Home > Features > Dope Dating Advice with Kerry Neal: Deep Wounds

Dope Dating Advice with Kerry Neal: Deep Wounds

Fontana, CA — I recall when I was about 4 years old and soon to turn 5 years old. I recall my mother visiting her grandmother (my great-grandmother). My mother was familiar with my great-grandmother, but it was the first time I remember meeting her. And just meeting her that day made sense because my mother introduced her to me. I’m not sure what my great-grandmother’s first name was because we all called her “Grandma Troupe” as she was the mother of my mother’s father, Johnnie Troupe.

I’ll never forget that moment. It was life-changing for me—even at the young ripe age of 4. Here’s how the exchange went:

“Hi, Kerry—How are you, young man?”


“So, Kerry—guess what? I made some strawberry Kool-Aid; would you like a glass?”


Grandma Troupe lost it right then and began to curse me out.

“You little f#@%!! What the hell did you say to me? Hell naw—you little piece of #@!$!

Now, mind you—Grandma Troupe is yelling at me at the top of her lungs and screaming at me.

So, you might be thinking—what could I, as a four-year-old child, have possibly done to warrant a verbal onslaught of curse words and humiliation?

Then, my mother, bless her heart—probably forgot that her grandmother could NOT discriminate between an innocent small child and any other adult when it comes to…respect.

But how could a four-year-old child have disrespected her?

Easy—I should have said, Yes, Ma’am, when she inquired if I wanted Kool-Aid.

By golly wow—you mean to tell me that the sensitivity to respect was so magnified that even when an unsuspecting child (that you just met) doesn’t say the right thing, you’d cuss them out on the spot?

This is not to justify my grandmother’s actions, but a more detailed insight could provide more insight and awareness of the situation.

My great-grandmother’s mother was the daughter of a slave. And we are all aware that even when slavery was so-called abolished, the fumes of the slavery aftermath in the South may have intensified, and we still often talk about the collateral damage of slavery even today.

In summary, this is very insightful, especially how it plays out in the dating scene.

  • Generational trauma is passed down from generation to generation.


  • African Americans have historically dealt with unprecedented levels of disrespect in America—from outright discrimination to microaggressions to the curiosity of touching a Black person’s hair (without their permission) out of fascination.


  • Most of the trauma that we endure is often suppressed and normalized. The knee-jerk response doesn’t have to make sense because the experience of the person—my Grandma Troupe in this case—was triggered by my perceived misstep—and though it was an obvious misstep (by a four-year-old), my great grandmother’s physiological response was reborn at that moment, causing a reaction and response that was likely a mirror reflection of how she may have responded then. In this case, even for a small minor, I’m not sure there was the grace given to disrespect because Black people have dealt with it from all ages of people without having to make a distinction.

In terms of my passion and seeing Black love thrive in our community, the nature of what I do will only manifest when we address these deep-seated wounds. Like my great-grandmother cursing me unconsciously and not considering clear variables, we will be guilty of the same thing and call it normal. Some people probably think mistrusting men is appropriate since he’s a man. Or that there are no obvious issues with him, and we begin to dig until we find something closely resembling something that isn’t right to justify our toxic view of the world. This is not a suggestion to throw caution to the wind, either. But what it does mean is that we all have suppressed trauma on some level, and none of it is healthy. Men and women alike, we must reexamine our standards around trust, emotional availability, and the unresolved hurt and disappointment that is layered under makeup, careers, educational goals, hours in the gym, or simply the mindset of, “The dating scene is crazy out there—I’d rather just be single.”

You might be alarmed by how my great-grandmother treated me, and rightfully so. But I can make a case that many of us are not as far off from her out-of-bounds reaction when you compare her actions to many of ours—when we are triggered.

You may also like
Dope Dating Advice with Kerry Neal-
Dope Dating Advice with Kerry Neal: I’m in a Relationship but Leaving for College, What Do I Do?
Dope Dating Advice with Kerry Neal-
(They) Not Like Us
“When You Wonder, You’re Learning Mister Rogers’ Enduring Lessons for Raising Creative, Curious, Caring Kids” by Gregg Behr & Ryan Rydzewski
Mister Rogers’ Lessons for Young Learners (and Their Families, Too)
Dope Dating Advice with Kerry Neal: Love, Priority, Cherish, and Protect
Follow by Email
Verified by MonsterInsights