Your responses to my post, “My Abuser,” was overwhelming. Some of you reached out to me via text, G-Talk IM’s, Skype, phone calls, and e-mails to say you were sorry that I felt that way; you were shocked by my words and wanted to offer a Bible scripture or some other encouraging words to get me through this rough patch. Several of you said that you could totally relate to my post, and some of you were concerned, suggesting ways to combat the Inner-Me. Many of you thanked me for being so vulnerable. The transparency, you said, was powerful and triggered some strong emotions within you.
Thank you for your comments.
The most interesting/amusing thing about blogging is that you never know how your words will be perceived. What I intended to be an art, some of you thought was a plea for help. I didn’t think an explanation was necessary until now.
During my blogging hiatus, I stumbled across a YouTube video of a young African American man reciting a poem about how beautiful women are. He asked women, “Why do you hate yourself? Why do you allow others to treat you less than you deserve? And why do constantly criticize yourself? Don’t you know how valuable you are?” (I can’t, for the life of me, find this video, by the way. If you know where to find it, please help a sista out!)
Good questions, I thought to myself.
Since watching that video, I’ve paid careful attention to my own inner voice, as well as the voices of my girl friends. The truth is I didn’t think that my words would trigger so many emotional responses because these thoughts are so common among women I know. They’ll say to me in casual conversations:
I’ll never find a man that will love me.
I’m so fat! Look at this gut!
Oh please I don’t look good. I’m a mess.
These words, S&T Readers, are destructive. If it is reiterated over time, it becomes abuse. Your words are also your thoughts. Your thoughts become your actions and it’s only a matter of time before you find yourself in unfavorable situations, which will be attributed to your words and thoughts.
Some women are clever. They never verbalize their inner thoughts. They have either have mastered the art of controlling their thoughts (and if that’s you, Congratulations!) or they just learned how to accept it as a normal part of their everyday life. In the meantime, their actions speak volumes. Their actions are revealing the thoughts that are privately entertaining.
Throughout high school and college, I had a friend who was a serial dater. She used to be the envy of among our group of friends for all the attention she would get from men. One day, in a candid conversation, she disclosed the physical abuse she’s experienced from former boyfriends, the emotional abuse she’s suffered through from cheating boyfriends, and the neglect she received from her father as a young girl.
I was shocked. A gorgeous, talented, educated woman had allowed lying, cheating, physically abusive men to treat her so poorly. When I asked why she put up with so much abuse she said, “I want to get married. And in order to have a man, you just have to tolerate some stuff, you know?”
Tears came to my eyes when she allowed her mouth to utter those words.
When I created this blog, I wanted it to not only serve as an outlet for me to express my thoughts because writing is what I do when I’m at my lowest moments; it is my therapy. But I also wanted to inspire women to embrace who they truly are and love themselves as they are. Self-esteem is something I’ve struggled with since I was a child. And since I am from the school of thought that our greatest struggles become our greatest testimonies, I believe that by sharing with you my struggles, you will be comforted. It may even give you the courage, the inspiration to work on your own personal journey to Self-Love.
In “My Abuser” I was conveying that Inner-Voice that haunts many women. That inner voice that tells us we’re not good enough, or pretty enough, or smart enough, or thin enough. That inner voice that conditions us to tolerate nonsense from men. That inner-voice that allows us to remain in unhealthy relationships because we feel that we will never find anyone else to love us the way we deserve.
We are our own worst enemy.
If you are reading this post, and you identify with My Abuser, or you know someone else who identifies with the post, then I invite you to come along with me on this journey. A journey where self-love is the destination.