I Am My Sister’s Keeper: 5 Ways I Learned To Love Myself By Loving Black Women
Below is a story by one of our fans that emailed us. In a simple email titled, “I Just Want To Spread Love”, she shared the story below. Take a look at her amazing truth.
“I don’t have any female friends.” That’s what I always used to say when I would talk to people about what I did for fun or who I rolled with. In all honesty, back then I was a 23-year-old who didn’t know any better but at the same time I thought I knew everything.
I quickly became a card-carrying member of “I don’t need no “bleep-bleep” woman” with trust issues group because in my past I have been done dirty by many females. I’ve had a distrust of men from my mother who left my abusive father, only to run to the next guy who was also abusive to me! She married him too when I was 11 and I couldn’t wait to leave. I had girlfriends I thought I could talk to back then, but that changed.
I had the friend who pulled a disappearing act whenever she got a new man in her life, sort of like my mom. I’ve also had the friend who just wanted to be under me, trying to figure out what I was doing so that she could do it too. And I played “Dr. Phil” to the friend who made me feel more like a therapist than a real friend. I definitely have my flaws and know I wasn’t always been the perfect friend, but I thought I made the effort. At least with guys I knew what they wanted up front for the most part. Girls and women, it seemed like it was all a contest or game, nothing real.
You know how some women say, “all men are the same”? Well, I thought the same thing about women, until I met Rachel.
In my usually quarterly drop-off of “old” clothes I didn’t wear any more at a women’s shelter (I was always buying new things to stay up on these women and give away clothes to the women who I thought were “below” me), I heard what sounded like some screaming in the back. I found out there just so happened to be a guest speaker for the women residents that day, that was Rachel.
When I went to the back just to poke my head in, I saw women hugging each other, laughing, crying and smiling–like genuinely smiling and praying…this was something I never saw before. Sure, I’ve gone out with women and guys and we were cracking up together over some drinks or laughing at somebody else because we were talking about how busted they looked, but nothing like this. So then I just asked one person what just happened and she just smiled at me and said, “It’s because learned how to be free.”
FREE? What did she mean, “free?” Something in me had to find out. So I waiting in line while others said their “Thanks you’s” and “goodbye’s” to this woman named Rachel and decided to ask her what she talked about since I missed it and that “free” answer wasn’t much help at all, lol. So when I finally got a chance to speak to her, Rachel said she just simply shared her story.
And what a story it was: she had always been an average student and just skated by in school with C’s and D’s. Smoked weed a lot. Then decided to take a break from between high school and college and thats where her life changed. She went from smoking weed to selling it, then to heroin. In and out of jail with the longest stint being 4 years. Then moved on to cocaine and crystal meth and started smoking everything she could get her hands on. Joined a gang and used to have multiple overdose episodes in one year. The last one she said, she could feel herself drifting off to death and she called out saying “If there is a God out there, then show yourself!” She woke up from a drug-induced coma three days later with a determination in her mind.
But on the fist day she had been accepted into a woman’s shelter herself, Rachel said she saw her and old enemy from a rival gang back in the day. Someone who actually tried to kill her, numerous times, tried to poison her and a bunch of other stuff. But there was something about the ex-gang rival when she saw her. All these emotions came to the surface, but before Rachel could do anything, the first words out of this woman’s mouth was, “Can you please forgive me?”
Forgive her? Hell naw, that wouldn’t happen. Yet, all throughout that day, she’d hear about her old rival being such a blessing to the other women in the house. How she comforted those who had diseases, how she gave up her salary so as to bring more women in, finding jobs for women, speaking to donors and in court on behalf of the women to help turn their lives around.
“Was this the same woman?” Rachel thought. It couldn’t be. But the more she heard it, the more she knew it was. When she finally got tired of dodging the woman, she confronted her and found out what happened. She said…