Speak Out!

So, I’m sure you’ve seen these pictures, or heard of them, or heard the message at least: Women everywhere are saying “Screw it!” I don’t know that I’m exactly saying “Screw it,” however, I do like the pictures. I do like the idea of telling my story through the pictures. I like the idea of saying what has happened, what I will no longer allow, standing up for myself, speaking out! I like that…

Have you ever been abused? If you have been abused, perhaps, like me, you would take the physical abuse over the emotional abuse. Why is that? I must sound crazy to you. At least with the physical abuse, I have a tangible pain, tangible scars, that I can see and feel, that make sense. Emotional abuse – how do I explain the scars? How do I explain the pain that has lasted years later? There are no obvious wounds to show. There is no way to explain why I can’t speak with a man without intense anxiety built up inside. Why? Well, feelings of worthlessness, fear, self-deprecation… To be honest, it’s not even speaking with a man, it’s anyone! I am unsure of myself. I am afraid of people. Not physically afraid, because I can physically handle myself. Rather, emotionally, afraid. Does that make sense? Do you understand what I am saying? I am unsure of myself. Wounds run deep.

Because of the abuse, and because of my anxiety, I am forced to hide. I put on a mask. Wear a smile for the world to see. I try to cover the shaking of my hands, the shaking in my voice when I speak. The uneasiness I feel. The only solace I have, hand on the metal of a .9mm – Is this my life? Should I have taken the pills from that psych doctor for calm? No, then I would have to go back, talk to him, admit I’m not okay… He would just want to talk about a topic I loathe…

Why, in this day and age, must consent be explained to men, women, boys, and girls? Why is it so hard to grasp the concept that no means no, and even a drunk yes means no. I was married to a man that believed no means yes later, and a drunk yes means hurry up. Twisted, right? Yet, it’s a wonder that when I was raped overseas, he was there for me… Only, later, as my husband, he turned on me, used it against me. I guess that goes along with the emotional abuse.

Because of the guilt and shame that was two failed marriages, because of the rape, because of the emotional, mental and physical abuse that was both marriages, I sincerely depended on male validation to define me. I no longer need that. I know who I am. I have found my worth through Christ.

Dating these days is absurd. It isn’t even dating. It’s hooking up with about 3-4 people who are hooking up with about 3-4 people, until you mutually decide that you either want to see each other exclusively, or call it quits – after like 6 months?! Or so I am told. I’m sorry, that’s not for me. Call me whatever you like. I guess I am old-fashioned, or a prude. Or maybe I value myself. No, I will not put out, I don’t care what you call me.

One thing that bothers me is being judged for having kids, and not being married. Well, I was married when I had them! We ended in divorce after the fact. They all have the same father – even if they didn’t, it’s nobody’s business! Don’t judge me! And who cares if I look young! I was an adult when I made them, gave birth to them, and had health insurance! The government had nothing to do with their births!

Being single, everyone in my life seems to think that I “need” a man. They think I “need” to be in a relationship. I beg to differ. I am content on my own. I was almost caught up in the need for “love” “relationship” etc… But, I know better!

Men. Men are all the same. You can’t be real. I don’t understand how anyone could leave you! I would never leave you. Lies. They are liars, and I am real, and you will cheat. You just want a chance to get in my pants. Even if I gave you a chance to take me on a date, you won’t get in my pants. Would that upset you?

Why is it okay to make comments about a person’s body type? Now, I’m not big. And, just because I’m not big doesn’t mean I’m okay with people commenting on my body type. Nor am I okay with people commenting on my clothes, I dress modestly enough, not to bring attention to myself, so I shouldn’t be up for comment.

I do not necessarily feel inadequate (anymore). And I think this goes along with knowing my worth. But, I hate being compared to the social constructs of what is “beauty.” I don’t measure up to that crap. Why would I want to?

I’m a black woman. I can surely relate to this seemingly being a personality trait. This is also something that men of different ethnicities seem to desire as a feat to conquer. How many times have I heard, I’ve never been with a black woman. As if that is supposed to make my panties drop? I hate being a fetish because I’m black. There’s more to me than the color of my skin. Black is beautiful, and so am I, on the inside as well as outside.

*Images borrowed from Facebook.

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