Bitch, slut, whore, cunt? A deep fear of being too feminine was instilled in me and those words were woven into the fabric that tailored the objectification of my female form. My body was seen as inappropriate, as if I was exhibiting some hidden behavior that offended everyone and as a result I was handed an undeserving punishment for being the wrong gender.
We were lectured on the proper way to be female, the rules selfishly written by men. We were groomed to be weak, not because it was safe, not because it was a benefit to us, but because they were afraid. And we thought if we wore the same costume we’d be looked at as equal, but the truth that stares us so blankly in the face is, we aren’t equal and we aren’t meant to be.
Underneath this skin we’re the same machine, but on the outside we’re shamed for being different. Girls are taught to cover up, dress down, be humble, be meek, and stay quiet. “You don’t want that kind of attention!” Look at what we’ve become. We follow corporate dress codes that strip us of our femininity, while millions of dollars are made from the exploitation of our bodies by those same people who tell us to blend in.
Those of us brave enough to stand out, to paint themselves brightly with the feminine qualities they’ve been given are slut shamed. They try to keep us subdued by condemning us for being sexual creatures, for being desirable and confident. They tell us our beauty will show from within while surfing porn sites like it’s religion. They don’t care about the message they’re sending.
They teach us that embracing our bodies and showing off our feminine form is too dangerous, but who is it we’re afraid of? You’ve sexualized our gender and I’m done playing your game. You wear your entitlement like a suit, gaining power from some false inner strength while we all know you’re just a scared little boy who lusts after our bodies when the lights are dim.
I’m not afraid of my body, I’m not ashamed of my breasts, I’m not embarrassed by the feminine allure I possess and I’m done covering up. I will no longer willingly hand you the control, this is my body and I’m proud of the power it holds. I love that I can walk through a room and turn heads, I love that I hold that kind of power over someone who looks down on me until we’re behind closed doors. You don’t own me, you don’t own any of us and we’re growing tired of your possessive nature.
I love my body, I love the feel of my naked skin. I’m a sexual being and I long for the same things you do, lust after the same sensations and crave the same flavor of passion. I have no shame in who I am and I won’t cover myself to fit in with your agenda.
“Where does one go?”, she wondered, scanning her eyes over the twinkling stars hanging from the black canvas above, “where does one go when they want to be alone?”
There’s so much noise here, so much to see, so much to hear, too much. I feel lost in all of this useless stimulation and my mind screams for silence. I feel lost in how easily I’m found, chained by the offer of freedom, tied to the promise of more.
I love when you smile at me, but your mind is with someone else. Your eyes continue to search for them and I know you weren’t ready to let go when they left.
Love, they’re gone and I’m here now. I’m here for you, when you’re ready. I’ve waited most of my life to see my smile reflect in your eyes and now that I’ve held you I can’t just walk away.
How do I learn to forget, when this pain tears at my confidence?
Inside I’m dying because I can’t help but wonder, did you make her laugh, too?
Did she feel the warmth of your hand on the small of her back the way I did? Did you whisper those same secrets, the ones you said were meant for me?
I earned my place here. I fought for your love. I put in the time. She offered nothing more than I had already given. Still, you embraced her.
She was shiny and new, newer than me. Our love was worn. I was there through your struggle. I put in the work and she got the reward.
Now we sleep in separate beds, in separate rooms in separate houses. I hate how I still cry for you. I hate that you were so weak.
I’m broken because I loved. I’m broken, and I knew all along. I knew you. I stayed despite the warning signs, and now I’m empty.
But not as empty as you. My soul remains. And yours?
You left it sleeping in her bed.
I was asked why I named my guitar Serenity and my response was empty. I could feel the reason why, but I couldn’t explain it. Finally, after many hours of searching for an answer to that simple question I found what I was looking for.
My childhood was not perfect and I’ve stored away every memory from that time, locked in a box and buried as deep as my mind would allow. I never visit that time, I never had a reason to dig up those memories until now. And even through all of the pain I had endured stands one memory that brings as much joy to my heart as it does pain.
Because after the fight, after the pain, came the high, then numbness, nothing. Black. The end of it all and anything forward. Freedom; and that brought with it a contract; become a slave to loneliness and you may be free, and with that comes a loss of love.
So which is it, child?
You can’t continue this dance between love and freedom, dancing and pulling, back and forth until the threads that hold you together can’t hold on anymore.
You’ll spill everything out, child.
All your secrets and fears, and the times you giggled when you should have been polite. All those precious moments when you cried in the dark, tears of pain and loss, hidden so you could seem strong in the light.
Well, choose then, what do you need?
Let it spill then, everything, and be free in that, child. Be free in your love; love for you and for others, those who love you back. Be free in love because you’ve found safety in my arms and in my heart you’re home.
You’re free child.
I don’t know which is worse, the heartbreak or the silence that falls afterward.
Not the silence that comes before the tears fall, but the emptiness you feel when you’ve cried endlessly and there’s nothing left. The numbness that drips down your back and spreads through your body like electricity when you realize you don’t feel anything.
I never thought it would feel this way, not like this. I thought being in love was supposed to be warm and soft, beautiful and strong with bits of passion and laughter.
I thought it would be smiles that last for days and warm kisses on the cheek on cold nights when the snow seemed endless and the chilled air bit at the delicate edges of my ears. I thought it would be open arms and comforting words during times of self-doubt and encouragement when I didn’t feel I was enough. Maybe I’m too much of a romantic or maybe I dreamt a bit too big.
I know it shouldn’t feel this way.
I followed your advice. I did all the right things in the right ways at the right time, yet here I am, hollow. You never offered me anything tangible for all of this hard work, just a promise of promise. You can achieve success, you can be the happiest version of you, you can find the deepest love, you can have every one of your dreams if you follow this perfect formula of specifically calculated steps.
I followed those steps, but they led me to more promise, more steps, more. And I kept going forward just like you wanted and I’m still moving toward a ghost of a chance at a perfect life. When I felt tired you told me to keep moving, keep playing the game because you have a good chance at winning. You knew all along I couldn’t win.