My name is Aisha Milton. I was born and raised in Selma, Alabama. I know who my father is but I don’t really know him. My mother left me with my loving grandmother and aunt at age three. I learned at an early age my aunt hated my mom and despised my father. Because of that hate I was never going to become anything in her eyes. I remember many of her negative comments, “You gonna be just like your momma, you ugly, you stupid,” just anything she could think of to say to me. My mother came to visit once maybe twice a year. Growing up my siblings and I spent summers with her. We took turns because she could never handle us all at once. I remember being with her felt like heaven. My life felt normal for about three months. I felt loved, but confused by the fact that I couldn’t stay. I often asked the question, “why can’t I stay?” As I got older I realized my mother’s new boyfriend wasn’t ready for a family and neither was she.
When I turned twelve I started acting up in school. You know, doing things like hanging out with boys, and not going home some days. My aunt had predicted that I would be pregnant or dead by age fourteen. She gave my mom an ultimatum, “come get her or she will be placed in a juvenile center.” So, in 1991 I came to live in Boston with my mother. I learned quickly that she didn’t know how to be a full time mom, so the same neglect I felt in Alabama was present in Boston. It was actually worse because the neglect and lack of love was from my own mom. It was not the same feeling I felt while visiting in the summer. After three months of living in the city I was doing the same things as I had done in Alabama. The difference was sex and drugs were now involved. My mom thought by beating me and coming to house parties to embarrass me would place me on the right path. She neglected the fact that her and my upbringing put me on this path in the first place. After only three months my mom was fed up! She turned to the court system for help.
No One Loves Me
I ended up in DSS (Dept. of social services) custody, but I ran away from most places. Some places had mice, some didn’t feed me well, and others tried to beat me. I told myself I’d rather be homeless than endure the mistreatment, so I left. Being homeless, I did whatever it took to survive which ultimately landed me in DYS (Dept. of youth services). At age sixteen I went to a less secure program in Brockton, MA where I was able to reconnect with old friends. This is where I fell in love with a man I stayed with for seventeen years. He was the first man to tell me that I was smart, beautiful, sexy, and that he loved me. I stayed with him because he understood my dysfunction. He was the one person I knew I could trust. I could always count on him for a place to stay, even if that meant he had to hide me in the basement. I always knew that he would protect me. After a while he stopped saying nice things. Instead, he made sure to always throw my past in my face. He would remind me that no one else loved me, no one else cared. He knew exactly what to say to keep me with him. He kept watering the seed of fear that had been planted in my heart – no one loves me. He used it for his convenience. There was never physical abuse but the relationship was never healthy because of the mental abuse, and it was killing me slowly.
A Wonderful Change
Despite my troubled life and eighth grade education, I was fortunate enough to always hold a good job. I now know that’s what we call “Favor.” In 2009 I lost my job. While unemployed, I decided to attend a church that a friend told me about. The first visit was cool. I went a second time and thought, “Wow, this pastor is talking about me.” For the next three weeks I went to this house of God. One Sunday morning I cried and cried the entire service. Then a voice said, “Follow me. I love you. I have always loved you.” I followed! In March 2009, I decided to give my life to Christ. I will not tell you that life has been easy or that I have changed completely because I was and still am a work in progress. What I will tell you is this, it was not the church that helped me but what I have learned since attending church that has changed my life. Amongst many things, I have learned that prayer works. I’ve also learned to completely forgive all those who never knew how to love me and made my childhood painful. I have also taken responsibility for all that I have done wrong, and forgiven myself.
I was told that if I was going to walk this walk, there were people and things I would have to release from my life. This is when I realized I would have to leave my man of seventeen years, a relationship that lasted longer than most marriages. I thought my foundation would shatter. I was beyond afraid. I began to read and pray more and this scripture stood out, “God hath not given us the spirit of fear but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7). This scripture gave me peace and confidence to move forward.
I have been blessed and feel rewarded when I can be a blessing to others. It has been enjoyable and fulfilling to have the opportunity to share my testimony. I am honored.
Ladies, to all who may be reading, be encouraged and love YOU! Know that you are loved because your Father in Heaven would have it no other way. In 2012 I received my GED. I am looking forward to furthering my education and becoming all that God has called me to be. What has God called you to be?