Wounded Soul Addiction: Black Women and “Build A Man” Syndrome

Ten years ago, I officially resigned from my supervisory position in the build a man factory. After completing “wounded soul addiction” rehab; grief, shame, and misery mysteriously disappeared and was exchanged for continuous deposits of clarity, happiness, and peace. 

Visions Of A Black Herstorian

After years of constant heartbreaks and disappointment, I decided to embark on a journey of introspection after my last relationship. Though the kind of men I’ve dated varied in many different ways, I noticed that all of them had one thing in common: a wounded soul. I don’t think I can think of many men I dated that didn’t have some sort of dysfunctional background or toxic behavior of some sort. Of course I am talking about serious issues that can negatively impact a person spiritually or mentally, such as: childhood abandonment issues, criminal behaviors, abusive behaviors, narcissism, etc. Almost every man I dated had some sort of unhealed dysfunction or toxic behavior that was evident to me. I always seem to take on the task of healing them, even after they exposed this behavior. My excuse for staying was, “I can heal him”. My empathy for these men caused me to stay. My mistreatment was justified for him. I believed that once I was done helping him heal, I would be rewarded. I would be proud of the sacrifices I made, even if the sacrifice cost me my dignity, my health, my self care, and my sanity.

My addiction to the wounded soul became a sickness. All of my energy depleted slowly, as my devotion and attention was given away with minimal reciprocation. I got minimal in return, and I had nothing left to give to myself. My career became stagnant and my drive decreased. My weight increased and my physical health suffered. My relationships with my family and friends became shaky. All of my time and energy was wasted on loving men, crying over men, and fighting with men. I remember at one point, feeling an overwhelming sense of anger all the time. I wanted to fight all the time. I became easily irritable, and was always ready to snap. I was not myself. It took almost two years, just to pull enough strength to find myself again. To love myself again, if I ever did. To get my energy back even just to smile more. To be happy again, if I was ever happy. I lost myself, trying to heal THEM, and I needed to find myself again.

Now, here I am today. Trying to find more ways to love myself, and refusing to go back to that dark place I just left. Making myself a priority and keeping my healing abilities for MYSELF. Focusing on my journey to find myself, to build myself, to encourage myself. Despite all the efforts to preserve myself, I still face fighting back against the propaganda. The “Build A Man” mentality is hard to shake, when the expectations are hard to escape. There are many messages out there instructing women to “build men”, to “guide men”, and to “teach men”. Women are constantly falling for it, and volunteering themselves for positions at the “build a man” factory. A man that expects a woman to “build” him is a vulture of the worst kind. They are the only ones reaping any benefits of the relationship, and expect any woman he encounters to accept that he doesn’t have much to offer in return. He seeks women to heal him, because he lacks the capabilities to heal himself. I almost think most men are incapable. This power to heal is one most women undervalue and underestimate. Women give their power away for discounted prices. Men play off the woman’s natural instinct to heal and nurture, often leaving her depleted of her energy, self-love, and self-healing. Very rarely do men offer the same in return, unless it comes in the form of sexual release. Women willingly sign up to become “clean-up women”, but end up becoming trash collectors! It’s imperative to teach women to preserve themselves. Men with wounded souls only have one thing to give: burden. How much of a burden are you willing to carry?

I see sisters giving all of their power away to heal men, before she even has a chance to uncover the power for herself. Before she even has the chance to discover herself, so she can place value on her power. Women aren’t even trying to negotiate for a fair trade. If they were, I wouldn’t see too many tired sisters now. Women need to break free of this addiction. It literally kills the spirit of a woman, keeping us disarmed of our power. We give children to wounded men, and raise wounded children. We build men before they even marry us. We give ourselves away too cheaply. We try to lick the wounds of a man, and not even shriek at the bitter taste. Sister, stop giving yourself away!

“Ain’t no feeling like being free
I’m like an eagle set free
And finally I’m looking out for me
Ain’t no feeling like being free
Cause my mind’s made up
And my heart is in the right place, yeah”

  • Destiny’s Child; “Free

© Tanisha R. Coleman, 2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Tanisha R. Coleman with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. 

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