Carita’s new life
AT nights during the week Barbadians gather around their radio to listen to Girlfriend Get A Life, Carita D’s broadcast on Christ Is The Answer (CITA) Radio.
The former resident of South Carolina in the United States returned home to Barbados just over a year ago, bringing her transparent, down-to-earth style with a whole lot of American flair to taboo topics dealing with relationships and life issues when she introduced the show to her homegrown audience.
Perhaps a lot of Carita D’s appeal has to do with her ability to keep it real, her unyielding faith in God and her ability to laugh at herself.
“I’ve been in the States 26 years and I’ve been back a year and a half but the people of Barbados have been so welcoming. It was like they were waiting for this,” said the woman with the infectious laughter who made a name for herself in the United States as a syndicated talk show host, speaker and author.
“Nobody’s talking about those little secrets like domestic violence, what do you do when your man cheats and you’re a Christian.”
The nightly radio broadcast interweaves Scripture, maintaining your Christian walk and coping with the issues of life – all done in a way that is palatable to many people.
“People thought, when I came to Barbados, that this kind of show wouldn’t work here. But I had to remind myself, more than anyone else because there are always going to be critics, that people are people wherever you go. Barbadians are no different from anybody else in the world,” she said.
“The biggest problem I believe out there is that most people lack the transparency needed to get healing. They don’t take ownership of what issues they have; not even with themselves, furthermore their God.”
Dealing with her own issues is something that Carita D knows a great deal about. Her book Get Out The Box And Get A Life talks about issues like low self-esteem and carting around emotional baggage – something she herself had to overcome.
“I can identify with that because I was there myself; I had low self-esteem issues. I had to get to the point, from God’s word, where I could build myself up. I couldn’t afford to see a therapist,” Carita D added. “When I came back to the church I saw my pastor as my therapist.”
As a result, she is a strong advocate for ridding yourself of your dysfunction.
“So by me being totally transparent with my life, it has given people the permission to be able to say, ‘You know what, I really am jacked-up in that area too’. By doing that it allows people to be free to seek help. To say, ‘Yes, I’ve been one of those people sitting for ten or 15 years thinking I was okay and I still don’t have a husband’,” she says. Or, ‘I’ve been here in this domestic abuse situation and I thought everybody else was just like me and I’m okay’.
“Not only is there something intrinsically wrong with that; there’s something wrong with you because you keep attracting that and keep settling for it. You have developed a status quo in your life where someone berating you and someone hitting you is acceptable. If people took ownership of the issues they have, we would further ourselves as a people.”
Carita D, who recently embarked on her second marriage in December, had to go through her own personal healing before entering this chapter in her life.
“Hubby [and I] were talking one night about how do we walk this Christian life in a real way. He and I didn’t have premarital sex. As a matter of fact, our lips didn’t touch until we said ‘I do’.
“Here it is we were dating and one day he fell asleep on the couch at my aunt’s house and he started to snore. I was like, ‘Oh, my God, he snores. I ain’t never had a man in my BC (before Christ) days who snores’. I said, ‘God, I didn’t pray for this, take him back’. But we got married.
“We talked about this during our radio show and it really showed people that they’re some things that you think are so big, so astronomical, yet everybody is going through it . . . . We gave [the audience] permission to laugh [at us] . . . and I am known for my laughter.”
Yet, in the midst of the laughter and the support and empathy she gets from her listeners is also the realization that there are many hurting women and men in Barbados.
“People have these huge issues and they are trying to get a little peace here and there. I realize women here don’t like men because they’ve been abused for so long. First of all, you cannot love what you do not know and they don’t understand men. I can understand that because the men don’t understand themselves,” she said.
“They don’t understand the fact that they’re the priest of the home and what their role is.”
According to Carita D, men learn from their forefathers that all they’re supposed to do is bring in a paycheque and the woman is not to question him about anything.
“That is grounds for a very, very destructive relationship because every relationship must have accountability,” she said.
Carita D’s biggest hope is that through Girlfriend Get A Life and its format, people will learn something new and be able to see life in a different way.
“I want them to take away the real Creator, the one who understands and is walking with them every single day . . . the one who says He will never leave you or forsake you.”