Tag Archives: Michelle Obama

I Could Have Been Her. [Trauma While Black]

Every day on my way to work I come to a familiar (and awkward) intersection; finding myself face to face with the woman of “what could have been”.

Let me explain.

I work in a small town and often see faces of people from yearbooks past and find out what most I graduated with don’t – what happened to __________?! Back in college, one of my high school acquaintances and I became closer and began hanging out with each other more. This meant meeting each other’s families and knowing parents and cousins on a first name basis. I distinctly remember one special cousin in particular who would come up to the college to hang out in our rooms some weekends. Cousin and my friend were more like sisters really! She was still in high school (about 3 years younger than us) and I remember her being so entranced by the college life. She was tall, skinny and was a really pretty girl overall. She would LOVE getting into some of everything, asking a million questions and sticking her nose into everyone’s business. To her college was another world.

Well, as college progressed, my friend and I eventually went our separate ways and adventured into young adult life. This also meant we didn’t see each other’s families like we once did – including Cousin.

Fast forward 11 or 12 years, and notice a strange woman aimlessly wandering up and down the street not far from where I work. It’s common to see kids skipping school or people saving gas by walking, but I quickly noticed that this woman was different. Not wanting to be rude, I’d try to sneak a glance at her face, but it seemed every time I passed her on the way to work she’d be walking IN my direction, so I’d have to turn all the way around to see her face. One day, I decided to just throw caution to the wind and look around. What I saw broke my heart.

It was Cousin.

She had transformed into someone virtually unrecognizable. Her hair had been shaved. She’d picked up at least a good extra 80 pounds and she had the distinctive stare of someone who had suffered mental trauma. Growing up in and out of hospitals and meeting countless of my mother’s special education students, I have developed a knack for recognizing when something is “not all there” with someone. Cousin had that stare. Since then, I’ve studied her as I drive to work. I’ve even waved a time or two to no avail. Her blank stare and babbling otherworldly chatter leads me to speculate – what happened? What happened to transform this giddy, lively girl into a woman who may not even know where she is most times?

Did she have an accident where she sustained a brain injury that left her incapacitated? Did she have a surgery that went wrong? Did she experience a traumatic experience that triggered the onset of mental illness? Is she under a spiritual attack?!

Looking at her each week puts me into a reflective state of “she could have been me”. She could have been any one of us really. Think about your own life for a few minutes.

Have you experienced a heartbreak or trauma that could have made you “lose your mind”?

Were you ever involved in an accident or event where you could have suffered a brain injury?

Have you ever felt the weight of your problems plunge you in a spiritual darkness, constantly hovering over you?

The truth is YOU and I escaped those things. Cousin, unfortunately, didn’t.

Take time today to really check on your friends, families, and classmates. Offer them an encouraging word if you notice on social media (or in passing) that they are struggling with something. Encourage them to seek professional and spiritual help. Let them know that there is NOTHING wrong with investing in a therapist and spiritual counselor. There is still mass stigma in the black community regarding seeking professional help for trauma.  It’s one thing to not be able to afford it, it’s another to simply dismiss the benefit of it.

As long as I see Cousin, I will continue to thank God that while I could have been her, I am not her! I will continue praying for her…her family…that they get the answers and help they seek. I don’t truly know what had happened to her, but I pray whatever it is, she stays safe, that she doesn’t hurt anyone else and that we all count our blessings!

— Joc

 

ps. Here are some helpful recources for you if you want more information specifically catered for African Americans!

  1. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/therapists/african-american

  2. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/culturally-speaking/201111/why-african-americans-avoid-psychotherapy

  3. https://www.therapyforblackgirls.com/

  4. http://bridgehavencounseling.org/counseling/profile-of-omar-king/

 

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Megz Meals presents….THE HAPPY CONTEST!

Hey there! I have been waiting to post this since yesterday!

I am super excited about what Megan Ashley of MEGZ MEALS is cooking up! (pun intended) She announced this week that she was sponsoring “The Happy Contest”.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know that the Pharrell’s “Happy” is booming from speakers EVERYWHERE, reminding people all over the world to stay happy! Megz wants YOU to be healthy AND happy, so she’s giving us all an opportunity to get the best of both worlds. Megan is a private chef who focuses on curating really tasty, healthy options for her clients. Her office is bi-coastal and this woman knows what she’s doing!

Take a few moments to watch the video entire video — laugh, get inspired, and enter!

The prizes are OFF THE CHAIN!

Good luck (because I’m entering too. haha)

– Joc

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Let Me UPGRADE Ya…wait, ain’t nobody got time for that!

So if you haven’t gotten up on Paul C. Brunson (modern matchmaker/life coach) you should. I was reading this around lunch time in which he spoke on the terrible misconceptions of ‘upgrading’ your significant other.

According to him these are the: “Reasons why Michelle didn’t fall in love with Barack’s potential and why you shouldn’t settle for potential either.”

Falling in Love with Potential is a Mistake!

Posted by: on Jun 7, 2013 | Falling in Love with Potential is a Mistake! 

I told the moderator of a panel I was on: “falling in love with potential is a mistake.” The moderator looked at me like I was crazy. He gave me the side-eye and said: “I don’t agree at all, Michelle Obama married for potential and look at her now.”

My jaw dropped to the floor, what a ridiculously misinformed comment.

The truth of the matter is when 25 year-old Michelle Robinson met 27 year-old Barack Obama he had the following in his favor:

 

  • Harvard Law graduate (a distinction they shared)
  • Former Editor and first African American President of the Harvard Law review (a much sought-after position)
  • Considered by many at Harvard Law and his new law firm to be a prodigy
  • Summer associate at a prestigious corporate law firm (where Michelle worked)
  • Shared values (discovered by Michelle’s time mentoring Barack at the firm)
  • Athletic and avid basketball player
  • Single and available…HELLO!

In other words, he had it going on. BIG TIME!!!

I won’t argue he didn’t also have a bright future ahead but no one can say he wasn’t compelling upon their first introduction.

This is my point, if the person who stands before you today isn’t compelling, don’t gamble your life on their potential to become compelling.

Also, don’t waste your time!

So often I see good-willed people focus much of their energy on attempting to “rescue” or “upgrade” their partner. They give unreciprocated time, love, money, energy, and advice. I’m sure you know someone doing this right now. If so, do them a favor and have a good Come-To-Jesus talk with them. The truth is they’re not in a relationship, they’re working on a science project. They haven’t fallen in love with the man/woman, they have actually fallen in love with the “ideal” of the man/woman. This is dangerous, simply because often times the “ideal” is never realized.

Having a healthy relationship with your partner means loving them for who stands before you today, not the hope of who they will be tomorrow.

 

 

Case made. Where’s a gavel when you need one?! If you want to read more from Paul for yourself, check him out: http://paulcbrunson.com/2013/06/falling-in-love-with-potential-is-a-mistake/

 

– Joc

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