For the past year, I’ve been having an internal battle with myself that I tried to avoid for the most part, never wanting to admit what was going on. I regretted my past actions and as a result, was starting to hate myself. Not a moment passed by that I didn’t remember all my mistakes. I hated the person who I became, an awkward and quiet girl. Where was the womyn I claimed to be? Where was my passion and my fire?
My anxiety heightened and I stopped living in the present. I just dreamed of the future. Of a better time than right now, when I would be a better person, more happy with myself. I was a stranger in my own skin, and for a majority of the past year, just kept to myself because no one else would understand.
There is nothing wrong with a little depression. It is a reasonable response to this fucked up world and you don’t need to hide or deny it.
(Doris #15, Cindy Crabb)
Here’s the deal: More than a year of my life was wasted in a relationship that I HATED. It’s embarrassing to even admit I was with THIS person for so long, we were nothing alike. He didn’t understand my passion for social justice, and was embarrassed to admit to his family that I was a cunt-lovin’ feminist. Why didn’t I leave earlier? My friends didn’t like him, or if they did it was mostly respect on the part that I was dating him. I was scared to let go, to be on my own. For years growing up, I never had anybody around to listen to what I really wanted to say. I was always the “single friend”, but I didn’t care because I didn’t want to be tied down to somebody just to not be single.
I was raised by a supportive, tight family and had two male role models — my father and my older brother. For the most part, my dad was my best friend up until the gray area when I got my period and teen angst set in. My older brother was a second father to me, he told me that boys were a waste of time and they were all the same. But this is a guy I chose for myself. Why?
He made me feel as if nothing was possible. He didn’t go after his dreams, or work hard enough in school to accomplish a degree. I lost motivation and inspiration by being with him, falling into a hopeless slump. He always wanted to know where I was and who I was with; if it was a male he would get jealous and guilt-trip me into leaving so I could talk to him. I stopped having sex with him in the middle of our relationship. I just wasn’t attracted to him anymore, but couldn’t say it to his face. I gave in at times. Who was I?
He wasn’t a bad person, in fact he was very kind and people-friendly To put it in the words of a friend of mine, “he was good to you, but he’s not good for you.” Once I finally left him, I told myself that I would not be with anyone for a while. I needed time and space for myself, and did not want to accommodate anyone else’s needs.
I started college this past fall upstate, and I was more than excited to get away from the city and to be around new faces. But when I met new people, I felt like nothing I said would remotely interest them, so I kept to myself. I had friends but I still felt alone. I needed time for myself, and realized that before I started opening myself to more people, I need to feel confident in my own skin.
This past winter was the roughest season of my life, but by reading feminist anthologies, working with fierce womyn and spending my time around the most positive, beautiful person I’ve ever met, I made it through. Although, there are still days when I feel like shit and want to crawl into a ball, I remind myself that I am in control of my life. I hated this unfamiliar place, but now I love it.
Now, I am coming to terms with who I am as a womyn.