Sharing gratitude today for all the wonderful people working alongside me to end sexist abuses and misogyny in my local community.
(All initials are made up)
To LN, who when asked when she would be “ready” to volunteer in her church alongside her stalker, said “Never!” and when they wouldn’t listen and kept asking her, reached out for help from other women, and those other women sat some men down and had a talking to, and Never came to be what happened. Who works patiently to give the sons and grandsons around her better options. Who still shares the good life with her friends, even though her ex is still hanging out around the corner.
To OV, who refused to accept that she would have to risk her recovery from PTSD because no one was willing to say no and never to her abuser. Who protected herself when no one else cared, when they expected her to just accommodate the old man’s needs and temper without making a fuss. They had a better idea for her about what she needed than what she was telling them point blank. OV had to stay home from the party while her abuser went and gave a bunch of different reasons why he had to keep on being a big shot. OV endured the indifference of her “friends” and the loss of respect and pride when people swallowed her abuser’s lies. OV who kept on believing in herself, who got a good job, who kept on thinking of others’ welfare and who moved on from illusions.
To DE, who moved on from the “crazy” label, who set herself up as a powerful reference point for sanity, who puts herself out there even though the abuse has made life so raw and painful, who schooled her secondary wounders with her poetry and her conversation, who protected other women, who talked to other women, who loved herself, who found a voice, who was a friend, who listened to my pain, who stood up for herself, who is an elder, who is a healer, who is a mother, who is an artist, who is a warrior.
To BT, who was born into a men’s battle that could have destroyed her, who protected her unborn child by sacrificing her own body, whose family honour was never lost, who does not teach, whose light is unbearably bright, who is eternally youthful, who walks painfully around the globe.
To IB, who endured a lot and never stopped caring, who is willing to curse and take action, who is so sensitive, who is an audacious brother, who calls bullshit, who makes things work, who listens endlessly, who is on the go, who has an ap, who is willing to say no and never, who hangs out with abrasive women, who is humble, who is inspiring, seated on a rock.
To KT, who owned up, who stayed on the hook, who wanted to have a little conversation, who was willing to believe, who is so elegant, who takes the bus, who doesn’t pretend but still cares, whose energy comes from somewhere deep in the earth, who holds the stories, who is free.
To NN, who stumbles in the darkness, who keeps coming back, who breaks my heart, who is really trying, who is beyond generous, who is very funny, who has tidal power, who accidentally on purpose did it, who has a vuvuzela, who is daring.
To these people and so many more sharing their lives and their bravery, I thank you and I love you.
Heart heart heart.
(Please share a comment about who you appreciate.)
Photo by Jen