Busta’s Person of the Week: Overcoming abandonment issues, local author and speaker to be honored at ‘Men That Win’ event

Busta’s Person of the Week: Overcoming abandonment issues, local author and speaker to be honored at ‘Men That Win’ event
September 08
06:21 2022

By Busta Brown

“The Holy Spirit asked me: ‘Do you love you? And how do you show that you love yourself?’ I didn’t have an answer,” shared Dr. Norman L. V. Collins, Sr. 

Dr. Collins said he was busy taking care of his wife, kids and everyone else, but never spent any time focusing on himself. “God asked me, ‘What do you do to show your wife love?’ I said, ‘Buy her flowers.’” He added, “God said, ‘Then buy you some.’” And he did. 

As Dr. Collins was speaking, I thought about how so many of us rarely – or never – truly shower ourselves with love. Dr. Collins continued, “God said, ‘Why not buy yourself flowers.’ So, I went to the florist and bought myself a dozen roses, a crystal vase, and a card. I wrote: To me, from me. With love always.” 

After showering himself with love for the first time, “It felt amazing! That’s where the name of my book came about: “To Me, From Me. Love Always.” The 2015 book is about learning to love yourself, and also learning to accept yourself. It empowers us with the tools we need to let ourselves off the hook and live our best lives. “It’s never too late to start now,” said Dr. Collins.

Dr. Norman L. V. Collins, Sr., is a seasoned public speaker and author who seeks to develop and promote holistic wellness and success to individuals everywhere. Everything about Dr. Collins is smooth, classy and cool. When he speaks, his delivery is smooth, his fashion style drips class, and his personality is Super Fly Cool. Yet, his journey to get here wasn’t nearly as smooth. 

“My greatest challenge was overcoming abandonment.” His mother gave him away, and then he was adopted by his father and his wife. Ten years later Collins was back with his mom and sadly, she died three years later. “After my mom died, I lived with my older sister for nine months and I suffered a lot of physical abuse. The court had to award me back to my dad and his wife,” said Dr. Collins. 

During his senior year in high school, his father and wife divorced. “I stayed with three different families, in different states. So, it was that pattern of abandonment that caused me to be insecure, bullied in school, feeling isolated and alone,” he said. That cloud of abandonment followed Dr. Collins well into his adult life. Although his proudest accomplishment is the beautiful legacy of his seven children, (five daughters and two sons), and 24 grandchildren, his 21 years of marriage had some serious challenges that couldn’t be reconciled. 

“To be perfectly honest, it was because of my insecurities,” said the 59-year-old. He said that he married young due to feeling lonely, and hadn’t dealt with his abandonment issues.

Dr. Collins was also a well-respected pastor for 15 years. But, after losing his marriage, he fell into a deep depression, causing him to lose his church and a prestigious job at a university. “During that time, I attempted suicide three times. Then I started going to therapy and learned to refocus and change my perspective on life,” said Collins. 

When he added prayer and an unwavering faith into the mix, blessings began to fall down from heaven. But his faith was seriously challenged by an unthinkable tragedy. “It was 2011, on May 29, my grandson, who was my namesake, Norman Van Lee Collins III, and his father, my son, were in a church parking lot. My son was getting his keyboard out of his car, along with my grandson. He saw a friend about 70 or 100 feet from him in the front of the church. My son waved to his friend to come get my grandson out the car for him. But his friend thought he was just speaking,” said Dr. Collins.

Due to the confusion between the two good friends, it caused an unthinkable tragedy that as a father, it’s extremely hard for me to continue writing, and it still haunts Dr. Collins to this day. “So, my son went into the church with his keyboard and my grandson was left in the car. It was 93 degrees that day, and service lasted two hours and 15 minutes,” said Dr. Collins. As he continued, my heart nearly stopped beating. “He and his wife went to the nursery to get Bishop, which is my grandson’s nickname. He wasn’t there. They went to the car and Bishop was unresponsive. The windows were up, so it was about 125 degrees in the car, so he had passed away within 20 minutes,” shared a heavy-hearted Dr. Collins. He was supposed to keep his grandson that weekend. “I really believed that if I had kept him like I normally do when they go to church, he would still be here. Because of that, I carried a lot of guilt,” he said. It wasn’t until this year, working with his therapist, that he was able to release that guilt.

Dr. Collins turned the tragedy into a triumph when he launched H4U2 Consulting LLC as a motivational speaker, life coach, and consultant in an effort to reach out to other individuals recovering from various life challenges, tragedies and circumstances and who seek success. He’s an active volunteer with Kids and Cars, where he advocates for the safety of children in and around hot cars, and the passing of the Hot Cars Act, which would mandate auto manufacturers to install sensors in new vehicles to detect the presence of a life in the rear seats after the ignition has been disengaged. 

Dr. Collins will be honored as one of the “Men that Win.” It’s an award ceremony with fashion included, with men walking the runway as an example of what a man that wins looks like. It all takes place Sept. 23 at 7 p.m. at the Hawthorne Inn and Conference Center in Winston-Salem, sponsored by Total Entertainment. This event will benefit an affordable housing initiative birthed out of the vision of CEO Donna Montgomery. 

Dr. Collins is the perfect honoree for such an event. Along with his many accolades, he’s also a thriving model, having modeled for fashion shows in Atlanta, Raleigh  and New York City. “My faith in God makes my heart trust God when my eyes can’t trace Him. My praise unto God keeps me positioned to stand in shaky situations, and my love for God keeps my heart and mind healthy, knowing that all things do work together for my good. Therefore, I contend each day to stay focused, stay faithful, and finish.” 

My phenomenal Person of the Week is Dr. Norman L. V. Collins, Sr. You can follow Dr. Collins on Twitter – @iamDrCollins, Instagram – @outtaDNorm, and on Facebook.

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