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Zhateyah's Story

So, I wasn’t always this way. I wasn’t always the righteous girl indulged in the scriptures trying to be the best Proverbial woman I can be. Just about three to four years ago, I was the exact opposite.


However, I did grow up as the it girl. I was smart, funny, desired, and accomplished. I was the token black girl, who was normally the top of my class all the while participating in sports, plays, and community service. I was a light in the room. People and friends would normally look to me for smiles, empowerment, and guidance. Because of this, I was able to get full ride scholarships and opportunities that put me in a good position to succeed.


One of my biggest accomplishments, was the birth of my little sister, Leila. I know you are probably wondering, how is that an achievement or accomplishment of yours? Well, I prayed to God for her and got her. I grew up around all boys, and I craved sisterhood. So, mission accomplished.


I went through a lot during my childhood. Although I kept a smile and shined my light, I had a lot of trauma that I couldn’t necessarily voice or release. I was sexually abused when I was in the second and third grade. It left me in a place where I had nightmares, felt bewildered and lonely, had lack of understanding, and pushed me into trying to understand sex and sexuality — in the 3rd grade. I know this is a common story within our families and our community, and I wish it wasn’t.


A lot of the times if we go through this at a young age, we suppress it and try to go on with life as if nothing happened. That’s exactly what I did.


When we don’t resolve these issues, they tend to catch back up with us later. And it did.


Did you know that if you were sexually assaulted once before, you’re more than likely to be assaulted again? And I was. In December of 2019, I was sexually assaulted again by someone who was supposed to be helping me. See, I wanted to become a Delta, and this man acted as if he could help me achieve that goal. He had been on line before, so he was supposed to give me the insider tips. I went over to his house in innocence, he took advantage, and I left feeling dirty, small, and ashamed. How could I have let this happen to me, again?


A girl that was floating on cloud 9, now felt the lowest she could ever have felt. After this I fell into a deep depression. I didn’t want to press charges because I saw how these stories ended for girls like me. The authorities didn’t care and the cases were often “hard to prove.” I had been through too much and I didn’t want to go through anymore. I tried to suppress this, but it started to consume me.


I wanted someone to help, but who could’ve? My friends had there own issues to deal with. Therapy was nice, but didn’t feel genuine. And I dare not tell my parents. What if my dad retaliated? I didn’t want to put him in a bad position, and ultimately put my family in a bad position. How would that affect my mom and my sister?


I fell into a period where I didn’t want to be alive anymore and the only way I would’ve found relief is if I was no longer in this realm. I wanted to take my own life. But I couldn’t. I had a little sister to think about. How would that decision have affected her life? I couldn’t pray for a sister to abandon her like that. Who would show her the meaning of sisterhood? Who would be there for her as she navigated puberty in this 21st century? Who would be there to talk about her first crush? Who would uplift her? Who would she look up to? Who would explain to her why her sister was once there, and not anymore?


I always say, I feel like my light was almost extinguished. I needed hope. I needed a power that was stronger than mine, stronger than my friends, and stronger than my family. I needed God.


So, I turned back to him. I had been separated from the Most High since I started college. I grew up in the church and went to private schools for most of my life. But, when I got to college, my African American studies class dismantled and challenged a lot of my beliefs. And instead of digging deeper, I abandoned God all together. Wrong move.


I abandoned God and went thru a series of trials and tribulations that, again, almost snuffed my light. I had to reconnect. I began going back to church with my spirit sister Dejyah, and my light started to recharge. I began to have new vision.


This was a restart for me. Who am I? Who do I want to be? What type of woman do I want to be? What type of woman do I need to be? I started to align with the Proverbial Woman because that’s the type of woman I wanted to be. She was virtuous, trustworthy, good, willing, disciplined, nurturing, strong, prepared, charitable, modest, covered, wise, kind, blessed, and most importantly righteous.


When I tell y’all, as I attained to be this woman and being connected with God, my life did a 180. I felt purpose. I was getting downloaded with so much wisdom and vision it was intense. I had been in a space of confirmation after confirmation. Being pushed closer and closer to fulfilling my childlike dreams: fashion, women’s empowerment, and black economy. Being connected with people that could help me achieve my vision and getting support to get it. Attraction. Alignment. All because I was obedient to who God wanted me to be from the start.


And chile, the men. One thing I noticed that when I became a righteous woman, men that had no business near me admired from afar. HALLELUYAH. And the men that sought me, sought me for wifehood. Not to be a sneaky link, friends with benefit, or a lil yeah. They were ready to go to my father and lay it all out. It was amazing honestly. They weren’t treating me as a hot girl anymore, they were treating me as a Queen.


I felt powerful, more than I had ever. I was respected, admired, and in a weird sense feared. When I walk into a room, everyone felt and respected my light. This is true women’s empowerment to me. Being able to achieve your visions and passions. Being able to stretch out your hands and help others. Being able to edify your people. Restore your women. Uplift your men. Connect your family. That is true power.


This type of woman that I was refined to be is the type of woman that I wanted my little sister to look up to. To be proud of. To mimic. To feel confident in. Not that other version that was hurt, bitter, misaligned, disconnected, and fake empowered. This is the type of woman I want every woman to feel the energy of. It’s not only my mission to be a powerful role model for my my biological sister, but for all my sisters. We need this.


I have never felt such a fulfillment and wholeness than I have now. I praise God and his refinement process for where I am today. As I look to the left and right of me, I can see that my sisters need this too. We aren’t whole right now. We are broken, bruised,  and misrepresented. I don’t want that for us. We have to do better not only for ourselves, but for our community.

It won’t be easy. At times it will be a struggle, but you have to keep moving. I think every woman is in search for her true power. And as I walking witness, I can say I have found it, and I pray you do too.

Zhateyah Yahudah YisraEl
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