Unloved, Unworthy, Understood

Trigger Warning: I’m about to talk about sexual assault. It will likely not get graphic but if you can’t stomach talks about sexual assault or rape. do not proceed. Thank you, in advance, for reading and letting me get this off my chest.

(insert a multitude of emojis, gifs, & memes that display anxiety. This is some scurry shit to write!)

Ight so check it… I was raped in my own house 3 (maybe 4? I don’t harp on the date) years ago. Literally, on a couch that my family owned, in a place where I should have felt strong enough to say no; I was raped.

I have only said that out loud maybe three times since it happened. I have typed it online twice before now. I still can’t come to accept that it happened to me- by somebody I knew and trusted. That someone who I loved platonically and maybe would have had consensual sex with took my power from me. In my own home. And I didn’t tell anybody until almost a year or two later. And I laughed (nervously) when I said it; as if laughter was going to ease the pain that I had been carrying.

I laughed when I spoke my horror and let the laughing emojis carry my story to eyes and ears that would have, otherwise, never known. As if laughter was the cure all. I wish I could laugh through this again. I wish my laughter and nervous giggles could take me far beyond this place of trauma and unworthiness. I might need to laugh again.

I thought I was over this. I thought I had laughed the feelings of disgust, distrust, & betrayal to the depths of my soul. I think they’ve resurfaced and forgot to bring the laughter with them. Sigh. I don’t think I can laugh my way into trusting a new person with my love, my body, my loyalty. And quite frankly, I never did. Where I thought I was healed and “over it”, I found myself in the arms of my baby daddy. Someone I knew already- could catch his cues & knew his ticks- and trusted. Here I was calling myself running game when the game was running me. Ain’t that some shit?! To think you’re healed when really you’re going back to places of comfort… darkness, “Imma get what I need & leave” type spaces. That’s what they never tell you about sexual assault. The recovery is just as brutal as the initial attack. Healing is not linear and every time you think you’re on the up something snatches you back down & connects itself right back to that moment. You stop laughing & running game & being “okay” and realize you’re standing knee deep in that same shit. Ain’t it funny how loud and boisterous unworthiness can be? How he snatches your confidence and your power and dances away with it; arm & arm with low self esteem?

I was raped in my own home and I’m scared to trust again. That’s my first time typing that sentence out. I’ll yell it to the moon later today. My dignity was stripped from me and now I’m fighting to get it back. To understand me again and do it with a baby on my hip, while parenting with somebody who used to be my comfort. Ain’t it funny how loud and giggly and obnoxious life can be?

If Yo Girl Only Knew

I wish I knew that:

1: Every day will not be sunshine & rainbows. In fact, you might outright hate motherhood and that’s okay!

2: There is no smooth transition from woman to mom. And it sucks.

3: Self-care is no longer easy.

4: This is your journey and yours alone. YOU are the mother.

5: Spending time with JUST your baby is important. Seriously.

6: You are not bitter for being heartbroken, disappointed, or saddened by the way your child’s father treated you. You have every right to feel those feelings.

I wish I knew that. I’ve been sitting on this post for months. I like reminding myself of what was and what could’ve been. I keep having to remind myself of what was and what could be.

I coulda been a hairstylist, working all kinda hours in all kinda places, for whatever price I deemed reasonable. I can still be one. I coulda been a bottle girl, in college classes, all in the clubs having fun. I can still have fun and go to college. I coulda been an influencer- a “IG baddie”- linking up with anybody my daddy (& beauty!) could’ve connected me; taking trips, doing whatever I wanted. I can still leverage my beauty and my connections and “get to a bag” through Instagram. I just gotta do it with a baby on my hip.

I’ve been mourning “me” so much this past year but how dare I? Seriously. How dare I miss the young carefree girl who was just waking up and going? Why would I wanna be her ever again? (Hint: ’cause that carefree sh!t is FUN!!) I’ve really had to sit and grapple with the fact that I’m never going to be the me that I thought I was, and was going to be. That that’s okay and that this new me is someone I can love AND like, too. I wish somebody would’ve gave it to me straight- “you’re growing your own new life, too, not just that baby’s. Your birth is not just your baby’s; it’s yours too.” I don’t even know if I would’ve listened, but it would’ve been something nice to remember hearing. Your birth is not just your baby’s; it’s yours too. When you birth that baby, you’re birthing a new you. A you you may not like at first. A you you have to relearn and rediscover; somebody who might not like what you used to like and might like what you used to hate. You’re birthing and creating a new you. Own that shit! Walk in it. Dig your heels into this upgraded version of you and embrace her. Find what she likes and fall in love with yourself again. Own! That! Shit!

Why Not Play?

My mom is always telling me I need to “work on my poker face so Bean doesn’t think everything is funny.” Well, here’s the thing, everything IS funny- to me, at least. I literally get through my days by laughing and playing.

I need laughter. I need humor and good times and foolishness and fun in my day to day. I tried to work on my poker face but for what? Why can’t I laugh when my baby is doing something funny and silly? Who says it’s bad to laugh while also setting boundaries and being “firm”? Will Bean take everything for a joke or will she one day learn to assert herself and boundaries, even in fun moments?

Yes, she will, actually think everything is funny AND she will be disciplined! Go figure.

There is a parenting approach called “play-based parenting” and it generally follows the child’s lead; allowing them to create and solve problems for themselves while strengthening their emotional and social development. I know you’re probably rolling your eyes and thinking “not another one of those parenting styles! That’s that new-age parenting!!” But it’s not! Play-based parenting directly aligns with the Montessori lifestyle and Positive Discipline. NAEYC says “rough and tumble play—has been shown to promote early brain development.” There is a method to childcare centers’ “madness” and their love of play centers, after all. Playing helps children learn emotional regulation, social skills, social cues, problem-solving, and conflict resolution-among other things. Play-based parenting, or just playtime with a caregiver involved, teaches children that they are fun to be around and fun to engage with. It builds emotional intelligence and boundaries. Fifteen minutes of play is really all you need to create lasting memories and help build your child’s brain better than any book ever could!

So I said all that to say: Sorry mom, I’m actually not going to work on my poker face! I’m going to keep laughing my way through my frustration and turning on my most goofy face when I need to power through a tantrum; because my baby needs it and I need it. In Sunday’s post (and all weekend on Instagram *wink wink*) I’ll be sharing some of my favorite ways to play with Bean and how I “laugh through our loco”! See you there and remember to keep on laughing!

P.S. Check out the links below for some articles to support play-based learning!

https://www.naeyc.org/our-work/families/10-things-every-parent-play

https://www.naeyc.org/resources/pubs/yc/may2017/case-brain-science-guided-play

Truth Time

My priorities are screwed. I’d rather spend time playing sims, scrolling instagram, and typing captions and blog posts in my notes app rather than posting them. Why? I feel unqualified to be a “mom blogger”. I feel like I’m too “new” to motherhood to have the audacity to sit and document our experiences; but 500 people have seen my blog. I can’t be THAT unqualified if my follower count and engagements are steadily growing. Somebody, somewhere out there needs to hear what I have to stay and if not now, when?

This is my accountability post. This is me reminding myself that there is no such thing as “unqualified” or “ready”. It’s either do or die; now or never. I’m giving myself permission to have the confidence of a man! Y’all know they have some CONFIDENCE okay? So, this is our comeback. This is me freeing myself from my imposter syndrome and taking baby steps with big leaps in between.

I am Destiny, THE Hot Young Mom, and it is SO nice to meet you all!

Baby, you Blue me away

I think I’ve got a case of the Baby Blues.

I love my daughter. I love being her mom. I even like doing it “alone” if I’m being truly honest. But I think I’ve got those good ‘ol Baby Blues.

I feel like Eeyore if he sat in the sun all day; kinda happy, mostly sad. Like the weight of the world is on my shoulders but also like I could drop it off if need be. Like, I can see the sun but I can’t see the sun. Like those sweet little baby laughs are SO damned cute but also, they don’t do anything for me. And that sounds weird cause if you know me, you know I loooove kids and always have but something ain’t clicking with me and Bean. It’s like we keep running towards each other, getting realllllll close, and then dropping the baton. I don’t get it; or like it, for that matter. I’ve been mulling over why I feel like this and I’ve finally found the reason.

I felt lonely during my pregnancy. What was supposed to be the “happiest time of my life” was filled with anger, loneliness, hurt, disgust, and disappointment. Don’t get me wrong, my family and friends did a STANDUP job at filling in the gaps and being there for me but it just don’t hit the same (I’m assuming) as when the other parent is there with -and for- you. I would’ve given almost anything to have my child’s father with me during my pregnancy, and in the months following. There is truly nothing like real, unrequited love and I would’ve given the moon all of the stars in the sky just to have a smidgen of that from Bean’s dad. I can not connect with her and love on her like I need to because I can’t stop associating parts of her growth with him and the way he treated me while she was growing inside of me. And the way he still does things.

And see, I’m doing it again. I’m doing that thing where I don’t say, or type, the “wrong” thing because I don’t want to give him or any of his family any reason to call me the “bitter baby mama” (again) but eff that. I am bitter. And I have every right to be. I have carried the weight and bore the burdens (& joys!!!) of parenthood everyday since January 15th, 2020. ME. Not him. Me. I have every right to be bitter and angry and hurt and sad.

Why? Because when I needed him the most, he left me to lean on myself. So f*ck you if you read this and call me bitter or think to yourself that I should “get over it”. I have to live with the guilt of feeling a drop of regret for my child everyday because the memories her growth are entangled in loneliness and anger. That’s a huge burden to bear and I have no choice but to bear it and carry it. And carry it well. I have to roll over every morning, look her in the eyes, and remind myself that before I even knew who she was I loved her in some capacity. I have to dig real deep to find that glimmer of happiness I felt in the brief moments between seeing the positive pregnancy test and telling him the news. She is my sunshine on my cloudy days and I just want to feel like that, everyday. Most days. Everyday ain’t gone be sunny, that much I know, but I would truly give anything to feel some kind of over-the-mom love for her. I want my chick flick, put the baby on mom and mom starts crying moment. I think I deserve that much. Actually, I know I do and did and it saddens me that I didn’t get it and likely never will. Truthfully.

I, (Used To Be) A Victim

Sad, lonely, fearful, anxiety-ridden. That was me.

I grew up in abuse; it was all I knew for years. I never felt comfortable at home, near certain family members, around loud noises- was never settled. It’s been about 4 years since I was in that space and my GOD, it seems as if the triggers have gotten worse. Trauma never stops stirring your spirit, making you anxious; it can quite literally change your brain. Post traumatic stress disorder is everlasting and can take years of therapy, spiritual work, and coping mechanisms to overcome. Now couple those triggers and feelings with being a new mom, in a cross country co-parenting situation, and listen… this is going to take a WHOLE lot of patience, unlearning, undoing, and forgiveness. But, I’m committed to doing the work because my daughter deserves a mother who is whole and healthy and kind and capable and patient.

More than that, I deserve to be all of those things, for me. My daughter deserves to grow up with a mother and father who don’t argue in front of her, who don’t make her choose; so I must fully forgive him. I must dig deep and find the love I used to have for him and pour it back into our relationship. I have to finally accept the bad for the bad and take the good memories with a grain of salt and move on; once and for all. I must learn to navigate and acknowledge my triggers so those sweet baby cries and yells don’t startle or frustrate me; so I can hear them for exactly what they are- communication. I’m only 5 months in the game, but I’ve got some skin in the game already and I’m ready to earn my stripes.

This is me holding myself accountable for my personal betterment and for my daughter’s development. Cheers to growth and grace!