If you want to make me cry, call me naive.
It’s a word that stings me more than any other.
I can recall each encounter with someone in which I was called this.
Each time had something to do with sex, men, boundaries, cooking, and common knowledge like not putting wooden spatulas in the dishwasher or making sure that I sleep under sheets so that my body does not touch someone’s comforter.
As someone who grew up in a dysfunctional home and decided to leave for good 10 years ago to make a better life for myself, I can tell you that I’m anything but “naive.”
Yes, I am not well-versed in sex.
Yes, I am just beginning to learn how to cook a meal that isn’t ramen or mac and cheese.
Yes, there are simple things that were never taught to me, so I do not always know what to do.
All of this is true.
This does not mean, though, that I am naive.
It means that some of my needs weren’t taken care of, and I’m working on catching up.
It means I missed out on some things.
It means I haven’t had the exposure to certain things that others have.
There are many words I still do not know, as someone approaching 30, that most do, and that’s okay.
It’s more than okay.
I’m the adult child of an addict. I wasn’t given a head start in life, but I am anything but naive.
There is a difference between being naive and being someone who grew up in what I did and attempting to thrive.
While I know it’s not easy to remember, please try to consider that there is a whole history behind the faces of those you interact with.
Please avoid making assumptions and commenting about someone’s being.
We are not all given the same opportunities in life.
While I was raised to walk the “have nots” pathway, I’m determined to say “f*ck you” to ill-treatment and break free.
I will break that glass ceiling one day.
I may be “naive” about sex and cooking, but I know a damn lot about the harmful systems that shape people’s lives in this world, and I’m going to do something about them.
Please know that survivors of childhood trauma are anything but naive.
We are fierce.
We are warriors.