I am NOT Damaged Goods… : ThyBlackMan

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

I am NOT Damaged Goods…

December 21, 2011 by  
Filed under News, Opinion, Relationships, Sista Talk, Weekly Columns

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(ThyBlackMan.com) “Rape is the murder of the essence of a female.” 

I can certainly bear witness to that , because at the age of 15 a part of me was murdered. I remember the day it happened. The time, the weather, the season… the day I had no choice in the matter; someone else made my decision for me. I know what its like to have pleas go ignored, the begging of “no, please stop“…..act as motivation to the one that violates you. The gleam in his eyes, how my tears seemed to give him some type of perverse pleasure. His hot breath against my neck, as he makes an unwanted entrance; shattering my innocence. I know what its like to scrub your skin raw, trying to get his scent off of you, afraid to go to sleep because you know he will be there…..waiting to greet you in your nightmares. I know what it’s like to still feel unwanted hands trailing your body. I will never forget his face. His words. His touch. His threats.

I remember a conversation I had with a Sister a couple of years ago, and we were talking about struggles, and I said “I have certainly faced struggles in my life“, and her reply was “Nojma, what do you know about struggles? Pretty girls like you don’t struggle.’” Hearing that made me reflect on my experience  and how I felt what other deemed as my “beauty” being a curse. I did everything I could to be invisible. I was never one to wear revealing clothing (my mother was NOT having that), but I did wear skirts…..dresses…….things of that nature……..but after that I tried my best to hide my form. Baggy pants, big shirts, I mean clothes big enough to swallow myself in. Which is exactly what I wanted. I wanted to be engulfed in a blanket of darkness, I didn’t want men to notice me, to look at me, I didn’t want to stand out at all. I hated when someone would say I was pretty, because I was trying my best to be everything but pretty. I felt like a shell of my former being.

I used to have really bad anxiety attacks on the anniversary of the day my innocence was stolen. When I was away at college, I felt an anxiety attack coming on. I tried calling anyone that I knew that would be able to calm me down, I called my mother, my step-father……..but couldn’t reach them. So I called my father. Just the fact that I called a man that has exited stage left for my majority of my life, reveals my state of mind. He answered, and I explained to him what was going on and he spoke the following words (which was later repeated to by my ex-husband) which threw me into a downward spiral of depression and the fight of my life, he said; 

Nojma, why are you calling me with this? You’re wasting my time. Just face it, you’re damaged goods, you’d be lucky if any man would have you.”

Those words, from a man that has rejected me basically all my life, claimed residency in my mind. I mean it must be true right? I wasn’t good enough for my father to love me, and on top of that I’ve  been raped………so I agreed I was damaged. Worthless. Enter in my ex husband. A man that lied to me, mistreated me, abused and mocked me, but again…….I kept telling myself…….I was “lucky” that he, let alone any man, wanted me.

For many years I suffered in silence. I tried to mask my pain with a smile. I became very withdrawn and I hated mirrors. My skin was dark….void of life. I remember days where I would just cry and cry, the simplest task took grave effort. Some noticed my unhappiness, but again I would give them assurance that everything was fine, some I confided in, but I could never quite get the courage or strength to leave. I would make up outlandish stories but say them with conviction to explain a bruise, or try not let anyone see me wince in pain as I walked. I stayed through so much abuse…….blatant affairs…so much disrespect…..partly because I grew up without my father and I didn’t want to subject my children to the same fate, but what I subjected them to was much worse, and I also stayed because I felt like no one else would want me, since I viewed myself as “tainted”. The only place where honesty was allowed was in my writing journals. There I could be honest with what I felt, free to express myself without judgment, there the slave was set free, even if it was just temporary.

After a final altercation, that almost claimed my life, but unfortunately later claimed the life of my unborn child, I walked away from him and walked towards myself. 

My transition from self-hate to self-love didn’t happen overnight, but as I began to study more about myself, I felt myself getting stronger, revived if you will, I started to fall in love with myself again. I came out of mourning. My clothes became more vivid and bright, as did my outlook on life. Gone was the dull, ashen skin, a sign of death, instead I glowed with the light of God. My smile became authentic.

Though most of my pain came from the hands of Black Men, I never gave up on them. I knew the actions of those in my life represented a minority, not the majority. I never lost faith in my Brothers, nor did I lose love for them. Through the study of myself, I also had to study Him, and both of us have suffered tremendous psychological l trauma due to slavery.

I wanted to write this for all the women that have suffered some type of violation, whether it was from a father, uncle, family friend or stranger. For my Sisters that have been a mental, emotional, verbal and physical punching bag. For all the women that have dealt with having low self esteem, for not seeing the beauty in themselves, those that suffer because they think they have to. For those that hate their reflection in the mirror. For those that cry themselves to sleep, for those that feel God has abandoned them, for those that barter their wombs in exchange for validation. Those that look everywhere except themselves for love. For those that are ashamed, and feel worthless. I used to wonder and ask God why me? He has answered.

My life is a walking testimony to God’s love, grace and mercy but most off all, a testament to His HEALING. Whatever we have gone through as women there is NOTHING that God won’t heal us from as long as we are open to healing. Don’t EVER buy into the “damaged goods” mentality, you are NEVER beyond repair! 

I am NOT damaged goods and NEITHER are YOU!

Staff Writer; Nojma Muhammad

To learn more about this talented sister, feel free to visit; Nojma Reflects.



9 Responses to “I am NOT Damaged Goods…”
  1. Mart says:

    Thanks for sharing and showing of how to be open about a difficult topic- I had a weird experience (a classmate hold me from my back and imitatated a move against my will) during school and later I couldn´t revolve my head around it and often I pictured of what I could have done and I have to admit it still haunts me somedays- there was a part of humiliation (infront of other classmates) and I ask sometimes why nobody saw my struggle or helped me- I know that life goes around and I need to clean someting- I think if I was putting down my feelings etc.- but I need to remember other moments of school too-

  2. Trueletterson says:

    Nojma you are not damage goods, you were abused taking advantage off but you are not damage goods, keep your head up, and god bless you beautiful women!

  3. Francene says:

    I truly think that “The Year of Loving Me” is something we women need to focus on more. We need to take care of ourselves spiritually, mentally, and physically. These three areas for women must be healthy to enjoy loving themselves. I read a book entitled “I Am Not A Slave” by author Eugene LaCorbiniere, and it changed the way I lived my life as a black woman. All sistas out there should get a copy today, it will change the way you look at men, and yourself. Good luck ladies!

  4. Eleanie says:

    I am sorry that you had to endure such a horrible thing. I thank you so much for sharing your experience. You are not what others have labeled you as. You are powerful, beautiful and strong. That you are! Thank you sister.

  5. Nojma says:

    @Chelsea and Que, you are very welcome and pray that all of us continue to be blessed and truly fall in love with ourselves!

  6. Que says:

    This article was so needed and right on time. I, like Denise am moving into the season of loving me. For years I’ve looked to men for validation and I’ve received nothing but more pain and heartache. For the past few months it’s just been a downward spiral. But I’m thankful and blessed that I’ve received some clarity and recognize that I must LOVE me before anyone else can. I’m so excited about my journey. Thank you Nojma for this testimony. Stay Blessed!

  7. Chelsa B. says:

    Thank you for sharing this awesome testimony!! Women and girls should read this! May He continue to bless you and continue to empower, inspire, and uplift through your writing. ~Peace & Blessings

  8. Nojma says:

    Peace Denise, I am so happy to read that you are in the year of loving you, that is so beautiful Queen, and I am thankful that my story was able to help you Sis. Peace and love on your journey towards loving you!

  9. I love this story. I needed to read this because I am moving into a new season I call it “The Year of Loving Me” I got to tell you I have experienced nothing but pain since I started. But God and this story has given me a new outlook. Please thank the author for me she help me tremendously.

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