Am I Strong Yet?

I try to forget.  I’m often quite good at pretending it all never happened.  I’m so completely and utterly satisfied with my life right now, I don’t want to take the time to remember everything I have been through to get me here.  It’s Woman’s Day and I as a woman want to say some things that I believe are important for people to know. 

Women tend to be inherently labeled as weak. While tons of examples can be given of strong women, I want to give you all my personal example.  First, let me give you some information about me.  I’m emotional; I cry about everything. I once cried because I wanted Taco Bell in the middle of the night.  I also cry about important things, like losing someone close to me.  I’m silly.  I joke and laugh.  I love makeup because it makes me feel pretty.  Do I sound like a strong woman to you?

Most people only see what’s on the surface and don’t want to learn about the real stuff.  So here is why I am strong.  I was abused physically and sexually for two years and never told a soul and lived my life as if everything was okay.  I did deuga so I could feel loved.  I was raped on multiple occasions.  I tried to kill myself on multiple occasions as well.  I spent the better of two years in hospitals.  I went to strangers homes to engage in sexual intercourse with them putting myself in dangerous situations.  I had to stop going to school because I couldn’t make it out of bed.  Do I sound strong now?

No? Well what if I told you I have been out of the hospital for almost a full year now. That I have a wonderful fiancĂ© whom I love and we love with a mutual respect.  What if I said I have been holding a steady job that I have been thriving in even when it’s hard to get out of bed.  What if I told you I’m happy and taking the right medications so I can stay this way.  What if I said I fought the hardest fight to stay alive and now I’m alive and encouraging others to stay alive.  What if I told you I am no longer a slave to my insecurities or fears.  What if I said people around me joke about rape, suicide, and drug use and I’m able to remain hopeful in the fact that I have overcome.  I can be ridiculed and called names and it doesn’t bother me one bit because I know where to find my worth. What if I told you I have forgiven those who hurt me and I pray for them daily.  Am I strong yet?

The thing about strength is it looks different to everyone.  I feel strong knowing I survived.  Women like me are everywhere and they all have their own story to tell. Celebrate women by celebrating the fact that they are overcomers. It’s hard to remember, but I will never let myself forget. 

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