“There are wounds that never show on the body that are deeper and more hurtful than anything that bleeds.” -Laurell K. Hamilton
‘Live the life you dream of’
This has been my motto for the longest time and maybe for most people today is the day they are figuring out what their dream life looks like but I’m happy to say I’m still living it.
So even though I haven’t been a part of this challenge this is a question I just felt I had to answer #Day2 on #Day17 (better late than never right?)
What living my dream life looks like for me has always been being able to live my truth and completely unapologetically be myself.
Which sounds easy enough but growing up in a world where I seldom had control, over my voice, had no control over my life and no control over my own body, or my environment. Being able to write, to be a part of this challenge this is what my dream life looks like.
If you’ve never had your control taken from you, this might sound like the craziest thing ever but step 1 of taking back my control was choosing to write.
When everyone else my age was in University I was trying to figure out the real world for the first time. For the first time trying to learn how to breathe when I chose to sell my laptop and my sisters and took a bus to South Africa with no plan and no money.
See often when I talk to people they talk about SA being this unsafe place where there’s crime and violence in each corner but as life would have it; I found my self safer in this strange place amongst strangers than I had ever been at home, amongst the people that were family.
In this strange place I found freedom, I stayed at people’s houses who owed me nothing but they provided me everything, At home I had been caged, put in a psych ward (that’s a story for another day) and even more than that had felt what it was like to be violated deep within your soul.
Although I won’t yet share my story of what it feels like. I will talk about the effects of being a young black woman being silenced because if everyone goes through it then your pain can not possibly be real, your pain isn’t yours to feel.
You are given the usual questions, what were you wearing? Did you want it? Because even though it happened to you in your own home, a place that’s meant to be a sanctuary you must have still played a part somehow.
In a previous blog post I talked a little about why we blame the victim, why it’s easier to imagine that she must have played a part than to accept that her control over the one thing everyone deserves to have power over, her own body was taken away from her.
This is one part of the equation that we take for granted, because what if you couldn’t trust your own body to keep you safe anymore? What if you didn’t have control anymore, if you moved to go forward but a force much stronger than your own pulled you backwards, what if you were fighting to do something as simple as to brush your own teeth but you couldn’t move, what if you had no control.
Live the life you dream of…
My dream was to be free, free to be, free to breathe because when you have no control every single breathe that you take can feel so foreign.