Monday, February 18, 2013

Faith vs Common Sense

I have a lot of faith and I believe in miracles. I believe in miracles because I have experiences them. The greatest miracle I received was having a baby after being told that I couldn’t conceive because of massive fibroid tumors. That baby is almost 12 years old.

I believed anything was possible after the miracle of conceiving and giving birth to my son. All I need to do is have faith and God would grant me the desires of my heart. What I desired most was to be married and have another child. My doctor even believed I could have another child. She believed this because she believes in God and in miracles just like I do. So I continued to pray, have faith and believe that I would have my miracle.

In 2011 by body started to change. My periods got heavier and I felt like I had cramps all the time. In January 2012 I finally went to see my doctor. She told me that the fibroids were out of control and that they were most likely causing the problems I was having. In February I had a D&C to help my periods not to be so heavy. It worked for a while and then I was back to square one. In July I had another D&C. This time it didn't help. In, addition my doctor found a large fibroid tumor inside my uterus that she didn't see before. This tumor was the cause of my heavy periods. In all of this I still had faith that I would have my miracle.

In October I had a myomectomy to remove the tumor. The surgery was unsuccessful. The tumor was calcified and the instruments being used were not powerful enough to cut through the tumor. I also started having complications during the surgery and it had to be stopped. At my followed up appointment my doctor to told me that the tumor inside my uterus significantly reduced my chances of conceiving. She went on to say that if I became pregnant it would be disastrous because the tumor continued to grow and literally crush the fetus resulting in a miscarriage. Even with all of this I held on to my faith and believed that God still had a miracle for me. I asked my doctor to try again. She agreed and ended my appointment with a prayer for the next surgery to be successful.

At the end of November I had another myomectomy to remove the rest of the tumor. I went into this surgery with high faith and belief that it would be successful this time. I woke up in recovery to my doctor standing by bed. She held my hands and told me that the surgery wasn't successful. I immediately burst into tears. My doctor dried my tears and said she was so sorry that she couldn’t do more. Then she prayed for me.

A week later I was at work (an hour away from home) and I started to hemorrhage. I called my doctor and she told me that I needed to get the ER in Milwaukee so she could see me personally. She asked me a lot of questions to ensure that I could drive. The drive back to Milwaukee seemed like it took forever. When I got to the hospital I couldn't se my doctor because she was called into an emergency surgery. I saw the on call OBGYN and resident instead.

After not one but two pelvic exams I was told that I needed an emergency hysterectomy. I immediately refused and gave my reasons why. My reasons were valid so the doctor made a deal with me. The deal was that if my labs came back normal she would treat my hemorrhaging with medication and let me go home and if the labs weren't normal I was headed to surgery. I agreed. My labs came back at the very lowest end of the normal range, but it was good enough to avoid having an emergency hysterectomy.
The doctor had a very serious conversation with me. She told me that had I not come to the ER that I would have hemorrhaged and died. She went on to say that keeping my uterus was threatening my life. She told me that if hemorrhaged again there was no guarantee that enough could be done to save my uterus or my life and that I needed to give what she was saying some serious thought.

To slow down the bleeding I was given the equivalent five birth control pills through an IV. I was also given a prescription for birth control pills. I had to take the entire pack of birth control pills over the next seven days stop the bleeding altogether. With all of this I still had faith that I would have another child. I just had to continue to have pray and have faith.

The following week I saw my regular doctor. She told me that she read the ER report and said that I was in a very life threatening situation. She also told me that I most certainly would have died had not gone to the hospital. My doctor empathized with my desire to have another child and understood that I was operating from a place of faith. She went on to say that she didn‘t think God’s plan for me was to risk my life this way.
In that moment I realized that I allowed my faith and belief in miracles to supersede the common sense that God had given me. I Realized that my faith almost cost me life and almost left my son without a mother. In that moment I knew that I wanted to live more than I wanted to have a baby or anything else for that matter. I understood that I had to have a hysterectomy if I wanted to live. I scheduled my hysterectomy for January 17, 2013. The trick was going to be avoiding an emergency surgery and keeping me alive until then.

Over the next several weeks I did a lot of soul searching. I needed to know why having another baby was so important to me. I had an epiphany. I wanted to have another baby because I needed a do over. In my mind I needed a do over because I had had a child out of wedlock. Some how I thought that getting married and then having a child would absolve me of my sins and guilt. It sounds so irrational and delusional to me now. I finally had some clarity. Clarity is a beautiful and priceless gift that I enjoy receiving. Even though I was clear that I needed a hysterectomy, the reality and necessity of it deeply saddened me. That sadness disappeared after I woke up from an amazing dream.

In my dream I am in a beautiful tropical place and I'm standing on a cliff overlooking the ocean. I appear to be a few years older than I am now and I am wearing a wedding ring. In this dream I am in this beautiful place with my HUSBAND. I know he is my husband because his wedding ring matches mine. I couldn't see his face in the dream so I have no idea who he is. In the dream there were no children with us and I was incredibly happy. When I woke up I was smiling and felt so much joy in my heart. I knew then everything would be alright and was finally at peace with having a hysterectomy.

The biggest lesson I learned in all of this is that I need to balance my faith with my common sense. They don’t operate in extremes. The other lesson learned is that my common sense is a gift from God that I need to make good use of.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Healing Waters

I recently took a much needed vacation. I went on my first cruise. This was my first vacation in a long time that didn't involve being with family.  I was however with my Cullen's Corner Family (Cullen, Paulette, Dee, Nikki and Lamont).
I really needed this trip because I felt like I was headed for a nervous breakdown.  Everything was falling down around my head and I couldn't make it stop.  I almost couldn't go on the cruise at the last minute because of a financial crisis that popped up out of nowhere.  My Corner Family calmed my nerves and said "We got you.  Nothing is going to stop you from going on this cruise".   So I stepped out on faith and went anyway.
While on the cruise I saw such beauty in the color of the the ocean.  I had never seen anything that blue and clear in my life.  It was further confirmation to me that there is a God and he created that shade of blue.  I knew that I wanted and needed to experience ocean with all of my senses.
I went to the beach in the Caymans and saw the blue of the ocean up close and it was even more beautiful than I thought it was. I got in the water and let it surround me and wash over me. It felt like a new baptism because all my stress, anxiety, fears and insecurities were drowned in the ocean. The sound of waves spoke to me and said that I would never be the same because my new beginning had arrived. I even tasted the salt on my skin which made me realize that what I was experiencing in that moment was real and not a figment of my imagination.

I laid on my back and just floated. I immersed myself in the sights, sounds, taste and feel of the ocean and knew I had been healed on an emotional and spiritual level. The old me drowned in the ocean that day and the new me was resurrected in her place.
I am eternally thankful for this experience because without it I would have never gotten the breakthrough, healing, revelations and clarity that I desperately needed.  It was an experience that I will never forget or take for granted.
Healing Waters

Friday, August 3, 2012

It's Just Hair

What is wrong with us?  By us I mean mostly mean African Americans.  Why are we so focused on hair?  In the grand scheme of things it holds no significance at all.  Why is it so important?

Gabby Douglas has accomplished something that has NEVER been done by an African American gymnast and all people can talk about is her Hair.  Were you so focused on her hair that you missed the part about her making HISTORY?!  Gabby Douglas is a GOLD MEDAL GYMNAST not a beauty pageant contestant.

What positive contribution have you so called journalists made to your nation?  My guess is NONE.   What kind of personal sacrifice has any of you made to represent your country.  Don't you have something more important to report about or is the extent of your capabilities? I'm guessing that it is.

To my African American "journalists" who participated in bashing Gabby's hair, SHAME ON YOU.  Did you ever stop to consider that your remarks would cause a controversy that would further divide us as a people?  When are WE going to stop focusing on HAIR?  I thought that the good vs bad hair debate was over.  IT'S HAIR!!!  IT'S NOT THAT IMPORTANT!!!  All you have you have managed is tarnishing a very proud moment in Gabby Douglas' life and a moment in OUR HISTORY.   Again, SHAME ON YOU!!!

Gabby Douglas is a beautiful African American young woman who won a a gold medal.  Her hair is not what defines her.  Who she is as person is what defines her.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Do You Know Who You Are?

A couple of years ago a potential mate asked me "Who are you?".  He told me to answer the question without using the words mother, sister, friend, daughter or saying what I did for a living.  I couldn't answer the question because I had wrapped my life around these roles.  I had forgotten who I was without all of that.  I had become who and what other people expected me to be at the expense of who I really am.  I didn't know how to think or feel about anything.

Since that time, I have been rediscovering who I am.  I have started doing thing I used to enjoy again and finding new things to enjoy as well.    I now express my opinions.  I no longer agree just to agree or just to get along.  I am no longer overly concerned with what people think of me.  I don't allow what people think of me to impact my thoughts, attitude or behavior.  I will ask for input from others, but ultimately the decision will be mine.

On this road to self discovery I'm sure there will be people will be unhappy with me, say that I've changed, will be judgmental or criticize.  That's their issue not mine.  The ultimate goal is for me to find out who I am, what I want and to embrace it.  To just be ME without fear, quilt, shame or regret.

^^^^^^^ This sums up my point.^^^^^^^

So, now I'm asking you, yes you, the person reading this blog at this very moment, "Who are you?".  If you know who you are that's great.  If you don't know or aren't sure, then It's time to find out.  Life is too short.
If you are looking for a place where you fully express yourself and just be you check out Cullen's Corner Hot Topics at and join the site.  Membership is free.  Joining this site has helped me tremendously with my journey to self discovery.  On you can write your own blog and be part of the discussions posted there among other things.  For example you could participate in upcoming webinars happening September through January covering the topics of self discovery, financial planning, gratitude, and personal spirit.

I hope to see you there.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Fifty Shades of Its Been Done Before

When I first heard about Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy I didn't understand what the big deal was about.  After all, erotic literature has been around for centuries.  It dates back to ancient Greece and Rome. There is even erotica in the Bible in the book Song of Songs. It's nothing new. So why all the fuss now?


Being that erotic literature is one of my favorite genres, I had to read the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy.  I had heard all the buzz about the bondage, domination, sadism, masochism (BDSM) theme in the books.  Again this is nothing new. For example The Story of O (1975) has a very strong BDSM story line.
I am a very open minded person, but the BDSM story line made me nervous.  Being that I am a psychotherapist, the psychology of BDSM was also intriguing to me. BDSM is a subject that I didn't understand and had a lot of preconceived notions about.  In order to read the books I had to do some research and educate myself on BDSM.  Any time I don't understand something I research it instead of judging it.  I learned a lot about the BDSM and have a better understanding of  that world.    I will leave you to do your own research on the subject. Wikipedia is a good place to start.

These two really need to get to know each other and learn how to get along.
In reading the trilogy I particularly enjoyed the Anastasia Steel character in the books because of  the way her subconscious and inner goddess played a part in the story line.  Reading the books helped me get in touch with my own subconscious and inner goddess and how these two sides of my personality impact my behavior. It was a different take on the devil and the angel on the shoulder theme. 

In the second book I liked how the story gave some information about his biological mother and how it ties into his involvement with BDSM.  It made me wonder if people who engage in BDSM have also had abuse histories as children that caused them to gravitate toward this lifestyle.

I particularly enjoyed the the third book in the trilogy because it had a happy ending that I didn't think it would have.  It was a testimony of how a person can have terrible past and can still have happiness in their future.

In reading the books I realized that the story was not about BDSM at all.  It was a story about love, acceptance and compromise within a relationship and how these elements are key to the success of any relationship. If readers focus on the the BSDM elements then they have in my opinion missed the whole point of the story.

Friday, June 29, 2012

He's a Boy!!!

When I gave birth to my son everyone told be to be prepared because boys are a handful and that they are hardheaded.  They said to be prepared to spend a lot of time in the emergency room because boys are adventurous daredevils.  They said that I'll find him hanging out of windows and jumping off garages.  They also said that I should be prepared for him to be destructive because that's how boys are.  I didn't pay any of that any attention.

I was going to have a good boy and not have any of those problems.  It didn't exactly turn out the way I thought it would.  Turns out, everything I was told about raising a boy was true. My son is 11 now and over the years there has been a lot of destruction (some accidental some on purpose), a few trips to the ER (one this week in fact) and he is VERY hardheaded.  I thought the hardheadedness was him be disrespectful toward me but it's not.  Boys learn by trial and error.  I can tell my son not to do something and he will do it anyway because he wants to see what will happen for himself even if that means he gets hurt or something gets broken.  The consequences never fit into the equation so he seldom thinks before he acts.  This has been more true over the last  two weeks than it ever has. The following is a list of what has gone wrong simply because he didn't listen to me.

  1. His TV fell off the dresser because he kept jumping around in his room after I told him repeatedly to stop.  The TV didn't work the rest on the day. My son's response "you can just buy me another one".
  2. A broken window in his room because he insisted on having the rocking chair in front of the window after I told him to to put it back in the corner.  He was actually shocked that the window broke. All I could say was "I told you so".
  3. A broken dresser drawer because he put ALL of the rocks he collected from the beach in the drawer after I specifically told him not to.  His response was "I didn't think the rocks were that heavy".  
  4. A broken bed because he decided to move his bed.  Now all the bolts that hold the bed frame together are loose and pulled out a little. Mind you it's a sleigh bed and it's not on wheels.
  5. Small slits in the couch because he wasn't paying attention when his pet rabbit jumped up on the couch and clawed the couch. I have repeatedly told him to watch the rabbit and not to let him get on the furniture.
  6. Stitches in his thumb and finger because he accidentally cut himself with a flat head screwdriver trying to take apart a toy.  I didn't find out that he hurt himself until 3 hours later.  His response "it didn't hurt that bad".  He knows that he is not allowed to use my tools without permission.  
When I told people about all the mishaps I've had with my son recently the only response I got was "well he's a boy". If someone tells me that one more time, I'M GOING TO SCREAM.!!!   So I'm just supposed to sit back and expect things like this to happen????  I think if he just listened to me we could avoid a lot of this mess.  I guess he will continue to learn the hard way and will continue to fix the things he breaks and drive him to the emergency room when he hurts himself because I am a mother.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Life With Daddy

When I was a little girl my Daddy did my hair in the morning because my Mom worked third shift and wasn't home in the morning.  Truth be told, he did a better job than mother.  My Dad cooked me breakfast every morning to make sure my day started out right.  He would be up before the sun making eggs, sausage, bacon, grits, cream of wheat, or oatmeal with raisins.  There was no such thing as eating cold cereal for breakfast except on Saturdays.

When I got a little older my Dad taught me how to use tools and fix things because he didn't want me to always depend on man when things got broken.  His daughter was never going to be a damsel in distress. Because of Daddy I know the difference between a flat head and Phillips head screwdriver.  I know how to use a socket wrench and a hand saw.  Daddy showed me how to use a stud finder and level is so I could hang pictures on the wall and they won't be crooked.   Because of my Dad I knew how to change the belts and spark plugs, check all the fluids in the car and how to change a flat tire long before I knew how to drive.  Daddy even taught me how fish. I could always cast a line better than Daddy and I always caught more fish than he did.

When I was a teenager I thought Daddy was crazy because he would never let me go anywhere by myself except school.  If a boy even looked in my direction, Daddy would give him the "I'll kill you and go have coffee" look.  It used to make me so angry.  I remember when Daddy jumped out of the car with a bat when he picked me up from school because he saw a boy  was hugging me.  That let every other boy know that I was off limits.  In that moment I knew Daddy wasn't wrapped tight.  When I was a freshman in high school, a senior asked me to go to homecoming with him.  I respectfully declined because I knew Daddy would say no and possibly kill me for even talking to a boy that much older than me. I envisioned Daddy getting his shotgun when he saw this boy pull up in front the house to pick up his 13 year old daughter.  I also knew that my mother would cosign on that no and would be handing Daddy the shotgun shells.  I later understood that all crazy behavior was his way of protecting me.

The most important lesson my father taught me was what a gentleman is.  He taught me what a gentleman is by treating my mother like a lady.  He he told me "how I treat your mother is how I should expect a man to treat me".  Daddy had to remind of this lesson when I started dating.  I thought my boyfriend at the time was treating like I was helpless.  Daddy told me that my boyfriend was being chivalrous and treating me like a lady when he opened doors for me, pulled out my chair when I sat down, insisted on paying for everything when we went out, and came to the door instead of blowing the horn for me to come out.  Daddy taught me that when a man gives me a single red rose it means that he loves me and has chosen me to be his.  He told me that a single red rose means so much more than getting a whole dozen.  I strayed from that lesson and got hurt a lot in relationships.  I'm getting back to what he taught me about men and I'm making better choices when it comes to being in relationships.  

When my father was teaching me all of these things I didn't appreciate it at the time.  I do now though.  I know that I would be lost in this world if I didn't have my Daddy.  If you are a father of a daughter your relationship with her is so important and should never be taken for granted.  Daughters need their father as much as their sons do.