If you read any of my articles you know I frequently referred to a subset of Black women as BBW’s (bitter black women). Not in a negative light so much, but just as being tired of what the Black man has had to offer us. A subset of woman that were always waiting “for the other shoe to drop” so to speak… women who were quick to cut a man down at the knees without a thought if necessary. While I had nothing against these “angry” women, I was proud to say I wasn’t one. While I learned from each failed relationship, I was able to not take any preconceived notions into a new relationship. I was proud of that. I was “above” all of the pettiness… yet I realized I was not as content as I would like to be.
I had been treated badly, in my opinion, by a man I considered a friend. While we were a little more than that (although if you heard how he downplays it, you wouldn’t think we knew each other’s last name), we were certainly not in a relationship, which made his treatment even more upsetting. My heart hurt. I was angry. I had done nothing wrong, but I apologized anyway. I was going to be the “bigger person” and forgive. I was going to show patience. I was going to show understanding. I was going to show not all Black women were angry and out of control. I offered a hand of friendship many times over many months. I knew one day he would see my side, and I would get the apology from him I so desperately deserved.
After months of waiting, I thought my day had come. I finally had his attention. He responded to my email. He was ready for communication. He saw the error of his ways, and was ready to set things straight. My patience, forgiveness, and understanding had paid off! The feeling of elation was short lived. After all these months, after all the unreturned messages, and after all the grace I had shown him… he still didn’t feel he owed me any apology. He still had no idea what he had done to wrong ME. His view was so distorted; I actually started to wonder if he was mentally ill. I broke down everything…detail by detail. I couldn’t believe that was even necessary. Then, even after all of that… I was still unworthy of even a passive “I’m sorry I hurt your feelings.” You know the apology you give just to keep the peace. The apology you give just to be… human.
I snapped. Something in my soul broke. Forgive 7 X 70 (Matthew 18:21), I think I used all of my forgiveness on this “man”. I released all of my anger, more tactfully than he deserved, but I think I made my point. I told this boy exactly what he was…. and what he deserved. With each word I could feel my heart lightening. I could feel all the anger I had been storing up leaving my body. I hadn’t felt that good in months. Good isn’t the word to describe how telling him off felt. I only wish I said more. I had no idea what I was holding on to. Then I understood. Forgiveness is great. You should always forgive; there is no question about that. But there is a difference between forgiveness, and being a fool. I had certainly crossed that line. I had made it too easy for this coward, who didn’t belong in my life, to come back and reap the benefits of my friendship. Forgive… forget… move on… sounds great in theory, but when is enough… enough? I had my enough! Then I realized, my sisters may not be so much bitter (not all anyway), but enlightened. Sometimes, it isn’t forgive and forget… it’s forgive and remember. This man didn’t deserve my kindness, my forgiveness, and certainly not my friendship. So now, I apologize to my sisters for calling you BBW’s, I finally understand. Being cautious. Knowing your limits. Knowing everyone isn’t worthy of your patience and time, and frankly dare I say, even your forgiveness. I see now knowing, and acting on those things doesn’t make you “bitter”, so I am changing BBW to Beautiful Black Women for all of my enlightened and empowered sisters, and I’m so proud to now be in your company.