Scared. Unsure. And insecure ideas crossed my mind on a daily basis.  Needless to say, I didn’t feel like myself.  The woman I knew only a few years ago was gone.  Only coming out in sporadic intervals within a week.  How was I going to get back to me? Where had Marti gone and why had she abandoned me? Along with everything else going on – this had become a necessary emergency.

There were days when I would be on top of the world. Life was good on the outside.  But something on the inside wasn’t quite right.  I was experiencing drastic mood swings, my patience was none existent, tears appeared from some foreign origin and I was basically staying in the house.  This certainly wasn’t in my character.  I was attempting to talk through this with friends. But when you’re a strong person, I’m sure you can understand how difficult this can be especially when everyone is counting on you to be their ray of sunshine, silver lining, and positivity.  So, that release that I was looking for I wasn’t getting.  I tried some of my regular coping methods and those only proved to help for a moment.  I tried ‘going into myself’ (this normally helps me recharge and recalibrate), writing my thoughts down and focusing on the big events of The Kid’s senior year of high school. But you probably guessed it – none of those worked either.  I had to get out of this funk. Strength

After some serious deliberation, I decided to contact a therapist for help.  My health was the main reason I sought out professional help considering the events of 2016.  Now, I’m sure you know/heard/read about the stigma of seeking mental health services in the Black community. “We don’t need professional help, that’s for white people, it’s a waste of money or pray about it.” These are some of the reasons they give for not getting help. Well, this was my response – I’m part caucasian with a little extra cash whose prayed about this and seeking professional help.  I was tired of feeling this way and I had to do something about it and Castlight was there to assist me.

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You can imagine the way I rejoiced during this scene from Insecure.

After finding the perfect fit for me (and that was determined by the tone of her voice when I spoke with her over the phone), I made an appointment.  Was I scared? Simple answer – Yes. As I walked into her office I noticed, there was no stereotypical chaise to help me relax and bare my soul, a few pieces of art to catch the eye and 2 red leather chairs positioned across from each other. Taking a seat was probably one of the best decisions I’ve ever made in my life.  In the first session, we identified several areas within my being that I had never acknowledged or even knew about. At the end of the session, she gave a “prescription.”  This wasn’t medicine in the literal sense.  These were the things I needed to do before I saw her again to get my ideas and thoughts lined up to assist with my healing/treatment.  Before I walked out the door we scheduled my next appointment.

With every passing interaction, I could feel myself getting better.  It was beyond psychological.  I was rediscovering myself all over again.  They say “7 is the number of completion” and the last time I went looking for me was exactly 7 years ago.  I was in mourning.  A bereavement period for the younger Marti. The stoic, idgaf, social introvert, let’s have a good time, solo travel, football mom Marti.  Changes were happening all around me and I had to accept my place in all of it.  My kid was an adult to a point and I was anxious about his next steps.  There was a lot of movement going on at work.  I felt stuck due to aging parents.  I’m technically being given a 2nd wind.  My relationships weren’t the same. I needed to find and do the things a more mature Marti wanted to do.  And due to me not wanting to hurt any feelings, be viewed as selfish or revert back to the person I was 7 years ago, I was mentally fighting everything.  My worth was being re-evaluated.  New Marti needed me to love her as much as I loved the one from days gone.

I started to slow down and process/unpack things more carefully.  What I didn’t realize was I wasn’t letting go of everything.  Some traits, behaviors, and ideas would remain while others faded and that’s okay.  I was still in here I just had to embrace the new me in all its entirety. Honestly, I have noticed a change in myself since the therapy began. I’m not afraid of my thoughts and sharing them (even if that means I need to finesse the delivery.)

I went back and forth about posting this but I said: “wth this is my life.” Maybe my journey will help someone seek out the help they feel they need. Within this post, you will find a few links with additional information. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out.

The year was 1999.  I was 19 and in April of that year I was given the charge of being a mother to a boy – a black boy.  In my efforts to raise him, I vowed never to let my single-parent status hinder me from being a support system for the kid.  His father, who cut out soon after due to another birth and a decision I had to make has been figuratively present.  In his absence, I ran to my brother for help and that was working out okay until this year.

I’ve told you all about some of our struggles and triumphs in high school so far.  As I’m preparing to close the bojrok on this chapter of his education.  A portion of my support system has been broken.  In February, we learned that his dad would be required to serve 2 years with the Michigan Corrections.  This is due to his involvement with illegal drugs.  My son got the news from friends at school that know his dad.  A hard blow to get during a time when your mind should be focused on your learning.  No matter how much he hasn’t been involved in this kid’s life, he still loves him because that’s his father.  When he came home to me, the 1st thing he said was “he’s not going to see me graduate high school.”  I didn’t realize that was a big deal to him.  In turn he started going to my brother and talking to the Mista more.  I felt comforted because he still had a few men he felt confident he could talk to when he has questions.  He has a few more uncles and grandpas but these were his go to people.

A few weeks ago, we learned that my brother will be away from the next 6 years in the MDOC – you know the reason.  Another blow to the structure I had in place to support me as I try to encourage him to go on and be great.  It seems like my son shutdown after getting this news.  Now, his favorite uncle wasn’t goGZing to see him move on in life after high school.  He has went to see him a few times but I can tell the change in his attitude.  You know us women, we like to talk but he hasn’t wanted to open up about his feelings on either of these situations.  I have overheard him talking with his friends on the phone about being disappointed and not wanting to let them down.  He still has the Mista, but at this point, I think our situation isn’t permanent enough for him to trust another man right now.  I see him trying to figure life out on his own.

This whole ordeal is working on me and all I am able to do is educate myself on how I can assist him during this time.  It’s not going to be easy but here is what I’ve discovered so far that semi-mirror my story and offered me advice:

He has found a few people to look up to through his football team.  All I can do is hope, pray and help him get through these next couple months and his senior year.  I have a few people in my network that have offered to sit down and talk with him.  In the meantime, I’ll keep you all posted. Moreover, I really just didn’t need this to happen at this time.

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Press play 1st….

If you could see my face some days in person, you would have known. I’m what some might call glowing, blushing all the time and even more tolerable! (Major side eye because that last comment came from my sister, Shawn) I don’t feel any different until I’m in his presence. This can be on the phone, via text or in person. He has a way of making me feel like I’m 17 again and I like it! To be totally honest with you. I didn’t even see him coming my way. But I want you to look at this tweet I posted over 2 years ago:

stoical127.jpgI’ll just say The Lord answered my simple prayer and opened my heart to receive his blessing. After making the international announcement that I was ready for a relationship a few new candidates came my way. To be frank I really wasn’t interested. I was just going through the motions. Then I made peace with my decision and began focusing on Marti.

Do you want to hear an ironic story? I know you do! He called one day after work and said he was on his way to see me. I smiled. When he pulled up in the driveway. I was suppose to be pulling out to go on a meaningless date with some man I made plans to meet. We sat there talking and laughing into the night. I never even called the guy to tell him I wasn’t going to make it-EVER. It’s mean to me because when he arrived. I altered my previous plan without hesitation even failing to call the fella out of common decency. My mother raised me better than that! 😀 If I ever see him again, I’m prepared for whatever he may have to say. I would have been pissed if someone did that to me. However, what’s his name never crossed my mind after my heart steadied its pace after beating like the drummer in a rock band. It seems as though my heart was ahead of me in this matter. I needed to catch up or stop running from my emotions. I’ll tell you I haven’t entertained the thought of being in another man’s presence since that day. As I walked away from him that evening he asked a peculiar question, “why is your skin glowing like that?” My response was black girl smart with a touch of sincerity. I said “I’m an angel!” He looked at me. I blurted out something else on the line of me using black soap. It wasn’t until I felt safe that I spoke my truth by answering with “I’m glad to see you.”

Its been a few months. I’m learning to soften my rough exterior and allow him to experience (it seems like there is no way to say this without it being taken out of context) a more caring nurturing side of myself. I don’t want to jump to conclusions or pull the cart before the horse. I’m taking it one day at a time. Let me enjoy myself!

On our last visit I felt the words come together to give life to my feelings but I stopped them. I shy away every time I want to tell him I love you because it always seems like the wrong time. What’s that saying? “There’s no wrong time to do the right thing.

Wish me luck or pass me some courage! 😉