Let’s make one thing clear, we support Black women– period. Megan Thee Stallion has become the latest example of the mistreatment Black women often face when speaking up for themselves. Since July 2020, when reports first surfaced that Megan, born Megan Pete, was allegedly shot by singer/ rapper Tory Lanez, she has had to deal with the dual trauma of the initial shooting and the subsequent harassment by Lanez, his fans, powerful people in the music industry, and the overall effort to discredit her.
Gun violence is an issue that continues to disproportionately impact Black women. According to a 2022 study, “Black women are three times more likely to be fatally shot by an intimate partner compared to white women.” (Megan has denied having an intimate relationship with Lanez.) During a particularly fraught time in hip hop, when we’ve lost so many artists to gun violence, including the recent murder of rapper Takeoff, it’s difficult to witness the continued minimizing and victim blaming of Megan by her peers in the business.
xoNecole has compiled a timeline of the events that unfolded following Megan’s shooting, including members of the industry who have seemingly undermined her story.
Megan Thee Stallion and Tory Lanez: A Timeline of Events
July 12, 2020
Reports surfaced that Megan had been shot by an unreported assailant while with Lanez, born Daystar Peterson, his bodyguard, and Megan’s friend at the time Kelsey Nicole when leaving a party at Kylie Jenner’s house.
July 16, 2020
Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images
Page Six exclusively reported that Lanez had officially been named as a potential suspect in the shooting. “Tory fired the shots from within the vehicle while Megan was outside trying to leave,” a source told the outlet. “There is video and the police are investigating. This is a case of a man physically harming and abusing a woman.”
It was also reported around this time that Megan unfollowed the singer on Instagram.
July 22, 2020
Megan gets on Twitter to clap back at reality star Draya Michele who went on a podcast and suggested that Lanez and Megan “had some sort of Bobby and Whitney love that drove them down this type of road" and joked that “I want you to like me so much you shoot me in the foot too."
“Dumb bitch that shit ain’t fucking funny who tf jokes about getting shot by a nigga,” Megan tweeted.
Michele would later apologize saying that her attempt at a joke fell flat and that "I truly don’t glorify domestic violence... I was trying to say just love me deeply."
July 23, 2020
Podcaster Adam22 reports that sources told him that Megan and Lanez were in a sexual relationship and that there was a flirtation between Jenner and Lanez at the party. Their interaction reportedly caused Megan to become jealous and start “violating his ass” and “really shitting on him.”That same day, rapper Cam’ron received backlash on social media after posting a transphobic comment about Megan saying, "Tory Lanez saw that dick and started shootn..IDC what no one say."
July 28, 2020
Rapper 50 Cent issues an apology to Megan after posting a meme depicting the Grammy award-winner as the character Ricky from the film Boyz n the Hood as he’s being shot.
“👀Damn I didn’t think this shit was real,🤦♂️It sounded so crazy @theestallion i’m glad your [sic] feeling better and i hope you can accept my apology. I posted a meme that was floating around. I wouldn’t have done that if i knew you was really hurt sorry. 🤷🏽♂️," he wrote.
August 19, 2020
Megan posts a photo of her injured foot on Instagram in an attempt to quell rumors that she wasn’t shot.
August 21, 2020
Megan gets on IG live and confirms that Lanez allegedly shot her. “Since y’all hoes so worried ’bout it, yes, this nigga Tory shot me,” she said. “You shot me. And you got your publicist and your people going to these blogs lying and shit. Stop lying. Why lie? I don’t understand. I tried to keep the situation off the internet, but you dragging it.
She continued, “You really fucking dragging it. Motherfuckers talking about I hit this nigga. I never hit you. Motherfuckers like, ‘Oh she mad ’cause he was trying to fuck with Kylie.’ No, I wasn’t. Like, you dry shot me. Like, everybody in the car – there’s only four motherfuckers in the car: me, you, my homegirl, and your security. I get out the car, I’m done arguing. I don’t wanna argue no more. I get out, I’m walking away. This nigga, from outside the back seat of the car, start shooting me. You shot me!”
She also addressed rumors that the injury to her foot was actually caused by broken glass. “I ain’t get cut by no glass, but let me tell you why they’re saying that: the people in the neighborhood –there’s a witness – when the police came because the neighbors called the police – this did not happen at Kylie’s house.” She continued, “This happened damn near back at the house I was staying at. I was just trying to get home. We were five minutes away from my spot. The police come and I’m scared.”
“All this shit going on with the police. The police are shooting motherfuckers for anything. The police was literally killing Black people for no motherfucking reason. Soon as the police tell us all ‘Get out the motherfucking car,' the police is really aggressive,” she explained. “You think I’m bout to tell the police that we – niggas, us Black people – got a gun in the car?! You want me to tell them that we got a gun in the car so they can shoot all of us up? Nigga, I’m scared.”
August 25, 2020
Houston legend Bun B comes out in support of his fellow hometown resident. “I know Tory, I know his manager. I know all of ‘em. Fuck all that, though. If the man on drugs, get him some goddamn rehab. If the man got mental health issues, get him some therapy,” he said.
“But you not just gon’ sit here and shoot this girl, and we not say nothin’. This shit not real. Nobody’s talking about it because it’s a Black woman… put your hands on Lady Gaga and see how quick they lock your ass up.”
September 9, 2020
TMZ reports that texts allegedly coming from Lanez show that the singer apologized to Megan while she was in the hospital. "I know u prolly never gone talk to me again, but I genuinely want u to know I'm sorry from the bottom of my heart,” read the texts. He also blamed his actions on being “too drunk.”
September 25, 2020
Lanez releases his album Daystar where he finally addresses the allegations that he shot Megan. In his song “Money Over Fallouts,” he raps lyrics like, “How the fuck you get shot in your foot, don’t hit no bones or tendons?” and “If you got shot from behind how can you identify me?”
September 29, 2020
Billboard reports that Lanez’s team posed as members of Megan’s team to plant stories that made Megan look less credible including fake text messages. Lanez’s team denies the claims.
October 3, 2020
Megan performs on Saturday Night Live as a musical guest and she stops mid-performance to share a message about supporting Black women. "We need to protect our Black women and love our Black women, 'cause at the end of the day, we need our Black women,” she preached.
October 8, 2020
Lanez was officially charged with one count of assault with a semiautomatic firearm and one count of carrying a loaded, concealed firearm in a vehicle.
October 13, 2020
Megan writes an op-ed for The New York Times titled “Why I Speak Up for Black Women.” The article states: “I was recently the victim of an act of violence by a man. After a party, I was shot twice as I walked away from him. We were not in a relationship. Truthfully, I was shocked that I ended up in that place.
My initial silence about what happened was out of fear for myself and my friends. Even as a victim, I have been met with skepticism and judgment. The way people have publicly questioned and debated whether I played a role in my own violent assault proves that my fears about discussing what happened were, unfortunately, warranted.”
October 20, 2020
Lanez gets on IG live to discuss the aftermath of the shooting and says that he still considers Megan to be a friend even if she doesn’t but that “I know what happened, and what you’re saying, what the alleged things and the alleged accusations of my name is, are not true. It’s falsified information. It’s false information.”
Megan responded on Twitter saying: “This Nigga genuinely crazy.”
November 18, 2020
Lanez pleads not guilty to both charges.
November 20, 2020
Megan’s debut album Good News is released where she addresses the shooting in the intro song “Shots Fired” with lines like “Imagine niggas lyin' 'bout shootin' a real bitch (huh?) Just to save face for rapper niggas you chill with.”
November 26, 2020
Kelsey Nicole (L) and Megan Thee Stallion (R).
Screenshot from Megan Thee Stallion's "Realer" music video/ YouTube
The “Savage” artist’s former friend Kelsey Nicole, who was one of the passengers in the car the night of the shooting, released a diss track to Megan titled “Bussin Back” where she rapped “Never been a jealous friend and the people really know it/If you would'vе kept it silent then I would'vе been told it/ See I really thought I knew you, thought that you would keep it G/ If you wanna talk gangsta, bitch, I'm really from the street.”
The former besties fell out following the shooting.
December 9, 2020
Rapper Jack Harlow responds to criticism of keeping Lanez on the remix of his hit song “What’s Poppin’” during an interview with Power 106. "I don't think I'm God. I don't have no room to judge anybody,” he said. “I wasn't there when this and that happened, I don't know anything."
January 21, 2021
The Source falsely reported that Megan dropped the charges against Lanez. The Canadian-born rapper’s representative came out and disputed the claims. Megan took to Twitter and said “Y’all can’t tell when shit fake news?”
February 2, 2021
“Buss It” artist Erica Banks goes on IG live with Lanez, a move many people think was an attempt to antagonize Megan since Banks is signed to the same record label that she’s currently going through legal battles with since March 2020.
June 21, 2021
Megan got into a Twitter feud with rapper and frequent collaborator DaBaby after he worked with Lanez on a new song. “Support me in private and publicly do something different…these industry men are very strange. This situation ain’t no damn “beef” and I really wish people would stop down playing it like it’s some internet shit for likes and retweets,” she tweeted.
July 20, 2021
Lanez mentioned Megan in his freestyle on Hot 97 “Megan people trying to frame me for a shooting/But them boys ain’t clean enough.”
July 25, 2021
Tory Lanez (L) and DaBaby (R) performing at Rolling Loud in Miami.
Jason Koerner/Getty Images
DaBaby brings out Lanez during his Rolling Loud performance, a move that was a violation of Megan’s protective order that required the “Jerry Sprunger” singer to stay 100 ft away from her. Lanez’s bail amount increased after the violation.
August 13, 2021
Prosecutors have filed a motion to hold Lanez in contempt for violating the restraining order that was issued in his ongoing criminal case.
December 15, 2021
A judge upholds Lanez’s charges after an LAPD officer testified that he shouted “Dance, bitch!” before allegedly shooting the “Pressurelicious” artist.
February 22, 2022
Megan posts screenshots of alleged text messages on social media from what appears to be Lanez apologizing to her after the shooting; a move that was in response to him seemingly subtweeting her by writing "u can't buy and tweet your way out of this one ..not today."
March 21, 2022
Popular hip-hop blogger DJ Akademics tweeted and deleted a claim that Lanez’s DNA was not found on the weapon in the case. Megan responded on her Instagram stories saying “court ain’t even started so why yall ready to start lying.”
April 4, 2022
Lanez is arrested for violating a protective order after tweeting about Megan back in February. He was released on a $350,000 bond.
April 24, 2022
Megan appeared on CBS This Morningspeaking with Gayle King about the shooting and the events following it.
April 26, 2022
50 Cent took to Instagram to cast doubt on Megan after she said that she wasn’t in a sexual relationship with the “Luv” singer. “Now that I don’t believe, she had to think about her answer. SMH all this shit is crazy,” 50 said.
June 15, 2022
In her Rolling Stone cover, Megan addresses the shooting saying that she wants Lanez to “go under the jail,” and that “I thought everyone in the car was my friend, [and] the whole time that’s not how they thought of me.”
August 24, 2022
Lanez's lawyer drops him as a client, citing “irreconcilable differences.” The lawyer had been defending Lanez against assault allegations made by Love and Hip-Hop: Miami cast member Prince.
October 31, 2022
A judge in Los Angeles ruled that Lanez had to be placed on house arrest until the trial after Lanez was found in violation of his parole due to allegedly assaulting August Alsina in September.
November 4, 2022
\u201cI know I\u2019m very popular but y\u2019all gotta stop attaching weak ass conspiracy theories in bars to my name lol Niggas nor hoes EVER address me or @ me WITH a fact or receipts. I AM CLOUT BITCH keep sucking my pussy\u201d— TINA SNOW (@TINA SNOW) 1667538594
On his collab album Her Loss with 21 Savage, Drake raps in the song “Circo Loco,” “This bitch lie 'bout gettin shots but she still a stallion/ She don't even get the joke but she still smilin'” a line that many people think is in reference to Megan.
The H-town rapper responded to the lyric by tweeting, “I know I’m very popular but y’all gotta stop attaching weak ass conspiracy theories in bars to my name lol Niggas nor hoes EVER address me or @ me WITH a fact or receipts. I AM CLOUT BITCH keep sucking my pussy.”
November 5, 2022
Rapper Lil Yachty — who co-wrote “Circo Loco” — said on Instagram live that the line was not a reference to Megan, but to girls who get butt injections.
November 11, 2022
An open letter signed by representative Maxine Waters, Me Too founder Tarana Burke, host Marc Lamont Hill, and other community figures was released in support of Megan saying in part “You are believed, loved, and supported.”
The trial against Lanez for assault and weapons charges begins Monday, November 28, 2022.
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The Unhealthy 'Unconscious Contracts' We Make With Our Parents (And How To Break Them)
I’m a quotes kind of girl. Unapologetically so. I think I like them so much because they’re a way of packing in a lot of wisdom and insight without giving an entire speech (or writing an entire article). And if there’s one quote that I know I use at least three times a week, it’s “Adulthood is surviving childhood.”
It’s not a good thing either because, basically, what the quote is saying is a lot of us experience so much trauma as children that many of our adult years are actually spent trying to figure out how to survive it all. In fact, I recently read a Guardian article entitled, “Survivors of childhood trauma often grow up believing they are unworthy,” which had a line in it that summarizes a lot of why I do what I do for a living: “Jane now understands that she was conditioned as a child to see toxic relationships as almost normal.” I’m here to reprogram a lot of counterproductive stuff that a lot of us don’t realize we are doing…as best as I possibly can.
And yes, believe it or not, a part of the reason why we get into then tolerate then endure the oftentimes pure suffering of unhealthy relationships with other people — personal and professional, romantic, platonic and familial — is due to something known as unconscious contracts. Boy, when I first learned about unconscious contracts and what they entail, it was like I had a new way of helping to free up so many people from their hamster wheels of dysfunction with other individuals.
Okay, but I’m getting a little ahead of myself. If you already feel drawn to or even triggered by the intro of this article alone, please set aside some time tonight or this weekend to dive into what it means to sign an unconscious contract, how it typically ends up working against you, and what you can do to change it ASAP.
What Is an Unconscious Contract?
I like giving credit where credit's due, and when it comes to the entire concept of unconscious contracts, one of my instructors taught it to me. She said she learned it from a neuroscience educator by the name of Sarah Peyton.
The gist of an "unconscious contract" is it's an agreement that you made, oftentimes in order to get through living with your toxic parent (or parents), that ended up being an unhealthy habit or approach to dealing with other people as you grow and develop into adulthood (you can watch an intro video about it here that is pretty damn enlightening if I do say so myself).
According to Sarah and her findings, a lot of our full dependence on our parents (especially our mother since she's usually the primary caregiver), as far as communication goes, happens around four months of age and, without us even noticing it, we find ourselves figuring out what needs to be done in order to get along with them — even if it's ultimately to our detriment.
An article that dives deeper into all of this is "When Relationships Fall Apart: Conscious and Unconscious Agreements in Relationship." The authors speak on the fact that a conscious contract is an agreement where both parties know the commitment that they are getting into, while an unconscious contract is usually unspoken, although what transpires is one person decides to suppress their thoughts, feelings, and needs in order to make another person happy (or it at least makes getting along with them easier to do).
Now I'll already tell you that if you read this and thought, "Isn't that just compromising?" you just revealed that you are someone who definitely needs to continue on with this piece because, no, suppression is not compromise; suppression is you denying a part of who you are in order to keep the peace — or avoid abuse — and there is nothing compromising about that. It is destructive and definitely the kind of "unconscious contract" that you need to break…immediately if you can.
Before I break down how to do that, let's go a bit deeper into all of this.
How an Unconscious Contract Affected Your Childhood Development
Last fall, Newsweek published an article entitled "Why Adult Children Are Cutting Off Their Parents More Than Ever." Now for the record, no parent is perfect, and since some people like to throw around words like "toxic" as if they are confetti, let's look into some signs that you definitely had a toxic parent as a child/teenager — and that you may still have one now:
- They didn't respect your privacy/boundaries
- They pressured you to agree with them even when you didn't
- They were harder on you than they were on other children (especially outside of the home)
- They found a way to make everything about them
- They wouldn't let you ask questions for clarity (and/or they lashed out when you did)
- They were controlling
- They didn't shield you from trauma (and they oftentimes caused it)
- They used religion to justify their toxic behavior
- They used you as a makeshift therapist/counselor (told you too much information)
- They were verbally and/or emotionally and/or physically and/or sexually abusive
- They were emotionally unpredictable
- They weren't supportive (or you felt like they were competing with you)
- They kept you walking on eggshells
- They deflected from taking accountability for their mistakes (or poor choices)
- They either used guilt or withheld love in order to get their way
If any of this resonated with you, yes, on some level, you are a survivor of a toxic parent — again, not an imperfect parent; more like someone who put you in a position where you dealt with some level of trauma on a consistent basis. And because it's a parent's job to help you to become a holistically healthy individual, when the opposite happens, it can stifle you on some level.
For instance, I grew up with parents who didn't know how to respect a boundary or take accountability if it hit them square in the face. I don't even have the time to get into how deep it all went. For now, I'll just give one example of how it played out in my adult years — recent ones. One parent was so toxic that they really should be in prison. Because they're not, they had the nerve to email me acting like they were doing me some favor by leaving me alone…like I had told them to do for almost two decades now, that they still had moments when they would disrespect the boundary. And where did they get my contact information? From the other parent. WILD. Not you out here enabling my abuser.
Boundaries are limits, and limits (when they are not used to weaponize or manipulate) are put into place to keep us safe. People who don't respect your boundaries are unsafe individuals.
When I think about how my boundaries were constantly being dishonored as I was growing up affected me all through those years. One way is I didn't know how to set healthy boundaries with other people. As a result, I had some of the most toxic female friendships known to man (no joke). Another result is I had a tendency to be controlling to certain other people too. Control is what was modeled to me (suffocatingly so), all the while being told that it was love, and so… that's what I thought it was.
I had written an "unconscious contract" with my parents that allowed them to railroad my space, my body, and my feelings. My needs were basically the "rent" that I had to pay to live in their home and have my basic material needs met. And so, I thought that's what relationships looked like — that I had to go above and beyond while overlooking what I deserved in order to keep people around, OR I had to control the narrative in some way as a way of expressing my "love" to them. And I lived just like this for many years.
How an Unconscious Contract Affects Your Relationships Now
Before the end of the year is out, I'll be finishing my third book. One of the things that it's going to touch on is just how emotionally abusive one dynamic with a certain guy was. I'll give you an example. One time, I helped him put on an event. I got him the venue for free. I made the programs. I set up the slideshow. I ran the slideshow. He didn't pay me a dime. Because the venue was about an hour away and we left unbelievably late (in separate cars), I asked him if he would stay on the phone with me because I was sleepy. He yelled at me, told me that I needed to find someone else, and hung up. And the next day, what did I do? I texted him to make sure that he was okay. AMAZING. He never apologized, even when I brought it up. Instead, he deflected and justified his behavior. Also AMAZING.
In hindsight, I know this is the fallout from unconscious contracts that I had "signed" with my parents, several of them. Something in me thought that if I just loved that man enough, eventually, he would stop mistreating me. Yet, I know him well enough to know that he has his own unconscious contracts that need to be broken, so while I was over-giving, he was over-hustling. He also was being ungrateful and narcissistic (and narcissism is also oftentimes the result of a traumatic childhood; it's a cryptic way of protecting oneself). Yeah, because I still had some "live contracts" going on, folks were able to get away with all kinds of stuff.
I'll give you another example. I have a girlfriend who keeps picking materialistic and shallow women as friends (check out "7 Signs Your Friendship...Actually Isn't One"). Her mother was exactly that way. It's wearing her out now because she feels like all she has in common with her circle is shopping and, inconsequentially, debt. Yet, until I introduced the concept of unconscious contracts to her, she didn't realize that all she really had in common with her mom — and the only time her mom ever really spent quality time with her — was when money was involved (including her mom feeling entitled to her money in present time).
Again, adulthood is surviving childhood. So, take a moment and think about the list that I provided as it relates to whether or not you had a toxic parent. Where the points apply, ponder what your adult relationships look like these days. Where are there patterns? Where are there mirror reflections of the relationship that you had with your mother and/or father and/or caregiver? Where do you see the same kind of unhealthiness…even now?
When we're children, we are innocent and a blank slate. We rely on our parents to show us how we are to see ourselves, along with how we are to live out our lives. So yeah, without some serious inner work (and oftentimes therapy), the contracts that we became a part of as children will continue in our adult world — that is, until we break them.
What Can You Do to Break an Unconscious Contact
I already know — this is some pretty heavy stuff (which is why I implied at the beginning that it's not exactly lunchtime reading). Yet you know how the saying goes, knowledge is power, and if you could relate to any of this, how freeing is it to get to some of the roots, to receive confirmation that you're not crazy (sis, you're not) and then be provided with tips on how to get up out of these, what seem like lifelong binding agreements, that are not serving you (and never really were)?
Okay, so now that you know what an unconscious contract is, how you found yourself being a part of one, and how much damage they ended up doing, what can be done to break the contract? Good question.
A PDF that I was given (via Sarah Peyton's site) is what my instructor shared with me. I have edited it a bit so that it can make a bit more sense (if this is your first time hearing about unconscious contracts):
Step 1. Determine what the contract initially was.
“I (your name), ________________ , solemnly swear to you (parent/caregiver),___________________
to (whatever the self-defeating behavior was) ________________________ in order to protect you/honor you/survive, no matter the cost to myself. “
Step 2. Was the vow heard? (In order to feel validated in this exercise, you should get someone you trust to serve as a representative to act as the parent/caregiver you are speaking to.)
“Parent or caregiver, did you hear this vow?”
“Parent or caregiver, do you like this vow?”
Step 3. Can the vow be released? If so, release it.
If yes, the representative says, “I release you from this vow and I revoke this contract.”
(If the vow cannot be released, like your parent lives with you and they are still doing the behavior, you may want to seek therapy to figure out what boundaries need to be set up, especially if your parent tends to go full gaslight or full denial whenever you bring trauma or their past mistakes up.)
Step 4. Create a blessing to break the unconscious contract.
The representative says, “And instead of this vow, I give you my blessing to...(create the blessing)”
In a perfect world, you could talk to your parent about all of this, and no representative would be needed — yet honestly if that were the case and your parent was truly self-aware, apologetic, and willing to make amends, they would probably approach you first about the harm that they caused. That's why a representative can be helpful. They are symbolic, and while you may never get this kind of release from your actual parent, the validation and affirmation that comes from the exercise may be enough for you to fast-track your way to healing and to feel stronger in saying "no," setting limits and requiring that your needs be met from your parents — and to offer up consequences when that is not the case.
This is an exercise that can reduce fear and stagnation so that you can start to get on with how to have healthier relationships with others moving forward.
The Benefits of Ending Unconscious Contracts…and Creating New Ones
A wise man once said, "My word is my bond." That said, to tell you the truth, the only way that breaking an unconscious contract is going to work is if there is integrity behind your words. You need to identify them, vocally acknowledge them, and have your representative acknowledge you/them. You need to receive the blessing, and then, what I recommend is setting up a new contract — this time between you and yourself.
For instance, if your childhood unconscious contract was all about you walking on eggshells, the new contract needs to say something along the lines of, "I will no longer put my own feelings and needs aside whenever I feel bullied or even dismissed. My voice matters, especially when it comes to what directly affects me, so I will speak up when necessary." Whew. Can you see how empowering that is?
It can't be said enough that there is plenty of data out here to support the fact that at the age we are traumatized, oftentimes we remain right there emotionally until we heal — and healing can include breaking our unconscious contracts. Only, in my opinion, it's not enough to break one…you need to then replace it with another; otherwise, you could find yourself slipping back into what's familiar…even if you know it's not what's better/best for you.
This really is something that I could go on for days about because it’s the kind of topic that is so freeing once people are able to apply it in their own world. For now, I’ll just say that contracts are binding agreements. Yet, the good thing about unconscious contracts is you can let yourself off of the hook, knowing that you, as an adult, now have the space to live as you wish. You don’t have to “go along to get along” in the midst of super crazy, super counterproductive, super toxic ways.
You can write new contracts — ones that will strengthen you, validate you, and give you the kind of life that YOU want to live. Not the one that your toxic parent(s) made you think you had to settle for.
So, what unconscious contracts are you going to break today?
What new ones are you going to put into motion?
There’s no time like the present to start fully living YOUR life.
Amen? Hallelujah. For real.
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