No Longer Ashamed

Monday, September 25, 2017

My walls are down, my skin exposed, I am baring it all to save my soul. Growing  up, I felt as though I was a good person; warm, welcoming, caring, loving, nurturing, and helpful. As an adult I have been forced to take a step back and look at myself from a more, not so pleasant perspective. Some of the experiences in life have changed how I view myself and others. Friendships that went wrong, messy college girls spreading rumors, shaming my name, and destroying bonds built over time. A relationship built on jealousy, violence and distrust; parents pushing for perfection, good grades and money saving tactics. My trust in people is gone. My heart is broken.
Looking in the mirror I see what you say I am; rude, disrespectful negative and uncompromising. After decades of being told you're something you never thought you were, you start to buy into the hype. Trying your best to let the good shine through but being blocked by the negativity and shamefulness.
After years of college drama and nasty girl talk, I decided to decrease my circle of friends and stick to those I knew had and would always have my back. Rumors were spread about me and about things I was saying about the girls I hung with the most. The rumors put a strain on the trust we had with one another.  But I still remained and attempted to mend the damage that was done. I looked up to them, I wanted to be more like them, trendy, extroverted, fun and fabulous. I was trying to be someone else so I was more in the “in crowd”; more accepted. Although I was liked, I felt I was missing out because I was not sleeping around, dismissing my morals and because I dressed more tomboyish than the girls in my circle. I felt strongly about protecting friendships I had made in life and did all I could to keep them in-tact.

At the young age of 18, I became involved with my then-boyfriend and fell madly in love. As our relationship quickly grew, we became inseparable and unstoppable. I met his mom and he met my parents. We unintentionally cut off our friends in order to spend more time with one another. But like the rapid speed at which our relationship was travelling, the downfall hit not far behind. It was one night, during the summer months when everything fell apart. My boyfriend was out of town with a college friend with whom he hung out with on and off the football field. They had traveled from Alabama to Florida with his friend to visit his friend’s  family for the weekend. On the return trip, my boyfriend contacted me and asked that I meet him at his on campus apartment upon his return, I was happy to oblige. Several hours into their trip, my the-boyfriend contacted me to inform me that his phone was dying and he did not have a car charger, (they weren’t as popular back in 2003 lol) and he may lose contact with me before he arrived. I acknowledged this, yet kept on with my day of laundry and completing my school work. It was getting late so I contacted his roommate to let him know I was on my way over later to stay the night and wait for my bf’s arrival. To my surprise, when I arrived, I was greeted with news that my bf had sent one of his girl friends in search of my whereabouts (guess I didn’t arrive when he thought I should have). I proceeded to call him and let him know that I had arrived and would see him when he got back. Time was passing and it was now into the wee hours of the morning and they had yet to return, so I fell asleep. Finally after hours and hours of waiting, he returned. I was asleep in his bed. He put down his things and proceeded to get into his little twin size bed with me. The conversation quickly escalated with the countless questions he had for me. “Where were you”, “ Why didn’t you answer they phone when I called”, I sent D looking for you but your car wasn’t at your apartment, what were you doing”, etc. etc. He accused me of sleeping with another guy, that night, and became enraged. I was not use to his tone or us arguing so I began to rise from the bed to gather my belongings and leave. I made it a few feet away, by the closet, when out of nowhere, he snatched me up by my neck and threw me back onto the bed. As you can imagine, I am startled and very afraid. I had never experienced anything like this from him or at any time in my short 18 years of life. He laid next to me in bed, quietly (as not to wake his roommate who was in the bed a few feet away), threatened me and dared me to try and get up. I laid beside him tears flowing and fear rising. I thought to myself, “ what am I going to do? When am I going to leave and HOW”? Every few minutes, I would try and move, but the hold he had on me was so strong I couldn’t break free. He knew I was upset and wanted to leave so badly that he lay awake almost the rest of the night into morning. At last, between 5/6 am, I was able to wiggle away, as he had finally fallen asleep, and leave his apartment.  I was so ashamed and too hurt to tell anyone what had happened. I didn’t know where to turn or what to say. I struggled with what I should do for the remainder of the time until I heard from him. Later that day, he called and asked me to meet him so we could talk. I agreed but refused to come inside. He apologized and begged for forgiveness. I left, unresolved, and went about my day. I needed time to think about what had gone on and what my next steps would be.
Foolishly I forgave him and went right back into the relationship, trying to suppress the incident and move on. He promised this was the first and last time - but the future had other plans. Weeks went by before the next incident. I tried to please him in any way I could as not to upset him and re-live the events of that tragic night again. I would go out of my way to make his days special.

His favorite late night snack was milk and cookies, so on this particular night, I went to the grocery store and bought cookie dough, cute blue plates (to match his fraternity) and plastic wrap (to cover them in), along with a half gallon of milk. I went back to my apartment baked the cookies and placed them on the decorative plate, covering them in the blue saran wrap. I drove over to his dorm room, where he was sitting on his bed, with 3 girls in his room, and asked him to come into the hall way. As I am handing him his late night snack and explaining to him that I have a test to study for and only came to drop off the treat, my phone buzzes. Now this back in 2002-2003, and I have a flip phone (yes, a flip phone-the coolest one out at the time), my hands are full, cookie plate in one hand, milk in the other, he reaches for and removes my phone that was sandwiched between the band on my shorts, opens and reads my message. Before I have a moment to ask who it was, he begins yelling and cursing at me. He then shows me the text, from my classmate. Before I can explain that my classmate, Mike was texting about studying for our upcoming test, my then-boyfriend drops the plate of cookies on the floor of the dorm and kicks it down the hallway. I grab my phone back and dart as fast as I can down the hall and out the back stairwell. He catches me in the  stairwell and immediately puts his hands around my neck. Chocking me until tears flow from my eyes and I can barely speak. I however, was able to must up enough strength to call out the name of his roommate to come help me. His roommate comes running to help, but he struggles to get him off of me. After what seemed like minutes, he is finally able to restrain him and yells “I got him - GO , GO , GO”! I am crying hysterically as I walk down the stairs to my car and all of a sudden I feel a splash of wetness all over my back and legs. My boyfriend had come back and thrown the jug of milk and that was what had struck me.  As I am leaving, I get on the phone and called up his mother. Over the course of our relationship she and I had become pretty close. She would often call me before him (because he was in football practice) for me to relay a message to him or just to talk. However this night her response shook me. I am crying, explaining to her what has happened and the first thing she says to me is “What did you do to make him upset? You know he has a temper like his father”! I was blown away at the lack of concern for what her son had done to me.  I was immediately turned off and again afraid to speak a word to anyone else in fear they would respond the same way. These events occurred twice more before we were forced to break up.

I replayed over and over in my mind where things went wrong. What I could have done differently and how could I have prevented this from happening. We use to laugh together, pray together, go to church together and enjoy life together. How and where did things go astray. The last time he was physical with me I fought back. I was tired of being hurt and feeling helpless. He had planned to take me out to the movies in town and somehow plans got derailed because of PlayStation football. Somehow an argument brewed (over what I do not remember) and I went back to my apartment. I went back to pack up his clothes that I was washing (both wet & dry) and take them back to him because I felt I was done with him and our relationship was over. As I am walking to the door to take him his basket of clothes, he meets me at my door (I already know what is about to occur), so I quickly close the from door and head to the sliding side door to set the clothes out there. He again meets me at that door. I head back to the front door, thinking I can beat him there, and as I am opening the door, he busts inside. Pushes me back to my room, locks the door and begins to fight me like a man. As I stated before I was tired of being chocked and I was not going down without a fight this time. We wrestled and he threw me on the floor and back on the bed and so forth. He threw me so hard one time I hit the dresser and had a bruise for a month afterwards. My roommates came home shortly after the fight began and heard us tussling. One came to my door and asked if everything was okay. I yelled back "yes", knowing that I was in trouble. Shortly after they arrived, he left.

After this incident we had ONE more. Summer time was over and we are now back in our regular dorms for the year. We had begun drifting apart and I got wind he was seeing another girl on campus. He had turned me into someone I had never seen before. I started following him, questioning his roommate, and going to his room at times when I had a feeling he was lying about is whereabouts. I went to his dorm one weekend  morning when he refused to answer my calls or texts. I knew something was up and low and behold he had company, she had spent the night. When I knocked on the door, he would only crack the door, so I pulled a number from his book and pushed the door open. There she was tucked under the covers of his twin sized bed. I cursed them both and walked away. He followed me and walked out on the balcony. There was a wooden chair sitting there, he picked it up, slammed it on the concrete braking it into pieces. He then begins coming towards me as if he’s going to hit me with the broken chair leg. I hop into my car and back straight up (right into another car) and drive off, as he is coming down on the hood of my car with the wooden piece. I drive around to my dorm, to go get my bag and go home for the weekend, and he is coming around the corner right behind me, blocking me in so I cannot back up. I had just enough room, to get out of the parking spot, but close enough to his truck to pull off my back bumper. I proceed to call campus police, my mom and his mom. I am more afraid than ever because I received a voicemail from him telling me he was going to kill me (knowing he kept a gun in the ceiling tiles above his bed in his dorm room).  I drove home and didn’t turn back. Once I got home I finally opened up about the events of the past 2 semesters to my parents.
Although I was afraid and hurt, I was also lost without him. As time went by I went through all the emotions of a breakup, including suicidal thoughts (I even attempted). I was forbidden to have any verbal or physical contact with him by my parents. I even unenrolled from college for a year. Though going thru the motions of daily life without him was painful, I SURVIVED!
Many may say, 'well, at least he never hit or beat you,' but to me what I went through was just as damaging. Going through this not only lowered my self-esteem, it also made me look at relationships from a  different perspective. It took away the love I always had in my heart and still remains to effect me in my current life. You will soon be able to see the effects of these traumatic events as I continue to tell my life stories with you through my blog. I am not one to say, 'never say never', because you don't know what you may go through in this lifetime. However, I must say I did not think this would ever happen to me.

                If you take away nothing else from reading my experience, take away this:
'Don't be quick to judge others in their actions and behaviors as you do not know what they may have had to endure'.

It has taken me over a decade to be able to express this experience with total strangers. It took a lot of self searching to find the right words to use. I have come a long way from where I was at the end of this relationship, but I am nowhere near healed. This blog is my journey to healing and loving myself again and being able to find love, real love, yet again! I can now say that I am NO LONGER ASHAMED of myself, this relationship or my journey to happiness.


  1. This is SO important! It takes a lot of courage to share these kinds of stories. Too many women endure these type or ordeals and will not speak up. I'm working up to this, but I'm not quite there yet. Thank you for this! I wish you all the peace, love and joy your heart can handle!

  2. Wow, I'm sorry you had to go through that. Love should NEVER hurt. I'm glad you've decided to share your story and I hope you heal completely!!

  3. Wow. You are really brave to share this. Thank you. I saw so much of my college self in your story. I got in a relationship and was emotionally, psychologically and sexually abused and it probably would have become more had it not ended when it did. There seriously needs to be more protection for girls in college because this kind of stuff happens all the time. I’m glad you are healing.

  4. Thank you Khia! I was reluctant to share this at first but once I wrote it out and reread it I knew I had to share in hopes some girl would read it and find the strength to get out of her similar situation. I am truly sorry you had to go through this but so grateful you got out when you did! I think it is so important that as girls/women we share our stories, especially in the black community, because I feel it often gets swept under the rug. We must learn and teach young girls to know their worth and settle/put up with nothing less than what we deserve!

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  6. Keara, thank you. Some of the wounds are still unhealed but I am working towards complete healing each and every day. Sometimes as I go through life new situations bring up things that I never realized existed and when I think about it, it is a direct reflection of this experience I went through. Thank you all for taking the time to read and share your thoughts with me!


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