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POWERFUL Women - Stories

MEET MY FRIEND CALLED, “JEAN A WOMAN OF STRENGTH!”

transformative

MEET MY FRIEND CALLED, “JEAN A WOMAN OF STRENGTH!”

Jean is not loud. She is not visible in the eyes of those who should value her. But, if you ever encountered her, you will know her. You will not know her by her natural appearance. She’s not your average model, business women or an attorney. She is often ignored and resented by those who are close and dear to her heart. This woman is not always seen among the multitude, or the masses, and maybe not even a few. If you will find her it probably be walking alone, shopping alone, please I can’t forget, maybe crying alone!There are millions of women who exemplify strength. Yet, hers is above all those I’ve encountered and it’s priceless. There were some women who were born with the characteristics of strength, who speaks and exemplify amazing power, and great strength.

If you ever met her you wouldn’t desire to depart from her. She has to display a smile while she is yet broken and wounded inside. How strong can a woman be one may ask? Her soul cries out from the depth of rejection, abuse and looking for a path free from pain. This path of pain has driven her to constantly ask the question, “why?” It hasn’t been easy for Jean you see! Thus, she chose to stand and keep walking. The voice within utters out to her to keep standing daughter, in spite of life disappointments.  I can’t allow you to be reluctant to sit and rest because your journey is great. If only you knew the strength that lies within you and the courage. See, you have to encounter my friend who has only known rejection and abuse by the one who was to love her, nurture her and comfort her but only to find out he denied her of the rights to be treated like the woman she is and was.

Jean was married at the age of 14 when she said, “I do!” As time proceeded in my friends’ life, she was now force to become someone who she had no clue of who that was! Therefore, her strength was walked over, looked over and her self-worth was demoralized with great cruelty.  The words “I do” should be filled with passion, warmth, joy, excitement and above all love! You see her strength had not being nurtured, trained, nor built up.

You see I had encountered my friend in the early part of her marriage. And she appeared as if though she had no clue of what she had really done by saying “I do!” In my eyes she was still a little girl who had a bright future with goals to be successful. It was year before I seen Jean again. She wouldn’t talk, she would barely look up, and she would praise God but I didn’t know the degree of Jeans strength until years later.

I was reintroduced to her through a friend and it was then that I really got to know the woman called Strength. This time, it was very hard to get Jean to open up or to even smile. Let along to even talk. When Jean would talk, she would always look away from you or the friend who was around at the time would speak for her. She was very shy, withdrawn and isolated.

I had the honor to be welcome into Jeans home one day. She was filled with embarrassment! She would make facial expressions that would express to you her discomfort of you being in her home.

Jean believed in everyone having the best but her. In spite of her problems, she would manage to comfort and strengthen others through the pain which she was enduring. The environment within her home expressed deep dark secrets.

Jean was lying in her bed one day crying. We couldn’t get Jean to open up about her pain but yet she remained strong outwardly but torn inside. There is a famous saying Jean would always say and we knew to back off from all the questions and comforting her. She wasn’t having it when she reached that point. You see Jean didn’t know how to receive comfort or encouragement. Jeans strength was in her giving to others but never allowing others to give back to her.

When I met Jean this time, her and her husband was now separated. I often wondered why anyone didn’t teach Jean how to be a strong woman? As timed proceeded Jean allowed me to enter into the world of her heart. It wasn’t a very easy thing to do when she had so many guards in protecting herself and those dearest to her.

I cannot remember exactly how this miraculous moment happen for me to learn the power of strength and the power of forgiveness thorough Jean I had considered myself a strong woman but when I heard and seen the strength of Jean, “I realized I had a great deal of growing up I had to do!”

The first time I heard Jean revealed one of her dark secrets that appeared she never told anyone, it left me in shock and in tears. It was as if though I was hearing a movie script from a movie. The beatings she suffered with no one to defend her! There was no one to hold her and to teach her that this is not how a woman should be treated and cared for. Yet hearing her strength to survive it all without losing her losing her life is unbelievable. Jean had a bad perception of herself and low self-esteem. She saw what he said about her. Therefore, she only was thinking about survival. If we would ask Jean to do for herself; she would do for you or for others but never for herself. She was living every day in fear. I pray one day you really in some form met my friend name Jean. Here’s why? I watched Jean lose a son who was dear to her heart; who was killed through a very unfortunately situation. I observed the scrutiny from various ones who continual blamed Jean for the death of her son. Yes, even from the one who should have comforted her! She was told she was the blame. Jean had no control over the circumstances. What an amazing woman!

I’ve seen Jean go from an unsafe home banned by the city due to faulty wiring, evicted from apartments because the damage that was caused by those living in her residence doing great damage.  I saw this firsthand from those who blamed others for her being homeless when in all actuality she was homeless from those who she counted dear. See her strength is not known by her education because every day Jean is fighting to obtain her GED since the age of 14. She would start and stop because of the negative environment she faces every day. Nevertheless, she has the encouragement of teachers who are determine to make this one dream happen for her. Her strength is amazing! She doesn’t accept pity from anyone. Even when I think its Jeans worst day still to her it’s her best day.

When Jean son died, I had never in my life seen forgiveness exemplified and such great magnitude, when Jean called me and told me she went and invited the individual who had killed her son to church along with entire family. She wasn’t willing to live in bitterness and resentment for a week. I was lost for words because I don’t know if I had the strength to do such jester right after someone had killed my son. “This wasn’t a rehearsed program. She showed us how to love unconditionally no matter who they are! There were some who were bitterly angry but Jean wouldn’t allow anyone to speak harsh to the individual who killed her son. Did she cry? Yes, “she cried!” May I remind you that every day she remembers, she cries, and even fight the guilt to survive the backlash from others. Jean is often been blamed from whatever goes wrong in the family. If she wasn’t anywhere near it, somehow Jean gets the blame. See my friend has amazing strength! She has taught me how to love, how to forgive, how to persevere against every opposition that life throws at you. One day I hope you get introduced to my friend called “Strength!” She is someone the world needs to know. She is strength to many broken and abused women. If you heard the fine details of her abuse you would sit in amazement. Yet, she accepts no pity from no one! She has and is learning her self-worth; she now knows she doesn’t have to settle for less. By the way, do you know Jean only knew one area of her city? She never traveled outside of her area. She didn’t even know things existed in her home town. Jean didn’t know how to get to certain areas in the city without getting lost and they were only like five to ten minutes apart. But now she is traveling all over the United States. Jean was told by those in her immediate family that she is nothing but she now knows that’s not true. Do you know Jean would cover her mirrors with pictures so she wouldn’t see herself? Jean didn’t love herself! Guess what? Jean has and is learning how to love herself. I love the greatest and best friend I ever had in life and her name is Jean. One more thing about my friend “in all that she has encountered through abuse she will treat him with unconditional love.” Jean has found strength in the most difficult and rough places of life. Now you know a little about my friend call Jean. A woman of extra-ordinary STRENGTH!

By Angela KIrksey

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About Lovely Haitian

I am a Haitian American Woman. I came to the United States when I was only 2 years old. Some may say I am Americanized but the truth is I was raised in the Haitian culture and I am proud of it. I am also proud of becoming a Citizen of the U.S. I love to laugh and meet new people everyday. It is interesting to listen to other people's stories and life experiences. I learn from each person I meet everyday and I expect new experiences in my life. I encourage everyone to "Live, Love, and Laugh." Life is too short and time is very precious. It waits for no one.

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