Alandria Lloyd is a writer, speaker, mentor, minister, and consultant. Born and raised in the small town of Natalbany, La, Alandria is wise beyond her years. Her rawness and vulnerability help you to appreciate her perspective on why we should use our pain to find our purpose. We began our conversation discussing her upbringing and being raised by her mom and dad. We quickly jump into her childhood and what she remembers during this time. This is HerStory Revealed...
HerStory: Let’s start with your time in middle school. What do you remember about this time?
Alandria: I was very insecure and lost. I was bullied a lot as a child for being a dark-skinned black girl so that caused me to hate and devalue myself. By the time I got into middle school my hormones were kicking in and I was trying to figure out what was it about me that would make me likable or lovable to the opposite sex.
HerStory: Were you bullied in school?
Alandria: No, it was the neighborhood that I was raised in that was the nightmare. I was raised around family on a block where all of my dads’ siblings lived close by, so going outside to play with my cousins is when the bullying would take place.
HerStory: So your cousins were the ones you were bullied by?
HerStory: Do you think the bullying was brought on by jealousy or do you think it was a learned behavior?
Alandria: Now that I’m older and I see things from a different perspective I see that the majority of them that did it to me had received the same treatment from someone else. All of that self-hatred and prejudice against your race is a learned behavior. The majority of them were my complexion or darker so looking back I realize that a way to relieve themselves was to do it to someone else to get the attention off of them.
HerStory: Did you experience bullying at school as well?
Alandria: No, but I carried it because the effects were there.
HerStory: Were you popular in middle school?
Alandria: No, I was very mean and standoffish in school.
HerStory: So this attitude was caused by the conflict about yourself that was going on in your head?
HerStory: So did you take this same attitude into high school with you?
Alandria: Oh yes, I took this attitude into my twenties.
HerStory: Tell me about the people you hung out with?
Alandria: I’ve always had one or two friends. I wasn’t a girl’s girl as they call it. I didn’t like a lot of people around me. I stayed around the same group of people.
HerStory: Tell me about some middle school experiences that stand out for you.
Alandria: I lost my virginity in middle school. By the time I graduated, I was a three-time teen mom.
HerStory: How old were you when you had your babies?
Alandria: I was 15, 16, and 17 but my first two children passed away. I had my first child and she was premature, she lived for only 15 days. And my second daughter was stillborn.
HerStory: How did being bullied and having low self-esteem contribute to you experimenting with sex at such a young age?
Alandria: After being told how black and ugly you are every day you are going to believe that. I felt like, as it related to boys, that they wouldn’t be physically attracted to me. I had to give them something else to make them want me so that’s where the sex came into play.
HerStory: Talk to me about your feelings as a 15-year-old when you first found out you were pregnant. Were you devastated?
Alandria: No, I did it on purpose.
HerStory: Ok, so you felt like having sex and having a baby would do what?
Alandria: The baby would be someone who would love me for me.
HerStory: Ok, and then you have your daughter and 15 days later she passes away. So when you got pregnant the second and third time was your plan to do the same thing?
Alandria: Oh no, they were unplanned.
HerStory: So how did your teen pregnancies affect your family. What were there thoughts?
Alandria: They were over me, it was a lot for everyone.
HerStory: Let’s talk about your relationship with your parents?
Alandria: My mom and I are pretty close and back then she worked. So we didn’t see each other a lot. My dad was there and the relationship was good.
HerStory: So, you have your son at 17 and you graduate high school. What happens after?
Alandria: I attend college. I had a series of toxic relationships. A lot of mental and emotional abuse. I still had the same friends from high school and stayed to myself. I didn’t trust people.
HerStory: Where did the distrust come from?
Alandria: I guess childhood stuff and observation. I’ve always been quiet and more of an observer. If I saw you running with someone today and then the next you are talking about them then I knew I was no different and to prevent all that I chose to leave you alone.
HerStory: At what point did you realize your brokenness and that it was time to do something about it?
Alandria: I’ve always known it, I just didn’t want to do what it took to heal at that time. I’d known for a while that it was me but doing what it took just seemed like it was going to be too much. So I kept putting it off until about my late 20’s. Then I was like I’m over it, if this is life i don’t want any part of it. I have to do something different
HerStory: You said you knew it was you, please elaborate.
Alandria: I was self-sabotaging, had toxic thinking, and reckless behavior. I could sit here and talk about all the men and what they did but I was the common denominator in all of it.
HerStory: How did your process start? What were some of the things you did to heal?
Alandria: Fasting and Praying.
HerStory: Have you always had a relationship with God.
Alandria: Yes, my entire life.
HerStory: How did you find your purpose?
Alandria: One of my mentors from church said that a lot of the times the places that you’ve experienced the most pain are the areas that you are called to. I’m called to women so of course, the devil would have me not liking them. He knew I was called to a lot of the people I would have dismissed had I kept along with his program. That’s when I started to figure out who I was and what I was called to. When I started to examine my pain I found my purpose.
HerStory: What is one of the worst things someone has ever said to you?
Alandria: My ex said that I was good for nothing.
HerStory: What are some of the personal battles you face today?
Alandria: None of that old stuff, at this point it’s just challenging myself to be better than I was yesterday. I thank God I’ve gotten to a place of healing and deliverance where old words are no longer keeping me bound. But before I got to this place whenever I would get into new relationships, I would wonder if the new guy actually valued me or I’d wonder if he also felt like I was good for nothing. So those thoughts replaying in my mind would cause self-sabotaging behavior.
HerStory: Where does your strength come from?
Alandria: Still God, always.
HerStory: What are some things you tell yourself to keep going?
Alandria: I have a list of declarations that I speak every morning. I have bible scriptures next to them to back it up. Just knowing that I’m called to more than this is the type of thing that keeps me going. I know I can’t slow down or slack up because I have so much more work to do.
HerStory: Tell me about your ministry.
Alandria: It’s called Change Agent Outreach Ministry and it is about using your God-given authority to change situations not only in your life but in the life of other people. It teaches women how to be a change agent for themselves and then taking that strength to help other women do the same. My ministry is geared toward single and grieving moms. I also have a publishing company that helps those who feel like they have been voiceless to find their voice and be able to share their truth in the form of a book.
HerStory: What is your advice for single women that feel like love is never going to happen for them?
Alandria: First they need to think about what they’re thinking about because that’s very important. You have to watch the negative self-talk that is coming out of your mouth. One thing I always encourage women to do is heal. When you heal it’s going to take care of that mindset because you are broken and it is coming from a broken place. I encourage women to focus on who you are in God and what they were called to do. Once you get busy doing that it will take your mind off of trying to get a man and secondly you will attract a man who appreciates and values you because now you value yourself.
HerStory: Some things are easier said than done. For women who do not believe in God or who don’t understand how to find their purpose, how does that even look? How do they self discover?
Alandria: Stop being prideful and ask for help.
HerStory: Ok, but who are they asking?
Alandria: There are tons of relationship coaches out here, get a mentor or wise counsel. You have to stop thinking you can do it on your own. I have not always been this person and my mindset has not always been this way. I didn’t get help because I was prideful and didn’t want people to be in my business. I didn’t want people to know I was struggling with my identity. As women, we know how to dress it up and make it look good so that when we go out people think we have it all together. We know that if we reach out for help it’s going to shatter that mask you have been wearing and a lot of women are not ready for that. I say take that mask off and stop being prideful and open up. It’s a personal thing. You just have to get sick of you! Once I got tired of me I didn’t care who I had to talk to.
HerStory: How is social media hurting women?
Alandria: Social media bothers insecure women. If you don’t know who you are or what you’re called to do, you’ll find yourself comparing your life to what’s being posted on someone else’s timeline. If that is the case, you need to step back and reevaluate yourself then get to the real root cause of your insecurity.
HerStory: What empowers you?
Alandria: Just knowing where I come from. I shouldn’t be here. I’ve been suicidal. I’ve wanted to kill myself. I felt like I was going to lose my mind after I lost my children. Having my son and being on welfare and Section 8, barely making it, getting put out of apartments because I couldn’t afford to pay my rent. I know what it’s like. I’ve been at the bottom of the bottom. Being in a house with no lights and no water and having to go next door to fill up pots with water from someone else’s hose pipe, I know what it’s like. So just knowing where I came from and how far God has brought me encourages me. My story encourages me to know that if I was able to make it from there to here, then I’ll be able to make it farther than where I am now.
HerStory: How important is a woman’s mental health?
Alandria: It’s everything because it all starts in your mind. Everything starts with a thought. And then your actions are what follows.
HerStory: How do you feel about colorism today?
Alandria: I think it’s just as bad as it’s always been. I think it’s a spiritual thing. When I say spiritual I’m speaking of generational curses. It’s what we were taught so we aren’t to blame about what we learned but we are to blame for not using our abilities to stop it. It’s a cultural thing that needs to stop. We need more people to speak out on it and stand up for it.
HerStory: At the end of every interview, I always ask every woman to answer the same question. To help leave your impression on every reader, in hopes that they will be able to identify their purpose through yours, please answer the question Who Am I?
Alandria: A Conqueror
Alandria Lloyd is a serial entrepreneur, certified life coach, and book publisher. She is the author of: • Change AGENT: The Missing Piece • Fasting For Change Prayer Journal, • While I’m Waiting Devotional for Single Women. • Letters To My Future King • Girl Power Uncensored (co-author) • Dear Young Woman