Thursday, 8 March 2018

International Women's Day 2018

To all hard-working women, who often go unnoticed; Happy International Women's Day!
To all mothers, who always put everyone else before themselves; Happy International Women's Day!
To all women of colour, who fight against racial stereotyping; Happy International Women's Day!
To all women living with a disability, who don't let their disability define them; Happy International Women's Day!
To all trans-women, who battle misogyny from all sides, Happy International Women's Day!
To all butch women, femme women, androgynous and non-binary women, who push against what a woman 'should' look like; Happy International Women's Day!

Being a woman in this world is not always easy but every day we fight the good fight to be seen, heard, recognised, appreciated and treated as an equal. We are seen as weak, yet we are stronger than ever. We're sexualised, objectified, idolized and criticized but every day we show the world exactly who we are and what we can do. We are strong, capable women who run this world with grace, sass and compassion.

As a woman who escaped an emotionally abusive marriage, where I felt I had no rights, no opinions,
no say, no freedom; I know all to well the struggle to regain my strength and stand independently upon my own two feet. I am NOT a door mat; I am a strong woman. I am NOT an emotional punching bag; I am a beautiful woman. I am NOT a possession; I am an independent woman. I am NOT a house maid; I am a young mother learning the ways of parenthood. I am NOT a prisoner; I am a free woman!

I used to be trapped inside my own home by a neglectful and emotionally abusive husband. I had to play a game of '20 Questions' every time I wanted to leave the house, or have some money. I never had money of my own, it all went into his bank account. I spent every penny of the money he allowed me to have on our daughter yet when we split up, he told me I was careless with my spending. He told me it was too dangerous in our neighbourhood for me to venture out on my own. He brainwashed me into being scared of the outdoors. He allowed me to make "friends" with people he knew online but wouldn't allow me to even tell them my real name. The one friend I did manage to make, who knew my real name, he accused me of having an affair with. He told me that I was "useless for anybody that wants to be happy." And that I'm the reason all my previous relationships failed; that I was always the problem. I cooked his meals and he never ate them. He forced me to eat what he wanted, which was usually take-out and the weight piled on. He never shared my bed after our daughter was born and left me to raise her almost entirely by myself. He slept all day and stayed up all night so our little girl barely ever saw him. He used our daughter as a way of punishing me if I did anything he didn't like and threatened to have her taken away from me after I left him.

Because of my ex-husband, I never thought I could ever be strong again. I cried at the sight of my own reflection and was afraid of ever loving anyone again. I blamed myself for everything and neglected to take proper care of myself. It has taken many years to get to where I am now. I'm still fighting but he doesn't affect me anymore. My daughter was my shining beacon. I kept on pushing for her. I battled my demons and gave all I could for her. I want to be her role-model, her hero. I want to be the best I can be for her. With the support of my friends, family and most amazing fiancé, I'm finally taking time for myself and pursuing my dreams and hobbies.

I am a female gamer, writer, reader and tired as f**k mother! I am a strong, beautiful, independent woman! To every single woman on this planet, from all walks of life; keep fighting, stand strong, raise your heads with pride and support one another. We are all beautiful! We are all women!

To all strong women; may we know them, may we be them, may we raise them.
Happy International Women's Day!

Until next time,
Alli xo
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