, WHERE she’s taking it next, WHAT her Secret to being a Dope Step Mom, is watch our discussion “Step Up & Blend” below. Be sure to share your thoughts in the comments!

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Epic Endurance: Using the Power Your Childhood Taught You

On Mondays with Ms. Reid I had a conversation with the viewers about not having a monopoly on Daddy Issues. No matter how complex my story may be it doesn’t diminish anyone else’s.

If you’ve been following since the beginning you know I’m a firm believer that Daddy Issues manifest themselves in different ways. And once upon a time I didn’t believe I had any.

Last night I had the pleasure of talking with the founder of Women Recharged, Aprille Franks-Hunt about the Daddy Issues she never really knew she had. And how they influence the woman she is today.

Life is about learning and UN-Learning the habits we see and adapt as part of own character. Aprille Franks-Hunt tells us how witnessing and experiencing intimate partner violence, taught her to OWN YOUR POWER. How growing up overseas she developed a “Never fit anyone else’s mold for you” mentality. And so much more, from motherhood to business and the types of conversations women need to have more often.

It’s much bigger than Daddy Issues, it’s about understanding the psychological cycles we’re brought up in & understanding that once you acknowledge the cycle, you have the power to end it. Do yourself a favor & watch this conversation!

 

 

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Would YOU Kill For Love?

Last month TVOne premiered a film about a real woman, a woman who supposedly killed in the name of love. However, when I watched the movie, that’s not what I saw. I saw, young woman who grew up in an unstable home taken advantage of who killed as a means of fear and survival. The movie I’m referencing is When Love Kills: The Falicia Blakely Story starring Lil Mama and Lance Gross. The film left me with questions so I did some research on the real Falicia Blakely post viewing and it’s a sad story. Falicia Blakely, who looks nothing like Lil Mama by the way, was only 18 at the time of these murders and Dino, played by Lance Gross is 13 years her senior. I was unable to gage the characters ages, let alone such a large age gap from viewing the movie.

What I was able to gather however, was that Falicia grew up in a home without a father or reliable father figure. Her mother was more concerned with having her moist loins tended to than the whereabouts of her teenaged daughter. Falicia started stripping because the money was good. Sh kept stripping because the money was good. Where she  started slipping was when she started looking for love in the club.

She didn’t have a father’s love or guidance in the home and her mother seemed to have revolving door of unsuitable suitors, so really, she didn’t know what to look for. She fell for a man who was down for the ride until the responsibilities got real. Then she met Dino.

He’s a smooth talker and a big tipper and he shows her affection. He convinces her she’s “Too good to be stripping” and she falls for a fantasy where he’ll take care of her, only to learn he’s only sold her half the dream. Once she buys in and quits the club, she reminds him that he told her that she’s “Too good to be stripping” and he conveniently adds, “at THAT club.”

Falicia is thrown off, but complies any way. She leaves the new club satisfied with how much money she’s made, Dino isn’t. He headbutt’s her and tells her if she worked longer she could have earned more. She’s left fearful and confused, he apologizes, but this is only the beginning.

The movie aims to tell the story of a young woman who kills for love, however I saw it as an example of the type of intimate partner violence young women are vulnerable to when they don’t have a representation of a healthy relationship in the home.

I read an article about how intimate partner violence that says something called “trauma-bonding” is what makes people stay in abusive relationships. Despite being tricked into leaving one club only to end up stripping in another, she stayed because she was waiting for the charming Dino she first met to reappear. When he headbutt her, he may have apologized, but he also showed her exactly the type of physical pain he was capable of inflicting on her at any unsuspecting moment. He even went so far as to keep her daughter away from her. If that weren’t  enough, he convinced her that he wanted to provide her and her daughter with a whole new life, but they needed a certain amount of money to make it happen. So she was stripping with a dollar amount in mind.

In a short time with Dino, Falicia experienced physical, emotional and financial abuse. She earned all the money he said they needed to leave and start a new life only to see Dino use it for other purposes. He convinced her that robbery was a faster way to make the money back than stripping. He gave her a gun and a deadline. Falicia didn’t kill those men for love. She killed them as a means of survival. She wanted a life where she Dino, and her daughter could live together happily, a life where she didn’t have to dance for dollars to make it happen. And they were only obstacles in her way.

If Falicia had parents she could turn to, would those men still be alive?

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What You Missed about the Color Purple

I saw a Twitter thread a awhile back about black people laughing at things that shouldn’t be funny. Someone in the thread mentioned one of my all time favorite  movies; The Color Purple. I could probably quote this movie word for word, ad-lib for ad-lib & I swear I notice something new every time. But seeing it mentioned in that thread made me think not only about the comedians and music artists who’ve referenced it over time, but also all the inside jokes between me and my family that derived from the movie.

I watched a show called American Masters on PBS that featured Alice Walker, the author of the book the movie brought to life. She talked about how much pushback she received when the book was released. How it was called perverted and how black southerners and church leaders found fault with it, but Alice saw truth. She sought to tell the story of the black experience from the voiceless. If you think about it, much of the movie we hear Celie’s THOUGHTS more than she ever really uses her voice.

Of all the things to protest or laugh at about this Alice Walker book turned Steven Spielberg film, I never found anything funny about Celie’s sexual trauma. From the time she was touched until the time of his death, she spent her life thinking her FATHER violated her. Which caused her to have unhealthy and unsatisfying ideas around sex. She described sex with her “husband” Albert to Shug as follows “I just let him get on top of me and do his business.” Sex was an act she had no say in. No RIGHT to the use of her own body. She was conditioned to believe that her body was for the use of men’s pleasure, and labor.

Statistics show that 66% of victims of sexual assault and rape under the age of 18 were between the ages of 12 and 17. Between 2009 and 2013 80% of perpetrators of child sexual abuse were a parent. 4% were an unmarried partner of a parent. That means 84% of the 63,000 children a YEAR that evidence supports were sexually abused between 2009 and 2013 lived a life like Celie. Where they may have kept sexual trauma by a parent a secret from the other parent. Where they bare children for a parental figure, where they don’t understand the autonomy of their bodies, even if they DO know what’s happening to them is wrong.

RAINN Day may have come and gone, but Domestic Violence Awareness Month is right around the corner. The color Purple is the color chosen to call attention to Intimate Partner Violence each October. The US Department of Justice includes victims as young as 12 years old in their reportings on Intimate Partner Violence. As September comes to an end, and Domestic Violence Awareness Month begins, don’t just remember The Color Purple as a classic curated by Steven Spielberg; remember it as the documentary Alice Walker intended it to be, and recognize that sexual assault at the hands of a parent or parental figure is very real. It’s not a scene to be laughed at or ignored, rather a punishable offense, and only 6 in 1,000 perpetrators end up in prison. #DaaamnDaddy

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Survival Stories: Halimah DeOliveira

Thursday September 21 is Rape, Assault, Incest, National Network Day also known as RAINN Day. Instead of using a television series or providing an anecdote from my personal life, I sought out a speaker who had lived through the experience. I came to know Halimah DeOliveira through the Circle of Greatness Academy. She sponsored my attendance to a Ladies Only Brunch in Philadelphia in a moment where I needed the positive energy. I would have never guessed that she experienced and survived everything that she had. After losing her biological father at the age of 2, her mother remarried and her life changed. She shares her story in this live interaction, in hopes that another young lady hears her story and gains the power to use her voice against her abuser. Press Play to hear her survival story.

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Let’s Talk about SEX…EDUCATION

About a month ago I reached out to the traphisticated change agents of KIMBRITIVE, Kimberly Huggins & Brittany Brathwaite to do a collaborative call in regards to Rape, Assault & Incest National Network Day. That topic isn’t exactly in alignment with what they do, but they still agreed to talk with me & I’m glad they did.

We talked about everything from whether or not our families had the tools to teach us about sexual health in the home, how both the public & private education systems didn’t support our curiosity or provide vital health information, and that sometimes even those we THINK are qualified to answer our questions really aren’t.

They told me how they fill the gaps for young people that they wished had been filled for them & taught me a thing or two about healthcare, reproductive justice as well as Curls, Condoms & how the products in our hair impact our ovaries. And they introduced me to Darla, the brown Vulva, cause representation matters! So if you missed it, hit play below & leave a comment & tell us what you think, what you learned & who you shared this with.