Leaving the 5th grade and moving on to Middle School was an exciting yet, scary experience for me, but no one should have to be put into a position where they are being bullied for absolutely no reason at all. As I was watching Elton John speak on his own experience of being bullied as a child, I thought about my own, and though I pushed those memories far back into my mental vault that I didn't want to think about it, I thought it was important to speak on it, knowing that I am a mother, and I pray that my daughter doesn't have to go through the same experience as I did. As a young teen, all I wanted to do was excel in school, meet new people, and enjoy life. I didn't look like the ordinary girls in Middle school. As a child of West Indian parents, they felt it necessary to keep my hair as natural as possible. So while other students rocked relaxers and weaves, I was forced to rock cornrows. One student in particular, took offense to my unique style, and began to publicly humiliate me in class. She would call names like nappy head, Haitian (though I'm not one), and pussy because I wouldn't retaliate back. While some saw her antics and kept silent, others laughed along with her. The fact that I wouldn't respond, angered her more. One day, as I was walking to 2nd period, she cornered me in the hallway as I was about to enter the classroom door, bawled up her fist and punched me in my belly. I began to cry, not only from the pain of the punch, but from the humiliation of it happening in front of other students. She then told me to punch her back, but I wouldn't, I didn't want anyone to feel the pain that I felt. I walked in class, wiped the tears from my eyes and continued on as if nothing had happened, but I was unaware of what that incident would cause me to become in the future. Thinking back, that incident made me a much stronger person. I no longer stay silent if I am being teased or bullied by others. I've become much more vocal in standing up to my beliefs. Bullying is not an adolescent thing, a white thing, or a gay thing. So many people have fallen victim to bullying with the end result being death by suicide or murder. I am an advocate, to stop bullying whether it be in schools or via social media. We should all be able to live in a world where we are not afraid to be who we are, without the risk of being made fun of. If you are victim, speak to someone about what you are going through and know that you are not alone. If you are the aggressor, know that my story and stories like mine are real, and they don't all end up the way mines did. You wouldn't want your actions to be the reason why a person has taken their own life.
Thursday, March 29, 2012
Wednesday, March 28, 2012
I didn't actually see this film at the theater, but I ordered it On Demand this week, and I wanted to do a quick review. Like Crazy came into theaters under limited release last year after rave reviews from the Sundance Film Festival. It's a story about 2 young college students, American and Britain, who fall in love only to have that love put on hold because of immigration violations. Throughout the years, they come back to one another, only to have more obstacles to overcome. I love this movie, not only because its relatable, but because it's real. This movie, in my opinion was a true depiction of a long distance relationship and the outcome that can occur. If you like The Notebook and Dear John, you will love this film.
Wednesday, March 21, 2012
Prior to having my baby, I was obsessed with watching A Baby Story, on the lives of women who give birth. Never on that show, do they give a true description of the aftermath of having a child and the physical and emotional changes a woman goes through. After giving birth, the nurse instructed me to try walking around the room to help with the healing process. I never realized the physical changes my body went through after c-section. My stomach was smaller, but hanged low as if I was a morbidly obese woman who had recently lost a large amount of weight. My breast hanged low as if it had been sucked on by a tribe of babies and my complexion looked extremely dark. I felt so ugly and the worst part was my boyfriend was there to see all this transpire. Somehow, you think that after giving birth, you would somehow continue to have this glow, but all that was left was, what once was, memories. Along with that, you are a new mother and while you recuperate in the hospital, you still have the responsibility of taking care of the baby too. I was unaware that I would be spending the next two days and nights with my daughter. I assumed the baby would stay in the nursery until I was discharged. My boyfriend and I agreed to take shifts in her care, yet he ended up doing most of the work, since I was unable to move about much and do any kind of lifting. Though I knew that I was a mother, the motherly instincts didn't quite kick in as yet. I would stare at her in disbelief like is it really true that she is all mine and I continued to wonder if I would fail at this important job. One thing I hate is to become a failure and the thought of that began to overwhelm me. On the outside I would smile but inside, I was crying out for the strength to be able to handle motherhood. When I was finally discharged, the realities of my life really kicked in. Gone were the days when I could watch tv all hours of the night and laugh as loud as I wanted to, my room didn't belong only to me anymore, my sleep filled nights no longer existed as it was replaced by 3-4 hour interruptions in order to feed a crying baby. I was no longer myself and I didn't know how to handle it. My mom noticed my changes last week and began to question me. She spoke to my sister privately and confided in her, stating that she thinks I'm suffering through postpartum depression. I don't know what I'm going through, but I know that there are days when I'm over the moon and times when I just want to lay in bed and cry. So many changes has happened, and though you may think 9 months is a long time to adjust to them, they are not. I look at my body and see that what I had last year, no longer exist. I'm left with the stretch marks of the 9 lb baby I carried inside of me. Will they go away? I ask myself sometimes. While I try to do my motherly duties, I'm constantly being bombarded by everyone telling me what I should and shouldn't do. It gets annoying and I begin to lash out at the people around me. I don't want to be constantly reminded of my failures like not being able to breast feed, because my daughter refuses to latch on or how I should be wearing a belly band all day, so that I can allow my belly to go down or how much formula I should be feeding my child. It's overwhelming and it doesn't make this process any easier. It's only been a week and a half of motherhood and nothing is what I expected it to be, but I find ways to make time for myself to bring me back to a place when I was just Patrice, the single 30 year old. I blog when my daughter is sleeping, I take evening drives around Miami to clear my head, and sometimes, I stand in the shower for almost an hour while I collect my thoughts. Having my boyfriend through this process has been a major help and makes me sympathize with those that don't have that companion for support. I wanted to be a mother for so long, that I got caught up in the fantasy of it all instead of the reality. Through it all, I still see the many positives I have encountered since her arrival and I wouldn't trade it for anything in the world. I'm just learning to balance the old me, while still embracing the new one.
Monday, March 19, 2012
This will probably be my last selection from Shoedazzle for many reasons, one especially for the fact, that I'm not attracted to much of any of their shoe selections that are given to me each month. I've had this shoe dazzle credit for a while and decided to make use of it and order these pair of shoes. I've always been a lover of leopard print and it was easy to be drawn to these gorgeous pair of flats. I don't have but maybe one pair of flats and with Spring/Summer on the horizon, and the fact that I want to change up my style convinces me to go a different route with my fashion choices. The spike studs on the shoes give it a harsh edge. What I would wear these with are a pair of denim jeans with a man's white button up top or a pair of red slacks.
After 9 months of pregnancy, complications with being diagnosed with Bells Palsy & high blood pressure, my bundle of joy unexpectedly arrived a week early via c-section. I went in for a normal stress test appointment and after a routine ultrasound, the doctor recommended I have a c-section since the baby was estimated to weigh 10 lbs. I agreed because my cut off limit was 8 lbs for a vaginal birth. The doctor discussed the risk I would take if I had decided to go the vaginal route and it was enough to know that for the safety of myself and the child, c-section was the way to go. At first, she told me that she would schedule the surgery 2 days from now, but miraculously, there was a slot available for the same day. I was told not to eat anything else, since the last time I ate was in the morning. I frantically called my sister and boyfriend to get my things in order, because sadly, I didn't pack my hospital bag because I was so busy helping out with my room renovation. I was quickly brought into a room where the nurses did the pre-op checklist. Oddly enough I wasn't so nervous. I was kind of relieved that I would finally be able to give birth to my daughter. Soon my parents and sister and boyfriend arrived and seeing them put me at ease for what was to come. Just before 6 in the evening, I was brought into the operating room and prepped for surgery. At that moment, the nervousness overcame me, especially when I knew that I would be getting the epidural. I was in pain during the process, but soon, I was completely numb and completely unaware that the surgery was in process. Seeing my boyfriend next to me, was such a comfort. I could tell from his face, that he was very nervous. We held each other's hand as we anticipated Oniyah's arrival. First the pressure, and then the moment came when I felt a separation between mother and daughter, inside the womb, and then the words, "here she is", followed by cries. I began to cry. Happiness and excitement came over me. Oh I wanted to see what we created. When I finally was able to glimpse her, I saw that she was a perfect combination of him and I. Princess Oniyah has arrived. All the pain I went through with this pregnancy was completely behind me. At that moment on, nothing in this world mattered but my Oniyah. I never knew love until I became a mother. Thank you lord for this gift of life.