Second time strangers…

Strangers-Again

Happy New Year! I swear time is flying by. This weekend, I made a spur of the moment decision to go visit family for the holiday. Such a great decision it was. I was feeling such extreme joy to spend time with such positive energy, my anticipation was overwhelming. This year I have committed to doing all the very things that make me happy, and what better way to kick off the year’s transition with friends and family.  With the New Year only hours a way, the eve produced a challenge that I had no idea I would be confronting. I had a falling out exactly a year ago with a friend of over 15 years, which ended with a lack of understanding or resolution. I though that at this point that I had accepted the fate of the relationship, until I was notified that I would be attending the same event with these second time strangers. The energy I had towards being in the same space after a year was charged negatively to the point I was ready to drive back home, from Massachusetts to Pennsylvania. After being made aware, I was frustrated with the lack of time I had to amour up energetically to not be emotionally attached to the outcome. However, my frustration with the lack of clarification and resolution really did not allow me to ignore the “elephant in the room”.  I spent at least an hour trying to make a decision on how to handle my emotions, and make a decision on what was best for me. I recently realized this with my hundredth time reconnecting with my son’s father, that only through interaction will I see the progress of my healing and forgiveness. Healing in solitude is easy, but only through socialization will you be able to test your progress. With him I still have work to do, but in the case of the second time strangers, the chapter has closed. Within that hour, I created and acted out every possible scene that could have occurred. I planned on drinking during the event and was afraid my openness could transpire into a physical altercation. That was not who I was, but who I have become is a person who believes everyone deserves at least me to remain cordial. I mean Cardi B told everyone, “If you see me and I don’t speak, that means I don’t fuck with you.” but is it ever that serious? After speaking to my son’s godmother and her husband, they unclouded my perspective and really tuned me into making the appropriate decision for myself. Who I was, used to run from conflict. Who I am now stands in her power, and truth by remaining true to who I am. I decided to stay. If I left, I would be giving my power away. I guess it angered me that the length of time we were as friends, that an understanding was never sought out. I guess I could have been the bigger person, but felt the relationship must have never really meant much to any of us. The reality is EGO stood in the way of both parties. I don’t suggest this, but I drowned down three cocktails prior to the reunion. I had to kill the butterflies and expectations. The two second time strangers greeted everyone upon their arrival. The first says “Hi” with eye contact the other “Hi” with the side eye. The worst part was over and it was nearly not as bad as I though it was. The part that shocked me was the disconnect with my son, who they watched come into this world.  We are taught as children in school and by our parents to not speak to strangers. Beware! You don’t know them and they can be potentially harmful.  What about the second time strangers? The people who participated in your evolution, those you have given love and intimacy too. Those who you may have shared your dreams and fears with. These are the second time strangers. Those who once were strangers, then people you knew, and due to unforeseen circumstance, became people you did not know all over again. The night confirmed that we have grown apart, and also confirmed they may have thought they knew the person that I once was, but they were strangers to the woman I have become. In a year, so much has changed for all of us. One thing I was curious about was did she know the rose he gave to her for last Christmas, was my idea. That I reminded him that she deserved to be acknowledged that day. I know she knew because she looked at me that day as if she knew I had something to do with it. I played like I didn’t, but I did. Death has taught me the value of life and relationships. This year I have learned that not all relationships that end need to reconciled. We closed a chapter that day in Disney on Christmas. New Years eve was the confirmation. I appreciate the experience and love I received while the years lasted. There are so many emotions that you experience in your encounter with second time strangers. For me, it was a sense of peace. For death has taught me to do the best you can, and give your all in your relationships. There is not one day that goes by that I don’t let my loved ones know they are loved and appreciated.  So next time you run into your second time stranger, just remind yourself they may have known you, but they have no clue who you have become, and give thanks to them for their participation in your evolution. My first challenge of the New Year was a success, universe bring it on, what’s next?

The hurtful truths of a girl on a self-love journey…

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If only you knew (Patti Labelle voice)

She reminds me of Patti Labelle or maybe that is the image I created of her in my mind. She loves to sing, cook, and spend time with her family. She had a voice just like her, before the cigarettes paid a toll on her vocal cords. I recall my father always bragging about her ability to sing. We recently had another falling out, there is always a constant misunderstanding between the both of us. She with the powerful desire to be respected and my desire to be heard. Neither willing to provide either, but I have a platform that allows me to do so. She doesn’t realize it but I have already mourned the loss of her, as I watched her die when I was a young girl. The last argument she told me that I never have her back. If only you knew…They say growing up in a black household being a young woman can be tough. Majority of the households are ran by single mothers with very little presences from the fathers. A counselor/therapist once asked me did you ever feel loved by her, and the unfortunate answer is no. She used to always tell me when she was drunk, how her lack of affection stemmed from her mother. How she fell in love with countless men, but I never seen her love for herself. Had your back? Lets just say I have pissed in cups for her, having no clue what I was doing that for. Only to realize I was helping her with random drug test for her employment at a big named chemical plant. The same company years later she got fired from. When tragedy hit our family in 1996, she died along with them. I recall cleaning up throw up from the side of her bed, and caring for my toddler brother while she partied the night away. Have your back? She had my grandmother, my cousin, and a tribe of women to call on for help, and childcare. Instead I played as her caregiver, and was screamed and yelled at when I desired for her closeness.

She was great at giving, I had a shit ton of toys and material things. Just like my ex-husband her affection and love was too costly. I recall panicking call bars, and hospitals because she stayed out all night, while I played mom at 13. Middle school I barely passed as I was being bullied at home and in school. I knew exactly the right time to ask you to sign my report cards. The night after you were drinking you wouldn’t even pay attention. You never paid attention. Your pain affected your loved ones. When you lost yourself you forgot about me. I found my uncle dead, had a seizure, and not once did anyone ask “are you okay?” Fuck therapy give it to God and Kieona is strong so she can handle it. I’m a writer today because of you. The only difference is I don’t need liquid courage to be true to who I am. In a way, I feel like you have always disliked me because of that. You always taught me to be everything except for myself. More cute and sexy like my cousin, stay out of the sun your already black. You taught me about relationships and then ask how I ended up with a man like that. You my greatest teacher! I didn’t grow up to be a “Dike” but I do embrace my masculine energy. I monitor my drinking because I never wanted it to take over me like it did you. My father may not have been any better but he did teach me how to be a woman. How to care for myself, it was hard to learn about menstrual care from him. You tell everyone that I choose to live with my dad, and your right I did. If you only knew, I made that decision because I knew if I stayed my soul would have died too.

I made myself responsible for picking up your pieces. Cleaning up after the messes you made. My teenage years were stripped from me, you allowed no room for me to make mistakes. Then you call me “Mother Teresa”, you hated the fact that I was always the good girl. You created enough hell in your life that I did not want to add to it. I recall my cousins mother the “known” addict of the family tell me there was no difference between you two, except you had a job. She was right. I was the disrespectful child because I exposed the shit you sprinkled with sugar. The exterior you did so great to cover. A functioning empty soul. Where were you for all three graduations, prom, the birth of my two sons, and anything else positive that has happened in my life. If you only knew… that through your hell you unconsciously dragged me through, I still loved you. Even through all the lies you have told about me as if I were your competition not your daughter. You brought me up to be independent and nurtured my brother. You tried to hurt me with the very demons you had dancing in your closet.

I gave you another chance. A do over with my son. Even though he gets to see a different side of you, I still have not let my walls down. I don’t trust you with my son for a sleepover or anything without my presence. I value his childhood and his perspective on love. I don’t want you to teach him your conditional love. The love that is available only when you are pleased with one’s actions. One in which subsides as soon as you are unhappy. I don’t want him exposed to your intoxicated love. The emotions you spew with liquid courage that I hold onto until the following day when you are angry and sober. Although life has changed for you because your body doesn’t allow certain things, your heart still remains closed. I am not your competition, I am your daughter. Not your homie or caregiver. You have abused your title as the walls I have built because of you, made me fear others on the outside. In a way, I believe you dislike me because of my strength. I see how easy it was for you to fall into the negativity as I have experienced everything you went through and more. If you only knew…beyond those men, beyond the drugs and alcohol, beyond your fears and insecurities, there was a little girl that truly loved you unconditionally. To the point that when she became an adult she encouraged her self love journey to you as well. I found the secret and couldn’t wait to share it with you. But your heart was not open. If you only knew…

Accomplice

He was physically incarcerated for the crimes he had committed. I was mentally, through my continued negative thoughts. All of these years I played the victim or as the innocent bystander to the death of my spirit. The disconnect between my love for my self. He committed the crime through his behaviors, while I consciously made an emotional decision to just sit back and watch. Powerless. In reality and in my truth, I was an accomplice. The same thing that made him serve time,  the lies he told himself. He really believed that he was riding in that car with others of ill intent, unknowingly to commit a robbery. Associating with people that he knew were up to no good. Loving him, I did the same. I was riding shotgun to the crime, the death of my spirit, a robbery of my heart, and vision of myself. I was guilty, knowing damn well he had no sense of direction. I was an accomplice to the death of the old me.

The hurtful truths of a girl on a self-love journey…

Healing

Time does not heal wounds, it changes your perspective. What occurred is an imprint. It does not determine who you are, but will be a factor in who you become. Healing has no sense of time,  and everyday is a day of forgiveness and rebirth.  An opportunity to see your past through today’s eyes, and the ability to foresight a better future.

Last time

I recall speaking to a friend of mine about my process and interest in writing a blog. This was almost a year ago. My goal was to eventually branch off and focus on my book, and the time has finally come. Before, I started writing I needed to change the way I shared my story. I didn’t want to repeat my story to the point I would attract the very things I spent all this time healing from. I knew that I wanted to tell my story from a place of appreciation and peace. It took me almost six years to get here, but time has passed and the memory still remains like yesterday. Healing is a process that takes time, and it varies from person to person. I want to be clear that the contents of my story will be shared through the book, and will be the last time I share my views from the old Kieona. I am currently in the process of writing myself a new story. A story in which I control. I have become so aware of my thoughts on this journey, and have seen so many changes with how I process things outside of myself. This book is for me and my son. Of course I want to touch as many people as possible, however I will be fulfilled with just one. My story was my journey, my perception of everything that occurred around me through my eyes. It was my personal experience. Everyone has their own experience and perspective of every situation. This is my last blog…and last time to share my story of loss from the views of my old self. Londosnprints2017

Dreams

Tonight, I have made the decision to say ” Fuck this medical writing class.” As early as Monday morning I am dropping this course, and deciding to take some time off. My frustration has been rising with my current professional journey.  To be honest it has been this way for a while. I have always tried to squeeze my size 10 ass into society’s box . A small space that has restricted me from living the vibrant life that I know I am destined to live.  All of my accolades and goals accomplished for the last 32 years, did not belong to me. I did what I thought I was supposed to do. We were taught to work a job for twenty years, become a homeowner, get married, have children, travel if you ever have extra money, and die. We were taught to silence our dreams, and not to aspire to do more, as this would bring attention to yourself. I have been trying so hard to find my niche in the clinical research world. A world of scientist that are trying to find out why people of color refuse to participate. A world that is extremely technical with a hypothesis and statistic for everything, but lack research of people of my kind. I am a blog writer, a creative energy source that writes about her emotions and the toughest lesson anyone will learn…life. I am not physician, I am the patient. I’m in a class with physicians and medical workers focused on cardiology and musculoskeletal education for the emergency room.  The articles have no soul, no content, but papers of bullshit research. That is the problem with the world today, everyone believes in all things seen by the eye or tangible. However, everything that truly means something can’t be seen by the human eye or even be duplicated. I guess it angers me because I was that patient. That statistic that was left to follow the words of my physician because they were educated, and my words, comments, questions, and opinion were silenced by my intimidation. I’m tired of not being taken seriously. Every position I have ever upheld, I worked my ass off. I was the “token black girl”, the one who would do extra just to have them catch a glimpse of my dedication and hard work. I will no longer prove myself to anyone, including an employer. Every time I look at a job application, I cringe. I feel for the generation today. Every time I got the courage to ask for what I wanted from an employer, they would increase the requirements, or deny me because I did not prove to them why they should choose me. Our society is currently placing a cloud on the youth’s dreams. It is hard to dream when your reality says otherwise. We have a president that couldn’t care less about the issues of our country, aside from his intentions with money and businesses. Graduates searching for jobs to survive and landing positions that can barely pay to live, never mind pay for their schooling. We are taught to live in a box, we earn and purchase, and never really own. As much as I want to have more income as a single parent, I refuse to spend less time with my son. It’s already bad enough that I don’t have time for a social life. I can go on and on about this very topic. Today I decided to no longer prove myself to any employer, family member, spouse, friend, or associate. I will no longer do the very things that are “expected” of me. Instead, I am going to continue to work and fund my own dreams. There has been so much resistance between me and the path that I was choosing.  I chose the pharmaceutical  industry because it is lucrative however I am not passionate about it. From today on before making any decisions I will stop and ask myself why do I want this? I have my own mission, and my own goals. My resume is extensive and extremely diverse. I appreciate this journey, but it’s now time for me to live out my dreams. I’m breaking away from societies standards, and beginning to build an empire of my own. I no longer want to support someone else’s dreams. It is time for mine!

The Miseducation of Postpartum Depression

Medical Blog

Postpartum depression/Postnatal Depression, also known as PPD, is a very common medical complication amongst new mothers. Our Society has created this perception that childrearing is supposed to be one of the happiest times in a woman’s life. Imagine the pressure of a new mother when she doesn’t feel those exact emotions. Confusion immediately sets in, and the mother fears something is wrong.  Little does the new mother know postpartum depression occurs more often than publicly mentioned. Starting a family is an exciting time, but new additions and responsibilities can result in more stress, and lack of sleep. Depending on the woman’s family support, economic status, and spousal support, these can all contribute to her depression and mood swings. This can occur especially if there is a lack within any of these areas.  The miseducation of depression, and the fear of being diagnosed, is the misunderstanding and lack of knowledge about the disease.  The truth about postpartum depression is that it is normal, and about half of women experience depressive moods after giving birth.

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PPD occurs in 15 out 100 women within the first three months. Half of the women have mild to moderate cases of depression.  PPD can also be a more severe case, such as postpartum psychosis which is very rare. PPD symptoms are much stronger than the usual “baby blues” and last longer than the first couple of weeks postpartum.  The symptoms of postpartum depression are as follows:

Anxiety

Lack of sleep (Insomnia)

Loss of appetite

Poor Concentration

Not being able to enjoy your usual favorite activities/No energy or Motivation

Low Self-esteem

Feeling down/Crying spells

Thoughts of harming the baby or yourself

Postpartum depression is not dangerous, and without treatment symptoms will decline within four to six months. New mothers have been found to have thoughts of harming their newborns or themselves. Postpartum depression becomes an issue if the mother acts on those very thoughts. This is when the disorder turns to potentially dangerous to the child and the mother. If the mother is acting on these thoughts, or feeling suicidal, it is important to contact the OBGYN or primary care doctor. The Pennsylvania Suicide hotline and the Emergency 911 are resource available for those with an immediate assistance need.

Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)

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In the past, hormones theoretically were the belief behind postpartum depression. Hormonal changes affect the brain chemistry that is responsible for our emotions and mood changes. There is minimal clinical research to prove this belief. There are many contributing factors that may increase a new mother’s susceptibility for postpartum depression. The factors include being previously diagnosed prior to pregnancy with anxiety or depression. Women with a family history are likely to have depression.  A woman who experiences high levels of stress during the pregnancy, and after the childbirth can contribute. Having unhealthy relationships with domestic partners and family members can also ignite the disorder. It is important for the expectant mother to focus on both her physical and mental health, as she is bringing forth a new life.  Non-judgmental emotional support can minimize depressive symptoms, and create an environment for the expectant mother/new mother to express her true emotional state.  It is important for her to know that she is loved and supported.  Unfortunately as women we carry the burden of taking care of the family, but we can only do so if we are in a good physical and mental state.  Treatment begins when we acknowledge there is an issue.

So what do you do if you are experiencing these symptoms?

Contact your OBGYN office and make an appointment immediately. Total Women’s Health provides an extensive amount of resources and information for postpartum depression. There are many different treatment avenues for a new mother to choose. Counseling and anti-depressants are possible options for mild cases of post-partum depression. There are some holistic ways in treating depression as well. Simple things such as changing your diet, incorporating exercise, aromatherapy, massages, acupuncture, support groups, and light therapy.  Postpartum depression can seem like a lone experience but this does not need to be the case.  This is a fight you don’t have to fight alone. Contact Total Women’s Health today for resources and potential treatment options. Fear is because of the miseducation of this disorder, educate yourself.

 

 

Written by Kieona Fairley Founder of London’s Prints LLC

Cloudy mirrors

For some of us, the way we see ourselves is not truly who we are. In fact the ego really creates this facade of greatness and lack of shortcomings. A true person on the path to self discovery has endured the emotional rollercoaster of seeing through a clear mirror. Everyone that we attract is a reflection of who we are or what we are at that very moment. The very things that are highlighted to you through the negative behaviors of another, is you  finally seeing through a clear mirror. Everything vibrates on a frequency, what our mind thinks we attract. Trust me it’s a hard pill to swallow but every circumstance and situation we unconsciously attract it. Your baby daddy that you reallly dislike, or girlfriend that betrayed you is all a reflection of your internal thoughts. Wiping the mirror clean takes a lot of self-reflection and pain because of the truth being revealed. That very thing that you dislike about someone, and you continuously encounter is a lesson for you to learn. I had to learn the hard way, about the things I don’t want, to become clear with the things I do want. My emotions have always been valid, and the answers have always been internal. I have sought out answers through books, loved ones, and others through experiences, only to realize every situation and circumstance is tailored to you. Just you! The truth hurts. The best advice I can give is to spend time evaluating those who frustrate you, because deep down they are a reflection of you and the reason for your cloudy mirror. Getting an understanding of them, clears your mirror of the debris. So you can make the appropriate changes of thought to create a different life for yourself. One without doubt and support of the ego. Stop looking at yourself through that cloudy mirror.

Emotions of a Kindergartner

Thursdays I have to be physically in the office. In the last 24 hours so much has occurred, and my thoughts would not allow me to sleep. I was exhausted and hit the snooze button way too many times. Between a six page research paper due today, and a pile of work to do in the office, I just didn’t want to adult today. However, I had to, and proceeded to prepare myself and my son for the day. Upon my son’s arrival in class, his teacher engaged me in a conversation that made me linger around for longer than usual. I was caught up in the conversation, and was suddenly interrupted by one of my son’s kindergarten classmates. We will call this young man Jake. Jake asked the teacher “How do I spell DO?”.  She then responded by pronouncing the word, giving him an opportunity to figure it out himself. Jake immediately grasped the letters and continued to write on this plain piece of paper. Five minutes later, this young lady comes over ( we will call her Anna) and appears frustrated with the paper she had in her hands. She looked at me, and then her teacher, and said ” Jake gave me this paper that says I don’t like Anna.”. This whole time, Micah’s teacher and I were speaking, this young man was plotting to ruin this little girls day. Here I was thinking, he was drawing a nice picture for his parents for when they pick him up. Or, he wanted to show the hard work he put into making a sentence. Instead, Jake sat there and spent a lot of time and effort into displaying negative emotions through a note to Anna. The unfortunate aspect of this display of disdain was he actually did not feel that way about her. In fact, Jack really liked Anna. I looked at Anna, this innocent, and beautiful young girl and her confusion. I could tell she didn’t understand why he felt that way, especially so early this morning. Why did he write that in a note and instead verbalize this very thought? What did I do to him to make him feel this way about me. As a very grown ass woman, I told her to do what I would have told my younger self. I told Anna lets have fun, and rip and shread those very mean words that he gave you. You don’t have to own, or accept none of that negativity he just handed to you. She smiled as she tore through the paper, and even asked for my help to get rid of it. We threw it in the trash, and just like that, she went on to play like nothing ever happened. crumpled

Today, I saw the makings of a Man-boy. Jake is still young, so there is still time for him, however they need to catch him while they can. As a grown woman, I encounter men with emotions of a kindergartener. Men who are unable to be vulnerable, or able to express their true feelings. A man is not just a man because of what is between his legs, or how much money he has in his bank account. A man is a man because he prides himself on becoming a better version of himself. He is mindful of his behaviors, and how he treats the ones he love. His respect for women does not rely on how they treat themselves, but how he respects and values the women in his life. The men with emotions of a kindergartener are found mirroring their view of themselves unto love interest, or women they love as an act of love from their level of understanding. Jake wanted any kind of attention he could receive from Anna, but it wasn’t pleasant. His fear of rejection was there, and before she could hurt him, he decided to hurt her. We need to teach our children how to handle their emotions. Teach them that it is okay to feel.  Voice what you feel and as parents help them find positive ways to manage them. At thirty two, I was still getting those letters like Anna. Instead, they came as text messages, or verbally from someone who loved me, but a love with fear. We have to rip those papers, opinions, and negative behaviors apart, and don’t own them. There are so many beautiful young women like Anna that began to dislike themselves, because they owned what Jake or other young men said about them. Take those words, behaviors, and actions and ignore the childish ways.  Throw it away, and protect your energy.