I am not going to lie to you; the next ten years of your life will the the hardest years of your life. You will be beaten down, challenged, tossed around, stomped on and at times it will hurt so much that you will do nearly anything to get the pain to end, to make the hurt stop, to quiet the noise, to escape. You will shine, dull, live out loud, and sink so deeply into yourself that you forget that there is a big, wide world out there. You will lose yourself. You will forget what it means to be happy. You will forget what it means to smile. Negativity will become a parasite. Don’t let me frighten you, though, because the most beautiful thing will happen. You will rise. You will rise above the hurt. You will rise above the pain. You will rise about the self-doubt, self-loathing, and the need for quiet. You will be like a motherfucking Phoenix and you will rise.
You leave him. I know right now, the idea of leaving him seems impossible. You are afraid to be on your own. You are afraid to be with him. He has cut you off from friends, from family. And even after you leave him, he will continue to batter you, mindfuck you, control you, and slowly try to kill you, if not at his own hands, at yours. But you leave. You leave the physical threat. At some point in your life, he will never lay his hands on you again. You will be poor. You will couch surf. You will carry all of your possessions around in a trash bag. Eventually, it stops. You find the strength to not allow it and it stops.
You will find your own place. You will make a home for you and your daughter. Step-by-step, you will stop being his punching bag, he will stop being an emotional terrorist, your actions and reactions will no longer be based on what he can do or what he says he will do, but on how you want to lie your life. You will walk tall. You will stand up straight. And he will never lay a hand on you ever again. There will be times you want to go back. The guilt of breaking up your family will get to you. Worries over financial security will keep you up at night. What you cannot give your daughter that every other child has will make you feel like you are a bad parent, that she’s better off without you than with you. You will find out, in time, you were not his only victim. Leaving him is a priceless gift you gave to her.
Don’t allow yourself to own the shame that belongs to others. You are vulnerable. Life isn’t how you picture it. You take ownership of his shame – of what he did to you, what he did to her, how he has fooled others. You blame yourself for being weak, for allowing yourself to be in that position in the first place. Do not own his shame. Do not own the shame over the difficult decisions you had to make to live, to survive, to make it to the next day. Do not own the shame of the decisions others forced on you because their behavior was so bad and you were simply trying to do the right thing. Do not own the shame of their shortcomings, their Dementor-like need to feed on your spirit. Do not own the shame that belongs to others. If you do, it will extinguish your light and lead you to a darkness. Owning their shame will be like spilled ink slowly creeping over a blank, white page, suffocating its potential and brightness inch-by-inch until it has disappeared completely. Don’t vanish. Don’t disappear.
It is no surprise that you lose Mom and Dad. Mom’s loss will hit you hard. You will be angry that you are young and your mother died and now you have no one to lead you, guide you, and help you navigate womanhood, motherhood, and starting over. You will feel like you are not a girl, but not quite yet a woman. You will miss them. At the same time, you will hate them for being gone too soon. You will resent everyone that bitches and complains and moans about their parents. You will want to kick them, hit them, and scream in their face, asking if they even know how fucking lucky they are to have parents around to ride their asses when they think they are doing wrong. Be understanding. You haven’t walked in their shoes.
Mourn them, but don’t forget to live. Embrace life, despite the loss of theirs. Celebrate holidays. Remember birthdays. Make your mom’s famous potatoes and remember your dad singing Johnny Cash at the top of his lungs when he had a little too much whiskey in the jar. Also forgive them. Your dad did the best he could with the tools he had. Generations separate the two of you. He loved you, even when you think he didn’t.
Your body will be violated, victimized, brutalized, and vandalized. It wasn’t your fault. You were not asking for it. It doesn’t matter where you were, no means motherfucking no, and you screamed, pleaded, and cried “Please don’t!”, “No!”, and “Stop!” so many times your voice went mute and your throat caught on fire. Your body was used as a weapon, It was used as a warning. You will start to hate it. You see the scar left on your knee where you were shoved onto the gravel, your clothes ripped off, your body violated by that of another. It wasn’t your fault. You were not asking for it. You were trying to do good, to help, to save someone else. Don’t start hating your body. It wasn’t your body’s fault. Don’t neglect it. Don’t turn the lights off. Don’t hide it in clothes that do not fit. Don’t stop caring about your beautiful eyes, your full lips, your long hair. It was not your fault. Your way of coping will be to hate your body, to hide it, to despise it, to abuse it as a form of self-defense from boogeymen that hurt you once, but cannot hurt you again. Love your body. Don’t punish it. By punishing it, you give them more than what they took from you – you give them power long after they are gone.
You will find love – real, true, genuine love. It won’t be where you expect to find it. It won’t be with who you expect to find it with. Your heart will heal. You will open yourself up. And he will be there. And it will be amazing. It will be beautiful. You will be blessed. You will never be able to look back at that one moment where you fell in love because you will be lucky enough to fall in love with him over and over and over and over every day. He will accept your baggage, even carrying it for you when you can’t carry it all on your own any more. Especially then. He will cherish you. He will believe in the power of your goodness. He will tell you that you are beautiful. Let him. Don’t slap away his compliments. He means them. He will be your Lloyd Dobler and will ruin you from loving anyone else ever again. And he will love her like she is his own, saying she was meant just for him. Enjoy every moment of it. The bad times, the good times, and the in-between times. He’s worth it. So are you.
Appreciate the small things and hold onto them. They are your hope. They are your salvation. They are what help you make it through when you feel like you just cannot go on anymore and that everyone else around would be so much better off if you just ceased to be. It will feel like you will never make it through. It will feel like every day is a struggle. Hold onto those little things. They will help you move on, move forward, reclaim your life, and instead of wasting away by simply existing, those small things will help you once again BE.
When life gets tough, put on your boxing gloves and fucking fight back. Fight for your life. Fight as if everything is on the line and you just need to make it through this round and you come out the other side with your hand raised in the air a motherfucking champion. Because you are. You make it through.
The Strong Woman You Become
This Curvy Girl Guide Community post comes to us from Amy. Amy is a gypsy with itchy feet. She fled the Midwest for the South, trading unbearable winters for humid summers. She believes in 80′ s hair bands, great books, and the healing power of grilled cheese and tomato soup.