My Journee to Self Love

To fall in love with yourself is the first secret to happiness.

Robert Morely

In 7th grade English my teacher gave out assigned seats. My assigned seat was in front of this young white male. He began throwing small balls of paper at me during class. I turned around to tell him to stop and he advised me to go back to Africa. Annoyed by his ignorance I quickly reminded him that America would be boring without black people. He laughed and agreed and made a snarky comment about black people being entertaining. I rolled my eyes and turned back around in my seat and he continued to throw paper at me. Finally after an hour I picked a few paper balls up and threw them back at him.

Our English teacher yelled at me and gave me dentition. I was flabbergasted. I couldn’t understand why the guy who I’ll call Liam could make racial comments and harass me all class, but I ended up with detention. The teacher told me if I didn’t react I wouldn’t have gotten into trouble, acknowledging that he knew what was going on but still chose to only punish me. The teacher also moved Liam from behind me to across from me to the very next row over.

After the my initial encounter with Liam I really disliked him. He annoyed every fiber of my being. The next day in English class Liam told me that he thought I was beautiful. Liam was confusing, but he was also the first male to tell me I was beautiful. I didn’t say thank you to Liam because I figured he was joking but a part of me oddly felt good. I felt happy that someone other than myself appreciated my beauty. Someone didn’t think I was the weird fat black girl.

From the first time he called me beautiful I started developing strange feelings for Liam. He was tall with blonde hair and blue eyes your typical all America boy. From the first time Liam called me beautiful he never stopped. He rubbed my arms and held my hands during class. I made sure to always wear a short sleeve shirt to English. Then one day he told me he loved me. I didn’t say it back because I was afraid to and I didn’t understand my feelings. Honestly I felt liked I loved Liam too but we were kids who knew nothing about love. I knew nothing about expressing myself or my feelings.

One day I dropped my pen and asked Liam to pick up the pen for me.

“Call me master” Liam said jokingly

One of our other white male classmates overheard Liam and advised him that his comment was too far. I was in complete shock. I couldn’t believe that Liam actually said that to me. I was so hurt and couldn’t believe I allowed myself to be apart of his slave fantasy. I felt so ashamed and so stupid. I left out the classroom and refused to come back. I did not care about the consequences.

The English teacher wrote me up and I was sentenced to a week of detention and a week of in school suspension at lunch. My parents also punished me by grounding me for a week and beating me. I felt so dumb the consequences didn’t matter to me I was numb and heartbroken.

After I healed from the beating, completed detention and in school suspension I was right back in English across from Liam. However I had nothing to say to him. He apologized profusely but I hated him.

Then one day a few weeks into me ignoring Liam like he never existed to me he stopped me in the hallway after lunch. He apologized again this time he looked me in the eyes. I felt like he was hurting and sincerely apologetic.

“Baby girl I’m sorry. I love you” he said and then he hugged me.

I melted in his arms and laid my head on his chest. The moment was perfect. I didn’t tell him I loved him but I did. I didn’t tell him I forgave him but I did. I loved him calling my baby girl. It made me feel special.

I didn’t think he was racist at the time I just thought he was a product of his environment. Living in a predominantly white area sometimes people used racial slurs or said racist things they would later apologize for and I was used to that. Honestly we were kids, and even at a young age I realized kids aren’t born racist or hateful. Kids are taught those behaviors. My parents would have died if they knew I was in love with a white guy. We were kids and I told myself he had to be taught that behavior. I didn’t blame him I blamed the word. I still blame the world.

That strange dynamic between us lasted all the way through high school. One day I thought he cared for me and the next day someone was telling me he said he would never date a black girl. I would be hurt or sad but I never stopped loving him. He was the first guy to make me feel beautiful.

Fast forward to present day I discussed Liam and the roll that he played in my young life with my therapist. I told her once again how Liam made me feel. She paused and said “let’s be clear Liam said some pretty awful hurtful racist things to you. Let’s acknowledge the toxic role he played in your life”.

I felt so dumb once again. I credited Liam with making me feel beautiful and helping me love myself. I never really acknowledged the toxic role Liam played in my life. I found that since Liam I continued to gravitate towards men who hurt me or men who are mean to me. I attracted men who were prone to anger. It’s almost like I think I deserve a man who in one breath will tell me I’m beautiful and god’s gift to the world, but in the next breath tell me I’m worthless.

I am a work in progress and I realize that I have to 100 percent love myself before I can expect anyone to love me. I realize my worth and I have made a promise to myself to heal from past traumas. I made a promise to myself to always know my worth and never settle for less. It’s so cliche but love isn’t supposed to hurt you or break you.

EMDR Therapy

Be brave enough to heal yourself even when it hurts

-Bianca Sparacino

I was diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and depression by my therapist. I told myself that those were just medical titles that really didn’t describe me. However, after much thought I decided to work with my therapist to help myself heal from my past traumas. I decided that I didn’t want to be anxious or depressed anymore. I want to be the best version of myself possible.

My therapist and I decided to start an intensive form therapy called EMDR to start the healing process. EMDR therapy “is a phased, focused approach to treating traumatic and other symptoms by reconnecting the client in a safe and measured way to the images, self-thoughts, emotions, and body sensations associated with the trauma, and allowing the natural healing powers of the brain to move toward adaptive resolution.” My therapist advised me that we would be creating a timeline of my life starting from my earliest memories to find out how my past traumas have affected me, and to start the healing process.

My therapist also introduced the concept of “parts” to me. She advised me that we all have three parts the exiles, managers, and the distractors. The three parts main goal is to protect your true self. The exiles hold the pain, and shame of the past. The exiles are the vulnerable part that often holds negative beliefs based on painful past experiences.

The managers run daily life, are proactive, and work to contain the exiles by staying in control of events and relationships. The managers protect our inner world. Mangers control every relationship and situation in order to protect us from feeling hurt and rejected. 

The distractors (also known as firefighters) are reactive and will work to put the fire (pain) out when an triggered exile erupts past a manager. The distractors also protect our system, but often to soothe or distract vulnerable parts of our being.

The true self is the center or core of our being. Our divine essence. In other words, our true self is the best version of ourself. It is scary to me to think that at almost 30 I have not become my true self.

Often the exiles hold shame, grief, loss, rage dependency, and loneliness. My exile part holds my depression. I realize that I often feel like I am not good enough, or like I am an outsider. I feel unprotected in the world and in my life. I realized that all those feelings that I hold inside are because of my exiles. On the inside I am a hurt little girl that just wants to love and be loved unconditionally.

The manger part is also known as the warrior or the planner. The mangers are the inner critic and the inner judge. The managers is also the caretaker, controller, striver, and passive pessimist. My manger side is very controlling, extremely critical, and paranoid. My manger part is also a go getter, and goal driven. I am never satisfied with anything in life, and I always feel like I can do better. I noticed this more in college when I would be angry with myself for earning A’s or B’s. I always want to earn a perfect 100 or a A+. While I work, I noticed that I always must be the best. During my last work evaluation my manger ranked me as “exceeds” after my first year of work. Still I left that evaluation wondering how I could improve or be better. Good is not good enough for me I must be perfect. I strive for perfection and sometimes that is a draining way to live.

The distractor part is also known as the firefighter and is reactive. The distractor part is often the part that displays addictive behaviors or dangerous behaviors. For example, obsessive shopping, binge eating, extreme drug or alcohol use, or dangerous sex practices. My distractor side is combative, defensive, vindictive, devious, and non-compromising. I also have a pretty bad shopping habit I’m addicted to buying new shoes. I am also addicted to buying different health products like various vitamins supplements. I am very defensive or quick to react. My distractor part is always in overdrive trying to protect me. I realize that I am noncompromising combative because I don’t want to feel weak. I always want to be in control of my life. I realized that underneath my tuff exterior I am just a girl who is afraid to get hurt.

Although this whole process is a bit scary, I am excited to find my true self. I am excited to drop all my emotional baggage and become the best Janay I can be. I would encourage everyone to go to therapy. I hope that everyone reading this will start their journey to finding their true self.

Below I attached my parts chart. Create one at home to see how your parts play a role in your everyday life.

Reference : https://www.psycom.net/emdr-therapy-anxiety-panic-ptsd-trauma/

My First Heartbreak

I remember it was a Thursday morning and I woke up extremely late for school. I was rushing to get the bush, and I needed to brush my teeth before I left the house. I would have skipped the whole day, before I left the house without brushing my teeth. When I went to brush my teeth the bathroom door was locked because someone was showering. I waited and I waited for the person in the shower to finish until I couldn’t wait any longer. I grabbed a spare toothbrush and toothpaste and quickly brushed my teeth in the empty kitchen sink before running out the door. I barely caught the bus, but I made it to school on time.

Later that day I came home from school and my father was sitting on the couch waiting for me to arrive. He asked why I brushed my teeth in the sink, and I explained that I was running late, and someone was in the bathroom. He was upset and explained how nasty that was and how inconsiderate I was for opening new toothpaste. I really felt like he was blowing the situation out of portion. Yes, I shouldn’t have overslept but that did not warrant a massive argument. My father started ranting and I started daydreaming about whatever teenage girls think about at that age.
Halfway through my daydream my father started choking me. I felt his hands wrap around my neck and I couldn’t breathe. I fought back trying to get him to let go of my throat. I don’t know how long it was before he let go but it felt like forever. He let me go and I ran out of the house never looking back at him. I ran to my best friend’s house who lived up the street and called my aunt to tell her what happened. She came to get me immediately and I stayed over her house.
Once I got to her house, she called the rest of my family and explained to them what happened. My whole family was in a complete uproar and wanted my father punished.
I was at my Aunt’s house for three days, and I couldn’t miss anymore school. My aunt finally talked to my mother who advised her that my father denied choking me.
“I need you to tell me exactly what happened and this is serious so please be completely honest” my aunt said.
I explained to her the situation once more, and my aunt advised me that she believed me. Knowing that my aunt believed me made me feel good. Knowing my mother seemed to believe my father made me sick to my stomach. I couldn’t understand why my own mother would choose not to believe me. I would never lie about something so serious.
After five days my aunt advised me that she couldn’t keep me any longer. She advised she was taking me back home, but she would get me on weekends and the situation was far from over.
I went home and went straight to my room. I didn’t want to talk to my father, but more than anything I didn’t want to talk to my mother . For some strange reason I hated my mother more than my father. My mother was supposed to protect me from danger even if the danger was her husband . I felt like my mother should put me her child her first born first but instead she chose to believe her “man”. I vowed to myself never to be that kind of woman. The kind of woman who would let love or a man control her life. I vowed that day to always believe my child over anyone else.
Almost three months later I was talking to my parents about an issue. I don’t remember what exactly I was talking to them about, but I vividly remember blurting out to my father that he chocked me. I remember that without any remorse my father blatantly admitted to choking me.
“I choked you to get your attention” he said nonchalantly.
Shocked that he finally admitted that I looked to my mother. “This is her moment” I thought to myself. She couldn’t deny or ignore the fact that my father admitted to choking me. She had no choice but to react to my father’s shocking admission.
However my mother did not budge. She didn’t make on sound and acted like she wasn’t even in the same room. I hated everything about her. What kind of woman wouldn’t protect her child? What kind of woman could know that her child was abused but not care? It appeared my mother only cared about being married and staying married. I guess that’s what a good wife does. It was at that moment I told myself that I never wanted to be married if that meant sacrificing my self-respect, dignity and womanhood just to please a man. My parent’s marriage made me never want to get married.
Fast forward many years and I find myself sitting in my therapist office talking about my current day situation. I explained to her how even after my son’s father Jhavier girlfriend witness him punching me in the face in front of our three-year-old son she stayed with him and defended him. I explained to my therapist that even after Jhavier attempted to commit vehicular manslaughter and hit me with a car while her child and several other children were in the car she stayed. It was as if having a man meant more to her than standing up and doing the right thing. I hated her and I couldn’t understand what type of woman would stay with a man who showed no regard for life. I couldn’t understand why she didn’t feel like she deserved so much better. I pondered was her fear of being alone so great or was her self-esteem just that low?
My therapist asked me if Jhavier girlfriend’s actions upset because she reminded me of my mother. I realized I didn’t hate Jhavier’s girlfriend I hated what she stood for in my life. She was another woman willing to sacrifice her self-worth and respect for a man.
Present day I have a much better relationship with both of my parents. I love them and they are awesome grandparents. My childhood molded me into the strong take no nonsense person that I am today! My childhood made me vow to myself never to accept piece of a man because I deserve a whole man that will treat my son and myself with love and respect.
I would encourage all parents to trust and believe their children. Take action and protect your children at all cost!

 

Tiger Stripes

” Behavior never lies” – Gary Blair

I was admitted to the hospital 12/14/2014 to start the labor process for my son. Jhavier showed up to the hospital 12/17/14. Jhavier and I hadn’t spoken since about July 2014 around the time I was six months pregnant. There was so much turmoil between Jhavier and I during my pregnancy that I decided it was best that we didn’t speak. When I was admitted to the hospital I didn’t call Jhavier to tell him. 

When Jhavier walked into the hospital room I was shocked. However if I’m going to be honest I was also happy. Even after everything we went through I was excited to know Jhavier wanted to see our son be born. When Jhavier walked through the door nothing matter not the domestic violence, not him beating my dog, not the Craigslist sex scandal nothing matter. 

December 19 2014 I had a emergency C section and gave birth to my son Joshua. I named him Joshua because Joshua means savior. Joshua my son my savior. 

Joshua weighed 9.8 pounds when he was born. He was rushed to the NICU because he was barely breathing. I was so scared for my son, and although my mother was by my side I wanted to see Jhavier. Our son was being rushed to the NICU and I didn’t know what to think. I blamed myself, and I blamed Jhavier. I blamed him for putting me through so much negativity while I was pregnant. I blamed myself for putting up with the drama for so long. Once again I was broken my son was hurting and I couldn’t do anything to fix that. The only person who could’ve imagined what I was going through was Jhavier. No one else could feel the pain, or understand my anxiety other than Jhavier. Joshua was our child our flesh and blood. 

However after I gave birth to our son Jhavier was kicked out of the hospital due to his behavior. I watched the hospital security drag him out the hospital. That was the most painful and embarrassing moment of my life. I understood Jhavier probably was nervous about Joshua, but that didn’t excuse his behavior. The nurses and the doctors advised Jhavier’s behavior was unacceptable. 

“Typical Jhavier” I thought to myself. 

“Why couldn’t he hold it together for our son? Why couldn’t he hold it together for me” I thought as I began to cry out loud. 

The next day I would spend all day running back and forth to the NICU bringing breast milk to my son. I decided that I would breast feed, and it was very hard. My son wouldn’t latch onto my breast so I had to pump my milk. Pumping milk was also difficult because I wasn’t producing a lot of breast milk. Not being able to breast feed my son made me feel extremely inadequate and sad. I felt like a horrible mom because of my breast feeding issues. No one told me how normal it is for women to have issues breastfeeding and because of that I felt sad. I felt guilty like maybe I wasn’t supposed to be a mother or I wasn’t fit to be a mother. 

Jhavier finally came back to the hospital around 5:30 pm to finally meet his son. He came with a card with a handwritten note thanking me for choosing life and given birth to his first born son. He apologized for everything he put me through and promised to be the best father ever. He also came with a cloth flower from the gift shop.

“Maybe just maybe being a father will make him grow up” I thought to myself as I accepted the gifts.

Our son was in the NICU for 5 days. I stayed in the hospital everyday with him and so did Jhavier. We both slept in the same small hospital bed together every night. If I needed help with dressing Jhavier helped me. If I was hungry he would get me food and it felt like the old times were back. The old times when we were young and in love with no drama, no violence, just love. Jhavier was sweet, he was my protector. He was so in love with our son he held him whenever he could. My perfect family was coming together I thought to myself. I was happy even if it was just for the moment.

December 24th Christmas Eve 2014 Joshua was released from the NICU. I went home with my mother, and Jhavier went home to wherever he lived. Our time as a family was over. Reality kicked in as soon as we left the hospital. My little family was no more. 

After I left the hospital Jhavier would call every couple of days to check on our son. I couldn’t understand why he didn’t call everyday but I realized our son couldn’t talk. 

February 04 2015 I brought Josh to see Jhavier. Jhavier finally had time to spend with Joshua and I was happy to bring him. Jhavier was renting out a small bedroom in a boarding house for men. He lived on the top floor and had a small twin size bed. His bedroom door didn’t lock and there was one shared bathroom. Being the only woman in a house full of men made me uncomfortable. I didn’t want to be there, but I wanted to make sure Jhavier could spend time with his son. 

Jhavier asked me if we could have sex. I declined. He seemed like he was okay with the rejection as long he still could be with his son. I was at Jhaviers house for about two hours and I asked him to pop some popcorn. He said no and told me to pop my own popcorn. The microwave was in the kitchen and I didn’t want to go into the kitchen with the men. The strange men in the boarding house who I did not know. I explained that to Jhavier and he became enraged. 

“You think your better than me. Your too good to go to my kitchen.” Jhavier said as he snatched the popcorn from me and threw it out his third floor window. I realized at that moment that Jhavier did not change. He was still the same evil women beater and I felt dumb. 

I started gathering my stuff and my son to leave. I had my son in one arm and his diaper bag in the other arm and I started walking to the door. 

“Bitch you can leave but leave my son” Jhavier said as he pushed me. I feel onto the bed with my son in my arms. Josh was barely three months old. I felt like I failed as a mother again. I knew Jhavier was unstable and still I came to his room with the hopes of being a family. It was my fault that my infant son was subjected to the foolery.

Jhavier apologized and begged me so stay. I left with our son and told Jhavier I would never come back. I told him he could still see our son but I would not bring our son to him. He would need to make the arrangements. I left his room that day, and Jhavier didn’t see Josh again until Josh’s dedication on June 14 2015.

I learned that day that Jhavier would never ever change. No matter how much I wished he would change. My heart was broken. Jhavier showed me who he was and I should’ve believed him.

To Blog or Not to Blog

The brighter the rainbow, the badder the weather

-Lil Wayne

I haven’t made a blog post in almost two months for a slew of different reasons. The main reason is because I wasn’t sure if I was doing the right thing by blogging. Don’t get me wrong I felt and I still feel like by sharing my stories I can help other women. I know I’m not the only woman who has dealt with domestic violence and I want women to know that they’re not alone in their fight for justice. I want women to know that they don’t deserve abuse and that they can walk away.

However writing about my experience opens the door for unwanted opinions. I knew that their would be backlash with me sharing my story and I thought I was ready to deal with it, but I would be lying if I said ignoring the hate is easy. My blog is not like Facebook it’s public and I can’t block unwanted people from coming to my page leaving rude comments or screenshotting my post. It’s an exhausting fight, but a fight that I’m willing to fight.

Writing about my struggles with anxiety and postpartum depression is also not easy. Sharing my struggle with anxiety and postpartum depression made me nervous because I did not want to be labeled crazy. My blog post Mind Games is about my struggle with panic attacks and anxiety. Recently someone took a screenshot of my post and shared it on social media with a caption that said “I knew this girl was mentally ill. I’ll never argue with a mentally ill patient ever again”. I saw that post and became sick to my stomach. Everything I write is real and honest and I’m not going to let anyone make me feel bad. I’m not the first or the last person to struggle with anxiety, or depression and I’m not ashamed. I’m not going to stop telling my story or sharing my struggle because I know sharing my struggles can help someone. I want all my readers to know your not crazy for having anxiety and I don’t want anyone to feel bad or ashamed. I’m sharing my story so that everyone struggling with depression or anxiety will know that they’re not alone. I share my story to encourage anyone struggling with mental illness to feel comfortable seeking help and therapy. Therapy is so important and I recommend everyone to seek therapy and counseling. I don’t feel ashamed and I don’t want anyone else to feel ashamed.

The last reason I was reluctant to blog is because of the emotions writing brings out of me. Every time I write about my past abuse it’s like I’m there in the moment all over again. I buried so many negative emotions away because I didn’t want to remember them. However once I started writing all those emotions and hidden memories came back and flooded my brain. My therapist told me that my blog was almost like a trauma journal. I’m realizing that this blog is helping me move forward in life and helping me to leave my past in the past.

I recently was asked to be a guest on the Rise Up Women Podcast. I talked about my past and I felt empowered. I feel empowered every time I speak out against abuse. I feel empowered every time I speak out against the stigma of mental health. I was given a gift to write and to speak to the world through my writing and I won’t let a few naysayers stop me! So I’m going to keep writing my blog and sharing my story. To blog is my choice! Stay tuned 😊

Click the link below to listen the Rise Up Women Podcast featuring me!

https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/episode-3-interview-with-janay-kris/id1462716059?

Single Parent Confessions…

During the summer time my son’s father sent me a text message seeking to end the back and forth turmoil that has been our life since the birth of our child. He apologized for the dirt and acknowledged the domestic violence part of our relationship was a serious mistake on his part. He advised his court ordered anger management was working and he was seeing the error in his ways . Being the person I am I accepted his apology and left it at that. After the apology his family invited me to a family vacation weekend in Virginia and he started texting me all the time. However because I’m a stand offish person I never reciprocated or accepted the advances. All request to come over late at night were kindly declined. He asked if he could come over and have family dinners once a week so that our son could see us happy and getting along. I would again jokingly but sternly decline. He didn’t know where I lived and until this day he doesn’t. It was like yes I accepted his apologies but I couldn’t allow myself to trust him or go down that path again ever in life. With me once the love is lost it’s gone and there is no return of course I can be cordial but nothing more. I’m not the girl who is going to keep sleeping with a no good man just because he promises to change and comes with mediocre sex I just can’t do it.

My son’s father trying to be a player even asked me to have a second child with him. He said the second time could be the charm and we could get it right this time no courts, no child support no drama. I was just thinking to myself yes I love my son to death but I didn’t even wanna have him. I definitely didn’t wanna have my first child with my son’s father but he took advantage of me when I went on a Patron binge but that’s neither her nor there. I accept the fact that I was irresponsible and I wouldn’t change a thing because nothing makes me happier than being a mother. However once again I kindly refused his offer again advising him that I did not want another child. During this time he’s texting me almost all day, FaceTiming me, and calling at night and I was extremely perplexed . I accepted his apology but we were not friends. I could forgive but I couldn’t forget and not being able to forget the emotional pain wouldn’t allow me feel anything towards him ever again in life. I felt bad because I felt like he was genuinely trying to be a better person, but that wasn’t enough for me. I hate holding grudges. I felt like I should forgive and forget and put that past aside for my son, but my mind wouldn’t allow that.

After about a month and a half of my son’s father putting his best foot forward his girlfriend whose 40 years old must’ve thought we where getting to close because next thing I know she’s calling and texting my phone as well. She didn’t know why he was spending so much time reaching out to me, and she didn’t like it. She told me that my son’s father told her he hated me and thought I was a bad mother.

She’s advised me via text and I quote “Ok so I told Jhavier the best way to try to get off child support is to sleep with u . He said he was but u asked him is that what he really wanted to do and atp he changed his mind because he didn’t want to sleep with u Fr because he don’t like u like that ???”

I simply responded “Y’all dumb why would you all think that would work 😂😂😂 “.

Now all the apologies, family vacation offers and talks of future babies made complete sense he wanted off of child support by any means necessary. I have never been so offended in life there was no way I was going to let that extra mediocre sex keep him from finically supporting his child. I just thought to myself what in the name of childish high school plots is going on here! There was no way two grown adults one who is 40 (his girlfriend) came up with that plot. I thank God that I wasn’t dumb enough to fall for the okie doke like some females.

I didn’t even feel like telling her he told her a damn lie. I didn’t ask him is that what he wanted I flat out said no and ignored all his late night texts. I was so thankful that I knew not to trust him or even try to dig up the past. It’s no way on earth I would ever sleep with anyone who punched me in my face. There is no apology, there is no excuse there is no “I was a boy then but I’m a man now” line that could make me truly forgive him either! That was scheme number one I guess they tried to butter me up and go in for the kill I don’t know but I do know it didn’t work. I’m smarter than that, but that was just scheme number one it only got worst.

My sons father called me early November crying on the phone saying he was having suicidal thoughts and was living in his car. Please be mindful that is November in Maryland so it’s pretty cold. He stated that he lost his job and because he is currently on probation (for punching me in the face and trying to hit me with a car last spring) he was having a hard time securing another job. He was sobbing on the phone crying and explaining that he lost his place. “It’s hard out here janay I’m really out here having suicidal thoughts. Your son’s going to grow up without a father and you don’t care” he said while crying into the phone. I’m rolling my eyes at this point like ok Denzel. He goes on and on crying saying that he doesn’t have a job and when he does get a job his check will be garnished because he owes a bail bondsmen $4,000 dollars and he owes child support. He crying about how even when he’s not working the child support is just accumulating and he won’t ever get out the rears.

He was crying saying that he moved to Maryland for me and he can’t believe I really turned my back on him. I’m trying not to show any emotions because I honestly felt like he dug the hole he was buried in and now he wanted to be a coward and cry about suicide.

I said “Jhavier stop lying your not living in your car your living with that girl”.

He sobbed even louder at this time saying his on again off again girlfriend was money hungry and he can’t even live there because she wants money too and he doesn’t have money.

“That’s all y’all Baltimore women care about is money. It’s hard out here janay” is what he said before I hung the phone up.

He called me back 22 times. Sometimes I answered and he would say “please Janay I just need your help”.

I didn’t know what he thought I could do for him he couldn’t stay with me, and I wasn’t taking him off child support period. However after awhile my conscious started getting the best of me and I started thinking about the seriousness of his suicidal thoughts. So many people kill themselves when they get overwhelmed finically in life. I kept hearing him cry and call out for help and I knew I couldn’t just leave him out to kill himself in his car. Even though he was not my favorite person he was still my son’s father and my conscious wouldn’t allow me to be completely heartless.

I called the suicide prevention line, I called 311 and texted him the Baltimore crisis line information. I sent him these text “Idk if you were playing but suicide is serious I called the suicide prevention line for you and also reported it to the authorities someone should be reaching out to you. This is very serious. Much love I hope you feel better soon my friend and I provided your address”.

The second text “Baltimore crisis response 410-433-5175 Sheppard Pratt 410-938-help here are some numbers for you Incase you feel suicide thoughts”.

He never responded to either text and the next day I reached out to a lawyer from the Women’s clinic. It was his weekend to have our son and I started to get even more concerned about my son’s fathers claims of being suicidal and living in his car I couldn’t let my son be around that. He’s was not in the right head space and my son’s safety was worth more than a weekend out with my friends. I sent him a third text after the lawyer helped me find the right words to send “Out of concern for Josh’s safety, the two of you can resume visits when your health and living situation are much more stable. Good luck”.

He responded one hour later “I never made any statements our conversation was about joint custody”. I thought to myself is he serious this was another ploy to get off child support? He really cried and faked being suicidal to avoid finically supporting his child? This can’t be real this has to be a bad dream. Men can not be stooping so low these days a false suicide attempt is too far. All the tears and all the calls just because he didn’t want to pay $404 per month? I could not deal!

My mother said his girlfriend stopped her at the gas station and advised her that he was living with her and lost his car months ago. Oh the games and the lies. After that incident my son’s father didn’t bother to call his son and to say Happy thanksgiving. Our son’s birthday was December 19th he didn’t bother to call or text and say happy birthday. I heard he made a lovely post on Facebook saying happy birthday as if he thought our son would see. I love the clout chase of it all posting pictures like Facebook dad of the year all the while not speaking to our child once. Christmas passed and then New Years still nothing but I’m sure there were post. Too bad he didn’t call 22 times on those days instead of wasting those calls on fake suicide attempts. This story unfortunately is still in progress with no end in sight but I’ll keep you updated. If you see my son’s father before I do please advise him that all the while he is solely trying to hurt or hoodwink me its our son who suffers the most. Not only from the disconnect and distant he experiences from his father, but from witnessing his mother struggle emotionally and finically to support him. It’s not healthy and more importantly it’s not fair!

Mind Games


Mind Games

“The bravest thing I’ve ever done is continuing to live when I wanted to die”

~ JULIETTE LEWIS

I sat on the couch watching television with my best friend, her boyfriend and his best friend. Everyone was laughing and discussing the show’s shenanigans and how reality tv was so unrealistic. All of a sudden out of nowhere I started hearing loud sirens and my heart started beating so loud and so fast I thought it was going to jump out of my chest. I thought I was having a heart attack. Panicking because I thought I was dying I looked around the room at everyone else who appeared to be unfazed but the loud sirens.

“Do y’all hear that? “I asked clearly frightened. 

“Hear what?” my friend asked clearly concerned. 

That’s when it hit me I was the only person that could hear the sirens because the sirens weren’t real. The sirens were in my head. 

Then I couldn’t breathe. My shortness of breath was so bad I could barely grasp for air. I’m definitely having a heart attack I thought to myself. I started holding my chest trying to catch my breath. 

“Are you ok?” My friend asked.

“Yea I just can’t breathe” I said trying to stand up. 

My friend called 911 out of concern. Now the sirens were real. When the ambulance arrived to her apartment 20 minutes later I was fine the moment passed. My heart rate went back to normal and I was able to breath. I went to the emergency room and got a X-ray and the doctor told me I was fine.  He said my lungs were clear and I was free to go after about two hours. 

I didn’t know it then, but I just experienced my first panic attack. It was so weird to me because I wasn’t stressed or upset. It just happened out of the blue with no warning and for no rhyme or reason. 

Then three months later I woke up out of my sleep shaking because I was so scared. That’s when I heard footsteps in my living room, and then I heard the door handle jiggle. I was so scared I just started  screaming and called 911. Once I screamed I heard the footsteps run towards the window and then I heard what I thought was someone climbing out the window down the building walls.

The 911 operator was so nice and agreed to stay on the phone with me until the police arrived. I would say 15 minutes passed before the police arrive, but the 911 operator kept me calm the whole time. Once the police knocked on the door I was too scared to leave my room to open the door. I didn’t know what or who waited for me on the other side of the door, but after a minute or so I gained enough courage to open the door.

Once I stood in the living room I realized everything was all in my head. No one had ever been in my apartment and not even Spider-Man himself could have climbed up and down the walls of my third floor apartment. 

The officer was very compassionate and understanding even though I clearly wasted his time and tax payer dollars. He walked through my apartment and made sure no one was there. He opened all the cabinets, closet doors even the oven.

“You’re just scared no one is here” he said.

“I’m sorry” I said clearly embarrassed.

The officer left and I went back to my bed were my son was laying sleep. He never woke up through any of the nights events. Not from me screaming bloody murder when I thought I under attack or from the police pounding on the door. He never woke up he just slept peacefully and unbothered. 

I just sat straight up in my bed and cried. I cried because I felt like I was loosing my mind. I felt crazy and I didn’t know whether I was coming or going. Not having control over my own mind or my feelings was extremely scary and disheartening. “Janay you really are crazy” I repeated to myself as I sobbed. I pride myself on being a strong woman, but at that moment I felt weak.

The next day I contacted a therapist. I decided I could no longer suffer in silence. I could no longer be a hostage to my own mind. I’ve been going to therapy faithfully for the last year and a half trying to work through my issues. My therapist explained to me that I shouldn’t feel weak. She explained how strong I am for taking the steps to get help. She said I’m strong for not allowing myself to suffer in silence. I still have panics attacks, but I now know how to breathe through them. I’ve been diagnosed with chronic depression and PTSD. I refuse to let those titles define me and I’m working on being the best version of myself I can be. It sounds corny but I may currently have depression, but depression doesn’t have me. Depression does not define me or who I am as a person. I will not be a slave to depression. 

If your reading this and suffering from depression, anxiety, paranoia or any other mental illness do not allow yourself to suffer in silence. Reach out to a therapist, a friend, or a counselor. Get help and understand that you are not in this fight alone. 

Helpful resources: 

Baltimore Crisis Response Inc. (BCRI)410-433-5175

https://bcresponse.org/index.html

Sheppard Pratt Urgent Assessment Line410-938-HELP (4357)

https://www.sheppardpratt.org/patient-care-and-services/crisis-services/

National Suicide Prevention Line:

1-800-273-8255

Addicted

“In people predisposed to anxiety disorders, caffeine can trigger a spiral of sensations–sweaty palms, pounding heart, ringing in the ears–that leads to a full blown panic attack”

Unknown

I was researching panic attack triggers to find out why I was having such frequent panic attacks. I almost cried when I read caffeine could trigger or make panics attacks worst. I was addicted to caffeine. I’m a night owl and the only way I could commit to my 8-5 schedule was to load up on caffeine daily.

In the morning I would come into work and make myself a fresh cup of coffee. Then around 10 I would find myself crashing and would walk to the vending machine to grab a Diet Coke. I know diet is the worst but diet soda has so much more caffeine than regular soda so it was my to go to drink. I take lunch around 2 pm and I would drink my personal favorite Diet Pepsi max which has about 115mg of caffeine. That was the only way I could make it through the day.

Sometime as a treat I would stop pass Starbucks on my way home from work and order my favorite a salted Carmel frappe with an extra shot.

Then I would go home help my son with his homework, cook and clean and then get ready for bed. Bedtime was the worst because all I could hear was my heart beating extremely fast, and the ringing in my ears was so loud I couldn’t hear anything else. I literally would toss and turn all night. This slightest noise would wake me up out of my sleep. I often would not be able to fall asleep until 1 or 2am and my alarm clock goes off faithfully at 6am every day. 

I decided I needed to give up caffeine and find a more natural way to get my energy. However detoxing from caffeine was an extremely hard process for me.

 Day One:

I came into work exhausted, but I refused to drink any coffee. However by lunch time I had the worst migraine ever. My head hurt so badly. It even hurt to keep my eyes open. I took Tylenol but my headache never went away. Finally after being in so much pain I called my mother to let her know how bad I was feeling. She advised me I couldn’t give up caffeine cold turkey. She advised I would have to ween myself off because my body was used to consuming high amounts of caffeine. When I got home from work I stopped in the grocery store and grabbed a Pepsi max. I drank the bottle and shortly after my headache finally went away. Having a caffeine headache was the worst headache I’ve ever had.

Day Two:

Once again I came into work and opted not to drink a cup of coffee. Then around noon my headache returned once again. Prepared this time I made myself a half cup of coffee. Clearly the free coffee my job offers wasn’t strong enough because my headache didn’t fully go away. One hour later I found myself back at the vending machine getting a Diet Coke. I drank half of the Diet Coke and like magic my headache went away.

After about two weeks of this routine I decided no more half bottles of soda, and half cups of coffee I needed to be done with my addiction to caffeine. Once again I stopped cold turkey. The headaches were so bad but I fought through the pain until they were gone for good. One month after deciding to give up caffeine I finally was able to do so without any side effects.

However now my major issue was fatigue. I was so tired every day and it was starting to affect me not only at work, but as a mother. I needed to find ways to naturally gain energy. I found four steps that really helped me get more energy.

Step One: Eat for energy. 

My diet was awful, and I decided to eat less junk. Instead I started eating more salads and vegetables. I started eating more fruit and less candy. 

Step Two: Exercise

I started going to the gym as often as I could. I committed to at least three days a week. I found exercise as a good way to not only lose weight, but to also gain energy. Exercising also helped me with sleeping. Sometimes after a long work out I find myself so tired I would come home shower and fall right to sleep. Exercising is also a good way to cope with stress. It helps you relax naturally.

Step Three: Vitamins

I have Chrons Disease and I’m anemic. Often time I go to the doctors and I’m told my iron is low, my B12 is low, and my vitamin D is low. That also explains why I’m so tired. I now take sublingual B12 5,000 mg every morning. I also take Ceylon cinnamon 1,200mg every morning as well to regulate my sugar. Mid-day I take a liquid vitamin Natural Vitality Organic Life Vitamins 30ml, and a liquid iron 15ml. Then at night I take a One A Day women’s Vitamin right before bed. I also take a Natures Bounty hair skin and nails vitamin Before bed as well. My doctor advised me my sugar levels were down and my vitamin levels are up. So I swear by these vitamins.

Step Four: Drink Lots of Water!

This might be the most important step. Drinking water is so good for your body for so many reason. Drinking water helps to maintain a healthy body weight. My skin is so clear I love it. I try to drink about one or more gallons of water per day. Swapping out sugary beverages for water is probably the best thing I have ever done in my life. I’m glowing and I don’t have to stress about my skin or my hair. That helps keep me calm and happy! My energy is also up and my energy is positive.

In conclusion my decision to stop drinking caffeine and start living a better healthier life was the best decision for me. I would always recommend speaking with a doctor before starting any vitamin routine.

For More Information Anxiety and Caffeine please visit:

https://www.everydayhealth.com/anxiety-pictures/7-surprising-causes-of-anxiety.aspx

Unplugged

Sometimes, you need to step outside, get some air and remind yourself who you are and who you want to be..

-Unknown

As I sent at my desk of my regular 9-5 I started thinking to myself Janay you should be happy. 

“Why should I be happy” I asked myself.

“Because your not homeless. Your relatively healthy, you have a job, and can pay most of your bills” I answered myself.

“Not homeless is a far stretch from living life in my Beverly Hills home. Relatively healthy is not healthy and let’s not even talk about bills” I answer myself striking down every positive thought I tried to have.

“At least you have a son that loves you” I thought to myself trying to remain positive

“Yes he loves you, but meanwhile your stuck in a never ending custody battle. All your friends are happily getting married or already married and having children. Their children are being birthed into complete happy homes” I replied once again striking down all the positive thoughts I tried to have.

The negative thoughts won that round. I just paused and went back to work.

A few days later I found myself mindlessly scrolling through social media while at work, and all of a sudden my negative thoughts came back

“Why can’t I vacation every month” I asked myself.

“Oh really they’re back on her arguing in the comments” I thought.

That’s when it all clicked I needed to take a break and unplug. Yes I was happy for my friends and family and their accomplishments, but I was forgetting how to be happy for myself. Seeing the constant bickering on social media was also starting to ware on my psyche. I was no longer living my life, instead I was living to see others lives. I was living to scroll and scrolling to live. I was addicted to social media and that was only making my depression and anxiety worst.

I decided to take a three month break from Facebook. I decided to live my life everyday for me and not for likes. I decided that I could no longer compare myself to my high school counterparts that I had not talked to in years. I decided that I could no longer compare myself to anyone, and I would live life at my own pace. No more scrolling and seeing a marriage announcement and feeling like I needed to be married right then and there. I would be married when the time was right. No longer seeing couples post their relationship goals and feeling like if I wasn’t in love at that moment I would never find love. I took the time away to realize what is meant for me will be for me, and I need to be satisfied with myself.

Three months turned into six months and I was no longer waking up in the middle of the night to see if my new pictures received one million likes yet. All of a sudden the positive side of my brain was the prominent side of my mind. I could no longer give into negative degrading thoughts.

I also started going to yoga and Zumba classes. I joined my local gym and started living my life offline. I found that I was much happier.

If you have found yourself in a rut maybe unplugging and temporarily removing yourself from social media can help. If social media isn’t your problem maybe finding out your triggers and removing them just for a small period of time will help.

Loving yourself can be hard at times, but we all have to remember that living yourself is very important! 💚