“Who hurt you? And why do you enjoy being toxic?” is a text message that came through my phone recently from a guy that is now just another memory.
Although I ended up blocking him, unblocking him, and cursing him out over that “innocent” question, I don’t consider myself toxic. Nor do I enjoy being toxic, that’s absurd.
I’ll put it to you like this: I’m no stranger to being heartbroken and I am no stranger to being a heart breaker.
It’s the ebb and flow of life. Never believe anyone who feels they’ve only been a victim and never a perpetrator of anything, to me that screams that they lack self-awareness and want to be painted as a saint. And well… that’s boring.
Unless you live under a rock, none of us should be strangers to heartbreak. Heartbreak can come from your relationship (or lack thereof) with family members or it can from love. In love, heartbreak should not be synonymous with trauma but for a lot of us, it is.
What is interesting to me is that every day I see or hear stories from women that have been through hell and back with men. Their hearts don’t turn cold. Instead, they still have the capacity to love these men no matter how terribly they were treated. And not your normal, minor things. But toxic, in the trenches type shit. Abuse, manipulation, cheating, all kinds of stuff. Was it love for real or just an unchecked attachment style and codependency?
I wish women were socialized to be more no-nonsense when it came to how we allow ourselves to be treated by men, but that’s another story for another day.
My earliest heartbreak from someone’s dusty ass son came young. Like 13yrs old young. Trying to love people more than I had the capacity to love myself was a disaster, but I pressed forward anyway. Even if it makes no logical sense, most of us just want to FEEL something from someone else, even if they are incapable of reciprocating it.
What’s always been mind boggling to me, is how no matter how many pieces my heart has been broken in, I still have the capacity to love. To feel. To share. Too many heartbreaks can cause us to turn cold but, me? I got warmer to some, and detached for others.
My love is sometimes easy to get but hard to keep. And I guess the latter is where my role in breaking hearts comes in at, because once I decide that I have stopped loving you, that’s it.
There is no convincing me to stay, I tend to not care how much you may love or like me. It’s like a switch gets hit once I make it up in my mind that you and I won’t be a thing anymore.
I used to carry years and years of pent up aggression towards past relationships but one day I decided that I actually don’t have exes anymore. I had to give myself permission to release.
Contrary to popular belief, I try to approach each romantic situation with a fresh heart and mind. And even though I keep meeting the same people in different bodies (cuz admit it, even if none of our romantic interests look alike, we all have a type) I try to treat each person with a sense of curiosity and allow myself to learn and explore them.
But a girl like me is both jaded and open at the same time. If this confuses you, imagine how much it confuses me
One thing I’ve learned over the years is that if you don’t heal, your heartbreaks can haunt you.
I never wanted to look like a goofy for still having strong feelings for you. I’ve endured a lot but it’s like…. Maybe we’ve grown past it. Maybe it wasn’t done with malicious intent. Maybe you really do share the same feelings for me like I have for you. Maybe you don’t. Maybe you do and you’re just scared.
Maybe it’s just the dick but maybe it’s not cuz I actually can stand to be around you outside of that and not be bothered. Maybe I’m just really comfortable with you and that’s different than desire. Or maybe it’s not.
Maybe I’ve found new ways to appreciate and feel for you. Maybe you make me feel safe and like home. Maybe you damn near my soulmate. Maybe that’s some shit I made up in my head.
Can two people who have been through a lot move past it and build a better future? Maybe. But maybe they can’t. Maybe they don’t take each other serious. Maybe they don’t wanna let each other go…
So then what? Maybe they throw it away? Or maybe they table the inevitable and maybe they pick it up when they’re like 30? Maybe they wait too long and the fire between them dies. Makes you wonder why they ain’t give it an honest try in the first place?
Maybe they were too young. Maybe they were too dishonest — with themselves and each other. Maybe it wasn’t supposed to go this far in the first place.
Or maybe it was. Maybe this was simply a lesson. Maybe this was simply a moment of growth. Maybe this was a sign of clarity.
Maybe both of us just make shit more complicated than it needs to be. What’s on the other side of this maybe in the first place?
Maybe we’ll never know. Maybe we are both too scared to explore.
Hopefully we can meet one day, on the other side of maybe.
Solange wasn’t lying when she sang: “I got a lot to be mad about” .
Imagine how mad you have to be to constantly deal with racism and sexism in the middle of a global health pandemic that has left many of us jobless, homeless, stressed out, anxiety ridden, depressed, AND WE STILL GOTTA FIGHT A RACE WAR.
So yeah, I got a LOT to be mad about and I’m tired.
A little under a week ago, sexual assault and the hashtag #WhyIDidntReport was the trending topic across Twitter timelines and I watched many women of varying ages and identities share the age(s) of when and where they experienced sexual assault and sexual abuse.
Many were as young as 5-years-old to grown as hell, with the atrocities committed by everyone from their own family members to popular figures who are apart of Greek lettered fraternities, party promotion circles, music artists, “activists” and much more.
Hundreds of women I follow and even men too, bravely shared their stories, something that isn’t easy to do when you have been suffering in silence for so long.
About a day or so later, an anonymous Twitter user took it upon themselves to create a profile called “Expose The Weirdos” where the survivors of sexual assault could send in pics, social media profiles, and details of their assault to out their abusers.
The idea of the page may have been created with pure intentions but here’s where things began to take a turn for the worst.
First, pictures of men that I knew and once acquainted with popped up on the page. Then, the original page was exposed for seeming empathetic to women’s experiences yet tried to charge someone to “expose their abuser”.
Even in serious times like this, our pain is used as a come up. A joke to the masses and the next trending topic.
Eventually, that page got deleted. Unfortunately, I didn’t capture any screenshots of the pages but then a second and third page got created. It was rumored to be at least 10 pages but I am not sure how true that is. A quick Twitter search I did prior to releasing this shows that there are newer pages but they are set on private and by the time you all read this, those might be deleted as well. For my non-Chicago readers, please keep in mind that this happened on Chicago Twitter.
A second and third page were created and I saw even more men I knew and were friendly with posted. I later watched Twitter find the person who allegedly created one of the pages . Apparently, it was a young Black woman who allegedly posted a mix of innocent and guilty men on there due to whatever her personal reasons were. As of today, those pages have been deleted so I don’t have anything visual to contribute.
Upon further research, it seems as (or at least one of the) if the original page has been restored.
Social media is often the light and the darkness when it comes to sensitive topics such as sexual assault and sexual abuse.
I watched many men from the TL display performative empathy — “I’m so sorry this happened to you, I’m here if you need anything, ” to women that they know and love and then the switch flipped.
The narrative went from “pRotECt and ReSpeCt BlACk WomEN” to “These bitches and hoes are lying!” because either their friend, frat brother, homie got posted on those pages or it was them themselves.
It’s different now, ain’t it?
Chaos ensued, and I watched numerous men and their legion of followers furiously protect their names.
I watched survivors get bullied.
I watched many stay silent.
While I do not agree that creating anonymous social media pages to out abusers gives anyone any type of justice, I do believe that survivors deserve for their voices to be heard and most importantly, survivors deserve peace.
So if naming said individuals gives them peace, then so be it.
But after the social media spectacle dies down, where is the advocacy? Where is the accountability towards the abuser? Rape culture is still running rampant. Then what?
The problem is complex and not a singular answer will be able to encompass how I feel. But no matter which word you use, the facts are this:
misogyny, patriarchy, sexism teaches the entire world that women’s bodies are property.
Men are taught that they can do whatever it is they want to do to us and when you add in popularity, “clout”, perceived and actual wealth, social status, and more, it automatically gives men the benefit of the doubt. And for some reason, women are automatically considered to be lying — unless you’re white of course and THEN you fare a better of chance of being believed.
But what about the Black women?
Only 2-10% of sexual assault allegations are found to be false.
But I digress.
The bottom line is, as a Black woman I am TIRED. Black women all across the world are forced to battle both racism and sexism at the same exact time. Many people try to force us to “choose” as if our blackness and womanhood are costumes that can be taken off anytime that we want. And don’t let you be queer, trans, disabled, etc. Because then society really tries to force you to choose blackness first, as if our identities don’t all intersect.
I’m tired of men not being held accountable for their actions.
I’m tired of systemic racism.
I’m tired of explaining why sexism is wrong and why fellow Black men shouldn’t be misogynistic because it’s harmful. I’m not gone stop, but trust me– I AM TIRED.
I’m tired of performative empathy towards fellow sexual assault survivors. Don’t switch up the narrative just cuz it’s yo homie. None of us are really good judges of character and even if we were, none of us have eyes on our friends 24/7.
And to Black men: Make no mistake about it, I love ya’ll. But many of you reading this will probably assume that I’m being divisive. Or that I hate ya’ll. But I do not. In fact, I love ya’ll so much that I actually wanna educate ya’ll AND hold ya’ll accountable. Because yeah, it’s not all of you, but anytime you’ve witnessed yo homie make a girl uncomfortable and didn’t say anything, you’re just as guilty. And even it being just SOME of ya’ll is too much for me!
HERE’S WHAT YOU CAN DO
Just like white people only listen to white people and when their money is being stopped, Black men will only listen to other Black men.
So Black men, educate yourselves. Listen to Black women. Read what Black women have wrote on our battles with racism and sexism. As a black man, you’re not the only one who deals with racism and if you’re a white woman reading this, you’re not the only ones who deal with sexism.
Believe Black women.
Check your own internalized misogyny. Have you ever stopped to ask yourself why you believe every woman who calls out a man for abuse, is a liar? Have you ever asked yourself why you deem only some women worthy of respect and deem other types of women not worthy? Or maybe you’ve questioned what a woman had on when she revealed that she had been sexually assaulted?
That’s misogyny friend, and ion like det.
Ya’ll understand racism so perfectly, but sexism is where ya’ll look at me and other women like we’ve grown two heads whenever we get vocal about it.
Probably because that would force you to have those difficult conversations AND hold you and the guys you hang around accountable…but I digress.
I was searching for a way to profoundly end this post but to be honest with ya’ll, the words have escaped me. I am hopeful that this racist and sexist attack on Black women will be dismantled one day, but similar to what Dr. King once said, I may not be alive in this lifetime to see it. I can only do my part by writing and amplifying other’s voices, and leaving resources for those who actually WANT to do better.
For more info on what you can do to further educate yourself on ending sexual and gender based violence, click on these links.. for everything else, well…. Google is free.
The last time I wrote about situationships, I can honestly say that I was projecting my own feelings and not taking my own advice. Lol, what a comedy show!
Almost 3 years later, I can say that my feelings towards situationships has NOT changed, yet I now understand that everyone has different dating experiences, loves differently, and has different wants, needs, and expectations from people they choose to deal with.
Which got me to pondering: Everyone talks about situationships in such a negative matter and are usually traumatized by them (it’s me, I’m the traumatized one) but, has anyone ever had a positive situationship experience?
My Twitter followers gave me some pretty interesting answers:
As ya’ll can see, a lot of the same themes came up in order to make a situationship work: Honesty, transparency, and BOUNDARIES.
And ya know what? Kudos to those people and their positive experiences! Some of them said they are still really great friends with their “ex” (can you even call someone you used to be in a situationship with your ex?) and some just ended things gracefully when they found someone that they could see themselves being committed to.
I think situationships get such a bad rep because normally they are between two people who aren’t on the same page. In my experience, someone always catches feelings and may even want more because sex is a HIGH energy exchange and building bonds is very natural when you spend copious amounts of time with someone that’s consistent.
But somehow, the people who responded to me on Twitter made it work. So kudos to them!
As for me, ya girl tho….. Situationships AIN’T for me. I’m in a space in my life where I am trying to find wait on “my person” and I want something a bit more stable and committed. Like nigga, I wanna be your WOMAN, not somebody you just hella cool with and fuck on from time to time cuz “we don’t want nothing serious.” Those days are long behind me and to be honest, I was never with the shits lol. I settled for it, but that is another story for another day!
Needless to say, I am aware that dating and having sex with someone means different things for different people and I’m not mad at ya’ll!
At the end of the day, I just want us all to be in situations that make sense to us and redefine what dating looks and feels like– cuz the experiences should not, and do not have to be toxic all the time.
With that being said, as long as you not settling, I don’t care what you do lol.
Cheers to love and good sex, reciprocated energy and maturity in 2020!
Talk to me though:
Have you ever had a positive experience being in a situationship?
If so, what did it teach you about yourself? How long did it last?
Would you do it again if given the chance? Why or why not?
What beliefs did you have about romantic relationships in the past that you no longer hold right now?
Did your situationship turn into something more serious, or did ya’ll part ways when the spark left?
On the first of this month, I celebrated my 8th year as a blogger. Yeah, 8 whole years.
It is hard to describe what these past 8 years have been like, let alone feel like but I can assure you that I’ve come a long way from the 17-year-old that used to go by Kween K.
I’ve changed. And if you have been a reader of mine for a while, then you know this blog has changed too.
Sometimes we reject change. Sometimes we are resistant to it. But when it comes to this blog of mine, I embrace the changes. My words have helped me navigate and (sometimes grudgingly lol) embrace the changes of life and womanhood in general.
My words have healed both you and me these last few years.
My words have been a power source of motivation, inspiration, tenacity, and authenticity.
My words have helped me grow more comfortable with being myself.
My words have taken me places.
In year 7, I quietly accomplished a lot yet was the most visible and vulnerable I had ever been in years.
I struggled and overcame and started healing for real in year 7.
I’ve always been a person who was aware that she had a voice, unafraid to share her opinion. But year 7 helped me step into my power.
I’ll be honest with you all: Sometimes, I feel like I am behind. Managing your own brand and constantly growing it year after year isn’t easy. Sometimes I feel like I should be “much further along” and that has been said to me before.
But…. when I tell those negative voices to be quiet, I understand that I am exactly where I am supposed to be. This journey is mine, and no one else’s.
The number 8 represents balance, wisdom, and expansion. This is what year 8 for me is all about. 8 years in, how can I expand what I already have, yet gain more?
More importantly, what can you all expect from me this year?
The first thing you all should know is: This is my LAST blog post for a while. At least until my book that I am currently writing, is published. Stay tuned for more updates about that via my email list and on my social media. My book is slated to release in March and it is a part manifesto, part journal prompt about the journey of self-love. I am looking forward to becoming an author this year, it has been a dream of mine for as long as I could remember.
The second thing you can expect from me this year is another annual #WriteYourselfALoveLetterChallenge self-love workshop, coming in March. Every year it gets bigger, better, and more impactful and I am excited to share what I’ve been working on.
The last thing you can expect from me this year? Expansion.
Being told to trust the process is one of the most annoying things I’ve ever heard.
I’m not sure if this is because I grew up in the boom of the social media age but when I want something, I want it instantaneously. I put my work in dammit, now where is my reward????????????????????????????
And we all deal with it at some point in our lives, whether we realize it or not. For example: I once knew a guy who started a t-shirt line this summer. He had all these big plans about how he would sell out instantly, because so many people knew him and were already familiar with him because of his photographer/videographer skills. Well, when he released the shirts, imagine his shock, surprise, and denial when he sold not one shirt. I mean he was pissed! He started calling people around him unsupportive and instead of brainstorming ways to market his shirts better or find his niche audience, he quit.
He and I had a talk about it, and I told him “Ya know if you gave up your need for instant gratification, you’d enjoy this process much more.”
He wasn’t trying to hear all that though!
He felt like if he wasn’t selling out from day 1, then he might as well quit while he was ahead. He considered himself not good at his new business venture, and then he started comparing himself to other entrepreneurs who were not only popular on social media, but had also been in the t-shirt business for years.
Raise your hand if the need for instant gratification has ever made you give up on something because you didn’t see instant results.
Anybody else guilty of comparing ourselves to others when we don’t even have even half of the work ethic? Or talent? Or clout?
The reason why we do all this is because of instant gratification.
I remember a couple of years ago, my dramatic ass considered stopping as a writer because I once had a blog post go viral and then everything I wrote after that didn’t go viral which led me to believe that no one was paying attention to me or my content.
Instant gratification had me thinking that after blogging for 5 years at the time, all my content needed to have a big reaction because I had been working hard for yearssssss and dammit I wanted that validation. The applause.
People posting me all over their social media. All that.
But again, that’s not how any of this works.
When something is created to last, there’s never a moment when you’re not working hard.
I saidddddddd: WHEN SOMETHING IS CREATED TO LAST, THERE IS NEVER A MOMENT WHEN YOU’RE NOT WORKING HARD.
It’s like I told my friend with his t-shirt line, once we get past our need for instant gratification, we can then enjoy the process even more.
Also, did ya’ll know that instant gratification is a form of self-sabotage? For example: You might procrastinate on completing a task or goal because you don’t see the immediate pay off or you might get distracted by the short-lived attention you receive from something and then don’t have a clear plan on how you want to expand upon it.
But I guess you’re wondering, how do I get over my need for instant gratification? For me, I’ve tried:
Unplugging from social media ~ Sometimes you just gotta delete the apps from your phone for a few days and just get to work. When used responsibly, social media can be a fun place to connect with others. When you spend too much time scrolling, you’ll find yourself consciously or subconsciously comparing yourself to other people and you still not getting work done. Unplug, go outside, and sit with your thoughts for once. You’d be surprised on how much clarity and direction you can gain once you sit with yourself.
Remember that everything is a stepping stone ~ This is something I struggle with. The process truly fucking sucks at times, yet we are still supposed to find joy in it?? While I could dwell on that, the truth is that struggle is temporary. Trust that whatever roadblocks you had to endure is absolutely necessary, so no sense in resisting it.. even though you’re not wrong for wishing things could be easier.
Think about what type of success you want~ A Drake song once said: All that other bullshit is here today and gone tomorrow” so think about what type of success you want! Do you want timeless success or do you want overnight success that’s here today and gone tomorrow? As I said, when you are creating things to last a long time, there’s never a moment you’re not working hard.
With that being said, instant gratification is nothing more than another distraction, sent to see how you are simply gonna act. Are you gone push pass this distraction? Are you gonna fold and succumb to the comparison trap? Or are you gonna get caught up in wanting things now that you don’t even look at the blessings in front of you?
Trying to turn dreams into realities is not easy, but I do know it’s worth it.
And if you wanna build something that’s gonna last, just remember:
All that other bullshit is here today and gone tomorrow.
Have you ever had a moment where you’ve wanted instant gratification? What was it about?
How do you overcome or manage it?
What advice would you give someone that struggles with instant gratification?
Accountability only sucks when you aren’t ready to own up to your shit.
I learned this lesson the hard way when a home girl of mine called me out on some shit I was doing and instead of deflecting and trying to bring the attention back on her….. I had to sit with that shit.
And reflect some more.
And then make the necessary changes.
And lemme tell you, my ego was bruised and pissed!
Cuz what the hell you mean I ain’t perfect and I be fuckin’ up and sometimes I lack self-awareness, and my actions don’t only affect me?
But yeah, it’s true.
And I do be fuckin’ up. Like a lot.
And sometimes I am so focused on me and what I want and how I feel about things, that I rarely take the time to pause and think about how my actions impact others.
But one thing I do know is this: when people take the time out to hold you accountable, that means they love you. Because if they didn’t give a fuck about you, they wouldn’t say a word. They would continue to watch you self-destruct and mind their business.
So the next time you find yourself getting defensive because someone is calling you out on your shit, or making sure you finish what you start, or even asks you to pause and reflect on your behavior, remember this:
You are NOT perfect.
They are NOT wrong for saying something to you.
It is better to be corrected by someone who cares for you than to be corrected by someone who doesn’t.
Accountability is what separates the adults from the children, even though there are some incredibly childish adults out here.
It’s easy to blame everything and everybody else for your fuckups but if you truly want to grow, you have to cut that shit out eventually.
Self-accountability is not something you develop overnight. Like most things, it starts with you having a particular mindset. Once you are able to program your mindset from victim to a more mindful person, everything starts falling into place.
As I’ve said throughout this series: You cannot run away from yourself forever. Holding yourself accountable may uncover some harsh truths about yourself, but I’m learning that it makes you better in the long run.
Would you rather hold yourself accountable or would you rather have someone else close to you do it?
What about accountability is hard for you?
What tips would you give someone trying to develop accountability within themselves?
Have ya’ll ever met a mf that no matter what, it’s ALWAYS some shit going on in their lives? Like no matter what, you can always count on them for a wild story, wild situation, just complete CHAOS?
I got a confession though:
It’s me. I’m that person I just talked about above.
My name is Kia Smith, and I am addicted to creating chaos in my life.
It’s like when my life is a bit too peaceful or “boring” I’ll do shit just to keep it spicy…. which is well, sick.
Cuz what sane person would just purposely try to create mess in their lives as a form of entertainment and excitement?
Me and my therapist discuss this often….. I was born in chaos. Lived through chaos. Never really knew what peaceful times were and deep down inside, I may or may not be afraid to figure out what peace looks like for me.
So when things get a little too quiet…. I’ll purposely shake shit up.
But that creates an unhealthy cycle because once the fire burns everything, it is me who has to pick up the pieces. Ain’t no superheroes coming to save me.
One would think that if I know that, I wouldn’t create chaos.
But ya’ll know how the saying goes: A hard head creates a soft ass.
But…. I wanna do better. I wanna be better. My life is already difficult enough at times…. No sense in making it even harder right?
So where do I go from here, is the million dollar question.
A while ago on my Instagram, I posted a graphic about how peace is my new normal. This is a concept I learned in therapy. Essentially, it relates to this: Just because you’ve been accustomed to doing something a certain way or living your life a certain way, does not mean that you can’t change it whenever you want. This is called “creating a new normal”
Another thing I am learning is that I am deserving of a peaceful life. I don’t have to settle for the chaos I’m used to. So many of us choose to engage in chaos because deep down inside, we feel like we don’t deserve good things. But that’s simply not true.
It all starts with our beliefs, we have to change them in order to change the trajectory of our lives.
We do deserve all the goodness life has to offer us, we just have to actively choose it.
Speaking of choices, this brings me to my last point: I have to remember that I ALWAYS have the power to choose. I am in control of where I go, who I allow in my life, discussions I engage in, boundaries I want to maintain and cross, etc. It’s all on me, no one else. Every choice I make is followed by a consequence whether good or bad.
Breaking addictions is hard, doing the work is fucking hard.
All in all though, you gotta know that life doesn’t have to be chaotic all the time, it can be chill too and still worth living.
Since I wrote all this down though, I am committed to kicking this crazy addiction to chaos once and for all. Wish me well on my journey, I’m gonna need it.
Are you guilty of creating chaos in your life? If so, why do you think you do it?
If you removed all the self-inflicted chaos in your life, what would you replace it with?
Do you think someone can actually kick an addiction to chaos? What are some tips you may have to manage it?
It was once believed that to have someone was better than having no one. Because, who wants to live and die alone?
This is a society that prizes partnership and being with someone, and truth be told, we do need people. I personally don’t think that life is meant to be spent alone.
When the desire to not to live or die alone is powered by fear, that’s when it becomes a problem.
That’s when you start accepting just any-old-body into your life, because for some reason you believe that having someone in your life is better than having no one– and not just for romance but all types of relationships– friends and family members too.
Fear of being alone creates a lack of boundary setting.
Fear of being alone creates the inability to do things by yourself.
Fear of being alone can cause you to settle.
Fear of being alone can prevent you from developing self-awareness.
To keep it real with you, nobody really LIKES to be by themselves but its necessary at times.
If you fear being alone, how you gone find out what you do and don’t want?
If you fear being alone, how can you develop discernment?
If you fear being alone, how can you decide what type of people you want in and out your life?
You cannot be dependent on other people to help you figure out who you are. You can only learn that by being alone.
We all have fears, but being by yourself shouldn’t be one of them.
Are you afraid of being by yourself?
If yes, what scares you the most about it?
If no, what makes you comfortable in your loneliness?
Do you think there is a difference between being alone and feeling lonely?