In the concluding piece of my sit down with Cyrkle, we got into some deeper topics. We also got a glimpse of Cyrkle, THE WOMAN. It’s only a peek because we got layers over here ya’ll. How does she keep it all together? Check out the final part of our discussion below.
IVN: Let’s talk about Cyrkle, the actress, author, educator, mother, partner, daughter, sister, aunty… How does a Cyrkle keep it all together? I know it takes a village.
CL: It definitely takes a village. But I also invest in myself in therapy so I can get my stuff out, because the REAL is that we are all flawed and if we’re going to stand in front of children, it’s imperative not to take out your issues out on children. They’re just figuring it out. You should have figured it out already. And if you haven’t figured it out, that’s what therapy’s for. But I’m just have an amazing village in my parents, my children’s father, my significant other. I really have an amazing support system.
I’m also just very transparent about where I am when it comes to socializing. If I’m not in the mood to connect with people because I’m using that energy to connect and lead a school throughout the week; I’m very transparent and honest about that. I just have to say NO. No is my favorite word.
IVN: (LOL) No is a complete sentence despite what people think.
CL: Right. Now if it’s someone that I really care about, they know why I’m saying no and sometimes I’ll give them an explanation, i.e. I have professional thing, I’ve had a tough week at school, I have another obligation that I need to prepare for, sorry no. I create boundaries, that, and a very, very, strong support system is how I keep it all together.
IVN: That’s awesome. It’s really important that we (working mothers) create boundaries. Do you have any projects you’re working on? You did a one woman show, The Queens Chains, a little bit over a year and a half ago. Are you doing another show? You have to do another show! (Squeals in excitement)
CL: As shared I’m stepping into my principalship next year. Obviously, that’s a big job, so I probably won’t be doing it as soon as I hoped. But that is in the works. I’m currently writing two books. I’m doing a fictional book. And I’m doing a “part two” of my novel, my memoir, Love Addict. But “part two” is for young ladies. It’s a how to on not being a love addict for moms and daughters, that’s coming out soon. It’s kind of a 10-step guide on how not to be where I was, because I formed those opinions and I got into that space (love addiction) as a young lady.
IVN: I loved your first book. Sanaa read it as well. We both loved it, I can’t wait for the new installments. Aside from being one of the most intellectual people I know, I think you’re probably one of the most emotionally intelligent people I know how
CL: Thank you!
IVN: You’re welcome. That’s where I find myself lacking, in emotional intelligence. I saw myself in a lot of the things you mentioned in your book, i.e. your mother labeling you “fast” because of your infatuation with boys. I find myself using those same labels and I probably shouldn’t. I had to come to a realization that Sanaa is going to like a boys, there’s nothing wrong with that. It’s the liking a different boy every other next week that becomes a problem. And she if does, that’s ok too, you’re figuring a lot as a young women, just as long as you understand and love yourself (deeply) and know that you don’t need that person to exist you’re be alright. That message came through in your book. I appreciated the book for that and so many other of the messages I received.
CL: The content of my first book was more for young adults. Not that younger ladies couldn’t read it, the next book is geared towards them. Trust and believe, the ones who didn’t choose you in middle school (high school), they were all at the door as an adult. They come back. But they don’t see that. And you don’t know what you don’t know.
They feel like they have to make themselves totally available, give up all the goods, and it’s like, NO, NO, NO but you don’t! But again you don’t know, what you don’t know. So that’s why I’m writing the guide book, because I know. The book is similar to Hill Harper’s books: Letters to A Young Brother, Letters to a Young Sister, but from my perspective. It’s what I would have said to my younger self. It’s ok, you can be your authentically who you are.
One of the things that we know, is that we are culturally dysfunctional (black people if that wasn’t clear) in a lot of ways. We often label certain actions as doing it for “the “culture”, i.e. getting embarrassed in front of your class because your mama come up to the school in her bathroom robe. That’s not for the culture, that can be mentally traumatizing. Now my mother never did that (laughs out loud)!! However, doing things like that as a mother is very harmful and we need to unpack that and what it does to our children.
So with my own daughter I try to talk to her and let her know that it’s okay; she can talk to me about anything. She comes to me and talks to me about the boy she likes and she’s only nine. And oh my gosh, she got her mother in her, (we both laugh out loud about that). She likes the bad boys, but I let her get it out. And I say to her, ‘Oh you like bad boys like your mama? So let me break down to you what’s going to happen with this… What’s going to happen to the class clown, he’s cutting up in n school now, but this is the role that he’s going play throughout life (most likely). Do you really want to be linked with somebody like that? It’s okay to be his friend. But I don’t know if you want to like him, LIKE HIM, you know?! I also just let her be who she is. But she always says mommy, ‘You get me’ and I say Yes babe I absolutely do, you have no idea.
I’m trying to raise her to be a strong young lady, to be content and comfortable in her own skin and confident in who she is so she’s not making the same mistakes that I made. She doesn’t feel like she has to let go of any part of herself to be affirmed or accepted, by boy or girl. She’s a strong little thing, very confident.
CL: It’s funny that we’re talking about this because this is mental health awareness month. So it’s one of those things, again, culturally, where we are somewhat dysfunctional. And we need to remove the stigma from the subject. I decided I needed to go to therapy before I had my two boys. I wasn’t feeling like myself, I don’t really know how to explain, it wasn’t depression, but it was just an unraveling. I could sense it, I could tell something was off.
When I mentioned to my parents that I was going to a see a therapist, my father was like, ‘You don’t need no therapy!’ My father is old school, ‘you don’t need no therapy,’ so it’s still faux pas in our community, especially for black man to go to therapy. I think it takes a knowledge of self to know this is what you NEED.
I think it is also culturally dysfunctional for us, as black women, to always feel like we should be strong! We take on more than we can or should. We want to be seen as strong and the heroes, saving our families, but in the mean time we’re dying, literally from cancer, stress and anxiety; you name it.
The levels of women, black women, committing suicide, or attempting suicide have doubled. Problems like this did not exist before, if they did exist, we hid it, right?! We need to start changing that narrative to say, ‘sis you’re unraveling and I can tell… You don’t have to talk to me, but you should talk to someone and it’s okay.’
IVN: And it’s okay to not be okay.
CL: Right, it’s becoming more and more apparent that we are starting to kick that narrative as women, we’re starting to say it’s okay to get help. But for those of us who are heterosexual, what about the men? Because it’s still not okay for them. So who are we partnering with? So we’re going to be well and are they unwell? So now we need to get that same narrative that is ok for our bothers. Our men need to recognize that it’s okay to cry, to show emotion. Because our men have been raised to either be mad or happy; no in between. There’s no ‘I’m unhappy about this, or it hurt me that you feel this way.’ They express, hurt, with anger. And that’s also unhealthy. They have been taught by their fathers real men don’t cry. And that’s also irresponsible. A lot of the stuff that we do for “the culture” is dysfunctional, we have to break the cycle.
For me, I felt that unraveling and I said, you know what, I’m going to see a therapist. My therapy started with me working out my mommy issues; I talk about this in the book. It started with me realizing my mother and I were either in a love/hate place. I think it’s important for women and their daughters to break that cycle of dysfunction. That’s why the next book is for young girls but it’s really for moms and daughters, because that is a bond that must exist for our girls to grow up to be strong women.
We cannot afford for that bond to be dysfunctional. Because we have things on our shoulders that we must teach our girls. But if we’re trying to control them, we’re trying to make them do what we want them to do without appreciating who they are, we’re going to create another generation of dysfunction. Another generation that will hurt their daughters and their spouses or significant others. And the cycle will go on. I think that’s what it was, I decided to get help because I recognized those wrongs. I dealt with those mommy issues. I even tried to talk to my mother about how I felt but she’s old school too, so she couldn’t receive it, THE FIRST TIME, but once I wrote the book she said ok I see it now.
I didn’t have daddy issues. I was and still am my daddy’s baby. My mom and I have repaired our relationship. She needed to see and read for herself how those controlling maneuvers she was making, out of love, because thought she was doing the right thing, affected me. She needed to recognize I’m a different person, I wasn’t her, we’re very different people. She can tough-love it out and be alright. That’s not me, I’m a very sensitive person.
I wanted nothing more than to be my mother’s pride and joy. When I did anything to disappoint her, it would devastate me. I had to unpack all of that with my therapist. And a lot of those behaviors that I developed were a direct result of working through and coping with my mother’s, mothering style. It’s also why I made the relationship choices I made. And that was hard for me to unpack. Because I was so used to hearing about daddy issues but you can most definitely have mommy issues. Those issues can have the same effect on the relationship choices you make. I still see my therapist. I go in for wellness checks just like you do with a medical doctor. Whenever if I’m ever feeling off or I need to work through something; I go in. I went in when I had to make the very tough decision regarding taking on this principalship. I had to unpack that with my therapist.
He doesn’t tell me yes or no, he helps we weigh the pros and cons; to count the cost of my decisions. Because I decided to seek help and go to therapy, I know that is why I’m in a very healthy, grounded, relationship now because I’m a whole person. I was whole going into the relationship and he was a whole person. We’re not trying to plug the holes into each other’s insecurities. We both came into the relationship as very whole people and I’ve never had that before.
IVN: That’s a beautiful space to be in. It’s not easy getting to that place either. A lot of people never get to that place. I’m so happy for you. Thank you so much for sharing your experience and taking the time out of your busy schedule to chat with me.
CL: You’re welcome and thank you for choosing me.
You can purchase Cyrkle’s memoir Love Addict here. You can also keep up with her on the following social media platforms:
Until Next time ladies bugs…