Posted on: February 18, 2019 Posted by: Felicia S. C. Gooden Comments: 0

In 2011, I went through some major personal changes. I intensified my spiritual journey and sought understanding of my place in this world. I dove deeper into my study of spirituality, religion, and the occult. I found new places to hangout online and new groups of people who were more like me – outcasts. From that time on, I felt the need to find a new tribe, to separate myself from the life and the people I grew up with and find a new circle of friends who understood me and accepted me for who I am. Today, I have that tribe, but the hive wasn’t easy to get away from.

Escaping the Hive

We’ve all heard the story, a small-town girl leaves behind her toxic hometown in search of a new life and identity in the big city. She was sick and tired of living in the shadows of her past mistakes, the judgment of her neighbors, the never-ending shame around her escapades and mistakes – she just wanted to run away and start over. She needed to break free. She needed a new life, a new perspective, and most importantly, a new tribe.
Well, the city I lived in wasn’t that small, but it sure felt like it. I grew up in Stone Mountain, Georgia, a suburb in the metro Atlanta area. While the city itself wasn’t necessarily small and sat toward the outskirts of a major metropolitan area, the minds that inhabited it were tiny.
I grew up in a majority black (African-American) area, which so happened to be the former KKK capital where crosses were burned on top of the mountain. The toxicity of the collective hive mind was likened to a superfund site of consciousness. There was darkness everywhere. Hatred of self and others. Collective mediocrity. Remnant slave mentality. A suburb filled with minds that glorified the hood and thug life. Baby mama and baby daddy drama. Single parent households. Immorality. Hypocrisy and judgement. The worst parts of urban culture planted in the center of a middle-class suburb.
I was the outcast — the one who didn’t fit in. The one who was told she was trying to be white simply by being educated and speaking proper English. The one who was deemed a whore in the midst of virginity because the boys took to me during puberty as opposed to other, actual, hoes. I was told that I was bad for people’s reputation and lost friends. I was made fun of for how I grew up, the clothes I wore, the house I grew up in – everything was fair game and I was constantly abandoned by those who wanted to keep up with the populars.
After high school, I went on my way to try to find my new tribe. I joined a sorority, met people online, found love affairs on dating sites. These connections definitely served their purpose in my overall growth, but I still needed more. I still wasn’t complete, and a certain person – one specific toxin – just continued to make her way into every relationship I did and didn’t have. She was always there. She followed me like my horrifying past, the rumors the went along with it, and the quintessential bad penny.
I would post on social media and my blog, sharing my life and lessons learned. I would share how I still needed to find my tribe. This one particular person who swore I was supposed to be bound to her as an inferior for life mocked my desire for a new life, a new tribe, a higher consciousness, the opportunity to be more than I was. At the time, I was weak and dealing with some guilt, so I internalized her berating and my progress in personal evolution stopped abruptly.
Who was I to think I could be better than I was? Who was I to think I could achieve higher consciousness? How could I be worthy of the finer things that come along with understanding God and the cosmos? I couldn’t be worthy, look at what I had done!
As I reflect on it, I see the bigger picture. True, she always felt envy and in some kind of competition with me, but she couldn’t stand the idea of me being my own person. She couldn’t stand the idea of me having the love I always desired in a beautiful man who was honorable in his own right. She couldn’t bear the thought of me having a high paying and powerful career that she was unable to attain. She couldn’t stand anything that would give her the perception that I was better than her. So, every time she had the chance, every time she saw my shine, she would swoop in and tear me down. Clinging to the idea that I needed her friendship, as she was the only illusion of a friend I had known up until that time and I feared being alone and abandoned again, I continued to allow her to bully me. There was just enough truth to make her lies plausible, so I went with it. Big mistake.
Trying to find love in a mutual friend of my bad penny and I, I found myself trapped in a cycle of facing the worst parts of myself. I faced ongoing guilt, desperation, loneliness, mockery, and degradation. I felt lower than scum and less of a human being. I thought I could change this person’s mind and override the mental poison placed in her subconscious, but it was too late and I was powerless. There was nothing I could do.
One day, I got sick of it all. I got sick and tired of the mediocrity. Sick and tired of making mistakes that cost me everything. Sick and tired of being surrounded by people that hated me. Sick and tired of feeling less than human. Sick and tired of being stalked and talked about. Sick and tired of being attacked. Sick and tired of feeling like I had no power. So, in 2015, I took a small loan, gave away a small portion, left Georgia and went to visit family in upstate New York.
I have lived in New York ever since.

Finding My Tribe

It took some time to finally break away from my past. Even though I fled the state of Georgia and the trauma it brought upon me, I still clung to the old relationships. I was still scarred, still wanted validation, still wanted to prove myself to people who weren’t worth it. Holding the same energy of survival mode, I never let go and allowed God’s deliverance to enter my spirit. I entered new jobs with old mindsets, repeated unhealthy patterns, and allowed old pseudo-friendships to follow me.
For a while, I thought I would never lose the ties to my old life in Georgia. It was taking forever to sell the house and my mom was still there. Even after that ordeal was over, our belongings were still in storage and the extra money to get them delivered came slowly.
In 2016, I quit my job and started working for myself. Through freelancing, I finally earned the extra income to get our prized possessions out of storage and truly begin our new life in New York. Yet, with everything in my life in a literal new place, I still couldn’t shake the old energy. I couldn’t relax. I couldn’t let go of my past. I still wanted to come back bigger and better and with more money so I could prove my worthiness and hopefully attract the man I hoped would see me. I wanted to be on his arm and show everyone that I won. I simply couldn’t let go. I hoped that a change in dynamic would be enough. It wasn’t.
Upon reflection, the major calamity of my life over the last 6-8 months may have been heavily influenced by my inability to let go of the past. While I was planning a big trip back home, hoping to make a statement and show my past I had a better future, my mom had a series of illnesses and hospital stays. It began two weeks after my 31st birthday in June 2018 and even today we are still in recovery from another hospital visit.
These stays served as a deep paradigm shift, for myself and my mother. Time and again we were challenged to see who cared for us and who didn’t. I was challenged to find out who was really for me and who wasn’t. There were people who appeared to support me, but once my money ran out, I was met with the same dehumanizing coldness from the past. At one point, I even returned to my favorite toxin, hating the fact that I had been brought to my knees, only to find that I still shouldn’t have gone to that place and her toxicity was still infecting the one connection that meant most to me – the love of my life.
It was time for a change. I took advantage of my disconnected phone line as well as people’s aversion to my using a texting app and went on to delete all of my personal social media accounts. I cut out my entire past, everyone associated with it, and only kept the people who mattered – those who supported me when I couldn’t support myself, my family, my clients who became good friends, the ones who spoke my language, the women who saw my light and always encouraged me to shine, the men who loved and supported me without conquest or expectation, the people who cared, the tribe I had been praying for.

Embracing My New Life

 So, here I am, sharing this transformation with you. I have my new tribe, mainly deeply spiritual and magickal women who understand my path. I am surrounded by those who walk the same walk that I do. I am supported by my family in ways that I thought I wouldn’t be. I finally know what it’s like to be loved unconditionally by people who aren’t looking to bring me down.
I live in a beautiful town in the Hudson Valley with gorgeous mountain views that feel like I live in heaven. I’m surrounded by professionals, married couples, families, loving relationships, and a supportive community that helps their own in times of need instead of tearing them down. I even got to participate in a local Secret Santa and received an amazing gift from a girl in town I have still yet to meet in person, all in the spirit of community in this quaint little town in upper middle-class America – a place I never thought I would be.
My life was more of a girl leaving the big toxic city to find a simple and beautiful life in the country. I found my tribe, literally and metaphorically, and I have the peace and tranquility both my mother and I have prayed for. We can breathe again. We can start anew. We can eat delicious food and indulge in authentic New York style pizza.
My new life is so beautiful and I am finally allowing myself to embrace the people who will continue to make it beautiful. All love, no judgement. All support, no degradation. There’s only one piece missing, and the cosmos says he will come soon.
I am ever so grateful for this new life. I’m finally taking a deep breath and beginning to relax. I’m finally opening up so the rest of my wishes and dreams can come true.
Thank you, God, Creator, Great Spirit! I could never have done this without you!

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