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How to Find Happiness

The number one question that has been on my mind for the last few years is how to find happiness after abuse? I understand that many of you have asked this question a thousand times. For myself it was a question I avoided on the regular. Could it be possible to ever be happy again after being through something that didn’t only change your life but changed how you saw people? How you thought about people. How you would trust again. This is where life sorts of stops for me.

The other day a good friend of mine asked me if I was happy. I immediately said yes. Without thinking, I said yes. And when I realized that I meant it, I was in shock. I mean, I have everything I need. God has blessed me beyond anything I thought I deserved. But I was still in shock by this revelation because I had been faking happiness for years. Both during my relationship and after the relationship. And somehow I had gotten so good at faking it that even I couldn’t tell. Or at least I didn’t want to see the truth. Confession time, I’ve been existing instead of living my life. I haven’t been out on a date in years. Well, until now. And surprisingly I haven’t found a reason to run yet. Believe me, I tried. He knows me well enough not to push me too fast and I thank him for that. My biggest fear is to let my guard down. I know what will happen if I do. At least I think I know what will happen.

For those of you that have managed to move on with their lives, how did you find happiness? I know my quote of ‘There is life after abuse’ shows that I’ve found my happiness. But to be honest, I am only now learning about true happiness. And along with that happiness, I have a million questions. Have I only found happiness because there’s someone in my life? What about being happy and loving myself? How can I get back to that? How can I stop expecting the worse from everything and everyone? How…?

Photo by Eye for Ebony on Unsplash

What is Sexual Assault?

Don’t worry this isn’t going to be some long, drawn out article about the definition of sexual assault. We know what sexual assault involves; contact or behavior that happens without consent of the victim. Over the years, the seriousness of sexual assault has changed. At least over the course of the years I’ve known about sexual assault. It seemed that in the 80’s, sexual assault wasn’t taken serious. I remember movies that damn near promoted this type of behavior. Movies like Nerds and Grease made sexual assault seem the norm. From improper touching, looking up dresses, creating peep holes in the girl’s shower room, these are just a few of the things deemed innocent play.

Not anymore. Men and women are no longer keeping silent about sexual assault. As you’ve seen in the news, victims are revealing the names of their attackers. Harvey Weinstein, Bill Cosby, Kevin Spacey, and Donald Trump, are just a few of the names in a long list of attackers. Each man has over twenty accusers each. These men used the power they held to hurt anyone that crossed their paths. This type of behavior, as we all know, happens everywhere.

According to the NSVRC (National Sexual Violence Resource Center) 1 in 3 women and 1 in 6 men are likely to experience some type of sexual violence. And over 60% of assaults go unreported. To think that not half of these crimes are brought out is horrible. The victims feel shame and have doubts about their roles in the incident. As a victim myself, I’ve had my own doubts. For a long time, I asked myself if I did something to make my attacker think that I wanted him. What action did he misread? I’m sure I’m not the only one who’s asked themselves these questions. I’m also sure no one has come up with an answer.

Over the last few months, we’ve heard story after story about assaults and none of the attackers were held accountable. That is until now. Now, victims are standing together and saying, “NO MORE”. NO MORE to shame; NO MORE to pain; and NO MORE to silence!

~Be Blessed~

Photo by Louis Blythe on Unsplash

Apologies

I would like to apologize for the lateness of my article. Things have gotten a little backed up, however I do promise to have two articles up by the end of the week. Thank you for your patience. ~Be Blessed~

Review: The Last Tudor

4 Stars!!

As always Philippa Gregory has not let me down. The Last Tudor follows the life of Jane Grey and her sisters. As we all know Jane was only queen for nine days before Mary Tudor fought for the throne and won. However, the story does not end there. In parts two and three we follow the lives of her sisters Katherine and Mary. But will these sisters follow Jane’s footsteps to the scaffold? Let me know your thoughts on The Last Tudor.

Murdered By My Boyfriend

This week I had another article in mind to close out this month’s discussion on teen dating violence. However, while researching information for the article I came across a YouTube video that made me change today’s topic. The documentary is based on a true story and is almost an hour long. I can only come up with one flaw for this documentary. It has a narrator. In my opinion, it doesn’t need the narrator. In fact, she’s a bit irritating. But if you can ignore that, the documentary, though hard to watch, is a must see. As always please feel free to leave your comments!

~Be Blessed~

Love Is Not Abuse

Love Is Not Abuse is an app for parents to learn more about teen dating violence. The app was created by Liz Claiborne, Inc and it can be found in the Apple store. And it’s free! The app gives you a twenty-four trial of what controlling and abusive behavior is like. The user will receive text messages, emails, and phone calls. The pretend boyfriend/girlfriend on the other end will threaten the user with different scenarios if they do not agree to their request. For example, if the pretend boyfriend/girlfriend of the user asks them to unfriend someone Facebook and the user doesn’t, the pretend boyfriend/girlfriend will make threats. The app also includes tips and information on teen dating abuse. Videos are available to teach parents about abuse methods that violate privacy. Below is the link to the YouTube video that shows you how all this works.

                                  

Surprisingly, some people criticize the app for being unrealistic and too general. I believe any app that helps a parent connect with and protect their teen is greatly needed. To say this app is unrealistic is a bit of a stretch. The quickest way for a teen to be controlled is through social media. Teens are glued to their phones twenty-four hours a day; constant phone calls and text messages is the number one option to control their significant others. We must do something to protect our children and we need all open paths to do it.

~Be Blessed~

YouTube Video:

Signs of Teen Dating Violence

    We all know how difficult it is to be a teenager. Everything seems life shattering. Not making the team, not getting the lead in a play, and not being asked out by the most popular person in school. All these things can seem as if the world is coming to an end. But what about the teen that facing a true life altering ordeal. There is a growing number of teens in abusive relationships. Approximately 9% of teens are a victim of physical violence from their partner every year. Teen dating violence is defined as the mental, emotional, physical and sexual abuse that occurs within a romantic relationship. Examples of teen dating violence:

• Emotional abuse – this includes your mate talking down to you; hurting your feelings.
• Verbal abuse – this includes your mate yelling, threatening, or mocking you.
• Controlling behavior – your mate calling you repeatedly, telling you who you can talk to or hang out with, going through your phone without your permission, and most importantly forcing you into a sexual situation when you’re not ready.0

Most teens may not realize they’re in an abusive relationship. Especially, boys. Most teens–both boys and girls–thought it was okay for girls to hit boys. It is not! Starting as early as eleven years old, parents should have the conversation with their teens about abuse. And please understand that eleven years old is not too young to have this discussion. Pre-teens are at the very threshold of learning to interact on a whole other level with the opposite sex. In this day and age, dating begins quite early, even if parents have strict rules about it. And we all know how quickly kids learn these days.
If you are worried about your teen being in an abusive relationship, here are some signs to look for:

• Does your child show physical signs of abuse?
• Has his or her grades began to fall, or have they dropped out completely?
• Have they changed their personal style (dress, hair, makeup, if allowed, etc.)?
• Has their confidence taken a dive?
• Have they quit their normal routine of activities (after school or otherwise)?
• Are they using drugs or drinking alcohol?
• Are they having mood swings or emotional breakdowns?
• Have they started isolating themselves from family and friends?
• Do they apologize for their significant other’s angry outbursts or awkward behavior?
• Do they seem overly worried about upsetting their significant other?
• Are they suffering from sudden weight loss, depression, anxiety, or suicide?

If any of these signs stick out to you, please talk to your teen. They need someone in their corner. Please talk them today!
~Be Blessed~

NEXT UP…

Jane Grey was queen of England for nine days. Her father and his allies crowned her instead of the dead king’s half sister Mary Tudor, who quickly mustered an army, claimed her throne, and locked Jane in the Tower of London. When Jane refused to betray her Protestant faith, Mary sent her to the executioner’s block, where Jane transformed her father’s greedy power grab into tragic martyrdom.

“Learn you to die,” was the advice Jane wrote to her younger sister Katherine, who has no intention of dying. She intends to enjoy her beauty and her youth and fall in love. But she is heir to the insecure and infertile Queen Mary and then to her half sister, Queen Elizabeth, who will never allow Katherine to marry and produce a Tudor son. When Katherine’s pregnancy betrays her secret marriage, she faces imprisonment in the Tower, only yards from her sister’s scaffold.

“Farewell, my sister,” writes Katherine to the youngest Grey sister, Mary. A beautiful dwarf, disregarded by the court, Mary keeps family secrets, especially her own, while avoiding Elizabeth’s suspicious glare. After seeing her sisters defy their queens, Mary is acutely aware of her own danger but determined to command her own life. What will happen when the last Tudor defies her ruthless and unforgiving Queen Elizabeth?

STAY TUNED…