"If you are silent about your pain, they'll kill you and say you enjoyed it."-Zora Neale Hurston
This wasn't the first time he put his hands on me. The crazy thing is, i thought i knew myself. I always thought i was the "one and done" type of woman like Tina Turner's best friend in "What's Love Got to Do With It?" played by Vanessa Bell Calloway. Remember when she said, "You ain't got to hit be but once"? Chile, I really thought that was me. Nope. First time was December of 2017, only four months after we got married. It was a trip to Texas to spend Christmas with my new in-laws that turned out to be a nightmare. I was chocked/strangled like his exes' warned me he would do because he did it to one of them. Saw the public record of it and everything. Oh, but I didn't listen. Despite concerns and discernment of friends, I married him anyway because after all, us Christians believe in second chances, right? Truth be told, I went against my better judgement and married a narcissistic fraud, cheater and beater. The kicker is, we sought premarital counsel from our pastors and they okayed him, even after I told them about the warnings of both exes... said that if there were signs from him, they wouldn't marry us. I trusted that. However, when i told them about the asphyxiation in Texas, where he choked me out, they were so calm and simply advised us not to tell anyone. Said that we can work through it. Said to pray, fast and the first lady suggested that I should ask for more compassion for my husband. So I did. And of course, this joker convinced me he'd get help. Cried a river to them, to me. And i stayed. What a shame.
"Abuse usually starts with control and manipulation."
After months of him not getting help, he went into another rage and hit me in the face with a table. Yep. That's the picture you're looking at. Thank God the blow was weakened from him accidentally hitting the wall first. Damage to my wall, but whatever. Why tell this now? Good question, after watching Red Table Talk AND getting wind of a friend who shared some of my business to someone else, I felt the need to speak up and not allow others to tell my story. So many people have whispered to others, instead of me, "Is she still married?" or "why don't she post pics of her hubby?" (Side eye) Let's be clear, at the end of the day this is not for the nosy people that just want to fill their curiosity or the people that will rejoice to hear such abuse, but for women who may be in the same situation AND for me. Talked to a friend last night and we both refuse to accept certain things and people anymore. I refuse to go into 2019 with this baggage, plus I want to destigamatize the talk of abuse. It's too common. If you are silent about your pain, they'll kill you and say you enjoyed it. Not the kid. So, thank you #ZoraNealeHurston for these words. And #RedTableTalk for discussing domestic violence and #Dateline for running the story on #NailahFranklin...#RipNailah.
If you're in a situation, don't be shamed to share or talk to someone about it on your terms and time... release it, it can inspire others. And message: Understand that no pastor, first lady or church can make a decision for you; listen to God and Him ONLY, don't even trust that heart of yours, chile. Rebuke these false prophecies and prepare yourself with a prayer that says: "God, please don't allow me to be deceived. Enhance my discernment". Walk away from abuse. Or run if you have to, like Angela Bassett did in that white suit when she played Tina Turner. Remember that at the end of the movie? Whatever you do, do it early in the relationship. Don't wait too late. I refused to be in an unhappy marriage just to say I'm married. For What? My sister always talks about these women that says "a piece of a man is better than no man" like Betty Wright use to sing about in "After the Pain". My words for Betty, girl bye. That was one of the biggest lies told to women. Don't fall into that hype. And if you are unsure about your situation, abuse usually starts with control and manipulation. Who can and can't be your friend and questions about what men are trying to sleep with you. Then, accusations of sleeping with your male friends. He even accused me of sleeping with and performing sexual favors to every man I worked with in my film. Demanded that i never converse or work with them ever again. Now why would he say something like that? The pot and kettle, baby. The next move is verbal abuse. I was called all types of "bitches and hoes" from "crazy bitch" to "jealous bitch", then "insecure bitch" And of course it was interchangeable with the occasional "whore or hoe." He wasn't that creative.
Listen, if this is your situation, leave your abuser. Find your strength, find your smile and remember there IS life after him, because most likely it won't stop.