Confessions of a Ménage à Trois

As I was laying in my bed fighting the fact that I was awake, my stepfather came to mind. I begin to think about all the broken promises He made to my family. He used to tell us we were going to Disneyland, Hawaii, and etc. He promised us extravagant gifts, and he never delivered on them. As you get older you start to realize that he’s a liar, and you will never see the things he promises. Completely unbeknownst to me, my stepfather was creating my image of men. His empty words created a mistrust in me towards men. My stepfather’s actions coupled with my biological father’s decision to be missing in action was a perfect concoction for trust issues in future relationships. By age five, all I had come to know about men is  they will lie to you or abandon you. That was my perception based on my experience with them.
I remember my first heartbreak came in the fifth grade. I was dating this guy named Gary. I went away for a special school trip. When I returned it was rumored that he and Tara, a fully developed and sexually advanced fifth grader, were doing some things in the bushes. Those activities led to them being in a relationship and me being dumped without my knowledge. When I confronted Gary, he lied and denied everything. Once we were all at recess their actions told another story. I remember running to the bathroom and weeping alone. I had never felt such humiliation and betrayal from any other male than my fathers. This experience watered those seeds of distrust and abandonment. Distrust mutated into mistrust, and I became suspicious of every man that entered my life.
After Gary, I seemed to attract guys who were either bankrupt of love or felt they had too much loving to give. Many of my short-lived relationships consisted of me trying to convince a guy they were worthy of my love, or convincing myself that cheating was okay because I wasn’t having sex with them. From jr.high to high school, mistrust and abandonment were blossoming into glorious Weeping Willows without my permission.
In college, I changed up my dating strategy. Throughout college my dating relationships were long distance. In retrospect, I believe I did this to avoid another Gary and Tara situation on campus. I found these relationships to be easier on my heart. I didn’t have to overlook stuff, question them, and etc. I was completely committed to them, and those relationships brought about some of my fondest memories of being in a relationship. However, those relationships came to a sad ending due to fear. By the time a man was seriously interested in loving me, my insecurities wouldn’t allow me to receive it. So I ran like Usain Bolt!
My last relationship was the most devastating of them all. It was the one I gave 100% percent of me. It was the one I shared every truth I knew about myself. It was the one I made a conscious effort to ignore the Weeping Willows in my heart. It was the one that I went shopping for a wedding dress. We looked at rings, venues, and honeymoon destinations. It was the one I gave my virginity to because I just knew forever would be how long we would spend together. However, life happens and you end up back alone.

Fast forward to today, I am 32 and single. Well actually I’m not. Mistrust and Abandonment have been my most intimate companions for some time now. They have been constant friends reminding me that men cannot be trusted; one will never truly love you; and when you choose to love them they will abandon you. Their lies have become my truth, and they have painted my perception of men and my relationship with them.

Today, I felt a strong unction to simply forgive my stepfather for every lie and unkept promise. I will no longer allow those things to rent space in my heart and mind. I also release my biological father from the expectations I had for him as a father. His purpose was served by getting me here; and I’ll be forever grateful to him for getting that part right. I release every toxic and dysfunctional relationship that has tainted my perception of real love. I forgive myself for allowing my insecurities to sabotage past relationships, and today I pray that the Weeping Willows, abandonment and mistrust, be cursed at their roots never to live again. I renounce my allegiance to their ideologies, and I choose to believe “Good men who value the integrity of their word do exist.” Last but not least, to those who I hurt by allowing my perception of men to get in the way of what you were trying to show me please forgive me. I truly did not mean you any harm; and I hate that what I did in the name of protecting me harmed you.
Thanks for reading!-Charity Israel

 

 

 

 

Photo Credit: https://goo.gl/images/1Mh2PT

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No Wedding, No Love: Life After Heartbreak

no loveWednesday night, I cried myself to sleep. Out of nowhere, it hit me that my dreams of marriage had been shattered once again. I started replaying the moments of excitement looking at rings, searching for a venue, and trying on dresses. I started to think about how I finally had someone who loved me and wanted me as his wife. This marriage was meant to be the validation I needed to prove that I am desirable. The abrupt departure of my father at age five had left me wondering will I ever be wanted and loved. I had come to see marriage as a form of redeeming that piece of me. However on December 31, 2016 we had the breakup of all breakups, and my dream was shattered. All my hopes for us were robbed and ” hope deferred makes the heart sick…” became my reality.(Proverbs 13:12)

I believe one of the greatest pains of our human experience is a broken heart. Its pain is piercing and relentless. With all the strength you possess you try quickly to move past it, but broken things often heal slowly. You are simply forced to endure its pain. Some try to sedate it with sex, liquor, and drugs, but it refuses to leave. Some try to work it away, but the moment you take a break, it’s there. Some try to reason it away, but heartache supersedes knowledge; and you will never truly understand why your heart hurts so bad.

One of my greatest fears was to be where I am now, and that’s on the back side of a failed engagement. I read stories and met women who had gone through it; but I never wanted to be acquainted with its grief.  Now three months removed from it today, I can testify there is life after it. The first 30 days consisted of bitter tears. I wept because I felt like I had wasted my time. I mourned because I loved him. I sobbed because I made the decision to call the relationship off.  I lamented the death of the relationship because I had never been completely committed to a relationship the way I was with him (mind, body, and soul).  I cried because I no longer saw myself part of his dreams.

I would be lying if I said this experience did not rip the fabric of the way I view love. It was almost successful in making me give up on it. I was almost convinced not to love wholeheartedly ever again, but shutting myself off to loving someone keeps me from fulfilling my purpose. We were created to love. Choosing not to do so makes one defective because you are not fulfilling the Great Manufacturer’s purpose for creating you.

During the first 30 days, all I could remember was the broken promises. I had forgotten about all the joy and life our love had given me. Although the flaws of our humanity brought on the demise of our relationship, the love we shared was pure, healing, and refreshing. I learned so much about me, and I appreciate every lesson his love came to teach me. I assumed it was for forever, but I am grateful I was able to experience it in this lifetime.

I am not sure what the future holds for me, and I am quite alright with its uncertainty. I no longer see marriage as the validation I needed to prove I am worthy of love. I rest in the fact that I was created to love, and at the appointed time that love will be received and reciprocated by the man it was created to serve. I am no longer bitter about the outcome, and I am hopeful that I will love again.-Charity Israel

Photo Credit: http://hammerandgem.com/wedding-rings-101-dos-donts-wedding-ring-ownership/

Happy Valentine’s Day: The Difference a Year Makes…

This time last year I was spending this holiday with the man I thought would be my husband. There was no exchange of gifts just quality time. We made dinner. Actually, I watched him make dinner and prepared myself for it. LOL After dinner, we watched a movie; cleaned the kitchen; turned on some music; and the kitchen became our dance floor for the evening. It was the best Valentine’s Day ever. We had a great time just being with each other.

Today is quite different from last year. I am single again. Instead of preparing myself to enjoy a dinner with the one I love, I am writing this blog and answering emails. It is amazing how the seasons of life change. You can go from ‘Dangerously in Love” to ‘Severely Single’ or vice versa in a wink of an eye. I am not writing this to put a damper on the day of Love. However, I do want to encourage those who may be in my position with a few things that have helped me process through one of the greatest pains I have known, Love Lost:

  1. All love does not last forever, and that is okay. I know you wanted it to last forever, but forever was not the plan. That person came as a precursor to the love you are going to experience. Try not to spend your time regretting the energy you invested.
  2. They loved you at their highest capacity; and once they  maxed out everyone had to move on. It is a horrible reality that hurts deeply; but it is a necessary truth that must be accepted by both parties.
  3. Their love taught you how to perfect your own. You were able to see your reflection and challenged to fix those things that were wrong with your understanding of Love.
  4.  Their love forced you to realize your “roses really smell like boo boo.” You had to face some harsh realities about who you were and the parts of your past  that were sabotaging your relationship.
  5. Their love brought you a joy that you did not know before them. You are now more equipped to recognize what Love looks, feels, and acts like because of them.
  6. Their love reminded you of  your awesomeness. They encouraged the good in you; and they taught you that the things you deemed unworthy of love would be accepted by someone willing to love you.

Today I hope you will not be found soaking in the misery of love lost but excited about the love that is to come. You gave love a chance, and that is something I pray you learn not to regret. You will love again. Being single is not the end of the world. Resist bitterness and be open to the opportunities that Love will bring your way. Happy Valentine’s Day to you. I’m praying for your heart today.

The Wedding that Didn’t Happen

Today is August 5, 2016 and it is has been a year since my beautiful grandmother on my father’s side passing. However, today I mourn for a different reason. Today, if things had gone as planned, I would have burned my Single Woman card forever. Yep, today is the day I would no longer be a Porter. Instead I am single once again and telling my story to complete strangers. For those who have not been following me on Social Media, on Christmas Eve 2015 I reconnected with someone, and from that moment we were inseparable. Considering that fate brought us together again, we were both pretty sure that this meant marriage.

This man took great care of me. He made it his business to make me feel like the most beautiful woman in the world. He was kind. He enjoyed a good laugh. He had a career. He was a Christian, and he was fine!!!! Tall, dark, and pleasing in my sight was the man I fell completely in love with! He knew everything about me. He managed to accept those things about me that I wrestled with accepting about myself. I was hooked on that Milk Chocolate man, and he was hooked on me. Then March 3, 2016 came and my little fairytale ended. The united front we once were had become divided. The vision of life we had together started to look better apart from each other.

Things were not bad. He did not cheat and neither did I, but we both felt that it was in the best interest of each other that we go our separate ways. It was the sweetest breakup ever, and I could not be mad because I felt the same way. But after a few days of sitting alone and coping with the fact, us breaking up included there being no wedding, I became furious!!! I read over every text message of him declaring how excited he was about us getting married. I kept having flashbacks of us going shopping for rings, checking out venues, and how gorgeous I looked in the gown I tried on. I was pissed that I spent money on Bridal magazines, fabric samples, and anything pertaining to weddings. I was highly upset that I introduced this man to absolutely everyone important to me. More than anything I was ashamed that I would once again be single at all the family functions and have to dodge conversations about my Relationship status. I was on the brink of marital bliss, and instead I ended up drowning in tears full of disappointment, anger, and shame.

I was highly annoyed with God that he would permit my heart to know this kind of pain, and I kept quiet about it for almost four months until I could speak about it without falling apart. To be honest, this was my greatest fear realized. I never wanted to be the woman who knew what it was like to be with “The One” at a family function and have to do the walk of shame at the next family function. I never wanted to know what it was like to give your all to someone only to hear “let’s go separate ways!” It was one of the greatest blows to my heart even though I agreed it was truly the best decision for both of us. This was the most painful moment in my experience with love, but the beauty that came from living through this nightmare was worth every tear. You’ll have to wait until Monday to hear that side of the story. Have a wonderful weekend beautiful people.-Charity Israel

P.S. I made it through typing this blog without a single tear. It appears my days of mourning have ended!!!

 

 

 

Photo Credit: http://weddings.lovetoknow.com/wiki/African_American_Wedding_Clipart

 

Life Observation: Five Things Mature Adults Do

I won’t bore you with a long introduction. I’ll just get right to it. Here are five things I have noticed mature adults do:

  1. THEY COMMUNICATE. Adults who have matured pass high school in their brains have learned how to express themselves. They tactfully express their opinions, and they do not waste their time beating around the bush concerning a matter. They are not afraid of conflict, and they do not argue for the sake of being heard. They recognize the weight of their words, so they use discretion in both their tone and word choices. Mature adults do not wait for someone to figure out the problem. They voice it and seek ways to resolve it.
  2. THEY TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR THEIR OWN ACTIONS. Mature adults do not play the Blame Game. If the job was not done correctly, they admit where they messed up. If their marriage is failing, they accept their part in its’ failure. If their life is not where they desire it to be, they CHANGE IT. Mature adults introspect instead of project their issues on other people. They weigh the consequences of their actions. Once they recognize they made the wrong mistake, they acknowledge it. Mature adults DO NOT rely on others to fix the problems they have created. They assess the situation, rectify it, and move forward.
  3. THEY ARE COMFORTABLE IN THEIR OWN SKIN. Mature adults have accepted who they are and who they will never be. They have accepted their flaws, and they live free from the weight of being perfect. They are beautifully flawed individuals, and they celebrate what makes them unique. They do NOT waste their time comparing, envying, or desiring what others have. Wholeness of mind, body, and soul is their pursuit. They are so fixed on the idea of becoming a better person that they do not have time to worry about what others do. They are not perfect, and that truth does not bother them. They free themselves to enjoy life, and they encourage others to do the same.
  4. THEY ACCEPT PEOPLE FOR WHO THEY ARE. Mature adults do not waste their time trying to change other people. They recognize that we are all evolving, and when change is desired people will seek it. Instead of trying to force change, mature adults choose to stick around (remain in relationship) or move around (end the relationship). They give people the freedom to be who they have decided to be. This does not mean mature adults do not address self-harming behaviors of friends, but they do give others the liberty to discover and enjoy life for themselves.
  5. THEY DO NOT TRY TO FIX BROKEN PEOPLE. Considering the time and effort mature adults have put into becoming whole, they do not waste their time trying to fix people who are unwilling to admit they are broken.  They recognize the value of their time and they choose to invest it in things that will produce a great return. Mature adults surrender broken people to their Creator, and they love broken people at a distance until they want more for themselves.

This list could and should be much longer, but this will do for now. If you see some you disagree with feel free to voice your thoughts. Different points of view are welcomed and respected. I encourage all of us to spend our time becoming better people. If you find yourself doing the opposite of these five things, I admonish you to reconsider your ways. You deserve to live in the freedom that responsibility offers those who take control of their own actions, decisions, and relationships. Thanks for reading and have a wonderful Wednesday!-Charity Israel

 

 

 

Photo Credit: http://cdn.halloftheblackdragon.com/reel/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/man-and-woman-gaming.jpg

10 Ways to Survive Christmas with Family

 

With Christmas being less than one day away, I figured the perfect gift to give the Social Media world would be a nice list on How to Survive Christmas with Family. I cannot promise this list will provide Peace to all mankind, but I personally find it hilarious:

  1. If all the family drama is due to your presence and shenanigans throughout the year, DO NOT SHOW UP. For the first time this year do something selfless and let the family have a peaceful day. #Christmasgifttothefamily #gethelp #do better
  2. When someone uses the phrase “point, blank, period” you may want to end the conversation unless you are ready to get physical. #passthepointofwords #nowservingknucklesandwiches #walkaway #Ghettofamilygatherings
  3. If your Secret Santa buys you White Diamonds perfume, know that it is a clear that they hate you! ! Do not allow rage to consume you, love them anyway! #bethebiggerperson
  4. If a family member with children owes you money, DO NOT bring it up! Simply repo their children’s gifts and leave before anyone notices. Then send a text letting them know how much they owe to get the gifts back. #layaway #paymentplansavailable
  5. If your children are bad, sit with them. You can avoid people going off on them, if you would keep an eye on them. You are NOT allowed to chill like the parents with good children. #dutycalls #seedofchuckie #childrenofthecorn
  6. If you have been holding a family secret all year please DO NOT use Christmas Day as the time to break your silence. It will not kill you to hold it in one more day. #holdit #familymeetingonthe26th
  7. If Dirty Santa is one of your family members keep ALL children away from him. #nosittinginlapsthisyear
  8. If your cousin Kim wants to be addressed as Kevin, or your cousin Mark wants to be called Marsha, do it to keep the peace. You can go back to calling them by their real name on December 26, 2014 at 12:00 a.m. #christmaswishgranted #yourmammanamedyouKimElise
  9. If the place you are eating at appears unsanitary simply say, “You are fasting as a birthday gift to Jesus.” Then ask, “What did you give him this year?” #Icebreaker #nofeelingshurt #eatlater
  10. If you are vegetarian or vegan PLEASE do NOT remind us of our need to stop eating meat, milk, cheese, eggs, and all ingredients that make up our wonderful Christmas dinner. Enjoy your bean sprouts and humus. #eatinpeace #theveganevangelist

I hope these tips will help you enjoy your time with family tomorrow. Jesus is truly the reason for the season, MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!- Charity Israel