Read this post and then share your thoughts. If anyone gets offended, then you’re probably the cake eater. I’m just saying!
Copyright 2014. Natasha Foreman Bryant. Some Rights Reserved.
Read this post and then share your thoughts. If anyone gets offended, then you’re probably the cake eater. I’m just saying!
Copyright 2014. Natasha Foreman Bryant. Some Rights Reserved.
“The best revenge is living well. I don’t need to focus my attention and energy on ‘getting even’ with anyone– because I’m already ahead of them. It would require me to turn around, go back, and invest time and resources trying to hurt them. I’d rather carry myself with grace all the way to victory. I don’t need confirmation of my greatness. I don’t need someone to tell me I’m special or brilliant. I don’t need validation. I know who I am, whose child I am, what I’m made of, and what I will and won’t tolerate in my life. I also know that the eternal will stick around while the temporal will eventually fall to the wayside, so I don’t need to hold on to things or people. As my Dad always told me, “you can’t lose what’s rightfully yours”. Everything has its purpose and place in life. So heal and let go of the past. Heal and move forward in your life. Heal and live with dignity. Seek greatness and not revenge in your life so that your remaining days on Earth are well-spent and legacy-defining.”
– Natasha L. Foreman, MBA
Copyright 2011. Natasha L. Foreman.
Another post from childhood friend, Sean…
Remember when you kept your personal business in the house? Your kids knew that you didn’t tell folks about what went on in the house. A husband spoke to his wife and a wife spoke to her husband. Posting how you done with men or women on Facebook only makes you look foolish and desperate. Maybe it is time to stop proclaiming love, giving yourself over and praising these men and women before you know them in the first place. Keep your business in your house and the world won’t be all up in it. It is time for grown-ups to start acting grown.
Copyright 2011. All Rights Reserved.
By Natasha L. Foreman, MBA
On April 15th I was honored to lead a Dignity Day session as a HOPE Corp Volunteer through Operation HOPE (HOPE) at the Coretta Scott King Young Women’s Leadership Academy (CSKYWLA) in Atlanta.
What is amazing is how the majority of this class of ninth graders were initially completely turned off to the idea of having to listen to yet another speaker that day as they were just returning to their classroom from an assembly that focused on the theme of 100 days of Non-Violence…so they were shifty and closed off. But about 15 minutes into our conversation some of the girls who had crossed arms were soon raising their hands and answering questions.
I started off by talking about the concept of legacy and that that day we were laying the foundation and road map for them to create and eventually leave behind a strong, dignified legacy. I had them define the term legacy in their own words and then share some of their dreams, goals and aspirations. Then as our conversation deepened I shared with them the history of how HOPE was founded, the services and programs that HOPE offers, and I started to weave a story where life included them and their legacy.
I think helping them share the names of empowered and dignified women they see in their family, community, and elsewhere who had similar or worse lives growing up helped them to see that they too could be those same type of women- that they are these women but in-training and with the potential to do more and help more in the long run because they are being equipped with the tools at a young age; and our adversity isn’t an excuse to let life pass us by or a crutch to coast through life doing and expecting the bare minimum, but a reason and motivation to excel and succeed.
These young ladies were shocked to hear that the civil rights movement as it pertained to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr and Ambassador Andrew Young was sparked, motivated, and pushed along due to their wives Coretta Scott King and Jean Childs Young- two women who endured and overcame adversity and strife. Hearing this information made many of these girls sit up straight in their chairs and listen intently.
When I spoke about not holding grudges, and that forgiving people is not to benefit the person they were forgiving but to help themselves heal, grow, and overcome- some girls shifted in their seats their seats, a few others rolled their eyes in disbelief; but then when I mentioned Oprah Winfrey, Maya Angelou, Iyanla Vandzant and their ability to forgive their abusers and using strife as a launching pad towards success- some of the girls started naming other people like Fantasia and Tyler Perry who was sexually and physically abused and how he also overcame and pushed himself to success.
We discussed the concept of family and that it isn’t just our immediate family we need to be concerned about but our neighborhoods, cities, state, our country, and our global family. Because I know that girls can be equally as cutthroat as boys, I made sure that we had a heart-to-heart chat about trash-talking and “clowning” people and how although initially it can be lighthearted and funny, it can also be crippling and tear apart our “extended” family.
We discussed being relevant not only in this country but globally, and that true wealth (spiritual, financial, etc) can only be maintained long term by leading a dignified life, not by living up to the negative stereotypes that are projected globally about Black females. We discussed self-empowerment and not waiting on the government or specific programs to help us, that we have to help ourselves. That we shouldn’t be waiting for someone else to pick up trash on our sidewalks- we should pick it up ourselves.
We shouldn’t be waiting for someone else to cover the graffiti on our walls and buildings- we should paint over it ourselves; we shouldn’t wait for someone else to beautify our streets and parks with trees and flowers- we should plant them ourselves. I explained that they should be volunteering in their community through church or some other organization taking pride in restoring, building, maintaining, and beautifying their neighborhoods.
We had a pretty good time. We laughed and talked about boys and expectations of being respected by males and all people when you carry yourself with respect and dignity. We discussed the language of money and being financially literate, and how this literacy will empower them. It was refreshing to see that many of them have savings accounts and that two of the students had traveled abroad- one to London and the other to the Bahamas. Two young passport carriers living in an underserved and underrepresented area of Atlanta- doesn’t that give you hope? It gives me hope and encourages me to continue my work in the community, and my work through Operation HOPE.
I hope more men and women find it in their hearts to invest one hour of their time at least once per month to volunteer in a church, in a class room, or in a youth center through Operation HOPE. One person can make a difference!
Copyright 2011. Natasha L. Foreman. All Rights Reserved.
By Natasha L. Foreman, MBA
Are you ready to pick up where we left off ? Let’s go!
First let me say…OUR President announced late last night that the U.S. has confirmed that they killed Osama Bin Laden in Pakistan after OUR President gave the okay to engage in combative measures to eliminate Bin Laden and his associates as a threat. So…uh Donald Trump and all of you small-minded morons out there so concerned with OUR President’s birth certificate, maybe now you can see what pressing issues that he found more important to follow up on instead of tracking down his birth certificate from the 60s. Now this is a perfect segue into part two of my post on Trump the Chumps…
I want to see Trump’s transcripts from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. Matter of fact I want to see his transcripts from Fordham before he transferred to Wharton. I want to see his academic honors he claims to have earned while attending the New York Military Academy (when he was acting up as a teenager as his parents sent him there to get his attitude problem adjusted). I want to know what gives a person who comes directly from Scottish (mother) and German (father and paternal grandparents) roots the right to question someone’s heritage and citizenship.
I want to know what a person who claims to have an interest in the U.S. economy, jobs, business development, and competing in the global marketplace- and says that OUR President is doing an awful job (the worst of all presidents he claimed) can do anything to turn our country around when in 1991 he filed for corporate bankruptcy (and almost filed for personal bankruptcy); watched banks and bondholders lose hundreds of millions of dollars while he restructured his debt to avoid losing more money in court. What can this man say when in 1992 his Trump Plaza Hotel was forced to file a prepackaged Chapter 11 bankruptcy?
Two years later Trump lost the Trump Shuttle, was forced to sell a parcel of his West Side yards to Asian developers without retaining ownership- only allowed to keep his name on the buildings that were built on those yards so a premium could be charged for them. I wouldn’t be surprised if this was the breaking point when he became fixated on Asians, more specifically the Chinese as being enemy number one.
I want to know why Trump feels he’s qualified to run this country when in 1998 his Trump Hotels & Casino Resorts were profitless and could barely pay the interest on nearly $3 billion in debt; which kept them from making necessary improvements on the properties. I want to know how he feels he is capable of running our country and reducing our deficit when the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) brought a financial-reporting case against Trump Hotels & Casino Resorts Inc in 2002 alleging that the company had misleading third-quarter 1999 earnings release statements. Then two years later the company announced they were restructuring their debt reducing Donald’s individual ownership from 56 percent to 27 percent, and giving bondholders stock in exchange for surrendering part of the debt.
So who’s company had to file for bankruptcy November 2004? Trump’s. So who relinquished his CEO position but retained his role as Chairman of the Board? The Donald. So after re-emerging as Trump Entertainment Resorts Holdings in 2005 and appearing to be on the upswing even with legal issues who then had to file for Chapter 11 again on February 17, 2009 after the “Chairman of the Board” said he would resign from the board four days earlier? Trump Entertainment Resorts.
How is Donald John Trump, Sr. qualified to be the President of the United States? Does he think it’s because he knows how to say, “you’re fired” and he thinks that shows signs of a strong leader? Maybe it’s because while he was a student at the New York Military Academy he was the captain of the baseball team in 1964 and received the Coach’s Award that same year. Or maybe it was because his senior year there he was promoted to the Cadet Captain-S4 (Cadet Battalion Logistics Officer). For those of you who don’t know what this title means- The Donald was “responsible for the maintenance, security, record keeping, issue, and turn-in of all U.S. government property (except ordinance).” That is definitely grounds to claim a stake at the presidency isn’t it?
His attack on OPEC and belief that as President he could force them to do what we say and “stop robbing us blind” is supported by what experience exactly? Does he think his real estate career has laid the foundation for dealing with the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries?
Maybe Donald thinks he’s better suited for the Presidency since he knows the viewpoints from all sides since he’s been a supporter of the Reform Party, Republican Party, and the Democratic Party. Donald needs to choose a party first, commit to it, and I would suggest having had experience voting in primary elections- since according to an April 23rd report by New York-based TV station NY1 (and confirmed by a city board spokeswoman) Donald hasn’t voted in a primary election in New York City for 21 years.
I want to see Donald’s tax returns for the past four years. I want to see his academic achievements highlighted for verification. I want to see the report his “people” gave him when their intel said that OUR President’s birth certificate did not exist and then eluded that it was because he was Kenyan born.
I mean seriously, Donald’s foreign policy concept is imperialistic and pimpish. I thought our country is pushing an anti-bullying movement with our children- but we’re still saying, “do as I say not as I do”. He told CNN last week that we should have told the Arab League that we would go into Libya and take Gaddafi out of office for $5 billion and then we could go in there and get their oil. He then also found a way to attack China and place some blame their way because they haven’t sent their military troops to Libya.
Yes, China’s cleaning our clock economically and academically- how is that their fault that we got caught slipping on innovation and education? Donald why don’t you invest in our schools, bring in more textbooks and supplies, fund before-and-after school programs (in underserved and underrepresented cities) that offer tutoring as early as 6am and as late as 7pm during the week, and weekend programs open from 8am to 6pm?
I would also say this- the man who is so concerned about our economy, jobs, and competing with China whom he calls our country’s “enemy” should take the $100 million he offered to donate to the White House for a stinking ballroom and instead inject that into our economy for a booster shot and job creation. If he’s so concerned about jobs and says OUR President is incompetent at creating jobs, then The Donald should start hiring U.S. citizens in all of his companies, and since he has the money supposedly, why doesn’t he open more businesses to answer the supply and demand needs which will help to trigger positive consumerism trends in those states?
Let’s be real shall we…Donald Trump is the epitome of the capitalist that people detest- he is all about money and how he can acquire more only for himself, and not concerned with job creation except to help him achieve and maintain his financial wealth. I want to know as he’s attacking OUR President about our country not having enough U.S. based companies and U.S. made products, how many of his employees in Dubai, Turkey, South Korea, Canada, Scotland, and Canouan Island are U.S. citizens? How much of the generated revenues from these locations are being re-distributed back into the U.S. economy? I want to know what U.S. products he is helping to produce that are being exported to other nations to help boost our economy and help to pay down our staggering debt?
Let me say in closing that I see that Donald’s son Eric has a foundation- The Eric Trump Foundation for St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital- but where’s Donald’s foundation? I researched and discovered on Trump’s website that “The Trump Family is proud to participate in and provide support for…” The Eric Trump Foundation, Girl Up United Nations Foundation, New York City Police Foundation, Operation Smile, and The Police Athletic League (PAL)…I will let you reflect on that for a moment and not to diminish the contributions made by and to these great organizations but just ask yourself where the support of education and job creation is present by the Trump conglomerate!
Then I want you to think about this…OUR so-called “incompetent” President has done something no other President before him has been able to do and that was whoop up on, defeat, and bring back the body of Osama Bin Laden snatching that magnet of fear out of the world. You may be able to huff and puff, and fire a bunch of people Donald, and Sarah Palin may be able to hunt deer and elk in Alaska but NONE of you fools have what it takes to deal with ordering the elimination of Bin Laden while being under attack from hate mongers who question your patriotism, nationality, citizenship, loyalty, and religion every single day; while also trying to bring up the spirits of the country, rebuild our schools, produce jobs for the unemployed and underemployed, and deal with back-to-back crisis situations affecting our country domestically and abroad- while raising a family and trying to be a loving and attentive spouse. Let’s not discuss your family lives and careers!
To my readers let me say…you know that I await your feedback!
Copyright 2011. Natasha L. Foreman. All Rights Reserved.
>In my honest opinion I think that people fear loving, giving, receiving, sharing, and caring because these are elements that we can't truly and fully control. You can't control how others will respond, you can't control the outcome, and you can't control your feelings and emotions. So what do we do? We hold back. We filter ourselves, we tiptoe around issues and situations. We give only a small fraction of ourselves to others, but oddly enough we give more to those who shouldn't matter, and give less to those who should matter most. We give our time, attention and affection to people who are leaches, and who spend their lives secretly and slowly sucking the life out of others- us included. Yet we neglect the ones who bring added value to our lives.
We applaud the ones who spend their days exclaiming (although trying to act modest), "look what I did", "look who I helped", "look at what I bought", "look at what someone gave me" rather than honoring the person who gives without announcing it to the world, the person who doesn't need to show off like a peacock what they possess or were given. We carry on our backs the victims who spend their waking moments showing off their symbolic 'cross' they have carried since childhood. We tell ourselves, "they need saving, they need us". We merely pat the backs of those who are humble survivors and fighters, who make no excuses and need no "oh woest me" stories to gain sympathy or empathy. They instead get up each day and do their job to the best of their ability. Those are the ones we should be walking beside. Those are the ones we should be soaring with- instead we hang with the scum eaters.
More energy is given to the show-off and to the victim, than the doer and fighter, and this troubles me.
It is more comfortable uplifting someone who spends life taking from others, because in our minds we can control that situation and we can possibly 'fix' and save them. Everyone wants to be a hero, because you think you can control your interaction with the person you're saving. When in reality the more you try to save them the more they need saving- and soon a co-dependent relationship is formed. You need the ego-stroking and cheerleading, and they need the savior. Sounds ridiculously draining to me but I see this scenario regularly.
You would think that people would avoid this type of interaction, but I believe that it is uncomfortable for some of us to build a life with a person who is comfortable rising to the top with you; giving, rather than taking, sharing rather than expecting. We can't control our feelings with this person. They are our hero as much or more than we are theirs- and this scares some of us. We can't control falling into the light of love with them- so we would rather walk in darkness and hope that the pocket-sized flashlight with weakened batteries is enough to help see us through. Instead of living a life that feels effortless, we would rather expend unnecessary energy enabling someone and give to a person who lives with a sense of entitlement but perpetrates as though they are charitable.
We think that it is safer to live in the unknown of potential mania, than the unknown of limitless bliss. Wouldn't you rather embrace the idea of how good something can be, versus the unknown of how devastating something could become? Are we then not drama queens and kings? Are we not setting ourselves up for hurt, embarrassment and failure? Are we not forming cancerous relationships?
How is there comfort in being with someone who has less to lose by being associated with you? Less to lose if scandal splatters upon you? How is there comfort in being with someone who would jump ship, throw you under the bus, and turn their back on you if something bad came your way? How is there comfort in associating with a person who is only around you for what they can get from you and from knowing you? Where is your true span of control in this type of relationship?
The reality is, being with the wrong person, even temporarily, just because we think we can control the circumstances actually leaves us in less control than if we were with the person we're supposed to love, and who truly loves us. If fear is False Evidence Appearing Real then why wouldn't we embrace truth? Why wouldn't we embrace the realness of life, love, joy and happiness? Why wouldn't we want to be super-charged by a shared energy with a person who gives as much or more than we do?
Are you willing to miss being with the person who is your better half because you are a coward? Are you willing to lose the best thing that you may ever have, the person whose love is priceless- for something that can be easily replicated, and quickly bought and sold? You can let go and experience true love, or you can close your eyes and wake up to the nightmare of having your joy stolen from you.
Which option seems to provide you with more control now?
Natasha L. Foreman
Copyright 2010. Natasha L. Foreman. All Rights Reserved.
>I’m about to touch on a sensitive topic that many people may frown upon, may attempt to avoid, and may claim they are not a testimony of…abuse! Remember one of my earlier posts when I mentioned that those of us who aren’t sociopaths want and know that we need love, it’s when we try to get and keep it at all costs when joy can quickly turn to mania. When a healthy sense of reality becomes cloudy and our judgment becomes tainted and unpredictable.
This post is only to highlight the types of abuse, things we don’t acknowledge or see in abusive relationships (both as the abuser and abused), and how all of this impacts our relationships with others in both our personal and professional lives. It is a hope that we look deep within ourselves and take responsibility for our feelings, actions, inaction, and role as the abuser or abused. Hopefully through analysis, reflection, and dialogue we can work to free ourselves from these crippling titles and lifestyles. Part five of this series explored our personalities, this post will open the door even more so we can see how our personalities leave us vulnerable to abusing or being abused by others. We will have to split this post into two parts because it is bound to be a very lengthy read. So part seven will pick up where we leave off today. Ready to peek in and explore? Then let’s get to it!
I have read numerous books, articles, journals, and websites over the past 17 years about the various types of abuse. To simplify things I will summarize my most recent findings and refer to a few quality online sources such as the National Domestic Violence Hotline, Helpguide.org and Mentalhelp.net in case you would like a starting point for your own personal query.
According to helpguide.org, ” If you feel like you have to walk on eggshells around your partner—constantly watching what you say and do in order to avoid a blow-up—chances are your relationship is unhealthy and abusive. Other signs that you may be in an abusive relationship include a partner who belittles you or tries to control you, and feelings of self-loathing, helplessness, and desperation.”
Understand that abusers are not out of control, contrary to popular belief, abusers are very controlled individuals and know exactly how and when to attack. They pick and choose whom to abuse. They don’t attack everyone or just anyone, they usually focus on those closest to them, the ones they claim to love the most. They are careful about when and where they abuse, controlling rage in public for instance, and instead waiting until they can be in a more private and controlled environment. Don’t get it twisted, some abusers don’t mind acting like Ike Turner in public, but this isn’t common. Remember it’s about power and control, and their leverage shrinks when in public.
Abusers can stop their abusive behavior when it benefits them, for example, when the police show up, their boss calls, the neighbor or family member comes to the door, etc. When it comes to violent abusers they are clever in how they deliver their abuse. They beat, kick, burn where the injuries won’t or are less likely to show. Signs of abuse on the face, etc can be done more frequently on an abused person who is closed off from frequent contact with others. Even if bruises are discovered the abused is quick to take responsibility or say “we were playing and he accidentally hit me”.
Grabbing, hitting, slapping, pinching, pushing, kicking, thumping, hair pulling, forcing someone to eat or drink something, spitting, scratching, and restraining are all actions taken by an abuser to control and wield power over another person. Any actual or threat of physical force upon another is physical abuse.
SEXUAL ABUSE (a form of physical abuse)
“Molestation, incest, inappropriate touching (with or without intercourse), and partner or date rape are all instances of sexual abuse. Sexual abuse also occurs if one partner has agreed to a certain level of sexual activity and another level is forced upon her (or him) without prior explicit consent being given.” (mentalhelp.net) Helpguide.org wrote that “Any situation in which you are forced to participate in unwanted, unsafe, or degrading sexual activity is sexual abuse. Forced sex, even by a spouse or intimate partner with whom you also have consensual sex, is an act of aggression and violence. Furthermore, people whose partners abuse them physically and sexually are at a higher risk of being seriously injured or killed.”
This form of abuse is often sugar-coated because people rarely take into consideration the words they use towards others and how they go about delivering their messages. Verbal abuse is using words and body language to make yourself appear superior to another and in turn make them feel inferior, make them question their judgment, and force them to not stand up to the abuser. Oftentimes abusers try to convince those they attack that they are just joking, or that it’s “all in your head”.
-Use of profanity when speaking to or referring to the other person
-Telling someone that something they have done or that they do is stupid, ridiculous, idiotic, moronic, ignorant, or any other derivative that basically says, “what I think you should be doing/saying/thinking is the right way” and “I’m smarter and wiser than you”.
-“If it wasn’t for me you wouldn’t have…”
-Yelling and screaming
-Raising your hand in anger (also psychological and physical abuse)
-Body language and facial expressions that show disgust, disinterest, rage, or that they think that what is being said/done is ludicrous, etc; and intimidating looks and posturing.
-Starting and continuing an argument: just because, to win, to chastise, to prove a point, to make the other person do/say what you want
PSYCHOLOGICAL ABUSE (mental and emotional abuse)
This type of abuse is often overlooked as being abuse. Neither the abuser or the abused may recognize the signs of psychological abuse. We use the excuse that he/she is “just aggressive” or that they are only looking out “for your/my best interest”. What this comes down to is control. Just like all other forms of abuse, the abuser seeks, expects, and demands control. The method of doing so is mentally and emotionally. It’s by playing mind games; convincing the abused that he/she is imagining things or “it’s in your head”. The scars from emotional abuse can run deep and last longer than any physical scar. Let me share some examples:
-Flirting with another person in front of their spouse/significant other. Then adding an extra layer by saying, “you make me want to flirt with other women/men” or “I wouldn’t flirt if you lost weight; you don’t look like you used to”. Or how about, “if you treated me right and paid me more attention I wouldn’t have to get it from someone else”. Here’s another kicker…”I wasn’t flirting. That’s your imagination running wild again. You shouldn’t be so jealous and insecure”.
-Flirting with another person and then quickly sharing with their significant other about the experience. The purpose of this is to feed off of your reaction from being betrayed.
-Demanding that “you do it my way or we end this relationship”; demanding that the person checks in frequently and tells them where they are and who they are with (exploding in rage when it isn’t done)
– Frequently or strategically making statements such as “If you can’t do this then maybe we’re not meant for each other”, “Maybe you’re not cut out for a person like me. Maybe I’m supposed to be with someone else”
-Taking the telephone number of another man/woman and then making sure the abused finds out. Either mentioning it or putting the number where it can be found.
-Telling the abused not to wear something (or wear their hair a certain way) because “only sluts do that” or “only people with no class do that” but then clearly showing attraction towards others who dress (or wear their hair) that same way.
-Making the abused think that they will/are being cheated on. “if you go to lunch with your friends then I’m going to have lunch with my own special friend”.
“If you go out with your friends tonight maybe I will have to do the same thing, or maybe I will just have a friend come by and keep me company”.
“I’m having dinner with a friend”, and when asked who the friend is, the abuser says, “don’t worry about it. It’s a friend” (or something to that effect).
Coming home late at night the abuser is asked where they were and he/she says, “with a friend”.
-Secretly or blatantly surfing the Internet for XXX-rated websites, calling adult hotlines, engaging other people in inappropriate conversations using the phone or Internet.
-Placing weapons nearby to send a message that “I will use this on you if you get out of line”. An example of this is a couple having an conversation that is turning into a disagreement (and possible argument) and one person grabs a belt, knife or gun and holds it in their hands (or sits it within arms reach on a nearby table) while talking. It can also be used to make the other person think that what they do or say will determine whether the abuser will attempt to commit suicide.
-Intimidating looks and posturing
Tomorrow we will pick up where we left off today. Yes, there are more forms of abuse other than the ones I shared today. I hope that you take the time to review this information again, check out the websites I have provided, and reflect on what you learn. If you or someone you know is suffering from abuse please contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-787-3224
Copyright 2010. Natasha L. Foreman
National Domestic Violence Hotline http://www.ndvh.org/