For nearly 10 years, I’ve been carrying around an oppressive inner voice. It continually told me that I am worthless. It argued against trusting people close to me, made me believe I am not enough, taught me fear instead of courage, dependence instead of strength. Although my loved ones build me up, the inner voice remained stronger.
That inner voice appeared when I was stalked and harassed by a man that I’d been engaged to marry. It seemed as though if I wouldn’t be with him, he wanted to make sure I wouldn’t be with anyone. I cannot know for certain, but I do not believe I would be here today had I not ended that relationship. Only after the trauma did I learn about the warning signs. Five years later, I finally stopped looking over my shoulder.
It has taken nearly 10 years to squash that oppressive voice. The words and actions of our current political leader brought it all to the surface once more. As I worked through the remnants of fear and pain, I finally realized that NO MAN can take away my power or my voice.
Today as I crossed a bridge during my local women’s march, I left my past behind and walked boldly toward my future. A future in which I am unabashedly me, courageous and strong and WORTHY. A future in which I release him from the power he held over me and forgive him for wronging me.
Today I vow to speak up for myself and, now, my daughter. I refuse to spend any more years of my life silenced by a man’s oppression. As I glanced down at my two children during the march, I was filled with resolve and thankfulness for this deeply emotional milestone in my life.
To my fellow women, I want you to know that you are strong, powerful, beautiful, courageous and WORTHY. No man can take that away from you, no matter how hard they try.