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THE OPEN BOOK

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  • Writer's pictureConscious Coore

Updated: Aug 18, 2023

Two years ago, I started writing and posting about a book about marriage on Instagram and I told you that it would be released in 2022. Remember this post?


Whew, chile …2022 has come and gone has it not?


I started sharing content about Ready or Not immediately because I knew I wanted to document the process, but it’s been a much longer process than I could have ever expected.


I was pregnant in 2021, but for some reason, I thought publishing this book would be just as quick and easy as all the others. In fact, two more books have been released since that announcement.


Contrary to my expectation, the process has been longer..

more thorough..

more intimate..

and more demanding of my vulnerability.


After a while, I realized that what I would be giving to all of you and everyone who would read Ready or Not are elements of my shame. It would be about more than just my marriage, but also my humanity, my flaw, and my need. It’s far from a body of work that offers you rules to live by to make him put a ring on it or "how to be a good wife."


With that being said, I wanted to make sure that this one was done right.


I wanted to make sure the story that I told accurately represented my husband and our beautifully unique story. I wanted to make sure I honored God well and that no part of it lacked as a result of my exhaustion with the process.


I don’t know if Jesus’ disciples needed editors, but I realized that I do!


When I think TBN, I think of the year 1999, T.D. Jakes, Joel Olsteen, and Christian celebrities that I’ll never ever meet. Now, however, TBN has Trilogy Publishing Company. TPC is not exactly the same as TBN but when I got the email, this is what I saw:



Here we are, two years later from finalizing the first manuscript and I seem to have the opportunity to put a team on this very precious work!


I am still in a bit of disbelief, but I am more motivated than I am shocked.


I just wanted to see if you were still with me! It’s been a while, I know.


Are you still with me?


If you are, leave your thoughts in the comments. Also, let's grow the tribe! Share the graphic below to your stories, socials, and directly to your people.


I promise to keep you updated on the journey this time right here on this blog. I anticipate that there will be as many plot twists in this process as are in the book itself. A decision has to be made this week… I will let you know how that goes.


Newlyweds, waiting to be engaged, married and struggling, married and thriving, or just curious…. This one is for you!


Don't forget to subscribe for updates and other "Open Book" blog posts!

Download and Post 👇🏾


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  • Writer's pictureConscious Coore

Updated: Apr 3, 2022

People always called me mature for my age.


And I’d say they were right. By 16 years old I had already been two men’s wives.


I thought my first husband was the best.


I didn’t have to say what I wanted in order for him to give it to me. He knew that I wanted affection. He knew that I wanted attention. He knew that I wanted love. He knew exactly what to give me to make it easier to trust him. He knew how to validate me and make me feel significant. Seen. By the time I was 7 years old I was already having secret getaways and staycations that women even four times my age weren’t seeing.


He was 16. An older man. And when he was ready to get what he wanted from me, he summoned me.

Things didn’t work out with him though.


While he was giving me this and that I failed to see that he was robbing me of my innocence. It’s not even fair to myself to say that I failed but at 7 years old something failed in me.


For years after that, childlike joys were not so enticing. Daydreaming about marriage and frilly dresses lacked luster and even believing lies that little boys would tell me was just silly.


I knew better. I was more mature than that. By 12, I knew that things change and they hardly stay the same.


By my mid-teens I had already learned that there is far more protection in wisdom than there might be in hope... which brings me to my second husband.

He wasn’t really my husband, but he dumped his burdens on me like I stood across from him at the front of a church and vowed for better or worst in a room full of witnesses. Unlike my first husband I owed him everything.

I owed him obedience, servant hood, loyalty and excellence. No mistakes tolerated.

He gave me affection when he was in the mood for it and shunned me to pieces when he wasn’t happy with his own life.


He spent hours of high quality Louisiana sunlight drudging down dark hallways collecting narratives that pitted him against the world.

And then he was ready for vengeance, he summoned me.

He didn’t see me.

He saw his mother.. his father.. his ex wives.. the children that were no longer speaking to him and the friends, colleagues and peers that didn’t respect him like he thought they should have.

He didn’t see me.

But he always told me that he loved me.


After 25 years of ups and downs, death did us part.

I wish someone would tell them, “that’s why she’s so mature for her age.”

But the secret is that I’m really still that 7 year old girl.

That’s what I had to explain to my third husband.

My real husband… the redeeming kind.


The only man that had actually made any vows to me.


The only man whose primary connection to me wasn’t centered around power and domination.

The only man who told me and I quote, “I want you for advocate for yourself.”


I had to explain to him that this type of relationship, I’m just not used to - one where I don’t pardon my needs to make sure yours are met - one where I’m not expected to carry your burdens and keep secrets about your sin.


In all these years I had never used my voice in the way that you challenge me to use it so forgive me if I still act like a child. Waiting for you to summon me so that I might feel wanted. Waiting for you to respond to pleas and desires that I don't have the language to communicate to you right now.


Forgive me for being angry with you and for assuming that if you really loved me, you would just know.


Forgive me for filling the voids of your silence with fear that I have not lived up to your expectations.

I’ve been trained and tied to a feeling that I owe you something, but you don’t owe me anything. It leads to me going out of my way to relieve you of your responsibility to love me. And then it makes me feel unloved when I have to live in the world I created.


If this is what you want though. To love me. Then I realize that first I have to be so audacious as to love myself.

If I love myself, know that this means that I will have to say what feels good to my soul and what doesn't,


Know that I will be open about how important it is to me to feel love/d


Know that I will feel no shame in getting or asking for reciprocity after shedding actual blood, sweat, tears and my very insides to build this family.


Know that I will move differently. Are you ready for that?


Or is it just me who is afraid.


Afraid to behave as though I’m worthy enough or deserving to experience the things that I need and dare I say it: have them upon request and on demand.


I’m mature for my age, but I think it’s all catching up to me now. I’m just a few months shy of thirty with two sons relying on me to live.


So, I think it’s time I act my age.


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  • Writer's pictureConscious Coore

Updated: Apr 5, 2022

Trigger Warning: This content includes references around topics such as sexual assault, molestation and child abuse. I acknowledge that this content may be difficult. I also encourage you to care for your safety and well-being.


In every significant friendship I've ever had, there has always been a moment where I had to go, "Oh. This relationship isn't what I thought it was."


The very first friendship where I had that moment was before the various memories I have from 5th and 6th grade where friends suddenly changed.


I must have been somewhere between 5 and 7 years old.

I don't remember even being 5 years old.

I don't want to think "5 years old". So, I must have been around 6 or 7.


7 makes more sense to me.


7 is 1st grade.

7 is old enough to reason.

7 is old enough to understand friendship, relationship, and well - I thought it was old enough to understand intimacy as well.


I don't remember much from my childhood before I told my parents that my cousin "touched" me. That's what my mom asked me half a dozen times before: Has somebody been touching you?


In hindsight, I guess she saw the signs. I mean, well maybe she didn't see "the signs", but a 6 or 7-year-old girl shouldn't have so much consistent vaginal burning and itching, so I know she saw that sign.

She asked me all the time and every time, I said "no".

I didn't want to mess up my very best, very first real, deep friendship.

I don't remember much before then.

The sounds of sirens and the reflection of red and blue lights were like a reset button on my childhood. It felt like I actually started meeting and playing with new people after that.

I don't remember my grandmother not believing me.

I don't remember doing flips in the backyard with him.

I don't remember the first time or even the second.

I don't remember feeling scared.

I don't remember being confused.

I can barely remember being that young.

I just remember the last two times before everything about that friendship, relationship, whatever it was, changed. I remember when I realized that none of it was what I thought it was. He was my cousin, but beyond that, he was my friend; and I loved him. I trusted him. I had fun with him. About as much as any 7 year old can adore a person, I adored him.

I don't remember why I trusted him. He was about 8 or 9 years older than me, so maybe I felt safe around him. Maybe I felt seen. Maybe I felt loved. Maybe I felt warm.


I remember one night inside my grandmother's home. We were in the living room, just the two of us. I don't know where everyone else was, but I remember sitting on the sticky black leather couch in the living room, not far from at least three windows, waiting for what I knew was about to happen.

I remember occupying my hands with a small toy or something and sitting back on the couch far enough to recline my legs comfortably and wait.

He was setting the mood, adjusting the lights, and setting the stereo to play "some Ginuwine", a popular artist at the time.

I remember being fully clothed, sitting on the couch, cognizant of the fact that he was about to approach me. I remember...


Only now, 20+ years later do I realize that by then, I was groomed.

But back then I thought it was pure.

I was beyond fear of anyone finding us. I was beyond whatever pain I must have felt the first time. I was beyond confused about what was happening to me.


In my mind, I agreed.

7 years old with the assumption that I was in a place to be in a consenting sexual relationship with a grown man... or a 16-year old I guess.

In hindsight, I wonder if that could be why I never thought much of birthdays. By the time I was 12, I felt like I had already been there. So, it was for 13, 14, 15, and so on. The only age that took me by surprise was 30, and that shock came about three months after I turned 29.

But anyway.

That was the second to last time.. or at least the only other occasion that I remember.

The last time, I remember very clearly.

That was the time that I realized that the situation wasn't what I thought it was.

This time, it was during the day.

My grandmother was in the kitchen and I was there with her and my younger sister.

He was in the second bedroom in her home and all I remember is him calling my name.

He needed me for something. He called my name like he knew me and knew what he wanted to get from me. It wasn't a sing-song voice as you might imagine. It was just a casual calling out of my name like everything was normal. Casual enough to not alert anyone.

Casual enough to proceed with it being broad daylight outside.

When I entered his room, his sheets were on the floor.

I had forgotten his scent for a long time until recently I switched to a new deodorant. I remember the scent now.

It was a new scenario, but I knew the drill.

I was groomed. and when he told me to, I took off my pants. I knew the drill.

And I got down on the floor palette that he made for us.


My body must have adapted because it didn't hurt. I remember both his hands being on the floor on either side of my head. I remember wondering if my grandmother was ever going to call my name or walk in on us.

Then again, why would she? She trusted him about as much as I did.

I was distracted from the fear of being found after a few minutes lying on the floor because suddenly he decided to stand up.

I mean... he wanted to "do it" standing up.

I guess I enjoyed it. I felt a connection. I felt the intention. and I wanted to reciprocate.

So I tried to kiss him; just like they do in the movies.

But, of course.

I was, what? - 7?

and he was 16.

He wasn't interested in a relationship or reciprocation of affection. of course not.

I was a child.

That would have been disgusting to kiss a child.

So he turned his head away.

He continued to use me though.

He kept his head turned to the right and

continued to take what he called me in his room for.


and when he was done, he put me down.

I put on my clothes and went back into the kitchen with my grandmother and sister.

I don't think I felt anything extremely strong or profound in my emotions, just a stark contrast in my perception.

I didn't know what it was anymore except that it wasn't what I thought it was... and that it would probably never be what I thought it was.

At 7 years old, I lost a certain hope.

- a certain kind of innocence.

- a certain capacity to trust.

- a certain understanding of love.

There was no longer anything there for me to protect.

That night, or the next one, both my parents sat in our living room - in the two-bedroom one-bath shotgun house next door to my grandmother's house.

My mother tended to my complaints of itching and once again, she asked me, "Has somebody been touching you?"

By then, I had nothing to lose. So I said, "yes... Steven."

---------

20+ years later, my eyes are open to two things:

  1. No matter how long ago it was or how much has been forgotten, roots of rejection, broken trust, lack of safety, require attention. "It was a long time ago", but it is still important today.

  2. Through continued counseling, continued pursuit of deliverance, and trust in God's sovereign word and plan for redemption, I am on a healing journey.

So, I appreciate every prayer said under God's will, but do not feel sorry for me. God is faithful to me even in this small part of my very big story.

While I grieve the absence of emotional wholeness for so many years since the abuse, I still see God. I forgive myself for everything that I did in pursuit of a feeling that I was prematurely exposed to. This is my Egypt.

At first, Egypt represented my bondage, but now I see it as a place where I gain authority.


“So then, it was not you who sent me here, but God. He made me a father to Pharaoh, lord of his entire household and ruler of all Egypt.


Genesis 45:8


If you have ever experienced sexual abuse, molestation, misconduct, whether violent or non-aggressive, you deserve to know how it impacted you and heal. Please get into some form of counseling to start or continue your process.


Flamingo Trauma Recovery is on a mission to make that available to as many that desire it, but in this season, I, myself, am drinking from the well.


To Steven, Genesis 45:5

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