Every day I ache, a wretched invisible ache. My wounds are hidden from view unless I choose to share them. Unless I reveal them, no one ever knows. No one ever sees. And they have no idea how painful it is to hear, to read their opinions – thoughts that deny my experience. Ideas that mock my life. That mock my ache.
How many ways can a woman suffer at the hands of men? Sometimes it feels like my life is an attempt to answer this question. Pick a chapter of my life, and I will show you. I spin around, eyes closed, and throw a dart. Find another way. Find another wound.
The beginning was so early. A toddler. A hidden memory. A dream? And it left its marks all over me. I never trusted adults, especially men. I didn't trust my own family members. I didn't trust boys. Any volatility was a sign to steer clear. Every action, from avoiding the toilets outside of teachers' sight at school, to walking home a block away from a group of boys, it was all calculated defense.
Stay invisible. Stay safe. Stay outside of reach. I won't get hurt – again.
But the stage was set. Another boy, another time, bent on abusing his power. And I gave mine away. I gave it away because I didn't know I had it. I didn't know who I was yet. So I took his scathing tongue. I took his sharp hand. I let him tear me down, as if it was okay, as others watched, doing nothing. Doing nothing because they didn't know better? Doing nothing because they agreed? Why doesn't matter.
Followed walking home. Anonymous letters. Laced drinks at a party. Betrayed by someone once trusted. Telling and no one believes me. No one knows what to do. No one knows how to act. No one knows what to say.
It must be my fault, right? I must have done something. I must have deserved all this. Because I wasn't dressed in Kevlar. Because I wasn't carrying a taser. Because I didn't kick him in the balls when he was sitting with me and my friends at lunch, smiling, and joking like we're all good here. Because I should have known that everyone close to me is a potential attacker. I should have hid my body even more...somehow suppressed the intense curves I was born to have. I should have… I should have… I should have…
And I am alone.
I call into the chaos, speaking truth and a thousand poisonous daggers point back.
I'm too mean. I'm a bitch. I'm too sexy. I'm a whore. I'm too pretty. I'm a slut. I'm too vocal. I'm annoying. I'm too smart. I'm wrong. I'm too much.
I'm a woman.
I'm monstrous feminine.
Despite the hidden scars I carry, the pain I feel when reading denials of my experience, I stand here. I stand, with natural armor, acquired through my battles. My skin is beautiful, perfect for withstanding any siege. I smile, baring teeth, my threat plain. I stand, proclaiming truth, defying the chaos. And my power whips about me, a hurricane beating against blind shores. I walk, back straight, head high. I wield my ache like a battle cry, a siren's call into the void.
Hear me sisters!
Our time is now.
Claim your power.
Claim your right.
If you want to learn more about my story and how I gained my perfect armor, reserve a copy of my book THRIVE: HOW I BECAME A SUPERHERO. To follow a crash course of my process, reserve a copy of TRANSFORM TO THRIVE: 32 DAYS FROM VICTIM TO SUPERHERO.