For the lives that we love, and everything that comes with it.
Overcoming Domestic Violence
A few years ago, I started dating this guy. I had my eyes on him for a while. I thought he was everything I wanted. He treated me really well, for a really long time. But, one day, he stopped treating me so well. We were on my couch, my mom had run to the store to get some groceries, my little brother was asleep in the other room. He said something that upset me, and I decided I was going to the just sit there in silence for a minute, to really take in what had just said to me. I didn’t really want to talk him in that moment. He didn’t like that I wasn’t answering him when he was speaking to me, so he hit me in my arm, pretty hard. I had a bruise the next day. I asked him why he did that later on, and he told me I shouldn’t have ignored him and made him mad. He hit me on a few other occasions. However, one that really sticks out to me would be the time he did it in front of my friends. We were outside of the school, and he wanted to fight this other boy. I didn’t want him to though, because I didn’t want him to get suspended. So I tried to hug him, and reach up to kiss him. When I did, he grabbed me really hard and threw me to the ground. My very best friend and my other friend where there. I cried so hard, and almost immediately, my arm starting bruising where he had grabbed me. My friends just told me to come on, and they both walked me to the bus. As I said before, those weren’t the only two times it happened, but those are the times that stick out the most to me. The first time and the time my friends were there. He has hit me in my face on multiple occasions as well. Domestic violence is definitely something that’s really hard to go through. For me, I didn’t even really know why he was doing it to me. I loved him more than anything. I thought he was the love of my life. He not only hurt me physically, but emotionally as well. He made me feel useless, and he made me feel like it was always my fault, or that he wouldn’t have done it if I didn’t deserve it. He always came up with some reason why he had done it, and usually it was that I “deserved it.” Eventually after almost four years of dating, and around two years of abuse, he broke up with me. He cheated on me with a girl in middle school, and when I found out about it, he broke up with me. Today, I’m glad that he broke up with me. However, when it happened, I was broken, I was sad, and I felt like I would never be enough for anymore. I thought to myself, “You gave him everything you had to offer in the world, and you still weren’t enough for him, how could you be enough for anyone else?” I went into a really deep depression for a few months after he left. But, after those few months were over, I started to realize what I lost, but also what I gained. Sure, I may have lost what I thought was my “first love.” However, I also lost the abuse, I lost the hurt, I lost the pain, and I lost the bruises. In the end of it all, I gained strength and self-confidence. Strength came before self-confidence of course. I gained strength only a few months after realizing that the pain and bruises were gone for good. I knew that if I could stay strong through that much hurt, and I could have put up with it for as long as I did, than I could handle my own, and I could be strong. The day I realized I was strong was the day I started to stand up for myself. I stopped letting people walk all over me. I stopped letting people talk about me without ever saying anything back or defending myself. I stopped being weak. I stood strong. However, gaining self-confidence took a lot longer. He had put me down so much, that I didn’t see a lot of good in myself. I knew I was strong, but that was about it. He made fun of my looks, my weight, my height, and pretty much everything else. By the time the relationship was over, I didn’t see a lot of good in myself, I looked in the mirror and felt disgusted. Some days I would even cry because I felt so ugly. It took me about a year and a half to really even start to feel a little bit of self confidence. I met a guy, a guy that I am now engaged to. He started telling me every single day how beautiful I am. I almost pushed him away, because I didn’t believe anything he said. I thought he was only telling me those things, because it’s what I “wanted to hear.” However, it turns out that he really meant everything he said. So, the more he would tell me how beautiful I was, the more I began to see it. I would ask him, “What’s beautiful about me?” and he would say something like everything about you is beautiful, or well I love your eyes and your smile. He would just name different things about me that made me beautiful. My self-confidence really started to build up, and I really started to see the beauty in myself. Today, I am stronger than I have ever been. Today, I see that I am beautiful. Today, I see that I am good enough. And today, I don’t even shed a tear when I think about what happened to me. I thank him for it, because he hurt me, but he also made me strong. He made me self-confident. He made me realize my worth. Because of him, I am a wonderful, and beautiful person, and I truly see it now.
Reflection on Self-Esteem
Most women (and girls) have found themselves trapped in a negative mindset, criticizing their imperfections, the flawed put on a spotlight, or have even made a thoughtless remark about someone else. Carving out more reason to distrust the good and the beautiful still there in the mirror. This is where to seek mindfulness, learn to push past that negative voice, and accept the beautifully imperfect and love the soul beneath! Cherishing it slowly and with time, heal the misconception that only outward beauty determines respect and esteem.
Life of a Bearded Dragon
Hello, my name is Manny Lizard Legacy Brown, but you can call me Manny. I am a one-year-old bearded dragon and I am currently living with an amazing family. When I was nine months old, my first family put me up for adoption, because they were afraid of me getting hurt by the larger lizard they had. On March 23rd, 2017 it was a normal day, maybe a little chilly out. I looked out my window and saw my old family put a blanket over the top of my tank and take me to their car. I hid under my log because I was afraid and didn't know what was going on. It felt like we were driving for a long time, but it was only a couple minutes. My old human picked up my tank and put it into another truck and I heard two females' voices. The next thing I know I was being driven to somewhere else, again it felt like forever. I moved around my tank to get a look at my surroundings and saw a human girl sitting next to me talking with the older female driver. After a moment the human sitting next to me got out of the truck. I saw the two human girls picking my tank up with the blanket still on the lid and they took me inside. I couldn't see where we were going, but the next thing I knew I was set down on a stand. I moved to the glass to get a look at my new home and I saw two big dogs and a small cat. I looked up and saw a human girl with red hair holding a phone and it looked like she was taking a picture of me. After she was done, an older looking girl looked at me and took of the lid to my tank off. I closed my eyes and the next thing I know I felt a finger pet my head. I looked up at the human and just stayed there. The human grabbed my roaches and dropped one in my tank, and I didn't know I was hungry, but I ate at least four of them. Then I was given worms next, which are my favorites. She put my lid on again and left to go do something. I fell asleep for a couple of hours and when I woke up I saw a man looking at me. I watched the man take off my lid and put a hand in to pet my head. I just stayed there and did nothing. He put the lid on my tank and sat in a chair watching TV. It was dark out when I saw the older human girl take my lid off, and lay her hand next to me. I don't know what I was thinking, but I climbed on her. I felt myself being picked up and it was a weird feeling because I had never really been held by my old human. I felt myself being put on her chest and she ran her hand down my back and told me that she loved me and that she would always make sure I had what I needed. The other girl came over and said the same thing. After a bit I was put in my tank with fresh water and food. I heard both humans say they loved me and I just didn't understand how they can have so much love for a little thing like me. My last thought before I went to sleep was that I was loved and I will love my new family just as much.
Struggles of a Stay-at-Home Mom
Being a stay-at-home mom is, in my opinion, one of the hardest jobs out there. You get no breaks, no pay, you're physically exhausted most of the time, and it's always the same thing on repeat everyday. But you have those glimpses of your child's smile that pushes you forward everyday.
Not the Mama
I was a stepdaughter twice, courtesy of my father who kept rushing to get married and apparently had a problem with being single and alone for long periods of time. Being a stepdaughter under the third wife was problematic. It was the same with the next stepmother, but eventually, our relationship became better. Dad and my stepmothers have now passed on. From the perspective of a stepchild, I think any woman who plans on marrying a man with kids should consider some things.
"I'm gonna go call my dad, okay?" I chirped happily, hopping down from the sticky kitchen table, picking up a cookie on my way out of the room. I was six years old and had already memorized my father's telephone number and would call him almost every day in a desperate attempt to make him love me.
This Is the Story of a Whore
It’s come to my attention, apparently I’m a whore. Who knew? It’s funny, that’s the word everyone comes at me with.... I remember the first time someone called me a whore. I was in 2nd grade.
Female Genital Mutilation Is a Woman's Health Issue
Female Genital Mutilation, or FGM for short, dates back about 2000 years. It is a practice that involves removing all or most of the clitoris, the labia minora, or both. This is an international practice that has received pushback from mostly feminist groups in the early 1990s, which led to an official FGM ban called the Female Genital Mutilation Act in 1996 stating the following: “Whoever knowingly circumcises, excises, or infibulates the whole or any part of the labia majora or labia minor or clitoris of another person who has not attained the age of eighteen years shall be fined under this title or imprisoned...” (Chase). This act made it illegal to continue the practice of FGM in the United States; however, the act is still prominent in other countries, especially in the horn of Africa. Although the practice is unlawful, including twenty-six states that have added specific laws that prohibit FGM, it is discreetly practiced among intersex infants and internationally.