The Difference Between Love and Hate

When someone loves you they will do whatever they can to put a smile on your face.

They will not look for opportunities to make you upset or mad.

They will not ignore your calls, or disregard your feelings when you are feeling afraid, down or hurting.

They will not hide from you when there is trouble between you.

They will seek to be a part of your peace and healing

And the truth will not be far from their lips.

You won’t have to ask them or beg for their attention.

What is important to you will be important to them.

They will be there for you; they will try to understand you.

When someone loves you, they will look for every reason to hear your voice,

See your smile,

And bring you joy.

(Sending texts back and forth, all day, will not suffice, rather, this can become like a cruel tease);

Your face will be what they desire to see at the start of each and every day, or as often as possible.

Your voice will cause them to smile and laugh, perhaps outloud, even when you are not around.

The memory of your smell will fill them with warmth and anticipation,

And the thought of touching you will enable them to face the most frustrating of moments and people.

When someone loves you there will be a genuine sense of safety, happiness and freedom of mind and body.

Laughter will be more apparent than sadness or tears.

True love fills us with courage, not cowardice.

It took me most of my life to learn the difference between love and hate,

And it is one of the greatest, and hardest lessons that I have ever, ever had to learn

From the ones who did not and could not find it within themselves to love me,

Like they said that they would.

© 2018 annalise fonza, Ph.D.

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Black Panther: And the Beauty of Sunsets (and People) We Never Could Have Imagined

There is always more than one way to win when you are in a fight, or when you are facing an enemy or oppressor. What I liked about the movie Black Panther was seeing that it is not always necessary or wise to let the hate or contempt that you feel for those who hurt you eat you and every one you come into contact with, alive.

I know far too many people, a few that I still love, deeply, to this day, who are consumed with anger and hate. In some cases, they destroy everything that they come into contact with: good, bad, and in-between; until eventually their hate and resentments lead them to destroy themselves.

I’m all for insisting upon accountability and justice from those that I would consider to be my enemies and generally as hateful and abusive individuals, but, I’ve also learned that it is not to my benefit or for my good to destroy my own chances at happiness and joy because of what someone else did or said that harmed me or others. I cannot live my life wallowing and drowning in the inadequacies and transgressions of others who seem or who actually are oblivious to their own brokenness and failures.

Approaching the age of fifty, I have learned that living in this way – caught in the grip of my past and pain – will keep me from seeing the beauty in life, the sunsets, the people and the places that I never could have imagined.

I walked out of the movie, Black Panther, being keenly aware of how important it is to heal from the losses and tragedies of the past (and even those that I encounter here in the present).

If we are ever going to be useful to ourselves and a gift to others, including the next generation, these actions, the evolution of self and letting go of hate, are what we must take the time to embrace before our time is up.

© 2018 annalise fonza, Ph.D.

A Cautionary Note on Surviving Abuse

Careful, that you don’t become just like those who failed you with hate, anger, and abuse.

You deserve a life that is truly free from their madness and confusion.

Just getting away from them is not enough.

Letting them go and surviving the trauma is also refusing to carry your abuser’s self-destructive thoughts and ways around inside of you.

© 2018 annalise fonza, Ph.D.

Finding “The Strength to Love”: MLK Jr. Day 2018!

One of the most admirable character traits of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is that he was not a hateful or divisive man. He was a man who routinely embraced and expressed love, even when it was not the popular or convenient thing to do. Dr. King was not a man of anger and hate, and I truly admire that.

The person that you become in life is up to you and you alone. Going forward, find “the strength to love.” Resist the urge to hate or be consumed with anger. We honor and celebrate Dr. King by being a loving people, even in the face of hate.

© 2018 annalise fonza, Ph.D.

N/B: Indeed, the use of “Strength to Love,” is an allusion to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s 1963 publication, Strength to Love, published by Harper & Row.

About the Meaning of Sexual Harassment

If you don’t know what constitutes sexual harassment

It is probably because you never really had to know,

Until now.

Sadly, some of us had to know the meaning of sexual harassment before we even knew what it meant to be a sexual human being.

© 2017 annalise fonza, Ph.D.

We Black Women: Seen, Heard, and Beautiful!

WE BLACK WOMEN

We black women are

Mamas, sisters, friends, lovers, teachers, warriors, and sometimes enemies of those who hate us and who want to exploit and use us, mostly for sex and company,

We black women have stood strong and proud in the face of hate and rejection by those who do not see us, who do not love us,

Because of their own pain and their own fears.

But we black women

 

We are like Maya Angelou

And Fannie Lou Hamer

And Nina Simone

And Angela Davis

And Elaine Brown

And Billie Holiday

And Alice Walker

And Abbey Lincoln

And Shirley Horn

And Bessie Smith

And June Jordan

And Marimba Ani

And Toni Morrison

And Anita Hill

And bell hooks

And many, many more black women – like my own mother and sister.

We are black, and we are women

We have changed our worlds and this world for the better and the world sees us and knows what we have done.

The world knows who we are.

 

Not all black women do good, not all black women are good

There are some black women have done irreparable harm to their children and to their families,

But most of all they have abandoned themselves.

There are black women who have given up on living their own lives

Maybe they did and do not know how to live for themselves

Maybe the fear of life and others has overcome and overpowered them

Maybe they have believed what others said about them, so therefore they lived the lies of others.

 

But there are many of us, black women, who have turned other peoples’ lies upside down

We black women have told and written our own stories

We black women are remembered as the authors and finishers of our own fates

And, we black women have survived the unthinkable, the unimaginable when we could have been dead and gone.

 

We black women.

 

We black.

We black.

We black.

And, we women.

We women.

We women.

We women.

We black women are proudly black and we will be seen, heard, for indeed, we are very, very beautiful.

© 2017 annalise fonza, Ph.D.

We Black Women: Seen, Heard, and Beautiful

This blog entry is partially written in response to someone who recently said to me, “See that’s what is wrong with you black women.” With a cowardly text, and out of nowhere, this man – a black man who repeatedly claimed to love me (allegedly “more” than I loved him) – spewed his contempt and hate toward me and toward black women by saying, “Something is wrong with you black women.” Needless to say, I was infuriated by his hateful rant, yet it was one that helped me to see him for who he really is: a misogynist – one who hates women; one who holds women in contempt. It was a painful realization that I did not want to face because he is a black man, born of a black woman and raised by his black sisters. His misogyny is something that I did not want to acknowledge or admit. I wanted to believe that he was better than the man that he kept proving himself to be (despite all of his best apologies) – after two years of knowing him, intimately.

Finally, after getting that text, a fearful coward’s move from behind his telephone screen where he was hiding, apparently thinking that he was unseen, jolted me out of my denial and caused me to recognize him for who he is, and for the awfully abusive man that he obviously wants to be, since he too knows and admits that he has “issues” with black women, yet he refuses to address those issues. And, in spite of his own “issues,” he keeps getting involved with black women and, tragically, the contempt and hate he feels for black women keeps oozing out, sabotaging his relationships with black women, including the ones he has with the women in his family. Consequently, he repeatedly hurts himself and others, going back and forth between fight-flight mode until, finally, he is exhausted, as he runs, hides, and blames it all on the “black b*tches” that he chooses to be with. Of course, later – after he has vomited his hateful feelings upon the black women in his life – he apologizes, he even claims to take “full responsibility” for the undoing of the relationship; but, because he is not getting help for his pain, he cycles right back into a painful cycle of of abuse and disappointment with yet another black woman.

Yes, this is the very definition of insanity; it is also a description of a man who is emotionally incompetent and sick and he will make women (especially black women) eventually sick (of his bullsh*t) if they, in turn, choose to be with him. In addition, he is a rageful man and he becomes even more angry (on top of the anger he already feels from childhood trauma) and dismissive with the women who rightfully walk and sometimes run out of his life. He resents them for leaving him, yet, unfortunately, he hasn’t figured it out: no woman wants (or needs) to be with a man – no matter what color he is – who is not in control of his emotions and who refuses to gain control. The hatred and contempt that he feels towards black women is/will not be limited to black women – because as soon as he is triggered by the pain and fear that belong to his past by any woman, black or non-black, he reacts as he has always done – fighting, with abusive words and actions until he runs away, all the while claiming -falsely- that he has been abandoned. Yet, no woman, black, white, red, or yellow, has to, under any circumstances, put up with any abuse, and definitely not from such a troubled man who chooses to stay that way. Of course, he doesn’t really get that. Indeed, with him it is as one of my friends so accurately said: he is a walking dead man. And he will stay that way until he does something to stop his pain, or until it stops him.

Turning the corner. For those of you who might be wondering, writing is cathartic to me. I write, first and foremost, for myself. It helps me to process my feelings, and it is my way of being heard; my way of standing up for myself and for my feelings. My relationship to writing began when I was a child/adolescent when my mother would send me to my room on punishment. In response to that punishment, I would tape notes to my bedroom door (which would be closed); with those notes I expressed my feelings, and most of all, it was my reaction to being silenced and unseen. Who knew that the practice of posting notes to my bedroom door would turn into a passion and an ability to write?

That said, I do not write to “get paid,” although getting paid for my writing is not something that I turn away. I write because I can; it is something that I  am good at; and, the act of writing for me is what I do to heal myself from pain and from the hatefulness, dismissal, or the harm that I feel. Writing helps me to express and free myself in a world that is compromised by pain, past and present. And, since I have been writing on public platforms, such as Facebook and WordPress, I have been contacted and told by many that I have helped them to do the same. You cannot imagine how it feels to me to know that my writing (and thus my thinking) has helped others to find their voices. That is what freedom is all about: liberation for self and for others.

If you would like to republish my work in a larger platform or in a book, please contact me. I would be more than happy to discuss how that could be done and what it would cost. And now, today’s blog, inspired by the pain from a very abusive and disappointing, but eye-opening relationship:

 

WE BLACK WOMEN

We black women are

Mamas, sisters, friends, lovers, teachers, warriors, and sometimes enemies of those who hate us and who want to exploit and use us, mostly for sex and company,

We black women have stood strong and proud in the face of hate and rejection by those who do not see us, who do not love us,

Because of their own pain and their own fears.

But we black women

 

We are like Maya Angelou

And Fannie Lou Hamer

And Nina Simone

And Angela Davis

And Elaine Brown

And Billie Holiday

And Alice Walker

And Abbey Lincoln

And Shirley Horn

And Bessie Smith

And June Jordan

And Marimba Ani

And Toni Morrison

And Anita Hill

And bell hooks

And many, many more black women – like my own mother and sister.

We are black, and we are women

We have changed our worlds and this world for the better and the world sees us and knows what we have done.

The world knows who we are.

 

Not all black women do good, not all black women are good

There are some black women have done irreparable harm to their children and to their families,

But most of all they have abandoned themselves.

There are black women who have given up on living their own lives

Maybe they did and do not know how to live for themselves

Maybe the fear of life and others has overcome and overpowered them

Maybe they have believed what others said about them, so therefore they lived the lies of others.

 

But there are many of us, black women, who have turned other peoples’ lies upside down

We black women have told and written our own stories

We black women are remembered as the authors and finishers of our own fates

And, we black women have survived the unthinkable, the unimaginable when we could have been dead and gone.

 

We black women.

 

We black.

We black.

We black.

And, we women.

We women.

We women.

We women.

We black women are proudly black and we will be seen, heard, for indeed, we are very, very beautiful.

© 2017 annalise fonza, Ph.D.