Confessions of a “Strong Woman”
The last week has been an emotional roller coaster of sorts. My oldest child attended her last day of high school, so right off the bat this mama is a wreck! However, aside from the normal day to day, a few other things happened to cause me to still be awake at 12:32 AM, because believe me, usually I’d be fast asleep dreaming of puppies and rainbows by now! Let me explain.
A few days ago, I received an incredibly flattering compliment. Someone in complete passing remarked how they viewed me as a “strong woman”. Wow! I was flabbergasted! I always feel like a hot mess, so to hear an actual “strong woman” use these words to describe me, I’m not going to lie, it felt good. It felt more than good, it felt amazing! I have worked very hard to make it to the ranks of women who could be considered “strong”, and although I don’t feel it most of the time, I’ll certainly take the compliment!
The other compliment that was given to me today was that I was considered by this person to be an “authentic Christian woman”. I have to say, it brought tears to my eyes! If this is even half true, I feel so humbled that they would even think to tell me they thought this way about me! That is what life is all about after all right?
Words like these spoken into someone’s life are so encouraging, and I truly did feel encouraged.
Then reality set in.
I’ve said over and over again, I write for me, and the way this blog has grown, has not been from anything I have tried to accomplish that is for certain. And when my book came out, I knew it may ruffle some feathers, but I had zero idea of the ripple effects it would create.
While I use this blog and used Free as my own personal growth and healing outlet, others have been using it as a vendetta to destroy me.
I don’t usually play the victim card, I mean, religion is personal, I get it, I’ve stepped on people’s toes here. However, while I have received the most incredible compliments I have ever received in my entire life this week, I have also been reminded of the ugly extent people will go to protect their religious traditions from anything they view as a threat.
I guess it hasn’t been enough for me to leave out specific names and locations from my story. I suppose it doesn’t matter to people the amount of trauma I have had to overcome and the importance that writing has to my personal growth. I assume people just don’t care that I always make a point to say, I have no hard feelings or anger towards them. I guess instead of actually having a difficult, awkward conversation with me, it is easier to spew out false accusations and lies.
So, here it is guys, my open, honest, vulnerable self, heart still freshly bleeding from the falsehoods you have spoken about me, here is the bottom line, absolute truth:
This is hard.
This is hard! Speaking out against the very religion I grew up in is hard. Knowing that many people whom I loved dearly are lying about me behind closed doors is hard. Looking people in the eye after I know what they have said about me and my family is hard. Loving them as myself in spite of the hurt is hard.
But it’s so worth it.
I will continue to hold my head up high. I will continue to use my voice to be vulnerable and authentic not only for myself, but also for those walking this path of healing behind me. I will continue to open my door to whomever is hurting no matter what they have said to others about me. I will not back down. I am not going away anytime soon. And you can rest assured:
I am a strong woman. Your lies cannot and will not shut me up or shake me.