I turn 23 in 10 days, birthdays have never been my favorites. To me it just stirs up an endless nostalgia I do not seem to be able to get rid of. Yesterday at the train station a very distraught woman threw herself on the electric stairs.

I’m only talking in terms of what I saw. Faint hearted as I am it took me a minute to catch my breath as I was going up and she was going down but her screaming felt familiar to me.
I think she made it out okay and none of her limbs were harmed but it was super scary to say the least.

I thought about her the whole night, though I was drinking and dancing. cause ain’t it so?
Don’t we all get tired, don’t we all just wish we could not be here? don’t we all wish we could let out a big fat scream and move on? For a very long time I thought the world might just be a better place if I didn’t exist.
to most I am a warrior poet whose guts speak for themselves, but in reality I am just deeply troubled and refuse to be a ruled by it. every single day of my life I make a very conscious decision to not be consumed by my negative emotions. its an exhausting job no one pays me for, but I still do.

I think of the past 10 years, how I must have been around 12 when I became fully conscious of “ok I am a person with feelings and I am going to have to deal”. I think of everything I’ve witnessed growing up and how many times I’ve been made to feel like I had no right to speak on it. I think of the social conditioning of women in general and how much of us simply refuse to talk about our suffering because we are ashamed. how many times don’t we get gaslighted when we speak about pain.

on a courageous day I still think I’m going to break the generational curse and find love, live my dreams, be the change. on a normal one I loose my breath at the thought of somebody ever loving me and my complexity, so I spend an awful lot of time bending over for people who don’t care.
doing exactly what I was taught to do.. the perfect people pleaser.. the one whose always open to help everyone

sacrifice, sacrifice, make people happy, let them take it all until I myself run on E.
I thought that If i gave and I gave and I gave, they’d have no choice but to love me.
that’s how – by choice – I stopped being human and became a resource to others.
in this endless need of simply feeling useful. this endless “you can take this, i’ll buy myself a new one”..Como una puta, siempre ando dando.
always lost in the same corner not being accountable for my emotions pushed me.

but this is what I’ve resolved, and this what I hope more women take into account:
we. need. to. stop.
I for certain, need to stop.
stop with the begging, with the giving, with the “i’d go without for you”. I no longer want my sweetness, my genius, my labor to be for everyone’s taking.
No longer do I want to pour from an empty cup. No longer do I want to say ‘I’ll think about it’ when I truly meant to say ‘no’.. no longer will I justify to anyone why and how I choose my self love. No longer do I want to feel shy when someone compliments my brilliance. no more letting people disrespect my craft simply because I come from a small place. No more coming to everyone’s event and filling their schedule like I am so type of prop you can throw around..

no more treating myself like I am worthless, no more being afraid of saying that I am hurt.
no more letting people into guilt tripping me, when I’ve failed to meet their expectations of me.

no more taking decisions that will drive me to being the woman on the stairs. the distraught woman. don’t you come around here taking, if you don’t plan on giving back. don’t you come to me demanding if you do not plan on paying. do not expect any emotional labor from me anymore. I am not your mule. put some respeck on my name.

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  1. Caterina Efé - September 18, 2016 Reply

    Your words resonate with me so much. Thank you for writing this :-).

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