Helping vs. Condemning

Back in 2011 we learned of Amber Cole.

I found out about this 14 year old child who has been misguided and I took up for her like she was my little sister, cousin, or mentee. I did (and will do it again for someone else) so because grown women were calling her all types of names and saying that she “was a fast little (insert your derogatory word of choice)” I did not and still do not agree with those statements. Yes, she was filmed giving head to a young boy who was in her class outside and could have looked like she enjoyed it (I don’t know did not watch the video because I don’t feel that I should participate in watching child pornography)

 

Here are some reasons and questions as to why we know about her (and most importantly, why weren’t these students in school and why didn’t their prospective teachers notice they were missing):

 

  1. Ignorant little boys using technology and watching like it was a freak show.
  2. How has her life been so far growing up? Meaning was she molested, did she watch others have sex, was she taught about self-esteem, was she taught about self worth, did her mother tell her she betta not be fucking but she heard and saw her mother doing the same. All of these scenarios should be included into the fact that she was acting out for attention.
  3. Was she bullied or made fun of? This question matters because peer pressure is REAL in case none of you knew, also did this guy force her to come outside and give him head. Force? Yes, force meaning he would tell people that she did it when she really did not so she would still be made fun of and ostracized so she went ahead and did it. Now she is being called hoe/slut all over the United States.. (How soon do you GROWN people forget that you used to do the same activities.. Some of you gave head or was being fast and got caught kissing at school and was caught on the camera or you knew where the cameras were NOT placed and was able to get away with it. How about looking in the mirror before condemning this child)

 

Now let’s talk about solutions so that there will not be another Amber Cole in this technology advanced world.

  1. This is the number one way to help out our teens whom are misguided and look to the media whether it’s the television or internet for information. This is truer that you may want to admit. We have the boom of rappers talking about how they “banged some hoe” the night before.. have rappers talking about how “you can have whatever you like” but you gotta do something for it be it sex or begging. Think about how you can help one teen out instead of talking about how “fast they are”
  2. Blogging about positive things and posting it for teens to see. Going to places where they are and cutting out sheets of paper with your blog site, giving them five reasons why they should visit. If you draw them in, you will have their attention. Reading about self-worth, self-esteem, healthy relationships, safe sex, physical fitness, and etc will be a great outlet for them.
  3. Stop posting sex-a-pades and tips for teens to see. Not saying you cannot be who you are, but limiting this can be a huge help for them. Remember me saying that the internet is where they are going for information.
  4. Speaking about how to have healthy sex and relationships and talk about abstinence but NOT just that. Telling a 16 year old that they should not have sex is just like telling your 28-year-old self that you can’t have a cupcake. It is going o happen so instead of ignoring it, how about we provide healthy avenues for them to come and ask questions.

All of these tips work, I know from experience have younger cousins and two mentees. When you are a positive light you will draw individuals to you and our teens need more positive avenues. They are not seeing enough, they have stressors coming across their eyes daily, from not being “cute” enough, “skinny” enough, “popular” enough, “smart” enough when in reality these life lessons should be coming from home. BUT they are not. Therefore, WE as a community has to step in to help. Think about being apart of the solution and not problem.


LGBTQ LOVE: Dawn Johnson

Name and Location Dawn Johnson – Los Angeles, California

  • How old were you when you “came out”? I was 31 when I came out publicly, 20 when I initially told my dad
  • How old were you when you knew that you were attracted to the same sex? I was 15 years old
  • How did your family react? My family has been very supportive of my lifestyle choices.
  • Do you label yourself? I label myself in private but not in public i.e., I know I’m an Aggressive Femme and not a stud or a regular femme.
  • What is one misconception about the LBGTQ “Lifestyle” that you want to get rid of? The misconception I would want to get rid of is that all people in the LGBTQ are dysfunctional due to being abused or hurt by the opposite sex.
  • How can you help the LGBTQ Youth? I think we can help the LGBTQ Youth by being examples of what healthy LGBTQ adults look like.
  • Do you think that you were born gay? I think I was born with the attraction to women, however was raised to believe that I should be with a man.
  • How do you feel about religion being the basis of homosexuality bashing?  I feel there are people who bash homosexuality from the religious sector who are only doing so because they are hiding their fear of being “outed”.
  • Do you have children? If yes, how do you “successfully” parent being LGBTQ?  I’m pregnant and plan to teach my children about all aspects of love so they can understand that there is no right and wrong if the love is real and pure.
  • How do you make sure that you are being positive? I choose my experiences and teach from the lessons I learn.

Meet LaChelle

Name and location: LaChelle, Minneapolis, MN

How old were you when you thought about committing suicide?

I was about 15 years old when the thoughts started. I went through a long sporadic period of severe depression in my teens.

Did you go through with your thinking?

No. I never actually attempted suicide.

Did you have a suicide plan? If yes, what was it?

Not necessarily. There would be times I would think to myself that I should just do it. Most times I would think of just slitting my wrists and sitting in a bathtub. I never thought about writing a note or anything like that.

What was the reason you wanted to commit suicide?

I believe that once you enter adolescence you fully gain consciousness of yourself and you become aware of who you are. You may not fully know yourself but emotionally you begin to be very aware of your feelings and your surroundings.  At the time my mother was on drugs and my father was absent like he had always been. Now, I could say those factors at that time were the sole reasons I had begun to think of suicide but I believe the issue was far more deep rooted and as mentioned before I only became conscious of my emotional issues when I entered adolescence. My mother being on drugs was not a new development; I just finally became fully aware that she was. She had been in and out of rehab from 1989 (the year after I was born) up until a few years ago and she has been sober ever since (which I am so grateful for). I never saw my mom do the drugs, she made it a point to keep that image of her away from me. The problem was that when a person is on drugs, the relationship they have with that drug is more important than any other relationship. Simply put, physically and monetarily my mother was always there for me but emotionally she was not, she just did not have the strength. I was not your stereotypical child of a drug addict. I never was in foster care or in the care of random people & relatives, I never went without food or clothing, I never had to deal with the embarrassment of everyone knowing my mother was a drug addict; it was pretty much hidden from the outside world. I can say now that I am so grateful for that and even impressed that my mother manage to take such good care of me while succumbing to her illness. What tainted me and caused me emotional pain for so many years was the lack of nurturing. I did not have story time with my mom, she didn’t come to my conferences, and I didn’t get in trouble if I had a bad grade. She missed out on soccer games, choir concerts and that type of thing. Sometimes she did make an effort but they always tended to be passive. It was hard seeing kids with moms that were so enthusiastic about what they had going on and my mom just seemed like she could care less. It was like no one took an interest to me. My mom would go to work, come home, cook me dinner and go into her room or watch TV for the remainder of the night. There was no togetherness in the household. On top of that, my sister was 11 years older than me and living outside of the home raising her own child at a young age, so growing up for me was very lonely. I did not feel important or that I was special. I was spoiled and showered with toys and nice clothes to compensate for the lack of emotional care. Another factor had to be the absence of my father and the amount of damage he did when he was there. He was always in and out of my life; it all depended on my mom’s willingness to be with him. He was abusive, he abused my mother for several years and he did not care who saw him do it. I have very vivid and frightening memories of him beating her.  In a sense, those early childhood memories made me who I am because I was not fully able to develop into a person before I was exposed to those kinds of things. Getting back to the point, in my teenage years I went through a huge insecure “why doesn’t anybody love me?” phase. That lack of nurturing and hostile environment had me seeking love in others rather than looking for love in myself first; I didn’t know any better. Negative emotions really fueled me at the time. I hated my mom, my dad, myself, my life. I thought that everything that happened was my fault. I was always in trouble at school for fighting because I knew there would be no consequences at home; my mother did not care. My mom had to go back to rehab while I was in high school and I basically lived alone while she was away. We ended up losing our house and having to move into an apartment; I had to live with my older sister and at my aunt’s house a few times. I was unstable in pretty much any way you could think of. I felt like I was a burden, like everyone’s life would be so much better if I was not there. It was a very dark time for me. I hated the way I looked. I thought that I was ugly and stupid. I mutilated myself by cutting which was partly a release and partly a punishment for being who I was. I remember being frustrated with myself for not having the courage to just do it. All the while no one had the slightest idea what was going on in my head and that I woke up wanting to die every day. There was a huge amount of shame living inside of me. I was ashamed of my mother, my father, my depression and myself for even being born. I was the only child of the 3 my parents conceived that survived child birth; I used to think “why didn’t I die like the rest of them?”

Are you thankful that you did not succeed?

Yes.  100% thankful. I wouldn’t be able to share my story with others. Moreover, I would have died not even realizing how great of a person I am. I’ve been blessed with so many gifts and so many wonderful people that I thank God for everyday. It’s truly amazing to me.

Have you gotten therapy to help you with your past suicidal thoughts?

I never went to therapy. The thoughts were all very internal. I would share thoughts with a boyfriend (who had severe emotional issues as well) but never family or close friends, I didn’t want them to judge me and label me as crazy. I think being a Black woman in general it’s hard to be able to discuss your emotions and feelings without being branded as an “Angry Black Woman”. I’ve been vulnerable with people in the past who just used it against me later as a way to judge me and that hurts a lot. If you cannot be vulnerable with people who claim to love you then who can you be vulnerable with?

If you could say something to your younger self, what would it be?

It gets better. The things you are going through do not make you any less worthy or special than the next person. Your struggles will make you stronger and eventually you will grow from them, learn and maybe even inspire someone else who is going through the same thing that you are now. You are smart you are beautiful you have so much to give. You don’t need the validation of anyone to know this, not your parents, your friends, a guy or anyone else. Hold your head high.

Have you talked to your family and friends about your past suicide thoughts and/or attempts?

I have not. In my family, it is really hard to speak on all of our pain because there are still some unresolved issues as far as people being able to get over things that happened. Things have definitely gotten better. My mom and I are closer now which is a huge accomplishment but I know there are still some scars left that each and every one of us is battling with each day. I just focus on finding peace individually. The past is the past. I would not change it for anything because it made me who I am now.

How can you help youth who are feeling suicidal, have tried to commit suicide, and did not succeed?

Let them know that they are not alone. Even if there is no one in their life to show them love or help them feel special there is someone who loves them unconditionally and that is God. If you’re feeling weak, pray. That is truly what got me through everything. Sure, I could have called a suicide intervention line and gotten some help but what people can’t do that God can is give you peace of mind. ALWAYS have faith in God, no matter how low you are feeling. If you have faith that things will get better then they WILL get better.

What is your mind frame now?

Right now I am happy with my life. It’s not perfect by any means. I get lonely, I get stressed and overwhelmed. I’m working on goals to better myself, emotionally, financially, etc. but I’m still content and at peace with my life. There’s nothing more that I want or need to make me feel happy or at peace, anything extra is just a bonus. There are still some emotional struggles I find myself battling every now and again but as of now I’m just focusing on nurturing this newfound peace of mind so I can live my life as positively and happily as possible.

How is your self-worth and self-esteem?

They are great. Overcoming those obstacles and seeing my mom go through some of the things she did really helped shape them. In addition to that I have been hurt by plenty of people and that also showed me what I do and do not want and how I would like to be treated. There are things I know I will never stand for because of what I went through in the past.

Anything else you want to tell us?

If you’re going through something and you feel alone, know that you are not. Someone has seen your struggle and that someone overcame it, you can too. Don’t compare your life to others; you’ll never be happy. If you have an idea of what you think life should be like, dead it; there is no way to determine how life is really supposed to be. Once you realize that life is not perfect, it will start feeling like it is. Accept and embrace your struggles, if you don’t they will become who you are. Learn as you go, learn as your grow.

Where can we find you on the web?

http://www.theeclectanista.tumblr.com

 

 

 


Helping not Condemning

This situation brought to my attention on twitter about Amber Cole, I feel that I have to say my piece.. I found out about this 14-year-old child who has been misguided and I took up for her like she was my little sister, cousin, or mentee.  I did (and will do it again for someone else) so because grown women were calling her all types of names and saying that she “was a fast little (insert your derogatory word of choice)”  I did not and still do not agree with those statements.  Yes, she was filmed giving head to a young boy who was in her class outside and could have looked like she enjoyed it (I don’t know did not watch the video because I don’t feel that I should participate in watching child pornography)

Here are some reasons and questions as to why we know about her (and most importantly, why weren’t these students in school and why didn’t their prospective teachers notice they were missing):

  1. Ignorant little boys using technology and watching like it was a freak show.
  2. How has her life been so far growing up? Meaning was she molested, did she watch others have sex, was she taught about self-esteem, was she taught about self-worth, did her mother tell her she betta not be fucking but she heard and saw her mother doing the same. All of these scenarios should be included into the fact that she was acting out for attention.
  3. Was she bullied or made fun of?  This question matters because peer pressure is REAL in case none of you knew, also did this guy force her to come outside and give him head.  Force? Yes, force meaning he would tell people that she did it when she really did not so she would still be made fun of and ostracized so she went ahead and did it.  Now she is being called hoe/slut all over the United States.. (How soon do you GROWN people forget that you used to do the same activities.. Some of you gave head or was being fast and got caught kissing at school and was caught on the camera or you knew where the cameras were NOT placed and was able to get away with it.  How about looking in the mirror before condemning this child)

Now let’s talk about solutions so that there will not be another Amber Cole in this technology advanced world.

  1. Mentoring.  This is the number one way to help out our teens whom are misguided and look to the media whether it’s the television or internet for information.  This is truer that you may want to admit.  We have the boom of rappers talking about how they “banged some hoe” the night before.. have rappers talking about how  “you can have whatever you like” but you gotta do something for it be it sex or begging.  Think about how you can help one teen out instead of talking about how “fast they are”
  2. Blogging about positive things and posting it for teens to see. Going to places where they are and cutting out sheets of paper with your blog site, giving them five reasons why they should visit.  If you draw them in, you will have their attention.  Reading about self-worth, self-esteem, healthy relationships, safe sex, physical fitness, and etc will be a great outlet for them.
  3. Stop posting sex-a-pades and tips for teens to see.  Not saying you cannot be who you are, but limiting this can be a huge help for them.  Remember me saying that the internet is where they are going for information.
  4. Speaking about how to have healthy sex and relationships and talk about abstinence but NOT just that.  Telling a 16-year-old that they should not have sex is just like telling your 28-year-old self that you can’t have a cupcake.  Sex is going to happen so instead of ignoring it, how about we provide healthy avenues for them to come and ask questions. (It is being talked about in the most raunchiest detail as I type and you read this post)

All of these tips work, I know from experience have younger cousins and I have two mentee(s).  When you are a positive light you will draw individuals to you and our teens need more positive avenues.  They are not seeing enough, they have stressors coming across their eyes daily, from not being “cute” enough, “skinny” enough, “popular” enough, or “smart” enough.  When in reality these life lessons should be coming from home, BUT they are not.  Therefore, WE as a community have to step in to help.

Think about being apart of the solution and not problem.