Me too.

I want to preface this by saying that some of the content within this post may be triggering.

If at any point during this post you are not able to read more or you can resonate in some way with what I am saying, I am here for you. Last week, I was in Green Dot training, which was lovely because I got to get away from the office and wear whatever I wanted. Yay! for sweats and hoodies. Anywho, I decided to participate in order to become more knowledgeable about Green Dot and power-based personal violence and Green Dot focuses on dating/domestic violence, stalking, and sexual assault.

Last week, the facilitators had us share why we were there and in what ways we were connected to the work they are doing. More importantly, how were we connected to the work that we wanted to do and are doing. We remained anonymous through this activity and at different points throughout the training the facilitators read what people wrote out loud. I sat there thinking, “will they read what I wrote? I hope they do not read what I wrote, I hope they do read what I wrote.” I had a mix of thoughts as I was juggling a past situation(s) in my head. When I think about one particular situation it feels as if it was yesterday, but more time has passed than I would like to admit without me truly talking about it and other situations along the same lines.

Was I sexually assaulted? I did not like what was happening, but I was not able to bring myself to say no and I did not say yes either. “It was not the worst situation I have heard of so does that really count?” I am battling with being in this gray area and that is the very reason why I sit here in front of this computer screen telling you today. One too many people have been affected by a harmful choice that was made. Maybe as you are reading, what you wanted to keep locked away is now at the forefront of your mind. Maybe you were in an uncomfortable situation that is within the gray area that you brush any thoughts and emotions around it aside like I have. Whatever the situation I am here to tell you, I believe you. I am here to tell you that I see you and support you. I am also here to tell you there are resources. 1-800-799-7233 (National Domestic Violence Hotline), 1-800-656-4673 (National Sexual Assault Hotline), 1-800-273-8255 (Suicide Hotline).

“Why am I here? because I am still here.”

That is the first part of what I wrote down on a green piece of paper that day for the activity.

They Never Asked

Dear [Insert Name Here],
They took a part of you they did not ask for
Who did they think they were?
No, was foreign to them and if you did not have the ability to say no your body language that said “I am uncomfortable” somehow told them yes
They took a part of you they did not ask for but you are not broken
Your body is nothing less than a temple no matter how much they tried to strip you of your armor
It is not your fault
I repeat
IT IS NOT YOUR FAULT
They took a part of you they did not ask for and it may feel lonely but you are not alone
They took a part of me and I never gave them permission
Did you know you could feel lifeless while being alive?
Did you know you could scream without being heard?
I became an object
Fighting to erase their images it is a connection I could not wash off
As I write this tears start to fall and I stare blankly
A feeling all too familiar, emptiness
They took a part of me they did not ask for but I am still here
They took a part of me they did not ask for and I have yet to face what happened because… well because it is easier to keep walking around putting tape over the missing pieces
They took a part of me they did not ask for and they will never know what it is like to live with this internal battle

They took a part of me they did not ask for

       and

I know

that I am

worthy of

                                                love.

Just Go: A quick “guide” on dating yourself

I enjoy being alone. I enjoy having my own space and the ability to be messy, sometimes. I sleep diagonally on my queen sized bed, fit for a queen, and switch from one pillow to the other at night. I am thinking I need to update to Rihanna status and get a California King bed, in due time. I enjoy the freedom that comes from being alone. I do know that I probably spend an unhealthy amount of time inside. Likewise, I am not sure how much is too much. I like wasting away my days on my couch watching movies and tv shows. By waste I mean with cleaning, showering, eating, using the bathroom, reading, laundry, writing, etc somewhere between being on the couch all day and sleeping. Being alone I am not void of my thoughts. Now, let me repeat, being alone I am not void of my thoughts. I allow myself time to process because I do not always get the time to do so during busy days.

I date myself too.

Right now you may be thinking, “she’s miserable” because I am now at the point of dating myself. I should probably tell you that I buy myself flowers too! Yes, I do think you should learn to be alone, be okay with hanging out with yourself, and be okay with taking yourself out on dates. If you are curious I do not go on dates with men. I do not go on dates with men because I currently have not had the opportunity. I am not lonely by any means but that does not mean that I do not feel lonely at times. Sure, I would love to have someone to talk to besides myself and have someone to share a meal with, but who doesn’t? if you are out there slide in my inbox, what is your secret? Slide in my inbox if you think I am cute too *wink *wink

Rihanna Wink

So where has this gotten me…

I am sure of myself

I am more comfortable in the Kimberlee Ward that you see today. I know until I am no longer here physically and roaming in another realm that I will be discovering myself. I am more confident in being weird and will most likely agree now without getting offended when you point out the obvious.

If my friend doesn’t follow through on that movie I invited them to, their loss!

My friend can miss out on the fun but I do not have to. Your friend can miss out on the fun but you do not have to. If someone sees me sitting alone in the theater, who cares? I am there to have a good time and enjoy doing something I love. I am not worried about what someone assumes about me because I am alone. This same concept applies when eating out too.

Tuning in

I am more aware of when I am not doing okay and can admit it. Remember the processing I was telling you about? well, I have recognized more times in this past year when I needed to let my pride go than ever before. Pride is a killer so let that Sh*t go! You will be better for it, I promise and I do not promise a lot. It is challenging to admit when you are wrong or when you could have done better. Being able to call that out allows you to grow. I am more physically, mentally, and emotionally aware of when I am not doing well too.

Prep for the future

One thing that is important to me and my relationships is that they are interdependent. When I have a partner I want to have the ability to be myself and be “us.” I want to have my own things and then have what we share. I do not want to be attached in a way that can be detrimental to the relationship. I know I have the tendency to get attached in that way and the onus is not solely on me as the issue of attachment in my case is relative. I like and love hard. A good friend of mine, Bria, said it perfectly, she said: “what I notice about you is that you go 0-100 for someone.” I do just that so maybe it was not necessarily an attachment but lack of appreciation for my efforts and thus I look at myself saying, “what did I do wrong.” Really it was a 90-10 relationship aka situationship that I should have gotten out before it started lol. However, my love language is quality time and I am also an introvert that could kick you out in a heartbeat, it’s complicated!

Go to that movie, go to that country, go to that restaurant, go and do whatever it is that you want to do and do it alone. I recognize this is easier said than done in some cases, but it provides a profound understanding and look into your life. If you want to be alone in your place for a couple more months before moving in with your partner to mentally prepare yourself then do so. My best friend said she would move in with me and the first thing I told her was that I was messy but really I do not know how to live with anyone right now. Me being quiet might be mistaken for having an attitude and I do not know if I am ready for that yet. Although, we are alike in that way so I do not think that would be a problem.

P.S. “guide” is in quotation marks in the title because there is no right way to begin being comfortable with being alone and comfortable with going out and doing things alone. I am talking about more than going to the grocery store and running errands.

It’s Lit: Professionalism microscope with a dash of sin

I do not know about you, but I like to have 1 or 2 or 3 or 4 drinks, before I know it I could be drinking a whole bottle of wine or tequila *wink. I am only kidding on the bottle of tequila, but whatever floats your boat as long as you are safe and within your limit.

I am 25 going on 26 and I am currently walking on a thin tightrope. Tightropes seem to be thin anyway, but I will leave the “thin” just for your wondrous imagination. I have moved into the full-time professional world and if you ask me, what is professionalism anyway? In many aspects, it tries to put you in a box and as you walk towards the box you hear a faint voice in the distance saying “assimilation… conformity” Who wants that? not to mention the classism among other things that come into play when talking about professionalism.

Moving into the professional world as someone who is young you may feel the watchful eye behind your back. Yes, we should all be great examples and we all want to live too and or just have a drink when we want to have a drink. Just because people do not see everything I do that does not mean I am better than the next person. I can be described as someone who has “no chill” and yes I am very much an introvert and rule follower. What is life without breaking some rules? just a life without breaking rules and therefore you do not get the opportunity to see how much they bend.

Breaking rules do not necessarily mean breaking the law or doing anything that could potentially get you arrested. That last sentence alone could have me go on a rant about the justice system, but not the time or place. Sometimes you have to break the rules to get to where you want to be or break your own rules so you can live beyond your comfort zone.

By saying I occasionally get drunk, have been high before, not a virgin, known to curse up a storm or whatever else you feel may be “unholy” or “taboo” is letting you know that I have indulged in things that some see as sin or unprofessional.

But again, what is professionalism anyway…

Not at the dinner Table!

image

You know the few things you are not supposed to talk about at the dinner table? I tend to talk about those things and more. At times I have no chill. Lately, I have engaged in conversation about religion. Until recently I have juggled in my mind my identification as a Christian.

By now you might wonder what my stance is… I currently do not identify with any religion. I believe this is part of my journey in getting to know myself and digging deep into what my values and beliefs are. Having the ability to say that to you confidently tells me a lot.

All of my life I have questioned. My great uncle used to say I would make a great detective. Being shamed for questioning growing up is one thing that turned me off. I am not saying everyone does and too often people do.

I have had people tell me they wish they came to know their God instead of growing up in a church. I am not saying all churches are bad and or that growing up in a church is bad. Likewise, I recognize what churches did for the Black community and pay homage to that.

However, I can see how oppressive organized religion can be. I went to church here and there growing up so I cannot tell you about that experience, but something never sat well with me. For awhile people would ask if I went to church and I told them no. I told them the relationship between God and I is just that.

I asked a friend why he identifies as a Christian and he was not able to tell me why. He was able to tell me that he stands by some of the values and ways of being. He said he sometimes struggles with the way people teach “the word” too because the bible is like a game of “telephone.”

Recently, I read an article that talked about millennials and their view on religion. http://faithit.com/12-reasons-millennials-over-church-sam-eaton/ I encourage you to read it. I am not able to fully speak on the experience of growing up in a church like I said and I can relate to some of what is stated in the article.

Also if someone can clarify the “God fearing man” phrase I would appreciate it. I do not see being fearful of God as healthy and maybe I am interpreting it all wrong.

For awhile I was afraid to tell any guy what my stance was just in case things moved forward and we had kids one day. Although, I have pretty strong perspectives about a lot of things that some guys I have dealt with cannot handle *Kanye shrug. Back to maybe having kids together one day gives away how much I am a futuristic thinker. These days I am a tad bit more relaxed. My point is that it will be important to talk about whether we want our children to grow up in a church and right now that is not what I want.

Lastly, I would encourage you to think about whether you would have come to know your faith on your own if you did not grow up in a church. Would you be a Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, etc? This is not to change your beliefs but to get you to dig deeper about why you believe what you believe.