My name is Shakeisha Smith
I am 27 years old
What you want to discuss that is Taboo?
I want to discuss broken relationships within two parent homes.
Silence: Let’s Not Talk About it.. No talk about it!
I tried my best to not make this super long but I am just going to allow the Holy Spirit to have His way. Here we go….
Growing up life would seem like it was pretty good for me to anyone looking from the outside. I had what a lot of people around me didn’t. A nice home, my own room, never went hungry, and I even had both of my parents in the home! Life should’ve been good right? To everyone else my life seemed perfect. I assume because no one knew my dad had a drinking problem or that I watched and listened to him verbally, physically and mentally abuse my mother. It seemed perfect because no one could ever understand how we could all stay together and barely speak a paragraph to each other daily. It never seemed ok to talk about anything in my home. Not the abuse I watched like a horrible rerun or about anything I was feeling. My dad worked a lot. Two jobs sometimes. If he was ever off one day he would be so mean and he always complained about he has to work. He didn’t necessarily leave the home but ultimately put work before his family and was never there. I needed my dad to teach and tell me so many things but work always seemed to get in the way. Mom was home all of the time but she spent a huge amount of time in her room with the door closed or would constantly be yelling. She never wanted to be bothered. I had both parents but it felt like they were absent as ever. They barely noticed anything with me. They never took the TIME to get to know me. I was able to hide my period for almost a year! My mom only found out because I brought her to the toilet one day and showed her. She had no idea what to say so you know what she did? She drove me to my grandmother’s house to let her explain. “You are a woman now. Don’t go out here having babies. Does your stomach hurt” were her exact words to me. Huh? I was just so confused. My mother did not know how to talk to me. We didn’t have a close relationship and for the life of me I could not understand how I could have a mom right there but nothing was really present. Growing up I did not feel like she really loved me. Her actions and words proved that to be true to me. I asked my mother from the backseat of our mini van one day if she even wanted girls. I was about 8. Even though I did not understand things somewhere in me felt something which I believed prompted me to ask my mom that question. Her reply was that she wanted all boys. My dad looked at her and asked why she would say that. She said because I did only want boys. He told her that she should never say that and that she should love all of her kids. He turned around and told me he loved all of us. That moment made me feel so good because that did not happen often. My dad actually looked at me and genuinely said he loved me. Even though my dad tried to cover up my mother’s harsh truth, those words still stuck with me. I would go on to ask her the same question randomly throughout my years and she stuck with she just wanted a boy. If she only had her boy she would be good and growing up that was obvious. I knew my brother was her favorite but how do you talk about it to a mom you barely have a relationship with? On days I would come home from school after being bullied I would sit in my room and cry hoping that she would just walk in and know what to say or do. A few times she did walk in and I would look at her and tell her some of what happened. She would slowly walk over and I would hug her and just cry. She never knew what to say but the embrace I so rarely got was all I needed. I just needed more of my mother’s love, her words, more of her. Why didn’t she love me! I became closed off from everyone. I no longer spoke because I did not feel I could talk about anything. I just didn’t know how. That led to me battling depression. I was so sad and it came to a point I no longer wanted to live. I felt so unloved, alone and worthless. I attempted my first suicide when I was about 14.
How did it affect your child or how has it affected you even as an adult?
This part of my life affected me tremendously has an adult. I had so much pain, anger, bitterness, confusion built up in me that I never talked about. I grew up not knowing how to communicate what I was feeling and that it was not ok to express myself. As an adult I still felt that way. I became abusive to my mates.I did not know how to love or talk to my kids. I had very low self esteem. I battled depression and was suicidal for 10 years. I also deal with social anxiety. I searched for so long for love in all the wrong places which led to a life of giving my body away and doing whatever else it took to feel loved. I battled alcoholism. I became an alcoholic and drug abuser which led to rape. I made a lot of poor decisions as an adult because I held everything in. I didn’t know how to deal with things and it came to a point I didn’t even want to learn.
What steps have been needed in order for you to heal, forgive, grow, let go?
People think i’m this introverted quiet woman but I was not born this way. I actually have a lot to say, just still learning how. What I went through sort of altered who I really was. I am still on a mission to be who God created me to be not what my situations made me. I had to learn how to communicate with people as a grown woman. I have sought counseling a few times also. I had to stop blaming my parents and forgive them. Not for them but for me. The most important step that I have taken in this healing process has been to be real with myself and God.
Why do you think people don’t talk about broken relationships within two parent homes?
I believe people don’t talk about broken relationships within two parent homes because it is hard to understand. You don’t hear a lot of people talking about two parent home issues but they do in fact exist. Single parent homes are not the only homes with issues. Just because daddy stayed does not mean he was there. Just because momma didn’t give up her kids does not mean she raised and loved them. Some parents think just doing what is seen as right is enough but kids need more than just a present parent. They need an active one. A loving one.A dependable one. A teaching one. A real relationship with one.
What words of encouragement do you have for someone who has endured the same
thing you went through or experienced as a child?
I want to encourage the child who feels like they do not have a voice. I want to encourage the adult who has so much inside that they want to release but just do not know how. SPEAK. You can not worry about who is going to think or say what. A lot of my healing and understanding has come from first surrendering to God and then testifying. God has had me minister to many young women and it has truly set me free. Be honest with yourself. Whatever you went through and however you felt happened and was real so it is going to take some real work to get through. No shame! Do not be ashamed. There are so many people who have or are going through what you’ve been through. You are not alone. God will use it ALL. I thank God for using everything that was happened in my life. Now I can identify with the drug addict, the prostitute, the young teen mother, the single mom, the suicidal person, the depression battlers, the anxiety suffers, the rape victors(never a victim), the abusers, the alcoholics, and so many more people. Parents, seek God to lead you in parenthood. This is a tough hood lol but with God nothing is impossible. Talk to your children. Make time for your children. Learn who your children really are. Pray for your children. Build a real relationship with your children. If any of this proves to be too tough, again, seek God. You are not in this alone.