|You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I’ll rise.
Does my sassiness upset you?
Just like moons and like suns,
Did you want to see me broken?
Does my haughtiness offend you?
You may shoot me with your words,
Does my sexiness upset you?
Out of the huts of history’s shame
You all don’t give a fuck, right? You don’t care what I go through or how I make it through and if this blog were to stop along with my breath I’m unsure of how many of you would truly miss me. I’m sure all of you would comment on how you knew me. You speak on how great I was. How I had such great talent I never got to show. How the potential was wiped out far too soon. You know all that bullshit about the good and the young and how they die. Well I may be young but I am not good. And one day I will die, but not quite yet. So I’m comfortable in the lack of appreciation. The lack of gratitude. & this isn’t going out to my readers –I know you all support me –rather to the people who have yet to click a link. I mean… either they don’t know or they don’t care. But I won’t get depressed. It’s just that I have grander dreams than the world would understand. That’s why they can’t kill me. You can’t stop me. I’m supposed to blow. I’m supposed to be more. I’m supposed to excel. My sister didn’t have me in the basement playing pretend school, doing real homework, at the age of 3 for nothing. I’ve been trained. I’ve been prepared. They’re waiting for me. My mother needs that mortgage paid off. My sister’s been paying on her loans for too long. My brother-in-law needs a fast car – all black, leather. The fuckin bat mobile, if I can find it. I don’t know how much money is real money but I’m trying to find out.
I’m better than everything that’s out here. (This same thought that has gotten me into problems and propelled me out of them.) The fact is, I visit other blogs. I see what they provide. I know what they lack. I’ve taken on a route that is far too serious perhaps. Maybe I’m too honest. I’ve dropped all political-correctness and assigned myself a presidential title. You can’t give up. I’m telling this to you because I need to tell it to myself. The most influential force in your life is yourself. I left work last night around 7:15pm. Kendell had been texting me all morning. Confessing his love and inviting me to dinner. He wanted to know what time to come get me but I hadn’t texted him back. I didn’t know what I’d do if I saw him outside of my job, so when I walked out the front door, I looked both ways before heading to the subway. Hurriedly, I made my way down to the 2/3. I don’t think I blinked. I usually get off at 135th and walk the 7-ish blocks to my place (since I don’t get out much during the day, the short walk help stretch my legs and clear my mind) but due to the rain and yesterday’s events, I got off at 145th & walked down 2 blocks instead. I figured I’d avoid him. It was too early for me to play brave. I really just wanted to get home & in my bed without any altercations. Still, I can’t say I didn’t feel a little fear. I called Carl, but he was at work. I just wanted someone to talk to as I walked home. He texted me “what’s up” and I tried to think of how to respond. What do I say? “I’m scared for my life and I don’t want to walk around alone”? I was in the process of texting him Kendell’s full name and work address, just in case I disappear someday, when I turned around and the devil was behind me. I wanted to run. I wanted to cry. I wanted to scream.
All day, at work, I tried to figure out what I should have done differently. First and foremost, I should have checked the peephole before I opened the door. I’ll never forget that lesson again in my life –you shouldn’t either. I shouldn’t have shoved him. I should have given him what he was looking for, but in the moment, I really didn’t know where the ring was. I hadn’t worn it in days and when Kendell is in this mode, he doesn’t stand in the doorway, he stands right in front of me. In my face, pushing me into corners. I reacted the only way I knew how. At the end, I decided that there were things i should have done differently, but I didn’t do anything wrong. There was nothing I could have said that would warrant him to grab me by my hair and throw me to the ground. Even more hurtful are the words that come along with domestic violence. The ‘bitches’ that rolled as smoothly off the tongue as his ‘i love you’s’.
“Were you there?” I asked him as we stood in the lobby of my building. I decided I’d stay there, where the cameras are, where the witnesses are, than to try to run and go up to my place. If an abusive man wants to speak to you, always do it in public. Never trap yourself in a room because that allows him to, in turn, trap you. Once you are behind locked doors, there is no escape. You need people to see you. If you’re crying they need to see that. They need to know you’re unhappy.
“What do you mean?” he asked.
“Were you there when you hit me across the face?” I said as I looked him in the eyes. The liquor had left but the marijuana remained. He looked down at his feet, as did I. And I wasn’t impressed. I know this sounds petty but, there’s no way I’m going to continue to take beating from a man in Converses. “How about when you said you wanted to spit in my face? Or when you held that blade to me?”
“I wasn’t going to cut you. I wouldn’t cut nobody.”
“I don’t know that,” I said and looked away. That was the most conversation I had with him. The rest of the time, my only statements were, “Please leave,” and “I don’t love you.”
“Give me a hug and I’ll go,” he kept saying as he tried to kiss me on my neck. My forehead. My cheeks. Anywhere but my mouth because he’d seen how that ended up earlier that morning. I patted him on the back and asked him to leave. “A real one,” he pressed on.
“I can’t,” I told him. “Not even if I try.” In the end, he settle for him hugging his arms around my stiff body as my hands laid limp. My eyes wide open staring at the wall behind him.
My advice? Don’t say too much of anything. If you want to end something with someone, you must end it. Don’t talk about why it needs to be over or what happened or where do we go from here or how long it’ll take to get over it. Yu end it. You tell him that’s it. When he asks if you’ll call, you say ‘No’. When he tell you he’ll be there for you, you tell him you won’t need him. When he tell you you can call anytime, tell him not to expect it. Say it all clearly. Firmly. Show no emotion –even if its still there. You put yourself forward as if you are empty. You show him that there is nothing there. You freeze over. Stone cold bitch, if you will. And you don’t leave until the conversation is over. You let him know you’d like it to end. That you would like to go on your way. That you do not want him to follow you. That he is making you uncomfortable. “I want you to leave, so that I can go home. Please,” I repeated a good 80 times.
You can’t give in. You can’t go back. As he held me, I remembered everything. I remembered how much fun I had had with him. It all replayed. We really did have a good time. But there is no good that can cover up the bruises. Only make-up and time work for those –One of which is temporary, the other no one can give me. Dammit, Ladies… why do we do this? Why do we give ourselves to men so undeserving. And then we treat them like Kings still. Our emotions get so wrapped up in the wrong thing all in the fuckin name of love. Is it really that great? Is it really hat necessary that we stay beside men who do things like this? It can’t be. I can’t be that lonely. I can’t be that needy that I have to keep going back to a man who’d put his hands on me. That is not love. Pain does not exist in love. That is where we’ve gone wrong. We’ve allowed ourselves to believe that with all good comes bad, but that makes no sense. Good is good. Love is love.. And any man who can, without remorse, lay his hands on you can’t possibly see you in the best light. He sees you as beneath him. He believes he owns you. You are his property. He can do as he chooses. And when he gets upset, there’s no telling what he’s going to do next. Because you’ve upset him again. You must not have learned your lesson. The same way parents have to turn to harsher and harsher penalties to get through to their children, he will try to teach you.
You belong to no one. I’ve veered slightly off track with this post but this is simply to say that you live outside of him and that’s okay. If you didn’t know before, you should know now, that just like you existed before him, you can exist after him. You are everything you ever thought you could be. All of those dreams. All of those aspirations, they still belong to you. They are still there. The key to getting those, though, is to learn to love yourself. There is only so much you can accomplish if you don’t love yourself. And if you continue on, giving your love to people who don’t deserve it, that love will go to waste. Spend it on yourself. For yourself. I’m also trying to convince myself. I know that there is a man out there for me who is exactly who he needs to be. I know that he will treat me like Middle Eastern Oil. He will go to war for me. I will be his everything. And he will be mine. But until that day, there is no reason why I should submit myself to pain. I’d rather be alone and beaten, thank you. You see, this was a man who stood over me, with his hand raised, telling me he didn’t care what I had to do today. He told me I wasn’t going to work. He told me that whoever it was who was showing up to my door would drag me around and make me pay. This man doesn’t love me no matter how many times he says it. Any man who would harm you, who isn’t affected by your tears, who’s ultimate aim isn’t to keep you happy 234567% of the time does not love you. He loves to own you. He loves the power he has over you.
“I want you to love me like you were doing,” he’d told me. That was it. He simply didn’t want to lose me. He has no idea why he loves me, if he does, he just knows it’s a pretty good deal. He probably also knows that he doesn’t deserve me. That I am a blessing of sorts –and I’m sure that’s how it’s been with you. When a man won’t let you go, it’s because you’re too good for him. He sees it. You should, too. I’m simply upset that people don’t see me in the light I deserve to be see in. In many regards. Not only am I brilliant, but I’m a good woman. I’m strong. I resourceful. Resilient. I’m been thrown around and beaten down. I’ve been left and abandoned. I’ve been attacked and confined. And still I fuckin rise. He tried to put me down. He sawI was too strong. And I remain that way. No matter the battle or the opponent, I have never lost a fight. I’ve always held my grown. I won’t go down without proving a point. He may have struck me, but I am not beat. I have too much to accomplish to die. There is too much I haven’t seen. Too much I haven’t done. You can’t take that from me. I have dreams, baby. You can’t bruise those.
Still I Rise