As I scrolled the timeline of my social media, I came across a video that somehow caught my attention. The video mentioned showed a young lady that was challenged to share a video with others about how she had overcome. I, along with many others, was touched and wanted to know what lied behind the tears. And here lies, Tamica’s Zestimony.
The Early Years…
Growing up, Tamica definitely had her share of positive and negative experiences. The demise of her childhood innocence quickly disappeared. Tamica’s mom not only was addicted to crack cocaine and alcohol, but she also was diagnosed with schizophrenia. She was in and out of rehab, which led to much inconsistency within her home. As the oldest of three girls, Tamica had more responsibility than the average child her age. Many times Tamica was left in charge of siblings and without adult supervision or even food. Tamica’s dad was also not consistently around. Her aunt, along with others in the neighborhood that witnessed their struggles, would sometimes lend a helping hand or provide food. The inconsistency of Tamica’s environment eventually led to sexual abuse. At the age of five, Tamica was molested by her mother’s boyfriend. Eventually, she shared this horrific incident, but due to her addiction, Tamica’s mother’s primary concern was still drugs. It became common to see multiple men in and out of her mother’s life, as well as demeaning behavior and inappropriateness by men within her family. As a teen, sexual abuse again became familiar as she was fondled by a close family member. It was also not uncommon for Child Protective Services to check on their household, until ultimately removing her and sisters from the custody of her mom. Tamica along with one sister was placed in the care of her aunt. Though they had always been close, Tamica’s relationship with her aunt was always strained by constant mental and verbal abuse. Tamica became the rebellious teen acting out, looking for love in the wrong places, and believing that no one cared about her best interest. She was having major problems with her aunt, therefore was sent to live with dad. Upon changing schools, Tamica got into a major altercation with girls at school. She defended herself with a weapon, was arrested and ultimately sent to jail for two months. Fed up and disappointed, Tamica’s aunt finally bailed her out and she was given probation. Influenced by constant struggles with family, Tamica became severely depressed and therefore, wrote a goodbye letter and tried to take her own life by taking 13 Tylenol pills. Despite the pain and her attempt to end her life due to the repeating cycle that began many years prior, Tamica’s life was spared.
Journey into Adulthood…
For the next few years, Tamica began a cycle of older men, promiscuity, low self-esteem, and trying various drugs including PCP and powder. Without a father figure or real love as an example, she accepted anything and just desired be loved. Her ideal guy was a “hustler” or someone with money and one to introduce her to new things. At 24, Tamica was involved in an abusive relationship with her “ideal guy” and they had her their first child. When she again became pregnant, their problems grew and he left. Tamica lost her job and was in her boyfriend’s words “…right where he wanted her: broke, barefoot and pregnant”. This made her feel at an all-time low. From this point on, Tamica wanted to make a change and truly had intentions of turning a new leaf. However, trials continued to ensue.
Tamica still wanted a love she could call her own, but at what cost? She developed a relationship with a married man. Tamica had no initial concern for how she was impacting another woman, their children, or a family. Over the course of 7 years dating and a 6-month marriage, it consisted of arguing and even some physical altercations. The couple’s issues begin to affect the behavior of Tamica’s children thus continuing the cycle that Tamica experience growing up. Despite their efforts to create a happy home, consequently, the relationship turned out to be one of the most mentally draining of them all. Upon realizing her role in the breakdown of another marriage, Tamica even reached out to her husband’s now ex-wife, in attempts to apologize and seek forgiveness. Ultimately, she grew tired of the pain their turmoil created and decided for the sake of her and the children, that it was best to divorce. Tamica was now ready to be a better example and move forward in a positive direction.
Today, Tamica is continuing to put the pieces together on the road to her destiny. She is first and foremost trying to be the best mother she can to her children, Lauryn (10), Tameia (9) and Khoury (6). Her primary goal is to see that they never lack the love and support that she lacked as a child. Tamica is also primary caregiver to her mom. While drugs are no longer an issue for Tamica’s mother, she still battles with alcohol, mental depression and anger. Tamica has gone through counseling at the Family Place and will be graduating in June from her program. Going through counseling taught her to release angers and to value her worth. It enforced that she has the power to create a new definition of her normal. Tamica. She plans to take speech classes in preparation for leadership within the Family Place. Tamica works in Home Health services and since 2012, is exploring her entrepreneurial gift by starting her own business called
Done Right Janitorial Cleaning Services”. She is very excited to have her first major contract. Tamica hopes to one day create a non-profit called SWAGG (Sister Wisdom Achieving God’s Glory), encouraging young girls to see their self worth and see their dreams and positive opportunities. Tamica is very grateful for her church home, Concord Church in Dallas, TX, where her and children are active in dance and hospitality ministries. Concord not only is where she worship and celebrates her faith, but it was where Pastor Bryan Carter urged her to share her personal testimony of overcoming.
“I felt like my childhood innocence was stolen and I had to put many dreams on hold. I was easy prey and taken advantage of. I thought no one cared about me. Over the years I’ve wanted to give up time and time again. But through counseling and continuous maturity in Christ, I now realize that God makes know mistakes and I am enough. If he brings you to it, then he will bring you through it. Though my situations became my normal, I do not accept it as the end-all. I am greater than any situation I have been through and still today, he has a plan for me and my children. I am focusing on inspiring them to be all they can be and Keep God first. I am especially trying to teach my girls to value there worth which is far greater than rubies. So many young adults are lost and searching trying to fill emptiness and I just hope my story inspires someone to keep pushing. I want my kids to be proud of me and my choices.”
I am so grateful for being an ear and contributing to giving Tamica the courage to share her Zestimony. It took multiple re-takes and deletions before Tamica got the strength to finally hit submit and share her video. Sometimes we may feel discouraged or embarrassed about our personal struggles and journey but it may be yet another mode to set you free. Tamica put it best when she said, “I will continue to dance in the rain even when I cannot see beyond the storm.” Despite our past, our flaws, our veering from the path created for us, it is up to us to not forget, but get back on track to creating our own “new normal”. Tamica is living victoriously despite all and giving her all to celebrate her children and make them proud. May her strength and Zestimony be words of inspiration to others.