No one can understand what it’s like to bear the pain of being sexually abused unless it happens to them. Mary J Blige is definitely one who can understand the trauma of sexual abuse and the pain it brings upon the lives of many women later on in life. The scar on the side of Blige’s face doesn’t even go into depth on how deep rooted her pain was. She has shaped the lives of many women through her powerful music, advocating women to be strong and conquering adversity with songs such as My Life, No More Drama, Real Love, Rainy Dayz, Take Me As I Am, and her newest song A Whole Damn Year. In a scene from VH1‘s Behind the Music, Blige revealed that she was sexually abused by a friend of her family, at the age of five. Born on January 11, 1971, Blige lived a turmoil life of destructiveness. Like many young girls and women who are survivors, this left Blige feeling shameful, guilty, and embarrassed to talk about what happened.
Blige told sources :
“That thing followed me all my life. The shame of thinking my molestation was my fault – it led me to believe I wasn’t worth anything.” Studies reveal that a child who undergoes child sexual abuse for a prolong period of time will have low self esteem, show feelings of worthlessness, and cultivate a distorted view of sex ( The National Center for Victims of Crime).
Blige is also a first hand witness of domestic violence. ET reported that Blige saw her mom being physically abused by her father.”My mother went through awful abuse from my father,” she revealed. “He left us when I was 4, but he’d come back from time to time and abuse her some more”. Eventually, Blige’s mom fought to escape the abuse by moving to a different location in New York. Blige and her mother moved to the projects in Yonkers, where she found herself being trapped in the same lifestyle she left, hearing the screams and cries of women violently being beaten. Blige says in an interview “I’d hear women screaming and running down the halls from guys beating up on them, people chased us with weapons. I never saw a woman there who wasn’t abused. It was a dangerous place.”
In her recent song and video, ” A Whole Damn Year”, Blige highlights various experiences of abuse with clips of a father mentally and physically abusing his son for being homosexual and also being bullied by two young men who physically assault him, a young girl who sees the abusive relationship her mother is battling with her father , and couple fighting for a relationship that is heading down hill, as a woman has flashbacks of an abusive alcoholic father, repeating a cycle that she once saw first hand growing up. Eventually all parties received closure and healing by making peace within themselves and with one another.
Mary J Blige uses her expression and creativity of music for social change and to enlighten the world on the reality of life’s issues. While Blige was a teen, she often turned to men to ease her pain and fill in a void from her abusive experiences. She later turned to drugs. In 2007, MJB told Parade magazine , “I ended up becoming my environment.” As she went on in the interview she claimed, “It was bigger than me. I had no self-respect. I hated myself. I thought I was ugly. Alcohol, sex, drugs … I’d do whatever it took to feel better”
Statistics have shown that women who are sexually abused as children turn to drugs, promiscuity, and suffer from depression and mental illnesses.
In another interview , Blige revealed that the people in the industry knew her weaknesses, stating ” The people making money off me kept me blind: ‘Mary likes cocaine? OK, let’s make sure she keeps getting it. Alcohol? Get her that.'” Blige realized that the life she was living would continue to leave her feeling cold, numb and in pain looking for substance that would never permanently be filled. Her last time getting high off of cocaine she said, “I was in the club with all my girlfriends, and I asked them, ‘What am I doing here?’ I had a man at home and I was still trying to run away, doing that stupid shit. It wasn’t worth it any more.”
With the support of mentor, P Diddy Sean Combs and husband Kendu Isaacs, Blige was able to overcome a lifestyle that was destined for hell and ruins.
Blige also credits her faith in God being the most important motivator in helping her overcome addictions. She disclosed with sources, ” I understand better now who God is now that I’ve become a woman and a Christian,” Blige testified that church was just what she did growing up as a child, not the faith that she now has. Surprisingly, this is the case with many young people growing up in a church or religious environment. She went on to say, “I wasn’t a Christian when I was a child, I just went to church. I understood from childhood that there was something really big watching over me and it was God. And I was afraid to steal and lie. I was afraid to do anything that was wrong. I always got this feeling like, ‘Uh oh,’”
MJB is really big on her faith and is not ashamed to witness to sources by stating
“It was later [in life], when I gave my life to Jesus Christ, that I found out who I am. I’m a child of God. God is my mommy, my daddy. That’s the only thing that’ll keep my head up. If I don’t remember who I am in him, I’m done…,” she said. “When I became a Christian, it was something I had to do because my whole life as a young adult was so bad. Things were just so bad that when I decided to make a change in my life, I went to God about my life. And he led me to other Christians, like my husband, like my pastor. And I started studying the Word. Now I get it. I understand it more, through the Word. That’s why I know God is love.”
Blige, who married Kendu Isaacs in 2003, completely changed her life, focusing on her relationship with God and husband Kendu Isaacs, while continuing to brand her music and acting career. Blige has been featured in movies such as “I Can Do Bad All By Myself”, ” Black Nativity,” and “Rock of Ages”. Thus far, Blige even has nine grammy’s under her belt for numerous categories and has been featured in numerous commercials and ads . She was also an artist signed under Bad Boy Records, founded by mentor Diddy and has worked with artists such as Method Man, Busta Rhymes, Ja Rule, U2, Drake, and a list of many other grammy nominated winners and artists.
While learning how to love all of her imperfections she has accomplished what many may have undermined. She shared ,“If I don’t accept the scar on my face, the lips that God gave me, the big giant feet, the long legs, whatever it is that I’m deformed with, I got to love it so everybody else can love it. And I started loving it.” Not such a bad success story for someone who has endured one hell of a ride, right?