7 11, 2014

Ask Kimberly “Halo in Waiting”

By |November 7th, 2014|Categories: Ask Kimberly|Tags: , , , , |6 Comments

Ques: Beyoncé has a song entitled Halo! How many Halos can one have in a lifetime?                         PB Dear Halo in Waiting: Answer: Depending on your interpretation of the song Halo, it can signify many meanings. I.e. Life verses [...]

20 10, 2014

Ask Kimberly Q & A Testimony…

By |October 20th, 2014|Categories: Ask Kimberly|Tags: , , , , , , , |22 Comments

“Abuse shows up in all forms; physically, mentally and emotionally. Don’t allow your soul to be stolen and mistaken for LOVE.” Ask Kimberly Over the past year we have all seen the Domestic Abuse altercations all over the media. Many have an opinion, but what happens when you’re an outsider looking in thinking because they are a celebrity you actually know them. What about the average individual who may be going through the same heartache? “You Know My Name, but Not My Story” just got REAL. Ques: What was the deciding factor to reaching out to Ask Kimberly and sharing your testimony of being a married woman in an Emotional Abusive relationship? Answer: Through my journey, I have a heart to inspire and give hope to women that have gone through and/or going through what I have. This is my reasoning for reaching out to Ask Kimberly – to share my testimony in hopes that I can help in the healing process for someone else. Ques: I understand your Ex-Husband isn’t the main component of this story. However, what’s your accountability of selecting an individual who temporarily stifled your self-worth? Answer: This is a tough question for me to answer, but over the years one I have continued to asked myself this very question. I’ve struggled with low self-esteem that has stemmed from my childhood. However, I am still searching my soul for the reason I selected to marry a Man who was emotionally abusive. My bi-logical Father – still alive and stepfather deceased were both perfect gentlemen and each had major roles in raising me. The two were very similar in character – kind, loving, giving, affectionate, great providers/protectors, hard working godly men. They never had a negative word to say; praised me, uplifted me and were always supportive of me. There was never a negative experience as it relates to the first Men in my life; Bi-logical Father and Stepfather. My Mother was a good, beautiful, classy woman in looks that kept our home clean, cooked 3 meals a day, kept me clean and updated with the latest fashions for school and church. She was a dedicated house wife. She was never in the streets; didn’t drink or smoke. She taught me the meaning of class, the importance of wearing the proper undergarments, support bras, stockings, how to sit like a lady and how to clean, the way to hold a fork and how to cut a roast. She taught values on how a young lady should carry and conduct herself. However, her tongue was as sharp as a knife as it relates to raising me. I believe it was her style of discipline was the core reason of what hurt me so deeply. She isn’t an affectionate person. I didn’t hear the words “I love you” from her very often. Her way of discipline was to talk down. This is why I believe that I have struggled with low self-esteem. At times I felt like a modern day Cinderella. We didn’t then and still don’t have the kind of Mother and Daughter relationship my heart desires. This is why my Children and I are extremely close. My Mother and I had and have our great times and I know for a fact that she loves me as I love her with all my heart. We’ve had our heart to heart talks about my feelings growing up; and I am still moving towards the healing process. However, we are total opposites; I have more of my Father and Stepfathers characteristics. To honestly answer your question, I don’t know why. I do know that I am an over giver, tending to put others before myself. Your question brings everything back to the surface for me, that I still need have more soul searching to conquer. Ques: Please share your Aha-Moment that transitioned the perception of a family living the “White Picket Fence Lifestyle.” Answer: My Ex-Husband was a tall dark and handsome, corporate white collar college graduate with lots of flavor. A smart, funny, real good time guy. He was an educated individual with a keen sense of humor; that I admired and were the reasons I feel in love. In our first year of marriage I took on a Stepdaughter that was 6 years old. Within the same year I became pregnant with our first child. When I was pregnant with my daughter, I found out that Husband had a drug addiction. I was devastated. During that first year of our marriage, while pregnant with our first child he was in rehab 3 times. During our 15 year marriage I knew we “looked” like the perfect family. A woman I worked with called us the black Barbie and Ken. We attended church every Sunday. People would tell us that we were a beautiful couple who had beautiful children. Kimberly, we had great careers; we had all the potential in the world to do and become anything our hearts desired. Everyone saw the white picket fence but that was not the reality at all. The facts were that my Ex had a terrible drug addiction that cut me like a very sharp knife and for 15 years I was slowly bleeding. Mentally, emotionally, spiritually; my self-worth didn’t exist. I almost bled to the death. Just about everything that you can imagine that takes place with a person who is on hard drugs, happened. We faced foreclosure, job losses, and “almost” everything in between, never knowing what the next minute would bring. A portion of the Aha-Moment eventually took place in 2005 when I was embarrassed publicly by the exposure of his addiction. Ques: That’s a powerfully deep testimony that you have carried around in fear of judgment. I commend you for sharing your story with Ask Kimberly and our Soul Kisses readers. Although, we are just touching the surface of your Aha-Moment. Did you overlook any signs during the dating process that now make you say. “When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time?” Answer: I started dating my Ex-Husband when I was 26 years old. I got married two years later. I was very young and impressionable. I thought that I could love him and he would stop; have people talk to him and he would stop; cuss him out and he would stop; call the police and he would stop. My self-worth and emotional state took a life of its own. I would disconnect the battery to the car so that he would stay home with me. I thought one day he would love me enough to stop. I confided in people seeking help and venting my frustrations when he would leave me and the children. I turned into a monster at times. Fussing and cussing him out doing crazy things like breaking his eye glasses, throwing his golf clubs out the front door etc. This behavior was totally against the grain of who I really Am deep down inside. I definitely tried to make things better for him and our family. We did years of rehab privately and in the church. He would say things like. “There are so many Women out here that are single that would love to have a man like me. I’m not a bad person I just have a drug problem.” He would also say “Maybe if you pray for me instead of talking S**t, I’d get better.” Needless to say that played on my psyche. It was like I was sleeping with the enemy and I guess I was to a degree. I feared that he would become clean and be all to someone else that he should have been to me. Not looking in the mirror at what I have to offer, Not loving myself, having self-pity, thinking that I wasn’t good enough, not realizing my beauty, my brains & the other gifts that God has given me. The best that I could, I held my family together with a big smile. Yes, I made my mistakes. I gave him half of my 20’s all of my 30’s and was creeping into my 40’s. I knew that I had to make a decision. All that I had been through was not easy and as a result I had fallen out of love and I didn’t care anymore. I had enough. I remember telling my Ex one day that I might as well be having sex with the neighbor. My reasoning for saying this is when I was intimate with my Ex it felt like I was with a stranger. It didn’t feel safe. I felt like I was compromising my body to someone that wasn’t worthy of my intimacy. Right or wrong, good or bad I had to make the hardest decision of my life. So I pulled the plug. For some people I’m sure it would be an easy thing to just leave. I loved him and I wanted my marriage and my family together. This was not the White Picket Fence, I long for as a young woman. I knew biblically divorce shouldn’t be an option. I was always the back burner. The back burner for the drugs, his ego, my sanity, the kids, the bills, my health. We were always behind the eight ball, playing catch-up. We had fun times and good times but, I was always in fear for when his urges would come and he’d disappear. My mental state started to questioned all the time. What if he leaves to go to the store is he coming back? Watching the clock always. A horrible way to live year in and year out. I had ENOUGH, it was time to save myself. A blessing in disguise happened in 2008. Although, at the time I didn’t see it as a blessing. I now know it was and is a blessing from God. I was still married; My Ex was unemployed for a few years prior to 2008. Than I got laid off from work in 2008. Now I’m collecting unemployment and looking for a job. I was with a girl friend and a friend of hers knew that I had loss my job. She said to me “Carmen, I know that you’re a professional Woman but, my cleaning lady didn’t show up for the past 2 weeks and I need someone to come in and clean. Can you come and clean.” I said “sure”, we set a date to clean her house. I stopped at the dollar store and with my last $20.00 I got the cleaning products needed to clean her house. After cleaning her house she asked me “how much do I owe you?” Well I didn’t know what to charge I just knew that I needed juice, milk, bread, cereal and gas for my car. So I said $65.00… She looked and me like I was crazy and just wrote the check. While cleaning these homes I would say to myself “Carmen, what are you doing you are forty something, down on your knees cleaning peoples floors.” I thought Carmen you are going backwards, mops and buckets in the back of my car. People seeing me looking a mess in the middle of the day after cleaning all day. Having a background in sales/marketing, working with Fortune 500 Companies and twenty plus years of professional work experience. I thought I had lost my mind. I had children to take care of so with my back, up against the wall I went all in. After two years of cleaning houses, no luck finding a job and having only 6 months left on unemployment. I decided to start my own company- CCL Restoration. CCL stands for Carmen, Courtney and Landon after me and my children. From there I got eleven residential clients, then I picked up some real estate investors as clients and started cleaning their properties, and that’s when I started putting together a team. With my sales and marketing background I had a thought. I said to myself, I have been selling for over 20 years and so it was time to put my selling skills to work for me. I started building relationships with local and national contractors and as a result I have expanded from residential to retail and commercial clients.  […]