My Painful Dating Mistake And How I Overcame It
By: Dr. Aesha
I have something very personal to share with you. I’ve actually never really told anyone this before, and I’m scared of what you’re going to think about me, but I feel like God wants me to tell you because it’s going to help you.
You see, a lot of people look at my life and think, “It’s easy for you to say that love is possible. You’re already married and you have a family. You don’t know how hard it is out there.”
But the truth is I wasn’t always this happy. In fact, I made some soul-crushing mistakes when I was dating. Over the next few days, I’ll be breaking down some of those mistakes with you, because I want YOU to know exactly how to become a confident woman who attract a man who will pursue, court and marry you.
I told some of my story last night on the call (we had almost 500 people registered. Thank you!!!!)
But what you don’t know is…
…why I allowed my cheating boyfriend to shame me like he did.
The morning after we slept together, I was frozen with fear, embarrassment, shame and regret. You see, I’d clearly told him ‘NO, I don’t want to do this.’ But I went ahead with it anyway.
The whole thing triggered in me the moment when a teenage boy, who was a friend of the family, molested me. While he did it, he asked me, “Do you love me?” and being only 5 years old, I said, “yes.”
The seeds of shame were planted in my heart that day and they took root. I learned that my body was not valuable. I grew up feeling like damaged goods. And I tried my hardest to be a perfect “good girl.” That meant pleasing people, not saying no, and silencing my voice, even when there were unwanted sexual advances.
Fast forward to my boyfriend. I knew in my heart of hearts that he didn’t value me and that he would leave after becoming intimate. Yet, inside, I responded to him like the little girl who was violated so many years before that.
My secret shame was why I was attracted this man in the first place!
Ken Page, pyschotherapist who specializes in our search for intimacy says this:
“All of us have unresolved childhood hurts due to betrayal, anger, manipulation, or abuse. Unconsciously, we seek healing through our partner. And we try to achieve this healing by bonding with someone we sense might hurt us in similar ways to how we were hurt as children, in the hope that we can then convince him or her to finally love and accept us.”
The shame, feelings of unworthiness and belief that I was unlovable I experienced as a child were rooted so deep in my heart that they just felt natural. I did a lot to avoid thinking about them to. It took a WAKE UP CALL to get me to heal and change.
Roadblock to love #1
Shame makes you feel like you are somehow fatally flawed and therefore unlovable. You believe that there is something in you that makes you unworthy of love by a good man.
All of us deal with shame. Our parents used it to get us to obey. Bullies used it on the playground to get our friends to turn on us. Our pastors used it to get us to come to church so that God won’t be mad at us and withhold His blessings.
And as Melissa Hart Perry showed us, every time we see a stereotypical image of an angry Black woman, sexual object (thots, Jezebels, or a woman doing too much) or a maid (have you seen The Help?), we feel intense shame about how we are viewed by others in this world.
This is why we use the Strong Black Woman Syndrome. To protect us from these feelings. To overcome the historical and personal hurts we’ve kept secret. To show the world that we are worthy if we work hard enough, pray hard enough, and achieve enough. But it’s not enough!
Whether your shame has come from sexual trauma, abuse or from the criticism of your mama, daddy or pastor, it’s keeping you from being able to open up, trust, and be vulnerable in your relationships.
It’s also keeping you from developing attraction for a good man in the first place! That’s why you keep choosing the wrong man.
The first step is to heal the little Black girl within, break the Strong Black Woman Syndrome, and begin making choices from an entirely new way of feeling, seeing and thinking.
It’s possible, because I lived it. But it took having the right support in my life to get there.
You see, after I told my accountability partners that I’d slept with my boyfriend, all hell broke loose.
They encouraged me to tell the pastor. I did. And then, without my permssion, the pastor told the entire Elder’s board.
My friends gossiped about me.
My rommate befriended the older woman my boyfriend was cheating on me with and starting going to brunch with her to discuss all the dirty details of our love triangle (it was more like an octagon with all the women he was talking to!)
My pastor wouldn’t let me sing on the praise and worship team anymore (but my ex-boyfriend could!)
There was only one friend who told me, “Aesha, you need to be healed.” She took me to a white church deep in the country to a workshop on emotional healing. I admit, I didn’t want to go. I was the only sister there and I had never experienced anything like it. (I also thought the KKK was going to jump out and get me!)
It was uncomfortable and I felt embarrassed that I couldn’t just read a book and “work on myself” to fix my issues. All my friends were getting married, and they didn’t need to do this kind of work to get a husband!
But I soon realized that everyone needs help. In fact, if you want to attract a husband, you need to know how to 1) receive & ask for help (Yes, you my strong, successful sister) and 2) allow yourself to be supported.
It’s time to tell yourself the truth, sis. If you’ve read all the books, attended all the seminars, listened to all the free trainings and read all the blogs and you’re STILL SINGLE when you don’t want to be, there are some deeply rooted issues that need to be healed.
This is your WAKE UP CALL.
In the next email, I’m going to share exactly what I learned that helped me accelerate my emotional healing so that when I met my husband less than 1 year later, I didn’t push him away.
You don’t want to miss it!
I’m here to help you… if you let me.