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.

Tired Is An Understatement

“You never know how strong you are, until being strong is your only choice”- Bob Marley

During a court ordered visit my son’s father Jhavier tricked our four-year-old son into showing him where I lived. For four years I tried my hardest never to let my son’s father know where I lived. I ended our relationship when I was three months pregnant and never looked back because of domestic violence reasons. I needed to be safe, and I never I could never truly be safe with Jhavier knowing where I lived. Jhavier made is clear that he could not control himself and he did not care if our son was present for his violent outburst last year when he punched me in the face and tried to hit myself and my son with a car in 2017.

The first call I made after I learned my location was compromised was to the House of Ruth Domestic Violence Center. I spoke with the representative who advised me to contact Jhavier’s probation officer and let her know that Jhavier violated his probation. I called LaSondra Michaels Jhavier’s probation officer April 19th 2019. She advised me to email her all the threatening correspondence between Jhavier and I, and she would forward that information to his judge. As soon as I hung up the phone with Jhavier’s probation officer I forwarded her all the correspondence between Jhaiver and I. I also explained to her how in November 2018 Jhavier called me and advised me that he was suicidal homeless and living in his car. I also explained to her that Jhavier advised me that he had a gun and would kill me before he went back to jail. His probation officer advised me she would follow up with me after she heard from the judge.

April 22th 2019 I followed back up with Jhavier’s probation officer because I did not hear anything from her.  She advised me that she submitted all the evidence to the judge and was waiting to hear back from the judge.  April 24th, April 29th, and May 6th I followed up with his probation officer and received the same response. She advised me each time she was just waiting for the judge to respond. This whole time I could barely sleep and was a nervous wreck. 

Finally, May 6th 2019 Lashondra emailed me to advise me that a VOP warrant was issued for Jhavier’s arrest. She told me would let me know when he was taken into custody. May 13th 2019 I received several calls from Jhavier’s phone. I screenshotted the calls and sent them to his probation officer. She advised me that Jhavier was taken into custody and she would follow up with me to let me know when trial was scheduled. 

June 12th 2019 my birthday I received an email from Jhavier’s probation officer advising me that Jhavier was being held no bail and his trail was set for 06/27/19. I cried when I read the email. I did not and still don’t understand how things got so bad between us. It was obvious that as much as I wanted things to change for the better, they would never. Jhavier’s birthday is at the end of May I’m not sure what the exact day is anymore, but I was sad thinking that he spent his 25th birthday behind bars. I was sad thinking about him being locked up around so many dangerous people.

June 26th 2019 4:48pm the state’s attorney Megan Bell emailed me and advised me she would be the prosecutor for my case. She advised me that she just found out about the case minutes before emailing me. She advised me it was important for me to call her back before 5:15pm that day in order to discuss the case. I didn’t check my emails until 6pm and by that time it was too late to speak with her. 

June 27th 2019 I showed up to court without being prepped for trail. I was so sure Jhavier would be released, because I had very little faith in the system. Jhavier was facing 10 years in prison for his probation violation, and had a court appointed public defender John Jameson. John was a middle age black mail who was so soft spoken and lost many of his previous cases. I could barely hear him when he spoke, and I figured my lawyer the state’s attorney would handle him well.

However, when it came time for my case to be heard John came alive. My lawyer asked for have the case postponed for until the end of the month because she needed more time to learn about the case. She asked to have Jhavier remain in jail no bail until the new court case. Jhavier’s lawyer flew into action.

“Your honor this is not a criminal case this is a custody case, and my client should be set free and at the very least granted bail. The plaintiff in this case is anger that my client has visitation and is doing anything in her power to stop my client from seeing his son. This is not a criminal case this is a case of a bitter baby momma” stated John.

I looked over at Jhavier to see him nodding and smiling with pleasure as his public defender spoke. I sat flabbergasted that Jhavier thought it was okay to ruin my character like that and attack me in open court. I would never ever lie to have anyone arrested. Instead of admitting guilt Jhavier smiled while his lawyer dragged my name through the mud. Even in handcuffs Jhavier found away to harass and belittle me.

However, the judge granted the state’s attorney request for a postponement and held Jhavier without bail. The new trail was set for July 29, 2019.

July 26th 2019 I spoke with the states attorney Megan again she advised me she would do everything in her power to help me. She advised me that she could not guarantee Jhavier would remain in jail. She told me that I would have to move as soon as possible. She referred my case to the House of Ruth relocation department. After the conversation with the state’s attorney I knew Jhavier would be released.

July 29, 2019 the state’s attorney advised me that Jhavier had already been in jail for 90 days, and she couldn’t guarantee that the judge would give Jhavier 10 years in prison. The state attorney advised me that she would offer Jhavier one additional year supervised probation. In December 2017 Jhavier was sentenced to 2 years supervised probation that would have ended December 2019, but now his probation won’t end until December 2020. Jhavier took the plea and like that he was free.

July 30th, 2019 my son and I where moved to a safe house in the middle of nowhere. I was alone in a strange town and advised to stay hidden until I was able to find new housing. I stayed in the safe house for 2 weeks, and then I was able to find new housing through the House of Ruth. I am thankful to the House of Ruth for helping me find housing and helping to keep me safe through this whole ordeal.

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?

But Did You Die? Part I

“This seems to be the most pro-criminal group of legislators I’ve ever seen” – Maryland Governor Larry Hogan

 Shortly after my son turned 2 years old his father Jhavier was granted unsupervised visitation. He was ordered to see our son every other weekend starting Friday at 5pm until Sunday at 8 pm.  I was granted full physical, and legal custody. I contested Jhavier receiving unsupervised visits. I wanted the visits to be supervised. The first reason I wanted the visits to be supervised was because Jhavier did not spend any time with our son the first two years of our son’s life. Jhavier literally saw our son at the hospital when our son was born, and at our son’s dedication six months later. The second and most important reason I contested unsupervised visits was because Jhavier proved himself to be a loose cannon. He was arrested and jailed for punching me while I was pregnant. I was granted a restraining order while I was pregnant because of the abuse. Jhavier could not control himself and he proved that time and time again, but the Baltimore City Circuit Court disagreed with me. The Baltimore City Court system advised me that Jhavier is the father and as the father he has rights to our child regardless of his past with domestic violence. I was advised that he hit me and not the child, and because he never hit the child he was eligible for unsupervised visitation. The law befuddled me, and I was extremely perplexed. I couldn’t understand why the law would allow someone with a violent past to be around a child unsupervised. Not to mention that yes he is the father, but he was also the same “father” that attacked the mother of his unborn child while she was pregnant. So because his punches to my gut didn’t kill our unborn child he was granted unsupervised visits. 

The unsupervised visits started January 2017. Every other weekend Jhaiver would pick Josh up, and drop him off. However the visits never went smoothly ever. Sometimes Jhaiver would drop our son off late, and other times he just didn’t show up. This would go on until May 2017. 

 One Sunday in May Jhavier was supposed to drop our son off at 8pm. However Jhaiver texted me around 7:59pm and advised that he was in DC running late because of traffic. 

“Really why would he wait until 7:59pm to leave DC if he knew he was supposed to drop Josh off at 8pm” I thought to myself annoyed. 

However once again 8pm turned into 9:45 when Jhaiver finally pulled into my apartment parking lot. I always met Jhaiver at the end of the parking lot so that he did not know exactly where I lived. 

Jhavier hopped out the car but he didn’t unbuckle our son right away. 

“Please stop dropping him off so late he’s 2” I said to Jhavier frustrated. 

“That’s my son he is with his father it shouldn’t matter what time I drop him off. I took him to the zoo” Jhavier said. 

“That’s nice, but why would you wait until the zoo closed” I said. I just thought to myself “is the zoo even open until 8pm at night”? Who would keep a 2 year old at the zoo until 8pm?  His story just didn’t make sense. 

Finally Jhavier unbuckled our son, and I bent down to hug our son. Then I took our son and we started to talk away, but before I could walk away Jhaiver grabbed me by my hair. Then he punched me in my head, and my glasses instantly broke and feel to the ground. Stupid Bitch” I heard him say. 

“NO Daddy your bad” I heard my son yell as he reached down to grab my glasses. 

Jhavier didn’t respond to our child instead he ran to the car. I thought he was going to leave the scene, but he didn’t. Instead he drove the car right at my son and I as fast as he could. Instinctively I grabbed our son and jumped out the way. We just missed being hit by the car. I mean we literally just missed being hit by the car if I waited a second longer I wouldn’t even be typing this. After Jhavier missed hitting us with the car he sped away from the scene leaving me to carter to our crying toddler. I called the police and reported the incident. I was advised that an officer would be on the way. 

I decided to wait outside for the police and to send my son inside of the apartment with my little cousin. I just didn’t want the kids to see me bruised because I was scared and embarrassed. Even after everything Jhaiver put me through while pregnant I couldn’t believe he tried to hit my son and I with a car. I couldn’t believe he would stoop so low to punch me in front of our two year old child.  

15 minutes after I called 911 and reported almost being killed by my son’s father a car pulled into my apartment complex. I thought it was the police, but it was actually just my brother getting out of a Lyft. I started to explain to him what happened, but before I could do so Jhavier pulled back into my apartment complex. He jumped out of the car and knocked me to the ground. My brother jumped in to defend me, and then he and Jhavier started to fight. While they were fighting I noticed the police driving slowly into the parking lot with their sirens off. Jhaiver noticed them too, and ran back to his car and pulled off. Unbelievably he got away the police weren’t able to stop him. 

Although the police weren’t able to stop him a warrant was issued for his arrest on the scene. The officer took my statement and took photos of my injuries. 

As the police were questioning me all I could think about was my son. I requested supervised visits to avoid horrible situations like this one. I still can’t imagine how damaging it is for a two year old child to see their father strike their mother. It’s heartbreaking. The court system needs to do a better job at protecting the victim, and the children. This experience showed me that the law at least in Baltimore MD is in favor of the abuser. There should have been no way with his past that Jhaiver was ever given unsupervised visits with a child. 

The law now basically says that a person has to kill you or your child in order for you to receive justice. If you survive domestic violence in Baltimore you go from being victimized by your abuser to being victimized again by laws made to protect the abuser.

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

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! 💚