We all have this version of ourselves which we cherish. The person we aspire to be. In my head, am at the apex of feminism. Leading the women who dared to wear a bikini to the beach. Or the first and third wave feminism movement fighting for women’s right to vote, to work and to have control over their own body.
Unfortunately, I’ll never be any of those. I’ll never dare raise my voice over a man. Being submissive to my brother who dared to hit when it was his fault, letting my father force me to respect him while he himself shows no respect for me. His daughter.
I’ll remain this Karen bitch who laughs at diminishing jokes made by a man. Or who laughs a little harder when it’s a man making the joke.
Sometimes I wish I was the brave and bold Jeanne D’arc who dares to raise her sword against men. I encourage my sister to leave her husband and take her daughter with her to protect her from this unstable person she call spouse. I encouraged my to-be sister in law to leave my brother leaving him nothing but what he had bought. Since you know women power.
But hey, I am Grace. 20 year old stuck in a 4 year relationship with my abusive boyfriend who claims to love me. I once read something about high school sweethearts being couples who were too comfortable in their current arrangement to leave even though after all that remains was simply the name. People who were too afraid to go out into the open and love someone else again.
Last year after receiving my A-level results, I almost left him. Almost, the saddest word in the dictionary being used here to describe the few months of freedom I had.
I left him and his unsupportive behaviour towards my dreams and me. Saying I could not. While he encouraged one of his family member go forth with the same issue he said I was incapable of doing. I left his serial cheating stories. Told myself I would not forgive him for this ever again. Allow myself to be disrespected again in this way.
I found a new love. Everything seemed perfect, but even Prince Charming would have skeletons in his closet. Mine had an ex-girlfriend he did not let go. I left him. Because feminist self spirit I had built around myself would not tolerate this.
The Susan in me, however, thought it would be a good idea to go back to the high school love who had been harassing me for months. You need not be fortune teller to predict which was going to happen.
I was warned. Every time I would do something he would find it fair to mention that I should go back to the guy. That I was nothing but a slut. A manipulative bitch. It was my fault that he banged two girls when we were not together. It was my fault whatever had happened in my absence.
He always says he loves me after dehumanising me. Making me feel like shit and giving priority to his friends over me. Sometimes when my friends asks me if I see myself marrying my high school sweethearts, my feminist self finds herself saying no, she is only staying with him for the time being because he brings a sense security. My Susan self lives for the sunny days, forgets that the guy is only a sweetheart when he wants to bang.
My Susan has had her standards lowered since day one, having her virginity taken away in a dirty wood after a fight, no it was nothing romantic. She was put at a crossroad where it was either sucking his dick or having an intercourse. She left all of her dignity when she had to ask her high school sweetheart whether he was sure he wants to take her virginity, instead of him asking her if she wanted to offer him such a gift.
Can you blame Susan though? From a conservative family, having a body count of one would immediately put her into the the slut category in the eye of her family. So maybe her high school sweetheart was not so wrong after all. She was indeed a fucking slut who was good only for sex. Who he would leave if she continues not giving him blowjobs. It does not matter if she vomits her guts. Sir, needs to be pleased else he will look elsewhere for the pleasure she is unable to offer him. Diminished. Broken. Insecure. Susan’s fear of abandonment and need for security pushes her to hold on to the first strand of happiness which comes her way even if its temporary.
So dear feminist self, remember this every-time you want to leave. It’s not your fault if he is a dick. Its not your fault if you get cheated on, it does not matter if you will be judge when your body count goes above one. It is not a fatality if you spend your life alone. What matters is if you are happy, and if you are not run. A few I love you or I did not mean it after hours of shaming, of abuse is not what happiness is. No relationship is perfect you will have a lot of ups and a lot of downs. But if you ever find yourself having to fight the person to show you some love then this is not it. Please leave Susan and the hypocritical Karen behind when you are able to move out of the relationship with your high school sweetheart.
Old ways cannot open new doors. Until next time.