**TRIGGER WARNING: This post can be triggering for individuals, who have experienced intimate partner violence.**
Since the start of this blog, I have worked really hard to give you content that you wanted. HOWEVER, everything that we NEED isn’t always what we want. I’ve decided it’s time to cut the fluffy ish and get real with y’all.
Let’s talk about ALL the unspoken ish that has half of us f*cked up and struggling with our self-worth and struggling to find a partner worthy of getting all this Black girl magic.
One of the biggest silent relationship killers, especially in the Black community is A-B-U-S-E. Say it with me now, abuse! We call it everything BUT abuse.
He said some ish that was out of line.
She hit me, but I know she was mad because I ignored her call.
He called me fat, but I know he loves me though.
He threatened to harm any future man I ever dated. He was playing though.
I could keep going….however, none of those comments are okay. All of these are examples of abuse. So many people fall victim to emotional, verbal and physical abuse, yet if you ask them they would not identify their relationship as abusive.
I hear all the time, I would never be in an abusive relationship.
I’m too smart for that.
I would never go for that.
I would leave immediately and the list goes on.
Yet as a therapist, I have encountered so many [Black] people who experienced abuse in their relationship and didn’t know or wouldn’t identify it that way.
Keeping it 100 with you all I was in an abusive relationship for YEARS and I was so blinded by my belief that I was too smart and strong-willed to be in that situation that I didn’t recognize the amount of abuse that I experienced. It took me almost three years after the relationship ended to recognize how abusive my former partner was and to openly talk about it with others.
When I did finally share that information people were shocked.
I was a therapist.
I was too smart for that.
I was too pretty.
I had so many other options, etc.
These types of responses make it extremely difficult for successful women to open up and share their experiences of abuse because “we should’ve known better”.
As a leap of faith, I want to share with you all my story and I hope this inspires other successful women to share their stories of abuse and/or at least know that you aren’t alone.
My college sweetheart was a guy that I met through my best friend. She was dating his best friend. We thought it was cute that best friends were dating best friends. Initially, we had a lot of fun (chile in those days we both could DRINK…so going shot for shot was what solidified our relationship…Jesus halp!). Initially, he was super sweet. We talked all the time and made arrangements to consistently see each other although we went to two different colleges and our hometowns were about an hour apart. Chile I was in love.
It seemed like almost overnight things changed. Out of the blue, he broke up with me and he no longer was calling me consistently. I didn’t understand how someone so attentive could turn so cold so quick. In my mind, all I saw was what things HAD been between us. Despite the ending of the relationship we resumed communicating (not as consistently) and spending time together.
That should have been a huge red flag for me that he wanted to have contact with me, but refused to commit.
The second red flag should’ve been when I found out that he had lied to me about everything including his parents. He literally lied to me about how his mother died y’all.
The psychologist in me was like he’s been through so much trauma in his childhood. He had to grow up without his parents (his mother was killed and his dad was imprisoned) and he lost the last person that meant something to him — his grandmother. She raised him but she died within the first six months of us dating. I was wayyyy to understanding of the ish he would do.
He would constantly critique my weight. In his mind, I was supposed to be only one size and if I dared gain 5lbs he would know and would comment on it.
I also felt insecure because I knew he didn’t date Black women (I attract the most Black men, who don’t date Black women. I’ve been told I don’t count because I’m a nerdy Black girl…that’s another story for another day). He would constantly remind me of his preference for non-Black women.
He would readily tell people that he didn’t know why I was around because we weren’t together. However, he would become physically abusive towards me when he found out I was attempting to meet new people.
This is when ish got real. He pulled a gun on me and threatened to kill me when he found out I was moving on.
He also was obsessed with my natural hair and the one time I wore weave he and I got into a physical fight because he tried to set my weave on fire.
I could go on and on and but you get the point.
I was supposed to have been too smart for that. I was supposed to have walked away. I was supposed to have told someone….but I didn’t.
…because in my mind I handled my ish.
I knew that he was a liar.
I knew that his family would tell me the truth (I should’ve ran when his nephew called and told me some girl was at the house that wasn’t me).
I handled my own…I fought back.
I had sooo many excuses for why it wasn’t a big deal and why it wasn’t abuse.
However, it took me quite a while to recover because he had convinced me that no one wanted me but him and that if I ever moved on he would either end up killing me or my new partner or both of us.
I know this is heavy y’all but I will NEVER tell someone to just walk away from an abusive relationship because it’s more complicated than that. It has soo many layers. Also, these are the conversations we need to have in order to heal and be ready and open to a future healthy relationship.
So, starting today, I encourage you …us to get real about things and talk about what we have been through so that we can heal together and NOT judge and/or criticize one another.
Acknowledging my experience as abuse and saying the word abuse was the most powerful thing I could’ve done to reclaim my self-worth and to recognize that I deserve my forever bae that’s here for me and not one that I have to beg to be here.
Let me know your thoughts on today’s post in the comment section below AND let me know if there are other taboo topics that you want me to address.