Tuesday, June 16, 2015

My Experience Series:Tales Of Life And Survival Of An African-American Lady

My name is Jeana and am a divorced mother of a teenage son. I work as
a private duty nurse for special needs children. I also can teach
ballet. I'm a dancer,teacher, and choreographer. I write songs, plays,
poems, inspirational pieces. I also sing and act. Am the junior
daughter of a retired Church of God pastor

My dislikes are obnoxious, bigoted loud, ignorant,close-minded people;
milk, seafood, mushrooms, country music, bridges over water, heights,
body odour/poor hygiene, liars, players, child molesters, women who
misrepresent what being a woman means,men who won't grow up and handle
responsibilities. I believe that my only obligation is to love others,
not judge them; but through love show them what the nature of God
truly stands for and means.

I live in Erie,Pennsylvania in the United States. I lived in
Cleveland, Ohio the first 6 years of my life.I used to go to Canada
every summer with my family (a two hour drive),but not since 9/11. I
went to Nassau,Bahamas alone for a week. Hope to soon realize a dream
of being in Nigeria soon.

I had a great childhood,with loving parents and a senior sister.
Extended family was my social life for a long time. But one thing I've
learned is that you have to live your life for your own happiness
because only you have to look in the mirror and be pleased with
everything you've done.

I am an african-american woman. In my father's heritage is Cherokee
Indian. In my mother's heritage is Black Foot and Crow Indian,as well
as a small amount of European blood. The European blood came in from
when my maternal great grandmother was raped by the master's son
resulting in the birth of my grandfather;that was very common over
here during and after slavery.

Both of my parents are also of African ancestry;both Blacks and
Indians were oppressed and sometimes interacted and had children
together,so my ancestry is Africa. I don't know which people because
slavery erased our history. Over here, everything Black and/or African
is thought of as bad. It wasn't until about 5 years ago I dated this
footballer who wanted me to learn his culture. This was my first real
experience with African people. It felt like coming home.

I am not your typical african-american woman. We were poor but
blessed.I had many experiences because my parents exposed us to many
things. We traveled,attended concerts of gospel artistes and symphony
orchestras. Because of our Christian upbringing, we were taught all
people are equal. We socialized and worshiped with all peoples.
Education was very important. Taking ballet opened up a whole new
world for me. When we moved to Erie,our family (aunts,uncles,cousins)
were a gospel choir and we sang throughout the tri-state area.

Like I said, ballet changed my life. The self-discipline made us even
better students. Performing in the tri-state area exposed us to many
people and places. Our school was fortunate to offer us exposure to
artistes from the Dance Theater of Harlem, the Alvin Ailey Dance
Company. My own instructor was a principal dancer for the Pittsburgh
Ballet Theater. We were exposed to ballet, jazz, modern and
traditional African dance. I stopped dancing in my senior year of high
school, but found myself back into dance at age 19 when my instructor
invited me to be an instructor with the school I learned. This started
a time in my life that I loved. From attending arts conferences to
watching professional dancers up close and meeting them in person. It
just opened my mind to creativity. While my dad was in college, he was
privileged to be one of three drivers for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
before he became a national figure.

I also taught dance at a predominantly white high school. So I went to
school and worked two dance teaching jobs at the same time. I also
went to a business school. I have a 2-year degree in being a Medical
Assistant. I didn't finish the business course cos the fees were quite
expensive but I later enrolled into nursing school and qualified as a
nurse since 1997.I started in the hospital with all different
cases...great experience. After a year and a few months, worked for a
facility for brain injury cases. My ex also worked there, that's how
we met. After 6 months, I then worked in the elderly home. Did that
type of work for 11 years. Now I'm working with special needs children
and I love it

I held on to a secret from my childhood. As a young child,I was
molested by an uncle. Because of that, I always feel ugly,dirty,
always trying to make others happy at my own expense,have trust issues
and even married a man who was emotionally, financially, mentally and
verbally abusive. It affected my self-esteem,my confidence,my way of
dealing with feelings and standing up for myself. It led me to almost
committing suicide, but I thank God I didn't. Otherwise, I would have
missed all the good God has blessed me within life now

I lost my virginity at age 15. I was anorexic at one time...not eating
for two weeks. In my marriage, I became addicted to food and celibate
for 11 years of the 13 years I was married.

The year 2013 was the beginning of my "job" experience. My ex-husband
committed suicide in March of that year. Then in December I lost my
mother and job. In March 2014,the government started taking my wages
to pay for my late ex-husband 's tax debt. A "friend " scammed me out
of money, leaving me with very little money to the point I was eating
every 4 days. At times I felt that I would die but I continued to
trust in God.

Also during that time, my dad had a stroke and my fiancé and I were
having problems,and almost ended things. But many things have changed
for the better. Because of my faith in God and his unchanging hand,I
have learned many things about His goodness and all I lost is being
restored. Even the starving brought about a positive change in me. I
thank God for everything.

More on my ex...he was very abusive, he called me disgusting names
like being a fat,lazy f**king b***h all the time. He would be mean to
our son...saying in his presence "I never wanted you in the first
place ". My son was only two years old then but those were really
hurtful words for a kid that age.

He kept getting credit cards and maxing them out then would stop
working without notice and expected me to use my tithes money to pay
his bills since i made more. He wanted to sell our home and get money.
I said no, so he left,and left me with all the responsibility. When I
heard he was sleeping in his car, I allowed him back in the home, to
sleep in our son's room and pay rent. He later asked me what would
make be happy and I told him I wanted a divorce, and he later agreed
to us ending the marriage.

You have to be very selfish when it comes to marriage. This is the
rest of YOUR life. Make sure you will be happy with your decision
until you die. Take your time to get to know who you are marrying
before you enter into marriage,If you're not comfortable with
something about them, get it resolved before you commit or rather walk

More about my son...I had many doctors tell me i could not have
children. Again, God heard my prayers. It was a high risk pregnancy
but i loved every minute of it! Then I got to hold my son and fell in
love. Truthfully, I was afraid that he would be ugly because of my
self-image problems. Hahahahaha. But he looks just like me and is not
ugly at all! Thank God.

He is a very intelligent child. I did not read the classic fairy tales
to him as a night time story...no, he wanted me to read car brochures
to him. You know those booklets that gave a detailed description of a
new vehicle. That was at the age of 3. As he learned to read, he would
memorize all the streets from the one we lived to the dividing line
between east and west of the city. He loved trees and studied about
them. He could tell you what kind of tree just looking at a leaf.

However, when he got to school, learning was a problem because he has
a different way of processing information. I believe he was bored. His
early years in a traditional public school (free education over here)
wasn't easy. We then tried out a Montessori school (also free,
otherwise we couldn't afford it). It was there he blossomed as a
student and person.

The whole experience from feeling him kick and move inside of me, to
watching him start off helpless then grow and start doing things on
his own....each second is a blessing!

He is now in Cyber school which is also free. The laptop, printer,
books, workbooks and supporting materials like a microscope are all
free and provided by the school.

On racism,I've also had my fair share as a black american.
Go to a store, the security follows you and it is very obvious. Just
last year that happened at one store. I made sure they knew my
displeasure. I went to a store I never shopped before. Looking for a
shrug to go with a strapless dress. I found one for $8. Since i had
never been there, my son and I decided to walk around to see what they
had. I had the shrug on a hanger . Every time we turned around, the
uniformed guard was close. So i said in not a quiet voice that we were
leaving and never coming back. I'm carrying a $400 purse, why would i
want to steal a cheap $8 top? Haven't been back
there since then.

As a nurse, some places don't want Black nurses. I had applied to one
old folks home because they had an ad in the paper. I applied on a
tuesday, the very next day got a "sorry but we aren't going to hire
you" letter on wednesday. Meaning that while I was there the letter
was typed and mailed.

My former in-laws(my ex is caucasian)....I stayed away from the family
gatherings after a while. Shortly after we married,his father died. I
was asked not to attend the funeral. I did send my condolences by
letter and made sure to have God be the main focus. I had to hide my
pregnancy from my mother-in-law. And my son didn't meet her until he
was 6 months old. When my ex committed suicide, some uncles didn't
speak to my son at the funeral. They didn't invite him to the
apartment to pick a memento of his father. When the ex's ashes were
spread over the lake, my son was also excluded from that. So we have
nothing to do with them anymore.

I remember as a ballet teacher,a shopping mall was just recently
opened then and our ballet company was invited to perform there. When
we drove up and they realized that 99% of the dancers were Black, we
were stopped from even entering the mall. We later performed there a
few years later after our reputation had soared in the area.

I am a democrat and I've even made donations to the party.
It just upsets me how they attack the President just because of his
Black skin. They call him the devil, yet he is trying to get America
to look and function more like what a Christian nation should be.

I think it is sad that the party which claims to represent the
Christian point of view is the same party which fights legislation for
higher wages for people,health care insurance for all citizens,job and
gender equality,fight against feeding the hungry and housing the
homeless. That is the main reason I don't support the Republican
The Republican party has become the party of racial division. I
watched a documentary on the History Channel named "The Secret History
of the KKK". It was during the late 1800s and early 1900 that the KKK
became the powerhouse behind the Republican party.

For me,christianity is not a cookie cutter religion. Christianity is a
personal relationship with God. My struggles are not your struggles. I
cannot judge how you deal with things but I can be there to help, give
a deeper understanding and to pray with and for you. I daily deal with
an addiction developed due to my molestation . But the years of
celibacy prepared me for the strength to stay faithful to my
long-distance fiance now. Each experience is a stepping stone to the
next level of life.

Wow! That was a no holds barred chat I had with my guest on the
series,join me another time for another interesting experience,cheers!


  1. Your stories are pathetic but at the same time revealing and encouraging. It takes a great soul with courage to put this out so that others can learn. I see in you a strong woman determined to succeed and not weighed down by the vicissitudes of life. Your putting this in writing is also a form of recovery. As a counselor I know that getting what is bothering us off our chest, either in speech, writing or artistic representations, is half way into your healing process. Keep it up and know the past is behind you. You are now a repertoire of experience, faith and success. Kudos!

  2. Wow.. . When I'm reading n trying to relate to the struggles, d paragraph coming next becomes even more stronger. You're indeed a strong African woman. I thank God for all the experience and lessons learnt. Tnx for sharing with us.
    May you find joy in ur new relationship n welcome to Nigeria!

  3. Wow.. . When I'm reading n trying to relate to the struggles, d paragraph coming next becomes even more stronger. You're indeed a strong African woman. I thank God for all the experience and lessons learnt. Tnx for sharing with us.
    May you find joy in ur new relationship n welcome to Nigeria!

  4. I gladly share my story to show that you can also make it. God is always there, even when you don't feel or hear Him. Never give up!