Blooming Above Domestic Violence


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Welcome back Conglomerates! Today, we have another brave & courageous Guest Inspiration, Tejal, who opted to share her testimony with us as a domestic violence survivor. Despite what her story looks like she exudes self-love & loves the skin she is in. She is forthcoming with her story to remind others that they are not alone & survival can be accomplished. It is with much gratitude, appreciation & respect that I present to you today, Conglomerate Tejal…

Hello my name is Tejal also known as the makeup artist, lifestyle blogger, @brightdollface & writer of BloomingKiss Poetry, @bloomingkisspoetry. I recently ended my eleven year relationship with my ex-fiancé about two years ago. I was twenty-five years old at the time. I met him while I was dealing with my parent’s situation at home with domestic violence (D.V.).  I came from a household of alcohol not drugs. When I met him; he was seventeen years old & I started dating him at the age of fourteen. I decided to share my testimony as a domestic violence survivor because I know this will resonate with someone, somewhere.

When we began our relationship I recognized that he would smoke cigarettes but I did not know of his drinking nor of him smoking marijuana. I was never exposed to drugs so I was naive & was not able to comprehend the use of substances or the consequences other than alcohol. When I began to notice his heavy drinking and marijuana use, I became upset & told him he needed to stop using. I realized it was a coping mechanism for him to deal with his life issues — being an undocumented immigrant without hardly any family here & helping his family back in Honduras, Central America.

In the first couple years of our relationship, he was sweet & kind. But then he began to use cocaine, which I did not realize until later on when we moved from his father’s apartment to our own; in the next building over. I began to notice he became angrier & aggressive but I questioned why if I did nothing but help both of us out. I remember one night he became so angry, he must have been high; all I could recall was being on the floor in my kitchen crying with him on top of me. He hit me & the next day he apologized. I blacked out in that instant. I sustained an injury by him. My neighbors overheard & they wanted to call the police but I did not want to because he was undocumented & I did not want to see him deported. I forgave him because I loved him & I could not go back home to the situation with my parents.

As we moved back to his father’s, I could see that something had changed in him for the worse. This was when I was almost finished with my bachelor’s degree in 2013. I could tell he was using a stronger substance. Subsequently, I then noticed he would be out late for hours & I assumed he was cheating. He confessed one night & told me he was not cheating; he was addicted to Crack Cocaine. He then lost his job as a Baker & was out of work for two years. I graduated from College with my Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology & minor in Sociology in 2013, despite the struggles & issues I faced overall in life –at home & in our relationship, but most of all throughout all the abuse I succumbed. I obtained a fulltime job in social services as a Case Planner in New York City at a foster care agency. I was able to remain resilient despite being verbally, physically mentally & emotionally abused. It became harder & harder to leave him.

I maintained us both for those two years until I decided to leave one night. He had hit me so hard while I fought back because he tried to steal my cellphone, once again, to pawn it like he did my engagement ring, my jewelry my father gave me, tablets I had to purchase multiple times & my computer I needed while in Grad School, etc. I had family support & left to my other father’s home in Queens. I remained there until I obtained my own apartment in Jersey. Throughout his addiction in the last four to five years of our relationship, the first two years were the worst, it felt as if I was in hell, literally. He would take my cards, my money, steal my phone, tell me drug dealers were trying to kill him if he did not pay. I did not know how the streets functioned regarding drugs so, I believed him. I lost so much money but I lost him the day he began addicted to crack & I lost him even before as he transitioned from alcohol to marijuana to cocaine and to crack.

But my life was more important to me than losing him. I had lost myself so deep over the years. I hated who I had become. I was angry & I had hurt myself by overeating. I believed every word he would tell me. I was angry that I was abandoned by my parents & had to fend for myself. I entered such a toxic relationship after leaving a toxic home where I needed the love directly from my parents & no one else. I ended our relationship so many times. I moved away & he moved with me to the new apartment & so forth, but this time it was for good. I enabled him so much & I relied on his presence. I became so co-dependent on him which resulted by him always manipulating me, even when it came to my friends & family by making me think they did not care for me. It took time to heal. It took everything to fight to be here today, to love myself whole heartedly, to love who I am & not be ashamed (because boy, oh, boy, was I ashamed of myself for staying in this relationship). I was ashamed of being a domestic violence victim like my mother who stayed with my father until he passed away 7 years ago due to his alcoholism.

I broke the cycle & I say that with so much courage & bravery. It took me to unlearn everything I became & all the negative learned behaviors & thoughts to be here today. I was in therapy during & after leaving the eleven year relationship. My support system–  my previous supervisors, friends & family would tell me to leave. I tried but I thought he would change for us & for him but he could not. He had me believe he would but he never did. He tried, we went to Narcotics Anonymous groups but he stopped attending. He believed he could become sober on his own but he just could not. I had to become “sick & tired of being sick & tired” of hurting myself & staying in that relationship.

It took so much strength that I had to find within me & my faith in God. I prayed every night for strength to continue on. I felt so trapped. And here I am. Tejal, shining bright. Using her voice to tell her testimony to remind you all that YOU CAN OVERCOME. I believe in you! Understand that it will take time to heal. You must put the work in for YOU because at the end of the day, this is for YOU. Leaving a domestic violence situation is never easy but know you have support even if you feel alone. Trust, I felt so alone especially because I hardly have family that are not toxic.

So if you feel alone, please contact your local precinct or the National Domestic Violence Hotline 1−800−799−7233 or TTY 1−800−787−3224. Please know, you are important, loved & not alone. I use to think this only happened to me until I met a woman in Graduate school who also went through the same as I did, as a domestic violence survivor. My nurse at my clinic also disclosed that she too, was/is a domestic violence survivor. As I began to speak up & tell my story,  I no longer felt alone.

Today I stand before you as Tejal, a recent graduate with my Masters Degree in Social Work from Rutgers University, graduating class of 2018. Living & breathing in peace. and No longer living in chaos, as well as,  loving myself so much harder each every day than ever before.

Love & Light to you all, beautiful souls

XOXO.

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“Leaving a domestic violence relationship is never easy but know you have support, even if you feel alone… You are important & loved” – Tejal Parekh

“Snipping” it in The Bud

Gold scissorsHappy Sunday Conglomerates. Today I am excited to announce that we have another guest inspiration, Lashonda Simpson, who took the time to write for us today. She was severely intimidated to write this memoir but put what she believed to be her limitations to the side to share with us. She is another amazing individual who believes in the Nickkie&CO.’s motive to empower, uplift & push women to their maximum potential. She has been a constant supporter & an advocate for valuing our self worth & addressing things that may threaten it.

Good morning Conglomerates! Today’s topic is on “nipping things in the bud”. Some people, including myself, depending on the situation, allow things to bother them and effect their day wondering how or if they should have responded differently to something that has occurred to them earlier. When things are not dealt with immediately they have the potential to linger. Nipping things in the bud is the requirement to face & deal with things right then and there. This keeps things from boiling over & nagging you until you are over consumed by it. Being over consumed by something keeps you from dealing with things more deserving of your time.

This concept or mentality can pertain and be used in your everyday life. For instance, day-to-day responsibilities such as paying a bill above your current means can be addressed with the same approach. Instead of putting the situation off until the last minute and not paying it, nipping the situation in the bud would be contacting the company to set up a payment arrangement that does not overwhelm you. Dealing with it directly, you do not have to worry about paying a large amount of money that you did not budget for or deal with harassing phone calls from the company or collection agencies. Dealing with these situations directly eliminates unnecessary stress.

Other, more common scenarios, include verbal and physical communication with other people that you may or may not agree with. There are instances when people will say or do things that offend us and we opt not to rebuttal under the pretense that “that is just the way they are” but the error in not dealing with the matter at the time gives them permission to continue with offensive behavior. When people are out of line and we allow them to continue with the behavior, we send the message that they should feel comfortable being rude to us. No one should feel comfortable being rude to us. Therefore, we must nip it in the bud.

This can be done in a way that is not rude or aggressive but expresses to them that they have offended you & you should be respected. Dealing with it keeps from continuous behavior & avoids the build up. Also, in this, it is not anyone’s place to tell you that their behavior was not offensive. Whether it was intentional or not, how you feel is how you feel. If you feeloffended it is your right to feel that way. If you are uncomfortable with their behavior; deal with it. I have been there myself. I have allowed individuals to say anything to me and I have really let it to bother me. As I have gotten older, I have leaned how to express how I feel at that very moment and I have felt good about doing it right then and there.

So if we practice nipping these situations in the bud, we will have more energy and time to devote to the joys and excitements in our lives. When we allow things to linger over us, we become consumed with stress that keeps us from enjoying all the beauty that life has to offer us. Though addressing certain situations may appear intimidating, no one wants to deal with them days, weeks, months or years down the line. That is a long time to allow something to manifest when other things can be explored or experienced within that time span. Whether it is a bill or an interaction with another individual, as women there are an array of things we face on a daily basis that could be eliminated if we deal with them directly. Officially, in pursuit of advocating on our self worth, we should keep this in mind. Use the extra time and energy toward something more deserving because we face too many situations when we are not heard nipping things in the bud should not be one of them.

 

XO.

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Shonda
“It is not anyone’s place to tell you that their behavior was not offensive. Whether it was intentional or not, how you feel is how you feel. If you felt offended it is your right to feel that way”. -Lashonda

Daddy’s Little Girl

Father’s Day is today & I will be honest enough to tell you that until recently I really did not know how to celebrate Father’s Day. Aside from buying my mother a card & a small gift or wishing my uncles a Happy Father’s Day; I never thought much more about the day because it never has had much significance in my life.

As you have read in my memoirs, Accepting Failure & The Best Side of Me , I was raised by a single mother who for a good while posed the role of “dad” in my life. I cannot tell you what it is like to have my biological father love me, love into me, protect me or be an example of the kind of man I should marry. Though in the past I have tried to, I have failed to recognize if any of his features look back at me when I stare at my reflection in the mirror. Even if it was possible, I would not even know what feature of his to compare it to because his face is not a face I have seen in my lifetime. But even in his absence certain things are very clear to me. Though I cannot visualize a face to his name, he has given me a clear visual of the type of man I would not want to be the father of my children or the kind of man I will not raise my son to be. Though in the past it often left me feeling unwanted; I am totally ok with his absence. Because if I told you what my heart feels you would understand my lack of curiosity.

Despite not having a father in my life, I do know what it is like to be loved by someone who did not have a hand in physically creating me but has had a significant impact on the person I am today. I know what it is to be reprimanded through love & given advice by someone who looked at me (though not his) as a little girl who was worth it. I know what it is to have someone remind me every day that blood is not always thicker & love means more than any last name I could be given. I also know that it takes a special person to look at me, regardless of the times I have attempted to throw him away & still claim me as his.

Even if he is not my biological father you can not tell me he is not my dad. As an adult I can reflect on the lessons he has taught me. It is because of him I am honest. He taught me that I must be accountable for what I say. I know it is because of him I am a realist because all things are not always just black & white. He taught me how to throw my first punch & he was on my side when I finally told Mom that I no longer wanted to wear cartoon characters on my clothes (she was crushed). Even as I transitioned through my life the lessons have never stopped coming.

Up until May 2017, my mother & him have not seen each other in over 15 years. Yet, somehow, he & I have maintained our relationship. A relationship that truly grows stronger as I get older. I am older now & do not take for granted how blessed my life has been with his presence. It was not until I turned 25 that I started to call him dad & that is the only sure way I can tell him I love him just as much as he loves me.

I struggled growing up without a biological father. I was hurt that my family did not look like others & I was bruised because I could not understand why my biological father did not want me. I learned really early on though, that it had nothing to do with me but everything to do with him & his inability to accept himself which in turn made him unable to accept me. In his absence though, I have learned the most valuable lesson I could ever learn all my life. Take heed to this lesson as it will save you from blaming yourself from the things you cannot control. This alone will remind you that you are worth more than what someone else may have overlooked. You cannot change the minds of the people who choose not to stay. In turn, you should always value the people who have chosen to stay even when you have made it hard for them. I learned to be grateful for the people God has removed from my life because I can only imagine what I have been protected from. I believe God removes people & places people in your life because he knows the impact their energy can have on you. I promise I thank God often for placing a “stranger” in my life when I was two & making him one of my very best friends at twenty-nine. Life is all about experiences that mold you. What others see as a sad story is actually a success story for me. There are not many people who are as “rich” as I am. Despite the odds they said were against me, it is so lit to have someone who has invested in me so much that even my mom cringes from the similarities (lol). I have been blessed beyond compare & I thank him so much for choosing me. Happy Father’s Day, Dad.

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Image: https://www.stfinnbarr.org/apps/news/article/684582

Conquering Lupus

Good Morning Conglomerates! Today we have another courageous Guest Inspiration here to share her story with us for LUPUS AWARENESS MONTH. Tiger is another fierce conglomerate who is using her experiences to remind you that regardless of the circumstances it is going to be ok! She shares with us the importance of self care, perseverance & finding your strength within your “weakness”. #Nickkie&CoWearsPurpleForTiger

Hi Ladies! Anyone who knows me calls me Tiger; if this is our first-time meeting, it’s truly an honor & thank you for reading.

I’m almost 25 years young but almost every day I feel as if I’m twice my age, trapped in someone else’s body. I feel robbed, I feel betrayed, & quite frankly; I used to be angry as hell.

I started this journey with my autoimmune disease right around my 21st birthday. I was in a draining relationship, working 3 jobs and putting myself through college when my whole world came crashing down. I had simply been feeling “off” for a while. I got random rashes that would come and go. I was always a woman that ran so my joints hurting wasn’t uncommon either. Even when my hair was falling out it seemed normal to me. I had become so out of tune with myself that I really didn’t notice anything at all. However, my various blood tests over the months is what made my doctors dig deeper. A few weeks after what should have been one of my biggest birthdays, turned into an everyday struggle to affirm “Your story doesn’t end here”.

I suffer from a disease called Systematic Lupus Erythematous. To simply put it, my body attacks itself at random and is unable to defend or maintain. My symptoms can vary but, most commonly I’m extremely fatigued, I may develop rashes on my body, I’ve lost a lot of my hair, my organ systems can shut down & it’s incredibly hard to move around without feeling extreme pain. Every single day is difficult for me.

When I was first diagnosed, I cried for hours. I locked myself in my room, laid back in bed & pretended the last few days were just a bad dream I needed to wake up from. I was overcome with the thought that I was dying. To hear that there wasn’t a cure & not a lot of research, was what really knocked the air out of my lungs. I couldn’t just live a normal life & once again, it seemed the devil was robbing me of my light. I HAD PLANS… I was going to practice medicine, I was going to open my sneaker store, I had to see my siblings graduate & I was going to be the rich auntie that sent money filled cards & traveled the world. I couldn’t die yet. I wasn’t done living! I spent more time in various doctor’s office than anywhere else. I had about 6 pills to take everyday and those pills changed every few months when they stopped working for me. It seemed like my rheumatologist (doctor who specializes in Lupus) would only have bad news. I had to cut my hair off, I dropped about 15 pounds &  it looked like life was being sucked out of me.

I fell into a deep depression. I refused to let anyone help me, I didn’t want to talk about my feelings & I certainly didn’t want to go see any of my various doctors. I figured if I could ignore my pain long enough it would simply go away. I had no idea what self-care was nor, did I understand anything about mental health. I was raised to suck it up & keep moving because there was no time to feel & healing could happen along the way. The finish line was moving every single day & if I stopped even for a minute, I’d never make it to the end. So, exactly what do you do on the days when your body is telling you to rest but the world refuses to let up just for a moment? YOU TAKE CARE OF YOU FIRST!

You must understand that direction is much more important than speed. Don’t allow yourself to run blind & fast. I desperately wish someone would have told me this & stressed the importance. As women we naturally put ourselves aside in the name of business. But if you keep teaching yourself to put yourself last, how will anyone ever learn to put you first? Self-care is absolutely something everyone needs to learn. I still struggle with this but after learning that healing looked different for everyone, it became easier. For me, I listen to a lot of podcasts; specifically, Elevation Worship. I learned to listen to my body so, I’m a plant-based Vegan. I write music, I dance terribly, I love purely & intensely and seek God relentlessly. Living with lupus at such a young age isn’t easy but I don’t walk around defeated. Some days I don’t have the strength to lift my head, other days I’m putting on makeup to cover up my scars & on all those days I’m thankful to still be here. What I want to stress to anyone reading this is, it’s going to be okay. Whether you have lupus or another autoimmune disease, or any problem at all, you’re going to make it. We will all die someday so while you are here; don’t forget to enjoy the view. My world crashes in pieces everyday but I’ve learned to continuously build a new one out of the pieces I have left. What I’m trying to tell you is to simply breathe & find your footing. Even on the days that seem dark, make sure you keep at least one person around as your lighthouse to guide you back home. I promise you, you can endure more than you think.

If my story touched you in anyway please feel free to rock purple any day this month in solidarity for those who have Lupus. If purple isn’t your color, that’s fine too! However, I challenge you to make a list of three methods to self-care for Mental Health awareness month.

I’m rooting for you.

Take care.

XO.

“We will all die someday so while you are here; don’t forget to enjoy the view.”

ENDO WARRIOR

Good morning Conglomerates. Today I am honored to announce that Nickkie&Co. has a new guest writer that is here today to use her experiences to help other woman who may struggle with a similar or the same chronic condition she does. Eugenia is a super woman – nurse by day, model by “night”- who intends to use her platform, experience & expertise to spread awareness on a condition that marks & effects the lives of many women while finding a natural cure to a said cureless condition. I pray in reading this post that you are inspired to advocate & research your health concerns so women no longer feel silenced by their conditions but feel strength & confidence in knowing that other women are fighting as well. So, I present to you conglomerate/ENDO WARRIOR, Eugenia Odonkor BSN, RN.

img_3278Hello Conglomerates! I am ecstatic to be a guest for Nickkie&Co.! My name is Eugenia and today, I will share with you my battle with ENDOMETRIOSIS.

Endometriosis (en-doe-me-tree-O-sis) is an often painful disorder in which tissue that normally lines the inside of your uterus — the endometrium — grows outside your uterus (endometrial implant). Endometriosis most commonly involves your ovaries, bowel or the tissue lining your pelvis. It can even travel up to your brain! Endometriosis can cause pain — sometimes severe. It affects more women than breast cancer but you probably never heard of it. It’s not terminal but it’s also incurable and affects 176 million women!

Growing up, I remember almost all of my female friends talking about their period. They spoke of their experiences and I always felt left out wondering when my menarche would occur. My menarche finally made its appearance at the age of 14, the summer before I became a freshman in high school. It occurred overnight but I hadn’t known until I woke up that morning that I had had my first menses. That night, I tossed and turned in so much pain. I remember telling my mom and my grandma that I wasn’t feeling well and that although it didn’t appear the way everyone spoke about it, it was indeed my menses. This was only the beginning.

A few cycles after that, I noticed I had become increasingly sick prior to my menses. I would have painful ovulation and then when my actual menses would occur, I would have symptoms of nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, fainting spells, anorexia (loss of appetite which lead to my having a hard time keeping weight on), etc. I would also be bed and bathroom ridden for the first day of almost every period. This occurred on and off for years! I had suffered in silence for years.

I recall seeing a female gynecologist for a Pap smear (a very TERRIFYING experience for me to this day) who poked fun at me for being in pain during this “quick” procedure. She said, “I should’ve given you a mirror! You should’ve seen your face! It wasn’t that serious!” Of course, I didn’t think twice about continuing to see that gynecologist ever again.

I had given up. I didn’t think I could make it through. I was mentally, physically, and spiritually exhausted. I would miss school and/or work. I almost failed a course because I was too sick to walk let alone go sit through a final exam. Thank God my professor was understanding and allowed me to take the exam when I felt better. During my years of suffering, I ran from doctor to doctor. I had become a test dummy for medications that would just exacerbate whatever was going on with me. Nothing was working. I went for second, third and even fourth opinions. Some would say, “These are normal period symptoms”. Another would refer me to see a Gastroenterologist. One doctor, I had driven 4 hours to go see in Hershey, PA, prescribed futile pain medications. One of these medications was an old antidepressant whose off label use was for pain. I’d sleep all day and have nightmares. This is when I knew I wasn’t “crazy”.

One day, I had done some research and stumbled across a male, Penn Medicine doctor. I decided to give this male a chance because after my experience with aforementioned gynecologist, I vowed to never see another female gynecologist again! You would think a female would empathize with another female since we have the same “parts” but NO! In my opinion, they seem to be rougher. This OB-GYN turned out to be amazing. In fact, as soon as I described my symptoms to him, the first thing he said was, “I think you have Endometriosis.” And I replied, “I think I do too!” Immediately, he scheduled me for a Laparoscopy (an exploratory surgery that is used to diagnose the disease). I was diagnosed by my doctor and also surgeon, at the age of 21, with Endometriosis. Interestingly enough, I hadn’t had a lot of affected areas but suffered so greatly. He cauterized those affected areas and I was fine. I felt great.

However, this was unfortunately not the end of it. I had to have another surgery because I just didn’t feel right. I had to go with my gut and relay my feelings to my gynecologist. Another laparoscopy scheduled. He found twice the amount as the first surgery. All I did was cry post surgery. Even with my family by my side I felt so alone and hopeless. How could one disease make one feel so defeated? I’d always ask God, “Why me?”

In between those surgeries, I had a colonoscopy, cystoscopy and even visited a fertility doctor to rule out the return of the “Enigmatic Endometriosis.” My doctor could not believe that I was still symptomatic! Every time I came for another appointment, he always said, “Eugenia, your condition really has me scratching my head.” He was just as tired as I was- tired of trying to figure out why I was always sick and never free from feeling better. It would seem I had gotten worse. Again, my gut told me, I needed another surgery. He frowned upon going in again but I begged for a third laparoscopy. May 18, 2015, I had had my final laparoscopy. We both were baffled to have found only a few, small affected areas. Keep in mind that one may have small areas and suffer greatly as opposed to another woman who may have extended amounts of affected areas and be simply asymptomatic. My doctor cauterized (burned outside of the uterus) his findings then said that in order to keep from being symptomatic, I must shut my reproductive system down to make it think it’s in menopause, in order for this disease to SLOW DOWN. I emphasize those words because sadly, this disease is incurable.

I was put on Lupron, a medication that puts the female reproductive system into pseudo-menopause (after months of not wanting to try it due to the horror stories I saw on google) to temporarily inhibit the disease from feeding off of my own hormones. Lupron ended up being my savior. The down side to this is that I can not be on this medication consecutively past one year. Side effects include bone loss; what I’m currently suffering from. I have to consume Calcium and another medication called Aygestin (Norethindrone; “add back therapy”) concurrently with the Lupron to keep from acquiring other diseases such as Osteoporosis.

Due to insurance issues, I no longer see the Penn Doctor who diagnosed me with the disease. I am forever grateful for him. He actually listened to me and empathized. He was Heaven-sent!

I found another male OB-GYN who was highly recommended to continue my care. My Lupron deadline had approached and my new OB-GYN placed me on DEPO PROVERA. This was also a nightmare because I bled and had cramping for an entire month STRAIGHT. I made an appointment to explain what was occurring and during my appointment, I was told that I need to have a Hysteroscopy/ Dilatation and Curettage done to explore the cause of bleeding. It was found that I had had a polyp on my vaginal wall. That too was cauterized.

I am currently back on Lupron. Although I’m on the medication, I have occasional unexpected flare ups and they especially happen when I am stressed. I plan on putting a halt to the usage of this medication and finding natural/homeopathic remedies to feel better.

Despite all of my tribulations, I attained my Bachelor of Science in Nursing, I try to remain positive and keep my faith in God.

I wish this story had a happy ending. I wish I can say I’m cured from this disease but unfortunately, I am not. With my Nursing background, I plan on discovering a NATURAL cure for this debilitating disease!

Ladies, please care for yourselves. See a doctor, do plenty of research, and most of all- TRUST YOUR GUT!

#Endometriosis #EndometriosisAwareness #SpreadTheWord #EndoSucks #FEndo

“See a doctor, do plenty of research & most importantly trust your gut”  -Eugenia Odonkor, BSN, RN

The Truth About Closure

closed-door-550x367I have broken up with boyfriends & past the point of “it’s over” much else would not be said on my end. Whether I deleted my ex beau’s number, have opted to not answer text or phone calls or even went as far as blocking them, I am often the friend the baffles my friends with the “savagery” as they wonder what happened to the closure. Simply put, closure to an already failing relationship is an excuse to hold on to something that should be over in the first place. It keeps the door open for your ex to pop up, interrupt your peace & potentially hinder your healing process. Instead of truly closing the door on the relationship it now has the potential to become the revolving door & never ending cycle of the on-again-off-again relationship that so many of us get caught up in. Therefore closure, simply put, is a TRAP.

Chasing after the answers you know the answer to & chasing after the apology you believe you deserve often results in time lost that you will never get back. As a deserving woman who is attempting to pick up the pieces by healing & preserving your peace the explanation they give will never be good enough. Despite what they say, or how much they apologize, waiting for a subpar explanation hinders your healing process. Take what you know of the situation & use that as motivation to fuel your healing. Use the time you would use “waiting” to contribute to something productive & valuable to you. Start the self care process. Use the time you would spend seeking closure to grieve & build up your self-self esteem so that you can move forward with your life with no set backs that will have you feeling disappointed in yourself later.

In the past, I can recall the times I have engaged in these closure conversations that resulted in me being set back further in my hurt. Instead of being satisfied with what I was told, I was unsure of the truth, I was crying again, I was disappointed again, I was embarrassed, questioning myself & wondering why I even had the conversation in the first place. In a moment of grief we have different triggers that can impact us negatively, our minds race, we put pieces together to things that were hidden from us & depending on how well the other person feels the conversation went they will start popping up with occasssional phone calls & “just checking on you” text mesaages & disturbing your peace at their will. With time, in our vulnerable state, every attempt at communication makes our hearts grow fonder & can make it a bit harder to move up, over & past it.

Conglomerate, please believe me when I tell you, the closure you are anxiously seeking is not coming from your ex. There is nothing they can say that can make you feel better about what transpired. In fact, the closure you desire comes from a source you least expect– YOU. Once you invest in your healing, move on from the relationship & find your peace you will than have the closure you wanted. You will never find peace responding to those “hey, just checking on you”, “I miss you” text messages or answering, & engaging in heated phone conversations that go back and forth in manipulative banter. Peace will never find you that way. In fact, I am a firm believer, in blocking and deleting numbers, regardless of how “good” or “bad” the breakup was because it is important to me to preserve my inner peace. That is what I want for you– PEACE. Regardless of how short or long the relationship was, every encounter takes from you & you have to work on putting back the pieces of yourself. Succeeding in this is the sure way to find your closure. Conglomerate, build, grow and invest in your self peace so that somewhere along the way you will unlock the door to true closure. You are worth everything you invest in yourself.

Until next time conglomerates, happy healing.

XO

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Your Power

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Welcome back conglomerates. Today I am going to discuss a topic that up until this week I thought I had mastered. I am referring to the art of not allowing other people, outside of myself, to steal my joy. This week I learned that despite how far I have come on my self love pursuit there are still things I need to keep working on.

This week was a trying week for me at a job I just started about 3 months ago. The trying part was not the requirements of the job or how I managed my time. The challenge for me was how I let other people’s behaviors effect me to the point that I lost my power. A situation occured that had me responding out of character. Instead of leaving it as what it was, I internalized it & allowed other people’s immoral behavior effect the way I processed, felt & how I went on about my day. I allowed people whose opinions mean very little to me outside of my work enviornment to effect my mood so badly that I could not sleep at night. It was not until right before I started writing this memoir that I realized that I let these people snatch my joy for a few days. When I allowed these people to take my joy I allowed them to have power over me.

As we go through our day & are stimulated by the things around us it is important that we maintain control of our emotions by not allowing anyone the liberty to effect them to the degree that I did this week. As women, we give many people & many situations power over us just by relinquishing our joy & happiness to the situations that are presented. We become unhappy when we have disagreements with people we maintain professional & personal relationships with. Many times instead of dealing with the situation as what it is, we fail to move past it by letting it keep us up at night, from eating, going to the gym, isolating ourselves or failing to engage in other self love regimes we have discovered gives us joy.

It is not realistic for me to promote turning your emotions off or ignoring behaviors that have hurt you or have caused harm. But to fester, replay the situation repeatedly & obsessing on how you should have handled things is not contributing to self care instead it does the exact opposite. It promotes someone to be the puppet master of your life without you intentionally promoting them. I never understood this when I was younger but I understand it so much better now. People can only do what you allow them to do. The way we can ensure people do not interrupt our peace is by making consious decisions to be mindful that all situations do not last forever. Although it does not always feel like it, we have complete control of how we react to the things that happen to us. We lose control when we are past the point of being rational. As women going places, we have to keep in mind that no one is worthy of our power & many of the situations we face daily truly are just beneath us & are not worth the energy. As I have said in previous memoirs, your time is valuable, it is billable & everyone is not entitled to it. Every minute you give someone else your joy based on something they have done to you, is a minute you have given away freely. Your time is valuable & so is your power. Your power is your super power & all people, situations or things do not warrant a reaction, especially not a continuous reaction. You are the creator of your story line. People & situations can only contribute to it based on how you allow them to. Regain your power. It is yours for the keeping. You have every right to keep it, store it & protect it.

XO.

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Use Your Story…

bookConglomerates, one of the amazing things about being a woman is that we are multifaceted. What people see is not always what people get & despite how different we are from one another we all have different stories & experiences that make us who we are. These experiences influence our motives, moods, passions, how we treat others & how we allow others to treat us. The real gem is that we go through many things, think many things & despite what we go through people will never know what or how our experiences have truly effected us. Quite frankly, all of us, in some way are still healing from things we have never talked about. So I devote this memoir to a new perspective– from not speaking about our experiences but instead to doing the opposite. As women going places we should talk about our experiences so that we can help other women get through their difficult times.

As women, we go through many things in our lives & out of concern of appearing too sensitive, being judged, feeling alone or in the process of healing, we do not usually share what we have been through. We need to take a different approach to this. Beautiful things will happen within the female population if we share our stories openly. Even if we are still standing in the middle of our own storm sharing it can present us with an opportunity that reminds us we are not alone. It can also help another woman realize, despite what she feels like, she is not weathering her storm alone & despite its magnitude she will & can get through it. In our tribulations we often feel isolated in our circumstances & unrelatable. But if we knew that our stories were similar to other women who got through it –whether it was the stress of starting a business, surviving a break up, going through a divorce, struggling in grief or battling illness — we can be the example of someone who saw the eye of the storm & made it through.

I keep this in mind when I write my memoirs every week. Though, I may not be going through every topic currently, I still speak from my experiences in hopes that it will resonate with someone, somewhere who feels defeated, who is struggling or is having a hard time seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. Nonetheless, I still acknowledge that I am still learning how to survive & although I may not have it all together right now I am still a work in progress. This is what we should all to do for each other. We should network in our experiences so we can continue to build each other up to live our best lives. Share your story even if you think it is not important because I can guarantee you that your story, your success will touch someone you do not even know. Be able to pull the lesson from every situation so it can contribute to your growth & be passed on to others. Most importantly remind someone they are not alone.

If we start working within ourselves as a population, we will be able to make strides outside of ourselves to not only heal & empower ourselves but other people. In order to do this, we have to be able to reach our hands out to our sisters so we can walk through our experiences together because no matter which way we look at it, even if our stories did not unfold the same way, our stories are similar. We are relatable, we are united in our histories & our endings can be happy. Sometimes it just takes a group effort instead of a singular pursuit. Conglomerate, sharing your story is the first stride to ensuring a happy ending, making us relatable to one another & keeping us united. Do not shy away from what can make the world of difference in someone’s life because your story matters.

XO.

Falling in Love With Potential

Today’s memoir is a memoir that we can all resonate with. Either we do this or we know someone that is a frequent perpetrator. The person who continues falling in love with someone’s potential instead of falling in love with THEM as what they are at the moment & what they can offer you RIGHT NOW. Before I start, I understand that all relationships have their ups & downs. I also understand that many grown up relationships may consist of periods when one person has to pull the weight for a little while the other half gets it together. I also understand there are circumstances when both are meeting at the table with what they have to offer & are both striving equally to reach a goal. This memoir is not directed to those relationships or for those people.

This memoir is for the person just like myself. The person who instead of being realistic with what is being brought to us by a prospect, we get caught up in the potential of what they could be or what we could be together …if they could get it together. Major ERROR NUMBER 1. This as a result ends with us being completely disappointed & wondering what went wrong when we thought we finally had it right this time. Well I can tell you, because it is something I am still actively working on & though it took me a long time to realize it, the truth is –accepting someone because of their potential is just a nicer way of saying that — you are settling for less than what you are deserving of.

Now I understand that everyone may not have it all together right away, but the danger in potential is that we become oblivious to the clear-cut red flags waving at us to stay away. Quite frankly, when I reflect on some of my relationships or should I say my most hurtful situations, I wish I listened to my tribe member when she said, “Nick, when someone shows you their true colors, believe them.” I wish I would have understood the magnitude of what that meant when I heard it, but I was so blinded by potential that although I felt her statement made a good quote for a future meme, I felt it really did not apply to me. But if I tell you, IT DID!

It will serve of great value if we treat the dating process as employers treat the employment process. They compile a list of resumes of great characteristics, have an intense interview process & still hire people on a probationary period until they prove themselves. You see, you do not hear employers hiring anyone because of their potential. Instead, they review credentials, they speak to references, run background checks & confirm employment dates to ensure that they are not hiring someone who in turn fails to represent their brand, their investment & their sacrifice appropriately. We need to be just as thorough with our time & our choices.

As women going places, we do not always put value to the time we invest in people. We give our time away freely wanting to be Ms. Fixer-Upper taking on full projects to build up, remodel, & clean up people who show little to no signs that they are worth it. All because we see the potential of what they could be, how they could be or what we could be. As a result, our resources start running thin, our time starts being taken for granted & we get frustrated or disappointed when behaviors we enabled become expected with little reciprocation. We have to protect our time. The time we invest in someone is billable. We do not work for our employers for free just out of the kindness of our heart. We expect payment for the 8-10 hours we are there therefore we should not freely give up our resources, our time & our love without ensuring we give it to the right person, a deserving person, someone who can actively contribute to the cause. This mindset needs to be used in all relationships we encounter– family, friends, cohorts or love interests. Granted, I am not saying this is a pay & claim process, that you must expect something every time you do something nice for someone. I am saying potential has us wasting our time on people who do not fit the mold of our standards if we were not caught up in this illusion. In turn we get tired, regretful & go on hiatuses to get our minds right.

So many women end relationships knowing they should not have started them in the first place. Investing all our time & energy into someone who may or may not see the potential in themselves, wearing us thin. In turn we become tired. Tired of pulling all the weight, tired of not catching a break & tired of being disappointed because they never live up to what we believe they could be. We see & invest in the potential of someone else & neglect the potential in ourselves, we fail to nurture it & love into it. If we are to reach the highest threshold of our lives, all that extra energy we spend investing in others we must do for ourselves because whatever the outcome, whatever the cause, we are worth it.

With that, establish your bottom line so you can eliminate the possibility of disappointment. Give people time to show you that they are worthy before you invest in them entirely based on what you believe they can be. Disappointment lingers when you see the potential in them that they do not see in themselves. When the discrepancy becomes clear to them they will not correct you instead they thrive on the opportunity & feast on it. They will take what they can out of you while potential has you out here trippin’. Believe what people show you & do not store good deeds in your emotional bank for so long that you ignore the warning signs when they appear.

Conglomerate, you work hard and deserve the best life & you deserve to be surrounded by people who will contribute to it. Life can & will be full of ups & downs & learning experiences but for a change let us see what these experiences do for our own potential instead of using our lives to invest in the potential of someone else.

Until next time conglomerates, remember to live your best life while thriving in your own potential.

Xo.

 

Breaking Bread With The Unsupportive

We have all encountered them. The individuals that always have so much to say but so little to offer. The people who have a list of comments on the things you should do but never does that list consists of the things they could do to help you. These are people we have befriended & dated & despite moving past these incidents, for whatever reason, their input & their opinions effect us more than then those of the people who truly have our best interest at heart. Why? Could it be that we truly care what it is they have to say or is it how the say it? Could it be that their negative comments outweigh the magnitude of the good we receive from them? Or does it have everything to do with the fact that these people never cease to amaze us? Instead of offering encouraging words of assistance & positive suggestions, they instead bring their gloom of bad energy in their wake claiming to offer “constructive criticism” or “opportunities for growth”. Is it a coincidence that their “pep talks” always surface at your brightest moments?

Unfortunately, I can see these individuals when they are amongst my friends (friend’s friends) but often fail to notice these people when they are surrounding me. Who wants to believe that the person they are laying with or a member of their tribe truly fails to push them to their highest potential? I often have to learn the hard way. For instance,  when I found something I loved to do, when it helped me be a better person & they saw my growth & potential, that is when the spotlight shined on them brightest. I did not want to believe it but I had to acknowledge it. By the comments & actions that were made, I learned that everyone sitting on your side of the ring is not always in your corner. I urge you, in these circumstances to use your gift of discernment when dealing with these people. Understand that these very people, regardless of the role they play in your life, will NEVER possess the courage or the drive to do what you do. They are the mouth piece behind the podium for a conference with no audience. These people rather point out all the things you do incorrectly as you progress through the phases in life but some how they are always stuck in place, never advancing, never growing but always speaking on what they want to do but lack execution. If we are not careful these people will be the potholes in our lives that will permanently damage our tires & we will be stuck there doing nothing with them.

So, as a woman going places, keep in mind that all constructive criticism is not constructive & it can not be received by everyone. Many people will claim to see the vision, to support the goal & be apart of the mission but very few will be willing to fight the fight & shed the tears with you. That is why it is important that you are careful about the feedback you receive & how you execute it. Though all feedback is not bad some people have too much to say with very little substance. Unfortunately, in my life I have had to learn this & have had to keep this in mind in many aspects of my life. Conglomerates, sometimes you are not just tripping, sometimes you are not overthinking & yes, sometimes it is hard to believe but listen, trust your gut. If it is telling you to be weary then listen. We have to learn to listen to our instincts, trust our instincts & learn from them.  Practicing this does not make us arrogant. It makes us smart & helps us protect our investment— US & anything that will contribute to our evolution, our growth & our happiness. When you are doing well, look closely to who is clapping when you win. People will show you their true colors within your success. Being mindful of how they celebrate your success will surely prepare you for some truths that can deter disappointment in the future.  Unfortunately, it is true what they say, misery does love company.

Conglomerate, YOU CAN NOT BE COMPANY. No one will grind as hard for your dreams as you would. Though you will find people along your journey who will share the vision, pay just as much attention to those who do not. Protect your investment, protect your brand. You are amazing & a force to be reckoned with. You work hard & are deserving of all you have worked for. Do not allow for anyone to have you second guessing your purpose, your ability, talents & the reason why you are here. Make the negative positive & use it to fuel your potential. You owe no explanations.

xo.

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Conglomerates, please share your experiences with unsupportive spouses, friends, family? Did things get better? How were you able to overcome the situation to fuel a better life for yourself?