We are all fucked up! Yes, we are. I promised to talk about it someday but people say that some things are better kept secret. Keep your problems to yourself because we all have issues, right? I say fuck it, fuck everyone who believes that.Sometimes you care about what everyone thinks but when bad things happen to the people you care about and you know you should have shouted really loud.
My favourite Mandela quote: I was not born with a hunger to be free. I was born free. Free in every way that I could know. Free to run in the fields near my mother’s hut, free to swim in the clear stream that ran through my village, free to roast mealies under the stars … It was only when I learnt that my boyhood freedom was an illusion … that I began to hunger for it.
I was raised in strict Christian family with its share of values. I am not saying if this had not happened this would have been the case. I am very liberal about most things. The thing with freedom is that the decision should come from a person. No one should force you to go there or decide for you that you are ready or ready with them.
I am not a bitter person. On the contrary, I think I’m a happy person I am alive, I live and go for what I want and mostly get it. Yet I feel like I have not talked about this because of judgment. I have been working on figuring this out for years. I went to law school to learn how to speak out so that I could one day speak about this and not be labelled ‘that girl’. The thing is law school is made up of people, normal people with an exaggerated amount of ego and flamboyance, it could drown your voice. You would think learned friends would care about women rights, learned or not people are still people. I wanted to do a Chemistry related course, I gave up on Physics pretty fast and I still do not understand some simple Biology issues. Chemistry is what I get. I can feel chemistry across the room. I can look into someone’s eyes and know if we’ll ever see what our rooms look like and make it happen. I can also react in a bitchy way like some of those chemicals in the lab if the situation calls for it. I wanted a career in calculation of moles and the like. Instead, I went to law school. Everything around me told me I would find a voice in the law. Many things I did find, many more including the voice to talk about that horrible day eluded me.
I was looking for freedom. Freedom to say no and yes, freedom to have control over my body and life. Freedom to not have anything forced down my throat or any other place that he thought he had a right to shove things. Since I was a child I have hated bullies and people who know me have seen me resist bullies. Yet I wonder why when someone says they really like me I punish them for it not my choice, maybe a fight for my freedom taken too far. I want to be the one that decides that I like someone. I want to be the one that says we can go there. I trust myself to have both our best interests at heart. That is what happens when someone decides you have no say on things to do with your body.
Some people hate certain skin tones, hair types, particular accents or even people with certain eyes. It really does not matter what it is. Sometimes it is because they remind you of a certain place or person. I like quiet men, in fact I do not think men who are the life of the party can interest me enough to think of them as something special. He was loud and he was short. I was in love, a concept that until a few months ago I decided no longer existed in my world. No one should decide for you what you should have done or not done so I will not leave the details here for scrutiny. He was very charismatic, until I saw how he walked away like a dog, all I wanted to do was kill or maim him. I was wearing a very beautiful sweater, a brown with dark lines at the boobs, for years I would look at the torn spots and wish that I had not skived that class that day, maybe my life would have turned out so differently. An hour earlier I had been sweating in it, now I was clinging to this sweater like it would make me whole again. I should have known that this moment would define my sexuality, my desire to be on tops of things, to be able to decide and my stand that a girl should make ALL the moves she WANTS. That has gotten me in interesting places and situations.
So when a few months ago a friend from law school decided that it was okay to try to force himself on me I went berserk. This time I knew I could do all in power to prevent such a thing. It did not take much though. Then came more radical changes, I reexamined my life, my life mantra and all. I wondered about all these women and girls blaming themselves for deciding to go out that night, walk at a certain place that day, deciding to be friends or to date someone. I knew I would speak up about this, I didn’t know it was this soon. I thought maybe in my fifties. Who knows how many people would feel less alone and less like a failure if more people speak up? I always thought that I probably need to create my media company and make it into something big before I start talking about these issues. I realize that it does not matter, you just need to share it with one person who really needs it. You never know who might be next if you do not speak up.
I think the things with your freedom to do things, especially things like choose if or who you want to have access to your body matter and change your life forever. It is not as simple as many naive people make it seem. Things like she deserved it or she is looking for pity comrades.
I guess what I have learnt is it is okay to let someone love you, you do not have to control the whole thing and it is okay to do all you have to do to prevent it, all you can, however crazy it is. The thing with freedom is that you can gain it back. Freedom fighters have horror stories about what happens before they gain their freedom back. This is where we all come in. This is where I hope to focus my writing on. The thing is, it is so hard to write about these moments. Or even use the actual name.
It took me almost eight years to feel like my freedom can still be truly mine and I no longer have to emphasize that fact. I have done stuff to prove this to myself, finally, I know I do not have to. This moment, this piece will go down as one of the moments that I am truly proud of my efforts. For years I read about all these women who speak out and know the consequences and yet here I am.