Something unexpected happened when I was doing all that talking. The guys — every single one of them — knew someone who had been assaulted or raped. Not all that surprising, since more than 60 percent of black girls have experienced some form of sexual abuse before the age of 18, according to the Black Women’s Blueprint. Where I expected judgment, I found sympathy and understanding.
Trust your boyfriend, whom you obviously really care about, to be a good guy and accept you — all of you — including the good, bad and traumatized. Allow him a chance to really know all of you and support you, too, as you finally address the pain you’ve been carrying.
Demetria L. Lucas is a contributing editor to The Root, a life coach and the author of A Belle in Brooklyn: The Go-to Girl for Advice on Living Your Best Single Life. She answers your dating and relationship questions on The Root each week. Feel free to ask anything at email@example.com.