2013 was the year I became initiated into motherhood from my own womb. The year honestly flew by so fast. Before I knew it, Valentine’s Day had come and gone. Spring Break approached and I was puking my guts out every morning in secret. With what energy I had left, I kept going to school to complete my dual-enrollment courses. Prom came and my sparkly 6-inch heels were getting worn regardless of the bump that only I knew was under my dress. Graduation came and I crossed the stage as a first generation high school graduate at 16 years old. I had the whole world in front of me. Howard University, Georgia State University and Emory sent back acceptance letters before I could even blink. Staring at these letters and seeing the excitement on everyone’s face, finally brought me to tears. My immature mind had not planned past this point. What was I going to do?
The day came in the middle of June, right after my birthday had passed. My mom came into my room and asked how late my cycle was. It never dawned on me to “fake it till I made it” and make all appear well by keeping up appearances that my cycle was still coming. Mama not buying sanitary napkins with a household of girls was a red flag. The look of disappointment was enough. I was a lost cause. This was the first time I lost myself. I can vividly remember feeling “empty”. The first time in my life I had experienced what I now know to be lovelessness. It was a shock to my spirit. The church I was a member of, no longer wanted any parts of the praise dancer that fell pregnant. My family no longer provided warmth and security. It was a dark and dreary time.
Fast forward to 2016, I had gotten a condo with a roommate that had a beautiful view of downtown Atlanta. She had a daughter, and I had my oldest son at the time. We were both in school at Georgia State. Finding a roommate willing to share space when you had a child, was a rarity at that time. I had prayed and prayed and even sold my first car to make this happen. I was finally on my own for the first time. Healing wasn’t my initial intention, but I found myself in a natural rhythm of drinking LOTS of water, going to the gym religiously, eating cleaner and reading as much as I could about spirituality every chance I got. Life was good.
One day, the news came that a hurricane was impending. I packed us a bag and we went to my mom's to bunker down. After all was cleared, we went back home. I even brought my brother to play with my son as they are the same age. Upon arriving back home, I found my roommates daughter and her boyfriend in our condo. I assumed my roommate was at work so allowed them all to play in the living room while I sat on the couch and watched them. Long story short, when my roommate got home, she asked me to come look at the little girl. She had bruises in multiple places on her body. I was taken aback and told her to take her to the emergency room just to get checked out. I stayed up after they left and waited. An hour later I heard the door open. My heart knew she hadn’t taken her. The following morning, I called my roommate's dad who had given me his number just two weeks prior after popping up at our condo with concerns that the boyfriend was aggressive with his daughter. He wasn’t pleased and called the little girl's daycare. By that afternoon, I was in the middle of a CPS case. She moved out and I never heard anything else about it.
I lost myself then too. It was a constant battle of my thoughts. Questioning if I should have called her dad. Was the little girl okay? The emails that I received last from her calling me evil and a plethora of other things sat etched in my mind for years. My growth felt like it came to a halt. My spirit was in shambles. I felt heavy and dissuaded. Then I broke my ankle. I thought I was being punished by Spirit. Sitting alone drove me crazy. So, I started looking for community. Social media and in-person social circles were the salve I needed. Tools and resources opened my heart, mind, body, and soul from those that truly saw me.
Fast forward to now, the present. SHYNE has been my community for four plus years now. It wasn’t until this year that it was affirmed to me, and I truly believed that I am not the girl from 2017, nor 2013, nor 20 (anything) for that matter. I have worked through inner child issues, teenage traumas, mother wound issues, ego deaths, mental and emotional imbalances, I could go on….
Who am I to stop what God has already ordained over my life? While healing never ends, I can proudly say I been doing this shit for real. It wasn’t easy. It still isn’t. I still get triggered, all the time actually. But my awareness is different. I can remind myself to stop the negative talk when it starts to creep in. I can drink water like a fish. And I can also tell my story without getting beside myself. When I look into my own eyes, I see magic. I see a sparkle of light again. No one can tell me about me, because I am sure of who I am. I remember. My traumas nor my past have ownership over me. Like my good sis Jennifer Hudson (in my head) said… I remember me.