The other day I walked into a cute little clothing store in my neighborhood. When I walked inside I was immediately asked by the salesperson to give my opinion about a dress that a customer was trying on. I told the customer that the dress looked great on her and that I was hating a little bit because she was in such great shape.The woman looked at herself in the mirror, danced around a bit, and then decided to buy the dress. The salesperson then turned in my direction and asked if there was anything that she could help me with. She was a pretty woman, shorter than me, medium brown complexion, short black hair, and she was a little chubby. After a second, I noticed something very familiar about her. She had a black line under her right eye. I’ve seen that line on my face three times in my life. The salesperson acknowledged my recognition and with words unspoken I told her that I understood and there was no need to be embarrassed. After some small talk and looking around the store, I grabbed a business card, said goodbye, and walked out the door. I looked up to the sky and said a silent prayer for the sister.
I am not going to give you statistics about domestic violence because the women that suffer from it are worth more than the number assigned to them. I will share my experiences with the hope of helping someone that is going through it.
Domestic violence happens all the time in the black community and it hits everyone from the business owner to the teenage girl. It doesn’t matter if you are attractive or have money. I will address Chris Brown in part two.
Here is my story!
I was emotionally and physically abused as a child and became an emancipated minor at the age of 15. As many of you know, I am the mother of seven children. My three oldest are by someone and the last four were fathered by my ex-husband. Both partners emotionally, physically, and sexually abused me.
Many people that have never gone through the experience are quick to say, “Why won’t she just leave?” That is a logical question but when a person is spiritually dead, you tend to endure things that a sound person wouldn’t.
When I was a girl I was told that I was hated. The words I love you were not spoken. I was told that I would be pregnant by the time I turned thirteen. I was in and out of foster homes, group homes, and to them I was just a paycheck. When I got involved with my partners I was looking for a way to escape the pain in my life.
I have been beaten so bad that I’ve actually heard birds chirping. The summer of 2002 I sported three black eyes. I’ve been beaten in the street and not one person came to my aid. I have had a boot print on the back of my behind and thigh. I’ve had a loaded gun pointed to my head. My ex-husband punched me in my nose so hard one time, that we both thought that it was broken. (Thank God it wasn’t because my nose is big enough already.) I have been thrown out of the house in the winter time with no shoes on my feet. I have been raped, after refusing to have sex. I have been spit on.
Let me talk about that for a second.
My ex husband must have had three days worth of saliva in his mouth the day he spit in my face. I knew at that moment that he did not love me and I could not believe that I married him. As I look back, I remember having an out of body experience. I was not thinking about myself but of our ancestors back in the day, wondering how they felt when slave masters spit on them like they were nothing. I thought about the days of integration when black kids were spit on and had bricks and books thrown at them just for going to school with white kids. I instantly felt their pain. I then heard my mother’s voice telling me that she hated me and I became numb. I felt no pain. I became a zombie and while I never thought that I deserved the abuse, I just accepted it.
What brought me out of both situations was God. Even when you are not paying him any attention, he has a way of making you see the light. He was able to shine his light through my children. God knew that I loved them more than myself and I could not have them in an unhealthy environment. I could not let my boys grow up thinking that it’s right to hit a woman. I could not let my girls think that being hit is normal. That would have hurt me more than anyone’s fist.
I have been divorced for five years now and people ask my children if they want me and my ex to get back together and they always say no. Many times women stay in relationships because they don’t want to break up the family. The men in their lives plant all kind of lies in their heads, telling the women that if the family breaks up, it will be her fault. Leaving my exes was the best thing I could have ever done. Had I’d stayed; I may not be alive to share this story.
I thank all of you for reading my posts and please be on the lookout for part 2 of my Domestic Violence series.
God loves you and so do I!
By: Tiffani McClain