• Felicia F. Clark

The Thing About Generational Curses...

Updated: Apr 25, 2020

"Why? Why as women do we forget the signs, and allow passes to bad behavior?"

-Felicia F. Clark, "The SistaGurl Blog" August 9, 2018

The first time he got me, was 20 years ago...over a bottle of Boone’s Farm. I was 15 or maybe even 16 years old. There was this guy that lived on the block that we called Sleepy. He had a thing for me, but not I for him.

Honestly, I was not very attracted to him. I loved the attention that he gave me every time he would see me walking down the street. He would make it his business to stop whatever he was doing to make sure I got in the house safe when I made it home from Bible study.

He would always tell me how pretty I was. And he did it in such a way that all I could do was blush. I mean all teeth. I typically hid behind my hands because I have pretty big teeth! Our paths more than crossed outside on the block; we were in the same house at the same time. A friend of our’s mom was at work. Therefore, it was a perfect time for a get together.

There I was, at this particular friend’s house getting one hell of a contact from weed and a glass of Boone’s Farm when Sleepy come walking in. After taking a good look at him with "boones goggled eyes" and blurred vision, he didn’t look too bad. As a matter of fact, he looked damn good. He sat beside me on the sofa, and we flirted a bit. After some good ol’ flirtatious words from two teenagers, we started to kiss. In fact, we had a kissing session. After sucking the life out of each other’s lips, I realized it was time for me to go.

The very next day, when I was Boone’s Farm free, I realized I made a mistake. I had agreed to be Sleepy’s girlfriend. Not only was I not interested, I was also not allowed to even have a boyfriend. I spent the better half of the day trying to figure a way out. Then I spotted him as I took a walk with a group of girlfriends, standing among-st his boys. Since I hadn’t come up with a way out, I tried to act as if I didn’t see him. As I tried to ignore him and walk past him, he side stepped me. I redirected myself by trying to walk around him when he yanked my arm with so much force that I was snatched off of my feet. I attempted to pull back but his grip was so strong that I couldn’t break loose. After a brief tug of war with my poor arm, I was set free. “Damn he’s aggressive,” I thought. I didn’t see him much after that. Then, 10 years went by...

I was in my mid twenties when we crossed paths again. This time I was in front of my children’s school, dropping them off and he was doing the same. “Hey, long time no see,” he said with a big smile as he walked towards me. “Yeah, it’s been a minute. How are you?” I asked. “I’m fine… How about I take you out and we catch up?” “Sure, “ I said. After exchanging numbers, we went our separate ways. After further discussion, we decided to meet up at a pool hall. He flirted his ass off, bought me drinks. I assume he thought that I was drunk enough to accept an invitation to his house. I said no. In fact, I told him no several times. I was able to get in my car and he continued to tail me. That’s when I realized I had to shake his ass. I jumped in and out of traffic. After a few swift moves and couple of cut corners, he was gone. I lost him. I sped like a bat out of hell all the way home.

10 more years and a failed marriage later…

I left home early one morning to run some errands when I saw a familiar face. Sleepy. I immediately stopped my truck and put it in reverse to catch up with him.“Sleepy?”  I questioned, loud enough for him to hear. When I got confirmation, I jumped out the truck and gave him a big hug. All was suddenly forgotten. We conversed for about ten minutes. He had me blushing, as usual. My big ass teeth came out to play. I was beaming. I had my boo thang back. And he was just a few doors down from my house! I didn’t have to be alone no more. Something which I have grown quite accustomed to since my husband and I separated. And it didn’t matter that he had no job, lived with his sister, wore his pants off his ass, and chains.... He wore like five big chains around his neck. One of which had a palm size Jesus piece as a charm. Not my taste at all. All of the things that would normally turn me off were thrown under the rug due to the attention that he was going to give me. And he was accessible. I was vulnerable and smitten at the same time.

We started dating. He was so sweet and attentive. We talked and hung out all the time. Then one day he became upset about some random issue, I forgot what it was, but it ended up with him lashing out on me...putting me out his sister’s house and slamming the door in my face. Soon thereafter, he apologized and we got back together. Or so I thought. I found out he cheated on me. Left me for another woman. I let him back in. AGAIN. This time, he became verbally abusive. In hindsight, I question why I allowed this behavior. Especially when I found myself laid across my mattress gasping for air, with Sleepy's knees in my abdomen, with his hands across my neck. I thought about all these things as he squeezed the life out of me.

All the things that I conveniently forgot...all the things I conveniently let slide. Why? Why as women do we forget the signs, and allow passes to bad behavior? Especially when we should be handing them their asses! While I was being strangled, I heard a car pull into my driveway. Sleepy immediately climbed off of me and sat on the side of the bed. I was trying to catch my breath between cries. Then I heard my mom’s voice. I tried to quickly collect myself. I didn’t want her to go off on Sleepy (WHAT?!). Call it motherly instincts, she came right to my bedroom door and knocked on the door. I said, “I’m coming” as calmly as I could. It didn’t matter because she suddenly kicked the door in. She saw him sitting with his head down on my bed. She looked me square in the face...studied me for awhile...she saw me. My mother saw my tired, worn face, and swollen eyes. “Did he hit you?!” She yelled. “DID...HE...HIT...YOU?!” “No,”I said, as a grown woman who had just lied to her mother. It was evident that she didn’t believe me because she instantly cursed him out. Told him to not just leave, but to “get the fuck out.” He left right away. Hell, he damn near ran. I was confused as to how a man that was just strangling me, could suddenly be so obedient.

Later that night, I layed in bed, hurt over what had happened to me. I asked myself, “Why didn’t you call the cops?” I knew the answer. I didn’t want him to get in trouble. And as crazy as it sounds, I wondered if I took things too far. If he hated me. Would he ever come back. I beat myself up on top of what he already did to me. I just don’t understand.

I knew I had lost my mind. What the hell was I thinking? Then I realized how common this is to me...to me family. I come from a long line of women who have been abused. Stories of my Big Ma being beat with a chain and put into the hospital. To playing hookie from school to tend to my aunt who had a fresh black eye and broken fingers. Even to me witnessing my father beat my mother for decades. Now, here I am being verbally and physically abused while my very own daughter is in earshot. I’m in pain...bruised… I must get help. I cannot allow this curse...this generational curse to trickle on down to my daughter-the fourth generation.

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