What is Serial Monogamy?

The way the “system” and its institutions are training professionals to understand our ‘behaviour’ as a culture is troubling

The term “serial monOdessaogamy” was introduced to me during a program I was facilitating. The topic being discussed was around Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome (Joy DeGury), something we all deal with and don’t recognize.
As the topic unfolded, we began to examine the sexual habits of the Black community. The only white woman in the group spoke out saying that she was having a revelation.
During her training to become a nurse there was a term that was used in relation to the Caribbean community, “Serial Monogamy” is what she said. This is when a Caribbean woman enters into a ‘monogamous’ relationship with a man for a few years and bears his children. They then separate and she eventually begins another relationship, possibly having children for this new man, and as things sometimes happen, this relationship of a few years may not work out in their favour and the couple separates, perpetuating this cycle for however long it may continue.
The first question that comes to mind is: Is this kind of living specific to the Black community only?
The second thought is that there are usually other personal, psychological and environmental factors influencing a person’s actions. Regardless, this is how the “system” and its institutions are training professionals to understand our ‘behaviour’ as a culture.
Returning to this idea of PTSD (Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome), this could have a strong link to our habits as a people.
Let’s look at the breeding techniques put in place by plantation owners. Think about it, some slaves weren’t allowed to marry and if they did it was with the understanding that you or your partner could be sold to another plantation at any given time, most probably on days like Black Friday.
Living and loving with a deep sense of fear.
[Black Friday: the Friday after US Thanksgiving in November when stores have amazing sales. Its origins began as a day to sell Black slaves at amazingly low prices, hence the given name ‘Black Friday’. Men between the ages of 20-45 years of age were always the highest priced item. #BlackHistory365.]
Another practice was to separate mothers from their offspring, just because rationalizing it by believing that slaves didn’t experience any real feelings of attachment, trivializing our ability to process thought and emotion as humans do. We were considered three-fifths human.
Another practice was to keep a particular group of women impregnated all the time. Their sole purpose was to have babies. If they were lucky they would get paid for each surviving pick-a-ninny, therefore striving to have babies back to back throughout their reproductive years.
Another practice was Black men being raised to live and act as prized stallions; their sole purpose was to breed the slave wench.
At this point I need you to pause and reflect… Someone may have said that one male or female family member who has a very large number of children with different partners. There is absolutely NO judgement here; this is a theory and these are observations. We need to be critical and transparent while addressing this.
Yet another practice was to belittle, shame and effeminize the Black man in front of the Black woman and their children. All of these techniques were used to “train and reproduce slaves” while creating deeply ingrained fears and habits in relation to stability and security within the minds of the Black Family Psyche for generations to come.
Why do we say generations to come? When a woman becomes pregnant, the foetus she is carrying has all of the sperm or eggs they will ever need to reproduce. Meaning, the woman is carrying her grand babies and all potential great grand-children and so forth.
Keeping a woman happy and stress-free during her pregnancy is a must. Every single thought, emotion and deep dark secret a woman experiences during those 9 months the unborn baby experiences as well, teaching the child many different behaviours starting from IN THE WOMB.
To take this one step further, it takes a minimum of  seven generations to change a family pattern.
Understanding our history in this way creates more space for understanding and effectiveness in change when addressing how we come to where we are as a people. Rather than get upset and rage loudly against the machine, take time to contemplate, learn to hold healthy dialogue, observe and help without judgment.
Odessa Thornhill ND, Doula, Lifestyle Transformation Coach
www.cultivateyourown.com 1.800.307.0156 info@cultivateyourown.com