Yup. I said it. For three years and two days my name was “honey,” and that’s with a low h because I apparently reminded him of Jessica Alba, who by the way? Isn’t Black or mixed race.

He didn’t love me, and I didn’t love him, but in the insanity of our lives, we were constant. Friendly enough to have a drink with, but never really friendly enough to connect to. This is life with men of gangs and danger. They don’t talk, and they don’t know how to communicate. They know how to eat, fuck, and fight. Occasionally they know how to get a job, but that’s rare.

I cannot stress this enough, if you are a part of the Loud Mouth Brown Girl empire, you might be a person who depends on another human being for survival, you are someone who is doing the best you can and probably barely making it because you’re drowning in toxicity.

That was me too, and it is me. I don’t know where I’d be without my family but that doesn’t mean that life is easy. There’s a lot of stuff I don’t talk about, a lot of emotions I don’t have, and I get that from the guys that I spent so much time with. For a while, it started to feel like I was in prison because I chose not to share my story.

I was locked up by secrets instead of bars, and I couldn’t find a way to explain that the reason I didn’t date but was constantly looking for a husband, wasn’t because I wanted to get married and have kids, but because I was conditioned to believe that I was supposed to want these things.

I can’t tell you how many girls got pregnant because they felt like the only option they had in life was to be a mother, because that would at least bring money through the door.

BC gives child support payments to the person who has legal custody. The more kids you have, the more money you get, plus you get a BC Child tax and social assistance.

It’s pathetically easy to get pregnant, but it’s infinitely harder to be a parent when you’re living in poverty and you’ve only become a parent, to make sure that you’re protected by whoever the children’s fathers are.

It’s a lot to expect from a man, that he can be a parent when he can’t even remember the names of the people in his circle, but the reason that he can’t remember is that he’s traumatized by the lifestyle too.

No one, not a man, a woman, or a child, gets out of gang life unscathed. Every single one of us has wounds. David might have had a child out there, but many of his closest friends will never know, because and only because, if he did, he probably kept that child a secret. Why? To keep them safe. This happens more than we talk about, and we need to before you young ones decide you want to follow the path of those that came before.

Do you know what that means? “I’m a Soldier”? It means you’re a fighter, life or death, you’ll fight to the death, are you prepared to do that? For men who don’t even know your fucking name? I didn’t think so.

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