Abiola’s Love Class: Alexyss K. Tylor on Loving Your Child In Jail
Love Lesson: How to Love an Incarcerated Child
Alexyss K. Tylor is known for being a “Vagina Power!” shouting YouTube star. Her brazen personality and NSFW content have many women affirming, “Yes, thank you!” and leave a few others scratching their heads. Alexyss, however, has remained steadfast in her goal to educate people in her authentic way. Alexyss is an entrepreneur, a media personality and a medical intuitive who gives private readings. Most importantly, however, Alexyss is a mother. The petite woman with a powerful presence had the blessing of reuniting with her incarcerated son earlier this year when he was released from prison. As a result, Alexyss has made educating other parents about dealing with a troubled child in jail a part of her personal mission.
This outspoken and courageous woman will share her V-Power lessons in an upcoming column. For now, the Atlanta resident and controversial figure has something urgent to offer.
Abiola: Reducing shame and stigmas in all areas of life is critical. Your transparency about the challenges that you have experienced is necessary and welcome. Were you primarily a single mother when you were raising your son?
Alexyss: Yes, I’ve always been a single mother.
hat was your experience of raising a boy child by yourself?
It was painful because basically I knew that I was going to be a single mom and I didn’t care because I needed that baby in my life. His father told me, ‘I’m not going to be here. How much do you want for an abortion?’ And I said ‘No, you don’t have to support me through anything. You can leave me. I’d rather live with this child and struggle than live without it.’ I was 19. I chose to weather that storm anyway. Yes, it was very hard.
Your son’s painful journey included an incarceration. You both have been very open about sharing and using his experiences as a teaching tool for others. Can you tell us more about that?
My son just got out this year. He’s been gone for over four years. I felt like my life stopped, like my life stood still. I literally did not clean his room because I didn’t want to jinx anything. I didn’t move his clothes. I didn’t unmake his bed. I spent the past few years being very depressed and beating up myself with a lot of guilt.
My son was very lonely because I only had one child and I didn’t want to repeat what I saw, Abiola, with my mother. I was the first child, lonely by myself with my grandmama a lot. My mother was out with her friends partying, hustling and having a good time.
I didn’t know my son was feeling the same thing. He was very lonely and he wanted a brother or sister and I was like ‘Baby, I can’t afford to do that. I’m by myself.’ So he started to crave a father, crave the male energy. He started going out into the street. His father’s family started exposing my son, at 11 and 12 years old, to smoking reefer, having sex with older girls behind my back, giving him cocaine and popping molly.
I’ve never been a drug addict. I never hung around drug addicts. I don’t know what that looks like. But I’m finding out he’s skipping school. I didn’t know why. Then he started being in and out of jail, in and out of juvenile.
The people that should have been protecting him and looking out for him, basically, his community, were not.
I blame myself for that a lot. I beat myself up for that. If I had done something different, if I had a man in his life. But you see, I not only dealt with the abandonment issue, I had been raped by men in the family. I had all my trust issues and all my insecurities, and the result of that was I didn’t have a man around him. So I still do feel responsible for this child intuitively knowing that there is something he needed as a man but it wasn’t in the house.
Alexyss, I’m going to have to interrupt you there, sis, because I just wanted to acknowledge that you did the absolute best that you could. Given what you knew at the time, the situation, the history of trauma that you experienced yourself. You were only doing what you knew how to do.
I talk to so many grown men who tell me the first time they had sex was with a babysitter or somebody in the family or in the neighborhood. They were getting high and their mother didn’t even know it and the boy was not going to tell. Because it’s fun for them having their d*ck sucked at 10, 11 by a grown woman or by a teenager. So I’m talking about it because I want more women to hopefully start looking at their boys and girls sooner.
Yes, people turn a blind eye because it’s a boy or people don’t know what to look for because it’s a son. But it’s sexual abuse just the same as it would be with a girl.
It was painful to think that.
So once your son was imprisoned for such a long stretch of time how did you maintain a mother-son relationship?
Oh no, I didn’t try to maintain one. I made another one. That’s when sh*t got real, you know. Because of the way he looks he had a lot of problems in there. They were calling him pretty boy, so because of his looks they considered him weak. So they would antagonize a lot of fights with him and even some of the guards would antagonize fights with him.
A lot of people would say, ‘Well, he’s probably lying. You know prisoners lie and guards have to jump on them sometimes in self-defense.’ No, Abiola, I actually went to the jail and I went to the Sheriff’s office. I asked them to file a claim that this guard is deliberately catching my son where the cameras are not looking. He is attacking and my son is afraid to fight back because he is a prisoner. Once they investigated it, they found the guard was doing it and they fired that guard.
So many young black men were being beat up in there and my son was telling me about it. He’d be like, ‘Mama, this guard took one of my friends and hit him. And his face was disfigured so much we didn’t recognize him. This is his mama’s name, this is his mama’s number. And literally I became a like a surrogate for other young men in there, too. I called the boy’s mama and I was like, ‘You gotta meet with me; we gotta get on this ASAP.’ We both filed complaints for our sons being assaulted by the same officer.
They would write up a false report and say, ‘This [kid] hit me, provoked me’ then put him in lockdown because they are so disfigured. So let’s say they put him in lock down for 30 days. That would give them enough time for all the swelling and the assault to disappear. No evidence.
That was an education. I learned instead of letting it tear me up, even though it was painful and depressing. I then started being an intercessor for a lot of young boys in there. You know, a mediator for them. You can’t get to your mama? They won’t let you use the phone? I said, ‘Well sh*t, my child is in there.’ Let me help somebody else’s child because I know that’s going to build up grace for me.
I got closer to my son. That’s when he started really being open about a lot of stuff. Healing a lot of his stuff and of course again I told him I blamed myself for it. And he was like, ’Mama, I don’t blame you. It was still my choice. I was responsible for my actions.’
So what would you advise other families who have incarcerated sons or incarcerated daughters to do?