How do you spell relief…

Y’all remember that commercial!?

Well this ain’t about heartburn. But it fits.

A little bit about me before I get into it, I am pretty straight forward, no nonsense, ignorance and mess averse. I grew up in a house where you were encouraged to say what you felt with respect of course. I had a hard nosed Grandmother who said WHATEVER was on her mind and didn’t care about your feelings or if you took offense. If you had a Betty Lou, you know you learn very quickly how to not only respond to foolishness but stand up in your own imperfection and own it. I often wondered what her deal really was… I recall my Aunt, her sister, telling me once “Your Grandmother needs a psychiatrist. Never forget that or let her forget it.”

I later learned exactly what that meant. At the time I thought it was funny, but as I got older she was basically telling me that I wasn’t personally responsible for managing my Grandmother’s emotions and insecurities and nor did I have to act like they were not there or like she wasn’t in need of a long sit down in the couch of her choice. Seeking mental therapy was normalized for me in that moment. I remember hearing my mom and even my Grandfather saying things that let me know Nana was not to be allowed to infect us with her unhealed trauma… whatever trauma it was.

So I got with Nana!

I’m about to get with you!

Earlier this year my closest, dearest, and bestest friend got really ill after contracting COVID-19. She was put into an induced coma, intubated, and spent two weeks in the hospital. When she was released home, she spent a very long time inside of the house and clearly afraid to go outside. The virus and it’s affects on her had left her with an acute case of PTSD that she couldn’t seem to shake, even a few months after being home. We were talking at least once a day… and each conversation her outlook on her physical healing got more gloomy and added another day in the house at the beginning of summer. So like I do, I said to her, ” Hey you might wanna talk to someone because your body and your emotions are traumatized and neither will get better if you don’t move around and start to reestablishing your daily patterns.” I let her know I understood that she’d feel different… your body IS different! But she was still in charge of her own healing… she could talk out ways to integrate some necessary changes into her life to establish a new baseline. She said something like… yeah I know. But soon after she told me she had started therapy, and next thing I knew she was at a social distance, outside event, mask on, but healing in every way. To that I say… Bravo!!!!

Normalizing therapy is important!

Life is a series of experiences… lessons and learning opportunities. Some are like Hamilton, you get schooled while folks rap and dance in costume. Others are like Saw, you get tortured in the process, but if you make it through, you can survive anything. You don’t get to choose how you learn. I believe it depends on the severity of your lack and importance of the knowledge… the path to enlightenment is paved in karma and curses you gotta learn to hurdle over. Jackie Joyner-Kersee them jokers!

But these are not unique to you. Sure your particular set of experiences and how they manifested in your life are uniquely yours, but be clear… people get cheated on, abused both emotionally and otherwise, stolen from, tricked, played, hurt, manipulated, lied to, lied on, misunderstood, and mistreated daily. That isn’t your fault, that’s based on the mental illness of the perpetrator. But you are responsible for how you handle those experiences and whether you choose to heal from them. That is totally on you. You can’t ignore it, push it aside, joke your way through it, or put a mask on it and call it something else… because it will find it’s way back, it will deposit itself on your skin, in your pores, in your heart, in your liver. It’s that starvation, insecurity, overindulgence, inappropriate behavior, nonproductive overexertion, lack of discernment, and fake shit. It will leak out from any orifice. It will infiltrate every good thing and rot it until it stinks like that old meat Langston reminded us about. It will pool around you until you drown in it… unless you save yourself from it. It is trauma. It’s worse than the most aggressive cancer or the most vile killer. That shit there is toxic and you gotta fix it. Or it will fix you.

Trauma is like quicksand. You knew the ground had gotten softer but you didn’t walk around it, and it sucked you in. Eventually it started to fill your nose, airway, and eyes with sand.., your last vision, feeling, thought, sound stuck at that last moment your eyes witnessed. You reach out your hand, but you’ll just pull them in too. No one wants to go there who doesn’t have the tools to pull you out from stable ground. But it’s possible to save yourself. It requires you to put on your big girl panties or your big boy draws, pull em up, and DO YOUR WORK … c’mon Auntie Iyanla told y’all. And in the process you must seek help from people who know how to help you help yourself. Most of the people around you simply aren’t equipped to manage your emotions. It’s not their job or responsibility.

In all seriousness, I leave you with this, My favorite book is The Alchemist by Paulo Coehlo and he always has the most sage advice. He once posted on Twitter, “To heal a wound you must stop scratching it.” Anyone who has healed knows exactly what you must do… change your thoughts. We focus on what is and has been wrong, keep peeking under the band aid, scratching at the scab, to just reopen the wound. Instead you have to DECIDE to do what is necessary to let it heal. For a physical wound it’s usually to leave it alone. For an emotional one it’s to bust it wide open, scoop out the bad insides, look at them, trash them, and concentrate on the present. Most times, to do that well, we need some help. Therapy comes in many forms. If couches ain’t for you, get some spiritual healing. If that ain’t your bag, try some crystals, reiki, whatever you need to do in order to learn the lessons, heed the word, and exist in a state of vainglorious.

You’ll be alright, just get yourself together and get some T-H-E-R-A-P-Y!

Mama’s don’t let your babies grow up to be f*ckboys

fuckboy /f-uh-k-boi/ n. a male who wants the benefits of engaging in meaningful and worthwhile relationships without the responsibility and commitment required to sustain such a relationship; a man who manipulates his way into the lives of others with lies, empty promises, and bad intentions; a BAN.

Ladies and gents, our topic is fuckboys.We are surrounded by them. From Harvey Weinstein, Michael Bloomberg, and Donald Trump. To Tyrone who grew up on Stahelin and Six Mile, Louise’s son with the four kids by four different women, John, Mohammed, Omar, Julius, Abraham, and Marcus. They come from every walk of life, in every age, race, height, and bank account balance. If most of us ladies are honest, we’ve entertained a few at the very least. Some of us woke up next to one this morning. Fuckboys are everywhere… but we can prevent their spread.

Just the other day Harvey Weinstein was found guilty of sexually assaulting women… and has a bitter history of using his money and power to mistreat women. Imagine that, the King of Fuckboys found guilty. Perhaps we’ll see a lessening of the phenomenon now that the poster child for its most vile example has been outed… Probably not, but a girl can dream. Trust me, I know a fuckboy when I see them; I’ve had my share of fuckboy experiences. However, the last time, some sort of vaccine spread through me as I finally figured out their kryptonite… being outed publicly. Let’s first tell the truth and shame the fuckboy… they will recognize themselves. Let’s also go deeper.

Since the beginning of time, women have been told we should strive for aesthetic perfection, and men that they should strive to have as many aesthetically perfect women as possible. Some fuckboys are created in nature. But almost every bonafide fuckboy I’ve known or heard of was created by his mother, a product of nurture. Oedipus, in mythology was a young boy who dreamed of marrying his mother. Now while the oedipus complex is not typically that wild, in the real world the general premise that girls are often emotionally closer to their fathers, and boys closer to their mothers holds true. But when there is a lack of a close relationship, we often see both a difficulty in relating to the opposite sex and an internalization of the negative traits of that parent. So for example, Donald Trump, it’s said, had very little relationship with his mother, who left the raising of boys to their father. As the more benevolent of his parents, her absence led to him instead taking on the very shrewd and grandiose traits of his father and inheriting her absence and lack of responsibility. Likewise, Harvey Weinstein’s mother was allegedly very showy, bossy, and shrill, making her sons feel inadequate aesthetically and their father emasculated. No surprises there! I can assure you all the fuckboys I’ve known have had some iteration of an absent, unreliable, controlling, or coddling mother.

All the nopes in Nopelandia ladies…

It is imperative that as mothers to sons we ensure we are present and loving, but we consistently take responsibility for our actions and demand they do so as well, while giving them some autonomy. We must not treat our sons like 1) our husband’s responsibility- being hands off ; 2) a stand-in for a husband-expecting them to comfort us, take care of us, and cater to our needs; 3) extensions of their absent fathers- to take out our anger and disappointment on; or 4) our personal stuffed animals- coddling them and keeping them helpless so we feel needed and necessary. Nope!

These young boys are not our punching bags or our therapists. That shit is toxic. I once knew a man whose mother had several male children to whom she couldn’t identify their biological fathers. One of those children grew into a man with four children by four different women, each of whom he’s been abusive towards in some manner. While he’s a serial monogamist and clearly likes sex with women, he hates women. Clearly. He hates women because his mother abandoned him in every way possible… and demonstrated she didn’t like him very much. She then sent him into the world to lay those burdens down at the feet of other women. Be clear, his mother is not responsible for his actions, he is. However she created that fuckboy. What’s his mama’s name… Fuckboy Creator!

So ladies let’s be sure we aren’t confusing or blaming our children for the men we picked. Let’s ensure we heal our hurt so we don’t package it into gifts for our sons on birthdays and Christmas. Let’s not create the fuckboys that our elementary school classmate’s daughters have to deal with. Let’s instead teach our sons to treat people with kindness, to respect us as their mothers and as women, and to take consistent and complete responsibility for their actions and reactions. On a personal front, let’s love them so they know how to demonstrate love, remember they are seeds that will grow to bear different rings and fruit than any other before them. Let’s also be consistently and completely responsible for our own scars so we don’t in turn scar them!

Mamas… don’t let your babies grow up to be fuckboys! Oh… and get rid of that one you got!

Untitled Truth

I write for purpose and my main purpose is sharing knowledge. Most of the time it’s really silly and tongue in cheek, but this won’t be, not really (well maybe a little). It’s hard to talk about being mistreated. It’s even harder to talk about being abused. But as a grown up person, it is imperative that we share lessons learned so maybe one someone can heed the the words without experiencing the reality.

So here we go:

I lived in a two family flat as a kid. My grandparents lived downstairs. I’d go down on Friday and Saturday nights to have ice cream or graham crackers and milk while watching Johnny Carson. During a commercial, when I was about eight, my Grandmother told me to come sit on her lap. At that age I was almost her height, and maybe just thirty pounds lighter than her 110 pounds. I sat down in the big green chair, her boney knees in my chubby thigh, and she said “Now get on up you little elephant.” I knew she wasn’t calling me cute… even though there’s few things cuter than a baby elephant

… and in response, I got up and went back up to my house. No unnecessary criticism happened up there! I didn’t tell anyone, at the time, but I knew in that moment that she would be as verbally and emotionally abusive to me as she was to my Grandfather, and attempted with my mom and aunt.

She continued throughout my life to attempt to corner me into some discussion that was sure to hurt my feelings or make me feel bad on purpose. I would challenge her at times, and at others just retreat upstairs to my room. I wasn’t sure why she thought it appropriate to speak to me in that way. However, I heard her tell stories about how fun, secure, and social her sisters were in comparison and how they made fun of her, accepted socially only because she was attractive. It wasn’t lost on me that my mom and I, the targets of most of her negativity, looked much more like her sisters than we did like her. Lighter skinned, curly haired, and thicker than a snicker. I realized she wanted to thwart my own security in an effort to find the voice her sisters silenced.

Both of my Grandmothers were similar in that way. The other a self inflicted victim who sought to chop down those of us who found and sought success, finding some way to attempt to make you feel like that success made you responsible for the happiness of others. Both quick change artists. Wearing teddy bear suits over their snakeskin. It was best to grab your keys at their first hiss, because you were sure to get bit if you lingered.


I eventually retreated from those two. I went off to college and started to feel really comfortable in my own skin. I met a boy who thought I was as fine as I thought I was…and who hearted­čśŹ me. He moved from Detroit to Ann Arbor, I thought to be near me. He supported me in school. He worked and ensured we had the things we needed. However being in a space where I had roots and he didn’t started to weigh on him. Turns out he didn’t join me but he followed me. If that sounds like stalker shit…

but at that time I didn’t get it. I was all lollipops and unicorns and didn’t have a clue what he called love was really possession. He didn’t want to be with me, he wanted to have me. Now as smart as I’d like to believe I was, I wasn’t aware of this at 19. I was bossy, ballsy, and braggadocious, and certainly didn’t plan on taking any shit from him. But with the shits he came. First, his small comments turned into full on criticisms. Again, at first I wasn’t aware of how what he was saying correlated to his attempt to possess me… but much more quickly this time, it made sense. He wanted me to himself, didn’t trust anyone I had around (really a distrust of me), tried to micromanage me, control how I spent my time, and push my buttons when none of that worked. I realized that he wanted to break me down to build me back up as he wanted to see me, not accept me as I came. He also wanted me to believe my friends simply didn’t want to see us together, as he could see in their eyes they despised him. Alienation, control, and subjugation. He pushed so hard, I walked away.


I never saw those experiences as abuse, not until this last go round. I ended up in a MCL 551.2 soured by poor choices. As I reacted to those poor choices, he reacted physically. It escalated from a loud voice to hands going through the walls. The pristine apartment we lived in went from looking like a showplace to looking like The Price is Right Punch A Bunch game. These macro aggressions the result of me saying No, failing to respond to his foolishness, or any other set of actions on my part, none of which gave him license to hit or feign hitting me. Also a result of scenes he’d seen before, causing conflict in his head about whether the dart or the bullseye causes the hit.

It culminated with a trip to a bespoke store, where he had to give some brief information to get into the then exclusive tailor. As he stood at the door, he looked back at me, expecting me to speak for him, and I remained silent. Use your words… But he didn’t and was rejected entry. We went to the car and he got hysterical about being embarrassed. I informed him that while I frequented the business, I couldn’t sponsor him and had given him the necessary information, it was on him and not me. I pulled out of the lot and he grabbed my seatbelt that I had just fastened, and pulled it. I yanked back for him to let it go. He then pulled tighter. It moved from over my shoulder to around my neck and cut me. I pulled over and demanded he get out of the car, and he refused. Yet as the police road by, he got out, afraid I’d make a scene… and he was CORRECT. I left him standing there and drove myself home. Later that evening, when he arrived home, smelling like ten thousand years of equatorial war, I informed him that his things were in the basement until he found a place to dwell. Love don’t live here anymore and I won’t be sleeping with the enemy. I also told him I’d bash his head in and think about Heaven later, if he so much as looked at me wrong. Otherwise everybody would be Kung Fu fighting up in that bungalow.

“Hit em with the left, hit em with the right…”

And we ain’t talking about cats or pocketbooks.


Not all abuse is physical, although we may experience the hell of that as well. Whether one has experienced verbal castigation or cruelty, physical assault or aggressions , or that Color Purple “climb on top and do his business” sexual violation… it all feels like violence and leaves psychological scar tissue. Sometimes it appears only in context to the abused and the observer, but guarantee that it will escalate to suffocation. Whether domestic, financial, or ritualistic, it’s a powerless persons attempt to gain power over you, because they see what they want to be in you. Influence, status, wealth, self-worth, health are all targets.

What is generally believed is that abusers target the weak, and while that may be true in child and elder abuse, the fact is that they tend to see a strength in you they want to conquer to feel more powerful themselves. Whatever the case, whether it comes from family as a child, partners as adults, caregivers as elders, or employers as an employee… an abuser gets his or her kicks by preying on people that aren’t necessary weak but who represent an opportunity to strengthen a weakness in themselves.

Other people don’t get to take out their failure to heal themselves out on you. But their attempts to, are often abusive manipulation of attention, favor, finances, companionship, or worse love. Love doesn’t operate in the same sphere as hate, fear, violence, or abuse. Love doesn’t makes you feel bad, ever. Love is kind, and fuck any people that attempt to make you believe otherwise.

In closing, heal your shit so you don’t become the very thing that caused your pain!