“You are free to choose, but you are not free from the consequences of your choice.”
Question for the Day:
Do you make good choices?
Okay, so I told you I am a therapist. I lead psychotherapy groups everyday and I always start each day with a thought for the day and a question for the day, so why not do the same here? The good thing about this being my blog though is that I get to write about whatever I feel like writing about, and today my mind is on reality television. Yes, I watch it. Don’t judge me. I figure I do enough serious work during my week and if I want to fry my brain on garbage television in the name of relaxation, then like Bobby Brown said, that’s my prerogative. However, I firmly believe that there are valuable lessons in everything, even in my Sunday night guilty pleasure, The Real Housewives of Atlanta.
If you watch the show, then you know that one of the show’s wives, Phaedra Parks is about to be a single mom because her husband is off to serve an eight year prison sentence for fraud. Now, that sounds like typical housewives ish, but what I find so fascinating is that Phaedra met her husband Apollo Nida before he got arrested once before for, wait for it….racketeering and theft. My dude Apollo is smart enough to set up fraudulent companies and use dead people’s social security numbers to open up fake bank accounts and scam the government out of a ridiculous amount of money, BUT he couldn’t figure out how to make even minimum wage legally? (smh) Now, Phaedra on the other hand is a high-profiled attorney who decided to risk her professional credentials and get with Apollo while he was in prison the first time and marry him upon his release. Yet after only a few years and two kids, Apollo just couldn’t cut going straight and soon was back to his old tricks. Long story short, he got caught, was convicted and is sentenced to twice the time he served the first time and two more black children will be raised without a father.
Now, what frustrates me is Phaedra’s indignant response. She’s totally appalled! How dare this man who I married fresh out of the penitentiary, be a criminal? Who does he think he is doing the same thing he was doing when I fell in love with him? (again… smh) Phaedra is typical of many women. Valentine’s Day was yesterday and I wonder how many women are wallowing in regret today because they let that no good jackal that showed his ass last year, back in, just so they could feel they were worthy of companionship for a day. I’ve been there too. I’ve been married for a long time now to a stand up guy, but I had my fresh-out-the-pen boyfriend back in the day too. He would write long poorly spelled letters about the stress of the “game”and how he felt “insane” and unworthy of a good “sista” like me. Of course, he was right about that, but I saw his turmoil as an expression of real love and a legitimate desire to go straight. He had so much potential if only he had the resources to make it happen. What ended up happening was that I ended up feeling guilty for being successful. I was ashamed of finishing college and being able to live on my own. I felt like a sheltered preppy chick because I had a relationship with my parents and could use proper subject verb agreement. My better judgment told me to bail, but I lied to myself so that my poor choice could be justified by the great equalizer, love.
This type of codependency is another addiction. It’s a lot easier to get hooked on an idea of something than to deal with the reality of it. Even Phaedra with all of her education and “southern charm,” is guilty of falling in love with the idea of a husband instead of being prepared to have one. We cannot keep running into red flags and just throwing them into the closet or under the bed, hoping they wont take up too much space. Like Maya Angelou famously said, “when someone shows you who they are, believe them.” If you can’t live with the consequences of your choice, then make another one. If you like bad boys, then own it, but don’t play the victim when you get exactly what is expected. Come on Phaedra, get lifted girl. #fixitjesus