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My body is trembling from the inside out, like an earthquake of emotions I can no longer conceal.
These emotions feel like they are controlling me, and maybe for the first time, that’s okay.
See, for me, keeping my emotions in check and locked meant I was safe and protected. I didn’t have to feel the pain and the ache in every bone of my body. My muscles tense with pent up aggression, anger, and rage. Teeth gnashing against each other.
I always thought I was free but really I was a caged animal. Growing weaker and weaker. Nowhere to roam. No place to run openly. No place where I ever felt truly safe. My emotions were about to show me a different way.
I could feel my emotions bubbling to the surface and as soon as I hit play to listen to “Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want” by The Smiths, in anticipation of Morrissey’s concert this week, I burst at the seams. Tears flowing from my eyes like a fire hydrant. “Where is this coming from?” I asked myself. Only to be met with more tears.
My gratitude overflowing that I was getting to hear Morrissey live, yet the lyrics were triggering something in me and the tears didn’t stop. They wouldn’t stop. So I allowed myself to sink into my emotions and let them wash over me, just as I sank into the couch and let tears wash over my face and chest. First it felt like a crashing wave and then like those beautiful small waves that follow during a sunset.
Then I got hit with the answer, “He never heard my battle cry.”
And by him I mean every man in my life, family or friend. Every man I have met, liked, or loved. Why couldn’t they hear me? Better yet, why did I care and where was this coming from?
I realized a long time ago that I don’t have daddy issues or a father wound. I have what I call “a men wound.”
It’s not something to be objectified. There is nothing sexy about eroticizing someone’s pain, traumas, or wounds. It’s real and it f*cking hurts like razor blades cutting through my soul.
However, this is ancestral. This is a deep ancestral wound rooted in the feminine caused by the masculine. This is a masculine wound. It embodies every man who treated every woman before me less than. The pain was leaking out from generations of women hurt, betrayed, and abused by men. I was bleeding out not only my pain, but theirs as well.
This goes beyond an absentee father while growing up who was harder on me than my younger sister. He taught me money was the most important thing. “Be independent,” yet jokingly, “marry a rich man.” You can see how that would confuse a young girl. I felt like nothing I did was good enough. My grades, my jobs, or my career. I was left unprotected with an angry voice.
To the innocent, young, blue-eyed girl who endured incest, molestation, and rape. To that same girl who told the truth but was met with “I can’t tell her. She won’t believe me and he will lie.” To that same girl who grew into a woman, only to allow men to treat her one way when no one was looking and another way when they were.
To the man who belittled her as a student, to then later drug and rape her on a date. To the man who said cruel things to her in one breath and “I know you love me” in the next. To the man who wanted his cake and to eat it too as his hand squeezed her thigh under the table while his wife sat across from them. To the woman who came to ignore every man’s advance and finally isolated herself from men.
I was that woman. I was a punching bag for men to work their own issues out on, because I desperately wanted to be protected, safe, and loved by a man. I sought attention from unavailable, avoidant men. Desperately trying to prove my worth, when in fact, they saw my worth—but I never did.
So the truth is actually this: my battle cry was not initially meant for men, it was meant for me. It would take me until my 30s to finally hear deep from within my feminine a cry for help, and to not only listen, but to turn toward her. We, as women, never heard our own battle cries, and if we did, we often ignored them for generations.
However, not this time. Like a bell being rung from the highest tower, I heard it. Loud and oh so clear. The love I looked for in men was in fact the wounded feminine in me who needed to save and love herself. And the little girl in me who needed to know she was protected and safe. Not just for me, but for my female ancestors who lived a similar life but had no voice.
They couldn’t hear the traumas in our ancestral whispers—but they would hear it in my roar.
And that’s exactly what I did. I screamed my truth, my family’s truth and began my ascent. Clawing and climbing my way out of a black hole of pain. Using my voice proudly, loudly, and with clarity. This time women, and men, would hear it.
I read and heard over and over again “take your power back,” “reclaim your power.” However, my power actually coincided with my disempowerment, so no. All those men can keep that version of my power. I don’t want it back. I have new power that is far stronger and more courageous than the previous versions. I didn’t just claim my new power and worth, I embodied it, mind, body, and soul.
My vulnerability, which I used to see as weakness, was now my strength. Allowing myself to be seen and heard gave me a different kind of voice. One of compassion and kindness, along with a hint of take no sh*t. To speak honestly, openly, and quite candidly was my new brave. Allowing myself to lean into my sexuality again without shame, blame, or guilt.
So where do these tears flow from today? The mourning of the old me. The parts of me that I shut down, numbed, and ignored. The part of me that was never protected as a child. The part of me that is so f*cking sorry that I had to learn those lessons the hard way, ignoring my intuition. The part of me that chose men over myself. The part of me that still hears their words echo through the night. The part of me that suppressed my feminine to the point that nothing but sacred rage oozed out of every single one of my pores. The part of me that still cannot believe that some men choose to not hear our cries for help. Lastly, the part of me that aches for every woman who came before me who never got to speak her truth, let alone what she wanted and needed.
This is mine, and my ancestral, battle cry.