Scars to Beauty Marks
When it was time to start on this portion of the story, I thought – “what in the world do I call this?” Then the famous saying, “the good, the bad and the ugly!” came to my mind – but that didn’t seem to fit for this kind of story because things got worse before they got any better! So for THIS story, we are starting with “The Ugly!”
Here I was, within two months I had lost what I thought was the love of my life and then in a major collision, totaling my only means of transportation! But as defeated as I should have been – knowing that the enemy was trying to take me out, gave me a little glimmer of something. I can’t say it was hope – it certainly did not feel like hope. When I think of hope, I think of light – something shining down on the inside saying “don’t give up!” – what I felt was almost anger! You know how you can get so mad about something that it gives you strength you never thought you had? I didn’t have a lot of it – but it was a little something there! So, now here come the tasks of learning how to live without him and a car – I can tell you living without the car was worse! LOL! If you’ve ever had your own means of transportation and then it’s gone – you know what I mean. Depending on people, especially for me, has to be the most annoying thing in the entire existence of annoying things! But I was literally like 5 minutes from my job and had people that lived close to me that could help me get to work and church – so those things, for the most part, I had no trouble getting to and home from and that was a major blessing for me. In between those times, it was me, God and 4 walls. Which is why things got worse before they got better. Sometimes when you isolate yourself especially not by choice, you just get mad and defeated in your spirit. On the outside I was kind of normal considering the circumstances; I continued my routine for the most part: reading my Bible, praying and work – church on Tuesdays and Sundays; prayer on Saturdays. Fixing up my apartment was put on hold because I didn’t have a car so getting to the store to buy decorative pillows wasn’t anywhere near on my to do list or anything I cared about. On the inside, I was back to being a hot friggin mess! Bible, pray, work – repeat – Bible, pray, work, now cry – repeat. Cry, Bible, pray, work, cry. I was crying a little more. And a little more. And a little more. I was in my apartment, by myself and it’s not like my phone was ringing like crazy. I was literally alone. There were people I could have called but he wasn’t there – this was new for me. 5 years seeing someone everyday – getting used to that can be difficult and I was still kind of in the beginning stages. Every time I walked the floors in my home, it sounded like the creaking noise in an old abandoned house. You know, the house that’s been on the market for years. The house that had been forgotten about. The house that everyone found a reason to not like. I was that house. I felt forgotten about. I felt helpless. I felt alone. I was so embarrassed about everything. I didn’t want to bother anyone with my pain. Plus, I didn’t want anyone asking me how I was doing. I was terrible! I was going through! I was hurting. It’s like the little progress I made over the past month or so, dried up a bit. I lost everything. Yup, the pity party started! Don’t judge me! Plus, I was still not sleeping – now even more so because my neck was sore from the wreck. I was drained in every way one could be. I was just tired. Then I remembered something my cousin told me months before my relationship ended – before I ever thought that us ending was a real possibility. He said, “when you’re in your house by yourself, it is the scariest thing but if you learn to get comfortable with it and learn yourself and get close to God and actually face being alone, it will end up being so good for you!” At first when he said it, the idea of “getting used” to be being by myself was scary because I wasn’t single then. Then I had a car. Then a lot of things were different. I was different. But now, this was my reality and I wasn’t happy in it. In fact, I was so unhappy. Truly, unhappy; but, I didn’t want to live this endless cycle and I realized, the only person that could change this was me.
Okay – I made up in my mind that I don’t want to live like this – what’s the next step? Honesty. Not with your friend honesty. Not with your uncle honesty. Not with your sister honest. That honesty with yourself. The things you’re afraid to think about let alone say out loud. Yeah, THAT honesty! Self-Honesty. Man, Self-Honesty is raw. It’s rugged! (in my Mike Lowrey voice!) It’s brutally and unapologetically honest. Yeah THAT honesty… so here we go! I started thinking about everything that led me to my unhappiness – not just with life but with myself and the choices I made to escape being me. We sometimes focus on situations as if that alone made things bad but there is always a beginning to the pain so you have to recognize that and start from there in order to pluck it out and dry up that nasty, ol weed!! Okay – what made Kiesha unhappy? First, I was single and carless but we won’t go there again.
Okay, so I’ve always questioned my existence. Literally, would spend hours wondering why in the world God allowed me to be born if He was gonna allow the things that happened to me, to happen to me. I never understood why someone who never could quite get it right was on this earth. I never felt pretty enough. I never felt good enough. I never felt thin enough. I never felt enough. I always felt like a burden to everyone, everywhere.
At school, I felt ugly compared to the girls with the newer, cooler outfits and shoes. Their hair was straight or in ponytails, and I am sitting here, with a jerry curl. “Bald head!” “Ugly!” Pointing. Laughing. Staring me down like I was the most disgusting thing on the planet. “Don’t sit next to her!” “Don’t talk to her!” “Black b****!” Daily insults! I used to have to fight after school literally every day because somebody always had a problem with me. I was just a girl – a tom boy at that, who liked basketball and got along with all the boys because of it. I mean, even the ugly girls, you know the ones who are ugly inside AND out, were laughing at me and calling me ugly! The girls who I thought were my friends, would turn on me and start picking on me when they’d get around more popular kids to keep themselves from being picked on also. I get it. Kids were mean back then too so if you could save yourself humiliation, what kid wouldn’t? But that was my Monday through Friday. In addition to that, Tuesdays and Fridays, I had evening church. You think insults stopped at school? No, they did not. It was the same vibes there too. I was just always the odd man out. Somebody had to be mean. Roll their eyes. Scoot away from. Laugh at. Me. It was just always easy to pick on me and truth is, I made it easy because I didn’t defend myself except when it came to these hands. When it was time to fight – I said everything through my fists that my mouth couldn’t or wouldn’t but it seemed like it was never enough to stop new people from picking on me. That eventually stopped my freshmen year of highschool but we don’t need to get into that. Anywho, I was taller than the other girls; not fat but still bigger than the other girls. Baggy clothes. Sometimes thrift store. Sometimes hand-me-down clothes. My granny did her best and I’m thankful. It might’ve not been the newest but it was always nice and clean. Yet kids don’t care about that stuff, so the insults kept coming – school, church and everywhere in between. The boys I liked, of course they didn’t like me. The girls I wanted to be my friend, of course I wasn’t good enough to be their friend. I was just LaKiesha Heard. A nobody except when needed. That was my reality. All of that pain and all the years I dealt with it by myself, not talking about it – not letting it out, not thinking about it – yeah that might have something to do with the layers of unhappiness on me. Okay. We are digging now. What else?
How about sexual, physical, mental and emotional abuse? How about those things coming from people that were supposed to be the closest to you? The ones who should be protecting you from any harm. The ones who are supposed to love you to life. The ones who were supposed to be your friend. Yeah! We’re there! “The Ugly” remember? What I wonder now is if those who abuse people realize the life-long damage they are truly causing by their few minutes of satisfaction? One who is abused, usually, we take all the blame. Well let me rephrase that because I cannot tell anyone else’s story – I took ALL the blame. It was my fault that he felt he had to take what wasn’t given to him. It was my fault that I made him mad, he had to get his anger out somehow – I caused it so of course it will be taken out on me! How could I think that you wonder? What had life taught me so far? That I was the problem. Once you enter one cycle of abuse, it seems like more kinds attract your very being. At least it felt that way to me. So of course, in the mind of someone who is still wounded, all I knew how to do was blame myself for every bad thing that happened because if I wasn’t me, it wouldn’t be happening and that was my truth and that’s how I truly felt in my heart. I was the problem.
So, in my house, I started with those things. I mean, those were MY big things. The things that shaped every move I made since they happened to me. I remembered the taunting of the kids. Tears. I remembered how I felt during the times in my life when I was abused. Tears. Anger. Frustration. Sadness. Confusion. Hatred. Regret. And then, “For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us!” – WOW! Wait, God is that You? Indeed, it was. With that scripture, He let me know – oh there’s gonna be some glory that comes from all that pain you went through. It was not in vain. It was just hard for you to see. Surprisingly, that Word made me feel better! So, I prayed this prayer and I’ve prayed it every single day since: “Lord, open my understanding to Your Word. Bless me to understand spiritually. Let You word fall on good, solid ground. Help me to hide it in my heart that I might not sin against You! Help me to not just read the Word but to apply it to my life! In Jesus’ name. Amen!” When I said that prayer then, I didn’t realize what God truly had in store for me! I just knew I meant it! I meant it from my heart and that’s all God wants is a sincere heart. I went back to my routine but this time, I absolutely craved the Word. I hungered for it. I needed more of it because it spoke to my hurt soulfully. It wasn’t just saying what was appropriate for the situation but it started to shake my foundation of broken pieces and began to rebuild those pieces to make a foundation that could not be moved. It started to slowly mend my heart. It was like Gods love song to me. Then, I remember one night I prayed to God – “Lord, help me to meditate on Your Word even in my sleep.” Whoooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo! I got THAT hungry and thirsty for it! And God granted my request. I could hear the Word in my sleep. I could see the pages. I could feel it in my life. In my heart.
As the Word spoke to me and truly began healing me, God started sending women to church who were going through similar situations or had gone through them. He gave me strength to not be ashamed in Bible study and talk more about my hurt and these young women began to discuss their hurt and hearing them tell me about their bad relationships helped heal the loss of my bad relationship. See, when you’re in it – a bad relationship – you know it’s not good for you but there is something that tells you to stick it out and for me, I stuck it out because I thought I really was with the love of my life and I just knew if he realized I was what was best for him, he’d marry me with no problem; he’d love me like I desired to be loved and we’d live happily ever after! It’s crazy that now I realized, I was loving someone who didn’t even treat me right the majority of the time. I was so thirsty for love that I latched on to a minimum wage love. SMH! I stayed because I didn’t want to be alone. Admitting that was HUGE for me. (Self-Honesty remember!) Admitting that made me realize how I accepted things that I was telling other women they shouldn’t even accept. I knew better but fear of being alone made me accept what should have been unacceptable. It made me not see my own worth. It made me do whatever I could to make someone else happy even when I was unhappy.
Now that we got down to realizing how “The Ugly” affected me and began allowing God to work on it – now it was time to work on “….The Bad!”
With Broken Beautifulness,
Part Three – coming soon