My name is Jada. I am going to assume that most of you do not know me, so I will take a short moment to introduce myself and the reason I've decided to share my story and begin this blog during my birthday month. I'm blessed and I thank God for my journey. I've learned a lot over the years and I want to take the time to share my story and experiences. I've healed and overcome great pain to share the wisdom I've gathered over the years. (If you are reading this post anytime AFTER July 2014, that means I didn't quite have the courage to release the first blog post when I originally wrote it in July).
If you are in your 20s or younger, I hope this blog will encourage you to make healthy relationship and career decisions; and I pray you will choose God first! If you are in your 30s or 40s, I hope this blog will encourage you grow in God's grace and mercy because I'm sure you are NOT perfect and you've made some costly mistakes. Unfortunately, my mistakes have cost me my youth, my finances, my time and myself. Today's blog is about me; other posts will discuss my journey, my mistakes and my lessons. Furthermore, I have wise and educated friends that will chime in with their stories to encourage you to toward ultimate success! Most of all, this blog is about us...women...the backbone of our families, our nation and our world. Here's my story.
Five years ago I lost everything! My career, my marriage, my hopes & dreams, and most of all MYSELF. I've been blessed with significant gifts and talents in the areas of academia and public speaking...but, for some reason I'd lost my passion to thrive. That was five years ago and today I'M BACK and I pray my vulnerability will inspire you to be the best you can be despite life's complexities.
For the sake of time, I will begin my story after years of living in domestic violent environment and molestation. ALL MY LIFE I HAD TO FIGHT (Color Purple shout out...giggle)! All of my life I had to fight off MEN! I watched my mother get beaten with a broom, thrown down stairs and hit constantly. I watched men abuse their girlfriends and wives. I watch men show unbelievable disrespect toward women and I thought it was normal. From physical abuse to verbal abuse (and everything between), I was groomed to accept less from men and more significantly less from MYSELF.
Why is this part of my story so important and why did I begin here? I started with domestic violence and molestation because after countless failed relationships and a failed 10 year marriage, I've concluded I AM THE PROBLEM! But before I take responsibility for my part in the failed relationships, I must say that I do NOT and will NOT condone certain behaviors that consist of physical abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse, mental abuse, sexual identity confusion, manipulation, womanizing, roving eyes, immaturity and just being down right CRUEL!
So, now that I've got that out of my system, I will say that I've been challenged to LOOK AT ME! The reason? Well, if I'm honest, I struggle with TRUST issues. With that said, I will take responsibility for my part in the conflict of failed relationships. I contributed significantly to my failed relationships and here's what I learned:
1) All or Nothing Thinking (AKA Black or White thinking). This type of thinking has ruined many relationships throughout the generations...mine, too. During months of self-evaluation, I reflected on times that I would say things like:
-You 'ALWAYS' say negative things to me.
-You 'NEVER' remember my birthday or do nice things for me.
-'EVERY' time I call you, you 'NEVER' answer.
The problem with these type of statements is that there is no "between." The reality is that NOTHING is black or white; our lives are painted with beautiful shades of gray and our frustrations are a simple assessment of one's perception and childhood baggage. So, my question to you is, "How much of your frustration and bitterness is a result of your negative perception of the person or the situation?" Self-evaluation is key. Ladies, there is a strong possibility that you are contributing to significant conflict in your relationship. Remember, we must take responsibility for our part in the conflict.
2) Overgeneralizing is a faulty thought process that makes BROAD conclusions of a person, event or situation. For me, a series of overgeneralizing statements consisted of the following examples:
-ALL men are abusive
-ALL men are dogs
-ALL men cheat
-ALL men are users and only want sex
I think you get the picture. This is NOT good for your relationship. So, refrain from overgeneralizing and be willing to give your partner a break.
3) Distrust is doubting the reliability of another to live up to one's desires or expectations. Well, this is a problem when my expectations were so high that NO ONE could every live up to them. The distrust baggage included every situation I've every encountered with men throughout my life. If you do not trust your partner, I encourage you to consider how much of that distrust is reality and how much of it is fantasy or childhood baggage. In my case, I believe a significant amount of my inability to trust was rooted in unresolved childhood issues that included domestic violence and abuse. Working through these issues was my first step to healing and happiness! Being honest with myself opened the door to ultimate peace and contentment.
Today, I am a Licensed Mental Health Therapist and most of my female clients come to me to help them address unresolved childhood issues. These issues often bleed into current relationships, marriages, career decisions, parenting and self-esteem challenges. Today, I've chosen to be transparent and vulnerable. Yikes! Today, I am happy, healed and free from dysfunctional relationships. In the days to come, I will continue to share personal stories, challenges, dreams and my new relationship (and how I'm intentionally building a healthy intimate relationship).
Please let me know your thoughts about my new blog and chime in on the topics each week! I look forward to you walking with me through this exciting journey!
Jada Jackson, LMHC
Talk Show Host of Emotional Mojo
Author of Be-You-Tiful: The Threefold Process to Becoming You
Blogger and Author of Jada Jackson: My Story, My Life
The Official Facebook Fan Page: Jada Jackson Life Coach