Black Women vs The World

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.

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.

Men Can Stop Rape – https://mcsr.org/home

Healthy Masculinity – https://allhailthekween.files.wordpress.com/2020/06/c8fb2-healthymasculinity.pdf

RAINN – https://www.rainn.org/about-rainn

Routine, Interrupted


At first, this was going to be a post where I would complain about how hard working from home is and how much I hate it. But then I thought about it: I’m blessed to be able to work from home, have decent wifi, and still get paid from both my jobs while the country figures Miss Rona out.

Home is my sanctuary and while I detest bringing work home, it will have to do for now.

So far, I have been in shock about how fast everything has changed. When March started, I would have never guessed that my city would be on lockdown and so many people I know and love would be abruptly put out of work. I’ve been having a hard time processing this shift — particularly because I was used to a certain routine, my birthday plans had to be altered, and then boom: the world is now collectively holding our breath, waiting to exhale as soon as the coast is clear.

Nonetheless, I can’t even really complain. I have way more time to myself than I could’ve imagined and after weeks of not doing shit, I finally got back productive and knocked a few goals out.

As we enter into a new month and 30 more days of lockdown, I wish I could tell you that I’m feeling super optimistic. I’m not exactly feeling morbid about it either but as I said, I’m holding my breath. Waiting to exhale when the coast is clear.

Given the circumstances, I don’t think things will ever get back to “normal.” Instead, a new normal will be created. So many routines have been interrupted and by this time, maybe most of us have adjusted to whatever our new normals are.

Prior to getting put on punishment, it wasn’t much that I took for granted but it’s easy to get caught up in the flow of life that we are privileged to forget how abruptly things can change. Literally overnight. I miss my ability to move as freely as I wanted to without thinking if I was potentially putting someone in harms way. I miss hugging my friends and family and visiting them whenever our scheduled permitted. And I miss OUTSIDE! I’m an ambiverted person, plus my mother’s only child so being at home by myself doesn’t bother me too much. In the same breathe, I am also a socialite and dammit do I miss being outside, looking good and living better. I am saddened to see my friends and family members who work “non-essential” jobs be out of work. I miss going to get my damn hair done!

I’m also sad about my “essential job” friends be ran raggedy taking care of everyone else. I’m sad that for those who have been diagnosed with Miss Rona feel completely helpless while they let their bodies fight this off because of course we not rich enough to get it there’s no cure yet.

I’m sad about the former students I used to serve, who have endured so much for being out of school this school year. It’s a lot of things that suck to me right now and I hate that healthcare isn’t accessible to all. I hate the panic. The financial and emotional strain. The deaths. All of this.

In a perfect world, I wish things would go back to normal…. but that normal probably won’t exist anymore after this.

However, there have been some positives to come outta this.

The DJ’s going live on Instagram and Facebook last week really brightened a lot of our spirits.
The song writer and producer battles.
The comedy skits.
The memes and gifs.
The increased and intentional communication between friends and family due to technology.
The virtual happy hours.
The time to journal, meditate, and work out from home.

It’s so much increased positivity and peace, even in the midst of all this chaos.

While I don’t desire for my connections to people and experiences to be purely digital, to live in an age where technology is so advanced AND the privilege of having access to it makes self-isolation a lil bit better.

Praying that this all ends soon. In the meantime, how ya’ll been doing?

What’s your new normal? Is it better than your old routine?

Do you think once outside opens back up, it will be hard for people to adjust?

Talk to me!

Is There Such Thing As A “Positive” Situationship?

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!

-Kia


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?

7 Deadly Sins: Instant Gratification

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????????????????????????????

But, that only works on Instagram.

Instant gratification is defined as the desire to experience pleasure or fulfillment without delay or deferment.

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.


Let’s chat!

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?

7 Deadly Sins: Avoiding Accountability

Via Giphy

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.

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.


Let’s chat

  1. Would you rather hold yourself accountable or would you rather have someone else close to you do it?
  2. What about accountability is hard for you?
  3. What tips would you give someone trying to develop accountability within themselves?

7 Deadly Sins: Addiction To Creating Chaos

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.


Let’s chat!

  1. Are you guilty of creating chaos in your life? If so, why do you think you do it?
  2. If you removed all the self-inflicted chaos in your life, what would you replace it with?
  3. Do you think someone can actually kick an addiction to chaos? What are some tips you may have to manage it?

7 Deadly Sins: Fear of Being Alone

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.

BUT……….

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.


Let’s chat!

  1. Are you afraid of being by yourself?
  2. If yes, what scares you the most about it?
  3. If no, what makes you comfortable in your loneliness?
  4. Do you think there is a difference between being alone and feeling lonely?

7 Deadly Sins: Unhealthy Coping Mechanisms

We all have vices, especially when we want to escape ourselves.

What’s yours?

One thing for sure and two things for sure, you can’t run away from yourself forever. When the realities of our life get too tough, we turn to different methods to cope — most likely drugs, alcohol, or even sex. How we abuse those things is called escapism, which refers to purposely finding things to distract you from the unpleasant realities of whatever you’re facing.

Keep in mind: I don’t think alcohol is bad.

I don’t think sex is bad.

I don’t think drugs are bad. (Well, I don’t think weed is bad. All that other stuff ya’ll do, I’m not sure about that pal lol)

But, the way we indulge in these things matter. It is not inherently bad or good, but more of a fact of what is the WHY behind all of this? Why do we choose unhealthy coping mechanisms? Isn’t there better options out here to help us deal with our shit?

The short answer is yes, but because I don’t speak for everyone on this earth, it varies on who you ask.

The reason(s) behind why we choose unhealthy coping mechanisms varies, too.

Some of us may be trying to heal from a traumatic event that’s happened in our past.

Some of us may be really thrilled by engaging in risky behavior.

But all of us are seeking to fill a void.

You know that the mechanisms you use to cope are becoming unhealthy when they no longer help you feel that void.

When even the drugs enhance how shitty you feel.

When the bitter taste of alcohol won’t even make you forget what happen.

When you internally scream whenever you sexually enter someone or when they enter you.

The adrenaline rush of chasing whatever made us temporarily feel better is what makes us keep coming back to the unhealthy coping mechanisms. The cycle continues over and over and it’s not just through drugs, alcohol, or sex. Unhealthy coping mechanisms can also be seeking social media attention, dealing with toxic people, and even overeating.

I say all this to say: I’m not here to judge you, because we all have vices.

Eventually, drugs and alcohol and sex and whatever we use to cope won’t be enough to distract you from the pain you’re feeling. At some point you have to stop escaping and actually focus on actually healing.

I know it’s not easy. But you must gain the strength to try anyway.

With love, I wish you well on your journey.

Thank You, Therapy

I was 18 years old when I realized that I needed to address my mental health.

Freshman year of college kicked my entire ass and honestly, I wanted to die.

Honestly, I tried to die. But, that Spring of 2013 I finally said to myself that I needed to do something about this.

I remember leaving my dorm room and venturing off to the health center, whose walls I had been in numerous times between that first and second semester of freshman year, but this time was different.

I wanted to conquer myself.

But things didn’t quite work out that way.

I walked into the counseling center where I had to fill out paperwork, then they had me sit down with someone who did what is called an intake interview, where she asked me a series of questions about my background, my family’s background, and ultimately what brought me there.

I answered her questions as honestly as I could, but then was cut off. This white girl, who I later found out was a graduate student in the counseling program, looked me square in my eyes and said, “Well, it doesn’t LOOK like anything is wrong with you.”

I got quiet and I remember my stomach twisting in knots.

At 18/19 years old, I didn’t have the language to describe that I was processing trauma and that regardless of how strong I looked on the outside, I was hurting bad on the inside.

That’s the problem. We assume that black folks, especially black women don’t hurt. They assume we don’t suffer from trauma or pain. They assume we can endure so much and not break.

But there I was, in that office, trying my hardest not to break. When she said that, I couldn’t help but think to myself “Well damn, maybe I am making this shit up in my head…..”

Needless to say, I left that office. I never went back.

And I just thugged it out with my mental health for the rest of the school year, then the summer, then the fall and winter, and then for about 3 or 4 more years until 2017.

Those years saw a lot of pain.

More trauma.

More self-sabotage.

I’ve never been diagnosed, but maaannnnnnn those depressive episodes I experienced often took a huge toll on me mentally and emotionally.

A couple of emotional breakdowns and rounds of self-sabotaging destructive behavior later, I figured I needed to try counseling again.

This time though, I wanted to try spiritual counseling with the pastor I had at the time. Every week for a couple months, we would discuss my issues and he advised me on how to approach things from a spiritual standpoint.

In our sessions, I learned a lot about building an authentic relationship with God and how to turn to prayer more often rather than unhealthy coping mechanisms. It was during this period that I started keeping prayer journals and casting my cares on the Lord (1st Peter 5:7)

I’m not sure when I stopped going to spiritual counseling, but I do think the decision to stop was a mutual one.

Everything was fine for a while, but towards the end of 2016, I had another emotional breakdown.

The irony in this is that I am known as someone who keeps a smile on her face and is somewhat known as the life of the party. People typically come to me for encouragement, so it was mind boggling that I had sunk so low.

But I did. And once again, I had to figure out how to pick myself up again.

During that time, Solange released A Seat At The Table and those mornings and nights when I couldn’t get out of bed, couldn’t eat, wasn’t sleeping well, damn for sure wasn’t cleaning my room it was that album that pushed me to keep going and do something about this.

But, I didn’t do anything. At least not right away.

Senior year of college rolled around and I anxious as hell about life post grad. However, it wasn’t just the future I was stressed about, I was also exhausted by the toxic relationships I engaged in, my self-destructive behavior, and struggled hard with loving and accepting myself fully.

By then I had figured out that I wanted and needed a Black female therapist in my life and if I had to walk my ass back into my school’s counseling center then that was what I was gone have to do.

Now most people, (self included) tend to stay away from places where they had a negative experience. But my school’s counseling center was convenient, affordable, and plus the white girl who judged me freshman year no longer worked there, so it was a win.

Things had changed. First of all, the assessment they had me take was online now and I now had the option of picking the race/ethnicity of the therapist I wanted to see. Talk about autonomy and control!

A couple days later, I was back in therapy and went every week up until I graduated.

I learned so much about myself during those 5 months AND it was refreshing to connect with a Black, female, therapist.

I learned that the key to peace is acceptance.

I learned what boundaries were and how to set and maintain them.

I learned the importance of being present.

After I graduated, things took a toll on me mentally.

Post grad blues, working jobs I hated, a pregnancy followed by an abortion, more self-sabotaging and self-destructive behavior. I didn’t take the time to stop and process anything. All of those different things going on affected me greatly. But always the one to never stop smiling, not many knew what I was going through at the time.

The unfortunate part was, I knew I needed therapy but what stopped me was that I couldn’t afford it. The health insurance offered by my job at the time was public aid health insurance and I wasn’t sure if I could get a black therapist again and didn’t wanna risk it. In hindsight, doing some research would’ve saved me from a lot of suffering.

Instead of going back to therapy, I self-helped as best as I could with:

  • Books on self-development
  • Wine
  • God
  • Podcasts, such as Therapy 4 Black Girls
  • Astrology
  • Journaling
  • Meditation
  • Partying
  • Writing

For a while, it worked. I learned how to name and regulate my emotions.

I learned why I acted the way I did in certain situations.

I learned healthier coping mechanisms for those anxious and depressive moments.

I got comfortable talking to myself + trusted friends.

I still would’ve rather been talking to a therapist, but getting in debt behind my mental health wasn’t something I wanted to do. And that fear, along with the stigma of seeking mental health services is what stops a LOT of us from going.

2019 came around, and everything was fine at first.

But then May came and I knew I had to stop putting it off and go talk to somebody. I was watching myself slip back into self-destructive behavior, my attachment style to certain people was getting out of hand, I was self-sabotaging and bending boundaries, and to put all that simply, I was sick of my own shit.

So, I took to Instagram and found a therapist and had my first session on May 15th and have been going as consistently as possible every 2-3 weeks.

Life since May has been a damn roller coaster, and if you read Exploring Celibacy then you know why.

Therapy is helpful when you do the work. And you gotta be committed. And you gotta be disciplined cuz this shit is not fun, not easy, and is exhausting. But, I am thankful for therapy. Being in control of my mental health both intrigues me and makes me feel liberated.

Thank you, therapy for teaching me that my mental wellness is important.

Thank you, therapy for teaching me that I truly do deserve peace and should not have to fight for it.

Thank you, therapy for giving me safe spaces to process trauma and cry about it.

Thank you, therapy for letting me know that there is strength in vulnerability.

Thank you, therapy for showing me that I have the power to create a new normal.

Thank you, therapy for showing me that mental health is not cookie cutter or black and white.

Thank you, therapy for helping me forgive myself.

Thank you, therapy for helping me strengthen my self-love.

Thank you, therapy for helping me become secure in my decision making and to trust myself.

Thank you, therapy for giving me the tools to have those difficult ass conversations I’ve had to have with people all year long.

Thank you, therapy for teaching me the importance of boundaries and how to respect others’ boundaries as well.

Thank you, therapy, for helping me gain clarity on what I want in a partner, out of a job, out of my life.

Thank you, therapy for making me feel empowered enough to write, tweet, text, talk, and Facebook about my experiences with you. Those messages I get often about how I inspired someone to take control of their mental health never get old.

Thank you, therapy for making me no longer ashamed of what I’ve been through.

Needless to say, therapy is awesome to me.

I think everyone should go at some point in their lives, even if you think nothing is “wrong” with you.

If you’re thinking about getting some therapy in your life, here is your confirmation that you should go.

There’s nothing to be ashamed of, and even though processing trauma can be exhausting AF, you can take a nap afterwards.

Take care of yourselves, loves.

Love,

Kia


Let’s chat!

  1. Have you ever been in therapy? What was/is your experience like?
  2. If you haven’t been to therapy yet, what is stopping you?
  3. If you’re currently in therapy or have been in the past, what are some things you’ve learned about yourself.
  4. Why do you think there is so much shame associated with seeking help with our mental health?
  5. What can this world do to make mental health services more affordable and accessible to all?
  6. Have you experienced any negativity from friends or family for seeking help about your mental health?
  7. Leave a message for someone who is struggling with their mental health.

Forgive You, Forgive You Not

I had this dream once.

A person who really hurt me sat me down, grabbed my hand, looked me deep in my eyes and apologized for everything they put me through over the years.

They profusely apologized, asking for verbal confirmation that I forgave them. In the dream, I didn’t say a word. I just stared into this person’s brown eyes and processed what they said.

And then, I woke up.


As much as I know bitterness is unbecoming, forgiveness is really hard for me. Especially when I love you. Especially when I trust you.

And yet, people fall short all the time and hurt us– whether it’s intentionally or not and then what? We are the ones left to pick up the pieces.

Picking up the pieces wouldn’t be so bad if I didn’t feel confused about it all the time.

Why haven’t they came up with a word yet for when you’re in the in-between? In between holding a grudge and letting it go?

The space between the bitter taste of the past and the unknown of the future? The paranoia of the present. Will our souls ever be truly settled after betrayal?

Forgive You:

Does this mean I reconcile with you?

Does this mean I have to act distant towards you?

Does this mean it won’t ever happen again?

Why am I debating this shit anyway?

Maybe forgiveness would be easier if the dream I described at the beginning of this came true.


Forgive You Not

I’m comfortable here.

Bitterness is a defense mechanism for my vulnerability.

Sometimes, we all want something to hold over someone’s head…. especially if they ain’t verbally told us sorry.

But…

If I don’t forgive you, who am I really hurting here? The answer is me.


The bottom line is this:

Forgiveness is an act of fearlessness.

Sometimes you’re not going to get an apology.

And that’s okay.

Life will go on. They will go on. And you too, will go on.

Forgiveness does not mean you have to reconcile.

Forgiveness doesn’t mean you heal in the same environment you got sick in.

Let me say that again: FORGIVENESS DOESN’T MEAN YOU HEAL IN THE SAME ENVIRONMENT YOU GOT SICK IN. (I’m yelling because I am talking to myself)

With that being said, if you struggle with forgiveness like me, just understand that it is something that you will choose to do……

or not.


Let’s chat!

  1. What’s hard for you about forgiveness?
  2. Have you ever been in the in-between before?
  3. If you hold grudges, what makes you do so?
  4. Are you afraid to forgive because you’re afraid that you’ll be taken advantage of again?