The New York Daily News posted an article on Gabrielle Union and how she just recently shared her story about being raped at the age of 19. It’s amazing how people can have scars you know nothing about because they’ve healed and wear them so well. I believe I’ve been drawn to Gabby all of these years for a reason. They say when you’ve been through similar hurts and situations as another person you’re magnetically connected to them. Even though I don’t know her personally we’ve endured some of the same pains at sometime or another. I remember watching Gabrielle on an OWN Network special and her openly admitting she received satisfaction by secretly bashing other women and bringing them down. I believed she classified those acts once in an acceptance speech at an award ceremony as “tap dancing on ones misery.” Reading her articles and watching her interviews helped me to see just how far I have come and how amazing it is to continue to see the woman that I am growing into.
Growing up I went through a lot of abuse. Not just physical abuse but mentally and emotionally as well. Just like Gabrielle I wore those scars but what differentiated us was I let mine trap me. I became a victim of my own pain. I felt sorry for myself and wanted others to feel the exact same way. I didn’t realize just how much I was hindering myself in life. There were times when I saw everyone else’s faults and could point them out but walk around as if I was Perfect Patty knowing I shared the same faults. I tap danced on other peoples misery because it helped me hide behind the fact that I was somewhere curled up, wallowing in my own sorrows when nobody was watching. Sometimes when you’re hurting it feels good to hurt others. It even feels good to have people feel sorry for you and comfort you while you’re going through what you’re going through. After a while you get used to the feeling and playing victim that it’s comfortable. Or you’ve been abused so much you truly are the victim and all you know is defense. You’ve victimized yourself without even realizing it. How would I break away from my pain? How would I stop using my pain as a way to get sympathy from others? How could I stop my pain from causing me to hurt those who cared about me? It took me a really long time to figure out how to step out of that box. This issue existed in my life for so long until I finally decided to pray and listen to God. I could get advice from others but what good would that do me? Half the people I confided in had been through the same things and had yet to recover from them. I had spent so many years letting people abuse me with their actions and their words that it had begun to affect me mentally. Everything positive turned into a negative because I let other peoples thoughts and opinions hinder my own. My abusers never would admit that they were robbing me blind of my happiness and until I stood up to them and faced that enough was enough I’d remain unhappy. In her interview, Gabrielle said that she didn’t want to be known as a victim based on what happened to her in her past. She wanted people to see her as a survivor. I wish that I had that mindset from the start but we live and we learn. It took me forever to teach myself to not fall prey to other people’s bitterness and not to allow misery to drag me into its company. When people go throughout life causing others pain, it’s because they have issues they have yet to confront themselves. They’ve lived a live engaged by pain, hurt, bitterness, and anger that it’s all that they know. You can’t embrace and give something that you don’t know how. You can only give the things and act on what you know the best way that you know how.
If you’re experiencing difficulties facing a problem head on, confront it. If this problem is causing you grief and making you emotionally distraught you have to confront it. Person, place or thing, your issues have to know how it’s affecting you and that you’re refusing to tolerate the mistreatment anymore. You don’t want be in your mid forties wishing that you would have done something to release the things you’ve endured in the past. The longer you wallow in your sorrows the more your sorrows become apart of you. It’s hard to remove years and years of hurt. It’s a lot easier to recognize it early on and face it. I had to come face to face with so much and let those people and things know that I no longer needed their misery and the pain that they brought to my life. I was destined to find peace and if it meant starting over from scratch with no one than so be it. People are going to only do unto you what you allow them to. The day you allow it and fall victim to the mistreatment and pain you show your weakness and they continue to believe they can get away with doing things that hurt you. I have literally been cleansing my life of anything unhealthy for the past several years. In the past few months is when I really learned what good is riding the presence of something from your life if it still lives in your mind? You’re not free from the anguish and pain until you’ve fully rid yourself from it. You may have said you’ve forgiven someone or you’ve moved on from a specific situation but you’re continuing to allow the things that occurred to affect your everyday life. I would allow negative thoughts that people fed me to determine my relationship with others and myself. It took me to lose so much to then to wake up and realize how unsatisfying and unhealthy that type of lifestyle truly is. Try to work on not harboring on shit you can’t change. Trials and tribulations throughout life are inevitable but trust and have faith that you have what it takes to still be happy despite it all. You have to go through the pain to experience the joy but you do NOT have to live in the pain forever. I’ve been in a much better place lately & I strongly encourage you all to free yourself of anything not filled with love. Misery loves company but that isn’t your problem, be happy anyway. If you ever need encouragement voice this simple prayer below xoxo! (You can read Gabrielle’s full article w/ New York Daily News by clicking the link below.)