“Never be bullied into silence. Never Allow yourself to be made a victim. Accept no one’s definition of your life; define yourself.”
Growing up I can remember the enormous amount of time it would take my mother to get ready to go to work in the morning. I remember the primping the hair, the make up, oh the make up, it was such a big deal! Foundation and eyeliner, along with lipstick to match what she was wearing, sometimes even color contacts to set the look off.
As I grew into my teens it became second nature to hide and conceal. From make up, to hair weaves, they became my friends, and it became an unconscious way to cope with my life as a young lady.
My father was off and on in my life, more off than on. He was one who was not a friend with the truth, so a large chunk of my relationship with him was me believing and him deceiving. There was definitely hurt and resentment attached to my relationship with him. My mother worked and we stayed with her parents who were my grand parents. Life there was cozy and at times sweet.
As my mother’s only child I had exactly what I needed materially but emotionally, spiritually, and psychologically there were fundamentals that went missing in the wind. There were no expectations of me at all, and my self-worth, who I was or was going to be was not nurtured, my self-image as a young black girl was compromised. These things left scars and left me open to negative relationships with men and women.
Searching for some acceptance and love in my life and trying to escape reality, I became pregnant. I was sixteen years old. I managed to hide my pregnancy for nearly five months before I was found out. When my mother got notice of my pregnancy she quickly made the decision for me that I would have an abortion.
This traumatic event took place in one weekend and a one hour trip out-of-town to have the late-term abortion which ate up most of her savings. When it was all over I was forced to go back to “normal”. When asked by my grandmother where we went I was asked to lie, I told her we went shopping for the weekend, though we came back without any bags.
Forced back into the world of high school and friends. No one knew what had taken place. The make up and the contact lenses, and the weaves became my alternate self, an illusion. They became the mask that I began to wear from day-to-day pretending to be okay. Looking as if I were okay, but on the inside I was burning my soul was in crumbles. My heart ached and my self-esteem and my self-worth were morphed. I had no value for myself. I became the silent victim.
Today as a wife and mother of three beautiful children, I am speaking up and encouraging others in any way I can to tell their story and to kill the silence. Letting others know that your not alone.
I was diagnosed with major depression in 2010 at first I was afraid to face my illness, now with education and finding my voice I am empowered to heal and change and so can you!
Peace and Love!