Tamika Sims is a mother, a survivor , an entrepreneur, author and advocate. From her greatest joy, her son, to her weakest moments, eight years of mental, physical and sexual abuse while following her heart, Tamika has designed the layout, plan and serves as the architect of her new destiny outside of past pain. Where she was once stuck herself, she now seeks to help others pull themselves out of similar situations and construct their paths in life with less bumps and more triumphs.
Tell us about your childhood? Any siblings?
My childhood was interesting. My father was addicted to drug and other controlled substances and my mother worked night and day to provide for my sister and I. Yet, in spite of it all, my mom and dad loved us. While not perfect, we lacked nothing. I am the middle child. No, I don’t have the syndrome – LOL. I have a younger sister and two older brothers.
Tell us about one thing that brought you joy as a child, that can still make you smile just thinking about it today?
I have always been a nerd. I have always enjoyed books and things that challenged my mind. I never played with dolls. But, that’s okay. It has served me well today!
Tell us about any childhood hurdles you overcame or may continue to still “work through today” that formed Tamika the woman?
I was molested by an older brother and elder cousin. That was hard. It shaped my early dating behaviors. I looked for love in much older men as a result of this. I never ventured into promiscuity, but I did juggle at times 4-5 men. Now, that I’m an adult – I know the significance and importance of acknowledging your truth and overcoming past hurts. At the base of it all was me loving myself enough to know that I was worth more than my body.
What influence did your parents have on your early outlook on relationships and on your parenting model now?
My dad was the smartest man I know. He only had an 8th grade education, but was a genius and math and life. My dad and mom believed in family. My dad was the ultimate protector. He has been deceased for two years now and I miss him terribly. My mom taught me the importance of hard work and dedication. These lessons shaped me and I pass them on to my son, teaching him my morals and values. I learned that education is key. Nothing could replace it and no man could take it away.
Most rooms have 4 walls. Using the abusive relationship you survived as a guidepost, tell us 8 walls (feelings -one for every year) you ran, walked or stumbled into during the course of that relationship.
Anger, grief, helplessness, hopelessness, love, hate, pain, loss
Tell us the first red flag -though you may not have recognized or concerned yourself with it then- that something was wrong?
Secrecy and his desire for wanting to keep our entire relationship a secret. That was the very first red flag happening within a week of our new relationship, but I dismissed it as him wanting to keep things private and not have people in our business.
Did you share with others-whether family, friends or counselors -during this time?
No. Not until after the damage had already been done.
How much time transpired from full realization to your exit?
I remember a Twitter trending topic called “Why I Stayed..”…many women can relate so tell us why you stayed?
While many women can relate to “Why I Stayed” that’s not the right question. The right question is why he is abusive… However, I remained in this relationship because of the psychological control that he exercised. I was so disconnected from myself and my place as a woman that I struggled with loving me. I did not recognize the image presenting back to me in the mirror. It was very difficult. I started to believe that I was not worthy of love, real love and that this was all I’d ever have. Once those thoughts entered my mind, I became his victim, his puppet on a string.
What would you tell a young woman experiencing the same today?
I would tell her to love yourself first. To remember at the end of the day that you are just as valuable in the relationship and that you deserve fair and equal treatment. You are a partner, not object of his affections and you should not be treated as such.
What was your catalyst moment where you knew you were not where you were supposed to but also not where you wanted to be any longer?
The night that I was physically and sexually assaulted. That was it for me. I could not fathom in my right mind, a man beating me for hours and then in turn pulling my pants down for sexual intercourse. I didn’t need anything else. I told the Lord that if He got me out of that, there would be no turning back and I didn’t. I never have.
Do you find yourself still harboring old feelings or effects from this time in your life?
No. I do not. I am healed from that. It took a while. I’ve been out of the relationship for seven years and It has taken the majority of this time.
Tell us about your entrepreneurial endeavors with Ink Pen Diva, your current volunteer or mentor work and a success story you may have encountered from your work or speaking.
Ink Pen Diva is my literary business. My baby will be two February 2016. There have been some growing pains and stretching, but I love every minute of it. I have now added writing coaching to my business and it’s incredible. One of my first group coaching clients, a husband and wife team, released their book and it became a #1 bestselling novel on Amazon!
So many don’t or won’t ask, even when they find out what you came out of so let me ask you –How is Tamika today?
Thank you for asking. I am well and incredibly in love with my life.
When do you feel your strongest?
I feel my strongest when I have been a part of pushing someone else closer to their purpose.
What motivates you to keep going?
My son. He is all the motivation I need.
How do you instill in your son the characteristics of a good man and how important it is that he display those attributes in regards to women and also out of respect for himself?
Open and honest communication and conversation. My son has seen me struggle. He knows what not to do and look for. I allow him to fully express himself even though I may not like what he says. I teach him to the best of my ability. He also has the support of mentors.
What makes you a connected woman ?
Because I am woman. Giver. Nurturer of life. Bearer of light. I have lived through the struggles that often time plague our gender. I have overcome many issues that women face. I value my feminine power.
What is in your CD player?
Beyonce! Beyonce is an incredible talent, mother, wife, mogul and businesswoman.
If you could create your own coffee flavor and was guaranteed it would be good what favorites would you put in it?
Coffee is my favorite thing in the world! I would put vanilla, dark chocolate, and blueberries.
Where do you pull from to restore your joy when depleted?
Prayer and spending time in God’s presence.
When you look back, what would you say to 19 year old Tamika at whatever point you were in your life at that time?
Getting pregnant does not mean your world is over. Maybe you take a break from your academic studies to deliver the baby, but when the time comes get back in it! Don’t be ashamed. Everyone has made a decision that they are not proud of.
Anything to add?
Believe in yourself and the pack of women who are rooting and praying for you. Celebrate one another. There is power and strength in unity. Be your sister’s keeper and together, let’s transform the world!
You can reach out to Tamika on Facebook here
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