Waking up in a body that the only connection I had to it was revulsion was one of the hardest realizations that I have ever come to. I told myself at 4 years old that I was wrong, different, and broken…and over the next 26 years, I did everything in my power to bury that creepy, crawly, ooky, icky feeling.
It never quite went away, no matter what I did to silence it. Not sex, drugs, or rock and roll. Not getting so involved in helping people in my community (and myself) heal from the trauma of their past. Not getting into a career that I love and am good at. Nothing. That feeling was always there, hiding behind every corner, in every apartment, at every job, no matter what I did.
It sat there quietly telling me that I was living a lie, and that no matter what I did, how far I ran, or how deep I hid, I couldn’t make it the truth. This thought was not one of viciousness or malice. It was one of love and tenderness.
Your internal suffering will be released if you turn around and face me. I have always been here, and I always will be, why not turn around and be free of the lie?
These were the feelings that I knew were true and I would be released from my prison of lies…But, I could not. I constructed wall after wall after wall, turned my skin into one of Vibranium and Concrete, so that the voice wouldn’t be able to reach me or touch me.
She leaped over the walls and slipped between the cracks in my armor, as if it were a sieve. I was so broken when she finally reached me that I was happy to finally give up and let her in and be seen by more than me.
I had spent my entire life running from the one person that knew me the best, the deepest, and who cared for me the most of anyone. She had known me for my entire life, was there for every trip, every fall, every feat, and every triumph.
Even after I stopped, turned, and faced her, I didn’t recognize who she was, because what would it mean if I were to embrace her?
Who am I? Do I even know?
I didn’t. but she did. She told me that I was exactly who I thought I was…and more. If I would simply take her hand, she would show me.
The thing that I had been running from for so long, my greatest fear, and what had allowed me to become the person I was in order to defend myself, was the thing that saved me from myself and destruction.
The real mind-fuck in this whole situation, is that she was me the whole time, and by trying to fend her off, I became strong enough to survive the transformation, and showing everyone who I truly was.
I allowed her in, and that armor turned into a cloak of silk and lace, and those walls sprouted gates that were wide open. I let her in, and in turn, gave of myself to everyone else. If I had kept running, I do not know how much longer I would have survived…and now, I thrive.
She made the broken parts of me whole, the act I had put on of being strong (for an act was all it was) turned into true strength, and I was able to be strong for people that needed me. I was able to turn and face the demons in my soul that were threatening to destroy me, and turn them into docile pets.
My fears of the world swallowing me whole and destroying me were I to show my true self, was not true. While, yes, there are parts of the world and its people that would rather I not exist, they are vastly outnumbered by those that see me as I am.
I am me. I am strong, powerful, feminine, punk, an eco-protector, a nerd, a good friend, a warrior princess, a cat mom, an educator, an activist, a partner, a bad bitch, all of this and more. I am woman.
It may not look like what you think a woman looks like, but 30 years ago, the women that are leading corporations, saving villages, running not-for-profit organizations, etc. would have been laughed at and ridiculed, too.
I will take my chances that you will be left in the past like the dinosaurs you are.
Without that voice finally breaking through and my listening to her, I do not know where I would be, what my life would look like, or who I would be. All I do know is that he wouldn’t be happy, if he were even alive anymore.
- Justice Faye Dazzle, Warrior