It was a beautiful summer night. The stars were shinning, the 80 degree breeze felt wonderful, and crisp. My top remined down on my new mercedes benz truck. Snob Alegra’s “I want you around” played through the spkeakers. I couldn’t help but to sing along, this was a beat. “I want you around, around, i want you around, around, i want you around”. I was excited. Excited to see Don, and excited to get a little loving. I knew Don and i were just having “fun”, but I’m starting to feel Don, i might want to take it further than just some great casual sex.
I made my exit on the highway, i started feeling nervous “I know Don looking too good, i thought “I hope he likes what I have planned”. Before making my way to Don’s I stopped by Bevomo for a alcoholic beveragered. Wine is my drink of choice, well wine and tequila. When I walked inside, it was empty, i expected it to be slow, judging on the time of night. I went on a search for a sweet red wine. They didn’t have any wine that i liked, so i decided on Apothic Red wine. I grabbed two bottles and headed for the cash register. The female clerk at the register was rude as hell. She chewed her gum loudly and had the nerve not to greet me. I had to initiate the greeting.
See, my mother taught me about manners and speaking to people, obviously this girls momma and grandma didn’t teacher her shit. Staring her in the face i slightly yell “Hi, how are you today”? She looked at me popped her gum and “Good” she replied with a snarky attitude, she started to swipe the wine bottles across the scanner. I thought to myself “damn this place has terrible customer service”. She then pointed to the small screen, and said dryly, “That’s your total”, she replied after scanning my wines I was outdone, this chick was a damn trip. “Is your manager here”? i asked “No”. I looked to see what her name was on her badge. “Well Ebonye, it seems like you have an attitude”. She sighed “M’aam I don’t have an attitude “. “You must, you didn’t speak, and you damn near broke my bottles of wine swiping them hard across scanner, how can i reach your manager, is he or she available”? Miss Ebonye smacked her lips, grabbed a pen and a sticky note. Aggressively she wtote down the number and handed it to me. “You should be happy you have a job, but you have the nerve to have an attitude”. Ebonye crossed her arms, “Anything else ma’am”? “Yea, yo ass need to attend customer service training too”. She then stared at me, not saying a word. “This heffa here” I thought. I searched my Gucci purse for my wallet, i took out my credit card out and inserted it into the machine. Once the payment was approved I placed my debit card back into my wallet and zipped my purse closed. Miss Ebonye was lucky I didn’t knock her ass off in this establishment. She’s lucky I’m a christan woman and i have a dick appointment, or else we would have to move all the alchol back. Ebonye printed out my recepit and dropped it in a plastic bag along with the red wine. She looked at me, she said nothing, not even a “Have a great night”. I was going to make sure to call her supervisor on Monday.
As i grabbed my bag, and said these words to miss attitude, “Get happy sweetheart, it will suit you better”. I then picked up my bag from the counter, twirled, and walked out of the double doors. No one was going to kill my vibe tonight………….
Since the COVID-19 pandemic, the stay at home order, The death of George Floyd and global protests, things have been uncomfortable and difficult to cope with. I found that my anxiety has taken a toll for the worst. I have heard that with this time of isolation, it should be viewed as an opportunity to slow down, rest, regroup, re-prioritize, and to sit in whatever your feeling, positive or negative. I sat way too damn long. I found myself being swallowed by thoughts that i don’t usually have when i’m occupied. The thoughts are not really thoughts at all, but memories. Good and bad. Don’t you just hate good happy memories? i mean think about it, all the good memories that you may have experienced with people who are no longer in your life. The of laughter, peace, fun, excitement, great sex. Those memories are ingrained forever, they weigh out the bad memories. Scientist explain memories as “formed proteins that stimulate our brains cells to grow and form new connections literally rewiring our minds’ circuitry. Once that happens, a memory is stored in your mind, and for most of us, it’ll stay there as long as we occasionally reflect upon it or revisit it”. “In fact, every time we revisit a memory, that memory becomes malleable again, the memory remains there as long as we revisit it from time to time,and is reset stronger and more vividly than before”. Isn’t that something? i know some of you wish that there was a way to erase the bad memories, some of the good one’s too depending on who is in it. It sounds silly imagining myself lying under a large magnetic device to swipe my memory hardrive, or taking a prescribed pill with the name “memory be gone” on the bottle is rather weird, but in a way, i wished that they both existed. I’m pretty sure i’m not the only one that experiences this often am i? Memories get intense, especially when you have nothing to do. I mean, its only so much cleaning, organizing, and reading a girl can do. I find it exciting and stimulating when there is noise all around, people here and there, kids screaming while they play, but it’s been a ghost town. This quarantine has opened up memories that i tried so hard to forget. When i sit in isolation, i take a deep journey into the unknown, the most dangerous place, my mind.
Finding out that i will be reunited with co workers, students, and parents on June 15th, made me jump for joy, Finally! i can become so immersed in my occupation that i wont have time to think of good or bad memories. If i do begin thinking of one of my many memories, my little alarm clocks will go off, (my students) and they will bring me back to the current moment. I will be able to center myself and fill my thoughts of tasks that need to be completed for that particular day. But what happens when i’m alone again? what happens when i have completed all my tasks and my “thoughts” start to wander? Realizing that i may have to let go of a person, the memory of them, and the good times that were created, is painful. I want to relive that period in my life. I find myself fantasizing and creating new memories around the ones that remain there, as if i’m a director of my own movie. But the only thing about fantasy, it’s just that, a fantasy, a story that you create in your head, that in most cases never come to fruition. Acknowledging my thoughts and fantasies, and what i create in my head can trigger anxiety, trigger depression. Before the quarantine, i thought i had been mentally prepared to take on whatever fear, i thought i was prepared to sit in isolation.
Though Prayer, bible reading, and writing, kept my attention, my soul longed for something else, someone else. The progress i made with past therapy sessions and retreats had all of a sudden dissipated. I became “Her” all of a sudden. I Thought i had gotten rid of her, years ago, but she is still remains with me. So, since i am having a difficult time managing my “thoughts” and living in my own a mental prison, i decided that i should try therapy again,specifically CBT ( Cognitive Behavioral Therapy). This time around, i hope to focus purely on my “thoughts” and how they can manipulate my decision making. I so desperately want to learn how to let go of the past memories and make better one’s. I want to learn in depth how to control my way thinking. I want the undivided individual attention of someone who will listen and remain judgement free. According to the conversation, an online article, “Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is one of the most scientifically reported treatments for anxiety disorders, But unfortunately, a recent us study indicates that in around 50% of patients, old fear memories resurface four years after CBT or drug treatment”. “Put in another way, the old fear memories seem impermeable to erasure through gold-standard therapy or drug treatment”. I wish to not become apart of The 50%. look forward to going back to work the week after next. I look forward to having a daily routine again. (can also trigger my anxiety)
When i return to work to see those adorable little faces, maybe the memories will decrease, maybe they won’t, but in any case…….I think i need therapy.
Featured Photo: Madamenoire.com
Newall, Carol, and Rick Richardson. “You Can’t ‘Erase’ Bad Memories, but You Can Learn Ways to Cope with Them.” The Conversation, 2 Mar. 2020, theconversation.com/you-cant-erase-bad-memories-but-you-can-learn-ways-to-cope-with-them-103161.
Before i get into the conclusion want to say thank you to everyone who has supported me during this difficult time. Thank you to those who have taken the time to visit my blog and read my story. Thank you to those who sent beautiful uplifting messages saying that i helped them get through their healing. Thank you for your positive comments, and well wishes, i really appreciate it, and again i started this blog to help others and continue to heal for myself. I did not expect the great responses that i received from many SO THANK YOU!
Wow!! we are finally here! it took me almost a year and a half to finish the conclusion. I wouldn’t consider this the conclusion to my story because there is always room to grow. I have so much more to learn and experience.
So, Let’s Get To It Shall We?
The retreat was something i had never experienced before in my life. I received so much support from the people i met there, and from him. God lead us there and i received redemption. My faith in god had been restored, my spirit had been purified and reborn. I left Rachel’s Vineyard hopeful and ecstatic for what God had in store for me, for my life. Months passed since the retreat. The next event that happened shocked and surprised me, my ex had requested me as a friend on Facebook. I thought “really after all this time?” I was in a good space, I was beginning to forget about him completely, but i wanted him to know that i was content, that I made it through my healing. I nervously accepted. Two minutes later i received a message from him. He apologized for what he had done to contribute to my situation and Blah Blah Blah. He said he wanted to see me so he could tell me how sorry he was in person. Butterflies flew in my stomach. I took this as an opportunity, screw my pretend “Letter” i had written to him, it was my chance to tell him how i really felt in person. We decided to meet.
My ex and i met at a local Starbucks. He and i sat at a table outside. When I saw him, I feelings started to return, i missed him. He complimented me, telling me how beautiful and good i looked. I thought “you damn right i look good, you could you missed out on a good woman”. I skipped the pleasantries and dove right in. I took advantage immediately, i knew that this was the last time we would see one another. I started to express my feelings. I felt empowered, i felt like i could finally advocate for myself. I explained to him that when i had to go through that experience alone, i experienced major trauma. I also explained that what he and i contributed to, turned my life upside down. He listened, but i just didn’t think it changed him like it had changed me. His body language was so caviler. I then realized that maybe he wasn’t as affected as i was, maybe to him, it was just sex. I was the one reading into it, trying to make it more than it was. I think he felt relief not having to deal with me anymore or my “problems”. We left on a good note. I hoped he had changed, I hoped that he would ask me to be with him, I didn’t want it to be officially over.
I left the meeting that day realizing that i couldn’t depend on another human being to help me heal, I couldn’t depend on him to love me. I realized that people you truly cared about at one point can be so cruel, so careless. I had to take that journey alone and that scared the crap out of me. My ex has moved on. It hurt me to know that he happily moved on and built a family and has more children. He found someone that he could love. I realized that even though I had my own space, an education, a kind heart, and wonderful profession, he still didn’t want me, I was invincible, everyone else saw my beauty, my spirit, but why couldn’t he? The selfish part of me, again wondered why he was able to move on so quickly. What made this woman so damn special? why wasn’t my child good enough to live? why wasn’t I good enough?
Time had passed. God had finally brought some peace and quietness to my life. I no longer needed therapy at that point in my journey. My depression and anxiety were well managed. My mood started to change, i started to enjoy things that interest me before, and new things that had not interest me. I started to live, i started to speak up. I felt stronger, i felt like a new me had been born. I had so many tools that i gained from the retreat, my therapy sessions, and my anxiety management group sessions. I put in the work to bring Cecilie back. I was no longer the young naive, gullible young girl i had been two years prior, i was better. God transitioned me, he was preparing me for bigger blessings and opportunities. There is still more work to do, and i still have difficult days. I still cry, I still mourn, i still blame myself, i heavily regret what i did, but i cant go back and change what happened. I can only learn from it, pray on it, and and try to continue to move on.
In many ways my abortion has changed me as a woman, it changed me as a person, it has changed me as a human being. I view the world in a different light, a different angle. God intended for me to improve, to open my eyes and to come to him. To lean on him, to depend on him and only him. 11 years later and and there isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think about my child. I admit it’s been more difficult for me to cope with my depression/anxiety due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. My job had to close down it’s centers. I’m anxiously waiting for the “stay at home order” to be lifted so i can get back to my babies and regular life. I’m going crazy! I think we all are.
I try to protect my space, try to occupy my free time. To distract my self I watch movies, read, play SIMS 4 on my console, write, and have my occasional glass of wine. Jhene Aiko is my spirit animal so she is constantly playing throughout my place. I do feel lonely most times. It becomes quiet and my thoughts start to become so loud. I have a tendency to go into my head and stay there. I really would like to start meditating again on a regular basis. I also think that I could benefit from some extra therapy to help me with the ex part. I’m not able to see my family and that has been the most difficult. I thrive being around people, when people aren’t around I have to face my thoughts. I also can’t go out and buy sneakers and shop like i want(LOL) so i do it online. Shopping is also a distraction. I look at This pandemic as an opportunity, An opportunity to reset, an opportunity to take care of cecilie. I am able to write more, clean, and organize my space. I am able to pay attention to my body’s needs. I am able to pamper myself when I’m in the mood.
I had a difficult time sharing each part of what i went through. I was embarrassed, and ashamed of what i had done, i was ashamed that i had an abortion. I was ashamed that I didn’t have enough dignity to move on and let my ex go. I work with children, i love children, that is my passion. I went to school to learn about child development. How could i want to be a teacher? how could i look at these innocent faces each day knowing what i had done? I questioned myself often if i should have even worked with small children at all. It broke my heart. By writing I opened up a wounds that i thought had healed. When i think that i’m okay talking about it and opening up, i end up being in this sad, dark place. I cry at night most times, my thoughts start to race, i go into feeling guilty again. At times feel like i have taken 20 steps forward, and 40 back. I think of what “would have”, what “should have”, and “what if” When i started the first part of my story i felt anxious and feared what others would say. I acknowledge that i used a platform that millions of people utilize each day to share what i went through. People will read my experience and judge. Many will read this and say “it’s not a loss, it was intentional, she meant to kill an innocent life”, i say yes, it might have been intentional but to me, I experienced loss, i felt grief. I did not have support, i was given one option when i should have been offered more than abortion. I had no resources at that time to help me, i sure wish i did.
My hope is that other women and young girls will read this. I hope that my testimony will inspire others to share their story also, not just about abortion, but about heartbreak and loss. There are so many women/Girls who suffer in silence. There are many that didn’t suffer at all and felt at peace with the decision they had to make, and that’s okay too. But for the ones who don’t have the courage to come out and say “Yes, i had an abortion! i want to tell them “It’s okay, i support you, give yourself time to heal, come out when you are ready”!
If you are considering terminating a pregnancy or need emotional support after experiencing abortion call these numbers below:
Option Line(after abortion support): 1(800)712-4357 you can also text HELPLINE to 313131
A tomboy at heart boys never really fascinated me, i mean, there was the occasional crush, and me seeing a boy and saying “he is cute”, but that was truly it. During my teenage years my mother would repeat these things constantly, “save sex for marriage,” “you have a period now you can get pregnant,” “boys only want one thing,” and her most famous line “Remember keep your drawers up girl”. My mother purposely put fear in me which made me terrified of the opposite sex. My mother meant well, and I’m sure she wanted me to make better decisions than she did when she was my age.
I was 15 years old and a sophmore in highschool. I was a virgin, I never had a serious boyfriend(one but we talked on the phone, puppy love vibes) I had never saw male genitalia, and recently had experienced my first experimental kiss. I had self esteem issues, i had prepared myself to be alone, no boys were into little old me me, until i met Lamont.
As soon as the last day of school let out for the summer in 2003 i knew i would be going back to my town, Richmond! I lived with my aunt in a different city during the school year (i personally wanted to move with her, i needed a new enviornment) my mom lived in another city about an hour and a half away. I couldn’t wait to get back to my city. I thought it would be fun for me to come back to richmond for the summer to spend time with my mom, little sister, and my friends. I was ready to hang out, and just be a teen.
On this particular day i decided to meet up with a childhood friend i hadn’t seen in a few years. She was just finishing her last day of classes and we wanted to grab lunch and kick it at my house. I walked to the high school where she attended, we exchanged hugs, walked a block to the burger joint, and made our way back to my house. Her and i sat on my front porch, eating our burgers, reminiscing about old times. We also caught eachother up with what we were doing currently. I noticed that there was a guy across the street staring a hole in the both of us. “What is he looking at”? i asked “Who”? asked Mekia looking around me, “Do you know him”? she asked “hell no, i replied, i only been here for two days”. At this point we were both on guard and ready for whatever. The first step that he took across the street would be his last, we were mini gangsters.
We continued talking and laughing still keeping one eye on this creep. “oh shit” mekia said, i turned around and saw the creepy guy running across the street to where we were, we both froze. I admitt, we were both scary as hell, but vigilant. I turned to mekia to put her up on the plan, i said “So look if he tries anything, i will jump on his back and you start screaming, i have a pen here in my purse, that should….. mekia interupted me “Hold up, A pen? what you gone do with a pen? write him a damn letter”? “Girl, just agree to the plan of attack” i replied. We both stood up, in a stance ready to strike. He walked over smiling, “Hey how y’all doing, I’m new here so i been trying to find a store around here”, mekia and i looked at one another in silence. There was a drive through store just around the corner that had a tall sign of the store name that was visible from my front yard “A store”? he asked again making us both turn back to him, mekia replied “it’s a store right around the corner, the sign is big as day”. “Oh, my bad, I’m Lamont i just moved here from L.A”. He then puts his hand out to shake ours. “I’m mekia, this is cecilie”, “Aht, don’t tell him my name, we don’t know him” i said. “I don’t bite, i didn’t mean to scare you or anything, i was scared to come over here”. He kept staring at me, never keeping his eyes off my lips. “I saw you walking earlier, you live here”? he asked, i looked at him from his head to his nike air force ones, “Maybe” i replied. The closer he came, the more i could smell his colonge, “wow he smells good” i thought. He wore Ecko jeans, a brown and white stripped shirt, and white air force ones. He looked like the rapper Nelly. Durag with both of his ears pierced and stocky build. I knew he had to have played a sport. Mekia rested from her stance, she had the nerve to sit back down. I stood, i guess she figured he wasn’t a threat, but there i was holding my ground, still on edge and alert. I wanted to get a good look at him just in case he tried to pop off and i could give police precise details about what the attacker looked like. The more small talk he made, the more i stared him down. “Okay, he’s cute, i thought to myself, he’s dressed nice, he has all his teeth, and he smells good”. I noticed his smile, the way he smiled at me, it made me feel, good. I finally sat my ass down on my front steps next to mekia, my legs started to get numb and i assumed he was no longer a threat so why bother? but again, i was still alert. All three of us engaged in conversation. He told us that he was a football all-star who had just graduated from High school with a full scholarship to play college football. He went on to say that he turned the scholarship down so he could “Travel and see the world”. We all talked until it started to get dark out and my street light went on. Mekia announced “Well I’m going to go home, before my mom gets there”. We both stood up and hugged one another. While hugging she whispered to me “So where is that pen at now”?, i stepped back and squinted my eyes. We all said our goodbyes. I noticed that Lamont didn’t take the cue to leave too. “Is that your best friend”? he asked “something like that” i replied. He stared at me for awhile, “What”? i asked, “nothing, i just like looking at you” he said. I rolled my eyes and let out a chuckle. “I’m serious, i think your beautiful” he said.
That night was filled with the smell of grass and his colonge in the air. A young group of boys played football in the street. We heard them yelling, boys talking mess to one another, and laughing, you know? normal clown behavior. There were a few little girls on roller skates, gliding up and down the block. It was the pefect summer night . I loved talking to Lamont, it was different, something that I was not used to. By the time my mom pulled into the driveway, my heart stopped, well at least it felt like it did. She got out the car with a “what the hell are you doing with my daughter at night “? look on her face, i knew my mom all too well. I greeted her, “Hi mom” hey Ces” she replied, “Who is this”? my mom asked. “This is Lamont he just moved from LA he is staying across the street with uncle”. At this moment, i knew the dectictive in my mother were going to start asking questions. Lamont offered his hand to shake hers, i was on pins and needles, my mom then shook his hand, “Hi I’m lamont, i as actually just looking for a store around here, cecilie happened to be outside when i was looking”. “Well I’m cecilie’s mother, the store sign is as big as day, you can see it from here”. I started to bite my lip in anticipation for embarrassment. If you have ever seen the movie “Friday” and witnessed Craig’s character (played by west coast rapper IceCube) mom replying dryly to Mrs. parker invitation to call her when she returned home from work, that was my mom. She smelled bullshit from the jump, she barely gave him a chance. “ummm hmmm” she said As she made it up the stairs to the front door she stopped, and looked at me, “Ces it’s dark, you have 5 minutes to say bye, when you come inside come to my room” “okay ma”. I already knew what that meant she was about to get in my ass, play the good cop bad cop role. She just didn’t want to embarrass me in front of lamont. She closed the screen door. “Can i have your number”? Lamont asked, “sure,” i replied, i went to grab a pen and paper and came back outside. I wrote my number down and he said he would call me. We said goodbye. I slowy did the walk of shame towards my mom’s closed bedroom door. I had a feeling that i wasn’t going to see the otherside of her door after i walked in. “Hey ma, you wanted to talk to me”? “Yes, what were you doing outside in the dark with that ugly little boy”? “Mom! mekia, him, and i were just talking, mekia just left” i replied. “Now he know he a damn lie talking about looking for a store, he seen that big ass sign above the house” “Here we go” i thought to myself. “Mom we were just talking, that’s it”. She stared at me “Alright cecilie, i don’t want you outside with him in the dark, the freaks come out a night, and he probably one of them, i don’t know that boy, and you don’t either”. “Okay” i replied. I turned to walk out of her room, she mumbled the famous black mom saying “aint bringing no damn babies in here, shiiit, little boy just want one thing”. I rolled my eyes and closed her door. I left the interrogation with a smile.
Later that evening my little sister and i wacthed the hip opera “Carmen” on MTV, the house phone rang, my sister Bre got up to answer it, she then returned and handed the phone to me “Hello” i answered “Hey beautiful”. Trying to sound sweet and innocent i replied “Hey” “did you get in trouble he asked “no” i replied “you sure? cause mom’s was looking like she was ready to kill me” i laughed “no its good”, “can you come outside for a minute?” I peeked inside my mom’s room, she was sleep, “yes, but only for a minute”. “ok, cool.” I told him meet me outside on my porch in 5 minutes. We hung up and i blasted off into the bathroom like the road runner to freshen up. I needed to look extra cute tonight. I brushed my teeth, sprayed on my victoria secret love spell, and applied light gloss to my lips. i looked at myself in the mirror, “okay ces it’s just a boy, no biggie, act cool, be yourself, don’t stumble, you got this”. I was the blueprint, a the teenage version of Issa Rae from “Insecure” giving myself a pep talk, to myself!
I had never experienced so many butterflies, i now had a reason to relate to Alicia Keys song “Butterflies”. I walked onto the porch wearing gray above the thight shorts, an oversized B2K t-shirt, with a blanket wrapped around me. It was summer, but summer in the Bay area. The days were hot, but the nights were cold. He sprinted across the street and made his way to my porch. A big smile crept upon my face. The closer he got, the more the light hit him from my front porch. The high school all-star/ nelly knock off made his way to me, a dark and chubby girl. If my hormones hadn’t shown themselves before, they sure as hell were greeting me now. “Hey you” I said “Hey cutie” he replied. “I dont have long, the warden might notice I’m not in the house”. Lamont laughed “Oh okay”. “Can i ask you something, i would have asked earlier but it wasnt the right time”, “Yea, shoot”. “Can i kiss you”?. I looked puzzled, i had never been asked to be kissed, what was i suppose to say? i hesirated, “Um i guess”. I thought It was just a kiss right? no biggie. He stepoed up to where i stood, he leaned over and the kiss started off as a peck. The now innocent peck caused our lips to open and our tongues to dance the tango. I didn’t know what feeling it was but I have never experienced anything like that, Ever! Not only was the feeling felt throught my body, but in other regions as well. A small moan escaped my mouth, He pulled away, “You taste good” he said, i replied “Thanks, i guess”. “Can i see you tomorrow”? he asked, “Sure”! i replied. We kissed once more and said goodnight. I snuck quietly back into the house. I felt like Tom cruise from the movie “Mission In Possible”. I shucked and jived from the front door to my room. I felt like a spy. I made it to my room without waking up the warden(my mother).
I climbed into bed with overwhelming feelings of bliss and excitement. I closed my eyes and thought “This is going to be an EPIC summer”.
Since i was a young Lad, i have always been “big boned”, wait, there is no such thing as “big boned”, look i was a little chubby. What normal little kid wasn’t? I loved the attention from family members and especially my grandmother. She would pinch my cheeks and call me her “chocolate baby”. Those memories were the happiest of my childhood, until it wasn’t. My first realization that i weighed a little too much is when i was seven years old. My aunt and i was playing around and she decided to try and pick me up, oh boy why did she do that? not only did we both fall, but all the weight of my body landed on her big toe and that poor toe hasn’t been right ever since, travesty right? My mom wanted to set an example for leading a “healthy lifestyle” so she started to work out in the mornings, and drink slim fast like it was water. She had her insecurities as well and she wanted to become her small size that she was before she had me. After eating my oatmeal each morning my mom would turn on her exercise video, i would get on the floor with her and mimic every movement. I always wondered “why is she doing all these silly movements with her body? she sure has energy, and how can she drink those yucky chocolate drinks? iv’e tried them and they aren’t that great”. The workouts and slim fast payed off and she dropped the weight, but it seemed her habits and routines rubbed off on me. She would try to encourage me, but she stopped, i guess she figured since i was a little kid i would run around and all the baby fat would go away.
In elementary i was the “fat girl”. Kids made fun of me, not only was i chubby, but i had a very dark complexion. The names they would call me would sting in the beginning, but after awhile i just became immune. That is when my personalty flourished. I might have been fat, but i bet i was going to make good grades, run for student body president, and be the funniest kid in school. Some days the teasing was overwhelming. I would go home and tell my mom, she would tell me to not listen to those children and if i wanted it to stop then maybe i should loose weight. That is when it began, the low self esteem and humiliation for looking the way i looked. When i look back at it now, my mom wasn’t trying to intentionally hurt me, but she wanted me to be healthy. When i went to routine checkups at the doctors they would always classify me as being overweight for my age, and with that came resources and many brochures. I know my mom was concerned and it became a wake up call because she had gotten it confirmed from an experienced physician. From that point on my mother changed the way we ate, fried foods would be limited to once a week, vegetables were introduced, and kool aide was no longer the drink of choice. I hated it! I wanted that nice cold cup of sugary red kool-aide, I wanted those chocolate chip cookies in the pantry shelf. Coming from a low income neighborhood meant that we had little no any resources on healthy eating and portion control. The pamphlets from the doctor were the only thing we had to go off of, and some of the “healthy foods” were hard to purchase because of the price, most people in my neighborhood were receiving food stamps, including me. My mom was doing the best she could to make sure my sister and i always had a full fridge, we never went Hungry. I remember waking up in the middle of the night, sneaking cookies, and eating cake frosting. Some nights i got away with the crime, other nights the food police(my mom) caught me in action. Even though my mom tried to cook healthy meals, she would not have the energy for it at times because of work so we would stop by McDonald’s or grab a pizza. I didn’t overly eat, but i loved food.
As i was going into junior high school i started to become more insecure about the way i looked. I was at a stage where puberty started to set. I hadn’t come into my girlish looks yet. Being fat gave me a identity, i also identified as a Tomboy.
I would wear the most baggiest clothes. I thought they would make me look cool, and i would be able to hide my body. I hated dresses and wouldn’t be caught dead in a skirt or tight shirt. This was also a time in my life where i started to like the opposite sex. I had a major crush on this boy Ariel, he was the hottest thing since sliced bread, and he had the eyes that were just as blue as the ocean. I lurked in the background while all the cute light skinned skinny girls would flirt and giggle with Ariel. I noticed that he never talked to the girls who had darker skin. But All i could do is admire him from afar, he would never take a second look at a girl like me. I would go home, look in the mirror and wished the my skin was lighter and my body was thinner. My mother always told me how beautiful i was, and how i should be proud of my complexion, and that she only wanted me to be healthy when the subject of weight came up, but at that age i didn’t want to receive it, i didn’t believe anything because my looks didn’t catch the attention of my peers and Ariel. I wished that i could be as thin and pretty as the late singer Aaliyah and a frame like the singer Mya. There was no Lizzo or Joanne Borgella, Ashley Graham, Tess holiday, or Dainielle Brooks. In the 90’s there were no child/teen that was my complexion and that looked like me on television . Traditional media considered “being heavy” not acceptable, there was and still is a stigma about being overweight. No one considered that maybe it was a genetic factor, something medical going on like a thyroid condition. People in our society assume that heavier people just sit around and stuff their faces like you see on “My 600lb Life”, in some ways, with some people, that would be accurate, but not everyone falls into that box.
During the summer of 2000 My aunt Stacey had loss a tremendous amount of weight. My mom and i both noticed how great she looked. My mom asked my aunt what she did to loose so much weight, my aunt mentioned that she was doing the Atkins diet. Now, back then Atkins consisted of only eating lean meat, vegetables, cheese, and sugar free desserts(basically no carbohydrates). My mom mentioned that we should both try the diet together, and we would be able to motivate one another. I was apprehensive about it, it was a change and a habit i didn’t want to break, but i knew we both needed the body reset. My mom and i both loved food! but we knew what we were consuming weren’t good for our bodies. My mom and i decided that the next day we would start our “diet”, if the “diet” had failed then we agreed to try something else. Boy was it a challenge! seeing my peers eat junk at lunch time while i ate a salad really made me feel excluded. The few friends i had would ask me why my eating habits changed, they expressed that they saw nothing wrong with me, but i wanted to show my mom and myself that i could stick to the food plan.
As i became closer to graduating from the 8th grade i started seeing and feeling the weight loss. My confidence had soared, i started to dress more “girly”, I started to get my eyebrows arched, and my peers started to notice. I had the great personality all along, but now, i had the body to match or so i thought. Ariel had moved away suddenly so i never got the chance to even shoot my shot.
I saved myself the embarrassment of approaching and being rejected. At least I knew i had done good when my mom and i went inside of target one day and i was able to fit clothes in the juniors department, i no longer needed to shop in the adult woman section. My mom was proud and that made me proud, this weight loss had made her happy. I finally was able to stick to something and achieve my goal. Even at a routine doctors visit, my doctor had asked what things had changed since the last visit. I told her that i was becoming more active and cutting out carbohydrates and desserts. The scale confirmed that i had lost 30 lbs. Even though i had looked great physically i wasn’t able to really enjoy what i saw when i looked in the mirror, i felt like the weight that i worked so hard to lose wasn’t enough to get attention from “the boys” i started to think were cute, i wasn’t skinny, but in my mind i knew “thick” wasn’t going to get it either. It was all in my head. Towards the end of the 8th grade year i started to build friendships with my peers, the weight loss even got me noticed with the “popular kids”. I met dope people in my choir and Drama class. I had come out of my turtle shell, talking, and frequently socializing. Surprisingly i even received compliments from boys, they would tell me that i was much nicer than the other girls and i carried myself in a way that made me more approachable, those things were all nice things to hear, but i didn’t believe it, my self esteem was so shattered that i questioned if i were attractive. A few of the guys in my Drama class would ask me out and try to pursue me but, i was shy, i thought i had wanted the attention but when i received it i would clam up, i was not ready for that type energy yet.
Going into high school i still had the mindset that because i was still plus size i wouldn’t be able to attract the high school guys. I also noticed that the girls with a lighter skin complexion received more attention from the boys. I didn’t understand why this was. I figured a girl is a girl, we all have the same thing at the end of the day. but that’s just how it was, and continue to be. High school for me was the big time! sink or swim, high school was a whole different ball game. I knew that i was a “attractive dark skinned” girl, i knew that i had a great personality but i was too shy to be myself, and too quiet to get noticed. I felt like there was always competition between the girls at my high school.
Who had the best hair style, who wore the latest Jordan’s, who lost their virginity first, it was a freaking mad house. One thing that i can say that i did, i was always myself around my friends. Even though i had gained some confidence with the weight loss, i still thought that i wasn’t good enough, i always felt like maybe if i were skinnier i would have more opportunities, to get noticed, to be popular, to be visible. As high school went on i started to come into self love by encouragement from friends. They let me know that i was cool and that i was beautiful the way i was, that i would be beautiful at any size. My girls Jamie and Tamica would always tell me “If they cant take you for who you are, fuck em”!
My self perception of myself started to change, once i had saw that i wasn’t the only plus size girl at my school, i was relieved. One girl that taught me to embrace myself was Tajma. She was a grade up. We had choir together in junior high and that girl could blow a roof off an house. She had a lighter skin complexion, just gorgeous, and plus size. She would dress to the T’s and her make-up game was unmatched. Not only was she beautiful on the outside, but she was just as beautiful on the inside. I thought to myself “now that is a dope ass girl”. Her walk, the way she made her presence known gave me confidence. She inspired me to showcase my talent, to reveal my full self. I started to dibble and dabble into makeup. I picked colors that would accent my chocolate skin. I stared to wear clothes that didn’t take away from my shapely figure, but enhanced it. The tomboy that i once knew was slowly disappearing. I became a fluttering butterfly, i started to enjoy and love who i was, a cute, chocolate plus size dope ass girl from Richmond.
The older i became, the more comfortable i became within myself. Of course i wasn’t small or petite, but i remained healthy and active. I accepted my wide hips, and thick thighs (i get it from my mamma). My mother would always compliment me, she was noe my personal hype man. I eventually learned to accept my dark skin, i learned the many stories of what dark skin represented, my ancestors, my bloodline, my African roots. I became proud of my skin complexion.
It also helped that i always had friends and people around who didn’t care what i looked like, they pumped me up, they would point out features of mine they wish they had. My personality would, at most times make up for what i thought was flawed. I came to the realization that i had to learn to love me, i had to look in the mirror and find parts of my body that i liked, parts of my body that made me unique. Looking back on old high school photos i wish that i would have enjoyed my shapely figure. I wish that i hadn’t been so self conscious. I learned that i had to love myself fully, in order to be loved by another. It might sound cliche, but it applies. Now, i love every fold, flap, garage door, and muffin top. I no longer seek validation from the opposite sex or anyone. I give myself the validation that i need.
After high school i would loose weight, then gain it, then loose some and gain again, i was a never ending light up YO-YO. I have tried all diets, weight loss programs, fasting, not eating at all. But no matter what i try my structure has never been, or will ever be thin. I noticed that whenever i had weight loss my frame stayed the same, my body just became leaner. I would still have the full hips, large thighs, voluptuous breasts. There was no escaping my genetic make-up. Aside from debilitating migraines, i am relatively healthy, that matters.
I always thought that i wouldn’t be able to attract the opposite sex because of my size and skin complexion . As a teen I was always the “fat dark one” of the group, so i would go unnoticed, that made me feel unwanted and totally invisible. Some men can be just as shallow as women. I don’t have the body like like many female celebrities. Compare me to Sara Bartman, my sista who was naturally bred. My skin is not light, and Hey that’s Okay!. It doesn’t take away from who i am as a person, It doesn’t take away from my education, knowledge, skills, or independence,If anything My dark assists me makes me stand out. I’m damn proud of that.
Are men really intimidated by a woman’s size? or is it their own insecurity? Does he think he could handle her? Does it matter that her body is naturally curvy? Does it matter that she has a muffin top and some love handles? Do men think that all women should be built from the ground up like female Hollywood celebs? or any other woman who has been surgically enhanced? nah, and a disclaimer, i’m not in anyway am i against surgery, or getting enhancements, but personally it’s not right for me. I refuse to fit in, to indulge in surgical fads because celebrities engage in it. I figure, if i don’t fit into society’s “box” then i can bedazzle one for myself. Men who cannot accept a big, sexy, curvaceous, confident , smart, and witty woman, Well! They don’t deserve to reap the benefits that us “big women” can provide. Not just the physical part of us, but the mental.
We will not settle!
As you get older things start to sag to the ground, your metabolism slows down, you put on a little more extra pounds due to having children or leading a hectic life. Sometimes life is moving so fast that you don’t have time to go to the gym, cook a nutritious healthy meal or plan. You pick up that doughnut because you’re on the go, or you stop by your favorite fast food place for dinner because it was along day and your not in the mood to cook for yourself or the family. And let’s face it, at times it’s just pure laziness. It is possible to be plus size while you practice healthy eating habits and participate in daily physical activities (Yoga, Walk, Gym). A woman who is plus size can be completely healthy.
For any woman who has experienced society’s idea of what “beauty” is i say to you, Queen you are the epitome of femininity, power, and grace. You are desirable, and wanted, YOU ARE WORTHWHILE!!! When society states you are are not desirable, i am here to tell you, THAT’S A LIE! Society is what we make it. Embrace your body, treat it with care, be kind to it. YOU.ARE.BEAUTIFUL!!!!!!
Self love and self-care, is how i continue, and will continue to get through my plus size life.
Like This post? Can you relate in any way? Have you had Challenges with self-esteem or body image?
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“You can’t hate yourself happy. You can’t criticize yourself thin. You can’t shame yourself worthy. Real change begins with self-love and self-care.” — Jessica Ortner
After Christine contacted me over the phone about the weekend retreat i was apprehensive. I had never gone far away from home other than my first trip to New York city. I was going to a place that i never been. Spending a weekend with other individuals i didn’t know frightened me, Not only that, But the retreat was based on the catholic religion, i grew up in a christian household. I knew of some differences between both religions, but i also knew that God and the son was apart of both. I asked myself, is this okay? can i intertwine Christianity and Catholicism? Does this make me both catholic and christian? Is that even possible? I prayed and, god let me know that it didn’t matter, as long as i came to him, served him, i would receive my healing either way, as long as i put him first.
Rachel’s Vineyard was a three-day retreat program, open to mothers, fathers, grandparents and siblings of aborted children as well as those who have worked in the abortion industry. That weekend helped retreatants begin healing from their loss through group sharing, a memorial service and Mass.
I feared that the people who were there to help me heal would try to convert me to Catholicism (my anxiety). I thought that these two religions couldn’t mingle. Feeling afraid and not knowing what to expect i asked My new love interest to join me. I expected a “no” but it was the total opposite. He supported and wanted to join me with no questions asked. Weeks before the retreat Christine and i would email back and fourth whenever i needed support and i would call her when i had a bad day thinking about my abortion. She was so kind, understanding, and she never judged. she always reminded me that god loves me so much. It was a breath of fresh air. Days before the retreat i was nervous. I didn’t know what to expect or what horror stories that i would hear, i didn’t know if i would break down in tears while i shared my story. Was this retreat really going to help me heal from my abortion? was this some type of cult? was i going to a safe place? Was it wrong from me to seek healing from the catholic religion and not my own? My thoughts were racing and my anxiety started to get the best of me. He stayed in my corner reassuring me that everything would be fine because he would be there. We drove an hour and a half to our destination and may i just say my anxiety was getting the better of me, then again my wonderful love interest offered words of encouragement and brought me back down from my nervousness. When we arrived, we pulled up to what seemed to be a church.
I wanted to jump back in the car and turn around to head home, but there was no turning back, i knew i needed to do it. I thought to myself “were going to sleep here”? i was expecting a spa, nature type of environment, i began to tense up, at least him and i would be able to share a room right? Christine met us outside and gave us details on what the weekend would be like. Her presence gave me a sense of calm, her tone of voice made me feel safe. There were two other couples there along with a few single women. Christine gave us a tour and showed us where we would be staying. When i walked into my room there was a beautiful scarf that had been handmade just for me,
a letter on top of it with a beautiful flower. There was also a pen and pad to write down thoughts or any inspirational thoughts that might have come to mind. Justin and i also learned that we had to sleep in separate rooms, we should have saw that coming, but we made it work. An half hour later we were called into a small room. We wasted no time going into introductions and explaining why we were there. There was also living scriptures. We all sat around in a circle with Christine and 3 other staff who helped her to coordinate the retreat. Christine then asked each one of us to share why we were there and what we hope we will get out of the weekend. The stories i heard made me tear up. Many abortions and miscarriages, so much loss. When it was my turn i looked at him, he gave me a look, a look letting me know “i’m here”. I started to tell my story and couldn’t get it out before i burst into tears, thoughts of the clinic, the operating room, The pain all came back. He held me and whispered to me “i’m here baby i’m not going anywhere let it out”. At this point everyone who had shared their experience cried with me. I will never forget that feeling. Christine thanked Justin for supporting me through everything. I was thankful that god had brought me a man that i could be vulnerable with, a man that could see all my scars and love me for them. We all stood after stories were shared, Christine and the father of the church led us in prayer. I had the biggest headache from crying and snot continually dripped from my face into my soggy napkin. After the session was over we had dinner in the dining room. He and i talked to young married couple about their experience. Tom and Chen (not their real names) had suffered from miscarriages after Chen had an abortion. They told us that they were planning on getting pregnant soon but wanted to come the retreat to heal the loss of their other pregnancies. They were a really nice couple and we all had many things in common. After dinner we all headed to our separate rooms. I hugged him and thanked him again for coming with me, even though he had nothing to do with my abortion experience.
I had a hard time sleeping that first night. I was in a new place and even though it was a holy place, it was also terrifying. I didn’t know what to expect, were they a cult? were they planning something sinister? My anxiety was at an all time high and i stayed at alert just in case there were plans of any ill will(pure paranoia) The Next morning came and i had slept horribly. Breakfast was served in the small dining hall on the first floor. He and had communicated the previous night about how they would wake everyone up for morning breakfast and activities, also thanked him again for coming on this journey with me. My new love and i sat at a table with Tom and Chen. They smiled as we walked towards them to sit and talked about what we thought the day was going to be like. I finally felt like i wasn’t alone, i finally felt like god set this up for a reason.
The day was filled with testimonies and prayer groups. They split us up into small groups and we would meet in different parts of the church. One of the exercises that broke me down was The Role Play. One of the councilors would pretend that they were one of the people who might have contributed to our experiences, they were also there to just let us vent. As everyone participated in the exercise i stared to sink into my chair. There were no limits, there were no guidelines, we were freely able to express any and every emotion that we felt or were feeling in that moment. I saw anger, pain, hopelessness, all the things that i had experienced. I saw tears, i heard cries, i heard yells, and no matter what the counselor she still managed to conduct this exercise in a respectful and supportive way. Once the last person finished, i started to feel hot all over, my heart was beating at an alarming rate and i felt my palms starting to sweat, my palms never sweat, but instill i knew this is what i came here for, this was apart of the healing. She called me and asked me to sit in the chair facing her. “Who am i today”? “Express how you feel, don’t hold back, i will be playing a role”. I looked down nervously and started to rub my hands together, “You are my ex” i replied quietly, “Okay”, “what did he call you”? she asked “he called me C.C”. “Okay, What do you want me to know”? “I want you to know that these last few months have been hell for me, i’m angry with you because you were supposed to take care of me, you were supposed to take responsibility, you lied, you broke my spirit, we were supposed to do this together.” “What did you want me to do”? She replied “I wanted you to protect me, i wanted you to honor your word, i wanted you there with me at the clinic, i wanted you there for the recovery process, i wanted you there”! I started to feel a burst of anger, i started to feel my knees shake, then there it went, the tears started to draw up. “Well” she replied, “What do you want me to do about it now cc”. I stared at her for a moment, and in that quick moment, she sounded just like him, that was something that he would say. My face was wet, and my heartbeat slowed down, “i want you to say your sorry, that’s all i want to hear”. She stared at me and she leaned over and said “i’m sorry, i’m sorry you went through that, and i’m sorry for letting you do it alone, i’m sorry”. I broke down, she held my hand and she rubbed my back, it was a comforting feeling, i cried the hardest I’ve ever cried in my life, it felt like a the dark heavy weight that i had been carrying had suddenly been lifted. The anger, the resentment, that hate, it all dissipated. On that day i believe the lord had laid his hands on me, his spirit moved through me, i felt at peace, but i found myself drained by the end of the exercise. Towards the end of the day the whole group met back up in one room and discussed what they learned about themselves. Everyone went around and shared their experience, even Justin. Even though he didn’t experience loss at that magnitude, he talked about different kind of loses he had experienced within his family and friends. I knew on that day, at that moment, that he would be my biggest supporter.
My husband asked me a question the other day. He asked”Don’t you feel lonely without friends? I mean it’s good to have a life outside of us”. “Nope” is what I replied knowing damn well I was lying. I wanted to really say “Hell yea I miss my girl friends. The tea/gossip is shared with your best girlfriends, not your husband”. I don’t think my husband would care to know or listen to “oh babe guess who is pregnant”? or, “I heard'”….. I could look at the expression on his face that he thought “why in the hell is she telling me this?, I just want to make it to Game Stop before they close”. So I’m finally saying it out loud, I MISS MY GIRLS!!!!!! I understand that people who built everlasting bonds loose touch and connection. Between careers, family, responsibilities, and making time for personal Rest and relaxation, it can become challenging keeping up with your girlfriends AKA your aces and or your ride or dies. I know I could have done things personally to make sure my friendships didn’t fizzle, but to be honest, i was always socially awkward. I have always been reserved, quiet, and pretty much by myself, Hell my Barbie dolls were my only friends as a child. The older I got the reservation became frequent and I didn’t know how to make friends. I was familiar being by myself and my loneliness became natural. I was the quiet girl from Richmond California, and most of my peers called me “white girl” because I talked proper, was a huge fan of the group Nsync, and always had my big ass head in a book. It was hard for me to fit in with the “It Girls”, I was socially awkward. The only friend I had was My girl Mekia my best friend from elementary school. She would come over and we would dance in front of a Blowing fan with my mother’s good sheets wrapped around us singing and dancing to Selena’s “Bidi Bidi Bom Bom” and other Selena classics, ( two black girls from Richmond being hooked on Selena for quite a time). We had sleepovers, we would ride our bikes up and down 23rd street, and make frequent stops to Hill Top mall’s Claire’s to buy Nick knacks with our allowance. We would argue over which boy was the cutest (Usher, Justin Timberlake, or Marques Houston) We told each other about our first crush, but she ended up moving to another part of town and we attended separate schools.
I missed her, even though we talked on the phone frequently, she and I Eventually had to adjust to being apart. She went on to make new friends, while I sat lonely and miserable attempting to make friends. Eventually when I entered Jr. High and slowly started to come out of my turtle shell. I would talk to classmates here and there, and judging from my peers spotting the Justin Timberlake mini poster I had in front of my clear binder Pocket I wasn’t the only one who enjoyed this amazing group. Some of my peers had similar interest (cute white boys with blonde curly hair). At that moment I realized that I was not the only black girl in my jr. High that had a thing for white boys. I was ridiculed by my peers for being a “Black Girl” who went crazy over entertainers that didn’t look like me, but I didn’t care, I was convinced that Justin Timberlake and I would wed, and when we did, they wouldn’t be invited.
I built some of my best friendships over Nsync and The Backstreet Boys. Not only did my new friends have the same interest as me, but they also looked like me too. Finally, I felt like I wasn’t the “whitewashed” girl everyone perceived me to be, there were others!!!!!
I met Jamie, my ride or die, my Thelma to my Louise in Junior High. We bonded over Nsync, and I was shocked when I learned we had more things in common other than boy bands. We clicked instantly, and from then on we were there for each other’s Teenage and early adult years. She was there for me through every heartache, crush and vice versa. I also built a friendship with another girl who lived in my neighborhood. We also became close. As we got older we were into the IMX’s and the B2K’s, not excluding Nsync, we were still hooked on them of course. Two Years went by and friend Kim(not her real name) moved to another state. I was devastated, I had built yet another bond with someone and they were leaving, but at least I had Jamie right? I decided to move to Stockton California with my aunt to attend my sophomore through senior year at a new high school. I was sad that I was leaving but I was excited to enter a new beginning. I needed a new environment and I thought maybe I could make new friends. Even though I lived two hours away from my sister/BFF we still remained close. At this time Mekia and I would keep in contact but it wasn’t the same not having her there, but once again, I had Jamie. I would go to Richmond to spend weekends with Jamie at her house, and she would spend some weekends with me in Stockton. The distance never affected us because we were like sisters. While in my Junior year in high school I made new friends.
In Stockton California We all met through a chance encounter all caused by Stockton’s thick winter fog, The bus we were waiting on was late, it was a group of us girls waiting for that long yellow bus to arrive, so we decided to walk to one of the girl’s house to warm up and the rest was history. From then on we became close, we would hang out at lunch and eventually after school. I liked these three girls, they were nice to me, and we had things in common. I felt so good about the friendship I had with these girls, so much so that I introduced Jamie to them, we all clicked. We would all go places in our big group and for the first time in a long time I felt like I belonged, I didn’t have to fit I with the popular crowd because I felt popular when we were around each other. It was a sisterhood. Thereafter I met another girl we had two classes together, as soon as we talked and got to know one another, We clicked. we had a similar interests. She was the funniest outgoing person I ever met.
I could say that I had friends. I was finally adjusting to my new life in a new place. After graduating from high school, we were in each other’s lives for a moment. I moved back to the bay area to go to college and my girls stayed in Stockton to do Continue their education. We started to hang out less, even though we would chat on the phone from time to time. Jamie and I picked up where we left off when i moved back to the bay area and we were hanging with each other all the time! When I would visit my aunt in Sacramento California the girls and I would hook up and hang out since they only lived 30 minutes away from my aunt.
When I would go back to the bay area we would talk on the phone and text. We all had our own lives at this point, so the phone calls would slow down and when we couldn’t get a hold of each other, Jamie was there, watching my back. The sisterhood bond that i built with my girls was slowly fading. I blame part of it on myself, but I knew that we would still love each other even though we were not around each other like we were as teens. We became older and faced our own individual journey’s, It happens.
Some of us moved to different states for school, some of us were just getting the hang of being responsible adults and figuring out what to make of our lives.
Jamie and I would still hang out along with another girl I met in high school Diamond(not her real name). Her, Jamie, and I had gotten really close. They were there for my transition into adulthood, they were there transitioning with me. They both were there for me through silly boy troubles, my abortion and depression. To be honest, while going through my depression i admit i pushed them away, I became more and more of a recluse. My depression hindered me and it affected my relationship with Jamie.
I didn’t want to hang out with my girls and when I had the had time to, I turned down every fun invitation. I was so closed off, I don’t think that Jamie had no idea the extent that the depression had over my life at that time. Jamie had been there for me when decided to terminate my pregnancy, but after i fell into darkness. Depression took away the most important thing to me; my girls. I felt that if I talked to them about my depression I would be looked at as a burden. I didn’t want to keep talking about my depression with them, for one, I was the Debbie downer all the time, and two, I wasn’t the same Cecilie they had grown to love. I was not myself and I was embarrassed for them to see me that way, weak, and vulnerable. To this day I don’t think Jamie really knew how dark of a place I was in.
2009 is when I met my now husband, Diamond, Jamie and I didn’t see or talk to one another a lot. Partially, my fault, I didn’t make too much of an effort because I was so busy getting to know this new guy and all my energy was spent on my happiness. Diamond and I continued to talk over the phone when we needed one another for advice and support, she was also busy being a new mom. By this time Jamie had a child. I noticed that her and diamond’s time was taken up by motherhood, and I was just getting into this new relationship with my guy. Somewhere between my relationship with him, and my relationship with them, communication was lost in translation. I felt a strain between all three of us. We even fell out and had a big argument over something i cant remember. Some things were said and i knew then that the connection had severed, and things weren’t going to be the same as it was. My sisters were no longer. They say “people come into your life for a season, a reason, or a lifetime”, Was that the case for all my fizzled friendships? Did God only place them there for a short term? All the laughs, secrets, and fun times? that’s it? it’s just over? Like that?
I needed my girls to be there through the happiest times in my life, and I needed to be there for theirs. Baby showers, births, Bridal showers, engagement celebrations, weddings, job promotions, all those experiences should be shared with your closest friends. By no means am I perfect, I don’t even think I was a perfect friend, but I did the best I could to support and be there for them, and that was all I could have done. My girls from high school also had children of their own, in which I’m very happy for them, we talk from time to time. Whether we decide to connect again or not, I still hold those memories we created, and think of them pretty often. I hate to admit it, but yes, I definitely feel lonely in my life right now. Other than my co-workers, my husband, and dog, I have no social life, So I often ponder the question; “Where my girls at”?
“Growing apart doesn’t change the fact that for a long time we grew side by side; our roots will always be tangled. I’m glad for that.”
– Ally Condie
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As a black woman in today’s society it’s hard for some to acknowledge struggles that black women face in society and have faced for years. We are wives, mothers, daughters, and entrepreneurs, but yet i feel that we are not acknowledge enough by our people and by our men. We work, go to school, bear children, cook, pay the bills, do the shopping. We are expected to do all this and perform to the highest standard in the bedroom. There are rewards and incentives that should be implemented in order for us to continue to feel like we matter, that we are needed and wanted. Everyone needs a little Positive descriptive acknowledgement(PDA). I learned of this through my early childhood education training’s. The term (PDA) or positive descriptive acknowledgment is basically praise we give children when they act on a positive interaction or behavior, it is used to build a child’s confidence and to encourage more of the positive behavior. I believe adults need this also. Who wouldn’t want to hear praise in great detail? I know i would feel warm inside if someone acknowledged my good actions and qualities. To use PDA on a woman is Not just saying “man babe that fried chicken was good” but describing the positive action or behavior “babe dinner was delicious i appreciate you taking the time to make this meal for the family”. Not only do you try this with your significant other, but try it on your friendly cashier at a local grocery store, your bubbly waitress at your favorite restaurant, even a helpful retail employee, i promise it does wonders. Take notes! Black women need to feel appreciated! Which brings me to number 1:
1. I appreciate you
From picking our kids up from school, to grocery shopping, doing laundry, cooking, making kids their lunch, making the husband his lunch, it is in us to nurture and take care of our family. When we do meet needs of our family and go far and beyond we just need a little something to show that the people we take care appreciates our acts of care and pure well being. So when a man comes home to a clean house, dinner, and some nasty adult behavior It helps to let your lady know “thank you babe” be specific on what your thankful for “thank you for cooking my favorite meal, thank you for cleaning the house, thank you for putting the kids to bed, i really appreciate everything you do for us”. Women need to hear this daily!!!!!!
2.You Are Loved
Women need to know and hear that we are sexy no matter if we have wide hips, big behind, or non existing breasts. We as women tend to pick our bodies apart and compare our bodies to other women’s bodies, i know i do, but when you have a man that loves your weight, stretchmarks, saggy breast, flabby arms, wide thighs and much more you realize that what society considers beautiful doesn’t matter because you have a man that thinks you are the most beautiful in his world, the Beyonce to his Jay- z , the Jada to his Will. When i have one of my days where i’m not feeling what i’m wearing and insecure, sometimes we need our men to make a deposit to our confidence bank. We would like to hear ” you are right for me, every part of you is beautiful,you are enough, you are my queen”. When i hear these words something inside me rises, my confidence goes from 0 to 100 and i feel confident in my own skin, not only do i know i’m sexy, but my significant other knows it too.
3. You Are Respected
Would you ever disrespect your mother by calling her a bitch or a Hoe? would you want a man or woman to call your daughter out of her name and abuse her? So why do we do it to our women? I have been called a bitch, and i have heard women being called bitches and hoes. The same women that you are calling a bitch is someone who contributes to this world. As women we need respect, we want respect, we demand respect. Respect is what we have earned, people respect all women/men no matter what decisions or experiences that women have gone through. When there is no respect shown, that can’t be reciprocated. We have to set an example for the younger generation. We have to teach society that women carry a lot of power, a power that men alone cannot hold. Women, we also need to set boundaries for ourselves when it comes to us respecting ourselves and other women. When a man/person acknowledges that you have boundaries and expectations it leaves no room for disrespect. My favorite author and life coach Iyanla Vanzant stated ““We have such a rich culture and in that culture, there are roles and purposes and powers, we live in a society now where women are commodities, where women are demeaned, diminished, demoralized in ways that we accommodate, And if we really understood who we are as feminine representations of the creator of the universe, some of the things that we experience in life — like crying when the unemployed boo boo leaves us , if we really understood who we are, we wouldn’t be so apt to let other people define us and confine us. We are out of order!”. Ladies we must respect ourselves, we must carry standards and believe in our morals in order to gain the respect that is deserved and necessary.
4. Its Okay
As women we are expected to be superhuman. Work, raise the children, prepare the meals, clean, fold laundry, picking up and dropping off kids at school, hold down the house And while the husband is away, still keeping our personal dreams alive, but at times it can become overwhelming mentally and physically. Some of us might be depressed, drained, and loose sight of our own happiness and what we want. When we hit a stump in the road and we feel like we are not in control, when it’s too much pressure, too much demanded tell her it’s okay, tell her she Doesn’t have to take it on by herself. Every great man needs a greater woman to stand next too. Becoming a team and keeping open communication supports the union and love between lovers.
5. I can’t do this without you
So many responsibilities are put on “The man of the castle”. Whether it’s his job, bills, household repairs, men can’t do it all without a strong woman behind him supporting him. Just because men are strong, does nor necessarily mean that they can’t feel or become overwhelmed. At times i believe that men can be just as sensitive as women. Men go through challenges, hardships, loss, and self doubt often. Men need a woman that’s going to listen, a woman who is loyal and honest, a woman that is going to give him the gut wrenching low down dirty truth. Men need to feel like they can trust their woman with everything. When a man feels secure and know that you are down for him with the utmost loyalty, they will want you there through all life challenges. When he is down on his luck he will look to god and to his woman to pick him up, when he gets laid off his woman should do whatever is necessary to make sure the family is taken care of while her man looks for work. He shouldn’t have to carry the load in his own, he needs support from his woman. When challenges and obstacles arise, women should hear “i can’t do this without you babe, i need you”.
Ecclesiastes 4:9: “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up. Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone?”
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Photo Credit: If Beale street could Talk film (2018)
The inspiration for me starting a blog was this reason and this one reason only…. I had an abortion. I now live with regret, guilt, and a depressive disorder. I felt like in this situation, i had no say. I’m putting everything on the line for the sake of my sanity and spirit. I’m being completely honest about my abortion story. I have asked the lord for forgiveness, i have gone through the storm. I have to expel all the emotions and memories that still haunt in me from a decision i made almost 11 years ago. I now suffer from anxiety and severe depression. After you read my story, just keep in mind that many women who have terminated a pregnancy were backed into a corner, they felt like they had no support from their family, friends, and their significant other. I can honestly say didn’t have much support from the person i was with and that is what contributed to me making the decision i made. I too take full responsibility. Do i regret it? yes, will i deal with this for the rest of my life? yes! do i still blame myself for not following my heart? YES!
This is my abortion story.
It was 2007 i met my ex through a friend and immediately we hit it off. He was tall, dark, handsome, had a beautiful smile, and caring. I loved our conversations and when we spent time together it was as if we knew each other for years. He would tell me I’m beautiful, and smile at me like i was the only girl in the room. He would look into my eyes. We got physical rather quick and i loved being close to him in that way, i loved the intimacy. Protection was used the first time we were intimate but after that we stopped using protection. I figured i was only with him, i trust him with my body, i know he wouldn’t do anything to hurt me. I did have some anxiety about sexual transmitted diseases. The images of diseased filled vagina’s and penis’s popped into my head from sexual health class that i took my senior year of high school, but i ignored it and trusted him anyway. The young and naive girl in me didn’t fear pregnancy because i never had consistent cycles.(funny right?) Pregnancy was the farthest thing from my mind. My interpretation of the relationship when i look back on it now, was strictly physical. We had great sex, but i let our physical encounters trick my mind think that it was something more, I wanted more. I assumed that because i had let him inside my womb that we were automatically in the serious monogamous relationship. We never really went on dates like normal “boyfriend” and “girlfriend”. We barely left the comfort of my mother’s apartment complex. But just being around him made me happy.
The “exchanges” that we had were incredible, oozing sin and lust, but i did want more, i really liked him, i wanted to see where it could go. He was 21 i was 20, me being young of course i would connect great sex as a relationship right? i was so naive. He knew all the right words and the right things to do to me to give him what he came for each time, and that was sex. Even though we didn’t go on dates i just enjoyed being in his space. I believed he loved me but he didn’t now how to love me correctly, not the way i wanted to be. He had his background story and i realized why he couldn’t give himself to me fully let alone another woman. I tried to show him support, and listened when he confided in me about his rough childhood, his life as a young black male, and challenges he faced being a young black male. I promised that whatever he told me i would secure it with my being, that i would support him and provide whatever i could. I tried to be the supportive “girlfriend”. I would ask him about his feelings and fears, but he would circle around the answer and we would just end up having being intimate and those things were forgotten. It had to be official if he had met my mom and sister. I thought to myself”oh yea Cecilie we got this in the bag he wouldn’t hurt you he has met your mother, your safe girl”. That was far from the truth.
I noticed a change in my ex, but thought i was important enough to fix him, i thought that i would be the girl he’d stick with because he had shared so many personal details about his life with me. In November of 2007 I remember catching the Bart to his place at night, on my 21st birthday. For my birthday he had given me a porcelain Christmas egg, you know the ones you can buy from rite aid or CVS by the candy isle? it was sweet, i thought “okay, a Christmas egg, he has giving me an egg for my birthday.” (Red Flag) that meant he really didn’t know me at all, or what I liked but i know he meant well. After the egg exchange we were intimate and i believe that was the night we conceived.
Two and a half months later things between my ex and i were pretty normal. I started to h ave strong feelings for him. He would come over, we would talk, laugh, eat, talk and to the bedroom we went. At the end of January in 2008 i was in for a shock of my life. One day at work there was a potluck and i had ate something that didn’t agree with me, i figured what i ate was probably spoiled. The day after the potluck i called in sick because i felt really nauseous. I decided to drink a ginger ale to take some of the nausea away but i was still nauseous. I called up my best friend and mentioned to her that i felt sick and that it must have been what i ate the day before. she said to me “um you might be pregnant”, i laughed and said “I don’t think so, i can’t get pregnant i don’t have consistent cycles”, then she laughed hysterically and said “girl i think you should take a test”. It didn’t hurt to try. I was certain that it was just the bad tacos that had me feeling sick. That weekend i caught the Bart to Richmond where my best friend lived. We caught the city bus to Walmart inside of hilltop mall, i bought a test and she insisted that i go to the bathroom quickly to take the test. I thought “this is crazy, i’m not pregnant, we are both going to feel so stupid once the results say “negative”. We went to the bathroom and she followed behind. I chose a stall, pee’d on the stick and waited for the negative results. “What does it say”? she asked from the other side of the door “can i wipe first”? I replied. After i took care of cleaning myself i pulled up my pants I knew by this time i would see a result. I glanced over to the tissue holder and saw a positive result “oh shit” i thought “this can’t be”. “What does it say!?” my best friend yelled loud enough for the whole mall to hear. I stepped out of the stall “positive”. “Girl you lying!”. I handed her the test “look!.” she looked down “oh it says positive”, maybe you should take the second test”. At this time i was in shock, i just knew this wasn’t right. I didn’t have any more urine to give at that time to test with so i waited until we got back to her house to take another one. Once we left the mall and made it back to her house i took the second test, the results were positive. i couldn’t believe it, i has a mixture of feelings, happy, scared, confused. “what you gone do”? she asked as we sat on her bed “i’m not sure. I called my ex and let him know that i was pregnant. His reaction didn’t surprise me but, it wasn’t what i thought he would say either,”i want you to be happy, do what your heart tells you”, I was looking for more than what he said. We talked briefly and promised to met up to discuss what we were going to do. I called my other best friend and she expressed that i should have the baby. That night while my best friend slept soundly in the bed next to me i thought of this life growing inside me. I thought about how my ex and i would have a family and i would give birth to his first child. Those thoughts made me look forward to becoming a mother. In the end it was up to me to come up with solution and fast, was i really going to have a baby?, the next challenge was me breaking the news to my mother.
I felt nervous, just as any young girl would before telling her mother that she is knocked up, and not only that, but her daughter fornicating. Once I told her and the look on her face crushed me she started to ask so many questions, “where will the baby sleep? you still live with me, This place is small, how will you take care of it”? “did you tell him”? i burst out in tears, she said “having a baby right now is not good for you, or him”. She then suggested that my ex come over so we could all talk about our options. Of course the first option was abortion. Him and my mother really leaned against that option, i was surprised that he wanted me to kill my child, his child. I was hoped he would tell me to keep it, my gut told me to keep it. That night we all came to a decision, abortion. That innocent life was growing inside me. I knew that i didn’t want to abort but what other choice did i have? But If that would keep my ex and i together then i would do it, i wanted to take that risk. Before i could go any further i wanted confirmation with actual blood work, inside i was still hoping that the digital test had a glitch and that i really wasn’t pregnant. My coworker at the time knew something was up. She approached me on my lunch and asked what was wrong with me, i remember she walked into the break room with taco bell and the smell of meat at that time made me very sick. She asked “What’s wrong? you look different”. I looked up at her and somehow she knew right away “you’re pregnant”? i nodded. “does the father know”? she asks, i nodded “what are you going to do”? she asked “i’m not sure”. Then she says something i will never forget she said “you have so much to offer the world, you’re so young, do you really want to become another statistic? a young black single mother pushing a baby in a stroller”?
–Unintended pregnancy rates are highest among low-income women (i.e., women with incomes less than 200% of the federal poverty level), women aged 18–24, cohabiting women and women of color.2 Rates tend to be lowest among higher-income women (at or above 200% of poverty), white women, college graduates and married women.
I looked at her with sadness in my eyes, i shook my head “no”. “One day it will be the right time you’ll get married and do it the right way but right now do you think you could take care of another human being? is he ready”?. After i cried she lent a helping hand, and ear, she even drove me to the doctor so i could do blood work . The blood work came back positive and all my fears had been confirmed. Immediately I had to get rid of “the “problem”. I received a referral from my primary OBGYN. Once i told the nurse over the phone that i wanted to terminate the pregnancy, she gave me a number and i called that day to make an appointment. The day of the appointment was nerve racking, i noticed my ex didn’t seem to enthusiastic about joining me at the clinic for my consultation, in fact he didn’t answer his phone and he showed up late. The nurse took me to a room told me to stay in the room until the video was over, it was watch a video telling me what to expect. I admit i was terrified, but i thought once this is over him and I will become more closer. We would both be employed and we can try again once had our own place. After the informative video i did blood work and an ultrasound. The nurse told me to remove my pants and underwear, i went to lay on the exam table with my feet in stirrups, she put a condom on a probe and proceeded to do a vaginal ultrasound. I noticed she faced the screen away from me, “It looks like your nine weeks” she said. I tried to look at the screen but it was turned so that i couldn’t see. She then removed the probe.”You can put on your pants now, i’ll be back”. She printed a photo of the ultrasound and placed it into my file, i peeked inside my file, There it was my “little burrito” that’s because it looked like a burrito, my eyes started to fill with tears ”oh my baby, i’m so scared, look at you, you’re so small”. The nurse knocked on the door, i hurried and closed my file, wiped my eyes and she led me to the counselor’s office. The whole time this lady talked all i could think about was the “little burrito” that was growing inside me. I thought ” do i really want this”? a lot of girls my age have babies it’s not the end of the world, we could do this”. I was interrupted by the counselor “Ms. Anderson do you hear me”? i looked up at the counselor “yes”. she asked me if i was sure about my decision i told her yes she then set up the time and date to come in for my procedure. I walked out and saw my ex sitting waiting for me in the waiting room. The walk took to the nearest train station was quiet. He kissed me and we both exchanged “I love you’s” before we went out separate ways. He promised that he would be there for me on that day, he promised to never leave me.
The day after my consultation i let my supervisor know that i would be out that following Friday due to minor surgery, i let my co- worker know that took me to the Lab and she said that she would cover for me, i was grateful that she showed me so much support and she made me think of the future. I was scared, nervous, and felt alone. I didn’t know what to expect. My best friend Jamie promised that she would be there when i got home from the clinic and she was. I called my exthe night before the procedure but he never answered. I started to worry. I couldn’t wait on him though, i had to go through with this alone. That day was grey, the skies were filled with dark clouds and rain. My mother drove me to the clinic, she dropped me off and told me to call her once i was done. When i walked back into the clinic there where other girls there, African american white, and Latino, with the same look on their faces. They looked terrified, one girl even sat in tears. Once i checked in the nurse called me to the back, i changed into my hospital gown and put a spandex belt around my waist to hold the pad that i would have to wear after the procedure. I wanted to run, i wanted to keep my baby but my ex boyfriend was i all i could think about. How the fuck did it come to this? how could i have gotten here? what the fuck am i doing? how could i have been so irresponsible? The nurse led me to the operating room, i climbed on the table, my feet rested in stirrups, they put anesthesia in my IV not to put me sleep, but to “relax” me and to make the “procedure” more comfortable. There were two nurses in the exam room. One nurse numbed my cervix, then the male doctor came over explained what he was going to do and promised that it would be over in five minutes. I started to feel the local anesthesia. One nurse in particular sat next to the operating table, she was nice, she asked me what i did for a living and what were my favorite things to do, i knew it was a distraction but in a way i felt comfort. I started to feel extreme pain, extreme cramps, the nurse held my hand and told me to breathe, the cramping became more intense i yelled in agony. Once the cramping subsided it was done, my baby was gone………..