Earlier this week, we wrote about an upcoming episode of “Iyanla Fix My Life,” with singer Monifah and her daughter Akemi Carter Lopez. The two have had a strained relationship, given the fact that Monifah was pursuing her character during the fundamental years of Akemi’s life. In the last clip we shared, we spoke about Monifah saying that she didn’t feel a maternal connection to her child.
But in new preview clips from the episode, Iyanla gets to the root of that feeling for Monifah.
At 17-years-old, Monifah left her mother’s house and was raped by a man at gunpoint.
“I just kept it in.”
Iyanla: “Did you tell your mom?”
Monifah: “No. I buried that so far.”
Two years later, Monifah was pregnant with her daughter and wasn’t clear about having her.
Iyanla reads from Monifah’s journal, “I was in the abortion clinic. I was 19. I had plans and dreams and a child was not a part of the vision.”
Then Iyanla asked Monifah why she decided to keep her.
Monifah said, “because I wasn’t clear and I asked God to give me a sign on what I should do. I wen to put the urine sample onto the sink, so I could clean up. And it dropped.”
Iyanla: The urine sample to tell whether or not you were pregnant? And it fell off the side? And that was the sign? Spilt pee was the sign that I should keep the baby?
Iyanla: Well, you were looking for an out so the pee on the floor was an out.
After she had the baby, Monifah said she told her mother that she didn’t feel connected to her daughter.
“Something’s wrong. I don’t feel the connection. I feel like she’s my sister. I don’t feel the maternal thing.’
Iyanla: flipping through the pages of Monifah’s journal says, ‘Well, beloved, you didn’t want her. You had her but have you ever allowed yourself to acknowledge or accept, I didn’t want her. You didn’t want her. And it ain’t personal. It’s not I didn’t want Akemi. It’s that I don’t want to have a child right now.”
Monifah: Right, I didn’t.
Years later, when Akemi was sixteen, she found herself repeating a similar cycle. She was pregnant. But she knew she didn’t want to keep the baby. She explained to Iyanla.
Iyanla: Who taught you about sex?
Iyanla: Nobody ever had a conversation with you about your breasts or your cycle?
Akemi: I don’t really remember her really talking much about that…I ended up getting pregnant. I think I had just turned sixteen.
Iyanla: Did you tell him?
Akemi: The boyfriend? Yeah. And we were going to try to abort the baby without telling anybody.
Iyanla: Did you want to have an abortion?
Akemi: Yeah. At the time, yes. I definitely did because I was scared and because of shame… I called my mom and my mom was like, ‘Don’t tell anybody. We’ll take care of it.’ I got an abortion.
Iyanla: And what was the conversation. Did anybody say anything?
Akemi: No actually, no.
Iyanla: Did anybody talk to you about being 16 and pregnant and what it felt like? Did anybody have that conversation with you?
Akemi: Not that I remember, no.
Iyanla: I can’t even imagine what that must have been like for you.
Check out the clips from both of these exchanges in the videos below.