Thank you, Still
Sometimes we find ourselves in embarrassing, overwhelming circumstances and we don’t know how to manage it. We could be on the receiving end of the foolishness, or the one causing it. Either way, there are choices to be made about how to move forward once everyone knows your business. And that can take time.
Remember Derrick Jaxn? He’s the disgraced relationship guru that gave advice to married couples from the front seat of this car. He’s also the one that cheated on his now ex-wife Da’Naia Jackson. More importantly, it was the awkward confession video he made with Da’Naia by his side, as he came clean about cheating on her after initially denying it. And if you’re starting to remember this video, you’ll quickly recall how Derrick was prepared and polished and Da’Naia, well, was not. It was almost as if he put her on the spot, on purpose, when he knew she was not at her best. Hence, the bonnet she was wearing.
Nonetheless, Da’Naia stood by him. People were more disturbed by her appearance than his dirty work, and launched numerous jokes and memes at her on social media. Later, she addressed it in her own video again wearing the infamous bonnet but with an army camouflage sweat shirt. “You see a bonnet; I see the helmet of salvation. You see an army green shirt. I see the breastplate of righteousness. I see the belt of truth and the sandals of peace, the sword of spirit, which is the word of God, and the shield of faith. And I’ve come to the battleground covered in the blood of Jesus to proclaim victory over sin.”
Yes, her video was a lot. She was lashing out with threats, proclamations and more. I mean, we get it. Look at the foolishness she had been through. She responded the best way she knew how, under the circumstances.
After the hoopla wore off, I wanted to be done with Derrick and Da’Naia… bonnet and all. Yet, nearly two years after their divorce, I was indeed happy to see Da’Naia looking radiant and beautiful on the Dear Future Wifey podcast in May. I listened to a very soft-spoken mother speak of neglect by a father whose approval and attention she yearned for, sexual assault at the age of 19, and then meeting the man at the source of all the turbulence: Derrick Jaxn.
He had a habit of keeping women in rotation. Yet, it was her willingness to keep him even then. The toll it eventually took on her during their marriage was summed up in her words, “If I hadn’t left Georgia at the time, I would have died in Georgia.”
Growing up, my mother always warned me about needing a man to save me, and remembering that I have the power to save myself. Da’Naia’s happiness about getting the ring over “all those hoes” made me think about the ways in which Black women have been conditioned to view men as this invaluable resource who must be clung to whatever the cost.
When we saw this Black women on video, with a bonnet on her head, sitting next to her husband that was confessing his infidelity and wrongdoing, we felt sorry for her. We wondered why she was looking like that.
I think it is just one lesson for us as Black women to remember to extend an extra helping of grace to our sisters, in a world that is too eager and comfortable with inflicting scars on our souls and cackle at the result.
Last week, Derrick decided to also appear on the Dear Future Wifey podcast to discuss his side of the marriage, its downfall and what caused him to cheat on her. Well, of course he did. Can’t let her get the last word, right? And just when it seemed like he was going to blame Da’Naia for all his infidelities, he finally took some semblance of accountability.
The moral of this story is that healing, restoration and blessing is available, whether you are the one on the receiving end of the foolishness, or the one dishing it out. There’s hurt dwelling in places we can see and that which is hidden. We wake up every morning praying that the scars have faded away just a little more. Don’t be afraid of the scars. And don’t be afraid to accept hurt you’ve caused. It may take time to come through your healing journey but you will.