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The Importance of Letting Go: There's an art for it. Part 2

Hopefully if you read part 1, you got something from it. That has always been my goal for the posts I make. I want to relate with you virtually in any way I can. Its New Years Eve which means it is time to create this post before 2021 hits. I feel that its necessary to know why it is important to let go from this story so that you can do better moving forward.

I had some points last post that I wanted to elaborate on more on. The defining moment that happened during my pre-teen years was at an Haitian church. The year was two months before 2012. I came there as a 11-year-old. Haitian churches is a different breed. Somewhat the same in antics, but the vibes depend on which one you go to.

My older church ended so we had to find a new home. The other churches wasn't what my family wanted. But that church something about it made me want to go there. It was Haitian-American, the preaching isn't bad, there is a lot of youth and they seem like a family. So we made the decision to go there. How I wished I never made that choice. I was greeted by one of the pastors - super nice. It didn't seem bad, at first. The first day of being a member and going there frequently I didn't see the issues that was underneath the surface. But that soon came to light. I saw one of the girls who went to the church at my middle school, she was in the 8th grade and I was in 6th grade. I said hi and she looked at me and ran. Literally ran. Sunday comes up and I start to get nasty stares from the girls. During Sunday school I started to get nasty stares as well from everyone. It happened every Sunday. The stares will start from when I opened the door to the building even all the way to the classroom. The third Sunday, I wanted to ask them what the issue was. To be honest back then, I confronted. Didn't matter who you were. If you had something to say about me, I would need for you to have the same energy when I come up to you. I wanted you to say whatever it is about me to me. My older sister Betty stopped me and said, "This is a church". No matter how I felt, I had to respect Jesus. Especially in his sanctuary. That thought came up throughout my entire time there.

But I will make those 8 years a bit shorter. I was at the youth. They never claimed me and vice versa. I was subject to a lot of heat from the youth and their parents. Never had a conversation with any of them to be honest. They just looked at me and decided that I was public enemy #1. The girl I mentioned bothered me only at the church, never when we were at school together for that year. When she went to HS, it got worse. I always hoped that whatever insecurities she had, she would have gotten over it. But no. The girls always wanted to let me know that they didn't like me. Left me out of conversations , looked at me dirty, pointed and laughed at me. Bumped me while I was sitting in my chair even had their family members bother me. The girl's mother felt the need to bother me as well. For no reason at all, but she ended up looking dumb at the end of whatever she wanted to prove. During all of that, I did nothing. I let them do whatever they wanted because my peace was important to me, not knowing that I was slowly dying inside.

Let's get into the guys that went there. The guys, the guys, the guys. I had one of the guys come up to me and try to have relations. I was 14 at the time and he was 18. I told him nicely that its illegal and guess what he said? " Don't nobody got to know". I walked so fast and told Betty to never leave me alone with that guy. That was just one of them. I had guys there approach me but I knew what it was. I have no brothers to show me the game. I barely spoke to my guy cousins about boys. I just can read who is genuine and who isn't. I knew what these guys were about. Just sad, insecure boys parading with the thought that working out and looking good enough made them "the man". They let their sisters, cousins, besties, bully the girls who they wanted just so the girl will be sad enough to get. When you're at your lowest, they come in to "save you" from the bullying and you might be inclined to give them something else. But the flaw in their plan was I could never let that girl be me. I ignored and avoided any type of interaction that was planned to head that way. The reason why I did was simple. It was their character that had a flaw for me. How could you let or even be around people who could be so hateful? You didn't even had the courage to defend those who were helpless at the moment. So why would I ever be with someone like you? I was called suck-up and received more hate.

The Sunday school teachers/youth leaders had something out for me. I had one of them berate me on whether I was having sex or not. He subliminally insinuated that I was sleeping around and let that be known in class. Which made the situation between me and the youth worse. He doesn't even know me, but he felt that he did. Only had one conversation. He only talked and associated himself with the youth. That is how I knew that the youth had power over the adult's mind. I was so embarrassed and felt disgusted. I was 16-17 at that moment. Even leaders made mini sermons about me to basically shade me. But they didn't know me at all. There was much so more but I will leave that alone.

I was going through so much as you can expect. Figuring out who you were, who you wanted to be, and where you wanted to go. I had bad situations happening along with this one in 2013-2014 that eventually ruined me. I gained depression and social anxiety. I didn't even talk to people anymore at my schools, middle and HS. I had one person I knew, ask my family member if I was ok. The funny thing is, I wasn't. But everyone thought that I was so the amounts of heat kept coming from all sides. My immediate family, my friends, and the church. It was intense and there were moments I didn't even want to be here anymore. That was how real it got. I kept all that pain I had inside. So when the conversation came in 2019 to go back to the youth ( It was on and off but at that point I wasn't there for years), I didn't want to do it. I was angry. But even more angry that girl and her friends tried to put their hands on my little cousins not too long ago. They didn't even know what was happening because I never told my family what was going on. I didn't want to taint any memories talking about it. My cousin Dede who passed in January, I told him 7 years after the first interaction. The fact that it almost happened but didn't because I chose to walk away to keep them from that, gets me so angry you wouldn't understand. It was at one of my cousin's wedding that is cool with them. Why would you do it at a wedding? of all places? And seeing the fear in my smaller cousins who was with us, hurts me. I didn't want them to be in a position where they had to be scared at a wedding where it is supposed to be fun and filled of love.

But I did have the conversation. The youth leaders were there to delegate but it was full of gaslighting. Blaming me. I was suprisingly calm even with knowing that she was looking for me after church with her friends a couple of weeks ago and of course the girl was defensive. All I wanted was an apology and to leave me alone. Be accountable but the church doesn't believe in accountability. Never did. They asked me to write down everything that happened and I did for the youth leader to say that "this is irrelevant" and rip the paper. That shattered me. How could you say that the pain I have is irrelevant? He even told me that I didn't go through anything and that I was the bully. That was laughable to me knowing what I went through all those years.

There was even more mess but I will say this: I kept that anger and pain for a while. I was still there but even after I left, I was still affected. I left that church August 2019. Two months later in October I had a cute guy ask me about this church and why I didn't go anymore and I froze. I didn't know what to say. So he said " Judgemental, right?" He was Haitian too so he understood without me saying anything. This church affected my relationship with God, how I interact with new people, and how I even felt about myself. I started to go to therapy at my school and it helped but what really propelled me after all that pain was this year. Almost a decade later 2020 is what helped me realize that letting go was necessary. My favorite cousin's death. Even thinking that the energy I put or gave made the pain more real. The pain was always going to be there but my mistake was letting that pain define me. They were still going to live their lives, no matter how much bad they did to me. But why would I let pain guide me when happiness is so much better? I'm still a work in progress but what I can do today is be in a better place for me.

Overall, be in a better place for you. Let that pain go and give it God. You deserve a good, fulfilling, healthy and happy life.

What do you want to start the process of letting go for 2021?

Xoxo Ashley

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