|Jeans and Sweater: Old Navy (last year), Shoes: Jessica Simpson, Purse and Watch: Michael Kors, Ring: LeVian|
This will not come as a surprise to anyone who knows me, but... I am a Feminist.
Capital "F". Feminist.
I believe in equality of the sexes. For a while I was the President of the Women's Student Union in college. For two years I acted in, and participated in activism for The Vagina Monologues. I have volunteered countless hours with women's organizations, shelters, and counseling programs, and organized "Take Back the Night" rallies. I've seen some healthy relationships, and some not so healthy relationships up close and personal. I am also a loud mouth. People who know me, they know where I stand on shit. I firmly believe that relationships should add to the quality of this one precious life we are given. I don't think people should waste their lives with people who abuse them, demean them, scare them, hurt them, and make them feel like shit. It brings me to the point of angry tears to see people (mostly women) get abused in relationships and stay with the people who hurt them.
I don't just mean physical violence. I mean all of it. The messy shit. The screaming, throwing shit, accusatory, paranoid, insecure, bipolar, snooping, blaming, breaking doors down, checking your phone/email/texts, fucked up shit that comes with being in a relationship with someone who hates themselves. I've seen it. This person gets some deranged high off of scaring their partner into submission. They make them question who they are. They act out, start fights for no reason and then get angry just so they can then go do whatever the hell they want without repercussions. The kind of person that keeps you on edge. Turns you into a raw nerve. You never know what kind of mood they are going to be in, but you know for damn sure that your day will be impacted by it. A good mood means love, affection, fun, humor, and peace. A bad mood means rage, fear, physical sickness, terror, and guilt. Your life turn into a shame spiral. You're in love with someone who you hate. It can happen.
You pull away from your family. Your friends. You used to call people hysterically crying asking looking for solace, then... you stop calling. You don't want to hear... "just leave". You can't "just leave". It's not that easy. He will follow you, call you, maybe hurt you. He will make your life even more of a living hell than it already is. To make matters worse... you fucking love him. You love his smile, his laugh, the way he makes you feel sexy (when he's not making you feel like shit about yourself). You love watching movies together, making dinner. You love the life you have when things are good. You don't tell your closest friends what is going on anymore. You are ashamed. You ask... "How and when did I become this person? A victim? Weak? Is this who I am? I don't want to be alone? When he's good, he's great." You lie to yourself. To your friends. Your boss. Your mom. Dad. Sister. You cry. You gain weight. Lose weight. You start to hate yourself and you start to believe him when he says that no one else would want you. Slut. Bitch.
One of my dear friends, who I have known almost half of my life. That was her story. I was one of her best friends. I knew about some of the shit she was going through. Not everything. Not nearly all of it. She would only tell me so much, because she knows me. I am one of her "feminist friends". She knew what I was going to say. She knew how upset I would be. She knew what my advice was going to be. She knew she did not want to hear it and that she was not yet strong enough to do what she needed to do. I stopped seeing her and talking to her as much. I'd get so mad. So frustrated. So sad. I felt helpless. Hopeless. You cannot want something for someone more than they want it for themselves. And... he didn't hit her. I couldn't call the cops. Intervene. It was simply fucked up. It changed my friend. It shrunk her. I hated myself for not doing more. I hated her for not leaving him.
After years and years together, my friend is no longer with this man, but once in a while he will call. Just to see if she will answer. Her heart stops when the phone rings. She does not want to pick it up, but she is scared of his reaction if she does not. He will send texts from random numbers acting like he is another guy, just to see if she will respond. He is a fucking fuck. I hate him. She does too. Or does she? I don't really know. She is better than she was, but she is changed. Shamed. Mad at him. Mad at herself. Scarred deeply, and permanently. She is wiser. Stronger. More confident these days, but still held together by glue and tape. Not quite back to "normal".
I took pictures of what I wore today, and I sat down to blog but nothing else would come out. Nothing light hearted. Nothing funny. Just this. I don't even know why I wrote it all out, but I couldn't stop thinking about it. So...my friend... if you are reading this (which I am sure you are)... I love you. I'm sorry. You survived, and you will thrive. Pinky promise. I hope I gave you what you needed when you needed it, and if I didn't. I hope you can forgive me. I hope you love you as much as I love you.