I joined World Pulse in July 2011 by creating a post starting with the line, "I am twice widowed. I am an incest survivor. I am still 30. And I am enduring all that has been debilitating in what every human being called life."
Today, after eight years and five months, I shall write the line again, "I am twice widowed. I am an incest survivor. I have 2 kids. I loved again and bore another kid, this time living in spectrum. I have a partner but lived like I am a single Mom. My finances are digging a big hole more than enough to bury and cover me. I am already 38. And I am enduring a life I could never imagined I would survive and could still survive."
As we end the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-based Violence, I must say, I will never stop fighting. I am tired but will never give up thinking what else we can do together to assert respect and dignity for women-- regardless of who we are and of what we are capable of doing.
And that is, despite the fact that I am confused if I could still survive.
I should have learned to become selfish.
You know, I grew up thinking only about making sure that our family is intact despite the rage inside me. I grew up making sure that I should be sensitive to other people's needs and provide support when necessary. I grew up making sure I give my all even if I am empty of what they need.
I would have less burden if only I should think of my own convenience and comfort.
But every time I think of my own challenges, I am being reminded of those women who cannot even determine that their rights are taken for granted. Or cannot speak against because of fear. Fear to lost their job. Fear to be rejected. Fear to be alone. Fear to be labeled as "crazy," "witch," or whatever name that defines their reaction.
When you live in a community where discrimination and insults are normal, where working women, even if already tired upon coming home, extends their strength to do the household chores, where women in position is dependent of the male's decision, speaking up discomfort seems to be a crime. It is tantamount to allowing yourself to be grilled, for your skin to be peeled off, until you get paralyzed.
I know exactly the feeling of seemingly quitting. And I know as well the feeling of putting your one leg outside the circle and leave the other one inside. That feeling of loss. That feeling of hesitation.
And yes, just like me, we are yet unprepared.
But while we are unprepared, yet, I want to gain strength from them. Absorb all their pains at once.
And I want to listen to them. I know they want me to do that.
And I will collect their stories.
Put them in a position where I could weave them together. Let our stories speak for themselves and allow each line to heal our own pains. Allowing them to transform us into someone that can no longer be jaded.
Perhaps, that is what I can do best for now. Because I cannot tell them to let go yet.
I know we are on the same ground.
Being unprepared of what will it become if we completely let go now.
I will definitely understand just as how I wish to be understood.
Yes, until we are all ready.
But for now, we will light a fire, gather on a circle, and share our stories.
While I shall weave them to make them whole, like weaving our broken selves together.