Yesterday morning I was journaling fury. I was angry at my husband and daughter from the day before about her school work. We've been homeschooling Morgan for the last five years and it has not been easy.
Let me tell you a few things before I share why my husband "allows me" to be a strong black woman. One of the requirements for homeschool is that the child have a dedicated learning coach in the home. For most of this journey that has been me. I'm also the disciplinarian of the family for what I consider the hard stuff.
I got home around 2pm and When Morgan hadn't finished her schoolwork. Because I know my child I knew she had wasted most of her day chatting with her friends on another window she thinks she's hiding. Girl that's just to many clicks since you're at the video portion of the lesson. When I called her on it she got ready to lie. I told her if she did, she had one chance before I went off. She decided it was better to tell the truth. I'm a advocate for parental fear.
After I yelled at her about being irresponsible and taking advantage I turned to hurl some words at my couch napping husband. "Neil?" He held his had up to stop the words that were ready to fly from my lips. I shouted, "Really?" as I stood there for a few beats. I felt the heat rise to my ears and knew that if I opened my mouth I would do serious harm. Instead I took my head of hateful language and went to our bedroom and closed the door.
When he decided he was ready to listen he came into the room. I was in a f*ck you dude mood and would have none of it. He sat on the bed and said "Okay, go ahead." I didn't even turn in his direction when I told him, never mind. Without missing a beat he said fine and left. My husband is not one for manipulation and he gives little energy to holding on to anger. The most infuriating part, however, is he'll talk to me as if everything is okay. He totally ignores that every syllable I speak is dripping with venom.
So yes, I went to bed mad. The following morning I broke out my journal to vent the residue of rage I was still holding on too. Neil entered the room before I finished writing and I asked if I could read it to him. He said, "No baby, that's your personal thoughts for you." After he protested again I reminded him that we have no secrets so he sat to listen. After reading it to him we talked about what I wrote. I asked him if I could share my journal entry in a blog post and he said no. I understood and respected is privacy because I was not very kind in my writing.
Now here is the "ALLOW" part. If not for that man being the strong loving person that he is, I would fear sharing my journal entries with him. Instead I want to share every facet of myself with him. He gives me the safe space to be transparent and vulnerable without fear of retribution, malice or anxiety. He is my safe space where I feel loved and honored even in my anger.
If you've read my story you know there was a time when I was a Pez dispenser for men out of fear of being unloved and unwanted. My husband, however, ALLOWS me be courageous enough to share. He constantly reassures me that even after sixteen years of ebbs and flows he's not going anywhere. When I threatened to leave him and Morgan because I'm caught up in my feelings and think they'll be better off without me he tells me I'm not going anywhere.
He is strong, supportive and unwavering without being domineering, forceful or retaliatory. His strength has carried me through two miscarriages, the loss of my sister, all the way to the loss of both my parents. He's supported me to the point of agreeing to close our restaurants so I could write and become a business coach. He didn't waver when I said I wanted to move to a new state.
My husband being the STRONG, SUPPORTIVE, UNWAVERING BLACK MAN that he is ALLOWS me to be strong, courageous and trusting because he accepts me when I'm weak, when I'm distant, when I don't communicate, and even when I'm hateful. He allows me the space to be me with all my imperfections.
He is everything I'm not and then some. I know I'm not the only one. If you have a story about your man I would love to hear it. Send me an email to shout out your good man or send a whisper in the the comments. I would love to hear your story and reveal in your goodness with you.
Phyllis Williams-Strawder is a poet and writer of teaching memoirs. She is also a Certified Business Coach and a 20+ year veteran entrepreneur. In addition to Espresso Mischief, she is the creator of Spresso Mischief Designs, and the Founder of CKO Creator.
Her love of reading, writing and business come by way of her father.