Toxic Childhood Memories

Some of my earliest memories are riddled with domestic violence between my parents. In either kindergarten, 1st, or 2nd grade, I remember my mom and dad getting into a physical fight or hearing them argue about one another possibly being unfaithful. Or their other favorite subject; my dad using thing car to go get high. It was so toxic.

This particular day, they had got into it at my aunt’s house. As my mom and I left, I rode in the front seat and had my arm out of the window. My dad was outside, chasing the car on my side, yelling at my mom to stop I’d imagine. Next thing that I know, my arm is being yanked backwards. He knew if nothing else would get my mom to stop dead in her tracks, he knew it was messing with her children.

It was official. In that moment, he’d sacrificed the well-being of his child for his own selfish need to have control over someone. And I was soon to learn that this would be a regular occurrence throughout my childhood. I don’t know if I ever got an apology for that situation but I’m sure that it was the beginning of my daddy issues and trust issue too.

If you’ve read this far, THANK YOU! I believe this will a page in my book “The Road to Self-Love”


Image result for coach carter quotes
In this week’s therapy session, I expressed how often I hear that I’m an inspiration to people of all ages and from different walks of life. How people confide in me, are always reaching out for advice, and looking up to me. I told her I often ask God, “Why me?” and I finished with, “But I’m a hot mess. I think if people saw how much of a mess I am, they wouldn’t be inspired. I try to show them.”
She responded with, “Instead of asking why me? How about seeing it as why not you? People like others that they can relate to and with you being so transparent, it tends to draw people in.”
Self-doubt and impostor syndrome has no place in my life. I am where I am and who I am for a reason. Nope, I don’t have it all together but that doesn’t mean that my heart is not pure full of love & passion for helping.
If you get nothing else from this random blog, remember that no one (not even you) can benefit from you dimming your light so shine bright baby!

Love letters to yourself is self-care

I recently saw an article on XONecole about how it is refreshing and therapeutic to write a love letter to yourself. It’ll hold you accountable to what love means to you, help you make decision centered around self-love, and document those feelings of love that you have for yourself.

I wanted to share my letter with you in hopes that it’ll inspire you to write one to yourself.

To: My one and only special love

From: Your forever

Song: “Differences” – Ginuwine

Baby girl,

I can’t imagine doing life without you. I don’t know what I did to deserve you but I pray that it never changes. In the past, I didn’t fight for you, live on you, or care much for you but that’s gonna change. Just watching you this year has been amazing. I appreciate you allowing me to take this wild ride with you.

No one compares to you. When you put your mind to something, there is no stopping you. Have you seen how resilient you are? I’m not sure if you ever received so many no’s as this year but you know what you did with them? You balled out still. Stayed 10 toes down and kept it moving. Flawlessly. Gracefully.

I admire your heart baby girl because it is absolutely stunning. The passion that you have to do what is right, true, fair is extraordinary! Everyday you find room in your heat for one more thing that will make a difference in the lives of others.

Yes, I know you’re thinking of all the work that you still have to do. The coping with emotions, glowing, and growing but it’s coming. Everything will work itself out in due season.

Relax and get some rest tonight. You deserve it baby girl.

Love you always,


Leave a comment on this post if you accept that challenge of sitting down and writing one to yourself!

My inner voice: Worst critic or best friend?

I am ok. I am ok. I am ok. I am ok. I am ok. I am ok. I am ok. I am ok. I am ok. I am ok. I am ok. I am ok. I am ok. I am ok. I am ok. I am ok.

Feeling rejected.

Being ignored or not prioritized properly.

Feeling unappreciated.

My 3 biggest triggers. Triggers that I don’t yet have a handle on and frankly idek where to start. Well yes I do. It starts with a pause. It starts with a hold. It starts with taking ownership and acknowledgment. No, it actually starts back further. It starts with the inner voice. That harsh critic who lives inside of you. Telling you that you are your mistakes and everything is your fault.

The voice speaks before you even have a chance to process the situation or take a step back to breathe and gather yourself.

Today my voice told me that I was stupid and I always mess stuff up. It told me that I wasn’t worthy of love or anything going right in my personal life.

It didn’t say, “Jelissa, that was an honest mistake.” It told me that I had ruined two new business relationships before I even got started. It said that they would bad mouth me and no one would use the drop in center.

It said that I should have it all together and as much as I hate for my time to be wasted, I should do everything in my power to not waste someone else’s even if that meant doing the impossible.

That voice said that it’s my fault that I don’t have help. It’s my fault that I have to do everything for mason bc I should’ve never got pregnant and made that mistake. It told me that I was a bad mom for making mason have to come and sit at the center for hours and watch me clean.

That voice told me that my past would always define me and that I wasn’t worthy of another chance at love. It told me that I wasn’t good enough for that person and that’s why he wanted to leave. That voice also rewrote his messages too. It never even mentioned leaving.

Today that inner critic was way too loud and debilitating. It screamed all day that I was failing and I listened. I believed that voice too.

Let me stop right there though. What the voice is saying even louder is that there’s still work to be done. I have to continue on this journey of healing and self-love. I still have to become my biggest cheerleader and encourager.

If the voice is screaming then it means that I’m stretched thin and haven’t given myself grace. It says that I haven’t paused to process what’s going on.

I have to heal. I have to forgive (myself first). I have to learn how to balance and make time for myself or else when the days come where everything that could happen, happens, I will buckle once again.

I’m not weak. You aren’t either and if you also deal with a mean, harsh inner voice, we have work to do.

Start with figuring out who’s voice is speaking to you. Get a good night’s rest. Eat a salad and drink some water. Find a therapist. Journal. Google some positive affirmations and repeat them to yourself. Tell yourself that you love you because at the end of the day, YOU ARE ALL THAT YOU GOT AND YOU HAVE TO TREAT YOURSELF LIKE THE KING OR QUEEN THAT YOU ARE.

Who were you?


Ever wonder who you were before the world told you who you should be?

Perhaps I was the loud, outgoing, kid like my son before I realized that it was best to be quiet and stay out of the way of my parents and their loud, physical fights.

Did I really love to read or was it a way to escape the woes of my daily life?

Maybe I didn’t look at my body with shame or give it a second, third, AND fourth thought until someone decided to tell me that I was too heavy or that I shouldn’t eat that if I didn’t want to be fat.

My grades probably would’ve been average if I didn’t see that high marks and over achieving kept the belt around his waist and his voice not too loud and scary.

I would have an easier time standing up for myself if the times when I did in the past, it wasn’t viewed as insignificant. Young people and their feelings matter too. Always remember that.

Somewhere along the years, the need for perfection was ingrained in my psyche. I still cannot peel its sticky fingers off of me and the repercussions of it are soul-crushing some days. I’m left feeling unworthy simply because I think what I’m doing could be better.

Always feeling the need to level up professionally just so that I can receive praise and recognition as that’s the only way I remember receiving “love”.

Maybe in another life, I didn’t feel the need to perform in order to earn my worth and to receive love. Maybe in another life, I was simply enough. As I am. Nothing more. Nothing less.

People-pleasers can be drawn to toxic relationships. It’s important to know why.

Let's Queer Things Up!

I’ve learned in life that when you observe a pattern about yourself, it might be worth examining (okay, this is an understatement — I can pretty much guarantee you that you’ll come out wiser).

One of my big “aha” moments this year was around a relationship pattern that I hadn’t noticed before. I realized that I’m a people-pleaser.

Being liked by others, especially in my personal life, came at the expense of voicing my true feelings and needs. It was more important to be liked than it was to have relationships that felt honest and nourishing.

And it’s a lonely place to be — it can feel like no one knows your true feelings or self, and that you are secondary in relationships that should feel equal. Unsurprisingly, this can lead to a hell of a lot of resentment.

And thus… a pattern emerged.

My favorite kind of person to…

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A letter to my 17-year-old self.

Hey girl, hey. The first thing that I want to say is that you are beautiful. You matter. Your feelings matter. Loosen up. Feel free to be yourself.

Forgive me for looking in the mirror and wishing that I could have a nose job as soon as I was an adult. Forgive me for not seeing the beauty in your eyes and your body. You will struggle with your weight everyday but guess what? The number on the scale doesn’t define you.

You are not a failure because you have not been very successful long enough in your weight loss journey. Everything will not be easy and this is a battle that you have to wake up everyday and decide to win. You have to fight. You can’t give up. Trust me, you are going to long to be more active in your son’s life so just start now.

Baby girl, you never deserved to be ashamed of what you decided to eat. You should have been taught how to have a healthy lifestyle and make exercise fun so that later on you won’t see it as something you despise. I regret deeply that you didn’t get the support you needed in this area because it becomes the biggest thorn in your side as you get older.

Your emotions will be all over the place but that is ok as well. You’ll get help and it will get better. Right now, just focus on accepting that you feel everything so so deeply. What you feel is valid and nope. You aren’t too sensitive. Your emotional intelligence will be one of your greatest strengths. The empathy and passion that you have inside you is just waiting to burst out.

Your heart is pure gold. Whoever gets it will be blessed bc they won’t know what it feels like to not have love.

Forgive me for trying to fix things that were none of your business being the age that you are. You had to grow up faster because your conscious allowed you to feel your mom’s pain and want to take it away from her. This led you to trying to perform the best so that your parents would be distracted. You hoped to fix everything so that your environment wouldn’t be so toxic. So that so much fighting and fussing wouldn’t go on but baby girl, it was nothing that you could do to fix that.

Forgive me for allowing you to think that you weren’t good enough or smart enough or pretty enough. You were always all of those things. I led you to mold yourself into whoever you needed to be. I helped you create many masks that hid the real you.

If I could tell you anything that you would definitely listen to is to be yourself and don’t worry. Everything works out as it should. You will succeed. Oh my gosh, you should see you now. Living in your dream home and working your dream job. Girl, you will do it!

Be more grateful Jelissa. Appreciate every little thing. Nothing is too small to be grateful for and proud of. Stop hiding and let your light shine. There are people who are waiting on you to be your authentic self so that they in turn can live in their truth too.

Nothing is odd about you. And if it is, oh well. Trust, everyone has their quirks and that’s what’s makes you unique. You don’t have to be mean for people to take you serious. You aren’t mean so don’t use it to keep yourself from getting hurt. You’re gonna get hurt anyway. Learn now to feel the hurt, figure out what the hurt taught you, and keep it moving.

I really wish you could have had a better relationship with your parents. They did the best they could with what they knew/had at the time. I’m sorry that your dad didn’t do a great job at showing you how a man should treat you. I’m sorry that your mom taught you to settle and not prioritize yourself by staying with your dad when that marriage should have been over.

Til this day you don’t have a great relationship with them especially your dad. He will teach you what being guilt-tripped will feel like so no one else can make you feel guilty for the decisions that YOU make.

Let NO be a complete sentence. You don’t owe anyone an explanation. No one at all!

When 2012 comes, reach out for help then instead of waiting 4 more years. It is then that you’ll realize that you were depressed. Oh yeah, it was no need for you to try to cut away the pain that you felt a few years ago. Just hold on until you’re in college and it won’t hurt so bad anymore.

You deserve to live and not die! There will be nothing in your life that bad which would make you want to commit suicide.

Forgive me for making you think that in order for you to feel validated, you had to have the approval of others. They don’t really matter like that. Just examine how you see yourself and go from there.

Stop being so hard and self-critical. It will literally make you sick! Nothing good comes from negative self-talk and thoughts. You have to trap those thoughts as soon as you think them and replace them with a positive thought then repeat hag to yourself. You’re gonna want to do this everyday so that it becomes automatic. This is very very important to ensure your growth.

Trouble doesn’t last always baby girl. I can promise you that. Focus on you and finding out what makes you happy. What brings you joy Jelissa? What are your hobbies? What are your goals? These are all very good things to focus on and figure out. The earlier, the better.

I’m sorry that I didn’t write you sooner. I had to get my thoughts together. Anyway, I love you.

Be easy,


Bruh, in 2019, just trust God (…or whatever you believe in)

As 2018 comes to a close 😅 I saw it fitting to look back on the year that I had. From January to today, there was many stressful times and it was because I decided to overthink and create hypothetical scenarios.

Unwavering faith is what I am choosing to obtain in 2019 and why? Because I’ve never been let down even once by God. All of my prayers have been answered even if it wasn’t the answer that I wanted.

So relax. Take time to just rest and trust the process. Easier said then done but at the same time, give yourself some grace.

Life is hard. Way too hard but we still have to live it. Keep fighting. Keep moving forward. Your time is coming.

What a day in a dark place looks like for me.

I didn’t go to sleep until 2am this morning and slept until 7. We have to leave by 7:30 for me to be to work on time.

I’m late. I’m one whole hour late because I stopped in Walmart and didn’t want to go to work.

I got to work. I tried to focus on work but I really couldn’t concentrate so around and around I went on the same problem that usually would take minutes for me to solve.

We go home after a doctors visit so that I can continue working. I fall asleep at my computer and I awake only to not be able to concentrate.

I finally turn the laptop off at 5pm only to lay on the couch and try my best to disappear. I let Mason watch tv, clutter the living room, and make as much noise as he wants as long as he doesn’t bother me.

I scroll aimlessly on my phone silently wishing that I was anywhere but here. Wishing that I had help. Wishing that I didn’t have to get off the couch to feed Mason. Wishing that he could read his books to his self before bedtime. Wishing that I hadn’t yelled at him out of irritability.

He’s just a kid. Why do I have to yell? I haven’t yelled in a long time. I think I’m going back to that place again. Why can’t I just go home? I hate my job. I hate responsibilities for holding me hostage here. I want to go home. I want my mom. I need help. Why do I have to bear this burden? Why can’t I just be free and happy? I’m going to ruin him. I’m not a good mother because I yell. I shouldn’t let him watch so much tv.

These are just the thoughts that went through my head in a few minutes. Round and around I go just allowing the negativity to engulf me.

This is what a day of depression looks like. This is what a weekend of bipolar looks like. Maybe it’s just what borderline personality disorder looks like. At this point, idek. I’ll be glad when we figure it out. So I can get the help I need and/or medicine that works.

I just haven’t had a day like this in awhile and y’all I’m tired.

#transparencysunday I am 1 in 5


1 in 5 adults experience mental illness in any year and 1 in 7 mothers experience a mood disorder after having a baby. Disorders such as depression, anxiety, OCD, and PTSD. There’s so much stigma around mental health and I’m here to do my part to break the stigma.

So many times, I get the “You don’t look depressed”, “You don’t have bipolar” (the jury’s still out on this one), “It’s just a moment. It’ll pass”, “I got myself out of depression without medicine.” (Depression is diagnosed by observing persistent depressed moods over a period of time. Not two weeks, not one month. At least a year.) I just listened to people because I used to think the same thing until I realized that something wasn’t quite right with me. This came to realization in my last relationship. I was always moody, lashing out, or didn’t want to do anything. Life was very unpleasant.

It actually started before then. The whole month of December in 2012, the tears wouldn’t stop. Everyday, I was crying and I can’t even tell you why. 6 months after having Mason (2015), I went to an appointment and to check for post-partum depression, the doctor asked a series of questions. I said no to every question that I should’ve answered yes. Shame and guilt had silenced me into not seeking help.

The more we keep things to ourselves, the less likely that we’ll reach out for help. Your secrets can literally keep you sick. The same year, I went and saw a weight-loss therapist because I knew how my emotions connected with food was not correct either. He wasn’t any help. He couldn’t see that it was deeper than emotional eating. It was depression or more like bipolar 2 (manic depression) in which the jury is still out on the correct diagnosis.

When I finally sought out my last therapist, I knew that I was where I was supposed to be. After 4 months, my therapist asked me to consider getting medication to lift my mood. We couldn’t make progress in my work if I never felt like doing anything. Session after session, I constantly cried. Now I can go and it’s often that I don’t shed a tear. Does that mean I’m better? No, it means that progress has been made.

In March of 2016, I got prescribed my first anti-depressant. I was still in silence about what was going on with me to my loved ones because I felt like it was my fault. I felt like if I prayed more and read my bible more than I wouldn’t be dealing with this. People were voicing their opinion on social media that medication was the devil and that it hurt more so than it helped. I haphazardly took the pills. After seeing no effect, I asked to be switched to something else. February 2018, I reached out to a psychiatrist and started taking my meds seriously because I actually couldn’t say they didn’t work if I didn’t try. Lo and behold, I started having less and less crying spells. I was less irritable. It seemed as if I was a little less compulsive (symptom of bipolar). I could see the light at the end of the tunnel.

This is part of my truth and I am sharing it because we can’t afford to sit in silence one second longer. Someone out there is going through and feeling all alone. Mental health is already hard enough to seek help for and then add in guilt, shame, and embarrassment and it’s nearly impossible to do so.

“Vulnerability is what connects us as humans and sometimes it means talking about hard things and mental health is hard to talk about, but it is also so freeing when you do.” – Desiree Fortin

My inbox is always open for whatever you need. A listening ear or resources, I got all of that. #youarenotalone #endmentalhealthstigma #breakthestigma #mentalhealthmatters #blackmentalhealthmatters