Saturday, April 25, 2015

‘Girl Frenzs’ author fights her way out of hell storms to find happiness and self-love through God



 Girl Frenzs is not a misspelling. The book’s title is deliberate. Bridgette Billingsley, a native of Austin, Texas, and first time author, said she wanted a catchy title to attract attention to her book.  Girl Frenzs is not a novel, poetry or a series of short stories. The 286-page book is not about a group of female “frenzs” sitting around talking about their relationships—good, bad or indifferent. Billingsley covers those subjects, basing her personal advice on her personal experiences.

Intermingled Bible verses, words of wisdom, her rocky roads life, her relationship with God, Girl Frenzs reveals truths about Billingsley’s marriages and relationship that went terribly wrong. She writes that having God in her life facilitated her knocking down the stumbling blocks she was forced to jump over.

Rolling into her spiritual realm, Billingsley advises: “Girl frenzs, life is general is full of bumps in the road we’re traveling down. Oftentimes, those bumps and bruises are hard to go away. Especially when we have conditioned our minds to be a constant reminder of our past by dwelling on our past, day in and day out. Don’t go through life holding on to those unpleasant memories. They are like bleeding wounds; they never stop hurting. Some people have been known to go into deep depression holding on to things from their past.”

She reveals that growing up without a father in their home left a void in her life. “There were many incidents in my life as a child and adult that should have been life threatening. I would always think to myself after the situation, ‘How did I survive that?’ I didn’t know that it was God protecting me.” She was still a young child when her father walked out on her mother, and her memory of his is faint. However, she finally saw him again when he was in his seventies, and she was fully grown. By this time she had learned to forgive him and others who caused her pain.

Billingsley writes that despite her mother being married, she was still a single parent. Subsequently, she and her sisters became single parents before marriage. She writes that becoming a single mother was not a proud moment in her life, “but it’s something that can happen to anyone at any time in your life.”

A physically and verbally abused woman for many years, Billingsley said she often felt that she was the only person in the world being abused. She felt that no one cared about her. She was so downtrodden she didn’t even care about herself. She didn’t want anyone to know how miserable she was. She writes that the father of her first child was “nice” in the beginning, but his street ways and thirst for drugs didn’t stay dormant very long.

She recalls another relationship that took a near violent turn. “At one point he was so abusive and crazy, he was going to stab me with a knife in front of my three children, because I went to nephew’s graduation. My first born son, Dennis, was about thirteen years old when he got on his bicycle and went to the store and called the police.” The first time author admits that she was involved in other relationships that were just as abusive.

“Many nights I laid in my bed and cried for God to stop him from hurting me. God did. One day when my estranged husband was at work I packed up all my things and left. I never came back. When I went back home I didn’t talk about the abuse. I acted as if I was fine, but inside I was bruised and I was hurt from all the degrading verbal abuse I endured for years.”

When her son was six years old she met “Willie” in Lawton, Oklahoma. He was in the military. At some point in the relationship Billingsley found that she was scared of Willie, and with good reason. She doesn’t mention if there were warnings of what was to come in the relationship.

Bridgette Billingsley

“I was so young and unlearned about life and men. Willie was so abusive all the time I didn’t know that to say to him ever. We lived in a trailer home together and never once did he sit down and have a conversation with me. When he cooked, he would give us food he wanted us to have and threatened me not touch the rest of it until he came home that evening. So we literally went all day without food all day. And when I did warm up food he had left in the ice box for us to eat, he would get so angry and hit me so hard I thought many times I was taking my last breath.”

Billingsley writes that Willie, who was seldom intimate with her, threatened her with bodily harm if she tried to leave him. When the physical abuse started, she notes that she felt like a punching bag. “I was made to iron his uniform daily, clean house, and shine his military boots. I was stressed out, depressed, and lonely as I could be.”

She writes about the time she was ready to pack it in. There was no light at the end of life’s dark tunnel. She describes that time: “Girl frenzs, I recall many times during life’s struggles, I cried ‘Abba Father, please take me home, I’m ready to be with you and Jesus!’ Living life was so difficult. I didn’t have any joy in my life. I cried all the time. I was lonely and withdrawn from my family. I felt no life in my spirit.”

And then she got the courage to look for a job, intent on leaving Willie. She found a job as a baker, working on the base. Building and gaining confidence in herself, Billingsley began making plans to leave. She packed clothes for herself and her son, Dennis, leaving everything else behind. “I didn’t leave a note or nothing. I left, never to be seen again. I stayed in Lawton another year at my friend’s home and I went to home to Austin.”

Returning home to Austin allowed Billingsley room to collect herself and start a new life. She was determined to put the past behind her. “God had me in a place where I was comfortable for once in a long time. Girl frenzs, you know, every time God make a move in our life the devil gets angry and try to destroy what God has done.”

Under a chapter titled “Forgiveness” Billingsley writes about a close friend that she has known for years. One day the friend confided in her, telling her a dark secret that she buried within herself for decades. The secret ordeal began when her friend was eight years old. It turns out that she had been molested by her biological father.  

“She remembered her mother being admitted to in hospital overnight with kidney problems and was eight months pregnant. She stated he came to her bedside that same night and awakened her. He knew her mother was in the hospital, and the other children were asleep. He woke her up out of her sleep and brought her to his and her mother’s bedroom. He then undressed her and began to touch her and fondled her body and molested her.

“He touched her in a way no man should never touch a child. She stated she was so scared she closed her eyes and pretended it was not happening. After he molested her, he took her to the stove and turned on the gas. He was trying dissolute her mind so she would become hallucinatory and not remember what had happened to her.”

Billingsley marks that two weeks after the molestation her friend’s father left her mother and them. Her friend wanted to tell her mother what her father had done to her, but she was scared. She didn’t think her mother would believe her. So her friend said nothing, keeping the secret to herself. Over the years her friend kept diaries that no one as allowed to read. She writes that her friend was unable to function in relationships. One day her father called after decades of not hearing from him. Her friend was 19. She refused to talk to her father but she could not tell her mother why she refused to talk to him.

Billingsley writes, “She said she had absolutely no trust in men, and she felt dirty and ashamed like she had something wrong all the time growing up. In her first marriage, she had two children. She had so much pain, hurt, and trust issues in her marriage she ended up getting a divorce because the marriage didn’t work out.”

Her friend finally met a man that she trusted and they have been married for 35 years. He helped her gain trust in men again. He taught her how to love. Billingsley said for years her friend was racked with anger and hatred before she became a Christian.

“Girl frenzs, my dear friend that I spoke about in this chapter was my eldest sister Jim Ella. She confided in me last year and asked me to write about her abuse. I met my father for the first time in my life last year, March 26, 2011 on my mother’s birthday. I really don’t have any recollection of him in my lifetime. He was a stranger to me. I pray for my father that he repents for his wrongdoings and let God and Jesus come into his life.”

Upon meeting their father, who was in jail, Billingsley writes, "He was a stranger to me. I asked him with should I call him dad or Billy.  He replied, 'Billy.' That's what I called him. He tried to explain to me why he didn't come and about his alcohol problems. I keep starring, trying to see if I had any of his resemblance or if any of my sisters look like him. My older brother look like him the most."

In another chapter titled “Marital Bliss and the Pain of Divorce” Billingsley parts with her feelings about marriage, a wife’s place in the marriage and that of the husband. She tells readers that married couples cannot live their lives Hollywood style, where relationships and marriages are often short lived.

“We must learn to love and be committed to our own husbands and take our marriage seriously,” Billingsley writes. She admonishes husbands that committing adultery has serious consequences. She explains: “When you lose your wife due to your cheating, your wife is going to meet someone later in life who treasures her ways, and her quietness.  . . . Then you’ll realize what you let go. You don’t miss a good things until it’s gone.” 

“GIRL FRENZS” is full of spiritual and personal advice from the author. It is replete with scriptures on how to arrive at the peace Brigettte Billingsley has found with her current husband and their five children. The book is on sale on Amazon.com.

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