Taking Up Space
By Dorothy Michieka.
As soon as he walked into the room, I knew. He had been with her. I was not angry. He said he would look for her. He’d told me he needed her and all I wanted was to still the thought of her in his head. I wanted him to long for me, the way he longed for her. I needed to be her. I had questions, but I knew if I asked, it would just push him further away from me. So I let him do whatever he wanted. I wasn’t bitter or furious. I was sad. Sad for what I’d become. For what I’d let him, let me become. See, I’m a woman. A woman bred by society.
Society has been teaching me to carry loss. To stay silent when he bashes my head against the wall, knowing too well the ‘shame’ in screaming out. Teaching me that when sin fills his mouth and lust moves through his bones, it is my fault. When he says I’m not good enough and I trade my dignity for his satisfaction, it’s my fault. Teaching me how to collect his cruelty, to cripple my mind and eat at my sanity.
That sadness you inflict upon me is a cleansing.
My solitude is rioting. I am becoming a democracy; my democracy.
I am finally having necessary conversations with myself.
Another woman is no lesser than me. She is as much woman as I am.
So here I am, strangling the need for you, unhinging soul from body.
I am change. Evolving, outgrowing.
Still you call my change ‘emotional’?
To quiet the woman in me?
To dis-value my worth?
To shut me up and disregard my opinion?
I will not let you simplify me into nothingness.
I was meant to bring the earth to its knees.
I am daughter. Mother. Sister. Wife. Woman.