At the time of writing, I’m beginning to process the end of a relationship that was toxic, deceitful and grew to be borderline dangerous. The abusers lied about interactions they had with other people. They downplayed a great deal of the emotional calls for help that their partner was signaling for. They couldn’t grasp the idea or acknowledge the calls for the other party to take space on their own, to invoke their autonomy and went as far as to stalk them to “ensure” nothing was happening.
The aggressor was me. But I wasn’t alone.
I will repeat: this is not easy to write. I don’t know what might happen when this hits the Web. I do know this; my mental state will be a lot more clearer and therapy will become much easier once I’ve published this.
I’ve hurt a Black Womban capable of and currently doing incredible things. I tarnished her name, potentially damaging her professional and personal ambitions. I attacked her character when no reason of any sort was ever given. I casted her as a villain and monster to my friends and family in an attempt to mask my own actions. I gave her no air to breathe. I trapped her. I invaded her privacy time and time again, imploying tactics that I learned to protect people. I disabled her from working. I made her friends uncomfortable.
I exuded many forms of misogynoir; the one thing I aimed to stop performing acts of in my life. I weakly, if ever, attributed her to the many things I’ve recently learned over the past year; presenting it as if it were my own discoveries. I made it difficult for her to truly enjoy a space; always scraping and looking for reasons to complain. I wanted ownership over the experiences we had together; being the “first” to do something with her. I kept seeking for a sign of importance and recognition that I could associate with myself and myself alone. I couldn’t take her word seriously - always felt that it was an attack on my character. I was (and still am) carrying a very fragile ego; one that I’ve begun to shed.
I’m more than humbled and blessed to even have had the opportunity to speak to someone like her. I don’t expect anything but greatness to walk by her feet. She’s an amazing friend to have and one of the best comrades I’ve rode with in protests, rallies, community organizing and couch squatting. Because of me being the toxic individual that I am, I’ve damaged the trust that she extended to me, time and time again. I kept pushing her to drop her guard and go against her stances for the sake of a “healthy relationship”. I can only hope that over time, I’d be blessed with the chance to be friends once more. Until then, I have growing, healing and damage control to work on.
Black womyn hold their lips tightly for the sake of protection against men’s inherently violent nature. She did this for me but didn’t stand for it any longer. She’s protected me from people who were willing to tear me apart for the things I’ve done to her and that, in itself, is an example of how I’ve failed her and myself as a man.
Y'all don't know how much the women in your lives hold their tongues to preserve your ego— Nnennaya, Esq. (@theAfroLegalise) December 14, 2015
I write this to both apologize to her publicly and to inform men who are currently exhibiting behaviors similar to me as a warning sign. Listen to womyn, don’t read this and stop. Learn to let go. Take up yoga if you’re easily irritated (it helps me, hopefully it can for you as well). Ensure that you’re truly living a life of individuality and that you aren’t looking for someone to validate you. Do not use false love as a tool of oppression.
Learn from womyn. Stop reading this and go speak to the womyn you spend the most time with, whose energy you sap for your pride. Acknowledge space when it’s requested. Comprehend what it means to be alone. Trust fully and truly. Understand that vulnerability does NOT make you lesser of a man. Go to therapy1. Understand that healing is not a milestone, but a river of flow.
Healing is not linear, it comes in waves.— winter is coming (@ForRevolution) November 14, 2016
I’m sorry Shay. May the Orisha spirits guide me to a better state and continue to uplift you. I have to talk with Oduduwa very soon. I love you.
I understand that therapy is inaccessible for many (because of finanical, geographically and regionality issues). Reach out to me if you want to work on this. ↩