Posted on

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?

Posted on

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

Posted on

What Makes You Who You Are?

In my last post I talked about teaching people how to treat you. I shared that post among a group of peers which triggered a conversation about my lack of relationship with Buddha.

It’s impossible to love yourself if you hate the things that make you who you are.

One person asked me if I had any animosity towards him. Another implored that family is too important to not speak to. A comment that stood out to me however, was, “It’s impossible to love yourself if you hate the things to make you who you are.” It made me think of M. Chuck on Survivor’s Remorse and her desire to find her father because she doesn’t know half of who she is. But this was different. This girl’s statement wasn’t about KNOWING who my father was. It was about HATING him. And how that could prevent me from loving myself.

But, I don’t hate him.

Shortly after that conversation I scrolled past a post on the DAAAMNDADDY Facebook page about a young girl raised by her great-grandfather, who wanted to meet her father because she felt like until she met him, she wouldn’t know half of herself. Seeing that reminded me of how I felt when I heard her say those words. Sad for her, but I couldn’t relate.

 

The same girl who made the comment about being unable to love myself if I hate Buddha followed that statement up with “Being at Peace is so much more fun.”

That’s the thing though, my decision to disconnect from Buddha was one I made to protect my peace.

Image result for the amount of time i have for liars

I spent half of my quarter century of life waiting for him to show up. Occasionally visiting him during his periods of incarceration, and having pleasant times with him I can remember overshadowed by his random moments of rage and negligence.

When I decided I was going to write this post I got news that my great-grandmother, Buddha’s grandmother, had died.

It made me want to examine “What makes you who you are” more closely. (So there will probably be another post on this.)

I remember being nine or ten years old when I watched Buddha throw a knife at his Fiancé for encouraging him to let me go home for school instead of keeping me when I no longer wanted to stay. She told him I’d be more likely to come visit again if he returned me home at the agreed upon time. I later learned that he witnessed his father be physically aggressive toward his mother growing up. Statistics show that “Boys Who witness domestic violence are two times as likely to abuse their own partners and children when they become adults.” Unfortunately, that became part of who he is.

But how does that affect me?

Knowing that about him makes me sad he had to experience that. Learning as an adult, that he even abused my own mother was confusing. She had tended to focus on his positives when I asked about him.

Almost anyone I’ve ever met told me Buddha was intelligent. So am I. The hand-crafted birthday cards he used to send me showed me that he’s a wordsmith and also artistically gifted. So am I. His siblings love him no matter what he’s done to them. So do mine.

Not only are some of these some of my greatest qualities, they are some of the things I love most about myself.

I’ve been fortunate enough to build relationships with Buddha’s siblings, despite my estranged relationship with him I’m fortunate enough to know who my father is, even if I don’t like him. And I will never be able to understand what it’s like to not know a contributor to your existence. But I don’t think that not knowing a parent or separating yourself from a parent prevents you from knowing who you are.

Image result for m-chuck survivor's remorse  gif

I’m an intolerant person, I know that about myself because I was willing to cease communication with Buddha once I realized continuing to communicate with him meant tolerating mistreatment. I even stopped communicating with my mom for a few months when I felt she disrespected me.

I don’t have all the answers on “What Makes You Who You Are” and you don’t have to agree with me that your parents aren’t always the sole contributors.

I think What made me who I am is my ability to learn from my experiences and the people I choose to surround myself with.

Posted on

Ghost the Ghost Dad

Last night, I came late to a discussion among young college educated professionals about the show POWER.

The conversation started as a debate of Tasha’s loyalty and Ghost’s lust. The women felt Tasha went above and beyond to be loyal to Ghost, while he took a hiatus from his real life to live a fantasy with his high school sweetheart.ghost-angela-fantasy

While the women in the discussion found it admirable that Tasha chose to protect her kids by refusing to cosign & hive Ghost access to funds they set aside for the children; the men were appalled that she had the audacity to deny him access to funds HE worked for.

Power Season 3 2016

The conversation got heated.

What interest me most about reading through these opinionated exchanges were their thoughts on Ghost as a Dad.

The argument was made that Ghost is an absentee Daddy.

Rebuttal; he’s separated from his wife so distance is to be expected.

Counterargument; Ghost can’t use the separation as an excuse, because Tasha encourages him to spend time with the kids without her.

Rebuttal: Ghost works two jobs to provide for his kids therefore he CAN’T be absent.

That’s where I chimed in. It appeared to me that most of the men felt like providing was adequate parenting and the women in the group quickly pointed out the many specific scenarios in which Tasha had to say “Yo Ghost, Lil’ Man wildin’ come get him.” Because clearly Ghost is too busy to see the signs of an outburst himself.

power-ghost-say-it

 

One of the women in the discussion, took specific issue with Ghost’s methods of discipline. She was disappointed that their son raising his hand at his mother only warranted a talking to, but calling his father’s mistress out of name called for Ghost putting his paws on him.

 

The men felt that their son was out of line and in “grown folk’s business” and this woman felt passionate that any teenage boy would be upset with their Dad for mistreating their Mother.

One of the guys responded “Bad husband doesn’t automatically mean bad father.”

That wasn’t the first time I heard that statement, and under some circumstances, it’s true. Some men don’t allow their shortcomings as a husband/significant other to affect their relationship with their children. However, Ghost doesn’t qualify as one of these men to me.

Reasons why are as follows:

  1. He’s only physically present by their mother’s request
  2. He was uncomfortable when his son prolonged their embrace.
  3. He’s willing to jeopardize funds set aside for the children’s future to fix his past.
  4. He brought his son to learn his business, but pawned him off on someone else.
  5. He thinks providing financially can replace a loving interactive relationship

embrace

At the end of the day James “Ghost” St. Patrick is human, and just like real dads, this Fictional Father is Flawed.

Posted on

Curiosity Killed the Cat

Domestic Violence Awareness Month may be over, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t still issues to be addressed. I started this vlog in association with my blog Dealing With Daddy Issues and shared the encounters of a close friend of mine who’s daughter’s father has made her a victim of intimate partner violence on more than one occasion. I recently learned that she was forced to undergo surgery or lose her eyesight, very similar to the story I shared in the second vlog post last month.

I encourage you all to do your own research and continue to seek support if you are in a violent situation.

Because I started this vlog and DWDI as a way to vent and communicate about the Daddy Issues I face and those experienced by the friends and family that I love, I tired to keep my research focused on how Domestic Violence/Intimate Partner Violence effects children. In the last days I found a statistic that made me reflect on a younger cousin of mine who went from a curious and creative toddler to an aggressive teen caught in the foster system and eventually ended up in a juvenile detention center. He was isolated by his step father, physically tossed around by him and felt unprotected by his mother.

Continue reading Curiosity Killed the Cat

Posted on

Domestic Violence Awareness Recap

DVAM_2
When you don’t have a lover, & you’re tired of being a “secretary” ‪#‎DomesticViolenceAwarenessMonth‬ in October we wear purple
DVAM_1
Purple lips ‪#‎DomesticViolenceAwarenessMonth‬ Jewels Inc taught me. We wear purple in October
DVAM_3
Still October. Still ‪#‎DomesticViolenceAwarenessMonth‬ 10,000,000. The number of children exposed to domestic violence every year.
DVAM_5
1 in 15 children are exposed to intimate partner violence each year, and 90% of these children are eyewitnesses to this violence. ‪#‎DomesticViolenceAwarenessMonth‬ ‪#‎domesticviolenceawareness‬ ‪#‎dvawarenessmonth‬ ‪#‎DVAM15‬
DVAM_6
On average a woman will return to her abuser 7 times before leaving for good. This summer I heard the story of a woman who was beaten BLIND by her children’s father. She showed her Social Worker old photos of herself & said ” You see all those sunglasses I was wearing? Those were to hide the black eyes.”
DVAM_7
Children who live in homes where there is domestic violence also suffer abuse or neglect at high rates (30% to 60%)
DVAM_8
I paint my lips purple for the women who suffer in silence. Who’s confidence take hits with every interaction with someone who claimed to love them. For children who learn only what they see & grow to continue these cycles because the village is too scared to tell them anything different.
DVAM_9
8,000,000 The number of days of paid work women lose every year because of the abuse perpetrated against them by current or former male partners. This loss is equivalent to over 32,000 full time jobs.-Huffington Post
DVAM_26
Domestic violence is most likely to take place between 6 pm & 6am. More than 60% of Domestic violence incidents happen at home.
DVAM_11
When you wanna be Freddie from ‪#‎ADifferentWorld‬ so bad. Then you remember… Studies show that 3-4 million children between the ages of 3-17 are at risk of exposure to domestic violence each year. U.S. government statistics say that 95% of domestic violence cases involve women victims of male partners. The children of these women often witness the domestic violence. …Freddie was an advocate & activist for human rights. Gotta start somewhere.
DVAM_12
Thehotline.org encourages us to remember ways to assist family and friends in unhealthy relationships BE NON-JUDGMENTAL. Respect your friend or family member’s decisions. There are many reasons why victims stay in abusive relationships. They may leave and return to the relationship many times. Do not criticize their decisions or try to guilt them. They will need your support even more during those times
DVAM_15
Domestic violence costs more than $37 billion a year in law enforcement involvement, legal work, medical and mental health treatment, and lost productivity at companies
DVAM_14
Don’t discount the psychological effects Nearly half of all women and men in the United States have experienced psychological aggression by an intimate partner in their lifetime (48.4% and 48.8%, respectively).[vii]
DVAM_19
As the weather changes & increased awareness of depression and other “invisible illnesses” is shared, let’s be mindful of how intricate & interwoven the pieces of our mental and physical health are. Studies suggest that there is a relationship between intimate partner violence and depression and suicidal behavior. (ncadv.org)
DVAM_21
Most female victims of intimate partner violence were previously victimized by the same offender, including 77% of females ages 18 to 24, 76% of females ages 25 to 34, and 81% of females ages 35 to 49. Look for the patterns, seek help before you become a habitual victim. (Thehotline.org)
DVAM_23
Don’t be your daughter’s first dose of abuse. In a study of 724 adolescent mothers between the ages of 12-18, one of every eight pregnant adolescents reported having been physically assaulted by the father of her baby during the preceding 12 months. Of these, 40 percent also reported experiencing violence at the hands of a family member or relative. (Americanbar.org)
DVAM_24
“You don’t always need water to drown.” -S.D.REID Those who grow up with domestic violence are 6 times more likely to commit suicide and 50 times more likely to abuse drugs and alcohol. (cdv.org)
DVAM_22
As a proud college graduate, I find it important to highlight how #domesticviolence effects college students. 21% of college students report having experienced dating violence by a current partner. 32% experienced dating violence by a pervious partner. 13% of college women report they were forced to have sex by a dating partner.
DVAM_30
Preserve your child’s childhood. Living with domestic violence significantly alters a child’s DNA, aging them prematurely 7-10 years
DVAM_28
My cousin was such a curious & creative child that my mom used to call him her Steven Spielberg. After witnessing & experiencing abuse in his home, he became violent and less creative, eventually landing in a juvenile detention facility. Children who witness violence may be more aggressive and fight more often. Growing up with violence affects a child’s basic drive to explore the world. Natural curiosity is thwarted. Children may be less willing to try new things. (Childwitnesstoviolence.org)
DVAM_31
An estimated 600,000 to 800,000 men, women and children are trafficked across international boarders each year, and approximately 80% of trafficking victims are women and girls.
DVAM_20
Only 34% of people who are injured by intimate partners receive medical care for their injuries. (ncadv.org) Don’t make the #HotlineBling & avoid receiving treatment for your suffering. I’m 24, I KNOW & LOVE victims and survivors of intimate partner violence/domestic violence. There’s help available.
DVAM_29
A study of intimate partner homicides found that 20% of victims were not the intimate partners themselves, but family members, friends, neighbors, persons who intervened, law enforcement responders, or bystanders.
DVAM_18
Myth: Young children will not remember the violence they have witnessed. Children do not forget what they have witnessed. Adults hope that if the violence is not talked about, the children’s memories of the event will disappear. However, young children demonstrate a remarkable capacity for recalling traumatic events. Children’s vivid accounts of violent events stand in contrast to parent’s reports that their children did not see the violence or were unaware of it.
DVAM_17
Heavy is the head that wears the crown. Physical, mental, and sexual and reproductive health effects have been linked with intimate partner violence including adolescent pregnancy, unintended pregnancy in general, miscarriage, stillbirth, intrauterine haemorrhage, nutritional deficiency, abdominal pain and other gastrointestinal problems, neurological disorders, chronic pain, disability, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), as well as noncommunicable diseases such as hypertension, cancer and cardiovascular diseases. Victims of domestic violence are also at higher risk for developing addictions to alcohol, tobacco, or drugs.7 (ncadv.org)
DVAM_16
Financial abuse holds victims back from becoming survivors. Between 21-60% of victims of intimate partner violence lose their jobs due to reasons stemming from the abuse. Purplepurse.com helps victims find resources & develop plans to leave.
DVAM_13
81%of women who are stalked by a current or former male partner are also physically abused by that partner.
DVAM_10
8,000,000 The number of days of paid work women lose every year because of the abuse perpetrated against them by current or former male partners. This loss is equivalent to over 32,000 full time jobs.-Huffington Post
DVAM_4
More than 3 million children witness domestic violence in their homes every year.
DVAM_27
daaamndaddyA woman is 70 times more likely to be murdered in the few weeks after leaving her abuser than at any other point in the relationship. When you encourage a woman to leave, make sure you help her have a plan first. Or be prepared to take in her children.
DVAM_25
Knock out Domestic violence. Today may be the last day of #DomesticViolenceAwarenessMonth but don’t let it be the last day you educate yourself on the effects intimate partner has on the victims, the children who witness it, & the friends and family members that step in to show support. Visit Thehotline.org for more tips for support and to speak to trained counselors. Visit Purplepurse.com for conversation starters to help those you know are suffering or financial planning if you are the victim. Remember being available & suspending judgment can save a life.
DVAM_25.1
#DomesticViolenceAwarenessMonth #dvawarenessmonth #DVAM15 #SeeDV #purplelips #PURPLEBOXINGGLOVES #purplewithapurpose ?
Posted on

CONTROL

Domestic Violence is defined as a pattern of behavior used to establish power and control over another person through fear and intimidation, often including the threat or use of violence.

Assault is defined as an intentional attempt or threat to inflict injury that places another person in fear of imminent bodily harm.

I’m a CONTROL freak. I chose to live alone because I wanted to be in control of when I do and do not wish to have company.

On Dealing With Daddy Issues this week I posted about “Super Bass” & my sister’s father being a loud presence in my life. When I was 14 we had our one and only physical altercation. And although no one seems to agree on the details it definitely changed things and how we interacted with and around one another.

I didn’t like his tone of voice most of the time, but I knew after that night if I was going against him, I was going alone. There were many great memories after after that night, but I definitely became more aware of myself and my power and occasional lack thereof.

Continue reading CONTROL

Posted on

Senseless Fashion Statements

Senseless Fashion Statements

My love for sunglasses probably started from playing in my mothers belongings as a child. She used to keep a basket full of sunglasses on her dresser. They were pretty cool, some even had multi-colored lenses, it was the 90s and my mom was kind of poppin.

As I got older, I developed a fetish with sunglasses as a protective accessory to keep things from blowing in my sensitive eyes.

This summer however, I learned of a woman who was a survivor of Domestic Violence. For years she used sunglasses as stylish Fashion Statements to hide the black eyes she received during physical altercations with the father of her children. These physical altercations were so brutal and frequent that they eventually resulted in the loss of her eyesight. Yup, that’s right, she was BEATEN BLIND, by her sons’ father and now what was once considered great sense of fashion, is a protective accessory for what little sensitivity the nerves in her eyes have left.

Continue reading Senseless Fashion Statements

Posted on

Remember Who’s Watching

Every decision you make has an impact on the person you chose to create. Remember to be responsible with your actions. Hurt Parents, hurt children and the cycle continues in ways you may never have intended for it to. Don’t allow what you wouldn’t want your children to accept because most children copy what they see. Below are some stats from resources on Domestic Violence outreach organizations.

CHILDREN AND DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

  • 1 in 15 children are exposed to intimate partner violence each year, and 90% of these children are eyewitnesses to this violence.5 

Continue reading Remember Who’s Watching