Gloria Graham - Brandon, Florida
As a little girl (from around 5-11 years old), I was repeatedly sexually abused by my My grandfather. As a result of the abuse I developed very low self esteem… at such a young age. By high school and college I had attracted even more abuse by “best friends”, boyfriends and older cousins. Although not all were sexual in nature the abuse was nevertheless just as damaging.
I lived with the shameful and painful secrets and began hiding my “guilt” with food. I endured one emotionally abusive relationship to another!
By 1976, I began attending a Pentecostal church where I received Jesus as MY PERSONAL SAVIOR! I can tell you without a doubt. He took away ALL the shame of the abuse! However, I began to realize that although I had overcome the shame I continued to attract people who tried to “CRACK” me; especially thin, beautiful sisters who themselves had low self esteem. (I only understood this after many years of Psychology classes!) Although very difficult I stood quite strongly against the sistahs!
I began taking more classes here and there until finally I graduated from college with a degree in Counseling Psychology. (Not ironic at all…my experiences prepared me for this). I accomplished this while working full time as a mother and wife. My thesis was on “Child Abuse Prevention”. Go figure! My professors would invite me back to their classes to discuss my Thesis or recommend me for different workshops on Parenting or the topic of Child Abuse. Self esteem was so evident at this point!
Little did I know that God would give Debra a vision “Black Don’t Crack” that would speak to the hearts of many who endured challenges and like me they didn’t CRACK. We just didn’t have the words to describe our strength.
The end of my story is far better than its beginning…
At 67 (January), I have confidence in who I am; I’m fearfully and wonderfully made by God; I’m an OVERCOMER; and I have WON THE BATTLE OF THE BULGE! No. I’m not skinny…will never be. But I’m healthy and fit! Since June 2011, I have lost all together 56 pounds and still counting. I went from a size 22 to a 14/16!! I am in the gym almost everyday! Sometimes for not more than 40 minutes but I’m working it! Thanks “My Black Don’t Crack”. Thank you for putting words to my personal journey’s end.