Naturally, writing, music, magazines, and movies became my friends. Even though I accepted Christ at the age of 10, I didn't always draw to Him for inspiration. My inspiration came from my favorite celebrities. In my mind, I believed that since they didn't know me personally, they couldn't hurt me. Sad, right? I had a few people in my life who I associated with, but I only saw them at school so my time alone in my room was great for me. There was no pressure to be something that I wasn't and I felt free. But I was still caged within my surroundings. I truly understood, Maya Angelou's, infamous book, "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings." That's exactly how I felt. Caged with nowhere to go. I use to make jokes with my friends, that I was "Celie" in "The Color Purple", "Precious", "Antwon Fisher", and so on and so on. I literally saw myself within those characters.
As time went on, I went to college and met people. Being in that environment was even worse because there was no accountability and in my mind I finally had freedom. I made good grades but I still found myself in situations that were no good and I felt that I needed to date someone to feel, "normal". I would later learn that randomly dating someone is so boring. I would rather be courted for a purpose. Honestly, I've always believed that being "abnormal" is normal, lol (not giving in to peer pressure, being set apart from worldly pleasures, having crazy faith in the unseen, etc). I can remember dating briefly in high school but it wasn't anything serious. I took the situation serious, but of course it was all a game to them. I will never forget the words my mother said to me when I was having a bad attitude one day: "If you want attention, you better find it in that boy," That was death to my self-esteem. Words are powerful and it is so important to know your worth as a person.
As I look back, I realized that because of what I saw as a child, that's how I viewed relationships. I literally lived out those words that were spoken over me. As a young woman, I had a responsibility to know my worth. Even though I made a decision to leave my family, I still found myself in unhealthy relationships with others. I allowed myself to endure name-calling, false accusations, mind-games, manipulation, and constant disrespect. I even encountered a situation where my privacy was invaded and I became angry and physical with the other person. That's when I became scared. Scared of myself and who I had become. I didn't know who to trust anymore and I was afraid of being an abusive person. I realized that I needed help and that I can't continue to place myself in unhealthy situations. My livelihood and worth are more important than being with people who don't value me as a person. I'm so happy to know Jesus Christ as my Savior. Even though, I didn't always acknowledge Him, He tugged on my heart so many times to remove myself from those situations. Ever since I made that one decision on January 5, 2008, the Lord has been faithful. I admit, it wasn't an easy choice because I struggled with my emotions. But the Lord has kept me through it all. He provided for me when I lacked, allowed Godly relationships to be formed, pushed me out of my comfort zone, and just simply loved me where I was. He continuously loves me unconditionally. As I write this, I feel joy because I made a decision that was best for me, not my mother, father, or anybody else. I loved myself enough to say, "no" and to trust God. Regardless, of where you start, it does not have to be the end. Anyone who is reading this, please get out of those relationships that are causing you pain. Seek help from loved ones. Go to a shelter. Write an escape plan. (I remember writing out where I was going, my important documents, etc.) Love yourself enough to get out!!! Abuse is a topic that we as Christians do not like to discuss, but we need to be more transparent and talk about it. Discussion can be the defining moment for someone's life. "Life and death are in the power of the tongue."
Proverbs 18:21. Which one will you choose?
FB: Lequvia K. Ousley