Springing forward, refusing to fall back.

I am so blessed. I had the honor of hosting one of my talented cousins, we are a family of many artists, for a few weeks both in Harlem and in Atlanta. She captured so many amazing moments for me. I am so thankful that she was able to journey with me on my daily life in Harlem. It has been such a blessing because I have decided I am moving. If God wills it, I will have another child in September. I plan to move closer to my family in Stone Mtn, where I grew up. As I struggle with all the changes, she was able to remind me what I will miss so much about Harlem. It is truly one of the most beautiful places I know. The trees have their own personalities. The buildings are grand old masterpieces. The people are colorful and kind when they feel to be. It was a place perfect to reflect on the difficult nuances of the south, a place to rejuvenate one's pride.

So many things have happened in my life. After my brother Malcolm's passing, I've struggled to write. Since September I have lost one child,struggled to carry another and separated from my husband. I've faced adultery and betrayal. It seems that the affair(s) have been longstanding. I'm leaving the state of shock one has realizing that sometimes you don't even really know the person you've spent many years sleeping next to. The shame seems unbearable at first. But excuse me, you can't wreck my life, I'm pregnant asshole. But when the truth is ready to surface, there is no turning back. Only the weakest of spirits would settle for such a disgusting blasphemy against the sanctity of marriage. Each person's decision is their own, but I choose to forge ahead alone than allow myself and my children to be disrespected.

Such drama was shameful to me. I could not write. I couldn't fathom the truth being told. I started to see my life as this epic tale fit for Jerry Springer and if I'm lucky, Dr. Phil. But as suspicions rose to the idea that maybe this could've just been a "business" marriage for immigration paper work, the saga really started to sound like it just might make it to Oprah. But I realize I will dismiss those thoughts because my own possible naivety is just heartbreaking. I will say that I know I loved, even if I was only loved back for convenience. And my love was true and faithful. And when my heart faltered, I spoke up. So I move forward, knowing that no one can take away my beautiful, if not spontaneous, offspring. I am not a child. I graduate soon with a masters in education. I am not a joke. I have worked hard to provide for myself and my family. I just have some shitty luck with men. At the end of the day, most of them seem just way too beneath me to truly entertain as my equal.

I am blessed. As my esteem sunk to the ground. As I failed to find my voice in my term papers. As I failed to write here, in my space where words are most personal and meaningful to me, I lost my voice. It was as if I placed my own self in prison my silencing my voice. If I did nothing shameful, then why must my voice suffer? If what was done to me was out of my control, then why should I be the one to block the outlet I use to process these things?

I must write. I must paint. I have to hug and kiss my children dozens of times a day. I have to get it out. No one else's insecure negative energy should stop me from that. My ways of healing are many, most of them out of the ordinary. I really haven't felt the release I needed to feel until I saw a lovely shamanic reiki master in Atlanta recently. Unconventional. Some may say crazy. But all I can say is something finally worked. Someone finally spoke into my soul in a way that I could hear. I could hear nothing from the many loving voices around me. I just saw them trying to reach out to me in my sea of despair. I saw me ignoring them, pushing further out into an abyss of despair and depression. I stopped caring. I am only a semester away from graduating my heart is still searching for the strength to get this shit finished and squared away.

Because I cannot communicate with my simple and dysfunctional husband the gravity of his behavior on my health and the health of his unborn child, it is absolutely time to move on. I am making peace with that. I am making peace with the fact that I'm not out of the woods into a healthy delivery. Cheating while your wife is pregnant is stupid, for men out there insistent about letting their penises decide their fate. Just remember words like high risk, possible fatality, endangering both mother and child. And remember that if you're not man enough to sit through all these laborious doctor visits, she has to take it. And she has to make decisions.

So these pictures are so so so wonderful to me. They at least captured the beauty still insistent on surrounding me in a time of true chaos and misery. She captured my daughter's hands after finger painting. I love this. This means so much to me. That is how we live. We paint, we sing, we dance. We let our creations keep us happy. She captured this little baby that I love so much and that I just keep having faith will be with us in September. She made me beautiful again. I don't ever remember anyone taking pictures of me like this. They give me such a confidence boost. I've never been the subject of anything but snapshots. To have someone see me, see me amazing, when all I would see was fat, bad acne, no ankles, short, uncombed, and just not quite loved. She turned all of that crap into nothing but the shit it is and helped me flush it down the toilet. I'm friggin beautiful sexy amazing and so hot. I am something special. And for years of emotional abuse helping to keep self-esteem at bay, I'm getting it back. That is why this woman is the most amazing photographer I have ever met. Because she didn't assume I saw what she saw. People used to tell me, "Oh, you KNOW you're beautiful so whatever." Umm, no. When I recently saw a facebook picture of me in college I realized I was really hot. I thought I was cute, and my sporty figure would get me by, but I never saw that,no, I was a beautiful, beautiful girl. I didn't see it because I didn't believe it. And when the weight comes on, the babies come, life's struggles start to pour on....well, if it wasn't really there in the first place, self-esteem doesn't really exist much now. And springing forward, I'm working on that.

So kudos to a beautiful loving cousin taking the time to show me what she sees. I may be bruised, but I am learning to see myself. I've stopped with the cute business. I'm friggin sexy. I live in a sexy place. I have a beautiful home fit for a Goddess. An earth mother goddess that I am now claiming to be. Only a true Goddess still stands after ALL this shit. Seriously. I have been blessed with many loved ones that have helped me hold my head high when all I thought fit to do was dive deep into a cold river somewhere.

I am no victim, I'm not even a survivor. I'm just Francia. So amazing. Thanks Kari, for the reminder.


  1. another cousin, Kattan, is the one who is creator of the tattoo (still a work in progress). He's amazing if you ever want a tat done. love u kitty kat!

  2. WOW! I am truly flabbergasted! Dumbfounded. Speechless. Touched. Is it not truly our life's work to find our way as we help others find theirs? It is truly in giving that we receive. Thank you for opening up like that to me and my camera. It captured what was there. It captured your spirit.

  3. And might I add... beautifully written. My cousin, the writer, is truly back. Write on sistah!

    (Smiling so till)

  4. thank you, sweet one. :-)

  5. asiyah6:29 PM

    How beautiful. You truly are a family of artists.

    You are such a blessing to this world - it is an honor to be your friend.

    Stay strong my friend,

    Always us.

  6. you are too, hon. always us.

  7. You are both beautiful. I'm glad to see that you are emerging from the muck Fran. I am very glad that you had the time together.


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