MorningJoy Podcast is a biweekly podcast that focuses on education, mental health, and the music we use to cope in this crazy world. It highlights folks of color doing amazing work. 
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I am PRO [my] life

I am PRO [my] life

disclaimer: this is an emotional and long one, but i promise it is worth it

He slept with a gun next to the bed. I hated guns, but the safety was on and I never touched it. Honestly, I don't know why he had one. And looking back, it was actually really scary. I mean who needs a gun next to the bed anyway?!

I thought I loved him and maybe I did. And everything started out amazing. But isn't that how the story goes? Slowly, little comments began to be made about my "past." About how i looked. Things were said that slowly began to tear down the little self-esteem I had. It tore it down so much that i believed that couldn't do any better--or even that i didn't deserve better. 

I was 19 years old at the time. I was young and searching for someone to say I was enough. That is how it started, and I did not realize it was changing. My friends couldn't put their finger on what was wrong, but every now and then they would ask me was I alright and I thought i was. 

The gun next to the bed was scary because those slow degrading remarks had turned into blustering loud arguments. Which those had turned into a few altercations with a few pushes and shakes. 

By now you are probably wondering why I stayed and as I am writing, I am wondering the same thing. And the worst part is we broke up on Valentine's Day that year and I still wanted him. 

My psyche had been torn down so much. I truly believed I was nothing without him. I went crazy. I really did. And the only way he seemed to want me was in the bedroom. And, even though just after four days of being broken up he had already found another girl. I was devastated, I thought he loved me.

I began to think that he would come back to me truly, i do not know why I wanted him. I did not think i could do any better much less deserved better.

It was spring break after we broke up and I decided to hook up with him again. My desperation over took me. I even had to sneak over to his house because the other girl may see my car at his house. You're probably reading this and thinking "damn joy" and trust me so am I.

I felt he was slowly beginning to want me again. He had made me believe no one else would want me, so i had to settle with him . I had to have him. And five weeks goes by and i found out i was pregnant. 

My future flashed before my eyes. All the things that would have to be put on hold because of this . And i called to tell him and the response crushed my soul even more. He believed I had trapped him. I purposefully got pregnant. As if I had done this alone.  I did not know what i wanted to do yet. 

He told me that if I got rid of it, that we could get back together. Honestly, I did not want a child. I was 19! what the hell was I going to do. I was broke. So broke that I did not have abortion money. I was angry at the fact that the first viable conclusion was that I got pregnant on purpose. I am petty but not that petty. 

I weighed my options, I really did not want a baby and if we could get back together then that was killing two birds with one stone. (I realize that that saying maybe too soon but oh well) I was only 6wks and he paid for it. 

That experience is not as awful as these stories online make it out to be. They roll you into a room, put you to sleep, you wake up and they roll you out. The part that hurt the most is that he promised to take care of me after because we were getting back together. But, he didn't.

He left alone in my room to cope and heal all by myself. My world was turned upside down. I stopped going to class. I didn't eat for a month and some change. And i knew deep down you were no good for me but I still wanted you or someone to love me through this like he promised. 

All of this came to a head outside my apartment when a yelling spat in the car turned into him pushing me out the car and dragging me to the curb and throwing myself out. My roommates (who we really didn't get along) came rushing out to my aide. And to this day I am forever thankful for. 

I have tried to forget this time in my life but with all these stories of black men killing their wives/ex-wives or girlfriends because they were angry. This memory resurfaced. Because in all honesty, those news stories could have read my name instead. 

But they didn't and that is truly by the grace of God. Somewhere in the midst of all that mess I made the decision to not be tied to that man through a child. And, now I know that was the right choice. I won't have to be re-traumatized by having to co-parent. Instead, with the pep talk of all pep talks froma friend I was able to transfer universities and finish college and now I am in graduate school. 

The man has reached out and apologized and we have had a couple of conversations But this did not happen until years later. By no means are we buddy-buddy but the apology I received came unsolicited and unwarranted. So maybe he has worked out his demons, but thats none of my concern. 

This story is hard to tell because only my closest friends know about my decision to abort a baby. Not because I am ashamed, but the conversation never came up. And no I do not regret it at all. I am pro MY life!!! Things that bring me peace, love, and happiness. And if you plan ot ask me how I cope with that and still be a devout Christian, just do not ask. Thats why it is called a personal relationship with Christ. 

Ladies and gentlemen, domestic violence does not start out as physical. It starts out by tearing down your existence one backhanded comment at a time. One firm "request" at a time. One "you're lucky I am even with you" at a time. I had low self-esteem and it probably is written all over my face.

The 3-4 girls who were at my house that day, who helped me of the sidewalk into the house: thank you. If i never told you, thank you. And to the friend who stopped me on campus one day and genuinely asked was I okay: thank you. 

I am ever indebted to them. I honestly wouldn't be where I am today without those encounters. You probably would be reading my name at the bottom of some news story. 

I am also thankful for the man God has placed in my life currently and hopefully forever. Had I not gone through what I had previously, I know for a fact I would not be able to appreciate my current situation. Or be ready to be loved unconditionally. Some days are harder than others, but I made it. I had to learn to love myself. And unfortunately, that lesson came at the hands of an insecure man afraid of the potential I had locked inside of me. 

To my sisters out there, you can make it through. It may take an extra semester. it may take an extra year. But you will accomplish your dreams! Your past relationships and situations do not define you. and Love yourself girl, or nobody will!!

love, 

Joy Melody

 

I'm 23, what do you mean I can't read?!?

I'm 23, what do you mean I can't read?!?

I only cried once today....

I only cried once today....