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 fiancé 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.