We’ve all been there at least once: so distraught that our muscles, who typically hold up our bodies are overwhelmed by the weight of our sorrow and collapse; when the tears that pour down your face spring from not just your heart, but from your soul — causing you to make sounds expected from a dying animal; when hope seems lost; when you feel foolish, played. You believed that you mattered to your partner; you believed that you two shared a love for each other; that you belonged together when your beliefs are crushed.
There have been many times when your relationship seemed idyllic, especially in the beginning when you were innocent and hopeful. You believed everything that was promised to you. You were proud, almost boastful that you were together. You had your favorite songs, times where you celebrated being together, emblems of your love and commitment.
Yes, your partner had done some terrible things before you two met; but you rationalize that nobody is perfect. Plus, she kept telling you repeatedly to stop living in the past. If you continued to do so, you would be the one responsible for ruining your chances of being successful and happy in your relationship. Your partner repeatedly told you that she had learned from past mistakes, was better for them, had changed her ways and her attitudes and would treat you well.
And you believed her because you wanted to believe her so badly. She was home to you. If it didn’t work out with her, where could you go?
So you committed yourself to the relationship. You aren’t perfect, but you followed the written and unwritten rules that you thought would please her. Sometimes you were anxious about certain things—wanting to ensure that you handle yourself in a pleasing manner. She was a hard to please lady, oftentimes ignoring your efforts, praising and rewarding others for lesser efforts, quickly reprimanding you for the slightest infraction.
But at other times, you felt celebrated and appreciated. You felt as if you belonged together.
There were some who tried to warn you that she wasn’t the person you thought she was; however these people seemed to be angry. Perhaps they were mad because they hadn’t reached the levels of success you had reached? Or maybe they were jealous of what you two had. You frequently thought that they just needed to work or try harder and they could achieve happiness and success too.
But then she betrayed you. She made you feel as if she didn’t love you the way she promised. You questioned her and she convinced you that you were being too sensitive; that it was you and your family—not her. She went on to do little gestures that made you feel that everything would work out between the two of you.
But now you know. She doesn’t give a fuck about you. She has fucked you over time and time again. She doesn’t love you or value you. She never did. She used you: your best talents. She preyed upon your fears and your need to be accepted by her to steal the very best parts of you, to cause you to separate from some family members and friends. She never was concerned with protecting you, nurturing you, loving you, supporting you because in her heart she always felt that you two didn’t belong together. She’s always felt that you were lucky to be with her—even if she gave so little of herself to you. If you are honest, she’s told you in little ways what she is screaming at you now: you don’t matter. You don’t matter! You don’t matter!
My intention is for Black people to love themselves and each other. It sounds somewhat silly, I guess; but oftentimes my people are overwhelmed with negative images, bad news, and stereotyped characters about us. I’d like to flip that script. I’d like to remind us, as often as I can, how incredible we are. Read more