Kid Cudi, Kanye West and Mental Health in the Black Community.

Ever since I lost my mother I have never been the same since. I know what it is like to go through depression and have to deal with trying to figure out how to express my pain. I had to go to school and work, feeling like I had to be forced into a place where mentally, I had to suppress the though of expressing how I feel through a difficult time. If anyone out there has lost a parent or close relative, then you know how hard the grieving process can be. I wanted to numb myself by drinking heavily to wonder “what if the world was to lose me?….would they even care?…have I left a mark on the world with my purpose?” basically wanting to commit suicide by curiosity. Feeling alone, out of place, and with the idea of being in a black woman in america “we are not suppose to cry nor show emotion.” I felt embarrassed to show that I am feeling like I am in pain. Not asking for help and being prideful because since I was a little girl feeling like I had no resources to ask for help. Yet in the African American community, we look to the great white Jesus to make sure that we can be healed from all the dangerous thoughts that can be in your mind when your by yourself when there is no one around you. But what happens next? Yet mental health and black people somehow in the community don’t mix.

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Kid Cudi has had this struggle with mental health for years and has decided that he is going to take time out to be able to focus on his self care and his battle with depression along with other issues. Ever since I hear his first album I knew there was something going on. Self medication, deep thoughts of loneliness, and suppressing the thought of suicide are just some things that I hear from him in his music. I am proud of Kid Cudi, and I hope he gets the help he needs, also with him coming out to the world about his issues with mental health, discussions are being made among the African American community about battles of mental health and self care, especially among African American men.

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Now here comes Kanye West, we laugh at him, call him a coon, and shake our head because he is like the cousin in your family that can’t get right. When he came to my hometown Sacramento California for his St.Pablo tour, he was late and cut the concert short as hell. He had a good 15 minute rant about everyone in pop culture including president Obama, him being broke still and getting no help from his “actual” celebrity friends, and him along with Kid Cudi being aliens. Well Sacramento didn’t take it to well and the next day everyone was saying “Fuck Kanye” and even the local radio boycotting his music by not playing it on the station. Then he goes and cancels the rest of the tour dates and then ends up in the hospital as well all in less than 24 hours.

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Yet we forget that his mother died November 10th, he had to go on tour right after and numbed the pain by going on tour and preforming all over the world, like a fucking circus monkey.He was suppose to die in that car accident, and he knows it as well as admitted it too! He ended up pushing all of this fear, frustration, and pain into albums, tours, and various other things. Yet entertaining all of us, and us as consumers buying into the bullshit with rose colored glasses though social media memes and TMZ. With his rant….it was sad, it was crazy, and it was upsetting. Yet he’s pretty much been crying out for help for years now, we as consumers along with mainstream media have brushed it off and screamed “Fuck You Kanye….dance nigga…dance”. Marie-laveau-amen

I am not favoring both sides of the situation at all. But at the same time, he needs help. He needs to stop and grieve through everything and get help. It’s okay not to be okay, and it’s okay to finally say “Hey, I need help. And I am scared, yet I feel like it’s time”.

How I was an Adult who Grew up in Foster Care (My Testimony)

The American foster care system is never an easy discussion and being a former foster youth and dealing with trauma is something that I still deal with to this very day. There are some days that I am able to wake up, put my mask on, and act like everything is okay. Making everyone laugh and being adorable, without anyone knowing about the deep battles of depression,anxiety, abandonment, and trust issues that I deal with day to day. Dressed everyday including make up and hair did with the thought like no one can faze you yet you would rather want to be left alone and do you all day with no make up on and turn off all social media. Not knowing that I am a really outgoing young woman who wants to be social, laugh with everyone else, and turn up but is turned off to the extra loud, overbearing, and overpowering consumption of people who want to fit in but have flaws like everyone else.

Most foster youth run alone, not with a lot of people just because for the simple fact that people probably since the age of five, have been in and out of there lives since then. That also means that it’s really hard to make close bonds with people and have healthy relationships because there was no stable foundation that showing how to deal with people and love ones because everyone was either lying to you or moving you from one home to another. Usually most children pick up unhealthy ways to deal with the fact that people in there lives are never who they say they are on they don’t advocate for them. I know for me I self medicated a lot (smoked a lot drank a lot and it got worse when my mother passed away), I lied a lot to cover up what I was feeling, and I even pushed away people that I knew I needed around me.

 These are some of the issues that  I have faced throughout my life and I am taking it one day at a time, dealing with these issues.

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The reason my group of friends are so small is that I don’t run with everyone simple as that. I am a lone wolf, someone who is known by everyone but only a few really know me. I can portray on social media that I have everything together but knowing dang well I have a group of small friends that understand me because at the end of the day they can be all different and yet have the same mind state like myself.

I know growing up, in the group home, you could never have friends because in the end they where going to go home with a foster parent or their biological parents and you are going to be stuck dealing with feeling like your in prison. For some, you grow up hating your parents and wondering if you have any worth because people who 6/10 times aren’t your family are raising you and most likely when you get older, you’re going to feel like empty and alone. That’s what I am still dealing with as an adult. But it’s going to get better! Just take it one day at a time and understand that life has so many chapters in your journey that its only the start of the story!

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When dealing with abandonment issues, it’s never easy, but overtime your thoughts get better. Once you start to deal with it and acknowledge it then it’s easier to deal with it. I know I have trust issues because at the end of the day people always have either good or bad intentions but you just have to take your time and get to know people. I know it’s okay to be quite and observe, you learn a lot from a person who is the loudest one in the room.

Over time I felt as I was becoming an adult, realized that what I have when through has made me a stronger person. I know that my story can be something that can inspire not just people who work in the foster care system but young people who are trying to find the inner hope that they need to be able to go on in there life and be able to keep going.

this is just the beginning of my story and my testimony I just want to document it one blog post at a time.

 

Life After Graduation(Transitional Period Pt.1)

I swear I feel weird. I feel like once I walked across the stage, turned my tassel to the other side, and left the arena to see my family and friends greet me with hugs and gifts, I felt just weird. College at the undergraduate level was over. There was no more fighting for classes, waiting 20 minutes in line to get lunch on campus, and trying to order books the week before (or the week of) even though the professor never used the book after all. I didn’t have to worry about trying to time manage everything when it comes to classes, work schedules, self care, and sleep. I know I’m not just going through it there is a lot of college graduates that can relate to what I’m going through.College was over. This milestone is over. It was all over!

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Now a couple months go by and you start to look for work because sitting in your room, watching Netflix, and eating frosted flakes isn’t cutting it. You start looking at graduate school options but sadly you don’t have enough money to apply to  the big list of colleges that you want to apply to. You work at a job that doesn’t give you enough pay to even survive off of and yet you manage to do it. Because you have free time you go out more, even though you know dang well you are a home body (I like to call it a extrovert/introvert). Relationships suck because it seems like everyone around you are trying to get they stuff together and seems like no one has time to show any type of emotion. You just start to feel lost.

Now you wonder “What’s Next?”, you are at a cross roads on what is next in your life. This is all that I am feeling at one time, just lost, confused and upset.

I know all you can do it take it one step at a time. I know it sounds a little too simple, but that is pretty much it. Pray and follow God in all that you need to do. Keep going and do things that you love. Make sure that your self care always comes first. There is more to life than what is going on. I know it’s going to get better. Just take your time.

 

All Lives Matter vs. Black Lives Matter

Why can’t we have our own shit! Yup I said it, and I’ll say it again.Why can’t we have out own shit. I feel like this phrase “Black Lives Matter” makes people who are non-white uncomfortable. I swear this is something that we should be able to have. What is the problem? No seriously, what is the problem because as an educator I have learned children don’t see color, yet for black children there is that one moment in there life with other children when they learn who they are because there classmate making a joke, a slur, or a goofy drawing that mentions there identity. In other words this is where this starts the concept (TO ME) the young scholars “black experience”. It bothers me that I can’t go down the street without being cussed out by a white man for wearing a shirt that says “Black Kids Matter, What’s Your Purpose?”. I am a African American female who works in a low income school district with the majority of my children in my class being black or brown. So what do you expect me to feel when I see black children and teens getting harassed by the police or murdered? Okay so like I was saying black kids do matter lol!

Yes all lives do matter, but at the same time right now at this very moment black lives matter because ever since we were kidnapped from our motherland of Africa, sent off to various parts of the Americas and the Caribbean, and forced to to labor work among white Europeans who would beat, rape, and kill us because of various ridiculous reasons we have never mattered. EVEN THOUGH we built the white house!

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As a community we are tired of being sick and tired but we do have a lot of issues in the community. We are not perfect yet we will stand for each other because that is in out nature. Like my granny use to say “all ya skin folk aint ya kin folk” and sadly I believe that is so true. Some black people don’t agree with the concept of black lives matter, and I understand there reasons why. That doesn’t change my view lol. Yet in this day and age we need to say basically the affirmation “BLACK LIVES MATTER” to keep moving forward because it seems like society is moving backwards.

I swear saying all lives matter is like a fire truck putting the water on every other house in the neighborhood but the house that is burning!
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Self Care, Self Love, and Personal Growth (What I Understand)

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I know when I was a teenager I was so ready to be an adult! I couldn’t wait to be in college and be on my own away from my crazy family life and a city that I felt that couldn’t offer me anything because I was “to old and mature”. I was ready to start something brand new and hopefully find something that was bigger than myself.Once I got out of my grandparents 3 bedroom house that was right smack dab in the middle of the hood, I realized that all the times they told me, “You think you grown, but you aint! You better be careful because life isn’t as easy as it seems….but your gonna see!”and they were actually right (Don’t tell them I said that!).Life as an adult is hard,stressful and also challenging but I feel that once you learn about self care,self love and personal growth it’s not as bad as it seems.

So I am going to share with you the things that I learned (SO FAR) about self care, self love, and personal growth:

  • Self Care: Life is going to stress you out, that is always going to happen. But fine the time to relax, because in the long run your health (mental,spiritual, and physical) will take a slow and damaging turn. I know for me I like to do my homework during the week and (hopefully) but the weekend I can light some candles, watch my favorite shows, and just sleep in. Also what I plan on doing is turning off social media and clocking out of the cyber world to mentally relax. I feel that we are in a day and age that everything we do is on social media and it’s too much! I hate it because everyone is on these outlets lying about stuff to impress the next person because they have something that they want. Ever heard of the term “Keep hating your going to turn green with envy”! I don’t have time to put on a show for no one and don’t get me wrong I do have my noisy moments but I don’t need to know every since part of your life.

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  • Self Love: I’m no expert on this but I know that enjoying and loving yourself will reflect on to other people and from there you’ll feel better about yourself. I have always been told that I have a bright personality and I feel that comes from feeling positive and letting my inner beauty shine out. I want to leave a positive impression on the people I meet because you never know how that may affect that person. I love to laugh and I know that sharing a laugh with someone might be the thing that they were needing at that moment. Also with the idea of self love, understanding that God made you the way you are! He knew what he was doing the whole time and he loves you just the way you are (ugh don’t get me crying and preaching please). Understand that you can’t be perfect and if you keep striving for it, your going to burn yourself out. It’s okay to cry and be sad if needed but don’t be that way for long. I know when I was suffering with depression, I lost the love for life and for myself, and it took a tole on me. So I had to fine the love within myself, and it’s still a thing I am still dealing with to this day so don’t think that self love isn’t a journey, because it is!

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  • Personal Growth: Now when I started college I was 18 (turning 19: I have an early birthday) and now I am 24 years old and I know that I have grown a lot since then! I know that by the time I get 30, I probably will not have the same mind state that I have now at 24. Changing and growing is apart of life, for example my hair may be any shade of red (right now it’s burgundy) but maybe by 30 it will be a short cut that is just how life changes up on us! Learning from the mistakes as well as learning from the blessings that God gives you will help you along your journey in life. Not everyone will be on this personal journey, friends may slowly move out of the picture, boyfriend/girlfriend may or may not be growing with you, career may change, you never know where life could take you. But hell enjoy the ride and eat the snacks (knowledge) that are provided!

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Remember that life is never going to be easy because if it was then we would all have perfect lives. But taking the time to give yourself a mental break will make it a little easier to deal with and more understanding. Never be afraid to meditate, pray,relax, and give yourself time to reflect on the things that you have been through. It’s okay to be emotional and cry, believe me I have done it a lot lately! Now go out there and take on the world, but in baby steps lol