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It's None of Your Business: Stop Asking Me When I'm Having Another Child

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It’s None of Your Business: Stop Asking Me When I’m Having Another Kid

For those of you who don’t know, my youngest daughter is 3. And I’m almost certain that before the nurses had her completely cleaned off, someone had asked me if I was planning to have another child. I can’t even begin to count the number of times that I have been asked when were my husband and I going to try for a boy.

And while I’ve smiled through all the questions and laughed people off instead of telling them to mind their own business, inside I was becoming angry and angrier. While I looked great on the outside and people considered that I was still capable of having children, they really did know what I was going through.

What was I going through, you might ask? Shortly after the birth of my last daughter, I made the decision to get my tubes completely removed.

No, I didn’t want them tied.

No, I didn’t want birth control.

No, I didn’t want to just use protection.

I wanted them completely removed because I felt I had made so many wrong choices and had endured so much pain, I could no longer see the purpose or the beauty in pregnancy and childbirth.

At the time, I didn’t realize it wasn’t really the pregnancy that had hurt me. It was the men who I had made the choice to get pregnant by that had hurt me.

I had been lied to.

Cheated on.

Stolen from.

Convinced to consider abortion, had a miscarriage and was forced to this same person go on to have a baby with another woman who ended up having her baby on the same expected due date as our child.

Disrespected…the list goes on.

For me there was no other choice but to take away my ability to have children. And it hurts, deeply. Just like I’m sure it hurts for those women who have been told by doctors that they will never be able to have children whether it is because of a medical condition, some physical harm that was caused to them, or due to the fact that a miscarriage changed their body and took that ability away. The women who gave birth to only lose their children within minutes, days, or months of their birth. The women who were in the midst of preparing for the birth of their child and suddenly had to face the fact that their child had died inside of them.

It hurts. And many people think they’re being motivating or encouraging by asking when are you going to have a baby or when are you going to have another child when the fact is that you don’t know what that woman has been through or is even going through. Daily I struggle with and often regret the decision I made, but I made that decision and I must endure the consequences.

For those of us who have been placed into this position, whether by force or choice, I believe that God can do the impossible and that it is possible for us to all have children one day. But while we are awaiting our miracle to happen, please be cautious before you ask a woman when she is going to have a baby. You never know what really is behind those smiles and laughs.

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His Plan, My Purpose

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I must be honest; this isn’t what I expected for my life. But when God has plans for your life, you just move aside and let Him have his way.

I’ll also be honest that I NEVER thought I would be a therapist. Truth is, in my mind, I only went back to get my Masters in Social Work because I was tired of struggling. I was barely surviving from paycheck to paycheck and the raises we got at work weren’t enough to cover the increase in the cost of living. I was tired of being in an entry-level position and hearing, “We would love to promote you to one of the higher level positions but because you don’t have your social work license we can’t promote you.” Do you know what that does to your spirit to constantly hear that you’re unqualified? I was tired of it all!

So I applied and was accepted to one of the nation’s top 10 social work programs. But what does that matter when you feel like you’re going through 10x more hell? Failed relationship, suicidal thoughts, losing your mom, problems on your job, rough pregnancy, issues with school, just to name a few. I was going through so much, I truly thought I was going to end up in the psych ward. I couldn’t understand why I had to go through all of this. I was just trying to make a little more money so I could take care of my children the best way that I could.

You see what I didn’t realize then that I realize now is that God had me going to two different schools – the school where I would obtain book knowledge and the school where I would obtain wisdom because of the various things that I would go through. He did that so that one year ago when He led me to open Blessings In DisguiZe Counseling & Coaching, I would have everything I needed to help every client He sent my way. It’s good to say you went to school to do something, but people want someone that I like to call real, reliable, and relatable. They want to know that you’re not doing this for the check but that this is your passion, that your dedicated to what you do. They want to know that you’re really here for them when they need you and not just a person you fit in on Tuesday at 6 PM because you’re just “squeezing them in.” And they want to know that you’re not just speaking to them because you read a book, wrote a paper, and passed a test. They want to know that you have real life experience in the things you to talk about. They want to know that you went through so they can have a little glimmer of hope that they can get through, too.

One year ago, I didn’t know that God would lead me to this point. But I’m grateful that He did. I’m thankful that He led me to the place where His plan matched my passion and met purpose. Experience met excitement. Help met healing. Blessings in DisguiZe is here to “help you help yourself” and I’m excited to see what His plans are for this next phase of the journey!

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Lost in the Loss: A Mother's Day Struggle

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As a child, Mother’s Day was always so simple.  Or at least it seemed that way.  I remember I would go to the store, get a card for my mom or my grandma, sign it in my best cursive writing, maybe buy a flower, and give them their gift with a big smile on my face.  Oh the joys of Mother’s Day.

But somewhere down the line, there were no more cards signed in pretty cursive writing.  The smell of flowers made me nauseous.  The smile on my face was a constant frown just at the thought of an approaching Mother’s Day.

Walking through the church doors on Mother’s Day was a struggle.  The sanctuary on this particular day no longer seemed to be my safe space.  It was the place that stabbed at my hurt because I had to sit and listen to the pastor talk about the joys of this day when I was filled with nothing but sorrow.

Pain.

Anger.

Loss.

Filled with so much but yet I was still empty.

I had suffered so much loss.  In my eyes, too much loss for one person to deal with.

How am I supposed to be happy when I feel as if I am less than as a mother because of the loss of my child?  Yes, I know I have two beautiful little girls but that doesn’t mean I don’t think about the baby that I carried in me that died so unexpectedly.  The baby that I was left to bear the pain of that loss alone.  And left to wonder what that child would have been like now.

Loss.

How am I supposed to be happy when I see so many of my people around me celebrating (or not celebrating) their mothers that they can call or even visit and shower and gifts and affection while I’m forced to stare at tomb with my mother’s name written across it?  Yes, I know that I was blessed to have the mother that I had, but that doesn’t change the fact that I long for one more hug. One more call. One more moment with my momma.

Lost.  I had lost so much and was I lost.

I was lost in my loss.  Lost in my pain.  Lost in my feelings of inadequacy of being a mother.

Mother’s Day used to be one of the most dreaded holidays for me until I found peace in knowing neither my child nor my mother were suffering.  When I found a greater love for my two beautiful blessings.  And when I found joy in the memories and the lessons from each loss.

I didn’t lose my baby or my momma, I just gained two angels.

Happy Mother’s Day.

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I Know What You Said, But That's Not What I Heard

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I Know What You Said, But That’s Not What I Heard

The words were like pulling the pin out of the grenade that set me off.  They were a trigger to set off the internal bomb of my emotions.

I could hear you talking but somehow the words that fell so effortlessly from your lips didn’t flow as easily through my ears.  They were painful.  And internally it set off a ball of emotions that took me back to a place I never wanted to be.

Like when you said to me, “You dropped the ball one too many times,” all I heard was “you’re unqualified” and “you’re not good enough.”  It told me that all the times I sacrificed and went above and beyond didn’t matter because in your eyes I was my mistakes and not my success.

At least that’s what I heard…

Or that time when you said to me, “you’ve just got to get over it,” all I heard was “your feelings don’t matter.”  You wanted me to walk in your shoes not realizing those weren’t meant to fit me, they were only meant to fit you.  So while “just get over it” was your coping mechanism, for me it just reaffirmed that my opinion wasn’t meant to be heard.

And I tried to just get past it but then there was the time when you said to me, “You just need some time but I’m sure you’ll go back,” all I heard was “You’re too weak to really stand by the decision you made.”  It was as if you were sent to shatter the little bit of confidence that I had and to keep me in the cycle of catering to the wants and needs of other people while leaving myself unfulfilled.

But I pressed past those words only to be hit with the time when you said to me, “I’m not really upset about what happened but it bothered the people I’m with so I had to say something,” but all I heard was, “I care more about these people’s feelings than I do about yours.”  It was something I should have been used to but those words stung a little bit more this time than they did other times.  Maybe because I never expected you to say them, maybe I felt like we were better than that, maybe it was a harsh reminder that I’ve always felt like other people’s opinions mattered more than mine.

But that's what I heard.

And I know some are reading this and saying, “Well Jasmine, you just misinterpreted what they were saying.  You can’t blame them.” 

And I don’t.  Because when I look back, I now realize that their words were sent on divine assignment. To the deepest places of rejection, low self-esteem and confidence, the need to please others, and the lack of value and worth I had placed in myself.  I needed you to say those words because instead of sparking an emotional response, they started an emotional healing.  So even when I hear those words or something similar to them, I don’t bow down in fear, self-pity, and doubt, but I stand confidently in knowing who I am and whose I am. 

I know what you said, but what I heard was, “Jasmine, you are who I say you are and not who others think you should be.”

I heard Him and His words were the only words that mattered.

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There's A Young Girl Inside

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I’ve tried to hide her. I’ve even tried to deny that she exists, but I can’t fight it anymore.

There’s a young girl inside that never recognized that she was a beautiful swan because she can remember all the times the kids pointed at her laughing and telling her that she was an ugly duckling. The gap toothed girl with the stain on her teeth and thick glasses that no one considered pretty until she traded the glasses for contacts and the braces straightened her smile but couldn’t brighten the negative thoughts of herself that constantly ran through her mind.   The girl who thought she had to constantly fix herself to be who people thought she should be rather than being true to who she knew she was supposed to be.

There’s a young girl inside who felt like she had to dumb herself down because she was intimidated by the success and achievements of her father. So rather than recognizing the greatness that was in him was also within her, she chose to settle for mediocrity, convincing herself that she was a disappointment to the only man that loved her through every moment of life – the good and the bad.

There’s a young girl inside that longs for the conversation that most girls have with their moms during their teenage years about boys, clothes, simply becoming a woman. Longing for the many missed hugs and intimate moments stolen by unresolved feelings that were addressed in the time that seemed to be too little too late.

There’s a young girl who never learned how to love herself so she tried to create love in her own way. Feeling that if she gave everything she had – emotionally, financially, sexually- that would some how create the environment for someone to love her. But it only led to a black pit of depression, loss, and self-hate.

There’s a young girl inside that’s longing to be connected to the Jasmine that exists today. Desiring to come together and let go of the hurt, shame, fear, and guilt that created the divide and come together and share the story of a young girl who overcame every obstacle set before her and became a young woman that was unafraid and unashamed. Living in the present and using the past as the motivation to pursue purpose and obtain a prosperous future.

There’s a young girl crying out God heal me and free me so I can become the woman you’ve destined me to be.

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