Someone almost walked off with all my stuff

Someone almost walked off with all my stuff…because I was raised to believe that what I had and what I was worth wasn’t much.

Someone almost walked off with all my stuff because I had no idea who I was and what my presence actually meant in the world.

Someone almost walked off with all my stuff because after years of abuse I had no voice to speak up and tell them not to steal what belonged to me.

Someone almost walked off with all my stuff and each time I stood there dumbstruck by how close they came to walking off with everything I tried so hard to protect.

Someone almost walked off with all my stuff because there I was…putting it on display like it was nothing but hoping and wishing that someone would recognize me for who and what I was.

Recovering from abuse is hard.

Trying to reclaim your life, your voice, your body, your mind, your soul.

Trying to rebuild everything that was torn apart and silenced and stuffed into a dark closet, never to be seen again.

Second guessing yourself around every corner. Second guessing the intentions of everyone around you.

Sometimes I sit here in shock and think ‘how did I allow this to happen?’ ‘How did I almost end up robbed of my entire being?’ ‘ How did I sit quietly while tiny pieces of my soul were ripped apart?’

Abuse doesn’t happen over night.

It happens quietly and slowly. Like a thief in the night, an abuser will tread softly and slowly while you sleep. While you’re dreaming peacefully, a plan is set in motion to slowly but surely crush you into tiny unrecognizable pieces. Pieces so small, you won’t even recognize them yourself.

Gerard* Almost walked off with all my stuff, because instead of speaking up for myself I continued to stay in that toxic relationship because I felt like I could get any better at the time.

Liam* almost walked off with all my stuff, because instead of asking him to cherish me, I sat there thinking I wasn’t worth being cherished. I never told him the truth. I just silently slipped away. Regrets…there are many.

Zachary* almost walked off with all my stuff, because I was so consumed by the ways that he cared that I didn’t notice all the ways he didn’t care.

It’s a miracle I even had any pieces left to rebuild.

But ultimately, I was sent out into the world with broken pieces of myself. Broken down year after year by my parents who felt like I was such a disappointment.

‘You’re not pretty enough’

‘You need to lose weight to get a husband’

‘You will never amount to anything’

‘You don’t have the right colour skin’

‘You don’t have the right hair’

‘You don’t belong’

 

When an evil person takes their time to abuse you, it is all too easy for someone else to come along and take their place because you’re down in the trenches, unaware that the war is over. And so you invite the evil in. Because that’s all you know.

But before I had a chance to submit to a life I thought I ‘deserved’…

I met an angel.

And he showed me that all my broken pieces were worth loving. He showed me that there is beauty in the wreckage that I am. But more than that he showed me that I don’t always have to be this wreck. I can be something beautiful.

I don’t see what he sees. Not yet.

But I can admire what I am from a far and think ‘hey, that’s okay’

They might’ve walked off with SOME of my stuff, but they didn’t get all of it, and what they took I didn’t need anyway.

Time to rebuild.

I am not my hair. I am not this skin. I am the soul that lives within. 

First off,that is obviously not an original title. That is taken from the famous India Arie song,but it is just so fitting that I couldn’t help but use it to describe this post.

While I was sleeping a natural hair movement started taking root in South Africa and though I caught on very late I did participate albeit only for six weeks.

So just in case you didnt know,the South African apartheid regime initiated this horrible thing called the pencil test by which people of colour were divided by the sleekness or lack thereof of their hair. This was but one of the apartheid practices that sadly still divide our country and our people. People with ‘kroes’ hair are looked down upon and subsequently they spend hours straightening their locks. 

While I understand that this must’ve been intense for the people in the apartheid era I dont exactly connect the dots in the year 2017. I was never subjected to a pencil test. But funny enough,the first people that made me conscious of my hair were my own parents. I wasn’t allowed to go out with ‘that bush’. My mother would bitch and moan every weekend while doing my hair,as if it were a battle to be won. When I started doing my own hair I was ill equipped,I wasn’t taught how and I didn’t have the right tools or products. When I was 19 I chemically straightened my hair for the first time. I thought it would wash out…it did not. I was mortified. Instead of curls I ended up with waves.

Then I moved out of my parents house and I was free. I was free to do what I wanted,with my clothes and my hair. And I chose to keep it straight most of the time. I then went on to marry a white man. The first person I dated ‘outside of my race’. And he wasn’t even really phased about this hair story. I sat every weekend with my rollers (hair curlers) as usual and when I went to bed I used either a scarf or a swirlkous. My husband is now familiar with the `limitations` my hair has and during winter he often makes jokes as he is running to the car screaming MY HAIR IS GOING TO MINCE,but its not meant in a derogatory way. He has dated white women with sleek straight hair and now he is married to me with not such straight hair and there are no issues. Every couple of weeks when I do wear my hair curly…and I complain about it..he always says he likes my hair curly,as if to say I don’t have to straighten it for him. But I don’t. I prefer my hair straight.

Curly hair vs straight hair

The ‘problem’ I have with the natural hair movement is that now I am a target. I’m seen as a conformer. But as a person who does not feel pressured by society to have straight hair,why does using my flat iron make me a ‘slave to society’ when it is my personal preference? 

The other ‘problem’ I have is the grading system. Unbeknownst to me,they have names for the type of curls you have. And I fear that there are women aspiring to have curls that their heads will never grow no matter how much they twist and coil it,regardless of how long ago they threw their relaxers and flat irons away. 

We all experience life on our own level of understanding. I have had so much shit happen to me that I honestly cannot sweat the small stuff. And in my opinion hair makes it on to the short stuff list. You do what makes you happy. There are so many women wearing make up,glueing false nails on their fingers,dyeing their hair,tinting their eyebrows and altering their appearances in some way or another.Some are doing it because of pressure and others do it because this is their preference.

I followed (at least attempted to) the natural hair movement for about 6weeks. And I stopped because I was tired. And broke. It actually costs a lot more to be natural. I bought flexi rods and new products. And then I had to find time to use all these new things. No more wake up and go,I had to actually spend time in the bathroom fluffing my bush just the way it wanted. My hair was weighed down and my ends were suffering. The naturals might argue that I needed to experiment with different products etc but honestly,I have had this hair for 31 years,I know what it wants. And it did not enjoy being constantly washed and fed products and being combed. I have now gone back to my usual ritual,which consists of a once a week wash and deep condition followed by an old school roller set and then a flat iron. 

I am not completely anal about my hair. I wash and go when I don’t have time but I prefer having my hair straight because its low maintenance and effective. I don’t have to change my hair to suit anyone so I wear it in a style that suits me and only me. 

So I admire the curly bushes on facebook,and I support the movement but I am not a follower. I only hope that this will continue to be a positive uprising. I sincerely hope that this isn’t yet another way to divide us. Respect someone else’s choice as they do yours above all. 

An intro of sorts

So! an intro…what should I say? what SHOULDNT I say?

I must warn you…I havent written in years. My creativity got lost somewhere along the way between trying to create a life and trying to keep a job. and recently trying to be a good mom and an even better wife. So Im a bit rusty.

I am an almost 30yr old, wife and mother of a 2yr old. I read,I knit,I sing,I dance,I talk shit. People have said I am a good friend and Im always good for a laugh too. I have a serious past. A deep dark one. which we will explore LAAAATER,much much later. But for now I would like to keep it light…funny..sarcastic..but still real. I know most like to stick to one topic…Im not a Jack of all trades but rather an explorer and an equal opportunity offender. lol.

Lets see if this rusty creative brain still has what it takes!