Where Is The Money?

 Today’s thought is about Child Support. 

I’m so confused why some men do not pay child support?  My son’s father is almost $70.000 behind in child support payments.  I have even sought out the assistance of one of those companies that suppose to help you receive child support. (Can’t remember the name).  However, to date my son still has not received monies owed to him.  It has been at least 6 years since I had initiated contact with this company. …..and nothing!

What is so mind-boggling, is how the child support laws are not being enforced…at least, in my state (Michigan).  My son’s father has come up with every excuse in the book; as to why he cannot or will not pay child support?  His has made excuses ranging from unemployment; for the last 13 years, to being schizophrenic. And based on his actions the last several years, he may have some form of a mental disorder.  There is really no other explanation as to how anyone would choose to 1) not be a part of their child’s live and 2) not feel remotely obligated to help support them.

Currently, my son’s father is classified as a felon due to unpaid child support.  I believe $5.000 or more was the dollar amount to petition to the court to pursue felony charges against him.  And even with that, my son’s father is still beating the system.  He is on probation and has a parole officer, but nothing is being done to enforce the laws that are already in place.

As I have said before, the Friend of the Court is no friend, especially to our children.  In addition, I would like to say a few words to those men who are so worried about where the money is going? 

It takes a lot of money to raise a child. The following is just the short list:

1)     Food

2)     Clothes(spring,winter,fall and summer)

3)     Daycare or after school child care

4)     Medical Insurance (monthly or yearly premiums, Doctor visit co pay’s)

5)     After school activities (Sports, Dance, YMCA, Tutoring etc.)

6)     School breakfasts and/or lunches)

7)     In school activities and field trips  

8)     Shoes (I’m not counting the $100 gym shoes that most kid’s are requesting)

9)     Haircuts

10)  Essentials (deodorant, hair products, lotions)

11)  School supplies

12)  Misc. – Fun Stuff (Video Games, CD’s, Xbox, Cell Phones, IPods, PlayStation, Wii etc.)

13)  Weekend activities with friends (movies, going to the mall, skating, etc.)

14) And, Housing (bedrooms, heat, electric and water etc.) – more of EVERYTHING is used with extra people

 

Of course, this list will become bigger and more expensive as the child gets older.

My question is what could make anyone; Man or Woman choose to not contribute to the upbringing of their child?  WTH!!!!

But, to end this on a positive note.

The statement of the day and a lesson for my life!

Let’s commit to learning more about ourselves (likes, dislikes, wants, needs) and then learn more about the person who we are sexually involved with, before we go all ‘CRAZY’, reproducing more uncertainty in the world.

For more information about pursuing felony charges against the non-custodian parent who is excessively behind in child support payments; contact your local Friend of the Court.  Every situation is different. Your actions may prompt movement of money in your direction.   Good Luck!

Live, Love and Laugh Often

Charlette Marie

The 5 Stages of Relationships

5 Stages of Relationships

Did you know there are stages in relationships that all couples must go through?   Personally, I did not. But, I have always noticed that after a month or so (give or take a few months); my relationships seem to shift in another direction.  At that point, my theory would be, either they were not the right person for me or I was not the right person for them. Whichever, the case; this was usually the beginning of the end for the relationship.  And, we would both move on to what we thought would be bigger and better.

I love starting a new relationship. Everything is wonderful, everyone is on their best behaviors, and your thoughts stay on this person. Spending time with this person becomes a priority; somehow you manage to fit them into your live. You want to talk to them, laugh with them and in most cases have great sex with them.   Everything is going exactly the way you want it to go, then all of sudden, the rose-colored glasses are removed; the veil is lifted and this person you once adored is now acting as if they have two horns on top of their head and speaking a foreign language. 

What happen?  Where did the love of my life go?  Well according to the ‘Stages of Relationships’, that person is still there but, now we are in a process of evolving to another level of our relationship.   What is that about?

Well, I have to be honest, it has been a long time since I have been able to get pass stage one. I’m not a relationship expert, and never claimed to be. The information I share should be used as an aid for others and myself to create and maintain healthy relationships. 

So here we go;

Phase 1: The Honeymoon (Love- ain’t it great!)

This is the romantic, passionate, stars-in-the-eyes phase. The sex is good and there is never enough of it.
This doesn’t happen for all couples but as a rule, this strong attraction stage is laced with thinking about and wanting to be with, your new love.

Phase 2: Accommodation (O.K, so love isn’t perfect)

Even Romeo and Juliet had they been married, would have had to deal with the day-to-day realities. In the Accommodation Stage roles are established, expectations are set and compromises are made. It is here that disillusionment sets in and power struggles become evident. The other person’s habits, needs, anger and withdrawal patterns become uncomfortably clear. Intense conflict has the potential for developing during this stage. It is most advantageous to learn about problem solving, conflict management and communication during this stage.

Phase 3: The Challenge (Trouble in paradise)

A couple doesn’t really know how strong a relationship is until they deal with the challenges that life brings. Whether it is starting a new job, unemployment or the unfortunate occurrence of an accident or family illness, we all face challenges in life. The Challenge Stage lets the partners know what they can expect from each other during these demanding times.

Children and family crises are important factors during this stage. Each partner sets their own rules and expectations for raising children and how extended family issues should be handled. The challenge here is to be aware of this fact and find a successful compromise in meeting each other’s rules and expectations.

During the Challenge Phase there is a certain amount of disillusionment. The relationship is not what it was dreamed to be and one or both partners may be increasingly attracted to other people of the opposite sex. Sometimes, there is fantasizing about past loves. This is a time when the relationship is very vulnerable to unfaithfulness. How couples deal with this phase will determine the direction that it will take in the Crossroads Phase.

Phase 4: The Crossroads (What do I do at this stage of my life?)

Once couples reach this stage they have already experienced some challenges (e.g. medical or money problems) and now other life decisions will have to be made (e.g. to have children, where to live, how to spend money). This stage is different from the Challenge Phase because a number of challenges have already occurred and the couple has learned how each other responds in these situations. The emotional patterns of each are clear and they have established patterns of dealing with their differences. It is common for problems to arise in this stage, but because you have already experienced a great many shared challenges, you stand the best chance of working through these issues and getting to the Rebirth Stage. The three most common negative patterns for individuals to engage in during this stage are:

  1. Being resigned to sticking with the bad decision of staying in the relationship;
  2. Emotional withdrawal;
  3. Trying to force the other person into being different.

Phase 5: Rebirth (New marriage)

it is estimated that only 15% of all couples reach this stage. At this point, folks have figured out “the real person” they have married. To achieve it they will have successfully dealt with the Accommodation, Challenge and Crossroads Stages. In this phase, couples learn how and when to compromise and they truly (not on the surface) accept areas of differences with minimum resentment. In this stage couples learn to re-appreciate and re-love each other and:

• Focus on what is right with each other;
• Give each other the benefit of the doubt in conflict situations;
• Successfully manage and truly accept frustrations, disappointments and hurts;
• Agree to disagree and fully value each other even if they are totally unable to see things the same way;
• Have a give and take sexual relationship on a regular basis;
• Communicate in such a way they really listen to and hear each other;
• Can disagree with each other and be O.K with that;
• Recover from their disagreements within a short period of time;
• Constantly find things to appreciate about each other;
• Spend time relaxing and having fun on a weekly basis;
• Spend time talking about issues that come up in their relationship.

This is just one of many websites that discuss and identify the Stages of Relationships.  But, they all speak on one common theme:  We have to go through different phases and/or stages, to develop committed and healthy relationships. 

To see this article in its entirety visit:  http://family-marriage-counseling.com/mentalhealth/relationship-basics.htm

My question is:  How do you know when it is worth the time and effort to push through to the next stage?

Live, Love and Laugh Often

Charlette Marie

Lost Souls

Lost Souls

The day I had a conversation                                                                                                                                                                    With myself;                                                                                                                                                                                                        Was a day I truly realized,                                                                                                                                                                                   I was no different from anyone else.

It was a day like no other,                                                                                                                                                                                Time had stood still.                                                                                                                                                                                            It was as if I finally knew;                                                                                                                                                                               What it was to know God’s Will.

A prayer had been answered.                                                                                                                                                                          A gift had been given to me.                                                                                                                                                                               I saw the world in a new light.                                                                                                                                                                      The way God had intended it to be.

I felt a sense of peace, my spirit spoke to me from within.                                                                                                                   I saw the purity that lives within us all.                                                                                                                                                        I saw the questions we sometimes have,                                                                                                                                                Will I stand or will I fall?

I saw the fight for survival.                                                                                                                                                                               A cry for help.                                                                                                                                                                                                          I saw our limitations to succeed;                                                                                                                                                                That we have all frequently felt.

I felt the energy we could use,                                                                                                                                                                       To get the things, we think we need.                                                                                                                                                                I felt the energy we could use,                                                                                                                                                                         To turn a flower, back into a seed.

I felt the emptiness we feel,                                                                                                                                                                       When we think we are all alone.                                                                                                                                                                        I saw this world just as an illusion,                                                                                                                                                                A temporary place, we now call our home.

Several questions                                                                                                                                                                                                Stayed in my mind,                                                                                                                                                                                           Why are we so lost?                                                                                                                                                                                           And, are we running out of time?

I pondered these questions,                                                                                                                                                                       Over and over again.                                                                                                                                                                                          Do we stay the way we are?                                                                                                                                                                        Or will we bring this chaos, to an end?

My spirit spoke to me,                                                                                                                                                                                     Softly, but clear.                                                                                                                                                                                             Listen to what I say,                                                                                                                                                                                         And, this is what I want you to hear.

I share this gift with you,                                                                                                                                                                                   A blessing I received one day.                                                                                                                                                                          Pray to see others in the light,                                                                                                                                                                    And, in a spiritually loving way.

Live, Love and Laugh Often                                                                                                                                                                     Charlette Marie

 

Are Black Men Getting Married?

Are Black Men Getting Married?

Lately, there has been a lot of talk about “Black Women NOT being married”…….Why?

 1)    Standards are too high 

2)    Black Man shortage 

 3)    Less likely to date outside their race 

 4)    Too bossy (whatever!) 

 5)    Aggressive attitude 

 6)    Black men are in prison, gay or dead 

Those are just a few reasons, which I have heard; why Black Women are not or never have been married? I would like to add to the list; “Maybe some Black Women do not want to get married”.  Because they do not want to deal with: 

 1)    Infidelity 

 2)    Physical or verbal abuse 

 3)    Sharing their time with someone 

 4)    Sharing their space with someone 

 5)    Thinking about another person’s feelings 

 6)    Taking care of a man physically and/or financially

Anyway, I now have a new question?  If Black Women are not getting married, is it safe to say, “That Black Men are not getting married and if they are, who are they marrying? 

 So, I started to do a little research on the percentage of Black Men who are married and who they are actually marrying?  

Well, let me start of by saying, finding these stats were not easy.  I kept finding sites on; The Black Men in Prison and Black Men Marrying White Women.  

But, I finally got lucky and found a few sites, answering my questions.  

1)    http://www.essence.com  (Relationship Commentary: The Black Man Shortage by: Demetria L. Lucas). 

Esscence.com had a very interesting story.  What is with all the talk about BLACK WOMEN not being married?  “This is a problem in all races”.   As the author of this story recalls; remember Sex and the City???  “This is a problem not only with the African American women, but all women”.  She also states, “51% of Latina woman are unmarried, so are 45% of non-Hispanic White women, and 41% of Asian women”. 

2)     http://www.mediatakeout.com/ by Rev Billy bob 

A few more  interesting facts. 

In 1950 62% of all African American women were married.
In 1950 64% of all African American men were married.
In 2000 36% of all African American women were married.
In 2000 43% of all African American men were married. 

93% of black men, who do marry, choose to marry Black Women

3)    http://www.tiredblackman.com/ (“Don’t believe the hype” by Tim Alexander) 

This is an insert from the article, in which I thought was worth sharing.  42 percent of Black Men were married, compared with 31 percent of Black Women. In contrast, 10 percent of Black women were widowed, compared with 3 percent of Black men.
9.5 percent of Black Men were divorced and 12.8 percent of Black women
4.4 percent of Black Men were separated and 5.9 percent of Black women
41.6 percent of Black Men never married and 39.7 percent of Black women 

That was a lot to take in.  I believe the problem is not a “Marriage Problem”, I believe we have a “Relationship Problem”.  Let’s focus on having a Good Relationships first. 

We as a society are not “Relationship Savvy”. We do not have ‘Relationship skills’ to overcome conflict as we move through the stages of our relationships. We may have unrealistic expectations as to how a relationship should flow. My suggestion is to talk to someone other than our friends.  Our friends will probably think just as we do and sometimes we need a different perspective to see things clearly. 

Lesson for today: 

‘Let’s spend less time planning the wedding day and more time planning our lives together” 

Live, Love and Laugh Often 

Charlette Marie 

FYI:  views and opinions expressed on these sites do not necessarily express the views and opinions of Charlette Marie.

Martin Luther King , Jr. Day

Go to work  or not to go to work today??????              

That is the question?

Today is MLK day, and I’m at work!

OK!

To work at work or not to work at work today? 

Now, that is the real question???

Which ever the case, take some time to think about Mr. Martin Luther King Jr. Today!

Live, Love and Laugh Often

Charlette Marie

A LifeLine For Haiti

Lets take a moment to think of and pray for everyone effected by the devastation in Haiti.   And, if you would like to do more, please take a look at the following emails I received:

Switchboard of Miami, Inc. anticipates both an increased call volume and need for community mental health outreach.  Needed are short-term volunteers and interns with backgrounds in mental health, social work, psychology and/or psychiatry to answer incoming calls and to assist with special community mental needs related to the earthquake in Haiti.  Those interested should call or email Carolyn Broughton 305-358-1640 x 159 or cbroughton@switchboardmiami.org.

Maryllis Baluja
Resource Coordinator
AIRS Certificed Resource Specialist (CRS)
Switchboard Of Miami
701 SW 27th Avenue, Suite 1000
Miami FL 33135
Tel: (305) 358-1640 x148
Fax: (305) 377-2269

24-Hour HELPline: (305) 358-4357 or 211
TTY: (305) 644-9449 or 211, opt 4

#########################################################

Lifeline Colleagues:

In the wake of the devastating events in Haiti, Switchboard of Miami passed the request for volunteers below onto the Lifeline. If any of your volunteers are willing and able to provide Switchboard with any support, please contact Carolyn Broughton at the number below.

While much of the current need for U.S. Haitian populations is to gain information about the safety and whereabouts of any loved ones they may have there, they may also be experiencing concomitant anxiety and acute stress reactions. In addition, constant images on the news of the terrible suffering there may also be affecting unrelated persons with a history of trauma, including those who have themselves witnessed and survived a disaster in their lifetime. Abundant research shows that disasters and recent traumatic events can trigger re-experiencing of previous traumas, which can be terribly disorienting to such individuals who can’t explain why something that happened in Haiti is bringing up these thoughts and feelings now. It is important for your hotline helpers to be aware of this phenomenon, in case they hear more of these types of complaints from the callers on your various hotlines.

Please feel free to consult and tell your hotline helpers about the Lifeline wallet card, “Tips for Disaster Survivors”, found on our Lifeline materials page of the web site: http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/Materials/Default.aspx

Another important resource for talking with individuals who are coping with traumatic events can be found on the CDC web site:
http://www.bt.cdc.gov/masscasualties/copingpub.asp

In the longer term, it is likely that the United States will see a significant influx of surviving Haitians over the coming months. A good number will likely be experiencing mental health issues, beyond the already challenging acculturation issues experienced by immigrants. Cities and states that already house a good number of Haitian immigrants will likely see more joining them. Here is a breakdown of current Haitian population distributions in the U.S.:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haitian immigration to the United States and Canada#New York City

Again, please see the message from Carolyn above and pass on to volunteers that you think might be able and willing to assist their local efforts in Miami.

Warm regards,

John Draper, Ph.D.
Project Director
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
T: (212) 614-6309
T: (212) 614-6357

National Suicide Prevention LifeLine
With Help Comes Hope
1-800-273-TALK
http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org
www.crisiscentersblog.com

If you are unable to download these sites, please copy and paste on your browser.

Live, Love and Laugh

Charlette Marie

I LOVE YOU

I LOVE YOU!

Awhile back I came across a really good book by Dr. Gary Chapman, Christian counselor and author of: The Five Love Languages. (www.fivelovelanguages.com)

• Words of Affirmation
Actions don’t always speak louder than words. If this is your love language, unsolicited compliments mean the world to you. Hearing the words, “I love you,” are important—hearing the reasons behind that love sends your spirits skyward. Insults can leave you shattered and are not easily forgotten.

• Quality Time
In the vernacular of Quality Time, nothing says, “I love you,” like full, undivided attention. Being there for this type of person is critical, but really being there—with the TV off, fork and knife down, and all chores and tasks on standby—makes your significant other feel truly special and loved. Distractions, postponed dates, or the failure to listen can be especially hurtful.

• Receiving Gifts
Don’t mistake this love language for materialism; the receiver of gifts thrives on the love, thoughtfulness, and effort behind the gift. If you speak this language, the perfect gift or gesture shows that you are known, you are cared for, and you are prized above whatever was sacrificed to bring the gift to you. A missed birthday, anniversary, or a hasty, thoughtless gift would be disastrous—so would the absence of everyday gestures.

• Acts of Service
Can vacuuming the floors really be an expression of love? Absolutely! Anything you do to ease the burden of responsibilities weighing on an “Acts of Service” person will speak volumes. The words he or she most wants to hear: “Let me do that for you.” Laziness, broken commitments, and making more work for them tell speakers of this language their feelings don’t matter.

• Physical Touch
This language isn’t all about the bedroom. A person whose primary language is Physical Touch is, not surprisingly, very touchy. Hugs, pats on the back, holding hands, and thoughtful touches on the arm, shoulder, or face—they can all be ways to show excitement, concern, care, and love. Physical presence and accessibility are crucial, while neglect or abuse can be unforgivable and destructive.

Did you know; we all express and interpret love differently?

How many times have someone said “I love you”???? And you were thinking their actions were saying, “Something totally different”. Personally, I’ve heard the words “I love you” quite a few times from the man in my life at the time. But, I have always said, “He loved me his way”.

After taking the assessment, I now know my “Love Language” and I’m able to articulate this to those that matter in my life. Knowing your “Love Language” can be very helpful not just in romantic relationships, but in relationships with family members too.

Take the test! You may be surprised. At the very least, being able to verbalize your needs and the needs of others is half the battle, in any healthy relationship.

Go to: www.fivelovelanguages.com  (If it does not download Copy and Paste in your browser )

Live, Love and Laugh Often
Charlette Marie

Not Forgotten

NOT FORGOTTEN

At times I can hear,
the cry of a child.

When it is dark and silent,
I can feel the pain for awhile.

Unseen, but not forgotten,
I can sometimes feel the essence of its soul.

Would it have been a girl or a boy?
This is the story that will never grow old.

The physical pain,
Is just a memory now?

But, the mental pain,
comes and goes, somehow.

Did I take a life?
Is a question I sometimes ask?

Do I let it go?
And, let it become a part of my past.

I could have gave birth,
And, let nature run its course.

Did I allow personal stress;
to become my primary source?

Give it away!
Is what some might have said.

To a wonderful family;
that would have raised my flesh instead.

What is wrong?
And, what is right?

The suction of machinery;
Or blood baths from a gun fight.

The Spirit never dies;
This is much is true.

My little one will never be forgotten,
Because, God has a plan for you.

Live, Love and Laugh Often
Charlette Marie

What Type Of Kisser Are You?

What Type of Kisser Are you?

1) The “Super-Soaker” Kisser: This is the kisser that leaves your face totally WET after kissing you and in some cases a very strange smell as well.

2) The “Lip-Sucker” Kisser: This is the kisser that is turned on by; sucking on your lips VERY hard and you are praying for them to let GO!

3) The “Tongue-Diver” Kisser: This is the kisser that enjoys trying to make their way down your throat with their tongue.

4) The “Tight-Lip” Kisser: This is the kisser that likes to grind their lips together when they are kissing you. Otherwise, known as the Grandma Kiss.

5) The “I know What You Ate” Kisser: This is the kisser that you can smell what they have ate as they lean in to kiss you and you can even taste it afterward.

6) The “Bootie-Call” Kisser: This is the kisser that will only kiss you either in the dark or after the dark.

7) The “Dry and Crusty” Kisser: This is the kisser that you would seriously consider buying an unlimited supply of lip balm for their birthday.

8) The “Put A leash On Your Tongue” Kisser: This is the kisser that likes to put their tongue in CRAZY places, such as: The inside of your nose or between your toes.

9) The “Noise-Maker” Kisser: This is the kisser that will make some form of a sound EVERY time they kiss you.

10) The “Smooth and Sexy” Kisser: This is the kisser that can kiss you so wonderfully; you know that they are probably wonderful in other areas.

It’s really nothing else to say about kissing. Either it’s good or it’s not. It’s really simple.

Live, Love and Laugh Often
Charlette Marie

Take Care Of You First and Worry About Me Second!

Just Another Question?

Should a MAN have any say so, when it comes to a WOMAN having an abortion?

Well, I say it depends on the CIRCUMSTANCES and the type of RELATIONSHIP the couple has or had.
If they were just SEX BUDDIES or FRIENDS WITH BENEFITS then NO. If they were in a SERIOUS and COMMITTED relationship (and both parties were on the same page), then YES.

This question came to mind; today, because I rode pass an abortion clinic and saw two MEN outside with signs, I guess PROTESTING.

I’ve always wonder why men would protest in front of an abortion clinic? Do they really BELIEVE they have a SAY, in what OTHER women do with their bodies or with what is IN their bodies.

If you haven’t already guessed, I’m Pro-Choice. I believe it is a woman’s RIGHT and hers alone to have an abortion or not.

Why?

Because, ultimately, it is the WOMAN who will be taking care of the BABY.…….Statistics shows that!

Now, don’t get me wrong there are men out there who do SHARE in the responsibility of raising their CHILDREN, AND AMEN TO THAT!!! But, there are a lot of men who don’t… AND SHAME ON YOU FOR THAT!!!

I always smile when I see men PROTESTING in front of ABORTION CLINICS. I think it is really funny to see a MAN trying to speak on something that I feel is NONE of their BUSINESS.

I mean, some men and some women are standing behind the fact that it is a SIN to kill.

GRANTED I will give you that, however, we don’t see people protesting about the SINS of these so called protesters.

It’s funny how people are quick to judge one SIN against another;
Like one sin is worst then other.

Sin is a Sin…..big or small

Lesson for today:

“Let’s judge less and love more”

Live, Love and Laugh Often
Charlette Marie

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