When I was in my late teens and early twenties, I was in two very horrible intimate partner relationships.
I grew up in an environment where it was commonplace to hear of a young Black Woman being murdered by her lover.
If I can be honest with you, I was not sure I would make it see 25… because by age 22, I had already known of 9 women that had been killed in my community at the hands of their lovers.
I left my hometown in 2001, after the death of one of my good girlfriends. She is still a cold case by the way. Then once, I got to my new destination of Phoenix, AZ… I get a phone call that two more unexpected murders had happened. It was a childhood friend. Two sisters. They were killed by the older sister’s husband.
I say all this to say, there were 11 women dead before I made it to age 25.
In 10 days I will be 44. I sat with this reminder all day yesterday because I was 25 when I met my now husband. We have been married for 16 years. I mention this today because it had taken me a while to get over my past fears and allow love to live FULLY within my marriage.
Therapy has helped me work on my “trauma threads.” Because as cliche as it may sound… Love is not enough to sustain a lifelong relationship.
It took me losing my biological father in 2021 to do the necessary inner work to get in alignment with what I truly wanted and desired to experience in my personal and professional life. Talk about #DaddyIssues
Through it all, I never gave up on love, or my capacity to give or receive love. Even though I was scared. I never thought I was unloveable. Even though I had experienced being unloved.
My experiences taught me that it is NECESSARY to have standards. And that is why my standards today, may present as uncommon in everyday social programming around reproductive well-being.
Yesterday was a holiday to celebrate love, but my husband and I celebrated unlocking barriers to deeper love…
If you don’t feel supported, you won’t feel safe, and that is no sustainability. Please know this work is a healing revelation for me as a practitioner. Give me my flowers while I am still here.