The Day You Raise Your Hand to Me

 

I never really considered myself a victim of domestic violence since I was only attacked once.  I learned a while later that once is all that it takes.  And although I was only attacked once, I was threatened several times and that was just as frightening.  I still don’t really consider myself a victim, I don’t like that word.  A lot of women don’t.  Was I victimized? Yes.  Am I a victim?  No.

And this isn’t a fist pumping “I-Shall-Rise” type of proclamation.  I’ve just seen what claiming victim-hood can look like at its worst.  It makes people Life’s bitch.  I’m not interested.

However, it did take me a good while to even admit all of what happened to even my closest family.  The first time I ever wrote about what happened to me on my old blog, I quickly deleted it.  I wasn’t ready.

“I don’t want anyone to think I am trying to destroy lives or bring up old stuff,” I confessed to my sisters. “I just want to tell my story.”

“Then tell your story,” they both said almost in unison.  Did I really want to tell this part of my life that left such a stain?  True, I have healed and moved on, but I would be lying if I didn’t admit to having flashbacks.  The amazing amount of rejection and desperation I felt during that time is still hard to believe.

Sometimes, I wonder if that moment in my life hardened me, made it more difficult for me to love.  Then I look at my boyfriend of close to three years and I remember that I learned how to love again.  Sometimes, I still feel afraid, I still can shut down, I still can project and over-analyze.  But I know that I am loved and I have learned to be patient and forgive myself, which is a constant process.

And weird as it seems, I don’t regret what happened to an extent.  I don’t regret the relationship.  If I have any regrets, it’s the time I wasted trying to save someone from themselves, the time I lost with my own dreams and goals.

I hope my story inspires others to seek help, learn how to protect themselves and more than anything know that love is never ever supposed to hurt.

“White” Feminism and Pizza…What Do They Have in Common?

What do feminism and pizza have in common? Actually, a lot according to Akilah Hughes who runs the Youtube Channel “SmoothieFreak.” With Patricia Arquette’s backstage Oscar comments still fresh in a lot of people’s minds, Akilah published a video that showed the difference in “white” feminism and “black” feminism using pizza. Aside from making me actually wanting a slice, it was very thought-provoking.

It actually reminded me of a debate I had with a “white” feminist. She and I did not see eye-to-eye on an issue at hand, well actually we did, she just didn’t like that I didn’t see things entirely her way. As a result, she took a shot at my color and my intelligence. That was her way of showing me why I was wrong. The way I thought about this particular issue was similar to someone telling me that I was stupid because I was black.

But it wasn’t. The simile didn’t even apply to the debate at hand. It was just a hold card. I had experienced this before when I debated with a “white” feminist. Each time we reached an issue that we did see eye-to-eye, they brought up race because surely if I know what it feels like to be oppressed based on my skin color then I should fight every fight they believed worthy.

After watching Akilah’s video, I actually felt relieved to know that this was not in my imagination. That this elusive hold card that was often held over me when I didn’t allow any one else to pull my strings, was not my burden alone to carry. Akilah explains this beautifully in her video, “On Intersectionality in Feminism and Pizza.” Check it out.