I haven’t cried in over a year. I want to cry. I NEED to cry, but I can’t. I have experienced a lot in a year. I have gotten married, had to learn to navigate family members who have poor boundaries and standards, moved, been re-traumatized through all of the #MeToo stories, and have had fear and anger over past experiences reignite with more energy than I could have ever extrapolated.
I have been single for twenty years, so marriage is teaching me patience. I enjoy having my mate to talk to every day. I have wondered at moments if being married makes me less independent or less of a feminist. However, I don’t think it does. I still stand firm in my feminist beliefs, and I still maintain autonomy. We challenge each other to grow in many ways, and I am grateful for this.
With marriage comes more family, for which I’m thankful. But with more family, comes more points of view, many of which I don’t agree. It takes a lot of effort, determination, and standing strong in my scruples in order to not allow others’ pathology to “season” my beliefs.
Every time I hear footsteps of a man following behind me, my body tenses, my heart clenches, and I am fearful for my safety. I don’t ever want a man following behind me. If a man trails me, I’ll hold my head high, tighten my jaw, walk with a much heavier gait, and put on a “don’t f with me” mask, while 99 % I’ll move out of the way so he can move in front of me.
I resent the reality that I have to constantly look around for fear of my life. I dislike the facts that I have more negative thoughts towards men due to my assault, harassments, having been stalked, and having been subjected to many mens’ lack of impulse control and unhealthy compulsions. I also don’t understand women who enable and accept the above behaviors from anyone.
All of the injustices that so many have had to, and continue to have to endure weighs heavily on me. From Weinstein to all of the gymnasts, to MSU, to…..the list is too, and so, very long. Why must people have to scream to be heard, why must people go through so much pain to simply speak the truth and for others to hear the truth? I know it’s difficult for many. I feel for them, I hurt for them, and I applaud their bravery, their determined spirits, and their support of one another. I admire them. I thank them for not giving up and for showing the world that they will not stand for being silenced and manipulated anymore. Thank you.
I think I secretly fear that if I let my guard down and don’t stand strong, that I will collapse and not be able to pry myself from the floor. If I allow myself to cry, I, perhaps, subconsciously feel I won’t have the energy to then, stand so strongly in what I believe. It takes much more gumption and strength to stand in the truth and to fight for what is right, than it would to simply overlook what you don’t believe in. I don’t know how to let my guard down right now. I just don’t.
I hope when I’m alone in the near future, that I can just heave all that I am holding in….that I can just let go….and that I can just be vulnerable for a bit… that I can be soft, that I can sleep deeply and peacefully, and then I can pick myself up, maintain and build on my strength.
I want and need to cry.