Beyond Black & White » Black Women’s Improvement Project (BWIP) http://www.beyondblackwhite.com Chronicles, Musings and Debates about Interracial & Intercultural Relationships Sun, 21 Dec 2014 06:35:55 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0.1 The Critics are Right. I AM “Crazy.” http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/critics-right-crazy/ http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/critics-right-crazy/#comments Sat, 20 Dec 2014 23:45:37 +0000 http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/?p=35377 I don’t always play well with others. I am occasionally prone to outbursts. Doesn’t happen often, but when it does, it’s kinda epic. I feel things very deeply. I am nurturing and creative. I am generous and sometimes impulsive. Some people call that crazy.   And…I guess it is.       During college, I […]

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I don’t always play well with others. I am occasionally prone to outbursts. Doesn’t happen often, but when it does, it’s kinda epic. I feel things very deeply. I am nurturing and creative. I am generous and sometimes impulsive.

Some people call that crazy.

 

And…I guess it is.

broken

 

 

 

During college, I was diagnosed with General Anxiety Disorder (GAD). It’s is defined as” a mental health condition in which a person is often worried or anxious about many things and finds it hard to control this anxiety.” Sometimes you have panic attacks. Sometimes the worry becomes so intense you develop heart palpitations that make you think you’re going to have a heart attack. Sometimes you get so depressed that you might sleep an entire weekend anyway. Anything might make you cry. Your bowels may betray you when you’re scared. You will need something for sleep, if you want to get any when you’re going through a bout of anxiety. Sometimes, life events can trigger feelings of deep pain from the past, that manifests in the present. My weak spot is criticism. When I was growing up, making a mistake meant you were “possessed by the devil,” or that you “would never grow up to be anything,” or that everybody else’s kid was better than you.

People will judge you. Folks will tell you to just get over it. Others will tell you that you need Jesus. Some will poke fun of you and make jokes, because your faults make them feel superior. “I may be “X,” but at least I’m not CRAZY like Christelyn!” *cue gales of laughter and tee-hees*

My condition most likely originated in childhood, being raised by a woman who had an undiagnosed mental disorder herself. She yelled. She whipped me. I still feel the soft, puffy flesh on the back of my leg when she pushed me against the piano stool with a broken hinge that split the upper section of my calf open because I didn’t practice my lessons to her satisfaction. She told me she hated me. She told me I was a slut before I’d ever had sex. During one of her outbursts, she accused my father of having sex with me because he deigned to defend me. But she wasn’t always that way. Sometimes she was loving and generous. I remember her beautiful alto voice as she sang to me at bedtime. She always smelled like powder and flowers. I remember loving to tuck my head into her chest as she hummed and rocked me. She was both loving and cruel in equal and unpredictable doses. I would never know what made her happy and what would anger her, which most likely, led to a rewiring of my brain. Because I would learn later, is that the worst thing a parent can do to their child is to be completely unpredictable. The genetic groundwork was already there, but my mother’s version of “nurturing” brought the condition to fruition.

My GAD is as much a part of me as my arm, finger, or foot. I will most likely have to be on medication for the rest of my life to manage most of the symptoms. Not surprisingly, my mother and brother disapprove of this, and tell me I just need to pray more and read the bible. However, my husband, in-laws, and extended family have accepted my condition without judgement, and understand that this illness is just as real as cancer, diabetes, or high blood pressure. And surprisingly, I have reduced my risk of acquiring the above disorders because I had people around me who cared enough to encourage me to seek help, not with scorn or airs of superiority, but out of genuine love. You see, there are lots of people in the black community who like to throw around the word “crazy” or even try to be some sort of arm-chair therapists and spit out diagnoses like they know what they’re talking about. And often, these are these same “perfect” people who bury their pain with food and subsequently battle with obesity, are chronically uncoupled and unable to form lasting attachments, job hop, have no financial stability, no husband, no wife, NOBODY, but think they are SUPERIOR to you because HEY! at least they’re not “crazy” like you, right?

People think that they insult me by calling me “crazy,” and that’s okay. Because my brand of “crazy” means that I’m sensitive and highly creative, bold, daring, and empathetic. My brand of “crazy” touches people. Yes; you can hurt me. Yes; you can make me cry. But you will not KILL my spirit. I’ve got my Zoloft. But you have your Twinkies. I have my husband and family, you have your vibrator and bad reality television. I have my garden, and you have your cigarettes. I have my wine sippy cup and you have your spending addiction and credit card debt.

And as an alarming number of high-profile black women are committing suicide because there is so much pressure on us to “keep it together” and “hold it down,” I’m so grateful that I live amongst people who accept the full spectrum of my humanity. We all gotta deal with pain, but I prefer to deal with it head on in healthy ways, like medication, counseling, good nutrition, yoga, and a good bottle of red wine. You will not shame me for my “crazy.” Because my “crazy” is changing the world. And this “crazy” broad wouldn’t change a single thing about herself. I love me, warts and all.

If you think you might be suffering from a mental health disorder and want to talk about it in private, feel free to email me. I’ll try to help as best I can and of course, keep you anonymous. Christelyn@BeyondBlackWhite.com.

UPDATE: In a matter of two hours from this article’s publication, my inbox is full of people who are also suffering from these challenges. If you’re a paid member of the forum and would like to share your story, I’ve started a thread over there. Posting is private. However, I suggest you not use your full names.

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New Book Presentation: Change Your Mind Change Your Destiny http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/new-book-presentation-change-mind-change-destiny/ http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/new-book-presentation-change-mind-change-destiny/#comments Fri, 12 Dec 2014 02:48:35 +0000 http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/?p=35133 Change Your Mind Change Your Destiny  by Lakisha A. Watson-Moore          Unlike other books written for Black women, “Change Your Mind, Change Your Destiny” does not tell Black women that they are supposed to be miserable. It does not talk down to Black women or tell Black women what they are doing […]

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BOOKCOVER5

Change Your Mind Change Your Destiny 

by

Lakisha A. Watson-Moore

 

       Unlike other books written for Black women, “Change Your Mind, Change Your Destiny” does not tell Black women that they are supposed to be miserable. It does not talk down to Black women or tell Black women what they are doing wrong. “Change Your Mind, Change Your Destiny” is about Black women living the life they are destined to live – a successful and fulfilling life. Like the popular Bougie Black Girl blog, “Change Your Mind, Change Your Destiny” is direct and to the point. Using her life as an example, the author gives step-by-step ways on how to create goals and use concrete plans to achieve them. If any Black woman wants to change her mind and her destiny within a short period of time, this book is for her.

 

 

Book Excerpt:

Let me show you how beautiful you are

People often say that “beauty is in the eye of the beholder”, and I say that the most liberating thing about beauty is realizing that you are the beholder. This empowers us to find beauty in places where others have not dared to look, including inside ourselves.” – Salma Hayek

Growing up, I didn’t think I was beautiful. There were times when I couldn’t even look at myself in the mirror. I had internalized years of being in a negative environment and hearing negative words. I believed every word others said about me. I was told my hair was too nappy, my lips were too big, my ass was too small and of course I was too poor! I am sure you heard it too. Someone told me that I wasn’t smart. Luckily, I knew that was a lie! Sadly, my self-esteem depended on the approval of others. It changed when I saw how awesome I was. Very few people know that even though I am confident today, I overcame tremendous odds to get here. When I realized how far had I come, I shocked myself. I went from being homeless to joining the military and then attending college. Take a look at my background. Statistics show I should have either been dead or stripping but I decided to take ownership of my life. Today, it feels good to look in the mirror and

see that I am beautiful on the inside and out. If I can see how beautiful I am, you should see how beautiful you are too. I am here to tell you that you are beautiful in every single way. Let me show you the beauty I see in you.”

 

 

Biography:unnamed

Lakisha A. Watson-Moore is the blogger at www.BougieBlackGirl.com. She is also a wife, mom, veteran, entrepreneur and public speaker. Known for her advocacy of Black women and her unique entrepreneurial and pop culture take – Lakisha’s blog posts and commentary have been featured on numerous online publications and read world-wide.

Prior to blogging, she was the first African American and woman chair of the Young Democrats of America Veteran’s Caucus. She has advocated for various political organizations, was a political activist for over ten years and was featured in The White House Project and Participant Media’s summit TakePart Series: Women Who Rock. Lakisha’s blog www.BougieBlackGirl.com was the 2014 winner of the “Black Weblog Award for Best Business Blog.” She proudly boasts that her blog audience is 85% Black women. The Bougie Black Girl Forum will up on January 1, 2015; she is currently in the process of writing two more books and is working on a possible documentary, date TBD.

 

Website:  www.BougieBlackGirl.com

Change Your Mind Change Your Destiny Worksheets:  http://bougieblackgirl.com/change-mind-change-destiny-lifestyle-blueprint-strategic-black-woman-wants-win-master-life/

 

 

Purchase: Lakisha’s book “Change Your Mind, Change Your Destiny: The lifestyle blueprint for the strategic Black woman who wants to win and master her life” is sold exclusively on Amazon.com.

http://www.amazon.com/Change-Your-Mind-Destiny-lifestyle-ebook/dp/B00Q7QPDRQ

I wrote this book and have my blog because I am motivated by my love for black women. Black women raised me and gave me life. Without Black women saving me, I would not be here. To honor their work and legacy, I choose to uplift, support and love my sisters and my book, “Change Your Mind, Change Your Destiny” does just that.

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Obesity Wins Again. My Half-Sister Is Dying. http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/obesity-wins-half-sister-dying/ http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/obesity-wins-half-sister-dying/#comments Wed, 19 Nov 2014 04:45:53 +0000 http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/?p=34754 People often wonder why I cover the minefield that is black women and obesity. It stems from experience, watching my mother and half-sister eat, and eat, and eat themselves literally to the brink of death. I’ve lived my life modeling for myself and others the exact opposite of what I witnessed, because I saw how […]

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People often wonder why I cover the minefield that is black women and obesity.

fat ladies on the beach

It stems from experience, watching my mother and half-sister eat, and eat, and eat themselves literally to the brink of death. I’ve lived my life modeling for myself and others the exact opposite of what I witnessed, because I saw how the effects of bad eating habits–diabetes, high blood pressure, stroke, aching joints and proclivity to cancer–was something I was going to try and prevent.

I’m writing today because I just learned that my half-sister has terminal liver cancer. They give her three months to live.

My sister has always been defiant about her eating habits despite our father constantly lecturing her. She told me once that she knew everyone thought she needs to take a good look at her weight, but continued to abuse her body because it was a culinary “fuck you.” Nobody would make her adjust what went into her mouth. It was about control and a way to stick it to my father. My sister deeply resented my father’s lectures about how she was wasting her life

So now, she’s experiencing the consequences of how her thought process only served to hurt her. If that weren’t enough, she indoctrinated my niece to adopt the same poor eating habits, and she is also about 150 pounds overweight.

It’s so hard seeing my sister in this condition. The last time I saw her, after her first surgery to repair the damage of her obesity, and she just looked at me and cried. She knew. She knows.

But now, it’s too late.

So guess what? I’m going to KEEP talking about how obesity and horrible eating habits are killing us, whether folks who want to claim I’m fat shaming or not.

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On Vetting: Dump Toxic People Who Prefer You to Sustain Unhealthy Habits http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/vetting-dump-toxic-people-prefer-sustain-unhealthy-habits/ http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/vetting-dump-toxic-people-prefer-sustain-unhealthy-habits/#comments Thu, 30 Oct 2014 05:23:12 +0000 http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/?p=34421 I ran across a news story about a woman who lost 150 pounds of extra weight who had to also end an engagement with a man who would rather see her morbidly obese for his own fetishizing and pleasure than to keep the weight so she could save her life. Eve Parker told the Huffington […]

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I ran across a news story about a woman who lost 150 pounds of extra weight who had to also end an engagement with a man who would rather see her morbidly obese for his own fetishizing and pleasure than to keep the weight so she could save her life.

Eve Parker told the Huffington Post, There was always this inner conflict of the very thing that was killing me — giving me the sleep apnea, my blood pressure was 200 over 100 — the very thing that was keeping me so unhealthy was the very thing giving me the one thing I wanted, which was love and acceptance from a man.” It was when Parker’s doctor informed her that she “may not live to be 40″ that she knew she had to make a change, even if it meant breaking up with the man she loved.


Young black woman showing her  hands palm - African people

Ladies, run far from ANYONE whose love is contingent on your maintaining dangerous habits that can lead to your destruction or diminishment. And this isn’t just about the people around you who are invested in keeping you obese and risking your life. It could also be that man who insists on not wearing a condom. Or a girlfriend who is more comfortable with your dating bums and thugs like she is. Is could also be that aunt or cousin who pokes fun or your healthy eating habit. These people are selfish and care more about their own comfort and pleasure than they care for you.

Keep them away. Very, very far away.

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Listen Ladies! If You’re Going to Complain About How “Black Men Hate You” While Scoffing at Expanding Your Options…Then You’re Just Begging. http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/listen-ladies-youre-going-complain-black-men-hate-scoffing-expanding-options-youre-just-begging/ http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/listen-ladies-youre-going-complain-black-men-hate-scoffing-expanding-options-youre-just-begging/#comments Tue, 21 Oct 2014 16:30:39 +0000 http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/?p=34092 I wasn’t going to write about it. I wasn’t. I saw the article on the Huffington Post  like everyone else; about the woman who bemoaned out loud to mainstream America what many of us have picked up on for quite some time–there’s more than a few black men out there that aren’t too fond of […]

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I wasn’t going to write about it.

I wasn’t.

I saw the article on the Huffington Post  like everyone else; about the woman who bemoaned out loud to mainstream America what many of us have picked up on for quite some time–there’s more than a few black men out there that aren’t too fond of black women, and that’s putting it VERY kindly.

On one hand, I thought the article published in such a highly circulated blog might be a positive thing, because it seems as if more black women are FINALLY beginning to ask the right questions.

But here’s where articles like this fall flat and makes black women look like pathetic beggars asking for stinky leftovers: When you acknowledge the problem (widespread disrespect, lack of reciprocity, wholesale rejection based on hue and hair texture hierarchy) and then STILL remain resistant about expanding your dating options with men of other races not shackled with all that self-hating baggage, proclaiming despite spittle running down your face that “You love the brothers and no one else will do!!!” then…you kind of look like an idiot. Worse; the men you so ardently proclaim you love lose what little respect they have left for you, because you’re basically saying that these men can do WHATEVER they want to you, and no matter what, you will STILL love them. *In my Dr. Phil voice, “How’s that working out for you?!”* Your martyrdom won’t make the men who’ve decided that you’re the most disgusting women on the planet change their minds. It only opens you up to further exploitation, draining of your time, and the destruction of your spirit.

annoyed-black-woman

More black women need to have this attitude:

Complaining, whining and bemoaning your station while stubbornly refusing to implement your own agency to change your inferior position (the beggar, not the begged for) is not showing yourself love. You were not put on this earth to be at the service of men who spit and shit on you while patting you on the head and use you as a jizz receptacle. You are MORE than that. You deserve BETTER than that. Could it mean a white man can give you better? Maybe. Could it mean an Asian man could give you better? Maybe. Could it mean a Hispanic man, or an Indian man, or an Eskimo could treat you better? YOU’LL NEVER KNOW, WILL YOU, IF YOU KEEP TURNING THEM DOWN FOR MEN WHO DON’T WANT YOU!!

So for the people who will come in here to proclaim that I hate black men for pointing out that water is wet and the sky is blue, just know I don’t hate you. I just love black women more than you do.

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Live Tweeting from Ferguson; But Is @Jack Dorsey a Potential Ally for Black Women? http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/is-jack-dorsey-ally-for-black-women/ http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/is-jack-dorsey-ally-for-black-women/#comments Fri, 29 Aug 2014 11:33:49 +0000 http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/?p=32834 By Dani What does Jack Dorsey’s recent presence in Ferguson, Missouri mean? Inquiring minds on the left and right went abuzz as Jack Dorsey, the prolific founder of Twitter and Square, was live tweeting from Ferguson, Missouri for nearly two weeks. Apparently he was raised in the City of St. Louis, not far at all […]

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By Dani

DorseyJackTEDetroit

What does Jack Dorsey’s recent presence in Ferguson, Missouri mean? Inquiring minds on the left and right went abuzz as Jack Dorsey, the prolific founder of Twitter and Square, was live tweeting from Ferguson, Missouri for nearly two weeks. Apparently he was raised in the City of St. Louis, not far at all from Ferguson:

Jack STL

Conservatives grumble that he’s just the latest rich Silicon Valley liberal (with a platform) to jump on board a do-gooder cause , whereas liberals see his presence as validation of the impact social media can bring for participants and followers of social movements.

Yet, I see something different entirely. I see an innovator (granted, possibly with political aspirations), willing to jump onto the front line to document the chaos transpiring a few miles from his childhood home. Whereas perennial black vote beggar Hillary Clinton took over two weeks to even mention Ferguson. When I think about Square transforming the lives of millions of small business owners (about 900,000 small business are owned by black women) and all of the awareness “Black Twitter” brought to the Renisha McBride and Teleka Patrick cases, I wonder what other inventions Jack Dorsey might dream up that could better the lives of black women.

I see a risk taker and wonder, “is he a potential ally?” In looking at an ancient list of the top concerns facing black women, I wonder where his innovative mind could be useful. Are there areas he might make a worthy partner?

While of course black women should not be looking to saviors to solve our concerns, sometimes it is helpful to get an outside perspective. Sometimes I worry that our black organizations focus too much on recognizing success or past ghosts and aren’t doing enough brainstorming to generate new solutions to solve the now generations-old problems plaguing our communities. Are disruptors, futurists or proven innovators ever brought in to help generate fresh ideas that do not rely on the government? There are so many exercises we regularly undertake in Corporate America to create our next product, service or ad campaign that I would love to apply to black women.

So let’s sound off in the comments. What are the top three ills you believe black girls and/or women face today? What new ideas should be explored to resolve them? And, how can technology help?

Jack, if you’re reading, the door is open.

 

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