Nayla Kidd is Alive: We're Happy and We Totally Understand

This story is resonating over on the WAOD Facebook Page.  Nayla Kidd was a Columbia University student who went missing three weeks ago.  Her concerned mother traveled from Kentucky to New York City to find her.  Nayla was eventually found. Turns out her dissappearance was not the result of foul play, but based on a desire to escape a life that she did not like and the pressure of being a former high achieving child surrounded by other high achieving students. She was in a science program, but her true desire was to be an artist.  Some reporter from the NY Post tracked Nayla down and made her explain why she disappeared

Lots of people have lots of opinions and once again, we demonstrate how little we know about mental health or how people's brains work. Some people on Twitter are calling Nayla "selfish." Yes she was, but you're also assuming that the messages her brain was sending her while she was in crisis were logical and reasonable. How about some empathy and compassion.

Anywhoo, over on the WAOD Facebook Fan Page, I'm seeing some thoughts from readers that aren't being included in the online conversation in other places so I thought I'd highlight them here:

My response to a reader who thinks Nayla should have told someone where she was going:

 She should have done a lot of things, but she didn't, You are imposing your logic and reasoning on someone who wasn't thinking with logic or reason. She was in crisis and law enforcement did a wellness check. They do this everyday. Its why I pay taxes. I too wondered about the impact on a missing woman who was the victim of foul play, and then I had some empathy and compassion. We can spare it.  The Blogmother

On wanting to disappear:

As always you are right on time....many times when i was younger i wanted to disappear... WAOD Reader.

On the importance of self-acceptance:

Great article. Self acceptance is very hard along with direction of life. Glad she found her purpose and will shine.WAOD Reader

Here's another one:

So I think it's ultra-excellent advice to tell teens and early twenties trying to take control of their lives to contact the police BEFORE they drop off the grid. I'd like to hope a adult child would have a truly adult mentor or minister or somebody that could intercede on their behalf. But if not -- well -- you gotta do what you gotta do.

By the way, some teenagers and early-twenties choose suicide in order to not disappoint parents who can't back off, shut up, and listen. WAOD Reader



Nayla, we're glad you're alive. You aren't the first "star student" to want to get away from it all. Here's to a long and healthy life that allows Nayla to understand what her mother must have been feeling for the past three weeks.

To other college students wanting to escape their lives, here is one additional step to add after you deactivate your Facebook profile:

In the future if you decide to drop off the grid, after closing your Facebook account, walk into a local police precinct and tell someone you’re an adult, you’re alive, and your don’t want to be found and then bounce. The Blogmother.




Before You Get "In Formation" with Beyonce...Get In Formation for Yourself

The visuals for Beyoncé s Formation video are stunning. Even I, a proud Beyoncé critic will concede that. Because of the stunning visuals, I can understand the unfettered fawning over Formation.

But before you go getting “in formation” on behalf of other people or “the community” make sure you get in formation for yourself.

We all know that within the Black community some lives matter more than others. While there is an occasional exception, Black = Black men. And some of you are okay with that. You’ve been indoctrinated every day of your life to believe that Black men and boys are more valuable than Black women and girls.

We see it in a movement led by Black women where mass mobilization took place on behalf of Black men while family members and supporters of Black women were forced to stand on side walks with handmade signs pleading for someone to pay attention to their mother, sister, daughter who was also unarmed when she was shot by law enforcement.

We see it when ESSENCE magazine, the magazine where Black women “come first,” dedicates an entire issue to Black lives that matter, but when it comes to a photo spread of mothers who’ve lost their children who were killed by law enforcement, ESSENCE didn’t include a single mother of an unarmed Black woman who was killed.

I’m not going to tell you not to get in formation. But when you get in formation for “the community,” just realize that the community is probably not going to get in formation for you.

And before you go ga ga over Black Panther imagery, read up on how women were treated within that movement. Read about the male leadership’s views about violence against women. Here’s a hint…they weren’t against it.

As I’ve stated repeatedly, Beyoncé is not a radical. She’s a conformist. She just reinforces a male-centered value system in flashy creative ways. There is nothing radical about telling Black women to be sacrificial lambs. We get that drilled into our heads from birth.

We see M’Dear get in formation by putting the house she spent her whole life paying for on the line to get some male member of the family out of jail.

We see Aunt Mabel get in formation trying to raise children by herself after being abandoned by their fathers.

We see Sister So and So give her last dollar to the church so pastor can get a new overflow parking lot while her roof is leaking and she’s struggling to survive while she just keeps on keeping on… As long as the Lord will allow.

I don’t blame Beyoncé or all of y’all screaming “Slaaaaay! Slay! Slay!”

Getting in formation feels good. Helping other people feels good. Being a part of an event that you think is greater that yourself feels good. We are social creatures after all.

But I’m convinced that many of you running to get in formation for other people are doing so because you are terrified of getting in formation for yourself.

So go ahead and slay- just leave some time to slay for yourself.