Dear Mom

 

Dear Readers,

My wordpress readers know me by the blog name dragthepen, however, I am J. R. Floyd,  creator of the YouTube channel Conversations with J. R. where I discuss relationship problems and explore the destruction of the family. At the start of the New Year ( 2020) I asked my viewers to join me in a year-long theme of writing letters to SELF. Each month I choose a different topic to write a letter about. This month I decided to write a letter to my mother, she is alive, and will never read this letter. This is my chance to work out  emotions that I’ve suppressed for years. This is my way of having that mother daughter talk. My mother is 77 years old and at this point in her life there is no need to open past wounds. I did not experience the ideal mother daughter relationship, although I am a mother,  I did not have good mother role models around me to teach me how to be a mother. At the age of 56, I still long for a deep soul connection with my mother, that unbreakable bond that I hear so many other mothers and daughters talk about. 

Dear Mom, Happy Mother’s Day. I hope you enjoyed the flowers I sent. I try my best to do as you ask to “ give you your flowers while you’re living”. I struggled whether to write this letter because I do not want my readers to get the impression that I am bashing my mother. I would never do that if you gave me the greatest gift, my life. Mom, there are some issues about our relationship that I have kept buried deep inside from childhood into adulthood, why, because you did not make it easy for me to confide in you. Looking back I understand that you were overwhelmed with children, being a wife and running a home. I have tried to make peace with the fact that you did the best you could with the information you had at the time. 

Mom, that the little girl in me still aches for the gentle, loving touch of a mother’s hand. As I matured in age and experience there were certain hardships that I could not talk to you about because I was afraid of being judged by you. I heard that a mother’s love is unconditional, and that mother’s have this 6th sense of wisdom, and mother’s forgive unconditionally. You never kissed any of my boo boo’s, played dress up with me, read  me funny stories, or  told me that I was pretty,  and that I was your princess. Instead,  you gave me a stern hand when I needed a firm one. You withheld vital information about maturing into womanhood, my body changed and I needed you to help me to understand this transformation. You didn’t teach me self- care, self- worth,  or self -respect, and most importantly to keep myself for that special person. 

There were nights when I cried into my pillow because I knew if I cried out you won’t come,and if you did I was afraid that you would scorn me.  I need the warmth, protection and assurance only a mother’s arms can give. You missed so many important events, my 1st and 2nd college graduations, the birth of my 1st son and the burial of my 2nd son. For years,  I put extra effort into being super women so that you would be proud of me, but instead, you praised other people’s daughters for their accomplishments. You haven’t read any of my books, listened to my podcast, or watched my YouTube channel. When I received my Ministry License, you told me you were“ proud of me”, but I did not feel any joy from those words because to me they were just words. I have gone through life loving you and hoping that we can connect on an emotional level. My hope is that the years that you have left us can find a way to be joined together as it was met to be. 

 

Thank you for stopping by dragthepen

This is not the time for Foolishness

Dear readers,

I have noticed an increasing number of people on social media posting negative comments about the government stimulus package. I’m not trying to be a hard- ass, but these are serious times and joking about a financial resource that’s going to help some people through this crisis, isn’t funny to me or did I miss the memo. So, while people are posting negative comments about the stimulus checks think about how many children are hungry, people being threatened with eviction, large number of homes with both parents out of work, women who are suffering from domestic violence, children living in home where they are being abused, families who are loosing husbands, wives, sisters, brothers and other members of their family to the Virus. People are afraid and living a day to day of uncertainty. Please show some intelligence and compassion.💖. Some people really need this money.

Thank you for stopping by Dragthepen.

 

Let Love & Unity flow Forever

 

 

 

Dear Readers, 

 

Please forgive me. I do not  mean to rain on an already soggy parade, but I’ve been thinking about the last 20 or so days that we have been quarantined. I’ve been keeping track of all the acts of kindness that people are performing. I am not questioning the motive behind the good deeds, but why it takes a tragedy or a pandemic to bring people and resources together. Another pattern that I noticed overtime is after the tragedy fades and this pandemic will come to an end no matter how long it takes, people tend to fall back into living life as they had previously. I contemplate writing about this horrible virus that’s sweeping across this world faster than the speed of light. The Coronavirus has put the world at a stand still and has caused us to live  day to day in uncertainty. People are still trying to shake the disbelief that this is happening and fear that the world may never return to what we once knew or will it? Our “ Normal” has been changed and now we get to see what we are really made of and reflect on what’s important now. 

 

I see people crossing the race line and the consensus is that this virus doesn’t fight fair so we are all in danger of being exposed regardless of color, economic status, or address.  We are all trying to stay one step ahead of this time bomb. I see states and cities pulling together to feed the hungry, and even though we can’t give hugs people are finding ways to extend a helping hand to ease the fear that is evident in the eyes of people who are wondering what’s next? I have a friend who started a Go Fund Me page to raise many for an immigrant neighborhood. Andre Lloyd Weber is making available two of his Broadway shows online for free. Actors are reading bedtime stories to children, dancers and singers are posting performances on Social media. I saw a three man band in the middle of the street in Idaho performing. The residence came out and danced on their porches and front lawns and for a moment there was pure joy during a time of death, devastation and uncertainty. In Spain a trainer takes to the rooftop to encourage people to exercise and, in Italy people took to singing to show solidarity. A few days ago in New York City some of the fire houses took to the streets and lined up in front of hospitals to sound their horns in thanks and celebration for the healthcare who are at the front line of this battle to beat this demon that is threatening to claim more lives.

 

This crisis has caused people to do what they have been wanting to do, spend time at home with family, and slow down. But when I see the negative comments on social media about being home with family, I wonder if people really mean what they are saying? Families are now forced to talk, create, recreate, learn how to make peace, make time to teach children new values, to bond, share, and maybe for some couples time to rediscover intimacy. We are living without the mega malls, sitting in traffic, date night, and neglecting family to work extra hours. People are not grinding, rushing and stuffing themselves with fast food due to overbooked schedules. This is the first time since 911, that the entire world has felt collectively the same fear, panic, confusion, anger, outrage, shock, and disbelief. We live in the same world striving for the same goals “ the pursuit of happiness”. This crisis has shown us that all life matters and by pulling together we are capable of conquering the meanest beast. My hope is that after the period of mourning is over because the loss of lives is great, and people will have a long journey to overcome the emotional, mental and financial challenges. Let’s  not go back to normal. My desire is that we keep the LOVE and UNITY flowing forever. 

 

 

The Joys of Parenthood

Dear Readers,                                          my son and my two granddaughters

 

This is just a matter of opinion and not intended to advise parents how to raise their children. Have you noticed that modern thinking parents no longer believe that it takes “ A village to raise a child”.  I am a baby boomer raised in the South by two parents who were very much disciplinarians. My father was a soldier and he believed in “ spoil the child, but use the rod” when necessary. My mother used a different approach when disciplining her children, she took away privileges, withheld allowance, and removed you from participating in important family events like birthday parties and BBQ’s. Above all my parents communicated with me and my siblings in a loving manner and only displayed displeasure by the frown on their face or the tone of disappointment in their voice. I have recently taken to observing the manner that modern parents verbalize displeasure towards their children and it is shocking. I have heard parents threatening their children how they would cause them physical harm for misbehaving. No, I am not talking about a minor spanking on the bottom, I have heard parents threatening to slap, kick, and punch their children.  And they do so by using the utmost foul language to describe their disapproval because their child is “ acting out”. Children will be l children, and what I see is parents who are getting younger and younger, and lack the patience, compassion, and the understanding that their world as an adult changed the moment they chose to bring a life into the world, and parenthood is a 100 percent 24 hour, 7 days a week, 356 days a year responsibility. Most young people become parents without a solid foundation, in other words, they are not emotionally, mentally, or financially prepared. They stumble through parenthood not grasping that true parenting means sacrifices, being opened to learning, and the understanding that being a parent means that life revolves around the needs of their children

Most young parents still feel the need to “ have a life” . Here’s some new information: your children are your life. Once you made the adult choice to bring forth life you do not get to choose which days you feel like being a parent. Your first allegiance as a parent is for the safety and welfare of your children. If nobody has told these young modern parents, let me have the pleasure to be the first to inform them that being a parent is a true gift, and children are the best part of our society, they remind us what’s important and they show adults that we are never to old to nurture the child that will always be in our spirit. Children encourage us to laugh, be silly, playful, and they give the best and sincere hugs. I don’t profess to be the world’s greatest parent. My one and only son ( who I called my one true love) was born into a world to a young unlearned and naive mother, and a father who misled me to believe that I was the love of his life, and that we were going to be married and live happily ever after. Well, he abandoned us when my son was 10 months old. I failed as a young parent because I lacked adult guidance and a support system. My mother was disgusted with me for getting “ knocked up”, my father did the best he could, but he was aging and illness took over his life. Every other adult in my life was dealing with their own chaos. I had to work to support me and my son,  and I never truly understood how to bond with him. He paid the price for being born to young parents. Today, he is a proud father of three, and he often tells me that he will never leave his children, and I know this is because of the manner that he was raised, by a strict grandmother, and absentee parents. 

 

my son

I am grateful today that my son, my one true love, has taught me a sincere lesson of unconditional forgiveness,  and at the age of 39, he allows me to be the mother that I always wanted to be, but didn’t know how. It’s like I said, children can teach us lessons, my son taught me that it’s not what happened, but what we will do now. I hope that many people will read this and tuck their children in tonight and let them know that they are loved. 

 

Thank you for stopping by dragthepen

From a Woman You Are Born

Dear Readers,

I don’t mean to start the New Year off on a sour note, but there is something that’s been on my mind and I would like to hear what you have to say about this matter. I have noticed a black-lash focused on women. There is this idea that what has gone wrong with men is because women need be better. A very popular Pastor, stated that ” women who say they don’t need a man is suffer from the spirit of lesbianism”. It is also said that women who are fortunate to be self- sufficient, and that their well being isn’t depended upon a man that these women are single because they are not allowing a man to be a man.

Black women are are the top of this accusation because it is said that they are the reason why millions of black men are incarcerated. These men have lost their place in their homes because some women have risen up and taken charge, so men no longer feel useful, in other words, “they don’t feel like a man”.

So, there are books, conferences, webinars,and seminars for the purpose of getting women to understand their submissive role, as a mother and wife, and not as an individual, and some how by going outside of their normal roles they don’t fit into society. There is a course titled, Wife in Training, in this course women are being told to wait and prepare for their husbands. Women are being told not to date because dating leads to sex, and a woman who have had multiple sex partners is referred to as used or loose. I have observed and spoken to women who are waiting in anger and frustration because they desire to be deemed ” a good women”. Some women are young and have little to no experience with men, therefore, their minds and hearts can be molded by the first man who comes along and says those magic words, ” I love You”.
Forced marriages, arranged marriages, women sold into marriages, women who are married to abusers who on the outside portrays himself to be the perfect husband and a pillar of the community. Women are suffering behind closed doors due to financial abuse, cheating husbands, absentee husbands, the kind that works, pays the bills and arrives home when he feels it needed. Women are being told to stay with their husbands because being single is not good. As I recall the Bible says in Genesis, God Said” it is not good for a man to be alone”. Have you noticed that when a women frees herself from a relationship that doesn’t allow her to grow once she lands back on her feet she glows.

There are smart, talent, educated women having to hold themselves back, so they don’t take the spot light off of their man. Look at the case of Ike and Tina Turner, and who turned out to be the winner?
Women are leaving marriages that they have been for 10, 20, 30 plus years, why, because they weren’t allowed to flourish they were stuck under the titles of wife, mother, cook, car pooler, problem solvers, and their worth and contribution never equals that of a man who goes out and slay the bacon because he is doing what a man is supposed to do.
I wonder why so much aggression toward women? Women beaten down with such disgraceful labels, and women in Hollywood are baring it all and engaging in cat fights in order to stay on top. Women are used in videos not for their talent, but like porn stars and freaks. There are plenty of women who are making the choice to be single because of their experiences and they don’t want to settle. Men are bachelors for years and they are celebrate as doing the right thing because they are avoiding ” gold diggers”.

I am going to stop here. I hope that I have gotten my point across. To the women who are fortunate to find a man who will respect and love you until death does it part, God bless you. For the women like me who have decided enough of useless relationships and choose to remain single, and be happy with life, good for you. To the men of this world I say, no women likes to be abused, conned, held back, lied to and strung along, and what goes around comes around. and when you find yourself in your old age looking for a caretaker, just remember in your youth all the chances you had to embrace love, but you wanted to be a player instead.

The choice is yours, the wait is over.

Thank you for stopping by dragthepen.

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The Sparkle of the Season

Dear Readers, lets take a walk down memory lane.

During this season of giving, receiving, cooking, shopping and decking the halls, different generations will gather under the warmth, smells and sparkle of the holiday season. People are enthralled with the delight and charm of this magical time of the year. Homes are buzzing with family and friends arriving from near and far, and at grandma’s house there will be stories of old and new to share. All eyes will be on the news babies, and the amazement of the little tots who have sprouted up an inch or two. During this time of year the emotional bond deepens as new memories are made, and some recipes are passed from one generation  to the next.

I often think back to my childhood Christmases the anticipation of my father and brothers arriving with a fresh pine smelling tree. The arrival of my grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and neighbors  to help trim the tree, while we ate delicious home baked treats, and indulged in my father home made fruit punch made with real fruit, laughing and singing Christmas  carols. In those days the excitement wasn’t  about gifts the importance of the season was about the unity of family and connecting with neighbors.  I remember my father piling us in that old blue station wagon, and riding through different neighborhoods admiring the elaborate decorations. When we returned home my mother would be waiting with hot chocolate and a fresh biscuits.

Christmas day was one of those rare occasions when everyone keep on their pajamas, while unwrapping  gifts and eating breakfast. There  was no rush to leave the house. Christmas  day was a day for family to stay home. My dad would read the story of the three Magi followed by watching the parade. Since we lived in a four story brownstone we hosted the family dinner on Christmas  day. The house was filled with fun, food, laugher, and people coming and going. The celebration  would last deep into the night with the adults lingering in the dining room, while the children  settle in the living room either asleep or watching Christmas movies.

I truly  miss the joy and simplicity of those days. I think the holidays have been destroyed by commercialism, greed and the deal of black Friday. People give because they expect to receive. Even after the 12 days of Christmas have faded people only talk about the material gain, and not about the family gatherings. I have decided that I will take back my way of celebrating the holidays by honoring my father’s tradition of having a live tree and my mother’s touch by backing cleaning and decorating the house.  I will prepare feast on a small scale, stock up on wine, brandy and egg nog. My door is open to all who truly desire to celebrate both Christmas,   Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa by just sitting back enjoying a meal, good spirits and the time to slow down and connect.

What is your fondest Christmas  memory?
Happy Holidays from dragthepen🥂

my journey back

Dear Readers,

My journey back.
I spent a lot of time confused as to why I couldn’t bounce back. Two years ago I almost found myself on the edge of being homeless. The events in life that you think couldn’t happen to you like, unemployment, illness, homelessness, no saving, and worst the people who declared and sworn their undying loyalty to you, when the shit hit the fan they were out of sight out of mind. You wake up in the middle of the night and it finally hits you. Your alone. Alone in the battle to reset and regain your life.

How do you do this?

I had a plan my journey began when I was 30. I broke away from an abusive marriage, received much needed therapy, and I though the ghosts from my past were gone. I was wrong. I wasn’t paying attention. I didn’t learn anything. I didn’t stay focused on me or my goals. I made the to do lists, made plans to do better and be better, but year after year I failed. I failed because my major distraction was running after relationships that I wasn’t ready for or men who just wasn’t good for me. I am not placing blame on the men they were doing what men do take what’s being offered to them. When I think about how I suffered through year after year in unless relationships, my heart cringe.
Mistake number two not making me the number one priority. I spread myself too thin trying to play super women. I gave so much of my precious time to people who are no longer in my life because I was just a means to their end. I was busy being a savior. I gave away money that I should have saved for a rainy day. I was too trusting of people who claimed me as their ” friend” for most of my life I have been blinded sided by these so called ” friends”. Paying attention has never been my strongest trait. Its taken me from the age of 18 until 50 for the light bulb to come on in my head. Currently, I am 55 and the last five years of my life have been about me finally letting go of what hasn’t worked in my life. The toughest part of this new journey loosing my apartment and the fear of not knowing. In one year I moved 4 times, each move I lost personal items, money and time. My last stupid mistake believing that I had finally found the one. Not. He was the straw that literally broken the camels back.

I have suffered through childhood trauma, being a single teenage mother, and becoming a high school drop out. I spent one year on the welfare system before I gave up and got my first job as a home health aide, and  I survived 7 years of an abusive marriage. When I fought for my independent I did not understand that independence comes with a price. When a women desire to walk the road less traveled she become an outcast. I worked my way through college it took ten years complete three degrees. During this time I barely kept my head above water, and I experienced some of the worst relationships. What devastated me the most was the lack of love, compassion and support I needed from my family. July 2017, I lost my apartment at the same time I published my first novel a short memoir, followed by a short story. I had no idea that there was a writer inside of me. I turned to writing as a means to escape the pain of feeling unloved and abandoned. I auditioned for a classical chorus and with dedication and practice, practice, practice June 2019, I performed at Carnegie Hall. I created a YouTube channel Conversations with J. R. Floyd, a forum where I talk about relationship issues and everyday life problems that effect our ability to be who we truly are. I kept writing as a result I have two more books to be published in 2020.

In the last three years I have paid attention to old patterns that keep me trapped in cycles of being unproductive and distracted. Now I am the number one priority. And I am happy that I took the time to understand why my relationship weren’t successful. Its feels amazing to finally have my feet planted on firm ground. While on this journey back I reflect on something Virginia Woolf once said as she described the conditions necessary for a woman to unleash her full potential: privacy (a “room of one’s own”), and money (self-sufficiency). Woolf argues that, if women are to explore their potential, they must be allowed to pursue these basic necessities. In my case my own space.

December 1, construction of my new living space will begin and move in day is December 28, just in time to pop the Champaign and celebrate my new beginning with a new year ( 2020) . . I have opted to have a roommate living alone doesn’t appeal to me now that I am aging and my roommate is a perfect fit. This journey back has been difficult, scary, enlightening, stressful, disappointing set backs, tearful, hopeless, feelings of brokenness, confusion, and there were days that I just couldn’t understand why?
I am moving forward with the smell of fresh paint, new carpet, every single piece of furniture is new and I can’t wait to be back in my own kitchen. I decided that I will settle in for a while before I open the doors to invite people in. I am thinking Spring will be a good time to cook a family dinner and open the doors to my new space. Moving forward with the information I have learned I have 5 years until retirement. I will continue on my path of emotional healing, spiritual balance and immerse myself in my mental and physical well being. I have plans to spend my 56th birthday in Vegas, and I have two more trips planned for 2020. And for my retirement finale I am building a tiny house. Please believe the saying, ” life is what you make it”. This half of my life is certainly going to be my best life.
Thank you for taking the journey with me.

The Healing process

Dear Readers,

A part of the healing process is to acknowledge when your overwhelmed by the emotions your working through. Creating a daily routine keeps you busy and sometime you can get lost in begin busy that you don’t pay attention to the emotions and the grief that eventually will caught up with you. I spent this past year focusing on pushing my brand ” Conversations with J. R. Floyd” I wrote a third book, created a new website, appear live on Facebook, and kept my you tube channel current. I  journal, read books, and watched 100ths of motivational speakers. I fasted and prayed, but I wouldn’t allow myself to cry because I felt this would show weakness. Today, is the day that my strong shoulders became weak, the emotions caught up to me and I finally had that cry. It is a relief to acknowledge what I feel and what I have been busy running from. So, now it is time for me to step back from my brand and focus on my emotional and physical health and the fact that I am going to make a career change in 2020. Thank you for your support. I will be back. 💖

Sweet Smell of Life

Dear Readers,  I lost everything, or at least I thought I did. Two years ago my life was turned upside down, first, I lost my apartment, and broke off my engagement, in two years I have moved four times into roommates situations. In the progress of moving I had to let go of material items. Things that I put blood and sweat into purchasing. I gave them away to people who were in need, and the most painful of all I had to leave my entire bedroom set in my old apartment because I didn’t have the time or many to put everything in storage.

When life hits you with an unexpected curve ball and in my case several curve balls, you learn how to put things in prospective, at least this is what I did. For the last year I have lived in a beautiful four bedroom apartment with two bathrooms with a great roommate, but I spend the bulk of my time in my room. What I have gained is the knowledge of how to live with less and be happy. In a few months December 1, 2019, I will officially, move into my own apartment, and I am looking forward to starting from ground zero, and living the next half of my life as a MINIMALIST. I live with just what I need and understanding that material processions don’t mean that I have quality of life, its just stuff that I worked hard to acquire, and sometimes don’t enjoy.

Refocusing my means having  time to slow down, experience and enjoy peace at home, and time to rediscovery and discover who I am. I’ve revisited the joys of reading books that have lead to me to understand that I was basically in a fog for years, and that I wasn’t living my best life. In two years, I have traveled, keep promises to myself that I have pushed back for years. I do more impromptu things, I focus more on me, health, and most important  I keep a daily gratitude journal. Yes. I know you have heard this over and over that a good life is a life that is filled with Gratitude. Since June I’ve been keeping a morning and evening Gratitude journal. I’ve practice the habit of starting my day with extra time to sit in peace, listen to a motivational video, journal, reflect, and plan that my day is going to be a good one. No matter how bad I think a day is I look forward to looking for five things that I have to be thankful for that day.

I am literally starting from ground zero with everything. my new apartment won’t be stuff with things, but it will be pretty, and filled with dinners with family and friends. I am refocusing my priorities in the order of important, spending more time on the goals that are important to me like, my next two books, my YouTube channel, Conversations with J. R. Floyd, rejoicing in the release of my new website, Conversations with J. R. Floyd on Squarespace ( October 2019).  I use to think of starting over as a depressing life event, I don’t anymore. I see starting from ground zero as a chance to start fresh and leave the old drama behind. I look forward to each day because I have new goals that will become a reality now that I  know how to prioritize, plan, slow down, keep distractions away.   Sometime an ending and be a new beginning. If this is you, don’t look back,  life is so much better when you look forward.

Here is the five things that I have to be thankful for today.

  1. Today,I am thankful that I didn’t allow the hands of depression to control me.
  2. Today, I am thankful for good health.
  3. Today, I am thankful that I have a chance to rebuild my life from ground zero.
  4. Today, I am thankful to have something to be thankful for.
  5. Today, I am thankful because I can look forward to living my best life.

J. R. Floyd, Dragthepen

I challenge you to list  Five things that you are thankful for?8 ways you gain when you accept change, Tips from Sharvi.