In her many talks to groups throughout the Washington area, family counselor Audrey Bridgeforth-Chapman has given advice to people in all walks of life. Following are excerpts from some of her speeches: Making it Solo
Most black women do not experience being single as a viable choice, but as a condition imposed by the low ratio of black men. . . . I have stumbled along, but also have had many enlightening moments, and the experience has led to a very productive, wholesome lifestyle. A guide for coping with bing single is a prerequisite for black women making it alone.
I remember hating weekends, because I associated that period with being alone. Sunday was the worst day of the week. I often spent the day wishing for something exciting to happen -- nothing ever did. It never occurred to me to take some initiative and make things happen for myself.
Don't run from loneliness and pain, embrace your feelings and learn how to conquer the discomfort associated with being alone.
You are the only one with the essential key to the happiness for your life. There is no "Mr. Goodbar."
If you do not accept who you are, you cannot decide on what to change or whether to change. And getting to the core of you will promote a happier, healthy, single woman. Black Woman Vs. Black Man
It seems to me that black men and black women cannot survive this society's awesome odds (if they are) against each other. The children of these unions also need stable relationships to provide them with security. It is imperative that we identify strengths that do exist between us, so we can continue coming together in unity and peace.
Because we believe the myths that black men are "no good" and black women are "strong and castrating," these myths become real to us and so, a self-fulfilling prophecy.
All couples have some disagreements and some conflicts. Conflict is healthy. It's how you communicate the differences that's important. Superwoman Syndrome
I believe these are millions of American women trapped in the superwoman squeeze, attempting to juggle home, family and career.
Many black women tell me, "I often have no one to depend on or I forget to ask for help because I'm not used to reaching out for it. Besides no one expects me to be weak and needy."
In the support groups I conduct at the Howard University Counseling Service, I like to encourage women to think and view themselves as persons who have the power to control and change awesome conditions in their lives. We all are faced with various stresses these days . . . but if we explore realistic ways to cope with career, family and personal issues, superwomen and men will be free to relinquish some of the tasks to other family members and friends. Children In Broken Homes
If parents could be open and honest with children they would fare much better than when they tell half-truths or misleading stories. These stories only provide comfort for the grieving parents.
Children don't divorce, parents do. This message needs to be conveyed in many different ways during the adjustment period.
The period of adjustment varies according to the age of the child, quality of the relationship of separation are presented and how the parents have continued to cope with the loss.
It is natural for children to spend the better part of their lives attempting to reunite their parents.