As a child, I was taught, “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” As an adult, I’ve learned that spoken words can cause more damage than a stick or a stone. The things sticks or stones damage can be repaired. The things words damage; your reputation, your credibility, your character; can’t always be repaired. Therefore, I’ve found myself wanting to defend my name more and more. This is a weird place for me because it never used to matter to me what people said about me; however, lately I’ve found that not only does it matter, but it infuriates me when I hear about people defaming my name. We laughed when Birdman said, “put some ‘respek’ on my name.” However, I get it! I honestly battle between wanting to walk around passing out receipts and just trusting that people will know that what they said, isn’t who I am. So far, this has been the hardest test of 2017.
Those of you that read “Gut Feeling” may recall the story I shared about feeling as though I was in a lose-lose situation with Devin (The guy I fell in love with in the book) and Albert (his manager). Let me do a quick recap for those of you who haven’t read it yet. (Shame on you) In the book I shared the story about how when Devin and I weren’t on the best of terms his manager, Albert, would try to take that as an opportunity to come on to me. I talked about how Albert pretended to be all big and bad when he came on to me and acted as though he didn’t care if Devin found out. However, when I finally told Devin the truth about Albert and how he had made sexual advances at me, Albert lied and tried to turn it around on me. I remember sitting in the hotel room with Devin, trying to clear my name. Trying to make him see that it was his friend that was the liar, not me. During one point of the conversation, I recall saying, “I feel like I’m wasting my breath; it’s my word against the word of your friend, your manager, the man you trusted with your company.” I’d contritely deleted all our text exchanges because I never wanted Devin to pick up my phone and see some of the things Albert had said. Imagine my surprise when I found out the story had been flipped. Although I felt like Devin wanted to believe me, I knew his allegiance was with his boy. So there I sat, trying to defend myself against years of friendship. I don’t have many regrets in life, but I honestly regretted deleting those messages. That was YEARS ago; and I took one thing away from that situation. KEEP YOUR RECEIPTS. I have not deleted a text message, Facebook message, DM or email since that day.
I vowed that if I was ever in a situation where I had to defend myself in a room full of people who didn’t know me, but knew each other, I would be fully prepared. It’s one thing to lie TO me, it’s completely different to lie ON me. My name is my brand. My name is my livelihood. My name is a vital part of my legacy. Therefore, coming for it, is worse than coming for me physically. My lawyer says, “Just sue them.” My parents say, “Be the bigger person.” My mentors say, “Pray for them.” My girls say, “Drop your receipts.” My brother says, “Point em out.” My God says, “I’ll fight your battles.” I say, “I just want to reclaim my name.”
“When they lied on you to people in high places, it caused people who didn’t even know you to look down to find you… When they found you, they soon realized what they heard about you wasn’t what they saw in you. And that’s how a lie works in your FAVOR! “