Protector, leader, strong, Sexy, fighter. These are some of the names I think about when I describe THE BLACK MAN. We all know that in a black household black boys are raised differently than black girls. When you’re a gentleman, you can’t show emotion. You have to do what you need to do for the sake of you and your family. Being considered the head of a household the black man can’t really complain. I even find myself telling my own son “shut up stop complaining, you’re a man ain’t you”. Or I’ll say ” toughen up you alright ain’t you”. But what exactly am I teaching him? We as women literally fight with adult black men to show emotion or open up to us. But some women would straight up clown a man when he does…

Did you know in America, 18.6 % of black men walk around with a mental health issue? Another 16.9% are the ones to get treatment. Let’s face it some black men didn’t grow up knowing about therapy or counseling. Some were misdiagnosed as being just a “bad kid” or more psychological issues. When black boys were maybe going through the same things as other cultures.

I asked someone very close to me if he experienced mental health issues. He asked to remain anonymous, and I’m going to respect that. Here’s what he had to say:

A stereotype I’m used to seeing and hearing about Black men, specifically, Black queer and gay men is that we are a threat to Black men’s masculinity and a shame to the Black community. That we’re a danger to children and don’t deserve to exist.

A dark time in my life was questioning my sexual orientation as a teenager and feeling alone in that struggle because of how the present church was in my life. I had always been told that being gay was an abomination and to never accept something so disgusting to God. There were times when I thought that no longer being here would be better to spare myself the pain and not to disappoint my family. However, I continued to pray to God to guide me on my life path – to be who I’m destined to be. Continuous prayer and realizing that I was never alone kept me here.

I do believe that mental health issues exist among Black men because they exist in every demographic, no matter your race, ethnicity, class, gender, sexuality, or religion. Although mental health isn’t talked about much in the Black community, it does not mean that there are not issues our community faces.

The development of mental health disorders like anxiety and depression are known to be the result of genetics and environment. Some people are more likely to develop anxiety and depression if there is a history of it in their family, but they can also be developed because of the circumstances in your life. Issues like police brutality, unemployment, and constant high stress can also spark mental issues.
I believe that men, especially Black men, are afraid to seek help for mental health issues because of the toxic culture of masculinity that teaches men that being vulnerable and in tune with emotions is feminine or weak. Rejecting the discussion of life’s struggles and not being honest often leads to more problems, like intense sadness, isolation, and toxic relationships.

I’m not going to lie when I read his interview I was angry. Angry at my black community, that we as a whole, has let down the black man. My brother once told me in a joking way. Most men are not willing to tell their problems because women will down them more. Me being so pro- black women. I literally stood up for us. Saying that it’s not true……but is it?

Being a black woman, I know that we can sometimes hit below the belt & be mean which is horrible. If we feel that a man is not doing the things WE think they should be doing, it all goes down. We as women need to stop that. Downing them doesn’t make the situations any better. But if we can motivate and lift them up, maybe their situations can get better. Since we can’t change the community unless we change ourselves I’ve started to do things differently. I usually ask my male friends how are they doing. Leaving the conversation open for us to talk about anything. Also letting them know that I am here if they need some help.

Comment below & let me know how do you show support for your fellow male friend whos going through their mental health. And men how do you deal with your mental health.

Last year I wrote about being a parent to a child with the Hirschsprung’s disease. Here’s the link Single Mom if you would like to read it.

Since the majority of my friends have kids & the guy that I talk to have kids I wanted to write about parenthood. When I had Jamar, I tried to stop doing things that I use to do. I try to chill with him and not bring a lot of different men around him. I love being a parent because you have this little person that sees nothing but greatness in you. Even when you don’t see it in yourself. They make you want to do better and not just mediocre. I knew when I was pregnant I wanted to give my all in this motherhood. I thought it was really going to be a breeze. I was just thought that if I do things the “right” way he would be the best kid. Give him things that I didn’t have as a child (not materialistic). But not knowing what exactly is the “right” way.

I think we don’t talk about the dark side of parenthood. How sometimes being a parent can be frustrating whether you’re a man or a woman. I don’t know if its just me, but sometimes you feel like the world is caving in. Being a single mom you can’t slow down if you do it’s like your slacking on responsibility. Every job or even decision I make I have to see how does this benefit, my son. If you’re a mom, you may feel that a dad doesn’t do as much as you do. Or a dad, you may feel the mother of your child is being “dramatic”. Either way, a child was created & you have a common ground.

I know when Jamar was born and was diagnosed with his condition I was really hard on myself which grew into depression. Here is this small baby going through all of these things. I felt as if this was my fault. “Did I not take my prenatal pills in time”. “That appt I canceled, maybe I should’ve gone to”. I felt like I was so low, like the bottom of the barrel. I didn’t have a job, I was living in my aunt’s basement. I felt like I wasn’t being the best parent I can be. One night I thought & tried to execute suicide. Thankfully it didn’t work and I am still here.

Parenthood is not all easy. I know a lot of my friends, as well as myself, find ourselves crying in the shower or in the closet. Just trying to figure out if we doing this shit right. Are teaching them to be polite. Are they speaking up for themselves? Learning not to be in denial about things or situations. When my son started school, he was behind on the learning scale. Instead of waving it off, I proceeded with getting the help my son needed. Now he is slowly but surely getting back on track.

I never knew how much work it was to make sure a child has all the tools they need for life. More so you can never be ready. I am also teaching myself the older my son gets I have to step back and let him do things on his own. Being a parent now, I kind of understand why my dad left my sister and me with my aunts & grandmothers. Finally, the older I get, the older I know MENTAL ILLNESS THERAPY IS A MUST. It’s okay to take a break from being a parent and relax.

Parenthood is the hardest job on the planet. You are instilling knowledge of the world into a little human. But knowing this person will realize all the work you’re doing to make sure they’re ok is wonderful.

Comment on your hardest part of being a parent and how you’re overcoming it.

The other day, I was sitting at breakfast with my aunt Tee. Somehow me being single came in the mix. Like she always says ” you’re a beautiful woman, don’t you think its time to get in a relationship.” Have you ever watched “Lion King”, and the scene when the hyena caught chills when someone said “Mufasa”? Sadly this is how I feel about the word Commitment. I really don’t even have a real definition of this word. Sitting talking to my best friend, I never really fully committed myself to anything or anyone. Well besides Jamar being his mom. Me being in a relationship, I really never given my all to someone (sorry exes). Don’t get it twisted, I had strong feelings for them but I always had someone to fall back on. Hell, I have been trying to commit to losing weight. Yeah, don’t ask me how that’s going. Being all about honesty in my writing, I’m really scared about it. I am scared to commit to this one thing in my life and when that doesn’t work, I have nothing to fall on.

What is YOUR definition of commitment? And because I just didn’t want my opinion. I asked a good amount of men and women about commitment and this is what they had to say.

Commitment to me is making an agreed decision to give all of yourself to one person. Yes, I lived by that definition says, Derrick. I’ve been knowing him for a while and he gives his thoughts on Commitment.
“The hardest thing I committed to was to be in a faithful relationship and the reason why it was hard because I had to learn it the hard way.
The scariest thing I think of when I hear commitment is potential lies and commitment to the wrong person. Commitment is such a hard task in this generation because a lot of people get in relationships for all the wrong reasons and people change over time and knowing that you don’t want to be one of those people in that relationship makes it hard to STAY commitment.”
As usual, I had to ask some of my friends on their opinion about commitment:
“The hardest thing I’ve committed to is returning back to school at 30. It’s hard for me because I have two toddlers and my support for them is slim to none. I work full-time so now I’m busy seven days a week and not being able to see my kids some days bothers me but I know it all will pay off sooner than later”. Says Kesa who decided to go back to school recently. 
“The hardest thing I’ve committed to working out on a regular basis. Doing well and seeing results keeps me motivated. However, when I hit a roadblock, I’m not as consistent. I also tend to unintentionally put work over my personal goals, which is a big no-no! Committing to my business has also been a challenge. I work 50 hours a week, so when I get home I’m bummed or have to tend to other duties. I think the idea of fear also prevents me from staying committed, which is a different story. ”  Says Kordny who really wants to stay firm on her weight loss journey. 
“The hardest thing I’ve ever committed to was bettering my mental health. I knew that I could possibly spiral out of control if I didn’t focus on what gave me peace. I was committed (and I still am) about finding peace in whatever I did like reading, learning, doing art, writing etc”. Says Vonna, who like most women needs to focus on mental health. 

 

“Committing in this generation is so hard because everyone is always seeking fast results. It’s sad to say, but honestly, we are a “Microwave Generation.” We’d rather cook something that can be ready in 2 minutes, rather than prepare a well-thought-out meal with love and care just because it’ll take 2 hours”, Says Vonna. “When considering all topics: rather relationships, career, health etc., commitment is hard due to people being hopeless. Broadcasted relationships vis social media and the idea of being a great side piece has tainted and deterred the idea of monogamous relationships. The lack of resources in under-resourced, impoverished communities and food desserts have shattered the idea of eating well, exercising and raising well-educated children. Lastly, the violence, lack of voice, corrupted politicians, and inflation within the city of Chicago has also made it hard to commit to anything regarding change and social justice. Social media has made committing to anything to anything very difficult, as this network consumes a great amount of one’s time and blocks the ability to focus and think comprehensively”, says Kordny. 
Thinking that one freaking word would control our lives. This word becomes a hard task, especially in this generation. because we don’t do one thing at a time. For the rest of this year, I am buckling down to commit to losing some pounds, posting on my blog at least twice a month and take actions with going back to school.
Comment below and let me know what you have problems committing too.

Since I have been watching 13 Reasons Why, and also watching the news. You see so many school shootings, not to mention this year makes 10 years that I have graduated high school (old much). I wanted to know about your experience in high school. I mean don’t get me wrong, I don’t think my high school wasn’t like “liberty high”. I do believe that some people at my high school could be mean and cruel some days. No, I don’t think no one has physically bullied anyone but I do believe that words hurt. I did see or hear people talking about ppl. But instead of me speaking up, I just went on with life. I saw so many girls who tried so hard to fit in the “in” crowd. I even found myself trying to fit in. Asking my auntie that I desperately needed “dickies”. Not knowing that they were 20+ dollars, I just wanted to feel just “in”. Not knowing then that I wanted to be accepted by kids who were just kinda like me. Just still trying to figure out life not only in Chicago but in the world.

I won’t say that I was bullied because I wasn’t. Do I feel like I was talked about behind my back? Hell yes, just like everyone else. Once I figured that hey I am who I am and there’s nothing no one can do about it. High school became easier, I knew who was my friends and it was just that. Hell, I was still friends with people from grammar school. I wanted to ask someone that’s close to me about their experiences in high school. My friend Avonna and I became friends in college. She told me her experiences at Al Raby high school in Chicago: I considered myself neutral. I got along with all crowds. I always aimed to debunk stereotypes and bring everyone together. I was treated well by everyone. I was talked about, but only seldom or behind my back. I was never bullied but I’ve seen other kids being bullied. I never said anything because I mostly minded my own business. High school taught me that no matter what group you belonged to, you can still find something in common with everyone. I would do it again in my own era. Today’s era is too ruthless. I just wish I had more confidence in high school. I was too insecure thinking about it in retrospect. I also wish I would have befriended more kids.

I asked one guy about his high school experiences. To be honest, he was pretty reluctant but I’m glad he gave some insight of his experiences. He didn’t want to be named and I didn’t care to ask the reason: “I considered myself normal and independent. No need to fit in. My friends were my friends. I was treated well by people who were my friends. If a person was not in my circle I really didn’t care. I have been talked about before. Messed with. But to me it was normal. People play the dozens, no one was exempt from ridicule. I can’t recall if I’ve ever seen someone get out right bullies. I have seen fights that I had nothing to do with. High school taught me you have to find your own lane and own it. No, I would not redo high school, because that’s in the past.”

I do feel that this generation of high school kids is more ruthless. My opinion black high school kids have way more going on in their personal lives than worried about being bullied. But I will say high school is the tip of the iceberg on what you will experience in life. It’s a funny stage you’re in. You’re old enough to know well kinda know better and old enough to not care. I say if I can do be the person that I am today in high school back then. I think I would’ve made more of my experience. For example getting to know the kids that no one noticed.

Comment below, tell me about your high school past and what has it taught you.

By the show of hands, How many women/men have dated a person who was in a relationship. It’s okay I’ll wait… I never understood why would women or men was okay with dating someone who is in a full-grown relationship. I also never understood why would a person step out on their serious relationship.

Now sometimes women & men usually don’t know that their significant other HAD a significant other. If your in that category then I’m not talking to you. For the women and men who are comfortable with sharing your lover. Knowing that maybe your not this person main priority. Talking to one of my cousins he gave me a reason why he continued to deal with a married woman. “He wasn’t there for her emotionally. He thought since he was paying the bills, everything was okay. I was her comfort zone” he says. I asked him if he was still in relations with her and he said no.

Coming from a woman’s point of view can be numerous of things. Some women see this man that they really like or just want to be around. “I’ll rather deal with having some of him then none of him” I don’t want to sit and sound like I’m putting the blame on the woman. Males very much so have so much to blame in these situations. Once upon a time, I thought it was okay to be the second choice. Until I realized for one the guy wasn’t that hot. Two, I am worth so much more. I wanted to write a letter well words of encouragement to a woman who is playing a “side chick”

Dear “side chick”

Why must you dumb down your worth for a man? You are beautiful and smart and right now it’s maybe not your time with a man right now. You deserve to have a man who is for you and would love you. You are not your just your body. This man is not the man you need in your life. If he was a good man, he wouldn’t want you to”share” him.

Like the song says everybody plays the fool… Sometimes. You just have to know when you say “I’m not doing this anymore”

Comment below and let me know if you ever dated a man/woman and found out he had a significant other.

(You can be anonymous).

The first step on the road to a clean life is admitting you have a problem. Everyone has an addiction. My son is addicted to PJ mask, my co-worker’s husband is addicted to working out. No addiction is greater than the other. Growing up in the inner city of Chicago you saw a lot of things in your neighborhood. You saw single moms, single dads, bad kids, good kids and everything under the sun. The majority I seen growing was men & women on drugs. Seeing young people making jokes about individuals being on substance abuse never sat well with me. Being young, I didn’t want to tell my friends that my dad was a drug user. Being a mom now I kinda understand why….. I was embarrassed. Embarrassed that I would be teased by kids, whose parents were probably on drugs as well. Didn’t think that my parent being on drugs would affect my adult life but it kinda does.

It Affects Me in So Many Ways,” says Donte, whose mom is battling her drug addiction today. ” His mom declined to talk to me but I still wanted to know his feelings of this issue. He speaks on how his mom addiction affects him as an adult. “My Personal life was/is Affected The Worst. I Had So Many Dark Days Growing Up, I Had Nothing To Look Forward To, Nobody I Could Lean Onhe says. “I Was In Depression at a Very Early Age & It Effects Me Still To This Day. When Something Not Right I Just Shut Everybody Out, I Wanna Be Alone, I’m Not Sociable. I Don’t Mean To be detached To People But I Never Knew How To Respond To Those Things Because I Never Had an Outlet. All Those Emotions An Feelings Bottled Up In Mean I Still Have To Wear This Smile On My Face Because I Didn’t Want People To Judge Me. Still, To This Day, I Deal With These Issues, It’s Not Intentional Tho.” I have abandonment issues ” Kesa who speaks about her mom mentions.

Knowing that the person with this substance abuse is not their TRUE personality. I know when my dad is clear minded from drugs he is the best person ever. He is so funny, (I think I get my silliness from him), he has the best conversations. “She (his mom) Has The Biggest Heart An Would Do Anything For Anybody” Donte comments. ” She Just Has Some Demons She Can’t Get Rid of”. Asking Kesa has she ever saw her mom sober she replied. “Once when she got out of prison, that was the only time in my life,” I spoke to Kesa and her mom about being about her addiction. Like myself, she was embarrassed about talking on her mother’s road on to being sober. “till this day I don’t like telling her business. I feel like people was going to say something slick about my mom then I’ll have to bet they’re a**”.

Talking to Kesa’s mom for nearly 20 minutes about the struggles she faces about being on drugs. I truly appreciate her for being open and honest about the daily demons she faces. Even though she didn’t want to be named, I do feel that her testimony will give an in site into a world that I or some of my readers don’t know anything about. Now I want everything we talked about but just a snippet of what she said. Actually I started when I was like 22, coming up in the projects that were late in the game but I was still young“. she says. When asked what made her decision to start doing drugs. ” Just for one just trying to escape the problems I was going through with my child’s father and I was going through a lot of drama with him”. ” I wanted to numb myself out so my reality won’t is real”. Like others she has tried to get clean and sober every now and then. ” it’s not that simple, as people think it is, it’s an everyday process.” while talking to her she said something to me that really sat in my mindBeing an addict is harder than having a full-time job”. She goes to say that the reason for this is an addict is always trying to find their next high. You always hear or read what a person did to always get their drugs. I never spoke to a woman/man on what great lengths did they go get their drug. ” The craziness thing I’ve done for drugs is I think prostitution”. she says. At the end of our conversation, Kesa’s mom stated to me that she is doing things little at a time to try to get sober. She is not going out as much as she is doing and she is spending more time with her grandchildren. She also has something to say for individuals who are doing drugs now. “Don’t get caught up in the hype. Don’t think that a drug can’t take a hold of your life. That even goes for marijuana, they spraying everything on that loud. I went from doing nothing to a hard drug”.
I know when I was younger, I was very angry with my dad when he was on drugs. I felt like he was choosing drugs over my sister and I. Sometimes thinking that my life would’ve been different if I had my dad fully in my life. A lot of folks don’t realize how frustrating it trying to talk to your parent when they are in their moment. My dad is on drugs did sorta made me look at things differently. I don’t try to get excited about people, places or things. I believe that my father and I relationship is getting better one day at a time. Truly understanding from my dad’s point of view I am more open and more motivated with my dad.
Before you want to talk about a person dealing with substance, understand maybe that this person is going through something. Pray that God keeps his loving arms around them.
Comment below and tell me if you know anyone within their addiction.

Lately I have been really at a crossroads. I have been really questioning what do I want to do with this writing shit. I been writing for a while and I feel like I haven’t went anywhere. I want to have more readers, more exposure. To be honest I haven’t been doing the best that I can.

Majority of the time my mind has been really clouded. Clouded with so much unnecessary things. Also dealing with my anxiety. I can go on and on, but excuses are for the birds. Doing some true soul searching and really listening to friends. It is time for me to really buckle down and get serious with my writing. Understanding in order for me to gain more readers, I have to put the work in to promote my writing.

I want to apologize to my readers for not feeling that you guys wasn’t enough. Even if its only 5 individuals reading my blog. I know I am reaching someone with my words. I do appreciate you and thanks for the support. It’s time for me to get up and dust myself off and to be better in my gift/craft. From now on only greatness from this blog forward.

Comment below and tell me what goals you struggle with:

I was sitting here watching TV, & thought what ever happened to the guys I curved. You know the ones who like you but you’re not just that into them. Now some guys may say that I am mean as hell, well that may be true. When you see me, I don’t always have a smile on my face but in my mind I do. The reason for this is, hell I’m going to be honest I’m not that friendly. I just don’t talk to everybody who tries to talk to me. I learned that everybody don’t need your number. Plus I don’t like my time wasted, one of the things you can’t get back is TIME.

Even though I am not approachable, these men came up to me or even slid in my DMs. It makes me wonder did I miss out on my blessing. I mean let’s be for real we all don’t know the book to this dating/relationship mess. My OLC (old lady crew) always told me God always sends us people that makes our lives better. I do believe that God sends you someone outside of your comfort zone. Who’s to say that one of those men was the one God sent in my life. And what did my crazy self do….. I curved them or just didn’t give them the time of day. I know God is looking down at me like “this is the dumbest child that I created. I know, I know I apologize God.

Perhaps, my eyes look at individuals that I know possibly I shouldn’t be looking at. I look at it like when you suppose to start a diet one day. When your starting this diet, you so happen to see some cake. Now you know you shouldn’t even be thinking about eating that cake but temptation. I personally want to apologize to all the men that I curved. Instead of just telling you Hell NO, I lead you on thinking it was maybe a spark there when in reality it wasn’t. I also want to apologize for not giving you at least one minute of my time. Just to hear what you was all about. I hope you can accept my apology. THIS DOES NOT MEAN COME BACK IN MY INBOX!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Starting my year off on a great note, this year I am going to look less angry. I don’t want to miss out on my blessings. Just because I am looking irriated or not approachable. Truth be told, a man that’s bold is not a bad thing.

Comment below & tell me if you should’ve talked to the person you curved.

(If you have a topic, that you want to be talked about email me: (jerrickarencher@gmail.com)

The other day I was on the phone with one of my closest friends. We was talking about a lot of important issues but friendship came up. I have been really fighting with myself as well as my thoughts about writing about this subject. So I decided to say “hey let me just write about it in MY own words, as always.”

Sadly I don’t talk to my cousins as much. My sister & I relationship is just getting back on a great path. This is why I usually go to my friends for advice or help. Because of the fact the OLC (old lady crew) & I are not the same age. Its certain things, I just can’t talk to them about. But lately to got me thinking, what is my friendships really build on. Do I really know them, and do they know me?

Some I can say that yes they do know me & kinda of know my attitude.  Sadly some of my friends really don’t. I think friendship is build on levels. Certain levels in your life friends come in whether it is to help you or hate to say it harm you. I remember when I had just moved and started a new school in 7th grade. Obviously when you come to a new place you are kind of afraid not knowing what life will throw at you. This is when my friend “S” (cause I won’t say her name)came in the picture. From then to now she acts like somewhat bossy but she tells me the truth. Even when I most definitely don’t want to hear it. I know she means me well and vice versa. This is why we are cool still today. I also remember when a friend told me that the reasons one of her friendships didn’t last was because they met in a hard bump in their lives. When one was doing good, it was nothing really to talk about.

I can honesty say that I don’t think I have been the best friend I can be to my fellow friends. I was always thought that hey people are grown and they will do whatever they want to do. Being honest with myself I know that, I don’t tell my girlfriends what they NEED to hear. That’s not fair to them or to me. Not only am I not giving them a mirror to show them their mistakes but I sometimes barely listen to them. This year, I really want to build a foundation with my friends. Not only pray for them but with them to speak some things into existence.

 

Comment below and tell me how your friendships are…

Since I wrote  The Goodbye Letter, its time for this lil mama to get out in the dating scene. Time for me to let these feathers fly.  But where should I start, hell how should I start? In my circle of friends, we’re always talking about how it is so hard to start fresh with a man in this generation. So many men want you for oral and physical sex. Then when you even think or start to say “relationship” they tighten up like a hooker in church. Don’t get me wrong, I am a strong powerful independent woman and don’t need a man for financial gain. Sometimes this independent woman wants to cuddle with a strong man. Usually, I would get some advice from the OLG (old lady gang).  My aunts and granny give great advice on dealing with men and relationships. But I need a different touch.

When you may see me on the streets or even hear me talk; you may think I have a lot of confidences but I don’t. I am the shyest person ever & it sucks. Majority of the guys I spoke to, my friends had to coach me into it. One reason is my aunts and granny taught me not to walk up and talk to a guy. “If the guy likes you, he will come and talk to you”, as they say. Well, that may be true, but this is the dawn of a new era. Sometimes you have to step up and take a chance.  This brings me to that hateful word rejection. Everybody and I mean everybody hates rejection. Nobody likes to shoot their shot and the ball comes out the hoop. There has been plenty of times that I have been rejected & I would like to share one of them with you.

It was a while back & I knew this guy who was always was around & I kinda sorta thought he was cute. So I decided to gain some liquid courage and talk to him. Let’s just say it didn’t go in my favor. And I to walk away in the most awkward way. Nowadays rejection can really mess with your confidence. People don’t just say the “I’m sorry I’m not interested” quote. Women and men like to make an example outta you. Like calling you a clown or dirty, or even the most favorite Broke. It makes you wonder like damn what’s wrong with me? Was it something in my teeth or something? Well nothing wrong with you, and we have dealt with this situation before and its life.

I am still learning how to handle rejection a these are the things that I have learned:

  • Don’t let that person ruin your confidence, just because they said no that shouldn’t stop you from talking to another person.
  • You are still beautiful and this person just wasn’t interested no big deal 
  • And it is what it is better luck next time. Don’t dwell on it. 

No matter what happens in my love life, it won’t break me.  The worst thing a person can say is NO,  and that’s cool.  And even though rejection is hard to deal with, it’s not the end of the world and it happens to the best of us.

Comment below and tell me a time you tried to shoot your shot and missed.