|Posted on August 31, 2016 at 11:10 AM||comments (0)|
I’ve had a lifelong relationship with an amazingly loving woman who has shared many stories and life lessons with me. Of everything she’s ever shared, the most fascinating has to be the inner workings of her twenty-seven year marriage. For the purposes of this post, we’ll call this pillar of strength Lizzie.
According to Lizzie, she married her first love right out of high school. A couple of months after the wedding she discovered that she was pregnant. It was during this first pregnancy that Lizzie learned of her husband’s first affair. It’s not like he tried to hide it from her, he had his mistress/whore (that may have been harsh… no it wasn’t) pick him up at their home. I personally couldn’t imagine not trying to kill him, but they argued, he left, and eventually they moved on. As the years rolled by, Lizzie ended up with the six children that she says she’d prayed for since she was a child. But the years also brought her more and more heartache as infidelity after infidelity revealed itself. There was the longtime affair that garnered her husband two children that were the same ages as Lizzie’s second and third born. Lizzie explains that his behavior brought her many sleepless nights and more tears than she cared to remember. So naturally my question was “Why did you stay?”
Lizzie looked at me and said “I had no choice.” She explained that back in the day she did what women were expected to do. She raised the kids and took care of home while her husband built his business and was the kind of provider that a man was supposed to be. She went on to say that as her children got older, her parents got sicker. She was an only child and had no one to share the responsibility of her parents with. So now she had six kids, aging parents, and a good provider who wouldn’t even pretend to be faithful. I wanted to know how she could stand to even look at this man. It was then that Lizzie told me about a talk she had with God. She said that one night when she was at the end of her rope, her heart ached, and her tears refused to stop flowing she began to pray. She asked God to please take the pain away from her. She prayed for Him to fix it so that whatever her husband did it wouldn’t cause her the kind of pain that she was feeling then. She wanted the pain gone. Lizzie said that God answered her prayer. She still loved her husband, but the pain she’d felt all those years over his infidelity she no longer felt. There were no more tears and pleas for him to be a faithful husband.
Despite all of his wrong, as the end of his life neared it was Lizzie that spent every waking minute at the hospital, still faithfully by his side. When he realized his time of death was nearing, Lizzie witnessed him apologize and make amends with everyone he’d ever wronged, but he never once apologized to her. After he was gone, Lizzie learned of not only two additional children with yet another female, but she was devastated by the fact that he’d been married before and had never bothered to divorce. Her twenty-seven year marriage was all a lie.
These days Lizzie is living a comfortable life surrounded by her children. But she shares pearls of wisdom with any young woman who will stand still long enough to listen. She still believes in the sanctity of marriage and that loving, faithful relationships are possible. But she believes more in a woman’s responsibility to care for herself first. Loving, protecting and providing for one's self should always be the priority. Once that is accomplished then a healthy relationship with someone who acknowledges and honors our worth will be all the sweeter.
|Posted on August 25, 2016 at 9:05 PM||comments (0)|
You’re walking through the mall with your spouse/mate/partner/lover (damn, I should’ve just said bae) when you notice him noticing another woman. How pissed are you at his obvious observation of another? More importantly, why are you pissed?
I cannot count the times that I have been walking through a mall, at a restaurant or anywhere else where a lot of people gather and have seen a beautiful woman. My natural reaction is to turn to my husband and say “Isn’t she beautiful?” He will look, agree or disagree and we move on with life. His glance or brief once over of another woman doesn’t bother me one bit and I don’t find it at all disrespectful. I will concede that I would have a problem if he gawked, starred or made obscene verbal comments. But my problem wouldn’t be with the woman, it would be with his disrespectful behavior. Thankfully, I have a husband who is respectful of not just me, but all women and would never behave inappropriately. I, of course, show him the same respect. Will I glance at a handsome man while with my husband? Yes I will, but it is a glance and never disrespectful.
All that said, what I don’t understand are those women that flip their wigs if their mate so much as looks in the direction of another woman. We all need to understand that marriage or a committed relationship does not render us blind to everyone else in the world. Nor should the attractiveness of another person threaten our self-confidence. We are surrounded by beautiful, self-assured, confident, successful women and they should not be viewed as a threat or as competition. If anything, we should count ourselves among them and realize that we each have just as much to offer. More importantly, we should feel secure enough if our relationships that nothing or no one should be able to conjure up feelings of insecurity about our self-worth or the stability of our relationships.
I have this girlfriend and I must admit that hanging out with her and her husband is like attending a comedy show. She is incredibly controlling and bossy and he’s always trying to take a stand against her. Not too long ago we decided to go on a double date. We went to a Moroccan restaurant that featured a belly dancer. I was of course in awe of the way that woman moved her hips. I joked with my husband that I should take lessons from her. Needless to say, he loved that idea and my friend’s husband joked that she should take lessons as well. I couldn’t believe my ears when she hissed “So that’s what you really want?” Was she serious? She continued her mini temper tantrum, scolding him for being so into the dancer. While seeing him fall over himself to try and smooth things out with her was a tad entertaining (his behavior is another blog for another day), I mostly felt bad for her. I felt bad that she wasn’t secure enough with herself to enjoy the moment, joke with the rest of us and know that she’s all her husband really wants. Before you ask, yes, as her friend I’ve tried to talk to her about her insecurities. But we all know that I can’t make her love herself or feel secure with who she is. That’s something that only she can do.
Women, we need to know that we are enough! We are worthy of love, respect, and admiration. The power that we naturally have as women can’t be diminished by another women, it can only be made stronger when we all stand together. We’ve got to respect each other, lift one another up, and not fall into the trap of insecurity. So if your man glances at another woman’s beauty, don’t trip. His admiration for her appearance can’t compare to his love, respect, and admiration for you.
|Posted on August 2, 2016 at 10:35 PM||comments (0)|
As I think back over my life, there was never a time that I would’ve believed I would be a victim of domestic violence. While my father didn’t spare the rod on my older brothers and sister, my younger sister and I seemed to have gotten away with murder. And no matter what he did to the kids, my father never lifted a violent hand towards my mother. He respected her as his queen and never caused her a second of physical or verbal pain. So how did I end up marrying a violent man? Not only was he okay with hitting me, but he had no problem separating me from my family, my friends or making me financially weak. I found myself living in Virginia, looking around wondering how in the hell had I gotten in that situation.
Well, when I was younger (19 years old) my father passed. His death sent my family into a tail spin. During this time, the guy I thought I loved walked out on me, the next year my grandmother died and my grandfather the next. My family was a mess and I was an emotional wreck. Then he came along. He was the friend of a friend and an old college classmate. He said the right things, made the right promises and I, despite my feelings of dread, stood in a court house and married him. Shortly thereafter, I moved to Virginia to start a new life with him. I knew no one there, had no job, no friends, no family. Almost immediately, the harassment about a job started. So I went out and secured a great job at a Washington, DC insurance company. Now he was mad because my job paid me more than his paid him. I came home with money from my first paycheck securely tucked in my purse. When I came out of the restroom, my purse had been rummaged through and all of my money was gone. His response was to throw $5 of my money back in my face and tell me that was all I needed to survive for a week. The next morning, I left for work early so that I’d have time to go by the ATM. Figuring out my plan, he pulled into the bank parking lot as I was running to my car with a fist full of cash. Yes, he tried to plow me down with his car, but thank God he missed. Everyday thereafter, he inspected my purse, clothes and car for money. He never found any and I was never broke.
It wasn’t long after that the physical abuse started. He would always say “You better learn when to stop fighting before you get yourself killed.” I never stopped fighting. I cried every day that pulled up into the apartment parking lot and saw his car. I cried for the life I was living, for the stress he was putting me through, for the fight I knew would be waiting for me on the other side of the door. But for every lick hit threw, I threw two. That is until he came home, punched me and elbowed me in the chest so hard that I temporarily lost the ability to breathe. It wasn’t three full days later that we got up to go to work, I let him leave first, changed my clothes, packed my car and moved back with my family in Atlanta. I had a plan, co-workers knew about it as did my family, and I executed it when there was no imminent danger. I took my life back.
I beg of you to please recognize the signs of abuse (there are so many). If someone is constantly telling you that you can’t do anything right or you’re stupid, if they control your comings and goings, make you financially dependent on them, isolate you from your family and friends, destroy your property, you are in an abusive situation. If they hit you, pull your hair, force you to engage in sexual activity, use your children against you, are constantly threatening you, then you are being abused. Recognize the red flags (see a full list @ www.hotline.org), don't believe all of the negative things that your partner says about you. You are more than they care to give you credit for. If you're already in an abusive situation, please plan your escape. This is not something you can do without a carefully laid out plan.
There are many resources available to you, one of which is The National Domestic Violence Hotline. They can be reached via phone @ 800-799-7233 or 800-787-9224 (TTY). If you don’t have access to a phone, but can use a computer, please log onto to www.hotline.org and click the “Chat Now” button in the upper right corner. You are not alone! Please reach out for help.
|Posted on July 17, 2016 at 6:40 PM||comments (0)|
Despite all of the thoughts that were running through her head and the heaviness she held in her chest, exhaustion overtook her and Zoe fell into a deep slumber. She was having the sweetest dream where she, her mother, and sister were in their old home, laughing, and baking cookies. Martha was sharing stories from her childhood while she and Pam eased chocolate chips from the counter and popped them into their mouths. As they were all using their sticky fingers to drop dollops of cookie dough onto the metal sheet, they heard the front door slam. Instantly, all of the joy was sucked out of the room and replaced with fear. Otis stumbled into the kitchen, looked at Martha with bloodshot eyes and started in.
“What the fuck you bitches doing?”
“Daddy, we’re baking cookies. See, doesn’t the batter look good? Do you want to taste?” Pam asked with a smile on her face and a tremble in her voice.
“Do I look like I want to taste some damn raw cookies?” Otis yelled as he snatched the pan of cookie dough from his oldest daughter’s hands. He threw the batter at Pam and when he’d flung the last plop of it, he began to beat her about the head with the pan. “You have got to be the dumbest bitch ever born,” he spat as he hit her over and over again. “I told your sorry ass mama to have an abortion, but no, she had your dumb ass.” Whack… “You stupid bitch.” Whack… “You sorry whore.” Whack… “I hate you!” Whack…
Martha grabbed his arm, “Stop it, Otis, you’re drunk. Leave her alone.”
Without hesitation, Otis turned his anger on Martha and struck her across her face with his open hand. “Bitch, did I tell you to touch me? Don’t you ever put your hands on me!” He drew his hand back and broke Martha’s nose with one punch of his now closed fist. As blood spewed from her nose, Otis yelled, “Bitch, your fat ass better stop bleeding on my damn floor.” Martha held her face and screamed in pain which only angered him more. He grabbed her by the hair and slammed her head into the cabinet, “Shut the fuck up and stop bleeding.”
Zoe cowered in the corner as she watched her father turn his attention back to Pam. “You want to give me something, girl? Come on, I know what you can give me.”
He grabbed her by the arm and dragged her down the hall as she kicked and screamed. Martha took off running behind them, but Otis slammed the door in her face and locked it. All Martha could do was weep at the door as her daughter cried out and begged for help. Otis was stinking drunk which meant he took even longer to finish his business. Zoe cried for her sister and covered her ears to try and mute the pleas for mercy. Finally the screams stopped and the door opened. Otis stumbled out and Martha ran in to try and comfort her baby. As Otis headed out of the door, he looked at Zoe still cowering in the corner and warned, “You’re next, baby girl.”
|Posted on July 17, 2016 at 6:30 PM||comments (0)|
The house was starting to fill with family as the hour of the funeral services approached. Lisa refused to wear anything black. Her father’s life was more vibrant than black, so she chose to celebrate his life by wearing a beautiful white dress, with a purple ribbon tied delicately around her waist. After all, purple was Vincent’s favorite color. Carmen entered the living room wearing a lovely lilac dress. She too was mindful of her father's favorite color and the fact that he wouldn't want everything and everyone dark and dreary. Then entered Rozalla and lo and behold, she was dressed in all black, from the ridiculous veil covering her face to the hideous shoes on her feet. The girls looked at one another as if to ask, 'what the hell is she thinking?' Rozalla could feel her daughters’ eyes burrowing a hole through her, but she chose to ignore their obvious disgust with her choice of attire. But her clothing was a true representation of how she was feeling...dark. There was no part of her that felt alive, no part of her soul that felt she deserved to be vibrant as she honored the memory of Vincent. After all, she was the cause of his death. No matter how many times she'd been told he had a heart attack, she knew in her heart that it was her evil ways that stopped his heart from beating.
“Mama, are you sure that this is what you want to wear?” Carmen whispered in her mom's ear as she gently placed her hands on her shoulders. “You know how Dad loved you in yellow and pink. Wouldn't you like to change into something that's a little more colorful?”
“No, I deserve to wear this black. The way I treated your father these last couple of years, it was wrong, it was mean, and it was evil. I won't stand here now dressed like a breath of fresh air, when in reality, I was the darkness that suffocated him.”
“Don't you think you're being a tad dramatic?” Lisa asked as she walked up behind her mother.
“My husband is gone and as you so eloquently put it, I killed him. So no, I don't think I'm being dramatic, I think I'm owning up to the wrong that I've done. And quite frankly, I thought that would make you happy.”
“Wrong again, Mom, nothing about any of this makes me happy. My daddy is gone and happiness is an emotion that I can't even recognize right now.”
Want to read more? Click here to purchase your copy of https://www.amazon.com/When-Love-Aint-Enough-Rozalla-ebook/dp/B019FLDE0W/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1468794987&sr=8-1&keywords=stacey+covington-lee" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">When Love Ain't Enough.
|Posted on February 9, 2016 at 8:30 PM||comments (0)|
How old were you when you stopped caring about what people thought of you? I asked this question in one of my Facebook groups today and got some interesting answers. Some people said that they never cared, others confessed that it is something that they still struggle with. I confessed that at the age of eighteen I had a lot of positive and negative things to happen in my life that left me with an 'I don't care' attitude. But as I marinated on my response, I began to realize that to a small degree, I still care what others think.
I care what my mother thinks because I value her and her opinion so very much. I care what my son thinks because I would never want him to view me in a negative light. I care about the example that I set for him. I care what my husband thinks as we are supposed to be equally yoked and one another's help mate. You can't be those things with someone if you don't value their opinion or care what they think of you. I care what my dearest friends (there's only a couple of them) think because I know that their thoughts and opinions come from a place of love. As for the rest of the world, I cannot concern myself with their thoughts and opinions of me. Some will like me, some won't. Some will respect and enjoy my work and others won't. I give my best to the world and all I can do is hope that they will receive it with the love in which it is given. After that, well it's out of my hands and I must live my life on my terms.
Now tell me, how old were you when you stopped caring what people thought of you? If you still care, to what degree do you care and who's thoughts of you matter most?
Peace and Blessings,
|Posted on March 7, 2011 at 12:19 AM||comments (4)|
I'm so glad that you chose to visit the site and participate in the conversation.
Back in the day, parents lived by the philosophy that children were to be seen, not heard. Discipline was handed out in heavy doses, respect was demanded and punishments could be harsh. Conversations between parent and child seemed to be limited and vital information was shared only on a need to know basis. Please keep in mind that back in the day there seemed to be a lot less crime, school violence, bullying and incidents of teen pregnancy.
In todays society, children are more vocal than ever. Participation in "adult" conversation seems to be no big deal. Discipline consists of "time out" and punishment may mean that you don't get that new pair of Jordans. Many parents are proud of the fact that they are their childens friend. Lets not lose sight of the fact that bullying is out of control and school violence, as well as crime in general, is on the rise. Teen pregnancy seems to be a fad, it's even glorified on television.
With all of that being said, do you feel that it is possible to be an effective parent while trying to be your childs friend? Does a child have as high of a respect level for the friend as they do for the parent? Can the open dialog between parent and child go too far? Where do you draw the line? Lastly, is there a link between the rise in crime, teen pregnancy, etc. and the new friendly way of parenting?
I'm looking forward to hearing your thoughts.
Peace and Blessings,
|Posted on February 14, 2011 at 6:00 AM||comments (2)|
This month our nation set aside a day as "Anti Bullying Day." Now we all know that bullying is something that is as old as time. Kids have always taunted one another. Whether they were playing the dozens or engaged in an old fashion fist fight, someone, somewhere was being bullied.
Sadly, bullying has taken a more dangerous turn. Gone are the days of fist fights. Gone are the days where kids joke on one another and everyone walks away trying to think of the best funny insult for the next day. Fist fights have turned into gun fights and a sharp tongued joke will now get you beat down by not one, but a gang of youths.
Times have gotten so bad that all a child has to do is walk passed a bored group of teens to be attacked. Children are being beaten, humiliated and even losing their lives all for the sake of entertainment or for some misguided kid to show others just how bad they are.
So tell me my friends, what do you believe this change in child/teen behavior can be contributed to? Are children no longer being taught the value of life? Is the lack of a strong father figure in the household the blame for it all? Or has respect for one another completely become a thing of the past? More importantly, how can we get this generation to stop bullying and taunting one another to the degree that they are now?
Peace & Blessings,
|Posted on February 7, 2011 at 6:00 AM||comments (2)|
One of the most important driving forces in our lives are the relationships that we share with others. Relationships with our siblings, our parents, significant others and friends are of great importance to our happiness, well being and some might even say our survival. So naturally we often go above and beyond where we should in an effort to maintain these all important connections.
I've always been the type of person to stand back and observe those around me. Over the years I've watched the interaction between men and their male friends. I've watched how easily they communicate with one another. How simple it seems for them to squash a dispute or decide to walk away from a friend if the relationship becomes toxic. On the other hand, I've observed relationships between females and they are often times anything but simple. Women share a bond with one another that can be stronger than the bond they might share with their spouse. The exchange of information, ideas, secrets and feelings is nothing less than amazing. But there can also be a great deal of drama.
I have seen women betray the trust of a beloved friend. I have observed jealousy take control of a woman and cause her to act out viciously against a friend. I have heard of females working diligently to gain the affection of her friends man. And through all of that, I've observed women trying with all their might to hold on to these seemingly harmful frienships.
All of that being said, my question of the week is, why is it so difficult for women to turn and walk away from an unhealthy friendship? Is it the shared secrets that sometimes bind women to one another when they both know that the friendship is superficial at best?
Peace & Blessings,