DEAR WHITE AMERICA – An Open Letter

Dear United States, YOUR Police System and those who are not Black in America,

I came home today once again to tell my 13 year old black son about yet another death by the hands of the cops – another death of another black person. I could barely get the words out without crying but this couldn’t be sugar coated from him like I normally sweeten other information I feed him. So, let me tell you what a black single mother had to tell her son today or pretty much every time the need strikes, which is often. I had to tell my 13 year old young black son how to not get killed in these streets by those sent out to protect us.

The first thing is the reminder that although he has white friends, he needs to remember that: “You are not your white friends!!! If you are with them and you all get stopped by the cops for any reason know that you are not them, you cannot say what they say or act how they act. There is a high chance the police may single you out as the trouble maker whether you had anything to do with it so be prepared. Remember to keep your hands out of your pockets; if you are holding your phone drop it and put your hands up or out in front of you where they can be visibly seen free of anything by the cops. If they ask you any questions, answer them with a calm voice, NEVER yell. Tell them your name, age, address, mother’s name and phone number. Know that you are under the age of 16 which means you are not to be questioned without a legal guardian so with that knowledge, give them your mother’s name and phone number again. If they feel the need to pat you down, assume the position I’ve taught you and let them pat you down but be quiet while doing so. Once they have met their goal of whatever the hell it was, if you are not arrested you wait until they have left the area completely then call me. If they arrest you, put your hands up in the air to signal your surrender then let them guide your hands into the cuffs and put you into the police car. You are to remain silent the entire ride to the station – don’t even be angry because there is no need for it especially if you are innocent. Once in the station you give them your mother’s name and number again and inform them that at your age you cannot be questioned without a guardian and/or legal representation. No matter what lies they fill your head with to scare you, know that none of their lies are above the law and the law is what I’ve taught you so do not fear their lies instead give them your mother’s name and phone number again and tell them that once a guardian is present you will answer any and all questions.

After I drill that process into his head we go over him not trying to be a hero when it comes to his other black friends.

That if they are not cooperating with how I’ve shown you to act, you can verbally guide them to the right way but do not put yourself in harm’s way for their behavior. This is not to say that you don’t care about your friends, just that you are not sure what’s to happen and do not want to make matters worse.

Once he understands that part of our discussion which is well into 10 minutes now, we go over his legal rights in depth with the Miranda rights and why they are important. Once he has soaked all of that in and I believe that he understands and knows his rules for survival, I ask him how he feels. I then remind him of my history as a kid growing up in the Chicago projects with drug addicted parents and the violence I’ve witnessed and so on and that none of this is new, it’s just that we now have more witnesses than we did before so it’s in our face more. I cushion his blow so that he understands that this hatred has been around since before he and I were even conceived so do not be afraid of it just be aware of it.

Today I showed him the murder of Alton Sterling. Why? Because I normally hide these images and things from him, I only tell him what happens because we do not watch the news or have regular TV access, we only stream but today I needed him to see what I’ve been telling him about for once so that he truly understands that the rules I lay upon him are not to scare him but to protect him from being an Alton Sterling, or a Tamir Rice; a young boy whose death haunts me every time I think about him. He knows that these things may never come his way but if they do, he is prepared.

When my son was laid on my chest at birth I imagined all of the things he would experience in life and none of those things involved me having to tell him how to live life as a black man so as not to get killed. We watched the movie Boyz-N-The Hood a few weeks ago and when Laurence Fishburne’s character began to give his son, Cuba Gooding Jr.s character that “talk” my son said to me, “So is this why you give me those talks because it’s in movies?” I smiled and I said, “NO, I give them to you because it’s the truth. It just so happen to be in a movie too.” None of those things or such talks crossed my mind at his birth. Never did I think of teaching him the proper way to surrender himself to police officers so as not to get shot or rules for how to act around white people who may perceive him as a threat. My son is a good kid, I raise him well, he has manners and respect but he is a black boy in America and no matter how much of a great man I teach him to be, he will always have ten lashes against him because he is black.

After we have gone over the do’s and don’ts of the streets, I then tell him what he shouldn’t do with this information. I tell him to: NOT hate every white person because there are those who are systemically taught to be racist and then there are those who are not racist at all. Do not live with hatred in your heart for anyone because they do not deserve such a place in your heart; that space is for you. Do not look at your non-black friends with any kind of envy because they do not have to go through what you have to go through instead when they ask questions, teach them your way of living because their parents are not going to. Do not hate who you are or the color of your skin! Most importantly know that our ancestors fought for us to have freedoms and rights for a reason but that the fight is never over – it’s up to us to continue to fight for our right to be in this world like the next person. Remember that no matter the tone of a person’s skin, they have the same heart as you, same brain, bones, and biological construction as you. They are no different than you other than the tone of their skin so you need not see them in any difference than yourself as a human but as a black boy who will grow to be a black man, understand that they see you differently and may hate you just because of your skin but do not let that stop you from becoming the man you know you will be in your heart. Be great anyway.

Those are the discussions I have to have with my 13 year old quite often. It gets hard to tell him to love everybody as equal although he knows they do not see us as equal but I refuse to raise my son with hatred in his heart because change starts at home and hatred hinders growth and growth is change. He will teach his friends and then his children how to live like a human being and he will leave this earth with as pure a heart as he can manage to have. That’s my goal as his parent.

To those who are not black and are so tired of hearing us protest and fight for our rights, I ask you to have the same talk I spelled out for you above with your non-black kid before they go off to school or out to play today. Talk to them about racism against their ethnic group…that is unless you don’t have a reason to do so. We are not sorry for your discomfort in our dissatisfaction with the mistreatment and continued racism and murders against our ethnic group of human beings. We are not sorry and do not plan on apologizing. I am okay with you not giving a damn about our fight – you have that right to not care however If you ever find yourself wanting to care, please join in the fight because it’s not just black people you are fighting to protect, it’s people – people who your children will have to grow up with or possibly see killed or maybe even love one day.

I am a parent and my worst fear is not my son flunking a grade or having his heart broken by his first love or even doing drugs, my fear is him being killed by a cop, a racist, a gang member or by anyone for the color of his skin. That is the fear that cripples me when I see him leave to go outside or I can’t reach him by phone or whenever he is not with me. If you cannot relate to our issues……that’s very fortunate for you. It’s okay to have a seat while we stand, you will not be invisible – we still see you – the question is, do you see us?

So after I write this another murder happens and there I was talking to my son about Philando Castile who was murdered not far from where I go to have lunch on break at work. I knew Philando as a kid, we were neighbors and our moms were good friends. I’d not seen him in 20 years but there he was, being killed right in front of me. I’d just told my child to comply with the cops and then we watch a man who did comply murdered in cold blood. Together we stood in the kitchen and he cried with his chest held high as I reassured him that this is not his fate. I then give him the stats that cops have killed 559 people so far this year with 111 being black (stats may be off) so he sees that cops are killing all kinds of people and not just his kind. I tried my hardest to make him see that with the rules I’ve given him he can survive interactions with cops but he wasn’t feeling it. He said, “Why have cops killed so many people in general? They aren’t taught to kill people, they should be protecting us. He (Philando) did everything right so why was he still killed?” I then proceeded to go over with my son the steps the cop should have taken in that situation so that he understands how it was supposed to happen to ensure the safety of everyone in that car. I am not an officer of the law but I knew the law to tell my son although he watched a video with the law clearly not being enforced. What the hell do I say now?

I still pressed into his mind that he shall not harbor hatred towards anyone for what we are seeing unfold because that hatred will fill his heart with darkness and ruin his purity. Of the four times I’ve had a loaded pistol aimed at my head; I remember fondly those moments and who caused them, I remember the many nights sleeping on the floor in Chicago because of gun fire so we wouldn’t get struck by a stray bullet, I remember it all but I have no hatred in my heart for anyone that caused those memories because change starts in the heart and at home and I will push that message to my son until he pushes it into his own children. He knows that we can still fight our fight while loving every single being equally no matter how they feel about us.

 

Kudos

 

 

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UPDATED:A Tubal Ligation and a Hysterectomy before 25!

I wanted to repost because the last post was quick, harsh and not as informative as I wanted it to be so if you read it before, this is a much better read.

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Considering that this conversation is always hard to discuss I wanted to bring it to the forefront of discussion because I think it’s important. I feel like most of us women either do not talk about it, don’t know much about it, or really never think about it.

I was shocked today to have found an article about hysterectomies because you never see those kinds of articles for anyone to read and understand. Its content sparked the memory of my own sterilization procedures and so I thought I’d share my story on the topic, since it seems to be taboo or controversial for women to openly discuss not to mention all of the lies you hear about getting your tubes tied or having a hysterectomy so YES, I had a tubal ligation and a hysterectomy before I was 25!

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YES REALLY and there are no regrets, no second thoughts or feelings of guilt, etc. It was the right choices to make!

Why did I go to these “extremes”?

Early in life, at 15 years old, I’d made the decision about two important life events that was possible to occur in my lifetime that I didn’t want to experience:

1) Never to get married

2) Never to have children

Firstly and most honestly, I don’t like children; they’re fun and cute but they are also many other negative things to me that I don’t find appealing. In general, I didn’t and don’t care to have a tribe of children running around me because parenting didn’t and doesn’t sound exciting, enticing, or interesting. Parenting’s not an experience I wished to go through in my life especially with what my siblings and I went through growing up; I didn’t want to put children through those kinds of situations and I just didn’t want to be a mother.

Due to a lack of many things in my youth, one major parenting fail from my creators were my not being informed about sex and protection. There was never a talk about it but I wasn’t stupid, I learned through observation and friends what needed to be done yet that didn’t help me when my time came. The entire experience wasn’t any better considering that I’d ran away from home, dropped out of school (eventually graduated) moved away with family a few times then settled in a small town in Illinois 600 miles from my mom and sister, with my alcoholic uncle and his deaf wife and children. There I met a man 9 years older than me who took advantage of my mental innocence to sex leading my young and dumb self to believe his lies and let my guard that I didn’t know needed to be up; down. That immature, uneducated mindset minus protection had gotten us pregnant.

Aside from being a 19 year old pregnant lost and confused young woman there was the fact that I was months away from deploying to the Airforce (about 7 months before the twin towers and Iraq War began). It was my choice to serve and nothing was to stand in my way except pregnancy; something I hadn’t figured would even happen to little ol’ me in a lil ol’ town. An option – or an “out” to having the child was abortion but that was never a “yes” for me even before getting pregnant, it wasn’t a choice I thought I’d ever be okay accepting if I’d done it so the only option was to have my son.

I thought about giving him up for adoption so many times before he actually arrived, even spoke to an older sort of mentor about it but in the end I decided that I couldn’t live with knowing that my kid was being raised by someone else so I did what any responsible person should do when they f*** up and become a parent – a single parent at that, I prepared for motherhood. My son’s father was a complete bum (a type I couldn’t pick out then but bet your tush I can now) and after he asked me for an abortion, I knew I’d be a single mother.

I struggled as a young parent trying to find my way as I went through post-partum depression, suicide attempts, raising him alone, etc. but throughout all of that, one thing never changed in my head and that was the dislike of being a parent or wanting more children so I made an appointment with my doctor and we talked about my options to sterilize which was to get my tubes tied.

NOW SOOOO many women told me things like: “You can’t get your tubes tied, you have to be this or that age with this many kids before they let you do that.” orNo doctor will let you do it.” And my all-time hated statement Don’t do It, you’ll want kids later in life then regret it.

 

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<Insert Robert Downey Jr Eye Roll> 

           I mean from nurses to about-to-be-nurses, people who uncles are doctors, to everyone who KNEW they were right about tubal ligation, they told me how impossible it would be, I wouldn’t doubt that even after telling this information that some people still don’t believe it or say my doctor with 40 years as a gynecologist was wrong. Thankfully I don’t listen to other people – especially non-PHD having people when it comes to my body so I spoke to my doctor about my rights and as expected, all the “you can’t BS” were hearsay lies. My doctor told me that in our state and most in the US, a mother at the age of 21 and unmarried with one kid can have a tubal ligation and if you were married you’d have to get your husbands permission. Because I like to be right all the time, this information pleased me so much to be able to go back and tell all of the know-it-all’s that they were wrong. There I was at 21 years old with a 1 year old son discussing what was to happen next since we’d decided on the tubal ligation.

The conversation with my doctor went something very close to the following:

Doc: “Why are you so sure that this is the right thing for you to do?”

Me: “Because I know me, Doc. I never wanted to be a parent and the thought of having more children isn’t ideal for me plus I don’t believe in abortion and not comfortable with adoption. I don’t like children, period and considering that my mom had all of her kids by one man, I couldn’t imagine procreating with this same man again nor having multiple kid’s fathers OR risking a slip up.”

Doc: “What about your future husband?”

Me: “Well is he here right now?” (He stared at me funny), “I can’t worry about a man that doesn’t exist yet. I can’t make my life’s choices off of “what if’s”. Whatever man I decide to marry will be like me; neither of us will want children or hopefully he would have his own already but I’m not going to hold off because of some preconceived notion about marriage and family.”

Doc: “You do know this is permanent, there is no going back once it’s done. Can you accept that?” The he asked: “What if something happens, what if you lose your child?” A question he hesitated asking but I could tell it was part of the “talk” he’d had with many other patients before.

Me: “If I could have become sterile prior to having children, I would have. Parenting is not for me and giving birth isn’t particularly an event care for. If this world takes my son from me, having another kid will never replace him. I would still mourn, I would still be his parent. I’m ready doc.”

We spent another 20 minutes going over the procedure, what to expect and I signed the form to have the tubal ligation procedure. The hospital has a protocol that makes each patient wait a full month before scheduling the appointment in case they changed their minds during the wait time which is a great policy to have in place for those who were not sure however, I was sure. In those 30 days, I thought long and hard about everything my doctor went over with me, I researched the procedure, I read other women stories on it and put myself in the mental position to see the full outcome of the procedure. No matter what I read or saw or who I talked to about it to, my decision never changed; I would be sterilizing myself and removing the option (other than a tubal pregnancy) to ever have children again.

A Tubal Ligation is defined as; “A permanent voluntary form of birth control in which a woman’s fallopian tubes are surgically cut orb locked off to prevent pregnancy.”

 

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The procedure went smoothly and the healing process was short and sweet. My best friend had come with me to drive me home. Ironically while I was having my procedure, she set in the waiting room, pregnant with her own child. I felt so good about my choice and felt happier about my future knowing it would be just my son and I. I’d have never guessed that the most aggravating and annoying part about having had a tubal ligation would be the women and their responses when it is brought up in conversations. It’s not information I freely divulge but if in the conversation it comes up, the responses from women makes me want to scream.

Let’s say for example, me and some women are talking about our kids and somewhere along the line a woman would ask me how many kids I have and my usual response is, “One and done!”  That should be it, all that needs to be said unless a person wants to get into it but nope they’ll say, “Oh just wait, you’ll want more.” I get so annoyed by that assumption and I could just be quiet but because out of that annoying anger I tell them that I am sterile so it’s literally one child and no more. That gets a conversation started that becomes more annoying as they look at me like I’m crazy and ask how or seem so taken back that I got it done so young. I’ve even had women debate me and say things like:

“You couldn’t have had your tubes tied, they wouldn’t let you so you lying.”

“MY doctor said this, and MY doctor said that so I know it can’t be done with just one kid.”

“That was stupid, your future husband might want kids.”

<Excuse me while I Robert Downey Jr. role my eyes>

What these women failed to realize is that I wasn’t and am not them. Not every woman wants to be a mother. Yes, we have reproductive organs for a reason, women were made to reproduce, I totally understand that it’s our duty to reproduce however in my head, it’s a choice and not a mandatory requirement for the gender. I didn’t and still don’t want to be a mother to any more children, hell I won’t even get a pet! People will say whatever they want about what you should and shouldn’t do with your body and those people urk the very essence of my soul. Ladies and gents it’s your body – if you want to poke holes in it, change it, ink it up or whatever it’s your body and no one should be able to say anything about your choices and if they do, teach em a lesson and speak your mind.

It’s important that you learn what laws govern you and your body and don’t let someone else tell you what you can and cannot do just because they didn’t learn for themselves what they can and cannot do with theirs. I’ve had women who were mad that I got a tubal because their doctor told them they couldn’t and to them I say, “It’s not my fault you took no for an answer. You could have gotten on birth control or used condoms. Don’t make my truth your problem.” We – as in all people – are so accustomed to believing what those with degrees say is universally true and we don’t take the necessary steps to learn for ourselves what is right or wrong. I knew before my doctor told me “yes” that it was a procedure I could have because of my own research. Had he told me “No”, he would not have liked the next steps taken against the hospital.

Overall, I felt good knowing I could never get pregnant again, it was like WHEW . . . . . my fear of raising more children was over – minus the chance of a tubal pregnancy but that percentage wasn’t higher than a condom busting. For some, especially those who cannot bear children but want to, it’s a hard pill to swallow hearing me talk so bluntly about my happiness in NOT having children – I wish I could apologize for that but I won’t. I hope those who want children get to have children because that’s part of their purpose in life. Some may think I made such an important decision too early and will regret it but I assure you they’d be wrong.

I really couldn’t imagine myself with a troop of kids nor could I imagine my children having different daddies and it’s not that I grew up in a household with my dad and mom together; they were separated by the time I was 3 (I was the baby) but my mom had all her children with one man (her child hood sweetheart) and that stuck to me as the way to do things if it was something I wanted to do. Another factor was being told the unforgettable story by my mom when I was 13 years old about how I was literally a few minutes away from being aborted. She’d made the appointment, went to it, got undressed, in the gown, on the table and at that last minute, before the procedure was to begin, she and my father changed their minds and decided to keep me. It didn’t hurt to hear that story however it did resonate with me on how important of a decision abortion was and being told that helped me to decide that I wouldn’t do that to myself no matter what I’d go through. Becoming a mom wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be but I still don’t like it.

My son is 13 years old and it amazes me every day that I created a little human. However, the first 5 years of being a parent were the worst for us both due the pain I caused to him and myself. Because I didn’t want him and depression had lingered in my head since my adolescent years, I abused him. I’d yell at him until he’d shiver and clench his shoulders to cry then as he cried he’d reach out his hands for me to pick him up which made no sense to me that a child I just scared to cry, wanted me to console him but the B**** in me couldn’t do it, I wanted him out of my face so I’d leave him standing there crying with his arms out for me and would go close my room door and pretend he didn’t exist. There was one time when he was on the floor crying and I hit him harder than ever before, he was only about 4 years old. For a long time I used to think that memory was false or that I made it up because I didn’t want it to be true but it was real. Today, I can talk about those moments and control my tears that so desperately want to come down because I have made peace with that past “me”.

I am not that horrible mother who hated the sight of her child. My heart will never let me forget the monster I was to him nor will it let me ever cause him such pain again. There are times when he’s sleeping that I’d go in his room, even today, and watch him sleep while I whisper over his head, “I’m sorry.” He doesn’t remember those days and I’ll frequently ask him what he remembers from being a baby since some people do remember things but none of those horrible moments are on the surface of his brain, thankfully. Even though I didn’t want to be a parent, being an abusive parent like my parents were to me was not something I wanted to become either. I am proud to say that I have changed and have embraced motherhood. I love that little boy with every fiber of my being and yet I still don’t want any more. We have a great relationship, he has given me a reason to understand, take, and give love – something my grandma said I needed long before I knew she was right.

Shortly after the tubal I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia; a chronic pain disorder that back then no one believed was real <enter Nene Leakes eye roll> and that pain began to wreak havoc on my body and my life. I’d already struggled with heavy bleeding and painful menstrual cycles since the beginning of my cycles and just when I thought I’d learned how to deal with that pain, fibro introduced its own level of unbearable pain that made it far worse. The usual pain I had pre-fibro was stomach curling, puking, and fist pounding on the wall painful but what the fibro introduced was a pain including the above ten times more painful with my entire body on fire and migraines too powerful to even allow me to open my eyes and that unfortunately led to my blacking out during my menstrual. After a few blackouts I began calling the hospital and going into the ER, and sometimes they’d admit me for a few days on an IV being giving strong medication in a dark room due to the light sensitivity from the migraines. I had begun to work with the same gyno who took me through my pregnancy and tubal to figure out remedies to ease the pain beginning with birth control pills. Although I couldn’t get pregnant, the medicine in the pills could have helped to control my heavy flow but nope, they didn’t work. We tried other meds for the menstrual cramps, the fibro, the migraines but nothing worked. I’d had scan after scan of my uterus and bones with no luck until they discovered endometriosis and found some fibroids in my uterus. Hallelujah, an answer! We spent a total of 13 months trying every remedy we could until the last option was the only way to help end the pain; a hysterectomy.

The only thing I knew about a hysterectomy was it being a major surgery and for old women. Thankfully my curiosity wanted to know why it was the only option left for me and after talking to my doctor I researched it on my own to get a better understanding of the procedure. I’d discussed it with my mom and bestie but only once as it was something I kept to myself because it, unlike my tubal, was big. My doctor discussed with me the different kinds of hysterectomies then for me we decided on a Laparoscopic Suprecervical Hysterectomy, I was 23 years old.

A Laparoscopic Supracervical Hysterectomy is an outpatient surgery defined as:

“When a problem such as fibroids requires the removal of your uterus, having it done with a scope through button hole size incisions makes for a less painful, rapid recovery. Your cervix and ovaries are preserved, maintaining normal hormone and sexual function.

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I had a partial

The difference as you can see with a partial/laparoscopic Suprecervical hysterectomy is that I kept my cervix. My doctor explained that keeping my eggs would hinder me from early menopause. He asked what I wanted him to do if something went wrong during surgery where the entire cervix had to be removed, I asked that he stop the procedure and we discuss it. I wasn’t ready to have all of my “womanhood” taken and have the possibility of early menopause, that much I knew.

My mind was clear the day I went in for the hysterectomy; there was no regrets, no anything negative. Although the procedure was outpatient surgery, I ended up being admitted in the hospital for a few days due to some bleeding but in two weeks I was fully functional and ready for the pain to be completely over with. When I awakened after the surgery to a nurse taking some readings, I didn’t expect to respond to her the way I did when she asked how I was doing.

My response was: “I don’t feel whole anymore.”

That moment sticks with me as clear as day because I didn’t even cry before or after the tubal; not one tear so my mind was blown that I had some emotions deep down in there about not having my uterus although I couldn’t have children any more anyway. It was the feeling that a part of my womanhood had been taken and that didn’t make me feel like a full woman anymore which still lingers with me today. The tubal was for sterility, the hysterectomy was to end the pain. It’s been 11 years and every day I am thankful to not be in that pain anymore but not being a 100% woman lingers a bit painfully in my heart.

Below is the article I read with a few things about having a hysterectomy that prompted me to write this post.

http://www.prevention.com/health/hysterectomy-facts-you-should-know?cid=NL_PVNT_-_10272015_9thingsabouthysterectomy_hd&smartcode=YN_0008002622_0001530783

HOW HAS LIFE BEEN AFTER A TUBAL AND HYSTERECTOMY?

Everything is okay with my body for the most part but I have experienced two interesting and unique hysterectomy related issues such as:

Orgasms – They come like wild fires and can’t be stopped. It’s annoying; sure during sex you want to have an orgasm right or maybe three and go to sleep but I have 5 or more (give more than take) for every ONE (maybe two) a “normal” woman has. The most during one sexual romp was 18 orgasms and it had hurt so much that my stomach muscles were tight and cramping for a few days after. My orgasms has landed me in the hospital a few times that has made for some hilarious embarrassing stories.

Scar Tissue Aggravation – Last year I had an embarrassing moment (one of many but the most embarrassing thus far) when I was having regular coitus with the guy in my life who was BIG and his big size aggravated the scar tissue from the hysterectomy which caused me to have inflamed skin down and inside my lady space; the place where the pap spectrum usually goes. I had an idea that it was scar tissue aggravation after experiencing it not from sex a while back but I went into the ER because for about a week it felt like someone was jabbing a knife in my twat until the ER doctor; male, his female trainee, and a nurse looked in my cookie with a pap and light to determine that he indeed aggravated my scar tissue. Imagine trying to explain why your lady space hurts to three people who really probably wanted to laugh deep down but couldn’t; yea it wasn’t my greatest moment. I followed up with my regular doctor (same doc who took me through the tubal and Hysto) a week later and when I told him that the guy was really big he said, “Well, there isn’t much you can do except tell him not to go so deep or use some lubrication to help ease the friction because anyone big enough can get up there and aggravate it again” He said it so calmly, lol, I loved my doctor, he saw me through some emotional times.

There are a few more issues but they are also fibromyalgia related and heightened due to fibromyalgia. Now that I know these problems exists I know how to deal with them and how to have sex the right way to not experience the issues. I’ve dealt with some hormonal imbalances but that was controlled. For the first two years after the hysterectomy I had phantom cramping pains every month like my menstrual cycle; the whole tender boobs and lower back pain but that went away thankfully. Those would be the only issues I have dealt with, that and not having a menstrual cycle if you consider that a problem 🙂

To those thinking about these steps in life, think long and hard. I knew what I wanted my future to be when I was 15 years old, I took the reins and controlled what I wanted to be in my life yet that doesn’t happen for everyone so think carefully. Yes, there will be emotions involved and maybe some depression after a hysterectomy like I experienced but it’s to be expected right, especially when you make such a drastic lifestyle change. I don’t regret my decisions at all; I still don’t want any more children, don’t want a man with children but that’s not guaranteed, and I still, more now than back then do not EVER want to get married. It’s a selfish way to live – to some – but we are all different individuals with different goals for our lives and being different is okay as long you know yourself and make sure that all the decisions you make for you, your body, your mind, and spirit are to make you happy.

I was young when all this happened but it was for the best and I couldn’t be more grateful to have had a doctor who understood and saw me through the three biggest procedures of my life thus far.

Kudos

Is It Possible in our NOW to go without a cell phone?

I look at my cell phone and my connection to it and sometimes I am disgusted with how connected my life is to that tiny piece of technology. How all the numbers I know to people I communicate with are no longer stored in my head like they used to be but stored in my trusty phone.

Yesterday at work, my co-worker said that he had to run home quick to grab his cell phone that he’d forgotten at home. He lives close by so it wouldn’t take him long yet the disturbing part was that he said he didn’t know his fiancées number to call her at home and ask her to bring it. That got me thinking. . .who’s numbers do I know off the top of my head and the answers are: my sister, my son’s, one job, and my aunt’s and only because she has had the same home number for over 10 years. If you are reading this, think about how many phone numbers you actually know off hand? Are there many? Do you even try to remember a number once it’s stored in your phone? I know I don’t – I usually will hand the phone to the person who’s number I am getting to have them store it in themselves so I am not even hearing the number being recited to spark a placement for it in my memory, I am not looking at it because then that person – knowing the usual routine of saving a number in a phone – presses save then calls themselves from my phone to have my number and they too just click save without having to have heard the number out loud.

What does that say about us and our technologies?

I have become quite an online user. I pay all of my bills online, I shop online, take online courses. My checks are deposited to my account that I check via online and usually from my phone. I use a google wallet card which immediately sends me a text the second I purchase something with it so that I can instantly see what I have spent. I open my mail box and some days there is nothing in it, not even “junk mail” like ads and coupons because those are online and scan-able through our phones. What life do we have without our technologies? I think of movies like Bruce Willis’ “Surrogates” which didn’t do so well because it tells a true story of what we could and or will look like in the future. I think of Joaquin Phoenix in “Her” and it’s brilliant display of life through the new looking glass – technology.

I use a prepaid phone service because I hated paying monthly for a phone service when some months I use it a lot and some months I barely use it at all so I like to control the minutes I use or the data. With prepaid, I pay per month which I can do online or at store. A week before my month was up I received a text saying just that (Your Month is Almost Over) and at that point I could have repurchased my plan but I chose not to. I LIKE THE SILENCE. I enjoy not being able to be contacted by people and I absolutely hate when my phone rings. I always keep my phone’s volume on vibrate or silent – when it rings out loud on full volume I am almost always shocked and don’t notice it right away or I’ll let it ring. When I get a text message, if I am not engaged in an instant conversation via text already, it can take me up to two days to reply because I simply just don’t want to “talk” to people. I am not anti-social, I just like silence. I like silence so much that water cannot be dripping from a faucet or I will hear it, I don’t own any clocks, especially wall clocks because I do not like the ticking and I can hear it so clear. My dislike for noise made me think I was crazy until I realized that the older the I have gotten, the more noise I recognize; unnecessary noise. As a kid the only noise was that of my instant surroundings, now it’s everyone else’s instant surrounding such as their iPods and phone conversations, etc – privacy is but an antiquated notion now.

I want to keep my cell phone off – I don’t want to have a phone number in my pocket that people can reach me from but I have a child and instant communication with him is a must or so I think it is. My mother could not reach me until curfew and now it seems impossible to do the same with my child.

This year begins so sweet for me. I am not in communication with friends I was close to last year and years beyond last and at some point I felt saddened by that until I recognized that their noise is no longer my noise. I don’t HAVE to listen to their sounds anymore and that felt good. Out of 154 contacts in my phone, I only speak to – in lengthy conversation via phone – 4 people not including my sister or child and maybe 10 are family with the rest being all business or not-so-often friends. I erased numbers out of my phones of people I used to talk to and nothing happened. . .I don’t miss them, I wouldn’t call them so why take up the space.

I am trying to figure out a way to go without a phone until absolutely needed. . .social media is already enough noise – which that too needs to be cut but -sadly to say- I actually enjoy interacting with strangers online than I do the humans in my reach. That’s because with a stranger, their noise is always new – especially on twitter – it’s new noise every 140 characters and I enjoy that newness; it’s not forced upon me, I can take it in at my own will and turn it off when I want.

I wonder, does anyone else feel the same? Are you smothered with technology? Smothered by people? Do you feel that communication is forced with technology? Do you feel that privacy is outdated? What’s ironic to me is that, there isn’t any one in my contact list that I can have this conversation with so as much as I find technology to be noise – in order to get a response to how I and others feel, I have to use the very thing I am discontent with because I know no human who can – in person- share this frame of thought with me. HOW SO NOW of us.

Kudos

-Mo

This SAVED my life. . . .

image

I’m up this morning and for some reason I am heavy with tears. I opened my closet door and went through a big plastic storage bin I have to look for my Boys & Girls original club card from 15 years ago because our reunion is Saturday and I look at this. . .my Brother ZX-1900 Word Processor! THIS SAVED MY LIFE. . .literally. When I discovered that I can write, that my feelings didn’t have to stay boggled up inside and I CAN vent. . . my suicidal urges disappeared.

My fingers touched the letters and I begin to type out so much. . . .amazing stories that related to my life that I had no idea was inside of me. I became a CREATOR and the more I created the better my life got. I struggled with depression and suicidal urges well into my early 20’s but there was always a force holding me back from taking that final fatal slit, there was always something more and it was my will to write.

Writing is my destiny. . .I know it now because nothing saves my soul and makes it happier than when I sit down and begin to write. My mind creates images and characters and stories of people who are not real in a sense but go through real events like I did. I am proud of my writings and it’s okay that I’m crying as I type this because it’s happy tears. I get to go back to my Boys & Girls Club reunion and look at those who I grew up around and hug and laugh with them — I am still here, I am still alive and I wouldn’t be here if not for this thing right. . . my guardian. So much of my youth was spent laughing and joking at the Boys & Girls Club. I learned to express myself and my talents there and with this word processor I became somebody to myself. It still works. . . but I keep it as a momentum of my past and what I have overcome. When I look at this I see my life. . .I imagine the words flowing my mind onto my fingers onto this word processor.

I am crying so hard and clutching my heart because I see how far my pain took me. I am so thankful to be here today, to be alive and taking care of my son who gave me more life that I thought I could ever have.

Oh where would I be without my creativity.

KUDOS

-MO