I fight back harder and this time, I wont bend, bow or break.
You… Where do I even begin with you? For a long time you’ve been a non-factor to me, a has-been, a faded memory, someone I used to know many moons ago.
You exploited my every fear, used all my fears against me. You got inside my head and tried to exploit me from within. You did things to me, unmentionable things and you enjoyed watching me fall the pieces, taunting me along the way, because that’s what narcissists do. And when you had done enough to me, reduced me to the lowest I’ve ever been, bruised and broke my body for a final time, you walked away because I no longer served a purpose to you.
You did me a favor.
You couldn’t take my life and you could not take my spirit. I know you thought I’d be an empty shell of myself when it all ended, withered, useless, scarred and undesirable, but God intervened. He saw my tears, He heard my prayers but more importantly, He knew my heart. And when the dust settled I emerged stronger and bolder, much to your shock and amazement and if I dare say, even mine.
The secrets and shame you thought I’d bear till the day I died because I’m a private person, I turned around and used it to empower and strengthen others like me. I figured I’d make the scars count for something, I’d make the suffering serve a higher purpose. You see I figured along the way, I am not the only one. I was not. Sadly, there are others like me. Too many. So I called on my strength and the One who gives it and determined, rather purposed, that I wanted to empower others because even the broken can help heal. And in so doing, you were exposed along with the secrets I felt forced to carry for years. I had to empty out, purge, before I could be healed and made whole again. I used my pain, my brokenness and shame to help other women, because sadly, there are way too many, like me. I am a wounded healer.
Your mind games failed.
You thought that when you walked away I’d come chasing. You were wrong. I’d long to be free for so long. The rooms felt lighter, I felt freer, the air even smelt cleaner. I even learned to smile and laugh again. That’s why I did not run and chase after you as you expected, that is why you came back after, even though you’d taken things to the next step to end our relationship. I am better and I deserved better. Why want brokenness when I could be whole? When you’ve tasted freedom, why would you ever want back chains? When I got back my power why would I give that up for your 99th promise to change and be better?
That ship has sailed. That girl is dead.
What you meant for bad, God worked it for my good. I found my inner strength and got brave enough to call on it. I rediscovered me, the me I know myself to be, the me God created me to be and it informed a new consciousness and a way of living. And yet you would not let me be. It’s like my strength frightens you, my advocacy, threatens you, my passion and zest for life disturbs you. So you make it your duty to destroy me with your venomous lies and trickery. I expect nothing less. It’s what you know. It’s all you know to be.
You were supposed to break me, you said you were my test. You failed. Instead, I got stronger, braver, bolder. You broke my bones and my heart but I refused to let you break my spirit. So I called deep on my strength and summoned what confidence remained and I emerged like the caterpillar into a beautiful butterfly, soaring to new heights. All through His mercies and all through His Grace. We are rid of each other, yet you refuse to let me be. At every turn I hear more of your lies, lies of affairs I supposedly had when you were the one openly living that life. Bold lies that go so far to claim the things that I worked hard to provide myself were apparently things you gave. Please! Your paycheck tells one story, my bank statements tells it all.
How ironic that it is I, that now seem to be in your head, when all I’m doing is living my best possible life and loving every moment of it. Karma is a first rate bitch.
You said you built me and I suppose it is true because the woman I’ve become today has been greatly informed by my experience with you. Because of you, I empower women. I give talks on violence, abuse, confidence, sisterhood, healing and becoming whole. I write articles on surviving and thriving abuse and divorce and I am amazed when those go viral. Because of you, I know real from the bullshit, because of you I love my life like it’s golden. Because of you I go hard for what I want and relentlessly pursue my goals. Thanks to you I embrace my inner and outer strength.
Because of you I know what freedom looks like. I am finally free to live and be who He created me to be. Because I know what living in a mental and emotional prison looks like and desire the opposite. Because of you I chase hard after my dreams, love hard and embrace love that is true and real, in spite what others think or feel. Because of you I am unapologetically me and I refuse to omit and delete the pieces of me or my story that make you are anyone uncomfortable.
So yeah built me as you’ve said and this time around I won’t shrink, bow, bend or break and I no longer fear you. You are small and powerless to me.
So keep fighting me. Lying on me, trying to destroy my intimate, friendly and professional relationships. We know the truth. God knows the truth and in the end, He always has the final say. He always makes me stronger and always give me more fight. You didn’t destroy me because I am a fighter and more that a survivor, I will always thrive. So keep fighting me. I fight back harder and it all makes me stronger, more brave, more powerful. Your negativity and hate oddly fuels my fight because at the end of the day, stars always need darkness to shine.
Carlana Charles is the visionary and editor-in-chief of FemmePowered. She is a womanist, writer, speaker, story midwife and facilitator of meaningful and engaging conversations. When she is not working in or on FemmePowered, she can be found resting, baking, reading or scribbling furiously in her journal whilst sipping wine or coffee, sometimes both at the same time. She is currently working on her first book and hopes to release it in September 2017.