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KITTEN
USA
Community Psychologist. Writer. Avid Reader. Researcher. Activist- one who questions everything!
Interests: Family. Activism. Writing. Research. Change the world.
Recent Activity
Posted yesterday at KITTEN
Donald Trump refusing to concede this election is a travesty. It is time to unite and begin the healing a country. Centuries old divisions around race, class, sex and a plethora of other societal conflicts will not be solved overnight but we can use this moment as a starting point. https://youtu.be/Jk7LPpY8pXM Continue reading
Posted Nov 14, 2020 at KITTEN
Maya Angelou's poem "On the Pulse of Morning" Continue reading
Posted Nov 14, 2020 at KITTEN
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I took another walk in the rain yesterday; twice this week - attempting to fulfill a promise made to be consistent and persistent in getting back into a regular workout routine. The lake's mood, moderately calm, made slapping sounds against the embankment - nothing with the ferociousness that comes with windy days. The fog brought stillness to the afternoon and rendered the city ghostlike in the distance - the changing leaves painted a dash of bright yellow, red and green amidst the grey had the feel of a faraway time and place, old and familiar and I breathe deep the sight, feel and smell of the season. My hair caught the raindrops and held them and my mind took me into the clouds where I wonder about the faltering conditions of humanity, the human psyche and the dynamics of change. I imagine the possibilities of my life and all that I have learned to accept, let go and embrace in the last few years. Living with purpose has grown both refined and urgent and yet, I felt a gentle calm that I attributed to the daily meditation added to my routine. I kept walking - my legs felt sore, my hair grew heavy from carrying raindrops. The presence had a recognizable feel - I've been carrying it all my life. I kept walking, thinking and listening to the universe beyond my aching muscles and the silence of the grey, sunless afternoon - I was almost home. Continue reading
Posted Oct 28, 2020 at KITTEN
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Everything that I do comes from love - love of self and others. I am guilty of kindness - if an opportunity to make a difference present itself, I take it, but what is the worth of kindness in a world that places no value in it? Time and again, for some, kindness is perceived as weakness to be exploited, use, misuse, abuse, and even to destroy. The downward spiral of this nation's condition is a perfect example; it's a system built on exploitation and cruelty - the rich feeds on the poor centuries long -one generation after the next. Is it surprising that there's a karmic debt owed? I navigate this space with the hope never to become a person who do not recognize human value, to be armed with a heart that still knows love and if I can, and knows how, do not hesitate to respond with kindness and compassion. Though seeing the best in everyone can be costly, so is fearing the worst. The homeless no matter the reason deserves shelter, the starving must be fed, the sick should be tended and love and grace are gifts that we must always extend to each other. The road ahead though winding is clear. I've asked hard questions of this universe - wondered why it brought me here in this time and place and I've looked at the future. Though I have at times wandered off course - always I have gotten back on the intended path. You see, there are no wrong roads - all lead to the one destination. I'm at another fork in the road - one is meant to be taken with others and one must be taken alone - either way, what is required is a firm step into the unknown. Continue reading
Posted Oct 12, 2020 at KITTEN
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Sooner or later, not only do we come face-to-face with who we are - even the hidden places - somewhere in the universe, someone has the ability to really see us. It comes as no surprise now that Leo saw me beyond the physical. I recognized him in his paintings, he saw me as art that needed to be captured, framed and made timeless. Life through an artist's eye many cannot conceive, we transition between the darkest nights, the brightest days and all the colors in-between. For reasons like these, I have always believed that the future of mankind rest in the mind of the creatives where ideas are conceived, felt and experienced long before they are real. I have written my life chapter with Leo and catalogued us among the mysterious - to be told with the deep, spell-binding tone given to fairy-tales on nights when the moon is full. For some, ours may feel like an unsolved mystery that's contemplated long into the night - others will think of us as one would a tragic shakespearean tale. Continue reading
Posted Oct 8, 2020 at KITTEN
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I begin and end each day with a grateful heart. This, even as I come to terms with the fact that I am still in my season of healing. I have embraced the process. The memories come like needy children in the night, but I understand their pain and give them the love and attention they crave until they no longer need to be fed or hugged and I let them loose. These days I feel both vulnerable and strong -and changed. I have a deeper appreciation for life having seen the darkest night. While some things remain a mystery, and I sometimes wander among the galaxies in search of lost pieces of myself, I have never been more whole and alive. Continue reading
Posted Oct 6, 2020 at KITTEN
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There are times when life will demand that we become more than we are - some times more than we think ourselves capable. I had to understand that if life handed me a struggle, I was already victorious. My experiences had prepared me for the battle. The lessons of living my purpose has been plenty. I can pin-point in detail the incident that started this difficult chapter of my life- the job, my marriage, the PhD program and being stretched to the limit trying to create a life to call my own. I didn't realize then that sometimes creating a new life means losing the old one. As I reflect on the last several years, I am awed by how far I've come. With each day comes a new way of thinking, seeing and being. I found faith in seasons of loss and chaos and change and learned to walk in grace and humility - to be vulnerable, self-forgiving, and self-loving. I learned that my worth is unquestionable, that I am enough in an empty or full room and I owe it to myself to do something remarkable with my life. Continue reading
Posted Oct 4, 2020 at KITTEN
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It is here on my long morning and evening walks with nature, under the sun's watchful and loving gaze, among the trees - and where the water meets the sky that life flows, and I can hear and feel my flame burning again. I am reminded in these moments that life's greatest gifts are not man-made. While so much about life remains a mystery, out here, so much more is understood. Continue reading
Posted Oct 3, 2020 at KITTEN
Lessons learned this year has forever changed my view of people and the world - and yet I will not allow myself to become hateful and cynical. I've learned that people will take advantage of others if they think they can get away with it - seen it too many times - the haves feed on the have nots - strong on the weak - people don't genuinely care for each other anymore - it's detestable. I learned that Self-love is fundamental - without it we are lost because this world can be a harsh, evil place and we have to be able to love ourselves enough to fight through the storms and not lose or compromise that which makes us good and decent and human. I am ok with breaking ties and removing people from my life who have proven not good for me. What comes next? I don't know. I've outgrown my crab shell - I will not stay trapped in barely surviving - there is indeed life to be lived - the last two years has left no doubt that I can survive the harshest conditions and not lose myself. . Continue reading
Posted Jan 19, 2020 at KITTEN
I woke up this morning feeling blissfully alive - the kind that a lost soul must experience when finally it discovers home. And even though the weather outside looks dreary and cold - inside it feels like spring with all the freshness, newness and rebirth of change. I have always, in my dark moments, retreat inside myself for self protection and healing - back to my cozy crab shell and my place of innocence. My self reflections were long and the soul searching, consuming. And the tears I cried were not just for me. But the time has come - to emerge. The past is retired. Today is here and tomorrow hold its mysteries and wonders. If the last two years was meant to test my will, resilience, courage, mental strength, boundaries, integrity, humanity - both life and I have engaged in a battle of will - testing for that which makes and break the other. And now I'm ready for what comes next. Continue reading
Posted Jan 19, 2020 at KITTEN
It's been almost two years since my marriage to Leo ended, and except for a few tears shed here and there, I still have not had a heart wrenching, soul crushing cry to mourn my marriage. Though I've often wondered upon my absent tears, and think back to other break-ups, some I vividly recall embracing crying as both my cleansing and starting over - it took me a while to realize that I have mourned Leo - and that weeping does not always come in tears. With Leo, the circumstances surrounding our break-up and my struggle to find him in the shattered pieces of us created a gray space that demanded more of me - not just my heart but a pound of flesh and bone and pride and dignity. Indeed, I have mourned him - mourned us - a thousand times in a thousand different ways with each stroke of my pen laced with our painful outcome - mourned him in all hours of sleepless nights and early mornings when I was compelled to write, edit, and delete my way back to this loved self that I call home. Continue reading
Posted Dec 16, 2019 at KITTEN
KITTEN is now following Ellie
Dec 7, 2019
I was reminded that life conditions are as varied and colorful as the many aspects that makes us both same and unique - and that fundamentally, few things are black and white. Reflecting on my experience with interracial dating, I have dated diversely, but have never dated anyone because of their ethnicity. Mine remains a simple process of boy meets girl and falls in love because who he is - and who I am connects beyond surface level seeing and comes from a place where a thing name love can exist. I recently met an interracial couple, that I will reference as the Bernards, a black woman and a white man - and saw in them a shared love and tenderness between two people who said, we met and fell in love. The issue of black and white relationships continue to be highly debatable among both sides - understandably so - as a nation, we are still struggling with overt racism rooted in the nation's history - and there remains unaddressed race-related trauma that must be addressed for substantial progress to be made. But with love a personal decision that can only truly be made between those involved in the relationship, who are any of us to question the validity of anyone's choice for partner? As a black woman with two white ex-husbands, two sons, one of whom is bi-racial and a family tree that represents all ethnicities and many nationalities, I know that with all our differences, people can engage in loving, respectful, meaningful relationships. Though twice divorced, I do not perceive my relationships as a model for all interracial relationships nor do I believe that race was central to my breakups - certainly not my first - my second, possibly - that one ended under mysterious circumstances leaving many unanswered questions two years later. I still don't know who hacked me and tried to destroy my dissertation. What I do know is that one cannot have a conversation about interracial dating without discussing the existing problems within the black family structure and where, why and how the problems originated and their adverse effects today. We must be careful not to promote dating outside ones ethnic group as an alternative for black women and men on the basis that the group membership does not provide viable options. This destructive narrative, especially when internalized poses a real threat to black women/ black men relationships, the overall health of the family dynamic and cohesive community development. Indeed, we should all keep an open mind and aspire to meet the person with whom we share a genuine connection, who treats us well and with whom we are the best version of ourselves. I am encouraged that the topic has made it's way into mainstream interest. It's one that needs to be further examined. Continue reading
Posted Dec 6, 2019 at KITTEN
Hello TheRuskGeek. It's been a long time. Thanks for stopping by.
Toggle Commented Dec 4, 2019 on Self-care at KITTEN
She stayed with me long after I left the coffee shop where I go to work sometimes. The limp she dragged around, the froth around her mouth, her torn, dirty clothes not fit for the cold weather and the thing that grabs me most - the blankness in her eyes as she went around the packed room asking for change with a rehearsed script. 'I'm hungry. I haven't eaten in days. Can you spare some change?" She was given a few dollars here and there until one of the workers stopped her from approaching people by offering her a cup of water. And everyone in the coffee shop went back to what they were doing seemingly unfazed. Who else saw her, I wondered - not just viewed her from the veil of being embarrassed that for a brief moment she brought them into her homeless, begging world, but saw her as a human being, in the role of a mother, sister, aunt or friend? I watched her leave and continued her begging outside, sipping water, limping and begging. The realization came that somewhere along the way, her life condition had carved her stone-like - that she may lose the will to care what people thinks of her - she simply survives. And society moves on - detached - a condition that breaks my heart. I'm not there yet - and hope never to get to a point that I don't feel the suffering of others. Continue reading
Posted Dec 1, 2019 at KITTEN
I have always believed that a woman should know, and be clear about what she brings to a relationship - and it cannot be just sex. This belief keeps me grounded and always thriving to be the best version of myself, physically, emotionally, intellectually, financially and otherwise - that I will be equipped to meet the needs of a relationship on multiple levels. One cannot set standards for others that they cannot meet. When things go wrong in my relationships and life in general, my primary focus is foremost on self. In what ways had I contributed to the breakdown, if any? Could I have done things differently? If so, what? And for the ways in which I may have contributed, I accept accountability even if my actions would not have changed the outcome. I used to apologize to Leo for not being the most attentive wife - even though my inattentiveness was not deliberate. He was retired - I was overwhelmed with working a fulltime job while enrolled in an accelerated doctoral program. I barely had time to sleep - sex went from frequent, passionate and charged with anticipation to seldom, mechanical and obligatory. I didn't blame him for complaining - and promised to make more time until I graduated, but I did not have the bandwidth or the energy to meet the demands of being a romantic, sex goddess along with all my other obligations. Undoubtedly, our marriage suffered in this regard - but it was not the cause of our break-up - we had far greater issues that were not in my control. Even though the end of our marriage to a great extent remains a mystery, healing begins with purging oneself of negativity, acceptance of what is - control how the end of a relationship will impact them moving forward, letting go and stop wasting energy on things that does not add to their well-being. Indeed, the power to break and leave me less whole was never and will never be Leo's. Despite all that has happened between us - aspects that I am still absolutely unclear about - I am thankful for the lesson. One thing is clear, this is my life, I am holding the fucking pen and I decide how the ending of this life chapter is written - Continue reading
Posted Nov 30, 2019 at KITTEN
Every life situation changes us - some more than others - to the extent that we may emerge from certain events barely recognizable to our former self - which may or may not be a bad thing. The last few years has changed me profoundly - When I look back 15 years into the pages of my documented life here, I feel both humbled and amazed at my evolution. Beyond getting older, the woman I am today is starkly different in most aspects from my younger self - and yet, as I read through the pages, I am consumed with a sense of dejavu that when it comes to relationship struggles - I've been here before, trapped in a recurring theme of failed relationships and working my way back to starting again. I am committed to ending this destructive cycle - As such, this phase of my life stretches beyond a mere notion of self-care, I am focused on my over-all well-being, physical, emotional, psychological, family, career and relationships, intimate and otherwise. As a Community Psychologist whose work centers on working with black women and girls utilizing community psychology principles to foster a healthy self-identity, and self-ownership towards an improved quality of life and empowerment, I find myself front and center of highly charged political and social issues that demand both internal and external examination. Many years ago, when I was writing for an audience (to test my marketing strategies) I conversed with someone who advised me not to disclose that I am a black woman. He said that most of my readers were not black and I would lose readership - not that I cared - and in fact, he was wrong about my readership population - my objective was to see what strategies worked and didn't. Today, that conversation has a different meaning in the context of my career and the legacy I hope to leave - for among the things that one should never compromise, self-identity, acceptance, pride in who one is - completely is high on the list. On a personal front, my evolution comes with raised standards, new boundaries and absolute self-ownership. I am not just a woman - I am a black woman and my lived experiences, rooted in the struggles and triumph of one - plays a seminal role in shaping my past and present. Indeed, I am changed - blissfully, dynamically so - a caterpillar does not remain one for life. To compliment my evolution, I am changing the bIog name from SEXKITTEN to KITTEN - I am not limited - I am a tapestry carved from the totality of all that I am, have been and my continued growth - Wishing everyone a Happy Thanksgiving! Continue reading
Posted Nov 28, 2019 at KITTEN
What does it mean to move on from a breakup? For me it's an honest look at myself - standing naked in front of the mirror and refusing to look away no matter the reflection. It can be countless hours, days, months - for some, years of self-examination asking tough questions and answering them even if the answers are unkind. It's accountability, understanding and forgiveness - being kind and patient with oneself and developing an unshakable trust in ones ability to make sound decisions even after a near fatal mistake. It's knowing that it's ok to sit in ones silence and be at peace - that being alone does not mean lonely and the strength to not be pressured into romantic involvement with anyone for any reason except ones desire. And most importantly, moving on requires emotional, psychological and physical selfishness - to do what's necessary to find peace. For the last 15 years, this website has been a place of refuge where I come to write, edit and delete my way to clarity and healing. My insistence on writing about my relationship with Leo is not about holding on to the past - not self-pity, inability to move on, misery, anger, hatred or any of the things that I've been accused. On the contrary, my insistence comes from the desire to look at us through fresh lens so that I may extract the lessons I need to take into my next phase. It's been a complex time for me - one in which some has regarded my need to step back from dating to focus on self-care as being damaged - my unwillingness to give my body while my mind searches for answers as being detached, cold, lacking - yet I have never been more grounded in self-love and knowing of what is and isn't right for me. Indeed, moving on from a breakup does not look or feel the same for everyone. But it's whatever process one uses to get to a place where she is happy and content with herself and can say absolutely that she is ready for whatever comes next - Continue reading
Posted Nov 26, 2019 at KITTEN
"Loving you and wanting to keep you is a selfish act," Leo told me one day. Things he said to me comes home now and again when I toss one of my many questions to the universe. This, as I journey my way back to a SELF and space that does not try to shake me loose. Undoubtedly, I decide how our end shapes and what follows me into tomorrow - but as one who writes from the heart, and who is perpetually questioning, it's difficult not to whisper into the void, the persistent, nagging question that my pride wants to know, did you ever love me? Well, did you? Mine may be a fool's heart - but I believe he did love me - at some place - in some time - in a way that he perceived love to be - at least I can sell myself that version - it's more palatable than the alternative that he never loved me and nothing about us was real. There were moments when he struggled to leave me it seemed - expressed in a fit, I'm not good for you, that I perceived as dramatics - for that he was good at. Many disagreements, no matter how small, culminated into a storming out and coming back - one more touch - taste - sight - one more time, until I put a stop to it. "Loving you, and wanting to keep you, is a selfish act," he said one day, looking at me - always looking at me in a way that evokes a feeling of being seen. But I didn't know what I was hearing or seeing - and I was in love and had a version of what love was supposed to look like - but what I thought was love may have been the look one gets just before the devouring. Along with all the other possible scenarios, I make peace with them all - on my way to becoming the woman prepared to walk into a man's arms and be vulnerable enough to trust the scent of him - Continue reading
Posted Nov 23, 2019 at KITTEN
"Have enough courage to trust love one more time, and always one more time" __ Maya Angelou Experience has taught me that a heart can be shattered, innocence can be lost, and healing takes time - that love does not, cannot exist in a relationship with someone who lies, cheats, deceives, use, misuse and abuse the relationship - and that a love affair built on a cracked foundation cannot sustain itself. Indeed, love can be a hard lesson learned - that some will take us down dark lonesome roads and leave us to find ourselves and get back home. These relationships can derail a person from love – if not careful – for life. But despite loves sometimes mortal wound, I have learned that a good man’s touch can heal a woman’s broken heart, and re-eenergize a weary spirit. As such, I know never to abandon my quest for true love - that not all men/women are bad – there are those who can love absolutely and wants to be loved absolutely in return. And so, of the many valuable lessons that life has taught me - one is to be patient, tender and forgiving of myself - to understand that some relationships are not meant to last, and to embrace my endings as new beginnings for there is always a next moment and a next love if I do not lose my heart and become cynical. Though I can function on my own perfectly fine, I know that shared intimacy is fundamental to human connectedness – that authentic love fills a home with a special kind of magic and that there is no greater expression of our humanity than a true loving experience. As such, I remain a hopeful romantic open to falling in love time and again, rejecting any notion that love is lost to any bad experience. Continue reading
Posted Jun 13, 2019 at KITTEN
Poets and lyricista throughout time - in sonnets and love songs have tried to tell stories of love. I have learned that love is unique to the giver and receiver. Those of us who has known love knows that love gives freely of itself - that if a relationship feels like a job that we do not want to do, we are in the wrong relationship for love is effortless - it cannot be caged or controlled - it is the kind of thing that grows with age and defies time - that makes two people love through all the pain and disappointments that life brings their way because they know each other from the inside out - and knows that they are better together than alone. Indeed, some love affairs can only be explained in prose. Sometimes one cannot explain what or why they feel what they feel - Continue reading
Posted Jun 9, 2019 at KITTEN
Marriage from Leo lasted less than a year. Now one year, six months since I left, I am still too wounded to get genuinely close to anyone new. Sometimes love takes us down a lonely road and leaves us to stranded in the desert. Getting back home to self can be a long, dusty journey. However, I am careful not to blame Leo entirely for my current condition. The healing process requires honest and thorough self-analysis and accountability. I am not without blame. I willingly got involved and marry Leo. As easy as it would be to blame his mental illness, lies betrayal and ghost-like disappearance that left me grasping for reason and answers to us - I chose him to be my partner and must first understand and take responsibility for choosing him as my partner to prevent a re-occurence. The question I ask myself is not why he hurt me - rather, I want to know the fundamental reasons that drove my decision to get involved and marry him. It is also my responsibility to control the effect and my recovery. I tell myself that it was not love that left me wounded - it was Leo's madness - that love is healing and loss is defining. I have learned to pick myself up, build new bridges, lay a new foundation and construct new walls. Continue reading
Posted Jun 9, 2019 at KITTEN
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I wrote the post, The One Trick Pony about CX in 2012. A line from that post read, "Now that I know what CX is, there is no mystery about the last nine years. And there is no mystery about the future. I promise you, there are more court battles on the horizon. I can guarantee that CX is still going around smearing my name to anyone who will listen to him. I can guarantee that he always will." I did not speak to CX for about seven years after the senseless, distorted, control-driven custody battle that shattered our small family. When I filed a racial discrimination and retaliation complaint against VERIZON, a case that reached both the EEOC and the IDHR, I was worried about Caesar and mentioned the situation to CX who is a practicing employment lawyer. He said that he would help me. For a brief moment, I allowed myself to forget the horrific lies he told about me and his all-out attempt to destroy my life years ago. To win custody, he had to demonize me - and CX assassinated my character. I made myself forget because I forgave him and could not imagine any ill feeling remaining between us. Caesar is sixteen years old now. What was there to fight about? Surely, the past was the past - that's what I thought. I went on to earn my PhD in community psychology and he attended my graduation. When my marriage to Leo ended, he helped me move and even offered to help with my divorce. When Thor got in legal trouble, he said that he would help him. When my father died, he came to the funeral. He posed for pictures with my family. By all outward appearances, it appeared that we had forged a new chapter. I was wrong.It has become clear that CX had no intention of helping me. CX sure reminded me that he IS and always will be - a one trick pony. Continue reading
Posted Oct 6, 2018 at KITTEN
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There is a bit of shame in those moments when I allow myself to feel the missing - like the questions I ask that I know will never be answered, such as, "Did you ever love me?" I cannot conceive of a moment in this lifetime, that Leo could look at me again. And yet, I doubt that I will ever forget the drifter who shattered my heart and fed the pieces to the wind. Perhaps that is the essence of what will make us unforgettable - like a lesson carved into a magnet sticks to ones refrigerator as a constant reminder. But that's okay. I've picked myself up - and I am laying a new foundation and constructing new walls. "It's possible to lose something you never had; you can't convince my heart otherwise," - Leo Kristopher - Continue reading
Posted Oct 1, 2018 at KITTEN