Dear Tomika….You were abandonded…But you will still stand

This post is part of Resilient Film Blog Tour which I am excited to be a part of along with many other inspiring bloggers. To learn more and to join us as we tell the world just how resilient we really are, CLICK HERE!  

 

Dear Young Tomika,

As I write this letter to you, I know you are way too young to understand what is happening to you now, but I want you to understand that you will partake in a journey  called life unlike anyone you will ever encounter.

Being abandoned by your mother is not an easy subject to discuss with you at any age, but it is your reality now and will continue to be for the rest of your life.  Your reality will make you depressed, bitter, resentful, feeling alone and extremely defensive at times.  Your moods will change often and you will find your self never really understanding WHY this happened to YOU. You will yearn to fill the void that is within your soul on a daily basis, But as these events take place, you will need to stand.

There will be great times, uncanning memories and accomplishments that will make life worthwhile.  Then there will be times that your life is unexplainable and the events that flock around within it never seem to provide reassurance that better days are coming.  Then there will be people  you will meet people that have undoubtedly sufferered tramatic situations, but it will appear as their situations nor pain can never compare to yours. As these times arise, you will need to stand.

You will have glorious days and you will have days where  the sky opens up and a tsunami proceeds with no end in sight.  Be mindful your days may  begin with a thunder storm and end with a rainbow across the sky that will provide you with  a glimmer of  hope that things are beginning to brighten up.  These occurrences will take place,  but you will need to stand.

You will one day meet your mother Tomika for a short period of time, and this time will be in a circumstance of turned tables.  Now she will need you.   This meeting will not foster much understanding of the WHY she left, but just allow you to be in the moment, which is all every child wants when it comes to their mother.  Remember… this is only a short period of time Tomika….You will need to stand.

After the short meeting you will experience the death of your mother due to AIDS. You will be distraught and again you will come to a point where you cannot comprehend WHY this is happening , but through her demise you must stand.

Your life will move forward and you will move through many years of never really understanding why anything that has occurred in your life has happened to you.  You will wonder WHY YOU and not someone else, never really understanding  at time the PURPOSE for your experiences. Even on your most discouraging day, you will stand.

What you can’t see since you are so young is how bright your future will be.  You cannot see  that one day you will have two beautiful daughters that you will have to raise and nurture and teach to be women despite all the things your mother didn’t teach you.  You cannot see that you will grow and reach milestones that you never dreamed of .  You cannot see all the people you will touch and the children you will reach.

Your journey will begin as a crawl and increase to a 100 yard dash from pain and heartache you have withstood.  Your edurance and obedience to stand when difficult experiences hit you head on will be a clear example of the resilience that has been built up and placed inside of you to survive.

Standing through your reality will help you build your resistance against the pain.  Your reality will always be like a stake in your heart, but it will allow you to build a resistance that will allow you to distance the pain from your heart until you can find a place of comfort.  Standing will allow you to process the pain in a therapeutic way rather than physically interalizing the pain and feeling the point of the knife pierce your skin.

You were chosen Tomika, as harsh as it may sound, to be abandoned.  You were chosen to experience the hurt and the pain.  You were chosen to help others who have had your same expereineces.   Through all of your transparency you will write, speak and teach about all that has burdened you so people can connect to you and learn from your resillience.

Tomika your ability to stand through the most painstaking times of your life and live to tell about it will clearly model your purpose for living.

Sincerely,

The Older Resilient Tomika

 

Aprille Franks-Hunt decided to create a powerful film about her personal story as a rape survivor in hopes to shed light on a personal topic that many are forced to suppress. She knows without a shadow of a doubt that this film has the power to change how women view themselves all over the world. We will not stand down – our voices will be heard! You can support the film here.

 

 

 

 

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Are we overcompensating to fill our own void?

The Merriam Webster Dictionary defines overcompensate as an excessive reaction to a feeling of inferiority, guilt, or inadequacy leading to an exaggerated attempt to overcome the feeling. So I am wondering how often do we overcompensate?

I met a mother today who was very candid about her “overcompensation” when it came to her children.  She felt that it was necessary to attempt to provide her children with the items she never had.  Interesting I thought as I proceeded to ask her if her children were aware of “these things” she never had….I received a blank stare.

I am a questioner…. I like to ask questions because that is how we get answers to gain clarity on the random thoughts that flow through our brains.  Once your clear, your thoughts are no longer random.  So to say the least, her blank stare did not make me clear.

Our conversation began as a discussion about her daughters reading level.   The fact that she is two years below grade level was the topic.  Her mom clearly protected the behavior by stating that she wasn’t clear as to why her daughter was on this level because she knew she could do better, but “I know it is her attitude ” she stated as she put her head down.  There I observed the guilt.

As a mother I could feel her pain… for a second… But not for long.  So I interrupted and asked…. If you know she is capable, then why are you overcompensating when she is not producing? Why give gifts or outings when none of your requests get met?  The truth of the matter is she is like a million other parents….. Feeling guilty because of their own internal junkyard.

We as parents are doing it everyday and not even realizing the monsters we are creating.  There are many issues that can make one feel inadequate, but because I feel inadequate should I buy my child a toy if she doesn’t do what I ask her to do? Do you reward your children when they do not follow your directive. Better yet does that fill your internal void? Even deeper are you overcompensating for what you didn’t have?

We as parents come with all kinds of issues, but we must remember to make the very best decisions for our children.  You must provide structure and demand respect. Everything else will fall into place.  Beginning with those two simple steps can help parents get back on track, especially with education.  When handling children we must leave our personal feelings out of the picture to avoid being broke trying to fill a void that may never be filled.   We must always be careful with overcompensating…. It can quickly lead to that dreaded feeling of entitlement for our children.

 

Our Struggles Added Value

Being married for 14 years is not the easiest activity to participate in.  We acknowledge that we haven’t been married long enough to get the Silver award….but we have made it farther than many had expected us to.

We both came from times in our lives where our paths could have crossed for a few months and then kept moving.  He had a variety of women to choose from and I was stuck on one person in particular, so those obstacles could have easily kept us both moving forward not wanting to look back.

As life had its way we made the choice to give our relationship a try.  We struggled and struggled.  Neither one of us had really observed a solid marriage to use as an example of the do’s and don’ts.  So our journey became really unbearable at times.  So unbearable that walking away took a silent walk through our minds quite often. But we had so many people rooting for our success, It was hard to leave.

Much of our struggles came from not seeing eye to eye.  We were raised differently and had many different views on everything.  We would NEVER listen to each other. This continued for years until we decided to try to obtain the meaning behind each other’s statements.  It continued until we learned to listen and find the value in each others words.

Although it seemed like it took a lifetime, we finally stopped blocking out each other’s words and began to listen to each other.  What we found was amazing! We each were making sense.  Our statements,comments, and responses had meaning that held value in our disagreements.

The more we took the time to really listen we found that we may have been saying the same thing but just a different way.  We also found out that we may partially agree with each other and that was ok for us.  We discovered that we were not twins and we were not going to feel and think the same way at times…and that was ok.   We realized our differences were what made us who WE were. We discovered that we loved each other enough to want to listen to each other’s feelings.  This was the beginning of something so beautiful and powerful .

 

So as I reflect on an image  I found yesterday about marriage,  I was so filled up because of the years we had struggled.  But if not for those struggles our marriage would have never had a chance to bud and flourish into the 14 years of value that it has now.  Our struggles have added visible value that we are both grateful for as we move forward with 14 years going on forever. Now we have truly discovered why ” two are better than one.” We have discovered the value.

 

 

 

Who is Tomika M Brown?

Hello World!!!! I am Tomika M Brown.  The total package includes me being a Wife, Mother, Educator, Education Coach, Education Journalist, Motivational Speaker and a Best Selling Author.  Wow that was a lot to take in…. And it is a lot of hats to wear.  I am currently blogging to openly just share my journey… The good and bad….the ups and downs.  I haven’t narrowed down a specific theme or topic to stick to… So for now you will get me on full blast.  So prepare yourself to laugh, cry, smile, get angry, be shocked and maybe all of the above at be time… Put your seatbelt on and prepare to discover Tomika M. Brown💕

New Year…..Old Me

My daughter approached me today to try to get an idea of my “New Year Resolution”.  She was very excited that we were approaching the 31st of December and preparing to begin a new year.  In my head I became the New Years Grinch.

I am excited to see another year, but the hype of using my brain to think about resolutions that will get all jumbled in the midst of my daily life of mother, educator, wife, nurse, bus driver, chef and so on…. I am NOT looking forward to.

I, just as you, have had so many aspirations  and high hopes for the next 365 days EVERY December 31, but LIFE gets all up in the way…EVERY YEAR.  So what I have decided to do is take the pressure off of myself.  Yes ” The PRESSURE” And I am sure you want to know how I am going to do that… RIGHT?  Well of course I had to think of this pressure removal system that I needed to have in place by 11:59 December 31, 2015…. So here is what I came up with:

  1. Identify one goal…. or resolution that you did not meet last year. Truth is the goals you did not meet are constantly on your mind.  Because you did not accomplish this goal, there is a really bad taste sitting in your mouth.  You wanted to accomplish this goal so bad, but you didn’t and that is ok…. I have plenty on my list.  Once you have completed that…. Next you will…
  2. Write 4 steps to meet your goal.  Yes I said 4 steps.  I am such a step person.  I need a process for everything.  I have found that as long as I have steps to accomplish something, I usually get it done.  In the past i have used steps for cleaning, organizing, and planning…. but never for my big resolutions.  Get ready for the third step.  Now you will….
  3. Identify deadline dates for your steps.  Because this is a year long goal and I have 365 days to meet this goal I can definitely come up with 4 deadline date to get the goal completed.  I find that deadline dates take off the pressure and help to organize your thoughts and stress.

So let’s put this goal/resolution into play…..

  1. Identify one goal….I want to become more active by running 4 miles a day
  2. Write 4 steps to meet your goal...
    • Begin by walking to meet your  1stgoal
    • Then walk/run to meet your 1st goal
    • Then run your full 1st goal
    • Repeat 1-3 to meet your next goal
  3. Identify deadline dates for your goal ..
  • Jan-March run 1 mile a day
  • April-June run 2 miles a day
  • July-September run 3 miles a day
  • October-December run 4 miles a day

So now I have 1 goal/resolution all mapped out.  I hope this helped you to plan to meet a goal that you may not have met in the past.  I just wanted you to observe how I take the pressure off  with the NEW YEAR approaching and letting you know I’m okay with working on the improving the OLD ME.