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Carla and Liz pose for a selfie
About Our Love

Liz and Carla: Surviving 17 Bullets Before Finding Her Forever Love

Written by Carla Nelson-Blackwell

I’m 48 years old, and I’m the proud mother of four grown children and nine grandchildren. I met my wife, Liz, online in September 2014. At the time, Liz was residing in North Carolina, and I was living here in Dallas, Texas. When we met, we would talk for hours and hours on the phone and online. So she decided to visit me for Christmas, and she never returned to North Carolina.

She proposed to me with her deceased mother’s ring on on New Year’s Eve. I accepted because my heart told me that she was the one. God had also told me years ago when it was time; He would send me that special person. God kept His promise.

We Had Two Weddings

Liz and Carla walk down the aisle on their wedding day.

Liz and Carla walk down the aisle on their wedding day.

We were married Jan 21, 2015, in Durant, Oklahoma. We had our second wedding in my hometown of New Orleans on May 29, 2015, the day after Liz’s birthday. Since we got together, we are inseparable. We have a relationship like no other.

Back in 2010, before I met Liz, I was shot 17 times. I’m sharing my story to let everyone know that faith in God and what He can do can keep you going. Please know that prayers work.

In November of 2010, I went home to visit with someone, I met on a website. I was only there for her as a genuine friend, nothing more or less. She was going through hard times with her mom, so I came down for support not knowing that I was going to be the victim of violence.

Before the Pleasure Came the Pain

We were going to have lunch, and she wanted to change her shirt because she burned a hole in it. So, she drove to this house and said she would only be a few seconds. I sat in the truck as it was running and the music was playing.

All of a sudden, my passenger door opened as I was texting my daughters. I turned to my right only to be looking at a face unknown to me and down the barrel of a gun.

The person holding the gun began shooting while yelling, “Get the fuck out of the truck!”  I think I became confused because I didn’t believe that was happening. As she shouted several times and continued shooting, I could feel bullets piercing my body. I only remember the first few shots that hit my stomach and right knee. Everything else went silent because the ringing of the gun was so close to my ears, it made me go deaf for awhile.

The person holding the gun tried to shoot me in the head. It was then I threw my left arm up to block it and was hit several times in my left arm.

The sensation I got from that arm was it was bruised badly and very heavy from being swollen from the bullets. After the person holding the gun realized she didn’t have any more bullets and I too realize that, I grabbed for her and she jerked back from my grasp and hit me in the face with the gun.

I slowly popped open my seat belt and walked across a yard where I found a woman on the phone calling the police, and I asked her if I could stand on her porch, and she said, yes. I could hear sirens in the distance coming from all over.

My So-Called Friend Was Nowhere in Sight

Carla shows the stitches resulting from the gun shot wounds.

Carla shows the stitches resulting from the gun shot wounds. Despite the pain she still keeps a positive attitude.

The person who shot me went into the house with my so-called friend. Not once throughout the shooting, did my friend come out to see what was going on.

I blacked out while in the ambulance and found out later that I was in surgery for 18 hours.

I also found out I was shot 17 times. Once in my stomach that ripped through my colon, liver, and intestine; twice in my right knee, once in my right calf, once on my left thigh, once in my right ear, nine times in my left arm, which left me paralyzed and twice in my left breast.

I stayed in the hospital for two weeks. Over the years until now, I have been having corrective surgeries to remove scar tissue and to get the mobility back in my left arm. Every day I wake up in pain and still go to the hospital to get injections to relieve the pain.


My Wife Accepts Me

Liz behind her wife Carla in a hopsital gown

Liz supports her wife, Carla, on one of her regular visits to the hospital for pain injections.

The shooting was an unfortunate incident, but I never stopped believing that God would restore and refresh me. My will to live was strong, and my will to push through and think positive was my all time mission. I am grateful and blessed to have had the support from family and friends.

The person holding the gun is serving 17 years in prison. I forgave her the same day she shot me.

So when Liz told me she accepted me–scars and all–for who I am and not what I look like on the outside, I felt so complete. I knew for sure then that we were meant to spend a lifetime together.


Liz’s Story

Liz holds Carla, several selfies inset

Liz holds her wife, Carla.

Upon meeting my wife, Carla, life for me has changed. Because of my past, I never thought I would ever allow someone to get as close to me as she has. This woman has been through so much, but it was her gorgeous eyes and smile that caught my attention.

It was love at first sight.

It was from there I realized that I had met my soulmate, the one I wanted to spend the rest of my life with. So here we are two years from when we got married, and there are many more years to come. Life with my wife, Carla, my hunbun is great! She is my queen, and I am her king!

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Article written by:

Zamara Perri

Zamara Perri is the founder and editor of the Black Lesbian Love Lab blog. She loves black love and loves mangoes, cats, reading, cooking and writing about some of the challenges and joys of black lesbian relationships.

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    beautiful. God bless you sugar!! Keep loving each other. Strong Black Love!

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