#FindingMeBeforeHe: Rehab

“Long will we remember the pain, but the pain itself, as it was at that point of intensity that made us feel as if we must die of it, eventually vanishes.  Our memory of it becomes only its trace.  Walls remain. They grow moss.  They are difficult barriers to cross, to get to others, to get to closed-down parts of ourselves.”

 –Alice Walker, “The Temple of My Familiar” (I honor and salute you, my Spelman sister)

Finding Me Before He…

In the midst of this journey of finding myself, I was losing myself… slipping like fine sand through a child’s bare fingers.  I found myself in the devils mouth once again.

I was ashamed to share it. How could I blog about a journey to a place called independence, motivating so many women to be strong only to come to the realization that I was… weak? What! Not Miss Chloe! Really???

This particular brand of “weakness” was one that I could not unveil because I had already found myself right? I had officially went public with my roar of self-reliance. Correct? Here I stand as an up and coming pillar of advice and empowerment to my beautiful sisters around the world.

I had overcome, an agent of change for the entire world to see. Look at me! Can’t you just hear Mary, Mary singing my theme music? “You see her style, you think she nice…” Oh but the trap!

WHAT IS IT THAT MAGNETIZED ME TO THAT THING THAT I USUALLY CAN SPOT A MILE AWAY? How is it that I was caught in the trap that I so skillfully spot and “check” in my friends? The simple, predictable trap that we women frown upon when we see it entangle others. We say “Dang, look at her.” I could hear Florida from “GoodTimes” screaming, “DAMN, DAMN, DAMN!” We get lonely at times but “Lonely and Stupid” is simply not an option, period. Perhaps it is our sheer humanity that makes us fall back into his arms or seek happiness in the familiar words, hands, scent and smile.

“I’mmm On-ly Hu-man”…ooh la la that soulful expression. “Things just happen” we say. The mind is so amazing. It can do magic! It can make events appear and disappear. But our amazing minds can be our worst enemy… So now, can we talk?

I was pitiful, hiding my smile from friends because I feared the question of “Girrrl, who got you cheesing?” I was in it! I was about to go in deep or so I thought BUT IN SHORT, MY HEART WAS TELLING ME THAT THIS JUST AINT RIGHT. Hmmm, my vitals are telling me that I am knocking at someone’s door… Have you been there? Sis. are you still there? 

“Who got you cheesing Clo-Clo?” I couldn’t answer that because in my heart of hearts I remembered that it was the same person, who once made me cry… How could I answer the questions of others when I refused to even listen to my own voice? I refused to answer my own “Why Clo???” Not to mention my “Chloe What tha…???”  

My pride was oh so invincible; yet invincibility somehow allowed Miss Super Chloe to get caught up in the devil’s mouth again. I kept convincing myself that it would be better this time. I was reinventing history, claiming the lie in my mind and my body was ready to follow. Dang, look at her…


My inner divinity even got gangster with it and said, “Nahhh, I’m not bout that life!”  It was a wrap. Even in my few years on this earth I can say that I’ve been through a few fires and it hurt! I don’t know about you my sister, but I know that fire has the capacity to provide warmth, but can also burn and destroy. FIRE has not changed its character since the beginning of time, so why play with it?

I had to regroup and chill. Easier said than done, I know, I know. Yet I find that alone time is sacred. It is so unappreciated, but priceless. In these quiet times you become in touch with your soul and understand what is nourishing it, and also what is truly causing a drought….and that fascinated me.

I would go back into the years and think about all of my good times, but also the times that hurt me. Oddly that was where I found him, him the persona not necessarily a specific man. As my nana would say, “Same ole grits, just a different bowl…” I found the many times he, but more importantly I found the many times I allowed him to take me to that place, occupying that which is precious… Me.

Long will we remember the pain. Everyone has that place, an area that is so dark, lonely, confusing and painful that you would do anything to get out of it. Our escape is sometimes found in a bottle, in our art, in developing a business or maybe in the arms of another. My escape tonight is in writing this love letter to you and I thank you!  Your joy is my empowerment; your freedom is my freedom. I escape in knowing that you my friend will one day be stronger and wiser than I ever was. Lovely…

Science has taught us that no matter who we are, how far in life we go, no matter what degree of success we attain, if we sit and contemplate about a place of hurt from our past long enough, those feelings come back as fresh as if the situation had just happened.

Our minds have that much control over our physiological beings. Our bodies release the same hormones and chemical reactions.  We relive the pain over and over again. Our physical bodies acknowledge no timeframe that lessens the pain unless our mind and spirit take charge and say “NO.”  

We have the capacity to feel that same hurt with each thought we dedicate to it. We forgive, some of us move on, we even reinvent history, but in essence we never, ever forget, and why should we?

Our memory of it becomes its only trace. That hurt; that trace is there to remind us of how far we have come in life. Sour lemons make the best lemonade. I get joy from remembering the times that I was hurt, because I then reflect on how God has brought me through to this very lovely part of my life! Amen! Amen! (Hebrew for agreed, confirmed, supported, certainty, upheld and TRUTH!)

Miss Clo-Clo & Company will take all of that because we are all that, literally.  This, my sister is why I had to tell my past, present and future “No, never not again.” I had to boss up, and if I have to do this again someday? Ohhh well…  “Mary, Mary, hit it!” (I jus wanna tell the truth man, wanna tell the truth….)

Take a moment to breathe. Biologically it is the very first and last thing in life that we do. I had to take time to breathe, to realize that I was a good one, the diamond. I was the one he lost and could not come back to. Life just doesn’t work that way.

Some women find a sense of accomplishment when their exes come back for a round two, thee or four. I find it offensive. How dare you think that I can be so simple minded, basic and gullible to let you into my divine space again? My temple is no longer open.

Ladies you are too beautiful inside and out for the ridiculousness. We will use our mind and spirit to take control (Real science, let those endorphins flow!)   I’m gonna tell the truth now… CLOSE THE DOOR TO YOUR TEMPLE, SLAM IT SHUT TO FREAKIN HOME INVADERS AND ONLY OPEN IT TO THOSE WHO TRULY LOVE YOU!

Call it a bad bitch mentality maybe, but to me it’s the grown woman inside who knows who she is. Even if you don’t know her fully, it’s really okay, understand that it is a process that requires your utmost attention.  

Self-awareness doesn’t just happen; you must put in the work. Don’t forget that you are surrounded by a host of those who care. EMBRACE THE TRUE LOVE ALL AROUND YOU AND ENJOY YOUR LIFE. Know that being alone is far more beautiful than being with someone who breaks down everything that makes you.

YOU THE QUEEN, (Yes YOU THE QUEEN! Love won’t allow me to ever back off that point).  No fairytales, no more lies that we tell ourselves and want to believe (that’s why they call it “make-believe” baby). WE CANNOT AFFORD TO RELIVE, RETHINK OR REVIVE PAIN. JUST LEARN FROM ITS TRACE.

Nobody will enter the castle of my life, and lock me in the dungeon. Pah-leeze! My mama has always called me “Princess Chloe-Love”, I hold on to that… (insert your name at this point, Princess_______-Love). Ralph Ellison said it best, “WHEN I DISCOVER WHO I AM, I’LL BE FREE.” It is all about your mindset.

For some, IT IS YOUR TIME NOW. We are in this together. Your sisters (and some beautiful brothers) got your back my love!  IT IS INDEED YOUR TIME. Go ahead. Shut the door. Pull the drawbridge. Turn around and take that Diva Catwalk through your royal court up your throne. Take your crown.

Thank you all so much for the kisses and misses. I missed you too. You touch my soul. Know that I won’t write unless I have something to say.

As always, I love you and I’m praying for you.


(Photo via Darwin Bell)

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